The New Related Series – IGN

Tetsuya Nomura, by Gemaga and Dengeki Magazines

With Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix & Re: Chain of Memories at last out in Japan, Tetsuya Nomura and crew can now devote all their energy to their next project, which appears to be another Kingdom Hearts game, or at least another tie-up with Disney. But is it Kingdom Hearts III?

Speaking with Japan’s Gemaga and Dengeki PlayStation publications, Nomura gave a few hints on the new project, which he’s previously hinted would see formal announcement later this year.

Gemaga asked if the characters who appear in the new CG “secret movie” added to Final Mix are from the new title. “They are people who have some relation to the new series,” said the producer. “However the next title won’t just be Kingdom Hearts III. If it were III, we wouldn’t call it a new series.”

When asked if Sora and Riku would make an appearance in the new game, he said with a laugh, “I can’t say.” He also hinted that the new game would have something to do with Xehanort, the main villain of the Kingdom Hearts series.

He was just as direct when Dengeki PlayStation asked for some details on the new title. “First, it’s not Kingdom Hearts III. Of course, because we’re calling it a ‘new’ series, it won’t be KHIII. Also, it’s a series, so it probably won’t be just one title.”

Nomura once again promised an announcement of the new game, whatever it may be, some time this year. In the meantime, he suggested that players attempt to unlock the Final Mix secret movie and start imagining.

Future Of Kingdom Hearts And Final Mix+

Tetsuya Nomura

A part of the latest secret movie is related to the new series.

You get the “Experience Zero” ability at the beginning of Critical Mode, which is for those who might find Critical Mode too easy. It a problem if you accidentally equip it though.

At the top of Pride Lands, there use to be exactly 144 heartless there, but in Final Mix they have become one enemy. (No more free experience from there.)

Making the Enigmatic Soldier an Optional Boss Fight was a staff member’s idea.

The Organization XIII battles from before have changed a lot.

At a new scene, when Zexion is walking, he suddenly stops as though he’s thinking of something. The players should be able to work out why Zexion stopped.

The Organization XIII Mushroom Heartless were an idea from the staff ever since Kingdom Hearts II was developed. Back then it was too big to put into the game, so it was added as a sidequest for Final Mix.

At first Nomura was going to put the Roxas fight in Kingdom Hearts II, but due to the time consumption, he took the fight out in the end. He also wanted to add an additional bit to that event, and a new form. He was thinking about the abilities that could reside around the first Kingdom Hearts game.

The music after the battle against Roxas was meant to match the event completely. When Nomura did the battle against Roxas, he wanted to convince people about how emotional the battle was, and so created an event after the battle. The battle music he saw as “Different” for when he had Sora face up against Roxas.

There are some changes in the game the staff made that even Nomura doesn’t know about!

Re: Chain of Memories was made more from a less justifying view first. It seemed that Nomura wanted to make the camera like Kingdom Hearts, but it would be hard for the team to fully do this, so he changed it around. (Thank goodness they didn’t.)

The team also put in a few changes for the Last Boss against Sora. Nomura took charge for this battle. It seemed to be *** of **** of Sora. (The *** were censored in the magazine.) All he can say is that it has to do with Marluxia, and it is a very very painful attack.

The New Series is NOT Kingdom Hearts III. (Nomura wants to make sure you remember that.) (The fact that he says it’s a series is promising!)

Interview with Yoko Shimomura

For Re: Chain of Memories, Shimomura and the team worked day in and day out, although this was only for the battle music. She wanted to have different feelings such as “Happy Battle” “Sad Battle” and “Terrible Music”. There is also something about a “Third Form” added to the Last boss.

Yoko Shimomura put ALL her work and effort in the Roxas battle music. She was pushed to her limit. The battle is meant to be very very emotional. Nomura believed Shimomura already met the standards, but Shimomura wanted to push herself further.

Extra Organization XIII Battles Information

There are two versions of the Organization XIII battles. The first ones are scattered throughout the Worlds, and Nomura stated no one should have any trouble with them at all. However, for the re-fights in the new area, players will have to be at least be level 99 if they want to stand a chance.

Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+

Tetsuya Nomura, by Famitsu

Despite my affection for the new cutscenes, English voices were not able to be added for every scene. They make it into the game for certain reasons although, the dialogue of the scenes without the voices are displayed by the speech balloons, usually. I think that the players will understand the reason why I didn’t make the scenes contain a speech balloon once it’s possible for them to play the game.

As for the pre-order bonus, the mystery that remains in the work and the hint of the development in the future are being written. The novels and manga that become a side story, without the elements of the story that are able to be touched in the game, are collected too. The result of doing all this is because Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ is the last work that I’ll be handling on the PS2 and there’s a seemingly attached desire to it. If it’s possible to satisfy the fans even in the content and the volume, then I’m glad.

In the Kingdom Hearts series, if a map is too crowd it affects the battle sytem. Therefore, the structure of the battle collapses when a great change is done to the map. So (in Hollow Bastion) the battles are adjusted without greatly changing the elements of the game. Xemnas, Xaldin, and Roxas enter a considerably strong class.

The time restriction of Demyx is also severe. Sora has a hard time, although he starts from the place where the game is similar to the previous version. Demyx’s double needs to be defeated because it will be necessary to defeat more enemies from this volume in a short amount of time. If you don’t think quickly as to whether it’s efficient to knock him down if he does very well, it’ll easily be game over. It’s a hint that Sora has changed into Wisdom Form in the screenshot.

Compatibility of the Forms and the selection of the equipment (items and armor) become important, too.

There will be hard work to get to the room that becomes the entrance of the Org. XIII battle. “The new save point area provides a demon specification. (laughs)”

There is a severe element in the new area in Critical mode. “I’m confident that the action is going to be enjoyable. (laughs)”

The content has been completely changed in the mini-games of the 100 Acre Woods in Re: Chain of Memories having become 3-D, too. It is convenient, and also exhilarating, how one feels because the enemy is brought together in one place with “Magnespiral”. The “roulette room” was added with the intention that I was told to fulfill the desire of being able to enjoy it in a mini-game sense of mind, and thus, the card was easily completed. As for the arrangement of all of the cards, corresponding to them is huge.

This time, an arbitrary card can be registered as a short cut. The function that the reload card can be able to be selected momentarily, and to call it soon by the often used card, is added. An adjustment had been added to the part that was not complete in the GBA version, and I finished it up in a user-friendly mode (and beyond). In Riku’s chapter, a big element is used that the PS2 has.

Dengeki Magazine Article

Tatsuya Kando

“When thinking about it, was there room time-wise? The end of the project involved both the motion team in Tokyo and Osaka, and it was one large spectacle. The amount of finishing it up and to go, became one’s satisfaction. I want the emotions of satisfaction to one’s heart’s content from the entire motion staff by the sweat of one’s eyebrow.”

Yasuhiko Hasegawa

“When the story of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix was heard to be in the making, work was belittled so much because I felt that it was going to use up the capacity of the ROM with Kingdom Hearts II. Now, the capacity was worked variously, and as for the production, the Re: Chain of Memories production was decided too. It became a work that far exceeded the expectation. To work with the data of Kingdom Hearts was becoming anxious since the texture had to be re-written again. Also, the Kingdom Hearts II production was finished, and the production of the Kingdom Hearts series was fulfilled, too. The results and the end are large, always. The mastering of the improvements were faced at last, safely, last week (interview).”

Tetsuya Nomura’s Interview

Nomura: Because the Organization XIII battle becomes harder after making the assumption of the challenge after beating it once, I want you to challenge it after it raises the level, and the abilities and equipment are enhanced.

Interviewer: Can you do nothing in the mode that I have?

Nomura: As a result, Sephiroth, who was thought to be the strongest in Kingdom Hearts II is now lower than the Organization members in terms of ranking from the strongest. However, the Organization members are not the strongest ones.

Interviewer: There is a higher enemy?

Nomura: The strength of the Organization XIII, and there is an enemy named “___ no _”. Here, it’s thought that becoming strong and managing to find the capture method of beating the Organization XIII is so that it’s not possible to break if there is no technique of the player after finding the capture method of the new secret enemy. I prepared him for the people who felt that Sephiroth was weak.

Interviewer: With all these strong enemies, it will be hard to see the secret movie won’t it?

Nomura: Yes, defeating all these enemies are the conditions. As also are the completion of Jiminy’s Journal and defeating the strongest enemy. (If Jiminy’s Journal doesn’t show the entry of defeating the strongest enemy, the condition hasn’t been met either and is considered incomplete.) However, that doesn’t mean you are fighting the most invincible enemy. I have expectations to see how many players will be able to see this movie by their skills.

Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix+ in Europe?

A Square Enix Marketing Manager, by khextreme.co.uk

Itani: At the Final Fantasy XII launch in HMV, Oxford Street, my friend had a couple of questions based on Kingdom Hearts, which he asked the Square Enix Marketing Manager. You may or may not want to believe it, but this is pretty much re-assuring the Kingdom Hearts fans of future projects.

F = Friend
SEM = Square Enix Marketing Manager

F: Hi. I have to ask this on behalf of all the Kingdom Hearts fanboys in Europe. Can you PLEASE bring Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ to Europe?

SEM: *Laughs* We have big plans for the Kingdom Hearts series this year globally. It has become a big series for us.

F: But will Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ hit Europe?

SEM: I think it’s safe to say you will be pleasantly surprised around the end of the year. *grins*

F: What is the future of Kingdom Hearts like?

SEM: Well Kingdom Hearts III is going to be released on PS3 and we will see what we can do with that.

F: What about a Kingdom Hearts movie? Advent Children was sick!

SEM: Well you never know – We are good at CGI aren’t we? *grins*

F: Will we see another Kingdom Hearts game on a Nintendo platform?

SEM: Well like I said, there will be big Kingdom Hearts related announcements made this year. Please look forward to it.

F: Will Kingdom Hearts III be a new trilogy with new characters?

SEM: Can’t answer.

Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+

Tetsuya Nomura, by Famitsu

Famitsu: Anyway, let’s start with the news of this “new project” which appeared at the end of the latest trailer. Boy, were we surprised!
Nomura: Thanks to everyone Kingdom Hearts has gained phenomenal popularity worldwide. That is why next year the series will be taking a new step… although for the moment I can’t be any more concrete.

Famitsu: If only you could do something about that (laugh). Is it something Disney specializes in? Or is a game?
Nomura: It’s complicated. It is one thing but “project” doesn’t quite encompass it. Right now we’re in the midst of talks with Disney’s side and while there is something they have contributed there is also something we [Square-Enix] have contributed. At the moment we’re talking about how to realise it. Please be patient until we can be more precise.

Famitsu: Will there be a hint in KHII FM’s secret movie?
Nomura: Well… there will be… a little. But also something else…

Famitsu: Something else?!
Square-Enix’s PR Department: It’s probably something you have never would have imagined. (laugh)
Nomura: So a lot’s going on but please look forward to it.

Famitsu: We will! Now, regarding the new information that’s been released, first there’s that new costume for Sora. Is it for Halloween Town?
Nomura: Actually it’s something for Christmas Town. It was suggested in an interview so I thought that since I had the chance…

Famitsu: So there’s no difference in Halloween Town but when in Christmas Town it will change?
Nomura: Yes. There are basically two costumes for that world.

Famitsu: Will these new changes in costumes also mean changes in the story?
Nomura: No, the story won’t change so there will only be a difference in the visuals. I thought that might be fun. The reason it isn’t red is because it would then be the same colour as Jack’s and so the story would get complicated. By the way, Donald and Goofy’s appearances will also change.

Famitsu: What is the new Drive Form looking like?
Nomura: The colours are very similar to Sora’s KH costume.

Famitsu: Speaking of the latest trailer, it seems there was a new stage… one where there were battles with Marluxia and Lexaeus. They disappear in CoM right? So…
Nomura: In KHII FM you will be able to fight all the members of Organization XIII. To do that we had to create a new place. Those members who aren’t related to the story will be very difficult to defeat.

Famitsu: More than Sephiroth?
Nomura: Yes. This is a special edition so they’ll be very hard indeed.

Famitsu: We also saw that the fight against Roxas that was a cut scene in KHII is now playable.
Nomura: Yes. We’re doing our best to make it great.

Famitsu: In the latest releases it also seemed like he had a very small number of HP bars. (laugh)
Nomura: Well he is also a Keyblade Wielder so he packs quite a punch. However, unlike Sephiroth, his is a fight that is compulsory to the story so we couldn’t make him too powerful either. It was all about finding the correct balance.

Famitsu: There were quite a few screens where he was in the air but will this be a mostly airborne battle?
Nomura: Not really, but it will definitely be a very lively battle.

Famitsu: There seems to be a Reaction Command called Duel Bout. Wasn’t this one that could be used with the Samurai Nobodies?
Nomura: Yes. Samurai Nobodies are supposed to be under Roxas’ command so it makes sense that Roxas can use the Command as well. Of course, Roxas’ is a lot better.

Famitsu: As well as these new fights against Organization XIII and Roxas, fights against new mushroom Heartless were also shown.
Nomura: I actually don’t like shiitake (Mors’ Note; a popular edible mushroom in Japan) but came to like mushroom Heartless. (laugh) I had thought of great gimmicks to put them into KHII but it didn’t make it. I had to insist a bit but they finally are included. This time they’re quite strong.

Famitsu: There was a screen where mushroom Heartless were striking a pose. What was that about?!
Nomura: It means there are several of them. (laugh)

Famitsu: Several?!
Nomura: They each have their own specialities and are of different sizes as well.

Famitsu: Will we be able to tell them apart?
Nomura: They are all ranked and you can tell what their number is.

Famitsu: In recent screens there was a score counter as well as a timer. Are they going to be fought like minigames?
Nomura: Yes. They come up as challenges and, as before, each have their own way of being solved.

Famitsu: We’re looking forward to it. Also, in the latest trailer there was a character who said “It’s been a while, my friend.”. Who was this being said to?
Nomura: At present I cannot say.

Famitsu: You said that none of the iron-clad characters of the secret movie were Roxas or Sora.
Nomura: That is correct. However they are related to one or more characters we have already introduced. Please speculate and look forward to it as well as the new project.

Kingdom Hearts – Re:Chain of Memories

Famitsu: With the addition of voice acted scenes, it is like seeing some members of the Organization anew.
Nomura: Individuals worlds will only have text but all the scenes within the Castle with the Organization will be voiced.

Famitsu: The quality of it is also amazing.
Nomura: The Organization of KHII was done so accurately and well that we were determined to do just as good with KH: Re:CoM. They stick perfectly with their image.

Famitsu: In a screen where we fight with Riku, we see Zexion holding a Soul Eater. Does that mean he has the ability to imitate others’ weapons?
Nomura: Yes. However, each and every member of Organization XIII has both a special attribute and a specific weapon. Zexion also has his own weapon.

Famitsu: And what seems like the ability to clone himself?
Nomura: Zexion’s element is that of illusion so he will make use of it in battle.

Famitsu: What are the changes to the battle system?
Nomura: There a lot more Stock techniques. There are many new combinations that produce techniques than previously. There also some techniques that are connected to the Reaction Command brought over from KHII. However, the input of the Reaction Commands is a bit more difficult than in KHII.

Famitsu: Button mashing won’t do?
Nomura: Indeed. In Re:CoM you get to use them during Stock techniques so that would have been too easy. That’s why we’ve tried to make the timing more severe.

Famitsu: There has been talks that you were thinking about giving a nice bonus if the saves of KHII: FM and KH Re:CoM were to be transferred around.
Nomura: Yes I’m making it so that they will affect one another, something if KHII: FM data can be found when playing Re:CoM and vice versa. Transferring that of Re: CoM to KHII: FM will have a great effect I included thinking of all the fans so please look forward to it.