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Fanfic / Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand

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Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand is a Kingdom Hearts Fan Fic written by Kristen Verne.

As the title suggests, the fic is a hypothetical version of Kingdom Hearts III, set nine months after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. Sora and the gang begin preparations for the final battle with Master Xehanort and his cohorts.

The author has also written other stories set in the same universe: the Training Series, consisting of Maybe You Can Hire, A Sacrifice and A Savior, Lord of the Keyblade, and Treadstone, Black Briar, and now Soul String, which chronicles what occurred during the nine months between Dream Drop Distance and Final Stand, Their Lives Before, which chronicles some of the backstories and childhoods of Sora, Riku, Kairi, Terra, Ven, Aqua, and Lea, Tales of Vanitas, which details part of Vanitas' life after Final Stand, A Hero's Life and Legacy, which details the origins of the children of Sora and friends, Radiant Garden Renegades, which details some of the childhoods of Kairi, Isa, and Lea, How We Met, which details the meeting of Kairi's biological parents, Keyblade War: The Commencement, which details the events of the Keyblade War, and Kingdom Hearts 4: New Light, which follows Sora and friends' children as they follow in their parents' footsteps. Another sequel, Kingdom Hearts 5: The Rising Darkness, was in progress before the author grew uncomfortable with the direction it was going and decided to reboot the next-gen fics, starting with Kingdom Hearts 4 Re:New Light, and then Kingdom Hearts 5: Event Horizon. She was also in progress of her own Xehanort origin story, How Did It Come to This, before she realized that she didn't know where she wanted to go with it anymore and discontinued it.

Seven other fics written by YamiChaos27, A Warrior's Last Stand, Moonlit Knights, Living Legacy, Men in Black Coats, Incomprehensible Feelings, Moons of Fate, and Battle of the Dragons, are set in the same universe.

The author has rewritten the Training Series, and has rewritten the original story, now named Kingdom Heart 3 Re:Final Stand. Due to significant changes done in Kris's rewritten timeline, several side stories written by both her and Yami have been completely rewritten out of canon.

Note: This article assumes that you have played all Kingdom Hearts games up to at least Dream Drop Distance; therefore, all spoilers regarding the games will be unmarked. The rewrite also incorporates small elements from both 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- and the actual Kingdom Hearts III as well. You Have Been Warned.

Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand and its related fics contain examples of the following tropes:

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     The Series 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Hanako, Ansem's mother, is universally despised by virtually everyone in Radiant Garden; considering she was a borderline tyrant who believed herself superior to everyone else purely because she was royalty, it's hard to blame them. In Moons of Fate chapter 7, Yamato states outright that no one in the castle staff or general public cares for Hanako, and no one, including himself, would bat an eye if she were killed or miss her.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • As detailed in Their Lives Before, before becoming Eraqus' apprentice, Terra lived with an emotionally abusive father and stepmother, who never loved him and only took him in to spite his birth mother, going so far as to deny his birth mother visitation rights just because they could. They realized how horrible they were after Terra's disappearance, and spent the next ten-plus years atoning for it.
    • As revealed in How We Met and expanded on in Radiant Garden Renegades, Kairi's paternal grandfather, Orochi Mae, physically abused her grandmother and father regularly, and was eventually imprisoned for it.
  • Action Girl: Kairi has developed into one by the time of Final Stand. Case in point: in chapter 14, when one of Xehanort's henchmen (revealed several chapters later to be the Riku Replica) tries to nab her, she nonchalantly breaks free of his grip and flings him off of a cliff. Naminé, Xion, and Aqua also qualify.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Xehanort and Braig are already irredeemably evil in canon, this series manages to make them even worse, especially in Braig's case. As revealed in Radiant Garden Renegades and Moons of Fate, Braig was a complete Jerkass long before he fell in with Xehanort, being a thrill-seeker who openly fantasized about conquering other kingdoms, enjoying getting a rise out of his fellow soldiers, and hating that Ansem was a peaceful ruler. At the end of Final Stand, when freed from Xehanort's control, he freely chooses to keep being evil, later becoming a Big Bad in both New Light and The Rising Darkness, plotting revenge on Sora and his family for years, and becoming king of Hazy Hamlet and turning it into an even bigger Crapsack World. Among his most heinous moments is gloating about executing Terra's parents and mounting their heads in his study.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Dawn's Might, a katana that is a family heirloom from Kairi's birth mother Rimi's side of the family. It is traditionally handed down to the oldest son when he finds the woman he loves or to the man who loves the eldest daughter when he meets the father's approval. In chapter 30, the ghost of Kairi's birth father Kaname gives the blade to Sora.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Sasuke Kazekiri debuted in YamiChaos27's A Warrior's Last Stand for a short time, which was posted when the original version of Final Stand was nearing its end. As such Sasuke's only appearance in Final Stand was in one of its epilogue chapters, again for a short time. However, aside from the sequel, and a prequel, and his own spinoff stories, he was given a more prominent role in the rewrite, first showing up in the fourth chapter rather than the epilogues, and contributing to the story more.
    • In How We Met, Hayato was little more than a name that was dropped once alongside two important royal guards, Yamato Kazekiri and Minoru, and was not mentioned again afterwards. In Moons of Fate, however, Yami decided to expand the name into a full character, making him an expert crossbowman, and a close friend of Yamato in the guard who even helped him rescue his soon-to-be fiancee, Momo. Hayato was also made into Braig's teacher in marksmanship, though he did acknowledge his student's personality flaws and questioned himself if letting him into the guard was a good idea. In the end though, he was paralyzed from the waist down, ending his career the same night of Yamato's death. Later, Kris would bring Hayato back in Re:Final Stand, where despite his old age and crippling injury, he volunteers to use his marksmanship to assist the heroes in taking down a powerful Heartless from afar.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Braig in a nutshell. In Re:Final Stand chapter 38, he states that he joined the guard at Radiant Garden to be a conqueror and for the thrill of a fight, and openly says he preferred the rule of Hanako, a tyrant who was universally despised by her subjects, over Ansem, a Reasonable Authority Figure who kept the peace.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While not overly graphic, several characters visibly bleed when injured, and there have been mentions of Blood from the Mouth and being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Bitch Alert: The narrative in both Radiant and Radiant Garden Renegades makes it clear from the minute Hanako appears that the audience is not supposed to like her. In the case of the latter, she's introduced furiously chewing Lea and Kairi out and cursing the day Kairi was born; within minutes of meeting her, Lea realizes why the Insurgos hate the royal family of Radiant Garden so much.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Downplayed with Braig. As shown in prequels set prior to the fall of Radiant Garden, Braig was never a particularly nice person, and really sucked at not being a dick to people, but no one could tell just how evil and psychopathic he really was, even after being freed from Xehanort's influence. Throughout the series, Braig does such horrible things as trap Lea and Kairi under a rockslide, sell out his own home to Xehanort, take over Hazy Hamlet and turn it into an even crappier place to live than it was before (which is really saying something, since it was a Crapsack World to begin with), and bragged that he executed Terra's parents and mounted their heads in their study for no other reason than to be a sadistic asshole; he even states that doing so was his favorite part of becoming king of Hazy Hamlet.
    • Briana is an example played straight. She initially appears to be a beautiful Nice Girl, to the extent that Patria vouches for her kind and sweet nature. Then comes The Reveal that Briana is a sadistic psychopath who delights in hurting and killing people; she even collects bloody shirts from the people she's killed. Not only that, but she's the daughter of Braig, Daddy's Little Villain, and a Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb who Braig specifically raised for the sole purpose of getting revenge on Sora and his family. Averted in Re:New Light, where they're the White Sheep of their family.
  • Can't Take Criticism:
    • In New Light chapter 15, when Pith tells Patria that her willingness to torture one of their enemies for information makes her no better than Xehanort or Maleficent, Patria responds by pinning Pith to the wall by the neck and threatening to kill him if he doesn't shut up.
    • In Moons of Fate chapter 6, Rimi gives Minoru a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, telling him point blank he's a horrible Captain of the Guard and hasn't done anything worthy of praise, unlike Yamato. Minoru's response is to lose his temper and backhand Rimi across the face while chewing her out for her "blatant disrespect"... which immediately bites him in the ass when Ansem, having seen everything, fires him on the spot.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Sora's taking Ven's heart into his body, as well as Aqua's crafting Castle Oblivion, during the events of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep are referenced in the first and second chapters of Final Stand
    • In chapter 14, Aqua recalls having first met Sora, Riku, and Kairi when they were little kids, also in Birth by Sleep. During the conversation, Sora also recalls having seen her back then, as well as in the Realm of Sleep.
  • Crapsack World: Hazy Hamlet, Terra and Aqua's homeworld. Among other things, human trafficking and slavery is legal, and slavers can freely enter others' homes, kidnap people, and sell them. Also, if families fail to pay taxes, they will be executed, children included, as was the fate of Aqua's parents; Aqua only survived because she was saved by Master Eraqus. During the 20-year Time Skip between Final Stand and New Light, Braig becomes king and ends up making it even worse. It isn't until near the end of New Light, when Patria and the others overthrow Braig and his family and banish him from the world, that things finally begin to turn around.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: New Light onwards has a perfect example in Briana, Braig's daughter. He deliberately raised her for the purpose of revenge against Sora, and Briana openly and gleefully supports her father's plans.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As hinted at in the main story and revealed in detail in Their Lives Before, the Birth by Sleep three heroes has some pretty tragic pasts:
    • Before becoming Eraqus' apprentice, Terra lived with an emotionally abusive father and stepmother, who never loved him and only took him in to spite his birth mother, going so far as to deny his birth mother visitation rights just because they could. After being taken in by Eraqus, Terra outright renounces his father.
      • This dark past adds up at Terra to be an Expy of Anakin Skywalker, as Hazy Hamlet does bear similarities to Tattoine.
    • Ventus was abandoned on the doorstep of an Orphanage of Fear when he was only two days old, and was constantly shunted back and forth between foster homes, as well as bullied by his peers there and verbally abused by the workers. Eventually, he gave up hope on ever finding a home and ran away, coming across Master Xehanort. As a result, during the gang's stay in Devil's Bayou, he's moved to tears over Penny's plight.
    • Aqua lived with a loving, but poor family, and at age seven, an angry mob attacked her home and burned down her house because her father failed to pay taxes; her parents died in the blaze, but Aqua was rescued and taken in by Eraqus and Xehanort.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: In the prequels, Ansem serves as one for the Reasonable Authority Figure. While undoubtedly The Good King, especially in comparison to his mother, Ansem was too reasonable, and several of the problems that occur in the series are because he was lenient on those who didn't deserve it:
    • In How We Met, expanded on in Moons of Fate, when Captain Minoru slapped Princess Rimi over a petty disagreement, which was enough to warrant imprisonment, Ansem, although furious, let him off easy by only firing him and banning him from the castle due to his many years of service without a single offense until then. This led to Minoru assisting the Insurgos in invading the castle out of spite, leading to one of his guards being crippled from the waist down and the death of Yamato Kazekiri, the kingdom's hero and one of Ansem's closest friends.
    • As shown in Radiant Garden Renegades, Ansem completely failed to learn anything from this. Despite full knowledge that Braig was a Blood Knight and Token Evil Teammate who only joined the guard for the thrill of the fight and repeatedly tried to convince him to become an invader and conqueror, and that Xehanort was committing such deeds as making unwanted advances on Rimi, Ansem still allowed them to essentially do as they pleased and kept giving them second chances. This time, it led to Xehanort destroying Radiant Garden completely and personally killing Kaname and Rimi; had Ansem just learned to put his foot down, Xehanort and Braig's plans could have been stopped before they even began.
  • Entitled Bastard:
    • Ansem's parents acted as such, believing themselves better than everyone else purely because they were of royal blood.
    • As revealed in Moons of Fate, Minoru was no better, constantly going on about how he deserves more respect and recognition than he gets, and being jealous of Yamato for getting all the glory, when Minoru himself has basically done nothing to deserve any respect or recognition. It's to the extent that when he slaps Rimi, the crown princess, for criticizing him and is dishonorably discharged by Ansem for doing so, Minoru continues to rant about Ansem showing favoritism to Yamato.
    • Braig as well. At the end of Re:Final Stand, he bemoans that he'll never get a Keyblade now and that Xehanort promised him his own. Terra and Aqua tell him point-blank that an evil bastard like him would never be worthy of a Keyblade anyway.
  • Evil All Along: Braig. Numerous side materials released by both Kristen Verne and YamiChaos27 take lengths to show that he was never a particularly nice person, sucked at not being a Jerkass to people, and was a Glory Hound who only joined the guard at Radiant Garden for the thrill of the fight and openly urged Ansem to become a warmongering conqueror just so he could have something to do. All in all, it's made clear that there was already something rotten inside Braig long before Xehanort ever came to Radiant Garden and recruited him, and even if Xehanort hadn't triggered his descent into villainy, he would have made the jump on his own sooner or later; in the final chapter of Re:Final Stand, Braig himself openly admits that's exactly what he would have done.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Insurgos have this to the extreme. They're firmly convinced that every member of the royal family of Radiant Garden is irredeemably evil purely because they're related to the tyrannical Hanako, despite the fact that Ansem has been nothing but The Good King since he took over, and anyone who doesn't agree with them is automatically their enemy for "kissing up to the royals." When Yamato calls them out on it in Moons of Fate, they blow him off, declaring that Ansem will simply simply drain them dry when they least expect it.
  • Evil is Petty:
    • Minoru, the former captain of the guard, as expanded on in Moons of Fate. After being fired from his job, he went so far as to join up with the Insurgos and let them into Ansem's castle to kill everyone, out of nothing more than petty jealousy that Yamato got more recognition than him; never mind the fact Minoru was a lazy Entitled Bastard who had done nothing to deserve any praise and recognition, and that his firing was entirely his own damn fault because he slapped Rimi, the crown princess, in a fit of rage for telling him that point-blank.
    • Braig turns on Radiant Garden and joins Xehanort out of boredom and dissatisfaction with his job, wanting to be a conqueror rather than a peacekeeper. After Xehanort's defeat, he happily chooses to keep being evil and seems to have no further goal besides petty revenge on Sora and going around making other people miserable because he likes being a scumbag. This is especially prevalent in Re:New Light; whereas he actually plotted for years to get revenge and created the Sovereign Enforcers to that end in the original story, here, he simply kidnaps one of Sora's newborn twins and raises her as a servant girl in Hazy Hamlet, spending the entirety of the fourteen-year Time Skip lounging in his manor while taking great delight in physically and verbally abusing Koharu, now named Perdita, simply for being Sora's child, and generally going out of his way to make her life miserable every chance he gets.
  • Forced Miscarriage: In A Hero's Life And Legacy, Kairi suffers one of those, no thanks to Maleficent. (Maleficent also attempted to curse Kairi so she won't ever have kids, but Ienzo theorized that Kairi's pure heart prevented the curse from working; while Aurora's pure heart didn't prevent her from being cursed, Patria and Pith's birth have proven Ienzo right.)
  • For the Evulz: From the end of Final Stand onward, Braig's only goal, barring revenge on Sora, seems to be just causing pain, suffering, and going around being an evil scumbag for the sake of being an evil scumbag. At one point in The Rising Darkness, he goes to Enchanted Dominion and tries to assassinate Aurora for no other reason than because he can.
  • Hated by All: Braig has also earned this, constantly going out of his way to be an evil scumbag for its own sake and committing such atrocities as killing Terra's family and trying to assassinate Princess Aurora, all while admitting that he was always bad and if Xehanort had never come to Radiant Garden, he would have pulled a Face–Heel Turn on his own. By the end of New Light, it's established that everyone and their mother (in some cases literally) wants his head on a pike.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Even before he fell in with Xehanort, Braig was not a nice person, as revealed in Radiant Garden Renegades, doing such things as taking baby Kairi's toys and dangling her over a flight of stairs under the excuse of playing with her. He got even worse when he began working with Xehanort, bribing the Insurgos to kidnap Kairi and her friends and triggering a rockslide in the Great Maw that trapped Kairi and Lea under the rubble for two days. In the epilogue of Renegades, Ansem reveals that Braig was unsatisfied with his job, hated their peacekeeping ways, and repeatedly suggested to Ansem that they invade another country just so he'd have something to do. His actions in New Light definitely cement him as such; among other things, he took over Hazy Hamlet and turned it into an even worse Crapsack World, killed Terra's parents and brother-in-law and gloated about having their heads mounted in his study to Pith's face, and tried to have Xally, Justin, Yuyake, and Hikari executed via drowning and burning at the stake for no other reason than to be cruel. It reaches new levels in Re:Final Stand, where he commits such deeds as assassinating the Riku Replica just as he's freed from Xehanort's control, shooting Master Eraqus dead (an act that shocked even Xehanort, and at the very end, gloating about how much he hated Ansem's peacekeeping ways and that if Xehanort had never come to Radiant Garden, he would have most likely joined the Insurgos, killed Ansem, taken the world over, and put Kairi and her parents in a cage to gloat over them for all eternity.
    • While initially introduced as a friendly, sweet girl, Briana is quickly established as such in chapter 33 with the reveal of her true colors. Not only is she Braig's daughter, she's also the leader of the Sovereign Enforcers, and an Ax-Crazy Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb who Braig specifically raised and conditioned as part of a long-term plan to get revenge on Sora. She faked her feelings for Pith, and when they're alone, she non-fatally shoots him with a crossbow and takes great delight in breaking his heart by revealing that she never loved him, hated having to pretend as such, and is happy she can finally drop the charade and can kill him.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Patria is a very violent girl who is a jerk to nearly everyone. She even goes as far as suggesting torture for information, or straight up murdering guards. The darkness within her heart and overall behavior has everyone worried. However, her behavior is just a facade, as in reality, an unknown entity has been pumping darkness into her heart for years. Aware of her own growing darkness, Patria acts like a violent sociopath in an effort to vent out the darkness within her, afraid that if she doesn't she'll lose control and explode on those she cares about. She was willing to sour her own reputation just to protect her loved ones. Her brother, Pith, finds out about her act when she lost control during an encounter with Maleficent and was sworn to secrecy. However when Patria was tricked into believing Pith was dead and the unknown entity tried to take her over completely, her facade completely shatters in front of her parents and she reveals herself as a scared girl longing for help.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Maximus, the Captain of the Guard prior to Minoru, as revealed in Moons of Fate. He had great faith in Minoru, and even recommended that Ansem make him captain in his place. Minoru proved to be a General Failure and Entitled Bastard, constantly screwing up in missions, having to be saved by Yamato from his own mistakes, and being insanely jealous that Yamato got the fame and recognition he felt was rightfully owed to him; the final straw was when he slapped Rimi, the crown princess he's supposed to be respecting, for calling him out on being a selfish, entitled loser, which led Ansem to fire him. Yamato even lampshades it, openly wondering what Maximus ever saw in Minoru. The only indication of Maximus's opinion of Minoru that was given was in Chapter 2 when he told Yamato that he was "one of our most disciplined, but rather short on manners" after Minoru openly voiced his skepticism towards the new recruit.
    • Hayato, Yamato's friend, was this to Braig, taking him into the guard and under his tutelage. Braig was a thrill-seeker more concerned with his own fame than helping people, openly fantasized about conquering other kingdoms, and enjoyed getting a rise out of his fellow trainees, going so far as to tease Kaname over Minoru slapping Rimi and calling Rimi weak just to get a cheap laugh. While Hayato tried to act as The Conscience to Braig, he failed; as shown throughout preceding stories, most notably Final Stand and New Light, Braig just kept getting worse over time. In Hayato's defense, he does acknowledge Braig's problems and wonders if taking him on as a trainee was a mistake.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass / Special: Kyo has wanted to be a hero like his parents so badly for a very long time. In Re:New Light when finally given his own mission alongside Angel and Hinata, he often tries to do things himself much to the girls' chagrin. He has a difficult time letting the others handle things by themselves, as well as letting his long lost sister figure things out on her own, all stemming from his desire to be the hero. The curse of darkness that ends up being placed on him by Dire feeds on this desire, causing him pain whenever those thoughts are at the forefront of his mind. This strong desire really comes back to bite him in Event Horizon, where he's granted a support role rather than one of the main heroes. He gets jealous of the chosen one he's assigned to support, Engel, who was chosen despite having no talent for combat whatsoever. Then Dire uses his curse to forcibly corrupt Kyo, using his jealousy to turn him against his friend. It's only when Engel uses a new power to help him see the real truth that Kyo snaps out of it, understands why he wasn't chosen, and finally accepts that he can't be the hero of this journey.
  • Karma Houdini: Unlike Xehanort, at the end of Final Stand, Braig escapes with his life and receives no punishment for any of his crimes, all while assuring Terra and Aqua that he has no desire to come back to the light and will continue being evil in the future. During the Time Skip between Final Stand and New Light, it's revealed that he became king of Hazy Hamlet, and was responsible for, among other things, the deaths of several people, including Terra's parents and brother-in-law, the latter of whom he brags about having their heads mounted in his study. Aside from being overthrown as ruler and run out of Hazy Hamlet along with his equally-evil wife and daughter, Braig once again gets off scot-free for his crimes.
  • Knight Templar: As far as the Insurgos are concerned, Ansem's entire bloodline is evil and must be wiped out, no matter what. Anyone who dares to even suggest that they try to make peace with the royals is accused of "kissing up" to them and given no mercy.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Averted; Maleficent tried to invoke this on Kairi, but as implied by Ienzo and as revealed by Patria and Pith's birth, she failed.
  • Motive Decay: From the end of Final Stand onwards, Braig has gone from wanting a Keyblade of his own to just wanting petty revenge on Sora and just being as big of a dick as he can.
  • Not Brainwashed: Braig joined Xehanort of his own initiative. Even after being purged of Xehanort's influence at the end of Final Stand, he voluntarily chooses to keep being evil.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Insurgos are firmly convinced that the royal family of Radiant Garden are all irredeemably evil purely because they're related to the tyrannical Hanako, and want to overthrow them. However, their methods are openly brutal, and they have no qualms against killing or attempting to kill innocent bystanders, including pregnant women, to get their way; in Moons of Fate, Yamato even tells them point-blank that they're nothing but terrorists who's actions are more about spiting Hanako than anything else.
  • Practically Different Generations: Glacies, the elder child of Terra and Aqua, is 18 come 4, while her younger brother Ignis is a toddler.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ansem is a bit of a deconstruction as shown in the prequels; he was too reasonable. A lot of the problems faced throughout Radiant Garden Renegades and Final Stand are the result of him allowing the likes of Xehanort and Braig do as they pleased and repeatedly giving them second chances, and they could have been stopped had Ansem just learned to put his foot down. Even beforehand, this has bit him in the ass once, as when Captain Minoru slapped Princess Rimi over a petty disagreement, which was enough to warrant imprisonment, Ansem, although furious, let him off easy by only firing him and banning him from the castle due to his many years of service without a single offense until now. If the ruler had thrown him in dungeon like he should've, Minoru wouldn't have aided the Insurgos in invading the castle, resulting in Hayato's paralysis and the death of the kingdom's hero and Ansem's own close friend, Yamato Kazekiri.
  • Revenge Myopia: In 4 and onwards, Braig's entire motive is getting revenge on Sora for defeating him and ruining Xehanort's plans. Never mind the fact that Braig was helping an absolute madman try to destroy all of existence For Science!, and even before then was a borderline sociopath.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Insurgos of Radiant Garden. While they were right that Ansem's parents were nothing but selfish despots, they fall into this because of their inability to accept that said parents' cruelty is not inborn, and have no qualms against threatening civilians, harming children, and even killing or trying to kill pregnant women.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: In the fics set prior to the fall of Radiant Garden, it's established that the Insurgos believe that bloodlines carry certain traits; Ansem's parents were tyrants who saw everyone outside royalty as beneath them, and thus, they're obsessed with bringing down Ansem's rule because they believe that his parents' cruelty is inborn. In Radiant, showing that she's no different from the Insurgos, Ansem's mother, Hanako, reveals she has the same beliefs, outright telling Ansem and Rimi that Kaname should be imprisoned simply for being the son of one of the Insurgos despite the fact that Kaname saved them from his father.
  • The Sociopath: Even before he joined up with Xehanort, Braig showed several signs of this, as displayed in such entries to the series as Moons of Fate. For starters, he has a high need for stimulation, freely admitting he only joined up with the guard at Radiant Garden for the thrill of the fight and to find glory, hated working for the guard because of their peacekeeping ways, and had a severe Lack of Empathy, enjoying getting a rise out of other trainees, one instance being his mocking Rimi being slapped by Captain Minoru and calling her a weakling tp Kaname's face. After joining up with Xehanort, he keeps up the act of being a loyal soldier to Ansem to deflect suspicion and advance Xehanort's plans. He also possesses a grandiose sense of self-worth, which is best displayed in the final chapter of Re:Final Stand; once Xehanort is defeated, he bemoans that he'll never get a Keyblade now, to which Aqua and Terra flat-out tell him to his face that an evil bastard like him is not worthy of having a Keyblade and never will be.
  • Tautological Templar: The Insurgos, hands down. As far as they're concerned, everyone in the royal family of Radiant Garden is evil purely because they're related to Hanako, a tyrant queen, anything and everything they do to get at them is justified, and anyone who sides with the royals for any reason is their enemy. It's actually revealed in Moons of Fate that Yamato Kazekiri's father approached them, offering to negotiate with the royal family for them and make things easier; rather than take his offer, the Insurgos openly accused him of "kissing up to the royals" and murdered him on the spot before killing his pregnant wife.
  • The Unfettered: The Insurgos. In Moons of Fate chapter 4, they even state outright that they'll do anything to ensure the fall of the royal family.
  • Villainous Lineage: Several characters in Radiant Garden believe that bloodlines carry traits such as cruelty. The Insurgos were determined to wipe out the royal family of Radiant Garden because they believed that somewhere along the line, Ansem's descendants would become just as cruel and despotic as his tyrannical parents. On the flip side, which proves that the Insurgos are no different from said parents, Ansem's Jerkass mother Hanako lambasted Ansem for allowing Rimi, his niece and Kairi's birth mother, for allowing her to become engaged to Kaname, explicitly stating that Kaname should be locked up simply for being the son of an Insurgo. As a whole, it's largely subverted, as it's repeatedly shown that Kaname and Ansem are nothing like their parents.
  • Virtue Is Weakness:
    • A key factor in Orochi Mae's beliefs. In both How We Met and Radiant Garden Renegades chapter 5, he mocks Kaname to his face for his kindness and compassion; in the latter story, he goes so far as to commit suicide in front of him out of spite for said compassion.
    • The crux of Braig's beliefs. He even states as such in a rant to Sasuke in Re:Final Stand chapter 34, stating it's what he hated the most while he worked for Ansem and the guard:
    Braig: Always the same with you! Always about protecting others! Always about your pitiful loyalist ideals! I hate that about you most of all! I hated that about the guard, and I certainly hated that about Yamato and especially Kaname! Heck, even Sora is now getting on my nerves with all his talk about his friends being his power! People who fight for those other than themselves don't survive!

    Final Stand 
  • Back from the Dead: Master Xehanort has revived several characters, such as Vanitas, the Riku Replica, and Master Eraqus, to serve as his Soul Jars.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder/Hidden Weapons: In chapter 18, Kairi is revealed to keep a hidden knife up her sleeve in the event that her hands should be bound.
  • Body Horror: In Halloween Town, Ven takes the form of a decaying zombie; several of his body parts tend to fall off at random.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In Final Stand chapter 36, Kairi uses Lea's own catchphrase, "Got it memorized?", against him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As revealed in chapter 18, Kairi keeps a hidden blade up her sleeve in the event she's captured and tied up.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: As revealed in chapter 40, Ven's parents, Solomon and Victoria, were dirt-poor when he was born and gave him up to an orphanage because they couldn't provide to him. They worked themselves to the bone to get enough money to do so, and upon discovering that Ven had run away from the orphanage the day before they came back to retrieve him, worked even harder and eventually became the rulers of their home world just so they'd have the resources to find him.
  • Deal with the Devil: In chapter 27, Sora is fully prepared to make one with Xehanort by offering himself up in exchange for Eraqus, but Aqua refuses to let him.
  • Failed a Spot Check: At no point during the gang's visit to the Star Wars galaxy does anyone from the gang notice the darkness in the heart of the Obviously Evil Palpatine.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • In chapter 17, Ven has one when he discovers that Vanitas has come Back from the Dead. He has another minor one in chapter 21 when he discovers that Vanitas destroyed his old wooden Keyblade.
    • In chapter 27, both Ven and Aqua get hit with a major one upon The Reveal that Xehanort has resurrected Master Eraqus to serve as one of his vessels.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: In chapter 32, after defeating Vanitas, Terra remarks that he most likely should just kill him because of all the pain he's caused, but won't do so because "that would make [him] like Xehanort."
  • Signature Laugh: In chapter 17, Ven and Aqua recognize Vanitas by his Evil Laugh before his Dramatic Unmask.

    Re:Final Stand 
  • Canon Character All Along: Arata, Kairi's brother who came out of nowhere, is in fact the Riku Replica, who was adopted by Kaname and Rimi despite all three of them being Xehanort's vessels.
  • The Remnant: By the time of this fic, the Insurgos have been reduced to a mere handful, and they're still planning to wipe out Ansem's bloodline. In chapter 20, they kidnap Sora and Kairi, intending to kill them with the intent to send a message to Radiant Garden and persuade others to join their cause; instead, Sora and Kairi defeat them, with the remaining Insurgos being arrested and incarcerated by Sasuke.
  • To the Pain: Kairi is outraged when they discover that Xehanort has not only resurrected Kaname and Rimi to be his slaves, but also Master Eraqus, demanding to know how low they can possibly sink. In response, Braig gloats that they haven't even begun, and they're going to make all of Sora's group suffer as much as possible, in ways they can't even imagine.

     New Light 
  • Anti-Villain: Lyla of the Sovereign Enforcers. Her Start of Darkness was because she killed anti-elf extremists who murdered her younger sister, and she's one of the more affable members of the group. Her biography on Kristen Verne's Deviantart describes her as very kind compared to her teammates, and while she doesn't particularly like harming others, she feels she's fallen too far to turn back.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Malachi kills people with a giant hammer, and then takes samples of their blood and stores it in said hammer as a trophy.
    • Cander uses Black Magic specifically designed to harm others, and is outright described on Kristen Verne's Deviantart as one of the more bloodthirsty members of the Enforcers.
    • The leader of the Sovereign Enforcers, Briana, is much the same. In Chapter 26, she outright tries to murder Patria despite full knowledge that their master wants her alive, something even Malachi and Cander know they're not supposed to do, and gives the other Enforcers free reign to destroy and kill anything they like in Radiant Garden. In chapter 33, her father, Braig, describes her as a natural-born killer, and she has a closet full of blood-stained shirts that are heavily implied to belong to her past victims.
  • Badass in Distress: The main plot of the fic centers around Sora, Riku, Kairi, Terra, Ven, Aqua, Roxas, Xion, Lea, Naminé, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy being kidnapped by an unknown Big Bad, with their children seeking to rescue them.
  • Berserk Button: Do not compare Patria to Maleficent, ever.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: A perfect example occurs in chapter 36. Braig and his family have captured Yuyake, Hikari, Justin, and Xally, but rather than just kill them and be done with it, he decides to give them a Public Execution and make a spectacle of things, just to rub in that he won. This gives the others and the rebellion time to prepare, and not only do they save the captured foursome, but also force Braig and co. out of Hazy Hamlet completely. In short, Braig screwed himself over and lost his kingship of Hazy Hamlet because of his need to satisfy his ego.
  • Collector of the Strange:
    • Malachi stores samples of blood from the people he killed, which he stores in the hammer he uses as his favored weapon.
    • Briana has an entire closet full of blood-stained shirts, which are all but confirmed to be from people she's killed.
  • Control Freak: Justin repeatedly tries to force Xally to adhere to the Jedi Code, refusing to let the Jedi Order die with them. It reaches its head during the group's visit to Olympus Coliseum, where Xally develops a crush on Hercules' youngest son and Justin goes so far as to challenge him to a fight, declaring that if he wins, Xally will follow the Code, and if he loses, he'll stop bothering her about it for good. He loses, and it turns out he went so far as to make a deal with Hades to set up said fight. By the end of the fic, Justin has acknowledged that trying to force Xally to adhere to the Code has done more harm than good.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Whenever Malachi kills someone, he takes a sample of their blood and stores it in his hammer as a trophy.
  • Delinquent: Patria regularly gets into fights at school, and the principal has called Sora enough times that he's on a First-Name Basis with her. Sora's boss, the Chief of Police, has even warned Sora that Patria could face assault charges if she doesn't stop.
  • Evil All Along: Chapter 33 reveals this to be the case with Briana, Pith's longtime Love Interest. When she shows up in person late in the fic and is revealed to be the Princess of Hazy Hamlet, she seems to be a Nice Girl through and through, to the extent that Patria, who freely admits to having trust issues, vouches for her kind and sweet nature. Then, when she's alone with Pith, she shoots him with a crossbow and is revealed to not only be the daughter of Braig, but be the leader of the Sovereign Enforcers, who has been spying on Sora's family for years to avenge what they did to her father. To twist the knife even further, Briana tells Pith to his face that she was disgusted having to pretend to be in love with him and has been wanting to kill him from the minute they met.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Chapter 33 reveals this to be the case with Briana. She initially appears to be a beautiful Nice Girl, to the extent that Patria vouches for her kind and sweet nature. Then comes The Reveal that Briana is a sadistic psychopath who delights in hurting and killing people; she even collects bloody shirts from the people she's killed.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Ryo is a Martial Pacifist who is firmly convinced that everyone can be reasoned with and hates having to resort to violence. It takes getting near-fatally stabbed by Jazzy's Wolverine Claws, followed by Training from Hell from Vanitas, for Ryo to finally accept that some people just can't be reasoned with and sometimes Violence is the Only Option.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Patria is a hero, but nonetheless a Fiery Redhead and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who's first solution to every problem involves violence. In her defense, the real reason she acts this way is because she's trying to vent out the darkness that's been gradually building up inside her heart so that she doesn't explode.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Patria seems to be approaching this territory. There have been mentions of her having mass amounts of inner darkness, along with her suggestion to use a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and her Hair-Trigger Temper and preference for violence as a solution. On top of it all, both Diaval and Pith, the latter her own brother, have declared her to be no different from Maleficent. In her defense, an unknown being who's been using the revived Xehanort and the Sovereign Enforcers has been pumping darkness into Patria's heart for years, and she behaves the way she does solely to vent out that darkness so that she doesn't explode.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Patria is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Fiery Redhead, but she still makes several good points:
    • When they go to Duloc, she deliberately provokes Dragon as part of a plan for Blaze to defeat her with her powers, only for Blaze to succumb to Power Incontinence and go on a rampage, which Brim admits is a recurring problem. Patria chews Brim out for not telling them about Blaze essentially being a walking bomb, and Yuyake agrees with her on that. It overlaps with Both Sides Have a Point, since the others, Brim and Pith included, all agree that Patria provoking Dragon in the first place was reckless and idiotic.
    • She calls out Ryo for his adamant belief that everything can be solved peacefully, pointing out that such tactics would never work on people like Xehanort. As harsh as she was, she's proven right when Ryo tries to reason with Jazzy, one of the Sovereign Enforcers, and is near-fatally stabbed for his efforts.
  • Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb: Braig specifically raised Briana to serve as a tool in his plan for revenge on Sora.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Patria is almost nothing like Sora and Kairi; while her parents are nice people through and through and prefer to use violence only as a last resort, Patria is a Fiery Redhead, a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and the epitome of Good Is Not Nice.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Patria and Pith, the children of Sora and Kairi. Pith is well-behaved, has a liking for theater, and is rather cool, calm, and collected, whereas Patria is a Fiery Redhead and a borderline juvenile delinquent who likes rock music.
  • Psycho for Hire: Malachi and Cander of the Sovereign Enforcers fit the bill quite well, taking a psychotic delight in harming others and admitting that the only reason they haven't killed any members of the group yet is because their boss ordered them not to.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Sovereign Enforcers, a group of eight assassins sent to hinder the kids.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Unlike her parents, Patria is a Blood Knight who advocates violence as a solution to every problem, and isn't above landing bullies in the hospital and advocating torturing their enemies for information (and outright calling the others stupid when they refuse to consider doing so). Also, as shown in chapters 28 and 33, she's perfectly willing and able to commit murder rather than simply subdue non-Heartless enemies. In The Rising Darkness, it eventually gets to the point where Brimstone openly calls her a psycho in front of Sora and Kairi, accusing her of only caring about herself and only wanting to save Pith because he's the only one willing to put up with her and not judge her for being crazy. However, she acts this way for a reason, as she's trying to vent out the darkness that's been gradually building up inside her heart so that she doesn't explode.
  • Stupid Evil: Briana, the leader of the Sovereign Enforcers, tries to murder Patria on multiple occasions, most notably in chapter 26, because she's tired of her, despite knowing full well that their master wants Patria alive; for perspective, even Malachi and Cander, themselves Ax-Crazy Psychos for Hire, know better than to defy that order. It's even lampshaded in chapters 33 and 34, where Briana confesses that her father Braig was furious at her for going against orders, and now she has to capture Patria alive.
  • Suicidal Pacifism: Ryo, the son of Ventus and Naminé, repeatedly insists on reasoning with people and abhors violence. It isn't until he gets near-fatally stabbed by Jazzy's Wolverine Claws, and subsequently endures Training from Hell from Vanitas, that he finally accepts that sometimes Violence is the Only Option.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Patria advocates torturing their enemies for information, calls the others idiots for refusing to consider doing so, openly threatens to kill Pith, her own brother, when he tells her that her actions make her no better than Maleficent, and kills Tene Bris and several Hazy Hamlet guards without batting an eye, all of this at the tender age of 14 years old. It's not entirely her fault though, as an unknown being who's been using the revived Xehanort and the Sovereign Enforcers has been pumping darkness into Patria's heart for years, and she behaves the way she does solely to vent out that darkness so that she doesn't explode.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Ryo repeatedly advocates a peaceful solution and insists that everyone can be reasoned with, only to be faced with this trope again and again. It comes to a head when he tries to peacefully negotiate with Jazzy and Rodia, and gets near-fatally stabbed in the chest as a result. Even then, it takes a session of Training from Hell at Vanitas' hands for Ryo to finally accept that sometimes, violence is necessary.
  • Wham Episode: The end of chapter 32 and the entirety of chapter 33 count as such. After five years of separation, he's finally been reunited with his Love Interest Briana, the seemingly benevolent princess of Hazy Hamlet. All of chapter 31 is dedicated to depicting Briana as a gentle Nice Girl, who even Patria vouches for... and then, she shoots Pith with a crossbow and reveals that she is Braig's daughter and one of the Sovereign Enforcers.

    Radiant Garden Renegades 
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In chapter 5, Orochi chooses to kill himself out of spite for Kaname's compassionate nature rather than give him the "satisfaction" of sending him back to prison.
  • Cruel Mercy: In chapter 10, having killed Kaname and Rimi and destroyed Radiant Garden, rather than take their hearts as well, Xehanort instead throws Sasuke and Ansem into the darkness to leave them to wallow in their despair.
  • Forced to Watch: In chapter 5, Orochi has every intention of making Kairi watch as his mooks execute Sasuke by beheading; fortunately, Mickey and Kaname's arrival puts a stop to that.
  • Harmful to Minors: In chapter 5, Orochi has taken Sasuke, Lea, Isa, and Kairi hostage, and tries to have Sasuke executed while making Kairi watch.
  • Honor Before Reason: Even after all of the horrible things Orochi has done, including abusing him and his mother, killing Sasuke's father in cold blood, and trying to execute Sasuke while making Kairi watch, Kaname insists on having him taken to prison, explicitly stating his belief that anyone can change; Orochi mocks Kaname to his face for it before committing suicide to deny him the satisfaction of sending him back to prison.
  • It Seemed Trivial: From the minute Xehanort arrives on Radiant Garden in chapter 4, Kaname, able to sense his darkness and noticing that Kairi is terrified of him, along with Xehanort's Stalker with a Crush behavior toward Rimi, is naturally suspicious of him, but as he doesn't know what to make of it, he doesn't say a word about it to Ansem the Wise until after Ansem reveals that Xehanort has been conducting experiments with Heartless behind his back and writing reports under Ansem's name; he admits that he most likely should have said something before then, but by that point, it's too late.
  • Stalker with a Crush: From chapter 4 onward, Xehanort acts as such to Rimi.

    The Rising Darkness 
  • Not Helping Your Case: In chapter 18, Brim gets sick of Patria's Sociopathic Hero tendencies when she refuses to save Angel from the Sovereign Enforcers in favor of rescuing Pith, telling her point-blank that she's nothing but a psychopath who doesn't care about anyone but herself, and only cares about saving Pith because she clings to him as "the only person who won't judge her on being crazy." Patria's response is to scream death threats at Brim, to which Sora has to physically restrain her; an unafraid Brim notes that Patria's done nothing but prove his point.

    Keyblade War: The Commencement 

    Moons of Fate 
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Minoru runs on this, openly distrusting Kaname and Yamato because of their criminal pasts. He doesn't care that Yamato was left an orphan after Insurgos murdered his parents and was forced to steal to survive, and that Kaname had to do the same because his father was an abusive drunk who refused to work and ate all their household's food for himself; as far as he's concerned, "once a criminal, always a criminal." Of course, part of it is because he's jealous of all the attention and praise Yamato gets, which he feels is rightfully owed to him.
  • Exact Words: After slapping Rimi, Minoru tells Ansem that he overreacted and assures him that it won't happen again. Ansem agrees with him that it won't happen again... because effective immediately, he's firing Minoru from the Royal Guard and banning him from ever entering the castle again.
  • General Failure: Minoru was appointed to Captain of the Guard on the recommendation of the previous captain, Maximus... and Minoru absolutely failed to live up to Maximus' expectations. Not only was he an Entitled Bastard who believed he deserved recognition and praise just for being the captain, he proves to be an incompetent moron who ended up leading his men into tight jams on several different occasions, forcing Yamato to save him from himself. After Ansem finally fires him, Yamato openly wonders what Maximus ever saw in Minoru to begin with.
  • Never My Fault: When he's fired from his position in chapter 6, Minoru rants about how everything that's happened to him is Yamato's fault and how this wouldn't be happening if Ansem didn't show favoritism toward Yamato. Not only is Minoru a failure as Captain of the Guard, but the entire reason he was fired in the first place is because he slapped Rimi, the crown princess and Ansem's niece, purely because she told him to his face that he was a lousy captain.
  • Revenge by Proxy: This is the motivation of the Insurgos' founder. Muramasa Mitsurugi, a former member of the royal guard, wants to make Queen Hanako pay not only for blatantly insulting his brother's death, but for leaving himself for dead in the wastelands just for demanding respect. Just outright killing her isn't enough for him though, as he wants her to suffer by making her feel the same pain he felt when his brother died. To that end, he has his Insurgos assassinate her husband, and then target her descendants to ensure that her "precious bloodline" never sees the light of day again. Unlike his followers, Muramasa doesn't even care if said descendants are innocent or not, only seeing them as tools to make Hanako suffer.

    Re:New Light 
  • Adaptational Heroism: Briana. Just try to compare her here with her original version.
  • Bad Boss: After kidnapping Koharu/Perdita and having her raised as a serving girl, Braig takes great delight in physically and verbally abusing her for being Sora's child, with it being noted he never treats the other servants as poorly as he does her. It's to the extent that in chapter 3, Perdita openly hopes he'll "kick the bucket early" so Briana can be head of the household, and is ecstatic when a rebel attack forces Braig and his wife Holly to flee, allowing her a chance to finally get away from him.
  • Downer Beginning: The first chapter with Braig kidnapping Koharu, Sora and Kairi's newborn daughter, and making off with her to Hazy Hamlet, where he raises her as a servant girl renamed Perdita and constantly abuses her physically and verbally as Revenge by Proxy against Sora.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Braig spent the better part of three decades serving Xehanort, helping him cause all manner of pain and suffering, and continuing to be a petty, evil bastard by kidnapping Koharu/Perdita and raising her as an abused servant girl just to spite and hurt Sora. Come chapter 3, he finally gets some degree of karmic retribution when the rebels attack his manor and burn it to the ground, forcing him and Holly on the run. While he escaped with his life, his home is destroyed, his cushy life in Hazy Hamlet is basically over, and he's out in the open for Sora and co. to finally track him down.
  • Love Redeems: In the end, Braig and Holly's love for Briana overrides their evil nature, and they voluntarily turn themselves into custody at Radiant Garden for her sake.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As shown in flashbacks, Braig and Holly have been physically abusing Koharu/Perdita since she was at least four, Holly because she's a Rich Bitch who views Perdita, a serving girl, as beneath her, and Braig because she's Sora's child.

    Event Horizon 
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: After all the suffering she's been through, being kidnapped as Koharu and abused as Perdita, Yurisa just wants to live a quiet, peaceful, normal life with her long lost family for the rest of her days, to the point where she refuses be a Keyblade wielder like her parents and brother. She only "accepts" an ancient guardian spirit, Qinglong, assuming she was only dreaming. But when she finds out that it was real, she becomes upset because she doesn't want to be a warrior and spend her life fighting. At first she insists that she was not going to be a part of this battle, but after being shown visions of her parents having burdens thrust upon them that neither wanted and being told of the heavy sacrifice her predecessor, Thanh, had to make for the greater good, she finally relents, hoping this is the only time she'll have to fight.
  • Secret Test of Character: While in Camelot, Yasuda and Baihu give one to Engel, by disguising themselves as Xehanort and trying to break Engel with words, a common tactic of Xehanort's. Engel passes the test, vowing he'll never hurt anyone, and Yasuda and Baihu reward Engel with Xehanort's No Name.