Tetsuya Nomura had quite a bit to share in an interview featured in this week’s issue of Dengeki PlayStation. He talks about Final Fantasy VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8, and more. [Thanks, KH13.]
Here are some notable highlights from the interview:
You presented the release date for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue at the September SIE press conference, right?
Nomura: We sincerely apologize for prolonging the release date from December 2016 to January 2017. We wrote it in the comments on the official Twitter, but due to several titles that are coming out one on top of another, this is what it’s become.
You also revealed a gorgeous package art.
Nomura: There are actually two secrets about the illustrations from Kingdom Hearts 1.5 until Kingdom Hearts 2.8. 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 1.5 is sunset becoming night, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is the middle of the night, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is night breaking into dawn. Those three illustrations have a message regarding the final chapter, Kingdom Hearts III.
So you planned all this from the time of Kingdom Hearts 1.5‘s release, then?
Nomura: We worried a long time about the package art for Kingdom Hearts 2.5, and we worked on trying to connect the three productions in a continual manner. It seems like there were a lot of people who figured out Sora’s movements, but there were not very many people who noticed the connection between the skies. There are two meanings to “sora” (I.E. one being the protagonist’s name, and the other meaning “sky”).
We got a taste of the evolution of action on the PS4 with Kingdom Hearts 0.2 at TGS, but will Kingdom Hearts III see an even deeper improvement of action from there?
Nomura: That’s what will happen. Since there is an overwhelmingly large amount of things one can do while playing as Sora in Kingdom Hearts III timewise, compared to playing as Aqua. Aqua cannot change her keyblade as the story progresses, but Sora can, and that will in result change the action.
By the way, will Kingdom Hearts 2.8 be supported on the PS4 Pro, too?
Nomura: It supports 4K, so it should cleanly play without any problems. Anything else detailed about support, we will showcase next time.
Also, when will you be presenting more interesting news on Kingdom Hearts III?
Nomura: We spoke of this a bit at E3, but we are waiting to speak more about Kingdom Hearts III after releasing Kingdom Hearts 2.8, so we have currently released all available information. Please wait shortly for new news.
Finally, please tell us more about the Final Fantasy VII Remake that has caught the world’s attention.
Nomura: 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. 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.”
Sounds like you’re breaking your backs over remaking what was originally a command-based battle system into an action style battle system.
Nomura: 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. 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.
2017 is also the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII.
Nomura: 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 news until after things calm down.
Head over to KH13 to read more from their fully-translated interview.