French website Finaland spoke with Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura at Japan Expo this weekend, where he discussed his involvement, potential co-op, character outfits, Stella’s redesign, female playable characters, and more.
As director, Nomura said he is “heavily involved” in the development of Kingdom Hearts III—more so than his other projects.
Disney recently acquired Star Wars creator Lucas Arts, and in 2009 iconic comic company Marvel (Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, The Hulk, etc.) Nomura said “it would be great” if those franchises could be added to Kingdom Hearts III, “but there are lots of rules and restrictions by Disney, so we can’t actually put everything people want.” He promised “some surprises.”
Asked about a potential co-op multiplayer mode, Nomura said the Kingdom Hearts series has always been about Sora as the main character, but considering it’s going to be “the last chapter of the Kingdom Hearts main numbering title series,” a “lot of fans actually want t play as their favorite characters,” so it’s something they will “consider.” Again, Nomura hopes to release “some surprises” in future announcements.
Moving on to Final Fantasy XV.
The character outfits in Final Fantasy XV were created by a Japanese fashion company called Roen. According to Nomura, the studio actually has the physical versions of these outfits in their office, allowing their CG team to “create exactly the same image” in the game.
“That’s really easier because previously when I created the character [costumes], all of the CG team and all of our entire development team always asked me ‘Is this leather? Is this coton? Is this nylon? How many percentage? Dadadada.’ That’s a lot of detailed questions, so it’s always difficult to precise what kind of texture are the clothes made off and stuff like that, so that’s why this time we had the actual clothes made and then we take it from there and put it in the game.”
One thing fans noticed in Final Fantasy XV‘s E3 re-reveal was Stella, who’s undergone a major overhaul since her last appearance.
“When I created Stella, back in 2007, I actually created something that is not my type of character,” Nomura said, “but obviously time has passed since then, about six years now, and then she actually became something that I quite like now.”
Another thing fans noticed was Noctis’ red eyes. According to Nomura, Noctis’ eyes become red when he uses his warp ability. This isn’t something you’ll be able to see much in game, as the camera doesn’t zoom in on his face when he warps.
Final Fantasy XV‘s main group of playable characters are all male. Asked if there would be any playable female characters, Nomura said, “I can’t say anything specific now but it would be… quite difficult, to have a girl playable.”
Nomura also touched briefly upon the game’s vehicles. There will be a car, “the vehicle you’ll use probably the most in the game,” and the Magitek armor, which “you can actually control and ride.” There won’t be a motorbike, as it’d be a little strange to see five guys riding on a single motorbike together.
When Final Fantasy XV was known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it was decided that it would be ‘Game Over’ when Noctis dies in battle. But now that the game’s become the next numbered entry in the series, that aspect of the game has yet to be decided.
And what of dual audio, probably one of the most requested features for localized Japanese RPGs?
“That all depends of the capacity of the disc,” Nomura said. “The two main reasons are the disc space and also the lip sync, because if we’re making the game, with the characters speaking in English but with the voices in Japanese, the lip sync would not match.”
The director added that you’ll have let Square Enix know that you really want it in order for it to become possible.
Nomura created a lot characters during his time at Square Enix. But his favorites, he said, are Sora and Noctis.
“I’ve been together with [Sora] for more than ten years now, this is the first time I’ve been with a character for such a long time,” Nomura said. “So he’s very very special for me and he’s been adopted by Disney also, so he’s a very very good boy. More like a good son actually.”
In Japanese, “Sora” means “sky.” And Noctis’ full name (excluding the middle “Lucis”) is “Noctis Caelum,” which in Latin means “night sky.”
“They are kind of complete opposites to each other,” Nomura said. “There is a reason why I named these characters as opposites. Noctis is kind of like my latest boy, or latest son and I expect him to be more clever than Cloud.”
Read the full interview with Tetsuya Nomura at Finaland.