Kingdom Hearts is one of the sagas with the most structured narrative of the previous generations of consoles, let's try to figure it out with this summary of the full plot
Note: This is what you are about to read just a summary of the salient events of the extremely structured plot of the Kingdom Hearts saga. The greatest fans will notice some shortcomings towards details that would only risk confusing people who do not know every single game perfectly. In this summary, the plot parts of Union Cross are excluded, as this part of the narrative is not yet concluded. Furthermore, Kingdom Hearts does not live only on the general plot but is based a lot on the sub-plots of the various worlds and in general on the taste of discovering every detail game after game with the right times: this summary cannot and does not want to return these sensations. We specify that there are spoilers about the whole saga. Obviously. That is the sense.
Before we start talking about the actual plot, we need to learn a few terms.
In the world of Kingdom Hearts the living being they are composed of three fundamental elements: body, will (also understood as intellect, in a certain sense) and heart. The heart is mostly linked to the concept of soul and the "source of feelings": it is made up of light and dark. In the event that darkness takes over a heart, it would detach from the body and the darkness contained in it would turn into a Heartless: a dark being driven by evil and pure instinct that can be controlled if one has a mastery of darkness.
Simultaneously with the creation of the Heartless, if the will of the living being is strong enough, a Nobody is generated: a being composed of the body and will remaining after the loss of the heart. Lacking a heart, Nobodies have no feelings.
Furthermore, not only living beings have hearts but also "worlds" (we will see better later): the heart of a world is what keeps it "alive" and to destroy the heart of a world with darkness is to destroy the whole world and condemn all its inhabitants.
The universe is also divided into two realities: kingdom of light, where the adventures of the saga take place, and the realm of darkness, a timeless place full of heartless.
Another important premise is related to some general rules of this saga. To put it very simply, let's say that there is magic but also extremely advanced technology. Both are capable of many things and at times it is necessary to equip oneself with a certain suspension of disbelief: on a couple of occasions this concept is taken to extremes and in such cases this summary will point out the narrative weakness, but often some choices, which here might seem like events thrown in at random, are perfectly inserted in the context and in the game scenes. Be ready to accept some things as they are told to you: it is not possible to contextualize every single fact that we are going to explain.
This dress will be at the center of the saga
Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover
In what we might call a zero point in the saga's chronology, it exists one big world (or rather, all worlds are connected to each other) in which all living beings live. This world is illuminated by the light of Kingdom Hearts or a magical kingdom made up of the hearts of people and worlds.
This kingdom of hearts is protected by the χblade (chi-blade), a legendary weapon that represents the perfect balance between light and dark. Living beings they try to imitate the χblade and create the Keyblades, weapons capable of dispelling darkness and having some control over hearts. There are countless owners of the Keyblade divided into factions.
This world is ruled by a Master and his apprentices. He instructs one of his apprentices to leave and take with him a Keyblade with its own eye set: the student will then have to entrust the Keyblade to a successor instructing him to do the same. In this way the eye will "travel forward in time" and allow it to see into the future. The Master, for this reason, already knows what will happen. The apprentice leaves with the Keyblade and one mysterious black box. While the Master disappears into thin air.
Inevitably a war begins among all Keyblade owners to obtain the power of Kingdom Hearts. War leads to the death of almost all warriors and to the destruction of the whole world, in addition to that of χblade (which is divided into 20 parts: 13 of dark and 7 of light) and the disappearance of Kingdom Hearts. From the light present in the hearts of some children who have been saved however single worlds are born, separate and distant. From this moment on, the various worlds do not know that others exist.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Let's jump forward a few thousand years and find ourselves on one of the many worlds that exist: The islands of destiny. On these islands he lives Xehanort, a young man who knows that other worlds exist and wishes to see them. He then manages to leave and becomes one of the apprentices of Yen Sid, master of the Keyblade. Another apprentice is Eraqus and the two become friends. Xehanort is though obsessed with the legendary history of the Keyblade war and wonders what could happen if worlds were destroyed again. Yes, he is a cheerful type. Obviously it is not possible to think about it in a purely theoretical way, therefore, after becoming a master of the Keyblade, he travels between the worlds to implement his plan. For this he quarrels with Eraqus and the two go away.
Many years later, Xehanort, now an elderly man, finds an apprentice, Ventus. His plan is to make him strong and create a perfect balance between a huge light and a huge darkness in order to generate the χblade. Ventus, however, is unable to manage his two components and Xehanort decides to break the boy's heart by dividing light and darkness. Darkness materializes in a being that the master calls Vanitas. Xehanort pretends to be redeemed and contacts Eraqus again to entrust him with Ventus who is in a semicomatous state: his heart is missing a piece but another heart, of a newborn, shares part of its light to heal him (it will be better understood soon).
Years pass and Ventus, now recovered, has become friend of Aqua and Terra, two apprentices of Eraqus. It's the day of the Keyblade mastery test for Aqua and Terra: Xehanort assists and interferes. Terra is a good-hearted boy but constantly risks giving in to darkness: for this reason he does not pass the exam. Aqua, on the other hand, surpasses it. Suddenly, however, news comes that strange dark beings, the Unversed, have invaded various worlds. At the same time, Xehanort disappears and Terra is sent to investigate. Ventus, pushed by Vanitas, follows him and Aqua is sent to take him home and try to understand what is really going on as Eraqus suspects that the old friend has not really abandoned his plans.
And indeed so it is. After a long journey made by the three young men, Eraqus, realizing their fate, tries to imprison Ventus, but Terra stops him. Using the distraction, Xehanort kills his former friend. Xehanort's plan comes to an end. Ventus, on the journey, has strengthened himself and can now equalize the enormous darkness of Vanitas. The two create the χblade as Xehanort battles Terra. His aim was to make the boy yield to the darkness so that he could take possession of his body and be able to face the next part of the plan with a young body.
Xehanort puts his heart into Terra's and gains control over his body. Aqua, helped by Mickey (Mickey Mouse) Yen Sid's last young apprentice, is saved from the clashes. Ventus, fighting Vanitas within his heart, he destroys the χblade but in so doing the heart is fragmented and enters a comatose state. The body of Ventus is brought by Aqua to their home and, taking the keyblade of the master Eraqus, transforms that world into a labyrinth in which no one can orient themselves but her, called Castle of Oblivion: there she places Ventus and promises him to return. Ventus's heart, meanwhile, is welcomed into the heart of the same one who had helped him years earlier. This person turns out to be a very young Sora.
In order from left to right: Aqua, Terra, Ventus
Meanwhile, Aqua chases Xehanort-Terra to try to save her friend: they find themselves on a world called the Radiant Garden. After a terrible fight, Aqua sinks into the Realm of Darkness on her own. Xehanort-Terra, dying, is saved by Ansem the Wise, enlightened guide of the Radiant Garden. Faking amnesia, he becomes one of his apprentices and begins experimenting on hearts.
Meanwhile Maleficent (the villain from Sleeping Beauty) begins collect the hearts of the princesses of hearts thanks to the power of the Heartless he is able to control. The princesses of hearts are seven young people who have a heart of pure light. Doing it, Maleficent also destroys worlds. This plan, however, had been suggested to her by Xehanort long ago, when the two met in the home world of the evil fairy.
Xehanort-Terra, along with other apprentices of Ansem the Wise, however, yields to obscurity and turns into a Heartless very powerful and able to speak and plan. He decides to be called Ansem, like Ansem the Wise, with the aim of complicating our lives and doing a mega plot twist in the course of the second game. We will call him Eugenio.
With the destruction of worlds a new world is born, The city of Mezzo: a place where those who no longer have a home, but who are not swallowed up by the darkness, find refuge.
In order from left to right: Sora, Kairi, Riku at the start of their adventures
Kingdom Hearts, the first game
About ten years pass and Sora, who even if it doesn't seem like he's the protagonist of the saga, lives happily ever after on the Islands of Destiny with his friend Riku and his friend Kairi. The three want to leave to visit new worlds. Strange. The night before, however, The Isles of Destiny are destroyed by darkness. In the meantime, Kairi's heart leaves her body and takes refuge in Sora's (so at this moment Sora has within him: his heart joined to that of Ventus and that of Kairi). Sora is catapulted to Middle City, while Riku succumbs to the power of darkness and escapes with Kairi's body, to try to save her.
Meanwhile, Donald and Goofy, on the orders of their king, Mickey, set out to look for a Keyblade warrior. Indeed, Mickey he has long understood that something is happening and that worlds are disappearing. Therefore travel to the Realm of Darkness to get a special Keyblade. On the journey he will meet Aqua but will not be able to save her, rather she will sacrifice herself once again to defend a friend and the Kingdom of Light.
Donald and Goofy arrive at Middle Town and find Sora who is able to use the Keyblade. They travel between worlds to find Mickey, Kairi, Riku and lock the worlds locks. The hearts of the worlds are in fact protected by magical locks that can be closed by the Keyblade: closing them means permanently saving the world from darkness. Meanwhile, Riku has allied himself with Maleficent: his aim remains to save Kairi, but he has now completely succumbed to the darkness.
Sora defeats Maleficent, but Riku appears. The boy it is owned by Eugenio: in fact, Eugene's aim was to get Maleficent to do the dirty work. Collect princesses to create Kingdom Hearts. They represent the seven parts of light of the χblade while the thirteen parts of darkness, according to his plans, will arrive in another way (we will see later) and in their balance they can generate Kingdom Hearts. [But we all know this is a giant retcon.] Only Sora saves the princesses. Furthermore, Kairi herself is one of the princesses, therefore it is a being of pure light. This is why when his heart detached from the body, a Heartless was not generated (were you careful?) And therefore a Nobody was generated.
Sora, with the help of Riku trying to fight the darkness within himself, stops Eugenio temporarily. Unfortunately Riku is exiled to the realm of darkness. Sora he realizes, however, that Kairi's heart is inside him, therefore, with a special Keyblade, separate the various hearts from your body. Kairi's heart returns to her body but Sora obviously becomes heartless. Kairi with the magic of light [thing thrown there quite at random, but okay, there is] saves him and makes him human again. (Are you careful? Have you noticed what's missing? We'll be back soon).
Sora then goes to definitively defeat Eugenio. The various worlds destroyed create a place called the End of the World and a minor Kingdom Hearts (yes, there are minor Kingdom Hearts): this KH is composed only of the hearts of the worlds (while the real one is composed of the hearts of the worlds + the hearts of the people). Eugene, in the last resort [happens?], Wants to obtain a huge dark power from the KH of the worlds but a ray of light springs from it and kills him. However, the KH of the worlds is only a passage towards the Realm of Darkness. Riku appears and helps Mickey, who finally found the special Keyblade, close the KH of the worlds by staying in the Realm of Darkness while Sora closes it from the side of the Realm of Light. Worlds are reborn and everyone returned home. Except Sora, Donald and Goofy who set out to find a way to save Mickey and Riku.
Kingdom Hearts Chains of Memories
As you all have surely noticed, I did not mention the Nobody that spawned when Xehanort-Terra and the apprentices became Heartless. Nor about when Sora became a Heartless. Let's talk about it now. Xehanort-Terra spawned a very powerful Nobody who calls himself Xemnas (aka Ansem + X): he gathered the None of the apprentices and also others found around. These are Nobody very different from the basic ones and are able to reason and pretend to have emotions. Together they form Organization XIII. A part of this organization is involved in exploring and investigating inside the Castle of Oblivion, created long ago by Aqua. But they rebel (because yes, the exact reason is not clear apart from the fact that they are bad guys) and start their own personal plan. One part of the rioters wants to transform Sora into a puppet to use for their own purposes while the other wants to do the same with Riku who managed to escape the Kingdom of Darkness thanks to Mickey: Riku finds himself in the basement of the Castle.
Sora & co. instead they find themselves at the gates of the Castle of oblivion. They are pushed to enter and go up floor by floor. The Organization's rebels have Namine on their side. Namine is the Nobody who spawned the moment Kairi's heart left Sora's body: she is therefore a particular Nobody and is endowed with powers over Sora's memories and those who are closely connected to him. Namine is forced to destroy and modify Sora's memories. In the end, however, the boy manages to get the better of the rebel Organization. Namine offers to remedy the mistakes made and to restore the true memories of Sora & co. The process will take a full year.
Meanwhile Riku finds himself having to fight with the remnants of darkness that have survived inside him: Eugenio has not yet completely disappeared. Eventually she manages to defeat him and gain control over the darkness within herself. He decides to keep these powers and use them for good by helping Diz (Darkness in zero). Diz will turn out to be Ansem the wise, survived the destruction of the Radiant Garden. His aim is to take revenge on all the apprentices who have betrayed him.
Top right: Axel, Roxas (also present in the center of the image) and Xion
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days
During this sabbatical year that Sora allows himself, a couple of things happen. To begin with, since you are all very attentive, you will have asked over and over again where the other Nobody from Sora went. Indeed, when Namine was generated, another Nobody was generated starting from the heart of Sora joined to that of Ventus. Roxas was born (Sora + X) which is identical to Ventus.
Roxas joins Organization XIII which aims to collect (human) hearts and create the Kingdom Hearts of hearts (a minor KH, here too) to make them complete again. Since Nobody's don't have a heart.
To generate a KH of hearts it is necessary to fill it with hearts and to do so it is necessary to defeat the Heartless which are darkness born around a heart. But to do it right you need to have a Keyblade. In fact, a normal weapon can temporarily defeat a Heartless but not free a heart: only Keyblades can do it. And here comes Roxas who, being the Nobody generated by some Keyblade warriors, is able to use this weapon. His job becomes to beat the Heartless. He is joined by Xion that, without anyone, she first, knowing it, in reality she is not a real Nobody but simply a being artificially created starting from some data / memories collected on Sora in the Castle of oblivion. Xemnas himself created it. She then uses the Keyblade too. They spend a year beating by-products of darkness, eating icicles on top of a bell tower [feels] and they are both friends of another member of the organization, Axel. The three are not supposed to have feelings, but obviously since they are positive characters they do have them anyway, somehow.
The problem is that the memories that make up Xion prevent Namine from completing Sora's healing process. Riku, who collaborates with Ansem the Wise (Diz) and Namine, tries to get her to come with him. At the end she rebels against Organization XIIIshocked by having discovered her own nature of being artificial. He fights with Roxas with the clear aim of being disintegrated and returns to be part of Sora. Meantime, Roxas also no longer wants to be part of the Organization and decides to challenge Xemnas to take revenge on the entire history of Xion. Riku can't let him as he knows Roxas can't win. Plus Roxas is part of Sora's healing plan. Riku defeats Roxas and takes him with him but only yielding to the darkness and seeing his body changed into that of Eugenio.
Roxas gets stuck in a digital world and lives the last few days in this simulation where he thinks he's just any guy.
Ready to go
Kingdom Hearts 2
Roxas finally rejoins Sora and he wakes up together with Donald and Goofy without having any memory of what happened in the Castle of Oblivion. The three leave for the adventure and travel between worlds. Organization XIII pushes Sora to defeat the Heartless as they have yet to complete KH of Hearts and have lost both Xion and Roxas. Bad shot.
At the end of the journey, Axel, who has left the Organization, kidnaps Kairi, Sora's friend. Axel's aim is to attract Sora so that he can see his friend Roxas inside him. Unfortunately Kairi is stolen from him by another member of the Organization who takes her to their base of operations: The world that does not exist. Sora finds a passage to this realm but is ambushed by the Nobody. Axel arrives at the last second and with a kamikaze shot sacrifices himself to save Sora & co. Sora goes to the Organization's base of operations while, in the meantime, Namine and Riku (Eugenio version) rescue Kairi. Namine becomes part of Kairi again. Sora, Riku and Kairi reunite and Sora is able to see through Eugenio's darkness: Riku regains his real form.
Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas but end up in the Realm of Darkness. However, they manage to escape thanks to the light of Kairi who guides them towards the Kingdom of Light and more specifically towards the islands of destiny.
All forms of Xehanort: in the background, in the center is Xehanort elder. From left to right then we have: Ansem the heartless (Eugenio), Xehanort as a young man, Xehanort-Terra (the fusion) and Xemnas the Nobody
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
Sora and Riku must prepare for the fight to come. In fact, defeating Eugene and Xemnas did more harm than good. Eliminating the Nobody and the respective Heartless leads to the rebirth of the original person from whom they were born. So Xehanort is back with us together with all the other members of the Organization.
Sora and Riku then begin the mastery test to become Keyblade masters. Things go wrong instantly, without anyone noticing. Sora sinks into darkness.
What matters is that in the end Xehanort appears and reveals his entire plan. The old master admits that many years ago, attempting to create the χblade through Ventus, he acted a little too quickly. The real plan, slower but effective, it consisted of finding thirteen, including himself, who could hold a fragment of his heart. That is why his Nobody Xemnas created Organization XIII, to find candidates. These thirteen parts of pure darkness would have to merge with the hearts of pure light of the princesses of the heart in order to generate the χblade and summon the full Kingdom Hearts. Of course not all members of the original Organization were okay, as they cheated, but Sora and Riku set them up for him. Xehanort has found worthy new members.
But that was the easy part. Xehanort can travel through time! Because yes. We have to complicate things. [This is the only real place Nomura could have spared himself.] But let's see how it works. There are very precise rules for time travel. You have to know how to do it (and imagine if Xehanort explains it to us exactly), when you travel in time your body remains in your time, where (or rather when) you want to go there must be a version of yourself waiting for you, once the time travel you can only go forward and you cannot change the events that have already happened.
Xehanort then finds twelve, including himself, who must become a receptacle for a fragment of his heart. He tells them how to travel through time and gathers them all as Sora is about to fall completely into darkness. SoraIn fact, it must become the thirteenth receptacle. Xehanort was certain that all of this would happen. He reveals that he does not know what will happen from then on. [Here we have to throw ourselves into a little guess. Xehanort knows so much probably thanks to the fact that he came into possession of the keyblade with the Master's eye, which we talked about at the beginning. But let's get past that as this is KH3 material.]
Sora is saved by Riku, Mickey and Lea (which is the human version of Axel revived). The time available for time travel for Xehanort's twelve receptacles ends and each of them returns to their own time. The clash is postponed, but sooner or later Xehanort will be able to get a thirteenth receptacle and at that point there will be a clash between the thirteen dark parts and the seven light parts composed of the various protagonists, warriors of the Keyblades. Now, Sora & co. they must save Aqua, Ventus and Terra. While Kairi became a Keyblade warrior along with Lea.
Kingdom Hearts 3: how it all ends
Kingdom Hearts 3 will conclude the Dark Seeker Saga: the Dark Seeker is precisely Xehanort; everything that happened was caused by him. We'll see how it turns out. In any case: the darkness will never conquer our hearts!
I hope this summary was helpful. Certainly the whole plot is complex and without having ever played it it is not easy to figure out with a single reading. The whole saga is available on PS4 through two collections: the 1.5 + 2.5 (our review) and the 2.8. They collect all the games and movie collections you need so you don't miss a thing in anticipation of Kingdom Hears 3.Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5: ReMIX - PlayStation 4
- Genre: Role-playing game
- Genre: Role-playing game