With ten games in the series ranging over a variety of different consoles, there is a lot of lore outside Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts II, and Kingdom Hearts III that is integral to understanding what is coming next in the series.

Chronologically, the story begins in The Age of Fairy tales where Kingdom Hearts existed peacefully and the worlds remained connected. The Keyblade War drove Kingdom Hearts into the deepest darkness there ever was, and the story continued to follow Ventus, Aqua, and Terra.

The series continues on with Sora, Riku, and Kairi as they battle to save their friendships and various worlds from Heartless, Organization XIII, and Xehanort.

Kingdom Hearts χ

Age of Fairytales

  • Kingdom Hearts X begins in Daybreak Town. All the worlds are one, and a large heart in the sky, Kingdom Hearts, is believed to be the bringer of light. The X-Blade serves as its protector, keeping it out of mankind's reach.
    The Master of Masters KHX
  • A Prophet called “The Master of Masters” had an eye that gazed into the future and the "Book of Prophesies" that foretold the Keyblade war, which would destroy all light and leave the world in darkness.[1]
  • The Master passed on the Book of Prophesies to 5 of his 6 apprentices known as the Foretellers. Their names are Invi, Gula, Ira, Aced, and Ava.
  • The remaining apprentice, Luxu, received the Master's eye so that he may train a line of new apprentices to pass the eye on through the generation. The Master tells Luxu that the Book of Prophesies is proof of Luxu's success in passing down the eye.
  • The Master tells the Foretellers to form separate Unions of Keyblade wielders so that they should maintain a balance of power should he ever disappear.
  • He meets with the Foretellers individually to discuss their roles when he disappears.[2]
  • Ira, Leader of the Unicornis Union, was chosen by the Master to be the leader of the Foretellers.
  • Aced, Leader of the Ursus Union, is instructed to be Ira’s “right hand man,” and this seeds jealousy and resentment in Aced’s heart.
  • Invi, Leader of The Anguis Union, watches over the others with a fair eye and mediates to make sure they get along.
  • Gula, Leader of The Leopardus Union, is secretly tasked with finding the traitor hidden in their group. The Master gives Gula a page from the Book of Prophesies and tells him to trust only himself.
  • Ava, Leader of the Vulpes Union, secretly recruits and trains Keyblade wielders for an entirely separate union from the others—one that will eventually be named The Dandelions. The Master tells Ava to forget the other unions entirely and focus only on The Dandelions to keep light alive.
Foreteller Ira KHXForeteller Aced KHXForeteller Invi KHXForeteller Gula KHXForeteller Ava KHX
  • The Master gives Ava a list of 5 names to serve as her new recruits, one of which includes Ventus, and one who she is meant to pass on the Book of Prophesies.

The Keyblade War

  • When the Master disappears, the Foretellers and their respective unions start fighting over lux, and this inevitably leads to the Keyblade War.
  • Thousands die, including the Foretellers and their unions. Only the Dandelions survive.
  • All the death and destruction lead to Kingdom Hearts becoming trapped in the deepest darkness.[3]
  • The X-Blade shatters into 20 pieces: 7 pieces of light, and 13 pieces of darkness.

Birth by Sleep

Xehanort's Origins

  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep opens with Xehanort in his home world, Destiny Island.
Young Xehanort KH3D
  • Xehanort leaves home to train with his master and Eraqus, his brother-like friend and cohort.
  • During Xehanort’s research, he discovers and becomes obsessed with the X-Blade.
  • He believes normal Keyblades were meant to counter Kingdom Hearts, but the X-Blade coexists with Kingdom hearts.
  • When the X-Blade is forged with one heart of pure light and one heart of pure darkness, Kingdom Hearts appears.
  • Xehanort wants to create the X-Blade so he can reunite the worlds and provoke another Keyblade War, an idea that greatly disturbed Eraqus. He wants to complete Kingdom Hearts because it is said the one who opens its door will bring about the creation of the Next World.
  • He believes whoever opens the door to Kingdom Hearts will be reborn as something far greater than human, giving them power over all worlds and all people.
  • After many years, Xehanort becomes old and weak, and he starts searching for a person he can possess and use as a vessel to remain alive.

Ventus' Heart

  • Xehanort finds Ventus and takes him in as a pupil, with the intention of manipulating his heart into submitting to the darkness.
  • Ventus, being incredibly pure, refuses to use the darkness. However, Xehanort forcibly extracts the darkness from Ventus’ heart, and he names the entity “Vanitas.”
Ventus 2 KHBBS Vanitas KHBBS
  • After literally breaking Ventus’ heart in two, all that is left of Ventus is a hallow shell.
  • With the intention of dumping Ventus’ body, Xehanort takes him to Destiny Island—A place Xehanort always saw as a prison.
  • What little light Ventus had left in him attracted Sora’s newborn heart to Ventus’ fractured heart. Sora’s heart merges with Ventus’ heart, and Ventus awakens with his memories lost.

Aqua and Terra

  • Xehanort brings Ventus back to Eraqus, who is with his pupils Aqua and Terra.
  • Being the first time Xehanort met both Aqua and Terra, he develops an interest in Terra and sees potential in him to be his vessel.
  • Aqua, Terra, and Ventus become best friends, and they train together to become Keyblade Masters.
  • During Aqua and Terra’s Mark of Mastery Exam, Xehanort sabotages Terra’s exam while Aqua passed her exam and earned her Mark of Mastery.
  • Xehanort provokes Terra to leaving home and manipulates him in various ways to turn against his friends and open his heart to darkness.
  • At the end of the game, the three friends end up in the Keyblade Graveyard, the place where the Keyblade War took place.
  • Ventus faces off with Vanitas—the two of them merge back together to create a fragile X-Blade.


  • Xehanort takes over Terra’s body, creating Terra/Xehanort, a silver-haired, yellow-eyed version of Terra.
Terra becoming xehanort
  • This look becomes a staple of being possessed by Xehanort throughout the game series.
  • Aqua is forced to fight a newly merged Ventus/Vanitas, and the X-Blade is destroyed in the fight.
  • Ventus seemingly drives Vanitas out of his body, but his own heart has become so damaged by the process it escapes out of his body to safety (back to a young Sora who harbors Ventus’ heart inside him, like what Kairi does in KH1).
  • The light the X-Blade cast when it was destroyed consumed everything and scattered the trio throughout the world. Terra/Xehanort go to Radiant Garden, and Aqua and a hallow Ventus drift elsewhere.
  • Aqua leaves Ventus in Castle Oblivion where he rests in a deep slumber, and she sets out to find Terra/Xehanort.
  • Aqua learns Terra is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, a place that exists outside of time made completely from the darkness of peoples’ hearts.
  • Aqua sacrifices herself to the Realm of Darkness (where we last saw her) in order to save Terra, though he remains Terra/Xehanort and has seemingly lost his memories after being in the Realm of Darkness.

Ansem the Wise

  • Terra/Xehanort is brought to Ansem the Wise, a scientist who takes Terra/Xehanort as one of his apprentices, alongside Braig.
Ansem the Wise- Concept (Art) KHII

Ansem the Wise

Ansem, Seeker of Darkness KH

Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

  • Terra/Xehanort and Braig begin conducting experiments on the darkness in people’s hearts and take in several apprentices of their own including Dilan, Even, Aeleus, and Ienzo.
  • Their experiments eventually lead them to releasing a massive cluster of Heartless into the realm of light.
  • Terra/Xehanort takes over the research facility and banishes Ansem the Wise to the Realm of Darkness.
  • With Ansem gone, Terra/Xehanort figures out how to split himself into two new beings.
  • An artificially created Heartless made from his own heart—Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
  • A Nobody, Xemnas.
  • Braig also creates a Nobody named Xigbar.
  • The remaining apprentices also fall to the same fate, but they are under the impression that their goal is to work together to become fully human again and regaining their hearts (the ‘goal’ of Organization 13).
  • Xemnas forms Organization 13, and over the next 10 years Xemnas continues to recruit nobodies to the organization to fill out the remaining spaces.

Kingdom Hearts I

The Fall of Destiny Island

  • This game begins 10 years after the end of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
  • Sora, Riku, and Kairi are from Destiny Island, and they all share the dream of traveling to new worlds.
  • Their dreams are quickly interrupted when Destiny Island is taken over and destroyed by Heartless.
  • Riku believes that submitting to the darkness is his only chance to gain the power to leave Destiny Island, and the Kingdom Key (originally intended for Riku) transfers to Sora’s possession.
  • Riku departs in darkness, and Sora goes to find Kairi.
  • He finds her in a cave right before the door to darkness opens, whooshing her through Sora’s body and casting Sora out of Destiny Island.
  • Sora is thrown into Traverse Town, a town build on the remnants of other worlds that have been destroyed by Heartless.
  • Those who survive the destruction of their world end up in this town.

New Friends and The Seven Princesses of Heart

  • In Traverse Town, Sora meets Donald and Goofy, who agree to help him look for Riku and Kairi.
  • While Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to all the worlds, they gather information on Riku and Kairi while stopping the destruction of other worlds.
  • At the same time, Riku starts working for Maleficent because she has Kairi’s sleeping body.
  • She convinces Riku the only way to help Kairi wake up again is to follow her orders and capture Seven Princesses of Heart.
  • Maleficent turns out to be a pawn for Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. He reveals himself after Sora, Riku, and Kari are finally reunited, and Kari is discovered to be one of the Seven Princesses of Heart. Ansem explains that Kairi’s heart has taken refuge inside Sora.
  • Sora uses Ansem's Keyblade on himself, releasing Kairi’s heart and his heart along with it.
  • He is turned into a Heartless, but Kairi revives Sora with the special powers she has within her as one of the Seven Princesses of Heart.
  • By releasing Kairi’s heart from his body, Sora fulfills Ansem’s plan of using the Seven Princesses of Heart to open the door to Kingdom Hearts.
  • Having the door open is catastrophic since Kingdom Hearts has been stuck in the deepest darkness since the Keyblade War.
  • Sora and Riku work together to defeat Ansem and they close the door together.
  • Sora closes the door from the outside, and Riku sacrifices himself to pull the door shut from inside the Realm of Darkness—leading Sora to his next quest in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories to free Riku.

Chain of Memories

Castle Oblivion and Naminé

  • This quest to save Riku leads Sora, Donald, and Goofy to Castle Oblivion—The place where Ventus is sleeping and the home of Organization 13.
  • As Sora moves through Castle Oblivion, his memories become distorted.
  • A Nobody named Naminé shares a special connection to Sora and can change his memories and those connected to him.
  • Under the duress of Organization 13, specifically a Nobody named Marluxia, she replaces all the memories Sora has of Kairi with herself.
  • Naminé is discovered to be Kairi’s Nobody and was formed in KH1 when Sora released Kairi from his body.
  • Due to the unique circumstances surrounding Naminé's creation, she gained unusual powers.
  • Sora moves through Castle Oblivion, defeats Marluxia, and frees Naminé.
  • Naminé explains the damage that has been done to Sora’s memories and how to fix it.
  • Sora needs to sleep in a memory pod while she repairs his memories, but at the cost of forgetting everything that has happened in Castle Oblivion. Sora agrees and goes to sleep for a year.

Riku and DiZ

  • Riku manages to escape the Realm of Darkness through the help of a man named DiZ.
  • DiZ and Riku gang up to stop Organization 13 and help Naminé repair Sora’s memories.
  • In 358/2 Days, Naminé discovers that she is unable to repair all of Sora’s memories because some of them still lie in Roxas.
  • DiZ orders Riku (who decides to disguise himself as Ansem the Heartless) to kidnap Roxas so they can put him in a town with fake friends and memories (beginning of KH2/Twilight Town) before he merges back with Sora.

358/2 Days

Roxas, Xion, and Organization 13

  • This game runs alongside Chain of Memories and is about Sora’s Nobody, Roxas.[4]
  • Xemnas recruits Roxas to join Organization 13.
  • In KH1, Xemnas sampled some of Sora’s memories and used them to create a replica puppet named Xion. She was a failsafe to be used in the event Sora and Roxas weren’t useful to the organization.
  • Xion was created to siphon Sora and Roxas’ powers, under full control of Organization 13, leading to her being able to use a Keyblade.
  • Because she was created from Sora’s memories, Xion appeared differently to each person. She took the form of a person whose connection to Sora resonated the strongest. Xion’s most common appearance was formed through Sora’s memories of Kairi.

Dual Keyblades

  • Because Xion was a mirror-like puppet, her demise meant everyone would forget she ever existed.
  • Roxas’ will to remember Xion managed to awaken Ventus in his heart. Allowing Roxas to use Sora’s borrowed Keyblade and Ventus' Keyblade, becoming the first dual wielder in the game. When he returns to Sora in KH2, he passes on the dual wielding ability to Sora.

Kingdom Hearts II

Roxas Returns to Sora

  • This game is set immediately following Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
  • Roxas lives out his last days in Twilight Town before he merges back with Sora.
  • Sora wakes up with no memory of Castle Oblivion or the people he met there.
  • Sora, Donald, and Goofy continue where they left off looking for Riku, but they run into Organization 13 along the way.
  • Sora visits several worlds until they end up in the World the Never Was, where Castle Oblivion resides.
  • Sora reunites with Riku and Kairi, and DiZ reveals himself to be Ansem the Wise—the scientist that Terra/Xehanort and the rest of his pupils overthrew many years ago.

Xemnas and an Artificial Kingdom Hearts

  • They all confront Xemnas and learn that Organization 13 has created an artificial Kingdom Hearts.
  • Xemnas lies to his organization to make them believe the purpose of the artificial Kingdom Hearts was to help them regain their hearts.
  • Xemnas’ true motive was to create his own world in his own image.
  • Sora and his friends destroy Xemnas and his artificial Kingdom hearts, and then our trio is seen on the beaches of Destiny Island. All appears to be peaceful.
  • However, with the defeat of Xemnas (and the defeat of Ansem the Heartless in KH1), Xehanort has been brought back to life.
  • When the group learns this, Sora and Riku decide to go through the Mark of Mastery Exam—leading us into Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance.

Dream Drop Distance

Mark of Mastery

  • This game takes place during Sora and Riku’s Mark of Master Exam.
  • Their exams are inside “Sleeping Worlds”, or worlds that were destroyed by darkness but were never saved or brought back to the light again.
  • As with Terra and Aqua, Xehanort tampers with Riku and Sora’s exams.
  • Xehanort’s plans reveal Organization 13 was truly created to find 13 hosts to act as 13 vessels for Xehanort.
  • These 13 versions of himself would then serve at the 13 pieces of darkness that Xehanort needs to balance the 7 pieces of light to create a true X-Blade.
  • Ansem the Heartless was created so Xehanort would have the power to travel back in time.

Sora's Close Encounter with the Darkness

  • In Sora’s exam, Xehanort manipulates Sora to get him to use darkness so he can use Sora as his 13th vessel.
  • Riku saves Sora and Xehanort’s plans are delayed again.
  • Since Sora’s exam was sabotaged, Riku is the only one to earn the Mark of Mastery. However, to prepare in a final showdown against Xehanort, many Keyblade wielders (including Kairi) are going to take the Mark of Mastery Exam.

Kingdom Hearts III

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Kingdom Hearts 2.9

Second Keyblade War


Re:coded and Connections Explained

Sora's Heart

  • Sora has always had a very open and compassionate heart.
  • Throughout the series, Sora has taken on the hearts of Ventus, Xion, Kairi, and Roxas.
  • Sora shares their hearts and their pain, and this heavy burden could send Sora spiraling towards darkness.


  • When Naminé works on Sora’s memories in Chain of Memories, she discovers Sora’s heart is so closely linked to all these people.
  • She left a message behind in Jiminy’s journal—which was digitized in Re:coded—“Mend the hurt.” Sora’s heart is incredibly strong, but he takes in upon himself to mend hearts that have seen so much pain.
  • Sora’s memory restoration in KH2 was overseen by Ansem the wise—known at the time as DiZ.
  • Sora’s heart is unique in the sense that he can mend broken connections and save hearts. He does this first with Ventus (twice), then Kairi, Naminé, Roxas, Xion, and even Vanitas.
  • He realized how strong and loving Sora’s heart was, prompting him to store data inside it containing vital information necessary to save all those who are lost and bringing them back.” [5]

Time Travel

  • To be able to time travel, you must abandon your body and live only as a heart. You can then only travel in your own timeline (you cannot go further back than you were born, and a heart can either go in the past or back the present.)
  • A person cannot move beyond the present into the future, and it is impossible to change events that have already happened and are set in stone. You can only affect a future beyond the present.
  • Once you return to the present, you will forget everything you have done while traveling through time, but you subconsciously still follow the path you laid out for yourself by traveling back in time.
  • Xehanort can travel by splitting himself into Ansem and Xemnas.
  • Gaining the ability to travel time was the true reason Xehanort created his artificial Heartless, Ansem.
  • Ansem travels back in time to a much younger Xehanort to tell him what will happen in the future and to pass on his ability to time travel.
  • Young Xehanort now can travel through time, so he finds other incarnations of himself to help him get closer to finding 13 pieces of darkness.

Complete Kingdom Hearts Series

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