KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Tomokazu Shibata (Battle Director) (pg.051)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation and should not be relied on for any concrete information. It is possible that there are mistakes. I tried hard to be as clear as I could just in case.
Previously worked on: KH3D, KH2.8, Front Mission 5, The 3rd Birthday
Q: What was the concept for the battles this time around?
A: To make them colorful, easy to play, and well-paced.
Q: Depending on things like the Keyblade transformations or enhancement magic, how did your adjustment change in terms of battle balance?
A: Since Sora can just crank out huge attack after huge attack, putting together the battles was a struggle. If we made the enemies unnecessarily difficult, the game would end up being unreasonable, so in the end we prioritized allowing Sora to move freely.
Q: Please tell us the reason the command system is similar to the one in KH2.
A: Initially, there was the idea to have a command deck like in KH3D, but Nomura instructed us to base the system around the one in KH2. There's a sense of playfulness we adopted into the battle system that is unlike [those in] KH1 and KH2, but for this production I wanted the style to have a simple approach.
Q: How were the attacks of [Sora's] companions in the various worlds decided upon?
A: We looked through the original movies [used for the worlds] and adopted particular traits or characteristics. For example, Woody uses a rope, Buzz a beam and Flynn a barrel. Rapunzel's hair abilities were something we fussed over, so implementing that was a challenge.
Q: If there were any rejected ideas, please tell us about them.
A: The boss in Arendelle was initially meant to be a fortess-type Heartless that was enclosed in the palace walls. It was planned that Marshmallow would force back the fortress walls while Sora would use a dive attack to strike, but unfortunately the location (lit. "setting surface") was deemed "NG" (not good), and that boss was re-used as one of the gummi ship bosses.
Q: What kind of work would you like to try next?
A: I'd like to try planning for player actions, which is something I haven't been responsible for even once [so far].
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
The Hook Bat was modeled after a bird called the Pacific reef heron, which spreads its wings in a dome shape when it hunts prey. Creating such a simple trait for a character was fairly difficult.