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Ongoing biography of my KH life~
Le beginning: I played COM somewhen in either 2004 or 2005, don't quite remember. Fell in love with everything about it, and started playing the rest of the games one by one and reading articles to support and develop my theories about the series. I wrote a few fanfictions and drew lots of fanart (Trivia: My favorite ship used to be AkuRoku! Nowadays, I don't have one.)
Social media POV: I started admining this Kingdom Hearts fanpage on Facebook in late 2012, and for two years, I worked really hard to make it one of the best (imo the best) KH fanpage on FB at the time! We even got the official KH twitter to follow our Twitter account!
But my creativity was going in another direction, so I left and started another page, Kingdom Hearts Hypetrain. Still working on its website! You can also follow it on twitter.
Throughout the years, since 2012, I got to know a lot of people who were very active in the KH fandom and some of the best fans of the series. Among these were fan journalists such as Churro. I also got to know some other cool peeps such as the lovely Lauren and Darryl from KHUnion, to mention a few. I've also gotten to meet a lot of cool peeps from the Square Enix PR and marketing team, such as Dan Seto and Mat Kishimoto, and they're some of the most hard-working people ever! We are so blessed to have them market SE products outside Japan! I've also made some irreversible, very close relationships with some of the best people I could ever have dreamed of being friends with who shared my same passion. This includes Leamax, who is literally my partner in crime; Omelette, who is the creator and main manager of KHMemes, a twitter account followed by the official Kingdom Hearts twitter account; and Mihari-chan (pet name: Mihari Chai), arguably one of my bestest friends and project manager of the Keybearers' Alliance (formerly known as Project: Disneyland of Departure), who is also being followed by the official KH account on their twitter!
I've been sharing KH news as soon as it got online over the years, and did quite a bit of writing myself, so why not - I decided to join KH13.com as a News Team Member on March 2016. I've been encouraged by Sora96 to apply for this before, but I was skeptical of the role at first - but a few months into this role actually gave me a lot of insights! I've got to meet people who have read my articles in real life and it's the most amazing thing ever! I'm also Italian, so I've contributed to some translations that were featured here at KH13.com and in various Final Fantasy fansites! By attending certain KH-related events, I've also been able to contribute to the news in first person! The smallest contribution brings me joy, so I think I will continue with news reporting until I get sick of it
A year after joining the team, I am the News Team Leader at KH13.com!
Oh, and I now cosplay Aqua, so I share my cosplay adventures on social media too.
My "real life" POV: I try to attend any event related to Kingdom Hearts.
My first event was the KH 1.5 pre-launch event in London on 2013, where I just managed to win a ticket for (thank you KHInsider for that!). I got to meet Shinji Hashimoto (KH series executive producer) and Yoko Shimomura (KH series composer) and talk to them about their work - it was honestly a dream come true. I managed to ask Shinji Hashimoto a question about whether they'll make a HD remake for Days to make it playable (his answer was "we're not thinking about it at the moment"), and I got to tell Yoko Shimomura that I love her work, that she's a role model for me, and that my favorite track is Musique pour la Tristesse de Xion. Later, when I saw a KH13.com article with pictures from the event, I was literally screaming inside: "There I am in the picture OMG!" Same when I saw my picture from the green screen photo with Halloween Town as the background on the official Facebook page. Such a fangirl. Here's a picture:
As you can see I was a total dork, also I look nothing like that now. Yay for late-onset puberty.
My second event was the KH2.5 launch event in London, where I got to meet KH3 producer Rie Nishi and co-director Tai Yasue - and they signed my keyblade! So honored. This is also where I met Mat and Dan. One of the cool things about having friends who live on the other side of the Atlantic who also attend KH-related events is that you can talk about them with the Square Enix EU/NA team, who are always travelling back and forth - and they say: "Yeah, I met your friends over there, they told me about you!" Hurray for long distance friendships - we share the same sky! Here are some pics from that evening:
As you can see, I was still a total dork. But apparently, after I put that last pic as my profile picture on Facebook, I caught the eye of a talented gamer and former-Youtuber who sent me a friend request, and who later turned out to be my soul mate and someone I am now engaged to... but that's another side, another story. As you can see, everything connects to something else! Our hearts are connected.
After I got my keyblade signed at the 2.5 launch event, I developed this weird sort of habit to get it signed by anyone majorly involved in the production, development, and distribution of KH! Or whoever I like in relation to KH.
So I went to stalk Willa Holland in May 2016 (who btw totally got misled me into thinking she didn't hear anything about voice acting for 2.8, only to have the first trailer with her voice in it released a couple days after I met her!) And she signed my keyblade! Also, I love her performance from Arrow so that was a bonus. Here's a picture collage of Willa being adorable while telling me she's not allowed to say anything about KH
Another bonus was Katrina Law (Nyssa al Ghul), who was sitting right next to Willa, going around and getting instagram usernames from the fans! She ended up tagging me in her group photo with the fans, so that was a very nice experience as a fan of the Arrowverse!
OK by now I feel like I should tell you that yes, I have stalked some other really cool people at events, movie premieres, etc., but I don't actually have that many people I truly like in show biz. so it's not as extreme as it sounds! To me, the only thing I like to do at cons is to eat takoyaki, mess around with friends, buy jewellery and attend panels/signings. So basically, not much!
Anyway, by this time I had already become a regular geeky event-goer. They don't appeal to me as much now, having lost some of their initial novel luster, and I'll probably not go to Hyper Japan again, but while walking around the fair I spotted Kaoru Wada, who is in charge of arranging orchestral pieces for the KH series (Fantasia alla Marcia, anyone?), and I actually managed to have a five minute conversation with him without much trouble with the whole English/Japanese language barrier. But just my luck that I had forgotten to bring my keyblade with me to sign! Here's a picture though - maybe I'll catch him again next year at his Anime Insiders Panel!
After seeing the first proper trailer of KH2.8 I was too excited to play it. So I kept on the lookout for a demo being eventually playable in London. As I suspected, EGX, the biggest gaming event in the UK, confirmed the demo for its 2016 installment. I was so stoked that I went to play it early in the morning on the first day of the convention! I also met Dan Seto again there (pic below), who was promoting all the cool upcoming Square Enix games, including Dragon Quest Builders (LOOK AT HIS HAT OMG). I think the highlight of the convention was meeting a KH fan who told me that they came to EGX purely because they read an article on KH13.com about the KH2.8 demo being playable there. He was very pleasantly surprised to know that I was the one who wrote that article! Those are the moments to live for! Here are some of my pictures from EGX.
Have you booked your tickets for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- yet? Before booking those VIP tickets in April 2016 (Wildfaery, where my tickets at?! They lost my tickets! > ), I actually booked some tickets back in December 2015 for Symphonic Fantasies, which took place a few weeks ago in early October 2016. The concert featured music from Kingdom Hearts, and even featured a special pre-concert Q&A with Yoko Shimomura! Imagine my luck when I got to talk to her again! She actually answered one of my questions (which was quite a personal one, to me). And the concert was purely amazing. Here is a picture I took for KH13.com:
I can't wait to meet her again at the World Tour in March!
A few weeks after Symphonic Fantasies, I went to the biennial MCM London Comic Con on October 29th and 30th. This had to be my most fun convention ever, even if I didn't do a lot or buy too much! I went to my first KH cosplay meet dressed as Aqua, and actually had the chance to meet Shinji Hashimoto again! This time, he signed my Kingdom Key! I also bumped into Dan Seto again (LOOK AT HIS HAT AGAIN OMG) who was casually representing Square Enix around the expo! But the most fun bit was getting to hang out with many other Kingdom Hearts cosplayers: we had a lot of fun, and I almost got kidnapped by a Sora! Here are some pics and a video!
I am so blessed to be able to attend all these events. It's not really about pictures or autographs or even simply meeting the people behind the things you love, but it's the whole atmosphere of solidarity and the emotions that come with the appreciation of true works of art. I've been able to meet a lot of my online friends, plus make some new ones.
A more personal POV: Most people, even when knowing my real name, just call me Aqua. (No, Aqua is not one of my favorite characters. I had literally no connection to Aqua when I got this nickname, but that story is probably irrelevant to you!)
When I started admining a page on Facebook, I used to post some really dank KH memes. Ever since then, most of the KH fans who know me from FB know me as some sort of a meme queen! (lol) I don't really make so many memes anymore, but people still complain about how I've ruined their childhoods! Memes aside, I love getting people involved in the fandom. Which is why I always try to make any original KH content I make as engaging as possible. I've done all sorts of other things including making vines, streaming Disney movies and KH music, conducting podcasts and Skype parties, modding Twitch streams, organizing KH-themed game nights, and much more. Nowaydays, I manage a brilliant team of KH fans who organize these things, rather than doing them all on my own. You can follow their (our!) work on Kingdom Hearts Hypetrain. You can also follow our Youtube channel for interesting videos - I occasionally work on some of the videos.
I love v-logging about my daily adventures around the UK. I am mostly accompanied by my fiancè, and together we're working on our list to visit all the cool places in the Kingdom and beyond! My KH community usually refers to my fiancè and I as RayQua(za) (Ray being his name, Qua from Aquaberry, and za to spell out the Pokèmon!).
Something else that I love to do is cosplay. By now you must have noticed that I wear a headscarf - also knows as a "hijab" (which also means something along the lines of "covering up", and "modesty"). I am therefore an average (or below average?) "hijabi". Cosplay is thus a bit more interesting for me, seeing how I incorporate the elements of the hijab in my costumes, oftentimes I come up with some really cool costume designs. After producing 4 successful cosplays, I was featured on a trending Buzzfeed article in my Konan costume. After that, I just knew I wanted to keep cosplaying even more characters! I debuted my Aqua cosplay at MCM London Comic Con on October 2016, and look forward to improve it even further for next year! Here are some of my cosplays, and you can follow me on Instagram to find more pictures of cosplay and other things.
Conclusion: KH means so much more to me than just the games: to me, it's really about the story and the different elements of it and how it unites the community. And I love being a part of this community! To me, it's not even about JUST KH anymore. It's all of the little things, perculiar hobbies, different fandoms, and dank memes that connect us all on the basis of our common passion for this videogame.
Anywho, here's (most of) my story so far, but expect this space to be updated with more experiences as time passes! And if you have any questions or just wanna say hi, feel free!
Ohhh, okay! (I just started watching Naruto recently, and Hinata still has short hair, so I didn't recognize your cosplay! My apologies!) That's pretty badass, though! I take it you're a big Naruto fan? :3
Oct 04 2016 08:26 PM
Yeah, I can see that! I'm liking what I'm seeing so far! And actually, I don't mind fillers, so I can just watch them, ya know? :3 But yeah, I wanna see more Hinata!!! She's too darn adorable! <3
Oct 08 2016 08:39 PM
This status update has reached the maximum number of replies allowed
They uploaded it in 2016 – it's probably always been in that playlist by mistake and has just been noticed by the community now. Or maybe they added it to the playlist by mistake and didn't bother removing it since it's a private video. But the video itself has been on YouTube since 2016
I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.
In any case, this does not negate that there could be new trailers releasing soon. Keep an eye on the PlayStation Lineup Tour and our upcoming TGS 2018 coverage!
The possibility of exclusion of dubbing in Kingdom Hearts III for audiences such as German, Spanish, and French-speakers has been an ongoing issue among the international fan community of the series, so much that even a petition was conducted in an attempt to make the upcoming game's dub more inclusive. Disappointment therefore ensued when it was confirmed by the Square Enix France CEO that Kingdom Hearts III would only be dubbed in Japanese and English.
You can read the interview below. We would like to thank KH13 News Team member Overshot and KHχ staff Nymph for providing translations.
Q. Kingdom Hearts II was dubbed in Castilian. Why is this not the case in Kingdom Hearts III?
A. Kingdom Hearts III is completely dubbed [T/N: meaning it has full-on dubbing, from beginning to end] and, in addition, we have adapted the synchronization of the lips to the spoken language, so we had to consider the associated costs. Considering the difference in quality between current hardware and what was there when Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II were released, we had to do things in completely different ways.
The casting of each country, the recording, the staff schedules, and the work process itself had to be done in the same way for both the English and Japanese versions. Only just recording the voices takes a lot of time, work, and budget, and consequently it would mean that we would not be able to launch the game simultaneously in the whole world. We wanted it to be a priority that it was the first game in the Kingdom Hearts series to be launched in this format.
Q. There is usually a great deal of attention to detail in the translations of the Square Enix games. How is the translation of the texts progressing and what is the process behind this?
A. We have spent a lot of time making the preparations, so the original text has been translated as directly as possible, while in the case of the different Disney worlds we asked the translators to keep the original dialogues of the films.
The translation of Kingdom Hearts III is done internally, and we follow a multi-layered process; co-director Tai Yasue, who speaks English, checks the text, and Disney later checks it again.
Q. How do you create the overall history [T/N: lore] of Kingdom Hearts III and at the same time that of the different worlds? Is Disney involved in the process?
A. First I create the general structure of the broader narrative, and another scriptwriter uses it to fill in a more detailed plot. Then I take all that and start writing the whole story; sometimes I use it only as a guide, and other times, I “stick” other parts on top of the original plot. Finally, Disney edits it and gives us approval.
In the case of the sections that take place in Disney worlds, the process is slightly different. When I have the outline of the story, we continue to base the workflow in the process that I just explained, but I have as a rule that the writers take into account the requirements of the individual level design teams when putting together the script. This goes through as a first edition to Disney, which comes back to me and on which I write my own editions and arrangements so that they fit into the general progression of the game and the narrative flow. Finally, it is sent back to Disney [again] to perform more checks.
Q. For those who are new to the saga, do you think Kingdom Hearts III is a good starting point, or should they have played all of the other games?
A. There are not many examples in video games, but I think there are cases of movies and television series in which the audience can be interested halfway. We have included several elements in Kingdom Hearts III to explain the story and get the rookies to reach the minimum speed for the required level of comprehension, including a series of videos that explain the story so far at the beginning of the game . I would be delighted if people who play Kingdom Hearts III are interested in the saga and go back to also play the rest of the titles.
VG247 has recently published Alex Donaldson's interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. Here, he talked about having found the right balance while working with Disney, their approach to world expansion, recap elements and more in Kingdom Hearts III.
In regards to his approach in directing Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said he hasn't changed much, not unlike in his previous interview with Donaldson back in 2013.
I have not changed the way I develop since the first game and I have continued to do so in the same style I always have for Kingdom Hearts 3. I have not really considered the kinds of complicated balancing issues that everyone imagines, and the game stories are simply the result of me making what I wanted to make freely.
Nomura also spoke about seeing the positives of working with Disney's restrictions.
It goes without saying that the freedom of movement I have on Kingdom Hearts is different from that on other titles because Disney oversees and edits things. But in a sense, I feel that working freely within those boundaries may have produced the balance we have today.
Infact, the Pixar team working on Kingdom Hearts III had a lot of praise for Kingdom Hearts III's development team during the Kingdom Hearts III Premiere Event. Tasha Sounart, the Associate Creative Director at Pixar Animation Studios, and the Pixar Story Supervisor Jason Katz, spoke about the success of Toy Story's and Monsters, Inc.'s representation in the game being owed to the efforts spent in the back and forth between the studio and Square Enix.
Sounart had said:
"I’ve been a Kingdom Hearts fan for a long time. I played the first two games and a couple of the handheld games – and so just as a player I always wanted to see Pixar worlds represented.
"Rob Rowe, our director in the interactive group, just came up to me one day and said that they were thinking of adding Pixar worlds to Kingdom Hearts 3, and what did I think of that? I was like… er, yes please! I really want to work on this! So, yes, I was super excited.
"Square Enix’s process is very similar to ours on films, where they’ll go all the way from script to storyboard to layout to blocking animation – y’know, it’s a very similar path that all the scenes take, and we were involved from the very beginning and giving notes on the script just to make the characters feel authentic to how they would actually act in those situations.
“They have such an attention to detail and really care about getting things right. That really is very similar to Pixar, where we will have a meeting where we’re all obsessing over this one little shadow or something [laughs]. The way that Square Enix is – they really try to get everything as good as they can get it, and so we really appreciated that when we were working with them.
“Just seeing Buzz and Woody running around with Sora… I dunno, I’ve just wanted this for a long time – it’s so cool!” Katz had added:
“The person who designed Buzz is giving notes, the person who designed Mike is giving notes – all to try to make the integration of Sora and Donald and Goofy into Monsters and Toy Story feel right.
“That’s an important thing. It’s an easy thing to say and a tough thing to realize. Like – what is the monsterisation of Donald? What does Sora look like as a toy? But it’s so important, because not only does it move the story line, but it helps buy them into the world – there’s a reason for them being in that particular story.
“All of a sudden the degree of notes and the amount we’re gonna push up our glasses and really dig in on the details… it’s gonna raise. Because if it looks like the film it needs to move like the film and feel like the film.
“A big part of the Toy Story universe and those films is nostalgia – nostalgia for toys that we remember growing up, or that feeling of playing with a toy as a kid. I remember having really great conversations about… challenging the folk at Square Enix, asking ‘What were the toys you remember? What were the toys from your childhood?’
“When they brought back the idea for the Gigas and taking advantage of things that were specific to their experience playing with toys, that’s when it really started to click. That’s when it really began to feel like we were speaking the same language – but it’s also a very specific thing for Kingdom Hearts 3. That’s when you really take advantage of the time it takes to develop a real quality story.
“Just like making our films, that takes time. It takes time to establish trust, to understand what we can both collectively bring to the table to make the end product reach the ideals we have.”
When Nomura was asked about what Kingdom Hearts III would have been like it had it been developed for the previous generation of consoles, Nomura replied that he hadn't given it any thought. He simply talked about how the development team worked to make new players and those who have forgotten the series' previous experience catch up to the story in Kingdom Hearts III. He stated that recap videos will be added at the start of the game, along with other elements throughout the game to further players' understanding of the story.
There aren’t many examples in gaming, but I think that there are cases of film and TV series where viewers can take an interest part way through.
We have included several elements in Kingdom Hearts 3 to explain the story and get newcomers up to speed the minimum required level of understanding, including a series of videos to explain the story so far at the start of the game. I would be delighted if people who played Kingdom Hearts 3 took an interest in the series overall and went back to play the previous games as well.
Nomura said that the quality, size, and depth of each world is prioritized over the overall world count, and that was greatly achieved through expanding them vertically. It is still not possible to make a simple comparison between the size of Kingdom Hearts III's worlds to the previous games' ones.
As we can now render the worlds in much more subtlety, the level of detail that is put in to them is almost impossible to compare to the previous games. In order to get the most out of each individual resource, we prioritized making each world more detailed over adding more of them this time round.
I think that by putting more emphasis into expanding the vertical aspect of the different levels, it gives a greater feeling that the space you play in has expanded. It is not really possible to do a simple comparison and say how many times bigger the worlds are compared to past ones, but I do think that you can have even more fun exploring all the different nooks and crannies than ever before.
Nomura also referred to Gummi Ships to have "symbolic significance" in the series, and restated that Gummi Ship levels in Kingdom Hearts III will have a higher resemblance to an RPG world map and include exploration and detailed customization.
Nomura concluded the interview by acknowledging that fans have a lot to expect and look out for in the final instalment of the Xehanort saga.
The original stuff has grown and multiplied over the years, so there are more opportunities where the player has to be exposed to it. The fans now have even higher expectations towards the original elements than before.
IGN Brasil has just published an interview conducted with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura back during E3 2018, in which he talked about his favorite character, the dark themes in Kingdom Hearts III, and, surprisingly, Mary Poppins.
Nomura stated that his favorite character from the series is Ansem (Xehanort's Heartless), and that he does not relate to Sora.
"When I wrote the story, I realized that I'm more of Ansem / Xehanort's side, because they say things I would probably say. On the other hand, Sora says things I would not personally say."
Nomura commented that he prefers JRPG games to not show explicit violence.
"We do not have a boundary line set on dark themes [in KH3], as long as it's not on the screen and the game does not have very violent scenes."
However, he still promised that Kingdom Hearts III will have some "shocking scenes."
Regarding choosing the worlds that will appear in the game, he said:
"For each game and each world, I ask my team to bring ideas and create concepts. These documents include which worlds they would like to see in the game and what kind of gameplay we could develop in these worlds. "I take a look at all this and see which world or which gameplay is interesting enough for me, then I make a list of these and other worlds that should be in the game in order of priority."
When asked about his favorite world from the series, Nomura laughed. He responded that his favorite world has not been revealed yet.
He states that there will be "some original world in Kingdom Hearts III."
Nomura even mentioned the idea of a Mary Poppins world.
"Mary Poppins has always been in our conversations about concepts and ideas, but we've always wondered how we can use that film in the franchise. There's a possibility, as long as there's a good idea for that."
The interviewer also asked Nomura if he was aware of how popular Kingdom Hearts is in Brasil, to which he replied that he was surprised in discovering a Brasilian fanbase.
"We are developing this game in Japan, so when I come to events like this [E3] and I meet people from the press from different countries and regions, that's when I realize how big the franchise is, because it's not something I feel in practice. That all of this is real, but I do not realize it on a daily basis."
What "shocking" surprises could be awaiting in Kingdom Hearts III? Would you like one of them to be a Mary Poppins world? Let us know in the comments!
This is awesome, but I hope not all the +30hrs is just minigames/gummi ship.
I would love some side-quests, especially story-based side-quests which the KH series unfortunately lacks most of the time.
Although, to be completely honest, +30hrs of minigames is quite terrifying to me. Especially after Platinuming the series on PS4.
There are other additional content apart from mini-games, such as secret bosses, the Cups in Olympus, looking for items and obtaining special Keyblades. Also, there might be some extra story stuff to do after you've finished the main story of a world. (In a recent interview it was said there won't be any skippable world, but it didn't say there won't be any skippable story content for these worlds.) Am personally hoping for some side quests too
Following a hands-on experience of an hour-long demo of Kingdom Hearts III, Geek.com has published an insightful review of playing the third main installation of the series from the perspective of a newcomer. In it, Tony Polanco describes his positive experience of playing through the Olympus and Toy Story demo.
While talking about the various gameplay elements, he adds in comments made by a Square Enix PR representative on what to expect from the final version of the game. He states:
A Square-Enix PR representative explained that Sora is more agile than in past installments. For example, he can now wall run up shimmering vertical surfaces. He also has some context-sensitive motions.
Players can now equip up to three different keyblades at once. They can also level up each keyblade to make them stronger. Before, there was no incentive to continue using keyblades obtained from previous worlds since the newer keyblades were more powerful. Now, keyblades you have a fondness for are viable even later in the game since you can level them up.
In addition to the main story, players can look forward to several mini-games. One is a cooking game with Remy from Ratatouille. You must find ingredients hidden across several of the worlds and use them to create new recipes. There are 20 different old-school Tiger Toys/Game & Watch style 2D side scrolling games based on Mickey cartoons from the 1930s and 40s. Building your Gummi ship (used for traveling to each world) is pretty much a mini-game of its own. Kingdom Hearts 3 is around 40-50 hours if you stay on the critical path. Including the mini-games, players can expect 80+ hours of content.
It seems that players can advance through the game's main story in approximately 40-50 hours, or about double that time considering additional playable content.
Many thanks to Tony Polanco for talking to us about his experience and confirming that these statements were made by a Square Enix PR representative.
UPDATE: Geek.com has updated the following statement to clarify that the game lengths given to them by the Square Enix PR representative were approximate, but the exact length has not yet been finalized as the development of the game continues towards its release date.
I was told Kingdom Hearts 3 is around 40-50 hours if one stays on the critical path. Including the mini-games, players can possibly expect 80+ hours of content. With that said, Square-Enix has yet to finalize the game’s exact length as there are still many months to go before release date.
How will you be playing Kingdom Hearts III when it comes out? Will you be speeding through the main story or enjoying it in full on your first playthrough? Let us know in the comments!
Following the reveal of the Sora Nendoroid figure (releasing December 2018), and a tease about more Kingdom Hearts figures coming soon, a Riku Nendoroid has been revealed!
The following picture has been published on the "WONDERFUL HOBBY LIFE FOR YOU!! 28" website gallery, which provides some sneak peaks of figures that will be on display at the Wonder Festival taking place in Chiba, Japan, on July 29, 2018.
In revealing their products line-up during the San Diego Comic-Con 2018 preview night, Square Enix unveiled many upcoming Kingdom Hearts products, including three sets of wallets, available in black and red! These are the Kingdom Hearts wallet, bifold wallet, and key case wallet: you can see them below (pictures taken by @churroz).
These products are prototypes pending licensor approval, with no release date as of yet.
San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 19th to July 22nd. The Kingdom Hearts III demo has been announced for the event, and you can get a chance to play it via collecting tickets at the Square Enix booth, starting from 9.30am local time.
What do you think of this lineup? Will you be attending SDCC? Let us know in the comments below!
Famitsu have recently posted their full interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura online! This interview was previously published in the July 5 issue of Famitsu Weekly; however, it was not published in full.
We have already translated some parts of the interview (which you can read here and here); find the rest below!
—There was also a scene when they slide on a shield like a sled on the snowy mountain [during the Frozen segment of the recent trailers].
Nomura: There are battles while sliding down the mountains. In a FFVII snowboard style, you can challenge yourself and aim for a good score once you complete the story of the world.
—Characters look just like real-life people, but was it difficult to balance their graphics between the photo realistic world and the worlds of KH?
Nomura: That was a difficult aspect indeed. According to the photo-realistic direction, Sora, Donald, Goofy and Luxord have a model made with special details on them. Jack and the other are still a work in progress, they are yet to be complete.
—The team troubled themselves to change Luxord’s model, just for the sake of this world?
Nomura: Once, we tried to put down Luxord’s model used in another world, but it looked really out of place.
—Every world seem so faithful to their respective work, there is no displeasure while looking at it. I can’t wait to see their appearance in other worlds as soon as possible!
Nomura: Big Heroes 6 is yet to be shown. Please look forward to it.
You can read the rest of the interview in full below.
—You don't have to think hard. Among the Situation Commands that came up, the 'Attraction Flow' amusement park rides were particularly gorgeous, and some even had mini-game elements - it was fun just pulling out those skills.
Nomura: In this trailer, there's a Monster's, Inc. water slide where that's also true (Note: talking about the fun element). Attraction Flow is different depending on the place, the conditions for 'Firaga' are that you have to be attacking with fire-type [attacks], there are various conditions that have to be met for Situation Commands to be used. The Big Hero 6 world hasn't been revealed yet. Please look forward to it.
—In this PV, there's a scene of skating and sliding around, is this one of the transformations?
Nomura: It's a Keyblade transformation you get in the Frozen world. [/b]You can slide around anywhere, not just on ice, and set up melee attacks by sliding in at high speeds.[/b]
—This time around, you can use magic as a means of moving around, you can quickly approach enemies with Chute Rock, right? In this demo, the tempo of moving around felt really good and playful.
Nomura: We're really conscious of that. In the Pirates of the Caribbean World, if you fly toward a certain enemy with Chute Rock, you'll be able to ride around on that enemy.
That's a trailer scene, for sure!
Nomura: Pay attention to the content you brought up; particularly, I think Pirates of the Caribbean has a lot of sights to see. From diving into the sea for a battle and controlling the ship to riding a Heartless for an aerial battle--this world has land and sea and air (Note: he used the term 'Rikukaiku' which is particularly notable given our three heroes names!), and everything is seamlessly connected in the stage of battle. There's ship sailing, exploring an uncharted island - it's a world where you can do anything.
—By the way, Sora is growing up rapidly, what effect does this have on leveling/training?
Nomura: It's a legitimate evolution of the conventional level-up and synthesis systems. Although there have been portable games with different leveling systems, KH3 is a main series numbered entry; this entry is packed with play, and there's enough volume that its simple. (Note: I think he's getting at the idea that there's more than enough play time to figure out the leveling, even if it's a little different than the systems we've been playing with lately.)
—In this trailer, Kairi makes an appearance, gathering Sora, Riku and Kairi together. Could you please tell us about their design?
Nomura: Sora has less accessories now. Previously, he had a chain hanging alongside very large pockets and belts, which was the point of the design. However, [/b]this time, since he's going to be involved in more dynamic action, I wanted him to have a greater sensation of activeness.[/b]
—As Sora grows his hair continues to shoot upward.
Nomura: When Sora was a child his hair flowed downward, then in “KH” and “KHII” his hair stretched out from the sides, but this time his hair forms more in the back. Or better said it starts from the side and folds up in the back (laughs).
—So it is something like that? (laughs). Riku and Kairi also got fresh haircuts.
Nomura: Riku understands the process and details of cutting and changing his hairstyle from a long one, but since Kairi appears to not had an image change in a long time it may be fresh for her.
—What about Riku's and Kairi's [outfits]?
Nomura: I'm having their "taste" to match Sora's in some parts. Sora gets a red and black color pattern, while Riku gets blue as a base and, added around the shoulder, some yellow tones to differentiate it. As for Kairi, pink was the main color of choice. That's the kind of image in mind when I thought of the logical next step. This time, everyone got their new clothes from Yen Sid, including Mickey, and as expected, the ones who actually made it are the 3 fairies. Thus, I wanted all of them to have something in common. In this case, it's the checkered pattern [plaid].
—Riku’s Keyblade changed too. The cutting edge of his previous weapon seemed broken.
Nomura: It broke for a certain reason, and he obtained a new Keyblade from Master Yen Sid. I noticed that houses key used a lot of this type of design nowadays, so I took it as a reference.
—Sora and his friends appearance change this time too, those from the “Monsters, Inc.” world had such a great impact!
Nomura: These changes are based on Pixar designers’ intentions. We made slight changes at the last minute by ourselves, like enlarge Donald’s white part of his eye, and change the color and size of Goofy’s left and right eyes. We followed this direction with the original work of Halloween Town as well. We initially create a dragon-based design for Sora. We then modified some parts like the color of the body and the borders around the eyes, giving him a cat-like mouth and therefore got closer to a Halloween Town look.
—It looks like you interacted a lot with Pixar while creating the models for the Toy Story world too.
Nomura: Yes. Among those circumstances, we also had time to design characters in a pixel art style. It felt like those pixel art became three-dimensional. From there we adjusted its realism, and went to the toy figure-like shape that you know now.
—Moving on, I'm going to ask you about some key scenes in the trailer. Roxas's resurrection has been touched upon; both Sora and the New Organization XIII seems to wish for his return, right?
Nomura: Specially Sora, who has a connection with Roxas. However, that's not something I can answer at the moment.
—Also, about Ienzo, Hayner and the rest, I wonder how they'll cooperate... There's something else I'm wondering about. The word Larxene used "New Seven Hearts".
Nomura: It's referring to the Seven Princesses of the next generation. It has to do with what Master Xehanort did in KH3D. In case the 7 Guardians of Light don't gather, they would instead use the Seven Princesses... that's the reasoning. Those Seven Princesses are being replaced while Kairi is the only one that keeps being one. As for the remaining 6 candidates, people like Rapunzel, Anna or Elsa are being targeted for that.
—There's also a lot of mysteries surrounding the resurrection of the New Organization XIII. Vanitas seems to be one of them, why is that?
Nomura: While the Vanitas appeared in KH3D was an illusion, this time he's real and makes an appearance. Vanitas and the other members have resurrected in an unusual way. Some of the members returned to their human forms only to then again turn into Nobodies, while other have resurrected by using other means. For example, Lea and Ienzo who are collaborating with Sora, have just resurrected as human.
—Lea and Kairi are training together to be able to use the Keyblade. Where does the scene with them in it in the trailer happen?
Nomura: It's a world you can't go to, but I can say that the place they are in is a new location. Matching the progress of the script I wanted to show their progress one step at a time. Previously, at the Kingdom Hearts concert, there was a speech of Kairi talking about their training together. That speech is also used in a scene inside the game.
—There was something else that intrigued us on the PV. We saw the current Riku, and a Riku from the past sitting next each other…was that Repliku?
Nomura: Was it? Maybe it’s an illusion (laughs).
—Aqua's change of appearance was also a huge shock. Her eyes turned golden and it looked as if she completely fell to darkness.
Nomura: It seems everyone was even more surprised about it that I expected. That scene happens when Riku and The King end up in a dangerous situation and then Aqua appears in that state. Not only hers, but the mysteries related to a lot of other characters are cleared up, so writing the script for all that was really hard.
—Some time ago you told us about a Secret Movie being produced. Are there any new developments about that?
Nomura: We're already making it but it hasn't been finalized yet.
—The series has progressed a lot since the first title came out. The story has become pretty complicated and the memories about the story have become a little blurry. Also, I think many people have only played the numbered titles. Have you thought of anything to help them catch up?
Nomura: Well, since there are so many character and relationships within the games, if we stopped every time a new character appears to introduce them, the story wouldn't move on. We are making videos summarizing the story of the game into 5 chapters with narrations from Chirithy. They will be released shortly after E3 in our official website. So I hope you watch these videos, play the HD remasters until the release date of KH3. Also, the videos need adjustments for it, but we're looking into adding the videos to the KH3 game.
—From the production announcement in 2013 until this point, I think that there was a lot of hardships. Like switching game engine from an in-house production to the Unreal Engine 4 for example.
Nomura: That’s right. However, Unreal Engine 4 has a great amount of libraries and to be able to use them, Epic Games worked hard, so it was easy to do in that sense. Of course, there are merits to make something with your own game engine. In that case, as the development of the game and the expansion of the engine are linked, the range that we mustn't lose of sight become wider. Even though the development period has been extended due to the engine change, I think it’s a good thing that we switched to the Unreal Engine 4.
—Hikaru Utada who suspended her singer career resumed her activities, the decision to which song would be in KHIII was a huge topic. About the theme song “Chikai”, did you gave any directions?
Nomura: From here I did not give any concrete order. With the current synopsis, we know that the battle that kept continuing will end in KHIII, and the answers will come out to each character that had various issues, that’s what it (the synopsis) tells you.
—I'm sure that now that you have announced the release date you are working towards finishing making the game, but can you tell us what's the current state of the development?
Nomura: It's hard to give you an actual percentage of how complete it is. Right now the game's volume is way too high and space is becoming a problem where's we're running out of it.
—What's the cause for that?
Nomura: There are many reasons. One of the bigger ones is that movies take up a lot of space. When you're running a cutscene in real time there's very little data to load but, let's say the previous scene I talked about with Kairi and Lea, it happens in a completely different place, so you'd have to load in all that environment, and since it isn't loaded and it would result in very long loading times between key cutscenes. So, in order to solve that, we make a part of some cutscenes into videos. However, since they have to be in high resolution, they take up a lot of space. That has become a problem beyond our expectations.
—Speaking about space problems, switching between Japanese and English voice acting is also a problem, right?
Nomura: That's right. It's not only about the voices, there's also lips sync to worry about and we have to put that in. Up until now, in "Final Mix" titles the English voices were used and as far as I know, many people want to play KHIII that way. Dealing with the exchange of voices is being really hard.
—In KHIII, will there be a "Final Mix" expansion like there was with previous titles?
Nomura: It's not under consideration at the moment. We're having space problems after all (sarcastic laugh). We have plans to make updates as DLC, so if we do it, it will be that way and not as "Final Mix". We haven't thought of the details yet, but it won't be things like the DLC keyblades, but things that expand the ways to play the game. The content will be released in packages instead of having a Season Pass. Although now, we are focusing on finishing the main title.
—There are some questions I have about other titles. How is development looking for the FFVII Remake?
Nomura: We are weighing the timing of the next informational release. Since moving the project in-house, production has been going smoothly. At this time our scenarios properly leave behind a deep atmosphere.
—The release date of “The World Ends With You - Final Remix-” was set for September 27th, 2018.
Nomura: Of course, "Final Remix" has been upgraded not only in the quality of its graphics/images but also in terms of content from the original version. I think that you can also enjoy the added scenarios from "Solo Remix" alongside those who have played past works. In the added scenario, it was revealed that the death god Koko was in various ways behind the story. The girl who appeared in the ending of "Solo Remix" shows up. By the way, this girl came to Shibuya due to certain circumstances… I think you will enjoy playing this game until the release of "KHIII.”
—Is "Dissidia FF" in the middle of production for the next new character? Though it was said that the first character of the “Dissidia FF” series said to be released was a woman.
Nomura: When E3 ended, I had to paint that picture for publicity (sarcastic laugh). Regarding casting, I felt that the image of the character changed with the voice and acting, so I was worried. It may seem like an surprising cast once it is announced. As new characters will be announced soon as they are based on the pace of the past, I hope you will look forward to it.
—Finally, can you tell us about the future of KHIII? For example, will there be any trials or demos like the ones in the Premiere to be distributed to the public?
Nomura: Since there is a lot of work to distribute and create a demo or a trial, there are no plans for that, but Japanese people will be able to try the game at the Tokyo Game Show. So I hope you get to play it there and keep your expectations high. I'm sorry for making you wait a little longer than expected. We already have a release date, so now we just have to move towards it. We'll just make you wait just a little longer.
In the light of these new remarks, what are you most excited about in Kingdom Hearts III? Let us know in the comments!
It's just going to be the same demo we've seen before, I don't care how big a banner they get.
The game is going to be released in round about SIX MONTHS time, and this is going to be the last San Diego Comic Con that KH3 can advertise at, so the giant banner isn't completely out of the question.
The KH community needs to understand that we're in the big KH3 marketing push now and they're going to start seeing KH3 advertisement EVERYWHERE, but that doesn't mean there's always going to be something new. Just because you see a KH3 advertisement on the side of a bus, that doesn't mean there's a demo station on the inside lol
Totally get this and agree, but as specified in the article, nothing has been confirmed yet. We will update once there is official confirmation. Hopefully fans read and understand that! (Also KH3 was actually recently on a bus, and we didn't report on that before fact-checking lol)
Furthermore, we will be reporting on every event with the KH3 demo in it in order to let our readers/followers know, so they can decide to attend that event in order to play the demo if they'd like to. (I've personally met people at a certain event who thanked me as they only came for KH2.8 demo because they saw the news on KH13, so I'm sure people are/will be especially excited to see KH3 promotion in the six months before it releases!)
In last week's issue of Dengeki PlayStation, a Kingdom Hearts III feature included an exclusive interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. We previously published a summary of the key points as posted by the blog Hokanko(Alt).
[UPDATE Jul 3, 2018] We have slightly revised our translations thanks to SQEX☆GAL and Keytotruth; we have written the revised translations in blue for your benefit.
Director’s voice Mr. Tetsuya Nomura
People’s expectations have been increased by the reveal of a long-term release date and two new worlds [KHIII]! We will ask Director Tetsuya Nomura about the highlighted informations in details.
—Two worlds and a long-term release date have been revealed in the new trailer! First, please tell us more about the first appearance of Frozen in the series.
Nomura: I planned to put Frozen in the game quite early in the development. It is a such a wonderful movie, I had the opportunity to go to its premiere. It was thE moment when I was thinking of which worlds to add so I decided to put it in the game. I knew that a lot of people asked for this world.
—What kind of scenario will occur?
Nomura: The time axis follows the main part of the movie. While Elsa and Anna’s story is in motion, there is a feeling that Sora’s story progresses too. In Frozen’s world, there is a scene where Goofy slides on a shield like a sled, that’s one of the important highlights. It’s a part of the main story, but will also be a mini-game.
—In the trailer we saw Sora attacking with ice skates-like weapon, what is it?
Nomura: That’s a Keyblade transformation, you obtain them in the Frozen world.
—In the frozen world, will characters like Elsa and Olaf join the party?
Nomura: Unfortunately Elsa will not join you. Instead, there are scenes where Marshmallow (the ice monster) will lend its strength.
—Following this, about Pirates of the Caribbean, the impact that the graphics had was mind-blowing!
Nomura: Speaking of desire, I wanted to make a breakthrough in term of graphics. In this world Sora, his friends and even Luxord are made of realistic graphics according to their surroundings.
—The pirate appearance on Sora gives him a fresh look.
Nomura: That was something that I really wanted to do. I always thought of putting pirate clothes on Sora if I ever made a sequel of the Pirates of the Caribean world.
—Why did you decided to put Pirates of Caribbean in KH2 in the first place?
Nomura: It’s just because I wanted to have one live action film in the game. While looking into which world would be best, I looked through the documents the staff made with suggestions. Many of them had controls for a pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean and I felt that that would be wonderful to have. With the ship you can have battles on the sea and mid-air, so in that one world you have battles in all types of terrains: sea, land and air. Of course the city of Port Royal is in there as well.
—The world is based on the third movie, At World’s End, right?
Nomura: Exactly. As most people who have seen the movie, they know that the third one is actually a sequel to the second one. In KHII, we used the first movie as a base for the world, and the logical step would have been to use the second one for KHIII, but I didn’t want to end the world with the story halfway done, so we decided it would be best to base it on the third movie. However, we wrote the script so you will still get what happens during the second movie.
—Having battles on top of the ships and using them to attack really made it feel like you have a lot of ways to play in this world.
Nomura: As I previously stated, all the elements such as the land, sea, and sky were included, so the amount of gimmicks in the world is quite large. The Pirates of the Caribbean world was made relatively freely, so there are plenty of elements to play around. Also, the Keyblade of this world transforms into a spear and a flag.
—In this footage, are we given a gist of the Disney worlds that have been announced?
Nomura: The only world we still have to show from our announcements is Big Hero 6. Our timeline has it set to announced in the next video I think.
—In terms of Disney works, other elements shown for the first time were Wreck-It Ralph, and Remy’s Delicious Restaurant (Note: They mean Ratatouille).
Nomura: Wreck-It Ralph is a type of Link command within battle that was revealed the other day I think. “Remy’s Delicious Restaurant” was revealed for the first time in this video and is a mini-game. In Twilight Town there is a new restaurant that Scrooge opens, where Sora cooks with Remy with the ingredients he gathers from various worlds for recipes.
—In May you held an event overseas that allowed people to play this. How were their reactions?
Nomura: I invited people from the media and influencers who report information, but the enthusiasm for KHIII was amazing. Because I was able to go for a couple of hours at that event, those who participated were playing the two modes I edited carefully.
—In this demo we were able to play in the worlds of Hercules and Toy Story, but why did you choose these two?
Nomura: That was a request from the Osaka team. Because those two worlds could be played in a state of quality that was the closest to that of the finished product.
—Was there feedback that added to elements being put into the finished product?
Nomura: There are a couple of things, but for example, the camera surroundings were adjusted further. KHIII has too much mobility for the character, which makes it hard for the camera to catch up with the movement, but this is an important point so I will keep checking on this until the last minute.
—Actually I got a chance to play the game, and not only was I surprised by the gameplay content, but also the quality of the graphics. Certainly, when watching the event scenes of the world of Toy Story, one can mistake them for the Disney/Pixar movie itself.
Nomura: I'm happy to hear you say this. This time it was difficult because we didn’t use any of our past work - it was all built from scratch. Not just with Toy Story, but also all of the worlds that have been announced were worked on to implement quality graphics, so please look forward to it.
—Were the contents packed into the Toy Story world within this demo roughly what we can expect in the release version?
Nomura: That's right. I think that there are a variety of battle systems, but it was designed to be experienced by a single person.
—By the way, is the difficulty level of this demo akin to standard mode in the final version?
Nomura: Since I wanted to test the gameplay from the other day as much as possible before moving ahead, I set the difficulty level at a place that was less challenging compared to standard mode in order to effectively defeat enemies. It is easier to compared to the standard mode, but it is not to be confused with beginner mode. Though I wanted to test various attacks consecutively in the trial, the enemy would be defeated in an instant, but in the standard mode of the released version, during that time I've been discussing increasing the placement of enemies.
—Though aspects of character's development have not been revealed in detail yet, basically up to now one raises the level of the character and becomes stronger by remembering abilities; up to now this structure has remained the same, yes?
Nomura: That is in the same vein as KHI and KHII. The process of mastering and strengthening magic also follows in the same footsteps of the numbered titles.
—In the new trailer, we were also able to check out the Gummi Ship scenes, which seems to be quite enjoyable.
Nomura: About the Gummi Ships, we’ve got the creator of Einhänder (a side-scrolling shooter released in 1997) making it, and I liked it, so I myself am looking forward to seeing it completed. There are battle modes and free movement modes, I call it “Open World Gummi Ship”. As there’s always been, there’s the ability to customize your Gummi Ship, please wait for more information.
—In KH3, it seems we come and go from worlds with the Gummi Ship, have you decided on the order for the worlds to be visited?
Nomura: Just as it’s been up until now, the order of worlds you can access is determined to some degree in stages*.This time there virtually isn’t any world that you can skip**. In previous titles, we prepared the worlds to allow the player a certain degree of freedom to do as they please, but nearly everyone goes to all the worlds anyways, so it’s sort of pointless. (Notes: *If you think in terms of how the worlds worked in previous games, I think you can make the sense of it like this: You start, you have a few worlds, you beat them and then a few more become available, so in that sense the worlds unfold in stages. **For eg. if Tarzan and Alice in Wonderland worlds are both available to you, but you should go to Tarzan first to make sense storyline wise, then Tarzan would be #1 and Alice would be #2. Nomura is saying there isn't any of that kind of numbering in KH3.) —How do you feel about online elements?
Nomura: There’s nothing right now, but I’m considering some things. There are some plans.
—For the fans it will be a long wait before its release; is there any plan of revealing things like the demo we saw at the E3?
Nomura: I have been asked this quite often, but releasing a trial version, that would be quite another story. Compared to the demo that you can play in a limited place, if we release a trial version widely to players, it will require a specific process and cost. So when you ask "Can you release a demo in events but not a trial version to players?", we unfortunately cannot afford to hand over a trial version.
—This time in the trailer, Larxene and Marluxia make their appearance once again. Are they members of the True Organization XIII?
Nomura: Well, putting all together the information that you already know, couldn’t you say that the members of the True Organization have come a long way too? So far, they have been introduced in a Disney world, and the main part of the story is still in a state in which only pieces are shown. I am planning to reveal information little by little in future announcements.
—There is a scene in which Aqua seemed to have fallen into darkness, what can you say about it?
Nomura: Aqua did her best so far in the Realm of Darkness, but a certain event occurred...
—It appears that characters like Kairi, Lea, and Riku Replica are here too.
Nomura: This is the first appearance of Kairi in KHIII. Her hair is shorter, and she got new clothes too. The place where Kairi and Lea are training is not accessible to the player. Regarding the person who seems to be Riku Replica, I hope that he will be expected in future developments, including the moment when Riku says "the other me."
—If you are also playing Kingdom Hearts Union Cross, you will be very concerned by Marluxia’s presence, right?
Nomura: I think you will understand if you play both games.
—It seems that it will be the culmination of the series, given the large number of characters appearing.
Nomura: Since “everyone's story gets settled” is one of the theses of KHIII, the number of characters who appear is enormous.
—I think that Utada Hikaru’s new theme song is also an important point.
Nomura: This time around, Utada-san’s productivity combined with her songwriting progress, and she was able to produce the song very early. She may have received the energy of KH fans from around the world. (Note: The term for ‘energy’ was literally ‘calories, heat’. However. ‘taking heat’ is a negative phrase in English, so I changed it to ‘energy’ to better communicate his intention.)
—Nomura-san, were there any orders/requests from you about the song?
Nomura: I sent something briefly explaining the series so far and the contents of KHIII and left it up to her after that.
—Combined with the release of KHIII, there will be a special PS4 Pro All-In-One package that will be released.
Nomura: The PS4 Pro has been in production for a while now, and we had to go over it over and over again to get the right color. When you actually pick it up, it’s got a special leather-like process. The controller also has a shiny finish, there’s a design on the touchpad part, and the buttons are monochrome. There’s not much so far, but I think it has a type. (Note: I might say ‘it has a style’ but he literally said ‘type’.)
—Please give a message to everyone looking forward to KH3.
Nomura: Sorry to keep you waiting a bit for the schedule, but the release date has been decided. Please keep playing past games and projects like the “KH Union Cross” app to prepare until we reached the release date. As a matter of fact, we are heading towards the possibility of reaching past full capacity, and due to this we are also thinking about online components, so we are planning for future online connections.
—And lastly, how is progress on the FFVII Remake?
Nomura: Though there has been suspense and misinformation concerning this, development on this is progressing smoothly and there's a lot of increasing depth. It is not that we are hiding information on the state of FFVII Remake; it is that our company is prioritizing the release of our title series KHIII. We are looking into the timing of our next information disclosure, so please wait a little more.
Let us know your views and thoughts on this interview in the comments!
Square Enix have revealed their line-up of demos playable for Anime Expo 2018, and Kingdom Hearts III is on the list! Attendees of the event will be able to play the Rock Titan boss battle at Olympus Coliseum and explore Andy's Room/Galaxy Toys at Toy Box.
Anime Expo 2018 will take place July 5-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Below is an excerpt from the press release.
SQUARE ENIX® is showcasing the latest from their upcoming video and card game titles at Anime Expo 2018, taking place July 5-8, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with Pre-Show Night on July 4.
Attendees who visit the SQUARE ENIX Booth in the Entertainment Hall (LACC West Hall A), will have the exciting opportunity to play demos of DRAGON QUEST® XI : Echoes of an Elusive Age™ , KINGDOM HEARTS III, and STAR OCEAN®: ANAMNESIS™ before their release.
Platform: Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system Available: January 29, 2019 In the upcoming action RPG, KINGDOM HEARTS III, players can join forces with Donald Duck and Goofy for the adventure of a lifetime traveling across worlds based on beloved films like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc., and Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. Attendees will be able to experience a boss battle against the Rock Titan from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hercules and uncovering the Toy Box world from Toy Story alongside Woody and Buzz.
Let us know in the comments if you'll be trying out Kingdom Hearts III at Anime Expo 2018 !
Game Informer’s Kimberly Wallace had previously interviewed Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura at E3 2018. Recently, more of this interview was published and shed some light on Kingdom Hearts III.
You can read Nomura's quotes below.
In regards to theKingdom Hearts III Premiere event… “The event wasn’t really to get feedback from anyone. It was to show it to everyone and hope everyone there would spread the word and the details about the game. That being said, I didn’t really go around asking for feedback, but the dev team, myself included, does look at all the comments that are online. It’s not that we will change things just because one person says this or that, but we’ve been constantly testing the game. We’ve been in QA for a while now, so we’re constantly adjusting the game based on that feedback and some of the comments online have been taken into consideration.”
On Sora keeping his positivity throughout Kingdom Hearts III... “He is a very bright character in general, but there will be many serious themes with Sora that involve [him] in Kingdom Hearts III. There will be a few times where Sora will be on the edge of despair, but because he’s so bright and he has that personality, he quickly brings it back to a neutral state. I think that’s a strength he has, and another strength he has is this trust and believe in others. I think that’s always been what helped him through the storyline and I think that will be another driving factor for him in Kingdom Hearts III.”
On the order in which one should play the Kingdom Hearts games… “I would recommend going in order of release date, especially because the story hints at things that will happen in future releases. I feel it’s more interesting that way. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t play in chronological order.”
On designing Keyblades… “There has always been a designer of the keyblade in the development team and he has been designing keyblades for most of our Kingdom Hearts titles. I never told him to do this, but at some point he started bringing me three concept arts for one keyblade and I would select from there what I like. So sometimes I’d be like, ‘I like the tip of this keyblade. Can you keep this? Or I like this grip, can you bring this design to here?' There are some keyblades I just like at first glance and I’m like this is the one. It seems what he does is takes a lot of different images of the base world. He kind of has a mosaic on his screen and he just selects and chooses what theme or motif he wants to use. That’s the creative process he goes through and I just select from there.”
On what Nomura is most proud and excited about in Kingdom Hearts III… “There are so many great things to see that it’s really difficult to say [just one thing]. I think what we’ve done as an action game with the combat mechanics is just really great, and the story is a culmination of past decade and more. Of course, there are a lot of surprises that are even greater than the Aqua’s surprise [in the Frozen trailer]. But I think I just want to say that the last battle in the game is something I want everyone to see as well as this new original location that I’ve really wanted to create for a long time now. If I had to say just one though, it’d be the last battle.”
Are you excited about the final battle in Kingdom Hearts III? What kind of hardships are you expecting Sora to go through? Let us know your theories and expectations in the comments!
During the "KH3に 繋がる 物語たち" ("Stories Connecting to Kingdom Hearts III") promotional campaign taking place between June 25 and July 1, 2018 at Shinjuku Station in Japan, special Memorial leaflets were being distributed to fans at specific times of the day. However, due to congestion and the safety issues that entailed, this distribution has been discontinued for the remainder of the campaign. The picture books and special board showcase will continue as planned.
Square Enix have announced that the Memorial leaflets will be redistributed to 50 winners of a Preliminary Lottery; the winners can collect them at the Square Enix Café (Tokyo and Osaka) and at ARTNIA. To apply to take part in this lottery, membership to the web service “Square Enix Members” is necessary. (Member registration is free).
50 sets of five ring notebooks (each with a chapter cover design from the Kingdom Hearts recap series) can also be won in the lottery.
For more information on how to participate, you can visit the official website for the campaign.
(Translations were provided by KH13 Staff Mio-chan.)
There are 15 Memorial leaflets altogether, 3 from each chapter from the Kingdom Hearts recap video series. There are five chapters, namely Departures, Memories, Twilight, Dawn, and Darkness; they were displayed at Shinjuku Station as "picture books"from which fans could pull out a page (in the form of a Memorial leaflet).
Below is a collection of all the pages.
Besides illustrations and quotes from prominent events in the Kingdom Hearts series, each leaflet also had a special quote on the back hinting towards the story of Kingdom Hearts III.
We have compiled an album of all the leaflets and the picture book they came from, which you can can view below. These include the front, content, and back of each leaflet. All leaflets are in order.
Goldpanner has translated the messages at the back of each leaflet; these are provided below with permission. Translations are in the order of how they appear.
"I think you had that heartache precisely because you have a bond. The pain of the heart is what bonds are."
"Jeez! Sora's useless without us."
"Follow the connection of your hearts."
"If Roxas can come back, then so can Naminé, right?"
"Hey there clueless, leave things be. You clearly don't understand the female heart."
"You really do sleep a lot, don't you."
"The marks under your eyes disappeared, didn't they?"
"I wish I'd bought ice cream."
"Please don’t hold back, Lea."
"That must mean Riku's obtained the strength to protect those who are dear to him, right?"
"Now our journey ends too, yours and mine…"
"The feeling of wanting to help someone comes before your own emotions. Until you have no room for stuff like anxiety or loneliness."
"Take it, the ultimate key, the X-blade!"
"Who's to say I can't change it and maybe light will prevail."
“To strike down Xehanort, we need the individuals King Mickey spoke of in his letter. We must lead them out of sorrow and slumber.”
It is interesting how each of these quotes somehow connect to the scenario depicted in the leaflet they came from? What do you make of these quotes? Who could be the characters saying them? What do you think they could mean to the story of the end of the Dark Seeker Saga? Let us know in the comments!
Square Enix France has announced that Kingdom Hearts III will be amongst the titles that will be playable at Japan Expo 2018 in Paris, France! This will be the first time a demo for the game is brought to Europe.
Japan Expo Paris 2018 will take place from July 5 to 8 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center in Paris, France. Click here for more information about the event.