The Kingdom Hearts universe is vast, complicated and chock-full of a cast of colorful and complex characters. In Kingdom Hearts 3, Heartless, Nobodies and other enemies swarm landscapes and fill a player’s in-game compendium called the Bestiary.
You may be seasoned in Kingdom Hearts lore or merely curious about how the Japanese anime-inspired Disney-crossover series constructs villains. Regardless, here are some of the characteristics and history behind some of the primary antagonists in the main character’s — Sora’s — universe.
Kingdom Hearts is known for its convoluted storyline, so be prepared to take notes. With as few spoilers as possible, what are the adversaries all about?
What Are Heartless?
In Kingdom Hearts 3, players have become all too familiar with Heartless. As individuals in the Kingdom Hearts universe have their hearts consumed by darkness, the process creates Pureblood Heartless. These creatures lurk in the shadows with heart-shaped holes that indicate their birth story.
Later games introduced new variants, called Emblem Heartless, manufactured by one of the game’s main antagonists, Ansem. All of the Heartless act to disrupt Sora’s plans of finding the Guardians of Light, seven fighters who will forge the χ-blade to seal away the world’s darkness.
New breeds of Heartless have appeared in every new Kingdom Hearts installment, all with different looks and attack focuses. Apart from the original Shadow and Neoshadow — dark enemies that strike and evade by sinking into the ground as a dark shade — there are Heartless bats, elementals, soldiers and even cats. Other additions include renditions of familiar classical mythological beasts like satyrs, sprites, dragons and minotaurs.
What Are Nobodies?
Though a heart consumed by darkness creates a Heartless, sometimes it also creates a Nobody. The body left behind can turn into a Nobody if the person has a mighty heart. Nobodies have a pale, lifeless appearance. Where Heartless have the heart symbol to indicate their enemy type, Nobodies have a cross, connected to an upside-down heart.
The most common Nobodies include the original Dusk and Reaper. They’re quick to evade and often rely on magic-based combat. Final Fantasy fans will appreciate the Easter egg left by the developer, Square Enix, as most of the Nobody enemies are named after Final Fantasy classes. This includes Gambler, Berserker and Sorcerer.
The most famous Nobodies are members of Organization XIII. They are a collection of 13 Nobodies who help Kingdom Heart 3’s main antagonist, Master Xehanort. Just as the Guardians of Light seek to construct the χ-blade, they want the same. However, they want to use it to start a war and taint Kingdom Hearts with darkness instead of protecting it. In Kingdom Hearts 3, this battle ensues.
What Are Unversed?
Skulking the Kingdom Hearts 3 world of Monstropolis is the Unversed — with only one previous appearance in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. There are only four Unversed, including the Flood, Flowersnake, Spiked Turtletoad and the regular Turtletoad. Their attacks often incur status ailments like poison, but they can physically and magically attack.
The origin story of Unversed is multi-layered. They were created by a character named Ventus. After a struggle against Master Xehanort, Ventus birthed a new Organization XIII member, an extension of himself renamed Vanitas. The energy from this was the birth of the Unversed enemies.
Vanitas tells Ventus how they came to be by saying:
“It happened when you and I were split into two. The negativity took shape as these monsters. They are what I feel—a horde of fledgling emotions under my control.”
Because of their origin, they are the enemies in the game in the smallest numbers.
Unraveling Kingdom Heart 3’s Enemies
Kingdom Hearts has a long history with deep lore and fascinating enemies. The Kingdom Hearts series has been a console staple since its inception, but its recent port to PC has caused gamers to experience it in a new way. The only limit to viewing Kingdom Hearts enemies in high-definition is your PC’s specs, giving the game new life two decades after its original release.
It’s hard to tell what Kingdom Heart 4 will have in store for its array of enemies, but players can rest assured Square Enix will put out all the stops to impress beloved fans.
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