Tetsuya Nomrua has been a busy man these past few weeks, dropping factoids about upcoming Square Enix games to various media outlets. Most recently, Dengeki interviewed Nomura and Mitsunori Takahashi about Dissidia Duodecim, then interviewed Nomura and Hajime Tabata about The 3rd Birthday. Here is a quick summary of the information they gave about each game:
Although the developers categorize Dissidia Duodecim as a sequel to the original Dissidia, the game is set before the events of its predecessor. Dissidia depicts the thirteenth battle between Cosmos and Chaos, while Duodecim depicts the twelth. Nomura also made it clear that Duodecim will be more than just Dissidia with more characters. They aim to make battles more lively and dynamic by introducing new battle elements and gameplay features. One such feature is an "assist" system in which a support character can be called in to help in a battle.
As for the new characters, there will be more than the currently-known Lightning, Kain, and Tifa. Nomura stated that rather than selecting Cosmos and Chaos pairings from each Final Fantasy game, the developers looked at the series as a whole. Thus, while Cecil and Kain from Final Fantasy IV are both Cosmos characters, that doesn't mean there will be two Chaos characters from that game. Each character will have three costumes in Duodecim. The new, third type of costume is being referred to as "3P," which is meant to have "impact" in its look. Some characters may look wildly different from normal in their 3P costume.
The 3rd Birthday:
The 3rd Birthday is now 85-90% developed, with the team currently making small adjustments to gameplay and testing for bugs. Tabata noted that there are a number of game systems that were not present in the version that was demoed at TGS, some of which are related to Aya Breya's "true strengths."
Nomura discussed the characters from the game that he designed, including Aya, Eve, Hyde, Karud "Boss" Owen, and some characters who have not yet been announced. He noted that a character isn't necessarily a major character in the game simply because he designed it. He also provided more details on Aya's Lightning costume, which will be unlocked through a secret mechanism in the game. Aya's voice will change as well as her looks when she wears the costume, and Lightning's usually-hidden l'Cie marking can be seen if she takes enough damage. Aya will have other costumes available to her as well, which will be unlocked over the course of the game.
Both games have been announced for North American release. Dissidia Duodecim is expected in 2011, while The Third Birthday's release timeline has not been announced.