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 17 of ongoing feature.
Sora and his friends arrive next in Beast’s Castle, where they immediately hear the roar of the Beast. Recognizing its familiar sound, they decide to check up on their old friend. But they spot a Heartless before they can even head in his direction and chase it into a nearby room. Unfortunately, all they see is the magic rose within the glass case. But while they're distracted by the rose, a horde of Heartless attack them from behind. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are protected by the arrival of the Beast but, strangely, he doesn't say a word to any of them. He just shoves them aside, takes the rose, and leaves without saying a word. Not sure what’s wrong with the Beast, the three of them return to the entrance hall.
Once there, Donald swears that he catches a glimpse of a young woman. Goofy realizes that the woman Donald saw must be Belle and suggest that she must know what’s wrong with the Beast. They find Belle in her room, and she’s delighted to see them all. She explains that the Beast hasn’t been talking to her lately and has even gone so far as to lock his servants in the castle dungeon. Belle has no idea what may have changed him so much, but she’s sure the servants would know. Sora promises to free them all.
They find the door leading to the dungeon but find it blocked by a wardrobe. Sora goes to push it out of the way until it starts talking to them. It tells them that it used to be human until an enchantress cast a spell on the entire castle, turning the servants into living objects and the prince into a beast. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are shocked that the Beast is actually a prince but promise to help him. The three of them finally arrive in the dungeon and are able to set Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Clocksworth free. The servants tell them that when the Beast was human, he had an incredibly cruel heart and the enchantress's curse was a way to punish him for that.
But ever since the arrival of Belle, the Beast’s heart seems to have been slowly growing kinder. He had been protecting them from the Heartless and had grown to care for Belle. However, something seems to have reverted him back to his old ways though they’re not entirely sure what. Cogsworth tells them the way to Beast’s room, and they find him sadly looking at the rose as Xaldin speaks to him. The Organization member tells Beast that it is time to deal with Belle since she is scheming to take everything he has: the castle, his rose, and then his life. Only by feeding into the anger that drives him can the Beast stay strong.
The Beast is tired of always staying angry though. He only wants to love someone and be loved in return, but Xaldin asks him who could ever truly love a beast. It’s then that Xaldin sees Sora arrive. He tells Beast that Sora is Belle’s accomplice before disappearing into a dark portal. Enraged at Sora’s perceived betrayal, the Beast attacks them all. It’s only with Cogsworth’s help that they’re able to snap the Beast back to his senses. He hadn’t even realized that he had put everyone in to dungeons. The Beast explains that when Xaldin came to him, the Nobody saw his built-up pain and loneliness and changed it into rage. By blinding Beast to the truth, Xaldin could use that rage to easily control him.
Just as Beast is about to feel completely guilty for his actions, Goofy and Cogsworth realize that the Beast must have locked everyone in the dungeon as a subconscious way to protect them. He wonders if that’s really the truth before remembering how selfish and cruel he had been to Belle. He knows she’s far too pure hearted to say anything bad about him which makes it all the worse. Cogsworth knows that the Beast is judging himself far too harshly and can’t see the good that’s truly in his heart. Sora then suggests that Beast go talk to Belle and even promises to help him break the ice.
They arrive in Belle’s room but discover that she went searching for Xaldin. Immediately worried for her safety, Sora and his friends rush off to stop her. They hear her voice crying for help in the ballroom and find her being attacked by a large Heartless. She runs to safety as the group confronts the monster and destroys it. Xaldin claims that he’s not through with the Beast yet but leaves before they can get to him. Sora works out that Xaldin was trying to get Beast to become a Heartless and his remaining strong body to become a Nobody. That way the Organization could have complete control over the Beast.
Belle returns to the ballroom, relieved that the Beast is still safe. He apologizes to her for his actions, and she accepts. She knew that he was being controlled somehow but still chides him for not putting more trust in her. Lumiere and the others watch the scene, glad that everyone’s safe but still worried about the spell. They tell Sora that if the Beast can love and earn love in return before the last petal of the rose falls then the spell over the castle will be broken. Sora hopes that he’ll be able to do it and says that it’s time for them to go. They all say their goodbyes and wish Belle and Beast luck before heading toward the next world in their search for Riku and the King.
But before they can go to the next world, the gummi ship is pulled in the direction of Hollow Bastion. Wondering what could possibly be going on, they head to Merlin’s house and see Heartless running out of it. It turns out Merlin was the one who summoned them back, but he used too much power and attracted the Heartless in turn. Fortunately, he was able to drive them back with his magic but his house ended up ransacked. He tells them that he had found Winnie the Pooh’s storybook though he was afraid that the Heartless might damage it. Merlin is about to tell them more but realizes that Leon and the Restoration Committee should hear what he has to say too. He goes off to find them while Sora decides to visit Pooh in the meantime.
He finds Pooh thinking on a log in front of his house and greets his old friend. Pooh is happy to see him and says that he’s about to do his stoutness exercises. He asks Sora to join him but as he goes to jump off the log, he’s frozen in time. Confused, Sora asks what’s wrong and goes to touch him but is blasted away by an force so strong that he’s ejected from the book. Before he can figure out what’s going on, he hears Donald and Goofy fighting Heartless outside. He goes to help them but while they fight, the Heartless steal Pooh’s book. Sora is able to get it back, but it’s damaged in the process.
Worried for his friends in the storybook, Sora rushes back inside it. There he finds Pooh sitting on his log again. Sora’s glad to see him okay, but Pooh repeats that he was about to start his stoutness exercises and would have to enjoy his company later. It appears that Pooh has completely forgotten about him and everyone else that lives in the 100 Acre Woods. Not sure why this is happening, Sora returns to the real world to ask Merlin. The wizard explains that while they also damaged the book, the Heartless stole pages from it as well. The only way to return Pooh’s memory is to gather the lost pages once again. Merlin had been planning to tell the Restoration Committee about the book as well but decides to wait until it can be repaired. Promising to find the pages once again, Sora and the others leave Hollow Bastion.
Their next stop is Olympus Coliseum, but they strangely find themselves in the Underworld. They see the path to the Coliseum but hear a woman’s scream before they can head for it. Racing toward the sound, Sora sees Megara being attacked by Heartless. He fends them off and asks if she’s okay. She says she is but is standoffish and more than a little surprised that they know Hercules. Still, she introduces herself and explains that Hercules has been fighting constantly in the Coliseum. It’s becoming almost too much for him, to the point that he’s ready to drop. Hades has been sending monsters in waves to try to wear Hercules out, and it’s working.
Megara was actually on her way to see Hades to beg him to give Hercules a break. Goofy wonders if she’s actually more than just friends with the hero if she’s willing to go to Hades to help. Sora, wanting to keeping Hercules’s friend safe, offers to go see Hades in her place. She agrees but requests that they keep this meeting a secret from Hercules. They agree and head further into the Underworld to find Hades. But as they explore deeper inside, they spot an Organization member run past them. They give chase and catch him, but he then runs past them telling them to run away themselves. Sora can only give him a confused look as the Organization member disappears within a dark portal.
Up ahead, Hades and Pete are talking about Hades’s plans for Hercules. Pete notes that every monster that Hades has sent at him has been completely defeated. He laughs that Hades might as well send someone already dead at Hercules to save him the trouble. The remark gives Hades an idea and knows just the warrior who would be perfect for the job. They go to a swirling vortex that acts as the deepest dungeon of all the Underworld. Hades’s plan is to bring out the biggest of all the bad guys down there. He summons forth Auron (from Final Fantasy 10) and offers him a deal. If he fights Hercules to death in the Coliseum then he’ll be released from the Underworld with no strings attached.
Auron refuses, claiming that this is his story and he’ll have no part of Hades’s plans. He draws his sword as Hades fumes at his impertinence. The two clash and Sora stumbles across the scene. Hades is surprised to see Sora again as Auron asks him to join him in the fight. They try to fight the Lord of the Dead but find their attacks completely useless. It’s the effect of fighting in the Underworld. As Sora’s strength is slowly draining away, Hades is about to finish him off but is blocked by Auron. The warrior tells Sora that they need to get out as the god sends fireballs at them.
They barely escape and Sora asks if Auron’s some kind of hero because of his immense strength. Auron says he’s no hero but doesn’t elaborate. Back in Hades’s chamber, Pete says that he can leave Sora to him. All he needs to do is concentrate on turning Hercules into a Heartless. Hades screams at Pete that this is his Underworld, and he’ll do things his way. As a demonstration, he sends Cerberus after the group. Sora and the others reach the gate but find it locked. Before he can use the Keyblade to open it, Cerberus catches them and attacks. They’re able to hold it off and escape from the Underworld.
Back in the Coliseum, Megara is begging Hercules to take a day off from fighting. He says he can’t and tries to put on a brave face before tiredly heading out to fight. In the Underworld, Hades is musing about the fact that Sora’s Keyblade can unlock any lock. He notes that the Underworld has its own Coliseum that makes the one on the surface look like a kid’s pool, but Zeus locked it away to never be opened again. He realizes that he could have Sora open the lock with the help of Megara.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy finally reach the Olympus Coliseum and come across Hercules. He asks how they have been, and they explain that they’ve been dealing with Hades but the Underworld keeps sapping their strength. Hercules tells them that there is a special stone that could guard against the ill effects. He goes to get it for them and suggests that they get some more training from Phil to better prepare for the fight against Hades. Phil puts them through some exercises before Hercules joins them outside. He tells them that the special stone has been stolen by a man in a black-hooded cloak. Sora promises to get it back in return for borrowing it. Before he heads out, Hercules asks Sora if he's seen Megara anywhere, but he hasn’t.
It’s then that Hades arrives and tells them that he’s kidnapped Megara. Hercules is about to go save her, but Hades has also unleashed the Hydra in the Coliseum. Hades disappears as Hercules tries to figure out what he should do. Sora offers to get Megara back while Hercules takes on the Hydra. They separate with Sora heading back to the Underworld. It isn’t long before they find Phil who says that he was ambushed by the black-cloaked Nobody. He points Sora in the right direction while Hercules fights and defeats the Hydra.
Sora finally catches up to the Organization member and discovers that it’s Demyx. He calls Sora by the name Roxas which only confuses Sora. Demyx pulls out a note that says if Sora doesn’t respond like he knows him, use aggression to persuade him. He mutters that they picked the wrong guy for the job and pulls out the special stone. Demyx uses it on himself before summoning his sitar to challenge Sora to a fight. He uses his music and power over water to surround Sora with giant musical notes, but Sora is able to dispatch them with little difficulty. With a sigh, Demyx calls Sora by the name Roxas again, telling him to return to the Organization before disappearing. Luckily, he leaves behind the special stone which immediately frees the three from the Underworld’s strength-sapping curse.
Continuing on, Sora discovers a large stone with the image of Megara carved into it as well as a keyhole. Sora uses the Keyblade to unlock the keyhole causing the rock to disappear and allowing the group to enter a large hole. Inside they find Hades with a bound Megara. He thanks them for their help before disappearing. Pete arrives with a legion of Heartless. He’s confident that he’ll be able to wipe the floor with them since he thinks they’re still affected by the curse. Sora and the others are able to protect Megara for a while, but the Heartless legion just keeps coming. It’s only due to the arrival of Hercules that they’re able to get the young woman to safety. He asks Sora to take care of her while he deals with Pete and the Heartless.
Before they can get too far, Megara begs Sora to go back to Hercules since he’s reaching his physical limit. Sora promises to do so while Pegasus takes her back to the Coliseum. Together, Sora and Hercules are able to drive off Pete, but the cave their in is starting to collapse. They get to safety while Hades delights at the day he’s having. He’s positive today is the day that he defeats Hercules. He then goes to the edge of the Underworld to taunt the two heroes. He tells them that Hercules failed to fully defeat the Hydra, and it’s now tearing apart the Coliseum. Hades disappears before they can say anything but quickly go to stop the Hydra.
Hercules is devastated at the sight of the ruined Coliseum. He knows he let everyone down and is nothing more than a washout. Phil tries to snap him out of it, but the strength seems to just fade from his body. Sora offers encouragement as well but nothing reaches Hercules. Megara helps him get away from the rampaging Hydra as Sora, Donald, and Goofy are forced to take it on with the help of Phil and Pegasus. It’s an incredibly tough fight as Sora has to find another way to defeat it since cutting off its head only causes it to grow more heads. Still, he manages to wear it down and bury it in rubble. They go to see Hercules, who is still depressed over everything that happened and everyone that he let down. He feels like he’s completely useless, but all of them remain supportive. Goofy tells him to rest while the Coliseum is rebuilt and Megara reminds him that even a god would be worn out after all the fighting he had been forced to do. She turns to Sora and thanks him for all his help. They promise to return if they ever need help again and finally leave for the next world.
Back in Hollow Bastion, Maleficent is asking Pete where all the other villains are. He suggests that they all had other matters to take care of. She bristles at the idea that they would ignore her return. Pete tries to explain that Organization XIII keeps getting in the way as well as Sora. Curious as to what this could mean for her plans, she tells Pete to tell her everything that has happened during her absence. Meanwhile, in Disney Castle, Queen Minnie is looking for an old album in the castle library until Chip and Dale run in with urgent news. Sharp thorns have grown all over in a place known as the Hall of the Cornerstone. She goes with them to see and discovers that what they say is true. She prays that Mickey, Donald, or Goofy will return soon as the castle is now in incredible danger.
The story continues tomorrow as Sora and his friends return to Disney Castle and must travel to the past in order to protect it. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-16 of the Timeline:
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