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News ► Famitsu interviews Nomura on Kingdom Hearts 4 and Missing-Link



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Sign

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Famitsu has released an interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. He shares his thoughts on the 20th anniversary and discusses the newly announced Kingdom Hearts 4 and Missing-Link.

-- Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the Kingdom Heart series.

Nomura: Thank you.

-- How does it feel, looking back on these past 20 years?

Nomura: When I look back, I realize how much time has passed, though it certainly doesn't feel that way as of late.

-- It's been three years since Kingdom Hearts III released.

Nomura: That's right. But during those three years, we've wrapped up Kingdom Hearts Union X and released Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, Melody of Memory, and the cloud versions on Nintendo Switch, so time seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.

-- This series has been going on for 20 years, but there are many young fans as well. It really hit me when I saw the attendees at the 20th anniversary event.

Nomura: Yes, that's right. I feel that Kingdom Hearts has many fans who are relatively young. I think the appearance of Disney properties arouses their interest.

-- There were a lot of valuable materials exhibited at the venue. You had a message posted on Sora's statue, but there was a letter "x" on the third line from the bottom. What does it mean?

Nomura: It contains a hidden message, and the "x" is a clue. I've seen people discussing it on social media, but no one seems to have arrived at the answer yet.

過去の振り返りをしてみると
思えばこのキングダムハーツは
自分の持ち得る全でを注いで来た作品です。
完成してどうしても抜け殻になりがちですが
皆さんに喜んで頂きたいと
いつもそういう気持ちで心を奮い立たせて来ました。
    作中語られる心の物語とは、
その行方、もういなくなってしまったり
もう会えなくなった離れた心への願いです。
いつも心は
傍にあるという思いを込めています。
x
20年支えて頂き本当に感謝しています。
そしてこれからもよろしくお願いします

-- I did think there was something rather peculiar about the phrasing of that message, with the "x," line breaks, etc. There must be a trick to it.

Nomura: It was very difficult to come up with (wry smile). I wanted to convey a message through my thoughts on the 20th anniversary in the text as you see it. I had to make it look a little unnatural so that people would discover the mystery, and then plant the hidden message on top of that.

-- I'll try to decipher it myself later (laughs).

Nomura: It's pretty hard, isn't it? None of our staff could figure it out either (laughs).

-- I was surprised by the faithful recreation of the area surrounding Shibuya Hikarie, the venue in which the event took place, in the Kingdom Hearts 4 trailer. Did you purposefully decide to hold the event there?

Nomura: We wanted to do it at Shibuya Hikarie if possible. Shibuya is an easily recognizable landmark, and you can recreate the real world more realistically in a game if you're familiar with the setting.

-- Is Shibuya part of the world of Quadratum?

Nomura: Yes, it is.

-- While we're on that topic, is there any possibility of a reunion with the characters from The World Ends With You, who appeared in Kingdom Hearts 3D?

Nomura: Strictly speaking, it is a different world from the Shibuya of The World Ends With You. Some fans believe there is a connection to TWEWY and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins, but there's really no such thing.

-- Is the room where Sora wakes up also in Shibuya?

Nomura: That is located in Minami-Aoyama.

-- A great location! (laughs) So you've even established that?

Nomura: Yes, we've also specified the room layout. The furniture and whatnot haven't been decided yet, so the interior will be undergoing some changes. That room will serve as the base for the early parts of the game.

-- What kind of world is Quadratum? In Melody of Memory, it was described as "the other side of our world." Is this a new world that does not belong to the Realm of Light, Realm of Darkness, or Realm Between?

Nomura: That's one interpretation.

-- In the trailer's narration, Quadratum was described as "a world full of life- but for you and I, it's similar to an "afterworld," I suppose." What does this mean?

Nomura: It means that perception changes depending on your viewpoint. The Master of Masters says something along those lines in UX.

From Sora's point of view, Quadratum is a world on the other side of his own world and reality: a fictional world. However, from the point of view of the inhabitants of Quadratum, their world is the real one, and the place Sora and his friends hail from is the other side, the fictional world.

This time, I think the theme will be something akin to the "contrast between people from different positions."

-- I see. The narrator is Strelitzia, and she's also from Sora's side, so that's why she says "for us," right?

Nomura: That's correct.

-- I've been told that the male narrator is the same person who voiced over the footage of Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link?

Nomura: Yes, it's the same character being played by the same person. The character is someone who has already appeared in the series, but this is the first time they've been voiced.

-- The place where Donald and Goofy are is the original world, right? What would a realistic Sora look like in the original world?

Nomura: Donald and Goofy are looking for clues to Sora in the original world. Everything you saw in the trailer before the title appeared is from Quadratum, and Sora will look realistic there, but if he returns to the original world, then the shaders will make him look like Donald and Goofy.

-- The battle scenes show Keyblade transformations and free-running, giving the impression that this is an evolution of Kingdom Hearts III.

Nomura: Yes, that's right. In the video, you can also see button icons that appear when an enemy punches you. You can think of that like the reaction commands we had in Kingdom Hearts II.

-- Oh, so it's a command that appears briefly under certain circumstances and, if successfully executed, triggers a special action.

Nomura: The reason it's appears with a black circle is because we haven't announced the platforms yet.

-- I see.

Nomura: After KH3 released, we saw quite a few people asking for reaction commands to return, so we brought them back.

-- The word "Build" is at the bottom of the command window on the lower left. What does it refer to?

Nomura: The battle concept this time around is "Scrap & Build," with Build being the command that represents it.

-- "Scrap & Build"... What is that exactly?

Nomura: I can't give you the details yet, but destruction and reconfiguration are key. Please wait for more information.

-- Kingdom Hearts 4 lies in the Lost Master Arc, but to what saga does Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link belong to?

Nomura: The Kingdom Hearts series does not solely include the Dark Seeker Arc up to Kingdom Hearts 3, and the Lost Master Arc from Kingdom Hearts 4. There is also the X series that includes Kingdom Hearts X, Union X, and Dark Road. Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link is a work that fills in the blank period and bridges them together.

-- We see Brain in the trailer for KHML. Is he the main character?

Nomura: No, the main character will be the player themselves. It's a create-an-avatar game like KH Unchained X.

-- The game seems quite challenging, with a focus on action-packed battles that can be enjoyed in multiplayer, as well as the addition of location-based game elements utilizing AR technology. You say that you can move around without actually leaving the house. Does you mean the character is the one who can do the moving?

Nomura: Yes. There's a Street View in Google Maps, isn't there? You just tap on the place you want to see and it'll take you there. I imagine KHML to be just like that.

-- So suppose I wanted to go to Okinawa on foot.

Nomura: You certainly could, but it'd take quite a bit of time to get there (laughs). By using points, you can teleport immediately to the place you want to go.

-- So if you don't want to spend the points, you can go out and walk around yourself. It's up to the player.

Nomura: Correct.

-- If the field is linked to the real world, does that mean we won't see any Disney worlds in the game?

Nomura: We're experimenting with a variety of things, but depending on the timing, the terrain and atmosphere will be partially based on Disney world motifs.

In the early stages of development, we covered the entire map with all sorts of motifs as though it were a skin, but it seemed like overkill, so we're trying to balance things out.

-- Collecting figure-like pieces sounds pretty interesting, and multi-action battles seem like they'll be fun.

Nomura: I'm trying to do something sharp that I can't do in the main story. Please look forward to the closed beta test scheduled for this fall.

An expanded version of the interview will be published in the May 12-19 issue of Weekly Famitsu (on sale April 28).

 
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Chie

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The voice has to be Sigurd, right? That's the feeling I get.
 

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Funny how Nomura kinda sorta dodged the question of if TWEWY characters will show up.
What bothers me about it is that he thinks we are saying these stories are connected but in reality what people are saying is that they want to see the characters in this location xD
 

bambii

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The voice has to be Sigurd, right? That's the feeling I get.
Seems most plausible given his lines in the ML trailer. “The night you awoke in this world” as the camera centers on Brain.

Or one of the KHDR cast. A young Odin perhaps? Who knows.
 

LoneFox

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The voice has to be Sigurd, right? That's the feeling I get.
Yes. In theory it could also be Odin, as ML is probably set in his youth, but then the KH4 version would be him at least at the age he is in DR, and the voice simply doesn't sound old enough for that. The DR folks haven't been born yet in ML.

And this means the mask rule ("every time you see one or more masks, they are hiding something important") applies again. We didn't pay attention to Sigurd before, because nobody expected a full game set in this timeline to be released, but now it's obvious that he is an important character.
 

Chie

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I definitely thought about Sigurd. The way he knew that Brain would arrive in that time, and was part of some organization that has wireless communication, made him come off as some kind of "time cop" like character to me.

I strongly think that organization will be the protagonist's team in Missing Link, due to the similar fashion of the player characters shown. The man in white also seems to be using codec communication in the trailer.
 

ivaannom

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BTW I'll explain how the riddle goes and what's the secret message since a lot of people most likely don't know japanese.

First of all you have to write all the message in hiragana until the X

Now, then remember X in roman numbers is 10. Then look at the form of the X

I had number's and spaces put in here but the forum deletes the spaces and messes up with the text i'll just leave the text in a quote
のふりかえりをてみると
おもばこのきんだむ はーつは
じぶんもちえすべてをそそいできたさくひんです。
かんせいうしてもぬけがらになりがちですが
みなさんにろこんでいただきたいと
いつもそきもちでこころをふるいたたせてきました。
-- さくゅうかられるこころのものがたりとは、
そのくえ、もうなくなってしまったり
あえなくなったなれたこころへのねがいです。
つもこころは
そばにあるというおもいをこめています。
x

Now, what does it say? こえのしょうたいはしぐるどようちゅうい, 声の正体はシグルド要注意. The voice identity is Sigurd, special attention.
 
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LoneFox

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definitely thought about Sigurd. The way he knew that Brain would arrive in that time, and was part of some organization that has wireless communication, made him come off as some kind of "time cop" like character to me.

I strongly think that organization will be the protagonist's team in Missing Link, due to the similar fashion of the player characters shown. The man in white also seems to be using codec communication in the trailer.
He is quite obviously a high-ranked member (not the top leader but a prince or master scientist or something like that) of the Secret Society of Keyblade Wielders mentioned in the masterpost. They known about Brain's arrival, because Luxu gave that info (and the hat) to them, possibly already to Ephemer at the early days of Scala.
 

rokudamia2

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The interviewer didn't mention stranger of paradise, why did nomura bring it up?
 

Silver_Soul

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BTW I'll explain how the riddle goes and what's the secret message since a lot of people most likely don't know japanese.

First of all you have to write all the message in hiragana until the X

Now, then remember X in roman numbers is 10. Then look at the form of the X

I had number's and spaces put in here but the forum deletes the spaces and messes up with the text i'll just leave the text in a quote


Now, what does it say? こえのしょうたいはしぐるどよ, 声の正体はシグルドよ. The voice identity is Sigurd.

I skip the the last partうちゅうい? or does it want to say 注意ちゅうい? But then what's the u before? Anyways i think the message it's only until "Sigurd"
By Golly I think you solved it!
 

Sign

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The interviewer didn't mention stranger of paradise, why did nomura bring it up?
I think he thinks he's getting ahead of things, despite misunderstanding what fans were asking for.
 

ivaannom

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The interviewer didn't mention stranger of paradise, why did nomura bring it up?

JP youtuber toro had some theories about this, i guess Nomura just said that to not confuse more people(?)

By Golly I think you solved it!

A lot of japanese people have solved it today when Nomura mentioned that in the interview and that's what i got from a few hints
 

Alpha Baymax

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-- Kingdom Hearts 4 lies in the Lost Master Arc, but to what saga does Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link belong to?

Nomura: The Kingdom Hearts series does not solely include the Dark Seeker Arc up to Kingdom Hearts 3, and the Lost Master Arc from Kingdom Hearts 4. There is also the X series that includes Kingdom Hearts X, Union X, and Dark Road. Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link is a work that fills in the blank period and bridges them together.
This is an interesting revelation, I wonder if the time period when Terra and Aqua were kids would fit into the X series in the future?
 
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