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 15 of our ongoing feature.
With a new day beginning, Roxas heads to the clubhouse where he hangs out with Hayner, Pence, and Olette. The three of them are already there and talking about how the bully, Seifer (from Final Fantasy 8), has gone around town claiming that they’re the thieves that have be plaguing everyone lately. They decide that the best way to clear their names is to catch the real thieves. However, when the other three run out, Roxas suddenly collapses. In his head, the voice of DiZ begins to speak. He mentions that his memories are slowly returning to Sora and soon he will reawaken. Not understanding what just happened, Roxas gets back up and joins the others.
They first go to the sandlot to find Seifer but instead come across his friends, Raijin and Fujin (also from Final Fantasy 8), as well as the tag-along, Vivi (from Final Fantasy 9). All of them immediately accuse them of being the thieves, but when Roxas and his friends deny it, Seifer appears and tells them he’s not convinced. The two groups argue as Seifer continually calls them losers until both he and Roxas bring out their padded swords. The two duel with Roxas coming out the victor.
Raijin and Fujin immediately come to his aide saying that he’s not feeling at his best and that the upcoming Struggle tournament will decide who the true winner is. Pence takes a picture as proof of the victory but suddenly a basic Nobody known as a Dusk wraps around him, steals the camera, and runs off. Realizing that it is the thief, Roxas gives chase until he reaches the woods outside Twilight Town. Coming out on the other side of the woods, Roxas corners it in front of the gate to the abandoned mansion. It's then that the Dusk suddenly speaks to his mind. “We have come for you, my liege.” Not understanding, Roxas tries to defend himself as it attacks him, but the cushioned sword is useless.
As he backs away from the Dusk, data numbers swirl around the play sword until it forms a Keyblade. With it in hand, Roxas is able to easily defeat the Nobody. Pence’s camera and dozens of photographs fly from its body as it's destroyed. Gathering them up, he and the group realize that every single picture stolen had Roxas in the frame. Pence wonders if it was like the thief wanted to steal the real Roxas, but the others don’t believe him.
In a makeshift laboratory beneath the abandoned mansion, DiZ is watching Sora’s progress. Already the remainder of his memory restoration is at twelve percent completion. He curses the Organization for finding ways to reach Roxas already as Riku asks why the Dusk would bother stealing photographs. DiZ explains that, to them, both Roxas and the photos appeared to be made up of similar data so it had trouble telling the difference. DiZ realizes that time is running short and that the rest of Naminé’s work needs to be completed soon.
More of Sora’s memories flash through Roxas’s head in his dreams. Hearing the name of the Keyblade in his dreams, Roxas realizes that it must be the weapon that had appeared in his hand the day before. He tries to summon it again but nothing happens. It’s then that he sees a black cloaked figure. Before he can say anything, the figure walks away without a word. He shrugs it off and joins the others for ice cream in the club house. They all complain that even though it’s summer vacation, they’ve never gotten to go to the beach. The big reason for that is the simple fact that they don’t have enough money to take the train there.
Hayner claims to have a plan, and the others follow after him. He tells them that in order for all of them to go to the beach, they need 4800 munny (the currency of all worlds in Kingdom Hearts). If all of them do odd jobs around the town, then they can afford to go to the beach. They split up and each perform jobs for people around the town before meeting up at the train station with enough munny to cover all of them. However, just as Roxas is about to follow them, the figure in the black cloak trips him, picks him up, and whispers something in his ear before disappearing.
Weirded out by the encounter, Roxas joins the others but realizes that the figure has stolen all the munny that they had earned. He tries to explain it to his friends, but they never even saw the figure in the cloak. To them, Roxas had just tripped on his own. Roxas is still confused by the encounter as the four of them get ice cream instead and eat it on top of the clock tower. Roxas remembers what the figure had said before taking his munny. “Can you feel Sora?”
Back in DiZ’s room, Riku holds onto the bag of munny Roxas had been carrying and asks him if it would have been really that hard to create a beach. DiZ explains that it would be a simple enough task, but it would also give the Organization another entry point. Better to just prevent Roxas from going at all. Riku asks what he should do with the munny, but DiZ jokes that they could buy sea-salt ice cream. He then tells him to delete it since it's worthless in their world.
Sora’s memories continue to flow into Roxas’s dreams, seeing scenes from all the worlds he had been to during his first adventure. He then sees a vision of Naminé but can’t tell who she is. When he wakes up, he heads to the clubhouse only to find a note from Hayner to meet at the train station. As he’s traveling toward it, he spots Pence and Olette but before he can call out to them, time seems to stop for everyone but him. Naminé flashes in before him and pleasantly says hello. She says that she wanted to meet him at least once before walking off. As soon as she leaves, time returns to normal with Olette and Pence none the wiser.
Roxas chases after Naminé which brings him back to the forest outside of town. However, a portal opens up and more Dusks appear. They try to drag him back through, but he resists and they give chase. He comes across Seifer and his gang, and they all decide to fight back despite being armed with only cushioned blades. It doesn't work, and they’re all surrounded. But time stops again for all except Roxas and the Dusks. He tries to back away until Naminé calls out for him to use the Keyblade. It finally appears in his hand, and he uses it to fight off the Nobodies.
Afterwards, Naminé pulls him into her pure white room before telling him her name. She then asks if he remembers his true name. Before she can say anything more, Riku appears and tells her to say nothing more. Namine tries to argue, but Riku says that it’s best that he doesn’t know the truth. Riku then returns him back to Twilight Town where Seifer has claimed that he was was the one to save everyone. Roxas ignores him and joins his friends back at the clubhouse. They’re upset that he decided to hang out with Seifer today, but Roxas tries to explain that it wasn’t how it appeared. He asks them how the beach was, but they say they didn’t go since it wouldn’t be the same without Roxas. Feeling guilty, he tries to apologize but Hayner doesn’t want to listen.
Riku and DiZ watch the scene from their lab before Riku asks if the Naminé that appeared before Roxas was data. DiZ confirms that it was not. Naminé had hijacked the data herself. He complains that she is beyond his control, but Riku tells him to calm down. It wouldn't be long before Naminé’s long task is finally complete.
The next day is the day of the long-awaited Struggle tournament. Roxas, Hayner, Seifer, and, surprisingly, Vivi have all made it past the preliminaries and into to the final rounds. The first match is between Hayner and Roxas with Hayner finally forgiving his friend for the day before. His mind eased, Roxas is able to win the match and promises to win the whole thing. Seifer’s match is against Vivi, who seems kind of off compared to how he usually acts. To everyone’s surprise, Vivi completely overpowers Seifer and wins the match. Seifer is convinced that Vivi isn't really Vivi and tells Roxas to take him down before storming off.
Roxas is about to win the match against Vivi when time suddenly stops again. The young boy then transforms into a Dusk before more appear from all around. The Keyblade appears in Roxas’s hands, and he uses it to fend them off. However, time is not restored with their defeat. Instead, Axel appears and applauds him for his skills. He asks Roxas if he remembers him though based on his reaction, knows that he doesn't. Roxas demands to know what’s going on, but Axel says he doesn't have time to answer him since they’re in DiZ’s creation. Summoning his chakram, Axel declares that Roxas is coming back with him whether he’s conscience or not.
Growing frustrated with not knowing what is going on, Roxas throws his Keyblade away, but it soon returns to his hands. Axel can only say that Roxas is number 13, the Keyblade’s chosen one. Finally realizing that he has no choice, Roxas engages Axel in a duel. But their battle is interrupted by the arrival of DiZ. He insists that Axel is lying while Axel says that it is DiZ deceiving him. Overwhelmed by all the directions he's being pulled in, Roxas can only call out for his friends. Time is suddenly restored with no sign of DiZ or Axel anywhere. Vivi walks off with no memory of his possession by the Dusk. Roxas is then declared the winner and is given the opportunity to challenge the reigning champion, Setzer (from Final Fantasy 6). Roxas can only go along at this point though his mind seems more focused on what Axel and DiZ had said. Still, Roxas is able to emerge the victor as the entire crowd cheers for him.
His former troubles forgotten for the moment, Roxas takes in the adulation that his friends and the crowd gives him. Afterward, the friends go to the clock tower with the championship trophy in hand. He takes four decorative crystal balls off the trophy and gives one to each of his friends. They thank him for sharing the trophy with them, and he goes to stand. However, he loses his footing and falls off the clock tower. Things go blank as he sees a vision of Kairi as she is now.
She’s walking home from school with a friend and asks if she still remembers the two boys that she used to hang out with. There’s Riku who Kairi knows will come back to the islands someday and another boy, who Kairi can’t quite remember. She feels awful about it so she promised herself that she wouldn’t return to the island where they used to play until she remembers everything about him. Unknown to her, her loss of memory regarding Sora is directly related to his own loss of memories. Roxas watches this scene silently until he calls out to Naminé because of Kairi’s own resemblance to her. Kairi actually hears his voice and clutches her head, confused.
Roxas asks what is happening to him and where she is. Kairi doesn't recognize Naminé’s name and asks who Roxas could possibly be. She gives her name which Roxas recognizes as the girl that boy from his dream likes. Roxas tells her his own name, but she begs him for the boy’s name. Suddenly, Sora’s voice breaks in between the two and jokingly chides Kairi for forgetting his name. He decides to give her a hint before the connection is broken. His name starts with a 'S.'
Excited from the encounter, Kairi rushes to the shore of her side of the island and releases a message in a bottle. She tells her friend that she wrote it yesterday to the boy she can’t remember. In it, she wrote that no matter where he may be, she’ll find him one day. The letter is the first step to them reuniting, she can just feel it. As Kairi watches the bottle float away, she finally remembers the boys name, Sora.
With restoration at seventy-nine percent, DiZ is astounded at the progress they’ve already made. He also notes that Roxas’s encounter with Naminé put his heart in contact with Kairi’s. He had called out to Naminé during his fall but had mistakenly found Kairi since Naminé was her Nobody. This, in turn, affected Sora who was able to speak to Kairi himself. Riku is amazed at Naminé’s power and DiZ explains that she isn't like other Nobodies. She can interfere with the memories of Sora and his friends. Riku doesn’t realize that Naminé is Kairi’s Nobody, and DiZ keeps this fact to himself. Instead, he asks Riku to lower his hood, revealing that releasing his darkness for the boost in power needed to capture Roxas had permanently changed his appearance to that of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. Giving up hope to ever return to his true appearance, Riku has even taken up the name of Ansem. DiZ, remembering that he once used the name of Ansem as well, begins to laugh heartily.
In the Organization’s Round Room, Axel is meeting with Xemnas and Xaldin. He is furious that Xemnas is already ordering him to eliminate Roxas. Axel still believes he can bring him back to rejoin the Organization. Xaldin asks him why he’s hesitating when an order has been given, especially since Axel was the one who eliminated the traitors in Castle Oblivion so easily. Axel argues that this is different since Roxas hasn't turned his back on them. He’s just unable to return. Xaldin doesn’t care. If Roxas doesn’t come back, then he will pay the price. And the same thing will happen to Axel if he opposes the orders. Xaldin summons one of his lances and launches it toward Axel to emphasize his point. It strikes near his head, but Axel doesn't even flinch at the threat. Xemnas only looks his way for a time before Axel relents and swears to do it if it comes to that.
The next day, Roxas is surprised to find himself in his own bed with no injuries despite the fall. He realizes that he must have been dreaming though he can’t tell which parts were the dream. He ends up going to the clubhouse like normal and asks his friends if he really did fall off the clock tower, but they don’t remember it. They’re more concerned about the fact that there’s only three days of summer vacation left, but Olette is insisting that they all finish their summer homework. It’s an independent study assignment and Pence suggests that they dedicate theirs to investigating what he calls the seven wonders of Twilight Town.
With the first six wonders, strange things happen to Roxas that make them seem true. However, when the others arrive, they can be simply explained away. Roxas doesn't understand why he’s the only one who can see these things and wants to investigate the seventh wonder. But the others are tired from the long day and decide to head back to the clubhouse to work on the paper. Roxas instead heads for the seventh wonder, which is located at the abandoned mansion on the other side of the forest. Outside the gate, he’s stopped by Pence who tells him that they plan to investigate it tomorrow along with Seifer’s gang.
They head home for the night, but Roxas imagines being in Naminé’s pure white room. It is covered with drawings that she’s done of Kairi, Roxas, and even Axel. Roxas is surprised to see a picture of him and Axel together. Naminé confirms that he and Axel are best friends, but he doesn't believe her. She asks him if he wants to know the truth about who he really is, but Roxas still believes in this life he now leads. He just doesn’t know why strange things have been happening to him lately.
He spots a picture of Sora, Donald, and Goofy and Namine tells him of how she had to take apart the memories chained together in Sora’s heart. But she’s very close to having them all back to the way they were. The process of restoring these memories has been affecting Roxas as well. His connection with Sora is why he’s been having the dreams, but in order to be fully restored, Sora needs Roxas. He finally asks who Naminé really is.
She explains that she’s a witch with power over Sora’s memories and those around him. She doesn’t know why she has the power though. It was just there when she was born, and she’s not even sure if there’s a right way to use it. Listening to her, Roxas suddenly doesn’t feel like he knows himself at all. He changes his mind and asks what she really knows about him. Tenderly, Naminé tells him that he was never supposed to exist. He doesn't know what to say to that and suddenly finds himself out of Naminé’s room again.
DiZ is resting in a part of the abandoned mansion when Riku approaches. He tells DiZ that the holes in his memory are slowly starting to fill in. The same thing is happening to everyone with ties to Sora. With Naminé’s process nearing completion, the haze surrounding him is finally clearing. To those he met, it’ll be like he’s a good friend that’s been gone for a year. Riku finally asks DiZ what it is he truly wants, but DiZ simply responds, “Revenge.” Riku says nothing at this answer and stays silent as DiZ claims that it’s almost time to take care of Naminé since, like Roxas, she was never meant to exist either.
As Roxas awakes the next day, he feels the presence of Sora more and more within him. Ignoring the feeling, he goes to see his friends at the clubhouse, but they don’t seem to hear or see him. He tries to shake them, but his hand passes straight through. Confused, Roxas takes a look at a picture they had all taken together and finds that he’s no longer in it. He retreats back outside to find the whole town empty save for Axel and a legion of Dusks. He tells him that he’s been ordered to either bring Roxas back or destroy him completely.
Roxas tries to fool Axel by claiming that they’re best friends, which excites Axel. He believes Roxas has finally remembered their time together but to double check, he asks what their boss's name is. Roxas has no idea, disappointing Axel. It's then that the Keyblade reappears in his hand, and he tries to fight his way through the Nobodies. He defeats them and is about to duel Axel again, but time suddenly stops for his forgotten friend. DiZ’s voice calls out to him, telling him to go to the mansion. Time returns once Roxas has gotten far enough away and Axel realizes that the Roxas he used to know is long gone. He finally resigns himself to what he has to do.
Roxas rushes inside the mansion as Riku appears outside to hold off all of the Nobodies. He comes across the room he met Naminé in before though it is now empty. Seeing a picture of himself in the Organization cloaks triggers the memory of day he left the group. Naminé appears behind him and explains that the Organization is a group of Nobodies that wish to become whole. Roxas finally asks what will happen to him when he joins with Sora, but before Naminé can answer, DiZ severs her connection. He phases in himself and states that there’s nothing that can happen that will change Roxas’s fate.
Roxas argues that he has the right to know, but DiZ shuts him down by saying that a Nobody doesn’t even have the right to exist. Riku comes in and says that Nobodies are flooding the town. Naminé forces herself to reappear and explains that even though he may disappear by joining with Sora, he’ll finally become whole. DiZ quickly grabs her and tries dragging her away, but she is able to promise Roxas that they’ll meet again even if he may not know it’s her and she may not know it’s him. They all disappear, leaving Roxas to explore the rest of the mansion.
He discovers a hidden passage leading to an underground laboratory. His head begins to ache as he remembers his time in the Organization: meeting everyone in the Round Room, running from the World That Never Was, and his defeat at the hands of Riku. It’s then that he remembers how his unconscious body was sent into a simulated version of Twilight Town by DiZ. He gives Roxas simulated memories in order to throw off the Organization while Naminé uses him to weave Sora’s memories back together. Riku feels sorry for him, but DiZ doesn't care. All this time, Roxas has been in a fake version of Twilight Town living a life with fake friends. The invasion of the Dusks and Axel were them hacking into DiZ’s simulation. That is why strange things kept happening to him and only him.
In his anger and frustration, Roxas destroys DiZ’s computer console but another room suddenly opens. Inside he finds Axel, once again invading the simulation. Roxas remembers him for real this time, but Axel is too angered. His power over fire surrounds them in a flaming arena while Roxas calls upon both his and Xion’s forgotten Keyblade. Roxas’s previous power returns, and he’s able to fight off his old friend with little difficulty. Axel tells him that they’ll meet again in the next life and Roxas agrees. But then Axel chides him that even though Roxas has a next life, he does not. He retreats to care for his injuries.
Roxas continues on to find a series of pods containing the sleeping Goofy and Donald. He recognizes them before moving on to the final room. Waiting for him there is DiZ. He tells Roxas that even though he’s half of Sora, he resides in darkness. For his plans, he needs someone who can move about the realm of light and eventually destroy Organization XIII. Roxas asks why he’s so focused on destroying the Organization, but DiZ says that he’s only a servant of the world. And if that’s the case, Roxas is nothing but a tool. Angered, Roxas attacks DiZ but his strikes pass harmlessly through him. He is nothing more than a data projection.
Roxas, in his frustration, continues to uselessly attack DiZ’s projection declaring that his heart belongs to only himself. He hates DiZ for what he’s done, but DiZ just laughs it off saying that he should share that hatred with Sora. The boy is far too nice for his own good. Suddenly, the pod containing Sora’s sleeping body opens up and DiZ disappears. Finally meeting his human original, Roxas can only say that it looks like his summer vacation is over. He rejoins with Sora’s body after a 365 days of existence causing Sora to finally reawaken.
The story continues Monday as Sora awakens to a whole new world and a brand new enemy. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-14 of the Timeline:
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