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Use the light, and you control how the shadows fall...

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Character Name: Riku

Series: Kingdom Hearts

Version: Post KHII

Age: 16

Gender: Male

Sexuality: Shortest distance between two points on flat surface. Straight.

Appearance: Riku is a tall young man noted for his long white silver hair that obscures his slanted aqua eyes. He apparently possesses X-ray vision, as one would think he would have trouble seeing through his grown-out bangs. He is fairly muscular, and as a teenager he is still developing the broad shoulders of a man. Of the Destiny Islands trio, his skin is the lightest.

Fashion-wise, Riku’s wardrobe is unimpressive. He wears a high-necked, sleeveless black shirt with a two-way zipper that’s unzipped so his navel shows. Over this he wears a yellow, blue and primarily white vest he always keeps unzipped and unbuttoned. His jeans are a few sizes too large and held up with a type of studded belt that can literally be found at Hot Topic. His black and white sneakers sport yellow-orange laces. He keeps a white band on his left arm that extends from mid-forearm to his knuckles. For all intensive purposes, it really just looks like a sock.

The phrase “cool and collected” has been used to describe Riku canonically, and it fits him perfectly. Though he can most certainly be angered, Riku doesn’t have much of a temper and has never been known to panic. “We can’t let fear stop us.” He remains composed and determined in dangerous situations, and outwardly displays confidence. Riku’s outward pride was seen while giving orders to Captain Hook… while on his pirate ship! He also has a sarcastic sense of humor and may playfully mock those he feels comfortable around (like Sora) or insult enemies. Riku keeps up a strong front, and as such will hide his pain until he’s near collapse. He will even pretend to be in good health at the first chance possible, such as claiming to be able to walk to Sora.

By nature, Riku is extremely curious about the world around him. He looks for deeper meaning in things. For instance, before the Destiny Islands were destroyed, he wanted to know why they ended up living on the Islands rather than another world, and hoped that these tiny islands were a part of something much greater. Riku opened the door to the heart of the Islands like Pandora opened the box. This curiosity drive is so strong Riku was willing to never see his parents again in order to explore other worlds.

However, there is a jealous, unsure side of Riku few but his closest friends get to see, and even then only in the last year or so. Riku in Kingdom Hearts II confessed to Sora he was jealous of him after defeating Xemnas, saying he wished he, too, could lead life by simply following his heart. He also admitted to and swallowed his pride, explaining he once thought he was better at everything than Sora. Riku proved his jealous nature even in the first game when Sora showed himself stronger and he was willing to do anything to be stronger, and opened his heart to darkness.

The teen also displays a strong competitive side. Though that could be linked very easily to his pride, it also can be linked to another side of him. Riku in 358/2 Days questioned both Xion and Roxas as to why they had the Keyblade, perhaps as opposed to himself. Riku seems to enjoy power, though not in a greedy manner. Power is control, something he seems to want in his life. To be the strongest kid on the island means he can step in and take charge when things go wrong and then make sure they turn out fine. He felt he had no control over Kairi losing his heart, and thus pursued power to regain control and save his friend.

Riku’s strength is his weakness. He’s willing to do anything for those he deems as friends, but that “anything,” has few limits. Though he has morals, he may ignore them to reach his goal. For him, the ends justify the means. For instance, in an effort to find Kairi and restore her heart, Riku resorted to kidnapping (Jasmine and Pinocchio) and attacking a friend. It does, however, prove his loyalty to her. In Kingdom Hearts II he abducted Roxas, and though he felt sorry for him, Riku still worked with DiZ to alter the Nobody’s life in order to help revive Sora. Riku gave up his original appearance to gain the strength he needed to defeat Roxas for the same reason. (See “Weaknesses” regarding “moral ambiguity” and also “being seduced by power.”)

Somewhat pessimistic, Riku gave up hope when injured and trapped in the leftover Nothingess from battling Xemnas (to which Sora told him to think positive). Aside from this pessimism, Riku also displays a good amount of common sense and a healthy dose of suspicion. This is displayed by his skepticism when Maleficent claimed she only wanted him to be happy and said he was like a son to her.

Riku still carries the guilt of betraying Sora and siding with the Heartless. It was he that opened the door to the heart of the Destiny Islands and ultimately resulted in their destruction, a fact that Zexion exploited in Chain of Memories. In Kingdom hearts II he felt that being trapped in the World of Darkness was perfect for him (especially if it had a beach), and was ready to accept it as retribution for his sins. (See “Weaknesses.”)

First and foremost, however, Riku IS NOT a mopey emo teenage boy with enough whiney angst to replace Mako energy as a fuel source to run Midgar. He is a complex, somewhat self-sacrificing individual with his share of justified worries and prides.


In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku wore the guise of Ansem and had his powers as well. Since this is a late-in-the-game Riku, he’s lost both of these, along with the power to open dark portals. However, he still has the power of darkness, which allows him to create a brief defensive shield (Dark Shield) and shoot fireballs of dark energy that home in on their target (Dark Aura/Firaga). During his struggle to help Sora, his weapon, the bat-wing-shaped Soul Eater, transformed into the Keyblade “Way to the Dawn.” Like all Keyblades, it can presumably open doors and pathways, as well as lock them. The Keyblade also seems to heighten physical prowess. His senses were also keenly tuned to darkness, allowing him to fight while blindfolded. It may be still be possible for him to detect darkness through scent, but as he is no longer a part of the dark realm, it’s likely this sense is highly dulled. Considering blindfolded fighting is not unique to Kingdom Hearts, I would assume that the ability to do so remains mostly intact.


Riku is fairly strong and fast for his age, even if he doesn’t have a Keyblade. (Like Sora, his physical limits were heightened by the weapon.) However, he has taken pride in his abilities in the past, and may overestimate what he can do.

Riku is morally ambiguous. He will do anything to help his friends, and short of murder, anything is a key word. In the past he has resorted to abduction/kidnapping (twice in KH and once technically in KH2), and entangling himself with the power of darkness. The D&D alignment term, “chaotic neutral (good)” would be appropriate.

In addition, his inward insecurities and jealousies may make him vulnerable to manipulation. Playing off of his uncertainty and envy it may be possible to make him betray some friends. Usually, however, this could only be achieved by making Riku think they’ve betrayed him. (Convincing him to betray Sora, Kairi, Mickey, Donald or Goofy will be difficult considering the events surrounding betraying Sora in the past.) Persuade Riku that someone is no longer his friend, and he may be inclined to do terrible things.

His guilt can also influence him. He had no plans on facing Kairi or especially Sora while he looked like Xehanort’s Heartless, a blatant reminder of his past wrongs. Although Sora cheered him up, he later didn’t know how he could go home and “face everyone.” Although now facing them is the least of his worries, he will still hold onto this shame until he feels he has gained forgiveness and righted his wrongs. Zexion almost defeated Riku by bringing up his role in the destruction of his home, which left Riku open to attack.

Though now probably much more aware of it, Riku has and perhaps still can be seduced by power. He stole the Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts from Sora to gain power (in the name of saving Kairi, which may have still been partially true at that point). After he lost it (and even called his own) he was frustrated at the fact his heart was weaker than Sora’s. In his jealousy he opened his heart to darkness to gain power (and ultimately lose his body).

History: Riku grew up on the Destiny Islands with his best friend, Sora, and still remembers when Kairi appeared on the night of the meteor shower. (He was probably 6, then.) Since that night, he wondered about other worlds. He also began to compete with Sora for Kairi’s attention. At age 15, he persuaded the other two to build a raft to sail to new lands. That is, until he opened the door in the Secret Place, letting darkness rush into the heart of his world but open the door to interworld travel (via a corridor of darkness). He awoke in Hollow Bastion where he met Maleficent. She offered her help in return for his. Riku was allowed to travel to other worlds, and met up with Sora in Traverse Town, whom he learned the Keyblade had chosen. Maleficent showed Riku that Sora had made new friends, and used his envy to convince Riku that Sora had abandoned him and Kairi. Riku redoubled his efforts to find Kairi, doing anything Maleficent needed. That included abducting Jasmine. After reuniting with Kairi, he later tried to kidnap Pinocchio in hopes that studying him could explain how to get Kairi’s heart back and revive her. (Little did they know Kairi’s heart had been placed within Sora.) When Sora said what Riku wasn’t listening to his conscience, Riku felt Sora was being ridiculous. The two boys met again on Hook’s ship, but Riku imprisoned Sora and made sure he was kept away from Kairi. He even sent Sora’s own shadow after him. In Hollow Bastion, he fought Beast to keep him away from Belle, and when he confronted Sora, summoned the Keyblade into his own hands. “You don’t have what it takes to save Kairi.” With Sora deprived of the Keyblade, Donald and Goofy followed King Mickey’s orders to help the Key-bearer and left Sora. That is, until Riku attacked their friend, at which point Goofy, and then Donald, came to the younger boy’s aid. Riku’s heart wasn’t as strong as Sora’s, and he lost the Keyblade. After being defeated, Riku ran, and met with Xehanort’s Heartless. Willing to do anything for power, Riku opened himself to darkness and was possessed. His body no longer his own, he watched helplessly as a dark Keyblade was made from the hearts of the Princesses and his body savagely attacked Sora in order to try to extract Kairi’s heart from his. Only after Sora lost his heart did Riku manage to briefly overcome the Heartless, keeping him at bay long enough for Kairi, Donald and Goofy to run. As a result, Xehanort’s Heartless threw Riku’s heart into the World of Darkness, where he met with King Mickey. After Sora defeated Xehanort’s Heartless, Riku’s body was returned to him, and Riku appeared on the other side of the door to Kingdom Hearts. There Riku and King Mickey made the ultimate sacrifice. To make sure the door was sealed and preserve the worlds, they stayed on the other side of the door, remaining in darkness while Sora, Donald and Goofy helped them close the door from the other side. As the door closed, Riku told Sora, “Take care of her.”

In Chain of Memories, Riku awakens in twilight, led on by a mysterious voice, and chooses to leave the comfort of sleep. He finds himself in Castle Oblivion, facing demons of his past, and being told his heart is empty because he’s thrown away his friends for darkness, which he in turn has thrown away. Xehanort’s Heartless is still alive in Riku’s heart and either he (or the real Ansem in disguise, it isn’t clear) tempers the darkness in Riku’s heart, allowing him to wield darkness in a special form called “dark mode.” The boy finds that a replica was made of himself, but the replica embraces darkness and calls Riku a coward. Riku almost succumbs to the Xehanort’s Heartless a few times, but is saved by King Mickey, who’s sending his power over a distance. He defeats Lexeaus, and later confronts Zexion on the Destiny Islands. Zexion uses Riku’s guilt against him, blaming him for the destruction of the islands and shows Riku images of him becoming a Dark Side Heartless. Zexion disguises himself as Sora and attacks Riku, engulfing him in light. There Riku sees Kairi (Namine in disguise) who tells him his darkness is a part of him, just like his light, and that it should be equally embraced. Reassured, Riku sees through Zexion’s ploy and forces the Nobody to flee. He finds King Mickey, and encounters a strange man named DiZ, a man intent on watching Riku and his decisions. The boy runs into the replica again and defeats it. He watches as it fades and asks where its heart will go. Riku supposes it will go the same place his will. Riku later meets up with Namine and realizes it was her, not Kairi who came to him in the light. She offers to seal Xehanort’s heartless away, along with his memories, but Riku decides against it, saying he can’t yell at the sleeping Sora for not taking care of Kairi if he sleeps too. (Sora’s memories were being restored after being gradually lost in the castle.) Riku confronts Xehanort’s Heartless and wins, (with Mickey saving him from the engulfing darkness). He and Mickey leave Castle Oblivion, but Riku won’t go home until Xehanort’s Heartless is truly gone from his heart. DiZ asks if Riku will choose the road to light or darkness. Riku chooses the middle road, not the twilit road to oblivion, but “the road to dawn.” Re:COM reveals Xehanort’s Heartless is still bothering Riku.

358/2 Days again makes Riku an antagonist, but this time against Sora’s Nobody, Roxas, instead of Sora himself. He becomes Sora’s guardian, making sure no one disturbs the memory-reconstruction process. When he first meets Xion he defeats her and pulls back her hood. Though it is unclear exactly what he sees, it is likely he saw Sora, a girl with Kairi’s face (as in Xion herself), or even Kairi. (The wikia by the way has no firm basis for strictly seeing Sora, there’s no canon for what he saw, just that he figured out something was very wrong.) Whatever he saw, it seems to have compelled him to protect her in what was presumably the Destiny Islands rooms of Castle Oblivion. He speaks firmly but gently to her, giving her the choice to go back to the Organization or to return Sora’s memories. Xion begins to work closely with him. However, when progress finally his a standstill, Riku knew he also had to work to bring back Roxas as well. Even after Xion faded and his memories of her began to follow, Riku set out to subdue Roxas. Initially defeated, Riku resorts to becoming Ansem and gains the upper hand. However, he hides his appearance from DiZ when he appears.

In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku worked with DiZ (Ansem) and Namine to help restore Sora’s memories. By this time Riku had parted ways with Mickey. He made Mickey promise not to tell Sora what had happened to his form. He had brought Roxas to DiZ, and encoded him to make rejoining him with Sora easier and keep him hidden from Organization XIII. He sympathized with Roxas, but for Sora’s sake still treated him poorly in the data world. He denied him the right to know what was truly going on and was not above stealing from Roxas to keep him away from the beach and better Sora’s chances.

During most of the game, Riku avoided Sora, only dropping a clue here and there to help his friend out. Only when he meets up with Kairi do things change, since Kairi insisted he meet Sora. Riku was ashamed of what he has become, but Sora accepted it, emphasizing that he was still Riku at heart. Meanwhile, DiZ attempted to encode Kingdom Hearts as data, but when the encoder exploded, Riku found all traces of Xehanort’s Heartless gone from his appearance. At this time he willingly fought alongside Sora. After fighting Xemnas (the leader of Organization XIII and Xehanort’s Nobody) he was himself unable to open a dark portal back to the Islands, to which Mickey happily said, “You’re not a part of the dark realm, anymore, Riku.” Namine managed to create a portal, but before Sora and Riku could get through, the portal shut, and Xemnas returned. After a long battle, Riku was severely injured and Sora carried him through both the Nothingness Xemnas left and to the beach in the World of Darkness. During this time, Riku and Sora had a heart to heart and admired each other and their friendship. When Riku found a note in a bottle from Kairi, he handed it to Sora, whose heart then opened the Door to Light.