Symbols in the Kingdom Hearts series
The Kingdom Hearts series uses a huge array of recurring symbols, some original and some derived from real-world sources, with deep significance to its story and characters. This page compiles the most important of these symbols and details their use in the series.
Hearts are some of the most recognizable and prominent symbols associated with the series; one type of heart symbol is featured on the series logo and, as a result, on the majority of real-world Kingdom Hearts merchandise. The symbol also appears on the back of every Card, Limit Form's outfit in Halloween Town, in several worlds, such as Hollow Bastion, The World That Never Was, Traverse Town, and Radiant Garden, and several Keyblades and miscellaneous weapons. Simplified heart symbols appear less frequently, but are featured in Trinity Marks, several Keyblades, Wonderland, typically with the Queen of Hearts, and, most notably, the heart-shaped moon, Kingdom Hearts. A few Pureblood Heartless have heart-shaped holes in their chests.
The most recognizable heart symbol is depicted as the outline of a heart with tips that curl inward at its top. More simplified heart, solid designs also appear in the series, although they are featured less prominently.
The Heartless symbol is used, as its name suggests, to represent the Heartless, specifically Emblem Heartless. The standard Heartless emblem is displayed on every single Emblem Heartless, as well as Ansem, Seeker of Darkness's chest and certain weapons related to Heartless, such as the Akashic Record and Precious Mushroom. In the End of the World, the doorway leading to the Final Rest area is shaped like the Heartless emblem. The Heartless emblem without the spiked "X" is commonly associated with Riku. When using Dark Mode, Riku wears the symbol on his chest, and it is the Keychain token of his main Keyblade, Way to the Dawn. The Keychain token of the χ-blade is a black and red heart resembling the Heartless emblem, but with two Kingdom Keys crossed over it in place of the normal red design.
The Heartless emblem is comprised of a heart with a fleur-de-lis at its base. It is typically black with a red outline and spiked "X" crossing through the heart in the symbol, which symbolizes the fact that Heartless act without emotions, hence their name. A common variation of the Heartless emblem is a completely black silhouette, lacking the cross over the heart. A third variation is simply a heart featuring the color scheme of the standard Heartless symbol, a black body and red outline, but also lacks the cross.
The Nobody emblem resembles an upside-down Heartless emblem in shape, but with several circular notches taken out of its edges. The symbol's base is shaped like an upside-down heart, while its top is a thin, spiked cross. Spikes and sharp edges often evoke the Nobody emblem without the full symbol being displayed. The symbol is usually depicted as white or silver, like most Nobodies. Xemnas created the symbol based on Terra's fragmented memories, and, as a result, the Nobody emblem bears a strong resemblance to Terra's mark.
The Unversed emblem is emblazoned at least once on every single Unversed, with the exception of the Flood. After Vanitas forcibly merges with Ventus, Ventus's Dive to the Heart Station changes appearance, incorporating Unversed emblems into Vanitas’s half of the pillar. The black coat bears a silver Unversed symbol on its zipper.
The Unversed emblem is designed to resemble a heart expressing emotion. It uses sharp corners, deep curves, and straight edges to form a heart shape in its center. Certain parts of the Unversed symbol's design resemble some Unversed's eyes. The symbol is nearly always black.
The Dream Eater emblems appear on almost every Dream Eater.
The Dream Eater symbols are designed in the form of hearts with certain aspects that display whether they are Spirit or Nightmare. The Spirit variant is always a faded pale peach fading to a deep hot pink with a dark purple border, the tail at the bottom of the heart-shaped is bowl-shaped. Its wings are shaped more like swirls as it is given a simplistic innocent look, compared to the Nightmare version. The Nightmare variant is always colored a deep navy fading into a bright neon purple with a thick white border, the tail at the bottom of the heart-shaped symbol is cone-shaped. Its wings are shaped like bat wings with small spikes in the center and growing larger near the sides. They bear a very vague resemblance to the Heartless symbol, specifically the Nightmare version.
Terra, Aqua, and Ventus wear an emblem on their clothes as badges. While it is not uniquely associated with Terra, and appears to be a signature of Keyblade wielders that train in the Land of Departure, it is referred to as "Terra's Mark" (テラたちのマーク, Tera-tachi no Māku?, lit. "The Mark of Terra and his friends") in official materials. Master Eraqus wears the emblem on his armored chest piece, and it is also the Keychain token of his Keyblade. Aqua's Wayfinders have the emblem in their centers. Terra's mark is featured on several Dive to the Heart Stations, including two of Ventus's Stations and the character selection screen of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. It also appears on the walls of the Chamber of Waking.
Terra's mark resembles the Heartless and Nobody symbols in shape; it is a heart with a sharp cross at its base. The symbol is very angular and squared, and the points of its cross are much more compact and close together than those of the Nobody symbol. The symbol appears in several different colors, such as gold and silver.
The most widely used crown symbol in the series is a flat, three-pronged crown that appears in a wide variety of colors, most commonly gold and silver. The shape of the crowns prongs create a negative space silhouette of the Kingdom Key's teeth. Strategy guides for the series occasionally use a yellow symbol that could be a crown viewed from above. This symbol is a ring with spikes along its outer edge and an "X" in its center, and is used to represent characters and enemies that cannot be classified as Heartless, Nobodies, Unversed or Dream Eaters.
Every world has a Keyhole that leads to its heart and can be locked by the Keyblade. Locking all of the Keyholes is Sora's primary objective in the original Kingdom Hearts. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora seeks out and unlocks Gates, which are represented by large, glowing keyholes. When the χ-blade was destroyed, it released several small, glowing keyhole symbols, but it is unclear what significance this has. The Wonderland Doorknob's mouth is a Keyhole.
The Keyhole symbol is normally depicted as a simple silhouette of an old-fashioned keyhole, one that a skeleton key could unlock.
Keys are recurring symbols in the series, mainly through the use of the Keyblade by the main characters. The simplified key symbol is used to represent physical attacks with the Keyblade in the Command Menu and Command Deck and similar menus.
Excluding the many different forms that Keyblades take, the common key symbol resembles simplified Kingdom Key. The Kingdom Key, in turn, is modeled after a skeleton key, a type of key that was designed to open any lock.
Chi and the Recusant's Sigil
Chi is the twenty-second letter in the Greek alphabet, from which the Latin letter "X" is derived. Master Xehanort can form a glowing, stylized version of the letter in his hand. According to him, χ is "a most ancient letter" that represents death and endings, and it can be pronounced "kye" or "key". The letter χ lends its name and form to the χ-blade, which features two Kingdom Keys crossed in an "X"-shape on the blade and Keychain token.
Xemnas adds a similar-looking "X" known as the Recusant's Sigil (異端の印, Itan no shirushi?, lit. "Mark of heresy") to the names of all members of Organization XIII. This is because he vaguely remembers Master Xehanort's fascination with the χ-blade. According to Young Xehanort, the Recusant's Sigil can be used to track a person's location once he or she has been marked with it. During his Mark of Mastery exam in the Sleeping Worlds, Sora is marked with the Recusant's Sigil by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness so that the other incarnations of Xehanort can keep an eye on him. The Recusant's Sigil appears on Sora's shirt in the form of a silver "X."
The designs of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus's outfits were each inspired by the Latin letter "X."
An artifact called the Star Shard allowed for transportation from one World to another, albeit randomly. Several accessories and Keyblades incorporate stars into their designs, such as the Star Seeker. paopu fruit are star-shaped fruit which supposedly create bonds between friends that can span many different Worlds. Wayfinders, lucky charms modeled after paopu fruit, have a similar reputation. The Wayfinders made by Aqua in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep manifest these bonds of friendship physically, in the form of the Dimension Link system. Paopu fruit and Wayfinders are featured in the designs of several important Keyblades, including the Ultima Weapon and Oathkeeper. Yen Sid's powerful sorcerer's hat is adorned with several stars and moons.
In Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Lux, a form of light, is introduced that together with the related Crystals of Light are also star-shaped. Additionally, every Keyblade releases a unique star when hitting an object or enemy.
Even in the real world, the fleur-de-lis is an extremely old and widespread symbol. It is a stylized flower, specifically a lily or iris, with a diverse range of meanings, but it has been most commonly associated with royalty or purity, and is the symbol of the French monarchy. Within the Kingdom Hearts series, the fleur-de-lis appears on several accessories and weapons, such as the Master Ring and Midnight Roar, the door to Timeless River, various areas and uniforms in the Country of the Musketeers and two Dive to the Heart Stations: one of Ventus's Stations and the Station displaying silhouettes of Alice, Jasmine, and Kairi. A standard fleur-de-lis is used to represent Valor Form, while a stylized version of the symbol—one shaped like an "X"—represents Master Form. The Old Mansion features a unique symbol that combines the crown, heart, and fleur-de-lis symbols. In Traverse Town, the fleur-de-lis symbol appears as a huge sign for the Accessory Shop.
Roxas's zipper pull
During his time in Twilight Town, Roxas wears a jacket with a distinctive, X-shaped zipper pull. The zipper pull is modeled after the Nobody symbol, specifically the notched cross that comprises the Nobody emblem's top half, and hints at Roxas's background. The symbol is also the Keychain token of the Two Become One Keyblade, which is directly connected to Roxas. Similar symbols are often used to evoke the Nobody sigil, such as in Saïx's Lunatic Claymore and Larxene's Foudre Knives.
In the real world, Disney places Hidden Mickeys in many of its properties, including Disney theme parks and scenes in many Disney movies.
The Ultimania strategy guides use miscellaneous symbols not used anywhere else to represent certain important characters. Kairi's symbol is made of three small circles superimposed over a thin cross. Naminé is represented by a white flower superimposed over a black four-pointed star, and resembles Roxas's symbol. Both Donald and Goofy are represented by stylized crosses; Donald's is formed by four silhouettes of his mage's hat, while Goofy's seems to be based on the Hidden Mickey symbol on his shield. Jiminy Cricket and Pluto's symbols are X-shaped and formed by crossed silhouettes of umbrellas and bones, respectively. Ansem the Wise's symbol is based on the odd, squared cross shape formed by the front of DiZ's cloak. Pete is represented by a stylized silhouette of his own head, and Maleficent's symbol is a cross formed by four silhouettes of her horned hood.
Pete has an additional symbol, a coat of arms seen above his door to Timeless River. The coat of arms is a grayscale shield adorned by the same stylized symbol of Pete's head, two arms with closed fists along the top, a letter "P", a cigar, and another closed fist at its base. Vanitas's crest is depicted as two halves of a gear arranged in an "S" shape, and appears on his and Ventus's fused Dive to the Heart Station, as the Keychain token for both versions of the Void Gear, and on the portal that initiates the battle with the Vanitas Remnant.
Organization XIII weapon symbols
Each Organization XIII member has a symbol displaying a black silhouette of his or her exclusive weapon. For members that carry multiple weapons, such as Xaldin, only the silhouette of one weapon is shown. However, both of Roxas's Keyblades and three of Larxene's Knives are silhouetted on their personal panels. Xemnas is the only member whose primary weapons, the Interdiction Ethereal Blades, are not silhouetted. Instead, Xemnas is represented by the silhouette of the shield used by his dragon form.
Additional world symbols
Whole Worlds are represented by simple symbols of their own that appear in the screen fade when transitioning from one room to the other in the appropriate World.
Uses in magic
Notes and references
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