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  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • The Experiment boss in Halloween Town just wanted to have a heart of its own, and it stealing presents was its desperate attempt to understand the motivation behind giving. Being forced to put the poor thing out of its misery can edge into Tear Jerker territory.
    • Saïx.

  "Kingdom Hearts... where is... my heart?"



    • Luxord.

  "How could you, Roxas?"

  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Pretty much describes the reaction to Tron being in the game. Auron's announcement turned many heads, too.
    • And, being that it's far and away the most popular Disney movie ever, the announcement that The Lion King had made it into the game was greeted with this reaction. Even more so when the game came out, and the world turned out to be absolutely huge.
  • Angst? What Angst?: When you get to Olympus in KHII, Hercules denies the fact that he's exhausted by fighting all the monsters that Hades is sending topside from the Underworld. He breaks this act when he sees the destroyed Coliseum.
    • Sora. Though the further you go through the game, the more it's apparent he's putting on a brave face.
  • Ass Pull: Get back; Anything could happen! How convenient for our resident possessed-emo-boy, Riku!
  • Badass Decay: Many say Riku (until the end, at least) and Axel.
    • Pete's former self had, even if he was weaker back then, a lot more guts than his new self. Though he does seem to regain some of his former toughness when confronted by Mickey "the boat-boy king" at the end of the game.

 Pete: "What, you mean like abandon ship? I don't think so! BRING 'EM ON!"

    • Sephiroth is a far easier boss compared to the first game. He attacks slower and telegraphs them more, making it easier to dodge them, Heartless Angel charges slower, and the larger arena makes it easier to avoid his attacks. Add in Reflect spam and you can beat him pretty simply.
  • Base Breaker: While Demyx's an Ensemble Darkhorse, some fans hate him for being That One Boss.
    • Roxas. Tragic hero or biggest time-sink ever? Depends how much you enjoyed the Prologue.
  • Breather Boss: After the water-based hell that was Demyx, the fight against 1000 Heartless (most of them among the weakest in the game) is a welcome change,. even if it is rather long.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Xemnas, no doubt. Gaining a heart and being able to feel means NOTHING to him; he just wants power and will use anyone to gain it. 358/2 Days goes further and shows that basically ALL of the other Organization members were tools to him, and that he wanted all of them dead by the time he got what he desired so he could rule unrivaled. And even worse, Dream Drop Distance reveals that he knew all along that Nobodies could regrow hearts, he intentionally kept them in the dark (except Xigbar) in order to keep them in line with his plan.
    • Surprising no one, Scar is this. His heart is so dark, that much like Xehanort, he looks the same as a Heartless as he did when he still had a heart, His ghosts are also made from his lingering darkness, which merges together into a HUGE Heartless, that's how much evil he had!
  • Demonic Spiders: The Hot Rod Heartless. Besides having a lot of health, they enter a berserk mode when their health goes down, which makes them charge you at 88 miles per hour 3 times For Massive Damage. During this time, they're completely invincible, and they can enter this berserk mode over and over again if they want to. And you know the worst part? They come in pairs and along other Heartless. FUCKING CARS.
    • FREAKING DANCERS. They have a move where they turn invincible, slide across the floor towards you at high speed, grab you, swing you around, and throw you away. This move is completely unblockable and very difficult to dodge. The Titan Cup and especially the Titan Paradox Cup is made a nightmare because of the battle where you have to face three Dancers. Fittingly, they are controlled by Demyx.
    • In the Paradox Cups, pretty much any Heartless or Nobody with an annoying gimmick or that just takes a while to kill becomes one of these, especially in the Cerberus Cups.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Every single member of the Organization. Between the Freudian Excuse and their overall prettiness, fans are quick to excuse their crimes.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Many have been inclined to believe that this Auron is not an Alternate Universe version, but THE Auron from X thanks to the fact that the words heard when Sora obtains the Auron statue are his quotes from his pilgrimage with Braska and Jecht. A joint theory goes on to say that Auron wound up in the KH universe after his death at the hands of Yunalesca in X. After dispersing into pyreflies at the end of the game, he goes on to Dream Zanarkand, effectively setting Final Fantasy X into motion. Said theory is used to explain why Auron has his youthful appearance as seen in flashbacks.
    • Fans believe the letter Squall was reading in the credits reel of II came from his girlfriend Rinoa Heartilly, due to the butterfly that fluttered out of it.
    • While it was probably just for gameplay's sake, the fact that Scar's Heartless retained its normal shape (much like Ansem above) has some fans wondering how strong Scar's blackened heart really was.
  • Even Better Sequel: Largely considered this gameplay-wise. Story-wise, it's a matter of debate. It is the best-reviewed game in the series on Metacritic and GameRankings by a small margin, if that means anything.
  • Fridge Horror: Scar, after having Sora, Donald, and Goofy surrounded, tells the other lions to start hunting for prey. They remind him that the herds have moved on and that there's nothing left to hunt. Scar then gestures at Sora. Horrid enough on its own, but because since Sora has transformed into a lion, Scar is basically telling the other lions to resort to cannibalism.
    • He COULD have just been referring to Donald and Goofy, though.
  • Goddamned Bats: God damned zombie pirates. They can only be damaged by your attacks when they're standing in clear moonlight. If they're fighting you in an area with a lot of shady spots, expect a tedious battle to ensue. To make up for it, it's really easy and very satisfying to hit them with magic spells to screw around with them.
    • God damned Crimson Jazzes. They're like the other Color/Music Heartless, except bigger and very persistent. It's impossible to get clean attacks on them because they're always summoning chains of fireballs around you that explode almost immediately to send you flying. And if you try to run away, even with such abilities as Level 4 Quick Run/Glide? They'll just fly over to you so fast you'll swear they teleported, and smack you with their ass before summoning more fireballs to spawn on top of you for 10 seconds. The worst part is it's impossible to even flinch them, so you can't just interrupt their fireball attack or smack them and then run away. It says something when it's actually easier to deal with a Crimson Jazz when it Turns Red because its new attack is far less annoying.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The ending.
  • Ho Yay: The Limit of Jack. That is all.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Upped by many of the Action Commands.
  • It Gets Better: After the Prolonged Prologue.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Present Pete, once you see what Maleficent puts him through during the Timeless River scenario.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Killing Goofy? Unlikely.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Xemnas
    • Maleficent. For most of the game, she has fewer resources, and Xemnas is the better player...but then she pulls an Enemy Mine with Sora, and by the end, she's the one who wins something out of the whole ordeal and Xemnas....does not.
    • Hades in the Olympus Colosseum level.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Maleficent manages to become this in a rather literal sense. She comes back from the dead simply by the fairies remembering she existed.
    • King Mickey is Disney's version of Yoda.
    • Auron. Carries over from the source material, but it's easy to see why. When Hades said that he was going to summon "the mother of all bad guys", many a fan intentionally misheard it as "the mother of all Badasses".
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Xemnas wants to gain power to unmake and remake the universe the way he sees fit, and he doesn't care who he manipulates or hurts to accomplish this.
    • DiZ narrowly sidesteps this with his ordered execution of Namine. Had he attempted to do the deed himself, he'd have crossed right over the line, but instead he orders Riku to do it for him. Predictably, Riku doesn't comply.
    • Please, Master! PLEASE! COMPOSE YOURSELF!
    • Feel the HEAT!
    • I GOT IT!!!
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Sora, you gotta wake up!
    • Any time Queen Minnie says the word "Light!"
  • Narm: Quite a bit.
    • When you enter the Pridelands, Simba has a flashback to himself as a cub, screaming as his father falls to his death. The emotional impact is lessened by the fact that they used his non cinematic model, which only has "mouth open" and "mouth closed" animations, and unfortunately makes him look like he's smiling.
    • There is alot of it in the Pirates of the Caribbean level, due to the awkward pauses in dialog that are from the movies, the fact that Johnny Depp is replaced by a not-too-convincing sound alike, the Bowdlerization of a lot of elements, and also, the sheer weirdness of seeing the quite realistic looking models for Barbossa, Jack, Elizabeth, and Will alongside the Animesque Sora, the extremely cartoony Disney characters, and the Heartless.
    • Hercules goes into a long Heroic BSOD for "leaving everone in the Coliseum unprotected" against the Hydra. This is kind of nullified by the fact that we never saw anyone in the coliseum that could have gotten hurt, making Hercules's angst come across as Wangst.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble:
    • What does Sora do when he reunites with Kairi? He hugs her, looking slightly dumbfounded all the while, and doesn't really do much to indicate that he spent almost the entire first game and a good chunk of this one looking for her. What does he do when he sees Riku? He grabs Riku's hand, falls to his knees, and bursts into tears.

      Note that this one scene is portrayed as an odd decision by Square: There were plenty Sora/Kairi scenes in other points of the story. For example, at the end of Halloween Town, Sora day-dreams about dancing with Kairi... with her 14 year-old appearance while he keeps his 15-year-old one. The resulting image was kinda weird. Or most importantly, when Saïx tells Sora that Kairi is missing, Sora begs him on his knees to tell him where she is. Riku's moment was more due to a unfortunate misuse of climax. Another reason is because of the circumstances: at the end of Kingdom Hearts 1, Kairi was safe at the islands, while Riku was stuck in the realm of darkness. Add to this the fact that King Mickey dodged around the subject of Riku a lot, and Sora probably thought Riku was dead.
    • The reason he imagined Kairi as her 14-year-old self is because that was when he last saw her. He didn't know what she looked like at 15-years-old yet. But yeah, it still looks kinda weird.
    • There exists a very vocal portion of the fanbase that firmly believes that Axel thinks of Roxas as a lover as opposed to his friend. His death scene has quite notable I Want My Beloved to Be Happy vibes.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: Kairi once she broke away from her Distressed Damsel role. Except for the people who liked her better in KH1. Yeah, the KH fandom never can agree on anything.
    • Gameplay-wise, the Gummi ship segments, which are a whole lot cooler to look at if nothing else, and also your ship gets an automatic upgrade with each segment passed, so you don't have to spend the time tediously doing it for yourself.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Yen Sid, Ansem the Wise, and Sora, all for the same reasons..."prejudice" against the Nobodies.
  • Saved by the Fans: Axel was supposed to die in the 'Prolonged Prologue', but fan outcry (including fans of his on the Kingdom Hearts staff) gave him a small part in the story and a fanbase-splitting death.

  Tetsuya Nomura from Kingdom Hearts Character Report volume 2: "I didn't think he would come this far. To begin with, he was supposed to be gone after Roxas defeats him towards the start. However, the entire staff, including myself, ended up pushing it so that he would return."

  • Scrappy Level: Atlantica, which is turned into a Rhythm Game. This wouldn't be so bad as Atlantica was already quite the scrappy level. However, the Rhythm Game is extremely easy, dull, and uncomfortable, and many find the songs to be grating.
    • Although it's a Sidequest this time around, Completing Atlantica gives you the Mysterious Abyss Keyblade, which boosts damage done by the Blizzard spell, and the final Blizzard upgrade, and the Orichalcum+. Therfore, if you want Blizzaga and the Ultima Weapon later, you have to complete this.
    • Port Royal also gets this treatment by some fans, as it is simply a Theme Park Version of the movie with Sora, Donald, and Goofy barely involved in the movie's story, plus frustuarting combat against cursed undead pirates.
    • The same thing can be said with the first visit to The Land of Dragons.
    • Space Paranoids is genearlly well-liked...except for the Light Cycle, which is hell to go through.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Gummi Ship levels.
    • You are supposed to absorb Xaldin's Jump attempts, then Jump him to interrupt his attacks. Unfortunately, it replaces your default attack, cutting into your offense spectacularly.
    • Spamming Learn may enable you to rack up multiple Jumps from one strike, and the max you can hold is 9; spamming them on Xaldin after that is very satisfying.
  • Ship Sinking: Yuna and Tidus is flushed down the toilet in this continuity.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Quite literally in the case of the Gummi Ship levels. Going as far as to perfect and complete every mission doesn't even do anything game-wise except give you Bragging Rights Rewards and make it slightly easier to beat the later Gummi levels. But god damn if it isn't fun to blow up at least two ships that are about 100 times the size of your own, let alone everything else.
  • Tear Jerker: Oh dear lord, so much.
    • "I guess my summer vacation... is over."
    • "My heart has chosen. Please, allow me to do as it says!" "Noooo!"
    • The end of the Hundred Acre Wood definitely qualifies.
  • That One Attack:
  • That One Boss: Reports differ widely, but Demyx or Xaldin are usually brought up, despite the former allegedly being "not a very good fighter" and the latter allowing Mickey to rescue you. And of course, Roxas in Final Mix+.
    • The final enemy in the Gummi ship levels. There is a True Final Boss that will fill the screen with hard-to-dodge attacks that will kill you in 4 hits. It takes an absurd amount of firepower to kill and will nuke your rank if you take too long. The worst part is that it's the final opponent, so you must restart the entire stage to get a rematch!
  • That One Sidequest: Some of the sidequests have insane requirements to clear with the best rating. This got so outrageous that some people find it easier to earn the Sequel Hook movies by beating the game on Proud mode (requiring just clearing all the worlds) rather than Standard mode (requiring One Hundred Percent Completion).
    • Especially because doing that makes the Final Boss actually challenging. If you try to see the secret ending in Normal Mode, by the time you've fought enough to synthesize everything, leveled your Drive Forms and Summons to unlock all the Paradox Cups, and actually beat those and Sephiroth, the final boss is a joke.
    • Most gameplay ones are more or less passable. But, the Gummi Ship ones can very well be impossible. Example, Dreadnought Level 3.
    • Dear God, the Paradox Cups! Sephiroth is NOTHING compared to them. Enemies are at a ridiculously high level compared to normal gameplay, and the last one, the Hades Paradox Cup, is a 50-round battle, with the rules changing every 10 rounds, with battles against Yuffie and Tifa, Blizzard Lord, Pete, Cloud and Tifa, Hades, Leon and Cloud, and Cerberus. If you make it to round 49, you have to face Leon, Yuffie, Tifa, and Cloud all at the same time as Sora ALONE, and then if you somehow manage to win that round, you have to face Hades AGAIN, though this time with Hercules helping you. You'd better get Ultima Weapon and max out Sora's level before you even think of taking this challenge on. Oh, and battles 31-40 are a Timed Mission (ten minutes - and remember, this includes a battle against Leon and Cloud and a "survive until time runs out" round), and in battles 41-50, you can't use Drives or Summons.
    • The levels have nothing to do with them, but the ever changing rules make the paradox cups, and arguably the entire underdrome tournament not a lot of fun to play through in the first place.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: They took away the ability to customize your Level Grinding speed.
  • Uncanny Valley: While the near-photorealistic characters in Port Royal don't fall into this on their own, their being alongside cartoony characters like Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy makes the whole affair just a wee bit creepy.
  • Villain Decay:
  • The Woobie:
    • Roxas.
    • Vivi. Yes, even here.
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