Posted

Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura looks back on the PS4 action RPG ahead of Re Mind DLC’s launch

The creator discusses his favourite plot lines, the wish to keep refining character designs and his thoughts on fan speculation

It’s hard to believe, but Kingdom Hearts III was released nearly one year ago. This year, fans have the Re Mind DLC to look forward to, which will shed new light on the game’s bittersweet ending.

Ahead of the 23rd January launch of Re Mind DLC on PS4, the Square Enix team sat down with the game’s prolific director, Tetsuya Nomura, to discuss his thoughts on the game, his work, and what’s to come.

SE: 2019 was a really big year for you! Looking back on Kingdom Hearts III, what part of that game are you most proud of?

TN: Everything, as I couldn’t put anything out there that I couldn’t stand behind with confidence. I did all that I could given all the different conditions that could arise during development.

SE: Out of all the plotlines that are resolved in Kingdom Hearts IIII, which was the most meaningful to you?

TN: A lot of things come to mind, but maybe Xigbar, because we spent a long time getting him to where he is.

GameTitle on PS4

SE: The fans really seemed to enjoy the updated character designs in Kingdom Hearts III. Which of them are you most happy about?

TN: For each of them, I would feel satisfied once I finished drawing, but after a bit of time, I would end up thinking about what I would like to do differently next time.

GameTitle on PS4

SE: Back in April of 2019, you released the Critical Mode update, which added this higher difficulty mode to the game. Have you played Critical Mode yourself, and do you have any tips?

TN: With my ability, not at all. Judging by the videos that have been uploaded online, I think the players’ gameplay would offer more insight than I can provide.

GameTitle on PS4

SE: Are there any important details in Kingdom Hearts III which you haven’t seen fans pick up on yet?

TN: If I were to say something like “the true identity of so-and-so,” for example, that would spoil the surprise for people later on. So, I can’t say anything specific, but sometimes I do see interpretations that make me think they could be overthinking things.

SE: With the Re Mind DLC launching tomorrow, what are you most excited for players to experience there?

TN: I’m always amazed by the KH fans’ interpretations, and I’m looking forward to how they analyze things this time as well.

GameTitle on PS4

SE: Finally, we have to ask… Which Keyblade would you personally like to wield yourself?

TN: Master Xehanort’s keyblade.

GameTitle on PS4

The Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind DLC launches tomorrow on 23rd January on PS4. Fans can pick up the Re Mind + Concert Video package to receive 19 exclusive music tracks recorded from the World of Tres Orchestra Concert, which combine gorgeous music with live concert and in-game footage. The base Re Mind DLC package is also available for pre-order.

10 Comments
0 Author replies
MiseryPrincess 22 January, 2020 @ 15:27
1

“I couldn’t put anything out there that I couldn’t stand behind with confidence.”

Soo, the combat, nonsensical plot full of massive holes and the cast of child Tidus lookalikes in different wigs are good things to him…

Explains why he killed the Final Fantasy series by turning it into a bad reskinned Kingdom Hearts…

Can’t wait until Square Enix finally come to their senses and put him back on assistant colorer in duty.

Herbalistiikka 28 January, 2020 @ 15:57
1.1

I get that you might be disappointed with the games, but killed FF? Even if you want to pin FFXV completely on him, you should check out how well XV has sold (over 9 million copies). And apparently the XV based mobile games rake up good money as well.

It was just another divisive title in FF series. This FF(number) killed off the series or every FF after (number) sucks might as well be traced back to the second game, lol. You hear it after every single game. Not to mention the hype for the initial Versus XIII was real. And hey, Nomura is directing the FFVII remake as well and the views for it are pretty positive outside of “the last part will come in 2030” comments so I really doubt FF is dead anytime soon. ;)

I’m a bit confused about what you mean by child Tidus lookalikes in different wigs though.

1.2

He’s killed the image that FF was an imaginative title with memorable characters set in fantastical, memorable worlds with thought needing combat. Then replaced it with a hollow shell of bland characters, bland settings and bland boring one button combat and bland yet nonsensical stories. Something very different.

Remember, Battlefield V and Resident Evil 6 both sold over 7 million but were “commercial failures”, and they had tiny budgets compared to XIII-4/XV. Also remember how FFXV has been almost constantly sold for very, very cheap and all the “preorder the game to win a car and a trip to Japan” nonsense. Sell a bad game for a very low price and it will sell lots of copies…

He’s turned the Final Fantasy title from a much loved and respected title, to a joke. Released complete crap like XIII, XIII-2, XIII-3, XIII-4, 0, etc. he’s always managed to direct the worst FF game of the generation (8/10/13/15). But now he’s killed it by turning Final Fantasy into Kingdom hearts 2 set in m...

Show full comment

He’s killed the image that FF was an imaginative title with memorable characters set in fantastical, memorable worlds with thought needing combat. Then replaced it with a hollow shell of bland characters, bland settings and bland boring one button combat and bland yet nonsensical stories. Something very different.

Remember, Battlefield V and Resident Evil 6 both sold over 7 million but were “commercial failures”, and they had tiny budgets compared to XIII-4/XV. Also remember how FFXV has been almost constantly sold for very, very cheap and all the “preorder the game to win a car and a trip to Japan” nonsense. Sell a bad game for a very low price and it will sell lots of copies…

He’s turned the Final Fantasy title from a much loved and respected title, to a joke. Released complete crap like XIII, XIII-2, XIII-3, XIII-4, 0, etc. he’s always managed to direct the worst FF game of the generation (8/10/13/15). But now he’s killed it by turning Final Fantasy into Kingdom hearts 2 set in modern day Arizona with the imaginative elements basically gone and replaced with driving segments, taking selfies and camping with real world brand name camping gear.

Kingdom hearts isn’t Final Fantasy, so if all the FF games are now made as KH games, then FF as a series has been killed off. Much like if CoD was turned into a fighting game and only fighting games were released, there would still be CoD games, but you’d struggle to argue to a buyer of it that the original series was alive and well.

Gone are original character designs, replaced by a bunch of generic anime types, that all look like the old generic anime types he’s done countless times before. XIII didn’t have a party character who was non human, XV didn’t even have anyone who wasn’t a young white guy, and only managed to have 4 characters (all disgustingly boring).

Also, no one said “FF has been killed off after II”. Because more or less, FF 1-6 have very similar systems. The only real system changes from I to II was non player made characters (which every offline FF game has done since then), and the slightly questionable magic system. III added summons and the others added a few other elements. None of them went from an ATB battle to a one button one character action game.

Herbalistiikka 29 January, 2020 @ 15:29
1.3

I really have to put this first in the event you won’t bother reading the rest: Nomura has not directed a single FF to release. None. Versus/initial XV was to be his first directed FF game. He has been a creative producer on some spin-offs but that’s about it. Before that he’s been a character/monster designer (and a debugger for IV) more or less. FFVII Remake will be the first FF game he directs to completion. The ones you list as your subjective worst include Yoshinori Kitase (8,10), Hiroyuki Ito(12), Motomu Toriyama (13-trilogy) and Hajime Tabata(15 – granted, original vision was by Nomura).

You know, that’s largely very subjective things that you’re talking about. If anything, most of the compliments seem to be directed at the main characters and their bond. ;) Maybe they’re just not your cup of tea and that’s fine. The world of XV isn’t even much unlike other games, FF is all about mix of magic and tech. Sure, the convenience stores and roads might be “too realistic” in some s...

Show full comment

I really have to put this first in the event you won’t bother reading the rest: Nomura has not directed a single FF to release. None. Versus/initial XV was to be his first directed FF game. He has been a creative producer on some spin-offs but that’s about it. Before that he’s been a character/monster designer (and a debugger for IV) more or less. FFVII Remake will be the first FF game he directs to completion. The ones you list as your subjective worst include Yoshinori Kitase (8,10), Hiroyuki Ito(12), Motomu Toriyama (13-trilogy) and Hajime Tabata(15 – granted, original vision was by Nomura).

You know, that’s largely very subjective things that you’re talking about. If anything, most of the compliments seem to be directed at the main characters and their bond. ;) Maybe they’re just not your cup of tea and that’s fine. The world of XV isn’t even much unlike other games, FF is all about mix of magic and tech. Sure, the convenience stores and roads might be “too realistic” in some sense, but overall it’s the same kind of world it’s always been. Though I cannot remember when was the time in FF games that I really needed to put much thought into the combat itself seeing as attack + heal would probably nearly all of the games without much effort. Actually XIII-2 did require much more thought than pretty much any other FF prior to it, heh.

I get that copies sold might not mean it has been a success, but the game broke even during its first 24 hours from release shipping 5 million units. It really has been a huge success and Tabata commented as much.

Nomura’s character designs go way back though, I don’t see why it’s such a huge issue here (though I really don’t see how XV’s protags are generic anime characters by design – maybe through how they act, but that’s a larger issue in Japanese games). The point of it all in XV was the bond they share so that’s a design choice. You may not like it, but like I mentioned previously, it’s one of the more liked parts of XV if you look around for opinions.

The thing about FF has always been that it changes game to game. You can argue it has some similarity between entries, but it -never- stays the same. ATB system has been part of it since 4 (minus 10) but the systems around it have slowly changed. This is why there’s very divisive thoughts about so many titles within the series. It’s just never really the same deal.

KH3 was a very big disappointment, I know there was plenty of games in between 2 and 3 but it felt like 3 should have been a grand finale to the main story so far, and what we got was a bunch of faffing on boring Disney worlds and a rushed ending.

Im getting remind still, I assume it’s going to be the actual finale to the tale and will flesh everything out, it’s just a shame that both FFXV and KH3 two very large franchises can also be rushed out and “fixed” later. Its sad to see one of the big JRPG names just degrade so much over the years.

MiseryPrincess 22 January, 2020 @ 15:49
2.1

Remember when a Final Fantasy title was a game you pretty much bought automatically on release without worrying and played for weeks on end?

Now even in a 90% off sale it doesn’t feel remotely tempting..

2.2

Yeah I do remember that but it was literally 15 years ago lol.

yeah…i just quit playing KH3 last week…i didn’t understand nothing from the story( poor kids who saw the disney logo thinking it would something fun and easy to understand). the combat got boring very fast…quit at arendel (the fozen world).

and yeah FFXV was another big dissapointment (also quit halfway)

at least dragon quest 11 is good old turned based fun

Show more replies
1

Cool

We close the comments for posts after 30 days.

Edit history