Liz Maas
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Details
That's a lot of Ds. I know you're wondering what the deal is with the name!
01.26.11 - 10:11 PM

Now that we've run out of Final Fantasy titles to talk about, it's worth mentioning that, once again, a ton of details emerged from the usual Japanese publications regarding the one Kingdom Hearts title that was at last week's premiere event: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. If you missed the trailer, it's still viewable here.

Regarding the game's new name, which has been met with very mixed reception, the associated image was 'the distance you fall in your dreams' - or perhaps, how deep you fall into your dreams. 'Drop' also seems to be a reference to the game's initial trailer back at E3, where all we saw were an endless number of Soras falling from the sky. From that, Nomura was suggesting that anything could happen in Kingdom Hearts 3D. 'Drop' could also mean action-based gameplay; dropping from cliffs, for instance. 'Distance' is a reference to both 3D technology and gameplay, an example of the latter being that the player can not only travel long distances, such as by kicking off the wall.

Nomura explained that he sees Kingdom Hearts 3D as an evolution of the Kingdom Hearts series, much like Final Fantasy Versus XIII would be to Final Fantasy. He hopes that with this title, we will then get an idea of how Kingdom Hearts III will continue to evolve the series. One of the concepts of KH3D is 'bold actions' like the ones above, although other actions shown in Famitsu included swinging from poles and sliding along ropes.

Kingdom Hearts 3D involves following both Sora and Riku as they each go through their Mark of Mastery test in order to become keyblade masters. Nomura says this is only a part of the game however. Players will be able to switch between Sora and Riku as main characters, but the game will switch characters on its own at specific points in the game (while you're in a town, or in the middle of a battle), so the changes will be sudden - which is the whole idea, as it will keep the gameplay fresh and keep the player on their toes.

One of the differences between Sora and Riku, as shown in Famitsu, is that each character will encounter different bosses. Each will also have his own story in the game, as well as unique actions and control scheme. In the Premier trailer, there was a 'Drop Gauge' in battle. When asked if this was related to the character switching, Nomura was pretty vague about the gauge, only suggesting that it has a 'number of secrets.' He also mentioned that the character changes would be easier to understand if the player believes that a countdown event is always going on.

As mentioned before, Kingdom Hearts 3D will contain new worlds. They're not actually named, but Famitsu had screens of Sora running across a bell tower, and another of him falling into a crowded plaza. These are just two of several new areas in the game, neither of which were named - though Famitsu speculates that the bell tower looks as if it may be from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

As with all the Fabula games, the event trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance will officially be online tomorrow. The game currently has no release timeframe of any sort.