Dengeki Wii + DS Magazine containing an in depth interview with Kingdom Hearts director, Tetsuya Nomura. Thanks to Leno from Final Eclipse for typing up the original Japanese transcript from the article and posting it on his site. Please do not repost without crediting to Heartstation.
KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 DAYS
The keywords of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: “I can’t remember, something important.”
— First let’s talk about KH 358/2 Days, it features the nobody Roxas as the main character?
Nomura: The KH series has consistently revolved around the theme of the “heart”, but now Roxas is the main character who joins up with Organization XIII who are said not to have hearts. Since the original KH, heart and memory are thought to be closely linked, therefore the theme drawn in this title is that of “memories”. So this time the catch copy of the title also becomes keywords: “I can’t remember, something important.”
— Will the adventure of Roxas proceed the same as Sora did by traveling from world to world?
Nomura: It’ll be a little different. The main concern is the sticky situation with the worlds Sora has been since it can’t contradict with the story of KHII. This time the objective of the events happening in the Disney worlds is to influence Roxas, gradually producing some sort of change in him. For instance, in the Beauty and the Beast world, upon seeing the Beast and Belle, is Roxas able to recognize their love?
— Will the content of such scenarios move the player to tears?
Nomura: I write the base scenarios for KH every time, but this time I think the surprising content is really being able to get a feel for their quiet everyday lives. (Smiles) Personally, I don’t want the contents to resemble that of previous developments. When I’m writing, I never think things like, “Oh, this’ll make the player cry.” That process is really up to the players, right?
— Does the connection between the titles become a matter of concern?
Nomura: Naturally, there’s much to keep in mind. There are various parts to think about, like “this thing has to be connected with that kind of thing,” or fussing over things like the sea salt ice cream. (Smiles)
— So we heard the lines spoken by the 14th member at the private event held in August.
Nomura: Really it was planned to reveal her voice in the scenes at the next event. (Smiles) It’s a curious thing, everyone is wondering which character her voice connects to. Already people are guessing she is the nobody of some character, but then who is Xion really? What becomes of her heart? This will be explored more at Tokyo Game Show this Fall, so please look forward to it.
— Multi player mode is prepared for this title as well, what kind of concept were in mind?
Nomura: We wanted something simple that 4 players could communicate and enjoy together, but not be something that was just going to steal the game’s attention. The experience made in the main story can be utilized in multiplayer mode, likewise the experience made in multiplayer mode is useful in the main story, this system reflects them mutually.
— Because the player can choose from the members of Organization XIII in multiplayer mode, it seems like an adjustment to balance them would be needed…
Nomura: Indeed. But growth among them will be a common element. In the multiplayer mode, the characters can be customized based on the progress made by Roxas in the main story. That growth is based on the parts of data being transfered, it’s a fairly bold thing to do.
— Speaking of boldness, in the demo version, the player could operate the camera using the lower screen, that was also a bold idea.
Nomura: Moving the camera by directly moving one’s finger across the touch screen made sense, even for players who generally aren’t used to that sort of thing. It was also popular among staff, though it was their opinion that “it was difficult to operate with the stylus.” Therefore operating with the stylus is optional. (Smiles) Still, some people will resist touching the screen with their fingers. In the current version you could only survey left and right, I though that you wouldn’t need to look up or down, but the opinion of the staff was that “it’s inconvenient unless the player can look up.” Will there be room for improvement? (Smiles) The current demo is only one part of the game. At this time there are more cool things to do, so please look forward to it.