The Gullwings are a group of treasure-hunting fairies made up of Yuna, Rikku, and Paine. They have minor roles in Kingdom Hearts II. The name refers to the sphere-hunting group that the three girls are a part of in Final Fantasy X-2.
Despite Yuna and Rikku actually making their first appearances in Final Fantasy X alongside Tidus, Wakka, and Auron, the journal lists their first appearance as Final Fantasy X-2. The cast part of the end credits groups their names with Auron, since both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 occur in the same continuity.
Of the trio, Paine is the most recent Final Fantasy character to appear in Kingdom Hearts.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy first encounter the Gullwings in their third visit to Hollow Bastion, where the Gullwings inquire about the recent activities of Leon's group. Sora tells them that they have business at the castle. Rikku nearly reveals that they are working for Maleficent, but Paine quickly stops her from doing so. She assures Sora that they come in peace (Yuna asks her if she's kidding, and Paine replies, "Okay, fine. You do the talking.") and then teleports away. Yuna and Rikku follow, but not before Yuna apologizes to Sora and company for bothering them.
They reappear during the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, shortly after Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeat a massive amount of both Heartless and Nobodies, and ask what happened to Maleficent. Sora informs them that Maleficent ran away, and they call her lame, revealing that they had indeed been working for her and noting that they picked the wrong side. Sora asks them to help out the Restoration Committee; Yuna accepts and asks if Leon has any treasure. Donald, knowing that the Committee needs all the help it can get, lies and says that he does (proving it by chuckling to himself after they leave). Sora asks who they are, but Yuna tells him that they are nothing worth mentioning, just "three treasure fanatics", and teleports away.
During the war, Paine lures an Armored Knight Heartless into a trap, and Yuna and Rikku double-team it and knock it off the edge with two simultaneous jump-kicks. Shortly afterward, a massive legion of Armored Knights chases them off.
The Gullwings escape, however, and discover that they had been tricked, confronting Sora and friends after the war. After a brief discussion with each other on how to work it out, they decide to take their treasure in retribution; when Sora declares that they have nothing, Rikku searches them, and Yuna declares that they are taking all of their items. However, Sora downright refuses, much to their frustration.
Sora begins to apologize for the deception, but Paine stops him and reveals that Leon had informed them of their fight against Organization XIII and their search for their friends, and how rough their journey had been. They decide that it wouldn't be right to take their items after all that they had been through and assure him that they will root for them. They give Sora the Gull Wing Keyblade as a sign of forgiveness and then depart after performing their trademark pose.
They are last seen during the end credits, stealing a stick of sea-salt ice cream from Yuffie and provoking her into chasing them.
Design and conception
In Kingdom Hearts II, the Gullwings receive a new appearance, seeming to be small pixies. The reason for making the Gullwings "pixie-like" beings was because Tetsuya Nomura wanted to have Final Fantasy characters appear in a non-human form that still appeared human, and the Kingdom Hearts series seemed to be the ideal scenario to do so. He chose their fairy forms, as he believed that they would look interesting and because he believed that the screen would be too crowded if the camera focused on all three of them at once if they were in their normal human forms.
Interestingly, Rikku was supposed to make a solo appearance in the original Kingdom Hearts as a member of Leon's group in Traverse Town; however, because of the similarly-named character Riku, she was replaced with Yuffie, who was then given a version of the outfit planned for Rikku. Yuffie's version has the same design, but the colors are swapped.
As seen above in Jiminy's Journal, the Gullwings are called the "Friendly-neighborhood-something-or-others", a reference to a line in Final Fantasy X-2, in which they called themselves the "Friendly neighborhood Gullwings", which is a further reference to Marvel Comic's "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man". Jiminy's Journal never mentions the name "Gullwings", instead only copying the description the girls gave themselves in the middle of Final Fantasy X-2's story.
While the Gullwings' physical appearances have changed, their personalities have not: Yuna is unfailingly kind-hearted and polite, even bowing in respect to Sora, Donald, and Goofy and apologizing to them for bothering them; Rikku is good-natured and ditzy, the latter of which shows when she nearly reveals to Sora and friends who they were working for; and Paine is emotionally distant and anti-social.
However, it would seem that they are more like mercenaries in this game, working for Maleficent in exchange for treasure, and agreeing to work for Leon only if he pays them to do so; when confronting Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Rikku complains about Leon not having any treasure and Paine says, "And we fought for you guys", almost as if it was a crime to help someone out without receiving payment.
Nonetheless, they do seem to have a strong moral compass, as they decide to let Sora and co. off without consequence upon hearing of his fight with Organization XIII and search for his missing friends, as they believe that punishing them for doing the right thing is just not right.
- Tidus & Yuna have a romantic relationship in Final Fantasy X and its sequel, but in the Kingdom Heartsseries, they never encounter each other, and it's unknown if this will ever be touched upon.