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Riku is one of the main characters from the Kingdom Hearts series. He is a powerful warrior and one of Sora's childhood friends, who ended up drifting into darkness as a result of his jealousy of Sora. Riku eventually broke from the darkness and returned to his friends out of regret, gaining himself his own Keyblade along the way.

HistoryEdit

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by SleepEdit

When they were small, Riku and Sora used to visit the smallest islet in the Destiny Islands. Riku had always wanted to leave the islands behind after hearing about another who had left the islands long ago. One day, a mysterious man appeared on the islet, to whom he told his problems. The man called a strange blade and told Riku to hold it while he recited a few words, then told him never to speak of the incident again. Later, another stranger appeared, this time a woman. In front of Riku, she informed Sora to watch over Riku.

Kingdom HeartsEdit

A year later, a girl washed up on the beach. The girl, whose name was Kairi, was taken in by the town mayor. Riku, however, was very curious as to her origins. The day after she appeared, Sora and Riku found a strange door in one of the islet's caves. Riku briefly noticed a keyhole, and began wondering if it could somehow be related to Kairi's sudden appearance, and if it were a door to another world.

As the trio grew up, Riku became more and more invested in the idea of leaving, and at the age of fifteen organised a raft trip to see if they could visit the other worlds by sea. But the night before their scheduled departure, Riku became impatient, and opened the door in the cave, exposing the world's heart and inviting countless Heartless to overrun the islands. Despite the danger, he 'braved' the darkness and disappeared into it, leaving Sora and his island behind, and falling unconscious.

The Dark Corridor transported him to Hollow Bastion, where he was found by a woman named Maleficent. After giving him board, Maleficent offered to help Riku locate Kairi if he helped her in return in gathering the remaining Princesses of Heart. Riku accepted both the task and Maleficent's care. When Riku met up with Sora again, however, Maleficent successfully fed him with lies about how Sora no longer cared about him or Kairi, only about his new travelling companions. During this meeting, Riku also took the Keyblade from Sora to examine, and discovered he could keep hold of it.

After bringing Jasmine from Agrabah to Hollow Bastion, Maleficent revealed Kairi's location and how to save her: as Kairi's heart was missing, presumably to the darkness, the one way to recover it would be to locate and open Kingdom Hearts. Riku journeyed again, locating a potential subject for study - Pinocchio, a living puppet with a heart - and requested that Sora join him in using Pinocchio to locate Kairi's heart. Sora rejected the offer, and Riku left, leaving Pinocchio behind. For his failure, Maleficent gave him the ability to command the Heartless and set him on Captain Hook's ship, where Kairi was being held. Ignoring Sora's warnings that the dakrness would consume him, Riku took Kairi's body back to Hollow Baston through his own Corridor of Darkness. The dangerous trip left him drained, and Maleficent unlocked the last of Riku's potential.

His power unlocked, Riku left to tackle the Beast, who had come to rescue Belle - one of the Princesses already captured - and would endanger their plans. Here, he ran into Sora and, remembering Traverse Town, told Sora he was merely the delivery boy for Riku's Keyblade. As Donald and Goofy's orders forced them to follow the Keyblade Wielder rather than specifically Sora, they abandoned him reluctantly. However, Sora caught up to them anyway with the Beast's assistance and managed to reclaim the Keyblade through convincing Goofy and Donald to return to him. Sora and Riku battled, but Riku was defeated, and ran.

A cloaked figure approached Riku and informed him that the Keyblade required a strong heart on behalf of its bearer. Sora's strength had been proven through his faith and loyalty to the people he had met through his journey, but Riku could - reputedly - claim similar strength if he simply dove deeper into the darkness. When he accepted this new offer, however, the figure possessed his body, and created a strange Keyblade from the hearts of the Princesses. However, because it was missing Kairi's heart, it was incomplete, and would not open the Final Keyhole. After Sora defeated Maleficant, Riku used his new Keyblade to demonstrate its power to unlock hearts, and unlocked Maleficent's, transforming her into a dragon. Sora slayed the dragon regardless.

Riku reappeared in the Grand Hall with the Final Keyhole and the mysterious Keyblade, explaining that all this time, Kairi's heart had been within Sora, and locking Donald and Goofy out of the battle that ensued between him and Sora. Upon the end of the battle, he vanished and then, after Sora unlocked his heart, reappeared to attack them and the reawakened Kairi. Riku, finally seeing his folly, held back the possessive force and let them run, but Ansem successfully took over his body and fled the world.

Once Sora defeated Ansem, Riku found himself on the other side of the door, but unable to cross to the other side. Knowing that the door would have to be closed again and that he would be trapped inside, he assisted Sora in closing the door, telling him to take care of Kairi, with King Mickey appearing by his side to ward off the Heartless. After Riku pulled the door closed, Mickey locked it from his side, and the two of them were trapped.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesEdit

After the door closed, Riku fell into sleep for a while, and then woke up in the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion, his heart having chased after Sora's. A mysterious voice offered Riku a choice: permanent sleep in darkness, and oblivion, or a card. Riku selected the card, and the world around him changed into that of Hollow Bastion. The world was mysteriously empty, and the voice followed him. According to the voice, the world was entirely constructed of his memories. After searching, and taking insults and personal shots from the voice, Riku came into contact with somebody - Maleficent, who demonstrated knowledge of her status as a construct, and who Riku defeated easily.

Leaving Hollow Bastion, Riku discovered he was actually in a giant castle. The mysterious voice revealed itself as Ansem, and tried to take Riku's body over once more. A small glimmer light stopped the old foe in his tracks, belonging to Mickey, and assisted Riku in battling Ansem, the two of them succeeding in driving him away. Left behind were a pile of World Cards and another gift: his old Heartless suit, which appeared without option when Riku completed a particular set of circumstances.

Riku then discovered a new power he had apparently overlooked - a peculiar sense of smell that allowed him to detect darkness. Though Mickey comforted him, the King was only able to be present as a projection, as he was still unable to escape the Realm of Darkness. Riku ascended through the Castle just as Sora did, battling his old foes and friends alike, and walking into the eye of three members of Organisation XIII: Vexen, Lexaeus and Zexion.

The three of them plotted to use Riku to counter Marluxia's coup if it so happened, as Riku was Sora's foil and a potential perfect match in battle. Vexen used a battle with Riku to test this theory and collect data on Riku, which he then fed into the Riku Replica. The Replica fought Riku as well, trying to drive him further into darkness, but Riku succeeded, and the Replica ran. Ansem claimed that the Replica was a perfect model for Riku, but Riku disregarded his claims and continued through the castle.

Another encounter was had, this time with Lexaeus, who also tried to goad him into accepting the darkness once more, with the threat that he would die if he did not. Riku fought with him anyway, but when the battle with Lexaeus ended, he was swallowed in darkness, and Ansem appeared once more. Mickey pulled Riku out of the darkness, and Riku continued up the floors once more, coming ever closer to the castle door. As he did so, he detected that a great darkness has been defeated. Zexion, the last of the outpost team, explained that Sora, who was in the castle, had toppled the castle's keeper Marluxia, and asked if Riku was capable of meeting Sora again. Riku was given a new World Card, that of Destiny Islands.

At the Destiny Islands, Riku met with his friends again, who all disappeared from view. Zexion showed Riku a vision of himself accepting the darkness at the island's destruction and transformed it into a Darkside, offering it as Riku's true self. After Riku defeated it, Sora then appeared to him, claiming that Riku was no longer Riku and simply a pawn, and Riku faded into a light. A vision of Kairi then appeared, telling Riku that the light would not destroy him, but neither would the darkness. Accepting his powers and deciding that they were not evil, he transformed into the Dark Mode willingly, and defeated Zexion, who fled.

After another face-off with Ansem, Mickey finally entered the castle properly, and gave Riku another card. Riku found himself in Twilight Town, and saw Ansem yet again, but realised that this person, the voice from the beginning of his journey, was not really Ansem. The man revealed himself to be DiZ, a stranger who wanted Riku to make a choice between light and darkness, and to meet with Naminé to make that choice. While exploring the town, however, Riku instead bumped into the Replica once more, who demanded they fight. Riku defeated it again, and the Replica began to fade away, being assured by Riku that when it died, its heart would go wherever real hearts would. After this, Riku met with Naminé.

Naminé showed Sora to Riku and offered him sleep as well, where she would permanently seal away the darkness inside of him. Riku refused, prefering his escape to be by his own hands, and after recognising that Naminé was the vision of Kairi who helped him before, met with DiZ again, who helped him draw out Ansem for one final confrontation. Riku finished him off, though not completely, and he decided that as Ansem was still within him, he would be unable to return home, but became able to make DiZ's choice. Wearing Organisation coats, Riku chose 'the road to dawn' and left the plains behind with Mickey.

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 DaysEdit

Blindfolded, Riku began working with DiZ to collect information on the Organisation, and the Organisation took notice of the fact that he was wearing the Organisation's coat. A member of the Organisation took a mission at Beast's Castle to track down and take down the 'imposter', who defeated her in battle, but noticed that she was wielding the Kingdom Key. Riku took off his blindfold to get a look at her, and realised that the girl greatly resembled Kairi. They asked each other questions, with the girl attacking him again, but Riku easily batted her back and asked her to 'find a new crowd'.

Some time afterwards, Riku conversed with Naminé. Sora's completion had stumbled to a halt, because some of Sora's memories were going missing. Naminé told Riku that the memories were being collected through Sora's Nobody Roxas by a third individual - the black-haired girl - and that the unfortunate solution would be to destroy both Xion and Roxas in order for her to untangle the memories at short notice. However, 

Luckily, after this conversation, Xion left the Organisation and sought out Riku, who brought her to Destiny Islands. Unfortunately, Xion fell into a nightmare while on the island, and when she woke up, the two of them talked about Sora and Kairi. Riku told her that she was stopping Sora from waking up, but offered her time to make her decision about what to do, after which they stayed in the abandoned Castle Oblivion. At one point, Roxas and Axel, Xion's friends in the Organisation, ran into them at Twilight Town, and Riku distracted them for her, before asking if Xion would like to go back. After some time, Xion left Riku and returned to the Organisation's hands once more.

Soon, DiZ noted that Sora's restoration had come to a complete standstill, and informed Riku that he needed to act.  He found Xion back where they had first met and, after hearing her decision, told her to go to Twilight Town, where she would find Naminé. A few days later, Riku met up with Mickey in the forest, neglecting to carry his blindfold. Riku donned the blindfold again to confirm his identity, and informed Mickey that soon, he would be going to fight a member of the Organisation. Knowing that the only way he would win the fight was through darkness, Riku asked Mickey to protect Sora from now own.

Riku then headed into The World That Never Was, where Roxas was running around to free hearts. Roxas and Riku fought for an extended amount of time, Roxas revealing that he wanted to free Kingdom Hearts so that he and his friends could stay together, while Riku admitted that soon, Xion's memory would fade from their minds. As they fought, the memory of Xion continued to fade and Roxas ultimately grabbed the upper hand, leaving Riku with no choice. As a voice told him to stop Roxas, he removed the blindfold from his eyes and took Ansem's form, using the darkness to knock Roxas out and collecting him. Upon returning to the mansion, he re-introduced himself to DiZ as Ansem.

The InterferenceEdit

At the beginning of The Interference, Riku is staying in the Mansion in Twilight Town with DiZ and Naminé, acting as DiZ's assistant and watching over Roxas'. Still ashamed of his new appearance, he keeps himself fully hooded.

PersonalityEdit

Following the events of the original Kingdom Hearts, Riku is extremely sorry for his actions and letting himself be possessed. He is self-doubting, but it is unknown whether his actions in trying to revive Sora are simply out of atonement for his past misdeeds, or because he has recovered his loyalty to Sora. Riku spends most of The Interference believing that he is unfit to return to his homeworld; at the same time, once his appearance is restored, he is quick to joke around with Sora, and does not walk away from Kairi's perceptiveness.

After some time spent on the island, Riku becomes more confident again. He is easily the most intelligent member of his group of friends, and his experience makes him the most battle-ready and the most capable strategist. Riku is greatly loyal to Sora and Kairi, especially Sora.

AppearanceEdit

For a large part of The Interference, Riku dons an Organisation XIII black coat with the hood up to cover his face. Underneath this, he hides the appearance of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness - a tall, muscular man with brown(?) skin, slicked-back silver hair, and piercing yellow eyes.

However, after the explosion of DiZ's device partly cleanses his heart of darkness, he loses this appearance and reverts to his normal self. The sixteen-year-old Riku is about a head taller than Sora and Kairi, with lighter skin than Sora, bright cyan eyes, and long grey-blue hair falling down his back. He wears a black sleeveless under-shirt and a pale cream vest with yellow collar and hem on top. His trousers are baggy and a faded dark blue, with light blue pockets, and held up by a black studded belt. He also wears a cream bandage on his left wrist covering up to the base of his thumb.

Powers and WeaponsEdit

Riku and Sora both engaged in sword fights during their childhood, making the pair of them rather experienced swordsmen by their journey's opening. By the time of The Interference, Riku has had almost a year of uninterrupted experience in the field, battling strong enemies. Riku's magic abilities are often dark-aligned due to the imbalance of his heart, and along with dark-type magics, for a long time Riku was also able to use Dark Corriders, requiring that he wear the Organisation coat at all times, and was able to 'smell' darkness, like Zexion. Once Riku's original appearance returns, he is unable to summon the portals, as his heart's original balance has been somewhat restored.

When a disguised Riku engages Sora in battle at Land of Dragons, Riku still wields his old weapon the Soul Eater. The blade is long, with the appearance of a dragon's wing; it has a braided handle and a hilt with a demonic blue eye in the centre. The weapon reacts to darkness and grows more powerful when darkness is amassed. It was acquired back when Riku was working for Maleficent.

Sometime between this appearance and saving Kairi and Naminé in the World That Never Was, the Soul Eater's form becomes the basis for forming a Keyblade called Way to the Dawn. The 'dragon's wing' blade is longer and more detailed, with a small grey angel wing sprouting at the end to form the key's 'teeth'. The guard of the blade is constructed of one dragon wing and one angel wing curving around the hilt. Its Keychain is a Heartless emblem with its thorns removed. Riku is still able to summon the Soul Eater.

Source gamesEdit

  • Kingdom Hearts, 2002
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, 2004
  • Kingdom Hearts II, 2005
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, 2009
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, 2010

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