Thursday, January 19, 2012

Character Design - Master Xehanort

Master Xehanort is evil. He's the main villain of the Kingdom Hearts series and does he look it.  However, there is no main "evil" part to his design. Instead, we're subconsciously picking up the clothing of the future bosses!

The black cloak and boots is similar to the cloak and boots of Organization XIII (He does wear an Organization cloak at some points, but he is obscured when he does)
The white shirt and gloves is similar to Ansem: Seeker of Darkness' shirt type thing and his gloves. He also has similar boots. The coat is similar too, but is too light. (However, it has the red inner lining)

The eyes, though, are from Xemnas and Saix. Saix, though, is the only one with the ears.

(And, yes, Saix is a villain.  He's one of the main villains from 358/2 , which came out before Birth By Sleep, where he delightfully screwed with Roxas', Axel's, and Xion's head and they showed he was behind the elimination of the other members in Chain of Memories.  Yes, he's evil)

So, what about these cues?

These cues are not overtly evil.  There's no random spikes, there's no blood, everything fits in the Kingdom Hearts Universe (Such as the white gloves, though the Disney ones are a bit more puffy)  You just feel unnerved when you look at him. 

That is a powerful design, where nothing is particularly out of place, everything looks natural (for the world) but it just doesn't fit.  You simply know intrinsically that he is a villain.


  1. I feel like such an idiot right now. How can I call myself a Kingdom Hearts fan and COMPLETELY MISS that Xehanort's clothes look exactly like the design of Ansem Seeker of Darkness? HOW???

    Well, in the Kingdom Hearts verse, golden eyes have come to represent someone tainted by darkness, so that's a cue. And he has a very creepy smile. But you're right, the clothes themselves don't give too much away, unless we count the color black as a subtle tip-off. It's not as obvious as the Organization XIII cloak.

    Boy, do I hate Master Xehanort. Not because he's badly written, but because of how much he screws with everybody's lives and smiles while doing it. Especially Terra. Every time I see him pretending to be friendly and comforting to Terra, I feel like vomiting.

    Anyways, awesome post!

    1. Don't worry. I didn't pick up on it until a while ago. But now that you say THAT, it makes sense he has more cues to Ansem:SoD then to Xemnas/Saix. The MX part of Terranort became Ansem:SoD! (Or most of it anyway)

      But in fiction, not always. Madam Hooch from Harry Potter has yellow eyes for example. According to TVtropes, Yellow eyes represent someone being a bit of a trickster or having more of an animal side to them. (I always put it to the character having focus) Red eyes are usually the sign of evil, but then again Tifa has red eyes and she is in no way evil.

      (Honestly, this is why I love his design so much. You know he is evil but nothing is obvious!)

      And that is the sign of a great character. You automatically and emotionally react to them.