Hey everyone, Mod Knight here! Now, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I love the Kingdom Hearts series, and the characters within it. So, honestly, I’d like to take a bit of time to talk about one of the most well rounded and developed characters in the series: Riku.
Riku began as an antagonist in the series, first as Sora’s rival, then an outright villain, then as the host for the final boss!! Later on, however, he takes the role of a protagonist, exploring the choices he made and what led him down the path to darkness, as well as dealing with the consequences of his actions. That’s one of the major reasons I love Riku as a character; he faces real, lasting consequences and has to learn to deal with them as a result.
Not only that, but because of that he manages to also become one of the most badass characters in the series, not only is he safe from its effects, he can wield the power of darkness despite being a light aligned character!! Not only has he overcome his inner demons, he tamed them, whipped them and made them work for him!
Despite never having a full on game of his own, Riku has served as a playable protagonist in a few of the games in the series, most notably in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance. Both games feature him game going on a journey that mirrors the one his friend Sora is on. As I said, Riku’s constant struggle is one of self doubt and a struggle with his choices. And these themes are represented as he struggles against a foe who represents the very choice that defined his role in the story: Ansem. Ansem is Riku’s consistent antagonist, serving as a physical manifestation of the darkness within Riku’s heart.
At the current point in the series we’ve seen Riku progress greatly, going from a boy who was conquered by his own fear, to a young man who faces his trials head on. After the events of Kingdom Hearts 2, Riku is shown to be one of the most level headed and intelligent characters in the series. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow and impress us further in upcoming titles!!