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Kingdom Hearts III Discussion: Kairi, a Damsel in Distress or a Heroine in Action?

Kairi, Sora and Riku in Destiny Island

Kingdom Hearts III is finally approaching planet earth! If last year we were waiting until the next year comes, now we are already in the “next year” that we have been waiting for so long. Kingdom Hearts III is said to be released at the end of January, 2019. If there is no more delay, soon we will be able to participate in another adventure of Sora, Riku, and the female protagonist of the series, Kairi.

We all knew that Kairi is a childhood friend of Sora and Riku; the three of them created a strong bond between each other. You will feel it if you follows Kairi’s story through the Kingdom Hearts series’ timeline, where she played a different role in each game. Then what about her role in Kingdom Hearts III? It is still a mystery, but let us all unravel it by following Kairi’s traces in the series.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kairi was born in Radiant Garden peacefully with her grandma until one day she is chased by a group of Unversed and encounters Aqua. Aqua easily finds her because she holds the power as one of the Princess of Heart. Accidentally, the little Kairi touched Aqua’s Keyblade when she was frightened, and resulted in the performing of Keyblade Inheritance Ceremony.

Kairi - Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

After the Unversed were defeated by Aqua with the help of King Mickey, Kairi gives Aqua a bundle of flowers that she was collected just before the Unversed came. In return, Aqua gives her a protective charm in a form of necklace. At the end of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, where Terra-Xehanort was defeated, Kairi looks up to the sky and sensed something as her necklace emits a weak glow.

Kingdom Hearts

After Radiant Garden was shrouded by darkness, Kairi was known to be in Destiny Islands (probably Ansem sent her there for an experiment). There, Kairi befriend with the two boys of the islands, Sora and Riku. But unfortunately, Kairi bears no memory of her life before the Islands. Her mystery sparks curiosity in both Sora and Riku, who are anxious to leave Destiny Islands to see other worlds.

Kairi - Kingdom Hearts

The trio builds a raft in the hope to see the other worlds. But someday, before they even finished the preparations Heartless attacks the Islands. The trio is separated and the game focuses on Sora and Riku trying to find Kairi. On their way to the rescue, Riku becomes hostile as Maleficent manipulated him. He believes that Sora no longer cares about Kairi and him anymore.

Riku finds Kairi first in a comatose state, and started to protect her from Sora. The friendship are severed for the time being until Sora rescued Kairi from Hollow Bastion and brings her to Traverse Town, where she could be protected by Leon and the other. After Sora’s final battle with Ansem in Kingdom Hearts, Kairi transported back to Destiny Islands without Sora who tries to find Riku and King Mickey.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, although Kairi did not directly appear on the game, she did play a very important role. She served as a constant figure of light for both Sora and Riku and fervently awaited their return on Destiny Islands.

In Sora’s journey, it is known that Marluxia tries to control Sora and Riku as soon as they entered Castle Oblivion. He tries to use Namine to strip Sora’s memories of Kairi and replace them with her. Meanwhile, in Riku’s journey, in the other part of the castle he is tormented by Zexion’s illusion of his friends. However, Namine takes Kairi’s form to help Riku control the light and darkness in his heart.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

During this time, Kairi is assumed to be living a normal life on Destiny Islands where she is waiting for Riku and Sora’s return, though her memories of Sora have probably become vague due to Namine’s interference with Sora’s and her memories. With the two of them away, her only company becomes Selphie, Tidus, and Wakka.

In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kairi appears in Roxas and Xion’s dreams and memories, due to Sora’s memories finding their way to them. Because Xion is an imperfect replica of Roxas, her appearance greatly resembles Kairi, since Sora’s memories of Kairi were the strongest ones when she was created. Roxas sees a memory of Kairi during a mission in Destiny Islands and remarks that she looks like Xion.

Kingdom Hearts II

In Kingdom Hearts II, Kairi (now fifteen years old) lives normally in Destiny Islands, attending school together with Selphie. While she misses Sora, her memories of him have faded away because of Namine’s interference. One day, she meets Roxas whom later revealed as Sora’s Nobody. Although neither of them understands it at the time, Namine’s encounter with Roxas connected his heart with Kairi’s, including Sora’s image.

Kairi - Kingdom Hearts II

One day, Axel comes to her in Destiny Islands, offering a ride to see Sora. Kairi refuse but he insist, fortunately Pluto comes to help and later arrived in Twilight Town. There, she befriends with Hayner, Pence, and Olette. Before she can gathers information about Sora from the trio, Axel attacks again and Saix takes her to The World That Never Was. Namine tries to rescue her but Saix confronts both of them.

Fortunately, a hooded figure rescued them and that person appears to be Riku in Ansem form. Riku leads Kairi to Sora but confronted by a group of Heartless. At this point, Riku gives Kairi a Keyblade named Destiny’s Embrace (this could be a hint!). She finally meets Sora and shows him that Ansem is Riku. With the help of Donald and Goofy, the trio faces off against Luxord and Saix to get to Xemnas.

After Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas, Namine appears and creates a portal where Donald, Goofy and Mickey go thorugh, leaving Sora, Riku, and Kairi. Kairi thanks Namine for trying to make Sora remember her, but Sora gets confused. Eventually Roxas and Namine accept their fate together to live inside Sora and Kairi. Kairi walks into the portal, But Sora and Riku can’t as they have to fight Xemnas again.

After Xemnas is finally defeated, Sora and Riku arrived at the sore of the Dark Margin. There, Sora finds a letter in a bottle which was written by Kairi for him. After he read the letter, the Door to Light appears and sent them to Destiny Islands, reunited with Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey. For a brief moment Roxas and Namine are shown smiling back at each other, just as Sora and Kairi are.

Kingdom Hearts coded

In Kingdom Hearts coded, during a flashback that Data-Riku or Data-Roxas had shown to Data-Sora, Kairi appears alongside Riku in Neverland. While Sora and Riku are talking about the Door to Light, Kairi runs up to them and shows a letter from King Mickey. After that the scene shows Sora prepares to leave to meet King Mickey. Kairi hands Sora her lucky charm and tells him that she’ll see him soon.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Kairi appeared in the trailer of the game, seen sitting to Sora near the Paopu Tree. In The World That Never Was, Young Xehanort forces Sora into a second sleep. He dreams about people connected to his heart, including Kairi who is walking side-by-side with Riku, away from him. In the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Yen Sid sends Riku to bring Kairi to the Mysterious Tower.

Yen Sid states that she can wield a Keyblade (obvious hint!) and needs to talk to her, leaving confusion to Riku and Mickey. Apparently, he wants to begin training Kairi in combat so she can defend herself from the newly revived Organization XIII, who he believes are trying to capture the 7 Princesses of Heart in order to make the X-Blade.

Read also: Kingdom Hearts III TGS 2018 Footage Shows Aqua Boss Battle and Frozen Gameplay!

From her track records in Kingdom Hearts series, we can see that Kairi plays a different role in each game. From being a damsel who needs to be rescued to an image that affects Sora and Riku’s journey a lot. From the hints given from some scenes in the series, there is a high probability that this time she will be a heroine who fights alongside Sora and Riku, with her own specific Keyblades.

Kairi - Kingdom Hearts III

The question is, will Kairi be a playable character or just and NPC who will support Sora to fight darknesses? Either way, it is such a good thing to know that her chance of joining the fray is high. Besides, she is being a damsel for way too long, since 2002 (the first Kingdom Hearts game). Isn’t it time for her to show off? Let us patiently wait until Kingdom Hearts III is finally released!

What do you think; will she be more of a damsel in distress like she used to or a heroine in action this time? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.

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Written by
A fellow RPG addict who played a lot of classic masterpieces from Square, Square-Enix, and Tri-Ace. "The epoch may change, but the classics will remain eternal"

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