Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy fans have a lot to be excited for. Not only is Final Fantasy Versus XIII not dead, as it's coming to next-gen consoles under the name Final Fantasy XV, but Kingdom Hearts 3 was finally announced.
Of course not a lot of info on each title, specifically KH3, was revealed, but thanks to Tetsuya Nomura sitting down with Square Enix, we finally got some more information, albeit cryptic, about these upcoming games.
If you feel like sitting through the hour long conversation which consists of asking the question, then having the translator translate the question to Nomura, then Nomura answering in Japanese and the translator translating his response in English, by all means, give it a watch. We've compiled all the necessary info for all you TL;DR people out there below.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5
The name Kingdom Hearts came from thinking about Disney theme parks, like Animal Kingdom, which then served as the basis. Since a new IP with just Kingdom was impossible, hearts were incorporated into the story, thus becoming Kingdom Hearts.
The conception of Kingdom Hearts came from Shinji Hashimoto and a Disney executive talking about collaborating, since they both had offices in the same building. Hashimoto took this news to Nomura, and Kingdom Hearts was born.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 was created from the ground up, since most of the data from the original Kingdom Hearts was lost. All the graphics had to be recreated into HD.
The game will include Final Mix versions of both games, previously unavailable to North America and Europe. Nomura always wanted to have Final Mix versions make their way across the world, and this HD compilation was finally his chance.
If there was one Disney world that Nomura wanted to include in many of the titles, it was Jungle Book, however every time it was discussed, it ended up being cut.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 spawned by the choice to finally make Kingdom Hearts 3, as a way to allow people to experience the story and prepare themselves for the conclusion of the Xehanort Saga.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Nomura couldn't discuss the worlds we'll be seeing in Kingdom Hearts 3, however, he stated that past games always had some "surprise" locations, and he wants to keep the tradition with KH3, stating there will be a lot of surprises.
The combat in KH3 will be an evolution from KH1 and 2. Since the handheld versions were spin-offs, Nomura experimented with various different combat mechanics. Some of those well received mechanics might make their way into KH3, however since it is a core game, and not a spin-off, fans can expect the combat to reflect a more improved version of what they say in KH1 and 2.
Final Fantasy characters were missing from a lot of recent releases. Nomura thinks it's time they were included again.
Lots of people want to play as King Mickey and Nomura knows it. Is also taking this under consideration.
Nomura and the team are looking into the online capabilities of next-gen consoles, and therefore is also considering adding multiplayer elements to the game, if they fit.
Players will once again be able to summon characters in Kingdom Hearts 3, however this time it will work a little different. Nomura didn't elaborate on that though.
This will be the last game to include Organization XIII as this game will wrap up the Master Xehanort Saga. It is known, however, that Nomura doesn't plan on ending the series there.
The trailer showcased a new art style for the game called Kingdom Shader. Nomura explained that this Shader technique will help better match the look of Disney characters, and that the Shader itself will change to match the various worlds Sora and the gang will visit.
Final Fantasy XV
About one to two years after Versus XIII was announced, the team discussed that given the scale and concept of the game, it was appropriate to change the name to XV. This discussion lasted for several years. Then, about two years ago, next-generation consoles have been announced to developers and that's when the official name change to Final Fantasy XV happened. A year ago is when the game made its official jump to next-generation consoles.
The game is an action-based RPG, without much turn-based combat in it. The gameplay trailer showcases a command screen there, very much similar to the one in Kingdom Hearts. However, Nomura didn't want it to be a strictly action game, and still wanted it to feel like a "Final Fantasy" title. He said to imagine an action-based Final Fantasy game, and the result would be Final Fantasy XV.
Noctis, the main character, was described as being very cool in appearance, but that he's actually not at all cool on the inside, and that it's a big part of his character.
Nomura also touched on Party-based combat. Noctis will be able to battle by himself, however, parties are considered to be a stape of Final Fantasy games. The trailer showcases three players co-operating together to battle a giant enemy. Nomura didn't want to make it into a systematic team play, but rather have some story behind it.
The game tries to balance reality and fantasy carefully, but obviously leans toward fantasy to make the game more fun. Enemies floating in air to be able to execute combos, or Noctis teleporting himself into the air is what makes the game enjoyable.
Final Fantasy XV only shifted to next-gen consoles last year, and has made some of the elements shown in the trailer possible. Nomura stated that the quality didn't only improve when the shift was made, but the quality will still improve over time.
Both, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 are coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it's important to note that whatever system can handle DirectX11, Nomura will take under consideration. Does that mean FFXV and KH3 could potentially appear on PCs as well?