Organization XIII was formed by a group of scientists working under Ansem the Wise. The head of this group was Ansem's apprentice, Xehanort, with the others being Braig, Dilan, Even, Aeleus, and Ienzo. Ansem the Wise began initiating tests about the human heart with the hopes of recovering Xehanort's lost memories. At the urging of Ienzo, he constructed a massive laboratory under the castle. However, Ansem the Wise soon ceased his experiments, for he feared that going too deep would have grave repercussions.
However, the six apprentices continued the experiments on countless subjects, discovering the Heartless as a result. Eventually, the six apprentices surrendered to the darkness, creating a Heartless and Nobody for each apprentice. The six Nobodies then banished Ansem to a Realm of Nothingness, and went on to for Organization XIII, with other member joining in the future.
The Organization yearns to discover the secrets of the heart and fill the empty void inside themselves by gathering hearts to form Kingdom Hearts so they can become full beings again. However, the real objective, one only known to Xemnas, is to use the members as vessels to become 13 Xehanort replicas. Each member is aware of their lack of emotions, and many of them pretend to have emotions, for example, Saïx's enraged battle style and Larxene's giggling and winking. Despite this, most of the members begin demonstrating true emotions as time goes on, while some members are remarkably disloyal to Xemnas, and much of their stories revolves around key betrayals or attempted coups. This made many of the members unfit for becoming Xehanort clones.
Each member in the Organization dons the same uniform, regardless of whether they are male or female. The uniform consists of a single black leather hooded coat. It is plainly adorned with a silver zipper and seemingly pointless silver beaded pull strings for the hood that form a semi-circle in the middle. Each member wears their zippers at differing points.
Not much is known about the under garments of the Organization. It is known, however, that they all wear hakama-esque black pants and knee high silver trimmed boots, with the exceptions of Roxas, who wears sneakers of the same color, and Larxene and Xion, who wear a more feminized version of the boots with heels. In addition to this, they all wear black leather gloves of some unknown length, as they disappear under bell shaped sleeves. Some members have different looking coats, for example Axel, whose sleeves are tight around his wrists. Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that the hems of each cloak are each slightly different, as well as the shoulder pads (such as those of Demyx and Xigbar, which seem to be slightly pointed).
Other known characters to wear the cloak are King Mickey, Riku, and Xehanort's Heartless. Riku obtains his cloak from DiZ and it is presumed Mickey also obtains it from him. It is unknown how DiZ obtained it.
The reason that Organization XIII wears black cloaks is because Master Xehanort, one of Xemnas's original beings, once wore one. As Xemnas regained his memories, he remembered the black cloak that was worn by Master Xehanort, and incorporated the cloak into Organization XIII.
Ranks within the Organization have little to nothing to do with power. While Xehanort's Nobody, known as Xemnas, is the strongest as well as the leader, the rest are assigned by order of seniority. Thus, their numbered rank is based on the order they joined and not necessarily representative of their status and power. Until Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days the total number of members, like its name suggests, was thirteen.
NamingAll of the members have an "X" that appears within each of their names. As revealed by Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the game, by removing the "X", the remaining letters form an anagram of the members' original names from when they were humans. For instance, "Roxas" is an anagram of "Sora", and "Xemnas" is an anagram of "Ansem". Xemnas's true name is Xehanort; his name is an anagram of 'no heart' or 'another' with an X added. Xion, being an artificial Replica, had no original name. The name "Xion" came from her label as Replica No.i of the Replica Project.
The reason for the placement of the "X" in the naming process of a new Organization XIII member has to do with Master Xehanort's fascination with the legendary X-blade. As Xemnas regained memories of Master Xehanort's past, he remembered the χ-blade, and incorporated the "X" into Organization XIII.
The Organization make their first appearance in the series (apart from Xemnas' appearance in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix). The neophytes - Marluxia and Larxene - tried to take control of the Organization by using Sora as their puppet, while the senior members - Zexion, Lexaeus, and Vexen, tried to oppose them by using the darkness in Riku. However, all of them, save Axel, were eliminated.
Only eight members (Xemnas, Axel, Demyx, Xaldin, Xigbar, Luxord, Saïx, and Roxas) of the Organization remained at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. Sora and his friends took every single remaining member down, so that Sora and his friends could save Kairi. In the end, Organization XIII is ultimately destroyed when Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas.
The story largely focuses on Roxas's time as a member of the Organization XIII, and thus, all the members are present here. This and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep are the only installments to date where the fourteenth member, Xion, is ever mentioned.
While Dilan, Even, Aeleus, Ienzo, Isa, and Lea appear in the game in minor roles, Braig serves as a major player in Master Xehanort's ruthless ambitions, acquiring his signature scars and eyepatch following a battle against Terra. Of Ansem's apprentices, Braig plays the largest role overall in the story until the appearance of Xehanort. Axel, Roxas and Xion also appear in the game's secret ending.
Following the Organization's defeat, Dilan, Even, Aeleus, Ienzo, and Lea are revived, though the other members' original selves are not shown. However, the threat of Organization XIII turns out to be far from over, as Sora learns through his confrontations with Young Xehanort, Xemnas, and Xigbar that the true purpose of Organization XIII was to create an Organization of thirteen different incarnations of Xehanort himself, though this plan initially failed due to the members' unforeseen independence. Under the leadership of the newly reformed Master Xehanort, the new Organization XIII is formed by Master Xehanort himself, Young Xehanort, Xemnas, Xigbar (who claims to already be "half-Xehanort"), Ansem, Saïx, and six other hooded figures. Master Xehanort almost succeeds in making Sora into the final vessel for the Organization, but Riku, Mickey, Lea, Donald, and Goofy succeed in saving Sora and driving Master Xehanort to retreat. In the game's secret ending, Yen Sid implies that Master Xehanort has successfully formed his new Organization XIII.
By the time of Kingdom Hearts II, the actions of Sora, Axel, Riku, and the Riku Replica, in addition to the departure of Roxas, reduced the Organization's roster to eight, which were then slain by Sora one-by-one (with the exception of Axel) until only Xemnas remained. Ultimately, Xemnas fell at the hands of Sora and Riku, but he and two other members (Xigbar and Saix) are revived by Master Xehanort. By the events of Dream Drop Distance, the surviving members are: Xemnas, Xigbar, Saix, and Roxas.
- Xemnas - Defeated by Sora and Riku at the end of Kingdom Hearts II. He was trying to dispose of the only threat standing between him and Kingdom Hearts. Disappeared in Darkness in what appears to be a black variation of the white Nobody thorns. He was the thirteenth and final member to fall, but since both his Heartless and Nobody have been slain, his whole being is now able to return from the darkness. As with Xigbar and Saix, Xemnas has been revived by the time of Dream Drop Distance to serve as a member of the new Organization.
- Xigbar - Defeated by Sora, Donald, and Goofy in the Hall of Empty Melodies in The World That Never Was. He started the fight to try to prevent Sora and company from ascending any farther up the castle but disappeared into Darkness. He was the ninth member to disappear. In Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, though he was "destroyed", Xigbar is now revived (alongside Xemnas, Saix and the heartless Ansem) to serve as a member of the new Organization.
- Xaldin - Defeated by Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Beast at Beast's Castle. He was on a mission to turn the Beast into a Heartless and Nobody. Disappeared into Darkness and wind. Xaldin was the seventh member subject to elimination.
- Vexen - Defeated by Axel as a way to gain Marluxia's trust. Vexen opposed Marluxia's plot and Marluxia wanted him eliminated. Disappeared by incineration into Darkness. He was the first member to fall.
- Lexaeus - Defeated by Riku while possessed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. He was trying to make Riku use the Darkness inside him. From what is shown in the cutscene of his elimination, he was helpless against Ansem, Seeker of Darkness due to his weakened condition after his brutal fight with Riku. He disappeared into Darkness, and was the third member eliminated.
- Zexion - Defeated by Riku Replica and Axel. Axel wanted no evidence of his actions in Castle Oblivion, so when Zexion was extremely weary from his battle with the real Riku, Axel had the Riku Replica absorb Zexion. He disappeared into gaseous Darkness while engulfed in the Replica's energy. Zexion was the fifth member to fall.
- Saïx - Defeated by Sora, Donald, and Goofy. He was confronted simply to try to eliminate the last of the Organization. He disappeared into gaseous Darkness. He disappeared eleventh, but is eventually revived to serve in the new Organization alongside two other original Organization members.
- Axel - The only Organization member not killed by anyone. He was eliminated in a sacrificial attack to save Sora from an army of Dusks. Similar to a fire, he seemed to "burn out" into Darkness, resembling ashes. Axel was the eighth member to fall.
- Demyx - Defeated, by Sora, Donald, and Goofy. He was one of the few mentionable people destroyed in the Battle of 1,000 Heartless. He confronted Sora and company just for the sake of battling in the war. He disappeared into Darkness and appeared to have boiled up and evaporated. He was the sixth member to disappear.
- Luxord - Defeated by Sora. He captured Donald, Goofy, Riku, and Kairi, forcing Sora into one of Luxord's "games." Sora was able to beat him by "winning the game" and slashing through his shield of cards. He disappeared into gaseous Darkness. Luxord was the tenth member to be eliminated.
- Marluxia - Defeated by Sora. He was trying to destroy Sora since he couldn't control him. Marluxia himself is never actually fought, but after Sora destroys a clone, a machine-like Nobody and an angel-like, feminine reaper, all Marluxia's energy is gone and he is beaten. He disappeared attempting to grab Sora in gaseous Darkness in a flurry of flower petals. Marluxia was the fourth member to disappear.
- Larxene - Defeated by Sora, Donald, and Goofy. She was on a mission to kill Sora after her plan fell apart. She would have succeeded, but an attempt to save Sora by Naminé, Donald, and Goofy gave him the strength to fight back, and Larxene eventually met her end. She disappeared into Darkness. Larxene was the second member to fall.
- Roxas - Roxas permanently sealed himself within Sora just before the final battle with Xemnas, willingly giving up his physical existence. Although he is not gone, he was the twelfth member to "fall".
True Organization XIII
The true Organization XIII (真のXIII機関 Shin no Jūsan Kikan ), also known as the thirteen seekers of darkness (13人の闇の探求者 Jūsannin no Yami no Tankyūsha ) is a group consisting of thirteen different incarnations of Master Xehanort that debuts in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. It was created by Xehanort in case the first Organization had ever failed in its true purpose - to have each of the Nobody members host a fragment of Master Xehanort's heart, turning them into clones of Xehanort. Because of the original's failure from the members' treason and independence, Master Xehanort had arranged for Young Xehanort to be sent by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness to travel to different periods of time and gather different incarnations of Xehanort to become part of the new Organization. Twelve of the Organization's seats were successfully filled and Master Xehanort was revived. When the group tries to make Sora its thirteenth member, however, the boy is rescued by Riku and his friends, forcing the group to retreat to their proper times.
There are currently twelve seen members of the true Organization XIII, but only six have been identified:
- Master Xehanort
- Young Xehanort
- Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
- Xemnas and Roxas are the only members shown wearing something other than the Organization's signature Black Cloak: in Xemnas's case, he had a suit of armor with the abilities of his defeated subordinates and a modified black-and-white cloak in his last stand against Sora and Riku; in Roxas's case, he wears a black, white and grey outfit slightly resembling Ventus's, but not baggy and with longer jeans, no armor on the shoulder or hips, & no black side of the jacket.
- After Sora obtains the password for the DTD, the Journal entries for the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Organization XIII members are obtained. It is unknown why this is, as Sora had lost his memories of them, although it is believed that this information was obtained from Ansem's computer in Hollow Bastion. In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, this is changed: the Journal entries for the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Organization XIII members are obtained only after defeating their respective Absent Silhouettes, before or after the Battle of 1000 Heartless.
- When an Organization member falls, they usually fade into darkness without visibly demonstrating the wound that "killed" them. However, Vexen, Lexaeus, Zexion, Axel and Luxord do in fact demonstrate their fatal wounds. Xemnas may or may not be included as he is shown suffering normally fatal wounds but is still shown (barely) alive afterwards.
- Roxas and Xemnas are the only Organization members whose weapons are not designed after the Nobody sigil.
- At least eight of the Organization members were citizens of Radiant Garden, and Sora released his heart, creating Roxas, within the Hollow Bastion.
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