End of the World
End of the World is a by-product of all Heartless's destructive nature. Although End of the World is the last world, the Heartless are not very numerous as compared to Hollow Bastion, but they are very powerful. Upon taking a world's heart, a tiny fragment of what is left of that world is sent drifting through the void of space until it eventually meets and merges with End of the World. It is, in essence, a Heartless of the destroyed worlds, as well as the location of Kingdom Hearts for worlds' hearts. In nature, it can be seen as the opposite of The World That Never Was, which is a similar artificial "Nobody" world without its own heart.
The theme music for End of the World is "End of the World" and the battle theme is "Fragments of Sorrow". Both are arrangements of different segments of "Dive Into the Heart (Destati)", the music used during the Dive to the Heart.
Originally planned for Kingdom Hearts was a boss battle with Riku at the End of the World, in an area called Crumbling Island. The area was cavernous with purple walls; it had a large amount of running water on the walls, and a large hole in the ceiling. It is reminiscent of Destiny Islands while it was being consumed by darkness. The map for Crumbling Island was placed out of the way within the remains of the World Terminus, where it can be found through hacking.
Settings and Areas
End of the World opens on the Gate to the Dark (闇への入口, Yami e no Iriguchi?, lit. "Entrance to the Darkness"), a cave leading into the Final Dimension (果ての魔空, Hate no Masora?, lit. "Final Abyss"), which appears to the eye as an empty field of darkness dotted by snowy fragments of land, and showered by infrequent dark orbs being drawn deeper into the world. However, being sucked into one of those orbs reveals the true shape of the area, a snowy wasteland with plentiful outcroppings of crystals, and swarming with powerful Heartless. A vortex at the end of the area leads to a colorful, quiet canyon with Gummi Blocks scattered all over the place, called the Giant Crevasse (巨大クレバス, Kyodai Kurebasu?), which spans several levels, connected by green web-like formations. At the bottom of the canyon is a passage to the fragmented World Terminus (世界の牢獄, Sekai no Rōgoku?, lit. "Prison of Worlds"), which in turn leads to the Evil Grounds (魔人の地, Majin no Ji?, lit. "Land of the Demoniac") and a boss battle with Chernabog. Within the Evil Grounds, Sora has free flight, and must fly up to reach the World Terminus.
After defeating Chernabog, the top of Bald Mountain opens, allowing Sora and his party to fly through the Crater (火口, Kakō?). The Crater runs into the Volcanic Crater (噴火口, Funkakō?, lit. "Erupting Crater"), with entrances to it at the top and bottom of the crater. The Volcanic Crater is a tunnel that extends through four rooms, and contains remnants from worlds that have fallen into darkness - for example, trees and small towers from Enchanted Dominion, the demonic trees and the front door of the Dwarfs' house from Dwarf Woodlands, stone tapestries from Castle of Dreams, and a small glass sphere from Beast's Castle.
At the bottom of the mountain is a glowing chamber called the Linked Worlds (交じり合う世界, Majiriau Sekai?), in which Sora and his friends are forced to fight a swarm of Heartless, beginning with a battle against a Behemoth, in order to break open the path to the Final Rest (最後の休息, Saigo no Kyūsoku?). This room is the location of the final save point of the game, as well as the door which first appeared in the Awakening and led to a strange version of Destiny Islands. Just as before, this door leads to the remnants of Destiny Islands, in a room named only Homecoming (想い出の島, Omoide no Shima?, lit. "Island of Memories"). The final boss, World of Chaos, even includes small Portals of Darkness as rooms within itself.
After sealing the Final Keyhole at Hollow Bastion, Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive at the End of the World. Goofy takes note of its composite-world nature, and Sora states that all of the worlds would be restored if they managed to defeat Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, but wonders what would happen to the world itself and them by extension. Goofy says that, as a "Heartless world", it would just disappear, but assures them that, even if that did happen, they would not meet the same fate. Sora takes out Kairi's lucky charm, and remembers his promise to return it.
After fighting through several legions of Heartless and the World Terminus, Sora, Donald, and Goofy run into the giant demon Chernabog and manage to defeat him after a lengthy battle. Afterwards, they descend into the crater of Bald Mountain and press onwards. The group reaches the Final Rest area where a door appears like the one that was in the Awakening earlier in the game. Through the door, they come to the remnants of Sora's homeworld, the Destiny Islands, which soon takes on a much darker appearance.
Ansem appears in the form of Riku, and states that Riku was desperate to escape the islands by any cost, and then takes on his own form. Sora calls out to Riku, but Ansem informs him that any effort to reach him is futile. The villain goes on to explain that all worlds and hearts begin and end in darkness; thus, darkness is the true essence of a heart. Sora denies this, stating that, while hearts may be weak and sometimes even give in, deep down, there is a light that never goes out. Unimpressed, Ansem says, "So you've come this far, and still you understand nothing" (mirroring his words to Sora at the beginning of the game), and engages in battle with the trio.
Sora comes out victorious, and then the mountains of the islands split open. Ansem escapes into the opening with Sora, Donald, and Goofy in hot pursuit, but only Sora is able to get past a preset barrier. After defeating another Darkside and Ansem, the latter uses his power to send himself and his foes to a dark void.
Ansem fuses himself to the World of Chaos, a giant, organic Heartless battleship, and sucks Donald and Goofy into a Corridor of Darkness. Sora begins to fall into the void, but the encouragement of Riku gives him the strength to fight back. Sora rescues Donald and Goofy, and the trio destroy the World of Chaos.
Badly injured, Ansem opens the Door to Darkness, informs Sora that not even the Keyblade can seal the door, and pines for Kingdom Hearts to fill him with the power of darkness. Sora shouts that Kingdom Hearts is, in fact, light, which proves to be correct; the light of Kingdom Hearts shines out of the door and hits Ansem full force, seemingly destroying him.
However, the threat is not over; several thousand Heartless lie in wait behind the door. Sora, Donald, and Goofy attempt to close it, but even with help from the restored Riku, their efforts are futile. Just when things appear to be over, King Mickey arrives with a golden Keyblade, and Sora, Riku, Donald, and Goofy manage to close the door. Before it does, Mickey assures them that there will always be a door to light; thus, they will be able to find their way back. Riku asks Sora to take care of Kairi, and Sora and Mickey use their respective Keyblades to seal the Door to Darkness forever.
Soon afterwards, Kairi appears, and Sora runs off to talk to her. However, the worlds are beginning to restore themselves. Sora promises to return to Kairi when his obligations are done just as the End of the World breaks apart; Kairi is sent back to the Destiny Islands alone, while Sora, Donald, and Goofy end up on the pathway to Castle Oblivion, where they resolve to find Riku and King Mickey, though they are unsure of where to start looking.
A facsimile of End of the World is created by Ansem within Castle Oblivion for his and Riku's final fight.
End of the World only appears when Roxas is dreaming about Sora's memories. Its name is never mentioned, and it is not playable. The area where Sora, Donald, and Goofy battled Ansem is also briefly shown when King Mickey explains the truth about Ansem.