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Characters / Kingdom Hearts: Roxas, Axel, and Xion

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Due to lengthy periods between releases and the prevalence of Late Arrival Spoilers, spoilers from installments before 2010 may be unmarked. Read at your own risk.

The best of friends, Axel, Roxas, and Xion were Organization XIII's number VIII, XIII, and XIV respectively. Roxas and Xion, who are amnesiac and curious about the world, would rather hang around Twilight Town and eat sea-salt ice cream than worry about the Organization's plans; Axel, though knowing about said plans, nonetheless treats the two as his friends, rather than as the Organization's tools. Things start to fall apart when Xion and Roxas begin to attempt to learn more about their pasts, while Axel tries to balance lies and the truth to keep them together.

Beware of unmarked spoilers below!


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    Roxas 

Roxas

Voiced by: Kouki Uchiyama (Japanese), Jesse McCartney (English)

Appearances: I | Chain of Memories | II | Birth by Sleep | 358/2 Days | coded | Dream Drop Distance | III

"Why did the keyblade choose me? I have to know."

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutin_42076.png
"What are you talking about? I am me! Nobody else!"
Click here  to see Roxas as a member of Organization XIII

Number XIII in the Organization. A mysterious Nobody able to wield the Keyblade, he defected when he realized that the Organization (sans Axel, though at the time Roxas doubted even that) cared nothing for him. He's revealed to be Sora's Nobody, born when Sora took his own heart in Kingdom Hearts I.


  • Absurd Cutting Power: His keyblades are a lot sharper than giant keys have any right to be.
  • Adorkable: He's rather clumsy and a childish dork in the manga who looks up to Axel gleefully, makes all kinds of silly faces, and frequently gets himself into all sorts of hijinks.
  • Alleged Lookalikes: As Sora's Nobody, he's often noted to have a strong resemblance to him...for some reason. Their faces are identical, but this is difficult to see when their usual facial expressions are so different, not to mention the different hair and voices. Other human/Nobody pairs are basically identical (compare Axel and Lea on this page), and the lack of characters noting the resemblance between the similar Kairi and Naminé is conspicuous. Later games open up the possibility that Sora/Roxas were actually being compared to Vanitas/Ventus respectively (characters tend to omit who they're making a comparison to), but there are several occasions where that is obviously not the case.
  • Anti-Villain: Even during his time in the Organization, he was never really "evil" and moreso just wanted to find out who he was. Once he vents his frustration in his fight with Sora, he's satisfied enough and drops all traces of villainy.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Roxas foiled every attempt by Organization XIII to terminate him.
  • Back from the Dead: In III, Roxas' physical body is restored through Vexen's Replica Program.
  • Badass in Charge: He was the commander of the Samurai Nobodies back when he was in the Organization. They all share his ability to initiate a Single-Stroke Battle with Sora.
  • Big Damn Heroes: As Xemnas is just about to kill Xion for refusing to kill Lea (who Xemnas himself had just beaten up pretty badly), Roxas comes shooting down out of the sky in the new replica body that Ansem the Wise and Ienzo had prepared for him.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Blonde to Axel' redhead and Xion's brunette.
  • Bound and Gagged: Twice in the manga adaptation. First, when about to be executed by guillotine after being framed by the Cheshire Cat for throwing a hedgehog ball at the Queen of Hearts. Second, when captured by the Lost Boys after being mistaken as a pirate.
  • Call-Forward: A rather powerful example towards who we all know is Naminé in KHII considering this is during his emotional fallout with Axel:
    Roxas: Somebody knows where I came from. If I can't get answers here, I'll get them somewhere else. That'll be the person...I trust.
  • Character Development: A central component of Days is that Roxas has to learn to emote on his own since he has no memories of his life to tell him how to, and he begins the game as a lifeless dullard. By the end, things are... different. In Kingdom Hearts II's prologue, he emotes more or less normally, but the residual memories from Days have traumatized him, and once again the circumstances drive him to give in to rage before he finally resigns himself to merge back into Sora. In 3D, he maintains that his name isn't Roxas and that Sora is him, though Sora insists that Roxas has as much of a right to be his own person as anyone else. It's a far cry from how he reacted to the reveal of his true identity in II.
  • Cloning Blues: He's not exactly a "clone" of Sora, but nonetheless he fits the bill. Much angst ensues when he finds out that he's just Sora's Nobody and not really meant to exist, and it takes a lot of Character Development (and a fight to the death with Sora) before he fully lets go of his anger and accepts his apparent fate. Ironically though, just as he comes to terms with being forever locked inside of Sora's heart, Sora becomes horrified at the idea and tries to find a way to give him his own life.
  • Cool Key: Two of them, which both double as a Cool Sword.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Absolutely, especially in Days, but with elements in II. He's born as what amounts to a lifeless doll without any memories to call upon. He develops a personality after getting close to Axel and Xion, who become his two closest friends. But in the end, he's forced to fight Axel and kill Xion. After that, he has his memories wiped again and is brainwashed into living in a virtual town. He isn't even allowed his own life when he discovers the truth as he's strong-armed into fusing back into Sora to make him whole again. You can't help but feel sorry for Roxas.
  • Cradling Your Kill: He holds Xion in his arms until she fades away after he defeats her.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Kingdom Hearts II starts off with him as the Player Character, though the role switches to Sora after the prologue is completed.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The next time we see Roxas in II, he's much more willing to (fully) merge with Sora and become whole.
  • Defector from Decadence: After the Organization's terrible treatment of him and Xion as well as him discovering all the secrets they — including Axel — have been keeping about who he is, Roxas decides he's had enough of them and leaves to find answers himself. Unfortunately, his independence is short-lived.
  • Depending on the Artist: Hand-drawn artwork and FMV cutscenes tend to show his hair as a much lighter shade of blonde than his in-game models. Come Kingdom Hearts III he's noticeably blonder and more in line with official art.
  • The Dreaded: Somewhat. When he makes his triumphant return in III, Xemnas is uncharacteristically unnerved and off-guard. Given his strength within the next fight, his alarm was well-founded.
  • Dual Wielding: He uses two Keyblades as his Weapon of Choice.
  • Duel Boss: In II Final Mix, he fights Sora 1v1 in Sora's Dive to the Heart.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He's reunited with Xion and Lea at the end of Kingdom Hearts III, arriving just in time to save them from Xemnas and being able to finally live out his days in peace with them in Twilight Town the way he always wanted to.
  • Fake Memories: His memories got replaced while inside Diz's Fake Twilight Town. He didn't take it well once he found out.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Fought Xion twice in Days. The first time they didn't know they were fighting each other and second was when Xion was trying to make Roxas kill her. Fought Axel in II but he doesn't remember him or anything about his past life.
  • Final Boss: The last fight in coded.
  • Flash Step: He can move temporarily as fast as light and his best melee attack slashes right through an enemy with two blades at light speed.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: After Roxas' Big Damn Heroes moment in III, Sora begins battle with Saix with Roxas and Xion for backup. Sora and Xion being there is more a courtesy than a requisite: As a combat ally, Roxas is powerful enough to thrash Saix all on his own - which, of course, is justified by how strong he is in the story.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Through a possible Psychic Link of sorts due to her power over Sora's memories, and by extension anyone connected to him, there are moments where Roxas in Days (like in Day 26) and KHII sees Naminé in his unconscious. It's unclear who's reaching who or if it just happens, but Naminé for her part can sense him and he [uselessly] tends to ask who she is.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Naminé, who claims herself to be Roxas twin sister as they were both born from Sora, looks pretty much like a female version of him.
  • Heroic Neutral: He's more concerned with living life with his friends than dealing the schemes of the villains, going so far as to blindly follow the Organization's instructions. His only real heroic actions are prompted by an ultimately vain attempt at reuniting with Xion after she fades away.
  • Hesitant Sacrifice: He doesn't want to be absorbed back into Sora, but by the end he realizes he has to and accepts it.
  • Iconic Item: Not the first keyblade wielder but he is the most associated with the Oathkeeper and Oblivion keyblades thanks to being the first keyblade dual wielder.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: A variation. By the standards of the series, he should be a seething ball of darkness (and Nobodies already have an affinity for darkness by default). Despite this, he shows a strong alignment with the light element and only uses powerful light magic like Holy in battle, and otherwise has no evidence of dark powers aside from the Corridors of Darkness that just about everyone in interspace can utilize somehow.
    • This is because when Sora turned into a Heartless, he was pure darkness. The expelled light (combined with Kairi being part of it) would have created Roxas, a Nobody of pure light. His appearance also screams that Ventus is a crucial part of his makeup as well. Also Sora's Heartless was a SHADOW, the weakest kind of Heartless out there. Sora's heart had very little darkness in it to begin with.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: He's a blank slate at first since he was created without Sora's memories. His bright blue eyes reflect how everything is new to him and he's almost as peppy as Sora at times. Then it's subverted when the weight of everything that happens to him makes him far more moody and cynical.
  • I Will Wait for You: Played with. Once he regains his memories he agrees to wait for Axel "in the next life" (once they've both become whole again), but while Lea retains Axel's memories (rendering them more or less the same person) the same can't be said for Sora, who sees Roxas as someone who deserves to be his own person anyway.
  • Joke Weapon: An umbrella with the Casual Gear.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: When Xion's nature as a replica who can absorb beings becomes dangerous to Roxas, he ends up on the perpetrator's side of her Suicide by Cop gambit.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Thanks to Diz and Naminé, Roxas forgot his time as a member of Organization XIII and thought himself to be a normal person.
    • Also the case when he first came into being. Due to the unusual circumstances that led to his creation, he didn't inherit the memories of his original self like the other Organization members did. Which is part of the reason why his personality developed into one separate from Sora's.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Roxas is Sora's Nobody. In his debut game, this was a big part of the plot, serving as the major plot twist of the opening act of the game. In any and all games featuring him since, this fact is always brought to the front from the very beginning, and is considered one of the defining aspects of his character.
  • Leitmotif: "Roxas".
  • Light 'em Up: With skills like Event Horizon and Magic Hour, as well as in his Boss Battle in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Light Is Not Good: It starts out that way, since's he's not exactly on Sora's side at first, but he gets better.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Hayner, Pence, and Olette are this for Roxas.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Had no idea whats going on within the Organization and their plans and why they're indifferent with Xion. This continues on until near the end of Days. where the frustration of not knowing anything and his questions about his connection to Sora has him leave the Organization.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: His leitmotif, "Roxas", is largely done with a piano.
  • Magic Knight: He is a self-trained swordsman and as also a master mage.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Not the main article himself, but Data-Roxas seemed to have picked up a few tricks from Marluxia in coded.
  • Master of All: He is one of the most destructive characters in the whole series, and has very high speed, good strength, high vitality, and strong magical powers. It's mainly his recklessness and temper that do him in most of the time rather than a lack of firepower.
  • Morality Pet: To just about everyone in the Organization before his Heel–Face Turn, and Axel in particular.
  • Multi-Directional Barrage: His Event Horizon Limit in Days fires giant pillars of light in all directions.
  • No Respect Guy: Throughout all of Days he does a huge number of missions for the Organization, runs a number of side jobs for many members, and by the end of the game has become the second most powerful member according to the Ultimania, which is seen when he utterly floors Saïx. And yet he's still treated like a do-nothing rookie.
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: Downplayed, but once his data version has fulfilled his role he tells Sora that there's nothing left for him to do but go away.
  • Power Floats: During his Limit Break in his boss fight, he floats into the air before cascading orbs of Holy down upon Sora.
  • Personality Powers: Zigzagged, though he can be cheerful, happy and heroic, he also spends a lot of time being moody, and wrestles with Cloning Blues due to being Sora's Nobody. It's less of a subversion if you associate him with the light of sunset, as the names of his attacks imply.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He doesn't have any idea what he's working towards for most of his life, and he doesn't really take any pleasure in his work.
  • Quest for Identity: Why he left the Organization in the first place. Since no one is willing to answer who he is and his connections to Sora, he decided to find the answers for himself.
  • Red Baron: The Key of Destiny.
  • Redemption Demotion: Though more because he has amnesia than because he left the Organization.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Xion's death spurs Roxas into attempting to storm the Organization's HQ and foil their plans by himself, and he's ready to take on anyone who stands in his way.
    • An implied one with his attempt to usurp control of their mutual body from Sora, seeing as it takes place shortly after his best friend died for Sora's sake.
  • Sanity Slippage: When Roxas is confronted by Riku after Xion dies, Roxas's unhinged dialogue indicates that he has somehow convinced himself that if he fulfills Xion's Last Request to set Kingdom Hearts free, she'll come back and his life will with her and Axel will go back to the way it was.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Justified. He didn't have any memories at the first parts of Days, but quickly learned how to fight thanks to the other members of Org XIII teaching him. As shown throughout the game, he didn't know many things that would be trivial to other people and kept asking Axel about it.
  • Something Only They Would Say: During his fight against Riku, he gets tricked into saying something only Sora would say to be thrown off his concentration.
    Roxas: Why don't you quit?
    Riku: Come on, Sora. I thought you were stronger than that.
    Roxas: Huh? Get real! Look which one of us is winning.
  • Split-Personality Merge: With Sora (his original, whole being, twice as of Dream Drop Distance), Xion (a clone of Sora's, and by extension Roxas himself), and possibly Ventus (whose heart is part of Sora's). ... It's complicated.
  • Storm of Blades: His thirteen shape-shifting columns of light rush throughout the battlefield destroying anything in the way.
  • Tears of Remorse: He cries after defeating Xion, even though by this point he can only remember her name via prompting and can't even remember it was him who did it.
  • Teens Are Short: He's the size Sora was when he lost his heart, same as Xion. Axel jokes about adding two half-pints together to get a whole.
  • Token Good Teammate: He, alongside Axel and Xion, is this for Organization XIII.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Both in the end of Days about his connection to Xion, and in the prologue to Kingdom Hearts II, when he is regaining his memory.
  • Took a Level in Badass: For most of his existence, he wasn't all that impressive, mostly used as nothing more than a tool. However, when he quits the Organization, he's able to defeat Saïx, Xemnas's Number Two, when he's only at less than half his peak strength. He's not even tired afterwards, while Saïx is keeled over in pain. This level appears to stick for his later battles with Xion, Riku, Axel, and Sora, even though he loses two of those.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Data-Roxas in coded. He is extremely resentful of everyone and spends the entirety of the Castle Oblivion level urging Data-Sora to break people's hearts because it'll be quicker to get his trials over with, and they're just hunks of data that no one else knows about and that Data-Sora will forget about immediately after, so who cares? This is because Data-Roxas is dealing with two different layers of What Measure Is a Non-Human?. He's a Nobody and a data copy at that.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sea-salt ice cream.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The horrible stuff that happens to this guy could fill a book.
  • Undying Loyalty: Seems to have instilled this in his Samurai Nobodies, as they still serve him even after his defection (and possibly killing several of them on the way out of the Castle That Never Was). To say nothing of the first, lone Dusk who still called Roxas "my liege" weeks after that same leave.
  • The Unfought: In the World That Never Was, Roxas starts a battle with Sora before losing and finally giving in. In the vanilla version of KHII this is just a cutscene, while Final Mix made it an actual gameplay battle.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: In Days, he gets access to Sora's Dodge Roll, which he can upgrade to different effects. Like Sora, his gives him a short period of invincibility.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • As a Keyblade wielder. Roxas doesn't know anything about using a Keyblade beyond it being a sword. Best seen in his fight with Sora, himself a self-taught Keyblade wielder. Roxas overpowers him with brute force, but Sora is able to catch him off guard and win by calling his Keyblade to his hand. Despite this being one of the more basic attributes of the Keyblade, Roxas appears completely surprised someone can do that.
    • In a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, Roxas' fighting style and movements are also not quite as refined as Sora's in II.
  • Visual Pun: Perhaps not intentional, but the "X" charm he wears as a zip-pull. In music, an X next to a note denotes a Double Sharp.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: He gets confused when he sees how much Belle and the Beast love each other, and doesn't understand it even when Axel tries explaining it to him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Roxas is kidnapped and forced by several heroic characters to merge with Sora, so that Sora could wake up and fight the dual threat of the Heartless and the Organization. The people trying to broker this merger refuse to acknowledge Roxas as an individual on the basis that he's technically Sora's zombified body. Dream Drop Distance shows that the merge was by no means perfect, and that Roxas still exists as a personality within Sora. At this point though, Roxas himself has come to peace with his situation; Sora is the one who objects. In fact, Sora objects to this so much that the 2017 Orchestra Trailer heavily implies - if not outright states - that bringing Roxas back into existence will be a major plot point of Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Workaholic: Can barely figure out what to do with a day off, and says he can maybe handle a week. It’s actually sorta sad.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sees Sora as this after their confrontation.
    Roxas: "You make a good Other."
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Thematically with the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, symbolizing Light and Darkness as well as Kairi and Riku.
  • Younger Than They Look: He looks, sounds, and acts like a teenager due to being produced from a teenager's body, but in reality, he's really only about 2 years old by the events of Dream Drop Distance.

    Axel 

Axel

Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Quinton Flynn (English)

Appearances: Chain of Memories | II | Birth by Sleep | 358/2 Days | coded | Dream Drop Distance

"What's your problem!? You both... think you can do whatever you want. Well, I'm sick of it. Go on, you just keep running! But I'll always be there to bring you back!"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutin_32236.png
"My show now, Keyblade master! Who am I? Oh, my name's Axel. Got it memorized?"

Org XIII's 8th member and the only one to survive Chain of Memories. Days reveals his Other's name to have been Lea, and then Birth by Sleep reveals that he was best friends with Isa, Saïx's Other. He appears regularly in Kingdom Hearts II, striving to bring Roxas out of the fake Twilight Town, and later pulling a Heel–Face Turn and helping Sora on his quest. However, he ends up pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Sora at the end of the game. In Dream Drop Distance, Axel is revived as Lea, his original self and helps Riku and Sora throughout the story. Towards the end of the game, it is revealed that Lea has gained the ability to wield his own Keyblade. For tropes specific to Lea, see Lea's folder on this page.


  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the KH2 manga and novels. An example being his final fight with Roxas, where he is still trying to get through to him in the manga and intends to burning the mansion down to be Together in Death with him in the novels, while he is fully committed to straight-up killing him in the game.
    • Another case is his kidnapping of Kairi, where they actually bond and begin to cooperate with each other before Saix kidnaps her from him, and Axel becomes wounded trying to save her. In the game, this did not happen as Axel says Kairi "got away from him" before being caught by Saix, and Kairi is initially wary of Axel when he comes back as Lea which shows no bond was ever developed between them and he never tried to rescue her.
  • Affably Evil: Although he initially he started off as Faux Affably Evil as listed below he developed into this over time thanks to his friendship with Roxas and Xion.
  • Anime Hair: Usual for the series, but his is a particularly bad case.
  • Anti-Villain: Introduced as a ruthless and manipulative bastard in Chain of Memories, but mellowed out in his subsequent appearances, as he becomes fast friends with Roxas and Xion. His sacrifice helps him complete the change to full-blown hero when he returns as Lea as of 3D.
  • Ascended Extra: He got an extended role in II after his role in Chain of Memories was popularly received, though he still ended up dying in that game.
  • Awful Truth: Axel became concerned enough about how often Xion fainted and how badly Saïx treated her that he started grilling Saïx for an explanation. Axel's inquiring eventually led him to discover what Xion really is, and the information weighed extremely heavy on his mind thereafter.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: He finishes off Vexen and arranges Zexion's death at the hands of the Riku Replica.
  • Becoming the Mask: Reading the secret reports in Days reveal that Axel's initial promise of friendship to Roxas was a lie and that he didn't really feel anything toward him (even down to him initially hating sea-salt ice cream, as revealed in the opening scenes of Days in 1.5). But when he was getting ready to go to Castle Oblivion, he is surprised to realize that he's actually going to miss hanging out with Roxas, which makes him deeply curious in Sora's heart. After he comes back from the events at Castle Oblivion, he became a real friend to Roxas.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Roxas and Xion. He becomes very protective over the two of them after they form a friendship. This is also his driving motivation from the middle of 358/2 through KHII, after he started essentially raising Roxas and acting as a surrogate parent. Of course, a lot of this has more to do with himself than with Roxas until toward the end.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Roxas, and a slightly lesser extent Xion. His influence is a major part of how their personalities developed (or how they gained them in the first place) and he helps them out with a lot of the problems they run into because "that's what friends do".
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead to Roxas' blonde and Xion's brunette.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the manga adaptation, Axel is mistaken as a pirate by the Lost Boys and tied to a tree along with Roxas. They are both cleared by Tinker Bell, since they were with her.
  • Breakout Character: He was supposed to die in the introductory sequence of II. He didn't.
  • The Caretaker: Of Roxas and Xion in 358/2 Days.
  • Catch-Phrase: Kioku shita ka? In Chain of Memories it was "Commit it to memory." KHII retranslated it as the more natural-sounding "Got it memorized?", which is used from then on.
    • He has another one, albeit less used, Why do I always get stuck with the icky jobs?
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Axel reluctantly allowed Xion to flee the organization when it was becoming dangerous for her to be around Roxas. Later on however, Axel goes after Xion anyway. While it's technically because he's been ordered to do so, he also makes it a point to let Xion know that it's also because he doesn't want her to sacrifice her life, which is what she intends to do.
  • Character Development: Its pathway is rocky, but Axel goes through quite a bit of character development. In Chain of Memories he was a callous, manipulative jerk, but after interacting with Sora it's noted in Days that his personality became more cheerful and friendly, and he also behaved a lot more genuinely too rather than putting on an act. Another example is his ability to see the humanity in others, something he himself takes note of: Axel didn't originally think of replica's as worthy of any compassion or consideration. Later on however, he realizes that learning that Xion is a replica after befriending her didn't change the fact he still saw her as a friend. A secret report shows that this also led Axel to look back, recognize, and feel guilt for how horribly he treated Riku-Replica, and how he could never treat Xion in such a manner. He relapses in his manipulative ways when he starts to fear he will lose Roxas and Xion, but in the end it's no question that his capacity to care has stuck, and ultimately he goes back to being genuine when he performs a Heroic Sacrifice for Sora and his humanity is restored.
  • Characterization Marches On: Despite some development as noted directly above, his characterization is still WILDLY inconsistent between Chain of Memories and all later entries. For someone who hated getting all the "icky jobs", he was wildly content murdering Vexen and Zexion, and had absolutely no qualms cutting down a little girl (Namine) to get to Marluxia. Although he most likely was referring to the fact that the "icky job" in question was capturing Xion, who he consider his friend and turning her over to Xemnas as the other "icky jobs" involved killing people who he did not care about.
  • The Chessmaster: He outwitted two scientists, two conspirators, and also the protagonists, and all that without breaking a single sweat.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Zig-zagged all over the place. Long story short, he goes from being co-conpirators with Saïx in the Organization to ditching that and the Organization itself to help out Sora. Beneath that, though, he's got layers upon layers of loyalties, in parts due to his assignment as The Mole during the Castle Oblivion and his own tendency to put his priorities before the Organization, with things getting even more complicated when different priorities of his begin to clash with one another (such as his friendship with Roxas and his own survival.)
  • Compressed Hair: How does that fit under his hood?
  • Contract on the Hitman: Axel's primary role in the Organization was to kill off troublesome members. Saïx sent him to Castle Oblivion with the intention of him being the only member to leave, and Xemnas sends him after Roxas after he defected. Axel's failure leads to the rest of the Organization hunting him down.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Heavy on both deadpan and full-on snark.
  • Demoted to Extra: From Chain of Memories to II, which is ironic considering what happened to him afterwards. According to Word of God, he was originally supposed to die at the end of Roxas' section of the game, so he would've been in even less if he hadn't turned out to be so popular with both fans and the development staff of the games. Thankfully, he was promoted back up to supporting character in 358/2 Days.
  • Determinator: Once Roxas was absorbed back to Sora, Axel went through great lengths to try to bring him back. Even more so in the manga where he dragged his injured body after fighting Saïx to help Sora and friends find Kairi, sacrificing himself in the process.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Serves as the final boss in the prologue of II.
  • Disney Death: Basically. The body that belonged to the being known as "Axel" dies for real, but he gets reborn with a new body as his original self (Lea) with all of his memories from his time as Axel intact, so he's essentially as good as new.
  • Double Agent: Played straight, then subverted, then zigzagged, then does a loop-the-loop into an aversion. In the end the only side Axel is clearly on is his own.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Especially in Chain of Memories, though he has elements of it in II before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: To another Dragon with an Agenda, no less, and even telling the other one that his cooperation isn't always guaranteed.
    Axel: I'll play it your way...for now.
  • The Dreaded: Axel's primary role in the Organization is that of a "fixer" (Saïx even refers to him as such) who keeps the other members in check and removes them from the board when necessary. Considering that someone as immensely dangerous as Marluxia hides behind a human-shield when up against him, Axel is deserving of his reputation. Likewise, both Vexen and Zexion utterly lose their shit when they realize that they're next on Axel's list. He is not feared only by those more powerful than him - Xemnas, Xaldin and Saïx - and those who are too arrogant to be scared, like Xigbar and Larxene.
  • Elemental Hair: Was anyone really surprised he turned out to use fire-elemental attacks?
  • Enemy Mine: When he helped Sora against the Nobodies in the Realm Between by blowing himself up and later used his last power to open a portal to the World That Never Was.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Axel does his share of villainous deeds in the series, but in Days he becomes increasingly intolerant of Saïx's dehumanizing treatment of Xion.
  • Evil Redhead: Red haired and opposed to Sora, though for different reasons than the rest of Organization XIII.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Chain of Memories.
  • Exact Words: Invokes this on Marluxia. When being obliquely tasked with killing Vexen, Axel pretends not to get it, requiring Marluxia to directly order him to "Eliminate the traitor." Axel comments that he can't take that back later and goes off to do the deed. Later, when attacking Marluxia, Axel reminds him that he and Larxene are traitors themselves and cites Marluxia's own order as a justification to kill him.
  • Expy:
    • Of Reno from Final Fantasy VII, to the point where they share voice actors in five languages (English, Japanese, French, Spanish and German).
    • Nomura was asked about their similarities and said outright he made Axel in the image of Reno to try out a familiar character in a new universe and see how he developed.
  • Face Realization: Of sorts. In the novels when Axel fights Xion for the last time, even though it's technically under orders, he admits that the things he's done and what he's now doing is for Roxas and Xion's sakes, not the organizations, even if it means being labeled a traitor.
  • Facial Markings: Two reverse teardrop shapes as Axel. They disappear once he's Lea again.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Axel tries desperately to protect Roxas and Xion from the Awful Truth of their existences, as well as from all the forces that desire their destruction. In the end he fails to keep them from finding out, fails to keep them safe, and their friendship is in shambles.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: He burns himself to death. It had to be toned down in the North American release.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Xaldin threatening him with a spear to the face doesn't faze Axel, but Xemnas preparing to turn him into a Dusk causes him to cave.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He acts like a Friendly Enemy to Sora in Chain of Memories and it looks like he's doing good by releasing Naminé, but as the D-Report in Riku's story mode notes on his character bio, it's all a means of manipulating them. Fully subverted when he returns as Lea.
  • Fiery Redhead: A literal example.
  • Foreshadowing: After freeing Naminé to go and save Sora he quickly notices how he was enjoying it, foreshadowing that his heart was beginning to return to him.
  • Flanderization: The use of his Catch-Phrase has gone up with each passing game. In his first appearance, Chain of Memories, he only said it once.
  • Gaslighting: Axel repeatedly lies in response to or dismisses Roxas and Xion's questions about their pasts, hoping they'll forget about them and remain in ignorance. They don't.
    • 3D reveals that Axel himself, along with all of the rest of the Organization, were victims of this tactic in how they were told they didn't have hearts or emotions, when the truth was it was possible for Nobodies to start growing their own hearts. This is particularly detrimental to Axel since it's clear he started feeling emotions again around Roxas and Xion, but he constantly squashed them down or ignored them because he truly believed he wasn't supposed to be capable of feeling anything.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: He's the first character to swear in the series, telling Sora "It's about time you give me one hell of a show!" in Chain of Memories. In Re:Com, however, the line was changed to omit the curse due to it being fully-voiced.
  • Green Eyes: The untrustworthy and spitfire take.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Does a partial one. Axel goes from being a vicious, spiteful arse to being a kinder, more thoughtful person over the course of Days. Due to traumatic events, he relapses at the end of that game continuing into II, but he comes back around in the end.
  • Heel Realization: After getting to know Xion and coming to care for her regardless of her being a Replica, he looks back on how he treated the Riku Replica with shame, thinking that he could never treat Xion in the same way.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: A platonic variation and inversion of this trope. Axel is so hung up over Roxas that he spends most of KHII trying to resurrect him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Kingdom Hearts II, he pulls one when he puts all of his being into an attack (not that Nobodies have a being) to save Sora and company.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Develops this relationship with Roxas until the end of Days, wherein his lies and Roxas being frustrated with not knowing what was happening nearly destroyed their friendship.
  • Hot-Blooded: Despite not having a heart, he has a fiery personality.
  • I Have Your Wife: Kidnaps Kairi in II to lure Sora out so he can turn Sora into a Heartless and get Roxas back in the process. Kairi gets away from him, and shortly afterwards Axel abandons this plan.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: He spends more or less all of Kingdom Hearts II being hunted down by Saïx, and both of them try to get Sora to sabotage the other one specifically. With later games revealing their past friendship and how they were originally planning on overthrowing Xemnas together, it turns out to be even more personal than it first appeared.
  • I Will Find You: He has orders to bring both Xion and Roxas back to the Organization at various points throughout Days and II, but it becomes increasingly more personal after Roxas defects, as seen by how emotional he gets when trying to retrieve Xion following that. By II, he's willing to do anything to get Roxas back.
  • Kick the Dog: Most of his malicious actions in Chain of Memories fall under Kick the Son of a Bitch... except when he threatened to kill Naminé when Marluxia uses her as a shield, or when he pushed the Riku Replica off the slippery slope for a few shits and giggles. Though in the Secret Reports in 359 1/2 days he admits that he did feel remorse for using the Riku Replica as it made him as bad as Saix and Xemnas who were using Xion in a similar vain.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Towards Roxas, and later Xion. He raises the amnesiac keyblade-wielding Nobodies, giving them advice, teaching them about the world, and sticking up for them... but he's also a really Poisonous Friend.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Axel is somewhat unique in the Organization, and to a lesser extent the entire series, in actually using his Villain Teleportation to duck out of losing battles.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: "You really do remember me this time? I'M SO FLATTERED."
  • Lovable Traitor: He and Saïx were planning on betraying Xemnas, which meant he also needed to get in good with Marluxia and Larxene and then betray them so that they wouldn't betray Xemnas first. Then he betrays Zexion. And he's just so cool in doing all this.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Downplayed example towards Roxas and Xion. It's zigzagged slightly in that his forming a relationship with Roxas and Xion actually made him become a kinder, more considerate person. However, his attachment to them also led him to become a Poisonous Friend who lies to them and makes them doubt their experiences, hoping it will keep them safe.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Axel does this with increasing frequency over the course of 358/2 Days to both Roxas and Xion, especially once he discovers the truth about Xion's existence. The results are disastrous.
  • Out of Focus: A major character in Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days; surprisingly inconsequential in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Parental Substitute: Acts as a mix of this and Big Brother Mentor to Roxas and Xion, although being a Nobody, it's flawed. Realizing he is the closest thing Roxas had to a brother casts his desperation to protect him in II in a previously unconsidered light.
  • Personality Powers: He's rather hot-headed, as fire users usually are.
  • Pinocchio Nose: Whenever Axel lies or is unsure of what he's saying, he'll break eye contact.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: When he dies in II he tells Sora that he really loved Roxas and that spending time with him made him feel like he had a heart. While it's not clear in that game, later games showed that he cared for Roxas like his own child.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: He tries to stop Roxas from leaving the Organization, invoking this, but ultimately fails. He does this again later with Xion in a more aggressive, unstable state of mind, and ends up taking her back by force, but Xion is taken from him later anyway.
  • Poisonous Friend: His obsession with "helping" or "protecting" Roxas and Xion rarely corresponds with what both of them actually want. He genuinely cares about them, but he also clings to the idea of keeping their relationship in a status quo so the three of them can remain that way forever, and in doing so he ends up lying and withholding information from them to their detriment. Ultimately his actions end up pushing Roxas away from him and causing the events that lead to Xion pulling a Suicide by Cop.
  • Red Baron: The Flurry of Dancing Flames.
  • Redemption Equals Death: His death scene in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Saïx's and Roxas's blue.
  • Secret Keeper: Axel keeps a multitude of secrets from his friends. He knows Roxas's true nature and later discovers Xion's, but keeps them to himself even if they are things they ought to know. In part, it's to protect their feelings from being hurt but it's also because he desires to keep their friendship intact. This just ends up hurting all three of them badly.
  • Secretly Selfish: Axel goes out of his way to explain and do a lot of things for Roxas and Xion, despite him playing up an attitude that he doesn't like doing 'troublesome things'. However, he also starts going out of his way to keep them in the dark about their true natures, even though they both want to know. In the novels he is shown coming to the realization that more than anything else, what he was doing was because of his personal desire for them to stay with him.
  • Shonen Hair: Dude's hair is insane. Maybe even moreso than Sora himself.
  • Single Tear: Axel sheds a tear when he and Roxas say goodbye after Axel sacrifices himself and Sora fights Roxas.
  • Spanner in the Works: Serves as this to the Organization, first outing their plan regarding Kingdom Hearts to Sora, then giving him a route into their base.
  • Taking You with Me: He dies in order to wipe out an entire army of Dusks.
  • Together in Death: In the novels, he intended to burn down the mansion he and Roxas fought in so that the two of them would die together rather than be separated again, but he ultimately couldn't go through with it. This does not appear to be the case in the game.
  • Tsundere: Axel often acts cool and unflappable, but every time Roxas or Xion compliment him or call him out about caring about them he gets really flustered.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He was usually underestimated by both comrades and enemies. That was a very fatal mistake.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: For his friends, anyway. Axel drags Xion back to the organization to prevent her from basically committing suicide, but that just leaves her open to being taken and modified by Xemnas into going One-Winged Angel, and Roxas is forced to kill her. It was going to be a bad situation regardless, but it was made so much more heartbreaking.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Grows out of the villainous part.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Axel starts to have flashes of emotion around Roxas and Xion, and he repeatedly notes that being around them makes him remember his life as a human. It's something that greatly confuses and weirds him out because Nobodies aren't supposed to have emotions. Then 3D reveals that Nobodies can grow their own hearts.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: He grows to care deeply for Roxas and Xion without realizing what it is and reveals to Sora that he made him feel the same way they did.
  • We Used to Be Friends: His friendship with Saïx drifted apart as he became closer to Roxas and Xion. Not until Axel failed to secure Roxas from Diz did Saïx consider him his enemy and vice versa.
  • Wild Card: In the end, the only side Axel was on before his return as Lea was his own.
    Lexaeus: And then there is Axel. Who knows what that one is thinking.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He knocks Xion out to bring her back to Organization XIII... twice.
    • He's also willing to attack and destroy Naminé in Castle Oblivion if that means getting at Marluxia.
  • Yandere: Of the friendship variety to Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II. In the novels, it goes to the point where he wants to die along with him inside of a burning mansion.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: When it's apparent that Xion is on the verge of finding out the nature of her existence, Axel becomes extremely obstructive to her, telling her to stop trying to remember her past and begging her to turn back.

    Xion 

Xion

Voiced by: Risa Uchida (Japanese), Alyson Stoner (358/2 Days, HD I.5 ReMIX, and III, English), Hayden Panettiere (Birth by Sleep and 3D, English)

Appearances: 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep | coded | Dream Drop Distance | III

"Good-bye, Roxas. See you again. I'm glad...I got to meet you. Oh...and of course, Axel, too. You're both my best friends. Never forget. That's the truth."

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutin_33305.png
"Who am I? What am I... here for?"

Number XIV of the Organization, introduced in 358/2 Days. A Keyblade wielder unable to remember her past like Roxas, she joins up shortly after him and they quickly become friends. It's later revealed that she's not a true member of Organization XIII or even a Nobody; she's a replica of Sora created from his escaped memories, and acts like a cage for the memories and a "backup" if Roxas or Sora were proved to be worthless to the Organization. Ultimately, Xion learns her existence threatens Roxas's and prevents Sora from waking up, and she decides to trick Roxas into killing her as a way of ruining Xemnas's plans.


  • Action Girl: Whenever she's feeling strong enough... which often comes at Roxas' expense.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Zant Stage Rush. For her fight, the stages are done randomly, and the final stage is in front of the Clock Tower.
  • Anti-Villain: To the point where she barely qualifies as a villain. When you get down to it, the biggest danger she poses against the protagonists' goals — and even her own — come from her nature as a replica absorbing more power than she wants and her desire to just exist.
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Everyone sees her differently, and if you don't know her she has her hood up even if it appears down for someone else. Roxas, Axel, Riku, Naminé and Xion herself all see her black-haired appearance, although it's implied that Axel at first saw her as Naminé. In the manga, Riku and Naminé also occasionally see her as Kairi. Xigbar sees Ventus, Xemnas sees Sora, and Saïx sees a faceless puppet.
  • Artificial Human: She's a Replica created by Vexen that was designed to absorb Sora's memories and give Xemnas another Keyblade user to control.
  • Badass Adorable: A Kairi look-alike that can fight? Yes please!
  • Back from the Dead: In III, Xion is physically restored to become a member of the True Organization XIII.
  • Berserk Button: Riku calling her Keyblade a sham provokes her to a furious rage. When she's unable to strike him down for the insult, she's reduced to screaming in impotent anger.
  • Beta Test Baddie: Not only does she have the Nobodies' standard lack of a heart, she's a replica of Sora made of his memories, and thanks to having those memories, initially believed she lived Sora's life without knowing who Sora was. As the final boss, she makes it look like she plays this straight, even going as far as absorbing Roxas to complete herself, as she was created to do, but she's a subversion in reality — she was acting.
  • The Blank: Her true, original appearance had no features (implied to be how all replicas start out). Eventually she develops the appearance of Kairi but with black hair, but some people, most notably Saïx, literally never come to see her as anything but a doll.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette to Naminé's Blonde and Kairi's Redhead. Also to Roxas' blonde and Axel's redhead.
  • Boyish Short Hair: It's a warped version of Kairi's first hairstyle: black instead of red, and mirrored.
  • Break the Cutie: She spends Days growing from a blank shell that speaks in monosyllables to a kind, inquisitive, downright heroic kid in parallel with Roxas. Then come the revelations about what she is and what dangers she poses to her bet friends and the worlds as a whole, and her personality takes a turn towards the darker until she feels like she has no choice but to go rogue from the Organization, and worse.
  • Came Back Strong: When Sora remembers her and says her name, she ultimately performs a Heel–Face Turn for good and rejoins Team Sora after the end of the battle with Saix.
  • Came Back Wrong: In III, with the True Organization XIII brought her back to fill out their ranks but under their control. It takes Roxas (through Sora) calling her by her name to get her to snap out of it, and it visibly hurts her to do so.
  • Cessation of Existence: Since she's made of memories and is basically bound to existence by them alone, returning to Sora means getting rid of her only tethers to reality. Remnants of her do exist in Sora's heart, though, and the memories of her aren't destroyed, but hidden in him. Ultimately undone in III when Sora says her name, causing Lea to also remember her along with Roxas when he returns.
  • Climax Boss: Big fight with multiple forms and phases? Wraps up a major story arc? Has a Post-Final Boss following her? Check, check, check.
  • Cloning Blues: Not just that she lacks individuality: lots of angst comes from her being not who or what she thought she was and being dangerous to her friends just by existing.
  • Combat Stilettos: Along with Larxene she's the only other one that has them.
  • Contralto of Danger: Compared to Kairi. It's minimal, but noticeable, especially in Risa Uchida's case.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Her fight against Riku is a painfully one sided affair, with it being implied Saïx sent her against him for that exact reason.
  • Cuteness Proximity: In the manga, she absolutely melts at the sight of Pluto.
    Xion: PUPPY! [Immediately begins to hug and start petting him]
  • Death Is the Only Option: She knows that if she continues to exist Roxas will fade, so she chooses to force him into killing her instead.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She dies being held by Roxas.
  • Disappears into Light: When she dies she turns into crystals which then fade into particles of light.
  • Ditto Fighter: In III, she can imitate Saix's weapon and moves, during the fight against them in the Keyblade Graveyard.
  • Dual Wielding: In her final boss form she wields two swords roughly shaped like the Nobody sigil.
  • Dying as Yourself: Her appearance before Roxas's battle with her is as Sora, as she is aware, and then she tranforms into what looks like armor reminiscent of Sora's appearance during the battle proper. When she dies, the armor is gone, her she's back to looking like black-haired Kairi.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After living out her first life essentially being The Chew Toy and starting her second life as a tool, Xion finally gets her hard-earned happy ending in III when she reunites with Roxas and Lea. She is last seen playing with Namine, clearly living the life of a normal girl.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Seems to be a recurring thing for her in particular among the trio: in total she's forced to fight Roxas and Axel twice each:
    • She and Roxas are first tricked by the Organization to see each other as Heartless to eliminate in order to test them and narrow down their shared power to one entity. The second time, Xion challenges Roxas in an attempt at Suicide by Cop so that she can properly return the memories she's made of to Sora and stop putting Roxas in danger.
    • She and Axel first fight when Axel is sent to retrieve Xion for the Organization after she's gone rogue looking for answers. The second time is during III, where Lea and Kairi fight her and Saïx during the Keyblade War, though neither of them seem to be able to recognize each other until Lea is put in mortal danger.
  • Foil: Could be considered one to Vanitas. Both were created from a stolen piece of a Keyblade wielder (Roxas/Sora' memories / Ventus's darkness), treated terribly by their superiors (Saix/Xemnas/Xigbar / Master Xehanort), were originally The Blank before taking a form resembling a member of the Destiny Islands Trio with black hair. And both were destroyed by their source for the sake of good in a battle where they and their originals were meant to become a single, more powerful being. But while Xion self-sacrificially chose to be vanquished for the sake of her friends and Sora, Vanitas let himself be vanquished to take over Ventus's body, forge the X-Blade and start a second Keyblade War.
    • Their personalities also clash. Xion is quiet, courteous, and thoughtful - Vanitas is loud, rude, and boisterous. Xion will avoid a fight if possible - Vanitas is a Blood Knight.
    • Both might be alive in some form in Sora's heart to eventually return.
    • Interviews state that she was deliberately created as a further exploration of the replica concept after Riku's replica from Chain of Memories, and that it was considered to have her follow a similar character development path as him, but ultimately they went in a different direction. As a result she can be seen as a foil to Riku Replica as well.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Invoked quite sadly; after Roxas defeats her he can't even remember her name. After she fades away, he and everyone else loses every memory of her.
  • Gender Bender: Xion identifies as female and for the most part looks it, but she's actually supposed to be a duplicate of Roxas and by extension Sora. Her entire being is constructed from Sora's memories and its explained that her appearance came from the fact the strongest of those memories were those Sora had of Kairi, but when she has memory flashbacks she sees them from Sora's point of view, and when enough of Sora's memories make it into Xion's body her appearance physically changes into that of Sora.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Twice-subverted. She 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: She's smiling at Roxas the whole time she's dying in his arms, and remains smiling as she Disappears into Light, happy that she's able to return to Sora.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: In III she is able to reject the piece of Xehanort's heart that was put inside her out of love for Axel and Roxas, and switches sides to fight alongside them.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • She ultimately decides to sacrifice herself to stop Xemnas and the Organization.
    • In III, she is the only member of True Organization XIII who defects partway through the final confrontation between the Guardians of Light and Seekers of Darkness. She is also the only one to survive to the end.
  • Heroic BSoD: Not so much on the heroic part due to her allegiance, but she suffered this once she learned what her true nature is.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In order to stop herself from making Roxas disappear she fights Roxas with the intent of being killed by him to save him.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Though they initially don't recognize her, her appearance in III subjects her to this once Sora comes into the picture, as Roxas within Sora is the first person to recognize Xion and reach out to her while she's fighting Sora, Lea and Kairi and under Xehanort's control. Though enough of her old self remains to defend Lea, she lashes out when Sora tries to sway her from the darkness, and it takes Roxas saying her name through him to snap her out of it.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: In a sense. She's always humanoid but because she's made up of memories, she looks different depending on who is looking at her. And even for those who typically see her a particular way most of the time, her appearance may involuntarily change if she is being overwhelmed by certain memories. She started out as a featureless doll, but gains the unique appearance of a black-haired Kairi. She once hallucinates herself as Roxas shifting into Riku shifting into Sora, and on two occasions completely takes on the appearance of Sora when she absorbs too many of his memories.
  • Irony: Saïx's infamous My Friends... and Zoidberg line about her in Days takes on a bit of this come III. Not only is Xion chosen as a darkness over half of the original Organization and backups like Demyx and Vexen, but she even uses her nature as a replica, the very thing that made Saïx belittle her, to copy Saïx's own powers while fighting alongside him.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Referred to such by Saïx, who is among those who see her as The Blank. Roxas and Axel do not take kindly to this.
  • Leitmotif: "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion".
  • Lethal Chef: In the Days manga, she cooks food for Pluto that looks like it would melt your stomach.
  • Light 'em Up: As she was created to copy Roxas, she has the same abilities as him, including the use of light powers.
  • Light Is Good: She sacrifices herself for what's right.
  • Light Is Not Good: As an Organization member she started out this way.
  • The Lost Lenore: While Xion is doomed to be forgotten by the people who knew her, the memories don't completely disappear immediately after her death and Roxas mourns her terribly, to the point of basically going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Organization and anyone who stands in his way while clinging onto the tendrils of memories that he still has of her.
    • Despite her being 'forgotten', 3D has Sora shed a tear when he sees Xion's face in a dream, and Kairi's letter to Sora that was revealed at the 2017 World Concert Tour mentions that Lea stares at her feeling as if he's forgotten something important, signaling that the loss of Xion (who is facially identical to Kairi) is subconsciously felt by Axel/Lea as well.
  • Magikarp Power: Invoked. She's a fairly weak fighter at first and has to be supported a lot on missions. However, it turns out this is intentional, as Xion is designed to grow stronger through absorbing memories of Sora from Roxas, which in turn makes Roxas weaker. This is why in later missions she's more useful, but Roxas in turn is weaker.
  • Meaningful Name: Nomura himself stated he liked the name instantly because of its many meanings. This means it has a shitload of meanings:
    • She's named after a flower (shion) that symbolizes remembrance.
    • The anagram of No. i, an imaginary number;
      • This could also be seen as No. I, demonstrating that she's Vexen's first (and faulty) experimental clone;
      • Also, the anagram of her name could be viewed as "No I" (no one), referring to her lack of true identity.
    • "Shio," Japanese for "tide," that is, a nod to the likes of Kairi, Naminé, and Aqua.
      • The aspect of the tide being pulled by the moon gains significance in III, where not only does Xion fight alongside Saïx on the side of darkness while having copied his weapon and berserker abilities, Saïx is implied in the Secret Reports to have had a hand in helping bring Replica vessels to Nobodies on Sora's side, including Xion.
    • "Shi" is the normal Japanese pronunciation for "Four", and she's the fourteenth member, essentially making her name Foreshadowing for her eventual outcome.
    • As an unofficial name still said in the canon, Xigbar frequently refers to Xion as "Poppet," cluing in to the fact that she is not so much a Nobody as she is a puppet.
  • Mind Screw: The true nature of Xion is rather confusing, especially the validity of the aforementioned Gender Bender.
  • Moveset Clone: She has the exact same stats, Combos, Limit Break (and Final Limit), and weapons as Roxas in 358/2 Days. The only gameplay difference between them is that she lacks the Dual Wielding mechanic.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: She's a rare, non-comedic example of this trope. As the story goes on, it's shown she's nothing more than a puppet for Xemnas, not even a real Nobody, and Saïx reveals that she was never even part of the Organization.
    Saïx, to Roxas: "Count the seats. When were we ever more than thirteen?"
  • No Biological Sex: Being a Replica whose Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder, Xion does not have a gender in the physical sense, though constantly spending time with Roxas (who sees her as a black haired Kairi) causes her to identify as female.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Xion pretty much fulfills every aspect that would make her look like Roxas' love interest in any other works. The only thing is that they can't feel anything due to being Nobodies and both are way too innocent to even know what love is. That said, they don't show anything overtly romantic between them in III, as more focus is given instead to their best friendship with each other and Axel.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: She appears to go berserk and tries to kill Roxas in the end, but it turns out this was an act so that Roxas would fight for his life and kill her instead.
  • One-Winged Angel: When Xion fights Roxas at the end of 358/2 Days, she takes on a form that resembles keyblade armor arranged in the shape of Sora's silhouette with Nobody motifs. There are four stages to this, each with its own set of weapons, and with her final form being enormous.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: She's a Replica of Roxas. Open to interpretation, somewhat, as she typically manifests as Sora's strongest memories, i.e. as Kairi, though during occasions where she gets overwhelmed by those memories her appearance turns into that of Sora himself.
  • The Paragon: For Roxas and Axel, though the latter wasn't very receptive. She's ultimately the most heroic of the trio.
  • Parental Favoritism: The Secret Reports show that Xion (or No. i, at the time) was selected over the replica model that became Riku's replica by Vexen, who deemed No. i to be his greatest creation. Not that it matters much since Vexen perished soon after Xion became part of the organization.
  • Personality Powers: Double subverted; much like Roxas, she's a bit too moody for a Light user, but she does have brighter aspects of her personality. Also, she (like Roxas) does seem to be one of the nicer members.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Once she learns she's a replica, not an actual Nobody. It's clear that she wishes she were like the others.
    Xion: What would it take for me to be like you?
  • Power Floats: She just levitates in place in her final form.
  • Power Parasite: She can absorb others as part of being a replica, with Roxas and Sora being the main victims. In her case, though, it's a passive effect and completely involuntary.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Xion was basically created to serve this purpose, as a potential backup or replacement for Roxas in the event the Organization couldn't control him. She also, along with Roxas, start to be accused of being this to Axel by Saïx, who shows extreme disdain for them due to Axel developing a close friendship with them while Saïx's own relationship with Axel becomes increasingly strained. Xion bears the strongest brunt of this, however, as Saïx's literal inability to see her as anything but a featureless puppet (proof of his failure to acknowledge her as an individual) lead Saïx to scathingly refer to any emotions regarding Xion as 'make-believe'.
  • Ret Gone: Since she was made of memories, her death meant the death of her memory. When she was absorbed into Roxas, everyone forgot that she ever existed.
    • She begins making cameo appearances in Re:Coded and Dream Drop Distance, with Riku and Sora both meeting her for long enough to get a good look at her face during the latter. Sora even seems to gain Roxas' memories of Days in full, including Xion.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: The games explain her true form is her appearance as a black-haired Kairi while all of her other appearances are merely illusions caused by memory.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: An odd example: as a replica of Sora made to copy his powers, her various forms are all influenced by him one way or another. In her final boss form, this manifests as her taking the form of a Sora made of armor, and using all his signature abilities from prior games.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: At the very end of III when the danger's finally passed, Xion's able to rid herself of the Organization coat and wears a nice skirt and shirt combination like a normal girl.
  • Significant Anagram: Of "No. i", her designation as part of the Replica Program.
  • Someone Has to Die: For Roxas (and in conjunction, Sora). Both of them are unable to coexist stably.
  • Split-Personality Merge: With Roxas, and later Sora by extension.
  • Suicide by Cop: Her Final Boss amounts to this, with the "Cop" being Roxas.
  • Teens Are Short: She's about the same size as Roxas. Axel jokes about adding two half-pints together to get a whole.
  • Theme Naming: Her part in the "girls related to Kairi" group is shio for tide.
  • There Is Another: Invoked. Her whole purpose is to be a backup plan in case the Organization can't control Roxas.
  • Token Good Teammate: To the True Organization XIII in III as she is only serving them because they are controlling her.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: She dies in Days as the first member who openly tries to rebel against Xemnas. Subverted in III when the True Organization XIII is able to bring her back to join them as a reluctant member.
  • Transferable Memory: She's made of them.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The girl to her two guy friends, Roxas and Axel.
  • Walking Spoiler: Everything about her is just one big spoiler.
  • Unexplained Recovery: It's not really brought up how exactly Xion is alive and well again in III, given she was Ret Gone at the end of Days. Also she was inside of Sora's heart, as seen in Dream Drop Distance and was mentioned in Ansem the Wise's data. However, it is foreshadowed by Dark Riku's experiments on recreating a heart out of data in San Fransokyo, and Young Xehanort testing how toys gained hearts in Toy Box.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: She gets hit with this trope twice as hard as Roxas. She discovered in the middle of Days that she was a replica designed to copy Sora's powers through Roxas. Then she learned from Namine her memories don't belong to her and that she's just a bunch of Sora's memories of Kairi. The treatment of the Organization members (who themselves angst over their technical non-human status) to her is downright dehumanizing, outright calling her a puppet (save Axel and Roxas, maybe Demyx and Luxord) and never considered her to be a part of them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Becomes this by the end of Days.
  • Younger Than They Look: She looks like a young teenager to most people, but really, she's only a few months old by the time of her death.

    Lea 

Lea

Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Quinton Flynn (English)

Appearances: Birth by Sleep | Dream Drop Distance | Coded | III

"Axel? Please. The name's Lea. Got it memorized?".

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutin_32235.png
Click here to see Young Lea: 

Lea is the complete being of Axel. Birth by Sleep reveals that Lea was best friends with Isa, Saïx's Other. In Dream Drop Distance, Axel is back as Lea, his true self. Towards the end, it is revealed that Lea has gained the ability to wield his own Keyblade, and will thus undergo training alongside Kairi.


  • Accidental Misnaming: It's easier to count the times someone doesn't call him Axel. Eventually, he gives in and just lets people call him that. In fairness, the only people that ever met him as Lea were Isa and Ventus, as well as Dilan and Aeleus when they threw Isa and Lea out of the castle. In III he actually requests that Kairi call him Axel, the two having become close friends during training.
  • Adorkable: Lea is pure marshmallow fluff, even after coming back to life.
  • Anime Hair: Usual for the series, but he is a particularly bad case.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Apparently this is his behavior towards Kairi during their time training together, as her letter to Sora tells that Lea has repeatedly apologized to her for kidnapping her back when he was Axel, and he continues to do so even though she's told him that she's not bearing a grudge.
  • Ascended Extra: Got a small role in Birth By Sleep before becoming a key player in 3D.
  • Audience Surrogate: In III. He's just as confused and questioning of the series' plot points as the rest of us.
  • Back from the Dead: He reappears in Dream Drop Distance after being turned into a Heartless and Nobody. He returns with all of his memories intact from being both Axel and Lea, and his personality is a mix of Axel's sarcastic laziness and Lea's enthusiasm and cheerfulness.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Several times in Dream Drop Distance. He even lampshades it.
    Lea: "'Dark Rescue's my middle name."
  • Black Cloak: Lea is the only human form of a Nobody that still wears the Organization XIII coat.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Got it memorized?", much like his Nobody.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Lea retains his darkness abilities from when he was a Nobody, with his ability to create Dark Corridors being particularly useful to the heroes.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Gives an epic one to Master Xehanort during his Big Damn Heroes moment.
    Lea: "You had your perfect, little script, but you kinda forgot to write the sequel. Now, let's find out what happens!"
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Soon afterward, Master Xehanort sends Saïx to attack Lea. Lea is shocked by the revelation but pulls Sora away quick enough afterward.
  • Dull Surprise: When he calls his keyblade for the first time...
    Lea: Must be in the snap of the wrist or something. (Keyblade appears) Oh...
  • Easily Forgiven: Ienzo surprisingly doesn't seem to begrudge Lea for causing his incredibly painful demise when they were Axel and Zexion.
    • Given that his murder directly resulted in Ienzo being revived as a complete being once more, which is something he is very clearly happy with, perhaps he just decided to bury the hatchet.
    • In 0.2 Kairi is a partial subversion as she's somewhat hesitant to accept he's to be her Keyblade training partner when she's told that he's formerly Axel. Makes sense, considering her two sole encounters with him were less-than-pleasant and endangered her till near the end of II. She has to be assured by Mickey and Riku that he's completely changed his tune since becoming whole again and is now on their side.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: In-universe, he is very well aware of his status as this.
    Lea (to Xemnas): You kidding? Do you know how popular I am? I got loads of people rootin' for me.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Once he gets a keyblade, he wields it in a style reminiscent of his old chakrams, involving flourishes that spin it completely and tossing it in Fire Raid style.
  • Fiery Redhead: As all fire users usually are.
  • Flaming Sword: Axel can unsurprisingly set his keyblade ablaze, on top of it having a natural fiery glow.
  • Flanderization: The use of his Catch-Phrase has gone up with each passing game. In his Nobody's first appearance, Chain of Memories, he only said it once.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His name, Lea, is supposed to be pronounced "Leah" according to the katakana, but the English version pronounces it "Lee", presumably in an attempt to make it sound masculine.
  • Hot-Blooded: Very much so.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Even though he can wield a keyblade, he hasn't exactly gotten the hang of calling it out. As a result, he resorts to his good old fashioned chakrams when goes in to save Sora. It's only after the whole ordeal that he manages to summon it.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kairi is Lea's partner in crime for Kingdom Hearts III, and she is roughly half his height.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Insults Ventus for playing with a wooden keyblade, yet proudly shows his frisbees as his weapon of choice.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: He ends up shedding tears when Kairi accidentally triggers a vague memory of Xion.
  • Insistent Terminology: Him telling people to call him Lea, not Axel, is a Running Gag in 3D. In the end, he admits defeat and says that Axel works too. After he and Kairi become friends, he asks her to call him Axel.
  • Irony: When he was Axel, he was constantly telling people to memorize his name. Now he's Lea, and they keep calling him Axel despite his protests. In other words, they had it memorized. Which may be why he doesn't even bother correcting anyone during III.
  • Limited Wardrobe: A variant that’s deliberately invoked. He is given a new outfit to wear fairly early in III, but he doesn’t actually wear it until the very end. So, when Kairi asks why he’s still wearing the Organization coat, he just says that he’s making himself easy to remember. The implication being that he’s making it easy for Roxas to remember him, which may be why he doesn’t bother correcting people when they call him Axel. Roxas never learned what his real name was.
  • The Load: In III he spends most of his time being kicked around by Xehanort and his Seekers of Darkness and only spends half of a battle as a party member before being too wounded to continue.
  • Manly Tears: He tearfully reunites with and embraces both Roxas and Xion after Saïx is dealt with in III.
    • According to Isa, Lea used to be (and still is) a crybaby. The reverse tears on his face, as Axel, were apparently a joke made by Isa when they were younger to stop him from crying. By their last battle, this is discussed when Isa thought that Lea outgrew those marks, but he still cries a lot, especially when Isa himself disappears as Saïx and in his reunion hug with Roxas and Xion. They are probably a metaphor to say that he doesn't mind crying anymore, now that he has his heart back.
  • Meta Guy: Develops into this by III, even going as far as to Lampshade his own popularity.
    Lea: You kidding? Do you know how popular I am? I got loads of people rootin' for me.
    Lea: This is all very touching, guys, but where do I fit in? Ven looks just like Roxas - or is it Roxas looks just like Ven? ... And now I have to explain it all to him - which is in itself a crazy long story - and, apparently everybody already knows everyone, and this is an insane amount to get memorized!
  • Morph Weapon: Unsurprisingly he transforms his keyblade into a pair of chakrams.
  • Personality Powers: Fiery and useful in a pinch.
  • The Promise: Axel once told Xion that he'd always be there to bring her and Roxas back. Lea's first moment after he comes back is a dream where Roxas reminds him of that promise, and Lea later refers to it, indicating that he wants to fulfill it.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Despite his Catch-Phrase, he nearly forgot about Ventus until he met Roxas.
    • His skill with the Keyblade really can't compare to the likes of Sora or Riku, having gotten in recently and trained in a presumably controlled environment. He ends up letting those with more experiance like Roxas and Xion take over for him.
  • Reverse Grip: A variation; he wields his keyblade by its handguard, in a manner akin to his old chakrams.
  • Spanner in the Works: He is pretty much the only reason Master Xehanort's Grand Theft Me plot on Sora fails. He acted quickly before any of the Xehanorts could even acknowledge his presence.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: With his keyblade he fights almost exclusively by throwing it Fire Raid style.
  • True Companions: In Days, he tells Xion that no matter her and Roxas' decisions, he will always be there to bring them back.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Not him, but his keyblade. After it is broken by Xemnas he is shown to have it back before Sora's final confrontation with Xehanort, whereas when the same thing happened to Riku earlier in the game he had to leave the Realm of Darkness and return with an entirely new keyblade.
  • Vague Age: Was a teenager in Birth by Sleep, so he's likely in his twenties for most of the series. But specifically where in his twenties is just guesswork until we get Word of God confirming it. Common guesses are that he was about 15/16 in Birth by Sleep making him about 27/28 in III.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Averted on the villain bit, but still has his widow's peak.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Kairi's letter reveals that when Lea looks at her face (which is also Xion's), he knows there is something he's forgotten and needs to remember.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Merlin, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather all pitch in to warp time and space to reduce the amount of time it takes to make Lea worthy of a Keyblade.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: Implied. He spends a decent amount of slowed down time trying to call a Keyblade before giving up due to other pressing matters. After things settle, he lazily gives it another shot and succeeds, surprising even himself.


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Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Clock Tower Trio

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