Kingdom Hearts Explained: Part One

358/2 Days

Shortly before the Chain of Memories events, a boy named Roxas joins Organization XIII. He soon finds that he is the only member able to wield a keyblade. Xemnas, the leader of the organization, continually sends Roxas on missions to defeat Heartless and collect hearts for them. Roxas does so with Axel, who soon become good friends.

Eventually, Roxas and Axel run into another keyblade user named Xion, who is recruited into the organization as well. Soon, they go on enough missions together and they become good friends too. Ruining the fun, Axel is called away to Castle Oblivion to deal with the coup there and Roxas is left alone with Xion. She disappears and Roxas is all alone. Soon after, Roxas falls into a deep sleep. He wakes to find Axel back at his side. They continue to go on missions together and run into Xion again, who is acting strangely. She tells Roxas that they are a part of Sora, his identity a mystery to Roxas. Xion challenges Roxas and she is defeated. She disappears, erased from everyone’s memories.

The third trio of our main story: (from left to right) Axel, Roxas, and Xion

Angered by the Organization’s manipulation, Roxas decides to go on his own mission to discover why he is able to wield a keyblade. He finds a mysterious tall man, who we learn is Riku. Riku challenges Roxas, telling him he is not supposed to exist. This angers Roxas and they fight. Riku defeats Roxas and takes him to a man he is working with named DiZ. 358/2 Days ends here.

Throughout the stories, we see a constant theme of three friends and how the power of friendship alone can overcome impossible obstacles. In Birth by Sleep, we have Terra, Aqua, and Ventus. In Kingdom Hearts, we have Sora, Riku, and Kairi. And finally, in 358/2 Days, we see Roxas, Axel, and Xion. These 9 friends stay together through thick and thin, not allowing any bad circumstances to get between them, despite some of them being literally erased from everyone’s memories. With ends being left loose and plot lines unfinished, I’m itching to see the stories of these nine friends come to a conclusion. For the rest of the story so far, check out Kingdom Hearts Explained: Part Two, coming soon.

John Campbell

Based in San Diego, California, John enjoys working, writing, eating with friends and family, and gaming - both board games and video games. After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Humanities, he currently works in IT, but hopes to one day become a full time college professor and writer. His recent favorite games include Persona 5 and NieR: Automata.


  1. Victoria Bell on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t know if you added this to any other pages in the article, but you forgot about Kingdom Hearts Union X/Kingdom Hearts Unchained X. It is actually the first game in the Kingdom Hearts timeline, since it takes place before the events of Kingdom Hearts, and that includes Birth by Sleep.

    • John Campbell on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      While it is the first game in the series, Kingdom Hearts Unchained is not a console game or a major entry. I planned on touching on it briefly in my next article. But as far as the timeline is concerned, you’re correct, it absolutely does come before Birth by Sleep.

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