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  1. Article: Tetsuya Nomura answers fan questions about Kingdom Hearts III; discusses Square Enix characters, secret bosses, CGI movie, and more

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Tetsuya Nomura answers fan questions about Kingdom Hearts III; discusses Square Enix characters, secret bosses, CGI movie, and more

Video games writer at Mirror Online and long time Kingdom Hearts fan Ryan Brown (@Toadsanime) had the chance to ask Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura a few questions from curious fans in the Kingdom Hearts community regarding Kingdom Hearts III and the series in general. This followed the release of the latest Kingdom Hearts III trailer and Toy Story world reveal at the D23 Expo 2017.

You can read the questions and answers below:

Ryan: Is there already a plan for what happens after the Xehanort Saga that concludes in Kingdom Hearts III? Are there ideas for what future mainline and non-mainline titles might consist of already??

Nomura: Of course there are different plans that are in my mind and things that I would like to work on or depict in terms of narrative, but it's not like we have anything finalised with Disney as of yet, so I'm not able to introduce it or mention it at this time, but again, I do have different ideas in my head.

Ryan: What did you think of Kingdom Hearts III being announced back in 2013? Were you consulted about the announcement and did you think it was the correct time for it to be announced?

Nomura: I understand some of the voices that are raised state that the announcement timing was a bit too early and I acknowledge that, but I do not like information going out in the form of a leak. Rather than having that leaked out unofficially, I'd rather make an official statement.

Ryan: How far in development is Kingdom Hearts III at the moment, percentage-wise?

Nomura: In terms of percentage of completion, and this is from previously as well, I tend to not describe it in terms of percentage because it's difficult to sort of say it as a straight number. But we do have a plan of development and we have said a period in which the project is being developed. Based on that, we have made our announcement for the release timing.

Of course, there are things that are out of the development team and my control which includes company decisions, the decision to change the engine that we're utilising or having personnel being shifted so that we have more resources to develop; things like that may have contributed to our development period being shifted, but that period itself we feel is still on track.

It's not like the development team had any sort of issues or troubles amongst ourselves in terms of the scheduling, but due to things out of our control that period sort of got shifted a little bit, but I feel that we are still working as planned in terms of our development period.

Ryan: With so much action going on in the game, such as Keyblade transformations, situation commands and the attraction flow rides, how have you balanced things so that nothing feels overpowered or so that players don't forget all the different things that they can do?

Nomura: So with these various different actions that are available in the game, each of them are very unique and very different if you compare the different actions that are available. For example, with the attraction flow that you brought up, you see the train and the spinning teacups and a ship was introduced. What's unique about those is that they're not part of a repretoire that you accumulate and choose from.

It will depend on what situation you're in, so depending on what enemies you're facing and what world you're in, what attraction will show up is unknown until you've actually activated it. Once you do activate it it's a very flashy move and you can attack your enemies in that way.

Ryan: What are some of your favourite Disney and Pixar movies? I'm not asking hoping for a world reveal!

Nomura: In terms of favourite movies then, I like Lion King. Something more recent would be Alice in Wonderland; it'd be kind of cool to have The White Queen appear in Kingdom Hearts.

Ryan: How many of the worlds and Keyblades will there be and how many of them are going to be new?

Nomura: I can't reveal all of that information! (laughs)

Ryan: Is there a chance of more Final Fantasy characters making an appearance, or other Square Enix properties like NieR and Dragon Quest?

Nomura: Of course, we do have precedence. There have been characters that have appeared throughout the series, so I don't think it's impossible but I'm not actively seeking to incorporate existing characters, only because we have such a large roster of original characters in there already.
If there is a perfect fit, I'm sure the idea might come up, but at the same time I have to consider, is it worth allocating the resources to create the character and give it a role within Kingdom Hearts? Would it merit the effort that's put into it? We're not really actively looking for existing characters.


Ryan: Are there going to be more secret bosses? Will Sephiroth return?

Nomura: I can't say for certain, I hope, hint hint hint. I can't say for certain. In terms of Sephiroth, do you feel like you want to battle Sephiroth again? (laughs)

Ryan: I might cry, but yes, definitely.

Nomura: Even though you fought him twice? (laughs)

Ryan: My mum managed to beat him! She plays the games and she beat him!

Nomura: She's really good!

Ryan: She is! My friends were always impressed by her Kingdom Hearts skills.

Nomura: I don't think I can beat him! (laughs). In terms of the secret boss, we can't say anything at this time, but in terms of Sephiroth specifically, my development team are worried that we've had him come back so many times so they're maybe worried it might be redundant at this point. We're still deliberating on it.

Ryan: Have you ever imagined there being a Kingdom Hearts CGI movie, similar to Advent Children of Kingsglaive?

Nomura: Nothing has been thought about in terms of a cinematic piece, only because it's difficult to put into a narrative that has become as complex as Kingdom Hearts. Of course, we do have a 15 year history so it has come up in discussions about doing some sort of cinematic piece, especially from Disney.

They are interested in making a CG movie of sort, but again, it's difficult to make the call on how we want to execute it and how to form it. I still haven't come to a resolution about what would be the most appropriate way in which we depict the narrative, so nothing specific has been formulated.

Ryan: So, zips and belts are prevalent in the character design. Is that just because you like the aesthetic? Does it have meaning behind it? Why does Donald's hat have zips?

Nomura: That was my preference back when I first designed the characters, so 15 years ago. At that time, people teased me about zippers and belts and whatnot and I'm the type of person if somebody eggs me on I'm gonna do it more! Nowadays, I'm not as conscious about adding them in.

I'm not the type of person that would shrink down when people tease me about it. I'm gonna fight back! I'm gonna go back at it and do it more. So, if people egg me on saying 'oh, Kingdom Hearts III is delayed' well, I might even delay it further! (laughs)

Ryan: How did Lea obtain his keyblade?

Nomura: Just out of curiosity, did you go to any of our Kingdom Hearts world orchestras?

Ryan: Yes, I did.

Nomura: In terms of Lea and him obtaining the Keyblade, it's not really depicted specifically that's for sure. During the events of Dream Drop Distance it's conveyed that he is training under Merlin's care and it was just a brief mention. There will be a bit more of a mention in Kingdom Hearts III on how Lea is aiming to become a Keyblade wielder.

In the concert, you may remember one of the videos where a girl is narrating. That's actually Kairi writing a letter about her training, so Kingdom Hearts III touches upon that part of the story. Unfortunately, it's not going to be going into details about what happened in the events of Dream Drop Distance, but it will be addressed in some way in Kingdom Hearts III.

Ryan: Have you ever read any Kingdom Hearts fan fiction and did any either inspire or disturb you?

Nomura: I've not read any sort of fan fiction, but if you go on the internet of course you see images. I've seen different drawings and art that was created based on the games, but I haven't read any fan fiction unfortunately.

Ryan: Lastly, will Kingdom Hearts III be playable at any events in the near future? When can people expect to get their hands on it?

Nomura: Perhaps when we're finally able to reveal the month and date of the release.


dbi436.jpg

Well, there you go, people, those 'delayed' jokes you're making are the reason you haven't gotten KH3 yet. :P

So, is he basically saying that they're not explaining why, and most importantly how Lea is now able to wield a keyblade? That's.... not good.

So, if people egg me on saying 'oh, Kingdom Hearts III is delayed' well, I might even delay it further! (laughs)

My favorite part of this interview. It's both hilarious and scary at the same time. xD

http://oi68.tinypic.com/dbi436.jpg...

Well, there you go, people, those 'delayed' jokes you're making are the reason you haven't gotten KH3 yet. :P

Nomura's like Valve in that way. Except, at least unlike Valve, he intends on actually releasing his third installment!

Photo
WakingDawn96
Jul 19 2017 03:29 PM
Okay, I may be the odd on posting here, but....

The man loves Lion King!!!!! Like The Lion King is my favorite movie ever and it has been a part of my life my whole life long almost and ever since I could remember, The Lion King has been apart of my life. And not only that, but he likes the new Alice in Wonderland movie!!!! Like this guy is totally alright as a person in my book! :D

But did Ryans mum manage to beat Lingering Will :/

Good on Nomura for not reading Kingdom Hearts fan-fiction. That stuff is poison and I don't want it to influence his creative decision for the franchise.

Oh SugarHoneyIcedTea! He knows about the Belt and Zipper cracks, fans made about him.  :O

 

PS: Please don't bring Sephiroth back! Please don't! Lol 

I think the way Nomura is handling the toxic part of the KH fanbase is so perfect. Also, I love the whole 'Do you really want to fight him again?' comment. I would personally like for Sephiroth to return as a secret boss, but wouldn't turn my nose at something new, either. 

I love this man, don't mess up with him... oh gosh he knows about fan art xD geez...

 

Nomura you better not read the KH fanfics.

I hope Sephiroth reappears! He's a staple to the series at this point. Also, let's not forget he has "unfinished business" with Cloud, and furthermore the "FF story" arc. 

Surprising how not one person can ask Nomura how old Terra, Ven, and Aqua are in Birth by Sleep.

 

No, Nomura! Not Alice in Wonderland. Don't mess with the darkness.

 

Stella is worth it. She deserves another chance at life. Add her to KH.

 

But Rob thought KH3 would end of the Cloud-Sephiroth storyline. You have to add it. All character stories will be settled.

 

Oh, and Kingdom Hearts TV anime. That would be the best way to fully tell the story of KH without cutting out any story.

http://oi68.tinypic.com/dbi436.jpg...

Well, there you go, people, those 'delayed' jokes you're making are the reason you haven't gotten KH3 yet. :P

He's a savage man indeed

 

 

I hope Sephiroth reappears! He's a staple to the series at this point. Also, let's not forget he has "unfinished business" with Cloud, and furthermore the "FF story" arc. 

If redundancy is the issue, maybe we can fight one of his other forms. That's be cool imo

So, is he basically saying that they're not explaining why, and most importantly how Lea is now able to wield a keyblade? That's.... not good.

lol I just always assumed it was because Lea picked up the wooden Keyblade back in BBS haha but that's just me :)

I hope Sephiroth reappears! He's a staple to the series at this point. Also, let's not forget he has "unfinished business" with Cloud, and furthermore the "FF story" arc. 

He will be there! It is a numbered title.

And Nomura hints this aswell hint hint hint.

Seriously, someone should ask if the worlds will be filled with NPCs. Nobody wants an empty Baymax world. And will the characters talk outside of cutscenes? Are there still textboxes?
Dang, I don't think I've ever seen Nomura that savage before.

Thank you for providing us with this interview, Master Eraqus!

 

Huh, well, it seems Nomura is making light of the harsh fans who have so much insecurities over the game having a delay! His response was most hilarious! xD But seriously everyone, have faith in the man! If he says 2018, the game will release in 2018! I have faith in Papa Nomura! :D

 

All the questions highlighted here were pretty good, and I liked his answers!

 

For Square Enix characters, I wish they'd put in Cecil and Golbez from Final Fantasy IV, or maybe Magus from Chrono Trigger! There's many possibilities when it comes to that!

 

And yes Nomura, lol, I wanna fight Sephiroth again! Plus any other awesome secret bosses you may have in mind! And if there were a CGI movie made, Nomura has to be at the helm, because I don't want a movie based on the franchise to screw things up! No, it has to be in Nomura's capable hands! X_X

 

It's also funny how he sort of dodged the question where he was asked what percentage of completion the game is at! If I had to venture a guess, I'd say the game is at least 75% complete! I'm sure we'll know exactly how complete the game is when we get the next report from him! :D

 

Overall, great interview! :D

He can be such a jerk sometimes. I mean sure, it's funny to a certain point, but don't you think it also makes him look a bit stand-offish?

I adore his work and style but I wish he would be a little bit more affable.

 

Like, I think it's weird he doesn't even speak a little bit of English. Not that that's a requirement, but it would certainly be helpful not having to rely on yet another layer to communicate on stage. With all due respect, given the extent to which he has to deal with international relations, it would facilitate and speed up work a lot.

I would certainly be interested to at least show some effort to learn Japanese when working with Japanese audiences and companies on stage as a man of his status.

 

I guess I would just like to see some effort and actual ambition to assure audiences some excitement for his work and passion. The way he sat on stage during the D23 presentation, completely distant and apathetic came across so incredibly rude like he doesn't care at all about his project and his audiences. 

The interviewers bowed as a sign of Japanese respect and custom but the fact that he doesn't even try to interact or at least say thank you or hi or anything is frightening.

Maybe it's just me but he always seems to have this, 'I'll just do anything I can to piss them off just because I can' attitude. They'll buy my stuff anyway.

 

It's not exactly a good business and marketing model to have the director of a franchise say, if you annoy me, I'll deliberately delay a project you're supposed to be passionate about just to spite you. Excuse me? You expect me to pay for that?

At this point, while really excited about the new title, I feel really disrespected as a fan of the series.

The interview was very interesting to read for sure. But I would be lying if I didn't find myself a little disappointed too. I really, really hope he doesn't bring back Alice In Wonderland. That one' overstayed it's welcome and should instead either open new doors for a Pocahontas world or New Orleans. I really like that he has such a strong like for Lion King, but also a little sad feeling that it won't return in KH3. I don't really worry too much about the delay part. However if Square & Disney would hide anything and then not saying anything, then I will be very keen.

Or could he add in Lion King once more?

I wonder now... So if Toy Story is basicly ''canon'' how does that effect the book of prophecies because at the end it was stated that everything was going to be darker but Toy Story 3 takes years after 2.

He can be such a jerk sometimes. I mean sure, it's funny to a certain point, but don't you think it also makes him look a bit stand-offish?

I adore his work and style but I wish he would be a little bit more affable. [...]

I didn't think he was a jerk with that, I found it actually really hilarious, especially after finding out that he actually takes it to heart that everyone complains about KH3 taking "10 years to finish". The fandom is a harsh place and I think his kind of humor is good way to cope with that, not only with the fandom, but with hardships thrown at you in general.

 

Also I wouldn't take his English as an indication of anything. I don't know whether he speaks English, maybe he does (he most likely does) and he is too shy to use it on stage. Also, he might choose to rely on Japanese and trained translators to keep the translation as accurate as possible. I can't count how many wrong words I've used in the heat of the moment and later on I realize "Hey, word x would've been the word I wanted to use!". He knows everyone hangs on his lips and a wrong slip up could mean a misrepresentation. It's a lot of pressure, especially now for Kingdom Hearts 3.

 

As to his body language, I can't really judge that. But remember that cultural differences are a thing and while certain producers may be used to work with Americans a lot, he might be used to work more with fellow Japanese people. Or maybe he's just generally shy.

 

All I can say is that during the D23 live stream, I didn't feel disrespected by him or anything. Neither do I by his interview, I actually was very amused by a lot of the answers he gave because they are so hilariously mischievous and it really fits the mental image I have of him: Always ready to tease us a little bit (like he keeps teasing Yoko Shimomura xD)

When the interviewer mentioned Nier, that got me thinking "What if 2B & 9S were in kingdom hearts?". They're the only Nier characters I can see fitting in a similar way to the FF characters. They could be in radiant garden(Insert off-hand comment by yuffie explaining they've always been here)

They would of course have to be PG-ified like the gulwings but that's fairly easy to do. I just don't think yoko would let nomura touch his creations :P

Edit: Plus maybe characters from M/Teen games might be the limit. FFXV is M, So is TWEWY. Nier is MA15+. Although Bayonetta is also MA15 and she got into smash. I think it's more likely they don't care as long as A) They can/even want to do it and B) the version in -game- isn't as edgy and mature themed as they are in their own games. Cloud and such certaintly aren't lol

When the interviewer mentioned Nier, that got me thinking "What if 2B & 9S were in kingdom hearts?". They're the only Nier characters I can see fitting in a similar way to the FF characters. They could be in radiant garden(Insert off-hand comment by yuffie explaining they've always been here)
They would of course have to be PG-ified like the gulwings but that's fairly easy to do. I just don't think yoko would let nomura touch his creations :P
Edit: Plus maybe characters from M/Teen games might be the limit. FFXV is M, So is TWEWY. Nier is MA15+. Although Bayonetta is also MA15 and she got into smash. I think it's more likely they don't care as long as A) They can/even want to do it and B) the version in -game- isn't as edgy and mature themed as they are in their own games. Cloud and such certaintly aren't lol

Actually, FFXV and TWEWY are both T for Teen. Just saying.

Actually, FFXV and TWEWY are both T for Teen. Just saying.


They're the same rating in Australia so I didn't know there was difference .-.