Four years before the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Ventus served as Master Xehanort's apprentice. The Keyblade wielder was sent to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he was forced by his master to face several Heartless in an attempt to forge the Χ-blade . Ventus was unable to use his darkness, and was knocked unconscious.Master Xehanort then proceeded to use his Keyblade to unlock Ventus's heart, extracting the darkness within and resulting in an orb of dark energy forming into a young boy in a mask who is then given the name "Vanitas" by Master Xehanort. The dark enigma is also the source of the Unversed, as well as a key component in Master Xehanort's plans.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep NovelsEdit
In the novels, Vanitas's life between his creation and the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is expanded upon. At first, Vanitas was a faceless being much like a Heartless but with red eyes, that felt sad for his separation from Ventus. However, that sadness soon turned to hate and contempt for what he considered his weakness. In a way, Vanitas hated himself for being so weak.
Vanitas was well aware of his existence, and soon started questioning why he was born, and every time he felt something, an Unversed would come to be. This caused him to be irritated by the fact that such a monster was born from him, so he destroyed the Unversed with his Keyblade without any hesitation; but every time he destroyed an Unversed, he himself would feel strong physical pain running through his body, and after the Unversed was destroyed, the pain and negative feeling would return to Vanitas's mind, which added more to the irritation he was feeling and in turn another Unversed of "irritation" would be born from him.
When a newborn's heart came in contact with Ventus's fractured heart, he also directly contacted Vanitas's heart. After feeling a sharp pain in his chest, Vanitas's body fell to the ground of the wasteland near the Keyblade Graveyard and almost lost his consciousness, feeling being engulfed by absolute Darkness. That was when Vanitas heard Sora's voice and then he saw Light.The Light eventually surrounded his whole body. He then heard a voice saying, "Let's open the door". Vanitas then opened his eyes and found out that now he had a normal boy's face. He also realized that someone, probably also a newborn heart like himself, had saved Ventus's heart from completely fading away.
Because Vanitas told Master Xehanort that if he kept both him and Ventus, he couldn't guarantee that he could keep Ventus alive, since he found it was hard to suppress his impulse to hurt Ventus, Xehanort had to take Ventus to the Land of Departure, asking Eraqus to take care of the boy. But after Ventus left, Vanitas started to miss him, and he kept wondering why they got separated from each other. This caused him to feel miserable and immense pain.
At the same time, he also felt very lost and anxious about his future; without Ventus, what would become of him? What was he supposed to do? What was the meaning of his existence? Why did he feel so suffocated in his chest? The more he thought about these questions, the more anxious, irritated, and lonely he felt. And the more he felt that, the more Unversed were created. Looking at the Unversed was like looking at his own weakness that he did not want to admit, so he started to kill them in a cycle of suffering that he could not escape.
At the same time, Master Xehanort could only coldly watch Vanitas harming himself from far away. Vanitas desperately wanted to escape from this vicious cycle of pain and suffering. But as young as he was at that time, he simply didn't know any other ways other than killing the Unversed. Until the point the pain was too much to endure, he finally collapsed onto the ground of Keyblade Graveyard, and cried. Tears started running down his face silently as he lay on the ground, alone. Master Xehanort came to him, telling him the only way for him to achieve salvation was to become the χ-blade.
Becoming the χ-blade was the only way for him to truly unite with Ventus again, and the χ-blade would bring the salvation not only to him but also to the whole world. Vanitas desperately wanted to free himself from this unbearable fate, thus to become the χ-blade had now become his goal, his whole life purpose, and his only Light of Hope to lead him out this Darkness.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by SleepEdit
"He ain't gonna cut it. Somebody's got to break that loser in."
―Vanitas to Master Xehanort about Ventus.
After Master Xehanort views the battle between Terra and Aqua as part of their Mark of Mastery exam, he leaves the room to find a hidden Vanitas awaiting him. The two converse about Ventus, and Vanitas claims that Ventus' performance was weak, and he still needs to "break that loser in." Master Xehanort instructs him to do so somewhere else as he needed to keep up appearances. So Vanitas decides to give Ventus an "incentive" to leave home. Vanitas later appears before Ventus in his room, speaking of Terra being a different person, and that Ventus should follow him before it's too late. Ventus becomes very defensive, saying that Vanitas does not know the first thing about Terra, and that they will always be friends. Vanitas, disgusted, simply
mocks his friendship with Terra, telling him to grow up and vanishes into a corridor of darkness, claiming that unless Ventus sees it for himself and looks beyond his "tiny world", he will not know the truth.
Vanitas then travels to different worlds, spreading the Unversed across them to make Ventus stronger for the X-Blade's forging. He is first seen with the Unversed in the Castle of Dreams world.
After his first few ventures throughout the worlds, Ventus spots Vanitas in space and is lured to the Keyblade
Graveyard. Ventus interrogates him about what he meant about Terra being a different person. Vanitas simply reiterates what he said before, that Terra will be gone forever, and challenges him to a duel, intent on testing his power and revealing for the first time he is a Keyblade wielder. Despite Ventus's best efforts, Vanitas gains the upper hand mid-way, knocking Ventus down. Vanitas then prepares to eliminate Ventus, deeming the boy too worthless to be of use (even though it goes against Master Xehanort's plans), but before he could do so, Mickey Mouse appears, healing Ventus. Mickey Mouse then reprimands Vanitas for using his Keyblade to bully others. and the two then proceed to fight Vanitas, who simply shrugs off the fight and leaves yet again upon his defeat, claiming that Ventus is on "probation".
After the battle against the Trinity Armor in Radiant Garden, the ensuing argument forces Terra, Ventus, and
Aqua to go their separate ways. While Aqua is in the Central Square, Vanitas appears, taunting her by calmly inquiring about Ventus and if he has gotten stronger. When Aqua asks what he means, Vanitas, in a more hostile tone, states that he is asking the questions as he claims he will be the only one who will walk away alive, and attacks, the two fighting a vicious battle with Aqua as the victor. After the duel, Aqua attempts to remove Vanitas's mask while he is unconscious, but her fingers barely reach the tinted glass before the dark enigma startles her with an insane laugh. He then compliments her skill and congratulates her on her victory, making an ambiguous comment about her being his backup plan, revealing that it was all a ruse to test her strength. He then leaves in another corridor of darkness. While in Neverland, Vanitas encounters and kidnaps Mickey Mouse on Master Xehanort's orders to
use Mickey as bait to lure Ventus back to the Keyblade Graveyard. Though the fight is not shown, it is clear Vanitas won. The villain later crosses paths with Aqua again, this time with Ventus's cherished Wooden Keyblade. Vanitas cruelly mocks Aqua for playing treasure hunter with the Lost Boys, proceeding to tell her that, with Ventus' newfound strength, he has "outgrown" the Wooden Keyblade, and then snaps it in half, an act that both enrages and horrifies Aqua. Throwing the pieces aside, Vanitas also claims that he has outgrown his need for Aqua as his so-called "backup plan" and draws his Keyblade, intent on eliminating her. Aqua, outraged by the act of cruelty and at the thought of Ventus being in danger, calls Vanitas a freak and battles the dark enigma once again, soundly defeating him and knocking him unconscious. Aqua, exhausted by the battle, passes out, as a revived Vanitas takes the opportunity to escape once again.
Vanitas encounters Ventus again in Destiny Islands, after the latter is thrown through a portal summoned by Terra. Ventus initially tells Vanitas that he is through with him. But Vanitas simply tells him that since he is strong enough, Ventus can join with him to forge the χ-blade. Ventus refuses, claiming that the χ-blade cannot be forged if he does not fight. Vanitas, though slightly angered, remains unfazed, responding only with a cold statement that Ventus was once "too broken to talk back." Then, in the ensuing flashback, Vanitas explains his birth from the darkness in Ventus's heart, and how he took his place as Master Xehanort's apprentice. This causes Ventus great pain in regaining his memories. Vanitas challenged Ventus to come find him in the Keyblade Graveyard, the one and only place where the x-blade can be forged, where he threatens to kill Terra and Aqua and callously wonders how long Ventus will "play the pacifist." Ventus, haunted by Vanitas's deranged threats, and determined to end this once and for all goes to the Keyblade Graveyard.
When Terra, Ventus, and Aqua approach their final battle with Vanitas and Master Xehanort at the Keyblade Graveyard, intense battles ensue. The two villains meet up with the trio, and after Master Xehanort explains his plans, the trio armors up and Terra quickly charges towards them. Master Xehanort intervenes, however, blocking Terra's path with massive rock formations. As Terra continues to pursue Master Xehanort, Vanitas goes after Aqua and Ventus, riding on a cloud of Keyblades Master Xehanort created. The two fight valiantly against the dark apprentice, but not before Vanitas returns to Master Xehanort's side after Ventus is frozen. He battles Terra alongside Master Xehanort, who later commands Vanitas to go after Ventus and Aqua again.
Vanitas attacks Aqua from above, knocking her unconscious, and prepares to impale her through the chest while Ventus lies helpless and frozen. Ventus summons all of his willpower, however, and breaks out of the ice to face Vanitas in battle, defeating him once again. Vanitas compliments Ventus on his skill and finally reveals his face, explaining himself to be the source of all Unversed. Glowing with dark energy, Vanitas then summons several Flood Unversed to restrain Ventus as he proudly explains his plan: to spread the Unversed across the worlds, so Ventus could leave his home and grow strong enough to forge the χ-blade. He then forcefully integrates into him. In a burst of light, Vanitas and Ventus are transported to the Dive to the Heart. Ventus's pillar now hosts a picture
of Vanitas alongside his own. Vanitas wields an incomplete version of the χ-blade.
Vanitas claims their union was incomplete, and they only managed to make a fraction of the χ-blade. He the
n tries to join with Ventus once again, but Ventus refuses, vowing to defeat Vanitas and destroy the χ-blade. The dark apprentice simply laughs maniacaly, confident in the fact that they both know that should the χ-blade be destroyed, Ventus's heart would vanish forever. However, Ventus rebukes him, saying he will fight for his friends no matter what, even if the price is his heart, despite Vanitas's mocking of his reason to fight. The two Keyblade wielders then begin a final showdown in the Dive to the Heart.
As Ventus battles Vanitas in their Awakening, Aqua and Mickey are forced in the Keyblade Graveyard to battle a Ventus possessed by Vanitas, evident in Ventus gaining Vanitas's golden eyes and bodysuit. Ventus-Vanitas summons the completed χ-blade, and tries to attack Aqua, only for her to be saved by Mickey. He then goes on to explain with psychotic glee that he plans to unlock Kingdom Hearts so the worlds can be connected and the legendary Keyblade War can begin again. Aqua, sick of Vanitas's nonsense, screams at him to shut up and confronts him in battle one last time. As Aqua defeats her possessed friend and destroys the χ-blade, Vanitas's metaphysical battle with Ventus comes to an end after he shatters the pillar on which they were fighting. Vanitas fades out of existence, taking all Unversed in existence with him and relinquishing his control over Ventus. Unfortunately, the victory is bittersweet, as Ventus loses his heart and falls into a coma in the process.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop DistanceEdit
"Even if you are not the prisoner."
―Vanitas to Sora
Twelve years later, when Young Xehanort appears before Sora within the cathedral at La Cité des Cloches, Ventus's heart reacts within Sora and allows him to see an image of Vanitas. In unison, the youth and Vanitas claim that Sora has made his heart into a prison, then vanish.
Against Sora's TeamEdit
As he came back to life by Master Xehanort, he became more evil than ever, and wished to destroy every single member of the team. He also shows up in every single world like Monster High, Land of Ooo, Destiny Islands, Mellowbrook, Atlantica, Bikini Bottom and many other worlds.