Now then, what would you say is the main appeal of this game for existing fans of the series?
I think it’s the all-star line-up of characters from previous titles in the series.
Was it always your intention to make a game with an all-star line-up like this?
Actually, in terms of story flow, there actually was no other option. This game is like a prologue to a forthcoming battle, so it’s necessary for all of the characters from the series so far to make an appearance. I think fans of the series will be happy to hear this.
When we showed movies of the game to the audience, you could hear their shouts and exclamations every time a character came on screen.
We recently held an event at Odaiba (in Tokyo), and it was pretty incredible! (laughs) The audience’s reaction when the opening movie was played was amazing. They really revealed their emotional attachment towards these characters. They’ve been with these characters for a long time, after all, and had developed affection towards them. I started out as a character designer, so it always makes me really happy when players react well to characters.
And an “all-star” game like this is just the thing for players who feel that kind of affection, isn’t it?
Yes. This game’s plot is a little difficult, but I really think it develops in a way that fans of Kingdom Hearts will enjoy. A lot of complicated sub-plots are connected together, while I think the new mysteries that are introduced are also very interesting.
If bonds are revealed between plots that players thought were unconnected, I could see how this game could be quite refreshing for fans of the series.
I think so. We spoke earlier about “development in a restricted environment”, and how this is difficult. But when things click together in such a situation, it’s incredibly satisfying. Connecting mysteries and sub-plots in the game world is a similar feeling.
So you consider the two things to be similar challenges... I see. Now, this title is being released at a time when the situation for Nintendo 3DS is looking good, but it’s only come this far because of the wonderful support it’s received from so many people. In return, I want to create an equally good situation for everyone involved in video games. I’m really excited to see how players will respond to this game.
I’ve done everything I can. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the game to be released and seeing how players react to it.
Talking to you today, you seem to feel a certain sense of completion.
Yes, I do. This game’s development period was short for a Kingdom Hearts game, but we really put everything into it and didn’t cut any corners. I do feel a sense of completion and achievement.
I see. By the way, Nomura-san, I’m sure you knew about “Iwata Asks” before you came here today, but how did it feel to actually take part in a session?
I found it quite easy to talk to you... Though I was really nervous at first! (laughs) It’s always fun to talk to someone who loves games. That’s probably why I found it easy.
Likewise, I found it very easy to talk to you. I started out as a programmer, so I’m not able to visualise game concepts in advance in the same way designers like you do, Nomura-san. When it comes to the actual development period, however, I was very surprised at how many things we had in common. I learned a lot today.
I’m glad to hear you say that! (laughs) I’m actually not very good at talking to people I haven’t met before...
But you’ve got so many interesting things to say!
I hope I have... (laughs)
(burst out laughing)
Talking to someone who has gone through the thought processes and difficulties involved with creating something is always interesting. I think the difficult part is transmitting those interesting stories to the world at large. In fact, my motivation in continuing the “Iwata Asks” series is to try and inform fans of the interesting dramas that surround game development.
I see. I saw how people reacted to the one about THEATRHYTHM, and it seems that fans are really looking forward to reading this interview as well.
Our discussion today has taught me that you are someone who really does visualise and imagine things very vividly. That is the secret behind the success of the free-flowing action in this game as well. Forgive me for saying this, but looking at the screen, it really is a mystery to me how you managed to incorporate such crazy action into the game.
Yes, my colleagues did say it would be difficult when I mentioned I wanted to do something like that. (laughs) But the fact that we’ve managed to achieve it really is a testament to our staff. Coming up with the concept is one thing, but making it a reality is the staff’s role, and I’m very grateful to them for doing that.
In the same way, your seniors were once grateful to you for the work you did for them. If they hadn’t been, you would not be where you are now. You always have respect and gratitude for staff who can do things you can’t.
I agree. I feel grateful to them for putting up with my wild ideas. I’m sharing these ideas in the belief that they can make them happen.
You have your staff to thank for making these “wild ideas” happen, while your staff do their utmost with the conviction, “Nomura-san can surely navigate us to the goal in the end.”
Well, I generally can’t say anything more than “everything will be fine”...
Yes, Hazama-san mentioned that. Another connection! Lots of previously unconnected things have been tied together during our conversation today. It was very interesting indeed.
I’m happy to hear that! (laughs)
Thank you very much for today.
Thank you very much.
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