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 12 of our ongoing feature.
Roxas’s next mission is with Luxord, a Nobody obsessed with card games and odds. Before they set out, Luxord tells him that Xion messed up her last mission and is now in a deep sleep. Roxas immediately tries to run to her side but is stopped by Saïx. Roxas is adamant about being with her and shoves past him. But before he can leave the briefing room, Saïx asks why he even cares about her since she is a broken creature. Complete defective. Roxas is angered at Saïx’s words and tells him to shut up, but Saïx keeps going. He calls Xion a mere thing and how the Organization treats her is no concern of Roxas’s. Saïx’s complete callousness throws Roxas off guard, but he goes to her side nonetheless.
He finds her sleeping in her bed and waits by her side for some time. But he can’t put off his mission forever so he places a seashell that she had once given him by her pillow. He returns to the briefing room to start his mission with Luxord. The arrive in Wonderland where he sees the all too familiar scene of the White Rabbit running off while claiming to be late. Scenes of Sora’s adventures in Wonderland play out in Roxas’s mind, prompting him to follow after the rabbit. He loses track of the White Rabbit but discovers the Chesire Cat in his stead. Roxas is able to puzzle together the cat’s cryptic clues and complete his mission.
He spends the rest of the day at the clock tower thinking of Xion. When Axel arrives, he asks why Saïx hates her so much. Axel doesn’t respond right away, instead commenting on how Roxas talks like a real person sometimes. Roxas doesn’t understand what he means since he has no idea how a real person acts. Axel explains that sometimes it seems that Roxas really is heartsick over Xion. Roxas doesn’t really respond and only wonders if she’ll ever wake up. But he realizes that Saïx must know something about her and about why he and Xion are considered special Nobodies. Axel offers to ask Saïx about it but tells Roxas not to get his hopes up.
When Axel confronts Saïx about Xion, he is met by instant resistance. Axel continues to pressure him, saying that Saïx should be honest with him for once. Saïx throws the comment back in Axel’s face since he knows Axel has own his secrets. Saïx only says that Xion has no right to be considered Number 14 before walking away. Axel gives Roxas the bad news the next day but recommends that he keep up the hard work in order to help Xion. Roxas is heartened by this and returns to his missions.
His next one takes place in Never Land where he soon spots Captain Hook digging for treasure. It appears that he found a collection of treasure maps and has been digging around Never Land for some time. Unfortunately for him, none of the marked spots have contained any treasure and the same holds true for the newest one. He's positive that he'll find gold with one of the maps, and Roxas notices that a dark air has begun to swirl around the pirate captain. It isn't long after that Heartless appear, forcing Hook to run off.
Roxas destroys the Heartless and takes a closer look at the chest that Hook had dug up. It’s glowing with the same dark energy that surrounded Hook earlier, making him wonder if it was some kind of trap. He spots Hook’s ship nearby and decides to investigate. The ship is too far away for him to reach, but he fortunately stumbles upon Tinker Bell. She senses something familiar about Roxas and decides to sprinkle him with her pixie dust. She then communicates that he’ll be able to fly so, with scenes of a flying Sora in his mind, Roxas makes a leap of faith. The pixie dust works, allowing him to fly, but he decides to go complete his mission rather than confront Hook like Tinker Bell wants. He then returns to the base, feeling guilty for not helping her but afraid of what Saïx would say if he did.
At the clock tower, Roxas describes to Axel what an amazing thrill it was to fly. Strangely, he feels like he’s done it before. Axel says nothing, not really believing him, and just listens as Roxas wishes that he could tell Xion about it. Weeks pass before she finally wakes up. Roxas is there at the time, and he tells her how long she was out. She apologizes for sleeping for so long, but Roxas tells her not to worry. She asks to come along with him on his mission that day. However, as soon as Saïx catches sight of her in in the briefing room, he immediately forbids her from going along. He insists that she should be confined to her room for the time being. Xion begs to be let out, but it’s Axel’s insistence that finally convinces Saïx to relent.
The mission is going well until Xion suddenly passes out. Visions of Sora begin to flood her mind: Sora trying to catch Kairi; Sora becoming a Heartless to save Kairi’s heart; Kairi giving Sora her good luck charm. Axel catches her before she can completely collapse, but she calls out Sora’s name in her sleep. It appears that she’s fine if a little weak. They carry her back to base and are immediately met by Saïx. He makes the comment that it was inevitable that would break again, but Roxas and Axel both tell him to shut up. As they leave with Xion, Saïx muses to himself that something at Castle Oblivion must have changed Axel, and he’s now throwing away his past.
The two take Xion to her room, and Roxas asks if Axel is worried about her. Axel responds that of course he is, but Roxas remarks that he’s a little surprised since he usually hates complications. Axel is taken back at Roxas’s words and says that he considers the two of them his best friends, that they’re inseparable. Roxas is delighted at his response and Xion wakes to their conversation. She apologizes for becoming so dizzy, but they just tell her to relax for now. Yet within her new room in the abandoned mansion, Naminé is drawing a picture of the three of them. They’re important, but she only partially understands why so far.
Growing curious about Xion’s origins and Saïx’s secrets, Axel goes to Vexen’s old study and reads his report on Naminé. While Axel attempts to learn more, Roxas and Xion go to the clock tower and share ice cream together. Xion is feeling much better now, much to Roxas’s relief. She thanks him for always being there for her though he says that it’s thanks to Axel that things usually work out for them.
The next day’s mission brings Roxas and Axel to Never Land. Roxas immediately tries to show off how he can fly, but it doesn’t work. He realizes that he must need the pixie dust again. It's then that he hears the voice of Hook cursing his luck. He has dug in another spot for treasure, but all he keeps finding is junk and Heartless. Roxas can still see the dark energy swirling around him, but Hook doesn't seem to notice. He runs away from the Heartless again, returning to his ship so that he can blast them with his cannons.
While investigating the last chest that Hook dug up, Roxas and Axel are discovered by Tinker Bell. She chastises him at first for not helping her the first time but eventually relents and gives him more pixie dust. Axel is amazed that Roxas can actually fly and tries it himself. While at first it fails, his second attempt actually works much to his shock. Tinker Bell begs them to go to the ship again when it suddenly begins firing cannonballs on the island. Roxas is about to go with Tinker Bell, but Axel reminds him that the mission comes first. They complete it while dodging the cannonballs that fall all around them and leave Never Land with Roxas still feeling guilty. As they depart, Pete arrives and looks at one of Hook’s empty chests. He’s pleased that his plan for the captain is actually working though he wonders where all the Heartless are.
Weeks pass and Naminé is still working on restoring Sora’s memories. DiZ notes that she seems to be struggling with the process. She tells him that a Nobody is interfering with her efforts and that some of the pieces of his memories could become lost. If that happens, it would be impossible for her to finish. DiZ reassures her that he could do without one or two memories, but she argues that those memories could be the key to him waking up. Hearing this, DiZ asks if she is seeing something he can’t because of her power over the memories of Sora and those connected to him. Naminé can only say that if Sora’s memories become Xion’s memories then Xion will never survive it.
Roxas is still going about his days normally with his new mission taking place in Olympus Coliseum. It turns out that it’s the start of a new tournament. Much to his delight, Phil has finally decided to let him enter the newest tournament. He does so with the alternate goal of finding a certain Heartless to eliminate still in his mind. Roxas makes his way through round after round until he reaches the finals. He’s surprised though when Phil says he has faith that Roxas will win. He’s not used to that sentiment since Roxas usually just takes orders. Heading into the final round, he shocked to see that his final opponent is Xigbar. Xigbar claims to just be checking up on Roxas’s hero training. However, before they can start the fight, the target Heartless appears, and Xigbar leaves it to Roxas. Roxas destroys it without much difficulty and Xigbar actually compliments Roxas on a job well done before leaving for the base. Afterwards, Roxas wonders if the only reason Xigbar joined the tournament was to test his strength.
At the clock tower that evening, Xion asks Axel what Castle Oblivion is like. He tells her that it’s only used as a research facility by the Organization. Roxas comments that it seems like everyone gets sent there all the time. But Xion has noticed that neither she nor Roxas have ever been sent there. Axel shrugs it off as the Organization not needing them for those assignments, but Xion doesn’t seem satisfied. She stands, declaring that it’s time for her to go, when she suddenly feels lightheaded and almost falls from the tower. Roxas is qucik enough to grab her hand and save her before pulling her back to safety. As she recovers, they ask what happened to her. Xion doesn’t really say, but Axel suggests that they go to the beach as a change of pace. Xion still seems distracted by something though she agrees to join them.
Back in Halloween Town, Roxas finds Jack and Dr. Finkelstein discussing the new items for the upcoming holiday. Jack is delighted with the results that they've come up with. The doctor then asks Jack about Lock, Shock, and Barrel since they seemed to be up to no good recently. Roxas still remembers how the kids terrorized him in the past but ignores the conversation for now, choosing to complete his mission. However, when he heads for the portal out of this world, he’s attacked by a clawed arm that bursts from the ground. Roxas is able to defeat it but wonders what it could be. He decides to report it to Saïx just in case.
Roxas finds Xion at the clock tower that evening, but she decides to leave soon after he arrives. When Axel gets there, Roxas decides to ask him if he thinks Xion’s been acting strange lately. Axel tells him that she’ll be fine in time, but Roxas hopes another vacation day will happen soon so they could finally go to the beach. While Axel and Roxas talk, Xion sneaks into the Organization’s computer room where she begins going through their files. She’s desperately searching for something and eventually finds it.
Weeks pass with little change until Saïx, Xemnas, and Xigbar meet within the Round Room. Saïx informs them that he sent Axel to Castle Oblivion yet again in order to expedite a certain matter as well as clear out all of their facilities there. Unfortunately, they’ve had no luck rocating Naminé since the incident with Sora in the castle. He also tells them that somebody accessed their main computer without authorization. Xigbar tells him to stop acting mysterious since they all know that it was Xion. In his eyes, she’s becoming quite the problem. Saïx doesn’t see her as a problem at all, and Xigbar laughs at his blindness. Xemnas silences both of them and tells them that their plans aren't affected by any of this. Axel, Roxas, and Xion will all play the roles that Kingdom Hearts has chosen for them. Saïx wonders if certain steps should be taken, but Xemnas cuts him off. To him, everything is turning out perfect. Xion is slowly approaching her destiny, and they merely need to watch and wait.
In the meantime, Xion has taken it upon herself to finally visit Castle Oblivion. There she sees a vision of her early days where Saïx tells her it’s the last she’ll ever see of the castle. The experience forces her to her knees as Axel arrives. She asks why he’s there, but he says he’s only there for orders not related to her. He goes on, saying that he doesn’t know what she expected to find in the now-empty halls of Castle Oblivion. She then lashes out at him, saying that she knows that this was where she came from. He calmly tells her that she can’t ignore her missions. If she does, the high ranking members of the Organization will outright destroy her. She tells him that she’s remembering bits and pieces of who she was before, but he tells her to stop remembering since nothing good will come of those memories. Instead, she insists that they had met each other once before in the castle. Axel denies it and tries to force her to leave, but she escapes his reach and pushes deeper inside.
That evening, Roxas reminisces with Axel that it has been 255 days since he first joined the Organization. Axel is surprised that Roxas has memorized the amount, but Roxas goes on to say that he has to hold on to something since he can’t remember his time before. Feeling nostalgic, Axel tells Roxas why the sun sets red. Light is made up of lots of colors and out of all of them, red travels the farthest. He seems to take pride in it since his hair is a sharp red. But as time passes, Roxas begins to wonder where Xion is. Axel is about to tell the truth about her but can’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he tells Roxas that she was sent on a really important mission and would be gone for a few days. But within Castle Oblivion, Xion has finally found what she’s been looking for and is horrified at the truth. The person she thought she was before becoming a Nobody wasn’t actually her.
Axel’s lie doesn’t last long as all of the Organization members meet in the Round Room. Xemnas tells them that Xion has left the Organization. Demyx and Xaldin ask why she would knowingly leave their order since such an act would mean death. However, Xemnas tells them all that no one is to go looking for her without his permission. Roxas demands why not, but Saïx retorts that searching for her isn't even worth their time. Xemnas only says that all will be revealed when the time comes. Feeling defeated, Roxas goes on his next mission.
When he arrives in Halloween Town, he’s surprised to see Jack’s decorations and many of the Heartless gone. Just as he’s wondering what could have happened to it all, he spots another clawed arm burst from the ground and eat a stray roaming Heartless. More and more appear, forcing Roxas to defeat them all. His victory only earns him more questions as he has no idea what kind of creature would try to eat Heartless. He goes to explore more of the town and sees Lock, Shock, and Barrel running from more of the claws. He fights his way past them to a massive Heartless which turns out to be the source. Roxas manages to defeat it but on his way back to base, he spots Jack’s newest creation: a scarecrow version of an Organization member with giant black claws. Roxas doesn’t see the resemblance and heads back.
Weeks pass and Roxas finds himself on the shores of Destiny Islands collecting seashells and thinking of Xion. It’s then that he sees a cloaked figure walking along the beach. He rushes toward the person, but when his hood is lowered, Roxas is shocked to see Zexion. It’s then that Riku appears behind him. The two talk like Roxas isn’t even there, leaving him even more confused. What he doesn’t know is that this is the exact same encounter that took place between the two in Castle Oblivion. Roxas’s mind begins to ache as the scene plays out. He writhes on the ground and his body begins to change, first becoming Xion, then Riku, and finally Sora.
However, this entire scene was only playing out in Xion’s mind. In reality, she is passed out on Destiny Islands, murmuring about who she really is. Riku, still donning the Organization’s cloak, appears and holds her in his arms. Thinking back, he remembers his meeting with Naminé. He had reminded her that she promised to look after Sora, and she apologizes for not keeping that promise very well. She explains to him that some of Sora’s memories are missing. They are escaping from Roxas, Sora’s Nobody, into a third person: Xion. As they flow into her, they are slowly becoming a part of her being. In order to get them back, Naminé would have to untangle Xion’s memories as well. And while the process of restoring Sora’s memories should have taken only months, this new complication means it could take years.
This, of course, is not a viable option, but Naminé can’t just start rearranging her memories from afar. If she did, Sora could wake from his slumber and find that nobody even remembers him. In either case, Sora’s reawakening will have to be delayed. It never occurred to her that Roxas and Xion would fight so hard to become their own people. Unfortunately, the quickest solution to the problem is for both of them to disappear. The guilt of this suggestion forces Naminé to keep talking, telling Riku that when Xion first appeared her face was completely blank. The fact that people can now see a face is proof that Sora’s memories have escaped inside her. With pieces of Sora’s memories inside himself, Roxas, and Xion, Naminé can no longer just sort them. All that can be done is picking up the various pieces once the other two are gone.
Riku listened to her silently before agreeing that something had to be done. Yet as he holds Xion's body in his arms, he finds himself hesitating. Even now Sora’s memories are mixing with Xion’s as she imagines herself, Roxas, and Axel hanging out together in the same way that Sora, Kairi, and Riku once did. She wants to know whether she was ever even supposed to exist. The dream version of Axel asks what she thinks and what she wants to do now. But Xion only wants to stay with Roxas and Axel forever. Dream Roxas tells her to come back to them, but she can’t, not the way she is now.
At the clock tower, Roxas and Axel finally decide to ignore Xemnas’s orders and spend their free time between missions and hanging out in Twilight Town to go look for Xion. They search for days with absolutely no luck. The only place Roxas hasn’t looked is Castle Oblivion, but Axel tells him that the castle has been cleaned out completely. He does say that it is where she first appeared though. Roxas hopes she’s alright and promises to keep searching until he finds her.
The story continues tomorrow as Xion learns more about her origins and Roxas discovers just how deceptive the Organization can be. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-11 of the Timeline:
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