A sequel to the first joint video game project between the RPG heavyweights at Square-Enix and the media kings at Disney, Kingdom Hearts II is an action roleplaying title for the Sony PlayStation 2. It continues the adventures of Sora, Donald and Goofy as they awaken following a year-old slumber and soon find themselves fighting against the sinister Organization XIII, as well as the Heartless and a new group of entities known as the Nobodies. The game features multiple difficulty levels, including an easy mode that was not present in the original, and it also includes many interesting secrets and unlockables for the gaming completist.
For the most part, weapons are easy to come by in Kingdom Hearts II. Sora typically earns new Keyblades following scripted events in the game. New equipment for Donald and Goofy can be purchased at shops. In some cases, powerful weapons can be crafted through item synthesis. However, there are weapons for Donald and Goofy that can only be obtained as rare item drops from specific enemies. There are two sets of weapons for Sora’s teammates, one of which is dropped by a Heartless type enemy and another which can be left behind after defeating a particular Nobody. All of these are extremely rare items, with the designated enemies only dropping them approximately 1% of the time, but considering they are more powerful than any non-synthesized items in the game, the time spent trying to earn these hard-to-acquire weapons is time well spent.
Donald’s first rare item, the Shaman’s Relic, can be earned by defeating the Shaman Heartless during your first trip to the Pridelands. It boasts a strength rating of four, a magic rating of five, and grants the MP Rage ability. His second comes from defeating the Dragoon Nobody, first encountered during the second trip to Beast’s Castle. It is called the Nobody Lance, and it grants a plus-five boost to both strength and magic as well as the Defender ability. Goofy’s first special weapon, the Akashic Record, grants a bonus of plus-seven to strength and the MP Haste skill. It is dropped by the Bookmaster Heartless, first encountered at Hollow Bastion. His second, the Nobody Guard, is a rare drop from the Gambler Nobody, which first appear during the second stop-over at Port Royal. It has a strength rating of eight, a magic rating of zero, and comes with the Hyper Healing ability.
Sephiroth and the Fenrir Keyblade
Sora also has a rare Keyblade that he can obtain, and it too is a reward for defeating an enemy. Unfortunately, it is much, much harder to acquire than Donald’s and Goofy’s were. In order to earn his ultimate Keyblade, the Fenrir (+7 strength, +1 magic, Negative Combo), he must defeat Sephiroth, Cloud’s nemesis and the final boss of Final Fantasy VII, in a one-on-one duel at Radiant Garden. Sephiroth is easily the toughest opponent in the game. He has more than 3,000 hit points and a tremendous arsenal of powerful attacks, including a 13-hit charging slash and a special move that can instantly drop Sora to one hit point. Make sure that your level is maxed out before attempting to challenge him, and have plenty of healing items on hand as well.
Final Form and Anti Form
Throughout the game, Sora earns different forms that he can transform into with Donald and Goofy’s help. For example, the Valor Form is acquired as soon as Sora gets his new clothes, while Wisdom Form is granted after completing the Timeless River stage and the Master Form unlocks when you’re reunited with King Mickey. However, there are two other forms that are not granted normally. The first is Final Form, which is unavailable until very near the end of the game, at The World That Never Was. It will randomly trigger when you go to activate any of the other forms. Once you earn it, however, it’s yours to keep and can be triggered normally for the rest of the game. Final Form allows for the use of two Keyblades, grants the extremely useful Glide ability, and can be leveled up by defeating Nobodies. Anti Form, on the other hand, can never be officially learned. It is completely random, does not level up, and while it greatly increases Sora’s speed, it grants no other combat benefits.
Torn Pages and Summon Charms
Once again, players can explore the Hundred Acre Wood and meet up with Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. Unfortunately this time around, due to an incident with some Heartless, Pooh Bear has forgotten all of his friends, including Sora, so it is up to the Keyblade master to help jog his memory via a collection of minigames. To do so, he must first acquire the missing pages of Pooh’s storybook. There are five of them in all. The first is located in the library at Disney Castle. The second can be found in a treasure chest at the Oasis area of the Pridelands. Number three is in the crystal fissure are of Hollow Bastion. The fourth is in the Throne Room in the Land of Dragons, which can be obtained on your second journey to Mulan’s world, and the final can be picked up during your return trip to Agrabah.
Likewise, the summons that were a part of the original Kingdom Hearts game also return in this PS2 sequel. There are only four allies you can summon this time around, but each one attacks are radically different. You get the first one, the Baseball Charm, following your first visit to the Hundred Acre Wood. This charm summons Chicken Little, who attacks by throwing baseballs and can combine with Sora to enter an FPS attack mode. After defeating the Volcanic Lord and the Blizzard Lord at Agrabah, the Genie will join you, and in addition to being able to heal Sora, he comes equipped with four different Limit attack moves. The Ukulele Charm, which unlocks Stitch and his rather unique set of “Ohana!” moves, is located within Ansem’s Study in Hollow Bastion, while the final charm is located in the hold of the Interceptor in Port Royal. That final charm, the Feather Charm, will add Peter Pan to your lineup.