KH3D – Famitsu Details

Famitsu Weekly is releasing it’s post Tokyo Game Show issue today, it featured a six page Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance article including an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura. This information is translated from Hokanko-Alt. Photos thanks to Toma_Kisaragi.

Introduction

The “World Submerged in Sleep” is said to be connected to dreaming, it can be opened by unlocking the “Keyhole of Sleep” that exists in that world. Instead of Heartless, in this world there exist creatures that devour dreams called Dream Eaters. There are two kinds of Dream Eaters, those that consume dreams and plant nightmares and those that eat only bad dreams. Investigating the Dream Eaters becomes the key guiding to the “Keyhole of Sleep”.

Yen Sid says to Sora and Riku, “When you unlock the Keyhole of Sleep and return once more to this place, you’ll be acknowledged as Keyblade Masters.” It is with these words that the adventure takes off.

From the trailer, we can confirm that Sora and Riku have new outfits and that Riku’s hair is cut. The Keyblade that Riku uses is “Way to the Dawn”.

Traverse Town

Two new areas are introduced, “District 4” and “District 5”. In the lit up streets of this place the “Reaper’s Game” is taking place.

Character: Neku Sakuraba

A 15 year old boy who grew up in Shibuya, Tokyo first introduced in The World Ends With You. He is accompanied by a cat type spirit called “Neko Cat” whose tail is like a music note. He has strayed from his partner and since Neku says that having a partner is necessary in order to win the Game, Sora helps him out, though he doesn’t really understand the Game.

Dream Eaters

There are two types of Dream Eaters, your enemies called “Nightmares” and those that fight alongside you as companions called “Spirits”.

Spirit: Koumori Bat

It is a furry bat like Spirit. It is the first Spirit that Riku has.

Spirit: Wonder Cat

Though it’s hard to see what part of it is cat like, it’s a plump animal with a blue back and a white belly. It’s the first Spirit that Sora has.

Nightmare: Kuma Panda

It’s a panda with bear like claws that wears a short cloak and a slightly atrocious glare.

Nightmare: Torpedo Fish

This fish flies midair. Overall it’s about as long as Sora?

Nightmare: Wonder Cat

The Nightmare version, it’s slightly more sinister with red eyes and body and it’s black back.

Looking at the screenshots, it seems that Nightmare and Spirit versions of each.

System

  • Coop Techniques

When you fill up the pink gauge, you can consume the earned points to do techniques with the Spirits and your companions. They utilize both the buttons and the touch screen. You can utilize both your Dream Eaters at the same time. For instance, Sora can ride atop Wonder Cat and attack while jumping around, and then do a technique where you can manipulate enemies like the Kuma Panda and fling it away.

Riku’s interactions with the Dream Eaters are more direct; they instead attack with the Keyblade as one.

  • Free Flow Action

When you face a wall or pole and press the Y button, various actions occur, during which if you press the A button you can do the strong Free Flow Attack ability. You can also do the high jump and sky slide actions from this. The Kick Dive ability is one the Free Flow Action that lets you kick off a wall, where if you face toward the ground after doing so you can unleash a strong attack. The Turn Cutter ability lets Sora hang off a pole with the Keyblade and spin, mowing down nearby enemies.

  • Reality Shift

When a special marker appears over enemies heads during battle and you press the A and X buttons simultaneously you can do this ability. Sora/Riku disappear from the screen, and on the bottom screen special operations can be done. Sora dives under and gathers force up to dive out at the enemies. While you are operating the bottom screen, the battle temporarily pauses.

Interview

Interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura.

About the story

  • Nomura drew the illustration featured at the TGS booth in a hurry. He drew the Dream Eaters that would be your companions.
  • Nomura drew the new outfits according to how the Osaka team wished. They’re like their older outfits with minor changes.
  • They are versions between KH1 and KH2, which become the outfits for this title.
  • Riku’s hair grew during the time he was away to show the passage of time, now his hair is cut immediately after that.
  • The “World Submerged in Sleep” is a complex story, but there were worlds other than those that Sora restored in KH1, some that were not submerged in darkness. Like the worlds of the princesses and Dumbo’s, etc. In the end of KH1 it was established that some of those worlds were restored, but not all of them. Those that were neither in light nor in darkness, but those that were submerged in sleep.
  • Since those worlds are essential asleep, the dreams of those worlds become the setting.
  • Sora and Riku will travel to those worlds to awaken them from their sleep.
  • When a world is awoken from it’s sleep, it will be restored to it’s original form.
  • This title involves taking an exam in order to qualify for the Mark of Mastery, so it’ll also be concerned with events that took place in BBS.
  • All the Disney worlds appearing wil be new, and there will be new areas in existing worlds.
  • Temporarily taking on their KH1 forms, they’ll enter into the worlds of sleep . Additionally, Yen Sid says that in order to become a Master, the self taught way that they use the Keyblade will be reset and that it is necessary they learn how to use the Keyblade appropriately from the beginning. When they request to take the exam, Sora says he doesn’t need it, but since Riku has been overwhelmed by darkness before he doesn’t have the self-confidence. Also, Sora and Riku will be taking it together.
  • The opening of this title will be in Xehanort’s point of view. Additionally, there will be a surprise unlike anything seen before in the last scene.

About Dream Eaters

  • The Dream Eaters do not approach anyone and consume dreams in the World of Sleep where there are no Heartless. If Sora/Riku don’t use the power of the Dream Eaters, they can’t go to the other worlds.
  • Their abilities too are related to the Dream Eaters.
  • The Dream Eaters were designed not to be traditionally cute, but to have charm that couldn’t be disliked.  Wonder Cat was drawn to share that idea.
  • The mark of the Dream Eaters started with a heart as the base and the image of tremors. Nightmares have that sort of bad feeling.
  • The mark above your own Dream Eaters shows your ownership, it’s also displayed on the map. The boss fights are elaborated in a different direction, where you’ll have to use the map’s characteristics to your advantage. For instance, the floor will break out from under you and the field area will expand. Using the map, you’ll be able to identify your location quickly in that sort of situation.
  • The color scheme is new this time; it’s more pastel unlike what we’ve done before. However, you’ll be able to change the colors of your companion Dream Eaters.
  • The leveling up of the Dream Eaters is directly related to the growth of Sora and Riku. So far we’ve only seen 2 at a time in battle, but if you give it your all you’ll be able collect all the types.
  • Nomura isn’t quite sure off the top of his head, but there are dozens of Dream Eater types.

About Neku

  • Neku’s appearance in Traverse Town was by special means that have to do with his reason for being there. He’ll show up in District 1, etc.
  • Beginning in Traverse Town as usual you’ll meet your party member, but since I wanted to put in a fresh character, we put in Neku from The World Ends With You.
  • This time Traverse Town is constructed around the reason that Neku and co. have come. He has been separated from his original partner Shiki.
  • We’ll go into more detail about Shiki and the others in a follow up report.
  • Concerning a sequel to The World Ends With You, there may be something going on.

Abilities and 3D Vision

  • The Reality Shift ability in Traverse Town has Sora sink to the bottom screen where he can aim at the enemies. It’s different in each world, and Riku’s ability is different too. In Riku’s Reality Shift you can touch the bottom screen to connect enemies and objects in a line creating chain that Riku will attack following along on the upper screen.
  • The way Sora and Riku interact with their companion Dream Eaters is different. Sora can ride atop the Dream Eaters and be thrown off, while they serve as power ups to Riku.
  • Like shown in the TGS demo, Sora can have two companions at the same time and use them both to do the Dual Link ability where the two Dream Eaters combine into one big Wonder Cat. Filling up the gauge, you’ll be able to use the Reality Shift and Dual Link abilities successively.
  • Since the concept of the game was bold action, this title really makes use of the Free Flow Action ability. Though you have a lot of battle options, with this alone you can do many actions like spinning around and jump kicking depending on the terrain.
  • Since it’s hard to watch even in 2D because the movements are so intense, in 3D your eyes may become tired after playing for a long time. There is depth in the 3D vision, when Sora jumps out of the screen, it’s almost becomes a burden to one’s eyes. I think it’s probably best to use the 3D vision during cutscenes.
  • There will be multiplayer functions, we’ll explain more in a follow up report.

Final Notes

  • KH3D is set to release Spring 2012 in Japan.
  • It’s currently about 60% to 70% complete.
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KH3D – Closed Trailer Details

So the Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance  trailer that is floating online is the open theater trailer shown at TGS 2011, as per usual though, there was a separate, slightly more mysterious version of it played within the closed theater. Usually participants waiting for the demo are migrated into the closed mega theater so they can watch the trailers before they try out games. These extra scenes were reported by Arika from Rebirth Wings, I’ve translated them below for consistency.

Radiant Garden
There was no voices in this scene, just subtitles.
The viewpoint is shaky; the laboratory is in ruins as if an explosion occurred.
It seems to be from young Xehanort’s POV.
For a moment, Even and Ienzo are shown collapsed too.
Braig: Xehanort! What were you thinking?
As if something clicked when he heard those words, his shaky POV focuses on Braig.
Braig: Have your memories returned?
Xehanort summons a Keyblade.
He brandishes it towards Braig and seems on the verge of blacking out.

Arika was able to see this scene while waiting for the demo, this scene was voiced.
Neku: I’m Neku… Neku Sakuraba. That’s my name.
Sora: Neku Sakuraba? What an interesting name!
Neku: It’s nothing special.

KH3D – Trailer Available

Again, here is a translation of the Kingdom Hearts 3D trailer shown at Tokyo Game Show 2011 according to Aibo from FF-Reunion.

It starts in Yen Sid’s room, Yen Sid sits in his chair behind his desk, Sora and Riku stand across from him. They appear in their KH2 outfits, but Riku’s hair is short.

Yen Sid: From here, you two will take the Mark of Mastery Exam.
Sora, surprised:  Even without taking it, no one can beat me!
Riku, facing downward: Having walked the path of darkness, I wonder if it’d really be right for me to wield the Keyblade. You’d have to make sure.
Sora: Riku…

Yen Sid: Let’s open the keyhole of sleep. If you return back to this place, then I will consider you Masters.

Sora on a balcony, opens his eyes.
Sora: Huh, where is this place? My clothes changed! More importantly, where’d Riku go?
Sora leans over the balcony and calls out in a loud voice: Heeeey! Riiiikuuu!
A mysterious boy descends from a rooftop in ambush: You’re so loud, stupid Noise.
Sora is surprised and jumps off the balcony.
Neku: You’re Sora…

Yen Sid: A large number of Heartless reside in the world of darkness. Instead, in the world submerged in sleep there exists a particular key. That is, creatures who consume dreams known as the Dream Eaters. Searching for the Dream Eaters will guide you to the key of sleep.

(Battle action sequences of Sora are shown.)

Neku, showing Sora the scarlet mark on his hand: This is from the Game. All the participants have it engraved upon them. I can’t afford to lose this Game!
Sora: I don’t really get ‘the Game’, but maybe I can lend a hand?

The scene changes to the world of Notre Dame.
Riku is speaking with Quasimodo who is holding Esmeralda: Quasimodo, where did the creatures go?
Quasimodo: To the rooftop of the cathedral.
A Dream Eater with wings like a butterfly descends upon them.
Quasimodo: Me too, I’ll fight too!

The scene returns to Neku and Sora in a plaza inTraverse Town.
Sora, facing Neku: Come to think of it, I didn’t ask your name.
All of a sudden several Dream Eaters appear around them!
Neku with surprise: Dream Eaters!
Sora: That’s a weird name.
Neku, pointing at the Dream Eaters: Not me, those!

Yen Sid: Opening the keyhole of sleep, along with finding a new power, the power locked in sleep will become revealed as well.

The trailer continues, showing the AR capabilities of playing with the Dream Eater pets, it’s a lot like Nintendogs. Maybe you’ll be able to raise them up too?

In a laboratory somewhere, a researcher has collapsed.
From this person’s POV, Braig becomes visible.
Braig: Xehanort! Have your memories returned?

From the view of the person referred to as Xehanort, a Keybalde appears before his eyes.

The screen then blacks out theatrically, displaying KINGDOM HEARTS 3D Dream Drop Distance, Spring 2012.

KH3D – Sora Gameplay


Footage from Famitsu, cropping and editing thanks to DChuich from KH13.com. Here’s the translation of Sora and Neku’s conversation.

Sora: Eh, my clothes changed?
This must be Yen Sid’s magic…
Ah, more importantly, where’s Riku!?
Rikuuuu!
Heeeey! Rikuuuu!
Neku: You’re loud, you awful Noise.

Neku: You’re Sora?
Sora: I am… But how do you know about me?
Neku: You’re not a Player in the Game then?
Sora: A Player?
Neku: Like usual, this is a game!
Neku: Players have this timer engraved on them.

Here is a translation of the account according to Aibo from FF-Reunion, it includes scenes not shown in the video.

Sora: Huh, where is this place? Traverse Town?
Sora: Eh, my clothes changed?
This must be Yen Sid’s magic…
Ah, more importantly, where’s Riku!?
Rikuuuu!
Heeeey! Rikuuuu!
Neku: You’re loud, you awful Noise.
You’re Sora?
Are you a Player in the Game too?
Sora: How do you know me? The Game? What are you talking about?
Neku: This is the Game, the Players all have this engraved on them. I can’t afford to lose this Game!
Sora: I don’t really get ‘the Game’, but maybe I can lend a hand?
Neku: Huh, you sure have a lot of faith in someone you just met
Neku: Well, to begin with, you can’t be a player in the Game without a partner, so I was looking for one.
Sora: Alright then, I’ll help a friend out.
Neku: Friend? You can’t say we’re friends so easily!
Sora: Whatever, let’s do it out of convenience then!
Neku: Have it your way.

KH3D – Trailer Impression

This is a translation of the Kingdom Hearts 3D trailer shown at Tokyo Game Show 2011 according to Aibo from FF-Reunion.

It starts in Yen Sid’s room, Yen Sid sits in his chair behind his desk, Sora and Riku stand across from him. They appear in their KH2 outfits, but Riku’s hair is short.

Yen Sid: From here, you two will take the Mark of Mastery Exam.
Sora, surprised:  Even without taking it, no one can beat me!
Riku, facing downward: Having walked the path of darkness, I wonder if it’d really be right for me to wield the Keyblade. You’d have to make sure.
Sora: Riku…

Yen Sid: Let’s open the keyhole of sleep. If you return back to this place, then I will consider you Masters.

Sora on a balcony, opens his eyes.
Sora: Huh, where is this place? My clothes changed! More importantly, where’d Riku go?
Sora leans over the balcony and calls out in a loud voice: Heeeey! Riiiikuuu!
A mysterious boy descends from a rooftop in ambush: You’re so loud, stupid Noise.
Sora is surprised and jumps off the balcony.
Neku: You’re Sora…

Yen Sid: A large number of Heartless reside in the world of darkness. Instead, in the world submerged in sleep there exists a particular key. That is, creatures who consume dreams known as the Dream Eaters. Searching for the Dream Eaters will guide you to the key of sleep.

(Battle action sequences of Sora are shown.)

Neku, showing Sora the scarlet mark on his hand: This is from the Game. All the participants have it engraved upon them. I can’t afford to lose this Game!
Sora: I don’t really get ‘the Game’, but maybe I can lend a hand?

The scene changes to the world of Notre Dame.
Riku is speaking with Quasimodo who is holding Esmeralda: Quasimodo, where did the creatures go?
Quasimodo: To the rooftop of cathedral.
A Dream Eater with wings like a butterfly descends upon them.
Quasimodo: Me too, me too, I’ll fight too!

The scene returns to Neku and Sora in a plaza inTraverse Town.
Sora, facing Neku: Come to think of it, I didn’t ask your name.
All of a sudden several Dream Eaters appear around them!
Neku with surprise: Dream Eaters!
Sora: That’s a weird name.
Neku, pointing at the Dream Eaters: Not me, those!

Yen Sid: Opening the keyhole of sleep, along with finding a new power, the power locked in sleep will become revealed as well.

The trailer continues, showing the AR capabilities of playing with the Dream Eater pets, it’s a lot like Nintendogs. Maybe you’ll be able to raise them up too?

In a laboratory somewhere, a researcher has collapsed.
From this person’s POV, Xigbar becomes visible.
Xigbar: Xehanort! Have your memories returned?

From the view of the person referred to as Xehanort, a Keybalde appears before his eyes.

The screen then blacks out theatrically, displaying KINGDOM HEARTS 3D Dream Drop Distance, Spring 2012.

KH3D – Demo Impression

This article comes from Famitsu, it’s more detailed than the others have been but I’m not done yet; I’ll finish it later. It’s finished now!

Loaded with new elements and the appearance of a new character!? Kingdom Hearts 3D Play Report from TGS 2011

At Tokyo Game Show 2011, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance is being exhibited in Square Enix’s Booth. We present a play report of both Sora and Riku’s scenarios.

Sora crosses paths with that guy!?
Tokyo Game Show 2011 is taking place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, September 15 to 18, 2011. At Square Enic’s booth the world premiere of the Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance (from here on out, KH3D) demo is being exhibited. Here we’ll report our experience trying out the demo.

We’ll start off with a summary of the game. KH3D is an action RPG and the first of the Kingdom Hearts series to appear on the Nintendo 3DS platform. This time there are two main characters, the series star Sora and his best friend Riku.

In the demo you can choose between Sora and Riku’s scenarios. Not only are the two main characters to choose, but the worlds, enemies, and interacting characters are different so you get considerably unique experiences with each.

The first person we tried out was Sora. The scenario takes place in the familiar Traverse Town; however there are two new areas to explore, District 4 and District 5. Sora appears here and encounters none other than Neku, the main character of It’s A Wonderful World (The World Ends With You)! It’s the first time in the Kingdom Hearts a Square Enix character other than the Final Fantasy characters has appeared. It seems Neku is wandering around the area in search of a partner, though it’s a different place, I wonder if we will see more partners like Shiki and the others from Wonderful World (TWEWY) appear here too…?

When Neku separates from Sora, he advances and runs into the new enemy, Dream Eaters! Surrounded by the colorful enemies, I move to attack them by barraging the buttons. The attack operations are very crisp as it’s been with the KH series before, but the new system is a refreshing change. Using the “Free Flow Action” ability, you can swing around and round the poles and jump kick off the walls. You can see that the motions are clearly advanced, but it’s so easy to operate. When you press the Y button you can “Slide” (like a mini dash), if you’re in front of a pole you automatically begin swinging around it. Or if you are in front of a wall, you can pounce right off it. Furthermore, if you press A during “Free Flow Action” you can switch to a “Free Flow Attack”. These high speed actions are very exhilarating, it’s like all the action you expect of the KH series but amplified! But if you get too excited and continue to press the Y button, eventually he’s going too fast and you lose control of Sora. Luckily, even if you lose control you are still taking down the enemies. Once you are used to the hectic style of Sora flurrying about, you’ll no doubt gain more control and enjoy it more.

Earlier I wrote that the Dream Eaters were the enemy this time around, but in truth that isn’t correct. There are two types of Dream Eaters, there are those that appear as your enemies and those that appear as Sora and Riku’s companions. The companion Dream Eaters fight alongside you as AI, but if you fill the “Link Gauge” and touch the bottom screen (or press L+R+ A buttons at the same time), you can ride the Dream Eater and together with Sora do a cooperative attack. Additionally, if you activate both companions at the same time you can do the “Dual Link” ability, an even stronger technique. In Sora’s “Dual Link” technique, the Dream Eaters combine into one large one which he rides quite comically.

Additionally, when I hit several of the same enemies in battle, the lock on mark changed into something special. At that time pressing X and A buttons at the same time I was able to invoke the “Reality Shift” technique. Invoking it, Sora’s figure disappears and the enemies are displayed on the bottom screen, shrouded in balls of light. You can drag them close and launch them, making the enemies wrapped in the balls of light spring forward and create a big explosion. This seems to be an attack that involves numerous enemies.

Hurrying along, a fairly large bipedal Dream Eater appears. It seems to be some sort of boss. In a spacious area you attack while running about and the boss steadily chases after you. Though there have been many battles before with a space confined to the boss fight, this boss fight area was quite spacious. Furthermore, you are fighting on top of a glass rooftop, so the glass will break and you can fall into the building’s interior! I was able to make the best use of the surprising tricks and crush the boss, ending Sora’s scenario.

Continuing along, next was Riku’s scenario. It takes place in “Le Cité des Cloches”, the world inspired by the Bells of Notre Dame. It’s the first time this world appeared in the series. In comparison with Sora, we can see Riku’s stylish actions however they are not all that different in operation. But the cooperation with the Dream Eater companions was very different. With Sora we saw a direct cooperative attack by riding the Dream Eaters around, in contrast they serve as power ups to Riku. By choosing a Dream Eater, you can invoke attacks shrouded in fire, illuminating the power that dwells inside of Riku. The “Reality Shift” ability is also different with Riku, in his case the lower screen displays the enemies and pillars whose object icons can be tied up. While the enemies are connected by the chain, Riku can run on top the chain and attack all the enemies caught up in the line.

The boss in Riku’s scenario is a winged Dream Eater. Riku can’t fly, or so I had thought, but above the field whirlwinds blow and lift you up, Riku can ride the wind fight while floating. The floating operated a bit differently than the Glide ability, I finally took out the boss and finished Riku’s scenario.

This report became extremely long, but I had a good look at the numerous new elements introduced in this demo. Though we looked at the new editions to the battle system and the aspects of the Dream Eater companions, it seems there are still more elements to discover. KH fans will definitely want to get a glimpse at all the new elements through playing the KH3D demo!