This article is about the world. For the video game series, see Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts (キングダムハーツ Kingudamu Hātsu) is one of the major entities in the Kingdom Hearts universe. Described as the heart of all worlds, it is an almighty entity of incredible power and untold wisdom formed from an aggregation of hearts.
While only one "true" Kingdom Hearts exists, it is possible to forcibly form artificial Kingdom Hearts from a union of a vast collection of hearts. However, these consolidations are but small-scale versions of the true Kingdom Hearts, which is a perfect and complete union of all the worlds' hearts.
In the beginning, the World began in darkness. Eventually though, out of that darkness came the first light in the form of Kingdom Hearts, which became the one true source of all light in the World. From Kingdom Hearts came the people, and the people had hearts. Kingdom Hearts itself was protected by its counterpart, the χ-blade, which is the only key capable of unlocking and accessing Kingdom Hearts, so that no one could every lay hands on its mysteries. Accordingly, if one would manage to open the door to Kingdom Hearts, this person would bring about the creation of the Next World and supposedly be reborn as something far greater than human. In truth, this would bring about a purge that would return the World to whence it started, destroying the existing World in the process.
In Kingdom Hearts, the diabolical Maleficent and her league of villains sought out a way to obtain a Kingdom Hearts of the worlds' hearts in order to obtain unimaginable power and knowledge to rule all worlds.
In order to create a Kingdom Hearts of the worlds' hearts, the villains released a great number of Heartless across several worlds in order to have them consume these worlds' hearts. For each world the Heartless destroyed, the heart of that world would gather with the others in the enclosed realm of darkness where they formed a Kingdom Hearts of the worlds' hearts. In addition, to access this Kingdom Hearts, Maleficent and her allies began a hunt for the Seven Princess of Heart, maidens with hearts of pure light who, when gathered together, would reveal a portal called the Final Keyhole that would unveil the path to Kingdom Hearts.
Plotting to seize Maleficent's work for himself, Ansem possessed Riku's body and created a unique Keyblade from the hearts of the Princesses to open the Final Keyhole. However, Ansem's Keyblade and the Final Keyhole were incomplete due to the heart of Kairi―one of the Princesses of Heart―being absent. When Sora, who held Kairi's heart within him, arrived and drove off Ansem, he used Ansem's Keyblade to free Kairi's heart and return it to her body. This finished the Final Keyhole. Soon after, Ansem returned and used the Final Keyhole to travel to a world formed from the remains of worlds taken by the Heartless: End of the World.
Journeying deep into the End of the World, Sora, Donald, and Goofy found Ansem at the border between the realm of light and the realm of darkness. Following a strenuous battle with the heroes, Ansem reached the Door to Darkness, beyond which lay the realm of darkness and the Kingdom Hearts of the worlds' hearts. Forcing the Door to Darkness open, Ansem expected Kingdom Hearts, which he had concluded was a source of darkness, to fill him with power. Instead, this Kingdom Hearts' light was unleashed as the Door to Darkness was opened, resulting in Ansem's destruction. Even so, with the Door to Darkness open, the darkness surrounding the Kingdom Hearts of the worlds' hearts threatened to flood into the realm of light, along with countless Heartless, and destroy the remaining worlds. To stop this threat, Sora closed the Door to Darkness with the help of Riku and King Mickey. This act freed the world hearts taken by the Heartless and restored the worlds, and the Kingdom Hearts made from the heart of worlds ceased to be.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Organization XIII sought Kingdom Hearts, seemingly for the purpose of using it to restore the group's lost hearts. However, the organization's leader, Xemnas, had more malicious intentions for Kingdom Hearts.
To obtain Kingdom Hearts, the Organization set out to create one from the hearts of people. In order to capture the hearts needed to form a Kingdom Hearts, the Organization sent Heartless into many worlds and had Keyblade wielders slay them, thus releasing the hearts the Heartless carried. These hearts would then come together in the Organization's home base, The World That Never Was, where they would form a Kingdom Hearts.
Having lost their Keyblade wielders in the form of Roxas and Xion, and Sora having awoken from the slumber they had tried to keep him in, Organization XIII changed their strategies for collecting hearts by manipulating Sora into completing their Kingdom Hearts. By releasing Heartless into different worlds, they forced Sora to go and destroy them with his Keyblade, thereby releasing the hearts needed for the Organization's plan. Though Sora eventually found out about the Organization's plan, he kept fighting the Heartless in order to protect the innocent while seeking to stop Organization XIII's plans.
By the time Sora and his party reached The World That Never Was, the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts was almost complete, floating high above its world, visible from anywhere in the world's Dark City and in the Castle That Never Was, which were Organization XIII's base. Soon after though, Ansem the Wise attempted to take away the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts by encoding it as data with a machine. However, Ansem's machine was unable to encode as complex an entity as Kingdom Hearts. As such, his machine exploded. This created a reaction that damaged the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts, causing it to release countless hearts that rained down all over The World That Never Was and turned into Heartless. At the Altar of Naught, Xemnas lamented his broken Kingdom Hearts, as he now had to start all over again. When Sora, Riku, and Mickey refused Xemnas's command to gather more hearts, he attacked Sora, but was defeated. Seeking more power, Xemnas merged with the remains of his broken Kingdom Hearts and disappeared into a world within it. However, with a door provided by the worlds, Sora and his friends entered Xemnas's Kingdom Hearts and defeated the Kingdom Hearts-empowered Xemnas. What happened to Xemnas's Kingdom Hearts after that remains undisclosed.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which takes place between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, the creation of the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts play a major role. When Roxas was recruited by Organization XIII, the group's mission to collect enough hearts to create a Kingdom Hearts from the hearts of people by slaying Heartless truly began, as only Keyblade wielders like Roxas can make the Heartless release the hearts needed to form the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts; any hearts from Heartless not slain by a Keyblade will eventually turn back into Heartless. Though the organization's apparent goal was to form a Kingdom Hearts with enough hearts to restore the hearts of the group's members, most of the organization members remained unaware of Xemnas and Xigbar's true intentions for their Kingdom Hearts. As the numbers in his Organization dwindled however, Xemnas would plan to instead become one with the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts and reach a higher existence.
After Roxas and Xion had spent three months collecting hearts, the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts would appear above Organization XIII's base, the Castle That Never Was. On that day, Xemnas presented his Kingdom Hearts to the other Organization members and incited them to continue gathering hearts for their ultimate goal of reclaiming their own.
Over the course of Roxas's time in Organization XIII, he and Xion gathered enough hearts to make the kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts grow to five times its original size.
In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, set ten years before Sora's clash with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, there was an individual who sought the true Kingdom Hearts: a Keyblade wielder named Xehanort. He began studying the legends surrounding Kingdom Hearts, along with the χ-blade and the Keyblade War, out of curiosity. After achieving the rank of Keyblade Master, Xehanort, who had come to the conclusion that their current World was an utter failure, as proven by the Keyblade War, and that the balance of light and darkness in the World had been upset, began seeking the means to reforge the χ-blade, summon the true Kingdom Hearts, and bring about another Keyblade War in order to recreate the World as a place where light and darkness would exist in perfect equilibrium. He would then become the Next World's leader and maintain the balance by keeping the darkness from polluting the World like it did in the age of fairy tales.
Xehanort, now an old man, eventually lured Terra, Aqua, and Ventus, whom he was planning to use to for his plot to unlock the true Kingdom Hearts, to the ancient site of the Keyblade War: the Keyblade Graveyard. During the initial clash between the trio, Xehanort, and Vanitas, Xehanort summoned Kingdom Hearts in the sky overhead.
As the battle waged on, the χ-blade ended up being reforged during the conflict. At the same time, Xehanort was able to secure a younger, healthier body for himself by inserting his heart into Terra using his power as a Keyblade Master in order to create Terra-Xehanort, with the intention of seeing the outcome of the new Keyblade War in a new body. However, the χ-blade was ultimately destroyed by Ventus and Aqua while Terra-Xehanort was knocked out by Terra's Lingering Will. As the explosion from the χ-blade's destruction swept Terra-Xehanort away, Kingdom Hearts disappeared from the sky.
About a year later, Terra-Xehanort gave his heart to the darkness, creating his Heartless Ansem and his Nobody Xemnas. These two beings, while carrying out their original self's plan to properly recreate the χ-blade, also attempted to artificially create Kingdom Hearts as a backup. While Xemnas formed the first Organization XIII and lead them down the path to create a Kingdom Hearts formed from the hearts of people, Ansem followed the work of Maleficent, whom Xehanort had manipulated into creating a Kingdom Hearts formed from the hearts of worlds.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts created by Xemnas and his comrades could be seen in the sky of Riku's version of The World That Never Was. In the meantime, a newly-restored Xehanort would reveal his final plan to obtain the true Kingdom Hearts to King Mickey: by having his newly-assembled thirteen seekers of darkness in his real Organization XIII clash with seven guardians of light, Xehanort would be able to remake the χ-blade and take control over Kingdom Hearts with it.
It is also revealed that Xemnas, the leader of the original Organization XIII, and his right-hand man, Xigbar, never intended to use the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts to restore the hearts of the first organization members; this plan was but a ruse to make sure the Organization members cooperated. Instead, Xemnas planned to hook up each member to the Kingdom Hearts of peoples' hearts and use it to fill each of them with a portion of Xehanort's heart, thereby forming the thirteen darknesses that were needed for Xehanort's plan to recreate the χ-blade.
A variation of Kingdom Hearts' origin plays a key role in Kingdom Hearts χ. In the "age of fairy tales", when the World was whole, Kingdom Hearts filled the World with light and kept it safe. However, it was eventually prophesied by the Master of Masters that a Keyblade War would transpire, which would end with the darkness prevailing and the light expiring. Learning of this prophesy, five of the Master of Masters' students, which would become the Foretellers, tried to prevent this war from taking place. However, the Foretellers soon began to mistrust one another. Eventually, the Foretellers' unions began collecting the World's light in the form of Lux in a misguided attempt to maintain balance between the unions. Ultimately, their efforts collapsed into internecine conflict that embroiled the entire World, and the Keyblade War was waged. This war brought forth the darkness and it spread across the World like a plague. In the aftermath of the Keyblade War, the World was covered in darkness, the χ-blade was shattered into twenty pieces (seven of light and thirteen of darkness), and the one "true" Kingdom Hearts was swallowed by the darkness, never to be seen again. However, the World was restored by the light within the hearts of special Keyblade wielders instructed to avoid the Keyblade War, but as many individual worlds separated from each other in order to keep the war from taking place again.
After the Keyblade War, the "age of fairy tales" passed into legend. Eventually, it was believed that the Keyblade War was caused by people who longed to keep the light of Kingdom Hearts to themselves. As long as Kingdom Hearts remained submerged in the darkness, darkness would exist in every world. However, legend would also state that one day, Kingdom Hearts would return from the darkness.
In Kingdom Hearts III, when Xehanort was on the verge of remaking the χ-blade, Xehanort used his Keyblade to summon the true Kingdom Hearts in the sky above. Soon after, Xehanort completed the χ-blade and used it to unlock Kingdom Hearts, causing the great heart to be corrupted by the tainted Keyblade Master's darkness and start raining darkness down upon the Keyblade Graveyard. Before Kingdom Hearts' darkness could spread further however, the guardians of light forced Xehanort into the world of Scala ad Caelum. Relinquished from Xehanort's control, Kingdom Hearts reverted back to its original state.
During Sora, Donald and Goofy's deceive clash with Xehanort in Scala ad Caelum, Xehanort used the χ-blade to summon Kingdom Hearts to that world, drawing upon its power. When the time then came for the final clash between Sora and Xehanort, Xehanort corrupted Kingdom Hearts again and channeled both its power and the χ-blade's at Sora, striking him down. However, Sora was able to revive himself and defeat Xehanort. Even though Kingdom Hearts had been freed from Xehanort's control however, it would soon release a purge upon the World. However, Xehanort was convinced by the heart of Eraqus to hand the χ-blade over to Sora. Xehanort and Eraqus soon after passed away, and their hearts ascended towards Kingdom Hearts. Afterward, Sora used his and his friends' combined strength to close Kingdom Hearts with the χ-blade once more.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts. Ansem, Seeker of Darkness: Behold the endless abyss! Within it lies the heart of all worlds: Kingdom Hearts!
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Kingdom Hearts. Maleficent: There are seven maidens of the purest heart. We call them the princesses of heart. Gather them together, and a door will open to the heart of all worlds. Within lies untold wisdom.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report III: Kingdom Hearts could be described as an aggregate of hearts. Worlds, too, have hearts, just like people; each world's heart is concealed from sight, beyond a hidden door. By gathering all the hearts of all the worlds in a single place, one may complete Kingdom Hearts.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report VII: At the time of its forging, Kingdom Hearts appears. It must be noted, though, that this Kingdom Hearts is special. Unlike the Kingdoms brought about forcibly and artificially through the collection of hearts, THIS Kingdom Hearts is a perfect and complete union of ALL the worlds' hearts.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. Mickey: Yep, the door to Kingdom Hearts. Welp, it's not the Kingdom Hearts you know. Not exactly. But even though it's smaller, it's still the heart of many worlds. And even if it's not a complete Kingdom Hearts, we definitely can't leave it open like this, or darkness will escape and destroy the remaining worlds.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Kingdom Hearts III. Xehanort: The World began in darkness. And from that darkness came light. From the light came the people, and the people had hearts. Evil burgeoned in those hearts, begetting more darkness. And that darkness spread across the World like a plague. The light, the symbol of the World's hope, was devoured by shadow. Leaving nothing but ruin... An utter failure. But, the first light―the light of Kingdom Hearts―it can give us a new start.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: And as for the source of all light―the one true Kingdom Hearts―it was swallowed by the darkness, never to be seen again. As long as it remains there, even the brightest world have its dark corners.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Glossary: According to legend, the source of all true light is known as "Kingdom Hearts." We know Xehanort has created two Kingdom Hearts now, both artificially, by amassing enough hearts. One was made from the hearts of worlds, and the other from the hearts of people. The Kingdom Hearts made from the hearts of worlds had a door that led to the realm of darkness; its depths were never fully charted. The Kingdom Hearts made from the hearts of people was believed to have the power to recomplete someone whose heart had been lost.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: You see, Kingdom Hearts was protected by its counterpart, the "χ-blade," so that none could ever lay hands on its mysteries.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Glossary: If Kingdom Hearts is a lock, then this blade from the age of fairy tales was the key. It could be argued that without the χ-blade, the Keyblade War might never have been waged; after all, you cannot possess what you cannot find or unlock.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report IV: And when Kingdom Hearts is complete, it is said the one who opens its door will bring about the creation of the Next World. Such a feat is above any human. Or, to put it a different way: whoever opens that door will be reborn as something far greater than human.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts III. Sora: What's gonna happen? / Xehanort: A purge... The World will be returned whence it started.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts. Maleficent: What do I care? The darkness holds no power over me. Rather, I will use its power to rule all worlds.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts. Ansem's computer: Ones born of the heart and darkness, devoid of hearts, ravage all worlds and bring desolation. Seize all hearts and consummate the great heart. All hearts to be one, one heart to encompass all. Realize the destiny: the realm of Kingdom Hearts. The great darkness sealed within the great heart. Progeny of darkness, come back to the eternal darkness. For the heart of light shall unseal the path. Seven hearts, one Keyhole, one key to the door. The door of darkness, tied by two keys. The door to darkness to seal the light. None shall pass but shadows, returning to the darkness. One born of the heart and darkness, hunger for every heart until the dark door opens.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report VI: There are three families of Keyblades: the Keyblades of light we wield, Keyblades of darkness, and Keyblades of heart. The first and second families differ only in origin; Keyblades of darkness are found in the realm of darkness, and are counterparts to the Keyblades we use in the realm of light. The third type of key, the Keyblade of heart, came into existence when the World was reorganized after the Keyblade War. Without this key, Kingdom Hearts is forever beyond a person's reach. Only by gathering together seven hearts of pure light—hearts completely devoid of darkness—may one forge a Keyblade of heart and open the door to Kingdom Hearts. And, as stated before, opening this door arguably gives that person control over all worlds and all people.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Kingdom Hearts II. Saïx: Pitiful Heartless, mindlessly collecting hearts. And yet they know not the true power of what they hold. The rage of the Keyblade releases those hearts. They gather in darkness, masterless and free... ...until they weave together to make Kingdom Hearts. And when that time comes, we can truly, finally exist.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts II. Roxas: Organization XIII... they're a bad group. / Naminé: Bad or good, I don't know. They're a group of incomplete people who wish to be whole. To that end, they're desperately searching for something. / Roxas: What? / Naminé: Kingdom Hearts.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts II. Axel: C'mon, it's a set-up by Organization XIII. Xemnas is using you to destroy the Heartless―that's his big master plan. Every Heartless slain with that Keyblade releases a captive heart. That is what the Organization is after.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: Marluxia: The rest of us can defeat Heartless, but we have no way of collecting the hearts they release. Eventually, the hearts will turn right back into Heartless. You see, then, how special you are?
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: Zexion: Correct. Like all of us, you entered the world without one. But you can help us get them. Kingdom Hearts is made of the very things we lack--a multitude of hearts. It has the power to complete us. Are you starting to see why you're so important? Each of us has a vital role in the Organization. Yours is collecting hearts.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Secret Report: Day 358: Goals: With luck, we can bring Roxas back into our fold, but even if Sora should awaken, as the hero of the Keyblade, he is bound to keep unlocking hearts. If he should come to target us, we need simply subdue him and use his powers ourselves once more. I must become one with Kingdom Hearts. I will become a higher existence. All of my true ambitions begin there.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: As a Keyblade Master, Xehanort had a gift like few others. But such great minds are often plagued by a single great question. What is the essence of the human heart that weakens us, or empowers us? The answer, he believed, would be found in the "Keyblade War." What if the challenges of our past were in fact, a map to the light and darkness that battles within us all? Xehanort had to know, so he renounced his duties as master and chose the seeker's life.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Riku: Look to hard for one thing and you miss everything else. And then, the people around you get hurt in the process. Like Xehanort. His single-minded thirst for answers created Ansem. We all have a little of that curiosity in us... So if we're not careful, any one of us could create an Ansem.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report IX: As a boy, I dreamed of seeing the farthest reaches of the World. If I only went far enough, there had to be a world out there in which no one had ever before set foot. And now I know of just such a world. If I become the first to open Kingdom Hearts' door, I can create a Next World in which light and darkness exist in perfect equilibrium.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report VIII: My brother pupil Eraqus thinks only in absolutes. He has persuaded himself that light is the only way, but forgets that light cannot exist without shadow. I believe a balance of light and darkness is what sustains our World, but too much of the darkness has been stamped out, disrupting that balance. Someone must tear down this tyranny of light and reorganize the World around the darkness which then creeps back in.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts III. Xehanort: The World needs someone to stand up and lead. Someone strong, to stop the weak from polluting the World with their endless darkness. Someone to dictate their destiny.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Xigbar: Xemnas and Xehanort formed the Organization for a specific reason―round up a bunch of empty husks, hook them up to Kingdom Hearts, then fill them all with the exact same heart and mind. Translation―they were gonna turn all the members into Xehanort.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Master of Masters: This world is full of light. It's a world comprised of many smaller worlds, all connected, stretching as far as the eye can see. One great light protects us all throughout this vast land. All worlds share one light, one fate.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Kairi's grandmother: Long ago, people lived in peace, bathed in the warmth of light. Everyone loved the light. Then people began to fight over it. They wanted to keep it for themselves. And darkness was born in their hearts. The darkness spread, swallowing the light and many people's hearts. It covered everything, and the world disappeared. But small fragments of light survived, in the hearts of children. With these fragments of light, children rebuilt the lost world. It's the world we live in now. But the true light sleeps, deep within the darkness. That's why the worlds are still scattered, divided from each other. But someday, a door to the innermost darkness will open, and the true light will return.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Master of Masters: "On that fated land, a great war shall transpire. Darkness will prevail and the light expire."
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Ira: But, what about all of those who are here now? And the ones who will be here when the darkness finally comes? Are we to abandon all of them? / Master of Masters: C'mon, are you telling me that you think the world can be saved by just seven people? / Ira: We have to at least try! With enough Keyblade wielders we could― / Master of Masters: Well, if you wanna give it a shot... / Ira: Yes. / Master of Masters: All righty, good luck!
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Ava: Gula's on a mission to collect Lux. / Invi: Ah. That explains why Aced and Ira are as well. They're trying to maintain the balance. But, that isn't the balance we were expected to keep. If everyone's collecting light solely for themselves, Keyblade wielders will soon turn against one another, which will lead to... the Keyblade War.
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: But in time, the World was overrun by legions who wanted the light all for themselves, and the first shadows were cast upon the land.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: As for the real χ-blade, it did not survive the battle. The two elements that created it, one of darkness and one of light, shattered into twenty pieces―seven of light; thirteen of darkness.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Yen Sid: But though the war extinguished all light from the World, he darkness could not reach the brightness inside every child's heart. With that light, the World was remade as we know it today, with countless smaller worlds shining like stars in the sky.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Xehanort's Report IV: The Keyblade wielders' great war over Kingdom Hearts was fought by defenders of the light, servants of darkness, those who sought to reconcile the two, and those motivated by nothing more than lust for power. A whole spectrum of thought was swept into the conflict, and the worlds that did not go to war found the war brought to them. In the end, the whole World was cast into darkness.