Set after the events in KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES, KINGDOM HEARTS II finds Sora, Donald, and Goofy—having awakened from their memory restoration—keen to continue their search for Riku and King Mickey who disappeared behind the Door to Darkness which they sealed almost a year ago.
The trio’s journey is quickly thrown into more dangerous waters when they learn of a new, more powerful enemy that has risen along with the Heartless, these new enemies are called Nobodies, and they’re the body and soul that are left behind when a heart is consumed by darkness. There are also those who command the Nobodies, Organization XIII, who are powerful Nobodies who had strong hearts before they were consumed by darkness, who have retained their human form.
Organization XIII is led by Xemnas, who is none other than Xehanort’s Nobody. Xemnas wants nothing more than to rebuild Kingdom Heart. Using the hearts collected by those artificial heartless that are slain by the Keyblade, Kingdom Hearts can be rebuilt and grant Organization XIII their true desire—to regain their hearts and become whole again. In order to do this, Xemnas sends his remaining members out to various worlds to create more powerful artificial heartless only to be brought down by Sora.
As Sora travels from world to world, King Mickey and Riku continue to gather information on Organization XIII and their plans. Riku, who used the power of darkness to subdue Sora’s Nobody, Roxas, is cursed by his own appearance of looking like Xehanort’s Heartless. Ashamed of his appearance and his darkness, Riku takes a backseat and watches Sora from afar.
Sora’s journey leads him through new and old places. He meets up with familiar friends, and makes new ones, all the while learning the truth behind Organization XIII, Riku, King Mickey, and even some truth about himself. He encounters new enemies, many of which are notorious members of Organization XIII, who are once again using him as their pawn.
With new places, friends, and enemies, Sora’s newest journey takes him on a long and perilous road where he learns the true strength of the heart, and what it means to have friends. At the end of this road, Sora knows lies the inevitable final confrontation with Xemnas, Xemnas, who thinks of no one but himself and the power of Kingdom Hearts. With this last part of Xehanort still in power, Sora knows that when he faces it, he will finally be reunited with his friend Riku and finally be able to return to his home.
As on par with the numbered Kingdom Hearts games, KINGDOM HEARTS II has its own Final Mix. The game features a new drive mode in which Sora dawns his clothes from Kingdom Hearts and recovers some of his previous moves from the first game as well.
Along with the new drive form, there are new enemies; there are the XIII mushrooms, along with data battles with the Organization members that fell in Castle Oblivion. The most prominent new enemy however lies with the Lingering Sentiment, which—at the time—boasted to be the most powerful enemy of the series.
KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix also alludes to Birth by Sleep during various additional scenes, some of which include Xemnas talking to Aqua’s armor, referring to it as ‘friend’. However, the secret ending is also expanded on from the original KINGDOM HEARTS II secret ending. In the KINGDOM HEARTS II Final Mix + secret ending three new protagonists are revealed (Aqua, Terra, and Ventus) all of whose faces are shown.
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