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Kingdom Key KH

The Kingdom Key, the first Keyblade seen in the Kingdom Hearts series, is also Sora's Keyblade's true form.

The Keyblades (キーブレード Kīburēdo?) are mysterious weapons that are heavily featured in the Kingdom Hearts series. Wielded by the main character, Sora, as well as a number of other important characters, the Keyblade is a main part of the battle between Darkness and Light.

Story

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep features eight people who can wield Keyblades: Ventus, Aqua, Terra, Master Eraqus, Mickey, Master Xehanort, Vanitas, and Yen Sid. Near the end of the game, Master Xehanort explains to Terra, Aqua, and Ventus that the Keyblades at Keyblade Graveyard are the remains of the Keyblade Wielders after the Keyblade War between the battle of Light and Darkness.

Terra also performs the Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony on Riku, passing the ability on to him. Aqua also does this accidentally with Kairi.

Kingdom Hearts

Sora used the Keyblade to seal the Keyholes of all the worlds he visited.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Marluxia planned to use Naminé to enslave Sora through his memories so he could use the Keyblade against the rest of Organization XIII.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Both Roxas and Xion can use the Keyblade to collect hearts for the Organization.

Kingdom Hearts II

Sora, Riku, Kairi, Roxas, and King Mickey can use the Keyblade. Sora uses the Keyblade to open new paths to new worlds through Gates.

Kingdom Hearts coded

Data Sora can use his digital version of the Kingdom Key to fix the World source of Bug Blocks and to seal the data keyholes. His digital Keyblade was destroyed in Episode 5, but gained a new Keyblade in Episode 6. King Mickey explains that this Keyblade is tightly connected to the Power of the Heart, implying that his Keyblade is genuine.

King Mickey also uses his own Keyblade to defeat the Heartless that attack his castle.

Powers

Template:Q As the name implies, in combat, Keyblades are used in a manner similar to swords. Despite the fact that most possess no actual cutting edge, Keyblades still make efficient combat weapons and are shown to be particularly effective weapons against Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed. However, as a downside to this, the Heartless use the Keyblade as a homing beacon, and thus Keyblade wielders are at constant risk of Heartless attacks at any time.

Most Keyblade wielders are also able to extend their Keyblade's length with Light or Darkness for their ultimate attacks. This has been seen for Sora's Ars Arcanum, Roxas, Xion and Riku's Limit Break in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Sora and Riku's Limit, Eternal Session, and Terra and Aqua's Command Style, Blade Charge.

The main power of the Keyblade, however, is the ability to seal or open the barriers between worlds, as well as to "lock" a world's Keyhole, preventing the Heartless from attacking that world's heart. As an offset of this ability, the Keyblade can also be used to lock or unlock any lock, allowing the user to access any sealed interior, whether it be a locked room, gate, or treasure chest.

In addition to its base powers, it is possible to modify a Keyblade's appearance and powers by attaching various Keychains or Gears in the wielder's inventory. However, there are many Keyblades that do not possess a keychain for reasons unknown. There are other instances of the Keyblade changing form, such as when Riku's Soul Eater becomes the Way to the Dawn and when Roxas's two Kingdom Keys transmute into the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, but the mechanism behind these transformations is uncertain.

Inheritance Requirement

The Keyblade has a special power that only lets a chosen wielder hold it. This is proven when Sora gives his Keyblade to Jack Sparrow only to have it come back to his hand. In the final battle with Xemnas Sora was able to hold Riku's Keyblade and the same goes for Riku with Sora's Keyblade.

While there are many qualities a Keyblade wielder must have, the only known requirement is that they have an exceptionally strong heart.

It is implied in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep that it is possible for a Keyblade wielder to choose a person as their successor if they have the main qualities that allow them to hold a Keyblade, as Terra chose Riku to be his successor. Kairi seems to have inherited the same ability when she accidentally touched Aqua's Keyblade. Aqua originally considered choosing Sora to be her successor, but decided against it because Terra had already performed the ritual on Riku and she did not want the two to fight as she and Terra would. However, Sora nonetheless gained the ability to use the Keyblade when Ventus's heart fused with his own.

Keyblade Glider

In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Terra, Ventus and Aqua have the ability to turn their Keyblades into vehicles and use them to travel to other worlds. This ability has only been demonstrated by the trio and it is unknown if any of the other Keyblade wielders can use it.

Magic

Keyblades are natural conduits for casting magic, as seen when Sora uses his Keyblade to command his magical attacks. Some Keyblades have the innate ability to enhance specific kinds of magic, and many also augment the user's magical abilities on a more general level. Keyblades can also augment the holder with other powers and abilities that they would not normally be able to use.

Synch Blade

Roxas - Oathkeeper and Oblivion

Roxas using Synch Blade with Oathkeeper and Oblivion.

Keyblade wielders are also able to wield a second Keyblade using the Synch Blade ability. After Roxas defeats and absorbs Xion, he uses this ability at almost all times, generally with the Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keychains, while Sora only uses this ability while in his Valor, Master, or Final Drive Forms; however, Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed in interviews that Sora is able to dual-wield Keyblades in his base state, as Sora and Roxas share all of the same abilities.

Riku also exhibits this ability when he and Kairi meet up at The Castle that Never Was, and he hands a second Keyblade to Kairi to allow her to help protect Sora. Keyblade wielders are also able to allow others to wield this second Keyblade, or have it taken by the other wielder. When Roxas encounters Riku at Memory's Skyscraper he throws his Oblivion at Riku. Riku catches it and actually wields it in battle against him; when Roxas and Sora fight within the Awakening, Sora is able to steal Roxas's Keyblades and use them against him, though only temporarily.

Appearance

All Keyblades shown have the same distinguishing features that are modeled after a key: a guard with a handle, a hilt and a head at the end of the shaft that resembles the teeth of a skeleton key (with the exception of Fenrir, which is instead modeled after a pin tumbler lock key). All Keyblades also have some theme, usually a World or a person associated with that World, that will reflect in its appearance.

History

The origins of the Keyblades is, thus far, unclear. Each game references the special qualities of the wielders and some give vague explanations of the Keyblades' power, but none have shown where the Keyblades originated, how they are created, or what their original purpose might have been. One legend mentioned in Kingdom Hearts states that the Keyblade master saved the world, while another said he wrought chaos and destruction upon it. While these legends may appear to contradict themselves, it can be assumed that the Keyblade master chooses how to use the Keyblade, whether for good or evil. The Keyblade is known throughout the worlds as a unique and powerful weapon. In Atlantica, King Triton and Ursula both knew of the Keyblade and its powers. King Triton did not want Sora to seal the Keyhole because he thought that the Keyblade would send his world into chaos, while Ursula knew that it gave the ability for the one who wields it to travel around the worlds.

One of the pieces of text in the hidden ending video for Kingdom Hearts II, "the Gathering", mentions a Keyblade War. Hundreds of Keyblades can be seen stuck into the ground during this cinematic, as well as the extended "Birth by sleep" cinematic at the end of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. It should be noted that none of these seemingly abandoned Keyblades, nor those of protagonists Aqua, Terra or Ventus, have keychains, although the significance of this detail is currently unknown as the history of the Keyblades is unknown and the trio have been shown in later scans to have keychains attached to their keyblades. Many of these Keyblades seem to be based on Keyblades already shown in the series, but many more are entirely original and new. Master Xehanort also stated that the thousands of Keyblades left are the ruins of the Keyblade War.

Keychains

Sora's Keyblade is known as the "Keyblade of Worlds' Hearts"Template:Fact, and nearly all of his Keychain tokens represent some important item from a world he has saved. Usually, Sora is not actually shown to be given the Keychain from one of his many friends, so it is possible that after saving a world, or completing a major step in that direction, the world itself rewards him with the ability to access its power in the form of a unique Keychain.

Keychains that Sora receives from his friends, or from defeating challengers in the Olympus Coliseum, always use a token that is somehow intimately symbolic of that person. While Sora's Keyblade is not specifically a Keyblade of human hearts, like the explicitly named Keyblade of People's Hearts, it is likely that the connections between his heart and those he meets allow him to sometimes access their power as well. Sora and Roxas's Oathkeeper and Oblivion are said to specifically embody Sora's memories of Kairi and Riku and Roxas's oath to Xion before her death (Oathkeeper) as well as her demise (Oblivion) and so it is extremely likely that for "people-Keyblades" like these, the Keychains act as a physical embodiment of the memories Sora and Roxas has of those that are important to them.

Prominent Keyblade Wielders

This is a list of the Keyblade wielders most important to the storyline of the series. For a complete list, see List of Keyblade Wielders.

Sora

The most prominent character in the series to use a Keyblade is Sora, who has used them successfully in the two main games in the series (with one minor incident). His ability to use and possess the Keyblade was a major plot point in the first game. He has used more Keyblades than anyone else in the Kingdom Hearts series; the variations are created through various keychains attached to his original blade, the Kingdom Key.

King Mickey

The King of Disney Castle, King Mickey's Keyblade is known as "Kingdom Key D". It looks the same as Kingdom Key, but its colors are inverted compared to the Kingdom Key. In Kingdom Hearts coded and Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, he uses the Star Seeker, the Keyblade he used in his days as an apprentice under Yen Sid.

Riku

Sora's best friend and rival, he wields the Way to the Dawn Keyblade, though in Kingdom Hearts he briefly took possession of Sora's Kingdom Key. In Kingdom Hearts, he stayed behind with King Mickey in the Realm of Darkness. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, he explores the basement of Castle Oblivion and struggles in resisting the darkness in his heart, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, while in Kingdom Hearts II, he helped Sora defeat Xemnas. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts, he used the Soul Eater as his main weapon until it transformed into the Way to the Dawn Keyblade.

Roxas

Sora's Nobody and the thirteenth member of Organization XIII, Roxas also possesses the ability to wield the Keyblade, an ability which Xemnas uses to his advantage by ordering Roxas to gather countless hearts to complete Kingdom Hearts itself. Upon the absorption by Roxas of his Replica, Xion, Roxas regains the ability to wield the two Keyblades, Oblivion and Oathkeeper, an ability passed onto Sora when Roxas fuses with him.

Terra, Aqua, and Ventus

Three Keyblade wielders before Sora, apprentices under Master Eraqus. Sharing a common foe, Master Xehanort, they each suffer horrific fates due to Xehanort's doing at the end of the game: Terra is possessed by Master Xehanort and becomes the new Xehanort who becomes Sora's archenemy; Ventus is rendered comatose after his heart is damaged following a victorious confrontation with his dark side, Vanitas; and Aqua is stranded in the realm of darkness. All three currently await for Sora to rescue them from their fates.

Xehanort

The primary antagonist of the entire series. As his original persona, Master Xehanort, Xehanort is a Keyblade Master with plans to unleash the secrets of the Keyblade War onto the worlds and engulf the universe in darkness. To this end, he steals Terra's body by transferring his heart into the latter's body and becomes the new Xehanort, much younger and agile, combined with the ability to wield the Keyblade with both Master Xehanort's and Terra's powers. However, following confrontations with the Lingering Sentiment and Aqua, he loses his memories, except for his name, thus losing his ability to wield the Keyblade, as his Heartless, "Ansem", is shown using a double-ended version of Riku's Soul Eater, and his Nobody, Xemnas, uses Ethereal Blades in battle.

Trivia

File:Lion-Sora-Chainsaw.jpg
  • When the Keyblade is either used to lock a Keyhole or open a new path, it shoots a small, but bright beam of light. Sora has been shown in cutscenes, an example being Ursula's Revenge, to use this as an attack, and also in the cutscene immediately after the final battle with Xemnas where it appears to do damage to Xemnas, though it can not be used in actual gameplay.
  • According to an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, the original weapon shown during development was actually a chainsaw-like weapon. This was eventually scrapped in favor of the Keyblade.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, the Keyblade disappears until Sora starts attacking, while in Kingdom Hearts II, it reappears as soon as Sora approaches an enemy. In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, the Keyblade appears when Roxas takes damage.

Notes and References

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