KHWiki:Magazine/Issue 6

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Join the discussion on this issue's comments page!
You should also join the conversation over on the Keyhole!


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Page 3 - The Ansem Reports

What's new in the Kingdom Hearts world? New games? New products? You'll find it all here!

Page 4 - Unlocking the Keyhole

Take a look at what's currently happening at The Keyhole!

Page 5 - The Door to Light

Check out what's going on at KHWiki.com!

Page 6 - The Coliseum

See who's clashing in The Underdrome and in the Mirage Arena!
Plus, Aixon and Chainoffire face off in a Roxas vs. Axel debate.

Page 7 - The Keyblade Master

The Keyblade Master is written by a different user every month, and can be about almost anything!
In this issue, TheSilentHero explains his theory behind Mickey's Keyblade, TheFifteenthMember re-invents rock, paper, scissors, and Troisnyxetienne analyses the character of Xehanort.

Page 8 - Dive to the Heart

New to Kingdom Hearts or the wiki? Check out Dive to the Heart for a beginners guide to the Kingdom Hearts series and a bonus tutorial on how to grind with Wisdom Form.

Page 9 - The Round Room

The Round Room hosts the Wiki's podcast! In today's issue, meet your regular roomies, Neumannz and Chainoffire.

Page 10 - Mark of Mastery Exam

Interviews, reviews and more! Find out what makes our users tick!

Page 11 - Naminé's Sketchbook

Like to draw? See some cool and inspiring fan art here!

Page 12 - The Grid

Puzzles, riddles and more! Do you have what it takes to make it through this test of skill?

Page 13 - Flick Rush

More wiki and game challenges than you can shake a Keyblade at!
Cover image provided by TheSilentHero
Magazine edited by TheFifteenthMember
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by Byzantinefire and TheFifteenthMember

New Remaster Trilogy Announced - including Birth by Sleep Volume 2!
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2015's Tokyo Game Show convention was recently held and, in a surprising twist, Square Enix (the publishers of the Kingdom Hearts series) used the event to announce a brand new Kingdom Hearts collection during September 15th's Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia Press Conference! The upcoming release is named Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and its announcement trailer can be viewed below.

Continuing after the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX collections, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is slated for a 2016 release on the Playstation 4. The release will include three titles:

  • Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD is a HD remastered version of 2012's Nintendo 3DS game, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. In Kingdom Hearts 3D, the series protagonists Sora and Riku take on the Mark of Mastery exam in preparation for facing upcoming threats. According to producers, this game's evolution of the series' signature action allows players to experience faster-paced battles and exploration at a blistering pace.
  • Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover is a movie that will tell the mysterious story of 2013's PC release Kingdom Hearts χ and the recently released iOS and Android remake, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. The story of χ builds the earliest era of the Kingdom Hearts mythos, providing interesting new information for fans of the games.
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage – is a completely new episode that will finally cover the story of Birth by Sleep Volume 2, a tale series creator Tetsuya Nomura has been wanting to tell for a long time now. With links to the story of the eagerly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 will have fans playing as Aqua as she navigated the treacherous Realm of Darkness.
What are your thoughts on the latest Kingdom Hearts installment? Are you hyped? Tell us on the Twilight Time's talk page!


Big Hero 6 confirmed for Kingdom Hearts III
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This June the D23 Expo was held in California, and with it came the revelation that a world based on the highly popular film Big Hero 6 would be included in the upcoming game, Kingdom Hearts III. For those unfamiliar with the title, Big Hero 6 is an animated Disney film based on characters from a Marvel Universe comic. The story follows 14-year-old prodigy Hiro Hamada as he forms a team of superheroes to fight against a mysterious masked villain. The film was released in 2014 and won the Oscar for Best Animated Film.

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The events of the Kingdom Hearts III world will take place after the events of the film. Sora and friends will go on a grand adventure with Hiro, his companion Baymax, and their friends who, following the conclusion of the film, have been recognized as an official superhero team. Released concept art shows Keyblade-wielding Sora riding Baymax to take on a second, darker Baymax. Maybe we're seeing a corrupted form of the body Baymax left in the portal at the end of the Big Hero 6?

In other Kingdom Hearts III news, the name for the previously announced Tangled world has been teased as Kingdom of Corona in an official tweet.

Unchained χ Releases in Japan!
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Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ is a smartphone port of the 2013 Japanese browser game, Kingdom Hearts χ. First unveiled at this year's E3 event, the game made its release in Japan on the 3rd of September.

Set in the shady era before the Keyblade War, players can finally explore the monumental event that shall someday spark Xehanort's world-threatening transgressions. The story will be told in 200 main quests with the aim being to add 50 of these stages each month, until January 2016. Square Enix's commitment doesn't end there, as they also plan on updating the game with challenging side quests.

While Unchained χ shares many features with it's predecessor Kingdom Hearts χ, a few differences are noticeable. New touch controls have been adapted for the game's smartphone platform and instead of using cards in battle, the player collects medals. These changes are an attempt to appeal to Western audiences, as Unchained χ is planned for release in NA and PAL regions.

Although we are still waiting for the announcement of an English release date, the Japanese version has stirred the Kingdom Hearts community and made the wait to Kingdom Hearts III that much more bearable. Are you excited to create your very own Keyblade Wielder in Square Enix's latest entry to the Kingdom Hearts series? Tell us your thoughts on the comments page!

Kingdom Hearts confirmed for Disney INFINITY
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Since December 2014, Disney Interactive staff have been publicly addressing the possibility of adding Kingdom Hearts content to the Disney Infinity game series. But Kingdom Hearts's addition had always been just that: a possibility. No matter how successful the series has been, or how highly demanded an inclusion was, the chance of a character from Kingdom Hearts appearing in Disney Infinity was never more likely than a character from any other property's appearance.

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But still fans persisted, utilizing the Twitter hashtag #KHinDisneyInfinity to show their support. Later on, Disney announced the Player Pick 2015, in which fans could vote between 20 pre-selected characters and even suggest any character not on the list to join upcoming game Disney Infinity 3.0. Needless to say, fans jumped at the opportunity, sending masses of votes for Kingdom Hearts's star, Sora.
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Sadly, Sora was not selected to join the Disney Infinity roster. His Keyblade, however, was a bit more lucky! Sora's Keyblade, the Kingdom Key, will be the Ultimate Unlock in Disney Infinity 3.0! Not only that, but 5000 lucky guests at the D23 Expo went home with an exclusive costume change power disc which will allow them to dress Mickey in his Kingdom Hearts II attire!

In an interview with ComicBook.com, Vice President of Production John Vignocchi revealed that this collaboration has been in the works for about 8 months, its creation involving a lot of back and forth with Kingdom Hearts parent company Square Enix. Because Kingdom Hearts is one of the most highly requested properties for Disney Infinity, he wanted to make sure Infinity was respectful to the brand. For example, all of the animations for Mickey in his Kingdom Hearts II outfit are taken directly from Kingdom Hearts!

"Hopefully this leads to us doing more. We've had a lot of fun doing it, and I love Kingdom Hearts, so that's the goal."
~ John Vignocchi

The Kingdom Hearts II Manga comes to an end
It has been a nine year-long journey, but on the 22nd of August, the Kingdom Hearts II manga finally finished its run in Japan. Square Enix finally released the manga's highly-anticipated 10th volume, the final entry to the series!
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Following the events of Kingdom Hearts II and illustrated beautifully by Shiro Amano, this series was a wonderful adaptation for Kingdom Hearts fans to enjoy. Are you an avid Kingdom Hearts manga reader? Are you sad to see the series end? Let us know on the Twilight Time's talk page!
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by FinalRest
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  • Mini-Game Infoboxes: We have a new infobox making the rounds at the Keyhole! Created by Aixon, the new template (named InfoboxMinigame) is designed for use on all mini-game pages. The template has been spread on the appropriate pages already, but if you find an article in need of the new infobox, feel free to add it in.
  • Staff: Our staff roster was recently updated, which prompted a discussion about retired staff that wish to make a return to their former positions. Returning staff are now required to undergo a trial period under the watch of the currently active staff, to ensure they have the dedication required to keep up with their post.
  • Keychain: The discussion on wiki purpose is still ongoing. All Keyhole users are encouraged to get involved with the discussion here.
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As the Keyhole tumblr enjoys sharing the creative, funny, and intriguing ideas the Kingdom Hearts fandom has to offer, we also take the opportunity to share some of our own original content. Here's what we've posted since the last issue:



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Our most popular post of the past quarter is...

Lexaeus teaches Roxas

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We've had a steady influx of users the last couple of months, so make sure you head over to the user creation log to check everyone out and give them a warm Keyhole welcome! All our new users are welcome to our wiki family, and here just a few of our newbies that we'd like to shine the spotlight on.
  • Shottotheheart joined July 1st, swooping in with a bevy of speculation clean up. It's always great to see new editors so eager to help!
  • August 20th gave us DanyP96 and the smattering of Italian names he added to many pages. Make sure you say hello to this multi-lingual helper!
  • Khiblade came to us on September 8th and filled a userpage with an all important piece of information: the tumblr url. Hey, we're all about helping our users get that promotion!

We offer a big hello to those users, as well as all the others we didn't have the time to mention! We hope you enjoy your stay in the Keyhole/KHWiki universe!

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Each quarter the Keyhole hosts a tea party for all users to get together and discuss wiki related issues. Below are important policies we have decided upon in our latest tea party forums.
August 2015 - September 2015
  • The update to the navigational templates is still being discussed. Right now, we're choosing artwork for use on each navi.
  • The mini-game template discussion has been moved to its own forum.
  • In sorting the talk pages for articles that are now condensed into lists...
    • All pre-merge talk pages should be archived.
    • Older talk pages should be redirected to said archives.
    • If talk pages have post-merge content, those topics should be moved and condensed into the list article's talk page.
    • Finally, list pages should link to all related talk page archives.
  • Some of the conclusions from our ongoing gallery discussion are...
    • Talk bubble sprites should not be put in slideshows.
    • If an image is marked with an artwork category, it belongs in the artwork section of the gallery.
    • Merchandise sections will be added to galleries.
    • Boxart should be moved to the end of artwork sections.
    • Concept art pieces should not be split into multiple images.
    • A screenshot subsection will be added to the bottom of game sections.
    • Gameplay sections will be scrapped and worked into animated subsections under the game sections.
    • Icon subsections will be added under game subsections.
  • When Tea Party topics become too lengthy, they should be moved to their own separate forums. Discussion are still ongoing as to when a topic is deemed movable.
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by TheFifteenthMember
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Here's the latest from the KHWiki:
  • Staff: After a fresh surge of editing, Chitalian8 reclaimed his moderator powers in accordance with the staff policy. Chitalian has been making frequent, quality edits and we're glad to have him back where he belongs.
  • Mirage Arena: The wiki's arena has been revived, thanks to TheSilentHero. The reinvigorated tournament structure contains the familiar Regular Bracket in addition to new Double and Trinity Brackets. Head over there to vote and nominate; the mind behind the most-enjoyed fight wins a medal for their userpage!
  • Site Theme: Headed by Troisnyxetienne, we've updated the wiki's skin to a new Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ theme.
  • Event Ideas: Alongside the Keyhole, we are planning two major events in the near future: the End of Year Event 2015 and a celebration for our 10th anniversary next year!
  • Featured Project: The "Cleanup of the Month" has been rebranded as the Featured Project and will change every quarter, alongside the magazine. See below for its first edition!
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We are delighted to have seen many new users in the last three months and we'd like to take this moment to shine the spotlight on a few:
  • Ephemera joined us in July and has contributed much-valued Kingdom Hearts χ content. We're always excited for more χ editors!
  • Rainbow also made his account in July. So far, Rainbow has uploaded several high-quality .gifs onto the wiki. Keep up the good work!
  • Come August, come Flaming Axel! While he has only made a small number of edits, his positive attitude is appreciated by everyone.
  • In the same month, TheKeyOfDestiny arrived to make many edits across the wiki with an uplifting enthusiasm towards Kingdom Hearts and the Wiki.
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Catch up on the latest changes made to formats, policies and the Manual of Style:
  • The singular "they" has been deemed as grammatically correct and is acceptable on the wiki.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0's game ID tag for file names is "DI3".
  • Although it has not reached a consensus yet, we are debating over "The Icon Situation" as we want to cut down on the amount of game icons that appear on the top of pages. Don't be shy, throw in your two cents!
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For this quarter, we're focusing on Reaction Commands, a mechanic that's fairly major to the series yet badly covered on our wiki. The plan is to list every Reaction Command of every game in a table that covers the command's name, description, and trigger context. For Kingdom Hearts II, much of the information is already on the page under hidden text, but they need to be merged into the table to work effectively. We know a lot less about Reaction Commands from other games, such as Birth by Sleep, Re:coded, and Dream Drop Distance, so we need to pool together information for these. Visit the article's talk page for more guidance and don't be shy in helping out!
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Visit the Mirage Arena to see

Nominations for the Double Bracket,
the Regular Bracket finale, the Double Bracket,


and many more!
Visit The Underdrome to see

the Paradox Cup

and many more!
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Roxas vs Axel
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Aixon
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Chainoffire

{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

So, Chain... Here we are, at the start of our little character debate. I'm going to start by saying how easy it is for me to resonate with my favourite Kingdom Hearts character, Roxas.



It may be easy to resonate with your character, but the series wouldn't be the same without Axel introducing Roxas to the "icing on the cake"!

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

The "icing on the cake" may have been introduced by Axel, but Roxas certainly took on the tradition and is for sure the character that resonates more with the idea. (That word is going to become a trend...)



While Roxas might have carried the tradition on, Axel is the one that started the tradition. Plus, his fire powers definitely make Roxas' light powers look lame. Wall of fire anyone?

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

Fire can be extinguished, whereas light will always be around in some form or another. Roxas' control over light must then be superior. Deep down, there's a light that never goes out, right?



Light can be extinguished as well! Darkness is the heart's true essence! Axel can not only use his fire to build a wall around himself, and make the floor slowly burn you to death, but he can make someone combust into flames in just a snap!

You say "Roxas' light is superior", then why couldn't he survive for more than a year? Axel was alive for a MUCH longer amount of time than Roxas. Plus, Roxas lost his life because he couldn't accept his fate. Axel, on the other hand, welcomed it with open arms. Got it memorized?

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

We will have to differ on the topic of light being extinguishable then. Ansem, Seeker of Darkness was wrong, after all...

Regarding the life span, Roxas was never supposed to exist, thus naturally he never had a chance to attain his other goals (that's another almost-quote...). He was always meant to return to Sora, and even Riku himself had to succumb to the darkness to take him in. Axel's accepting of death was directly tied to his having nothing to live for. Roxas was gone for good, as far as he knew.



Since he wasn't supposed to exist, Roxas is lucky that someone like Axel came along to become his friend at all! He even died to save his somebody, so Axel was definitely there for Roxas. But can Roxas say the same?

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

Roxas certainly cared about Axel during his time in the Organization, and we can be certain that he treasured that time, as evidenced by his going to "free Kingdom Hearts" for the sole purpose of the sea salt trio being together again.

Also, what about appearance? Axel has his shock of red spiky hair, but Roxas' hair is just uber snazzy and he is the pinnacle of good looks.



But he was never there for him. 358 + 6 days and he didn't do one thing to help Axel out.

Are you saying that Axel's wicked spiked hairdo isn't what all the cool cats want? Roxas' flat hair bows low before the towers of Axel's scarlet follicles.

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

Axel never needed help in Days and that's why Roxas didn't help him out.

Roxas's hair is snazzy. Axel's hair is just impractical. I'd hate to have to go through the horrible process of gelling that every morning.



Well, Roxas, I guess he really never had the chance to help, so I can't really fault him for that. But while Roxas may rock the bedhead look, I still gotta stick with Axel in the end.

{{{coliseumauthor2}}}



{{{coliseumauthor1}}}

Roxas' life was difficult enough on its own, especially with him not being supposed to exist. His struggles, his story and his hair all combine together to make him the character that I love. No convincing on anyone else's part will sway me from that.



AND THE WINNER IS... You decide!
Head on over to the magazine talk page to let us know who you think should win!

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by TheSilentHero
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Mickey first appeared in Kingdom Hearts, wielding the Kingdom Key D, which he had found in the Realm of Darkness. As of then, he used it in all his appearances and people called it "Mickey's Keyblade". But with the release of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, this was about to change. In Birth by Sleep, Mickey can be seen before he travels to the Realm of Darkness to obtain the Kingdom Key D, wielding the Star Seeker. This could have been Mickey's original Keyblade, were it not for the fact that Sora obtains the Star Seeker Keychain in Kingdom Hearts II. At that point, people began to wonder what Mickey's "base Keyblade" is.

Let's go back to the first game. During Sora's travels, Mickey is going through the Realm of Darkness to get a Keyblade to mirror Sora's. Now, let me ask you, how big is the chance that two people who never met before, have mirroring weapons when they first meet at the Door to Light? If you have only played the first game, you would say that the chance of achieving this is quite large. Sora obtains the Keyblade of the Realm of Light and Mickey the Keyblade of the Realm of Darkness. But with more games being added to the series, so were more Keyblades, even "base Keyblades", like Terra's Earthshaker or Aqua's Rainfell. If Sora had shown up wielding the Wayward Wind, would they still have been able to close the door?

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Knowing this, it seems rather unlikely that two people who have never met before, have mirroring weapons when they first meet. Now then, how can you make sure the person you will meet has a mirroring weapon from yours? Quite simple, really. You send him your weapon and get a weapon that mirrors that yourself. That's right, I think that Mickey's base Keyblade is... the Kingdom Key!

Isn't it a big coincidence that Sora obtains the Keyblade at the same time as Donald and Goofy begin their adventure? What I think happened is that Mickey left Disney Castle to travel to the Realm of Darkness, but before he left, he wrote a letter to Donald, and sent his Keyblade to the next Keyblade wielder (don't ask me how, though...) He sent Donald and Goofy to Traverse Town, because he knew the Heartless would go after the Keyblade ("And they'll keep on coming at you, as long as you continue to wield the Keyblade"), and destroy Sora's world eventually, causing him to end up in Traverse Town. And the most important reason: the Keychain is Mickey's head!

What do you think of this theory? What do you think Mickey's Keyblade is? Let me know on the talk page.
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by TheFifteenthMember
I'd like that shirt.

It started with an episode of The Flash. Cicso Ramon was wearing a particularly funky T-shirt (pictured right) that episode and being the inquisitive spirit I am, I decided to see what it actually was. From there, I discovered "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock" (if you're an inquisitive spirit, check it out)! I figured that if someone managed to come up with a functional, five-way "Rock, Paper, Scissors", would I be able to re-create the simple three-way version, but using Kingdom Hearts terminology? So I did some thinking, sketching, crossing-out and more thinking until I got to this.

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The idea of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is:

Rock crushes Scissors cuts Paper covers Rock.

But "Heart, Heartless, Keyblade" works like this:

Heart decides Keyblade destroys Heartless eats Heart.

In terms of hand gestures, a heart is represented by a fist, which matches nicely since your fist is approximately the same size and shape of your heart. A Heartless is depicted by forming an open ring with your hand (as opposed to a fist), symbolising the lack of a heart. Finally, the Keyblade is played using the same gesture as "scissors" from the classic game because holding out two fingers bears some resemblance to a skeleton key.

My game isn't exactly full proof (the gestures are clumsy and a heart doesn't really "beat" the Keyblade) but it is what it is. If you have any better "Rock, Paper, Scissors" formations, do share in the comments section!
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by Troisnyxetienne
In any work, there is always an antagonist or a character who errs on the side of wrongdoing, due to some event in his life that has impacted him profoundly that he shows calculation, coldness or violence. Kingdom Hearts has many antagonists, each with different motivations for behaving as they do, but none of them display the sheer amount of planning and calculation of Xehanort.

I find it simply inadequate to place Xehanort into any one of the three categories of evil (i.e. lawful evil, neutral evil and chaotic evil) – because quite frankly, I see him as neither. A freak of nature would often be seen as chaotic at worst, committing evil out of impulse, but Xehanort is a personification of something far worse. I invite you to read along with me, as we go through his role in the games bit by bit, just to see what conclusion we could possibly draw from it all.

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Before it all began
The little we know about Xehanort's earlier life is as follows:

  • He grew up in Destiny Islands, and apparently left for good, because he felt that the islands were “just too small”. His story now seems to be a legend and a subject of great intrigue, recounted by the people of the islands.
  • No one knows how Xehanort obtained his initial weapon, his Ethereal Blades as I like to call them, but he used these. The purpose for him carrying a weapon is unknown.
  • For some unknown motive, he decides to become an apprentice of an unnamed Keyblade master in the Land of Departure, and he meets fellow apprentices Eraqus and Yen Sid.
  • Xehanort's tutor tells him about the uses of Keyblade armour and urges him and the other apprentices to use it while travelling the Lanes Between so as to not be touched / corrupted by the darkness. Xehanort, however, is a naughty boy, and does not heed his master's words, and is presumably touched by darkness for the first time. He seems to like just how much power it gives him, so every time he travels through the Lanes Between, he does not use his armour. Enough exposure to darkness gives him the amber eyes that we now associate with him.
  • At some unknown point in time the unnamed Keyblade master holds a Mark of Mastery examination. All three apprentices – Xehanort, Eraqus and Yen Sid – pass and are declared Keyblade masters. Xehanort has the choice of inheriting his master's role of taking care of the Land of Departure or going off on his own and forging a new path: he chooses the latter option. Yen Sid also does the same. Eraqus is left to take care of the Land of Departure.
  • At some unknown point in his life, Xehanort learns about the Keyblade War and the various factions that were involved in it. He discovers Kingdom Hearts and the X-blade, and become extremely fascinated by them. His fascination turns into an obsession, and his obsession becomes unhealthy, to say the least, that it becomes the focus of his life and causes a rift in his friendship with Eraqus. Eraqus would later be wounded near the eye as a result of a scar that Xehanort inflicted on him with his Keyblade, after being told by Eraqus not to throw the worlds into oblivion just because of his curiosity over Kingdom Hearts and the X-blade.

Some like to theorise that Xehanort started off as a good person and turned evil due to his association with the darkness. I cannot help but think, however, that Xehanort always had a disobedient, rebellious streak from the get-go. We do not know if people in the islands begged him not to go. We do know that he disobeyed his master, and he wounded Eraqus in order to tell him not to be involved in his unhealthy obsession with Kingdom Hearts and the X-blade. Make of all this what you will.

Birth by Sleep: Prologue

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We know from the beginning of our adventure that Xehanort took a young boy named Ventus as his pupil, and that he subjected the boy to quite a bit of abuse.

He picks the most barren, most depressing place to train Ventus, i.e. the Keyblade Graveyard, where countless Keyblade wielders died. His lust for the X-blade drives him to order Ventus to give in to the darkness in order to become the blade. No one knows where the Neoshadows that surrounded Ventus came from; Xehanort could presumably summon them due to his strong connection to the darkness.

Ventus does not give in to the darkness, and would rather die than do so.

Bear in mind that Ventus is only ten years old at this point.

Children have often been seen in fiction as having an innate ability to determine right from wrong, and Ventus seems to have this ability as well. Despite not having sufficient words to say anything in response to Xehanort, Ventus' actions give away his intentions quite easily. This does raise a point, though: what other forms of abuse was Ventus subjected to under Xehanort's tutelage?

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The ultimate form of abuse begins when Xehanort has quite enough of Ventus' refusal. He raises his Keyblade over Ventus' motionless body and splits his heart in two, a process that subjects Ventus to great physical and emotional pain. The darkness in his body emerges to form a new entity known as Vanitas, a chaotic evil being who seeks to destroy and inflict pain by mere impulse. The little light that is left in Ventus still remains, and Xehanort brings Ventus back to his boyhood home of Destiny Islands, where he would watch the boy live out his last days (or last hours).

What really strikes me in these scenes is that Xehanort has absolutely no remorse for potentially murdering an innocent boy to further his own ambitions. Fortunately, Ventus – by some miracle – joins with the heart of a newborn, and his damaged heart is repaired.

Okay, so Xehanort's initial plan didn't work. Time for Plan B. He doesn't say anything, and his emotions don't suggest that it's time for Plan B, and these only serve to show depth of his scheming. He sends Ventus to his former friend Eraqus, as he predicts that Eraqus would be the man to nurture the light within Ventus' heart.

On the brink of apocalypse

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We see Xehanort quite early on; he has been invited by his old friend Eraqus to his pupils' Mark of Mastery examination (well, Terra's and Aqua's, really). I don't claim to know how Xehanort is able to see darkness in Terra's heart, darkness that probably wasn't there or had no reason to take effect, but the plot of Birth by Sleep has indeed revealed that Xehanort himself is responsible for bringing about the darkness in Terra's heart. Terra fails the exam, because of that same darkness, and he is deferential to authority to the point of asking Xehanort (who is a master, after all) what can be done about his darkness.

Xehanort seizes his chance. “Darkness cannot be destroyed, it can only be channelled.” With that, he disappears and goes incommunicado. He may have accepted Eraqus' olive branch, but he is still shifty enough to not tell Eraqus what is going on, and now everyone knows that something is wrong. Eraqus sends Terra and Aqua off to search for Xehanort, and report back to Eraqus as soon as Xehanort is found.

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Terra finds Xehanort's whereabouts several times during his story without telling Eraqus a word – but to be fair to Terra, he probably doesn't know what kind of place Xehanort has called him to, and so cannot say anything. We can safely presume that Terra would never have been there before, not until Xehanort summons him. And it is there that Xehanort's true traits start being shown.

Xehanort puts up this façade of being a just, but failed trainer. All throughout this story he tells half-truths, until he does not need to anymore. He does so several times:

  • He says that Ventus' heart has been split in two as a result of an “accident.” He does admit that he did Ventus grievous harm, but does not disclose the real circumstances for Ventus' heart being split.
  • He tells Terra to find Vanitas, the incarnation of Ventus' darkness – basically putting Terra on a wild goose chase, since Vanitas' target is not Terra, but rather, Ventus and Aqua. Finding Vanitas would inevitably mean finding Ventus or Aqua, because let's face it, Xehanort does not want Terra to be close to Ventus and Aqua. Their lights are strong, and Terra's darkness needs feeding by any means – and Xehanort spins this tale of Vanitas just to throw Terra into a chase he knows he'll never conclude on his own.
  • When Xehanort fakes his own kidnapping in Radiant Garden, he prompts Terra to give in to the darkness in more ways than one. Terra is certain that he has failed in the eyes of his master Eraqus. Xehanort offers to take Terra as his own pupil in response, and presents himself as the kind of person who would wield “light and darkness in equal shares.” Whether Xehanort really holds such an outlook to light and darkness is dubious at best, given his actions.

He makes Ventus disobey Eraqus and go alone in search of Terra just so that he could drop his plans on the boy just when he is at his most vulnerable.

He does so through Vanitas. As I said before, Vanitas acts on impulse. He is deferential to Xehanort – I have honestly no idea why, since surely a chaotic evil person would want to retaliate against his own creator? I can never understand this game sometimes. It is presumably Xehanort who orders Vanitas to get rid of Mickey, which would prompt Ventus to seek his whereabouts, because by some deus ex machina (honestly, see me repeat this phrase a number of times throughout this article), Xehanort can somehow read Mickey's mind and know that Ventus is friends with the mouse. Mickey being knocked out already makes Ventus troubled – a chink in his otherwise strong heart. Xehanort comes in for the kill; the very sight of him makes Ventus intensely traumatised.

Knowing that Ventus would return home to question Eraqus, he has all his cards laid out. He would summon Terra and tell him that Ventus is in trouble, prompting Terra to go after Ventus. Terra would discover that Ventus is about to be killed by Eraqus. Terra would clash against Eraqus and weaken him, basically doing all the dirty work for Xehanort so that he could land the killing blow – because there's no way he would dare do it himself, not after Eraqus had previously extended an olive branch to him. He attacks from the back, too – a fitting form of murder coming from a treacherous bastard. What's even more unsettling is that Xehanort knows that all these things are going to happen. And by the time all this is over, he drops the charade and shows himself for what he truly is: a master manipulator, a traitor and a murderer.

Then again, our encounters with young Xehanort as a superboss in Birth by Sleep suggest his affiliation with the element of Time. He has the Doom spell in some way, shape or form, and the Keyblade associated with him shows some sort of chronometer on it. It could be possible that Xehanort knows that everything is going to fall into place because he probably will have seen it before. He manages to form the X-blade and summon Kingdom Hearts, almost bringing the worlds to a cataclysmic end.

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As soon as I knew of Xehanort's actions in this game, it made me draw parallels with Satan or the devil in Abrahamic faiths. Being Christian (Catholic, to be precise) makes it easier for me to draw said parallel, but such a parallel can be drawn regardless of one's beliefs. Xehanort is comparable to an entity with god-like power, knowing past, present and future, and being at one with the passage of fate – this entity uses his power to draw people away from the light and into darkness. Even if darkness is not explicitly mentioned, his actions suggest his alignment to the dark: his scheming, his treachery, his multiple lies, and his desire to further his ambitions at the expense of other innocent people. The story ends with Xehanort possessing Terra's body, thus turning Terra into his new vessel so he could live to bring about the cataclysm of the Keyblade War without having to worry about his body becoming frail anymore. Aqua notices that Terra is no longer himself, and any effort to save him results in her falling into the Realm of Darkness, and Terra still possessed by Xehanort regardless. A person being possessed has long been associated with demons, ghosts or evil spirits of any kind, and it would be easy to compare Xehanort to one such evil spirit. And not just any evil spirit: the devil himself.

Such a possession would need an exorcism- a long and painful one. Would Xehanort truly be summoned out of Terra's body, ever? Terra says he's ready to do whatever it takes until Xehanort is expelled from his body. But if there's anything, anything at all, that I've learnt from real-life exorcisms, it's that expelling an evil spirit from one's body cannot be done by willpower alone, and Terra most certainly cannot do it alone. He would need the help of someone outside to set him free.

(This is part one of a series on Xehanort. Await subsequent instalments in future publications.)
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Intro to... Kingdom Hearts
by FinalRest and Chainoffire
Welcome to Intro to..., the Twilight Times' newest column! The purpose of Intro to... (yes, the ellipses are mandatory) is to educate! Each Intro to... will delve into a chosen Kingdom Hearts topic and dissect it in a possibly informative, possibly entertaining, and (in the case of this Intro to...) possibly nonsensical way. It's the beginner's guide to Kingdom Hearts!
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For our first Intro to... We're going to talk (in a mostly spoiler free capacity) about Kingdom Hearts. The game. The series. The ever-expanding universe. Our reason for being. We kid, we're not that obsessed. *thinks about account on Kingdom Hearts encyclopedia* *thinks about being co-admins on a Kingdom Hearts based tumblr* *thinks about Kingdom Hearts posters on bedroom walls* *thinks about Kingdom Hearts figurines and books on bedroom shelves* *thinks about Kingdom Hearts in general* Okay, we're a little obsessed.

Kingdom Hearts (KH for short) arrived in an explosion of soap opera-worthy dialogue and umpteen references to darkness in 2002. We open on three friends who live in a little place called Destiny Islands.

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Sora, the spiky haired brunette, is the character through whose eyes we view the series. He's hyper, eager to help, and even the possible end of the world can't ruin his cheerful mood. He's got a "might be more than a friendship" friendship going on with Kairi, the pink haired cutie pie.

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The final member of their group is Riku. He's basically a ball of angst, and he talks like he's getting his existential crisis out of the way early. He's Sora's best friend, which is odd because he spends the majority of the game bullying Sora. I think his attitude comes from hair jealousy. Sora's got volume to die for and Riku's got a mop top. Plus, why is Riku's hair grey? He's a tween. What did he see that turned his hair that color?

Anyway, we're absorbed into the adventures of Sora and his crew (otherwise known as the Destiny Trio) as they build a raft to travel the seas. We gather materials, race against Riku, spar with the other island kids, watch as the island is swallowed by darkness, watch Riku succumb to darkness, see Kairi turn into a mirage... Standard island life, basically.

Actually, not so standard island life. A mad magical storm wipes Destiny Islands off the map and leaves Sora alone in a new world, with a shiny new weapon latched to his hand. That weapon is called the Keyblade and it's... Well, it's a giant key that you use as a blade. It's not rocket science.

Meanwhile, Kairi has been put in a fridge disappeared, so Sora sets out to find her. He quickly discovers a bunch of little bad guys called Heartless, which are killing people and eating worlds, because that's just what they do. Eventually Riku turns up too, as more of a jerk than he was before.

That's the basis of KH. It's a story of a boy and his key, defeating Heartless to find his friends. Except there's one element that makes KH special. And that element is...

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KH is created by a company called Square Enix, most famously known as the creators of the wildly popular Final Fantasy series. KH is a collaborative effort between Square Enix and the even more famous Walt Disney Company. This series is one part Final Fantasy, one part original content, one part Disney. It's a fanfic writer's dream.

So while Final Fantasy has its moments to shine, and the original story is what glues everything together, it's the Disney content that sucks most fans in. Each level of the game is a "world", based around a Disney franchise. You can swim in Atlantica with Ariel. You can train with Phil in Olympus Coliseum. It's even a Disney villain that conducts the heartless plague! If you're a Disney lover, KH is for you. Ever dreamt of running through Wonderland or chasing Pinocchio through the whale Monstro? Then KH has got you covered!

As Sora's world unravels, he befriends Donald Duck and Goofy, and a seamless blend of darkness spewing monsters and cheery princesses occurs. Disney, Keyblades, finding friends. This is simple, right? Hahaha. HAHAHAHA. HAhahAHAHahaHAHa!

No. Simple is not a word KH fans know. The first game was pretty cut and dry. It ends on an almost happy note, and leaves an open end. And that brings us to Kingdom Hearts II...

Explaining KH2 will make no sense to those unfamiliar with the series, which, since you're reading a beginners guide to KH, I will assume you are not. So I'll keep this brief. Sora's still out in the world, fighting to get back home, to Kairi, just as he always is. Riku's having an identity crisis, as he always is. Kairi's standing around looking pretty with her unutilised potential, like she always is. Then in walks...

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ORGANIZATION XIII! These guys stroll onto the scene and jack everything up. There's a bunch of them, each with different goals, and different reasons to wail on Sora. Before we know it, Sora's joined Riku's "I don't know who I am camp" and the KH angst-o-meter is cranked to eleven.

In Kingdom Hearts II we're also introduced to an extra playable character, Roxas, who the org are extra interested in. The story becomes Organization XIII searching for Roxas, who is watched over by Riku, who is searching for Sora, who is searching for Kairi, who is running from the Organization. The character pool is saturated. There's the bazillion Final Fantasy characters, the gazillion KH original characters, and the bajoollian Disney characters. But we've still to explain the most important character of all. Introducing Tetsuya Nomura:

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This is the mind that dreams up KH. He might look unassuming. You might think he's no more than an ambitious designer with no-one to reel his imagination in, leaving him free to do whatever he wants to the Kingdom Hearts series. Whatever convoluted plot, confusing game mechanics, or extra characters he wants, Nomura gets. And if you're a KH fan, by golly you better roll with it. You wrap your head around whatever plot Nomura conjures, or you'll be left behind! It's survival of the fittest in the KH fandom! And just when you think you understand, just when you think KH makes sense to you, Nomura reveals his true plans. Nomura reveals... THE SIDEGAMES!

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You see all the different platform labels on those covers? I hope you don't like money, because Kingdom Hearts likes to keep your pockets nice and empty. All money must go to Tetsuya Nomura!

Let's cut to the chase: The sidegames aren't really sidegames. Sidegames insinuates optional playing. These games are more "play them if you want any hope of understanding the plot of this series".

At first things were simple. We begin with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories aka Haven't we done this before? Chain of Memories is almost a scene for scene remake of the first game, with a minor plot about lost memories thrown in to excuse the lazy rehashing. Even this, one of the least popular games in the series, is a must-play, as it explains how Riku and Sora go from Point A (the end of KH1) to Point B (the beginning of KH2).
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Not only that, but it offers vital insight into the beginnings of the mysterious Organization XIII and it also gave our first taste of a non-Sora point of view. Chain of Memories let us step into the giant shoes (that's not a metaphor, by the way. Everyone in this series just has really big feet) of Riku, allowing us to watch him grow as a person.

Then there's coded aka Okay, we've definitely done this before. We get to experience all the same worlds AGAIN, this time because Sora's journal is glitchy and... I dunno, unkempt journals are out of style or something? But of course this game is also necessary to play, in order to understand the links between the ends of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.

Next up is 358/2 Days aka Who are these guys and why do they make my heart hurt?. A much more inventive offering than the preceding two, 358/2 Days tells the story of Roxas, from Kingdom Hearts II, and his origin. Again, this game delves into the Org XIII, finally explaining much of what was happening in KH2. Like in KH2, we play as Roxas through this game, giving us another glimpse of the world outside Sora's happy disposition.

Oh man, and then there's the remakes! Coded became Re:coded, Chain of Memories became Re:Chain of Memories. Some games got Final Mixes, aka "Here's the same games but with some extra stuff thrown in because why not?". HD remakes are like Final Mixes, with better graphics and movies. All of these games are released in Japan first, and then released to the rest of the world with extra stuff. And even though each remake is a shameless grab for money, you have to play them, because each one has some special extra ending or cutscene to explain something in either the past or the future of the series. It's a nightmare.

Thankfully, not all sidegames are annoying. 2010 brought Birth by Sleep, a game set ten years prior to KH1, with a new cast. We learn more about the keyblade, we learn more about the core cast, the organization, even some of our Disney favourites. We saw the rise and fall of three keyblade wielding friends, Aqua, Terra, and Ventus, who are now essential to the KH story. But, most important of all, we were introduced to this guy:

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Master Xehanort, the purveyor of all that gives the heebie jeebies. You only have to look at him to know what his deal is: like Riku in the first game, he has hair jealousy. Check out our protagonists and their lovely locks.

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And now look back at Xehanort. Yeah, he's jealous. And wouldn't you be angry if you were the only bald guy in a world where everyone's hair is freaking awesome? I mean, there's also this guy, but even he gets a cool hat to cover the dome.

So, because of hair jealousy (and a few other factors too, I suppose), Xehanort has launched a plan to destroy the world, so he can be the coolest kid on the block. He's the grandmaster of every crazy plan we've met so far. He's also almost every character we've met so far... but that's a concept too complicated to explain in a beginner's guide.

The big Xehanort reveal gave way for the 2012 sidegame, Kingdom Hearts 3D aka Riku gets a haircut and everything you know is a lie. This game tells us that Organization XIII's whole plan from KHII was just a cover up to find 13 different versions of Xehanort, each with their own hairdo, so they could find the secrets to the big heart-shaped moon in the sky. Yeah, it got weird.

Little did we know that there was a prequel to the prequel called Kingdom Hearts χ aka Nomura's platform checklist is almost complete. KHX is a PC browser game (that was later ported into a smartphone game) that takes place in an alternate universe before the events of the Keyblade War. Yeah, it got weirder.

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Which is where we are now. The next to come from this crazy mess is Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, aka Why are the titles in this series so confusing?. 2.8 will bundle HD remakes of KH3D, a new special movie for Kingdom Hearts χ, and a sort-of-revival-of-an-old-cancelled-game-but-not-really title called Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-. In other words, Nomura has figured out the perfect excuse for pushing the final game in this phase of KH back even further.

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So the wait for Kingdom Hearts III is on. It's set to come out.... *bursts into tears* We don't know! It's been two years and all we have are three and a half stinking trailers! They made a PC game no-one wanted, and then they remade that PC game and added in crucial plot elements so now everyone has to try it! Now there's a new HD remake, with only ONE new level, but we have to play it because that one level leads up to KH3! Why are you doing this to us, Nomura? We give you all the money you ask for! We buy all the soundtracks, and game guides, and cheap merchandise you hawk our way! Why do you harm us so??? *sighs*

So that's concludes an Intro to... Kingdom Hearts. We've barely scraped the surface of what the series has to offer, but you are welcome to peruse the Keyhole and KHWiki to learn more. Although, if you're reading this magazine, chances are you're already a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series, because you're hanging around a Kingdom Hearts site. That means you already know what Kingdom Hearts is, and you didn't need it explained to you. Unless you got here from a completely non-Kingdom Hearts matter. Like maybe you were looking for an intro to heart surgery in the United Kingdom and you clicked on the wrong link. In which case we say: What are you doing reading this stuff? Get out of here, man! Those hearts aren't going to stab themselves! That's what heart surgery is, right? Stabbing hearts? NOTE: We are not licensed medical professionals.

But if you're here for the Kingdom Hearts, then we hope you enjoyed reading our ramblings about things you probably already know. At the very least, one thing we have all learnt from this Intro to... is that FinalRest is not quite eloquent enough to handle an entire column in this magazine, and Chainoffire doesn't have the sanity to keep doing this sort of thing. We're kept behind the scenes for a reason.

In conclusion: Kingdom Hair is a game about a bunch of people beating the crap out of a kid. Disney provides good insulation. Give Lord Nomura all your money.
Tips for levelling up Sora's Wisdom Form
by Troisnyxetienne
I have been requested to write a second guide for levelling up another Drive Form, and I thought Wisdom Form would be a good next piece. It is unclear to me whether Wisdom Form is one of the least favourite forms among Kingdom Hearts fans, but it most certainly comes in handy for magic users. With the introduction of new magic-intensive bosses in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, it is almost imperative that we players level up Wisdom Form all the way in order to reap its benefits, especially Quick Run and MP Hastega. I hope this guide may come in handy. If there is anything missing from it, please feel free to share your levelling tips and suggestions to the magazine's talk page.
Basics

Sora gains experience for Wisdom Form according to the number of Heartless defeated. Each Heartless defeated gives one experience point. Wisdom Form is magic-intensive, and Sora naturally has access to his spells because of this.

Therefore, if you're looking to level up this drive form, do not go for Heartless with high hit points. Instead, go to areas where there are many Heartless, especially those with low HP. There are a few such areas throughout the game, but they do not always remain ideal training spots for this form. Therefore, when levelling up Wisdom Form, do take note of which point of the game you are.

Timeless River: Windows to the Past
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The image above shows the four Windows to the Past in Timeless River. They are all situated on Cornerstone Hill, which serves as the “hub” of this world.

Cornerstone Hill, incidentally, has a Save Point, a Moogle Shop, and a World Exit.

This is where our little trick comes in. Some of you may know that exiting a world from a Save Point when your Drive Gauge is still running will replenish your Drive Gauge back to full. The same applies when taking the door back to Disney Castle.

Your modus operandi when training here would be to enter into any one of the Windows of the Past, take out the Heartless there as quickly as you can with whatever spells you have in your arsenal, leave, exit to Disney Castle with your Drive Gauge still running, and enter back in. Repeat as many times as needed.

Evidently, you will not have access to Wisdom Form until after your first visit to Timeless River is complete – training here is a good excuse to return to Timeless River.

The World that Never Was: Fragment Crossing
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The Fragment Crossing is a winding road of sorts, surrounded by skyscrapers. There's a sort of sewage or electric generation system halfway through, and the odd few treasure chests can be found on the generators or on the sides of the road. I mention this place here because it is one of my tried-and-tested places to defeat scores of Heartless. The Heartless to be found here are Shadows and Neoshadows. They have a low to medium amount of HP each, and scores of them can be defeated at once with a well-placed Magnet and Thunder. In the original Kingdom Hearts II, the Fragment Crossing is always infested with Heartless. There is no lapse of time if you're looking to use this as a training ground.

But if you're playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix like most of us currently are, with the not-so-recent release of the HD 2.5 Remix, then take note: this place will not stay a training ground for Wisdom Form forever!

Your point in time to look out for in II Final Mix is when you approach the Altar of Naught and defeat Xemnas for the first time. By this point, presumably all the Heartless that Pete and Maleficent have summoned have all been defeated by Nobodies. At this point, Heartless will no longer appear in the Fragment Crossing; they will all be replaced by Nobodies. Therefore, if you are playing the Final Mix version and are looking to train up Wisdom Form before your first encounter with Xemnas, the Fragment Crossing is a good spot – but it will not be for long.

Agrabah: Treasure Room
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Now this method only works during the first visit to Agrabah. When Sora and company arrive in the treasure room, they are tasked with defeating 50 heartless. 47 of these Heartless consist of Icy Cubes, Fiery Globes, and Silver Rocks, which have low HP, so they can be dispatched quickly. However, been warned that after the 47 smaller enemies are vanquished, 3 Fat Bandits will appear. After defeating 50 enemies here, it will get you 50 steps closer to your next level! If you have yet to level wisdom form at this point, you'll automatically make it to level 2 and be halfway to level 3! Even if you have already started levelling this form, using this strategy will give you a significant boost to your next level.

If anyone has any more methods of levelling up this drive form, feel free to add them to the magazine's talk page, they would be much appreciated!
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For this issue, the roomies are away.
You'll have to keep your excitement at bay.
But!
Although there's no episode for today,
The sorry folk still have something to say:


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Neumannz: Hey there, guys! This is your friendly neighborhood Neumannz, welcoming you to Round Room Corner! ... What do you mean a round room has no corners?! ... You get outta here! ... *door slam* ... Okay, guys, now that Chain is gone, let me say a few words. I've been kicking around on the Kingdom Hearts Wiki since Fall 2009, back in the days of Days, and I've been bureaucrat since February 2011, when we decided our landlord was being kind of a jerk and moved out. When we decided we were doing a podcast, I jumped at the chance to get involved on this kick-awesome project!

Chainoffire: Hey Hey! It's your friendly neighborhood Ch- HEY! NEZZY TOOK MY LINE! Well, it's Chain! I was “coded” onto the Keyhole back when Re:coded was the latest game to hit the shelves in April 2011. I became an admin back in December 2013, and have been going back and forth between The Keyhole and the KHWiki ever since. When I heard about the podcast, I happily decided to volunteer my efforts to get more acquainted with some of the other users. Thus… here I am!

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TheFifteenthMember's Review of 0.2 Birth by Sleep reveal
I'm going to say this now: the subject of this review is a little unorthodox. I'll be scrutinising the 12 seconds of 0.2 Birth by Sleep footage from Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue's announcement trailer. Why? Because my heart stopped the first time I watched those 12 seconds but as I rewatched it, I began to notice a couple of flaws and kinks. I'll split this into three main sections.
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Title

"Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep ~A Fragmentary Passage~". I've been avoiding writing out the name in full so far because it takes so ridiculously long. Any announcement trailer throws a lot of information at you in the short space of a couple minutes and as an eager viewer, you're trying to digest the main details. On the first time I watched the trailer, three words -"Birth by Sleep"- had me encapsulated so that I paid little attention to the inelegant words around them. The mention of BBS is enough to excite any Kingdom Hearts fan, especially with the notion of Birth by Sleep Volume 2 being around for so long. As you go back and read the name in full however, you realise how kooky it is. The "0.2" numeral is plain awkward. I've read the interview explaining that χ is 0 and Birth by Sleep, 0.1, making this 0.2 but the whole thing is incredibly wacky. It doesn't sound like anything intended for commercial sale. It's a geeky title that's trying to be way more smart than it needs to be. Then there's the subtitle that comes at the end, referencing the original Birth by Sleep secret ending. I don't see why there was a reason for this to be appended at the end. "0.2 Birth by Sleep" is already the subtitle for "Kingdom Hearts"; we don't need a sub-subtitle explaining way too much than a title should.

Story

Aqua stands in the Realm of Darkness. It's something we knew already from the secret ending of the original Birth by Sleep, yet the setting still evoked a sense of excitement from me because it was reminder that the full story of Volume 2 is finally about to be told. The footage doesn't reveal any new story details and I think that's a right decision; 0.2 Birth by Sleep is only going to be the length of a single world so spilling any secrets beforehand would spoil a large portion of what's going to be only a short experience. At the end of the trailer, Aqua turns her head sharply with the suggestion of a nearby disturbance. Could it be a Heartless, a familiar character, or someone entirely new? We're left guessing, which builds up anticipation effectively.

Graphics

The visuals are stunning and few could disagree. Detail can be seen in subtle cracks in the rock and the colours are gorgeous. Best of all, the lighting is insanely beautiful with the gleaming rocks. However, I hate to point it out but Aqua herself doesn't look as crisp and realistic as her surroundings. The texture of her skin looks more like plastic than actual flesh and the same is true for her hair and clothes. While this could just be an artistic choice in favour of a slightly cartoony feel, it's not consistent with the photo-realistic appearance of the background. Character models and scenery should share a similar design and stick with one art style. Otherwise, I feel the contrast becomes a little jarring.

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In conclusion, I am incredibly excited for 0.2 Birth by Sleep. Despite its awkward name and minor flaws in graphics. I have high hopes that the entry is going to deliver a stunning story that leaves us craving Kingdom Hears III all the more.
Troisnyxetienne's Top Five Pieces of Music from the Kingdom Hearts Series
This is a continuation of last issue's piece. If you haven't seen it already, catch up before you continue!
Marking criteria:

Tonality
How melodic or atonal a piece is. Does it sound harmonious or discordant?

Context
Whether it matches the specific event, environment or setting for which it is written. If it is a character theme, does it associate well with the character for which it is written?

Expression
Does it evoke emotions or is it monotonous? What kind of emotions does it raise?

Memorability
Just how much, as fans, do we remember the song? Do we associate it with a character, or place, or game in general?


Number Four

Fate of the Unknown, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

As far as I am aware (correct me if I am wrong), there isn't an entry in the soundtrack for the music to the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. That secret ending, called “Birth by Sleep,” is the fan favourite for a good reason: there is a lot going on visually and musically. In fact, in the last issue of the Twilight Times, Birth by Sleep was voted our favourite secret ending of all time. It is my favourite too, mainly for the music. All of us who have played Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep have found that this secret ending has been promoted to an actual in-game event. I think it a real pity that the only appearance of Fate of the Unknown was in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, because I wanted to hear this in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as well.

Tonality

I think a lot of people would agree with me when I say that this piece is pure orchestral awesomeness. It begins rather solemnly, and then progresses to something relatively quick-paced. A lot of the piece sounds decisive, like the kind of music you would hear at a fight. But somewhere in the middle, a calm point occurs. The presence of that calm point in the middle is the clincher for me. Only a few instruments take centre stage – the piano and the violin, and the context of this will be discussed in a later section, of course. Then, it gets fast again, building up to a decisive end. Today, many of us would recognise a good bit of this piece to sound like Terra's character theme, while the calm point is Aqua's character theme. Recognising these bits would perhaps make us appreciate this piece of music a lot more.

Context

I bet a lot of us remember how Birth by Sleep goes. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, this secret ending was promoted to an actual event in the game, and we will have seen the progression of events at some point. Now, let's tie the music to the story.

Ventus, Aqua and Terra are facing forward, and the wind is blowing their capes about. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, this wind is a sign of Xehanort's presence. By this point, they all understand the truth about what Xehanort has done.

We are in the Keyblade Graveyard, an ancient battleground for countless Keyblade wielders who clashed over the light, and wanted to possess it for themselves. We do not know what this world looked like before; all that remains is the husk of a world, with thousands upon thousands of lifeless keys stuck in the ground and on rock faces here and there. Xehanort and Vanitas, who are approaching our heroes, Terra, Aqua and Ventus, are about to turn this area into a battleground once more. All the while, we hear a solemn choir telling us that there is a very sinister power about, one far more sinister than anything we have ever faced before.

We are then treated to a slew of Keyblade-wielding theatrics: Xehanort has immense power and we immediately see him as the antagonist. Terra rushes to Xehanort before anyone can stop him. The solemn introduction fades into a battle theme with little extravagance. Things are getting serious, and the gloves are off. There is little time for talking. Xehanort summons a cliff, and then another. Before Terra can attack him any further, Xehanort freezes Terra's right arm. Ventus attacks in Terra's stead.

Vanitas rides upon the many lifeless keys, effectively desecrating the memory of the many Keyblade wielders who fell on these grounds. The music flourishes into a lush fragment of Terra's theme, and then repeats. At this point, Vanitas knocks Ventus over with a great many keys before concentrating on Terra.

We are treated to more Keyblade-wielding theatrics: Vanitas attacks Terra with the lifeless keys upon which he rides. Aqua casts Barrier on Terra but it is still not enough to protect him: the keys deal significant damage to him anyway. And then, halfway through, Ventus, hoping he could gain the upper hand, tries to attack Xehanort from behind. Xehanort cracks Ventus' armour and freezes him, and sends him falling off the cliff. Ventus' Keyblade snaps in half as he falls off the cliff – a detail absent from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.

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Aqua, who is still on the ground, rushes to hold Ventus' body in her arms in a sort of Pietà pose. Those of you who do not know what the Pietà is, it is Michelangelo's sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary holding the crucified Christ in her arms. Aqua holds Ventus in this sort of fashion. The music is mournful.

Is he dead? Is he still breathing somehow? We see an instance of tender, almost motherly, compassion, in the midst of a battleground. It is here that Aqua's theme plays, and that musical section, in my mind, heightens the feeling that Aqua is willing to show compassion, even in the face of death. Of the team of three friends, it seems as if Aqua is the medic, even though theoretically, each can heal the other due to knowing the Curaga spell. Aqua has a particular affinity for magic, and would fulfil that role best. In many stories of the past world wars, we have heard of the heroic acts and sacrifices of medics; this particular section (and the music for it) suggest to me that Aqua might indeed do the exact same, with the amount of silent resolve that she has… except that she does not know if Ventus is dead or alive.

Then we see a slight glimmer of hope: Ventus' eyes are moving! He is alive!

And then, the music gets louder, once again to ready us for battle. Xehanort parts the clouds above him. To everyone's shock and horror, Xehanort summons Kingdom Hearts.

Just look at Terra's eyes...

Aqua can only look up into the sky without saying anything. It is no secret that he is about to wrest control of Kingdom Hearts, should he not be stopped.

It becomes clear, with the visuals and the increase in drama in the music, that this is another one of Xehanort's many forms that need to be defeated. And as the music builds up into a crescendo, once again playing Terra's theme fragment, and reaches its dramatic climax and resolution, we see just what happens to Terra.

He looks up to the sky… his eyes turn yellow… is Terra, of all people, the “Ansem” that we once fought all those years ago!!!!????

Cut to black.

Fate of the Unknown has been a no-frills, no-nonsense battle theme showing that time is of the essence in stopping Xehanort from doing the unthinkable. There has been no other secret ending music or battle music much like this.

Expression

Fate of the Unknown starts off solemn and sinister, telling us that the approaching enemies are of a calibre beyond what anyone has faced up to this point. Then, it builds up to a sense of urgency, and stays there up to about halfway through. At that point, it becomes calm and solemn once more, playing Aqua's theme, showing a great deal of sadness and the possibility of imminent loss. Then the music builds up, it climaxes very quickly, showing that the change that has happened to Terra is so quick, that Xehanort could probably have a stranglehold on how fast things progress. There is a whole mix of emotions in this piece of music, and it fits, as we find out in the actual story of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep that Terra, Aqua and Ventus enter into battle with Xehanort and Vanitas with mixed emotions.

Memorability

Seriously, don't tell me this thing isn't memorable at all. The many people who voted for Birth by Sleep as KHWikis and The Keyholes favourite secret ending speak for themselves.


Next time:

That's a secret kept under lock and key.

A Chat with Aixon
Interview conducted by Chainoffire
Watchful overseer of the mainspace, Aixon is a careful editor who takes great pleasure in the tasks that he commits himself to, ensuring he completes each one with finesse. Chainoffire sat down with him to talk about the important things, such as the future of Kingdom Hearts, adminship, and facial hair.
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Chainoffire: So Aixon, you're the newest staff member over at the Keyhole, what's it feel like to have all that power?

Aixon: Power is fine, as long as the bearer knows how to deal with it. This isn't my first time in such a position, so there is very little difference from being a regular editor. Very little has changed for me really, besides perhaps bearing a little more responsibility to ensure that correct edits are being made to the mainspace.

Chain: You've been such a position before? Where was this?

Aixon: An online browser game which I still play today. I shan't name the game though

Chain: I won't press for it then. So what brought you to this fine wikiverse?

Aixon: Originally, I came to the Keyhole when looking for tips on how to beat the Ruler of the Sky. (I still despise that boss; this is also the reason why I refuse to replay Days.) I was brought back by a friend who used the site for all his Kingdom Hearts related information. I wanted to try editing out, so I joined. The rest is history heh…

Chain: Ahh yes, ruler of the sky. That and leechgrave are some of the nastiest creatures that you're required to defeat. So not a fan of days huh? What is your favorite KH game and non KH-game? Also, your favorite bosses both in and outside of the KH series?

Aixon: I never had too many issues with the Leechgrave myself. Just utilise those limit breaks well, and success is guaranteed. Oh, don't get me wrong, Days is a great game! The only reason that I decline to play it through again is to avoid the pain of that horrible flying disaster boss... My favourite Kingdom Hearts game in terms of storyline has to be Re: Chain of Memories, and in game-play it would be Dream Drop Distance. I haven't played a huge array of games, but I can say that Tales of the Abyss is up there among my favourites. For bosses, my favourite KH boss is Chill Clawbster; outside the KH series it would have to be Legretta from TotA. "Power, come to me!"

Chain: Interesting choices! Now with the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and the anticipation of Kingdom Hearts III ever increasing, what do you look forward to most for these games, or the future of the franchise in general?

Aixon: I am very excited to see where the storyline is going to develop to from this point. The "final clash" in KHIII is certainly enough to get excited about. I am also very keenly anticipating Aqua's return from the realm of darkness, as well as hoping daily that Ansem the Wise's speech from the end of KHDDD will mean the returns of both Roxas and Xion. Beyond KHIII, I am interested to see what Tetsuya Nomura is going to do with the story (there won't be a Master Xehanort any more if the 7 lights get their way.

Chain: Certainly a lot to look forward to! Anything you hope to NOT see in KHIII?

Aixon: Terra. Anything involving Terra is bad. He needs to stay..."gone"... I'd say capes, but that wouldn't end well, so I won't do that! (Not that I dislike capes anyway...)

Chain: [peers eyes] yeah, you'd better not. So, is there any advice you'd give newbies on how to become #1?

Aixon: In terms of the wiki? If #1 is what I am now, then I would say to be dedicated to a task and see it through to the end, whether that is an official project or a task that you set yourself. Offer to help out when you can, and generally be friendly towards other users.

Chain: A good piece of advice! Time for some quick questions! Favorite color?

Aixon: Blue, royal blue to be specific.

Chain: Favorite animal?

Aixon:I don't have a favourite animal really. If I did, it'd probably be some species of fish.

Chain: Favorite type of facial hair?

Aixon:That's not exactly something I've thought on much... I'll have to get back to you there…

Chain: If a woodchuck, could chuck wood, how much would a woodchuck chuck?

Aixon: You're very much on point today with the questions... I'd say 10kg.

(That's about 22 lbs. for you American folks!)

Chain: Sounds about right. Favorite admin? [gives Aixon a death glare]

Aixon: FR of course! I am her favourite, so the favour needs to be returned. [hides himself behind his chair]

Chain: Preferred method of dea- [is suddenly reminded that he's on camera] er.. ice cream?

Aixon: Raspberry ripple!

Chain: Interesting! Well that's all the time we'll have for today, any last words er.. last things you wish to tell our readers?

Aixon: Keep calm, and don't make irrelevant edits. Also, if you would like to chat to me, leave a message on my talk page on The Keyhole. Oh, and before I get forcibly silenced forget, Chain comes a close second in the "favourite admin" competition…

Chain: So thanks for the interview, Aixon!
[Starts pulling knives out of suitcase]
It's been fun talking to you!
[begins sharpening knives]
Now if you'll just kindly step over here from behind the chair an-
[camera suddenly turns off]

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For more information on Aixon, visit his userpage or head to the wiki doctor's office, where he can be found nursing only a broken ankle. Chainoffire can also be found on his userpage or in the wiki prison for attempted murder, where he has been sentenced to 5 months without cape or knife privilages. He was last seen crying, in a fetal position, holding his broken ankle, mumbling, “Capes, why did it have to be the capes?”. Donations for bail will not be accepted.
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Art compiled by TheFifteenthMember
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by TheFifteenthMember
Magazine Issue 6 Sketchbook2.png

by TheFifteenthMember
If you want to submit an image, please contact kingdomheartswikibcrat@gmail.com or TheFifteenthMember. We might feature your work in a future issue!
Be sure to make "Magazine" your subject title or else we may not notice your email!
Magazine Title A Trip To Timeless River.png
Magazine Issue 6 Lineart1.png

by Thespy1
Magazine Issue 6 Lineart2.gif

by FinalRest
If you enjoy user contributed colored lineart, why not send us one of your own? Help add some color to this black and white image and then send your finished work to kingdomheartswikibcrat@gmail.com and we might feature it in a future issue!
Be sure to make "Magazine" your subject title or else we may not notice your question!


Magazine Issue 6 BlankLineart.png
For inspiration, see this Disney alphabet.

Click here for a printable version!
Submitted by FinalRest
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A mysterious curse has been wrought upon the world of Kingdom Hearts! All the wicked foes that stand in the way of our favorite protagonists have been gifted with the power of invisibility!
Thankfully, our quick wiki editors who are skilled in the ways of magic - as all good editors are - have managed to capture some monsters, but they need your help identifying what type of beast they have found, so their un-invisiblity spells work correctly. Help us out!

Do you know who this beast is?
Magazine Issue 6 BanishtheBeast.png
Hover here for the answer!

This issue's beast was captured by FinalRest
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A twist of fate, a change of sides
With honest intentions- no evil lies.
I am manipulative and cunning,
But always look out for my friends.
A flurry of flames passes by.
Who am I?

Hover here for the answer!
Submitted by Xion4ever

Conductor of pain;
Violin, trumpet and drum
All express disdain.

Hover here for the answer!
Submitted by TheFifteenthMember

Pitiful creatures; so mindless, so Heartless, and so unwise.
Inferior to my intellect; unable to see through my guise.
Externally calm, but a berserker inside
Can come quite off as truly a surprise.

Hover here for the answer!
Submitted by Xion4ever

From one to another
Two trios connected
Intentions oraccidents
Where are summoners selected?

Hover here for the answer!
Submitted by FinalRest

A lucky charm crafted for you.
To protect you, no matter where you go.
A gift between us; I have one, too.
Promise to return to me,
or allow me to go.

Hover here for the answer!
Submitted by Xion4ever
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Traverse through the maze to lock the Keyhole!

Magazine Issue 6 GridPuzzle.png

Click here to see the answers!
Click here for a printable version! (and printable answers)
Submitted by TheFifteenthMember
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Dear TheFifteenthMember
What's your favourite job to do on KHWiki or the Keyhole and why?
—Anonymous

For me, it's definitely community events! Mainspace editing is fun and fine but it's when you collab with the other Wikians that you experience the full effect of being part of a wiki. It's great to see the lively buzz that the magazine and End of Year Events tend to cause.

When I am doing real wiki work, I tend to stick with gameplay articles, especially sections of the wiki that are extremely vacant and empty. It's very satisfying to complete a project that actually contributes new information to the wiki as opposed to mundane clean-up work. Those of you into that stuff, I'm so glad you exist, because I certainly don't have that patience!

Love from TheFifteenthMember and everyone at the KHWiki and Keyhole!

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Dear Chainoffire
If you could rid one enemy from the entirety of the Kingdom Hearts series, which would it be?
—Anonymous

Dancers from Kingdom Hearts II. No contest.

Besides the fact that they're one of the only Nobodies that don't have a reaction command, their kicks knock off quite a large chunk of HP, and they have a move that cannot be reflected or blocked. Once you're trapped in said move, you have no control over Sora, and you lose an even larger portion of your health than their normal kicks. These enemies are especially tedious if you're doing a level 1 critical mode playthrough, any of their attacks signify a certain death! Also they look stupid. Ugh.

Love from Chainoffire and everyone at the KHWiki and Keyhole!

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Dear TheFifteenthMember
If you could have one Dream Eater as a lifetime pet, which would you choose?
—Anonymous

Being a cat owner, I know how it feels to feed and clean up after your furry little animal without getting any thanks in return (my cat doesn't hug). That's why I think Chef Kyroo would be the greatest pet ever! He cooks, he cleans, he scares away the burglars, what more could you ask for? Sure, he isn't very furry but I could make do with cuddling a teddy bear instead.

Love from TheFifteenthMember and everyone at the KHWiki and Keyhole!

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Dear FinalRest
If you could have the hairstyle of any character in the Kingdom Hearts series, whose would you choose?
—Anonymous
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Well, reader, I think the obvious choice lies in one of Sora's male counterparts. Who would not kill to have such gloriously gravity-defying hair as Sora, or Roxas, or Ventus? Axel is another contender, but I think his sideburns are a bit too funky for me to tame.

So let's narrow down the list. In the first Kingdom Hearts game, Sora's hair sets the precedent for the spike-a-thon do's of the KH males. Unfortunately, as the series continues, his hair becomes less and less fabulous, leaving us with the cat ear style of Kingdom Hearts III. Therefore, I dub Sora's hair too unpredictable and eliminate him from the running.

Next up is Ventus and Roxas, the clone twins. I'm all about originality, so I eliminate both of their hairstyles to ensure I don't get a clone of my own who copies my early 2000's scene punk hair. So that leaves us with the best option, Vanitas!

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Vanitas has the wonderful height of Sora's hair, without the loss of volume Sora is prone to. His hair is imbued with the teenage-y angst of Ventus and Vanitas, without the dual twin theme. He also pays tribute to Xion, via the hair color.But, most importantly, the picture of Vanitas above was taken shortly after he removed the motorbike helmet he wears for the majority of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. That's right folks, Vanitas' hair defies the laws of helmet hair. And that, in my opinion, is a power worth becoming the ?-blade for.

Love from FinalRest and everyone at the KHWiki and Keyhole!


If you have a question for our mailbox about anything related to the Kingdom Hearts games, KHWiki or the Keyhole, send it to kingdomheartswikibcrat@gmail.com and it might be in our next issue!
Be sure to make "Magazine" your subject title or else we may not notice your question!

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by FinalRest
Kingdom Hearts Wiki Logo.png

Nobody.png Expand on one stub article.
Nobody.png Vote in the Mirage Arena.
Nobody.png Fix at least ten inappropriately capitalized category links.
Nobody.png Pitch in on Project Items.
Nobody.png Enhance an article in need of improvement.
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KH1 icon.png Defeat Riku in Mission 93 of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days while wearing the Extreme Ring.
KH1 icon.png Earn five consecutive Fantastic scores on any Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Ice Cream Beat songs.
KH1 icon.png Beat Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts II without the use of magic or items.
KH1 icon.png Consecutively complete three of Kingdom Hearts' Jungle Slider courses without being hit once.
KH1 icon.png Acquire Zolephant in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
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Mission Crown KHD.png Convert a jpg.
Mission Crown KHD.png Vote for a featured article.
Mission Crown KHD.png Comment on two topics at our latest tea party.
Mission Crown KHD.png Create your own blog or comment on a recent blog.
Mission Crown KHD.png Help out on Project χ.
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Results compiled by FinalRest

In our last issue we asked you...
Which of the following would you most like to see in Kingdom Hearts III?
Here's what you said!

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Lea and Isa had a lot of fans amongst the voters! It seems that what we want the most from Kingdom Hearts III is to find out exactly what happened to the two former friends and how they became nobodies in the first place. This option received 6 votes, 23% of the total.

The other popular option was for the indifferent voters. Another 23% of voters decided that they wanted two or more of the presented options. In a similar vein, the second most popular option, with 5 votes and 19% of the total, was all of the above!

The third character to earn support was Kairi, with 4 voters crossing their fingers and hoping that she'll be available as a playable character in the upcoming release. This gave her 15% of the total votes.

Tied for fifth, with 2 votes each, was the return of Keyblade armor and the hope that Sora will make a final descent into darkness in order to safeguard his friends. Both of these options earned 8% of the final total.

There was one person excited for transformation sequences for every Keyblade Sora owns, which gave that option 4% of the total.

Finally, it seems that we're all happy with the present, as no one requested that Sora, or any other character, travels to the past.

Thanks to all those that participated and we look forward to seeing what the results of our next poll will be!
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Dates compiled by TheFifteenthMember


These users will be celebrating their birthdays in the next quarter-year:

Oct 07: TheFifteenthMember
Oct 26: Draaek
Spare a thought and wish a happy birthday when the day comes around!

Magazine Title Poll.png



We asked...

What's your favourite Kingdom Hearts trio? See the next issue for the results!



Question submitted by FinalRest