Tetsuya Nomura explains why there aren't as many Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III introduced many changes to the adventures of Sora - some of them subtle, some more significant. One change which surprised fans was what wasn't in the game, however - specifically, a bunch of familiar characters from the Final Fantasy series.

The lack of familiar Final Fantasy characters in KH3 was quite notable to fans, especially because characters like Cloud, Cid, Yuffie, Squall, Tidus, Auron, and Vivi - to name a few - appeared in past titles in the series. Now, Kingdom Hearts series lead and co-creator Tetsuya Nomura has spoken out about why this was the case.

"I understand there weren't that many Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts III," Nomura first says to GameInformer when quizzed about the exit of many FF favorites from the series. He then goes into more detail.

"One thing I want to clear up is that a lot of fans are saying that Kingdom Hearts is this collaboration between Disney characters and Final Fantasy characters. But I really feel like that's not the basic concept of Kingdom Hearts; that's not exactly what Kingdom Hearts is," Nomura notes.

Cid, Squall, and a few other Final Fantasy characters make a brief appearance in the Kingdom Hearts III downloadable content expansion - but it's a far cry from FF's representation in earlier games.
Cid, Squall, and a few other Final Fantasy characters make a brief appearance in the Kingdom Hearts III downloadable content expansion - but it's a far cry from FF's representation in earlier games.

Elaborating, Nomura goes on to explain that the Final Fantasy characters were used in the earlier games in the series as something of a shortcut - familiar faces to help get fans 'on board' with the series and comfortable with the original cast of characters present in Kingdom Hearts. 

"I felt nobody really knew these new characters, so it was harder for them to stand their ground just yet. And so, we had a lot of Final Fantasy characters involved to lend a hand for everyone to get to know these [original Kingdom Hearts] characters better," Nomura notes.

"Now, there are so many original characters from Kingdom Hearts that are so well-loved, and people want to see more of those characters. With Kingdom Hearts III, since we did have so many original Kingdom Hearts characters, it was hard to find room for including more Final Fantasy characters."

With that said, this doesn't necessarily mean Final Fantasy characters will be banished from Kingdom Hearts forever. Nomura notes that he knows that some fans weren't happy with the lack of FF faces in KH3 - a couple went on to appear in the game's downloadable content - and admits that, with Kingdom Hearts IV, his team is reconsidering the appearances of FF characters.

" We're trying to find a good balance for that," Nomura admits.

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"That's something we definitely are thinking about. But just with the sheer number of original characters that we have now, it's hard to say what the exact balance is going to be and how it will play out in Kingdom Hearts IV. We can't really give you a firm reply on this just yet."

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