Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Kingdom Hearts: Xehanort's Incarnations

Go To


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.

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


    open/close all folders 

    In General 
  • 13 Is Unlucky: His incarnations have been trying to form a group of thirteen of themselves for more than the past decade to have the "Darkness" half of the χ-blade. The Thirteen Seekers of Darkness members' numbers, as revealed in Re:Mind, are as follows;
    • I. Master Xehanort
    • II. "Ansem, Seeker of Darkness"
    • III. Xemnas
    • IV. Xigbar
    • V. Luxord
    • VI. Larxene
    • VII. Marluxia
    • VIII. Saïx
    • IX. Terra-Xehanort
    • X. Dark Riku
    • XI. Vanitas
    • XII. Young Xehanort
    • XIII. Xion
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Nearly every incarnation's final words in KHIII are tragic in one form or another, implying that each of them regret the connections they had severed and the choices that they had made.
  • Alliance of Alternates: The Thirteen Seekers of Darkness are composed of thirteen incarnations of Xehanort drawn from across space and time, although the majority of them are merely pre-existing people with a piece of Xehanort's heart plugged into them.
  • Ambiguously Brown: All of Xehanort's incarnations share the original's dark skin and silver hair. However, there are minor differences between each incarnation, with Xemnas having the lightest complexion overall while "Ansem" has the darkest (no doubt due to actually being a Heartless). This of course is all Depending on the Artist, III shows all of the main incarnations with the same skin tone.
    • Though the original Xehanort was a tropical islander, the only other character hailing from Destiny Islands to not be fair-skinned is Wakka.
  • Arc Villain: Because invokedWord of God states that Kingdom Hearts III will not be the end of the series, only the Grand Finale of the "Dark Seeker Saga", this is what Xehanort will ultimately end up as. Of course, Xehanort is still of vital importance to the current (and long-running) Story Arc and most fans assume his presence will continue to influence events in the greater cosmology of the series regardless of Master Xehanort's death at the end of III.
  • Back from the Dead: Subverted. III shows that the Seekers managed to bring forth the hearts of Ansem, Xemnas, Dark Riku, Vanitas, and Young Xehanort to inhabit Replicas created by Vexen in the present. However, upon their defeat, their hearts returned to their original places in time to face their original demises, meaning that their returns were only temporary and not full examples of this trope.
  • Badass Baritone: Always has a very deep voice. His incarnation in 3D has a softer voice, but only in the Japanese version, the English voice plays the trope straight.
  • Badass Longcoat: Variably wears a white, red and black trench coat, or a Black Cloak. Both look very cool on him.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: According to the press release blurb for Kingdom Hearts III, Xehanort believes the scales are too tipped in light's favor, motivating his darkness-based plot.
  • Big Bad: Xehanort is the central antagonist of the Dark Seeker Saga, and individual incarnations are frequently this trope for separate games.
  • Black Magic: Prefers using dark magic, though certain incarnations lean on it more heavily than others (like Xemnas possessing Power of the Void). Averted only by Young Xehanort, who hasn't given into the darkness like his older incarnations.
  • Body Surf: Xehanort has transferred pieces of his heart into over a dozen different bodies including Terra, most of the members of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness and temporarily Riku. He can also surf between the bodies of the Seekers at will, owing to the mechanics of Time Travel.
  • Casting a Shadow: Almost all of the Xehanort's have some dealings in darkness and have dark elemental attacks as components to their boss fights.
  • A Chat with Satan: They do this with various characters, from Ansem, Seeker of Darkness tempting Riku throughout the series to give in to the darkness, to Master Xehanort using the Balance Between Good and Evil to convince Terra to join him against his master Eraqus.
  • The Chessmaster: He's very good at setting up over-arcing schemes.
  • Chess Motifs: In III, they're associated with 13 chess pieces.
  • Classic Villain: All the Xehanorts are defined by their all-encompassing Ambition to seize the power of Kingdom Hearts and remake the worlds In Their Own Image, and in contrast to our heroes who fully believe in The Power of Friendship, never view others as anything more than tools or pawns. They usually prefer Black Cloaks or Red and Black and Evil All Over type clothing.
  • Clone by Conversion: In 3D, it is revealed that Organization XIII was designed to gather twelve Nobodies who could be subjected to this trope in order to serve as vessels for Master Xehanort's heart.
  • Co-Dragons: Ansem SoD, Xemnas and Young Xehanort collectively exist as The Dragon to Master Xehanort himself, all three being the only incarnations of his remaining after the Seven lights defeat the rest in III.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A downplayed example but still, the Seekers/Real Organization as individuals, whether as members of the old Organization and/or as final boss fights in other games, are all considerably less dangerous when fighting in groups in the endgame of III than when they previously fought solo against the heroes. Apparently an Enforced Trope, in order to allow players to feasibly prevail in what is conceptually some very unlikely odds, regardless of the supposed strength of the allies backing Sora up at the time. Rather tellingly, the one-on-one Duel Boss battles in DLC's Limit Cut have also restored each member to being considerable threats to Sora. Even the Terra-Xehanort Duel Boss in the earlier portion of the DLC's Re:Mind campaign is more threatening than the version of him fighting alongside Vanitas later.
  • Dark Is Evil: While the series as a whole explains Dark Is Not Evil, Xehanort is a practitioner of dark powers, tempts others to darkness to weaken their hearts, and considers darkness a source of true power and knowledge.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Not as obvious as some, but it's there. Young kid who wanted to leave his quiet little home to explore other worlds? Check. Delved too heavily into darkness and became a Fallen Hero? Check. Wears a black cloak and has a booming voice? Check. There's also the blue Ethereal Blades wielded by Young Xehanort while Xemnas's blades are red, just like Anakin's change in lightsaber color upon becoming Darth Vader. Master Xehanort in turn takes some cues from Palpatine with his manipulations of Terra and masquerading as a benevolent old man when he's really the villain behind everything. Also just like Palpatine, Xehanort attempts to prolong his own life by transferring his spirit to other bodies. The Seekers of Darkness being groomed to hold his fragmented heart further calls to mind Palpatine's clone bodies.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Every version of himself that isn't the original Master Xehanort gets hit with this in 3D onwards. Even his younger self.
  • Depending on the Artist: The hair color of Ansem and Xemnas has varied from lustrous silver to pale grey or white, and their eye color from bright yellow to deep amber. Terra-Xehanort's hair was white in Kingdom Hearts II, but he has silver hair in Birth By Sleep. Justified in-universe when it is explained that the colors are a mark of Master Xehanort's influence, and it is shown that Terra-Xehanort's eyes were initially yellow like Master Xehanort's, but later changed to Terra's brown after Terra-Xehanort's heart was sealed. The coloration could thus be an indicator of how much influence either of them has; a flashback in Kingdom Hearts II shows Terra-Xehanort with lighter brown eyes, which could signify Master Xehanort's growing dominance over their shared body, and the orange eyes of Ansem and Xemnas are a mixture of Terra's brown and Xehanort's yellow. In Kingdom Hearts III, where Master Xehanort is most directly influencing them, the three of them all have the same silver hair and yellow eyes as Young Xehanort and Master Xehanort.
  • Discard and Draw: When Terra-Xehanort released his own heart, becoming the Heartless Ansem and the Nobody Xemnas, neither of these two entities seemed to retain the ability to use the keyblade, yet through absolute control over the powers of Darkness and Nothingness respectively they still manage to be two of the most dangerous threats that Sora and his friends had to fight against. The original Xehanort himself hasn't retained the Time-altering abilities that his younger incarnation has aside from powerful Stop Magic, but his years of experience in fighting with a keyblade still make for the greatest threat to the worlds of his time.
  • The Dreaded: As Demyx puts it, getting on their bad side is a one way ticket to hell. It takes a lot of words from Vexen/Even to convince him to go through with going against them.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Though Master Xehanort and his younger self are calm and collected, his other incarnations are far more prone to fits of rage and total insanity.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both Sora and Riku, in different ways.
    • Like Sora, Xehanort was a Keyblade wielder from Destiny Islands who dreamed of seeing other worlds and in his travels has spawned multiple incarnations. Also, like Sora, Xehanort came from a humbler background. Xehanort was an islander while Eraqus descended from the survivors of the Keyblade War. Sora was an ordinary boy while Riku was chosen by the Keyblade. But while Xehanort works to create new incarnations to further his goals and corrupts others to darkness, Sora's incarnations come about as a result of his selfless altruism and he tries to help those he meets.
    • Like Riku, Xehanort is a Keyblade wielder who lost himself in darkness in pursuit of his ambitions. Riku however pulled himself back and reformed, while Xehanort kept going deeper into the darkness and was lost for it. Ansem shifting to being Riku's Arch-Enemy/Enemy Within exemplifies this.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The primary incarnations all tower over Sora.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Even in a cast full of Disney villains, the Xehanorts stand out for how over-the-top they are. There's also an interesting inversion. Young Xehanort is a younger Master Xehanort who has not yet turned evil and he's comparatively muted and calm, making him a case of Ambiguously Evil Is Not Hammy.
  • Evil Mentor: If a Xehanort ever tries to help you or give advice, never, ever, listen. Terra and Riku had to learn this lesson the hard way.
  • Evil Plan: Always wants to get his hands on Kingdom Hearts by sacrificing a bunch of innocent people.
  • Evil Sorceror: Regularly uses both machines and magic to experiment on and learn to control people's hearts. Each incarnation leans more to one or the other on an individual basis, Master Xehanort being a pure sorcerer while his alter-egos combine the two in their own ways.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As mentioned under Badass Baritone, all of the Xehanorts are given deep voices, with the exception of his 3D incarnation's Japanese voice.
  • The Faceless: His face is always hidden behind a hood or a turned back or a shadow the first time you see him.
  • Famed in Story: It's mentioned that Sora, Riku, and Kairi's attempt to leave the island in KH1 was inspired by someone else pulling it off many years prior. That "someone else" was Xehanort.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His incarnations are all seemingly polite and well-spoken, which makes their highly manipulative natures that much creepier. His new incarnation in 3D particularly acts friendly and personable, even while planning to make Sora his 13th and final vessel.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: His three main selves - Ansem, Xemnas, and Master Xehanort - work like this.
    • Ansem is a Powers Do the Fighting-type, and his main "weapon" is his Guardian. (Mage.)
    • Xemnas is the best Close-Range Combatant, and his main weapons are Laser Blades. (Fighter.)
    • Master Xehanort is a Combat Pragmatist to make up for his age, and his main weapon is a Keyblade. (Thief.) note 
    • His younger self, Young Xehanort generally demonstrates the close-combat skills, the impressive magical prowess, and a quick, yet pragmatic fighting style, making him something of a combination of the former three. (Jack-of-All-Stats)
  • Foil: At the end of the day - he's basically a male Maleficent, right down to the Dark Is Evil and the multiple comebacks. However - he excuses his actions as For Science!, Necessarily Evil, etc., while she's a Card-Carrying Villain who At Least Admits It.
  • For Science!: The key trait of Xehanort is that he isn't interested in power and conquest just for the sake of power and conquest, he wants to understand the mysteries of life and the universe, even if his pursuit of these answers would cause The End of the World as We Know It. The Ansem Reports in the first game particularly emphasize this, being written in the form of a researcher utilizing proper scientific method of testing: gather data, make observations, formulate a hypothesis, perform experiments to test hypothesis. Eraqus sums it up well in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
    Eraqus: You would risk an apocalypse out of sheer curiosity?!
  • Flight: Master Xehanort, Ansem and Xemnas all can fly and spend much of their boss fights hovering and soaring through the air.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was initially just a boy on Destiny Islands with ambitions of exploring other worlds. He then became the universe's biggest threat since the Keyblade Wars.
  • Godhood Seeker: Wants the power and knowledge of Kingdom Hearts to become a Physical God and remake the worlds in his image of a world that has an equal balance of light and darkness.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The Evil to the Seven Light's Good and Maleficent's Bad, Xehanort and his various incarnations posing a far bigger threat than Maleficent and her cronies ever could.
  • Grand Theft Me: A common ploy among his various forms involve plans that require stealing people's bodies or identities. His ultimate plan in Dream Drop Distance goes even further and has him wish to do this 13 times.
  • Hades Shaded: The Xehanorts all have dark skin as a result of their descent into darkness. Ansem and Xemnas, being the deepest divers as a Heartless and Nobody, are Ambiguously Brown in some depictions.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: He rivals the Trope Namer for this. Pretty much every single game, either the villains are servants of or are being manipulated by Xehanort, or they are Xehanort in some way. The only game he has no direct hand in is coded, but his Heartless Ansem's actions in the original Kingdom Hearts game is what led to the existence of Sora's Heartless, that game's Big Bad in the first place so Xehanort is indirectly responsible for the events in that game too. Chain of Memories has the villains working to overthrow Xemnas, but they are still members of the Organization that Xemnas leads.
  • Hive Mind: Implied for the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness since they all carry a piece of Master Xehanort’s heart. Vexen warns Demyx that none of “the chosen” can catch wind of their plan since it will tip Master Xehanort off, not even Saïx who was the plan’s brainchild in the first place. Master Xehanort, Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort are never seen conversing directly with each other, at best completing each other’s sentences, leaving it ambiguous as to how much autonomy the core four have.
  • I Have Many Names: Xehanort, Master Xehanort, Xemnas, Ansem, No Heart. Via his alternate incarnations he's also Terra, Braig, and Isa.
  • In Their Own Image: Their ultimate goal is to trigger a second Keyblade War, then use the power of Kingdom Hearts to wipe out the current worlds and remake them in their image of balance.
  • Ineffectual Loner: In the end, in spite of all his offshoots and copies, he was ultimately always outnumbered by Sora and his friends who were each their own person rather than reflections of singular deluded wizard who trusted no one but himself.
  • Invincible Villain: Despite appearing in numerous games in the series and always getting defeated when he does, Master Xehanort is so Crazy-Prepared that his defeats never stick or just help him, and he always bounces back. His state as this trope is elevated due to Retcons being required to explain why his defeat in the previous game was not permanent, making it seem like a case of Joker Immunity; no matter how many times players have defeated Xehanort, the developers refuse to just let him die, that is until III where Xehanort and his incarnations are finally Killed Off for Real.
  • It's All About Me: He really, really, really likes to think of himself as the hero of the story and the only one who knows what's best for all worlds.
  • Just Between You and Me: Inevitably explains his entire plan to the heroes. Unfortunately for the heroes, this quirk has yet to work against him. He even starts exploiting this in later titles to Mind Rape and screw with his enemies.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever a Xehanort shows up, the current game tends to become much darker in tone. Master Xehanort naturally reigns as this within the Xehanorts, his arrival to the franchise in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep began an Arc Welding that has tied the stories of the series together as a Gambit Roulette of his to enact a plan more ambitious than any of his previous ones.
  • Lack of Empathy: Although this seems to have been augmented by corruption by darkness, all Xehanorts have issues empathizing with others. Ironically, the original Master Xehanort is the only one to show the slightest hints of compassion and caring; he thinks Eraqus was once as close to him as a brother, and pities Ven nearly losing his heart and takes him to Destiny Islands so he can know peace before he dies.
  • Large Ham: Master Xehanort even provides the page image. Every Xehanort is prone to grandiose, lengthy speeches, often complete with dramatic hand gestures, and in battle they spout over-the-top Boss Banter at the top of their lungs. Choice topics for the two include the nature of darkness, power, hearts, nothingness, and invokedSUBMIT and similar commands. Here's a sampling of each of them.
    Ansem: Darkness conquers all worlds!
    Xemnas: Anger and hate are supreme!
    Master Xehanort: You see how powerless you are to save them? Savor that rage and despair! Let it empower you!
    Terra-Xehanort: I will guide you to the depths of darkness!
    • Richard Epcar, of course, takes the cake with the following:
  • Legacy Character: The Xehanorts all share very similar appearances, outfits, personalities and goals, while fighting style varies but there are definitely repeated themes. Justified in that they're all the same person in various alternate incarnations.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: Uses X in his names and iconography, including the names given to the members of the Organization XIII. This stems from Master Xehanort's obsession with the χ-blade. They're also a "Recusant's Sigil" that marks the bearer as Xehanort's property and a potential vessel for his heart.
  • Mad Scientist: His sole motivation for trying to unlock Kingdom Hearts is simply For Science!.
  • Magic Knight: Every incarnation is very skilled with both melee weapons and magic.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Many of the generic enemies (specific Emblem Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed) are either directly created by Xehanort, or exist because of something he did.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He is a master at getting other people to help him whether they know it or not.
  • Me's a Crowd:
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Every time Xehanort speaks, he can never seem to keep his arms or hands still. Master Xehanort and Xemnas are the worst offenders.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The name "Xehanort" is an anagram of "No Heart" with the letter 'X' thrown in (although a different, less sinister anagram is possible with "Another" + 'X').
  • Obviously Evil: Between the silver hair, yellow eyes, and black and red clothing, it's pretty clear that the Xehanorts are the villains of the series from the moment one pops up.
  • Off-Model: Applies to some of their character models when they're hooded and/or had their identities hidden when they debuted, such as:
    • The Mysterious Figure's character model in Birth by Sleep is taller and slightly more buffed up than Young Xehanort's in Dream Drop Distance and III.
    • The hooded members in Dream Drop Distance have the same character model with exact same body shape and size. As seen in III, this is not the case with some of their members like Vanitas, Dark Riku and Xion who have short teenager bodies; and Larxene who has a slender feminine body.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: To varying degrees, from Master Xehanort aiming to spark a second Keyblade War (which is basically Armageddon for the Kingdom Hearts universe) to "Ansem" outright wanting to seize the power of Kingdom Hearts and consume everything in invokedDARKNESS.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with back and forth. Early in the series there were several people with the name "Ansem" and "Xehanort", but it's now known that all of the latter are the same person in different forms, while with the former, a few people have just stolen the name as an alias and there is only one actual Ansem.
  • Overarching Villain: Xehanort and his incarnations are responsible for everything that has happened in the Dark Seeker Saga.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Has created and cultivated three separate races of monsters that have terrorized the universe, and has threatened an apocalypse on several occasions. Not to mention the personal tragedies he brings to the heroes...
  • Perpetual Smiler: Prior to III, the in-game models for his incarnations are often smiling by default and a lot of cutscenes, official artwork and renders portray them as such. Averted for amnesiac apprentice Terra-Xehanort who's never shown smiling.
  • Pointy Ears: Every incarnation, due to corruption by darkness, other than the uncorrupted Young Xehanort.
    • The possessed Terra-Xehanort didn't originally have pointed ears after his creation but he developed them at some point after losing his memories and becoming an apprentice to Ansem The Wise.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Xehanort's plans to get Kingdom Hearts revolve around sacrificing others in horrible ways.
    • Ansem uses the pure hearts of seven young women to try and create a portal to Kingdom Hearts.
    • Xemnas makes a fake Kingdom Hearts by combining the hearts from thousands of Heartless.
    • Master Xehanort tries to summon Kingdom Hearts by splitting a single person into pure light and pure darkness, and then making one consume the other.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Master Xehanort's black and red cloak, passed on to Ansem, and Xemnas's Black Cloak and red Etheral Blades.
  • Satanic Archetype: He was once one of the many defenders of the Realm of Light, but his ambitions and curiosity caused him to fall to darkness and become the greatest enemy the realm ever knew. His manipulates people to corrupt them and make them vulnerable to darkness, uses Demonic Possession to control others, and his various incarnations can control the various enemies of the series like Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed. The parallels are strengthed by his Keyblade; the weapon itself bears a horned goat's head on the shaft, and his Keyblade Armor gives Fallen Angel symbolism, as it's a suit of bright silver and white armor with feathers and its Glider form is a pair of wings that attached to his back, and he discarded the armor when he began using the powers of darkness. His new Keyblade Armor in III carries a particularly heavy Satan influence: a red and black cloak with a horned helmet shaped like a goat's head, clawed gauntlets, and boots that resemble hooves.
  • Seeker Archetype: A villainous example. All his incarnations seek to understand the true nature of their world, only to cross the invokedMoral Event Horizon in search of it. They even go by the moniker "the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness".
  • Significant Anagram: invokedNomura chose the name Xehanort because without the X it was an anagram of both "Another" and "No Heart," referring to Xehanort's many alter-egos and his lack of morality and empathy. And although this one isn't officially acknowledged like the others, there is also "No Earth," relating to his Grand Theft Me of Terra.
  • Social Darwinist: He gives off shades of this in III during a Motive Rant to Sora.
    Xehanort: The World needs someone to stand up and lead. Someone strong, to stop the weak from polluting the World with their endless darkness. Someone to dictate their destiny.
  • The Sociopath: Ticks all the boxes. He's an excellent liar and manipulator, feels no shame or guilt about all the suffering he's caused, pursues his goals out of a need for scientific curiosity regardless of what the consequences to the universe and civilization might be, has a massive ego and only cares about himself and his desires, and pretty much nothing gets to him; even when his plans are foiled, he'll just come up with a new one.
  • Soul Jar: Every Xehanort holds some fragment of Master Xehanort's heart.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Every member of the Real Organization aside from Master Xehanort gets hit with this in the endgame of III. According to invokedWord of God, they were designed so that the average player would be capable of defeating them, despite the fact that they're fighting in groups now. This has resulted in nearly all of them displaying far less capabilities in battle than they did before. Part of the driving force behind designing the Data Rematches in the DLC's Limit Cut mode was to lessen this by showing off the Organization's abilities to a more canonical extent.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Thanks to the darkness, his eye color is amber-orange, which is also given to his assimilated hosts. III reveals his natural eye-color is actually silver.
  • Superior Successor: What the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness are, having been made of 13 more suitable hosts for Xehanort, compared to the first Organization.
  • Teleport Spam: Always makes use of Flash Step or dark portal teleport attacks.
  • Thinking Up Portals: All of Xehanort's incarnations have access to Corridors of Darkness.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because of Retcons and his own memory shifting as he moves between forms, his reports are of questionable value in actual expository value.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": They are collectively alternate versions of the original man named Xehanort and their intentions spell disaster for various worlds spanning their universe. Xemnas also counts too.
  • Visionary Villain: He may have some roundabout and cruel methods, but everything Xehanort does is in the name of finding Kingdom Hearts and recreating the universe as he sees fit. 3D reveals that even Ansem and Xemnas were just working on a very complex scheme laid out by Master Xehanort that ultimately leads back to this goal.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: If someone has silver hair, they either (a) have some relation to/contact with Xehanort, or (b) are Sephiroth or Setzer. The only exception is Master Xehanort, as he's bald from age; even then, he still has a silver goatee.
  • The Worf Effect: Most of his incarnations naturally go through this over the course of the series in terms of both boss fight difficulty and story presence.
    • Ansem goes from being the impressive four-stage final boss of the first game, to the one-stage final boss of Riku’s story in Chain of Memories, to only a regular (i.e. not final) boss in Riku’s story in Dream Drop Distance (although he did get two forms), to one-third of a boss fight alongside Xemnas and Young Xehanort in III.
    • Xemnas goes from being the ultimate optional Super Boss of Kingdom Hearts, to the four-stage mandatory final boss of II, to the one-stage final boss of Sora’s story in Dream Drop Distance, to one-third of a boss fight alongside Ansem and Young Xehanort in III.
    • Young Xehanort goes from being the ultimate optional Super Boss of Birth by Sleep, to the mandatory final boss of Dream Drop Distance, to one-third of a boss fight alongside Ansem and Xemnas in III.
    • Terra-Xehanort goes from being the final boss of both Terra and Aqua’s stories in Birth by Sleep to half of a boss fight alongside Vanitas in III, before the showdown with Xehanort’s other main forms even. He gets another boss fight to himself in Re: MIND.
    • Vanitas goes from being the final boss of Ven’s story in Birth by Sleep, as well as the final boss of Aqua’s story before the final episode, to half of a boss fight alongside Terra-Xehanort in III.
    • Xion goes from being the four-stage final boss of 358/2 Days to half of a boss fight alongside Saix in III.
    • Marluxia goes from being the three-stage final boss of Sora’s story in Chain of Memories to one-third of a boss fight alongside Larxene and Luxord in III.
    • Larxene goes from fighting Sora, Donald, and Goofy by herself twice in Chain of Memories to being one-third of a boss fight alongside Marluxia and Luxord in III.
    • Luxord goes from fighting Sora by himself in II to being one-third of a boss fight alongside Marluxia and Larxene in III, plus needing an extra Power-Up via Nothingness from Xemnas.
    • Dark Riku goes from fighting Sora four times and Riku twice all on his own in Chain of Memories, the last fight against each being impressive showings in particular, to needing help from Ansem while fighting alongside Xigbar in III.
    • Vexen and Demyx go from being difficult boss fights in their original games, Chain of Memories and II respectively, to getting “benched” in III for not being strong enough to make the main ranks. And considering how poorly the main ranks fared...
    • Averted with a few incarnations however.
      • Saix is more or less a formidable opponent by himself in all three games he is fought: II, 358/2 Days, and III. While Xion assists him early on in III, she quickly abandons him, and then he’s up against THREE Keyblade wielders by himself, including Roxas.
      • Although Xigbar fights alongside Dark Riku with Ansem’s help in III after fighting several Keyblade wielders (Sora, Roxas, Xion, Terra, and Aqua) by himself in the previous games, it is heavily implied his Nobody form didn’t even die this time, only fighting hard enough to satisfy his requirement for the χ-blade and then performing a Villain: Exit, Stage Left.
      • Master Xehanort outright inverts it. He goes from being an unimpressive boss fight against Terra in Birth by Sleep to the impressive three-stage final boss of III.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no qualms about physically or psychologically assaulting youngsters such as Ven or Sora (though to be fair, these are Keyblade wielders and not exactly helpless).
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Xehanort's X is a recurring motif for him, passed on to the Organization.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Whenever Xehanort or his many incarnations are defeated, they are viewed as minor setbacks at least. When individual members end up being slain before they could push their master plan into action, they can either use what little they had gained to call it a win or they become active members in another incarnation's machinations.

Master Xehanort

Click here for his page.




Terra-Xehanort / "Ansem"
"That's not my name. I'm not Xehanort. My name... is Ansem."
Click here to see Terra-Xehanort as a member of the Dark Seekers 
"I will guide you to the depths of darkness!"

Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)

Appearances: II | Birth by Sleep | 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- | III | Melody of Memory

"The Heartless feed on other's hearts, and they yearn for that energy core. That thing beyond the door must be a heart, too—the heart of this world. There is no proof, but, having felt that immense energy, I am certain. That was the heart of the world."
Ansem Report 6
A young man that was found in Radiant Garden in the aftermath of a great battle between several Keyblade wielders, bearing no memories but his name. Ansem the Wise nursed him back to health and took him on as an apprentice, but he quickly became obsessed with The Heartless and Kingdom Hearts, and cast Ansem the Wise into the Realm of Darkness, before taking up his victim's name.

Seeking further knowledge, he became a Heartless and Nobody to delve deeper into the powers of darkness than his human form would allow. As "Ansem" (Seeker of Darkness, Terra-Xehanort's Heartless) and Xemnas (Terra-Xehanort's Nobody), his two new selves went on to drive the plot of most of the series, though both would be defeated by Sora and his friends. In 'III' his recompleted body is possessed by his time traveling heart and he is revived as Number IX in the Seekers of Darkness despite the few appearances he's in during the game.

He is actually Terra, one of three Keyblade Warriors training under Master Eraqus. When Master Xehanort manipulated Terra into allowing darkness into his heart, he stole Terra's body for himself, transforming Terra's body into a younger incarnation of himself. Terra fought back against Xehanort's control and attempted to expunge him from his body, but the attempt failed and sealed their memories, creating the amnesiac young man that Ansem the Wise took in.

  • All Your Powers Combined: He serves as this for the Xehanort incarnations. He's powerhouse Lightning Bruiser like Xenmas, fights with dark powers and the Guardian Heartless like Ansem, and is a skilled wielder of a Keyblade like Young Xehanort. Even the idea behind his creation was to combine Master Xehanort's vast amount of knowledge and experience with Terra's incredible physical prowess.
  • Almighty Janitor: Downplayed. As a member of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness, he’s ranked as Number IX, which isn’t a high rank number at all, but he’s also one of its most powerful members, if not THE most powerful member (apart maybe from Master Xehanort once he gets the χ-blade and Xigbar, who is actually Luxu), if what he did to the Guardians of Light in the Keyblade Graveyard is any indication. He is also the only member besides Master Xehanort who is not defeated after his boss fight, requiring both Terra and Sora's effort to defeat him for good.
    • However, the Organization’s members don’t necessarily always get their rank numbers based on their power or authority (Apart from Master Xehanort, who is Number I because he’s the leader). Nomura has confirmed that the ranks within the Seekers doesn't matter and were only made as an afterthought for the Data Battles. Ironically, despite being one of the most powerful Xehanorts, he doesn’t seem to hold a high amount of power or authority like his Heartless and Nobody Ansem and Xemnas, most likely due to still having Terra’s heart within him and the possibility that Terra could fight back against his control.
  • The Artifact: He's the only fused/possessed character in the series to have a single voice rather than Voice of the Legion, like with his own Heartless possessing Riku or with Ventus-Vanitas. This is a holdover from Ansem, Seeker of Darkness (whose voice and appearance are identical to him), who was the very first incarnation of Xehanort to appear in the series and who was treated as a single entity before Birth by Sleep revealed the twist.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His entire existence is this for Master Xehanort. Combining Master Xehanort's decades of experience with Terra's raw power makes for one of the strongest characters in the entire franchise, who is capable of fighting multiple Guardians of Light at once and winning, and only a few of them would even stand a chance of beating him. However, the fact that Terra is constantly Fighting from the Inside, and Terra-Xehanort's full power is only realized when he's using the Guardian to aid him, which means that if Terra-Xehanort's control slips even a little, Terra will try to retake his body from him. This is likely why Master Xehanort keeps Terra-Xehanort out of the battle until it's time for the Keyblade War; the risk of Terra turning on him is too great.
  • Ax-Crazy: As III demonstrates, Terra-Xehanort is the most unstable member of the Real Organization and takes sadistic glee in inflicting pain on the heroes.
  • Badass Armfold: His pose when commanding the Guardian.
  • Batman Gambit: He attempts this in Birth By Sleep 0.2, using Terra to trick Aqua into revealing where she hid Ven. His plan is foiled by Terra momentarily wresting control of his body.
  • Bishōnen: Develops more into this after his Laser-Guided Amnesia as he's just as handsome as Terra, but he grows his hair out and wears a lab coat that obscures his well-built physique.
  • BFG: Uses Terra's Ultima Cannon to create a giant Keyblade cannon.
  • BFS: Retains access to Master Xehanort's large Keyblade.
  • Blade Spam: Uses long Keyblade combos based on Terra's Ars Solum and Dark Impulse.
  • Broken Ace: Despite retaining his original self's abilities as Keyblade Master in addition to having a younger and faster body, he's very unstable due to Terra's will being strong enough to beat him. Not even his creating The One Behind out of Terra's heart enough to purge him from his body, as Terra keeps fighting him from inside and causes him to be beaten by Aqua as well. When his memory returns in the flashback opening of Dream Drop Distance, he becomes unstable again and mindlessly attacks his ally Braig and declares his name to be Ansem. And unlike his original self, he's VERY prone to Villainous Breakdown.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Once his memories and Keyblade are locked away after battling the Lingering Will and Aqua, there's no evidence he even has any combat abilities anymore whatsoever, at least until he splits into Ansem and Xemnas. That said, Ansem The Wise still comments on how his abilities border on superhuman, indicating that he's merely lost the knowledge of how to summon and fight with a keyblade and has still retained his physical capabilities.
  • The Brute: Lacking any authority in the Seekers, he simply plays the role of one of its most dangerous fighters. He easily taking out two of the Guardians of Light before they could even reach the rest of them and later overpowers Sora, Aqua and Ventus before he was finally and completely stopped by his own Guardian with Sora's help. The sheer physical threat he presents is reflected in his data battle in which of his many different Unblockable Attacks, almost all of them are merely powered up keyblade strikes.
  • Bus Crash: Subverted. III raises the question that given how people reform after their Heartless and Nobody are destroyed and Master Xehanort has returned through this method, isn't it possible that Terra has come back as well? Terra-Xehanort being completely absent from the game, unlike the other vessels, also creates the impression that maybe he's already gone. And then the game reaches the final act and reveals that Terra-Xehanort is still very much alive and a vessel.
  • Catch and Return: If you block his Dark Volley projectiles, they'll be sent straight back at him and deal him damage.
  • Combat Pragmatist: One of his favorite tactics is to have the Guardian appear behind his opponent and hold them in place while he attacks with his Keyblade. The intro to his fight with Aqua even has him dive into the ground and reappear behind her to attack.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Proceeds to utterly wreck the Guardians of Light in III, knocking three of them out of the fight in one go. It takes Donald channeling all the magic he had into one powerful Zettaflare to bring him down.
  • Dash Attack: Rapidly dashes around the arena with Dark Haze, which replaces Terra's Slide-Sonic Impact as his dodge technique. In his data rematch in III', he can perform this attack in midair as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: III demonstrates that Terra-Xehanort has a sheerly wicked sense of humor, rivaling Larxene's purely sadistic one.
    Terra-Xehanort: If it's darkness you're looking for, Ventus, then I have more than enough to go around.
    Aqua: (pointing her Keyblade at him.) Stop! Quit using our friend for your games!
    Terra-Xehanort: A Keyblade Master wielding your key in anger? Shameful.
  • Death of Personality: Xehanort tries to do this to Terra, but Terra is consistently able to hold on, Fighting from the Inside with Eraqus' heart within his own but not being able to regain control. Ironically Terra ultimately subjects his Nort'ed self to this, with Sora's help, when he finally reclaims his body in III.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Perverted the research of his mentor Ansem for evil purposes.
  • Decomposite Character: II treats him and Ansem, Seeker of Darkness as the same character, but future games make it increasingly clear that they are distinct incarnations of Xehanort despite their similarities, with Ansem being created from Terra-Xehanort instead of literally being him. Most prominent in III where both of them are separate members of the new Organization XIII.
  • Demoted to Extra: Gets this treatment among the members of the Seekers in III, as far as being a Xehanort goes. Ansem, Xemnas, and Young Xehanort collectively act as Co-Dragons to Master Xehanort, but Terra-Xehanort doesn't seem to have the same ranking or influence that they do, being sidelined until the final battle and then being grouped with the lower-ranked members below those three. The fact that Terra can still usurp control over him appears to be the reason why.
  • Desperation Attack: When fighting the Lingering Will in Birth by Sleep, he will telekinetically tear boulders out of the ground and hurl them at you.
    • When fighting Aqua in Birth by Sleep, he will use the Guardian's signature Dark Shadow attack, having it launch out of portals below Aqua. If it hits, the Guardian will grab Aqua and perform a suplex, slamming her to the ground.
    • In his boss fight in III, he will summon the Guardian and shroud the area in darkness with lightning bolts littering the area to prevent escape. During this, a vacuum effect will pull the party towards the Guardian, who will attack with claw swipes. After four attacks, the Guardian will perform a double-fisted Ground Punch, damaging the party if they are too close. In his data rematch, red lightning bolts will surround the area as lightning swirls the inside to make it hard to dodge. During this, both Terra-Xehanort and the Guardian will attack with Dark Volley and lightning respectively.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: He can use many of Terra's earth-based He can send a shockwave of stone at you based on Terra's Rising Rock command style, though it also resembles Quake. Against Aqua, he swaps this out for the same version of Meteor as Terra. His Desperation Attack against the Lingering Will involves tearing boulders out of the ground and launching them as flaming meteors.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: As shown by the climax of III, the amount of characters that are capable of fighting an unhindered Terra-Xehanort comes up to a grand total of one. But he's also rarely capable of fighting at his peak due to Terra constantly trying to take his body back, making it much easier to beat, most of the time.
  • Dual Boss: With Vanitas in Kingdom Hearts III, while you play as Sora alongside Ven and Aqua.
  • Empty Shell: Re:Mind reveals that after the deaths of Ansem and Xemnas, both Master Xehanort and Terra's bodies were recompleted in the present. However Xehanort's heart returned to his original body while Terra's was left empty since his heart was still contained in the Guardian. Xehanort fixed this problem by having Terra-Xehanort's heart from the past possess Terra's body again to recreate him once more.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: His experiments on the The Heartless helped turn them into an entire army of darkness.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After losing his memories, he starts to grow his hair out. While it makes him look more like his future incarnations of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas, it's later revealed that the long strand-like bangs framing his face are reminiscent of Xehanort's old hairstyle in his youth.
  • Faking Amnesia: A side effect of Terra's heart vying for control is Terra-Xehanort outwardly displaying amnesia. However, it's implied that at some point he regained his full memories as Xehanort, but kept up the act. Braig accuses him of this in the flashback that opens 3D. Ultimately averted as III brings up his amnesia several times: once by "Ansem" as he talks about the experiments to return his memory, and again in the Secret Reports documenting those times. It's also hinted at a third time, when Terra-Xehanort doesn't recognize the Lingering Will when it attacks him in the climax of the game.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Ansem the Wise took him in and gave him a home when he found him amnesiac on the streets. Terra-Xehanort thanks him by manipulating his other apprentices into helping him follow his plans, stealing Ansem's identity, and destroying Radiant Garden.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: As he's still wearing Terra's clothes and thus has the pauldron on his left shoulder and the gauntlet on his left arm. Also, of course, he wields his Keyblade in his right hand only. Though averted after he loses his memories and becomes Ansem's apprentice, at which point he wears a labcoat, or when he's wearing the Black Cloak in III.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As shown in III and Re:Mind he'll often adopt a polite tone of voice when interacting with his enemies that barely masks his sadistic personality.
  • Flawed Prototype: He's one of, possibly the first vessel Xehanort made and is arguably the strongest but Terra's Fighting from the Inside severely reduces his effectiveness.
  • Final Boss: Of Terra's story in Birth By Sleep.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Melody of Memory shows in detail how Terra-Xehanort was the one to send Kairi to Destiny Island using the machine in Radiant Garden, claiming that her power as a princess of heart would cause her to resonate with a Keyblade wielder and allow him to find that wielder's world.
  • Fusion Dance: Terra-Xehanort is Master Xehanort's heart controlling Terra's body.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a fusion of Terra and Xehanort, so it only makes sense he'd be this. Best shown in Melody of Memory, which reveals that, even with the amnesia he had at the time, he was aware of Quadratum, a fictional world.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: He dashes around and becomes immune to damage after you use a special attack like magic or a Shotlock. This makes him very hard to pin down without relying on physical attacks or a block-counter strategy. Aqua particularly has problems with this since her best attacks are spells.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of I, Chain of Memories, and II, being the origin of both Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: He can use Terra's Dark Impulse Command Style, with the finisher having him attack with a giant hand of dark energy.
  • Guardian Entity: The Guardian/Dark Figure, a special Heartless born from the darkness in his heart. It is actually a prison and container for Terra's heart.
  • Hate Sink: His pre-amnesia self is a real piece of work. He only first appears at the end of Birth By Sleep as the final monstrous act of Master Xehanort, the cherry on top of a whole slew of atrocities throughout the game. He goes even further when he consistently tries to murder Ven and Aqua while wearing the face of their best friend, often pretending to be him completely in order to lure them into a false sense of security. He also nearly kills all of the Guardians of Light at the entrance to the Keyblade Graveyard and tries to murder Ven and Aqua one last time by dropping them to their doom. The ultimate death of Master Xehanort's self inside of him when Terra finally reclaims his body is immensely satisfying.
    • The new scenes with him in Re:Mind, if anything, manage to make him even worse than before.
  • Heroic Rematch: Inverted. When he fights the Lingering Will in Birth By Sleep he ultimately loses and is knocked unconscious. When the two have a rematch well over a decade later Terra-Xehanort summons his Guardian, ultimately allowing him to fully destroy the Lingering Will, in spite of Sora's intervention.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When he fights the Lingering Will in III, they appear to be evenly matched at first, until Terra-Xehanort summons his Guardian (something he didn't do during their fight over a decade ago), who nearly destroys the Lingering Will until a time-travelling Sora intervenes...who then himself nearly gets killed, forcing the Lingering Will to take the brunt of the attack.
  • I Have Many Names: Terra-Xehanort, Xehanort and Ansem.
  • Iconic Outfit: He only ever appears in the typical Organization black coat when he is hooded at the onset of the Keyblade War, although a journal entry has him in the outfit with the hood off (and this is to date the only outfit he’s worn for III marketing material. For actual confrontations, he is always in Terra's outfit as usual.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even with his memories of his past life sealed away and his new life effectively being a blank slate, he still chooses to become an evil bastard.
  • Karmic Death: In a sense. Terra-Xehanort was created by Master Xehanort shoving his heart inside Terra's body, with Master Xehanort in control. It's only fitting this version of Xehanort is destroyed by Terra returning the favor. Terra-Xehanort is one of the few KH-exclusive bosses to permanently die as a result.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When the Guardian finally turns on him.
  • Large Ham: What happens when you give free reign to Richard Epcar? Quite simple: he chews, swallows and regurgitates all of the scenery around him, consumes the entirety of the pork provided for him to chew on and manages to make the impossible possible by nearly out-hamming Leonard Nimoy.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Had his memories locked away by Terra at the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep to prevent Master Xehanort from controlling his body. Unfortunately, some memories eventually start coming back. Also lampshaded by Braig.
    Braig: Please tell me the amnesia was just a sick joke. Boy, this is some cliché.
  • Leitmotif: "Dismiss".
  • Lightning Bruiser: He moves very fast even without his teleportation, uses devastatingly powerful Keyblade combos, and has a lot of HP compounded by access to Curaga. Makes perfect sense, since he has Terra's power and vitality combined with Master Xehanort's experience and training.
  • Literal Split Personality: Was eventually split into "Ansem" and Xemnas. Ansem is much more like Master Xehanort than Terra, keeping the dark magic, the Guardian, and Master Xehanort's outfit; Xemnas is more Terra than Master Xehanort, using a more hands-on combat style, he has a hairstyle close to Terra's, and he retains Terra's preference to use Keyblade Armor in pitched battle (though he uses Master Xehanort's armor since Terra's armor was lost to him). Additionally, Ansem champions the power of darkness, while Xemnas relies on The Power of Hate, also reflecting Master Xehanort and Terra.
  • Living Shadow: His Guardian Entity manifests as a shadow projecting behind him.
  • Loss of Identity: Originally, he was said to be motivated to understand the nature of hearts by his own lack of memories of who he is. 3D revealed that he was also subconsciously following the plans Master Xehanort had set in place in case he had to seal his heart. This is also how he's eventually destroyed - Terra reclaiming his body with help from Sora destroys Terra-Xehanort entirely.
  • Magic Knight: Uses both Keyblade combos and magic with no preference for either, though his Keyblade strikes are stronger.
  • Magic Missile Storm: Shoots out a flurry of dark energy bolts with Dark Volley.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Created the crest Heartless and brought countless wild ones into the Realm of Light as well.
  • Meaningful Rename: Changed his name to Ansem after banishing his former mentor and taking over his kingdom.
  • Me's a Crowd: As a member of the Seekers of Darkness he especially stands out as this since he is simply Master Xehanort in Terra’s younger body, meaning he’s serving as a foot soldier for himself.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Despite Master Xehanort using an entirely different style of fighting from Terra, once he takes over Terra's body he exclusively uses Terra's attacks, and even uses the same battle stance as Terra. May be due to him not having time to become accustomed to this new body so he goes with what's familiar to it. Not that it doesn't work, however...
  • Mirror Boss: All of his attacks are ones you have access to when playing as Terra: Block-Counter Hammer, Curaga, Ars Solum, Dark Haze, Dark Volley, Ultima Cannon, the Dark Impulse combo, a tremor similar to Quake and Rising Rock, and variants of Meteor. It's entirely likely that you have some of the same attacks equipped come the end of the game, and save for him having both Dark Volley and Ultima Cannon, you could potentially have an identical moveset.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: He purposely turned himself into a Heartless and a Nobody so he could acquire more power and further Master Xehanort's plans.
  • Mysterious Past: His past was unclear till Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • Neck Lift: Tries to choke Aqua to death at the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted, he has Curaga and is not shy about using it.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Right before Aqua begins to fight him, he teleports exactly behind Aqua, who immediately jumps away from him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pulls an excellent face that screams this in III when the Guardian, who was revealed to be Terra's heart imprisoned within it, finally had enough strength to properly rebel against Terra-Xehanort. It works well enough that Terra's able to finally reclaim control of his body and shove Master Xehanort out for good.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Dismiss", his second battle theme in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, features a dramatically chanting choir. It's also a Boss Remix that samples assorted character themes, the most obvious one being Guardando nel Buio, the final boss theme from the first Kingdom Hearts.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "Dismiss" also features organ rifts in its structure.
  • One-Man Army: In III Terra-Xehanort takes on and severely weakens almost every Guardian of Light by himself when they first arrive at the entrance to the Keyblade Graveyard. Even after Donald one-shots him with Zettaflare, the sheer beatdown is so brutal that it allows the Demon Tide to finish the job. At least, the first time around. Re:Mind shows that Aqua and Ventus were largely able to hold their own with him in the final fight because Sora and the Lingering Will gave him a pretty heavy beatdown before the final fight with him, weakening him.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In III before he defeats the Guardians of Light the first time, he briefly passes himself off as Terra in the Keyblade Graveyard. It'd be more convincing without any Dull Eyes of Unhappiness, but it's enough to work on Ven, who has never personally encountered such a facade having been asleep for a decade, though Aqua sees through it.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: He's the True Final Boss of Birth By Sleep, fought by Aqua in Radiant Garden after the climactic events in the Keyblade Graveyard.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: After running out of test subjects, thanks to Ansem the Wise forbidding it, he decided to just test his theories on himself.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Played with. He's already deceptive enough, but it's heavily implied that he only decided to banish Ansem the Wise to Realm of Darkness after Ansem ordered him to cease his experiment, destroy his research, and release his experiment subjects. He seems especially pissed when he believed Ansem also released the amnesiac girl that he took interest in to the point that he sarcastically called Ansem "wise" for releasing such a precious subject. Unbeknownst to him, this last one isn't correct, as the girl was taken by Braig.
  • Recurring Boss: In Birth By Sleep he's fought as the Final Boss of Terra's story and then later the True Final Boss overall in the Final Episode. In III he's only fought once in the initial release, but later (or rather, earlier) fought one-on-one with Sora as the third boss of Re:Mind, and then later a data version of him in Limit Cut.
  • Sadist: He seems to get a thrill out of tormenting Terra's friends with Terra's body. Best displayed in III, where he chains Aqua and Ven up and tortures them while gleefully Laughing Mad.
    "You'll never be able to break these chains. They're our bonds. You have no power over me!"
  • Shadow Archetype: To King Mickey, in an odd way. He's introduced as a rogue apprentice of the wise Ansem who defied his master and tried to use his magic for personal gain, much like Mickey was once a mischievous apprentice of the wise Yen Sid, and famously used his magic irresponsibly at least once. More blatantly he's one to Riku. He is what Riku would have eventually turned into had he never been freed from "Ansem's" control.
  • Smarter Than You Look: With most of Terra-Xehanort's screentime spent hamming it up or acting as a physical brute, it's easy to forget that he's still a brilliant scientist. Melody of Memory adds an additional layer to this, revealing that even in his amnesiac state he was aware of the fictional world of Quadratum, which calls how much of an Unwitting Pawn of the Master of Masters he really was into question.
  • The Sociopath: After all, he is Master Xehanort, just in a different form. Even with his memories sealed he shows an astounding Lack of Empathy for his test subjects.
  • Start of Darkness: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep depicts his "birth", but the conflict between Terra and Xehanort's hearts renders him an amnesiac, leaving the "Ansem Reports" of Kingdom Hearts to detail the process of him becoming a villain in his own right.
  • Super Strength: As shown in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, he's strong enough to effortlessly bodily lift Aqua off of the ground by the neck with one hand. Ansem would later refer to him as superhuman in the first Secret Ansem Report in II.
  • Teleport Spam: Seems to have picked this tactic up from some of the other Seekers of Darkness by the time of III.
    Terra-Xehanort: Over here!
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • After Aqua calls out to him as "Terra".
    "Terra's heart has been extinguished! Smothered by the darkness within him!"
    • There's also his statement to Braig whilst stabbing him and releasing his heart when Braig questions if Xehanort has regained his memories.
    "That's not my name. I'm not "Xehanort." My Ansem."
  • This Cannot Be!: His reaction in III when the Guardian rebels against him and saves Aqua and Ven before attacking him.
    "How?! You fell to the dark-" [gets grabbed by the face]
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Inverted — when it comes time to fight him, the music for the fight is your character's battle theme. After seeing what Terra went through at Xehanort's hands before he transformed into the Lingering Will, you'll understand why the Will's battle theme is called "Rage Awakened".
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Upon possession, Terra's hair turns white and his eyes gold. As Terra already bears great resemblance to Master Xehanort in his youth, Terra-Xehanort essentially becomes a dead ringer for his original incarnation.
  • True Final Boss: In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, he's the boss of the Final Episode after the three character stories are completed. Averted in Final Mix though, where the story continues after the fight and there's another boss waiting.
  • Unblockable Attack: While all the data matches in Limit Cut have at least one of these, Terra-Xehanort is notorious for using Ars Solum, which starts with an unblockable swing as indicated by his glowing red keyblade and will repeat that swing throughout the attack before ending with an equally unblockable overhead slam though he can be staggered during this final hit. Once he's lost about half of his health, he'll start to use an altered version of Ars Solum that's almost entirely unblockable, aside from a single swing right near the end that can be used to counter him.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • The only time he loses his cool in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is when the Lingering Will forms, prompting a snarl of disbelief. In the subsequent battle, he begins by walking towards you slowly, taking the time to block and counter your attacks and attacking back carefully. As the battle continues he starts teleporting rapidly, attacks more aggressively, and breaks out Meteor as his Desperation Attack. Best summed up by this quote:
    "Your body submits. Your heart succumbs! So why does your mind resist?!"
    • He has two phases of this in III. The first time, after he was beaten by Sora, Aqua, and Ventus he gets so mad that he stops using the No Name and uses the darkness version of Terra and Eraqus's binding chains to restrain Sora and torture Aqua and Ventus. When he attempted to kill the duo on the other end of his chains, the Guardian emerges from the Xehanorts' control over it to save Aqua and Ventus, causing him to go into the second breakdown.
  • Voices Are Mental: Xehanort is voiced by Akio Ōtsuka in the Japanese version, the son of Master Xehanort's voice actor Chikao Ohtsuka. The intended effect is presumed to be that the two characters have the same, but age-affected, voice.
  • Walking Spoiler: Talking about his presence in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep spoils The Reveal that he's Terra under the control of Master Xehanort's heart.
  • Walking Wasteland: His presence in Radiant Garden causes an aura of darkness around the world, and while it may just be the time of day there, it's also nighttime when the player investigates. In III, this becomes his Desperation Attack where he covers the area in darkness.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ask Aqua, whom he wails on without mercy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Stands out from the other examples, because we can see the lifeless body of young Ienzo fading away in the introduction to 3D. With the revelation in III that the teenage Lea and Isa had become apprentices right before they were turned into Nobodies and the Organization was formed, it's likely they were victims too.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason he tries to kill Aqua in Radiant Garden at the end of Birth By Sleep, given that her role in his plans was complete after the events of the Keyblade Graveyard.

    Dark Figure / Terra-Xehanort's Guardian 

Dark Figure / Terra-Xehanort's Guardian
Appearances: I | Chain of Memories | II Final Mix | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep | Dream Drop Distance | III

A shadowy entity that heavily resembles a Pureblood Heartless. It serves several incarnations of Xehanort as his familiar and muscle, though its strongest ties are with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.

  • All There in the Manual:
    • The Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania clarifies the relationship between the Guardian and Terra: the Guardian is a prison and container for Terra's heart.
    • Its Japanese name, "The One Behind", is only ever mentioned in the Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania. It's otherwise just referred to as "the Guardian".
  • And I Must Scream: Terra had been imprisoned inside the Guardian for over a decade, forced to serve as the attack dog for the man who ruined his life and stole his body, unable to fight back or even speak until III.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It breaks free from Terra-Xehanort's control right before he can kill Aqua and Ven, then teams up with Sora to restore Terra's control over his body.
  • Blow You Away: When merged with the World of Chaos, it will generate strong gusts of wind to blow Sora and the party back. The wind gusts don't deal damage, thankfully.
  • Bound and Gagged: It's because Terra is imprisoned inside of it, the bandages preventing him or the Guardian from speaking. Once Terra regains his own will, he rips the bandages off.
  • Casting a Shadow: Like all Heartless, it mainly uses darkness-based attacks.
  • Dash Attack: Its Dark Rush attack has it charged at the opponent several times while wreathed in dark energy.
  • Deadly Disc: Its Shock Slash attack has it toss several dark energy discs at the opponent.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After it saves Aqua and Ven it wastes no time strangling Terra-Xehanort before regaining his body through Sora's help.
  • Elemental Punch: Its main attack is usually a darkness-enhanced punch.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Guardian's true name in Japanese is "The One Behind", which is exactly how it fights with Ansem and Terra-Xehanort.
  • Facepalm of Doom: In Re:Mind it grabs the Lingering Will by the visor and starts squeezing, though Sora intervenes before it can crush its helmet.
  • Familiar: The Guardian's existence is seemingly tied to Ansem as his servant, at first, though when Riku accepts the darkness in his heart during a confrontation with Roxas and takes the form of Ansem SoD, the Guardian comes under his control, though Master Xehanort first created it through his forced fusion with Terra to help him fight Aqua. It's due to the fact it's actually Terra's heart imprisoned in it, still bound to Ansem even in this state.
  • Foreshadowing: The Guardian being a prison for Terra's heart is hinted at a few times within the series.
    • When Riku defeats Ansem in 3D the Guardian briefly strikes the same pose Terra once did when summoning his Keyblade.
    • Ansem, despite being made from Terra-Xehanort, is always exclusively referred to as Xehanort's Heartless. He acts like a younger, hammier Xehanort without any of Terra's influence or mannerisms, implying that Terra's heart was somewhere else.
  • Guardian Entity: Initially it protected its master from any harm, at least until Terra finally exerts his own will.
  • Hand-Hiding Sleeves: Wears these when merged with the World of Chaos.
  • Interface Screw: One of its attacks in its initial appearance has it attach itself to Sora or a party member and periodically grab them when they try to attack. When it does so to Sora, the Attack command is replaced by "Freeze" at regular intervals, which causes it to grab Sora when used.
  • It Can Think: The Guardian seems to be able to act on its own, such as when it seems to reach towards Riku when Ansem is unconscious after beating him in Dream Drop Distance. We learn later on that it's a container for Terra's heart, and might've been sentient the whole time like Ansem was when it begins speaking with Terra's voice.
  • Living Shadow: Like all Pureblood Heartless, it takes the form of its master's shadow, emerging from it when its time to fight. Its Signature Move, Dark Shadow, has it emerge from the ground as a shadow to attack opponents from below, creating shockwaves as it does.
  • Living Weapon: What the Guardian serves as to Ansem and Terra-Xehanort, having no will of its own and existing merely to attack and defend at his command.
  • Mana Drain: When merged with the World of Chaos, it will occasionally drain Sora and the party of their MP.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: There's never been any way to damage it, allowing it to shield its users from harm if they desire.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, there is another type of Heartless called Guardian.
  • One-Winged Angel:
  • Playing with Fire: The battle with Terra-Xehanort in Birth By Sleep has the Guardian toss fireballs of darkness.
  • The Reveal: III reveals that the Guardian is Terra's heart imprisoned within it.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: III reveals that the Guardian is actually said can for Terra's heart.
  • Shadow Archetype: Puns aside, it is arguably one to Sora's Heartless, representing the worst-case scenario for what could have happened to Sora had he remained a Shadow permanently.
  • Shock and Awe: It can fire surges of electricity.
  • Spikes of Doom: During the fight with Terra-Xehanort in III, one of its attacks is to punch the ground, creating a ring of spikes made from the shadow.
  • Taking the Bullet: It will jump in front of its master to take hits from foes. It doesn't have its own HP bar, so it doesn't get hurt. That said, whoever it protects is generally vulnerable to attacks from behind when it does this.
  • Tainted Veins: The guardian has purple veins on its forehead like a Neoshadow.
  • Torso with a View: It has a heart-shaped hole in its chest like most Pureblood Heartless.
  • The Voiceless: It never speaks, even in battle, but it does roar occasionally. Subverted entirely in III when Terra speaks through it, his heart imprisoned within it. It may have been able to do this the entire time if it weren't for the bandages in its way...
  • Wham Line: After saving Ventus and Aqua from Terra-Xehanort and restraining the Dark Seeker, the Dark Figure makes a familiar declaration.
    The Dark Figure: One day...I...will...set...this...right... One day...I will set...this right... I will return to this land...and friends!
  • Wrestler in All of Us: When using its Dark Shadow attack in Birth By Sleep, if it successfully grabs Aqua, it will perform a suplex and slam her into the ground.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: During the fight with Terra-Xehanort in Birth By Sleep, it will lash out and try to grab Aqua, holding her in place for Terra-Xehanort to attack. Though this will sometimes trigger a chance for Aqua and Terra use a special command to inflict massive damage.

    Ansem, Seeker of Darkness 

Ansem, the Seeker of Darkness (Terra-Xehanort's Heartless)
"So, you have come this far, and still you understand nothing. Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"

Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese), Billy Zane (I and Chain of Memories, English), Richard Epcar (II onward, English)

Appearances: Kingdom Hearts | Chain of Memories | II | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | III | Dark Road

"All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end. The heart is no different. Darkness sprouts within it, grows, consumes it. Such is its nature. In the end, every heart returns to the darkness whence it came."

Xehanort's Heartless who uses the alias "Ansem" that he took from Ansem the Wise. He was the driving force behind the Disney villains' search for the Princesses of Heart and uses Riku as a vessel to try and obtain the power of Kingdom Hearts. Because he was made from Terra-Xehanort he retains the memories, appearance, and personality of his original self. As of III, Ansem is his creator's Number II in the Real Organization.
  • Air Jousting: An attack that shows up in nearly every battle against him is his Dark Rush Attack which has him use his Guardian to charge at his enemies relentlessly. His Limit Cut Data Rematch implies he doesn't even need the Guardian to use the attack and it remains his only close-range attack.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Like all the Xehanorts. However, Ansem has the darkest complexion of them all, no doubt due to actually being a Heartless as well as arguably the Xehanort who spends the most time in pure darkness.
  • Arch-Enemy: Is treated as Riku's after the first game. He's a living reminder of both Riku's biggest regret and the fear of losing control of his powers again. By the time of III, however, the two end up gaining a mutual respect for one another with Ansem telling Riku that his strength is "vaster than darkness" and Riku outright saying that he's gonna miss him.
  • Artifact Title: He is mostly called Ansem, but some players have referred to him instead as Xehanort's Heartless to differentiate him from Ansem the Wise, but as of Dream Drop Distance this name is also a misnomer; he begins carrying a piece of Master Xehanort's heart and soon develops his own heart, becoming the only known Heartless with a heart.
  • As Long as There is Evil: Ansem was able to remain alive due to his control of Riku, allowing him to continue to exist as long as Riku held darkness in his heart. However, he was destroyed when DiZ's machine at the end of II purified Riku's heart.
  • Attack Drone: As the World of Chaos, he summons spheres of darkness that fire lasers at you. this attack returns for his second form in 3D and his boss battles in III.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: His form as 'World of Chaos' is absolutely massive, and is arguably the largest boss in the franchise period, only matched or beaten out by the Nobody Dragon. For starters, Ansem himself becomes massive to the point one of his arms is bigger than Sora is, his Guardian becomes even larger than that, and BOTH are attached to an even more massive flesh-battleship.
  • Back from the Dead: Almost to Joker Immunity levels. However, III makes it clear that for all effects and purposes, his death at the end of the first game was his true death (regardless of his lingering presence in Riku), since upon his defeat in III, he returns to face that death once more as his heart returns back in time to it.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: His default posture while fighting with his Guardian is to float in the air with his arms crossed.
  • Badass Longcoat: The original example of the series, before all the Xehanorts began wearing them. Also qualifies as No Shirt, Long Jacket, his chest bared under the coat.
  • Barrier Warrior: When not using the Guardian as a meat shield, one of his few physical attacks has him surrounding himself in a barrier of dark energy and rushing at you.
  • Become Your Weapon: In Kingdom Hearts'', Ansem merges himself with a giant Heartless ship (Which appears to be the One-Winged Angel form of his Guardian Entity, who more or less is his weapon).
  • Big Bad: He’s the true main villain of Kingdom Hearts, and he is also the Big Bad of Chain of Memories' "Reverse/Rebirth" mode.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He formed this with Maleficent, but Ansem was just using her as his pawn.
  • Biseinen: Post-Art Evolution with softer, yet still handsome facial features that complement his long flowing hair.
  • Bishōnen Line: The most powerful Heartless in the series (so far) appears completely human and is fully intelligent instead of being a creature of instinct.
  • Black Cloak: After destroying Radiant Garden he unlocked his own heart to traverse worlds and gain more knowledge. Until he possessed Riku, he could only appear as a hooded figure in a brown cloak with a creepy voice. It turns out Ansem's journey also involved Time Travel, which required him to give up his "physical existence".
  • Blade on a Stick: His main weapon when fused with the World of Chaos is a double-bladed Soul Eater spear.
  • Bring It: Does this motion on occasion when fought.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In III when you get to face him Terra had regained his body so he no longer has his Guardian Entity, leaving him to rely entirely on his own magical merit instead. But as his data rematch will demonstrate, he does not need his Guardian to be dangerous.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He gets what he wants and obtains Kingdom Hearts' power at the end of I. However, it turns out to be light and not darkness like he thought it was and he basically implodes as a result.
  • Call-Back: His Dark Rush in the first game had the unique weakness of being punishable by attacking into the third rush instead of blocking or avoiding it. His Limit Cut rematch gives it the same weakness.
  • The Cameo:
    • In coded, he appears in a cutscene showing it was him who sent Riku to Hollow Bastion and reappears in the secret ending mentioned by Mickey.
    • In Melody of Memory, aside from serving as one of the four bosses of the game, he makes a brief appearance in the final segment of the game, as the ghost of Master Xehanort cycles through his various forms going back to Terra-Xehanort.
    • In Dark Road, Ansem appears in the opening cutscene speaking to Xehanort about being his waypoint and urging him to explore the outside worlds before opening a portal to Scala ad Caelum.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Downplayed. While he never outright calls himself "evil" the way Maleficent does, his open nihilism and frankly insane obsession with darkness comes across much the same way.
    Behold the endless abyss! Within it lies the heart of all worlds: Kingdom Hearts! Look as hard as you are able. You'll not find even the smallest glimmer of light. From those dark depths are all hearts born. Even yours. DARKNESS CONQUERS ALL WORLDS!
  • Casting a Shadow: As the most powerful Heartless in existence, he's probably the premiere example in the entire franchise. When not relying on the Guardian to fight for him, Ansem exclusively fights with dark magic.
  • Celestial Body: His Guardian in his second form in 3D.
  • The Chessmaster: Masterminded the entire plot of Kingdom Hearts.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Good Lord, once he gains a body of his own, every scene he's in feels like it's being torn apart between his teeth, even the ones where he doesn't have a face!
  • Co-Dragons: He, Xemnas and Young Xehanort share the same position as Master Xehanort's right-hand men in the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness. Strangely it's also a case of Demoted to Dragon, since both he and Xemnas were once leaders of their own organizations or armies and Young Xehanort briefly led the seekers before Master Xehanort’s grand return, now Ansem is now working for his original self. In III, though, while Ansem carries the rank of II, it's Xemnas who really does most of the management of the Seekers and giving out orders, while Young Xehanort goes to different worlds to fill in the ranks for their last vessel, though Ansem still carries out important tasks. He serves as one of Xehanort's generals during the Keyblade War and is among Xehanort's last standing minions.
  • Cold Ham: Later games such as 3D and III tone down his hamminess. He's still prone to eloquent and melodramatic speeches, but is nowhere as bombastic as he was in the first game and CoM. III justifies this as it is heavily implied that Ansem is suffering from a bout of depression. This is best shown in his boss fights for the former two games. In 3D Ansem rarely speaks outside of the occasional taunt or when commanding the Guardian, and in III, his Evil Laugh during some of his attacks sounds forced.
  • The Comically Serious: On occasion. In III he reacts to Pence's clumsy distraction in front of the Twilight Town mansion with annoyed confusion, and rather than attack simply snaps at him to go away like he's trying to chase neighborhood kids off his lawn.
  • Continuity Snarl: His Death by Irony doesn't mesh with what we learn in 3D and many of his other actions in the original game are downright against Master Xehanort's master plan. Possibly justified, given Young Xehanort's Reveal that his version of Time Travel invokes Laser-Guided Amnesia on the user upon returning to their own time or the possibility becoming a Heartless has warped his view of how the world works.
  • The Corrupter: Manages to not only be this to Riku for Kingdom Hearts, but also to Young Xehanort, through the use of Time Travel to impose his own Start of Darkness. He's later successful in imbuing Aqua with Darkness in III after blasting her with Dark magic and sending her sinking into the dark sea of the Realm of Darkness. When Riku and Mickey arrive to try and rescue her, she's been turned into the hostile Anti-Aqua and has to be freed of his corruption.
  • Creepy Monotone: Earlier in the first game when he was wearing a brown cloak and wasn't wolfing down scenery.
    "This world has been connected... tied to the darkness, soon to be completely eclipsed. There is so very much to learn... You [Sora] understand so little..."
  • Creepy Twins: He and Xemnas act this way in III now looking identical sans haircut and at times speak in unison and finishing each others' sentences.
  • Deadly Disc: His Shock Slash attack in almost every game involves shooting discs of dark energy at you.
  • Deadly Force Field: In Kingdom Hearts he would ram you with a barrier made of lasers while the guardian held you down, in III he brings this attack back as a melee attack.
  • Demonic Possession: Of Riku in part of Kingdom Hearts and once in Chain of Memories.
  • Despair Event Horizon: At the end of his final battle in III, he reveals he hit it somewhere around the start of that game, having already figured out that his original self was going to use him as a sacrifice, that this wasn't going to go any better for him than all his previous attempts at claiming Kingdom Hearts, and just being tired of the whole thing but feeling obligated at that point to see it through. The half-assed way he deals with Hayner's group and the fact that he doesn't bother notifying anybody else about Vexen's betrayal are early signs that Ansem is past the point of thinking he can win, or even really wanting to.
    "Ansem", Seeker of Darkness: I knew I never stood a chance. Part of me wanted to defy my fate... but when the others betrayed us, I found I did not care. And then, nothing else seemed to matter anymore.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: His final speech in III (see Despair Event Horizon above) sounds almost like he's suffering from clinical depression.
  • Double Weapon: His final form in the first game uses a lance resembling two huge Soul Eaters fused together.
  • Dramatic Irony: The audience (and Riku) know that the man in the brown robe and Ansem are one and the same; however, it's not until towards the end of Dream Drop Distance that Sora learns this.
  • Duel Boss: The first time Sora fights Ansem as possessed Riku in the original Kingdom Hearts, he has to face him alone. The second, third, fourth and fifth stages of the Final Boss scenario (a meeting with Darkside, Ansem in his true self, the first phase of the World of Chaos Ansem fight, and the first room core) also take place with Sora alone.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: As of 3D onwards, he was given a completely new face and very slightly lighter skin to better resemble his other incarnations, namely Xemnas. By the time of III, they've become identical in appearance aside from the haircut. Oddly enough, while the 1.5 Final Mix version of the first game changed his model to the new one from 3D, the "inner Ansem" in Reverse/Rebirth and Riku's "Ansem form" in HD cutscenes of 358/2 Days and 2.5's Final Mix II still retain the old model suggesting that form is unique to Riku's "personal Ansem".
  • Enemy Within: To Riku from Chain of Memories through the explosion of the Kingdom Hearts encoder in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Enemy Without: Acts like this to Riku in Dream Drop Distance.
  • Energy Ball: Another common attack of his Guardian is to batter you with orbs of darkness. In 3D he uses a very powerful version for his desperation attack.
    • His Data Rematch in Limit cut takes it Up to Eleven with every single attack used during his Desperation Attack involving various forms of spherical constructs of destructive dark magic.
  • Energy Weapon: His main attack in most of his fights is to create Energy Balls which fire lasers at his opponent. Taken even further in III where he can perform several tricks with them such as having the energy orbs surround him as a rotating force field, surrounding Sora with energy balls, or having them rain down a wall of lasers in his data rematch.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. He chews out Ansem the Wise's apparent mistreatment of Subject X and how the scientist treated Roxas and Naminé . However, this falls flat considering his own history of human experimentation and using children as tools in his schemes.
  • Evil Counterpart: In the endgame of III, Xemnas, Ansem, and Young Xehanort take up this trope in regards to Sora, Riku, and Mickey, as they have been the primary enforcers of the darkness and light on behalf of their true leaders, Master Xehanort and Yen Sid, respectively. The final fight before the final boss is Sora, Riku, and Mickey facing off with the three chief Xehanort incarnations. While Sora and Young Xehanort are the most critical members of their respective groups, and Mickey and Xemnas are the most powerful members of their respective trio’s, Riku and Ansem are paired up against each other as they have a long-running feud.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Averted as both he and the Organization are operating independently during the time frame between Birth by Sleep and the end of Kingdom Hearts and never oppose each other, though the Organization's members are aware of his existence and nature as Xemnas' Heartless self. Ansem and Xemnas never oppose each other because they're literally working for the same goal in summoning Kingdom Hearts and if one succeeds, great, Master Xehanort wins. Played briefly straight when he takes over Riku's body in order to kill Lexaeus.
  • Evil Mentor: Always trying to advise Riku to give in to the darkness, be it his own or his original incarnation. In Dream Drop Distance he almost sounds Faux Affably Evil when giving him a final lecture and offer on it. It backfires on him because Riku begins to weaponize darkness and use it against him. By the time of III, he seems to have given up completely on trying to corrupt Riku and has evolved into a rare benign version, taking pride in seeing Riku become "stronger than Darkness". Meanwhile Riku is surprised to find that he's gonna miss him, perhaps in acknowledgement of how he'd never have conquered the power of Darkness without Ansem constantly threatening to plunge him into it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In III he spends his last moments calmly reflecting on how Sora and Riku have grown stronger than him, and encouraging them to move on with their lives and seek out new experiences, before fading away and going back to face his original death in the first game.
  • Fighting Spirit: The Guardian is more or less this for Ansem.
  • Final Boss: This version of Xehanort, "Ansem, Seeker of Darkness", is the final enemy fought in the first Kingdom Hearts game, encountered as "Ansem" after passing the game's last point of no return. He's also the final enemy in Riku's Chain of Memories scenario.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The dark magic blasts from his balls of darkness during his Desperation Attack in Limit Cut are evidently of these three elements since they inflict the ignited, frozen and shocked status effects.
  • Flanderization:
    • Done from the first game via Retcons. Kingdom Hearts presented "Ansem" as a misguided scientist who conducted experiments that, while horrifyingly amoral, were done in the name of genuine scientific curiosity. His discoveries led him to believe that all beings are born from darkness and darkness is the source of all power and knowledge, and he Jumped Off The Slippery Slope to pursue his theories further. He encouraged Riku and Sora to open their hearts to darkness to become stronger, like he had done, and when Sora refuted his conclusions and insisted that light was the true nature of the heart, Ansem was frustrated and annoyed and declared him ignorant. With the reveal in Kingdom Hearts II that the kindly leader of Hollow Bastion "Ansem" was a different person, and this man was actually his apprentice who stole his identity and conducted his experiments against Ansem's wishes, "Ansem, Seeker of Darkness" is cast into a much more villainous light. Coupled with other revelations about Xehanort as the series went on, "Ansem" became a Card-Carrying Villain who uses darkness to corrupt and control others, in contrast to Xemnas's Tragic Villain who wanted to reclaim his heart and humanity, and Master Xehanort's Visionary Villain who wants to recreate the universe in his idea of perfection.
    • While Ansem possessed Riku near the end of the original Kingdom Hearts, it was mostly just a means to an end, using Riku as a vessel to complete his plan, and they had never even met before he took control of Riku in Hollow Bastion. Subsequent games heavily play up Ansem and Riku as archenemies, Ansem focusing his machinations on tormenting Riku and tempting him back to darkness, while Riku sees Ansem as a symbolic embodiment of the weakness in his heart.
  • Foil: To his Nobody, Xemnas.
    • Xemnas is a stoic Cold Ham that relies on his Organization to carry out his will and is rarely seen emoting. Ansem is a bombastic, noisy Large Ham that waxes on passionately about darkness and trying to corrupt Riku.
    • Their fighting styles likewise are diametrically opposed—Ansem is a mage that relies on long-distance attacks and hiding behind his Guardian while Xemnas is an in-your-face sword fighter that relies more on brute force.
    • Like Master Xehanort before him, Ansem believes in and champions the power of darkness, while Xemnas believes in The Power of Hate.
    • Ansem is The Corrupter, preying on Riku's insecurities and tempting him with offers of power, while Xemnas is a Manipulative Bastard relying on lies and half-truths to get both allies and enemies to do his bidding.
    • Prior to III Ansem seemed to genuinely believe in the supremacy of darkness and that his cause was right, as opposed to Xemnas, a Consummate Liar who had been deceiving his followers from day one and always intended to betray them in the end.
    • Ansem has shades of a Noble Demon, which is ironic considering the nature of the Heartless: all of his actions are motivated by his desire to accomplish his goals, and he only once in the entire series acts out of malice, when he brainwashes Aqua in III. Even his possession of Riku was done more out of necessity than out of any evil intent, and he displays none of the antagonism that most other Xehanort incarnations share for Sora and Riku. He also shows restraint and does not unleash his dark powers against Hayner and his friends in III when he could easily wipe the floor with them, and even chatises Ansem the Wise for the way he treated subject X, seemingly indicating that he takes the most after Terra in that regard. Xemnas, by contrast, takes a lot more after Master Xehanort: he's a smug Jerkass who routinely tries to have his own minions kill each other (and is more than willing to do the deed himself if necessary), a Troll who takes delight in making Sora doubt himself at every opportunity and fakes his death three times over the course of the Dark Seeker saga just to mess with Sora and Riku, and who indulges in Kick the Dog moments whenever he can. There's also that one time in III when he subjected Lea to Cold-Blooded Torture for his betrayal of the Organization.
  • Flunky Boss: In the Final Boss fight with him in I, he has his Guardian behind him, and Ansem will try to have the Guardian possess Sora. After doing a Fusion Dance with the Guardian to create the World of Chaos, the room cores in the ship have Heartless inside them.
  • Full-Contact Magic: When forced to fight without the Guardian, he uses darkness as a ranged attack and to augment his own physical strikes, similar to No Heart. The Xehanort Replica representing him follows suit, with its "weapon" merely being its own fists radiating darkness.
  • Fusion Dance: With the Guardian for his final forms. The World of Chaos is a gigantic organic battleship with Ansem fused to it via cables attached to his back while his unnamed One-Winged Angel form in 3D has him encased in a dark, winged sphere with the Guardian attached to the top.
  • Genre Blind: He thought darkness was the true source of all power and knowledge from which everyone and everything was created. In a Disney game. The in-game Kingdom Hearts set him straight.
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: Even makes the usual pose with it a few times.
  • Graceful Loser: When he finally dies in III he ends up congratulating Riku and Sora for conquering the darkness, and tells them that there’s much more to seek in the world.
  • Godhood Seeker: Wishes to access Kingdom Hearts to use as a source of ultimate knowledge and power.
  • Guardian Entity: "Come, Guardian!" His entire fighting style involves floating around letting the Guardian fight for him and defend him. His final form in the first game is the only time when Ansem himself fights... at least until the Guardian abandons him to regain its true form as Terra, and he is forced to use his own dark magic to fight instead.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kingdom Hearts, which he thought was the ultimate darkness he was searching for, turns out to be light, which ends up doing him in. He also tried to corrupt Riku with darkness, only for Riku to turn that darkness into a weapon and become immune to corruption from it.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He's the only intelligent, fully-sentient Heartless we've seen thus far, and the only one to maintain a human form.
  • Hunk: Tall with long-flowing hair, ruggedly handsome facial features as well as wearing clothing that shows off some of his chiseled physique. Gets emphasized when he gets shirtless for the final battle in the first game. Post-Art Evolution, he still qualifies having the same build but with slightly softer facial features to better resemble Xemnas and Terra-Xehanort.
  • Hypocrite: He claims to be disgusted with Ansem the Wise’s treatment of Subject X, and how he treated Roxas and Naminé. This is rich coming from someone who carried out his own diabolical experiments on numerous people, took over Riku’s body just to get a body back, and how both incarnations of the Organization have no qualms treating people like tools to be thrown away if they are no longer useful (and even scouted Roxas as a vessel and ended up using Xion).
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • His original form seen when he was a disembodied heart, the short, hunched over figure in a brown hood.
    • He wears the Organization's black coat for most of the cutscenes in III but when it comes to battle he goes back to his original outfit for nostalgia's sake.
  • Insistent Terminology: As he is the Heartless made from Terra-Xehanort, he's referred to exclusively as Xehanort's Heartless as Terra's heart is imprisoned and contained inside his Guardian Entity.
  • Insufferable Genius: A former scientist who spends a great deal of his interactions with Sora in the first game lecturing him and mocking him for being ignorant and understanding nothing of the heart and Darkness. Makes it all the more satisfying when he turns out to be completely wrong about the power within Kingdom Hearts. Even in his later appearances and after Flanderization into being The Corrupter for Riku, he'll call Riku a fool for thinking he can resist the power of Darkness.
    "One who knows nothing can only understand nothing."
    "I know all there is to know."
  • Interface Screw: A mild yet effective example during his data rematch in Re:Mind. Those pulsating, striped projectiles he sends out during his second Desperation Attack are very dark-colored and probably wouldn't be as difficult to dodge if it wasn't for the fact that part of said Desperation Attack is bathing the entire arena in a very similar darkness, obscuring the projectiles somewhat.
  • It Can Think: Unlike all other Heartless, which are explicitly described as being mindless creatures who function on instinct, Ansem retains all of his intelligence and higher reasoning. The real Ansem theorizes that this is because Xehanort willingly became a Heartless. That version of Xehanort also being a Fusion Dance character with multiple hearts probably helped, too.
  • It's All About Me: He constantly advocates others the boons of using darkness, but only because other darkness users tend to be easy pawns or extra bodies for his Somebody counterpart. He's definitely not pleased when Riku finds a way to use darkness on his own terms.
    "Why do you accept the darkness—-but still refuse me?"
  • Jerkass: Singularly acts like this whenever Riku is around him... or Sora, doesn't matter which. He defines it for all the other Xehanorts after him, too.
  • Joker Immunity: Despite being destroyed at the end of Kingdom Hearts and not even being the "main" incarnation of Xehanort, Ansem always manages to come back somehow and wreak havoc, whether it's simply existing within Riku to torment him or outright being brought forward in time (twice).
  • Karmic Death: He was a Straw Nihilist that believed that the true essence of the heart is darkness, and spends the first game tearing apart the worlds in search of Kingdom Hearts to prove it. He gets to open the door to Kingdom Hearts and is immediately destroyed by the light that streams out of it. He's finally destroyed in III by the same boys he's been tormenting since the first game.
  • Killed Off for Real: The destruction of the replica his heart is inhabiting in III (and going back to face his original death in the first game), followed shortly by the death of Master Xehanort, compounds that aside from flashbacks or visions, he is truly gone for good this time.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Declares this to Riku when trying to tempt him back to darkness.
    "You are weak. You need darkness. Surrender. Bow to darkness. Bow to me."
  • Leitmotif: With the exception of the first game's final battle, any battle theme involving him opens with a series of seven organ chords. He's always got some variation or reprise of Forze del Male or Guardando nel Buio. In 3D, he gains a new theme titled L'Eminenza Oscura.
  • Lack of Empathy: Ansem is cold, calculating, and utterly ruthless. He treats people and their hearts as either tools to be manipulated and disposed of, or as cattle for his ravenous Heartless legions. He reveres power and knowledge above all things, and he despises ignorance.
  • Large Ham: By far the largest within the entire series. Both Billy Zane and Richard Epcar have a lot of fun with this character, judging by just how large a ham they consume!
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The big reveal about him being Xehanort's Heartless and not actually Ansem was a major spoiler back in II that entirely cast the events of the first game in a new light. That was back in 2006; by this point, the existence of Xemnas and Xehanort is so integral to the storyline of the franchise that this guy's true identity is basic knowledge.
  • Living Shadow: The Guardian, which in some renders is shown to literally extend from his feet like a shadow.
  • Long-Range Fighter: When not letting the Guardian fight for him, Ansem exclusively attacks with dark energy projectiles of various shapes and sizes. Taken Up to Eleven in his data rematch in III which can best be described as a Bullet Hell game on steroids. He'll use Homing Projectiles, dark energy mines that explode if you wander too close, energy balls that fire lasers in various formations, and a shadow that sprouts a cage of dark claws. And that's not even going into his Desperation Attack where he'll use all the above attacks as well as two large dark energy spheres that can fire dark fireballs that inflict various status aliments, can be fused together to create a vortex that fires clusters of explosive dark energy spheres, and can spin around him to fire larger energy spheres.
  • Lovecraftian Super Power: His brand of dark powers are very organic in tone, with his final form in I being the epitome of Eldritch Abomination. Further exemplified in his data rematch in Re:Mind, where he will transport himself and Sora into a shadowy Eldritch Location and sic shadows that form into bony cages on top of Sora.
  • The Magnificent: Seeker of Darkness. This becomes far more relevant as the games go on.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Played both the villains and Riku through their darkest desires.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To Maleficent, manipulating her to gather the Princesses of Heart.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: In his One-Winged Angel form, his eyes turn solid orange, with paler points where the irises should be.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In III, he's ultimately the one responsible for rescuing Ansem The Wise from the Realm of Darkness, who is able to escape Xehanort's grasp not long after thanks to Hayner, Pence, Olette, and Vexen. This leaves Ansem the Wise free to help Ienzo make the Replicas for Roxas and Naminé, the former of whom becomes one of the Guardians of Light’s fiercest and most powerful players during the Keyblade War.
  • Noble Demon: He definitely has shades of this, if Stealth Mentor is to be believed... but it is also ironic considering the nature of ALL the Heartless: his own actions were motivated by his desire to accomplish his goals and he only once in the entire series acts out of malice when he curses Aqua in III. His Demonic Possession of Riku was done more out of necessity than of any evil intent, as he displays none of the antagonism that Master Xehanort, Xemnas or Young Xehanort share for Sora and Riku, as well as showing huge restraint against the other children near the old mansion in Twilight Town and becoming enraged by Ansem the Wise's treatment of Subject X, easily being more like Terra in a lot of his own actions due to Terra's heart being imprisoned within his Guardian.
  • No Name Given: Sort of. This is the only Xehanort incarnation to not be given a proper name of his own, he's only ever referred to as Ansem or Xehanort's Heartless by other characters. His original title "the Seeker of Darkness" was discarded after the first game, but persisted in the fandom for the sake of differentiating him from the other "Ansems" including the real thing, and then became invokedAscended Fanon as a title for Xehanort in general, to the point where an alternate title for "the Xehanort Saga" that invokedWord of God has given is "The Dark Seeker Chronicle". Re:Mind even shows that internally, the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness simply refers to him as “Ansem”, including Master Xehanort himself. He is also referred to as simply “Xehanort” by Vexen and the real Ansem.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He was out to use the Heartless and the Disney Villains to destroy the universe with darkness.
  • One-Winged Angel: His "World of Chaos" form - a colossal, seemingly-organic battleship topped by a monstrous version of his Guardian, with a giant version of Ansem himself growing out of its ribcage. He does this again in DDD merging with the Guardian and creating a gigantic version of it.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Even after being destroyed by Kingdom Hearts, a small piece of himself was still alive in Riku. It got purged in II.
  • Power Floats: He's always floating around in combat, and is usually only shown standing on the ground in cutscenes.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Ansem's Guardian Entity does pretty much all the heavy lifting while he floats around with his arms folded. The only time he takes up an actual weapon is in his gigantic One-Winged Angel form in the first game. Even with the absence of his Guardian in Kingdom Hearts III, Ansem will attack purely with magic, usually with his arms folded.
  • Pre-Final Boss:
    • In Dream Drop Distance he's the penultimate boss Riku faces before Young Xehanort.
    • In III he's faced alongside Xemnas and Young Xehanort as the penultimate bosses of the game.
  • Rasputinian Death: His final battle in the first game has his normal form defeated twice, and then beaten again while part of the World of Chaos. He then tries to use it to heal himself, only for Sora to destroy its main parts one at a time, and then he's defeated again. Even that doesn't kill him, with Kingdom Hearts having to annihilate him with its light.
  • Recurring Boss: Ansem is fought twice towards the end of Kingdom Hearts. First, Sora duels him as he is possessing Riku in Hollow Bastion, and then he's fought in The End of the World as the Final Boss of the game.
  • Red Baron: The Seeker of Darkness. It's not all that exclusive to him at this point.
  • Scary Black Man: The strongest Heartless in the series and he looks like a tall, muscular man with a dark complexion and a deep, imposing voice.
  • Sequential Boss: When Sora, Donald and Goofy confront Ansem in the crumbling Destiny Islands after passing the original game's Point of No Return, they get a lengthy series of connected boss fights to close the game. First, you fight Ansem floating on the beach, then you get a last break to refill items and customize (after this, you're locked into battle mode for the rest of the game), then Sora fights a Darkside alone in a crater, then he fights Ansem alone, again, then you fight Ansem attached to the World of Darkness with just Sora before going through a series of stages to dismantle the ship, then finally Ansem attached to the ship one last time.
  • Significant Anagram: Probably unintentional, but "Names" is surprisingly relevant to anyone with the name Ansem; they all have more than one name.
  • Sizeshifter: He grows to absolutely enormous size for his final battle in the first game.
  • Shirtless Scene: As the final boss of the first game. What a body.
  • The Slow Path: According to an early cutscene in III, after Ansem went back in time to Xehanort's youth, he actually waited out all the decades in hiding on Destiny Islands instead of returning to the present.
  • Sphere of Power: In his new battle phase in 3D his Guardian becomes one.
  • Sphere of Destruction: His new attack in 3D is to trap you in one before making it with burst with dark energy. This tactic returns in his Data Rematch in Limit Cut as one of several attacks used during his Desperation Attack.
  • Squishy Wizard: Glass Cannon he is not, but he relies heavily on either his Nigh-Invulnerable Familiar or his mastery over the Darkness and is usually not much of a fighter in close quarters. Relatively speaking, he tends to be more vulnerable than the other incarnations if his powers are bypassed and he's within range of a keyblade.
  • Starter Villain: For the entire franchise.
  • Stealth Mentor: He feels this way towards Riku upon his final defeat in III, with Riku admitting that he'll actually miss him this time. Makes sense with his Graceful Loser attitude afterwards, as well.
  • The Stoic: Prior to possessing Riku, after which all bets are off and no scenery will be left unchewed
  • Straw Nihilist: "All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end." Yeah, Sora basically tells him this is complete bull, and guess who turns out to be right.
  • Teleport Spam: Ansem does this with his Guardian for his Dark Shadow attack, sending him into a portal into the ground and rising and uppercutting the enemy.
  • Time Travel: Dream Drop Distance reveals this is why he now lacks a body of his own, because after he was spawned from Terra-Xehanort he cast off his body to be able to travel through time.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Ansem was not a terribly difficult final boss in Kingdom Hearts. For his return in Dream Drop Distance, on the other hand, he becomes far more powerful, acquiring a new form of the Guardian that is much more powerful, and in both forms it has new attacks that are much faster and harder to avoid than what it had in Kingdom Hearts.
    • While prowess in darkness and magic is implicit as an incarnation of Xehanort, Ansem always preferred to let the Guardian fight for him while he floats around commanding it. In III he no longer has the Guardian when it comes time to fight him, so Ansem finally demonstrates his own power directly, in the form of swarms of dark energy orbs that shoot volleys of laser shots, constructs of darkness that generate lightning, and more.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: After possessing Riku in the first game, he morphs Riku's body into one resembling a long-haired Young Xehanort wearing Master Xehanort's outfit. Ansem keeps this shape as his standard appearance going forward, likely for recognition for the audience, but his true form is actually a hunched, faceless figure in a brown cloak.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • At the end of the first game after being beaten in his final form, he calls out for Kingdom Hearts to grant him the power of darkness. Cue the doors opening him and blasting him with light. His last words are spent with him being incredolous that he was wrong all along.
    Ansem, Seeker of Darkness:"Light...but....why?"
    • Gets a rather subdued one in KH3D when Riku rejects his offer to embrace the darkness. This is what triggers the boss battle, and it gets worse after the first round as Riku beats the crap out of him.
  • Villain Respect: By III, Ansem shows pride in Riku's development since their first meeting; seeing Riku gain true strength as a Keyblade Master surpassing the power of darkness. At the very end, Ansem shows that he still values learning about the World, telling Riku to expand his horizons by going to seek more.
  • Vocal Evolution: Richard Epcar's voice acting improved a lot between KH2 and Re:COM, although it's more like the vocal director gave him some breathing room instead of forcing him to try and out-ham Billy Zane with unsuccessful results. He's also significantly better in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Akio Ohtsuka himself was actually over-the-top hammy to an silly degree in the original Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts, but also sounded a lot better in Re: COM. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance onward, Ansem sounds more raspy and closer to Billy Zane's portrayal to differentiate from Terra-Xehanort. The difference is most obvious in III, since both are finally in the same game together (albeit not in the same scene where either of them talk). Both are theatrical, but Terra-Xehanort is more bombastic, wild, and younger-sounding, while Ansem is more subdued, gruff, and, as previously mentioned, raspier. This vocal difference also applies to Akio Ohtsuka's portrayal of them, his Ansem being unnervingly low when not raising his voice.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Borderlines with Villain Has a Point. He pulls one on the actual Ansem the Wise as of III, saying how he used Roxas and Namine and threw them away when they were no longer useful.
  • Worthy Opponent: He acknowledges Riku as this (and Sora to a lesser extent) upon his final defeat in III, with Riku returning the sentiment.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Kairi completes the Final Keyhole Ansem says this to her, which unfortunately for him was the one thing Riku wasn't willing to go through.
  • Younger Than They Look: Subverted. From what we know about the series chronology, he was "born" around 10 years prior to Kingdom Hearts, but of course he's a continuation of his previous self in terms of apparent age.
  • Your Answer to Everything: His livelihood revolves heavily around darkness, to the point that he can't go on for a minute without making some mention of the darkness.


The Superior of the In-Between (Original Name: Terra-Xehanort [initial anagram from "Ansem"])
"I'm creating a brand new world, one heart at a time."

Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), Paul St. Peter (English)

Appearances: I Final Mix | II | 358/2 Days | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | III

"I must become one with Kingdom Hearts. I will become a higher existence. All of my true ambitions begin there...."

The former Number I of the original Organization XIII and Number III in the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness. Xemnas is the the Nobody of Terra-Xehanort, Ansem the Wise's first apprentice and the Big Bad of Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. He does not appear in Chain of Memories, but he is referred to by others as "the Superior", and showed up in the first game's Final Mix as a taste of things to come. Despite being destroyed in Kingdom Hearts II, he returns in Dream Drop Distance to torment Sora about his ties to the Organization, having been brought forward in time to serve as a key lieutenant of the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: While he's disintegrating after he's beaten by Sora, Riku, and Mickey in III; he feels remorse over what he's done to his own Organization and admits that he abused and took them for granted and now that they're all gone he has nothing.
    Sora: I know that you have a heart. What do you feel? Was it worth it?
    Xemnas: I feel... the emptiness where my companions once stood. I took them for granted. And now, I have... nothing. My first surge of emotion in years... for as long as I can remember... and it's... loneliness.
    • Subverted twice with his first defeat in II. As his body fails, he states that he needs more rage and thus more hearts. Sora tells him hearts have more emotions than just anger and sadly asks if he can even remember that. Xenmas, fading away, admits that he can't. The first subversion is that Xemnas isn't dying, he returns for multiple additional boss battles. The second subversion is that later games suggest he's probably lying.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In the first stage of his final boss sequence, he can use the weapons of various other Organization members (namely, everyone who died in II). invokedWord of God states that he may even have a Keyblade, as he is the Nobody of Terra-Xehanort but may have chosen simply to not use it. It was likely to keep up the appearances of the false goal of the Organization, though it also may have been due to his — and, by extension, Terra-Xehanort's — amnesia issues.
  • Anti-Villain: Subverted. He certainly tries to present himself as a person who simply wants to be able to experience emotions again. However, behind that sorrowful mask is a sociopath that wants control over Kingdom Hearts and the worlds beneath it. That's not even getting into what he does to Xion, nor does it account for the fact that he was preventing his underlings from attaining hearts in the first place so his alternate selves could have more potential Seekers Of Darkness at their disposal. Even in III when both Xemnas and Xehanort develop significantly more sympathetic qualities, nobody is pretending that Xemnas is a monster of anything but his own volition:
    Sora: Just give it a rest! You're Nobodies! You don't even exist! You're not sad about anything!
    Xemnas: Very good. You don't miss a thing. I can not feel—sorrow... No matter what misery befalls the worlds. No matter what you think, what you feel, or how you exist.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Xemnas reiterates the infamous laser dome from his final battle in II into his data rematch in III. Occasionally, some of the lasers will flash blue before firing; these lasers will break Sora's guard and he will presumably be finished immediately after by ensuing Beam Spam or Xemnas himself.
  • Arch-Enemy: Treated as Sora's from all the way since the first game. While Ansem SoD sees Sora as just an obstacle in his way, Xemnas seems to take a personal interest in him. Sora in turn not only interacts with Xemnas more than any other Xehanort incarnation, he definitely takes a personal dislike of the man after learning how he manipulated the former members of Organization XIII.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the leader of the Organization, and far and away the most powerful member.
  • Bad Boss:
    • 3D reveals just how far he went in manipulating the Organization. Not only was he directly responsible for several of them becoming Nobodies, but he purposefully concealed from them the fact that Nobodies naturally develop a new heart over time.
    • Even before Dream Drop Distance, there was plenty of evidence to disqualify him for boss of the year. He's apathetic toward an unconscious Axel, he twice tried to get two of his subordinates to kill the other, threatens to punish Organization members who might fail him by transforming them into Dusks, and he's only known to have authorized one day off a year for the Organization members.
    • Deconstructed by III. His abuse and manipulation of the rest of the Organization has led to them all abandoning him, betraying him, or simply no longer being around when he needs backup the most. By the time of his final death, his other selves are no help, and do not lift a finger to aid him as he dies. He finally regains his own heart, and all he can feel is agony from being alone.
  • Back from the Dead: As with Ansem, he's back in 3D via the time travel powers of Young Xehanort. They fade back to their original times when Master Xehanort's scheme fails, though Xehanort claims they're still on track for the "seven vs. thirteen" showdown. III later clarifies that Young Xehanort brought the hearts of Xemnas, Ansem, Young Xehanort, Vanitas, and Dark Riku to the present and placed them in new Replicas. Upon their defeats in the Keyblade War, however, Xemnas and the others return to their places in time to face their actual, final deaths from previous games.
  • Baleful Polymorph: He possessed the power to turn humanoid Nobodies, such as those in his Organization, into Dusks as an extreme form of punishment.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Effortlessly catches Lea's keyblade with one hand when he tries to strike Xemnas with it.
  • Barrier Warrior: One of the few recurring bosses in the series to regularly block your attacks, throwing up a barrier of energy and then attacking while you're staggered. In fact, the barrier itself deals damage when summoned. In 3D he extends this into trapping Sora in a cube of energy barriers and firing laser shots at him while he's trapped. In the Re:Mind DLC, his Data replica will instead summon barriers around the arena and try to toss Sora into them. In both 3D and III, while touching them still hurts, they can still be safely used for Flowmotion to escape the follow-up attack.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Thrice over in III:
    • Tells Sora that nothing would please the Organization more than Roxas' return... So guess who foils his attempt to kill Xion and Lea?
    • For all that Xemnas claims throughout II to want a heart, actually getting his own leaves him shocked that anyone can withstand the weight of feelings like guilt and loneliness.
    • He spends most appearances touting the amazing power of nothingness and emptiness, and when he finally starts feeling emotions again he realizes that his cruel, selfish treatment of his comrades has caused them all to die or abandon him, making him feel the pain from the empty space they once inhabited, and leaving him all alone with absolutely nothing.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In his truly final fight, his attacks are structured like Sora's Limit Attacks: a series of various quick alternating close- and long-range attacks while moving around quickly, leaving very few gaps between those attacks, followed by a longer finishing move.
  • Berserk Button: In III he reveals how much he hates betrayals, and really can't get over Lea's "betrayal" by his being part of Team Sora.
  • Big Bad: He is the primary antagonist of II and serves as the leader of Organization XIII.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Unlike his heartless counterpart Ansem Seeker of Darkness, He and Maleficent are against each other.
  • Biseinen: He's undoubtedly very manly and handsome.
  • Bonus Boss: In the first Final Mix.
  • Bookends: Since his Bonus Boss fight in the first game canonically happened, he's chronologically both the first and last member of the original Organization Sora fights. Even taking III into account, Xemnas is the last veteran of the original Organization to be defeated by Sora.
  • Boring, but Practical: His ultimate weapon in 358/2 Days, Interdiction, is also his most simple in design, as it's just a red bar of light compared to the intricate blade-like shapes of his previous weapons.
  • The Cameo: In Melody of Memory, aside from serving as one of the four bosses of the game, he makes a brief appearance in the final segment of the game, as the ghost of Master Xehanort cycles through his various forms going back to Terra-Xehanort.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He appeared in the first game's Final Mix, dropped loads of cryptic foreshadowing, and left Team Sora to wonder what the heck just happened.
  • The Chessmaster: Especially in 358/2 Days.
  • Climax Boss: He serves as Sora's Final Boss in 3D, coming after some major revelations about the heart, the Heartless and the Nobodies, while beating him signals the end of Sora's story but not the end of the game.
  • Co-Dragons: He, Ansem and Young Xehanort occupy this position as the right-hand men to Master Xehanort in the Real Organization XIII, though this also counts as being Demoted to Dragon. When Luxord discusses their organizational structure, the pair are explicitly stated to be in command of the other members. Xemnas manages much of the day-to-day operations of the Seekers such as monitoring their progress on their respective tasks, while Young Xehanort is managing the time traveling part of their operations, and Ansem is on the hunt for Test Subject X. He along with Ansem also serve as Master Xehanort’s generals during the Keyblade War, overseeing the lesser members’ fights.
  • Cold Ham: A Trope Codifier. Xemnas manages to both be stoic and hammy in equal measure. Being that he's voiced by Norio Wakamoto in Japanese AND Paul St. Peter in the English portion, the hammy part in both is pretty unavoidable. The reason is two-folded; on the one hand, unlike the other Organization members he has few memories of his human life to tell him how to emote, so he overacts to try and hide that he feels the least of all of them. On the other hand, his main Xehanort counterpart was a Large Ham, so Xemnas inherited his personality traits in that manner without a heart to actually put any emotion into it.
    • Goes full on Large Ham in his boss battle in Dream Drop Distance, particularly during the phase when he's throwing buildings at you, having dropped all pretense of being emotionless now that it's revealed that he HAS had a heart all along, though not necessarily his original's. Sticks to a lesser degree post-battle, when his reaction to Lea's Big Damn Heroes elicits a subtle but clearly shocked "You!?".
  • Combat Tentacles: During the very final fight against him in II, he spends a decent chunk of the fight manifesting monochrome tendrils of Nothingness to pierce through Sora and Riku. During his Data Rematch in the DLC of III, he instead uses these "thorns" to snatch Sora and toss him around the arena, even bypassing his block ability to do so. Considering how Nobodies are composed of "nothingness", it can be interpreted as him converting his own body into an energy attack.
  • Companion Cube: Towards Aqua's discarded armor, though it was due to Master Xehanort's plans to find Ventus, as it was revealed in 0.2.
  • Confusion Fu: In his Data Rematch, Xemnas uses attacks from his previous fights in tandem to, sometimes literally, throw off Sora. Some of his kicks are purposely delayed to get around Sora's guard.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: As the Foil to Ansem, Seeker of Darkness from the first game, he can be considered this. Xemnas is a stoic Cold Ham that relies on Nobodies and his Organization to carry out his will and is rarely seen emoting. Ansem is a bombastic, noisy Large Ham that waxes on passionately about darkness and has an army of Heartless under his command while manipulating various Disney villains behind the scenes to do his bidding as well as trying to corrupt Riku. Their fighting styles likewise are diametrically opposed—Ansem is a mage that relies on long-distance attacks and hiding behind his Guardian while Xemnas is an in-your-face sword fighter that relies more on brute force.
  • The Corrupter: He's been playing a pretty mean game of it too for a long time, if 0.2 and 3D are any indication.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even more so than his own Somebody, in order to succinctly play some major-level Xehanort Speed Chess.
  • Creepy Twins: He and Ansem act this way in III now looking identical sans haircut and at times speak in unison and finishing each others sentences.
  • Dance Battler: His combo strings with his ethereal blades are long sequences involving a pirouetting flurry of slashes, kicks, and even gravity-defying airborne breakdancing. And he does it all with the utmost grace. Essentially, Xemnas' attacks are just as much a beauty to behold as they are a symphony of pain the player had best avoid.
  • Darth Vader Clone:
    • He's got the all-black wardrobe, red energy weapons, discarded identity and a few vaguely sympathetic moments, but not the redemption (although his final moments in III come close). It gets really weird if you think of Terra as Anakin and Master Xehanort as Palpatine, and all of Terra's story in Birth by Sleep to be exactly like the third Star Wars movie.
    • When he fights with dual red sabers in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix in particular, his graceful, lighting-fast fighting style and nigh-indomitability remind one of Palpatine himself during his fight with Darth Maul and Savage Opress in The Clone Wars.
  • Deceptive Disciple: His betrayal of Ansem the Wise was what caused him and the rest of the apprentices to turn into Nobodies in the first place.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: He summons clones of himself during his final battle in II. When he traps Sora in a health-draining beam, he continually sends out clones to keep Riku at bay.
  • Dual Boss: In III, he serves as one third of the penultimate boss fight of the game alongside Ansem and Young Xehanort. In Re: Mind, he fights alongside Saïx in the Keyblade War against Roxas, Axel, and Xion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appears as a boss in the Final Mix version of the first game, though he remains hooded for the entire encounter, and at the time no one had any idea who it was meant to be. It wasn't until KHII was released that it was made apparent that it was him.
  • Evil All Along: 3D reveals that and confirms it, rather than being the Tragic Villain as Kingdom Hearts II (and Birth by Sleep) suggested. He was manipulating the Organization and by extension all of the Nobodies into believing that they were nothing more than heartless monsters, when in reality they could have easily grown a new heart. II suggests this as well given he told Ansem the Wise what his plan was for Kingdom Hearts with the other organization members gone. Days has hints of this as well.
  • Evil Counterpart: Just as Master Xehanort is one to Sora, Xemnas is one to Roxas. Both are Nobodies of shocking power, born from Keyblade Wielders. Both are dual wielders of their signature weapons. Both tend to have anger issues: Roxas was bent on revenge towards Xemnas at the end of Days and threw several tantrums in II, while Xemnas is a firm believer in The Power of Hate. However, Roxas is also kind to his friends and loyal to them, and his anger is genuine. Xemnas is a sociopathic tyrant who sees the other Organization members as mere pawns and cares about no one save for himself.
    • In the endgame of III, Xemnas, Ansem, and Young Xehanort take up this trope in regards to Sora, Riku, and Mickey, as they have been the primary enforcers of the darkness and light on behalf of their true leaders, Master Xehanort and Yen Sid, respectively. The final fight before the final boss is Sora, Riku, and Mickey facing off with the three chief Xehanort incarnations. While Sora and Young Xehanort are the most critical members of their respective groups, and Riku and Ansem have their long-running feud, This leaves Mickey to be paired with Xemnas as they are the most powerful members of their respective trio’s.
  • Evil Laugh: When he throws the mother-of-all-beam-spams at Sora and Riku, although the sound of the blasts actually makes it harder to hear. Easier to catch when he throws buildings at you in 3D.
    • His usual monotonous drone of a laugh is replaced with a rather bombastic one, which would be OOC for him except that this is justified, as 3D finally shows some of his real colors.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He commands the "Sorcerer Nobodies", if you needed a hint.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice, both in the Japanese and North American versions, is very deep, to the point where some think it simply doesn't match his Bishōnen face.
  • Eviler Than Thou: He ruined Marluxia and Larxene's plans to overthrow him before they even got started, without even getting off his throne.
  • Exact Words: He promised to give the Organization hearts if they helped him create Kingdom Hearts. He never said whose heart he'd give.
  • Fatal Flaw: His relentless dickery and callous mistreatment of his underlings. It cost him both of his Keyblade wielders in Days, in II caused Axel to abandon the organization and later provide Sora with a backdoor to his headquarters and in III both Saix and Vexen were actively plotting behind his back, to say nothing of Demyx who just casually walked out on him. Xaldin, Lexaeus, Zexion and Luxord are to date the only underlings who didn't abandon or betray him in any way.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Xemnas speaks with calmness, and rarely raises his voice outside of battle, but it's a façade to mask his sociopathic nature.
  • Feels No Pain: He was heartbroken about the failure of Kingdom Hearts but does not show any sign of sadness. Subverted and ultimately turned on its head in III as it turns out that he feels great regret for mistreating his original Organization and admits he feels lonely without them.
  • Final Boss: In Kingdom Hearts II as well as Sora's story in Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance.
  • Final Boss Preview: Two entire games in advance. How punctual of him.
  • Foil: To his Heartless, Ansem.
    • Xemnas is a stoic Cold Ham that relies on his Organization to carry out his will and is rarely seen emoting. Ansem is a bombastic, noisy Large Ham that waxes on passionately about darkness and trying to corrupt Riku.
    • Their fighting styles likewise are diametrically opposed—Ansem is a mage that relies on long-distance attacks and hiding behind his Guardian while Xemnas is an in-your-face sword fighter that relies more on brute force.
    • Like Master Xehanort before him, Ansem believes in and champions the power of darkness, while Xemnas believes in The Power of Hate, likely taking after Terra.
    • Ansem is The Corrupter, preying on Riku's insecurities and tempting him with offers of power, while Xemnas is a Manipulative Bastard relying on lies and half-truths to get both allies and enemies to do his bidding.
    • Prior to III Ansem seemed to genuinely believe in the supremacy of darkness and that his cause was right, as opposed to Xemnas, a Consummate Liar who had been deceiving his followers from day one and always intended to betray them in the end.
    • Ansem has shades of a Noble Demon, which is ironic considering the nature of the Heartless: all of his actions are motivated by his desire to accomplish his goals, and he only once in the entire series acts out of malice, when he brainwashes Aqua in III. Even his possession of Riku was done more out of necessity than out of any evil intent, and he displays none of the antagonism that most other Xehanort incarnations share for Sora and Riku. He also shows restraint and does not unleash his dark powers against Hayner and his friends in III when he could easily wipe the floor with them, and even chatises Ansem the Wise for the way he treated subject X, seemingly indicating that he takes the most after Terra in that regard. Xemnas, by contrast, takes a lot more after Master Xehanort: he's a smug Jerkass who routinely tries to have his own minions kill each other (and is more than willing to do the deed himself if necessary), a Troll who takes delight in making Sora doubt himself at every opportunity and fakes his death three times over the course of the Dark Seeker saga just to mess with Sora and Riku, and who indulges in Kick the Dog moments whenever he can. There's also that one time in III when he subjected Lea to Cold-Blooded Torture for his betrayal of the Organization.
  • Godhood Seeker: Creator materials state his public mission to use Kingdom Hearts to bestow hearts on himself and the other members was a lie; his true intent is to absorb its power to reshape the worlds. Even in-game, he tells Ansem the Wise that he intends to "create a brand new world, one heart at a time".
  • Grapple Move: The primary gimmick of his data rematch in Re:Mind is manifesting thorns of "nothingness" either from his hand or out of thin air to snatch Sora and toss him around the arena and even high into the air, disorienting the player so he can surprise them with an attack. If he's set up a barrier nearby when Sora gets caught, he'll be slammed into the barrier as an improvised Unblockable Attack. You'll be seeing and hearing this move a lot.
    Xemnas: Leaving?
  • Grayscale of Evil: The final stage of the fight with Xemnas in II takes place in an empty void of shifting greys and whites. Xemnas himself dons a modified version of the Organization's Black Cloak, now white with several black Nobody symbol-like patterns and those thorns of Nothingness he keeps shooting at Sora and Riku are also monochromatic.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days.
    • In the former, he is the true leader of the mysterious Organization and the “Superior” the others speak of with reverence. Marluxia is trying to instigate a coup against him using Sora, and Axel and Zexion are both trying to derail Marluxia’s plot on Xemnas’s behalf.
    • In the latter, as before he’s the actual leader of the Organization, but he appears infrequently since most of the outright antagonism comes from Saix... on his orders, of course. Much of the personal drama that dominates much of the story is due to his manipulations behind-the-scenes. By the time Roxas finally turns his attention towards stopping him personally at the very end of the game, he’s hunted down and captured by Riku.
  • Hates Being Alone: By the time he fully regrows a heart, he's overcome with guilt for the way he treated the original Organization XIII, realizes just how much he actually valued their companionship, and only after they're gone does he understand just how horrible it is to be left alone.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: As a villainous direct contrast to Ansem the Seeker of Darkness' view that the Heart is weak and destined to be consumed by Darkness, Xemnas believes the Heart is the source of all power and is supreme above all else because of that, which in the Kingdom Hearts verse is pretty much true. His initial plan to create his own Kingdom Hearts is based on his belief of the Heart's unbeatable power, but his view is still distorted in that Xemnas believes only negative emotions generated from the heart like anger and hate give a Heart its power, which leads to his downfall.
    Xemnas: Hearts quivering with hatred. Hearts burning with rage. Hearts scarred by envy. That fool Ansem said the heart's true nature was beyond his understanding, but it's not beyond mine! Hearts are the source of all power!
  • Humanoid Abomination: While all Nobodies are this by nature due to intrinsically defying reality, Xemnas exemplifies this more than any other member of Organization XIII, specfically during his Early-Bird Cameo appearance in the Final Mix version of the first game rife with Mind Screw. He's introduced as a faceless, hooded humanoid entity phasing in and out of reality with loud, electrical static noises, appearing behind Sora and then walking right through him completely intangible, causing Sora to suddenly relive several memories in the form of random subtitle text from various cutscenes in the game. Every time he speaks, no voice is heard, but instead the screen fades to black with flickering, distorted text appearing in the middle. When Sora tries to strike him after the battle, the screen freezes and turns gray as he vanishes briefly before reappearing to say his farewells.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: He ultimately suffered from loneliness, as his final moments in III reveal.
  • I Let You Win: Twice actually, the first time is Sora's fight against him in the first game where he merely wanted to test his strength. The second is when he faces Sora in Dream Drop Distance so that he'd be weak enough afterwards to be put to sleep and made into a Xehanort vessel.
  • Jerkass: On the level of Xigbar's but not so much above Master Xehanort due to being The Stoic.
    • It really shows in II during his encounter with Ansem the Wise, when he clearly enjoys tormenting his former master by mocking him, changing his tone of voice to sound like his younger Terra-Xehanort self.
    • It's also on cruel display in 3D when Sora is suitably outraged by him withholding the fact that Nobodies could grow new hearts.
    • Then there's III, where he tortures Lea with Beam Spam and directly orders Xion to kill him because she was his friend; when she resists, he kicks her to the ground and calls her a "useless puppet."
  • Killed Off for Real: The destruction of the Replica holding his heart and the subsequent death of Master Xehanort ensure that, aside from visions or flashbacks, Xemnas’s death in III means this trope is in effect.
  • King Mook: To the equally fearsome Sorcerer Nobodies — and, of course, Nobodies in general.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Yells "KNEEL!" when casting Invitation to Nothingness.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: He's always included kicks into his swordplay though they've increased in frequency with every new game he's fought in. By the time of his Data rematch in III, he showcases the same martial arts skills as No Heart, with entire combo-strings comprised of kicks enhanced by the same magic as his spheres and barriers.
  • Large and in Charge: Leader of the Original Organization XIII and one of the taller, bulkier members, surpassed in height only by Vexen, Lexaeus, and Xaldin.
    • He's tied with Ansem as the largest member of the Real Organization and still retains a role of authority over the other members despite no longer being their highest-ranked member.
  • Laser Blade: His ethereal blades. In 358/2 Days he has an assortment of them with several different shapes and colors, but his usual ones are Interdiction, which are straight blades of red energy, which look uncannily like Sith lightsabers.
  • Leitmotif: 358/2 Days gives him one named "Xemnus." Besides that theme he usually has the theme of the organization play during his scenes. Meanwhile, his battle theme from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is L'Oscurita dell'Ignoto, a remix of Darkness of the Unknown.
  • Life Drain: A recurring tactic of his though how it manifests varies based on the boss fight. This attack is abandoned in gameplay from 3D onwards although he uses it briefly in the Re:Mind DLC to subdue Kairi and Sora during a cutscene.
  • Light Is Not Good: His armor used during some of the middle phases of his Sequential Boss Fight is gold and silver with feathers giving him a rather angelic appearance but he's still trying to destroy the heroes and everything they've been fighting for. Later on, his Black Cloak turns mostly white during the final battle against him in II and the arena itself is a rather well-lit empty void.
  • Limit Break: All-Vanity. He surrounds himself in a Sphere of Power where he can deal quite a bit of damage by just pushing into enemies with it. For his Final Limit, while his movement speed goes down he starts shooting extremely damaging lasers from his hands that have quite a bit of range too. Just about the only downside to it is that he can't jump at all so you need to be careful about using it on aerial enemies. The Limit Break overall seems to be based on his Desperation Attack in the Final Mix of the first game where he was a Bonus Boss.
  • Magic Knight: His mastery over the element of Nothingness is at the very least on par with Ansem's over Darkness but he's also an incredibly dangerous close-range fighter. This is reflected in his stats in 358/2 Days in which his very high Magic and Strength stats make him arguably the game's best example of this.
  • Mind over Matter: Strong enough to telekinetically toss entire buildings at his enemies.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Downplayed. Possibly due to Terra's influence, but when he finally regrows a heart he's immediately wracked with guilt for his callous, selfish treatment of the original Organization, taking them for granted and coldly throwing their lives away in pursuit of his own goals.
  • Nerves of Steel: He's hard to faze, due to over-emoting all the time anyway. He drops the act in Dream Drop Distance, but comes off as even more stoic as a result. Even when he's surprised that Sora is momentarily able to control the deep-dream he's trapped in, he merely grins and gets ready to fight while Xigbar turns tail and runs.
  • Never My Fault: During his Motive Rant near the end of II, he calls Ansem the Wise "the source of all Heartless" for inspiring Xehanort with his original research on hearts. Yeah, and YOUR experiments with darkness had nothing to do with it, huh, Xemnas? Of course, revelations in 3D mean he might not actually believe it. He also seems to disregard the fact that his own abusive behavior is why he had no true loyalty or friends.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In Days he completely screws himself over when he tries to have Roxas and Xion kill each other. Not only does it provide Xion with the motivation she needed to pull off the Heroic Sacrifice necessary to save Roxas and wake Sora up, it also causes Roxas to desert the Organization (although the actual final straw was Axel's stubborn refusal to tell Roxas what was going on with Xion) and Axel to do the same a week after. By the time II begins he has lost both of his Keyblade wielders and is forced to rely on Sora, with disastrous consequences for his grand plan.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: An Evil Overlord Nobody with pseudo-lightsabers who pilots a gigantic Humongous Mecha-dragon-ship while wearing a massive suit of Keyblade armor.
  • Not So Stoic: During one of the final battles with him, he growls in rage.
    • When he's finally defeated in II he angrily reaches toward Sora and Riku as he fades out of existence. In 3D he looks slightly unnerved (though not to the degree Xigbar is) when a vision of the protagonists (including Terra) appears behind Sora when he's giving his speech about his connection with the true Keyblade wielders.
    • Then there's his Alas, Poor Villain moment in III. After so long, he finally gets the heart that he wanted, and can feel emotion again. Yet all he feels is loneliness after driving away all of his allies.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He acts like he only wants to help his fellow Nobodies gain hearts but 3D makes it very clear that he only wants them as extra bodies for Master Xehanort's Grand Theft Me plan. II and Days hint at this as well. In the former he tells his former teacher that his plan for Kingdom Hearts is to recreate the World. In Days, one of his reports mentions how he wants to find Kingdom Hearts as his ambitions begin there. "Ambitions" being the operative word.
  • Oh, Crap!: Both in III:
    • Xemnas can usually handle a wrench in the works of his ambitions with calm retort and merciless return of favor, but he was not expecting a wrench as tremendous as the triumphant return of Roxas.
    • In the Re:Mind DLC, Xemnas clearly didn't anticipate for Kairi to be strong enough to cut through his blades. As soon as she did, he's left stunned enough to be forced on the defensive, and only managed to gain the upper hand when he managed to drain her energy by using his Nothingness powers.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Hinted several times that his objective in absorbing Kingdom Hearts' power was to reduce the universe to nothingness and then remake it completely in his image. It is later retconned that he was actually intending to do this in a roundabout way rather than a literal way by subconsciously helping complete Master Xehanort's master plan to restart the Keyblade War.
    Xemnas: I shall devour all... the light and the darkness.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Despite being the most powerful member of the Organization (and even having, on paper, a straight up unfair stat distributionnote ) in 358/2 Days, his sluggish overall attack speed on the ground with most weapons make for a rather awkward character to fight with on a basic level while other similarly powerful physical attackers being quicker and/or more effective with most weapons. Worse, many of his weapons that do improve his ground-based attack speed also reduce his aerial attacks to shooting lasers directly below him, rendering him useless against airborne foes unless he spams magic.
    • That said his airborne attacks with several weapons are often much quicker and more aggressive. Combined with the usage of Glide, practice can turn him into a very good flying attacker.
  • Perpetual Smiler: It's difficult to notice beyond his usual Death Glare, but he often is making a small smirk.
  • Personality Powers: A Straw Nihilist that has power over Nothingness.
  • Physical God: The scale of his powers can only be described as this. He's able to warp The World That Never Was to fit his wishes and can destroy the entire city at will. That said, such displays are only seen in said world, so it may be limited to that place.
  • Power Floats: Though not to the extent of Ansem, he seems to float more and walk less the more seriously he's fighting. In the Mission Mode of 358/2 Days and in III, he never walks during gameplay.
  • The Power of Hate: Anger, rage and hatred are the only emotions of the heart Xemnas appears to value, believing them to be the true source of a heart's power and they're also the only emotions he seems able to express himself when he isn't being The Stoic. It's likely another carryover from the Terra side of the fusion, who took this trope to the point of Unstoppable Rage against his enemies, including the other half of the fusion, Master Xehanort.
    Xemnas: (after his second defeat): I need... more rage... I need more... hearts...
    Xemnas: (before the Final Battle): Anger and hate are supreme.
  • Power of the Void: Has dominion over the element of "Nothingness" which he often uses interchangeably with "The Void" in dialogue. His abilities run the gamut from manifesting as Pure Energy to performing a Life Drain spell on Sora. Most often, it seems to manifest as those tendrils/thorns of nothingness that other Nobodies occassionally use which he weaponizes in a number of his boss fights.
    • In III, he uses those same tendrils to create an arena barrier as Sora and Mickey face off against Luxord, Marluxia and Larxene. Later he uses his powers to give Luxord a Power-Up supercharging his already rampant Reality Warper powers before he ultimately retreats from the battlefield.
  • Pre-Final Boss:
    • While he's Sora's final boss in DDD, for the game as a whole he's this along with Ansem, with both needing to be defeated for Riku to confront Young Xehanort.
    • In III he's fought alongside Ansem and Young Xehanort as the penultimate bosses of the game.
  • Rasputinian Death: Like Ansem, he takes a lot to bring down. After losing to Sora in a duel at his base power, Xemnas uses the remaining power of his artificial Kingdom Hearts to literally throw an entire city at the heroes, after which they take him down in his armor. Even after that, he pilots a giant dragon mech to fight Sora and Riku and takes another beating in his armor before entering his final form. After his final attack, Sora and Riku stun him and hit him with all their combined power, and even that only leaves him at one HP, requiring one final attack to mortally wound him.
  • Rated M for Manly: He's a very manly, imposing and powerful Nobody overlord, complete with Norio Wakamoto's voice in Japanese.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: With his red ethereal blades.
  • Sad Battle Music: The final phase of the final boss fight against him in II, has considerably slower and more somber-sounding battle music than any other in the game.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Xemnas' reaction to witnessing the triumphant return of Roxas results in him fleeing and kidnapping Kairi to give Xehanort a hostage in III. Changed in Re:Mind to his reaction to Roxas, Xion, and Lea flat out beating him.
  • Sequential Boss: Turned Up to Eleven. First you fight Xemnas, then you have to work through several layers of defenses on his battleship, then fight Xemnas himself again, then fight his battleship again, then fight Xemnas again, then finally fight Xemnas in his final form.
  • Shadow Archetype: Xemnas is all of Terra's anger and hatred manifested, combined with Master Xehanort's manipulative nature and greed, without any of the redeeming qualities.
  • Shock and Awe: He has a penchant for lightning magic and his hands are crackling with electricity when he's fighting, most notably his Shock Bombs and Spark Barrier attacks deal lightning element damage and can be reduced with the appropriate equipment.
  • Signature Move: His iconic moves—throwing skyscrapers and making lasers come out of nowhere.
  • Significant Anagram: It's unacknowledged but "X names". Fitting, considering how he renamed all the members of the Organization himself by rearranging the letters of their names and adding an "X" to them.
  • Silent Antagonist: In his original appearance in Final Mix. In the two cutscenes he shows up in, everytime he speaks, the screen fades to black as his subtitle text appears in the middle of the screen while no voice is actually heard though Sora and company are somehow able to understand him anyway. In battle, he never vocalizes a single sound. Considering how loud and expressive the rest of the villains in that game are, it's a stark contrast and a rather terrifying one at that.
  • The Slow Walk: Seems to have taken a page out of Vergil's book; unless he's graciously abusing his teleportation or flight abilities, Xemnas will approach with a coolly unfazed (if not eerie) gait at the speed of molasses, but when he finally makes it to his intended destination, he will do all in his power to end you.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Misspelled "Xemnus" on the Birth by Sleep/Days soundtrack.
  • Spin Attack: His graceful, often twirling swordsmanship lends itself to these sorts of attacks often.
  • Stationary Boss: During his boss battle in II, Xemnas's armored form never stands from his throne, instead creating barriers and swinging his sword to knock you back and otherwise letting his Flying Weapons do his work for him.
  • The Stoic: Very much so. Most of his lines are spoken in an unemotional drone.
  • Straw Nihilist: Though it's sort of justified, since he's a Nobody and therefore every natural force in the universe wants him to not exist.
  • Sword and Fist: He is liable to just hit you with a swooping Roundhouse Kick as much as he is to attack you with his laser blades.
  • Taking You with Me: His final battle in II has shades of this. He's lost all his minions, his artificial Kingdom Hearts has been destroyed and the heroes have cut off his last attempt at an escape... so he brings Sora and Riku to the World of Nothing with him, intending to finish them once and for all. Even as his body disintegrates, he keeps reaching for them with a murderous expression.
    Xemnas: We shall go together.
  • This Cannot Be!: His near word-for-word reaction in III when Roxas returns, Just in Time to stop him from killing Xion.
  • Tin Tyrant: One of his multiple forms involves donning a suit of armor and attacking from his throne. It's actually Master Xehanort's Keyblade Armor, No Heart.
  • Theme Naming: His weapons in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days have names in the theme of dictatorship.
  • Tragic Villain: Zig-Zagged all over the place during the course of the franchise.
    • II implied he's incapable of seeing hearts as anything but burdens filled with negative emotions to be removed and fed into his god-maker-machine, due to not having one of his own and not having any memories from Xehanort to tell him otherwise. Connecting Final Mix+ with Birth by Sleep also implies he has some of Terra's memories and is trying to reunite with Ven and Aqua.
    • However, 3D revealed that Terra-Xehanort regained at least some of his memories before he became a Heartless and Nobody and that Xemnas was going along with Master Xehanort's plans, implying Xemnas knew what he was supposed to do and was never misguided at all. Then 0.2 confirms that his desire to locate Ven actually came from Master Xehanort as opposed to Terra, since Xehanort hopes to use Ven's vacant body as a vessel for one of his Thirteen Seekers of Darkness.
    • Then, near the end of III it's implied that he ultimately does take after Terra when it came to regrowing his heart, and the first emotions he felt when his heart grew back? Loneliness and guilt over failing to help Ventus and Aqua, making Xemnas consider regaining his humanity not worth the pains of emotion. On top of that, it's implied he regrets the way he manipulated the rest of the original Organization, as by the end they've all abandoned him. A shame then that in his 'death' here he is sent back in time to before his death in II, meaning this revelation is forgotten.
    • There's an additional layer of tragedy to his character when you take his obsession with "nothingness". Xemnas strove to obtain ultimate power through the void and considered the heart to be weak and powerless, but there is an implication that he has always been afraid of loneliness and the burden of connecting with other hearts, so he pushed himself to create a world where he already was to save himself from the pain of loss and negative emotions, obtaining power in the process. He spent his entire (non)existence chasing nothingness and by the end of III he has exactly that, as he is left with nobody by his side, no hope of atonement, leaving him truly with nothing. He realises too late that he was wrong and spends his final moments with the revelation that true strength comes from shouldering the pain of having a heart to connect to others, something he thought he had "learned" from Master Xehanort's memories was unnecessary.
      Xemnas: Do you see? A heart is just pain.
      Sora: Pain is being human, Xemnas.
      Xemnas: [smiles for the first time in the entire series] Really? It must take... incredible strength.
  • Tranquil Fury: In III, Xemnas's emotionless state he likes to project shows its cracks whenever Lea is around, who he holds a special level of seething hatred towards for betraying the Organization. He ends up putting Lea through Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Saïx and Xion in retribution, all while still trying to keep his appearance as being completely emotionless. Subverted in Re:Mind, where Lea continuing to fight despite that and actually starting to win with Roxas and Xion's help causes him to become visibly angry.
  • Troll: He's as bad as Xigbar in that regard, if not worse. He pretends to die multiple times, questions Riku's loyalty to Sora during his Boss Banter, and he outright asks the heroes to do his bidding while Playing the Victim Card, and then acknowledging that he was telling Blatant Lies. The biggest example would probably be his multiple impassioned entreaties for a Heart to his artificial Kingdom Hearts and to the heroes, when he does not in fact give two shits about gaining a heart.
  • Verbal Tic: "Indeeed..."
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has one in II after Ansem destroys the Kingdom Hearts and Sora and Riku destroy the rest of his plans. Then another in III when Roxas not only returns but points out his Fatal Flaw or by being beaten by his former pawns in Re:Mind both respond with him rebuking Hearts and kidnapping Kairi.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice gets deeper in subsequent games.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Sora asks this of him after defeating him for the last time in III. Xemnas admits that no, it wasn’t.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Comes with the territory of being a Xehanort.
  • Wistful Amnesia: The only part of his human life he remembers is the time he spent in Ansem the Wise's care and he wants his memories back about as much as he wants to become a "higher existence." Final Mix points that he regularly visited Aqua's lost armor in the Chamber of Repose and talked to it, calling it "friend." The truth comes out in 0.2 though, when it's revealed that Master Xehanort knew of Terra's link to Aqua and capitalized on it within Xemnas, but thankfully Terra severs the link before he's able to find anything further due to heavy Fighting from the Inside.
  • Worthy Opponent: He seems to finally judge humanity as such instead of useful pawns at his defeat in III.
    Xemnas: Do you see? A heart is just pain.
    Sora: Pain is being human, Xemnas.
    Xemnas: Really? It must take... incredible strength...
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Excels at this much more than his own Somebody. Saïx lampshades it in one of his reports in 358/2 Days, about how Xemnas's plans are clearly falling apart and yet he remains so frustratingly cool and collected, as if he's still somehow in control of the situation... which he clearly was, of course.
  • You Fool!: "Cursed FOOOLS"

Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Xehanort