In the Universe of Kingdom Hearts, also called the World, there are many worlds that fall into certain realms. All of these realms are on their own plane of existence.
According to legends, long ago, there was one single world that was constantly bathed in the warmth of the Light of Kingdom Hearts.
In the "age of fairy tales", the World was whole and full of light, which was believed to come from Kingdom Hearts, which was protected by its counterpart, the χ-blade. Over time, people came to desire the power of Kingdom Hearts, introducing darkness into the World. The event became known as the Keyblade War.
In order to take control of Kingdom Hearts, many people forged Keyblades in the image of the χ-blade, and they clashed together in a far-reaching conflict that embroiled the entire World. In the end, darkness covered the World, the χ-blade was shattered into twenty pieces, seven of light and thirteen of darkness, and the "true" Kingdom Hearts disappeared into the darkness.
However, the World was restored by the light within the hearts of children, but as many individual worlds separated from each other. The remnants of the battlefield on which the Keyblade War took place became the Keyblade Graveyard, a scarred wasteland filled with the Keyblades of fallen warriors. The remaining Keyblade wielders resolved to protect the World from further destruction, becoming guardians of the World order.
Prior to the release of the Heartless, the worlds were surrounded by barriers to prevent outside interference, making it impossible for different worlds to have contact with each other. However, the arrival of the Heartless caused the barriers between the worlds to crumble and disappear, and some worlds were consumed by the eldritch horde. Gummi Blocks are pieces of these broken barriers.
Those who travel between worlds are advised to avoid meddling in the affairs of other worlds and informing their inhabitants of the existence of other worlds. In order to maintain a balance of separation, several characters, notably Sora, Donald, and Goofy, magically alter their physical appearances in certain worlds to avoid standing out. For example, they take the forms of sea creatures in Atlantica, monsters in Halloween Town, jungle animals in Pride Lands, and computer A.I.s in Space Paranoids and The Grid.
Sea of the SkiesThe vast space between the worlds is known as Sea of the Skies (異空の海 Isora no Umi) or Star Ocean (星の大海 Hoshi no Taikai). Ventus, Aqua, and Terra travel this space using their Keyblade Glider while Sora, Donald, Goofy and Mickey use a Gummi Ship.
Travel between the worlds is normally impossible. The worlds are all protected by dimensional barriers that prevent outsiders from entering for the most part. However, these barriers can be broken, resulting in a meteor shower in that world.
In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Sora, Donald, and Goofy use the Gummi Ship to travel between worlds on the World Map, an event that serves as a mini-game between areas. Some worlds require certain special Gummi Blocks to access; for example, a special Navigation Gummi must be installed by Cid to unlock a second set of worlds in Kingdom Hearts. Once they reach them, the party can enter and then depart each world through its Save Points. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, there are no Gummi Ships; the worlds Sora visits are recreations from his memories from the first game brought to life on each floor of Castle Oblivion.
Four worlds can only be accessed by entering through other worlds and do not directly require use of a Gummi Ship:
- 100 Acre Wood via Pooh's book in Traverse Town and Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden.
- Timeless River via the Hall of the Cornerstone at Disney Castle.
- Space Paranoids via Ansem's computer in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden.
- Keyblade Graveyard via an unknown portal at the Hall of the Cornerstone.
Methods of travel
Currently, there are five known ways to travel between the worlds:
- Gummi: Pieces of Gummi known as "Star Shards", or the Gummi Ships built from them are able to travel the Sea of the Skies. Using Gummi Ships is much easier, as single Star Shards will cause random jumps if their handler isn't skilled in their use.
- Lanes between (異空の回廊 Isora no Kairou, lit. "Corridors of the Skies"): The Lanes Between are a series of "roads" between the worlds in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep that were unlocked by Master Eraqus. Ventus, Aqua, and Terra frequently use these paths to navigate the worlds. The presence of Darkness is very strong within them, forcing travelers to wear their Keyblade Armor as a safety precaution. To enter the Lanes, the Keyblade wielder raises his or her Keyblade to the sky, and creates a portal leading into the Lanes, appearing somewhat similar to the Dark Corridors. Upon opening the way, they usually call their Keyblade Glider and use it to enter. The Lanes resemble the Corridors of Darkness, but with a color scheme closely resembling the Aurora Borealis.
- Gates (ゲート Gēto): After the events of Kingdom Hearts the worlds have prepared new pathways which can be accessed though the Gates.
- Corridors of Darkness (闇の回廊 Yami no Kairou): By tunneling directly through the darkness, a traveler can move between worlds almost instantaneously. However, their direct contact with the darkness between worlds puts them at a great risk of being corrupted or engulfed by the darkness.
- Teleportation: Certain sorcerers, like Merlin and Maleficent, are able to instantaneously transport themselves and others directly from world to world, apparently without passing through the lanes at all.
- Time travel: Certain sorcerers, like Merlin and Yen Sid, are able to open passages to past versions of a world, or even the Sleeping Worlds, allowing travelers to move not only through space but also time.
Certain characters, such as Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Young Xehanort, are capable of traversing through time, although the exact means of travel are still unknown. However, as stated by Xehanort, there are many limitations on time travel in this way. First, the person must "dispose of their body". Second, the person traveling must have existed in some form in the time period they wish to go to. Third, the person can only "move in one direction with the flow of time", i.e. continually moving forward into the future or backward into the past. In addition, the individual is not allowed to alter the events of that point in time. Lastly, the traveler and all those displaced from their original time will eventually return to their respective periods, with all memories of their time travel erased.
Two known vehicles are used as modes of transportation, whether they are powered by the aforementioned methods of travel or use an independent source:
- Keyblade Glider (キーブレードライダー Kīburēdo Raidā, lit. "Keyblade Rider"): An ability only accessible to Keyblade wielders, in which the Keyblade can transform into vehicles by throwing the Keyblade into the sky, where it transforms into its vehicle form. The vehicle can be used to fly, even to other worlds, as well as attack. So far, this has only been demonstrated by Terra, Aqua, and Ventus, but it is unknown if other Keyblade wielders have this ability.
The Keyblade is a mysterious weapon heavily featured in the Kingdom Hearts series. Sora, King Mickey, and many other characters throughout the series wield the keyblade, and it is an important element to the battle between the Darkness and Light.
The Keyblade is usually used in fighting, but it has many other abilities. The most important ability featured throughout the series is the ability to lock and unlock any keyhole. The most apparent use of this ability is in the opening and sealing of the keyholes to the hearts of the worlds, as well as opening paths to other worlds. It also can transform into Keyblade Gliders, and, of course, be used to defeat the enemies the present themselves throughout the series. Different keychains can be attached to the Keyblade to change its appearance and form.
In the original Kingdom Hearts, Sora received the Keyblade during the Heartless invasion of Destiny Islands. At about the same time, King Mickey assigns Donald and Goofy to find "the key" and follow it. In Traverse Town, Donald and Goofy identify Sora as the key wielder because of his Keyblade. Sora travels with Donald and Goofy to many worlds, finding and sealing the keyholes of the worlds to protect them from the Heartless. When the trio makes it to Hollow Bastion, Riku reveals that he was meant to wield the Keyblade instead of Sora, and takes the Keyblade for himself, leaving Sora alone. However, soon after, Sora takes the Keyblade back, proving that his own heart was stronger than Riku's. Frustrated and confused, Riku acquires a Keyblade from Ansem, one that he uses to unleash the darkness from people's hearts. Riku, now possessed by Ansem, later confronts Sora, and attacks Sora to free Kairi's heart, needed for both the Final Keyhole to Kingdom Hearts and his own Keyblade. Sora defeats the Ansem-possessed Riku, and uses the Keyblade of heart on himself to release Kairi's heart from within. At the End of the World, the trio attempts to close Kingdom Hearts after defeating Ansem. Riku and King Mickey then appear, and the King reveals that he had been traveling through the Realm of Darkness in search of the Realm's Keyblade, the Kingdom Key D. They closed the door and, together, Sora and Mickey seal the Door to Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts II continues Sora, Donald, and Goofy's journey in search of Riku and King Mickey. Along the way, the come across and confront the mysterious Organization XIII. They learn from Axel during the Heartless invasion that the Organization was using Sora to create Kingdom Hearts, because every Heartless slayed with the Keyblade was releasing a heart that found its way to Kingdom Hearts. In this dark moment, Sora finds himself conflicted over continuing to defeat the Heartless and releasing hearts, or stop the Organization's plot of using the release hearts by defeating Heartless and allow the Heartless to roam free. Goofy assures him, however, that it was far more important to defeat the Heartless threatening the worlds than to foil that part of the Organization's plans. Later, in The World That Never Was, Riku gives Kairi a Keyblade of her own. Riku's own Keyblade had changed appearance to confirm his decision to walk "the road to dawn."
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days reveals that the Organization had been using Roxas, Sora's Nobody, for their plans in the same way they later used Sora. They made Roxas slay Heartless with the Keyblade, which he could wield as Sora's Nobody, to release hearts from the Heartless. The Organization also made a replica of Roxas, Xion, using Sora's memories. Because of Xion's unique nature and the fact that Sora also harbored Ventus's heart, Xion too could wield the Keyblade. The Organization used Xion to release hearts even faster. Eventually, however, the Organization pit Roxas against Xion, deciding they truly only needed one of the two.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep introduces the concept of the Mark of Mastery exam, which Keyblade wielders must pass in order to be considered true Keyblade Masters. In addition, the concept of Keyblade Armor and the ability to convert the Keyblade into a Keyblade Glider is introduced. Xehanort also reveals the origins of the Keyblade, and how they were forged in the image of the original χ-blade during the Keyblade War. In his own pursuits to recreate the Keyblade War, Master Xehanort attempts to pit Ventus against the embodiment of his own darkness, Vanitas. Though he fails, he leaves open many means for him to continue to pursue his goals.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora and Riku go through the Mark of Mastery exam to become Keyblade Masters. Towards the end, Master Xehanort returns and reveals his new plan to recreate the Keyblade War. He reveals that at the end of the Keyblade War, the χ-blade was destroyed into twenty pieces, seven of light and thirteen of darkness. Knowing this, Xehanort reveals his plan to pit thirteen beings of darkness against seven of light. This was the purpose of the original Organization XIII, but since it failed, the new plan consisted of a new Organization made up of thirteen Xehanorts. Riku, Mickey, and others are able to foil Xehanort's plan, which included Sora as the last vessel, by saving Sora. Master Yen Sid, however, reveals that Xehanort will still go through with his plan because if they do not come up with seven guardians of light, Xehanort will target the Seven Princesses of Light. Either way, the χ-blade could be forged and a new Keyblade War created. Lea, Axel's original persona, is revealed to have asked for the ability to wield the Keyblade, which he is able to at the end of the game.
Kingdom Hearts III will feature Sora, Donald and Goofy in their search for a new Keyblade, the Keyblade to Return Hearts. It will also feature Xehanort's new Organization and his attempt to forge the Keyblade in his pursuit to recreate the Keyblade War.
Realm of Light
The Realm of Light (光の世界 Hikari no Sekai) is the portion of the universe with an affinity for light, and is positioned opposite the Realm of Darkness. Like the Realm of Darkness, the Realm of Light has a Keyblade, the Kingdom Key, which chose Sora as its wielder. The Realm of Light is the primary setting for the series, although the protagonists sometimes travel to the Realm of Darkness, the Realm Between that connects them, or the Sleeping Worlds that lie parallel to them all.
Door to Light
The door leading to the Realm of Light is called the Door to Light (光の扉 Hikari no Tobira). It was the door Sora and Riku went through while they were stuck in the Realm of Darkness. It is not certain what caused the door to appear, though one reason could be, as Riku pointed out at the end of the game, the light within Sora's heart, which was brought out by Kairi's Letter.
Realm of Darkness
The Realm of Darkness (闇の世界 Yami no Sekai) is a realm made up of Darkness in people in every world. As with the Realm of Light, this realm has a Keyblade, Kingdom Key D, which chose King Mickey as its wielder. Kingdom Hearts is found here. This is where the most powerful Heartless can be found, as this is also the home of all the Heartless. Sora fought Ansem, Seeker of Darkness here in Kingdom Hearts. Aqua also ended up trapped here by the end of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep due to saving the possessed Terra from being swallowed, effectively taking his place. Ansem the Wise ends up trapped here a second time, but lacks the way to escape like before.
Door to Darkness
The Door to Darkness (闇の扉 Yami no Tobira) is the dark counterpart of the Door to Light. It was shown to lie within the End of the World in Kingdom Hearts. Beyond the door is the Realm of Darkness where Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds, resides.
The Realm Between (狭間の世界 Hazama no Sekai ) is the third realm in the Kingdom Hearts series, and lies on the boundary between the Realms of Light and Darkness. Few worlds exist within it, and most have some special nature or purpose.
As of now, Traverse Town, Land of Departure/Castle Oblivion, Twilight Town, Mysterious Tower, and The World That Never Was are the only worlds confirmed to exist within the Realm Between. Each world ties closer to the Realm of Light or the Realm of Darkness, with the exception of Twilight Town, which exists exactly in the middle.
The Sleeping Worlds (夢見る世界 Yumemiru Sekai , lit. "Dreaming Worlds") are a place where parts of worlds go after their hearts have been taken over by darkness. After Sora sealed the Door to Darkness with help of Mickey, many worlds were restored from their demise, but some of them were submerged into deep sleep that prevented them from waking fully for a year. Sora and Riku are sent into Realm of Sleep in order to release those worlds and complete their Mark of Mastery exam.
Sora and Riku travel through worlds such as Destiny Islands, La Cité des Cloches, The Grid and Prankster's Paradise in order to release them from their sleep. They also travel to worlds whose dreams are of the past such as Country of the Musketeers and Symphony of Sorcery. Traverse Town also appears within this Realm, brought into being for Joshua to be able to save Neku and his friends from the demise of their own world.
A World (世界 Sekai) is a location that appears in the Kingdom Hearts series. Serving as the "levels" for the games, Sora and other characters are charged with visiting and protecting them through the course of the series. By defending the worlds from the Heartless, Nobodies, or other enemies, Sora keeps the Darkness from spreading and the worlds from being manipulated or destroyed. At the end of every world Sora, Donald, and Goofy have to fight a boss of that world (which is either a giant Heartless or a Disney villain) which opens the Keyhole area when defeated. At the end Sora locks the Keyhole and earns a Gummi that will let him go to the next world.
Each world that appears in the Kingdom Hearts series has its own distinct look, and for the most part hold true to the movies and cartoons they are based on. Often the plot of the game in that world will be based on its original source. Almost all worlds can be visited in the course of the game and are part of the playthrough; there are exceptions, though, since some places can be seen in cinematics but not actually accessed by Sora's party. All worlds are separate from one another, and with a few exceptions, most people are unaware of the existence of other worlds.
There are over thirty worlds that have appeared in the Kingdom Hearts series so far. Most of them are based on Disney's animated features and contain locations and characters from or inspired by the films. As a result, worlds are greatly varied in appearance, style, and nature, as their sources range from the oldest cartoons created by Disney to more current movies in the Disney canon.
The oldest source is the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie, used as a basis for Timeless River, while the most recent inspiration for a world from Disney's animated features is 2002's Lilo & Stitch, the source for Deep Space. In Kingdom Hearts II, two live-action films, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Tron served as the foundation for the worlds Port Royal and Space Paranoids, respectively. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance one direct-to-video movie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers, which served as the source for Country of the Musketeers, makes it the first world in the series to originate from a direct-to-video film, instead of a film from the animated features canon.
In addition to the Disney-based worlds, twelve worlds are exclusives that were created by game developers Square Enix just for the Kingdom Hearts series. They are not part of the Disney film canon, nor Square Enix's games canon, but do tend to be populated with Square Enix characters, especially from the Final Fantasy series, as well as the occasional Disney character or original characters created just for Kingdom Hearts.
Some worlds have names that don't seem to accurately reflect what is found there. A famous example is Neverland in Kingdom Hearts; Sora and company get to go through Captain Hook's ship and fly around the Clock Tower, but never actually reach the island Neverland where Peter Pan and Tinker Bell live. To further confuse things, some worlds in Kingdom Hearts II contain what could almost be considered sub-levels or second worlds within them, such as the Underworld at Olympus Coliseum or Christmas Town in Halloween Town.
A Keyhole is a gateway in each world that leads to the heart of that world. The Heartless invade worlds and search for their Keyholes. Upon discovering the Keyhole, the Heartless will enter it and eventually devour the world's heart. After a world's heart is consumed, the world crumbles, and fades from existence. It is said that, if the Keyblade locks a world's Keyhole, it can never be opened again. Thus, Sora, along with Donald and Goofy, travel from world to world to seal the Keyholes using the Keyblade.
Gates (ゲート Gēto?) are special pathways into worlds in Kingdom Hearts II which are opened when a specific item or object, different for each world, is surrounded in light and is accompanied by a gust of wind. The item in question reveals the Keyhole to a route to another world, allowing Sora to open it.
Notes and references
- ↑ Director's Secret Report XIII "There are two means of transfer between these worlds, first being the Gummi Ship Sora uses in what is called the "Sea of the Skies". In this way they can come and go between the worlds dotted through space."
- ↑ Secret Ansem's Report 11 "Like Castle Oblivion, that village Traverse Town also rests in the cleft between light and dark.
- ↑ Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania "[Land of Departure] It is a special place between the realms of darkness and light, and has been protected for generations so that it is not used for evil.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Director's Secret Report XIII "At present, there are 4 worlds in-between these planes that have appeared: A) Castle Oblivion, B) Twilight Town, C) Yen Sid's Tower, and D) The World That Never Was. Constructed in this manner, Light < C < B > A > D > Darkness"
|This page uses content from the Kingdom Hearts Wiki The list of authors can be seen in the page revision history (view authors). As with Disney Wiki, the text of KHWiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
Incorporated Films and shorts: Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent/Dragon Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Quasimodo | | Merlin | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Mulan | Mushu | Jack Sparrow | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | King Triton | Jafar/Genie Jafar | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Jack Skellington | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Master Control Program | Sark | CLU | Rinzler | Beast | Stitch | Hercules | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Wendy (More coming soon)
Objects: Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat| | Keyblade Armor
Locations: Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Hollow Bastion | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland
Music: Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony
Soundtracks: Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack