Roxas is one of the main characters from the Kingdom Hearts games.
Number XIII in the Organization. A mysterious Nobody able to wield the Keyblade, he defected when he realized that the Organization (sans Axel, though at the time Roxas doubted even that) cared nothing for him. He's revealed to be Sora's Nobody, born when Sora took his own heart in Kingdom Hearts I.
As Sora's Nobody, Roxas's facial features closely resemble his, including his bright blue eyes, body build, and spiky hair (though it is not difficult to set them apart in the actual game). In contrast to Sora's brown hair, Roxas's is a golden blond. His hair style also separates them, as the front concentrates the spikes on the right side of his head as if windswept, and the back is smoother and more flaky. He also looks identical to Ventus, due to Ventus's heart having been within Sora's heart when Roxas was created.
When in Organization XIII, Roxas wore the usual Black Coat, with a number of small differences. His pants were different, looking more casual, and loose. He also did not tuck the legs of his pants into his boots like the other members did, though Roxas's "boots" more resembled black versions of his street shoes, and may not have been knee-high like the other members'. Roxas's cloak had a vague resemblance to the ones worn by Xigbar and Demyx, with slightly pointed shoulders and slightly close-fitting sleeves.
While living in the false Twilight Town, Roxas wore much more casual clothes. He wore a black, high-collared jacket with a zipper resembling the Nobody symbol. Over this, he wore another jacket, this one unzipped and white, with several black block designs and a gray hem on the end of each sleeve. This jacket's collar was red and pleated and folded back.
Roxas also wore two-colored pants; the legs of his pants were beige with several of what looked like buttons on the hem that appeared to attach the legs to the rest of the cloth, which were dark-colored. Roxas's shoes were colored in shades of gray and black, and had red straps in place of laces. Finally, Roxas wore a wristband with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on his left wrist (similar to the one Ventus wears), as well as a plain black ring on his left index finger and a plain white ring on his left middle finger. Tetsuya Nomura has stated that the checkers on Roxas's clothing are meant to symbolize light and darkness.
Roxas, unlike other Nobodies, seems to possess real emotions, due to his possession of Ventus's heart that stayed with him once he and Sora were separated during Roxas' creation. Many ranges of feelings come from him depending on his situation. Being Sora's other half, his personality is similar to that of his counterpart, with some differences. For example, when Riku confirms that Roxas is Sora's Nobody after they meet in Dark City, Roxas's statement, "What are you talking about? I am me! Nobody else!" is nearly identical to Sora's later reactions when the Organization XIII members address him as Roxas.
For example, Roxas is less impulsive than Sora, but far more quick to anger; he is short-tempered, aggressive, blunt and stands his ground, characteristics that had mixed in his fighting style. He can be arrogant, confident, and cocky as proven in his battles, more so when he engages Riku in a fight, proclaiming that he could not beat him no matter how many times he attempted to. When blinded with anger, he lets go of all reason and focuses on venting his anger, as seen when he continually hacks at DiZ's computers and viciously attacks DiZ's hologram. His words have bite, and he isn't afraid to speak his mind. He even expressed some dislike for being compared to Sora early on due to their relation, which DiZ notes with amusement in their encounter. This type of main contrast between the boys is even portrayed in official art, with Roxas almost always having a dark, sort of fierce expression, while Sora's is a bit more loose and mellow.
With a devil-may-care attitude in terms of recklessness, he can be rightfully selfish in certain intervals, but not selfish enough to not, in the end, return back to Sora willingly in understanding. Throughout the game, Roxas is presented as the type to not just let things happen, to twiddle his thumbs and wait when there's something about himself he doesn't comprehend. He constantly rebels against what he's told is his "place" and is a strongly independent individual. On the other hand, Roxas tends to be ironically melancholy and stoic, solemn and distracted, especially as he comes to realize the truth about himself, and at other points when he's confused and lost.
Like Sora, Roxas has little patience for people who seem to be bending his will or trying to confuse him. He doesn't have an extreme lust for life as well, not taking everything in with a bright outlook, but he does wish and desire one of his own with fervor. And despite their differences, the traits he and Sora share are shown in how they deeply care for their friends as they are extremely protective of them, along with some instances where Roxas is happy, cheerful, kind, at ease, and carefree in good company—even shown laughing.
Roxas also seems to be noted as the smarter half of Sora, as he is not as easily fooled by his enemies and is more likely to think his actions through unless angered. This is slightly changed when it came to Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, because unlike his future self that had thorough knowledge of subjects in the fake Twilight Town, Roxas was born with no memories when taken in by the Organization. Hence, he had no information on the simplest topics or objects, making him comparable to a newborn who grows to learn them, and coming off slow and naive due to it, leading a few others, including himself, to refer to him as a "zombie".
This is why Axel fulfills the role of enlightening him about his questions or thoughts, sometimes making Axel himself tongue tied on how to explain them. Roxas's attitude, nonetheless, was very apparent from the start, telling Axel after he accomplished a mission in the beginning that he could have done that blindfolded, and being greatly annoyed when Xigbar calls him "kiddo" or "tiger".
Another difference with Sora is their heroic status. Often times, Roxas shows how he'd rather not have anything to do with the Keyblade, longing to be a normal kid, with a normal life, and normal friends. This is something represented in Hayner, Pence, and Olette throughout the series, as he is shown a number of times watching them in wonder and interest. On the other hand, Sora, despite that he was more or less the same, was spurred on by the goal of finding his friends and took on the responsibility more passively, without much hassle.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Roxas shares his memories and emotions with Sora following DiZ's last instruction by giving Sora his hatred.
Instances of Roxas's emotional capacity are as follows:
- He screams and angrily attacks DiZ when the latter taunts him and continues to strike at the entity after realizing that it was just a digital image.
- He destroys Ansem's computer in the Old Mansion in anger after recovering his memories.
- He happily holds up the Champion Belt after winning the Struggle tournament.
- When he sees Hayner, Pence, and Olette hold up the Crystal Orbs he gave them, he looks sad after realizing he lost his, probably feeling left out.
- Beforehand, he had tried to cheer Hayner up immediately after beating him.
- He respectfully accepts his fate and rejoins with Sora after seeing him despite initial refusal to do so.
- He continues to apologize to Hayner for disappointing the gang.
- When Sora, Donald, and Goofy depart from Twilight Town upon awakening from their year long sleep and after Roxas merged with Sora, a tear drops from Sora's eyes as he bids goodbye to Hayner, Pence, and Olette, indicating that it was Roxas who was crying inside Sora.
- He is truly sad when he hears that there were no survivors from Castle Oblivion, and is then greatly relieved when Axel appears to him alive and well.
- He is overjoyed when Axel returns from his mission at Castle Oblivion and says that he was worried about him.
- He worries about Xion when she goes to sleep.
- He yells in rage at Saïx when he calls Xion a 'creature' or 'it'.
- He yells "Stop!" in a horrified tone of voice when Axel and Xion start fighting.
- He sheds tears after Xion's death.
- When Sora sees Xion in the World That Never Was, he sheds a tear, indicating Roxas was happy to see her again.
Being Sora's Nobody, Roxas holds half of Sora's power with in him. Since Roxas's complete being's heart is made up of two Keyblade wielders' hearts, Roxas can dual-wield Keyblades, Oathkeeper and Oblivion. In battle, he also uses light, becoming a phenomenally dangerous foe. His style and level of power is somewhat like Sora's Final Form. Roxas has shown himself to be a very powerful and strong character. He defeated Saïx before accessing his full power and soundly defeated Axel when he regained his memories and was able to once again access his full power. In addition, Roxas dueled evenly and overwhelmed Riku, even though the latter briefly knocked him out, eventually forcing the latter to use his inner powers of darkness to win the fight.
Roxas has shown enhanced endurance and durability, able to regain consciousness moments after being initially knocked out by Riku.
He can glide at fast speeds, so fast in fact that he leaves behind a lens flare, and control thirteen sword-shaped shields of light energy which can connect to form a laser array. He can levitate his Keyblades in the air and whirl and spin them rapidly, showing a great deal of proficiency and skill with the blades, and can also counter any extended combo with a more powerful one of his own, even creating a ring of damage just by twirling them in a circle.
His special attack involves him floating in the air and shooting his thirteen light shields around the arena, which then light it up in a thick twilight mist as Roxas begins shooting blue spheres of light at his opponent from energy gathered in his hands. He'll often attack rapidly from side-to-side, confusing the opponent, leaving a trail of light behind him. He can also perform the Duel Stance technique where he rushes at his opponent and slashes at them quicker than the blink of an eye, causing intense damage if not repelled; the twist is that Sora can knock him into the air and briefly steal and use Roxas's Keyblades if he does repel the attack. However, when Sora steals Roxas's Keyblades, Roxas resorts to utilizing his light powers to full effect, before moving in to steal his Keyblades back from Sora.
In comparison to Sora, Roxas seems to have a far more aggressive style: he is constantly on the offensive, and abandons any defensive moves he had previously used, such as the Guard technique and magic, in favor of speed and strength. In their mental struggle in the Awakening, he fought on par with and briefly managed to overpower and disarm Sora with simple brute force. It is interesting to note that as well, when not dual-wielding, Roxas uses a fighting style similar to the one Sora used in Kingdom Hearts. Roxas's victory pose in Olympus Coliseum is to swing his Keyblade twice through the air in an X, then swing it to rest on his shoulder. This is extremely similar to Leon's victory pose in the Final Fantasy series as well as one of Sora's victory poses in the Olympus Coliseum in Kingdom Hearts.
Like Xion and Sora, Roxas has balanced, mediocre stats in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas has a Limit break called Event Horizon. During Event Horizon, Roxas rapidly darts around the field with his Keyblade enveloped in light, slashing away at enemies with great strength.
During Roxas's Final Limit, he summons four thin pillars of light to quickly move in straight paths to ends of the field, dealing heavy damage to any enemies in their path.
Dual Wielding Roxas's Limit Break is called Magic Hour. It has two variations: one used in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, and the other used in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix. In the former version, Roxas floats while a multitude of light beams are fired down at random. In the Kingdom Hearts II Final Mixversion, he floats and a spell circle with the Nobody emblem appears below him, then he spins both of his Keyblades while firing a great number of homing light orbs.
Roxas's Limit Breaks both refer to light. The "event horizon" refers to the distance at which light can no longer escape from a black hole; the "magic hour" is a period during the sunset that has extremely favorable conditions for photography.
When in possession of his full power, Roxas dual-wields two Keyblades, Ventus's and Sora's, in the form of the Oathkeeper and the Oblivion (which represent Sora's link to Kairi and Riku, respectively), although originally he could only wield a single Keyblade, which could take different forms through the use of Gears. However, during the short period in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days between his attaining the ability to dual-wield and reaching his full power, he could dual-wield two Kingdom Keys. So far, Roxas is the first character in the series to be able to dual-wield Keyblades.
Roxas controls light and the Samurai Nobodies. Although it would normally be impossible for a Nobody to wield a Keyblade, Roxas can because of Sora's ability to wield a keyblade as well. Of course, as the Heartless use the Keyblades as a homing signal, he is constantly under attack by them when not under the protection of Organization XIII. However, as the Organization's goal is to gather as many hearts as possible by using the Keyblade to extract them from Heartless, this phenomenon is actually a boon for the Organization.
Playing as Roxas
Roxas's first actual gameplay appearance was in Kingdom Hearts II, during the beginning tutorials that took place in the Simulated Twilight Town (the First through Sixth Day). This appearance of Roxas was mainly in a non-combat setting. Again sharing the same aerial and ground combos as Sora, his full strength was accessed when Dual-Wielding in the second battle with Axel. Roxas had no access to spells in this gameplay incarnation, and was limited only to learning the following Abilities naturally:
- Aerial Recovery
Roxas could also be customized in this gameplay incarnation to a lesser degree than in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, his Strength, Magic, or Defense raises very slightly depending on which Struggle weapon the player chooses in the first battle with Seifer. He also would grow in HP and other stats for meeting certain criteria in jobs or by defeating bosses. The main reason for playing as the Nobody in Kingdom Hearts II was to establish a plot and set the abilities and controls for the actual storyline, in which Sora is playable. Though it is incredibly tedious, it is possible to reach level 99 with Roxas while still in the simulated town.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Dual-Wielding Roxas can only be played during the second fight with Axel, though toned down, with Roxas only gaining access to his dual signature blades, wearing his Kingdom Hearts II attire.
Roxas can also Dual-Wield in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, in the last mission of the game, prior to fighting Riku, where he solely wields Oathkeeper. This mission places Roxas at a level of strength far higher than any other arrangement in the game, allowing him to slay the Neoshadow Heartless in a single blow. Roxas can Dual-Wield in Mission Mode if he has the Zero Gear equipped with three Ability Units.
- The scene in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix where Axel bids Roxas goodbye is similar to the one in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days where Xion greeted Roxas on the Clocktower before their battle. In both cases, Roxas is seen cradling himself before being surprised by the appearance of his friends. He is then offered to share one final sea-salt ice cream with them.
- In the original version of Kingdom Hearts II in Japanese, Roxas' voice sounded significantly younger than as of the new cutscenes in the Final Mix version.