Kingdom Hearts 3 (KH3) - Series Storyline Summary

This page contains a summary of all Kingdom Hearts games leading up to Kingdom Hearts 3, including key events that shaping the story towards the latest title.

Kingdom Hearts Series Storyline Summary

Kingdom Hearts X

The story of Kingdom Hearts begins in an ancient time called the Age of Fairy Tales. A wise figure known as the Master of Masters gathers six apprentices. He grants them each a mysterious weapon known as a Keyblades to protect the world’s light. The Master of Masters, foreseeing an age of war soon to occur, tasks each of his apprentices to form Unions. He assigns them unique roles in order to heal the world from its impending ruin. The Master of Masters soon disappears, leaving his apprentice Foreteller Ira to assume leadership.

A traitor who has submitted to darkness is eventually suspected among the apprentices after Ira encounters a dark Chirithy. A Chirithy a cat-like spirit created by the Master of Masters to oversee Keyblade wielders. It is said that when a Keyblade wielder falls into darkness, so will his Chirithy.

The apprentices initially suspect Foreteller Aced to be the traitor. Distrust begins to brew among the apprentices, pitting Aced against his fellow Foretellers Invi, Ava, and Gula. It is then known that Gula has a Lost Page from the Book of the Prophecies. This prompts Aced to strike him down but not before Ava intervenes and persuades Aced to spare Gula.

Ava tends to Gula’s wounds. Gula reveals that he intends to summon Kingdom Hearts to lure the Master of Masters back to Daybreak Town. Ava, having failed in talking Gula out of his plans, forms the Dandelions who swear to play no part in the war among the Unions. This conflict is known as the Keyblade War.

Luxu, another of the six apprentices, wanders in the Keyblade Graveyard with the box entrusted to him and the Master of Master’s Keyblade.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep

Three Keyblade wielders named Terra, Ventus, and Aqua train under the Keyblade Master Eraqus. This culminates in the Mark of Mastery examination, a test for the apprentices to become Keyblade masters themselves. The test is administered by Master Eraqus. The master’s mysterious acquaintance Xehanort is also present to watch the test. However, Xehanort secretly summons the darkness to interfere with the trials. Aqua duel each other during the final stage of the test, though only the former manages to pass the Mark of Mastery exam as the latter is overcome by the darkness.

After the exam, Xehanort finds Terra and advises him to embrace the darkness within him, saying that it will give him the strength to become a Keyblade Master. Terra is then sent to hunt down dangerous creatures known as Unversed who have begun appearing throughout the worlds, as well as find Xehanort. Ventus, on the other hand, decides to leave his friends after meeting Xehanort’s apprentice Vanitas. Meanwhile, Master Eraqus instructs Aqua to closely watch over Terra and to search for Ventus and bring him back to the Land of Departure.

The three friends go their separate ways, encountering various Unversed as well as a wide cast of Disney heroes and villains who they have varying interactions with.

Meanwhile, Aqua continues her search for her two friends across the various worlds, hearing more and more of Terra’s evil exploits and his alliance with the force of darkness. On her journey, Aqua meets a young Kairi in Radiant Garden and accidentally initiates a Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony with her after sensing a pure light in her heart. Terra, Aqua, and Ventus meet in Radiant Garden as well, where Terra becomes increasingly distant to his friends as he taps more and more into his dark powers.

Terra eventually arrives on Destiny Islands and meets the boys Sora and Riku. He takes a liking to the Riku and chooses him to inherit his Keyblade with the same ritual initiated by Aqua with Kairi.

Ventus is met by Xehanort who tells him that he intends to create a Keyblade called the X-blade with the boy’s heart. The X-blade is a legendary weapon that can open the hearts of all words as well as the way to Kingdom Hearts. The boy returns to Master Eraqus to confirm if his master knew all along. To stop Xehanort’s plan, Master Eraqus decides to eliminate Ventus. Terra arrives and is shocked to find his mentor about to kill Ventus. He saves his friend by attacking their master. The battle ends undecided until Xehanort appears and slays Master Eraqus. Xehanort then tells Terra to go to the Keyblade Graveyard as the Land of Departure is overtaken by darkness.

Ventus meets Vanitas on Destiny Islands who reveals that Ventus was previously Xehanort’s former apprentice. At that time, Ventus had refused to yield to the darkness inside his heart when his master tried to create the X-Blade. Xehanort forcefully extracted it from the boy and creates Vanitas. The process severely damaged Ventus’ heart. He only managed to survive when a young Sora gives the light of his heart to the boy. Xehanort then took Ventus to the Land of Departure to train under Master Eraqus, which begun the events of Birth by Sleep. Vanitas parts with Ventus, but not before Vanitas tells him to go to the Keyblade Graveyard as well.

Terra, Aqua, and Ventus are reunited for a brief moment at the Keyblade Graveyard. Here, Xehanort declares his plan to once again create the X-blade. Xehanort, along with Vanitas, incapacitates both Ventus and Aqua. Xehanort then merges with Terra to form Terra-Xehanort. Terra’s own will, however, continues to manifest in his Keyblade armor, battling against and defeating Terra-Xehanort.

Vanitas eventually merges with Ventus to create the X-Blade. Mickey and Aqua, who had been taken under Mickey’s care after the previous battle, arrive and defeat Ventus-Vanitas. This destroys the X-Blade in the process and causes an explosion that sends them across the corridors of space. Mickey takes Aqua and an unconscious Ventus to the mysterious tower. It is explained that Ventus’ heart separated from his body in the explosion. He will not wake up without his heart returning to him.

Aqua takes Ventus to the Land of Departure and uses the Master’s Defender, Master Eraqus’ Keyblade, to go to the Chamber of Repose and Waking while recreating the ruins to Castle Oblivion. Aqua leaves Ventus in the Chamber of Waking and battles Xehanort, who is still possessing Terra, in Radiant Garden. She prevails but sees the body of her friend descending into the Realm of Darkness. Aqua sacrifices herself and her armor to bring Terra’s body back to the Realm of Light. She sinks into the Realm of Darkness in his place.

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep – a fragmentary passage –

Aqua wanders the vast Realm of Darkness, still thinking of her friends Ventus and Terra. She makes her way to the Castle, fighting off many Heartless blocking her path. When she nears the Castle, she finds that the bridge leading to it is in ruins. Noticing several floating clock gears in front of her, she figures out that time does not exist in the realm. She summons her Keyblade and manages to fix the bridge to enter the Castle. She briefly catches sight of Terra there before he disappears, making her remember her friends in the Realm of Light.

Aqua arrives in the Dwarf Woodlands where she briefly encounters Ventus. Ventus disappears immediately as Terra had in the Castle. She continues her journey and reaches The World Within to battles three phantoms. Aqua prevails and makes her way out of The World Within. While making her way to the Enchanted Dominion, she again encounters Terra and Ventus. She gives chase to them, battling several Darkside along the way.

Finally catching up with her friends, she learns that they are but illusions. Terra is then revealed to have been Terra-Xehanort all along. He had been using the image of Aqua’s friend to trick her into revealing Ventus’ whereabouts. Then, another version of Terra appears and begins to battle Terra-Xehanort as Aqua and Ventus are pulled into a portal.

Aqua meets King Mickey as she drifts into darkness. The tiny noble is caught in a quest to find a Keyblade within the dark world. He hopes to use this to seal the Door to Darkness. The two are ambushed by hordes of Heartless as they approach the Secret Place. King Mickey and Aqua eventually locate the Keyblade but are forced to save Riku from a swarm of Heartless. Aqua buys time for Mickey and Riku to escape but is again trapped alone in the Realm of Darkness.

Kingdom Hearts

On Destiny Islands, three friends named Sora, Kairi and Riku dream of one day exploring the world beyond their home. One day, Sora meets a mysterious hooded person who tells him that their world is “connected” to the darkness. Soon after, dark creatures known as Heartless begin to attack their home island. Sora witnesses Kairi mysteriously vanish into thin air and becomes the wielder of a mysterious weapon called a Keyblade. He uses the Keyblade to fight off the creatures that have invaded Destiny Islands, though it is ultimately consumed by the darkness.

Sora is transported to a place called Traverse Town and meets characters from other worlds. He learns about his Keyblade and its capabilities to open or close the doors to various worlds. Sora joins with Donald and Goofy to search for both his friends and their king, Mickey Mouse.

On their journey, Sora, Donald, and Goofy encounter various characters from the different worlds they explore. The trio learns of the dark forces’ plan of capturing the Princesses of Heart, pure-hearted maidens devoid of inner darkness. They also hear of a man named Ansem, a scientist working on the study of Heartless and their ties to the darkness.

Sora reunites with Riku and is shocked to learn that his close friend has become bitter towards him. Riku believes Sora has replaced him and Kairi with new friends. Riku also reveals that he has found Kairi, though she lies in a coma due to lacking her heart. Sora’s sorrows multiply when he finds out that Riku is working with the witch Maleficent, the leader of the dark forces.

Sora and Riku soon meet in Hollow Bastion where the latter successfully claims ownership of the Keyblade. This causes Donald and Goofy to abandon Sora. They state that their orders from King Mickey were to follow the Key. Despite losing his friends, Sora chooses to follow Riku into the castle and get the Keyblade back. Riku attempts to kill Sora but Goofy blocks the attack in time. He says that he has forged a bond with Sora and asks Donald to tell the king that he is sorry. Donald also returns to Sora’s side. After, Sora is able to reclaim the Keyblade. Sora battles Riku and prevails.

Riku flees from the scene and is told by a mysterious man that he must fully embrace the darkness to be victorious. Upon doing so, Riku is possessed by Ansem. After, Ansem taps into the hearts of the six Princesses of Heart to create the Keyblade of Heart. Upon catching up to Riku, Sora learns that Kairi’s heart has been with him all along. Riku-Ansem then decides to extract Kairi’s heart from Sora to unlock the Door to Darkness and the way to Kingdom Hearts. Sora then battles his possessed friend a second time and triumphs once again.

After Riku’s revelation, Sora decides to stab himself with Riku’s Keyblade to free Kairi’s heart. He succeeds at freeing her heart but turns himself into a Heartless in the process. An awakened Kairi later manages to change Sora back to his normal self. Reuniting with Donald and Goofy, Sora journeys to End of All Worlds for a final battle with Ansem. After Ansem’s defeat, Riku and King Mickey help Sora close the Door to Darkness. They manage by sacrificing themselves and sealing it from within.

At the end of the game, Sora is seen bidding farewell to Kairi. He sets off to go on a journey with Donald and Goofy to find Riku and Mickey.

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories

Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to Castle Oblivion. There, they meet hooded figures from the mysterious Organization XIII. Sora explores the Castle, each floor resembling worlds he had previously visited. As Sora continues his adventure, his memories become distorted. He mistakenly attributes a lucky charm that Kairi gave him to a girl named Namine.

Riku arrives in Castle Oblivion as well after waking from the events in the Door to Darkness. He battles several members of Organization XIII, as well as Ansem’s ghost. Riku meets a mysterious man named DiZ who asks him whether he allies himself with the light or darkness. Namine meets Riku and helps him realize that he can use both light and darkness to gain strength. He uses his newfound power to defeat Ansem. Afterward, he meets up with King Mickey and they travel the darkness.

It is revealed by members of Organization XIII that Namine has control over Sora’s heart and is tampering with his memories. This is in accordance with the plan of certain rebel members of the Organization. These members hope to take control of Organization XIII with Sora’s help.

Sora eventually confronts a replica of Riku who states that he will be the one to protect Namine. This angers Sora, whose memories have been radically changed by this point. Sora also becomes increasingly harsh to Goofy and Donald when the two ask about Sora’s changing memories.

Marluxia, the leader of the rebel group within Organization XIII, challenges Sora. They fight, Sora prevailing and killing Marluxia in their encounter. Sora soon meets Namine who admits to having tampered with Sora’s memories. However, she agrees to help him return them to normal. The restoration of Sora’s memories comes with a price, however. Sora will need to sleep in the Chamber of Waking for almost a year for the process to complete.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days follows the story of Roxas, Sora’s Nobody. Roxas is the 13th member of Organization XIII and is also able to wield a Keyblade. It is revealed that Roxas was found in Twilight Town by the Organization and given his name by its leader Xemnas. Roxas is told of his birth as a Nobody. This occurred when Sora allowed himself to become a Heartless to save Kairi. He is additionally told how Nobodies came to be.

Roxas is trained and instructed in the ways of Organization XIII. He goes on several missions to hunt down Heartless who have stolen hearts. This is all done to further the Organization and its goal summon Kingdom Hearts and become complete beings. Roxas befriends a fellow Organization member named Axel. They soon develop a ritual of enjoying ice cream atop Twilight Town’s clock tower after missions.

Soon, a 14th member is inducted into the organization, a girl named Xion. Roxas is assigned several missions with her instead of Axel and the two also form a friendship. The boy also discovers that Xion is also able to wield a Keyblade herself. Roxas falls into a coma around the same time that Namine begins reconstructing Sora’s memories. After Roxas comes back around, he begins to remember fragments of his own past as Namine and DiZ transport Sora’s sleeping body to Twilight Town.

Xion soon meets and battles Riku, the latter calling the girl’s Keyblade a sham. Riku advises Xion to leave the organization and find her true self. As a result, Xion begins looking for answers. She soon finds out that she is actually a clone of Roxas. She was created by Organization XIII as a fail-safe in case Sora or Roxas proved useless to its goals. Xion resembles Kairi, as Kairi was Sora’s strongest memory at the time of Xion’s creation. As Sora’s memories slowly return in his slumber, his memories also begin to leak into Xion. As a result, she experiences them and gradually takes the physical appearance of Sora. Xion’s appearance constantly changes depending on who is looking at her. Xigbar, Braig’s Nobody, sees her as Ventus, while the rest of the members of Organization XIII see her as a hooded puppet.

Xion comes to embrace her destiny, having completely taken the appearance of Sora. She forces Roxas to fight and kill her in order for Roxas to continue his existence by absorbing her. In doing so, Roxas gains the ability to summon a second Keyblade in combat. He travels to The World That Never Was and battles Riku. Though seemingly defeated, Riku taps into his powers of darkness and knocks Roxas out. Afterward, Riku takes Roxas to DiZ who sends the boy into a digital version of Twilight Town. He does this with the intent of merging Roxas’ memories into Sora. Roxas is made to believe that he is spending his days on “summer vacation” in Twilight Town with three kids named Hayner, Pence, and Olette.

Kingdom Hearts 2

Kingdom Hearts 2 begins with Roxas during his final days of summer vacation. Roxas regularly has dreams of Sora’s adventures and witnesses several mysterious events in Twilight Town. He eventually summons the Keyblade to fight off Nobodies that have appeared in the town.

Roxas encounters Axel who appears to know the boy. However, Roxas himself has no recollection of Axel after being transported to Twilight Town. In the abandoned mansion, Roxas meets with Namine who explains Roxas’ existence as a Nobody. Eventually, he encounters the sleeping Sora, Donald, and Goofy in the chamber beneath the mansion. Roxas merges with Sora, allowing him to wake from his slumber along with Donald and Goofy.

Sora, Donald, and Goofy set off on their adventure once more to rid the various worlds of Heartless and Nobodies and the threat of Organization XIII. The trio travel to previously visited destinations as well as new ones. They once again clash with Maleficent, having been revived to continue her plan of conquering the worlds with her army of Heartless.

Sora and his friends learn that the Ansem who they defeated during the events of Kingdom Hearts was but a Heartless of a man named Xehanort while Xemnas, the leader of Organization XIII, is Xehanort’s Nobody. The real Ansem the Wise had disappeared and was the master of Xehanort.

Sora battles a horde of Heartless in Hollow Bastion unleashed by Maleficent. After defeating the Heartless, Sora and his friends meet Xemnas who reveals his plan of creating another Kingdom Hearts for Nobodies to become complete again. Sora then makes his way to The World That Never Was, fighting and defeating several members of the Organization on his way there.

Upon entering Castle Oblivion, Sora is reunited with Kairi and Riku, who is still assuming the form of Ansem. Then, he is told Roxas and Namine’s stories.

Sora and Riku band together to defeat Xemnas and stop his plan of opening the way to Kingdom Hearts. After, Sora and his friends are transported back to Destiny Islands. Here, they say goodbye to Donald and Goofy.

One day, a bottle containing a letter from King Mickey floats ashore on Destiny Islands. Sora, Kairi, and Riku read it to go on their next adventure.

Kingdom Hearts coded

At Disney Castle, King Mickey and Jiminy Cricket begin organizing the latter’s journal. Upon stumbling on a mysterious line that Jiminy does not recall having written. “Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.” King Mickey performs the digitization of the journal to learn more about the enigmatic writing.

King Mickey and Jiminy learn that the data is “bugged” with Heartless. The tiny noble then proceeds to create a digital version of Sora called Data-Sora to help purify the contents of the corrupted journal. Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy themselves are digitized by the journal’s avatar, who appears as Riku, to guide Data-Sora on his quest.

Inside the datascape, the heroes meet Pete and Maleficent who have been digitized themselves. These two plan on fulfilling their plan of conquest by using The Book of Prophecies who the witch believes is connected with Jiminy’s journal. The book is said to be able to see through the future and grant the ability to create worlds.

Maleficent is able to take the Journal while Mickey pursues her. Data-Sora then travels to Hollow Bastion with Donald and Goofy. Here they encounter Pete, who summons Data-Riku to battle the three heroes. Data-Sora manages to defeat Data-Riku during the encounter. The heroes then face the problem of a comatose Data-Riku who will only awaken once all the bugs inside him are destroyed. Data-Sora agrees to travel inside Data-Riku’s memories with King Mickey. They eventually encounter Maleficent again to defeat her.

After the battle, King Mickey reveals that upon completing the Journal, it will need to be deleted. As a result, Data-Sora’s memories would be erased. The Journal is eventually completed. Data-Sora asks to find Pete and Maleficent to bring them out of the Datascape. He briefly spots the two fighting Sora’s Heartless before vanishing. Data-Sora then battles the Heartless and prevails. It is then revealed that Pete and Maleficent had passed through a digital rift to go back to the real world safely.

Upon returning to the real world, King Mickey erases the Journal. However, he receives a message that a new world has been opened. The data from the Data World had been entered into the Journal. King Mickey ventures into the datascape again to investigate.

Mickey reachers Traverse Town to find Data-Sora. They proceed to Castle Oblivion where a Data-Roxas tells him to travel across the various worlds to know the truth. Data-Sora and Data-Roxas battle, with the former emerging victorious. Data-Roxas gives Data-Sora a card as the latter proceeds to the next door. He finds Data-Namine who explains that the bugs in the Journal were a side effect of restoring Sora’s memories. It is here that Data-Sora learns of Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. Furthermore, they are the ones referred to in the mysterious Journal entry. Data-Sora says that he will tell the real Sora of these revelations.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Sora and Riku appear before Yen Sid. They are to journey to seven “Sleeping Worlds” for their Mark of Mastery exam. These worlds had been consumed by Heartless before being liberated. Despite this, these worlds need to be “awakened,” which will be the main task for the pair.

Yen Sid transports Sora and Riku to a time before the darkness attacked Destiny Islands. Sora revisits memories of meeting the mysterious robed figure who told him of the coming danger that would consume his island home. Sora and Riku arrive in the Sleeping Worlds but are soon separated. Their mission is further complicated when they realize that they exist in the same world together but cannot see each other.

Sora and Riku ally themselves with Chirithy, Spirit Dream Eaters who aided Keyblade wielders as far back as the Age of Fairy Tales. Throughout their journey, they encounter various Nightmare Dream Eaters. These are Chirithy who have been corrupted by the darkness and seek to disturb the Sleeping Worlds. Their adventure leads them to encounter Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, as well as Xemnas and a young Xehanort. They reveal to Sora that Organization XIII was created to battle the Seven Guardians of Light with thirteen vessels. These vessels would become copies of Master Xehanort in order to form the X-Blade. They intend to use Sora as the final vessel in the upcoming battle.

Meanwhile, the former nobodies of Organization XIII awaken in a laboratory in Radiant Garden. Lea, who had been Axel, visits Yen Sid and presents himself as a real person. It is revealed that Sora’s defeat of both Lea’s Nobody and Heartless returned him to his true self. Lea also demonstrates the ability to wield a Keyblade, though he still requires training. Yen Sid suggests that he should train under Merlin in using the Keyblade.

Sora is saved by Riku in The World That Never Was and defeats the Anti-Black Coat, a Nightmare version of Riku. He soon prepares to take on Master Xehanort. Xehanort had been recently reformed by other previous members of the Organization XIII and young Xehanort, who now accompany him. Riku is aided by Donald, Goofy, Lea, and King Mickey before they transport back to Yen Sid’s tower. They now seek to awaken Sora from his slumber, which was caused by being submerged in darkness.

Riku dives into Sora’s dreams and battles a Nightmare version of Ventus’ armor holding Sora within. He succeeds and frees his friend from the nightmare.

Back in Yen Sid’s tower, Riku is declared a Keyblade Master by completing the Mark of Mastery while Sora is denied of the title due to his failure to resist the darkness.

In Castle Oblivion, a sleeping Ventus can be seen smiling. Sora is then seen bidding farewell to the Dream Eaters he has befriended. Kairi is brought by Riku to Yen Sid’s tower to learn the art of wielding the Keyblade.

Kingdom Hearts 3 (KH3) Recommended Article List

Popular Guides
Walkthrough Directory Olympus Map and Collectibles
Lucky Emblem Locations How to Unlock Secret Ending
Photo Missions Guide How to Obtain Ultima Weapon
Flantastic Seven Missions Guide Recommended Keyblades
Recommended Armor
Walkthrough
Beginning Choices 100 Acre Wood
Post-Game Unlockables
Database
Keyblades / Staves / Shields Armor / Accessories
Magic / Abilities Link Summons
Enemies Bosses
Synthesis
Synthesis Recipes Synthesis Materials
Helpful Guides
Jiminy's Journal Mini Game Guides
AP Boost Locations Treasure Chest Locations
Gold Hercules Dolls Locations Battlegates Locations
Pre-Release Info
Release Date New Worlds Summary
Series Story Summary Voice Actors and OST
Pre-order Bonuses Game Editions

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