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Tetsuya Nomura discusses Maleficient's role in Kingdom Hearts III, the possibility of Roxas's return, and more with IGN
- Despite series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto's reassurance, some fans have still been questioning the existence of a future "Kingdom Hearts 2.9", especially after the epilogue of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- bearing the name "2.9: The First Volume". But Nomura dispelled that concern stating that the epilogue has already bridged the gap to Kingdom Hearts III. He said:
“Of course [the 2.9: The First Volume] narrative does connect to Kingdom Hearts III, but I understand that there were some speculations about, like, is there going to be another 2.9 that's going to come out? But rest assured, it is already – that bridge, that link is already bridged, so we are now leading up towards Kingdom Hearts III."
- Nomura also talked about some plot points in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. He said that Maleficient and Pete are working separately from the (new) Organization XIII without conflicting with them or Sora. His statement is as follows:
“Whenever [Maleficent and Pete] go to different worlds, they may interact with some of the villains, Disney villains that exist in that world, but they are their own thing, with Maleficent leading the way. They have no sort of cooperation [with Organization XIII], nor are they conflicting or enemies against those people. Sora is battling the 13 Darkness, but Maleficent and Pete are kind of separate from that... So she doesn't necessarily actively poke at Sora or try to bother him.”
- In regards to the scene in the Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra trailer where Xemnas asks Sora if he is ready to "call upon the darkness", Nomura stated that that scene "is actually a bit longer" and suggestive to Xemnas and Ansem Seeker of Darkness - Xehanort's Nobody and Heartless - existing at the same time.
“That brings to Sora's attention, if a Heartless and Nobody can exist at the same time, can Sora and Roxas exist at the same time, too? And to do that, Xemnas is asking Sora, do you intend on utilizing the power of darkness? So that's the kind of narrative that we wanted to talk about in that section [of the game].”
- In regards to the exclusive scene performed by Kairi's Japanese voice actress for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour -, where Kairi narrates a letter she wrote about training with Lea, Nomura only said that in Kingdom Hearts III, she is training in a timeless environment to face the battles ahead.
“With the help of Merlin, she's now in the sort of environment where there's no limitation of time. So she can train, and focus on training, to become a Keyblade wielder. And so, in Kingdom Hearts III itself, also, it will be touched upon that those two are currently training.”
- Nomura also stuck with his initial statement about summons returning to Kingdom Hearts III.
- He said that they've been avoiding showcasing more information on Attraction Flow as they feared they've shown it "so many times" in the previous trailers (such as the Kingdom Hearts III - E3 2015 trailer), and that the team is interested in showing it off again when when the right opportunity arises.
- Nomura also followed up on his previous statement about almost all the worlds in Kingdom Hearts III (apart from Olympus Coliseum) being new worlds.
“With Kingdom Hearts III, there was deliberate intent to kind of focus on the more [sic] newer titles. And then in terms of previous titles, we tried to balance it so that we have a good mix of some of the older IPs as well as some of the new worlds as well. But, yeah, with Kingdom Hearts III, there was a shift in that sort of thinking so we can focus on some of the newer titles.”
- When discussing the development team's approach to choosing a Disney world for the game, Nomura said they would firstly look at projected fan enjoyment. He said that if two worlds had a similar theme, for example two jungle worlds, or if two levels had similar content, the team would shortlist only one.
- Nomura talked again about Athletic Flow being a refined version of Flowmotion after processing fan feedback of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Athletic Flow is shown off in the Hercules excerpt of the Kingdom Hearts III D23 2017 trailer when Sora jumps from rock to rock.
"With the previous Flowmotion... it seemed a little too free. And we did receive feedback from the consumers that it was – they didn't know what to do with it, and it was kind of hard to control on their end. So we tried to refine it and it's evolved into now what we call Athletic Flow."
- Nomura stated that the focal point of the Toy Story arc will be at Galaxy Toys.
"That toy store is going to be sort of a very central focus of that arc of Kingdom Hearts III, and it's in that section you see those robots being sold on the shelves."
- Lastly, he concluded by saying that the players can expect more variety in the gameplay, and that fighting in first person perspective with the mechs is just one of several engaging gameplay elements in the Toy Story world.
"You can expect to see different sort of gameplay happening in each of the different worlds, and we have those specific points that we would love for the players to pay attention to."
Stay tuned with KH13.com for more upcoming information on Kingdom Hearts III!