First Appearance: KINGDOM HEARTS CHAIN OF MEMORIES (2004)
This sleepy town is first seen through the eyes of Roxas, a blonde boy with mysterious connections to Sora as witnessed by Sora's appearance in his dreams. With seven days to go before school starts again, Sora - then nameless to Roxas - features in his dream again. Roxas is vexed by his continuing appearances but brushes it aside and starts the day by heading over to his hangout, The Usual Spot, to meet his friends Hayner, Pence and Olette to find himself accused of being a thief of photos - and even the word 'photo'; when they go to clear his name, Roxas faints and wakes up a few minutes later after a mysterious voice announces "his heart is returning" and "doubtless he'll awaken very soon". After a confrontation with Seifer - Twilight Town's residential hard man - a strange white creature with erratic, jerky movements flies out of nowhere and zips off with a photograph of Roxas' victory. After following it to the Old Mansion beyond the woods, Roxas takes it on with the appearance of a mysterious key-shaped weapon, consequently defeating the enemy and retrieving the stolen photographs; in this, the word 'photo' is also returned, too. With the day done, Roxas returns home to sleep.
While he is sleeping, two mysterious figures are working hard away in a basement with a computer somewhere nearby; one is completely cloaked and the other has his face wrapped in bandages. The latter of the two reveals that the jerky white figure - a 'Nobody' - stole the photo because it couldn't tell the difference between Roxas and data of Roxas, before visions of Sora filter into Roxas' dreams once again. This time, Roxas has learned something from his dreams: the key he held the day before is named a Keyblade. He still thinks of the weapon while he walks to The Usual Spot and in his fantasies he picks up a stick and pretends it is the Keyblade before he tosses it away, hitting a tall, shady figure. After this incident, Roxas plans a trip to the beach with his friends, promises to partake in the yearly Struggle tournament with Hayner, and goes about earning money for his train ticket to the beach by doing odd jobs. Once he is done, he meets his friends at the train station before he is tripped up by a mysterious cloaked figure who asks "Can you feel Sora?" Confused, Roxas' dreams are yet again plagued by the mysterious Keyblade bearer while the two figures continue working hard in the aforementioned basement - and one of them is tossing the pouch of money Roxas lost when he was tripped.
Next day, Roxas goes on over to his friends' hangout - but when Olette and Pence approach, they suddenly freeze in place, and a girl in the white dress approaches him before she disappears and the world is restored again. Vexed by the girl, Roxas chases her all the way to the woods before some Nobodies give chase to him up to the Sandlot where Seifer's gang is relaxing. They automatically prepare for action, but lo-and-behold they are also captured by time, leaving Roxas defenseless before the girl in white tells him to use the Keyblade. Before he can do so he is attacked and is taken away to a strange dark place with only a pillar featuring the strange boy from Roxas' dreams. Here, Roxas goes through his Awakening after prioritizing his weaponry; after doing away with pesky Nobodies and learning the importance of items, he fights a gigantic Nobody. From its defeat spawns a pool of darkness from which Roxas is saved by the girl in white; after transporting him to a white room she reveals herself as Naminé - and when she's on the verge of telling him something a figure in black comes to drag her away after pushing Roxas through a portal to the real world. Once more, Roxas ends his day with dreams of the strange boy.
The fourth day is the day of the Struggle competition so Roxas hurries down to the Sandlot. The crowd is huge with many people supporting the four contestants: Roxas, Hayner, Vivi (one of Seifer's cronies) and the reigning champion Setzer. After defeating Vivi, time stops again and a man in a cloak appears. He reveals himself as Axel whom Roxas is supposed to recognize; when this fails, Axel engages Roxas in battle but loses - directly after, the man in bandages appears and exclaims Axel is lying. Overcome by emotion, Roxas wills himself back into the real world and returns to the tournament where he becomes the new champion. He shares his prize - a trophy with four different colored gems - with his friends and gives them a gem each as a symbol of their friendship. As they admire them atop the clock tower, Roxas falls off, sparking some sort of connection with a girl named Kairi who sends a letter in a bottle to a boy she used to know. The incident intrigues the two basement figures (the cloaked one of whom reveals himself as Ansem and shows himself to be Xehanort's Heartless from Sora's past adventures): it is revealed that Naminé's connection with Roxas put his heart in touch with Kairi's and Sora's because she is a witch, a special type of Nobody.
The fifth day is dedicated to the completion of homework and the topic for the gang's assignment will be the seven wonders of Twilight Town. After viewing six of the seven wonders, Roxas and Pence go to investigate the last - the rumor of a girl appearing at the second-floor window of the Old Mansion; when Roxas looks up, he sees Naminé and is transported into the white room where she tells him the truth behind his dreams. It is uncovered that Roxas is one half of Sora's whole self and that he must return to Sora if Sora wishes to wake up. With that revelation over, the duo goes about the rest of their day. Meanwhile, the bandaged man and Ansem are talking about Ansem's memory returning: since Sora is growing near complete restoration, the memories of those connected to him are also becoming complete. The knowledge on Ansem's part sparks a question: what exactly does the bandaged man want? The answer to that is simple, he reveals: it is revenge and he therefore has no further need of Naminé or Roxas.
Roxas, unaware that the bandaged man has ordered Ansem to 'get rid' of him, wakes up after further dreams about Sora and finds they are more detailed than ever. After he heads on over to the Usual Spot, he pats Hayner on the shoulder - only to find his hand go right through him and find his friends oblivious to him, almost as if he doesn't exist. He chases after them when they run away but is accosted by two Nobodies... and Axel. Axel says he has been sent to destroy Roxas but in his own defense Roxas tells Axel about how he remembers they were best friends. Still dubious, Axel asks the name of "the boss" and when Roxas can't remember, Axel goes to attack him. Fortunately, luck is on Roxas' side and time freezes Axel in place before a voice from nowhere tells him to get to the mansion quickly. Roxas rushes into the mansion and finds himself in the white room. Here, a memory of his real past is triggered: he sees himself fleeing a dark city with an observing Axel. Confused, Roxas questions Naminé - who has appeared - on this, and she tells him all about the nature of Nobodies. But before she can continue, the bandaged man, now identified as DiZ, whisks her away and leaves Roxas to the rest of the mansion where he happens upon the computer room used by DiZ and Ansem. Other memories wash over him - a round room full of thrones, a battle with a blindfolded boy, himself in the basement - and at the end of it he learns that his Twilight Town is nothing more than a simulation created for purposes of keeping him away from "them" until Sora's power is restored. In a fit of rage, Roxas smashes up the computer with the Keyblade and moves deeper into the mansion.
In the next room he fights with several Nobodies before Axel appears again. As usual, they fight, and as usual Roxas wins, triggering a bout of memories. This time, Roxas truly remembers his friendship with Axel but Axel sadly fades away. Roxas perseveres through the mansion again and comes to a corridor full of white pods: inside two of them he sees two people he recognizes - Donald and Goofy, two figures from his dreams. He proceeds through to the room at the end of the corridor and comes out into an endless white area with a large pod in the middle, DiZ standing there waiting for him. Angrily, Roxas attacks DiZ but finds him to be a mere projection which disappears. Then, the pod opens and Sora is revealed inside. Seeing Sora in the flesh seems to bring Roxas to an understanding - and with one last goodbye, Roxas disappears.
Donald and Goofy stand outside the pod which contains Sora - and it opens, Sora fully awake. They rejoice but alas cannot remember the events of their year out. To help, Jiminy checks his journal but finds only one line: thank Naminé. Perplexed, they venture out into the town and come across the Usual Spot where Pence tells them that somebody with "big round ears" has been looking for them. This, of course, can only be one person - the King! After a thorough search they are attacked by Nobodies which are extremely strong... but the King comes to their aide and finishes them off and tells them, before hurrying off, that they must leave town. Though he is once again absent, his appearance brings hope to Sora that Riku must be around, too, since he was with the King the last time they saw each other, so Sora makes finding Riku the goal of his next adventures. Now that they are together for one last journey, the three of them take the mysterious self-driving train which leads them off to Mysterious Tower and Yen Sid.
Upon arrival at Mysterious Tower, the train vanishes and leaves the trio stranded - so they decide to venture up the looming tower only to find peeking through its doors a large dog-man clad in blue, the one and only mischievous Pete. After a quick confrontation with him, Sora's gang rushes up the tower (fighting, as usual, hoards of Heartless) and once at the top come face-to-face with the legendary Yen Sid, an old magician who was once the King's mentor. He instructs them and tells them to prepare for another journey: he also explains to them the existence of Nobodies, beings born of the empty shell and soul of a Heartless victim with a strong heart; then he explains the existence - non-existence? - of a group of elite Nobodies named Organization XIII. With introductions done, Sora gets a completely new make-over from three good fairies - enemies of Maleficent - who put a spell on his clothes to activate something called a "Drive form", a form during which Sora's powers are enhanced, and then goes back to find that the long-lost Gummi Ship has returned!
But even though the future is looking bright for the travelers, luck isn't looking so good: in the changing room, a sinister black crow flies through the window with a familiar black cape in its grip... The memories are too much for the three good fairies and, unable to watch the hulking black mass take shape before them, they escape to Yen Sid to tell him of Maleficent's return. It seems that Sora's journey might have a few more spanners in the works than planned...
After a great chunk of time since their departure from Twilight Town, Sora and friends now return with much more experience. Following Goofy's advice, the group sets off towards the Old Mansion featured in the photograph of Hayner, Pence, Olette and Roxas given to them by the mysterious figure - and once there they find three of that number in trouble, all of them passed out on the grass before the open gates. Once awake, Sora learns that they were attacked by Nobodies during their search for the missing Kairi; they were aiming to gain access to the mansion on a whim about a duplicate of Twilight Town where they thought Kairi might be stowed. Evidence supporting this is Goofy's blue crystal and orange pouch of money, two items that can only be found in Twilight Town and are the one ones of their kind. When questioned about the origin of Goofy's items, Sora reports that the King gave them to him before their journey to Mysterious Tower right at the beginning of their adventure.
Speaking of the devil, the King flips into action as soon as a group of Nobodies descends on the youngsters! But that's not his concern: he has come to tell them that he has learned the location of Ansem the Wise, the old king of Hollow Bastion. He theorizes that he may be in Organization XIII's stronghold with a trick up his sleeve of some sort, but more interestingly he seems to be hiding some sort of knowledge as to Riku's whereabouts. Suspicious about the King's reluctance to open up, Sora manages to goad out of him that he made a promise to Riku of some sort, which is just the sort of pickup Sora needs. After learning that it was Riku that Mickey received the pouch and crystal from, the guys head on into the mansion. It is here that Pence assumes that Twilight Town is connected to a copy of itself via a computer somewhere, a copy with a connection to the Realm of Darkness according to the King. After a bit of prodding and poking around the mansion, the crew finds the computer and after a successful hack, the teleportation system is up and running again.
On the other side, everything seems identical to a confusing point... except that the computer is completely smashed up, a result of Roxas' anger before Sora's awakening. Almost sadly Sora realizes that this is "Roxas' Twilight Town", but Mickey's upbeat nature puts his mind back on task: finding the entrance to the Dark Realm. In the adjoining room, the Basement Hall, Sora's crew finds a strange portal of murky green darkness. After entering it, they find themselves in a strange realm - a place that almost doesn't exist. An onslaught of Nobodies occupies their curiosity for a while but it proves too much: there are too many. But then Axel hacks and slashes his way to the rescue and reveals that it was he who kidnapped Kairi only to have her escape and run into the clutches of the sinister Saïx. Sora's anger is overcome by another wave of Nobodies and his rage is quelled by Axel's self-sacrifice as he blasts hundreds of them into smithereens with his fiery powers.
Unfortunately, this show of power comes with great consequences and Axel falls to the floor, his body fading away into flakes of darkness. In his dying moments, he apologizes to Sora for his actions and tells him to tell Kairi he's sorry. Lamentably, he says he can't tell her himself since he has no heart to truly feel remorse with... but there's something different about Sora. He makes Axel feel like he has a heart, the exact reason why he kidnapped Kairi. All he wanted all this time was to see Roxas, his best friend... the only person who truly made Axel feel whole. After opening a portal to The World That Never Was, Axel tells Sora that Kairi is in the castle's dungeon.
And with that, he dies.
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Original material is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution.