|“||Now, open your heart! Surrender it to the darkness! Become darkness itself!||„|
|~ The false Ansem possessing Riku.|
|“||If you do summon Kingdom Hearts, we will defeat you, and we will close it again.||„|
|“||Your heart? What good will that weak little thing do for you?||„|
|~ Riku before fighting Sora.|
|“||Maleficent was right. You don't have what it takes to save Kairi. It's up to me. Only the Keyblade master can open the secret door... and change the world.||„|
|~ Riku upon gaining the Keyblade.|
Riku is the deuteragonist in the Kingdom Hearts series and an anti-villainous antagonist in the first game of the franchise. He is Sora's best friend and rival.
He is voiced by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and David Gallagher in English. As a child, he is voiced by Eiji Shima in Japanese and Ty Panitz in English.
In the first Kingdom Hearts game, Riku lived on the Destiny Islands, and his best friends were Sora and Kairi. Riku was curious of what was beyond the Destiny Islands, and suggested that they build a boat and sail out to see what other worlds may be out there. Sora and Riku grew up together became best friends/rivals.
On the night they would have left, the Heartless attacked the Island, and Sora finds him, who tells Sora that once they step into the door, they might never come back to this island, or might never see their parents again then, he along with Kairi, are then blasted into places unknown. meanwhile is whisked off to another town. In this town, Riku sees Sora with Donald and Goofy, and it doesn't take much for Maleficent to convince him that Sora had forgotten all about him for his new friends. This is all it takes for her to get Riku to join her.
As the game goes on, Riku becomes more and more corrupted by the darkness, culminating in him allowing his very Heart to "become darkness" by allowing Ansem to possess him. When Sora learns of this he tries to purify Riku, but fails. At one point, Riku/Ansem is fought by Sora. In the end Sora defeats Ansem, freeing Riku and they, along with King Mickey, lock Ansem behind the door of darkness from the inside. If only Riku's troubles ended there...
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Sora encounters Riku in Castle Oblivion, but Riku acts like he had in the first game while under the influence of Maleficent and Ansem, and tells Sora to leave. Later on in the game, Sora said that he had promised to protect Naminé, while Riku believes that it was not Sora, but himself who made this promise. In the end, Riku discovers that he is in fact not the real Riku at all, just a copy made by Vexen. After learning this, he goes with Sora to fight Marluxia, and protects Naminé throughout the fight. Once Marluxia is defeated, the Riku Replica stayed in Castle Oblivion.
In Riku's story, Riku starts out in a dark void. A voice tells him to rest, but Riku refuses, and ends up in Castle Oblivion. The levels Riku goes into are mostly the same as his, however, because he rejected his friends, he can only see people who are filled with darkness. Riku can still use his dark powers, though he tries not to for most of the game. Riku fights his Replica several times, before his memories are reset and he is sent to fight Sora. Throughout the game Ansem tries to get Riku to once again embrace the darkness. Riku does embrace the darkness, however, he does not accept Ansem, and fights him. Afterwards Riku does not go back to the Destiny Islands, but instead serves DiZ.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
Riku plays an important role in the game as a major character, and the final boss, though he is not usually considered as one, owing to the previous battle with Xion. There is some controversy on whether he is an anti-hero or simply an antagonist in this game.
He is first seen on the bridge in Beast's Castle where he fights Xion. As a defeated Xion lies on the ground, Riku pulls off her hood and pulls up his blindfold to get a good look at her. When he sees her as Sora, he is shocked and begins asking her how she can use the Keyblade, calling it a sham and worthless. Angered, Xion demands what right he had to say such a thing and attacks him, only to be knocked down single-handedly. Riku then tells her to "find a new crowd". It can also be inferred that Riku still can't forgive himself for stepping into darkness when he told Xion, "You could say I am, the biggest nobody of them all.".
After Xion left the Organization, the two stayed away in Castle Oblivion. As Roxas and Axel continue to search for her around the worlds, they finally make contact in Twilight Town. Xion quickly takes her leave and Riku stays behind to distract them.
Xion turns into young Riku during a nightmare at Destiny Islands. While cradling Xion in his arms during her nightmare, Riku recalls his conversation with Naminé in the white room about her, discussing what has to be done for Sora to wake up. In addition to being with Xion during her nightmare, he is also in her nightmare alongside Zexion. Xion collapses in pain while hearing the hurtful and opprobrious speech Zexion gave Riku from Chain of Memories. She then turns into Roxas, Riku, and finally Sora. After Xion wakes upon Destiny Islands, she expresses her curiosity about "Sora and that girl he's always with", in which Riku tells her that Kairi is someone very special to Sora. He tells her that she is the reason Sora is unable to wake up because part of his memories are inside of her. Even though Xion is unsure of where she truly belongs and what the right choice is, Riku gives her some time to think about it. He is also seen conversing with DiZ next to the pod Sora sleeps in.
Riku is seen meeting with King Mickey in the forest outside the Old Mansion, where he has taken the form of Ansem. The King then calls the Keyblade to him, ready to fight, not knowing who he is. To let the King know it's him, Riku puts his blindfold on, which makes him return to normal, surprising the King. He informs Mickey that he will be fighting an Organization member soon, and may not survive, forcing the King to promise to protect Sora.
Riku is the final boss of the game, as the game ends with the battle between him and Roxas depicted in several scenes in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, including the secret endings of Another Side, Another Story and Deep Dive. He also appears as a playable character in multiplayer mode. To unlock him, the player must play story mode up to day 171 and unlock the rank of Agent.
Kingdom Hearts II
In Kingdom Hearts II, Riku wanders the Worlds, and his appearance has changed to that of Ansem's after he willingly gave into the darkness. Riku saves Kairi in The World That Never Was. Because he has Ansem's appearance, Sora doesn't recognize him but Kairi shows him that it is Riku. Riku is able to return to his original body, and Sora asks him why he wears a blindfold, and Riku replies that he is hiding from himself. Riku discovers that his dark powers are mostly gone before the final battle.
Only Sora and Riku fight Xemnas, and by working together they are able to beat him, but by doing so they trap themselves in a void, which they escape from, only to end up in a world of complete darkness. However, Riku finds a bottle, with a message from Kairi on the dark beach, and this transports them back to the Destiny Islands, where Riku is welcomed back.
- He appears in Super Smash Flash 2 as an assist trophy, being added in V1.2.