Marluxia, the Graceful Assassin (優雅なる凶刃 Yūga-naru Kyōjin?, lit. Graceful Assassin's Blade), is the Nobody of Lauriam, Rank XI within Organization XIII, the lord of Castle Oblivion, and the main antagonist of Sora's story in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. He controls flowers, and uses his control to command beams of destructive energy from flower-themed minions, bombard the opponent with flurries of petals, and to attack opponents with his massive scythe. He commands the Reaper Nobodies.
Originally discovered by senior Organization members Xigbar and Xaldin, Marluxia is the mastermind of an internal rebellion in the Organization against Xemnas, planning to use Naminé's unique powers of memory manipulation to turn Sora into his puppet and claim the power of the Keyblade as his own. However, thanks to Axel's meddling, Marluxia's plans were thwarted, and he was ultimately destroyed by Sora after a climatic showdown.
Despite his treacherous actions towards the Organization, Marluxia was later brought back to serve as a member of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness. Along with Larxene, he was tasked with overwatching the New Seven Hearts should the Organization’s plan with the Seven Guardians of Light go awry, with him particularly overseeing Mother Gothel’s imprisonment of Rapunzel in the Kingdom of Corona. He would later participate in the Second Keyblade War, and would vanish yet again after his defeat.
Marluxia is quite deceptive in nature. He makes an attempt to rebel against the Organization by using Sora as a puppet to accomplish his goals. Personality wise, he is often portrayed as very arrogant and vain. For example, when Axel confronted Marluxia regarding his betrayal to the Organization, he only taunts Axel and leaves Sora to fight the latter. Like Xemnas, Marluxia has a habit of being overly dramatic and giving long speeches. He takes great pride in his appearance. He also flourishes his weapon after striking with it, occasionally leaving himself open, fitting his title in the Organization.
During battle, he uses unique tactics like a death counter to represent his devious personality. Also, it seems that by his tone of voice, which is dull and monotone, that Marluxia doesn't pretend to have emotions, like Xemnas or Saïx, and sticks to his true emotionless nature. However, he does smirk and laugh at some points.
Most importantly though, Marluxia seems to have an obsession with his superiority over the other Organization members. As the lord of Castle Oblivion, Marluxia has the ability to keep many members of the Organization under his own judgment. He even manipulates Vexen into fighting Sora by using Vexen's fear of Xemnas against him. Even though most of Marluxia's personality traits are negative, he does have a few positive aspects. Some of these include his devotion and persistence to succeed in his goals, continuing his plans to overthrow the Organization even after Axel's betrayal and the death of Larxene. He is a very adamant member of Organization XIII. Marluxia believes that he deserves more respect than he is given. All in all, Marluxia is a very egotistical, manipulative member of the Organization, who would stop at nothing to overthrow the Organization and become superior.
When he becomes a Seeker of Darkness, Marluxia seems to have more confidence in Xehanort's plans for restoring the balance between Light and Darkness, hence his desire to protect Rapunzel, one of the Seven New Hearts. But when he ends up being eliminated by King Mickey and Sora, he will simply thank the latter for "rendering" his old life.
A tall, elegant Nobody with feminine features, Marluxia wears the basic Organization uniform of a black cloak, black boots, and black gloves. His hair is shoulder-length and rose pink with ruffles, though in the Game Boy Advance version of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories this color was more muted, appearing closer to light brown. Marluxia's eyes are blue and his lips are pale pink.
Marluxia is usually surrounded by cherry blossom petals, which symbolize the transient nature of life and death in Japanese culture. Marluxia drops these petals whenever hit during battle, and fades in a flurry of petals when he is destroyed.
A data recreation of Marluxia can be fought during the New Organization XIII Event in the month of November.
Like other members of the Organization, Marluxia aids Roxas in at least one mission. He is polite to Roxas in their missions. On the first, he teaches Roxas how to collect Hearts and explains to him about Heartless. He explains the differences between Pureblood Heartless and Emblem Heartless and to only attack Emblem Heartless to release Hearts. He also explains to Roxas that after he releases hearts, they form Kingdom Hearts, and that Roxas is the first one to accomplish this.
This also shows his greed over the Keyblade. On the next, he helps Roxas fight some Dire Plants by the Old Mansion and a Zip Slasher in Twilight Town. Later, he is assigned to Castle Oblivion with the other members.
In the Secret Reports, it is revealed that Xemnas knew about Marluxia's plans to overthrow the Organization. That is why he sent them and the other "suspicious" members to Castle Oblivion, along with Axel who was given orders to eliminate any of the members that planned to overthrow the Organization, although Saïx and Axel used those orders for their own ends. Shortly before being sent away, Marluxia tells Roxas that had they met sooner, Roxas "would have made a fine addition".
- "The Keyblade's power... How I've longed to make it my own!"
Marluxia, working with Larxene and for a short period of time, Axel, plots to overthrow the Organization. They formulate a plan to use a young girl named Naminé, who has a mysterious power over memory, to deceive Sora into thinking he had sworn to protect her, and then have her use Sora to help them defeat the senior Organization members. This plot stems from a rivalry between some of the younger Organization members and the original six core members.
Vexen, Larxene, and Axel all do their part to feed Sora with information and lure him further into the castle. Each of them fight him on their own, although none of them use their full strength and throw the fights. They also make use of Vexen's Riku Replica, a byproduct of the Replica Program, to compete with Sora for Naminé's loyalty.
Marluxia and Larxene eventually learn that Vexen has been reporting back to Lexaeus and Zexion regarding their revolt. After Vexen loses control of the Riku Replica, Marluxia pronounces his project a failure. Although Vexen arrogantly protests that Marluxia has no business speaking to him in such a manner, Marluxia claims that his mastery over Castle Oblivion allows him the authority to do so.
Marluxia threatens to tell "the Superior" of Vexen's failure, but Vexen pleads with him not to do so. Marluxia agrees not to if Vexen eliminates Sora. Although confused by the order, Vexen agrees, and heads Sora off in the Twilight Town world. He fights Sora for the second time, but is again defeated. Before he can reveal Marluxia's plans to use Sora, however, Axel destroys him on Marluxia's orders, making Vexen the first Organization member to be eliminated.
Axel's assassination of Vexen allows him to gain the full trust of Marluxia and Larxene. As Sora nears the top floors of the castle, Axel is left alone with Naminé to keep watch over her. Instead of keeping an eye on her, Axel allows her to escape, freeing her from Marluxia's control and ending her continued restructuring of Sora's memories, effectively ruining the plot to manipulate Sora into fighting the Organization. This prompts Larxene to attack Sora shortly after he defeats the Riku Replica for the final time, but she is killed in the struggle, leaving only Marluxia to carry out the plot.
Axel then confronts Marluxia, who is disgusted with Axel for betraying him, to which Axel replies that Marluxia is in fact, a traitor to the Organization, and that Larxene paid the price for her own disloyalty. He then threatens to kill Marluxia, but Marluxia seems unfazed by this, stating simply, "You can try". The two then engage in battle, with Marluxia displaying an eerie speed. While they both attack one another powerfully, neither takes any actual damage and appear to be equally matched.
Marluxia makes Naminé appear in front of him, apparently as a shield to prevent Axel from attacking him further, but Axel laughs it off, saying he's willing to go through Naminé to get to Marluxia. Marluxia, however, tells Sora (who had just appeared in the room, much to Axel's surprise) that Axel was willing to hurt her and vanishes with a laugh, leaving Sora and Axel alone. Axel sneers at Sora for having become Marluxia's puppet after all, but Sora resolves to eliminate Marluxia right after he finishes Axel. The two fight, and Sora comes out the victor, but Axel escapes death and vanishes.
Sora pursues Marluxia into his inner chambers. Marluxia orders Naminé to completely erase Sora's memory and destroy his heart, hoping to rebuild him into something more to his liking afterward. However, Naminé, remembering Sora's kindness towards her, flat-out refuses the order, even when faced with death. Marluxia is perplexed when Sora orders Naminé to do so for her own safety, and even more so when the revived Riku Replica attacks. Confused and irritated that Sora and the replica would accept their memories of Naminé with the full knowledge that they are lies, Marluxia attacks them. Sora destroys Marluxia, but finds that the real Marluxia had been hiding in a back room and that his opponent had only been a clone.
Sora advances into the final room to confront Marluxia, who has combined with his Specter (スペクター Supekutā?) in both his second Grim Reaper form and his third Angel of Death form. Sora defeats him again in the storyline's final battle, with Marluxia trying to reach Sora, but then fading in a flurry of flower petals, making him the fourth Organization member to fall.
The manga version of these battles differs from the version of the Chain of Memories games. In it, Marluxia does not use alternate forms and is easily killed by Sora in the first battle. He is also surrounded by flowers or flower petals a good deal of the time, sometimes even seen holding a rose.
While Marluxia doesn't directly appear in Kingdom Hearts II, he is seen guiding Sora towards Castle Oblivion in the last of Roxas's dreams. Marluxia also appears in Roxas' flashbacks of when he was with Organization XIII. Sora also receives his journal data after accessing Ansem's computer.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Marluxia's Absent Silhouette appears in Beast's Room in Beast's Castle, after Beast has been consoled for the loss of his rose. Contrary to the original Kingdom Hearts II, his journal data is obtained by defeating the Absent Silhouette.
Marluxia, wearing his hood up to conceal his identity, appears alongside the other Thirteen Seekers of Darkness at Where Nothing Gathers before he and the others are forced to temporarily withdraw due to their allotted time running out.
- "All the Organization seeks is balance. You must understand, our ultimate objective is not to clash with the light. We seek to complement it."
Marluxia first appears in the Kingdom of Corona, where he pits Mother Gothel and Sora against one another; by helping the former in getting Rapunzel back while also telling the latter to protect her. Marluxia later reveals to Sora, who no longer remembers him from Castle Oblivion, that he did this because Rapunzel is the "light of this World" and believes it was safer for her to be locked in her tower with Gothel, and easier for the Seekers if they needed the Princesses instead of the Seven Guardians of Light. When Gothel dies, Marluxia, who was observing the event nearby, states that she was no longer fit to protect Rapunzel. Marluxia then turns Gothel's remaining darkness within her cloak into the Grim Guardianess before disappearing.
Marluxia reunites with Larxene at the Organization's meeting spot in the Keyblade Graveyard. He explains to her that the reason they are back, despite their attempt of betrayal, is because Master Xehanort doesn't care who he gets as long as he has the twelve vessels needed to house his heart. This prompts Larxene to ask Marluxia if he wants to attempt another coup, but Demyx appears, reminding her of their failed first attempt and "Marly's" statement in their roles as Xehanort's vessels. Once Demyx reveals that he was now a reserve member after his spot was taken by a Replica, Marluxia informs Larxene that Saïx had brought Vexen into their ranks, saying that his completed work with the Replica Program would be able to create Replicas that would pass a full-pledged humans and suitable candidates as vessels for the Organization. During their conversation, Xemnas appears, telling the three to allow the Seven Guardians of Light to continue being mislead by Larxene's claim to Sora that the thirteen darknesses have been gathered. When Luxord appears and questions why the four of them were brought back other than serving as vessels, Xemnas reveals that he chose them as members of both the original and true Organization XIIIs due to them housing an "ancient Keyblade legacy" within them.
Marluxia later walks with the rest of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness as they confront the Guardians at the crossroads of the Keyblade Graveyard. After Master Xehanort creates the Skein of Severance, the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness begin their clash with the Seven Guardians of Light. Marluxia fights alongside Larxene, Luxord and Xemnas against King Mickey and later Sora in the Trail of Valediction. After Marluxia is defeated, he drops his scythe and collapses onto his knees. Looking at his fading hands, he begins to remember his past as Lauriam and starts to laugh. When Sora asks if his laugh was real, Marluxia confirms, saying that his heart was remembering how to feel. He continues talking with Sora, saying that he was on the cusp of reclaiming his lost identity, thanking Sora before fading away.
Marluxia fights using the attribute of Flower and wields a large, rose pink and dark green scythe. The petals he commands have the appearance of cherry blossoms in the Game Boy Advance release of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories but have been changed to resemble rose petals in his console game appearances.
Marluxia has two forms in the original Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and three in the Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories remake. While in basic Nobody form, he can attack with his scythe normally, or use it to slash at an enemy from across a distance using energy waves.
Despite his arrogant nature, Marluxia has proven to be one of the most powerful members of the Organization XIII, with his skill and power being enough to fight Axel to a stalemate and challenge Sora. With his command of flowers, Marluxia can create a clone made of petals, send a flurry of blossoms at his opponent, and in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Marluxia uses a sleight in which he creates a powerful shockwave by hitting the ground with his scythe. Like most Organization members from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Marluxia moves by levitating. In the remake, he can also teleport freely. This is also the only form in which he is constrained to the use of an actual deck.
In his first final form, Marluxia makes use of his mechsuit-like Nobody to slash at Sora with its scythe arms, or charge him and cause massive damage upon impact. He can also summon three petals to fire pink rays and fire blasts of energy from the bottom of the contraption. In the remake, the Nobody is also capable of harnessing darkness with which it can shroud the whole field.
Marluxia's additional final form in the PlayStation 2 remake brings Marluxia and Sora into combat upon a larger version of Marluxia's phantom mech floating in a starry-night environment surrounded by circulating rings. A large angelic Nobody stands behind him wielding a gigantic version of Marluxia's Graceful Dahlia. Marluxia is held immobile during this fight by Nobody thorns and is, therefore, unable to dodge most attacks.
From his stationary position, Marluxia fights mainly by commanding the Nobody, who can create shockwaves, shoot a sweeping laser, blow gusts of wind that prevent Sora from moving forward, and create a whirlwind that scatters all of Sora's cards, including his reload bar. Sora must then pick up the cards in order to reclaim them, including the reload bar. Marluxia's most notable sleight, however, is that in which he shoots Nobody thorns that triggers a countdown timer similar to the recurring Final Fantasy spell "Doom", in which, if the counter reaches zero, the fight is instantly lost. He can also trigger the one rotating ring around the battlefield, causing it to fire lasers from all directions in addition to reusing the ray-shooting rose petals.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Marluxia returns in an optional battle with new tactics. He begins the battle by whispering in Sora's ear, which causes a countdown timer to appear above Sora's head based on his current level, similar to the hit point condition of the Titan Cup, and then spends most of the battle attacking Sora relentlessly with his scythe, with each hit depleting the timer by one, though causing no additional damage.
If the timer reaches zero, Sora loses the battle, but the timer can be increased by using the Reaction Command "Restore Count", in which Sora grabs Marluxia's scythe, knocks him into the air, and hurls the scythe at him, adding thirteen points to the counter. Marluxia also can conjure black circles which cover most of the floor and deal damage to Sora's HP, but leave the death timer unaffected. Marluxia also wheels around the floor swinging his scythe, can surround Sora with thorns that explode after a short time, and can hover above Sora attacking him with his scythe while making pillars sprout up from the ground and deal damage to Sora.
The manga version of these battles differs from the version of the Chain of Memories games. In it, Marluxia does not use alternate forms and is easily killed by Sora in the first battle. He is also surrounded by flowers or flower petals a good deal of the time, and is sometimes seen holding a rose.
In the original Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, the real Marluxia is only fought once, unlike most of the main antagonists like Ansem and Xemnas, who must be fought many times before they are finally defeated for good.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Marluxia has a Limit Break called Bloom-Out. During Bloom-Out, Marluxia begins to charge an attack while a large black ring forms around him. Once the attack finishes charging and the black ring is completely formed, Marluxia swings his scythe multiple times over a large area on the black ring. During the initial portion of the Limit Break, with a perfectly timed button press, Marluxia will be surrounded in cherry blossoms and may instantly kill any weaker enemy hit by the attack.
During Marluxia's Final Limit, Marluxia teleports before the attack, and his swing is much faster and covers a much larger area, followed by the release of a large, crescent-shaped projectile.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Marluxia shows a remarkable amount of skill in wielding darkness, as he proved more adept in creating heartless than Xigbar, able to turn the lingering essence of Mother Gothel into the Grim Guardianess whereas Xigbar only created a Storm Ride from a complete being. Along with that, he could power himself and his scythe with energy and then maneuver through the battlefield, slicing through all in his path, before unleashing a large zone of darkness that causes petals to emerge from the ground.
True to his title, the Graceful Assassin, Marluxia wields a large, elegant looking scythe called the Graceful Dahlia in battle. The handle of the scythe is a pastel green color, and the blade is a rose pink. This evokes an appearance of a plucked flower. The connection between them is yellow and resembles pieces of the Organization logo. Marluxia attacks with wide slashes and spins. He can also turn himself and his scythe into a lethal pinwheel and fly around the battlefield, causing heavy damage to anyone who cannot dodge out of the way.
- All of Marluxia's boss themes are named after his overall concept. The first one, "Graceful Assassin", is also the name of his title. "Scythe of Petals" obviously refers to the weapon he uses. Finally, "Lord of the Castle" refers to his status in Castle Oblivion.
- Originally, Marluxia was planned to be female, but this idea was scrapped during the creation of the game so that both traitors were not female.
- Marluxia was given the nickname "Marly" by Demyx.