The Kingdom Key is the most iconic Keyblade in the Kingdom Hearts series, as it appears within each game of the series, and frequently serves as the default Keychain for cutscenes. In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, it is the only Keychain that Sora can visibly use, while in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, it is the only Keychain of Xion's to appear in Story Mode, and excluding the final Mission, the only Keychain of Roxas's to appear in any cutscene. Furthermore, while Kingdom Hearts II normally depicts the equipped Keyblade within cutscenes, the Kingdom Key appears by default in the cutscene leading up to the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, and within the Album pictures of Jiminy's Journal. In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, it can be upgraded to the Kingdom Key+ and the Kingdom Key++.
The Kingdom Key draws out the true power of Sora's Keyblade, even though it is not the strongest Keychain. As such, it is the true form of his Keyblade, which means that it is also the default form of Roxas's and Xion's Keyblades. The Kingdom Key is not wielded by Sora exclusively; Riku, Roxas, and Xion have also used it, and King Mickey is often seen wielding the Kingdom Key D, a color-inverted version of the weapon.
For Roxas, the Keyblade he wields is in fact Sora's Keyblade, existing in multiple places at once. His determination to remember Xion after she returns to Sora awakens a second Kingdom Key, which is in fact Ventus's Keyblade. Meanwhile, Xion's version of the Kingdom Key is an imitation of Sora's Keyblade, due to her nature as a replica.
When Riku opens the door in the Secret Place and allows the Heartless to invade, he chooses to accept the darkness and vanish into a portal of darkness. However, Sora touches the light in Riku's heart, forging and gaining access to the Kingdom Key in the process. Riku, as the Kingdom Key's intended wielder, is able to hold it briefly when he meets up with Sora in Traverse Town, but returns it to Sora.
When Sora arrives in Hollow Bastion to rescue Kairi, Riku reveals to Sora that Sora’s Keyblade is meant to be his own and summons it to his hand, where (if any other Keychain has been equipped) it reverts back to the Kingdom Key. However, when Sora later confronts Riku again, the strength of his heart allows him to make the Keyblade his own.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Due to the rules of Castle Oblivion, Sora cannot switch Keychains in Castle Oblivion, only using the Kingdom Key. However, he is able to use Attack Cards to channel the abilities of his past Keychains, as well as a few Keychains from his future and a few used by Roxas.
When Zexion disguises himself as Sora, he wields a fake Kingdom Key.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Roxas and Xion wield the Kingdom Key as members of Organization XIII, and when he loans his Keyblade to her, she uses this form exclusively.
Kingdom Hearts II
When Roxas is attacked by a lone Dusk outside the Old Mansion, he attempts to use his Struggle Bat to ward it off, but it fails to touch the monster. At that moment, however, the Kingdom Key replaces the Struggle Bat in a haze of data, and Roxas is able to defeat the Dusk. The Kingdom Key continues to materialize whenever Roxas needs to fight off Nobodies, until he is attacked by Axel within the Old Mansion's Basement Corridor. There, Roxas instead summons the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, but after defeating Axel and proceeding to the chamber in which Sora slumbers, he uses the Kingdom Key one final time in an attempt to strike down DiZ.
Sora continues to use his Kingdom Key throughout his adventure.
Kingdom Hearts coded
Data-Sora gains a data-version of the Kingdom Key in his Dive to the Heart. It is destroyed by Maleficent at Agrabah , but he gains a new Keyblade at Hollow Bastion. According to King Mickey, this Keyblade is closely connected to the power of the heart.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Sora uses the Kingdom Key throughout his Mark of Mastery exam, first using it to subdue Ursula. When Sora is corrupted by the Armored Ventus Nightmare, it wields a blackened Kingdom Key in a reverse grip, similar to Ventus. When Riku defeats the Nightmare, the Kingdom Key reverts to its original colors and Riku uses it to lock Sora's heart, then to open a portal back to the outside world.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage
Sora uses the Kingdom Key to open a passageway to Olympus Coliseum.
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
When Kairi faces off against a phantom of Master Xehanort, he incapacitates her and nearly finishes her off when Sora takes over her body, summoning the Kingdom Key to parry Xehanort's No Name.
The Kingdom Key is depicted as a classic skeleton key approximately 3.5' long, with a long silver Keychain extending from the hilt, and a Hidden Mickey token on the end of the Keychain. In Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, and Kingdom Hearts III, the token is formed from three spheres, while in other games the token is flat and seemingly cut from sheet metal. The blade and teeth of the Keyblade are silver, the rain-guard is blue, and the guard is bright gold. The teeth of the Keyblade form the outline of a crown which matches the crown charm Sora wears.
The Kingdom Key's name is reminiscent of the "Keys of the kingdom".
Gameplay with the Kingdom Key varies, as its combo is normally influenced by the amount of Combo Boosts and other Combo influencing abilities the player has equipped. The weapon's base combos in nearly every game are a basic three hit attack. The ground combo consists of a downward swing, then a forward thrust, and finally a turning sweep slash for the finisher, while its aerial combo starts with a downward slash, then an upward slash, and finally a mid-air spinning slash for the finisher.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas, Xion, and Sora have the opportunity to wield this weapon: Roxas and Xion, with no gears or the Zero gear equipped, and Sora, with any gear save for the Zero and Pandora gears.
Roxas and Xion have identical combos with both no gears and Zero Gear. Their combos without any gears are the basic three hit combo, while their Zero Gear combos are slightly different. The ground combo begins with a downward slash, followed by an upward swing with the capability of knocking the enemy in the air. From here, a -Combo is prompted, which, when executed, has the user perform a jump accompanied by a downward slash. Pressing again has them finish with a sliding swing of the Keyblade. If continued normally, combo concludes with a basic turning slash. The air combo consists of two hits: a basic downward slash, and a spinning slash for the finisher.
Sora's Kingdom Key combos are identical, regardless of Gears, being the basic three-hit combo with no -Combos prompted. His swing speed, however, is noticeably faster than Roxas's.
In Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, when joining the player as an ally, Sora wields the Kingdom Key regardless of what Keychain the player has equipped.
Most Kingdom Hearts merchandise features the Kingdom Key as Sora's weapon, including the Volume One and Volume Three Sora figures that appear in the Formation Arts Figures. Along with being the Keyblade packaged with "normal" Sora in the Series 1 Play Arts Figures, it is also seen with Roxas's figure and the Sora Limit Form figure.
Another side, Another story...
At the Keyblade Graveyard, Terra pulls the Kingdom Key from the ground alongside Aqua and Ventus.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
In the opening video for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the Kingdom Key is briefly shown after Terra and Aqua, surrounded by many other Keyblades, are seen falling towards Ventus's Dive to the Heart station. The Kingdom Key and the Soul Eater land blade first into the station, shattering it into glass-like pieces and revealing Ventus amongst them.
The logo sequence for the Keyblade Graveyard also depicts the Kingdom Key being thrust into the background, summoning the text.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance website
On the Japanese version of the Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance website, the Kingdom Key acts as a cursor for Sora's version of the website.
Disney Infinity 3.0
The Kingdom Key is the game's "ultimate unlock," and can be used if the player owns every available figurine in Disney Infinity 3.0.
World of Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy Record Keeper
The Kingdom Key appears as a 5★ Keyblade in Final Fantasy Record Keeper. It can be acquired from the Key to Another World Event Dungeon as well as a Login Reward during the Kingdom Hearts collaboration event.
Face My Fears
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Kingdom Key is wielded by Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Notes and references