Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Four years before the events of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Ventus served as Master Xehanort's apprentice. The Keyblade wielder was sent to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he was forced by his master to face several Heartless in an attempt to forge the χ-blade. Ventus was unable to use his darkness, and was knocked unconscious.
Master Xehanort then proceeded to use his Keyblade to unlock Ventus's heart, extracting the darkness within and resulting in an orb of dark energy forming into a young boy in a mask who is then given the name "Vanitas" by Master Xehanort.
Aux, along with Nequa and Vanitas are the masked assailants who kidnapped Terra, Ventus, and Aqua from the Land of Departure. For unknown reasons, they were instructed to leave Master Eraqus behind and only abduct the students.
Vanitas first appears in Deep Jungle is at the very beginning of the world. He is referred to simply as "the masked figure," he is seen making a deal with Clayton. Later, as Krowley is talking with Clayton, Clayton simply refers back to making a deal with this same masked fellow, this someone giving him Gorillas in exchange for dealing with any masked person and keyblade wielders, to which Krowley assumes it is someone else. As Krowley realizes his friends are being lead to a trap, Vanitas appears to confirm this, as well as saying "Sorry to disappoint. I know I'm not who you were expecting." Later in the world, an army of heartless had appeared around the keyblades at Jane's camp and set off multitudes of deadly traps. Amidst the survivors of the traps, Vanitas could be spotted only to taunt the group before jumping into the darkness. Vanitas came back with the now insane Leo/Doctor L...thing...and after shortly interacting with them, he created a portal of darkness which both he and Leo ended up going through.
After the group had successfully stopped the ship, Vanitas was seen talking with Clayton. It was there that the two were arguing about their deal, and Vanitas pondering about how his situation was worsening. Eventually, he left to recruit more heartless to see how the individuals would do in "round 3."
Vanitas shows up once more, with both Nequa and Aux in some faraway place. He proceeds to talk about how much of a waste this world was only to then tell Aux about how Krowley was here in search of him. With Aux's reply, Vanitas proceeded to shrug it off and suggest that they could use Krowley's attachment to Aux to their advantage. After asking if he had clean up duty covered, Vanitas then proceeded to walk away saying that "the old man" needed to do some rearranging before he ended up leaving through a dark portal.
Vanitas first appeared in Dwarf Woodlands talking to the Queen. The two are seen discussing with each other about how so far Vanitas had failed to meet the expectations of the Queen. He proceeds to tell her that the plan failed because keyblade wielders got in the way, to which she replied she sent them to capture the princess anyway. After telling the Queen that it was basically her fault, he decides to go back and go to work once more, only for the Queen to tell him that she'll handle Snow White herself. Vanitas tells her that it was "her funeral" before simply walking away.
Vanitas is next within the Magic Mirror as Luna asked it a question. The Mirror then reveals that Vanitas is the source of the creatures that have been attacking everyone in the Dwarf Woodlands. It is then revealed in Krowley's next question to the Mirror that Vanitas had come to this world for the pure heart belonging to Snow White so he may gain access to Kingdom Hearts.
Vanitas next appears after the Queen kills Snow White, telling the Queen that he could help her escape from the oncoming group of protagonists. After careful consideration, the Queen ends up taking Vanitas's deal. Eventually the hero party ended up making it out of the forest and confronted Vanitas. When they tell him that they know he's the cause of the unversed, he replies that they didn't actually learn anything. When Krowley tells him that they know he's there for Snow White's Heart, he simply replies that it complicates things. He then asks the heroes what they plan on doing. When Karina and Krowley challenge Vanitas, he simply tells them that fighting him is a death wish, and as much as he'd love to kill them all, he's being given orders not to. He then proceeds to tell them that everything he does is, including the abductions, because he ordered him to. After having insults thrown at him, Vanitas simply summons the Mad Treant unversed to deal with the heroes as he retreats back to the castle.
Vanitas is next seen near the seven dwarves. He comments that in the end he had to do things his own way, and is simply pummeling them when he wonders where the last one had gone off to. Vanitas is next seen talking with Aux who had just appeared in front of him with a large casket, saying that it was the container that Vanitas had required. Vanitas then assured Aux that Snow White was ready for departure, and when being eyed by Aux he simply told him that he kept them all alive and that it was too late for him to start growing a conscience.
As the heroes reach Vanitas, a magic barrier stops them to which Vantias says that even Aux got here faster than her, the her being Nequa. When Vanitas was getting ready to abduct the keyblade wielders, he was told by Nequa that he still wasn't able to kill them, to which Vanitas appeared extremely annoyed by. Vanitas is then extremely annoyed with Aux, when Krowley tells them that Aux had left a letter back at Deep Jungle. Even with Aux denying it, Vanitas is still angered with him and remains his stance of distrust, claiming that he knew Aux would run back to the light. After Aux had finished readying the casket, Vanitas told Aux that their discussion wasn't over yet and leaves through the dark corridor.
Vanitas makes his first appearance in this chapter when Nequa and Aux are waiting for him. Vanitas appears rather disgruntled and as Nequa pointed out, it was due to him having failed his unknown mission. When Aux asks what his mission was, as it would help if they didn't keep any secrets from each other, Vanitas then begins to lose his temper. He begins questioning if Aux knew Krowley prior to this, and why he had left that letter back in Deep Jungle. When Aux continues to deny each and every accusation Vanitas throws at him, Vanitas only proceeds to get more distrusting and his attitude more angered towards Aux. Vanitas then asks who put the letter there, only for his master to come in and say that he did it. When Vanitas asked what his game was, the master simply replied that he doesn't play games. Vanitas and the master proceed to have a long stare down only for the two to break eye contact. Vanitas then questions how the master plans to make himself whole if Ventus is off in dreamland. The master then informs Vanitas that it will only work if both Ventus and Vanitas fight each other at their full strength, otherwise the fusion will be incomplete, like Vanitas himself. The master then assures Vanitas that following his plan is the quickest way to reach that power. The master then proceeds to tell the three of his new plan, and tells Vanitas that he is now tasked with finding the next Princess of Heart. When asked if there were any objections, Vanitas simply doesn't reply and leaves through a dark corridor.
Castle of DreamsEdit
Vanitas first appears in this chapter when the gang is escorting Cinderella to the the castle for the ball. He is simply seen laying back against a pillar in the courtyard with his arms folded. Despite him wearing a mask so no one can actually see his face, he is said to give a soft smirk and then wanders into the castle knowing the group would follow after him. Before this, though, he summons more unversed to deal with the protagonists.
Vanitas next appears after all of the protagonists in the world seal the keyhole. It is there that Vanitas appears at the castle entrance telling them that the group sure knew how to take the bait. He then summoned his keyblade telling the group that Cinderella's heart belonged to a very special cause and that it should be easy for him to take out the group. He is then interrupted by the fairy godmother who simply claims that it isn't a fair fight, and causes all of the keybladers in the SOS series so far to appear before Vanitas. Vanitas then realized that some of the new ones weren't even really paying attention to him, and that he was going to have to take some careful planning if he were to defeat them. He also laments about how he was limited in the amount of power he could use, claiming that his full strength would easily be able to take on all of them and that he was also on a time limit.
Once midnight had struck and Cinderella fled the castle, Vanitas summoned unversed to divert the attention of the keyblade wielders and had them attack the people of the castle. With that, he presented an ultimatum to the group and left to presumably go after Cinderella herself.
Vanitas next appears after the protagonists who stayed behind in the castle defeat the Symphony master. He comments how it took longer than he expected, and mockingly said that they'd get better. He then goes to tell them how the princess of light was was far more trouble than she was worth. With that Vanitas simply stepped back and walked through a corridor of darkness leaving the protagonists behind.
Vanitas makes his first appearance in this chapter as Blaze is explaining things to the protagonists. Vanitas is seen talking to No Heart not really understanding his plan at all. He reminds No Heart that there are supposed to be only seven lights, and one that he had to not capture on purpose. After being informed by No Heart that due to their ability to traverse to different timelines, they could get more princesses than would normally exist, Vanitas then just goes over No Heart's base plan of getting the seven princesses of light, sealing the final keyhole and getting to Kingdom Hearts. After No Heart reassured Vanitas that reuniting with Ventus is all apart of his grand design, only to have Vanitas snap on him. Vanitas goes into telling No Heart that he is sick of all of this plotting that seems to continue to change erratically.
Vanitas then sees Master Xehanort get thrown out of corridor of darkness only for Vanitas to sneer at him. Xehanort then mockingly says that he's surprised by Vantias's betrayal, only to tell him that No Heart's presentation and offer was better. Vanitas then leaves with Aux to go put Master Xehanort into Cryo-stasis.
Vanitas enters this chapter being rather annoyed with Aux, asking why Xehanort is awake. As Vanitas further entered the cave where Aux and Xehanort was, he informed Aux that he was allowing himself to be manipulated by Xehanort and that the longer he talks to him the more in his head he'll get. Xehanort than says to Vanitas that he had no idea the separation would fail, and that unlike No Heart, he could not tell the future. Xehanort than finishes by saying that No Heart's plan is still doomed to fail regardless. Not responding to Xehanort at all, Vanitas than tells Aux to ignore Xehanort and asks where Nequa was. When Aux responds that he doesn't know, and that they are running out of time, Vanitas jokingly states that they have a time belt and thus could go as slow as they want. When Aux gives Vanitas the reason why that clearly isn't the case, Xehanort than states that they should be wary of the protagonists as they will be their undoing. Having heard enough from him, Vanitas pulls out his keyblade and directs it towards it Xehanort. Aux then pulls out his own and tells Vanitas to treat the master with respect, only for Vanitas to ask Aux to give him a reason. The two only stop their stare down due to No Heart bellowing at them to.
When No Heart then informs Aux and Vanitas that they have tasks to preform, Vanitas asks about Nequa. No Heart simply states that she has failed her mission and goes on about how they only have one princess of heart when they should have four by now. Vanitas then says that they would easily have more if No Heart just let them go all out against the protagonists. When No Heart responds by saying fine, Vanitas is quite surprised by this. No Heart then elaborates saying that they are to come back with a princess of heart or not at all. Vanitas simply states that it was about time and leaves the scene.
Vanitas appears once again as the antagonist of the world, Corona. He first appears in the tower alongside Gothel shortly after Rapunzel had left to see the kingdom. He seemed to be disappointed in the fact that the heroes had managed to get to Rapunzel before him, and after a short discussion with Gothel, the two seemed to make a deal. He then appeared later while Rapunzel and Flynn were having their big romantic moment. He appeared to have Gothel held captive, and told Rapunzel to come back to the tower if she wanted to see Gothel safe and sound. Afterwards, he ignited the all the lights in the sky and left the scene.
Vanitas then appeared once more after the gang had beaten the Thresholder boss. He was seen talking to Gothel, only for her to feel cheated and promptly age into dust. Vanitas then came out to take Rapunzel with him, only for the protagonists to challenge him instead. Not holding back anymore, Vanitas took them out to his one hit multi hit move (and the fact that he had about six turns before the others had one,) and he took Rapunzel with him. While he was about to leave, he was stopped by Maximus in an oddly epic sword fight, only for Vanitas to finally teleport out of the world.
Vanitas made his first appearance in this chapter talking with Aux next to the captured princesses. He started complaining about how slow the Horseman was being, only for Aux to ask him about what more did he want. Vanitas then told Aux he wasn't supposed to be talking with Master Xehanort, only for Aux to tell him that he was more pleasurable to talk to than either Vanitas or Nequa.
Vanitas then mocks Aux by telling him if he wanted to talk, he should go back to his friends in The Order. He then goes on to tell Aux how he can never truly sink into the darkness as long as his friends still exist. He ends this statement by saying that he should just go out and kill them so that he can dive further into it. It is then that Nequa appears with Mizu in tow. When Aux yells at her for kidnapping a member of The Order, Vanitas mocks the fact that the petite girl was apparently part of their biggest threat.
No Heart then appears to tell Vanitas not to underestimate them. It is then, after a short exchange of Nequa back talking to No Heart and No Heart not minding, that Vanitas gets aggravated with the whole situation. After saying that he was going to leave with Ventus, No Heart simply blasts him against a wall. No Heart then reveals to him that all of their power and every move they made was being regulated by himself. Vanitas then submits to No Heart's commands and prepared himself for the invasion on Central Haven.
Road to Darkness Epilogue Edit
Vanitas makes an appearance during the segment of the epilogue that he is the focus of, "Emptiness in its Full Form." In this segment, Vanitas laments about how he likely chose wrong in siding with No Heart over Xehanort, and felt that this has been nothing but bad for him. While he's in the middle of his frustration, Maleficent comes to ask for his aid. While at first he seems completely uninterested in what she has to say, he ends up listening to her proposal anyway.
She needed a keyblade wielder, and Vanitas needed to get stronger, as he felt dwarfed by No Heart's other two apprentices. As such, Maleficent tells him that she will be able to remove the hold that No Heart had on him and give him powers. Vanitas agreed to this, and upon doing so was given a special elixir by Maleficent. When given it, he felt a surge of power, and when that was over, removed his mask to reveal his face had shifted to become identical to Ventus's.
Vanitas is also shown to be an uncaring, cold, and ruthless individual, having not the slightest sympathy for anyone but himself. Vanitas holds everything and everyone in contempt.
Vanitas wears a black and red organic-looking bodysuit, which is quite similar to Riku's Dark Mode. He wears a silver helmet covered with dark glass, hiding his face from view.
- Vanitas's name is derived from the Latin word for "Vanity" or "Emptiness", and was chosen for its meaning, that it sounded similar to "Ventus" and that it was a written pun on "Sora" in Japanese.