|This article is about Xehanort's Heartless. You may be looking for Ansem the Wise.|
Template:InfoCharacter Template:Q Ansem, Seeker of Darkness serves as the main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts and the "Reverse/Rebirth" mode in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. He is the Heartless of Xehanort, and retains the dark "guardian" which belonged to his original self.
- First entry
A researcher who studied the Heartless and delved into secrets of the worlds. He organized his findings into a single volume known as Ansem's report. When he inexplicably vanished, most of its pages were scattered to the winds.
- Second entry
As a researcher and ruler of his world, he studied the Heartless and delved into the many secrets of the worlds. While studying the heart and the darkness within it, he was possessed by darkness and ultimately destroyed his own world. He sacrificed his body to attain great power, and later possessed Riku's to regain a physical presence. Failure to stop him means the end of all worlds.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain Of Memories
Pursuer of darkness.
To open the door to darkness, Ansem used the Heartless to steal countless hearts.
He enslaved Riku, but met his demise at Sora's hand.
Nonetheless, Ansem's shadow lives on in the depths of Riku's heart.
Prior to Kingdom Hearts
In the pursuit of knowledge, Xehanort, at the time calling himself "Ansem", willingly gave his heart to the darkness, creating both his Heartless and his Nobody, Xemnas. His Heartless was able to retain its selfhood for uncertain reasons, though it was believed by the true Ansem that this was due to Xehanort's willing abandonment of his heart.
He and legions of Heartless at his command continued his original self's pursuit of knowledge, believing it would be found in darkness, and stole countless hearts from both humans and worlds in search of this knowledge. But his ultimate goal was Kingdom Hearts, a supposed repository of tremendous power and knowledge. However, to access the heart of all worlds, he would need to open the Final Keyhole. For this, the Princesses of Heart were needed to complete the Keyhole. He also realized that the wielder of the legendary Keyblade needed to be found, for the Keyblade's ability to seal away the hearts of worlds from the preying Heartless could prove dangerous. So, believing that the Princesses and the Keyblade wielder are connected, he sent Kairi, a supposed resident of The Radiant Garden, as well as a Princess of Heart, to another world, a world where a future Keyblade wielder lived and Xehanort's original home. As he waited for his theory to be proven, Ansem continued on his path towards stealing many hearts.
Ansem, after ten years of being a Heartless, appears in a brown robe by the Destiny Islands Keyhole before the world's fall into darkness, insulting Sora's ignorance of what was to come, and completely ignoring Sora's questions.
The villain appears again to Riku, after his loss to Sora at Hollow Bastion. Shaken by his loss of control over the Keyblade to Sora, Riku lets himself be influenced by Ansem and his promise of power. Riku then lets his heart open up to the darkness, allowing Ansem to possess him.
Firmly in control of Riku's body, Ansem creates the artificial Keyblade of People's Hearts from six of the Princesses of Heart's hearts. This Keyblade possesses the power to unlock hearts, a property he soon tests on Maleficent, transforming her into a gigantic dragon. The dragon is felled by Sora and his friends, leading the Heartless to comment that the dark fairy was arrogant to believe that she manipulated the Heartless when it was actually the other way around. He insults Maleficent and takes his leave, waiting for Sora in the chamber of the Final Keyhole.
Sora arrives, finally reunited with Kairi, though she is comatose due to the loss of her heart. Ansem comments that she lacks a heart, and from his impersonal comments and unusual nature, Sora realizes that who he sees as Riku is not truly the friend he knew. Riku introduces himself as "Ansem, Seeker of Darkness". The Heartless goes on to explain that Kairi's heart is in Sora, and that his dark Keyblade is necessary to remove the imprisoned heart. Sora refuses to agree with the plan and they battle. Sora wins the duel, and Ansem retreats. However, his efforts are not in vain, as Sora stabs himself with the dark Keyblade, in order to free Kairi's heart as well as the six other Princesses. But this ends up opening the final Keyhole and the way to Kingdom Hearts, as well as the loss of Sora's heart and his brief transformation into Sora's Heartless.
Ansem shortly returns, having expelled Riku's heart and shaped his body into one resembling his original human self. Now that the final Keyhole is open from Sora's sacrifice, he plans to kill Kairi now that her purpose in his plans has been fulfilled. Donald and Goofy bravely make a stand against Ansem in order to protect Kairi, but both know that, without Sora, they may not be able to stop him. Before he can dispose of the three, Riku projects himself from Xehanort's stolen body and manages to establish enough control to stop the Heartless in his tracks, allowing Donald and Goofy to escape with Kairi. This leads to an internal struggle between the two that Riku ultimately loses. His heart is forced out of his body, and Ansem completely takes control. Ansem then allows himself to be enveloped by the darkness flowing out of the Keyhole, and travels to the End of the World and Kingdom Hearts.
As Sora, his humanity having been restored by Kairi's light, arrives at the remnants of Destiny Islands at End of the World, Ansem appears, bearing Riku's form. He explains the fall of Riku to darkness, that he desperately sought to escape the island "prison" enough to open his heart to darkness. Afterwards, Ansem explains his philosophy: that worlds and hearts begin and end in darkness. Thus, darkness is the heart's true essence. Sora denies this, in words and in battle, with Ansem. During the battle Ansem summons both his familiar, the Guardian Heartless, and a Darkside Heartless to assist him. As the battle rages on, Ansem leads the trio to the endless abyss where the Door to Darkness resides. This time, Ansem merges himself to the World of Chaos, a monstrous Heartless ship, and captures Donald and Goofy, though Sora rescues them.
After several more rounds of combat, Ansem, weakened, opens the Door to Darkness, imploring Kingdom Hearts to fill him with the power of darkness so that he can gain enough power to destroy Sora, Donald, and Goofy and shroud the universe in darkness. However, when Sora yells "You're wrong! I know now, without a doubt, that Kingdom Hearts is light!", Ansem is horrified to see light pour out of the door. The blinding light of Kingdom Hearts envelops and destroys Ansem, allowing Riku to take back his body.
However, because Riku served as the host for Ansem, a piece remains even after his destruction by the light of Kingdom Hearts. This bothers Riku greatly, who ends up in Castle Oblivion thanks to his heart resonating with Sora's, who is also in the castle.
Guided by a mysterious voice, Riku climbs through the basements of Castle Oblivion, trying to rid himself of his darkness. However, Ansem appears early on, intending to overcome Riku, but fails. Still, Ansem remains, and even stirs the darkness in Riku's heart so that he may use it in battle, if he so chooses. The dark being remains confident that Riku will eventually give into the darkness.
At times, Riku almost becomes overwhelmed by the darkness, but King Mickey's light continually comes to the rescue, frustrating Ansem. Eventually, Riku overcomes his fear of the darkness, intending to use it as well as the light. He also additionally receives some guidance from the enigmatic DiZ, the true owner of the mysterious voice, who in turn leads Riku to Naminé. Naminé offers to seal away Riku's darkness and Ansem, but he instead chooses to face the Heartless on his own. DiZ then gives Riku a card that will give Ansem form, so that Riku can finish him off once and for all.
Ansem again tries to turn Riku to the darkness completely, and tries to defeat the young boy so that he can take over again. However, though he is defeated, Riku realizes that Ansem still lingers in his heart, and sets off with King Mickey in order to rid himself of the Seeker of Darkness forever.
Though Xemnas, the Nobody counterpart of Ansem, soon becomes the main threat, the dark being still has a presence. In fact, the part of him that lingers in Riku starts to eat away at him, even forcing him to put on a blindfold over his eyes to keep him from "lying to himself".
This comes to a head when Riku travels to The World That Never Was at the behest of DiZ, with the intent to capture Roxas, the Nobody of Sora and a member of Organization XIII, so that the two can join and Sora can awaken from his slumber. However, Roxas proves to be too powerful for Riku to handle, so Riku is left with one option: Riku unleashes the darkness in himself, in order to gain the power necessary to defeat Roxas. However, this has the side effect of giving Riku the appearance of Ansem, as well as manifesting his guardian, which constricts Roxas in its fists and leaves him unconscious. In his new form, Riku mimics Xehanort before him and takes on the name Ansem.
See also: Riku-Ansem
During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless at Hollow Bastion, King Mickey reveals the truth about "Ansem" to Sora, Donald, and Goofy; that he wasn't the real Ansem, but the Heartless of an impostor. While the trio are shocked and dismayed to learn this, Mickey assures them that Ansem still needed to be stopped. He also reveals that the Nobody spawned at the same time as Ansem is the leader of the Organization (as he had met the original Xehanort and been near his Nobody, it "kinda felt like bein' around the same fella.").
Riku remains like this for some time. His new appearance prompts him to refuse making contact with Sora and Kairi, despite him being able to easily do so. Still, when push comes to shove, Riku aids his friends, but never reveals himself as Riku (though Sora begins to suspect his mysterious helper's true identity), secretly leaving clues for Sora, Donald, and Goofy to find. He also took a proactive stance in aiding the people of The Land of Dragons, and briefly engaged Sora in battle before going to speak with The Emperor and informing him that Sora and his friends would be coming to help them deal with a Heartless dragon created by Organization XIII. But when Naminé chooses to use Riku's true name after he rescues her and Kairi from the Organization at The World That Never Was, things take a turn. Kairi, in her excitement, removes Riku's hood, only to see the face of the one who had endangered her a year ago. Still, she sees Riku underneath the dark form, and takes it in stride.
Riku is also forced to meet Sora when Kairi prevents him from taking his leave when Kairi and Sora reunite. At first, Sora does not realize it is Riku, refers to him as "Ansem", and informs him that he is grateful to him for Kairi's rescue while still enraged at the very thought of the evil deeds he had committed. Kairi helps him see through his altered form. They all then travel through the Nobody castle, and end up reuniting with King Mickey and DiZ, whose true name is Ansem the Wise. However, the machine that Ansem was using to encode Kingdom Hearts into data ends up exploding, allowing Riku to regain his true form. "Ansem" and his hold on Riku's heart are thought to be destroyed at this point, as the explosion's light fully restores Riku to the extent that he is robbed of his ability to open corridors of darkness.
Ansem is, thus far, one of only three Heartless with human-level intelligence, the others being Sora's Heartless and Scar. His knowledge of the worlds and hearts shows that Xehanort's keen intellect has survived the transition into a Heartless. However, what little shreds of humanity remained in the researcher have been obliterated. Ansem is cold, calculating and utterly ruthless. He treats people and their hearts as either tools to be manipulated and disposed of, or as simply cattle for his ravenous Heartless legions. He revers power and knowledge above all things, and despises ignorance.
The only times when his voice rises above a cold, monotonous drone is when he is berating Sora for his foolishness, or reveling in his latest triumph. However, the scientific genius of Ansem was blinded by obsession with the darkness. His arrogance ultimately led to his destruction when the door to Kingdom Hearts opened, and his greatest thesis was, in the end, proved wrong.
Template:Spoiler As Ansem is made from the heart of Master Xehanort, he appears to share most of his personality traits with the elderly Keyblade Master, demonstrated by his choice of words when facing Sora, Donald and Goofy, and his desire to find, open and become one with Kingdom Hearts itself. Template:Spoilerend
Like his Nobody counterpart, Ansem's skin color varies by being depicted as tan in the game to quite dark in official artwork. He shares Xehanort's amber-orange eyes and long white hair, as well as the three spikes on the top and sides of his head, but he lacks Xehanort's bangs.
He wears silver-white gloves on his hands, each with a grey band on the wrist, while the rest of the glove, which has three black buttons lining one side, bells outwards. There is a black pauldron on both of his shoulders, each attached to his coat by two straps. He also wears black pants and black, silver-lined, knee-high boots identical to the ones worn by Organization XIII members. On the Heartless' chest is the Heartless emblem, but it is unclear if this is simply an article of clothing or actually part of him. It seems that it is not part of him, as when Ansem creates the World of Chaos, he loses both of his jackets and his gloves, and the emblem transfers to the World of Chaos. He also grows to a tremendous size and his eyes become completely orange in this form.
"Ansem's" black leather coat is red on the inside and lined with yellow, and also has a large grey section that covers the lower half and shoulders of the coat. Upon closer inspection, this grey section seems to be attached by several small pins or buttons around the hip and neck sections of the coat, as well as by a belt that wraps around the Heartless's back and attaches to the rim of the coat. This coat is high-collared and completely unzipped, showing the second, shorter jacket the Heartless wears underneath. Ansem's second jacket is white and high-collared much like the outer coat. It is mostly unbuttoned and exposes "Ansem's" chest before being closed up by three buttons and two belts near the Heartless's waist, only to flare outward again, leaving three buttons undone. When seen cloaked, Ansem appears to be shorter and more crippled. Template:Spoiler As "Ansem" is made from the heart of Master Xehanort, his attire is almost identical to that of the elderly Keyblade Master. Template:Spoilerend
Ansem uses no single exclusive weapon.
When possessing Riku, taking on his first seen physical form, he uses the Keyblade of People's Hearts created from the six captured hearts of the Princesses of Heart. However, he can only use this weapon while possessing the body of a Keyblade wielder. Later, in his World of Chaos form, he wields a weapon as massive as he is, created from two Soul Eaters combined at the handle, facing opposite directions.
When fought on his own, he simply uses the power of darkness and his Guardian, using no physical weapon. When Riku takes on his form, he uses his Soul Eater and Way to the Dawn, just as he does normally.
- "This world has been connected, tied to the darkness, soon to be completely eclipsed."
- "So, you have awakened at last, princess. The keyhole is now complete. You have served your purpose, but now it's over."
- "There is so very much to learn. You understand so little. A meaningless effort. One who knows nothing can understand nothing."
- "Take a look at this tiny place. To the heart seeking freedom, this island is a prison surrounded by water. And so this boy sought out to escape from his prison. He sought a way to cross over into other worlds and he opened his heart to darkness."
- "Don't bother. Your voice can no longer reach him where he is. His heart belongs again to darkness."
- "All worlds begin in darkness and all so end. The heart is no different. Darkness sprouts within it. It grows, consumes it. Such is its nature."
- "In the end, every heart returns to the darkness whence it came. You see, darkness is the heart's true essence."
- "Behold the endless abyss! Within it lies the heart of all worlds: Kingdom Hearts! Look as hard as you are able, you'll not find even the smallest glimmer of light. From those dark depths are all hearts born, even yours."
- "Darkness conquers all worlds!"
- Ansem appears to have characteristics of both Emblem and Pureblood Heartless, and it is unclear exactly which category he falls under.
- Though their characters never interacted, Akio Ohtsuka was castmates with his real-life father and fellow seiyuu Chikao Ohtsuka (Captain Hook) in the first game. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Chikao Ohtsuka even voices the metaphysical "father" of Ansem, Master Xehanort.
- The boots he wears are the same as those worn by male members of the Organization XIII (excluding Roxas), as well as Ansem the Wise's apprentices (save for Ienzo).
- Ansem's appearance bears more of a resemblance to when Xehanort overtook Terra's body. This would mean that Xemnas has more traits that would belong to Terra.
Notes and References
- ↑ Secret Ansem Report 10: "But what if one willingly releases one's heart from one's body? Sora and Xehanort retained their self-hood even after becoming Heartless."