Once again set within Disney’s Magical Kingdom, Kingdom Hearts 2 is said to take place a year or so after the original. In this epic adventures sequel, Sora remains in search of his lost friends, Kairi and Riku. Along his side are Donald and Goofy once again, both in search of King Mickey. Unfortunately, like in the first, both Donald and Goofy are still non-playable characters. A definite change in Sora has taken place because of his newer, darker look. It is speculated that this may actually affect the game in one way or another
Many are curious about actual play locations for Kingdom Hearts 2 and though the entire project is being kept in the dark, it is rumored that some of the licenses used this time around will include Mulan, Snow White, and Alantis. It is safe to believe that perhaps some of the favorites from the first time around may also be used to continue the story. Perhaps the player will be visiting Halloween town once more? One can only hope.
This time around, there are a lot more foes and allies for Sora to encounter. One new ally includes a dual-wielding keyblader who remains a mystery to Sora himself. This mysterious boy seems to be trying to protect our lead character in one way or another. For every ally, there are more than likely multiple foes for them to fight against. Introduced in the GameBoy Advance’s Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is Axel, who Sora encounters in Kingdom Hearts 2. It is safe to say that Axel seems to be up to no good. A new masked villain is behind the reanimation of the heartless. Joining the heartless in Kingdom Hearts 2 are the nobodies, shape-shifting creatures that serve a higher power. A plethora of cameos can be found throughout Kingdom Hearts 2. Auron from Final Fantasy X and Vincent from Final Fantasy VII are just two of the many that appear throughout the game.
For all of those who absolutely loathed the Gummy Ship features in the first game, fear not, it is believed that this time around, the Gummy Ship features will be improved. Going along with improvements, camera issues are to be mended as well. Sadly, it was reported that the player cannot carry over files from the first Kingdom Hearts. This means no having a hundred of every potion in stock or starting out with automatic level 60+ characters. It has been speculated that the same voice cast would be used which some may or may not like.
Tetsuya Nomura, former Final Fantasy character designer, will once again lead the direction of the game despite his working on another project at the same time, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Joining him will be Yuichi Kanemori. He will be in charge of the game’s battle system. Precise details are still unknown, but most are hoping for more flexibility, options, and control for the player.
The release date for Kingdom Hearts 2 is still being kept a secret. Some sources say as early as December of 2004 while others say as late as mid 2005. Whatever date it comes out, it is certain that fans across the world will be anticipating its arrival.