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Tetsuya Nomura Talks Kingdom Hearts III DLC

Illustration for article titled Tetsuya Nomura Talks iKingdom Hearts III/i DLC
Screenshot: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts III has enough game to keep folks busy for a while. But in a recent Dengeki Online interview, creator Tetsuya Nomura was asked about what comes next. Warning: This article has spoilers.

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Dengeki Online pointed out that Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t have the Critical Mode difficulty that the Final Mix versions of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts Birth Final Mix by Sleep have. While this hard mode is unlockable in Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep, it’s not in KHIII.

“Initially, Critical Mode wasn’t in the original versions [of the games], but a mode added to the Final Mix versions. That’s why it’ll be sent out [in downloadable] form in the future,” said Nomura. “It won’t be just a hard mode, but as it’s Critical Mode, we’re tweaking so more enjoyment can be discovered.” Besides this upcoming addition, there will be game updates and story DLC.

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Nomura explained how Square Enix is thinking about doing the new KHIII content. “Up to now, we’ve prepared a separate Final Mix package releases, but this time we’re thinking of doing the additional content as DLC.” Besides the free downloadable content, there will be paid, bundled DLC. Nomura says the plan is to finish it “this year.” Why? “Because I want the team to start work on the next project.”

Dengeki Online also asked Nomura to comment as much as he could about Kingdom Hearts III epilogue and the game’s secret movie, expressing interest in Verum Rex’s Yozora in the Toy Box World.

“As like before, if there’s more story, then this is the preface to that tale. With what’s known at this point, it seems there are various theories about the secret movie, but it’s not some simple thing.”

What could that mean? Who knows? Tetsuya Nomura does, that’s who.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

I’d be happy if Nomura and his team could somehow...

***MAJOR SPOILER WARNINGS FOR THE END OF KH III FOLLOW***

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...make Pete and Maleficent relevant to the progression of the game. Their entire contribution felt like nothing more than sequel-baiting, and in a game that—frankly—reads like a half-finished patchwork quilt of “I really hope you’ve played all the ancillary titles, or you’re gonna be lost as fuck,” it was the final straw on the Camel of Disbelief’s back.

The narrative design of Kingdom Hearts has been taking knocks since its inception—and often for good reason—but III felt like, “Okay, we’ve got to tie a bunch of shit up in a relatively limited amount of time, so let’s cram a ton of exposition into a tiny space, dig as many plot holes as we possibly can on our way to the other side, and assume that dialogue in the vein of hokey high-for-the-first-time-on-weed-philosophical-ramblings will pass for deep, nuanced discussion.”

Providing something approaching a coherent reason for Pete and Maleficent to be around at all would be nice—beyond, y’know, the inevitable Kingdom Hearts IV: The Black Box and That Dude Who Looked Weak but is Definitely an Old Master in about fifteen years.