Zexion, the Cloaked Schemer (影歩む策士, Kageayumu Sakushi?, lit. Shadow-Walking Schemer), is the Nobody of Ienzo and Rank VI in the original Organization XIII. He is also an antagonist in Riku's storyline in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. In battle, he weaves illusions to fight for him. Unlike the other Organization members, Zexion's weapon was originally unknown, and his talents were used only outside of normal combat. In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Zexion's weapon was revealed to be a book called a Lexicon.
Zexion appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a participant in the struggle within the Organization between the newer and veteran members. He is also central to the plot to use Riku as a puppet in Castle Oblivion. Zexion also appears in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, as one of the playable characters in Mission Mode.
Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Some time before Marluxia's official recruitment, Vexen tromps down the stairs of Twilight's View, calling out for Zexion and demanding to know where Xemnas was. Zexion informs him that Xemnas was in the Chamber of Repose, and though with complaint, Vexen decides to wait for Xemnas to return.
Xigbar, who was eavesdropping on the conversation, reveals his presence to Zexion, who scolds told the former for his eavesdropping and tells him that he should continue his mission with Xaldin to recruit new members. After a short argument, Zexion is pleased on how Xigbar handled the job. As he prepares to leave, Xigbar stops him and asks to learn about Xemnas's secret. Reminiscing on the battle that took place ten years ago and how they found Xehanort, and how the Chamber of Repose came to be, Xigbar discloses that he had heard Xemnas conversing with someone in the underground laboratory, even though no one was supposed to be there besides Xenmas himself. Zexion chastises him for eavesdropping again, but was contradicted by Xigbar as he could not hear what Xemnas was talking about. Uninterested, Zexion prepares to leave, feeling that it would be better for him to complete his work: help the Organization prepare their new stronghold in Castle Oblivion. When asked on Xemnas's intentions for their new facility by Xigbar, he states that everyone knew his intentions, as they were informed about them earlier. However, Xigbar reveals the truth on how the Chamber of Repose is connected to the Chamber of Waking, piquing Zexion's interest. Xigbar suspects that Xemnas is using Castle Oblivion to find the Chamber of Waking to locate his "other friend", leaving Zexion speechless.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Zexion is present when Xion joins Organization XIII. Zexion later teaches Roxas how to fill the mission gauge in Twilight Town before being sent away to Castle Oblivion. True to his personality, he was patient with the Keyblade wielder, carefully and calmly explaining the filling of the gauge in great detail.
On his return from Castle Oblivion, Axel mentions to Saïx that he had eliminated Zexion. Sometime later, Axel admits that he doesn't mind "getting his hands dirty" to Saïx, and again comments on eliminating both Zexion and Vexen.
During Xion's nightmare on Destiny Islands, Roxas stands on the beach of the island, missing his friend. He later sees the hooded Xion and approaches her. She removes her hood and turns out to be none other than Zexion, who proceeds to taunt a younger version of Riku as he did in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The scene then begins to fade, Xion (in the form of the shocked Roxas) undergoing a series of transformations until she finally takes Sora's form for the first time.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
After Sora had been lured into Castle Oblivion, Zexion discovers two other scents deep in the dungeons of the castle. One of them belongs to a Maleficent formed from someone's memory, having been given life by Castle Oblivion's unique properties. Originally, he mistakes the other scent to be that of "The Superior". Eventually, however, Zexion and his cohorts determine that the scent belongs to Riku, who had appeared in the Castle by force of will after Sora's arrival. Vexen hypothesizes that the darkness in Riku's heart, "Ansem", caused Zexion to mistake him for "the Superior", calling the effect "fascinating." Specifically, Riku's heart is plagued by the presence of Ansem.
Zexion, as well as Lexaeus and Vexen, come to see that Marluxia, keeper of Castle Oblivion, intends to take control of Organization XIII, with the help of Larxene, by using Sora as their puppet. Though they see that they can use Riku to counter Sora, they decide to oppose Marluxia's plot by having Vexen investigate Marluxia under the guise of offering to help using the Riku Replica he creates with combat data from the real Riku. However, Vexen is eventually killed on Marluxia's orders by Axel, whom Zexion and Lexaeus had been unsure about trusting. Axel later tells them he had performed the deed only to gain Marluxia's trust, and continues to cooperate with Zexion in tracking Sora and Riku.
Seeing that Vexen's efforts to derail Marluxia's plan had failed, Zexion sends Lexaeus to sway Riku into joining them, but Riku refuses to allow darkness to control him and defeats Lexaeus in combat.
After Lexaeus dies in his failed attempt to subvert Riku's resistance to darkness, Zexion discusses the Organization's fate with Axel and learns that Larxene has been killed as well, bringing the number of Organization members eliminated to three. Axel tells him that he himself was defeated by Sora as well, and that Marluxia is almost certainly the next to go. Zexion decides that with the possibility of Marluxia dying soon, Riku is no longer needed, and heads off to intercept him.
Zexion appears before Riku while he is between floors of the castle, shortly after the death of Marluxia. As the force of Marluxia's death shakes the castle, Riku halts with surprise and comments how a very strong scent in the air has died. Zexion materializes in front of him and tells him that Sora has just defeated Marluxia. Riku is surprised to learn that Sora is also in the castle, but Zexion tells him he would never be able to face him after having such darkness in his heart.
He gives Riku a World Card to Destiny Islands. While he explores it, Zexion reappears, and continues to play on his guilt, telling him Sora will always oppose him as a host of the dark. Zexion vanishes and Riku winds up facing a Darkside Heartless. After he defeats it, Zexion disguises himself as Sora and accuses Riku of being corrupt. He envelops Riku in light, rendering him unable to do anything. Instead of drowning Riku into helplessness, however, the predicament causes Naminé to come to his aid, in the guise of Kairi, telling him that he should stop rejecting the darkness within his heart, and instead tells him to draw on that power to free himself of the oppressing light and strike out.
Riku strikes out at Zexion, whose disguise falters. Zexion is astounded by Riku's ability to control the darkness, and is also enraged at his perseverance. He decides to engage Riku in combat himself, but is eventually defeated.
Zexion hastily retreats from Riku to the Organization's meeting room, where Axel and the Riku Replica are waiting. In a panic, Zexion initially mistakes the Replica for the real Riku, but feels reassured when he recognizes him as the Organization's Replica. However, Axel tempts the Replica by claiming that he can become whole by claiming power that the real Riku lacks, and suggests he should start by eliminating Zexion and stealing his power. Zexion is horrified by Axel's suggestion, but before he can do anything, the replica eliminates Zexion and takes his power; judging by Axel's line of Zexion finding out "way too much", Axel having purposefully set this up in order to move Saïx up within the ranks of the Organization.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga
In the manga adaption of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Zexion does not escape from Riku after being defeated in battle on the virtual Destiny Islands. Instead, Zexion appears to Riku and taunts him about being weaker than Sora because he rejects the Darkness. He transforms into Sora and rebukes him for embracing it, tricking Riku into thinking it is actually Sora accusing him instead of Zexion. Later, after changing back into himself, he further influences him by saying Sora would never want to see him again because he ran away from the light, but the Organization would welcome him with open arms. He consumes Riku in light, making him unable to do anything and attempts to show the pain of the light, but Riku, enraged, instead turns on Zexion and defeats him with a slash of his Soul Eater. Zexion never fights with Riku Replica. Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories incorporates this into the game story somewhat, by having Riku fight and weaken Zexion before he is absorbed by the Riku Replica.
In the manga, Zexion visits the floor where Lexaeus was eliminated, and he never makes an alliance with Axel.
Zexion is a young man with a slim build, bright aqua-colored eyes and steel-blue hair (appearing more grey in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories) with long, layered bangs that completely obscures the right side of his face, reaching about an inch or two past his chin. On his left side, his bangs, though still rather long, are shorter than the right side, partially covering his ear. A few strands of hair fall over the exposed section of his face. The back of Zexion's hair is a bit shorter than the front. He wears the signature black Organization cloak, boots, and gloves, though his cloak's sleeves are slightly bell-shaped. As one of the youngest members of the Organization, his stature is shorter compared to the other members, though he is taller than Roxas.
As a Nobody, Zexion appears as a calm and collected individual that shows little emotions, although he is sometimes seen smirking or grinning. Unlike the other members, he conducts his tasks in a veil of secrecy, suggesting an enigmatic sort of persona. Zexion apparently also holds a fondness for literature and the humanities, which is noticed in the weapons he utilizes and his manner of speech when speaking to other members. It was most notable in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days when he had assisted Roxas in his tutorial mission, thoroughly explaining details in a polite fashion. During the same mission, he indicated that he strongly dislikes laziness, insisting that Roxas should continue even after his main mission objectives have been fulfilled.
Zexion stands out in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as the mastermind behind the actions of those members who are actually loyal to the Organization. He is aware of the Organization's decline, calling it "deplorable". Of the three senior members (the other two being Lexaeus and Vexen) with the lowest thrones in their meeting chamber, named "Where Nothing Gathers", he seems to have the highest, while Vexen's is the lowest, indicating he might be the most competent of the three.
The fact that he acts as the mastermind behind Lexaeus and Vexen shows that his rank in the Organization may in fact be higher than his number would lead one to believe. In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix where he is seen to have a conversation with Xigbar, he reprimands Xigbar's habit of eavesdropping and even talks down to him, stating that he should get back to work. When Xigbar informs him that he was hoping to just have a "friendly chat" with him, Zexion tells him he has more work to attend to and finishes the conversation by telling Xigbar that if he is through working, then it would be in his best interest to get rest. In addition to this, Saïx had him eliminated so that he could rise in the ranks of Organization XIII.
Until his death, Zexion kept his calm and cool façade. When Axel encouraged the Riku Replica to kill him, Zexion's horrified reaction shows that he clearly does not want to die. He has an undying sense of duty to the Organization, and goes to almost any length to ensure the success of his missions. At times, he can also be humorous and jest with other members when the moment shows itself. A good example of this is in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories where it was shown that he and Axel are having a friendly gamble at which Organization member in the castle will be the next to die (something they've been apparently doing ever since Vexen got killed by Axel). Axel proves to win that particular round when he accurately predicts that Marluxia will be the next to die. Zexion is also particularly cheeky towards Vexen, giving dry and smart retorts when Vexen attempts to reprimand him with his superior ranking.
Like Riku, Zexion has the ability to identify the "scents" of others with great accuracy and at great distances. The "scent" he smells may be based off other things than mere odor, and is affected by presence of darkness in the heart, an entity's power in the castle, and other factors. Initially, Zexion was never seen in combat, and his weapon and attribute were a mystery. In an effort to keep Zexion's weapon unknown, his gravestone in the The World That Never Was laid destroyed, as all the gravestones depicted the member's weapon of choice. Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix revealed his weapon as the Lexicon. Zexion can use his Lexicon to mimic the attacks of his enemies in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories.
This ability follows a trend where the Organization members bear abilities and skills mirroring those of Final Fantasy jobs (ex. Xaldin = Dragoon, Luxord = Gambler, etc.). In Zexion's case, his abilities mirror those of a Blue Mage, who can learn and mimic enemy attacks, or possibly a Mime who can perfectly imitate the most recently used ability.
In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, he has a unique fighting style; he steals and hoards his foe's cards until he has enough to use it in his own deck. He has copies of his lexicon float around and attack the opponent. His standard attack steals Riku's attack cards, and his standard sleight creates a tornado of dark energy that drags Riku in, and then damages him while stealing his cards. When Zexion hoards enough cards, he copies the Soul Eater and copies himself, gaining the uses of two new sleights. In one, Zexion's copies vanish while Zexion grabs Riku and continuously damages him. Zexion's other new sleight is a sleight in which he and his copies vanish and then reappear near the perimeter of the island and each fire an energy beam. The beams meet and slowly form a ball of energy as Zexion and his clones rotate around the island before the energy ball explodes over the entire island.
His standard attack now becomes a combo with each of the copies slashing once in turn. Meanwhile, the lexicons are spread out through the island encased in blue flames. Each of these lexicons support and act as the health of a clone. Destroying a lexicon causes a clone to disappear, and the destruction of the last copy frees all the stolen cards, and Zexion reverts to attacking with his lexicons until he hoards enough cards again. However, even if Riku manages to steal his cards back, Zexion occasionally prepares a countermeasure of sorts by planting a dummy Soul Eater card amongst the scattered pile for Riku to collect. The card is distinguished by the "wing" of the blade's design being orange instead of red, as well as the Soul Eater facing the opposite direction. If the card is collected then used, it damages and stuns Riku momentarily, giving Zexion an opening to steal cards again.
In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Zexion returns as an optional boss. Zexion's fighting style is totally different in the islands, however—his Absent Silhouette's only attack is to ensnare his prey in his lexicon. However, once they have been captured, Zexion transports them to another dimension where lexicons float around, being conducted by Zexion, who can hide as a lexicon himself. Only the reaction command, Dispel, used on Zexion after depleting his fake HP frees them from the dimension. Meanwhile, they are either bombarded by lexicon copies and explosions, ensnared in life-draining lexicons, or have their commands mixed up. However, if the right commands are selected, HP, MP, Munny balls, or experience points can appear, while another command temporarily removes all the decoy lexicons.
His greatest attack involves transporting his quarry into yet another dimension, one which is pitch black save for three spotlights, one of which will be blue. The blue light will rotate between the three lights thirteen times until it comes to a complete stop, after which the entire area will be bombarded by meteors, with Zexion's laughing heard. However, the spotlight where the blue light stops on will be protected by a barrier. Zexion is also forced into the barricaded area, leaving him vulnerable to attack.
In both instances, he is shown to be a particularly powerful opponent, noted by many to be more difficult than Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories Reverse/Rebirth.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Zexion has a Limit Break called Meteor Mirage, where he ascends into the air to cause meteors of indigo energy to rain down from the sky.
Zexion uses a book called a Lexicon, the Greek term for a dictionary. Its main form is named the Book of Retribution. It is unclear exactly what the pages contain, but from what can be seen, it tells some sort of story and lacks a basic dictionary layout. The cover displays three interconnected Nobody symbols. The back bears the outline of another Nobody logo. The spine of the book displays the Roman numeral of six (VI), along with the title "Hallucination—Another Side", superimposed over yet another Nobody symbol. Zexion has the power to trap people within the pages themselves, sending them to a different dimension where he can hide from them and attack. He can also hide himself in the pages.
An accessory based off the lexicon called the "Shadow Archive" can be synthesized in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix.