Kingdom Hearts Ultimania Interviews Birth by Sleep (Famitsu Interview)

So what about the development of Birth by Sleep?
Tetsuya Nomura: The developer of re:COM will be working on KH:BBS. During Development, the production of KH:BBS was stopped, for the production of re:COM. At first, it felt a bit weird starting the project again. I believe this project started before the other two, of the three Kingdom Hearts games, and I also believe it will be the last to hit the market.

Does KHII’s Final Mix+ secret ending still relate to Birth by Sleep?
The Secret Ending is an image for a scene in BBS, therefore, the title of the game is also the same. However, because it is difficult to express a violent battle as playable content, The Secret Ending is an image to the end. (Is he hinting that this is how BBS will end or something else?)

Birth by Sleep seems to be the past to the “KH” Series.
The game is the farthest in the past in the timeline of Kingdom Hearts, and will take place 10 years before Kingdom Hearts I. There is a screenshot of two children playing on the beach, and I believe the fans can understand what that means.

In Final Mix+, it is said that “Three Scenarios spelt by Three Heroes.” Is there a relationship between each scenario?
There are three heroes, Terra, Ven, and another character in KHBBS. A story is already prepared for all three of them. Therefore, in a way you can say three games were made at the same time. (Laughs) It’s difficult to zap through the explanation right now since we are still working on scenario development. The beginning will be a bit hard to understand, but by completing all three scenarios, you will understand the entire story.

Do the names of the three heroes represent something?
In Kingdom Hearts, Sora meant Sky, Riku meant Land, and Kairi meant Sea. In this game, the three meanings make a large impact on the game.

Do the scenarios from the timelines of all 3 characters happen around the same time?
All of the scenarios do take place around the same time; however, there are also some gaps between the timelines. Also there are times when all three heroes will meet.

Is the playing order decided yet?
I believe it would be better if we gave the players a freedom of choice. Although this is still being talked about, but I believe it would be better to choose whomever you want to start as out of the three.

What key points will the audience discover during the storytelling of BBS?
Nomura: To bring a point. The word that comes up in Kingdom Hearts 2, is “Xehanort.” The game will give up answers to several things, like: “Why does the elderly person in BBS have the same name?” and “Why is he wearing the same clothes as Ansem in KH1?” Another thing I want to bring up is that Ven has the same hairstyle, face, clothes, and voice of Roxas. Who is he?

Is the voice actor of Ven the same as Roxas?
Nomura: Yes, it is the same actor. Therefore the person who played him will only play him as he did Roxas from KH2.

However, are Roxas and Ven really the same character? Moreover, what’s the mystery for the existence of Ven and Roxas?
When playing KH:BBS, you will find that understanding the origin of Roxas (and Ven) are the keys to understanding both BBS and KHII. You will be able to seperate Ven from Roxas with ease, I will hint that though connecting the story between Roxas and Sora, and then you will understand who Ven is.

May I believe that the one you fight in KH2FM+ and Terra are the same persons? Because they both use a very similar kind of Keyblade.
 Whether they really are the same person or not is uncertain, though it will not matter whether or not you think they are the same persons.

In BBS, after all three are separated from each other, the king appears?!
It may be deeply related to the story, however I cannot tell you whether or not that is a “King” from that current age. This is because the development of BBS will be a very serious story. <em>(Uncertain translation here)</em>

In BBS, is the gameplay done by choosing action commands lined up in command list?
It is necessary for me to explain…The Command Menu that was shown to the public (A.K.A scans, and video) has now changed. A system similar to that of re:COM has been created successfully so it would feel like a command deck. However, the present screenshots show it was a bit too close to the idea of re:COM. The battle screens you see in the images now have already been changed. However, the operating sense is similar to that of the Kingdom Hearts series. The gameplay has a slight influence from the DS game “World Ends With You.”

Are there any features for the Growth System? (Leveling System)
A new Growth System has been added into the game–four obligations within a (fight) scenario has to be matched. We tried this in various ways because it was a bit hard with the PSP. However we made the best use of its analog stick.

Are there new enemies you can confirm that are not shown in the screens?
The new enemy is not a Heartless or a Nobody. Because the story takes place before even they appear. I can give out more information little by little as time passes, an example being like the Shadow enemies that are Heartless, and the Dusk enemies that are Nobodies.

With the PSP, will it be possible for two people to Communicate by a connection method?
It’s too early to answer that; however, we will be taking advantage of the PSP features to further develop BBS.