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 belong 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.
If you have additional questions, send them here.