Xemnas, the Superior of the In-Between (狭 間の指導者, Hazama no Shidōsha?), is the Nobody of Xehanort similar to his Heartless counterpart, Rank I within Organization XIII, and the ruler of The World That Never Was. He is a supporting villain in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and later becomes the main antagonist of Kingdom Hearts II.
As the oldest of the Nobodies, Xemnas wields the power of nothingness, and channels this into his weapons, red blades of energy called Ethereal Blades which extend from the palms of his hands. He commands the Sorcerer Nobodies. Xemnas, as the superior, is the first member and founder of Organization XIII, with all other Nobodies under his control. He is also the Organization's most intelligent member, and also appears to be the most powerful, so much that even Marluxia would not dare to face him until Sora was completely under his control, even with Larxene and (supposedly) Axel backing him, in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Despite his original name being Xehanort, he uses an anagram of his mentor's name: Ansem, due to Xehanort stealing the name prior to discarding his heart and body. Xemnas is a playable character in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days's Mission Mode.
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Xemnas first appears in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, arriving at Hollow Bastion to see Sora after recruiting Roxas. The only name he is given is the Journal's "Unknown" (謎 の男, Nazo no Otoko?, lit. "Enigmatic Man"). The Princesses of Heart sense his incredible power, and Sora, Donald, Goofy, and the Beast go to the abandoned area where they fought Maleficent to investigate, and soon encounter Xemnas.
He is at first intangible, and passes through Sora, causing him to experience many of his memories in rapid succession (a power seen again in Chain of Memories). Sora asks who the man is, and Goofy wonders if it is Ansem, and though Xemnas says he is familiar with the name, he does not clarify how or who he is. He then launches an energy attack at Sora, who manages to deflect it (with some difficulty). Xemnas remarks how Sora looks like "him", and that he is not complete, but only confuses Sora. He then attacks the Keyblade wielder, intending to test his power.
Afterwards, he backs off, appearing to be defeated, but quickly abandons the facade. He finds Sora fascinating, and says that they will one day meet again and disappears, but not before making an ambiguous comment on how he is but "a mere shell".
A hooded Xemnas is later seen in the secret movie unlocked at the end of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. "Kingdom Hearts" then appears on the screen. Back on the Dark Margin, Roxas finishes his walk across the screen. Xemnas turns to Roxas and speaks to him (his voice is not heard, but his mouth is seen moving). The quote comes on the screen "He looks just like you". Sora is then shown flying over an endless ocean, seemingly asleep, and the final quote "It's all coming back to me, the true..." appears.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
|“||Good tidings, friends. Today is a momentous day. I am pleased to announce that a new comrade has been chosen to wear the coat.||”|
|—Xemnas introduces No. XIV|
Xemnas plays a large role in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, serving as the driving force for all the events in the game. Once Roxas is inducted into Organization XIII, Xemnas makes use of Roxas's ability to use the Keyblade to release captured hearts and use them to form Kingdom Hearts. At the same time, he uses his experiments on the Replica Program and created a clone of Sora. The result is Xion (No. i with an X in it) who Xemnas hoped to use as an alternative in case Sora proved useless to his plans. Xion was made the fourteenth member of the group, but did not get a throne.
The plan was for Xion to gradually develop Sora's abilities and then merge with Roxas to become a complete clone of Sora. For this reason of the two being planned to be merged into one, along with the fact that Xion is not a true Nobody, the name of the group remained Organization XIII. Xion was also a prototype of the project and Xemnas planned to destroy her and make a perfect one if Xion did not meet his demands.
Xemnas sends all the members on their missions to further their plans while placing Xion in the care of Roxas. Xemnas eventually extends his plans and operations to Castle Oblivion. With this fortress in his control, he sends five Organization members (Marluxia, Larxene, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion) to conduct experiments on memory with the use of Naminé who was abducted and being held prisoner by the Organization. Xemnas places Marluxia in charge of Castle Oblivion and also charges Vexen with the task of continuing experimenting on the Replica Project who would later use a numberless replica using data gathered from Riku.
Xemnas was also the one who handed down the order to Marluxia to lure Sora to Castle Oblivion and experiment with the hero. However, once the Dusks brought back rumors of traitorous activities occurring in the castle, Xemnas sends Axel to neutralize the threat.
Once Xemnas sends Axel to insure that Marluxia and Larxene are kept in line, Roxas and Xion go on more missions together. Xemnas's plans falter when five Organization members and the numberless Replica are eliminated and Naminé escapes, but continues on with Xion, placing Axel in charge of capturing her whenever she tries to escape to find out who she really is. He would later continuously send Axel back to Castle Oblivion to search for the Chamber of Waking, but would never find the room he so desperately desired to secure.
Throughout the game, he orders the other members to do all they can to create powerful Heartless for Roxas to defeat such as what Xaldin was doing to Beast. Roxas gradually feels remorse for what he is doing on the behest of this group and questions their motives and loses trust in them when he sees how people with hearts live and what Xemnas is ordering the Organization to do to them. Roxas ultimately leaves the group (when Xion does the same) to find his other half and answer all the questions that he now knows Organization XIII will never tell him, battling and defeating Saïx in the process.
The Replica Project ultimately fails when Xion, who learned that she was nothing more than a clone, is absorbed by Roxas instead after she went insane and fought Roxas in order to force him to defeat her and absorb her so that Xemnas does not force Roxas to be absorbed into Xion to perfect his clone. This granted Roxas his signature ability to wield two Keyblades at once and also brought the restoration process of Sora's memories to a complete stop. This causes DiZ to order Riku to bring Roxas to him in order to resume the process of Sora's memories being regained.
With her dying breath, Xion reveals the true evil nature of the Organization and how Xemnas is simply using everyone to obtain Kingdom Hearts for his own warped desires. Roxas, emotionally shattered and having seen enough of the Organization's treachery, goes to the World that Never Was to destroy Xemnas before he can succeed. Before he can though, he is attacked by the Heartless and then is engaged in a fight with Riku. While Roxas defeats him, Riku uses the powers of darkness to transform himself into Ansem, Seeker of Darkness to overwhelm Roxas. Riku takes him to DiZ to be sealed in a digital replica of Twilight Town. Xemnas discontinues the Replica Project and orders Axel to bring back Roxas or kill him, setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts II.
It's interesting to note that the Secret Reports in this game confirm Xemnas's true reason for his lust for Kingdom Hearts. He does not value acquiring a heart, but becoming a great being and remaking the universe in his image. He refers to the conquest of all that lives as his "true" goal that no other member knows of, possibly stemming from his previous existence as Master Xehanort.
Kingdom Hearts II
|“||I'm what's left. Or... maybe I'm all that ever was...||”|
|—Xemnas on his own existence|
In the opening scene of Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas is seen at a dark beach. Roxas soon joins him. Xemnas says that he has been to see Sora, also commenting on how the two look alike. Roxas asks just who he is, but Xemnas only explains just what he is. When Roxas repeats the question, Xemnas states that his name is of no importance and answers the question with his own question: "What about you? Do you remember your true name?" Roxas begins to answer, but then realizes that he doesn't.
According to Tetsuya Nomura, this scene is not truly real. Rather, it is a mix of all of Roxas's emotions, feelings, and desires.
True to Xemnas's words, he and Sora meet again at Hollow Bastion, the same world he was first encountered, albeit restored, accompanied by Demyx, Xaldin, Xigbar, Luxord, and Saïx (although all of their faces are hidden by their hoods, and do not directly face Sora), although Sora doesn't recognize him or his cloak from their first encounter. They taunt and mock him, only furthering Sora's desire to defeat them. Xemnas makes an empty joke about how he thought they could've been friends, and then leaves.
From there on in, Xemnas remained at his castle while his group's members traveled to make sure Sora stayed on track, while increasing the number of Heartless for him to fight.
|“||How long has it been since I abandoned that name?||”|
|—Xemnas on "Xehanort"|
Xemnas is not seen again until the Heartless invasion, arriving to the Computer room to access the Chamber of Repose before appearing to look down upon the Heartless army that had temporarily halted in the Great Maw. King Mickey, upon seeing his face, immediately remembers just whose Nobody Xemnas is: Xehanort, the apprentice of Ansem the Wise. Xemnas then runs off, but King Mickey gives chase and engages Xemnas in combat, though Sora, Donald, and Goofy are impeded from following by the Heartless.
After an exhausting battle, the three make their way to the cliff overlooking Villain's Vale; finally catching up with the King. King Mickey addresses him by his original name, and Xemnas merely remarks that it has been ages since he had abandoned that name. Sora demands to know where Riku and Kairi are. Xemnas claims to know nothing of any "Kairi", and as for Riku, Xemnas tells Sora to ask his King. Then, he vanishes into a corridor of darkness, but not before King Mickey follows him in. However, as King Mickey later appears in Twilight Town, it is obvious that either Xemnas managed to escape him or that King Mickey simply lost track of him.
|“||So... it seems your hearts have led you to obliteration. Perhaps it doesn't pay to be too loyal to one's heart. I will have to be sure and remember that.||”|
|—Xemnas on regaining his heart|
Xemnas again appears in The World That Never Was, standing upon the highest tower of the Nobody castle, asking Kingdom Hearts to share its power with all Nobodies. Saïx then appears, asking whether Kingdom Hearts is complete. Xemnas says it will be soon, and allows Saïx to end their game and finish off Sora and his companions.
After all Organization members save for himself had been eliminated, Xemnas comes to greet Ansem the Wise, who had been attempting to digitally seal Kingdom Hearts away. The former pupil mocks his teacher, stating that he is the source of all Heartless, for inspiring him to go where Ansem himself did not dare to venture. Though Ansem admits that his foolishness was the source of much misery, he questions Xemnas on how this was what he had been seeking. Xemnas says it is that and more, and reveals his plans to create a brand new world, one heart at a time. He admits he thought that Ansem would praise him, but instead only held him back, consumed by the jealousy he had for his student. But he understands that Ansem was not able to control his heart.
Ansem scoffs at this, stating that they both claim to understand the heart, but actually know as little about it as they had in the very beginning. He declares passionately that Xemnas will fail and so will his world, and tells Riku and Sora to finish what he had started. After bidding farewell to the King and apologizing to Roxas, Ansem's Kingdom Hearts Encoder explodes, and Xemnas retreats just as the bright light envelops the area. The explosion also caused severe damage to Kingdom Hearts, causing countless hearts to rain down upon the world, which would transform into Heartless upon touching the darkness that coated the world.
Sora and the others then travel up to the very top of the tower, where Xemnas lamented over the damage done to Kingdom Hearts. He asks the three Keyblade wielders to fetch him more hearts, and when they refuse, he asks why they hate the darkness. King Mickey responds that they don't hate the darkness, but just that it's "scary". But he knows that the world is made of both light and darkness, and then wonders why they really are afraid of the darkness. Riku adds that it is because of who or what's lurking inside that darkness.
Xemnas then asks another question: If they accept the darkness, yet choose to live in light, why do they loathe those who are nothing, having been turned away from both the darkness and the light? Riku answers that it's because they endangered the worlds, and Xemnas tries to justify it with the fact that they had no choice. However, Sora does not believe this, stating that they don't even exist and feel no remorse about anything. Xemnas chuckles, stating that it is very true, and proceeds to face Sora one on one in an arena of nothingness, with Memory's Skyscraper towering above them.
Xemnas appears defeated, returning Sora to The Castle That Never Was, but Xemnas is still alive and well, basking inside Kingdom Hearts, urging it to join forces with him to gain the power needed to destroy their common enemies. Sora and the others try to stop him, but it is too late, and Xemnas is absorbed into Kingdom Hearts. Fortunately, the worlds created a door for Sora and the others to enter, for they wanted them to be the guardians of their destiny. They then follow Xemnas into Kingdom Hearts, but they see that Xemnas has taken its power and transformed the realm into a place resembling the World That Never Was with a giant fortress in the middle.
He says that their hearts have led them to their deaths, seeing that it may not be worth following one's heart, and takes note of it, before hurling a building at them. This causes Kairi and Mickey to be separated from the others, but even so, Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Riku defeat Xemnas in his knight-like form. After they defeat him, they are somehow transported back to the tower with King Mickey and Kairi. Xemnas thinks that he needs more hearts and more rage, but Sora tells him that hearts are more than just anger or hate, and asks if he remembers, which he doesn't, before seemingly fading back into the darkness.
|“||Heroes from the realm of light... I will not allow it to end this way... not yet. If light and darkness are eternal, then surely we nothings must be the same... Eternal.||”|
|—Xemnas refutes defeat|
With the help of Naminé, Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and the King get safely to Destiny Islands, but before Sora and Riku can follow, Xemnas attacks once more; having merged with a gigantic mechanical dragon. After another difficult battle, Xemnas takes Sora and Riku to a realm of nothingness, with Xemnas wearing a robe representing both light and darkness. He says that if both light and darkness are eternal, then so too must be nothingness.
Riku and Sora say this is true, but that does not mean Xemnas is eternal. They then share a very intense battle, with Xemnas wounding both Sora and Riku with various attacks. This is also the only time you ever play as Riku, during a point in the battle where Xemnas tries to suck Sora's Heart out, and Riku has to save him. Riku is badly injured during the fight, so Sora batters Xemnas into submission with his and Riku's Keyblades. Sora and Riku then finish him off. Xemnas fades into darkness, making him the last Organization member to fall.
Some time after decoding Jiminy's Journal, Yen Sid explains to Mickey that the destruction of both Ansem and Xemnas has revived Xehanort and will eventually revive Master Xehanort. Xemnas appears as one of Mickey's mental images.
Xemnas appears in the trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. He appears before Sora in Traverse Town's Second District in the same manner that Ansem, Seeker of Darkness appears before Riku.
He also appears in the Jump Festa 2012 Trailer in Prankster's Paradise before Sora once more. His appearance is brief, but during it he questions how a "heartless doll" can have a Heart. Sora counters this by asking "Don't you guys have Hearts too?".
Xemnas is shown as the second transformation and the third incarnation after a young Master Xehanort and Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
Like all the Organization members, Xemnas wears the standard black coat, gloves, and knee-length boots with silver trimming and high concave indentations in the top. He has orange eyes and tanned skin, much like his Heartless counterpart and his complete being, Xehanort. Xemnas's hair is long, reaching to about mid-back, silver in color, and some of it falls over his shoulders. His hairstyle is reminiscent of Xehanort's hair, including his bangs, the color, and the length. It also shares traits with Terra's hair, including its layered, messy look and the spike on the top of his head.
Because Xemnas was born from the body and soul of Terra, his overall appearance is identical to Terra's, save for the silver hair, orange eyes, and older appearance.
While commanding the World of Nothingness, Xemnas dons armor adorned with dozens of Nobody symbols. The shoulder pad on his left shoulder, helmet, crown, boots, knees, and breastplate all sport these designs. His crown and shoulder pad are gold, while the rest of the armor is colored in light shades of blue and silver. He has two silver belts on his waist and what seem to be white feathers on his right shoulder in place of armor. Several cords crisscross in front of his torso, connecting to massive, oblong pieces of armor worn on each arm. Xemnas's faceplate is beak-like in structure and he wears clawed, metal gloves.
He also wears black pants underneath the armor. Perhaps the most striking features of this armor are the odd, pulsating growths sprouting from Xemnas's right shoulder and both arms. These growths appear organic and are a mixture of red, orange, yellow, and white. While the larger one on his shoulder seems to connect Xemnas to his dragon-like Nobody battleship, the other two on his arms just lie on the ground, seemingly serving no purpose. This armored form, referred to as the Armored Controller, bears a striking resemblance to No Heart.
In his final section of his battle with Sora and Riku, Xemnas's appearance is unchanged, save for his cloak. His black coat is now white and is covered with intricate black designs that resemble the Nobody sigil.
Being the founder of Organization XIII and apparently the oldest of Nobodies, Xemnas is truly emotionless in every sense of the word and does not even remember what it was like to have any feelings. He claims that this allows him to have a clear understanding of the heart, but in reality, this has warped his mind into believing that only anger, hatred, and other negative emotions are what make up most of a heart.
His lack of emotion deprives him of remorse over his actions, as well as the loss of the other members of the Organization. The only thing he truly cares about is Kingdom Hearts and his desire for power, and even laments it when it is damaged. However, on some occasions, he has appeared to value friendship, as he is shown to converse with the armor of Aqua in the Chamber of Repose, although this is likely due to the influence of Terra as he is in a sense, Terra's body.
Unlike the other members of the Organization, Xemnas does not seem to want Kingdom Hearts for a true existence. Rather, much like his Heartless counterpart, he wants it to use it to obtain power and remake the universe in his image. This concept is furthered as Xemnas thinks that nothingness is the source of much power and does not seem to despise it in the slightest. This goal stems from that of one of his two original personas, Master Xehanort, whom also desired to unlock Kingdom Hearts for the same purpose in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
In other matters Xemnas speaks with calmness and deep authority, strangely similar to Master Eraqus. He has a tendency to be overly melodramatic making long-winded speeches, exaggerating his false rage and sorrow with wide sweeping arm movements and hand gestures, like many villains. While ridiculous in nature, his exaggerations are representations of his lack of emotion. He's very intelligent overall, and knows how to manipulate others, particularly Sora and his friends for his own needs.
Xemnas's personality seems to share traits from both beings who composed his original persona, Master Xehanort and Terra. From the former he inherited his manipulative nature and the ideas for the black coat and adding the letter "X" to rename himself and his fellow Organization members. It is very hard to say how much he inherited from Terra, but there is at least the familiarity with Aqua's armor, to which he refers to as "friend", and his strong desire to find his other "friend" in Castle Oblivion, as he has had Saïx search for the Chamber he sleeps in. Another example is when Roxas falls into a comatose state, saying "So, sleep has taken you again".
Xemnas uses weapons called Ethereal Blades (エアリアルブレード Eariaru Burēdo?, lit. "Aerial Blades"). They are beams of red energy and extend directly from the palms of his hands, without any hilt or handle. He can summon or disperse them at will, and is able to change their length as well. They are solid despite their appearance, and, despite seemingly lacking a cutting edge, are wielded like swords. The Ethereal Blades can also be used as projectiles and can suspend themselves in midair around a target before firing at them. As a desperation move, Xemnas can surround his enemy in darkness and fire an amazing amount of Ethereal Blades at them.
The names of Xemnas's various Ethereal Blades seem to be references to iron-fisted leadership. Perhaps due to his preeminent power among the Organization, only one of his Ethereal Blades, Infinity, actually grants him a support ability.
Xemnas's origins as Terra and Master Xehanort indicate that he may have been capable of wielding a Keyblade, but just preferred not to.  His use of Master Xehanort's Keyblade Armor during his battles with Sora and Riku further supports this. However, this implication seems to contradict Xemnas's reasons for using Roxas and Xion to further his plans.
Role in the series
Xemnas, along with the original Organization XIII, was dead to begin with in the series. But he does have a sort of role to play here. During the High Council's reveal of the Horcruxes, they revealed that Xemnas was in fact one of the horcruxes that Malefor made from Mang's soul. How Xemnas reacted to being a horcrux and how it affected his personality, abilities, or mission, one does not know. But what it known is that when Sora and Riku destroyed Xemnas, the horcrux that was within him was destroyed as well.
However, this is not the end of Xemnas, not by a long shot. As it turns out, Master Xehanort revived him as part of his plan to gather 13 darkness clones of himself in order to reforge the X-blade, therefore Xemnas will return in Spirited Away as the 2nd-in-command to Young Xehanort, Teen Mang in the Villain Leage's Organization XIII. Xemnas will make his debut in the Epilogue of Spongebob and Friends meet Little Nemo in Slumberland when Young Xehanort and Teen Mage escape from the Realm of Sleep after the Nightmare King's defeat and greets them in the Mountain of Malefor. Dispite the report of their failer, Xemnas suggests it's time to meet Spyro personailly which the two agrees. In Spirited Away after Chihiro's parents get turned into pigs and the amusment park swarming with Spirits seperates Spyro from the Louge, Young Xehanort, Teen Mang and Xemnas appear before him while Teen Mang creates a dark barrier that prevents the louge from interfearing with their encounter with Spyro for the first time and talk about Spyro's connection with Tyro before they leave Spyro before Haku finds him. While Spyro was wondering lost in the World that Never Was with his mind plauged by illusions created by Mirage, Xemnas appears again along with Xigbar, who go on to explain that Young Xehanort and Teen Mang have been gathering several different incarnations of Xehanort in order to create the Villain Leage's Organization XIII whos perpose is to hunt down Spongebob and the members so far being Young Xehanort, Teen Mang, Xemnas, Xigbar, Isa/Saïx, Sora's heartless and the Disney Villains' heartless and nobodies. When Master Xehanort had planned to place a fragment of his own heart inside each of the Nobodies of the original Orginazation XIII who were deceived into thinking they lacked hearts in order to ensure their loyalty to Xemnas, but their unforeseen independence, which was demonstrated mostly by the treachery of Axel and Roxas, made his plan impossible to realize. Refusing to become one of Master Xehanort's vessels, Spyro engages in a kung fu fight with Xemnas after they sing Ash Ketchum and Giovanni's song from Pokemon Live "You just Can't Win". Dispite his defeat, Xemnas bought Young Xehanort and Teen Mang enough time to damage Spyro's heart allowing the 13th fragment of Master Xehanort's to enter Spyro's body and take it over while Spyro is put in a coomatose state, whereupon he is taken to the Castle by Young Xehanort and Teen Mang. Xemnas reappears restrainning Twilight Sparkle and Spike while Mirage and Master Xehanort prepare to carry out the final phase of their plans but thanks to the arrival of Lea, Haku, the Mane 5, The High Council and the Shell Louge Afro Circus which temporarily derails Mirage and Master Xehanort's plans, Xemnas retreats with the Villain leage and his fellow members of the Leage's Organization XIII. In the futrue moisodes, Xemnas will still sevre as the 2nd-in-command to Young Xehanort and Teen Mang while they hunt down Spongebob and Spyro. Xemnas is the only nobody that can't be helped, and Axel and the reformed nobodies acknowledged this, Xemnas has too much of Xehanort's dark nature and too accepting of his true intentions to be helped, except to be finally put out of his misery. When Xemnas was eventally encountered on the Castle roof, he was incredability calm. He congradulated all of the lougers and his former allies for making it so far. But he insisted this is where the quest ends. He becomes his mega forms, and asks for the first brave souls to challnage him. Naterrolly, his former Nobody followers, and Sora and Riku, volenteared. After an epic battle, thought damaged, Xemnas still stood without even looking fatgued. He questions why must the heroes risk their lives for the battle that they lost. Sora insisted as long as they still lived, Xehanort did not truely had won. Xemnas only stated it's talk like that, earns you a slow, painful death, wanting to comply what Sora meant by as long as they live, Xehanort is destin to lose. However, he gets suddenly overwealmed by a trap from Zexion, as he, and the other reformed nobodies, and Riku and Sora, slashed Xemnas, finishing off. Before vanishing into nothing, he only smirked, stating, as followed: "Your, very long war, is far from finished.", then was no more.