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The Keyhole

Xemnas

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When you doubt the path trod thus far, when the hand you held is lost to you, gaze anew at the heart that once was... for all the answers are within.
Mickey teaching Riku magic
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Organization XIII
Xemnas KHD
Xemnas
Kana ゼムナス
Rōmaji Zemunasu
Number I
Title Superior of the In-Between
Weapon Ethereal Blades (Interdiction)
Attribute Nothingness ( Mu?)
Limit Break (Days) All-Vanity
First appearance Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Original name Xehanort
"Ansem" (アンセム Ansemu?) was used for the anagram.
English voice actor(s) Paul St. Peter
Japanese voice actor(s) Norio Wakamoto
"I'm carrying on what you yourself began, and I'm creating a brand new world, one heart at a time."
—Xemnas, to Ansem the Wise, on universal domination

Xemnas, the Superior of the In-Between (狭間の指導者 Hazama no Shidōsha?),[1] is Xehanort's Nobody via the fourth Xehanort's body, Rank I within Organization XIII, and the ruler of The World That Never Was. He is the main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and one of the main antagonists of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

As the oldest of the Nobodies, Xemnas wields the power of nothingness, and channels this into his weapons, red blades of energy called Ethereal Blades, which extend from the palms of his hands. He commands the Sorcerer Nobodies. As the superior, Xemnas is the first member and founder of Organization XIII, with all other Nobodies under his control. He is able to manipulate Sora, Roxas, and Xion to use the Keyblade's power for himself. He also appears to be the most powerful, so much that even Marluxia would not dare to face him in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

Despite his original name being Xehanort, he uses an anagram of his mentor Ansem the Wise's name due to Xehanort stealing the name prior to discarding his heart and body. Xemnas is a playable character in the Mission Mode of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Journal Entries

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix

A mysterious man who appeared at Hollow Bastion.

Kingdom Hearts II

First entry

Organization XIII's Number I. He directs the group as its leader.

Organization XIII is a unique presence among the Nobodies. They think and plan, and seem to have a greater goal.

What that is remains to be seen, but they appear to know a bit about the Keyblade.

Second entry

Organization XIII's Number I. He directs the group as its leader.

In truth, he is the Nobody of Xehanort, who was apprenticed to Ansem the Wise. In secret, Xehanort studied the doors and the heart of all worlds, ultimately stealing his master's name, Ansem. When Xehanort became a Heartless, his Nobody Xemnas came into being.

Xemnas is using Sora, collecting the hearts released every time a Heartless falls to his Keyblade.

Third entry

Organization XIII's Number I, who acts as leader of the group. Xemnas is the Nobody of Ansem's apprentice Xehanort.

He used Sora and his Keyblade to collect hearts from the Heartless and see Kingdom Hearts to its completion.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

No. I XEMNAS

Organization XIII's leader. Through power over nothing, he seeks power over everything.

Weapon: Ethereal Blades

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Xehanort's Nobody, who was once leader of Organization XIII. He tried to create Kingdom Hearts from the hearts of people, but Sora put an end to his plans and the man himself.

So why is Sora seeing him now?

Story

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix/Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Sora, Unknown Battle KHFM

Sora's first battle with Xemnas in Hollow Bastion.

"He looks a lot like you."
—Xemnas, to Roxas, about Sora.


When Roxas first came into being, Xemnas found him at the manor at Twilight Town. Giving the Nobody his name, Xemnas inducted Roxas into Organization XIII so he could use the Keyblade to release captured hearts from Emblem Heartless and form his own personal Kingdom Hearts. However, Xemnas's true reason for Kingdom Hearts is not to regain his heart, but rather to become a god, and remake the universe in his image. With only a few members, such as Xigbar, aware of Xemnas's true goal, it possibly stems from his previous existence as Master Xehanort.

A few days later, for reasons unknown, Xemnas arrived at Hollow Bastion. Being told by the Princesses of Heart of the power that they sensed while on his way to seal the world's Keyhole, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Beast go to the abandoned area where they fought Maleficent to investigate, and soon encounter Xemnas. Intangible at first, Xemnas passes through Sora, causing him to experience many of his memories in rapid succession, before fully manifesting. Sora asks who the man is, and Goofy wonders if it is Ansem, and though Xemnas says he is familiar with the name, he refuses to clarify his identity. He then launches an energy attack at Sora, who manages to deflect it (with some difficulty). Xemnas remarks how Sora looks like "him" and thus an incomplete being, his words only confusing Sora. Xemnas then attacks the Keyblade wielder, intending to test his power.

Afterwards, he backs off, appearing to be defeated, but quickly abandons the facade. He finds Sora fascinating, and says that they will one day meet again and disappears, but not before making an ambiguous comment on how he is but "a mere shell". Xemnas later had Roxas meet him at the Dark Margin in the Realm of Darkness, telling him of his time with Sora. Roxas asks just who he is, but Xemnas only explains just what he is. When Roxas repeats the question, Xemnas states that his name is of no importance and asks Roxas of he remembers his own true name. Roxas attempts to answer, but then realizes that he doesn't know his identity as Sora's Nobody.

As a back up plan in case neither Roxas or Sora could be of use, Xemnas uses his Replica Program to create a memory-based clone of Sora. The result is Xion. Though he makes her the fourteenth member of the group, Xemnas does not make her an official member of the Organization. He sends all the members on their missions to further their plans while placing Xion in the care of Roxas.

Xemnas eventually extends his plans and operations to Castle Oblivion. With this fortress in his control, he sends five Organization members (Marluxia, Larxene, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion) to conduct experiments on memory with the use of Naminé who was abducted and being held prisoner by the Organization. Xemnas places Marluxia in charge of Castle Oblivion and also charges Vexen with the task of continuing experimenting on the Replica Project which would later use a numberless replica using data gathered from Riku.

Xemnas was also the one who handed down the order to Marluxia to lure Sora to Castle Oblivion and experiment with the hero. However, once the Dusks brought back rumors of traitorous activities occurring in the castle, Xemnas sends Axel to neutralize the threat. However, Xemnas's plans falter when the five Organization members stationed at Castle Oblivion were all eliminated and Naminé escapes. With Vexen's death, Xemnas's plans are forced to depend on Xion's well-being. He places Axel in charge of capturing her whenever she tries to escape to find out who she really is, and would later continuously send Axel back to Castle Oblivion to search for the Chamber of Waking, but would never find the room he so desperately desired to secure.

Over the next year, Xemnas orders the remaining members to do all they can to create powerful Heartless for Roxas to defeat such as what Xaldin was doing to Beast. Roxas gradually feels remorse for what he is doing on the behest of this group and questions their motives and loses trust in them when he sees how people with hearts live and what Xemnas is ordering the Organization to do to them. When Xion learns of her true nature as a Replica and runs away, Roxas ultimately leaves the group to find Sora and answers to all the questions that the Organization refused to answer. However, Xemnas manages to capture Xion and alter her to obey him, having her go after Roxas and absorb him to become a perfect replica of Sora.

However, Xion is defeated as she dissolves back into the memories she originally was while pleading with Roxas to stop Xemnas with her dying breath. Roxas, emotionally shattered and having seen enough of the Organization's treachery, goes to the World that Never Was to destroy Xemnas as he begins to lose memory of Xion while inheriting her Keyblade. However, Riku stops Roxas and takes him to DiZ to be sealed in a digital replica of Twilight Town. Deeming Xion a failure as mostly all memory of her existence is negated, Xemnas discontinues the Replica Project and orders Axel to bring back Roxas or kill him, setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts II.

Kingdom Hearts II

"The Keyblade... a truly marvelous weapon. Were it only in more... capable hands."
—Xemnas on Sora's progress

True to Xemnas's words from their previous encounter, he and Sora meet again at Hollow Bastion, the same world he was first encountered, albeit restored, accompanied by Demyx, Xaldin, Xigbar, Luxord, and Saïx (although all of their faces are hidden by their hoods, and do not directly face Sora), although Sora doesn't recognize him from their first encounter. They taunt and mock him, only furthering Sora's desire to defeat them. Xemnas makes an empty joke about how he thought they could've been friends, and then leaves. From there on in, Xemnas remained at his castle while his group's members traveled to make sure Sora stayed on track, while increasing the number of Heartless for him to fight.

Xemnas is not seen again until the Heartless invasion, arriving to the Computer room to access the Chamber of Repose before appearing to look down upon the Heartless army that had temporarily halted in the Great Maw. King Mickey, upon seeing his face, identifies him as Xehanort's Nobody. Xemnas then runs off, but King Mickey gives chase and engages Xemnas in combat, though Sora, Donald, and Goofy are impeded from following by the Heartless. After an exhausting battle, the three make their way to the cliff overlooking Villain's Vale; finally catching up with the King. King Mickey addresses him by his original name, and Xemnas merely remarks that it has been ages since he had abandoned that name. Sora demands to know where Riku and Kairi are. Xemnas claims to know nothing of any "Kairi", and as for Riku, Xemnas tells Sora to ask his King. Then, he vanishes into a corridor of darkness, but not before King Mickey follows him in. However, as King Mickey later appears in Twilight Town, it is obvious that either Xemnas managed to escape him or that King Mickey simply lost track of him.

As Sora and company infiltrate The World That Never Was, Xemnas stands upon the highest tower of his stronghold, basking in the completed Kingdom Hearts's light before giving Saïx permission to finish off Sora and his companions. After his remaining followers are defeated, Xemnas makes himself known when he learns of Ansem the Wise attempting to digitally seal Kingdom Hearts away to hinder him. The former pupil mocks his teacher, stating that he is the source of all Heartless and the one who inspired Xehanort to go where Ansem himself did not dare to venture. Though Ansem admits that fact though his intentions were pure, but asks what Xemnas seeks from all the suffering he caused. Xemnas reveals his intentions while mocking Ansem for being jealous for being outdone by his own student. However, Ansem scoffs at this while stating neither of them truly understand the heart and that Xemnas's plan is destined to fail miserably before the Kingdom Hearts Encoder explodes.

Retreating as the bright light envelops the area, Xemnas is mortified to find his Kingdom Heart damaged by Ansem's actions with the dislodged Hearts falling into the city and becoming Heartless. Once Sora and the others travel up to the very top of the tower, Xemnas asks the three Keyblade wielders to fetch him more hearts to repair the damage. But when they refuse, Xemnas goes into a philosophical debate with them over light and darkness and then the rights of those who are nothing. But as Riku and Sora refuse to believe the false sincerity he expresses, Xemnas admits that feels no remorse for his actions and proceeds to face Sora one on one in an arena of nothingness, with Memory's Skyscraper towering above them.
Kingdom Hearts' Door 01 (KHIIFM) KHIIHD

Xemnas joins with Kingdom Hearts.

Xemnas appears defeated, returning Sora to the Castle That Never Was, but Xemnas is still alive and well, basking in the hole on Kingdom Hearts while urging it to become one with him so they both gain the power needed to destroy their common enemies. Sora and the others try to stop him, but Xemnas is absorbed into Kingdom Hearts.

Fortunately, the worlds created a door for Sora and the others to enter, for they wanted them to be the guardians of their destiny. They then follow Xemnas into Kingdom Hearts, but they see that Xemnas has taken its power and transformed the realm into a place resembling the World That Never Was with a giant fortress in the middle. Separated from Kairi and Mickey, Sora, Riku, Donald and Goofy fight their way to Xemnas and defeat him. After they defeat him, they are somehow transported back to the tower with King Mickey and Kairi. Seeing Xemnas fading as he thinks that he needs more hearts and more rage, Sora tells him that hearts are more than just anger or hate and asks if he remembers. Xemnas admits that he doesn't before seemingly fading back into the darkness.

With the help of Naminé, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and the King get safely to Destiny Islands, but before Sora and Riku can follow, Xemnas attacks once more with a gigantic mechanical dragon. After another difficult battle, Xemnas takes Sora and Riku to a realm of nothingness, with Xemnas wearing a robe representing both light and darkness. He says that if both light and darkness are eternal, then so too must be nothingness. Riku and Sora say this is true, but refuse to accept Xemnas to be eternal himself. After a very intense battle, Xemnas manages to badly injure Riku before Sora batters him submission with both his and Riku's Keyblades before the two finish him off as Xemnas is defeated for good.

Kingdom Hearts coded

In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, Mickey recalls Xemnas as Xehanort's incarnation that commanded the Nobodies and then Yen Sid explains to Mickey that the destruction of both Ansem and Xemnas will lead to the reconstruction of Master Xehanort.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

"Sora... The bits and bites that have made up your life, are you certain they are not copies of someone else's?"
—Xemnas to Sora


Xehanort is revived along with Braig and Isa, and the other Organization members. However, Young Xehanort manages to recruit Xemnas alongside the other Xehanorts, and takes them to the dream worlds, where their leader is scheming the ultimate plan.

Xemnas first appears in Prankster's Paradise before Sora as he questions how a "heartless puppet" can have a heart. Sora counters this by asking "Don't you guys have hearts too?" Xemnas also appeared along with Young Xehanort in The Grid to further harass Sora and have him question whether he is living his life or that of another.

Later, Xemnas appears along with Braig while revealing the true reason behind Organization XIII's formation, which was to assemble 13 vessels for Master Xehanort's heart to enact his scheme of recreating the χ-Blade and begin a new Keyblade war while in conjunction with "Ansem" targeting the seven Princesses of Heart through the manipulation of Maleficent to leave the worlds defenseless against the Realm of Darkness once Kingdom Hearts is unlocked. Though Xemnas's scheme failed, with only Xigbar and Saïx undergoing the process, he took precautions to recreate the Organization through the the temporal abilities of Young Xehanort to gather various incarnations of Xehanort and fill the vacant ranks. Upon this revelation, Sora becomes disgusted at how Xemnas and Braig have commissioned the heart as an experiment and a tool to commit heinous atrocities to countless worlds and millions of innocents, and he engages Xemnas in battle, managing to drive the Nobody off before the boy's darkness takes its toll on him.

He then appears at Where Nothing Gathers along with Ansem, Braig, Isa, and the alternate-Xehanort to be led by Master Xehanort, who reveals his plans of the 13 vessels for his heart in order to form 13 Keyblade wielders of darkness to fight with 7 Keyblade wielders of light so as to recreate the original X-blade without fail like his previous scheme with Ventus and Vanitas. Xemnas proceeds to subdue Mickey so Xehanort can proceed to make Sora into the 13th vessel for the final spot. However, Lea rescues Sora from Xehanort, the event distracting Xemnas long enough for Mickey to summon his Kingdom Key D, with the Nobody teleporting away before Mickey could hit him. Xemnas then vanishes along with Xehanort's new army.

A fragmentary passage

Xemnas is shown as the second transformation and the third incarnation after a young Master Xehanort and Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.

Appearance

Like all the Organization members, Xemnas wears the standard black coat, gloves, and knee-length boots with silver trimming and high concave indentations in the top. He has orange eyes and tanned skin, much like his Heartless counterpart and his complete being, Xehanort. Xemnas's hair is long, reaching to about mid-back, silver in color, and some of it falls over his shoulders. His hairstyle is reminiscent of Xehanort's hair, including his bangs, the color, and the length. It also shares traits with Terra's hair, including its layered, messy look and the spike on the top of his head.

Because Xemnas was born from the body and soul of Terra, his overall appearance is identical to Terra's, save for the silver hair, orange eyes, and older appearance.

While commanding the World of Nothingness, Xemnas dons armor adorned with dozens of Nobody symbols. The shoulder pad on his left shoulder, helmet, crown, boots, knees, and breastplate all sport these designs. His crown and shoulder pad are gold, while the rest of the armor is colored in light shades of blue and silver. He has two silver belts on his waist and what seem to be white feathers on his right shoulder in place of armor. Several cords crisscross in front of his torso, connecting to massive, oblong pieces of armor worn on each arm. Xemnas's faceplate is beak-like in structure and he wears clawed, metal gloves.

He also wears black pants underneath the armor. Perhaps the most striking features of this armor are the odd, pulsating growths sprouting from Xemnas's right shoulder and both arms. These growths appear organic and are a mixture of red, orange, yellow, and white. While the larger one on his shoulder seems to connect Xemnas to his dragon-like Nobody battleship, the other two on his arms just lie on the ground, seemingly serving no purpose. This armored form, referred to as the Armored Controller, bears a striking resemblance to No Heart.

In his final section of his battle with Sora and Riku, Xemnas's appearance is unchanged, save for his cloak. His black coat is now white and is covered with intricate black designs that resemble the Nobody sigil.

Personality

Being the founder of Organization XIII and apparently the oldest of Nobodies, Xemnas is truly emotionless—in every sense of the word—and does not even remember what it was like to have any feelings. He claimed that this allowed him to have a clear understanding of the heart, but, in reality, this had warped his mind into believing that only anger, hatred, and other negative emotions were what make up most of a heart.

His lack of emotion deprives him of remorse for his actions, as well as the loss of the other members of the Organization. The only thing he truly cared about was Kingdom Hearts and his desire for power, and even lamented it when it was damaged. However, on some occasions, he had appeared to value friendship, as he was shown to converse with the armor of Aqua in the Chamber of Repose, although, this is likely due to the influence of Terra, as he is, in a sense, Terra's Nobody.

Unlike the other members of the Organization, Xemnas did not seem to want Kingdom Hearts for a true existence. Rather, much like his Heartless counterpart, he wanted it to use it to obtain power and remake the universe in his image. This concept was furthered as Xemnas thought that nothingness was the source of much power, and does not seem to despise it in the slightest. This goal stemmed from that of one of his two original personas, Master Xehanort, whom also desired to unlock Kingdom Hearts for the same purpose in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.

In other matters Xemnas spoke with calmness and deep authority, strangely similar to Master Eraqus. He had a tendency to be overly melodramatic, making long-winded speeches, exaggerating his false rage and sorrow with wide sweeping arm movements and hand gestures, like many villains. While ridiculous in nature, his exaggerations were representations of his lack of emotion. He was very intelligent, overall, and knew how to manipulate others, particularly Sora and his friends for his own needs.

Xemnas's personality seemed to share traits from both beings who composed his original persona, Master Xehanort and Terra. From the former he inherited his manipulative nature and the ideas for the black coat and adding the letter "χ" to rename himself and his fellow Organization members.[2] It is very hard to say how much he inherited from Terra, but there is at least the familiarity with Aqua's armor, to which he refers to as "friend", and his strong desire to find his other "friend" in Castle Oblivion, as he has had Saïx search for the Chamber he sleeps in. Another example was when Roxas fell into a comatose state, saying: "So, sleep has taken you again".

Abilities

Xemnas Final Form

Xemnas in his Final Form.

As the leader of Organization XIII, Xemnas wields nothingness, and manifests this as blades of energy called Ethereal Blades. In his encounter with Sora as the "Unknown" in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, and their first battle in Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas is very agile, and attacks with swift acrobatic combos with his blades. He can also teleport, fly, and create energy barriers to shield himself. Besides using them as melee weapons, Xemnas can fire his Ethereal Blades as laser-like projectiles, and can either fire them directly from his hands or create them in mid-air. In all three battles with Xemnas's unarmored form, Xemnas also incorporates some sort of attack that drains his opponent's health with a sphere of dark energy, though the exact manner of this has varied (see below).

In Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, in his encounter as the Unknown, Xemnas also had the ability to encase himself in a blue ball of energy that made it impossible for Sora to attack him, and would also fire out a set of powerful lasers. The ball would follow Sora around if he ever to tried to get away from it. In his first battle with Sora in Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas can encase him in a field of dark energy that steadily drains his health, that can only be broken by using the reaction command. In the final battle in Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas uses an attack known as the "Invitation to Nothingness", in which he ensnares opponents in a sphere of dark energy that slowly drains their life force.

In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Xemnas has a limit break named All-Vanity. During All-Vanity, Xemnas summons a barrier around himself, and hovers around the field. Any enemies that touch Xemnas's barrier will take damage, and cannot deal damage to Xemnas. During Xemnas's Final Limit, Xemnas creates two large powerful lasers from his hands that he fires around himself at a long range. Any enemies that are hit take heavy damage. He also has the ability to cast illusions or alter the perception of others; Roxas and Xion thought they were each fighting an Orcus, but were actually fighting each other.

While in his armor and aboard the World of Nothingness, Xemnas has access to the powers and weapons of his fallen Organization comrades, such as Xaldin's lances and Demyx's power over water. In this form he remains in his throne, attacking enemies with his massive sword when they come close. He can still project barriers, and summon crests of light in the air to fire white beams of energy at his enemies. During this time he was also capable of summoning, levitating and launching large buildings at Sora.

In the final battle of Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas's power increases dramatically. He can create copies of himself, summon torrents of white and black thorns much like Twilight Thorn, and retains his normal ability to use his Ethereal Blades and project barriers. As his ultimate, final attack, Xemnas summons thousands of Ethereal Blades around Sora and Riku to bombard them from all sides with no hope of escape.

In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Xemnas once more uses his telekinetic abilities to summon and launch buildings. He still uses his ethereal blades to perform swift combos mixed with hand-to-hand combat and can block Sora's attacks by using Reflect spell. He is also capable of summoning a barrier around Sora to trap him and use it offensively by making it rush through him.

Weapon

Main article: Ethereal Blades

Xemnas uses weapons called Ethereal Blades[3] (エアリアルブレード Eariaru Burēdo?, lit. "Aerial Blades"). They are beams of red energy and extend directly from the palms of his hands, without any hilt or handle. He can summon or disperse them at will, and is able to change their length as well. They are solid despite their appearance, and, despite seemingly lacking a cutting edge, are wielded like swords. The Ethereal Blades can also be used as projectiles and can suspend themselves in midair around a target before firing at them. As a desperation move, Xemnas can surround his enemy in darkness and fire an amazing amount of Ethereal Blades at them.

The names of Xemnas's various Ethereal Blades seem to be references to iron-fisted leadership. Perhaps due to his preeminent power among the Organization, only one of his Ethereal Blades, Infinity, actually grants him a support ability.

Xemnas's origins as Terra and Master Xehanort indicate that he may have been capable of wielding a Keyblade, but just preferred not to. [4] His use of Master Xehanort's Keyblade Armor during his battles with Sora and Riku further supports this. However, this implication seems to contradict Xemnas's reasons for using Roxas and Xion to further his plans.


Notes and references

  1. Xemnas is the last member to receive an English translation of his title. The opening movie of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days listed every member's title in the Japanese version, but these were not included in the English version until Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX.
  2. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania: "Xemnas gives Organization members names with an X in them. This has something to do with Master Xehanort’s interest in the χ-blade".
  3. The meaning of the word "ethereal" is "not of the earth; heavenly".
  4. Nomura Interview "It's possible that [Xemnas] intentionally wasn't using [a Keyblade]"

See also

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