Keyblade Armor (キーブレード鎧 Kīburēdo Yoroi?) is a suit of armor worn by Keyblade wielders. It first appears in Kingdom Hearts II under the usage of Xemnas. The secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix shows Ventus, Terra, and Aqua lifting the Kingdom Key, Way to the Dawn, and Kingdom Key D at the Keyblade Graveyard, and is used throughout Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix by Terra, Ventus, Aqua, and the digital simulations of Master Eraqus and Master Xehanort. One of its most important qualities is that it protects the wearer from the darkness surrounding the Lanes Between, much like the Black Coat. However, it is also worn during battle, at the user's discretion.
Pieces of the armor usually appear as part of the user's normal clothing, such as their boots or belts. However, the armor's left pauldron is more important—by pressing it, the user activates the rest of the armor, which appears in a flash of light. Despite the fact that it usually appears and disappears magically, the armor can also be removed physically, as Terra-Xehanort did once he had gained control of Terra's body, and Aqua did to give Terra's body a vessel to take him out of the Realm of Darkness. Despite its heavy appearance, the armor does not appear to impede movement in any way.
Design and conception
Terra, Ventus, and Aqua wear their Armor whenever they enter the Lanes Between, or when they land at the Mirage Arena. They also activate the armor when they are attacked by Xehanort at the Keyblade Graveyard.
When Terra defeats Master Xehanort in their final battle, the elderly Keyblade master unlocks his own heart. Terra attempts to protect himself from Xehanort by quickly activating his armor, but Terra's darkness allows Xehanort to take control anyway. Terra's armor falls to the ground in pieces as the new, younger Terra-Xehanort walks off, but rises again as Terra's soul animates it, creating the Lingering Will.
It creates the Will's Cage around the two, forcing Terra-Xehanort to turn and fight. It manages to knock out Terra-Xehanort, who is swallowed by the χ-blade's aura and transported to Radiant Garden. With its job done, it kneels down with its Ends of the Earth Keyblade in its hands, and remains there for the next eleven years.
After leaving Ventus in the Chamber of Waking and encountering a confused Terra-Xehanort at Radiant Garden, Aqua damages Terra-Xehanort enough for Terra's heart to temporarily take control and lock away both his and Xehanort's hearts, knocking his body out. Both Aqua and Xehanort fall into the Realm of Darkness.
Aqua removes her armor, and instructs both it and her Keyblade to take Xehanort back through the closing portal to Radiant Garden. Dilan later discovers the unconscious Xehanort and Aqua's armor, and Ansem instructs Braig to carry Xehanort, and Dilan to bring the armor back to the Hollow Bastion.
When she fights Roxas, Xion dons a suit of armor that combines motifs from the Keyblade Armor, the Nobody emblem, and Sora's own clothes. At times, the armor also has wings, extra arms, or trailing ribbons that draw from Sora's memories, and a set of "Keyblades" which do the same.
Xemnas dons Xehanort's Keyblade Armor while attacking Sora and Riku atop the World of Nothingness. During this fight, Xemnas is also able to use the weapons of the recently destroyed members of Organization XIII.
In the Final Mix version, Xemnas was shown coming before Aqua's Armor and Keyblade, addressing it as his "friend", which was noticed by Xigbar, who pointed this out to Zexion. In the same game, a portal to the Keyblade Graveyard appears at Disney Castle at one point, and Sora, Donald, and Goofy enter it to find the Lingering Will. It first mistakes Sora to be Aqua, then Ventus, then Riku, and finally Master Xehanort, before attacking him in a great rage. Upon its defeat, the Lingering Will realizes it has attacked the wrong person, and respectfully acknowledges Sora as a Keyblade Master.
When Sora's heart falls into the darkness as a result of Young Xehanort's plans to turn him into the final member of the real Organization XIII, Ventus's Keyblade Armor appears to Sora within his heart, shielding him from the corruptive effects of the darkness. Later when Riku dives into Sora's heart to try and wake him, he is confronted by the Keyblade Armor, now possessed by a Nightmare. Once defeated the Keyblade Armor dissolves into Darkness, leaving a comatose Sora behind.
The Lingering Will appeared to attack Terra-Xehanort in the Keyblade Graveyard, though he would later be destroyed by the latter while sacrificing itself to save Sora.
During the final battle at Scala ad Caelum, Master Xehanort absorbed the defeated Replica Xehanorts, granting him a new Keyblade Armor as well as empowering him. Xehanort utilized this new armor in the initial phase of his fight with Sora and co. before removing it when he began utilizing the χ-blade.
After Sora restores Kairi, the Replica Xehanorts combine to form Master Xehanort in his new Keyblade Armor in order to fight the two. However, the replicas are ultimately destroyed by the guardians of light.
To search for Sora in the Realm of Darkness, Terra, Aqua and Ventus all summon their Keyblade Armor prior to departing from the Land of Departure to help shield themselves from the darkness.
List of Armors
- Aqua has a pauldron on both arms. However, she is only shown using the one on her left arm to activate her armor, which is the same arm as Terra's and Ventus's.
- Even after Aqua gives her armor to Terra-Xehanort, she is shown walking through the Realm of Darkness with both her pauldrons and shoes.
- Ventus's helmet is smashed on a rock when Xehanort freezes him, but later in the Lanes Between he is shown wearing a full suit of armor.
- After Terra-Xehanort takes off the armor which forms the Lingering Will, he is still shown in his normal outfit, with the left pauldron and the armored shoes.
- Terra's armor is the only Keyblade armor to have a cape.
- Ventus armor is also worn by Sora.
Notes and references
- Xehanort's Report II: "Our Master instructed us to don armor while traveling between worlds, so that we might shield ourselves from the darkness. But there, in the Lanes Between, I could feel the force of it—the power—and from then on, I forwent my armor's "protection." I had been told the darkness would devour me, but what terrors could it possibly hold, so long as I found the strength to control it?".
- Nomura: We wanted to make it so that as many people could play together as possible, but in the end we could only do six. By the way, in the Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix secret movie you can see Terra in his armor with a cape, but we took off the cape in this game. It was to make processing easier when you’re playing with six people. Processing of moving fabric can be slow, so the speed it runs at is completely different if he has a cape or not.