The Complete Kingdom Hearts Timeline - Part 11: Lessons from the Worlds
Derrick Bitner
August 6, 2012, 9:15 pm

For six years, Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting for the third game in the series. And now with six games in total, the plot is a near labyrinthine mess of connections and revelations. It's with that in mind that I have decided to unravel the plot of the entire series for those who may have missed the opportunity to play some of the spin-offs and those who just want a refresher before diving into the new game. Today we explore Part 11 of our ongoing feature.

Roxas's next mission brings him to Agrabah where he sees Aladdin and Jasmine talking about how a sandstorm somehow just disappeared. Things are starting to look up for the city though there are still Heartless all around. Roxas leaves them to track down the Heartless that Axel had weakened for him the day before. It's still a tough fight but Roxas takes it down regardless. When Roxas returns to the city, he finds Aladdin wondering why the Heartless's numbers are gradually decreasing. Genie comes across Roxas and thanks him for helping Aladdin protect the city. The genie leaves without saying goodbye to Aladdin, satisfied that he kept his friend safe.

Days pass with Roxas and Xion continuing their missions, but things are taking shape in the background of the Organization. Saïx approaches Axel and demands to know what Xion has been doing. Axel refuses to answer and tells Saïx to just leave him out of it. Instead, Saïx tells Axel that he has to return to Castle Oblivion since they still haven’t discovered all of its secrets, specifically the Chamber of Waking that Ventus is hidden in. Axel says that they've turned the place inside out without any luck. If they haven't found it by now, he wonders if they ever will. In order to give Axel more incentive Saïx reveals that, like Naminé, Xion also began life as a Nobody in Castle Oblivion. Axel is intrigued but doesn't fully relent. He knows the reason Saïx wants to find the Chamber. With it, they could unveil Xemnas’s true agenda.

Saïx relents and says that the Chamber of Waking is directly related to Xemnas’s own chamber, the Chamber of Repose, though he doesn't know what their true link is. What he does know is that Xemnas is keeping something from them, and the Chamber of Waking is the key to those answers. With that information, Saïx and Axel could gain the upper hand over Xemnas for their own personal reasons. Axel then reveals that he understands why Saïx had him assassinate Vexen and Zexion in Castle Oblivion. It killed two birds with one stone: Zexion was close to uncovering Saïx's own plans of betrayal and it secured Saïx's position as the second-in-command. However, Axel warns his old friend to be careful with his plans for power. Saïx leaves Axel with a reminder that the mission to Castle Oblivion will come soon.

Roxas’s next mission finds him paired with Xigbar as they travel to a brand new world, Olympus Coliseum. He is soon discovered by Phil, who mistakes him as a trainee. Roxas tries to explain that he isn't one, but Phil doesn't listen and Xigbar has disappeared. Phil tells him to show up for training and, as soon as he is gone, Xigbar reappears. He throws jibes at Roxas for getting roped into the training but admits that it works out since Roxas won't have to sneak around anymore. He leaves to let Roxas take care of the mission on his own. After investigating the surrounding area, he meets with Phil to do a round of training.

After the training, Phil reveals that the reason they’re looking for trainees is because they are currently understaffed. With Hercules participating in the current round of tournaments while also holding back the Heartless, it leaves little time for the hero to do much else. Roxas is intrigued by the tournaments and asks if he can join, but Phil refuses to even consider it until after Roxas has trained more. The denial triggers a memory of Sora also getting talked down to by Phil. Roxas decides he wants to continue with Phil’s training so he can eventually enter the tournaments.

Xion and Axel are already at the clock tower eating ice cream. They wonder where Roxas is but eventually begin talking of their pasts again. Xion tells him that when she sits there with the two of them, she gets a strange feeling that she used to watch sunsets with someone else. Being near the ocean also gives her this feeling, which is why she started to collect seashells. She wonders if they’re memories, but they don’t feel like they belong to her. Xion asks Axel about his memories, but he seems almost bitter about them, not saying anything.

When Roxas arrives in the briefing room the next day, he finds it empty save for a notice saying that everyone has a vacation day. He’s not sure what this means so he tries to find someone who does. Axel is the first he finds, and he explains that Roxas can do whatever he likes. Roxas is still unsure and asks what Axel will do for his vacation. But his friend just plans to sleep all day. Still confused as to what he should do, he next comes across Xion. She plans to spend the day practicing with her Keyblade and offers Roxas to join her. He declines, deciding he’d rather grab some ice cream.

Upon arriving in Twilight Town, he comes across Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Pence recognizes him from when he was searching for Xion and introduces him to the other children. Hayner immediately challenges him to a game where they try to keep a ball up in the air. Roxas accepts and manages to impress the other kids.They offer him to hang out with them, but he declines. They all agree to meet up again soon though. Roxas goes to his special spot where he is soon joined by Axel and Xion. They spend the rest of the day just laughing and talking with each other. But as the day draws to a close, Axel tells them that he’s going on a classified mission for a few day and won’t be around. They’ll miss him but know they’ll be reunited soon enough.

As Axel prepares to leave for his mission, he’s stopped by Saïx. He accuses Axel of growing too attached to Roxas and Xion, and that he’s changed because of them. Axel says nothing as Saïx finally leaves him alone. Roxas’s mission brings him back to Beast’s Castle with Xaldin, who immediately shows contempt for the Beast, thinking of him as nothing more than a monster. But he does believe that he was turned into one because of a spell. As they continue on their mission, they come across Cogsworth, who is complaining that the Beast still hasn’t found time to make up with Belle because of the constant Heartless attacks. If it continues any longer then they’ll run out of time. Xaldin tells Roxas that the spell that cursed everyone in the castle must have some kind of time limit.

They continue searching the castle and finally come across a room containing Belle. Sneaking a peek, they hear the young woman wishing there was a way she could help Beast with the Heartless. Xaldin is intrigued by her but wishes to see the Beast. Roxas takes him to his chambers where he discovers that Beast is nowhere to be found. Xaldin sees the rose in the center of the room and becomes interested. Upon closer inspection, he realizes that there is a power within it and that it must be precious to the Beast. He theorizes that the Heartless are being drawn to the castle because of the power of the rose. Satisfied with his discovery, Xaldin suggests they depart.

Weeks pass with no word from Axel though there’s rumors floating around of an impostor wearing the cloak of the Organization. It’s not Roxas’s concern though, and  he’s sent to a new world, Halloween Town. He soon finds Jack Skellington fretting in the middle of town about what kind of new frights he should add to the coming year’s Halloween. Roxas pays him no mind though and goes about his mission to defeat Heartless. As he’s about to leave, he’s confronted by Lock, Shock, and Barrel. They play a trick on him before running off, leaving Roxas confused. He steps through his portal which Jack spots before it disappears. The sight provides him with just the inspiration he was looking for.

Axel finally returns that evening as Roxas is sitting at the clock tower, but there’s no sign of Xion. They wonder where she could be. It turns out that she is sitting in her room, thinking back on the day’s events. Scenes flash by in her mind of a young man in a black cloak defeating her. He calls her and her Keyblade a sham which shakes Xion to her core. Roxas finds Xion the next day begging Saïx for another chance. He doesn’t relent and calls her a mistake that never should have been made. Roxas tries to see what’s wrong, but she runs off without saying a word.

Roxas is sent back to Beast’s Castle with Xaldin where they quickly dispatch a large Heartless. Afterward, they hear the roaring of the Beast and go see what has him so upset. Peeking through the door, they hear that the last rose petal is getting closer to falling. If it does, he will remain a Beast. Xaldin appears delighted at this information, knowing that he’ll be able to use it to his advantage someday. Roxas doesn’t understand what he’s planning, but they leave the world before he can ask any further.

Xion doesn't show up at the clock tower that evening. Roxas decides to ask Axel about the Beast’s situation. Was there anything that Axel couldn't bear to lose? Axel is surprised at the question and says that neither of them do since they both lack hearts. Roxas, in turn, comes to realize that he could never bear to lose his memories of Axel and Xion. It scares him. Axel tells him that feeling scared is something that he shouldn't feel, but Roxas still feels it. He doesn’t know why, but it doesn't seem like just a memory of what fear was like.

His next mission is in Twilight Town, where he immediately spots Xion at the top of the clock tower. He rushes to her side and is surprised when Xion suddenly apologizes to him. She explains that she ran from him the other day because she had badly messed up a mission. It had been her assignment to take out the Organization impostor, but he was too strong for her. To cheer her up, Roxas suggests that they work together on their separate missions. It works and she joins him. 

Afterwards, they have ice cream together, but Xion still seems lost in thought. Each time he tries to start a conversation, she doesn’t say a word. She’s too busy thinking about  her battle with the impostor, who turns out to be Riku. For some unknown reason, he has started wearing a blindfold but by using the powers of darkness he is able to “see” everything around him. He only removes it to see Xion’s face with his own eyes and is shocked at what he sees. Riku demands to know who she really is and why she possesses a Keyblade. Instead of answering him, Xion asks why he is dressed in the Organization’s cloaks. He simply responds that he’s protecting his best friend while he sleeps. Inspecting her Keyblade, he calls it a sham before tossing it at her feet. Xion takes it in hand and tries charging at him, but Riku is able to disarm her even without a weapon. He goes to depart, telling Xion that she should leave the Organization, but she shouts back that he’s actually the sham. Riku agrees with her and calls himself the biggest nobody of them all before disappearing. In her frustration, Xion can only scream.

Roxas shakes her from her thoughts and asks what is wrong. She apologizes before asking why they are working for the Organization. Roxas tells her the usual reason: so they can have hearts of their own. But that doesn’t satisfy her. Xion doesn’t know why they need hearts at all. She’s frustrated because she doesn’t know where she came from or what her past is. All she knows is that she’s been having the strangest dreams. She can’t remember the specifics, but they always make her feel as if something is truly wrong. In the end, Xion believes she’s just a mistake. Roxas doesn’t believe that, but Xion walks off anyway. Axel arrives soon after and asks where Xion is. Roxas doesn’t say a word about what she had said.

Life continues like normal as Roxas is sent on a mission with Demyx to Olympus Coliseum. Demyx isn’t the most motivated Organization member and would always prefer sleeping or playing on his sitar. Throughout the mission, he makes excuses to Roxas so he can skip out on the fighting. They split up at one point and Roxas finds Phil training with Hercules. He’s amazed at how much more intense his training is yet Phil is still pushing him to go further. Demyx joins him and comments how he would pass out if he was worked even a little like that. 

Phil’s training with Hercules ends, and he tells Roxas that he’ll soon be ready to take part in the tournaments. Roxas takes the opportunity to ask why Phil was training Hercules so much harder, and Phil explains that Hercules is the best prospect he’s ever had. The talk of Hercules triggers another flash of Sora’s memories in his head. He leaves with Demyx before going to think at the clock tower. Axel soon joins him and asks after Xion again. Roxas isn't sure what happened to her which makes Axel wonder what had happened between them. They talk about how complicated girls are and how it goes double for human girls. Axel advises Roxas to just give her time and space, knowing that Xion will snap out of her depression eventually.

Roxas’s next mission brings him back to Halloween Town where he’s surprised to find that there seem to be no Heartless around. Instead, he finds a series of balloons with mischievous grins painted on. In the center of the town, Jack is admiring his handiwork while speaking with Doctor Finklestein. It turns out that the balloons contain a trick that will surprise anyone who touches them. Jack believes it will spice up the coming year’s Halloween, but it’s not quite enough. Examining the balloon, Roxas discovers that it’s harmless enough.

However, as Jack is brainstorming new ideas he discovers a Heartless hiding inside one of the balloons. He didn’t put it there though making him wonder who’s competing with his Halloween ideas. Inspiration strikes him again though, and he sets out to the doctor’s lab to prepare it. Roxas is still searching for Heartless and realizes that Jack’s dog, Zero, can sniff them out. With Zero’s help, Roxas is able to complete his mission. He rushes to the clock tower but neither Axel nor Xion join him. The next day isn't so lonely as Axel joins Roxas for ice cream. He explains that the Organization has been keeping him and Xion extremely busy lately. Still, Roxas finds himself lonely without his friends around each day.

More time passes and Roxas returns to Beast’s Castle for yet another mission. This time he follows after the Beast’s roars to the castle gates. However, as he arrives he sees the master of the castle flung over the gates like he was a ragdoll. When Roxas goes to the other side, he finds a massive Heartless that takes the form of a siege engine. Roxas is able to keep it from breaching the gates and returns to where the Beast had landed. There he spots Belle running out of the castle to his side. She’s worried about his wounds, but he’s more concerned that she may be attacked by the Heartless. Belle, in turn, begs him to stop risking his life fighting the Heartless. If he were to be killed, she doesn’t know what she would do. The Beast doesn’t care about himself, he just doesn’t want to see her or the others hurt.

Roxas watches the scene and is surprised to learn that the Beast was fighting to protect the people in the castle, not the rose. As if sensing his thoughts, Xaldin appears before Roxas and makes light of Beast’s and Belle’s gestures of empathy. He doesn't believe a simple beast could ever feel love. Roxas doesn't understand the word, but Xaldin goes on to say that love can’t protect the couple. In the end, love always withers and dies. Roxas asks how he could know that without a heart, but Xaldin says he only needs his eyes and brain to know how things will turn out. Unsure of his words and still confused as to what love really is, Roxas returns to the clock tower.

He finds Axel waiting for him but there’s still no sign of Xion. Roxas decides to ask Axel about love. Axel is surprised about the question, but he does his best to explain it. He states that it is an extremely powerful emotion though one that he’ll probably never experience. In order to have love, you need a heart, but if you do then love is the extra special bond between two people. Roxas asks if it’s like a best friend, but Axel clarifies that it’s even stronger. The young Nobody still doesn’t quite understand and wonders if he’ll finally know once Kingdom Hearts is complete.

The story continues tomorrow as Roxas continues his missions with the Organization as Xion searches for the truth of her origins. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-10 of the Timeline:

Part 1: The Three Princesses                           Part 6: Xehanort's Heartless

Part 2: Xehanort's Plan                                     Part 7: Castle Oblivion

Part 3: Birth of the Heartless                             Part 8: Memories of Naminé

Part 4: The Disney Villain Alliance                    Part 9: Warrior of the Dawn

Part 5: Rivals                                                    Part 10: Roxas's Purpose

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