Square Enix director/character designer extraordinaire Tetsuya Nomura decided to take a break from drawing belts and zippers to answer some questions about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD remake and drop some interesting tidbits about Kingdom Hearts 3.
According to Nomura, much of the original development data from the first Kingdom Hearts has been lost, so they had to had to manually recreate everything in HD instead of simply upscaling the original assets. “Kingdom Hearts 1 was created a long, long time ago,” Nomura said, “So the original data was lost. So, we had to research and we had to dig out [data] from the actual games available, and recreate everything for HD. We had to recreate graphics, and it was actually not that easy.”
In regards to Kingdom Hearts 3, Nomura said that he expects the new game will play similarly to KH2. “Kingdom Hearts 2 had game systems that were well received by the players, and I think Kingdom Hearts 3 will have some evolution of those systems.” Nomura also says that KH3 will incorporate some of the more well received “experimental” gameplay mechanics that were featured in the series’ handheld spin-off titles.
“Of course, Sora is the main [playable] character… but it would be nice if other characters were playable as well,” Nomura answered when asked about the possibility of a playable King Mickey. “We’ve taken it into consideration, and King Mickey will be in it too.” Nomura also mentioned that KH3 will once again feature cameos from Final Fantasy characters, though he didn’t elaborate on who will appear in the game.
Finally, Nomura reiterated that Kingdom Hearts 3 will finally end the battle against Xehanort, who has been the main villain (in one form or another) in most of the Kingdom Hearts games so far.
I played Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 back when they originally released and enjoyed them for the most part, but I have to admit, I recently tried to play Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance on the 3DS and I honestly have no idea what’s going on anymore or who half these characters are. I guess I’m still excited for Kingdom Hearts 3, but I’m really hoping that the game will offer some sort of recap for those of us that haven’t played all of the handheld spin-offs that have come out since KH2’s release.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix will be released for the PS3 this September. Everyone who preorders the game will get a free 24 page artbook, which features an original illustration by Nomura.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is currently in development for the PS4 and Xbox One. A release date hasn’t been announced, but hopefully Square can develop it faster than Final Fantasy Versus XIII/FFXV.