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Video Game / Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

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Roxas: Today makes 255.
Axel: What’s that about?
Roxas: It’s been that many days, since I first joined the Organization. Man, time flies.
Axel: So, you got the number memorized, do ya?
Roxas: Yeah. Have to hang on to something, right?

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (read as Three-Five-Eight Days Over Two) is the oddly named fifth game in the Kingdom Hearts series, released on the Nintendo DS in 2009. It is an interquel, taking place between the end of Kingdom Hearts and the start of Kingdom Hearts II, overlapping with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories at a few points. As the name suggests, the game takes place over the course of nearly a year.

A departure for the series, 358/2 Days stars Roxas, Sora's Nobody first teased in the secret endings of the first two games and formally introduced in II, and his life as part of the unscrupulous Organization XIII. It also introduces Xion, a previously unmentioned 14th member that can also use the Keyblade and has an appearance similar to Kairi, Sora's Love Interest. Due to the game's seeming lack of a central antagonist and the Disney elements being heavily downplayed, it largely focuses on developing Roxas' friendship with Axel and Xion and characterizing the other Organization members.

358/2 Days uses an Action RPG system very similar to the console Kingdom Hearts games, but modified for the portable format. Rather than simply exploring worlds in one go, Roxas is sent by the Organization on various missions based in previous locations (namely Twilight Town, Wonderland, Beast’s Castle, Agrabah, Olympus Colosseum, Halloween Town and Neverland) that require frequent visitations, with the plot unfolding as the missions are undertaken. Roxas's items, abilities, and spells are all equipped via a Grid Inventory that slowly expands as the game progresses, which leads to some minor Inventory Management Puzzle aspects.

There's also a local multiplayer option called Mission Mode that utilizes the Nintendo DS's wireless capabilties. Up to 4 players can team up to tackle altered versions of select story missions while competing for points, with options such as Friendly Fire to make things more interesting if desired. Every Organization XIII member is playable in Mission Mode alongside some Secret Characters like Riku, giving 358/2 Days the largest playable cast in the series at 19 characters.

The game was included as part of the Compilation Rerelease Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 ReMIX released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013, though not with gameplay. Instead, the story is retold in a Compilation Movie that lasts nearly 3 hours and covers the major story beats of the game, making use of HD cutscenes, a new voice track, and occasional text breaks that give quick snippets about Roxas' daily missions. It also contains every entry from Roxas's Diary and the Secret Reports, which can be accessed after every cutscene has been watched.

While more details can be found in Swan Song on the Trivia page, the game is notable for being the final performance of Wayne Allwine as the voice of Mickey Mouse in any medium before his death in 2009.

Has a manga adaptation that is Lighter and Softer. A novelization is also available, and was released in English in 2018 by Yen Press.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion:
    • Completing every mission and every mission 100%, respectively, will earn you Mickey and Sora as Mission Mode characters.
    • If you want the Secret Reports, you have to play the challenge (and special challenge) missions sooner or later.
  • Accidental Hero: The missions Roxas embarks on throughout Agrabah result in major threats to the city being dealt with before they can become a problem (something Aladdin notices in later conversations with Jasmine) and eventually The Genie's arrival to dispel the sandstorm.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the HD I.5 ReMIX, most, if not all, of the missions are summed up in a small text display - a great deal of the Theatre Mode cutscenes take place in Twilight Town or the Castle That Never Was. Thus, various pieces like "last day to work with Xion, gotta get the Keyblade to work" are left to assumption, and a sizable amount of context is lost as a result.
  • Advertised Extra: Mickey Mouse is featured on the cover art, but his story relevance is restricted to one scene near the end of the game with little impact on the narrative. Likewise, almost the entirety of Organization XIII barely get more than two or three lines (roughly half of them die offscreen by the two-hour mark).
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Mickey Mouse himself. Given his performance in previous and later games, he would be more than capable enough to make handling Roxas and Xion much easier. The game even shamelessly has Mickey offer to fight the former yet Riku refuses to let him because he believes Mickey would be better in helping Sora and he's all but resigned that he has to deal with his inner darkness.
  • All There in the Manual: The authors of the Secret Reports are never explicitly stated in the game, only the Ultimania book.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: The optional Challenge Missions will often impose mandatory restrictions such as putting a cap on your level, disabling attack magic, disabling healing, and so on.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Genie's attempts to get his worried thoughts about Aladdin out of his mind apparently involved dynamite, sledgehammers, and tweezers.
  • Artificial Human: Xion is not a natural human or Nobody, she's a Replica created by Vexen. She was designed to copy the Keyblade's power (via taking memories from Roxas) so Xemnas could have more direct control over the weapon.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your AI-controlled partners have a tendency to run into walls, fall off of ledges, and teleport in front you during your jumps.
  • Auto-Revive: The Auto-Life Ability Panel will revive your once per mission. The Level 1 version revives you with 1/3 of your total HP, the Level 2 version 2/3, and the Level 3 version revives with full HP.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Firaga spell has a decently sized explosion radius, but it also has an awkward trajectory that forces it to travel in an arc. This limits its range while also making it difficult to actually hit moving targets.
    • The Curaga spell creates a small field of energy that will quickly restore the HP any ally that stands in it. Its use in combat is limited since you're forced to stay put in the small area to receive the healing, making dodging boss attacks difficult to impossible.
    • Any weapon that offers "impossibly long" ground or air combos. Not only will the non-boosted combo become worse, leaving you worse off against enemies that your improved combo can't hit, but thanks to the way enemy stagger works in this game (read: it doesn't), and the fact that most of your physical damage comes from the combo finisher, it's also unlikely you'll get the full combo off against anything stronger than a Shadow, anyways.
  • Ax-Crazy: Saïx in berserk mode. Subverted for Xion in her transformed final form. She appears to be this, but she's actually feigning it so that Roxas will destroy her and she can return to Sora.
  • Balance Buff: Guarding in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II would only provide invincibility for a set time, making it less useful against large groups of attacking Mooks and bosses with long-lasting attacks. The invincibility granted will now refresh if you're hit while the blocking animation is still playing, making the ability much safer.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: The last boss is a fight against Riku that the game expects you to win, but the story dictates that he brings Roxas to Naminé so Kingdom Hearts II can happen. Due to this, the cutscene after shows him getting up and using the power of Darkness to overcome Roxas.
  • Becoming the Mask: Reading the Secret Reports reveal that Axel's initial promise of friendship to Roxas was a lie and that he didn't really feel anything toward him. The first sign things were changing was when he realized he'd actually miss hanging out with Roxas when leaving for Castle Oblivion, which made him curious in Sora's heart. After coming back from the events at Castle Oblivion, he gradually became Roxas's (and Xion's) friend for real.
  • Big Bad: Xemnas, as in II, serves this role, though unlike in II Xemnas is purely The Unfought. Saïx is The Heavy and the prominent opposition Roxas and Xion face throughout the game, as well as one of the climactic boss fights.
  • Big Good:
    • Riku takes on this role at times, acting as a Stealth Mentor to Xion.
    • Axel tries to be this to Roxas and Xion, being the only member that cares about their well-beings and handling the Organization's internal politicking on their behalf.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's actually something like 90% bitter and 10% sweet. If you need to know, the only real silver lining is when Xemnas' plans to get rid of Roxas and stop Sora's reawakening are thwarted, after Xion forces Roxas to kill her.
  • The Blank: Xion is implied to look like this at first ("Did you know, its face was blank at first?"). To players, however, she just appears to have her hood up, concealing her face, most likely because having her with an actually featureless face would be far too scary for a children's game.
  • Blood Knight: Some members of the Organization live for fighting.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Fire spell is less powerful than Fira and Firaga, but it has long range and homes in on targets.
    • Magic-oriented weapons come with lower Strength and mediocre combos, but often compensate with finishers that cause Status Effects like Ignite.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The game warns you about a couple of these: "Caution! A powerful enemy is near!" Living Pods are a straighter example, while Invisibles are actually harder than their boss version, Orcus, mainly by virtue of having a crapton more HP.
  • Boss Remix: The theme that plays during the last stage of the fight against Xion, "Vector to the Heavens", is a remixed combination of her theme, Kairi's theme, and the series' Recurring Riff "Dearly Beloved".
  • Boss Rush: Mission 89 on Day 353 has Roxas going around Twilight Town to take down 6 powerful Heartless: Gigas Shadow, Poison Plant, Stalwart Blade, Orcus, Veil Lizard, and Power Armor. There's also a superboss fight against the draconic Dustflier, the strongest enemy in the game, that appears in front of the Clock Tower once the other 6 have been defeated.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The Ultima Weapon is an Ability Panel that increases the strength bonus of weaker weapons to +100, making the early game weapons and Joke Weapons completely viable options. It can only be obtained by completing every challenge mission, which includes some of the hardest parts of the game due to the number of Arbitrary Mission Restrictions.
    • The Master's Circle accessory grants total immunity to all Status Effects and has a high Defense value, but also damages the wielder whenever this miss an attack and prevents healing once they hit critically low HP. It can only be obtained by getting every Mission Crown, which requires completing all missions in Mission Mode at least once.
  • Break the Cutie: Both of the protagonists, but especially Xion.
  • Brick Joke: A sad version with Roxas and the winner stick. He keeps forgetting to give the stick to Axel as a present, and later decides to wait until he gets a second one so Axel and Xion can both have one. When he leaves the Organization, the last thing he does is give the winner stick to Axel.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The concept of summer vacation and going to the beach gets brought up a couple of times, with Roxas particularly noting that he could probably only take a full week of vacation before getting bored. The prologue of Kingdom Hearts II takes place during the last week of summer vacation and has Roxas trying to go to the beach with his friends.
    • Roxas asks Axel "What's our boss's name?" when he's trying to make sure Axel knows what's going on. Later in Kingdom Hearts II, Axel asks Roxas this same question when trying to get Roxas to remember their friendship.
    • In Beast's Castle, Roxas explores the basement and finds a set of double-doors with statues carved into them. These statues later become a boss in Kingdom Hearts II after Sora wakes up and explores Beast's Castle.
  • Camera Centering: Double-pressing the R button while no enemies are around will focus the camera directly behind the player character.
  • Captain Obvious: Roxas's first recon mission with Vexen has him pointing out very obvious features of Twilight Town's infrastructure.
    Roxas: These tiles are different than the others... it's like a road...
    Vexen: Fascinating... And?
    Roxas: Um...
    Vexen: We'll never get anywhere if you just keep stating the obvious.
  • Cerebus Retcon: DIZ's remorse over Riku becoming Ansem and Roxas ceasing to exist was natural back in II, but he indicates that he also feels ashamed and regretful over Mickey for some reason, despite how Mickey showed only seriousness and no actual resentment towards Ansem, and Ansem not actually doing anything to Mickey. It is also rather odd that Mickey does not seem to know about Roxas's existence in the slightest, as he shows only surprise when DIZ reveals Roxas's existence, and considering his personality, if he had known about Roxas, he would have at least spoken of Sora's Nobody with sadness and regret. He would have also most likely volunteered to take on Roxas rather than Riku, which would have saved Riku from having to become Ansem, and yet apart from regretting Riku had to do what he did, he doesn't seem to blame himself much, which raises a lot of eyebrows why he didn't. This game finally gives tragic reasons as to why: From the beginning, DIZ had no intention to include Mickey at all precisely because he knew Mickey wouldn't have stood for his callousness towards Roxas, explaining why he was too ashamed to ask for Mickey's help, as he didn't want to be reminded constantly of what could have been had he been willing to include Mickey in the fold. He also isn't told at all about Roxas's strength or his nature by Riku, who is heavily indicated to have done this on purpose as he's more or less given up on relying on Mickey to suppress the darkness and wants to confront it on his own terms, and is just told that he needs to confront a particularly strong member of the Organization and that he would probably have to give in to the darkness if he is to win, which explains why apart from regretting not being there for Riku and necessiating Riku accepting the darkness, he doesn't angst over Roxas, as he tragically doesn't even know that he was needed to make things better than it should have been.
  • Challenge Run: The Extreme Ring item was made for sole purpose of enforcing a No-Damage Run on those who want an extra challenge, by setting your HP to one when equipped.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: During a visit to Beast's Castle, Xaldin tells Roxas that if a giant Heartless would ever attack, it would come from the bridge. During Mission 50 on Day 171, a giant Heartless does show up and it's fought on the bridge.
  • Chest Monster: Some chests contain Heartless known as Cymbal Monkeys and Tricky Monkeys instead of items.
  • Cloning Blues: Xion is a Replica designed to absorb Sora's memories through Roxas. Once she finds out, she has an identity crisis and runs away from the Organization.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Once Roxas finds out that Sora is his original self, he is torn between himself and the Organization. He chooses the former.
  • Connected All Along: This game reveals that Axel and Saïx were friends before joining the Organization and have been plotting together to overthrow it ever since.
  • Copy Protection: Pirated copies won't go past choosing your difficulty.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Organization XIII spend much of their time hunting down Heartless so they can have Roxas and Xion destroy them with the Keyblade, releasing the hearts within.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Donald has the highest Magic stat out of all characters, but all of his other stats are bottom-of-the-barrel or below average and the limited Magic system makes his bonus pretty moot. The character with the second highest Magic stat, Zexion, can actually deal physical damage with strong combo finishers due to the Critical Hit mechanics and his high Crit% stat.
  • Critical Hit Class: Saïx in Mission Mode has the highest natural Crit and Crit% stats out of the entire cast, and many of his weapons supplement these with bonuses. A high leveled Saïx with the right equipment can manage to have one out of every three hits be a Critical Hit, and those crits will do enough damage to take off a full HP bar's worth of health.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Frozen and Air-Tossed enemies take extra damage on top of being temporarily stunned.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 have identical 4-button layouts (albeit with different labels), but this game's attack and jump buttons have swapped positions from previous titles. This means, if you are already used to the International button functions (Circle to Cancel/Attack, X to Confirm/Jump), you'll now have to get used to the button functions from the Japanese releases for this game (Circle/A to Confirm/Jump, X/B to Cancel/Jump).
  • Darker and Edgier: This game is considerably grimmer than the three previous games in the series where you play as Sora. In those games, you played as an upbeat boy on a mission to save the universe and reunite with your friends, and while things didn't always work out perfectly, at least there was always hope that everyone could eventually get a happy ending. In this game, by contrast, you play as a morose boy working for the bad guys who has no goals or ambitions or even joys in his life, and only serves the villains because he knows nothing else. That's the game. The only spots of happiness in his life are his friends Axel and Xion, and these slowly slip away over the course of the story. By the end the trio are split forever, Xion fades from existence and memory, and Roxas is kidnapped and forced into a situation that will lead to a fate similar to Xion's.
  • Dark Reprise: "Sacred Moon" was never a happy piece, but the remix used in this game as the theme of the Grey Area is calm; almost soothing. Roxas's escape from the Castle That Never Was is accompanied by "Mystic Moon", a version closer to the original track from II but with a slower tempo and moodier instrumentation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Axel makes several snarky comments while teaching Roxas about the basics of the game.
    Axel: See, there's this thing about chests. They have stuff in them.
    Roxas: So I should open the chest?
    Axel: Yes, that is generally what we do.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying during the Story Mode places Roxas right before the fight that killed him with full health and Limit gauge, magic and items restocked to the level they were prior to entering the room, and mission progress/Heart Points from the point of death preserved.
  • Degraded Boss: The first time a Neoshadow is encountered in Mission 29, it is treated as a boss. During the last mission of the game, Mission 93, a large number show up as normal mooks that die to 1-2 hits.
  • Deus Exit Machina: The developers do not even bother to give a justified reason as to why Mickey Mouse appears only in one scene, as everyone who's seen Mickey in action in the previous games knows if he had been around at all, needless to say, almost all of the suffering and conflict in the game could have been avoided, but the canon of II has already dictated Riku, Roxas, and Xion's fates, so Mickey cannot participate. The developers simply gives the excuse of Mickey doing recon and information gathering and Riku, Naminé and DiZ are clearly unwilling to bring him in, as it's hard to count how many tough situations that could have been avoided had Mickey been present in the game, with DiZ's ruthlessness and desire for revenge being shown as he refuses even when they are all pushed to several corners to make progress in their quest to revive Sora to bring the one guy who could have made things much easier just because he can't accept Mickey would pity Nobodies. The biggest subtle example? Mickey wants to be the one to face Roxas and yet Riku refuses to let him. That decision alone sealed Riku's fate at the time to be ultimately forced to give in to the darkness and wield its power, in stark contrast to how he was able to hold on with Mickey's support in Chain of Memories. It's not only a grim reminder of just how much Riku relied on the King before he finally managed to control the darkness on his own, but on a much bigger scale, a definitive confirmation that Mickey's background work in previous games ultimately did serve to defeat the bad guys even if not so openly, and how his presence, or absence, can decide the outcome of the fight for the heroes, as this is the first game that literately ends with a 90% bitter and 10% sweet and the only game where he doesn't get to fight in the slightest.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Xemnas gets surprisingly little screen time for the leader of the Organization and the game's main antagonist.
    • Mickey Mouse's only appearance during the story is in one scene that's completely irrelevant to the narrative.
  • Difficulty by Region: The international versions of the game are easier than the original Japanese. Enemies have less HP, Munny is now awarded for beating missions, and some enemies deal less damage.
  • Disappears into Light: When Xion dies, she turns into light and fades away.
  • Dismotivation: Demyx is a total slacker who goes as far as bribing Roxas to do his work for him, because he's "not cut out" for fighting.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Xion is never seen or mentioned in Kingdom Hearts II despite her important role in Roxas's life with Organization XIII. Roxas has no flashbacks involving Xion, so that hints at Xion being Ret Gone. Explained in-game that as Xion's essence was reabsorbed into Roxas, there was nothing left to remember Xion with. Unlike Roxas and Naminé, she utterly ceases to exist.
    • Marluxia, Larxene, Vexen, Lexaeus and Zexion get in a Bus Crash after being sent on a mission to Castle Oblivion, as they were killed by Sora and Riku during the concurrent events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
    • Since Roxas's defeat by Riku and subsequent capture by him and DiZ is canon as shown in Kingdom Hearts II, the final battle at the end of the game relies heavily upon both Cutscene Incompetence and Cutscene Power to the Max to prevent the player from being able to change this.
    • The planned rebellion by Saïx and Axel not only fails due to the former Becoming the Mask, but Saïx fails to get his heart back before his demise by Sora's hands in Kingdom Hearts II, and was either becoming or already taken thereafter as a Xehanort vessel by Dream Drop Distance, locking him into The Dragon with or without consent.
  • Downer Ending: It's a given since Kingdom Hearts II needs to happen, but its hard not to feel bad for Roxas, Axel and Xion after playing the game. Xion decides to return to Sora after finding out the truth and to protect Roxas from disappearing. Roxas leaves the organization after everything he's been through, gets captured by Riku and DiZ and has his memories rewritten. And Axel lost his two best friends within the span of a few days after everything he's done to protect them.
  • The Dragon: Axel does most of the heavy lifting for an eventual betrayal of Xemnas led by Saïx.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Saïx and Axel are revealed to have formed a plan to overthrow Xemnas, before Saïx became the mask. However, unlike Marluxia, who wants to overthrow Xemnas to take over the Organization, Saïx and Axel sought to overthrow Xemnas to reclaim their hearts. That and the fact that Xemnas really wanted to use Kingdom Hearts's power to become a god-like being...
  • Dub Name Change: Tons and tons of Heartless experience name changes from the Japanese names. The problem is, a few cases make for an Inconsistent Dub.
  • Due to the Dead: Roxas honors Xion’s request to set the heart she took from Kingdom Hearts free. Too bad Riku intercepts him.
  • Dying as Yourself: Xion transforms into... some kind of creature (presumably her true form with Sora's combat abilities) in the final battle with her, but returns to normal as she fades away.
  • Easing into the Adventure: The first 20+ days consist of extremely simple tutorials and getting a feel for the characters, justified in-story by the fact that Roxas starts off basically catatonic and has to get to know the rest of the Organization just like the player does.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Xion transforms into Ventus once. The same cutscene also shows that Xigbar knew Ventus.
    • A weirder, smaller, kinda-sorta example: at one point, Saïx calls Axel "Lea", clarifying Axel's original name just in time for Lea's appearance in Birth by Sleep.
  • Effortless Achievement: The HD I.5 ReMIX Compilation Rerelease has 6 extremely easy to get PlayStation 3 trophies: 3 for watching all of this game's remastered cutscenes, 1 for reading Roxas's Diary, 1 for reading the Secret Reports, and 1 for doing all of the other previous tasks.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Roxas gains the ability to dual wield the Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keyblades during the first part of the last mission. His attacking speed and power increase dramatically, letting him quickly kill the Neoshadows that spawn with only one or two hits.
  • Elite Mook: Samurai Nobodies have as much HP as bosses and deal tons of damage with their attacks. They only show up in a few missions at The Castle That Never Was as a part of tests for Roxas, or attempt to subdue him during his escape from the Organization on Day 356.
  • Emo Teen: Roxas gets this vibe when he starts learning about Sora, leading to him bailing out of the Organization.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Axel has zero qualms about the fact that he killed or orchestrated the deaths of the Castle Oblivion members, but Saïx constantly mistreating Xion starts to get under Axel's skin almost as bad as it does for Roxas, and is a major factor in causing the falling out between the two former friends.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lumiere and Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast are found in some missions at Beast's Castle on patrol, and the player must stay out of their line-of-sight since the Organization wants to lay low. Their sight range is very limited and they move in a fixed pattern, so it's entirely possible to be fighting Heartless on the other side of the room without them noticing.
  • Failsafe Failure: Xion was created as a failsafe, in case Sora and Roxas were unable to fulfill their roles in the Organization's plans. However things don't go as expected when Xion discovers the truth about her existence and rebels.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The plot can be summed up as 'three people become friends, they decide they want to stay together forever; No one around them is going to let that happen, and things crumble apart as painfully as possible'. Roxas and Xion face forces that seek to use and/or destroy them, both outside and within the Organization; Axel, who realizes this before either of them, just ends up tearing holes in their friendship bonds the more he hides the truth about what's going on in his misguided attempts at delaying the inevitable.
  • Fake Difficulty: Any Unexpected Gameplay Change segment — the controls are set up for an action RPG, not faux stealth segments. Fortunately, it's the only part.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • Roxas fights Xigbar in the Olympus Coliseum about halfway through the game, though it's a friendly match for the games meant to maintain a charade.
    • Xion and Axel face off twice during the game. Both times it's sparked by Axel needing to bring her back to the Organization against her will.
    • On Day 352, Roxas and Xion are tricked into fighting each other without realizing it (they think the other is a Heartless due to an illusion) as part of Xemnas' plan, though they're quickly stopped by Axel. They fight again on Day 357, though this time Xion is forcing Roxas into it to get him to destroy her.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Due to game's nature of an interquel, anyone who has played Kingdom Hearts II should have a good idea of how things are going to end from the get go. Roxas and Axel will end up having a falling out and Roxas will leave the Organization. Xion was never mentioned once by Roxas or Axel, meaning that she will disappear and something will make everyone forget her. Roxas' Roaring Rampageof Revenge against the organization will fail and Riku will unleash his darkness to take on Ansem's appearance and powers. And though Mickey Mouse appears in the game's logo, anyone who understands Mickey's regular status as a Story-Breaker Power character and tendency to pull off Deus Exit Machina would automatically guess he won't play too much of a role and that this is where Riku asks him to support Sora, as otherwise Riku would not have needed to become Ansem in the first place.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Within any given cutscene, Xion's hood may randomly appear as up or down and obscure her eyes depending on who's speaking, with only a camera angle change to disguise the sudden transition. This hints at her nature as a Replica, which are implied to start off with no facial features.
    • Early on in the game, Xigbar nicknames Xion "Poppet" and will occasionally refer to her as such. "Poppet" as well as the Japanese equivalent, "puu-chan", are both derived from the French word "poupee", which means "puppet". She is a Replica originally designed as a mindless puppet meant to be a backup Keyblade wielder.
    • Near the end of the game, speaking to Xigbar in the Gray Area will have him talk about how "girls [Xion's] age have many faces." How Xion appears varies by different people. Xigbar knows this, as he sees her as Ventus.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Roxas (melancholic), Xion (sanguine), Axel (choleric) and Saïx (phlegmatic).
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Mission 82 sees Roxas having an "off day" that cuts his current level in half. This is because Xion is subconsciously taking more power from Roxas than she should, which Axel points out in a later cutscene.
    • The final mission starts the player off with both Oathkeeper and Oblivion. Roxas tosses Riku Oblivion during a cutscene, leaving him with only the Oathkeeper during the following boss fight.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Roxas' warpath with two Keyblades in the plot is able to whoop Saïx and even beat Riku without that much effort until he gets jumped by Riku calling upon the darkness. By comparison, using that same version of Roxas in Mission Mode is incredibly underwhelming and downright inefficient compared to other gear setups he could be using; this is because the plot mission specifically tailored the boss fights and encounters in stats for this gimped playstyle.
  • Gemini Destruction Law: The Crimson Prankster boss is a single Heartless that splits into two separate entities. Both of them must be reduced to 0 HP around the same time to win the fight, as otherwise the survivor will revive its twin.
  • Gender Bender: Believe it or not, Xion is an incomplete Roxas clone created from Sora's memories. She's female because Kairi's face and personality are Sora's strongest memories, but near the end of the game, with Sora's memories nearly reconstructed by that point, she ends up looking exactly like him just before going One-Winged Angel on Roxas (where "she" looks pretty much like a fully armored Sora with an echoing female voice).
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • Emerald Serenades just fly around in a set path, never attacking, and force the player to chase or ambush them. The game even warns that chasing them is "an exercise in futility".
    • Ditto with "The Stranger" in Twilight Town, except it's played straight.
    • The Ruler of the Sky is fought in a large arena in Never Land where it spends a good chunk of the fight flying away from the player, forcing an interception.
  • The Ghost: We hear quite a lot about Sora, but due to his hibernation, which he chose in the aftermath of Chain of Memories, he hardly makes it onscreen.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: The other Organization members in the Gray Area sometimes ask you for a specific common panel. If you hand one over, they'll give you a different panel in exchange. Whether this is worthwhile varies, as the panels they give you are also common drops, and they never tell you what you're trading for beforehand.
  • Glass Cannon: The "Extreme" accessory sets the wearer's HP to 1, but it keeps the maximum HP counted, which allows they unlimited use of the Limit Break.
  • Going Through the Motions: Roxas, Axel, and Xion sit in a particular orientation when they meet up to have ice cream. Roxas is always in the middle, with Xion on his left and Axel on his right. Moreover, they sit down in the exact same manner each time.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Zigzagged. Xion initially resists such a proposition despite the pain she feels, until Xemnas interferes in an attempt to force her to absorb Roxas. Not that he actually succeeded — she's only feigning insanity because she needed Roxas to destroy her artificial body so she could return to Sora, where she (quite lucidly) decided that she belonged.
  • Gratuitous French:
    • All of Larxene's knives have French names. Except in the French version, where they instead have German names.
    • Xion's theme is officially called "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion," which means 'music for Xion's sadness'.
  • Grid Inventory: Weapons, accessories, some abilities, items, magic, and levels must be equipped on a grid via panels. Most only take up one panel, but many abilities and magic can be leveled up by linking panels to a specially shaped mini-grid that is placed in the main grid.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Some missions have Roxas team up with the other Oragnization members to help complete the objective. Each member except for Xemnas and Saïx joins him at least once.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Due to Roxas being Doomed by Canon, the absolute final battle against Riku is this.
  • The Heroine Dies: Xion in the end.
  • How We Got Here: The game begins on Day 255, with Roxas and Axel on the clock tower. Then the game goes back to Day 7 to start the tutorial, showing the friendship of Roxas, Axel and Xion as the story moves on. Once you get to Day 255 again, things steadily go downhill.
  • Hub Level: Between missions, Roxas hangs out in the Grey Area in the Castle that Never Was. Here he can talk to other members of the Organization (which may unlock optional sidequests), shop at the Moogle store, change his abilities and items, and receive missions or replay other ones. After Roxas flees the Castle That Never Was, Twilight Town fulfills largely the same purpose for the penultimate missions.
  • Hub Under Attack: The penultimate level sees Roxas having to fight his way out of the castle where he buys supplies and chats with his allies in safety, fighting monsters in a world completely devoid of them before. The twist is that the enemies Roxas is fighting were once his allies and the boss is even your Mission Control, all because Roxas has betrayed the team he's worked with the whole game.
  • I Know Your True Name: Saïx pulls this on Axel as a not-so-subtle reminder of where the latter's loyalties ought to lie.
  • Immune to Flinching:
    • At least a third of the game's enemies have this boon due to the system's emphasis on co-op content. Smaller enemies can be interrupted fine but come mid-to-late-game, you'll barely be able to interrupt enemies at all; making ailments like Ignite, Freeze, Air-Toss and Jolt crucial for quick damage.
    • All 4 forms of Xion cannot be stunned at all regardless of how much you hit her. Even when you interrupted her heal, she doesn't even react to being hit, instead she just flies down and continues the fight.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: A certain challenge mission increases the levels of enemies by 60.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Equipping the Mystery and Casual Gears give the Organization XIII members bizarre items to use as weapons, such as a huge sandwich for Zexion or a banana for Saïx.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Averted with some bosses that will actually let you leave. This isn't exactly a good thing since if you leave and come back, they have full health again while you don't get the spells and items back that you used last time. It's even worse if you're playing solo in Mission Mode, which is meant for multiplayer gameplay. Mission Mode has "gathering gates" meant to move up to four players at once and they activate instantly if you're playing solo, meaning that you have to avoid entire corners of a given Boss Room to stay in the battle.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: It depends on the character which one is better, but equipping the Pandora Gear+, Omega Gear+, or the Zero Gear will result in one of these for each character. And all it takes to acquire them is to get to certain points in the game, and have enough heart points.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Ultima Weapon isn't a gear, but an enhancing ability. Yet it still provides a hefty boost to any weapon. It also requires getting every challenge sigil.
  • Instrument of Murder: Equipping Xigbar with the Mystery Gear makes him wield a pair of trumpets in the stead of his Arrowguns. They shoot musical notes, accompanied by the appropriate sound effects.
  • Interface Spoiler:The final boss is referred to as a "mystery man" on the mission screen while you fight him, as if to conceal his identity, except that the boss's health bar clearly says that his name is Riku.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: A far more literal interpretation of the "puzzle" aspect. Roxas's inventory, leveling system, skills, and equipment are represented by "panels" which are slotted into a grid. Some things take up more space than others, and in various shapes. You'll need a keen eye to assemble everything efficiently.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Xemnas and a few of the other Organization members refer to Xion as "it" due to her nature as a puppet.. Xemnas even corrects Saïx at one point when he refers to Xion as "she", though he himself refers to her as "her" later on in the very same scene. Roxas later angrily declares that "She's not an 'it'!"
  • Jack of All Stats:
    • Roxas, Xion, and Sora have an average 5/10 in every stat. This makes them the most versatile characters due to the minor stat customization given by the Panel System, but far from the strongest or most specialized.
    • Axel has his stats ranging from a slightly below-average 4/10 to a slightly above-average 6/10, while his chakrams give him both decent ranged and melee options without specializing in either. This gives him a good amount of flexibility without being dedicated to one style.
  • Jerkass:
    • Saïx is constantly cruel to poor Xion, and refuses to acknowledge her as anything but a disposable Replica.
    • Vexen flat-out calls Roxas an idiot to his face and spends most of his tutorial with Roxas insulting the kid's intelligence, even though Roxas's spaciness isn't really his fault.
    • For the Limit Break tutorial, Lexaeus demonstrates the optimal health amount by punching Roxas in the face.
    • Larxene complains about having to go on missions with Roxas, is incredibly callous towards him while giving instructions, and is implied to be a jerk to everybody based off of a couple of Demyx's comments.
  • Joke Item: Equipping the Mystery or Casual Gears will give an Organization XIII members a silly weapon will weak stats. For example, Zexion gets a huge bologna sandwich and Saïx will wield a giant banana.
  • Justified Tutorial: Roxas is a newly-born Nobody that's just been indoctrinated into the Organization at the beginning of the game, and he lacks any memories of his human life. Since he knows nothing, his fellow members have to inform him about the nature of the Heartless, teach him how to fight, tell him what to do with treasure chests, and explain other game mechanics.
  • Keep It Foreign: In just about every version, Larxene's weapons have French names. In the French version, they instead have German names.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Saïx will occasionally yell "Grovel before me!" at Roxas during his Boss Battle.
  • Last Request: As Xion lays dying in Roxas' arms after their fight at the end of the game, she asks him to "set Kingdom Hearts free" from Organization XIII. He fails due to being captured by Riku on the way over to the Organization's castle, although it's implied it's partly assisted by Xion's will, presumably because Roxas was in no condition to actually attempt this without it ending badly.
  • Late Arrivalspoiler:
    • Roxas is Sora's Nobody. This is a twist in Kingdom Hearts II that 358/2 Days makes clear immediately.
    • The only Organization member to return from the Castle Oblivion mission is Axel.
  • Leitmotif: Roxas and Xion each get one of their own. There's also a theme that plays whenever Axel, Roxas, and Xion eat ice cream after missions; a different arrangement of it shows up in Birth by Sleep when Ven and Lea meet in Radiant Garden.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The various Joke Weapons become viable options when equipped with the Ultima Weapon panel, as it increases their damage output dramatically.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • The Organization tries to get rid of either Roxas or Xion by pitting them against each other, with neither of them knowing due to an illusion.
    • In the games at Olympus Coliseum, Xigbar shows up as a surprise boss. You're expected to fight him seriously and he doesn't disappoint, but after about a minute or so, The Usual Adversaries interrupt.
  • Level Drain:
    • One of the Status Effects drops the afflicted character's level to 1.
    • Fairly late in the game there's a mission where Roxas's level is halved because he's having an "off day". This is justified when you learn later that Xion had drained a lot of Roxas's power at that point.
  • Limit Break: If a character's HP bar gets low enough so the green part is gone and the orange part is all that's visible, holding down the attack button will activate their ultimate move. They can use it for a period of time relative to how much HP is left (less HP means more time), and equipping the Final Limit panel will double that duration while upgrading the attack during the second half. Each character has their own unique move (except for Roxas and Xion, who share theirs), with some requiring spamming the A button, others requiring precise timing when pressing it, and a couple not requiring the attack button at all.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: At the start of the game, Magic is a rare resource and the lack of open Slots limits your arsenal to primarily physical strikes. Physical-oriented Keyblades are defined primarily by their combo-arrangement and the occasional ability. As the game progresses though, enemies start becoming tanks with loads of health that standard Keyblade combos take ages to whittle down. Magic (and Gears that empower it) meanwhile provide ailments like Ignite, Freeze and Jolt; which (alongside the individual damage from casted spells) become reliable reinforcers that rack up damage - valuable against an increasing horde of enemies Immune to Flinching.
  • Lip Lock: A pretty bad case of it, but it thankfully doesn't come up too often due to text-box dialogue using character portraits. The HD I.5 ReMIX theater mode, however, gets hit with this one hard, with gameplay models being generated for a series of cutscene with no gameplay.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: It's downplayed, but Roxas and Xion become this for Axel, with his attachment to them eventually becoming the main motivator for any of his actions during the story. This causes his behavior to get increasingly shady and erratic, being obstructive to both the Organization, as well as Roxas and Xion themselves, depending on what he thinks will keep them the safest. With the revelation made in 3D that Nobodies can start to grow their own hearts, this becomes literal as it means being around Roxas and Xion is what made Axel start feeling real emotions for the first time in a decade, and thus reinforcing why he was so desperate to preserve his friendship with them.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Vector to the Heavens" is quickly tossed into the cutscene preceding the final battle with Xion in the HD I.5 ReMIX cutscene movie instead of having no music like the original game. Since the movie does not recreate any of the in-game fight scenes, the decently long battle theme is only heard for about 40 seconds before it's cut out by the switch to Xion's death scene. Averted in the HD I.5+II.5 ReMIX version where a patch added an actual fight scene between Roxas and Xion and the song is now heard for over three minutes.
  • Loss of Identity: Roxas has no memories of his life as a human, and never really regains them.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Unless you happen to know Japanese or one of the culture's more obscure customs, Xion being pronounced "Shion" will probably mean nothing to you. Shion is the Japanese name of the Tatarian Aster flower, which in Japanese floriography means "I'll never forget you".
    • With the appropriate kanji, Xion's name can also be read as "the sound of waves" which explains her constant mentioning of hearing them in her dreams, and her hobby of collecting seashells. Another character whose name also holds the same meaning is Naminé, further emphathisizing their connection to Kairi.
    • Axel's speech about why the sun sets red at the beginning. Roxas spends a lot of time wondering who the "boy in red" is. And the Japanese word for sky? Sora.
    • It's nigh impossible to replicate the nuance of Xion using "atashi" as her personal pronoun in Japanese, even when her appearance completely changes to that of Sora due to her absorbing too many of his memories. "Atashi" is a feminine personal pronoun, indicating that even though her origins come entirely from a boy, she identifies as a girl.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Axel does this with increasing frequency (and increasing consequences) to both Roxas and Xion, after he discovers Xion's true nature, because he fears their reactions and losing the relationship they've formed. It's not just to protect their feelings either, it's also to protect them physically since forces outside the organization need them to complete Sora and the organization itself doesn't really value them outside of their ability to use the keyblade. Ultimately it's all for naught, since it ends up tearing trio's friendship apart and both Roxas and Xion return to Sora anyway.
  • Made of Iron:
    • In the Limit Break tutorial, Lexaeus cuts Roxas's HP down by hitting him square in the face. Lexaeus is the physically strongest member of the Organization, and Chain of Memories shows him being able to shatter boulders with his fists.
    • During a mission in Halloween Town, Roxas takes three exploding pumpkins to the face with no adverse effects. These Pumpkins are later shown to be able to blast holes in a stone wall.
  • Magic Knight: Xemnas is the best example due to his strength and magic both being near the max, when other specialists have one field with all other stats really low.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • The fight against Leechgrave takes a significant amount of time, as it's only safe to attack for a short period after its Tentaclaws have been destroyed.
    • The Ruler of the Sky is fought while airborne in a huge area, and at some points requires Roxas to chase it down to hit it.
    • The superboss Dustflier has nine and a half health bars and a ton of defense. You spend quite a bit of time running around dodging its near one-shot attacks.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Xion's name was liked by Nomura because of its many meanings:
      • Shio (tide), which connects her to Kairi and Naminé.
      • Shion, which is a flower given to someone to mean "remembrance". Which is tragically ironic.
      • Her original name, No. i: In mathematics, i is used to denote the square root of negative one and is often referred to as an "imaginary number".
      • Lowercase Roman Numerals, like i, used to denote subsections or footnotes underneath the capital ones.
      • Roman numeral I is one... No I... No one...
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Xigbar's weapons are effectively guns, so he has an ammo counter that determines how many shots he can make before he needs to reload. If he's in the middle of a combo and runs out of ammo, he will continue to attack uselessly.
  • Mind Screw: Indeed it is.
    • The existence of the protagonists themselves is based upon a vaguely defined concept of Nothingness, which is anomalous and shouldn't exist, and the plot revolves around rectifying this.
    • Most of your main playthrough of the game is told from Roxas's POV. Unfortunately, Roxas is ridiculously, left out of the loop.
    • The Snarl of Memories cutscene.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The game has the Mission Mode, which has a multiplayer option. The enemies have buffed stats compared to story mode whether you have multiple players or not.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: Each form of Xion is fought in a different world: First Form is in the Bizarre Room in Wonderland, Second Form is at the Manor Ruins at Halloween Town, Third Form is in the Lamp Chamber at Agrabah, and the Final Form is at the Clock Tower in Twilight Town.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Non-comedic version. "Just count the seats here. We have and shall always be thirteen."
  • No OSHA Compliance: Despite being public access, the top of the Twilight Town clock tower has no safety railings to prevent falls.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: The Organization is better about following their Prime Directive than Sora and co. are. 1: Do not reveal the Organization. 2: Remain out of sight of natives. 3: The mission comes before everything. Roxas eventually violates the Directive about the third time Tinker Bell needs his help.
  • Oddball in the Series: The story of Days is a bit of an outlier among the Kingdom Hearts games, where it is, apart from the fantastical setting, essentially a slice-of-life documenting the time period Roxas was with the Organization, with special focus on the relationships he forms. The events largely follow a mundane repetition of 'daily mission' and 'free-time afterwards', rinse and repeat, at least until the larger universe-wide plot related things going on in the background come crashing into his life.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Zig-zagged. There are a few times where you can see your ally appearing right behind you despite stopping to kill a heartless or getting stuck on something. However, there are other occasions in which you can see them teleport right next to you. Helps keep them from getting stuck on an obstacle.
  • One Extra Member: Xion is the the fourteenth member of Organization XIII. She isn't actually a member or a Nobody, just a Replica designed to absorb Sora's memories. By the end of the game, she was Ret-Gone'd from everyone's memories.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Using Fire magic on any of the Bomb Heartless will cause them to immediately explode, killing them instantly.
    • During the last mission, Roxas will instantly kill the Neoshadows with his ground attacks.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Extreme accessory will reducer the wearer's max HP to one, though it also allows them to spam Limit Breaks indefinitely.
  • One-Winged Angel: As expected for Squeenix final bosses at this point. Xion gets one core transformation with four auxiliary forms to go with it. In a subversion of the usual pattern, however, she is the semifinal boss.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Larxene is a huge Jerkass and a sadist, but her last interaction with Roxas involves her almost nearly giving him compliment.
    • Vexen is normally an Insufferable Genius, but the tutorial mission he runs puts him in a more instructive role than most other members and portrays his attitude somewhat sympathetically.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: Played for Laughs in Larxene's tutorial mission, when she's basically complaining about running a tutorial mission in the first place to the yet-zombie Roxas.
    Larxene: You'd be nothing without that Keyblade. ...Oh ho! I just got an idea!
    Roxas: (Uh-oh)
    Larxene: You can do today's mission WITHOUT your Keyblade.
  • Poor Communication Kills: To a brutal extent; no one in this game tells each other anything, with catastrophic results. Roxas leaves the Organization because no one is willing to tell him who Sora is, where he comes from, and why he can wield the Keyblade. Xion leaves the Organization because the only person who seems to be honest with her is a blindfolded boy who suggests she destroy herself. Axel, due to his conspiracy to undermine the Organization and a healthy dose of fear for what will happen to them if they leave it, relates none of the above information to either Roxas or Xion.
  • Post-Final Boss: The "real" final boss is Xion, whose destruction is the emotional climax of the narrative. The fight with Riku afterwards is significantly easier and shorter, acting as more of a formality to lead the game's ending into the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Power Trio: Much like the original trio of Sora, Riku and Kairi, Roxas, Xion and Axel form a group as the game's main characters.
  • Power Up Letdown: Dual Wielding Roxas in the end-game tears through Neoshadows with ease and is plot-wise a nigh unstoppable combatant. In reality, those Neoshadows were specifically scaled down in stats for that mission - when you unlock this version of him with the right gear setup, one will find that he's severely underpowered compared to the hype.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Sora is mentioned multiple times throughout the game. And when you fight her, Xion calls on Sora's memories to power herself up. But Sora himself is only seen through instances of déjà vu Roxas feels as he visits the different worlds. The bottom screen shows Sora in the same pose Roxas is in through a haze of static.
  • Promoted to Playable: The entirety of Organization XIII, along with Donald and Goofy, are now playable while doing Mission Mode.
  • Psycho Supporter: A rather tragic example in that Axel knows that the Organization is a dangerous environment for Roxas and Xion, but he also knows that there are people outside who want to find and destroy them so that Sora can be woken, and that the Organization will also hunt them down if they run. To that end, he becomes obsessed with keeping Roxas and Xion in what he perceives as the relative safety of the Organization... and he's willing to do everything from lying to them, to hauling them back bodily to ensure that remains the case.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Neither Demyx nor Luxord seem particularly evil. Demyx is a huge slacker who is perfectly willing to ditch Roxas during missions, while Luxord is generally very cordial and likes to organize poker games. Xigbar acts casual and even unprofessional, but he is actually The Dragon in the Organization's true purpose.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Roxas isn't happy when he learns Axel had been keeping the truth about Xion from him. "Didn't have it memorized, huh?"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Axel is flippant but friendly while Saïx is all business and exceedingly cold.
  • Regional Bonus: The international version awards Mission Crowns for completing missions in either Solo or Multiplayer Mission Mode. In the Japanese version, it is only possible to earn Mission Crowns by playing Multiplayer Mission Mode.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Xion's whole purpose is to serve as one waiting in the wings, as the reason for her creation was to duplicate Roxas's abilities and ensure the Organization would continue to have a keyblade wielder in the event Roxas couldn't be controlled. Subverted in that once she realizes what she is, she's the first to attempt running away from the organization so that Roxas can remain.
    • Saïx scathingly accuses Axel of using Roxas and Xion as this for himself, because Axel continues to grow closer to Roxas and Xion while his own relationship with Axel, which had once also been close, increasingly worsens.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Trope Namer. Towards the end of the game, Roxas decides he's done with Organization XIII and leaves. They still need him for their plan, so Dusks, Samurai, and eventually Saïx show up to prevent his departure by force.
    Saïx: We don't accept resignations.
  • Ret-Gone: Since Xion is a being made of memories, upon her death those memories return to Sora and everyone forgets she ever existed.
  • The Reveal: It's revealed Roxas' ability to dual-wield came from absorbing Xion's power into himself, and that he gained it only moments before being captured, explaining why Axel was so caught off guard that he could do it in II.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At the end of the game, Roxas wants revenge for losing Xion, so he goes back to the World That Never Was to destroy the Organization and release Kingdom Hearts. Riku takes him out before he can even get back to the castle, though.
  • Running Gag: During the very first mission to Agrabah, the fact that the city is covered in sand comes up constantly.
    • Roxas getting bombed by Lock, Shock and Barrel during his visits to Halloween Town.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Xion dies in the final act, cementing the game as a tragedy.
  • Sad Battle Music: Xion's fight theme, "Vector to the Heavens", is very melancholy and piano-heavy.
  • Sailor Earth: A canon example. Secret reports reveal that Xion's name comes from her Organization number, No. i. As in the imaginary number.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Roxas eventually gets so tired of not knowing anything about himself and thinking he's being constantly lied to that he ditches the Organization.
  • Secret Character: Characters other than the core members of Organization XIII can be unlocked for Mission Mode.
    • Progressing through the game automatically unlocks Xion, Riku, Donald, and Goofy over time.
    • King Mickey can be unlocked by completing every story mission and purchasing "The King's Return" from the Moogle shop.
    • Sora can be unlocked by completing every story mission 100% and purchasing "Sora's Awakening" from the Moogle shop.
    • To play as Dual Wielding Roxas, equip him with the Zero Gear with 3 Ability Units.
  • Sequential Boss: Xion has four different forms.
  • Shame If Something Happened: At one point, Roxas enters the White Room and asks Xemnas about why she was being pursued by Axel. He's shrugged off. Then he asks about Sora, which results in this line.
    Xemnas: He is the connection. He is what makes you and Xion a part of each other's lives. And the reason I placed Xion among our number. If you want her to stay that way, I must insist that you get your mind off these needless distractions.
  • She-Fu: Larxene has a highly acrobatic fighting style.
  • Shipper on Deck: Xigbar teases Roxas about his relationship with Xion, at one point telling him that "No girl wants a guy who's weaker than her". It's heavily implied that Xigbar is just screwing with Roxas, as he knows Xion's true nature as a Replica and she looks like Ventus to him.
  • Ship Tease: The Roxas/Xion subtext is paper-thin, and the subtext between the two of them and Axel isn't much better. Xion herself outright says she loves both them in one of the secret reports, and Roxas's friendship with Xion is about as close to love as a Nobody can get. One of their mutual Keyblades is even named after a poem dedicated to parting lovers. Axel's feelings are more complex, but his actions and secret reports make it very clear that they are both important to him. WordOfGod confirmed that the relationship between Axel and Roxas is that of best friends and that there wasn't any romance intended between the two of them.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The protagonists can never accomplish anything, or else the Big Bad wins and the universe ends. Ouch.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smashing Survival: The Hover Ghost's special attack quickly drains your health unless you mash a bunch of buttons to escape.
  • Socialization Bonus: Mission Mode, which lets you replay completed missions from Story Mode in order to gain Mission Crowns, which can be redeemed for bonuses from the Moogle. While the mode is designed to be played with friends, it can be played solo (The English versions are more clear on this) though the enemy stats are boosted regardless, making it Nintendo Hard. Still, you do get EXP even if you fail, so you can keep trying until you're strong enough to win. Playing Mission Mode is the only way to obtain the maximum number of inventory slots available, and it is the only feasible way to reach Lv. 100, as the gaps between levels are so wide at the end of the game that playing without level multipliers (some of which are only available in Mission Mode) would qualify as a Low-Level Run.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Xion's final battle theme — in stark contrast to the epic orchestral Ominous Latin Chanting-packed themes of the previous game, this one is a melancholy piano-heavy Boss Remix of her theme that truly emphasizes the tragedy of the circumstances.
  • Superboss:
    • The Dustflier is an optional seventh Heartless in a mission near the end in which Roxas has to take out six. It's essentially just a supersized version of a normal enemy, and it spends the battle flying around. Every time it lands on the ground, it sends out a very large shockwave that can inflict one of thirteen status effects, including blinding you, reducing your defense to level one, and keeping you from jumping. The player is warned beforehand that it's one of the strongest Heartless in the game, but it's easy to go in unprepared and be killed within two hits (not exaggerated in the slightest bit) by this monstrosity.
    • If you try to fight Saïx or Riku on Mission Mode, you instead encounter the much more powerful (but eerily silent) Anti-Saïx and Anti-Riku.
  • Superman Stays Outof Gotham: Mickey Mouse, the strongest ally Riku and DiZ would have, is not called upon by them when they have to deal with Roxas and Xion despite the fact that he would have surely made things much easier for them. Riku indicates he purposefully refused to let Mickey face Roxas because he wants to make peace with the darkness inside him for good and wants him to support Sora in his place, but DiZ's reasons for not calling upon him is unclear, though presumably it can be due to him knowing that there was no way Mickey would just agree to callously condemn those two without trying to find a peaceful way to settle things along with probably sympathizing with them and offering promises to secure their own happy endings, which DiZ doesn't want as even Riku regretted what must be done, not to mention that DiZ is actually avoiding Mickey knowing he's delaying the inevitability of Mickey figuring out he is Ansem The Wise and involving him too much would have most likely exposed him sooner, which would have lead to Mickey absolutely rejecting his plans and considering how powerful the King is, DiZ would have no chance at all.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Haste ability increases running speed while equipped. Leveling it up grants a slightly higher bonus.
  • Stalking Mission: Roxas and Axel end up finding Pete acting suspicious during a mission in Agrabah. The duo decides to put the mission on pause to follow Pete and see what he's up to.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Roxas and Xion are kept apart by a string of misfortunes. However, it's also a platonic version of this trope due the kid-friendly nature of the franchise.
  • The Starscream: Saïx and Axel planned to betray the Organization, sending nearly half of them to Castle Oblivion so they could be killed by Axel and/or Sora and seeking the Chamber of Awakening in the Castle to find out what Xemnas is up to. They don't go through with it however, as Axel forming a close friendship with Roxas and Xion and Saïx's mistreatment of the two causes a rift to form between them.
  • Status Effects: 358/2 Days introduces a number of these, including very standard ones like Blinded and Silenced, as well as some unorthodox ones like Ignited, Frozen, Shocked, Air-Tossed, "Shoe-Glued", and Rewound Defense (sets defense to what it was at Level 1).
  • Tagline: "What mattered the most was remembered the least."
  • A Taste of Power: Odd example at the end of the game: Day 358 is Deep Dive; you'll play as Roxas dual-wielding Oathkeeper and Oblivion, capable of killing Neoshadows in one hit. With the right panel configuration, you can use him in Mission Mode, though not with quite the same level of strength.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The credits give a specific mention, along the lines 'to all Kingdom Hearts fans'.
  • Theme Naming: The weapon names of each character typically follow a theme.
    • Xemnas's ethereal blades are named after negative emotions (e.g. Despair) or terms related to authority (e.g. Judgment, Autocracy).
    • Xigbar’s arrowguns have names in reference to the Final Fantasy games from those that are obvious (e.g. Bahamut) to some that can be pretty obscure (Crime & Punishment, the name of a side quest in Final Fantasy XII).
    • Xaldin’s lances are related to air (e.g. Brume) or mythology beings and creatures (e.g. Yaksha).
    • Vexen's shields have names pertaining to science (e.g. False Theory), the cold (e.g. Glacier), or both (e.g. Subzero).
    • Lexaeus' axe-swords are named after large bodies, earthly elements like metal and wood, or philosophical concepts and stories.
    • Zexion's lexicons are all related to secret or forbidden knowledge, usually in the form of an adjective followed by word meaning "book."
    • Saïx's claymores have names related to the moon, such as Werewolf and Selene.
    • Axel's chakrams all have names relating to fire, heat, magma, the sun, and the color red.
    • Demyx's sitars are named for musical terms and in-jokes, or types of musicians.
    • Luxord's decks are generally named after Tarot cards.
    • Marluxia's scythes are all named after flowers.
    • Larxene's knives are all titled in Gratuitous French. Most deal with storms, astronomical phenomena, or are appropriately named for Larxene's ferocity.
  • Title Theme Drop: During the battle with Xion's final form, the song that plays is partially remixed from the series' main theme, "Dearly Beloved".
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Most of Zexion's lexicons have ominous-sounding names such as "Illicit Research" and "Indescribable Lore" that paint them as containing some sort of forbidden or dark knowledge.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Taken to an almost ridiculous degree where roughly 30% of the cutscenes will involve watching 1-3 people sitting at the top of a clock tower and eating ice-cream.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The game ultimately reveals that Roxas's trademark ability to dual-wield keyblades came about after Xion is destroyed and Roxas absorbs the memories that she was made out of, essentially inheriting her keyblade as well. Additionally, the keyblade takes on the form of Oblivion, which traditionally represents Riku but also represents 'the state of forgetting or having forgotten', symbolizing how at this point the memories people had of Xion are fading.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Roxas and Xion are both inducted into an evil Organization that uses them as tools to further Xemnas' evil schemes with their only company made up of apathetic colleagues that barely care if they live or die. The one friend the two actually have is a Psycho Supporter who commits many horrible atrocities off-screen and lies constantly to keep up the illusion of stability, which falls on its face as said lies pile up and the schemes of various outside forces form wedges in the trio's friendship. In short order: Axel's unwillingness to communicate with his friends about the danger they're in causes Roxas to eventually lose faith in him and flee the Organization, Xion (after constant peer-pressure) is forced to sacrifice her whole existence (as in, the very idea that she existed) to save a boy she barely knows by forcing Roxas to kill her in self-defense and forget about her completely and the only thing Roxas has left by this point - the promise he made to free Kingdom Hearts from Xemnas' grasp - is Doomed by Canon since Riku needs him to wake up Sora and defeats the boy before he can accomplish anything. Roxas, Axel and Xion effectively lose everything they know and love by the end of the game.
  • Troll: Xigbar knows everything about what's really going on but doesn't have a lot to actually do, so he spends most of his time screwing with other members of the Organization. He teases Roxas about his relationship with Xion knowing that she's his/Sora's Replica that is likely to eventually kill him, and baits Saïx with vague comments about Xemnas's own dark secrets.
  • Underground Monkey: Many of the enemies are just palette-swapped variations of other Heartless, including bosses. These variants typically have different elemental powers and weaknesses, though some are just straight-up stronger versions.
  • Vancian Magic: Unlike I and II, 358/2 Days lacks an MP meter. It instead has a system similar to Chain of Memories' deck system, where the specific spells you can use and the number of casts you get each mission are based on what panels you have equipped. Spells are typically gone for the rest of a mission when every cast is used up, though you can use items like Ethers to recharge somewhat.
  • Villain Decay: Several members, on their off-time and not facing Sora, are a lot less intimidating than they usually are. Noteworthy examples would be Marluxia, who is almost nice, and Larxene, who acts like an Ax-Crazy psychopath in Castle Oblivion but here is just a Laughably Evil Alpha Bitch who even has some Pet the Dog moments.
  • Villain Protagonist: Played With. Organization XIII are the villains of the series, but you're playing as their Token Good Teammate.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • So much in this game. Demyx spends his time writing songs, Luxord organizes the poker league, and the others like to lounge around in the couches in the Grey Area.
    • The manga also provides a panel of Xaldin, Demyx, and Zexion playing Twister.
    • The manga actually has this in spades. Even members of an evil organization are not immune to the effects of boring monologues by their superiors, it seems.
  • Voice Grunting: In the DS version, dialogue is mainly text with the occasional grunt or phrase. There are a couple of totally voiced cutscenes, however.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Infernal Engine.
  • Watching the Sunset: Quite a number of the cutscenes involve this. Well, it looks like this anyway. They're in Twilight Town, which is eternally in those few minutes between day and night, and as such the sun technically isn't setting per se. Just eternally really low on the horizon.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Grey Caprices deal damage by shooting a ball of energy that force it and its target to swap places.
  • Weirdness Censor: Twilight Town appears to be a ghost town whenever you visit. In fact, Xion, in her Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever form, doesn't attract anyone's attention and she's not only in front of the train station, but is in broad daylight.
  • Wham Episode: Once Xion's role in the story is revealed, everything gets much darker.
    • Wham Shot: Xion removing her hood in front of Roxas to reveal Sora's face.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Roxas finds the topic of "love" coming up in the various Disney worlds, yet none of the Organization's members are too keen on humoring him on it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • A frequent question the game tosses around is whether Nobodies are truly capable of evolving. note  Roxas, Axel and Xion muse on the topic many times; wondering whether they even need Hearts and what they would be good for, despite the Organization stressing how incomplete Nobodies are and how imperative it is to complete Kingdom Hearts to gain proper senses of self.
    • Even by the already-bleak standards of "incomplete-ness" the Organization's members hold themselves to, Xion is dismissed by almost everyone around her as a tool at-best - particularly by Saix - who demeans her at every turn and downplays her role in the Organization to her and Roxas' faces.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": One of Demyx's lines when talked to in the Grey Area has him call Larxene a witch, though the context implies that he means bitch.
    Man, why's Larxene gotta be such a witch all the time?
  • Wolverine Publicity: Mickey Mouse is very prominent on the cover, yet only shows up in one scene that's not even relevant to the story.
  • Word Salad Title: It sounds like one, especially to those who haven't played it. It's so named because the plot describes the events that happened during Roxas's 358 days in the Organization with those days shared by two people.
  • The Worf Effect: Beast is perfectly capable of taking down Heartless by himself, as seen in his first appearance when he kills a bunch of Neoshadows when one gave Roxas and Xion trouble. When the Infernal Engine shows up and beats him handily, the player knows they're in for a tough fight.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Towards the end of the game, Kingdom Hearts nears completion and Xemnas decides that he doesn't need two Keyblade users anymore. He tricks Roxas and Xion into fighting each other with an illusion that makes them look like a Heartless to each other, hoping that one would kill the other. Axel intervenes before the two can destroy each other.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: Axel tells Roxas that he looks like he saw a ghost when Roxas is startled upon seeing him returning from Castle Oblivion. Roxas had been led to believe that everyone from Organization XIII sent to Castle Oblivion was eliminated and this is in fact true for all of them except Axel, who did some of said eliminating himself.

Mission Complete
RTC authorized. The dark corridor is open.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kingdom Hearts Three Five Eight Days Over Two


We Don't Accept Resignations

The trope namer - in "Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days," Saix has discovered that Roxas is planning to leave Organization XIII, but as he tells him, their group doesn't permit resignations. Roxas replies that he has nothing to say to Saix, so Saix tells him they'll make it short in sweet and engages him in battle in the hope of pounding him into submission.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / ResignationsNotAccepted

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