YMMV / Kingdom Hearts II

  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • When you get to Olympus Coliseum, Hercules denies the fact that he's exhausted by fighting all the monsters that Hades is sending topside from the Underworld. He breaks this act when he sees the destroyed Coliseum.
    • Sora, though the further you go through the game, the more it's apparent he's putting on a brave face.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Saïx. His presence in the story is menacing enough, as Xemnas' right-hand man and the last boss fight before him. However, fighting him is fairly straightforward, unlike with all the other members, and his unique gimmick seems to only make him weak when he's not using it, rather than strong when he is. In his normal form, he can be disarmed easily with a well-timed attack, guard, or reflect, and even in Berserk form, he only has a few attacks which are predictable and simple to avoid until he calms down, especially if you've been levelling up Final Form and can glide out of his way fast enough. And that's if you don't abuse the reaction command on the claymores that Saïx keeps throwing around, which does massive damage on his normal form and drops him out of Berserk immediately.
  • Ass Pull: Ansem's machine changing Riku's appearance from that of Xehanort's Heartless to normal. It's practically lampshaded by the line that immediately precedes the event: "Get back — anything could happen!"
  • Awesome Bosses:
    • The final Roxas vs. Axel is made between walls of fire, a burning floor and Roxas dual-wields Keyblades out of nowhere. Some players would have like to play more as dual-wielder Roxas.
    • The Battle of 1000 Heartless pits Sora against 1000 enemies. Enjoy!
    • Although Sephiroth has become more casual, his boss fight is still a challenge as he becomes available earlier in the game in comparison to the first Kingdom Hearts.
    • In Final Mix, the Sora vs. Roxas fight takes place on a platform made from stained glass in the shape of a young, sleeping Sora. A sad theme plays as, unlike Sora, the player knows who Roxas is. Aside from the emotional setup, the fight lets Sora steal Roxas's Keyblades and wield three Keyblades at the same time.
    • All the new Organization XIII fights from the Final Mix add a lot of variety. For example, Marluxia cannot remove Sora's health but will curse Sora with a number that will go down after every single hit. Also, he creates vortexes on the battle surface which can remove Sora's health, and quite heavily too. You can increase the counter by blocking Marluxia's attacks though.
    • Lingering Will. Clearly one of the most exciting battles in the series, especially after playing Birth by Sleep.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Many say Riku (until the end, at least) and Axel.
    • Pete's former self had, even if he was weaker back then, a lot more guts than his new self. Though he does seem to regain some of his former toughness when confronted by Mickey "the boat-boy king" at the end of the game.
      Pete: What, you mean like abandon ship? I don't think so! BRING 'EM ON!
    • Sephiroth is a far easier boss compared to the first game. He attacks slower and telegraphs them more, making it easier to dodge them, Heartless Angel charges slower, and the larger arena makes it easier to avoid his attacks. Add in Reflect spam and you can beat him pretty simply. Oddly enough, his attack patterns are arguably more aggressive (at least in the beginning) than they were back in the first game.
    • In the manga, Leon becomes a Plucky Comic Relief character who barely does anything. The only time he is seen in action is when he gets beaten up by the Nobodies while in the rest of his scenes he is pretty much a Butt Monkey who can't handle any situation.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Breather Boss
    • Barbossa shares the magic weakness that the Cursed Pirate Mooks have, so you can completely shut him down by occasionally hitting him with Blizzard to freeze him and pushing him into a corner to ensure he's always in the moonlight. It's easily possible to go through his entire fight without the Illuminator spawning again or letting Barbossa attack at all by doing this.
    • The Blizzard/Volcanic Lord fight at the end of the first trip to Agrabah. They constantly put themselves into a position to let you use their Reaction Commands to stun them, plus their attacks are not hard to dodge.
    • The Hostile Program is predictable in its attack patterns and has a Reaction Command that can be used to completely freeze it for a few seconds. Using Tron's Setup will give you the clusters need to trigger the Reaction Command very quickly due to dealing damage via multiple hits.
  • Breather Level: The story-mandated Gummi Missions. The inclusion of a dodge mechanic, removal of obstacles to dodge, and the game no longer scaling damage based off of difficulty like in Kingdom Hearts I make them a breeze to complete. There are a couple levels (like Floating Island) where you can literally do nothing for most of the mission and still win.
  • Critical Dissonance: The game is the best-reviewed in the series, though by a small margin, but isn't as unanimously loved by fans as it is by professional critics, similar to, for instance, Batman Returns compared to Batman. The Final Mix version has been better-received by fans, though, as it fixes many of the game's problems.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Hot Rod Heartless. Besides having a lot of health, they enter a berserk mode when their health goes down, which makes them charge you at 3 times. During this time they're completely invincible, and they can enter this berserk mode over and over again if they want to. In addition, they come in pairs on top of being accompanied by other Heartless. Final Mix adds an advanced version of them to the Cavern of Rememberance.
    • Dancer Nobodies. They have a move where they turn invincible, slide across the floor towards you at high speed, grab you, swing you around, and throw you away. It is completely unblockable, very difficult to dodge or interrupt (your best hope is to spam Magnet and pray they get caught in it), and deals a ton of damage (or kill you in Critical Mode). The Titan Cup and especially the Titan Paradox Cup are made into nightmares because of the battle where you have to face three Dancers.
    • Sorcerer Nobodies. They're immune to all magic except Reflect, have no Reaction Command, have a large attack range thanks to their cubes, and can attack even if they're being hit.
    • Berserker Nobodies. Like the Hot Rod Heartless, they can turn invincible to normal attacks for a short time at low HP, and when they do, they go into an attack sequence that can stunlock you for a good chunk of HP. Compounding this is the fact that their hammers deflect normal attacks from the front at all times, which makes damaging them a pain.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Every single member of the Organization. Between the Freudian Excuse and their overall prettiness, fans are quick to excuse their crimes. The writers agreed with the fans, as Days and KH3D can prove.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Jack Sparrow seems to be this when it comes to the Disney allies. Can't imagine why. In fact, in a 2006 popularity poll held among GameFAQs users, Jack was the only Disney character who made it to the final round. Ahead of Sora, Riku, Kairi, and even other Darkhorses like Xigbar and Demyx.
    • Axel clicked so well with both the fans and the staff that they extended his part (he was meant to die in the prologue). Allowing him a Heel–Face Turn and a Heroic Sacrifice to boot. To say nothing of future games...
    • Regarding worlds, due to Rule of Cool, Space Paranoids seems to get more attention from the fanbase (especially in Japan) than most of the other Disney worlds, barring the already-popular Halloween Town. And with Rule of Cute, the Pride Lands also has gained some love.
    • Pete, who became known as the Team Rocket of Kingdom Hearts after this game.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Many have been inclined to believe that this Auron is not an Alternate Universe version, but THE Auron from Final Fantasy X thanks to the fact that the words heard when Sora obtains the Auron statue are his quotes from his pilgrimage with Braska and Jecht and Auron leaving behind pyreflies when seen at the Olympus Coliseum during the credits. A joint theory goes on to say that Auron wound up in the KH universe after his death at the hands of Yunalesca in FFX. After dispersing into pyreflies at the end of KHII, he goes on to Dream Zanarkand, effectively setting FFX into motion. Said theory is used to explain why Auron has his youthful appearance as seen in flashbacks.
    • Fans believe the letter Squall was reading in the credits reel of KHII came from his girlfriend Rinoa Heartilly, due to the butterfly that fluttered out of it.
    • While it was probably just for gameplay's sake, the fact that Scar's Heartless retained its normal shape (much like Ansem above) has some fans wondering how strong Scar's blackened heart really was.
  • Even Better Sequel: Largely considered this gameplay-wise. Story-wise, it's a matter of debate. In fact, when GameFAQs board members were polled on which games in the series handled various aspects the best, KHII won in most categories except story- and script-related ones.
  • Ending Fatigue: The final world, The World That Never Was. It's a long, large dungeon full of powerful enemies, there's no less than three bosses along the way (as well as a fourth in Final Mix), and there's also a lot of long, story-critical cutscenes to watch. Then you finally get to Xemnas and beat him, and as expected from Square Enix he goes One-Winged Angel for a Sequential Boss Fight. However, as the heroes begin to walk away, it turns out Xemnas is Not Quite Dead, leading to a second Sequential Boss Fight, and finally, at long last, his final form. By the time Xemnas pulls you back to the third round, you're probably screaming "will you just end already?"
  • Game Breaker
    • Reflect. It negates any and all damage from attacks that hit the barrier and deals a lot of damage to the nearby area as it disappears if it's been hit. While it is a little short, it doesn't cost much MP and can be cast multiple times before being unable to cast it for a moment and deals a lot of damage if used against a strong enemy, including even being able to kill multiple opponents in one string of uses in the 49th round of the Hades Paradox Cup!
    • Limit Form in Final Mix+. It doesn't require any party members and every successful hit done by a Limit restores a bit of health. Combine with MP Rage and the Hades Paradox Cup becomes even easier.
    • Building a Gummi ship that's entirely hollow in the middle. Enemy ships will always try to target the middle of your ship, which means all enemy fire except bombs and kamikaze attacks will go right through your ship, rendering it practically invincible.
    • In the Final Mix version, it's possible to create a practically invincible Sora with the right skill sets, items, and customizations. Set Donald and Goofy on pure Sora support, give them potions, high potions, and other healing items set to auto restock, and give everyone one Once More and Second Chance. You'll now have a Sora that will almost never die if you play him right, and a Donald and Goofy that will last more than five seconds in boss fights. Granted, you'll likely only have the necessary mummy and levels to pull this off really late game, which means it's only really useful against the Bonus Bosses. Which honestly isn't much of a disappointment.
    • Combining two Negative Combo skills, two Finishing Plus skills, and a Combo Master skill can allow you to utilize a devastating Infinite Combo. Just make sure not to use the last combo hit until it's time for the killshot, and don't drop the combo, and Bonus Bosses can go down like dominoes.
  • Genius Bonus
    • Hades calling Auron the "mother of all bad guys" isn't technically wrong if you understand historical context. If you were charged with protecting someone and you failed to do so, with you surviving when they didn't, you are considered scum, a lowlife. It would be less dishonorable if you killed them yourself, because at least then the worst you're seen as is a traitorous dick and not a failure.
    • Sora's form in Timeless River (dubbed Retro Form by the fandom) makes him look like a character created by Osamu Tezuka, the grandfather of anime and was trained by Disney.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Space Paranoids is very popular in Japan, despite the frustrating Light Cycle challenge. It's a major reason why Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance includes its spiritual successor world: The Grid.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Undead pirates. They can only be damaged by your attacks when they're standing in clear moonlight, and if they're fighting you in an area with a lot of shady spots, expect a tedious battle to ensue. To make up for it, it's really easy and very satisfying to hit them with magic spells to screw around with them.
    • Crimson Jazzes. They're like the other Color/Music Heartless, except bigger and very persistent. It's impossible to get clean attacks on them because they're always summoning chains of fireballs around you that explode almost immediately to send you flying. And if you try to run away, even with such abilities as Level 4 Quick Run/Glide? They'll just fly over to you so fast you'll swear they teleported, and smack you with their ass before summoning more fireballs to spawn on top of you for 10 seconds. It says something when it's actually easier to deal with a Crimson Jazz when it Turns Red because its new attack is far less annoying.
    • The Emerald Blues. They tend to use Aero-related attacks, including one that happens to draw the party in and another to send them sky high. Sometimes, they can even be paired up with the difficult-to-fight Devastator, making the fight a real challenge.
    • If you think the Emerald Blues/Devastator pairing is tough, try the Graveyards in Halloween Town, as they are capable of taking out a lot of Sora's health, and can even block his attacks. In the Curly Hill during the second visit, three will appear during the second wave, and if you're not careful, Sora could die in just two hits at a low level.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • During Gummi Ship missions, enemies will aim for the center of your hit box with unerring accuracy. Therefore, creating a "donut" Gummi-ship with only material on the square edge will result in nearly all the shots going harmlessly through the hole.
    • Battle music may get distorted if you skip a cutscene just before a boss fight.
    • It's possible to clip through the map in the Cavern of Remembrance and reach the Garden of Assemblage without having to do any of the scripted fights. Entering the room this way also gives you the Proof of Nonexistence without having to do the Data-Organization fights, though you can't do any of them because the proper event flags weren't set.
    • The PS3 port of Final Mix has a lot of long load times, especially when entering Drive Forms, where the game can hang for as many as five seconds. However, the game does not pause during the transformation, and even in the middle of combat keeps going. Sometimes this can be brutal (trying to do a Drive Form during a Timed Mission for instance), but on the other hand, Sora is invincible during the transformation loading, so you can utilize the Drive Form transformations as a way to become immune to attacks for a short time. Against many bosses with powerful single attacks, especially the members of Organization XIII, this little oversight can save your life. The brutal instances can be easily fixed by simply pausing the game for a few seconds, during which the game will still load the form.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Track #13 on the soundtrack is Roxas' Theme. Track #14 is Sora's. Now consider what happened to Xion, the fourteenth "member", in Days...
    • "Oh, we do too have hearts! Don't be mad..."
    • The tagline for KHII ("The story is not over") is either this or Hilarious in Hindsight depending on how one takes to the amount of time it's taken the series to get to an actual KHIII note , the various twists each subsequent game brings to the table, and the fact that KHIII, according to Word of God, is merely the end of the Xehanort Saga, not the series as a whole.
    • Visiting Space Paranoids can be this for people who have seen the sequel, knowing what happens to Tron. It only gets worse with Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, when Sora has to fight Tron's brainwashed form, Rinzler.
    • During Goofy's "death" scene, Donald apologizes about ice cream. When the game came out, it seemed like a random Noodle Incident. However, play through 358/2 Days and it hurts a lot more due to ice cream is what Roxas asked about when Xion was actually dying because he didn't know any other way to express what he was feeling.
    • During the first visit to the Pride Lands, Sora wanted to usurp Scar and take his throne. At least he was willing to help Simba regain the throne afterwards, unlike Prince Hans...
    • Among his many other Kick the Dog moments, Saïx is more than willing to kill Axel for deserting the Organization and derides him as "foolish and weak" in Final Mix. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and ''Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep later establish that he and Axel used to be best friends.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Tron suddenly getting emotions after the MCP battle becomes one after playing KH3D, which not only reveals that programs are like Nobodies, in that they don't have hearts, but that anything with a mind can grow a heart in no time. As Tron started out as The Stoic, his friendship with Sora allowed a heart to grow within him.
  • He Really Can Act: Jesse Mc Cartney got a lot of praise for his HEARTBREAKING delivery when Roxas sacrifices himself to wake Sora from his slumber.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The final Gummi mission, Assault of the Dreadnought, is a direct shout out to Star Wars. As of October 2012, Disney now owns Star Wars!
    • In the Final Mix version of Christmas Town, Sora, Donald and Goofy change their appearances from their Halloween Town counterparts. Now tell me Donald's appearance doesn't remind you of a certain other snowman...
    • Later in the game, the Master Control Progam hijacks the Heartless creator under Hollow Bastion to start sending his troops into the analog world. This is more or less what CLU would attempt in TRON: Legacy, though it may also count as Harsher in Hindsight.
    • Rikku being a fairy makes a lot more sense once you learn that her Japanese voice actress, Marika Matsumoto, would later voice Diancie. Moreso when you realize that one of the pursuers, Ninja Riot, shares the same voice actor as Donald Duck.
    • Luxord first appears (independently) in Port Royal, a pirate-themed world. His English voice actor would later voice Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean Online, in addition to Space Pirate Captain Romulus Slag in the Ratchet & Clank Future Trilogy.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The Limit of Jack Skellington. That is all.
    • Also, just TRY to compare when Sora finally meets Kairi and when he finds Riku.
    • Also, Sora does show some worry towards Tron during the second (technically third) trip to Space Paranoids when the latter is fighting for his life in the game grid. And then, the heartwarming hug scene after defeating the MCP...
  • Jerkass Woobie: Pete's constant failures often incur Maleficent's wrath, and he is later shown to long for the simpler times when he was just the boat captain of Steamboat Willie.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Killing Goofy? Unlikely.
  • Love to Hate: Hades, Oogie Boogie and the Master Control Program, all of whom are already popular with their respective fandoms. Organization XIII would count as well, especially Xigbar.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Maleficent. For most of the game, she has fewer resources, and Xemnas is the better player... but then she pulls an Enemy Mine with Sora, and by the end, she's the one who wins something out of the whole ordeal and Xemnas... does not.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Maleficent manages to become this in a rather literal sense. She comes back from the dead simply by the fairies remembering she existed.
    • King Mickey is Disney's version of Yoda. Before they legally acquired Yoda, at least.
    • Auron. Carries over from the source material, but it's easy to see why. When Hades said that he was going to summon "the mother of all bad guys," many a fan intentionally misheard it as "the mother of all Badasses."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK!
    • Sora, Donald, and Goofy! All in that order EXACTLY.
    • "Isn't this romantic?" A nod to Seifer's "romantic dream" of being a knight in Final Fantasy VIII which is misconstrued as something else entirely.
    • Xaldin's sideburns are practically a character of their own.
    • Dogstreet. note 
    • Xemnas' name is an anagram for "mansex," and Xigbar's is an anagram for "bigrax."
    • Hades dances before attacking you. Someone on YTMND took a gif and synced it to "zazaza," since the movements in both GIFs were somewhat similar.
    • Demyx as a David Bowie fanboy. "Dance Water Dance" indeed.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Scar, after having Sora, Donald, and Goofy surrounded, tells the other lions to start hunting for prey. They remind him that the herds have moved on and that there's nothing left to hunt. Scar then gestures at Sora. Horrid enough on its own, but because since Sora has transformed into a lion, Scar is basically telling the other lions to resort to cannibalism.
    • DiZ narrowly sidesteps this with his ordered execution of Naminé. Had he attempted to do the deed himself, he'd have crossed right over the line, but instead he orders Riku to do it for him. Predictably, Riku doesn't comply.
    • Barbossa never crossed the line in his origin franchise, but he does by tying up everyone and leaving them to die on the Interceptor when it got rigged with gunpowder.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK! GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK!note 
    • DANCE WATER DANCE!!!note 
    • Please, Master! PLEASE! COMPOSE YOURSELF!note 
    • CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS CUUUUUURSED FOOOOOOOLS
    • Feel the heat? That all you got? Feel the heat? That all you got? That's it! Feel the heat? Feel the heat? Feel the heat? That all you got? That all you got? Feel the heat? Feel the heat? That's it!note 
    • YOU WON'T STOP A TRUE HERO! note 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Sora, you gotta wake up!
  • Narm:
    • When you enter the Pridelands, Simba has a flashback to himself as a cub, screaming as his father falls to his death. The emotional impact is lessened by the fact that they used his non-cinematic model, which only has "mouth open" and "mouth closed" animations, and unfortunately makes him look like he's smiling.
    • When Goofy gets hit by the rock. It would be a lot more touching if it wasn't a character who has taken far more brutal beatings as comedy over the course of his film career. He even somewhat lampshades this upon his return.
    Goofy: "Gwarsh Your Majesty, I get bonked on the head all the time."
    • Like in the film, Sally uses a disembodied leg to distract Oogie Boogie. However, instead of having it peek through a doorway and suggest something's attached to it, she just randomly throws it into the middle of Santa's factory floor.
  • Player Punch:
    • The player is bound to feel awesome about taking down 1000 Heartless in Hollow Bastion — at least until Organization XIII's plan is revealed. They need hearts to access Kingdom Hearts, and the player fell right into their hands by releasing the hearts of all of the Heartless.
    • Goofy's Disney Death was most likely meant to come across as this, but many Genre Savvy players knew better.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble
    • Kairi is supposed to be Sora's Love Interest, while Riku is supposed to be his platonic best friend. What does Sora do when he reunites with Kairi? He hugs her, looking slightly dumbfounded all the while, and doesn't really do much to indicate that he spent almost the entire first game and a good chunk of this one looking for her. What does he do when he sees Riku? Sora grabs Riku's hand, falls to his knees, and bursts into tears.
    • There exists a very vocal portion of the fanbase that firmly believes that Axel thinks of Roxas as a lover as opposed to his friend. His death scene has quite notable I Want My Beloved to Be Happy vibes.
    • After the events of the first game, Ariel and Sora remain very good friends, and during the musicals in Atlantica they often dance and sing together. Couple that with most of her relationship with Prince Eric taking place off-screen due to the condensed story, and someone unfamiliar with the film would think this is a Love Triangle going on.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Mena Suvari replacing Mandy Moore as Aerith. While she was a Base Breaker for Advent Children, the fandom especially despised her take on the character due to her Dull Surprise. She was replaced with Andrea Bowen for any subsequent Aerith voice overs.
    • Inverted with George Newbern, who was replacing Lance Bass as Sephiroth (though he had already done the voice in Advent Children). Newbern's work on the character was considered an improvement.
    • Atlantica's musical mini game was one to how the world was in the original game (where it was still very much a Base Breaker). Fans would rather fight battles than hear Sora sing.
    • Roxas initially on first playthroughs of the game. Most fans were wondering when Sora would show up. But see below.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Kairi once she broke away from her Damsel in Distress role in the final world and fought alongside Riku. Except for the people who liked her better in KHI. Yeah, the fandom never can agree on anything.
    • Some people became a little more forgiving in regards to the Longest Prologue Ever and warmed up to both Roxas and Naminé towards the end of the game, as more is revealed about their characters.
    • Gameplay-wise, the Gummi Ship segments, which are a whole lot cooler to look at if nothing else, and also your ship gets an automatic upgrade with each segment passed, so you don't have to spend the time tediously doing it for yourself.
  • Ron the Death Eater
    • Yen Sid, Ansem the Wise, and Sora, all for the same reasons... "prejudice" against the Nobodies. Though a future game would change the latter's views on them.
    • The Organization gets plenty of this, as well. Despite it being made clear with recent games that they were lied to from the start about there being one way to get their hearts back (a Nobody can grow one back over time), and don't have the option to leave and will be killed for trying, will be turned into Dusks if they're not doing a good enough job, and as this game shows, Xemnas doesn't let members know exactly what they'll be doing until they're already in, many still choose to see them as irredeemable monsters who just want their hearts back at the expense of countless lives. The truth is, they don't seem to have a whole lot of choice in the matter.
  • Saved by the Fans: Axel was supposed to die in the Prolonged Prologue, but fan outcry (including fans of his on the Kingdom Hearts staff) gave him a small part in the story and a fanbase-splitting death.
    Tetsuya Nomura (from Kingdom Hearts Character Report volume 2): "I didn't think he would come this far. To begin with, he was supposed to be gone after Roxas defeats him towards the start. However, the entire staff, including myself, ended up pushing it so that he would return."
  • The Scrappy:
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • To some, the Gummi Ship levels. For many, however, it was a well-received improvement from the first game's original model.
    • Olympus Coliseum, one of the biggest sources of experience in the first game, now doesn't give any experience during the fights. Double that since the hardest cup, while it used to give out the strongest weapons for Goofy and Donald, now only nets a useless trophy.
    • The real problem with the Underdrome is the ever changing rules. The Pain and Panic/Goddess of Fate cups are the most fair and fun with them. The Cerberus Cup places you under a strict time limit (and Cerberus itself knows to beat you out by keeping you out of his weak spots), and the Titan Cup puts you under a point system and relies on you to use Summons; which means spamming Stitch to get the most points from it. It's harder in the Final Mix version, as Stitch's Ohana! is brutally nerfed in terms of time allotted (that limit gauge drops even with combination and summon boost); but some have found using Peter Pan's Never Land to help with this.
    • Atlantica. Again. note 
    • Not as severe as the other examples above, but obtaining Mythril materials becomes a pain later in the game. At first, you're practically tripping over the things, so it was no issue. However, when you need even more of them to make synthesis items, you're not going to be able to find any of them because no enemies drop them. Instead, you'll have to synthesize them up by using Twilight and Dense items, which aren't easily found until the second half of the game (if you can spawn the nobodies) or until the endgame when you can easily farm those materials.
  • Ship Sinking: Yuna and Tidus is impossible in this continuity, as Tidus is a kid and Yuna is an adult fairy in separate worlds.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Quite literally in the case of the Gummi Ship levels. Going as far as to perfect and complete every mission doesn't even do anything game-wise except give you Bragging Rights Rewards and make it slightly easier to beat the later Gummi levels (and a trophy in the II.5 version). But god damn if it isn't fun to blow up at least two ships that are about 100 times the size of your own, let alone everything else.
  • Slow Paced Beginning: The game slogs during the prologue due to extremely limited options (Roxas is stuck with basic combos that he tends to drop and a couple of abilities) and lack of enemy variety, compounded by its sheer length of approximately 3 hours. It picks up significantly once the player switches to Sora, as he starts to stockpile new abilities and encounter more enemy types.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Atlantica's musicals have their ups-and-downs, with "Swim This Way" being outright loathed, and Ariel taking levels in dumbass, but general reaction is mixed (unless you're American), since at least "Under the Sea" and "Ursula's Revenge" are tolerable.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: While some people prefer KHII over the original anyway, most fans consider the Final Mix version to be this, at least in terms of gameplay and features.
  • That One Attack:
    • If you don't knock Xaldin out of it, he will ride his lances like a dragon and blow a massive windgust across the arena. It is undodgeable unless you have Glide, but it is Reflectable (assuming you try to use Reflect, which is unlikely during your first time through).
    • Demyx summons water clones. If you don't defeat them in time, this triggers a Non Standard Game Over as Demyx walks up to an exhausted Sora and the game does a Fade to Black. When low on health, he will summon 99 clones and gives you 30 seconds to live. There is an Action Command to pre-empt his performance, but you need to be close to him.
  • That One Boss:
    • Demyx is extremely aggressive with few openings, his attacks cover large areas, and he can screw you over by forcing you to kill water clones in a timed minigame that gives you a Non Standard Game Over if you fail. He's widely considered the hardest boss in the game as a result.
    • Xaldin has a gimmick were he takes reduced damage as long as his air guard is up and has many powerful attacks, one of which grants him invincibility for a good amount of time and covers most of the battlefield.
    • Roxas in the Final Mix version. You're forced to fight him without the assistance of Donald or Goofy (so no Drive Forms outside of Limit Form and no Summons), he attacks quickly and unpredictably, and several of his attacks can be difficult to dodge.
    • The final enemy in the Gummi Ship levels. There is a True Final Boss that will fill the screen with hard-to-dodge attacks that will kill you in 4 hits. It takes an absurd amount of firepower to kill and will nuke your rank if you take too long. The worst part is that it's the final opponent, so you must restart the entire stage to get a rematch!
  • That One Level:
    • The mandatory battle at the "Scene of the Fire" in Timeless River. The end has two Hot Rods, extremely dangerous Heartless (especially for how early in the game they show up) due to their ability to temporarily become invincible and charge at Sora with an attack that can be difficult to dodge. The mission also has a damage meter for the building that the player is expected to protect, so neglecting it while trying to deal with the Heartless can lead to a Non Standard Game Over.
    • The first visit to Port Royal. Most fights are against the cursed undead pirates, who are invincible unless they're standing in the moonlight, and there's a long, difficult forced encounter against them where Sora and co. need to protect the cursed medallion while also being shot at by The Black Pearl's cannons.
    • The Light Cycle minigame in Space Paranoids can be very difficult to go through due to the Unexpected Gameplay Change to a vehicle section and the unpredictable swarms of Heartless that attack.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Some of the sidequests have insane requirements to clear with the best rating. This got so outrageous that some people find it easier to earn the Sequel Hook movies by beating the game on Proud mode (requiring just clearing all the worlds) rather than Standard mode (requiring 100% Completion).
    • Most gameplay ones are more or less passable. But, the Gummi Ship ones can very well be impossible. Example, Dreadnought Level 3.
    • The Paradox Cups. Enemies are at a ridiculously high level compared to normal gameplay, and the last one, the Hades Paradox Cup, is a 50-round battle, with the rules changing every 10 rounds, with battles against Yuffie and Tifa, Blizzard Lord, Pete, Cloud and Tifa, Hades, Leon and Cloud, and Cerberus. If you make it to round 49, you have to face Leon, Yuffie, Tifa, and Cloud all at the same time as Sora ALONE, and then if you somehow manage to win that round, you have to face Hades AGAIN, though this time with Hercules helping you. Thankfully, you get a checkpoint every tenth round so if you die, you get to continue from that point.
    • The Magic Carpet minigame in Agrabah falls into this. To get 100% completion, you need to defeat 65 Heartless before reaching the end. Easier said than done. The best way to get the 65 kills is to equip the Negative Combo ability, the Fenrir keychain, and remove all the Combo Plus and Air Combo Plus abilities. However, getting the Fenrir requires that the player has defeated Sephiroth.
    • The Mushroom XIII sidequest. Even if you know exactly what to do, your success might boil down to just luck.
    • To unlock one trophy, you need to score 5,000 points on at least one skateboard minigame. You'd be lucky to even get even 1,000 in Twilight Town or Hollow Bastion, or 3,000 under 30 seconds in Halloween Town.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: They took away the ability to customize your Level Grinding speed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: They wasted a perfectly good world with Atlantica, making it a series of rhythmic minigames with all the actual story of the original film crammed into cutscenes, and the need for the musicals to progress things is an Excuse Plot. Would it have been so difficult to find a way to adapt the movie's plot to traditional gameplay?
  • Uncanny Valley
    • While the near-photorealistic characters in Port Royal don't fall into this on their own, their being alongside cartoony characters like Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy makes the whole affair just a wee bit creepy.
    • The crowd in the cutscene after the battle with Shan Yu. In the original versions, they look more like stick figures, and don't move when they cheer on the party. The 2.5 version not only makes them more realistic, it also retcons their reaction to bowing at the party (which leans closer to the film).
  • The Untwist: Come on. Roxas being Sora's Nobody is quite predictable for the player. The beginning heavily implied this.
  • Villain Has a Point: When Xemnas says how he and the rest were turned away from both the light and the dark, and never had a choice, he's just testing them, but there is a valid point to be had for some of the others, particularly the non-founding members and possibly even the founders aside from Braig and Xehanort. They didn't ask to have their worlds ripped apart and their hearts ripped from them, and they weren't told what little say they had in the matter (a member or cannon fodder) until after they were turned and initiated.
  • Vindicated by History: The game has always been a Contested Sequel, but ever since the improved Final Mix version was finally released outside of Japan in 2014, the game's reputation has risen dramatically among fans, and now there are just as much people who say it's better than the original game as those who say it's worse.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: When it was announced that Jesse Mc Cartney would be voicing Roxas in the English version, quite a few people were quick to object with the decision. However, he was able to prove that he could play the part well.
  • The Woobie:
    • Roxas. He's not even a "real" person, and finds out that another person's life depends on him giving up his own.
    • Vivi. Yes, even here.

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