Director: Tetsuya Nomura
Co-Director: Tomohiro Hasegawa
Producer: Kouji Yamamoto
—Please tell us the meaning of the title, “358/2”.
Nomura: We made it more like a code on purpose. After clearing the game for the first time, you’ll understand it. The title also has the word ‘Days’, but the game progresses by playing day by day, revealing the daily life of Organization XIII.
—At this point in the story, Roxas has entered Organization XIII, will it tie into Kingdom Hearts II?
Nomura: We’re planning to cover his entrance into Organization XIII briefly. The central story takes place over about a year during the time Sora is sleeping. Roxas is given a mission daily by Organization XIII, but since he just joined them, he does not understand much about the Organization. As the story progresses he starts questioning them, finally he leaves Organization XIII. The reason for his falling out is the main topic of the story.
—Will we go around the Disney Worlds in this game too?
Nomura: The worlds appear, but the relationships are different this time.
Hasegawa: In the circumstance of Roxas, if he associates with too many people, then it becomes inconsistent with KHII, so I’m thinking of putting in a different play dynamic for each world. The appearing worlds will mainly be from previous games, but we’ll choose the ones that are best suited to the game.
—This screenshot is interesting, it’s of the 14th member of Organization XIII, but it looks like Naminé.
Nomura: No, it’s not Naminé.
—So has this person appeared before?
Nomura: It’s a secret (smiles). The story takes place before KHII, but in KHII it was Organization “XIII”, not “Organization XIV”. Though the 14th appears, the 14th is not the reason for this game. Her point is that she is a key character.
—Will Sora and Riku appear at all…?
Hasegawa: Because I think the players know that Riku is destined to fight against Roxas, that scene will appear by all means. And about Sora’s situation, he’s sleeping and rebuilding his memory, so we’re considering a system that shows every important point of his memory. It’s still in an idea stage, but we want a system to emphasize the surface connection of Roxas and Sora.
—Will the basic game system operate in the traditional Kingdom Hearts sense?
Hasegawa: That’s right. It’s important to keep the natural Kingdom Hearts feel. But, the problem is with the number of buttons.
Yamamoto: The problem is, the Kingdom Hearts games until now made full use of the analog stick, control pad, and L & R buttons, but the Nintendo DS has only a few buttons. We’re considering the various ways of utilizing the buttons it does have.
—Does the story link between the single mode and multiplay mode?
Nomura: No, the multiplay mode doesn’t. It would become too hectic, and the story’s progression would become out of order. However, we’re thinking about an item and growth element that will operate together. This growth component has the freedom to customize and makes common use of both modes to the maximum. But, it’s not just the actions in multiplay mode that affect the growth of Roxas.
—So in multiplay mode all of the Organization XIII members are playable?
Nomura: Yes, that’s how it’ll be.
Hasegawa: Treat it like a parallel universe. Since as the story progresses, some members are terminated from the story line.
Yamamoto: Since every character’s attributes and skills are different, it’ll be enjoyable. Everyone’s weapons are different too. Zexion’s book and Demyx’s sitar are the highlights.
—How will the multiplay proceed?
Hasegawa: You receive and clear various missions. Naturally there is something like a boss to defeat, or escape using teamwork, a map to keep track of things, and a lot of gimmicks and puzzle solving.
Yamamoto: Many are prepared for short play throughs, and can be played many times. Scores are kept of things suck as ‘attack’. Working together is not the only thing you can do, it has great potential for waging a competition or contest.
—Will the missions be given by Xemnas?
Nomura: Yeah, but not only from him, I’m thinking about various methods.
Hasegawa: With that, the talk went in strange directions. We were thinking if you accomplish the mission, then the chairs the Organization sits upon in the white room could become taller (smiles).
Yamamoto: In this stage of multiplay, the result indication thing really accommodates.
Nomura: This really seems to need work (smiles).
—What are the other elements of multiplay?
Yamamoto: You can draw on the lower screen. Because it’s in real time synchronization, someone can be drawing something and then have it quickly erased by someone else, it’s fun (smiles). We want to think of mission that implement this element.
—Any last messages to the reader?
Hasegawa: In this announcement there are other KH titles too, but since this is the only one with multiplay capabilities, please look forward to it.
Yamamoto: What kind of game gives you 13 characters to choose from in multiplay, it’s unusual. Because each character is unique and interesting, please look forward to playing them.
Nomura: Naturally the multiplay is one of the concepts, but the elements of the Kingdom Hearts story characteristics are important too, even for a casual player. It’s not just single play, but because multiplay is possible, one can only achieve so much playing singularly. This game features many elements, I’m happy with it.