Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix is a Japanese reissue of Kingdom Hearts II that uses primarily English voice acting with Japanese text, subtitles and controls, as well as bonus content. The PlayStation 2 version of it is exclusive to Japan and was released as a part of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ compilation, along with Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories.
The game was remastered in HD and released outside of Japan for the first time as part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX on PlayStation 3. It was later released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was rumored in middle-late 2006. Though Nomura did not confirm its development, he stated that if a Final Mix version were to be created for other countries, he would use a "trump card".
In September 2006, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was finally announced, and released on March 29, 2007, hitting stores all across Japan. No official plans were announced for release in the United States or other countries, despite the topic being popular across Kingdom Hearts-related forums. There were rumors of a fall 2008 release in EGM magazine and 1up.com, although this did not pan out. The director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura, has quoted, "The Final Mix games are only Japanese exclusives. In due time, I may release a Final Mix into other countries, but Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix are not my choice."
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories are also notable for being the final games Tetsuya Nomura made for the PlayStation 2.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was announced to be part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, which also includes Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix and a cutscene-oriented Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, all remastered in HD. It was released October 2 of 2014 in Japan and December 2 of 2014 in North America.
Initial previews and announcements
Scans of magazine articles and preview videos appeared on numerous websites in the weeks leading up to the game's release. They included additional scenes involving the three mysterious armored knights at the end of the Kingdom Hearts II secret ending. Later screenshots showed one of these three knights in combat with Sora, Donald, and Goofy. The being serves as a secret boss with incredible power and an enormous amount of HP, much like Unknown from Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. The preview videos also showed that battling Roxas would be possible as opposed to the cutscene in the original game. Square also revealed that data replicas of each member of Organization XIII could be challenged in a secret area at Hollow Bastion and fought independently of the storyline.
Voice-acting on Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix was announced to be mostly in English, with Japanese subtitles, like Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, but the new scenes used Japanese voice-acting when viewed in Theater Mode and were voiceless in-game with Japanese subtitles. This is most likely due to the new scenes featuring Organization XIII members from Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, who did not yet have English voice actors.
Changes in worlds