Welcome back to my slow breakdown of the Kingdom Hearts series story plot! I’m attempting to re-work my schedule and get these out closer together, so fingers crossed that it works out!
If you’d like to catch up on what I’ve written so far, click here.
Side note: There are a lot of unknowns and theories about what happened between Back Cover and Birth by Sleep. I’m not going to tread in that area right now since we haven’t really been given anything concrete (as of when this is being written 3/31/17), but whenever lore is revealed to us I will update accordingly.
Pre – Birth by Sleep
An unknown amount of time has passed since the Keyblade war. Three Masters are known within the games story: Yen Sid who is retired but training a young Mickey Mouse in the Keyblade Arts, Eraqus who resides at the Land of Departure with his two students Aqua and Terra, and Xehanort who is Master to a young man named Ventus. Xehanort and Ventus are the two we will concentrate on for the moment.
Something that came up previously was the Master of Master’s keyblade. It was given to the apprentice Luxu to be taken and passed down from Master to apprentice throughout time. Xehanort currently holds that blade. This means that he himself was Luxu’s apprentice (we don’t know how old he is) or it was passed down through the years as it was meant to.
Xehanort isn’t a nice guy. He has fully embraced the power of Darkness and is set on acquiring the power of Kingdom Hearts. In his research he’s learned that in order to do this properly he must first forge the X-Blade, a keyblade capable of summoning Kingdom Hearts. When we first see him in BBS, he isn’t quite sure how to go about this. He knows that it requires an equal amount of light and darkness joining together, but the process is something unknown.
He takes on an apprentice of his own, a boy name Ventus. Xehanort trains Ven in an attempt to prepare him as a vessel for the forging of the X-Blade, but the boy refuses to use the Darkness within himself. Growing impatient, Xehanort releases the Darkness from Ven’s heart completely and creates a new being out of it which he names Vanitas.
This act severely damages Ventus’ heart and he falls into a coma like state. Xehanort takes the boy to a place he thinks no one will find him, Destiny Islands, where Xehanort himself grew up. While there, a heart on its way to a new born baby comes in contact with Ven. It offers to help and proceeds to combine a piece of itself with Ven’s fractured heart, making it whole. This child’s name is Sora.
Ventus reawakens but has no memories of his past. Taking advantage of his good fortune, Xehanort takes the boy to the Land of Departure and lies to Eraqus, another Keyblade Master, saying that he found the boy this way but cannot take care of him. Eraqus takes Ven under his wing and he is trained alongside Aqua and Terra.
Still with me? Good.
Birth By Sleep
Fast forward 4 years. Aqua and Terra are about to take their Mark of Mastery exam, a test that will allow them to become Keyblade Masters if passed. Xehanort makes an appearance bringing with him Vanitas, though no one knows about him yet. During the exam, Xehanort awakens the Darkness that resides in Terra’s heart, ultimately causing him to fail. Aqua passes however, and is dubbed the newest Master.
Xehanort stops Terra after the test and tells him that the Darkness within him isn’t bad and that it can’t be destroyed, but should instead be channeled and used. Terra is summoned by Eraqus and runs off as Xehanort disappears.
Eraqus informs both Terra and Aqua that the Princesses of Heart are in danger. Not just from the Darkness, but also from something new named the Unversed. He tells them to go to the other worlds and protect them from this new threat. He also adds that this is a second chance for Terra to prove him wrong and become a Keyblade Master. Terra leaves, but Eraqus keeps Aqua behind asking her to watch Terra on his journey.
While this is going down, Ventus is visited by Vanitas. The masked man tells Ven that this could be the last time he ever sees Terra before vanishing. Ventus runs after Terra, watching him leave on his journey. Ven follows despite not being allowed to go and Aqua is sent after him.
During his travels Terra meets a witch named Maleficent. She pulls up the Darkness from within him and controls him temporarily, making him steal the heart of Princess Aurora (one of the Princesses of Heart). This is just the beginning of Maleficent’s plan, but we won’t really see her again until Kingdom hearts 1. This event causes Terra a lot of self -doubt which he carries with him throughout the story.
The three journey separately to different worlds each growing more concerned as time goes on. Aqua and Ventus are worried about what Terra is becoming and Terra is unsure what to make of the Darkness within himself.
Aqua arrives in a world called Radiant Garden where she meets a young girl named Kairi who is being chased by the Unversed. While helping her, Kairi touches Aqua’s keyblade and accidentally activates the Inheritance Ceremony on herself. This means that she is now able to wield a Keyblade. Aqua feels a strong light from within the girl and casts a protective charm on her necklace saying that one day when she’s in trouble, the light within her will lead her to another who will keep her safe. (This is important for future lore, so keep it in mind). This is also the first time Aqua meets Mickey.
Terra eventually makes his way to Destiny Islands where he comes in contact with a young boy named Riku. He senses the potential in Riku’s heart and performs the Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony on him, effectively allowing Riku to someday wield a Keyblade.
Aqua also shows up on Destiny Islands and meets Riku along with a young Sora. She comments that they remind her of Terra and Ventus and that she knows someone has already done the ceremony with Riku. She debates performing it on Sora, but decides not to, instead telling him that if something ever happened to Riku or if he was about to get lost or go down a dark path, that Sora would need to stay with him and keep him safe.
Ventus arrives in the Badlands and finds an unconscious Mickey Mouse (they met previously) as well as Master Xehanort. Some of Ven’s memories return to him as Xehanort reveals that he is the one who can create the X – blade by clashing with the part of himself that was lost. He also says that Eraqus knows, claiming that as the reason Ven was never allowed to leave the Land of Departure. He convinces Ventus that Eraqus never trusted him and then forces both Ven and a still knocked out Mickey into the Lanes Between (the roads to get to different worlds).
As Ventus travels back to the Land of Departure to confront Eraqus, Terra is summoned by Xehanort to the Badlands. Once there, Xehanort lies to Terra saying that Ventus stumbled onto the truth behind his origin and that he means to force the truth out of Eraqus in any way possible. Terra flies off after Ven in an effort to keep him safe.
When Ventus arrives at the Land of Departure he confronts Eraqus about the fact that he is supposed to be a weapon, some kind of X – blade. We discover that Eraqus and Xehanort had fought about the X-blade in the past and that it was the cause of Xehanort leaving the Land of Departure. He claims that he wasn’t able to stop Xehanort the last time, but that he won’t fail again. He draws his Keyblade and gets ready to attack Ven.
Terra decides to arrive at this point and jumps in front of Ventus, ignoring Eraqu’s pleas for him to step aside. When Terra refuses, Eraqus says that if he will not obey then he will share Ven’s fate. Terra throws Ven into a portal he summons and a battle ensues. Terra comes out victorious and instantly regrets what he has done. Eraques claims that his own heart is one of Darkness for raising his blade to his pupils, and is then dealt the killing blow by Xehanort.
Xehanort tells the grieving Terra to let all his anger out and to give in to the Darkness. When Terra questions him, Xehanort tells him to come to the Keyblade Graveyard and watch Ventus and Aqua meet their ends. He then gives the Land of Departure over to the Darkness and disappears.
As Aqua travels through the Lanes Between she comes across Mickey floating around still unconscious. She takes him back to Yen Sid and he informs her that Master Eraqus is dead by Terra and Xehanort’s hand. She leaves to the Keyblade Graveyard to confront Terra.
Meanwhile, after being pushed through the portal by Terra, Ventus finds himself on Destiny Islands. There Vanitas confronts him and says that they should just join together now and create the X-blade. Ventus refuses and Vanitas tells him to come to the Keyblade Graveyard and watch as he kills Terra and Aqua. He leaves and Ven follows.
The Keyblade Graveyard
The three arrive and fill each other in on everything that had happened. Ventus asks his two friends to put an end to him if he ends up having to fight Vanitas so that the X-blade won’t be forged. Xehanort appears with Vanitas and the battle begins.
Terra is immediately separated and attempts to make his way to Xehanort. Ven and Aqua are attacked by Vanitas but Ven manages to get away and attacks Xehanort. Xehanort warps behind him, grabs him by the helmet and freezes him before dropping him off a cliff. Aqua catches Ven, saving him from shattering.
Xehanort summons Kingdom Hearts as Terra catches up with him. Terra finally gives into to his Darkness after watching Xehanort hurt Ventus and the two fight.
As this is happening, Aqua and Ventus are confronted by Vanitas. Aqua is knocked out and Ven breaks free of the ice spell holding him. Vanitas reveals that all of the Unversed come from him. They are his negativity and he released them in all the worlds he could to separate Ventus from Eraqus and make him stronger. He holds Ven down with Unversed and they merge back together, forming the X-blade.
When Xehanort sees that the X-blade has been created, he releases his heart and takes over Terra, transforming the boy into his new vessel. This was Xehanort’s plan all along and the reason he wanted Terra to embrace the the Darkness (they will be referred to as Terranort from here on). As Terranort attempts to leave he is stopped by the armor Terra wore. His will managed to escape the possession, taking shelter within the armor.
Aqua awakens to a Ventus that has been taken over. He holds the X-blade and fights Aqua, but it’s what’s happening inside his heart that is important. Ventus hasn’t truly given in, and he is fighting Vanitas within their joined heart as Vanitas is fighting Aqua in the physical world.
Ventus wins the inner battle as Aqua clashes with Vanitas. The combination shatters the X-blade as well as Ven’s heart. The resulting explosion takes everyone away except for Terra’s armor and Kingdom Hearts disappears.
Ven’s shattered heart finds its way back to the one that saved it before; Sora. He asks the child if he can stay with him while he sleeps and Sora says yes.
Aqua and Ventus end up in the Lanes Between where Mickey finds them. He takes them back to Yen Sid who watches over them until Aqua wakes up. He informs her that Ventus is sleeping and his heart seems to have disappeared. The Master says that his heart hangs in the balance between light and darkness, and that he will need a friend to show him the way back.
In an effort to keep him safe, Aqua returns to the destroyed Land of Departure. Remembering what Eraqus told her before she left, she finds the throne room and proceeds to lock the worlds heart with his blade. It transforms into what we will later know as Castle Oblivion. She leaves Ventus there promising to return to him with Terra.
Upon leaving the castle she hears Terra’s voice call out, asking her to put an end to him. She is lead back to Radiant Garden where Terranort awaits. When confronted he asks her who he is. She responds Terra and he stops for a moment before replying that Terra’s heart has been extinguished. They fight and Aqua comes out victorious.
In his weakened state Terra is able to fight back and stabs himself with Xehanort’s keyblade. He falls unconscious into a portal of darkness. Aqua follows him in but knows that she can’t save both of them. Summoning her armor, she tells it to take Terranort and her keyblade back to the light. She then falls into darkness apologizing to Ven for not being able to come back for him.
And that’s it for now! Thanks for coming with me on this journey and I’ll talk to you again later!