Roxas, the Key of Destiny (めぐりあう鍵, Meguriau Kagi?, lit. "Serendipitous Key"), is the Nobody of Sora and was Rank XIII within the original Organization XIII, born when Sora took his own heart to restore Kairi's. Although Sora's heart was soon restored, Roxas continued to endure and exist, oblivious of Sora's existence for most of his life. He has the ability to use the Keyblade, and wields light, using it to direct rays that strike opponents with great power. He commands the Samurai Nobodies.
Roxas was also one of the mysterious hooded figures in Another side, Another story... and Deep Dive. During the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II, the player controls Roxas until Sora is awakened. In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas is the primary protagonist. This game focuses on the time period between Roxas's birth and his departure from the Organization, eventually leading to his capture at the hands of Riku and DiZ.
Roxas is born when Sora stabs himself with the Keyblade of heart, forged from the hearts of six of the seven Princesses of Heart, in order to free Kairi's heart at the cost of his own. However, Sora spends little time as a Heartless, as Kairi's light fetches Sora's heart from the darkness, restoring him to his former self shortly after he becomes a Heartless.
While Nobodies are normally destroyed along with their Heartless counterparts to restore a complete being, Roxas was able to co-exist with Sora thanks to the unique method that restored him to a complete being. However, as a downside, Roxas lacked any conscious memory of his time as Sora (as the strength of Sora's heart allowed him to retain his memories as a Heartless), though Roxas would reflexively respond to things Sora would. At the time of Roxas's creation, Sora also held Ventus's heart within his own and remained with Sora's body and soul when it became a Nobody, resulting in Roxas taking on Ventus's features instead of Sora's.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Roxas comes into being, dazed and confused, in Twilight Town, where he is found by Xemnas, who gives him his new name, while Xemnas hides his. Shortly afterwards, he meets Axel, who, after they see Hayner, Pence and Olette walking through the town, takes Roxas to eat sea-salt ice cream on the clock tower. Axel takes a liking to Roxas, and with nowhere else to go, Roxas joins the Organization in hopes of finding the answers he needs. For the next week or so, Axel notices that Roxas is still very dazed and almost zombie-like, unable to speak much or form a coherent sentence. Roxas is given a room in Organization XIII's castle in The World That Never Was, as well as his own high seat and black coat.
Six days after coming into being, Roxas and Xemnas meet at the Dark Margin, where they talk. Xemnas reveals that he had been to see Sora, as Xemnas had encountered him at Hollow Bastion. Xemnas comments that Roxas looks a lot like Sora. Roxas asks Xemnas who he is but Xemnas's reply is vague. Roxas tells Xemnas he was asking for Xemnas's name but he replies it is unimportant. Xemnas redirects the question back at Roxas and Roxas answers, "My true name... is..." Xemnas whispered "Sora" to him before walking away.
On Roxas's seventh day, Xemnas places Roxas under Axel's watch, and the two soon become best friends. Also on this day, Xemnas introduces Xion, the newest member of the Organization and a girl about the same physical age as him.
During his frequent visits to Twilight Town, Roxas observes three regular kids, Hayner, Pence, and Olette, and wishes to befriend them, and he even has some conversations with them.
When Axel is sent to Castle Oblivion to interfere in Marluxia's plans to control Sora and overthrow the Organization, Roxas is placed in charge of Xion. Though emotionally distant at first, Xion soon opens up to Roxas, revealing her ability to wield the Keyblade, and the two become close friends. Roxas falls into a coma for several weeks, linked to Sora being placed in suspended animation by Naminé. After awakening, Roxas attempts to spend time with Axel and Xion. However, he begins experiencing strange dreams and visions, due to Sora's memory restoration. As Roxas spends more time serving the Organization, he begins to question why he wields the Keyblade, and expresses doubt as to the Organization's true motives.
Roxas works actively to help the Organization in their plan to complete Xemnas' artificial Kingdom Hearts, using the Keyblade to release the Heartless' hearts. Roxas, Xion and Axel begin a habit of meeting at Twilight Town's clock tower to talk and eat sea-salt ice cream after their missions. However, Roxas grows increasingly frustrated about unanswered questions concerning him and his friends' identity and role within the Organization. Xion, seeking answers to her own questions, departs the Organization. Roxas and Axel find her, and eventually convince her to return. Not long after her return, Xion leaves the Organization again, in an attempt to return to Sora.
Roxas finds out the truth of Xion's identity from Axel, learning that she is a Replica and not a true member of the Organization. Hurt that Axel had knowingly withheld her identity for so long, Roxas begs Axel to tell him his true identity, but Axel refuses. Angry and distrustful, Roxas follows Xion's example and flees the Organization himself. Saïx attempts to stop Roxas from exiting the castle. Roxas defeats him, and departs. On his way through Dark City, Roxas encounters Axel, who attempts to persuade him to stay, warning him that the Organization would destroy him for his betrayal. Roxas continues on his way, saying, "No one would miss me."
The next day, Roxas sits alone at Twilight Town's clock tower, realizing he does not know anywhere else he can go. Xion, who has discovered the truth behind her own birth, and has been reprogrammed by Xemnas, visits Roxas. To Roxas's shock, Xion has taken on the appearance of Sora. She tells Roxas that she wishes to become the "real" Sora, and aims to absorb Roxas, fulfilling her purpose of her creation (her Secret Reports reveal this to be a ruse). Xion and Roxas could not coexist, as such would cause Xion to steadily weaken and endanger Roxas. She understands this, and decides to willingly disappear instead of letting Xemnas succeed. She relates this fact as she fades away following her defeat.
Knowing that Roxas would not be able to eliminate her (in Axel's Secret Report, he admits that he could not either), Xion forces Roxas to fight her instead. Xion transforms into a giant armored monster, and attacks Roxas. After a long and grueling battle, Roxas defeats Xion, who regains her original appearance before fading away. Roxas loses all of his memories of Xion after the battle. In her final moments, Xion informs Roxas of the true motives of the Organization, and tells him that she is glad they had been friends. As a dying wish, she pleads with Roxas not to let Xemnas acquire the power Kingdom Hearts. At this moment, Roxas suddenly remembers Xion and wonders out loud who else he will have ice cream with. He weeps as Xion's body crystallizes and disappears, leaving behind a single thalassa seashell.
After Xion's demise, Roxas awakens Ventus's Keyblade, allowing him to dual-wield Keyblades which quickly transform into the Oathkeeper & Oblivion. Xion's absorption into Roxas, along with the knowledge of Xemnas's true plans, only further strengthens Roxas's determination to find Sora and the answers that he seeks.
Struck with grief, Roxas returns to The World That Never Was, planning to "set Kingdom Hearts free", in compliance to Xion's last words. He also desires to save Xion from within him, hoping that freeing Kingdom Hearts would bring her back. Then, they could go back to Axel and all have ice cream together. Upon his arrival, Roxas is attacked at Memory's Skyscraper by countless Neoshadow Heartless, which surround him. Roxas draws out his Keyblades, ready to defend himself, However, even after slaying many Heartless, he realizes there are too many to fight alone.
Luckily, Riku suddenly appears at the scene on top of the Skyscraper, and Roxas, influenced by Xion, throws his Oblivion Keyblade at him as he runs up. Riku manages to catch it, however, and they both defeat the Neoshadows once on the ground. After the dark remains clear, they immediately turn on each other. Roxas beats Riku at first, but Riku taunts him by calling him "Sora" and saying that he should be "stronger than this", causing Roxas to reflexively answer with, "Get real. Look which one of us is winning!", something that only Sora would say.
Realizing he cannot beat Roxas on his own, Riku willingly unleashes his inner darkness and takes on the physical appearance of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. Riku-Ansem disappears and reappears in front of Roxas, surprising him, before the Guardian grabs him and squeezes him hard, making him lose consciousness. While being squeezed, Roxas begins to forget his final memories of Xion's existence and his memories of past events with Xion are changed due to her erasure. DiZ arrives and pities Roxas, affirming his belief that a Nobody can not feel anything. Riku-Ansem says things might have turned out different if Roxas had met Sora. Xion's voice is heard telling Roxas not to be sad and how she, him and Sora will connect each other.
DiZ aims to join Sora and Roxas together in order to help Sora wake up faster after regaining his memories. However, he knows the Organization is hunting fervently for their missing member, so DiZ places him in a virtual Twilight Town. There, Roxas would be kept safely away from the Organization while he lived as a normal boy, unaware of his past. His memories of his life with Organization XIII forgotten and replaced with altered ones, Roxas is seen in the virtual Twilight Town, hoping that perhaps today, he can finally go to the beach with Hayner, Pence and Olette.
Kingdom Hearts II
Somehow, likely with the use of Naminé's ability to manipulate memories, DiZ was able to alter Roxas's mind to cause him to believe that he lives a normal life in the digital Twilight Town. He has become best friends with three kids - Hayner, Pence, and Olette - and even writes a diary of his time in town. Roxas has lost all memory of his life with the Organization.
As Naminé nears the completion of the task of restoring Sora's memories, Roxas soon begins seeing brief fleeting memories of Sora through a number of his dreams. In addition, mysterious events start to occur around town. Strange white creatures, the Nobodies, begin invading the town, stealing photographs and attacking Roxas. These Nobodies had been sent along with Axel by the Organization, who had finally located their former member, in an attempt to capture him. However, in times of dire need, the Keyblade (a single Kingdom Key this time) inexplicably comes to aid Roxas, and disappears once the threat is gone.
Along with the Nobodies, Roxas comes into contact with Naminé several times, who seems to know things about Roxas that he himself doesn't and once saves him from the outbursting darkness resulting from the defeat of the Twilight Thorn inside Roxas's Dive to the Heart. Furthermore, as observed by DiZ, Naminé's contact with Roxas connects his heart with Kairi's, who Roxas remembered as a friend of Sora. He also meets a mysterious man in a black coat, later revealed to be Riku, who at one point asks a cryptic question: "Can you feel Sora?" Roxas later meets another mysterious figure masked in red bandages, DiZ, who was responsible for his imprisonment.
Though the intentions of these characters are enigmatic to Roxas, Axel soon appears with a more straightforward goal. Axel needs to bring Roxas back with him under the orders of Xaldin and Xemnas. However, Roxas remembers nothing of Axel, whose claims of his relation with Roxas only confuse him. Axel is soon forced to attack the young boy to accomplish his goal. He battles Roxas in the midst of the Struggle tournament, but only DiZ's timely interruption spares Roxas from defeat. After the Struggle Tournament, Roxas falls off the Station Tower and somehow mentally attempts to contact Naminé, only to end up reaching Kairi, Naminé's true counterpart, instead. He recognizes her name from his dreams of Sora, and when Kairi inquires Sora's name, Sora himself, despite being asleep at that time, talks to Kairi through Roxas and gives her Sora's initial as a hint.
In addition to these mysterious people, Roxas also begins to see strange anomalies due to the nature of Digital Twilight Town. Time often freezes, and only he and select people seem to be unaffected. He also sees strange "glitches" around town that he could not explain. For some time, Roxas continues to be befuddled by all these events.
That all changes when summer vacation comes to a close, and the truth is revealed: Naminé informs Roxas that he is a Nobody, and that he is supposed to meet with Sora, the boy in red from his dreams, in order to complete him. Along with that, Roxas discovers that he is living in a digital Twilight Town, and that his friends aren't real, just data. He encounters Axel once again, who had been ordered to eliminate Roxas if he refused to return. DiZ, however, manages to freeze Axel in his tracks, along with the rest of the world, thus saving Roxas. DiZ then tells him to go to the abandoned mansion. He does so, and there he encounters Naminé.
She reveals to him information on Organization XIII and states that reuniting with Sora would not cause him to disappear, but make him whole. However, she is interrupted by DiZ, but before she is taken away, she promises him that they would meet again, even if they won't recognize each other. Desiring to see Sora, Roxas makes his way through the mansion and begins to recall his former life. In doing so he realizes that he had been captured and placed into the digital world by DiZ and the mysterious cloaked man. Roxas then destroys DiZ's computer in anger, even though it was just a digital copy.
Roxas then meets with Axel one last time, but despite the fact that Roxas has regained his memories, Axel states that it is too late. The two battle once more, but this time Roxas is able to call on all of his dormant abilities, including summoning his two weapons: Oathkeeper and Oblivion, and soundly defeats his old friend, though with great regret. Roxas hopes that they will meet again, though Axel chuckles and responds that only Roxas has a next life. Axel then retreats into the darkness, failing in his mission to capture or kill Roxas.
Roxas then enters the pod room where Sora is kept, but not before seeing Donald Duck and Goofy slumbering in their own pods. DiZ is there to greet him, revealing his intentions and fueling Roxas's rage with cutting remarks about Roxas's purpose and nature. In a blind rage, Roxas tries to cut down DiZ, but sees that this DiZ is only a hologram; even after this, Roxas continues to attack DiZ.
DiZ vanishes, and the pod in the center of the room opens. Roxas's anger drains away when he sees Sora slumbering in the pod. Sadly smiling, he says to Sora, "You're lucky... Looks like my summer vacation is... over." With those words, Roxas respectfully accepts his fate and rejoins with his original self. Sora hears Roxas call out to him, and wonders who it is before hearing Donald and Goofy do the same and waking up.
Though he does not actually appear to Sora throughout most of the game, Roxas is frequently mentioned. Most of the Organization members act as if Sora is Roxas and refer to him as such, which both frustrates and confuses Sora. Roxas himself manages to maintain a presence within Sora despite "resting". The first time this is hinted at is when Sora departs from Twilight Town for the first time, saying goodbye to Hayner, Pence, and Olette.
To his surprise, a tear rolls down his cheek, expressing Roxas's own sadness in separating from his own friends, and feels strangely sad to be leaving Twilight Town. During the visit to Yen Sid's tower Sora remarks that he, Donald, Goofy, Riku, and King Mickey are all fighting, and includes Roxas instinctively in that list. Sora instinctively knows how to ride a skateboard, and is shown to be very skilled in doing so; presumably, this is an ability passed down from Roxas.
During Sora's next visit to Twilight Town, Roxas's presence within Sora is again apparent. As Sora looks through the crystal orb and at the orange sun, he subconsciously feels Roxas truly within him, and briefly takes on Roxas's appearance as he does so (at least to the player). Then, during Sora, Donald, and Goofy's brief stay in the Realm of Darkness after the Battle of the 1000 Heartless, Riku leaves two clues for them, one of which is a picture from the digital Twilight Town which shows Roxas, Hayner, Pence, and Olette standing in front of the abandoned mansion at Twilight Town.
Despite Sora having never seen or met Roxas before, he immediately recognizes his name. When Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey enter the digital Twilight Town, Sora calls it "Roxas's Twilight Town", and sees a memory of Roxas destroying the computers. When Sora and his friends arrive at Betwixt and Between, they are overtaken by a swarm of Nobodies, but Axel jumps in and blows them away with a kamikaze attack. As he fades away, he apologizes for hurting Sora's friends in his quest to retrieve Roxas. The Organization, observing from their castle, deduces that Axel has managed to connect with Sora's heart, rousing Roxas.
Roxas makes his move when Sora reaches Memory's Skyscraper, where he had once fought Riku. His Samurai appear and surround Sora as Roxas, cloaked, confronts Sora and pulls him to the Station of Serenity within their hearts. Sora is surprised by the cloaked, Keyblade-wielding figure, believing him to be Riku, but Roxas scoffs and demands to know why Sora was chosen to exist over Roxas. After looking at the Station and realizing that Sora's strength comes from the bonds he shares with others, Roxas makes one final attempt to conquer Sora, but Sora is able to assert his control over Roxas's Keyblades, taking them from the Nobody and dealing the finishing blow. Roxas falls to the ground, satisfied, and acknowledges Sora as a good "other", as his memories begin to finally assimilate with Sora's. As the last pieces of Roxas's individuality fade away, his "heart" connects with Axel's in a facsimile of Twilight Town's clock tower. They are happy to see each other one last time, and place their hope in Sora to find the salvation they had been seeking as they wistfully fade away. Sora continues to ponder what Roxas said as returns to Memory's Skyscraper, but Donald and Goofy assert that Roxas never even appeared to them, and that as a member of the Organization, Roxas was probably just trying to confuse Sora and could not be trusted. Sora is confused, but continues on.
As Sora makes his way up the Organization's stronghold, the Organization members, before being cut down one by one, make more and more confusing remarks about Roxas. Upon Saïx's loss, Sora questions why the Organization calls him "Roxas", and Riku reveals that Roxas is his Nobody, which gave Roxas the power to use the Keyblade. Sora is taken aback by this at first, but then remembers his brief transformation into a Heartless while attempting to rescue Kairi. Riku also explains that Roxas left the Organization, and Riku tried to bring him to DiZ, but was defeated. Riku then took on the form of Xehanort's Heartless and used the darkness as a weapon.
He managed to bring Roxas back so that he may join with Sora in order to awaken him from his sleep. However, Riku realized that Roxas had left in the first place because he really wanted to meet Sora, and thus Riku didn't have to fight him. Sora sadly expresses that he wants to meet Roxas as well, not knowing that he had already met him during their battle at Memory's Skyscraper. Riku then points out that Roxas rests within him. On their way to fight Xemnas, DiZ (now revealed to be the real Ansem, Ansem the Wise) apologizes to Roxas for his mistreatment of him, though he didn't know whether or not he could hear him.
After Xemnas's seeming defeat and the demise of most of the Organization members, Roxas and Naminé reunite, with Roxas projecting himself through Sora after Naminé joins with Kairi. They are happy that they met again, and say that unlike other Nobodies, they got to meet their original selves and become whole.
Finally, Roxas and Naminé believe that as long as Sora and Kairi are together, they will be also, and accept their place within Sora and Kairi after being promised by their counterparts that they would always be together. With that, both Nobodies merge back with their original selves. Even though Roxas is gone at this point, he can be considered present when Sora and Riku go into the final boss battles against Xemnas, since Roxas and Sora are technically in the same body when Xemnas is killed.
Roxas and Naminé are seen one last time, when Sora and Riku return to Destiny Islands. As Sora and Kairi reunite, they smile at each other, while Roxas and Naminé do the same. With the death of Xemnas, Roxas could be considered the only surviving member of Organization XIII, if only an ex-member.
Kingdom Hearts coded
A data version of Roxas makes an appearance in Kingdom Hearts coded and is fought as the final boss. In Castle Oblivion, Data-Naminé reveals to Data-Sora and King Mickey that Roxas is one of the people that, while gone, is still connected to Sora's heart.
Roxas, Xion, and Axel are seen sitting happily together on the clock tower eating sea-salt ice cream. Roxas and Xion look into the sunset and together say Sora's name.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Before Lea awakens in Ansem's computer room, he has a dream of Roxas and Axel eating sea-salt ice cream on the clock tower. Roxas reminds Axel of the promise he made to always bring his friends back, imitating his catchphrase "Got it memorized?".
Roxas later appears before Sora in his dreams in The World That Never Was. He tells Sora that "it has to be you", even as Sora says that Roxas deserves to be his own person. Roxas shows Sora his memories, making him feel his pain, before fading.
When Sora confronts Xigbar and Xemnas, declaring that his friends are his power, Xigbar sees an image of Roxas behind him, along with many others that are connected to Sora.
Later on, inside Where Nothing Gathers, Young Xehanort cites Roxas as one of the second Organization XIII's intended vessels for Master Xehanort, although this became impossible when Roxas developed his own personality and merged with Sora.
After Riku dives into Sora's heart and defeats the Armored Ventus Nightmare, he appears in a memory of the Destiny Islands. He encounters Roxas, who asks him what he is afraid of, then disappears.
Kingdom Hearts III
With the intent of returning the Seven Guardians of Light, Sora reaches Twilight Town hoping to find a way to bring Roxas back. With the help of Ienzo and Pence, Sora's initial plan was to simply reconstruct Roxas with the data Ansem the Wise used to put him in the virtual Twilight Town. However, after being guilt-pressured by Xemnas and Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, his plan changes to fully restoring Roxas to life.
After asking Riku if this is plausible, Riku remembers the Organization's replica program and believes it to be a way for Roxas to return should he have a vessel. Unfortunately, this plan becomes unlikely due to Even's absence.
While venturing across space in the Gummi Ship, Sora and company are contacted by Ienzo with some news. He had deciphered part of Ansem's Code and discovered that Sora has three unique hearts within his body aside from his own. They all agree one of them is Roxas and, based on their encounter with Vanitas, the second one could be Ventus. Unfortunately, none of them can figure out the identity of the third heart belonging to Xion.
During the fight with Saïx in the Keyblade Graveyard, Roxas's heart emerges from Sora and combines with the replica, halting Xemnas's attack against Sora and Xion. Roxas explains to the shocked Xemnas that Xehanort had replicas ready and waiting for each of the hearts of Organization XIII, and that he owed his return to many, including Ansem the Wise and Ienzo. He also states that Sora helped him return. Xemnas abducts Kairi, and Roxas and Xion then aid Sora in defeating Saïx. After Saïx is defeated, Roxas, Xion and Lea share a tearful reunion while Sora goes deeper into the maze.
Roxas, Xion and Lea join Sora and the others to confront Master Xehanort; Roxas and Ventus share a glance at each other upon noticing their similarities. Sora tasks Roxas and the others with helping to seal Kingdom Hearts while he takes on Xehanort. After Xehanort's defeat in Scala ad Caelum, Roxas and the others join Sora in time to witness Xehanort surrender the χ-blade to Sora before perishing with Master Eraqus. Sora uses the χ-blade to shut Kingdom Hearts, and everybody returns to the Keyblade Graveyard.
After Sora leaves to look for Kairi, Roxas and Lea return to Twilight Town at the tower, where they are later joined by Xion, Isa, Hayner, Pence and Olette.
At some point afterward, Roxas travels to Destiny Islands with Lea, Xion, and Isa, finally continuing his beach plans with both Lea and Xion, as well as Hayner, Pence, and Olette.
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Sora visits Twilight Town after Vexen gives him the world card, but doesn't recognize the world. Donald and Goofy point out that he must, as it was created from his memories, and Vexen informs him that it was made from the memories found on the other side of his heart, obliquely referencing Roxas.
Axel is seen to converse with him, Roxas completely oblivious to his presence.
Roxas looks identical to Ventus, due to Ventus's heart having been within Sora's heart when Roxas was created. He has bright blue eyes and golden blond hair. His hair is spiky, as the front concentrates the spikes on the right side of his head as if windswept, while the back is smoother and more flaky.
When in Organization XIII, Roxas wore the usual all-black uniform, with a number of small differences. His pants were different, looking more casual, and loose. He also did not tuck the legs of his pants into his boots like the other members did, though Roxas's "boots" more resembled black versions of his street shoes, and may not have been knee-high like the other members'. Roxas's cloak had a vague resemblance to the ones worn by Xigbar and Demyx, with slightly pointed shoulders and slightly close-fitting sleeves.
While living in the false Twilight Town, Roxas wore much more casual clothes. He wore a black, high-collared jacket with a zipper resembling the Nobody symbol. Over this, he wore another jacket, this one unzipped and white, with several black block designs and a grey hem on the end of each sleeve. This jacket's collar was red and pleated and folded back. Roxas also wore two-colored pants; the legs of his pants were beige with several of what looked like buttons on the hem that appeared to attach the legs to the rest of the cloth, which were dark-colored. Roxas's shoes were colored in shades of grey and black, and had red straps in place of laces. Finally, Roxas wore a wrist band with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on his left wrist, as well as a plain black ring on his left index finger and a plain white ring on his left middle finger. Tetsuya Nomura has stated that the checkers on Roxas's clothing are meant to symbolize light and darkness.
He also has clothes for sleeping in the simulated Twilight Town. He wears a white shirt with black coloration for the collar and arms. The arms also supports a half star motifs. He also wears a matching black shorts with a skull and crossbones symbol on the lower left side of the pants. The skull has "X" in one eye and a "III" in the other, making it resemble the number XIII.
An early promotional artwork for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts coded depicted the main characters of each game in a tripartite mural. Roxas was included in the Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days section in which he looks several years older than his Kingdom Hearts II appearance. Nothing related to this was covered in the actual game, and as of yet no explanation has been given for this design variation.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Roxas's face was changed to be slightly wider, with his cheekbones less defined and sullen, in order to make his design more closely resemble Ventus's.
In the cinematic cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts III, Roxas is shown to have darker hair than Ventus.
Due to retaining Ventus's heart, Roxas was able to feel emotions shortly after his creation, unlike typical Nobodies who must first regrow their own heart over a long period of time. Being Sora's other half, his personality is similar to that of his counterpart, with some differences. For example, when Riku confirms that Roxas is Sora's Nobody after they meet in Dark City, Roxas's statement, "What are you talking about? I am me! Nobody else!" is nearly identical to Sora's later reactions when the Organization XIII members address him as Roxas.
Roxas is less impulsive than Sora, but far more quick to anger. He is short-tempered, aggressive, blunt, and stands his ground against his foes. He can be arrogant, confident, and cocky as proven in his battles, more so when he engages Riku in a fight, proclaiming that he could not beat him no matter how many times he attempted to. When blinded with anger, he lets go of all reason and focuses on venting his anger, as seen when he continually hacks at DiZ's computers and viciously attacks DiZ's hologram. He expresses some dislike for being compared to Sora early on due to their relation, which DiZ notes with amusement in their encounter. This type of main contrast between the boys is even portrayed in official art, with Roxas almost always having a dark, sort of fierce expression, while Sora's is a bit more loose and mellow. However, Roxas is shown also to be less ruthless and more merciful to his enemies, as he spares a severely weakened Saïx and tries, albeit harshly, to convince Riku that fighting him is pointless.
With a devil-may-care attitude in terms of recklessness, he can be rightfully selfish in certain intervals, but is selfless enough to return to Sora willingly. Roxas constantly rebels against what he's told is his "place" and is a strongly outspoken, independent individual. On the other hand, Roxas tends to be melancholy, stoic, and distracted, especially as he comes to realize the truth about himself, and at other points when he's confused and lost.
Like Sora, Roxas has little patience for people who seem to be bending his will or trying to confuse him. He doesn't have an extreme lust for life as well, not taking everything in with a bright outlook, but he does wish and desire one of his own with fervor. Despite their differences, the traits he and Sora share are shown in how they deeply care for their friends and are extremely protective of them. Roxas has shown to be happy, cheerful, kind, and carefree in good company—even shown laughing.
Roxas seems have a certain degree of intelligence that Sora often lacks, as he is not as easily fooled by his enemies and is more likely to think his actions through unless angered. This is slightly changed when it came to Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, because unlike his future self that had thorough knowledge of subjects in the fake Twilight Town, Roxas was born with no memories when taken in by the Organization. Hence, he had no information on the simplest topics or objects, making him comparable to a newborn who grows to learn them, and coming off slow and naive due to it, leading a few others, including himself, to refer to him as a "zombie". This is why Axel fulfills the role of enlightening him about his questions or thoughts, sometimes making Axel himself tongue tied on how to explain them. Roxas's attitude, nonetheless, was very apparent from the start, telling Axel after he accomplished a mission in the beginning that he could have done that blindfolded, and being greatly annoyed when Xigbar calls him "kiddo" or "tiger".
Another difference with Sora is their heroic status. Oftentimes, Roxas shows how he'd rather not have anything to do with the Keyblade, longing to be an ordinary life. This is something represented in Hayner, Pence, and Olette throughout the series, as he is shown a number of times watching them in wonder and interest. On the other hand, Sora was spurred on by the goal of finding his friends and took on the responsibility more passively, without much hassle.
Since Roxas's complete being's heart is made up of two Keyblade wielders' hearts, Roxas can dual-wield Keyblades, the Oathkeeper and the Oblivion. In battle, he also uses light, becoming a phenomenally dangerous foe. His style and level of power is somewhat like Sora's Final Form. He can glide at fast speeds, so fast in fact that he leaves behind a lens flare, and control thirteen sword-shaped shields of light energy which can connect to form a laser array. He can levitate his Keyblades in the air and whirl and spin them rapidly, showing a great deal of proficiency and skill with the blades, and can also counter any extended combo with a more powerful one of his own, even creating a ring of damage just by twirling them in a circle.
His special attack involves him floating in the air and shooting his thirteen light shields around the arena, which then light it up in a thick twilight mist as Roxas begins shooting blue spheres of light at his opponent from energy gathered in his hands. He often attacks rapidly side-to-side, leaving a trail of light behind him. He can also perform the Duel Bout technique (similar to his Samurai Nobodies) in which he rushes at his opponent and slashes at them repeatedly, causing intense damage if not repelled. During this attack, Sora can knock Roxas into the air and briefly steal his Keyblades. However, when Sora steals Roxas's Keyblades, Roxas resorts to utilizing his light powers to full effect, before moving in to steal his Keyblades back from Sora.
In comparison to Sora, Roxas seems to have a far more aggressive style: he is constantly on the offensive, and abandons any defensive moves he had previously used, such as the Guard technique and magic, in favor of speed and strength. In their mental struggle in the Dive to the Heart, he briefly manages to overpower and disarm Sora with simple brute force. In this battle, he also has a more aggressive stance than he did when fighting Axel.
It is interesting to note that as well, when not dual-wielding, Roxas uses a fighting style similar to the one Sora used in Kingdom Hearts. Roxas's victory pose in Olympus Coliseum is to swing his Keyblade twice through the air in an X, then swing it to rest on his shoulder. This is extremely similar to Leon's victory pose in the Final Fantasy series as well as one of Sora's victory poses in the Olympus Coliseum in Kingdom Hearts.
Like Xion and Sora, Roxas has balanced, average stats in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
When in possession of his full power, Roxas dual-wields two Keyblades, Oathkeeper and Oblivion (which represent Sora's link to Kairi and Riku, respectively), although originally he could only wield a single Keyblade, which could take different forms through the use of Gears. However, during the short period in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days between his attaining the ability to dual-wield and reaching his full power, he could dual-wield two Kingdom Keys. Roxas controls light and the Samurai Nobodies. Although it would normally be impossible for a Nobody to wield a Keyblade, Roxas can because Sora can. Of course, as the Heartless use the Keyblades as a homing signal, he is constantly under attack by them when not under the protection of Organization XIII. However, as the Organization's goal is to gather as many hearts as possible by using the Keyblade to extract them from Heartless, this phenomenon is actually a boon for the Organization.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas's Limit Break is called Event Horizon. It transforms Roxas's Keyblade into a sword of light, with which he rapidly slashes at enemies. The Final Limit causes him to summon pillars of light which fire in all directions.
When Dual-Wielding, Roxas has another Limit Break, called Magic Hour. It causes Roxas to leap into the air and summon large pillars of light to hammer the battlefield. In the Final Limit, the pillars of light intensify and grow larger. This attack also appears in Roxas's boss fight in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Also, in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, after Roxas floats, a symbol appears below him and he spins both of his Keyblades while firing a great number of homing light orbs.
Roxas's Limit Breaks both refer to light. The "event horizon" refers to the distance at which light can no longer escape from a black hole; the "magic hour" is a period of time during a sunset that has extremely favorable conditions for photography.
Roxas learns a variety of abilities in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, including Dodge Roll, Block, Glide, Air Rush, and Aerial Recovery, among others. He also is very proficient at magic, able to cast several different spells. However, none of these abilities carry over into Kingdom Hearts II. During his time in the Simulated Twilight Town, Roxas learns no magic, although he can boost his magical strength via both the Dream Rod and the Struggle Wand.
Kingdom Hearts II
Roxas debuted in Kingdom Hearts II, during the beginning tutorials that took place in the Simulated Twilight Town (the First through Sixth Day). This appearance of Roxas was mainly in a non-combat setting. Again sharing the same aerial and ground combos as Sora, his full strength was accessed when Dual-Wielding in the second battle with Axel. Roxas had no access to spells in this gameplay incarnation, and was limited only to learning the Guard, Aerial Recovery, and Scan Abilities naturally.
Roxas could also be customized in this gameplay incarnation to a lesser degree than in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, his Strength, Magic, or Defense raising very slightly depending on which Struggle weapon the player chooses in the first battle with Seifer. He would also grow in HP and other stats for meeting certain criteria in jobs or by defeating bosses. The main reason for playing as the Nobody in Kingdom Hearts II was to establish a plot and set the abilities and controls for the actual storyline, in which Sora is playable.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Dual-Wielding Roxas can only be played as during the second fight with Axel, and is toned down, Roxas only gaining access to his dual signature blades, wearing his Kingdom Hearts II attire, and having access to the Scan, Item Boost, Defender, Second Chance, and Once More abilities.
Each of these abilities are counted as Support Abilities, and are only used in the final battle with Axel, this form's only appearance. Dual-Wielding Roxas also has access to his own set of attacks for the final Axel face-off, which are the following:
Kingdom Hearts III
As a party member in Kingdom Hearts III, Roxas begins the fight by activating a shield to prevent him from getting damaged; once activated, he rises into the air, similar to how he uses his Keyblade Release attack during his boss fight in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. During the battle, he can often be seen using his Continuous Swing attack from his boss fight in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, with an extra two abilities that allow him to turn into a light ray and then deal a large amount of damage upon meeting his target. Another attack consists of him raising his Keyblades in front of him to form a spiral that launches a beam at his target.
Notes and references
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