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Fanfic / Remember the Tides

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Remember the Tides is a Kingdom Hearts fanfiction written by Regiss. It counts around 190,000 words divided into 52 chapters and an epilogue. The sequel is The Tides Go Out, which was then followed by On the Way to a Smile. A collection of one-off stories titled Imaginary Numbers were also published.

The story is a what-if scenario AU that picks up during the last days of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. The climactic fight during the 357th Day ended with Roxas’ defeat by Xion’s hand. Absorbing her old friend’s powers the young keyblade wielder knows that she has to return to Sora in order to stop Organization XIII. But during the process of being reabsorbed a problem is encountered: Xion has a heart, which hampered her fusion with Sora. Awakening on the Destiny Islands with no memories the girl now has to evade Organization XIII as well as find out about a past she can’t remember. Meanwhile Sora awakens and set’s out on another journey not knowing that half his power still rests within Xion.


After an extended hiatus, the series was officially cancelled partway into the third story, On the Way to a Smile, with the final posted chapter being the plans for the rest of that story and the sequel. However some months later the author started Startide, a new story set post-Kingdom Hearts III which, while not a sequel, is a Spiritual Successor.

The author has a Tumblr where he occasionally posts behind the scenes info here.


Remember the Tides contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Xanatos looking for a way to travel worlds and control the Heartless only showed up for one chapter and never went anywhere.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Xion up until Chapter 41.
  • Anti-Hero: DiZ & Riku are this.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Aqua. While Mickey had fought several times before their debut, he never went all out. On the other hand, this person showed just what a Keyblade Master was capable of by nearly single-handedly destroying the Dark Hide with Birth By Sleep techniques (which neither Xion nor Sora knew about, much less could do) while the rest of the cast basically stood back and watched in awe.
  • Anti-Villain: Axel because of his friendship with Xion.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Riku versus Ansem. Twice.
  • Back from the Dead: Lea. And Vanitas to an extent, though he's actually the Remnant optional boss from Birth by Sleep.
  • Big Bad: Xemnas, at least in part 1. Though he has some competition.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: Xehanort's forces on one side, Maleficent's on the other.
      • In the sequel Maleficent is still going at it while Braig and Vanitas' Remnant have taken Xemnas' place.
    • Big Bad Duumvirate: Braig and Vanitas' Remnant in the sequel.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: Averted. The author has stated his goal of not making Maleficent into this like she becomes in canon.
    • Bigger Bad: Xehanort as usual. Master Xehanort is conspicuously absent so far, however.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pooh and his friends speak with the narrator on occasion, as in the source material.
  • The Cameo: Traverse Town is full of Disney characters, from both movies and television shows, befitting its status as a refugee world.
  • Can't Live Without You: As a result of Xion not returning to Sora, the two of them share the same life energy, and get tired very quickly if they fight while separated.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the first story had some depressing moments, The Tides Go Out really ups the ante on gruesome fight scenes and Tear Jerkers.
  • The Chessmaster: Xemnas, again. And Braig as well.
  • Combat Breakdown: The final battle between Xion and Vanitas. While it never goes as far as a fistfight, Xion gets angrier and angrier until she just attacks wildly with no concern for her own safety.
  • Complete Immortality: Garland at the very least is proof against death from physical damage and regular types of magical attacks, and he doesn't seem to starve to death or die of thirst, though he can be incapacitated and imprisoned while healing. His very impressive armor is not primarily for his protection but to keep him from mutating into a powerful monstrous entity and contain him.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Axel is torn between his friendship to Xion and his duties to the Organization. He chooses Xion.
  • The Dragon
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Thanks to Ven's heart.
  • Emotion Bomb: It's learned a little too late, but Xion's reaction to Vanitas is due to this trope more than due to her being traumatized. This is important in the final battle of the second story, as once Vanitas managed to isolate Xion he was able to make her freak out so badly she completely forgot that fighting him was the one thing she wasn't supposed to do.
  • Enemy Within: Ansem to Riku, and played up more than the games use it.
  • Expy: In-universe, Sephiroth is one of Vanitas. He was created from Cloud the same way Ven and Vanitas got split up.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Xion has to do this more than once.
    • The story starts with her confrontation with Roxas.
    • Also the two times she has to fight Axel.
    • In the second-to-last chapter of the first story, Xemnas forces her to fight Sora.
  • Final Boss: Xemnas in the first story, Xehanort in the second.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Without Maleficent to push them around Pete and Abis Mal basically are this.
  • Killed Off for Real: Roxas.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Xion for a good chunk of the first story. And Xehanort is still convinced that he's actually Ansem the Wise, unable to remember being Terra or Master Xehanort.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Xigbar/Braig is this towards Xion and Naminé.
  • Meaningful Echo: Seems to be a case of Author Appeal given how often it pops up.
  • The Power of Hate: While a number of villains rely on negative emotions to various degrees, the most noteworthy example is Terra's armor, which maintains its will to kill Xehanort for over a decade.
  • Pull the Thread: The third story starts with Lea taking note of a Plot Hole in his memories caused by Xion's absence, and trying to figure out which friend Axel had died saving.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Demyx as usual.
  • Ret-Gone: Xion doesn't quite give everything back to Sora to awaken him, so this is averted. Until she frees Ven's heart.
    • Played with in virtual space: this happens to anyone who derezzes in the Twilight Town simulation as far as the natural inhabitants are concerned, but outsiders are not fooled.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Roxas with Xion in the first chapter. And Naminé with Kairi later on, much to Sora's distress.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Riku is terrified of Ansem devouring his heart and taking over his body. He succeeds for a while, too.
  • Shout-Out: The ninth chapter of The Tides Go Out quotes the Digimon Tamers movie a couple times.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Mostly in the first story, which was largely a retelling of Kingdom Hearts II. Since then though there have still been alternate takes on the rest of the series, just under different context. For example, while the plot of Dream Drop Distance never actually happens Joshua still gives his speech from that game to Sora and Xion, but when he does so is under a situation only vaguely related to the canon scene.
    • In this story, Riku's final battle with Ansem from 3D instead happens as a Battle in the Center of the Mind while Ansem is controlling his body and in the middle of a fight with Vanitas.
  • True Companions: Sora, Xion, Donald & Goofy gradually become this.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Samurai Nobodies display this towards Roxas and Xion.
  • Villain Decay: Averted with Maleficent unlike in canon. See Big Bad Wannabe above.
  • Villainous Rescue: Maleficent twice, in the same context as her rescues in Kingdom Hearts II. And Ansem saves Xion and Sora from Xemnas. Though it turns out that it was actually Riku.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When a Disney character isn't outright singing, chances are they're at least repeating the lyrics from a song.
  • Wham Line: "Xigbar? As if. My name's Braig. I never became a Nobody."
  • What Could Have Been: Several posted on the Tumblr:
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Garland