Tag Archives: nobody

Kingdom Hearts FAQ #03: Potpourri

Q. What is Leon’s Deal? When did he change his name from Squall? Why?

What a ponce.A. It’s not confirmed anywhere in the mythology, but it is confirmed that Squall did it in response to some mysterious tragedy. A lot of people believe it was the tragic death/deheartening of Rinoa, given Leon wears a coat with Rinoa’s signature wings motif.

However.

“Leon” is Final Fantasy 8 Squall + Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Angel – Selphie (as she’s on an entirely different planet). Those of you that are good at math may recognize this as the equation for OMEGA ANGST. As such, I have always assumed that Leon’s tragic past involves being suspected of shoplifting at Hot Topic, and, unable to live with the ACCUSATIONS, SHAME, and DESTRUCTION OF HIS FREQUENT SHOPPER CARD, Squall was forced to change his name.

Q. Why do the heartless have hearts and the nobodies have bodies?

A. There’s a stupid explanation for that!

DO NOT TOUCHHeartless devour hearts. Heartless come from the Realm of Darkness (Space. It’s just space.) so they desire hearts (hearts are pure muscle tissue light), kind of like how bats long to consume the sun [citation needed]. Heartless reproduce like the undead: anyone who has their heart devoured by a heartless BECOMES a heartless, a byproduct of the (indigestible) darkness in the victim’s heart. Yes, the heartless are basically heart-poop. This is why Mickey Mouse wears gloves.

So, heartless are generally full of hearts in the same way that most people are full of hamburgers, or how this plot is full of a different digestive consequence.

Nobodies are another heartless byproduct: When a heartless devours a heart, they don’t give the tiniest damn about the body around it, and, as heartless are all skilled cardiologists, the body is pretty much unaffected. Just like during the Metro City incident of 199X, a heartless body will flash and disappear to parts unknown. But, thanks to Kingdom Hearts 2, we now know where that body goes! The answer is… somewhere. Hollow insideUsually Twilight Town, but apparently any other “inbetween world” will do, and as the Kingdom Hearts Universe used to be produced under some kind of deadline, Twilight Town is the only modeled location that fits the bill. Anyway. It’s a commonly held belief that most people suck, and the concept of Nobodies all but proves this: most people, like everybody in the universe except a whole 14 guys (excuse me, 12 men, 2 women) becomes a freaky spandex zipper creature based on whatever Final Fantasy 5 class Gilgabot randomly chooses. Given most nobodies are basically animated, empty robes, the name does make sense.

However there are a whole fourteen “Nobodies” that have such strong wills, they kept their bodies looking like… well, bodies. These nobodies are pretty much indistinguishable from normal humans, except they don’t have hearts, and thus cannot experience emotion, and, on a whole, they feel bad about that.

Over the course of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 2: Nobody Cares, Sora (with a little help) slaughters a murmuration of the twelve main nobodies, absorbs his own nobody, and lets his girlfriend eat up #14. As a result, all of the known bodied-nobodies are now gone, so all we have are the hollow zipper creatures wandering around.

So heartless are digesting hearts and nobodies don’t have bodies. Everything makes sense all over again.

Q. Why is King Triton the only person who knows about the Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts 1?

Are... are you named after your weapon?A. The events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, wherein Keyblade users are plentiful and combing the universe, only occurs about a decade before the events of Kingdom Hearts I, and it seems to be implied through Old Man Xehanort’s extreme oldness that keyblade users had been zooming around for decades before that. So it seems completely within reason that a keyblade user would have dropped by and met King Triton before Ariel was even born, and since keyblade users are supposed to be a stealthy lot when it comes to interfering in the events of other worlds, it’s also likely Atlantica was the only world where a “good guy” met a keyblade user.

And Triton is a wise-old king archetype, so it’s also possible King Mickey, keyblade master, stopped by at some point to confer on kingly matters. It’s basically how the mouse hooked up with another wise, old king, Ansem the Terminally Stupid.

Either that or Atlantica used to have a bitchin’ space program that failed under Triton’s rule, and that disaster is what has caused Triton to be so adamant about Ariel sticking to the ocean.

Q. Why don’t the giant heartless fleets Sora is always fighting via gummi ship just invade the worlds?

ZOOOOOOMA. It’s pretty straightforward: The entire point of Kingdom Hearts 1 is that Sora is locking keyholes to prevent that exact thing from happening, as each planet is protected by some kind of magical o-zone bubble (actually made of gummi ship materials, for whatever reason) that only allows in human-sized or thereabouts heartless that bleed through the keyhole. Once the keyhole is unlocked and the “world is connected to the darkness” all bets are off. Basically, the fleet invasion is exactly what happened to Destiny Islands at the start of Kingdom Hearts 1. You didn’t think a million cat sized heartless just gnawed the planet to dust, did you? … Though that would be rad.

Also, goes without saying, but the reason for the “Heartless Bleed” through the keyholes is, of course, Labcoat Xehanort mucking things up. He’s really accomplished at universal destruction, intentional or not.

Q. Where are all the parents?

A. Canonically, Riku’s parents have never appeared, though he makes mention of leaving his parents, so they likely at least exist in the present.

Is anyone at all worried about this woman?Kairi had a grandmother, we’ll call her Steve, back when she was a lil’ child in Radiant Garden. Kairi was shipped off from that planet when she was a young’un and Labcoat Xehanort was wrecking up the place. Steve’s fate is unknown.

It’s worth noting that Kairi is a “Princess of Heart”, which would imply she’s actual Radiant Garden royalty. And the only king in Radiant Garden is… Ansem the Easily Bamboozled. But no one, not a single person, has ever inquired about this possible connection in Kingdom Hearts. Kairi isn’t remotely curious about the parents she apparently never knew, which is kind of a thing in this universe…

Sora, coincidentally the hero of the piece, is the only member of the Destiny Islands crew that has had a parent appear on screen. Actually, she didn’t appear on screen, but Sora’s Mother can be heard calling Sora for dinner shortly before her entire planet is flushed down the darkness toilet at the start of Kingdom Hearts I.

Come to think of it…

Kingdom Hearts I opens with the entirety of Sora and Riku’s planet being destroyed by the heartless. Other planets that have been confirmed to be destroyed are The Lion King’s Pride Lands and Mulan’s The Land of Dragons; however, like Sora, both Simba and Mushu are refugees from their respective worlds, and aid Sora during Kingdom Hearts I.

Thanks to Sora’s efforts, all of the destroyed worlds are reformed during the finale of Kingdom Hearts I. When Sora reencounters Simba and Mushu, they both remember Sora from their previous adventure. So, they must also remember the destruction of their worlds; however, no one else is wandering around shell shocked at the thought of having been plunged into hell for an indeterminate amount of time, so it’s assumed that everyone else on the “destroyed” planets simply doesn’t remember the heartless invasion/annihilation.

So, Sora’s mother calls Sora for dinner, but he’s already left to visit Destiny Island, on a boat, in a storm. He and Riku are sucked off planet, the heartless destroy the world, nothingness, then the world gets undestroyed, and Sora and Riku stay off planet. Everyone is back and fine and normal on Destiny Islands, except Sora and Riku are just… gone.

Kairi is back on Destiny Islands at its reformation, though, so it’s possible she tells Riku and Sora’s parents about the fact that, yes, your sons are missing, but they’re on a magical journey through space on a ship made of gummi with a talking dog and duck on the search for a warrior king mouse. And they saved our world! With a key!

The parents would have to assume their kids are dead, right? Drowned in the storm, most likely? Never going to find a body.

I'd like to forget...A week later, the events of Chain of Memories occurs, and Sora is erased from everyone’s memories throughout the entire universe. So Mr. and Mrs. Sora’s Parents look longingly at their lost child’s room, still grieving, trying to muscle through funeral arrangements and talking to the police and then, poof, no more memory of ever having a child. What’s all this teenager stuff doing in this room doing here? No idea. Weren’t we going to have kids? No, I guess that never came together. Why are we such close friends with Riku’s parents? I guess we just like hearing stories about their kid. A shame we never had one of our own…

And then, nearly a year later during the opening of Kingdom Hearts 2, as recounted by Kairi and Leon on two separate planets, everyone just suddenly remembers Sora again. By Zeus! We have a son! And we forgot about him for a year! And he’s missing! What is going on!?!

And then, a few weeks later, Sora and Riku triumphantly return to Destiny Islands for the first time in at least a year to find… Kairi, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy waiting for them. Sora’s parents are probably “resting” at the Destiny Islands Home for the Mentally Unsound.

Sora is just a kid with a lot of heart.

Kingdom Hearts FAQ #01: Ansem

A man to be laughed atQ. Who is Ansem?
A. That’s a very simple question! Here’s a succinct, 1,200 or so word answer on “Ansem”, in chronological, Kingdom Hearts history order.

In the beginning, “Ansem” started out as Xehanort, a terribly named young man who became a keyblade master. Fun fact: Xehanort is from Destiny Islands, the same home planet/island as the KH protagonist, Sora, and I’m sure the series will never use this fact as a last minute plot “twist”. Anyway, Xehanort was granted time travel powers by his future self, in a lovely predestination paradox that seems to be the only crossover with Gargoyles that KH is going to commit to. More about Young Man Xehanort will be covered later, but suffice it to say he somehow fails (despite having time travel powers and seeming control over, basically, the universe), and grows up into…

Portrait of a keyblade master as an old manOld Man Xehanort, as voiced by Leonard Nimoy. Since the entirely of Birth by Sleep is basically the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (obviously foreshadowing Disney’s eventual acquisition of the Star Wars Universe) Old Man X is basically Emperor Palpatine. OMX spends the entire game as a “kindly old keyblade master” who is so dripping with evil he is literally followed by unimaginable monsters, though the heroes of the tale kind of don’t notice. Over the course of the game, the mysterious Mr. X first tried to pull Keyblade Apprentice Ventus (the original Sora) over to the darkside, but failed, and simply created a bizarro clone of Ventus named Vanitas (the first clone of Sora). Vanitas was a bust for some reason, so then Darth Xehanort moved on to tempting Keyblade Apprentice Terra over to the world of evil. This actually succeeded because Terra loved his friends so much he just had to kill Obi-Wan (as played by Mark Hamill).

Why don't you cry about it?Now this is where it gets complicated: Old Man Xehanort was using Terra the entire time so the old man could gain a young man’s body. Wait, phrasing, Xehanort wanted to literally possess the body of Terra, and did so. So Terra’s soul got suppressed, and Old Man Xehanort became Terra-Xehanort for a hot minute. This led to Keyblade Apprentice Aqua beating Terra-Xehanort so hard he literally could not remember who he was. Amnesiac-Terra-Xehanort is then discovered by Ansem the Wise, who immediately disproves his own name and hires Amnesiac-Terra-Xehanort as his assistant, thus transforming the villain into Lab Coat Xehanort.

Looking scienceyLab Coat Xehanort basically becomes the magical Dr. Mengele of the Square universe. In an act that can only occur in backstory and must never be seriously analyzed, Lab Coat Xehanort turns Ansem the Wise’s entire staff into a bunch of crazy monsters, tosses Ansem the Wise into the Realm of Darkness, steals Ansem’s name despite the fact that he is surrounded by people who knew the original Ansem, and then “unlocks the darkness in his own heart” or whatever and splits himself into two separate beings, Heartless Ansem and Nobody Xemnas. Then he went out for smokes for a decade.

By the era of Kingdom Hearts 1, Heartless Ansem, calling himself Ansem, orchestrates the entirety of Kingdom Hearts I, attempting to swallow the total KH universe into darkness, because that’s what you do when you’re the pure darkside of an already bad guy. Heartless Ansem clashes with the newest keyblade wielder, Sora, who has the sleeping soul of Ventus in there for whatever reason. Sora’s rival is another keyblade wielder, Riku, who once received the key-blessing of Terra. Riku is eventually totally possessed by Heartless Ansem, because Ansem-Xehanort can’t seem to get enough of this whole You recognize this one“possessing random teenagers” bit. At around that point, Sora is transformed into a Heartless by Heartless Ansem-Riku, but Sora recovers; however this random bit leads to the creation of Nobody Roxas, which will be important (sorta) later. Anyway, Sora beats Heartless Ansem senseless with his keyblade, Riku is freed of Ansem’s control, and Heartless Ansem is evaporated by the light that is Kingdom Hearts. Heartless Ansem is dead and gone forever.

Meanwhile, toward the end of KHI, Nobody Xemnas (the seventh “Ansem”) grabs Nobody Roxas (the fourth Sora) for his own nefarious purposes. Xemnas has this whole group of Ansem the Wise’s former trainees, called Organization XIII, and they’re all interested in turning the moon into a heart or something, because they’re Nobodies without emotions, and that makes them sad and angry. Sad lil dudeSo Sora is led into Castle Oblivion, where he must fight another Sora clone, about half of Organization 13, and then have his memory erased, because amnesia is the grease that keeps the Kingdom Hearts wheels rolling. Riku is thrust into the basement of the castle, and finds that he now has the ability to transform into Heartless Ansem. So, to be clear, Riku is another Ansem. Riku also meets DiZ, which stands for… seriously? Okay… Darkness in Zero. DiZ is secretly Ansem the Wise, now cosplaying as Batman’s lesser (least) nemesis, Hush.

But while this is all happening, Xemnas has inducted Roxas into Organization 13. Roxas is, ya know, doing whatever, chilling, eating ice cream, hanging with his buddy Xion, that kind of thing, for about a year. Then all heck breaks loose when it turns out that Xion was secretly a failed clone of Roxas (so, Sora #5, #6 if you count that other clone). Because you can only photocopy a photocopy so many times, Xion kind of breaks down into nonexistence so hard no one even remembers she was ever alive, and Roxas has a giant freak-out that leads to Riku going full Dark Ansem just in time to make the opening of Kingdom Hearts 2 really confusing.

Air Boat?Roxas is now trapped in The Matrix by DiZ and Dark Ansem-Riku. Roxas realizes he’s The One after a very exciting essay on “what I did on my Summer vacation”, and then pretty much ceases to exist just in time for Sora to come back to be the hero. The remaining members of Organization XIII go stomping around the universe, generally stirring up trouble, and Sora beats them down in turn. Finally, Nobody Xemnas reveals himself as being behind everything, and it’s all another ploy to create Kingdom Hearts, or find Kingdom Hearts, or something or other. What’s important is that DiZ, aka Ansem the Wise, sacrifices himself to transform Dark Ansem-Riku back into Shadow the Hedgehog Regular-Riku, and then Riku and Sora just straight up murder Nobody Xemnas, because he didn’t have a heart anyway, so it’s okay. This means that, finally, the last Ansem is dead, and the galaxy is at peace.

You're gonna be eternal, all rightExcept not so much. Death in the Kingdom Hearts universe is kind of confused: If someone is split into a heartless and a nobody, and then the heartless and nobody are killed, it becomes some kind of double negative thing, so the original “person” comes back to life. In Xehanort’s case the whole of the universe had a compile error or something, and it spat out another twelve or so Xehanorts. Seriously, Old Man Xehanort came back to life, and then used previously-never-mentioned time travel abilities to stock his all-new, all-better Organization 13 with at least four other versions of himself (“himself” now being a word that has absolutely no meaning). Two other Org XIII members are hangers on from the last Org, and the other six are mysteries because we’ve gotta have something to speculate on before the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. Xehanort (the young one, I think) tried to possess Sora and make him member #13, thus joining the great line of Too Many Soras with The Ansems All The Way Down, but he failed, as Xehanorts are want to do.

And now we’re all gearing up for the final KH chapter as the forces of light (Soras) battle the forces of darkness (Ansems) for the final fate of… wait… there are Disney characters in this franchise?

Roar!