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I like starting topics and discussions on here. Pretty fun!
You honestly don't realize just how good a screen the Switch has in handheld and undocked modes until you have one yourself. Even for 780p, the games look so sharp and crisp usually for a handheld mode in a console. It's definitely a step way way up from the 3DS's limitations. :)
The concert was amazing. Was amazing to meet so many people there at the meetup as well!
A surprise appearance by series director Tetsuya Nomura and the unveiling of a brand new Kingdom Hearts III trailer, the two largest contributors to fans' enthusiasm, served as the perfect conclusion to this event. This trailer captured fans' hearts and pushed the excitement for the game to never-before-seen heights, to the point where "Kingdom Hearts III" and "Sora" became trending topics on Twitter. Today, however, we would like to peel away the initial burst of emotion and analyze every aspect of this trailer, in order to find out as much as we can about both the gameplay and story developments of Kingdom Hearts III.
Throughout this trailer, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - version of "Wave of Darkness" is played. Furthermore, if you happened to attend this orchestra event in-person on any of the dates that this trailer was shown, the song was played live by the orchestra!
The trailer begins with a quote; "Don't assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it...and dive in." The first gameplay segment thereafter is reminiscent of the Dive sections of Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. Sora, appearing in his new outfit, is falling toward Olympus Coliseum. As he is about to land, he uses an area of effect attack against the surrounding Heartless. This Dive-esque sequence seems to be seamlessly integrated into the overall world layout, considering that we saw Sora jumping from an alarmingly tall mountain in the E3 2015 trailer. However, considering the quote at the beginning of this trailer, this gameplay element may also be a way of entering each world.
Throughout the Olympus Coliseum portions of this trailer, the bottom right corner of the screen that a four-person party is available. In this instance, Sora, Donald, and Goofy are joined by Hercules. In previous Kingdom Hearts games, a three-person party was the standard, and the capability for guest characters was restricted to certain encounters and boss battles, but it seems to now be a regular feature.
As we see Sora battling the aforementioned group of Heartless, a new command, "Counter Shield" appears above the command menu, in a style identical to that of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. Activating this Style Change puts Sora into the Counter Shield Command Style, where his outfit becomes the new Guard Form (visually reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts II's Master Form) and his Keyblade takes the form of a shield. Counter Shield uses a large area-of-effect attack as it activates, uses shield bashes as its basic attacks, and can perform a flurry of punches with giant magical fists as a special attack. This is likely a combo finisher, as the "Finish" command is not used.
During this segment, we also get a glimpse at the fact that two Shotlock options will be available for each Command Style, referred to as Unleash and Flowchain. Unleash seems to be the traditional Shotlock variety, consisting of a powerful attack, while Flowchain appears to be the Flowmotion-esque Shotlock seen in the E3 2016 trailer. Counter Shield's particular Unleash Shotlock consists of Sora calling down a ball of energy from the sky, and once it impacts the shield, it unleashes a devastating shower of sparks as an area-of-effect attack.
In the following gameplay segment, we see Sora in another Command Style called "Second Form", which seems to be tied to the Kingdom Key, and is heavily based on Sora's older abilities seen in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. Perhaps this is the successor to the much-beloved Limit Form from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix? In this form, combo finishers such as Magnet Burst make a return, and some combo finishers seem to have a slightly more cinematic tone, as the camera zooms in a small amount when Sora uses Magnet Burst.
Returning to the default Kingdom Hearts III outfit, Sora and Goofy activate a Limit, during which Sora jumps onto Goofy's raised shield, the two launch like a rocket, and Sora throws Goofy into a swarm of Heartless below, dealing massive damage to each enemy in the impact radius.
In the trailer's first story segment, Maleficent and Pete exit a corridor of darkness into Olympus Coliseum, with Pete greeting Hades menacingly. When Hades tries to make the duo leave, Maleficent says that she is merely looking for information, specifically the location of a distinctive black box. The scene ends before Hades can answer the question in detail. When taking into account the events of the secret ending to Kingdom Hearts χ[chi], Maleficent seems to have found Daybreak Town and has learned about the Master of Masters and the mysterious box he possessed in Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover.
The next gameplay segment has often been described as immersive, tense, and gripping. Sora is seen running along a mountain path in the middle of a storm, preparing to confront the Rock Titan. The Titan hurls a boulder in Sora's direction, narrowly missing himdamaging the path in the process. This segment then concludes with Sora using magic against two groups of Heartless. This demonstration of magic continues into the next segment, with Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, and Aeroga all being showcased.
At this point, several different Situation Commands are available to Sora. These commands consist of level 4 magic, with the specific spells being Firaza, Blizzaza, Thundaza, and Aeroza. They appear to have decided to change the "-ja" suffix at the end of the level 4 spells from Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- into a "-za" suffix for Kingdom Hearts III's tier 4 spells. Both the tier 4 spells of the Japanese versions of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- and Kingdom Hearts III translate to the same thing, so it's unknown why they decided to make the names different in the English versions of the two games. Counter Shield is also shown to have an ability reminiscent of Ventus' Faith command in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
Next, the Kingdom Key's Style Change, "Second Form", is shown yet again. As mentioned previously, the abilities of this Command Style seem to draw from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix's Limit Form, with abilities such as Stun Impact and an aerial version of Sonic Blade being used. However, it is worth noting that one of the melee combos seems to have entirely new animations, suggesting that this form may be a hybrid between old and new techniques. This segment concludes by showing a brief clip of Flowmotion, as Sora makes his way up a slope using a rail.
The following segment showcases the Rock Titan boss fight. Sora is shown running up a cliff, similar to a brief clip seen in the E3 2015 trailer. Sora is mostly kept from attacking the Rock Titan due to its stomps making the top of the cliff hazardous. However, with quick use of Flowmotion, a few melee attacks are possible.
The trailer's final sequence shows Sora, Donald, and Goofy confronting Xemnas and Ansem, Seeker of Darkness near Twilight Town's mansion. Xemnas asks Sora how he expects to bring Roxas back when he should never have existed. The only way to accomplish this seemingly impossible task, according to Xemnas, is for Sora to call upon the darkness and presumably make himself vulnerable to Xehanort's schemes. While Donald and Goofy remain ready to fight, Sora's response is to drop his guard and assume a neutral yet confused stance. Could he be considering the option presented to him?
The trailer concludes with a note detailing that Kingdom Hearts III will appear at D23 Expo 2017 on July 15th, 2017, complete with a new world announcement and a new trailer. Additionally, given Tetsuya Nomura's comments at the orchestra concert on June 11th, 2017, there is a possibility that he will reveal the game's "final information" at this expo, in his own words.
Speaking entirely subjectively, I think that this trailer was absolutely incredible! The music complimented each scene flawlessly, and many scenes were very gripping in their own right! The inclusion of Second Form appeals to my borderline obsessive love for Limit Form, and that Dive sequence looks quite fun! Finally and perhaps most importantly to me, both of the story elements serve to only make me more excited to see the story unfold! I can't wait to see what Nomura will be revealing next month!
What was your favorite part of the trailer? Did you notice anything we missed in our analysis? Let us know in the comments below!
This rumor follows the recent releases of the Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pete, and Chip & Dale Funko Pop! Vinyl figures.
What do you guys think of this news? Are you going to buy these new figures to add to your collection? Let us know in the comments below
Thanks to @Churro on Twitter for the tip! Also, you can check out the original Instagram post here.
You can check out the full interview below:
Kingdom Hearts recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. What has the series has meant to you, and what impact has it had on you as a musician?
Kingdom Hearts was the first franchise that I’ve actually worked on that’s a series. Up until then, I was never able to handle a full-on series, so it is definitely very memorable in that aspect. In terms of its impact on me as a composer, there are many different Disney worlds inside the game and so many memorable songs within the Disney world. I wanted to make sure I was living up to that expectation, [creating] something that wouldn’t pale in comparison, while also being mindful of the [unique] aspect of Kingdom Hearts and combining it with the world that Disney music already has. Adding the original spin to it gives me the purpose. [It's] a sense of accomplishment to able to work on those songs, and they give me new challenges to take on. So it has definitely helped with my own growth. It’s a very inspirational series.
You’ve been in the business a long time now, nearing three decades. How has the process changed over time for game music?
When asked if the process has changed or evolved over time – because my stance toward composing has been stable – mentally I feel the stance hasn’t changed so much. So I can’t say for sure when asked if there’s been a change or evolution. But physically speaking, technology advances and my PC gets better and I get to upgrade my equipment. Things have become very convenient over time. And so, there are areas where I can borrow that newer technology and do what I wanted to do in further detail.
What are some of your favorite memories from working on Kingdom Hearts?
This may have been something I mentioned prior, but “Lazy Afternoon” – I just never got that song to a point where Mr. Nomura would give me the final approval. He kept saying there’s a not enough melancholy or a longing for – that sort of emotional aspect of it. So I actually stood on my patio and just stared at the sunset and took it in and tried to bring out that nostalgic melancholy kind of feel and finally was able to come up with the song.
When composing music for Disney worlds, how much inspiration do you draw from the original scores?
Of course, there are times I listen to the original music that goes with whichever world we’re depicting and I would think about, ‘Oh yeah, this kind of song would match this kind of scene’ and reference some of the original songs for the world. But even if a particular song matches within the same realm, you also have to have your battle music, so that’s not necessarily a song that’s prepared in the Disney works. So it might not be a 1:1 reference; it might be a little difficult to find a direct reference for those songs. In that case, I take not the song itself, but think, ‘What does the world entail?’ I make sure it matches the world we’re depicting in the game. I know that's vague, but I listen to the original and imagine and expand from there.
Don't think hard about this. Pick three of your favorite songs/themes/melodies from the Kingdom Hearts series.
This has been asked by many people before, but all my songs are like my children. I love them all. It’s like trying to pick three children – these three are cute, but the rest are not. It is so hard for me to do. If it would be okay, I’d like to say all of my songs are very important and I love all of my songs.
Pieces like "Dive into the Heart" and "Organization XIII" are much heavier and dramatic in tone than ones like "Traverse Town." Is it challenging to find the right balance of emotion for these scores?
It actually isn’t a matter of wanting to intentionally create something that’s completely different. There’s also the consideration of what type of theme fits the stage best. That feeling is at the core of how I approach those songs. For example, with “Traverse Town” as you have mentioned, that’s something that you’ll be listening to over and over again. Having something that’s sad and somber playing over and over again might seem a little weird, so there was a slight intention of wanting to have something more lighthearted for that area. It’s not something that’s deliberate like, ‘I want to make a heavy song for this area.’ It’s more, ‘What does this stage entail? How does it feel like to me? And what kind of music fits it the best?’
Between all your major projects, such as the Kingdom Hearts games and Final Fantasy XV, you have also produced new music for many Kingdom Hearts compilation titles (2.8 with the 0.2 chapter, for example). How do you keep all these worlds and characters separated in your mind to write for each project?
This kind of relates to what we just talked about with finding a song that fits each particular area with Kingdom Hearts. It’s similar thinking for different games as well. Each game has its own world and its own lore, and so when I’m writing songs for a particular game, I would just fill my head with the lore and the world of the game. It’s not about ‘This is a different game, so I will make a different song.’ It’s not about separating or compartmentalizing, but it’s Kingdom Hearts has its own world and Final Fantasy has its own world, so when I’m creating songs for either one of those titles it just came naturally when I’m immersed in that world. I’m hoping that I was able to accomplish that through the music.
Very few franchises get their own exclusive concert series. Your colleague Uematsu-san has had the honor with the "Distant Worlds" series, for example. Now, you have your own with the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour. What are your feelings about this, and how much did you contribute to the process?
To answer your first question about how I’m feeling... I’m simply happy about this whole thing happening. At first, I was only thinking with the mindset of, ‘Oh, if I can only do one or two concerts in Japan that would be nice.’ Now we have the series and it’s a world tour! I’m just blown away. I’m just surprised and having so many people come to see the concert just makes me so happy. In terms of how much I contributed, there were certain elements I wanted to incorporate in this concert series, including the songs and the setlist. I made the first proposal of the setlist and I wanted to make sure it had a sense of drama – that the listeners would go in there as if they were enjoying this one big video game from start to finish. I wanted to have a story and have an ending, so I really wanted to bring that out. I’m hoping we executed that. In terms of the different songs that were included in the setlist, I did all the supervising. I feel like I have been a major part of the process.
Do you plan on attending all the shows? How exciting is it to see all the different fans around the world come together for Kingdom Hearts music?
Yes, I have been attending all the concerts and do plan to attend all the future planned ones. In terms of the fan reaction, it’s just beyond what I could imagine. When I enter the stage and the applause erupts, that is just wonderful. There have been opportunities to meet-and-greet with the fans and people have just been wonderful. They’re so passionate about their love for Kingdom Hearts and they would rave about the music. Some people were just shaking and they’re about to cry, handing over their CD to be autographed. It’s just way over expectation. I’m just floored to see so many people just so passionate about Kingdom Hearts music and just thinking about that fills my heart as well.
The Kingdom Hearts fan base is very dedicated and passionate. The music is very important to that experience. Does that put pressure on you, or does the importance of the music to them motivate you?
If I say no that would be a lie, but I don’t want to be restricted or in fear from that pressure because that would restrict me from producing music naturally. I try not to focus too much on the sense of pressure. In terms of how I make sure I’m responding to the fans’ expectations, I definitely don’t want to betray their trust, especially with this concert series. I don’t want this to be something where the fans come in and are like, “This is not what I expected!’ As a creator, I love to make music, but I don’t want it to just be my personal view. I want to make sure I am looking at this from the fans’ perspective, making sure the fans are enjoying what they’re listening to. That’s not just the approach I take for the concert series, but also any songs that are arranged or rearranged for different installments within the game. Same goes for new songs. I do my best to keep that in mind.
For people who can’t make it to the show, has there been any discussion about putting out a live CD or Blu-Ray of the performance?
A live concert CD has not been created yet, but in advance of the concert series, we do have an orchestra arrangement CD. Now, this is not all the songs that are being performed at the concert series, but an excerpt of some of the songs. So we do have a CD for those who are not able to attend our concert. In terms of recording it into any sort of media, when we’re thinking of capturing images or sound from live performances, we also have to consider if we want to include live footage. There may be some hurdles to overcome in terms of the logistics of getting that put together. But, if there is a very high demand for it, if there are a lot of voices that we hear from our fans, if it is something we can overcome and make clear, [it's possible]. I didn’t imagine there was going to be a CD with the orchestral arrangement, but this is proof that if we work at it hard enough we can execute something like that. If there is a demand from our fans, we will consider it.
I have to ask. How is work going on Kingdom Hearts III? How does it feel to finally be working on that game after all this time?
I actually recently saw some reference materials and I am very excited for this project. And yes, everybody is aware this is our first numbered title in a while, and so again I’d be lying if I say there is no pressure, but I’m more excited. My excitement goes beyond that sense of pressure. I’m hoping that just like the finished product of the game, the music is going to be something that people will listen to and feel that it’s wonderful. I can’t wait until we’re able to make the announcement, so I ask for your additional patience and understanding as we get ready to be able to make any further announcements.
What was your favorite part about this interview? Let us know in the comments below.
Where will we go in the next update? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
UPDATE: At yesterdays Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in LA, Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura made his third appearance. According to @SkywardWing on Twitter, who was at the concert, Nomura tells fans that, as translated by the official concert interpreter, "If this month's announcements made you happy, next month's will make you even happier." He is referring to the upcoming news and trailer at next month's D23 Expo 2017 on July 15th.
The interview seems to confirm a new Theatre Mode made available for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and new cutscenes for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days with the latest patch. It also seems to confirm that the Kingdom Hearts III D23 Expo trailer will be longer than the one shown at the LA Orchestra.
UPDATE: English translations for the Famitsu interview are now available. You can view the translated interview below:
Famitsu: The concert was amazing. How was it from the side of the scene?
Nomura: I mentioned it while I was on stage but, the images and the music were made so that they would perfectly fit and I thought it was amazing while I was watching. Also Shimomura became better at playing the piano during the concert in each countries until Los Angeles (laugh). At the final event in Osaka she will be perfect don't you think ? (laugh)
Famitsu: There is a lot of pressure on Shimomura (laugh). Everyone was cheering you when you started your speech.
Nomura: On stage I wanted to speak about the fixes and updates for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX but I was overwhelmed by the voices of everyone cheering and I forgot what I was supposed to say (sarcastic laugh)
Famitsu: What is the content of the update.
Nomura: The addition of the theater mode for KH and of a few cutscenes in KH 358/2 Days. I wanted to add it sooner but it needed more time and the timing met up with this event.
Famitsu: The reception of the new promotional video was amazing too. Because is didn't seem that there was going to be a trailer or an announcement about Kingdom Hearts III at E3, this was a pleasant surprise for the fan.
Nomura: There is a lot of misunderstanding about it. The choice to show or not to show something is up to the ones making the conferences. We just used the timing of the concert being at the same time as E3 to announce it.
Famitsu: Considering that the information is going really fast during the conference, it seems better to announce it that way for the fans. The battle felt rich with all the Keyblade transformations, there was a lot of action and we could see the different worlds.
Nomura: But this battle scene was only in the Hercules world.
Famitsu: Was it? There was so much thing that I thought it was from various worlds.
Nomura: Also, the next trailer will have a Japanese version and a North american version but the battle scenes were from an actual gameplay footage so we couldn't make them exactly the same. It will look the same but if you compare them you will be able to see the differences. So I would like the core fans to look at both trailers.
Famitsu: At last, the D23 Expo 2017 occur next month.
Nomura: The editing of the D23 trailer is being finalized right now but I think that not only it will be longer than the orchestra trailer, it will also show some new elements that should meet everyone's expectations.
From Famitsu's interview article:
At the end, I also managed to hear a little from Nomura about the information of the D23 announcement. "Seriously ?!" I was so excited in the night of Hollywood. Amazing. Amazing. Absolutely. Yes, definitely a good game.
I'm sorry for assuming of the importance of this information but I obviously can't write this information here. I was only allowed to write the reaction to these revelations and so I wrote it! I'm sorry for being this vague but there is no doubt that the announcement at D23 will be worth it!! At the time of the presentation, there will obviously be a quick announcement on Famitsu.com
Also the details will be in the weekly issue of the Famitsu magazine that will be publish right after the opening of the conference to the public. Please look forward to it!
Thanks to goldpanner for the tip!
UPDATE 1: Details of the patches have been found. Theater Mode will be available for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Day 357 on Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days will now have action scenes rather than just cutscenes. The Theater Mode patch will be 9.9 GB and Day 357 patch will be 353 MB.
Thanks to @aibo_ac7 and @RedMakuzawa on Twitter for the information!
UPDATE 2: The Day 357 and the Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Theater Mode add-ons are available in the PS Store for download. Europe and Australia appears to not have them yet. A game patch is also available. Version 1.03 includes fixes of the Kingdom Hearts II save glitch and Xemnas battle glitch along with a camera fix and better movement in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II among other fixes.
View an image of the additional Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days cutscene and several images of the additional Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Theater Mode, thanks to the official Square Enix Blog, below:
Thanks to /u/Matthew0337 on Reddit for the screenshot of the patch details below:
UPDATE 3: The additional content is now available in Europe and Australia.
This year, staff members Raxaimus (@RaxaimusKH13) and Toominator (@ToominatorKH13) will be representing KH13.com on the show floor! The News Team will be doing live updates on any information pertinent to Kingdom Hearts, so please feel free to keep yourself updated with our coverage here on KH13 and on our social media channels!
Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra Trailer
(June 10, 2017 - 10:36 PM PDT) A new Kingdom Hearts III trailer was shown at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - premiere in Los Angeles!
(June 11. 2017 - 1:22 PM PDT) Tetsuya Nomura interviewed with Famitsu.
(June 12, 2017 - 7:16 PM PDT) Unfortunately, Kingdom Hearts III did not make an appearance at either the Microsoft or Sony press conferences.
Day 1 Public
(June 13, 2017 - 12.03 PM PDT) Kingdom Hearts II Limit Form Sora has been spotted at E3!
(June 13, 2017 - 1:58 PM PDT) Kingdom Hearts III's orchestra trailer has appeared in Square Enix's 'Square Enix Presents' E3 trailer line-up!
(June 13, 2017 - 2:44 PM PDT) Kingdom Hearts III's orchestra trailer has been spotted at Square Enix's E3 booth!
(June 13, 2017 - 2:44 PM PDT) Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue wall scrolls are available to purchase at Square Enix's booth!
Day 2 Public
(June 14, 2017 - 7:15 AM PDT) Raxaimus went to the Square Enix Booth yesterday and found some Kingdom Hearts merchandise for sale, many of them at discounted prices!
Day 3 Public
(June 15, 2017 - 7:00 PM PDT) This concludes our E3 coverage. Please join us on July 14-16 for coverage at D23 Anaheim!
Be sure to keep an eye at our website as we will update with anything new shown in the following days!
UPDATE: Kingdom Hearts III will be at the "Level Up! The Walt Disney Company's Video Game Showcase" at 1:00 PM PDT at the D23 Expo Arena.