Tetsuya Nomura Talks Kingdom Hearts
03.26.06 - 9:15 PM

In the US to promote the North American release of Kingdom Hearts II, character designer and director Tetsuya Nomura shared his thoughts about the PlayStation 2 title and the future of the popular series.

Nomura explained that the differences between the Japanese and North American version of Kingdom Hearts II were minimal. For instance, because of an ESRB rating-related issue, the company decided to slightly alter the gun design in the Pirates of the Caribbean level to make guns look less like weapons. Due to the lack of changes, the company decided against releasing a Final Mix/International version (based on the US release) of Kingdom Hearts II in Japan.

That being said, Nomura reiterated previous comments in saying he already has new ideas about the future development of Kingdom Hearts. However, when those ideas will be turned into an actual project, fans should not expect a new numbered title or something along the lines of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Furthermore, Nomura also ruled out a foray into media forms other than games, such as animation. Famitsuu speculates that one possibility would be something along the lines of a gaiden. Nomura himself admitted that currently only he knew what he wanted to do. That apparently includes getting away from the time axis presented in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II. Since the new game would have to have connections to Kingdom Hearts, it could not be too far apart from the numbered games either, though.

Last but not least, Nomura also promised major annoucements for this year's editions of Electronic Entertainment Expo and Tokyo Game Show. Square Enix corporate executive director Shinji Hashimoto confirmed as much, saying his company would hold a big "surprise ceremony" at E3. Following the release of Kingdom Hearts II in North America and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII in Japan, the development team of Nomura and Hashimoto is currently working on two confirmed projects: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable and an untitled Final Fantasy installment for PlayStation 3.

Chris Winkler