Square Enix Made One Helpful Change To Kingdom Hearts 3D

By Spencer . June 7, 2012 . 12:31am

kh1Aside from the English voice acting, Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] is pretty much the same game Japan got in March.


One of the main features in Kingdom Hearts 3D is the drop system, which forces players to switch between Sora and Riku when the meter runs out. It’s a mechanic, Co-Director Tai Yasue said, that adds tension to combat. When I spoke to Yasue, I told him about my experience of having the game "Drop" for the first time when I was in the middle of a boss fight. When I switched back to Riku the boss’ life bar refilled, but Riku’s health wasn’t.


Yasue assured me that won’t happen in the North American version. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] will restore your HP before a boss battle begins. Basically, if you happen to "Drop" out during a boss fight Sora or Riku and the boss will all start the fight again with full health whenever you switch characters. This was a good move by Square Enix since replaying an entire boss fight after losing life from the same fight before the Drop was unnecessarily frustrating. I’ll just imagine Kingdom Hearts Rubicante healed both groups off screen so they can have a fair fight.


Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] comes out on July 31 in North America. We’ll have a longer interview with Yasue on Siliconera after E3.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • I think this might actually be in the Japanese patch, so in other words, we are pretty much just getting the game pre-patched for the English release. That’s nice to know.

    I was extremely annoyed by the Secret portals, a few weeks ago I was playign a dropped in the middle of the secret boss fight. When I dropped back, I still had half HP, and lost fast.

  • RadShiro

    Switching out in the middle of a boss fight sounds extremely frustrating but awesome at the same time.

  • But both parties health will refill?
    So won’t that be counter productive?
    Like you can just be near the end of a boss fight that is giving you trouble and then you end up dropping and both parties healed completely?
    I mean come on, that just makes the battle longer and more annoying.

    • Better than the Japanese version pre-patch where only the bosses health refilled. Seriously, you try fighting *insert boss name here* dropping, dropping again back into the fight, being at critical health while the boss is ready and raring to go with a refilled HP bar.

      This is MUCH more balanced and fair to the player now.

      • brian yep

        He was probably just calling it bad game design to begin with, not that decision to balance it out.

        • That’s how I took it, and I kind of have to agree. I haven’t played the game myself, but it sounds like this will turn every fight into a DPS race.

          I think it’s a really fun, interesting mechanic for trash mobs, as it would force the player to use both characters. Restoring a boss’ health if you can’t kill him quickly enough isn’t very fun though.

          That’s just speculation, of course, as I haven’t played the game myself and won’t be able to until it’s released in NA, so I could be completely wrong.

          • pressstart

            Just like I can be completely wrong, I see it as a way to learn the boss so that you’ll see how much quicker and more efficient you’ll be with the boss, without having to have a game over or reset to retry the boss. Surely the bosses are designed to be finished with some drop bar to plenty of drop bar to spare.

          • That’s a good way to look at it, as well. I guess it isn’t very different from what I’m experiencing playing Ys Origin right now, having to retry every boss 2-3 times to beat it. The only difference will be that I’m not ‘losing’ the fight, just switching characters (that is, if I can’t beat the drop bar. I still have no idea how long it lasts).

  • Christopher Nunes

    Glad they fixed it for the US version… would be exceedingly frustrating if you lose the boss fight because you “Drop” out and your HP is half of what it is.

    Hopefully the JP version gets a downloaded patch for that as well… kinda feel bad for them to have to deal with that problem while the US players don’t have that problem.

    • Muggshotter

      Calling for the Final Mix release now.

      • Christopher Nunes

        They stated “No Final Mix” for KH3DS, and I don’t recall ANY Final Mix versions for the Nintendo Handheld versions of the KH games.

        • Muggshotter

          Didn’t they say the same about Birth by Sleep’s Final Mix iteration as well? 

          But yeah, if the English version does get considerable bonus stuff, you can be damn sure a physical re-release will be on its way with the Final Mix tag. And besides, I’d rather not have an incomplete game for the only reason of the digital distributions not being up 10 years from now. ; )

          • Christopher Nunes

            I believe they mentioned “not planned at the moment” but oh well.

            I do hope that KH HD Collection rumor is true! And the US FINALLY gets the Final Mix versions of KH1 and 2! Been dying to play them, plus they have a few key elements that connect the stories together (Secret Enigma Boss Battle in KH1, Roxas Battle and Terra Battle in KH2).

          • Muggshotter

            KH2FM can really go a long way in challenging, but at least it gives you everything you need to survive so it kind of depends on the player. 
            Regardless, the Final Mixes are definitely worth another playthrough, do take a chance to play them if they are to be localised -and part of the HD collection- in the first place.

    • KHSoraKeyBlade

      I’m pretty sure they’ve patched the JP version at least twice now. I think. Definitely once any ways.

      Though not sure if it’s for that specific reason or not.

  • neetyneety

    Glad they fixed it, but… just imagining how I could be moments away from finishing a boss, only to “Drop” and have the whole battle restarted seems frustrating.

    What if I’m fighting a boss that just takes a whole lot of time to defeat to begin with? I have no choice but to suck it up and keep repeating whenever I “Drop”? ‘Course, I still have to wait for some reviews to see if a scenario like that could happen, but I sure as hell hope it doesn’t.

    • pressstart

      Speaking out of my ass, but I would assume the boss battles are designed to be finished with a max of 75% of the drop meter being used. When you drop back to restart the fight, I would hope you’ve gotten the hang of whatever you completed before to be more efficient with the boss.

  • Freesun4

    Dream Eater: I’m going to finish you ki– *Sora switches to Riku* What?

  • Mago Iichi

    And here I thought they’d take out the drop system and just let me play as Riku and Sora seperately, got hyped up because of  the article title, but I should’ve known not to get hyped about any news from E3 week sigh.

    • KHSoraKeyBlade

       What would be the point of taking the drop out of the game completely? It’s part of the game’s main mechanic. Also, Kingdom Hearts 3D: [Dream Distance] sounds way more sillier to me than the actual title xD

      • Exkaiser

        …No, “Dream Distance” is much less silly.

  • Muggshotter

    The game has Zero EXP ability on Proud Mode, meaning you could play a low level playthrough (LV1, anyone?), but it is not encouraged due to this feature and I kinda despise the Drop system for it. Then again, it’d be BbS LV1 playthrough all over again and honestly, who would want to go through that atrocity for another time. Guess it’s a life saver in that sense then. :P

    • Joanna

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I swear I heard that dropping can be disabled once you finish the game once. I’m guessing dropping is necessary for the first play through for story purposes.

  • I’m glad, but it’s still best to begin a boss fight only when your Drop Meter is fully charged, so to avoid frustrating situations such as this no? :P Even if this was fixed (thankfully), I still don’t like the idea of restarting a boss battle fight from scratch :x But it’s all good, and I can’t wait to play this!

  • Mago Iichi

    I still think the Drop mechanic is a very stupid thing and was very gamebreaking for me to the point where I just watched all the story scenes because that’s what really mattered.

    i can’t even imagine the rage of having to restart a Sephiroth Boss fight even when I was winning just to switch to the other character.

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    I have a feeling the drop system is one of those things where it sounds bad on paper but when you play the game you get used to it and it works well.
    That said, if I noticed that the drop was even close to depleting before a boss fight then I’d drop to the other character and continue playing. But I think it takes like 15 or 20 minutes for the drop bar to even deplete, so I can’t imagine having too much problem with the drop happening during a boss fight.
    But we’ll see when the game comes out. Only 42 more days. Yay.

  • I’ve been told by people who played the Japanese version of the game that the entire ‘drop’ system is the worst thing about it, but maybe this change will help alleviate that in some way. 

    I feel like I’m probably missing something, but redoing the entire fight because you didn’t kill the boss quickly enough sounds very, very tedious. 

  • EvidenceLawl

    Who else chuckled at the Rubicante joke?

    • hawk222

      Um, can you explain it to me? I’m afraid I haven’t had the chance to play most of the older FF games.

      • Nirun Rangraengjit

        Rubicante was one of the 4 archfiends from FF4 (looks like a naked red devil guy in a red cloak that’s adorned with blue dots. Before you fight him he heals the your party.

        • maggosh

          What’s a your party?

        • hawk222

          Ah, ok. I kinda figured he must have healed your party beforehand, but like I said, I haven’t played the games. I do know who Rubicante is, though, thanks to the Dissidia games.

  • Göran Isacson

    Probably a very good idea to alleviate frustration- and an even better idea of Square to actually patch the feature into the Japanese version! For once, internet connectivity and patches are used for good!

    Anyhow, Rubicante and the other fiends should TOTALLY be in the next Kingdom Hearts game- any thoughts?

  • I got a better idea! Have the players start over again for good if they die in a boss fight! No, that is actually a good thing square enix made. Players have become stubbornly impatient nowadays. :)

  • ToSeektheChosen

    Gonna get a 3DS just for this baby ;)

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos