The World That Never Was (in Japanese: 決してなかった世界, Kesshite Nakatta Sekai) is a dark realm that is a world featured in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
The world of Organization XIII, it is home to a seemingly endless horde of Heartless and Nobodies. The Heartless seem to spawn more here due to how close The World That Never Was is to the darkness of Kingdom Hearts. The Organization controls the world from the Castle That Never Was, a massive fortress that floats weightlessly over the expansive Dark City. Unlike the Heartless counterpart, End of the World, this world is more man-made in appearance to reflect the Nobodies' ability to think and plan rather than act on instinct like the Heartless.
Areas and Settings
Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
- Alley to Between (in Japanese: 狭間につながる路地 Hazama ni Tsunagaru Roji):
- A darkened alleyway that hides a portal to Betwixt and Between. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey used this portal to get into the world, thanks to Axel's sacrifice. The alleyway connects to the main route that leads to the Castle That Never Was. The first Save Point of the world is here. The Castle That Never Was can also been seen clearly in the light of the Kingdom Hearts moon, shaded in purple.
- Fragment Crossing (in Japanese: 断片を紡ぐ道 Danpen o Tsumugu Michi, lit. "Fragment-Spinning Road"):
- A long series of winding streets that lead to Memory's Skyscraper. It is full of neon signs attached to vacant buildings as well as a power plant which seems to power some or all of the city. Many Shadow Heartless are here, but in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, they are eventually replaced with Nobodies. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey took this route on their way to the Castle That Never Was. Pluto, King Mickey Mouse's faithful pet dog, also had an encounter with Axel here.
- Memory's Skyscraper (in Japanese: 記憶の摩天楼 Kioku no Matenrō):
- A massive dark skyscraper in the World That Never Was. Located near the Castle That Never Was, the building kept watch over the residents of the Dark. On its front, it has a massive television screen that seems to flash images of memories of those nearby, although this feature is only visible in the FMV videos at the end of the first Kingdom Hearts game. A truck is visible flipped on its side in one corner of the area. Roxas was battling a legion of Neoshadows when Riku appeared at the top of the building, and after the two eliminated the Neoshadows, they began their duel.
After arriving at the World That Never Was, Sora was confronted by Roxas at Memory's Skyscraper, while two Samurai blocked Donald and Goofy. Sora and Roxas soon disappeared to the Station of Awakening, but Donald and Goofy claimed to not see Roxas.
- Brink of Despair (in Japanese: 絶望を望む断崖 Zetsubō o Nozomu Dangai, lit. "Cliff Desiring Despair"):
- A huge, shimmering blue-green rock crater within the Dark City that seems to have been created by The Castle That Never Was which hovers above it. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey arrive here and access the castle via a path using the Keyblade. It has the second Save Point of this world.
- The enormous white castle that floats above the city, dominating its skyline. It is decorated all over with the Nobody symbols. It serves as the Organization's base of operations and home; lesser Nobodies infest it as well. Some areas are not accessible unless using a Corridor of Darkness.
- World of Nothing (in Japanese: 虚無の世界 Kyomu no Sekai):
- After Xemnas's first defeat within Memory's Contortion, he flees into his Kingdom Hearts. However, a door appears that leads Sora and his friends within that Kingdom Hearts to an area named the "World of Nothing". The first area inside the door is The World of Nothing—End's Beginning, a passageway resembling the Dark City where skyscrapers suddenly erupt from the ground in order to repel Sora. A strange black-and-white tunnel leads from this room to a platform looking out on the gigantic Nobody that Xemnas is riding. From there, Sora can climb falling skyscraper to walkways surrounding the lower cannons of the Nobody, The World of Nothing—Twin Cannons. Once he destroys those, Sora swings his way up to the ship's Energy Core, which is kept in a room appropriately named The World of Nothing—Energy Core. After disabling the ship's energy core, he makes it up The World of Nothing—Xemnas's Throne Room, where Xemnas sits in his Keyblade Armor, enthroned atop the dragon Nobody's head in a chamber equipped with the weapons of the defeated Organization members.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, only Memory's Skyscraper, the Brink of Despair, and the real Castle That Never Was are visited in the realm between. Sora visits a dream of a dream of the World that Never Was, which appears more similar to the World of Nothing within Kingdom Hearts than the Dark City as it appears in Kingdom Hearts II, while Riku visits a dream of a dream of the Castle That Never Was. Whether or not the locations he visits exist in the real world version of the world is not yet known.
- Avenue to Dreams (in Japanese: 夢への道, Yume e no michi):
- The large urban area beginning with an enclosed alley featuring a save point and a Moogle hologram. Up a long flight of stairs lays a piece of destroyed building, blocking the path into the city that must be scaled to advance. Beyond is an area of twisting alleys surrounded by skyscrapers that can be scaled with Flowmotion. Several buildings are adorned in blue stripes with a geometric pattern and when stood upon, they raise up, throwing Sora into the air. Another building has similar white stripes and can be destroyed by using a Reality Shift. Perhaps the most notable feature of this area is a stream of blue-green mist that falls from the roof of a massive tower extremely similar to Memory's Skyscraper and flows through the streets. Beyond this tower, the pavement is revealed to be floating and broken, away from the rest of the city and leads off into a more urban area.
- Contorted City (in Japanese: ねじ曲げ市, Nejimage ichi):
- A distorted metropolis seems to emerge from a canyon of strange blue-green rock. Much of the architecture here is coated in blue-green mist, many buildings float of their own accord, attached to chunks of rock separate from the road, and several shake and swing. The blue markings appear again on the shaking section that is able to launch Sora skyward. Beyond several overturned buildings, a path of broken pavement and destroyed buildings forms an upward spiral. Neon strips and signs on the buildings can be traversed with Flowmotion. In several places, floating buildings marked with red symbols will hurtle toward Sora and must be destroyed with a Reality Shift or they will cause damage.
- Nightmarish Abyss (in Japanese: 悪夢のアビス, Akumu no abisu):
- The Nightmarish Abyss itself features a large open plaza surrounded on 3 sides by skyscrapers, with a crashed truck (identical to the one near Memory's Skyscraper) blocking access to a side-street. The fourth side drops off to an abyss that is spanned by floating skyscrapers laid on their sides, forming a mostly straight path between two cliff faces and leading toward what appears to be Memory's Skyscraper and the Castle that Never Was. Several neon strips appear here that can be traversed through Flowmotion, as in the Contorted City area.
- Interestingly, the boxart of Kingdom Hearts shows a scene with the younger versions of Kairi, Sora, Riku, Donald, and Goofy sitting on a skyscraper in a world, that bears an uncanny resemblance to the World That Never Was, including the Kingdom Hearts moon in the background, although this world didn't actually appear before Kingdom Hearts II.
- It is sometimes referred to as the "Nobody World" and/or "World of Nobodies" by some Kingdom Hearts fans.
- The World That Never Was cannot be accessed via the Gummi Ship until after you enter the world via the Simulated Twilight Town.
- For some unknown reason, there is a massive, green crater-like pit below the Castle That Never Was.
- It is unknown if Young Xehanort's battle arena in Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance has any connection to this world, even though the arena has similarities to the Castle's designs.
- The world's main castle looks a bit like the Radiant Garden's castle, with a bit of a change up, but they still look very similar.