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 16 of our ongoing feature.
Mickey arrives in Twilight Town still wearing the cloak of the Organization as Sora wakes to the calls of Donald and Goofy. Sora yawns as if his year-long sleep was merely a nap before leaping into the arms of his friends. Jiminy is also there and tells them that it must’ve been some nap since they all feel so drowsy. Goofy wonders how long they were asleep and Sora recalls them defeating Ansem, restoring all the lost worlds, finding Kairi, and then going to look for Riku. But after that, he can’t remember anything. They take a look at Jiminy’s journal, but there’s only a single sentence, “Thank Naminé.” They wonder who that could possibly be. It’s just as Naminé said. They don't remember anything about her, the Organization, or Castle Oblivion.
The group decides to figure out where they are and leave the abandoned mansion. As they travel through Twilight Town, Sora can’t help but feel like he’s been there before. But when he can’t remember its name, he just passes it off as his own imagination. They stumble upon Hayner, Pence, and Olette (the real ones since only Roxas was in the digital version of Twilight Town) who all introduce themselves and mistake Sora as a new kid. They ask if he’s finished up his summer homework yet, but Sora doesn’t even recognize the word. Sora introduces himself and his friends and Pence and Olette remembers their names. Someone in a black cloak with big round ears was asking around for them. Sora and the others realize that it must be King Mickey and rush off to the train station to find him.
Once they arrive, they’re attacked by a horde of Nobodies though Sora doesn’t recognize these new enemies. He tries fighting them off with Donald and Goofy and while they hold their own for a while, it’s too much after being asleep for so long. Fortunately, they’re saved by the the arrival of Mickey, who’s able to use his Keyblade to defeat all of the Nobodies without a problem. He tells them they have to board the special train in the station to leave town. It will take them someplace safe. He gives them Roxas’s old munny pouch before running off.
Sora is surprised to have seen Mickey since the last time they saw him he was on the other side of the Door to Darkness. If he had escaped, then Sora realizes that Riku must have too. He decides that he’ll start searching for Riku so the two of them can return to Kairi. Donald and Goofy stick with him and all three head for Mickey’s train. As the three leave the town, Hayner, Pence, and Olette wave goodbye. Sora gets a strange feeling that it’ll be some time before they’ll be able to return, but Donald and Goofy just think he’s being silly. Still, he senses a kind of familiarity with the three kids and unknowingly sheds a tear as they disappear from view. Absentmindedly, he looks in the pouch and finds the one of the crystal balls from the Struggle trophy. He looks through it in the light before telling Donald and Goofy that he feels kind of sad for leaving those three. They tell him they’ll return someday as the special train leaves the world of Twilight Town and travels across special tracks in the Lanes Between.
Axel watches as Sora, Donald, and Goofy disappear from view from a hill overlooking the tracks. Surprisingly, he’s also with Naminé and Riku. It’s time for Naminé to go with Riku since she has nowhere else to go at this point. Axel also wonders if he has nowhere else to go as well. Places of belonging don’t really exist for Nobodies. But Naminé has a place that she would like to go and people she wants to see. She forlornly looks at a picture she drew of Sora and Roxas holding hands. Axel says that he’d like to go with her and asks Riku to let them go. DiZ had order him to dispose of both of them, but Riku decides to free them because of all their help in Castle Oblivion. Axel thanks him before leaving with Naminé.
Sora’s train finally stops at Yen Sid’s tower where they find Pete looking through the front door. Not knowing who he is, they ask what he’s up to. He responds without thinking and says that he sent in some of his lackeys to see if the the master of the tower is as strong as he’s heard. If Pete can make the master a Heartless, then he’ll do whatever he commands. As soon as they hear this, Sora, Donald, and Goofy draw their weapons, but Pete doesn’t notice. He keeps talking about how is doing this to repay a debt to Maleficent. His plan is to build a massive army of Heartless, just for her. He finally turns around and recognizes Donald and Goofy.
They tell Sora that Pete’s been causing trouble for ages and that he was banished long ago. Pete tells them that Maleficent rescued him from his exile and now they’ll take over all worlds together. Sora and his friends begin laughing at this since they know that she’s now gone forever. Pete is shocked at this news and calls in Heartless to fight them. They easily dispatch the Heartless, but Pete is confident that Master Yen Sid is a Heartless by now. Donald runs off to help him while Goofy explains that Yen Sid is Mickey’s teacher. They ignore Pete and run after Donald.
They arrive in Yen Sid’s room to find him perfectly fine. Donald and Goofy treat him with the utmost respect, but Sora just acts casually. Yen Sid explains that Mickey has been quite busy of late which means the instruction of the three of them falls on his shoulders. He tells them that there’s a perilous journey ahead which Sora is surprised to learn. He thought he’d be able to simply search for Riku and then return to Destiny Islands. Yen Sid tells Sora that everything is connected. His search for his friend, his wish to return home, and whether everything will be safe when he returns. As the chosen wielder of the Keyblade, Sora is the key that will open the door to the light. Sora knows and accepts this before asking what this new quest is and why the Heartless are still around. Yen Sid assures him that his past efforts did make a difference. Despite the fact that Heartless are still roaming the worlds, the number would have been innumerably greater without him. Yet while darkness remains in even a single heart, the Heartless will always be there. However, a new enemy has appeared in his absence, the Nobodies.
Yen Sid explains how they come into existence and that while they seem to have feelings, they don’t exist and merely act like they have emotions. He then tells them of Organization XIII, a group that commands the lesser Nobodies. While Heartless only act on instinct, Nobodies can think and plan which means that the Organization is working toward some higher goal. Mickey has learned of the Organization and seeks a way to stop it. He has already found the Keyblade of the dark realm and used it to seal the Door to Darkness with Sora, but now he travels from world to world in order to discover more information on Organization XIII. Sora’s mission is to find the King, as well as Riku, and help discover what the Organization’s plan is.
But before he can go, he needs new clothes. The ones he started in have become too small because of his growth spurt in the last year. He leads them to the three good fairies from the world of the Enchanted Dominion (land of Sleeping Beauty), who grant him new clothes with special abilities. He can now call upon Goofy’s power to wield two Keyblades whenever things look especially difficult. Now wearing his new outfit, Sora is granted another gift by Yen Sid. In order to travel between worlds, he gives them a new gummi ship but says that with all the worlds' keyholes locked, they’ll have to find new pathways to the other worlds.
As they leave, a crow flies into the room of the three good fairies with the remnants of Maleficent’s garments. Memories of the witch come flying back to them, granting power to the clothes. They begin to form and take shape as the fairies rush off to tell Yen Sid. But it’s too late. Maleficent is alive once again. Pete returns to Maleficent’s castle in Hollow Bastion hoping to confirm whether she really is dead or not. However, as he does so, the crow from before arrives.
Meanwhile, Sora and his friends also arrive in another part of Hollow Bastion where it appears Leon and the others from Traverse Town have begun a reconstruction effort to reclaim their former home. Their first stop is a shopping district where they find stores set up by Huey, Dewey, and Louie as well as Scrooge McDuck. Goofy explains that he’s Donald’s uncle and once traveled the worlds with Mickey in a gummi ship in order to create a transit system. However, with the arrival of the Heartless, those ideas were put on hold. It seems he’s now trying to recreate his favorite ice cream from before the Heartless invasion but is failing so far.
They move on when they suddenly spot strange beams of light popping up around them. They have no idea what they could be until Yuffie explains that they’re the town’s defense mechanism, called Claymores. Looking around, they find their old friend nearby who gives them a wave and a happy smile. They ask her how the others are, and she says they’re all doing well. Sora wonders if she’s seen the King or Riku, but there hasn’t been any sign of them. She tells them to join her and the others at Merlin’s house. Arriving there, they find what Yuffie calls the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee which is made up of her, Leon, Aerith, and Cid. They ask Sora where he’s been all this time since they suddenly all remembered him at the exact same time. He explains that he was asleep the whole time.
Leon’s group asks if Sora and the others could help them in dealing with the Nobodies and Heartless that are appearing around town. It's then that Merlin arrives and asks if they gave Sora his present. Aerith pulls out three membership cards which welcomes them as honorary members of the Restoration Committee. Sora gladly accepts the gift as well as Merlin's offer to restore his magical abilities since he forgot them while asleep. With all that out of the way, Leon takes them to an alcove overlooking Maleficent’s old castle. Sora is shocked to find it completely surrounded by an immense army of Heartless. He also shows them that Nobodies have begun to wander around the town. Sora immediately promises to help take care of these problems as soon as he can and tells him of how Pete is amassing the army.
He’s about to tell him about Organization XIII as well when a voice calls out to all of them. They rush toward it and discover all of the remaining members of the Organization, except Axel, waiting for them. Each member makes light of Sora’s inability to use the Keyblade to its full potential until they all leave, still laughing all the while. Sora goes to give chase, but Xigbar bars their way, threatening him with how strong the Organization really is. Sora claims that he’s not impressed since all they did was send the lesser Nobodies at him. Seeing Sora’s defiant look, Xigbar can only laugh since it reminds him of the one Roxas used to give him. Sora believes he’s just trying to confuse him before Xigbar leaves with one final laugh.
With all of the Organization’s members gone, and Sora realizing just how much of a threat they must be. He, Donald, and Goofy decide to head out to search the other worlds for Mickey and Riku and promise to return to eventually help deal with the building Heartless threat. But back in the Organization's Round Room, they are discussing their meetng with Sora. All of them are confident that their little show will push him down the path that they desire. With the loss of Roxas and Xion, Sora is now their only hope to complete Kingdom Hearts. Xemnas tells them to go starting planting seeds along his path. The others all head out as Xemnas stays behind.
Sora and the others first arrive in the Land of Dragons (land of Mulan) where Shan-Yu, leader of the Huns, has razed a village. Watching from the the distance is Mulan and the dragon, Mushu. He encourages her to take on Shan-Yu in order to reap the accolades, but Mulan only wants to find the army so she can join in her father’s place. Sora, Donald, and Goofy see the conversation between Mushu and Mulan and misinterpret it as her getting attacked. They rush in but soon realize that it was all a mistake on their part. Mulan introduces herself as Ping, son of Fa Zhou, as well as Mushu who is the family dragon. As payment for the misunderstanding, Mushu says that they should join them so Mulan will have an easier time passing for a boy in the Imperial Army. Sora and Donald are surprised that she’s actually a girl while Goofy admits that he had suspected as much.
When they get to the training camp and enter the line to join up, Yao cuts in front of Sora. Sora tries to argue and Yao punches him in the face for his troubles. Donald immediately enters the fray as Ling and Chien Po also get into it. Mulan tries to break off the massive brawl, but it isn’t until the arrival of Captain Li Shang that the fight is finally broken up. It’s then that a group of Heartless arrive and Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Mulan fight them off. Seeing their skills in action, Li Shang is impressed and allows them to join the army but tells Mulan that she should go home because of her distinct lack in fighting talent. Mulan begs to stay so she won’t dishonor her family.
It’s only through the interference of Sora that Li Shang changes his mind. He decides to give them a mission that would prove Mulan’s worth: scouting the mountain pass that Shan-Yu’s army is advancing through. Sora isn’t worried, but Mulan is still unsure of herself. With Sora’s help, Mulan is able to complete the mission and earn praise from Yao, Ling, and Chien Po. She’s also allowed to enter the Imperial Army though Captain Li Shang is still unsure of her true worth. But all the while, Mulan has been training with Sora and gaining confidence in herself. She displays a powerful drive to exceed the captain’s expectations.
At Mushu’s suggestion, they decide to go after Shan-Yu themselves in order to prove once and for all how great Mulan is and protect her family’s honor. However, they are unable to find anything and return to the nearby village to find it burnt to the ground and Li Shang wounded. He tells them that Shan-Yu is at the mountain summit, and Mushu feels like the village attack is his fault since he was the one to suggest that they leave. But Sora tells him that it’s only the fault of Shan-Yu and the Heartless. Together, they’ll stop him for good. They head for the mountain summit, determined to defeat the would-be conqueror. It's not long before they see him leading a horde of Heartless which he immediately sends at them. It seems to be just too much for Sora and the others. No matter how many they defeat, more keep coming. Suddenly, Yao brings in a cannon to shoot directly at Shan-Yu, but Mulan steals it and aims it at the mountainside. The explosion triggers an avalanche that completely envelops Shan-Yu and the Heartless, but it also puts Li Shang and the rest of the army in harm’s way. Mulan is able to save his life while Sora and the rest of the army get to safety.
The act finally shows Li Shang that Mulan is a good soldier until Mushu accidentally lets it slip that she’s a girl. The fact that she lied to him shocks Li Shang, and he tells her that the punishment for such an act is death. But he only tells her to get out of his sight. Disheartened that they were found out, Sora, Mulan, and the rest are left behind. Sora asks what she’ll do now, and she says she’ll head home. Sora promises to help her explain things to her father, who’s sure to be upset at her actions. However, on their way back to her home, they see that Shan-Yu is still alive. His enraged heart calls forth even more Heartless, and he sets out for the Emperor’s Palace. Worried for the Emperor and Shang, Mulan and Sora race after Shan-Yu. They find Li Shang first and tell him that Shan-Yu is on the way to the Palace, but he doesn’t believe them until he sees the villain with his own eyes. He immediately sends his troops to secure the Emperor while Sora and his friends protect the courtyard from the invading Heartless. But when they dispatch all the Heartless, they discover that Shan-Yu has already taken the Emperor hostage.
It’s only thanks to the ambush by Li Shang that they get the Emperor to safety while Mulan and Sora finally confront Shan-Yu. They defeat him and ensure that the Land of Dragons is safe. To celebrate Mulan’s great achievement, the Emperor thanks her for all she’s done despite her deceiving everyone. He gives her the sword of Shan-Yu so that everyone will know of her deeds. The Emperor also throws some friendly jibes at Captain Shang indicating that a relationship may be developing between him and Mulan. Mulan thanks Sora for all the support that he provided her before he and the others continue on their new journey.
The story continues tomorrow as Sora and his friends continue their search for Mickey and Riku in new and old worlds alike. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-15 of the Timeline:
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