Nomura talks Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy XV has been out for a while now. We’ve all spent a lot of time with it and enjoyed it. We’ve had our fill of Kingdom Hearts HD ports with odd names, all teasing the third (technically ninth) installment in the series. So, the question is, how’s all that going?

Famitsu recently got to sit down with Square Enix director Tetsuya Nomura in a rare appearance at MAGIC 2017 in Monaco, and the folks at Siliconera have been kind enough to translate the entire interview for those of us that can’t read Japanese.

There was a lot of chatter on subjects like Nomura’s first visit to Monaco, the rising coverage western media gives to the Japanese gaming industry, and Nomura’s excitement at getting to interact with his peers, particularly creator of the iconic Hellboy series, Mike Mignola. There were also a few tidbits about designing the fan favourite Final Fantasy VII hero, Cloud Strife, and how he went through multiple designs of various styles, including a more westernized appearance. This meant muscles and a more westernized sword.

After all of the small talk, Nomura jumps right into discussing the much anticipated titles, Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII. Though it was only brief, giving away a few gameplay tidbits to look forward to and some new screenshots to drool over.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

On the subject of Kingdom Hearts signature weapon, the Keyblade, Nomura talked a little bit about how they’re getting an upgrade in terms of abilities to spice up gameplay, with the Keyblades having ‘transformation patterns’. This allows the weapons to transform into a variety of other weapons to suit the situation and the chosen Keyblade, though it’s not always just about attack or defense. Some of the transformations mentioned were things like shields, tanks, crossbows and, interestingly and perhaps even completely awesomely, a bazooka. Though he was pretty tight lipped on other subjects of gameplay, indicating that he’d be happy to discuss it once the information was officially released to the public.

On that, he changed track to discuss Final Fantasy VII and how development was going in that regard. Some of you who have played Final Fantasy XV may remember that during certain parts of the game, there were ‘sneaking’ and ‘infiltrating’ sections, where the goal was to use cover to sneak around an enemy base without being detected. This makes a return in the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Nomura discussed how the random encounters and platform limitations meant that players could use their imagination in terms of how they played, but as times and technology change, a need for realism was required.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Players will be able to take cover behind crates and in shadowed areas, throw grenades at enemies and sneak around Solid Snake style. Or, if you’re like me and are horrible at sneaking due to being impatient, there will also be the option of diving straight in and unleashing hell on whatever poor soldiers happened to be on duty that day. There is no confirmed option to send bouquets to their widows, but hey, one can hope.

Another element of Final Fantasy XV players might recall having some frustration with is only being able to directly control one party member. This isn’t the case in Final Fantasy VII Remake as Nomura went on to discuss how players could switch between Cloud and his ally, Barret. Cloud, being a swordsman, doesn’t have fantastic long distance reach to enemies who are, perhaps, on higher platforms. Players can switch to Barret to take them out and create strategies depending on which character might be appropriate for the situation.

There was also some discussion of not only the environments being destructible, but also the enemies. The example of the Guard Scorpion was given with the ability to blast pieces off of its legs.

Both games are shaping up to be must-have titles. I should know, I’ve been waiting a very long time for both of them. Here’s hoping we’ll find out a little more information come E3.

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