|“||What I do, I do for friendship.||„|
|~ Terra entering the Keyblade Graveyard|
|“||Aqua, Ven... One day I will set this right.||„|
|~ Terra (in the form of the Lingering Will after his battle with Terra-Xehanort, his possessed body)|
His name means "Earth" in Latin and in Portuguese, similar to Riku's name in Japanese meaning "land". Terra chooses Riku as his successor, making Riku destined to wield the Keyblade in the future. The official Japanese website refers to Terra as the "Vast Earth Protecting Bonds". He is also the oldest of the trio.
Birth by SleepTerra spends his days as a Keyblade apprentice training under Master Eraqus at the Land of Departure along with his friend, Aqua. Terra's long-time dream was to be a Keyblade master like Eraqus, sharing the same dream with Aqua and Ventus.
Four years before the main events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Master Xehanort, whom Terra did not recognize, visited the Land of Departure, and brought with him Ventus, a young boy that Xehanort asked Eraqus to take care of and train to be a Keyblade warrior. Terra greeted Ven and asked him who he was. After Ven answered and he called Aqua over to them, Terra proceeded to ask him several more questions, including where he came from and why he was there. However, Terra was terrified to see Ven cry out in agony, then fall to the floor. Terra felt a great amount of guilt, believing that it was his fault that Ven became comatose.
After a few days, Ven woke up from the coma. Wanting to make it up to Ven, Terra befriended him and became his sparring partner. After a long day of training, Terra told Ven and Aqua about his dream of being a Keyblade master, which was also Aqua's dream. Terra smiled, and gave Ven his wooden sword, saying that he, Ven, and Aqua, all carry the same dream. Ven had been Terra's best friend ever since.
The three spent time together whenever possible, realizing each other's dreams.
Years later, on the night before the Mark of Mastery Exam, Terra joined Ven and Aqua upon the Summit for a final training session, after which Terra tried explaining the stars (worlds) to Ven, but found he couldn't grasp what he was speaking of. Terra then received a charm from Aqua called a Wayfinder along with Ven, symbolising their friendship.
The next day, he takes the Mark of Mastery Exam alongside Aqua in order to become a master with both Masters Eraqus and Xehanort watching on. However, despite his best attempts, Terra was unable to become a Keyblade Master due to being unable to control his darkness. Unbeknownst to them, Master Xehanort is responsible for the appearance of such darkness during the Exam. Terra was even more surprised to find out that he held darkness in his heart, which cost him his chance to be a Keyblade master.
Later that day, he is approached by Master Xehanort, who tells him that despite the darkness being in his heart, it doesn't mean that it would be a problem. Instead, the departing Master Xehanort tells him that darkness cannot be destroyed as Master Eraqus said, it can only be channeled; this renews Terra's hopes of being a Keyblade Master.
Minutes later, Terra is called into the throne room by Master Eraqus, learning that Yen Sid had contacted him and warned that the Princesses of Heart are in danger of a threat posed by mysterious creatures called the Unversed; Master Xehanort had also seemingly vanished and is not responding to Eraqus's attempts to reach him. Terra vows not to fail Master Eraqus, learning that he may be reconsidered for the title of Master should his quest prove his worth.
Terra prepared to leave home, but found Ven calling after him. Thinking Ven is just scared of him leaving, Terra encouraged his friend and donned his Keyblade Armor, riding out into the Lanes Between to begin his search.
While on his journey, the darkness in Terra's heart catches the attention of the evil denizens of the worlds he visits. One is Maleficent, whom Terra found out to have made contact with Master Xehanort and learned of the Keyblade and Kingdom Hearts. Though he tried to force the witch into revealing what else she knew about Master Xehanort, Terra fell victim to her magic and became possessed by his own darkness. During his time possessed, Terra was seemingly forced to extract the slumbering Aurora's heart of pure light and give it to Maleficent, who fled. After dealing with a giant Unversed, Terra vowed to the now heartless Princess that he would return her heart to her - as soon as he overcame the darkness in his heart.
Terra's journeying through the worlds next brought him to the Queen's Magic Mirror Chamber; though the Queen had no clues leading to Master Xehanort's location, she offered Terra a deal - kill Snow White and bring her heart back and she will ask the mirror where Xehanort is. Not having any intention of doing as the Queen says, Terra decided to ask Snow White if she has seen Master Xehanort; however, she had not met him. After Unversed chased Snow White into the woods, Terra returned to the Queen as her mirror was the only lead he had to go on now. However, he was drawn into a battle with the Spirit of the Magic Mirror due to the Queen's fury at being insulted by his actions. Defeating the mirror, Terra demanded to know where Master Xehanort was; the mirror only offered a riddle - "Beyond light and darkness, he dwells; where war was raged upon the fells".
His next trip lead him to Cinderella's garden, where he tried to encourage her to keep a strong heart after her ballgown had been ruined; Terra was shocked when Cinderella's Fairy Godmother appeared and used her magic to make Cinderella's dream true, allowing Terra to see she too had a heart of pure light. Encouraged to see believing in your dreams can help them come true, Terra followed Cinderella to the palace, where he fought off Unversed to help her reach the ballroom. Noticing more on the balcony, Terra went to deal with them, but found himself fighting a giant Unversed. Victorious, Terra asked the Grand Duke what he knew of the Unversed. According to him, they came shortly after a boy wearing a mask visited the kingdom; the Unversed seemed to obey the boy, who has not been seen since.
At midnight, Terra left and found Aqua had just arrived; according to Aqua, Ven left home to look for him. Remembering Ven tried to tell him something, Terra now wishes he had listened. When questioned about his search for Master Xehanort, Terra explained what he learned of his quest for hearts of pure light. Upon leaving, Terra pondered about the Masked Boy who controlled the Unversed and if they had anything to do with why Master Xehanort is looking for hearts of pure light.
Seeing that he cannot come to any conclusions on his own, Terra decided to pay a visit to Master Yen Sid, who was the first one to learn of the Unversed. Upon arrival at the Mysterious Tower, Terra found Yen Sid's apprentice - King Mickey - leaving through use of a Star Shard. Meeting with the mighty sorcerer, Terra asked what his next action should be and learns that instead of seeing the boy controlling the Unversed and Master Xehanort's actions as separate, he should see them as one and the same problem. With his resolve renewed, Terra left Yen Sid's tower, only to hear Master Xehanort's voice calling him from the Keyblade Graveyard.
There, he found the elderly Master and learned that his actions were to protect the Light from an abomination of darkness - Vanitas - who had originated from Ventus's own darkness; Master Xehanort had removed his darkness to save him during training, but the act injured his heart badly. Terra then finally understood why Ven was so out of it when he first met, but wonders why Vanitas is roaming free. Master Xehanort explains that upon his creation, he tried to imprison the monstrosity, but failed, allowing Vanitas to spread his darkness through the worlds as the Unversed. Wondering where Vanitas could be now, Terra is suggested to go to Radiant Garden - the city of light, where Vanitas may be drawn to next.
Upon arrival, Terra is attacked by a swarm of Unversed, proving Master Xehanort was correct. Defeating the monsters, Terra saw Master Xehanort head into town and followed him, only to be side-tracked by Merlin losing the 100 Acre Wood book and returning it to him. Leaving Merlin's cottage, Terra saw an Unversed fly by and chased it to the city's Reactor, where he reunites with both Ventus and Aqua, who been chasing Unversed of their own that combine with his to form a massive Unversed. Defeating it with their excellent teamwork, Terra is given a lifetime pass to Disney Town by Ven.
After discovering that Ven had encountered the enigmatic Vanitas, Terra urges the boy to go home, as urgent duties Terra needs to fulfill will make the situation unsafe. Aqua, thinking these duties are not as Master Eraqus had assigned them, is quickly told by Terra that his goal is still to destroy the darkness, to which Aqua counters by stating the fact that Terra seems to embrace it. Ventus quickly comes to Terra's defense, but Terra becomes angered when he discovers Master Eraqus had asked Aqua to spy on him, thus learning of his master's mistrust. Infuriated and hurt, Terra turns a deaf ear to Aqua's pleas and attempts to reason with him and departs, telling Ven not to follow him.
Terra now believes that Master Xehanort is the only one he can trust. However, he soon runs into a mysterious man called Braig, who says that he has captured Master Xehanort and has him imprisoned in the Purification Facility below the Outer Gardens. Upon arrival, Terra sees that Braig was telling the truth; the elderly Keyblade Master is tied up. Braig explains that he captured Master Xehanort and learned about the Keyblade, desiring to have one of his own. Terra prepares to strike Braig, but is held back by a threat by Braig to kill Master Xehanort if Terra were to attack him; unable to attack, Terra merely blocks attacks from Braig. However, some quick encouragement from Master Xehanort gives Terra the strength to fight back. After the battle, Terra gains the upper hand by using his anger as a weapon, thus losing control of his darkness, scarring Braig's cheek as well as ridding the man of his right eye and breaking the chains keeping Master Xehanort tied up. Reeling in pain, Braig flees.
Terra, who is shocked to see he was controlled by darkness yet again, is approach by Master Xehanort. The elderly Keyblade Master explains that Terra was not controlled by the darkness; rather, he controlled it. Terra refuses to believe, saying he has no home to return to at the end of his quest. Master Xehanort then offers Terra a position as his pupil, causing him to doubt Master Eraqus. Master Xehanort explains darkness is always born within the light, revealing fear is why Master Eraqus didn't pass Terra. Master Xehanort then begs Terra to join him in bringing balance to the worlds, stating their mission is to defeat the darkness that upsets the balance, Vanitas. The final string is then pulled; Master Xehanort acknowledges Terra as "Master Terra" and reminds him to bring down Vanitas. Because of this, Terra sees Master Xehanort as his new master.
As Terra prepares to leave the Radiant Garden, Ventus catches up with him, asking to come along on Terra's journey, to which he refuses. Terra does say, however, when he really needs Ven, he knows Ventus will be there for him. While Terra appears to be reassured of their friendship as he takes off into the Lanes Between, the Reports reveal that he's actually faking his cheer for Ventus's sake, as Terra is unsure whether he'll ever see him again.
In Disney Town, Terra finds Unversed on the racetrack and tries to go after them, only to be nearly run over by "Captain Dark"; he is saved by Queen Minnie calling out to him. Terra is scolded for running out onto the tracks, but he explains that rules don't apply when dealing with Unversed; Chip and Dale think he is no better than "Captain Dark". However, Queen Minnie asks for his help in getting rid of the Glidewinder Unversed causing chaos on the track, forcing Terra to become a racer in order to defeat them. Upon winning the race, Terra is thanked for his help and earns Chip and Dale's votes for the Million Dreams Award; Terra also learns a lesson - you don't always have to bend the rules to win.
At Olympus Coliseum, Terra saves Hercules from a group of Unversed and decides to enter the Games there to see how strong he has gotten and if he can control his darkness. He is approached by Hades, who says that he can help him master his darkness and never have to fear it; Hades is merely looking for a pawn to use. When writing up their contract, Hades references the meaning of his (Terra's) name in Latin by saying "Kinda earthy". Terra fights his way to the finals of the West bracket without relying on his darkness, causing Hades to infuse powerful darkness into his opponent for the title match, Zack Fair, to show him what power he can get from opening up to his darkness. However, Terra defeats Zack, freeing him of Hades's spell; Terra is declared champion of the Games and earns Zack's admiration for being a hero.
In Deep Space, he ends up being taken into custody by the Galactic Federation for passing by a prisoner transport ship. Freeing himself during an Unversed attack, Terra also frees Dr. Jumba, who offers to have his creation, Experiment 626, help defeat Unversed. However, upon freeing 626, Terra has his good luck charm taken from him; he pleas for it to be returned to him, surprising himself how much he misses his friends. Terra wonders if 626 wants to have friends like everyone else, prompting Jumba to release another of his creations, Experiment 221, to attack him in retaliation. After Terra defeats 221, 626 tries asking what a friend is, but Terra tells him that it's something that can't be explained, only experienced. With an alarm announcing the escape of all three of them, Terra flees back into the Lanes Between.
In Neverland, Terra saves Captain Hook and Smee from Unversed; he finds that Vanitas is not there, but another boy is after the "light" in Hook's chest. Escorting Hook to Skull Rock, Terra is left to guard the "light" while Hook goes to look for a shooting star. Soon after, Terra meets Peter Pan, the boy after the "light"; midway in the subsequent fight between Terra and Peter, Slightly and Cubby try stealing the chest, but drop it, causing treasure to fall out, showing Terra that he was tricked into guarding loot. Peter Pan leaves to save Tinker Bell, who had also gone after the shooting star. Hook arrives with Tinker Bell captive in a lantern. Terra frees her and prepares to fight Hook, but the crocodile scares him away. Terra leaves the cave, but the Lost Boys' screams draw him back in the cave, where a swarm of Unversed are attacking. After defeating the Unversed, Terra encourages the Lost Boys to put things they treasure in the chest to replace the treasure lost during the skirmish.
Some time later, Terra finds himself encountering a warm light which calls him to another world. Discovering Paopu Fruit growing on the island, he recalls his friends and the distribution of the good luck charms at the beginning of his quest, Terra is wondering why he is there and if he'll ever see Aqua and Ven again. Soon laying eyes upon a young Sora and Riku, he discovers Riku's potential and holds a conversation with the boy. Terra asks why he wants to go to other worlds, later choosing Riku to be his successor when he is able to hold the Keyblade. Riku states countless times he has cherished things to guard; Terra then makes note that he still has things to protect, as well.
Called soon after to the Keyblade Graveyard by Master Xehanort, Terra learns from the man that Ventus has learned the truth about his past, has gone back to see Master Eraqus about it, and now has a high chance of being eliminated.
Terra immediately returns to the Land of Departure, arriving just in time to save Ventus from a would-be fatal attack by Master Eraqus. Refusing to obey Eraqus's orders to stand down, Terra taps into his darkness. After throwing Ventus into a portal to another world, Terra soundly defeats Master Eraqus, but immediately regrets this action afterwards. However, Eraqus insists that he had failed Terra, and he himself must be tainted by darkness to have raised his Keyblade against Terra and Ventus in the first place. At that moment, however, Master Xehanort arrives and murders Master Eraqus in cold blood as Terra looks on. With his true intentions exposed, Xehanort beckons Terra to come to the Keyblade Graveyard before shrouding the Land of Departure in darkness, which leaves it in ruins.
Upon arriving at the Keyblade Graveyard, Terra meets up with Aqua and Ventus. Terra explains what happened to their master and admits that he did have to be watched, vowing never to go astray again. However, Aqua warns him that darkness is based on hatred and rage, and that if Terra had come for revenge, then Xehanort has already won. Ventus arrives and explains that Xehanort wants him and Vanitas to fight and create the χ-blade. Master Xehanort arrives with Vanitas and begins explaining why the wasteland is littered with Keyblades; in ancient times, many Keyblade wielders perished there while fighting for the light withing Kingdom Hearts, which is the heart of all worlds and would provide whoever unlocked it with unlimited power and wisdom.
Terra dons his armor and charges for the murderer of his master, but is stopped by a plateau of ground. He tries to get behind him after Ven is caught in his grip, but a storm of Keyblades knocks him off the plateau and he smashes into the ground. After Ven is frozen solid and dropped off the cliff, Terra watches as Master Xehanort summons Kingdom Hearts in the sky above. Fueled by his anger, Terra flies back up and discards his armor; inquiring what Xehanort had truly done to Ven, Terra learns he had done Ven a "favor" by removing the darkness in his heart. Terra then proceeds to fight both Master Xehanort and Vanitas.
Midway through their fight, Terra is shocked to hear Master Xehanort ordering Vanitas to kill Aqua and create the χ-blade. Terra tries to go down and help, but is blocked by Master Xehanort, who encourages him to use his rage and sorrow to become stronger. Terra releases all his rage at Xehanort for what he's done, succumbing to his darkness once more, and battles the elderly Keyblade wielder.
However, once Master Xehanort is weakened to the point of barely healing, a loud rumble comes from the canyon below and a large beam of red light shoots up; according to Master Xehanort the χ-blade has been forged. Shocked even further, Terra watched as Master Xehanort unlocked his own heart, explaining it was time to find a younger and stronger vessel to see what lay beyond the Keyblade War. Terra tries to protect himself from being possessed by Master Xehanort's heart by donning his armor, but it proved useless; Terra-Xehanort was born and Terra's armor discarded.
Terra's mind goes on to find residence within his discarded armor as the Lingering Will, which then proceeded to fight Xehanort to reclaim his body; though successful in knocking him out, Terra was unable to reclaim his body, instead being left behind in the Keyblade Graveyard while everyone else was cast to the Lanes Between by the χ-blade's destruction.
Despite the possession, Terra's heart fights back against Master Xehanort's several times, which leads to the new Xehanort unlocking his heart once again to retaliate, leading to Xehanort's amnesia. "In a desperate move to rid himself of Terra once and for all, Xehanort turned his own Keyblade on himself, and began to sink into the pool of darkness that spilled forth". He lost his memories and ended up in the Radiant Garden where he became Ansem the Wise's apprentice. Master Xehanort's heart eventually regained full control of Terra's body and went on to create countless Heartless before leaving Terra's body and becoming a Heartless himself.
Terra's body and soul became Xemnas, however due to being possessed by Xehanort as one of the rare and strong Nobodies that could think and function like a human, made a plan set up by his possessor. With the aid of Xigbar, the Nobody of Master Xehanort's accomplice Braig, Xemnas gathered the special case Nobodies of the residents of Radiant Garden to join him and Xigbar as the first eight members of Organization XIII: Xaldin, Vexen, Lexaeus, Zexion, Saïx and Axel. From there, his forces recruited Demyx, Luxord, Marluxia, and Larxene while he personally recruits Roxas as their final member. A few days after finding Roxas, Xemnas encountered Sora and used some of the memories he took to have a replica of him created. That replica, Xion, was made an unofficial member of the Organization as both she and Roxas were used to gather hearts to provide Xemnas with his personal Kingdom Hearts.
However, with only Xigbar knowing the truth, Xemnas's goal is actually to collect 11 "empty vessels" to hold a piece of Master Xehanort's heart, which would be achieved by connecting them to Kingdom Hearts. But the plan fell apart when all the members deployed to Castle Oblivion were defeated with the defection of Xion, Roxas, and Axel half a year later. Regardless, Xemnas continued with the plan as he encouraged Sora to kill as many Heartless as possible before Ansem's interference severely crippled Xemnas's plans. Xemnas is mortified to find his Kingdom Hearts damaged by Ansem's actions with the dislodged hearts falling into the city and becoming Heartless. Once Sora and the others travel up to the very top of the tower, Xemnas asks the three Keyblade wielders to fetch him more hearts to repair the damage. But when they refuse, Xemnas goes into a philosophical debate with them over light and darkness and then the rights of those who are nothing. But as Riku and Sora refuse to believe the false sincerity he expresses, Xemnas admits that he feels no remorse for his actions 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 in the hole on Kingdom Hearts while urging it to become one with him so they would both gain the power needed to destroy their common enemies. Sora and the others try to stop him, but Xemnas is absorbed into Kingdom Hearts. Sora and his friends 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. Separated from Kairi and Mickey, Sora, Riku, Donald and Goofy fight their way to Xemnas and defeat him. After they defeat him, they are somehow transported back to the tower with King Mickey and Kairi. Seeing Xemnas fading as he thinks that he needs more hearts and more rage, Sora tells him that hearts are more than just anger or hate and asks if he remembers. Xemnas admits that he doesn't before seemingly fading back into the darkness.
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 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 refuse to accept Xemnas to be eternal himself. After a very intense battle, Xemnas manages to badly injure Riku before Sora batters him into submission with both his and Riku's Keyblades before the two finish him off as Xemnas is seemingly defeated for good.
Young Xehanort manages to recruit Xemnas alongside the other Xehanorts, and takes them to the Sleeping Worlds, where their leader is scheming the ultimate plan.
Xemnas first appears in Prankster's Paradise before Sora as he questions how a "heartless puppet" can have a heart. Sora counters this by asking "But if Pinocchio could be given one- shouldn't you be able to have a heart inside you, too?", to which Xemnas responds by telling Sora that he is not as different from the Nobodies as he thinks, confusing him. Xemnas also appeared along with Young Xehanort in The Grid to further harass Sora and have him question whether he is living his life or that of another.
Later, Xemnas appears along with Braig while revealing the true reason behind Organization XIII's formation, which was to assemble 13 vessels for Master Xehanort's heart to enact his scheme of recreating the χ-Blade and begin a new Keyblade war while in conjunction with "Ansem" targeting the seven Princesses of Heart through the manipulation of Maleficent to leave the worlds defenseless against the Realm of Darkness once Kingdom Hearts is unlocked. Though Xemnas's scheme failed, with only Xigbar and Saïx undergoing the process, he took precautions to recreate the Organization through the the temporal abilities of Young Xehanort to gather various incarnations of Xehanort and fill the vacant ranks. Upon this revelation, Sora becomes disgusted at how Xemnas and Braig have commissioned the heart as an experiment and a tool to commit heinous atrocities to countless worlds and millions of innocents, and he engages Xemnas in battle, managing to drive the Nobody off before the boy's darkness takes its toll on him.
He then appears at Where Nothing Gathers along with Ansem, Braig, Isa, and the alternate-Xehanort to be led by Master Xehanort, who reveals his plans of the 13 vessels for his heart in order to form 13 Keyblade wielders of darkness to fight with 7 Keyblade wielders of light so as to recreate the original X-blade without fail like his previous scheme with Ventus and Vanitas. Xemnas proceeds to subdue Mickey so Xehanort can proceed to make Sora into the 13th vessel for the final spot. However, Lea rescues Sora from Xehanort, the event distracting Xemnas long enough for Mickey to summon his Kingdom Key D, with the Nobody teleporting away before Mickey could hit him. Xemnas then vanishes along with Xehanort's new army.