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"We may never meet again, but we'll never forget each other."
—Leon

Squall Leonhart is a supporting character in the Kingdom Hearts series and leader of both the Heartless Resistance and the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee. He now goes by the name Leon due to his world being destroyed by the Heartless, he changed his name in an attempt to amend for his mistakes and restore his world.

Leon is twenty-five years old at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and twenty-six during the events of Kingdom Hearts II.

Squall was the main character of Final Fantasy VIII, in which he wields the notorious Gunblade.

Journal entries

Kingdom Hearts

A swordsman who wields the Gunblade. His real name: Squall Leonhart. He escaped to Traverse Town when the Heartless raided his home world. To part with his old self, a man who had been helpless to stop them, he changed his name. Since meeting the king, who has been so vigilant against the Heartless, Leon has sought the truth behind the "key".

"Final Fantasy VIII"

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

A cool and collected swordsman who wields a gunblade. His real name: Squall Leonhart.

Leon once fought with Sora against the Heartless, but the Leon we met in Castle Oblivion is a product of Sora's memory, so he can't remember much of what happened before.

Kingdom Hearts II

Final Fantasy VIII

A swordsman who carries a gunblade. His real name is Squall Leonhart. He took the name Leon to distance himself from his past self -- the man who stood helpless as Heartless invaded his home.

For some time he took refuge in a different town, but thanks in part to Sora's help, Leon was able to reclaim this, his hometown. Now he works tirelessly towards its restoration.

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

A swordsman from Radiant Garden. When he was still a boy, his home was lost to darkness, and he was forced to flee with Cid and the other children to Traverse Town. He no longer uses his real name, a symbolic farewell to the little boy who was not strong enough.

Later, Leon would fight against the forces of darkness more than once, but thanks to Sora, he can now focus on rebuilding his home.

Story

Kingdom Hearts

Squall Leonhart grew up in the paradise world of Radiant Garden until it was consumed by darkness. Ashamed and angry that he was unable to defend his home and his loved ones from the Heartless, Squall assumed the name of "Leon" in order to distance himself from his past, vowing never to use his real name until the Heartless are defeated and his world restored.

Leon awakened in Traverse Town, along with the few fellow Radiant Garden refugees: Yuffie, Aerith, and Cid, none of whom changed their names as Leon did. During his teenage years, Leon led the fight against the Heartless, effectively keeping an area of Traverse Town safe against Maleficent and the growing tide of Heartless. He was also known to travel between worlds in his Gummi Ship, assisting other refugees in peril and relocating them to Traverse Town. His actions did not go unnoticed, eventually gaining the attention and confidence of King Mickey, who was watching the growing battle warily.

Nine years after the fall of Radiant Garden, now named Hollow Bastion, when the wielder of the Keyblade was revealed, King Mickey ordered Goofy and Donald Duck to find Leon, trusting that Leon would inform them of the circumstance and help them find the wielder, Sora.

It turned out, however, that Leon had already found Sora within the safe First District of Traverse Town, challenging and either defeating the boy in a duel or being defeated before dragging Sora back to the resistance's hideout; a room in one of Traverse Town's motels. There, Leon and Yuffie explained to Sora about the Heartless and his destiny as the Keyblade's chosen one. Uniting Sora with the newly arrived Donald and Goofy, Leon then sent them on their way.

When Sora, Donald, and Goofy returned to Traverse Town again seeking Leon's help, they find him in the Secret Waterway, underneath Merlin's house, training. Here he offers information about the Keyholes of each world that lead to the heart of the world. He explains that the Heartless are drawn to the heart's power and would corrupt it, thus causing the world to disappear. This is why Sora's Keyblade is so important, because it has the power to seal them from the Heartless.

Leon also gives Sora the Earthshine Gem, which contained the spirit of Simba, for luck. Later, after they move to the newly accommodated base, a previously abandoned house deep in Heartless territory, Leon and company tells Sora about Maleficent and about Ansem and his journal before once again, seeing Sora, Donald, and Goofy off.

Leon gives Geppetto and Pinocchio a place to live after they escape from Monstro.

After escaping from Hollow Bastion, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Kairi sought shelter with Leon's group in Traverse Town. Sora informed Leon of everything that had happened, prompting him to follow Sora and company when they left for the final battle with Maleficent in Hollow Bastion.

After Sora defeats the Behemoth Heartless that guards Hollow Bastion's Keyhole, Leon stands waiting to bid his farewells, for after Sora seals the heart of all worlds, Kingdom Hearts, the two groups might never see each other again.

Later, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith can be seen wandering the Hollow Bastion Library, reading the books.

After Sora sealed Kingdom Hearts and returned the universe to its order, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith are reunited with Cid and Cloud in Hollow Bastion.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

After the defeat of Ansem, while skirmishing through Castle Oblivion, Sora, Donald, and Goofy later meet Leon and his friends in a memory-based version of Traverse Town. However, like the town itself, little did Sora and his party realize that Leon and his friends were actually the product of Sora's memories that were being manipulated by Naminé.

Due to that, the Leon and his friends that Sora encounter have no memories of ever meeting Sora, but somehow know his name, which they could not explain how. Like the Leon from the first game, he nonetheless decides to help Sora and company, such as by teaching Sora the card-based system as well as providing the Simba and the Key of Guidance cards in order for Sora to proceed. Before Sora leaves, Leon ensures him that he will be okay; no matter what shape reality takes, and that while he may not remember Sora, he knows that he is in his heart.

Kingdom Hearts II

In Kingdom Hearts II, Leon is seen to be slightly more cheerful than he was in the original Kingdom Hearts, as he and others are rebuilding their home. Leon is also the leader of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee, which is composed of the returning Final Fantasy characters from the first Kingdom Hearts and Merlin. He fights alongside Sora in one of the fights near the beginning of the game, when Nobodies attempt to make a move on the city.

He later gains three extra hands, the Gullwings, when Donald convinced them that Leon has a whole collection of treasure. He explains to the trio about Sora's journey and the significance of their mission, which convinces them to put aside their argument with the three.

During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, he, along with many other characters, helps Sora fight the Heartless on the Ravine Trail in Hollow Bastion. He and Cloud were also shown back to back and surrounded by Heartless, bantering briefly before charging at their enemies. The two later returned to Hollow Bastion's outer wall and witnessed Sora's escape at the end of the battle.

By the time they visit again, the town is infested with Heartless from Space Paranoids. Leon gives Sora the Sleeping Lion Keychain before he enters the Space Paranoids again. While Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off to Space Paranoids to help Tron, Leon goes to pick up the eradicator program that Cid has been working on to defeat the Master Control Program for good. They eventually succeed, and Tron is able to remind everyone of the town's true name, Radiant Garden.

During the game's end credits, he is seen in Merlin's house, reading a letter that produces a strange glowing butterfly shape that floats towards the ceiling and then vanishes.

Leon plays the largest role of any Final Fantasy character in Kingdom Hearts II storywise, is the only Final Fantasy character that has relations to King Mickey, and works very closely to Sora and company. Leon is also the only Final Fantasy character in the game to come face to face with Organization XIII and fight the Nobodies. He seems to be a good friend to both Cloud and Aerith.

Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

After Data-Sora collects every Ending Card in Castle Oblivion, Data-Roxas allows him to open the final door and learn the truth behind the hurt. Right as Data-Sora moves to open the door, illusions of Leon and Yuffie appear to congratulate him for keeping Traverse Town safe, explaining that something urgent came up that they had to deal with. They express a wish to someday work alongside him, and give him a Debug Device: Y and a Heat Sink Belt before departing.

Physical appearance

In Kingdom Hearts, Leon's appearance is similar to his original appearance in Final Fantasy VIII, but with several differences. He bears some resemblance to Tetsuya Nomura's original design for Squall Leonhart, sporting long, brown hair as opposed to the short hair he had in his original game. Leon wears black gloves with belts on them, black, zipper-lined shoes, a silver Griever necklace, and a white undershirt that his Final Fantasy VIII incarnation had, and his short, black jacket is similar. Leon's jacket, however, lacks the fur collar, is short-sleeved, whereas Squall's sleeves were quite baggy, bears red wings on the back, presumably similar to Rinoa's duster, and has a red Griever symbol on his left shoulder.

Leon wears three brown belts on his left forearm and has three buckles on his right and left thigh, while he wore three black belts on his right thigh in Final Fantasy VIII. Leon's black pants also sport a vertical zipper going down the side of each leg. Leon wears two brown belts and two black ones around his hips, all of which are quite loose except for one, a black one worn properly around his waist. In Final Fantasy VIII, he only wore two brown belts. His eyes are blue and he bears his distinctive scar, which runs diagonally across the bridge of his nose.

In Kingdom Hearts II, Leon's appearance changes slightly to match his original appearance more. His hair becomes a lighter shade of brown and shorter, and his bangs sweep to the left side of his face in the same manner as his hair in Final Fantasy VIII. He also adds the white fur collar to his jacket that was absent in Kingdom Hearts.

In both of his appearances, Leon wields his silver "Revolver" model Gunblade, complete with the Griever keychain.

Personality

When Sora first meets Leon, his personality is that of a withdrawn and quiet loner. Eventually he opens up to become a more caring person, as seen as when he is worrying about Sora, Donald, and Goofy's safety in the aftermath of the Battle of the 1000 Heartless. Although appearing as sullen and brooding in Kingdom Hearts, after returning home to Hollow Bastion in Kingdom Hearts II he seems to be more cheerful, is seen to be smiling more often, and also has a special bond with Cloud.

Leon has also good leadership qualities which he displays throughout both games, mirroring the character development of the original Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII, who himself began as a brooding and unconcerned loner but eventually became a caring friend and leader thanks to his friends. Leon also stands out from the other Final Fantasy characters in the series. For example, Leon leads the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee and is the only Final Fantasy character in the group to have originated in Final Fantasy VIII.

Abilities

Utilizing his Gunblade to deal damage with various strikes, he wields the element of fire to some degree. He is able to shoot Firaga spells that may Ignite you. When his HP dwindles, he uses a desperation attack that causes his Gunblade to enlarge drastically, which allows him to deal much more damage and have a longer reach.

Origin

Squall FFVIII

Leon originated as Squall Leonhart, the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VIII. He is studying to become a full-fledged member of the mercenary force known as SeeD, and specializes in the Gunblade, one of only two current cadets to do so. Ordinarily introverted to the point of seeming rude to others, he is forced to take a role of leadership as the world moves toward conflict, similar to his taking on leadership of the Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts after the fall of Radiant Garden. His scar still remains slashed across his face just as it did in Final Fantasy VIII, but he is unaware of Seifer in Twilight Town.

"Leon" shares his pseudonym with the English name of the Final Fantasy II character Leon, whose original Japanese name is shared with Squall's surname, Leonhart.

Trivia

  • Although they were originally set to appear in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Leon, Yuffie, Aerith, Cloud, Tifa, and Cid were removed from the game because, according to Nomura, there were too many plot lines already, and it would have gotten confusing.[citation needed]
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