Pages 8 and 9 (Full Famitsu Interview) – Ryuji – [In Progress]
Interviewer: First of all, congratulations on the 20th year anniversary.
Nomura: Thank you very much.
Interviewer: How does it feel to have been with these series for 20 years?
Nomura: It’s still a hard fact to grasp, to tell you the truth. I have nothing but lots of gratitude to everyone who’ve supported the series.
Interviewer: And it has been three whole years since KH3, huh?
Nomura: Indeed, and inside those three years, we released tons of big things such as Melody of Memory, the PC ports and even the Nintendo Switch cloud ports.
Interviewer: According to our staff who was at the event, they said they could feel the passion of the fanbase inside the event.
Nomura: Yes. I’m so glad that the series has inspired both young and old people alike, given that this was a collaboration project with Disney.
[The Interviewer and Nomura then discuss his secret message. This is where we get that comment from Nomura previously where he said that “none of the staff” have figured it out.]
Interviewer: We have heard that KH3 is being developed using Unreal Engine 5, and that the trailer was in Unreal Engine 4. Even though that was an older version, it still looks stunning.
Nomura: Yes, we are carrying on with development using Unreal Engine 5. By the next time* you see Kingdom Hearts 4, it will most likely be already completely into the new engine.
*: “By the next time” = not in the near future, in this case. Famitsu hammers the point that we won’t see anything past E3’s period, which we’ve known previously.
Interviewer: Why did you want to hold the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event at Shibuya Hikarie?
Nomura: Shibuya is such a worldwide landmark, and I felt that it would be an easy choice for the event.
Interviewer: Regarding Shibuya, we know that characters from The World Ends With You appear in KH DDD, so is there any connection to that?
Nomura: No. I’ve noticed that some fans have speculated that the Shibuya in The World Ends With You or that the world that Jack’s friends come from in Stranger of Paradise have some connection to Quadratum, but I’m that one person that can tell you that” no, there is no connection to those at all”.
Interviewer: Is the room where Sora wakes up also in Shibuya?
Nomura: That is Minami-Aoyama in terms of location. However, the original location is different from the view from the balcony, so we will have the Osaka staff go there for location scouting later to make adjustments for the later revisions of the game.
Interviewer: So it is set up to that extent?
Nomura: Yes, that’s right. We have also specified the layout of the rooms, but the furniture, etc., has not been specified yet, so the interior will be changed. That room will be your base of operations in the early stages of the game.
Interviewer: What kind of world is Quadratum? In “KH Melody of Memory,” it was described as the “other side of reality known as unreality, a fictional world.” Does that mean it does not belong to the world of light, the world of darkness, or the world in between?
Nomura: That is correct.
Interviewer: In “KH Melody of Memory,” someone who knew Quadratum appeared. Will she appear in “KHIV”?
Nomura: That is still a secret, I’m afraid. As I said at the event, there was a time when I was not sure whether I would choose to name this title “KINGDOM HEARTS IV” or “VERUM REX”. But she is originally a character from VERUM REX, I’ll say that much.
Interviewer: I see, I see!
Nomura: To be frank with you, I was surprised with the overseas fans’ reaction to Yozora. I thought he wouldn’t perhaps be received positively, but I’m glad they’ve proved me wrong. (bitter laugh)
[Next, they talk about the narrator in the trailers, and tie back on how it was a “character we’ve known” and how the voice actor did two tones, and such.]
Interviewer: I noticed the logo got changed, huh?
Nomura: To signal that we have started a new saga, we decided to change the logo. The font and logo design do look simplistic compared to the previous, but although it is simple, I made sure that it would still capture the essence of Kingdom Hearts.
Interviewer: In the trailer, the narrator talks about the Society of the Heirs (継ぐ者の結社) and the Society of the Non-Heirs (継がざる者の結社). Could you explain more about that?
Nomura: Kingdom Hearts Missing Link is a story that takes place about four generations after Ephemer was alive. The main family that carries his bloodline is known as the Society of the Heirs (継ぐ者の結社) while the society of those who do not carry his bloodline are known as the Society of the Non-Heirs (継がざる者の結社).
Interviewer: Donald and Goofy are seen at the end of the trailer. How will the story develop if we know that Sora is in the real world (Quadratum)?
Nomura: As you could tell, they are currently looking for clues regarding Sora’s whereabouts. Sora looks more realistic because he is in Quadratum, and since Donald and Goofy aren’t, they’ve retained their cartoony style.
Interviewer: What’s the identity of the two black coats we see on the KH4 trailer?
Nomura: Sorry, but that’s still a secret. (laughs). However, what I can tell you is that alongside me, Akiko Ishibashi and Oka Masaru will be helping write the scenario for Kingdom Hearts IV.