A special event was recently held for the upcoming mobile game Kingdom Hearts Missing–Link for beta testers, where select Square Enix staff, including Tetsuya Nomura and Ichiro Hazama, discussed the upcoming title.
However, it’s worth noting that since this event was private, you’ll have to take these eventgoers and our translations with some grains of salt, even though there wasn’t anything too vitally important stated. Recordings of the event were not allowed, and it seems there is no transcript.
Many of Aibo’s tweets are summarized below:
Q: Why did you decide to develop a game that is practically a 180 from Union Cross?
Nomura: We are now in an era where there is practically little to no difference between a smartphone game and a console game, so I’ve wanted to use the increased hardware horsepower for some time now. So, if we’re going to do it on a smartphone, I want it to be something that is unique to smartphones.
Q: We would like to use controllers in various aspects of play.
A: Such features are in future plans.
Q: Will there be any additional Keyblades?
A: There will be.
Q: I’d like to see some sort of collaboration with Disney on the Astral World building.
Nomura: This is still a secret.
Q: When do you plan to release [Missing Link]?
Nomura: As you can probably guess from my expression, we’re working as fast as we can to release it as soon as possible.
At this meeting, they showed a trailer but didn’t allow people to record it.
Aibo’s eyewitness compilation: The video showed Olympus, a tunnel (Snow White?) A place that looks like a body of water (Pinocchio?). There are several other mysterious worlds. You can go to different Worlds in Missing Link, it seems.
Remus, the red-haired boy. His character is modeled after a reliable older brother (?). And apparently, his character design was made by Yamashita, not Nomura.
Nomura mentions that the protagonist took a lot of retries to get just right. (Mostly due to the long dragoon-like parts on both sides of the hat)
Another eventgoer, @rikunami13, stated the following:
- Character designs are done with three people while still consulting with Nomura.
- Nomura says there are many other characters and Societies than the ones people have seen at the closed beta.
- Because there are many different designers involved, there are many different kinds of clothes. They showcased the design aesthetics of several outfits.
Q. Are Navigators different from Keyblade wielders? Is there a navigator for each of the Societies?
Nomura: They are Keyblade wielders. They just don’t use it. There are no navigators in each of the Societies. Only Freya. And, by the way, this isn’t like Union Cross, where you can choose your favorites. You’re assigned one in the story, and that is fixed.
Q. Will the cutscenes be movie events like this prologue instead of text-based events like in Union Cross?
A. Not all of them, because if we make everything to the level of this prologue, it will be more than a year before Missing Link releases. I’ve already shot enough for cutscenes for the official release.
Q. What is your favorite part about Missing Link?
Shirakami: Lock mode consumes one-seventh of the battery. In lock mode, you can defeat enemies even while riding a car or catching the train.
Yamashita: The background is beautiful, so I want you to pay close attention to it.
Hazama: While there are usually regional disparities in GPS-based games, this one does not.
Q. Can I form a party with the main characters of Missing Link’s story?
A. There are opportunities within the story, like you’ve seen with Remus. However, as for “freely forming a party with them,” we are not considering such a feature at the moment.
Q. Will there be any limited-time events?
A. We’ve already discussed the events internally, but that is something we cannot answer yet.
Q. How big will the scenario be when the service starts?
A. There are so many new characters, voiced dialogue, and cutscenes that there we are reviewing the structure, but we have no intention of making it be compact. I’d say it will be about the same as the previous Kingdom Hearts.
Q. I’m curious: how often will the story be updated?
Nomura: Honestly, how many months did it take for some updates back in Union Cross? That kind of thing is just unforgivable nowadays.
UPDATE 12/3/2023: Updated with more responses via this compilation.
Q: Will there be additional characters for raid bosses?
A: Yes, I can’t be more specific, but we will add more characters in the future.
Q: Will there be updates to the gacha presentation?
A: Currently, it skips with one tap, but we will enhance the direction, and we ask for your patience.
Q: Are there any plans to implement a friend request function?
A: Yes, it may take some time, but we will add it.
Q: What about player housing?
A: It’s currently under consideration, though this is not a prerequisite for putting it in.
Q: Is there a weekly/monthly billing thing, like a subscription or a VIP pass?
A: Well, we are going along with the idea that we will do something of that kind. It’s not functional yet, but you can see we already have a menu for that in the Closed Beta. It will be different from your typical subscriptions.
Nomura said, “There is a great secret hidden in Freya, but may I tell you the secret?” and then followed with, “Some speculate she has a connection with Ephemer, but she doesn’t.”
Missing-Link was written by [Ruiko] Fukazawa in the beginning, but Nomura took over the writing process midway.
Q. Is it difficult to make the app hands-free while running in the background? Does Missing Link have to stay open?
A. We tested it several times, but it is difficult. Battery consumption drops to 1/7th of normal when the game is in lock mode. Hands-free usually stops working after 20,000 steps, but if the app is open while in Lock Mode, it works even after the said amount is passed. I think this is an advantage that other location games do not have.
Q. Is it possible to cook any dishes that increase status?
A. We have a character that acts like a cook, and we are preparing to include them, but we ask for your patience.
We’ll keep you all updated on the development and eventual release of Kingdom Hearts Missing–Link.
Kingdom Hearts Missing–Link is set after the events of Kingdom Hearts Union χ [Cross] but before the events of Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. It was announced alongside Kingdom Hearts IV. The story is seemingly set to follow the original player character from the Chi titles on a mission after the tragedy of Daybreak Town to ultimately script the events of Dark Road.
The game will play out similarly to Pokémon Go, with particular functionality also allowing players to enjoy the game in a stationary fashion.
Players explore a map linked to the real world and become stronger through battles and by collecting items called Pieces. By carrying your smartphone, it will be connected to the in-game player’s movement, with battles and pieces that can be automatically collected.
You can also access anywhere in the world without having to move and enjoy the game both on the go and at home. Furthermore, players can also enjoy multiplayer raid battles for up to six players and challenge powerful bosses.
Kingdom Hearts Missing–Link will launch for mobile devices via iOS and Android in 2024.
Kingdom Hearts IV will launch at an unknown time.
- Check out my analyses of the Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind data fights.
- Check out the top five features I want to see in Kingdom Hearts IV.
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