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 mised 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 18 of our ongoing feature.
As if sensing the pleas of Queen Minnie, Sora, Donald, and Goofy all arrive at Disney Castle. Sora asks the pair how it feels to be home, but neither feel that things are quite right. As they try to place just what feels off, Chip and Dale run into the gummi ship hangar bay to see them. They tell them that the castle is in danger and that Queen Minnie needs to see them in the library immediately. It isn’t long before they reach her though the castle is brimming with Shadow Heartless. She’s relieved that they’ve come back and tells Sora that she’s heard all about him from Mickey’s letters. Unfortunately, she has no idea where the King might be.
She explains that she has something dire to show them but is worried for all the other residents of the castle. While Donald and Goofy go off to bring everyone to safety, Sora stays behind with Minnie to escort her to the audience chamber. Together, they’re able to make it to the door of the chamber with Minnie helping Sora to fend off the Heartless with her magic. She unseals the room, and the two enter to find it overrun with Heartless as well. Sora swears he'll keep Minnie safe and fights through them all until they reach the throne. There, Minnie activates a special switch that causes the room to be filled with a brilliant light. It's so powerful that all the remaining Heartless in the chamber are instantly destroyed.
Sora can’t help but be impressed by the demonstration and turns to see that the floor holding the throne has shifted to the side to reveal a hidden staircase. Minnie says that this secret passage leads to the Hall of the Cornerstone. Within its walls lies the Cornerstone of Light, a powerful object that protects Disney Castle from the evils of other worlds. Unfortunately, the entire room has been almost completely filled with large thorns and only the Cornerstone itself remains accessible. Because of this, the Cornerstone has weakened and the castle is now vulnerable to the Heartless. Minnie wonders who could have done such a thing.
As if on cue, a projection of Maleficent appears before them. Sora can’t believe that she’s alive. Maleficent delights in their confusion and tells them that she’ll have revenge on them in due time, but she has other plans to take care of first. Minnie demands to know what she’s done to the Cornerstone. The witch explains that she wants Disney Castle for her own, but it’s far too bright for her tastes. By completely enveloping the Cornerstone in the thorns, she’ll be able to spread her darkness all throughout the castle. She disappears with a great cackle as Minnie begins to despair.
She tells them that she looked through every record in the library, but nothing was ever written about what was happening to them now. Minnie doesn’t know how they’ll be able to return things to the way they were. Goofy suggest that they should consult someone who knows more about everything than anyone else. Donald picks up the idea and suggests that they could return to Hollow Bastion in order to ask Merlin. They promise Minnie that they’ll come back as soon as possible before heading off again. It’s not long before they find the wizard and begin explaining everything that’s been happening inside the castle.
Strangely, Minnie can hear Donald’s voice inside the Hall of the Cornerstone. Turning around, she sees Merlin transport himself, Sora, Donald, and Goofy right next to her. Donald is surprised that they’re back, and Merlin explains that he just wanted to see the problem for himself. Inspecting the Cornerstone, he realizes that things are quite serious for the castle. He then uses his magic to summon a special door. When Sora asks what it is for, Merlin explains that it is a gateway to a special world. Whoever is inside that world is the one responsible for what’s happening within the castle.
Sora and the others are about to enter but Merlin explains that they have to find a door identical to the one before them within the special world. Their enemies have used this twin door to enter the world and corrupt the Cornerstone. It’s their mission to find this twin door and close it forever with the Keyblade. He warns them that the nature of the special world may tempt them to do something dark, but they must resist no matter the cost. With that, they finally walk through the door and into the special world.
But there’s something weird about this special world. Everything is black and white, and they’ve all reverted back to a style of early animation (in Donald and Goofy’s case they appear like they did when they were first created). Donald and Goofy remark that they’re feeling a sense of déjà vu, and Sora wonders if they’ve been there before. While looking around, they come across the Cornerstone of Light and Pete (in his old animation design) comes up to them. He asks if they’ve seen any bad guys around, but they only point at him. He takes offense at the accusation and says he doesn’t have the time to waste on them. Pete runs off and Sora thinks that they’ve found the one responsible for all the trouble.
Asking around, they finally realize that the world is called Timeless River (land of Steamboat Willie) and is the site of where Disney Castle will eventually be built. The special world is actually in the past. The trio find Pete on the pier, and he asks if they have a bone to pick with him. Sora is ready to fight, but the sound of a boat whistle distracts Pete. He goes to walk away, but the trio stops him and forces him into a fight. Pete is more than happy to rumble with them. However, he’s not very tough, and he demands to know what their problem with him is as his entire body aches. Sora tells him to stop acting like he doesn’t know them. Pete hears the boat whistle again and tries to go to it but is too injured to move. Goofy wonders if this really is Pete, but Pete claims he is since he’s the captain of the steamboat. He says he needs to go after the runt that stole his boat. The three step aside and realize that they’ve made a mistake since this Pete hasn’t even tried to call any Heartless. They apologize to him and promise to get his steamboat back to make up for their attack.
During their search, they come across a floating curtain that shows a scene of the Heartless spreading out amongst the world before they arrived. They decide to keep the world safe first and go after all the Heartless. In the first place they visit, they spot Mickey (also in his original design). Goofy notices that he seems kind of different but when Heartless show up, Sora and the others rush to protect him. He thanks Sora wholeheartedly with a great shake of his hand before running off without a word. It’s then that they notice a new floating curtain which shows them a scene of Maleficent. She’s admonishing Pete for being a complete failure and a fool. He may have thought that he could take over when she was gone, but now there will be no place for him when she finally conquers all. He tries to explain himself to her, but she calls him an imbecile before walking off. Sora and his friends are confused by this scene and how they’re able to see it, but they continue to search for more invading Heartless.
With each new place they secure, the same events keep happening. Sora and his friends protect the area from the Heartless. A silent Mickey then thanks them. And then a new curtain reveals a scene that took place at Maleficent’s castle in Hollow Bastion. The scenes show Pete feeling down about Maleficent’s harsh words. He knows he’s failed along the way and misses the good old days when he was first starting out. When he wishes he could go back in time, the twin door of the one Merlin conjured appears before him. He steps through and realizes it’s a portal to the past. He shows it to Maleficent, and she tells him to find a way to use it to their advantage. But when she sees the Cornerstone of Light, the witch knows that she could use the one in the past to take Disney Castle from Mickey in the present. She gives Pete instructions for the Cornerstone and tells him not to fail her again.
Now seeing the whole story of Maleficent’s plan, Sora and the others realize that Pete was the culprit all along. But the Pete from before still doesn’t seem like the one they know. It’s then that they finally see the Pete from their time sneaking around. They go to protect the Cornerstone of Light, but it’s already gone. Realizing that they’re running out of time, the trio rushes toward the boat docks. There they find the Pete from their time knocking out the Pete of the past and stealing his steamboat which is loaded with the Cornerstone of Light. They’re able to stop the boat from leaving and free the Cornerstone, but Pete runs off toward his door. They leave the Cornerstone for now and give chase so they can seal the twin door.
Past Pete comes back and tries to stop his future self. He gets decked again, but Sora and the others come to his aid. Together, they all take on the Pete from their time and defeat him. He summons the door and runs off as Sora seals it behind him. Past Pete thanks them for all their help and even allows them to ride his steamboat. They use it to return the Cornerstone back to where it belongs. Remembering Merlin's words that they'd have a dark choice, they realize that he meant that they could end up changing the future. Fortunately, as they return to their own time, they realize that everything is still as it was. The thorns have disappeared and the castle is safe once again.
She and Merlin thank them for protecting the castle and grant Sora a new ability. He can now call upon Donald's power to change his clothes to the Wisdom Form, which increases his magical ability. Daisy then comes into the Hall of the Cornerstone to see Donald. Goofy explains that she is Donald’s sweetheart. Sora and the others laugh as she yells at Donald for missing their date. She understands he’s on an important mission, but he could check in every once in a while. Donald tries to explain but she won’t hear any of it until Sora tells her that they need to borrow him for a little longer. She relents, and they head to the next world.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy find themselves in a strange new world called Port Royal (land of Pirates of the Caribbean). They notice that things seem much stranger in this place but can’t place how. Before they can think on it any further, they hear screaming coming from the town. Thinking it may be the Heartless or Organization XIII, Sora rushes off to help. Close to the actual port, Pete is talking with Captain Barbossa about the Aztec curse that he and his crew is under. Pete is impressed and warns him about Sora and the Keyblade, specifically that it could actually defeat them while they’re in their skeletal forms. Barbossa is intrigued and sends half his crew after Sora while the other half searches for a specific medallion.
Sora is able to defeat the pirates but only after learning of their curse from Pete. The constant thorn in their side runs off yet again, but Sora knows they have work to do in this world. As they get closer to the town, they see a woman named Elizabeth being kidnapped. A young man named Will tries to save her but is stopped by a group of Heartless. Sora steps in to help and drives off the Heartless. Seeing their skills, Will asks for their aide in rescuing Elizabeth. They all run to the docks, but it’s too late. The pirates have taken her away on their ship. Will despairs at never being able to find her again but is interrupted by a new voice.
It comes from another pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. He recommends that Will forget about her and find a new girl. Will is upset at his words and accuses him of trying to steal the royal navy’s ship, the Interceptor. Sora’s more excited about meeting a pirate that isn’t trying to skewer him. But as Will thinks more about the situation, he asks Jack for his help in finding Elizabeth since he helped free him from a jail cell. Jack initially refuses until he realizes that he has no crew to help pilot the Interceptor. They all join up with him as Jack notes that Will’s last name is Turner. The captain goes to liberate some effects for their journey as Donald and Goofy ask Sora if he really wants to be a pirate. Sora says he doesn’t and merely wants to use Jack’s ship. Jack in turn asks Sora if he knows anything more about Will, but he admits that he only just met him. Thinking on everything, Jack believes that his luck is about to change. They then set sail to save Elizabeth.
Aboard Barbossa’s ship, the Black Pearl, Elizabeth is being forced to have dinner with Barbossa. She demands to be released since he had gotten his hands on the medallion he was after. But Barbossa has no intention of freeing her since the medallion is actually a piece of cursed Aztec gold. It’s one of 882 identical pieces that was part of a great treasure chest that was hidden on an island that can only be found by those who know where it is. Barbossa’s crew didn’t believe in the curse until after they had spent almost all of the gold pieces. The curse then took hold, turning all of them into creatures that aren’t quite dead yet not alive either and unable to enjoy anything that the gold might buy.
Elizabeth shows no sympathy at their situation, but Barbossa continues on. There is a way to remove the curse. If all of the pieces of gold are returned to the chest and the blood of every soul who first touched the treasure is repaid then they will be freed. It’s taken them ten years to find them all but with the medallion in their hands, they have all the pieces they need. Elizabeth asks about the blood to be repaid, but Barbossa says that is the reason they haven’t killed her yet. She tries to run off, but there’s no place to go. She is surrounded by the skeletal forms of the crew revealed by the moonlight.
On their way to find Elizabeth, Sora asks Jack why he’s so fixated on a compass. He explains that it will take them to the Isla de Muerta which is where Barbossa’s heading. Sora wonders how Jack could possibly know that. Jack reminisces about how he and Barbossa had hunted for the treasure together but once they found it, he turned traitor and stole the Black Pearl from him. He goes on to say that Barbossa is out to break the curse, but he doesn’t care about any of that. Jack just wants his ship back. When they finally arrive on the Isla de Muerta, Jack tells Sora, Donald, and Goofy to wait behind while he and Will rescues Elizabeth. But as they wait, Sora begins to wonder what’s taking them so long. He’s worried that Heartless may have impeded their way and decides to enter the island after them. He’s worried over nothing though as Jack and Will are spying on the pirates in the midst of celebrating the return of all of the cursed coins. Barbossa holds the final piece up and says it’s time to add the necessary blood to be repaid.
Sora heads into the island and comes across Will and Elizabeth running from a horde of pirates. He and the others promise to hold the pirates off as Will and Elizabeth get to the safety of the ship. Once the two young lovers are safe, Sora takes off to join them. He asks where Jack is and Will explains that he knocked out Jack because he tried to stop him from interrupting Barbossa’s ritual. Barbossa had cut Elizabeth’s hand and covered the final coin in her blood before dropping it into the chest. But the curse didn’t go away. It turned out that the pirates thought she was the daughter of “Bootstrap” Bill Turner. Barbossa tossed her away in anger as the pirates argue over what is to be done. Many are confused since Elizabeth said her last name was Turner, not Swann. Elizabeth had taken the opportunity to grab the coin while Will grabbed her hand and led her back to the Interceptor. His story over, Will says he had no choice but to leave Jack behind because he couldn’t be trusted. Sora begrudgingly accepts this as they head back to Port Royal harbor to return Elizabeth home.
Along the way, Will asks Elizabeth why she told the pirates her last name was Turner. He then notices the coin in her hand, recognizing that it was a gift from his father. She had taken it for her own the day her father, the governor of Port Royal, found Will in a shipwreck. With that coin in his possession, she was worried that he’d be mistaken for a pirate. Will realizes that Barbossa’s pirates need his blood to be rid of the curse. Back on the Black Pearl, Barbossa has captured Jack and asks how he had got off the island that they had abandoned him on. Jack says that it was simply because he’s Captain Jack Sparrow. He then offers to get the last coin back in exchange for the Black Pearl. Barbossa refuses and locks him in the brig as they come alongside the Interceptor. The attack causes Will to fall overboard as Sora grabs the coin and decides to fight off the pirates. Unfortunately the pirates' experience on the high seas and their capture of Elizabeth puts Sora in a difficult position.
It’s then that Will climbs back onto the ship with a pistol in hand. He tells Barbossa to free Elizabeth or he’ll shoot himself which would damn them to the curse forever. Barbossa realizes that he’s actually the son of the “Bootstrap” Bill Turner and agrees to let Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Elizabeth go. But Pete arrives with a squad of Heartless which he uses to knock out Will. With him unconscious, the pirates go back on their word, tying up everyone, including Jack, in the ship's hold while they prepare gunpowder kegs.
Once Barbossa and Pete leave, Jack is able to free himself from his bindings and get the others out. Together, they get all the powder kegs off the ship and set sail for the Isla de Muerte. Elizabeth stays with the ship while the others head further into the island to save Will. They’re able to get to the treasure cave and interrupt the ceremony before Barbossa can get Will’s blood. Jack and Barbossa begin dueling but Jack is stabbed through the stomach. However, when he steps into the moonlight, he also turns into a skeletal creature. He reveals that had stolen another piece of the treasure in order to be cursed and granted immortality.
Angered at the ruse, Barbossa calls out to Pete who brings in a large Heartless. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jack face off against Barbossa and the Heartless. Together, they’re able to defeat them and Pete runs off. However, Barbossa is still ready to fight. Jack pulls out his pistol and shoots Barbossa as Will drops the coins covered in his and Jack’s blood into the chest. The curse finally gone, Barbossa falls over dead. The group leaves the island with Will asking what Jack will do now. Jack says that he’ll do whatever he likes now that he has the Black Pearl again. Will and Elizabeth embrace as Sora, Donald, and Goofy continue their search for their friends.
The story continues tomorrow as Axel returns to raise the stakes. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-17 of the Timeline:
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