It’s just a few days short of 2 weeks since KINGDOM HEARTS 3D [Dream Drop Distance]’s North American release, and all of us are still occupied with post-game content or chugging through Critical Mode playthroughs and challenges. Here’s a little something our brand new translator Zephyr whipped together for everyone: the interview with Co-Director Tai Yasue from the KH3D Ultimania! Hope you didn’t forget about that already, because I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read!
As our KH3D spoiler ban will not lift until October 31st, please read with caution if you have yet to play or beat the game.
Major Development Staff Q&A
Co-Director (Affiliation: Osaka Team)
Major Works: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Vagrant Story, Tetra Master, Samurai Legend Musashi
Q: What was the concept of this work?
A: There are several, it is the progressive evolution of action. The goal was it is a stepping stone to the “KH” series in the future, with blowed-away and exhilarating action, and high degrees of freedom. The things that embody it, it is the freeflow action. In the early days of development, Nomura (Mr. Tetsuya Nomura) wanted “action where you can explore freely” for Riku’s quest, it was organized over 2~3 days, we worked on Sora’s for about 2~3 weeks. To keep the pace of the development staff, I think it is important to be able to show on the screen an early stage of the game, in that sense the introduction of free flow action has become a good opportunity. Not only did the game gave me a sense of speed, there was also a sense of speed in development.
Q: Please tell me if that was devised in order to utilize the functionality of the 3DS?
A: In the “KH” series so far was the main button operations. Because of the 3DS’s touch screen, various ideas were spread. In this work, the Reality Shift, Link Portal, etc. were introduced a touch operation to various places. In Reality Shift, it is important to smooth the flow of the screen when it is switched to the bottom screen the moment it is triggered. Each world can adopt a unique play from these two, there is something quite particular about them.
Q: What was most difficult for you?
A: It is the drop system. I was considering the convention of the Kingdom Hearts series and there was a possibility of changing the tempo of play. Honestly it was a high hurdle I thought, you can now enjoy a fresh sense of play, its introduction was great. In fact, during the time we made a prototype of the drop system that was less sophisticated and it was a pretty hot debate between the development staff. However, you can drop anytime with the drop button and it has adopted the bonus time feature whenever the remaining time was small. My opinion of that has changed, “fun!”.
Q: Were there any ideas rejected and any others like it?
A: There was a lot, it was “Ichioshi” (slang: First Authority) in particular, it is a “Tsuushin Gekisha Battle” (Intense photograph communication battle) where you fight while shooting photos. When you shoot with the 3DS’s camera, photos of your communication partner turns into a ball that attacks the player. The proposal has created a scene with the art director Kobayashi (Mr. Gen Kobayashi), as the ball flew off his head. He has a shaved head, I have become terrible. (laughs)
Q: While creating the spirit system, what are your thoughts about it?
A: I thought about emotional attachments with the spirits. It’s important for the spirits to have personalities like real pets and to have actions of their own that the player has not intended. In that regard, it was quite mindful. In addition to make their behaviors look better, they have actions that perform in rare circumstances. I personally find the licking of Meow Wow interesting. It has an irresistible expression of drool!
Q: Please tell us how the minigame Flick Rush was made.
A: When the “Tsuushin Gekisha Battle” (Intense photograph communication battle) was become a dead issue, Flick Rush is what Nomura requested as an alternative. Initially the cards were made of paper and I’ve worked out the rules developed based on it. I did not enjoy so much recreating the positions and it has become the shape it is now. At the end of the development, I was asked to play with many of the staff, I saw there was high tension between everyone while playing it. I realized it was good to make Flick Rush instead of “Tsuushin Gekisha Battle” (Intense photograph communication battle).
Q: What challenges are you willing to face when handling new titles for the future of Kingdom Hearts?
A: I want to challenge the system to further the evolution of the Kingdom Hearts series. So far, it was to make the world appear unique, with blowed-away action and even further than this work, with addicting minigames, and it wasn’t difficult to connect with a profound game system. Although there are many things I want to do, those ideas have not become concrete, I am trying to create those ideas now.
The secret of this work only he knows:
Initially, the final boss was supposed to Young Xehanort. Armored Ventus Nightmare was added in the middle of development. The two body final boss meant that the work became luxurious, it developed the statement that you’ve been through a lot.