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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kingdom-hearts-small_7967.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Those two in the middle are [[TimeSkip the same guy a year apart]] and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters this doesn't even give you half the cast size]] ''[[UpToEleven from the first three games]]'', and the main cast has expanded ''considerably'' since this image was published![[note]]Oh, χ-blade, let's see... Left to right, top to bottom: [[TheRival Riku]] as of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII II]]'', [[LoveInterest Kairi]] as of ''II'', [[ShieldBash Goofy]], [[DualWield Roxas]], [[SquishyWizard Donald]], [[TheHero Sora]] as of ''II'', Sora ''before II'', [[TheWatson Jiminy Cricket]], Riku before ''II'', [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething King]] [[RunningGag frickin']] [[MickeyMouse Mickey]], [[SpannerInTheWorks NaminÚ]], [[TheFaceless Darkness in Zero]], [[TheHeartless Ansem, Seeker of Darkness]]. [[LongList (deep breath)]] [[ColdSniper Xigbar]], [[MusicalAssassin Demyx]], [[DeathDealer Luxord]], [[BlowYouAway Xaldin]], [[TheBerserker Sa´x]], [[PlayingWithFire Axel]], [[PowerOfTheVoid Xemnas]], [[GreenThumb Marluxia]], [[ShockAndAwe Larxene]], [[DishingOutDirt Lexaeus]], [[MasterOfIllusion Zexion]], [[AnIcePerson Vexen]]. [[CatchPhrase Got it memorized?]][[/note]]]]

->''There are many worlds,\\
but they share the same sky--\\
one sky, one destiny.''
-->--'''Opening Credits'''

''For the first game in the series, see VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI.''

So Square Enix and Disney walk into a bar...

A series of ActionRPG games, co-produced by [=Squaresoft=] (now Creator/SquareEnix) and Creator/{{Disney}}, directed by ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' character designer Creator/TetsuyaNomura, and starring characters from both companies. It's basically [[XMeetsY FF meets Disney]] (with some of ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' and ''VideoGame/TheBouncer'' thrown into the mix).

'''''Kingdom Hearts''''' started out as the ultimate {{crossover}} game: a fun, dynamic game with platforming elements and a solid plot. The first installment was followed by a number of sequels, all of which provided {{retcon}} moments for previous games and added LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. The series is known for its memorable scenes, its Disney and Square fanservice, its elegant fighting system and its balanced difficulty level. At the same time, more recent installments are ''infamous'' for having one ''hell'' of an intertwined plot, [[JigsawPuzzlePlot spread across many different games]] on six (soon to be eight) different consoles[[note]]Although, with the releases of 1.5 and 2.5 HD [=ReMIX=], the entire series, up until ''3D'' (of which a port is being considered), are now available on PS3[[/note]]... which [[KudzuPlot can get really confusing]] if you don't come at it systematically, and even then there's [[MindScrew no guarantee that you're going to understand all of it.]]

Sora is a young boy living a peaceful but boring life on an island with [[ThePowerOfFriendship his best friends Riku and Kairi]]. This is until the day his world is engulfed by TheHeartless, an [[EldritchAbomination eldritch species]] that [[TheVirus feed on the hearts of innocent people]] and literally consume entire worlds. Sora is sucked through a portal and winds up in Traverse Town, a crossroads world that has become the refuge of those who have lost their worlds to the Heartless. As he begins to search for his missing friends, [[TheChosenOne Sora is granted the mysterious Keyblade]]: [[ClingyMacGuffin the only thing capable of closing the gaps that the Heartless are using to invade the worlds]].

With the aid of Donald Duck and Goofy, two royal knights searching for their missing king, Sora must travel to all of the different worlds in TheMultiverse and use the Keyblade to lock them safely away from the Heartless and those who plot to use the Heartless to further their own ends. Meanwhile Riku, having also ended up in Traverse Town, [[TheRival becomes obsessed with rescuing Kairi at all costs]] and [[TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget is tempted by the same power of darkness]] that Sora is trying to seal, [[RivalTurnedEvil setting up the two best friends for a fateful confrontation]].

As Sora and Riku grapple with their newfound powers and responsibilities, an ever-expanding mythology begins to unfold around [[MacGuffinLocation the legendary Kingdom Hearts]]: the source of all hearts and the goal of many an antagonist.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Games In Series]]
[[index]]
* ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI Kingdom Hearts]]'' (2002, UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation 2}}): The first game in the series, detailing the adventures of Sora, Donald and Goofy as they search for their missing friends.
** ''Kingdom Hearts Final Mix'' (2002, [=PlayStation 2=]): Kingdom Heart's updated rerelease, adding a lot of new content.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' (2004, UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance): The sequel to Kingdom Hearts, following Sora as he descends into the mysterious Castle Oblivion and comes into conflict with a mysterious Organization of hostile, black-hooded men and women.
[[/index]]
** ''Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories'' (2007, [=PlayStation 2=], part of ''Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+'') A remake of Chain of Memories, made on the PS2 and released with Kingdom Hearts Final Mix.
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' (2005, [=PlayStation 2=]): The third game in the series. The story follows Sora once again as he comes into a much grander conflict with what is left of the Organization, now known as Organization XIII, that he seems to have a mysterious connection to and struggles with confusing memories of a mysterious individual known as Roxas.
** ''Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix'' (2007, [=PlayStation 2=], part of ''Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+'') Kingdom Hearts II's updated rerelease.
* ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded Kingdom Hearts coded]]'' (2008-2010, [[MobilePhoneGame mobile phones]]): A mobile phone game taking place immediately after Kingdom Hearts II, following King Mickey as he attempts to decode a mysterious message left in Jimminy Crickets journal.
[[/index]]
** ''Kingdom Hearts Re:coded'' (2010, UsefulNotes/NintendoDS, [[RemadeForTheExport a remake for international audiences]])
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' (2009, UsefulNotes/NintendoDS): A side-story centered around Roxas, Organization XIII, his friends Axel and Xion, and the internal conflict Roxas experiences while spending time in the organization's ranks.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' (2010, PlayStationPortable): A prequel that takes place 10 years before the first game, and follows three friends and Keyblade wielders, Ventus, Terra and Aqua as their lives spiral into chaos, and the origins of the main antagonist of the previous games comes to light.
** ''Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix'' (2011, [=PlayStation Portable=]) a remake, much like the previous Final Mixes.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' (2012, UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS): A sequel to Kingdom Hearts II. Sora and Riku take their mark of mastery exam to become keyblade masters, but sinister forces attempt to manipulate the boys for their own nefarious purposes.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'' (TBA, UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 and XboxOne): The next in the series, not counting [[UpdatedRerelease the HD remixes]] or ''KingdomHeartsX[chi]''.
[[/index]]
* ''Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix'' (2013, {{PlayStation 3}}): An UpdatedRerelease collection containing ''Kingdom Hearts Final Mix'', '' Re:Chain of Memories'', and the cutscenes of ''358/2 Days'', all remade and remastered in HD.
* ''Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix'' (2014, [=PlayStation=] 3): A second UpdatedRerelease collection containing HD remasters of ''Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix'', ''Birth by Sleep Final Mix'', and the cutscenes of ''Re:coded''.
[[index]]
* ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX Kingdom Hearts X [chi]]]'' (2013, PC): A WebGame set during the [[GreatOffscreenWar Keyblade War]], using the same graphical system as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyBrigade'' and ''VideoGame/TheatrhythmFinalFantasy''.
** [[/index]]''Kingdom Hearts Unchained X [chi]'' (2015, iOS and Android): A tweaked mobile port [[RemadeForTheExport for international audiences]].

[[/folder]]

The series contains appearances by characters and locations from the following games, films and franchises. Labeled after each is which game it appears in, abbreviated, and its role. (w) for "world" means you visit the location and can explore. (c) for "character" means only that characters from that franchise show up, whether in the form of a summon, or you meet them in person. (r) for "reference" means merely that the franchise is referenced in some way, such as art or architecture, or the world shows up in a non-interactive form.

[[folder:Disney]]
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w)
* ''Disney/AliceInWonderland'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w), ''[=KH3D=]'' (r)
* ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KH:COM'' (c)
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' -- ''KH'' (c), '' KH:COM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w)
* ''Disney/ChickenLittle'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c)
* ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (w)
* WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (w), ''[=KHrecoded=]'' (c), ''[=KH3D=]'' (c)
* Ride/DisneyThemeParks -- ''[=KH3=]'' (r)
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (c)
* ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c)
* ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (c), ''[=KHrecoded=]'' (c), ''[=KH3D=]'' (w)
* ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w), ''KHBBS'' (w)
* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' -- ''[=KH3D=]'' (w)
* ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp'' -- ''KH'' (r), ''[=KH3D=]'' (r)
* ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (w)
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (w)
* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KH3D=]'' (c)
* ''WesternAnimation/MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' -- ''[=KH3D=]'' (w)
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (w)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w)
* ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'' -- ''KH'' (c)
* ''Disney/PeterPan'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KH358/2=] Days'' (w), ''KHBBS'' (w)
* ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (c), ''KHBBS:FM'' (c)
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (w)
* ''WesternAnimation/RunawayBrain'' -- ''[=KH3D=]'' (c)
* ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (w), ''[=KH3D=]'' (c)
* ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (c), ''[=KH3D=]'' (r)
* ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'' -- ''KH'' (w) -- [[CanonDiscontinuity retconed from canon]]
* ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' -- ''[=KH3=]'' (w)
* ''Film/{{TRON}}'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (w)
* ''Film/TronLegacy'' -- ''[=KH3D=]'' (w)
* ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh'' -- ''KH'' (w), ''KHCOM'' (w), ''[=KH2=]'' (w), ''KHBBS'' (r)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Square-Enix]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (c), ''KHBBS'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' -- ''KH'' (c), ''KHCOM'' (c), ''[=KH2=]'' (c), ''[=KHcoded=]'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (c)
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' -- ''[=KH3D=]'' (c)
* ''TheBouncer'' -- ''[=KH2=]'' (r)
[[/folder]]
----
!!This series as a whole provides examples of:

[[folder: A - F]]
* AbortedArc:
** One of the main concepts of the first game was that Sora, Donald, and Goofy cannot interfere with the affairs of other worlds, since they're outsiders. This hasn't been brought up again since the first game and is mostly ignored now. It was recycled and used in ''Days'', where Roxas and the other members of Organization XIII cannot interfere to avoid blowing their cover (at the time they were still covert and not ready to expose themselves).
** ''Birth by Sleep'' adds on that Keyblade wielders are free to travel between worlds, but are not to tell their inhabitants about the existences of worlds besides their own. However by the time of ''Kingdom Hearts'' worlds are being destroyed left and right and their inhabitants are taking refuge in Traverse Town, so this isn't an issue for Sora. Even in ''Birth By Sleep'''s timeframe though, many other characters are already aware of other worlds and can travel between them in their own ways.
** As far as an actual installment goes, a sequel to ''Birth By Sleep'' was planned, (most likely revolving around Aqua, King Mickey, and Riku's journey through the Realm Of Darkness) and a trailer was even included in the ''Final Mix'' version of the game. However, the executives at Square and Disney decided that having another portable game would detract from resources going towards ''Kingdom Hearts III'' and cancelled the project. Thankfully, pieces of the planned story were implemented into ''Dream Drop Distance'', and additional elements will likely be used in ''III''. Nomura has stated in an interview that Volume 2 is still a possibility in the future, but as of right now, ''Kingdom Hearts III'' is his and the company's primary focus.
** Riku's implied feelings for Kairi from ''Kingdom Hearts''. It was one of the main reasons he turned on Sora in the first game and for his descent to darkness. It ''may'' just count as CharacterDevelopment, but the way all the ShipTease was just completely dropped was a bit extreme.
** ''II'' likewise had ShipTease for Roxas and NaminÚ that hinted they had a history together. ''358/2 Days'' instead made Roxas' ImpliedLoveInterest Xion. He and NaminÚ never even ''meet'' in ''Days''. [[note]] Though, Namine worked with Xion in her final days, to help her return to Sora (through Roxas) - and when Xion disappeared, all sense of knowing was likely transferred to Roxas. [[/note]]
* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: All games in the series let you level to Level 99, but most of the time you can play through the game and beat the final boss just fine in the Level 40-50 range. {{Bonus Boss}}es need more level grinding, but probably not to the Level 99 point. This trope is particularly bad in ''Chain of Memories'', where there ''are'' no Bonus Bosses or any other post-game challenges, so other than getting trophies in the ''1.5'' port, there's no real reason to level grind unless you're having difficulty.
* AchillesHeel: Sora, Sa´x, Marluxia, and Roxas may be extremely powerful, but depriving them of their weapons would render them almost powerless. Later on, Roxas, in his battle against Sora, is seen to have outgrown his problem by becoming a very powerful mage. If Sora is without his Keyblade, it would take many hits to take down even the weakest of enemies, although using magic is still as effective as if you still had the Keyblade. With that said, [[EmpathicWeapon given the nature of Keyblades]], disarming their wielders is ''incredibly'' difficult.
* ActionGirl: Numerous ones throughout the series, thanks to an assortment of both Disney and ''Final Fantasy'' party members. For the original generation we have Aqua, and Kairi is looking to grow into the role after ''II'' once she got her own Keyblade.
* AdorableEvilMinions: TheHeartless are the well-deserved page picture. Some of them are just so darn cute!
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Ienzo, who follows around his mentor in an oversized labcoat, and Young Riku, who is abnormally serious and mature for his tender years. Both are definitely played for cute.
* AdultFear: Imagine this: It's stormy outside - really stormy. Your child has been in his room all evening. You go upstairs to call him in for dinner... the window's open, he's gone, and so are his two friends and their boats. He doesn't come back for years - during which you have no idea where he is, or if he's safe, or if he can ever come back. (The parents of the main characters never get more than a shadow in a doorway...) On the other hand, WordOfGod states that a world remains frozen in time once it is swallowed by the darkness. Also, due to events of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'', the parents forget about their son until Namine restored Sora's memories, which means that they only started worrying at the beginning of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Which might make it worse for them once they realize they completely forgot of their missing son's existence.
* AerithAndBob: You've got Sora, Kairi and Riku (distinctly Japanese names), amongst mainly English or more standard names (and the trio of ''Birth By Sleep'' have Latin names). In some cases it's understandable, though, such as with some Disney villains or Organization XIII.
* AkashicRecords: The Book of Prophesies, introduced within VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX, serve as this for the entire universe in everything but name. It has information about things that was, things that is, and things that will be and, according to Maleficent via a [[{{Retcon}} retroactivelly]] added scene within ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'', one can, among other things, create new worlds simply by adding onto it.
* AlasPoorVillain: Clayton was technically controlled by the Heartless through his heart's obvious darkness, and Sora, Tarzan, and co. express pity after he's killed.
* AlienGeometries: Castle Oblivion. It exists at the very edge of light and darkness, it's far [[BiggerOnTheInside larger than it looks]], its layout/inhabitants change to match the memories of an occupant, and it somehow [[UnexpectedGameplayChange forces whomever enters to play a card game]].
* {{Alien Non-Interference Clause}}:
** None of the characters are supposed to tell anyone else that there are other worlds. Justifiably subverted with Sora's adventure as that many different worlds are being destroyed and its survivors all ended up in the same place, interacting with one another. Not to forget, the villains during that time didn't care too much about stealth. So, of course come the sequels the secret of there being other worlds is out in the open for the denizens of many worlds. Even people of worlds that still don't know about other worlds' existence learn of them through Sora (the cast of Port Royal, for instance.).
** Even ten years earlier in ''Birth By Sleep'', the Keyblade wielders never seemed that concerned about concealing things. Standard Operating Procedure for them seemed to boil down to "go up to the first person you meet and demand information from them, and absolutely help them out if they need it."
** As of recent games, it seems that this trope has been dropped because Xehanort and his cronies have meddled with the worlds so much that ''not'' intervening would mean that TheBadGuyWins.
* AllThereInTheManual: Many of the explanations for the ''Kingdom Hearts'' mysteries are in the ''Ultimania'' guides which, surprise surprise, will [[NoExportForYou never see the light of day outside of Japan.]]
* AlphaBitch: Larxene in ''Chain of Memories'' thinks nothing of sadism and meanness towards enemy and ally (the Organization) alike.
* AlternateContinuity: All characters from previous works are subject to BroadStrokes regarding which of their adventures from their original films have happened. For instance, Jack seems to have caused trouble in Christmas Town before ''Kingdom Hearts II'', yet Oogie Boogie is still around. And of course, it's highly unlikely the ''Final Fantasy'' cast members are from the same continuities as in that series
%%* AlwaysNight: [[FirstTown Traverse Town]] in both the first game and ''3D'', Halloween Town, Port Royal, and [[EldritchLocation The World that Never Was]].
* AmbitionIsEvil: Every character who has sought to further their own power or knowledge, no matter how just their cause is, ends up either being a villain or aligned with one. This also extends to simply having the ambition to leave their home. The main character, Sora, is notably lacking in ambition.
%%* AmusementPark: Prankster's Paradise (''Pinocchio'')
* AnachronicOrder:
** The Reports in any given game. You never collect them in numerical order, leaving holes in the story for other entries to fill in. However, they're usually written in a way to ''tease'' you with what's in those other entries, and usually explain some plot revelation that just happened.
** The games themselves. The first three games were released in chronological order, but ''358/2 Days'' takes place before ''II'' (with the first part of the story taking place ''during'' ''Chain of Memories'') and ''Birth by Sleep'' takes place before all of them, while ''Coded'' takes place before TheStinger of ''Kingdom Hearts II'', but the stinger pretty much took place awhile after [[spoiler:Xemnas's defeat]] so it kinda got things moving forward. ''3D'' finally got things completely moving forward again.
* AnatomyOfTheSoul: Everyone has a Heart, Soul, and Body. Well, every ''normal'' person. Individual worlds also have Hearts, and in-game text alludes to them being somewhat sentient. Memory is also part of the equation, hinted to be another aspect of the Heart.
** '''Hearts''' contain the emotions and identity of an individual, and are made up of light and darkness. If the Heart is overcome by Darkness, it can separate itself from the Body and Soul and become a Heartless. It's accepted by most characters that a person without a Heart isn't really a person at all. [[spoiler:The reality is slightly less complex; anyone or anything that wants to think of itself as a person can likely generate a Heart]].
** The '''Soul''' is seemingly simple--it's the animating force that gives life and movement to a body and heart. It's also translated as "Spirit" and synonymous with "Will" later in the series. Theoretically, if you somehow give or transplant a soul to an object, that object will gain a mind of its own and move around. In extreme circumstances, the Soul by itself could be enough to keep a Body moving. When a Heartless is formed, the Body and Soul left behind may reanimate into a Nobody, if the individual was particularly strong-willed.
** The '''Body''' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin--the thing that holds the Heart and is animated by the Soul.
** '''Memory''' is hinted to be similar to one's Mind, and is critical to the function of a Heart but not entirely the same. Nobodies have no Hearts but retain Memory to teach them how to fake emotions, Replicas are {{Artificial Human}}s made of Memory, and Memory can be used to strengthen or weaken one's Heart. Additionally, ''Chain of Memories'' says memories of different people can be connected, like links in a chain, and that chain can be broken, mended or reorganized. This means that as Sora forgets people as he proceeds through Castle Oblivion, the people he forgets about forget ''him'', too.
* AndIMustScream: The ''Birth by Sleep'' video at the end of ''KHII Final Mix'' shows Ventus being frozen completely and thrown off a cliff, and still conscious at the end of it (you can see his eyes moving).
* AnimatedArmor:
** There are numerous Heartless modelled after suits of armor. Guard Armor in the first game and ''358/2 Days'' is the most prominent. The latter game also has a PaletteSwap called the "Powered Armor".
** In ''Birth By Sleep'' and ''KHIIFM+'' the Lingering Will is another one. ''Birth By Sleep: Final Mix'' add Eraqus' and Master Xehanort's empty armor as a pair of {{Bonus Boss}}es, Armor of the Master and No Heart.
** The living suits of armor in Beast's Castle.
* AntiVillain: Axel is a prime example of a ChaoticNeutral anti-villain. Roxas also falls in this category.
* ArcNumber: The numbers 3, 7, and 13 show up ''a lot''. To recap some of the most prominent ways;
** 3 -- three party members at a time, the many {{Power Trio}}s in the series and the associated Trinity motif, three realms (Light, Darkness, Nothingness), three aspects of being (Heart, Body, Soul), three types of Keyblades (Heart, Light, Darkness).
** 7 -- Seven Princesses of Heart, seven Organization members left remaining in ''II'' (not counting Roxas), seven Orichalcum+ for the Ultima Weapon in ''II'', seven days left in Roxas's vacation, Ansem and his six apprentices, seven letters in "Xehanort" minus the "X".
** 13 -- Organization XIII, the "XIII Blades" attack in ''II'', thirteen letters in "Kingdom Hearts", usually 13 worlds in each game (accordingly, 13 floors in Castle Oblivion), 13 matches in the Mirage Arena (not counting the ''Final Mix'' additions), and several of the mentioned trios of characters have 13 letters between their three names (Sora, Riku, Kairi).
** This trope comes to its head in ''3D''; [[spoiler:There are three Xehanorts (Ansem, Xemnas, Young Xehanort) acting to revive Master Xehanort, and the true χ-blade is made up of seven Hearts of Light and thirteen Hearts of Darkness.]]
* ArcWords: "We'll go together." Also, "Reconnect" has been showing up in the secret endings since ''Birth by Sleep''.
* ArcSymbol: The Recusant's Sigil, which happens to be [[LetXBeTheUnknown the letter "X"]]. This is due to Xenahort's fascination with the χ-blade.
* ArtEvolution: The hand-drawn artwork has gotten much more anime-influenced, angular, and thick-lined over time, but this is less an aspect of this series and more one of Tetsuya Nomura himself. There's also a good deal of evolution in the character models, but that makes sense due to better technology. Even so, it's hard to tell Aurora from ''[=KH1=]'' and Aurora from ''Birth by Sleep'' are the same person.
* TheArtifact: The ''Final Fantasy'' elements have become this. After being important to the plots of the first three games, ''358/2 Days'' didn't include them at all, ''coded'' saw their presence reduced, ''Birth By Sleep'' was limited to Zack (though there were aborted plans for other inclusions), and ''3D'' went for ''The World Ends With You'' characters instead of ''Final Fantasy''. While the series began as a Disney and Final Fantasy crossover, its focus has shifted much more to the Disney and original characters.
* ArtShift:
** In Kingdom Hearts III, a new ''Kingdom Shader'' is used, which basically has the characters changing appearance depending on the world they are in. I.E. If Sora and co. were to reappear in Port Royal, they themselves would look more realistic like Jack Sparrow and the others were in ''II''.
** In the other titles, the art style of the game will typically shift between worlds to something appropriate to that world. Characters traveling from one world or another may or may not get altered appearances. This leads to some weird dissonance, especially in the worlds based on live-action films when you see more "realistic" characters like Jack Sparrow standing next to Goofy in Port Royal, or when you see the obviously more stylized Sora standing next to the Flynns in The Grid.
** HalloweenTown is probably the most obvious example, as even the Heartless get tons of added detail so that they look closer to the style of Tim Burton's puppets (Shadows have a grainy skin texture, Soldiers' armor is stitched up and rusted, Wight Knights' bandages are given a darkened guaze look, Emerald Blues' body looks like a strange button-up coat, etc.)
* AsYouKnow:
** In ''KH II...''
-->'''Yen Sid:''' If one such as you, Donald, yields to the Darkness in their heart, they too will become a Heartless. But you know this.
** Also, recapping the end of the first game...
-->'''Sora:''' Then I guess we better go find the King first!\\
'''Donald:''' But where could he be?\\
'''Goofy:''' Well, we won't know 'til we look.\\
'''Sora:''' Yeah. And the King must know where Riku is, 'cause the two of them were together in the Realm of Darkness when we closed the door. You know, after defeating Ansem.
** Also seen in ''Re:Chain of Memories'' multiple times, though [[JustifiedTrope justified]] there, since Sora, Donald and Goofy knew they were losing their memories and wanted to make sure they still remembered what they were doing there.
* AscendedExtra:
** Surprisingly enough, Cerberus. In [[Disney/{{Hercules}} the original movie]], he shows up in the background for all of five seconds and only interacts with the hero near the climax. Despite this, he has been a recurring boss throughout the series.
** Yen Sid was introduced in ''Kingdom Hearts II'' as Mickey's old mentor, and he only showed up to deliver some exposition at the start of the game. ''Birth By Sleep'' revealed he's a Keyblade Master, and as of ''coded'' he's effectively the BigGood.
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil: As long as darkness exists within the hearts of sapient entities, the Heartless (and Nobodies) will continue to spawn.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: A staple of bosses in this series, most of whom can only be damaged if attacked in one specific part of their body. Much of the game's difficulty comes from the fact that these are often either hard to reach or are where the boss deals the majority of its damage from.
%%* AuthorAppeal: Nomura's obsessions with zippers, belts, and (after a visit to a Disney resort) sea-salt ice cream.
* AwardBaitSong: Well, it's based off Disney movies isn't it? Protip: Search iTunes for {{Utada}}, the singer, to score the Japanese-lyric versions of both songs[[note]]The Japanese version of "Simple and Clean" is called "Hikari", and "Sanctuary" is "Passion". And yes, the same singer (UtadaHikaru) wrote and sang both versions of both songs.[[/note]]
* {{Awesomeness by Analysis}}: Sora's universe saving feats and daring swordplay are made even more impressive when you realize that unlike his predecessors, he is completely self-taught, his fighting style developing itself over the course of the series from his sparring with wooden swords at home. This shows when you compare him to Terra, Aqua, and Ven. They all fight in their own individual styles that show they have familiarity and training with their Keyblades. Sora wields his like a club or a baseball bat, and shows little finesse. This changes in ''Kingdom Hearts II'', where he's a bit more experienced. [[spoiler:The year of training Roxas had that Sora absorbed probably helped.]]
* AWizardDidIt: The reason casting fire spells works in Atlantica, or how casting electricity-based spells doesn't completely fry Sora, Donald, Goofy, or Ariel.
%%* AxCrazy: Larxene definitely falls under this. Axel is also a typical example. Sa´x is even worse when the Moon is out...
* BackFromTheDead:
** [[spoiler:Kill a Heartless and then the Nobody, and the original person comes back to life. Master Xehanort, Braig, Dilan, Even, Aeleus, Ienzo, Isa, and Lea have all been revived in this manner. The only known exceptions to this rule are Sora and Kairi; various odd circumstances surrounding the losses of their hearts and the births of their Nobodies allowed for both of them to exist as normal humans alongside their Nobodies until both pairs went for {{Split Personality Merge}}s]].
** [[spoiler:Maleficent]] also counts. Killed off near the end of the first game, and then brought back to life through rather vague means (that are implied to have involved the fairies from ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' remembering her) in ''II''.
%%* BadassLongcoat: Mickey Mouse(!)
%%** And Riku, and the members of the Organizationůpretty much anyone trying to hide their identity or travel within the Darkness has this by default.
* BagOfSpilling:
** Every single game does this, and every single one [[JustifiedTrope justifies it]], at least regarding their skills and abilities (but not their weapons and items):
*** In ''Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories'', Sora and co. walk into [[ForebodingArchitecture Castle Oblivion]] of all places, [[spoiler:and lose their memories so that they must learn their skills back]].
*** In ''Kingdom Hearts II'', they get "restored", meaning [[spoiler:restored back to zero, erasing their memories from the previous game and with that, most of the skills they learned throughout. Also, Sora, Donald, and Goofy spent a year in a coma, making it impressive that they could even walk at the start of the game. They weren't in stasis, either, as Sora actually hit a growth spurt during that time]].
*** In ''Kingdom Hearts coded'' you play as Data-Sora, a digital copy of Sora, thus starting from scratch with a different character.
*** In ''Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days'' you play as Roxas, [[spoiler:Sora's Nobody]], thus starting from scratch with a different character. The fact that Roxas [[spoiler:gets his memory erased by the game finale]] also justifies the beginning of ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
*** In ''Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep'', which takes place ten years before the original game, you play as three completely new characters, Aqua, Ventus and Terra, all fresh rookies considerably DoomedByCanon.
*** ''3D'' has Yen Sid HandWave that the self-taught Keyblade skills of Sora and Riku are impressive, but for the purposes of the Mark of Mastery exam, they'll start fresh and prove themselves anew within the rules of the exam. This example does lead into GameplayAndStorySegregation though, since a good portion of the attacks they learn during the game are ones they had before. The fact that they are in the Realm of Sleep (i.e. a dream) may play a factor as well.
** Every game includes minor aversions. In ''Chain of Memories'', Sora keeps a few of his old abilities (e.g. Aerial Sweep) and his magic has [[TookALevelInBadass taken a level in Badass]]. In ''Kingdom Hearts II'' he is faster and more technical from the start, retains Blitz, and immediately outstrips the previous games very early on in magic and weapon skills. It's similar in ''3D'', where he has slide-dash from ''[=KH2=]'' as part of his combo and is relatively fast and strong (though granted, never as much as in ''[=KH2=]''), and also starts with more movement options. In all cases, Sora has never had to relearn the Guard ability (and usually the Dodge Roll too).
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Arguably, this is the case of all the heroes and villains in the series, considering every major FinalBoss takes place in the middle of space.
%%** Monstro.
* BeehiveBarrier: Seen in protective spells and in boss fights or event battles, locking you in the area.
%%* BetaTestBaddie: Organization XIII.
* BigBad: Master Xehanort is the overarching antagonist of the series, acting through various alternate incarnations. Everything wrong in the game universe can be blamed on him or his allies directly or indirectly.
%%* BigBoosHaunt: Halloween Town.
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Maleficent and Pete decide to fight the Heartless by themselves while Sora and friends battle Xemnas.
** In ''Birth by Sleep'', Ven is menaced by someone he trusted, and from his POV, Terra comes out of absolutely nowhere to save him.
** Ven gets to pull one ''as a disembodied heart no less'' when in 3D he [[spoiler:gives his Keyblade Armor to Sora to protect his heart.]]
%%** And in 3D [[spoiler:Lea]] gets to be the Big Damn Hero twice, the second time alongside two other huge BDH moments.
%%** Lots of times, but Mickey and Hercules seem to do it the most. Though in Mickey's case, it's a option when you die.
* BigDoor: The Door to Darkness and the door to Xemnas's artificial Kingdom Hearts reality. The big door in Disney Castle has a smaller one built in.
* BigGood: Yen Sid was probably the closest thing to this during ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', but in later games, he's really stepped up to the plate. [[spoiler:Ansem the Wise]] has shades of this as well.
* BishonenLine:
** Nobodies are stated to take forms closer to their original bodies as they grow more powerful, with the weakest looking like twitching white jumpsuits and the very strongest being physically indistinguishable from normal humans.
** Can also apply to the Heartless as well, though only two examples exist: Xehanort's Heartless (which needed a body to remain stable, but changes the body to resemble Xehanort) and Scar (immediately after losing his heart and during the boss fight; the second visit ends with what is either the true form of Scar's Heartless or a OneWingedAngel form, the massive beastly Groundshaker).
* BittersweetEnding: The standard kind of ending to the franchise, though they usually end on a high note for the most part. Exceptions to this rule include [[spoiler:''Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days'']] and [[spoiler:''Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep'']], which both {{DownerEnding}}s when taken on their own but resemble Bittersweet Endings when one considers what happens later on on a chronological scale, and [[spoiler:''Kingdom Hearts II'']], which is unambiguously a case of EarnYourHappyEnding only hampered by the fact that [[HappyEndingOverride it isn't the final chronological adventure]].
* BlackCloak:
** Comes complete with an InTheHood function! The cloaks themselves are stated by WordOfGod to be protection against the Realm of Darkness' corruption, but several people who wear them (namely the [[TheSoulless Organization XIII]]) don't really need that due to not having hearts to corrupt.
** It was said repeatedly that darkness always threatens to swallow up Nobodies because of their non-existence, so it's likely to stave it off. ''3D'' reveals [[spoiler:that the Nobodies ''do'' have hearts, so Xemnas kept them in uniform to protect his potential vessels.]]
* BlackMagic: The ever-vague 'darkness' everyone keeps talking about can be controlled by strong people, but for [[EvilIsNotAToy those who aren't...]]
* BlessedWithSuck: The Keyblades. All-powerful weapons that also look pretty dang neat, but no one we've seen who has been chosen to wield one has had a good life. Even freaking ''Mickey Mouse'' can't get away from it! The Heartless also constantly follow Keyblade wielders no matter where they go.
* BloodlessCarnage:
** All over the place, but special mention goes to a scene early in the first game where a horde of Shadows and Soldiers cut down a civilian ''and tear his heart out and eat it''.
** Zigzagged in the manga, where characters sometimes are visibly wounded, yet still bloodless.
* BlondesAreEvil: NaminÚ, Roxas (arguably), and Ventus [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] it in that they are on the side of good.
%%** Larxene definitely proves this. Vexen and Luxord are also this (though technically nobodies can't be sorted as good or evil due to lacking a sense of self, emotions and ultimately a soul)
* BonusBoss: This series loves this trope. The most [[NintendoHard insane]] bonus bosses are usually an EarlyBirdCameo for plot-central characters. To clarify:
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' has Phantom, [[ContestWinnerCameo Kurt Zisa]], Ice Titan, Sephiroth, and, in ''Final Mix'', [[spoiler:Xemnas]].
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' has Sephiroth again, Hades Paradox Cup Match 49, the five Absent Silhouettes, Organization XIII Data, and [[spoiler:Terra's Lingering Will]] (the last three only appear in ''Final Mix'').
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' has Dustflier.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' has Vanitas Remnant and [[spoiler:the time-travelling young Master Xehanort.]] The Mirage Arena has Mimic Master and four incarnations of the Iron Imprisoner. The ''Final Mix'' re-release adds three more in the Mirage Arena - Monstro and the animated armors of Eraqus ("Armor of the Master") and Xehanort ("No Heart").
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' gives us [[spoiler:Julius from ''WesternAnimation/RunawayBrain'']], a boss fight [[UnexpectedCharacter NO ONE saw coming.]]
* BoringButPractical: Shadow Heartless can flatten themselves against the ground, making them invulnerable to attacks.
* BossBanter: Pretty much every single humanoid boss does this (and a few of the non-humanoid ones).
* BossRemix: A lot of themes are remixed as boss themes sooner or later, particularly character themes, and many boss themes are themselves remixed, sometimes together, to make a new boss theme. One of the most striking examples is the final boss theme of ''Dream Drop Distance'' "Eye of Darkness", which is a remix of [[spoiler:the Dive to the Heart theme, as Riku has had to dive into Sora's heart and fight him to free him from darkness.]]
%%* BrilliantButLazy: Demyx is described as this. Sora has shades of it at the beginning of ''Kingdom Hearts'', when you take into account what he eventually is capable of.
* BroadStrokes: The events of the original Disney films are subject to this. Some worlds feature a retelling of the plot of the source franchise with Sora tagging along, others imply the events of the source franchise occurred before Sora visited, or haven't occurred yet, and many just have an original plot. That said, the relationships of characters changes as well, and in ''coded'' and ''Chain of Memories'' when the worlds visited are composed of memories and data that aren't 100% accurate, anything could happen.
* ButtonMashing: A common complaint about the series, and it's not unfounded. Arguably the worst offender of the series is ''KH II'', where upon entering [[SuperMode A Drive Form]] like Valor Form or Master Form, you basically hit X until there was nothing left to attack. The series is growing out of it though due to better integration of special attacks and enemies starting to require more strategy. In ''Birth By Sleep'' for example, relying on just mashing attack to win and not properly building a balanced deck will get you crushed.
* CallForward: [[CallForward/KingdomHearts has its own page]].
%%* CameraLockOn: Although with the loads of enemies, it's one of the few times in a game that this trope does not avert CameraScrew.
* CaptainOblivious: For the so-called key that connects everything, Sora, Donald, and Goofy seem to be the lone people not privy to the GambitPileup in a universe full to the brim with [[TheChessmaster Chessmasters]] and {{Magnificent Bastard}}s.
%%* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: Sora, Riku, Roxas, Ventus, Terra, Vanitas, many of the members of Organization XIII, etc.
%%* CatSmile: You may or may not notice [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Selphie's]].
* CerebusSyndrome: The first game was a lighthearted, episodic adventure quest, and didn't really get tense until the arrival of Maleficent and Ansem. ''II'' and ''Chain of Memories'' began exploring the mysteries of the heart, soul and memories, the true value of human life, and had stronger overarcing stories, and then ''coded'' and ''358/Days'' explored the same issues in-depth. ''Birth By Sleep'' took this trope and ran with it by introducing the most sinister villain and the highest-stakes story yet while also making the hero-villain dynamics more personal, and with ''3D'' the series shows little sign of stopping from getting even darker.
* ChainedByFashion: The Shadow Stalker/Dark Thorn boss.
* ChainsawGood: Sora was originally supposed to have a chainsword-like weapon (Yes, ''[[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091108222854/kingdomhearts/images/d/de/Lion-Sora-Chainsaw.jpg really]]'') before Nomura scrapped the idea and adopted the Keyblade design. This would probably be the first time that a weapon design was ever TooCoolToLive.
* ChaosArchitecture: The layout of various worlds changes between games, particularly between ''I'' and ''II''. WordOfGod is that Traverse Town and The World That Never Was are anomalies with canonically changing layouts, and sometimes it's merely visiting a different part of a world than what was seen in another game, but usually it's this trope.
* TheChick:
** Both Ariel and Mulan, the only two female guest party members in games I and II respectively, fill this role. Ariel and Sora seem to form a TrueCompanions bond, not to mention with a little flirting in the first game. And of all the new party members you meet in II, Mulan is among the closest allies. Also Kairi plays this role in the series overall.
** Tinker Bell is the only female summon in the games, being summonable in the first, and appearing alongside Peter Pan in the third.
* TheChosenMany: Keyblade wielders were a knighthood.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder:
** Axel. At one point in ''Chain of Memories'', he betrays a senior member of the Organization, killing him, to get into the good graces of another faction betraying the main Organization. However, he's actually TheMole, set to betray ''that'' faction under Xemnas's orders, but ''then'' he kills a member particularly loyal to Xemnas because he's secretly [[spoiler:planning to betray Xemnas alongside Sa´x, because Xemnas is betraying the ''whole Organization'']]. And then later on, during ''Days'', he betrays ''that'' alliance when he [[spoiler:develops friendship with Roxas and Xion]], and then inadvertently betrays ''them'', too! You need a friggin' ''flowchart'' to keep track of this dude. Lexaeus said it best:
--> "And then there is Axel. Who knows what that one is thinking."
** The Organization's lack of discipline was lampshaded by Sora in a mocking way:
-->'''Sora''': ''"Not a very organized Organization"''.
%%** Organization XIII has a real problem with this.
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Sora's drive forms in [=KH2=] are a function of the new outfit he receives in the game, enchanted by the Good Fairies.
%%* CollectibleCardGame: Both as a gameplay mechanic in ''Chain of Memories'' and as an actual collectible card game.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The 2008-2012 handheld games were each given a prominent color motif: ''Birth by Sleep'' is blue, ''Days'' is red, ''coded'' is yellow, and ''3D'' is pink.
%%* CombinedEnergyAttack: Trinity Limit.
* ComicBookTime: The only time that the Disney characters are portrayed as being of a different age between games is when it's plot-relevant. Otherwise, they don't age. This wouldn't be that obvious if it wasn't for the fact that the earliest game in the franchise chronically, ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX'', is set within the Keyblade War[[note]]The Keyblade War is implied to have taken place long before the events of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', the next game in the series chronicle-wise, took place[[/note]] and that several of the Disney characters, like Disney/{{Snow White|AndTheSevenDwarfs}} and Disney/{{Aladdin}}, apparently exist within that era as well. Even Mickey, Donald and Goofy can be encountered within that game in their standard Kingdom Hearts outfits. Somewhat {{justified|Trope}} in that their worlds are simulated from the Book of Prophesy ß la the Datascape from ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'', essentially allowing a form of pseudo-time travel to occur for the player characters of ''Kingdom Hearts X''.[[note]]Doesn't explain Mickey, Donald and Goofy appearing outside of the book within their standard garbs, however.[[/note]]
* CompositeCharacter: This happens often in the Disney worlds, usually because some of the characters are absent in their video game counterparts. These roles are usually filled by one of the original Kingdom Hearts characters. For example:
** Sora takes on the role of Christopher Robin in the ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh'' world.
** Xaldin seems to play the role of [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeastTheEnchantedChristmas Forte]] in the ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' world.
** Terra replaces the huntsman in the ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' world.
** Ventus replaces Gus in the ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' world.
* ContinuityLockout:
** You ''have'' to play all the previous games in the series, or at least know their stories, to understand any other given game. ''Birth By Sleep'' tells its own story since it's a prequel, but a lot of references and foreshadowing to the rest of the series will be lost on newcomers.
** This trope is not helped by the ''Final Mix'' versions including cutscenes that later games treat as canon; the ''Final Mix'' versions were originally never released outside Japan. Thank goodness for the internet.
** Additionally, the series spans multiple consoles -- PS2, PSP, GBA, DS, mobile phones, browser games, and 3DS. Anyone who does not own all those consoles is left out.
** As of ''3D'' and the PS3 era, the series is finally making an effort to avert this at make it easier for new players to catch up. ''3D'' contains plot summaries of the past games with character bios and plot points recapped, and the entire series was ported to PS3, including the ''Final Mix'' versions at last. Thus, all you need is a PS3 to play most of the games, and the two left out (''358/2 Days'' and ''coded'' were given cutscene plot summaries, not full ports) are still on the DS, so once you get a 3DS for ''3D'', you can play those two as well.
* CoolKey: Keyblades. Doesn't get much cooler than a key that not only doubles as a sword, but can open literally ''any'' lock or barrier.
%%* CosmicKeystone: The Keyholes serve this purpose for each individual world.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: The series concept itself for starters. A Disney and Final Fantasy crossover where anime-esque heroes fights the forces of darkness with swords shaped like giant keys.
%%* CreativeClosingCredits
* CreatureHunterOrganization: Although not their original purpose. The [[TheChosenMany Keyblade Wielders]] in general are this given they're the ones with weapons capable of purging the various creatures of the dark.
* CriticalStatusBuff: Various abilities can boost the player's status at critical HP, like "Defender" and "Damage Control" for defense, "Berserker", "Striker", and "Grand Slam" for offense.
* CrossOver: The Kingdom Hearts franchise is centered around characters of both the FinalFantasy franchise and ClassicDisneyShorts / DisneyAnimatedCanon frequently meeting and interacting.
* CutsceneIncompetence: Most of the heroes, particularly Sora. In-game the kid is a maelstrom of Keyblade-fueled MagicKnight chaos that can rip through the hordes of darkness for days on end. In cutscenes, expect to see him regularly tossed around, knocked down, taken by surprise, etc.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax:
** Near the end of ''Kingdom Hearts II'', Sora basically turns into an overpowered action movie character. Case in point: he carves his way through entire buildings using a key. Using cuts that travel the length of said buildings. [[ActionCommands This may not count, however]], depending on your definition of "[[IncrediblyLamePun cutscene]]".
** Heartless and Nobodies are disposed of in one hit during cutscenes, regardless if it's Sora, Mickey, or even [[spoiler:Kairi]] who is attacking.
%%* CyberSpace: Space Paranoids (''Tron'') and The Grid (''Tron Legacy'')
* DarkIsNotEvil:
** It doesn't have to be evil. It just happens to attract a lot of bad guys, is all. Darkness, itself, is neither good or evil, and neither is light. They're just sources of power. The difference is that abusing darkness can lead to JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope, and you can lose your humanity if your heart is too weak or if you go too far. Riku is the only main character (and implied to be the only character, ever) to be able to use darkness without the drawbacks, but it took him three games to master and to strengthen himself enough to do it, and it was not an easy journey. Not to mention, he still wouldn't have been able to entirely master the darkness without drawbacks had [[spoiler:Ansem the Wise's Heart Codifier not blown up and destroyed the remains of Ansem in Riku and make him completely immune to corruption from the darkness, reverting him back to his original appearance.]]
** However, while darkness itself is not evil, most of the protagonists associate it with such, which is easy to do since they're beings from the Realm of Light, and all of the villains use Darkness to some degree as the source of their power. Due to the mentioned risk of going too far with it, it's also seen as evil for tempting others away from light and costing them their lives. Both the heroes and villains ultimately agree that there will always be a [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil Balance Between Light and Darkness]], and the two cannot exist without the other. As ''Kingdom Hearts II'' phrases it, the heroes don't oppose darkness itself, they oppose those who abuse it for evil.
-->'''Xemnas:''' Denizens of light, answer this: Why do you hate the darkness?
-->'''Mickey:''' Aw, we don't hate it. It's just kinda... scary. But the world's made of light ''and'' darkness. You can't have one without the other, 'cause darkness is half of everything. Sorta makes ya wonder why we are scared of the dark.
-->'''Riku:''' It's because of [[BigBad who's]] lurking inside it.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Chain of Memories likely unintentionally deals with a {{Canon|Sue}} RelationshipSue, while 358/2 Days likely ''intentionally'' deconstructs the CopycatSue. The characters involved are canonically clones of some sort and are considered abominations in-universe. Their Suish traits are actually plot-relevant and tend to be the reason the villains can make use of them.
* DeathIsCheap:
** Pretty much ''every single death'' has been, is, or will likely be undone by the end of the series.
** According to WordOfGod, "...there is no concept of death in the world of KH...." This seems to translate to "Nomura hasn't established an afterlife in the KH-verse" and currently has no plans to. That and the majority of characters haven't "died" as defined in the Secret Ansem Reports, so much as that they've lost their hearts or something similar.
** Does not apply to Disney villains, however, whether they have a DisneyDeath or they actually die, such as Clayton in KH1 or, in a shocking change from the usual Disneyfication, Lady Tremaine and the step-sisters in Birth By Sleep.
* DeusExMachina:
** Usually at the end of the games, most notably Mickey and Riku's sudden appearance at the Door to Darkness in I and Riku randomly finding a flying motorcycle right as Xemnas summons his dragon-shaped ship in II. But Justified in Riku's case as his appearance at the DTD in ''I'' is explained in Final Mix, but as for Mickey, that has yet to be explained.
** As the series goes on, it becomes clear that it's not random serendipity so much as it is some really frantic teamwork on the side. The flying motorcycle is a proper example, however.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** Normally when one character heals another, the former shouts the latter's name. During the fight with the Guard Armor however, before they're properly introduced, Goofy shouts encouragingly to Sora "Don't give up!" instead.
** In the first game, they thought of what would happen if you engaged in a bit of SequenceBreaking. If you complete Deep Jungle ''before'' Wonderland, the scene replaces Alice with Snow White. If you complete other worlds ''after'' completing Hollow Bastion, certain events with Maleficent will not play.
* DifficultButAwesome:
** Magic in most games. Most players often [[BoringButPractical stick to the basic combos]] in most games with automatic finishers tagged on, and at most only use magic for healing. However, if used right, such as just before a combo finisher takes place, or at the end of a combo while the boss is stunned, magic attacks can take out large chunks of enemies HP and keep them stun-locked for longer.
** Additionally, most combo finishers that aren't automated. For those, especially those not good at fighting games, getting the timing down can be rather tricky, but once you do, much like magic, it can take out large chunks of the enemies HP, and keep them stun locked for longer than the basic combos can. In fact, combined with magic above, it's possible to keep ''any'' boss permenately stun locked for the entirety of their battle, provided the boss doesn't have a move that specifically gets them out of being permenately stun locked.
%%* DisappearsIntoLight: When Nobodies die.
* DiminishingVillainThreat: Poor Maleficent. She was a [[BigBad powerful, competent threat]] in ''Birth By Sleep'' and the original ''Kingdom Hearts''. Then she lost all her help and resources in ''Kingdom Hearts II'', but still managed to [[BigBadEnsemble hold her own against Xemnas and the Nobodies.]] Then came ''Coded'' and ''Dream Drop Distance'', where she is now [[BigBadWannabe a failure with plans that no-one but her cares about.]]
* DisneyDeath: Well, Disney ''did'' help produce the game. It's even been stated by TetsuyaNomura that there is no concept of death in the Kingdom Hearts universe, though it seems as though some of the villains from the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon are exceptions to the rule.
* DoomedByCanon:
** As of ''Birth By Sleep'' and ''Coded'''s respective Secret endings, Aqua is very much still alive but stuck wandering the realm of darkness, Ventus is still in deep sleep, and Terra's status is unknown as his body is destroyed and part of him is still in his Armor. Also, Master Xehanort is revived and is coming back more dangerous than ever.
%%** Try not to get too attached to ANYONE or NOBODY in the prequels, kay?
* DoomyDoomsOfDoom: A variation in that the series is known for throwing the word darkness around a bit too much. This is especially bad in Riku's story within Chain of Memories.
* DubNameChange:
** Some Heartless got little renames. "Bulk Vendor" to "Bulky Vendor". "Flare Globe" to "Fiery Globe". "Mad Dog" to "Rabid Dog". "Gate Guardian" to "Thresholder" Conversely, ''very many'' Heartless were renamed in ''Days'', and some renames are even inconsistent with previous renames (for example, a Heartless named "Loudness" in all Japanese games is called "Crescendo" in the English ''Chain of Memories'' but "Loudmouth" in the English ''Days'').
** Most of the Keyblades were renamed too, though not translated - aside from Oblivion (Sugisarishi Omoide - Passing Memories) and Oathkeeper (Yakusoku no Omamori - Oath's Charm), all the Keyblades had GratuitousEnglish names in the original. Some were minor changes ("Wish Star" to "Wishing Star", "Kingdom Chain" to "Kingdom Key", "Wishes Lamp" to "Wishing Lamp"), but some were changed more - "Power of Hero" to "Olympia", "Desire Lamp" to "Three Wishes", "Native Work" to "Jungle King".
%%* DuelBoss
%%* DummiedOut:
%%** The planned Bahamut summon in the first ''Kingdom Hearts''.
%%** And the Jungle Book world in BBS along with several keyblades.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The manga adaptation of the first game was notable for reading left-to-right like a Western book, despite being originally in Japanese. This was dropped for all the following manga, which read right-to-left like any other Japanese book.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: It takes '''three full games''' for everyone to reunite and return to their home safely. [[spoiler:And even then, Sora's job isn't done.]]
* EvilCounterpart: Xehanort for Sora. [[spoiler:Xehanort steals the bodies of others to extend his life. Sora lets others share his body to extend ''their'' lives.]] ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' goes even farther, revealing that [[spoiler: the original Xehanort was not only a Keyblade Wielder but also from Destiny Islands.]]
* EnemyScan: It only shows an HP bar, but it's on-off and will work on any enemy, including bosses.
* EldritchAbomination:
** The Heartless are some of the cutest ones ever, but it really depends on how you ''play'' them out to be. Shadow Heartless jumping around? Freaking adorable. A Soldier Heartless ripping someone's heart out? Holy cow...
** The Nobodies are worse. Even by the cosmology of the series, it's stated that their existence simply doesn't make sense. It doesn't help that most of them look and move like animated clothing or that their movements look like a video playing in reverse.
** If you want a more specific and extreme example that doesn't involve heartless who are "cute eldritch abominations", World of Chaos fits i gigantic organic battleship that's as fugly as all hell with a fugly demonic face and is also a living thing, with an pretty much just as fugly upgraded version of Ansem's Guardian mounted on top, along with ugly colors. If you see a little tan dot, that's Ansem.
** Darkside is a much more minor example of this and is more like an ugly giant humanoid with a giant heart-shaped hole in the body and black tentacles covering/making up all of the head except for the eyes, but, like in the picture [[NightmareFuel/KingdomHearts here]], it's pretty unsettling.
* ElementalPowers: Organization XIII. Most of them. Their individual powers are accurately "attributes", or themes to their abilities. This gets corrupted into "elements" by fans.
** Some of them aren't quite what they're made out to be anyway. For example: Xemnas has "Nothing" and Luxord has "Time", but they turn out to be more like "YinYangBomb" and "TimedMission" in practice.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: The Final Form transformation in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Granted, it's available for a while before the final boss, but it's hard to unlock quickly. It's really, really broken too, seeing as how it automatically attacks with every movement, including flying or drinking potions.
%%* EmpathicWeapon: The Keyblades
* EssenceDrop: There are several types of spheres, depending on the game:
** Green Orbs are HP
** Blue Bubbles are MP
** Yellow Orbs are [[GlobalCurrency Munny]] (It's a Disney/WinnieThePooh reference. Pooh spelled "Honey" as "Hunny." So "Money" is "Munny.")
** Red Orbs are Moogle Points (In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'')
** Orange Orbs are for the Drive Gauge (In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'')
** Blue, Star-like Orbs refill D-Link (In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'')
%%* EvilIsHammy: Practically a requirement for villains.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Anyone too cavalier about the power of darkness learns this the hard way; they tend to turn into Heartless or power-mad husks of their former selves.
%%* EvilMakeover: All of Organization XIII, although ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'' shows that the vast majority of the makeovers aren't quite extensive as we were led to believe.
%%* EvilWearsBlack: Xehanort and Organization XIII all wear black.
%%* FightingFromTheInside:
%%** [[spoiler:Riku]] in the first game when he's [[spoiler:possessed by Xehanort's Heartless.]]
%%** [[spoiler:Terra and Ven against Master Xehanort and Vanitas respectively at the end of ''Birth by Sleep''.]]
%%* FirstTown: Traverse Town / Twilight Town
* {{Flanderization}}:
** Now, while he was always a very positive kid, [[ThePollyanna Sora]] was much more prone to negativity, anger, and doubt in Kingdom Hearts 1 compared to the rest of the series. In fact, his situation even caused him some stress in the first game. By 3D, he's gotten to the point where not even failing his mastery exam makes him even the least bit discouraged, and he very rarely if ever stays mad or sad about anything. Remember back in the first game when he and Donald had an argument and Sora actually held a ''grudge'' about it for awhile? {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Ansem the Wise in KHII, when he's amused by [[CloningBlues Roxas's]] anger and tells him that he should lend Sora some of his anger, as he (Sora) is "far too nice for his own good."
** Also concerning Sora, his {{messia|nicArchetype}}h status was greatly exaggerated over time. With how clearly it's been made lately that the entire universe rests on him and every single character is connected to him somehow, you'd almost forget that he's not even the universe's original [[TheChosenOne Chosen One]] (he accidentally stole the job from Riku).
%%* FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin: Happens a lot, notably to "Ansem", Leon, Aerith, and Kairi.
* FlightStrengthHeart: The [[GreenLanternRing Keyblade]] can do a lot of things, one of which is to [[MundaneUtility act like a key]]. [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower Which turns out to be its strongest ability by far]].
%%* ForDoomTheBellTolls: "Showdown at Hollow Bastion", replacing the usual piano chords in the Organization's {{leitmotif}}.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The very nature of the "Dive to the Heart" location as a dreamworld located within one's Heart, encountered many times throughout the series by the games' various protagonists as a tutorial location, retroactively becomes this when Roxas is able to unwittingly visit it within ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' [[spoiler:foreshadowing the fact that he had managed to develop a heart all on his own in spite of being a Nobody, a race of beings said to have no hearts]].
* FragileSpeedster: Ventus's fighting style centers around speed and agility, but the normal individual attacks don't do much damage and he cannot take much punishment.
%%** Larxene from the Organization as well.
%%** Anti-Form, if you know how to use it.
%%* FreeRotatingCamera
%%* FunnyAnimal: Mickey and Co.
%%* FusionDance: The drive forms, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation but only if you count the logic in the gameplay.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: G - O]]
%%* GambitPileup: ''Chain of Memories'', ''Kingdom Hearts II'', ''358/2 Days'', ''Birth By Sleep''...
* GambitRoulette:
** Master Xehanort. [[spoiler:He had been manipulating Terra and Ven for ''years'' to accomplish his goals. In the end, Terra, Aqua, and Ven used ThePowerOfFriendship to stop him, but not before getting totally screwed over in the process]]. And he [[CrazyPrepared had some backup plans just in case the first one would fail]] so...
*** And in Dream Drop Distance, we get [[spoiler:a plan that involved all of the previous plans going off exactly as they did so that a crazily convoluted plan involving time travel and dreams to finish what every single game previous has set up can go off according to plan.]]
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration:
** On the one hand, the developers put a lot of thought into making the gameplay reinforce the idea of teamwork and friendship. By and large, it's not too Anvilicious and almost universally regarded as fun. You also have a lot of little tidbits highlighting Sora's growth in skill.
** Within Hollow Bastion from the first game, [[spoiler: Belle conveniently becomes missing from the Princess of Hearts even when they're rescued just to give Beast the reason to still be with Sora and the gang]].
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: It is said many times that The Heartless can only be defeated with the Keyblade... yet Donald and Goofy (and whatever guest character who happens to join for the level) can mow down tons of them by themselves. ''358/2 Days'' clarifies things: Heartless '''can''' be defeated by any weapon, but they'll just come back some time afterward. The Keyblade is the only weapon that can purify the hearts that make up the Heartless upon defeating them, vanquishing them for good.
%%* GangplankGalleon: Neverland (''Peter Pan'')
* GenreBlind: Increasingly so as the series has gone on, the heroes haven't yet clued in that [[BreakingSpeech listening to Xehanort is never a good idea]], but they let him do in anyway instead of just summoning the Keyblade and lunging at him when he appears. ''3D'' is particularly problematic about this, since of all people Sora and Riku should know better by now.
%%* GladiatorSubquest
* GlassCannon:
** Aqua in Birth By Sleep is a master mage, mastering every element and is incredibly agile and strong. But she cannot take a hit early on in the game.
%%** Sora's Anti-Form maximizes his attack, but minimizes his defense and removes any way of recovering health.
%%* GrandTheftMe: Introduced at the end of the first game, the rest of the series more or less revolves around it.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage:
** Italian titles for the background tracks are not uncommon. ''358/2 Days'' throws in some French.
** In the Japanese version of ''358/2 Days'', Xaldin's weapons all have Chinese names. Larxene's weapons have French names in both versions.
%%* GreenHillZone: Hundred Acre Wood (''Franchise/WinnieThePooh'')
* GreenLanternRing: OK, as of ''Birth by Sleep,'' Keyblade wielders can smack you up, cast magic, lock and unlock pretty much anything, teleport the Keyblade back to their hand, create portals to other worlds, generate armor, turn their Keyblades into spaceships, and [[spoiler:create elaborate castles out of rubble.]] In fact, they aren't limited to turning into ships. [[spoiler:Terra's Lingering Will]] could turn his into [[TheStraightAndArrowPath a bow]], a fist weapon, a whip, a staff, ''a rocket launcher'' [[spoiler:which was the only one of these that we know Terra actually learned, and even split it into DualWielding a pair of axe]. [[spoiler:No Heart]] was capable of turning it into a shield (complete with magic barrier), a claw, a boot, and PowerGivesYouWings a pair of wings. [[spoiler:Master Xehanort used his to possess Terra, summon a portal to the Realm of Darkness, and create Vanitas.]] And as of ''3D'', we can add [[spoiler:TimeTravel.]]
%%* GrimReaper: A hidden boss [[spoiler:Phantom]] from the first game counts. Another is actually a boss in ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
%%* GuestStarPartyMember: Most worlds have one.
* HalloweenTown: "Halloween Town", a world based upon ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''. It's named after the main area of the world which happens to be a town that houses the physical manifestation of Hallowen.
* {{Hammerspace}}:
** Where else do you think the Keyblade goes when Sora's not carrying it?
** The intelligent Nobodies can also call forth spiritual weapons at will, or at least most of them can.
** ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'' shows Donald and Goofy pull their weapons out thin air, complete with pretty lights. Sure, Donald's a magician, but Goofy...
** Ventus actually pulls a ''huge wooden'' keyblade from somewhere behind him during a cutscene in Neverland.
** Averted in the manga, where Sora carries the Keyblade on his person.
%%* HartmanHips:
%%** Hilariously, Sora gets these when he's in his mer-dolphin Atlantica form.
%%** It's kind of hard to tell under the cloak, but Larxene, the only actual female in Organization XIII.
%%* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: This games proves this in spades, no matter how much some villains [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway think otherwise]] at times.
%%* TheHeartless: The creatures from which [[TropeNamer the trope is named.]]
* HelpfulMook: The mushroom Heartless (with the exception of the Black Fungus) are the only Heartless that aren't inherently evil, rewarding Sora if they've been hit with the right spell, but running away if attacked a few times. Even [[spoiler:Mushroom XIII]], the EliteMook variation of them, aren't evil - they just want to play combat-based minigames with Sora. [[spoiler:They even reward Sora with an extra Keyblade and a token of appreciation in a form of a crown saying thanks should you complete all 13 of their minigames]].
%%* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Sora]] in the first game, [[spoiler:Axel]] and Ansem in the second game. [[spoiler:The former two come back, the latter doesn't.]]
* HijackedByGanon: In any given game, you can be sure that if some incarnation of Xehanort isn't behind everything, one of his subordinates is. The only game where this isn't true is ''coded'', where the BigBad is [[spoiler:Sora's Heartless]], but Xehanort still indirectly caused the being's creation.
* HPToOne: Because of the Once More and Second Chance abilities, the developers have deigned it necessary to practically ''require'' the use of them in order to survive, especially on harder difficulties and with the later/bonus bosses. Thus, rather than having bosses with HP to One-type attacks, they simply have massive attack power which will always reduce you to within an inch of your life, regardless of your defense stat. Perhaps a form of FakeDifficulty, some bosses degenerate into the pattern: attack --> get hit by one attack (hanging on with 1 HP) --> heal --> get hit by another attack --> dodge like crazy waiting for your magic to regenerate so you can heal again --> repeat.
%%* HumanoidAbomination: The entirety of Organization XIII and Nobodies in general.
* HumansAreWhite: The only non-white characters in the main cast are Xemnas, Ansem [=SoD=], and Xehanort. [[spoiler:And they're really all the same person.]]
* IceMagicIsWater: Water-themed monster as considered Ice-type. This trope creates a GuideDangIt on why the player should use Fire magic against, say, Demyx.
* IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels: Beginner, Standard, Hard, Proud, and Critical.
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes:
** Zippers galore, even on hats!
** Dusks actually have zippers for ''mouths''.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Keyblades. While consistently referred to as swords and variably used in many varieties of fighting styles including mediums for channeling magic, at the end of the day, Keyblades are still just giant keys. How most of them can actually cut anything is a mystery since only a small handful have any sort of cutting edge or even points on the striking side.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Sora's giant key, Goofy's shield, Demyx's sitar, Zexion's lexicon (a book)...
* InconsistentDub:
** [[DubNameChange Renames]] to Heartless are occasionally inconsistent.
** All games prior to ''[=KH2=]'' were dubbed into various European languages, but all games released afterwards only had English voice tracks for their Europe-wide releases (although text was still translated). Oddly enough, Quebec[[note]]and the rest of Canada and the US too, but they don't care as much and aren't affected by the pseudo-law mentioned here[[/note]] only received games up to ''[=KH2=]'' in English, and only started having French options for the game[[note]]on the same cartridge as English and other European languages[[/note]] ''at the very point'' where they stopped providing French audio, which just happened to coincide with a pseudo-law requiring games to be released in French in the province.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: The Oblivion keychain can be gotten in-game once you pass a certain event. While it's not Ultima, it's still pretty fantastic. Its attack power is outstripped only by Ultima and Fenrir, and doesn't have the latter's downgraded magic stats.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Ultima Weapon. Good luck hunting down all the synthesis items. Also, Final Form is an [[UpToEleven Infinity+1 Super Mode]].
%%* InstrumentOfMurder: Demyx's sitar.
* InvisibleParents: Aside from Sora's mom having a line in KH, the main trio's parents are entirely absent from the story thus far. Parent figures in general are pretty thin on the ground.
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine: Sora's interactions with ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' characters, since Haley Joel Osment voiced Chip in [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeastTheEnchantedChristmas one of the direct to video sequels]]. Also in the Japanese version of Birth by Sleep, [[Creator/RyotaroOkiayu Terra's seiyuu]] voiced [[VideoGame/MegaManX Zero]], and [[Creator/ChikaoOhtsuka Master Xehanort's actor]] voiced [[MegaManZero Dr. Weil]]. And in Re: Chain of Memories, Kairi and NaminÚ, are respectively voiced by Alyson Stoner and Meghan Jette Martin who played archenemies in CampRock.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: As Mickey says in ''Re:coded'', "I should have known there were no coincidences--only links in a much larger chain of events." Looking at the series chronologically in-universe helps one make sense of it, but the mythos of the series is so deeply entwined that you need knowledge of the plot of every game to understand it; something not everyone can afford since the series is expanded through (so far) ''SIX' different game platforms (but there are numerous remakes that mean you can disregard the mobile and Gameboy Advance titles). By this point it's pretty much impossible to follow the overarching story if you just pick a random game and dive in. And as of ''Dream Drop Distance'', on top of the MindScrew, MindRape, human cloning, death and resurrection, alternate dimensions and GambitRoulette games, [[spoiler:we're adding ''time travel'' to the equation now.]]
%%* JungleJapes: Deep Jungle (''Tarzan''), The Pridelands (''The Lion King''), and Neverland (''Peter Pan'')
%%* KingMook:
%%** Darkside.
%%** Also, Twilight Thorn (Big Nobody).
%%* LandSeaSky: the main characters' names follow this.
%%* LargeHam: "It is I, '''Ansem''', the Seeker of '''Darkness'''."
%%** SUBMIT!!
%%** [=KingDOM=] ''HEARTS!!'' '''''FILL''''' ME...WITH THE ''POWER'' OF '''''DARKNESS!!''''' Yes, that is exactly what he sounds like.
%%** Xemnas, for a guy who's supposed to have no emotions whatsoever, comes across as this anyway.
%%*** BEGONE!
%%*** CUUURRSSEEED '''FOOOOOOOOOLS'''.
%%*** HEARTS. ARE. POWER.
%%*** NOTHINGNESS. IS. ETERRRRRRRRNAAAAAAAAAAAAL!
* LateArrivalSpoiler:
** Roxas is Sora's Nobody.
** Axel is the only Organization member to return from the Castle Oblivion mission.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Auron]] is DeadAllAlong.
** The prologue to ''II'' spoils pretty much all of the original game and ''Chain Of Memories'', including the endings to both games.
* LegacyBossBattle:
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]] appears as a BonusBoss in ''Kingdom Hearts'' and ''Kingdom Hearts II''. The first one as one of the coliseum matches with no context except for one Final Mix exclusive cutscene, the latter game has him cameo during the 1000 Heartless War where he asks where Cloud is, vanishes and then taunts Cloud a little bit later.
** The Absent Silhouettes in ''Kingdom Hearts II: [[UpdatedRerelease Final Mix]]'' are {{Bonus Boss}}es against the members of Organization XII that had "died" in ''Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories''.
** Xehanort (or rather [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII Xemnas]] and [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsDreamDropDistance Young Xehanort]]) invert the trope, as they [[EarlyBirdCameo first appeared]] as {{Bonus Boss}}es in ''Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix'' and ''Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep'', respectively, albeit with their identity hidden from the characters (and the audience).
* LegacyCharacter: Many games have new characters that physically resemble established characters and often have similar personalities and abilities. This is actually almost universally significant, as it means those characters are likely connected to each other in some manner. The exception is Aqua and Kairi, whose connection ([[spoiler:Aqua inadvertently named Kairi her successor as Master]]) is comparatively superficial, thus, Aqua looking like an older Kairi and happening to be friends with Legacy Characters of Sora and Riku, is just coincidence.
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** Kairi, Sora, Riku, Roxas, NaminÚ, Xion, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra all have their own theme tunes, although Xion's uses riffs from Kairi's, Ventus's is a combination of Roxas's and Sora's, and Aqua's and Terra's are lifted wholesale from "Fate of the Unknown" [[[spoiler:Aqua's theme also has riffs from Castle Oblivion's world and battle themes]]].
** Battles against [[spoiler:Riku and/or "Ansem"]] in the first two games open with identical organ chords.
** The vast majority of tunes related to Organization XIII use some part of "Another Side"'s melody.
** Many late stages and some final boss battles use an arrangement of "Destati".
** Several other themes also have riffs from [[RecurringRiff Dearly Beloved]].
** All of the Nobodies' themes seem to be the normal characters' themes (for those that have them) slightly altered.
* LetsGetDangerous: See, Demyx has all the work ethic of a bar of soap. He goes above and beyond the call of {{Dismotivation}}, running and hiding at the first sign of combat. Sa´x tries and fails to get Roxas to motivate him. But put a traitor in front of him, and you better run for your life.
%%* LetterMotif: X for Organization XIII.
%%* TheLifestream: The actual Kingdom Hearts, also known as "the Heart of all Worlds".
* LightEmUp: Sora, Roxas, Xion, Ventus, Aqua and Mickey all have powerful light spells and/or abilities.
%%* LiteralChangeOfHeart: [[spoiler:Kairi and Sora]].
* LiteralSplitPersonality:
** Sora's Nobody, Roxas [[spoiler:and his replica, Xion]]. They're put back together in one being by the end, but Roxas and [[spoiler:Xion]] still exist somewhere in Sora, somehow - but the games never really explore any possible future consequences of that might have. However, ''Birth by Sleep'' and ''coded'' shows that [[spoiler:part of Ventus's [[note]]who, in turn, may have Vanitas's[[/note]] heart was absorbed into Sora, and that all of the people in Sora will likely get their own bodies back in a future game.]]
** ''coded'' alludes to some of the issues involving clones/copies/replicas/etc. While ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' put forth the idea that they should be re-absorbed with the original and don't have true identities of their own, ''coded'' seems to argue that copies who develop connections to others are deserving of their own identity.
** [[spoiler:''Dream Drop Distance'' shows that Sora thinks they deserve to be their own people, not just a part of him. If this means anything, it's that they ''will'' be back.]]
** [[spoiler:Not counting the people Xenahort goes GrandTheftMe on, there's his Heartless Ansem, his Nobody Xemnas, and his younger self who all coexist with each other]].
%%* LivingMemory: The Remnants; there is [[spoiler:Vanitas's Remnant]] in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', and the Absent Silhouettes in ''Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix''.
%%* LivingShadow: The Heartless, some varieties moreso than others.
%* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: It achieves Loads and Loads of Characters from just the original cast. A group of thirteen villains, a full cast in the prequel game and the numerous Replicas, Clones and alternate copies make a huge cast, most of which being relatively important. The main antagonist himself nearly counts as loads of characters there's so many different incarnations of him.
* LuckySeven: The Princesses of heart are seven human incarnations of light. ''3D'' introduces the idea of [[spoiler:seven guardians of light]].
%%** Mostly from the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon.
* MacGuffinLocation: The Chamber of Waking, which [[spoiler:houses a comatose Ventus]], and is located in Castle Oblivion. Somewhere. Only [[spoiler:Aqua]] (the person who created the Castle) is capable of finding it again.
%%* MacroZone: Wonderland (''Alice in Wonderland'') and Castle of Dreams (''Cinderella'')
%%* MadeOfEvil: The Heartless and their predecessors the Unversed.
* MagicAIsMagicA: An underlying component, and one that may be surprising to newcomers or those merely scanning the plot, is that the series ''is'' internally consistent. Retcons exist, usually for the purpose of clarifying/simplifying the cosmology, and the first installment is often glossed over. Despite this, [[JigsawPuzzlePlot the myriad plot points]] all conform to what is an overarching storyline.
%%* MagicKnight: All Keyblade wielders and most of Organization XIII.
* {{Magitek}}: All over the place, most prominently the Gummi Ship and the Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden laboratories. When you're talking about a physical machine that subjects someone's heart to darkness in order to shatter their heart and turn them into a Heartless, it's hard to draw the line between science and magic in this series.
* MalevolentArchitecture: The Land of Departure lies directly between the light and dark realms. WordOfGod clarifies that the castle houses a mechanism that transforms it to invoke this trope should it fall into the wrong hands, and ''that's'' how Aqua made [[spoiler:Castle Oblivion]].
%%* ManaMeter: In some games.
%%* ManaPotion: Ethers and some enemy item drops.
%%* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: Between Disney and Square Enix.
* MeaningfulName:
** Sora means sky, the "kai" in Kairi means sea, and Riku means land. Also, the Keyblade Knights in ''Birth by Sleep'' happen to be called Ven(tus), Aqua, and Terra. ''[[TheUntwist Hmmmmm.]]'')
** There's also NaminÚ. "Nami" is a word for "[[spoiler:ocean wave]]". Remember whose Nobody she is?
** The first part of Xion's name- "shio"- is the word for "[[spoiler:tide]]".
** "Shion" is also the name of a plant associated with memories in Japan.
** Xion's name, sans the "X", is an anagram for "No i". For those who do not understand, "i" is [[spoiler:a mathematical term for the square root of -1, an imaginary number]].
** To be specific, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra stand for wind, water, and earth respectively.
** Nomura really went all out with Vanitas. Not only does it mean "emptiness" in Latin and looks like Ventus, but [[spoiler:the kanji for emptiness is the same one as the one for sky.]] His name is connected to a Biblical quote, as well -- "all is vanity" [[spoiler:and a ''striving after wind'']]. Now consider what he spent most of the game doing...
* {{Metafiction}}: The series has acquired a surprising amount of meta subtext.
** NaminÚ and Xion deconstruct a lot of tropes associated with the MarySue[=/=]SelfInsertFic tendencies of the fandom's fanfic writers, demonstrating that they're only useful because of their CommonMarySueTraits and their presence generally just causes a lot more complications and problems for the heroes and the story than if they had never existed, as well as the contrivances and {{Retcon}}s needed to make their existences plausible.
** ''Dream Drop Distance'', without going into spoilers, makes reference to a group of 7 and a group of 13, and the arrival of the 13th member of the latter group completes the set. The series contains seven base games current -- ''Kingdom Hearts'', ''Chain of Memories'', ''Kingdom Hearts II'', ''coded'', ''358/2 Days'', ''Birth By Sleep'', and ''Dream Drop Distance''. Add in the {{Updated Rerelease}}s of all games except ''Dream Drop Distance'' and ''Days'', and that's an additional 5, bringing the total to 12, and the promised ''Kingdom Hearts III'' makes thirteen. If Nomura really didn't have all this planned out from Day One, he is playing some mean XanatosSpeedChess to make it all work together.
** [[spoiler:The 7 and 13 form the χ-blade, formerly attempted to be formed by Ventus and Vanitas, but they didn't form a complete union. There's been two HD re-release bundles for the series that bring the first six games into HD, but they're missing ''3D'' and thus the series is not complete just with them.]]
%%* MetalSlime: White Mushrooms and Rare Truffes to some degree, Black Fungus all the way.
%%* MightyGlacier: Goofy.
%%* MonsterArena: Olympus Coliseum (''Hercules'') and Mirage Arena
* MonsterMash: Sora, Donald and Goofy take on monster-like forms in [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas Halloween Town]], with Sora wearing a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire attire]] with fangs, white skin and an eyepatch, Donald being wrapped like a {{mummy}}, and Goofy becoming a parody of FrankensteinsMonster.
* MorphWeapon: Keyblades do this in two different ways: using different keychains makes them take on different looks and abilities while retaining the same basic shape, while characters from the ''Birth by Sleep'' era can morph their signature Keyblades into many things. The "Gear" system in ''Days'' means this also applies to the weapons of the Organization - fittingly, their signature weapons are among their most powerful.
%%* MsFanservice:
%%** Aqua.
%%** Also Kairi from ''II'', to an extent.
* MuseumGame: To varying degrees. For example, the first and second main games in the series not only have you visiting different Disney movies and interacting with the characters, but there's even an information gallery with details about the characters (albeit their role in ''Kingdom Hearts'' rather than their own movies specifically), including details of when the character was first created, and occasionally trivia (e.g. "Doorknob was the only character in ''Alice in Wonderland'' who wasn't in the original book").
* MushroomMan: The Mushroom Heartless family, which includes White Mushrooms, Black Fungi, Rare Truffles, and Pink Agaricuses.
* MythologyGag:
** The victory poses the characters sometimes do is highly reminiscent of the victory poses Franchise/FinalFantasy characters often do.
** The way Genie is summoned within the first game is highly reminiscent of the scene in the original Disney/{{Aladdin}} when the Genie's first summoned out of the lamp, only instead of the lamp that's reacting, it's Sora's keyblade.
** The theme song for Disney Castle/Disney Town, the home setting of the classic Disney characters like Mickey, Donald and Goofy, is an instrumental remix of the opening song to ''Series/TheMickeyMouseClub''. It's even credited within the credits as "Mickey Mouse March" whenever the song's featured in one form or another (practically any game that portrays events within Disney Castle or Disney Town), the same as any other songs that weren't specifically composed for the game.
%%* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: All of the X obsessed Organization XIII.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** The progress the Organization has made with its plans is due to the unwitting help of Sora, Roxas and to a metaphysical extent, the player himself.
** According to ''coded'', thanks to killing off Xehanort's Heartless and Xemnas, Sora and Riku ended up reviving Xehanort, and not long thereafter, Master Xehanort. Justified in that according to Yen Sid, they ''had'' no other choice - Xehanort's Heartless and Xemnas both posed as very serious threats and that their universe really would collapse if they weren't taken out beforehand.
%%** Terra, Aqua, and Ven do this over and over again due to Xehanort manipulating them.
%%** Admittedly, the entire series falls under [[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose heads darkness wins, tails light loses]], so...
* NonIndicativeName: Starting with ''[=KH2=]'', [[RetCon retroactive continuity]] establishes that the Heartless are actually hearts that have been consumed by darkness, and it's the Nobodies ("no body") who are actually the empty shell of the body left behind when a heart is thus consumed.
* NonLethalKO: Party members just get dazed when defeated. After a breather (or some healing) they'll be ready for action again. This doesn't apply to Sora unless it's a battle Mickey shows up in.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: Applies strongly to Shiro Amano's manga adaptation. While the originals and Square Enix carryovers use his native art style, Amano goes to great lengths to imitate the art style of every Disney character's individual movie.
* NonStandardSkillLearning: The series spreads learning abilities across various methods (level up, progress the plot, defeat a boss, or complete some other challenge), but that comes across as not having one "standard" method in the first place. Though stat boosts come primarily through level-ups, so that might create an expectation that most character growth is from experience points.
%%* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain: Jiminy Cricket's Journal.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: In [=KH2=], Kairi and Mickey get [[spoiler:knocked outside the door to Kingdom Hearts as Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Riku go to fight Xemnas.]] But at the end of the battle, all six characters are shown facing [[spoiler:Xemnas]] in fighting pose, as if they HAD been fighting. Then, Square Enix... ''why didn't you just find a way to have them fight in the actual gameplay battle!?''
%%* OminousLatinChanting: "Destati" and all its derivatives.
%%* OminousPipeOrgan: "Forze Del Male" and "Beyond the Door" from ''Kingdom Hearts''; "Struggle Away", "The Force in You", "Revenge of Chaos", "The 13th Struggle", "Castle Oblivion", "Forgotten Challenge", "Graceful Assassin", and "Scythe of Petals" from ''Chain of Memories''; "Tension Rising", "The Corrupted", "The 13th Dilemma", and "Darkness of the Unknown" from ''Kingdom Hearts II''; and another boss theme from ''358/2 Days''.
%%* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: In the first game, ''Chain of Memories'', and ''II Final Mix'', overlaps with the LegionOfDoom.
* OneSteveLimit:
** Riku and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Rikku]]. Rikku was actually cut from the first game out of the fear that this would cause confusion, and her name is never actually spoken aloud when she appears in ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
** [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Jack Sparrow]] and [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas Jack Skellington]]. In the Japanese version, game interface calls the pirate "Sparrow" and the skeleton "Jack" to avoid confusion. In the US version, the game interface calls both of them 'Jack' but when you use an item on them (or cast cure on them) Sora will say "Jack!" for Skellington and "Captain!" for Sparrow.
%%* OneWingedAngel: Most final bosses do this at least once. We're talking about SquareEnix AND {{Disney}}, King and Queen of this trope. [[note]]In case you're wondering, this was the debut of trope-naming wing belonging to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth.]][[/note]]
* OnlyFriend: During [[spoiler:Axel]]'s death scene, he tells Sora that Roxas was the only one he liked, and basically his only friend.
* OverratedAndUnderleveled: Zig-zagged.
** Sora restarts each game he stars in at level one when he was one-shotting enemies and soloing bosses in the previous game. However; it's explained in ''Chain of Memories'' as being ''forced'' to forget, and at the start of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', he was [[spoiler:spending the past year asleep, progress being hampered by Roxas and Xion.]] In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', his and Riku's reversion back to Level 1 deals with them entering the Sleeping Worlds and losing all of their abilities to [[spoiler:learn the proper techniques for Keyblade Masters]]. Sora then [[spoiler:gets his heart temporarily shattered and goes comatose for a while]] at the end of that game, the damage and need to recover from which explains his drop back to level one for the next game.
** However, played completely straight with Donald and Goofy. When the court mage and knight-captain join Sora, they're at the level he is and only have a fraction of their abilities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: P - Z]]
%%* PaletteSwap: Many, many enemies in ''Days'' get this treatment.
%%* PalmTreePanic: Destiny Islands
%%** Even some of the Keyblade designs in ''Days'' get this treatment.
%%** The coloration of most Heartless in both ''Final Mixes'' are Palette-Swapped compared to their original games for no particular reason. The original colorations are the canon ones, though.
* ParadoxPerson:
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' goes as far to say that Nobodies should not even exist.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' went even further with the should-not-be aspect with [[spoiler:Xion, her being just a puppet holding and absorbing memories of Sora]].
* ParentalAbandonment: Kairi's grandma, Ariel's father and Simba's dad are the only parental characters given any screentime. Of those three, Mufasa is dead and Kairi's grandma hasn't been seen since Radiant Garden fell. Sora's mom gets ''one'' line from offscreen near the start of the first game. Anyone else's parents are either [[InvisibleParents invisible]], implied to be dead (Ienzo), or completely unmentioned.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Played embarrassingly straight in II on several occasions. The passwords were (the first two of these were correctly guessed on the first try): "[[spoiler:Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Alice, Jasmine, Cinderella, Kairi]]," "[[spoiler:Sea-salt ice cream]]," and [[spoiler:"Sora, Donald, and Goofy"]].
* PiecesOfGod: In game mythology, "the light" was once whole; but was shattered; and the pieces survived in the hearts of children.
* PopStarComposer: UtadaHikaru writes the theme music for the series.
%%* PortTown: Port Royal (''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'')
* ThePowerOfFriendship: This concept is key to the series, but it's usually done in such a well-executed manner as to still feel natural, despite being idealistic. Keyblades in particular appear to be drawn to individuals who have strong hearts, and thus, exemplify this trope.
* PowerTrio: Sora! Donald! Goofy! [[CombinationAttack Trinity Attack!]]
* PressXToNotDie: Thrown around everywhere with ''[=KH2=]'' with Triangle, and has become a staple of the series, only being not used in the handheld titles.
%%* PowerUpMagnet: The "Treasure Magnet" ability.
* ProlongedPrologue:
** The second game is notorious for this. The first game is no slouch in this department, either, though most of the stuff you can do on Destiny Islands is optional. However, the spin-off games are typically a lot better at this. ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'''s prologue is both very brief and can be skipped on subsequent playthroughs (which is helpful since there are three separate storylines to get through), and ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'' barely has a prologue at all.
** Ironically, the minute Ventus starts messing around for the tutorial, [[MythologyGag he stops and questions why he was doing all that]] when he was on his way to see the meteor shower.
-->"Wait. What am I messing around here for?"
* RainbowPimpGear:
** With space ships, no less. While the Gummi ship editor are clearly there with creativity in mind, more often than not you won't always have matching blocks to pull off a specific design. Similarly, a Gummi's HP is directly proportional to the amount of blocks it has. As a result, most Gummi ships will end up becoming literal {{Flying Brick}}s with miss-matching blocks with [[MoreDakka tons of guns attached to the front]] and the best engines in the back, with actual wings being considered a DumpStat. Similarly, if you choose to go with the AIBreaker tactic, replace literal FlyingBrick with a giant flying donut.
** Some Keyblade designs themselves can verge on this at times, being the only thing that averts NoCutsceneInventoryInertia. Sure, Keyblades beyond the one you'll start out with will have vastly better stats, but it can occasionally make cutscenes look unintentionally {{narm}}ish when Sora has something like [[http://www.khwiki.com/images/0/0d/Decisive_Pumpkin_KHII.png Decisive Pumpkin]] equipped. [[note]]And considering it dishes out the highest physical damage in [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII the game]]...[[/note]]
%%* RecoveryAttack
* RecurringElement: It takes some from ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'', such as Moogles, summon monsters, and the magic system.
* RecurringRiff: No matter which series installment you're playing, the title screen will always have some variation of "Dearly Beloved". Another standout is "Destati", which has been left out of only two games.
* RedOniBlueOni: Sora's Valor Form and Wisdom Form. The former uses exclusively physical attacks, while the latter relies on magic.
** Donald would probably like to be this to Sora, but fails due to his own {{Greed}}.
%%** Sora and Riku, Sora and Roxas, Axel and Sa´x, Terra and Aqua, Hayner and Roxas, the list could possibly go on.
* RefusedByTheCall: Sora at first. He wouldn't have gotten to be TheHero if Riku hadn't [[RefusalOfTheCall gotten impatient and used the darkness to leave Destiny Islands]].
* {{Retcon}}: Arguably the main reason why [[KudzuPlot so many people have problems following the overarching story]]. The BigBad's origin story is by far the worst offender, which seems to change with every major installment (read, the two numbered entries, ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'').
* ReplayMode: The series has a cutscene replay feature as an unlockable that can be viewed from the title screen (the feature's been there since the UpdatedRerelease of ''II'').
* RetGone:
** [[spoiler:while Sora is sleeping and NaminÚ is reconstructing his memories between ''Chain of Memories'' and ''Kingdom Hearts II'', everyone who knew him forgets that he existed until he awakens again.]]
** [[spoiler:Everyone had forgotten Xion when she died]], which is devastating to watch after seeing the development in ''358/2 Days''. [[spoiler:As of ''3D'', she's being remembered more, by Sora, Riku, and possibly Roxas.]]
%%* TheRival: Riku is this for Sora, [[spoiler:at least until the end of the second game.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge:
** For the ''player'' rather than anyone in the game. Seriously, name something from a Disney film that scared the bejeezus out of you as a kid. Maleficent, Chernobog, Ursula, Oogie Boogie... odds are good that whatever you named, you're gonna get to dish out some long overdue payback on.
** Also played in-universe during a scene on [[spoiler:Hollow Bastion. After defeating Demyx, a rock falls toward King Mickey. Goofy shoves the King out of the way only to catch the rock dead on his head himself. For all appearances, Goofy is now dead. After a brief mourning scene, Mickey declares that "they'll pay for this", throwing off his cloak, revealing his Keyblade and leaping into the battle, followed by one pissed-off Donald!]]
%%** Roxas goes on one after [[spoiler:Xion dies]], but is cut short by [[spoiler:Riku]].
%%** The entire ending portion of [[spoiler:Terra]]'s storyline becomes this in ''Birth By Sleep''.
* RuleOfSymbolism: There's a lot of Taoist symbolism, namely the themes of duality and how nothing can exist without its opposite to give it proper meaning; namely, yin and yang, neither of which is innately evil. This is seen in the series with the balance of light and darkness, the belief that DarkIsNotEvil, its just misused, and the existences of the Nobodies and Heartless. Furthermore, the three realms of Light, Darkness and Nothingness, tie into the "third" element of yin and yang, wuji, which symbolizes nothingness and limitlessness.
* RuleOfThree: Three, thanks to the Trinity motif, is an ArcNumber fr the series. There are three enemy types (Heartless, Nobody, Unversed), several trios of characters, the realms of Light, Darkness, and Nothingness, three paths at the start (Sword, Shield or Staff), three ways of levelling up (journey begins at dawn, midday or dusk), three party members at a time...
%%* SavingTheWorld: ''Worlds'', plural. However, the worlds are collectively referred to as "The World" in ''Birth by Sleep''.
* SayMyName:
** In the Secret End of ''Birth by Sleep'' [[spoiler:regardless of their state of existence, NaminÚ, Roxas, Xion, Ven, Terra and Aqua pray to Sora's name across time and space.]]
** ''Kingdom Hearts II'' have Sora, Donald and Goofy referred to or greeted in that exact order almost 100% of the time.
* SecondHourSuperpower:
** The Keyblade from the original. Sora starts out with a wooden sword.
** Also, Roxas's keyblade. He starts with a struggle bat.
* SelfInsertFic: Literally done with the [[Franchise/WinnieThePooh 100 Acre Wood]], in which Sora inadvertently rewrites the story by finding the pages and interacting with the residents to include himself as a prominent character. It even includes him on the cover where Christopher Robin would've been when you clear the stage and find the keyhole.
* SequelHook: The HundredPercentCompletion secret movies. Especially the ones in the [[UpdatedRerelease Final Mixes]]. Each Final Mix also has a BonusBoss that serves as this purpose--Xehanort in ''KH1 Final Mix'' (his Organization appears in the following ''Chain of Memories'', and he himself reappears in ''KH2''), the Lingering Will in ''KH2 Final Mix'' (he reappears in ''Birth by Sleep''), and the Unknown in ''BBS Final Mix'' (he reappears in ''Dream Drop Distance'').
* SentientCosmicForce: The Light; among other possibilities, this is the stuff of which worlds and people are made. It's apparently also the source and distributor of the Keyblades and Sora's initial visions. Can also impart Mysterious Monologues with the best of them.
* SequentialBoss: No self-respecting final boss in this series would be caught dead without at least three forms.
** [[spoiler:The Virus version of Data Roxas encountered in the 13-level Sector in Hollow Bastion has ''four'' forms.]]
%%** Except for Marluxia before the UpdatedRerelease.
%%** [[spoiler:Data Roxas]] in ''Re:Coded'' only has one part to his battle although both Data Riku and [[DiscOneFinalBoss Sora's Heartless]] qualify.
%%* ShadowArchetype: The series loves these, using all sorts throughout the games.
%%* EnemyWithin:
%%** Ansem Seeker of Darkness for Riku.
%%** [[spoiler:Master Xehanort for Terra.]]
%%* EnemyWithout: [[spoiler:Vanitas for Ven.]]
%%* JekyllAndHyde:
%%** Sora and his Anti-Form.
%%** [[spoiler:Riku and "Ansem" in ''Kingdom Hearts II'', in an interesting inversion.]]
* ShiftingSandLand: Agrabah (''Aladdin'')
* ShipSinking: [[spoiler:Axel]] specifically states that he considers romantic love (the kind between [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle and Beast]] being the topic-starter) and love between best friends to be completely separate.
%%** [[spoiler:Xemnas/Sa´x is torpedoed in ''358/2 Days''.]]
* ShooOutTheClowns: In the original game, played straight with the Hollow Bastion ClimaxBoss, but subverted in the final battle (in which Donald and Goofy rejoin you gradually). Played straight at the end of ''Kingdom Hearts II'', in which Sora and Riku are the only heroes at the final battle, but that's because Donald and Goofy had just left earlier after everyone ''thought'' that Xemnas was dead already.
%%* ShootEmUp: With the Gummi Ships.
* ShoutOut:
** The majority of {{Mook}} Nobodies are named after the various job classes in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, and often behave as such.
** The Darkside Heartless is named after ''Tales from the Darkside'', an anthology horror TV series. The Twilight Thorn is called [[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]] in Japanese, referencing another famous horror TV series.
** The poses Sora does when he wins a tournament round in the first game are victory poses from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX X]]''.
** Most of the Gummi Ship names are names of various airships from the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games.
** Xigbar's [[RedBaron title]], "Freeshooter", is taken from the title of the German opera ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_FreischŘtz Der FreischŘtz]]''. The eponymous marksman makes a DealWithTheDevil in exchange for seven magical bullets; the first six are controlled by the marksman while the seventh is controlled by the Devil.
* ShownTheirWork: Repeatedly. The development staff has access to the whole of Disney canon to look at for concepts, and they go the extra mile to represent them well. Numerous locations look just like they did in the films, and many voice actors return to reprise their roles.
* SigilSpam:
** The Heartless emblem and the Nobody sigil both show up on pretty much anything connected to their groups. The Unversed sigil also get the same treatment, as well the Dreameaters.
* SignificantAnagram:
** All of Organization XIII; each of their names is an anagram of the old selves' name with an added X. Leads to EpilepticTrees about the original names of the "other" members.
** Xehanort especially. Get rid of the X and we get both "No Heart" and "Another". Nomura says both were entirely intentional.
** Eraqus can also be arranged as "Square." Almost a complete reversal of the name in fact, just with the "u" being placed after the "q" to follow English vocabulary rules. This is done to make him a counterpart to Yen Sid, which is "Disney" spelt backwards.
%%* SlasherSmile:
%%** Axel displays these in ''KH:[=ReCoM=]'' during Vexen's and Zexion's deaths, and before fighting Roxas for the last time in ''II''.
%%** Ansem, when he takes over Riku after he kills Lexaeus.
%%** Vanitas and Master Xehanort display them quite often in ''Birth By Sleep''.
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: Level 5 (Full Lockout). From the second game onward the games head straight into KudzuPlot with any detail potentially {{Foreshadowing}} future games (Xigbar's cryptic lines in ''II'' being an example). ''Dream Drop Distance'' has "memoirs" thought that record the plots of the preceeding games and unlocks them when a ContinuityNod[=/=]CallBack to the respective game first occurs. Making the games a Level 4 (Arc-Based Episodic) at least (though without that game it still remains at 5). ''Birth By Sleep'' tones it down to a Level 3, with the story being self-contained and easy to understand if you've not played the other games, but there's a lot of {{Call Forward}}s and Foreshadowing for future games that will be lost on a new player.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: Shifts from silliness towards seriousness within each game, and over the series as whole.
%%* TheSoulless: Well Heartless, if you want to get technical, but the Nobodies fit this like a glove.
%%* SpaceZone: Deep Space (''Lilo and Stitch'')
%%* SpamAttack: Ars Arcanum.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Sora and Co. have an amazing ability to tear complicated schemes to pieces without ever fully understanding them. (Though they do have help.)
* SpeedyTechnoRemake: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdcArkLDAJk The PlanitB remix]] of "Simple and Clean", used in the openings of the first game and ''Birth by Sleep''.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Never Land or Neverland? Never Land is probably right, given that it was written as "the Never Never Land" in the original play (''Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up'').
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' series was succeeded by Kingdom Hearts, more or less. ''[[http://dsn.91.com/ Disney Fantasy Online]]'' is a spiritual successor to Kingdom Hearts, as it's essentially Kingdom Hearts online with the SquareEnix properties filed off but with the Nomura art style and core concepts retained.
%%* SquishyWizard: Donald, ''in spades''. Aqua can be a bit like this as well.
%%* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Happens a few times to different characters, and is wonderfully subverted by Disney/{{B|eautyAndTheBeast}}elle in ''[=KH2=]''.
* TheStationsOfTheCanon:
** Take a drink every time Sora and company intervene to make sure that the Stations of the Disney Canon happen properly.
** KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories turns visiting the Stations of Kingdom Hearts into a ''plot point''--The Important Promise is [[spoiler: changed by Namine so that Sora remembers her as the one he made that promise to]].
* StarsAreSouls: ''Kingdom Hearts'' is a bit iffy on this one. Usually, the stars in the ''KH'' universe represent worlds as a whole and they disappear from the night sky when that particular world is submerged in darkness. Then, in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', we have the [[Disney/TheLionKing Pride Lands]] as a world, which reaffirms the plot point that the old rulers of Pride Rock become stars in the sky upon death. This is also shown in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', when, after [[spoiler:Master Xehanort strikes down Master Eraqus in front of a horrified Terra]], Yen Sid notes, [[spoiler:"Eraqus's star has blinked out."]] The contradictions can just be chalked up to the world running on the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality.
* StillWearingTheOldColors: Neither Roxas nor Xion ditch their Organization XIII cloaks after they quit the organization. It's unlikely that Roxas had time to buy anything else to wear and Xion probably was wearing it [[spoiler:to protect her heart from darkness, like Riku does]].
%%* StoneWall: Goofy, so very much.
* StoryDifficultySetting: A variant - ''Kingdom Hearts: 58/2 Days'' and ''Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded'' were both re-released in HD as the 1.5 Remix and 2.5 Remix, respectively. Each re-release featured cutscene-only versions of the game in question, removing all gameplay.
%%* SummonToHand: Keyblades can do this.
* SuperMode: Drive Forms:
** Valor Form cuts off magic, but grants DualWielding, SuperSpeed, and [[InASingleBound high jump]].
** Wisdom Form turns the Keyblade into an extreme MagicWand, gives a [[SuperSpeed speed dash]] ability, and turns your attack into a ProjectileSpell function. [[PowerFloats And it floats]].
** Master Form boosts [[MasterOfNone attack and magic to a lesser degree than the previous Forms]], but grants DualWielding and the ability to spam magic for as long as you have MP.
** Final Form is all of the above and cranks it UpToEleven. PowerGlows and PowerFloats (and {{Dual Wield|ing}}s floating Keyblades). It can [[NotQuiteFlight glide]] and [[InASingleBound high jump]]. Almost every action prompts rapid attacks from the Keyblades (including jumping, landing, and drinking a potion). Every physical and magical attack is a SpamAttack, to say nothing of the [[FinishingMove finisher versions]]. The only thing it lacks is Master Form's unlimited casting ability, but that's not much of a loss.
** Subverted with Anti-Form, which raises attack to maximum, but lowers defense to minimum. If you're good at evasion, this can destroy most enemies and even bosses pretty quickly, but you will drop after taking a few hits which makes this a double-edged sword.
** Lastly, Limit Form, a CallBack to Kingdom Hearts 1. It emulates Sora's old moveset and grants him his old [[LimitBreak Limit attacks]].
%%* SupportingLeader: Leon's role in the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee in ''[=KH2=]''.
* SurpriseCreepy: Especially if all you saw before playing was the Disney element or hadn't actually watched some of the Disney films featured (did you think ''Pinnocchio'' portrayed being swallowed by a whale ''nicely?'')
* TakenALevelInBadass: Mickey Mouse, in his cartoons sometimes goofy, overly polite but assertive. Now kicks all kind of ass in a BadassTrenchcoat to boot, and sometimes in KHII if Sora is losing in a boss fight, Mickey fights in his place, and is much more overpowered.
%%* TakeMyHand:
%%** Seen a lot with Riku and Sora (especially Riku, who makes it his pose in the opening cinematics of both ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''.)
%%** And Vanitas takes the same pose in the opening for ''Birth by Sleep'', facing Ventus.
%%** Axel does it in ''Chain of Memories'' to Sora, but he doesn't accept it. Seeing what we [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder learn of Axel later]], that was definitely the right choice to make.
%%** Axel also does this to Kairi in ''Kingdom Hearts II'' when he offers to take her to Sora, but she also doesn't accept. So naturally, kidnapping comes next.
* TakeUpMySword: One way someone claims a Keyblade is by performing The Rite of Succession with a Keyblade Master. A Keyblade still has to choose ''them'', though.
* TeensAreShort:
** Sora, Riku, Kairi, Roxas, NaminÚ, etc. are all shorter than almost ''all'' of the adults in the game. "Shorter than some" would be understandable, as would "slightly shorter than most", but there is a significant height gap most of the way through, at least for the males. Although Riku does hit a growth spurt after ''Chain of Memories'' and becomes "adult height" for ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''.
** Sora's growth spurt was nothing to scoff at either. The pants that reached his ankles in the original didn't even pass his knees in the sequel.
** Not really a teen, but seeing Goofy next to some of these other characters makes you realize that he's not so tall as much as all of his friends are just short.
** Gets really weird in ''3D'' when you see them interact with the cast of ''Film/TronLegacy'' (which are portrayed are as real, detailed, and unsettling humans) and see them tower over Sora and Riku.
* TerribleArtist: NaminÚ. Which may be forgivable as she is working in crayon then. In pencil, of course, she's completely amazing.
* ThemeNaming:
** The three major protagonists are named after the sky (Sora), land (Riku), and sea (Kairi).
** Their counterparts from Birth By Sleep match, being named after the wind (Ventus), earth (Terra), and water (Aqua).
** Kairi and the two Nobodies born from her from her have a theme of a Japanese word related to the ocean with an extra [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mora mora]] at the end: Kairi (''kai''/ocean+''ri''), NaminÚ (''nami''/wave+''nÚ''), and Xion (''shio''/tide+''n'').
** All the names of the Organization XIII members are anagrams of the names they had before they became Nobodies with an "x" added in.
** Some of the spinoff games have something of an internet theme ([[WordOfGod this is acknowledged by Nomura, mind]]): [=CoM=], coded, BBS.
* ThemeSongReveal: The series runs this trope as far as it can take it. Many themes are remixed and incorporated into other themes, and analysis of such can provide a glimpse into connections between characters when one of their themes incorporates snippets from the other's.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Especially for Ventus, Aqua and Terra in ''Birth By Sleep.'' [[spoiler:Aqua winds up having to put down both Terra and Ventus, Terra loses his body and kills his master, and Ventus finds out he has to sacrifice himself]]. Though some of Organization XIII could also use them.
* TheyreCalledPersonalIssuesForAReason: Played straight and deconstructed several times throughout the series. Cases in point:
** In ''Birth By Sleep'', if Ven had told Terra and Aqua about Vanitas' warning, if Terra had told them about Master Xehanort's side teachings, basically if all three had just talked before things got out of hand [[spoiler:Terra may still have his body, Ven wouldn't be in a coma after destroying his heart to defeat Vanitas, Aqua wouldn't be trapped in the Realm of Darkness, Eraqus may still be alive, and Xehanort's plans would have been either halted or siderailed.]]
** Deconstructed [[spoiler:and intended]] for the Nobodies of Organization XIII. [[spoiler:By denying their emotions since they had no hearts, none of them progressed, and as revealed in ''Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]'', none of them could regain their hearts due to keeping those feelings locked up.]] Best part? [[spoiler:This was Xehanort's plan from the start, so he could have vessels to put his heart in and create his Thirteen Seekers of Darkness.]]
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: Organization XIII are the bad guys of ''KHII''. ''Dream Drop Distance'' introduces another example with [[spoiler:Xehanort's ultimate plot: creating thirteen human incarnations of darkness, the seekers of darkness, as a direct counterpoint to the guardians of light]].
* ThreeStrikeCombo: The protagonists typically start with a basic three point combo attack just by tapping to attack button. This can be lengthened, shortened or powered up depending on your abilities and keyblade.
* ThinkingUpPortals: Corridors of Darkness are portals that a person can conjure up, and they effectively allow the conjurer to travel to from anywhere in the entire universe to anywhere else in an instant. However, [[PowerAtAPrice doing so risks corruption by darkness.]] This explains why the villains can get anywhere in a flash, but the heroes always have to avoid these portals and take the slow way ([[VillainProtagonist with one]] [[KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 exception.]])
* TitleDrop: In every game so far (except within ''358/2 Days''), the Kingdom Hearts, of which the series is named after, is referred to by at least one character.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Mickey is shown to have been clumsy at wielding a Keyblade when training under Yen Sid in ''Birth by Sleep.'' In the present day, he's the most skilled Keyblade wielder of all.
** Roxas gains a level in badass when he [[spoiler:absorbs Xion]], gaining his signature power to dual-wield two Keyblades.
** Sora in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' not only gets Roxas's dual-wielding, but later on takes his own level in badass when he gets the power to use Drive Forms. Even not counting this, Sora's skill with the Keyblade drastically increases during the events of ''Kingdom Hearts I'' and ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
** [[spoiler:Riku and Kairi]] both get their own Keyblades in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''.
** By ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII'', Not only did Sora learned to take advantage of the fact that the Keyblade's a MorphWeapon by turning them into guns (among other things), he can also summon various vehicles that resemble [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney Land rides]] to help him and his friends fight their enemies.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Most bizarre in the original, where the Hades Cup is harmless. (Well, as harmless as a 50-round chain battle featuring lots of tough Heartless and a battle with Hades himself can be, anyway.)
* TrilogyCreep: By the time the prophesized "''Kingdom Hearts III''" comes out, there will be an impressive eight preceding games sans remakes, four of which (''coded'', ''358/2 Days'', ''Birth by Sleep'', ''3D'') have been released between II and III.
%%* TwoGuysAndAGirl:
%%** Sora, Riku, Kairi; Terra, Ven, Aqua; Hayner, Pence, Olette (if you don't count Roxas); Roxas, Axel, Xion. Not to mention the evil, non-friendship version with Marluxia, Axel, and Larxene in "Chain of Memories". This series loves this trope.
%%** The mansion trio Riku, Ansem, and NaminÚ.
%%** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' characters Seifer, Rai(jin) and Fuu(jin)
%%** Tidus, Wakka and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers Selphie]] on Destiny Islands.
%%** Cloud, Sephiroth, and Tifa in KHII.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Quite a few characters like sea-salt ice cream, which serves as a minor plot point.
%%* {{Troperiffic}}: Dear God, yes.
%%* TwoRoadsBeforeYou: Sword, shield, wand.
%%** "Will you take the road to light, or the road to darkness?"
%%--> "Neither. I'm taking the middle road."
%%--> "You mean the twilight road to nightfall?"
%%--> "No, the road to dawn."
* TheUnchosenOne:
** Sora was not the initial choice for the Keyblade. Pretty much spelled out when Sora meets [[spoiler:Terra, one of the previous Keybearers.]] The latter flips out upon seeing the Keyblade in the hands of someone other than the one he chose. Cue BonusBoss. This is subverted if you take into account that it was the keyblade that chose Sora. Not a keyblade wielder like [[spoiler:Terra]].
** In contrast to Sora, both [[spoiler:Riku and Kairi actually ''are'' TheChosenOne, selected by Terra and Aqua, respectively (Although in Kairi's case, it was accidental, and in Riku's case, as mentioned above, he lost his chosen right and had to work hard to eventually transform his sword into a Keyblade instead.)]]
** Mickey and Aqua are also unchosen ones, in a sense. The former is, well, [[TheEveryman Mickey Mouse]], who became a Keyblade wielder [[ForGreatJustice just so he could help people with it]], and Aqua is simply a highly-skilled Keyblade wielder with no great destiny set out for her like [[spoiler: Terra or Ven]]. It doesn't stop either of them from [[SpannerInTheWorks derailing Xehanort's plans]], serving vital roles on the side of the good guys, and generally being {{Badass}} the whole time.
%%* UnderTheSea: Atlantica.
* UniquenessDecay: Over the course of the series, a surprising amount of Keyblades and Wielders have popped up with each passing game. In the first game, it's implied there's only one Keyblade and Keyblade Wielder, which is a major plot point when [[spoiler: Sora has to earn it back and prove himself after Riku reveals his status as the ''real'' [[TheChosenOne Chosen One]] and promptly takes it from him]]. At the end of the game, there's also revealed to be a Keyblade for the DarkWorld as well, which isn't too unreasonable to believe because of it being the opposite of the realm of light. However, in the secret video unlocked ''in the very same game'', there's shown to be a mysterious figure who can ''dual wield'' two Keyblades. Then in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', we find out that there's ''more'' Keyblades and Keyblade Wielders out there, but the amount is still rather reasonable come end game. [[spoiler: That being Sora, Riku, Mickey, and Kairi, with everyone else being either a Nobody version of an existing Keyblade Wielder, retired like Yen Sid, or (at that point) being a massive MindScrew like [[BonusBoss the Lingering Will]].]] Then the secret video in ''that'' game and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' reveals [[spoiler: ''an entire war of nothing but Keyblade Wielders took place in the past'', over what can be considered the ''ultimate and true'' LegendaryWeapon version of the Keyblade, and that there's an ''entire graveyard'' of the things now as a result]]. It's a fact that Braig in ''Birth By Sleep'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]], ironically, given the games status as a prequel to the rest of the series.
--> '''Braig''': ''Seems like everyone's got one of those things these days''.
%%* UnresolvedSexualTension: Between Sora and Kairi. Seriously, you could cut it with a knife.
* UnscaledMerfolk: While in Atlantica, Sora is half dolphin, Donald is half octopus, and Goofy is mostly turtle (only his head is still clearly him).
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight:
** You'd think someone like Jack Sparrow would say something when faced with an ''anthropomorphic duck''. (Then again, considering this is ''[[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Jack Sparrow's]]'' mind...) In fact, someone would probably comment on there being several people looking like they just stepped out of a cartoon in a place that clearly doesn't have that kind of stuff.
** Likewise, in the Disney/{{Mulan}} level, the Captain doesn't seem to notice that the three most powerful of the new recruits don't look Chinese, don't have Chinese names, and aren't wearing Chinese soldier armor.
* UpdatedRerelease: The Re: and Final Mix editions of each game as they come. VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI, VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII, and VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep all have Final Mix editions that include additional bosses, areas, weapons, minigames, cutscenes, powers, and items, but, until ''Kingdom Hearts 1.5: HD Remix'' was announced with the original game's Final Mix included, [[NoExportForYou none of these were available outside of Japan]], despite having some international voices. The Re: editions (of coded and Chain of Memories) have been available internationally, however, albeit in some changed format and minor changes to story elements in the process.
* TheUsualAdversaries: While they are also obviously TheHeartless, the Heartless and Nobodies are also this. ''Birth by Sleep'' brings the Unversed, and ''Dream Drop Distance'' introduces the Dream Eaters.
* VictoryPose: By Sora. They're {{Mythology Gag}}s toward ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasy VII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX X]]''.
** In ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 358/2 Days]]'' everybody gets one for Mission Mode.
* VideoGameRemake: The PS2's ''Re:Chain of Memories'', a remake of the GBA's ''Chain of Memories'' and ''Kingdom Hearts Re:coded'' for the DS, a remake of the mobile game ''Kingdom Hearts coded''.
* ViewersAreMorons: [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Yuffie]]'s role was originally going to be filled by [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Rikku]]. But Nomura decided that it would be too confusing to have [[OneSteveLimit two characters with similar names]], so Yuffie was substituted. With a {{Palette Swap}}ped version of the clothes designed for Rikku. However, Rikku did make it into ''Kingdom Hearts II'', though her name is never actually said in a voiced cutscene.
* VillainBasedFranchise: [[spoiler:Master]] Xehanort (or one component of him) managed to cause every single problem in the series in some manner. Nomura recently has basically stated that Kingdom Hearts ''I'' through ''III'' and the associated spinoffs will comprise the "Xehanort saga" of ''Kingdom Hearts''. Yeah, '''all these games''' are just part of one villain-based saga.
%%* VillainTeleportation: Maleficent, Riku, Master Xehanort, Vanitas, Organization XIII Members and other Disney Villans.
%%* {{Wackyland}}: Wonderland (''Alice in Wonderland''), Timeless River (''SteamboatWillie''), and Symphony of Sorcery (''Fantasia'')
%%* WatchingTheSunset: Have fun trying to count them all.
* WeaponJr: Sora's wooden sword, Tidus's wooden pole, Selphie's jumprope, Ven's wooden keyblade, and Lea's frisbees.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Xehanort believes himself to be this. [[spoiler:Sure he's screwing over Eraqus and his pupils, but he's doing it to bring about cosmic balance. It's just that his idea of cosmic balance requires causing a war between Keyblade masters that will destroy the universe]].
* WhamEpisode:
** The Hollow Bastion visit of the first game caused lingering consequences for the rest of the series afterwards.
** ''Birth by Sleep'' was one for the entire universe as well, as it featured the beginning of Master Xehanort's efforts to put his long plan into motion.
** ''Dream Drop Distance'', being the penultimate game in the series before the Xehanort Saga's conclusion, ties story elements from practically the ''entire series'' and shows how it's all connected, as well as having some major reveals about the Heart, Xehanort, Nobodies, and Organization XIII.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman:
** The Nobodies. Sora in particular sticks to his "You don't exist, you don't feel anything" mantra right until the end, even after one of them pulls a HeroicSacrifice for his sake [[spoiler:yet comes back to life as a human, because of it]]... One might think he was speaking directly to Disney's censors. Meanwhile ''other'', non-Nobody villains succumb to TheHeartless, a KarmicDeath, get OneWingedAngel enough to get covered by this trope or survive for a while. To Sora's credit, once he actually gets some room to just process everything that went down in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', he is the ''first'' to avert this trope and he isn't shy about calling himself and others out for their bullshit.
** To a further extent, Nobodies unlucky enough to not have a human appearance are treated less than the ones that do. Just imagine a Dusk in place of Roxas or Namine or any member of Organization XIII.
%%* WhiteHairBlackHeart: Several--though two or three, depending how you count, are kinda the same person--and a couple subversions too.
%%* WhiteVoidRoom: Most of the rooms in Castle Oblivion. Most notably NaminÚ's.
%%** Also NaminÚ's room in the Old Mansion in ''Kingdom Hearts II'', and also the Pod Room where Sora sleeps. Also, while not technically a room, [[spoiler:the Realm of Nothingness where the final battle against the [[OneWingedAngel really, REALLY final form]] of Xemnas is fought.]]
%%** The Chambers of Waking and Repose, in Castle Oblivion and Radiant Garden, respectively.
%%* WholePlotReference: Several, if not most worlds in ''Kingdom Hearts II'', ''Birth by Sleep'', and ''3D''.
%%* WombLevel: Monstro (''Pinocchio'')
%%* WorldOfHam: There are actually plenty of characters who, dialogue-wise, aren't hammy at all, but there's also the fact that ''everyone'' is constantly MilkingTheGiantCow...
%%* {{Wutai}}: Land of Dragons (''Mulan'')
%%* XanatosSpeedChess: Xemnas, [=DiZ=], and even ''Mickey Mouse'' are masters of this.
* XanatosGambit: As of ''Dream Drop Distance'' we have this predicament: [[spoiler:Either The Keyblade wielders face Xehanort and forge the χ-blade in the process starting a new Keyblade War, or he attacks and takes the Princesses of Heart by force and creates it anyway.]]
%%* YouShallNotPass: Donald and Goofy give this to Ansem to keep him away from Kairi.
* {{Zipperiffic}}: '''Like you wouldn't friggin' believe.''' Pretty much the only things that don't have zippers in these games are the classic Disney designs (i.e. anyone who's not Donald, Goofy or even Mickey).
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