His name means "Earth" in Latin, similar to Riku's name in Japanese meaning "land". The official Japanese website refers to Terra as the "Vast Earth Protecting Bonds" (絆守る大地, Kizuna Mamoru Daichi?) .
Before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
One day during training, Master Xehanort visited the Land of Departure, bringing with him a near-catatonic Ventus, in order to ask Eraqus to take care of the boy and train him as a Keyblade wielder. Terra greeted Ven, and he and Aqua introduced themselves, but when Terra started asking him questions about himself, Ven collapsed with a cry of agony. Eraqus explained to Terra that Ventus had no memory. Ventus woke up a few days later.
Ventus later began training with Terra and Aqua, becoming fast friends with them, and Terra often sparred with Ventus. After one long day of training, Terra told Ven and Aqua about his dream of being a Keyblade Master and gave Ven his wooden Keyblade to use instead of Ven's Wooden Sword, saying that he, Ven, and Aqua, all carry the same dream.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Four years after Ven's arrival, Terra and Aqua take the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become Masters, but while Aqua passes, Terra does not, as he is unable to control his darkness. Unbeknownst to them, Master Xehanort is responsible for Terra's darkness flaring up during the exam.
Surprised and depressed to learn that he holds darkness in his heart, Terra steps outside, where he is approached by Master Xehanort, who tells Terra that he shouldn't try to control his darkness, but rather, to channel it.
Shortly after, Terra and Aqua are sent on a quest to find the missing Master Xehanort and stop the threat of the Unversed, and Eraqus tells Terra he has a second chance to prove himself worthy of being named a Keyblade Master. In the meantime, Eraqus has Aqua follow Terra, to bring him back if he is tempted by darkness.
Throughout his journey, Terra encounters many villains in the worlds he visits. Maleficent takes a particular interest in him, having been alerted of his arrival in the Enchanted Dominion by Xehanort. She uses the darkness in his heart to put him into a trance, to make him steal the heart of the sleeping Princess Aurora. This encounter would haunt Terra for the rest of his journey.
Master Xehanort summons Terra to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he tells him about Vanitas and the threat he poses, particularly the Unversed. He asks Terra to take care of Vanitas and sends him to Radiant Garden.
After arriving in Radiant Garden, Terra sees Master Xehanort heading toward the Castle Town and follows him. Upon seeing a giant Unversed, however, Terra goes after it, and he ends up reuniting with Ven and Aqua. The three of them battle the Trinity Armor and defeat it; however, after learning Aqua has been keeping an eye on him on Master Eraqus's orders, Terra separates from the other two.
After leaving his friends, Terra encounters Braig, who claims to be holding Master Xehanort hostage under the Outer Gardens and demands Terra meet him there. Terra arrives at the Purification Facility to see Master Xehanort chained to a column, and Braig challenges Terra to a fight, saying he wants a Keyblade for himself. With encouragement from Master Xehanort, Terra defeats Braig, and, suddenly channeling his darkness, he scars Braig's face, driving him off. A second blast frees Xehanort, but Terra is dismayed that he failed to keep his darkness in check. Master Xehanort reassures him, saying that Eraqus is too afraid of darkness, and that light and darkness must be in balance.
Claiming that Eraqus fears Terra, Xehanort asks Terra to join him as his pupil so they may bring balance between light and darkness, and he tells him to see more worlds. As Terra prepares to leave Radiant Garden, Ventus catches up with him, asking to come along. Terra turns him down, but he tells him that he knows Ventus will be there for him when he needs him.
Terra arrives in Olympus Coliseum, where he encounters Hades, who is looking for a powerful warrior he can manipulate and set against Zeus. He convinces Terra to enter the Games in order to learn how to conquer his darkness. When Terra clears the first rounds without trouble, Hades uses darkness to take control of Zack, who faces Terra in the next match. Terra defeats Zack, releasing him from Hades's control, and Zack calls Terra a hero.
After falling into Galactic Federation custody in Deep Space, Terra escapes with Dr. Jumba and helps him free Experiment 626. When 626 steals Terra's Wayfinder, he realizes how much his bond with Aqua and Ventus means to him, and he encourages 626 to learn for himself what friendship is.
Some time later, Terra is drawn towards a warm light, which leads him to the Destiny Islands. He finds a Paopu Fruit, which reminds of the legend Aqua told him about the Wayfinders. He sees two young boys, Sora and Riku, and he senses light within Riku. Terra speaks with Riku, who tells him he wants to become strong in order to protect his friends, and he decides to perform a Bequeathing with Riku, allowing him to wield the Keyblade in the future.
Master Xehanort calls Terra back to the Keyblade Graveyard, and he tells him that Ventus intends to confront Master Eraqus about his past, and that he is in danger. Determined to protect his friend, Terra returns to the Land of Departure in time to defend Ventus from Eraqus's attack. He throws Ven into a portal to the Lanes Between and, channeling his darkness, defeats Eraqus in battle. Although they both regret their actions, Eraqus is suddenly destroyed by Xehanort, who encourages Terra to give himself over to darkness. He tells Terra to come to the Keyblade Graveyard to witness the ends of Ventus and Aqua, then unleashes a flood of darkness which ravages the world. Terra watches his world crumble into ruins and looks at his Wayfinder, vowing to Ventus and Aqua that he won't let Xehanort kill them.
He leaves the Land of Departure as it is being destroyed, but he turns back and picks up a disturbance coming from the ruins: a cloaked figure who came to challenge the youth. He defeats the mysterious figure and heads to the graveyard.
After arriving at the Keyblade Graveyard, Terra reunites with Aqua and Ventus. Terra explains what happened to their master and admits that he did have to be watched, vowing never to go astray again. However, Aqua warns him that darkness is based on hatred and rage, and that if Terra had come for revenge, then Xehanort has already won. Xehanort arrives with Vanitas, and he declares his intention to create the χ-blade. In the ensuing fight with Master Xehanort and Vanitas, Terra succumbs to his darkness once more and battles the elderly master. Although he prevails, the χ-blade is forged, and Master Xehanort uses his Keyblade to extract his own heart and implant it in Terra's body, possessing it. However, Terra's Lingering Will inhabits his discarded Keyblade Armor, challenges Terra-Xehanort, and defeats him. Terra-Xehanort disappears in the light emanating from the χ-blade as it is destroyed by Ventus and Aqua, while the Lingering Will remains, declaring Terra's promise to Ventus and Aqua to set things right.
After Aqua defeats Terra-Xehanort in Radiant Garden, Terra's heart resists against Xehanort, forcing Xehanort to lock his heart, leading to his amnesia.
Even after this, Terra and Master Xehanort's hearts continue their conflict inside Xehanort's body, disputing over who will control it. Terra declares to Xehanort that he no longer fears the darkness and vows to continue resisting Xehanort, who realizes Eraqus's presence in Terra's heart. However, Master Xehanort tells Terra that he has many plans in place, even if their conflict continues for a very long time.
Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts
A vision of Terra appears to Aqua after she defeats the Demon Tower in the remains of the Castle of Dreams. She questions if he, too, has been trapped in the Realm of Darkness, but he simply fades away, causing her to wonder if she has been going insane.
Later, in the remains of Enchanted Dominion, Aqua encounters phantoms of Terra and Ven, pursuing them through the Forest of Thorns. Eventually, after defeating hordes of Darksides, she catches up with them. Terra speaks to her, explaining to her that his heart is tied to the darkness and that he, too, is corrupted. He warns her that Xehanort is looking for Ven, but as she explains that she has hidden Ven somewhere where no one will find him, Terra transforms into Terra-Xehanort. Terra-Xehanort wonders if Ven is in the Chamber of Waking and, when questioned by Aqua, begins to reveal his identity. However, Terra overpowers Xehanort's will, informing her of Xehanort's ruse. Surprised, Xehanort summons a Darkside to drag Aqua and Ven into darkness, but an enraged Terra summons chains of light to fend off Xehanort.
Kingdom Hearts coded
When Data-Naminé gives Data-Sora the extra memories that were implanted in Jiminy's Journal, an image of Terra appears, along with images of Aqua and Ventus. She tells him that Terra is among those that Sora must save from their hurt.
Later, King Mickey and Yen Sid speak about their search for Terra, Aqua, and Ven, and how only Terra's location remains unknown.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
When Sora arrives at The World That Never Was, he is caught by the Organization and placed within a nightmare in which he chases after memories of Riku and Kairi. When he catches up to them at the Nightmarish Abyss, the phantoms suddenly take the form of Terra and Aqua, while Sora himself takes on Ventus's appearance. Sora is confused, but the phantoms grasp his hand before turning back into Riku and Kairi and walking off again. As Riku attempts to wake Sora on his own side of the dream, Sora recalls when Aqua came to Destiny Islands, and nearly wakes up.
However, Ansem appears within Sora's dream at the last second and thrusts him back into the nightmare. Xigbar and Xemnas reappear within the nightmare to taunt him and lead him into despair by explaining the inevitability of their plan and playing on his insecurities, but a defiant Sora proclaims that while he may not have been chosen by the Keyblade, he will always be proud to be there for his friends, including Terra and all the others.
Shortly after, Ansem attacks Riku in an attempt to take over Riku's body again. Before they fight, Riku reveals to Ansem that he reminds him of Terra and thus resolves to make Ansem a part of his light. Later, as Master Xehanort explains his plans to Mickey in Where Nothing Gathers, he reveals Terra's past fate as his vessel, but neglects to mention anything further about him.
Terra is seen at the Land of Departure with a sleeping Ventus, waking his friend up before they both utter Sora's name with a sense of renewed hope. This indicates that, despite the destruction of Ansem and Xemnas, Terra is still alive in some shape or form. Sora himself decides to undertake a new quest to find Terra, Aqua, and Ventus and rescue them.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX
Terra is seen within screenshots of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep that are played during the remix's end credits, foreshadowing Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX.
Terra is a tall young man with brown hair that reaches to the base of his neck in the back and is styled into rather messy, vertical spikes and bangs that frame his face. He has blue eyes and slightly tanned skin. Interestingly, he bears a slight resemblance to a young Xehanort, save for the color of his hair, skin, and his eyes, and his appearance is carried on to both Terra-Xehanort and Xemnas, as they are both Terra's body under Master Xehanort's influence. Following his possession by Master Xehanort, his hair turns silvery-white, his eyes turn yellow and his skin becomes much darker. Later on, his eyes turn brown.
Like his friends, Terra wears two intersecting straps over his chest, though his red ones are rather different, dropping much lower down and almost resembling criss-crossed suspenders. Also unlike Aqua and Ventus, Terra does not wear his badge (which is gold as opposed to the others' silver) on these straps. Instead, he wears it on his belt. He wears a skintight, black, high-collared shirt, showing that he is rather muscular. Terra's pants bear a distinct feudal Japanese style; his belt is tied like an obi-sash and he wears hakama (traditional samurai pants distinguished by the large pleats). His hakama are dark grey near the top, with several loops for his belt and two buttons, both of which are undone. The rest of the pants are tan with a small, lighter stripe of tan on the bottom hem. Terra wears a plain black wristband on his right arm, while his left arm is significantly more armored.
Like Aqua and Ven, Terra wears armor on one arm, with his bearing similarities to both of his companions. Terra's armor shares the large, ornate crest (colored gold) with Ven and the long, segmented section (each segment alternating between dark grey and dark red) with Aqua, though Terra's is much longer, reaching all the way to the bottom of his hand. He also wears a black, fingerless glove on his hand and what appears to be a black gauntlet on his forearm, over the segmented armor, which also has small pieces of dark red armor on it. Finally, his armored boots are dark brown and gold.
By touching the armor piece on his arm, Terra becomes fully clad in armor. When in his suit in Birth by Sleep, Terra is clad from head to toe in armor, mostly in shades of dark brown, gold, and red. Dull orange lines decorate the armor as well. Notable additions to his armor include upturned, sharp red hooks on the backs of his boots, a navy blue cape, and a dark-visored helmet. His helmet sports two tall, red prongs on either side. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, his armor is now slimmer, the colors on the armor are much brighter, and the cape is omitted. The dark brown is now shown to be black, as is the visor of his helmet.
Beneath Terra's calm and cool exterior hides his willingness to give his life for his friends, as well as his fear of defeat and desire for strength. This yearning therefore leads him to be constantly tempted by the darkness, similarly to Riku. Terra can also be overly trusting, which is something that villains use to take advantage of him, such as his obliviousness to the fact that Master Xehanort is attempting to seduce him into darkness. Because of this influence, he begins to doubt those most special to him, and only realizes his wrong-doings after they occur.
Despite his ties to darkness, Terra always holds his bonds with Ventus and Aqua in high esteem, wishing to fight for and help them even long after his possession. Terra-Xehanort, Xemnas and the Lingering Will all demonstrate instances of Terra's faded consciousness acting on Ventus and Aqua's behalf. He also holds Master Eraqus in high regard, viewing him as a surrogate father, crying at his apparent demise and later revealing that Eraqus's influence and strength has "set foot into" his heart, allowing him to resist total possession by Xehanort.
Keyblade and fighting style
Terra is the most powerful of the trio in terms of the damage aspect. He uses slow, but very heavy and hard-hitting attacks to decimate his enemies. Terra has a large assortment of attack commands, consisting of heavy attacks, like Ars Solum, Brutal Blast, Windcutter, and Zantetsuken. He can also use some earth based attacks, like Geo Impact and Meteor Crash, as well as dark based attacks, like Dark Haze and Chaos Blade. Two other attacks involve his HP, Limit Storm, which deals more damage with low HP, and Sacrifice, which expends HP for a single, powerful attack. Terra's utilizes his earth element through his exclusive Finish commands, Rising Rock, Dark Star, and his ultimate finisher, Demolition. Another finish command exclusive to him is Random End. Terra's slow attacks can be compensated by using a D-Link with Ventus, which enables him to attack more rapidly.
Although not as skilled in magic as his classmate, Aqua, Terra has access to a broad variety of magic spells as well as four spells exclusive to him in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Terra's affinity for earth lets him use the powerful Quake and Meteor spells. In addition, the power of darkness allows him to use the Dark Firaga spell. He can also use Warp, which allows him to potentially wipe an enemy from existence, but will not leave any experience or prizes.
Beside a variety of these abilities usable by all three or two of the protagonists in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Terra has access to three exclusive Command Styles and three exclusive Shotlocks. His first exclusive command style is Critical Impact, which utilizes slow but heavy hits to their maximum. His second style is Rockbreaker, a second level style which uses his earth element and uses powerful, long-ranged ground attacks. His third style is Dark Impulse, a second level Command Style which uses the power of darkness and hits enemies with slow, heavy attacks, but also exhibits long-range projectile attacks.
Terra has access to Slide, which gives him good distance from his enemy, but it is not quite as reliable as Ventus's Dodge Roll or Aqua's Cartwheel. His Sonic Impact ability can extend from both Slide and Air Slide, allowing him to perform a charge attack mid-slide.
Terra becomes a D-Link for Ventus and Aqua after they receive Aqua's handmade Wayfinders. While in link with Terra, the user can strike with strong physical attacks.
Terra's exclusive Keyblades are primarily based on the earth element, referencing the Latin meaning of his name, and the darkness element, showing his attraction to darkness. The Earthshaker and the Darkgnaw can be seen as his weaker Keyblades, while the Ends of the Earth and the Chaos Ripper can be seen as an upgraded version of each Keyblade, respectively. His exclusive Keyblades are also focused primarily in strength, prominently shown by how the Chaos Ripper has the greatest attack bonus in the entire game. He also used to train using his Wooden Keyblade, which he passed down to Ventus later. His versions of common Keyblades are longer compared to Ventus's and Aqua's. When Terra summons his Keyblade, blocks and rings designed after his default Keyblade appear, revolving around his wrist.
Notes and references