Kingdom Hearts: The Story So FarGot It Memorized?
These Games Are About Sora, I Promise
Sora is the main character of Kingdom Hearts, but Kingdom Hearts has prequels. We’ll talk about him a little more in a game called Birth By Sleep. The games are designed to be taken in release order for a reason but do line up fine in chronological order. Things in the prequels are willfully confusing as it’s meant to compare with what you know from other Kingdom Hearts games.
So first, some quick world building to get out of the way: there are these special swords called Keyblades that are shaped like big keys and they have special powers, such as being great at defeating beings of darkness, particularly things called Heartless. Heartless are beings of pure darkness. Only Keyblades can break them up, so Keyblade Wielders use them to protect light. There’s also another type of heartless, granted we don’t really see many examples of this early in the timeline, but if someone gives their heart over to darkness, is forced to do so, or loses a battle with the darkness, they can turn also into a Heartless themself. Lastly, the source of all light is a force called Kingdom Hearts. It’s represented by a big heart shaped moon that only can be manifested in certain circumstances.
Back Cover / Unchained χ[chi] / Union χ[Cross]
This game relies on a lot of context of other games, despite being mostly disconnected from their time, setting, and characters. Also, Union Cross isn’t done releasing updates, but this is what we’re going into KH3 with. That being said:
The earliest thing in the timeline is Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover, a companion movie to a Japanese exclusive PC game called χ[chi] that was later remade as a mobile game called Unchained χ, and later renamed Union Cross, which is still releasing story updates after KH3’s release. Look, no one said this would be easy.
Back Cover takes place in a place called Daybreak Town, in the age of fairy tales. It’s relevant to say that the World is one big world that hasn’t been split into many worlds yet. It immediately introduces 7 characters. First, The Master of Masters, who guides the other 6 and gives them each roles to play in a nebulous grand quest. His face is always obscured by a black cloak. Get used to seeing characters that are just black cloaks. He’s a sarcastic asshole and it rules. The Master wrote a book called The Book of Prophecies which tells the future. He was able to write it because he put one of his big blue eyes in a very gothic Keyblade that is to be carried till the end of time. Everything that Keyblade’s eye ever will see, The Master can see at this point and it allows him to write the book foretelling what it will happen. The book existing is proof the keyblade survives on and sees everything.
The first thing he does in Back Cover is tell this to his apprentice, Luxu, who also wears a black cloak. Luxu takes the keyblade, called No Name, and a mystery black box and leaves. We’ll see this Keyblade again a lot later. Luxu is told to give it to his apprentice and pass it on so forth, and then Luxu leaves to watch things forever, I guess. Luxu doesn’t get a copy of the Book because of potential paradoxes, of course.
The Master’s other 5 apprentices are called the Foretellers. They each lead a Union of Keyblade Wielders and guide them on missions to defeat heartless and collect light. They all wear animal masks. These idiots ARE given copies of the Book of Prophecies and each are given roles that only they know about on top of being Union Leaders. The ending of the book predicts an event called The Keyblade War where all Keyblade Wielders fight over Kingdom Hearts, which makes Kingdom Hearts show up as that big moon, but they also all die. Because it’s in the book, presumably this is unavoidable.
The Master makes each Keyblade Wielder a Spirit, called a Chirithy. If they get tainted by darkness, or if the wielder does, they can become Nightmares, which are the bad spirits. These are different types of creatures called Dream Eaters, which are important later on in Dream Drop Distance but they’re also here.
Ira, the Union leader wearing the unicorn mask, is in charge of them all but is a bad fucking leader. Another foreteller, Gula, with the Leopard mask, is given a page not in the other books and it says there’s a traitor among them. He’s supposed to figure out who. He tries, but he doesn’t. They all fight anyway as darkness becomes stronger in Daybreak Town and they don’t trust each other and can’t communicate. Before disappearing, the Master of Masters says “may your heart be your guiding key” to them, which basically means they all trust their intuition above all and it leads to some impulsive fights.
The most important Foreteller is named Ava, and she has the fox mask. She’s important because her role is to collect exceptional Keyblade Wielders and tell them to not fight in the war so they live on after. This group of kids is called the Dandelions. She’s also given a list of 5 special Dandelions to be the new Union Leaders, but only ONE of these leaders gets the Book of Prophecies. We don’t know who. She also writes a rule book on how these kids should be Union Leaders, and each of the 5 get a rulebook. During this part of the story, the Player’s created character befriends a kid named Ephemer who is really curious about the Book of Prophecies. Specifically, he is curious about one of its powers, which allows it to make the holograms of Disney worlds that the wielders go into to collect light. They investigate this a little before Ephemer just disappears. Also, some girl named Strelitzia stalks the Player because they seem interesting but they never talk to the Player. We see Ava talk to Strelitzia and Ephemer, separately, to ask them to be new Union Leaders after the war. Strelitzia wants to get the Player to join the dandelions so they live through the war but in looking for them, she gets killed by a Mystery Figure and her rulebook is stolen. Since Ava recruited all the Union Leaders separately, the mystery figure can pose as a legitimate Union Leader without anyone knowing any better. The Player also befriends a girl named Skuld, who we’ll also see become a Union Leader later.
When Ava gives Ephemer the rulebook and run down, she sends him to prepare a “new world” based on this one that the Dandelions will live on in.
Gula, the leopard mask foreteller, tells the Player and Skuld that the traitor will “misread the truth” and cause The Keyblade War to start by the ringing of a bell, and during this talk, we see Ava find Luxu and confront him for not doing anything to prevent The Keyblade War other than watch. That’s his job but she gets mad and attacks him, and the force makes a big bell on the Foreteller’s tower ring. Luxu is fine, but the Keyblade War has begun. Everyone fights and dies. The Player is saved from near death by Ephemer and Skuld.
In this new world, the Player wakes up and goes back to doing missions like nothing happened, because they don’t remember anything, and we later learn that Chirithy can remove memories from their wielders when they sleep. Again, they’re called Dream Eaters.
The new Union Leaders now meet up in the Keyblade Graveyard, left over from the War. Ephemer and Skuld are the first two. They’re joined by a boy with blonde hair named Ventus, who says call him Ven. Then some idiot in a fedora named Brain joins, and lastly a tall fellow with pink hair named Lauriam. One of these people is the impostor who killed Strelitzia, but we don’t know who. We also don’t know who has the Book of Prophecies but one is floating around.
As they start to be Union Leaders, they make new spirits for the wielders. The rulebook states they have to make the wielders fight for sport for some reason. Ephemer reveals that there is a data back up of the world and all the wielders. This sounds weird, but not if you’ve played the rest of the games. He uses this data so they can simulate the fights and follow the rules and don’t have to actually fight each other. The Disney Worlds that wielders go into are data too! Why not. The Book of Prophecies can’t project worlds without the Master of Masters in this world, so they’ve been making due with these data worlds. The Union Leaders also notice that darkness feels different in this new world, almost like it has a personality of its own.
This next scene is gonna sound the extremely buckwild if you’re not already strapped in: we see Maleficent, y’know, the Disney character, and she’s disappointed she lost to Prince Charming and the Player, wishing she could “change the end” of her story. She will become a major antagonist to Sora later on, and the Maleficent we see here is actually from that future. She has traveled back in time in an attempt to take over more worlds, but in this data world the events are set in stone. She’s confronted by a being of literal darkness, calling itself the darkness of this world, that explains that the world is locked. The darkness also knows she’s travelling back in time to this place to collect hearts of pure light, and she was told she could do this by a dude named Xehanort. We’ll meet him later. The way time travel works in Kingdom Hearts is you can travel back to places you were at in the past if your heart and body are split from each other. Her heart is split in later story events, hence why she can travel here. She’s told she can’t do anything in this data world and has to leave, and there is a way to do so.
Lauriam uses the data of the wielders to try and find his sister, who we find out is Strelitzia, the murdered Union Leader from before. Woops. He meets someone Strelitzia knew, a blonde girl named Elrena. She used to fight with her but hasn’t seen her in a bit, but remembers she stalked some kid a lot. Elrena goes looking, and Lauriam takes this knowledge to the other leaders, and figures out this kid is the Player. We’ll see some of these characters again later, in some way, shape or form, but that’s all we know about this story for now.
Birth By Sleep
An undisclosed time after The Keyblade War, the World has been split into many smaller worlds, there aren’t nearly as many keyblade wielders as there used to be, and fairy tales tell the story that after the destruction of the World in the Keyblade War, and that some light lived on in the hearts of children. That light grew into little oases of light in the darkness which in turn grew into the many worlds.
Some point later, two students named Xehanort and Eraqus train to graduate from “Keyblade Wielder” to “Keyblade Master.” We don’t know who Xehanort’s master was, but he eventually got his hands on the No Name keyblade, so it’s possible this is part of the Master of Master to Luxu line of keyblade succession.
They both become keyblade masters, but only one can be picked to watch over The Land of Departure, the headquarters and training grounds for keyblade wielders, essentially. Eraqus lands that gig, so Xehanort, disappointed, becomes a roaming keyblade master studying the worlds. In this universe, that’s called a “Seeker.”
Xehanort becomes fixated on the idea that there’s too much light in the universe, and that a balance between light and dark needs to be established. His best shot at achieving that is by summoning Kingdom Hearts again and causing the universe to start from scratch again.
There are two ways to do that.
1. Gathering the seven Princesses of Heart, which are seven (mostly) Disney characters across different worlds that have pure hearts. By exploiting their heart energy, a special keyblade called the Keyblade of Hearts can reveal and unlock Kingdom Hearts. Then, using Kingdom Hearts, Xehanort would destroy the World and make it anew.
2. Summoning a different special keyblade called the χ-blade. No, it is pronounced the same as “keyblade.” The χ-blade is a weapon of metaphysical importance after which all keyblades are a mere artificial imitation. Summoning the χ-blade will start another Keyblade War and summon Kingdom Hearts again, in turn destroying the World like the last time. There’s a lot of discrepancy in fan discussion in how his plan is supposed to work, but I think the in game book Xehanort’s Report 7 makes a pretty solid case for it working the way described.
Because it can’t be that simple, you can actually summon the χblade in a few different ways. The ways we know of are:
- Fulfill a prophecy that speaks of a battle between 7 lights and 13 darknesses. We learn about this method much later from a villainous monologue in a game called Dream Drop Distance.
- Force combat between two equally matched individuals, one of pure light and one of pure darkness.
That last one is the way Xehanort opts to do it – manifesting the χ-blade by forcing perfectly matched combat between two hearts. One of pure light and one of pure darkness.
There are a lot of blank spaces in the timeline here, but at some point, Xehanort, who looks like the oldest man alive, trains Ventus, the Union Leader who told us to call him Ven. It’s unclear how Ven went from “one of five Union leaders in the new world Ephemer made” to “just some dude’s apprentice that still looks like a teenager” but here we are. Hopefully Kingdom Hearts 3 or future games give us some insight. Xehanort consistently pushes Ven past his limits, and is consistently disappointed by Ven’s performance.
After one final disappointment, Xehanort uses his keyblade, No Name, to extract out all darkness within Ven’s heart and mold it into its own, separate person, whom he names Vanitas. This is too much trauma for Ven’s light, the majority of his heart, to take, and he’s about to fade away when a “brand new heart” takes pity on and helps to heal Ven. We’ll later learn that this heart will grow up to be Sora, the main character of the franchise. Vanitas, the aforementioned being created out of Ven’s darkness, looks like Sora as a weird byproduct of the connection between Ven and Sora that’s formed here.
While Sora’s heart works to repair Ven’s, Ven goes into a coma, and Xehanort gives up on him, figuring he’s at least got his heart of pure darkness in the form of Vanitas. Xehanort plans on ditching Ventus on Xehanort’s home world, Destiny Islands, before continuing his quest to form the χ-blade. Much to Xehanort’s surprise, Ven’s still unconscious body summons a keyblade.
Xehanort, seeing this as an opportunity, sends a now conscious but amnesia suffering Ventus, off to live with Xehanort’s old schoolmate Eraqus, now the keeper of the Land of Departure, the keyblade wielder home base we mentioned. Secretly, Xehanort plans to return once Ventus has fully recovered so he can pit Vanitas and Ventus against each other and form the χ-blade.
An amnesiac Ventus trains under Eraqus along with two other pupils, Terra and Aqua, and the three become inseparable. Ventus particularly bonds with Terra, whom he idolizes. Aqua creates good luck charms for the trio called Wayfinders, based on an old legend.
After years of training, Xehanort returns on the day of Terra and Aqua’s graduation exam, called the Mark of Mastery exam. Both pupils perform well, but only Aqua passes as Terra failed to keep the darkness in check during the test. Little does he know, Xehanort used his powers to bring out Terra’s darkness.
Shortly after, Xehanort vanishes, and Master Eraqus speaks with a former Master named Yen Sid (from Disney) through a dimension phone. Yen Sid says that a bunch of creatures made of negative energy have started appearing across all worlds. Those are called Unversed and we later learn they come from Vanitas. Plus, Xehanort up and vanished. Eraqus instructs Terra and Aqua to investigate both curiosities. Vanitas shows up at Ventus’s room. Ven doesn’t remember him because of amnesia, and Vanitas lies to Ven about why Terra is leaving and implies Ven won’t see Terra again unless he disobeys the master by leaving the Land of Departure, which the master has explicitly forbidden.
He runs after Terra, and Aqua follows them both, so Terra, Aqua, and Ventus have all left home. They each individually go from Disney world to Disney world. They travel by turning their keyblades into armor and spaceships, which protects them from darkness. Terra meets Maleficient. In her perception of time, this is way way before she travels back in time. We’ll get there near the end. For now, she just learned from a chat with Xehanort about keyblades and the Princesses of Heart. She manipulates Terra into stealing Princess Aurora’s heart, and he realizes the error of his ways a moment too late.
Ventus looks for Terra, and Aqua is tasked by the master to bring Ven back and make sure Terra doesn’t fall to the darkness. Terra continues to blunder his way into ruining Disney characters’ lives. Ventus gets in a fight with Vanitas, but Ventus isn’t strong enough yet for their fight to form the χ-blade. Terra finds Xehanort who hires a ne’er do well named Braig to pretend to kidnap Xehanort just so Terra can come to the rescue and build a big ego so he feels like a hero. Xehanort uses flattery to turn Terra against Eraqus and encourages Terra to use the darkness. Aqua meets a girl named Kairi in a world called Radiant Garden, who will be important later, and inadvertently passes the ability to use the keyblade to her. Along the way Aqua and Ventus meet Mickey Mouse but Terra never does.
They all meet up in Radiant Garden, but the reunion is short lived when Ven and Terra figure out Aqua was gonna rat on them to Eraqus, so everyone leaves individually, very mad. At various points, some of them meet a guy named Ansem the Wise, who is like the philosopher king of Radiant Garden. Ventus meets two kids named Lea and Isa, who are good friends and have a friendly interaction with Ventus. It’s not plot important, but these two and their friendship will return, albeit in a different form.
The trio go through some more Disney worlds, this time angrier, and Terra and Aqua arrive at a world called Destiny Islands separately. This is the world Xehanort is from where he tried to ditch Ventus. There, the two (separately) meet two boys. Riku and Sora. Everybody likes these boys. They’re great. Sora is the kid who, as a brand new heart, saved Ventus when he was split in two. Terra likes the boys so much that he figures he’ll give Riku the ability to wield a keyblade, something Riku won’t really understand or be able to manifest for years. Terra tells Riku that the keyblade should be used to give “strength, to protect what matters.” Neither Terra or Aqua opt to pass one onto Sora.
Ventus encounters Xehanort, who then explains if he and Vanitas clash they’ll form the χ-blade. He also says that Eraqus never let Ventus leave the Land of Departure because Eraqus was afraid that Ventus could accidentally forge the χ-blade. Ventus leaves to speak with Eraqus.
Shortly after, Terra meets Xehanort, who tells him “hey your adopted father Eraqus is gonna kill your best friend Ventus” so Terra leaves and arrives to find that Eraqus intends just that in order to prevent the χ-blade from forming. Terra uses the darkness to create a portal to another world, Destiny Islands, and throws Ventus in there for safety.
Terra defeats Eraqus, and in the final moments Xehanort arrives. Eraqus is killed, and it is left ambiguous as to whether Terra or Xehanort landed the killing blow. Xehanort uses spooky magic to corrupt the Land of Departure and says he’s going to kill Aqua and Ventus at the keyblade graveyard, where the Keyblade War was fought.
Meanwhile on Destiny Islands, Vanitas also tells Ventus that he’s going to kill Terra and Aqua at the keyblade graveyard.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Yen Sid tells Aqua “hey bad guys are gonna kill your friends at the keyblade graveyard.
So they all go to the Keyblade Graveyard and things go pretty bad. Vanitas attacks Ventus and they fuse into one body that Vanitas takes control over and he wields the χ-blade. Ventus learns that Unversed all spawn from Vanitas’s negative emotions. Kingdom Hearts appears in the sky. Braig, Xehanort’s ne’er do well lackey from before, is there and he fights Aqua because he’s still working for Xehanort. Ventus fights Vanitas from within his own mind and manages to render the χ-blade briefly inoperative. Aqua takes this chance and defeats Vanitas. Ventus reappears unconscious, so Aqua takes him to the Land of Departure for safe keeping, because Eraqus once told her that if he dies and darkness takes over the Land of Departure, both of which have happened, she can use his keyblade on a secret keyhole to transform the world into a labyrinth, so its light will remain hidden. She does that and hides Ventus inside in a room that will come to be called the “Chamber of Waking.”
Remember Sora? The kid on Destiny Islands and the kid who saved Ven’s heart? His heart is so pure and good and joyful that it senses Ven’s heart, now connected to his own, is in trouble. It takes care of Ven’s heart while Ven’s body recovers in the Chamber of Waking. So now Ventus’s heart is just in Sora’s. Remember that.
Back at the Keyblade Graveyard, Terra fights Xehanort, but Terra is weakened enough for Xehanort to use spooky powers that allow him to take over Terra’s body so he can regain youth and not be a walking corpse. Terra’s heart and body succumb, but his will lives on in the form of an empty version of Terra’s keyblade armor, the stuff that rides the keyblade spaceship mentioned earlier. This “Lingering Will” of Terra fights Xehanort within his own heart and, in combination with Aqua’s defeat of Vanitas, briefly subdues the threat of evil. Kingdom Hearts fades away.
Having finished hiding Ven in a safe place, Aqua goes to find Terra, who’s still-possessed-self winds up on Radiant Garden. When she gets there, Terra and Xehanort are fighting over control of their heart and body, and Xehanort is mostly winning. Xehanort in Terra’s body summons a heartless like guardian with whom he attacks Aqua, but she defeats both. The shared body begins to fall into darkness, but Aqua dives after in order to save the body she knows still has some of Terra left in it. She sends the body back to the realm of light with her keyblade armor and ship, but is unable to save herself. She falls into darkness.
Blank Points (Part 1)
Xehanort wakes up back in Radiant Garden in full control of Terra’s body now, but this Xehanort (many call him Terranort or Apprentice Xehanort) does not have his memory. He is discovered by Ansem the Wise and his apprentices, Braig being one of them. Braig knows what’s up, and Ansem the Wise is suspicious, but doesn’t do shit about it. Aqua goes deeper into the Dark Realm only to find that three of the Disney worlds she visited, notably ones that house princesses of heart, have fallen into darkness.
0.2 – A Fragmentary Passage – (Part 1)
Aqua is in the Realm of Darkness and it’s pretty bad down there. Heartless are everywhere and she chases apparitions of Ventus and Terra through Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella worlds that have fallen into darkness. She’s now using Eraqus’ keyblade as hers was left in Radiant Garden trying to save Terra. While down here, she notes two things.
- No one’s here, so she figures the people must have been sent to other worlds (like we’re about to see happens to Sora, whom we have barely even met) instead of falling into darkness too.
- She realizes that time is strange here. She’s got no idea how long she’s down here.
When she catches up with the Ventus and Terra apparitions, only Terra can speak with her because he has a connection to the darkness. All he’s able to communicate to her before Xehanort wrests control is that Xehanort has control of his body and is trying to find where she hid Ven.
Terra fights for control of his apparition… body… while Aqua is pulled further into darkness, where she’ll meet up with her old friend Mickey Mouse, but now we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll get back to Aqua later.
Stuff That Happens Concurrently with Part One of 0.2
At some point near the beginning of Aqua’s looooong time in the Realm of Darkness, Xehanort becomes one of Ansem the Wise’s apprentices. We read this in various lore books in the games and see it in Blank Points and flashbacks. With Braig jogging his memory, he is remotivated to balance light and dark, and becomes fixated on studying darkness by creating artificial Heartless. This creeps out Ansem the Wise, and Xehanort convinces the other apprentices to mutiny Ansem the Wise by throwing him into the Realm of Darkness.
Then, they all continue their experimentation by turning themselves into heartless. Xehanort’s heartless takes on Ansem’s name and his position as the leader of Radiant Garden. When you hear people talk about “Ansem the Wise” they refer to the original leader of Radiant Garden who is an absolute asshole but technically still one of the good guys. When you hear people talk about “Ansem, Seeker of Darkness,” they refer to Xehanort’s Heartless who took that name.
Kingdom Hearts 1
Remember Sora? He’s all grown up now! Well, he’s like, 12 or some shit. He has an existential nightmare where he gets a Keyblade and fights a big heartless on a big Stained Glass Platform called Dive To The Heart, and is told that he is the one who will open the door, and then wakes up on Destiny Islands. Just a normal boy with normal nightmares. He’s woken up by his friend Kairi, who you’ll remember from Birth by Sleep, but she is here on these islands now. Riku is also still here and still Sora’s best friend, but decidedly way more cool than Sora is. The three are all working together on building a raft to go and see other worlds. It’s that simple.
Sora goes into a secret cave on the island, and draws on the wall a picture of him giving Kairi a Paopu Fruit, which is a fruit that when split between two people, their hearts become intertwined forever. It’s a big deal. Also in there, Sora sees this mysterious brown door with no handle or anything, and he is also confronted by a weird brown robed figure that tells him “one who knows nothing can understand nothing” and “this world has been connected.” After this figure speaks it completely vanishes and Sora isn’t sure it even happened. We’ll learn later that this figure is the disembodied heart and heartless of Xehanort, which calls itself Ansem because he took that name before splitting his heart from his body. He’ll do more later in the game. Kairi later makes Sora a Wayfinder, though they don’t know it’s called that, and this one is made out of shells which is what they’re supposed to be made out of in the legend Aqua explained forever ago.
The next night a storm comes to the islands and Sora rushes to protect the raft. He gets there and the place is covered in Heartless that he can’t fight. Sora sees Riku being consumed by the darkness, who is convinced this is the way he can see other worlds and it’s totally cool. Sora loves Riku dearly and is gonna go with him despite darkness being Bad, but in a reaction to the darkness, the Keyblade summons in Sora’s hand. We know Riku was the one bequeathed it but it is drawn to the stronger heart in the moment and goes to Sora, both because Riku is in darkness and because Sora has a pure light of another keyblade wielder in him, the heart of Ventus. Riku is gone now.
Sora goes to the Secret Place again and now the door opens, blasting him back and a weird vision of Kairi flies towards him and disappears as it touches him. Kairi’s heart is now hiding in Sora’s Heart Hotel, or an Air χnχ if you will, to protect itself from the darkness. Her body is, uh, just kinda AWOL for now, don’t worry about it, worlds falling into darkness is weird and she can’t really fall into darkness because she is one of the princesses of heart. Surprise. Now outside, Sora fights another big heartless and the world is swallowed up into darkness.
Sora wakes up to Pluto, yknow, Mickey Mouse’s dog, who licking his face. He’s in a world called Traverse Town, where people end up when they don’t have anywhere else to go. He gets beat up by Squall Leonhart from FF8, now going by the name Leon, and meets FF7’s Yuffie also, learning about the Keyblade’s power. Donald and Goofy, the Disney characters, are also here looking for what Mickey told them is called “the key,” meaning the keyblade. They run into Aerith from FF7. Leon explains to Sora that the Heartless were researched by their world’s leader leader, Ansem, which is only partly true. They didn’t know Ansem had his identity stolen by Xehanort but yes, they are from Radiant Garden. Aerith tells Donald and Goofy this same story.
They all get interrupted by Heartless, and as a result Sora, Donald, and Goofy end up fighting together, meaning Donald and Goofy found the key. From this point forward, we will be calling this trio “The Goof Troupe” or just saying Sora. Riku shows up, also being cool and shit, and asks to come along, but Donald says no because this is official business and Riku just ghosts them and ends up getting drafted by Maleficent who says “you were replaced with a duck.” It was an easy draft. They’re children. Goof Troupe are also joined by Jiminy Cricket who writes down all their adventures in a journal and this is extremely important. They fly between worlds in something called a gummi ship. It’s a ship made of gummies. What it says on the tin.
Sora goes to a bunch of Disney worlds, sealing their Keyholes which is a thing he has to do to protect them from the darkness. Heartless try to reach the metaphysical heart of each world through those keyholes and gobble them up, and we’ll later learn that when this happens, Xehanort’s heartless, again calling himself Ansem, is trying to get to where those gobbled up hearts go in the dark realm because they will collect into a smaller copy of Kingdom Hearts that resides just behind the door between the realm of light and darkness. Makes sense, right? This isn’t the real Kingdom Hearts being made by Ansem’s plan, but a copy – just remember that.
Meanwhile, Maleficent gets all the Disney bad guys together to collect Princesses of Heart to get to Kingdom Hearts and be all powerful. She already has the three princesses from Birth By Sleep, and is going after Alice from Wonderland, Jasmine from Aladdin, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Kairi. She uses Riku too, obviously. Xehanort told her this is a way to Kingdom Hearts whenever he talked to her in Birth by Sleep, and Ansem is able to benefit from her actions later in this game.
Sora is looking for his friends and making new ones in these Disney worlds. Hercules and Ariel will be seen again, as well as the summons he unlocks of Simba and Mushu. He finds a story book of Winnie the Pooh at Merlin’s house and is able to go inside of it, and befriend all of those characters too. He befriends Cloud, from FF7 at the Olympus Coliseum. Eventually the gang get swallowed by the Disney whale Monstro and see Riku there being mean to Pinocchio, but they save him and Riku doubles down on being evil after that. They run into Riku again on the Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, but now Riku has found Kairi’s unconscious body thanks to Maleficent. Sora can’t save her yet though, not knowing why she’s unconscious, and Riku gets away to the next world, called Hollow Bastion. This world used to be Radiant Garden before it fell to darkness thanks to Xehanort. Sora goes there, and Riku has gotten strong enough to rip the Keyblade away from Sora. Sora thought he was the chosen one to wield it but we know Riku can hold this thing easy thanks to Terra. Riku says Sora was just “the delivery boy.” Donald and Goofy follow Riku like assholes because they are supposed to follow “the key,” and Sora is joined by Beast, from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to do all the combat work in this world. Beast’s heart drew him here to save Belle.
Eventually Sora catches up and Riku goes to attack Sora but is protected by Goofy and Donald. Sora believes in his friends and this strength of his heart pulls the Keyblade back sending Riku into a further insecurity complex. Riku is met by the same brown robe Sora saw on Destiny Islands, the disembodied heart, called Ansem who fully possesses Riku. When this happens, Riku gains access to a special kind of keyblade, called a Keyblade of Heart, that can unlock hearts. Sora fights Maleficent once, and then Ansem controlling Riku unlocks her heart with his keyblade to turn her into a dragon, Sora beats that too. This is when Maleficent’s heart is split from her body by the way. Deeper in the castle, Sora finds Kairi’s body and Riku drops in telling Sora that Kairi’s heart is in Sora, but Sora insists Riku is “never taking Kairi’s heart.” They fight, Sora wins.
Sora knows Kairi is in his heart so he take’s Riku’s Keyblade, which he knows can unlock people’s hearts. He pokes himself with it and Kairi’s Heart is freed, along with the other Princesses of Heart which were stored in the Keyblade. This also clips Sora’s heart and makes him a heartless and this causes…. lots of complications forever. We see Riku get fully taken over by Ansem who now looks an adult man, who we’ll be calling Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. He goes after Kairi now that all the hearts are here but Riku can hold him back now, maybe changing his mind because he’s seen his friend die. Kairi runs away with Donald and Goofy.
Sora isn’t a normal Heartless though and finds his way back to Kairi and Kairi knows it’s him and her light saves him and he’s a Person again. This is a special case and causes complications forever.
Anyways now Ansem, Seeker of Darkness is really mad and heartless everywhere are tough as shit. Sora goes back to Traverse Town with Kairi and Kairi tells Sora about her grandmother’s story. Sora says as long as he has the good luck charm she made everything will be okay and they’ll be together later after he saves Riku. He also makes her stay behind because he’s a dumb kid boy.
Back to Hollow Bastion, Sora seals that keyhole and the FF characters come back because this is their world and they will rebuild it. The Princesses are saved and thank Sora but he has to fly deeper into darkness to defeat Ansem and save Riku so he does, and goes to a place called End of the World.
At some point, we see Riku in the Realm of Darkness. Once Ansem got his true form he just ditched Riku and he ended up here, I guess. He’s guided by the voice of one Mouse King. Mickey needs Riku’s help to shut a big door.
It’s just a long walk filled with heartless, and Chernabog from Fantasia, and at the end is the remains of Destiny Islands where Ansem says a bunch of shit about darkness inside of darkness and darkness is the heart’s true essence and Kingdom Hearts is darkness but Sora says “shut up” and beats him up for a long time, including when Ansem turns into a big boat, and after Sora wins, the Goof Troupe and Ansem are floating in the void of darkness space by a big white Door that Ansem calls Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts 1 Ending / 0.2 (Part 2)
Remember how Aqua was in the dark realm for a long time? She’s still there. Mickey, while trying to meet up with Riku, groups up with her there and tells Aqua 10 years have passed since she went missing. They fight together through the realm and end up on what’s left of Destiny Islands, after Sora isn’t here. They fight a big heartless horde and Aqua helps Mickey find the Keyblade of Darkness, which is a golden version of Sora’s Kingdom Key. He needs this to shut the Big White Door. Mickey says someone has to shut it from this side and she says she will, but Mickey already has Riku signed up.
Going to meet Riku, Mickey explains this Kingdom Hearts isn’t the one they have experience with, but one created by the hearts of worlds that Ansem took with darkness. Aqua sees the Heartless Horde come back and she protects Riku from them, and gets blasted back to Destiny Islands. The heartless also take Mickey’s shirt off. Riku doesn’t notice ANYTHING. We see Aqua fighting Heartless on the beach, promising to be the light in the darkness to whoever else gets lost here.
Outside the door, Ansem claims that the big white Door to Kingdom Hearts is darkness! Sora is convinced it’s light! When it opens up, light blasts Ansem away and he is finally defeated. Sora runs up to the door to shut it, and is surprised to see Riku on the other side helping. Riku says to take care of Kairi, we see Mickey hop up to shut this door for good! Riku shuts the door and Sora and Mickey lock it from opposite sides.
As the worlds are going back to normal after sealing the door, Sora’s heart reaches out to Kairi’s and they talk somehow and she says she’ll always be with him before she is teleported back to Destiny Islands. We see Aqua on the beach of Destiny Islands but she does not stay with it. She drifts back into the dark realm. Sora ends up in a liminal space between light and dark, along with Donald and Goofy. They see Pluto there and chase after him. Back home, Kairi sees Sora’s drawing of him giving her the Paopu Fruit and cries a lot, before finishing the image of her giving one back.
Preface II: Nobodies, Organization XIII, and Roxas
Now it’s time for a good old fashioned lore-dump. There’s these beings called Nobodies that are another large part of Kingdom Hearts that get introduced after Kingdom Hearts 1. They are beings created when a heartless is made from someone with a strong will. They are living empty bodies with no heart. Particularly strong Nobodies will still look like their somebody counterpart. We’ll see a lot of Nobodies created from characters we’ve seen already in earlier games. These strong Nobodies have been gathered in a group called Organization 13, led by Xemnas, who is the Nobody of Xehanort, the counterpart to Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. Xemnas starts a trend with Org members of rearranging names and adding Xs to create new Nobody names, but his is Ansem with an X because he took that name before splitting his heart from his body. He adds the X for a minor reason that will come up later. They all wear the same kind of black cloak we saw the Master of Masters and Luxu wear, only we’ll see them take their hoods down sometimes.
The Org gets its thirteenth member when a boy named Roxas shows up, who is Sora’s Nobody, created when Sora split his heart from his body to save Kairi. Roxas is a special case for a few reasons:
1. Sora can wield the Keyblade meaning Roxas can as well.
2. Sora had multiple hearts inside him when it happened.
3. Sora doesn’t stay a heartless.
Because one of those hearts in Sora at the time was Ventus, Roxas looks like Ventus and not Sora. Going forward, Roxas is very important.
358/2 Days (Part 1)
Roxas has a pretty weird first week of existing. He barely has self awareness when Xemnas meets him in the Realm of Darkness and gives Roxas his name. Roxas is basically a zombie at first, but he goes along on missions he doesn’t understand with another Org 13 member named Axel. They become friendly. They meet every day after missions to eat sea salt ice cream on top of a clock tower in a world called Twilight Town. A 14th member named Xion joins the Organization, and at the start she’s even MORE like a zombie. Roxas meets all the members of Organization 13.
First, there are two whose history we don’t already know: Demyx and Luxord. Demyx just likes to play his citar and Luxord is an asshole who does magic tricks.
I already mentioned Axel. Remember Lea and Isa, the two friends that Ventus met in Radiant Garden? Axel is Lea’s nobody. Saix, Isa’s nobody, is also a member of the organization. Axel controls fire and Saix has…moon powers. The two of them were great friends as somebodies, and as nobodies plotted together to overthrow the organization.
Another one is Marluxia, who controls deadly flower petals. Remember the Union Leader and Strelitzia’s brother Lauriam from Union χ? “Marluxia” is an anagram of “Lauriam” with an X added in.
He also meets Larxene, with electricity powers. I’d forgive you for forgetting it since we only said it once, but in Union χ, Lauriam asked a friend of Strelitzia named Elrena about Strelitzia’s wherabouts. Larxene is Elrena but with an X in it.
Much of the rest of the organization are the nobodies of Ansem the Wise’s former apprentices. You might remember Braig from Birth By Sleep. His nobody is named Xigbar and he has a nebulous control over space. There are some other apprentices I didn’t really mention in Birth by Sleep to save time. Specifically: A kid named Ienzo became an illusion powered Nobody named Zexion, a guy named Aeleus became an earth powered Nobody named Lexaeus, a guy named Dilan became a wind powered Nobody named Xaldin, and a guy named Even becomes Vexen, with ice powers and he can create sentient clones called replicas.
In fact, the 14th member I mentioned, Xion, is one of those replicas. Neither Roxas nor Xion know that, though. They also don’t know that she is made to absorb Sora’s memories by siphoning them through Roxas, Sora’s nobody. Somewhat related, her appearance changes based on the observer to variations of different people connected to Sora.
After another week or so, half of the organization, Zexion, Lexaeus, Vexen, Larxene, and Marluxia, are sent off to Castle Oblivion, the name the Land of Departure was given after Aqua turned it into a labyrinth. This is where 358/2 overlaps with Chain of Memories, so let’s talk about that game for a bit.
Chain of Memories
So let’s check back in on our boy, Sora. While chasing after Pluto in the liminal space between Light and Dark, Sora sees a mysterious figure in a black cloak in between a crossroads and it lures him towards Castle Oblivion. The figure, Marluxia, is one of a few Org members here. Marluxia explains in this place to “find is to lose, and to lose is to find” as Sora begins to forget some memories and gain other ones. Also, this game is card based so he gets different cards for each world he turns floors into, as he “revisits” projections of worlds from KH1 and doesn’t remember them. Jiminy’s Journal is also now blank, which makes them forgetting stuff worse.
These rooms based on the cards are fake, but Sora’s memories are actually being removed and replaced by a girl named Namine who is a very special Nobody who has powers over Sora’s memories and the memories of people connected to Sora. She’s the Nobody of Kairi but she’s ALSO a special case because Kairi is a Princess of Heart and couldn’t have a Heartless to begin with. This is why she’s so connected to Sora as well, because it came from his body when he poked himself that one time. She’s blonde, wears a white dress, and draws a lot. Namine is changing Sora’s memories to replace the memory of Kairi with herself. This even includes Sora thinking the Wayfinder came from Namine. Namine isn’t doing this to be evil though! She’s being made to do this by the members of Organization 13 that are in the castle, Marluxia being the one in charge. They’re trying to manipulate Sora into protecting Namine so much that he does whatever the Org wants him to do.
As Sora traverses the castle he meets a few members of Organization 13 and fights them as they say vague and confusing stuff to lure Sora into their trap. First he faces Axel, and then Larxene.
Riku also enters Castle Oblivion, but he and Sora never cross paths. Remember, Castle Oblivion is a maze where you can’t find anything. Riku fights Vexen once and Vexen collected data from the fight to create a replica of Riku. Vexen is a scientist here working on The Replica Program. This Replica Riku, who we will refer to as Repliku for convenience, fights Riku but loses and as a result, is given false memories from Namine and genuinely believes he’s the real Riku and that he grew up with Namine on the islands. This causes trouble for Sora. Repliku and Sora both have the same memory of swearing to protect Namine if a shooting star came down towards Destiny Islands when they were kids. Sora fights Axel, Larxene, Vexen, and Repliku a few times each between Disney worlds as his memories change.
Meanwhile, Riku is led by a figure of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness but this this isn’t really him, he’ll reveal himself in a bit. Riku also is visited by a light projection of Mickey Mouse, who can’t actually come here yet but can talk to him. He tells him to believe in the light, and he’ll come and help soon. Riku is tempted to use the darkness and smells the darkness a lot too. Riku meets and fights Lexaeus and Zexion, and eventually Riku dips into the darkness and defeats Lexaeus.
Marluxia, Axel, and Larxene all dunk on Vexen for the Replica of Riku not doing anything in the plan to capture Sora. This only makes Vexen upset and charges in to defeat Sora out of spite to ruin Marluxia’s plan to use Sora, but Marluxia says he can’t beat Sora even if he tries. Axel says if he does happens to defeat Sora that would go against the Org’s big plan, so Marluxia reminds Axel he is to eliminate any traitors.
Sora is then given a card by Vexen for a world from “the other side of his heart.” It’s for Twilight Town, and this is referring to Roxas, his Nobody. Twilight Town is where Roxas spends a lot of his time working for the Org. While there, Sora confronts Vexen who says he remembers this place because the other side of his heart has been here, and the rest Sora has seen is fake like his Riku. Sora doesn’t get it at all, but they fight. Vexen says he’ll end up Marluxia’s pawn. However, Axel is the one who finishes Vexen off, per Marluxia’s order.
Or at least, using Marluxia’s order as a cover for the act. Axel is actually acting with his own motives to overthrow the Org with Saix – the Nobody of Isa. This isn’t super clear in this game, but does motivate his actions, mainly one later. After taking out Vexen, Larxene says this was to test Axel, and says taking over the Org will be easy as a group of three because surprise, Marluxia and Larxene are also in cahoots together to overthrow the Org. If they would just unionize, this would be a lot easier. However, Marluxia wants Sora to finally meet Namine, so they make a Destiny Island world for this to happen. However, Axel isn’t really going along with the other two and lets Namine get free to get Sora out of this trap.
In the Destiny Islands memory world, Sora sees a fake memory of Namine, but the real Namine fixes things so he sees Kairi. Outside of the world Namine tries to explain things but is cut off by Repliku. Repliku and Sora fight and Sora is losing before Namine, fully in control of Repliku’s brain, makes him stop and shut down entirely. Sora thinks this is the real Riku who appears dead as shit, but Larxene comes in to explain it wasn’t, everything is fake, and their plan was ruined by Axel. Sora is confused but still deeply cares for Namine even after knowing the memories were fake, and defeats Larxene and she is dead now.
Marluxia confronts Axel, but Axel says he’s gotta eliminate the traitors to the Org after all. They almost fight but Sora runs in and Marluxia says Axel will harm Namine so Sora fights Axel. Sora wins, Axel says Sora was “worth saving” and leaves, alive.
Sora goes after Marluxia, who tries to get Namine to erase Sora’s memory but she won’t. Sora says go ahead, he doesn’t want anything to happen to her. Marluxia says he’d be useless like the fake Riku, but then Repliku comes back, determined to keep his promise even if it was fake. Marluxia is upset, summons his scythe, and they fight. Sora wins, but the real Marluxia fight is behind a door and Marluxia fights with a big grey angel that holds his scythe. Sora wins, and Marluxia is a goner.
Afterwards, Sora talks to Repliku, who has accepted his existence is an imitation. Sora says he’s still his own person because he does in fact exists. Repliku just leaves. Donald asks if Namine can fix Sora’s memory, and she says yes – forgetting memories doesn’t mean they’re gone. She didn’t delete anything, just rearrange pieces into a new chain. After she fixes it, Sora will forget everything in this castle, even her. Sora says he wants to go back. Jiminy writes “Thank Namine” in his journal so they can remember to see her later. They go to sleep in some big pods. Sora promises to be real friends later, and he won’t really forget because the link will be somewhere in there. Namine says there’s another promise Sora made that will be key in remembering everything, and he has to remember Kairi for everything to come back. He does, and goes to sleep.
Riku is still in the castle, and Zexion tries to defeat Riku in a projection of Destiny Islands, disguising himself as Sora, but Riku wins. Zexion escapes, but Axel has recruited Repliku and turned his spite around, now motivated to beat the real Riku and become his own person. Axel has him finish of Zexion and absorb his power. At this point, Axel is the only Organization member walking away from Castle Oblivion alive.
The real Mickey Mouse is here now and greets Riku. Mickey gives him a card that appeared to him in the darkness on his way here, and the card is of Twilight Town. Here Riku is alone, and fights the image of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. Riku however can tell this isn’t the real Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. This is where the figure reveals he is actually a man called DiZ, who has his face covered.
It is revealed in a later game that DiZ is hiding his true identity of being Ansem the Wise. He has a deep vendetta because of what Xehanort did with his research and takes it out on every Nobody he can, believing they should not exist. DiZ tells Riku to seek out Namine. Before Riku finds her, he fights Repliku one last time. Repliku just wants to be his own person and not empty. However, the real Riku wins and Repliku drifts into darkness.
Riku continues into the Mansion in Twilight Town, and meets Namine. This is the sleepy pod room and Riku sees Sora and is concerned but it’s okay. This is a projection of the inside of the real Mansion, because the sleepy pod was moved here to be safe from the Organization. Namine gives Riku the choice to also have his memory rearranged to seal the darkness away, but Riku decides to retain what he’s done here and face the darkness – Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
Outside Riku sees Mickey and DiZ again. Mickey feels like he knows DiZ, but DiZ won’t say anything about who he is. He gives Mickey and Riku each a black cloak to make it so they can’t be devoured by darkness or tracked. DiZ gives him the last card to draw out the darkest part of his heart. Riku faces Ansem alone, and wins.
After this, Mickey and Riku leave wearing their cloaks. DiZ stops them one last time and asks Riku if he will walk the road of light or dark but Riku says neither suit him. He’ll walk between, on the road to dawn.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy are going to be asleep in that pod for a full year, but meanwhile, the remaining Organization members have their plans still moving.
358/2 Days (Part 2)
As you learned, every Organization member except Axel dies at Castle Oblivion and that’s kinda fucked up for Roxas. While his mission partner Axel is off doing Castle Oblivion things, Roxas is partnered up with Xion. They become friends, and the two of them start eating ice cream on the clock tower, too.
Because of their respective connections to Sora, with Roxas being his nobody and Xion absorbing his memories through Roxas, they can each wield a keyblade. The organization is stoked about this, because the keyblade can free heartless’s hearts, and the organization’s goal is to release enough heartless hearts to form a makeshift Kingdom Hearts in their home base, the World that Never Was. Once they do, they plan to use its power to make themselves whole people again.
Way later we’ll find that at least Xemnas and Xigbar have a different, ulterior motive for this, but don’t worry about it now.
They keep sending Roxas and Xion off to defeat heartless so they can gather up the hearts. Axel comes back after the events of CoM, and now the three of them start eating sea salt ice cream on the clocktower after missions. They all become friends, but Axel is a little creeped out by Xion because he knows she’s a replica.
Saix starts to get really jealous that his would-be-co-conspirator, Axel, is hanging out with Roxas and Xion more and more. As a result Saix and Axel grow distant, and give up on their overthrow plans. In my opinion Saix’s actions totally read as romantic jealousy.
Roxas starts having memory flashes of Sora’s life, and he tries to investigate but no one answers his questions. This is a result of Sora’s memories being rearranged by Namine, and because those memories are being siphoned through Roxas to Xion. Meanwhile, Riku is working with DiZ to try and get all of Sora’s memories back. The two find out about Xion, and realize that Sora isn’t going to wake up unless he regains the memories that Xion has siphoned off. Riku and Xion meet, and Riku requests that Xion return with him and fuse with Sora, returning his memories. She does not. She goes AWOL for a bit trying to figure shit out. Saix and Xemnas assign Axel and Xigbar to get her back, dead or alive, seeing her as a threat to their plans if she isn’t loyal.
This, understandably, puts a strain on Axel, Roxas, and Xion’s friendship. Axel wants to bring back Xion so things can be like they were before, Xion is contemplating returning to Sora, and Roxas doesn’t know what the FUCK is going on.
Axel captures Xion and brings her back to Xemnas, who messes with her mind, since she’s a replica. This causes her to briefly look like Sora, turn into a big monster, and try to absorb Roxas, making the two of them too strong to ever get Sora’s memories out. This would mean Sora would never wake up. Roxas defeats the Xion monster, and she turns back into her normal self briefly and has a moment of lucidity in his arms. She tells him to stop Xemnas’s plan by setting their artificial Kingdom Hearts free. Then she fades out of existence, the closest thing Kingdom Hearts has to character death.
Because she was a replica made of memories, once she fades away, everyone’s memories of her start to fade, too. Roxas rushes to free Kingdom Hearts before he forgets her, but encounters Riku along the way. Riku calls Roxas out on having no idea how the fuck to actually set Kingdom Hearts free and asks Roxas to go with him to rejoin with Sora so Sora can do it. Roxas refuses, insisting that he is his own person and so was Xion, whose name he now has a real tough time remembering.
The two fight, and Roxas seems to be winning when Riku resorts to using the darkness in his heart to defeat Roxas. This changes Riku’s appearance, making him look like Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, who was the darkness in his heart for so long.
Everyone forgets Xion, and Riku takes Roxas to DiZ, who begins the process of transferring Sora’s memories from Roxas back to Sora. He does this by placing Roxas in a digital version of Twilight Town and giving Roxas false memories of a nice life in a nice little town. After a week, Sora’s memories in Roxas will all be sent back to Sora.
Kingdom Hearts 2
Roxas wakes up and is excited to enjoy the last 7 days of his summer vacation! Having forgotten everything of his life with the Organization, he just enjoys being a kid with his friends, Hayner, Pence, and Olette. However, every waking moment of his life is torture because he is in a simulation of Twilight Town created by DiZ. He goes about his life normally but keeps having dreams about Sora because as Sora gets his memories back, Roxas is feeling things too.
DiZ is being assisted by Riku who has begun posing as Ansem Seeker of Darkness now that he has been partially taken over by the darkness and looks like Ansem. DiZ knows better and finds it funny. Roxas tries to go to the beach once and raises money to do it, but Riku takes Roxas’ money because there’s no beach in data Twilight Town. Riku also asks if he can “feel Sora.”
Some low level Nobodies get into the data world and Roxas chases after them, and is able to summon the Keyblade, unsure what it is or why. Nothing really fases him. The next time some nobodies attack, he hears Namine’s voice telling him to use the Keyblade. When he tries, he finds himself on a stained glass circle of Sora, and fights a very large Nobody. After defeated, he starts to fall into the darkness but is saved by Namine who asks if he remembers his true name. Riku stops this, and Roxas goes back to the town square.
Roxas and Hayner enter a tournament for a game called Struggle. Roxas fights Seifer from FF8 who has been bullying him this whole game. During a match, time stops and he’s also confronted by Axel who is trying to bring him back to the Organization after the events of 358/2 Days, knowing Roxas had his memories wiped. DiZ stops this and boots Axel out of the world for now. Roxas also screams a lot in existential horror.
After the game he gets a trophy with 4 gems on it, and he shares it with his friends on the clock tower. Each of his friends gets one and they hold them up to the sun, but when Roxas stands up, he slips and falls off the clock tower. While he falls, we switch scenes to see Kairi on the mainland part of Destiny Islands. She talks to her friends about the boys she misses, Riku and someone else. The friend doesn’t remember anyone else. Kairi is sure there is someone, but we know people don’t remember Sora because of Namine changing memories around.
While falling, Roxas’ heart reaches out to Namine’s but instead, he gets Kairi thinking of Sora. She says she’s Kairi, and Roxas recognizes that name as “the girl he likes” and Kairi says who? He says Roxas, but she wants to know the boys name. We then hear Sora’s voice enter this heart skype call and pick on Kairi for not remembering him. Kairi wakes up and runs to the shore, and puts a letter in a bottle sure it’ll get to him.
Axel is ordered to just eliminate Roxas but by now you know how sad this whole thing is. Roxas investigates the mansion and ends up communicating with Namine and seeing a vision of her room. She mentions he and Axel were best friends, and also explains how she’s working on Sora’s memories and that’s why he has dreams. Sora can’t be whole without Roxas. She isn’t sure why she has her powers and if there’s a good way to use it. She says he was never supposed to exist but he doesn’t know what this means.
Roxas’ dreams of Sora’s memories returning stop at him arriving as Castle Oblivion. He also remembers some things from the Organization in this dream, including his last fight with Riku. When he wakes up, the world seems to exist without him. No one sees him and they walk thru him. Axel shows up and Roxas says their best friends. Axel seems really excited he’s gonna come back but Axel says “whats our boss’ name?” and realizes Roxas doesn’t remember. DiZ stops time again and sends Roxas to the mansion.
At the Mansion, Roxas talks to Namine again asking what will happen to him now. She can’t answer because DiZ is an asshole to them both. Namine assures he won’t disappear. She says they’ll meet again, even if they don’t know it’s each other. Deeper in the mansion, Roxas has to fight Axel and summons two keyblades. Roxas wins, but Axel is still alive. Roxas continues into the mansion and gets to Sora’s sleepy pod. DiZ is an asshole to him for a while, telling him to share his anger with Sora. Roxas insists his heart belongs to him, but then the pod opens, and Roxas’ summer vacation is over.
Our boy Sora has come home, and he has outgrown his clothes! The Goof Troupe are confused why the journal just says “Thank Namine” and don’t know where they are, but they’re happy to be together! They walk around town, meet Hayner, Pence, and Olette, and Sora is unsure why it feels familiar. They’re also met by King Mickey still in his black cloak, and he gives Sora the Money Pouch stolen from Roxas and it also has the blue gem Roxas had from the trophy. I promise these tiny details matter later, I’m so sorry. Sora assumes if they saw Mickey, Riku should be findable too so that’s Sora’s goal now.
Mickey says take the weird purple train and they do. Hayner, Pence, and Olette see them off and Olette notices the money pouch is the same she has. They leave. We see Riku with Axel and Namine, supposed to finish them off for DiZ, but he lets them leave.
The train takes Goof Troupe to Yen Sid’s tower. It’s weird that Donald and Goofy don’t recognize it, but regardless they’re stopped by Pete out front, who works for Maleficent. She is coming back but Sora isn’t worried because he beat her in the last game. Or two games ago. No wait, three games ago.
Up in the tower they meet Yen Sid who explains Nobodies and Organization 13 to the Goof Troupe. He also tells Sora to open keyholes to travel between worlds because he closed them all in KH1. He also needs new clothes and the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty make him some new belts that can transform. Now it’s time for Sora to go to Disney worlds and look for his friends and fight baddies right? Well, they stop at Hollow Bastion first.
Sora reconnects with Leon, Yuffie, and the rest of the gang as they try and rebuild their old home. At some point in Hollow Bastion, the heartless try and get Winnie The Pooh’s book from Merlin’s house and Sora stops it, but the book is torn up. He’ll find the missing pages over the rest of the game and reconnect with his friends in the 100 Acre Wood. Also on this first visit, Sora is confronted by the remaining members of Organization 13. They all laugh at him and leave, but Xigbar stays behind to taunt Sora and say “oopsy daisy” and “as if” and refer to Roxas giving him the same look before he left the Org. He leaves, and then Sora unlocks a keyhole which lets him go to more worlds.
He reconnects with Beast at his Castle, helps Mushu and Mulan save China or something, and goes to Hell because Hercules was too busy. He also meets Demyx in hell, who tells Roxas to come back. Sora also visits Disney Castle and helps Minnie out, only to see Maleficent is back and trying to take this castle for her own. Minnie says to get Merlin to help with this darkness, they do and he makes a door to the past version of this world saying something is happening there. Sora goes back and stops Pete in the Past and it’s fine.
At some point, Axel shows up on Destiny Islands from a darkness portal to kidnap Kairi to lure and trap Sora so he can get Roxas back. When Axel came from The World That Never Was, for some reason Pluto was there and followed through. It doesn’t really work because Riku makes a darkness portal that Kairi runs into, or rather she follows Pluto into it and she ends up at Twilight Town meeting Hayner and the gang.
Sora also revisits Atlantica, Halloweentown, Agrabah, meets Simba again in Pride Lands, and goes to Port Royal for the first time and makes friends with Jack Sparrow. After this he goes to Twilight Town and runs into Saix. He says he’s looking for Axel and the Goof Troupe mercilessly dunk on Saix who completely deserves it. Saix leave, and Seifer gives Goofy the trophy from the Struggle game saying it goes to the strongest person in town. Pence runs up and asks if Sora knows a Kairi, and he of course does. By the time Sora is back, Kairi has been kidnapped for real this time by Axel. Sora yells about saving Kairi, scaring Goofy and he drops the trophy and the gems roll to Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Sora picks up the fourth one and holds it up to the sun like Roxas did. Goofy remembers the one from the money pouch and holds it up to the sun as well. This is weird because there should only be four made in this world, but it’ll come up later, again, I’m so sorry. Sora leaves for now.
Next, Sora goes back to Hollow Bastion and sees Cloud again, who is angsty about Sephiroth. Aerith is here and tells him she’s cheering for him. Sora also meets Yuna, Rikku, and Payne from FFX-2 but they’re tiny fairies working for Maleficent. They’re not important but they show up a few times. Sora helps the Leon and Friends find Ansem The Wise’s old computer in the old Hollow Bastion castle and they accidentally go inside of it because Stitch, from Lilo and, shows up and makes Donald mad so he hits some keys. Inside, the Goof Troupe befriend Tron, or technically a program based on Tron. This whole world is a copy of the original one that Ansem made. Sora needs a password and when he comes out to get it, finds some writing behind a painting that says Door to Darkness and then King Mickey is here, introducing himself by saying “Say Fellas, did somebody mention the door to darkness?”
Sora finds out the password is the names of the seven princesses, because that opens the DTD, and helps Tron and gets the town’s defense system back up and running. Outside Sora learns that Ansem Seeker of Darkness was the heartless of Xehanort, and Mickey is looking for the real Ansem, the Wise. Goofy connects the dots that there’s a Nobody too, and Mickey confirms that’s Xemnas leading the Organization. Sora asks Mickey where Riku is but he can’t tell him anything. Sora mentions Kairi is kidnapped and Mickey says he’s gonna help Goof Troupe now. He doesn’t really because now the world is under attack. Maleficent is here sending heartless after Sora, and Nobodies are here too.
Outside Sora sees the Yuna, Rikku, and Payne again, and he meets Sephiroth. Mickey tells Sora to leave but he doesn’t. He ends up fighting and completely defeating Demyx.
We see Xemnas go deeper into the computer room into a weird chamber called the Chamber of Repose that’s deep, deep in the castle to talk to Aqua’s armor which is still there from when it was used to save Terra in Birth by Sleep. Xemnas wants to know where Ventus is.
After this, Mickey comes over to Sora and while talking a boulder flies at them and Goofy pushes Mickey out of the way, and this kills Goofy. We will now honor him with the following moment of silence.
Mickey says “they’ll pay for this” and charges off to fight heartless. Sora and Donald do as well. After fighting more heartless, Sora is rejoined by Goofy who is back, it’s fine. They see Xemnas above the ravine and Mickey remembers the name Xehanort for the young apprentice. Mickey runs after him, and Sora fights 1000 heartless. After that, they catch up with Mickey and Xemnas. Sora asks where Kairi and Riku is and he says he doesn’t know Kairi but for Riku, ask Mickey. He leaves in a dark portal and Mickey follows. Back to nothing.
Axel arrives and says Sora’s in their trap. They’re collecting hearts that the keyblade releases from heartless to make their own Kingdom Hearts. Sora asks where Kairi is and Axel says he’s sorry. Yeah okay bud. Saix shows up and Axel runs away. Sora asks for Kairi back and begs on his knees but Saix says no. He tells him to direct his anger at the heartless because that’s what they want him for. Maleficent shows up and helps Sora get away. She makes sure he knows they’re not on the same side. Sora is in a weird realm after this, and they find a blue box with two things inside: a sea salt ice cream, and a picture of Hayner, Pence, Olette, and Roxas, taken from the data Twilight Town. He isn’t sure why he knows Roxas’ name but he does. This box was put here by Riku. Sora unlocks a keyhole and leaves. Sora doesn’t know what to do without the keyblade but Goofy assures him it’s better to stop the heartless than not.
Sora revisits some Disney worlds now. In Mulan’s world, he runs into a cloaked figure he thinks is Riku and he’s right! He tries to follow and ends up chasing a different cloaked figure who ends up being Xigbar and fights a big dragon heartless and leaves. He fights Xaldin at Beast’s Castle and finishes him off. Luxord, the worst member, is in Port Royal, the Pirates of the Caribbean world, and Sora fights him but Luxord lives on. Sora revisits other worlds, including the Colosseum which gets destroyed by the Hydra but y’know, maybe it’s okay. Sora even gives Tron another visit and helps him defeat and replace the MCP. After Tron does this he puts some big sparklers up in the sky or something and everyone remembers this place was called Radiant Garden once.
Sora goes back to Twilight Town, and at the Mansion sees Hayner and the gang got beat up by Nobodies. They were looking for Kairi. The kids propose there’s an alternate Twilight Town because the money pouch was made by Olette and there’s only one, and the crystals there should only be one as well. Sora doesn’t follow, but maybe Kairi is there. More Nobodies attack but Mickey comes in to help!
They go into the mansion and find the portal into the data twilight town. They find a portal to the dark realm here and find a realm in between the dark and light realms, a weird sort of grey hallway hyperbolic time chamber. Sora fights a lot of heartless here. He’s getting outnumbered but Axel comes in to help and ends up fighting so hard he ends up fading away. He tells Sora he’s sorry and to go and save Kairi from the Organization. Sora asks why he did it, and Axel says he just wanted to see Roxas again. Roxas made him feel like he had a heart, and Sora kinda does too. He says Kairi is in the castle dungeon and fades away. Sora follows this portal to the Organization’s world, The World That Never Was. Mickey is here for a second but runs ahead.
Once there, Roxas in Sora’s heart is getting restless after seeing Axel fade away and Sora fights Roxas inside his heart, but Sora wins and is sad as a result.
Goof Troupe walk to a dead end across from the castle. Sora points his keyblade out and a light shoots from it making a bridge to the castle. Saix comes to see Kairi in a cell in the castle and he says she’s just bait for Sora. A dark portal appears in her cell and it’s Namine, here to save her! They’re running outside and stopped by Saix again, but Riku shows up and saves them. Namine calls him by name and Kairi wants to see his face but he still looks like Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
Sora is in a big hall and Saix appears and taunts him about Kairi and tells him to look up, and through a window you can see a big heart shaped moon forming, the Kingdom Hearts Xemnas has been trying to make. Saix summons more heartless to fight, and he’s unsure, but Kairi runs in on a higher level of the room. Sora is attacked by heartless and she dives down to help and is still above him, but is also attacked. Riku saves her and also gives her a Keyblade that he got from, uhhhhh, anyways, they all fight heartless. Saix sees Maleficent and Pete here and leaves, she wants to take the castle for herself.
We see Mickey outside save DiZ who finally reveals he’s Ansem the Wise. He has a big dumb looking gun with him, he’ll use it soon.
Back inside, Sora fights Xigbar and wins. He heads up stairs, and finally reconnects with Kairi after so long. Riku tries to leave but Sora calls him Ansem, but thanks him for helping Kairi. She stops him from leaving and calls him Riku. Riku tries to leave saying he’s no-one but Kairi makes them touch hands and Sora’s heart recognizes Riku’s and he cries after being with his friends again. Sora says he’s still Riku, no matter what.
Ansem the Wise sets up his dumb gun to shoot the moon and turn Kingdom Hearts into data. The one upside to doing these games in chronological order is that is actually par for the course now.
Sora keeps travelling up the Castle and finally defeats Luxord and Saix before reaching the top. He gets to where Ansem the Wise is, and his dumb gun is about to explode because why did he think this would work. More like Ansem The Fool. Ansem says its up to Sora now and apologizes to Roxas even though he’s only making things worse still. Xemnas appears to dunk on Ansem with us. The gun explodes in a bright flash and when it disappears, Ansem is gone, and Riku is back to normal again. He throws off his cloak and they continue to to face Xemnas once and for all.
They do that. They fight him a bunch and win, and after they think they’ve won, Riku tries to open a dark portal to leave but can’t anymore. But Namine does for them. Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto run in first. Kairi and Sora talk to Namine, and Namine starts talking to Roxas. They’re happy to see each other again, and they see each other how they remember each other. They’re together whenever Sora and Kairi are together.
Kairi leaves in the portal, but before Sora and Riku do it closes and the castle starts to fall. A big nobody dragon attacks them and they fight it on a flying nobody jet thing. I don’t know. They fight it, and on its head is a big suit of armor, and after they beat another phase of the fight there’s a big white flash and they’re in a purely white dimension fighting Xemnas one final time, and they win. After Riku is exhausted and Sora carries him over his shoulder and they walk towards a light and eventually find themselves walking to the shore of the Dark Margin, a place we’ve seen before.
They sit on the beach for a while, content to be in darkness if they’re together. After a while a bottle washes up on shore and Riku reads it and hands it to Sora. It’s the letter Kairi wrote, and after reading the letter, which includes the sentence, “there are many worlds, but they share one sky, one destiny,” a door of light appears in front of them and Sora and Riku go together. They find themselves in a different body of water, and are back with their friends at Destiny Islands.
Hoo boy, this one. Jiminy is still really sad that the journal from Kingdom Hearts 1 got deleted to only say “Thank Namine.” When he goes to look at it longingly, he sees a message he didn’t write. It says “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” That’s weird, so he asks Mickey for help. Mickey figures that they can upload the book to a computer to see if they can figure it out and maybe even get its contents back. Like how if you delete a file from a hard drive you can sometimes get it back with a recovery tool provided that part on the physical disc hasn’t been overwritten yet.
When they upload the journal they find the contents of KH1’s events, but it’s corrupted by “bugs,” computer glitches that take the form of menacing red and black cubes. They hope that wiping out the bugs will make sense of the mystery message and clear up the KH1 data, so Mickey, Jiminy, Donald, Goofy, Chip, and Dale work with the journal’s digital version of Sora – Data Sora – who can destroy the bugs from the inside. This isn’t the “real” Sora, just his data left over in the journal.
Along the way, Data Sora keeps encountering a black cloaked figure who is enigmatic but mostly helpful. Mickey, Jiminy, Donald, Goofy, Chip, and Dale find themselves sucked into the computer, and encounter the cloaked figure. The figure takes of his hood and looks like Riku. He’s not Riku, though, he’s actually the digital embodiment of the entire journal that picked Riku’s appearance as an avatar. We’ll just call him Data Riku, though, since most people do.
Maleficent and Pete, never missing an opportunity to take over some worlds, stumble into the journal while snooping around Disney Castle. At first, they think these worlds are real, but are still happy to take them over even when they find they’re just data. Pete stuffs Data Riku so full of bugs that Pete can control him, and forces him to fight Data Sora. Data Sora wins and Data Riku is unconscious. The only way to wake him up is to enter into Data Riku’s data and kill all the bugs there. Technically this means Data Sora is diving into a digital copy of the journal from within a digital copy of the journal. Don’t think about it too hard.
There, Data Sora defeats a lot of bugs and rehabilitates Data Riku. Mickey, leaving the journal with his pals, finds out that once the journal reboots it’ll be completely reset, meaning Data Sora won’t remember any of this and Maleficent and Pete will vanish from existence. Even though they suck, Data Sora doesn’t like that and tries to save Maleficent and Pete by sending them out of the journal. His attempt is halted by real Sora’s heartless from KH1, which has been hiding in the data, growing stronger and stronger. Data Sora defeats the heartless and Maleficent and Pete escape.
Maleficent and Pete get thrown into a darkness passage way in the real world, and all this journal world bullshit makes Maleficent remember about the Book of Prophecies from Union χ, that Xehanort told her about. She tells Pete “hey we should go find that.” Presumably, this encourages her to go back in time.
Once the journal is rebooted and wiped, Mickey sees that there is now more data available. Since the journal was wiped, Data Sora doesn’t remember Mickey, but still goes with him when Mickey goes back into the data.
They go to the data of Castle Oblivion, where Roxas’s data teaches Data Sora that even if you forget someone, the sadness inherent in the forgetting doesn’t go away. Having learned this lesson, Data Sora and Mickey press on, where they find Data Namine deep within the Castle. She explains a bunch of stuff. First, that the bugs are the result of her fucking with Sora’s memories after the events of Chain of Memories. Second, that she wrote the message about “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” She was referring to Ventus, Terra, and Aqua, who she believes can only be saved by Sora. Third, she reveals Xion’s connection with Sora to Mickey and Data Sora. Data Sora says, “thanks, Namine.”
Mickey leaves the journal and writes Sora a message in a bottle explaining Ventus, Terra, Aqua, Roxas, and Xion.
Blank Points (Part 2)
Aqua, in the realm of darkness, gets to the beach at the Dark Margin and finds a black cloaked figure of Ansem the Wise sitting there. She’s sad about her friends and Ansem says she reminds him of Sora, who might be able to set everything right. He hid all the data of his research inside of Sora, like a fucking weirdo. Aqua believes in Sora.
In the post credits scene from Kingdom Hearts 2, we see Sora and Riku together on the Paopu Tree, and Kairi runs up with a letter in a bottle and this letter has the King’s mouse stamp on it. At the end of Blank Points, we see that Sora has read that letter from King Mickey and decides to go see him like he asked.
Dream Drop Distance
The epilogue for Re:coded has Yen Sid talking to Mickey. Mickey says they have a lead of where Ventus’ heart might be after all these years, and that just leaves finding Terra. Yen Sid explains that defeating a heartless and a nobody for the same person will allow the original person to come back, meaning Xehanort will return. Mickey insists he can handle it with Sora and Riku but Yen Sid asks how the three of them would fare against more than one of Xehanort. If you haven’t already buckled up, this is the time. Yen Sid says to summon Sora and Riku to take the Mark of Mastery exam.
Now in Dream Drop Distance proper, Sora and Riku are at Yen Sid’s tower to take the Mark of Mastery exam! He tells them the story of the Keyblade War and the x-blade shatter into 7 lights and 13 darknesses, and also that now they have to save the three friends of Mickey’s. They also have to prove themselves to be Keyblade Masters to be prepared for the battle to come but this isn’t what the test is normally like – if you remember Birth by Sleep -but he is giving them a different task for different reasons.
Sora and Riku as tasked with diving into sleeping worlds, which are worlds that were lost to darkness but not restored at the end of Kingdom Hearts 1 for some reason, leaving them in a weird limbo. The worlds are also “dreaming” which is to say if you go into a world while it’s asleep, you’re actually seeing its dream which is a constant loop of the events that had happened there before falling to darkness. A world’s dream can include people who left the world, too. Yen Sid tasks them with unlocking 7 Sleeping Keyholes to bring the worlds back and master new powers, most notably the power to awaken a sleeping heart. Yen Sid sends them back to Destiny Islands right before it fell to darkness, which for some reason counts as a sleeping keyhole even though this world came back. This should lead them to the sleeping worlds and their goal. They’re also told about dream eaters and how to use them in these worlds.
However, this immediately goes wrong. Xehanort planned for this and the brown robed figure, the heart of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness is here, and marks Sora with a sigil that allows him to be tracked, a big X, called the Recusant’s Sigil. There’s a big X on his clothes. Xehanort can track things with this sigil, which is why Organization members have Xs in their names – yes, really. Sensing Sora being in danger, Riku, without knowing, dives into Sora’s dreams becoming a dream eater himself and experiences things differently than Sora.
How was Ansem’s heart there at that exact moment in time though? Remember when I explained time travel in Union χ? Well, Dream Drop Distance is what introduced time travel to this series and it’s all over this game. Let me add onto that definition of time travel as well: to time travel, you must separate your body from your heart and you can return to places and times you were at. Additionally, when that disembodied heart makes contact with a past version of its body, it can move that body through time. To use the plot of this game as an example, the disembodied heart of Xehanort, which is also Ansem’s heart from Kingdom Hearts 1, travels back to a much younger Xehanort and moves him forward to be present in Dream Drop Distance. I hope you’re following. The moved bodies can’t travel themselves without the heart’s help, and when they return to their own time, they won’t remember what they experienced while traveling.
So, all this to say, Xehanort’s heart, the heart of Ansem, represented by the brown robe, appeared in the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 1 specifically so it could be in this sleeping world right now and set up a trap for Sora. This isn’t the most absurd thing I’m going to tell you about this game.
Sora goes through the sleeping worlds and Riku goes through Sora’s dreams, thinking he’s also in the sleeping worlds, and they’re each visited by the aforementioned Young Master Xehanort. They don’t know who he is, and he’s joined by some nice folks. When visiting Sora, Young Xehanort is joined by Xemnas, and when visiting Riku, he is joined by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. These characters were defeated, but brought forward in time by the disembodied heart. Uh huh. It gets worse.
In between worlds, we see the members of Organization 13 start to wake up as real people again in the computer room of Ansem the Wise where they turned into heartless, now reformed just like Yen Sid said happens. The secret movie after re:coded shows Young Master Xehanort wake up Braig first and pick someone to join them as they leave, and that person is Isa, or Saix.
The next we see of this room is Lea, formally Axel wake up. He notices Isa isn’t here, nor Xehanort or Braig. He talks to Ienzo about the other apprentices who went missing but they should be here since this world is available for them. If it wasn’t they’d be in Traverse Town. Dilan, Aeleus, Even, and Ienzo are accounted for. The others didn’t disappear here.
Also, Maleficent still fights to be relevant by kidnapping Minnie. She sends a raven to tell Mickey and he, Donald, and Goofy return to Disney Castle to save her. Maleficent expresses her desire to use the data of the worlds for her own gain. Lea swoops in to save Minnie and Maleficent leaves for now. He also tells Yen Sid he wants to use a keyblade and join their side and Donald says fuck no he’s not gonna do that. But he’s gonna do that. Mickey and Yen Sid piece together that Xehanort could’ve been on Destiny Islands to the time Yen Sid sent Sora and Riku and Mickey is going after to help them.
So after sealing all these keyholes, Xehanort’s trap comes into fruition, where Sora should be back in the realm of light but is in The World That Never Was instead. He’s stopped by Xigbar, and it’s implied after waking up turns into a nobody again willfully and I’ll explain why in a second. First, Sora is knocked unconscious.
Riku is now in The World That Never Was as well. He runs through the castle and find Sora sleeping. In Sora’s dream, he sees Young Master Xehanort explain being talked to by a future version of himself and setting all this up to work. Sora ends up alone in his dream, and sees several people who are connected to his heart, and some actually in there. Namine, Xion (who he doesn’t recognize), and Roxas. Outside, Riku defeats a dark enemy guarding Sora and goes into his dream. Inside, he’s talked to by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, who tells him he’s in a dream in a dream because he went into Sora’s dream twice.
Sora, in his bad dream, sees visions of Riku and Kairi that change into Terra and Aqua, as his own body looks like Ventus briefly. At this point he sees a quick memory of when he met Aqua as a very young boy, but Ansem Seeker of Darkness knocks him awake, a layer up so to speak, and he’s with Xigbar again. Sora explains that he felt with Roxas felt, and he knows that Nobodies did get hearts back with time. Xemnas shows up and explains this is very true. Sora asked why he lied to the Organization and Nobodies and Xiggy explains the Organization was formed specifically to collect people worthy of being vessels for Xehanort.
Let me explain.
Xehanort’s goal is to fill the ranks of what can be called the Real Organization 13, and this Organization is filled with 13 Xehanorts. Yes, really. He wanted to hook these beings without hearts up to Kingdom Hearts, the one Xemnas was making, and use that to fill each vessel with the same heart and mind of Xehanort. And now, we have an organization with his old self, his young self, his heartless, his nobody, maybe more? But this task is only doable by finding vessels, beings without hearts, that he can fill with his own. Xigbar went back to being a nobody so he could be a vessel, and makes it clear to Sora, he’s already half Xehanort. Sora fights Xemnas here, and gets so tuckered out that Young Master Xehanort is able to take him in to be the final vessel.
Meanwhile, Riku is fighting with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. He repeats what Terra told him before, “Strength, to protect what matters.” Riku continues looking for Sora and reaches the Round Room eventually. Riku is stopped by Young Xehanort who explains the plot to him too, Mickey Mouse joins in to help but Riku fights Young Xehanort alone. After this, he and Mickey see Old Master Xehanort come back and explain his actions up to this point, saying his attempt to make the X-blade was rash and not the ideal way to get what he wants. The clashing of thirteen darkness and seven lights is inevitable and will give him what he wants – the X-Blade. He’s about to fill Sora with his heart and unite the 13 Darknesses, but Lea rushes in and saves Sora. He’s attacked by Isa, Mickey and Riku deal with Ansem and Xemnas, Donald and Goofy drop in.
Old Master Xehanort says their time is out for now, and they’ll see each other again at the fated place, the Keyblade Graveyard.
Back at Yen Sid’s tower, Sora is asleep. Riku was able to gain the power to gain the power to awaken Sora’s heart, but only Sora. Sora’s heart is currently in the deepest darkness. Riku goes in but Sora’s heart is protected by a phantom of Ventus’ keyblade armor. After shattering this armor Sora drifts down into darkness but Riku follows in to the deepest depths of Sora’s heart, and it looks like Destiny Islands.
Once there, he talks to three people. Roxas, Ventus, and Xion. He thinks Ventus is Roxas and doesn’t remember Xion, but nonetheless. After telling them what’s important to him, a bottle washes up on shore. He is told by Ansem the Wise, who put himself and his data here. The bottle is that data and Riku takes it. Sora’s heart is strong, so strong that he regained himself without destroying his nobody. Because of this, he might be able to recover all the other lost hearts. Ansem the Wise says Sora is awake now, and Riku goes back to greet them.
Now that Sora is okay, Yen Sid addresses the exam. He’s glad they’re okay, but in the end, only one showed the mark of mastery and this is Riku. He is now a keyblade master. Lea says he’ll be right behind him, and summons his keyblade. Yen Sid has also begun training for Kairi. Sora goes back to the sleeping worlds to hug all his Dream Eater spirits.
0.2 (Part 3)
Back in Yen Sid’s Tower, Mickey tells Riku and Kairi the story of Aqua being in the Dark Realm and saving Riku, and Riku asks Mickey why he never told him. Yen Sid says he instructed Mickey to keep quiet, otherwise Riku or Sora might attempt to rescue her way before they were ready. Yen Sid believes the time is now, and sends Riku and Mickey off to save Aqua. Yen Sid also instructs Kairi to train under Merlin along with her fellow classmate, Lea. That’s kinda fucked up if you think about all the shit Axel did to Kairi.
Sora gets back from hugging every Dream Eater, Yen Sid instructs Sora to master the art of recovering lost hearts, but he’ll have to start from square one since almost becoming Xehanort means he lost all his abilities. He sends Sora off with Donald and Goofy to Olympus Coliseum to train with Hercules, where Kingdom Hearts 3 will begin.
What people are saying…
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“I spend like 10-15% of every day thinking about motherf*cking kingdom f*cking hearts and all of the questions i have and things i probably missed
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This is just like twin peaks, and i appreciate that one of the hosts also loves twin peaks. Never ever thought i would compare twin peaks and kingdom hearts jfc”
“the hero we need, the hero we deserve. may the ss monkeycheese or whatever fly its way to the safety of all humankind. also this is a great podcast and im rly glad theres been the wealth of GiM canon that we’ve seen develop, including the likes of Billy Zane’s dead career, and the afformentioned jetmonkeyhdgaming. also i was on an episode i guess, which i mention only to maintain ethics in itunes review culture“