Sora is the main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series. He lives on the Destiny Islands with his best friends Riku and Kairi, and all three of them dream of venturing from Destiny Islands to find out what lies beyond. His home was consumed by darkness, sending him on a journey to many worlds across the Realm of Light. An upbeat youth, he travels with his new friends Goofy and Donald Duck in search of his missing friends, and uses his newly acquired weapon, the Keyblade, to put an end to the threats that destroyed his world.
The main series focuses primarily on Sora's own journey and his growth as a Keyblade wielder, while several side stories follow the characters that are linked to Sora.
Sora is four years old during the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, fourteen during Kingdom Hearts through Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and fifteen during the events of Kingdom Hearts II through Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Sora's name is derived from the Japanese word for "sky".
Although Square Enix originally wanted Mickey Mouse to be the main protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series, and Disney wanted Donald Duck as the protagonist, the role was eventually set as Sora, because Tetsuya Nomura wanted a human protagonist. Early on, Sora was designed as a young lion/human hybrid, wielding a chainsaw-like weapon with a lion's head Keychain. The merging of Sora's design with elements from Square's proposal is referenced by his original costume, which shares many elements with Mickey's.
Before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
After Ventus's heart is damaged by the creation of Vanitas, Master Xehanort brings the unconscious Ven to the Destiny Islands. Here, Sora's newly born heart encounters Ven in his Dive to the Heart. He offers to join hearts with Ven until Ven's heart can heal. This connection mends Ven's damaged Station, and as a side effect, it causes Vanitas's face to resemble Sora's.
Sora and Riku grow up together on the Destiny Islands as best friends and rivals. They are often seen around the islands battling with wooden swords, racing, and competing in any other way they can think of.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
When Sora is four years old, he encounters Terra and Aqua, two Keyblade wielders, on separate occasions. He never speaks with Terra, but they see each other from a distance. Terra shows no interest in Sora because he is unable to sense his potential, and is instead attracted to Riku. When Aqua meets Sora and Riku, she senses that their friendship parallels that of Ventus and Terra, and she tells Sora to protect Riku if he ever falls into darkness. Sora, despite his confusion, agrees.
Later on, Sora and Riku rest on a beach. When they prepare to go home, Sora suddenly feels sad. Riku tells him that maybe someone in another world is in pain and encourages him to reach out with his heart. Sora successfully calls to Ventus, whose heart has been lost after the destruction of Vanitas and the χ-blade. Ven's heart makes its way to Sora's Station in the Dive to the Heart, and Ven asks if it can stay with Sora while he sleeps. Sora, wanting to make Ven better, happily accepts, and Ven's heart merges with him.
Between Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts
Some time later, a young girl named Kairi arrives at the Destiny Islands from another world during a nighttime meteor shower. Not long after that night, Sora and Riku explore a small, hidden cave on their islands, in search of a "howling monster". They are disappointed to find only a featureless door in the "Secret Place", and they decide to someday leave the island and have real adventures. As they leave, they decide to go see "the new girl", and Riku, unbeknownst to Sora, looks back at the door to see the Keyhole of the Destiny Islands.
Sora and Riku befriend Kairi, and the three quickly become inseparable as they play together on the islands. Often during the next several years, they often wonder about what lies beyond their small world, prompted by the mystery of Kairi's forgotten home.
Several years later, Sora, Riku, and Kairi start building a raft, in the hopes of sailing to other worlds. Sometime during construction, Sora dozes off on the beach, and has an odd, prescient dream, in which a mysterious voice guides him through a dark realm where he fights strange monsters. Sora is awakened by Kairi, and he resumes helping with the preparations for their voyage. Over the next couple days, he searches the island for building materials and provisions, while taking the time to play-fight with his friends and compete with Riku. Riku repeatedly teases Sora over his relationship with Kairi, and tells him to share a Paopu Fruit with her. Sora enters the Secret Place while foraging, and draws himself giving a paopu fruit to Kairi on the wall. He suddenly encounters a shadowy figure who speaks of the world being consumed by darkness and taunts Sora about his ignorance of the outside world before disappearing.
That night, an severe storm hits the small island. Sora comes to check on the raft, and he finds a strange, dark force hovering overhead, and the islands overrun with Shadows. He finds Riku, who simply tells him that the door has been opened to the outside world and that he is not afraid of the darkness beyond it. As Sora tries to reach towards Riku, the two begin sinking into darkness. However, before Sora is swallowed by darkness, he receives the Kingdom Key, which dispels the darkness around him. He uses it to fight his way to the Secret Place, where he finds Kairi in a daze. Before he can get to her, the mysterious door bursts open with a blast of dark wind. Kairi disappears and Sora is blown outside, where he faces a Darkside on the rapidly disintegrating island. The two are swept away into the darkness.
Sora falls through a Corridor of Darkness into Traverse Town, where he finds more Heartless before meeting Leon and Yuffie, who explain the nature of the Keyblade, the Heartless, and Ansem to him. When they are attacked by Heartless, Sora is forced to part with Leon and Yuffie. He makes his way to the town's Third District where he meets Donald Duck and Goofy, and the three of them take down a swarm of Heartless and the Guard Armor. After introductions, Donald and Goofy ask Sora to come with them to other worlds, as per King Mickey's request, and Sora agrees, hoping to find Riku and Kairi.
After traveling to numerous worlds, they find Riku on a return trip to Traverse Town. Sora discovers that Riku is also searching for Kairi. Riku shows a surprising affinity for the Keyblade, taking it from Sora right from under his nose, before returning it at will. Sora and Donald argue about whether Riku can travel with them, but Riku disappears. Satisfied with the knowledge that Riku is fine, Sora resumes his quest to find Kairi, unaware that Riku is slowly being turned against him by Maleficent.
As his journey continues, Sora makes many new friends throughout many worlds, and he becomes much closer to Donald and Goofy as well. He also repeatedly crosses paths with an increasingly hostile Riku, and in Neverland, Riku finally turns on Sora, revealing that he has been given the power of darkness and has found Kairi, before summoning AntiSora and throwing Sora into the hold of Captain Hook's ship.
Sora, undeterred, continues on to Hollow Bastion, where he encounters Riku once again. Riku reveals that he is the true master of Sora's Keyblade, taking it for his own. Donald and Goofy reluctantly follow Riku, as per King's instructions, and Sora is left alone with the Beast, armed with only a Wooden Sword. The two make their way into the Entrance Hall of the castle, where they are temporarily separated. Riku confronts Sora again, accompanied by Donald and Goofy. When Sora refuses to back down, Donald and Goofy step in to defend him from Riku's attacks. With his heart strengthened by his bonds of friendship, Sora reclaims the Keyblade, and the three defeat Riku, who retreats. Continuing through the hordes of Heartless infesting the castle, they make their way to the Chapel, where they fight and defeat Maleficent.
When they reach the Grand Hall, they find Kairi's supine body. Riku, now possessed by Ansem, reveals that Kairi has lost her heart, and that it is inside Sora. Ansem attempts to extract Kairi's heart from Sora with the Keyblade of People's Hearts, in order to complete the final Keyhole. Sora fights back and defeats Ansem, but in order to save Kairi, Sora stabs himself in the chest with Ansem's Keyblade, freeing Kairi's heart and turning Sora into a Heartless. While in his Heartless state, Sora follows Donald, Goofy, and Kairi as they leave the castle. Kairi is somehow able to recognize him and restore him to his body. The group flee the growing flood of Heartless and retreat to Traverse Town, where Sora prepares to return to Hollow Bastion and free Riku from Ansem. Kairi gives Sora her Lucky Charm, and tells him that she will be with him wherever he goes.
Sora returns to Hollow Bastion and successfully seals the final Keyhole. He is then reunited with Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith, who tell him that Hollow Bastion was their previous home. The newly revived Princesses of Heart tell Sora that Ansem has departed for another world. Sora and company track Ansem to the End of the World, a Heartless world made of the remnants of all the worlds destroyed by the darkness. Sora, Donald, and Goofy find Ansem on the remains of Destiny Islands, where they fight with him. Their battle brings them to the endless abyss just outside the Door to Kingdom Hearts, where they finally defeat Ansem and his World of Chaos. In desperation, Ansem tries to open Kingdom Hearts, but as Sora realizes that beyond the door is light, that light bursts out and seemingly destroys Ansem.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy attempt to close the door before the Heartless can come through from the Realm of Darkness, and they are helped from the other side of the door by a freed Riku, as well as King Mickey, who holds back the Heartless. As the door closes, Riku asks Sora to take care of Kairi, and Sora and Mickey use their Keyblades to seal the Door to Darkness, leaving Riku and Mickey on the other side.
As the End of the World breaks apart, Sora finds Kairi and promises to return to her before they are separated once again, with Kairi returning to Destiny Islands. Sora, Donald, and Goofy end up on a path in a grassy field, thinking about how to find Riku and Mickey, when Pluto appears with a letter from Mickey, and they follow him into the distance with renewed hope.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
After following Pluto all day, Sora, Donald, and Goofy set camp on the path. During the night, Sora wakes up and follows the path to a crossroads. A mysterious man in a hooded black coat appears and tells him, "Along the road ahead lies something you need. However in order to claim it you must lose something that is dear to you". The man disappears down a path, and Sora, followed by Donald and Goofy, follows the path to Castle Oblivion. When they suddenly get the feeling that their missing friends are inside the castle, they enter, and the stranger reappears to introduce them to the castle's strange mechanics.
The three travel from floor to floor, exploring memory-based facsimiles of worlds they have visited in the past, and learning lessons about memory from their residents. They eventually discover that their memories are disappearing as they continue, along with the contents of Jiminy's Journal. They also encounter other members of the mysterious Organization, who taunt and coax Sora along the way. Gradually, Sora begins to remember a girl he once knew on the Destiny Islands, Naminé. As his memories paradoxically become stronger, and upon discovering from Larxene that Naminé is being held in the castle, Sora becomes determined to find her.
After Sora clears the seventh floor of Castle Oblivion, he encounters Riku, who declares that he will be the one to rescue Naminé and that she doesn't want to see Sora. The two fight multiple times in the castle's halls, with increasing ferocity. As Sora's memories of Naminé become stronger, and as his memories of Kairi fade away, Sora becomes obsessed with finding Naminé. Vexen, hoping to undermine Marluxia's plans, warns Sora not to blindly trust his memory, after luring him into a memory-based Twilight Town; however, before Vexen can tell Sora about the memories from "the other side of [his] heart" and the existence of Roxas, he is eliminated by Axel.
Riku appears before Sora again, as he leaves the eleventh floor. They discover that they both have exactly the same memories of Naminé, as well as identical charms, supposedly given by Naminé. Riku angrily fights Sora, calling his charm fake, and runs off after being defeated. Sora becomes even more fixated on finding Naminé, and Donald and Goofy worriedly warn Sora to be careful. Sora runs off in a fury and enters the next memory-world, Destiny Islands, alone. After defeating the Darkside, Sora finally meets Naminé, who has escaped Marluxia's custody at Axel's prompting. Naminé tries to remind Sora of Kairi, but Riku interrupts, challenging Sora again for the right to protect Naminé. In order to stop Riku, Naminé breaks the memories in his heart. Larxene arrives, and she reveals that Riku is a replica created by Vexen and that Naminé has been manipulating both his and Sora's memories as part of Marluxia's plot to take control of the Organization by controlling Sora. When Larxene attacks, Donald and Goofy arrive to support Sora, who manages to eliminate her.
Naminé explains how she manipulated everyone's memories at Marluxia's command, but Sora forgives her, stating that his feelings are real, even if his memories aren't. Sora, Donald, and Goofy head for the thirteenth floor to face Marluxia, so that Naminé can restore their memories, while Naminé stays behind with the Riku Replica. Upon entering the thirteenth floor, the three promise to stick together, even if they lose the rest of their memories. They eventually come across a battle between Axel and Marluxia, arriving in time to see Axel preparing to attack Marluxia through his shield, Naminé. Sora challenges Axel, after saying that Marluxia will be next. Marluxia escapes during the battle, as does Axel upon his defeat.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy track down Marluxia, who commands Naminé to erase Sora's memory and destroy his heart. Naminé refuses, but Sora tells her to do so in order to protect herself. The Riku Replica arrives, having come to his senses, and he separates Naminé from Marluxia while Sora takes him on. Although Sora wins, Marluxia reveals that he was fighting a decoy. Sora leaves Naminé in the Riku Replica's protection while he, Donald, and Goofy enter Marluxia's room to face him. After a grueling battle, Marluxia is destroyed, and Sora locks the door to the room. The Riku Replica leaves, and Naminé has Sora, Donald, and Goofy enter Memory Pods so that they can sleep while she reassembles their memories. Although the process will cause them to forget Naminé, Sora promises that the memory of her will stay in his heart and that he'll find her again. Right before he goes to sleep, Naminé tells Sora to focus on remembering Kairi, as the memory of her will illuminate his other memories, which are lost in shadow.
In the meantime, the real Riku, who has appeared in the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion and made his way up to the second basement, meets Naminé, who brings him to where Sora's Memory Pod is. Riku refuses her offer to seal his darkness inside his heart, saying jokingly that he can't tell off Sora for sleeping if he himself is asleep. He leaves, telling Naminé to take care of Sora.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Several weeks after Sora goes to sleep, Naminé and DiZ move the Memory Pods to Twilight Town's Old Mansion, making it their base of operations. During the course of restoring Sora's memories, Naminé discovers that some memories are not returning. She realizes that the cause is the existence of Roxas, Sora's Nobody, and Xion, a replica of Roxas created by Organization XIII. Xion, designed to become a duplicate of Sora, absorbs Sora's memories through Roxas, which causes her to dream, to collapse during missions, and, eventually, to take Sora's form. Eventually, the flow of memories slows to a stop, even after Xion is defeated and absorbed by Roxas. In response, DiZ sends Riku to capture Roxas, with the intention of merging him with Sora.
Kingdom Hearts II
During Roxas's six days in the Simulated Twilight Town, Sora's restoration picks up dramatically, causing Roxas to dream every night and to black out randomly during the day. Late on the first day, Sora subconsciously reaches out to Roxas, and on the fourth day, he speaks to Kairi when Roxas accidentally connects with her. Roxas finally sees Sora on the sixth day, when he finds the Memory Pods in the Mansion's basement.
After sleeping for most of a year, Sora, Donald, and Goofy awaken in the basement of the Old Mansion with their memories from before Castle Oblivion restored. They leave and explore Twilight Town, with Sora feeling a strangely familiarity with the town. They meet Hayner, Pence, and Olette, who claim to have seen Mickey near the Train Station. They are ambushed at the station by Dusks, but they are saved by Mickey, who dispatches the creatures and directs them to board a specific train. Hayner, Pence, and Olette arrive to see Sora off, and Sora is briefly overcome by emotion.
The train takes them to the Mysterious Tower, where they encounter Pete, who has been working under Maleficent. After defeating Pete's squad of Heartless, they ascend the tower to meet the sorcerer Yen Sid. Yen Sid fills the trio in on the current state of the worlds, as well as introducing them to the Nobodies and Organization XIII. Afterwards, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather provide Sora with new clothes containing new powers, and Yen Sid sends them on their way in the Gummi Ship.
Their first stop is Hollow Bastion, currently being reconstructed by the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee, made up of Leon and company. Organization XIII sets a group of Nobodies on the town, but Sora and Leon drive off the attackers. The members of the Organization appear briefly to confront Sora before leaving, except for Xigbar, who hangs back to comment cryptically about Sora's similarity to another before exiting. Shortly after, the Keyblade opens the path to the next world, and Sora and company head out. They visit a number of worlds, defeating the Heartless unleashed upon them by the Organization and Pete, as well as meeting old and new friends.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy are summoned to Disney Castle which is under attack by the resurrected Maleficent, who has sent Pete into the past to destroy the castle's Cornerstone of Light, which protects it from darkness. With Merlin's help, Sora ventures into the past and manages to stop Pete, saving Disney Castle from being taken over by Maleficent.
On a return trip to Twilight Town, they fight off a horde of Nobodies led by Saïx. Saïx expresses concern for Sora's safety, informing him that his fellow member, Axel, intends to turn him into a Heartless, and warning him not to be reckless, lest he end up like Riku. After Saïx leaves, Hayner, Pence, and Olette find Sora and tell him about Kairi appearing in Twilight Town before being taken away by Axel. Sora leaves for the next world, resolving to find Kairi and Riku.
After visiting several worlds, Sora returns to Hollow Bastion to find even more Heartless and Nobodies running rampant. He, Donald, and Goofy head to Ansem's study, where Leon has discovered the computer of Ansem the Wise. When Sora and Donald are careless with the terminal, the Master Control Program digitizes the trio and sends them into Space Paranoids, where they meet Tron. Tron helps Sora, Donald, and Goofy open a path back to the outside, and with the help of King Mickey, who has come to Ansem's study, they help Tron access Ansem's dataspace, the DTD. Along the way, they thwart the efforts of the MCP to hijack the dataspace and destroy Hollow Bastion, taking out the Hostile Program in the process. After exiting the system, Sora, Donald, and Goofy speak with Mickey, who reveals to them that the "Ansem" they defeated was a Heartless who had been impersonating Ansem the Wise, and that his Nobody counterpart heads Organization XIII.
Organization XIII sets off a massive invasion of Hollow Bastion, and the residents start taking on waves of Heartless and Nobodies. Sora, Donald, and Goofy enter the battle, against King Mickey's orders, and they fight and defeat Organization member Demyx. However, while defending Mickey, Goofy is struck by a boulder sent flying by a Heartless, and he appears to have been killed. Enraged, the group forges on without him, fighting through swarms of Heartless, but Goofy soon comes to and rejoins them. After taking on a massive army of Heartless, Sora confronts the Organization's leader, Xemnas, who Mickey realizes is the Nobody of Ansem's apprentice, Xehanort. Xemnas retreats, with Mickey right behind, and Axel appears before Sora, and he reveals that Xemnas's plan is for Sora to release hearts by defeating Heartless. Before he can say more, he is interrupted by Saïx and flees. Saïx informs Sora that he has custody of Kairi and that the goal of the Organization is the formation of Kingdom Hearts. Sora is overwhelmed by despair, but Maleficent's intervention allows Sora, Donald, and Goofy to escape. Sora then resumes his quest, determined to find Riku and Kairi and stop Xemnas once and for all.
The trio resume their travels across the worlds, hoping to find a way to Organization XIII's headquarters, and despite Sora's worries about using the Keyblade, they continue taking out the Heartless and Nobodies the Organization has released into the worlds. They also counter a number of Organization members' plots, eliminating Xaldin along the way. Eventually, they return to Twilight Town, where they find Hayner, Pence, and Olette at the Old Mansion, looking for clues leading to an alternate Twilight Town. They are ambushed by Nobodies, but Mickey arrives to assist. They enter the mansion and use the basement computer to enter the simulated Twilight Town's mansion, where they find a passageway. They are ambushed within by a horde of Nobodies, but Axel arrives to help, and he sacrifices himself to wipe out the enemies. As he lays fading away, Axel apologizes for kidnapping Kairi and opens a portal to the Organization's world, The World That Never Was.
While traveling through the Dark City, Sora is confronted by Roxas, who transports them to his Station of Awakening. Roxas attacks Sora relentlessly, at one point asking why Axel chose Sora over him, but Sora gets the upper hand and defeats Roxas, returning to the real world to rejoin Donald, Goofy, and Mickey. They make their way to the Organization's castle, where Kingdom Hearts is nearly complete. Sora makes his way through the castle with Donald and Goofy while Mickey goes ahead. Saïx corners the three in the Hall of Empty Melodies and sets a massive swarm of Heartless on them, but the battle is joined on the upper level by Kairi, who was freed by Naminé, and Riku, in the form of Xehanort's Heartless, while Maleficent and Pete take the opportunity to infiltrate the castle. While Mickey reunites with DiZ, really Ansem the Wise, Xigbar takes out the remaining Heartless and challenges Sora, while calling him by Roxas's name and cryptically comparing him to his predecessors. Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeat him and work their way to the upper level, where Sora is reunited with his friends. Together, the group continue onward, and Sora encounters and destroys Luxord and Saïx. They then reach Mickey and Ansem, who tries and fails to seal Kingdom Hearts by encoding it as data. The encoder explodes, severely damaging Kingdom Hearts, restoring Riku to his true form, and apparently killing Ansem. The damage to Kingdom Hearts causes an endless wave of Heartless to spawn, but Maleficent and Pete hold them off while everyone heads for Xemnas.
At the Alter of Naught, at the top of the castle, the group confronts Xemnas as he contemplates the broken Kingdom Hearts. Sora fights Xemnas one on one in Memory's Contortion, and defeats him. Xemnas then merges with the remains of Kingdom Hearts, transforming the interior into a facsimile of the World that Never Was. Sora and company pursue him and manage to defeat him and his draconian fortress. While Xemnas apparently fades back into darkness, Roxas and Naminé appear before Sora and Kairi before merging with them. While everyone starts leaving through Naminé's Corridor of Darkness, the portal suddenly closes, stranding Sora and Riku. Xemnas reappears, but after a series of grueling battles, they finally destroy him.
Sora and Riku wander until they reach the Dark Margin, where Sora finds a bottled letter from Kairi. The Door to Light appears before them and sends them back to Destiny Islands, where they are reunited with Kairi, Donald, Goofy, and Mickey. Sora returns Kairi's Lucky Charm to her, happy to be back.
Kingdom Hearts coded
Mickey digitizes Jiminy's Journal in order to find the source of a mysterious message, and creates a Sora made of data in order to rid the journal of countless bugs. Eventually, Data-Sora and Mickey find a data version of Naminé, who reveals that she was responsible and the message is for the real Sora, who as the "Key that Connects Everything", must venture out on another quest to find and rescue those connected to his heart who are suffering, namely the real Naminé, Roxas, Xion, Axel, Terra, Aqua and Ventus. Mickey sends Sora a bottled letter to inform him.
Soon after, Sora is walking around in the Secret Place. He smiles while looking at all the pictures he and Kairi had drawn over the years. He glances down at the picture of Kairi and himself, and sees that Kairi drew the other half of a Paopu Fruit, and smiles to himself, mimicking Kairi's actions from a year ago. Outside of the cave, Sora asks Riku what he thinks the door to light was. Riku replies that it was Sora's heart; "It's always closer than you think". Kairi runs up to them breathlessly with Mickey's bottled letter, which Sora reads with Riku and Kairi.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
In response to the imminent return of Master Xehanort, Sora and Riku are summoned to the Mysterious Tower in order to take the Mark of Mastery exam and become Keyblade Masters. Despite having the enormity of Master Xehanort explained to him, Sora initially objects, convinced that he can already defeat Master Xehanort, but when Riku agrees to the exam as a way of proving that he has overcome his darkness, Sora also agrees. Yen Sid sets the pair the task of entering the Sleeping Worlds and awakening seven worlds which were left submerged in sleep following Ansem's defeat.
Sora and Riku's journey begins on the Destiny Islands, but they soon move on, and Sora finds himself in Traverse Town, where he discovers his new attire and abilities. After meeting up with Neku Sakuraba and his circle of friends, who tutor him, Sora leaves on his new journey, venturing across more sleeping worlds, meeting new friends, and battling new villains. However, several times along the way, Sora comes into contact with a mysterious young man with ties to Master Xehanort, who is accompanied by figures like Ansem and Xemnas, whom Sora believed to have been defeated long ago.
After Sora seals all seven keyholes in the Dreaming Realm, he finds himself in The World That Never Was instead of the Realm of Light, and he is confronted by Xigbar, who explains that he and his companions had been engineering Sora's arrival in their domain from the start. Placed within a dream version of the Dark City, Sora speaks with the mysterious young man, who reveals that he is actually the younger self of Master Xehanort, who was paid a visit long ago by the disembodied Ansem, via time travel. Ansem had then sent Young Xehanort through time to gather many different incarnations of Xehanort while arranging Sora's journey. As he travels through the dream city, Sora encountering illusions of Naminé, Xion, Roxas, Riku, Kairi, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus along the way, occasionally hearing Riku's voice encouraging him not to fall for the illusions and stay awake. Eventually, Sora approaches the castle and encounters both Xemnas and Xigbar, who explain that the true purpose of Organization XIII was to create thirteen vessels to harbor the essence of Master Xehanort, and their intended thirteenth vessel is Sora himself. Sora refuses to allow it, and, spurred on by the thoughts of those connected to him, he fights and defeats Xemnas. However, Sora's heart is badly weakened, and he falls into a deep sleep, while Young Xehanort takes him to the Castle That Never Was. As he drops into the darkness, Ventus's heart envelops him in Ven's Keyblade Armor.
Riku tracks Sora to the castle and only barely manages to save Sora from the newly-revived Master Xehanort, with help from Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Lea. Sora, still comatose, is brought back to the Mysterious Tower, where Yen Sid tells Riku he now has the power to wake Sora up. Riku dives into Sora's Dive to the Heart, where he captures the fragments of Sora's shattered heart and battles Sora in Ventus's armor, which has been possessed by a Nightmare. Riku defeats the Nightmare, then meets projections of Roxas, Ventus, and Xion, deep inside Sora's heart. A projection of Ansem the Wise informs Riku that Sora has awakened and tells him about the data he hid inside Sora, and about Sora's power to connect with people's hearts. Riku returns to the real world and reunites with Sora.
With the exam at an end, Yen Sid names Riku as a Keyblade Master, and, despite having failed, Sora congratulates Riku. Shortly afterwards, Sora leaves on a new journey, traveling to the sleeping Traverse Town, where he is reunited with the Spirit Dream Eaters.
Sora first starts off appearing tanner and somewhat lankier than his rival Riku. He seems to portray more of a typical teenage boy's looks. Sora has spiky brown hair (although in Kingdom Hearts II his hair does change from a dark brown to a more caramel color) along with blue eyes. Sora's appearance does not change that much throughout the series besides growing taller, a slightly different hair style, tanner skin, a slightly deeper voice, and having more matured looks. Sora goes through many costume changes throughout the series. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and certain scenes in Kingdom Hearts, a younger version of Sora appears. As a child, Sora's hair was lighter than it was in Kingdom Hearts, more closely resembling his hair color in Kingdom Hearts II, and it was not as spiky.
Sora has a brave and heroic personality, meaning he will willingly risk his life even for people he barely knows. He is extremely loyal to his friends, and has been shown to be extremely forgiving to Riku (even forgiving Riku for the times he has attacked him), as well as highly protective of Kairi. Sora is an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of the situation at hand. Although he can be simple-minded at times, he has a strong sense of justice. Sora has matured over a year's time, shown on the multiple opportunities when he takes charge of his group.
Sora has a remarkable capacity to forgive, even to his sworn enemies; when Maleficent loses control of the Heartless to Organization XIII and is overwhelmed by Dusks in order to allow Sora's group to escape, Sora is clearly concerned for her and is only stopped from helping her by being restrained by Donald. Another prominent example is when he forgives Naminé for rewriting the majority of his memories, despite the severity of her doings. On the other hand, Sora shows little tolerance for cowardice and selfishness, criticizing both Hades and Iago, though ultimately forgiving the latter when he proved genuinely sorry for his actions.
In Kingdom Hearts, he puts Riku and Kairi above all else; when telling Tarzan which friends he is missing, he starts to mention Donald and Goofy, but stops himself and instead says he is looking for Kairi and Riku. However, he and Donald at first appear to be genuinely happy to see each other after they reunite at Jane Porter's campsite before turning their backs on each other, proving once more his capacity to forgive. In Kingdom Hearts II, he puts all four of them on an equal level. A prominent example of this is when Goofy is apparently fatally injured after getting hit in the head by a rock during the Battle of Hollow Bastion; Sora is clearly traumatized by Goofy's apparent death, refusing to believe it.
Sora possesses a rather strong competitive streak, as he often competes with Riku over numerous things, mostly for Kairi's affection and attention. Also, when he asks to fight Hercules alone in the Hercules Cup, Donald calls him a show-off, and Goofy says in Chain of Memories, "Whenever there's a contest, you're always rarin' to sign up". Sora also appears to have confidence in his abilities to the point of slight arrogance; in Dream Drop Distance, Sora initially objects to taking the Mark of Mastery exam under Yen Sid, claiming that he is already unbeatable even after the threat of Master Xehanort has been explained to him. It is only after Master Xehanort damages Sora's heart and almost turns him into a vessel for his own heart when Sora realizes his shortcomings when compared to a Keyblade Master, and humbly accepts his failure of the exam, even after Riku saves him and becomes a Master himself.
Though he is far from stupid, Sora has often been seen to be highly gullible and oblivious to what should be obvious. For example, he fell for Mulan's attempt at passing for a man, to which Mushu stated that Sora "could fall for anything". However, he doesn't let his enemies fool him as easily. An example would be when he didn't fall for Xemnas's attempt to play on Sora's sympathetic side, which was far more convincing than Mulan's attempt to appear as a man. Sora is often quick to anger whenever he's confused, and is quite childish at times. He is also quite impulsive, as he tends to jump into things without thinking them through beforehand.
On occasion in Kingdom Hearts II, Sora often unintentionally shows somewhat of a disrespect towards people of higher authority than himself upon meeting them. For example, when meeting Yen Sid, Donald and Goofy respectfully bow to him, while Sora greets him by simply saying, "Hey there!". Goofy is clearly shocked by this, and Donald shouts at him to show some respect. When meeting Queen Minnie, Sora simply asks, "Where's the King?". This leads to Donald grabbing him by the ear and asking Minnie to excuse him. When Sora and King Mickey were disputing about Ansem's identity, Sora, thinking that he has forgotten who Ansem is, drags King Mickey by the arm in order to show him the portrait of Xehanort in Ansem's study. However, when meeting Princess Jasmine again in Kingdom Hearts II, he actually does bow to her, along with Donald and Goofy. He, Donald, and Goofy also bow in respect to Simba as the new king during their second visit to the Pride Lands.
Though it has yet to be confirmed, it has been hinted that Sora harbors romantic feelings for Kairi, and vice versa. This is first shown when Riku teases him by threatening to share a paopu fruit with Kairi if Sora does not, which obviously makes Sora uncomfortable. Even so, he draws himself giving Kairi a paopu fruit on the wall of the Secret Place. Throughout the series Sora's affection is hinted numerous times, notably when Sora sees other couples such as Jack Skellington and Sally dancing, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, and even Mulan and Li Shang, with Donald and Goofy pointing it out. Saïx even refers to Kairi as "the fire that feeds Sora's anger", while Naminé refers to her as Sora's light, Xion resembles Kairi due to Sora's strong feelings for her, and Roxas refers to her as "the girl [he] likes". When Kairi is apparently saved by Ansem, Sora's feelings for Kairi have become so strong that he is willing to forgive Ansem for all his past wrongdoings, unaware that it is a disguised Riku. At the end of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Sora visibly has difficulty explaining to Kairi that he has to leave to find Terra, Aqua and Ven.
Sora gained the ability to wield the Keyblade when he reached out and accepted Ventus's heart. During the Heartless invasion of the Destiny Islands, Sora receives the Keyblade intended for Riku, Terra's successor, after Riku falls into darkness. Although Riku takes the Keyblade from him in Hollow Bastion, the strength of Sora's heart allows him to reclaim the Keyblade, permanently.
Sora is capable of wielding two Keyblades at one time, through the Synch Blade ability, due to his possessing Ventus's heart within his own. While using Drive Forms, he can summon the second Keyblade himself, but he can also wield someone else's Keyblade, such as when Riku lends Sora his Way to the Dawn during their final battle with Xemnas. During his fight with Roxas, Sora can steal Roxas's Keyblades and use them telepathically, in conjunction with his own Keyblade.
Sora is also very skilled in various basic magic spells (such as Fire, Blizzard, or Thunder), even more so after training with Merlin. These spells allow him to weaken Heartless that are more vulnerable to certain elements. He can also use Cure to heal himself and his allies from injuries as well as restore HP and revive a fallen party member. In Kingdom Hearts II, his basic combo is much stronger and he gains the Drive Form ability after obtaining new clothes, which give him more mastery over his strengths, speed, magic, and Keyblade. In addition to the abilities that each form grants him, Sora's speed and strength stats are also increased.
In Kingdom Hearts II, he learns to use Limits with party members to form a strong, special type of attack.
With a Summon Gem, card or charm in hand, Sora learns to the ability to summon a specific character and temporarily aid him in combat. Each character has a special power that makes them helpful. He first learns summon in Kingdom Hearts when he finds Simba's gem after his world was destroyed and brings it to the Fairy Godmother, who helps restore his spirit form; and then, he gathers five other summons, two of which did not start as summon gems. He loses all of the summon gems when their true forms are restored. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, he learns to summon using cards instead of gems. In this game, he can use all previous summons, with one addition: Cloud. In Kingdom Hearts II, Merlin gives him a summon charm that allows him to call for a specific character to aid him. Then, he locates three other summon charms that allow him to summon more powerful characters.
Sora becomes very powerful over the length of the series, and is eventually able to slay over a thousand Heartless in one sitting with only slight fatigue, and hold his own against legendary swordsmen such as Cloud, Leon, Sephiroth, as well as defeat highly skilled Keyblade wielders like the Lingering Will and Riku; he is even able to trounce actual gods like Hades, or allegedly omnipotent beings like Jafar in his Genie form. He becomes even more powerful when he uses his Drive Forms, which unlock some of his hidden power, though he requires the power of his party members to do this. After he defeats Roxas, he unlocks Final Form, regaining his lost power.
Early on, however, Sora is nearly helpless without his Keyblade; even Shadow Heartless take a huge number of hits to be destroyed with just his Wooden Sword. However, before he left Destiny Islands, he could not even damage the Heartless with the Wooden Sword. Despite this, he is eventually able to defeat enemies without the Keyblade while in Anti Form or while using Flowmotion or spells.
While not a necessary talent for battle, Sora, as seen during the Kingdom Hearts II visit to Atlantica, is shown to be have some talent for music, as he is frequently paired up in Sebastian's musical numbers with Ariel, who is renowned in Atlantica for her singing voice; to be fair, though, he only sings a few lines in two songs, "Under the Sea" and "A New Day is Dawning".
On many occasions, Sora demonstrates physical abilities that could be considered superhuman. In the Deep Jungle, he shows great durability when he falls a great distance and crashes headfirst through the roof of the treehouse, emerging alive and uninjured, but slightly dazed. Similarly, when Sabor slashes him with her claws and knocks him back into a wall, he quickly gets up and fights back. Sora can either glide or actually fly, the latter of which only in the End of the World, and the final battle with Ansem. He is capable of leaping incredible distances, such as jumping up to the ceiling of the ballroom in Beast's Castle and between buildings and Xemnas's two cannons in the final battle with him in Kingdom Hearts II. Sora is able to cut through solid concrete and other durable forms of matter, even whole buildings. He can either teleport or move at speeds too fast to be seen when he uses the "Warp Snipe" Reaction Command, the Teleport Sleight, or Final Form's Final Arts.
Sora's memories seem to bind every character in the story, connecting them to himself in some way. Ansem the Wise, after the plans he set up for the boy while in sleep go array, theorized that Sora's selflessness and ability to connect with others' hearts may have been the reason how he returned to his human form after being turned into a Heartless without needing to destroy Roxas prior. Furthermore, Ansem believed that Sora may also have the power to bring back those that have been lost or no longer exist.