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News ► TWEWY staff on the possibility of Neku in Dissidia, how they would approach a TWEWY sequel, and more



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Oracle Spockanort

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ARTNIA hosted a special closed door event on October 30th to celebrate the release of The World Ends With You - Final Remix- on the Nintendo Switch. A few of the TWEWY staff were in attendance, including TWEWY creative producer and Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura, TWEWY - Final Remix - producer Tomohiko Hirano, TWEWY series director Tatsuya Kando, and TWEWY - Live Remix - & Dissidia: Final Fantasy producer Ichiro Hazama sat down with fans to discuss the game and answered questions by fans who were lucky to attend the event.


You can read the translation of the full Q&A recap by Famitsu thanks to Goldpanner:

Q: The TWEWY characters apeared in KH3D - are there plans for them to appear in KHIII?
Nomura: They won't appear!

Q: Please put more songs from TWEWY in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival!
Hazama: I'll get yelled at later if I go and promise something like that here (sweating). I will say that I don't think there'd be any issues copyright-wise. I'll talk to the developers! If they don't end up getting in blame me…

Q: Please do another KH Collab Cafe!
Nomura:
As I've said before, there are extremely high hurdles to clear to get a KH Collab Cafe to happen. I am doing my best.

Matsushita: If it doesn't happen, blame it on our incompetence!

Q: Will you release replica Neku headphones?
Hirano: There aren't any plans in the works right now, but people do ask for them, so I will look into whether it is possible, including potential collaborators.

Kando: Headphones that play Twister on repeat, or...? (Laughs) Well, to get a little real here, (if we do make them) you have to actually buy them (animated cross talk.)

Q: What's your favourite pin? Do you have any secret stories from development?
Kando:
I like the ghost in Vol.4. It was very popular during development, too. When we were working on the DS version, we had in-house pin design competitions. The development staff weren't the only people who participated - we also had contributions from people who did all kinds of work within the company.

Q: I want figures of the TWEWY characters!
Hirano: There's already a Neku in the works. The rest depends on Matsushita.

Matsushita: Give me money to make it (laughs). TWEWY is also popular in North America and Europe. Figures tend to sell well worldwide, so the probability is not zero.

Q: I want you to do a live show!
Kando:
We have done about two of those so far. It has been rather a long time since the last one, I do feel like it's about time to talk to Ishimoto.

Hirano: There has been talk about wanting to do one. But, we don't know whether we can make it happen. There's the venue circumstances and such. If it doesn't happen, blame it on my incompetence...

Q: At karaoke joints there's Twister - Original ver and Someday in the databank, but could you have them add other songs too?
Hirano: I have no idea how that worked out back then, and I don't actually know the details on the process, but if we get an offer I will gladly accept!

Kando: It depends on whether we get requests. First, you all have to sing heaps, or ask them, or make sure your entire song history is "Someday" (laughs).

Q: Please sell the Maki-e style stickers that were part of the limited edition package!
Hirano: They were made as limited edition items, so we can't release the exact same ones, but I'm sure Matsushita has what it takes to develop merch out of them.

Matsushita: I didn't have much experience producing Maki-e style stickers up until then, and I personally find them very interesting items. I'll consider it.

Q: How does Neku's hairstyle work in the back?
Nomura: It's not tied up, it's loose. It's a bit hard to tell because of his clothes, though.

Matsushita: You'll be able to tell when you look at the figure! (Advertising)

Q: If you were to make a sequel, how would you handle the world, setting etc?
Kando: I would want it to reflect whatever society is like at the time. For example, in TWEWY FR, it would have felt weird to turn Neku and the others' phones into smartphones, so we just left things as they were. But, if we do a new title, then I want to use the gadgets and such of whatever time it is. Maybe they'll be fiddling with smartphones, maybe they'll be communicating via brain waves (laughs).

Q: The voice actors are all very popular now, but they were still newbies back then. Can you tell me about the casting process?
Nomura: It was based on my tastes (laughs). I met Neku's voice actor Uchiyama when he was about 12 or so… in elementary school anyway, and I really liked him. He was too young for the role he was auditioning for at that time, but I kept him in mind for future opportunities. From there he was cast as the voice of Roxas, and then Neku.

Q: Do you have any secret stories about the character designs?
Nomura: I didn't really go back and forth much with the TWEWY characters - I had an image of them from the very beginning. I already knew the plot and subject matter before I got the request for illustrations, so I drew what was in my mind without paying much attention to the content of the request. I had a very solid image of Megumi (Kitaniji). Rhyme was originally a boy, but I made her a girl.

Kando: And then we rewrote the scenario. When I got the picture of the boss wearing shades I was like, what! (Laughs). At the time there had been a succession of heavy hitter titles like KH & FF, so TWEWY was a fastball. I feel like the follow-through was working out how to enjoy that fastball.  

Q: I want LINE stamps!
Hirano: Oh yes, LINE stamps. We could have "So zetta slow!"

Kando:
And "Sine! Cosine! Tangent!" They're all gonna end up being from Sho Minamimoto (laughs.)

Q: What is Kariya really holding: a lollipop or an ankodama*?
Kando: As someone on the team: it was supposed to be a lollipop. The original title had low resolution that made the black border on the coloured-in candy blurry and bleed out, which I guess made it look like a brown ankodama. In the Nintendo Switch version, it looks like a proper Chupa… uh, lollipop, like a lollipop! (Laughs)

Q: I want to play Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII again!
Nomura: I'm not sure everyone knows this, but I am currently working on a remake of FFVII…… (Laughs). I am concentrating on KHIII right now, but when it's done, I plan to turn my focus to that. I'm thinking of ideas for the remake release - I talked to producer Kitahase just today. All kinds of old dudes are thinking about all kinds of developments to connect to the remake. It could even be a compilation title. For now, please wait for FFVII's turn to come.

Q: Will TWEWY characters ever appear in Dissidia FF?
Hazama: I won't say they won't ever, but first there are many FF characters who haven't appeared yet. I'll consider things going forward based on that as well as demand.

Nomura: That's a tricky one…… perhaps they could show up in FF Record Keeper.

(They also talk about how Kando appears as the voice of a soldier in the Nov 6 2018 release World of Final Fantasy Maxima. Nomura says, "You did it again? Show off!" Kando protests that he was invited. Then they talk about how in an era where it was the norm to create the pixel sprites first before drawing any illustrations, Nomura in his work on FFV made illustrations before the sprites. Kando says Nomura was unlike anybody else.)

Final Comments

Hirano: Thank you for supporting us. It's thanks to you that TWEWY FR was able to be made. I am going to keep working hard on TWEWY-related things from now on too, so thank you in advance for your support!

Kando: With this passionate response, it's unbelievable that the game is 11 years old. We on the development team acknowledge it, and we do not want to let it go to waste. If we can, we will make something new. I'm looking forward to creating another chance to meet you all like this again.

Hazama: I wasn't involved in the development of the DS version of TWEWY. It was purely a game I enjoyed playing. To this day, when I go overseas, I get asked whether TWEWY will get a sequel. Things like that have me feeling such a high level of passion for this game. I hope for your continued support so that I can try and make the things you've asked for happen.

Nomura: I did suffer a disappointment today when my ramen was soggy, but if we do decide to make a sequel, then we will hold another event, and there I want to have proper ramen (laughs). Kantatsu (nickname for Kando) is working very hard, so please wait for the day when we can give you some more information.

*Ankodama: a traditional Japanese confection made of sweet bean paste that is rolled into a ball

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Luminary

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(RIP Nomura's ramen. No man should suffer a soggy ramen.)

I like the suggestion that the FF7R might eventually include parts of the wider compilation. I’m really excited to see what Nomura has done with it next year.

Btw, if there isn’t a KH3 trailer at the Inside Xbox event this weekend, you can change my username to Soggy Ramen until KH3’s release. Bet. :p
 

Oracle Spockanort

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I like the suggestion that the FF7R might eventually include parts of the wider compilation. I’m really excited to see what Nomura has done with it next year.

Yeah, early on Nomura wouldn't commit to saying if Compilation content would make its way into FF7R, so it is nice to see it may be happening. I'd like to see the characters from Before Crisis and Crisis Core at least get referenced or serve as background characters with side quests. Much of the events of Before Crisis were in the past but the game does eventually end with the end of FF7.

And I'm glad that there are old FF7 and Compilation staff looking into something to get these games to fans now as we get closer(?) to 7R.
 

Ballad of Caius

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It's funny they mentioned Before Crisis, seeing as how, back before the 3DS' release, someone from Square said that they were observing the 3DS as a potential console to port BC into.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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It's funny they mentioned Before Crisis, seeing as how, back before the 3DS' release, someone from Square said that they were observing the 3DS as a potential console to port BC into.

Tabata said that. The possibility was super low back then due to how Matsuda was operating things. Now, it would probably end up being a mobile port even though it'd make a nice Switch title.

Make no mistake, though. Nomura talking the way he did was more about making people forget Before Crisis was even mentioned.
 

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Please no more FF7 complitation stuff. BC was the only remotely good one. Crisis Core was decent. Everything else was terrible especially DoC. Besides the bad gameplay, I will never forget how badly Lucrecia's character got destroyed in that game.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Please no more FF7 complitation stuff. BC was the only remotely good one. Crisis Core was decent. Everything else was terrible especially DoC. Besides the bad gameplay, I will never forget how badly Lucrecia's character got destroyed in that game.

I don’t think they intend on making new content for the Compilation, but rather revisit the old stuff or find ways to get it to fans now that they aren’t easily accessible.
 

KeyToDestiny

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I don’t think they intend on making new content for the Compilation, but rather revisit the old stuff or find ways to get it to fans now that they aren’t easily accessible.

Is that even possible? I thought they didn't touch DoC and especially CC because of Genesis who was based off Gackt and the relationship with SE and Gackt went sour hence why DoC and CC weren't available on PSN for the longest time.

Then again the Gackt thing was a rumor I heard back in the day. Don't know if it was true or not.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Is that even possible? I thought they didn't touch DoC and especially CC because of Genesis who was based off Gackt and the relationship with SE and Gackt went sour hence why DoC and CC weren't available on PSN for the longest time.

Then again the Gackt thing was a rumor I heard back in the day. Don't know if it was true or not.

It had to do with an artist, yes. It was likely Gackt knowing how he is, and also probably some rights issues with Ayaka’s “Why” in CC. They only just started discussing things with staff, though. We’ll see what happens. It’s been many years since those games so they might have better luck now.

Also depends on how their contracts were written.
 

KeyToDestiny

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It had to do with an artist, yes. It was likely Gackt knowing how he is, and also probably some rights issues with Ayaka’s “Why” in CC. They only just started discussing things with staff, though. We’ll see what happens. It’s been many years since those games so they might have better luck now.

Also depends on how their contracts were written.

Ahh I see. Makes sense copyright concerning the songs would play into the factor of why CC was hands off for a long time. Really wonder why Nomura was so obsessed with Gackt back in those days but alas Nomura was going through a phase back then.
 

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I saw this interview the other day, so I'm glad it surfaced here.

First of all...I want that line stamp that says "So zetta slow."

Second, I think Nomura is a bit head of himself to use the word compilation. And I'm a little surprised someone asked for Before Crisis instead of Crisis Core. Anyways, it seems they are still brainstorming ideas. I hope they just set the story straight in one go rather than it being a remake series. Vincent Valentine is cool, but I feel like DoC can be cut if need be.

Third, I'm a bit mixed on TWEWY being incorporated into Dissida. I mean, the series never introduced characters outside of Final Fantasy, but it would be totally cool to see Neku.

Also, Rhyme was originally a boy? Cool factoid.
 

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Having watched a playthrough of TWEWY now, I'd LOVE a shirt of Sho that says "So zetta slow". He kinda reminds me of my best friend, which is funny given how much I'm like Joshua.

The FR stuff certainly did seem like it was preparing for a sequel... I'd be disappointed if they leave it where they did. Lastly, I'm actually happy they won't be in KH3, just because I'd like to really explore Sora's friendships with all of them and I just get the impression that's better left till later in the series.
 

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My heart breaks at the confirmation that we're not getting any TWEWY returns in KH3, though I knew it was a long shot in the first place. Also, glad to see that hopes for a sequel still carry on, and here's to them coming true some day!
 

Pokie

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Please no more FF7 complitation stuff. BC was the only remotely good one.

I can't stand Before Crisis because of how they changed the Nibelhiem Accident. Cloud is supposed to twist and fly Sephiroth into the Mako, instead, Sephiroth just jumps in. It cuts Cloud's character because he's supposed to learn that all along that he was stronger than he originally thought that he was. It was inspirational.

Last Order had the same annoying change.

I can't remember how Crisis Core did the Nibelhiem Accident, it's been about five years.


About TWENY, I think it's best that Square doesn't do anything- unless they have really good ideas that they are confident in that can work.
 

DarkosOverlord

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I can't stand Before Crisis because of how they changed the Nibelhiem Accident. Cloud is supposed to twist and fly Sephiroth into the Mako, instead, Sephiroth just jumps in. It cuts Cloud's character because he's supposed to learn that all along that he was stronger than he originally thought that he was. It was inspirational.

Last Order had the same annoying change.

I can't remember how Crisis Core did the Nibelhiem Accident, it's been about five years.

Count yourself lucky: at least your gripe isn't with the most beloved moment of many fans.

I have a similar issues in Crisis Core with Zack's demise: literally everybody and their mothers loved that sequence, and I think it underlined perfectly my problem with these "side titles": it was all flash and big feels, when I think Zack's original death scene was more meaningful.
No matter who you are and what you did, you could always die by a handful of bullets shot at you by surprised, in complete and utter silence. And nobody will know.
It was classic FF VII fatalism.

But no, let's have Zack charge an entire army in a Whitebeard-esque death because it's kewl.
 

Pokie

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Count yourself lucky: at least your gripe isn't with the most beloved moment of many fans.

I have a similar issues in Crisis Core with Zack's demise: literally everybody and their mothers loved that sequence, and I think it underlined perfectly my problem with these "side titles": it was all flash and big feels, when I think Zack's original death scene was more meaningful.
No matter who you are and what you did, you could always die by a handful of bullets shot at you by surprised, in complete and utter silence. And nobody will know.
It was classic FF VII fatalism.

But no, let's have Zack charge an entire army in a Whitebeard-esque death because it's kewl.


I think it's loved because Zack was so optimistic and heroic and he just wanted to save a friend and get back alive and you play the whole game just loving this guy. I agree with you though! The original felt more realistic and harsher. In RL you don't usually have the time to say goodbye, do a final speech etc- you just die. It's usually quick, sudden and harsh. Zack just makes one mistake and gets caught off-guard and is murdered on spot. It also reflects Aerith's death. Quick, sudden, no goodbyes, just harsh and painful.

FFVII said that death sucks and most of the time, it sucks so much, that we usually don't have the time to say goodbye.

Though I think that the CC Zack's demise is okay if you cut out the J-Pop music, no offense to J-Pop music, but it just makes it cheesy. Same with the whole "grab somebody's hand and fly into heaven ".
 
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