This line from Xehanort's heartless in the last trailer to me is the darkest moment because of its implications. Ansem the Wise's initial experiments prior to KH1 are very vague and seemed to imply that Xehanort was the sole test subject before he took the research into his own hands, but this line implies they were much more unethical (he did have hearts floating in containers in his study).
Do you believe this line is implying children were among the test subjects in Ansem and/or Xehanort's experiments or simply referring to what Ansem made Roxas, Namine, and others go through? It seems that Xehanort's heartless is doing what Xemnas did to Ansem at the end of KHII; putting all his crimes and misdeeds on his former mentor. So, it might be it was Xehanort's doing and he is simply placing the blame on Ansem for starting the research to begin with.
It's apparent at this point that Xehanort and Braig had intended the whole time to use Ansem's research and apprentices to further their own goals, but I wonder how much damage Ansem truly did initially. He was always in that anithero role, but this would take it to another level.
There is some bitter irony to the fact that this "calling out" on Ansem the Wise comes exactly from the guy who did the same and then on top several times worse by a wide margin and is still doing it
during KH III itself.
It is true we do not know the true extent the experiments reached before Ansem the Wise's consciousness kicked in and he forbade any further research.
The secret laboratory for the heart research was
constructed by Ansem the Wise under the suggestion of Ienzo, so he is at least responsible for that (possible) torture chamber to exist in the first place.
It started out as a psychological experiment with Xehanort as a willing test subject and it is not out of the question that Ansem the Wise did do some more experiments down the line with possibly more willing participants who just wanted to help their beloved ruler while Xehanort, Braig & co. were already doing nasty stuff with non-willing subjects behind his back or doing things with the volunteers Ansem himself didn't think of.
It is not totally impossible that quite a bunch of children or teenagers were among those since in the KH series there seems to be an abundancy of them in all the worlds anyways.
The keyblade wielders in Union X seem to be all either mid-teens like Ephemer or Skuld or even actual children like Ventus (who is 10 or 11 in UX).
Among the Foretellers Ava and Gula are also very young compared to the others and Luxu doesn't look like a full adult either.
Not to mention that children are said to have the purest hearts with the least amount of Darkness and the KH 1 reports do mention something in this regard:
Ansem Report 2 said:
I shall conduct the following experiments:
- Extract the darkness from a person's heart.
- Cultivate darkness in a pure heart.
- Both suppress and amplify the darkness within.
Especially the second experiment sounds like something that can be done exceptionally well with children because they still have a largely pure heart.
Theoretically you can even do all three experiments with a single heart if you mix up the order:
First cultivate darkness in a pure heart, then both suppress and amplify it using various means and then finally extract the darkness you have cultivated and played with beforehand.
It sounds massively like what Xehanort is world champion in and has been doing since before BBS (as we know due to how he used Ventus) and is still doing when we look at Days, DDD and now KH III.
And yet it is not impossible that Ansem the Wise took part in some
of these dealings himself for at least a short time.
In the KH II reports Ansem admits that after the psychological tests with Xehanort things quickly snowballed and while he might not have intended any harm he may still blame himself for not having stopped things fast enough
Note how Ansem SoD says "all the children sacrificed in the name
of your research" which may imply that it wasn't Ansem himself who sacrificed children but is guilty by association since a) he enabled the means to do so and b) didn't stop it right away.
It is clear since Blank Points that Ansem the Wise feels very guilty about everything he did and also
the things he enabled without actually wanting them to happen.
He says to Aqua in Blank Points:
Ansem the Wise said:
I did terrible
things...both to him and his friends. I brought unhappiness to more lives than
he could open the right door, and save all those people whose
lives I managed to ruin.
Roxas and NaminÃ© are definitely a big part of this as are Sora and Riku, they're the closest to us because we know their names and appearances, yet all
victims being acknowledged certainly won't hurt and could only help a possible redemption arc Ansem the Wise might get over the course of KH III.
This gets further elaborated upon in DDD when the Data-backup of Ansem talks with Riku:
Ansem the Wise said:
Perhaps I wanted to atone for events of the past, even if
no apology can undo the harm I have wrought.
So in conclusion, even if Ansem SoD is objectively worse than him Ansem is so guiltridden that he takes all the blame despite
how far and deep his actual personal involvement in the unethical experiments which included child sacrifices was.
His words in DDD also imply that he doesn't even want or expects to be forgiven by his victims, he only wants to atone and mend as much of the damage as he can within the possibilities he has.
Well I don't think it is Roxas/Namine/Xion because it's not like those kids were not also treated like shit by the organization. Not saying Ansem the Wise treated any of them well but I don't think they qualified for the statement.
It's probably Isa/Lea and maybe Riku/Sora if you stretch the statement.
What has that to do with it?
Roxas, NaminÃ© and Xion were treated like shit by both sides and abused, yeah, but that doesn't change the fact that they're still among those who count as victims of Ansem the Wise, he even outright says so in Blank Points.
Roxas was literally
sacrificed by Ansem to kick off his revenge plans. That they resulted in Sora waking up was only a convenient side effect for Ansem since he intended to use Sora as a tool to complete his revenge just like Marluxia intended to use him against the Organisation for a coup.
NaminÃ© and Riku went along with the whole thing indeed for Sora's sake, yet they at least feel bad about the whole issue from the start.
He also ordered NaminÃ© exterminated simply because he believed she's "not supposed to exist".
I mean, it wouldn't surprise me if there were child test subjects. Ansem seemed to have no problem with killing NaminÃ© in cold blood after Sora was restored. Not to mention he had every intention of using Sora in the same was the Organization used Sora. And as Divine Past mentioned Isa and Lea were most likely used as test subjects when they became Nobodies themselves likely as a consequence of being caught inside the castle after successfully sneaking in.
Correct. During Days and for a long time in KH 2 the actions DiZ promotes and takes are objectively no better than what the Organisation is doing.
While the Org may be overall more dangerous and a threat on a more universal level it doesn't make DiZ's actions any less despicable.
The prospect of using Sora to pursue his own revenge plans was his primary motivation to help restore him in the first place and he used Riku's devotion to Sora as well as NaminÃ©'s feelings of guilt of what she did in Castle Oblivion to coerce them into doing further bad things down the road.
Like said, there being children used in the experiments is very probable simply because the majority of characters in the KH verse seem to be children and they have a certain type of heart (still largely pure) which is a good starting point for heart experiments.