Unchained Key

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To complement their E3 conference earlier today, Square Enix presented a special Spotlight on Kingdom Hearts event just now with series director Tetsuya Nomura and co-director Tai Yasue.

The pair began by answering questions on Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. When asked about the differences between Unchained χ and the original browser game, Nomura confirmed that the storyline will be basically the same, with a bit of differentiation. Unchained χ takes place in the "earliest part" of Kingdom Hearts history, right before the Keyblade War erupts. Unchained χ will feature characters not yet seen in the main Kingdom Hearts storyline and will play a "key part" in the major plot.

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When asked about the art style in Unchained χ, Nomura described how the basis of the setting began in the story Kairi's Grandmother told about the Keyblade War in the original Kingdom Hearts. Unchained χ's art was inspired by storybooks and fairy tales, as players listen in on the lead-up to the Keyblade War.

Nomura hopes Disney fans will enjoy the characters that appear in Unchained χ, as familiar characters from past Disney worlds are more than likely to show up. The new trailer for Unchained χ will "peak your interest" in the story and fans should pay attention to the dialogue and text bubbles.

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After another showing of the trailer for Unchained χ, the group moved on to discussing Kingdom Hearts III, beginning with the new Tangled world revealed in today's trailer. The development team behind Kingdom Hearts III really wanted to feature Tangled, inspired by Rapunzel's strong personality and hair. A short video with Roy Conli and Greg Coleman was shown; the former feels that Tangled's theme of finding oneself fits in well with Kingdom Hearts and was pleased that the development team was spending so much time on the graphics of Kingdom Hearts III, particularly Rapunzel's hair.

Nomura and Yasue were not prepared to reveal any more Disney worlds (though a new one may be announced "very, very soon"), but confirmed that the ones slated to appear in Kingdom Hearts III will primarily be "newer areas" that have not been experienced before.

New gameplay elements were also discussed and, naturally, new enemies. The Heartless of Kingdom Hearts III will cooperate with one another, adding "variety and range" to the battles in the game. The dandelion Heartless shown in the trailer, for example, will spawn more Heartless as they are hit.

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The hosts of the event asked Nomura about Sora's new costume, which was also revealed today. Nomura noticed the Kingdom Hearts II costume was popular and considered keeping it, but as a proper numbered title (and with pressure from the development team), Nomura designed the new outfit. Sora's new costume mixes the aesthetics from Kingdom Hearts II and Dream Drop Distance, and features a more "sleek" and "sporty" look to support Sora's more dramatic and action-oriented movements. Sora remains the same size and proportion from Kingdom Hearts II, though his hair is less wild and his outfit less decorated.

Following the costume chat, the panel returned to Kingdom Hearts III's gameplay. The double bow gun and magic blaster attacks are some of the many Keyblade Transformations that will appear in the title. The Attraction Flow attacks bring the excitement and thrill from their Disney Parks counterparts to the game. The Mad Tea Party attack, for example, originally placed the player in Sora's perspective, but the wild movement of the camera proved too sickening and had to be changed.

In creating the trailer, the team prepared many different materials but were limited by the length of the video, and chose to feature flashy, eye-catching moments. While Nomura joked that they could have shown more Kingdom Hearts III assets during the spotlight, rather than host the interview, they promised to share more Kingdom Hearts III material through the year, particularly at D23 Expo Japan this coming November.

To sign off the presentation, Yasue says that fan encouragement and support keeps the team motivated and makes late nights and exhaustion worthwhile. Nomura seemed overwhelmed by the amount of preparation that went into E3 2015, for Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII, but he was happy that so many turned up to see their work.
An official gameplay trailer of Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] was shown at Square's E3 conference today! Square Enix confirmed that the game will come to both Japan and North America, and supported the statement by showing us English text in the game.


More news on the port will no doubt arrive at the upcoming D23 Expo Japan this November.
4Gamer has released a couple of high quality images from Unchained X[chi], showing how different the browser game will look on mobile devices, which includes a new way to use the cards (now called medals for Unchained), and Re:coded/TWEWY-style scenes.

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In addition to an interview with Famitsu, the Kingdom Hearts series director, Tetsuya Nomura, has provided a message for fans regarding the reveal of Unchained X[chi], discussing the meaning behind the name 'Unchained', and that the browser version of the game will still continue. Translation of Nomura's message can be read below:

Credit to Zephyr of KHInsider for the translation.
News on Unchained X[chi] just keeps on rolling. A Japanese teaser site has launched for the game, which, while doesn't contain much at the moment, does include a slightly altered version of the logo. You can check out the website here.

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