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|Romaji||Zeanōto no Hātoresu|
|Home world||Hollow Bastion
|Other residences||End of the World|
|First Appearance||Kingdom Hearts, Chapter 2|
Xehanort's Heartless is the main antagonist for the Kingdom Hearts manga volumes one through four.
Xehanort's Heartless, after ten years of being a Heartless, appears in a brown robe by the Destiny Islands Keyhole before the world's fall into darkness, insulting Sora's ignorance of what was to come, and completely ignoring Sora's questions.
The villain appears again to Riku, after his loss to Sora at Hollow Bastion. Shaken by his loss of control over the Keyblade to Sora, Riku lets himself be influenced by Xehanort's Heartless and his promise of power. Riku then lets his heart open up to the darkness, allowing Xehanort's Heartless to possess him.
Firmly in control of Riku's body, Xehanort's Heartless creates the artificial Dark Keyblade from six of the Princesses of Heart's hearts. This Keyblade possesses the power to unlock hearts, a property he soon tests on Maleficent, transforming her into a gigantic dragon. The dragon is felled by Sora and his friends, leading the Heartless to comment that the dark fairy was arrogant to believe that she manipulated the Heartless when it was actually the other way around. He insults Maleficent and takes his leave, waiting for Sora in the chamber of the Final Keyhole.
Sora arrives, finally reunited with Kairi, though she is comatose due to the loss of her heart. Xehanort's Heartless comments that she lacks a heart, and from his impersonal comments and unusual nature, Sora realizes that who he sees as Riku is not truly the friend he knew. Xehanort's Heartless introduces himself as "Ansem, the Seeker of Darkness". The Heartless goes on to explain that Kairi's heart is in Sora, and that his dark Keyblade is necessary to remove the imprisoned heart. Sora refuses to agree with the plan and they battle. Sora wins the duel, and Xehanort's Heartless retreats. However, his efforts are not in vain, as Sora stabs himself with the dark Keyblade, in order to free Kairi's heart as well as the six other Princesses. But this ends up opening the final Keyhole and the way to Kingdom Hearts, as well as the loss of Sora's heart and his brief transformation into a Shadow Heartless. Xehanort's Heartless shortly returns, having obtained complete control over Riku's body and shaped it into one resembling his original human self. Now that the final Keyhole is open from Sora's sacrifice, he plans to kill Kairi now that her purpose in his plans has been fulfilled. Donald and Goofy bravely make a stand against Xehanort's Heartless in order to protect Kairi, but both know that, without Sora, they may not be able to stop him. Before he can dispose of the three, Riku projects himself from Xehanort's stolen body and manages to establish enough control to stop the Heartless in his tracks, allowing Donald and Goofy to escape with Kairi. This leads to an internal struggle between the two that Riku ultimately loses. His heart is forced out of his body, and Xehanort's Heartless completely takes control. Xehanort's Heartless then allows himself to be enveloped by the darkness flowing out of the Keyhole, and travels to the End of the World and Kingdom Hearts.
As Sora, his humanity having been restored by Kairi's light, arrives at the remnants of Destiny Islands at End of the World, Xehanort's Heartless appears, bearing Riku's form. He explains the fall of Riku to darkness, that he desperately sought to escape the island "prison" enough to open his heart to darkness. Afterwards, Xehanort's Heartless explains his philosophy: that worlds and hearts begin and end in darkness. Thus, darkness is the heart's true essence. Sora denies this, in words and in battle, with Xehanort's Heartless. During the battle Ansem summons both his familiar, the Guardian Heartless, and a Darkside Heartless to assist him. As the battle rages on, Xehanort's Heartless leads the trio to the endless abyss where the Door to Darkness resides. This time, Xehanort's Heartless merges himself to the World of Chaos, a monstrous Heartless ship, and captures Donald and Goofy, though Sora rescues them.
After several more rounds of combat, Xehanort's Heartless, weakened, opens the Door to Darkness, imploring Kingdom Hearts to fill him with the power of darkness so that he can gain enough power to destroy Sora, Donald, and Goofy and shroud the universe in darkness. However, when Sora yells "You're wrong! I know now, without a doubt, that Kingdom Hearts is light!", Xehanort's Heartless is horrified to see light pour out of the door. The blinding light of Kingdom Hearts envelops and destroys Xehanort's Heartless, allowing Riku to take back his body.
However, because Riku served as the host for Xehanort's Heartless, a piece remains even after his destruction by the light of Kingdom Hearts. This bothers Riku greatly, who ends up in Castle Oblivion thanks to his heart resonating with Sora's, who is also in the castle.
Guided by a mysterious voice--who is actually DiZ--Riku climbs through the basements of Castle Oblivion, trying to rid himself of his darkness. However, Xehanort's Heartless appears early on, intending to overcome Riku, but fails. Still, Xehanort's Heartless remains, and even stirs the darkness in Riku's heart so that he may use it in battle, if he so chooses. The dark being remains confident that Riku will eventually give into the darkness.
At times, Riku almost becomes overwhelmed by the darkness, but King Mickey's light continually comes to the rescue, frustrating Xehanort's Heartless. Eventually, Riku overcomes his fear of the darkness, intending to use it as well as the light. He also additionally receives some guidance from the enigmatic DiZ, the true owner of the mysterious voice, who in turn leads Riku to Naminé. Naminé offers to seal away Riku's darkness and Xehanort's Heartless, but he instead chooses to face the Heartless on his own. DiZ then gives Riku a card that will give Xehanort's Heartless form, so that Riku can finish him off once and for all.
Xehanort's Heartless again tries to turn Riku to the darkness completely, and tries to defeat the young boy so that he can take over again. However, though he is defeated, Riku realizes that Xehanort's Heartless still lingers in his heart, and sets off with King Mickey in order to rid himself of the Seeker of Darkness forever.
Though Xemnas, the Nobody counterpart of Xehanort's Heartless, soon becomes the main threat, the dark being still has a presence. In fact, the part of him that lingers in Riku starts to eat away at him, even forcing him to put on a blindfold over his eyes to keep him from "lying to himself".
As of yet, Xehanort's Heartless has not appeared in the Kingdom Hearts II Manga. However, his Nobody counterpart serves as the main antagonist of the series.