In Kingdom Hearts 4, our Keyblade hero Sora has a brand new look that finally makes him resemble a realistic-looking Final Fantasy character and a swanky new apartment to go with it. It’s an impressive feat for a 15-year-old, assuming he didn’t time skip a few years after leaving Donald Duck, Goofy, and all of his friends at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3. According to series creator Tetsuya Nomura, however, Sora’s new makeover and pad may not last as long as we thought it would.
In a recent interview with Famitsu (with translation courtesy of VGC), Nomura divulged some new details about Kingdom Hearts 4, which he suddenly announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary event in Tokyo last Sunday — and on Palm Sunday, no less. He shares the new world that Sora will be roaming around in for most of the game and demystified any misconceptions fans may have about the world of Quadratum. Here are some important revelations from the interview.
When the trailer for Kingdom Hearts 4 dropped, fans were shocked to see that Sora switched over from the Disney animated world to the real world, trading his clown shoes for what looks like Vans and taming his hairdo to make it less spiky. But Nomura says that the realism Quadratum gave Sora and the people living in it is all about perspective. In other words, Quadratum is a version of reality that is completely different than the reality Sora came from and vice versa.
“From Sora’s perspective, Quadratum is an underworld, a fictional world that is different from reality,” Nomura said. “But from the point of view of the inhabitants on the Quadratum side, the world of Quadratum is reality, and the world where Sora and the others were is the other side, the fictional world.”
As Strelitzia told Sora the moment he gets off the couch, Quadratum is full of life, but it’s an afterworld for both of them. Basically, just because Sora is in the real world doesn’t mean he’ll stay there forever — nor will he remain a real boy. Sorry, Pinocchio.
Nomura says that the apartment Sora wakes up in will be his base in the earlier parts of the Kingdom Hearts 4, much like how the hangout den in Twilight Town served as Roxas’ base at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 2. The room is barren for the most part, but he said that the interior will probably change by the time the game is released. Whether it’ll decorate itself or players will have to gather items to decorate it throughout the game, like furniture, posters, and other knickknacks is not very clear at this time.
The apartment building itself is set in a small part of Tokyo called Minami-Aoyama, which actually exists in our world. It’s a short walk away from Shibuya, where Sora supposedly showed up in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 3. This brings us to the next point.
When Sora arrived in Shibuya in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 3, he retained the same spiky hair, black-and-yellow clown shoes (I’m not sure why people call them that), and the plaid pattern on his outfit that he wore throughout the game. That scene implied that in the next Kingdom Hearts game, Shibuya would be a world Sora would visit to meet with Neku, Beat, Shiki, and the rest of the cast of The World Ends With You as promised in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance when Neku said, “See you in Shibuya.” Sadly, that is not the case.
Nomura said that Shibuya is a part of Quadratum, and as such, it has no connection to The World Ends With You. He also pointed out that it doesn’t have any connection to Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin either (another game Nomura worked on), which fans also brought up for some reason.
Remember when Sora launched a drill from his Keyblade at the giant Heartless terrorizing Quadratum? That attack is a reaction command, which hasn’t been used since Kingdom Hearts 2. Nomura says that fans have been asking to bring reaction commands back after the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. It didn’t make much sense to use the theme park ride attacks or drive forms every 30 seconds of combat, so we can’t really blame them.
Nomura says he also put in a new battle concept called Scrap and Build, with the Build part located at the bottom of the command window. More details about Scrap and Build will be revealed at a later date.
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