Tetsuya Nomura, director of the upcoming Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and character designer for World of Final Fantasy, recently sat down with Dengeki PlayStation to discuss his upcoming project.
The interview, which was fully translated by KH13, reveals quite a bit, such as PlayStation 4 Pro 4K support for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 and that we can expect quite a bit of news during the series’ 15th anniversary in 2017.
Get the full summary below.
World of Final Fantasy
According to Nomura, before World of Final Fantasy became the turn-based monster-raising RPG that it is today, Square Enix originally wanted to create a different type of game.
“It was more of a simulation game, completely different from World of Final Fantasy,” Nomura said. “During that other game’s development, we made characters that are now our Primero and Oobito, and we connected them both into the setting of the game, and then proposed a system in which one could freely switch between them.”
Primero and Oobito, of course, are the names of the character sizes in World of Final Fantasy, the former being chibi and the latter being regular size. According to Nomura, the simulation game had “a lot of troubles” and the designs were used for the smartphone game Pictlogica Final Fantasy instead. Primero and Oobito were included as systems in the new game, World of Final Fantasy, at the decision of director Hiroki Chiba.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III
Nomura first apologized for delaying Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue past its promised December 2016 release window, but said that there were too many titles coming out one after the other around the same period.
The director then revealed that the box art of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue holds a couple of secrets, one that is revealed when paired with the box arts of the previous remasters.
“There are actually two secrets about the illustrations from from Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix to Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue,” Nomura said. “Extremely attentive Kingdom Hearts fans might have already discovered them, but one is that Sora’s movements change from sitting, to standing, to walking. One more is that when you line up the three illustrations, you’ll notice that they show the flow of time with changes in the sky. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is sunset becoming night, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix is the middle of the night, and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue is night breaking into dawn. Those three illustrations have a message regarding the final chapter, Kingdom Hearts III.”
Nomura also confirmed that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue will support 4K resolution on PlayStation 4 Pro.
Moving on to Kingdom Hearts III, while Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, which is included in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, offers a taste of the evolved action seen in Kingdom Hearts III, the game will have even greater improvements, according to Nomura.
“Since there is an overwhelmingly large amount of things one can do while playing as Sora in Kingdom Hearts III time-wise, compared to playing as Aqua,” Nomura said. “Aqua cannot change her keyblade as the story progresses, but Sora can, and that will in result change the action.”
Hikaru Utada was able to provide an arrangement of “Hikari” for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, but Nomura says that they’ve yet to decide the main theme for Kingdom Hearts III.
As for when we’ll hear more about Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura says that they’re waiting until after the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue.
Finally, Nomura said that they’re thinking of many plans for the Kingdom Hearts series’ 15th anniversary in 2017.
“Next year’s January release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue will be the start, and from March the full orchestra’s world tour will commence,” he said. “It will be a year’s worth of non-stop Kingdom Hearts news, so we look forward to speaking with you again.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Nomura touched briefly upon the E3 2015-announced Final Fantasy VII Remake, which we last saw at PlayStation Experience 2015, discussing its battle system and the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII in 2017.
“If it had past materials like Kingdom Hearts, the basics would have been easy to understand, and the staff can understand the hurdles we’ve had to overcome, but at any rate, the battles in Final Fantasy VII have greatly changed from the original, since they’re something with more action in them,” Nomura said. “The next time I release information about Final Fantasy VII Remake, I think that I’ll definitely have to explain the specifics of what the battle system has become to the players. I think right now that nobody is really able to imagine a concrete battle, so I’m in the middle of coming up with steps that I can show and explain to people, ‘It’s this kind of battle.'”
Nomura continued to explain that while he understands many fans want the game’s original battle system in the remake, that it’s not the style they’re moving forward with.
“We’ve heard a lot of Final Fantasy VII fans also say that they want to play the game with the original ATB style, but for the remake we’re proceeding toward an action-heavy style,” he said. “Of course, we’ve added systems that future fans will be able to enjoy, so people who are bad at action-style battles, please don’t worry. For those who excel at action-style battles, we’re working to make this a system that’s different than what you’ve used before and can still enjoy. Recently, we checked the Guard Scorpion at the beginning of the game, and I think you’ll be satisfied with the realism you’ll feel there.”
As for the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, Nomura says, “Like with the 15th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts, I’m thinking I’d like to plan something or other. It’s just that, since we’ve been keeping busy with productions, including the game [World of Final Fantasy] that I showcased today, I don’t think I will be able to share any new information until after things calm down.”