Organization XIII Week: Real Somebodies and Serious Nobodies Part III

The members of Organization 13 were not only a set of some of the most villainous characters to be found in the Kingdom Hearts series, but by far some of the most interesting. Being a set of 13 individual “nobodies” each seeking knowledge, power, and hearts in an attempt to become a whole being or, for some, the ultimate being, it was intriguing to watch these Nobodies without hearts blossom into their fake personalities. However, there were some nobodies who were just that–nobodies. And then there were some nobodies who did everything but live up to that title. Starting from 1 to 13, including that 14th unofficial member, I’m going to analyze each Organization member’s relevance not just within the Organization, but within the Kingdom Hearts series as a whole. Also, I’ll explore the odds that we will be seeing their “somebodies” in the future.

Zexion: The Youngest Nobody

Zexion was a fairly interesting and somewhat important character, even if he became just another boss in the scheme of things. His likelihood of returning is probably 50/50.

The 6th Organization member–as well as the youngest–Zexion is intelligent, polite, and the most challenging fight in Riku’s story of Chains of Memories. As one of the original six members, Zexion is very loyal to the Organization. When he found out Marluxia’s plan, he created his own to counteract it.

But despite his strong devotion, he was nothing more than boss filler for Riku to fight. Saix specifically wanted Zexion gone in order to be moved up in rank. Although Saix was second in command, Zexion played the role of mission enforcer for the Organization. He made sure that everyone was doing what they were supposed to do and even served as an encouragement to Roxas to not be lazy and go above and beyond the ordered missions. It’s strange that he would have such a large role in the minds of other Organization members–considering they all seemed to respect him despite his youth–but such a small one in the storyline overall. Zexion never wanted to be involved in any fights and, even with his battle with Riku, tried to avoid the conflict by sending illusions to get rid of Riku instead of facing him head on. Zexion had both the knowledge and the power but he never wanted to combine the two together to be on the same level as Saix, Xaldin, and Marluxia. Maybe his youth was his problem. Teens usually don’t like to do a lot of work, and it didn’t appear that Zexion did a lot of work. Especially since he was sent to watch over the basement of Castle Oblivion, we can further conclude his irrelevance within the series. Maybe we will see him again, but maybe (more than likely) we won’t. Why would we?

Saix: The Heartless Nobody

Saix has a very mysterious past, one that most fans would be eager to learn more about. How exactly did that scar get on his head and was it part of the reason for his fall into darkness?

There is definitely no heart in the Organization’s 7th member. Saix’s cold, emotionless, thoughtless, and manipulative personality gives him the title of the most definitive Nobody, outshining Xemnas himself. He personifies the definition Yen Sid gives us of the Nobodies in Kingdom Hearts 2.

Saix is second in command of the Organization, as all the members of the Organization never question him or his orders, even if they may be suspicious. His strength is unbelievable when he goes absolutely berserk on you. Despite his calm and loyal obedience to the Organization, Saix wants his life back. He and Axel lost their hearts at the same time, and joined the Organization at the same time as well. The two of them yearn for their hearts back–surprisingly, Saix moreso. Even going as far as to create a secret plan to take out Xemnas when the time is right and regain their hearts, they are desperate to be whole. His devotion to this plan, even when Axel is no longer a part of it, can almost make you feel sympathy for him. It did for Sora when he witnessed Saix call out to Kingdom Hearts begging for his heart.

Although we are left to assume exactly how other members were brought into the Organization, there is great mystery between Axel and Saix. Saix is one of the only three Organization members who took power in the darkness, with Xemnas (Xehanort) and Xigbar (Braig) being the others. Due to people falling into darkness prior to becoming Nobodies, it can only be assumed Saix somehow met the same fate. As a young Somebody, Saix (Isa) is seen in Birth by Sleep as a much lighter and carefree individual who is best friends with Lea (Axel). But their desire to enter into the castle in Radiant Garden must have doomed their fates. My belief is that in a way to gain access into the castle Saix allowed himself to be experimented on by Xehanort and the apprentices. The X scar on Saix’s face reveals to us that something serious happened to him–something that occurred after we met him in Birth by Sleep, and which could just might have been an experiment of the apprentices. This may also explain why, above all the original apprentices, Xemnas chose Saix as his second in command. Maybe the darkness was forced onto him through experiments? Saix’s desire to have Vexen and Zexion eliminated in Castle Oblivion could also represent a possible personal vendetta, as these two are the scientific brains in the Organization–the two who likely performed most of the group’s experiments. From what we’ve seen of him, Saix shows a visible distaste for Vexen’s experiments and Axel tells Saix particularly how he took out Zexion. Saix’s obvious link to Xemnas, the original apprentices, and Axel almost guarantees he will make a scary and emotional return in future Kingdom Hearts games. Hopefully, then, he will be able to regain his heart and his friendship with Axel (Lea).

Axel: Got it memorized?

You bet we do! The Organization’s do-boy with the catchy phrase, Axel is the most infamous member of the bunch. Even Tetsuya Nomura has noted that he is one of his favorite characters within the entire Kingdom Hearts series (a fabulous recreation of my favorite Turk, Reno). His cool, laid back and yet deceptive attitude is appealing–and confusing. However, it is his longing to get back his valued friendship with Roxas that makes us all not only fall in love with Axel, but really feel bad for him. And we feel even worse once we realize that his true best friend was none other than the ice-cold Saix. Both of them accused the other of changing, but both of them acknowledged within the secret reports in 358/2 Days that they wished they could reconnect and be friends again. Nonetheless, Axel is the most influential nobody there is, as he acted so much like a Somebody to the point that he felt he was at times.

Axel was both a popular and relevant character of the Organization. That combined with Nomura’s favoritism almost guarantees his return to the series in the future. Everybody wins!

Axel was one of the most intriguing and mysterious characters of the series. We didn’t understand his motives in Chain of Memories or in Kingdom Hearts 2, to be honest, with the Organization members themselves oftentimes wondering what was going on with him. It was in 358/2 Days that we finally began to understand what was driving his behavior to a certain degree. I believe none of the Nobodies wanted their hearts back more than Saix and Axel, as they had secretly plotted against Xemnas to guarantee they received hearts. However, Axel had questioned if Roxas had a heart already and mentioned that Sora’s Nobody made him feel like he had one. If Axel and Saix’s ultimate mission was to regain their hearts then it is easy to understand why Axel had managed to lose sight of what they were doing when Roxas made him feel like he had what he was truly missing. Whereas Saix was always aware of the fact that he no long had a heart and never bothered with pretending otherwise, Axel became content with his life as a Nobody with Roxas around to make him feel whole. Unlike Axel, Saix wanted more than an illusion of completeness.

Also, Axel never wishes to talk about his life before becoming a Nobody at all when asked, even though he asks Roxas and Xion on more than one occasion if they remember their pasts. Maybe he wants to forget a lot of things, and his life as a Nobody with a new friend was more pleasant. There is no doubt we will see Axel again, especially if we see Saix again. Saix may be one of the seeds that Xehanort planted at some point in time since he has clearly fallen to the darkness, and he will need his childhood friend to bring him back. Also, in a written novel about Kingdom Hearts 2, Namine said that Axel was not killed, but rather faded into the darkness in search of his heart, so we may very well get to see Axel as a Nobody again. Tetsuya has also mentioned that Axel’s Somebody may end up making an appearance within later installments if his Heartless was defeated, which he also noted could have indeed happened. It seems that he really wants this character to return, and let’s be honest–we do too!

That’s all for this week’s half of the Organization special! Check back in Monday, June 27th for part IV and, more importantly–leave a comment!

A normal resident on the KHU forums, Cloudy is a big fan of Final Fantasy 7 and its related games. Incidentally, she and her identical twin sister are both authors of this article and spend quite a bit of time discussing the intricacies of Kingdom Hearts (perhaps being twins helps them relate to Roxas and Ventus a little deeper). With the bubble of ideas Cloudy and her sister has, readers can expect to see more of their work in the future.