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- "Kingdom Hearts! Fill me with the power of darkness! [...]"
"You're wrong. I know now, without a doubt. Kingdom Hearts... is light!"
"Light... but why...?"
- —Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Sora
Kingdom Hearts is one of the major objects in the Kingdom Hearts universe. It is the heart of all worlds, and a source of great power and wisdom. It can be seen as the heart of everything. Due to its great significance, it has repeatedly been sought by the villains of the Kingdom Hearts series, in particular the series's main antagonist, Xehanort.
- "This χ-blade will open a door―one that leads to all worlds! Then, Keyblade-bearing warriors will flock here from each and every one of them, to battle for the light within Kingdom Hearts! And just like the legend says, the Keyblade War will begin!"
In the prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, set ten years before the events of the first game, Kingdom Hearts appears in a form similar to Kingdom Hearts II, but blue in the sky above the Keyblade Graveyard. The graveyard is all that remains of a conflict called the Keyblade War, set many years before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Keyblade Masters affiliated with both Light and Darkness fought to create the legendary χ-blade, a Keyblade capable of unlocking Kingdom Hearts. The Keyblade Masters failed and destroyed themselves; all that remain are their weapons which litter the desolate world.
Some time after, an aged Keyblade Master named Master Xehanort formulated a plan to create the χ-blade, intending to unlock Kingdom Hearts. In his reports, Xehanort explains his views of the equilibrium of Light and Darkness and how they countered those from Master Eraqus's. Opposite to Eraqus's beliefs of light being absolute, Xehanort saw that light could not exist without darkness. Xehanort believed that the balance between light and darkness was what sustained the worlds. However, he noticed that light was prevailing and that darkness was excluded too much. As a result, he created a goal for himself to destroy the current system of light and recreate a new system of darkness, and through the rise of darkness, he would reorganize the worlds.
Along with the χ-blade, Xehanort also needed one more ingredient in his plan: a vessel. With the opening of Kingdom Hearts, he would be able to obtain a new body and discard his old one. As a result, his search for the vessel led him to Terra. He saw that Terra was looking for power, and that through obtaining this power, his heart would also give birth to darkness. Thus, with this observation, Xehanort concluded that Terra was to be his new vessel.
At first, Xehanort's plans worked well, as he set the scene for his dreams to come into fruition. In the end, he succeeded in creating the χ-blade by way of manipulating his former apprentice, Ventus, and his dark counterpart, Vanitas. With the creation of the χ-blade, Xehanort stopped his battle with Terra, released his heart through striking his chest with his own Keyblade, and used the power of Kingdom Hearts to transfer his heart into Terra's body. However, after obtaining Terra's body, part of Terra's emotions went into the discarded armor, forming the Lingering Will. Xehanort lost to the Lingering Will in a battle and fainted, unable to continue his plans with Kingdom Hearts prior to his memories being sealed.
In the first game, Xehanort's Heartless, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, and the horde of villains led by Maleficent sought out Kingdom Hearts. Both wanted to draw out the darkness that surrounded it in order to gain immeasurable power and knowledge.
To accomplish this, Maleficent searched for the Seven Princesses of Heart, the maidens that possessed hearts that had absolutely no darkness within them. When brought together, these princesses would reveal the Final Keyhole, the only way to Kingdom Hearts itself. Thus, Maleficent attacked many worlds with the Heartless in her pursuit of them, and managed to capture all seven. All the while, she was being used by Xehanort's Heartless, whose original self managed to discover the nature of hearts, as well as Kingdom Hearts itself.
At Hollow Bastion, what remained of Radiant Garden after the chaos Xehanort caused, the seven princesses were finally gathered, but only when Sora sacrificed himself to release Kairi's heart using a Keyblade constructed from the hearts of the six other princesses, was the path to Kingdom Hearts finally opened. With Xehanort's Heartless having gained possession of Riku's body and forcing Riku's heart to wander into the darkness, he disappeared behind the darkness that poured out from the keyhole on the way to Kingdom Hearts.
After Sora was restored from his Heartless self, he once again went to Hollow Bastion, and sealed the Keyhole made by the princesses, holding off the great darkness. Regardless, Xehanort's Heartless remained a threat, so Sora and company ventured to the End of the World, a place created out of the remains of the worlds taken by the Heartless. There, the Heartless thrived, and beyond it, in the endless abyss, lay the unlocked door to Kingdom Hearts.
After a long battle, Xehanort's wounded Heartless reached the endless abyss, where the Door to Darkness lay, with the Realm of Darkness and Kingdom Hearts waiting behind it. Xehanort's Heartless forced the door to open, hoping for Kingdom Hearts to fill him with the power of darkness. However, Kingdom Hearts was revealed not to be darkness, but light. The light overwhelmed him, destroying him. But even with his defeat, the darkness that surrounded Kingdom Hearts threatened to overwhelm the Realm of Light, with Heartless flocking to it in droves. In order to stop the Heartless threat, Sora was forced to close the Door to Darkness, trapping Riku and King Mickey on the other side. Nonetheless, the sealing also restored the destroyed worlds, along with the barriers between them, while preventing billions of Heartless from invading the Realm of Light.
Throughout the entire game, Organization XIII is trying to collect Hearts by destroying Emblem Heartless, in order to create their own Kingdom Hearts within The World That Never Was. Though the Organization's members work towards that goal to become complete beings, Xemnas, Xehanort's Nobody, intended to become one with Kingdom Hearts itself. In one scene, Xemnas shows the other Organization members how big their Kingdom Hearts is from the top of the Alter of Naught, explaining how close they are to complete their plans. After this scene, the world can be seen outside the windows of The Grey Room or Organization members' bedrooms in Castle That Never Was as it slowly grows whilst Roxas and Xion gather hearts throughout most of the year.
- "Hear me, Kingdom Hearts! It seems we must begin anew. Ah, but know this: I will give to you as many hearts as it takes. Mark my words. You can no more be complete without me than I without you. Heed me, Kingdom Hearts! Lend me your power, so that we may be complete! The power to erase the fools that hinder us!"
After Xion's demise and Roxas' reunion with Sora, Xemnas alters his scheme for himself and the remaining Organization XIII members to use Sora in destroying the Emblem Heartless so they can reap the benefits and become whole. When Sora learns of this plot, however, the Kingdom Hearts above the Castle That Never Was had grown to an enormous size. Xemnas aside, a revived Maleficent also seeks out Kingdom Hearts once more and refuses to let the Organization get to it first.
But due to Ansem the Wise's attempt to seal Kingdom Hearts away with a digital encoder, the explosion that sent him to the Dark Margin and restored Riku's original form left a giant hole in Kingdom Hearts, causing countless hearts to rain down over the world, becoming Heartless as soon as they touch the darkness that emanates from the city, with other Nobodies, mainly Dusks, attempting to catch the falling hearts to complete themselves. With Kingdom Hearts damaged, Xemnas attempted to have the Keyblade wielders help him all over again, though their refusal forces him to take drastic action to carry out his plan of becoming one with Kingdom Hearts.
Thankfully, a new door, much like the Door to Darkness, appears, allowing Sora and his companions to enter Kingdom Hearts as well. But Xemnas had already absorbed Kingdom Hearts' power, and attempts to use it against his opponents after transforming Kingdom Hearts' dimension into a replica of the World That Never Was. Though he tries his best, and nearly defeats them, the combined efforts of Sora and his friends bring about his downfall. What ultimately happens to Kingdom Hearts after Xemnas's defeat is unknown, but it can be presumed that the Kingdom Hearts Xemnas created using hearts Sora released with his Keyblade no longer exists.
- In the mosaic above the door to Kingdom Hearts, a Hidden Mickey insignia can be seen.
- According to Nomura in Director's Secret Report XIII, it is implied that the differing colors of Kingdom Hearts is due to the nature of its assemblage. The Kingdom Hearts made by Organization XIII was assembled from the "hearts of men," meaning the hearts of people, turned into Heartless, were compiled into it. In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the χ-blade unlocked Kingdom Hearts from "the hearts of worlds," meaning the hearts of entire worlds were assembled for its creation.
|Terra - Ventus - Aqua - Lingering Will|
Mickey Mouse - Zack - Experiment 626 - Prince Phillip - Hercules - Peter Pan
|Terra - Ventus - Aqua - Vanitas - Maleficent - Cinderella - Snow White - Experiment 626 - Mickey Mouse - Donald Duck - Goofy - Zack - Peter Pan - Pete|
|Master Xehanort - Vanitas - Braig - Xehanort - Maleficent - Lady Tremaine - Anastasia - Drizella - Lucifer - The Queen - Magic Mirror - Gantu - Experiment 221 - Hades - Ice Colossus - Captain Hook - Captain Dark|
|Aeleus - Ansem the Wise - Aurora - Brooms - Captain Justice - Chip and Dale - Cinderella - Crocodile - Daisy Duck - Dilan - Donald Duck - Dr. Jumba - Even - Fairy Godmother - Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather - Grand Councilwoman - Grand Duke - Horace Horsecollar - Huey, Dewey, and Louie - Ienzo - Isa - Jaq - Kairi - Kairi's Grandma - Lea - Lost Boys - Maleficent's goons - Master Eraqus - Merlin - Minnie Mouse - Moogle - Philoctetes - Pluto - The Prince - Prince Charming - Rabbit - Riku - Scrooge McDuck - Seven Dwarfs - Smee - Snow White - Sora - Tigger - Tinker Bell - Unknown - Vanitas Remnant - Winnie the Pooh - Yen Sid|
|Land of Departure - Enchanted Dominion - Castle of Dreams - Dwarf Woodlands - Destiny Islands - Radiant Garden - Olympus Coliseum - Disney Town - Deep Space - Mirage Arena - Neverland - Mysterious Tower - Keyblade Graveyard - Castle Oblivion|
|Dive to the Heart - 100 Acre Wood - Kingdom Hearts - Chamber of Waking|
|Keyblade - Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony - Keyblade Armor - Keyblade Glider - Keyblade Master - Keyblade War - Mark of Mastery - Million Dreams Award - Princesses of Heart - Blank Points - Unversed|
|Deck Command - D-Link - Command Style - Shotlock - Arena Mode - Command Board|
|Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack - Simple and Clean|
|Accessories - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies|
|Sora - Donald Duck - Goofy|
Tarzan - Aladdin - Ariel - Jack Skellington - Peter Pan - Beast
|Simba - Genie - Dumbo - Bambi - Tinker Bell - Mushu|
|Ansem - Maleficent - Riku - Hades - Jafar - Captain Hook - Oogie Boogie - Ursula - Clayton|
|99 Puppies - Abu - Aerith - Alice - Aurora - Bathtub - Belle - Brooms - Card Soldiers - Carpet - Cave of Wonders Guardian - Cerberus - Chernabog - Cheshire Cat - Chip and Dale - Cid - Cinderella - Cloud - Crocodile - Daisy Duck - Doorknob - Dr. Finkelstein - Eeyore - Fairy Godmother - Flotsam and Jetsam - Flounder - Geppetto - Glut - Hercules - Huey, Dewey, and Louie - Iago - Ice Titan - Jane - Jasmine - Jiminy Cricket - Kairi - Kairi's Grandma - Kala - Kerchak - King Triton - Leon - Lock, Shock, and Barrel - Merlin - Mickey Mouse - Minnie Mouse - Moogles - Owl - Perdita - Philoctetes - Piglet - Pinocchio - Pluto - Pongo - Queen of Hearts - Rabbit - Rock Titan - Roo - Roxas - Sabor - Sally - Sebastian - Selphie - Sephiroth - Smee - Snow White - Terk - The Mayor - The Peddler - Tidus - Tigger - Wakka - Wendy - White Rabbit - Winnie the Pooh - Yuffie - Xemnas - Zero|
|Destiny Islands - Disney Castle - Traverse Town - Wonderland - Olympus Coliseum - Deep Jungle - 100 Acre Wood - Agrabah - Monstro - Atlantica - Halloween Town - Neverland - Hollow Bastion - End of the World|
|Dive to the Heart - World Terminus - Kingdom Hearts|
|Ansem Report - Final Keyhole - Keyblade - Keyhole - Mickey's Letter - Postcard - Princesses of Heart - Trinity Mark - Door to Darkness- Dalmations|
|Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack - Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete - Simple and Clean|
|Accessories - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies - Items - Other Weapons|
|Roxas - Axel - Demyx - Larxene - Lexaeus - Luxord - Marluxia - Saïx - Vexen - Xaldin - Xemnas - Xigbar - Xion - Zexion|
|Donald Duck - Goofy - King Mickey - Riku - Sora|
|Abu - Aladdin - Beast - Belle - Captain Hook - Card Soldiers - Carpet - Cave of Wonders Guardian - Cheshire Cat - Cogsworth - DiZ - Doorknob - Dr. Finkelstein - Genie - Hayner - Hercules - Jack Skellington - Jasmine - Kairi - Lock, Shock, and Barrel - Lumiere - Moogle - Mr. Smee - Naminé - Olette - Pence - Pete - Philoctetes - Queen of Hearts - Tinkerbell - White Rabbit - Zero|
|Agrabah - Beast's Castle - Castle Oblivion - Destiny Islands - Halloween Town - Kingdom Hearts - Neverland - Olympus Coliseum - The World That Never Was - Twilight Town - Wonderland|
|Castle That Never Was - Old Mansion - Simulated Twilight Town|
|Heart - Heartless - Keyblade - Mission Mode - Nobody - Organization XIII - Organization XIII Device - Replica - Replica Program - Roxas's Diary - Sea-salt ice cream|
|Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack - Sanctuary|
|Rings - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies - Other Weapons|
|Roxas - Sora - Donald Duck - Goofy|
Mulan - Beast - Auron - Jack Sparrow - Aladdin - Jack Skellington - Simba - Tron - Riku
|Chicken Little - Genie - Stitch - Peter Pan|
|Xemnas - Organization XIII - Maleficent - Pete - Shan-Yu - Hades - Captain Barbossa - Jafar - Oogie Boogie - Scar - Ursula - MCP - Sark|
|Abu - Aerith - Ansem the Wise - Ariel - Auron - Axel - Bathtub - Belle - Brooms - Captain Barbossa - Captain Pete - Carpet - Cave of Wonders Guardian - Cerberus - Chien Po - Chip - Chip and Dale - Cid - Clara Cluck - Clarabelle Cow - Cloud - Cogsworth - Daisy Duck - Demyx - Dr. Finkelstein - Eeyore - Elizabeth Swann - Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather - Flotsam and Jetsam - Flounder - Fuu - Gopher - Gullwings - Hayner - Hercules - Horace Horsecollar - Hostile Program - Huey, Dewey, and Louie - Hydra - Iago - Jasmine - Jiminy Cricket - Kairi - Kanga - King Triton - Leon - Li Shang - Ling - Lock, Shock, and Barrel - Lumiere - Luxord - Megara - Merlin - Mickey Mouse - Mickey Mouse (Timeless River) - Minnie Mouse - Moogles - Mrs. Potts - Mufasa - Mushu - Nala - Naminé - Olette - Owl - Pain and Panic - Pegasus - Pence - Philoctetes - Piglet - Pluto - Prince Eric - Pumbaa - Rabbit - Rafiki - Rai - Reindeer - Roo - Saïx - Sally - Santa Claus - Sark - Scar - Scar's Ghost - Scrooge McDuck - Sebastian - Seifer - Selphie - Sephiroth - Setzer - Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed - The Emperor - The Experiment - The Mayor - The Peddler - The Wardrobe - Tifa - Tigger - Timon - Tinker Bell - Undead Pirates - Vivi - William Turner - Winnie the Pooh - Xaldin - Xehanort - Xigbar - Yao - Yen Sid - Yuffie - Zero|
|Twilight Town - Destiny Islands - Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden - The Land of Dragons - Beast's Castle - 100 Acre Wood - Olympus Coliseum - Disney Castle - Timeless River - Atlantica - Port Royal - Agrabah - Halloween Town - Pride Lands - Space Paranoids - The World That Never Was - Keyblade Graveyard|
|Simulated Twilight Town - Dive to the Heart - Old Mansion - Betwixt and Between - Mysterious Tower - Underworld - Christmas Town - Castle That Never Was - Cavern of Remembrance - Chambers of Repose and Waking - Kingdom Hearts|
|Cornerstone of Light - Drive Form - Gate - Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee - Kairi's Letter - Keyblade - Kingdom Hearts Encoder - Organization XIII - Princesses of Heart - Reaction Command - Secret Ansem Report - Skateboard|
|Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack - Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete - Sanctuary|
|Accessories - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies - Items - Other Weapons - Songs|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts|
|Dive to the Heart | Destiny Islands | Disney Town/Disney Castle | Traverse Town | Wonderland | Olympus Coliseum | Deep Jungle | Agrabah | Monstro | Atlantica | Halloween Town | Neverland | Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion | 100 Acre Wood | End of the World | Kingdom Hearts | Realm of Darkness|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories|
|Land of Departure/Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts II|
|Simulated Twilight Town | Mysterious Tower | The Land of Dragons | Beast's Castle | Underworld | Timeless River | Port Royal | Christmas Town | Pride Lands | Space Paranoids | The World That Never Was | Keyblade Graveyard|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep|
|Enchanted Dominion | Dwarf Woodlands | Castle of Dreams | Deep Space | Mirage Arena|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts coded|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts 3D|
|La Cité des Cloches | The Grid | Prankster's Paradise | Country of the Musketeers | Symphony of Sorcery|