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 BIRTH BY SLEEP
The keywords of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep: “Connections of the heart.”
— What kind of theme is drawn up in the story of KH Birth by Sleep (BbS below)?
Nomura: The theme seems to revolves between “connections of the heart” and “fate.” When it is played last, the player will understand that the KH story that take place afterwards is one “not of chance, but a story that becomes inevitable.” Unlike the tender atmosphere of the older games, this one is serious. Because it is a very sad story, people have asked “how do you manage it?” when involving Disney works. (Smiles) A painful story unfolds. Though KH “isn’t that kind of thing”, this time we’ll try to progress the story in that direction.
— Terra, Ventus, and Aqua appear as the main three characters, but what kind of characters are each of them?
Nomura: Terra is the type who makes his goal’s his highest priority. But he’s not a bad fellow, though his stress on obtaining his goals causes conflict. The story of Ventus seems to feel closer to the ones of KH seen so far. He is able to make friends with the dwellers of the worlds he visits and is the type to blend into a world naturally. Aqua is a serious character, she has a steady mind and often worries about the other two. She is eyewitness to the recent events, therefore she takes that sort of a standpoint.
— How does the story of these three advance?
Nomura: They advance by taking separate actions on the same time axis. For example, when Terra visits a certain world and the other two people have not been there yet. There by naturally the connection to the particular world changes too. Such story development will really be the charm of BbS.
— As for the play order of each character, can the player decide?
Nomura: I assume that it’s being developed right now. Therefore depending on the order chosen by the player, if they have not played as Terra yet, and they choose Aqua and start visiting worlds with her, they’ll understand the actions of Terra early. (Smiles) That might not be what was expected or hoped for, but I think it will be a little interesting.
— If all 3 characters come together in the ending, will the entire image of the story become clear?
Nomura: Indeed. For instance, the mysteries of Terra are revealed in Ventus’s story. Overall, it’ll have this type of composition.
— Terra is power based, and the from the demo it’s obvious Ventus is based on combo + speed, but what type of character is Aqua?
Nomura: Aqua is special. As for the type, she is magic based, though it is considerably tricky. Fight while rotating like a spinning object, doing cartwheels, that sort of thing. (Smiles)
— After grasping the feel of the game play, the combat system seems considerably based on powering up.
Nomura: Seems like it, with locking on to multiple enemies using the Shoot Lock System to attack and customizing the deck of skills. At the demo the deck of skills was already pre set, but in the actual game you’ll be able to edit it freely. At first BbS was expected to have a fighting system closest to the older games, but now it seems that KH 358/2 Days is and BbS’s system has evolved. The feeling is more like, “you can’t fight like Sora with this system,” therefore a real taste of managing the keyblade is shown.
— Of the stories heard in these three titles, it seems BbS will probably be the last to release, are you thinking about future titles after these?
Nomura: Considering the nature the KH series, I do not intend to end it here. Even as BbS is being made, I am thinking about the future and how it connects. Thus, please continue to support the KH series.