Tetsuya Nomura Answers Several Kingdom Hearts Fans’ Questions in 20-Year Anniversary Q&A

During the recently concluded Kingdom Hearts 20-year anniversary event in Japan, series director Tetsuya Nomura answered a variety of fan questions pertaining to the franchise as a whole.

The following content originates from my coverage on Kingdom Hearts fansite, KH13.

Event participants have shared these questions and responses, and we have translated them below. Twitter users Aibo and toro_cocoron0te are among the most prominent posters of these questions and answers.

The translation work for this specific segment has been done by our team’s Ryuji.

  • Q1. Does the finale of Dark Road imply that the Player’s heart is now inside Xehanort’s?
    A1: Play Dark Road and you will find out.
  • Q2. This is the first time in KH that there is a story branch (the Yozora battle). What is the meaning behind this?
    A2: Since Yozora is so strong, I thought it would be better to put something in the game “if he loses.”
  • Q3. Was Ephemer aware of the player’s true intentions in Union Cross’ finale?
    A3: It was a pretty sad farewell, but there’s more to Ephemer than meets the eye. A “Missing Link,” if you will. All of the questions will be answered once you play Missing Link.
  • Q4: When did Naminé and Ansem first meet?
    A4: In Castle Oblivion.
  • Q5: Riku’s hair was cut in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. Who cut it for him?
    A5: Well, you all wanted his hair to be cut, so I answered your prayers…
  • Q6: Please tell us about the return of Roxas and Xion.
    A6: There were some doubts on whether to bring them back or not, but everyone had such strong feelings for them, so we decided to bring them back.

Kingdom Hearts IV

Audrey of Aitai Kuji has provided translations for the remaining questions and answers, viewable below. This information is sourced from the coverage of the Japanese publication Gamer.

—Is the Nobody symbol already there when a Nobody is born? Or does Organization XIII mark them? Do the humanoid Nobody also have marks?

Nomura: The Nobody symbol is already there when a Nobody is born; however, humanoid Nobodies do not have them. You can consider the human Nobody to be akin to a pure-blooded heartless of sorts.

—Do you get new inspiration from Utada Hikaru’s songs?

Nomura: I think about the opening movie after she gives us her songs. In that sense, yes, I do receive inspiration from her music. It’s a necessary piece to our puzzle.

—In KHUx, the Player ends up in Xehanort’s heart, so does that mean that they’re still there?

Nomura: You will find your answer if you play Dark Road and get to the ending. You’re going to play right into my hand (laughs).

—In KH2, Riku handed a keyblade to Kairi, but where did he get that keyblade? Do you plan to write some backstory about that?

Nomura: If I say yes then…if I don’t follow up, it’ll probably be brushed aside so yes, we do intent to follow up with this.

—In KHUx, when Ephemer and Skuld were alone and escaped from the data world, why did a bunch of noise flow through the sky?

Nomura: Since you had already escaped from the data world, there’s not much we had planned that impacted the story regarding that. Since we showed that the data world and the real world were heading to ruin, it was just an effect of that.

—Did someone give Isa the scar on his face? Why does it seem like a mark of a heretic?

Nomura: There is a story regarding Lea, Isa, and the girl they tried to save…Since there is a backstory there, we are thinking of expanding on it. We hope you can look forward to it.

—During the Keyblade War, Master Xehanort could see what lies before him and took over Terra’s body in preparation. However, Young Xehanort should also have that power too. Why was he not able to use that power when he was younger?

Nomura: He just didn’t have the power or rather, he didn’t have enough power yet. In regards to Xehanort, I highly recommend playing Dark Road to see what happens to him. The secret to his hairstyle will also be revealed…

—What’s the difference between Riku and Aqua falling into the darkness versus when others become heartless (and form a Nobody)?

Nomura: There is a difference between falling into the darkness versus losing your heart. Even if your heart falls into darkness, you still are able to retain your heart. However, if you become a heartless, you lose your heart, and that’s the difference.

—It seems that Maleficent had glimpsed what was inside the black box, and I thought the reason would be shown in KHUx, but do you plan to finally reveal this plot point?

Nomura: In the scene with the darkness and Maleficent, instead of making it very clear what was happening, the portrayal was more along the lines of “oh, is it this?” It might be hard to tell for the player, but I think next time we might have her explain why she reacted in that way.

—In KH3, when Xemnas crushes Lea’s keyblade, he said that the keyblade was lost, yet Lea was still able to use a keyblade after that.

Nomura: We had a lot of these kind of running gags. It’s not like it was lost forever, but that the keyblade was just destroyed at that specific location. The meaning we wanted to convey was that even if Axel tried to bring back his keyblade, it would just get destroyed again in that moment with the nuance being it’s futile for him to use it at that time. Xemnas doesn’t have the power to actually permanently destroy keyblades.

In Kingdom Hearts IV, Sora has found himself in Quadratum with Strelitzia, a prominent character from Kingdom Hearts Union χ. Additionally, this new saga has been titled the Lost Master Arc. Some combat footage is showcased, with Sora performing Keyblade transformations against a giant entity that seems to be a Heartless? We don’t know for sure.

“The heart resides within the soul, which in turn is guided by fate to its rightful place” is a crucial phrase used at the start of this trailer for the upcoming mainline game.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.