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Kingdom Hearts II (キングダムハーツII) is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 video game console. The game is a sequel to the 2002 Disney Interactive and Square collaboration, Kingdom Hearts, which combined Disney and Square elements into an action role-playing game, though it is somewhat darker in tone than its predecessor. The game's popularity has resulted in a novel and manga series based upon it and an international version called Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, released in March 2007.
Kingdom Hearts II is the third game in the Kingdom Hearts series. It picks up one year after the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Sora, the protagonist of the first two games, returns to search for his lost friends. Like the previous games, Kingdom Hearts II features a large cast of characters from Disney films and Final Fantasy games. Organization XIII, a group introduced in Chain of Memories, also reappears to impede Sora's progress.
The game was critically praised, earning year-end awards from numerous video gaming websites. In Japan, it shipped more than one million copies within a week of its release. One month after its North American release, it had sold over one million copies and was the second best-selling game of 2006. By March 31st 2007, the game had shipped over 4 million copies worldwide.
"Looks like my summer vacation is... Over." - Roxas
Sora, Donald, and Goofy have been in suspended animation for the past year to regain their memories lost in Chain of Memories. Meanwhile, Roxas, Sora's Nobody, is trapped in a virtual simulation of Twilight Town, created by DiZ to merge Roxas with his original self to restore Sora's power (part of DiZ's revenge on Organization XIII). DiZ's plans are threatened when Organization XIII's Nobodies, led by Axel, Roxas' former friend in the Organization, infiltrate the virtual town; but Roxas is able to repel the hostiles and finally merges with Sora. Sora, Donald, and Goofy wake up in the real Twilight Town and meet King Mickey and Yen Sid, who send them on another journey. Their goal is to find Riku and stop the plans of Organization XIII, who control the Nobodies and the heartless shell left over when a person with a strong heart is turned into a Heartless. Afterward, Maleficent is resurrected and joins with Pete to continue her quest for power.
Sora travels to many Disney-themed worlds, old and new, and resolves several problems caused by Organization XIII, the Nobodies, the Heartless, Maleficent, Pete and local villains. During a visit to Hollow Bastion, they again meet King Mickey, who reveals the true nature of Ansem, the antagonist of Kingdom Hearts. The Ansem whom Sora defeated was actually the Heartless of Xehanort, a student of the real Ansem the Wise; and that the leader of the Organization is Xehanort's Nobody, Xemnas. Organization XIII's plan is also revealed, they seek the power of Kingdom Hearts, the sum of all the hearts that Sora released by destroying the Heartless with his Keyblade, to regain their lost hearts. Sora revisits the worlds to solve lingering problems and new complications, while seeking a path to Organization XIII's base of operations. Throughout his endeavors, Sora is secretly aided by a mysterious hooded figure whom Sora believes to be Riku.
Following a lead, Sora, Donald, and Goofy enter a passageway through Twilight Town and encounter Axel, who sacrifices himself to create a passageway to "The World That Never Was", the headquarters of Organization XIII, with Kingdom Hearts looming overhead as a heart-shaped moon. Sora finds Kairi and Riku, whose appearance has been changed by the darkness to that of Xehanort's Heartless. Riku explains to Sora the nature of his connection to Roxas. King Mickey encounters DiZ, who reveals himself to be Ansem the Wise. Ansem uses a device that dissipates some of Kingdom Hearts' power, but a system overload causes the device to self-destruct, both engulfing Ansem and miraculously returning Riku to his original form. At the top of the Castle that Never Was, Sora and company battle Xemnas, who uses what remains of Kingdom Hearts to power his multiple forms. After Sora and Riku destroy Xemnas, the two are reunited with their friends at their home, Destiny Islands. A post-credits scene shows Sora, Kairi, and Riku reading a letter from Mickey Mouse.