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The Director's Secret Report XIII is a thirteen-part expose featuring Tetsuya Nomura's secrets about the worlds, characters, and overall story of the Kingdom Hearts series. This report is included in the book "Another Report" that comes with the Limited Edition version of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+.
Part 1 - About the KH Worlds
I - Until now in the Kingdom Hearts (hereafter KH) Series, there have been 2 types of "Kingdom Hearts" referring to the Heart of Worlds and the Heart of Men, could you explain the mechanics of this?
- Think of the basic setting of KH as "All life has a heart". The heart of a world can be considered the things of nature; for example, the trees in a forest, a sea or river, a flower and so forth. When they all come together to form a world a large heart will come into existence. And concerning the hearts designated to men, all the hearts of humans and animals living in the world are integrated. As for Kingdom Hearts, think of it as if the heart is essentially the culmination of an invisible "Proof of Life".
II - Worlds appear in KH, could you please give an explanation of the means of coming and going between them?
- Concerning the structure of worlds, first Sora and the Disney characters, and where ever we dwell, these so-called normal worlds are attached to the Realm of Light. If all of these exist at the same level and you imagine them all sitting on top of a plane, there is also a plane of existence on the other side where the Realm of Darkness exists.
- At present, there are 4 worlds in-between these planes that have appeared: A) Castle Oblivion, B) Twilight Town, C) Yen Sid's Tower, and D) The World That Never Was. Constructed in this manner, Light < C < B > A > D > Darkness, you can imagine 2 planes with stairs ranging between the worlds. There are 2 means of transfer between these worlds, first being the Gummi Ship Sora uses in what is called the "Sea of Outer Space". In this way they can come and go between the worlds dotted through space. There is an invisible shell covering these worlds, so as to preserve the original world from interference from other worlds. By opening the hearts of each of these worlds this shell is broken and will become a group of shooting stars pouring down. Once settled, these shooting stars will become the Gummi Parts of the Gummi Ship. Because they were originally from the shell covering this world, it becomes possible to interfere into each world.
- There is one more method, the use of the "Dark Corridor". There are those who are on a fallen path, essentially not being on the path they should be. Only those who can be said to have a Dark existence or an In-between existence can make these doorways. On rare occasion those with particularly strong feelings or hatred, such as the case with Beast and DiZ and perhaps others like them can open these paths. However you must be careful when coming into contact with such darkness. As such, if you use these paths too often you will be completely swallowed by darkness. Sora has used these paths several times before, but the degree of frequency hasn't allowed the darkness to stain his heart, so you can think of the influential power of darkness as being dependent upon the strength of the persons heart.
- As for the Nobodies who have no heart and the King and Riku, using these paths many times doesn't concern them. Why doesn't the darkness progressively swallow them you ask? There are secret similarities between the two that are talked about in the game.
III - About the World of Darkness and such, you haven't gone into detail. Could you possibly talk about some of these things? Does the beach at the beginning and end of KH [II] have some connection to the World of Darkness?
- Presently there are 4 main untold stories to consider: "the period of the King's absence", "the period of Riku's absence", "Roxas's time in Organization XIII" and "Xehanort's past". In this case, the story of "the period of the King's absence" is set in the realm of darkness. I am examining a way to tell these 4 stories so I might be able to find a way to tell them soon.
- What can be called the dark coastline seen at the beginning and end of KHII is the tip of a world. It is not strictly part of the realm of darkness but rather what serves as the boundary line in between the dark and the in-between. In the ending, Sora and Riku were on the coast on the in-between side and were looking at the sea of the realm of darkness. The door visible in the dark sea is a scene that symbolizes "Deep within the darkness, there is light", as Sora said in the previous KH.
IV - There are still many mysteries surrounding Castle Oblivion. Was the castle itself constructed by the Organization and was Naminé originally a subject of the experiments going on there? Please tell us about the details of the Organization's experiments. Also, was the pod Sora entered somehow related to the experiments done by the Organization? Was the pod in Twilight Town the same sort of thing?
- In the end, the Organization's goal is to obtain the Kingdom Heart's of people's hearts and to fully exist. These Nobodies are called "the Non-Existent Ones". In order to assume a new existence, information about their own personal circumstances must first be gathered. A Nobody's main characteristic is that without a heart they use memories to form the parts of a personality and emotions. For them, memories have become an essential element. The birth of Castle Oblivion itself is still a mystery but before the Organization was born into this world it was there. The Organization discovered this castle. You should be able to make some guesses from the additional scenes this time, and fairly quickly be able to think of the next stage.
- At the same time Roxas awoke in Twilight Town, Naminé awoke in Castle Oblivion. Afterwards, the Organization discovered Naminé. The organization thought of Naminé's gift to manipulate memories as a way to resolve the actual circumstances surrounding each of their abilities and attributes. The memories of those who enter were used in the experiments on memories going on there. Above all else, the Organization's leader Xemnas was investigating the importance of memories. During these experiments, in order for these memories to be broken and then regenerated, those pods were made by the Organization. The pod Sora awoke from in Twilight Town and the pod DiZ moved from Castle Oblivion to keep away from the Organization's pursuit are the same thing. Also, there is an additional scene where Xigbar talks about the "true goal of Castle Oblivion" and when this particular scene appears, I think all mystery surrounding Castle Oblivion should become clear.
Part 2 - About the Keyblades
V - There is still a lot of mystery about the Keyblades I think. The "Light side, heart of worlds Keyblade" that Sora wields, the "Keyblade of people's hearts" made from the Seven Princesses' hearts for Riku, and the "Dark side, heart of worlds Keyblade" that the king obtained in the realm of darkness, presently these 3 types can be confirmed. Could you please explain things a little further?
- Keyblades have 2 different constitutions, either from the Light side or the Dark side. This is merely the exterior key, the inner key can act from either side and its abilities won't change. There is no clear division between good and evil. Usually the door to each world is closed and the keyhole itself is not visible. By bringing a Keyblade nearby, the Keyhole appears. But the lock is not actually closed itself. Indeed, the Heartless were able to find the door and easily open it and in this way steal hearts. In the previous game, Sora turned the locks and closed these doors. Furthermore, about the opened door of the integrated heart of worlds "Kingdom Hearts" itself, to prevent the outflow of the darkness within hearts the intent and reasons were different so the Keyblade was used for a different purpose. In order to work, the door needs to be closed from both the Dark side and the Light side and both a dark and light realm Keyblade are needed. The King needed a Keyblade opposite from the realm of light Keyblade that Sora had, so he went to the realm of darkness to obtain one.
- The Keyblade constructed from the Seven Princesses' hearts that Riku obtained in the previous game allowed for the Keyhole in Hollow Bastion to appear. For the plan to cause darkness to overflow from hearts, the special hearts held by the Princesses were used to artificially make this Keyblade. So it is different from a proper Keyblade. There are further suggestions that this Keyblade is artificial as well.
VI - Could you please give an explanation for the new Keyblade "Way to the Dawn" that Riku obtained and the Keyblade Kairi has as well as what the conditions for using a Keyblade are?
- There isn't necessarily one Keyblade for the dark side and one for the light side, just as many as there exist people with qualified hearts. Concerning the conditions to wield one, at this stage, "Those with strong hearts" is the only obvious one. However, less obvious conditions still exist and there are still plans for an opportunity to reveal those. Riku's "Way to the Dawn" and Kairi's Keyblade are naturally the same type of Keyblade as Sora's. However there is no particular explanation for the Soul Eater's transfer and occurrence, as well as Riku's handing it to Kairi. When there isn't a normal process of acquisition, I think its OK to think there is some deeper meaning there.
VII - In KH, at the same time Sora became a Heartless Roxas was born and entered the Organization. So if that's the case, at that point in time at Castle Oblivion Sora used a Keyblade while at the same time Roxas would have been using a Keyblade. Was this Sora's Keyblade? Within the Organization I think we particularly saw Roxas using a Keyblade. And similar to Roxas, Sora served as another Keyblade Master conveniently gathering hearts. So why was the Organization defeated?
- The Keyblade that Roxas used and the thing that Sora once lost in Castle Oblivion are the same thing. Furthermore, these two both used the Keyblade at the same time. This is can be explained by the relationship between Roxas and Sora. Thus, that both can wield two Keyblades in fact has an important meaning. This is also related to Xehanort's memories, but this point can't be touched on just yet.
- Furthermore, from the time that the two were both using the Keyblade at the same time, the Organization itself was using Sora for their ultimate goal. Soon enough, each of the Organization's expectations differed. By changing Sora and Roxas's movements, eventually they became unable to use Sora for their true meaning. As a result, Sora became an obstacle to the movements of the Organization itself and he had to be defeated. But even if Sora were to be defeated, you could say there are other things to think about in making that sacrifice.
Part 3 - About the Characters
VIII - When the Heartless are defeated, what becomes of the stolen hearts? Also, when members of Organization XIII and other Nobodies are defeated, do they return to their original form?
- When Heartless are defeated, essentially the owner's hearts are rejoined with their once extinguished body, whichever world it may be on. As for the whereabouts of hearts in KHII that turn up, this time they remarkably went to the Organization (there is a foot note here that says "In Kingdom Hearts II after Heartless were defeated, the many hearts were absorbed by the Kingdom Hearts of "people's hearts"). However, in the rare case that the body changed into a Nobody, when there is no container for the heart it resorts to a state of suspension.
- In the case of a Nobody being defeated, it's a little more complicated. If the above mentioned hearts are liberated, they return to their original form. However, if the heart is still stolen by the Heartless, the Nobody's body is swallowed by darkness. If somewhere in the world their hearts are taken back, perhaps they might be able to return to their original human form.
IX - Could you please gather some information about the main characters? The reason Sora becomes Anti Form, the reason Riku is able to be selected by a Keyblade, Kairi's memories of Radiant Garden, Roxas and Naminé's differences from other Nobodies, the absence of Sora and them, their parents and friends, and what about school?
- Concerning Sora's Anti Form, you could think that the reason is related to his changing into a Heartless once before. In fact, beyond Sora's Nobody, it is natural to assume that Sora is influenced by the Heartless. Riku's Dark Mode is similar. By using such a strong power too much, he may have ended up approaching too close to darkness. There should be a hint about Riku being a chosen wielder hidden discreetly somewhere in the additions to the game, so certainly try and find it. As for Kairi's memories, there's nothing particularly special about them. If I personally regained memories from before I was 5, I think I wouldn't remember many details about them. That is to say on a general level, there are things I would remember and things I would forget.
- Because there is already a detailed explanation of Roxas and Naminé being special Nobodies in this volume, please read the specific details there. I'll summarize it so its easy to understand. Essentially when a strong hearted person has their heart stolen, they change into a Heartless, and on rare occasions their body changes into a Nobody. But in the case for these 2, for Kairi's heart to be hidden within Sora, it took a special shape. Moreover, when Sora himself was changed into a heartless he was purified by Kairi. In order for Sora to be revived without following the essential course, the special way Roxas and Naminé were born from these types, special Nobodies ended up being left behind. Still, I get the feeling from the story so far that Xemnas might also be a special Nobody.
- Finally, about the people on Destiny Island, at the time of Sora and groups disappearance, on the night of the storm from the previous game, Destiny Island itself ended up disappearing and for the people of that world time is stopped. Afterwards, Sora slept for 1 year, and then everyone's memories of Sora himself were no longer there. As such the memory actually became "On the night of the storm, Riku's body disappeared". Once Sora awoke, the memories of him returned. Eventually the memories of Sora, just as Riku was no longer there after the storm that night, were that both of them had disappeared. (footnote: However, Kairi alone was once assimilated into Sora's heart. In this edition "Kingdom Hearts II" I strongly feel that he was influenced by this.
X - KH's Ansem (Xehanort) seems to have thoroughly gotten rid of his own heart, but Xemnas (Xehanort) commanding Organization XIII is seeking a fresh heart. If I understand that in becoming a heartless and a nobody, they became 2 different people, would their minds then as well become separate? Also, the original Xehanort should have some memory loss but in the additional scenes this time there seem to be some questionable parts. Have his memories returned, or perhaps the memory loss itself was a lie?
- In essence, the two are the same. However, they function under separate minds. Xehanort most certainly got rid of his heart, and at that time it's assumed a Nobody was born. The means of obtaining their goal is different due to the nature of Heartless and Nobodies. However. I think for both of them the desire "to become a complete existence" is the same. This time the new mysterious keyword "Xehanort's memories" is left behind. In the "Secret Ansem Report" that Ansem the Wise wrote and mysteriously left behind, there is a hidden secret that will have a big influence on KH. As for the contents of his memories and the present condition of them, I cannot reveal that just yet.
Part 4 - About the Keyblade War, and other further developments of KH
XI - Concerning the keyword Keyblade War, could you be a little more specific about that? Could it be related to the "Fairytale of Children and Light" that Kairi's Grandmother told? (footnote: In Kingdom Hearts, Sora experienced Kairi's memories. It was the scene when Kairi's Grandmother told her an old story when she was still young. It was about when worlds were swallowed by darkness, children used the power of fragments of light to rebuild worlds.)
- To tell the story about the Keyblade War we need the capacity of hi-spec hardware and we need to accumulate all of our knowledge on this hardware. And in telling this story, we will need to tell it in separate episodes, and how specifically to tell it has yet to be figured out.
- As for the fairytale that Kairi heard, for everyone to feel like such an old fairytale is real, I think we need a little more time. That is to say, to talk specifically about either this soon might perhaps be irrelevant.
XII - Of the people that appear in the new secret movie "Birth By Sleep" that was added to KHII:FM, several names and figures are recognizable and must be extremely meaningful. Giving specifics is likely impossible, but could you give us a hint? Furthermore, do the 3 armored figures that appear there and the similar looking armored figure in the Last Battle have some relation to Xemnas?
- For the recognizable figures and the recognizable faces, reaching the secret this time is extremely difficult, but I think the video is fairly spectacular and will stir your imaginations. The armored figures have a connection to Xemnas but after all I can't give any specifics at the present stage. But, the video this time has a foreboding opening and please think of the figures ahead as having reason and a hinting connection.
XIII - Lastly, has Sora's journey come to an end this time? Before you told us "I have the end of Kingdom Hearts in my head", but does this mean that Sora won't be there? There seem to be new developments with the Kingdom Hearts Series, so can you please tell us within the present limits any hints?
- Without recalling too much about the mysteries and problems of the outline remaining for KH series thus far, I don't think that Sora's journey is over. If you get to see the ending of KHII I think you will be able to sense some new premonitions. About what I said about the "end" of KH, of course I won't be able to say anything about that yet, but if the numbering of KH were to go to "III", I doubt that Sora would have no relation to it. And even if I wrap up Kingdom Hearts, I don't think that Sora will be irrelevant.
- Also, there are many new developments. I think that the news will be able to satisfy the widely supportive KH fans everywhere. Because there is still more to say about this "new" thing, please dare to think with a different flow, rather than just going with what's mainstream. I will give you a hint about the contents of one of the numerous developments. In the freshly added secret movie a phrase comes out, "Fate doesn't happen by accident, there is necessity".
- In the near future, when you experience the new Kingdom Hearts, please see about opening this book. I think surely some of these points will tie together. And also at that time, it would be very fortunate if all the fans everywhere have a good time with it. Until an announcement comes, please have your fill of fun with this game and look forward to the next.