2005 release for Kingdom Hearts II

The PS2 sequel to Square and Disney's role-playing collaboration will be arriving in stores next year.

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TOKYO-- According to the latest issue of weekly Jump magazine, Square Enix has confirmed that Kingdom Hearts II will be released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance, on the other hand, is scheduled to ship this fall.

This week's issue of Jump also claims that popular Final Fantasy characters such as Squall, Yuffie, and Aerith, who made cameo appearances in Kingdom Hearts, will be doing the same in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The magazine also states that at least five Final Fantasy characters will be appearing in Kingdom Hearts II, including Auron from Final Fantasy X.

In anticipation of the two upcoming Kingdom Hearts titles, Square Enix will be hosting a "Kingdom Hearts Premiere Party" in Japan on August 26 and 27. Visitors to the event, which is strictly an invitation-only affair, will get to watch live stage shows, check out special scenes from the games, and get hands-on with playable demos of both titles. The event will mark the first time that Kingdom Hearts II has been shown in playable form.

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