|“||Your abyss awaits.||„|
|~ Young Xehanort to Riku.|
|“||I am Xehanort from the most distant past. My future self gave me a task— to visit the splintered versions of myself in many worlds, and ensure they gathered here today.||„|
|~ Young Xehanort revealing his true identity.|
Young Xehanort (also known as the Unknown and the Mysterious Figure) is a mysterious character, the identity of whom is actually Master Xehanort (albeit at a younger age). He first appeared in the North American, PAL, and Final Mix versions of Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, in which he is fought as a super-boss and is the main antagonist in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and one of the secondary antagonists in Kingdom Hearts III.
He is the original Xehanort and was given the power to travel through and manipulate time itself, to help Master Xehanort accomplish his goal of containing his essence in thirteen different vessels.
He is voiced by Ben Diskin, who also voiced Sig from Puyo Puyo, Nooroo.
Before Birth by Sleep
Xehanort lived on the Destiny Islands until his future Heartless, Ansem, time traveled back in time to meet him. Ansem gave him the power to control time and sent him to gather all of his incarnations.
Birth by Sleep
At an unknown point before Dream Drop Distance, Young Xehanort travels to the Land of Departure after his future self had destroyed it and confronts Terra, Ventus, and Aqua separately. After an arduous battle, he disappears without a trace.
Young Xehanort travels to Radiant Garden, where he converses with a newly revived Braig about Master Xehanort's plans. During the conversation, Young Xehanort recalls the legends of Keyblade inheritance and notes the importance of his future self's Keyblade. Braig, knowing that the weapon is tied to the Keyblade War, decides to proceed with his own plans.
Dream Drop Distance
Young Xehanort travels to the present and has several interactions with Sora and Riku. His purpose during this time is to monitor Sora and ensure he follows a path where he can be controlled. After Sora's battle with Xemnas, Young Xehanort appears and explains that Sora's heart has already begun to sink into the darkness and his own origins, ending with stating that since Sora's first encounter with Ansem during the original Kingdom Hearts everything that had happened was unavoidable.
Young Xehanort later appears before Riku when the latter attempts to retrieve Sora. Mickey then appears and uses a Stopza spell to freeze him, however he gets possessed by his elderly self and fights Riku. After their battle Master Xehanort appears and explains the machinations of his plans. After failing to possess Sora, the real Organization XIII's members, including Young Xehanort, return to their original timelines.
Kingdom Hearts III
Young Xehanort returns in Kingdom Hearts III. He first appears in the Toy Box world where he spilts the world into two with Andy and some of the toys (Jessie, Bullseye, Slinky and the Potato Heads) in the real one and Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Rex, the green aliens and the green soldiers in the version that the heroes visit. He does this to learn about the relationship between hearts and bonds. The heroes with the toys track him down at Galaxy Toys where he admits the fraudulent nature of this world to the heroes before leaving them with some Heartless possessed toys within the store for the heroes to battle. He later appears when the heroes go to find Rex in the video game department where he sends Sora into the world of the video game Verum Rex (of which the toys believe he, Donald and Goofy are figures from) while taking a possessed Buzz into a Dark Corridor after a failed attempt at him shooting Woody. Sora finds a way out of that world and on a suggestion from Sarge, goes to the Kid Korral to find the Dark Corridor. Upon arrival, the heroes confront Young Xehanort with Woody telling Young Xehanort that he knows nothing about friendship and ponders that no one has ever loved him before. The group then dispel the darkness of isolation that surrounds Buzz through light of friendship, in which Young Xehanort learns that empty vessels can truly grow hearts. Upon seeing Buzz being freed and left to contemplate what has happened and he's been told, he leaves the heroes with a parting gift in the form of a big King of Toys Heartless for the heroes to battle, but not before whispering to Sora to find the hearts connected to him.
Young Xehanort later appears at the Keyblade Graveyard to confront the Guardians of Light. After Sora uses the power of waking to save his friends from the Lich, Young Xehanort warns him that misusing the power will doom him. During the clashes between darkness and light, Young Xehanort joins his future Heartless and Nobody in fighting Sora, Riku, and Mickey. Though he is defeated, Young Xehanort spitefully declares that Sora is doomed before returning to his timeline. However, while he lost his memories of his experiences in the future, they engraved themselves upon his heart. His last words to Sora ultimately ring true, as Sora eventually fades away as a consequence of using the power of waking to save the slain Kairi whom was killed none other than his elderly self.
As a high-ranking villain, Young Xehanort is fought as a boss character in both his appearances to date. He is an optional "super-boss" in Birth By Sleep and the penultimate boss in Dream Drop Distance. His battles are notorious for being very difficult and confusing.
In Birth by Sleep, Young Xehanort (known as the Mysterious Figure in that game) is notorious as by far the hardest boss in the series. Here, he is fast, unpredictable, and utterly relentless in his attack patterns. Worst of all, all of his attacks can instantly kill the player in just one hit. Equipping Once More and Second Chance can prevent this, but their impact is minimal; a single hit will still knock the player to 1 HP, and even then, he never stops attacking. Even if the player manages to come up with a strategy, winning this fight requires incredible luck, skills, or both. Young Xehanort is, in fact, so hard that he was slightly nerfed in later versions of the game.
In Dream Drop Distance, Young Xehanort is much easier, but still a tough cookie. Under his elderly self's influence, Young Xehanort wields a Keyblade and can use it to perform dangerous combos that can inflict Slow on Riku. When his health is almost at zero, he puts himself in a ticking clock, which Riku must quickly perform a Reality Shift on lest Young Xehanort rewind time back to the start of the fight (though he has a third of his health when he resets). When the Reality Shift is executed, Young Xehanort remains in the clock while clones of himself bombard Riku. Waiting too long to finish off Young Xehanort will result in the fight rewinding back to the start. However, when the Reality Shift is executed once more, the clock's health is how it was when Young Xehanort rewound the fight.
In Kingdom Hearts III , Young Xehanort confronts Sora, Riku and Mickey one last time in the Keyblade Graveyard along with Xemnas and Ansem being the last Organization members Sora takes on before settling the score with his elderly self.
|“||You just make it too easy. I know you think you've won, but you lost the moment you dived this far in. You're in the deepest pit of slumber, and you've worn yourself down to nothing. There's no returning to the world above. We told you. It was not the Sleeping Keyholes that guided you. They are not the reason you are here. You've been on a path, one we laid out for you. That sigil on your chest is the proof. See? That sigil, the X, it tells us where you are at all times. You have wondered aloud before— why we kept showing up where you were? It's because we need you, Sora. Or, to be more precise, we need what will be left of you - the thirteenth dark vessel. Why was it assured you would come here today? Because I followed my destined path, and I'm here looking at you right now. You can move through time, but time itself is immovable. Today, all of my selves throughout time were meant to gather here, and to welcome you, Sora, as our thirteenth member. These facts cannot be changed. I have now told you all that I know. We are all here, and what the future holds in store is beyond my sight. I will return to my own time, and grow into the man who becomes all these others. While I know this future now that I have lived it, returning to my own time will erase the memories and experiences I have gained here. Still, my appointed path is now etched in my heart, which will first lead me to seek the outside world. Your heart will sleep forever in the folds of darkness. And your body will be another vessel for me. So light gives way to darkness. Good night, Sora.||„|
|~ Young Xehanort explaining to Sora more of what he knows.|
|“||Hehehe hahaha. I told you. There's a high price to pay for all of this. I'll go back to my time, and live out my life. But Sora, you're done now. Your journey ends here. Good-bye, Sora. Your time... in this world is-||„|
|~ Young Xehanort spitefully cursing Sora one last time before going back to his timeline.|
- Young Xehanort is voiced by Takanori Okuda in Japanese and Ben Diskin in English from Dream Drop Distance onwards. In Birth by Sleep, Young Xehanort is voiced by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and David Gallagher in English, both of whom also voiced Riku.
- In Birth by Sleep, Young Xehanort's model is actually borrowed from Saïx's hooded model.
- Despite being a younger version of Master Xehanort and the driving force behind the completion of the real Organization XIII, Young Xehanort is only Rank XII in the new Organization.
- Young Xehanort's point in Master Xehanort's history varies between games. In Dream Drop Distance, he comes from the time before he became a Keyblade wielder, and can only wield the Keyblade under his elderly self's influence. In Kingdom Hearts III, he instead comes from during his training as a Keyblade wielder and can wield the Keyblade on his own. This is supported by flashbacks showing an even younger Xehanort during his training, showing that Young Xehanort is older that the Xehanort seen in flashbacks.