- "I'm carrying on what you yourself began, and I'm creating a brand new world, one heart at a time."
- —Xemnas to Ansem
Xemnas, the Superior of the In-Between|狭間の指導者|Hazama no Shidōsha, is the Nobody of Terra-Xehanort. He is the leader of Organization XIII, the former ruler of The World That Never Was, and a member of the True Organization XIII. He serves as one of the two main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts II, alongside Pete, serving as the main enemy for the second half of the game, and as a supporting antagonist in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Xemnas wields the power of nothingness, and he channels this into his weapons, red blades of energy called Ethereal Blades. He commands the Sorcerer Nobodies. Xemnas, as the Superior, is the founder of Organization XIII and has dominion over all other Nobodies. He is also the Organization's most powerful member, to the point that Marluxia would not dare to face him alongside Larxene and Axel until Sora was also under their control.
Kingdom Hearts Final MixEdit
Xemnas first appears in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, arriving at Hollow Bastion to see Sora after recruiting Roxas. The only name he is given is the Journal's "Unknown" (謎の男, Nazo no Otoko lit. "Enigmatic Man"). The Princesses of Heart sense his incredible power, and Sora, Donald, Goofy, and the Beast go to the abandoned area where they fought Maleficent to investigate, and soon encounter Xemnas. He is at first intangible, and passes through Sora, causing him to experience many of his memories in rapid succession (a power seen again in Chain of Memories). Sora asks who the man is, and Goofy wonders if it is Ansem, and though Xemnas says he is familiar with the name, he does not clarify how or who he is. He then launches an energy attack at Sora, who manages to deflect it (with some difficulty). Xemnas remarks how Sora looks like "him", and that he is not complete, but only confuses Sora. He then attacks the Keyblade wielder, intending to test his power.
Afterwards, he backs off, appearing to be defeated, but quickly abandons the facade. He finds Sora fascinating, and says that they will one day meet again and disappears, but not before making an ambiguous comment on how he is but "a mere shell".
A hooded Xemnas is later seen in the secret movie unlocked at the end of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. "Kingdom Hearts" then appears on the screen. Back on the Dark Margin, Roxas finishes his walk across the screen. Xemnas turns to Roxas and speaks to him (his voice is not heard, but his mouth is seen moving). The quote comes on the screen "He looks just like you". Sora is then shown flying over an endless ocean, seemingly asleep, and the final quote "It's all coming back to me, the true..." appears.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysEdit
Xemnas plays a large role in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, serving as the driving force for all the events in the game. Once Roxas is inducted into Organization XIII, Xemnas makes use of Roxas' ability to use the Keyblade to release captured hearts and use them to form Kingdom Hearts. At the same time, he uses his experiments on the Replica Program and created a clone of Sora. The result is Xion (No. i with an x in it) who Xemnas hoped to use as an alternative in case Sora proved useless to his plans. Xion was made the fourteenth member of the group, but did not get a throne. The plan was for Xion to gradually develop Sora's abilities and then merge with Roxas to become a complete clone of Sora. For this reason of the two being planned to be merged into one, along with the fact that Xion is not a true nobody, the name of the group remained Organization XIII. Xion was also a prototype of the project and Xemnas planned to destroy her and make a perfect one if Xion did not meet his demands.
Xemnas sends all the members on their missions to further their plans while placing Xion in the care of Roxas. Xemnas eventually extends his plans and operations to Castle Oblivion. With this fortress in his control, he sends five Organization members (Marluxia, Larxene, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion) to conduct experiments on memory with the use of Naminé who was abducted and being held prisoner by the Organization. Xemnas places Marluxia in charge of Castle Oblivion and also charges Vexen with the task of continuing experimenting on the Replica Project who would later use a numberless replica using data gathered from Riku. Xemnas was also the one who handed down the order to Marluxia to lure Sora to Castle Oblivion and experiment with the hero. However, once the Dusks brought back rumors of traitorous activities occurring in the castle, Xemnas sends Axel to neutralize the threat.
Once Xemnas sends Axel to insure that Marluxia and Larxene are kept in line, Roxas and Xion go on more missions together. Xemnas' plans falter when five Organization members and the numberless Replica are eliminated and Naminé escapes, but continues on with Xion, placing Axel in charge of capturing her whenever she tries to escape to find out who she really is. He would later continuously send Axel back to Castle Oblivion to search for the Chamber of Waking, but would never find the room he so desperately desired to secure.
Throughout the game, he orders the other members to do all they can to create powerful Heartless for Roxas to defeat such as what Xaldin was doing to Beast. Roxas gradually feels remorse for what he is doing on the behest of this group and questions their motives and loses trust in them when he sees how people with hearts live and what Xemnas is ordering the Organization to do to them. Roxas ultimately leaves the group (when Xion does the same) to find his other half and answer all the questions that he now knows Organization XIII will never tell him, battling and defeating Saïx in the process.
The Replica Project ultimately fails when Xion, who learned that she was nothing more than a clone, is absorbed by Roxas instead after she went insane and fought Roxas in order to force him to defeat her and absorb her so that Xemnas does not force Roxas to be absorbed into Xion to perfect his clone. This granted Roxas his signature ability to wield two Keyblades at once and also brought the restoration process of Sora's memories to a complete stop. This causes DiZ to order Riku to bring Roxas to him in order to resume the process of Sora's memories being regained.
With her dying breath, Xion reveals the true evil nature of the Organization and how Xemnas is simply using everyone to obtain Kingdom Hearts for his own warped desires. Roxas, emotionally shattered and having seen enough of the Organization's treachery, goes to the World that Never Was to destroy Xemnas before he can succeed. Before he can though, he is attacked by the Heartless and then is engaged in a fight with Riku. While Roxas defeats him, Riku uses the powers of darkness to transform himself into Ansem, Seeker of Darkness to overwhelm Roxas. Riku takes him to DiZ to be sealed in a digital replica of Twilight Town. Xemnas discontinues the Replica Project and orders Axel to bring back Roxas or kill him, setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts II.
It's interesting to note that the Secret Reports in this game confirm Xemnas's true reason for his lust for Kingdom Hearts. He does not value acquiring a heart, but becoming a great being and remaking the universe in his image. He refers to the conquest of all that lives as his "true" goal that no other member knows of, possibly stemming from his previous existence as Master Xehanort.
Kingdom Hearts IIEdit
In the opening scene of Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas is seen at a dark beach. Roxas soon joins him. Xemnas says that he has been to see Sora, also commenting on how the two look alike. Roxas asks who he is, but Xemnas only explains just what he is. When Roxas repeats the question, Xemnas states that his name is of no importance and answers the question with his own question: "What about you? Do you remember your true name?". Roxas begins to answer, but then realizes that he doesn't.
According to Tetsuya Nomura, this scene is not truly real. Rather, it is a mix of all of Roxas's emotions, feelings, and desires.
True to Xemnas's words, he and Sora meet again at Hollow Bastion, the same world he was first encountered, albeit restored, accompanied by Demyx, Xaldin, Xigbar, Luxord, and Saïx (although all of their faces are hidden by their hoods, and do not directly face Sora), although Sora doesn't recognize him or his cloak from their first encounter. They taunt and mock him, only furthering Sora's desire to defeat them. Xemnas makes an empty joke about how he thought they could've been friends, and then leaves.
From there on in, Xemnas remained at his castle while his group's members traveled to make sure Sora stayed on track, while increasing the number of Heartless for him to fight.
Xemnas is not seen again until the Heartless invasion, arriving to the Computer room to access the Chamber of Repose before appearing to look down upon the Heartless army that had temporarily halted in the Great Maw. King Mickey, upon seeing his face, immediately remembers just who's Nobody Xemnas is: Xehanort, the apprentice of Ansem the Wise. Xemnas then runs off, but King Mickey gives chase and engages Xemnas in combat, though Sora, Donald, and Goofy are impeded from following by the Heartless.
After an exhausting battle, the three make their way to the cliff overlooking Villain's Vale; finally catching up with the King. King Mickey addresses him by his original name, and Xemnas merely remarks that it has been ages since he had abandoned that name. Sora demands to know where Riku and Kairi are. Xemnas claims to know nothing of any "Kairi", and as for Riku, Xemnas tells Sora to ask his King. Then, he vanishes into a corridor of darkness, but not before King Mickey follows him in. However, as King Mickey later appears in Twilight Town, it is obvious that either Xemnas managed to escape him or that King Mickey simply lost track of him.
Xemnas again appears in The World That Never Was, standing upon the highest tower of the Nobody castle, asking Kingdom Hearts to share its power with all Nobodies. Saïx then appears, asking whether Kingdom Hearts is complete. Xemnas says it will be soon, and allows Saïx to end their game and finish off Sora and his companions.
After all Organization members save for himself had been eliminated, Xemnas comes to greet Ansem the Wise, who had been attempting to digitally seal Kingdom Hearts away. The former pupil mocks his teacher, stating that he is the source of all Heartless, for inspiring him to go where Ansem himself did not dare to venture. Though Ansem admits that his foolishness was the source of much misery, he questions Xemnas on how this was what he had been seeking. Xemnas says it is that and more, and reveals his plans to create a brand new world, one heart at a time. He admits he thought that Ansem would praise him, but instead only held him back, consumed by the jealousy he had for his student. But he understands that Ansem was not able to control his heart.
Ansem scoffs at this, stating that they both claim to understand the heart, but actually know as little about it as they had in the very beginning. He declares passionately that Xemnas will fail and so will his world, and tells Riku and Sora to finish what he had started. After bidding farewell to the King and apologizing to Roxas, Ansem's Kingdom Hearts Encoder explodes, and Xemnas retreats just as the bright light envelops the area. The explosion also caused severe damage to Kingdom Hearts, causing countless hearts to rain down upon the world, which would transform into Heartless upon touching the darkness that coated the world.
Sora and the others then travel up to the very top of the tower, where Xemnas lamented over the damage done to Kingdom Hearts. He asks the three Keyblade wielders to fetch him more hearts, and when they refuse, he asks why they hate the darkness. King Mickey responds that they don't hate the darkness, but just that it's "scary". But he knows that the world is made of both light and darkness, and then wonders why they really are afraid of the darkness. Riku adds that it is because of who or what's lurking inside that darkness.
Xemnas then asks another question: If they accept the darkness, yet choose to live in light, why do they loathe those who are nothing, having been turned away from both the darkness and the light? Riku answers that it's because they endangered the worlds, and Xemnas tries to justify it with the fact that they had no choice. However, Sora does not believe this, stating that they don't even exist and feel no remorse about anything. Xemnas chuckles, stating that it is very true, and proceeds to face Sora one on one in an arena of nothingness, with Memory's Skyscraper towering above them.
Xemnas appears defeated, returning Sora to the Castle That Never Was, but Xemnas is still alive and well, basking inside Kingdom Hearts, urging it to join forces with him to gain the power needed to destroy their common enemies. Sora and the others try to stop him, but it is too late, and Xemnas is absorbed into Kingdom Hearts. Fortunately, the worlds created a door for Sora and the others to enter, for they wanted them to be the guardians of their destiny. They then follow Xemnas into Kingdom Hearts, but they see that Xemnas has taken its power and transformed the realm into a place resembling the World That Never Was with a giant fortress in the middle. He says that their hearts have led them to their deaths, seeing that it may not be worth following one's heart, and takes note of it, before hurling a building at them. This causes Kairi and Mickey to be separated from the others, but even so, Sora, Donald, Goofy and Riku. defeat Xemnas in his knight-like form. After they defeat him, they are somehow transported back to the tower with King Mickey and Kairi. Xemnas thinks that he needs more hearts and more rage, but Sora tells him that hearts are more than just anger or hate, and asks if he remembers, which he doesn't, before seemingly fading back into the darkness.
With the help of Naminé, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and the King get safely to Destiny Islands, but before Sora and Riku can follow, Xemnas attacks once more; having merged with a gigantic mechanical dragon. After another difficult battle, Xemnas takes Sora and Riku to a realm of nothingness, with Xemnas wearing a robe representing both light and darkness. He says that if both light and darkness are eternal, then so too must be nothingness. Riku and Sora say this is true, but that does not mean Xemnas is eternal. They then share a very tense battle, with Xemnas wounding both Sora and Riku with various attacks. This is also the only time you ever play as Riku, during a point in the battle where Xemnas tries to suck Sora's Heart out, and Riku has to save him. Riku is badly injured during the fight, so Sora batters Xemnas into submission with his and Riku's Keyblades. Sora and Riku then finish him off. Xemnas fades into darkness, making him the last Organization member to fall.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceEdit
Brought from out of the timeline by Young Xehanort to make up one of the thirteen veseels needed to house a fragment of Master Xehanort's heart, Xemnas is ranked Number 2 in the new Organization. As he knew beforehand , but kept secret, he has a heart of his own that grew in the place once taking by his former heart that became Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. It is revealed his true plans for the Kingdom Hearts created from the slain Heartless's hearts was to place fragments of Master Xehanort's heart amongst the members of the group. However, they either proved too weak or were eliminated. He only managed to place a fragment in Saïx/Isa.
Accompanying Young Xehanort throughout the Realm of Sleep, Xemnas meets Sora in The Grid and Prankster's Paradise, leaving him with confusing words about memories, emotions and the heart. Once Sora is trapped in The World That Never Was, Xemnas faces off against him on Xigbar's orders. Though defeated, Xemnas was successful in weakening Sora enough for darkness to begin eating away at his heart.
In Where Nothing Gathers, he pins Mickey to the ground to keep him from saving Sora. However, once Lea, Donald and Goody arrive to help him, Xemnas leaves with the rest of the new organization.