One of the series’ most recognizable characters (other than Sora and Mickey, of course) is Kingdom Hearts Riku. He sports spiky grey hair, piercing blue eyes, and enough drive to keep him going through all hardships. Let’s take a look at a quick history of who he is, and what he gets up to.
Right, let’s find out just who Kingdom Hearts Riku is.
Riku is a core Kingdom Hearts character, hailing from Destiny Islands alongside his close friend and rival, Sora. He plays an integral role in the series, with him growing up alongside Sora and Kairi and eventually becoming a Keyblade master.
As a child, Riku was chosen to be a Keyblade wielder by Terra as he sensed Riku’s power. He officially named Riku as his successor in the story of Birth by Sleep, though Riku loses all memory of this for some time. Fate takes Riku off the good path for a while, though, as the Darkness corrupts his heart. In Kingdom Hearts III, Sora and his friends even face off against Riku Replica, a more aggressive and evil version of Riku. Thankfully, despite his many hardships, he always manages to come back to the light.
Over the years, Riku has grown up in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, with his youngest appearance being a 5-year-old Riku in Birth by Sleep. His main appearances have been as a teenager, with him aged 15 in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories, and then 16 in 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts II, Dream Drop Distance, and Kingdom Hearts III. Riku is 17 in Re Mind and Melody of Memory.
Riku is a cool, collected character that has a competitive streak, which leads him to improve and grow alongside Sora. Despite his somewhat murky past, Riku’s heart remains true and he’s always ready to fight for what is right.
Ever since he was given the ability to wield a blade, Riku has been armed with one. His first Keyblade is Soul Eater, which grows more powerful when Riku uses it with Darkness. When Riku denounces the powers of darkness, he instead takes control of the Way to the Dawn, which, like Sora’s, is a Keyblade of the Realm of Light. It appears as a modified version of Soul Eater, with a name and design that reflects Riku’s intermediary state between light and dark.
To find out more about the different Keyblades available across all the games, check out our Kingdom Hearts keyblades guide.
Here are the games that Riku has appeared in so far:
- Birth by sleep
- Kingdom Hearts
- Chain of Memories
- 358/2 days
- KH II
- Dream Drop Distance
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
To catch up on the mass of KH lore, be sure to check out our guide to all the Kingdom Hearts games in order.
Riku’s voice actor in the English dub is David Gallagher, with Mamoru Miyano providing his voice in Japanese.