Kingdom Hearts X (Chi) and SALIGIA: the Key to an Allegory
By Jesus C. Deytiquez
Disclaimer: The following (except those validated or founded facts in the Kingdom Hearts series) are my own speculations based with research and knowledge. And sorry for the grammatical errors if there is/are.
I know that there is a theory spreading among the fans of Kingdom Hearts like me that proposes the idea that the foretellers and their master, the Master of Masters, will die and then be reincarnated into the several characters that we are very familiar with (e.g. Sora being the reincarnation of Gula). I really cannot say that I am one hundred percent certain with the accuracy of what I will be going to show in this article, but, maybe, just maybe, my speculations will help my fellow fans to reconsider or rethink the aforementioned theory.
I am a writer and I like reading and writing allegories, or stories that hide deeper meanings in them through symbolism or imagery, with the goal (although somewhat paradoxical) that by masking such meanings, the meanings will be understood by the reader in a way that a normal presentation cannot do. I like the allegories of C.S. Lewis, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, and other Christian writers; they all utilize their character’s name and personality to present several ideas to their reader. One common thing also about them is that they always introduce to their readers the seven deadly sins, namely, pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth by creating characters of their own, based on the sins with related names and suitable personalities—the seven antagonists in the anime Full Metal Alchemist will be the contemporary example of this allegorical style. And these characters representing the seven deadly sins will be the characters that the protagonist will need to encounter and overcome during his or her journey. And I, moved by the beauty of their stories and that particular style, tried to write my own.
My Research, Discovery, the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Master of Masters’ Name
During my attempt to create my own allegory, of course, I also done some further research to aid me in my endeavor. Ex nihilo nihil fit. From nothing comes nothing. I need to receive first before I can give. Then I discovered along the way that the seven deadly sins, when translated to Latin, will have these names: Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, and Acedia (SALIGIA). By the time I discovered this, mysteriously, I also discovered that there is an android game of my all-time-favorite game, Kingdom Hearts, which is Kingdom Hearts X (Chi) or which now called as Kingdom Hearts Union Cross. (This happened way back late 2016.)
I hastily installed the app, and you can imagine my surprise when I learned the name of the foretellers who were the leaders of the five unions. The five foretellers possess names from the seven deadly sins! Master Ava is avaritia. Master Invi is invidia. Master Aced is acedia, and so forth. In other words, the Master of Master’s name, which is still unrevealed last time I checked, is almost sure to be Superbia or some shortened version of that Latin word for pride.
I know that it is really fitting for the Master of Masters’ name to be a name for pride because, according to the Christian faith from which the concept of the seven deadly sins originated, pride is the father or master of all remaining deadly sins. Furthermore, all other sins still have some love for others in them or they really on other persons to exist (e.g. you can get mad or be wrathful to a person because you still have, no matter how imperfect or perverted, some care or love for that person, you can envy a person because you perceive him to be better than you etc.). But pride only focuses on itself. Remember the keyblades of the foretellers. All have hearts in them except for the keyblade of the Master of Masters. In support of this, remember how the Master of Masters seemed to be apathetic to what is to befall.
But, you might, of course, object that that particular keyblade will be passed on later to Luxu and then to Xehanort. Yes, it was passed on later to several persons, but such objection can be answered easily through analysis of the personalities of the successors and the sins themselves. Lust can easily become more like its father when it is, ultimately, already about satisfying the pleasure of the self alone. And, remember also how Xehanort used Terra and his friends for his own “selfish” reason.
The Seven Lights or Virtues
Now we will return to the reincarnation theory. I think that if there are seven deadly sins or vices, then there will be also seven virtues that the Christian faith also enumerated, namely, Humility or Humilitas, Charity or Caritas, Chastity or Castitas, Kindness or Humanitas, Temperance or Temperantia, Patience or Patientia, and Diligence or Industria. I believe that these virtues, being contrary to them, are what the foretellers lacked or even repelled respectively, and such lacking and repulsion of those virtues became the reason for their own downfall (I can still remember a clip showing Ira lacking patience during the crisis, being wrath). Sora, Kairi, Riku, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra are the six of those seven virtues or guardians of the light while King Mickey will be the leader. And you can see, dear reader, how very suitable it is for King Mickey to be Humilitas because a mouse is commonly seen as lowly or humble. In other words, the two leaders of warring factions are King Mickey and Superbia. Humility and Pride.
Thirteen Seekers of Darkness and Twelve Seekers of Light
But of course there are also a dark group called the Thirteen Seekers of Darkness, and currently such group only has six members namely Master Xehanort, Young Xehanort, Terra-Xehanort (heartless), Terra-Xehanort (nobody), Xigbar, and Saïx. How can such a group be completed? One very probable answer is: by adding the fallen seven deadly sins or foretellers. Thus, maybe, just maybe, the foretellers did not really die and got reincarnated to become our seven guardians of the light just as what the reincarnation theory says, but only became fallens and just wandered somewhere and somehow, only to be gathered by the liar and schemer, Superbia to join his student (probably), Xehanort, for a later battle against the denizens of the light. If the aforementioned is true, then the seven guardians of the lights are clearly outnumbered.
But let us also remember that thirteen, which is considered as an evil number, also have a positive counterpart: number twelve. Remember that in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the number twelve, along with one, three, five, and seven, is a number for perfection. Furthermore, the Catholic tradition listed twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control, and Chastity. Christ, on the other hand, enumerated thirteen things on Mark 7:21-22 that defile and arise in the heart: wicked thoughts; acts of immorality, of theft, of murder, of adultery, of greed, of maliciousness, deceit, immoderate conduct, an Evil Eye (remember the eye in the keyblade of the Master of Master’s?), blasphemy, arrogance, and lack of good sense.1 Therefore, there must really be twelve seekers of light! Now, aside from Master Yen Sid, Lea is an additional keyblade wielder in the series, and there is also an official video showing Xion and Roxas joining the fight with Sora and his pals. If they really are the additional four seekers, then there are already eleven seekers of light. I wonder who will complete the group? Maybe one or several of the characters in KHUX will be the one(s) to complete the missing spot/s or replace any or even all of the probable four: Ephemer, Strelitzia, Skuld, our character in KHUX, Blaine (though very unlikely and suspicious), and Lauriam (also very unlikely and suspicious).
Though still outnumbered by one it is better than only seven, and let us recall also that in the Christian faith, it is the disadvantaged or the weak or the poor that emerges at the end.
Here are the two theories I harbor for the mystery introduced by the age of the foretellers and the Master of Master’s: Superbia or the Master of Masters is the ultimate villain and Invi was the traitor. What is Invi’s mask? A snake. We all know that in Judeo-Christian faith, it is out of envy that Cain betrayed and killed his brother, Abel. Does this mean Invi, a snake, is the one who betrayed them? It is kind of obvious. But the again, is there really any traitor? As what I have said earlier, the devil (known as the father of all lies and as pride which is the father of all sins) is symbolized in Kingdom Hearts, in my own opinion, as the Master of Masters. He might just have lied to all in order for them to kill one another to try to form Kingdom Hearts or the X-blade at the expense of their souls or hearts. He might have just instructed Ava to save some special keyblade wielders or dandelions in order for them to be his backup guinea pigs in case the keyblade war failed to bring his selfish desire fruition; of course, erasing their memories, as what he ordered to Ava, will be very helpful and safe for his plan if ever. (Remember the connection of Ventus as a Dandelion in KHUX and as a boy with no memories in Birth by Sleep.)
Kingdom Hearts as a Christian Allegory
Now, as an extra, let us ponder on this question: is Kingdom Hearts a Christian allegory? Before I say my opinion about the key or the main theme of Kingdom Hearts series, I would like to warn the reader that if he or she does not like religious matters or hate them, especially those concerning Christianity, he or she is free to read some other article. Now, for those who still willed to accompany me up until the end, I will say that, in my own opinion, Kingdom Hearts’ theme, the very key that connects all worlds in it, is ultimately, very Christian.
Of course, the stained glasses are very much related to Christianity, but these particular beauty in the game are only one part (that started it all) of the many things that convinced me to believe and propose such opinion. Consider one of the most crucial points in Kingdom Hearts: Sora’s sacrifice. Like Christ, he sacrificed his life for his beloved. He, in a sense died, in order for Kairi to live. Sora is a Christ-like figure in the Kingdom Hearts. He is the one to mend all the hurting. And since we talked about Sora’s sacrifice and remembered how he became a heartless and a nobody, we might as well talk about the keyblade, the heartless and the nobodies. There are three forces in the world of Kingdom Hearts: the keyblade, the heartless, and the nobodies (as what Roxas drawing shown us in KHII). I believe that the keyblade symbolizes the goodness of God; the heartless symbolizes the people who were consumed by the sin in their hearts; the nobodies are those who are in between or those who are in a state very akin with being in limbo. Of course the people in Kingdom Heart’s world will also symbolize normal human beings like us, and we can all chose which side we will be: the keyblade’s or in God’s side where we will experience everlasting joy in the end, or the forever darkness or hell or eternal suffering because of unappeasable or unquenchable hunger or thirst caused by the hole in one’s chest, or in limbo where we will be in a state of not really suffering nor joyful. In the end it is the keyblade or the goodness or grace of God that will save us from both of the latter and undesirable ends. In support of the aforementioned, normal people like wielders in the Kingdom Hearts world can feel all kind of emotions, the heartless only the unappeasable hunger or thirst to fill the hole in their chest, and the nobodies does not really feel anything. (Special and good nobodies like Roxas might be considered as those who are in purgatory, or a place in hell where souls suffer for a while to become cleansed and later on be in heaven or become “truly real”.) Consider the possessors of the keyblade with no heart: the Master of Masters, Luxu, and Xehanort. They symbolize the demonic side. Aside from the facts or premises already stated earlier, consider this: the sign of the devil looks like what? A goat’s head. What animal did Christ use as a symbol for those who rejected Him until the end? Goat. What animal design does that particular keyblade that the Master of Masters, Luxu, and Xehanort possess/ed? A goat’s head. Since we are on the subject, I think the masks or animal representations of the foretellers are also very fitting for them. A bear hibernates thus can be considered as lazy. A unicorn, as described in mythologies, have a short-temper and can fly into a very bloodthirsty rage, and thus can be considered wrathful. A fox is considered as cunning. A snake, a traitor. A jaguar, a hasty and deadly animal.
Trinity is also always being subtly emphasized in KH. Sora, Kairi, and Riku. Ventus, Aqua, and Terra. Roxas, Xion, and Axel. Hayner, Pence, and Olette. The keyblade, heartless, and nobodies. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy—speaking of Mickey, Mickey Mouse’s head is (this one added as a kind of a joke) composed of three circles. The wielder, the keyblade, and the spirit. The wielder can be seen as the Father. The keyblade can be seen as the instrument for salvation or the Son. The Chirity is the guide or the Holy Spirit. Chi is for cross right? Which can mean Christian. Chirity sounds like a mix of the words Chi, trinity and spirit, right? So, the introduction of the Chirity might be pointing to us the symbolism of the Holy Trinity which is the very cornerstone of Christianity, through the interconnection of the wielder, the keyblade, and the spirit. Of course, the Master of Masters may have also lied that he was the one who created them (the chirities). And of course there is the reverse side too. There are the corrupt wielders, the keyblades of darkness, and the nightmare chirities. There is the devil, evil persons or his angels, and the spirit of the antichrist. The devil, as what many saints describe him, likes to turn good and beautiful things into evil and ugly things. For an example look at the reversed cross. The true cross is where the justice and mercy of God kissed, for the salvation of humankind, and the original reversed cross is a sign of St. Peter’s martyrdom and love for Christ. Yet look at the symbol of the antichrist: a reversed cross. And also look at the hour of Christ’s death or the hour of divine mercy which is considered as three in the afternoon, then remember what is always considered to be the most ungodly hour or the devil’s hour (as popularized by the enemy’s agenda I am sure of it): three in the morning.
And there is also the black coat that characters use to safely pass through the corridor of darkness and resist its corruption. Veteran readers of Christian mysticism and theology will be quickly triggered by the mention of these two—especially those who read St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. Teresa of Calcutta; they all have written about that dark night of the soul where there is a darkness that will engulf the soul and enable her (the soul) to pass through a path, unnoticed, and finally meet her Beloved, who is God. The corridor of darkness might be a symbol for a path of suffering or spiritual dryness that the saints usually goes through, and the black coat is the night that will embrace the saint’s soul in order for her to be safely united with the Beloved.
But in the end, there is also a hint of Manichaeism or Dualism in KH; Riku’s statement in KH II that light and darkness are eternal pretty much sums up those two beliefs. But of course, maybe he was just fooled by the earlier speech of Xehanort (nobody). But whether KH really endorse the aforementioned two or not, it will not change the fact that the good must be prior to evil and the two are not coeternal with one another; evil is just a perversion the good just as a spoiled food is an edible meal before as what C.S. Lewis once said.2
It is the desire to be powerful and own exclusively the light that made the Master of Masters be like who he is (Xehanort too!). It is because of the desire to be equal to God that Lucifer became a fallen angel. The foolish gods and goddesses of the myth that fought for the possession of the apple of self did not know that it is by sharing that a soul or two is blessed.3 Again it is pride or selfishness that introduced darkness into KH’s world and ours. It is only by Humility or love that the light will return much brighter than before.
There are many other premises and theories that I can include but this article of mine is already too long. Perhaps I will enumerate them in a future article. I am currently busy so I guess I will write that one in a distant future. Let’s meet again somewhere, sometime, and somehow!
1. Elliot, J. (2016). Beware the Evil Eye (Vol. 3). Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers.
2. Lewis, C.S. (1952) Mere Christianity. Great Britain: G. Bles.
Black Coat. (2017). Kingdom Hearts Wiki. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from http://kingdom hearts.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Coat
Bunyan, J. (1967). The Pilgrim’s Progress. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House.
Elliot, J. (2016). Beware the Evil Eye (Vol. 3). Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Fruit of the Holy Spirit. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_Holy_Spirit
Lewis, C.S. (1961). An Experiment in Criticism. London: Cambridge University Press.
Lewis, C.S. (1952) Mere Christianity. Great Britain: G. Bles.
Lewis, C.S. (1933). The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason, and Romanticism. London: J.M. Dent and Sons.
Real Organization XIII-Kingdom Hearts Wiki, the Kingdom Hearts encyclopedia. (2017). Khwiki.com. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://www.khwiki.com/Real_Organization_XIII
Seven deadly sins. (2017). En.m.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins
The Seven Lights. (2017). Kingdom Hearts Wiki. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from http://kingdomhearts.wikia.com/wiki/ The_Seven_Lights
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