Aqua is a main protagonist in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and the main protagonist of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-. She is one of the Keyblade Wielders before Sora. Like Terra and Ventus, it's her dream to become a Keyblade Master. She is the only one out of the three to achieve that goal and earn the title of 'Keyblade Master'.
Her name is Latin for "water", while Kairi's name in Japanese means "sea". The only connection between the two is that Aqua met Kairi in Radiant Garden in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and put a protective spell on her necklace, which later brought Kairi to Destiny Islands. Kairi, by accidentally touching Aqua's Keyblade during this time, also inherited the Keyblade from Aqua. The official Japanese website refers to Aqua as the "Dancing Waters Forming Bonds" (絆繋ぐ舞水 Kizuna Tsunagu Busui?).
Aqua shows some similarities to Kairi, which she shows by making good luck charms for her friends. She also has a devotion to her friends similar to that of Sora's, for she did everything in her power to protect Ventus from harm and even sacrificed herself to save Terra. She is also similar to Sora in that she holds a strong sense of justice and desire to do what is right. Her judgments between what is right and wrong are never misplaced, although Ventus and Terra sometimes lose sight of the right thing to do. Her personality is serious, kind, strong willed, intelligent, and responsible, as she is the most reliable of the three.
She is always worrying about Terra and Ventus, who are two of her closest friends. She has been shown to be blushing and embarrassed when Zack asks her out on a date, shaking her head and arms in an attempt to compose herself. She seems rather modest, as despite becoming a master already, she still referred to herself as a trainee. The only time she referred to herself as "Master Aqua" was toward the end, when she fights the possessed Terra.
Aqua may debatably be the true hero of Birth by Sleep. She was the only one officially dubbed a Keyblade master, and unlike Ventus and Terra, she never strayed from the path of light and her actions were all selfless and intended to help her friends, and to free the worlds from sinister forces. Despite this, her bluntness in talking with Terra and Ventus unintentionally pushed them further down their paths and into Master Xehanort's trap, indicating a "react" personality, rather than an "act" personality.
Aqua has blue eyes, and her hair is blue and relatively short. She wears a black and blue, high-collared halter top, two pink, intersecting belts over her chest, and black shorts. She wears a silver badge similar to badges also worn by Ven and Terra, though Terra's is gold. On Aqua's arms are white bell-sleeves and tan, fingerless gloves. She also wears a small, segmented piece of armor on each of her upper arms. She wears what appear to be black stockings or socks on her legs which reach to about halfway up her thighs, leaving a small area of bare skin on her upper thighs.
Aqua also bears two strips of blue cloth that drape over either side of her hips, along with a smaller, white strip of cloth tied around her waist, draped in the same manner. Finally, she wears pointed, armored, silver boots with a sharp "hook" on the outer side of each.
By touching the piece of armor hanging on her arm, Aqua will become full clad in her Keyblade Armor. In Birth by sleep, Aqua's armor is mostly colored in shades of silver, black, grey and blue. Notable additions include a silver breastplate resembling an upside-down crescent moon and a dark-visored helmet. Her helmet, like Ventus and Terra's, bears two prongs on either side, with her silver ones wrapping around the sides and angling diagonally downwards. Her cape is that of a dusty-rose color.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Aqua's armor remains largely unchanged, though she loses her cape and grey becomes a more dominant color than black or blue. She also gains more armor near her upper legs and hips.
During the development for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Aqua's outfit was altered, as Tetsuya Nomura considered her exposed back to be too revealing, ultimately resulting in an outfit that is neither too conservative nor too revealing. As well, her eyes and hair were originally darker.
Artwork of Aqua from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep's promotional artwork shows her hair spiking near the back of her head and falling just past her neck, as opposed to the spikes being splayed to the side and the back stopping short of the base of her neck.
Aqua, alongside Terra, is one of Eraqus's pupils. Like Terra, Aqua also has a dream of becoming a Keyblade master.
One day, a suspicious man named Master Xehanort arrived and gave Eraqus a new pupil, Ventus. Terra and Aqua start to question him but this ends up troubling him and he passes out. Eraqus explains that this is because Ventus has lost his memories so Aqua takes on to caring for him. While countless days pass, one day Ventus wakes up in front of Aqua. The next day, Aqua takes the Mark of Mastery exam with Terra and becomes a Keyblade Master with Terra failing due to not being able to keep control of his Darkness. After Terra and Ventus leave the Land of Departure, Aqua leaves last due to a conversation with Master Eraqus telling her to bring Ventus back, he also asks her to keep a close eye on Terra and to also bring him back immediately due to his Darkness.
Aqua, Ven, and Terra come across many Disney characters along the way and fight of hordes of Unversed. Aqua later ends up at Radiant Garden with Mickey Mouse and meets Kairi, who touched Aqua's Keyblade in fright, unintentionally performing a Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony. They protect her from the Unversed and in return, Kairi gives Aqua flowers which turn into the Destiny's Embrace Keyblade. She then places a protective charm on Kairi to aid her in the future. Aqua believes the meeting was not a coincidence. Aqua later meets up with Terra and Ventus, but the reunion is short-lived as they team up to battle a massive Unversed. They defeat it, but things take a turn for the worse, while Aqua tries to tell Ventus that he should go home now, Terra and Aqua begin to argue about Master Eraqus's orders and ends up revealing to Terra that she was sent to watch him. Hurt by this, Terra leaves and Ventus calls Aqua awful claiming that she has taken the status of Keyblade Master too seriously and leaves behind Terra, while Aqua stays to contemplate.
After meeting Merlin, Aqua goes to the town square and meets Vanitas, who taunts her by asking about Ventus and if has gotten stronger. When Aqua asks what he means, Vanitas attacks, and the pair fight a vicious battle. Aqua emerges victorious, but Vanitas simply leaves, making a comment about her being his backup plan. Aqua then resolves to defeat Vanitas to protect Ventus and Terra. Ventus then appears, asking to go with Aqua. But Aqua tells him to go home and departs.
While in Neverland, Aqua encounters Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, joining them on their treasure hunt. They later find their treasure chest, filled with wooden swords and Ventus's wooden Keyblade. Peter Pan tells Aqua that Ventus left the toy there as he no longer needed it. Aqua then senses someone nearby and goes off to investigate. She then encounters Vanitas again, this time with Ventus's cherished Wooden Keyblade. The dark enigma cruelly mocks Aqua's actions and snaps the toy weapon in two. Greatly enraged by this, Aqua battles and defeats him again, but is exhausted by the fight and passes out. While unconscious, she reminisces about the last starry night she spent with Terra and Ventus at the Land of Departure. She soon recovers and departs soon after.
At one point Aqua and Terra come to Destiny Islands and meet two young boys by the name of Sora and Riku. Aqua sees the strong bond between the two friends and advises Sora to help Riku if he ever falls into darkness; though she initially intends to grant Sora the power to use the Keyblade, she decides against it upon discovering that Terra had already done it for Riku, not wishing to put the two innocent children through the ordeals she and Terra have faced. Aqua later encounters an unconscious Mickey drifting in space and takes him to the Mysterious Tower, where she hears of Eraqus's death from Yen Sid and heads to the Keyblade Graveyard to meet up with Terra and Ven. They are confronted by Master Xehanort and his apprentice, Vanitas and a great battle takes place. After she catches a frozen Ventus, they are confronted by Braig and Aqua fights him. After fighting Braig she is knocked out by Vanitas and is later woken up Mickey and finds Ventus above on the cliff but then it is revealed that Ventus is under Vanitas's influence and he now wields the χ-blade.
He then explains his plan to unlock Kingdom Hearts and reenact the Keyblade War. Aqua screams at him to shut up and give Ventus his heart back. Once she destroys the χ-blade, Aqua loses consciousness and she ends up at Yen Sid's Tower with Ventus, who has lost his heart. She takes Ven back to the Land of Departure and places his unconscious body in a throne. She takes Eraqus's Keyblade and transforms the world into Castle Oblivion to keep Ventus safe. She then tracks down a possessed Terra in Radiant Garden.
Failing to bring Terra back to his senses, Aqua fights and defeats Xehanort; subsequently, Xehanort stabs himself in the chest with his own Keyblade in an attempt to lock Terra out as a horrified Aqua looks on. As Terra-Xehanort falls through a portal into the Realm of Darkness, Aqua dives in after him, but quickly realizes that she will be unable to save them both.
Instead, Aqua sacrifices her armor and Keyblade to save the dark being that had once been her dear friend, sending him back into the Realm of Light while she remains behind; unbeknownst to her, her actions, despite being valiant and heroic, will unintentionally doom the worlds to twelve years of suffering and desctruction by the Heartless at the hands of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas - the heartless and nobody of what was once her friend - and the evil fairy, Maleficent.
Now stuck in the Realm of Darkness, Aqua is attacked by several giant Heartless and decides to just allow them to destroy her, but is saved by Terra and Ventus's Keyblades. She is then reminded of the people she's connected to. With renewed trust in her friends, Aqua continues on.
As she travels she sees a large circle of light form above her, only for a powerful column of darkness to shoot out of it in front of her. Seemingly unshaken by this she presses forwards and encounters several Pureblood Heartless, namely Shadows, Neoshadows, and Darkballs.
After traveling deeper into the Realm of Darkness Aqua senses something stalking her, and comes fact to face with a large Heartless that attacks her. To prevent it from attacking her she uses a Fire spell, only for it to leap over her. Getting a closer look at it, Aqua determines it is not an Unversed and takes a battle stance to fight it.
After defeating the Heartless, Aqua continues walking, eventually coming out in a clearing and looking up. Surprised she recognizes the Castle of Dreams surrounded by clouds of darkness.
Aqua's armor and Keyblade were briefly seen in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. They reside in the Chamber of Repose, a room constructed by the Apprentices under Radiant Garden for an as of yet unknown purpose. Xemnas visits the armor often, calling it "friend" and talking to it for long periods of time.
This has piqued the curiosity and suspicion of Xigbar, who often eavesdrops on his conversations, and once shared this story with Zexion, stating that one time he heard "another voice" respond to Xemnas. In The World That Never Was, Sora encounters Xigbar, who mentions "other Keyblade bearers", referring to Terra, Aqua, and Ventus.
Aqua ends up at the Dark Meridian, where she meets Ansem the Wise, who was cast into the Realm when his machine exploded. He reveals that in the Realm of Light, it has been almost twelve years, and he explains the events that have occurred in Aqua's absence, including the actions of Sora. Knowing that Sora will rescue her and her friends, she sheds two tears, while uttering Sora's name with renewed hope.
Aqua is alluded to by Data-Naminé as one of those connected to Sora's heart and need his help, appearing as one of Data-Naminé's mental images. Later on, after Mickey informs Yen Sid that they have located Ventus's heart, Yen Sid concludes that Terra is the only one left to find, implying that they have already located Aqua.
She appears in the opening movie of the game along with Terra, Ventus, Roxas, Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Riku and Sora, possibly to face Master Xehanort in final battle.
She appeared in ending side of game in destroyed part of World That Never Was along with Terra. However she was just a figment created by Sora's heart. Sora first sees Kairi and Riku who turn into Aqua and Terra. Sora then turns into Ventus. Aqua and Terra turn around and Ventus is trying to chase them, but he is somehow slowed down, not having able to reach his friends.
After this Sora remembers his meeting with Aqua when he was just a little child.
In the secret ending of the game, Aqua is standing on the Dark Meridian.
Aqua appeared to be walking on a clear path from the woods after defeating the heartless. Her attention was caught by Castle of Dreams and began walking her way towards it while she questions herself as to why is Cinderella's castle is in the Realm of Darkness. She then was encountered by shadows and she immediately fights them off. She continued to question herself shortly afterwards. Upon reaching to the rocky path, she was stopped by it crumbling down and collapsing. She makes her way towards to the City of the Castle but only to be encountered by more shadows. She made her way to the City of the Castle, she began reflect her thoughts and feelings about the events from Birth By Sleep. She was then deeply saddened about it but she stopped herself and pushed herself to move forward.
Later on, she makes her way to the bridge of the Castle. Suddenly, the bridge was about to crumble and collapse and Aqua turns around and makes a run back to the opening path. She then turns around and only to find out that the bridge to the castle has completely collapsed into nothingness. Then, she began to think and wonder to herself that time cease to exist in the Realm of Darkness as she sees a pile of floating gears of clocks standing in front of her. She then walk towards it then summons her keyblade and quickly swing at it. Right after that, the clock began to move on it's own as it glows then it transforms into one small circular shaped light and it quickly floats to the clock of the castle. The clock then moves back in time by exactly one hour. Aqua watches as a small portion of the bridge floats back up to her feet and recovers from it's crumbled state. Aqua then figured out how to fix the bridge.
Following from the end of Blank Points, Ansem the Wise asks Aqua what she will be doing next. Aqua responds that she will be staying, waiting for someone to come find her. However, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness arrives to get information out of Ansem the Wise. Aqua stands up against Xehanort's Heartless despite no longer possessing her Keyblade. This ends with Aqua being subdued by a blast of darkness and thrown into the Dark Margin's waters. As Aqua falls, she becomes corrupted by the darkness, turning into Anti-Aqua.
As Anti-Aqua, she believes that she had been forgotten about by Mickey and decides to take her grief and despair out on him with the aid of a Demon Tower. Eventually, Sora arrives to help Riku destroy the Demon Tower, leaving Anti-Aqua to fight Sora. Upon her defeat, the darkness that had corrupted Aqua escapes her, but she falls into a pool of darkness and sinks into the Dark Margin's waters. Wondering if this is how it ends for her, a light appears at the waters surface along with a cry from Sora. Sora saves Aqua and together with Riku and Mickey, they take her back to the Destiny Islands in the realm of light.
Aqua proceeds to show Sora, Donald and Goofy the way back to Castle Oblivion, where she proceeds to turn it back into The Land of Departure so that they can find Ventus. Upon finding him, Aqua tries to awaken Ventus like she promised, but is unable to. Vanitas then appears and Aqua summons a barrier around herself and Vanitas to fight him and keep her friend safe, but ends up being knocked out. Just as Vanitas is about to pierce Aqua's heart, Sora awakens Ventus' heart who saves his friend at the last moment. Vanitas chooses this moment to leave.
Aqua and Ventus meet up with everyone in Yen Sid's study, where they all prepare to depart for the final battle at the Keyblade Graveyard, despite not having found Terra. When they arrive, they are approached by Master Xehanort and his others, who set the Heartless, Nobodies and Unversed on all of them. The heroes defeat the horde of monsters and continue onward, where they meet up Terra. However, Aqua realizes that it is actually Xehanort and demands him to release her friends heart.
Terra-Xehanort then proceeds to attack the group, knocking out Ventus and Lea. Aqua is quick to get to Ventus' side, just as a large wave of Heartless appear and create a giant wave of Darkness. Aqua is taken by the darkness, but Sora is able to save her along with everyone else and return to and earlier point. The above scene repeats itself, but before Terra-Xehanort can attack, he is halted by the Lingering Will and defeated. The wave of Heartless arrive, but are this time defeated and stopped. Before Aqua and the others can go any further, they are attacked by another endless horde of monsters sent by Organization XIII. With the help of Yen Sid, the group are able to continue further and face Master Xehanort.
Aqua and Ventus engage in a battle with Vanitas and Terra-Xehanort, and are just holding up until Sora arrives. Upon both Vanitas' and Terra-Xehanort's defeat, Aqua and Ventus try to save Terra from his darkness, only for Terra-Xehanort to snare them with chains of their unbreakable bonds. Before Aqua could drop, though, she is saved by Terra-Xehanort's Guardian, which is revealed to be Terra's Heartless, who then breaks the chains and with the help of Sora is able to return to his own body. Aqua reunites with her lost friend along with Ventus.
Aqua reunites with Sora, Riku and Mickey just as Master Xehanort has forged the Χ-blade and opened Kingdom Hearts. With the help of everyone else, she seals Xehanort in another world along with Sora so that he can defeat him. Aqua stays behind with everyone else to ensure everything is right.
Aqua is able to follow and find Sora after he defeats Xehanort, where Master Eraqus appears from Terra's heart to confront Xehanort. Upon seeing her old mentor, Aqua approaches him where he apologizes for the burden he placed upon her. She then assists Sora in sealing Kingdom Hearts and returns to the Keyblade Graveyard.
Along with Terra and Ventus, Aqua returns to The Land of Departure where they can finally all grieve the loss of Master Eraqus together. She is then seen with everyone else on the Destiny Islands, playing with Terra, Ventus, Lea and Isa. Aqua and others later watch Sora and Kairi share a sunset together, only for Sora to fade away as Kairi sheds a tear.
While she doesn't appear in the game, in the Kingdom Hearts Re:coded opening Aqua is briefly shown on the Dark Margin during her conversation with Ansem from Blank Points.
Aqua is described by Tetsuya Nomura as being "tricky". A magic-based fighter with agility to boot, she's capable of doing cartwheels while attacking with her Keyblade. While she's more than capable physically, her prowess lies with a more magic-oriented fighting style, being versed in all forms of it.
Aqua is second only to Master Xehanort in terms of magic amongst Keyblade Users, displaying superior skill to both Terra and Ven as well as later Keyblade users such as Sora and Riku. She has her own special variations of the Fire, Ice, and Thunder spells, and can cast the Reflect spell indefinitely without tiring, effectively giving Aqua a 360 degree defensive zone. She can also augment her jumping abilities with magic. She is slower than Ventus, but is faster than Terra, with her slender frame making her a difficult target. Small petals also appear when she summons her Keyblade. Her known Command Styles are:
- : Her own exclusive Command Style; it utilizes the power of light to hover her Keyblade in midair, swiftly attacking enemies while enhancing her magic capabilities as well. Activated by filling the Command Gauge with a variety of multiple magic-based commands. The finisher consists of Aqua performing a magical spin attack that can be controlled with the analog stick. This was called "Magic Wish" in the Japanese release.
- : Aqua's high speed Command Style and exclusive to her; it allows her to attack enemies at high speeds while using after-image illusions and tricky movements to her advantage. Activated by filling the Style Gauge with Thunder, Reprisal, and Magnet-based commands. The finisher consists of Aqua circling a certain area to impale magical pikes into the ground before creating an explosion.
Aqua becomes a D-Link for Terra and Ventus after they received the Wayfinder Aqua made for the three of them. While in link with Aqua, the player can utilize powerful magic attacks.
- Prism Rain: Light in seven colors bursts from the Keyblade and chases after enemies. Press ( in Japanese versions) at the right time in the circle to input the command. It is named "Rainbow Shower" in the Japanese version.
- Bubble Blaster: A giant bubble surrounds Aqua and releases smaller bubbles that chase after enemies. Press ( in Japanese versions) to fire bursts of two additional bubbles. It is named "Bubble Blast" in the Japanese version.
- Lightbloom: Aqua's strongest Shotlock. She twirls on the spot while shooting many orbs of white light. As it progresses, her spinning becomes more and more elaborate until she is spinning with one of her legs behind her head. It is named "Shiny Bloom" in the Japanese version.
Aqua's exclusive Keychains generally share a water-theme and are primarily focused on magical strength; in fact, her "Brightcrest" is the most magically-powerful Keyblade form in the game. Her Keyblade and its forms are of medium length, between those of Ventus and Terra.
Aqua starts off with her personal "Rainfell", but after visiting the Destiny Islands, she obtains a more powerful version of it named "Stormfall". However, after falling into the Realm of Darkness, she sacrifices her Keyblade and Keyblade Armor to save Terra, and is forced to use the Master Keeper, which she had retrieved earlier while visiting the Land of Departure and converting it into Castle Oblivion.
- "Tap Aqua's keyblade to cast Bubble Blaster and clear emojis!"
- —Aqua's in-game journal
Aqua appeared as a limited-time emoji during the Clear the Darkness event from January 17-20th, 2019 on the smartphone game Disney Emoji Blitz to commemorate the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Each time her Skill is triggered, Aqua's Keyblade appears and clears out a different section of the board. First trigger clears out the top, second clears out the right, third clears out the bottom, and forth clears out the left.