Kingdom Hearts‘ Gummi Ships will be returning in Kingdom Hearts 3 according to series Director Tetsuya Nomura. Game Informer was able to ask  Nomura several questions after yesterday D23 Expo video game panel where Kingdom Hearts 3 revealed its all new Toy Story world. Nomura, as is typical for him, probably dropped more information on Kingdom Hearts 3 than Square Enix would have liked, but that’s why fans of the franchise love him.

Acknowledging the Gummi Ship at all is a big deal, considering the transportation device has yet to be shown in any of Kingdom Hearts 3‘s trailers. Here’s what Nomura had to say on the subject:

“In terms of the Gummi Ship making its return, I can confirm on that, but how it is or what has become of it, we’re not able to reveal it at this point. We ask you to stay tuned for more information.”

The Gummi Ship is such a curious feature in the Kingdom Hearts universe. It’s assumed to be tied to Disney’s Gummi Bears cartoon that ran from 1985-1991, but any such connection is nebulous at best. How exactly Gummi Bears tie into modular spaceships is anyone’s guess. Yet Kingdom Hearts has retained the feature in both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, now planning to bring it back in Kingdom Hearts 3. Perhaps all the justification needed is that this is Kingdom Hearts, where anything goes.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Gummi Ships - Travel

At the very least, Nomura knows a system as odd as the Gummi Ship one needs to keep evolving in order to justify its continued inclusion in the Kingdom Hearts games. That goes double, considering Kingdom Hearts 2 was released over a decade ago. Here’s Nomura describing the team’s approach to iterating on old game features, likely in slight reference to the Gummi Ships:

“The staff members on our development team always want to try something new, so even with previously introduced mechanics, they always try to make it their own or tweak it. Even if it is small or minor, we customize it so that it’s for Kingdom Hearts 3.”

Just how the Gummi Ship system works in Kingdom Hearts 3 remains to be shown. Nomura promised that lots of Kingdom Hearts 3 information would be released over the next year leading up to the games launch in 2018. And he promised that the next info wouldn’t be too far off, perhaps implying an appearance at Tokyo Games Show in late September.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018.

Source: Game Informer