The Way to the Dawn (ウェイトゥザドーン Wei tu za Dōn?) is the default form of Riku's Keyblade, and appears in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Like Sora's Keyblade, it is a Keyblade of the Realm of Light. Its form is based upon the Soul Eater, which it uses as an intermediary, and its name and design reflect Riku's nature as a being halfway between both light and darkness.
The Way to the Dawn is first seen in Kingdom Hearts II, when Riku arrives at The World That Never Was in order to rescue Naminé and Kairi from Saïx. Though it is technically a different weapon from the Soul Eater, Riku still refers to it by its previous name.
Riku can equip this Keyblade within Mission Mode in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days by equipping the Zero Gear. The Way to the Dawn also appears in the secret video The Gathering, where Ventus pulls it from the ground at Keyblade Graveyard.
The Way to the Dawn greatly resembles the Soul Eater, but the once curved wing is now straight, and the Keyblade's guard is composed of one angelic wing and one demonic wing, similar to the guards of Sora's Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keychains, respectively. Also, a dark angelic wing has been added to the top of the original blade of the Soul Eater to act as the teeth of the key. Its token is the Heartless Emblem, but without the spiked bars crossing it. Its name is derived from the ending scene of Reverse/Rebirth, in which Riku declares that he is taking the "road to dawn".
Riku can equip this weapon in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Mission Mode by equipping the Zero Gear. There are two ground combos of this weapon. They both begin with a spinning slash but if you let the combo end with an upward slash from there Riku jumps into the air and performs two diagonal upward slashes, one from each leg. If you continue to tap , Riku will repeat the spinning slash three times and finish the combo with the upward slash. If is pressed before the third slash during the ground combo, a dashing thrust will be performed instead.
The aerial combo consists of a upward slash from the left leg, followed by an upward slash from the right leg, another diagonal upward slash from the left, and ends with Riku slamming the Keyblade straight down.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
In the demo and promotion poster shown at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show, Riku is seen using the Way to the Dawn.
- During the final battle with Xemnas, Sora briefly wields this Keyblade with a reverse grip, similar to how Ventus holds his Keyblade. During the battle against Xemnas's World of Nothingness, Riku also holds this Keyblade in a reversed manner while driving.
Notes and References
- Director's Secret Report XIII, p. 28; Tetsuya Nomura: "Riku's 'Way to the Dawn' and Kairi's Keyblade are naturally the same type of Keyblade as Sora's. However there is no particular explanation for the Soul Eater's transfer and occurrence, as well as Riku's handing it to Kairi."
- Kingdom Hearts II, Riku: "Hmph. Not bad, Sora. You've grown stronger. You don't need my weapon, Soul Eater, or the power of the dark yet."
- Kingdom Hearts II Ultimania, "Scenario Mysteries"; Tetsuya Nomura: "Since Riku has always been using Soul Eater, he still calls it that even after it changed form. Keyblades aren't something that you can obtain suddenly out of nowhere so in Riku's case, his Soul Eater was used as an intermediary for that Keyblade."