Keyblade transformations are a cool new feature in Kingdom Hearts III, and we’ve seen our share of them in just about every trailer. From the keyblade turning into a pegasus cart to dual guns for Sora to wield, its transformations look to play a big part in the next entry. The latest trailer was no exception, showing us Sora’s blade turning into a laser whip and a drill in the new Toy Story world.
Although they’ve been on display visually, we still don’t know how they work in the game. I took the opportunity to ask director Tetsuya Nomura more about keyblade transformations and other combat elements in my recent interview.
“First and foremost, each keyblade will have its own form that it can transform into, and it’s different per keyblade,” Nomura said. “There are at least two different forms it can take. For example, in Toy Story, you saw the giant hammer and then the drill. Another one was at the beginning of the trailer where you saw Sora shoot arrows and it [then] turned into a bazooka, so there are two different forms. It also has multiple layers in terms of transforming; you start out with your first phase of transformation, and if you successfully connect your combos, the [next] transformation will happen.”
Nomura couldn’t divulge further on how you activate the transformation process, as the feature is still in development. “We’re still trying to finalize the specifications, but that being said, it is subject to change, so it might evolve into something even more impressive.”
Summons have already been confirmed for the game, but last we heard, Nomura wanted to make improvements for their role in Kingdom Hearts III. While he still couldn’t reveal what changes he’s making, he did share part of his new vision for them. “If I could provide a glimpse, I’ve made it more pretty,” he said. “Not just the literal modeling, but it’s more about how we’re expressing it that has become more pretty.”
Lastly, Nomura spoke about wanting to utilize the environment in this entry, having Sora interact with it more than ever before. He used examples from trailers where we’ve seen Sora running up cliffs and jumping on rubble floating in the world of Hercules. “It’s a new mechanic that we’re implementing in Kingdom Hearts III,” Nomura explained. “The Japanese name is Athletic Flow. I don’t know what the English final name is just yet. It’s based on the Flow Motion mechanic, and it’s basically revamped and introduced as a new mechanic in Kingdom Hearts III. You’ll be utilizing the environment to propel yourself to an area that you’re not normally able to go to, or again, running up the cliff during battle. Those can be expected in each of the different worlds you’ll be traversing through.”
Kingdom Hearts III is set for a 2018 release. You can learn more about the new Toy Story world here.