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Tetsuya Nomura on Kingdom Hearts 3D

New gameplay systems and some unexpected story developments planned for 3DS title. Plus, Nomura details future developments for the series.


Aside from the few bits and pieces shared via a Twitter report here and a short interview there, the new 3DS "Kingdom Hearts 3D" title has been shrouded in mystery. And that's not going change much after you read this.

But Famitsu.com did mange to get an exclusive interview with Tetsuya Nomura right on the E3 show floor. The site asked the producer a number of questions about the new game, and Nomura fed them a few vague details.

Kingdom Hearts 3D's development started with Square Enix hearing the general details of the 3DS system from Nintendo. They wanted to make a quick demo. Nomura already had a general framework for some gameplay systems and a story that he felt would match the 3DS's visual expression. Thus began the Kingdom Hearts 3D project.

While the name "Kingdom Hearts 3D" isn't a final name, it does have something to do with the final name. The "3D" in this placeholder title does not stand for "3 Dimension," said Nomura, but is an abbreviation for the game's subtitle.

Famitsu noted that while the game's E3 demo shows Sora and Riku as they appear in the first Kingdom Hearts game, they're presented in some situations that would be impossible for the first game. Replied Nomura to this, "This is because it's not a remake, but a completely original game. This time, Sora and Riku are the two main characters. We're currently in the process of selecting new worlds."

"'KH3D' will be a title that enters a new step to follow the three games whose production was announced simultaneously, '358/2 Days, Birth by Sleep, and Coded," said Nomura.

The site pressed Nomura for some story details, but he would not open up. And good luck guessing the story! Nomura said it would be something unexpected, something that to a certain extent breaks the developments that have taken place according to fan expectation.

However, he did say that Re: Coded, the upcoming DS remake of Coded, released to Japan as a series of cell phone titles, would have some hints, so interested parties may want to check that out.

On the gameplay side of things, he said they're currently thinking up three new systems.

KH3D is being developed by Square Enix's Osaka team, which worked on Birth by Sleep. Based off Nomura's wording in the Famitsu interview, it appears to be one of the games Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto was referring to in his pre-E3 Tweets about a visit to Osaka.

During that Osaka trip, Nomura showed Birth by Sleep co-director Yasushi Yasue the KH3D design document. Yasue was apparently quite pleased with what he was shown.

The Osaka also seems to be having a hand in Re: Coded's development, as Yasue is serving as battle planner on the game. With the overseas version of Birth By Sleep, and now KH3D, the Osaka team is very busy, Nomura said. They made the Kingdom Hearts 3D E3 demo in a short time, though, so he believes they'll be able to work hard on KH3D.

[Update 6/18 3:21 -- I previously listed the Osaka team as developer of Re: Coded. Nomura did not actually say this in the interview. However, Yasue is the Re: Coded battle planner. The official site lists the developer as "Square Enix/h.a.n.d"]

Closing off the interview, Nomura decided to comment on separate Kingdom Hearts games. In past interviews, he made comments indicating that there are two Kingdom Hearts games on the way. While some may think that Re:Coded and KH3D are those two games, this isn't the case. "It's like one game has been added," said Nomura. "My purpose in coming to E3 wasn't just for the announcement but for a meeting as well. I'm scheduled to come to next year's E3 too. There are still surprise titles, but first enjoy Re: Coded, whose release date we're set to announce shortly."

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