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Kingdom Hearts III
Overview
Kingdom Hearts III
Story
Kingdom Hearts III
Forms
Kingdom Hearts III
Cards
Image Gallery
Gallery
Kingdom Hearts III
Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts III is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4[2] and the Xbox One.[3]

Serving as a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, the story takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It features an older Sora as the main protagonist who sets forth on a new adventure with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Riku, Kairi, and other Disney characters. The team will search for the seven guardians of light and the "Key to Return Hearts" to stop Master Xehanort's devious plan. The game includes characters and worlds from Disney, Pixar, and Final Fantasy franchises.

Kingdom Hearts III harnesses next generation console technologies to weave together an incredibly stunning universe full of both new and familiar Disney worlds.  This game concluded the series' "Dark Seeker" saga.

Story

Through countless adventures across many worlds in his long battle against the darkness, Sora, once a little boy who only dreamed worlds beyond his island even existed, has grown up to a dashing young man. Now he is realizing that that battle has played out exactly as Master Xehanort had planned, and the second Keyblade War, the final struggle between light and dark, looms ahead. To counter the overwhelming darkness, Sora and his friends must gather the seven guardians of light. His best friend Riku and King Mickey seek out a battle-scarred Keyblade wielder, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off on a journey to find “the Key to Return Hearts.” Never-before-featured Disney worlds set the stage for another daring adventure to save the universe!

Chosen by the Keyblade, he is the one whose heart’s light never fails to shine as a beacon of hope.

Sora, the brave hero chosen by the Keyblade, has always had a strong sense of justice. Through his many battles against darkness, he has grown and learned about the world immensely. Drawn to his light, many friends have lent him their support and granted him their powers to counter the darkness: Riku, the childhood friend he grew up with on Destiny Islands; Donald and Goofy, the two comrades with whom he has shared his adventures from the very beginning; and King Mickey, who unfailingly supports Sora with his own mighty strength. As the world becomes enveloped in another battle against darkness, the Keyblade wielder and his friends must rise up against Master Xehanort and thwart his plot to incite another Keyblade War.[4]

Plot

Following Master Xehanort's return, Yen Sid begins preparing for seven Keyblade wielders to counteract Xehanort's plan to forge the χ-blade using a reconstituted Organization XIII. Sora, who was nearly taken over by Xehanort,(As depicted in the 2012 game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.) discovers that he has lost much of his own strength as a result. Accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, Sora resumes his travels across other worlds to regain his "power of waking", the ability to restore lost hearts. Meanwhile, Riku and King Mickey search the realm of darkness for Aqua, while Kairi and Lea train to properly wield their newly obtained Keyblades.

During their travels, Sora and Riku are contacted by Ienzo, who discovers via Ansem the Wise's research data that Sora's body contains the hearts of Roxas, Ventus, and Xion. Riku surmises that the Organization's members from the past are using artificial human replicas created by Vexen as vessels that enable their existence in the present, which inspires Sora to restore Roxas by transferring his heart into a replica body. Meanwhile, the Heartless Ansem enters the realm of darkness and kidnaps Ansem the Wise, corrupting Aqua's heart in the process. However, Vexen reveals himself to be a double agent loyal to Ansem the Wise, whom he helps rescue before sending a spare replica to Ienzo for Roxas to inhabit.

Riku and Mickey eventually locate and battle the corrupted Aqua in the realm of darkness. At the same time, Sora discovers Master Eraqus's Keyblade on the Destiny Islands and uses it to enter the dark realm, where he exorcises the darkness from Aqua and returns her to the realm of light. Sora, Donald, and Goofy then follow Aqua to Castle Oblivion, which she transforms back into the Land of Departure to awaken Ventus. When she is attacked by Vanitas, Sora rediscovers his power of waking and revives Ventus, who fends Vanitas off.

The seven Keyblade wielders depart for the Keyblade Graveyard to battle the Organization, only to be quickly consumed by a swarm of Heartless summoned by the possessed Terra. Awakening in a limbo realm called the Final World, Sora is guided back to the realm of light by Kairi and uses the power of waking to revive his friends. Returning moments before their initial defeat, the guardians of light successfully destroy most of the Organization's members; in the process, Terra regains control of his body and reunites with Aqua and Ventus, while Lea reunites with Xion, whom Vexen recreated for the Organization, and Roxas, who regains his own heart to protect Lea and Xion.

Once Xehanort remains the last Organization member, he provokes Sora into attacking him by destroying Kairi's body, allowing Xehanort to acquire the χ-blade and summon Kingdom Hearts. Using Xehanort's power of time travel against him, Sora, Donald, and Goofy transport him to his boyhood training grounds of Scala ad Caelum, where they defeat him. After the other Keyblade wielders rejoin them, Eraqus's heart emerges from Terra and convinces Xehanort to surrender. Xehanort dies shortly after, his heart ascending to Kingdom Hearts with Eraqus, while Sora and his friends use the χ-blade to close it and return to the Keyblade Graveyard. Sora decides to use the power of waking to revive Kairi; despite warnings that his repeated misuse of this power could result in him losing his heart, Sora promises to return. Afterwards, Sora's friends gather at the Destiny Islands for a celebration, where Kairi stays beside Sora before he fades away.

In a post-credits scene, Xigbar, who survived the Keyblade War, retrieves Xehanort's Keyblade and summons four of the five Foretellers, revealing himself to be an incarnation of their fellow Keyblade apprentice, Luxu. He begins to recount his actions to the Foretellers, with Maleficent and Pete watching from afar. In a flashback to their youth, Eraqus and Xehanort begin a new game of chess that predicts a battle between Sora and the Foretellers.

Development

According to director Tetsuya Nomura, the development of the game began while he was working on Final Fantasy XV. However, at the time he was too busy working on this title, and said that he would go to work on Kingdom Hearts III when Final Fantasy XV was done.

The game was announced at E3 2013, and the trailer said that it was currently in development. Nomura later said that the trailer was shown too early, stating that the game was too early in production.

The team is currently selecting the game's worlds. Nomura also revealed interest to put Marvel and Star Wars content in the game. ''It would be great if we could add these licenses too," said Nomura. ''But there are a lot of questions and restrictions at Disney, so we can't put everything people want. So it's a hard decision, but we're preparing some surprises for you, so await for more info.''[5]

In June 2014, a short teaser was released at the end of the E3 2014 trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. Co-director Tai Yasue revealed that the sequence seen in the teaser was the opening scene for the game. He added that it was created by Nomura who had "a real clear picture of [what] the starting sequence" should be and that the text seen and heard was going to "be a real integral part of the story".[6]

In October 2014, Nomura announced that the development team had switched to Epic Game's Unreal Engine 4 due to a "variety of reasons". He also stated that the team had the full support of Epic, and that the change would not hinder the game's development. According to Kotaku and IGN, it was noted that it had been assumed that Square Enix had been using its in-house Luminous Engine to develop the game.[7][8]

In June 2015, a new gameplay video was released at the E3 2015 conference, which also featured a conversation between young versions of Eraqus and Xehanort. The video spoiled the appearance of a "Tangled" world in the upcoming title, and showed battle scenes of Sora, Donald and Goofy in both the Tangled and Twilight Town worlds.[9]

In August 2015, a world based on Big Hero 6 was revealed at D23 in California. D23 revealed that the story of this world will take place after the movie, involving the model of Baymax left in the portal at the end of the movie will be manipulated by Darkness, and concept art of Sora riding Baymax was also shown, with Dark Baymax flying alongside them, the three of them seemingly engaged in combat. It was also revealed that every Keyblade will have its own transformation.

In April 2017, Square Enix indicated that Kingdom Hearts III would not release any sooner than their 2018 fiscal year.[10]

In July 2017, at the D23 Expo, Square Enix announced the game would be released in 2018. Alongside this announcement was the reveal of a world based on the Pixar film, Toy Story.[11]

On February 10, 2018, a trailer was revealed at the D23 Expo in Japan. This also featured the announcement of a world based off of the Pixar film, Monsters Inc..[12]

On April 10, 2018, another trailer was shown online, featuring a world called Classic Kingdom, in which the mini-games are inspired by the Game & Watch series.[13]

On June 10, 2018, a trailer was shown at Microsoft's E3 2018 Press Conference revealing a world based of of the Disney film, Frozen.

On June 11, 2018, a trailer was shown at Sony's E3 2018 Press Conference revealing the return of Pirates of the Caribbean for Kingdom Hearts III.

On November 10, 2018, a trailer was shown, revealing the return of Winnie the Pooh for Kingdom Hearts III.

On November 20, 2018, it was officially stated that the game development had been completed.[14]

Kingdom Hearts III was released in Japan on 25 January 2019 and on 29 January 2019.

World selection

Nomura revealed the Tangled world was the first determined to be in the game, as the development team wanted to include Rapunzel due to her strong personality and her hair, saying, "she is able to utilize her hair in such a way where she's whipping it around. She can even use it for attacks, and that was just so appealing, and we thought it would make for such great gameplay".[15] The Pirates of the Caribbean world was included because Nomura wanted at least one world based on a live-action Disney film, stating that the Caribbean location allowed for "interesting" gameplay opportunities.[16] He also chose to have the world be based on the third film, At World's End, over other films in the series, particularly Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, because Dead Man's Chest is "setup" for At World's End and the game would "have to end [the story] in the middle as well".[17] The world also mimics the color palette from the film, being "deliberately washed-out", with the sky, for example being more grey-blue over "[t]he typical fantasy blue".[18]

Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II in 2005, The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. When asked in 2013 if any of these properties would appear in Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura said he contacts Disney after he hears of an acquisition, though he noted that "Disney's pretty honest [on the possibility of an inclusion]. If the situation is really difficult, they'll say, it's really difficult. If it's impossible, they'll say it's impossible."[19] He later stated that even though the Disney Company had acquired these properties, Disney Interactive Studios may not necessarily have the ability to license the content due to existing deals, such as Disney's deal with Electronic Arts for Star Wars games.[20] Yasue added that they were "looking at all of Disney, the new ones as well" when choosing worlds for the game, including worlds potentially based on Marvel Comics and Star Wars properties. He expanded, saying, "We have to come up with a world that has a lot of originality. We want variety... so we don't want too many of one sort of world, that would look the same. For each world there has to be some meaning for it, in the plot... Also, gameplay-wise, is that world something that would make gameplay fun?"[21]

Nomura had hoped to include a world based on Toy Story since Kingdom Hearts II, saying he felt "Sora really fit in and matched well with that world" and being "able to execute that into the game is something I'm really excited for."[22] Nomura felt Pixar worlds were extremely important to include in Kingdom Hearts, specifically one based on the film Toy Story, and stated he considered not making Kingdom Hearts III if he could not get the rights to use Pixar properties from Disney. This world was the first submitted to Pixar for approval shortly after the completion of Kingdom Hearts II, with Nomura presenting them a general outline of the story he had planned for the world. It would take Pixar "several years" to approve the story and character designs, as Nomura and Square Enix were negotiation through Disney and not Pixar directly.[18]:58, 61 In July 2017, at D23 Expo 2017, the Toy Story world was revealed,[23] and the second Pixar world in the game, based on Monsters, Inc., was revealed at D23 Expo Japan 2018.[24]

Nomura noted the approval process for each world became more difficult than with earlier games, because many of the worlds are based on some of Disney's more contemporary films, which made it harder to have some freedom with the worlds.[25] He explained, "Previous to Kingdom Hearts III, I think these companies kind of saw it more as like, secondary rights permissions. They saw it more as a product, like you would a branded toy or something."[18] Continuing, Nomura noted, "Because we are working with more recent titles, the staff who were on the original project are the ones we go to for approvals. For instance, Frozen. The staff is still there and they work with us on Frozen. Because we go directly to the creators, they have the most passion for their titles."[25]

Design

In June 2013, Nomura discussed the updated visuals, saying that the development team tried to return the character's texture to the original "paintbrush art from Disney productions". The resulting visuals were referred to as the Kingdom Shader. Nomura continued, "It may look like a pretty drastic change, but I see it as a rich evolution of everything we've shown you up to now."[26] Nomura also revealed that Sora is the same proportions as in previous games; however, they "muted the volume on his hair—it's not as wild." Regarding updating Sora's look from his Kingdom Hearts II design, Nomura noted that outfit's popularity, but felt "the desire to change it" since the game is the first numbered sequel since IITemplate:'s release. He added that the basis for the resulting design is a mix between Sora's costumes for Kingdom Hearts II and Dream Drop Distance, one that is "a lot more sleek and sporty" since "Sora does a lot more... acrobatic [and]... action-oriented movements".[15] Riku and King Mickey also receive updated outfits.[27]

Speaking on the designs of the worlds, Nomura said the updated graphical capabilities allowed the development team "to depict the world[s] of the original film[s] as close to [their] original form as possible" after previously creating worlds to be "a stylized Kingdom Hearts world".[28] Disney shared basic polygon information with the development team, who ultimately had to remake all of the characters, animations, and environments from scratch.[18]:65 Members of Pixar assisted with the Toy Story world's creation,[22][23] and for the Pixar characters in the game, Pixar shared their actual character models with Square Enix and had the original character designers consult on the game "to make sure everything looked as true to the films as we could make it."[29] The design team would talk weekly with Disney, sharing their assets to receive feedback, with Disney sometimes asking "for minute alterations such as insisting a character show less teeth, having their eyelids move differently or their line of sight adjusted". The line of sight notes, which came from Pixar, "were instrumental in raising the general quality of the animation throughout" according to the development team.[18]:65

Supporting characters can explore an environment on their own if Sora idles momentarily, sometimes triggering additional cutscene moments. For example, Rapunzel responds if an Aero spell is cast on a group of dandelions. Speaking specifically to interactions such as this with Rapunzel, Yasue said "finding and activating these moments builds trust with" her and can lead "to additional combat scenarios and treasure opportunities".[30]

Audio

Music

The game's soundtrack was written by longtime series composer Yoko Shimomura,[31] and features additional contributions from Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito.[32] As with the first two main Kingdom Hearts games, it has a theme song written and performed by Hikaru Utada, titled "Chikai" in Japanese and "Don't Think Twice" in English.[33] It serves as the game's ending theme.[34] An additional theme, titled "Face My Fears" by Skrillex, Poo Bear, and Utada, is used for the opening of the game.[35] Skrillex, a fan of the series, originally intended to remix "Don't Think Twice", before creating "Face My Fears", which also has a Japanese version. Both "Face My Fears" and "Don't Think Twice" were released on January 18, 2019.

Voice cast

English voice actors reprising their roles from previous games include Haley Joel Osment as Sora,> Bill Farmer as Goofy, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck,[36][37] David Gallagher as Riku, Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse, and Alyson Stoner as Kairi.[38] Many of the voice actors for the Disney and Pixar characters reprise their roles from their respective films. These include: Josh Gad as Olaf; Kristen Bell as Anna; Idina Menzel as Elsa; Jonathan Groff as Kristoff; Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider; Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel; John Ratzenberger as Hamm; Wallace Shawn as Rex; Tate Donovan as Hercules; James Woods as Hades; Kevin McNally as Gibbs;[36] Susan Egan as Megara;[39] Ryan Potter as Hiro; Jamie Chung as Go Go; Scott Adsit as Baymax; Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon; Khary Payton as Wasabi (who reprises the role from Big Hero 6: The Series replacing Damon Wayans Jr. from the film);[40] and T.J. Miller as Fred.[41] They are joined by Carlos Alazraqui as Mike Wazowski (who reprises the role from other video games, replacing Billy Crystal) and Christopher Swindle as Sulley (replacing John Goodman).[37] Rutger Hauer also voices Master Xehanort, replacing Leonard Nimoy after his death in 2015. Kingdom Hearts III also has full voice acting in optional dialogue moments outside of cut scenes, which is a first for the series.[42]

Kingdom Hearts III only features English and Japanese voice acting and lip syncing, despite previous entries in the series having dubbing in other language. Nomura noted that the development team wanted to prioritize a global simultaneous release for the game, and given the time and resources for recording the dialogue, this would not have been possible with additional language recordings.[43] Though the game has both English and Japanese voice acting, the game does not have the ability to switch between them, as the development team found this feature difficult to properly support.[44] A version of the game with Chinese subtitles will also be released.[45]

Gameplay

  • The Command Menu from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II will return.[46]
  • The gauges for Donald and Goofy now appear next to Sora's gauge in the bottom right corner, instead of in the top right corner of the screen.
  • The MP gauge from Kingdom Hearts II will return. A second gauge (labelled "Focus" in the E3 2013 trailer, but "EX" in the E3 2015 trailer), which looks similar to the Drive Gauge, has also been revealed to be the Shotlock Gauge, which is returning from "Birth by Sleep".[citation needed]
    Keyblade Guns KHIII

    Sora's Keyblade gun transformation.

  • Attraction Flow will be a new feature that lets the party execute skills based on common theme park attractions.[47]
  • The Keyblade will have the ability to transform itself into other specially powered weapons, such as the double bow gun and chariot that can be seen in trailers.[47]
  • Sora will be able to run up walls.[48]
  • Blizzard and Aero magic will be available. Magic will also be able to effect the environment. For example, Blizzard is capable of creating a sheet of ice to slide on.[49]
  • Reaction Commands will not return.[50]
  • Disney characters will join Sora's team as either temporary party members or summons.[51]
  • The AI has been improved, so allies can invite Sora into special techniques, and enemies can work together.[52]
  • The game will contain a secret movie.[53]

Characters and Worlds

Other



Scala ad Caelum[54][55]


Twilight Town[56]




Arendelle




The Caribbean





San Fransokyo




Kingdom of Corona


Monstropolis




Olympus[56]


Toy Box



100 Acre Wood

The Final World

Video

References

  1. Kingdom Hearts III Game Launches in Japan on January 25, Worldwide on January 29 (Updated)
  2. Coming to PS4
  3. Heading to Xbox One
  4. https://twitter.com/Aros_evoL/status/794548092800364544
  5. GameFM
  6. http://kotaku.com/this-is-the-intro-to-kingdom-hearts-iii-1589443754
  7. http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/07/kingdom-hearts-3-switches-to-unreal-engine-4
  8. http://kotaku.com/kingdom-hearts-iii-is-being-made-with-unreal-engine-4-1643235633
  9. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-kingdom-hearts-3-gameplay-revealed-at-e3-2015/1100-6428224/
  10. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/dont-expect-kingdom-hearts-3-final-fantasy-7-remak/1100-6449552/
  11. http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/07/15/kingdom-hearts-3-coming-in-2018
  12. https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/10/16998738/kingdom-hearts-3-monsters-inc-world-pixar-d23-expo-japan-trailer
  13. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/kingdom-hearts-3s-new-trailer-shows-off-nostalgic-/1100-6458267/
  14. Kingdom Hearts III Game Wraps Development
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SEPE32015
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  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named KotakuAcquisitions
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NomuraGIJul2017
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  29. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EurogamerMay2018Event
  30. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named IGN3WorldPreview
  31. https://www.khinsider.com/news/KINGDOM-HEARTS-III-In-7-4-Famitsu-Weekly-3336
  32. https://www.famitsu.com/matome/dff/news74.html
  33. https://kotaku.com/listen-to-kingdom-hearts-iiis-theme-song-by-utada-hikar-1822892722
  34. https://gamerant.com/kingdom-hearts-3-song-skrillex/
  35. https://www.newsweek.com/kingdom-hearts-3-opening-theme-skrillex-utada-hikaru-poo-bear-1134476
  36. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Sep2018Cast
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  44. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named FamitsuJun2018
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  46. Dengeki PlayStation interview with Tetsuya Nomura: "The battle gameplay returns to commands such as 'attack' and 'magic' rather than deck commands. I thought that king of gameplay styles had the royal right to be used in a numbered Kingdom Hearts title."
  47. 47.0 47.1 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: 4Gamer: There were various techniques that strongly resembled theme park attractions, weren't there?
    Nomura: The train, ship and tea cups and such decorated with lights are a skill called 'Attraction Flow'. There's also another feature where the Keyblade turns into things such as a chariot, or a double bow gun that transforms further and shoots magic bullets. That's a system where one Keyblade can transform into several phases, and we have created many more transformations that weren't in the trailer.
  48. 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: There was a scene in the trailer where Sora ran up a wall to fight - that freerunning is also something you can connect techniques to for bold moves.
  49. Rountable chat between various KH fansites and Tetsuya Nomura: --How did magic evolve for Kingdom Hearts 3?
    Nomura: When it comes to magic in Kingdom Hearts 3, we really wanted to try to leave an effect on the surrounding environment. In the trailer when Sora would cast Blizzard, the blast would leave behind a sheet of ice for Sora to slide on, and when he cast Aero in a field, the wind would make an impression in the grass.
  50. Dengeki interview with Tetsuya Nomura: In regards to supplementing the gameplay, we have removed the Reaction Commands in KINGDOM HEARTS III. QTE (Quick Time Event. Actions that execute at the touch of a button according to when it displays on screen) isn't there anymore. For people who have seen the "flashy" battles in KINGDOM HEARTS II, it felt like there were too many of them when doing these operations.
    Are there no longer Reaction Commands in boss battles?
    That's right. While removing the elements of QTE in KINGDOM HEARTS III, being referred to as flashy battles, we are making it more challenging. All actions will be based on good or favorable timing.
  51. Rountable chat between various KH fansites and Tetsuya Nomura: --In Kingdom Hearts I & II we were used to have a Disney character joining our party in each new world Sora and his friends visit. Will this mechanic be present in Kingdom Hearts 3?
    Nomura: Right, the idea of having a Disney character joining your party was an important part of KH 1 & 2, so, yes you will be able to have Disney characters joining your team across the game, not just as a temporary party member in the worlds, but also as summons.
  52. 4Gamer interview with Tetusya Nomura: Also, the AI during battle has been enhanced quite a bit. There was that scene where Donald and Sora are moving with Goofy has he wields his shield - you don't only execute that sort of thing yourself, Goofy and Donald can invite you into it too. On the other hand, the enemy AI is also more advanced, and we are also including the element of mutual enemies working together, so for example they can join together to charge at you and things like that.
  53. Famitsu interview with Tetsuya Nomura: We are steadily progressing and deciding what to do with the ending… as well as considering content for the secret movie.
  54. Dengeki interview with Tetsuya Nomura: -- It looks like Xehanort and Eraqus were having a conversation when they were younger, is this an actual scene at the beginning of KINGDOM HEARTS III?
    Nomura: That’s right. From the conversation between these two, that’s how this story begins. The scene’s conversation is actually longer but in the trailer we only showed excerpts. From what can be understood from these two, it also connects to an ancient story from KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ.
  55. :File:KINGDOM HEARTS III – Final Battle Trailer (Closed Captions)
  56. 56.0 56.1 Dengeki interview with Tetsuya Nomura: -- In regards to the worlds, can you confirm what they are?
    Nomura: Disney titles such as Tangled and Hercules, and another familiar to the series, Twilight Town. So that makes three.
    -- Since Tangled made a new appearance for the series, what other new worlds are there?
    Nomura: I can’t talk about any further details except that Mt. Olympus will be a new world.
  57. Famitsu interview with Tetusya Nomura: The Osaka development team wants to challenge themselves with Rapunzel’s hair. They are saying they want to use her hair for combat and it seems that the creators of Rapunzel are acknowledging our efforts.

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