KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Kiyoshi Kondo (Art Director: Environment)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible that there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: KH Re:CoM, KH BbS, KH BbS FM, KH3D, KH 2.8, FFXI, Brave Fencer Musashi, Brave Fencer Musashi 2: Blade Master, Parasite Eve 2, Mario Sports Mix
Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the backgrounds from the original movies.
A: Concerning the backgrounds, I received instructions from the team leader to give more of a cutting-edge feeling, and though at first I was opposed to it, I was able to overcome [that feeling] thinking "this is just the way it is these days...yeah". After that, everyone was careful to maintain the atmosphere of the previous works while not making it too photorealistic.
Q: Was there anything you changed from past works?
A: Olympus's original movie, Hercules, is hand-drawn, so because the backgrounds of every scene have different unique points and silhouettes, up until now the maps were intricately divided and those differences were reproduced. This time, since the map was all bundled into one large map, while still respecting the original movie, we were able to preserve the integrity of the backgrounds by adopting a very bold interpretation [of the scenes]. It was the map made by the most repeated trial and error, so it's filled with everyone's love.
Q: Which point did you struggle with the most?
A: The clouds in the Realm of the Gods in Olympus were, in many ways, a challenge. Initially, I imagined them to have a sort of cotton candy type feeling, and to make them translucent and cast a shadow, but problems occurred with the amount to process and the quality, so finding the points to drop was quite a struggle.
Q: Were there any unexpectedly included parts?
The kitchen in the restaurant in Twilight Town was set as "a place for business that Scrooge special-ordered from a female designer, while imagining the items Sora uses".
Q: Please tell us something interesting that happened during production.
A: When we were making Twilight Town, in order to give it more atmosphere we scattered some small trash and stains around. But Nomura thought we were doing too much of it and instructed us to nicely clean up [laughs].
BONUS! "A secret about this game only you know"
During a particular rail slide in the Realm of Gods in Olympus, where you slide from the top of the cloud towards the hallway, at the end of the night sky that spreads out in front of you, you can see the Hercules constellation that Zeus made at the end of the original movie shining there.