Organization XIII (XIII機関, Jūsan Kikan?, lit. "XIII Order") is a group of 13 powerful Nobodies who seek to become clones of Master Xehanort. They are the main antagonists of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.
Because (almost) all the members are Nobodies, they lack hearts, meaning they also have no emotions. The Organization yearns to discover the secrets of the heart and fill the empty void inside themselves by gathering hearts to form Kingdom Hearts so they can become full beings again. While each member is aware of their lack of emotions - a fact that makes them feel inadequate - many of them pretend to have emotions (i.e. Saïx's enraged battle style and Larxene's giggling and winking). The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga and several other media forms provide an alternative view, saying that they do have emotions, but are plagued by a feeling of uncertainty and emptiness due to not having hearts. The manga further displays this "plagued" feeling by showing the members engaging in tasks like jigsaw puzzles, cooking, and reading to try to fill their emptiness.
Organization XIII was formed by a group of scientists working under a man called Ansem the Wise, the ruler of Radiant Garden, and worked from Ansem's castle, Hollow Bastion. The head of this group was Ansem's apprentice, Terra-Xehanort, with the others being Braig, Dilan, Even, Aeleus, and Ienzo. Ansem the Wise began initiating tests about the human heart, focusing mainly on Xehanort, with the hopes of recovering his lost memories. At the urging of Ienzo, he constructed a massive laboratory under the castle. However, Ansem the Wise soon ceased his experiments, for he feared that going too deep would have grave repercussions, also noting Xehanort's apparently-superhuman abilities.
However, his six apprentices, still seduced by the desire for knowledge, conducted their own dangerous experiments on countless subjects. Eventually, they discovered the beings called the Heartless, those that are born from the darkness in a heart and seek others as well. Xehanort, having taken on Ansem's name and writing his findings under it, opened a door he discovered, breaking down the barriers between worlds and allowing travel between them. When a king named Mickey arrived, the six men's desire for knowledge eventually caused Xehanort to abandon his body, becoming a Heartless (though he was unusual in that he had a human form and retained his memories), with the other five soon following. Thus, the first six members of Organization XIII were born, and they banished Ansem to a realm of nothingness.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
The Organization make their first appearance in the series (apart from Xemnas's appearance in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix). The neophytes - Marluxia, Larxene and Axel - tried to take control of the Organization by using Sora as their puppet, while the senior members (,but was later revealed that Axel was a double agent to prevent Marluxia and Larxene from achieving their goals,)- Zexion, Lexaeus, and Vexen, tried to oppose them by using the darkness in Riku. However, all of them, save for Axel, were eliminated.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
The story largely focuses on Roxas's time as a member of the Organization XIII, and his friendship with Axel and Xion, and thus, all the members are present here. This is the only episode to date where the fourteenth member, Xion, is ever mentioned.
Kingdom Hearts II
Only seven members of the Organization remained at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. Sora and his friends took every single remaining member down, save for Roxas, who became one with Sora, and Axel, who sacrificed himself so that Sora and his friends could save Kairi. After the defeat of Demyx and Xaldin, and Axel's sacrifice, only 4 members remain. While Sora and his friends were storming The Castle That Never Was, they were able to take out Xigbar, Luxord, and Saïx. After which both Sora and Riku decided stayed and to fight off Xemnas. With their combine powers, the two managed to destroy Xemnas.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
After the destruction of all the Nobodies, a past version of Xehanort uses time travel to assemble several other versions of him throughout time to form the true Organization XIII. Several members of the first Organization such as Xigbar are make apart of this Organization XIII because Xemnas had been slowly turning them into a new Xehanort. The whole purpose of the Organization was to turn thirteen Nobodies into new Xehanorts. Several members were unable to be transformed, so past Xehanort's had to be used to fill the membership.
This Organization XIII consists of Master Xehanort, Young Xehanort, Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Xemnas, Xigbar, Saïx and six unidentified members. They attempt to turn Sora into the thirteenth member by consuming him with darkness, but his allies, including Riku, King Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Lea (Axel's Somebody), halted the process until the Organization has to return to their original times.
Each member in the Organization dons the same uniform, regardless of whether they are male or female. The uniform consists of a single black leather hooded coat. It is plainly adorned with a silver zipper and seemingly pointless silver beaded pull strings for the hood that form a semi-circle in the middle. Each member wears their zippers at differing points. Not much is known about the under garments of the Organization. It is known, however, that they all wear hakama-esque black pants and knee high silver trimmed boots, with the exceptions of Roxas, who wears sneakers of the same color, and Larxene and Xion, who wear a more feminized version of the boots with heels. In addition to this, they all wear black leather gloves of some unknown length, as they disappear under bell shaped sleeves. Some members have different looking coats, for example Axel, whose sleeves are tight around his wrists. Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that the hems of each cloak are each slightly different, as well as the shoulder pads (such as those of Demyx and Xigbar, which seem to be slightly pointed). Other known characters to wear the cloak are King Mickey, Riku, Xehanort's Heartless, and Moogles. Riku obtains his cloak from DiZ and it is presumed Mickey also obtains it from him. It is unknown how DiZ or the Moogles obtained them. An unknown character is shown wearing the cloak in Kingdom Hearts Coded. It is unknown if this is an Organization member or someone merely wearing the cloak.
Ranks within the Organization have little to nothing to do with power. While Xehanort's Nobody, known as Xemnas, is the strongest as well as the leader, the rest fall in the order they joined. As the group's name describes, one would assume that there are a total of thirteen members. Until the announcement of 358/2 Days, this was true. Besides having a numerical rank, each member also has an assigned title. The only exception to this is Xion, who is not actually a true member of the order.
The actual power order of the organization was stated by Nomura: Xemnas is the strongest by far, followed by Roxas (and presumably Xion when she debuted), followed by Lexaeus and Xaldin.The rest were not stated, though it is likely that Marluxia and Saïx are higher up, and Vexen and Demyx are lower down.
The ranks and titles are as follows:
Xemnas; "The Superior of the In-Between"; Controlled Sorcerers, used the attribute of Nothingness and weapons called Ethereal Blades.
Xigbar; "The Freeshooter"; Controlled Snipers, used the attribute of Space and Arrowguns.
Xaldin; "The Whirlwind Lancer"; Controlled Dragoons, used the attribute of Wind and six Lances.
Vexen; "The Chilly Academic"; used the attribute of Ice and a Shield.
Lexaeus; "The Taciturn Stalwart" ("The Silent Hero" in the Japanese version); used the attribute of Earth and an Axe Sword.
Zexion; "The Cloaked Schemer"; used the attribute of Illusion and a Lexicon.
Saïx; "The Luna Diviner"; Controlled Berserkers, used the attribute of Moon, and a Claymore.
Axel; "The Flurry of Dancing Flames"; Controlled Assassins, used the attribute of Fire and Twin Chakram.
Demyx; "The Melodious Nocturne;" Controlled Dancers, used the attribute of Water and a Sitar.
Luxord; "The Gambler of Fate;" Controlled Gamblers, used the attribute of Time as well as Cards.
Marluxia; "The Graceful Assassin;" used the attribute of Flower and a Scythe.
Larxene; "The Savage Nymph'" used the attribute of Lightning and eight Knives.
Roxas; "The Key of Destiny;" Controlled Samurai, used the attribute of Light and wielded up to three different Keyblades (due to being Sora's Nobody). He initially wielded the Kingdom Key but soon acquired the Oathkeeper and Oblivion, which represent Kairi and Riku, respectively.
Xion; used the attribute of Light and the Kingdom Key. Although she is considered part of the Organization, she is not a Nobody. She is an imperfect replica of Sora created from his leaked memories. Each of the titles correspond to whichever element the particular member controls, a particular trait, or the type of weapon they have. Some members of Organization XIII, including Saïx does not consider Xion to be a member of the Organization.
There are a few major differences between the Nobodies within the Organization and the ones that Sora frequently encounters throughout the game. The average type that Sora fights often have strange features, enhanced speed, metallic skin in shades of white, silver, and blue, and the trademark Nobody symbol (which doubles as the logo for the Organization). The Nobodies that make up the Organization have human forms with limited special powers, revolving around thirteen different elements. One ability shared by all the members is the power to summon an oval, obsidian portal of darkness that leads to the unseen paths of darkness. These portals are known as Corridors of Darkness. The Organization makes use of the paths to move to and from worlds unseen without fear for their well-being compared to those who are attuned with darkness and still have hearts.
A few select members of the Organization have control over the other, weaker Nobodies, though this is only shown in Kingdom Hearts II. The members from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories may also have had that ability, or rather, would have, had they all survived to the second game. Like their titles, each member's lesser Nobody has some similarity to them. These lesser Nobodies are called Sorcerers, Snipers, Dragoons, Berserkers, Assassins, Dancers, Gamblers, and Samurai. Sorcerer Nobodies are under the command of Xemnas. They float over the ground constantly, possessing a grace much like that of Xemnas, and utilize large cubes of nothingness in several ways. They are the most powerful and rarest of the lesser Nobodies.
Sniper Nobodies are controlled by Xigbar and, like him, carry spiky guns that shoot small red crystallized lasers.
Dragoon Nobodies are controlled by Xaldin because of his affinity with wind, and possess a singular lance that mirrors the six that he fights with.
Berserker Nobodies are under Saïx's power and, as with the previously mentioned lesser Nobodies, hold a weapon identical to that of their master. An observant player will also notice that Berserker Nobodies go through random surges of anger, much like Saïx when he draws upon the power of the moon.
Next are the Assassin Nobodies. This group is under Axel's control, capable of becoming a circular form similar to Axel's weapon, hiding away for short periods of time before attacking, and causing powerful explosions.
Dancer Nobodies are the most colorful of all the lesser Nobody, featuring bright colors such as orange and pink. They are Demyx's servants and relate to him due to his musical nature.
The Gambler Nobodies are under Luxord's rule. Luxord, being a gambler of many things, fights with cards, which they use as well, along with several dice.
The final of these lesser Nobodies are Samurai, which Roxas controls. Samurai wield two katana just as Roxas wields two Keyblades, Oblivion and Oathkeeper. The Lesser Nobodies are named after recurring Final Fantasy job classes and share similar traits with them such as the Dragoons ability to jump.
Roxas undergoes the naming ceremony. A common thread between all of the members is the "X" that appears within each of their names. As revealed by Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the game, by removing the "X", the remaining letters form an anagram of the members' original names from when they were humans.
For instance, "Roxas" is an anagram of "Sora", and "Xemnas" is an anagram of "Ansem". Xemnas' true name is Xehanort; his name is an anagram of 'no heart' or 'another' with an X added. Xion, being an artificial Replica, had no original name. The name "Xion" came from her label as Replica No.I of the Replica Project. The name of the Nobodies' "other" appears before them in translucent, rainbow colored font (similar to the one shown at the intro to "The World That Never Was"). Then, an "x" drops down and the letters re-arrange themselves until they form a new name. It is also suggested that Xemnas is the one who performs this ceremony. Many have suggested that this is not true, as Xigbar was the one to find Marluxia and name him, but if one listens to the dialogue between Zexion and Xigbar in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, it is apparent from the way Xigbar does not know how to pronounce Marluxia's name that he was not the one to name him, rather just found him. Where Nothing Gathers, somewhere in the Castle That Never Was, inaccessible to the player, is the meeting room of the Organization. This area can be accessed with a cheat code, though - the platform with the Organization symbol can be walked on, but none of the thrones can. The area called "Where Nothing Gathers" - suggesting it may have been in the final game as a full area, but was dropped later. It is a white cylindrical room with 13 extremely tall white thrones. The height of these thrones is determined by the amount of missions the respective members complete and the height tends to change depending on the success or failure of those missions. However, Xemnas's throne is always the highest as he is the leader and therefore has completed the highest amount of missions. To his left are the odd-number ranked members while to his right are the even-numbered. Starting from Xemnas, clockwise: Xaldin, Lexaeus, Saïx, Demyx, Marluxia, Roxas, Larxene, Luxord, Axel, Zexion, Vexen and Xigbar. Ironically Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion have the lowest chair heights out of the whole Organization. In the new cutscenes of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, every time a missing member is referred to during a meeting, the camera's focus will shift briefly to that said member's throne (such as when Xaldin reminded Axel that, indirectly, he eliminated the traitors Marluxia and Larxene, the camera briefly shifts to view their thrones. The conversation concerns Axel's orders to destroy Roxas and fittingly enough, Roxas's throne is between theirs).
Proof of Existence
In the central tower of the Castle That Never Was, the room is something of a graveyard or a place where beings who can't use the portal to darkness, use the doorway-like portals to reach other members of the organization. This chamber has thirteen portals which lead to a certain area throughout the castle, the portals are placed simultaneously along the walls and glow blue if that specific member is alive but red when that one is dead. Starting from Xemnas's which is actually a path to the Altar of Naught, going downwards are two more, then below them are four and after them are eight with a path cutting half way between the portals. The portals lead to large chambers which are areas that the Organization dwell when they are resting. So far only three are known which are the Altar of Naught, where Xemnas resides and the highest point in the castle, Havoc's Divide which is a large slanted balcony were Luxord resides, and Addled Impasse where Saïx lives, which is a large circular room with a balcony made of glass and looks up towards the moon. Note that for gameplay purposes, the gates to Havoc's Divide and Addled Impasse remain active even after Luxord and Saïx are felled. Also, for the same reasons, Roxas' still-active gate (since he still exists within Sora) is broken and rendered unusable, although it still maintains its blue glow. It may be broken, though, due to the fact that while Roxas still exists in Sora, he does not exist physically. Note that Zexion's tombstone was especially broken to hide his weapon's image, (which was not revealed until the release of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix), although its lettering can still be read. It is unknown if Xion has or ever had a tombstone and portal.
Order of Destruction
- IV. Vexen - Killed by Axel.
- XII. Larxene - Killed by Sora.
- V. Lexaeus - Killed by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
- XI. Marluxia - Killed by Sora.
- VI. Zexion - Killed by Repliku.
- XIV. Xion - Absorbed into Roxas, who later merged with Sora.
- IX. Demyx - Killed by Sora.
- III. Xaldin - Killed by Sora.
- VIII. Axel - Used up all energy to save Sora.
- II. Xigbar - Killed by Sora. Ressurected by Young Xehanort.
- X. Luxord - Killed by Sora.
- VII. Saïx - Killed by Sora. Ressurected by Young Xehanort.
- XIII. Roxas - Merged self with Sora.
- I. Xemnas - Killed by Sora and Riku. Ressurected by Young Xehanort.
- So far, least 8 of the 13/14 members of Organization XIII were a Somebody that were originally citizens of Radiant Garden; Xigbar (Braig), Xaldin (Dilan), Vexen (Even), Zexion (Ienzo), Lexaeus (Aeleus), Saïx (Isa), Axel (Lea), and Roxas (Sora released his heart, creating Roxas, within Hollow Bastion, which was Radiant Garden). It is unknown what world if Demyx, Luxord, Marluxia, and Larxene were once normal inhabitants of a prior to joining the organization. If they were and became humans again after their deaths as Nobody's, their werabouts are unknown.
- Xemnas and Roxas are the only members shown wearing something other than the Organization's signature Black Cloak: in Xemnas's case, he had a suit of armor with the abilities of his defeated subordinates and a modified black, white and grey outfit slightly resembling Ventus's, but not baggy and with longer jeans, no armor on the shoulder or hips, and no black side of the jacket.
- After Sora obtains the password for the DTD, the Journal entries for the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Organization XIII members are obtained. It is unknown why this is, as Sora had lost his memories of them, although it is believed that this information was obtained from Ansem's computer in Hollow Bastion. In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, this is changed: the Journal entries for the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Organization XIII members are obtained only after defeating their respective Absent Silhouettes, before or after the Battle of 1000 Heartless.
- When an Organization member falls, they usually fade into darkness without visibly demonstrating the wound that "killed" them. However, Vexen, Lexaeus, Zexion, Axel and Luxord do in fact demonstrate their fatal wounds. Xemnas may or may not be included as he is shown suffering normally fatal wounds but is still shown (barely) alive afterwards.
- Roxas and Xemnas are the only Organization members whose weapons are not designed after the Nobody sigil.
- Xemnas, Xigbar and Saïx were the only members to achieve the real goal of the Organization.
- The Organization Nobodies have similarities to The Nazgûl from The Lord of the Rings. Both groups were once mortals, but were seduced by another, lost their bodies and where black cloaks to give themselves physcial appearences.
- Organization XIII's alias is the name of a massive, antagonistic secret organization from the 2012 comedy horror film The Cabin in the Woods.
|Kingdom Hearts Villains|