Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
In 2004, a spinoff GameBoy Advance title called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was released. Set directly after the original Kingdom Hearts and about a year before Kingdom Hearts II, this game follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy in a new adventure set in the mysterious "Castle Oblivion". This castle consists of numerous rooms and floors, and to advance through them, Sora collects and uses various types of cards. For battles, cards and card combos called "sleights" are used to defeat the enemies Sora encounters along the way.
The highly-anticipated Kingdom Hearts II was released for the PS2 in 2006. This latest chapter in the series once again follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy in their adventures. There are appearances from several of the characters from the first two games—both Disney and Final Fantasy—as well as quite a number of new ones.
As far as FFVII cameos go, Tifa Lockheart makes her Kingdom Hearts debut. Like Yuffie and (the now-wingless) Cloud, she wears her Advent Children garb. Besides Yuffie and Cloud, other FFVII characters making return appearances are Aerith, Cid, and Sephiroth. All six of them can be encountered, at one point or another, in Hollow Bastion.
Aerith, Cid, and Yuffie are the first FFVII characters you meet; they are part of a "restoration committee" for Hollow Bastion, their hometown which was taken over by the malicious Heartless in the first game. As mentioned before, Yuffie wears the same outfit that she did in AC, but Aerith's new dress is from her Before Crisis appearance. Cid, on the other hand, hasn't changed in looks since the previous Kingdom Hearts games, but he does have a voice now. Speaking of Cid, he no longer runs a store, but instead maintains the computerized security system for Hollow Bastion. Moogles (all named after ones from FFIX this time) are present as shopkeepers, and there are now multiple Gummi Ships named "Highwind" (each one separated by a number and different design).
Cloud is first encounted in Hollow Bastion as well, where he broods over his arch-nemesis Sephiroth, and even comes face to face with him at one critical point in the story. Like Cid, Sephiroth hasn't changed in appearance since the first Kingdom Hearts.
At around this same time, Tifa makes her first appearance. In the game, she seeks out a guy with spiky hair—spikier than Sora's.
One less noticable reference to FFVII characters are shopkeepers named Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie in Hollow Bastion and Twilight Town.
Also worth mentioning are the mini-games and sidequests, which include tournaments where various characters (including Yuffie, Tifa, and Cloud) can be fought. A separate sidequest is a solo fight against Sephiroth; as in the original Kingdom Hearts, this is perhaps the toughest optional quest in the game.
Here are the voice actors for the FFVII characters in Kingdom Hearts II. The linked names lead to CG art for that character:
Aerith/Aeris Gainsborough - Mena Suvari
Cloud Strife - Steve Burton
Cid Highwind - Chris Edgerly
Sephiroth - George Newbern
Yuffie Kisaragi - Christy Carlson Romano
Tifa Lockheart - Rachel Leigh Cook
Original Kingdom Hearts summary written by ChibiTaryn, May 2003. Last updated by Reeve, July 2006. KH artbook scans by Reeve; KH:CoM sprite captures by Nemu and Incognito.
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