Kingdom Hearts Re:coded Q&A

What's next for Kingdom Hearts? We ask director Tetsuya Nomura about his new game on the Nintendo DS and what's in store for the series.

With the release date of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded right around the corner, we were able to conduct an e-mail interview Square Enix director and designer Tetsuya Nomura about how it all came to be. Now, we know the popular question is "Where is Kingdom Hearts III?" and even though that still remains a mystery, we did ask. This remake of a mobile series is specifically tailored for the Nintendo DS. For more information on Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and its gameplay and story, please read our previous coverage here and look for our full review when the game comes out on January 11.

GameSpot: What was the decision behind making the original Kingdom Hearts:coded for a mobile platform?

Tetsuya Nomura: The initial reason we created Kingdom Hearts for mobile phones was to reach a broader audience. There seemed to be strong growth of mobile games and the smartphone market. I then decided to proceed with developing a Kingdom Hearts game for mobile phones to reach an audience who has an interest in the series but may not be willing to buy a gaming console. This way they could easily experience Kingdom Hearts on their phone.

GS: Why did you decide to expand on the original and create a new version for the DS?

TN: Although it received positive reviews, we found that the number of people who had smartphones was limited. We completely revamped the game [rather than make a straight port of the mobile version] for the DS platform because I wanted even more people to be able to play Kingdom Hearts. This was especially true for fans of the series overseas that never had access to the original Japanese version.

GS: How did the story idea of jumping into a datascape come about?

TN: Actually, Sora doesn't jump from the real world to the datascape. In order to explore Jiminy's strange glitches in the journal, a digital facsimile of Sora is enlisted to fight within that realm. As Kingdom Hearts Re:coded is based in a digital world, I created gameplay elements to reflect this.

GS: What made you decide to go with the gameplay variety (bonus stages) that is featured in Re:coded?

TN: Because the original was developed for mobile phones, it was created with simplified controls. For the DS we definitely believed the gameplay needed to be expanded. I added the bonus stages for those looking for more of a challenge. While challenging, the controls are intuitive, and the variation of gameplay styles are distinctive. Players can experience battle styles that include side-scrolling, shooting, and a classic RPG command-based system.

GS: Now that it's on the Nintendo DS, what changes have been made to accommodate the system?

TN: The original mobile version was episodic, and chapters were released monthly. Although as a mobile app there was extensive content, due to the platform there was not much content to each world. To create a cohesive gaming experience, we knew how important it was that the content from the mobile version and the new sections of the DS were incorporated seamlessly.

In addition, the system had to be completely revamped to include character growth, which is obviously an essential part of RPGs. As a result, we added in the visually appealing stat matrix. By installing chips into a CPU-like board, the player can increase Sora's levels and abilities.

Fight alongside friends.

GS: In addition to the DS-specific changes, are there any other differences between the Japanese version and the North American one?

TN: Aside from the voice-over and subtitles, there are no other notable differences. The mobile version was not available in North America, so this is a brand-new game for Kingdom Hearts fans there. There was a priority placed on not only making the game fun but to distribute it as early as we could after the Japanese release.

GS: Will we see another Kingdom Hearts soon? More specifically, Kingdom Hearts III?

TN: In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, if a player collects 20 of the 30 available trophies, there is an exclusive secret movie with a hint that links to the next game, Kingdom Hearts 3D (working title), which will be available on the Nintendo 3DS. The Kingdom Hearts series is always evolving, and players can have high expectations for new and exciting gameplay that will be highlighted by the capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS.

GS: This franchise has evolved over the course of several games and platforms. What have been the challenges for each? Do you have a favorite platform?

TN: Each platform has its own features and characteristics that make it unique. With each game, I would seek the best possible capabilities for the platform and to create features never before seen. I will continue to do this and hope to improve on the series even more in the future.

GS: Thank you for your time.

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Discussion

44 comments
SethAdam
SethAdam

also if you are wondering whats in the bottle they get from Mickey, its a message to tell them to meet with Yen Sid and take the keyblade master exam.

SethAdam
SethAdam

since Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 were on PS2 it only makes sense that Kingdom Hearts 3 be on the PS3...........SO HELP ME IT BETTER BE

Lenighma
Lenighma

I really can't wait to find out what Sora, Riku and Kairi read in that blasted BOTTLE. I wonder when the real KH III will come out, because of everything that the KH games (that have come out) lack, it's older teen!Sora, Riku and Kairi. I really want to see more of them...

lilrobda1
lilrobda1

@cooldudesimon Please, get your facts straight before commenting. KH3D is not KH3. Have you played Kingdom Hearts before? The numbered titles are on consoles, not handhelds idiot(besides BBS, which is KH0). KH3D will have Sora and Riku as main characters, and its ending will lead into KH3. @yoyou225 Read my comment toward the other person.

yoyou225
yoyou225

Kingdom Hearts 3D, PLEASE don't be the actual Kingdom Hearts 3. Listen, I love the 3DS and Nintendo, but I also love my PS3! Please put it on PS3, or even Wii... just don't put it on a handheld.

cooldudesimon
cooldudesimon

u do know that kingdom hearts 3d is kingdom hearts 3 if u don't belive me on and look it up

AnelZukic
AnelZukic

there won't be any work on KH III until Versus is released, and it is said that it is not coming in 2011...

jedicommand7
jedicommand7

Kingdom Hearts 3, please. I care not for 3D. I've been enjoying Birth by Sleep immensely, but would like the saga with Sora to continue. The only spin-off I'd care to see would be one where you can play as Mickey, cause I think playing as Mickey with a Keyblade would be sweet.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

As Giratina said, as long as it adds to the storyline, I'll bite. But it's getting to be a bit much with all this retreading of past events and worlds. Haven't we been to Agrabah in EVERY game now? We need more stuff like Birth by Sleep. That game added substantial information to the KH backstory, and was a welcome addition. 358/2 Days could have been a lot better (in my opinion) if it had been substantially shortened. I mean, I spent close to 35 hours my first time through, and alone the last 5 or so really added any story depth. It was all "Go collect hearts" or "Go do recon in the new world". They did the same thing with "The Answer" portion from Persona 3 FES...

Notelessinferno
Notelessinferno

.....and yea Kingdom hearts was made by SQUARE ENIX..........and if they had stoped wth 2 games (making chains of memories a part of KH2 of course, not some stupid GBA game.) then i wouldn't be so very pissed at them..........

Notelessinferno
Notelessinferno

why did they have to make versus like KH....because they can't make final fantasy games for PS3 yet! I know that it wil a final fantasy game more like KH but that makes it just a Lazy ripoff from KH. LEARN TO MAKE TOWNS FOR THE PS3 SQUARE ENIX!! Jese...That reason alone is why they can't make a profitable remake for Final Fantasy 7 because making something so waste would take 5-7 years... Just recently they mentioned that they would look into the problem though..... o and a big FU to ENIX! Square should never have teamed up with them, those efing doubters wouldn't put faith in a company that looses money sometimes. AT LEAST IN THE NINETIES THEY HAD A SOUL, MAKING GOOD GAMES LIKE FF4,6,7,8.9 and 10 and then the DEVIL (ENIX) made a bargain for their soul. yea im pissed about FF13 and the immense delay for KH3

Giratina105
Giratina105

Spin-offs or not, I'm still getting Re:Coded and 3D. As long as there is more to the storyline, I'll be ready with Keyblade in hand to play the next one!

BLACKWINGS17
BLACKWINGS17

blah blah blah rehash blah blah blah hand-held blah blah blah spin-off blah blah blah. That sums it up. No Kingdom Hearts 3. No Kingdom Hearts HD Collection.

dipsetboy17
dipsetboy17

i just want a kh collection and kh3 exclusive on the ps3 nomura.

dakhudson
dakhudson

These guys are really douche-y on revealing anything about a direct sequel to the second game... Whatever, It used to be my favorite franchise but I don't care anymore.

MrcMike
MrcMike

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

maxium_spidey
maxium_spidey

They need to make a KH collection on PS3 like God of War Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Kingdom Hearts RE:Chain of Memories Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix Then they have to make KH III on the PS3

krex85
krex85

@Lexaeus775 KH3 won't be out for quite some time. The team that did KH2 is currently doing Versus 13, and said they will not begin serious development on KH3 until Versus 13 is released. And with Versus having hardly any info out still, I'd say we have quite some time till KH3 sees the light of day. Oh well, hopefully we'll have Diablo 3 soon to hold us over :)

ZIVX
ZIVX

Oh how you troll your fanbase Nomura

expatriat
expatriat

im sick of all these hand held kingdom hearts, make KH3 already damn it!

lilrobda1
lilrobda1

@Lexaeus775 Nomura said KH3 wont make it for its 10th anniversary, which is in 2012, but he has smething planned that year. So FF Versus 13 should come out no later than later this year to next year.

Lexaeus775
Lexaeus775

@lilrobda1 whenever that may be. w/e, Im getting both regardless. i still hav faith in squareEnix

lilrobda1
lilrobda1

@Lexaeus775 Nomura said in an interview last year that KH3 will come out after FF Versus 13.

Lexaeus775
Lexaeus775

He totally didn't answer the question about KH3 smh... Nomura's a tricky little bugger haha

TeenGamer92
TeenGamer92

I'm liking the new moves! And they put turn-based in Kingdom Hearts? Awesome! It was only a matter of time. But this better not be another text-heavy game like Re:CoM. And when is Kingdom Hearts going to be back where it belongs on the console? I seriously hope this is the last time I'll be playing through Wonderland...

Arcadia_Roxas
Arcadia_Roxas

I can wait for Kingdom Hearts III. Re:coded and 3D still help develop the story, which is good enough for me. I'll get Versus XIII, and then wait for KH3. Of course, a PS3 Collection would be cool too.

simplypowerfull
simplypowerfull

Long live Kingdom Hearts! Awesome story, amazing characters. What's there to hate? I will play this game!

GZay2Stay
GZay2Stay

Hurry the hell up with FF Versus XIII, already! Once that is out the door then you can start making Kingdom Hearts III for PS3/360.

miladesn2
miladesn2

Hey Gamespot! Tetsuya Nomura == TN; not TM xD

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is being developed by the same crew that developed the original Kingdom Hearts games. That game is the epic undertaking everyone is crying for, I wouldn't expect a console Kingdom Hearts announcement until that game is on the shelf in Japan.

soulless4now
soulless4now

I hope the requirements for the secret movie aren't annoying like the ones for BBS were.

Byaku524
Byaku524

Well...we got another one coming soon. Kingdom Hearts 3...D

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Cept it wouldnt touch xbox lol.At least i hope. Anyway nice to see they dodged the question again.They never let us know if Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming.We know it and we know it will be made and will be here.But a nice confirmation would make us feel better.I hate them doing this.Just too much rehashing.I do enjoy the holes and gaps being filled in but i have been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for too long.

oUNKNOWNo
oUNKNOWNo

Long live Kingdom Hearts! Awesome story, amazing characters. What's there to hate? Hope this one turns out good.

slickvic1990
slickvic1990

don't get me wrong, i LOVE Kingdom Hearts, but this may be the only game series that gets away with recycled content on a regular basis. even still, im looking forward to coded, and i will be picking it up on launch day!

benmchammer
benmchammer

They need to put these back on consoles already, it would be so amazing to see the K.H. world with PS3 and Xbox capabilities.

DrAmazinDood
DrAmazinDood

has a Kingdom Hearts fan from the very begining, I've always been intrigued by the story, the fusion between Square Enix and Disney worked unlike anyone would ever imagine and up until now i can say with complete confidence that it's one of my favorite series of all time, also, can't wait for KH3 but thankfully there have been enough KH games to keep us entertained until it arrives :D

XCNormX
XCNormX

Me either, Kingdom Hearts will continue to be the best it can be revolving around all platforms...I really am hoping Square Enix takes the next console game multi-platform and bring it to the Xbox 360, like what they've done with Final Fantasy.