- Mysterious Voice
It’s the King calling to Sora here. In the Dive To Heart, the King guides Sora through his dream, explaining the intentions of the adventure. When Sora acquires the Keyblade for the first time after this, and just before passing through the last door of The End of The World, Sora hears a voice reverberate in him that sounds like the King’s. It seems so that those around him can’t hear this voice, indicating the King’s speaking to Sora’s heart directly.
- Squall called himself Leon when he appeared… Squall Leonhart’s “heartless”… in other words, does Leon come from taking out “hart”, or “heart”, from Leonhart?
Ah, that’s a deep reading into it, but that’s not what I meant. (laugh). In Disney Castle, if people saw in the beginning that “Meet Squall” was written in the letter, people would have an image of Squall in their head and the impact of the first meeting would be weak. Then Akiyama (Event Planning Director: Jun Akiyama) told me that he wanted to change only Squall’s name. We decided that we would take the last part of his name.
- The red wing pattern in Squall’s back is based off of Rinoa’s image, isn’t it?
That’s right. Well, there is a reason why Leon rejects being called Squall. I added Rinoa’s wings to imply something definitely happened in the past.
- You did not plan to have Rinoa to appear?
Rinoa didn’t appear, huh. (strained laugh) I thought personally, Rinoa was different from the other characters that I imagined in FFVIII and her personality was hard to grasp.
- Also, moving on to Cloud, the left half of his design was based off of Vincent from FFVII?
Yes, his left arm is based off of Vincent. Cloud was meant to be a character that is leaning towards the darkness, so I wanted to make him demon-like. Vincent was created to be that way so I thought of adding that on. I wanted Vincent to have an appearance though.
- We’d also like to ask a setting-type question about Cloud. Was he originally from Hollow Bastion?
In the Kingdom Hearts setting, at any rate, yes.
- In which case, when Cid took the others and escaped from Hollow Bastion, was Cloud left behind?
He was just lost in the confusion, he wasn’t really left behind (laughs). Because presumably Cid and co were escaping in the midst of the disarray.
- Then is the person Cloud searching for Aerith?
I wonder. If that person was Aerith, then that means one question was answered by the ending. You can take it as that. Since Cloud is a popular character, I don’t want to make this type of conclusion. The opinions of the players are stronger, so I want to give room for speculation.
- I am just curious, but are Sora, Riku, and Kairi treated as Disney characters?
- Does that mean that those three can appear in a Disney movie or some other sort of development like that?
That’s right. I guess I can’t say that’s impossible. I can’t say anything specific though. (laugh)
- When I heard that this was going to be a Disney game, I imagined that the story would be more simple, but in actuality it was a story that players can imagine different things.
Ah, I was going to focus on the game’s playfulness and keep the story simple. I thought of Disney’s target age group and talked about avoiding a complicated story. However, once the project started to come together, Mr. Sakamoto said if we don’t aim for the Final Fantasy fan group, this project is going to fail. Well, I knew that even without him saying it. Then, the game’s core… as for the playful part it still was kept the same, but the story was changed a lot. At the very beginning, the story was meant to be extremely simple. I thought of restricting it to ending after you defeat Maleficent, without the existence of Ansem.
- By the way, is there a reason why Mickey Mouse, who you might call Disney’s symbol character, only appears in one scene?
Actually, due to contractual issues, we were only able to use him in one scene. So I thought hard about where to put him in.
- Oh, so you had that sort of contractual restrictions then? If so, you used him in a very effective way, didn’t you
Disney gave us permission for a role such as waving from the back of a crowd of people in town, but if we were going to use him, I thought we should use him in a single shot to leave the greatest impression. So there was only that one place that we could use him in, really.
- Was Kairi’s arrival to Destiny Islands a coincidence or fate?
It’s both. I was not able to illustrate it in the story itself. It is a delicate subject whether or not it is okay to talk about her life situation, but Ansem himself sent out Kairi from Hollow Bastion. The reason why he sent out Kairi was to find the Keyblade. In the End of the The World’s prison, there is a is evidence that is left behind. Ansem believed that the young princess would end up where the Keyblade was no matter what. Thus the event of Kairi joining Sora and Riku is a coincidence and fate.
- Does that mean there are other Keyblade wielders?
Well, there are other Keyblade wielders, but coincidentally for now, Kairi happened to arrive to the world Riku and Sora are in.
- About Riku being the rightful owner of the Keyblade—why is it that Sora had the Keyblade first?
That part is also a bit vague. In the Destiny Islands when Riku is swallowed by the darkness, there’s a sparkle of light, and next comes the scene where Sora first gets the Keyblade, right? In my setting, the darkness wrapping itself around those two is the darkness of Riku’s heart. At the moment when Sora enters that darkness, the light you can see is the light of the heart. Sora, trying to help Riku, struggling in the darkness, touches that light and temporarily the Keyblade goes to Sora.
- Does not the Keyblade itself choose its owner?
The Keyblade reacts to the rightful owner’s heart and appears to them. Even though it was definitely Riku who called the Keyblade towards him, the reason why Sora was able to weild it was because he also had the right qualities too.
- Also, Kairi’s grandmother tells her a story about “the world once perishing and being recreated by the light of the children.” Is this “world recreated by the light of the children” in fact referring to all the worlds in the game?
Yes, that’s right. But that story wasn’t history, it was a fairy tale. It doesn’t mean that story equals the world’s history precisely. Although, there is a certain degree of overlapping.
- When you look at the computer in the World Terminus, there is a message with a very deep meaning. It says, “Two will seal the Door of Darkness.” Who specifically is it referring to?
Well, judging by what happens (in the game), one of them is obviously Sora. As for the other one, you could take it as either; there’s both Riku and the King. And for the “two keys” after that, there are both the keys that Sora and the King have, but also there’s the presence of Sora and Riku.
- At the end, it seems Kairi is left in the Destiny Islands. Why doesn’t she return to Hollow Bastion?
Right. I often get asked about this part, but it’s actually explained in the game. The Princesses tell Sora that everyone will be able to return to the place they were when their world was destroyed. Kairi disappeared in the Destiny Islands, so she returned there. Because she was physically sent from Hollow Bastion to the Destiny Islands, so she never actually “disappeared” from there.
- In the ending, Riku and the King are on the other side of the door. Why is that?
As far as the King is concerned, he was on the other side from the beginning. He disappeared because he went to the realm on the other side in order to find one of the two keys. There, he has his own adventure in the same way as Sora. As for Riku: his body stolen by Ansem, his heart did not remain in this world. The other side of the door is, just as it appears, darkness. So Riku’s heart went to the realm on the other side, that is to say just as Ansem was saying at the end, the Realm of Darkness. Thus, when Ansem disappears and Riku returns to his original body, he is in the Realm of Darkness.
- Well then, when Riku has returned to his own body, why doesn’t he come back to the realm on this side?
That’s another thing I’ve been asked by lots of people, but the answer is actually written in the World Terminus’s computer message. It is implied there that only darkness can pass through that door. Riku and the King are not creatures of darkness, so they can’t come out through that door.
- If that is so, the reason why those two are on the other side of a door they cannot pass… Riku went to the other side once he combined with Ansem. Since the King is there as well, does that mean there is another place where you can enter into the Realm of Darkness without using that door?
Yes. The last words he left behind were “find the door to light”. In other words, he was saying find the door, other than the door that allows darkness to come and go, that allows light to come and go.
- In the end of the ending, Pluto has the King’s letter. Is that implying that the King returned through the door of light?
I will leave that up to your imagination. I’ll tell you one thing. In the beginning in Traverse Town, after Goofy said, “Pluto, we’re going,” Pluto was not present. Actually, between when he first disappears and then appears again in the ending, he met with the King. The reason why Pluto perked up in Traverse Town was because he felt the King’s presence.
- Which worlds did Pluto travel when he had that letter?
I can say that he appeared in worlds that do not appear in the game…. well, other than the current worlds, there are other worlds that the Heartless erased. The End of the World did not exist at first and is a world that is made up of erased worlds put together. Also, there is the place where the door to Kingdom Hearts appears. Originally, that was another world, so that means that Sora and the others are now residing in that world which returned to what it once was.
- In the secret ending, there is an avalanche of words. Does that mean that you have the continuation of the story clearly in your head?
For now, yes. Hmmm, I wonder how much I should reveal. All I can say is that if there is a sequel, I want to have Ansem appear. Speaking of which, Ansem in the end, lost his body. That means that you can’t really say that the Ansem that appears in the end is Ansem’s true body. It’s a form that he took on after borrowing Riku’s body. Saying that, the existence of the robed man in the beginning is suspicious. There are several ways of interpreting it. Well, setting aside whether I’m doing that or not, I’ve been thinking about several ideas for the development after that.