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Tetsuya Nomura Talks Kingdom Hearts

Producer discusses changes for the overseas version of Birth by Sleep and future developments for the series.

Three characters, none of whom are named Sora, feature in Birth by Sleep.

Tetsuya Nomura was talking more than just Final Fantasy Versus XIII in this week's Famitsu. The Kingdom Hearts director had quite a bit to say about Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and the Kingdom Hearts series as a whole.

Nomura's comments on Birth by Sleep included some reflection about the title, which saw PSP release in January. Back when Square Enix was wondering where to develop the PSP game, the Osaka development team that worked on Musashiden II asked that they be allowed to do it. The team was asked to show something running on the PSP, and ended up demonstrating a prototype which won approval and gave them the project.

The Kingdom Hearts team isn't finished just yet with Birth by Sleep. They're still working on the overseas version of the game. "We've pretty much finalized the specifications," said Nomura. "We're thinking of adding a Critical Mode to the battles. Also, we'll be making the bosses that felt weak stronger. We'll also be adjusting Megaflare, as it's too strong."

Other changes include a few changes to event scenes, some of which could make the game's story easier to understand. More intriguingly, he said that some scenes that had to be changed for "various circumstances" are being returned to their original form.

All these changes bring up the question. Will there be a Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep "Final Mix" re-release for Japanese players? "It depends on how much has changed from the domestic version," said Nomura.

Perhaps as a hint that some sort of Birth by Sleep remix could be on the way, he added: "However, with the Kingdom Hearts series, we'd in general like to release one title every year. We don't intend on leaving it in a state where you hear nothing for years."

Kingdom Hearts will be turning 10 in a couple of years, and Famitsu asked if we could see part III in celebration of that. "That's still a secret," said Nomura with a laugh.

You might recall Nomura having mentioned in the past some sort of mystery title that's related to the series. That will come first, said Nomura in this latest interview.

There may be more to the Kingdom Hearts series than meets the eye. Said Nomura, "Kingdom Hearts is the story of Sora. However, the series that's currently being built up is also the story of another character. Right now, you could say 'it's the series centered on that character.'"

Famitsu asked for clarification on what he meant by "the series that's currently being built up," but Nomura responded, again with a laugh, "I can't say anything beyond that."

358/2 Days came out last year. Birth by Sleep was released last month. Coded saw its final chapter a few weeks back. Overseas releases aside, the three Kingdom Hearts games that were announced following Kingdom Hearts 2 are now complete. But based of Nomura's comments, Kingdom Hearts fans have much to look forward to.

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