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Story[edit | edit source]
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep[edit | edit source]
Four-year-old Riku encounters Terra while he is visiting the Destiny Islands, and realizes he's not from the islands, telling Terra that someone else had once left. He tells Terra that he wants to be able to be strong enough to protect his friends, and Terra then has a vision of a silver-haired young man, followed by Riku's sixteen-year-old self. Terra decides to make Riku his successor to the Keyblade, and tells him to keep their conversation secret.
Later, Riku and Sora meet Aqua, who recognizes that Riku had been chosen by Terra, and makes Sora promise to always protect Riku.
Sometime later, Riku and Sora begin to return home from watching the starry night when Riku notices a tear on Sora's cheek. He suggests that someone somewhere is sad, and tells Sora to open his heart to that person. Once Sora accepts Riku's advice and let's Ventus's heart in, the two look up at the sky.
Riku travels with King Mickey through the Dark World in search of Aqua. Riku is surprised by how unfamiliar the area seems now that he is facing it confidently--a far stretch from the scared and doubtful person he was when he first visited the Realm of Darkness. Mickey notes that Riku has grown a lot since he was last here and that he has finally found the strength to protect what matters, which is helping to remove doubt and fear. Mickey's words remind Riku of a promise he once made, though he cannot remember who he made the promise to.
Having walked for some time, Riku asks Mickey if he remembers anything about where they are, prompting Mickey to admit that the dark realm has changed since he was last there. Worried, Mickey explains that he used to rely on his connection with Aqua to find his way, but that is becoming hazy. Riku begins to fear that this is a sign for the worst, but Mickey insists that they can't give up hope, so the pair continue forward. Soon King Mickey and Riku arrive at the Dark Margin, where King Mickey notes Aqua's trail ends. Riku recognizes the beach as the same place where he and Sora found their way to the realm of light, and suggests that Aqua may have as well. Unfortunately, King Mickey explains that Aqua appears to have fallen even deeper into the darkness and they're not equipped to go after her. Before they can make further plans, they are suddenly surrounded by Shadow Heartless. To the pair's horror, the Shadows group together to take on the new form of a Demon Tower and a battle begins. They are able to defeat one Tower, but King Mickey and Riku are overwhelmed as more Shadows and another Tower appears. They are quickly surrounded and Riku ends up being entirely consumed by the Demon Tower. Within the darkness of the shadowy enemy, a disembodied voice calls to Riku and asks why he's here. Riku responds that someone needs him and then asks who the voice is. As Riku fades into defeat against the encroaching darkness, the mysterious voice identifies itself.
Back on the Dark Margin, King Mickey defeats more than half the Heartless. Sensing the tide turning against them, the Heartless vanish, spitting out Riku in their wake. Riku awakens, but the victory is bittersweet when he discovers his Keyblade, Way to the Dawn, has shattered in the fight. King Mickey notes they should have been more prepared, and suggests they return to The Mysterious Tower to regroup. Riku hesitates, wondering if Aqua is scared to be in the dark realm alone, but the King assures him that Aqua is as strong as Sora. Before they take their leave, Riku sticks his shattered Keyblade into the sand of the Dark Margin, explaining it'd better serve the "other" him, much to Mickey's shock and confusion.
King Mickey and Riku return to The Mysterious Tower to find Sora, Donald, and Goofy already meeting with Master Yen Sid. Mickey and Riku share that they weren't able to locate Aqua, but Riku recalls how Sora was lost to darkness during his exam but Riku still saved him. Riku suggests that if they are able to find someone who is close with Aqua, that person might be able to travel into the abyss and find her. Mickey and Yen Sid ponder this option, but things seem grim as they realize that everyone Aqua was close with is gone. Suddenly, Sora exclaims that he will save Aqua, though when the group reacts with shock to this suggestion, Sora becomes confused and admits he is unsure why he offered. Still, the declaration was convincing, so Sora is told to continue on his search for the power of waking with the end goal of visiting the realm of darkness to save Aqua. While he does this, Mickey and Riku will travel elsewhere to see if they can find anyone else to help.
Before they depart, King Mickey reveals that both his and Riku's Keyblades are damaged. To this Yen Sid suggests they rendezvous with Kairi and Lea, who are training with Merlin, and then hands over two suitcases which contain darkness-shielding outfits that he would like Mickey and Riku to deliver to the trainees. The group follows with one final bow to the old Keyblade Master and then they all depart, Yen Sid wishing them well with an old saying as they go.
Origin[edit | edit source]
Riku's name is derived from the Japanese word for "land."