- "You have to be strong. Strength of heart will carry you through the hardest of trials."
- —Terra to Cinderella upon their first meeting
Terra is one of the main protagonists of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Along with his best friendsVentus and Aqua, he is a Keyblade apprentice, and it is his dream to reach the rank of Master.
His name means "Earth" in Latin, similar to Riku's name in Japanese meaning "land". The official Japanese website refers to Terra as the "Vast Earth Protecting Bonds" (絆守る大地 Kizuna Mamoru Daichi?) .
Before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Terra spent his days as a Keyblade apprentice training under Eraqus at the Land of Departure, along with his friend, Aqua. Terra's long-time dream was to become a Keyblade Master.
One day during training, Master Xehanort visited the Land of Departure, bringing with him a near-catatonic Ventus, in order to ask Eraqus to take care of the boy and train him as a Keyblade wielder. Terra greeted Ven, and he and Aqua introduced themselves, but when Terra started asking him questions about himself, Ven collapsed with a cry of agony. Eraqus explained to Terra that Ventus had no memory. Ventus woke up a few days later.
Ventus later began training with Terra and Aqua, becoming fast friends with them, and Terra often sparred with Ventus. After one long day of training, Terra told Ven and Aqua about his dream of being a Keyblade Master and gave Ven his wooden Keyblade to use instead of Ven's wooden Sword, saying that he, Ven, and Aqua, all carry the same dream.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Terra taps into the darkness during the Mark of Mastery exam.
Four years after Ven's arrival, Terra and Aqua take the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become Masters, but while Aqua passes, Terra does not, as he is unable to control his darkness. Unbeknownst to them, Master Xehanort is responsible for Terra's darkness flaring up during the exam.
Surprised and depressed to learn that he holds darkness in his heart, Terra steps outside, where he is approached by Master Xehanort, who tells Terra that he shouldn't try to control his darkness, but rather, to channel it.
Shortly after, Terra and Aqua are sent on a quest to find the missing Master Xehanort and stop the threat of the Unversed, and Eraqus tells Terra he has a second chance to prove himself worthy of being named a Keyblade Master. In the meantime, Eraqus has Aqua follow Terra, to bring him back if he is tempted by darkness.
Maleficent offering Terra to join her.
Throughout his journey, Terra encounters many villains in the worlds he visits. Maleficent takes a particular interest in him, having been alerted of his arrival in the Enchanted Dominion by Xehanort. She uses the darkness in his heart to put him into a trance, to make him steal the heart of the sleeping Princess Aurora. This encounter would haunt Terra for the rest of his journey.
Master Xehanort summons Terra to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he tells him about Vanitas and the threat he poses, particularly the Unversed. He asks Terra to take care of Vanitas and sends him to Radiant Garden.
After arriving in Radiant Garden, Terra sees Master Xehanort heading toward the Castle Town and follows him. Upon seeing a giant Unversed, however, Terra goes after it, and he ends up reuniting with Ven and Aqua. The three of them battle the Trinity Armor and defeat it; however, after learning Aqua has been keeping an eye on him on Master Eraqus's orders, Terra separates from the other two.
After leaving his friends, Terra encounters Braig, who claims to be holding Master Xehanort hostage under the Outer Gardens and demands Terra meet him there. Terra arrives at the Purification Facility to see Master Xehanort chained to a column, and Braig challenges Terra to a fight, saying he wants a Keyblade for himself. With encouragement from Master Xehanort, Terra defeats Braig, and, suddenly channeling his darkness, he scars Braig's face, driving him off. A second blast frees Xehanort, but Terra is dismayed that he failed to keep his darkness in check. Master Xehanort reassures him, saying that Eraqus is too afraid of darkness, and that light and darkness must be in balance.
Master Xehanort offers to take Terra as his pupil.
Claiming that Eraqus fears Terra, Xehanort asks Terra to join him as his pupil so they may bring balance between light and darkness, and he tells him to see more worlds. As Terra prepares to leave Radiant Garden, Ventus catches up with him, asking to come along. Terra turns him down, but he tells him that he knows Ventus will be there for him when he needs him.
Terra arrives in Olympus Coliseum, where he encounters Hades, who is looking for a powerful warrior he can manipulate and set against Zeus. He convinces Terra to enter the Games in order to learn how to conquer his darkness. When Terra clears the first rounds without trouble, Hades uses darkness to take control of Zack, who faces Terra in the next match. Terra defeats Zack, releasing him from Hades's control, and Zack calls Terra a hero.
After falling into Galactic Federation custody in Deep Space, Terra escapes with Dr. Jumba and helps him free Experiment 626. When 626 steals Terra's Wayfinder, he realizes how much his bond with Aqua and Ventus means to him, and he encourages 626 to learn for himself what friendship is.
Terra choosing Riku as his successor.
Some time later, Terra is drawn towards a warm light, which leads him to the Destiny Islands. He finds a Paopu Fruit, which reminds of the legend Aqua told him about the Wayfinders. He sees two young boys, Sora and Riku, and he senses light within Riku. Terra speaks with Riku, who tells him he wants to become strong in order to protect his friends, and he decides to perform aBequeathing with Riku, allowing him to wield the Keyblade in the future.
Terra battling his master.
Master Xehanort calls Terra back to the Keyblade Graveyard, and he tells him that Ventus intends to confront Master Eraqus about his past, and that he is in danger. Determined to protect his friend, Terra returns to the Land of Departure in time to defend Ventus from Eraqus's attack. He throws Ven into a portal to the Lanes Between and, channeling his darkness, defeats Eraqus in battle. Although they both regret their actions, Eraqus is suddenly destroyed by Xehanort, who encourages Terra to give himself over to darkness. He tells Terra to come to the Keyblade Graveyard to witness the ends of Ventus and Aqua, then unleashes a flood of darkness which ravages the world. Terra watches his world crumble into ruins and looks at his Wayfinder, vowing to Ventus and Aqua that he won't let Xehanort kill them.
A cloaked figure faces Terra.
He leaves the Land of Departure as it is being destroyed, but he turns back and picks up a disturbance coming from the ruins: a cloaked figure who came to challenge the youth. He defeats the mysterious figure and heads to the graveyard.
Terra, now possessed by Master Xehanort, is trapped by his animated Keyblade Armor.
After arriving at the Keyblade Graveyard, Terra reunites 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. Xehanort arrives with Vanitas, and he declares his intention to create the χ-blade. In the ensuing fight with Master Xehanort and Vanitas, Terra succumbs to his darkness once more and battles the elderly master. Although he prevails, the χ-blade is forged, and Master Xehanort uses his Keyblade to extract his own heart and implant it in Terra's body, possessing it. However, Terra's Lingering Willinhabits his discarded Keyblade Armor, challenges Terra-Xehanort, and defeats him. Terra-Xehanort disappears in the light emanating from the χ-blade as it is destroyed by Aqua, while the Lingering Will remains, declaring Terra's promise to Ventus and Aqua to set things right.
After Aqua defeats Terra-Xehanort in Radiant Garden, Terra's heart resists against Xehanort, forcing Xehanort to lock his heart, leading to his amnesia.
Even after this, Terra and Master Xehanort's hearts continue their conflict inside Xehanort's body, disputing over who will control it. Terra declares to Xehanort that he no longer fears the darkness and vows to continue resisting Xehanort, who realizes Eraqus's presence in Terra's heart. However, Master Xehanort tells Terra that he has many plans in place, even if their conflict continues for a very long time.
Kingdom Hearts coded
When Data-Naminé gives Data-Sora the extra memories that were implanted in Jiminy's Journal, an image of Terra appears, along with images of Aqua and Ventus. She tells him that Terra is among those that Sora must save from their hurt.
Later, King Mickey and Yen Sid speak about their search for Terra, Aqua, and Ven, and how only Terra's location remains unknown. Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
- "The main reason I kept dreaming about seeing the outside world... was 'cause of him."
- —Riku remembers Terra.
Xehanort's illusions of Terra and Aqua appear before Sora.
When Sora arrives at The World That Never Was, he is caught by the Organization and placed within a nightmare in which he chases after memories of Riku and Kairi. When he catches up to them at the Nightmarish Abyss, the phantoms suddenly take the form of Terra and Aqua, while Sora himself takes on Ventus's appearance. Sora is confused, but the phantoms grasp his hand before turning back into Riku and Kairi and walking off again. As Riku attempts to wake Sora on his own side of the dream, Sora recalls when Aqua came to Destiny Islands, and nearly wakes up.
Visions of Terra and Sora's other friends are produced by his heart to aid him.
However, Ansem appears within Sora's dream at the last second and thrusts him back into the nightmare. Xigbar and Xemnas reappear within the nightmare to taunt him and lead him into despair by explaining the inevitability of their plan and playing on his insecurities, but a defiant Sora proclaims that while he may not have been chosen by the Keyblade, he will always be proud to be there for his friends, including Terra and all the others.
Shortly after, Ansem attacks Riku in an attempt to take over Riku's body again. Before they fight, Riku reveals to Ansem that he reminds him of Terra and thus resolves to make Ansem a part of his light. Later, as Master Xehanort explains his plans to Mickey in Where Nothing Gathers, he reveals Terra's fate as his vessel, and adds that Terra and Sora "belong to me now", implying that Terra is part of the new Organization XIII.