KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Yasuhiko Onishi (Art Director: VFX)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible that there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: KH2, KH Re:CoM, KH BbS FM, KH3D, KH 1.5+2.5, KH 2.8, FFXI, Brave Fencer Musashi 2: Blade Master, Parasite Eve 2
Q: What did you watch out for when creating the effects?
A: For the KH series, everything from the concept designs to the way expressions are made is rigidly decided. While adhering to this strict observation, we searched for a solution in the effects that stretched out to us from past works.
Q: Please tell us something that was made possible due to the improvement of hardware.
A: We were able to do things like make lots of particles come out at one time, or have light emit from effects themselves. Until now, having characters and effects come into contact with each other was impossible, and because it's so plain, I think it's hard to spot, but [an example of this is] in the scene where young Eraqus and Xehanort are playing the chess-like game; when the dust floating in the air hits their hands when they move the pieces, it changes direction.
Q: Were there any unexpected designs you put in?
A: When Eraqus and Xehanort are playing the chess-like game, the mysterious device in the foreground with the rotating rings surrounding it and the green effect is actually a wind-measuring anemometer. The place they are in, Scala ad Caelum, was called "the town of wind and towers" during the middle of development, so items that symbolized the town were put in.
Q: Please tell us something you won't forget about the development process.
A: I've been involved in this series a long time, so I thought I more or less had everything figured out, but this time around, I learned for the first time that the real Kingdom Hearts is not "blue", but "yellow".
Q: What point in this production do you especially want us to see?
A: When you use your Keyblade to "Attack", the combos and shotlocks you can use are very strong, but the effects change when you use magic or Keyblade transformations, so by all means, please use them.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
After the Keyblade War, the x-blade separated into 7 pure wills of light and 13 pure wills of darkness. (note: the kanji used here could also be "wish" or "purpose") Whether it was coincidental or intentional, ever since KH1, the number of the small circular parts lining the edge of the stained glass in the Station of Awakening has always equalled 20 (7+13).