Like it's just a flat out lie, Roxas was talked about constantly and in practically every in between cutscenes.
Spoiler ShowWe had an almost step by step showing of how he was restored and he appeared right when you expected he would. There was no secret here at all, instead and I can't even tell if this was intentional or not but XION was actually KH3's biggest secret. Like one thing that stands out especially on a replay is like how roughly half the entire game is about Xion, how it constantly builds up and alludes to her without ever directly stating her name or talking about her in regular terms. She doesn't appear until the very end of the game and is the last darkness to be revealed, and then she acts as both the 13th darkness and 7th light.
Here is basically a good chunk of KH3's plot...
1. Establish Sora's heart has more inside it than just his own but don't say who is in it yet.
2. Establish that Vexen, creator of the replicas, may have rejoined the Organization
3. Established that Xehanort has a back-up plan to use in place of Sora as their 13th vessel
4. So very blatantly use Kairi and Lea to further flesh out and establish Xion directly following Xehanort talking about back-up to Sora, like literally every other sentence was about Xion in some way and the scene basically concludes with Xion's face revealed briefly.
5. Have the very next world be YX reveal that they are conducting experiments in order to reclaim a lost darkness, experiments that involve connecting hearts, living toys which they manipulate as puppets. Given that reclaim means "former member" of which the only two who could possibly require such an experiment are Roxas and Xion, then add in the whole empty puppet living toys with hearts thing very obviously echoes Xion.
6. Reveal that the Organization specifically brought Vexen in to use his replica program to deliver to them their 13th vessel.
7. Have Sora learn Ven's heart is in his thus shaking his notion that his heart not belonging to him is because of Roxas, and then immediately follow that up with a scene where Sora learns there are actually three hearts one of which remains deliberately unidentified but is connected to Roxas by length of the time it's been in Sora.
8. Establish the Organization is still conducting experiments on the heart in order to figure out how to rebuild one with data, gee I wonder what heart they are trying to build
9. Have Xion suddenly appear with the 13 darknesses which then promptly leads to both her and Roxas's proper returns, and then as a twist have Kairi kidnapped and Lea knocked out so both former 13ths Roxas and Xion can play the roles of the 6th and 7th light to hammer Saix in the face
10. Don't have any of the usual suspects comfort Sora in his absolute time of need after losing Kairi but instead use Xion for it.
I mean I love Xion, I'm happy she was such a core character, but I have to wonder what story Nomura is reading when he thinks Roxas the guy who is at the forefront of the story and every cutscene, whose restoration we have the step by step of, is the biggest secret. And not you know the girl who was the core of the shadow plot hinted at constantly throughout the game, ended up performing on both sides of the X-blade clash (which feels like cheating), and gave Sora serious words of comfort in one of his biggest times of need.
Also just as a side note Xion got a proper thank you from Sora immediately, Namine who has been waiting for one since CoM got an accidental one that Sora immediately said didn't count so yeah that's some food for thought.
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