|~ Ansem (Xehanort) calling for the Guardian to protect him.|
|“||One day... I... will... set... this... right... One day... I will set... this right... I will return to this land... and protect... my friends!||„|
|~ The Guardian declares its intent to protect Aqua and Ven|
Xehanort's Guardian, also known as the Dark Figure or the One Behind in Japanese, is a container for Terra's heart and a major antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series. It is a dark entity that greatly resembles a Pureblood Heartless, and appears as a boss in several Kingdom Hearts games, mostly during the boss battles with Terra-Xehanort and his Heartless, Ansem.
As a vessel of Terra's heart, it is voiced by Ryotaro Okiyaku in Japanese and by Jason Dohring in English.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Having lost his first battle against Aqua, Terra-Xehanort's rage causes the Guardian to emerge from Terra-Xehanort's shadow. The dark entity then teams up with Terra-Xehanort to challenge Aqua in a final battle. Upon Terra-Xehanort's second defeat by Aqua's hand, Master Xehanort attempted to force what remains of Terra out of him by unlocking his heart. However, the Guardian reappears but was beginning to fade. With it's last strength, the Guardian opened a portal into the Realm of Darkness, which it and a severely weakened Terra-Xehanort fell into. Aqua proceeded to dive in the Realm and sacrifices both her armor and Keyblade to save Terra's body.
After conversing with Sora over the true nature of the heart, Ansem proceeds to summon the Guardian, preparing to battle Sora due to the Keybearer's naïvety. The Guardian later appears alongside Ansem during his second battle with Sora. The Guardian then proceeded to transform and increase in size, to become part of the World of Chaos. The Guardian, along with the rest of the World of Chaos, were destroyed after Sora and his friends defeated them in their final battle.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
After Riku emerges from the twelfth basement of Castle Oblivion, Ansem appears in front of him and attempts to retake his body. However, Riku chooses to fight rather than submit to the darkness. Enraged, Ansem summoned the Guardian to fight alongside him, and processes to attack Riku. Riku was able to defeat both Ansem and the Guardian, and Ansem disappeared.
Later, Riku reached the first basement of Castle Oblivion and uses Naminé's Castle Oblivion World Card to bring forth Ansem. Ansem creates around them a facsimile of Kingdom Hearts itself, and summons the guardian again to attack Riku. The Guardian attempts to crush Riku with a swing of its fist, but Riku was able to defeat both Ansem and his guardian, and he emerges from the battles having conquered his inner darkness.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Realizing his loss to Roxas was inevitable, Riku unleashes Ansem's darkness that he had been holding back from within his heart. Riku, now known as Riku-Ansem, summoned the Guardian, and used it to grab Roxas by the shoulders and squeeze him to the point of unconsciousness. This allows Riku-Ansem to take Roxas to Ansem the Wise, under the alias of DiZ, as he was assigned, the only downside being the fact that Riku is now stuck in the form of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
In the sleeping version of The World that Never Was, Ansem appears in front of Riku. Ansem attempted to persuade Riku, again, to open himself to Darkness and allow his possession. However, Riku chooses to fight and vanquish his inner Darkness, causing Ansem to surround them in Darkness and summon the Guardian. After a first battle, Ansem allows the guardian to take control, growing larger and transforming into a greater threat. Despite the Guardian's new power, Riku defeats the Guardian again.
Later in the real world, when Riku was attempting to rescue Sora, Ansem summons his Guardian to prevent Riku, King Mickey, and Lea (Axel's Somebody form) from rescuing Sora from Master Xehanort. The Guardian managed to grab both Mickey and Riku to prevent them from escaping, but the Guardian was quickly defeated when both Donald and Goofy accidentally fell on the Guardian's head after warping in with the Star Shard.
Kingdom Hearts III
Xehanort's Guardian once again assists Ansem. At the Dark Margin, the guardian helps Ansem fend off Aqua and corrupt her with darkness. It also aids him in fending off Vexen's Nobodies and Hayner in Twilight Town.
At the Keyblade Graveyard, the Guardian assists Terra-Xehanort in fighting Sora, Aqua, and Ventus. However, just as Terra-Xehanort uses Terra's bonds to nearly kill Aqua and Ven, the Guardian rescues them. Ripping off the bandages in front of its mouth, it begins to speak in Terra's voice, declaring his intent to protect his friends. At this, Sora uses the power of the Keyblade to expel Xehanort's influence over Terra's body, allowing Terra's heart to regain his body and ending the Guardian once and for all.
Powers and abilities
The Guardian is a powerful entity/Heartless. It possesses great physical strength, and is near invulnerable. It also can generate the powers of darkness in various ways, including creating shockwaves of dark energy, a ramming attack with a dark aura surrounding it, and other abilities. The Guardian also can latch onto its enemies, and feed on their life energy.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D, after its defeat, the Guardian reaches out to Riku in a similar manner to how Terra summons his Keyblade, foreshadowing that it has Terra's heart.
- Since its reveal as the container for Terra's heart, a fan theory has been circulating that when the Dark Figure opened the portal to the Realm of Darkness, it was following Terra's will to protect his friends from Xehanort.