The Lingering Will is the discarded remnants of the thoughts and wishes of Terra imbued within his Keyblade Armor after his body was stolen by Master Xehanort. It is briefly a playable character at the end of Terra's scenario in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix.
As the Lingering Will is truly an inanimate object, it cannot feel or possess a personality of its own. Since it was brought to life by Terra's discarded thoughts and emotions, however, it is able to "feel" a strong hatred towards Xehanort, a close connection and devotion to Aqua and Ventus, and a familiarity with Riku and Sora.
The Lingering Will is an animated suit of armor. The helmet is mostly gold, except for the visor, which is black, and it sports two red prongs, one on either side of the helmet, that point straight up. The arms, legs, and ribs of the armor are black and have orange patterns decorating them. Its knee guards, gauntlets, breast plate, and armored boots are gold, and there are other, smaller pieces of gold armor on its legs.
It wears black pauldrons with gold edges. The front of the armor on the Lingering Will's torso is red, as are small pieces of armor on its lower legs and gauntlets. It also wears gold anklets with red spikes on the back that curve upward sharply.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, The Lingering Will's armor seems to be much darker in coloration, either because of the lack of light in the Keyblade Graveyard, or that the long period of time it spent there simply faded the armor. It also wears a cape that is gold on the outside and black on the inside. However, this cape was removed from the design for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, to avoid lagging issues.
As it is Terra's discarded armor, the Lingering Will uses his main Keyblade, Ends of the Earth, in all of its appearances. When the Will is created in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, its Keyblade changes to the Ends of the Earth regardless of the Keyblade Terra was using prior to that point.
At the end of Terra's scenario in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the Lingering Will briefly talks with Terra's voice, yet in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, it appears to communicate with Sora by using metallic sounds, which Sora, Donald, and Goofy understand perfectly well, possibly due to not having Terra's voice actor at the time.
Just as Master Xehanort possesses Terra's body and transforms him into the new Xehanort, Terra's powerful thoughts and wishes were able to find residence in his discarded armor and brings it to life as the Lingering Will. The Lingering Will, determined to stop Master Xehanort at all costs, creates a giant force field, the Will's Cage, to trap Terra-Xehanort. Angered by Terra's defiance, Terra-Xehanort engages the Lingering Will in battle.
In the end, the Lingering Will emerges victorious, knocking Terra-Xehanort unconscious. The armored figure then thrusts its Keyblade into the ground, kneeling down. Soon after, Terra-Xehanort is consumed by an immense sphere of light, the result of Aqua and Ventus destroying the χ-blade following Vanitas's own destruction. The clouds overhead then cover Kingdom Hearts, disappearing above, leaving the Lingering Will to remain alone in the Keyblade Graveyard, silently promising to Aqua and Ven that someday, it will set things right.
Eleven years later, a portal to the Badlands in the Keyblade Graveyard mysteriously appears in Disney Castle. Sora, Donald, and Goofy proceed to enter the portal and find the Lingering Will in the same position as it had been left in. It mentions Aqua, Ventus, and the Keyblade. It then mistakes Sora as "the one he had chosen"; realizing its mistake, it asks why he isn't "him".
Then it wonders if Sora is Xehanort, slowly pronouncing the latter's name, before finally rising up as it did once before to attack him. Sora fights back and wins the battle, and the Lingering Will merely kneels down again after this, saying that he once felt the power Sora possessed. Sora can return for rematches against the Will, which agrees to fight, but it is unknown if the subsequent rematches are canon.
As Terra-Xehanort confronts the Seven Guardians of Light right after they arrive at the Keyblade Graveyard, the Lingering Will arrives unexpectedly after being discovered and tipped off by Naminé while in The Final World, engaging Xehanort in battle. The visible confrontation is short, as a massive number of Heartless and Nobodies arrive at the scene, forcing the Seven Guardians to focus instead on the newcomers. The Lingering Will held the upper-hand during his fight with Terra-Xehanort.
The Lingering Will disappeared after Terra was restored to his body, with both the armor and Keyblade returning to him.
The Lingering Will, like Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix's other secret bosses, is difficult to defeat; its most basic moves are attacking with its Keyblade, Ends of the Earth, using a combo attack almost identical to Sora's, though it instead turns its Keyblade into a drill-like object for the forward thrust combo finisher, and can fly at very high speeds. Its main abilities are transforming its Keyblade into various attacking forms.
It can turn it into a whip that does less damage than the blade form, but its greater speed and range makes up for it. In addition, the Lingering Will can also use Terra's Ultima Cannon Shotlock as an attack. Sora, however, can deflect this back to the Lingering Will, which leaves it very vulnerable. The Lingering Will can also transform its Keyblade into a Keyblade Glider that lets it fly extremely fast, and a cog-like object that spins around so fast that if Sora gets hit by it once, then the rest of the hits will also hit Sora.
The Lingering Will can also conjure a ritual-like attack. In this attack, the Lingering Will enters a berserk-like state, similar to Saïx's Berserk technique. Its arm gauntlets and helmet will emit a bright red aura, and it then can split its Keyblade into two weapons. This, when added with its combos, makes it extremely lethal.
In this attack, the Lingering Will is only vulnerable after completing an attack or after deflecting the cannon-formed Keyblade's shot back at it. Any other time that you attack it, the attack will be nullified. While in the berserk-like state, the last few attacks of the Will's rapid combo can be blocked by Sora regularly, although it would take evading the first two slashes before it warps away and very precise timing.
In addition to its Keyblade, the Lingering Will has some magical abilities. It can also create an unusual looking seal that either creates an orange or blue orb. An orange orb causes Sora to be unable to attack and a blue orb prevents Sora from using magic or items. It can also use some magic; for example, when the Lingering Will is doing a Sonic Blade-like attack while low on HP or attacking with its Keyblade Glider, it sometimes will use Blizzaga. Also, when it turns its Keyblade into a glider and rides it, if Sora is too far from it, it will sometimes use Magnega that does some damage, and will pull Sora into its path.
The Lingering Will can also conjure drone-like objects which fire beams of plasma at Sora and his party. A particularly deadly attack consists of trapping Sora in a triangular-shaped seal that drains his health at a very fast rate, similar to an attack used by Xemnas, but much more powerful. Only a "Break Free" command on Sora's command list can save him from it. If the player chooses the wrong command while he is trapped, then Sora will immediately die, even with Once More and Second Chance equipped.
Interestingly, when it strikes Sora with its Keyblade(s), most of its combos resemble Sora's combos, most notably the Valor Form and Final Form combos. It should be noted that all of the Lingering Will's attacks can be blocked or evaded with precise blocking, Reflega magic, Curaga magic with the Leaf Veil ability equipped, or Drive Form transformations if timed right. A recommended way to evade attacks is to activate Limits when Donald and Goofy are near, preferably Donald's as they can last longer.
When playing as the Lingering Will during the final battle with Xehanort at the Keyblade Graveyard in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, it loses Terra's ability to use D-Links; the D-Link Gauge will be empty with no way to refill it. Retaining Terra's immense power, the Lingering Will has access to any abilities equipped before the battle begins, including all Shotlocks, and Deck Commands. While Terra was able to wield whichever Keyblade the player equipped, the Lingering Will's weapon is preset as the Ends of the Earth.
When the new Xehanort was born, he sacrificed both Terra's armor and the Ends of the Earth Keyblade for Master Xehanort's old weapon. Because a part of Terra resided within the Lingering Will, it was able to wield the Ends of the Earth to conquer Xehanort. The Ends of the Earth would then remain with the Lingering Will in its solitude at the Keyblade Graveyard; the animated armor would use the Keyblade a second time to battle Sora eleven years later.
The Lingering Will is a very capable Keyblade wielder, able to morph the Ends of the Earth into several different forms. It shares Terra's ability to summon a Keyblade Glider, using what was once a form of transportation for the hero as an offensive technique. Other forms the Ends of the Earth may take through the Lingering Will's influence include a chain whip, the massive cannon-like form used in Terra's Ultima Cannon Shotlock, a drilling gauntlet, and a harken-like weapon.
Save for the Keyblade Glider and Ultima Cannon, these forms were each unique to the Ends of the Earth when wielded by the Lingering Will. The armor also holds the weapon in a different fashion in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix than in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the latter version identical to that of Terra's.
- The only two people the Lingering Will has ever fought are Sora and Xehanort, the series' main protagonist and antagonist, respectively.
- The Lingering Will is the only character in the series so far whose theme, "Rage Awakened", plays when one fights against it and plays as it.
- The Lingering Will is erroneously described as "a man covered in armor" in Jiminy's Journal in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, although it is actually Terra's hollow armor.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Nomura: When Terra came back, it disappeared, as did the armor. However, a Keyblade wielder’s armor, like the Keyblade, will come back to them if the conditions are right.