Square Enix is finally kicking off Kingdom Hearts 3 marketing. Fans have been waiting for a proper sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 and now it’s finally time. The recent hype has also got me thinking about the possible direction of the story. In particular, I’m wondering about two characters who fans have grown to love and adore. As a side note, there will be spoilers for Dream Drop Distance.
Roxas and Xion should stay “dead” and not return in Kingdom Hearts 3. Before I go into why let’s first see why this is an issue in the first place. After the close of Kingdom Hearts 2 and 358/2 Days, anyone would assume that these characters were gone for good. This changes with a new idea presented by Dream Drop Distance. Prior to this game, Nobodies (what Roxas and Xion are) did not have a heart. They were an empty vessel who had no purpose of existence. They were destined to fade away and forgotten.
In Dream Drop Distance, Xemnas drops an interesting revelation. It is possible for a Nobody to develop a heart of their own. If they can start feeling strong emotions, they can become a regular person. This is a huge moment and changes our perception of the story. There’s another peculiar incident where Sora sees Xion. It’s peculiar Xion’s existence was basically erased after she “merged” with Roxas. Kingdom Hearts is deliberate with its references, so there’s an alternative meaning to her presence.
From this information, we can see that both Roxas and Xion can return, per the logic of the Kingdom Hearts. Dream Drop Distance has created a path for these fan favourite characters to return. It would be the ultimate fan service event. Add to that the numerous teasers of another playable character other than Sora and we have a case on our hands. I do expect Roxas to return in some form. Xion I’m not too sure about, but it wouldn’t be the craziest thing this franchise has done.
Now that we know how they can come back, I want to explain why it would be a mistake. Let’s start with Roxas. His story arc is simple but effective. He is captured by Riku and placed in a fake Twilight Town to help Sora regain consciousness. As Sora starts to wake up, Roxas also sees them in the form of dreams and visions. As the world around him starts reacting to the presence of Axel, he begins to question his existence.
It all culminates as Roxas confronts Axel and remembers who he is. He is the Nobody of Sora and it is his fate to return to him. Once he finally reaches Sora, Roxas forgets his rage and anger at the situation. He accepts what he believes to be his destiny and rejoins with Sora. Roxas gets one last moment as he challenges Sora to a duel. A battle of hearts as Sora clashes with his Nobody to show his authority. After his defeat, Roxas signs off with one final quote, “You make a good other”.
Roxas’s story is self-contained within Kingdom Hearts 2. His character arc is perfect the way it is and doesn’t need any further evolution. His background in 358/2 Days was unnecessary fluff with little substance. Roxas’ tale is a sombre one which stands out in an otherwise light-hearted and colourful game. It adds layers of complexity where there is none. Roxas is the most human character in Kingdom Hearts, which is ironic considering he has no heart. Regardless, his story is over and doesn’t need any more development.
Xion had a small cameo in Dream Drop Distance, so she isn’t a forgotten character. However, I still believe she has no place in Kingdom Hearts 3. She’s a shallow character whose sole purpose was to drive Roxas’ character development. That was her only reason for existing. Nothing about her stood out as unique or interesting.
You can argue that this is a good opportunity to bring her back and flesh out her personality. A valid point, but consider this problem. Kingdom Hearts 3 has plenty of plot points to wrap up and I’m expecting a plot dump as the story. There’s no place for Xion in this story. Heck, even Kairi may not play a major role and she was one of the original characters. It doesn’t help that Xion has nothing to build on. Her story reached its end when she became one with Roxas and returned to Sora.
Both Roxas and Xion have become a part of Sora’s heart. It was where they born, thus the duo met a fitting end. Roxas’ arc, in particular, carries with it more weight and emotion than any other in the franchise. Bringing them back now will tell us that the world of Kingdom Hearts has no consequence. That’s something I don’t want to see happen.