Do you remember the naive days of the early 2000s? A time when we had but only one Kingdom Hearts title to deal with, and while it was a little hard to follow, if you kept your wits about you, it was easy enough to keep up with the plot. It was a happy time, a simpler time. Then as the years rolled by, Kingdom Hearts fans were forced to navigate a variety of different platforms, consoles, and even mobile devices to keep up with this long-running and convoluted series. Then even if you managed to stock your game room with every console and gaming system going, you would still have to draw out a timeline and study hard to piece together a plot filled with sequels, prequels, spin-offs, alternate digital dimensions, and a handful of characters that to the average player, are indistinguishable from one another. Well, this particular problem will mean that some players might not know the intriguing story of Namine, one of the key movers and shakers when Sora and the gang visited Castle Oblivion.
Namine is a compelling character, another Nobody in a long line of Nobodies within the KH franchise, and yet, Namine is completely unique to every other Nobody you will encounter throughout this long and arduous journey. She is to Roxas what Kairi is to Sora, and depending on what you believe about the process of her birth, she both exists and doesn’t exist, flitting between the realms of existence at will. So not your average girl, shall we say.
You may have even more questions than the initial ones you came here to answer, as is the case when you open the Pandora’s box that is Kingdom Hearts lore. Well, we aim to make things a lot clearer for you, laying things out crystal clear so that you can get to know Namine for yourself and understand why she is an integral part of this compelling narrative. So without further delay, here is our Namine Kingdom Hearts Guide.
Namine – Quick Facts
- Name: Namine
- Age: N/A
- Gender: Female
- Species/Race: Nobody
- Residence: Castle Oblivion/Twilight Town/Destiny Islands
- First Appearance: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- Abilities: Memory Manipulation
- Keyblade Wielder: No
- Playable Character: No
- Key Relationships: Sora, Kairi, Roxas
How Namine Came to Be
Okay, so before we dive into the KH timeline and map out Namine’s story, we need to explain how Namine came to be, as she technically existed as of the original Kingdom Hearts. How I hear, you ask? Well, when Kairi was captured by Riku on Destiny Islands and had her heart taken, this was when Namine was born. Now, in normal circumstances, this would create a nobody straight away, no questions asked. However, because Kairi was one of the seven Princesses of Heart, a nobody could not be formed, as Kairi’s body and soul were retained in the Realm of Light, and therefore the ethereal entity that was Namine had nowhere to go.
However, Namine would not have to wait long to become whole, or at least as whole as a Nobody can be. When Sora traveled to Hollow Bastion to hunt down Riku, Sora sacrificed himself, becoming a heartless and therefore creating Roxas. However, this also allowed Namine to latch on to Sora’s body and soul, and combined with Kairi’s heart, she was able to become a fully-fledged nobody. This is the only time on record where two nobodies have been created at the same time.
Namine would, however, not have a body to call her own as this would naturally be used up in this process by Roxas, which meant that while Namine would come to be, she wouldn’t have true physical existence. This is why she often appears as a ghostly figure and can seemingly vanish at will. This is because she both exists and doesn’t. See, not complicated at all.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories – Namine’s Star Role
Now that we understand how Namine was born, we move on to her debut appearance and what is easily her star role. To set the scene, Namine is a captive of Organisation XIII and is forced to lure Sora to Castle Oblivion, and she does this with the power of Memory Manipulation. Namine has the unique ability to share and alter Sora’s memories due to the fact she was a product of Sora for the most part. So, under the control of the Organisation, she goes about altering Sora’s memories to lure him to the Castle and then urges him to delve deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of Castle Oblivion. You see, the longer he spends in Castle Oblivion, the more memories he loses, and with no memories, he can be used as a puppet for the Organisation, or at least that was the plan.
Namine motivates Sora to ascend Castle Oblivion by taking his memories which involve Kairi, and then Namine replaces Kairi with herself. This was a plan supported by the Organisation, but this was also a plan that appeased Namine too. This is because Namine truly wanted to be in the position Kairi was in throughout those memories. When Sora was off chasing down Kairi and fighting Ansem, she was all alone, and thus, she used this as a means of curing her loneliness, if only for a short while. All the while, she also fills a Riku Replica with fake memories, which ensure that this Riku will fight for her honor, believing her to be his lost friend, as she plays the Role of Kairi again.
After Axel releases her, as he plays the wildcard undercover mole for the other members of the Organisation, Namine then really steps up her game to reel Sora in, appearing before him and suggesting that if he looks deep within the recesses of his heart, he will find her, the most special person in Sora’s life. However, when they finally come face to face, Sora manages to see past the facade and remembers that she is not the person that he holds dear; she is an imposter. This eureka moment is cut short when Replica Riku bounds in and attacks Sora. Sora defeats him, however, and true to form; he cannot see this Replica of his friend in pain, so he tries to help, only for the Riku Replica to get in a cheap shot. The Replica would have finished the job, but this is where Namine steps in and breaks cover, shattering the memories planted in the Replica and rendering the Replica unconscious.
A Change of Heart
Having rebelled against the Organisation, Larxene attacks Namine, and even after the plotting against him, Sora recovers and battles Larxene, defeating her and saving Namine. After explaining her role in this scheme and her own personal motivations for doing this to Sora, he forgives her for her actions, in typical Sora fashion. To which she decides to offer reparations and makes a promise to restore Sora’s memories as they once were, provided he takes down Marluxia and puts an end to the chaos at Castle Oblivion.
She is eventually captured by Marluxia, and after playing the role of human shield in a war of words between Axel and Marluxia, Sora and Marluxia finally come face to face. Marluxia decides that Sora will never co-operate in his current state, and he orders Namine to shatter Sora’s memories as she did with the Riku Replica. However, due to Sora’s forgiving nature and her change of heart, she does no such thing, which naturally infuriates the pink-haired scythe-wielder, and he plans to take her out of the equation. Namine has thought ahead, though, and a reprogrammed Riku Replica steps in to protect her while Sora and Marluxia battle it out. Then true to her word, she encases Sora, Donald, and Goofy in Sleep-pods, allowing them to rest while she and DIZ restore their memories to a time before Castle Oblivion, and to escape the Organisation’s gaze, they decide to transport Sora to Twilight Town in a bid to keep him safe and hidden from Xemna’s army.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days – Restoring Sora
In the interim between Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II, we had to wait while Sora’s memories were restored, and that left a gap where Nomura could introduce Sora’s nobody Roxas and offer more backstory on the remaining members of the Organisation. Namine and DiZ would play a supporting role in this story and would provide status updates on Sora’s progress. The main issue they run into throughout 358/2 Days is that Sora is leaking memories, and these leaked memories to sentience in the form of Xion, the fourteenth member of the Organisation. Xion becomes a much-loved character and a friend to Roxas and Axel; however, Namine recognizes that for Sora to wake up complete, Xion cannot exist, as, in truth, she should have never existed in the first place. This situation leads to what is hands-down the most tragic moment in the entire series.
Kingdom Hearts 2 – The Mysterious Resident of Twilight Town
We move on to my personal favorite game in the entire franchise, Kingdom Hearts II. Namine plays quite a big role in the notoriously long tutorial section of this game, and this three-hour stint sees her try to get closer to Roxas, as she feels a strange connection to him due to their similar situations. Her time in Digital Twilight Town is largely spent in the Mansion, where she is often seen starting out at Roxas, hoping that the mystery of the Mansion will draw him in so they can meet. She toys with the idea of telling him who he is, what he is, and how he was never meant to exist, just like her. She was warned by Riku that it was better for Roxas not to know, but regardless, she can’t help herself, and when they meet in the White Room, she tells him everything.
She is eventually captured by DiZ and Riku, who take her away before she can reveal more, as they fear she might hinder the memory restoration process. However, before she is taken, she tells Roxas that they will meet again, even if they don’t recognize each other when they are both whole. There are a lot of cheesy lines in this series, but this was a moment that was particularly touching, and at that moment, I remember hoping that what she said was true.
DiZ then orders Riku to dispose of her, viewing her as surplus to requirements and a bit of a liability. However, Riku’s strained relationship with DiZ, his disapproval of the needless cruelty, and his debt to Namine for her help at Castle Oblivion all play a part in his decision to save her, handing her to Axel so that they can support each other. Even then, Riku had the foresight to see that Axel was no longer willing to work for Organisation XIII, and his desire to help Roxas would, in turn, help Sora.
The vast majority of the game continues without any input from Namine, but towards the end of the game, she and Axel pair up to rescue Pluto and Kairi, who were trapped in The World That Never Was, and this allows Sora, Riku, and Kairi to finally reunite for the first time since Hollow Bastion in the original game. This leads to a moment where Namine and Kairi come face to face for the first time, and due to Namine’s fragile state of existence, she is absorbed by Kairi, much like Roxas is now a part of Sora, and the two become one. She pops up in a couple of the battles after this event, but this communication mainly happens through Kairi.
Kingdom Hearts III – Finding a Vessel
Before we jump into the latest Kingdom Hearts title, we should say that Namine does pop up in Birth By Sleep, Re: Coded, 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage, and Dream Drop Distance. However, their role in all of these games is minimal, and in true Nomura fashion, it feels like she is wedged into these games, in data form, to fill in gaping plot holes. We aren’t complaining, but equally, we aren’t going to get bogged down in the details either, as they don’t affect Namine’s story.
Okay, so in KH3, Namine plays a minor role, and she only surfaces quite late on in the game when Kairi is taken by the Demon Tide and Sora is transported to the Final World to retrieve her. In normal circumstances, Namine would have had nowhere to go when Kairi was struck, but because of her equal connection to Sora, she was able to cling to him, but she also informs him that without Kairi, she cannot exist, so he must find her. Sora, in true hero fashion, does just that, and Namine is restored in Kairi’s heart.
Namine also establishes a connection with Terra, who had been lost to the darkness for the longest time, and through this connection, the Wayfinder trio was able to reunite and fight against the Seekers of Darkness. After the between the two Riku Replicas concludes, the Riku Replica fighting for the Guardians of Light decides to relinquish the vessel, offering the body to Namine so that she can finally take on a fully human form and truly exist as her own entity. She is restored in the Radiant Garden Lab, and the game concludes on Destiny Island, where she can be seen with the rest of the gang, sans Sora.
An Ethereal Princess of Heart (Sort of)
As you can see from the information above, while Namine is usually a character that remains on the sidelines and does some of her best work in the shadows, she is a prominent character within the series. It’s clear that she initially proves to be a stumbling block for Sora and the gang; however, she rights her wrongs after the events of Castle Oblivion, and while she doesn’t believe that anyone would truly miss her if she were to disappear, we would, and so would Sora, Donald, Goofy, Riku, Kairi and most importantly, Roxas. In the end, she gets her happy ending, and if you have a heart, we assume you were rooting for her the entire time. We hope that this guide serves you well and has given you all the pieces you need to put the jigsaw that is Namine together. As always, thank you for reading RPG Informer.
Question: Are Namine and Kairi Linked?
Answer: Yes, very closely, might I add. You see, Namine is Kairi’s nobody and is a direct product of Kairi’s heart when it was released in KH1. This is why Namine takes on a very similar physical appearance to Kairi, only with lighter hair, eyes, and a ghostly appearance. It’s also worth noting that she has an equally strong connection to Sora as they are linked through body and soul.
Question: Is Namine In Kingdom Hearts I?
Answer: Technically, Namine exists due to the events that happen about halfway through Kingdom Hearts I. However, she doesn’t feature in this game at all. The first time we meet Namine is during Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories when Sora, Donald, and Goofy stumble upon Castle Oblivion. We can only assume that in the time between Namine’s birth and Chain of Memories, she was identified and then captured by Organisation XIII in The World That Never Was.
Question: Can You Play as Namine in Kingdom Hearts?
Answer: No, as Namine is a character that technically doesn’t exist, and even then, she isn’t much of a fighter. However, if we are really stretching the parameters of the question, you can play as Kairi in Kingdom Hearts III, and Kairi is a stone’s throw away from Namine due to their close link.
Looking for more interesting readings? Check out: