- This article is about the Dark City and the World That Never Was as a whole. For the castle above the world, see Castle That Never Was.
The World That Never Was is a world featured in Kingdom Hearts II, the base of operations in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and the seventh world submerged in sleep in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
The world of Organization XIII, it is home to a seemingly endless horde of Heartless and Nobodies. The Heartless seem to spawn more here due to how close The World That Never Was is to the darkness of Kingdom Hearts. The Organization controls the world from a massive fortress that floats weightlessly over the expansive Dark City. Unlike the Heartless counterpart End of the World, the World That Never Was is more man-made in appearance to reflect the Nobodies' ability to think and plan rather than act on instinct like the Heartless.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
The World that Never Was is likely to have been the headquarters for Organization XIII since its creation, even after the founding of Castle Oblivion as a secondary base. Meetings were held here and members would return here when done with their missions. Up until the time of Sora's arrival on this world, it was a safe haven for Organization XIII.
When Roxas abandons the Organization, he wanders for a short time through the streets of the Dark City, possibly contemplating where to go to start his search for himself. Here, outside one of the many locked stores, Roxas meets with Axel, who tries to stop him from leaving, warning him that the Organization would destroy him were he to leave. Roxas, stating that no one would miss him (were he to die), leaves Axel suddenly behind and moves along the streets to Memory's Skyscraper. Axel mutters that he would miss him, before Roxas disappears into the darkness.
A few days later, Roxas returns to the city, hoping to engage Xemnas along with the other Organization XIII members, but instead he discovers multitudes of Heartless, sent to attack the Keyblade wieldier while the Organization was not protecting him. Roxas fends off the hordes of Neoshadow Heartless, but realizes he is far outnumbered. It is then that he sees Riku atop the Skyscraper. Roxas throws Oblivion to Riku. Using Roxas' Keyblade, Riku helps him defeat all of the Neoshadows while Roxas used his Oathkeeper.
But, as soon as the Heartless are defeated, the two immediately turn on each other. Roxas, having just lost Xion, is angry and hurt. He tells Riku he intends to free Kingdom Hearts and find Xion, to "get his life back." Riku tells him that by freeing Kingdom Hearts, the "last thing he'll get is his life back." He comments on the fact that Roxas can barely even remember Xion's name, since everyone's memories of her, including Riku's, are already disappearing. Riku, knowing he needs Roxas in order for Sora to wake up, tries to stop him from leaving, and the two duel. Roxas eventually defeats Riku. In order to subdue Roxas, Riku taps into the darkness in his heart, and uses the dark power he was holding back to defeat Roxas, resulting in his Riku-Ansem appearance, with the Guardian who resided within his heart. DiZ promptly arrives to find Riku-Ansem with his hood up, and the two take Roxas back to their secret base in Twilight Town.
It should be noted that in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts is seen above the castle on Day 94 and gradually gets bigger and bigger until Day 357, when Roxas and Xion have stopped working for the Organization.
Kingdom Hearts II
The World that Never Was continued to be used as a base of operations for the Organization throughout Kingdom Hearts II. Although their numbers continued to decrease, they still held meetings in the Castle That Never Was, and plotted a way to use the Keyblade.
Eventually, Sora arrived in the Dark City, with the help of the Organization's traitor, Axel. Making their way through the large amounts of Heartless, Sora, Donald, Goofy and King Mickey fought to the center of the city, Memory's Skyscraper. Here, Samurai Nobodies appeared from nowhere, and Roxas appeared to Sora, challenging him to a fight. The two disappeared from the scene and while Donald and Goofy fought off the Samurai, Sora and Roxas dueled on the Station of Awakening.
After Roxas is defeated, he tells Sora that he's a "good other." The group then continued on to the Castle that Never Was. They made their way through the many levels of the castle, meeting up with Riku and Kairi, and finishing off the remaining members of the Organization.
He then meets Ansem the Wise on one of the upper floors of the castle, who reveals that he was going to use a machine to transform Kingdom Hearts into data, but because of the fact that hearts are unpredictable, Ansem the Wise's mechanism overloaded and exploded, sending him to the Realm of Darkness and also destroying many of his memories. The blast also destroyed the Riku-Ansem appearance, returning Riku to his original form. The party made their way to the top floor and finally defeated Xemnas.
During the extensive final battle with "The Superior," much of the Dark City and the Castle That Never Was was destroyed. Chunks of building were ripped up and thrown at Sora and Riku, and the main tower of the Castle collapsed.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Though not actually a world in deep slumber, the New Organization orchestrated Sora's arrival to the World That Never Was through Young Xehanort. When Sora ends up in the Dark City, he encounters Xigbar as he shoots 12 arrows around Sora which manifest into Young Xehanort and the members of the new Organization before the boy falls into a deep sleep. At that time, Riku lands the World That Never Was and finds Sora encased in a floating bubble surrounded by darkness before facing the Anti Black Coat manifesting from the darkness. Within a dream version of the world, finding himself in his previous outfit as Riku tries to reach him, Sora sees Naminé before she transformed into Xion, a girl he does not know. Sora then crosss paths with Roxas as they have a conversation over the Nobody's ties to him before Roxas transfers his all painful memories with Sora and fades. He later meets Kairi and Riku, who briefly turn into Aqua and Terra as Sora, becoming Ventus for a moment, tries to reach them to no avail.
Eventually, teleported to another part of the world, Riku's words reach Sora as he comes to and meets Xigbar and Xemnas as they reveal nature of Nobodies becoming their own beings over time. They also reveal the true purpose of Organization XIII and that Xigbar's original self Braig had underwent the process of becoming a clone of Xehanort. Sora becomes more aggressive toward Xigbar, striking a nerve in the Nobody by stating that "My friends are my power and I'm theirs!" regardless if he is only borrowing their strength. An annoyed Xigbar leaves Xemnas to deal with Sora. After a fight with Xemnas, Young Xehanort appears and reveal that as Sora made no counter against the scenario like Riku had, the youth's clothes embraced the darkness in his heart as he falls into the depths of his sleep. Young Xehnort then takes the comatose Sora to the Castle that Never Was's Where Nothing Gathers.
After defeating "Ansem", with Sora's dream eaters aiding him, Riku makes his way to the Castle That Never Was and finds the unconscious Sora sitting on Roxas's throne within the Where Nothing Gathers. When he runs to Sora, Young Xehanort appears and they talk about Sora's condition. Mickey then freezes time in the whole room with Stopga, freezing Young Xehanort as well. But soon Young Xehanort, who has power over time, manages to resist the spell and hits Mickey throwing him to the other side of room. He then challenges Riku to a fight. After the fight ends, Stopza wears off, the room's thrones are starting to fill with hooded people, Xemnas, Ansem, and Braig. On the highest throne, the darkness creates an figure, which is no one other than Master Xehanort himself. He tells his plans to still create χ-blade and start a new Keyblade War. He then makes Sora's throne rise up and summons his Keyblade to make the youth the final member of the his new Organization. Mickey tries to reach Sora, but is stopped by Xemnas while "Ansem" similarly restraints Riku. Master Xehanort attempts the process, but Lea manages to block the attack and save Sora. Then, Isa attacks Lea. Ansem's Guardian grabs Riku and Mickey but Donald and Goofy appear to save them, but then Xehanort's new Organization XIII vanish. Riku and the others then return to the Mysterious Tower with Sora.
Heartless only appear in the Dark City, as the Castle is home to the Nobodies. Although Armored Knights are shown in cutscenes before you fight Xigbar, you can never actually fight them in that area.
Areas of the Dark City
Alley to Between
The Alley to Between (狭間につながる路地 Hazama ni Tsunagaru Roji?) hides a portal to Betwixt and Between. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey used this portal to get into the world, thanks to Axel's sacrifice. The alleyway connects to the main route that leads to the Castle That Never Was. The first Save Point of the world is here. The Castle That Never Was can also been seen clearly in the light of the Kingdom Hearts moon, shaded in purple.
Fragment Crossing (断片を紡ぐ道 Danpen o Tsumugu Michi?, lit. "Fragment-Spinning Road") is a long series of winding streets that lead to Memory's Skyscraper. It is full of neon signs attached to vacant buildings as well as a power plant which seems to power some or all of the city. Many Shadow Heartless are here in Kingdom Hearts II but they are replaced with Nobodies in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey took this route on their way to the Castle That Never Was. Pluto also had an encounter with Axel here.
Memory's Skyscraper (記憶の摩天楼 Kioku no Matenrō?) is a tall building in the World That Never Was. Located near the Castle That Never Was, the building kept watch over the residents of the Dark. On its front, it has a massive television screen that seems to flash images of memories of those nearby (although this feature is only visible in Another side, Another story...). A truck is visible flipped on its side in one corner of the area. Roxas was battling a legion of Neoshadows when Riku appeared at the top of the building, and after the two eliminated the Neoshadows, they began their duel.
After arriving at the World That Never Was, Sora was confronted by Roxas at Memory's Skyscraper, while two Samurai blocked Donald and Goofy. Sora and Roxas soon disappeared to the Station of Awakening, but Donald and Goofy claimed to not see Roxas.
During his battle with Xemnas, Sora was pulled into an area that included Memory's Skyscraper, called Memory's Contortion, in a battle similar to the one Roxas and Riku had.
Brink of Despair
The Brink of Despair (絶望を望む断崖 Zetsubō o Nozomu Dangai?, lit. "Cliff Desiring Despair") seems to have been made by The Castle That Never Was which hovers above it. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey arrive here and access the castle via a path using the Keyblade. It has the second Save Point of this world.
Castle That Never Was
The Castle That Never Was is an enormous white castle that floats above the city, dominating its skyline. It is decorated all over with Nobody symbols. It serves as the Organization's base of operations and home; lesser Nobodies infest it as well. Some areas are not accessible unless using a Corridor of Darkness.
The World of Nothing
After Xemnas's first defeat within Memory's Contortion, he flees into his Kingdom Hearts. However, a door appears that leads Sora and his friends within that Kingdom Hearts to an area named The World of Nothing. The first area inside the door is The World of Nothing—End's Beginning, a passageway resembling the Dark City where skyscrapers suddenly erupt from the ground in order to repel Sora. A strange black-and-white tunnel leads from this room to a platform looking out on the gigantic Nobody that Xemnas is riding. From there, Sora can climb falling skyscraper to walkways surrounding the lower cannons of the Nobody, The World of Nothing—Twin Cannons. Once he destroys those, Sora swings his way up to the ship's Energy Core, which is kept in a room appropriately named The World of Nothing—Energy Core. After disabling the ship's energy core, he makes it up The World of Nothing—Xemnas's Throne Room, where Xemnas sits in his Keyblade Armor, enthroned atop the dragon Nobody's head in a chamber equipped with the weapons of the defeated Organization members. After completely destroying the gigantic Nobody, Sora and Riku are left in The World of Nothing, a nearly-empty void of shifting greys and whites where Xemnas makes his last attempt to destroy them. He fails, however, and the boys are deposited at the Dark Margin.
Sleeping World version
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora visits a dream of a dream of the World that Never Was, which appears similar to the facsimile of the End of the World within Castle Oblivion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and the World of Nothing within Kingdom Hearts in Kingdom Hearts II.
Avenue to Dreams
The Avenue to Dreams is a large urban area beginning with an enclosed alley featuring a save point and a Moogle hologram. Up a long flight of stairs lays a piece of destroyed building, blocking the path into the city that must be scaled to advance. Beyond is an area of twisting alleys surrounded by skyscrapers that can be scaled with Flowmotion. Several buildings are adorned in blue stripes with a geometric pattern and when stood upon, they raise up, throwing Sora into the air. Another building has similar white stripes and can be destroyed by using a Reality Shift. Perhaps the most notable feature of this area is a stream of blue-green mist that falls from the roof of a massive tower extremely similar to Memory's Skyscraper and flows through the streets. Beyond this tower, the pavement is revealed to be floating and broken, away from the rest of the city and leads off into a more urban area.
The Contorted City seems to emerge from a canyon of strange blue-green rock. Much of the architecture here is coated in blue-green mist, many buildings float of their own accord, attached to chunks of rock separate from the road, and several shake and swing. The blue markings appear again on the shaking section that is able to launch Sora skyward. Beyond several overturned buildings, a path of broken pavement and destroyed buildings forms an upward spiral. Neon strips and signs on the buildings can be traversed with Flowmotion. In several places, floating buildings marked with red symbols will hurtle toward Sora and must be destroyed with a Reality Shift or they will cause damage.
The Nightmarish Abyss features a large open plaza surrounded on three sides by skyscrapers, with a crashed truck (identical to the one near Memory's Skyscraper) blocking access to a side-street. The fourth side drops off to an abyss that is spanned by floating skyscrapers laid on their sides, forming a mostly straight path between two cliff faces and leading toward what appears to be Memory's Skyscraper and the Castle that Never Was. Several neon strips appear here that can be traversed through Flowmotion, as in the Contorted City area.
- Interestingly, the boxart of Kingdom Hearts shows a scene with the younger versions of Kairi, Sora, Riku, Donald, and Goofy sitting on a skyscraper in a world, that bears an uncanny resemblance to the World That Never Was, including the Kingdom Hearts moon in the background, although this world didn't actually appear before Kingdom Hearts II. A CG version of this artwork was produced to promote Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX which later revealed the world to be Traverse Town; the letters "T-R-A-V" clearly etched in the stone under Roxas and company.
- The World That Never Was cannot be accessed via the Gummi Ship until after you enter the world via the Simulated Twilight Town.
- Coinciding with the World That Never Was being the opposite of the End of the World, the World That Never Was seems more industrial while the End of the World seems more naturalistic, which coincides with the fact that Nobodies rely on intelligence rather than instinct while Heartless are vice versa.
- It is unknown if Young Xehanort's battle arena in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance has any connection to the World That Never Was despite the similarities.
|Power-Ups||AP Boost x 2||Memory's Skyscraper,|
|Synthesis||Mythril Crystal x 2||Memory's Skyscraper,|
|Mythril Stone x 2||Memory's Skyscraper,|
|Orichalcum+||Brink of Despair|
|Maps||Dark City Map||Brink of Despair|
|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|
|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 - Struggle|
|Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack - Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete - Sanctuary|
|Accessories - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies - Items - Other Weapons - Songs|
|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|
|Heart - Heartless - Keyblade - Mission Mode - Nobody - Organization XIII - Organization XIII Device - Replica - Replica Program - Roxas's Diary - [[Sea-salt ice cream]1] - Chaining|
|Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack - Sanctuary|
|Rings - Artwork - Bosses - Enemies - Other Weapons|
|Sora | Riku|
|Young Xehanort | Master Xehanort | Xemnas | Ansem, Seeker of Darkness | Braig | Isa | Maleficent | Pete | Claude Frollo | CLU | Rinzler|
Kairi | Mickey Mouse | Lea | Yen Sid | Donald Duck | Goofy | Jiminy Cricket | Quasimodo | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Laverne, Victor, and Hugo | Pinocchio | Geppetto | Blue Fairy | Princess Minnie | Beagle Boys | Julius | Ursula | Monstro | Chernabog | Neku Sakuraba | Joshua | Beat | Shiki | Rhyme | Sam Flynn | Quorra | Kevin Flynn | Even | Ienzo | Aeleus | Roxas | Xion | Vanitas | Naminé | Xehanort
|Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | La Cité des Cloches | The Grid | Prankster's Paradise | Country of the Musketeers | Symphony of Sorcery | Radiant Garden | The World That Never Was | Realm of Darkness | Dive to the Heart | Disney Castle | Keyblade Graveyard | Mysterious Tower|
|Castle That Never Was | Sleeping Worlds|
|Dream Eater | Keyhole of Sleep | Keyblade War | Mark of Mastery | True Organization XIII | Another Guardian of Light | Forecast|
|Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary|
|Flick Rush | Training Toys|
|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|
|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|
|Introduced in Kingdom Hearts χ [chi]|