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- “Once we step through, we might not be able to come back. We may never see our parents again. There's no turning back. But this may be our only chance. We can't let fear stop us! I'm not afraid of the darkness!”
Riku is the deuteragonist in the Kingdom Hearts series. A teenager from the Destiny Islands, Riku is the cool and confident best friend of Sora and Kairi. When the heartless raid their peaceful island and send each on a separate journey, Riku's curiosity compels him to take an unknown path, eventually falling into the Darkness by the influence of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. He then becomes an antagonist for much of the game.
Eventually learning the error of his ways and returning to his friends, Riku becomes good once again, and now uses his gifts to aid his friends wherever possible. He is voiced by David Gallagher in the English version and by Mamoru Miyano in the Japanese version.
Riku's personality is as strong as the land for which he was named. He is very strong-willed and confident, at times being arrogant. He values his friends deeply and puts protecting them above all else.
Riku is very competitive, and spent his childhood playing games, play-fighting and racing with Sora. This competitiveness also made him easy to become jealous, especially during Kingdom Hearts, where he becomes very irked that Sora recieved the powers of the Keyblade while he did not, though he is not immediately vocal about it. This jealousy led him to behave aggressively to the people most important to him, and he began to act recklessly and harshly in an attempt to prove himself. He loses this childish jealousy streak entirely as he grows older.
He has a had an intense curiousity about the world he lives in (and what lies beyond it) ever since he met the foreign Terra as a child. His desire to know more became to consume him somewhat negatively over time. He has no qualms with going through the unknown to earn this knowledge, willingly stepping into a dark portal with an unknown destination, simply because he knew it may be his only chance to leave. After he does finally see other worlds, this desire subsides, and he finds comfort in his once-restricting island homeworld.
After the events of Kingdom Hearts, Riku becomes humbled, learning from the reckless mistakes he had made, and seeks to make amends. He becomes much more affable and mellows out. He has learned well from his mistakes in siding with darkness, and becomes wise and well-versed enough to become a Keyblade Master that Yen Sid can rely on.
Riku has striking cyan eyes and silver hair that he tends to wear rather long.
In the prequel game Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Riku is a barely more than a toddler at 5 years old; as such he is extremely short and small. He has shorter hair, and wears a sleeveless yellow vest with a high collar (lined with blue), and black shorts. He wears large blue and white shoes, and two blue wristbands with a yellow line through the center, one on each arm.
In Kingdom Hearts, Riku is 15 years old. Riku's hair reaches his just above shoulders. He is more muscular and taller than Sora, and has paler skin. He wears a vest that is yellow in front and black on the back, and blue jeans under large blue wading pants, secured by black straps at the ankles. He wears stylistically large blue and grey shoes, with two straps, and yellow accents.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku is now 16 years old. He has grown up both mentally and physically, becoming much taller and more muscular. His hair has grown right past his shoulders; it is unkempt and in his eyes. He now wears a sleeveless unzipped beige vest with a a white collar, over a sleeveless zipped black vest. He wears very baggy blue jeans with large pockets, secured by a black belt. He now wears more realistically sized grey shoes with two yellow straps.
For part of Kingdom Hearts II and throughout Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Riku wears a standard Organization XIII uniform, a long, black, hooded zipper coat that reaches his ankles. He ties a strip of grey fabric across his head to cover his eyes, though this does not prevent him from seeing.
In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Riku is still 16, and has decided to cut his hair drastically -- it now reaches his his ears and looks much like it did as a child. He wears another zipped vest -- white in the front, yellow in the back, with a black collar. He wears blue jeans that fit him properly, and grey shoes that he ties by wrapping the laces around a couple times. He also wear two black wristbands, one on each arm.
For the majority of Dream Drop Distance, he and Sora spend time in "dream worlds", which temporarily reverts their bodies back age-wise. Riku now appears to be 15 years old again, but he still wears the same Dream Drop Distance clothing.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku is revealed to have taken on Ansem's dark form, which he kept hidden under an Organization XIII cloak for the majority of the game. As such he is identical to Ansem: he appears to be in his mid-to-late twenties and is very tall. He has a darker skin tone, amber eyes, pointed ears, and long silver hair. His facial features are much sharper than his normal physical appearance.
Riku is first seen when he thinks that both Sora and Kairi are being lazy instead of helping him build a raft. When Kairi wanted to race, he didn't take it with much excitement, implying that he has won many races before. As Sora challenge him to a battle that decides the champion, Riku says that he already collected everything he needed to get. At the end of the day, Riku talks with Sora and Kairi about other worlds and leaving the island once the raft was finished. A few days later, Heatless begin to attack the island. Sora finds Riku, but discovers his friend to have accepted the darkness and willing to leave the island. Sora tries to reach for him, but Riku is completely swallowed by the darkness before their hands can touch, ending up at Hollow Bastion.
When Terra approached Riku during Riku's childhood, Terra gave Riku the ability to use the Keyblade. Before leaving Destiny Islands, he has trained himself, along with Sora, to use a weapon, more specifically a sword. As the island was being engulfed in shadows, Riku was about to receive the Keyblade. However, he left too soon, and it came into the possession of Sora. Through Maleficent, Riku was able to control and create heartless. This demonstrated when Riku makes a Heartless replica of Sora in Neverland. In Hollow Bastion, Maleficent gives Riku the ability to use the darkness within him, further weakening his heart after he teleported to Hollow Bastion using the darkness. Eventualy, Riku overcomes his darkness, and is able to control it along with light.
- Riku's name is derived from the Japanese word for "land".
- Riku is the first non-party assistance character to appear in the Kingdom Hearts universe as he helps Sora, Donald, and Goofy fight the Parasite Cage in Monstro the first battle. Riku was also the first party character that can be fought against in the same game he is fought with, followed by the Beast, Xion, and later Zack.
- Riku is similar to Elsa the Snow Queen from Frozen as both have been antagonized by their villains and try to cover up their mistakes (Riku: Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Elsa: Hans and The Duke of Weselton). Also, they ultimately manage to control the powers that they view as a curse by accepting them and guiding them to help their friends. However, Elsa never really intended to harm anyone, unlike Riku, who attacked Sora and his friends multiple times (especially in the first game) simply out of jealousy.
- In Kingdom Hearts, Riku wears a garment called "wading pants". These are used by people that walk in high water regularly, like fisherman. This suggests that Riku spends a lot of time walking in the ocean.
- Riku's cutting of his hair after the events of Kingdom Hearts II can represent a major change in his life, and is likely why he cut it. It can symbolise cutting away his mistakes and starting over, as his hair had grown very long while he was making the mistakes.
Incorporated Films and shorts: Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent/Dragon Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Quasimodo | Judge Claude Frollo | Merlin | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Mulan | Mushu | Jack Sparrow | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | King Triton | Jafar/Genie Jafar | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Jack Skellington | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Master Control Program | Sark | CLU | Rinzler | Beast | Stitch | Hercules | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Wendy (More coming soon)
Objects: Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat| | Keyblade Armor
Locations: Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland
Music: Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony
Soundtracks: Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack