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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

ABOUT

Nintendo cover of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (キングダム ハーツ チェイン オブ メモリーズ) is an action role-playing game developed by Jupiter and published by Square Enix in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance. The game serves as an intermediary between the two larger-scale PlayStation 2 games in the Kingdom Hearts series. It was one of the first GBA games to incorporate full motion video (FMV). The game was remade into a PlayStation 2 game titled Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, which was released in Japan as a second disc packaged with Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix in March 2007. The remake was released in North America on December 2, 2008.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is the second game in the Kingdom Hearts series. It is a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts, and its ending is set about a year before Kingdom Hearts II. The story centers around the protagonist of the first game, Sora, exploring a mysterious castle in search of his friends. As he ascends the castle, his friend and rival, Riku, explores the basement levels and fights his inner darkness. The game introduces new characters and plotlines that further expand the Kingdom Hearts universe and set up the premise for Kingdom Hearts II. Though not as successful as the other Kingdom Hearts games, it received positive reviews and sold well. It was praised for its story, graphics, and FMVs. The game features a new card-based battle system that is a departure from its predecessor. When it debuted in Japan, it sold 104,000 units in 48 hours.



Story

Sora and his friends Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket are walking down a winding path when a mysterious man dressed in a black, hooded coat appears and directs Sora towards a massive fortress called Castle Oblivion. When the travelers enter, they re-encounter the mysterious figure, who explains that they have forgotten all of their abilities upon entering the castle. He proceeds to create a deck of cards made from Sora's and his friends' memories, and tells them that everything they encounter in this castle will be based on their memories. The higher they go, the more memories they will lose in the process. 

Sora ascends the castle, facing off against members of a mysterious group controlling the castle called "the Organization" along the way. As Sora begins losing his memories, he gradually appears to remember a girl named Naminé as an old friend of his, and learns from the Organization member Larxene that she is being held prisoner in the castle. He also clashes with a replica of Riku, believed by both Sora and the replica himself to be the real Riku, created and controlled by another Organization member, Vexen. Axel, an Organization double agent, releases Naminé and allows her to meet Sora. 

Sora discovers Naminé to be the one manipulating his memories, having been forced to do so by Marluxia, the lord of Castle Oblivion and the figure who lured Sora there, as part of his plan to overthrow the rest of the Organization with Larxene. Sora climbs to the top of the tower and defeats Marluxia and the other Organization members, after which Naminé puts Sora and his friends into pod-like machines to help them regain the memories they lost in the castle, even though they will forget the events that transpired in the castle. Before they are put to sleep, Sora and Naminé promise to meet again as real friends once he reawakens, Sora firmly believing that his memories of her and the castle will remain in his heart despite being forgotten.

Reverse/Rebirth

In Reverse/Rebirth, Riku has been transported from the realm of darkness and fights his inner darkness as he battles upward from the basement levels of Castle Oblivion. Vexen fights Riku to obtain his data and creates the replica of him to counter Marluxia's plan. Ansem, who had previously taken over Riku's body, tries to regain control of Riku, but is continually thwarted by King Mickey's support. On the way, Riku battles and defeats Lexaeus, a member of Vexen's circle, only to be dragged into the realm of darkness. 

However, he is saved by King Mickey when Ansem nearly succeeds in taking Riku's body as his own. With Marluxia eliminated by this time, another of Vexen's allies, Zexion, attempts to dispose of Riku by drowning him in light. Riku is saved by Naminé disguised as Kairi, who helps him to control his darkness, allowing him to defeat Zexion. Riku later meets DiZ, an enigmatic individual interested in Riku who sends him to find Naminé. Riku's replica, who has since learned of his altered memories and seeks to justify his existence, fights Riku only to be destroyed by him. Riku chooses to face Ansem upon learning from Naminé that Ansem lives in his heart, and defeats him after DiZ summons him for Riku to fight. Riku then sets out with King Mickey as his companion; a journey to utilize both his darkness and his light.
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