The Road to Kingdom Hearts III: The Story So Far – May Your Heart Be Your Guiding Key

The Road to Kingdom Hearts III: The Story So Far – May Your Heart Be Your Guiding Key
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Kingdom Hearts: Re: Coded

This recap shouldn’t take too long, but it reveals a pretty important plot point to the entirety of Kingdom Hearts.

So, some context. The full game takes place in a world called the Data Scape. A computer program if you will. But that’s not where this story starts. It starts with Jiminy’s journal. Jiminy documents everything that has happened in all previous adventures with Sora, Donald, and Goofy. However, everything that happened in Re: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts was erased since Sora decided that he wanted Naminé to restore his memory. All that was left was a message that read ‘Thank Naminé’ yet none of them knew what meant. Once Kingdom Hearts II concluded Jimny had some time and was looking through this journal and discovered a new message he didn’t write: ‘We must return to free them from their torment.’ This props Jimminy to alert King Mickey. Mickey has an ingenious way of deciphering the message. He knows that just because they can’t see what Jiminy has written anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t there so with the help of Chip and Dale he creates a computer the can decode the message.

This does more than just decode the hidden data, but recreates all the worlds they visited in Kingdom Hearts. However, there is a problem. These worlds are being attacked by bugs. Corrupted data cubes are trying to delete everything. With the help of a data version of Mickey, Sora is able to direct everything from the computer room in the real world. As Sora clears the worlds, the data starts to appear in Jiminy’s journal until they reach Castle Oblivion. This is the part of the journal that none of the other remember happening except Mickey, who was there to help Riku.

After Sora climbs through all of the floors of Castle Oblivion again, he reaches the final message and the final bug. A bug which has taken the form of Ansem. However, there is another inside of this data. Maleficent is here to find a book that will tell the future, a book called the Book of Prophecies. She is defeated by Digital Sora, however, she stays inside of the data without the other’s knowledge to keep looking for the book.

With some help from Mickey, Data Sora is able to delete this virus and save all of the data in Jiminy’s journal. It seems at some point before the end of Kingdom Hearts II DiZ, or more accurate Ansem the Wise, left a secret message for Sora. This message explains that he has hearts living inside him. A boy named Ventus is taking refuge inside of Sora, and he needs Sora’s help to reawaken. Ventus is not the only heart inside of Sora, however. Memories from Xion and Roxas both live inside of Sora also. All of these characters are in pain and need Sora to mend them. With this new information, Mickey immediately summons Sora to Yen Sid’s, himself a keyblade master,castle. The last scene we see is a note being delivered to Sora by Kairi, the same scene from the end of Kingdom Hearts II. Sora’s new goal is to free these sleeping hearts, and becoming a Keyblade Master is the first step in doing this. Although I have to apologize, because we won’t see the progression of this story for some time. Before we continue to move forward, we must look back. We have to meet Ventus, and the Foretellers.

The Keyblade War

Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover/[chi]/χ, an animated movie included in the Kingdom Hearts II.8 collection, is an interesting case. It started as a Facebook browser game that was only available in Japan named Kingdom Hearts χ[Chi]. This was eventually shut down and it was replaced as an Android and iOS game being renamed Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ, then replaced again as the game it is now Kingdom Hearts: Union χ[Cross]. However, with the release of Kingdom Hearts II.8, they introduced a new perspective and story in the form of a CGI movie called Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover. I will try my best to relay the entirety of all four of these stories in the most coherent way I can. However, I cannot make any promises. Here goes.

Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover

Both of these stories happen simultaneously. One is about the Seven Foretellers and their book of Prophecies, Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover, and the other about you, a brand new Keyblade wielder who arrives at Daybreak Town and aligns with one of the five Foreteller’s unions.

The Foretellers are are made up of seven Keyblade wielders. Their leader, The Master of Masters, dons the iconic black cloak that we have seen so much from the members of Organization XIII. We first see him talking to his most trusted apprentice Luxu, who is the only other member of the Foretellers besides the Master who also wears the cloak. The Master informs Luxu that he must travel and observe the events to come. The Master gives Luxu a black chest that he is never to open and The Master bestows his own Keyblade for Luxu to take. He tells Luxu that he has removed his eye and placed it in the Keyblade so that he will be able to observe what Luxu observes. This is how the Book of Prophecies was created.

The Book of Prophecies is a bizarre thing. It tells of the future and how there will be a terrible Keyblade War and the worlds will fall to darkness. This book also describes all the events leading to this horrible conclusion. The Master of Masters gives a copy of this book to each of his apprentices, except Luxu. However, he tells Luxu that the fact the book even exists is proof that Luxu has succeeded. Luxu sets off on his quest and the six remaining members deal with a new crisis. The Master of Masters tells them he has to leave, and when he does it will be sudden and permanent, and when that happens that Master Ira will become the leader of the group.

In the Master of Master and Luxu’s time away, the remaining five leaders must recruit their own Keyblade wielders for their five Unions. Each of the five has their own union based on the animals associated with them. Ira is the new leader and is represented by the Unicorn. His Keyblade and Mask both Unicorns as well. Each of the leaders have their animals represented by their mask and Keyblade. The second in command is Aced. He is represented by the Bear and is tasked with making sure Ira maintains the best man for the job, and if Ira were to waver, Aced would have to overthrow him. This is bittersweet for Aced because he feels he is the best man for the job. However, Aced maintains a very close eye on Ira looking for any opportunity to overthrow him. Then there is Ira, the Cobra, and her task to maintain justice and balance between the five unions. Ava, the Fox, is to find and prepare exceptional Keyblade wielders for the coming war. She also has a secret task to find five new leaders for a new group called The Dandelions to rebuild the world after it falls to Darkness, but we will get more on later. And finally Gula, the Leopard. His job is to study the book to uncover its mysteries. However, he is given an extra page the others don’t have in their Book of Prophecies. There is a traitor among them, and Gula is to find out who this is.

This is the beginning of the end for this group. After a few weeks of the Master of Masters and Luxu being gone, something dark starts to happen. Every Keyblade wielder is also given a Chirithy which resembles a small cat-like creature. These Chirithys are to  report back to their union’s leader to not only maintain a close eye on every welder but to also store Lux. The physical version of light that every union is trying to collect. You see, each union exists to collect Lux, the more Lux you have the better prepared you will be to fight the Darkness. However, the unions soon realize that they are competing with each other to see who can collect the most Lux. Almost like a sport where each union is a rival to each other, and while on mission they are competing. This is the explanation on why you’re doing the things you’re doing in the game.

Now, The Master of Masters warns the leaders that if a wielder were to fall to Darkness, so too would their Charity. This is what Ira discovers, a Dark Charity signifying that there is a fallen wielder in someone’s union. This Dark Charity, or Nightmare, will be feeding on Lux and would spread Darkness to the other wielders. However, what really disturbs Ira is that this event is nowhere to be found in the Book of Prophecy. This means they are missing a page and he suspects that if they find the missing page, they will discover the traitor. Although this is extremely perspective and smart of Ira, he unfortunately shares that he thinks there is a traitor to the group. This revelation causes doubt and suspicion between all of the members. Aced sees this as a moment of weakness and failure, and uses this to try and take Ira’s spot as the leader. When the others don’t agree, he resorts to trying to make an alliance with the other three leaders; Invi, Ava, and Gula, to try and find the traitor. With the Master of Masters forbidding alliances, Ava and Invi refuse while Gula accepts. This puts Invi in a bind because although she feels Aced’s intentions are pure, his actions are not. In order to maintain balance and justice, she informs Ira of this development which causes Ira to suspect Aced as being the traitor.

After a few weeks of no new developments, even Gula becomes board and feels there is a better way to find the traitor. He leaves the alliance and leaves Aced alone. During this time Ava is worried. She doesn’t really believe fighting is the best way to stop the Darkness, even though she is the most skilled with a Keyblade. She ponders this on a water fountain when one of her union members sees her and visits; a white-haired boy named Ephemer who would be the first picked by Master Ava to become a Dandelion, but again..more on that later.

With tensions rising between the leaders, Aced tells his union to collect even more Lux so if the traitor was to attack they would be ready. This causes every union to gather even more Lux to maintain the balance. This was the tipping point. Ira has seen enough and goes to confront Aced. The two battle in the streets, each believing the other is the traitor. This causes Invi  also to step in, believing Aced is the traitor. The three battle, leaving part of Daybreak Town broken. Aced retreats having barely made it out of the battle alive only to find that Gula has come to face him as well. Gula reveals he has the missing page and was tasked with finding the traitor After everything that has happened he also believes the traitor is Aced. However, after hearing this Aced becomes irate. Aced is not only angry at the fact that he now believes Gula is the traitor, but also that Gula would allow him to accuse Ira this whole time. The two fight, and even though Aced is injured, he seems to have little trouble betting Gula. Right before throwing his final blow to Gula, Ava intervenes protecting Gula. She refuses to have any more fighting and Aced leaves. Ava takes Gula somewhere safe to recover, and Gula tells Ava everything.

Meanwhile Aced must have also told Ira about Gula’s betrayal because Ira comes looking for Gula, but instead finds Ava who won’t let Ira get close to Gula in fear that Ira would kill him. Ira informs Ava that he doesn’t believe Gula is the traitor but needs to see the missing page. Ava sends him away telling him that they are supposed to be guardians of light, yet this doesn’t feel like that’s what they are doing. Ira tells her she needs to prepare her wielders for the inevitable war foretold by The Book of Prophecies.

The last shot we wee is Ava preparing her Dandelions for what’s to come moments before the Keyblade War. They will be sent away until the war is over, then it’s their job to rebuild what is left. They are to listen to their five leaders and to let their heart be their guiding key. This is the end of Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover, but it’s not the full story. There is another side; your side. Let’s recap the events of Kingdom Hearts x [chi].

Kingdom Hearts x [chi]

Now the events of Kingdom Hearts x [chi] happen along with Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover, although they are from your perspective as the player. This social  game that was only available in Japan allows you to create your own character and gives you choice on the  union you want to join. Now at that time, they were just depicted by the animals of the Foretellers;

Anguis – The Cobra – Invi

Leopardos – The Leopard – Gula

Unicornis – The Unicorn – Ira

Ursus – The Bear – Aced

Vulpeus – The Fox – Ava

Personally I chose Vulpeus, however, it won’t affect the story too much. The majority of the game would still be the same; the end may be slightly adjusted. Although we still have a ways from that. Your job is to go to far away worlds to defeat Heartless and create Lux. The Union with the most Lux is considered the best , and you are urged to collect as many as you can.

These “worlds” you visit however are various Disney worlds. Now, you may be wondering how do these worlds exist before the Keyblade war. Well, before the Keyblade War, and before the universe was plunged into Darkness, all worlds where connected. They all knew of each other and if you wanted you could visit any of them is you traveled long enough. However, as we progress through the story, we learn that, even though these worlds exists, what we are coming across is actually data versions of these worlds that The Book of Prophecy is creating. This also explains how characters like Cinderella and Aurora can exist here thousands of year before the events of the original Kingdom Hearts. However, this is not where the story is. At some point in your adventures, you meet someone from another Union named Ephemer. The same white-hair boy that Ava meets at the fountain during the movie Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover. During that conversation, Ephemer mentions meeting a friend from another Union, and that is you. Sadly, however, Ephemer doesn’t get a chance to meet you the next day and this is because of Ava. She sees a pure heart in Ephemer, and feels this is something the new worlds will need so he becomes her first Dandelion. Soon after you meet Skuld, coincidentally the soon to be second Dandelion. You and your friends are trying to discover the truth behind a mysterious Dark Chirithy that keeps showing up pestering you character. This is the same Dark Chirithy that causes Ira to become paranoid. Now, with this is where a lot of the story kind of slows down until right before the Keyblade War. However, when the story does pick back up, we finally get to see the fabled battle.

The start of the war is caused by Ava when she finds and confronts Luxu over the Book of Prophecies and why the Master of Masters left. This causes Ava and Luxu to engage in battle causing the clock tower to ring, signifying the start of the Keyblade War. As all the Unions start to erupt into battle your character and Skuld race off to find Gula and ask him about this traitor and Dark Chirithy. Their conversation is cut short because of the clock tower ringing. The two run out on the injured Gula who is still hurt from his battle with Aced. As they run out to try and stop the inevitable war, Skuld tries one last time to get you to join the Dandelions. However, you don’t have a chance to answer because of the ongoing battle. Skuld is taken away to a sleeping realm to wait until the world needs to be rebuilt.

All of the Union leaders confront you, engaging in battle. You do your best to fight them, and you fight admirably. Even Ira shows regret in having to fight, even though he is the one to defeat you. However, right before he raises his blade to strike you down, he is interrupted by Aced who is looking for a rematch. This leaves you in peace to die. A montage of your past life flashes before your eyes, but there is a new person who seems to be in every shot. A girl who seems to have been near us every step of the way, yet never had the courage to speak to us. Her name is Strelitzia, and she is the third member of the Dandelions. She has been trying to work up the courage to talk to your character to get them to join the Dandelions. However, as we see you and Skuld leave Gula’s hideout, she runs in. Once she does, she is struck down by a shadowy figure. We don’t get to see who it is, but we can assume it’s not Gula as he is now also part of the Keyblade War. The last we see of her is the shadowy figure taking her Rule Book for the Dandelions as she disappears into light.

Back on the battlefield, you see Skuld run up to your side. She’s upset that not only are you dying, but if you had just agreed to become a Dandelion, you would have been spared. It is at the moment that your friend Ephemer returns to your side. You haven’t seen him since the the two of you went into the clock tower trying to discover the secrets behind the Dark Chirithy. He never showed the next day but because of that you met Skuld, and the two of you picked up where you and Ephmium left off. He too shows regret about your fate, but he has a plan. He sends you where he has been hiding since he left you, the digital world inside The Book of Prophecies. Here you can be saved. This is where Kingdom Hearts x [chi] ends.However, not without one last cutscene.

Now that the war is over the five Dandelion leaders have to rebuild, and they choose to meet at the Keyblade Graveyard to meet for the first time. The first to arrive are Skuld and Ephemer. We, as players, know that Strelitzia should be the third member but was killed just before the Keyblade War. So, as players we know there should only be two more members left we don’t know. Not long after Skuld and Ephemer arrive, another member arrives. A fashionable black-haired boy named Brain arrives and shortly after the fourth member. A blond-haired boy that fans of Kingdom Hearts will recognize as Ventus, is fourth. How Ven exists at this time is a mystery that I try and solve every day since I discovered this information. I have theories, but here is not the place. Now with Strelitzia struck down this should be all the members, yet the Dandelions don’t know Strelitzia and their fifth member will never be able to join them. So they wait. After what seems likes a few hours a fifth member shows up to the surprise of the player. Another man out of time and a mysterious piece of information shows his face. A pink-haired young man arrives and introduces himself as Lauriam. This adds a whole new layer on to the already confusing story of Kingdom Hearts. Lauriam, you see, is the Somebody of the Nobody Marluxia—  The main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. Sadly this is the last bit of information we are left with in Kingdom Hearts x [chi]. And it wouldn’t be until the next version of this game that we would get more information, and less answers.

Kingdom Hearts; Union x

Kingdom Hearts x [chi] was remade again for iOS and Android in an app game named Kingdom Hearts: Union x. Although many would misinterpret this game as a remake for phones, it was more of a sequel to Kingdom Hearts x [chi]. You see once you were taken into the digital world made by the Book of Prophecies your life was restarted as if all the events up until this point never happened. This world serves two purposes — a plot point device connecting this to Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded and non-lore breaking explanation to why this app can exist. In this game, you relive your entire life over again from when you got your Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts x [chi], although with one major difference, the Keyblade War never happens. The bell never rings, and the world never ends. Instead you go on more adventures with new friends. However not all is okay. Your character has dreams of his past life, of the Keyblade War, and the end of the world. This is also not all that is different. Maleficent is here, the real Maleficent. She has found a way in through the Datascape where we left her in Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded. This, is sadly, all the information I can give you at this time. Kingdom Hearts: Union x is still being supported by Square Enix and Tetsuya Nomura, maintaining a large fan base. It receives monthly expansion updates and new information is still coming out. With this past December update we saw Lauriam looking for his sister, Strelitzia and while looking finds another Dandelion. A blond-haired girl with two strands sticking up named Elrena. This is also Somebody of a Nobody we have met before; Larxene.

I can’t begin to explain to you what may be happening in this story. Ventus, Lauriam (Marluxia), and Elrena (Larxene) are all completely in the wrong time. Although time travel is a concept that exists in Kingdom Hearts, it has very strict rules that were introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Unfortunately, I can’t help more, but soon I hope to have some answers. I’m not sure if these answers will come in Kingdom Hearts III or future updates.

Nevertheless, once we know you’ll know. Be sure to check back soon for the next article in the series of Kingdom Hearts recaps. We will be diving into my favorite game; Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. For all things Kingdom Hearts, may Mammoth Gamers be your Guiding Key.

Underneath is a raking, not of the game as a review, but how important the game is to the overall story. Each game will receive its own raking and it will be on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest.

  1. Little Importance
  2. Some Importance
  3. Important
  4. Very Important
  5. If you miss this, then what is even the point

Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded – 1 / 5

Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover – 2 / 5

Kingdom Hearts x [chi] – ???

Kingdom Hearts: Union x – ???
I believe Kingdom Hearts x [chi], and Kingdom Hearts: Union x will be very important in the story to come. However, I believe it won’t be important to Kingdom Hearts III. I believe the Data World will be a key component to KHIII, however, the questions brought up in Kingdom Hearts x [chi], and Kingdom Hearts: Union x will be answered in their own time within those games story updates.     

Mark Kriska

Mark Kriska is a journalist for Mammoth Gamers. He plays primarily on PlayStation but also plays on Xbox and Nintendo systems. Mark is an all around nerd and if he is not playing games he's watching sports, movies, or TV and if all else fails enjoying a nice book or comic.