|This article is about the character named Riku. You may be looking for the character named Riku Replica.|
Riku is the best friend of Sora, the main character of Kingdom Hearts. His name is derived from the Japanese word for 'land'. He is voiced by David Gallagher in the English versions and by Mamoru Miyano in the Japaneses version.
As revealed in Kingdom Hearts, Riku's story began a number of years before the night of the heartless invasion on Destiny Islands. On an earlier night, there is a meteor shower and a mysterious girl named Kairi appears on the islands. Apparently, Kairi is from another, far off world, and is now stuck on the Destiny Islands, with no way to return to her home. The two and Sora, another resident of the Isles, quickly forge a powerful friendship. Soon after Kairi's arrival, Riku and Sora go to the secret place, a small cave that they frequently explored. Sora finds it fascinating, but soon decides to take his leave. Before leaving, Riku catches sight of an enigmatic door. From this day on Riku became obsessed with finding out what lies beyond the door, wondering if it could perhaps be a passageway to another world, such as Kairi's.
When the first game begins, Riku appears as a cool and collected 15-year-old, a year above his best friends Sora and Kairi, living on the Destiny Islands. The three spend their days constructing a raft and gathering supplies, so that they might one day set out and search for other worlds. He and Sora share a fierce but good natured rivalry, competing over who is stronger in battle as well as over Kairi's affections, among other things. All three of them, as well as the other children that live in the archipelago, spend most of their time on the smallest island, acting as their own personal playground.
However, things take a drastic turn on the night before their journey. Riku, likely unable to leave the islands without knowing the truth, opens the door in the secret place and the Heartless, beings of darkness, invade the islands, seeking out the world's heart. Both afraid that a storm would destroy the raft, Kairi and Sora also set out for the island. Sora finds Riku first, though whereas Sora is concerned for his friend's safety, Riku is only obsessed with finally escaping the island. Darkness surrounds the two, and Riku disappears into it, while Sora gains the Keyblade.
Invitation to Darkness
Though Riku is provided a place to stay, Maleficent begins corrupting his mind, convincing him that Sora has replaced him and Kairi with Donald Duck and Goofy. She claims that the only way to save Kairi, who has lost her heart to the darkness, is to ally himself with her and her band of Disney villains, while abandoning Sora. After reuniting with Sora in Traverse Town, Riku begins to agree with Maleficent and officially starts his stay with her, however he is still highly suspicious of her motives.
As the days progress, Riku becomes steadily angrier at Sora, convincng himself to hate his old friend. He obtains a blade from Maleficent called the Soul Eater and teaches himself to use it, believing it will aid him in his search for Kairi's heart.
With his mind corrupted, Riku again meets Sora in Monstro, intending to use Pinnochio to help him find out a way to save Kairi's heart. However, Pinnochio ends up captured by a giant Heartless called the Parasite Cage, forcing Sora and Riku to work together, somewhat against Riku's wishes.
Riku later appears at Neverland, traveling on Captain Hook's ship, where Kairi's body is held. Riku also now shows that he has gained the power to control the Heartless, a gift granted to him by Maleficent. He then goes to Sora, revealing that he has Kairi's body in his possession. The two argue, and Riku retreats after creating Anti-Sora, a dark reflection of Sora, with his newly acquired dark powers. However, before he heads back to Hollow Bastion, he instructs Captain Hook that the captured Wendy is not a Princess of Heart. Riku takes Kairi and recklessly returns to Maleficent's castle via the Corridors of Darkness without a vessel, a foolish act that strains even his powerful heart. While he is drained from the trip, Maleficent unlocks the last of Riku's power and the boy's heart is plunged into almost complete darkness.
At Hollow Bastion, Sora again meets Riku, and defends the wounded Beast from a swift death by Riku's blade. But the Beast is hardly one of Riku's major concerns, as Riku reveals his true purpose for confronting Sora. He is able to will the Keyblade into his grasp. Riku explains that Sora was only a temporary recipient, and that Riku is the true Keyblade master. After leaving Sora with the toy sword he used on the Destiny Islands, he departs, Donald and Goofy following him as per the King's orders, though regretfully.
Though Sora is significantly weakened, he makes his way to the foyer of the castle, with the help of Beast. Riku, having taken on a new appearance with the increasing strength of his dark powers, tells him to quit, but Sora refuses to leave without Kairi. Riku, intending to prove to Sora that he is the stronger of the two, attacks his old friend, only for Donald and Goofy to go to his aid. With the strength of his friends, Sora regains the Keyblade, becoming the true master, and drives Riku into retreat once more.
Becoming the Darkness itself
Eventually, Riku manages to escape, but is confused as to why Sora was able to regain the Keyblade. A mysterious voice somehow contacts him from the Darkness, telling him that only one with a stronger heart can claim the Keyblade, and Riku himself was weaker than Sora. However, the mysterious voice, now slowly taking a shape offers presents Riku with an offer he can not resist, a Keyblade of his own. Under the influence of jealousy and rage, Riku agrees to become one with the Darkness, only to become possessed by the mysterious voice itself.
The new Riku then presents himslef to Maleficent, who has just been defeated by Sora. In his possession is a new, dark Keyblade created with six of the seven princesses of heart's hearts. But unlike Sora's Keyblade, this Keyblade possesses the ability to unlock a person's heart, and Riku demonstrates this by piercing Maleficent's chest, allowing the immense darkness that is attracted to her to overtake her heart, transforming her into a giant dragon. But this form is still no match for Sora and his friends, and soon is perished.
Riku, calling himself Ansem, the Seeker of Darkness, later confronts and battles Sora at the Final Keyhole. He hopes to release Kairi's heart from within Sora's, so that she, being the final Princess of Heart can open the Keyhole. He fails, but Sora impales himself anyway to save Kairi. With Sora gone, Ansem attacks Kairi, Donald, and Goofy, but they are saved by Riku, who is using the last of his strength to hold the dark powers of his possessor off.
Riku's rejection of Ansem leads to an internal struggle between the two, which Ansem ultimatly wins. This causes Riku to lose control of his body once more, while Ansem gains it fully.
A newly restored Sora, along with Donald and Goofy, eventually make their way to the End of the World, the home of the heartless. There they once again confront Ansem and defeat him at the Door to Darkness. Riku is then restored, and appears on the other side of the Door to Darkness, aiding Sora in closing it, but unable to cross it, as only pure darkness can go back and forth through the door. Waiting to enter the Realm of Light are thousands upon thousands of heartless, who only cause further problems for the two friends. However, King Mickey, appearing for the first time in the game, ward them off, with a powerful golden colored Keyblade. The King and Sora then proceed to close the door, Sora on the outside, Mickey within. Riku is stuck on the other side of the door with the King.
Riku awakes in the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion, being led there by his hearts resonance with Sora, who also happens to be in Castle Oblivion, though on the ground floor. A dark card and a disembodied voice present themselves. The Voice offers Riku the chance to sleep and forget his troubles as well as the light, or take the card and take the first steps toward the truth. Riku takes the card confidently.
Riku arrives in none other than Hollow Bastion, though only a version of it crafted from his memories. However, though Hollow Bastion is the same as he remembered it, he is unable to find anyone. All the while he searches, the Voice speaks to and mocks the young teenager.
At long last, Riku meets someone: Maleficent. Maleficent taunts him and his refusal of the darkness, but Riku fights Maleficent, hoping to prove that he is above the darkness. He is victorious.
Riku leaves Hollow Bastion, only to see the true form of Castle Oblivion. The Voice again comes to Riku, but this time reveals himself to be Xehanort's Heartless, who wants to take over Riku again. However, though Xehanort's Heartless is powerful, King Mickey comes to aid Riku with his light. Riku then manages to fend off Xehanort's Heartless for the time being. But before he leaves, the Heartless leaves Riku with some world cards and the ability to wield his inner darkness as a weapon.
Riku soon realizes that he has the power to detect the "smell" of darkness, and is discouraged by it, though King Mickey comforts him. However, King Mickey can only appear to Riku as a projection, for he is still in the Realm of Darkness. Still, with King Mickey's encouragement, Riku ascends the basements of Castle Oblivion in order to rid himself of his darkness. Meanwhile, as Riku travels through the lower levels of Castle Oblivion, Sora ascends the upper floors, being manipulated by Marluxia, a member of the mysterious Organization XIII and the lord of Castle Oblivion. But three other Organization members, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion work to counter Marluxia by using the dark-wielding Riku against the light-wielding Sora.
To further the trio's goals, Vexen independently appears before Riku and Riku wonders if Vexen is with Xehanort's Heartless. But Vexen cryptically responds that he is with another "Ansem". Still, Riku fights with Vexen, seeing him as an enemy. But the battle only helps Vexen, who uses the data he gathered from the battle to create a Riku Replica. The replica soon comes to battle Riku, mocking Riku's fear of the darkness while the replica embraces it. However, Riku proves victorious, and the replica runs off.
Soon, Xehanort's Heartless appears again, saying that the replica is a model of what Riku should be. But Riku only reaffirms his desire to conquer his darkness.
Passing through much of the castle (the bulk of Sora's story is complete, and Larxene and Vexen are dead) Riku finds Lexaeus and, like the others, tells him that he should accept the darkness again, because if he doesn't, his journey will end here. The two fight, and Riku barely finishes the mighty brute. As a last move, Lexaeus covers the room in darkness as Xehanort's Heartless moves in to take his heart. Mickey saves him again and manages to bring him out of the darkness.
Riku comes closer to the ground level, just as Marluxia's scheme fails and Sora finishes him off. Riku senses Marluxia's defeat, and Zexion quickly arrives on the scene to explain it. But he also reveals that Sora is the one who did the deed, much to Riku's surprise. Zexion quickly asks if Riku is capable of seeing Sora, for Riku shouldered the darkness for so long, and Xehanort's Heartless still resides in his heart. Riku tries to resist Zexion's comments, but Zexion ultimately gives him a world card...of Destiny Islands. Riku enters.
There, Riku meets all of his friends, but they are all silent and they eventually disappear, even Kairi. Zexion throws all of Riku's fears at him at once, telling him he's responsible for causing them to disappear, and that he belongs to the darkness now. He finally transforms an illusion of him into a Darkside Heartless, telling him this is what he has becom. Riku beats back the Heartless as Zexion disguises himself as Sora. He tells him that it's finally time to face the light.
Riku sinks into the light as he begins fade, but Kairi appears and tells him that he can't. Light can't beat him, neither can darkness, so he should accept both, then he won't be afraid anymore. He awakens his dark power again, admitting that it's a part of him and not evil, beating back Zexion. He disappears, but is quickly killed by the Riku Replica with Axel.
Riku nearly makes it to the main floor as Xehanort's Heartless appears to control him, but King Mickey beats him back again and finally appears for real. Riku is relieved at finally having a real friend with him. Mickey explains that he found a card which showed him Riku's heart and he followed it back to him. Riku uses the card, and ends up in Twilight Town. Xehanort's Heartless appears again, but Riku tells him that he's not "Ansem", because his scent is not darkness--it is something else. Riku also sees that this man is the Voice that presented itself at the beginning of his journey. The Voice finally introduces himself as DiZ. Riku asks him what he really wants from him, and DiZ tells him he wants him to choose between Light and Darkness, because he lies in-between. The decision will be decided with Naminé, who Riku looks for.
However, the Riku Replica manages to find him, and demand another fight to prove him "worthy". The replica intends to kill Riku in order to become real, but fails. However, Riku comforts him by saying that the replica's heart will go to the same place as the real one's, before the replica vanishes out of existence.
Riku meets up with Naminé. who is with Sora in his memory cell, and explains the situation. She offers to seal away Xehanort's Heartless and Riku's darkness, so that he may forget them, but will have to sleep to do so. Riku refuses, hoping to win on his own, and leaves a satisfied Naminé. However, before he departs, he tells Naminé that he knows that it was her who appeared to him as Kairi, commenting that they smell the same.
After meeting Naminé, DiZ appears again to Riku and the King (who notes that DiZ seems familiar). Knowing his choice, DiZ gives Riku a card that will draw out Xehanort's Heartless. After DiZ leaves, Riku tells King Mickey to destroy him if Riku fails to stop Xehanort's Heartless, but the King refuses, saying he'll only help him regain control, and never harm him. Riku concedes.
Riku faces Ansem for one final battle alone. Ansem asks why he still refuses him if he accepts darkness now, but Riku merely says "you just really stink". They fight and the last of Xehanort's Heartless is destroyed, but not before he says a part of him is still in Riku, and he shall return.
Riku and Mickey wait at the front entrance. Riku tells him that he can't go home yet as "Ansem's" shadow still lingers in him, but Mickey says the darkness is a part of him. Darkness is not all bad, because Riku has a chosen a road he never thought of before, one of both Light and Darkness. They leave, taking Organization cloaks that DiZ gave them prior to confronting Xehanort's Heartless, and DiZ appears for one final question: if he shall take the "road to light" or the "road to darkness". Riku chooses neither, he'll take the middle road, "The Road to Dawn". Riku and King Mickey eventually made it out of the plains and separate after Riku realized he couldn't completely rid himself of the darkness festering in him. Deciding to return to DiZ and offer his help, Riku dons a blindfold, for "his eyes couldn't lie" about his darkness which he is perparing to use and wished Mickey not to witness firsthand.
He allies himself with DiZ, as they have a common goal: to help Sora awaken (though Riku finds his memories of Sora fading, being a side-effect of Naminé's toying with Sora's memories). Riku wants no part in DiZ's revenge. Nonetheless, DiZ asks Riku to kidnap Roxas, the Nobody of Sora, who has been having trouble regaining his memories. If he and Roxas join, Sora should be able to reawaken. Riku enters the Realm of Darkness, and corners Roxas in The World That Never Was, but loses. Riku then realizes if he is to win in the Realm of Darkness, he must submerse himself in the same darkness. As a result, Riku unleashed his darkness, taking on the form of Xehanort's Heartless as a side effect. Riku easily knocked Roxas out, and returns him to DiZ's base underneath the abandoned mansion in Twilight Town, introducing himself as "Ansem".
Roxas' memory is erased by DiZ and he is placed into a Virtual Twilight Town, to live out his days until the time comes for him to meet Sora. Meanwhile, Riku watches over Roxas, periodically entering the town in order to keep Roxas ignorant to the truth, including keeping Naminé from saying anything important to Roxas. He also takes some keepsakes of Roxas' during some of his visits. Eventually, when the time comes for Roxas, Riku makes sure to protect the Nobodies from flooding the town. Soon, the goal Riku had been searching for is finally reached: Roxas joins with Sora. Though DiZ ordered him to eliminate Namine, Riku handed her to the now-renegade Axel of Organization XIII before leaving DiZ.
Riku, after Roxas joins with Sora, comes into contact with King Mickey. Riku begs King Mickey not to reveal his whereabouts and condition to Sora, and the King reluctantly agrees. He then leaves the King the digital versions of Olette's munny pouch and Roxas' crystal orb that he had pilfered from Roxas earlier.
Later, Axel tries to kidnap Kairi in an attempt to use her to turn Sora into a Heartless. However, Riku rescues Kairi, and takes her to Twilight Town, where she meets Hayner, Pence, and Olette, but never reveals his identity. However, Axel again appears, but another member of Organization XIII, Saїx, manages to kidnap Kairi, with the intent to use her to fuel Sora's rage. At the battle for Hollow Bastion, Sora, Donald, and Goofy end up in an empty realm, where Riku arrives. He says nothing to them, and only leaves the trio a box that contains sea-salt ice cream and a picture of Roxas, Hayner, Pence, and Olette in front of the haunted mansion.
Riku also arrives at the Land of Dragons, trying to warn the Emperor of a Heartless dragon that Xigbar created. But he ends up meeting Sora, and Sora attacks him, thinking Riku to be an Organization member. However, Sora sees that Riku is wielding the Soul Eater, and begins to suspect Riku's identity. But Riku still goes ahead with his mission, and warns the Emperor (but had to defeat Captain Shang in order to do so). When Sora talks to the Emperor, the wise ruler's description of the man further cemented Sora's idea that the man he fought was Riku.
Riku later appears in the World That Never Was, after Naminé rescues Kairi. The two are faced against Saїx, but Riku quickly comes to the rescue, his Soul Eater having now transformed into a Keyblade called Way to the Dawn. Naminé calls Riku by name, and disappears. Kairi, excited to see Riku, removes his hood, but is met with the face of Xehanort's Heartless. She takes it in stride, seeing the true Riku underneath his current form.
Kairi later is attacked by Heartless on her way to see Sora, being saved by Riku. He then gives Kairi a mysterious Keyblade so that she may fight. And after Sora defeats Xigbar, he and Kairi reunite. Riku tries to take his leave, but Kairi stops him. She then reveals Riku's identity, and with some concentration, Sora also sees Riku underneath his dark appearance, and is overjoyed. Riku explains that he did not want to be found, thanks to his appearance, and tried to covertly leave Sora several clues for him to follow--the ice cream and photo, instead. Still, he and the others make their way up the castle, defeating the remaining Organization members save for Xemnas.
Near the top, Riku reunites with King Mickey and DiZ, his true name being Ansem the Wise, who is using a machine to try and encode Kingdom Hearts into data. Xemnas also arrives, and he and Ansem the Wise trade bitter words. The machine then explodes, unable to handle Kingdom Hearts, killing Ansem the Wise while causing countless hearts Xemnas had collected into Kingdom Hearts to rain down on the world, becoming Heartless. The explosion also restores Riku to his original form, though he is still remorseful. After some encouragement, Riku transcends the rest of the castle, abandoning his cloak and blindfold. He and the others also encounter Maleficent and Pete, who decide to hold off the hordes of Heartless that are overtaking the castle, but only so that they will eventually take the castle for their own.
Riku and the others then confront Xemnas, refusing his demand to gather more hearts. Xemnas then removes Sora from the area, fighting him one and one, with everyone else calling out to him. When Sora returns, they see that Xemnas has already reached Kingdom Hearts, and disappears into it. A door, constructed by the will of the worlds, appears, and the three wielders of the Keyblade open it up and follow Xemnas. After a tough battle, Naminé appears again, opening up a corridor of darkness that leads to Destiny Islands, as Riku can no longer use them. However, Xemnas attacks, riding on a gigantic robotic dragon, and separates Sora and Riku from the others. After an exhausting battle, the duo vanquish Xemnas, and end up in the Realm of Darkness. Having the time to finally talk, the two reconcile with each other. Riku then comes across a letter in a bottle, written by Kairi, and gives it to Sora, believing him to be the proper recipient. Sora then manages to open the Door to Light, as King Mickey predicted, and the two return home, reuniting with their friends.
Some time later, Sora, Riku, and Kairi recieve a letter from the King. The contents are a mystery.
Battle technique and weaponry
In comparison to Sora's two-handed style and Roxas' duel-weaponry, Riku attacks with a fast one-handed style with his Soul Eater. His main attack is firing blue fireballs(Dark Firaga) among others. He is also very athletic, as he is able to use a powerful kicking attack while sparring with Sora on Destiny Islands. When Xehanort's Heartless tempered the darkness in his heart, He was able to turn into his Dark Form which increased his powers. When he used the power of darkness (and ended up looking like Xehanort's Heartless), he could use some of "Ansem's" attacks, as well as summon the Guardian. When he is playable in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, he is much quicker and powerful than Sora, "phasing" out behind his enemies instead of rolling. His Dark Form, along with giving him increased speed and strength, also increases the speed and distance of his phasing, and gives him access to sleights that mimic his special attacks from Kingdom Hearts. When he turned into his "true form" in the end of Kingdom Hearts II, His powers increase dramatically and he gained his keyblade "Way to the Dawn".
Attacks & Abilities
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- Dark Break
Description: Leap into the air and attack enemies from above. Only available in Dark Mode.
Card value: Three Soul Eater cards, total value of 5-15.
- Dark Firaga (non-elemental)
Description: Expel Dark energies in a searing blast. Only available in Dark Mode.
Card value: Three Soul Eater cards, total value of 16-25.
- Dark Aura
Description: Rush enemies repeatedly with blade in hand. only available in Dark Mode.
Card value: Three Soul Eater cards, total card value of 27.
- MM Miracle
Description: The king restores HP, and stun and deals damage to all enemies.
Card value: Two "king"(Mickey) card is needed to stock, no card value limited.
Kingdom Hearts II
- Dark Aura: Riku fires multiple Dark Fireballs at the enemy. Available as a Reaction command after Sora finishes a combo.
- Dark Shield: Riku creates a barrier to protect Sora
- Cure Potion: Riku heals a party member to max HP, cost 99MP
- Item Boost: Potions and elixirs have greater effect
- MP Hastega: MP recover rate is greatly increased
- Defender: When HP is critically low, defense increases
- Second Chance: Retain 1 HP after being dealt a critical attack
- Once More: Retain 1HP after being dealt a critical attack
- Auto Limit: Makes Eternal Session a reaction command
- Hyper Healing: Quickly recover from KO
- AP Cost: 30AP
- Auto Limit auto equipped: No, but available.
- MP Cost: All
- Limit: Eternal Session
- Combo: Dark Cannon/ Last Saber/ Master Hearts/ XIII Blades
- Combo Finisher: All's End
- Command Triggers: "Attack" is replaced with "Last Saber" and later "XIII Blades." Reaction commands "Dark Cannon" and "Master Hearts" appear.
- Eternal Session
- Combo starter; Sora and Riku delivers a series of powerful blows.
- Dark Cannon
- Sora and Riku fires a series of Dark Fireballs at the enemy. Works well in both long range and short range. Appears as Reaction command.
- Last Saber
- Sora and Riku both executes all Keyblade combos in one go. To connect the keyblade attacks, you are required to mash the X button continuously.
- Master Hearts
- Appears after executing Dark Cannon; Sora and Riku combines their Keyblade into a large light blade and delivers a large horizontal slash with a large arc.
- XIII Blades
- Replaces "Attack" in the Command menu after "Last Saber" is executed; Sora and Riku summons thirteen blades to surround and spiral around themselves, damaging all foes in range.
- All's End
- Combo Finisher; Sora and Riku toss their weapons onto the air, both Keyblade connects and creates a powerful vortex that fires out lasers and the enemy, followed by a large explosion. Damages all foes in sight.
Riku, possessed by Ansem