At MAGIC 2017 this year in Monaco, we got our first look into Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III in quite some time through three screenshots. Not a whole lot of footage, but it’s something at least. Director (of both games) Tetsuya Nomura is now opening up on these three screenshots, and he has a lot to say based on the questions provided to him by Famitsu.
As translated by Gematsu”
For Kingdom Hearts III, you showed a battle scene in the city of Thebes in Olympus. A huge Heartless was your opponent, but is that a boss battle?
Nomura: “It’s a battle scene against the Rock Troll. It will be treated as a mid-boss.”
We’ve heard that Keyblades have two transformation patterns, but which Keyblade is that?
Nomura: “The Keyblades we’re currently making have two transformation patterns. It should be noted that similar to the Keyblade that transforms into a tank and shield that we showed this time, there is not always a division of attack and defense. The Keyblade that appeared in the previous trailer transforms into a pair of crossbows for each hand and a bazooka. How a Keyblade transforms depends on the Keyblade.”
What is that “Link” command in the menu?
Nomura: “That I’ll explain as we put out more information in the future. (Laughs.)”
Let’s talk about Final Fantasy VII Remake. In the screenshot, Cloud is using a cover action…
Nomura: “In the story, in situations where you’re sneaking around, you won’t just be able to march down the middle of the path. The original version had random encounters, and such parts were in the realm of imagination, but since this title is seamless and you see the path that you’re infiltrating, I decided it was necessary for the sake of realism. You can use it in ways such as to hide in cover until enemy soldiers move along, or to throw a hand grenade from cover to annihilate the enemy. Of course, those who find it bothersome can just throw themselves into the fight.”
Can Barret also use cover actions?
Nomura: “He can. While I can’t say any details just yet, there is a special element in gunners.”
The Guard Scorpion battle scene with Cloud fighting alongside Barret also made an impact.
Nomura: “Rather than just ending it at that scaffold, we’ve made wide use of the space and developed a battle that takes advantage of the map’s characteristics where you’ll fight while switching between Cloud and Barret. For example, when there’s an enemy in a position that can’t be reached by Cloud’s sword, it’s more effective to switch to Barret. It’s becoming strategic in that way, as well. The Guard Scorpion will change modes in the middle of the battle and demonstrate behavior not in the original version. Also in this screenshot, it should be noted that missiles and such are coming down. It’s become a significantly flashy battle.”
With the battles being action-oriented, it seems that you can experience a different type of gameplay from the original version.
Nomura: “Map and object destruction will also happen, and there are part-based destruction elements like breaking the Guard Scorpion’s legs.”
The UI isn’t complete, but the ATB Gauge seems to stock three bars, there is a technique name and level in “Lv. 1 烈攻斬り,” and “Materia” can be seen in the command list…
Nomura: “As for the ATB and techniques, those are for another time. Regarding Materia, what I can say is that it’s something like a skill. Different from magic, you can use it when you’ve set a Materia that has an effect that can be used in battle.”
We’re looking forward to future updates on Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Nomura: “We prepared new materials this time for MAGIC. Since promotional plans are being decided for both titles, there isn’t much that I can say right now, but we are strengthening our systems and steadily making progress, so please wait a little while longer.”
And that’s all she wrote, no more questions
Square Enix is keeping these projects under wraps, and no doubt, they have a good reason for doing so. These are, without question, going to be two of the most scrutinized projects in the company’s history. Final Fantasy VII Remake is an “ambitious to a fault” remake of the company’s most influential and popular game of all time, and Kingdom Hearts III is a sequel that’s a decade removed from a generation-defining franchise, the nostalgic epitome for a generation of gamers.
I can see why both are being well guarded and secretive, but at the same time, I can easily see why fans are feeling uneasy at the same time. Hopefully, Square Enix has more to provide in the coming weeks, months… years.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development for the PlayStation 4, and Kingdom Hearts III is in development for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.