Are the Infamous Days of Kingdom Hearts Tutorial Levels Finally Gone?

With all the recent news surrounding Kingdom Hearts 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue along with Kingdom Hearts III, it’s easy to get buried under piles of info dumping. What’s worth knowing and what’s not worth our time? When it comes to Kingdom Hearts III everything is worth our time, but there was only one tidbit of information that really stuck during a recent interview with Tetsuya Nomura.

There are literally hundreds of recent interviews with the man, the myth, and the legend himself, Tetsuya Nomura. All of which contain valuable information regarding Kingdom Hearts III, but most of the interviews (if not all of them) seem to clump their generic Kingdom Hearts questions into a tiresome loop. I wonder if Nomura has counted how many times he had been asked what types of worlds will appear, what about new Keyblades are there, and about the art new direction. Famitu’s interview with the man, however, had brought up an interesting question that many longtime fans of the Kingdom Hearts franchise might find compelling.

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“Famitsu: Hm? So if you think we will have questions about where Sora is in KH3, does Sora appear in the story directly before it, KH0.2…?

Nomura: Yeah (laughs). By the way, KH3’s intro is short, and it begins straight away, but I am thinking very precisely about how to make sure both those who have been with the series for a long time and those for whom this will be the first KH title will be able to follow along. However, the details and particulars will be told in KH3D and KH0.2, so please play KH2.8 while you are waiting for KH3, it will make the flow of the story easy to grasp. For those who want to know everything in detail as they have up until now before the journey begins, I think it is best to play KH2.8 in preparation.

Famitu: Huh? So what you mean is, Sora might appear in the story right before the stars, [KH0.2]…?

Nomura: Ah. (laughs) By the way, the opening of [KHIII] is short and you will begin playing right awat, but we are thinking of people who have not played the series in a long time, or people who are playing [KH] for the first time. It’s just that, since the detailed circumstances are told in [KH3D] and [KH0.2], if you play [KH0.2] while waiting for [KHIII], the story’s flow will be easier to grasp, I think.”

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This is great news for Kingdom Hearts fans as we have always suffered through long and frankly boring tutorial hours of a great game series. Players don’t like long boring tutorial segments as they will not only ruin the pace of the game, but drag out to the point where the player is considering shutting off the game entirely. Square has decided that they don’t want these types of tutorials anymore as they are looking for more of an abbreviated version so that the player is learning the basics of the story and gameplay while your actually playing the game instead of forcing the player to take it slow and steady.

Kingdom Hearts II’s opening prologue is widely regarded as the most hated among Kingdom Hearts fans as the grind to get through the prologue was essentially legal torture. It was even worse back in the PS2 era where the option to skip cutscenes was non-existent, meaning we had to sit through ever-single excruciating moment until we were finally placed in control of Sora once again. Not to mention the extended prologue deterred new players of the series due to its confusing opening to the story. Even diehard fans of the series were lost when we were being introduced to Roxas for the first time. Sure everything made since once we had all the pieces in place, but if you’re just jumping into the series cold then this opening is more than enough to turn you away.

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Now this doesn’t mean that you can jump into Kingdom Hearts III with cold feet and be able to fully understand what’s going on as Nomura actually suggests that players play through KH0.2 in order to full understand what’s going on in Kingdom Hearts III when you boot it up for the first time. I guess you could skip it and still be okay, but that will only make the wait for Kingdom Hearts III that much longer and not to mention playing through both Kingdom Hearts: Dream, Drop, Distance, (which is the cornerstone of Kingdom Hearts III’s story) and A Framentary Passage will all play an important roll in Kingdom Hearts III’s story.