Talking Kingdom Hearts III (and a bit of Final Fantasy VII!) with Tetsuya Nomura

What an adorable little man

HOLY FUCK I UNEXPECTEDLY INTERVIEWED NOMURA. I sat in a private room at the Square Enix booth with Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII‘s creative director Tetsuya Nomura. Co-creator Tai Yasue was also there, though he let Nomura answer the majority of the questions that two other journalists and I asked him.

Mr. Nomura, I see that Sora is dressed in new duds. With your history of costume design, are we going to see changing outfits to go with form changes like in Kingdom Hearts II?

Yes. Form changes are being considered to bring back. I have enjoyed making different designs for different abilities in the past.

What is the process like when deciding which Disney levels are going to be in the game? Does Disney often intervene to make sure you’re utilizing certain properties?

Disney sometimes does make suggestions, but the development staff has more sway over worlds and gameplay mechanics.

When KH began, Disney was a large pool to pool from, but now with the additions of the Star Wars and Marvel properties, it is goddamn huge. Has this made it difficult to parse between which franchises you would like to insert into the ever-expanding universe?

The fact that we have to pick, and the difficulty associated with that, is something we have faced with each installment since the beginning. We pick more IPs than necessary and consult the schedule and feasibility of actually getting our designs to work. It’s been a repeating process.

How much would I have to pay you to draw a small portrait of me in your signature aesthetic?

I do some work outside of my current projects. The tasks come and I do them without knowledge of how much money I will make. If I ever decide to leave Square Enix, I will determine a price! (I pull out my wallet and start taking out whole dollars. Tetsuya lets out an adorable giggle and shows a big, goofy [ha!] smile.)

With Final Fantasy VII being remade, are you more excited to finally remake this, or nervous because of the years of players’ built-up expectations?

When I create anything, I feel no pressure for some reason. When the trailer was announced yesterday, I was texting Kazushige Nojima and Yoshinori Kitase, but I sensed that one of them was nervous and it was interesting to me. Seeing the reactions made everything worth it. Nojima said he is very determined to make this after seeing the reaction. I asked “you weren’t sure before that?” Haha. The news of the remake is impacting so many people. I couldn’t sleep last night because my phone was blowing up! So many people are congratulating me that I feel like “Oh wow, maybe I did do something profound here!

Zack Furniss