Square Enix and Disney's Buena Vista Games Unveil All-Star Voice Cast for Kingdom Hearts II Highly Anticipated Title to Ship on March 28, 2006 in North America



    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Square Enix, Inc. (Square Enix), the
 publisher of Square Enix(TM) interactive entertainment products in North
 America, and Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm
 of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:   DIS) announced today the all-star voice cast
 and North American release date for KINGDOM HEARTS(R) II, the
 highly-anticipated action role-playing game (RPG) exclusively for the
 PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system.  KINGDOM HEARTS II is the
 sequel to KINGDOM HEARTS, one of the top 10 best-selling PlayStation 2 titles
 of all time in North America (Source: The NPD Group, Dec. 2005).
     (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030403/SQUARELOGO)
     The all-star ensemble voice cast is led by Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth
 Sense," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence") as the main character Sora and is
 joined by David Gallagher ("7th Heaven") as Riku, and Hayden Panettiere
 ("Racing Stripes," "Raising Helen") as Kairi.  KINGDOM HEARTS II will also
 feature the voice talents of Jesse McCartney ("Summerland," Recording artist,
 "Beautiful Soul" CD) as the mysterious boy Roxas, Brittany Snow ("The
 Pacifier," "American Dreams") as Namine, Christopher Lee ("Charlie and the
 Chocolate Factory," "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring") as Diz;
 Steve Burton ("The Last Castle," "Taken") as Cloud, Rachael Leigh Cook ("She's
 All That," "Josie And The Pussycats") as Tifa and Mena Suvari ("American
 Beauty," "Rumor Has It") as Aerith, all characters from FINAL FANTASY(R) VII;
 and Hedy Buress ("Boston Common," "If These Walls Could Talk"), Tara Strong
 ("Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown," "Teen Titans"), Gwendoline Yeo
 ("Desperate Housewives," "24") as the popular female-trio Yuna, Rikku, Paine
 from FINAL FANTASY X-2.  In addition, many of the original Disney film star
 voice actors are reprising their role for this project, including Ming-Na
 ("ER," "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within") as Mulan, James Woods ("Be Cool"),
 returning as the villain Hades and Zach Braff ("Scrubs") as Chicken Little.
     KINGDOM HEARTS II will ship to North American retailers on March 28, 2006.
 Since its release in September 2002, the original KINGDOM HEARTS for the
 PlayStation 2 has shipped more than 2.6 million units in North America.
 Bridging the gap between the original and the sequel, KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF
 MEMORIES(R) followed in December 2004 for the Nintendo(R) Game Boy Advance(R)
 system.  With the release of the Japanese version of KINGDOM HEARTS II in
 December 2005 (1 million units shipped during only three days after the
 release date), the series has shipped in excess of 7.5 million units
 worldwide.
     The world of KINGDOM HEARTS joins classic Disney characters and worlds
 together with a new story filled with new characters and environments created
 in the renowned Square Enix style.  The result was one remarkable, innovative,
 original property that captured the attention of both gamers and critics
 alike.  In KINGDOM HEARTS II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty
 and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat
 Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including
 Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim
 Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.  The game features more than
 100 Disney characters, and also introduces new, original characters such as
 Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square
 Enix's Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the KINGDOM HEARTS
 series.  Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles
 FINAL FANTASY VII, VIII, X and X-2.  New Disney additions to the sequel
 include Chicken Little and Stitch from Disney's Lilo and Stitch as summons as
 well as one of Disney's favorite villains, Pete.
     "We have enjoyed success with the Japanese release of KINGDOM HEARTS II
 this past December and cannot wait to roll out this title in March in North
 America -- North America is where KINGDOM HEARTS all began," said Tetsuya
 Nomura.  "The entire team has been working day and night to perfect the North
 American version and we hope the gamers will find it even more exciting than
 the original."
     "KINGDOM HEARTS is the perfect creative example of how BVG is growing and
 developing the Disney brand and relevance in video games worldwide," said
 Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games.
 "Our excellent relationship with Square Enix has once again resulted in a game
 that sets the artistic benchmark in developing video games based on popular
 entertainment intellectual properties."
     "The KINGDOM HEARTS series has given us the opportunity to showcase Square
 Enix's expertise in game design and development together with Disney's
 memorable worlds and characters.  This collaborative project is a situation
 most can only dream of and we are fortunate to have had this opportunity,"
 said Shinji Hashimoto, producer, Square Enix.  "KINGDOM HEARTS II is packed
 with even more excitement and amazing adventures and we cannot wait for gamers
 to experience it for themselves."
     KINGDOM HEARTS II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing
 quest, after the events of KINGDOM HEARTS.  Sora is looking for his lost
 friend Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king.  The
 story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day.
 Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the
 king himself.  Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both
 familiar and brand-new.
     KINGDOM HEARTS II features a new and improved real-time battle system
 which provides an increased selection of commands, such as performing special
 attacks and cooperative attacks with members of your party, adding strategy to
 the gameplay.  Players can also perform the "Drive" to transform main
 character Sora into his various forms, altering his skills and abilities.
 Examples include the Brave Form, where Sora absorbs the power of Goofy
 allowing him to use two Keyblades; the Wisdom Form, where Sora absorbs the
 power of Donald allowing him to increase his magic power; and the Master Form,
 where Sora absorbs the power of both Donald and Goofy and increases both his
 attack and magic powers.  These new features bring additional challenges and
 excitement to the players and further enhance gameplay.
     Japanese pop artist Utada Hikaru returns to sing the theme song for
 KINGDOM HEARTS II.  The song titled "Sanctuary," the English version of its
 original Japanese release "Passion," was written specifically for KINGDOM
 HEARTS II.  More information on the artist can be found at
 http://www.utada.com.
     KINGDOM HEARTS II will be available at North American retailers for a
 suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).  Additional information can be found
 at http://www.kingdomhearts.com.  The Entertainment Software Rating Board
 (ESRB) has rated the title "E10+" for ages 10 and up.  For more information
 about the ESRB, visit http://www.esrb.org.
 
     About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
     With headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix)
 develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including
 interactive entertainment software and publications in Japan, North America,
 Europe and Asia.  Square Enix brings two of Japan's best-selling franchises --
 FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 63 million units worldwide, and DRAGON
 QUEST(TM), which has sold over 40 million units worldwide -- under one roof.
 Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment
 content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and
 innovation.
 
     Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd.
 with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA.  It handles operations in
 North America, including development, localization, marketing, and publishing
 of Square Enix titles.  More information on Square Enix can be found on the
 Internet at http://www.square-enix.com.
 
     About Buena Vista Games
     Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG) is the interactive entertainment arm of The
 Walt Disney Company.  BVG publishes, markets and distributes a broad portfolio
 of multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide.  The
 company also licenses properties and works directly with third-party
 interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market.  For
 more information, please log on to http://www.buenavistagames.com.
 
     (C)2006 Disney. Developed by SQUARE ENIX.
     Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (C) Touchstone Pictures.
     Characters from FINAL FANTASY video game series: (C) 1990, 1994, 1997,
 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 Square Enix Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
 SQUARE ENIX, the Square Enix logo, FINAL FANTASY, and DRAGON QUEST are
 trademarks or registered trademarks of Square Enix Co., Ltd. in the United
 States and/or other countries.  Nintendo and Game Boy Advance are registered
 trademarks of Nintendo of America Inc.  All other trademarks are the property
 of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE Square Enix, Inc.

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