Xion is the Rank XIV member of the original Organization XIII as well as a member of the real Organization XIII. She debuted in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days as the deuteragonist and later one of the final antagonists.
She is not a normal Nobody, and is only a nominal member of the Organization. Because of this, she does not have a throne in Where Nothing Gathers, nor does she have a title or a type of Nobody to control. Instead, she is an imperfect replica of Roxas created from Sora's leaked memories as a fail-safe in case both Sora and Roxas proved to be useless to Organization XIII's plans. Similar to Riku Replica, Xion was created by the Organization's scientist Vexen. While the nature of her existence enables her to use the Keyblade, Xion's existence also halts Sora's progression of regaining his memories to fully awaken while in his pod, something which Naminé, DiZ, and Riku recognize.
As Sora's memories are the basis of her being, Xion initially resembles Kairi, who was Sora's strongest memory at the time of her birth, though her physical appearance eventually changes depending on who is viewing her and who they have connections with. Roxas, Axel, and Riku see her as Xion (and later as Sora), Xigbar sees her as Ventus, Xemnas sees her as Sora, while Saïx (and also Axel, initially) sees her only as a hooded doll. As Naminé stated while talking with Riku, Xion's face was originally blank, until Sora's memories found their way into Xion and she gained an identity.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
A week after Roxas joins Organization XIII, Xemnas introduces Xion to the other members. After looking at the other members, she smiles up at Roxas, puzzling him. As Roxas departs for his first training mission, he spots Xion shyly watching him nearby, and Saïx formally introduces her to Axel and Roxas.
When Axel is sent to Castle Oblivion, Xemnas entrusts Roxas with the task of looking after Xion, who quickly bonds with him. After only a couple missions together, Xion removes her hood, surprising Roxas by her gender. She reveals her ability to wield the Keyblade to him, and looks after him when he falls into a coma for several weeks in conjunction to Sora being put to sleep to regain his memories. Xion visits Destiny Islands, collects the seashells there including a Thalassa Shell, and places them on Roxas's bed. When Roxas wakes up from his coma, Xion is happy and gives him a shell to listen to on the clock tower.
After discovering that Sora and Riku had slain all of the Organization members (except Axel) that were in Castle Oblivion at the time, Roxas, Axel, and Xion all begin spending more time together as per Roxas's suggestion and become fast friends, such as enjoying sea-salt ice cream together. After Xion asks Axel to be her friend, and he accepts, he stops seeing her as a hooded figure, and begins seeing her as the black-haired girl that Roxas sees. Unfortunately, Xion can not summon the Keyblade, although she regains the ability on Day 96.
A series of events begin to split the trio apart: While DiZ and Naminé oversee the restoration of the sleeping Sora's memories (moving him from Castle Oblivion to Twilight Town), Roxas begins to experience the process for himself, and starts to ponder over how he is able to wield the Keyblade and doubt the Organization's motives; Axel is reprimanded by their superiors for placing his friendship with Roxas and Xion before the Organization's goals; and Xion is thrown into disarray after a confrontation with Riku at Beast's Castle, who questions who she is and why she wields the Keyblade, especially after he sees her face, although he lets her go.
On Day 150, Xion has a nightmare of drowning in an ocean.
On Day 171, Xion is defeated by a Heartless, putting her in a coma. Roxas then begins giving seashells to Xion. After Xion has a dream, or more accurately, a flashback of Sora disappearing in front of Kairi at Hollow Bastion, Xion wakes up beside Roxas on Day 193.
On Day 225, Xion discovers the Organization's computer and reads records about her existence.
On Day 255, Xion visits Castle Oblivion and crosses paths with Axel who is on a mission. She learns who she is and escapes the Organization.
On Day 276, Xion decides to visit Destiny Islands again. She is overwhelmed by memories and faints. She is saved by Riku and he tells her of his current condition. He explains to her that his friend Sora needs Xion to return him his memories if he is to ever awaken. She doesn't understand why she has Sora's memories to begin with, causing her to become torn between staying with her friends in the Organization, or leaving to merge with Sora as Riku suggests. Xion travels with Riku for several weeks, eventually leaving him to stay at DiZ's base in Castle Oblivion.
On Day 298, Xion is found by Roxas in Twilight Town and he invites her to return "home" with him, but she says she is unable to. Xion tries to flee again, but Roxas stops her, prompting her to point her Keyblade at him. Axel appears and fights Xion, knocking her unconscious, forcibly returning her into the Organization.
On Day 321, Naminé's attempts to restore Sora's memories are soon halted when Xion starts absorbing them faster, causing Roxas to weaken while she becomes stronger, as Xemnas intended. Later, Xion informs Axel of this strange situation and he tells her she could think of an answer to this problem herself. She also tells him she saw a boy today who looks just like Roxas, implying she saw Sora somehow.
On Day 352, after being tricked into fighting Roxas by Saïx at Halloween Town, Xion decides to take Riku's advice and leaves the Organization. The next day, Xion fights Xigbar in Wonderland who perceives her as Ventus and knocks him unconscious. She unhoods in front of Axel who was also on the mission, shocking him, and asks him to let her go, which he agrees to, and she retreats through a Corridor of Darkness. Xion talks to Riku at Beast's Castle, wondering what she should do next, and he implores her to find Naminé in Twilight Town for answers.
On Day 356, Xion meets with Naminé in Twilight Town's Old Mansion in order to learn about her nature and how it affects Roxas. Naminé informs her that she is a replica made from Roxas's memories, rather than a Nobody, and that this means that reuniting with Sora will cause her to not only no longer exist, but also be completely forgotten. Xion persists in her commitment, certain that it's where she belongs, but is interrupted by DiZ, intruding in the conversation to warn them that they have been located by a member of the Organization. Xion goes to investigate and finds Axel, upset that he has been tasked with retrieving or eliminating her, and conversely that letting her reunite with Sora as she wants would also result in her termination. Xion explains that she is committed to her path, and asks Axel "Please don't hold back". In response, he promises that he will "always be there to bring [her] back". Axel is able to subdue Xion after an intense battle, and limps back to the castle with her unconscious body in tow, fainting at the entrance. From there, Xemnas drags Xion away to reprogram her using the Organization XIII Devices that he had had planted throughout the worlds.
The next day, Roxas finds Xion at the Twilight Town train station, and after she reveals her altered, Sora-like form to him, she explains that she has been compelled by Xemnas to absorb Roxas and become a "full" Sora, which would in turn prevent the real Sora from ever waking. It is explained in her Secret Reports that this is somewhat of a ruse—she knows that Roxas will disappear if she continues to exist, so she plans to force Roxas to absorb her, saving himself and thwarting Xemnas's plan. She then transforms into a monstrous version of Sora using Xemnas's devices, and attacks. During the battle, Roxas and Xion are transported to Wonderland, Halloween Town, and Agrabah, before returning to Twilight Town. In each world, Xion absorbs power from the "devices" that were placed there, which contain memories of Sora's battles in each world.
After a long and grueling battle, Roxas manages to defeat her, while she regains her original appearance in his view. He doesn't seem to recall who she is, though she assures him that he'll be better off now. While Roxas cradles her in his arms, she tells him that she chose to sacrifice herself to slow down Xemnas's plans, asks that he prevent Xemnas from obtaining Kingdom Hearts, and tells him that she is glad that she met him and Axel. As Xion's body crystallizes and disintegrates, Roxas suddenly remembers her name and holds her hand until she disappears completely, leaving behind a single Thalassa Shell.
Though Naminé states that everyone's memories of Xion will vanish as she does, Roxas, Riku, Xemnas, and Saïx manage to retain some memories of her into the next day. By then, Roxas has returned to the World That Never Was in order to set Kingdom Hearts free, which he hopes will reunite him with his lost friend. However, he is being stalked by a swarm of Neoshadow Heartless, as well as a determined Riku, who has arrived to capture Roxas to finish Sora's memory restoration. Riku looks down upon the Nobody as Roxas starts his path up the skyscraper. When Xion's lingering influence makes Roxas throw his Oblivion Keyblade to Riku, she is able to communicate to Riku, begging him to stop Roxas before he can reach Xemnas, because she believes Roxas is not strong enough to face him yet. With the message, Riku receives memories of the time he spent with Xion, shocking him for a moment, but they begin to fade as he reaches the ground.
When Roxas and Riku finish eradicating the Heartless, they turn on each other for a battle. By this time, it is a struggle for Roxas to even remember Xion's name, and all he knows about her is that he wants her back. While Roxas is able to knock Riku down first, Xion then projects her words to Riku, somehow telepathically, to stop Roxas at any cost, and so he does once he removes his blindfold and transforms into Riku-Ansem. Unconscious, Roxas hears Xion talking to him through his mind, telling him not to be sad, as she has become one with him and Sora, and that soon Roxas will also join them. Despite the fact that memories of Xion have been forgotten by everyone, she tells him that she still has her own memories, so she doesn't mind that he has forgotten her, as she won't forget him or Axel. As Riku knocks him out, Roxas's last memories of Xion fade away.
In the Data Castle Oblivion, Data-Naminé reveals to Data-Sora and King Mickey that Xion is one of the people that, while gone, is still connected to Sora's heart. Data-Sora wonders who she is and remarks that she feels familiar and that something terrible must have happened.
Xion's past heart is brought to the present and placed in a replica. She is designated a reserve member of the second Organization along with Vexen and Demyx as Master Xehanort wishes to turn either Riku or Sora into the thirteenth vessel to disrupt the Seven Guardians of Light.
After Sora catches up to Naminé in his dream in The World That Never Was, she suddenly transforms into Xion. Xion does not respond to Sora's questions, merely looking at the floor with a look of sadness on her face. Although Sora doesn't recognize her, he suddenly sheds a tear, to his own surprise and confusion. Xion raises her hood and runs off.
After catching up to Xigbar, Sora comments on how Axel, Roxas, Naminé, and "that other girl" all must have had hearts. When Sora reaffirms to Xigbar that his strength comes from his friends, Xigbar sees an image of the many individuals connected to Sora standing behind him, including Xion. Unnerved, Xigbar leaves Sora to Xemnas and leaves.
After Riku dives into Sora's heart and defeats the Armored Ventus Nightmare, he appears on a memory of the Destiny Islands. After meeting Roxas and Ventus, who each ask him a question, Riku finds Xion sitting on the paopu tree. He does not remember her and questions who she is. She then asks him what he wishes, and disappears once he answers.
In the real world, Xion is pulled out of the reserve members of the new Organization to fill the thirteenth spot following Xehanort's failure to make Sora to make the final vessel.
Kingdom Hearts III
Lea's subconscious memories of his time with Xion continue to persist as he trains with Kairi, and he often catches himself staring at her because their resemblance stirs his memories of his lost friend.
While traveling in the Gummi Ship, Sora and company are contacted by Ienzo, who has deciphered Ansem's Code; Sora has three unique hearts in his own. While they agree that the first two hearts belong to Roxas and Ventus, they are unable to identify Xion as the owner of the third.
On the eve of the final battle, Saïx tracks Lea down at the Clock Tower and points out that Lea has bought an extra ice cream bar for Xion without realizing it.
At the Keyblade Graveyard, Xion is among the other members of the Real Organization when they confront the guardians of light and pairs with Saïx to fight Lea and Kairi. After Xemnas appears and attempts to kill Lea, Xion intervenes. Stirred by this, Roxas's heart calls out to her via Sora, initially triggering her true heart to return to her from Sora, and shortly afterward, triggering Roxas's heart to fly to his waiting vessel as well. Before Xemnas can execute her and Lea, Roxas warps to the scene and drives him off. Xion, Roxas, and Sora then battle and defeat Saïx.
After Master Xehanort opens Kingdom Hearts, Xion arrives with Lea, Roxas, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra to help King Mickey and Riku hold off its power while Sora sends Master Xehanort to Scala ad Caelum with the intent of keeping him from using Kingdom Hearts. She also assures Sora that Kairi would be safe. After Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeat Master Xehanort, Xion helps close Kingdom Hearts.
Xion later becomes friends with Isa, Olette, Hayner and Pence. Xion is also among those who witness Kairi return to Destiny Islands after Sora restores her at the cost of his life.
After Aqua speaks with Ansem the Wise about Sora, Xion is seen sitting atop the Twilight Town clock tower, eating sea-salt ice cream with Roxas and Axel. Then, Xion and Roxas say Sora's name while watching the sunset together.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance opening movie
Xion appears during the opening sequence, threatening Roxas with her Kingdom Key as he lands upon a stained glass window. Immediately the scene switches to the three of them—Axel, Roxas, and Xion—messing around, smiling, and eating ice cream atop the Twilight Town clock tower. The scene returns to Xion and Roxas, but Xion disappears in a burst of light, Keyblade and all. Suddenly, Roxas is surrounded by flames, and he pulls out the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, rushing into a battle with Axel.
Xion's Organization coat is similar to the one Roxas wears, with slightly pointed shoulders and closer-fitting sleeves. She also wears the more feminine, heeled boots that Larxene wears and the basic black gloves.
Physically, Xion strongly resembles Kairi in her appearance from Kingdom Hearts, having her blue eyes and virtually the same haircut, though Xion's hair is black, and her bangs part on a different side, some tucked behind her right ear. She is slightly shorter than Roxas.
As a result of her being crafted imperfectly from Sora's memories, Xion's appearance is somewhat unstable, as she is known to transform into Roxas (in his black coat) and both Riku and Sora in their original appearances from the first game. Her appearance is also slightly different depending on who is looking at her. Most of the Organization, such as Saïx and, early on, Axel, view her as a hooded puppet, while to Xigbar she appears identical to Ventus. Xemnas, on the other hand, sees her true form—a perfect copy of Sora.
In the final battle between Xion and Roxas, Xion wears a suit similar to Keyblade Armor, which includes aspects of Sora's clothing and the Nobody sigil.
At the end of Kingdom Hearts III, Xion now wears a sleeveless double buttoned, collared shirt and a black belt, with a short white skirt under the shirt and black boots that reach halfway to her knees with a beige color to the upper fifth, mirroring the clothing of Kairi and Naminé.
Tomoco Kanemaki is responsible for Xion having black hair.
Xion's name was coined by Tomoco Kanemaki, one of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days's scenario writers and the writer of the Kingdom Hearts novels. Tetsuya Nomura took a liking to it and notes that it has many meanings. Xion's name contains the Japanese words for "tide" (潮, shio?), fitting the oceanic naming theme of Kairi and Naminé, and Aster tataricus (紫苑, shion?), which, according to Japanese floriography, means "I won't forget you" or "remembrance". It is also revealed within the Secret Reports that her "original name" was "No. i", her ID as an experiment of the Replica Program. The "i" used here is the imaginary unit.
Upon joining Organization XIII, Xion is a shy, secluded, and taciturn individual; at this point, Xion had not developed a will of her own. She first opens up to Roxas while they are on an mission together, and later grows close to Axel as well. Her shyness is reflected in her tone during her early days, as she speaks softly and sadly; however, by the time of her first death, Xion spoke a clear and calm voice as she had come to terms with her existence.
She does seem to express emotions due to her nature of existence, and is always happy to be with her friends. She is emotionally fragile, however, becoming deeply enraged with the right provocation. When she is reminded of her past in Kingdom Hearts III, she has a breakdown and begins to cry if she feels she has wronged her friends. She has a strong sense of justice and generosity, willingly sacrificing herself to join with Sora. Like Aqua, Kairi, and Naminé, Xion fights passionately to protect those she has come to care for.
After finding out the origins of her existence, she grows deeply confused and lost, and begins turning to Riku and Naminé for support as she does not want to make Roxas feel burdened, while Axel tries to keep her identity a secret from her.
Like Kairi, Xion takes a particular interest in seashells. When Roxas enters a coma, Xion places a seashell on his bedside table for every day he is asleep. In her nightmare on Destiny Islands, Roxas picks up a shell while whispering her name. After Roxas defeats and absorbs Xion's remaining memories, all that is left of her body is a single seashell.
As an indirect replica of Sora, Xion's fighting style as a playable character is very similar to his. After absorbing many of Sora's memories using the Organization XIII Devices, Xion is able to replicate Sora's Limits from Kingdom Hearts. However, Xion's movement is quite similar to Limit Form's, jumping back and stepping forward between attacks and slashing through the enemy in the finisher. Like Roxas, she thrusts with one hand and her finisher resembles the Vortex ability. Before Xion obtains the Keyblade herself, she is limited to simply shooting basic spells from her palm.
Once she obtains her Keyblade, Xion proves adept at handling it, being able to fight with it using her right or left hand. Her boss battle depicts her using many powerful melee attacks she seemed to have inherited from Sora. She also uses light much more often during her boss fight, such as creating spiraling circles of Light that suck in the player, leaving them vulnerable to one of Xion's aforementioned physical attacks. She can also use a Light spell similar to Ragnarok, and can envelop her weapon in Light to make her other attacks even more powerful.
Xion's Limit Break in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is Event Horizon (イベントホライズン, Ibento Horaizun?). During Event Horizon, Xion rapidly darts around the field with her Keyblade enveloped in light, slashing away at enemies with great strength. In her Final Limit, she summons four thin pillars of light to quickly move in straight paths to ends of the field, dealing heavy damage to any enemies in their path.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Xion shows the ability to copy Saïx's berserker state during the fight against her and Saïx. Xion also gains the ability to use a remarkable and powerful spell Holy, which is similar to her Final Limit attack in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. She raise her Keyblade after shouting "Get 'em!" or "Holy!" with the tip brimming with energy and summons pillars of light to attack Saïx multiple times before ending with three pillars of light.
As Roxas's replica, Xion can wield the Keyblade. She wields her weapon fairly skillfully, being able to disarm Axel. Because Xion and Roxas are both part of Sora, they can both wield his Keyblades, even at the same time. Because their weapons are the same, the Gears produce the same forms when applied to either Keyblade. In her boss fight, her weapons resembles aspects from the world they are currently in: Xion's first form in Wonderland uses a large sword with a similar design to the Card Soldiers that protect the Queen, her second form in Halloween Town uses a pincer-like weapon with monstrous decorations, and her third form in Agrabah uses four giant Scimitars. In her final form, she wields two giant Keyblade-like weapons that resemble the Nobody sigil.
When Xion runs with her Keyblade, she grasps it with two hands instead of slinging it over her shoulder like Roxas does. This is identical to how Sora runs with his Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Notes and references