Characters / Kingdom Hearts: Xehanort's Incarnations
aka: Kingdom Hearts Xehanort

Due to the lengthy periods of time passing between releases and many plot twists now being Late-Arrival Spoiler's, numerous spoilers, including many major ones, will be unmarked to prevent pages being dominated by large chunks of white space for decade-old spoilers. If you have not played a game in the series that was released before 2010, read at your own risk!

Xehanort is the overall antagonist of the series. With the exceptions of Sora's story in Chain of Memories and coded, a Xehanort is always the main enemy of the individual games. And if he doesn't fill the position, his actions are helping drive the plot somehow. It is important to specify "a" Xehanort, because there are several Xehanorts in the series as well as various alternate incarnations of Xehanort that go by different names. However, they are ultimately all different aspects of the same being, and they all aspire to more or less the same goal: to claim the power of Kingdom Hearts and unravel the mysteries of the universe, even if they have to destroy that universe to find the answers they crave.

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  • Arc Villain: Because Word of God states that Kingdom Hearts III will not be the end of the series, only the Grand Finale of the "Xehanort Saga" (or "Dark Seeker Saga"), this is what Xehanort will ultimately end up as. Of course, Xehanort is still of vital importance to the current (and long-running) Story Arc and most fans assume his presence will continue to influence events in the greater cosmology of the series regardless of his state of being after KHIII.
  • Badass Baritone: Always has a very deep voice. His incarnation in 3D has a softer voice, but only in the Japanese version, the English voice plays the trope straight.
  • Badass Longcoat: Variably wears a white, red and black trenchcoat, or a Black Cloak. Both look very cool on him.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: According to the press release blurb for Kingdom Hearts III, Xehanort(s) believes the scales are too tipped in light's favor, motivating his darkness-based plot.
  • Big Bad: Xehanort is the central antagonist of the series, and individual incarnations are frequently this trope for separate games.
  • Black Magic: Prefers using dark magic, though certain incarnations lean on it more heavily than others. Averted only by Young Xehanort, who hasn't given into the darkness like his older incarnations.
  • Body Surf: Xehanort has transferred pieces of his heart into over a dozen different bodies, including Terra, most of the members of the True Organization XIII, and temporarily Riku. Also, he can surf between the bodies of the True Organization XIII at will, owing to the mechanics of Time Travel.
  • The Chessmaster: He's very good at setting up overarcing schemes.
  • Dark Is Evil: While the series as a whole explains Dark Is Not Evil, Xehanort is a practitioner of dark powers, tempts others to darkness to weaken their hearts, and considers darkness a source of true power and knowledge.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Not as obvious as some, but its there. Young kid who wanted to leave his quiet little home to explore other worlds? Check. Delved too heavily into darkness and became a Fallen Hero? Check. Wears a black cloak and has a booming voice? Check. There's also the blue Ethereal Blades wielded by Young Xehanort prior to his descent to villainy, while Xemnas's blades are red. Master Xehanort in turn takes some cues with Palpatine with his manipulations of Terra and masquerading as a harmless old man when he's really the villain behind everything.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Though Master Xehanort is calm and collected, his other incarnations are far more prone to fits of rage and total insanity.
  • Evil Mentor: If a Xehanort ever tries to help you or give advice, never, ever, listen. Terra and Riku had to learn this lesson the hard way.
  • Evil Sorceror: Regularly uses both machines and magic to experiment on and learn to control people's hearts. Each incarnation leans more to one or the other on an individual basis, Master Xehanort being a pure sorceror while his alter-egos combine the two in their own ways.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As mentioned under Badass Baritone, all of the Xehanorts are given deep voices, with the exception of his 3D incarnation's Japanese voice.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both Sora and Riku, in different ways.
    • Like Sora, Xehanort was a Keyblade wielder from Destiny Islands who dreamed of seeing other worlds and in his travels has spawned multiple incarnations. But while Xehanort works to create new incarnations to further his goals and corrupts others to darkness, Sora's incarnations come about as a result of his selfless altruism and he tries to help those he meets.
    • Like Riku, Xehanort is a Keyblade wielder who lost himself in darkness in pursuit of his ambitions. Riku however pulled himself back and reformed, while Xehanort kept going deeper into the darkness and was lost for it. Ansem shifting to being Riku's Arch-Enemy/Enemy Without exemplifies this.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Even in a cast full of Disney villains, the Xehanorts stand out for how over-the-top they are. There's also an interesting inversion. Young Xehanort is a younger Master Xehanort who has not yet turned evil and borders on Punch Clock Villain. He's comparatively muted and calm, and in battle continues being very quiet, making him a case of Ambiguously Evil Is Not Hammy.
  • Evil Plan: Always wants to get his hands on Kingdom Hearts by sacrificing a bunch of innocent people.
  • The Faceless: His face is always hidden behind a hood or a turned back or a shadow the first time you see him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His incarnations are all fairly polite and well-spoken, which makes their highly manipulative natures that much creepier. His new incarnation in 3D particularly acts friendly and personable, even while planning to make Sora the 13th vessel for Xehanort.
  • For Science!: The key trait of Xehanort is that he isn't interested in power and conquest just for the sake of power and conquest, he wants to understand the mysteries of life and the universe, even if his pursuit of these answers would cause The End of the World as We Know It. The Ansem Reports in the first game particularly emphasize this, being written in the form of a researcher conducting experiments, jotting down observations, and then forming hypotheses based on those observations. Eraqus sums it up well in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
    Eraqus: "You would risk an apocalypse out of sheer curiosity?!"
  • A God Am I: Wants the power and knowledge of Kingdom Hearts to become a Physical God and remake the universe in his image of balance.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was initially just a boy on Destiny Islands with ambitions of exploring other worlds. He then became the universe's biggest threat since the Keyblade Wars.
  • Hades Shaded: The Xehanorts all have dark skin as a result of their descent into darkness. Ansem and Xemnas, being the deepest divers as a Heartless and Nobody, are Ambiguously Brown in some depictions.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: He rivals the Trope Bamer for this. Pretty much every single game, either the villains are servants of or are being manipulated by Xehanort, or they are Xehanort in some way. The only exception is coded; he has no hand in that one. Chain of Memories has the villains working to overthrow Xemnas, but they are still members of the Organization that Xemnas leads.
  • I Have Many Names: Xehanort, Master Xehanort, Xemnas, Ansem, No Heart. Via his alternate incarnations he's also Terra, Braig, and Isa.
  • Invincible Villain: Despite appearing in numerous games in the series and always getting defeated when he does, Master Xehanort is so Crazy-Prepared that his defeats never stick or just help him, and he always bounces back. His state as this trope is elevated due to Retcons being required to explain why his defeat in the previous game was not permanent, making it seem like a case of Joker Immunity; no matter how many times players have defeated Xehanort, the developers refuse to just let him die.
  • Just Between You and Me: Inevitably explains his entire plan to the heroes. Unfortunately for the heroes, this quirk has yet to work against him. He even starts exploiting this in later titles to Mind Rape and screw with his enemies.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever a Xehanort shows up, the current game tends to become much darker in tone. Master Xehanort naturally reigns as this within the Xehanorts, his arrival to the franchise in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep began an Arc Welding that has tied the stories of the series together as a Gambit Roulette of his to enact a plan more ambitious than any of his previous ones.
  • Lack of Empathy: Although this seems to have been augmented by corruption by darkness, all Xehanorts have issues empathizing with others. Ironically, the original Master Xehanort is the only one to show the slightest hints of compassion and caring; he thinks Eraqus was once as close to him as a brother, and pities Ven nearly losing his heart and takes him to Destiny Islands so he can know peace before he dies.
  • Large Ham: Master Xehanort even provides the page image. Every Xehanort is prone to grandiose, long-winded speeches, often complete with dramatic hand gestures, and in battle they spout over-the-top Boss Banter at the top of their lungs. Choice topics for the two include the nature of darkness, power, hearts, nothingness, and SUBMIT and similar commands. Here's a sampling of each of them.
    Ansem: Darkness conquers all worlds!
    Xemnas: Anger and hate are supreme!
    Master Xehanort: You see how powerless you are to save them? Savor that rage and despair! Let it empower you!
    Terra-Xehanort: I will guide you to the depths of darkness!
  • Legacy Character: The Xehanorts all share very similar appearances, outfits, personalities and goals, while fighting style varies but there are definitely repeated themes. Justified in that they're all the same person in various alternate incarnations.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: Uses X in his names and iconography, including the names given to the members of the Organization XIII. This stems from Master Xehanort's obsession with the χ-blade. They're also a "Recusant's Sigil" that marks the bearer as Xehanort's property and a potential vessel for his heart.
  • Mad Scientist: His sole motivation for trying to unlock Kingdom Hearts is simply For Science!.
  • Magic Knight: Every incarnation is very skilled with both melee weapons and magic.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He is a master at getting other people to help him whether they know it or not.
  • Me's a Crowd: In 3D, Sora and Riku encounter numerous Xehanort incarnations at once. Through the use of Time Travel, Literal Split Personality, and Grand Theft Me, he apparently has enough to form a new Organization XIII composed entirely of himself in different forms. Xehanort's habit of turning characters into yet more of his incarnations is notorious enough that some parts of the fandom have come up with a term for it: "norting" or "nortification."
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: Many of the generic enemies (specific Emblem Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed) are either directly created by Xehanort, or exist because of something he did.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Every time Xehanort speaks, he can never seem to keep his arms or hands still. Master Xehanort and Xemnas are the worst offenders.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The name "Xehanort" is an anagram of "No Heart" with the letter 'X' thrown in (although a different, less sinister anagram is possible with "Another" + 'X').
  • Obviously Evil: Between the silver hair, yellow eyes, and black and red clothing, it's pretty clear that the Xehanorts are the villains of the series from the moment one pops up.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with back and forth. Early in the series there were several people with the name "Ansem" and "Xehanort", but it's now known that all of the latter are the same person in different forms, while with the former, a few people have just stolen the name as an alias and there is only one actual Ansem. This has lead to a few of them being given in-universe titles or Fan Nicknames to refer to them separately.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Has created and cultivated three separate races of monsters that have terrorized the universe, and has threatened an apocalypse on several occasions. Not to mention the personal tragedies he brings to the heroes...
  • Pointy Ears: Every incarnation, due to corruption by darkness, other than the uncorrupted Young Xehanort.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Xehanort's plans to get Kingdom Hearts revolve around sacrificing others in horrible ways.
    • Ansem uses the pure hearts of seven young women to try and create a portal to Kingdom Hearts.
    • Xemnas makes a fake Kingdom Hearts by combining the hearts from thousands of Heartless.
    • Master Xehanort tries to summon Kingdom Hearts by splitting a single person into pure light and pure darkness, and then making one consume the other.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Master Xehanort's black and red cloak, passed on to Ansem, and Xemnas's Black Cloak and red Etheral Blades.
  • Satanic Archetype: He was once one of the many defenders of the Realm of Light, but fell victim to darkness and became its worst enemy. He often corrupts people to darkness and manipulates their emotions to turn them evil, uses Demonic Possession when mind games don't work, and wants to take over the universe. The symbolism is completed by his Keyblade Armor and Glider; his Armor is silver and white with feathers while his Glider is a set of wings that attached to his back. When he began using the powers of darkness, he cast away his armor and stopped using his glider because he didn't need them anymore, creating Fallen Angel parallels.
  • Seeker Archetype: A villainous example. All his incarnations seek to understand the true nature of their world, only to cross the Moral Event Horizon in search of it. They even go by the moniker "the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness."
  • Significant Anagram: Nomura chose the name Xehanort because without the X it was an anagram of both "Another" and "No Heart," referring to Xehanort's many alter-egos and his lack of morality and empathy. And although this one isn't officially acknowledged like the others, there is also "No Earth," relating to his Grand Theft Me of Terra.
  • The Sociopath: Ticks all the boxes. He's an excellent liar and manipulator, feels no shame or guilt about all the suffering he's caused, pursues his goals out of a need for scientific curiosity regardless of what the consequences to the universe and civilization might be, has a massive ego and only cares about himself and his desires, and pretty much nothing gets to him; even when his plans are foiled, he'll just come up with a new one.
  • Soul Jar: Every Xehanort holds some fragment of Master Xehanort's heart.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: His natural eye color, which is also given to his assimilated hosts.
  • Superior Successor: What this incarnation of the Organization is supposed to be, made of 13 more suitable hosts for Xehanort, compared to the first version of Organization XIII.
  • Teleport Spam: Always makes use of Flash Step or dark portal teleport attacks.
  • Thinking Up Portals: All of Xehanort's incarnations have access to Corridors of Darkness.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: His incarnations have been trying to form a group of thirteen of themselves for more than the past decade to have the "Darkness" half of the χ-Blade.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because of Retcons and his own memory shifting as he moves between forms, his reports are of questionable value in actual expository value.
  • Visionary Villain: He may have some roundabout and cruel methods, but everything Xehanort does is in the name of finding Kingdom Hearts and recreating the universe as he sees fit. 3D reveals that even Ansem and Xemnas were just working on a very complex scheme laid out by Master Xehanort that ultimately leads back to this goal.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: If someone has silver hair, they either (a) have some relation to/contact with Xehanort, or (b) are Sephiroth. The only exception is Master Xehanort, as he's bald from age; even then, he still has a silver goatee.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no qualms about physically or psychologically assaulting youngsters such as Ven or Sora (though to be fair, these are Keyblade wielders and not exactly helpless).
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Xehanort's X is a recurring motif for him, passed on to the Organization.

    Master Xehanort 

Master Xehanort
"Destiny is never left to chance."
"We know so little about the Keyblade War — only that it was just the beginning. Amidst that crisis a precious light was found. It is a curious tale — and one worth exploring. They say ruin brings about creation. So what, then, would another Keyblade War bring? When the darkness falls, will we be found worthy of the precious light the legend speaks of? I must have these answers."
Voiced by: Chikao Ohtsuka (Japanese), Leonard Nimoy (English) (2010-2012)
Appearances: Birth by Sleep | Re:coded | 3D Dream Drop Distance | III

An elderly Keyblade Master, he was once a noble and wise man, if somewhat shifty. However, in his quest to unravel the mysteries of the Keyblade and its role in the fate of the worlds, he delved too deep into darkness and now seeks the power of Kingdom Hearts to cause an apocalypse For Science!. He's effectively the Big Bad of the franchise, as his schemes and his various incarnations fuel the main conflicts behind almost every game.
  • Abusive Parents: Toward Ven, his original apprentice; he acted as a Sink-or-Swim Mentor by pitting Ven against a dozen Heartless and watching them almost kill him. In the novelization he's also this to Vanitas, putting him through Training from Hell.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Xehanort's Heartless specializes in being The Corrupter, normally lacking a body and acting primarily by influencing others to darkness, while his Nobody is a powerful direct physical threat and The Chessmaster. Xehanort himself demonstrates both the skill at influencing and corrupting others of his Heartless and the intellect of his Nobody, while the No Heart battle shows that at his prime he was a truly terrifying wielder of the Keyblade on the battlefield. Even in his old age he's a Kung-Fu Wizard.
  • An Axe to Grind: His Keyblade has a curved blade for the "teeth" part and a spiked shaft to give the impression of a Keyblade-axe. Impressive, considering his age and bodily weakness, though it works well to convey his evil and brutal nature.
  • Ancestral Weapon: His Keyblade was originally wielded by Luxu from Kingdom Hearts χ. The secret ending for Re:coded HD calls it the oldest Keyblade, or at least the oldest one that still exists.
  • An Ice Person: Has a preference for ice magic — he freezes Ven, tosses out Blizzard attacks in battle, and ends his Keyblade combos in a blast of ice.
  • Animated Armor: His armor, the Bonus Boss No Heart, exists without anyone apparently wearing it.
  • Back from the Dead: Is reborn as a human in Dream Drop Distance, after the destruction of his Heartless and Nobody in the previous games that allowed his heart and body to rejoin.
  • Badass Grandpa: He's the oldest original character seen in the series so far, but he's still one of the most powerful characters seen in the series.
  • Bald of Evil: Has gone bald from age after descending into darkness.
  • Beard of Evil: His only hair left is a silver goatee.
  • BFS: His Keyblade is one of the larger ones.
  • Big Bad: Of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and as the original Xehanort (sharing this position with Young Xehanort), the franchise itself.
  • Blow You Away: His Storm of Blades in the Keyblade Graveyard in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep seems to be through the use of wind and the Keyblades littering the battlefield.
  • Broken Pedestal: As a young boy, Riku idolized the legendary "boy who left the island", and planned to follow suit not only in leaving the island, but in becoming stronger as well. Boy did that pedestal break...
  • Cain and Abel: He mentions several times in his writings that he considers Eraqus a brother. And yet he murders Eraqus in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • The Chessmaster: Plays everyone in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to his own ends. Everything Ansem and Xemnas did was also part of his plan to create 13 avatars of darkness, combine them with the 7 Princess of Hearts' light, and start a second Keyblade War.
  • The Corrupter: To Terra and Braig, though Terra never falls completely until Xehanort possesses him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Managed to plan for his various incarnations' defeats in every single game of the series.
  • The Determinator: He will do anything to obtain the power and knowledge of Kingdom Hearts.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Can raise massive pillars of earth to launch opponents into the air or separate them from their allies.
  • Easily Forgiven: He exploits this by feigning guilt for damaging Ventus's heart, allowing him to gain sympathy from Eraqus and Terra. As such, they fail to notice that he has even worse plans until it's too late.
  • Evil Counterpart: To fellow Keyblade Master Eraqus, as well as Sora and Riku. Notably, he's the first Big Bad in the series to wield a Keyblade much like the heroes (aside from when "Ansem" possesses Riku in the first game).
  • Evil Is Petty: As pointed out by Eraqus in Birth by Sleep, Xehanort intends to bring forth the Keyblade War and essentially bring about The End of the World as We Know It for no other reason than to simply satisfy his own personal curiosity.
  • Evil Laugh: As a battle quote and in cutscenes, both laughing out loud and chuckling evilly.
  • Evil Mentor: Toward Ventus in the backstory, and toward Terra during the course of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • Evil Old Folks: The oldest character seen so far is one of the most sinister and evil.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: In both the Japanese and English versions of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, where he is voiced by Chikao Ohtsuka and Leonard Nimoy, respectively.
  • Expy: A seemingly harmless and gentle old man who turns out to be an incredibly devious and dangerous blade master with powers over the evil side of the primary supernatural force and propensity for turning people to the dark side. Are we talking about Xehanort or Darth Sidious?
  • Fallen Hero: He was once a great Keyblade Master, but he's become one of the most dangerous foes to the worlds that Keyblade Masters are supposed to protect.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In KH3D, he acts very laid-back and rather friendly with Mickey and Riku (though this may be because he feels so self-assured that destiny will work his way no matter what). Despite this, he is far from being nice. His other incarnations hold various if not worse shades of this, too.
  • Flash Step: Uses short range Super Speed for his form of Teleport Spam.
  • For the Evulz: Subverted. He pretends to act this way in the endgame of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, but it's only to enrage Terra to get him to embrace his darkness. His actual personality largely averts this, generally being more of a Visionary Villain.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Hard to believe that such a major threat to the entire universe started out as just a bored kid from Destiny Islands.
  • Gambit Roulette: Everything Ansem and Xemnas did was planned out in advance by him. Further, Maleficent, Sora, Riku and most of Organization XIII were all Unwitting Pawns in his plans.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of the smartest people in KH Verse and a very capable combatant despite his old age.
  • Gone Horribly Right: His manipulations of Terra to make him stronger and tempt him to darkness were to groom him to be a suitable vessel for Xehanort's new body and make his heart vulnerable enough to darkness for Xehanort to commit Grand Theft Me on him. The problem is it works too well; Terra's powers and hatred are so strong, they reanimate his armor as the Lingering Will and he kicks Xehanort's ass.
  • Graceful Loser: Master Xehanort treats his failure in Birth By Sleep as a learning lesson, openly admitting he was "hasty" with his plans. He also took his failed attempt to gather the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness in 3D fairly well. Of course, the fact that he plans on trying again helps.
  • Grand Theft Me: Transfers his heart and mind into Terra's body at the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Of the earlier games, through his incarnations carrying out his plans while Master Xehanort exists in shadows, if he's mentioned at all.
  • Hate Sink: His actions throughout Birth By Sleep are so vile that the desire to kick his ass can be a prime motivating factor for continuing to play the series.
  • Hypocrite: Hates Eraqus's pro-Light bias, and claims to want Balance Between Light and Darkness, but his own deeds show a clear pro-Darkness bias.
  • I Need You Stronger: Keeps forcing Terra to use the power of darkness in order for it to corrode Terra's heart enough for Master Xehanort to take over his body.
  • Informed Kindness: His Reports look like they were written by a genuinely Affably Evil Anti-Villain. His actual onscreen persona is a Faux Affably Evil and Obviously Evil Jerkass (and his seeming Pet the Dog moment with Ven in the flashback quickly turned into a Yank the Dog's Chain moment when Master simply decided to continue to abuse and exploit him after his survival). But Master's morally ambiguous younger self may or may not finally subvert this, though he's technically considered a separate character due to his role in the True Organization XIII.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Believes there's way too much Light... in the Realm of Light, by the way; likewise, his actions have only made the Realm of Darkness far stronger and much more dangerous than ever before. Hence his sheer Not Helping Your Case in the eyes of "absolutists" such as Eraqus.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Despite being a pretty boy and Tall, Dark and Handsome most of his life, he ends up a creepy old bald man.
  • Irony: Became the very imbalance between Light and Darkness he wanted to prevent.
  • It's All About Me: He wants to possess Terra so he can live to see the results of his global machinations, the life of another be damned. While Master Xehanort is generally a Visionary Villain, this act of evil is nothing but pure selfishness.
  • Jerkass: His Smug Snake demeanor and But for Me, It Was Tuesday reaction to Terra's, Aqua's, and Ven's Senseless Sacrifices cement him as this.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he's hardly a reliable source of information, his statements in Birth by Sleep that Master Eraqus only thinks in absolutes regarding light and darkness aren't entirely wrong, considering the fact that Eraqus failed Terra in the Mark of Mastery Exam for showing a mere spark of darkness in his fighting style, accidental or otherwise.
  • Karma Houdini: As of 3D, he still hasn't paid for his Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep deeds. But III should fix this.
  • Kick the Dog: Kills Eraqus and destroys the Land of Departure, then gloats about it to Terra.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Even as an old man possesses Super Strength and a vast array of dark magic. His Animated Armor, No Heart, relies on martial arts by attaching his Keyblade to his body as weapon or armor, rather than fighting with the Keyblade itself.
  • Lack of Empathy: Feels no remorse for all the evil he's done or lives he's destroyed. Case in point: when Mickey chews him out for what he did to Terra, Ven, and Aqua in 3D, he brushes it off as a case of Because Destiny Says So and that he merely helped them reach their destinies that much quicker. Rrrright...
  • Leitmotif: "Xehanort".
  • Living Legend: As the one person who left the Destiny Islands for other worlds prior to Sora, Riku, and Kairi.
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: He created Vanitas, the source of all Unversed.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Knows exactly how to push Terra's buttons to lure him further into the darkness. Even when he finally reveals this to Terra and that he's Evil All Along, he's still pushing Terra toward the darkness—Terra just doesn't know it.
  • Master Swordsman: As shown when he's a full-memory Terra-Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and when he performs a Villain Override of his younger self in 3D, he wasn't named a Keyblade Master on magical prowess alone.
  • Meaningful Name: The "Master" title, as the original version of Xehanort, a Keyblade Master and leader of the True Organization XIII.
  • Morph Weapon: As seen with No Heart, he has greater mastery over this element of the Keyblade than the other characters. His Keyblade can become a floating shield, body armor that attaches to his arms or legs, and a set of wings. As of Dream Drop Distance, it can even be used with different Keychains by different members of the True Organization XIII to have different Keyblade variants.
  • Motive Decay: He started out as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wanted to cause a Keyblade War to remake the universe and create a balance between light and darkness. Nowadays, he just wants power and knowledge for their own sake.
  • Morton's Fork: He and Vanitas invoke this on Terra and Ven, forcing them to go for the obvious trap at the Keyblade Graveyard or else they will kill the other two members of the trio. They don't say anything to Aqua, but she comes as well to save Terra and Ven.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His appearance is quite likely based on executive Disney film producer Roy Conli.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Certainly reinforces Eraqus's negative views about Darkness.
  • Old Master: In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep he's a Squishy Wizard who prefers to attack with magic from afar. However, it's only because he's just held back by his old and feeble body. As shown by Terra-Xehanort and Young Xehanort, when he's at his full physical potential he has as much power and skill as you'd expect from a Keyblade Master with decades of experience.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • His reports show he was a far cry from an evil mastermind even a few years before the events of BBS, and that he seriously considered just quietly living out his final years in peace.
      Report VIII: "Ordinarily, Keyblade Masters take pupils under their wings, malleable minds in which to impress the precepts of the Keyblade wielder and keep our profession alive for generations to come. Was my time drawing to an end, then, after all I had accomplished since casting away the place of my birth? Surely waiting for a quiet death would not do, not when there was still so much I needed to see for myself. Powers help me, I thought, my body is so old..."
    • He also took Ven to Destiny Islands after the creation of Vanitas to let him live out his final days peacefully before falling into an eternal coma. However, when Ven survived, Xehanort proceeded to subvert this moment by continuing to manipulate and torment him, albeit now from behind the scenes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The calm and calculating blue to Vanitas' Ax-Crazy red.
  • Shock and Awe: Calls down lightning strikes in battle.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Deconstructed. He acts this way during his tutelage of Ventus, and it's made perfectly clear that everything he is doing is completely and utterly evil and self-serving.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Gets a magnificent one in Dream Drop Distance, complete with propping his hand on his fist and folding his leg up onto his knee.
  • The Sociopath: Began as Well-Intentioned Extremist, but suffered Motive Decay till he became only interested in acquiring knowledge and power by whatever means, including restarting the Keyblade war.
    • It is clear that while he himself feels zero attachment to others, he completely recognizes that others do feel empathy and deep friendship, as he exploits these feelings to further his plans.
  • Squishy Wizard: Being an old man, he's rather slow and prefers to use magic from afar while teleporting to avoid you.
  • Start of Darkness: Xehanort would have been just another youth looking for an escape from his home much like Riku if not for the intervention of his Heartless Ansem who had travelled back in time to facilitate his escape. Which means Xehanort was responsible for his own Start Of Darkness.
  • The Stoic: In Dream Drop Distance, anyway. He says nothing nor changes the expression on his face when his plan to implant a part of his heart in Sora is foiled by Lea, and in the confrontation that ensues. This is in stark contrast to his other selves, such as Xigbar, who are far more upset.
  • Storm of Blades: Can summon a barrage of keyblades to launch at opponents.
  • Super Strength: Despite being a Squishy Wizard, he's strong enough to damage Ven's Power Armor and hold off Terra's attacks with one hand.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Terra beating him into submission is a Secret Test of Character to see if Terra is strong enough to be a worthy new body for him to take.
    Xehanort: Only now, have I truly won...
  • Treacherous Advisor: This is what separates him most from Palpatine, who genuinely wanted a dark apprentice. Xehanort, on the other hand, is lying to Terra to steal his body.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite the fact that Sora has personally thwarted more than one of his Evil Plans, Xehanort openly dismisses him as a "dull, ordinary boy" in 3D. This is a played with trope, though. While Xehanort does dismiss Sora as dull and ordinary, he also notices how Sora tends to foil the plans of villains he encounters, hence why he wants to use Sora as one of his vessels.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing and no one will stand in his way as he seeks the power of Kingdom Hearts. And those that try will be destroyed or turned into one of his vessels.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He once believed that the universe was too full of light and believed a balance between light and darkness was the way for a perfect world to exist. His solution — begin a Keyblade War to engulf the worlds in darkness, and when he wins and claims the power of Kingdom Hearts, he can remake it in his image of balance. However, he's since become Drunk on the Dark Side, and his only goal these days is power and knowledge for the sake of having them.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers Mickey Mouse this, instead of just another tool for him to use.
  • Xanatos Gambit: If "Ansem" or Xemnas find the real Kingdom Hearts through their plans, they accomplish what he wants in the first place. If they're killed instead, he gets to come Back from the Dead and finish the job himself.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Plays everyone and everything within his plans like a boss. He's virtually a god of it considering his incarnations are nearly if not on the same level of scheming he has.


"I will guide you to the depths of darkness!"
Click here  to see Xehanort as Terra-Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
"The Heartless feed on other's hearts, and they yearn for that energy core. That thing beyond the door must be a heart, too—the heart of this world. There is no proof, but, having felt that immense energy, I am certain. That was the heart of the world."
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
Appearances: II | Birth by Sleep

A young man that was found in Radiant Garden in the aftermath of a great battle between several Keyblade wielders, bearing no memories but his name. Ansem nursed him back to health and took him on as an apprentice, but he quickly became obsessed with The Heartless and Kingdom Hearts, and cast Ansem into the Realm of Darkness and became a Heartless and Nobody to delve deeper into the powers of darkness than his human form would allow.

He is actually Terra, one of three Keyblade Warriors training under Master Eraqus. When Master Xehanort manipulated Terra into allowing darkness into his heart, he stole Terra's body for himself, transforming Terra's body into a younger incarnation of himself. Terra fought back against Xehanort's control and attempted to expunge him from his body, but the attempt failed and only sealed their memories, creating the amnesiac young man that Ansem took in.
  • Badass Armfold: His pose when commanding the Guardian.
  • BFG: Uses Terra's Ultima Cannon to create a giant Keyblade cannon.
  • BFS: Retains access to Master Xehanort's large Keyblade.
  • Blade Spam: Uses long Keyblade combos, based on Terra's Ars Solum and Dark Impulse.
  • Colony Drop: His Meteor spell rains down comets. When fought later he swaps it out for the same Meteor command Terra uses, which brings down one large meteor.
  • Dash Attack: Rapidly dashes around the arena with Dark Haze, which replaces Terra's Slide-Sonic Impact as his dodge technique.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Perverted the research of his mentor Ansem for evil purposes.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Can send a shockwave of stone at you based on Terra's Rising Rock command style, though it also resembles Quake.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: His experiments on the The Heartless helped turn them into an entire army of darkness.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Ansem the Wise took him in and gave him a home when he found him amnesiac on the streets. Terra-Xehanort thanks him by manipulating his other apprentices into helping him follow his plans, stealing Ansem's identity, and destroying Radiant Garden.
  • Fusion Dance: Master Xehanort's heart with Terra's body.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: He dashes around and become immune to damage after you use a special attack like magic or a shotlock. This makes him very hard to pin down without relying on physical attacks or a block-counter strategy. Aqua particularly has problems with this since her best attacks are spells.
  • Guardian Entity: The Guardian, a Heartless born from the darkness in his heart.
  • Large Ham: Given free reign as Terra-Xehanort, Richard Epcar chews, swallows and regurgitates all of the scenery around him, consumes the entirety of the pork provided for him to chew on and manages to make the impossible possible by outhaming Leonard Nimoy.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Had his memories locked away by Terra at the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to prevent Master Xehanort from controlling his body. Unfortunately, some memories eventually start coming back. Also Lampshaded by Braig.
    Braig: Please tell me the amnesia was just a sick joke. Boy, this is some cliché."
  • Lightning Bruiser: He moves very fast even without his teleportation, uses devastatingly powerful Keyblade combos, and has a lot of HP compounded by access to Curaga. Makes perfect sense, since he has Terra's power and vitality combined with Master Xehanort's experience and training.
  • Literal Split Personality: Was eventually split into "Ansem" and Xemnas. Xemnas kept his more hands-on combat style and is hinted to retain some of Terra's devotion to Ven and Aqua, while "Ansem" kept the Guardian, his magical prowess, and Master Xehanort's outfit. Additionally, Ansem believes in the power of darkness while Xemnas believes in The Power of Hate, also reflecting Master Xehanort and Terra.
  • Living Shadow: His Guardian Entity manifests as a shadow projecting behind him.
  • Loss of Identity: Originally, he was said to be motivated to understand the nature of hearts by his own lack of memories of who he is. 3D revealed that he was also subconsciously following the plans Master Xehanort had set in place in case he had to seal his heart.
  • Magic Knight: Uses both Keyblade combos and magic with no preference for either, though his Keyblade strikes are stronger.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Shoots out a flurry of dark energy bolts with Dark Volley.
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: Created the crest Heartless and brought countless wild ones into the Realm of Light as well.
  • Meaningful Rename: Changed his name to Ansem after banishing his former mentor and taking over his kingdom.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Despite Master Xehanort using an entirely different style of fighting from Terra, once he takes over Terra's body he exclusively uses Terra's attacks, and even uses the same battle stance as Terra. May be due to him not having time to become accustomed to this new body so he goes with what's familiar to it. Not that it doesn't work
  • Mirror Boss: All of his attacks are ones you have access to when playing as Terra: Block-Counter Hammer, Curaga, Ars Solum, Dark Haze, Dark Volley, Ultima Cannon, the Dark Impulse combo, a tremor similar to Quake and Rising Rock, and variants of Meteor. It's entirely likely that you have some of the same attacks equipped come the end of the game, and save for him having both Dark Volley and Ultima Cannon, you could potentially have an identical moveset.
  • Monster Sob Story: Became obsessed with the workings of the heart because of his lost memories, and it lead to him doing increasingly amoral experiments to try and understand them. However, in Dream Drop Distance, it is revealed this was also because he was subconsciously acting on Master Xehanort's plans.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Turned himself into a Heartless and a Nobody so he could acquire more power and further Master Xehanort's plan.
  • Mysterious Past: His past was unclear till Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • Neck Lift: Tries to choke Aqua to death at the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted, he has Curaga and is not shy about using it.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Right before Aqua begins to fight him, he teleports exactly behind Aqua, who immediately jumps away from him.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Dismiss", his second battle theme in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. It's also a Boss Remix that samples assorted character themes.
  • The Sociopath: After all, he is Master Xehanort, just in a different form. Even with his memories sealed he shows an astounding Lack of Empathy for his test subjects.
  • Start of Darkness: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep - though it's more detailed in the "Ansem Reports" of Kingdom Hearts 1.
  • Super Strength: As shown in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, he's strong enough to effortlessly bodily lift Aqua off of the ground by the neck with one hand.
  • That Man Is Dead: After Aqua calls out to him as "Terra."
    "Terra's heart has been extinguished! Smothered by the darkness within him!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Inverted — when it comes time to fight him, the music for the fight is your character's battle theme. After seeing what Terra went through at Xehanort's hands before he transformed into the Lingering Will, you'll understand why the Will's battle theme is "Rage Awakened".
  • True Final Boss: In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, he's the boss of the Final Episode after the three character stories are completed. Averted in Final Mix though, where the story continues after the fight and there's another boss waiting.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The only time he loses his cool in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is when the Lingering Will forms, prompting a snarl of disbelief. In the subsequent battle he begins by walking towards you slowly, taking the time to block and counter your attacks and attacking back carefully. As the battle continues he starts teleporting rapidly, attacks more aggressively, and breaks out Meteor as his Desperation Attack. Best summed up by this quote:
    "Your body submits. Your heart succumbs! So why does your mind resist?!"
  • Voices Are Mental: As covered under Relationship Voice Actor, Xehanort is voiced by the son of Master Xehanort's voice actor in the Japanese version. The intended effect is presumably to be that the two characters have the same, but age-affected, voice.
  • Walking Spoiler: Talking about his presence in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep spoils The Reveal that he's Terra under the control of Master Xehanort's heart.
  • Walking Wasteland: His presence in Radiant Garden causes an aura of darkness around the world, and while it may just be the time of day there, it's also nighttime when the player investigates.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ask Aqua, who he wails on without mercy.

    No Heart

A suit of Animated Armor wielding Xehanort's Keyblade, heavily implied to be the Keyblade Armor that he used in his youth. While it first appears (sans Keyblade) being used by Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts II, it shows up as its own entity in Birth by Sleep Final Mix as a Bonus Boss. It can be fought in the Mirage Arena once the player has completed every other Arena Mode challenge to achieve an arena rank of 30.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Its attack patterns takes cues from every other Xehanort incarnation.
  • Animated Armor: Apparently it's an empty suit of armor created by the Mirage Arena's simulation.
  • Bonus Boss: It's the ultimate challenge in Birth by Sleep Final Mix, making even the other bonus bosses look like warm-ups for it.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Defeating him earns the Royal Radiance, the most powerful Keyblade in the game bar-none. However, being that No Heart is the most difficult enemy in the game, getting that Keyblade means you clearly don't need it.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Since the 2.5 HD release removed the multiplayer element, it was nerfed with slightly reduced HP to make it easier for players to challenge alone. It's still going to kick your ass.
  • Call Forward: It's the same suit of armor Xemnas wore in II.
  • The Corrupter: While Xehanort in general fits this trope, No Heart uses it as a gameplay mechanic. One of its attacks replaces your own commands with "Outflow of the Dark," which launches a single dark projectile (even for Aqua and Ven, who normally can't use darkness) at the cost of having increasingly-severe Standard Status Effects inflicted on you. Cast it four times, and you're doomed — literally.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: No Heart has a crown built into its left shoulder, and a white feathery wing in its right.
  • Flying Weapon: For the first part of the fight with it, it creates a wall of darkness anchored by its floating Keyblade. You have to destroy the Keyblade to disperse the wall so No Heart itself will fight you.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Surprisingly its prefers to turn its Keyblade into attachments for its armor and then beat you up with punch and kick combos, rather than use the Keyblade directly.
  • Leitmotif: Its boss theme, Forze dell'Oscurità, is a combination of both Forze del Male and Darkness of the Unknown, boss themes for Ansem and Xemnas respectively.
  • Lightning Bruiser: It moves ridiculously fast, has the most HP of any enemy in the game, is Nigh Invulnerable to most attacks, and can deplete your HP in one combo.
  • Light Is Not Good: While its actual powers are obviously darkness-related, the armor's silver and gold coloration and white feathers give it a rather holy appearance, despite it being Xehanort.
  • Magic Missile Storm: It can fire Dark Volley shots in waves.
  • Morph Weapon: It can transform its Keyblade into various different forms, such as gauntlets, greaves, or wings.
  • Significant Anagram: No Heart is a rearrangement of the letters found in Xehanort, sans the "x".
  • Storm of Blades: It continually assaults you with storms of darkness-imbued Keyblades.
  • SNK Boss: It can do things no other enemy in the game can do, such as replace your deck commands with decoy darkness commands, create pillars to inflict Slow on you, deplete the recharge timer of all your deck commands, and is generally very fast and very powerful.
  • The Voiceless: It never says a word.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In 2.5 HD it was given a heavy weakness to Shotlocks; a full charge can deplete a full HP bar and then some, and even a partial charge can do heavy damage. Thankfully for its sake, it rarely holds still long enough for a full charge.


"Ansem", the Seeker of Darkness (Xehanort's Heartless)
"So, you have come this far, and still you understand nothing. Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"
"All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end. The heart is no different. Darkness sprouts within it, grows, consumes it. Such is its nature. In the end, every heart returns to the darkness whence it came."
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (Japanese), Billy Zane (I only, English), Richard Epcar (II onward, English)
Appearances: Kingdom Hearts I | Chain of Memories | II | Re:coded | 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Xehanort's Heartless who kept the alias "Ansem" that Xehanort himself took. He was the driving force behind the Disney villains's search for the Princesses of Heart, and uses Riku as a vessel to try and obtain the power of Kingdom Hearts. Uniquely for a Heartless, he retains the memories, appearance, and personality of his original self, Xehanort.

He is voiced by Billy Zane in the first game, but replaced with Richard Epcar from Kingdom Hearts II onward. This led to more Flashbacks With The Other Darrin in Kingdom Hearts II. He is also the first major character of the series to be recast. Zane's performance was still retained for 1.5.
  • A God Am I: Wishes to access Kingdom Hearts to use as a source of ultimate knowledge and power.
  • Air Jousting: His Dark Rush Attack has him rush Riku to attack.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Like all the Xehanorts. However, Ansem has the darkest complexion of them all, no doubt due to actually being a Heartless as well as arguably the Xehanort who spends the most time in pure darkness.
  • Arch-Enemy: Is treated as Riku's after the first game.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Ansem was able to remain alive due to his control of Riku, allowing him to continue to exist as long as Riku held darkness in his heart. However, he was destroyed when DiZ's machine at the end of II purified Riku's heart.
  • Back from the Dead: Almost to the point of Joker Immunity. Despite being destroyed two or three times, apparently Ansem is still out there in some form.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: His default posture while fighting with his Guardian is to float in the air with his arms crossed.
  • Badass Longcoat: The original example of the series, before all the Xehanorts began wearing them. Also qualifies as No Shirt, Long Jacket, his chest bared under the coat.
  • Barrier Warrior: Uses both his Guardian and magical barriers offensively.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He gets what he wants and obtains Kingdom Hearts's power in the end. Unfortunately for him, it turns out to be light power, not dark power like he thought it was, and he basically implodes as a result.
  • Big Bad: With Maleficent, one half of the Big Bad Duumvirate of Kingdom Hearts I, though Ansem is The Man Behind the Man. He's also the Big Bad of Chain of Memories' "Reverse/Rebirth" mode.
  • Bishonen Line: The most powerful Heartless in the series (so far) appears completely human and is fully intelligent instead of being a creature of instinct.
  • Black Cloak: After destroying Radiant Garden, he unlocked his own heart to traverse worlds and gain more knowledge. Until he possessed Riku, his Heartess could only appear as a hooded figure in a brown cloak with a creepy voice. It turns out the journey also involved Time Travel, which required him to give up his "physical existence".
  • Celestial Body: His Guardian in his second form in 3D.
  • The Chessmaster: Masterminded the entire plot of Kingdom Hearts
  • Chewing the Scenery: Good Lord, once he gains a body of his own, every scene he's in feels like it's being torn apart between his teeth, even the ones where he doesn't have a face!
  • Co-Dragons: He and Xemnas seem to be this in Master Xehanort's True Organization XIII, being his left and right hand men. Also a case of Demoted to Dragon.
  • Continuity Snarl: His Ironic Death doesn't mesh with what we learn in 3D and many of his other actions in the original game are downright against Master Xehanort's master plan.
  • The Corrupter: Manages to not only be this to Riku for Kingdom Hearts, but also to Young Xehanort, through the use of Time Travel to impose his own Start of Darkness.
  • Creepy Monotone: Earlier in the game when he was wearing a brown cloak and wasn't wolfing down scenery.
  • Deadly Disc: Most of his battles involve shooting discs of dark energy at you.
  • Demonic Possession: Of Riku in part of Kingdom Hearts and once in Chain of Memories.
  • Double Weapon: His final form uses a lance resembling two huge Soul Eaters fused together.
  • Dramatic Irony: The audience (and Riku) know that the main in the brown robe and Ansem are one and the same; however, it's not until towards the end of Dream Drop Distance that Sora learns this.
  • Enemy Within: To Riku from Chain of Memories through the explosion of the Kingdom Hearts encoder in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Enemy Without: Acts like this to Riku in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Energy Ball: Another common attack of his Guardian is to batter you with orbs of darkness. In 3D he uses a very powerful version for his desperation attack.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Being a Heartless and all. However, he's more of a Humanoid Abomination than them, as he's the only intelligent, fully-sentient Heartless we've seen thus far, and the only one to maintain a human form.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Averted: both he and the Organization are operating independently during the time frame between Birth by Sleep and the end of Kingdom Hearts, and never oppose each other, though Organization's members are aware of his existence and nature as Xemnas' Heartless counterpart. Ansem and Xemnas never oppose each other because they're literally working for the same goal, Kingdom Hearts, and if one succeeds, great, Master Xehanort wins.
  • Evil Mentor: Always trying to advise Riku to give into the darkness, be it his or his original incarnation. In Dream Drop Distance he almost sounds Faux Affably Evil when giving him a final lecture and offer on it. It backfires on him because Riku begins to weaponize darkness and use it against him.
  • Fighting Spirit: The guardian itself is invincible and more or less a this for Ansem.
  • Flanderization: The first game presented Ansem as a misguided scientist that Jumped Off the Slippery Slope when his curiosity went too far. His experiments, while horrifyingly amoral, were done in the name of genuine scientific curiosity, and lead him to believe that all beings are born from darkness and darkness is the source of all power and knowledge. He encouraged Riku and Sora to accept this and open their hearts to darkness to be stronger, and was disappointed when Sora refused to believe him, declaring him ignorant. However, with the Retcon that this Ansem is an impostor who delved into darkness knowingly and the kindly ruler of Hollow Bastion that Leon and Aerith spoke of was someone else, he is cast in a more villainous light, and subsequent appearances play him up as a Card-Carrying Villain in contrast to Xemnas's Tragic Villain and Master Xehanort's Visionary Villain.
  • Fusion Dance: With the Guardian for his final forms.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Summons Energy Balls which fire them.
  • Genre Blind: He thought darkness was the true source of all power and knowledge from which everyone and everything was created. In a Disney game. The in-game Kingdom Hearts set him straight.
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: Even makes the usual pose with it a few times.
  • Guardian Entity: "Come, Guardian!" His entire fighting style involves floating around letting the Guardian fight for him and defend him. His final form in the first game is the only time when Ansem himself fights.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Kingdom Hearts, the so-called ultimate darkness he was searching for, turns out to be light, and ends up doing him in.
    • He also tried to corrupt Riku with darkness, only for Riku to turn that darkness into a weapon and become immune to corruption from it.
  • It Can Think: Unlike all other Heartless, which are explicitly described as being mindless creatures who function on instinct, Ansem retains all of his intelligence and higher reasoning. The real Ansem theorizes that this is because Xehanort willingly became a Heartless. That version of Xehanort also being a Fusion Dance character with multiple hearts probably helped, too.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Declares this to Riku when trying to tempt him back to darkness.
    "You are weak. You need darkness. Surrender. Bow to darkness. Bow to me."
  • Karmic Death: He believed that the true essence of the heart is darkness. To his surprise, he was proven wrong when Kingdom Hearts, instead of granting him the power of supreme darkness, vanquished him with its light.
  • Leitmotif: With the exception of the first game's final battle, any battle theme involving him opens with a series of six organ chords. He's always got some variation or reprise of Forze del Male or Guardando nel Buio.
  • Large Ham: By far the largest within the entire series.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The big reveal about him being Xehanort's Heartless was a major spoiler back in II that entirely cast the events of the first game in a new light. But by 2015, we've known this for about 10 years, so it's not even spoiler-marked anymore.
  • Living Shadow: The Guardian, which in some renders is shown to literally extend from his feet like a shadow.
  • The Magnificent: Seeker of Darkness. This becomes far more relevant as the games go on.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Played both the villains and Riku through their darkest desires.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To Maleficent, manipulating her to gather the Princesses of Heart.
  • No Name Given: Sort of. This is the only Xehanort incarnation to not be given a proper name of his own, he's only ever referred to as Ansem or Xehanort's Heartless by other characters. His original title "the Seeker of Darkness" was discarded after the first game, but persisted in the fandom for the sake of differentiating him from the other "Ansems" including the real thing, and then became Ascended Fanon as a title for Xehanort in general, to the point where an alternate title for "the Xehanort Saga" that Word of God has given is "The Dark Seeker Chronicle".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He was out to use the Heartless and the Disney Villains to destroy the universe with darkness.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Even after being destroyed by Kingdom Hearts, a small piece of himself was still alive in Riku. It got purged in the sequel.
  • Power Floats: He's always floating around in combat, and is usually only shown standing on the ground in cutscenes.
  • Red Baron: The Seeker of Darkness. Not exclusive to him.
  • Sequential Boss: First you fight Ansem, then Ansem again, then a Darkside, then you fight Ansem attached to the World of Darkness before fighting the ship itself, then finally Ansem again.
  • Significant Anagram: Probably unintentional, but "nAmes" is surprisingly relevant to anyone with the name Ansem; they all have more than one name.
  • Size Shifter: He's absolutely enormous for his final battle in the first game.
  • Shirtless Scene: As the final boss of the first game. What a body.
  • The Sociopath: Literally heartless, not to mention it comes with the territory as an incarnation of Xehanort.
  • Sphere of Power: In his new battle phase in 3D his Guardian becomes one.
  • Sphere of Destruction: His new attack in 3D is to trap you in one.
  • Squishy Wizard: Ansem almost never fights directly, relying on the Guardian to attack for him while he floats around, occasionally summoning it to defend him. He is also far and away the most magically-inclined of the Xehanorts.
  • Starter Villain: For the entire franchise. Though he does return in later entries as well, alongside other villains, and suffering no Villain Decay in the process.
  • The Stoic: Prior to possessing Riku, after which all bets are off and no scenery will be left unchewed
  • Straw Nihilist: "All things begin in darkness, and all so end." Yeah, Sora basically tells him this is complete bull, and guess who turns out to be right.
  • Teleport Spam: Ansem does this with his Guardian for his Dark Shadow attack, sending him into a portal into the ground and rising and uppercutting the enemy.
  • Time Travel: 3D reveals this is why he lacks a body of his own, after he was spawned from Terra-Xehanort, he cast off his body to be able to travel through time.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ansem was not a terribly difficult final boss in Kingdom Hearts. For his return in Dream Drop Distance, on the other hand, he becomes far more powerful, both as a boss and in a case of Cutscene Power to the Max, where he effortlessly subdues Riku, who not ten minutes before beat the snot out of him.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: After possessing Riku in the first game, he morphs Riku's body into one resembling a long-haired Young Xehanort wearing Master Xehanort's outfit.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gets a rather subdued one in KH3D when Riku rejects his offer to embrace the darkness. This is what triggers the boss battle.
  • Vocal Evolution: Richard Epcar's voice acting improved a lot between KH2 and Re:COM, although it's more like the vocal director gave him some breathing room instead of forcing him to try and out-ham Billy Zane with unsuccessful results. He's also significantly better in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Also, Akio Ohtsuka himself was actually over-the-top hammy to an annoying level in the original Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts, but also sounded a lot better in Re: COM.
  • You Don't Look Like You: As of 3D, he was given a completely new face to better resemble his other incarnations.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Kairi completes the Final Keyhole Ansem says this to her, which unfortunately for him was the one thing Riku wasn't willing to do.


    Young Xehanort 

Young Xehanort
"You haven't the slightest idea where you actually are."
"I will be led wherever it is I am destined to go."
Voiced by: Takanori Okuda (Japanese), David Gallagher (English, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep), Ben Diskin (English, 3D: Dream Drop Distance)
Appearances: Birth by Sleep | Re:coded | 3D: Dream Drop Distance | III

This enigmatic figure first appears in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to challenge the heroes in the Land of Departure as a Bonus Boss. Why he shows up is completely unknown — he doesn't say a word and even the Keyblade he drops upon defeat is simply named "No Name". Despite the seemingly random encounter, Word of God confirms that a battle with one of the trio is canon.

Later on he reappears in 3D: Dream Drop Distance as the main antagonist and is described as a being travelling worlds that causes beings of darkness to manifest in his wake. He was revealed to be another incarnation of Master Xehanort, and is working on another scheme to seize power. He is distinguished by somehow having the ability to manipulate time, which is a critical plot point.
  • Ambiguously Evil: His moral standing is rather unclear - mostly because he doesn't fully understand what he's doing, and he believes he wouldn't have any control over his actions even if he did. Ben Diskin has mentioned that he was deliberately instructed to not make the character sound stereotypically evil.
  • The Assimilator: His goal is to travel to different time periods to gather appropriate vessels to become Xehanort clones.
  • Badass Baritone: In the English version, at least compared to his very youthful Japanese voice.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Not even Xehanort himself is above his manipulations — Young Xehanort says that although he'll forget what he's learned of the future when he returns to his own time, the knowledge will remain in his heart and he will inevitably live out the life he is meant to lead to bring everything to this point. He also comments that a rule of time travel is that you cannot change events that are meant to happen, implying this to be in effect for the entire series.
  • Berserk Button: In his Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep fight, trying to attack him while he's in the middle of his Beam Spam is a bad idea. He usually stands there and lets his beams do the work, but try and attack him and he decides to start attacking you again while the beams are still firing, and this will likely get you killed.
    • And then in Dream Drop Distance, the only time he breaks his Creepy Monotone is when Riku tries to rescue Sora before he can be made the 13th Xehanort vessel. However, Word of God reveals that this may be more a Berserk Button of Master Xehanort, who imposed Villain Override on him and caused the personality change and enhanced power set.
  • BFS: The keyblade associated with him, No Name, is pretty big. His variation of the No Name in 3D is even larger.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: His laser blades can connect into a Double Weapon, but he usually wields them separately, only connecting them during his combos.
  • Bishōnen: While Ansem and Xemnas also apply, this one has the youthful face to go with it.
  • Black Cloak: His only attire, as a throw-back to Xemnas's Bonus Boss appearance.
  • Blow You Away: In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep he can use Whirlwind to the Void and knock away your commands.
  • Bonus Boss: In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (and by extension the 2.5 HD port) allows players to escape from his Collision Magnet attack by dashing away in midair, and as it's his most infamous and deadly attack, it's a welcome relief. He's at full power everywhere else, however, and is still a very powerful opponent.
  • Call Back: In 3D, as he attempts to rewind time, you will be bombarded with attacks from his Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep battle.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: First appears as a Bonus Boss in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep; his next appearance in Dream Drop Distance sees him as The Heavy.
  • Cold Ham: Uses Xehanort's typical overdramatic lingo, but doesn't seem to understand it well enough yet to become a true Large Ham who is Milking the Giant Cow like his future incarnations.
  • Cool Key: The No Name is a Laser Blade Keyblade with a clock motif. And his variant of it in 3D adds demonic faces to the mix.
  • Creepy Monotone: He never raises his voice or shows much any emotion outside of facial expressions. Justified, as he's taking part in events he's going to forget about once he's done, is doing things he's meant to do anyway, and probably doesn't fully understand what he's been told — his emotional investment in things isn't much.
  • Crosshair Aware: Try to charge up your Shotlock and he teleports to avoid your targeting cursor.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Summons four copies of himself in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to attack you all at once. The clones vanish in one attack, if you can manage to get one in, because they're all going to attack at once and will not let up. The second phase of the fight in 3D is a Doppelganger Battleyou can't actually damage Young Xehanort himself, you have to attack the clock emblem, which is producing a constant stream of clones to attack.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: This is Xehanort from before he was chosen by the Keyblade and long before he gained dark powers as Master Xehanort. Lacking a Keyblade does not keep him from putting up a fight against full-fledged Masters or near-Masters like Aqua and Terra. The "Empowered" comes in because he was taught how to control time from his later incarnations, and thus he probably didn't have that power at first.
  • Establishing Character Music: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep features a fully cloaked Bonus Boss who's theme combines nearly all of Xehanort's Leitmotifs with no other context to identify him. He reappears in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance with the same theme working for Xehanort. Turns out he's a younger Xehanort who's time traveling to unite his many incarnations, hence the reuse of all their themes.
  • The Fatalist: His attitude regarding the Because Destiny Says So entry above.
  • Final Boss: In 3D. The story hits its climax with his battle, the boss after is just a Post Final Boss to tie up a final loose end, and is much easier to defeat while this guy is still up to BBS levels of power.
  • Grand Theft Me: He ends up getting possessed by his original incarnation, Master Xehanort, in his boss battle in 3D. Which in turn, grants him brief control over a variation of his standard Keyblade and to initially break free of Mickey's Stopza spell.
  • The Heavy: In Dream Drop Distance. He's not the main antagonist, but he's the one driving the plot in their stead.
  • Help Yourself in the Future: This is essentially what he's doing, helping his future self form the new Organization XIII advance his Me's a Crowd plot.
  • An Ice Person: In 3D he can fire ice shards at Riku.
  • Interface Screw:
    • He can actually knock commands off of his opponent, who is forced to scramble to pick them up off the ground while dodging his attacks.
    • It's a bit unclear if it's actually intentional on the developers' part, but in 3D his Teleport Spam is too fast for the camera to track at times, so if you're locked on it can seriously screw with your dodging.
  • Invisibility: Has a penchant for going invisible and pulling out an instant KO combo.
  • Laser Blade: Dual wields two laser blades as his weapons. The Keyblade you get from him, No Name, is a Laser Blade Keyblade. And then in 3D he wields a variation of it over his laser blades for the first part of the battle with him.
  • Leitmotif: His character them is "Xehanort -The Early Years-". He also has two battle themes exclusive to him, "Dark Impetus" and "L'Impeto Oscuro."
  • Jerkass: Can come off as this to some players due to his lack of remorse for his actions.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He moves and teleports rapidly and hits with combos powerful enough to drain you from full health to critical.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Can shoot barrages of darkness that will afflict you with Slow.
  • Mind over Matter: He force-pushes both Riku and Mickey at different points.
  • Mind Rape: Subjects poor Sora to this.
  • Mirror Boss: Has many of the same commands as you such as Meteor, Raging Storm, Mega Flare, Collision Magnet, Restore Barrier, Sonic Blade, Vanitas's X-shaped Sword Beam, Marluxia's Doom and Whirlwind to the Void, Laser Blades like Xemnas, can clone himself like Xemnas, and in Dream Drop Distance he even wields a Keyblade. Dream Drop Distance also justifies how he can do this, since he's a young Xehanort that has visited multiple time periods to gather alter-egos of his future self. Notice most of those attacks can be used by people Xehanort has corrupted, so presumably this Xehanort is privy to All Your Powers Combined.
  • Morph Weapon: Combines his separate blades into one, throws them out as orbs of light to shoot out like projectiles, elongates them to stab forward, and can fling them through the air like a whip. Also does many of the same tricks with his Keyblade in 3D.
  • Mythology Gag: He's a thematic retraux of the Unknown Bonus Boss from Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, wielding similar weapons and appearing in a similar fashion, and like it foreshadowing the Big Bad of the next game.
  • One Steve Limit: Technically averted. In side materials his Birth by Sleep appearance is called "Unknown", the same not-really-a-name given to Xemnas's Kingdom Hearts Final Mix appearance.
  • The Quiet One: He's very soft-spoken and calm, especially compared to your typical Xehanort. Even in battle, he doesn't use attack calls like most bosses and only lets out the occasional grunt with a handful of actual dialogue. The one time he raises his voice is when Master Xehanort performs Villain Override and takes over his body, but then that's not even Young Xehanort doing it.
  • Painting the Medium: He can knock the commands out of your menu, when he reverses time the music goes backwards too, and he teleports to avoid your targeting sensor when you try to use a Shotlock. And then in 3D he can replay cutscenes.
  • Playing with Fire: Can use Mega Flare and Raging Storm in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and in 3D he can use a fiery variation of Whirlwind to the Void in the second phase of his battle.
  • Punch Clock Villain: In a certain sense of the word — as far as he's concerned he's just doing what's destined to be done, and while such acts are evil, there's no malice in his demeanor. And given that this is a teenaged Xehanort from before he Jumped Off The Slippery Slope, how evil he was before Ansem told him about what he's going to end up becoming is up for discussion.
  • Reverse Grip: Holds his laser blades like this. Not his Keyblade, however.
  • Shout-Out: During his Desperation move, he yells out "Toki yo, tomare!" In addition to this, he has an attack where he conjures a bunch of ice shards around him that, after a sudden flash of light, are inexplicably surrounding and about to converge on Riku.
  • SNK Boss: He can clone himself, with all five clones able to attack individually; his "Collision Magnet" attack stuns you so the follow-up attack doesn't trigger Second Chance; he can blow your command cards across the arena, forcing you to pick them up; and any time you land a hit on him he may decide to rewind time to undo the damage and recover from the blow. This is in addition to his lightning-fast, powerful attacks. Then when his HP are low, he turns invisible, preventing you from targeting him, and begins to use multiple attacks at once, in addition to all of the previous.
  • Speed Echoes: During his battle in 3D he'll teleport just as you initiate an attack, leaving an afterimage.
  • Stable Time Loop: It's implied he became able to move through the worlds and leave Destiny Islands because of Ansem, and though his memories of what he's learned regarding what his other incarnations will do will be erased when he returns to his own time, the knowledge of the events will remain embedded in his heart and draw him to live them out.
  • Start of Darkness: His meeting with Ansem SoD sent him forward through time to help himself, ingraining his destined path into his heart.
  • Sword Beam: Can fire them in 3D.
  • Theme Song Reveal: According to Word of God, his theme "Dark Impetus" contains a clue to his identity. It seems to take elements from "Rage Awakened" (Terra's Lingering Sentiment), "Darkness of the Unknown" (Xemnas' final battle theme in Kingdom Hearts II), and "Lord of the Castle" (Marluxia's final battle theme in Re:Chain of Memories). Which mostly all fits together when you learn he's a younger Xehanort that orchestrates the re-creation of Organization XIII.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Does this during one of his combos.
  • Time Master: He can avert No Cure for Evil by rewinding time to before you hit him. It even makes the background music go in reverse for a few seconds. His desperation move in 3D is this on a larger scale — he rewinds the battle to the start of the fight, even replaying the intro cutscene over again to complete the illusion, but he only recovers two bars of health. He's also able to resist Mickey's fourth-level Stopza spell, which even Ansem and Xemnas are halted by - although this may have something to do with Master Xehanort taking control of his body, given the fact that it's shortly after this that his Keyblade appears.
  • Time Travel: Is a younger Master Xehanort traveled forward in time from the past.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: It's not much of a spoiler listing him here in the Xehanort section, since the trailers for Dream Drop Distance spoiled his status as yet another Xehanort by simply showing what he looks like — it's just a matter of figuring out in what way. Tetsuya Nomura also spoiled a major plot twist near the end of the game by confirming outright that the white-haired figure in the black cloak was the Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Bonus Boss.
  • Troll: Most of his appearances throughout 3D are him just appearing to taunt Sora and occasionally Riku before vanishing. Turns out this is precisely the idea, since he's luring Sora deeper into his dream world in order to Mind Rape him. Also acts as this to the player, constantly rewinding time to reset the battle with him and keep the fight going on longer and longer.
  • Turns Red: When low on health in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep he'll turn invisible and will begin using multiple attacks at once. And then in 3D, he gets faster, teleports more often, and his attacks are harder to avoid.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He was very similar to Riku in his youth - just a boy tired of being stuck on Destiny Islands and wanting to see the world.
  • Villain Override: According to the Ultimania for 3D, Master Xehanort did this to him for the battle with Riku in Where Nothing Gathers so as to be able to override the Stopza imposed by Mickey.
  • Whip Sword: Can extend and lash his weapons out to ensnare opponents.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In a conversation with a young Eraqus in III, Xehanort says he believes that the future has "already been written", likely due to him subconsciously remembering his time travel in 3D.
    Eraqus: Who's to say I can't change it? And maybe light will prevail. There is more to light than meets the eye. You might be surprised.
    Xehanort: Oh, I hope so.



"For a Keyblade Master, you're not very—what's the word—good?"
Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka (Japanese), James Patrick Stuart (English)
Appearances: Birth by Sleep | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance

Braig was one of Ansem the Wise's six apprentices. He also appears in Birth by Sleep as a recurring foe, and turns out to be a lot more important than anyone suspected. For his Nobody who was part of Organization XIII, and is one of the XIII Seekers of Darkness see here.
  • Accent Adaptation: His surfer-dude accent of his Nobody in the English version of KHII is the Japanese version of a similar accent to reflect his laid-back attitude. It gets downplayed in later appearances, though.
  • Affably Evil: He's quite friendly and jovial for a major villain.
  • Back from the Dead: In 3D, as Xigbar, despite the destruction of his Heartless and Nobody meaning that it should've been Braig who came back. It is possible that he's simply being called Xigbar, or prefers that identity. The 2.5 Remix release makes it clear that Braig did come back as he was before becoming a Nobody showing that both him and his time traveling Nobody are in the true Organization XIII.
  • Bastard Understudy: As Braig to Master Xehanort. The secret ending of Birth by Sleep even shows that every event that transpires in the first Kingdom Hearts onwards is attributed to him carrying out Master Xehanort's plans.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: He can combine his arrowguns to make a Sniper Rifle.
  • Breakout Villain: Similar to Axel/Lea, Braig's and his Nobody Xigbar's roles in the series has greatly expanded with each release.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a powerful warrior and useful ally for Xehanort, but he's rather eccentric compared to most of the non-Disney villains, being Xehanort's most chatty and least serious vessel.
  • Catch Phrase: "As if!"
  • Chekhov's Gunman: His Nobody first appears in Kingdom Hearts 2, where his role in the Organization is secondary to Xemnas, Saix, and Axel. By Birth By Sleep it turns out every major event that transpires over the course of the series happens because he planted the ideas in Xehanort's head..
  • Co-Dragons: With Vanitas to Master Xehanort in BBS. He, as Braig, probably served as The Corrupter for Terra-Xehanort, given that he's been at least partially possessed by Xehanort since the events of Birth by Sleep, to make sure that Xehanort's plan weren't laid to waste.
  • Deceptive Disciple: He was scheming to betray Ansem before any of the other apprentices even had the thought.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's got a very dry and cynical wit.
  • Evil Makeover: Braig started out with brown eyes and normal ears. By the end of the game, his remaining eye is yellow and his ears are pointed, a sign of Xehanort's possession over him.
  • Eyepatch of Power: He begins wearing one after Terra scars him with a Dark Volley shot. See next trope.
  • Eye Scream: Birth by Sleep shows that Braig lost his right eye by being hit in the face with a ball of darkness fired by Terra's Keyblade.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Though less so in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Friendly Sniper: Though he was definitely an Affably Evil Sniper as Braig.
  • Grand Theft Me: In Dream Drop Distance, his Nobody reveals that he's been influenced/partially possessed by Xehanort since Birth by Sleep.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Take a wild guess which. Like with his eye, Braig received this by having a ball of dark energy from Terra's Keyblade graze his face when it was launched to free Master Xehanort from the chains that bound him to a pillar.
  • Gravity Master: Uses this to move along walls and ceilings.
  • Guns Akimbo: Dual-wields two Arrowguns.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: It's implied that Braig is envious of the Keyblade wielders and joined Xehanort in the first place in hopes of becoming one himself.
    • Be Careful What You Wish For: Of course, being turned into a copy of Xehanort himself isn't necessarily the best way to go about getting your own Keyblade... Possibly subverted in that Braig willingly went along with the Nortification process aware of the trade-off.
  • Japanese Pronouns: "Ore."
  • Jerkass: He's a selfish jerk and troll who doesn't even really respect Master Xehanort, the guy he's working for.
  • Lampshade Hanging: As Braig in Birth by Sleep, notes about Terra's Keyblade "seems like these days everybody's got one of those", and remarks on Xehanort's amnesia "boy, this is some cliché."
  • Laughably Evil: He's evil but he's got a decent sense of humor, especially among the normally serious Xehanorts.
  • The Nicknamer: Tends to give nicknames to the heroes he meets.
  • Not What I Signed On For: After losing his eye and getting a facial scar from Terra, Braig furiously attacks Master Xehanort, who had apparently said he wouldn't get hurt.
    Braig: I didn't sign up to be collateral damage!
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He's probably one of the smarter members of Ansem the Wise's six apprentices, particularly in regards to Xehanort's plans and the Keyblade.
  • More Than Meets the Eye: When he's not interacting with others and is talking to Xehanort, Braig shows a very different side to him.
  • Paranoia Fuel: At the end of Birth by Sleep, the memory-sealed Xehanort acts as an in-universe example of this for him. Braig isn't 100% sure that it's not really Terra under there, and given that Terra was the one who scarred Braig's face, his uneasiness is almost palpable. Given that he's at least partially Xehanort at the time, he's probably fearing that Terra's memories would resurface and their plans getting laid to waste.
  • Personality Powers: He plays with people and with gravity, it fits.
  • Pointy Ears: Courtesy of partial Xehanort possession.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Often derisively calls Master Xehanort an "old coot," even to his face.
  • Space Master: With some overlap with Gravity Master. He is able to use it to completely change to make himself levate, and having more control over Corridors of Darkness to attack from multiple angles at once.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The North American release of KHII misinterpreted his name as Bleig; the PAL release and all subsequent games rectified this.
  • Supernatural Gold Eye: Braig's remaining eye becomes yellow after he accepts Xehanort's gradual possession of him.
  • Surfer Dude: His English speech patterns are modeled after this.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Thanks to his space attribute, he can teleport at will.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: When he's Braig, before he gets his scars from Terra.



Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Xehanort