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If you remain bound by the chain of memories and refuse to believe what is truly found inside your heart... then throw it away. You are not a Keyblade master—just a slave to twisted memories. Yes... Exactly like my Riku. Your existence is worth nothing!
~ Vexen
I'm a scientist. Experiments are what I do, yes.
~ Vexen
No... Please don't! I don't want to—
~ Vexen's last words before Axel incinerates him

Vexen, the Chilly Academic (いてつく学究, Itetsuku Gakkyū?, lit. Freezing Scholar), is a major antagonist-turned-anti-hero in the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise.

Vexen is the fourth member of Organization XIII wields a shield and ice powers and is the creator of both the Riku Replica and Xion. Originally planning on using Riku's power of darkness to eliminate the traitorous Marluxia, he later attempts to confront Sora with the Riku Replica before engaging Sora himself. Despite being recompleted he willingly opted to become a nobody again as a reserve member of Real Organization XIII after being approached by Saïx to continue his research the two would ultimately work together to atone for their past misdeeds


Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Vexen was originally Even, one of Ansem the Wise's apprentices along with Braig, Dilan, Ienzo, and Aeleus.

When Ventus arrives at Hollow Bastion, he is accosted by Dilan and Aeleus, but the Trinity Armor's arrival forces Ven to leave. As Dilan and Aeleus attempt to follow the young Keyblade wielder, Even arrives and muses on what would become of the castle. Aeleus realizes that Even is right, but as they return to the castle, Even notes that Ven's heart is devoid of darkness.

Sometime later, Even, who is looking for Ienzo, encounters Ven, who had rescued Ienzo from a swarm of Unversed. Grateful of Ienzo's rescue, Even explains Ienzo's story to Ven and directs the Keyblade wielder to the Outer Gardens to find Terra.

Between Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

Sometime after Aqua's defeat of Terra-Xehanort, Xehanort is inducted into Ansem's ranks and becomes Ansem's favorite pupil. However, Xehanort wanted to delve deeper into the mysteries of the heart and darkness and convinced Even and the others to aid him. Their research eventually caused them to banish Ansem to the Realm of Darkness. At some point, Even's heart was consumed by darkness, giving birth to Vexen.

Years later, after Marluxia's induction, Vexen confronted Zexion and demanded to know where Xemnas was. Zexion simply informed Vexen that Xemnas was at the Chamber of Repose, causing Vexen to storm away while pondering why Xemnas was always hiding.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Vexen plays a relatively minor role in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, but it should be noted that this role plays a major contribution to the game's central plot. Advisor and leader of the Castle Oblivion-based Replica Program that created Xion, he was present when the Sora replica joined Organization XIII. Vexen then was assigned on Day 12 to teach Roxas the art of reconnaissance in Twilight Town, and was later getting sent away to Castle Oblivion, where he used his Replica Program to create the Riku Replica in order to challenge Sora.

The Chilly Academic was later exterminated by Axel at the Castle, for the purpose of raising Saïx through the ranks. All Vexen had left behind after his demise was knowledge, Axel later discovering a document he had composed about Naminé in the Castle That Never Was's library. This Nobody's only other mention in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was when Xemnas revealed the truth about Xion before the surviving members of Organization XIII in Where Nothing Gathers.

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories

In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Vexen appeared as an antagonist in both Sora's and Riku's storylines. He assists Lexaeus and Zexion in their efforts to stop Marluxia (whom Vexen loathed) and Larxene (whom he's not too fond of either) from overthrowing the Organization (Axel, the other Organization member residing in the castle, is deemed too unpredictable to be anything other than a liability). To do this, Vexen and his cohorts intend to use Riku's darkness to counteract Sora's light.

Vexen engages Riku in a cautious battle and uses the data he obtained from the fight to create a copy of Riku. The replica is completely aware of his status as a fake, but unlike Riku, is not afraid to use the darkness. However, even with darkness on his side, the replica fails to defeat Riku.

Even with the failure, Vexen has other plans for the replica, and goes to Marluxia and Larxene. He offers the replica to test Sora, though first he would have to have his memories changed around. They then have Naminé manipulate the replica's memories until he thinks he is the real Riku. He also believes that he made a promise to Naminé like Sora had, and because of this conflict, the replica confronts Sora multiple times, saying that Naminé no longer needs Sora.

However, the replica soon spirals out of control, and Marluxia deems Vexen's experiment a failure. Vexen is insulted, saying that a neophyte like Marluxia has no right to speak to an elder like Vexen. However, Marluxia makes the threat of reporting Vexen's failure to "the Superior", and Vexen's fear of the Superior's power overrides his previous elitist attitude. Now with Vexen under his grip, Marluxia orders Vexen to eliminate Sora, much to his surprise.

Vexen then confronts Sora, saying that Sora is in debt to him for reuniting him with Riku. Sora is angered, and the two battle. However, as they fight, Vexen delves deep into Sora's heart, and creates a world card forged from the memories on the other side of his heart. Vexen tells Sora that if he wants to truly defeat him, then he must enter that world.

Meanwhile, Marluxia, Larxene, and Axel note that Vexen is jeopardizing their plans, for if Sora discovers the other side of his heart, then he will no longer be of any use to them. They then decide to have Axel eliminate Vexen before permanent damage can be done.

Sora discovers that the new world is Twilight Town, which is strange because Sora has only visited places in his memories, and he has no memories of Twilight Town. Even so, Sora feels a sense of familiarity from this place. He explores the town until he arrives at the gates of a mansion. Vexen makes his appearance there, asking Sora if the familiarity of this place or his memories of Naminé is true. Sora doesn't understand what he means, and Vexen sees that he is but a slave of his memories, just like "his Riku". Sora is again angered, and battles Vexen one more time.

Vexen loses again, and seeing that Sora is too dangerous, plans to tell him of Marluxia's plot and, by extension, Roxas's existence. Before he can fully explain, however, he is struck by Axel, who embeds a Chakram into Vexen's body. Vexen begs to be spared, but Axel tells him he can be "nothing instead of just being a Nobody" and snaps his fingers, detonating the Chakram and incinerating Vexen, making him the first member of Organization XIII to die.

Ultimately he and later Larxene, Lexaeus, Marluxia and Zexion all turned out to be pawns that fell victim to Axel's plot of raising Saïx through the ranks of the Organization.

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

Vexen's spirit returns as an Absent Silhouette in Agrabah after Sora examines the Peddler's revived shop. If Sora investigates the Silhouette, Vexen challenges the Keyblade wielder to a rematch, but is eventually slain. Sora can also challenge a data replica of Vexen in the Garden of Assemblage.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Even is resurrected following the destruction of his Heartless and Vexen. Though conscious again, Even is unstable, so Aeleus has him rest.

Kingdom Hearts III

Following his revival, Even wanders around Radiant Garden, regretful of his actions as Vexen. When Saïx arrives and recruits him to finish his work on the Replica Program, Even seizes the chance to atone for his actions and becomes Vexen once more. Under Master Xehanort's orders, Vexen refines his past replicas to be vessels to the past versions of Xehanort, as well as other time-traveling vessels. However, he is quickly benched and deemed a reserve member.  Following Xehanort's failure to turn Sora into the thirteenth vessel, Vexen also creates another replica for Xion and for those who truly need them. In the Caribbean, Vexen assists Luxord in researching how Davy Jones retains his existence despite lacking a heart. Upon seeing the Dead Man's Chest and finding out that Jones's heart is the physical organ, Vexen takes his leave.

However, Vexen later saves Ansem the Wise from Xehanort's Heartless with the help of Hayner, Pence and Olette and reveals his desire to atone. Later, he recruits Demyx (who has also been benched) to help him in his plans by offering him a chance to redeem himself for his past misdeeds by delivering a replica body and escorting Ansem the Wise to Ienzo in Hollow Bastion, giving them a vessel to place Roxas's heart in.

Following Master Xehanort's defeat, Even regains his humanity and assists Ansem the Wise and Ienzo in restoring Naminé, with Sora and Kairi providing Naminé's heart.


An ungainly effort. How could you be humbled by someone of such limited significance? You shame the Organization
~ Vexen mocking Larxene.
Disappoint YOU? You go too far! In this Organization, you're No. 11! I'm No. 4 and I will not have you--
~ Vexen to Marluxia after the latter threatens to tell Xemnas about his failure.
I see no need to give you information about where Riku is. After all—Why trouble you in your final hour?
~ Vexen before fighting Sora.
Just put him back? The Riku you speak of...has but one fate, to sink into the darkness—and you will share that fate, Sora! If you continue to seek the girl, Naminé, the shackles will tighten, you'll lose your heart... and end up becoming Marluxia's pawn!
~ Vexen warning Sora about Marluxia's plot against him in order to sabotage the traitor
Don't be absurd. The witch is gone. She cannot return from the realm of darkness of her own volition.
~ Vexen disagreeing with Zexion's findings.
Always so shortsighted. Why would the Organization seek me out just as soon as I was recompleted—if not to affirm my intellectual prowess and invest in my research? Every stride I make is a stride for all of us.
~ Vexen talking to Luxord.
It's true. The whole thing was his idea. He wants to atone too. But, he is one of the chosen, so his hands are tied. Hence my actions on his behalf, hence my need for you to act on my behalf should all go awry. As you said, we are far from friends. No one would ever suspect you.
~ Vexen convincing Demyx to help him and tellimg him Saïx is also involved in their plot.



  • In the Japanese version, Vexen is voiced by the late Nachi Nozawa in Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and Birth by Sleep and by Shigeru Chiba (who also voiced Buggy the Clown in One Piece and Raditz and Garlic Jr. in the Dragon Ball series) in Kingdom Hearts III. In the English dub, he is voiced by Derek Stephen Prince.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Vexen was stabbed from behind by Axel and then struck down with another blow from his Chakrams. In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Axel throws a flaming Chakram, snaps his fingers, and a large burst of fire sets him ablaze. Lexaeus' and Zexion's death scenes were altered as well.
  • In Where Nothing Gathers, the room hosting the Organization's thrones, Vexen has the lowest of all thirteen seats.
  • Vexen's first Japanese voice actor, the late Nachi Nozawa, also voiced Professor Hojo of Final Fantasy VII, another scientist character who worked on creating people. His second Japanese voice actor, Shigeru Chiba, would go on to voice Hojo in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • Vexen is one of five Organization members who are shown suffering the wounds that kill them rather than just fading into darkness outright. In this case, he was impaled through the torso with a Chakram and then immolated by Axel.
  • Vexen's Limit Break from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and a Sleight in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is called Diamond Dust, named after the attack Shiva (a summon from the Final Fantasy series) performs. The name is also shared with a Command Style from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, one of Sora's Keychains from Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, and a variety of Heartless from Kingdom Hearts Union χ.
  • Three of Vexen's weapons are named after glacial periods.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Larxene mockingly called Vexen "Vexie." This, however, was changed in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories. A similar case occurred with Zexion.
  • It is incredibly ironic that Vexen's Absent Silhouette is located in Agrabah because not only is he ice-elemental, which goes against Agrabah's hot environment, but he was himself slain by a pyrokinetic.

See Also


           KH.png Villains

Real Organization XIII
Master Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Terra-Xehanort | Ansem, Seeker of Darkness (manga) | Xemnas | Vanitas | Xigbar | Vexen | Saïx | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Dark Riku

Organization XIII
Xemnas | Xigbar | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx | Axel | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Roxas | Xion

Council of Disney Villains
Maleficent | Pete | Jafar | Hades | Ursula | Oogie Boogie | Captain Hook | Hector Barbossa | Scar | Riku

Other Disney Villains
Anastasia Tremaine | Beagle Boys | Beast | Black Guards | Bo'sun | Card Soldiers | Cave of Wonders | Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Cy-Bugs | Davy Jones | Diablo | Drizella Tremaine | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Judge Claude Frollo | Julius | Kraken | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock and Barrel | Lord Cutler Beckett | Lucifer | Magic Mirror | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Mother Gothel | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Pain & Panic | Prince Hans | Queen Grimhilde | Queen of Hearts | Randall Boggs | Razoul | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sour Bill | Tick Tock | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros & Stratos) | Turbo | Zeus

Anti-Sora | Antlion | Arch Behemoth | Behemoth | Blizzard Lord & Volcanic Lord | Crimson Prankster | Dark Follower | Dark Hide | Dark Inferno | Dark Thorn | Darkside | Demon Tide | Demon Tower | Destroyed Behemoth | Dustflier | Enraged Elk | Grim Guardianess | Grim Reaper | Groundshaker | Guard Armor | Illuminator | Infernal Engine | King of Toys | Kurt Zisa | Leechgrave | Lich | Opposite Armor | Parasite Cage | Phantom | Possessor | Pot Centipede | Pot Scorpion | Prison Keeper | Red Armor | Ruler of the Sky | Shadow Sora | Shadow Stalker | Sköll | Sneak Army | Sora's Heartless | Stealth Sneak | Storm Rider | Thresholder | Trickmaster | World of Chaos

Specter | Twilight Thorn

Belly Balloon | Cursed Coach | Element Cluster | Flame Box | Gluttonous Goo | Iron Imprisoner | Lump of Horror | Mad Treant | Metamorphosis | Mimic Master | Symphony Master | Trinity Armor | Vanitas Remnant | Vitality Vial | Wheel Master

Dream Eaters
Anti Black Coat | Armored Ventus Nightmare | Char Clawbster | Chill Clawbster | Commantis | Hockomonkey | Holey Moley | Nightmare Chirithy | Spellican | Wargoyle | Queen Buzzerfly | Brawlamari

Aced | Braig | Darkness | The Experiment | Fuu | Hostile Program | Ice Colossus | Anti-Aqua | No Heart | Phantom Aqua | Master of Masters | Rai | Replica Xehanort | Riku Replica | Seifer Almasy | Sephiroth | Xehanort's Guardian

            PiratesCaribbeanLogo.png Villains

Black Pearl
Crew of the Black Pearl (Hector Barbossa, Bo'sun, Scratch, Pintel & Ragetti)

Flying Dutchman
Crew of the Flying Dutchman (Davy Jones, Maccus & Kraken)

Kingdom of Great Britain
East India Trading Company (King George ll, Lord Cutler Beckett & Mr. Mercer) | Scarfield

Queen Anne's Revenge
Edward Teach/Blackbeard | Angelica Teach

Kingdom of Spain
King Ferdinand VI | The Spaniard | Crew of the Silent Mary (Armando Salazar & Lesaro)

Jolly Roger | Pirates of Tortuga | Mermaids of Isla Sirena | Auctioneer | Luxord | Vexen