This part of our recap focuses on Kingdom Hearts 3D and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, which begin directly after the events of Kingdom Hearts 2 have taken place.
During the first two adventures, Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2, Jiminy Cricket wrote a Journal which documented their journeys. Sometime after the second adventure, Jiminy looked over his writings, only to find a message that he did not write.
“Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.”
Taking this news to King Mickey, the monarch uses a machine to create digital copies of the journals. To inspect it more thoroughly, Mickey asks the data borne version of Sora inside the journal to look for anything suspicious. Data-Sora agrees to this, and finds a series of black and red cubes which they name “Bugs”.
Eager to eliminate the threat, Sora continues through various worlds to defeat the bugs. Sometime during this, King Mickey, along with Chip, Dale, Donald and Goofy are digitised and sent into the world of the journal. Data Sora eventually arrives in the digital version of the King’s throne room to rescue them from a Heartless attack, and are met by a data version of Riku, who is a personified version of Jiminy’s Journals.
After being sent back on his quest by Data-Riku, Data Sora eventually comes across the real world versions of Maleficent and Pete, who destroy his Keyblade so he cannot stop their plans of taking over the world which has been named the Datascape. Mickey and Data-Riku save their friend and Sora regains his Keyblade, but Pete manages to use Bugs to corrupt Data-Riku, forcing Sora to fight and defeat him.
Mickey delivers the tragic news that Data Riku will not awaken unless the Bugs are destroyed. Data Riku enters the Journal’s datascape and loses his fighting power as a result. After restoring some of Data-Riku’s memory, they fight Maleficent and stop her in her tracks. When all the Bugs are removed, King Mickey deduces they will be sent back home, and the data versions of their friends will be deleted.
Sora manages to rescue Pete and Maleficent from being erased, only for them to be seemingly defeated by Heartless. Data-Sora manages to find and defeat his own Heartless, which is in the shape of a Darkside, he learns that Pete and Maleficent survived and have been sent back to the real world. Their new aim is find the Book of Prophecies, which details information directly from the future of the worlds.
Before they close the door on the Data Worlds forever, the group learns of a new world that has opened in the main Datascape. When King Mickey and Data Sora enter, they are met with worlds that haven’t visited, and are confronted by a mysterious figure who turns out to be a Data version of Roxas, who informs of a journey to rescue those who are connected to him. After passing into another room, a data version of Namine elaborates on this, informing him of the ties that he shares with Roxas and Xion. She also refers to three figures who are lost, which are Terra, Ventus and Aqua.
Promising to inform the real Sora of these facts, King Mickey returns to the real world with the Journals now free of external interference. The King then writes a letter in a bottle to Sora, which the one received by Sora, Riku and Kairi at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2. In a bonus scene, King Mickey is informed by Master Yen Sid that Master Xehanort has returned after the elimination of both his Heartless and his Nobody.
After meeting with Master Yen Sid in the Mysterious Tower, Sora and Riku take the Mark of Mastery Exam to become Keyblade Masters. In order to pass their test, the two teenagers must travel into seven worlds which did not awaken from sleep at the end of Kingdom Hearts. Their aim in each location is to find their Sleeping Keyholes and unlock them to reawaken their presence in the World of Light.
Travelling to the Destiny Islands where the entrance to the Sleeping Worlds lies, Sora and Riku enter the mysterious place, unaware their exam is being infiltrated by a hooded figure. The two friends are seperated on their arrival in an alternate version of Traverse Town, somehow arriving in parallel dream states of the same physical space.
As they unlock the Sleeping Keyholes, Sora and Riku encounter enemies from their past such as Xemnas and Xehanort’s Heartless, also known as the Seeker of Darkness. They also encounter the human forms of several of the Organization members, who were apparently vanquished during Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 2.
After sealing the final world, Sora and Riku find themselves in The World That Never Was. Sora learns that Master Xehanort and the Organization have been working things behind the scenes since they left the Destiny Islands, and plan to make Sora into a vessel of darkness for Master Xehanort. Without waiting a second longer, they force Sora into a deep sleep and wait for the darkness to take hold of his heart.
Riku noticed that something was wrong when they began their endeavours, so he dove into Sora’s dreams of the Sleeping Worlds instead of taking the exam to protect him. As a being that walks the paths of light and darkness, Riku was able to push forward time and again, until eventually he was able to foil the Organization’s plans and rescue his friend.
During the rescue, the true reason for the Organization’s existence is revealed. The Nobodies without hearts were to be vessels for Xehanort’s essence, in a sense becoming a clone of himself. The purpose for this impossible plan was to try and replicate the χblade that was shattered during the Keyblade War by placing 13 vessels of darkness against 7 vessels of light.
As some of the Organization, such Axel or his human form Lea, had defected, Master Xehanort was forced to use his younger selves by using time travel, something that was believed to be impossible. When they return to the Mysterious Tower, Sora remains lost in a deep sleep. Riku dives into Sora’s dreams one more time, and after being proved worthy by Ventus’s soul acting as a guardian, Sora is successfully awoken from his slumber.
Master Yen Sid then reveals that Sora did not pass the exam, but Riku has passed it and is now a Keyblade Master. As everyone celebrates, Riku is sent to collect Kairi, as she is now able to wield a Keyblade and able to take part in a future clash with Master Xehanort. Lea is also revealed to be able to summon a Keyblade, after aiding Riku in the rescue of Sora.
Next Chapter – Chapter 5: Kingdom Hearts 0.2 and 2.9 Recap