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Sea-salt ice cream is a type of ice cream found in Twilight Town and Radiant Garden. It appears throughout the Kingdom Hearts universe, but made its first appearance in Kingdom Hearts II. The ice cream's flavor mixes both a salty taste and a sweet taste.
An interview with Tetsuya Nomura after Kingdom Hearts II explained that Nomura first tasted sea-salt ice cream at a trip to Tokyo DisneySea, a smaller resort of Disney's parks in Japan. He liked the ice cream very much and decided to work with Disney to have it put into Kingdom Hearts II. He also said that the idea to put the dessert into the game came to him when he was thinking about what the kids in Twilight Town do and eat over summer vacation.
In Blank Points, Ansem the Wise and Ienzo eat sea-salt ice cream together while walking down a hall of the castle in Radiant Garden. Axel, Roxas, and Xion are also seen eating sea-salt ice cream together in Twilight Town as they do in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Roxas and Xion then say Sora's name in unison. During the credits, Lea buys two sea-salt ice creams from Scrooge McDuck and gives the other ice cream to Isa.
During the end credits, Roxas passes Hayner, Pence, and Olette in Twilight Town. The trio each has their own bar of sea-salt ice cream. Axel also shares sea-salt ice cream with Roxas on top the station tower after the trio passed Roxas, and Axel was sent to pick him up for the Organization.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, sea-salt ice cream is a recurring element in the game's plot and the system icon that is seen upon the initial startup of a Nintendo DS.
Axel treated Roxas to sea-salt ice cream on the Twilight Town Clock Tower, saying it was "icing on the cake", after Roxas completed his first mission and reminding him they sat there the first day Roxas came into existence and received his name. He then suggested that he and Roxas should meet each other to eat ice cream every day after they completed their missions, stating going back and forth to the Castle That Never Was was a boring routine.
After Axel left for his mission to eliminate traitors in Castle Oblivion during the events in Chain of Memories, Roxas invited Xion to join him after a successful mission destroying a Darkside. Soon Roxas, Axel, and Xion began eating ice cream together after their missions once Axel had returned alive out of all the other members that were slain in Castle Oblivion. As Roxas explained to Xion, sea-salt ice cream is Axel's favorite flavor.
During a day in the game, named "Vacation", Roxas had no idea on what to do as Saïx had scheduled a break between missions to give the Organization members some rest time. After rejecting Xion's offer of practicing with the Keyblade, he once again looked at the notice posted in the Grey Room. While looking at the notice that said "Operations Closed for Vacation", Roxas thought, "What to do? What to do?".
Then he concluded the scenario saying the word "Ice cream" and ended up sharing ice cream with his friends, even mocking Axel for sleeping the entire day when Xion asked what they did. This perhaps shows that Roxas had learned to like ice cream ever since Axel had given him his first one.
It is revealed in the game that some ice cream sticks have the word "WINNER" on it. This allows the owner to exchange it for a free ice cream bar. Axel first notifies Roxas of this on one of their later meetings, after Roxas found a WINNER stick, but kept it secret as he wished to have two WINNERs for both Axel and Xion. He later bestows the stick to Axel as a farewell gift when he leaves Organization XIII.
It also acts as a symbol of the friendship between the three of them, most noticeably is when Roxas asks Xion who else he would eat ice cream with when he regained his memories of her through the trauma of her dying.
Hayner, Pence, and Olette also enjoy this ice cream. The three of them often enjoyed eating it together. When DiZ created the Simulated Twilight Town, he made data versions of them to be friends with Roxas and they often ate it. In one of Roxas's flashbacks, Axel offers him a stick of sea-salt ice cream before their parting.
When Sora arrives in Hollow Bastion, he sees Scrooge McDuck, who is trying to recreate the recipe for sea-salt ice cream. Through subsequent visits as the storyline advances, Scrooge comes closer to reinventing the flavor and ultimately succeeds.
Riku left a sea-salt ice cream with a picture of Roxas and the gang from the Simulated Twilight Town as clues for Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Donald took an immediate liking to the ice-cream, and Sora is quoted in his second visit to Twilight Town saying "Donald ate it up". Donald later references the ice cream himself, exclaiming "I'm sorry about the ice cream!" after Goofy is hit, almost fatally, by a boulder.
It was shown in the game that Ansem the Wise was very fond of this ice cream, and often ate it while conversing with King Mickey, sharing it with Ienzo and later used it as the password for his computer in the Old Mansion, which Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey use to enter the Simulated Twilight Town.
In the Kingdom Hearts II manga, Roxas falls off the Clock Tower while trying to catch his ice cream that was sliding off of the stick. If you look closely, the ice cream stick had "WINNER" imprinted on it.
In the main menu, Sora is seen to have had sea-salt ice cream as well, since the stick is hanging from his mouth.