Marluxia, the Graceful Assassin (優雅なる凶刃, Yūga-naru Kyōjin?, lit. Graceful Assassin's Blade), is Rank XI within the original Organization XIII, the lord of Castle Oblivion, and the main antagonist of Sora's story in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. He controls flowers, and he uses this attribute to command flower-themed minions to shoot beams of destructive energy, as well as to bombard the opponent with flurries of petals. Scythes are his weapon of choice and he commands the Reaper Nobodies.
Originally discovered by senior Organization member Xigbar, Marluxia is the mastermind of an internal rebellion in the Organization against Xemnas, putting him at odds with fellow members Axel and Zexion.
Originally, Marluxia was planned to be female, but he was changed to a man because of the balance with Larxene.
Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
When Marluxia's Heartless was created, his strong will allowed his original persona, Lauriam, to continue on as a Nobody, Marluxia. Marluxia was discovered by Xigbar and became the eleventh member of Organization XIII. When the twelfth member, Larxene, joined the ranks, she approached Marluxia and asked how he joined the Organization. He responded that it was no different from how she was first found, and they both shared their thoughts about how boring they find the castle. The discussion soon shifted to their roles in the Organization, including the importance of having hearts. When Larxene said that having a heart was painful and was comfortable as a Nobody, Marluxia concurred that they were better off not regaining their hearts. As the two walked off together, they started formulating plans to overthrow Organization XIII.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Like other members of the Organization, Marluxia aids Roxas in at least one mission, during which he is quite polite to Roxas. On the first, he teaches Roxas how to collect hearts and teaches him about the Heartless. He explains the differences between Pureblood Heartless and Emblem Heartless and instructs him to only attack Emblem Heartless, because only they release Hearts. He also explains to Roxas that as he releases Hearts, they will come together to form Kingdom Hearts, and that Roxas is the first member of the Organization to be able to do so. This also shows his lust for the Keyblade. On the next mission, Marluxia helps Roxas fight some Dire Plants by The Old Mansion and a Zip Slasher in Twilight Town. Later, he is assigned to Castle Oblivion with the other members.
Before Axel leaves for Castle Oblivion, it is revealed that Saïx knew about Marluxia's plans to overthrow the Organization. That is why he sent them and the other "suspicious" members to the castle in the first place along with Axel, who was given orders to eliminate any of the members that planned to overthrow the Organization.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Marluxia, working with Larxene and Axel, plots to overthrow the Organization. They formulate a plan to use a young girl named Naminé, who has a mysterious power over memory, to deceive Sora into thinking he had sworn to protect her, and then have her use Sora to help them defeat the senior Organization members. This plot stems from a rivalry between some of the younger Organization members and the original six core members. Vexen, Larxene, and Axel all do their part to feed Sora with information and lure him further into the castle. Each of them fight him on their own, although none of them use their full strength and throw the fights. They also make use of Vexen's Riku Replica to compete with Sora for Naminé's loyalty.
Marluxia and Larxene eventually learn that Vexen has been reporting back to Lexaeus and Zexion regarding their revolt. After Vexen loses control of the Riku Replica, Marluxia pronounces his project a failure. Vexen tries to put Marluxia in his place, citing the latter's lower rank, but Marluxia reminds him that Xemnas gave him the authority to do so as lord of the castle, and as such, defying him means defying the Organization. Threatening to report Vexen's failure to Xemnas, Marluxia tells the scientist to eliminate Sora to prove his worth. However, he is again defeated and, in taunting Sora, almost exposes Marluxia's plans. To prevent this, Marluxia has Axel kill him, allowing the latter to gain Marluxia and Larxene's full trust. According to the Secret Reports, however, Marluxia also finds Axel's murder of Vexen suspicious, since the scientist had no real part in his plans. As Sora nears the top floors of the castle, Axel, left alone with Naminé to keep watch over her, allows her to escape, ending her continued restructuring of Sora's memories. This prompts Larxene to attack Sora shortly after he defeats the Riku Replica for the final time, but she is eliminated in the struggle, leaving only Marluxia to carry out the plot.
Refusing to concede defeat, Marluxia recaptures Naminé while Sora is absent and returns to his lair on the castle's thirteenth floor, where he is confronted by Axel. Marluxia accuses him of treason, but is branded a traitor himself by Axel, making Marluxia realize that the Organization had anticipated his treachery. The two Nobodies fight, with Marluxia displaying an eerie speed, and they appear to be evenly matched. Marluxia gains the upper hand using Naminé as a living shield, and while Axel isn't daunted, Sora appears in the room at that very moment. Marluxia explains Axel's willingness to hurt Naminé to get to him and sets Sora on him, while he flees with Naminé in tow. Sora denies being Marluxia's puppet and defeats Axel in combat, but Axel manages to escape.
Sora pursues Marluxia into his inner chambers. Marluxia orders Naminé to completely erase Sora's memory and destroy his heart, hoping to rebuild him into something more to his liking afterward. However, Naminé, remembering Sora's kindness towards her, flat-out refuses the order, even when faced with elimination. Marluxia is perplexed when Sora orders Naminé to do so for her own safety, and even more so when the revived Riku Replica attacks. Confused and irritated that Sora and the replica would accept their memories of Naminé with the full knowledge that they are lies, Marluxia attacks them.
Sora destroys Marluxia, but he finds that the real Marluxia has been hiding in a back room and that his opponent had only been an imitation. Sora advances into the final room to confront the true Marluxia and defeats him in the final battle. Marluxia reaches out to Sora as he begins to fade back into darkness, but he soon vanishes in a flurry of flower petals, effectively making him the fourth member of Organization XIII to fall.
Kingdom Hearts II
Marluxia is seen guiding Sora towards Castle Oblivion in the last of Roxas's dreams.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
After having returned to his human form, the real Organization XIII recreates him as the Nobody Marluxia and re-inducts him into the Organization.
Marluxia wearing his black coat appeared alongside his fellow members of the real Organization XIII at Where Nothing Gathers. As the heroes advance, the Organization's allotted time expires and its members, including Marluxia, retreat to their rightful points in time.
Kingdom Hearts III
In the Kingdom of Corona, Marluxia visits Mother Gothel in her tower and offers to help her retrieve Rapunzel after the former discovers that Rapunzel has escaped. As he approaches her, Mother Gothel's eyes glow pink. Later, Marluxia encounters Sora, Donald, and Goofy, alluding to their encounter at Castle Oblivion, though none of them remember Marluxia, as their memories were erased. Marluxia asks Sora to guard Rapunzel, the light of the world, from its dark horrors. He claims the Organization's objective is not to clash with light, but rather, complement it. Marluxia disappears in a Corridor of Darkness.
Marluxia reappears to Rapunzel as she sees Eugene Fitzherbert seemingly sailing a boat back to the castle. He proceeds to taunt Rapunzel, saying that she did not belong with him. He summons two Reaper Nobodies to scare Rapunzel away, and subsequently back into Mother Gothel's arms. Sora attempts to go after, but Marluxia stops him. He suggests that Sora should leave Rapunzel be, since she is reunited with her mother. When Sora questions why he is so interested in Rapunzel, Marluxia says that Rapunzel has a unique power that must be concealed. He believes Rapunzel to be one of the New Seven Hearts that inherited the Princesses of Heart's light, and could be used as a fail-safe in case Sora and the others are unable to assemble their seven Guardians of Light. Sora prepares to attack Marluxia, who uses a gust of wind to knock Sora out.
Later, Marluxia observes Mother Gothel falling from Rapunzel's tower. Seeing that the woman has fallen to darkness, Marluxia realizes she could potentially sully Rapunzel's light, and thus turns what remains of the dying woman into the Grim Guardianess Heartless for Sora and his allies to defeat.
At the Keyblade Graveyard, Marluxia meets up with Larxene, affirming his belief that Xehanort sees them as nothing but empty husks for him to put his heart in. He also informs Larxene that Saïx had brought back Vexen back on board for the purpose of reviving the Replica Program. Larxene expresses doubt in the program's value, but Marluxia points out that Xion was realistic enough to join their ranks. Marluxia even says that the newest models will be fully human. Xemnas appears before them, informing them that he chose them to join his original Organization due to their human selves' connections to the Keyblade.
Sora finally encounters Marluxia in the Skein of Severance at the Keyblade Graveyard, where he, Luxord, Larxene and Xemnas are seen fighting off King Mickey. With the King's help, Sora slays Marluxia, and the darkness within him is expelled into the sky. As he fades away, he tells Sora that his heart has remembered how to feel once again, and that he is on the cusp of regaining his identity. He smiles at Sora and thanks him before vanishing.
Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]
Marluxia appears as an enemy in the November 2018 NEW XIII Event.
A tall and elegant Nobody, Marluxia wears the basic Organization uniform of a black cloak, black boots, and black gloves. His hair is shoulder-length and rose pink with ruffles, though in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, this color was more muted, appearing closer to light brown. Marluxia's eyes are blue, which become golden when he becomes a vessel for Xehanort's heart.
Marluxia is usually surrounded by cherry blossom petals, which symbolize the transient nature of life and death in Japanese culture. Marluxia drops these petals whenever hit during battle, and he fades back into darkness in a flurry of petals when he is destroyed.
Marluxia has a motif of death in all his appearances. His title is the Graceful Assassin, and his weapon of choice and the Nobodies he commands both reference the Grim Reaper. He has a tendency to use Doom status effects in battle, and in Kingdom Hearts III Re:Mind, he incorporates skulls into his attacks. Additionally, both cherry blossoms and roses can be used to symbolize death.
Marluxia is quite deceptive and manipulative in nature, as he makes an attempt to rebel against the Organization by using Sora as a puppet to accomplish his goals. He is often portrayed as very arrogant and vain. For example, when Axel confronted Marluxia regarding his betrayal to the Organization, he only taunts Axel and leaves Sora to fight the latter. Like Xemnas, Marluxia has a habit of being overly dramatic and giving long speeches. He also takes great pride in his appearance, flourishing his weapon after he strikes with it. It seems that from his tone of voice, which is dull and monotone, that Marluxia doesn't pretend to have emotions, making him similar to Xemnas or Saïx. However, he has shown to smirk and laugh at some points.
Marluxia seems to have an obsession with his superiority over the other Organization members. Egotistical, Marluxia believes that he deserves more respect than he's given. As the lord of Castle Oblivion, Marluxia has the ability to keep many members of the Organization under his control, going far as to manipulate Vexen into fighting Sora by using Vexen's fear of Xemnas against him. Even though most of Marluxia's personality traits are negative, he does have a few positive aspects. He exhibits devotion and persistence to succeed in his goals and continuing his plans to overthrow the Organization, even after Axel's betrayal and the defeat of Larxene.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Marluxia seems to believe in Xehanort's plan to balance light and darkness. He also seeks to protect the New Seven Hearts from darkness. Upon his second defeat, Marluxia seems to recall a lost memory from his time as Lauriam.
Marluxia fights using the attribute of Flower and wields a large, rose pink and dark green scythe. The petals he commands have the appearance of cherry blossoms in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, but they have been changed to resemble rose petals in the remake.
Marluxia has two forms in the original Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, and three in Re:Chain of Memories. While in basic nobody form, he can attack normally with his scythe or use it to slash at an enemy from a distance using energy
Despite his arrogant nature, Marluxia has proven to be quite powerful. With his command over flowers, he can create a full-body replica of himself made of petals, send a flurry of blossoms at his opponent, and in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, create a powerful shockwave by hitting the ground with his scythe. Like most Organization members from Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Marluxia moves by levitating. In the remake, he can also teleport freely. This is also the only form which he is constrained to the use of an actual deck.
In his first final form, Marluxia makes use of a mechsuit-like Nobody called the Specter to slash at Sora with its scythe-arms or charge him and cause massive damage upon impact. He can also summon three petals to fire pink beams of energy at Sora and send blasts of energy from the bottom of the contraption. In the remake, the Nobody is also capable of harnessing darkness, with which it can shroud the entire battlefield.
Marluxia's additional final form in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories brings Marluxia and Sora into combat upon a larger version of the Specter from the previous battle floating in a starry-night environment surrounded by circulating rings. A large angelic Nobody stands behind Marluxia wielding a gigantic version of his Graceful Dahlia. Marluxia is held immobile during this fight by thornbeams and is, therefore, unable to dodge most attacks.
From his stationary position, Marluxia fights mainly by issuing commands to the angelic Nobody, who can create shockwaves, shoot a sweeping laser, blow gusts of wind that prevent Sora from moving forward, and create a whirlwind that scatters all of Sora's cards, including his reload card. Sora must then pick up the cards in order to reclaim them, including the reload card. During Marluxia's potentially most devastating sleight, "Doom," he shoots thornbeams at Sora that trigger a countdown timer similar to the recurring Final Fantasy spell of the same name in which, if the counter reaches zero, the fight is instantly lost. He can also trigger the one rotating ring around the battlefield, causing it to fire lasers from all directions in addition to reusing the ray-shooting rose petals.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Marluxia returns in an optional battle with new tactics. He begins the battle by whispering in Sora's ear, which causes a counter to appear above Sora's head with its maximum value being his current level. Every strike from Marluxia's scythe decreases this counter by one point, and it is Game Over if the counter hits zero. Sora can increase the counter with the Reaction Command "Restore Count", in which Sora grabs Marluxia's scythe, knocks him into the air, and hurls the weapon at him, adding thirteen points to the counter. Marluxia also can conjure dark pools of energy which cover a majority of the battlefield and deal damage to Sora's HP, leaving the counter unaffected. Marluxia can wheel around the battlefield swinging his scythe, and he also can hover above Sora, attacking him with his scythe while summoning pillars of energy from under the ground to damage to Sora.
In the original Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, the real Marluxia is only fought once, unlike most of the main antagonists, such as Ansem and Xemnas, who must be fought and defeated multiple times before they are finally eliminated.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Marluxia's Limit Break, Bloom-Out causes him to swing his scythe radially around himself.
True to his title, the Graceful Assassin, Marluxia wields a large, elegant-looking Scythe called the Graceful Dahlia in battle. The handle of the Scythe is pastel green in coloration, and the blade is a rose pink. This evokes the appearance of a plucked flower. The connection between the blade and handle is yellow and resembles pieces of the Nobody insignia. Marluxia attacks with wide slashes and spins. He can also turn himself and his Scythe into a lethal pinwheel and fly around the battlefield, causing heavy damage to anyone who cannot dodge the attack.
Notes and references