The Rules & Restrictions to Time Travel



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Audo

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wrote this when dream drop distance came out. after labouring over the story and interviews for a long time, this was how I made sense of the time travel aspect as it was shown in KH3D in a way where it made the most sense. i thought I'd share it here, see what people think, see if I missed anything or what other people's interpretations are.

taken from my blog.





THE RULES & RESTRICTIONS TO TIME-TRAVEL

  • To gain the ability to transcend time, you must first cast aside the flesh and become an existence of only a heart.
    —Once you gain the ability, you can never lose the ability, even if you become complete again.
  • When you move through time, in either direction, there must be a version of yourself waiting at the destination.
  • You can only travel backwards through time once.
    —If you travel backwards, upon arrival, you can only move forward as per the laws of time.
    —You cannot rewrite the events that are destined to happen.
  • You can travel forward through time as often as you like.
    —If you travel forward, you must eventually return to your proper era.
    —Upon returning to your proper time, you will lose the memories and experiences you gained while time travelling.
  • You cannot travel in both directions, you must choose one.
HOW THIS APPLIES TO XEHANORT


Master Xehanort first gained the ability to transcend time in the end of Birth By Sleep. Having believed the X-Blade to be forged, Xehanort used his own Keyblade to remove his heart and cast aside his old body in favour of Terra’s new one. This act gave him the ability to transcend time. Shortly after, however, Terra’s lingering will (in the form of Terra’s armour) battled Xehanort knocking him unconscious. He was absorbed in the explosion of the X-Blade’s destruction and wound up on Radiant Garden. He was found there by Aqua, who, along with Terra’s heart, resisted Xehanort’s possession. In a last ditch attempt to rid him of Terra’s heart, Xehanort once again struck himself with his own Keyblade. He was trying to release Terra’s heart from his body, but instead locked away their memories. After Aqua sacrificed herself to save him, Terranort was found by Ansem the Wise and Braig. Having lost his memories, the only word he remembered was the name, “Xehanort”.

This marked the beginning of Apprentice Xehanort, who worked under Ansem the Wise as they studied the heart. This eventually lead to the experiments on darkness that created the Heartless. Eventually, the apprentices used these experiments on themselves. This had an unintentional side-effect: Apprentice Xehanort unlocked his memories and Master Xehanort assumed direct control. He attacked Braig and set his new plan in motion—to forge the true X-Blade. In order to accomplish this, he knew he had to cast aside the flesh once more, allowing his Nobody half to gather the XIII Darknesses while his Heartless half gathered the VII Lights.

In order to make sure that their plan wouldn’t fall through though, he needed to prepare back-up vessels, in the event that the Organization XIII members proved ill-fitted. Having regained his memories, he knew of his ability to transcend time. As Ansem, he traveled backwards and met his younger self. This act passed on the ability to transcend time to his younger self. He guided Young Xehanort to move forward through time and gather the splintered versions of himself on many worlds, and ensure that they all gather at a predetermined time in the future. Ansem then resumed the normal flow of time, and lived out the years he had time travelled, waiting and planning for all of these events to come to a head.

Young Xehanort did as he was instructed to do, and gathered up the various versions of himself throughout time. Then, using Ansem as a Portal, entered the Realm of Sleep the night Destiny Islands fell to darkness. The Realm of Sleep operated on a different flow of time than the Realm of Light, which allowed Young Xehanort to act as a Portal to the versions of himself that existed beyond the night DI fell to darkness. This was all in attempt to gain Sora as the last vessel needed. Once they had acquired Sora, the XIII Darknesses gathered in The World That Never Was—some of them transcending time, and some of them not. At the end of KH3D, those who had transcended time returned to their proper eras.

HOW THIS APPLIES TO SORA AND RIKU

Sora obtained the ability to transcend time when he used the Keyblade of People’s Hearts to release his and Kairi’s hearts. While his body and soul became the Nobodies, Roxas and Naminé, his heart became a Heartless. When Kairi protected this Heartless, her love and bond with Sora reversed the Heartless-transformation, and Sora regained human form. However his body and soul belonged to Roxas, now. As a result, Sora was an existence of only a heart. This was how he obtained the ability to transcend time. When Roxas eventually returned to him, he didn’t lose this ability.

When Ansem possessed Riku, he eventually kicked Riku’s heart out of his body, and sent it to the Realm of Darkness. There, Riku became an existence of only a heart, when he refused to be swallowed by the darkness so he could see Sora and Kairi again. This gave him the ability to transcend time. When Ansem was defeated, Riku rejoined with his body in the Realm of Darkness, and he became complete once more. He didn’t lose the ability to transcend time.

In KH3D, Sora and Riku then use their abilities to transcend time to travel backwards to right before the Destiny Islands fell to darkness. This was so that they could enter the Realm of Sleep, just as DI became a Sleeping World itself. This is the extent of their time-travel.

Q & A

  • Q: When you time travel, I thought it was necessary to cast away your body and travel as a mere heart, yet Sora and Riku went as whole beings. Why?

    A: It is only necessary to cast away your body to gain the ability to transcend time the first time. Once you’ve done it once, you retain that ability to transcend time, even if you become complete. Sora and Riku were existences of only hearts in the past, meaning they kept their ability to time travel as complete beings.
  • Q: How was Master Xehanort able to travel back and forth in time? Could time perhaps be non-linear when it comes to the Darkness?

    A: He didn’t. Each individual incarnation of Xehanort could only move forward or back, not both. Ansem used his ability to travel back. Young Xehanort used his ability to travel forward. While they are all technically Xehanort, each incarnation could only move in one direction. Time isn’t non-linear. As Young Xehanort explains, “You can move through time, but time itself is immovable”.
  • Q: How come when Sora and Riku traveled back in time they didn’t have to “move forward as per the laws of time?”

    A: They did. If they hadn’t entered the Realm of Sleep they would have been forced to relive the year+, but since time works differently in the Realm of Sleep they were able to enter the RoS during the time of KH1, and leave it during the time of post-KH2.
 
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Oh, I was super confused by the time travel in KH3D, I guess this all went way over my head. Thanks for explaining it.

So you have to lose your body but still be a heart without being just a heartless, like Riku and Sora. Would that mean other characters who existed as only a heart for a time would have the ability? Would the princesses of heart be able to, since their hearts left their bodies in KH1? Would Ventus be able to?
 

Audo

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So you have to lose your body but still be a heart without being just a heartless, like Riku and Sora. Would that mean other characters who existed as only a heart for a time would have the ability? Would the princesses of heart be able to, since their hearts left their bodies in KH1? Would Ventus be able to?
Technically I suppose it would mean that, yeah.
 

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I understood the time travel deal, but was seriously trying to figure it out how Xehanort deals with it. Thanks a lot for this!
 

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This was an incredibly well organized and detailed description of KH time travel, awesome job.
 

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This is a great post, and one I've been familiar with since someone shared the original link with me some time ago. I've even got it in my lore digest Pastebin (hope that's alright by you).

However, it is explicitly stated in DDD that Sora and Riku traveled through time with Yen Sid's help. It's easy to forget though.
While they certainly meet the qualifications, it's not actually the case this time around.
 

Audo

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However, it is explicitly stated in DDD that Sora and Riku traveled through time with Yen Sid's help. It's easy to forget though.
While they certainly meet the qualifications, it's not actually the case this time around.
Yen Sid can't just magically displace people in time though, lol. There would be no reason for him to be shocked at the suggestion that MX could do that if he could, after all. Perhaps Yen Sid guided them, but they still needed to fulfill the qualifications themselves, just like MX needed to by Yen Sid's own admission.

You can't literally have a scene where Xehanort outlines explicitly what is required for time travel to be possible, and then turn around and say "yeah none of that applies because Yen Sid" like, lol.
 

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There would be no reason for him to be shocked at the suggestion that MX could do that if he could, after all.
I don't believe Yen Sid was shocked that Xehanort was capable of time travel, just the notion that Xehanort had planned to time travel.
Yen Sid said:
Well, if we are running on the assumption Xehanort knew what we were planning, then he still would need to have been there- back in the very place and time when the Destiny Islands were lost to darkness. Otherwise, Sora and Riku would have been beyond his reach.
For that to work, a version of himself would have had to exist at both source and destination. Not even Xehanort can transport his whole body across vast reaches of time.
No! It cannot be. Could he be that cunning, possess that kind of foresight?
You can't literally have a scene where Xehanort outlines explicitly what is required for time travel to be possible, and then turn around and say "yeah none of that applies because Yen Sid" like, lol.
Well, it's already established that there are multiple ways to travel through time (Timeless River), and time magic in general has a variety of applications.
 

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I don't believe Yen Sid was shocked that Xehanort was capable of time travel, just the notion that Xehanort had planned to time travel.

Well, it's already established that there are multiple ways to travel through time (Timeless River), and time magic in general has a variety of applications.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBPSFSZK8sc For everyone on this thread with questions on how worlds like Timeless River work :D You're welcome, Audo (any mistakes are on gametrailers, not me lol)
 

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I don't believe Yen Sid was shocked that Xehanort was capable of time travel, just the notion that Xehanort had planned to time travel..
Yeah I know. I meant how he dismisses Mickey for suggesting that MX could travel through time without having met the qualifications (having casted off the flesh). "not even Master Xehanort (the most powerful known Keyblade Wielder)" can travel throughout time without meeting the qualifications, is basically what is being said in that statement. So why would Yen Sid be able to do it? Logically, he wouldn't be able to, and we never actually see the moment where Sora and Riku time travel in order to be sure (they really should have depicted this. I think it would have cleared up so much confusion for a lot of aspects) so I think it is left ambiguous. Point of the matter is though that Sora and Riku have met all the qualifications listed by Xehanort in the ending of the game, and I doubt that is just a coincidence lol.

And Braig makes a specific correlation between how Sora and Riku time traveled and the way Xehanort did in the game, too.

Again though this whole thing was brought out because the way they depicted time travel was very sloppy and confusing and I was trying to make the most sense out of it based on what was presented. This is the simplest and clearest explanation at this point that avoids contradictions until we get more information, if ever, imo.
 

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Not bad. If you think about it alternate methods still follow a similar guideline. Merlin is a timetraveler his source movie and I think one of the game journals mentions it and then you have Timeless River.

Despite it though you never see history change. According to most time theories the second Pete stepped into Timeless River should've immediately changed the future or it should've splintered off into a new line of history.
Neither happens. The same Sora & Pete of the same timeline go back, interact, and return with nothing changing permanently. That follows the rule of being unable to alter.

Some try to argue Timeless River was a special world or loophole in some way but that's all irrelevant to the fact they was in the past but nothing changed.
As for Merlin there's no point to delve further. Any mention of his time abilities in a journal is just a nod to his movie incarnate. Then there's the situation of not even knowing how Merlin does it or why he does so.

I saw in one old thread a few members comparing KH's version to the Novikov Principle. The principle is unlike most theories on time in the sense that even if you could travel back in time that you'd never alter anything. Example being if you try to prevent a disaster only to be the catalyst of said disaster.
KH doesn't follow it rule for rule or line for line though. It's just similar.

Naturally such rules also make alternate timelines impossible. Any sort of parallel world or history would only exist thanks to something of a nature far greater than a humans ability and time travel.
 

Audo

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Honestly I think most of the rules in KH's time travel just exist to dismiss fan theories like "Master Xehanort will simply travel back in time to the Keyblade War" (you need a version of yourself there) and "They are going to travel back in time and change something and basically reboot the series" (you can't change events that are destined to happen).

Time travel really just seems designed solely to set up the new Organization and I find it unlikely it will play a role larger than that going forward.
 

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Honestly I think most of the rules in KH's time travel just exist to dismiss fan theories like "Master Xehanort will simply travel back in time to the Keyblade War" (you need a version of yourself there) and "They are going to travel back in time and change something and basically reboot the series" (you can't change events that are destined to happen).

Time travel really just seems designed solely to set up the new Organization and I find it unlikely it will play a role larger than that going forward.
I agree. I've said it since DDD and I'll always maintain it was an excuse to gather more than one Xehanort for a finale.
 
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