Director: Tetsuya Nomura
Co-Director: Hajime Tabata
—This time there is high quality graphics, but do you think it will be a success on the mobile phone?
Tabata: I don’t know yet, though it’s development specs are very close to Final Fantasy XIII Agito’s.
—About the game’s concept?
Nomura: It is not a concept limited to this game, but we wanted to create a fun playground. Though Tabata mentioned he wanted to make it like Disneyland. There are various attractions (contents), that’s the image of this game.
Tabata: The very beginning of it started late one night, Nomura was explaining the contents of the mobile phone on a white board and the idea arose.
Nomura: At that point, I wasn’t thinking about continuing the Kingdom Hearts series. But I had this concept… And it began from that sort of talk…
Tabata: That concept was really interesting. Though it’d take great effort, we said let’s do it with Kingdom Hearts, so it came to be.
Nomura: This title will be distributed in a format that will spread the story, but we’re thinking of various components that will adapt to these circumstances. Like with Before Crisis -FFVII- and Monotone, various battle systems and episodes were implemented. Incorporating the know how gained from those games plus new experiments, I think this mobile game will be a compilation of these features.
—This game sounds like a great idea. As for the setting, is it taking place after Kingdom Hearts II?
Nomura: Yes. But because the stages of the story are made mainly of data from Jiminy’s Journal, Sora appears as he did in the first Kingdom Hearts. This Sora is not the genuine Sora, it is made out of data. Even so, it’s organic existence is not a matter of concern, the data version contains Sora’s memories of the adventures up to now and it will solve the truths of the past.
—So it seems with the sensation of a genuine Sora, we’ll be able to enjoy the adventures with the unchanged Sora. Will the story in the real world develop too?
Nomura: I think there might be some development in the real world. There is story hypothesizing, but how far it will spread from there depends on how much the fans play.
—In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories we adventured around the worlds of the first Kingdom Hearts. If the story revolves around the worlds made of data that are created from the same adventures written in Jiminy’s Journal, how will this game greatly differ from it?
Nomura: It’s different from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories where the contents were reliving the worlds from Sora’s memories. This game tells a new side of the story in the data world that is eroded by bugs. By this process, the mysteries about where the King was and what Riku was doing during the Kingdom Hearts time frame is explained.
—Considering the lines “free them from their torment”, have the people being referred to appeared in the series before?
Nomura: As expected, I can’t answer that right now. An appearing enemies will be heartless made from data, but who could the real enemy be? Matching those parts together, I can’t say anymore about it yet.
—How will the battles be?
Tabata: The battles are characteristic of the Kingdom Hearts series, but I sense the button operations on the mobile phone will be simple. A new element will also be implemented. An example being Debugging Mode, it uses a system with a certain sense of trickery in order to exterminate the bugs.
—What kind of elements that make use of the communication functions were you thinking of?
Tabata: The intention is to be able to go back and forth in the worlds between players. For example, Player A eradicates the bugs in their world, and then even if they could not go ahead earlier, they can solve a problem from Player B’s world, and then return back to their world. This sort of system where people meet mutually is under development.
—The erosion of the bugs spreading day by day, is that the sort of image we’ll see?
Tabata: Perhaps it’ll be something like that. One of the concepts was to have it so the player could check once a day on the state of things.
—Please say any last statements.
Tabata: Out of the series, this game can be played very casually. I think the people experiencing Kingdom Hearts for the first time can enjoy it too.
Nomura: Including this title, the intention is to prepare a fun playground everyone can enjoy. I think it’ll be available a little earlier, so there’s always the opening day to look forward to.