Last week, when Square Enix published its E3 trailer for Kingdom Hearts 2.5, they added a little teaser for Kingdom Hearts III. We knew that already.
What we didn't know is that according to Kingdom Hearts III co-director Tai Yasue, who spoke to me this morning in an E3 interview, this is actually the first thing you'll see when you open up the game.
"That's the starting scene for Kingdom Hearts III, actually," Yasue told me. "[Co-director Tetsuya] Nomura has a real clear picture of the starting sequence. He wrote that up actually, the drawings, and we voice-recorded that. That's gonna be a real integral part of the story of Kingdom Hearts III. It's gonna be the starting point of Kingdom Hearts III."
Watch it all:
Yasue is here in Los Angeles to talk about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2.5, a remake of KH2 for PS3 that also includes Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep and some other features. He's co-directing that one too. It's out in December.
And though I was warned before the interview that Yasue couldn't talk much about the third Kingdom Hearts, which was announced for PS4 and Xbox One at E3 2013, I couldn't help myself. I had to ask for something, anything.
"Is there anything you can hint at or tease to fans who might be desperate for any information on Kingdom Hearts III?" I asked.
"As a developer I'm really excited, the technology is totally different, and creatively it's moving at leaps and bounds," Yasue said.
He pointed to the gameplay that they showed off at D23 in Japan a few months ago, where Sora and crew rode around a giant boss on a rollercoaster-like train. We'll see a lot of big setpieces like that, he said.
It's this gameplay:
"We'll have, I think, a lot of that," Yasue told me. "You could I guess imagine a theme park sort of ride-based action. I think that might be an important part of the game, and so I think people can really look forward to that. It will be moving in leaps and bounds, I think. It's very exciting."
I told Yasue, who is bilingual and speaks both Japanese and English, that the first thing everyone thought when Disney bought Lucasfilm was that now Kingdom Hearts could have Star Wars. He laughed and said he couldn't comment.
But now that Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is almost done, Yasue and crew are focusing all their energy on Kingdom Hearts III, which still has no release date, or even a release year.
"Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is gorgeous, I think," Yasue said. "But Kingdom Hearts III is pure magic."