Message on KH3 from Tetsuya Nomura in Memorial Ultimania

The Kingdom Hearts Memorial Ultimania, a guide packed with content from every single game in the Kingdom Hearts series, released today along with Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix for PS3. A comment from series director Tetsuya Nomura is included in the book, and I have translated it below.

Message from Tetsuya Nomura

If I had to pick, I am a person more on the dark side like Xehanort and co., I harness the burning anger in my heart into what I create. Kingdom Hearts III’s current development explodes very much in this sense. Each time, it’s a battle with Sora and co. who are the exact opposite of myself, it’s been over 10 years and yet we haven’t reached a conclusion.

This battle will surely last longer.

In Kingdom Hearts III as well, I am scheming many challenges that Sora and his friends must overcome, because I myself cannot lose either. And in preparation for the great battle that lies ahead, we have this one book that looks back on their entire journey.

When I think about it, I had an explosive mindset when I made the first Kingdom Hearts as well.

Thus when I look back at all the material, I feel that fever again. Fans who will continue the journey so far alongside Sora and his friends will also recall their own feverish enthusiasm. With that passion, we will not lose to darkness, and Sora’s journey will continue onwards.

The journey still continues, but I would be overjoyed if you stuck with us until the very end.

It sounds like perhaps he did not leave his position as director of Final Fantasy XV on the best terms and is funneling that rage into his other projects, primarily KH3. Also judging by his comment, he doesn’t intend for KH3 to be the final title in the series, but that remains to be seen.

Please link to my Twitter profile or this site if you quote or repost it. Special thanks to Aibo from FF-Reunion for sharing the page with me.

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  • Rái Cá

    Thank you so much, Olivia, for translated this.

    I understand Nomura’s feeling. And we can be sure that KH3 won’t dissapoint us.

  • Michieie

    Fuck, now I feel really bad for Nomura. All in all it seems that FFXV was his baby project, maybe even more than KH.

    • AliasAlterego

      Then he shouldn’t have taken nearly a fucking decade to finish it.

      I’m sorry. I love Kingdom Hearts and I’m excited for FFXV, but I have no sympathy for Nomura OR Square-Enix. Square-Enix is hardly a struggling company financially. If they stopped trying to sell us small, meaningless crap all the time and focused their manpower, time and funds into finishing the projects they’ve started already, then FFXV would have been finished.

      Nomura, and Square-Enix in general, is like a little spoiled kid with too many different kinds of candy in front of them. Instead of pacing themselves and eating only a few, one at a time, they’re trying to gobble up every piece of candy together and making a gigantic mess.

      The metaphorical result is that, at the end of the day, they vomit on your carpet. The actual result is that they can’t even manage their own internal politics, let alone finish such a design-heavy and resource-expending title such as a main-line Final Fantasy.

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  • Syed Aliahsan

    hmm maybe this is why final fantasy’s battle system is different… or maybe tabata and nomura had opposing visions for final fantasy xv.. could it possibly be that nomura wanted to make a more action packed rpg while tabata wanted a casual one…?

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  • thelastgl

    Sad that he lost the FF gig…but unbounding joy that he has re-focused on Kingdom Hearts!!!…That game cant here soon enough!!

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  • akai

    1. final fantasy xv was made by original kingdom hearts team..while kh3
    was made by team based on osaka which is from khrecoded and
    suprise is the battle resemble kingdom heart as it made by that team..i
    dont mind this things might be common to let what the team do
    what they know best
    2.few latest jrpg like xenoblade,crisis core, ff
    creator hironobi sakaguchi’s the last story combat system also more
    action oriented…while sakaguchi create the combat as he hope it could
    be the standard or benchmark for future jrpg(he the one of mastermind
    behind of turnbased jrpg)…not saying turn based are irrelevant…from
    ff12 to 13 the battle getting more face paced..action oriented combat
    might be future trend for jrpg developers nowdays can do more prior
    to superior…games nowdays little by little getting close to movies or
    real life,and nowdays with current tech devs are able to do as what
    they vision had compare to before which is lot of things
    restricted..this evolution are common and surely gonna improvise in
    future..before they created ff13 combat so they could attain same paced
    battle as ff7advent children which is had fascinating this
    case,the combat similiar to what first versus cgi trailer
    3.there are
    lot of things than turnbased gameplay that define final fantasy..and
    its common that each entries had different gameplay for fresh experience
    rather than generic and repetitive content
    4.action combat doesnt
    mean it will be like common hack and slash or full action gameplay where
    unable applying strategy like common turn based jrpg

    it actually can

    • AliasAlterego

      Uh. Okay, few points I want to address.

      1. In no way, shape or form does FFXV “resemble” Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts’ design features what I like to call a seamless vertical combat system wherein the two spatial dimensions are blended together — most ground skills can be added into a combo in the air and vice-versa. FFXV has always been displayed as segmented heavily between ground combat and air combat. Which means that to change between both requires a much more involved input and both do not mesh.

      In fewer words, you are either fighting on the ground or not at all.

      That’s an action game design. Just because it’s not turn-based it doesn’t mean it’s Kingdom Hearts.

      2. Firstly, you need to learn the different between a press-turn, a turn, an an action. Neither game from the XIII trilogy was action-based. They are press-turns based on the Active-Time Battle turn-based system.

      Secondly, Sakaguchi isn’t the “mastermind of turn-based JRPGs”. Turn-based tabletop RPGs were doing it before videogames even existed and Sakaguchi’s work was heavily inspired in Dragon Warrior, a fully turn-based JRPG by Enix (the company that is affiliated with Square today) that had come out one year prior to the first Final Fantasy.

      Thirdly, a game doesn’t need to “get close to a movie”. A movie isn’t a goal to aim for. A videogame is an independent form of media that is not either superior or inferior to film. It does not have to “reach its height”. Saying that is about as dumb as saying someday paintings will be able reach the level of sculptures. They are two forms of media that are independant and mutually exclusive.

      3. I see the words “generic and repetitive” being thrown around a lot these days. When you eat bread, do you think: “Boy, this bread is really generic and repetitive”?

      No, of course you don’t. Nobody does. Because it’s a formula that works. Franchises like Super Mario have been able to stay afloat because of it — their design is both so well conceived and so absorbed into culture that to change it could mean to break it. So they don’t.

      I’m not saying we should stop trying to innovate. I’m saying: If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.

      4. Of course not. Everybody should know this. The best fighting games have some of the deepest metagames in gaming history. To make a JRPG action-oriented, as well as care and attention is put into design, will mean that the game will not only necessitate strategy but also skill. This may vary wildly based on how broken the leveling system works.

  • Starlord

    To be honest, I think people are reading too deep into this. This in no way confirms anything about Nomura’s departure and the reason why.

    • AliasAlterego

      I agree. People are finding meaning where there is none.

      Ironic that this is Nomura we are talking about, since most of his narratives consist of exactly that.

    • Pimammaaaaaahh

      It doesn’t confirm anything about his departure, but it does send a very clear message that something wrong is clearly happening in his surroundings for him to harbor such feelings.

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