Kingdom Hearts II is, as advertised, the second major game in the Kingdom HeartsDisney/Square Enix franchise.Released in early 2006, it follows Sora and his friends after the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. They're confronted by a group of creatures known as "Nobodies" — including thirteen new adversaries (or the remains of them), known as Organization XIII. As Sora unlocks new powers within himself, he also comes to realize that Ansem wasn't quite what he seemed in the first game, that Riku wasn't quite done with his quest, and that Kairi still needs him to be a hero.The group re-visits many of the Disney worlds from the first game, often experiencing more of the familiar plotlines (and, in case of Aladdin, the straight-to-video sequel) or exploring different parts of the settings. Most of the minor gameplay complaints from the original were handily addressed, and the combat system was much improved.It also, however, saw a rapid growth of Kudzu Plot and a lot of Retcon. Even though it becomes more and more convoluted over time, the story remains internally consistent. The game was followed by two prequels (Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days) and two sequels (Kingdom Hearts coded and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance), which more or less cleared up the confusion of the plot in preparation for later installments.Just like the first game, the game was a massive success, both critically and commercially. Like many Square games, it was re-released in Japan with English voices plus extra content, known as Final Mix. (The game itself is properly Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. The collection of that and Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+.)In October 2013, they announced that like Kingdom Hearts I and Re:Chain of Memories, KH2 would get a HD Remake, featuring the prequel, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, aswell as the cutscenes from KH ReCoded.
This game contains examples of:
Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Keyblades (which are usually rather blunt, if not rounded) can cut through buildings.
Action Commands: The combat in the game features so-called Reaction Commands: at certain points during a battle, a prompt to press Triangle will appear, and doing so in time will cause Sora to perform a special move that is usually advantageous. Certain bosses can't be defeated without utilizing them, and most enemies have at least one Reaction Command associated with them. For example, at certain points when fighting Samurai Nobodies, the player is given the prompt to enter a "Duel Stance". Doing so locks Sora and the Samurai in a stand-off, where the command list goes blank and the player has to quickly pick the "Strike" option when it appears; succeeding instantly defeats the Samurai, whereas failing causes Sora to take a heavy hit.
Actionized Sequel: The combat system's improvement allows for much more impressive battles, especially with some of the Reaction Commands.
Adaptation Expansion: The musical in Atlantica. In the film, it only appeared near the beginning, and is rarely mentioned afterwards. In the games, it becomes an important part of the world's plot, and is moved to the end and Ariel is present, this time. Of course, this still brings in a few plot holes (see below).
Akashic Records: The Bookmaster Heartless drop a shield that Goofy can use called the Akashic Records. It looks like a book, but it is not disclosed if it is actually the mythical "record of everything" or not.
The Experiment boss in Halloween Town just wanted to have a heart of its own, and it stealing presents was its desperate attempt to understand the motivation behind giving. The player is forced to destroy it.
Most of the Organization XIII members could count, as they get surprisingly heartfelt deaths. However, this subverted by Xemnas. After the first battle with Keyblade Armored Xemnas, he's shown almost sorrowfully lamenting something, which leads to the below exchange with Sora where the young Keyblade wielder even appears to sympathize slightly with Xemnas' plight. Then, Xemnas immediately comes back from his apparent death for three more battles, immediately throwing this out of the window and giving Xemnas a less pitiable send off when all's said and done.
Xemnas: (clutching chest) I need... more rage... I need more... hearts... Sora: Xemnas. There's more to a heart than just anger or hate. It's full of all kinds of feelings. Don't you remember? Xemnas: Unfortunately... I don't. (face curls into a half-smile, half-grimace)
Alleged Lookalikes: If calling Sora "Roxas" isn't just an attempt to screw with his head, the members of Organization XIII are guilty of this.
With later revelations about the nature of Roxas and nobodies, the Organization had reason to believe that Roxas could become the dominant persona. However, as Roxas had personal reasons to hate the Organization, getting him to take charge would have been bad for them.
Sora's Drive Forms each focus on enhancing something. Valor Form gets a melee power boost, extended melee combos, and Dual Wielding; Wisdom Form gets a magic power boost, enhanced aerial speed, and Sora's feet off the ground; Master Form gets enhanced magic casting, Dual Wielding (again), crowd control melee, and enhanced aerial maneuverability. Final Form is where this trope kicks in: extended crowd control melee combos with more power, enhanced magic casting with a power boost, aerial speed and maneuverability, Dual Wielding plus a pair of floating silver orbs of light, and Sora's feet are off the groundand his Keyblades are out of his hands. Oh, and everything he does aside from standing in place note yes, including getting attackedcuts open Nobodies like paper.
Anime Hair: Lampshaded: when the party meet Tifa, she tells them that she's looking for someone with spiky hair. Donald and Goofy immediately stare at Sora, who self-consciously tugs on one of his spikes.
Argument Of Contradictions: In an homage to the Disney Sleeping Beauty, the fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather disagree over the color of Sora's new outfit, before finally landing on a stylish multi-colored outfit that can transform into other outfits patterned after a single color that give Sora special powers.
Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: The end of the first Land of Dragons quest features most of the quote from Mulan (also that trope's page quote), with Sora thinking that everyone is in trouble and interrupting, "We get the picture..."
Summons, and to a lesser extent Drives, at least until Critical Mode. They're not useless per se and it's possible to get good mileage out of them, but a lot of the time they're really not any more efficient at doing damage than regular combos and spells.
The AntiForm is quite lethal in the right hands, but the complete inability to heal or earn experience while it's active leaves much to be desired.
The Reflect spell creates a sphere of light around Sora, which if struck by an attack, completely protects Sora from any attack while damaging all opponents within range equal to the amount of damage the attack would have done to Sora. It is also tied with Fire for the cheapest spell cost in the game. Particularly effective against non-physical and elemental attacks, proper application of Reflect can slaughter damage-sponge enemies and drastically reduce the difficulty of the game's most difficult bosses.
Trinity Limit: The normal attack tends to be buggy and may or may not work, but does a ton of damage when it does. The imperfect attack (when one of the trio isn't present) does a ton of damage, juggles the enemy, and can be repeated up to three times.
Ax-Crazy: Saïx - he's typically a calm, collected fellow, but in berserk mode, he's a Screaming Warrior that is utterly unrelentless.
Back-to-Back Badasses: Leon and Cloud during the Heartless invasion. Sora does it with a few different people over the course of the game (it's even a part of his Combination Attack with some of them).
Badasses in Distress: Sora, Donald and Goofy, when left tied up on the Interceptor, and later on, when they get arrested and zapped into a computer world. In both cases, the party member of the respective worlds help them escape.
And don't forget their encounter with the hyenas. If it were not for Scar, they would've winded up as food.
Bag of Spilling: Sora has forgotten all of his magic, something Merlin is happy about. This is Justified in that he recently had his memories wiped and put back together.
Bash Brothers: Sora and any party member can unleash Limits that can bring a world of hurt onto their foes.
Battleship Raid: The Phantom Storm and Dreadnought gummi missions, and part of the final boss sequence.
Beta Couple: Maybe not romantically, but Roxas and Namine's relationship is similar to Sora and Kairi, as their Nobody counterparts.
Cloud and Tifa, the latter of whom has no characterization in this continuity than "Cloud's Action Girl love interest"
Beam-O-War: The "Session" reaction command's final move, "All's End."
Xemnas's final attack shoots hundreds of beams into the air that form a dome around the player characters that then gradually collapses inwards, forcing the player to mash Reaction Commands to deflect the beams.
Berserk Button: Hurt Goofy - even if it is a rock to the head - and Mickey will hurt you.
Big Bad: Xemnas, the leader of the mysterious Organization XIII, is the primary antagonist of the story. He is the Nobody (the cast-off body and soul) of the first game's antagonist, Ansem, and as such shares many of his goals.
Big Bad Ensemble: Xemnas and Maleficent - though the latter is much less pronounced as an antagonist than she was in the first game, and she isn't even fought directly.
Big Damn Heroes: When fighting certain late-game bosses, should the player lose there is a chance that King Mickey will appear and take over as a playable character, giving the player a chance to deal some damage and to revive the fallen group. This can happen multiple times in a single battle, although the odds go down between each such rescue.
Big "WHAT?!": Sora, Donald and Goofy's reaction to the "Xehanort" reveal.
Bishonen Line: The members of Organization XIII are the only human form Nobodies, owing to their strong hearts before their hearts were removed; all the other Nobodies are white-grey monsters.
Blade Run: Sora can stand on Barbossa's cutlass as part of a reaction command. Unlike most examples, he does this to pin it to the ground — Barbossa doesn't hold him and the sword aloft in midair.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: The Canadian release of the game comes with a French instruction manual that translates "Nobodies" as "Personnes", which literally means "Persons".note This is because the manual was based on the English version of the game (as the only language available on the disk). "Nobody" (as in "nobody there", rather than "no body" as was intended) translates as "personne" in French, so they just took the plural. For those interested, the (European) French dub translated it as "Simili".
Bonus Boss: Sephiroth again, Organization XIII Data, and Terra's Lingering Will. Note that the last two are only available in Final Mix .
Boss Bonanza:The World That Never Was. Most worlds thus far have one final boss of moderate-high difficulty right at the end, maybe with an easy mini boss. Not so here. Here, you face every surviving member of Organization XIII, all of which are incredibly powerful, with distinct strategies required for each. All in all, you fight four (five, if you're playing the Final Mix) incredibly powerful bosses before you even get to the Point of No Return.
Bound and Gagged: Thrice in the game, but in all case, there is no gagging involved.
First, this happens to Megara when Hades kidnaps her to lure Hercules away from the Coliseum so that the Hydra can destroy it.
In the manga adaptation, she is also bound and gagged when she is thrown into the Underworld's deepest dungeon.
Bowdlerise: Mostly things to do with guns and Pirates of the Caribbean. In a near-replica of a Pirates scene, Will doesn't hold a gun to his head. All of Barbossa's pirates wield... er, crossbows...that still bang, and they don't burst into flames upon contact with Fire magic. Jack stabs Barbossa off-screen! Additionally, the Hydra bleeds smoke instead of green goo (the only change out of these that was retained for Final Mix). Xigbar doesn't combine his gun-arrows into a sniper rifle, and his sight looks a lot less sniper-y. Axel doesn't light himself on fire, either. All of this was because Disney was hellbent on securing an E rating. The change to the Hydra was even weirder as it was faithful to the original kids' movie BEFORE the change.
And it still got E10+ rather than just E. Even funnier, in the UK it got a 12+ - the exact same rating as the Pirates movie!
And the only real important ones, Xigbar's rifle and Axel's lighting himself on fire, actually appeared in later American games. 358/2 Days had the rifle, and Vexen's death in Re: Chain of Memories had the flames. The "Ignited" status effect in Days brings back the flames missing from the Pirates world, except now everyone can catch fire!
Brainwash Residue: When Sora bids farewell to Hayner, Pence and Olette, he sheds a single tear but doesn't know why. Little does he know that he has Roxas' memories within him, and he remembers them as his friends in the virtual world.
Bullet Hell: The Gummi Ship levels, especially the True Final Boss, who flings out a wall of bullets that requires either a bullet-sucker or a hollow ship.
Call Back: To Days, which hadn't been released yet. Axel's surprise at Roxas having two keyblades was confusing to some fans, because it stands to reason that he would know this, what with Roxas being in the Organization. It's revealed in Days that Roxas didn't have two keyblades the entire time, as many fans thought. He actually got the second one after Xion's death awakened his ability to use Ven's Keyblade. Axel never saw it, explaining his later confusion in KH2.
Similarly, Axel's line of "What's our boss' name?" to Roxas. In Days, the name of their boss is one of the first things Axel insists the then zombie-like Roxas familiarize himself with.
A smaller example: When visiting The Land of Dragons and The Pride Lands, Mushu and Simba remember the time they spent fighting alongside Sora, Donald and Goofy as summons.
Cherry Tapping: The Sweet Memories Keyblade is perfect for this. What better way to humiliate the Final Boss than to kick his ass with something that produces adorable cartoon bees whenever you hit him with it? It's also possible to kick Luxord's ass while you're stuck as a die.
Credits Medley: Combines "Sora", "Dearly Beloved", "Destati", and "Another Side" with an original theme.
Critical Existence Failure: Averted for bosses (and with certain abilities equipped, Sora), who can only be finally killed with a decisive blow like a combo finisher or a magic hit—otherwise they'll continue attacking at one HP with impunity.
Deus ex Machina: It's mentioned that if Ansem's Kingdom Hearts Encoder explodes, anything could happen. It transforms Riku back to his true self, weakens his dark powers, and teleports Ansem into the Realm of Darkness.
If you happen to lose against Seifer or Setzer in the Prologue (IE: deliberately lose), the game plays different sets of cutscenes for either case, even replacing the item you win in the Setzer fight.
One of the drive forms, Wisdom Form, gains 1 experience point for each defeated Heartless. Defeating a Heartless boss in this form grants 1 exp to the drive form.
Difficulty Spike: The second visit to The Land of Dragons for II ups the ante for Proud Mode. Mulan will die so many times. This assumes you got past Demyx and the rest of the surprisingly difficult bosses, though.
One of the final Hades Paradox Cup fights pits Sora (alone) against Cloud, Tifa, Squall and Yuffie, making it a Quadruple Boss...or a Wolfpack Boss.
Dub Name Change: Like the first game, some of the Keyblades had different (yet still English) names in the Japanese version. Mostly it seems they were changed because the originals sounded too Engrishy: "Wonder of Abyss" (changed to Mysterious Abyss), "Wishes Lamp" (changed to Wishing Lamp). Some of the Heartless also got their names changed: Dark Stalker to Shadow Stalker, Black Thorn to Dark Thorn, Gate Guardian to Thresholder, Surveillance to Surveillance Robot, Armour Knight to Armoured Knight, Volcano Lord to Volcanic Lord, Creep Plant to Creeper Plant, Loudness to Crescendo, Terminator to Devastator, Eraser to Strafer, Magna Roader to Magnum Loader, Axe Statue to Gargoyle Warrior, Sword Statue to Gargoyle Knight, Ice Cube to Icy Cube, Flare Globe to Fiery Globe, Mole Drill to Driller Mole, Aiming Cannon to Cannon Gun, Bulk Vendor to Bulky Vendor, Hammer Body to Hammer Frame, Mad Dog to Rabid Dog.
Duel Boss: Sephiroth, Hercules, Luxord, Roxas in Final Mix...
Dull Surprise: Mena Suvari's performance as Aerith is often seen as this.
Dumb Is Good: A lot of people complained that Sora seems much less intelligent in this game, as opposed to the first.
Models for the Wyvern and Behemoth from the first game were also made at some point,as they can be seen in one of the early trailers.
Models from Re:Chain of Memories are reportedly on the disc as well. The Final Mix version seems to support the idea that the missing members of Organisation XIII were originally made to be Bonus Bosses in the original version.
Electric Torture: Happens twice in the game; the first time to Donald and Goofy within Space Paranoids, with Sora being Forced to Watchnote which is ironic, as all three of them have to run on electricity here, due to becoming computer programs. Later on, in Olympus Coliseum, all three of them are electrocuted while trying to steal Auron's statue from Hades.
In the manga adaptation, the former is inverted, as Sora gets tortured instead while his friends are forced to watch.
Elemental Powers: Each Organization XIII member controls a different element. Some attack with it directly (Axel, Demyx with his water clones), Some draw power from it (Saix berserking in moonlight), and some just use it as a visual motif (Marluxia).
Eleventh Hour Superpower: During the final battle, the player has access to the fully leveled versions of all Growth abilities (High Jump, Glide, etc), regardless of the status of their respective Drive Forms (each form has one Growth ability that levels with it) or what Sora has equipped. Maxed out Drive Forms will make use of a secret 5th level that's a lot more powerful than the 4th. The very final level will grant a secret secret 6th level of each Growth ability. At that point, the game pulls out all the stops and gives infinite duration for the Double Jump and Glide, which gives complete and infinite mobility in the air.
Enemy Mine: A villainous example - though the Heartless and the Nobodies seem to be natural enemies, they will nonetheless team up in order to take out Sora, although at one point Sora is "saved" from an onslaught of Nobodies by a bunch of Heartless jumping in to fight the Nobodies instead.
Maleficent is also an example of this trope, as she saves Sora, Donald and Goofy at Hollow Bastion because she wants Organization XIII gone just as much as they do.
Axel and Sora briefly teaming up on the way to The World That Never Was could be considered as this as well.
Evil Versus Evil: Maleficent returns to command the Heartless again, and she isn't pleased to hear of some other group throwing their weight around. So naturally, most of her scenes have her, Pete, and the Heartless taking on Organization XIII and the Nobodies. They don't tend to fare very well, until...
Exclusive Enemy Equipment: In Heartless and Nobody flavours: the former give you the Akashic Record and Shaman's Relic, while the latter drop the Nobody Guard and Lance.
Fake Difficulty: So, in order to finish off a boss or special enemy, you have to hit it with the finishing move of a combo. Makes sense, considering Sora is the only one who has said moves, and you want him to dispatch the big guns. But then, in the Hades Paradox Cup, you get pitted against Leon, Cloud, Tifa and Yuffie. Four major enemies, each tricky in their own way. Now, taking them down to the edge of defeat? Tricky, but, with a bit of discretion and tactical use of magic, not too difficult (though complicated by the fact that Cloud is apparently immune for some reason; another, smaller example of Fake Difficulty). However, trying to get a full combo so you can finish one of them off? Near IMPOSSIBLE, because you have to get in close to do so, and the other three characters won't let you get a combo going, much less complete one. And it's not like you can take them all down to 1 health, since they maintain full ability until hit by a finisher. This is the ONLY reason this boss is so difficult (it would be difficult anyway, of course, but not THIS difficult).
Averted if you do actually use magic attacks, as they also count as finishers.
Fandom Nod: In addition to all the Disney/Final Fantasy references, there is a literal fandom nod during Cloud and Leon's snark-fest in the sequel. As they do their Back-to-Back Badasses moment, it echoes the rivalry between fans of their respective games.
Fighting Fingerprint: When Sora faces "Ansem" while completely concealed in an Organization Black cloak, he's able to guess that it's actually Riku based on fighting style and signature weapon.
Filler: Several worlds don't progress the story at all; notably Agrabah, Halloween Town, Pride Lands, Atlantica and Land of Dragons (even the second visit to that world, which tried to not be filler, ended up pointless, with Xigbar's unhooding and Riku's appearance there never brought up ever again; Xigbar's appearance in the final world even continues off of his first one at Hollow Bastion, completely ignoring his unhooding scene.) 100 Acre Woods also has no story-relevance, but it was always a Breather Episode level in the past two games so that's more excusable.
On the whole, much less story progression takes place in the Disney-based worlds in KHII than in the first game, chiefly because the game goes out of its way to awkwardly follow the plotlines of the movies to the letter, even when - such as in the case of Atlantica - these events make no sense whatsoever in the context of the games. Pretty much the only Disney-based worlds that avoid this are Beast's Castle, Olympus Coliseum, Disney Castle/Timeless River, and Space Paranoids.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted and then played straight. In Port Royal, Jack turns into a skeleton in sections of moonlight after becoming cursed, just like the other pirates. However, he can be damaged when he is non-skeletal form, while the other pirates cannot.
Gambit Pileup: Ansem and Xemnas stand tall plotting against each other. Riku, Naminé, Mickey, Maleficent and Axel also pull their own small-scale gambits.
Genre Savvy: Goofy, to an incredible extent. He comments on the inner workings of the game and on the characters, grasps the idea of nobodies quicker than Sora or Donald, knows to use Ansem's computer to look up Nobodies....
Everyone in the virtual Twilight Town thinks the theft of a word is unusual, but perfectly possible, in order to preserve the illusion of a normal town.
Seifer and his group immediately take up arms against some random Nobodies, without having any clue what they are or what they want, likely as a defense mechanism for the fake town.
Or that could just be what the real Seifer does on a regular basis. Somebody has to protect the town from the Heartless infestation that occurred on a regular basis while Organization XIII wasn't fighting them. He doesn't know what it is or where it's from, but it's a monster, so he's going to fight it. He is the head of the Disciplinary Committee after all.
Vivi's Took a Level in Badass moment during the Struggle in the prologue hints toward that Twilight Town being a simulation made of data.
But more importantly, both virtual!Hayner and virtual!Seifer inadvertantly (or perhaps not) cause Roxas to question his reality with lines like, "Make the most of the time we have," and, "I don't feel like cooperating with destiny." Other characters do the same, and the hints increase as time goes on.
Grave Humor: Zero's grave in Halloween Town; though the grave itself is just a grave, Sora will say that Zero is usually sleeping here.
Great Escape: The events of the first visit to Space Paranoids revolves around escaping. First from prison, then from the world itself.
Half-Arc Season: While all Disney worlds of the first game pushed the plot forward in some way, big or small, only half here actually contribute to the overall Organization XIII storyline.
He Was Right There All Along: The Tresholder Heartless is part of a set of double doors in Beast's Castle, and announces itself by taking a swing at Donald once he gets close enough.
Hijacked by Ganon: Played with: Xehanort is behind everything, always, but it's not apparent from the start that the new villain of the game is still some version of him.
Hold the Line: The game is fond of using this for the 'smack around waves of enemies' sections, except the Heartless / Nobodies are rarely a serious threat to whatever you're protecting (even when you're at level 1).
Infinity–1 Sword: The Decisive Pumpkin and/or Sleeping Lion—the former has the same strength as the Ultima Weapon (which makes Xaldin easier if you go and get it first) but its side-effects aren't as helpful.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Ultima Weapon has great strength and magic, but requires a whole lot of synthesising. The Fenrir is the single strongest Keyblade in the game, but requires you to beat Sephiroth.
There is a ingredient that increases a synthesized items rank by one. It is necessary for the creation of the Ultima Weapon and can be applied to Goofy and Donald's highest level weapons making them Save The King/Queen+.
Final Mix adds a third variation. Winner's Proof. It has the highest magic in the game, but it can only be gotten by beating the twelve Organization Mushroom mini-games. Plus its ability is EXP Zero, which has limited utility—unless one is playing a low-level game, you'll want to avoid using it until you reach the level cap (and note that while the series as a whole is a fan of Absurdly High Level Cap, the big draw of Final Mix is its Bonus Boss parade—and you will need every last level you can get for those broken jerks) and after you reach the cap, it merely becomes a useless ability where there could be a useful one instead.
Especially grating if you play it just after playing the first game, where the worlds were fully navigable and you could jump down mostly anywhere and where you couldn't there was a physical or magical barrier to explain it - in Kingdom Hearts II sometimes (especially in Radiant Garden) you feel like you are in a really squiggly but decorated tube and you wonder in amazement why a strange force field is preventing you to jump over a hedge to take a shortcut as was standard procedure in Kingdom Hearts.
Invisible Parents: Roxas and his friends (just like Sora and co.). Of course, Roxas himself doesn't have any "parents", unless you count Sora.
Ironic Echo: When Maleficent intervenes between Sora's confrontation with Saix and Sora tries to stop her, she tells him, "I don't take orders from you!" When Maleficent saves Sora and company from the Nobodies, telling him to find a way to get rid of the Nobodies, Sora repeats the same line and tries to help her to no avail.
Larynx Dissonance: Played a bit well with "Ping" when "he" fights alongside Sora and his companions in battles... before "he" is accidentally revealed to be Mulan who later fights alongside them for the remainder of the game.
Magic Missile Storm: Sora's Wisdom Form shoots out flurries of homing magic shots from his Keyblade. Xemnas shoots his Etheral Blades as projectiles, sometimes from his hand and sometimes creating a line of them in the air that fire at once.
Meaningful Echo: When Saix confronts Sora over how important Kairi means to him, Sora replies, "Yeah. More than anything." Kairi replies similarly later when Saix questions her if she wants to see Sora.
Mercy Mode: A handful of boss fights can have Mickey bail you out if you lose.
Only I Can Kill Him: Mickey is completely incapable of killing bosses, though. You'll have to get Sora back on his feet to do that.
Mind Screw: The opening, and much of the prologue. Though the opening makes more sense if you played both the first game and Chain of Memories.
The entire concept of the Nobodies; they supposedly don't exist, yet are corporeal beings capable of being seen by anybody. The reveal in 'Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance that they naturally grow new hearts over time may negate much of this, but still, it boggles the mind.
Donald freezing himself with a ricocheting Blizzard after waking up from his memory-restoring sleep. Not to mention that said scene looks like it would be in a world from Atlantis.
A scene of the trio beating off a gaggle of Neoshadows and chasing after a black-coated man on the outside wall of Hollow Bastion, not to mention the world looked exactly like how it was back in the first game.
Axel comes across as more of a rat bastard and delivers one hell of a Slasher Smile before fighting Roxas.
Deep Dive is not a scene from Kingdom Hearts II. It's a scene from Days.
Morale Mechanic: The game has three missions like this in the Land of Dragons, where Sora, Donald, and Goofy have to help Mulan defend the camp from the Heartless. The second has them scout the area outside the camp for enemy reinforcements, and the final one has them clear a path up the mountain pass to reach the village near the summit. All three missions are timed. If either time runs out before all Heartless are eliminated, or if the morale meter runs empty, the mission ends in failure and the player has to repeat it.
Mythology Gag: Ansem's study in the basement of Hollow Bastion looks suspiciously similar to the basement library in Final Fantasy VII where Sephiroth discovered his history. It's appropriate, considering the nature of the experiments there.
Never Say "Die": Zigzagged a bit, as the trope page itself details. Long story short, there's no actual stigma against harsh words like "Die", but it's avoided sometimes (like in all games in the series) because of context.
Played straight by Sephiroth: "Only Cloud can eliminate me." Probably a Justified Trope as this version of Sephiroth is implied to be a physical manifestation of Cloud's inner darkness and as such, isn't really alive in the first place.
Averted in Port Royal. It would be really narmful and ridiculous sounding if it wasn't.
Never Split the Party: One of the mini-games in the Hundred Acre Wood involves keeping all the characters together through a spooky cave.
Nintendo Hard: Critical Mode in Final Mix. Most of the difficulty comes from the fact that since the earliest you can get Second Chance is at level 49 with Shield, there isn't much preventing an enemy from instantly killing you when you still had 60-70% of your hp left. Possibly inverted at high/endgame levels, as the fact that Critical Mode gives you double finishers allows you to deal much more damage to bosses.
Non-Combat EXP: All the Drive Forms acquire experience and level up in different ways, and only two of them level up for defeating any type of enemy.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Demyx this treatment. At first glance, he's just a lazy, clumsy, and cowardly Cloudcuckoolander who Sora and co. take every possible opportunity to taunt and not take seriously, with even Jiminy's Journal describing him as nothing but a complete joke. However, when they fight in Hollow Bastion, after putting up with more taunting, he quickly commands Sora to be quiet in a Creepy Monotone, visibly shocking our hero, and then shows the gang just how dangerous he really is.
Offscreen Teleportation: In the first Kingdom Hearts game, whenever you see your allies get out of range, they would simply stay there. However, in this game, they would sometimes appear right next to you or even behind you when there's no way for them to get there.
His cry of "Sora!" whenever he appears during a boss battle too.
Pretty much all the bosses get one before the fight begins. Sora tosses one out whenever he enters Drive mode.
Press X to Not Die: An interesting variation in the form of the Reaction Commands, which don't necessarily kill you, but can sometimes lead to a battle turning against your favour if not followed. They are taken to an extreme level, and to an extent played straight, during the final battle with Xemnas, to the point that a portion of it is practically a flashy cutscene powered by hammering the Triangle button.
Played completely straight with Sephiroth; his first attack can potentially kill you immediately if you're not quick enough.
A minor variation on the trope occurs when all the photos owned by the residents of Twilight Town are stolen. Everyone remembers the photos, but the theft is so complete that even the word "photo" is stolen, and is blanked out of the characters' dialogues when they try to say it.
Sanity Slippage: Roxas in the prologue definitely has trouble coping with Twilight Town's Mind Screw, his dreams' Mind Screw, and the Organization's Mind Screw. He also has some weird emotional responses and zones out constantly. Reviewing the game after beating Days would seem to imply a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder bleeding over.
Saving Christmas: The Halloween Town/Christmas Town visit involves saving Christmas (and Santa Claus) from being ruined by Oogie Boogie.
Roxas has a tendency to say "Hayner! Pence! Olette!" as a way to make sure he's back in reality.
"Sora, Donald, Goofy!" Said by too many characters, including the ones in question.
Self-Deprecation: DiZ / Ansem The Wise calls Xehanort the "foolish apprentice of a foolish man" in one of the ending scenes.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The game was regarded as way too easy by many fans, so it's natural that these would arise, but the most epic of these is the No Abilities, No Summoning, No Pride Lands, No Level Grinding, No White Magic run. You are not allowed to use any form of cure spell, get saved by Mickey, use any abilities not linked to equipment (including drive forms), use any summons and you are underleveled.
The giant Nobody that Roxas fights is called Twilight Zone in the Japanese version, obviously a reference to the TV series of the same name. This ties in with the Darkside from the first game, a reference to Tales from the Darkside, another anthology horror series.
The role Yen Sid takes in the opening is pretty much based on the Wizard Shazam. Running a ghost train that takes the heroes to his home so he can give them new powers?
Demyx's quote, DANCE WATER DANCE, sounds very similar to the song Magic Dance from Labyrinth. It helps that Demyx is a spoof of David Bowie, who stars in that film.
Single-Stroke Battle: The Samurai Nobodies have a Reaction Command that triggers one of these: winning it depends on hitting the right button.
Smart Ball: Goofy has it at some points, like when he saw through Mulan's disguise while Sora and Donald couldn't. It's said in his journal entry for one of the games that he often notices stuff that others miss.
The Soulless: The Nobodies are beings who have lost their Heart, which is one third of what makes up a complete being. Due to this, they are by default emotionless, although with time and empathy they can be made to regain some semblance of feeling.
Soundtrack Dissonance: During the battle against Roxas in Final Mix, a remix of his melancholic theme called "The Other Promise" is used. A stark contrast with your average KH frantic battle theme.
Spanner in the Works: Both DiZ and Xemnas attempt to use Sora for their own plans, but Sora doesn't act in the way they envisioned him to and ultimately derails everything for them without really knowing it. Lampshaded by DiZ:
DiZ: While I was trying to bring Sora back, I had so many plans in store, but once Sora was an acting force, they fell apart.
A minor example in-game — The Lion King world's name shows up as "Pride Land" when it comes up on screen the first time you go there, but is referred to as "Pride Lands" in the dialogue and in Jiminy's Journal.
The Heartless known as Magnum Loader in the English translation was in the original Japanese version known as Magna Roader (Maguna Rōdā), and "Roader" does make more sense based on the way the Heartless looks and moves, to the point where it seems that "Loader" was a mistranslation. It is likely to be a Shout-Out to the enemy of the same name from Final Fantasy VI.
The Secret Ansem Reports spell Ansem's apprentices as "Bleig", "Dilin" and "Eleus", completely killing the 'name with an X'/'name of a recusant' theme that the Nobodies got.
Out-of-game example: It is absurd how many fans will give the opening quotenote A scattered dream that's like a far-off memory/A far off memory that's like a scattered dream/I want to line the pieces up/Yours and mine wrong, despite the subtitles being the only part of the cinematic as the quote is said.
Spoiler Opening: The opening CGI sums up Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories, spoiling those games for those who haven't played either yet.
Shoot 'em Up: Before entering a new world for the first time, the player needs to fly through a shoot 'em up level with their Gummi ship. The player only needs to survive, although completing the goals in each Gummi ship level is necessary to get 100% Completion.
Stationary Boss: Thresholder, Jafar, and Armored Xemnas all stay put, but usually try to force Sora and his friends away from them.
Averted in Beast's castle; when Belle is grabbed like so, she elbows her assailant in the gut, steals the rose back, and runs back to Beast to the cheers of not only Sora, but the players, too.
When Axel kidnaps Kairi, she is grabbed by the elbow.
Stealth Pun: When Belle is being held by Xaldin right before the battle with him, she elbows him in the gut and you can hear an audible, "Oomph" from Xaldin. In other words, Belle clearly knocked the "wind" out of him. Xaldin's element in the game is Wind.
Stock Footage: At the end of every world's first story run typically, where Sora opens a new Keyhole to travel to further worlds; the only differences are where the scene starts and what item is used to make the respective Keyhole appear. Everyone else present even conveniently disappears during these scenes and then reappears right afterwards.
In Atlantica, Halloween Town and the Pride Lands, Sora is also in his respective forms during the Keyhole sealing. In the latter, he holds his Keyblade with his TAIL!
Storming the Castle: Sora and company must fight through Organization XIII's castle in order to reach Xemnas.
Stuff Blowing Up: The Gummi ship levels tend to be full of exploding objects, being shoot 'em ups. Once the ship is upgraded enough, the entire screen will fill up with explosions at the touch of a button.
Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest: The need to kill 1000 Heartless. The horde consists of two enemy types that both have reaction commands that take out about a dozen other enemies each. Plus the PS2 CPU can't actually handle that many enemies at once so most are just background, gradually disappearing as you take the heartless down.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Roxas asks Naminé what's going to happen to him if Sora awakens. Her answer is discomfortingly specific, but not actually a lie:
Taking the Bullet: Goofy shoves King Mickey out of the way as a rock from a Nobody/Heartless fight falls towards him. The rock proceeds to hit Goofy instead. King Mickey gets very angry and several Heartless wish they'd never been born.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When Saix enters his berserk, he starts attacking so violently that his sword gets flung at you repeatedly. Fortunately, he seems to carry around a limitless supply of them.
The Cuckoolander Was Right: Demyx said, "We do too have hearts; don't be mad."Kingdom Hearts 3D reveals that he was right- the Organization members do have hearts, and Xemnas was lying to them when he told them they didn't, so that he could secure their help in making Kingdom Hearts, which he would use not to restore the Organization members, but rather to turn them all into Xehanort clones.
The Time Traveller's Dilemma: Merlin alludes to it before the gang goes to the Timeless River; Donald's the only one who seems more than the slightest bit tempted.
Tomato in the Mirror: Roxas figures out that he's Sora's Nobody, and has to give up his physical form in order to get Sora to wake up again.
Took a Level in Badass: Sora, Riku, and Kairi all get to do this. Riku and Kairi get Keyblades and Sora gets to wield two Keyblades at once. Potentially three, if you fight a certain Final Mix boss.
Mickey. He had minor roles in Kingdom Hearts and Chain Of Memories, but here? Proficiency with a sword and mastery of white magic? Mickey is a freaking paladin.
The Gummi ship levels are Shoot Em Ups, and allow for some very advanced ship customisation.
Most levels have a mini-game or two; skateboarding in Port Royale is not what one would expect to do there, for instance.
The Hundred Acre Wood contains a collection of mini-games, and is completely devoid of actual combat.
Atlantica has no combat, and instead contains a rhythm mini-game based on songs from the movie.
Updated Re-release: Final Mix + is an updated version of the game that contains a variety of gameplay tweaks, bonus boss battles and similar improvements. Unfortunately, it was never released outside Japan for a variety of reasons, including legal restrictions and fear of the game flopping. As mentioned above, FM+ will finally see an international release in 2014.
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World That Never Was, which aside from the name looks significantly different aesthetically from the rest of the game's worlds — it is both unique and has a far too harsh art style for a Disney world.
Villain-Based Franchise: This game pretty much solidifies that just about everything that happens was caused by Xehanort in some way or another.
Villainous Breakdown: Saix sheds his calm personality near the end of the game, and becomes seemingly insane as he attacks Sora like berserk, which is fitting seeing though he controls the Berserker nobodies.
For the Disney villain version, here comes Hades. When his plans failed, he turned the entire Underdrome into a firestorm through sheer animalistic rage alone.
The War Sequence: You get to mow down 1,000 enemies. And it's still one of the easiest battles in the game, provided you abuse Reaction Commands and finishers.
Weapon Tombstone: There is a room in The World That Never Was that houses graves with pictures of the weapons that each Organization member used.
Weirdness Censor: Pence, Pence,Pence. Investigating the seven wonders with him during the week in Twilight Town can get infuriating because he's so willing to come up with a "sensible" conclusion and totally ignore the Fridge Logic. This could be DiZ's fault though, since Pence is a simulation.
Whole Plot Reference: The scenario in Agrabah takes quite a few plot points from The Return of Jafar which was the direct to video movie that preceded the Aladdin TV series. Points include Iago's Heel-Face Turn, Jafar manipulating someone in order to gain his freedom and destroying Jafar's lamp to stop Jafar.
The whole of Atlantica is just this. So is the first Pride Lands visit, actually.
Wistful Amnesia: Kairi, before Sora wakes up, due to everyone's memories of him being altered. Sora experiences this himself immediately after waking up, when he meets Hayner, Pence and Olette and doesn't quite get what's so familiar about them...
Birth by Sleep retroactively establishes that scenes added in Final Mix + detailing Xemnas speaking to Aqua's discarded Keyblade Armor in the Chamber of Repose at Hollow Bastion and his search for the counterpart Chamber of Awakening hidden away within Castle Oblivion are there because he's saddled with this from both Master Xehanort and Terra.
Xanatos Gambit: Organization XIII's plan to create a false Kingdom Hearts. If Sora kills Heartless, it helps their plan. If he doesn't kill Heartless, then they'll collect hearts on their own.
Yin-Yang Bomb: Xemnas by the end of the game. Sora and Riku when using "Eternal Session," and Sora himself in Final Form.
You Fool!: Xemnas is fond of this. "Cursed FOOOOOLS!"
DiZ does it to himself, saying that it was foolish of him to think that he could ever hope to understand the essence of a heart in terms of data.