Kingdom Hearts II - Hands on

The new lead, at least for the first few hours, is Roxas, a young boy living in dim-lit Twilight Town. He's fond of hanging out with his three closest friends, Hayner, Pence, and Olsen twin lookalike Olette, eating blue ice cream bars, and climbing the town clocktower to watch the sun set and lament about the pending end of summer vacation.

Unbeknownst to him, Roxas is being watchedby Namine, a young witch capable of altering the memories of others (folks who played the GBA game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories might remember her) and DiZ, a red-clad enigma who sounds like Count Dooku and who's obviously got something going on.

Roxas has actually been having dreams of Sora, though he doesn't know who Sora is. Compounding the matter is the fact that someone has been stealing ... something. Just what they've been stealing isn't quite clear to us, because whoever took it didn't just steal the items. They literally stole the entire existence of the thing, so the characters can't even say what was stolen because the very word that describes it has been erased from reality. And then Roxas starts seeing the brooding, hooded members of the mysterious Organization XIII hanging about in their black robes, so he knows something's up.

The Organization's motives aren't immediately clear, though they certainly seem menacing. The same cannot be said of another new group of adversaries:slithering, silver-white Nobodies. While the first game's trademark enemies, the black, gremlin-like enemies known as the Heartless, are creatures of darkness, the more dangerous Nobodies are creatures of nothing at all. They can't even be hit by normal weapons - luckily, the first time we saw one and chased it down Roxas' nerf-looking weapon turned into a keyblade. Which, as it turns out, thwomps 'em pretty well.