How Fantasia And The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Got Into Kingdom Hearts 3D

By Spencer . July 18, 2012 . 5:30pm


Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] features new worlds based on films like Tron Legacy, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Fantasia. We sat down with Tai Yasue, Co-Director of Kingdom Hearts 3D, to discuss how the team picked the worlds and why they added characters from The World Ends With You into the game.


How did you pick the worlds? You have the Hunchback of Notre Dame world; the Musketeers, which isn’t as well known; and Fantasia, which is a key film.


Tai Yasue, Director: Each world has its difference and meaning. Notre Dame had a lot of user feedback. A lot of users wanted Notre Dame to be added, so we listened to them and we put that in. For The Three Musketeers, we thought it would just be interesting that Mickey, Donald and Goofy were dressed differently. [They] were sort of themselves but in a different way. We thought that would be sort of fresh.


For Fantasia, we wanted players to play with the music. We have some nice classical music, so I guess a music-centric game.




I remember reading in another interview that you were originally thinking about having the original Tron world in the game, and then you decided to go for [Tron] Legacy. Sora was supposed to go to the original Tron world and Riku would go to Legacy. Can you tell us about that?


That was Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, but we also considered Tron, too. I think we wanted Tron: Legacy at the very beginning, but for Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, we were thinking about that. Sora was going to go to Fantasia and Riku was going to go to Fantasia 2000.


We wanted Sora and Riku to go to the same world but in a different way, but at the very end, we looked at a lot of music and locations in Fantasia and thought that was really rich, and we wanted to concentrate on the best locations, so we concentrated on one Fantasia.




A lot of fans are happy to see The World Ends With You characters in Traverse Town. It was kind of cool how you had Joshua explain what was going on between Sora and Riku.


Well, actually, Nomura wanted The World Ends With You added and we wanted to sort of change Traverse Town. We always use that world, so we wanted to make it fresh and new in a way that would work. The fields for example were buildings that looked sort of like Shibuya with a lot of graffiti and we had a change of look.


For previous Kingdom Hearts, we’ve used a lot of Final Fantasy characters and we wanted a departure from that for Traverse Town, so The World Ends With You was a natural selection.


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Also on Siliconera: Kingdom Hearts 3D’s Director Discusses “Drop” Mechanic And Flowmotion


What was it like programming the AI for all the different Dream Eaters?


We actually used a different AI system for [Kingdom Hearts] 3D. During Birth by Sleep, it was script-based, but for 3D, we used a new game flow tool. For one Dream Eater, there’s actually several “characters”. Several personalities. So if you have your mascot characters, they would do different things. We were able to have the freedom to make a wide variety of tweaks and changes for the Dream Eaters.


For the mascot Dream Eaters that you carry along with you, they actually change along the way if you pet them and stuff.  So it really depends on the character. They might just sleep, they might be really useless, or they might be angry all the time and attack a lot. Overall, there was a lot more AI than Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.


What are you going to do with all that AI for a future Kingdom Hearts game? What are you going to do with all this tech that you developed for 3D?


Well, there are a lot of ideas coming along. I’m not really in a position to talk about the next Kingdom Hearts, but I think AI is something that we really have put more power into. For the next-gen consoles like the PS3 for example, there’s a lot more things you can do compared to the 3DS, just because there’s a lot more CPU power. So, if we were to make a game for the next-gen [systems], for the PS3 for example, we would rather like to utilize that part.


Tomorrow, Yasue’s going to talk about the Flowmotion system and how they designed Kingdom Hearts 3D to give players more freedom on how they approach the game.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • revenent hell

    and on this happy note I was reminded to actually go buy a 3DS wich I just did………….I look forward to Fantasia world though as much as im a non rythm game fan for some reason I cant wait to go there.
    But im still worried on how much im going to “enjoy” this game……The more I read about what is it the flow motion drop switching stuff the less keen I am about the idea of it….I dont think it helped my opinion about it much after reading a bit of complaints about it…But eh.

    • Herok♞

       if you get the 3DS before the game, then download the eshop demo, I really enjoyed the flowmotion and felt it added a lot, for me it looks to be better then BbS which is my favorite game in the series at the moment.

      • revenent hell

        I had intents to get the 3DS a while ago and to get the demo but …..Things slip my mind unless I write it down on my shopping list and I kept forgetting it untill I read this article and decided the time is now I didnt want to get the game befor the device :/

        • Herok♞

           well when you get it, you will be pleasantly surprised then.

          • revenent hell

            Im hopeing so :D KH has become one of my top favorites as far as games go and I even got the 3DS for it haha so as soon as it arives im trying the demo…Though since it hasnt shipped yet im just kind of praying it gets here befor the release of the game itself…

          • Herok♞

             I know what you mean, I got a psp for BbS mainly and when 3DS was showed off at e3 10 I was going to get it, but then KH showed up and made it a day one purchase.

    • Anime10121

      Flow motion is actually a different system than the drop system.  Flowmotion is the whole grinding on rails, spinning on poles, kick-jumping between walls, etc. thing you see in the trailers, while the drop system is basically just the characters switching out after a certain amount of time, but from what I hear there ARE ways to stop drops (but I wont say for a lack of spoiling anyone who wants to go in clean, even though its not that big of a deal and I dont consider myself spoiled for knowing).

      Oh and congrats on your new 3DS! While I’ve had one nearly since lauch, and only own one game for the thing (Sonic Generations, and that was only so I’d actually see what it felt like to play an actual 3DS game and not just VC games), the future is looking REALLY bright for the 3DS, as there are a crap load of awesome games coming out for the thing, Kingdom Hearts is just one of many.

      The only problem currently is the lack of localization announcements for many of them. And considering the west isn’t too fond of handhelds, Japanese games will be the majority (which I’m not complaining about one bit), so let us pray that many of these Japanese games see localization!!!

      • revenent hell

        Yeah I just confused them in my head and then totally forgot wich one I was trying to talk about lol
        I actually only buy a system when I know i’ll need it for a game this one being the purchase point for  the 3DS for me :D
        But its good to know you can stop the drops…..well ive read some about it but nothing that actually prevents it from happening . I think the only issue id have with it is durring grinding for stuffs and what not but till I try it myself I probably shouldnt worry about it anyways?….Im still looking forward to the game….I simply adore Riku.

  • Anime10121

     Love these interviews and cant wait to give the newest Kingdom Hearts a go!  This is one of my favorite series, and its good to see that fan feedback is what got Notre Dame in the game. 

    Maybe the next big game in the series (the one that’s hopefully on a home console and has the number 3 in it…with no subtitle) will have worlds like Treasure Planet, Toy Story, Jungle Book, the Incredibles, Robin Hood, Pocahontas, The Princess and the Frog, or many other of the numerous Disney properties that fans have been asking for!  Cant wait to see what they’ll be doing with the added power of the current gen (hopefully the next home console KH will be current gen, meaning it’ll be releasing sooner rather than later) consoles.

    The new design of Traverse Town in the demo is freaking awesome!   Its HUGE compared to the worlds in prior games, and it also seems to have more platforming in it akin to the first game, which is also a big plus.  I just hope all the worlds are as big and vast as what the demo made it seam with Traverse Town’s new look!

    Cant wait for tomorrows new interview :)

    • Solomon_Kano

      I honestly don’t want them to touch Pixar at all, but Treasure Planet NEEDS to happen. That and Atlantis have been two of my most wanted worlds for a while now.

      Instead of Pixar, I’d much rather see them look at some of their older TV shows. It’d be cool if the next time we see Chip and Dale they were based on their Rescue Rangers selves, kinda like how Agrabah changed from the setting of the first Aladdin to kinda incorporating elements of the second movie between games. Alternately, if they don’t go for The Jungle Book, I’d love to see Tail Spin represented. That show was awesome.

      • Anime10121

         Great Ideas, and Tron, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Three Musketeers proves that the KH team isn’t afraid of adding side movies/movies that aren’t from the Disney animated classics line.  I’d love to see some of disney’s old cartoons come to life in Kingdom Hearts, much like how Scrooge in his Duck Tales incarnation was in KH2 and Birth by Sleep!

        I would also love to see Chip and Dale, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, and Tail Spin worlds (if not worlds, at least characters) make an appearance in the next major Kingdom Hearts.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Darkwing Duck would be awesome, but I think they should probably limit Gargoyles to just having characters show up. There are places they could pick that aren’t, but the shows main location was New York and that’d be kinda odd to me lol. Having Goliath partner with you in a world would be fudging sweet.

          • Anime10121

            Yeah the Gargoyles could be like summons or something, but man if we get a Duck Tales/Darkwing Duck world in the next game, I will eat my shoe with all its leathery tastiness :)  That would be BEYOND AWESOME! Especially since Darkwing Duck was my favorite Disney cartoon as a kid!

          • Solomon_Kano

            If we get Darkwing Duck, I DEMAND a rendition of that theme song be in the game lol. That theme song was awesome.

          • Anime10121


            Most. Boss. Theme. Ever :P

      • Treasure Planet in KH3 or whatever would be really boss, and I wouldn’t mind Atlantis if it had Kida in it… hoohahahaha…


        But seriously, those two movies, despite being generally overlooked, have real potential in KH to be some pretty wicked and interesting worlds. I can’t think of many other Disney movies that are as fitting and promising. If Squeenix added them into any KH game they’d have my money for sure.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Haha. Yea, I always thought they would be perfect worlds for KH3. Since that game’s actually going to be on a console, not that I’ve a problem with portables, they can take full advantage of what a world like Treasure Planet or Atlantis would have to offer. I mean, I really just want an epic Leviathan boss fight for Atlantis. Plus solar surfing in Treasure Planet would be boss as hell lol.

      • Göran Isacson

        While I love you for suggesting Tail Spin because that world is insanely awesome, I am seriously skeptical to them ever diving into the classic Saturday Morning cartoon worlds.

        I think they’ll go for worlds that come from movies and franchises that are very well-known and which they hope are recognized internationally, and while the Saturday morning cartoons are beloved in America and Europe I don’t know if Japan even got them in the first place. You could say that them having the Three Musketeers show that they’re willing to go beyond the big movies, but one must also remember that The Three Musketeers featured Mickey Mouse, and Mickey Mouse is INSANELY HUGE CRAZY AMOUNTS of popular in Japan/China/Korea etc. The classic Disney mascots rule the roost over there, so movies featuring him are well known and beloved there. The cartoon-spin offs… not so much.

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s a really good point. Still, if not represented by worlds, I’d hope they could squeeze some characters from their shows in. Having a cameo from Goliath, Launchpad McQuack, or any of their other great TV characters would be enough for me.

          • Göran Isacson

            Oh yeah, a cameo or two are a lot more likely to happen. Heck, their Scrooge McDuck was pretty much taken wholesale from Duck Tales (which DID get a Japanese version, as I have at least found a Japanese version of the intro which is pretty interesting), so if the fans respond well and ask politely, well… it’s possible. I wouldn’t count on it, but I wouldn’t count it out either.

            Though on the other hand, what with the new games focus on Flowmotion and airborne combat just IMAGINING a world based around Tale Spin and it’s high rise-buildings and aerial battles… makes the mouth water, doesn’t it?

          • Solomon_Kano

            Add in a boss fight with businessman Shere Khan and it would be my favorite KH world.

  • komiko12

    How about Mulan? I’ve liked that one during childhood.

    • MakoSoldier7

       mulan was a world in Kindgom hearts 2

    • Anime10121

      Mulan was already in Kingdom Hearts 2, remember?  I also love Mulan, and think it was a great movie!

      • komiko12

        More Mulan is welcome.
        And also Treasure Planet. That one needs more love.

        • AuraGuyChris

          Doesn’t Disney dislike that one for ruining the age of hand-drawn animation before The Princess and The Frog revived it…for its lonely month of release?

          • Niermyico

            I dont get it, it what way did it ruined it?

          • AuraGuyChris

            Because at the time it was released to the theaters, it was competing against some high-profile movies that killed its audience. Disney saw this and decided to hold hand-drawn movies for a long time.

          • Niermyico

            I guess it seems to me like its the company’s fault, not the movie’s. Oh well, that’s a shame though. I personally like the movie.

  • Xapth

    I think a world from Pixar would go so well with Kingdom Hearts,

    particularly Toy Story.

    It’s been so long since a Kingdom Hearts title was fully developed for a console, and considering the improvement in technology since then, I can only imagine how incredible that game will look when it finally arrives (Kingdom Hearts 3!).

    • OatMatadoQuatro

      Man, it would be weird seeing the Disney characters in CGI. 

  • Solomon_Kano

    Aw man, I really wish they could’ve made that Fantasia 2000 thing happen. I loved that movie as a kid. Having Sora visit one movie and Riku visit the other would’ve been awesome. Maybe we’ll be able to see them realize something similar for the next KH game.

    I really need to get a 3DS already, but these interviews should hold me over.

  • MrJechgo

    For the next game, they should go with these:
    – Toy Story (the producer said that it was his favorite Pixar movie; Buzz as PC)
    – The Incredibles (Mr. Incredibles as PC)
    – Wreck-It Ralph (minus all of the VG cameos, of course; Ralph as PC)
    – Atlantis: The Lost Empire (Milo as PC)
    – Tangled (Flynn as PC)
    – The Emperor’s New Groove (Kuzco as PC)
    – The Great Mouse Detective (Basil as PC)
    – The Black Cauldron (Taran as PC)
    – Treasure Planet (Jim as PC)
    – The Jungle Book (Mowgli as PC)
    – Robin Hood (Robin as PC)
    – St. Canard (Darkwing Duck as PC)
    – NYC 1994 (Goliath as PC, from Gargoyles)

    In short, they should go with CG/Pixar movies, underrated/obscure/cult movies and TV shows.

    • i think rapunzel and her epic hair usage would be so much cooler than flynn!

    • LynxAmali

      – The Black Cauldron (Taran as PC)

      I’m honestly surprised they haven’t done anything with it to be honest. It would fit really well with a Heartless plot.

      But then again, Disney’s trying to bury it.
      Still my favorite Disney movie because it was dark and didn’t try and to be happy-go-lucky.

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    What about future Final Fantasy or other Square Enix cameos? I always thought that Rinoa from FFVIII would appear in a KH sequel since the KHII ending had a scene with Leon/Squall reading a letter with a familiar sign. Others that I would like to appear are (that could also fit with KH’s atmosphere) Hope (FF13 or FF13-2), Laguna, Balthier, Ashe, Jecht, Celes, Noel and Serah (they are also travellers who land on parallel worlds). Anybody has other suggestions?

    • Anime10121

      Id love to see Dagger and Zidane from FFIX (although its unlikely considering Nomura said he’d rather use characters he personally created, although we did get Vivi), Rydia from IV, Terra from VI, Rinoa from VIII (hey we already got Selphie and Squ…Leon),  and finally Sazh and Vanille from XIII!

      • Solomon_Kano

        Considering we got my favorite character from IX (who I completely forgot was in KH2 til your comment lol), I honestly wouldn’t be mad if Nomura left it at him. But after seeing him in Dissidia, Zidane practically begs for an appearance in KH.

        I’ll trade Hope for Vanille though.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Zidane, Balthier, Hope. Anyone beyond them would just be bonus for me.

      Also, Noel simply because he and Sora look alike lol.

  • Rocket D

    I can’t wait to play this, the Demo (if nothing else) already had me pumped to play. I kind of get disappointed to hear that the are distancing themselves from Final Fantasy cameos though. Reason being the game is already so enriched with Disney and from KH:CoM up the series has become more enriched with original KH characters too. I know they want a fresh outlook but it’s would be amazing if they could still consider adding more FF characters (and not tirelessly continue to recameo the same characters because they apparently are sick of doing that) because I’m going to be honest: if FF wasn’t in KH I wouldn’t be on board with it like I am now. I’m sure many will disagree with this but it’s just my personal feeling about it. It’s supposedly half the series but along the way it feels like they forgot about that. I’m sure more legal issues are involved with their decisions too and what not but I hope for the final installment of KH there is a fair share of FF characters too (along with returning characters, just for the sake of closure, throughout the series prior).

    I think Traverse Town with TWEWY is awesome take on the new Traverse Town although it would’ve been just as nice if they considered sticking in more FF. Either way the game sounds great. Let’s hope the first week sales blow away the ranking for games in July. I’m glad they decided to spice the game up with new worlds with different approaches to gameplay.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    They should have put Phineas & Ferb in this game!  Rapunzel would have been really cool too.  She definitely needs to be in the next one. 

    • Anime10121

      Phineas and Ferb, I know little of because I refuse to pay for cable and the few eps. I have watched, while okay, weren’t as amazing as people say it is IMO.

      But yeah I forgot all about Tangled, that movie was quite amazing, especially considering it was made by Disney and not Pixar.  It was reminiscent of the hand drawn 2D films, but was made in 3D and was simply a fun movie!  I never realized how much I was waiting for a movie about Repunzel, until I saw Tangled!  It would be a perfect world in the next game!

  • Aqua King

    I won’t be getting this. The previous Kingdom Hearts portables have not been that rewarding for me. I really want them to move this series back to the console. Also, ‘Hunchback’ may have been Disney’s worst animated film :P

    • Zeik56

      The handheld games are hit and miss, but BbS was the most fun I had actually playing any game in the series.

      •  Birth by Sleep is actually my favorite KH game, and ranks as one of my favorite games of all time. Been gaming since ’89, so it is a bold statement.

        That’s how great the game is. It pains me when people quickly shun BBS away for being a “filthy handheld spin off” (not saying this is the case).

    • Anime10121

      Thats because the only “important” hand held games have been BBS and the upcoming 3D (which I KNOW BBS is awesome and 3D is said to be just as good if not better).  BBS IMO played BETTER than the console games, I just liked the  flow of the console stories better than that of the 3 separate, but interconnected stories of BBS.  While the story was still great, it just didnt flow to well considering the circumstances.

      And you hated Hunchback?  That movie was fantastic to me!  I love it to death (though its still no where near my favorite Disney classic), and the music, need we remind you of HELL FIRE, a song about a pervy old priest who thinks he is righteous and asks God to forgive him for lusting after a teenage girl!  Disney’s finest before the world made putting stuff like that into cartoons politically incorrect.

  • Göran Isacson

    I have to admit that I’m intrigued by that new AI-tool. I think it’s safe to say that while fighting alongside Donald and Goofy was one, they weren’t very USEFUL to me in-game until way late in the endgame. If they can be made into sharper tacks, I for one welcome KH3 with even MORE anticipation.

  • keithmaxx

    “So, if we were to make a game for the next-gen [systems], for the PS3 for example, …”

    I dunno about you guys but I’m pretty sure that PS3 is current gen. Discreet Wii U hint? *gleamy puppy eyes*

    • Anime10121

      If KH comes to WiiU, a WiiU I shall purchase, even though nothing else currently announced for the thing has any of my interest whatsoever (well other than Platinum’s game).  I’ve learned however not to buy a console at launch (PS3) and to wait at least a year before you make judgement on whether a console is worthy of purchase or not (3DS).  I was extremely upset when I bought a 3DS early for Legends 3 (cancelled) and KH3D when almost nothing good was announced for at least 7-10 months after I got one, but DAT SECOND YEAR, man am I happy as ever to be a 3DS owner now.

      I’m hoping that the WiiU’ll get more good stuff (besides Nintendo games as I’ve grown tired of most of their franchises, barring Kirby) announced a few months after its release to get me hyped for that console, because as of now theres not much.  Tis the same situation for Vita, waiting on more 3rd party games for the thing that aren’t ports.  I hope it gets more support than it currently has, because as of now, I still wont purchase it (even though I want to for Gravity Daze, Uncharted, and the Inafune Soul game, also published by Sony).

    • Nitraion

      maybe for them next-gen system = consoles

  • Nitraion

    “Well, there are a lot of ideas coming along. I’m not really in a position to talk about the next Kingdom Hearts, but I think AI is something that we really have put more power into. For the next-gen consoles like the PS3 for example, there’s a lot more things you can do compared to the 3DS, just because there’s a lot more CPU power. So, if we were to make a game for the next-gen [systems], for the PS3 for example, we would rather like to utilize that part.”
    They said PS3 alot so hint PS3 game? :3

  • yorudox

    How is frolo bad in this game? I thought he was so much purer than, The common vulgar, weak, licentious crowd. So tell me? Why I see him bad there why his smoldering eyes still scorch in this games soul. Why do I see him why do I FEEL him the sun caught in his raven hair and why is it blazing in me out of all CONTROL!!!….. 

    I dunno.

    • Anime10121

      It’s because of the “Hell FIRE” man :P

      • Göran Isacson

        No, it’s because of DARK FIRES. Subtle difference between the two, but with enough burning you can feel it in your skin. That yearning desire… that’s turning me to sin… the sin of wishing this game could be available on the Vita too *TROLLFACE*

  • revenent hell

    Oh man I just thought of this…..I want darkwing duck in a KH game. Seriously my favorite disney charecter everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  • Kefkiroth

    “if we were to make a game for the next-gen [systems], for the PS3 for example”

  • thundergodCN

    Biggest question for me is why a standard copy of KHDDD is $69 in Australia while the KH mark of mastery edition is like $56 something in America.

    • Kefkiroth

      Different countries/continents price games differently… Just look at Brazil’s insane pricing….

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