With Kingdom Hearts 3 coming our way next year. I thought it would be prudent to go over the lore of Kingdom Hearts; from the very very beginning. Where best to start than the most recent cinematic that Square Enix has produced in the series, Kingdom Hearts 𝛘 Back Cover. This title was available as part of the remastered Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and if you don’t own this game then you can find the hour long cinematic here. This isn’t a standalone cinematic though, it also ties in with the games Kingdom Hearts 𝛘 and Kingdom Hearts Union X which intersect around halfway through the cinematic, and have problems for the integrity of the lore…
There was once a period of time known as ‘The Age of Fairy Tales’, where all the worlds that you have seen in previous Kingdom Hearts games were all connected and can be traveled to by using lanes between – portals conjured by Keyblade wielders. They all bathe in the glorious light of Kingdom Hearts, free from the darkness that consumes everything. In Daybreak Town, the hub of Kingdom Hearts 𝛘, there lived a man that is responsible for looking after this world – the Master of Masters – who is able to look into the future by removing his eye and looking through it. By doing this, he created a book of prophecies. Knowing that one day he would disappear, the master of masters shares five copies of the book of prophecies, and gives them to five of his six apprentices. Written inside the book of prophecies, it is written that light will expire, and the world will be covered in darkness.
Once the master of masters disappears, he leaves those five apprentices personal tasks, to create unions and become Foretellers – the guardians of the future. The sixth apprentice, Luxu, is given a special task to complete, passing down the eye of the master of masters in a Keyblade, in order for the book of prophecies to be written.
Each union is different to fit the purpose of the Foreteller. The unions and their respective Foretellers are as follows and can be seen here.
The Union’s and their Foretellers
Ira was tasked to take over from the Master of Masters and act as the leader for the Foretellers.
Aced was tasked with supporting Ira, and making sure that action was taken when needed.
Invi was tasked with being the group mediator, and making sure that everyone was treated equally and fairly.
Gula was tasked with solving the mysteries of the book of prophecies – and as such, was given an extra page that none of the other books had.
Ava was tasked with training the dandelions, a group of talented Keyblade wielders that would be prepared to deal with the world after it had succumbed to darkness.
The master of masters had also created a dream eater named ‘Chirithy’ that were to look after the Keyblade wielders as companions. They are reflections of the light in the wielder’s hearts, and as such, if a wielder was to fall to darkness, a Chirithy would become a nightmare Chirithy, and would plant darkness into the hearts of others, manifesting heartless. Why the Master created this reaction, is unclear, but it was the catalyst for the events to come.
The Beginning of the End
Ira captures a nightmare Chirithy, so he calls a meeting with the other Foretellers and reveals the monster. The other Foretellers are shocked, even more shocked when Ira accuses one of them to be a traitor. This leads to Aced doubting Ira’s leadership, and arranging a secret meeting with the other three Foretellers a few days later. Aced wished to make an alliance with Gula and Ava, which as Invi points out is strictly forbidden by the master. Gula accepts a personal alliance, where the two unions are not involved with one another, but Ava refuses, wishing to stick to the master’s teachings. As Invi walks in, Aced suggests the same to Invi. Invi explains that the master has said not to form alliances, and then suggests that Aced is the traitor because of this, which further enrages Aced.
Following this secret meeting, Ava is found sitting on the fountain alone, feeling miserable with the state of the Foretellers. Her union member Ephemer attempts to cheer her up, only succeeding when he reveals his dream of exploring the world, and makings friends with new people outside of unions. This leaves Ava content that she is leaving the future in good hands.
Invi reports the alliance to Ira, who guarantees that Aced is the traitor. Invi is unconvinced however, and explains to Ira that strength in numbers is the only way to defeat the darkness to Aced. Invi also tells Ira that she will be reporting less frequently than before to prevent Aced getting angrier.
A few months go by without anything eventful happening, and Gula tells Aced that he wishes to dissolve their alliance. Gula thought that the threat was imminent, but as nothing had happened, there was no need to keep the alliance going. Aced asked if Invi influenced Gula’s decision to which Gula replies that he can only trust himself until the traitor is found. Aced swears that Invi will regret breaking the alliance.
After about a year passing since the disappearance of the master of masters, Aced is fighting Invi in an attempt to step up to his ‘true role’. Aced disarms Invi and asks why she is getting in his way, to which she replies that she is keeping the balance like the master requested. Aced claims that the Foretellers have to defy the master in order to save the world from crumbling to darkness. As Aced tries to finish Invi, Invi counters and knocks Aced to the ground. Gula and Ava arrive and draw their Keyblades on Aced, when Aced escapes, destroying part of Daybreak Town. Gula is left in an alley holding the lost page, the page that is missing from the copies of the other Foreteller’s book of prophecies.
Gula then walks in on a severely wounded Aced, where Gula explains the lost page to Aced and attempts to finish him off. Aced swears that he will never forgive Gula for keeping secrets from the other Foretellers, and the two fight. Gula loses, but Ava walks in on Aced just as he is about to finish off Gula. Ava throws herself onto Gula to protect him, leaving Aced to walk off and encounters Ira. Explaining to Ira that Gula has the missing page, Ira forgives Aced, and hopes that Gula is just trying to complete his role.
Ava is looking after Gula in a back alley, trying to nurse his wounds. Ava’s Chirithy warns her that someone is approaching, so Ava runs out to encounter Ira. Ira demands to know where Gula is, but Ava refuses to tell Ira where he is. Ira walks off, and Ava returns to Gula. He explains the lost page to Ava, saying that the traitor would bear the Sigil. Not knowing what this means, Gula wishes to summon Kingdom Hearts to ask the master. Ava explains that summoning Kingdom Hearts is absolutely forbidden no matter what, and refuses to help Gula, who then leaves to gather enough Lux to summon Kingdom Hearts.
A Quick ‘Key’- Break
So this is where those three aforementioned games should be placed… if my research is correct. In those three games, the role of your character is a trainee Keyblade wielder that is collecting Lux. In the cinematic, until Gula is trying to summon Kingdom Hearts, there is no mention of gathering Lux. There’s mention of using the power of darkness in bangles, but not gathering Lux explicitly.
Also, in terms of the traitor; there’s no solid explanation that I’ve found that explicitly tells us who that even is. Supposedly, the one that goes against the Master of Masters and the one that fails their role. Gula has to find the traitor to fulfill his role, but if he fails to find the traitor then he is the traitor, which is somewhat paradoxical in itself. Luxu – if you remember him – technically succeeds otherwise the book of prophecies wouldn’t exist.
Which leaves Ira, Aced, Ava and Invi. Aced technically spurs Ira into action to gather Lux, so he completes his role. Ira acts like a leader and forgives Aced, so we can consider Ira succeeds as a leader. And as you will see, technically the other two complete their roles. So then is Gula the traitor all along, but he would never suspect himself because he can only trust himself? It’s possible… but where’s the Sigil?
With that being wrapped up, let’s conclude this story with a mixture of lore from the games and the film.
Once Ava tells Invi that Gula has ran off to find the master of masters, Invi explains that both Ava and herself will need to collect Lux to try to maintain the balance. Ava then organizes her Keyblade wielders in front of the fountain, and talks about the training being in a world of dreams. She tells them about the Keyblade war and how everyone can lose to the darkness, and that after the war, there will be no winners, except from those who are the seeds of hope. When the war begins, they must all run to the world outside (and this isn’t specified as any place particular, so sorry about that).
Here, the cinematic ends. There’s a part where Luxu is looking at the Keyblade graveyard area before the war and he says ‘May my heart by my guiding key’ and then the credits roll. However, the games have a little bit more, but I’m not sure what is considered canon or not. To be honest, no one considered these games to be too canon until Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue had this.
As you can see, it’s difficult to pin down an official story on this franchise, and this is one of the later games that was released. I think that you can collect a lot of the information from the three titles and for the most part, you can create a coherent storyline. The one element that I think is super important, is from the game Kingdom Hearts Union X. The new Foretellers are cool people, and we have them to thank for the using a giant key as a weapon.
However, one of the new Foretellers after the Keyblade war is a boy called Ventus. If you don’t recognize that name, then boy are you in for a mind wrenching time in my next Kingdom Hearts lore update, where I take a look at Birth by Sleep, and the other constituent parts that run alongside it.