During today’s Kingdom Hearts III event at D23 Expo in Tokyo, on top of the new trailer and songs by Hikaru Utada, Square Enix also showcased a video message from Tetsuya Nomura, that included some additional information on the game and the situation of development.
While the video was not published, attendees provided quite a few interesting elements on Social media.
Interestingly, we learn that Nomura-san was hesitant in showing the Tangled world until today due to the difficulty of displaying the physics of Rapunzel’s hair. Now it can be wrapped around trees and it correctly interacts with the environment around her. When you stand in the wind it also behaves as it should. It required a lot of trial and error to get to this point. A city environment representing Corona in the Tangled world was briefly showcased, including many NPCs to make it feel alive. It’s also possible to swim.
There will be many new keyblades and cooperative attacks in the game.
The Gummi Ship will include customization and will let players explore freely in an open world-like environment. There will also be parts including combat.
There is at least another world that we have not yet seen is going to be included in the game, but there was no explanation on its nature. The gameplay in every single world is completely different, and Nomura-san mentioned that the last stage is something he has wanted to create for a long time, even if he did not provide further info.
Rare Heartless will also make a comeback, requiring specific ways to be defeated.
Another interesting snippet of info was provided by Game Watch. Most of the production for the characters and animation in the main part of the game is complete, but more keeps being added as time goes on. As for environments, the first part of the game is 90% complete. The second is between 60 and 70% complete, and the later parts are a secret. The environment team is made of over eighty developers with the addition of outsourcing companies. It’s the largest team within Square Enix as a whole.
Incidentally, we have seen rumblings on internet forums and fan sites about an alleged mention by Square Enix that the release date would be announced at E3. We consulted with a few attendees and we could not find anyone who could confirm that, and no report came from Japanese media that was at the event. It appears to be speculation by someone on social media erroneously taken seriously, as it’s very uncharacteristic for E3 to be mentioned in this context at a Japanese event. We reached out to Square Enix asking for a clarification on the topic, and we’ll let you know if we hear anything back.
If you want to read more detail you can also read our semi-recent interview with Game Director Tetsuya Nomura himself, talking about Development, Keyblade Mechanics and Much More.