Video Game / Kingdom Hearts II

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"The story is not over."

Kingdom Hearts II is, as advertised, the second major game in the Kingdom Hearts Disney/Square Enix franchise.

Following the events of the first Kingdom Hearts, a new breed of enemy has emerged from the shadows: Nobodies, the reanimated husks of the people whose hearts were stolen by The Heartless. Driven by an instinctual urge to be reunited with their hearts, the Nobodies are swarming over The Multiverse like a plague and leaving devastation in their wake. Behind this invasion is a group known as Organization XIII: the most powerful and self-aware Nobodies in existence, who plan to unseal the Heartless and take their hearts back by force, uncaring of the collateral damage this will cause.

Sora, the young Keyblade Wielder who was once victorious over the Heartless threat, has recovered from his ordeal in Castle Oblivion and awakens from a long slumber to a new mission. Like before, he must travel through The Multiverse and use his Keyblade to seal the gaps that the Heartless and Nobodies are using to invade the worlds. But as he travels, multiple questions plague him: just who or what was responsible for ensuring his recovery from Castle Oblivion? What has happened to Riku and Kairi while he was asleep? And just what is his connection to Roxas, a blonde-haired boy whose cozy life fell apart as Sora's was being rebuilt?

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. It also 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.

Like many Square games, it was re-released in Japan with English voices plus extra content as Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (included in a bundle called Final Mix+). Later, in December 2014, Square Enix released Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX for the PlayStation 3, another bundle containing HD versions of both Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Birth By Sleep Final Mix along with the cutscenes of Re:coded and Trophy support.

Much like a few other games, it has its own manga adaptation, which at certain points goes even Darker and Edgier than the game.

Unmarked spoilers below.

This game contains examples of:

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  • A.I. Breaker: Luxord will refuse to attack after triggering his ultimate attack's Reaction Command (the one where he surrounds Sora with a wall of cards) until Sora moves. If you have a good lead in Time after he uses it, you can just stand there and wait for his Time to run out without being threatened.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: The Cavern of Remembrance in Final Mix cannot be fully explored until all Growth abilities are maxed out (done via leveling up the Drive Forms), as there are some instances of platforming that require their specialized movement.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The game lets Sora and co. go up to Level 99, but it only recommends getting to Level 50 before entering The World That Never Was, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Keyblade is shown to be able to cut through buildings during a couple cinematic Reaction Commands.
  • Accidental Misnaming: On the second visit to Port Royal, Jack Sparrow refers to Sora as "Zola".
  • 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 "The End" option when it appears; succeeding instantly defeats the Samurai, whereas failing causes Sora to take a heavy hit.
  • Actionized Sequel: The combat system has been expanded and improved on for more impressive fights, and the first game's platforming elements have been significantly toned down in favor of more action.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The musical in Atlantica. In the The Little Mermaid, 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.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • The events in Atlantica are an extremely condensed retelling of The Little Mermaid in musical form; how Prince Eric knows Ariel's name even though she's mute at the time is never explained (in the film, Sebastian tells him her name during the "Kiss the Girl" sequence, which is cut from the game).
    • In Port Royal, it is not explained why Will Turner freed Jack Sparrow from prison before Sparrow agreed to help rescue Elizabeth.
    • The plot of The Nightmare Before Christmas is heavily implied to have happened before the game since Santa Claus is obviously apprehensive of Jack Skellington, but the only explanation given by him about Santa's attitude is that "It's a long story."
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Hun army from Mulan has been completely replaced with Heartless.
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl characters Commodore James Norrington, Jack the Monkey, Gibbs, Cotton, and Marty do not show up in Port Royal. While Barbossa still has crew, the unique characters like Pintel and Ragetti do not appear and they're all generic pirate mooks.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix:
    • 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.
    • Vivi's sudden spike in competence and confidence during the Struggle in the prologue hints toward that Twilight Town being a simulation made of data.
  • 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.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • After Sora and co. defeat the Experiment and return the presents it stole, Santa Claus speculates that it only took them because it believed the joy associated with gifts would somehow give it a heart. Dr. Finklestein backs this up by mentioning he failed to provide the Experiment with a heart during the creation process.
    • As Saïx is fading away after his defeat, he mournfully asks Kingdom Hearts where his heart is.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • 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 causes Sora to appear to hover above the ground; Master Form gets enhanced magic casting, dual wielding (again), crowd control melee, and enhanced aerial maneuverability. Final Form combines aspects of each of the previous forms: 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 hovers above the ground and controls his Keyblades with telekinesis.
    • The Prison Keeper's attacks are based off of whichever one of Lock, Shock, or Barrel it currently has in its mouth. Once its HP gets low, it eats all 3 and uses its entire arsenal.
    • In the first fight against Armored Controller Xemnas, he sits on a throne surrounded by the weapons used by the other Organization members (except Roxas). Most of his attacks in this fight utilize the weapons.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Donald yells at Goofy after he is knocked unconscious and doesn't wake up for several minutes.
  • Animated Armor:
    • The suits of armor in Beast's Castle are cursed servants and are fully mobile, though they are only seen moving once when Cogsworth asks them to.
    • Contrary to what Jiminy's Journal says, the Lingering Will is an empty suit of armor that's possessed by Terra's mind.
  • Anime Hair: Lampshaded. When the party meets Tifa, she tells them that she's looking for someone with spiky hair (Cloud). Donald and Goofy immediately stare at Sora, who self-consciously tugs on one of his spikes.
    Tifa: Spikier.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Riku cannot die during the Final Boss fight outside of Xemnas' final attack, as he temporarily becomes playable if Xemnas uses a move that traps Sora.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • The Experiment only stole the presents because it felt incomplete and wanted a heart, thinking that they would provide it with one somehow.
    • Most of the members of Organization XIII want to regain their hearts so they can become complete beings again. To this end they antagonize Sora into killing Heartless, releasing their hearts and letting the Nobodies collect them to form Kingdom Hearts.
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Some enemies, such as Large Bodies and Berserkers, automatically deflect attacks from the front. Reaction Commands, Magic, Limits, Explosion, and Guard Break will pierce their defenses and deal damage.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: The end of the first Land of Dragons quest features most of a quote from Mulan, with Sora thinking that everyone is in trouble and interrupting:
    The Emperor: I've heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father's armor, ran away from home, impersonated an Imperial soldier. You deceived your commanding officer, shamed the entire Chinese Army and dishonored your family name.
    Sora: We get the picture...
    The Emperor: You're a young woman. And in the end... you have saved us all.
  • Art Shift:
    • Timeless River is based off of the Disney shorts from The Golden Age of Animation, so the character designs are much more simplistic and the color scheme is purely monochrome.
    • The world Port Royal is based off of the live action movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl instead of the series' standard fare of using Disney's animated films for locations, thus it has a darker and much more realistic style than the rest. This is Lampshaded by Sora and co. noting how it feels different when they first enter.
  • Artificial Brilliance: An enemy example, but during Sora's fight with "Ansem" in the Land of Dragons, the latter is programmed to not attack Sora directly, but instead attack the swarm of Heartless during the fight, unless the player is within range of his attacks. Makes sense, considering who it really is.
  • Ascended Extra: Simba goes from summon to party member in this game. Mushu as well, to a lesser extent, as while his role in the story is much greater than in the first two games, he is not an actual party member, only playing a role combat-wise in Mulan's Limit Break.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Will Turner asks if the clearly dangerous Organization XIII will hurt the townsfolk of Port Royal, Jack Sparrow sarcastically quips that they're only there to hand out flowers.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Several Heartless bosses, most noticeably the Groundshaker in the Pride Lands, are this. There's also the battles with Genie Jafar in Agrabah, and Sark and the Master Control Program in Space Paranoids.
  • Auto-Revive: If Sora dies while the Peter Pan Summon is active, Tinker Bell will revive him to full health. It only works once per Summon, and she disappears after reviving him.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Among the many new items added to the Final Mix version is a staff for Donald called the Centurion. It has the highest Strength boost of any weapon in the game, but its Magic boost is mediocre, it has no ability attached like the other endgame weapons, and Donald's frailty combined with a lack of physical prowess means the Strength boost isn't very useful. The "+" version has the Damage Control ability attached so Donald takes half damage when at critical health, but he's so frail it often doesn't matter.
  • Ax-Crazy: Saïx — he's typically a calm, collected fellow, but in berserk mode, he's a Screaming Warrior that is utterly relentlessness.
  • 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).
  • Badass 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. There is also their encounter with the hyenas — if it were not for Scar, they would've wound up as food. Sora also finds himself being choked to death by Flotsam and Jetsam when they restrain him during "Ursula's Revenge". His friends save him in the nick of time.
  • Bag of Spilling: Sora has forgotten all of his magic, which Merlin is not happy about, and most of his other tricks from Kingdom Hearts I. It's implied that this was caused by having his memory wiped and re-assembled.
  • Balance Buff:
    • The animation for using items in battle - such as Potions - is a lot shorter than Kingdom Hearts I, making them much easier to utilize without getting interrupted.
    • The international version of the game increases the damage of the Reflect spell from the original Japanese version, while the Final Mix version increases it even further.
  • Baleful Polymorph: If the player fails a Reaction Command against a Gambler Nobody or Luxord, they will temporarily transform Sora into either a large die or person-sized card. While he can still attack by flailing around, he does very little damage.
  • Bash Brothers: Sora and any party member can unleash Limits that can bring a world of hurt onto their foes.
  • Batman Gambit: Organization XIII's plan relies entirely on Sora killing Heartless so they can collect the hearts released by the Keyblade.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The very first boss is against the Twilight Thorn in the Station of Awakening, a location that is heavily implied to be a person's heart. The giant Nobody is trying to subdue Roxas so he can be returned to the Organization.
  • Battleship Raid:
    • The Phantom Storm Gummi Mission involves an encounter with a huge Heartless pirate ship on the way to Olympus Coliseum. You can try to destroy it or just survive until the end of the mission.
    • The final Gummi Mission, Assault on the Dreadnought, is a homage to the Death Star II battle in Return of the Jedi. Sora and co. fight past a huge armada of Nobody ships and eventually enter the inside of the flagship to destroy its core.
  • Beta Couple: Cloud and Tifa, the latter of whom has no characterization in this continuity other than "Cloud's Action Girl love interest".
  • Beam-O-War: The "Session" reaction command's final move, "All's End", has Sora and his companion Riku's Keyblades firing a beam each at each other that meet in the middle, drawing in enemies and dealing heavy damage.
  • Beam Spam:
    • Xigbar uses two laser-shooting guns (called "Arrowguns") to attack, and he fires near-constantly.
    • 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.
  • 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: Organization XIII and Maleficent are both after Kingdom Hearts, butting heads with Sora (and each other) over the course of the story. About halfway through, the Organization takes Maleficent out of the picture by taking control of the Heartless away from her.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • If Sora dies when fighting certain bossesnote , there is a chance that King Mickey will appear and take over as the Player Character to give another chance to beat the boss. Once he fills the Drive Gauge completely from either dealing damage or using a special command, he can revive Sora to full health to continue the fight.
    • While Kairi and Naminé are escaping from The Castle That Never Was, Saïx and two Berserkers find them and attempt to recapture Kairi. Riku then appears out of nowhere to backstab one of the Berserkers and scare Saïx off.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Sora, Donald and Goofy's reaction to finding out who "Xehanort" really is is a loud "what" from all three.
  • 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 that vaguely resemble humans.
  • 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.
  • Bleak Level: The Pride Lands, based off of The Lion King. The game's version takes place after Scar's takeover, so there's no plant life outside of the oasis that Timon and Pumbaa live in and the color scheme is dominated by differing shades of grey.
  • "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  For those interested, the (European) French dub translated it as "Simili".
  • Bookends:
    • The first and last bosses are both Nobodies and utilize an attack that can be dodged using the "Reversal" Reaction Command.
    • If the game enters Precap, a poem will be shown onscreen before the montage of cutscenes accompanying the staff credits. The poem reappears at the end of the game being read by Sora.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • All versions:
      • Sephiroth returns as an optional fight. After defeating the MCP in Space Paranoids, he can be found at the Dark Depths in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden.
      • Tifa, Cloud, Leon, Yuffie, and Hercules can be fought in various Underdrome Cups at Olympus Coliseum.
    • Final Mix:
      • In several worlds there are strange entities called Absent Silhouettes of the Organization XIII members that died in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Examining them will trigger a fight with the member whose weapon is on the Silhouette.
      • At the end of the Cavern of Remembrance in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden there's a room called the Garden of Assemblage that has portals that let you fight Data versions the Organization XIII members. These Data Rematches are much stronger, have more HP, and have their fight strategies slightly altered to ensure they're more difficult.
      • After beating the game a portal opens up in the basement of Disney Castle. Taking the portal will have you encounter a difficult battle with Terra's Lingering Will.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Cavern of Remembrance in Final Mix, which puts more focus on platforming with Growth abilities.
  • Boss Bonanza: The last world of the game, The World That Never Was, has Sora confronting what's left of Organization XIII. There are 4 (5 in the Final Mix version) to be fought, with the leader Xemnas having 4 separate forms.
  • Boss Remix: The battle theme for Sora's fight against Roxas in the Final Mix version is a remix of his normal theme, "The Other Promise".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Xigbar never runs out of ammo for his Arrowguns, but he does have to reload the clips occasionally.
  • Bound and Gagged: Several 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.
    • Later on, to Jack Sparrow when captured by Barbossa. Soon, the same happens to Elizabeth, and to Sora, Donald and Goofy, after Will is captured. Jack breaks free at the end of the cutscene and unties the others.
    • Thirdly, to Santa Claus in Halloween Town, when captured by Maleficent and a newly-revived Oogie Boogie.
    • And finally, to Sora again, when Flotsam and Jetsam restrain him with their bodies to prevent him from interfering with Ursula. This backfires spectacularly as Donald and Goofy tackle the eels to cause them to release Sora, who then vanquishes them with a beam of light from the Keyblade.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Rikku's outfit shows less skin than her appearance in Final Fantasy X-2, and her thong is no longer visible.
    • Many parts of Port Royal were changed to ensure it was more family-friendly in international releases. Barbossa's monologue to Elizabeth was altered to remove a reference to lust and women, Will no longer holds a gun to his head during a cutscene, the pirate mooks with guns now wield crossbows, the blood on the medallions is removed in some scenes, pirates no longer burst into flames upon contact with Fire magic, and Jack no longer has Barbossa's cutlass sticking out of him when it's revealed he got himself cursed.
    • The Hydra bleeds green goo that clearly resembles blood in the Japanese version, while in the English version it just spews out gas. Oddly, this was retained for the Final Mix version when other instances of censorship were removed.
    • In the Japanese version, Xigbar opens his Boss Fight by combining his arrowguns into a sniper rifle and aiming at Sora through a somewhat realistic sight. In the international versions he just twirls his guns before attacking, while the sight was altered to be less obvious.
    • In the Japanese version, Axel lights himself on fire for his final attack and remains as such while he's dying. The international version removes the fire, and replaces it with him fading away.
  • 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.
  • Breather Episode:
    • The Hundred Acre Wood, just like in the first two games, is a collection of easy, relaxing minigames.
    • Atlantica does not feature any combat this time around, being instead the hub for a handful of rhythm-based minigames.
  • Broken Record: Phil will repeatedly shout "GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK!" during the Hydra boss fight until you do as he says.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • The trophies in the Vestibule of Olympus Coliseum are the ones that Sora can win from doing the optional Cups in Kingdom Hearts I.
  • Came Back Strong: Scar does this twice. First is when Simba kills him by knocking him off the top of Pride Rock. His appearance does not change at all when he becomes a Heartless, but he does have Elemental Powers for his boss fight. The second time he comes back, he antagonizes Simba in the form of ghostly avatars of his original self. For the boss fight following that, he manifests as the massive Groundshaker Heartless, the second-largest Heartless in the series to date. That Scar is the only character other than Xehanort to have retained his intelligence after becoming a Heartless really says something about how nasty the guy was.
  • Came Back Wrong: When Oogie Boogie is brought back to life by Maleficent, he has difficulty remembering things from before his death. It eventually devolves into a very severe case of short-term memory loss, as he fails to recognize Santa Claus despite having personally kidnapped him shorty before.
  • Chained by Fashion: Shadow Stalker / Dark Thorn. The chains aren't just there for fashion either, and act as a Power Limiter. The former turns into the latter when it sheds them.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The munny pouch and the blue crystal Riku stole from Roxas are supposed to be unique (the former being Olette's homemade money pouch and the latter being part of the Struggle champion trophy). The sheer fact that Sora somehow has a duplicate of both is what hinted Hayner, Pence and Olette to the existence of the virtual Twilight Town.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Out of all the summon animations from the first game to show during the flashbacks Roxas was having during the game's prologue, they showed Mushu's. This is so that it would come at no surprise to the players when they've meet Mushu within the Land of Dragons and he claims to have gone on all kinds of adventures with Sora and his friends.
    • At the beginning of the first visit to Halloween Town, Dr. Finkelstein can be seen creating a mechanical being as an experiment. Said experiment is the main antagonist of the second visit to the world.
  • Chickification: Ariel is significantly less capable than in the first game, as her storyline is essentially a condensed version of The Little Mermaid, which is a much less violent story than Kingdom Hearts.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Final Mix version adds 144 puzzle pieces to grab throughout the worlds, which are then used to piece together 6 images. Once you complete an image, you are rewarded with a rare or one-of-a-kind item.
  • Collision Damage: Equipping a Gummi Ship with Impact Gummies will make it so that enemies take damage whenever they make contact with your ship.
  • Colossus Climb: The Groundshaker is a huge boss, so you and Simba have to weaken it so you can make your way to its back to damage it some more.
  • Combination Attack: Every party member, and a handful of the summons can do a Limit Attack with Sora. Donald and Goofy get two each, plus Trinity Limit.
  • Combo Breaker: If a boss takes too many hits without being able to act, they'll immediately retaliate even if they're supposed to be stunned.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Fighting a handful of Heartless? Possibly challenging. Fighting a huge mass of 1000 Heartless? Possibly the easiest battle in the entire game. Considering what other Heartless could have fought Sora in that valley, it's probably for the better.
  • Cool Starship: The Gummi Ships were cool before, but are even moreso now — just check out the Falcon Peak. You can even design your own ship, to make them extra badass.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Auron versus Hercules. Not just because these are two badass men duking it out, but also because it is just so unexpected.
  • Costume Evolution: The main characters get new outfits, since Sora's outgrown his old one.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Subverted during the final battle: the final boss is left at 1 HP and becomes permanently stunned when defeated, so the player can finish him off however they choose, rather than go through a quick-time event or similar.
  • 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.
  • Critical Status Buff: The Defender and Damage Control abilities decrease damage taken while health is at critical levels. Defender just gives a Defense boost of 3, while Damage Control cuts all damage in half.
  • Crosshair Aware: During the fight with Xigbar; as soon as he begins the fight, and occasionally a few more times.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Demyx is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, and overall looks more like a harmless teenage boy than a real threat. But remember that the Organization XIII members are comprised of especially powerful Nobodies, who were able to keep their original bodies.
  • Crutch Character: Valor Form. Early in the game Valor Form's power is incredible and it is very useful in fights. By the time you unlock Wisdom Form, it's begun to taper off due to the rising power of enemies and the fact Sora can't use magic in the form. In the end game, Valor Form is entirely outclassed by virtually every other Drive Form that Sora has.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Demyx said, "We do too have hearts; don't be mad." Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance 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.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: All of the Bonus Bosses have around twice the HP of the Final Boss, each having well over 10 bars of HP to cut through.
  • Damsel in Distress:
  • Dance Battler: Dancer Nobodies move around the battlefield by gracefully gliding above the ground and attack using elegant kicks. One of their attacks even forces Sora to "dance" with them before dealing damage.
  • Dark Reprise: The battle theme when you fight against Roxas is a sadder and more tragic version of his normal theme.
  • Darker and Edgier: Noticeably darker than its predecessor. That doesn't mean there aren't some breaks for lightheartedness and humor.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Anti Form. As powerful as it is, it can activate randomly, prevents you from healing, blocking attacks, or gaining experience, and you can't even exit manually until there's no enemies around. If it activates in the middle of a boss fight, you're likely in trouble.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Auron puts the "Dead", literally in his case, into Deadpan Snarker in his first scene with Hades:
    Hades: Do you know who you're talking to? I'm the LORD OF THE DEAD!!!
    Auron: Heh... No wonder no one wants to die.
  • Death Course: Sark places Sora in a Light Cycle arena to derezz him during the second trip to Space Paranoids.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Xehanort and the other five founding members of the Organization. All of them worked for the real Ansem before they betrayed him and exiled him to the world of nothingness.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The game starts off with the player controlling Roxas, a new character that was living a normal life in Twilight Town before he discovered he could wield the Keyblade. After the prologue is over control switches over to Sora, the actual protagonist, while Roxas disappears.
  • Defend Command:
    • The Guard ability lets Roxas and Sora negate damage from most attacks in front of them, assuming that it's timed properly.
    • The Reflect spell negates damage from all directions, though it requires MP even if it doesn't deflect anything.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Timeless River world is rendered almost completely in black and white — the only color is in the HUD, and even that's muted.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Princesses of Heart have no plot significance bar Kairi, and most of them don't appear at all.
    • Peter Pan, originally a party member in the first game, is now merely an optional Summon.
  • Determinator: Subverted with Hercules, who quickly loses all hope and motivation after the Olympus Colosseum is heavily damaged by the Hydra. Sora and his friends, however, manage to get him back on his feet eventually.
  • 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 the Wise into the Realm of Darkness.
    • After beating Xemnas, Sora and Riku get trapped in the Realm of Darkness. Riku finds the message in a bottle that Kairi sent from Destiny Islands during the prologue (how it traveled between dimensions isn't explained), which somehow opens a portal that lets them escape after Sora reads the message inside.
  • Developers' Foresight: The Cavern of Remembrance in Final Mix is split up into several platforming areas that require maxed out Growth abilities to proceed, with the last of these area necessitating Glide (obtained from leveling up Final Form). If the player cheats to get Glide before beating Roxas (the trigger that allows access to Final Form) and goes to the end of the Glide room, they will find an invisible wall that prevents passage into the last part of the Cavern. The wall only goes away once Roxas is defeated.
  • Difficult but Awesome: AntiForm can deal larges amounts of damage very quickly due to having fast attacks and it doubles Sora's movement, but he's unable to use magic or heal while transformed, takes 50% more damage when hit, and is not allowed to revert back manually until combat is over.
  • Double Jump: The Aerial Dodge ability gives Sora a second jump to use in midair. Since the game lacks platforming, the main function of the ability is to dodge attacks and/or change trajectory quickly to get into a better position.
  • The Dragon: Pete to Maleficent, and Saïx and Xigbar to Xemnas. Though it's not really apparent how much of a dragon Xigbar is until Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance how much more of a dragon Xigbar is than Saïx.
  • Dream Intro: Starts with a similar dream for Roxas as in Part 1.
  • Dual Boss: Volcanic Lord and Blizzard Lord are fought together as Agrabah's first 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: Sora is not the brightest of protagonists, which is usually Played for Laughs when he has trouble following a new concept. Such as computers. Even Goofy is better with them than Sora.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Models for a scrapped Woody & Buzz summon can be found in the files.
    • The Edge of Ultima and Detection Saber, two palette-swapped versions of the Ultima Weapon, are found in the game files and can be accessed using cheat codes. Their effects are the same as Oblivion. Donald and Goofy also have similar weapons called Staff of Detection and Detection Shield respectively. They were most likely used as collision models in the game's test phase.
    • The E3 2005 and the TGS 2003 trailers for Kingdom Hearts II shows scenes that were ultimately removed from the final release of the game.
    • The old Munny sprite was used in earlier trailers, but was removed in favor of a new sprite.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Japan, Chicken Little's appearance in the game preceded his movie's release.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Sora, Riku, and Kairi make it back to Destiny Islands, Roxas and Naminé seem to be content within Sora and Kairi, Mickey returns to his throne, and all seems to be right with the worlds. That being said, the story is not over.
  • Easing into the Adventure: The "Longest Prologue Ever" (which ranges around three hours normally, and five hours on Proud Mode).
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Save files that are set to Beginner Mode cannot see the "The Gathering" (original version) and "Birth by Sleep" (Final Mix version) secret videos.
  • Eldritch Location: The World that Never Was, which starts off as a city with Alien Geometries and transforms into a hollow castle that's partly digital.
  • Electric Torture: Happens twice in the game; the first time to Donald and Goofy within Space Paranoids, with Sora being Forced to Watch note . Later on, in Olympus Coliseum, all three of them are electrocuted while trying to steal Auron's statue from Hades.
  • Elemental Powers: Each Organization XIII member controls a different attribute (Square Enix make it quite clear that they're not elements, they're attributes). Some attack with it directly (Axel, Demyx with his water clones), Some draw power from it (Saïx berserking in moonlight), and some just use it as a visual motif (Marluxia).
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: During the final battles (starting with the dragon), the player has access to the MAX 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.
  • Elite Mooks: Nobodies bar the Dusks and Creepers are not very common, but they are stronger and much more unpredictable than Heartless. The game's last world is filled almost exclusively with them.
  • End Game Plus: Clearing the game on Final Mix grants Sora his final Drive level upgrade and unlocks End Game Plus if the player saves a Clear file. End Game Plus allows the player full access to battle all members of Organization XIII at the Cavern of Remembrance, save those whose Absent Silhouette they haven't defeated yet. The remaining Mushrooms are unlocked, as is a Bonus Boss from a portal in Disney Castle. In this version of the game, this is also when the full Jiminy Journal is unlocked, with question marks for those entries you haven't completed yet. In HD II.5 Remix, it also unlocks Theatre Mode.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • At one point in Hollow Bastion, Sora, Donald and Goofy come across a fight between some Heartless and Nobodies. When the two factions realize that Sora is there, they immediately stop fighting each other to gang up on him.
    • Maleficent helps Sora and co. twice because they're all trying to stop Organization. The first time she teleports them out of a Nobody ambush in Hollow Bastion and the second time she and Pete hold off a large swarm of Heartless so Sora can go fight Xemnas.
  • Era-Specific Personality: Referenced with Timeless River. Sora and his friends note that Past Mickey and Past Pete are very different from their present counterparts, both in appearance and personality.
  • Escort Mission: On the first (and only) story visit to Disney Castle, Queen Minnie needs to be accompanied by Sora to get past the invading Heartless without taking too much damage. She's not entirely helpless, as she's occasionally cast Pearl and being near her can let you do a Reaction Command to push back nearby Heartless.
  • Evil Makeover:
    • AntiForm turns Sora completely back, and gives him Glowing Eyes of Doom, much like a Heartless, which this form represents.
    • When the Claymores of Hollow Bastion are hijacked by the Master Control Program to attack Sora and his friends instead of the Heartless, they turn orange to signify their new allegiance.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Xemnas has a very deep voice, and is depicted as irredeemable.
  • 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. After the visit the Space Paranoids and the Battle of 1000 Hearts, the Organization removes Maleficent from the picture by overpowering her as a show of strength, letting them take command of the Heartless (who follow those who they see as strongest).
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: A couple Heartless and a couple Nobodies have a 1% chance to drop weapons for Donald and Goofy to use.
    • Shaman Heartless drop the Shaman's Relic, a staff for Donald. It grants a Strength bonus of 4, a Magic bonus of 5, and gives Donald MP Rage (regain MP when damage is taken, original game only) or Blizzard Boost (increase the damage of Blizzard attacks by 20%, Final Mix version). A recolored "+" version is dropped by Necromancers in Final Mix, and it gives Defender (increases Defense when at critical health).
    • Bookmaster Heartless drop the Akashic Record, a shield for Goofy. It grants a Strength bonus of 7 and gives him the MP Haste ability to decrease the amount of time it takes for MP to recharge once MP Charge is activated. The recolored "+" version dropped by Runemasters in Final Mix has MP Hastera, which is a faster version of MP Haste.
    • Dragoon Nobodies drop the Nobody Lance, a staff for Donald. It grants a Strength bonus of 5, a Magic bonus of 5, and gives Defender (original game) or Item Boost (increases the effectiveness of items, Final Mix version).
    • Gambler Nobodies drop the Nobody Guard, a shield for Goofy. It grants a Strength bonus of 8 and gives either Hyper Healing (fallen ally revives faster, original game) or MP Rage (Final Mix).
  • Expansion Pack Past: There was almost no interaction between Sora and both Simba and Mushu in Kingdom Hearts, since they only appeared as summons; however, their behavior towards Sora in this game implies they've spent a lot of time as friends together.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Santa doesn't realize that Jack Skellington is right in front of him until Jack talks.
  • "Far Side" Island: Stitch's summoning animation temporarily transports Sora to one that has some bushes in addition to the single palm tree.
  • Field of Blades: The secret stinger videos take place in a barren field with several hundred, if not thousand, abandoned Keyblades lying about.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: When Sora faces "Ansem" while completely concealed in an Organization coat, he's able to guess that it's actually Riku based on the fighting style and signature weapon.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • Roxas ends up fighting his Best Friend, Axel, twice during the prologue. Roxas can't remember who Axel is due to amnesia and doesn't want to rejoin the Organization, while Axel needs to bring Roxas back lest he be harshly punished for failure.
    • The Beast's despair causes him to be easily influenced by Xaldin to give in to his anger, leading to a Boss Fight where Sora and Cogsworth try to get him to come to his senses.
    • During the second visit to The Land of Dragons, Sora finds Riku on the Summit and mistakes him for a member of Organization XIII due to the Black Cloak concealing his identity. A Boss Battle ensues, though Riku largely ignores Sora to focus his attacks on a swarm of Heartless that show up.
  • First Episode Spoiler: The game's long prologue has a couple of surprise twists at the end. Roxas is Sora's Nobody that's needed to wake the latter up, and the Twilight Town that Roxas lives in was actually a simulation created to hold him while Naminé was fixing Sora's memories.
  • Flash Step: The Final Mix version adds an ability for Sora called Flash Step. It causes him to teleport to enemies when he attacks and they're not in the initial range of his swing while also giving him a brief window of invincibility.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • The Twilight Thorn will summon Creepers to assist it once the second stage of the fight has started (i.e. after the first round of Reaction Commands). They aren't a huge threat since they are easily avoided, though they can be dispatched quickly to grab HP Orbs.
    • During the back-to-back fights against Pete in Olympus Coliseum, several species of Heartless will occasionally spawn to assist him.
    • After Oogie Boogie is knocked off of his platform for the first time, his machine starts producing Heartless. They make dodging the boss' painful but predictable attacks a lot harder and are quite capable of taking you out on their own, meaning you can't afford to ignore them.
    • Demyx will start off his boss fight by using his sitar to conjure up watery clones of himself. Beating them is required, as they are accompanied by a timer that will cause a Non Standard Game Over if it runs out before they're all dead.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Bell strikes replace the usual piano in Organization XIII's leitmotif in "Showdown at Hollow Bastion".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Xigbar mentions that there were Keyblade wielders before Sora, and most of the extra scenes from Final Mix also hint at plot points from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, not to mention the implications of Xemnas having a really strong negative reaction to being referred to as Xehanort, foreshadowing the dramatic conclusion of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
    • Some more foreshadowing regarding on how Tron suddenly became all emotional. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance confirms that programs are somewhat like Nobodies, in that they don't possess hearts, but the same game confirms that Nobodies can grow new hearts over time, and that it's likely that anything with a mind of it's own will gain a heart in no time. Tron is, thus, the first confirmed case of this reveal, while Pinocchio is a speculated case. This explains why Sora can detect a heart within him.
    • As mentioned with Xigbar, take a look at the Nobodies. Note how Xigbar's eye is yellow, his ears are pointed, and so are Saïx's... Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance reveals that Braig's already half Xehanort, roughly 11 years before. And those who played Birth by Sleep will notice that Saïx's eyes were originally blue. In Dream Drop Distance, Isa is revealed as one of Xehanort's darknesses.
  • Forced Tutorial: The prologue, which can last up to six hours, mostly consists of exposition and tutorial sections, and is unskippable (The cutscenes, at least, can be skipped, greatly shortening the prologue) but even then it leaves a lot of people wondering when they can play as Sora.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When the doves fly by Roxas' window on the 6th Day of the prologue, he's replaced with Sora for a split second.
    • The Gambler Nobody's cards have pictures of Lexaeus, Zexion, Marluxia, Larxene and a Nobody symbol — the former four are Organization XIII members who only appear in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

     G - P 
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The bag minigame during the prologue has a rare chance to have the bag go off its predetermined course and put Roxas outside the map. In the original game you're forced to restart due to being stuck, while the HD II.5 ReMIX version just crashes.
    • Dying to the Experiment immediately after doing its Reaction Command will crash the game.
    • In the HD II.5 Final ReMIX version of the game, doing the Facedown Reaction Command in the first Xemnas will crash the game if you entered Limit Form at any point of the fight.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In Port Royal, Jack Sparrow 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, and is able to be hurt by mundane means while the Pirates can only be harmed because of the Keyblade's foreign magic.
    • The first fight against Armored Controller Xemnas is one of the few bosses that has a chance to trigger the King Mickey rescue mechanic should Sora die. In a cutscene before the fight, King Mickey is trapped on the other side of the closed Door to Darkness and shouldn't be able to get there.
  • Gambit Pileup: Both Organization XIII and Maleficent are after Kingdom Hearts, while DiZ is trying to get revenge on Xemnas for betraying him when the former was Ansem and the latter was his apprentice Xehanort.
  • Genius Bonus: The ability rings with gems set in them (Sardonyx, Tourmaline, etc) all have Dragonscript etched into them that states the name of the gem set in the ring.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • Demyx dashes across his arena with giant water jets, all the while tossing the player up in the air to make it difficult to follow him.
    • The second fight with the three hyenas in Pride Lands, where you have to chase them around the Elephant Graveyard and beat them to a pulp.
    • Xigbar uses dual guns as his main weapon, and teleports across the boss arena between shots. The player needs to take potshots at him when he gets close and hope to catch him in a combo.
  • Glamour Failure: Whenever something happens that interferes with artificially created memories, and the simulated Twilight Town]], the whole screen flickers.
  • Glass Cannon: AntiForm can put out some serious damage with its fast combos, but it causes Sora to take 50% more damage and prevents him from healing himself by any means.
  • 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.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • The "Bat Cry" Reaction Command for Hook Bats and "Air Twister" Reaction Command for Air Pirates has Sora grab the corresponding enemies and smack them against surrounding enemies.
    • The "Fail Safe" Reaction Command for Assassin Nobodies involves Sora grabbing and throwing them into the ground, causing them to explode and potentially harming other enemies.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Most worlds have you team up with a character whenever you visit. Land of Dragons has Mulan, Beast's Castle has Beast, Olympus Coliseum has Auron from Final Fantasy X, Port Royal has Captain Jack Sparrow, Halloween Town has Jack Skellington, Agrabah has Aladdin, Pride Lands has Simba, and Space Paranoids has Tron. In the World That Never Was, Riku joins your party after what's left of Xehanort's Heartless is removed from his heart.
  • HP to 1: In the optional Data version of the first Xemnas fight, doing the "Finish" Reaction Command on the run up Memory's Skyscraper will automatically put him at 1 HP.
  • 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.
  • Hand Gagging: Several times throughout the game, to the point where the trope's page quote is actually from this game. Sora himself even got this, which is played for laughs, in Timeless River.
  • Hard Mode Perks: If playing on the hardest difficulty mode exclusive to the Final Mix version, Critical Mode, the players gets a few gameplay bonuses. Several powerful abilitiesnote  are granted on the third day of the prologue, you start off with 50 AP, the 3 AP is awarded as level-up bonuses instead of 2, and the requirements to unlock the secret ending video are reduced from getting 100% Completion to just getting the Gold Crown item (which involves beating all of Data Organization Battles, the Lingering Will, and the Mushroom XIII).
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Critical Mode in the Final Mix version. The total HP and MP you gain over time is halved, enemies hit twice as hard as those in Proud Mode (which often means you get killed in 1 or 2 hits), and you earn 25% less experience.
    • The No Experience ability, only available in Critical Mode, prevents gaining any EXP. Turning it on at the beginning of the game to keep Sora and co. at Level 1 (which means no natural stat boosts and level-up abilities) stacked with Critical Mode's penalties immensely increases the difficulty of the already hard mode.
  • Healing Factor:
    • The Genie, Stitch, and Peter Pan Summons will heal Sora over time. Stitch's healing is the slowest while Peter Pan's is the fastest.
    • Party members equipped with the Auto Heal ability will regain health as long as they're not active.
    • Limit Form will heal Sora whenever he successfully hits an enemy with a Limit.
  • Helpful Mook: The sole purpose of the rare Bulky Vendor Heartless is to give out items via a Reaction Command once you've found it. It has no attacks, and instead drains its own HP once it has spawned. The amount of HP it has left determines the quality of the item you can get from it.
  • <Hero> Must Survive:
    • The boss battle with Barbossa will be an automatic Game Over if Jack's HP reaches zero.
    • If Riku's HP reaches zero during Xemnas' final attack, you lose. This is because he's needed for the Coup de Grâce Cutscene that plays afterward.
  • He Was Right There All Along: The Thresholder 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.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Due to a glitch in the HD II.5 Final ReMIX version, some of Vexen's attacks will hit even when they're clearly not near Sora and co.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Many Reaction Commands involve Sora using an enemy's attack or weapon against them do deal a large amount of damage. For example, the "Berserk" command causes Sora to pick up a Berserker Nobody's hammer and swing it at them.
  • Hold the Line: The fight against Shan Yu requires that he be beaten before front door to the Land of Dragons' palace is destroyed.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Queen Minnie's magic spells all fit in this category.
    • King Mickey has several variations on the Pearl spell, a reference to the rename of Holy used for Final Fantasy VI.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first couple of "fights" with Hades have him completely invincible, forcing the player to flee.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The World that Never Was.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: The Heartless are said to take orders from whoever they see as the strongest, so the Organization is able to take command of them by overpowering Maleficent at Hollow Bastion.
  • I Have Your Wife: Organization XIII decides to kidnap Kairi so they can motivate Sora to keep killing the Heartless after he finds out about their plan.
  • I Like Those Odds: Leon and Cloud do this during their Back-to-Back Badasses moment while surrounded and vastly outnumbered by Heartless.
    Leon: Think you can handle this many?
    Cloud: Well, might be tough if one more shows up.
    Leon: Then that'll be the one I take care of.
    Cloud: What, you're fighting too?
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: When Cid calls Merlin an "old loon", Merlin gets offended by being called old.
  • Idiot Ball: Ariel completely forgets about the events of Kingdom Hearts I, and how Ursula is not at all trustworthy, so the game can recreate the plot of The Little Mermaid.
  • Immune to Flinching: Riku never gets stunned or reacts to taking damage during his Boss Fight in the Land of Dragons.
  • The Imp: Pete. He is a bit on the large side and surprisingly strong, but too dumb and incompetent to be much of a threat by himself. Sora lampshades this early on while speaking with Leon.
  • Impossible Thief: At the beginning of the prologue, a thief has been going around stealing photos and somehow was able to steal the word, preventing anyone from saying it. Once Roxas gets the photos back, the word returns.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Sora can deal damage with the stakeboard by doing tricks near enemies, do it does very little damage.
    • Demyx uses a pretty large sitar as his Weapon of Choice. While he usually uses it to channel his water attacks, he'll occasionally swing it to deal damage to anybody nearby.
    • Gambler Nobodies throw giant dice at Sora as one of their attacks.
    • Luxord's Weapon of Choice is a deck of playing cards. Each card is person-sized and they're surprisingly effective weapons.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Lexeaus' gimmick for his Bonus Boss fight in the Final Mix version is that he has a power level that determines his damage output. He starts off doing so little damage that even if you're Level 1 he's completely non-threatening, but as the fight goes on he will occasionally power himself up and do more and more damage.
  • Infinity–1 Sword:
    • Beating the Experiment on the second visit to Halloween Town grants Sora the Decisive Pumpkin Keyblade. It's tied with Ultima Weapon and Oblivion for the second highest Strength bonus at 6, a pretty long reach to ensure it hits targets, and has the "Combo Boost" ability to increase damage dealt by combo finishers on the ground. The combination of its ability and Strength bonus gives it the highest damage output out of all Keyblades when used on the ground.
    • Reuniting with Riku and Kairi in The World That Never Was grants Oblivion, the last Keyblade you get from story progression. It's tied with Decisive Pumpkin and Ultima Weapon for the second highest Strength bonus of 6, a decent Magic bonus of 2, and the Drive Boost ability to restore the Drive Gauge faster during MP Charge.
  • Infinity+1 Sword
    • The Ultima Weapon has great strength and magic, but requires a whole lot of synthesising. The Fenrir is the single strongest physical Keyblade in the game, but requires you to beat Sephiroth. The Fatal Crest is the single strongest magical Keyblade in the game, but requires you to beat the Goddess of Fate Cup in the Underdrome.
    • 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 for Sora. 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 No Experience, 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.
      • Premium Mushroom and Ultimate Mushroom for Donald and Goofy. The former gets Save the Queen+'s old ability from the normal version of the game and has the highest magic stat in the game while the latter absorbs 40% of all damage. They are won by getting the best possible score on the Mushroom XIII mini games.
  • Inside a Computer System:
    • The Twilight Town that Roxas lives in is actually a virtual recreation found inside a computer in the real town's abandoned mansion.
    • Space Paranoids is a Cyberspace world based off of the ENCOM system in TRON. It's located in Ansem the Wise's computer in Hollow Bastion.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: During the first visit to Beast's Castle, 2 suits of armor block the path to the Beast's room. Examining them will have the game say they are impassable and there's an invisible wall preventing progress, even though there is clearly a gap large enough for Sora to comfortably get around them.
  • Interface Screw: In the Final Mix version of the game, it's possible for Zexion and the Enigmatic Armor to trap Sora's "commands". When that happens, the only thing you can do is find the right command as otherwise, it would be impossible to do anything other than possibly run around.
  • Interface Spoiler: Getting the Reunion trophy in the II.5 Final ReMIX version shows Riku in the attire he wears when he joins the party. At this point, he's still in Ansem's form, and will not be restored until after two more bosses and about fifteen minutes worth of cutscenes.
  • Invisible Parents: Roxas and his friends are apparently teenagers, but the concept of a guardian being relevant to their lives is never broached. Of course, Roxas himself doesn't have any "parents", unless you count Sora.
  • Invited As Dinner: Sora and his friends nearly become lunch for the hyenas. Kind of inverted, as the trio just end up there as trespassers when they entered the world, yet Shenzi lets them stay anyway.
  • Ironic Echo: When Maleficent intervenes between Sora's confrontation with Saïx 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.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The Organization's castle.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Past Pete was a bit gruff, but not nearly as mean as his present counterpart. He was just a guy who wanted to do his job.
    • Seifer may act tough, but when he gives the struggle trophy to Sora for being "the strongest guy in Twilight Town" after the latter saves his gang from the Nobodies, it is clear that it is a genuine display of gratitude.
  • Joke Item: Final Mix gives Donald and Goofy the Plain Mushroom and Joyous Mushroom, a staff and shield with stats similar to their initial weapons. They are won by winning the Mushroom XIII mini games with the lowest score possible.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Sora enforces this on Flounder by covering his eyes so that he doesn't see Ariel and Eric kiss.
  • Last Chance Hit Point:
    • Every boss will always hit 1 HP before you can finish them off, and you're only allowed to do so with a Reaction Command, combo finisher, or magic.
    • The Second Chance ability allows Sora to survive any hit if he had at least 2 HP when it connects, while the Once More ability also him to survive combos if he had more than 1 HP when the first hit connects.
  • Large Ham: Ansem, played by Richard Epcar, is depicted in an overly-dramatic fashion. For instance:
    KINGDOOOOM HEEEAAAAARTS! FILL ME, WITH THE POWER OF DARKNESS!'
    • Saïx, during the boss fight with him.
    MOVE ASIIIIDE!
  • 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.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The opening cinematic and flashbacks during the prologue reveal that the Big Bad of the first game wasn't Maleficent, but a man named Ansem.
    • The opening cinematic shows that Riku was actually at Castle Oblivion during Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and heavily implies that he's playable. This is meant to be a surprise in original game that's only unlocked after beating Sora's story.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Sweet Memories keyblade. It has no attack or magic stats at all and its range is pitiful, making it less than lethal, but it has the Lucky Lucky ability, which boosts the drop rates of items, invaluable when farming synthesis materials. Final Mix gives it the new ability Drive Converter, which makes enemies drop drive orbs instead of munny, invaluable for leveling up Drive Forms, especially Master Form which gains exp as you collect drive orbs.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Successfully blocking a Samurai Nobody's attack may cause them to assume a levitating meditation pose. This signifies that you can use the "Duel Stance" Reaction Command on them.
  • Limit Break: Every character gives Sora a "Limit". Donald and Goofy have two each.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Final Mix, which already includes a ton of extra content compared to vanilla Kingdom Hearts II, is topped by Final Mix+, which contains on top of that a remake of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. While the latter eventually made it to North America as a standalone game, neither Final Mix nor Final Mix+ were released outside of Japan until a third Updated Re-release: Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX.
  • Lip Lock: Averted; about half the dialogue uses Mouth Flaps, and the other half animates mouth movements according to the dubbed dialogue in the English version.
  • Living Structure Monster: There is the Heartless boss Thresholder. It is the possessed dungeon doors which impede Sora and company in Beast's castle.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The II.5 version unfortunately has this due to the Blu-Ray discs used for the game, and the lack of a data install option to ease it. While normal load times isn't too bad, the game hangs for several seconds when entering Drive Forms, using Summons, or sometimes just opening a chest.
  • Lone Wolf Boss:
    • Implied with Shan Yu. He has his own army of Heartless, but is never seen making contact with Pete or Maleficent to make any sort of deal. He's trying to conquer The Land of Dragons on his own, and only battles Sora because he's in the way.
    • Hades is shown working with Pete during the first visit to Olympus Coliseum on a joint venture to take care of both Sora and Hercules, but on the second visit appears to have ended the alliance to focus on Herc.
    • On the first visit to Halloween Town, Lock, Shock, and Barrel are working for Maleficent and fight you to buy time for Oogie to get better from his recent resurrection. When they're encountered on the second visit, they're not working for anybody and start causing trouble in Christmas Town just because it's fun.
    • Ursula is back, but now works alone trying to take over Atlantica.
    • On the second visit to Halloween Town, somebody is stealing presents from Santa Claus for unknown reasons. It's later discovered that the theft was caused by the Experiment, a creation of Dr. Finklestein's that went rogue. It stole the presents in a vain attempt to gain a heart, which Dr. Finklestein did not give it during the creation process.
    • The MCP is unaffiliated with the other villains, and tries to take over Hollow Bastion on its own.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Twilight Town Roxas spends the prologue in is merely a simulation that is intended to keep him docile enough for Sora's memories to be extracted from him.
  • Low Level Run: The Final Mix version has an ability called No Experience, which prevents Sora and co. from gaining normal experience (it doesn't prevent leveling up Drives or Summons). Using it at the beginning of the game will keep everyone at Level 1, creating the ultimate challenge.
  • Mage Tower: Yen Sid, the sorcerer from The Sorcerer's Apprentice, resides in a tower simply called the Mysterious Tower.
  • 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.
  • Magic Versus Science: Merlin and Cid when it comes to defending Hollow Bastion, with Cid preferring science and Merlin using magic.
    • The end result is that Tron gets some of Merlin's magic in addition to the upgrades that Cid programmed due to Merlin firing a spell a Cid just as the latter was taking a disc out of his computer.
  • Magitek: An upgrade disc that Cid creates for Tron is accidentally exposed to Merlin's magic during an argument. Tron gets both the magic and the upgrades from the disc.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Since the MCP can't really defend himself too well, he makes Sark grow in size to assist him when Sora and co. come to delete him.
  • Meaningful Background Event: While Sora and co. are talking with Leon in Ansem's secret lab, Stitch can be seen crawling around in the background a couple of times. When Stitch does get noticed, he lands on the computer and indirectly causes Sora, Donald, and Goofy to get sucked into it and arrested by the MCP.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Saïx confronts Sora over how important Kairi means to him, Sora replies, "Yeah. More than anything." Kairi replies similarly later when Saïx questions her if she wants to see Sora.
  • Metal Slime: The Bulky Vendor. A rare Heartless only showing up within certain worlds (and even then, only sometimes), the Bulky Vendor will give you an item. The lower its HP, the better quality item it would give. Its HP goes down by itself, and at lower HP, it will move faster.
  • Message in a Bottle: Kairi sends one, and because A Wizard Did It, Sora and Riku find it in an alternate shadow dimension.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • Donald freezing himself with a ricocheting Blizzard after waking up from his memory-restoring sleep.
    • 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.
    • The TV spot released in North America featured Sora fighting Axel, which wasn't present in the original game.
    • Deep Dive is not a scene from Kingdom Hearts II. It's a scene from Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days.
    • Roxas chases the Dusk thief through the streets of Twilight Town, and it escapes by flying into a wall and vanishing.
    • Axel walks closer to the far wall in the scene before his fight with Roxas; as he approaches it, he looks back at Roxas and grins a Slasher Smile.
    • The Kingdom Hearts version of Hollow Bastion, specifically the Great Crest, appears as the place where Sora first met the surviving members of the Organization, after the trio slays a horde of Neoshadows.
    • Sora meets King Mickey in his Kingdom Hearts II attire before visiting the Mysterious Tower.
    • Sora was shown on the Dark Margin and holding his Keyblade up to something like he was getting ready to seal a keyhole.
  • Money Spider: Gambler Nobodies will drop a large amount of Munny whenever the Stop Dice or Begin Game Reaction Commands are successfully preformed on them.
  • Mood Whiplash: Congratulations! You've just defeated Xemnas, for good this time, and Sora, Riku and Kairi have all gotten home safely. And now they've got all new adventures to go on. Cue the ominous images of three people in armor, in somewhere filled with a lot of abandoned keyblades. And what's with the unnerving piano music...?
  • 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.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Opening big chests involves Sora/Roxas tossing the Keyblade into the air then hitting the chest, all the while whooshing sounds and dramatic camera movements add to the mood. Said big chests will usually contain powerful one-of-a-kind armor, charms that will grant new summons, torn pages for the Hundred Acre Wood, or area maps.
  • Mundane Utility: On the second visit to Agrabah, Genie complains about how all he's asked to do are the relatively simple (for him) tasks of clearing a sandstorm and fixing Agrabah.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Seifer's position as the self-appointed head of the Disciplinary Committee in Twilight Town is a reference to Balamb Garden's student-run committee of the same name in Final Fantasy VIII.
    • Seifer's bullying of Hayner is a reminiscent of his treatment of Zell Dincht, a character from Final Fantasy VIII that Hayner heavily resembles.
    • The Sorcerer, Sniper, Dragoon, Berserker, Assassin, Dancer, Gambler, and Samurai Nobodies are named after (and based off of) Job Classes from various Final Fantasy games.
    • 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.
    • Beast says "Get out!" when initiating his Limit Break, referencing one of his lines from his film to Belle when she trespasses into the West Wing and to Gaston at the climax.
    • Chicken Little says a line from his own movie: "Prepare to hurt" when activating his Limit Break.
    • Jiminy's Journal refers to the Gullwings as "friendly neighborhood something-or-others", a nod to a line they used to refer to themselves in Final Fantasy X-2.
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: At one point in the story, Goofy saves Mickey Mouse from being hit by a falling boulder, resulting in it falling onto him instead, knocking him out. He survives, the sole reason being because he was an Iron Butt Monkey within his own shorts, something he promptly notes to Sora and the gang when he catches up to them.
  • Nerf:
    • Magic overall has been heavily weakened since Kingdom Hearts I. Casting times are longer (especially if done in midair) unless Sora is in a Drive Form, the player gets less uses before MP gets depleted, and MP can no longer be restored by hitting enemies with melee attacks.
    • Blizzard is now just a single projectile instead of having the shotgun-esque spread it had in Kingdom Hearts I.
    • The Cure spell now eats up whatever MP is left instead of having a set cost, preventing multiple uses.
    • The Guard ability's animation is significantly shorter than the other games, making it harder to use.
    • The Final Mix version of the game significantly reduces the damage dealt by Limits.
    • Strike Raid no longer provides invincibility if you delay between Keyblade throws for as long as possible.
    • Strike Raid, Sonic Blade, Last Arcanum (Ars Arcanum in Kingdom Hearts I), and Infinity (Ragnarok in I) now cost huge amounts of MP, preventing more than 2 or 3 uses before you run out.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted. Death and murder are explicitly mentioned several times over the course of the game despite its (mostly) kid-friendly nature.
  • Never Split The Party: One of the mini-games in the Hundred Acre Wood involves keeping all the characters together through a spooky cave.
  • Non-Combat EXP:
    • Summons level up by depleting enough Summon bars, which will happen naturally whenever a Summon is out. It's possible to grind the levels just by having them out when not in combat.
    • Master Form acquires experience by picking up Drive Orbs, not by doing anything combat-related like the others. Trying to level it up outside of grabbing orbs dropped by enemies is impractical, as there are very few ways to obtain them otherwise.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: In the Final Mix version, the Organization XIII members fought in the Absent Silhouettes use Japanese voices with generic grunts while the rest of the game reuses the North American version's English voice track.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • If Jack Sparrow dies in the battle against Barbossa, you automatically lose.
    • If Pumbaa and Timon are killed by the hyenas, or if you can't defeat Demyx's water clones in 10 seconds.
    • Losing to any of the Struggles in the prologue causes a static effect to black out the screen and reset you to before the fight started.
  • Noodle Incident: "I'm sorry about the ice cream!" Just what was the "ice cream" incident? We may never know.
    • Also, Jack Skellington apparently caused some sort of trouble when first discovering Christmas Town, but it's not elaborated on other than "It's a long story."
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Unlike Kingdom Hearts I the game is very linear, with little to no extra areas to find.
  • Not Me This Time: When Sora and the gang visit Halloween Town a second time, they've found out that Santa's presents were stolen. Naturally, they accuse Lock, Shock and Barrel for stealing the presents. While they did deny it, they've decided to cause mischief anyway simply because "[stealing presents] sounds like fun!" This didn't help their case as for once, they didn't do it (which the party only finds out after they've captured them).
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Demyx. 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, during the 3rd visit to 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 by fighting directly.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Implied with Demyx. He flees from Hades, talks in a very casual manner to Sora, and claims he's not good at fighting. When he confronts Sora for the second time at Hollow Bastion, he becomes very serious after a failed attempt at reasoning and proceeds to put up a good fight.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: In Kingdom Hearts I 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.
  • One-Hit Kill: Using the "Needle Dive" Reaction Command will instantly knock Sark out, making it easier for Sora to attack the MCP.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Jacks (Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean), two Chips (the one from Beauty and the Beast and the one from the Chip 'n Dale shorts), Sora's best friend Riku and the similarly named Rikku from Final Fantasy X, and two Ansems (Ansem, Seeker of Darkness from Kingdom Hearts I and the real Ansem the Wise that the first one stole his name from).
  • Only I Can Kill Him: According to Sephiroth, Cloud is the only one capable of truly defeating him since he's a manifestation of Cloud's darkness. If Sora beats Serphiroth in an optional fight, he just shrugs it off like nothing happened.
  • Palette Swap: The Final Mix version of the game changes the coloration of most Heartless.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish:
    • The password to the DTD dataspace in Ansem's computer is comprised of the names of the 7 Princesses of Heart, who are necessary to get to the real DTD (Door to Darkness). The MCP even Lampshades this when he finds out what it is, stating that it was a simple password. When Tron changes it to lock the MCP out, he makes it "Sora, Donald, and Goofy" after his newfound friendship with them.
    • The password to Ansem the Wise's computer in the Twilight Town mansion's basement is "sea-salt ice cream", his favorite flavor.
  • Pivotal Boss: The MCP is completely stationary due to his large size, sitting the the middle of the battlefield out of reach. The only way to damage him is by using a Reaction Command when Tron is out.
  • Point of No Return: Entering the Door to Darkness at the Altar of Naught sends you into the final (and pretty long) fight against Xemnas with no breaks.
  • Power Floats: The strongest Drive Form, Final Form, has Sora always floating above the ground.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: From Mickey Mouse, of all people: "They'll pay for this." Followed by Flung Clothing and a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This, along with very powerful music, makes the King a force for kicking ass!
    • 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.
  • Precap: If the game is left idle at the title screen for long enough, it will play a montage of cutscenes backed by an instrumental remix of "Sanctuary", the main theme.
  • Press X to Not Die: The fight with Serpiroth has him open with a slashing attack that is guaranteed to kill Sora if he doesn't immediately dodge or use a Reaction Command.
  • Promoted to Playable: King Mickey can now be controlled, though only during some boss battles if Sora dies. He is limited to the standard movement options, the standard combo moves without any of the modifiers, the Pearl spell, cannot kill bosses, and has a special non-damaging command to quickly fill the Drive Gauge (which is used to revive Sora).

     R - Z 
  • Radial Ass Kicking: In the Battle of 1000 Heartless, Sora starts out surrounded by Heartless and proceeds to fight them all.
  • Rank Inflation: The Gummi Ship missions. Once you go past "A", it switches to "S" and then starts adding numbers after that, reaching S++10.
  • Retcon: The Ansem from previous games wasn't the real deal, but an impostor who was also the Heartless of a man named Xehanort. The real Ansem is a good guy that Xehanort banished to the Realm of Darkness 9 years before the events of Kingdom Hearts I.
  • Retraux: Timeless River is one big homage to the oldest Disney shorts. The art style resembles old Disney cartoons, the entire level is in black and white, and most of the audio is in a grainy mono (with large amounts of static in the HD Final ReMIX version).
  • Required Party Member:
    • Ping is required to be out at all times during the first visit in the Land of Dragons. This is Justified by Sora and co. trying to convince Captain Yang to let Ping join the army, so he has to actually be present during fights to prove he's capable.
    • For the Groundshaker fight, your party is just Sora and Simba - Donald and Goofy apparently sit that one out.
    • To defeat the MCP it's required to use Tron, as his Identity Disc was altered with a magic program that can delete the boss (done via a Reaction Command to deal damage). Unlike the others mentioned, he is not required to be active at all times during the fight, and can be swapped out for Goofy/Donald until Reaction Command prompt comes up.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Mickey spends his time trying to fight the Organization and figure out what's going on behind the scenes.
  • Rubber Man:
    • Nobody mooks are able to stretch and contort their bodies to various degrees, emphasizing their status as Humanoid Abominations. Creepers in particular will use this to shape themselves into weapons to attack.
    • The Thresholder miniboss is able to stretch its arms to hit from across the room.
  • Sad Battle Music: The battle theme that plays during the fight against Roxas is a sadder and more tragic remix of his normal theme.
  • Sad Clown: DiZ/Ansem the Wise, when he was recalling Riku declaring himself Ansem to King Mickey.
    "I could only laugh, to hide my shame."
  • Sadistic Choice: Xaldin takes the Beast's rose and kidnaps Belle. He makes Beast choose which one. Beast chooses Belle, rather she be safe even if the curse isn't lifted. Belle decides to Take a Third Option and elbows Xaldin, saving herself and the rose.
  • 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 both visits to Halloween Town involve preventing Christmas from being indirectly ruined. The first time Sora and co. are saving Santa Claus from being turned into a Heartless by Maleficent and Oogie Boogie, while the second visit they're retrieving stolen presents.
  • Say My Name:
    • 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.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • While Sora, Donald, and Goofy are on their way to talk to Hades, they see Demyx of Organization XIII running away from the Lord of the Dead's base. The implication is that Hades sacred Demyx so badly that he just decided to bail on his mission to make contact with the god.
    • Maleficent gets so annoyed by Oogie Boogie's short-term memory loss and disrespect that she ditches him just before Sora and co. show up, abandoning her plan to turn Santa Claus into a Heartless.
    • On the second trip to Port Royal, the Aztec medallions are stolen and the cursed pirates return. Jack Sparrow's reaction to finding out is to turn the ship around and take everybody back to town, though circumstance force him to help.
  • Self-Deprecation: DiZ / Ansem The Wise calls Xehanort the "foolish apprentice of a foolish man" in one of the ending scenes. To be fair, this is after Xemnas claims that "only a fool would be [his] apprentice".
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The No Experience ability, only accessible during Critical Mode, prevents any experience from being gained (and thus no leveling up). Its only purpose is to make the game harder if you so choose.
  • Series Fauxnale: The game wraps up several loose ends from Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and feels like a finale for the series' story, with the Mickey's Letter Sequel Hook being vague enough that the franchise could have ended without leaving too many hanging threads. It wasn't the end, as prequel Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, interquel Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, and sort-of sequel Kingdom Hearts coded added to the Story Arc and set up the events for Kingdom Hearts III, the real finale.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • After beating the game and watching the credits, there's a scene at Destiny Island where Sora, Riku, and Kairi read a letter from King Mickey that contains urgent information.
    • There are two secret endings (depending on what version you're playing) that can be unlocked. They're FMV concept trailers for the prequel Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep that show off parts of the game's climax.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Creepers can contort there bodies in such a way that they can become swords or spears, which they use for some of their attacks.
  • Sheath Strike: Samurai Nobodies will sometimes attack using the sheaths of their katanas.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Scrooge McDuck tries to make a business out of selling Sea-Salt ice cream.
    • 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.
    • The final Gummi Ship route, Assault of the Dreadnought, is heavily reminiscent of the final battle of Return of the Jedi. Both involve flying into a giant spaceship equipped with a Wave Motion Gun to destroy its core.
  • Shielded Core Boss: The MCP in the second visit to Space Paranoids. While being harassed by Sark, Sora has to hack through a barrier, presumably some sort of firewall, and fire a beam using an Action Command with Tron to damage it.
  • Shown Their Work: The city plan of Chang'An, as visible from the mountain in the Land of Dragons, is entirely accurate.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The Samurai Nobodies have a Reaction Command that triggers a showdown between them and Sora. Successfully pulling it off causes Sora to leap past them with a single slash, more often than not killing them.
  • 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 the Final Mix version, a remix of his melancholic theme called "The Other Promise" is used. A stark contrast with the average 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.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Inverted in Olympus Coliseum. In the movie, the hydra never killed anyone. In the game, the hydra regenerated after Hercules "killed" it in an exhibition battle, and proceeded to completely desolate the original Coliseum. It's heavily implied it killed everyone inside.
    • Subverted with the Interceptor in Port Royal. Sora and co. actually manage to save the ship when Barbossa tries to blow it up, allowing it to survive the events of the game's version of the film plot. During the second visit to the world, Luxord hijacks the Black Pearl and uses her cannons to destroy the Interceptor.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • 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. This was fixed in the 2.5 version, where the name title now has the "S" included.
    • 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 like a bike, 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 Significant Anagram naming scheme that the Organization members have. This was fixed in HD II.5 ReMIX version.
  • 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:
    • The Thresholder is completely bolted to the door it's guarding, and doesn't budge. It can stretch its arms out to compensate for its lack of mobility.
    • Genie Jafar floats in one spot during the boss fight against him.
    • Armored Xemnas sits on a throne during the fights against him, and he refuses to get up.
  • Standard Female Grab Area:
    • 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.
  • The Stinger: Two of them in the original, three in the Final Mix version. The first is Sora and Riku relaxing on their island, before Kairi shows up with a letter from Mickey. The second and third are set-ups for Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • 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.
  • Storming the Castle: Sora and company must fight through Organization XIII's castle in order to reach Xemnas.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: The game features a significant amount of cutscenes, and the sheer number of Action Commands during during playable sections because of all the mandatory Action Commands.
  • 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.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: Justified, Demyx can create water "clones" that float around and play the sitar.
  • 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: When Roxas asks Naminé what will happen to him if Sora awakens, she dodges giving a straight answer by stating that "[He] won't disappear!" Roxas is noticeably disturbed by her response.
  • Sword Drag: Roxas during his cutscene fight.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: At one point in Timeless River, Pete has the Cornerstone of Light and is riding away in Steamboat Willie. He would have gotten away if he didn't decide to attack Sora with garbage, letting him fling it back to damage Pete.
  • 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. He gets better, though.
  • A Taste of Power: The prologue's final boss fight against Axel has Roxas dual-wield Oathkeeper and Oblivion.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: "Just thinking about all the things you did makes me really mad."
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Simba and Scar are fighting on the top of Pride Rock, Sora stops Donald and Goofy from interfering because he knows it's Simba's responsibility. When Scar is defeated and comes back as a Heartless, they decide it's time to step in and help.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When Saïx 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 Time Traveller's Dilemma: Merlin tells Sora, Donald, and Goofy to not be tempted to make any unnecessary changes to the timeline while they're in the past of Disney Castle (AKA Timeless River). The thought never crosses Sora, but Donald tries to go back after they're done to do something unknown related to Daisy.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: At the end of the prologue, Roxas finds out that he's Sora's Nobody, his normal life in Twilight Town is a complete lie because he was living in a computer simulation with tampered memories to placate him, and he was the 13th member of Organization XIII. He has to give up his physical form in order to return to Sora so he can finally wake up from his slumber.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Mulan becomes an infinitely more competent party member as soon as she is revealed as a woman. She drops the bumbling soldier act and proves to be an elegant swordswoman.
    • Kairi is a lot more physically active than in the first game, and gets to wield a Keyblade near the end.
  • Totally Radical: Seifer's "undeniable proof that [they] totally owned you lamers". He speaks using a lot of rather forced slang, mostly in the computer-simulated version run by DiZ, and is unlikely to impress most audiences.
  • Underrated And Overleveled: Near the end, Kairi is given a Keyblade during a cutscene and starts wielding it against Heartless and Nobodies. She is seen defeating them despite having zero combat experience, and even one-shots them when Sora would have to take a couple swipes before killing them.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • 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 Royal 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. Of the five songs featured, three (Swim This Way, Ursula's Revenge and A New Day Is Dawning) are original and the other two (Part of Your World and Under the Sea) come from the film.
  • The Unfought: Despite being a prominent antagonistic presence for the first half of the game, Maleficent is never fought.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody bats at eye at Donald, Goofy, or Pete despite anthropomorphic animals not being natural in most worlds.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World That Never Was, the stronghold of Organization XIII. It's made up of a large city with a harsh art style to contrast the previous Disney worlds, is overlooked by a large white castle (the Organization's headquarters) that floats in the air above a large crater, and has a heart-shaped moon (actually Kingdom Hearts itself).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The suits in armor in Beast's Castle are actually servants cursed by the enchantress, just like in Beauty and the Beast. You can destroy some of them.
  • Video Game Flight: Final Form. It's not as much flying as it is hovering, but it does end up lasting long enough to qualify anyway.
  • 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: When Hades' plans fail, he freaks out and turns the entire Underdrome into a firestorm through sheer rage alone.
  • Villain Song: Since Atlantica is a Rhythm Game world, the Ursula boss fight features one called Ursula's Revenge.
  • The War Sequence: The third visit to Hollow Bastion eventually leads to a huge battle between the heroes (backed by the local Final Fantasy characters) and a huge amount of Heartless invading the world.
  • 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.
  • Weird Moon: Kingdom Hearts itself is the moon in The World That Never Was. Fittingly enough, it's heart-shaped.
  • Weirdness Censor: When investigating the Seven Wonders of Twilight Town during the prologue, Pence comes up with "sensible" conclusions that totally ignore some of the seemingly impossible events that Roxas witnesses. Justified since he's a simulation created by DiZ, who's trying to cover up the fact that Roxas is in a computer.
  • Wham Episode: During the third visit to Hollow Bastion (about halfway through the game), Goofy apparently dies when a large rock hits him on the head. Subverted in that he was only knocked out, and shows up perfectly fine after a few minutes.
  • 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 still has a very vague recollection of Sora during the prologue, even though she isn't supposed to remember him yet due Naminé's memory tampering.
    • Sora doesn't retain any of the memories of his Nobody, Roxas, yet he feels like he has met Hayner, Pence and Olette before when he wakes up. He even cries when he leaves Twilight Town at the beginning of the game, even though he was no idea why.
    • Xemnas is supposedly unable to remember anything from before 10 years ago, yet a cutscene added in the Final Mix version shows him talking to Aqua's discarded Keyblade and armor as if he remembers his time as Terra/Master Xehanort.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Since the Keyblade has magic not native to Port Royal, it allows Sora and co. to harm the otherwise invincible cursed pirates as long as their true form is exposed by the moonlight. It also makes Sora, Donald, and Goofy immune to the Aztec curse when Luxord tries to inflict it on them during the second visit.
  • 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.
    • Ansem and Xemnas do it to themselves to each other near the end.
    Xemnas: Only a fool would ever be your apprentice.
    Ansem the Wise: Xehanort. Foolish apprentice of a foolish man.

"It looks like my summer vacation is... over."


Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts 2

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/KingdomHeartsII