As the Seeker of Darkness, Ansem is the supreme leader of the Heartless and is the most powerful and intelligent of his kind. He has full control over the darkness and can use it to its full potential. This allows him to, among other things, create powerful bursts of dark energy, enhance his physical prowess, navigate the worlds via Corridors of Darkness, steal the hearts of other worlds and their inhabitants, and possess other beings if they submit themselves to his power. In addition, he wields a dual-bladed staff reminiscent of Riku's Soul Eater, and, when at his most powerful, can merge with his Guardian symbiote to transform into the World of Chaos.
Due to him having intentionally separated his heart from his body and soul before he gave into the darkness, Ansem retained his self-hood, intelligence, and his human appearance after his transformation into a Heartless. Because he could think out his plans and pass for a human, he was able to destroy nearly every world in the Kingdom Hearts universe without revealing his identity up until he confronts Sora at the Final Keyhole in Hollow Bastion. Due to his unique "birth", he appears to have characteristics of both the Emblem and Pureblood Heartless, though it is unclear exactly which category he falls under.
Prior to Kingdom Hearts
In the pursuit of knowledge, Xehanort, at the time calling himself "Ansem", willingly gave his heart to the darkness, creating both his Heartless and his Nobody, Xemnas. His Heartless was able to retain its selfhood for uncertain reasons, though it was believed by the true Ansem that this was due to Xehanort's willing abandonment of his heart.
He and legions of Heartless at his command continued his original self's pursuit of knowledge, believing it would be found in darkness, and stole countless hearts from both humans and worlds in search of this knowledge. But his ultimate goal was Kingdom Hearts, a supposed repository of tremendous power and knowledge. However, to access the heart of all worlds, he would need to open the Final Keyhole. For this, the Princesses of Heart were needed to complete the Keyhole. He also realized that the wielder of the legendary Keyblade needed to be found, for the Keyblade's ability to seal away the hearts of worlds from the preying Heartless could prove dangerous.
Ansem, after nine years of being a Heartless, appears in a brown robe at the Destiny Islands Keyhole before the world's fall into darkness, insulting Sora's ignorance of what was to come, and completely ignoring Sora's questions.
The villain appears again to Riku, after his loss to Sora at Hollow Bastion. Shaken by his loss of control over the Keyblade to Sora, Riku lets himself be influenced by Ansem and his promise of power. Riku then lets his heart open up to the darkness, allowing Ansem to possess him.
Firmly in control of Riku's body, Ansem creates the artificial Keyblade of People's Hearts from six of the Princesses of Heart's hearts. This Keyblade possesses the power to unlock hearts, a property he soon tests on Maleficent, transforming her into a gigantic dragon. The dragon is felled by Sora and his friends, leading the Heartless to comment that the dark fairy was arrogant to believe that she manipulated the Heartless when it was actually the other way around. He insults Maleficent and takes his leave, waiting for Sora in the chamber of the Final Keyhole.
Sora arrives, finally reunited with Kairi, though she is comatose due to the loss of her heart. Ansem comments that she lacks a heart, and from his impersonal comments and unusual nature, Sora realizes that who he sees as Riku is not truly the friend he knew. Riku introduces himself as "Ansem, Seeker of Darkness". The Heartless goes on to explain that Kairi's heart is in Sora, and that his dark Keyblade is necessary to remove the imprisoned heart. Sora refuses to agree with the plan and they battle. Sora wins the duel, and Ansem retreats. However, his efforts are not in vain, as Sora stabs himself with the dark Keyblade, in order to free Kairi's heart as well as the six other Princesses. But this ends up opening the final Keyhole and the way to Kingdom Hearts, as well as the loss of Sora's heart, his brief transformation into Sora's Heartless, and the accidental creation of his Nobody, Roxas.
Ansem shortly returns, having expelled Riku's heart and shaped his body into one resembling his original human self. Now that the final Keyhole is open from Sora's sacrifice, he plans to kill Kairi now that her purpose in his plans has been fulfilled. Donald and Goofy bravely make a stand against Ansem in order to protect Kairi, but both know that, without Sora, they may not be able to stop him. Before he can dispose of the three, Riku projects himself from Xehanort's stolen body and manages to establish enough control to stop the Heartless in his tracks, allowing Donald and Goofy to escape with Kairi. This leads to an internal struggle between the two that Riku ultimately loses. His heart is forced out of his body, and Ansem completely takes control. Ansem then allows himself to be enveloped by the darkness flowing out of the Keyhole, and travels to the End of the World and Kingdom Hearts.
As Sora, his humanity having been restored by Kairi's light, arrives at the remnants of Destiny Islands at End of the World, Ansem appears, bearing Riku's form. He explains Riku's fall to darkness, that he desperately sought to escape the island "prison" enough to open his heart to darkness. Afterward, Ansem explains his philosophy: that worlds and hearts begin and end in darkness. Thus, darkness is the heart's true essence. Sora denies this, in words and in battle with Ansem. During the battle, Ansem summons both his familiar, the Guardian Heartless, and a Darkside Heartless to assist him. As the battle rages on, Ansem leads the trio to the endless abyss where the Door to Darkness resides. This time, Ansem merges himself to the World of Chaos, a monstrous Heartless ship, and captures Donald and Goofy, though Sora rescues them.
After several more rounds of combat, Ansem, weakened, opens the Door to Darkness, imploring Kingdom Hearts to fill him with the power of darkness so that he can gain enough power to destroy Sora, Donald, and Goofy and shroud the universe in darkness. However, Ansem is horrified to see light pour out of the door. The overwhelming light of Kingdom Hearts envelops and destroys Ansem, allowing Riku to take back his body.
However, because Riku served as the host for Ansem, a piece remains even after his destruction by the light of Kingdom Hearts. This bothers Riku greatly, who ends up in Castle Oblivion thanks to his heart resonating with Sora's, who is also in the castle.
Guided by a mysterious voice, Riku climbs through the basements of Castle Oblivion, trying to rid himself of his darkness. However, Ansem appears early on, intending to overcome Riku, but fails. Still, Ansem remains, and even stirs the darkness in Riku's heart so that he may use it in battle, if he so chooses. The dark being remains confident that Riku will eventually give into the darkness.
At times, Riku almost becomes overwhelmed by the darkness, but King Mickey's light continually comes to the rescue, frustrating Ansem. Eventually, Riku overcomes his fear of the darkness, intending to use it as well as the light. He also additionally receives some guidance from the enigmatic DiZ, the true owner of the mysterious voice, who in turn leads Riku to Naminé. Naminé offers to seal away Riku's darkness and Ansem, but he instead chooses to face the Heartless on his own. DiZ then gives Riku a card that will give Ansem form, so that Riku can finish him off once and for all.
Ansem again tries to turn Riku to the darkness completely, and tries to defeat the young boy so that he can take over again. However, though he is defeated, Riku realizes that Ansem still lingers in his heart, and sets off with King Mickey in order to rid himself of the Seeker of Darkness forever.
Though Xemnas, the Nobody counterpart of Ansem, soon becomes the main threat, the dark being still has a presence. In fact, the part of him that lingers in Riku starts to eat away at him, even forcing him to put on a blindfold over his eyes to keep him from "lying to himself".
This comes to a head when Riku travels to The World That Never Was at the behest of DiZ, with the intent to capture Roxas, the Nobody of Sora and a member of Organization XIII, so that the two can join and Sora can awaken from his slumber. However, Roxas proves to be too powerful for Riku to handle, so Riku is left with one option: Riku unleashes the darkness in himself, in order to gain the power necessary to defeat Roxas. However, this has the side effect of giving Riku the appearance of Ansem, as well as manifesting his guardian, which constricts Roxas in its fists and leaves him unconscious. In his new form, Riku mimics Xehanort before him and takes on the name Ansem.
- See also: Riku-Ansem
During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless at Hollow Bastion, King Mickey reveals the truth about "Ansem" to Sora, Donald, and Goofy; that he wasn't the real Ansem, but the Heartless of an impostor. While the trio are shocked and dismayed to learn this, Mickey assures them that Ansem still needed to be stopped. He also reveals that the Nobody spawned at the same time as Ansem is the leader of the Organization (as he had met the original Xehanort and been near his Nobody, it "kinda felt like bein' around the same fella.").
Riku remains like this for some time. His new appearance prompts him to refuse making contact with Sora and Kairi, despite him being able to easily do so. Still, when push comes to shove, Riku aids his friends, but never reveals himself as Riku (though Sora begins to suspect his mysterious helper's true identity), secretly leaving clues for Sora, Donald, and Goofy to find. He also took a proactive stance in aiding the people of The Land of Dragons, and briefly engaged Sora in battle before going to speak with The Emperor and informing him that Sora and his friends would be coming to help them deal with a Heartless dragon created by Organization XIII. But when Naminé chooses to use Riku's true name after he rescues her and Kairi from the Organization at The World That Never Was, things take a turn. Kairi, in her excitement, removes Riku's hood, only to see the face of the one who had endangered her a year ago. Still, she sees Riku underneath the dark form, and takes it in stride.
Riku is also forced to meet Sora when Kairi prevents him from taking his leave when Kairi and Sora reunite. At first, Sora does not realize it is Riku, refers to him as "Ansem", and informs him that he is grateful to him for Kairi's rescue while still enraged at the very thought of the evil deeds he had committed. Kairi helps him see through his altered form. They all then travel through the Nobody castle, and end up reuniting with King Mickey and DiZ, whose true name is Ansem the Wise. However, the machine that Ansem was using to encode Kingdom Hearts into data ends up exploding, allowing Riku to regain his true form. "Ansem" and his hold on Riku's heart are thought to be destroyed at this point, as the explosion's light fully restores Riku to the extent that he is robbed of his ability to open corridors of darkness.
Ansem appears in a memory from Jiminy's Journal in Destiny Islands, opening a Corridor of Darkness for Riku to Hollow Bastion. Yen Sid later explains to Mickey that the destruction of both Ansem and Xemnas has revived Xehanort and will lead to the restoration of Master Xehanort. Ansem appears along with Xemnas as one of Mickey's mental images.
Ansem is shown as the first transformation and the second incarnation after a young Master Xehanort but before Xemnas.
Ansem is, thus far, one of only three Heartless with human-level intelligence, the others being Sora's Heartless and Scar. His knowledge of the worlds and hearts shows that Xehanort's keen intellect has survived the transition into a Heartless. However, what little shreds of humanity remained in the researcher have been obliterated. Ansem is cold, calculating, and utterly ruthless. He treats people and their hearts as either tools to be manipulated and disposed of, or of nothing more than cattle for himself and his ravenous Heartless legions. He reveres power and knowledge above all things, and despises ignorance.
The only times when his voice rises above a cold, monotonous drone is when he is berating Sora for his foolishness, or reveling in his latest triumph. However, the scientific genius of Ansem was blinded by obsession with the darkness. His arrogance ultimately led to his destruction when the door to Kingdom Hearts opened, and his greatest thesis was, in the end, proved wrong.
Because Ansem was born from the heart of Master Xehanort, he appears to share most of his personality traits with the elderly Keyblade Master, demonstrated by his choice of words when facing Sora, Donald, and Goofy, and his desire to find, open, and become one with Kingdom Hearts itself.
Before possessing RIku, Ansem was little more than a wandering heart and could only appear as a figure in a brown hooded robe. This robe has two dark brown straps crossing over his shoulders and chest with five metal studs lining either strap. Due to his lack of a body, he appears much shorter and crippled in this form and wears the robe's hood up to hide his lack of a face.
Like his Nobody counterpart, Ansem shares Xehanort's tan skin, orange eyes, and long white hair. However, his hair is smoothed back into three spikes on the top and sides of his head and lacks Xehanort's bangs and messy appearance.
Ansem wears a black, high-collared, leather coat that has a red interior and yellow lining. This coat is grey from the waist down and has several buttons lining the hips, a belt around his waist, and a second one that extends from the waist and up to the collar to connect to several smaller straps. The four shorter straps are buttoned to either side of the front of the collar while the remaining ones are buttoned to the shoulders to form spaulders. A black leather pauldron is attached to each spaulder by three buttons and two straps that button the the rim of the coat and two more that cross over his upper back. On his upper chest is the Heartless emblem in the form of a brooch that holds the outer coat together in place of a zipper or buttons. Underneath this coat, Ansem wears a white, thigh-length vest. This vest is also high-collared and exposes most of Ansem's chest, with three black buttons and two thin belts near his waist closing it up while the three remaining buttons below are undone.
In addition, Ansem wears wide-brimmed, white gloves with three buttons lining the forearms and a grey band on either wrist. He also wears black pants and black that are tucked into knee-high boots with silver trimming and high concave indentations in the top.
Because Ansem was born from the heart of Master Xehanort, his overall appearance is nearly identical to a younger version of Master Xehanort and his clothes are extremely similar to his original incarnation's standard attire.
When Ansem transforms into the World of Chaos, he becomes titanic in size-standing at approximately twenty five feet tall-and monstrous in appearance. His clothes are gone, save for an organic-looking material resembling black muscle tissue that covers his legs and feet. This material has thick yellow cords in it that outline glossier sections of the material and the soles of his feet. His eyes are completely orange, and he is connected to his Guardian by seven organic-looking cords that extend from its open torso (which co. These cords are black in color and fade into red at the base. The Heartless emblem that was originally on Ansem's chest is now attached to the cords attached to his back which he can use to seal himself when resting in the Guardian's chest cavity. In addition, he wields a staff as long as he is that resembles two Soul Eater's fused at the hilt, with the blades facing opposite directions.
Role in the series
Xehanort's Heartless or Ansem SOD will not appear in the Spongebob adventures series as one of the major Big Bads who worked alongside Cobra and Malefor during the Cartoonian Wars, as well as being a long defeated enemy. It has been currently revealead that he was actually one of Cobra's horcruxes, becoming one after Malefor gave him a piece of Cobra's soul to safeguard from the High Council. In Spongebob, Spyro, Pooh and Friends vs Sly Cooper Chapter 1: The Thievious Racoonus, it is revealed by Tai's little sister Kari and her partner digimon, Gatomon that after defeating the evil Dark Masters and Apocalymon, The Digidestiend were separated from Kari and Gatomon by Ansem who is the reason The Digidestiend have lost the Digital World to Darkness during the events of Kingdom Hearts and they ended up in El Dorado before they call it the City of the Digidestined while Kari and Gatomon survived in Sly Cooper's world within the haitian jungle.
However, that does not mean Ansem will appear at all in the series. As it turns out, Master Xehanort ordered Ansem SOD to recruit Young Xehanort and Teen Mang to the Villain Leage's Organization XIII so that he could revive the Heartless Seeker some time into the future. Now that Ansem is back, he will make his first apperence in Spirited Away while the Shell Louge Squad search for Sora and Spyro in the World that Never Was. He appears and attempts to pull Riku back into the Darkness along with Cynder and reveals a startling truth: Both Cynder and Shen are still seekers of darkness at heart despite their reforming in the past. But after Riku defends Cynder and Shen and refuse to join him again, they engage in a great battle with Ansem and his Guardian. The fight was brutal but they mangae to defeat him and rejoin the louge and continue their search for Sora and Spyro. Ansem reappears restraining Riku while the other villains take the louge prisoners while Mirage prepares to take Spongebob's life which his soul is the final ingredient for Malefor to forge the χ-blade while Master Xehanort prepares to turn the comatose Sora into his last 13th Vessel of Darkness. But when Lea and Dragon Haku arrive on the scene and save Spongebob and Sora in time, Cobra orders Ansem to counter the Shell Louge Squad's escape which he responds by summoning his Guardian, siccing it on Twilight Sparkle and Spike who arrived with Mickey to help the Louge escape the spiritworld, but it gets defeated by the arrival of Donald Duck, Goofy, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity (via Mickey's old Star Shard) while Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy appear with Alex, Marty, Donkey, Puss, The High Council and the Shell Louge Afro Circus appear right afterwards. Ansem retreats with all of the villains after Alex and Gia subdue Cobra's pet, The Jabberwocky, as it attemps to kill Kairi, while Cobra and Mirage swears revenge and Master Xehanort dares the louge to face him once the Fourteen Lights and Thirteen Darknesses are complete. Ansem will appear in future mosiodes as a reinforcement villain/stock footage boss to Young Xehanort, Teen Mang and the Leage's Organization XIII.
Eventally, when Xehanort's true evil plans for the great cycle happened, Fake Ansem was on board with it. When Abaddon and the other castle resignents were beaten, A battle again Fake Ansem commence. He throw everything at them, but eventally, it was met with his slaying from Riku. He cursed the light for surprassing the darkness again, before explouding into a cloud of darkness.