|This article is about the world. You may be looking for the Keyblade or the manga chapter.|
Castle Oblivion is a world introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, located within the Realm Between. Once the Land of Departure, its ruins were transformed into Castle Oblivion by Aqua in order to conceal the comatose body of Ventus. During her absence in the Realm of Darkness, the castle became vacant until it was discovered by Organization XIII, who used it as a secondary base of operations for their research into memory and the Replica Program. While under the Organization’s occupation, it was ruled by Marluxia, who used his position as lord of the castle to benefit his own agendas.
Castle Oblivion is set in the midst of large grassy plains and hills. When one reaches the castle, there are rough stalagmites sprouting from the ground. The castle's architecture is very remarkable, with its tower's tops resembling an interesting isosceles triangle, and a noticeable monster with horns on the center of the castle. Two smaller parts of the castle, lying on floating islands are joined to the main structure by chains. Inside the castle are rooms called White Rooms, the walls of which have intricate emblems embedded on them. The Chamber of Waking, which was once the throne room of the palace in the Land of Departure, houses the throne on which sits Ventus, who lies comatose in safety until the time comes for him to wake again. In total, the castle is comprised of thirteen floors and twelve basements.
The castle's secrets and layouts are unknown to outsiders, because Aqua was instructed by Master Eraqus to keep it a secret to prevent any intruder or agent of darkness from entering unbidden.
- Sora's Tale I
Our friends may be here...It was that thought that led us to Castle Oblivion, where cards rule all.
A mysterious man gave Sora a card, and using it took us to Traverse Town—of all places!
It turned out the town was just a figment of our own remembrances, the first world of many that lie in Sora's heart.
And so our journey through these worlds begins.
Just use the key, and this land will be transformed. From that day forward, all who visit this land will be lost to oblivion, none ever able to solve the mystery. None, Aqua, except you.Master Eraqus to Aqua
Castle Oblivion was initially the world Land of Departure. After the defeat of Master Eraqus at Terra's hand, Master Xehanort summoned the darkness to destroy the world. Aqua would later bring a comatose Ventus to the Land of Departure to keep him safe.
As Aqua walks into the dilapidated castle, she remembers a "secret" that Master Eraqus told her when she became a Master. He told her that he and his ancestors were, and had always been the protectors of the world and that if anything ever happened to him, she should seal the world's Keyhole with the Keyblade to prevent darkness from completely overrunning the world. She was also advised to recreate the world so that only she knew the structure and layout of it and that any unwelcome visitors would be "lost to oblivion".
As a result, she used the Master Keeper to seal the world's Keyhole and recreated the world into Castle Oblivion. She then leaves Ven in the newly-formed Chamber of Waking and promises to bring Terra back with her before waking him up. When Aqua departs from the building to go look for Terra, she turns around to look at her new home, where the player first sees the newly-transformed exterior and recognizes the world to be Castle Oblivion.
Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
The castle was eventually found by Xemnas of Organization XIII, who decided to convert it into a second headquarters for the Organization. It was intended to be a place to research memories, an important topic to the Nobodies of the Organization, who have only their memories to form personalities with. Xemnas sent Xigbar and Xaldin to recruit more members for the Organization, as they needed a large group in order to run the castle. The castle was also used as part of the Replica Program, which was dedicated to recreating the powers of the Keyblade for Organization XIII's use from Sora's, and eventually Riku's memories. Xion and Riku Replica are the only known successful — yet imperfect — creations born from this project, through fragments of Sora and Riku, respectively.
According to a flashback in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix that takes place in between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts, Xigbar and Zexion discussed the new castle and the Chamber of Repose, which housed Aqua's armor and Keyblade, that Xemnas constructed in Radiant Garden while he was Xehanort, and which he frequently went to. Xigbar believed that Xemnas was looking for the complementary Chamber of Waking, and that this place might be somewhere in Castle Oblivion.
Eventually, a strange Nobody named Naminé appeared in the castle and was found by the Organization. She soon became the center of their research, due to her strange abilities of memory manipulation. In order to further research, pods were developed that could be used to piece together memories. Xemnas had entrusted the castle and Naminé to the neophyte Marluxia, but he would soon plot to use this power in a bid to seize control over the Organization. While Marluxia and his associates, Larxene and Axel, controlled the top half of the castle, the senior members Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion controlled the basements. Throughout their appearances, they are shown to have a strong rivalry.
After defeating Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, and restoring the damaged worlds, Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy find themselves in a grassy field with the King's dog, Pluto. They follow Pluto along the path to Castle Oblivion, and as soon as they enter the castle, they forget all of their skills and are forced to rely upon the castle's memory-based card system.
Although Marluxia and Larxene tell them their memory loss is simply the nature of the castle, it is revealed that the mysterious girl Naminé is actually the one reshaping Sora's memories, so that Marluxia can use Sora as a puppet against Xemnas. The scheme fails thanks to the meddling of Axel, who frees Naminé, and Marluxia and Larxene are destroyed at Sora's hand. Sora then uses one of Xemnas's pods so that Naminé can restore his memories, and is eventually moved to Twilight Town.
Meanwhile, Sora's friend Riku awakens from the darkness within the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion, where he faces the remaining darkness of "Ansem". Though he initially sets out to destroy the indelible darkness in his heart, with the help of DiZ, Naminé, and King Mickey, he is able to eventually embrace both the light and the dark, achieving a balance.
The three basement members, Vexen, Lexaeus and Zexion are troubled by Marluxia's actions, so they send Vexen to investigate for them. After Vexen is elmininated by Axel, Lexaeus and Zexion seek to recruit Riku in order to counter Marluxia's use of Sora, but Riku denies their request and summons his darkness in order to vanquish Lexaeus. Once Marluxia is destroyed, Zexion decides that Riku is of no use any more, calling him a 'nuisance' while in a conversation with Axel. He then confronts Riku and uses his powers of illusion to envelop the boy in light. With the help of Naminé, disguised as Kairi, Riku discovers the ruse, and after accepting the darkness, strikes Zexion, forcing the Nobody into fighting him. Riku defeats him, but Zexion manages to escape, before being betrayed by Axel, who uses the Riku Replica to destroy him, under orders from Saïx. Riku eventually defeats the Ansem in his heart, and decides not to have Naminé seal it away completely; instead setting out on the "road to dawn" in order to help while Sora is sleeping.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days takes place between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, and so in this game many of the castle's secrets are revealed. After members of Organization XIII are sent to Castle Oblivion (which starts the events in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories), Roxas learns from Demyx and Xigbar that the members assigned to Castle Oblivion were annihilated. Xion later goes to Castle Oblivion seeking answers about her existence.
Axel tries to stop her, but his efforts are futile. Later, when Roxas learns from Axel that Xion was born in Castle Oblivion, he becomes determined to investigate the place for himself. However, he had barely walked in the door when he was overcome by a strange weakness and passed out entirely, due to how close he physically was to Sora and Ventus. However, when he woke up, he shouted, "Riku!" In that instance, he forgot what he just said.
During conversations between Axel and Saïx, Saïx asks Axel if he has found the Chamber of Waking, to which Axel replied that it was difficult to find since Castle Oblivion is huge and it is currently unknown if that room was ever found. It is also revealed that Axel would be sent various times by Xemnas to find the room, showing Xemnas's extreme determination to find the Chamber of Waking, yet he never could. Aqua, as per Master Eraqus's suggestion, had specifically designed the castle for its secrets to be known to nobody but herself. Thus, Aqua's design led Axel to be "lost in oblivion".
The Castle's inside was seen in the opening credits of Kingdom Hearts II, featuring Sora's battle with Marluxia, Riku's battle with Ansem, Naminé's placing Sora in the Memory Pod, as well as several other important events in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories illustrated in full computer graphics. The outside of Castle Oblivion was briefly shown in Roxas's final dreams, as Sora's memories end as he opens the door.
After defeating the data incarnation of Sora's Heartless and restoring the data worlds to their default settings, the now amnesiac Data-Sora is brought to a data Castle Oblivion by Mickey and Data-Riku. There he encounters, unknown to him, Data-Roxas, who gives him worlds cards to visit data worlds he no longer remembers. As Data-Sora continues onward, Data-Roxas gives him warnings that unless he lets go of the lingering sorrow of losing the memories of those he just met, darkness will swallow his heart. However, Data-Sora advances through each of the worlds and ends up fighting Data-Roxas out of annoyance. Upon his defeat, Data-Roxas knows Data-Sora is ready to see the aching memories buried deep in the Journal and melds into him, allowing Data-Sora to feel his anguish of the real Roxas's disappointment of the time he spent in Twilight Town being fake.
Upon using the Castle Oblivion world card, Data-Sora finds a Data-Naminé waiting for him in a recreation of the Pod Room. She explains that there are others connected to the real Sora's heart that are in need of rescue, which is behind the mysterious message in the Journal. However, Sora needed to be tested to see if he can handle the hurt of the memories or lose his heart to the pain he would feel. Not wanting Data-Sora to go in alone, Mickey offers to see the painful memories with him. Upon touching an orb of light that hold the memories, Data-Sora and Mickey see Roxas, Axel, Xion, Naminé, (and much to Mickey's surprise) Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. Data-Naminé tells Data-Sora that they are all waiting for him to free them from their respective torments. Data-Sora also gives Data-Naminé a message from the Journal meant for her: "Thank You".
One notable feature of this incarnation of Castle Oblivion is that the White Rooms do not change form completely; the design remains like the rest of the castle, although the shape of the room differs. Pictures of areas from the worlds are displayed on the walls.
Ventus continues to sleep within the Chamber of Waking, following the end of Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery exam. Upon Sora's return to Traverse Town, he smiles as a result of Sora's happiness.
After being rescued from the Realm of Darkness, Aqua takes Sora, Donald and Goofy to Castle Oblivion. Though the latter three insist on returning to the Mysterious Tower to rest, Aqua explains that she needs to wake up Ventus, and that she was going to receive an earful from him for being so long. Stopping at the castle doors, Aqua materializes her Keyblade and reveals a Keyhole on the front of the doors. Using her Keyblade, Aqua proceeds to unlock the Keyhole, causing a projection of the Land of Departure to appear on the front of the castle. In the form of a shifting puzzle, the castle then transforms back into the Land of Departure the way it was prior to its destruction at the hands of Xehanort.
|Cards||Ultima Weapon||Bounty||This is available only if there is a completed Sora's Story file saved on the memory card.|
|Lexaeus||Bounty||This is available only if there is a completed Reverse/Rebirth file saved on the memory card.|
|Star Seeker||Room of Rewards, Set 2||Available in Re:Chain of Memories only.|
|Sleights and abilities||Raging Storm||Bounty||Available in Re:Chain of Memories only.|
|Super Glide||Room of Rewards, Set 1||Available in Re:Chain of Memories only.|
- The need for the card system in Castle Oblivion is unknown. Although Marluxia claims that they are simply part of the castle, he also claims that the trademark memory loss was due to the castle's influence as well, when in actuality it was Naminé's doing. It is possible that Naminé used the castle itself in order to make Sora and his friends lose his memory.
- In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, members of Organization XIII often refer to Castle Oblivion as C.O. for short.
- In the manga, the monitors through which the Organization watches Sora are "Nomura-brand", a reference to Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series.
- The "Transport to Remembrance" has the same style of hallway as Castle Oblivion.
- The stairways in the Castle Oblivion logo bear a striking resemblance to the famous Relativity sketch by M.C. Escher. In addition, most of the labyrinths within the castle appear to be heavily inspired by Escher's infinite drawings.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, when a player enters the White Room in the Old Mansion, the symbols next to each action turns into cards. This is a reference to Castle Oblivion, as the white room bears remarkable resemblance to the halls of Castle Oblivion.