Kingdom Hearts II is a video game published by Disney and Square Enix.
It features the Pride Lands, a savanna world based on Disney's 32nd animated feature The Lion King. It was originally considered for inclusion in the first Kingdom Hearts, but the game's engine could not correctly handle a quadrupedal animal as the player, so it was moved to Kingdom Hearts II.
After the death of the previous king Mufasa, the deceitful younger brother Scar takes the throne. Since then, the Pride Lands have seen a steady decline in living conditions, due to his poor rule. While in the Pride Lands, Sora is transformed into a lion cub, Donald becomes a hornbill, and Goofy takes the body of a tortoise.
The Pride Lands are dominated by a large central savanna area which branches off in three directions. To the north is Pride Rock, home of the lions and the seat of the world's political power. The area southwest of the savanna is where outcasts from Pride Rock, such as the hyenas, live. The skeletal remains of large elephants earn this area its nickname, the Elephant Graveyard. Southeast of the savanna are the Wastelands, an arid desert of little life. Beyond the Wastelands, however, is a lush oasis.
Sora and his friends arrive in a desolate area of the Pride Lands. Traveling here, they fight off a group of Heartless and save a lioness named Nala. She explains that under the rule of the new king, Scar, the quality of living has dropped drastically. After an unfortunate encounter with Scar and Pete, Sora is forced to flee Pride Rock with Nala. An idle comment by Nala leads to her revelation that Simba, the son of the previous king, is still alive. Traveling to an oasis, Sora is reunited with her former comrade. When approached about the prospect of being king of the Pride Lands, Simba is less than thrilled. But that night, his father appears to him in a vision and commands him to take his place in the circle of life. Emboldened, he joins Sora and returns to Pride Rock to confront Scar, who reveals that he was the one who killed Mufasa. Simba and Scar duel while Sora takes care of Scar's hyena minions. At the peak of Pride Rock, Simba deals a finishing blow, but Scar's dark heart transforms him into a Heartless. After a gruesome battle, Simba and Sora emerge victorious and Simba ascends the throne to take his father's place as king.
When Sora and company return, all is not well. It seems that Simba is plagued with doubt and haunted by mysterious ghosts resembling Scar. Sora encourages Simba to follow his own path, rather than try to be his father. Rafiki, the king's adviser, gives Simba some ominous words and suggests he confront the hyenas at the Elephant Graveyard. After defeating them, Scar's ghost appears and Simba's resolve crumbles. Sora finds him at the oasis, disheartened. Through Sora's goading, Simba manages to defeat the ghost and regain his strength. Unfortunately, a large number of Scar ghosts coalesce into the powerful Groundshaker Heartless. Through the strength of their hearts, Simba and Sora defeat it, restoring peace to the Pride Lands.
Simba is a lion who resides in the Pride Lands. He is the son of Mufasa, the former king of the Pride Lands. His father was killed during a stampede set off by Simba's uncle, Scar, who was also Mufasa's younger brother. Simba ran away from home, believing that his father's death was his own fault. But at that time, he met Timon and Pumbaa, who became his friends. With the help of Sora and his gang, Simba returns to Pride Rock, and confronts and defeats Scar, who had since become king. Thus, Simba becomes the rightful ruler of the Pride Lands. Besides his appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, he is also in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as an ally who can be summoned. In Kingdom Hearts II, Simba can perform an earth-quaking scream attack.
Sora is a main character in the Kingdom Hearts series. He shares Simba's concerns, but manages to keep an upbeat attitude. He seems simple-minded at times, but has a strong sense of justice. He lives for the simple pleasures of life, enjoying things like sunsets and ice cream; he loves his friends more than anything else. He'll even force himself to the limit to protect them from harm. Sora has always been very open with his emotions. He was the one who was chosen by the Keyblade to battle the Heartless. It was Sora who defeated Xehanort's Heartless (who called himself Ansem), ending his plan to shroud all worlds in darkness. However, Sora continued his journey, seeking Riku and the King, who were sealed behind the door to darkness. This journey took him to Castle Oblivion, when he thought that he was reunited with a friend named Naminé, but he was actually being used by Organization XIII. During Kingdom Hearts II, he searches for and eventually finds Riku and the King, and defeats Organization XIII.
Nala is a female lion and childhood friend of Simba's. Later on, the two are reunited in the jungle, after Sora reveals to her that Simba is still alive. Nala is the mother of her and Simba's unborn cub.
Mufasa is the former leader of the Pride Lands and the father of Simba. He was killed in a wildebeest stampede set off by his younger brother, Scar.
Scar, a ruthless lion and Mufasa's younger brother, has control over a pack of hyenas who are his servants. In order to usurp the throne, he killed Mufasa. He also made an alliance with Pete in order to stop Simba and Sora from returning. He was defeated, but dark specters resembling him later returned to prey on Simba's hesitance.
Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi are the three most prominent hyenas who work for Scar. They follow him in the hope that they will get more food while he is king of the Pride Lands. They were the cause of the wildebeest stampede that killed Mufasa. They were later ordered to kill Simba. However, the lion cub escaped into the desert through a thorn hedge before they could get at him.
Rafiki is a wise old mandrill, adviser to the king of the Pride Lands. He is the one who judges young lions to see if they are worthy to become king. He eventually turns Simba back to his rightful path as king of the Pride Lands.
Goofy is the captain of the Royal Knights of Disney Castle and a soldier who despises weapons, instead preferring a shield to use against his enemies. Under the King’s orders, he accompanies Donald on the quest to find the key. He is an easygoing, but clumsy knight whose endearing charm evokes smiles even in the worst of times. Although he seems not as bright as Sora or Donald, he can see things that others miss. In Kingdom Hearts II, he is able to fuse with Sora for Sora's Valor Form, and later, along with Donald, his Master and Final Forms.
Donald Duck is the court wizard of Disney Castle and a loyal servant to King Mickey. He is a short-tempered, powerful magician on a quest to find King Mickey Mouse. In Kingdom Hearts, he embarks on a journey to carry out the missing King’s orders to follow the Keyblade wielder. Donald finds a letter from the King explaining his departure. Donald Duck sets out with Goofy to find and assist the King in the battle against the Heartless. He is a feisty, impatient magician whose antics are a real highlight of Sora's story. Donald is one of Sora's two companions who go with him to every world. This version of Donald, like Sora, undergoes several transformations, including an octopus-style merman, an African bird with his coloring and head, and an armored virtual rendition. In Kingdom Hearts II, he is able to fuse with Sora for Sora's Wisdom form, and later, along with Goofy, his Master and Final Forms.
Pete is one of the main villains in the Kingdom Hearts series. He was originally a Captain from the Disney Castle world, calling Mickey the "boat boy king," but was later banished to another dimension for his evil ways. However, he is freed by Maleficent and vows to help her conquer the worlds, or as he says, "Have her help me take over."