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Castle Oblivion

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This article is about the World.
You may be looking for the field theme or the chapter in the Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories manga.
Castle Oblivion

Castle Oblivion KHCOM.png
Castle Oblivion Logo KHCOM.png
Japanese 忘却の城

Romaji Bōkyaku no Shiro
Games Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Kingdom Hearts coded
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory

Themes Header.png

KHCOM tracks
Field theme - The 13th Floor
Field theme - Castle Oblivion
Battle theme - Forgotten Challenge
KHREC tracks
Field theme - Castle Oblivion
Battle theme - Forgotten Challenge
Other worlds
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts
Dive to the Heart | Destiny Islands | Disney Castle
Traverse Town | Wonderland | Olympus Coliseum
Deep Jungle | Agrabah | Monstro
Atlantica | Halloween Town | Neverland
100 Acre Wood | Hollow Bastion
End of the World | Realm of Darkness
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts II
Mysterious Tower | Radiant Garden
The Land of Dragons | Beast's Castle | Timeless River
Port Royal | Pride Lands | Space Paranoids
The World That Never Was | End of Sea | Keyblade Graveyard
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts coded
Datascape
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Land of Departure | Mirage Arena
Dwarf Woodlands | Enchanted Dominion | Castle of Dreams
Disney Town | Deep Space
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
La Cité des Cloches | The Grid | Symphony of Sorcery
Country of the Musketeers | Prankster's Paradise
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]
Daybreak Town
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]
Game Central Station | Niceland | Cy-Bug Sector | Candy Kingdom
Introduced in Kingdom Hearts III
The Final World | Secret Forest | Olympus
Toy Box | Kingdom of Corona | Monstropolis
Arendelle | The Caribbean | San Fransokyo
Scala ad Caelum | Quadratum

Castle Oblivion, often abbreviated as "C.O." by members of Organization XIII, is a world introduced in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. It is located within the Realm Between, and a digital copy of the world appears in Kingdom Hearts coded. It was governed by Marluxia, and consists of thirteen floors and twelve basements. After Marluxia's defeat, the Organization abandoned the castle as they lacked the manpower to keep it operational.

Castle Oblivion was originally the Land of Departure. Hidden within the castle is the Chamber of Waking, where Ventus sleeps; no one but Aqua can locate the Chamber, as she was the one who locked the castle to keep Ventus safe. Castle Oblivion is restored into the Land of Departure following Aqua's rescue from the Realm of Darkness.

Settings and Areas[edit]

Castle Oblivion is a mystical castle found at the end of passage floating in the middle of nowhere. It is located within the Realm Between, surrounded by dark clouds with faint lights piercing through far behind. The castle's got an uneven and twisted design with towers pointing in all directions. Some even stick out from underneath the road. The outside is a dark gold with turquoise roofs, while everything on the inside is generally white. The interior is implied to be incredibly vast, to the point one would get lost in it, as was the intention of Aqua; the Organization compensate by using Dark Corridors. Axel has complained that searching the castle is next to impossible, stating it's "like counting grains of dust in a room of sneezing people".

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories[edit]

Artwork of Castle Oblivion.

The interior of Castle Oblivion consists of simplistic white marble architecture with infrequent plinths, wall-carving, and sculptures made with a flower motif. It is divided into many White Rooms[?] which are shaped by the memories of those exploring them through the use of World cards and Map cards; though this second part may be due to the Organization's experiments with memory. Between each of the White Rooms is an Entrance Hall (入口ホール Iriguchi Hōru?) and Exit Hall (出口ホール Deguchi Hōru?) for each of the thirteen floors and twelve basements. The Entrance Halls contain "World Warps" which allow quick travel between the floors. The walls of the hallways have a yellow gradient near the top in the original Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories while also having light blue colors contrary to the more pale colors in the remake. The castle also contains a Pod Room (ポッドルーム Poddo Rūmu?), housing the pods within which Sora, Donald, and Goofy were put in hibernation.

Concept art of one of the Entrance Halls.

Somewhere among the thirteenth floors is a meeting room the Organization uses to discuss plans, as well as monitor the other floors via a crystal ball. This is also where Naminé is kept prisoner. The basement also has a meeting room which is dimly lit, almost appearing to be blue in color, and usually where Zexion can be found. Vexen additionally has a lab of some sort, where he works on the replica project, though it's never shown.

Battles against most Organization members in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and the Riku Replica transport Sora and Riku to an arena within some sort of pocket dimension called Station of Remembrance (追憶の園?). The arena consists of a circular, grey, and decorated floor, hanging in the air, with four pillars surrounding the platform. In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, the members are fought within the hallways instead. Marluxia's second form is also fought in sort of pocket dimension - accessed from the thirteenth floor - called Station of Oblivion (忘却の園?). The arena is similar to the Station of Remembrance, though it's a lot bigger and the room is a lot brighter. One of his moves allows him to temporarily turn the skies dark and starry. In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, the final battle against Marluxia takes place in a starry sky-like void instead. In the remakes, the third and final Marluxia battle takes place in a dark and blue sky void as well, and on top of what appears to be the remains of the specter from the previous fight turned giant.

Kingdom Hearts II[edit]

In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix Castle Oblivion's Station of Remembrance (追憶の園?) serves as a boss arena for both of Lexaeus and Larxene's Absent Silhouette and Replica Data battles. The Station of Oblivion (忘却の園?) also makes a return for Marluxia's Absent Sillhouette and Replica Data fights.

Kingdom Hearts coded[edit]

The Station of Sorrow where Data-Roxas is fought.

In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, Castle Oblivion appears as a data recreation within the Datascape. Data-Sora arrives at the castle's Entrance Hall (入り口ホール?), where Data-Roxas will allow access to five separate white chambers modified to match the basic layouts of Destiny Islands (デスティニーアイランド?), Traverse Town (トラヴァースタウン?), Wonderland (ワンダーランド?), Olympus Coliseum (オリンポスコロシアム?), Agrabah (アグラバー?) and Hollow Bastion (ホロウバスティオン?). Images from each world appear in poster-esque fashion across the walls.

Data-Sora battles Data-Roxas in the Station of Sorrow (悲しみの園 Kanashimi no En?), which is identical to the Station of Remembrance, though it doesn't float in the air and is instead stationed on top of a large pillar, reminiscent of the Stations of Dive to the Heart.

The Pod Room (ポッドルーム?) is also visited in cutscene.

Area Map in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

minimaps

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep[edit]

In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the Land of Departure is shown to be transformed into Castle Oblivion. The world appears only in cutscene, but a new room can be seen, Room of Awakening (目覚めの部屋?) - better known as Chamber of Waking - where Ventus is left to rest. The outside of Castle Oblivion (忘却の城?) is also briefly shown as Aqua leaves.

Story[edit]

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep[edit]

Aqua in front of Castle Oblivion.

Castle Oblivion was originally the Land of Departure. After the events at the Keyblade Graveyard, Aqua brought a comatose Ventus to the Land of Departure, which had been destroyed in a storm of darkness by Master Xehanort. In order to keep Ventus safe, Aqua follows Eraqus's prior instructions to seal the world's Keyhole with his Keyblade and recreate it as a labyrinth that only she could navigate, using a means devised by prior guardians. She leaves Ventus in the castle's newly-formed Chamber of Waking and promises to bring Terra back with her before waking him up. As Aqua leaves to search for Terra, she looks back on her transformed home.

Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories[edit]

The castle is eventually discovered by Xemnas of Organization XIII, who decides to convert it into a second headquarters for the Organization. It is intended to be a place to research memories, an important topic to the Nobodies of the Organization, who have only their memories with which to form personalities. Xemnas sends Xigbar and Xaldin to recruit more members for the Organization, as they need a large group in order to run the castle. Despite rumors among the Organization that Xemnas intends to locate the Chamber of Waking, to complement the Chamber of Repose built under Hollow Bastion, they never do.

Eventually, a strange Nobody named Naminé appears in the castle and is found by the Organization. She soon becomes the center of their research, due to her strange abilities of memory manipulation. In order to further research, pods are developed that can be used to piece together memories. Xemnas entrusts the castle and Naminé to the neophyte Marluxia, but the latter soon plots to use this power in a bid to seize control over the Organization. While Marluxia and his associates, Larxene and Axel, control the top half of the castle, the senior members Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion control the basements.

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories[edit]

Sora and company are led to the mysterious Castle Oblivion, where they get a premonition that they will find their missing friends.

After defeating Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, and restoring the damaged worlds, Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy find themselves in a grassy field with the King's dog, Pluto. They follow Pluto along the path to Castle Oblivion, and as soon as they enter the castle, they forget all of their skills and are forced to rely upon the castle's memory-based card system. Although Marluxia and Larxene tell them their memory loss is simply the nature of the castle, it is revealed that the mysterious girl Naminé is actually the one reshaping Sora's memories, so that Marluxia can use Sora as a puppet against Xemnas. The scheme fails thanks to the meddling of Axel (who was actually on orders from Xemnas and Saïx to rid the Organization of traitors), who frees Naminé, and Marluxia and Larxene are destroyed at Sora's hand. Sora then uses one of Xemnas's pods so that Naminé can restore his memories, and is eventually moved to Twilight Town.

Meanwhile, Sora's friend Riku awakens from the darkness within the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion, where he faces the remaining darkness of "Ansem". Though he initially sets out to destroy the indelible darkness in his heart, with the help of DiZ, Naminé, and King Mickey, he is able to eventually embrace both the light and the dark, achieving balance. The three basement members, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion seek to recruit Riku in order to counter Marluxia's use of Sora, but Riku denies their requests and vanquishes them. Riku eventually defeats the Ansem in his heart, and decides not to have Naminé seal it away completely; instead, he sets out on the "road to dawn" in order to help while Sora is sleeping.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days[edit]

After members of Organization XIII are sent to Castle Oblivion, Roxas learns from Demyx and Xigbar on Day 26 that someone assigned to Castle Oblivion have been annihilated.

On Day 255, Axel went in Castle Oblivion to get rid of any evidence of the Organization's presence as the castle would no longer be used as a research facility/second headquarters. Xion goes to Castle Oblivion on the same day to seek answers about her existence. Axel tries to stop her, but his efforts are futile.

On Day 296, when Roxas learns from Axel that Xion was born in Castle Oblivion, he becomes determined to investigate the place for himself. The next day, Roxas was assigned to go there and hunt down the impostor. Roxas used the opportunity to investigate Castle Oblivion. Axel chose to tag along claiming that he knows the place better than anyone else in a black coat. However, barely has Roxas walked in the door when he is overcome by a strange weakness and passes out entirely, due to how close he physically was to Sora and Ventus.[1]

During conversations between Axel and Saïx, Saïx asks Axel if he has found the Chamber of Waking, which Axel denies. Axel is sent various times by Xemnas to find the room, showing Xemnas's extreme determination to find the Chamber of Waking, yet he never succeeds, due to Aqua's previous actions.

Kingdom Hearts II[edit]

Roxas briefly sees the outside of Castle Oblivion in his final dreams, coinciding with Sora regaining the corresponding memories.

Kingdom Hearts coded[edit]

After defeating Sora's Heartless and returning to the data worlds, Data-Sora enters a data version of Castle Oblivion. He has meetings with the mysterious cloaked man, as well as various figures from Sora's memories. As the real Sora did, Data-Sora uses World Cards to traverse the castle. One notable feature of this incarnation of Castle Oblivion is that the White Rooms do not change form completely; the design remains like the rest of the castle, although the shape of the room differs. Pictures of areas from the worlds are displayed on the walls. Near the end of the story, he meets Data-Naminé, who explains the reason for his existence.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance[edit]

Ventus continues to sleep within the Chamber of Waking, following the end of Sora and Riku's Mark of Mastery exam. Upon Sora's return to Traverse Town, he smiles from Sora's happiness.

Kingdom Hearts III[edit]

After being brought back to the Realm of Light by Sora, Aqua immediately sets off to find Castle Oblivion in order to free Ventus. Accompanied by Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Aqua uses the Master's Defender Keyblade to unlock Castle Oblivion's Keyhole, which reverts it back to the Land of Departure.

Characters[edit]

Enemies[edit]

Heartless[edit]

Nobodies[edit]

Other[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix[edit]

The Transport to Remembrance has the same aesthetic as the halls of Castle Oblivion.

Trivia[edit]

  • The need for the card system in Castle Oblivion is unknown. Although Marluxia claims that they are simply part of the castle, he also claims that the trademark memory loss was due to the castle's influence as well, when in actuality it was Naminé's doing.
  • In the manga, the monitors through which the Organization watches Sora are "Nomura-brand", a reference to Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • The Castle Oblivion logo depicts stairways that resemble those of M.C. Escher's Relativity.
  • The sequence when Aqua transforms Castle Oblivion back into the Land of Departure uses a technique called Projection Mapping. This technique is used on the castles of many Disney Parks for their nighttime shows.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ultimania, Interviewer: "Why did Roxas faint in Castle Oblivion on Day 297?" / Tetsuya Nomura: "Because he had gotten to close to both Sora and Ventus, his 'real self'." Translation via Lissar.