Kingdom Hearts III Will Have Another Playable Character, Possible Switch Release, More On Toy Story

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Square Enix shared a big surprise at D23 Expo, where a new trailer and Toy Story world was revealed for Kingdom Hearts III. Here’s more from Tetsuya Nomura from interviews with IGN and Game Informer.



Speaking with IGN, Tetsuya Nomura hinted that Sora will not be the only playable character in Kingdom Hearts III:

“So it would be tough to introduce many, multiple playable characters, but there is an intention of adding a playable character aside from Sora. Unfortunately we’re not able to disclose who it is yet, but there will be [another playable character].”


Nomura also talked about Kingdom Hearts III’s party system that allows for more than two additional members to fight alongside Sora. That being said, players won’t have to make the decision of which characters to bring with them into battle. This in part comes from the decision to do away with the Dimension Link feature from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:


“D-Link, that has been done away with. It was actually a compromise in a previous iteration because we were not able to display multiple characters on that platform in that game. We’re able to depict multiple characters. Up to five people can join, even more, multiple characters can join your party.”


The director also discussed possibilities for Kingdom Hearts III coming to Nintendo Switch, but if it ever happens, it’d be after fulfilling their promise of the PS4 and Xbox One versions before taking on a new platform:


“The Nintendo Switch is definitely a very interesting piece of hardware, but if we lightly say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll be on the Nintendo Switch,’ I’m sure people will come back and say, ‘But what about the PS4 and Xbox One? We want them out first. Don’t focus on other platforms. So for now, we want to focus on what platforms we’ve already announced we’re going to be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 on. And so after, perhaps, maybe we can start thinking about other possibilities.”


Nomura also noted the possibility of HD collections on Xbox One:

“Just like with the previous answer, if we were to announce yet another non-Kingdom Hearts 3 [project]…people are going to be like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ So we will want to focus on releasing on the platforms that we have already announced,” he reiterated. “Do the Western audiences want Kingdom Hearts titles on the Microsoft or Xbox platforms? Japan might say ‘well, we don’t want any more on Xbox.’”



Next up, Nomura had more to share with Game Informer about the newly revealed Toy Story world, which comes from a movie the director calls “iconic,” and has longed for it to make an appearance in the series since Kingdom Hearts II:


“Just looking at the trailer, I feel Sora really fit in and matched well with that world, and it’s something I always personally wanted to see – that image of Buzz and Woody coming face to face with Sora in his toy form. I had been imaging that in my head, and to be able to execute that into the game is something I’m really excited for and I’m hoping fans feel the same way I do.”


He talked about the process of Toy Story’s inclusion, which was different than previous Kingdom Hearts worlds that came from a request from Pixar:


“[Pixar] preferred for us to not follow the film directly. They said, ‘Please create something original to Kingdom Hearts,’ so we did not draw any inspiration from the films. It is completely original and exclusive to Kingdom Hearts, so you can almost say it’s a sequel of some sort.”



However, he also mentioned that its story in Kingdom Hearts III will make sense in the Toy Story timeline, which is something he and his team consider for all of the films in the series when it comes to deciding where to place them:


“We placed the narrative in Kingdom Hearts some place after Toy Story 2.” He said he worked very closely with Pixar to get its approval on the new story for the game. “So many rounds of review! I couldn’t believe how many back and forths I had,” he laughed.


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The trailer from D23 2017 shows Sora teaming up with Buzz and Woody to look for a new locale called GalaxyToys. Nomura shared more on what you can expect from that:

“Galaxy Toys is going to be your primary stage where a lot of the action is going to be happening in this world,” Nomura said. “Because Sora, Donald, and Goofy are toys and very small, the playing field is going to feel very large. We also have multiple floors and each section has its own personality, so to speak.” The narrative in this stage revolves around searching for Andy, who has gone missing, but also figuring out why Organization XIII has appeared in that world. “Sora will be looking for members of Organization XIII in the toy store.”


While he didn’t share any specifics as to how many hours it will take to complete the game, Nomura says that depending on how you want to navigate the world, your time can vary:

“Rather than having multiple different little worlds, we wanted to make sure we’re providing rich gameplay in an individual world, so we put in a lot of effort and allocated a lot of resources to create these worlds, and it would be sad for players not to enjoy the world and breeze right through it. Therefore, we made sure that each of the worlds is designed so players can take their time and enjoy the gameplay that’s available.”


And a bit about the mechs called Gigas that we saw in the trailer, which is one of the ways the team is putting in extra fun stuff in the world:

“You saw some mechs in the middle of the trailer, and you don’t necessarily have to board them in order to fight the enemies in that area, but I mean, mechs! You can ride a mech! You want to ride it, right?”


When asked about the inspiration behind the mechs, Nomura explained:

“I wanted to showcase that there’s nothing that’s impossible at this point. Previously, we couldn’t have Sora ride on different things to fight and now we can. We wanted to showcase that with the specs of the current generation hardware, it is possible. We’re hoping there’s a surprise element with each new mechanic that is introduced with Kingdom Hearts III, and we’re going to be revealing more information as they become available.”


Last but not least, Nomura talked about the return of the Gummi Ship:

“In terms of the Gummi Ship making its return, I can confirm on that, but how it is or what has become of it, we’re not able to reveal it at this point. We ask you to stay tuned for more information.”

“The staff members on our development team always want to try something new, so even with previously introduced mechanics, they always try to make it their own or tweak it. Even if it is small or minor, we customize it so that it’s for Kingdom Hearts III.”


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Kingdom Hearts III releases in 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Former Siliconera staff writer and fan of JRPGs.