28 December 2012

Standard

-The First Adventure Told in Beautiful Graphics-

With over 18,000,000 units shipped worldwide, the Kingdom Hearts (here-on KH) series is very popular. The latest instalment is a HD remaster of the early stretch of the story. Of the three titles included in this work, we will now introduce KH Final Mix, which details the very first adventure of protagonist Sora. We will also reveal changes from the original.

UPDATING THE ORIGINAL KH FINAL MIX

+On top of being made HD, some character models and textures have been updated
+The English voicing has been changed to Japanese voicing
+With trophy support there is more to do after clearing the game
+PS3 custom theme made available after clearing the game
+Addition of abilities ‘EXP Zero’, in which you cannot earn EXP, and ‘Combo Master’, in which combos continue even if an attack misses
+Camera controls have been changed to the right stick. R3 button to swing the camera behind to default position
+’Talk’ and some special abilities etc. now executed with only the △ button
+’Summon’, which used to be included in ‘Magic’, has been added separately to the command menu

WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

After his home is swallowed by the darkness, Sora sets off on a journey to the ‘outside worlds’ to search for his missing friends Riku and Kairi and drive back enemies known as ‘Heartless’, and as he does so, he travels through many Disney worlds. Now we will introduce each world and present screenshots showcasing how beautiful they look remastered in HD!

TRAVERSE TOWN (KH original world)
This is the first world Sora ends up on. Living here are Final Fantasy characters such as Leon (Squall from FFVIII).

WONDERLAND (from Alice in Wonderland)
Alice is put on trial for the crime of trying to steal the heart of the Queen of Hearts. In order to save her, evidence must be collected in this strange world.

OLYMPUS COLISEUM (from Hercules)
Sora enters a tournament, sights set on becoming a hero. However, in the background is Hades and his schemes… Visit again after for the chance to battle secret boss Sephiroth!

DEEP JUNGLE (from Tarzan)
Sora, separated from Donald and Goofy, explores the jungle with Tarzan as his guide. You must protect his loved ones from the cruel hunter Clayton.

AGRABAH (from Aladdin)
In order to rescue the imprisoned Princess Jasmine, you go with Aladdin to a trap-loaded magic cave. After clearing this world, Genie becomes your friend as a Summon.

MONSTRO (from Pinocchio)
Adventure through the insides of a giant whale, Monstro, who swallows you. While searching for the missing Pinocchio, you come across Riku, but…

ATLANTICA (from The Little Mermaid)
In this world, Sora and his friends take the shape of sea creatures like dolphins, and swim around freely under the sea. Perfect the art of swimming and challenge Ursula.

HALLOWEEN TOWN (from The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Sora and the others have special forms here too. Confront Boogie, who stole something important from Jack, but with all the trickery, it seems a tough battle is unavoidable!?

NEVERLAND (from Peter Pan)
Work alongside Peter Pan to search Captain Hook’s pirate ship. In this world, you can fly the skies just like Peter. Enjoy the exhilaration of swimming through the air.

100 ACRE WOODS (from Winnie the Pooh)
100 Acre Woods is picture book world. Collect the torn pages scattered through other worlds and clear mini-games to repair the damaged parts.

OTHER WORLDS
There are many other worlds that we haven’t showcased today. The works of Disney and the original story weave together as a grand tale expands.

NOTICE THE BEAUTIFIED BATTLE SCREENS AND PLENTY OF MINIGAMES

Simple controls and exhilarating flashy battle are staples of the KH series. A Disney character from each world will join you in battle alongside Donald or Goofy. You can also call friends through any Summon Magic that you gain.

DEVELOPMENT STAFF COMMENTS AND MINI INTERVIEWS!

Comments have arrived from Character Art Director Gen Kobayashi! Tohru Yamazaki, who was in charge of character textures etc and Sumio Nasu, a programmer, also answered a few questions for us. Let’s get the inside scoop on this title!

COMMENTS FROM CHARACTER ART DIRECTOR GEN KOBAYASHI

In order to match the HD remastering, a great deal of the base material had to be made high resolution as well as remade entirely. The KH menu screens were originally created in high graphics but we made them even nicer. We widened the screen to 16:9, and we even gave the controls a pleasant do-over, so I am sure that even those who played the PS2 game will be able to enjoy the fresh feeling of this title. We’ve also prepared custom themes and many trophies, so please try and collect them all.

INTERVIEW WITH CHARACTER TEXTURE DIRECTOR TOHRU YAMAZAKI

–What sort of work did you do on the HD remaster?

Yamazaki: I worked on upping the resolution of the character textures, and replacing characters that had been remade post-KH1. Also, things like replacing the thumbnails in the character index with updated versions. With this title, I started work with the aim to bring things up to basically post-KH2 quality, which meant things with drastically increased resolution and for other parts changing the creation style to fit textures created after KH2. I took great care to make sure people who had been playing the most recent titles in the series would feel the least sense of incongruence possible.

—What would you especially like players to see?

Yamazaki: After helping Kairi out, there’s a scene where she gives her charm to Sora, and I think it’s very pretty now. The three princesses on the stained glass at the very beginning are also a must-see, I think it has a lot of impact. The 101 Dalmatian puppies are also quite a lot cuter. There are lots of points.

—Lastly, please tell us about anything that left you with a deep impression.

Yamazaki: When work on the HD remaster began, I was given a chance to see screens of KH resources that had been made viewable in high resolution, with the main programmers from the previous development and other people involved with development. Everyone said things like ‘isn’t it fine the way it is?’ and ‘but it’s so pretty right now’. Even I couldn’t believe that this was something that had been made ten years ago. Usually, when you look at games from the past the age stands out, but the screens of KH were colourful and vivid, and I got a feeling of timelessness from them. I think it was only the result of the developers back then layering trial and error onto their ways of creating textures. However, once our eyes became accustomed to it, gradually our greed came out. You want to fix here, and here, and one thing turns to another… the greed of humans is inexhaustible. All we staff did our best to upgrade it within the constraints and time limit, but we also felt we could still keep working, so it’s very complex (dry laugh).

INTERVIEW WITH PROGRAMMER SUMIO NASU

—What sort of work did you do on the HD remaster?

Nasu: I analysed the PS2-era program and rewrote it for PS3 use, while mainly dealing with converting resources. I personally had never played to the end of KH1, so wherever I felt the basic controls had issues, I did my best to make them feel closer to that of KH2. You can also skip cutscenes this time.

—What would you especially like players to see?

Nasu: I want you to feel satisfied by the story on large screen, the image capacity, and the volume that is unbelievable for a ten year old title. Even if this is your first experience with the series, I’m sure you will be able to enjoy the controls without anything feeling off.

—Lastly, please tell us about anything that left you with a deep impression.

Nasu: Because it was a ten year old program, nobody remembered how to use it… We finally worked out how to get moving after a lot of trial and error. In the beginning I thought it was simply not the type of work you’d have thought for a HD remaster, and despite the unexpectedly heavy volume I was surprised. I want to make use of the knowledge I gained from this project to bring the next remastered title to life.

 

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