Tetsuya Nomura made a rare appearance in Europe last month at MAGIC 2017 in Monaco, and Famitsu shared their full interview with the man, who was able to share the latest on the developments of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts III, and more.
Below is the full interview from Famitsu:
Famitsu: Previously, Hashimoto-san (Shinji Hashimoto) was able to make the trip, but this time Nomura-san, you made your first appearance. This would be your first time going to Monaco, correct?
Nomura: Yes. Due to my busy schedule, I don’t get much free time, and I didn’t get to go site seeing that much, but it’s certainly a beautiful country.
Famitsu: Other than Nomura-san there were many luxurious guests. Were you able to make any interactions?
Nomura: I’m a fan of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, so it made me happy to be able to stand on the same stage as him. I was able to meet him a few days before MAGIC. Actually, a few years ago I got his autograph on colored paper through an acquaintance, and he wrote “I hope we get to work together someday.” And this time we accompanied each other in such a way, so it meant a lot to me.
Famitsu: It looked like you got plenty of coverage from the foreign media.
Nomura: It seemed like a lot of people were asking about the Japanese games industry. We talked about how it seems that lately there isn’t enough personnel in Japan to develop HD titles and how we can sense that foreign titles are starting to take the edge because of that.
Famitsu: I see. So the local fans were very passionate. Nomura-san, you had a standing ovation during the talk event, and your autograph session had a long line.
Nomura: Since I don’t get to visit Europe that often, it feels like all the fans brought in their passion. This time we didn’t have an interpreter who specializes [in video games] so there’s a chance that there were some mistranslations, and even though I didn’t get to talk to the fans that much, there were many that brought all kinds of rare goods to the autograph session, so that made me happy.
Famitsu: Cloud’s designs were created through five stages, and the talk show had some inside story about how there was a mythical sixth stage to it among other talk during the talk event.
Nomura: Since it was a special occasion, I decided to talk about all kinds of things. Cloud’s mythical sixth stage was more on the realistic side, and his sword had more details that made it closer to a Western-style sword. His head and body was a little taller, and his physique was detailed with more muscles, so he was pretty buff [laughs]. Since I was short on time, I had to put together all the content from the talk show at midnight on the night before, and it went from not having any solid content to talk about to getting help with only images from the marketing team who helped working on the slide… preparations weren’t done until the morning, so it was quite the trouble [laughs].
Famitsu: For what it’s worth, it looked like everyone had a good time. Not only did you talk plenty about character designs, but you were able to present new screenshots.
Nomura: Perhaps it’s because I’m known for not talking much, but it was quite a surprise. I really wanted to make everyone happy, and I was able to talk about things that I wasn’t able to before, such as the making of the trailer.
Famitsu: I believe that you were asked by fans about Nomura-san’s secrets of making a trailer.
Nomura: When I work on trailers, I look at it from numerous patterns of feelings. The feelings of those who watch it for the first time, the feeling of the core fans, the feeling of those who are indifferent, with such state of feelings in mind, I watch them over and over. I especially watch it with the feeling of people who are watching it for the very first time. I believe that trailers and games are both parts of the product, so the way I think for them are just about the same.
Famitsu: After seeing it so many times, making myself see it in the perspective of someone who has yet to see it sounds very difficult [laughs]. Now, let’s move onto some of the new screenshots that were presented. Starting with Kingdom Hearts III’s that showed a battle scene at Thebes in Olympus. There’s a giant heartless enemy, is that a boss fight?
Nomura: That’s a battle scene against the Rock Troll. That’ll be something like a mid-boss.
Famitsu: There was talk about Keyblades that have two transformation patterns. Is this for all Keyblades?
Nomura: The Keyblades we’re currently working on have two transformation patterns. That said, we’ve seen the Keyblade that transforms into a tank and shield, so it doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily always be split between attack and defense. Just like the Keyblade shown in the previous trailer that transformed into two crossbows for each hand or into a bazooka. The transformations will vary according to the Keyblade.
Famitsu: So that means you’ll be splitting between their forms. There’s also a “Link” indicator in the command parts…
Nomura: I’ll have to explain that the next time we release new information [laughs].
Famitsu: Let’s talk a bit about Final Fantasy VII Remake. In the screenshot (above) we see Cloud using cover action.
Nomura: In the story, there are situations where you’ll be infiltrating, and you won’t always get to simply walk down the middle of a path. The original version had random encounters so we were able to leave that up to your imagination, but since this time it’s seamless the infiltrating progress will certainly catch some eyes, so it was decided that we needed to show some reality there. You’ll get to take cover in shaded areas until soldiers walk by, or blow up enemies using grenades, those are the kind of uses there will be. And of course, you can just dive in and take them on in battle instead.
Famitsu: Will Barret also get to use cover action?
Nomura: Yes he can. While I can’t say much in detail about this now, gunners will have elements that are characteristic to gunners.
Famitsu: Is that so? We felt some impact from the battle scene where we can see Barret fighting alongside Cloud against the Guard Scorpion.
Nomura: Rather than just settling with a scaffold, the battle will take advantage of its space and the map’s characteristics, where you’ll get to switch between Cloud and Barret in the fight. For example, when there are enemies that are in places that can’t be reached by Cloud’s sword, it’ll be more effective to switch to Barret, so there’s a bit of strategy at play there. The Guard Scorpion also changes its mode during battle, and it’ll also show some behavior that wasn’t in the original version. You might have gotten an idea for that by seeing missiles falling down in the screenshot. It’s shaping up to be a very flashy battle.
Famitsu: That’s right. It looks like now that the battle is changing to action, we’ll get to experience a whole new way of playing that is different from the original version.
Nomura: Maps and objects will be destructible, and there will be other destructible elements, for example, you’ll get to break some parts off like the Guard Scorpion’s legs.
Famitsu: We know that the UI isn’t complete, but we can see that there’s an ATB gauge with three stocks, and what appears to be a skill name with a level called “Lv.1 烈攻斬り“ (along the lines of “Lv. 1 Fierce-Slash”). We’re also curious about the “Materia” indicator…
Nomura: We’ll have to talk about the ATB and skill on another occasion. As for Materia, we can say that it’s something like a skill. It’s different from magic, and you can use it when a Materia that has effects that are usable in battle are set.
Famitsu: We can’t wait to hear more information from updates on Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Nomura: This time we’ve prepared new materials to present at MAGIC. Since both titles have promotional plans being planned out, there’s only so much I can say about them now, but we’re enhancing the systems and progress is going smoothly, so please wait a little longer.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development for PlayStation 4. Kingdom Hearts III is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.