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Kingdom Heart is one of the most complicated stories in gaming history. Although it started as what seemed like a bizarre collaboration between Disney and Final Fantasy, it quickly became one of the most sprawling stories that we’ve seen in any medium period. There are so many twists and turns and so many unique characters that it’s hard to get a grip on sometimes.
I’ve been a fan of the series since its beginning and despite how bizarre it seemed at the time, it managed to become what started as a spinoff series into something so massive that we haven’t even seen the end of it more than 20 years later as Kingdom Hearts 4 was just announced.
The way the games blend the kid-friendly nature of Disney games with some seriously dark storylines is unlike anything I’ve seen in gaming and although the story is completely off the wall nuts, there is something about it that’s magnetic and it keeps me playing title after title to see what happens next in this truly bizarre adventure.
One of the most intriguing characters in the series is Roxas, who makes his first appearance in Kingdom Hearts 2 and has a key role past that in multiple games. What makes him so unique is that he’s technically not even a real character, but rather a part of Sora. If that sounds confusing to you, then you’re not alone, because all of these characters have layers and layers of mystery to them worth unraveling. We’re going to explore every part of Roxas’s character and see where he fits into the bigger picture when it comes to the story of Kingdom Hearts.
Who Is Roxas in Kingdom Hearts?
Roxas is the first character you play as in Kingdom Hearts II. This came as a surprise to many players who saw Sora on the cover and assumed we’d be continuing his story. This opening segment was mostly just a tutorial to get things started though. Roxas is known as a Nobody who was created when Sora removes his heart from his body. A nobody is created when someone removes their heart and on occasion, they take on a form similar to that of the one who removed their heart.
Roxas is able to wield a Keyblade because he is Sora’s nobody and is one of the first characters we see dual-wielding them. Roxas’s combat style is extremely similar to that of Soras, but his appearance is actually close to that of Ventus, whose heart was linked with Sora’s when he became a Heartless for a brief time in Kingdom Hearts.
Although Roxas’s first appearance in the main storyline of the series is in Kingdom Hearts II, his origins stretch back before it and reveal a dark past. Roxas actually begins as a member of Organization XIII and is manipulated by Xemnas into working for them despite Roxas having no knowledge of what his name is or where he even came from.
Roxas’s personality is friendly, outgoing, and genuinely curious at the world around him. This personality shifts at times depending on which game you’re playing as his Organziation XIII personality is a bit more aggressive and self-assured. When you play as him in Kingdom Hearts II though, he’s part of an illusion of sorts and isn’t really aware of what or who he is. Regardless of which game you play as him as, Roxas has a serious love for Ice Cream and can be seen eating it in multiple games, most of the time with his friends by his side.
Roxas’s Fighting Style
Roxas is a Keyblade wielder and because of that, shares a lot in common with both Ventus and Sora when it comes to his fighting style. He is able to wield two Keyblades at once, although you will also play as him wielding only one much of the time as well. He has access to the variety of powers that Sora does not have when you play as him in certain games, and he is still a formidable combatant to play as which is especially true in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
What is Roxas’s Story In Kingdom Hearts?
Roxas’s story begins in the first game of the series. He is created when Sora sacrifices his heart at the end of the game and although he doesn’t technically appear or have a name in this game, it is the origin of his existence.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Roxas appears in this game for only a brief moment at the end of the game, but he is mentioned by Vexen at one point, who is another member of Organization XIII.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
Roxas gets his time to shine for the first time during Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. It’s here that Roxas’s past as a Nobody gets fully explored. He is the 13th member of Organization XIII and his mission in this game is to defeat the heartless in an effort to create another Kingdom Hearts, which is a land of untold knowledge that Ansem seeks in the first Kingdom Hearts game.
Roxas begins the game as an amnesiac, although technically, he has no real memories to remember since he is born at the age he appears in the game and has nothing to recollect. He befriends Axel, another member of the Organiztion XIII, and quickly sees him as one of his only true allies in the whole group. Xion is another member that Roxas finds himself becoming friends with, which is a rarity for Xion as she is very standoffish most of the time and difficult to get to open up. Throughout the game, Roxas eventually breaks down this wall.
During the events of the game, Roxas falls into a coma for a period of time because Sora, unknown to him, gets put into a coma by Namine, who is the nobody of Kairi.
When he finally awakes, Roxas becomes aware of Sora for the first time, having memories of him that seem to fuse with his own, confusing and scaring him as to who or what he really is. This happens because Sora is having his own memories restored simultaneously and because Roxas is technically a part of Sora, he suffers the same fate.
Roxas eventually leaves Organization XIII for good in an effort to find out more about himself with Xion by his side. Axel, his best friend tries his best to stop Roxas from seeking them out, but to no avail. Roxas is then forced to fight Xion after she transforms from the grief of finding out that she is not a real human and Roxas is given no choice but to kill her. Upon her death, Roxas absorbs her and gains the ability to use another Keyblade.
Roxas continues fighting through Heartless until he is assisted by Riku, but after the defeat of the Heartless, they fight as well. Roxas loses this battle and is brought to Twilight Town where the mysterious DiZ puts him in a coma and creates a digital illusion to imprison Roxas in. This is done to get Sora to recover from his state even quicker and also to keep Organization XIII at bay. Roxas becomes a full amnesiac for real this time, existing solely in this made up world.
Kingdom Hearts 2
Kingdom Hearts 2 begins with Roxas living out his life in Twilight Town. It’s reminiscent of the peaceful life that Sora leads in the first Kingdom Hearts, with very little in the way of conflict. Roxas is able to wield a Keyblade here, but only when a desperate situation arises. Namine also resides here and communicates with Roxas from time to time. After a period of time exploring the town, Axel appears and tries to bring him back to Organization XIII, but Roxas has no memory of anything and doesn’t believe a word that Axel says.
Despite this, Roxas slowly begins to recognize the world around him is not quite what it seems. The world itself begins to glitch and slowly but surely, his friends can’t even see him anymore and Roxas is stuck in a living nightmare. Namine comes to the rescue and restores his memories, revealing his past as a member of the nefarious Organization.
Axel appears once again and Roxas recognizes him this time, but Axel decides to fight him anyway. Roxas emerges victorious and goes looking for Sora. He encounters Donal and Goofy and then finds Sora, held in a massive sleeping pod. Roxas hates Sora at this point because he points to the fact that he isn’t a real human and rather part of Sora, who both gets to be with his friends and live his life at the expense of Roxas, who simply just wants to have some ice cream and spend time with his friends.
Sora defeats Roxas and this causes Roxas to accept his predicament and fuse once again back into Sora, becoming one with him and effectively disappearing from existence.
This appears to be the end of the story until the end of the game, where Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas. Roxas appears after this as does Namine, to signify the both of them accepting their fates ultimately and being united forever in the souls of Sora and Kairi.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
Although it seemed like Roxas was gone for good at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2, Roxas again appears in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Sora transforms into Roxas in the beginning of the game as he falls into the Dive to the Heart, which is the area where many Kingdom Hearts games appear to start.
Roxas appears later in the game to Lea aka Axel and tells him of the promise he made to him to always be there for him. appears later in the game to Sorta once again and restores Sora’s memories and emotions, showing that he’s come full circle in accepting his ultimate role as Sora’s heart and not his own person. Roxas shows up one more time at the end of the game to Riku and asks him a question. This question is important as it ends up determining whether or not you get the secret ending to the game, so I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
Kingdom Hearts III
Roxas appears in Kingdom Hearts III in multiple ways. First, he appears when the revived form of Xion is attempting to kill Lea. Roxas speaks through Sora’s body to get her to stop, reminding her of the bond her and Roxas shared years ago. In turn, Roxas gets revived by the Replica Program and is officially given a life of his own.
With full realization of his being in tow, he helps Sora and Xion in the battle against Master Xehanort. After the final battle is won, Xion and Roxas join Lea in Twilight Town on the clock tower where his journey in Kingdom Hearts II began. In the ending, Roxas returns to Destiny Islands to celebrate with everyone, finally getting the life he always wanted and getting to be his own person, getting to enjoy life with his friends.
Roxas’s Key Relationships
Roxas has some of the most unique relationships in all of Kingdom Hearts because some of the people he becomes close with aren’t even real. His roles switch off multiple times throughout the series and you can find him on both sides of the good and evil coin depending on where in the story you’re at.
Axel and Rosas have perhaps the strongest friendship in the entire series. Both Axel and Roxas are Nobodies who are driven to work for Organization XIII. Appearing to be a bit older than Roxas, he takes on the role of a big brother to Roxas and the two develop an incredibly strong bond. Because of Axel and Roxas’s strong relationship, Axel comes to grow affection for Sora, sensing Roxas’s presence inside of him. It is this reason that slowly starts to turn Axel towards the good side in the Kingdom Hearts games.
Sora and Roxas have an extremely unique relationship because Sora is essentially the reason for Roxas existing. Roxas was created when Sora sacrificed his heart to save Kairi in Kingdom Hearts 1 and from there, Roxas goes on a journey to figure out his existence. He initially resents Sora, and is highly jealous and hateful that Sora gets to live a real life while Roxas must simply be absorbed to complete him. Roxas grows to be protective of Sora and finally, becomes friends with him when he’s given his own body in Kingdom Hearts III.
Xion is one of the most interesting characters in Kingdom Hearts because she is neither a human, a Nobody nor a Heartless. Xion is a replica that was created in order to absorb Sora’s memories. Much like Roxas, she is bound to become a part of Sora, and both are forced to come to grips with that tragic reality and both are torn between staying with friends or fulfilling their purpose. Xion sacrifices herself to Roxas and forces him to defeat her in battle. After the battle, she begs him to release the Stolen Hearts from Kingdom Hearts before he absorbs her. She’s a standoffish character with a cold and lonely exterior but resembles Kairi in her appearance which subconsciously draws Roxas towards her. Just like Roxas, she is given a full life through the Replica machine in Kingdom Hearts III and gets to be with Roxas and friends in the end.
Namine is the Nobody of Kairi and possesses special powers to manipulate people’s memories. She encounters Roxas initially in Kingdom Hearts II as she is trying to piece Sora’s memories back together after they’ve been lost. Namine is technically the one helping keep Roxas in the digital Twilight Town at first. Due to her connection to Roxas through being Kairi’s Nobody, she desires to help him as she sees his situation as similar to her own and appears to him as a guide and calming presence. She rebels against DiZ when he tries to stop her from revealing information to Roxas and promises him that they will meet again one day. Both Roxas and Namine are given rough hands at during the story, but both manage to find happy endings together.
What Are Roxas’s Abilities?
The Power of Light
Roxas is part of Organization XIII and with that comes being super powerful. One of Roxas’s most unique abilities is Light Manipulation. He is able to turn light itself into weapon and charge his Keyblades with it in order to vastly increase their strength. By swinging it incredibly fast, he can blind his enemies with the light as well.
Roxas uses these abilities in various ways. He has multiple Limit Break attacks using light as the main form of attack. Event Horizon sees Roxas charging up his Keyblade with light and unleashing super fast combo of strikes against his opponent. Magic Hour sees Roxas wielding light like a mage and has him levitate into the air before sending massive beams of light in a scattering formation to destroy every one near him while also firing massive balls of light that track his enemies as well.
Roxas also possesses incredible speed which can be seen on display during the games, particularly in a cutscene where he sprints up the side of a building. He is the only character that can move at this speed that exists in Kingdom Hearts, making this ability truly unique. During a battle with Sora, he catches Sora off guard by getting behind him so fast that Sora couldn’t even see where he went.
Corridors of Darkness
Roxas’s most fascinating ability is one that he shares with all the other Nobodies of the world. He is able to open up Corridors of Darkness, which are shadow-laden portals that allow him to connect to all the different worlds of Kingdom Hearts. This ability lets Roxas go wherever he pleases at almost any point.
Controls Samurai Nobodies
Each member of Organization XIII has a unique type of Nobody that they can control. For Roxas, its the Samurai Nobodies, but he loses this ability when he abandons the Organization as it seems tied to being part of the group. In 358/2 Days, a system was originally supposed to be in place that let the player summon the Nobodies to aid them in battle, but the system was cut before it was released. The Samurai Nobodies block the way for Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II, showing that they then served a different master, although who that is never gets expanded upon.
Roxas is one of several Keyblade masters in the game and has shown himself on multiple occasions to be as strong as anyone with the weapon. The reason for this is that his heart is made up two different Keyblade masters; Ventus and Sora. Roxas is able to dual wield Keyblades in his base form while Sora needs to transform in order to do so. Roxas’s Keyblade skills match up with any of the Keyblade users and has defeated Axel, Sora, and even managed to nearly take out Riku when he was possessed by Ansem while wielding them. He’s one of the only characters in Kingdom Hearts who was able to disarm Sora during a fight as well.
What is Roxas’s Equipment
Roxas is a mirror image of Sora in many ways, but he also has a unique style to him as well.
Hooded Black Coat
Roxas is a member of Organization XIII and that means he dons the signature black coat that they all wear as well. These coats aren’t just for show though as each one is imbued with the power to resist the corruption of darkness. It’s an interesting feature for a group that is pretty clearly evil, which shows that event they have something to fear when it comes to the influence of darkness.
Like Sora, Roxas is able to wield the Kingdom Key and can even summon two of them at once after absorbing XIon. The Kingdom Key is the base form of the Keyblade though and Roxas prefers a more varied approach to combat.
Dual Wielding Keyblades: Oblivion and Oathkeeper
His main weapons throughout the story are Oathkeeper and Oblivion, which are two equally powerful Keyblades as one enhances his magic while the other enhances his strength. Wielding these two Keyblades gives Roxas the ability to attack using the powers of darkness and light simultaneously. The two Keyblades are meant to represent Sora’s relationship with Kairi and Riku, with Oathkeeper being a Keyblade given to Sora by Kairi and Oblivion generally acquired after a meetup or battle with RIku.
Is Roxas a Boss in Kingdom Hearts?
Roxas is an ally throughout most of Kingdom Hearts, but in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, he was added in as a new boss battle in The World That Never Was in order to test Sora to see if he was worth of being the one in control of their body.
This fight is incredibly tough and sees Sora overmatched for much of it and some think it’s harder than the actual final boss of the game.
Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix, Roxas Boss Fight
If you’ve faced off against Sephiroth in the Kingdom Hearts games, you have some idea of what this is going to be like in that it’s incredibly fast-paced and very difficult as well. Roxas fights you with various Keyblade attacks through the fight, but you can guard against them. You need great timing here to guard against his super-fast combos.
In order to win this, you need to take advantage of when he glows and then rushes at you. You will then enter a reaction sequence and if you succeed at it, you will gain control of Roxas’s Keyblade, allowing you to wail away at him for big damage. If you mess up this sequence, Roxas will obliterate you.
Once you gain control of the three Keyblades, Roxas will start firing beams of light at you as his primary form of attack. These can be guarded against too, but more importantly, you need to be on the full offensive here as he will eventually rip control of his Keyblades back.
The key to winning this fight is learning Roxas’s attack timing. He’s very fast, but most of his attacks can be guarded against. At one point during the fight, a cutscene will happen and all your commands will be removed, when this happens, activate your Limit Form and go nuts on Roxas, hitting him with enough Limit attacks will cause a reaction command, perform in and then attack to completely erase one of Roxas’s attack bars. Keep this up a few times and you’ll emerge victorious.
Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix, Data Roxas Rematch
This fight is very similar to the first one you have with Roxas with one big change. Roxas now has a much higher amount of health and will use his Light Shields much more frequently. Despite that, you should be very high level when you face him in this rematch and the fight should go much smoother this time. There are again reaction commands throughout allowing you to steal Roxas’s Keylades, so take advantage of that whenever it’s possible to do so.
Kingdom Hearts: Recoded Final Boss
In this direct continuation of Kingdom Hearts II, you face off against Roxas once again in the end of the game. The fight here is much less difficult than the ones previously, so by using the same strategy you should be able to come away victorious.
Roxas moves very quickly here too, but his attacks are not nearly as damaging and his beam attacks in particular are very easy to dodge, so be opportunistic with your attacks and stay far away when he launches his light attacks and you should come away victorious.
Question: How many Kingdom Hearts games does Roxas appear in?
Answer: Officially, Roxas appears in Chain of Memories, 358/2, Kingdom Hearts II, Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts: Recoded and Kingdom Hearts 3.
Question: Who voices Roxas?
Answer: Roxas is voiced by Jesse Mccartney and has kept the role throughout the years, most recently reprising it with Kingdom Hearts 3.
Question: Is Roxas going to be in Kingdom Hearts 4?
Answer: Roxas finally gets a body of his own to inhabit in Kingdom Hearts 3 and helps out in the Keyblade War, so considering that he’s one of the most powerful Keyblade users alive, he should play a sizable role in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 4.
Roxas is one of the most tragic and interesting characters in a series that’s chock full of them, so I hope this guide helped you understand him more and despite going through absolute hell to get there, Roxas seems to have finally achieved a happy existence, although more is sure to come for him in Kingdom Hearts 4.