Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series and regular designer for the Final Fantasy series, is reportedly designing several characters for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
The revelation first came to light within the E3 trailer for the upcoming Switch exclusive, which included a credit at the end assigning Nomura design reponsibilities for “Torna.” Although the original impression was that this name referred to a single character, the game’s Japanese Twitter account (translated by Siliconera) revealed that Torna is, in fact, the enemy organisation shown in the trailer. Exactly how many characters Nomura is in charge of is unclear, but at least make an appearance in the latest footage:
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the direct sequel to the 2010 Wii game, Xenoblade Chronicles, with 2015’s Xenoblade Chronicles X being a loosely connected spin-off. Despite being a sequel, this new game features an entirely new world, where humans live on the backs of giant creatures known as Titans, and a new cast of characters.
The game will follow Rex and Pyra, both introduced in the above trailer, as they search for the paradisaical realm of Elysium. As with the previous two games, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is being developed by Monolith Soft.
Tetsuya Nomura, meanwhile, is best known as the lead developer of the Kingdom Hearts series and for conceiving the story of Final Fantasy VII. More recently, he was the original director for both Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy VII Remake, but was replaced on both titles. Nomura is currently directing Kingdom Hearts III, which also received a new trailer shortly before E3 2017.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is targeting a holiday 2017 release, exclusively for the Switch.