Video Game / Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
aka: Kingdom Hearts Three Five Eight Days Over Two

"Gotta hang on to something, right?"note 

"What mattered the most was remembered the least."
Tagline

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (said as Three-Five-Eight Days Over Two) is the oddly named fourth offering in the Kingdom Hearts series. It is an interquel, taking place between Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts II and overlapping Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories at a few points. As the name implies, the game takes place over almost the entire year between I and II.

A departure for the series, 358/2 Days stars Roxas, Sora's Nobody introduced in II, and his life as part of the unscrupulous Organization XIII. It also introduces Xion, a previously unmentioned 14th member that can also use the Keyblade and has an appearance similar to Kairi, Sora's Love Interest. Due to game's seeming lack of a central antagonist, it largely focuses on developing Roxas' friendship with Axel and Xion and characterizing the other Organization members.

The game uses the same Action RPG format as the main games, but modified for the portable format. Rather than simply exploring worlds in one go, Roxas is sent on various missions by the Organization that require frequent visitations, with the plot unfolding as the missions are undertaken. There's also a local multiplayer option that allows up to 4 players to take on missions together as any Organization member (or some Secret Characters), giving it the largest player cast in the series.

Many of the cutscenes were remade in HD with new voice work for the Compilation Re-release Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 ReMIX, including several which were previously text-only. However, gameplay is not available.

This would be the last game in the series to feature Wayne Allwine as the voice of Mickey Mouse before Allwine's death in 2009; as well as the final performance of Christopher Lee as DiZ before the actor's death in 2015.

Has a Lighter and Softer manga version.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion:
    • Completing every mission and every mission 100%, respectively, will earn you Mickey and Sora as Mission Mode characters.
    • If you want the Secret Reports, you have to play the challenge (and special challenge) missions sooner or later.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the HD I.5 ReMIX, most, if not all, of the missions are summed up in a small text display - a great deal of the Theatre Mode cutscenes take place in Twilight Town or the Castle That Never Was. Thus, various pieces like "last day to work with Xion, gotta get the Keyblade to work" are left to assumption. A sizable amount of context is lost as a result.
  • Advertised Extra: Mickey Mouse's only story relevance is in one scene, but he is featured on the cover art.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Zant Stage Rush variety. Each form of Xion is fought in a different world: First Form is in the Bizarre Room in Wonderland, Second Form is at the Manor Ruins at Halloween Town, Third Form is in the Lamp Chamber at Agrabah, and the Final Form is at the Clock Tower in Twilight Town.
  • All There in the Manual: The authors of the Secret Reports are never stated in the game (though some can be easily be identified by the context), only the Ultimania book.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: The player can replay previously-completed missions as "holo-missions," simulations provided by the Organization. After a certain point in the game, an Ordeal Badge appears in most missions that, when collected, gives the player access to one of a set of holo-missions called "challenge missions." The mission can be completed normally, but it also has an optional objective that will earn the player "Challenge Sigils" that can be redeemed for in-game rewards. Challenge missions also impose mandatory restrictions such as raising the level of enemies/putting a Cap on the player's level, disabling attack magic, disabling healing, and so on. A few missions also have an "Ordeal Blazon" to collect for access to an even harder challenge.
  • Artificial Human: Xion is not a natural human, she's a Replica created by Vexen. She was designed to copy the Keyblade's power (via taking memories from Roxas) so Xemnas could have more direct control over the weapon.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The "partner" characters have a tendency to run into walls, fall off of ledges, and teleport in front of the player during jumps.
  • Auto-Revive: The Auto-Life Ability Panel will revive the user once per mission. The Level 1 version revives them with 1/3 of their total HP, the Level 2 version revives them with 2/3 of their total HP, and Level 3 version revives them with full HP.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Firaga spell has a decently sized explosion radius, but it also has an awkward trajectory that forces it to travel in an arch. This limits its range while also making it difficult to actually hit moving targets.
    • The Curaga spell creates a small field of energy that will quickly restore the HP of the user or any ally that stands in it. Its use in combat is limited since you're forced to stay put in the small area to receive the healing, making dodging boss attacks difficult to impossible.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sax in berserk mode. Subverted for Xion in her transformed final boss state. She appears to be this, but she's actually feigning it so that Roxas will destroy her and she can return to Sora.
  • Becoming the Mask: Reading the Secret Reports reveal that Axel's initial promise of friendship to Roxas was a lie and that he didn't really feel anything toward him. After coming back from the events at Castle Oblivion, he gradually became Roxas's friend for real.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Xemnas' plan to get rid of Roxas and stop Sora's reawakening are thwarted when Xion forces Roxas to kill her, but everybody forgets she ever existed since her existence was based off of the memories of someone else.
  • Bonus Boss: The Dustflier is an optional seventh Heartless in a mission near the end in which Roxas has to take out six. It's essentially just a supersized version of a normal enemy, and it spends the battle flying around. Every time it lands on the ground, it sends out a very large shockwave that can inflict one of thirteen status effects, including blinding you, reducing your defense to level one, and keeping you from jumping. The player is warned beforehand that it's one of the strongest Heartless in the game, but it's easy to go in unprepared and be killed within two hits (not exaggerated in the slightest bit) by this monstrosity.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The game warns you about a couple of these: "Caution! A powerful enemy is near!" Living Pods are a straighter example, while Invisibles are actually harder than their boss version, Orcus, mainly by virtue of having a crapton more HP.
  • Boss Remix: The theme that plays during the last stage of the fight against Xion, "Vector to the Heavens", is a remixed combination of her theme, Kairi's theme, and the series' Recurring Riff "Dearly Beloved".
  • Boss Rush: Mission 89 on Day 353 has Roxas going around Twilight Town to take down 6 powerful Heartless: Gigas Shadow, Poison Plant, Stalwart Blade, Orcus, Veil Lizard, and Power Armor. There's also an optional fight against the draconic Dustflier, the strongest enemy in the game, that appears in front of the Clock Tower once the other 6 have been defeated.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The Ultima Weapon is an Ability Panel that increases the strength bonus of weaker weapons to +100, making the early game weapons and Joke Weapons completely viable options. It can only be obtained by completing every challenge mission, which includes some of the hardest parts of the game due to the number of Arbitrary Mission Restrictions.
    • The Master's Circle accessory grants total immunity to all Standard Status Effects and has a high Defense value, but also damages the wielder whenever this miss an attack and prevents healing once they hit critically low HP. It can only be obtained by getting every Mission Crown, which requires completing all missions in Mission Mode at least once.
  • Brick Joke: A sad version with Roxas and the winner stick. He keeps forgetting to give the stick to Axel as a present, and later decides to wait until he gets a second one so Axel and Xion can both have one. When he leaves the Organization, the last thing he does is give the winner stick to Axel.
  • Call Forward:
    • The concept of summer vacation and going to the beach gets brought up a couple of times. The prologue of Kingdom Hearts II takes place towards the tail end of summer vacation and has Roxas trying to go to the beach with his friends.
    • When Axel asks Roxas "What's our boss's name?" to ensure the latter is following what's going on. This same question is used in the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II when Axel is trying to get Roxas to remember their friendship.
    • The door statue of the Thresholder that Sora fights in Kingdom Hearts II is present in Beast's Castle.
  • Camera Centering: Double-pressing the R button while no enemies are around will focus the camera directly behind the player character.
  • Camera Screw: The auto camera is finicky, but it won't give you too much trouble except near walls. Unfortunately, when it does, it screws you hard, making two boss fights (Leechgrave and Ruler of the Sky) much more difficult, and making many of the in-game challenges much harder than they should be.
  • Captain Obvious: Roxas's first recon mission with Vexen has him pointing out very obvious features of Twilight Town's infrastructure.
    Roxas: These tiles are different than the others... it's like a road...
    Vexen: Fascinating... And?
    Roxas: Um...
    Vexen: We'll never get anywhere if you just keep stating the obvious.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: During a visit to Beast's Castle, Xaldin tells Roxas that if a giant Heartless would ever attack, it would come from the bridge. During 50 Mission on Day 171, a giant Heartless does show up and it's fought on the bridge.
  • Chest Monster: Some chests contain Heartless known as Cymbal Monkeys and Tricky Monkeys instead of prizes.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Starting with this game the series has made liberal use of Player Punch.
  • Cloning Blues: Xion is a Replica designed to absorb Sora's memories through Roxas. Once she finds out, she has an identity crisis and runs away from the Organization.
  • Continuity Lockout: The game assumes players already know what happens in Kingdom Hearts I, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts II, doing little to fully explain what happened to newcomers bar a tutorial about the nature of the Heartless.
  • Copy Protection: Pirated copies won't go past choosing your difficulty.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Organization XIII spend much of their time hunting down Heartless so they can take the hearts.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Donald has the highest Magic stat out of all characters, but all of his other stats are bottom-of-the-barrel or below average and the limited Magic system makes his bonus pretty moot. The character with the second highest Magic stat, Zexion, can actually deal physical damage with strong combo finishers due to the Critical Hit mechanics and his high Crit% stat.
  • Critical Hit Class: Sax in Mission Mode. His natural Crit and Crit% stats are both the highest out of all characters, and many of his weapons supplement these with bonuses. A high leveled Sax with the right equipment can manage to have one out of every three hits be a Critical Hit, and those crits will do enough damage to take off a full HP bar's worth of health.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 have identical 4-button layouts (albeit with different labels), but this game's attack and jump buttons have swapped positions from previous titles.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Axel makes several snarky comments while teaching Roxas about the basics of the game.
    Axel: See, there's this thing about chests. They have stuff in them.
    Roxas: So I should open the chest?
    Axel: Yes, that is generally what we do.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying during the story mode places the player right before the fight that killed them, with full health and their magic and items restocked to the level they were prior to entering the room.
  • Defector from Decadence: Roxas eventually gets so tired of not knowing anything that he ditches the Organization.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Xemnas gets surprisingly little screen time for the leader of the Organization and the game's main antagonist.
    • Mickey Mouse's only appearance during the story is in one scene that's completely irrelevant to the narrative.
  • Diary: On Sax's suggestion, Roxas keeps a journal of his time during the Organization. It serves the same purpose as Jiminy's Journal from previous games by giving small recaps of each day's events (assuming the day is story-relevant), on top of giving some insight as to Roxas' feelings.
  • Difficulty By Region: The international versions of the game are easier than the original Japanese. Enemies have less HP, Munny is now awarded for beating missions, and some enemies deal less damage.
  • Disappears into Light: When Xion dies, she turns into light and fades away.
  • Dismotivation: Demyx is a total slacker who goes as far as bribing Roxas to do his work for him, because he's "not cut out" for fighting.
  • Doomed by Canon: Xion is never seen or mentioned in Kingdom Hearts II despite her important role in Roxas's life with Organization XIII. Roxas has no flashbacks involving Xion, so that hints at Xion being Ret Gone. Explained in-game that as Xion's essence was reabsorbed into Roxas, there was nothing left to remember Xion with. Unlike Roxas and Namin, she utterly ceases to exist.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Sax and Axel are revealed to have formed a plan to overthrow Xemnas, before Sax became the mask. However, unlike Marluxia, who wants to overthrow Xemnas to take over the Organization, Sax and Axel sought to overthrow Xemnas to reclaim their hearts. That and the fact that Xemnas really wanted to use Kingdom Hearts's power to become a god-like being...
  • Dummied Out: Profile sprites for Pinocchio characters, Megara, Hades, and Tinker Bell exist in the game files.
    • Roxas, Axel, Xion, and Marluxia have slightly different HUD sprites that went unused.
    • An enemy called Crooked Chariot was planned to appear in the game (possibly in Olympus Coliseum, judging from its pegasus-like appearance). Its model can still be found buried in the data.
    • There are a couple of Keyblades that have unused palette swaps, such as the Leviathan's counterpart (known as the Wind Maker).
  • Dying as Yourself: Xion transforms into... some kind of creature (presumably her true form with Sora's combat abilities) in the final battle with her, but returns to normal as she fades away.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Xion transforms into Ventus once. The same cutscene also shows that Xigbar knew Ventus.
    • A weirder, smaller, kinda-sorta example: at one point, Sax calls Axel "Lea", clarifying Axel's original name just in time for Lea's appearance in Birth by Sleep.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: Lexaeus's Mystery Gear Joke Weapon is a Moai head on a stick.
  • Effortless Achievement: The HD I.5 ReMIX Compilation Re-release has 6 trophies that are unlocked just by watching all of this game's remastered cutscenes and reading Roxas's Diary and the Secret Reports.
  • Failsafe Failure: Xion was created as a failsafe, in case Sora and Roxas were unable to fulfill their roles in the Organization's plans. However things don't go as expected when Xion discovers the truth about her existence and rebels.
  • Fake Difficulty: Any Unexpected Gameplay Change segment — the controls are set up for an action RPG, not faux stealth segments. Fortunately, it's the only part.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • Roxas fights Xigbar in the Olympus Coliseum about halfway through the game, though it's a friendly match for the games meant to maintain a charade.
    • Xion and Axel face off twice during the game. Both times it's sparked by Axel needing to bring her back to the Organization against her will.
    • On Day 352, Roxas and Xion are tricked into fighting each other without realizing it (they think the other is a Heartless due to an illusion) as part of Xemnas' plan, though they're quickly stopped by Axel. They fight again on Day 357, though this time Xion is forcing Roxas into it to get him to destroy her.
  • Framing Device: The whole game is Roxas recalling the year on one of the last days (day 357?), before it all went down. He narrates between each major event and an image of him sitting forlorn on the tower with his head drooped accompanies it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Xigbar nicknames Xion "Poppet" early on. His pseudo-lampshading ("What? Are you jealous because Poppet got the best nickname?") is practically Harsher in Hindsight.
    • "Poppet" in and of itself just means she's a pretty young thing. It, as well as the Japanese equivalent, "puu-chan", are both derived from the French word "poupee", which means puppet.
    • Xigbar also says, "Ain't Xion just a peach now? The face of an angel. Just gotta be careful — girls her age have many faces." It can be taken as Xigbar knowing she's living off Roxas's energy, but since Xion is a Sequential Boss... It may also foreshadow the fact that Xion is seen differently by different people. Xigbar knows this, as he sees her as Ventus.
    • Xion's multi-faced nature is hinted at throughout the game in a very subtle way. Within any given cutscene, her hood will randomly appear as up or down depending on who's speaking, with only a camera angle change to disguise the sudden transition. It's easy to mistake this for a bug if you don't already know.
    • There's also some mild foreshadowing to Birth by Sleep, because Tinker Bell is actually pretty nice to Roxas and seems to be trying to get his attention. How does this fit? She knew Ventus, the Roxas lookalike, in Birth by Sleep and probably thinks Roxas is Ven! She was probably trying to tell him to rejoin the Lost Boys.
  • Gender Bender: Believe it or not, Xion is an incomplete Roxas clone created from Sora's memories. She's female because Kairi's face and personality are Sora's strongest memories, but near the end of the game, with Sora's memories nearly reconstructed by that point, she ends up looking exactly like him just before going One-Winged Angel on Roxas (where "she" looks pretty much like a fully armored Sora with an echoing female voice).
  • Get Back Here Boss:
    • Multiple fights with the Emerald Serenade, which just flies around, out of reach, never attacking. Subverted in all but one such fight, as it speeds up as it takes damage and forces you to ambush it (the game even warns you that chasing it is "an exercise in futility").
    • Ditto with "The Stranger" in Twilight Town, except it's played straight.
    • The boss fight with Ruler of the Sky, which mostly acts like the Emerald Serenade until it Turns Red.
    • Inverted in mission mode as "Get Away From Me Boss" when playing as Xigbar, Zexion, or Vexen, since they're long-range (by virtue of their weapon for Xigbar, and magic orientation for the other two).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Two examples, both revolving around Larxene.
    Larxene: What are you looking at? ...Oh, dream on. It's not gonna happen, pipsqueak.
    Demyx: Man, why's Larxene gotta be such a witch?
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: The other Organization members in the Gray Area sometimes ask you for a specific common panel. If you hand one over, they'll give you a different panel in exchange. Whether this is worthwhile varies, as the panels they give you are also common drops, and they never tell you what you're trading for beforehand.
  • Glass Cannon: The "Extreme" accessory allows you to turn Roxas (or any character in mission mode) into one. "Extreme" sets your HP to 1, giving you unlimited use of your Limit Break, but causing you to die from a single hit (or two, if you have Auto-Life installed).
  • Going Through the Motions: Among other examples, the "sea salt trio" all have very particular ways of sitting down at the clock tower whenever they meet there.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Zigzagged. Xion initially resists such a proposition despite the pain she feels, until Xemnas interferes in an attempt to force her to absorb Roxas. Not that he actually succeeded — she's only feigning insanity because she needed Roxas to destroy her artificial body so she could return to Sora, where she (quite lucidly) decided that she belonged.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Xion.
  • Gratuitous French:
    • All of Larxene's knives have French names. Except in the French version, where they instead have German names.
    • Xion's theme is officially called "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion," which means 'music for Xion's sadness'.
  • Grid Inventory: The panel system.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Some missions have Roxas team up with the other Oragnization members to help complete the objective. Each member except for Xemnas and Sax joins him at least once.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Due to Roxas being Doomed by Canon, the absolute final battle against Riku is this.
  • How We Got Here: The game begins on Day 255, with Roxas and Axel on the clock tower. Then the game goes back to Day 7 to start the tutorial, showing the friendship of Roxas, Axel and Xion as the story moves on. Once you get to Day 255 again, things steadily go downhill.
  • I Know Your True Name: Sax pulls this on Axel as a not-so-subtle reminder of where the latter's loyalties ought to lie.
  • Immune to Flinching: All 4 forms of Xion cannot be stunned at all regardless of how much you hit her. Even when you interrupted her heal, she doesn't even react to being hit, instead she just flew down and continue the fight.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: A certain challenge mission increases the levels of enemies by 60.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Equipping the Mystery and Casual Gears give the Organization XIII members bizarre items to use as weapons, such as a huge sandwich for Zexion or a banana for Sax.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Well, it depends on the character which one is better, but equipping the Pandora Gear+, Omega Gear+, or the Zero Gear will result in one of these for each character. Notably, those three are the only gears that actually change the weapons given to the non-Organization characters. For Roxas, the Zero Gear can even change his fighting style entirely.
  • Instrument of Murder: Equipping Xigbar with the Mystery Gear makes him wield a pair of trumpets in the stead of his Arrowguns. They shoot musical notes, accompanied by the appropriate sound effects.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: A far more literal interpretation of the "puzzle" aspect. Roxas's inventory, leveling system, skills, and equipment are represented by "panels" which are slotted into a grid. Some things take up more space than others, and in various shapes. You'll need a keen eye to assemble everything efficiently.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • Roxas, Xion, and Sora have an average 5/10 in every stat. This makes them the most versatile characters due to the minor stat customization given by the Panel System, but far from the strongest or most specialized.
    • Axel has his stats ranging from a slightly below-average 4/10 to a slightly above-average 6/10, while his chakrams give him both decent ranged and melee options without specializing in either. This gives him a good amount of flexibility without being dedicated to one style.
  • Jerkass:
    • Sax is constantly cruel to poor Xion, and refuses to acknowledge her as anything but a disposable Replica.
    • Vexen flat-out calls Roxas an idiot to his face and spends most of his tutorial with Roxas insulting the kid's intelligence, even though Roxas's spaciness isn't really his fault.
    • For the Limit Break tutorial, Lexaeus demonstrates the optimal health amount by punching Roxas in the face.
    • Larxene complains about having to go on missions with Roxas, is incredibly callous towards him while giving instructions, and is implied to be a jerk to everybody based off of a couple of Demyx's comments.
  • Joke Item: Equipping the Mystery or Casual Gears will give an Organization XIII members a silly weapon will weak stats. For example, Zexion gets a huge bologna sandwich and Sax will wield a giant banana.
  • Justified Tutorial: Roxas is a newly-born Nobody, and new to the Organization. Since he knows nothing, his fellow members have to inform him about the nature of the Heartless and how to fight.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Sax will occasionally yell "Grovel before me!" at Roxas during his Boss Battle.
  • Last Request: As Xion lays dying in Roxas' arms after their fight at the end of the game, she asks him to "set Kingdom Hearts free" from Organization XIII. He fails due to being captured by Riku on the way over to the Organization's castle, though it's implied that she knew that would happen and made the request as a trap.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Roxas is a Nobody. This is a massive twist in Kingdom Hearts II that the game tells you within a couple of minutes.
    • The only Organization member to return from the Castle Oblivion mission is Axel.
  • Leitmotif: Roxas and Xion each get one of their own. There's also a theme that plays whenever Axel, Roxas, and Xion eat ice cream after missions; a different arrangement of it shows up in Birth by Sleep when Ven and Lea meet in Radiant Garden.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The various Joke Weapons become viable options when equipped with the Ultima Weapon panel, as it increases their damage output dramatically.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Organization tries to get rid of either Roxas or Xion by pitting them against each other.
    • In the games at Olympus Coliseum, Xigbar shows up as a surprise boss. You're expected to fight him seriously and he doesn't disappoint, but after about a minute or so, The Usual Adversaries interrupt.
  • Level Drain:
    • A standard status ailment.
    • Fairly late in the game there's a mission where Roxas's level is halved because he's having an "off day". This is justified when you learn later that Xion had drained a lot of Roxas's power at that point.
  • Limit Break: If a character's HP bar gets low enough so the green part is gone and the orange part is all that's visible, holding down the attack button will activate their ultimate move. They can use it for a period of time relative to how much HP is left (less HP means more time), and equipping the Final Limit panel will double that duration while upgrading the attack during the second half. Each character has their own unique move (except for Roxas and Xion, who share theirs), with some requiring spamming the A button, others requiring precise timing when pressing it, and a couple not requiring the attack button at all.
  • Lip Lock: A pretty bad case of it, but it thankfully doesn't come up too often due to text-box dialogue using character portraits. The HD I.5 ReMIX theater mode, however, gets hit with this one hard, with gameplay models being generated for a series of cutscene with no gameplay.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Vector to the Heavens" is quickly tossed into the cutscene preceding the final battle with Xion in the HD I.5 ReMIX cutscene movie instead of having no music like the original game. Since the movie does not recreate any of the in-game fight scenes, the decently long battle theme is only heard for about 40 seconds before it's cut out by the switch to Xion's death scene.
  • Loss of Identity: Roxas.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Unless you happen to know Japanese or know enough about culture, Xion being pronounced "Shion" will probably mean absolutely nothing to you. Shion is actually the name of a plant associated with memories in Japan.
    • Axel's speech about why the sun sets red at the beginning. Roxas spends a lot of time wondering who the "boy in red" is. And the Japanese word for sky? Sora.
  • Low Level Run: Levels, like everything else, are panels, and thus if you don't equip any, you're reduced to level 1.
  • Made of Iron:
    • In the Limit Break tutorial, Lexaeus cuts Roxas's HP down by hitting him square in the face. Lexaues is the physically strongest member of the Organization, and Chain of Memories shows him being able to shatter boulders with his fists.
    • During a mission in Halloween Town, Roxas takes three exploding pumpkins to the face with no adverse effects. These Pumpkins are later shown to be able to blast holes in a stone wall.
  • Magic Knight: Xemnas is the best example due to his strength and magic both being near the max, when other specialists have one field with all other stats really low.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • The fight against Leechgrave takes a significant amount of time, as it's only safe to attack for a short period after its Tentaclaws have been destroyed.
    • The Ruler of the Sky is fought while airborne in a huge area, and at some points requires Roxas to chase it down to hit it.
    • The Bonus Boss Dustflier has nine and a half health bars and a ton of defense. You spend quite a bit of time running around dodging its near one-shot attacks.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Xion's name was liked by Nomura because of its many meanings:
      • Shio (tide), which connects her to Kairi and Namin.
      • Shion, which is a flower given to someone to mean "remembrance". Which is tragically ironic.
      • Her original name, No. i: In mathematics, i is used to denote the square root of negative one and is often referred to as an "imaginary number".
      • Lowercase Roman Numerals, like i, used to denote subsections or footnotes underneath the capital ones.
      • Roman numeral I is one... No I... No one...
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Xigbar has an ammo counter that determines how many shots he can take before he needs to reload his clips, with the exact number of shots varying between Gears. If he's in the middle of a combo and runs out of ammo, he will continue to attack without firing any shots.
  • Mind Screw: Indeed it is.
    • The existence of the protagonists themselves is based upon a vaguely defined concept of Nothingness, which is anomalous and shouldn't exist, and the plot revolves around rectifying this.
    • Most of your main playthrough of the game is told from Roxas's POV. Unfortunately, Roxas is ridiculously, egregiously left out of the loop.
    • The Snarl of Memories cutscene.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The game has the Mission Mode, which has a multi-player option. The enemies have buffed stats compared to story mode whether you have multiple players or not.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Non-comedic version. 'Count the chairs. When have we ever been more than thirteen?'
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: The Organization is better about following their Prime Directive than Sora and co. are. 1: Do not reveal the Organization. 2: Remain out of sight of natives. 3: The mission comes before everything. Roxas eventually violates the Directive about the third time Tinker Bell needs his help.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Zig-zagged. There are a few times where you can see your ally appearing right behind you despite stopping to kill a heartless or getting stuck on something. However, there are other occasions in which you can see them teleport right next to you. Helps keep them from getting stuck on an obstacle.
  • One Extra Member: Xion is the the fourteenth member of Organization XIII. She isn't actually a member or a Nobody, just a Replica designed to absorb Sora's memories. By the end of the game, she was Ret Gone'd from everyone's memories.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Extreme accessory will reducer the wearer's max HP to one, though it also allows them to spam Limit Breaks indefinitely.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Larxene is a huge Jerkass and a sadist, but her last interaction with Roxas involves her almost nearly giving him compliment.
    • Vexen's tutorial mission gives him a more teacherly role than most other members and portrays his attitude somewhat sympathetically.
  • Poisonous Friend: Axel becomes obsessed with keeping Roxas and Xion "safely" in the Organization... whether they like it or not.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Roxas leaves the Organization because no one is willing to tell him who Sora is, where he comes from, and why he can wield the Keyblade.
  • Post Final Boss: The "real" final boss is Xion, whose destruction is the emotional climax of the narrative. The fight with Riku afterwards is significantly easier and shorter, and is more of a formality to lead the game's ending into the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Sora is mentioned multiple times throughout the game. And when you fight her, Xion calls on Sora's memories to power herself up. But Sora himself is only seen through instances of dj vu Roxas feels as he visits the different worlds. The bottom screen shows Sora in the same pose Roxas is in through a haze of static.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Roxas isn't happy when he learns Axel had been keeping the truth about Xion from him. "Didn't have it memorized, huh?"
  • Regional Bonus: Interestingly enough, Days has a feature in America it doesn't in Japan: In Japan, you must play Mission Mode with other people in order to get the reward, but in America, you can earn the Mission Crowns in Solo Mission Mode. You also get a varying greater-than-normal amount of them the first time you beat the mission, ranging from 3-4 with normal "kill stuff and report back" missions to 8-10 for major bosses.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Trope Namer. Towards the end of the game, Roxas decides he's done with Organization XIII and leaves. The Organization still needs him, so Dusks, Samurai, and eventually Sax show up to prevent his departure by force.
    Sax: We don't accept resignations.
  • Ret Gone: Once Xion is destroyed, everybody who knew about her forget she ever existed because. The reason this happens is explained as her existence being based off of Sora's memories, so once she's gone the memories will go back to him and any trace of her will disappear.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the end of the game, Roxas goes on a pretty heated one, with his goal being no less than the total destruction of the Organization and the release of all the hearts in Kingdom Hearts. Riku takes him out before he can even get back to the castle, though.
  • Running Gag: During the very first mission to Agrabah, the fact that it's covered in sand comes up constantly.
  • Sad Battle Music: Xion's fight theme, "Vector to the Heavens", is very melancholy and piano-heavy.
  • Sailor Earth: A canon example. Secret reports reveal that Xion's name comes from her Organization number, No. i. As in the imaginary number.
  • Secret Character: Characters other than the core members of Organization XIII can be unlocked for Mission Mode.
    • Progressing through the game automatically unlocks Xion, Riku, Donald, and Goofy over time.
    • King Mickey can be unlocked by completing every story mission and purchasing "The King's Return" from the Moogle shop.
    • Sora can be unlocked by completing every story mission 100% and purchasing "Sora's Awakening" from the Moogle shop.
    • To play as Dual Wielding Roxas, equip him with the Zero Gear with 3 Ability Units.
  • Sequential Boss: Xion, who has four different forms.
  • Shipper on Deck: Xigbar teases Roxas about his relationship with Xion, at one point telling him that "No girl wants a guy who's weaker than her". It's heavily implied that Xigbar was just screwing with Roxas, as he knew Xion's true nature as a Replica from the start and she looks like Ventus to him.
  • Ship Tease: The Roxas/Xion subtext is paper-thin, and the subtext between the two of them and Axel isn't much better. Xion herself says she loves them in one of the reports, and while Axel's feelings are a bit more complex, Roxas' friendship with Xion is about as close to love as a Nobody can get. One of their mutual Keyblades is even named after a poem dedicated to parting lovers.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The protagonists can never accomplish anything, or else the Big Bad wins and the universe ends. Ouch.
  • Shout-Out:
    • If Luxord has the Casual Gear equipped, he wields a "deck" of CD(-ROM?)s called (at least in the English versions) "Finest Fantasy 13". Take a wild guess what the name sounds like?...
    • One of Demyx's Joke Weapons is a giant tennis racket. Its name? Prince of Awesome, while his Ultimate Gear weapon is called "Up to Eleven".
    • Roxas has a weapon called "Total Eclipse," a possible reference to the Bonnie Tyler song "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
    • Lexaeus has a weapon called "Octiron."
    • The ring that offers 100% illusion resistance is called "Lose Your Illusion", named similarly to the Guns N' Roses double album Use Your Illusion.
  • Smashing Survival: The Hover Ghost's special attack quickly drains your health unless you mash a bunch of keys to escape.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Xion's final battle theme — in stark contrast to the epic orchestral Ominous Latin Chanting-packed themes of the previous game, this one is a melancholy piano-heavy Boss Remix of her theme that truly emphasizes the tragedy of the circumstances.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Haste ability increases the player's running speed while equipped. Leveling it up grants a slightly higher bonus.
  • Standard Status Effects: 358/2 Days introduces a number of these, including very standard ones like Blinded and Silenced, as well as some unorthodox ones like Ignited, Frozen, Shocked, Air-Tossed, "Shoe-Glued", and Rewound Defense (sets defense to what it was at Level 1).
  • The Starscream: Sax and Axel planned to betray the Organization, sending nearly half of them to Castle Oblivion so they could be killed by Axel and/or Sora and seeking the Chamber of Awakening in the Castle to find out what Xemnas is up to. They don't go through with it due to the rift that forms between them and Axel's lack of interest after becoming friends with Roxas and Xion.
  • Tagline: "What mattered the most was remembered the least."
  • A Taste of Power: Odd example at the end of the game: Day 358 is Deep Dive; you'll play as Roxas dual-wielding Oathkeeper and Oblivion, capable of killing Neoshadows in one hit. With the right panel configuration, you can use him in Mission Mode, though not with quite the same level of strength.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The credits give a specific mention, along the lines 'to all Kingdom Hearts fans'.
  • Title Theme Drop: During the battle with Xion's final form.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Judging from their titles, all of Zexion's lexicons apart from his joke weapons, which consist of a sandwich and what sounds like a Secret Diary but turns out to be a laptop computer.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Sax. He was never the nicest guy around in Kingdom Hearts II, but he's just plain brutal here.
    • This applies to pretty much everyone (especially Xaldin) with the exceptions of Luxord, who is the most polite member of the group, and Marluxia and Larxene, who aren't quite as nasty as they were in Chain of Memories (but then, they didn't have time to be.)
    • Zexion isn't exactly mean, he just falls into the category of a harsh teacher. He only insults Roxas once when Roxas suggests returning to the castle instead of going beyond the quota he was given.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Taken to an almost ridiculous degree where roughly 30% of the cutscenes will involve watching 1-3 people sitting at the top of a clock tower and eating ice-cream.
  • Tragic Monster: Xion at the end of the game, depending on your interpretation.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Xion and Roxas both get their turns.
  • Troll: Xigbar knows everything about what's really going on but doesn't have a lot to actually do, so he spends most of his time screwing with other members of the Organization. He teases Roxas about his relationship with Xion knowing that she's his/Sora's Replica that is likely to eventually kill him, and baits Sax with vague comments about Xemnas's own dark secrets.
  • Vancian Magic: The panel system works this way. You can only use whatever spells/items you have loaded when you accept a mission (you can pick up more items, but there's a limit to Backpack space).
  • Villain Protagonist: Played with. Org. XIII are the villains of the series, but you're playing as their Token Good Teammate.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • So much in this game. Demyx spends his time writing songs, Luxord organizes the poker league, and the others like to lounge around in the couches in the Grey Area.
    • The manga also provides a panel of Xaldin, Demyx, and Zexion playing Twister.
    • The manga actually has this in spades. Even members of an evil organization are not immune to the effects of boring monologues by their superiors, it seems.
  • Visible Silence
  • Voice Grunting: There are a couple of totally voiced cutscenes, however.
  • WAFF: Most of the game, until the Wham Episode.
  • Watching the Sunset: Quite a number of the cutscenes involve this. Well, it looks like this anyway. They're in Twilight Town, which is eternally in those few minutes between day and night, and as such the sun technically isn't setting per se. Just eternally really low on the horizon.
  • Weirdness Censor: Twilight Town appears to be a ghost town whenever you visit. In fact, Xion, in her Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever form, doesn't attract anyone's attention and she's not only in front of the train station, but is in broad daylight.
  • Wham Episode: Once Xion's role in the story is revealed, everything gets much darker.
    • Wham Shot: Xion removing her hood in front of Roxas to reveal Sora's face.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Just one of the many emotions Roxas sees (and doesn't understand) in the Disney Characters throughout the game.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • Sax falls squarely into this trope with his treatment of Xion, for reasons better left unspoiled.
    • So does DiZ, though that was true in the second full title as well.
  • Witch with a Capital B: Demyx on Larxene.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Mickey Mouse is very prominent on the cover, yet only shows up in one scene that's not even relevant to the story.
  • Word Salad Title: It sounds like one, especially to those who haven't played it. It's so named because the plot describes the events that happened during Roxas's 358 days in the Organization with those days shared by two people.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Towards the end of the game, Kingdom Hearts nears completion and Xemnas decides that he doesn't need two Keyblade users anymore. He tricks Roxas and Xion into fighting each other with an illusion that makes them look like a Heartless to each other, hoping that one would kill the other.
  • The Worf Effect: When BEAST of all people is tossed over a castle gate by an unseen Heartless, it's enough to make some players really, really scared. The fact that this boss is considered That One Boss, particularly in its challenge mission, does not help.

Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Three Five Eight Days Over Two