Kingdom Hearts II, Chain of Memories update

Additional details on the PS2 and GBA versions of KHII are made public in Japan. Read our report.


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New information has surfaced on the upcoming Kingdom Hearts update, to be released on both the PS2 and GBA platforms. The new games were announced last week at the Tokyo Game Show.

Kingdom Hearts II is the PlayStation 2 release, and, according to Famitsu magazine, it will take place one year after the original game's storyline. The new story starts in a new location, Twilight Town, which remains in a sort of dim light, akin to the glow of sunset.

A number of original characters have been spotted in the game--in particular, a boy in a white costume holding a keyblade and a spike-haired youth in a hooded black raincoat.

Screenshots from the game also reveal that there is actually a whole group of characters in hooded raincoats who seem to be working alongside a man in a red costume. In a scene with one of the hooded raincoat characters and the red costumed man, the sentence "We can't have let our plans be known, Ansem" appears on the screen, which is a name that should be a familiar to players of the original Kingdom Hearts.

No Disney characters other than Donald, Goofy, and Mickey have been revealed to be in the game.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is the Game Boy Advance title that was announced alongside the PS2 iteration. That title's storyline begins immediately after the ending in the original PS2 Kingdom Hearts (where Sora is walking along a grassy road).

The new game begins after Sora encounters a man in a black raincoat on the road. It is nighttime. The man tells Sora that he will find what he is looking for after going further down the road, but it will be in exchange for losing something that is important to him. After the man vanishes, Sora is left to walk a trail that leads him to a mysterious castle, in which Chain of Memories' gameplay will take place.

Chain of Memories is confirmed to use a new card system in its gameplay. Not many details have been revealed, but it is known that during battle, collecting cards that contain the same illustration will create a certain "effect." For example, collecting cards with a picture of lightening will cause a thunderbolt to strike the player's enemies, and collecting cards with a picture of a character, such as Goofy, will summon that character to battle. A card with Cloud from the Final Fantasy series has been seen in one of the screenshots as well, suggesting that some non-Disney characters may make cameo appearances similar to the original Kingdom Hearts.

The cards apparently have more influence than just in battle sequences, but further details have not been revealed.

The promotional art for Chain of Memories shows a number of the original game's characters. Those characters include Sora, Riku, Kairi, and a mysterious gray-haired girl.

Disney characters seen in the illustration include Goofy, Donald Duck, Bambi, the Beast, Jiminy Cricket, Genie, Peter Pan, Simba, and Ariel.

Teaser pages promoting Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories are now live on the Disney and Square Enix Web sites.

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