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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: A Year-Long Life

— Spoilers Follow —

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days was a game released for the Nintendo DS in May of 2009. It was the first Kingdom Hearts game released onto the console, and began a string of handheld Kingdom Hearts games as everyone awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. It was made to give the player a better concept of Organization XIII, the members within Organization XIII, and who exactly Roxas was in relationship to Sora. The game is a filler game, something that was released to try to bide time for Kingdom Hearts 3, but it did the job of filling in gaps very well. Let’s get to it!

Baby Steps

The first week of Roxas’ existence isn’t largely documented, but it all begins with Xehanort, the leader of Organization XIII, finding Roxas and gifting him his name. It is also likely that Roxas is told what the purpose of the Organization is: to gather hearts to recreate Kingdom Hearts so that they can all be whole again. At the end of this week, a new member of Organization XIII is shown to the other members in the round meeting room, Number XIV. The next week, Roxas spends a lot of time with Axel, as well as the other members, as they all teach him how to fight. Axel and Roxas enjoy eating sea-salt ice cream in Twilight Town  after a mission is completed, which leads to Roxas developing a strong friendship with him.

But this doesn’t last too long. Axel leaves to go to Castle Oblivion with Larxene, Marluxia, Zexion, Vexen and Lexaeus, leaving Roxas to work with Number XIV (now known as Xion) as long as it takes for Axel to return. On the third day of working together, Roxas and Xion start to become friends, and he takes her out for ice cream, wanting to eat ice cream as a trio in the future. The positivity didn’t last long, as news hits the round room that someone was eliminated in Castle Oblivion. Roxas passes out after being told that once someone was eliminated, they fade into nothing. Roxas spends 24 days in a coma, and wakes to his bed covered in seashells from Xion, one for every day he was asleep. Roxas also has dreams about Sora, and the events of Kingdom Hearts, leaving him confused and distressed. The next day, Roxas finds out that the entirety of Castle Oblivion has been wiped out, and that no one survived. He continues to eat ice cream as he waits for Xion or Axel to join him, but neither do.

Recollection

It was another 20 days until Roxas finds Axel again. They eat ice cream in their usual spot, and Roxas tells Axel about Xion, and how he wishes for the three to eat ice cream together. However, Xion has gone missing for a small while, and Axel and Roxas go looking for her. Finding Xion was bittersweet: whilst they could all have ice cream together, Xion had forgotten how to use the keyblade. A few more days pass, each one making Roxas question himself a little more, such as why he has no memories of his previous self when other members do, or why the Organization even wants to have hearts again. Roxas gives his keyblade to Xion as a last ditch attempt to get her to remember how to summon the keyblade, and it works. The trio continue to have ice cream together after missions and they all enjoy the company, as they question existence. Eventually, Axel has to leave again on a mission, leaving Roxas and Xion alone eating ice cream. Thirty days later, Axel returns from the successful mission, but Xion isn’t around to enjoy eating ice cream with them. A few days later, Roxas finds Xion in Twilight Town, finding out that she messed up a mission pretty badly. She tells Roxas that they’re different from each other, but Roxas doesn’t fully understand what exactly she means. The trio haven’t been able to meet up for ice cream together for a long time as Axel is always busy. Roxas is confused and indecisive, and that’s amplified when he hears that Xion failed a mission and passed out.

Picking up the pace

Twenty-one days after Xion collapsed, she wakes up, but isn’t feeling the best. Roxas and Axel try to go and have ice cream with her, but she collapses again, so they return empty handed. In her room, Axel called the three of them inseparable, making Roxas very happy. They begin to meet after their missions to eat ice cream together, and the routine returns to normal, until Xion goes missing again. Roxas thinks Axel is avoiding him and avoiding talking about Xion. They go to Castle Oblivion together to look for her, after Axel tells her Xion was from there. Roxas collapses as soon as he enters, and wakes in Twilight Town, where he sees Xion talking to a man in a black cloak that isn’t from the Organization. That man was Riku, who tells her that her keyblade and her existence isn’t real, and that she should merge with her original self. She decides to stay with Roxas and Axel, torn on what the right thing to do is.

The next day, Axel attacks Xion, shocking and confusing Roxas. Roxas is left out of Axel’s and Xion’s perspective that he feels that neither of them are themselves anymore. The next day Xemnas tells Roxas that he and Xion are connected by Sora. Roxas’ dreams intensify, and the following day in Twilight Town, Roxas finds out that Xion is also having similar dreams. The dreams get worse as the days go on, and Roxas feels more and more tired, but they aren’t impacting Xion. The trio manage to have ice cream together in front of the sunset until Axel allows Xion leave the Organization.

Roxas is distraught, and even though Axel tells Roxas that Xion was a puppet, a fake reflection of himself, Roxas doesn’t understand. During this time, Xion finds out that she was an imperfect replica of Roxas created by Vexen in order to merge both herself and Roxas together to use if Sora isn’t able to be used by Xemnas. As Sora’s memories are repaired by Naminé, Xion learns that she’ll begin to resemble Sora more until she becomes another Sora. Wanting to find her true self, she leaves the Organization and defeats Xigbar when Axel and Xigbar find her in Wonderland. Roxas continues to get more angry and more confused with each passing day. Roxas then also leaves the Organization in an attempt to try to bring Xion back so that they can have ice cream as a trio again. However, Xion is reprogrammed by Xemnes to forcefully subdue and absorb Roxas, which would prevent Sora from ever fully waking up. A large four-stage fight between Roxas and the reprogrammed Xion ensues, with Roxas remaining as the victor. As Xion lay dying in Roxas’ arms, she tells Roxas about Xemnas’ plans and motives before she merges with him. This stops Sora’s restoration process completely, as he now requires Roxas to be able to complete the rest of his memories. As Xion fades, a single shell is left behind, and Roxas inherits her keyblade, now able to dual-wield keyblades.

Soon after this, he encounters Riku who has come to collect him for Sora. Roxas fights and nearly defeats Riku, until Riku taps into the power of darkness and turns into Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, in order to subdue him. Riku now permanently looks like Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, but it was a small price to pay in order for him to restore his friend.

DiZ then digitizes Roxas and places him within a virtual Twilight Town, so he can live out the rest of his days safe from the Organization, until Sora is ready to wake up.