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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.

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    All Three 
  • Appropriated Appellation: In Re Mind they take the Recusant's Sigil that Xemnas branded them with and redefine it as a symbol of their friendship, since it was the first thing they all had in common.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Roxas is blond, Xion is brunette, and Axel is redhead.
  • Breakout Character: They've all received considerable attention and focus since their more humble debuts. Downplayed with Xion since she was introduced as a major character but the way she continues to have significant character focus outside of 358/2 Days which was initially implied to be the extent of her relevance means she still qualifies.
  • Combination Attack: The three of them have one in Re:Mind called Thinking of You where Roxas and Xion will do the classic X-Slash on the target repeatedly while Axel bombards them with flaming chakrams.
  • Cry into Chest: Roxas and Xion emotionally break down sobbing into Lea's chest in III, after many months of being separated and nearly losing their friendship, it's hard to blame them for this reaction.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Through the course of the story, they steadily develop into the least antagonistic members of the original Organization XIII and have become outright heroes by the time of III despite still wearing those black coats associated with the other antagonists of the story. By the time of the ending sequence, they've all switched to casual clothing and while Roxas' clothing is equal-parts black and white, Lea and Xion's clothes are predominantly black.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A trio of Nobodies, literally heartless abominations whose very existences were an affront to the laws of nature yet they nonetheless became tight friends and fought an uphill battle together against reality itself simply to regain their humanity. In roughly a year, the schemes of their leaders ripped their friendship apart and the trio perished trying to salvage it. While Axel was able to regain his humanity as Lea in 3D, it took a significant effort on the heroes' end before they could all finally tearfully reunite in III.
  • Elopement: Platonically, the three of them discuss secretly running away from the organization to live together, before everything goes south in Days. The idea is given even more serious consideration in the manga.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In all directions. Axel is forced to beat Xion unconscious so he can take her back to the Organization twice. Roxas is later goaded by Xion to kill her. Finally, Roxas beats Axel when the latter attempts to take him back to the Organization.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Downplayed. Axel is possibly in his mid to late twenties, while Roxas and Xion are in their teens (at least, they look that way). This is remarkable when compared to the Destiny Islands or the Wayfinder trios, who are much closer in age.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: While most of the Organization members want their hearts back, the trio specifically want to regain their humanity so they can stop doing missions and just hang out together as friends. It's most evident with Roxas as detailed below.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In 358/2 Days Roxas and Xion have identical average stats across the board and are generally the most versatile members of the Organization. Axel has similar stats, though he tends to hit faster and harder at the cost of having slightly worse Defense.
  • Magic Knight: They're all exceptional at both their weapons and their element of magic with Axel/Lea specializing in fire and Roxas and Xion in light.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The biggest offender is Axel, who deliberately withholds information about the Organization's plans from his friends, even though they pertain to them, out of a misguided attempt to shield them from the Awful Truth. Xion later starts to hide things of her own as well, declining to share her experiences and findings until it is too late. Naturally, these feed doubts into Roxas, who becomes frustrated of being locked out of the loop and has a hard time sorting out what are the lies and what are the truths.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Since their individual introductions, all three have gotten a substantial amount of focus and screentime compared to the rest of Organization XIII. Especially true in 358/2 Days. Despite featuring every member of the Organization, it's ultimately these three that the game's over-arching plot is actually about.
  • Tears of Joy: The three of them hug and break down crying and smiling III.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Roxas, Axel and Xion are the 358/2 Days equivalent to Sora, Riku and Kairi from the main plot and Ventus, Terra and Aqua from Birth By Sleep respectively.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: All of them at some point in the series though Axel/Lea is the only consistent example in his appearances.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Roxas is The Hero (possessing power over light and eventually turning against Organization XIII when he discovers their true goal), Axel as The Lancer (Roxas' snarker friend who eventually becomes his enemy) and Xion as The Chick that acts as both as The Heart (her inclusion helping solidify Roxas and Axel's friendship) and The Lost Lenore (her death causing it to dissolve).
  • Villainous Friendship: They have the distinction of being the only one of the series's main trios to have all been friends while technically antagonists. All three joined the nefarious Organization XIII and Days shows them bonding by eating ice cream and watching the sunset together after finishing the day's missions the Organization set them on. Downplayed because Roxas and Xion just barely qualify as villains at all, being kids who honestly don't know any better, and even Axel benefits from his Days screentime focusing more on his interactions with Roxas and Xion as a Cool Big Bro than on his role in the Organization as a Manipulative Bastard and assassin. Ultimately, Xion pulls a Heel–Face Turn, with Roxas and eventually Axel following her example. By the time they finally reunite in III, all three are good guys fighting on the same side as the heroes and their friendship is stronger than ever.



"My show now, Keyblade master! Who am I? Oh, my name's Axel. Got it memorized?"

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

Appearances: Chain of Memories | II | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep | 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!"

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 Saïx 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 Saïx, 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.
  • Ambiguous Allegiance: He has no doubt been the subject of such a discussion at least once. Not even his fellow Organization members are entirely sure of where his loyalties lie.
  • 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.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: While it's pretty obvious what powers he has based on his Elemental Hair Colors, that same spiky mass of wild, red hair combined with those inverted tear-drop markings below his eyes give him a vaguely clown-like appearance. Fitting for a guy who tends towards quips even in the most dire or tragic of circumstances.
  • 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.
  • Ax-Crazy: Like Larxene, he pretended to enjoy hurting others and also flashed a wide grin at such moments. He carried out a series of betrayals throughout the series and killed several of his allies ruthlessly for his own motives and sometimes just for his personal enjoyment.
  • 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's blond 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 because the staff working on the game liked him too much. And then he died near the end of II, but this trope took affect again when fans loved him so much that he (as Lea) became one of the main heroes in Dream Drop Distance.
  • The Caretaker: Axel fulfills this role toward Roxas in Days after he is assigned to mentor the younger Nobody who recently joined Organization XIII. After Roxas befriends Xion and starts hanging out with her, Axel also becomes her caretaker as well. Axel eventually turns into a Poisonous Friend when obsessed with keeping Roxas and Xion as his friends, he lies to them, does questionable stuff behind their backs, and if they try to leave the Organization of their own free will, he attempts to bring them back by force. Following Xion's death, Axel is the only member of the Organization to miss Roxas when the latter defects. And in II, Axel's dying wish was to see Roxas again.
  • Catchphrase: "Got it memorized?", originally translated in the original version of Chain of Memories as "Commit it to memory."
    • 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 (Naminé) 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. One possible explanation is via the eventual reveal that Nobodies will actually regrow their hearts over time, meaning that during the events of Chain of Memories he was essentially a sociopath, but towards the end of that game he comments that he's actually enjoying himself, foreshadowing that he was starting to regain his heart and his humanity with it.
  • 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-conspirators 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.)
  • Combat Pragmatist: Doesn't step in to take out Vexen as ordered until after he had just received a beatdown from Sora. In II, he kicks off his boss fight by setting the floor of the arena on fire and deal unavoidable damage, draining your health over time. The Overtaker and Clear Light Reaction Commands will remove the flaming floor, but after a while he'll just ignite it again.
  • Compressed Hair: How does that fit under his hood?
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Although he apparently suffers from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and has no issues with being a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent when necessary, he's shown some capacity to be conflicted in which side to stick with:
    • In Days, Axel's friendship with Roxas and Xion conflicts with his orders by the Organization to "let things run their natural course". Even his friendship with the pair suffers from this trope, as he comes to realize that only one of them can survive, and one of them has to perish to ensure the survival of the other.
    • In II, his friendship with Roxas is again the driving factor of his Conflicting Loyalty. While he has no qualms with his orders to bring Roxas back, he starts to grow disgruntled with his superiors when he is tasked to eliminate Roxas. He eventually screws over the Organization, and starts working independently, leading to a Tear Jerker when he dies at Sora's side, lamenting the fact that he never got to revive Roxas. Fortunately, by the events of III, Roxas is revived by Sora and Vexen, and reunites with Axel.
  • 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's 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. Axel wasn't actually a double agent — he was a quintuple agent. At one point, he pretended to join in with Marluxia's conspiracy, in order to get close enough to eliminate him as a traitor on Xemnas' orders, while really working with Saix so they can overthrow Xemnas themselves. At the same time, he helped both Sora and Namine, only partially because they would destroy Marluxia for him, and wiped out two Organization members who were still loyal to Xemnas to avoid anyone else using the knowledge of the Replica Project. In the end, of course, Axel's only real loyalty is to himself (though he tends to include his friends in that, whether they like it or not).
  • 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Always fights with a Chakram in each hand. In Re:COM, he can summon up to four of them at a time as part of his Firetooth sleight before tossing them so they can bounce all around the arena.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: 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: He's a deliberate one of Reno from Final Fantasy VII. Nomura was once asked about their similarities and outright said that he made Axel in the image of Reno to try out a familiar character in a new universe and see how he developed. They even share voice actors in five languages (English, Japanese, French, Spanish and German).
  • 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 Catchphrase 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.
  • 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.
  • Hitman with a Heart: He usually kills most of his enemies mercilessly, but often also spares the lives of even high priority targets, when he feels like it though usually it is out of curiosity to see how their stories turn out hence forth or even a whim, rather than truly mercy. However, he was truly moved by Roxas, his last target, to the point he betrayed his Organization and turned against it and even sacrificed his life to destroy it. Granted, it helps that the two of them were best friends in the Organization before its shadier aspects drove them apart.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Survives the events of Chain of Memories with no repercussions.
  • 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 358/2 Days he admits that he did feel remorse for using the Riku Replica as it made him as bad as Saïx 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.
  • Lack of Empathy: At the beginning of CoM, Axel has a mysterious, stoic, and calm, as well as cold, unforgiving, and merciless demeanor on par with that of Marluxia. In Re:CoM, he interrupts Vexen's cries for mercy with a cocky "goodbye" before incinerating him without any hesitation and seems to be amused by the deaths of his comrades as shown in the scene where he is making bets with Zexion. When Marluxia uses Naminé as a human shield against him, Axel confidently declares he would eliminate Naminé to get to Marluxia.
  • Lean and Mean: The tight-fitting design of his Black Cloak emphasizes his tall, wiry frame more than any other Organization member and he was very much a malevolent antagonist in his debut in "Chain of Memories". Increasingly subverted, as his friendship with Roxas and Xion gradually sees him shed much of the meanness and he ends up pulling a Heel–Face Turn in his last moments.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: "You really do remember me this time? I'M SO FLATTERED."
  • Limit Break: Explosion. He'll engulf his right chakram in flames and toss it at enemies to generate a large explosion. For his Final Limit he lights both chakrams on fire and tosses them both to create a highly damaging trio of huge pillar-shaped explosions.
  • 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.
  • Medium Awareness: Axel has an uncanny habit of Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In III, he tells Xemnas that he's got tons of loads of people rooting for him, referencing his status among fans as an Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • Later on, after he meets up with Sora, he states the reason why he took so long is because he had a "couple of plot points that needed ironing out".
  • Nerves of Steel: He can be surprisingly cool and collected when presented with a dangerous situation. Notably when Xaldin threatens to punish him if he doesn't obey orders and chucks a lance at Axel, narrowly missing his head but shearing a few strands of hair, Axel doesn't even flinch and merely stares with a bored expression and his arms crossed. Presumably, lacking a heart makes it easier for one to maintain their composure in all situations.
  • 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.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Axel is initially a bit too keen on becoming best friends forever with Roxas (who is only 15- or rather, his soul is 15, Roxas himself is only less than a year old). After Roxas left, Axel goes into this trope full throttle, resulting in an amazing amount of Foe Yay between them, and many many scenes where it looks like Axel is unhealthily obsessed with defeating and taking Roxas back.
    • Author's Saving Throw in Days: The relation between Axel and Roxas (and Xion) is shown to be more of a Big Brother Instinct of Axel's towards his younger cohorts, who are both only a few days old at the beginning of the game. By the end of the game, however, Axel's role as the "big brother" of the gang starts to get rather murky ...
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Pre-Final Boss: In Chain of Memories he's the last boss Sora faces before Marluxia.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Leans against walls with his arms folded from time to time, notably when he talks to Roxas one last time after he deserts the Organization to try and find the truth of his existence on his own.
  • 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.
  • Rings of Death: a pair of Chakrams, called Eternal Flames.
  • Sad Clown: He definetly qualifies in II. He seems the most laidback among the other Organization members and even makes jokes during meetings that can have other members tossing weapons at him. Nevermind the fact that, like the other Nobodies, he can't have feelings, what truly causes Axel's sadness is his best and only friend, Roxas's departure from the Organization and forgetting who Axel is. Deep down, Axel hates the other members and would join Roxas if it were up to him. Despite not having any feelings, Axel legitimately cries before both him and Roxas disappear from Twilight Town after Sora defeats Roxas in the Final Mix version.
    • He was less of this in his debut in COM and gets softer in Days.
  • 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.
  • The Sociopath: Although Axel seems to hold Larxene and Zexion in good company to an extent by making friendly conversation with Larxene while Marluxia is not around and making bets with Zexion as to which member will be defeated next, this was shown to be nothing more than an act to earn their trust. Eventually, Axel betrays Larxene by letting Naminé escape, although he seems disappointed yet satisfied upon her elimination. Later on, he encourages Riku Replica to annihilate Zexion to ensure that his actions in Castle Oblivion go unnoticed by the rest of the Organization and to help Saïx keep his rank in the Organization.
  • 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.
  • Visual Pun: His weapons are circular, wheel-like blades. He's literally an Axel between wheels.
  • 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 reveals he's perfectly willing to attack and destroy Naminé in Castle Oblivion if that means getting at Marluxia, and twice knocks Xion out to bring her back to Organization XIII. At least he's consistent!
  • Would Hurt a Child: Like everyone else in Organization XIII, Axel has zero qualms about fighting Sora when the latter is 14-15 years old, and in II is actively plotting to turn him into a Heartless to bring Roxas back (which would condemn Sora to a Death of Personality at worse or And I Must Scream in a "best" case scenario) even if he doesn't get to try it onscreen because Kairi gets away from him. To add to that, Axel has fought, knocked out, and/or tried to destroy Roxas, Xion, and Naminé at different times for different reasons, and while all three look like teenagers around Sora's age, in truth they each had existed for under a year at the time Axel attacked them.
  • 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.


"You kidding? Do you know how popular I am? I got loads of people rootin' for me!"
Click here to see Young Lea: 
Click here to see Lea in his Twilight Town attire: 

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?"

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.
  • All There in the Manual: His Keyblade, the Bond of the Blaze, is only named in Melody of Memory.
  • 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.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Tries to have some in Re:Mind but Aqua isn't having it.
    Lea: Not bad for a on-the-fly team, right?!
    Aqua: Don't talk, fight!
    Lea: Heh, don't have to say it like that...
  • Catchphrase: "Got it memorized?", much like his Nobody. As he says in Birth by Sleep, he frequently says this because he wants anyone he meets to remember him.
  • Combination Attack: During the fight with the Replica Xehanort's he gets one with Aqua, combining the spinning snowflake of her Spellweaver with the flaming chakram with Prominence.
  • 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.
  • The Determinator: We already knew he must be a strong-willed person to have retained his human shape when he became a Nobody, but he really shows it in III. Even after having his Keyblade shattered by Xemnas and then bombarded by him from lasers coming from all directions, he still tries to stop him from killing Xion, even though he can't even stand at the moment. Taken to new levels in Re:Mind where after all that, he still fights Saïx and Xemnas alongside Roxas and Xion, and wins! However, this leaves him without energy to finish off Saïx and has to let Sora, Roxas and Xion do the job.
  • 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: Played for Laughs when he calls his Keyblade for the first time, in contrast to the usual excellent performance of his voice actors.
    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: On top of his Keyblade having a natural fiery glow, all of Lea's special attacks and regular combos deal fire damage.
  • Flanderization: The use of his Catchphrase has gone up with each passing game. In his Nobody's first appearance, Chain of Memories, he only said it once.
  • Fragile Speedster: Lea's Raid-based fighting style gives him multi-hitting attacks on each swing of his combo. He doesn't get much opportunity to display it though, as he is quickly knocked out of the action twice in the Keyblade Graveyard — first sent flying in a single hit from Terra-Xehanort (even while attempting to block it!), then easily caught and completely drained by Xemnas' Macross Missile Massacre before the final fight with Saïx. Even while fighting alongside Sora, his habit of chasing down Saïx during the latter's Berserk Dance and rather unique lack of healing magic regularly flattens him out. When battling the Replica Xehanorts in Re:Mind, he's one of the characters who uses Aerial Dodge instead of Block.
  • 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. Downplayed in that Lea is a real English word that is pronounced like "Lee" and many Japanese pronunciation of English words do add an "ah" to the end of it.
  • 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 Got Bigger: It's rather jarring to realize he used to be roughly the same height as Ventus and now he's nearly twice his size.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: He ends up shedding tears when Kairi accidentally triggers a vague memory of Xion.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Axel carries and swings his keyblade around from the chakram that makes up its handguard.
  • 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 Axelnote .
  • 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 Master Xehanort and his Seekers of Darkness and only spends half of a battle as a party member before being too wounded to continue. This is especially ironic since his Keyblade training took place in a place without time so that he could grow strong at his own pace, but this didn't seem to do him any good in the end. This is averted in Re:Mind, where not only does he help Roxas and Xion defeat Saïx and Xemnas, but he also fights alongside the other Guardians (minus Sora and Kairi) against the Xehanort replicas, even having a Combination Attack with Aqua.
  • Made of Iron: While he wasn't able to shrug it off, the fact alone that he managed to survive Xemnas' Beam Spam in III is pretty damn impressive. Even more so after the cutscene in question was patched and modified so that Xemnas' shoots even more lasers at him than before.
  • 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 with his Firaga Raid attack.
  • Nice Guy: Lea acts as cocky as his Nobody counterpart, but he cares deeply for his friends, including Isa, despite everything he put Roxas and Xion through as Saïx.
  • 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 Catchphrase, he nearly forgot about Ventus until he met Roxas. They'd only met the one time, and that was 10 years ago.
    • 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 experience like Roxas and Xion take over for him.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Just like Axel, he leans against a wall with his arms folded in Yen Sid's Tower while Yen sid judges the results of Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery Exam. He even first summons his keyblade for the first time while in this pose.
  • Reverse Grip: A variation; he wields his Keyblade by its handguard, in a manner akin to his old chakrams, and flourishes it to attack.
  • Sad Clown: In III, Lea makes quite a few jokes among the rest of the seven guardians of light that seem to poke fun of the franchise as a whole and his funny persona comes back with a fiery vengeance. However, the same goes for his sadness when he finds himself remembering Xion during his time with Kairi. Finally, when he successfully reunites with Roxas and a tearful Xion, he jokes that he should've brought ice cream, right before he himself emotionally breaks down and hugs both of his best friends as the trio have the cry of their lives.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Along with Isa, he lost his humanity and spent 10 years of his life working for the nefarious Xemnas as a result of a plan to save a girl who they no longer even had in their custody. While he was eventually able to be recompleted and make several new friends and allies, he's still no closer to saving that girl than he was a decade ago.
  • 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 in his basic combo and both of his Firaga Cutter and Firaga Slicer abilities.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Young Lea didn't seem to be much more than an average teenager and the one time he tried to challenge a wooden keyblade-wielding Ventus to a fight, he got his ass handed to him. After spending roughly a decade as the Nobody Axel, he's recompleted as an older Lea with all of his skills and abilities retained. Then he learns how to summon his own keyblade.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: As Axel, he was a sinister, cruel Jerkass and a serious Poisonous Friend to Roxas. As Lea, he's a funny and kind individual with none of the malice left over from his days as a Nobody.
  • True Companions: In Days, he tells Xion that no matter her and Roxas's 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.
    • Made even more egregious in Re:Mind, where he proceeds to use it to fight Xemnas and Saix alongside Roxas and Xion immediately after Xemnas broke it.
  • 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.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Bond of the Blaze, a Keyblade with a guard shaped like one of Axel's old chakrams, and a blade made of translucent orange crystal complete with an inner fiery glow effect. It looks a lot like the combination of the guard of Sora's Bond Of Flame keyblade in II and the blade of Ventus' Frolic Flame keyblade in Birth By sleep. Fitting since they're based on Axel and Lea respectively.
  • 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.
  • The Worf Barrage: During the brief boss fight against Saïx and Xion, when Saïx fills up his second Berserk meter and powers up a second time, Lea will always rush in and wildly toss his old chakrams at him while yelling at him to stop. Saïx will have invincibility frames the whole time and will the proceed to incapacitate all the heroes in the ensuing cutscene.
  • 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.


"Who am I? What am I... here for?"
Click here to see Xion in her Twilight Town attire: 

Voiced by: Risa Uchida (Japanese), Alyson Stoner (358/2 Days, HD 1.5 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."

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.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Xion debuts in Days as the Organization XIII's second female member.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Zant Stage Rush. For her fight, the first three stages all take place in locations of keyholes Sora locked in the first game until the final stage which is instead the front of the Clock Tower where Sora would later open the world's gate in II.
  • 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: She literally looks different to different people, based on both the memories she's comprised of and the memories of the people looking at her. She appears to have her hood up for anyone when they're first meeting her, 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.
    • By the time of III, when Sora (and by extension Roxas) identify her by name, restoring her memories, she takes the form of the black-haired girl when her hood falls off.
  • 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.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her data battle in III has her relentlessly charge after Sora with rapid close-up attacks, complemented with blue light beams which temporarily decrease Sora's max HP if they damage him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Subverted. When in her transformed final form, she appears to be this, but she's actually feigning it so that Roxas will destroy her and she can return to Sora.
  • Badass Adorable: A Kairi look-alike that can fight? Yes please!
  • Ball of Light Transformation: In her data bossfight in Re:Mind she will zip around the battlefield in the form of a mote of light before changing back to attack.
  • Back from the Dead: In III, Xion is restored to become a member of the XIII Seekers of Darkness because the replica body had her heart from the past, though her heart from the present eventually went into the vessel after Roxas through Sora said her name.
  • Battle Aura: She gets a golden aura of light for her Data Battle in Re:Mind, in this state she has a bar of armor that must be destroyed before she returns to her normal battle phase and will bombard Sora with giant shockwaves of light.
  • The Berserker: Her emotional instability and lack of finesse leads her to fighting like this. Taken Up to Eleven in her Re:Mind data rematch, where she is constantly screaming and furiously trying to bash Sora relentlessly with her Keyblade.
  • 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's blond 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 best 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.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Able to fight and take out Heartless using elemental magic even after temporarily losing the ability to wield her keyblade. Unfortunately for her, the hearts that Heartless release upon defeat cannot be collected unless a keyblade was used to beat them.
  • Came Back Strong: When Roxas says her name, she ultimately reclaims her original identity and performs a Heel–Face Turn along with rejoining the Guardians of Light for good after the end of the battle with Saïx. She also seems to regain her old strength, as before this happens she was much weaker and mainly relied on copying Saïx's power, while still having difficulty against rookie Keyblade wielders Kairi and Lea.
  • Came Back Wrong: In III, with the Seekers having brought her back to fill out their ranks but the replica body has Xion's heart from when she first joined the Organization, which explains why she doesn't fully remember who she was, along with being weaker than she used to be and mainly relying on copying Saïx's power to get by in battle. 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 Roxas 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.
  • The Cutie: Xion is a shy, soft spoken, and adorable sweetheart.
  • 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.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Roxas, since she is the only other Organization XIII member who can wield the Keyblade. By the end of the game, we learn that she is literally Roxas's female counterpart.
  • Ditto Fighter: Apparently, her nature as a replica who takes on traits of people near her extends to more than just Roxas or Sora. In III she imitates Saïx's weapon and moves, during the fight against them in the Keyblade Graveyard.
  • 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 Naminé, she utterly ceases to exist.
  • 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 transforms 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 Naminé, clearly living the life of a normal girl.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Naminé basically announces her death sentence before the climax of Days, Xion seems to hold no fear of it, since it is for the greater good.
  • Fanservice Pack: It's hardly the biggest example in the world, but her bust is slightly larger in III than in previous games, enough to be noticeable at least.
  • 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.
  • 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 Replica of Roxas and by extension Sora. Her entire being is constructed from Sora's memories and it's 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, she sometimes turns into Sora, Roxas, or Riku in her nightmares, and when enough of Sora's memories make it into Xion's body her appearance physically changes into that of Sora. Her choice of words after this is revealed make it clear that despite her origins and this transformation, she still identifies as a girl.
  • Ghost Memory: During a chunk of Days, she experiences a long period of coma and wakes up knowing Sora's experiences from the first game. The Reveal is that she had unwittingly absorbed Sora's memories that Naminé is trying to reconstruct, effectively halting Sora's memory restoration. The only way to resume it is for Xion to die, therefore transferring the memories back to 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.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Organization's original plan is for Xion to become their Keyblade wielder backup in case something happens to Roxas. It works out fine. Then she absorbs much of Sora's memories, stopping his memory restoration. Even better; this way, they have one less adversary to deal with. But then Xion develops a distinct personality due to her interaction with her friends. Said personality eventually causes her to search for her origins, culminating in her meeting with Riku and Naminé, resulting in her choice to rejoin Sora rather than serving the Organization any further.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: For most of the missions Roxas has with Xion, she doesn't have access to her keyblade, forcing her to rely on magic to fight heartless. Aside from those moments, they're usually a heavily downplayed example with both being capable warriors of the keyblade at all ranges with Xion's fighting style in her Data Rematch relying more on sending beams of light at Sora from all directions.
  • Healing Hands: She throws out Cures while fighting alongside Sora and Roxas in III.
  • 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 Revolving Door: Played With, because she is an unambiguously good person who simply gets shuffled around through various sides all over the morality spectrum through no fault of her own, meaning that it’s usually more like a Hazy Feel Turn than anything whenever she changes from protagonist to antagonist or vice versa. To recount, she begins as a fellow member of Organization XIII to Roxas, which makes her a protagonist from Roxas’s perspective (i.e. the player’s) but an antagonist to the rest of the Kingdom Hearts universe due to her affiliation with its main threat. But when Riku reveals the truth of her origins to her and she discovers that she and Roxas were Obliviously Evil all along, she defects to Riku and Diz’s side. Diz and Riku (especially Diz) are more along the lines of Anti-Hero however, meaning that she still isn’t on a completely good side, but a better one, except when it comes to Roxas and the player’s perspective where this now makes her an antagonist. Not to mention that the two best friends she is leaving, Roxas and Axel, are mostly good people themselves by this point. Then Axel brings her back to the Organization to rejoin her original side, before she escapes again and rejoins Diz’s side. When she is brought back a second time, Xemnas, her unambiguously evil boss, powers her up to make her a killing machine intended to take Roxas’s power. This makes her both an antagonist and a villain now, but she instead uses this turn of events to commit Suicide by Cop in a Heroic Sacrifice to return Roxas’s power to him, dying in service of the Anti-Hero Diz’s goals. For Kingdom Hearts 3, she is brought forward in time to be one of Xehanort’s vessels which makes her entirely on the villains’ side again, but this is heavily implied to be against her will. Halfway through her battle with Sora, she is inspired to defect once again in a full Heel–Face Turn and this time ends up completely unambiguously on the heroes’ and protagonists’ side, where she stays, finally aligned fully with her morals.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Switches sides when she is manipulated into working for bad guys and then learns/remembers the truth. Would be a High-Heel–Face Turn if not for Larxene also being one of the unrepentant bad guys each time.
    • In Days, she leaves the Organization and ultimately decides to sacrifice herself, to stop Xemnas and the Organization as well as to save Roxas and Sora.
    • In III, she is the only member of XIII Seekers of Darkness who defects partway through the final confrontation between them and the Guardians of Light, choosing instead to fight on the side of the Guardians after reuniting with her friends. She is also the only one of the Seekers to survive to the end... Aside from Xigbar, that is.
  • 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 Suicide: In order to stop herself from making Roxas disappear she fights Roxas with the intent of being killed by him to save him. Earlier, she had come to the (reluctant) conclusion that she should "return to Sora" to give back the memories of his she'd accidentally been absorbing so he could wake up because it was the right thing for everyone, which would also require giving up her existence. Roxas killing her took care of both.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: In III, she's able to cast Laser Rain, as a callback to her Pillar of Light attack from her final Days boss encounter.
  • "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 Seeker 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.
  • Kill the Cutie: She dies in Roxas' arms in order to keep him from fading and return to Sora to give back the memories of his.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Xion is a very rare non-villainous example of this trope. Her presence in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, the attachment to her from Roxas and Axel as well as the player followed by the crushing despair upon her fate at the end of the game permanently sets the darker tone for the following games in the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • 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.
  • Limit Break: Event Horizon, just like Roxas.
  • Living Memory: She is Roxas's clone made entirely of Sora's memories.
  • 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 early in III 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.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: She was created by Vexen and her standard appearance resembles a black-haired Kairi. Do the math.
  • 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.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: The main gimmick of her battle in Re:Mind is that her blue beams will reduce Sora's max HP which can only be restored with items or time.
  • 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, which gets lampshaded in Re:Mind. No. i could also be seen as No. I (number one), demonstrating that she's Vexen's first (and faulty) experimental clone, or as "No I" (no one), referring to her lack of true identity and the Organization's view of her as merely a tool.
    • "Xion" is pronounced as "Shion", which is a real name in Japanese and is in fact a unisex name, with Xion turning out to be an Opposite-Sex Clone. Shio, Japanese for "tide," 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 also the normal Japanese pronunciation for "Four", and she's the fourteenth member, essentially making her name Foreshadowing for her eventual outcome as well as also her connection to Vexen, Number IV of the Organization, who is revealed to be her creator.
    • 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.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Xion is an imperfect replica whose identity was dictated by Sora's memories via Roxas, but due to the inconsistency of which memories they are, she's taken on aspects of Sora, as well as his friends. Her dominant appearance is nearly identical to Kairi due to the initial memories creating her were mainly Sora's memories of Kairi. She wields a Kingdom Key, the same as Sora, and physically turns into Sora if she absorbs too many of his memories. She turns into Riku in one of her nightmares, and when she vanishes back into Roxas, he gains the ability to wield Oblivion, which originally represented Sora's relationship with Riku. Then there's the fact that Xigbar uniquely sees Ventus when he looks at her, and in III she's able to take on the abilities of Saïx when fighting alongside him.
  • 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. Similarly, her data boss fight in Re:Mind is based on Roxas's battle from Final Mix, but she has a few of her moves from her boss battle in 358/2 Days to mix it up.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has four arms in the 3rd phase of her boss fight in 358/2 Days with each limb holding a curved sword presumably as a result of Sora's memories of fighting Kurt Zisa in Agrabah.
  • 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: "A puppet couldn't be part of the Organization. Just count the seats here. We have and always will be thirteen."
  • Nice Girl: Xion is without a doubt one of the most kindest and selfless chacters in the Kingdom Hearts series. She always puts her friends before her self, and has a strong sense of justice and generosity, willingly sacrificing herself to join with Sora. Like Aqua, Kairi, and Naminé, Xion fights passionately to protect those she has come to care for. Her love for her friends is ultimately what drives her as she wants nothing more then to spend the rest of her life with them, and if she can't have that she can at least make sure that they are able to live happly.. It is best summed up by her diary entry in the secret reports from Days
    Xion diary enrty: "I love Roxas and Axel. I'm sure Saïx would scoff at that. Call it a trick of my artificial memories. But the time I spent on that clock tower was real. I wish the three of us could stay together, just like this, forever. But I have to end this. I'll never forget today's sunset. Even if Roxas and Axel do, I won't forget."
  • 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.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: She appears to go berserk and tries to kill Roxas at the end of Days, but this is an act so that Roxas will 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, but typically manifests as Kairi because the latter makes up Sora's strongest memories. During occasions where she gets overwhelmed by those memories her appearance turns into that of Sora himself.
  • Paradox Person: She is an Artificial Human created from Sora's memories and is meant to be a clone and replacement of Sora's Nobody, Roxas. Because of her relationship with Roxas, she unwittingly absorbs Sora's memories, causing her to grow stronger and essentially becoming a person, but making both Sora and Roxas weaker. When she perishes, she is Ret Goned. Or so we think. It turns out that replicas, like Nobodies and other intelligent beings who lack hearts, are capable of growing them given time. Xion did, so when the heart is returned to her, everyone remembers her again.
  • 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 in Days 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 and can be seen grinning when Xemnas is introducing Xion to the rest of the Organization. Not that it matters much since Vexen perished soon after.
  • Personality Powers: Double subverted; much like Roxas, she's a bit more melancholic than you'd expect of 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.
  • Pillar of Light:
    • She shares Roxas's Event Horizon Limit Break in in Days where she will shoot radial pillars of light for the second stage of the limit.
    • One of her most powerful attacks in her final battle in Days is raining down a series of light pillars over the battlefield, or summoning one massive column directly in the center. She gains a variant of the former as an attack spell when she fights alongside Sora and Roxas in III.
    • Her data battle will have her summon pillars of light with nearly every attack in Re:Mind.
  • 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?
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: When Xion makes the decision to sacrifice her existence to awaken Sora, she explicitly writes that she loves Roxas and Axel in her diary, declaring that she won't forget her time with them, even if they do.
  • Power Copying: She can wield a Keyblade as a result of copying Roxas's. Taken to an extreme in III, as when fighting alongside Saïx she learns to clone his claymore to attack too, though she ditches it after her Heel–Face Turn. Additionally, her Keyblade is given its own identifier in this game as the 'Replica Kingdom Key'.
  • 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. This is a major factor in her decision to pull a Suicide by Cop.
  • Really Dead Montage: Right at the end of Days, when she disappears while everyone forgets her, and everything about her stops existing, before Roxas forgets her, a brief flashback of her turning to him and smiling is shown. After a bit, one of his memories of her and the other protagonist (Axel) of eating ice cream shows up, the three of them having fun. Then the same scene appears again, while Xion fades away.
  • Remember the New Guy?: She shows up abruptly in 358/2 Days where she is Number XIV in a group previously established in II to be named Organization XIII, becomes Roxas's and Axel's best friend when they don't mention her at all in II, and is revealed to be a Keyblade-wielder who looks like Kairi and whose appearance shocks Riku. Like Naminé in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Xion is a deconstruction of this trope, in this case with the reveal that we didn't hear about her from any of the characters in II because she died and was erased from everyone's memories.
  • 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'.
    • Xion ends up serving this role again for the XIII Seekers of Darkness after their plan to possess Sora failed. The Re:Mind DLC reveals that Saïx, who at this point is trying to atone for his mistakes, suggests that they reconstruct No. i from Vexen's research data in order to fill out their ranks and fulfil their Sora requirement due to her relationship to him.
  • Ret-Gone: Subverted. 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... for awhile. 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's memories of Days in full, including Xion, and it's implied that Lea has Wistful Amnesia about her when he looks at Kairi. When Xion returns in III, Lea and Roxas end up remembering her.
  • Sailor Earth: Xion is introduced as Organization XIII's newest member Number XIV, continues the ¡Three Amigos! pattern of the series by being best friends with Roxas and Axel, and is a Kairi-lookalike who has Ship Tease with Sora's lookalike Roxas. On paper she sounds like she's a character straight out of an early 2000's fanfic, but it is revealed to be an intentional — and very sinister — example In-Universe: Xion is in fact not a true member of the Organization but a Replica created to drain the power and life out of Roxas so she could replace him as a more easily managed Keyblade-wielder Xemnas could reprogram as he wished. It's for this reason that she and Roxas are partnered up on the early missions that spark their friendship, to encourage her to latch onto him and begin copying his power. As a Replica, she was an outsider among the rest of the Organization, only viewed as a puppet by the higher-ups and never as a true member; because of this, she is never given a throne of her own in the Round Room, a Red Baron title, her own special type of Nobodies to control, or even her own Proof of Existence like all the other members do.
  • Screaming Warrior: During her Data Rematch in Limit Cut, she'll actually start roaring during some of her more destructive attacks.
  • Sizeshifter: After donning the Sora-like armor, she becomes noticeably larger than Roxas and gets bigger with every next phase of the fight until she's as tall as the Twilight Town Clock Tower.
  • 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 black and white blouse and skirt that takes a few cues from Kairi and Naminé.
  • Ship Tease: With Roxas in Days. She fulfills pretty much every aspect that would make her look like Roxas's love interest in any other work, but because they can't feel anything due to being Nobodies and are way too innocent to even know what love is, it's unclear if their friendship is supposed to involve the start of romantic feelings or not. It's worth noting they don't show anything overtly romantic between them in III and more focus is given instead to their friendship with each other and Axel.
  • Significant Anagram: Of "No. i", her designation as part of the Replica Program.
  • Someone Has to Die: With Roxas (and in conjunction, Sora). Both of them are unable to coexist stably because Xion is built to keep draining Roxas's power, which will eventually make him fade away.
  • Spanner in the Works: Her actions ultimately bring about the end of the original Organization XIII. By choosing to die rather than continue serving the Organization, she not only prevents them from using her to collect hearts but also allows Naminé to resume restoring Sora's memories, enabling him to wake up. And by announcing her plans to Roxas — even if he forgets her afterward — it solidifies his defection from the Organization, leaving them with no Keyblade wielder they can control.
  • Split-Personality Merge: A Replica of Roxas that ends up absorbing Sora's memories, Xion lets herself be absorbed into Roxas's heart when she dies, returning the power she'd accidentally taken from him, and then gets absorbed into Sora's heart alongside Roxas when the latter returns to him, returning Sora's memories back to their rightful owner. While Roxas was initially resistant to fusing with Sora and appeared more several times after the initial fusion, Xion accepted her fate as necessary and apart from briefly telepathically communicating with Riku and Roxas at the end of Days she doesn't show up as an individual again until a dream version of her appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
  • Suicide by Cop: Her Final Boss amounts to this, with the "Cop" being Roxas.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: As a Seeker of Darkness. It's hard to tell since she spends all of her screentime as a vessel with her hood up, but she does have them. Regaining her present-day heart from Sora ejected Xehanort's heart as well as the past version of her heart, turning her eyes back to normal.
  • Sword Plant: When in her light aura phase in Re:Mind she will attack almost exclusively by stabbing her keyblade into the ground, generating shockwaves of light magic.
  • 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 was to be a backup plan in case the Organization couldn't control Roxas. She gets hit with this again when the Seekers of Darkness need a thirteenth member and their plan to use Sora failed, so they opt to recreate Xion as an Emotionless Girl and use her as a vessel for Xehanort's heart instead. Luckily this blows up in their faces when it leads to her friends remembering her again and her subsequently finding the strength to shake off Xehanort's influence and turn against the Seekers out of The Power of Friendship.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: During her boss battle alongside Saïx, one of her primary attacks is to throw her Keyblade at you or Kairi. This attack is carried over as her most basic attack for her data rematch in Re:Mind.
  • Token Good Teammate: To the XIII Seekers in III as she is only serving them because the replica body has her heart from the time when she first joined the Organization.
  • 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 XIII Seekers of Darkness are able to bring her back to join them as a reluctant member, mainly because the replica body has her heart from the past.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Begins working for the Organization with only a couple basic low-level elemental magic spells as her means of offense. She soon learns that she can wield the keyblade, granting her access to powerful light-based powers like Roxas and significantly increasing her utility to the Organization. Even after she temporarily loses the keyblade, she's using noticeably more powerful and varied magic spells than the last time Roxas fought alongside her.
    • Eventually revealed to be a deconstruction since the only reason she's getting stronger fighting with the keyblade is because she's draining energy from Roxas. She's later personally altered by Xemnas himself to defeat Roxas and absorb him completely while aided by specially placed Organization devices in various worlds to enhance her strength, resulting in a climactic Sequential Boss Fight.
  • 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.
  • 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 Naminé 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.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: On her own terms, Xion has great power but noticably lacks finesse in her swordplay. One of her phase intervals in the Re:Mind rematch has her running at Sora in an Unstoppable Rage wildly flailing around her Keyblade with one hand.
  • Water Is Womanly: Xion is the female of the Clock Tower Trio and a Replica who mostly takes after Kairi's persona. Her name is pronounced "shee-on"; shio in Japanese means "tide". A recurring dream that Xion experiences throughout the game is her drowning inside seawater.
  • Younger Than They Look: She looks like a young teenager to most people, but really, she's just under a year old by the time of her death.

Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Clock Tower Trio


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