Organization XIII is a group of fourteen powerful Nobodies who seek to reclaim their hearts and become whole again. They are the antagonists of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II, all will be playable in the upcoming game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days which happens after Roxas' birth. The fourteenth member will also appear for the first time.
Organization XIII debuted in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, then known as simply, "the Organization." In Sora's story, the player was introduced to (in no particular order) Marluxia, Axel, Larxene, and Vexen. In Reverse/Rebirth, Zexion and Lexaeus were added to the cast. The Organization also appeared in Kingdom Hearts II. In this second installment, the player meets (once again, in no particular order) Xigbar, Xaldin, Saïx, Demyx, Luxord, Roxas, the leader Xemnas and, the returning member, Axel.
As they lack hearts, they have no emotions. Many of them try to hide this fact by pretending that they possess these qualities, fooling others as well as themselves. The Organization yearns to discover the secrets of the heart and fill the empty void inside themselves by gathering hearts to form Kingdom Hearts so they can become full beings again. While each member is aware of their lack of emotions - a fact that makes them feel inadequate - they fill their non-existence with their favorite pastimes. The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga and several other media forms provide an alternative view, saying that they do have emotions, but are plagued by a feeling of uncertainty and emptiness due to not having hearts.
Their inclusion to the Kingdom Hearts storyline marks the more mature nature of the Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II story lines as they introduce the concepts of duplicity among the villain, minor physical abuse, manipulation of sentimental matters and, on some level, real death (the Heartless invasion of Hollow Bastion which was their doing inadvertently incapacitates Goofy for a short time, leading even the player to falsely believe that he is dead). It is possible that there are Heartless versions of the members of the Organization (with the exception of Xemnas, whose Heartless form was destroyed by Sora, Donald and Goofy in the events of the first game and, of course, Roxas, whose Heartless was Sora himself) though whether this will be touched upon in a later game is to be seen.
Organization XIII was formed by a group of scientists working under a man called Ansem the Wise, the ruler of Radiant Garden, and worked from Ansem's castle, Hollow Bastion. The head of this group was Ansem's apprentice, Xehanort, with the others being Braig, Dilan, Even, Aeleus, and Ienzo. Ansem the Wise began initiating tests about the human heart, focusing mainly on Xehanort, with the hopes of recovering his lost memories. At the urging of Ienzo, he constructed a massive laboratory under the castle. However, Ansem the Wise soon ceased his experiments, for he feared that going too deep would have grave repercussions, also noting Xehanort's "superhuman" abilities.
However, his six apprentices, still seduced by the desire for knowledge, conducted their own, dangerous, experiments on countless subjects. Eventually, they discovered the beings called Heartless, those that are born from the darkness in a heart and seek others as well. Xehanort, having taken on Ansem's name and writing his findings under it, opened a door he discovered, breaking down the barriers between worlds and allowing travel between them. And when the king named Mickey arrived, the six men's desire for knowledge eventually caused Xehanort to abandon his body, becoming a Heartless (though he was unusual in that he had a human form and retained his memories), with the other five soon following. Thus, the first six members of Organization XIII were born, and they banished Ansem to a realm of nothingness.
Each member in the Organization dons the same uniform, regardless of whether they are male or female. The uniform consists of a single black leather hooded cloak. It is plainly adorned with a silver zipper and seemingly pointless silver beaded pull strings for the hood that form a semi-circle in the middle. Each member wears their zippers at differing points.
Not much is known about the under garments of the Organization. It is known, however, that they all wear hakama-esque black pants and knee high silver trimmed boots (although Roxas wears shoes of the same color, and Larxene wears somewhat of a female version of the boots with a heel). In addition to this, they all bear black leather gloves of some unknown length, as they disappear under bell shaped sleeves. Some members have different-looking coats, for example Axel, whose sleeves are tight around his wrists. Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that the hems of each cloak are each slightly different, as well as the shoulder pads (such as those of Demyx and Xigbar, which seem to be slightly pointed).
Other known charcters to wear the cloak are King Mickey, Riku and Xenhort's Heartless. Riku obtains his coat from DiZ and it is presumed Mickey also obtains it form him. It is unknown how DiZ obtained them.
Ranks within the Organization have little to nothing to do with power. While Xehanort's Nobody, known as Xemnas, is the strongest as well as the leader, the rest fall in the order they joined. As the group's name describes, one would assume that there are a total thirteen members. Until the announcement of 358/2 Days, this was true. Besides for having a numerical rank, each member also has an assigned title. The only exception to this is Xemnas, who, if anything else, is called "The Superior". The ranks and titles are as follows:
- Xemnas; "The Superior;" Controlled Sorcerers, used the attribute of Nothingness and weapons called aerial blades,
- Xigbar; "The Freeshooter;" Controlled Snipers, used the attribute of Space and gun arrows.
- Xaldin; "The Whirlwind Lancer;" Controlled Dragoons, used the attribute of Wind and six dragon-themed ginsu (a type of lance).
- Vexen; "The Chilly Academic", used the attribute of Ice and a tower shield.
- Lexaeus; "The Silent Hero", used the attribute of Earth and a giant tomahawk.
- Zexion; "The Cloaked Schemer", used the attribute of Illusion, and a lexicon (which is the Greek term for "dictionary").
- Saïx; "The Luna Diviner;" Controlled Berserkers, used the attribute of Moon, and a claymore.
- Axel; "The Flurry of Dancing Flames;" Controlled Assassins, used the attribute of Fire and twin chakrams.
- Demyx; "The Melodious Nocturne;" Controlled Dancers, used the attribute of Water and a sitar.
- Luxord; "The Gambler of Fate;" Controlled Gamblers, used the attribute of Time as well as cards and dice.
- Marluxia; "The Graceful Assassin", used the attribute of Flowers and a scythe.
- Larxene; "The Savage Nymph", used the attribute of Lightning and several kunai.
- Roxas; "The Key of Destiny;" Controlled Samurai, used the attribute of Light and wielded up to three different Keyblades (due to being Sora's nobody). He intially wielded a digital Kingdom Key Keyblade but soon acquired the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, which represents Kairi and Riku, respectively.
- Xion; A new female, keyblade-weilding member who will be featured in the upcoming Nintendo DS game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
Each of the titles correspond to whichever element the particular member controls, a particular trait, or the type of weapon they have.
There are a few major differences between the Nobodies within the Organization and the ones that Sora frequently encounters throughout the game. The average type that Sora fights often have strange features, enhanced speed, metallic skin in shades of white, silver, and blue, and the trademark Nobody symbol (which doubles as the logo for the Organization). The Nobodies that make up the Organization have human forms with limited special powers, revolving around thirteen different elements. One ability shared by all the members is the power to summon an oval, obsidian portal of darkness that leads to the unseen paths of darkness. These portals are known as corridors of darkness. The Organization makes use of the paths to move to and from worlds unseen without fear for their well-being compared to those who are attuned with darkness and still have hearts.
A few select members of the Organization have control over the other, weaker Nobodies, though this is only shown in Kingdom Hearts II. The members from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories may also have had that ability, or rather, would have, had they all survived to the second game. Like their titles, each member's lesser Nobody has some similarity to them. These lesser Nobodies are called Sorcerers, Snipers, Dragoons, Berserkers, Assassins, Dancers, Gamblers, and Samurai. Sorcerer Nobodies are under the command of Xemnas. They float over the ground constantly, possessing a grace much like that of Xemnas, and utilize large cubes of nothingness in several ways. They are the most powerful and rarest of the lesser Nobodies. Sniper Nobodies are controlled by Xigbar and, like him, carry spiky guns that shoot small red crystallized lasers. Dragoon Nobodies are controlled by Xaldin because of his affinity with wind, and possess a singular lance that mirrors the six that he fights with. Berserker Nobodies are under Saïx's power and, as with the previously mentioned lesser Nobodies, hold a weapon identical to that of their master. An observant player will also notice that Berserker Nobodies go through random surges of anger, much like Saïx when he draws upon the power of the moon. Next are the Assassin Nobodies. This group is under Axel's control, capable of becoming a circular form similar to Axel's weapon, hiding away for short periods of time before attacking, and causing powerful explosions. Dancer Nobodies are the most colorful of all the lesser Nobody, featuring bright colors such as orange and pink. They are Demyx's servants and relate to him due to his musical nature. The Gambler Nobodies are under Luxord's rule. Luxord, being a gambler of many things, fights with cards, which they use as well, along with several dice. The final of these lesser Nobodies are Samurai, which Roxas controls. Samurai wield two katana just as Roxas wields two Keyblades, Oblivion and Oathkeeper. The Lesser Nobodies are named after recurring Final Fantasy job classes and share similar traits with them such as the Dragoons ability to jump.
A common thread between all of the members is the "X" that appears within each of their names. As revealed by Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the game, by removing the "X", the remaining letters form an anagram of the members' original name from when they were humans. For instance, "Roxas" is an anagram of "Sora", and "Xemnas" is an anagram of "Ansem". Xemnas' true name is Xehanort; his name is an anagram of 'no heart' or 'another' with an X added. Such thoughts made many fans anxious to try and figure out for themselves the rest of the Organization's member's names. The name of the Nobodies' "other" appears before them in translucent, rainbow colored font (similar to the one shown at the intro to "The World That Never Was"). Then, an "x" drops down and the letters re-arrange themselves until they form a new name. It is also suggested that Xemnas is the one who performs this ceremony, although that may not necessarily be the case as Xigbar found Marluxia and quite possibly named him.
Somewhere in The Castle That Never Was, inaccessible to the player, is the meeting room of the Organization. This area can be accessed with a cheat code, though - the platform with the Organization symbol can be walked on, but none of the thrones can. The game calls the area "Where Nothing Gathers" - suggesting it may have been in the final game as a full area, but was dropped later. It is a white cylindrical room with thirteen extremely tall white thrones. The height of these thrones is determined by the amount of missions the respective members complete and the height tends to change depending on the sucess or failure of those missions. However, Xemnas's throne is always the highest as he is the leader and therefore has completed the highest amount of missions. To his left are the odd-number ranked members while to his right are the even-numbered. Starting from Xemnas, clockwise: Xaldin, Lexaeus, Saïx, Demyx, Marluxia, Roxas, Larxene, Luxord, Axel, Zexion, Vexen and Xigbar.
Ironically Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion have the lowest chair height out of the whole organization.
In the new cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, everytime a missing member is referred to during a meeting, the camera's focus will shift briefly to that said member's throne (such as when Xaldin reminded Axel, that, despite indirectly, he eliminated the traitors Marluxia and Larxene, the camera briefly shifts to view their thrones. The conversation concerns Axel's orders to destroy Roxas and fittingly enough, Roxas's throne is between theirs)
Proof of Existence
In the central tower of The Castle That Never Was, the room is something of a graveyard or a place where beings who can't use the portal to darkness use the doorway-like portals to reach other members of the organization. This chamber has thirteen portals which lead to a certain area throughout the castle, the portals are placed simultaneously along the walls and glow blue if that specific member is alive but red when that one is dead. Starting from Xemnas's which is actually a path to the The Altar of Naught, going downwards are two more then below them are four and after them are eight with a path cutting half way between the portals. The portals lead to large chambers which are areas that the Organization dwell when they are resting, so far only three are known with the Altar of Naught being were Xemnas resides and the highest point in the castle, Havoc's Divide which is a large slanted balcony were Luxord resides and Addled Impasse where Saïx lives which is a large circular room with a balcony made of glass and looks up towards the moon. Note that for gameplay purposes, the gates to Havoc's Divide and Addled Impasse remain active even after Luxord and Saïx are felled. Also, for the same reasons, Roxas' still-active gate (since he still exists within Sora) is broken and rendered unusable, although it still maintains its blue glow. It may be broken, though, due to the fact that while Roxas still exists in Sora, he does not exist physically. It is a theory that an organization member may destroy the tombstones so that the fallen comrades secrets are not revealed to outsiders, and the only reason Xemnas did not destroy Saïx or Luxord's tombstones is because he was too busy with Kingdom Hearts. Using this speculative logic, Luxord or Saïx had ample time to destroy Xigbar's tombstone while Sora and co. where climbing the castle. The room name is demonstrates that Nobodies tried to prove they exist. The tombstones, titles and portals may also be the Nobodies way of convincing themselves they existed or exist. Note that Zexion's tombstone was especially broken to hide his weapon's image, (which was not revealed until the release of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+), although its lettering can still be read.