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 25 of our ongoing feature.
Days have passed since the defeat of Organization XIII and things have gradually returned to normal at Disney Castle. Jiminy Cricket is taking some time to remember the two previous journeys he had taken with Sora, Donald, and Goofy. One to stop the darkness from spreading, and one to save all of the lost hearts. The records of these journeys sit safely in two identical journals. But Jiminy still doesn’t know why the first journal is completely erased save for a single line, “Thank Naminé.” He flips through it one last time before getting ready to shelve it for good until he spots a brand new message upon the last page. “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.”
Jiminy rushes to the castle library and tells Mickey what he's found. He knows that he didn’t write it and never once did he let the journal out of his sight. Looking over the message once more, Mickey realizes that somebody must need their help. In order to find out who, he enlists Chip and Dale to create a computer that will digitize the contents of the journal. With that they’ll be able to see everything that had been written there, erased or otherwise. But just as all the worlds are coming into view, red and black blocks completely fill the screen leaving them with no way to analyze the data. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy wonder if there is something else they could try, and Goofy comments how it would be nice if they could get into the data-worlds and fix the corrupted data to see what’s wrong. Chip latches onto the idea and suggests asking someone already inside the data-worlds to work their way through the corrupted areas and repair the corruption. Everyone thinks of who they could ask, but Mickey knows just person.
In the world of the journal, a version of Sora at the age of his first adventure drifts down before them. Chip and Dale has already made it so that this “Data-Sora” can use a digital version of the Keyblade. An alarm suddenly begins to sound and Chip and Dale leave to take care of it. In the meantime, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy discuss the plan to have Data-Sora fix everything. But things are already going haywire. Events in the data worlds should be playing out exactly as they were written in the journal. Instead, a figure wearing the cloak of the Organization has appeared before Data-Sora. He runs off, and Data-Sora tries to follow but is blocked by Heartless.
He fights through them all, gradually learning how to wield the Keyblade. Data-Sora discovers a door that brings him back to the data version of Destiny Islands. It’s then that Mickey talks to him and tells him what they’re trying to accomplish. Data-Sora agrees to help as best as he can and notices the red and black boxes, or glitches. Fortunately, the Keyblade is able to destroy these glitches. He continues to explore the island to learn more about the properties of the glitches until he sees the cloaked figure enter an invisible door. Mickey insists on following him, hoping to learn more on how to fix all the data. Data-Sora is able to locate the hidden door which turns out to be a System Sector, a place with no set world where corrupt data flourishes.
By destroying all the glitch blocks and Heartless viruses within a system sector, Data-Sora learns that he de-bugs the world he’s in. In this case, it brings back a bridge that allows him to visit the favorite hangout spot of Sora, Riku, and Kairi. With things cleared up there, Data-Sora heads for the secret place where everyone draws pictures on the walls. But when he arrives, a strange voice calls out to him. “There’s a road for the taking if you end our world’s aching.” The ground begins to rumble before a bright light emanates from Data-Sora’s Keyblade. It’s so bright that it even blinds everyone in the real world.
Looking back at the screen, they see that a new entry has been added to the journal. It says the same thing that the strange voice just said to Data-Sora. They have no idea what it could mean but stop worrying about it when the cloaked figure appears before Data-Sora again. He says that to make this place whole, the Keyblade is the place. The figure disappears and a giant keyhole appears before Data-Sora. He uses the Keyblade to unlock the keyhole and runs through the pathway it creates. He finds himself in a ruined version of Destiny Islands where a large Heartless is wreaking havoc. Fighting it off, Data-Sora realizes that it’s actually made up of glitches. He’s able to disable the corrupted blocks but is sucked through a large dark portal before he can get to safety.
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are worried if he’s alright, and Jiminy begins tracking him. In the meantime, a new entry has appeared in the journal. “There are more hurts than the one you have just undone.” From that text, a screen pops up showing Riku walking through the darkness ravaged Destiny Islands before being confronted by the man in the brown cloak. He raises his hand to Riku and a dark vortex appears behind him. The scene cuts off leaving all of them confused. If the data was repaired then they should be seeing things that were actually written in the journal. But what they just witnessed never happened or at least it was something they never knew about. Somehow, the journal is showing them things that it shouldn’t know.
Just then, the computer begins beeping to let them know that it’s found Data-Sora’s location. He has arrived in Traverse Town, just like the original did on his first journey. Mickey tells him where he is now and assures him that despite being taken to Traverse Town, Destiny Islands has been freed from the corrupted data. Data-Sora begins exploring the town and soon comes across the data version of Cid. He talks about the missing triplets, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and how he can’t find them because of all the blocks around town. Sora agrees to keep an eye out for them as he takes care of the corrupted data.
During his search, Data-Sora locates two of the brothers as well as two items that fit snugly together. It’s still incomplete though so he continues to look for the final brother and more pieces. Along the way, he repairs the hidden System Sectors so that he can access blocked areas. Data-Sora cannot find any sign of Louie though he does spot the cloaked figure. He tries to make the figure admit that he is the one causing all the glitches. This time the figure says nothing before again entering a hidden System Sector. With that one fixed, it seems everything is mostly back to normal until he does another sweep of the town in search of Louie. The Second District has gone haywire with corrupted data blocks actually merging with some of the buildings. Stuck inside one of them is Louie. Fortunately, Data-Sora is able to repair the data and return the buildings to normal.
He makes his way to the top of the building to find Louie and one more piece of the strange item. It seems to need one more before finally becoming complete. In the meantime, Data-Sora takes Louie back to Cid’s, but he’s confronted by the cloaked figure. He again accuses the figure of causing all the corruption in the first place, but mysterious person remains silent. Instead of fighting, he leaves Data-Sora the final piece of the item he is trying to reconstruct and disappears. Data-Sora isn’t sure what the act means and uses the final piece to create Traverse Town’s keyhole. He realizes that the source of all the glitches must be inside, just like it was on Destiny Islands.
Data-Sora uses the Keyblade to enter the keyhole’s pathway and confronts the source of the glitch. Just like the large Heartless was the origin before, the original Heartless Sora fought in Traverse Town is what’s creating the glitches here. However, the nature of the corruption forces Data-Sora onto a two dimensional plane. It’s an incredibly strange feeling, but he’s able to navigate the dangers and defeats the Heartless, which is referred to as a “bug.” Back in the normal data world of Traverse Town, Sora locks the keyhole again ensuring that the corrupted data can not spread any further.
With that finished, Jiminy sees that another new entry has been added to the journal. “There are more hurts than the one you have just undone.” They realize that a new message is added every time a world inside the journal is repaired. Another scene is brought up on the monitor that shows Sora, Donald, and Goofy uniting for the first time while Pluto sniffs around the town. He sees a dark portal and runs through it. Donald and Goofy try to remember if they saw him do that while they were there, but none of them remember and Jiminy certainly didn’t write it in the journal.
As they talk, Heartless begin sneaking into the library with them. Mickey suddenly spots the Heartless and draws his Keyblade. Jiminy has no idea how they can be in the castle with the Cornerstone of Light still safe. The King easily defeats them as Donald and Goofy go to see if the rest of the castle is safe. But they can’t open the door. They pound on it in an attempt to get out, but it looks like they’re trapped. Suddenly, the computer begins beeping again. A new entry has appeared. “Undo the hurt to unbar the way.” It looks like the only way to escape is to repair the journal’s data as fast as they can. In the meantime, Data-Sora has reached the next world. They’re still worried about the castle, but their only hope right now is to keep fixing the journal. All of them turn to the computer monitor and watch as Data-Sora sees that Wonderland is full of corrupted blocks as well. He will have to locate the keyhole of this world in order to challenge the bug and repair the data. But first, he hears the cry of Alice as she is attacked by Heartless. Data-Sora rushes to her side and fights them off to her relief.
Unfortunately, he discovers that the young girl has lost her memory and cannot even remember her name. It’s an effect of the glitches. In fact, all of the denizens of Wonderland have lost their memories, and they’ve been scattered about in the form of Inklings. Data-Sora’s only hope of discovering the keyhole is collecting the Inklings and returning them to their proper owners. Alice knows that she’s seen the keyhole but can't remember it like so many other things. His only choice is to set out to locate her lost Inklings. Along the way, the figure in the cloak encourages him to find the keyhole and end the hurt of this world and all the worlds.
Data-Sora eventually comes across the White Rabbit and helps him regain his memories. But before he can ask anything about the keyhole, the rabbit runs off yelling about how late he is. The next denizen of Wonderland he finds is the Doorknob, who has been turned on his side thanks to the glitches. Data-Sora realizes that there is a System Sector nearby that should fix things for the Doorknob and sets to work repairing it. When he does, the Doorknob thanks Data-Sora for his help and happily goes back to sleep. It isn’t long before he finds the remaining Inklings and returns to Alice. She begins recounting how she came to Wonderland and encountered all the different residents. But it was when she was in the Queen of Heart’s court that she noticed the large keyhole.
Data-Sora and Alice immediately head for the Queen’s court while the cloaked figure watches their progress. He muses about how the truth and true memories lie beyond the keyhole. But Data-Sora runs into trouble when the Queen accuses him and Alice of stealing her memories. He tries to explain about the system bugs, but the Queen just takes it as a sign of guilt. She sends her card soldiers after them, and Data-Sora quickly asks Alice exactly where she saw the keyhole in the court. She says that it was in the birdcage, and Data-Sora tells her to escape while he fights through the soldiers. He’s able to make it to the keyhole and quickly uses the Keyblade to open the way to the main bug.
With this glitch, Data-Sora finds himself forced to constantly run forward while fighting off the Heartless and corrupted blocks. Fortunately, his Keyblade has gained the limited ability to fire beams of light which he uses to unblock his way forward until reaching the main bug. He’s slowly able to sap it’s strength before completely destroying it for good and repairing Wonderland completely. Data-Sora returns to Wonderland to find that the Queen has regained her memory but forgotten her desire to try him in her unfair court. All of the corrupted blocks have also disappeared meaning that this mission is complete.
Mickey and the others celebrate back in the library just as another entry appears in the journal. It seems they were right about how the new journal entries work. “There are more hurts than the one you have just undone.” It seems like Data-Sora still has a lot more to do, and the door leading outside is still stuck. They turn back to the computer to see that the cloaked figure has again appeared before Data-Sora. He demands answers about whether he is the source of the glitches or not, but the mysterious person only says that Wonderland has been connected. Memory and reality are now tied together meaning it’s time for Data-Sora to know the truth. But, as if to taunt them all, he vanishes. Data-Sora tries to give chase as the others discuss who this person could possibly be. Donald wonders if he really is a part of Organization XIII. Mickey doesn’t know one way or another but believes that Data-Sora will catch him. Then they’ll be able to learn everything. Suddenly, the door to the library begins to pound and shake. They believe that Chip and Dale must be trying to get them out, but they’re completely wrong. Data-Sora is the one who bursts through the door.
Mickey, his friends, and Data-Sora are all shocked that he’s there with them. He explains that he was led there by the figure in the cloak. Before he can speak any further, the computer monitor flickers on and shows all of them watching the screen. Turning to where the view must be coming from, they see that cloaked figure has entered the library as well. Binary code circles around him before the hood is lowered and reveals that it was Riku beneath the hood. All of them wonder how that is possible, but Riku explains that he isn’t quite the Riku they know. He’s nothing but data as well.
Memories make up much of Jiminy’s journal, but when these memories were pulled apart and stitched back together, the glitches appeared. It’s these glitches that keep the journal from being completely restored. Of all the vessels that could have protected the data, his current form was the one that was chosen. The full set of memories within the journal were transferred inside of him to shield them from corruption. Basically, this data version of Riku is Jiminy’s journal. He explains that the bright light that had blinded them before was him importing all of them inside the datasphere to better help solve the mystery of the original entry.
They don’t believe him until he hits a few buttons on the computer. Suddenly, they hear the voices of Chip and Dale calling out to them. They’re relieved to finally get through to the King. When they had returned, the library had been empty except for the computer which showed all of them. That’s all they need to hear to believe in what Riku, or Journal-Riku, has said. Mickey asks if there’s any way for them to go back home, but an alarm begins ringing, interrupting his question. Chip and Dale tell them that someone is trying to break into the datascape from the outside. Journal-Riku realizes that it’s a hacker and says that this person could prevent any of them from ever leaving. Their connection to Chip and Dale is suddenly cut off.
Journal-Riku sadly informs them that the link to the real world has been lost. The only way back is to repair that link and create a new pathway. But the various glitches will hinder even that progress. Data-Sora finally speaks up and says that he’ll gladly help. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy thank him for all he’s done while he runs off toward the next world. It seems that only he can repair the glitches.
The story continues Monday as Data-Sora continues to repair the datascape and learns who the invaders are. Be sure to keep up by reading Parts 1-24 of the Timeline:
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