Before we get started, I'd just like to say that people who dislike Xion because she sank your ship shouldn't be here, really.

I'll admit that when I first heard about Xion, I wasn't terribly thrilled. She was just another one of Square Enix's ploys to make more money. And that she was. Upon hearing about the nature of her existence (a replica of Sora) after the Japanese release of the game, I was even more displeased. She seemed like an unnecessary character, useless even, put in to create unnecessary drama. And that she was as well. However, Square did a damn good job of making me care about this "useless drama llama money-spinner" character.

Xion is a replica of Roxas. Or perhaps of Sora. It's a little unclear. Either way, she is a replica of the entity that is both Roxas and Sora. Much like the Riku Replica, she lacks a heart. Her entire existence is based on memories. Created by the Organization, she was a puppet to them, a "backup plan" if Roxas failed them.

The two encounter each other early in Roxas' start with the Organization, and she's a little slow to open up to him at first, but they quickly bond and become friends. Not long after this, though, Roxas falls into a deep sleep due to Sora's memory restoration. For the twenty-some days he's out, Xion comes in every day to leave him a seashell from the worlds she goes to. They haven't known each other very long, but it's a sweet gesture.

Later, when Xion falls into a deep sleep, Roxas is compelled to see her, as she did for him when he was asleep. He goes out of his way to see her, postponing a mission with Luxord to do so. He leaves seashells by her bedside, just as she did for him. Xion is one of his best friends. He becomes visibly angry when Saïx calls her "broken" or refers to her as a "creature" or "it." Whenever Xion disappears and doesn't come back after her missions on time, Roxas becomes extremely concerned, always determined to find her and wondering what fate might have befallen her.

The two of them are incredibly similar. Neither of them have memories of their pasts, and both have strange recurring dreams about a boy named Sora. Perhaps they find solace in each other, and are unconsciously drawn to one another because of their common origin. Even so, though Xion is just another side of Roxas and Sora, it is unfair to say that she isn't her own person. She isn't simply the Organization's greatest puppet - she's a real person, separate from both Sora and Roxas in her own way.

The fact remains that the two of them are so inextricably linked that when one is affected, the other is as well. This is most notable near the end of the game when Xion sees a huge increase in her powers and Roxas becomes tired, his powers having weakened significantly. By this point, Xion is fully aware that she is a Replica and knows why this is is happening, and is extremely worried about Roxas. She doesn't want to sacrifice Roxas because of her existence, and expresses her concerns to him.

Roxas: Since when do you ever worry about me?
Xion: Well, excuse me!
Roxas: Just feels strange, that's all. Usually, I do all the worrying over you. I don't think it's ever been the other way around before.
Xion: Well, for your information ... I worry about you all the time, Roxas.
Day 321 ~Waning Power~

Roxas could have defected the Organization even if Xion hadn't been in the game. A lot of the same things could have happened without Xion. He had plenty of reason to leave already. However, the addition of Xion adds a whole new dimension to Roxas' character. With Xion, we really get to see a more human side of him. Though Axel was also his best friend, he was too loyal to the Organization to have the quite the same impact as Xion. Xion draws out the greatest extremes in Roxas' displays of emotion, lessening the selfish part of him. Before the release of 358/2 Days, I had the impression that Roxas was rather selfish, leaving the Axel and the Organization because he couldn't take it anymore, but as it turns out, it was partly that and a concern for Xion. Both Axel and Xion are essential to his development, but Xion takes Roxas on an insanely ridiculous emotional rollercoaster. The way I see it, Axel helps to provide the foundation for Roxas' character development, and Xion fleshes it out to a whole new level.

Plus, no self-respecting Kingdom Hearts installment is complete without Two Guys And A Girl. Roxas, Axel, and Xion make this trio perfectly.

Love is something that Square Enix rarely pulls out explicitly. Usually it's only hinted at in their games, but Xion is one of the few exceptions - she says straight out in one of her secret reports that she loves Roxas and Axel.

The Organization is determined to erase either me or Roxas. They'll never allow us to coexist. I love Roxas and Axel. ... Call it a trick of my artificial memories. But the times I spent on that clock tower were real. ... But I have to end this. I'll never forget today's sunset. Even if Roxas and Axel do, I won't forget. Secret Report: Xion, Day 352 (What I Must Do)

It isn't a romantic love (and I don't ship Roxas and Xion), but rather an unconditional platonic love. Xion's happiness is dependent on Roxas's (and Axel's) well-being. They are her everything. Though Roxas never said it, I'm sure he loved her too. His greatest fear was to lose the two of them. In the end, Xion decides that she would disappear instead of Roxas, since only one of them could live. Neither Roxas nor Axel would be willing to kill her, but Xion decides that she will return to Sora. As it turns out, Xion is reprogrammed by Xemnas to absorb Roxas, thus forcing him to fight her, and he is able to defeat her.

As he does so, Xion is finally able to return to Sora. Roxas, distraught and barely clinging onto his memories of her, is desperate to have her back, and heads off to face Xemnas. However, not everything goes as planned and he never regains his memories of her, but in the end, it's important to realize that Xion and Roxas are different and very real individuals. Roxas truly treasures Xion, and though he forgets about her, that doesn't mean the memories aren't real and floating about somewhere in the depths of Sora's heart. Their friendship is genuine and irreplaceable.

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