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Characters: Kingdom Hearts Destiny Islands Trio
Sora, Riku, and Kairi are the primary characters of the Kingdom Hearts
series. Raised on Destiny Islands (although Kairi was born in Radiant Garden), they dreamed of leaving their small world and exploring the other worlds. They got their wish when the Heartless consumed their world, separating them and setting them on an epic journey with the fate of all worlds hanging in the balance.Character index here.
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Destiny Islands Trio
- The Chosen Many: The Keyblade's chosen.
- Generation Xerox: Sora, Riku, and Kairi have the same Theme Naming, similar personalities and inherited the powers of Ven, Terra, and Aqua respectively. Further both Terra and Riku would turn to the Darkness for a time. In contrast, the older trio had Ven out of commission while Aqua tried to redeem Terra, while the younger had Kairi go comatose and later be Put on a Bus while Sora tried to redeem Riku.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: All of them can use Keyblades.
- Love Triangle: Both Riku and Sora have crushes on Kairi; she seemingly has picked Sora however. Sora and Riku's friendship sometimes outshines any romantic teases between Kairi and either of the two boys.
- Magic Knight: All of them can use both magic and weapons.
- Planar Champion: Besides the villains, they're the only people who can jump between worlds easily.
- Power Trio
- The Team: Sora is The Hero, Riku is his Lancer, and Kairi is The Chick. Sora's optimism and friendship are able to not only pull all the worlds together, but redeem souls struggling with darkness like Riku's. Sora operates out in the open, and is the center of attention that everyone trusts, while Riku sticks to the shadows.
- Occasionally however Riku is The Leader, Sora is his Number Two but Kairi is still The Chick. This is shown with Riku being the driving force behind their building a raft together, and being the eldest who tries to take things seriously while the other two goof off. Riku is the first of the three to become an official Keyblade Master, so he outranks Sora as well.
Click here to see Sora as he appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
Click here to see Sora as he appears in Dream Drop Distance
"I don't need a weapon! My friends are my power!" Voiced by: Miyu Irino
(Japanese), Haley Joel Osment
Young Sora Voiced by: Takuto Yoshinaga (Japanese), Luke Manriquez (English)
A bright and spirited boy from Destiny Islands whose peaceful life is shattered when his home is destroyed by the Heartless, and finds himself in possession of a peculiar weapon called the Keyblade. As a hero chosen to battle the forces of darkness, Sora embarks on a quest to reunite with his friends and save all other worlds from suffering the same fate as his own.
- 24-Hour Armor: Sora is forced to wear armor in Space Paranoids and The Grid.
- Achilles' Heel: Disarming Sora of his Keyblade used to leave him mostly powerless, until he learned the power came from his heart all along.
- Action Survivor: After his world was casted away into the darkness, Sora has no choice but to team up with Donald and Goofy to find their friends.
- Adorkable: Just look at the way he smiles when Donald and Goofy ask him to smile, in both the game and the manga adaptation.
- All-Loving Hero: Goes around helping out pretty much anyone who's in trouble.
- Always Save the Girl: Says himself that Kairi means more to him than anything else, and even impales himself with the Keyblade of Heart and opens the Door to Darkness to save Kairi in KHI.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Subverted. Gets turned into a heartless in KHI, only to be brought back through his connection with Kairi.
- Anime Hair: It's extremely spiky, and even keeps its shape underwater.
- The Apprentice: To Merlin in KHI for magic, and eventually Yen Sid in the later games.
- Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Subverted with Wisdom Form if Sora enters it within Space Paranoids
- Badass: He's saved the universe quite a few times.
- Bag of Spilling: Sora loses a few of his abilities in pretty much every sequel due to some new plot point.
- Bash Brothers: With every party member, especially from Kingdom Hearts II onwards. Riku from that game stands out due to all of his special attacks synergizing with Sora's via the triangle button.
- Been There, Shaped History: Spends his days traveling through different Disney worlds and helping out the heroes he meets there, as well as helping the various Final Fantasy characters on whatever world they call home.
- Berserk Button: He tends to get very irrational when his friends are threatened, even to the point of snapping at his allies by accident.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Sora is a sweet and cheerful kid who wants to help anyone who has problems, but he's cut down entire armies when his friends were threatened.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to him at one point, without a gag, in Port Royal, which causes him to lose faith in piracy.
- This happens to him again in Atlantica, when he gets restrained by Flotsam and Jetsam.
- Captain Crash/Drives Like Crazy: In the manga adaptation: Sora rams the Gummi Ship into a meteor in the first game's adaptation and gets himself banned from the pilot's seat. He does not learn his lesson.
- Character Tics: Putting his hands on the back of his head. He does it because of Ven's heart residing in his own.
- Childhood Friends: With Riku and Kairi.
- The Chosen One: Was chosen by the Keyblade to save all the worlds from darkness... or something. After the events of the first game Sora won the trust of the Hearts of the worlds, and they granted him free access to the Lanes Between in order to meet any threats that endangered the universe, a privilege granted to no one else in the entire series (there are normally impenetrable barriers dividing the worlds).
- Chronic Hero Syndrome
- Combat Pragmatist: Sora's not exactly an underhanded tactician, but unless he's in a sparring competition, he will never, ever hesitate to take the numbers advantage in a fight. In Kingdom Hearts II, he has further moments of this during some reaction commands in which he steals weapons, hijacks heartless to attack, or trick his foes.
- Taken further in Dream Drop Distance, where he uses large Dream Eaters as Flowmotion targets to fly around the stage and throw them at other enemies and through different reality shifts, again throws them at enemies, rolls them into a giant bubbles or even hacks into their code and makes them either fight on his side, or self-destruct.
- This is even done at the expense of his poor friends, one of his sleights in Chain of Memories has him siccing Donald on the enemies after Donald was lit on fire, and the other has him and Donald grab Goofy and use him as a battering ram.
- Combat Tropes:
- Cool Mask/Eyepatch of Power: Sora wears one of these in Halloween Town.
- Cute Little Fangs: Again, in Halloween Town.
- Cute Monster Guy: Once again, in Halloween Town. Though not so much in KHII, due to his older appearance.
- The Cutie: A spirited idealistic young boy who's upbeat? He definitely qualifies.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Jump hundreds of feet, throws skyscrapers at World of Nothingness and deflect millions of energy blasts during cutscenes, usually via Reaction Commands.
- Deadpan Snarker: Becomes a something of an impish, good-natured snarker as the series progresses.
- Deep Sleep: At the end of CoM, which lasts until the end of the prelude of Kingdom Hearts II.
- This happened again against his will during the climax of KH3D; it seems to lean closer to Big Sleep, considering Young Xehanort's last words to Sora.
- The Determinator: In Dream Drop Distance, he's able to fight and defeat Xemnas while being immersed in darkness and continuously corroded.
- Disney Death: See the And Then John Was a Zombie example above. Unsurprising, considering this is a Disney property.
- Happens again in KH3D in an even more tragic way.
- The Ditz: In KHII, he actually falls for Mulan's laughably poor attempt to pass for a man.
- Divergent Character Evolution: An odd case of this happening with the same character. In Chain of Memories, he got a lot of powerful sleights that were magical in nature, while in KHII he was more of a physical Lightning Bruiser with magic still being useful, but less powerful and in less variety. Fastforward to 3D and Sora is a Magic Knight with an emphasis on the "Magic" side once more, but with much better defense stat-wise.
- Dream Team: Whenever he works with Goofy (Mickey's Guard Captain) and Donald (Mickey's Court Magician). Thought it's later shown that Goofy and Donald have a history of working together. The three of them explicitly fight best when they're fighting together. To contrast, every other Keyblade Wielder fights solo by default.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: A common theme for Sora. Despite being a very competent hero who has saved countless people, Sora is often treated as a simple kid. And as of Kingdom Hearts 3D, he's still not technically considered a Keyblade Master, even though most would argue he really deserves the title by this point.
- Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: He may be largely concerned with finding his friends, but if someone's in trouble or needs help, Sora will never hesitate to set aside his own goals to help said person in need.
- Electric Torture: Sora gets an electric shock from grabbing Auron's statue in the Underworld.
- And in the manga adaptation, Sark tortures Sora to stop the teenager from attacking him.
- The Empath: It's stated that Sora's most powerful weapon is the ability to "connect his heart with anyone." This is deconstructed in Dream Drop Distance as Xehanort, realizing that "everyone" includes himself, uses the malleable nature of Sora's heart to very nearly turn him into his thirteenth Soul Jar.
- Expy: Of Mickey Mouse, who was supposed to be the original hero of the Kingdom Hearts series.
- Fighting Your Friend: Fights Riku in KH1.
- Fingerless Gloves
- Foil: Because Sora tends to be shaped by his experience and that this is a series where History Repeats and situations recur (and prologues are developed after the fact), Sora tends to be a mirror of sorts to people throughout the timeline. To wit:
- Riku and Sora are rivals and best friends; both share a zest for adventure, but Riku is driven by ambition that Sora tempers with a sense of wonder at his surroundings. And though it's not evident at first, Riku lacks Sora's natural charisma but is more focused and goal-oriented. Both share a deep appreciation for friends and friendship, as well as a respect for both Light and Darkness.
- Sora has more in common with Kairi than with Riku, in general. But Kairi is more energetic than Sora and her adventurousness is more ambitious, driven in this case by a desire to learn where she came from (compared to Sora essentially wanting to become the universe's biggest tourist). Her storyline in KHII about persistently seeking out Sora and the lost memories associated with him is similar to Sora's pursuing Namine throughout Chain of Memories while losing more and more of his memories.
- Terra, Ventus, and Aqua share a number of similar characteristics with Sora—Terra's strength and warrior prowess, Ven's affinity for Light and friendship, and Aqua's magic and sense of competence and expertise. However, in terms of personality it is the differences that are more apparent, mostly in terms of Sora's independence from formal Keyblade-wielding and especially in the sense that Sora managed to dodge the pitfalls that all three found themselves falling prey to.
- Sora and Roxas are like two sides of the same coin. Both are kindhearted teenagers who lean heavily on their friends and are at peace in peaceful times. Roxas is more analytical and introspective, but has a harder time controlling his emotions, defaulting to sheer rage at the worst of times. Sora tends to go with the flow, but manages to stave off despair and at least pretend to be happy when he's at his worst. Roxas was isolated and in conflict for most of his life and therefore has no guidance or focus, while Sora falls back on the experiences he's had with his friends to keep him centered.
- In general, Sora straddles the line between the Disney characters, who are fun-loving and have an indomitable will, and the Square Enix and original characters, who are introspective and deal with personal issues.
- Friend to All Living Things: The ones that aren't inherently homicidal, anyway. At the end of Dream Drop Distance, not only does he find his Dream Eaters waiting for him back in Traverse Town, it seems likely thousands of others showed up to hang with him as well.
- The Ghost: For much of 358/2 Days, Sora is left unseen since the story is told from Roxas' perspective, although his actions note are all mentioned.
- Good Is Not Soft: Played with in several occasion in the manga version. One example would be his confrontation with Shan-Yu, as Sora was "about to unleash his rage" on the Hun.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the first game, he gives Donald and Goofy a big, goofy grin before performing a Heroic Sacrifice that results in his death. Which doesn't last.
- Graceful Loser: He took his failing to pass his first Mark Of Mastery Exam extremely well, as he was content knowing that Riku succeeded.
- Grin of Audacity
- He Who Fights Monsters: It's lighty hinted of this in the second game, based on how much more ruthless, aggressive and rude he's toward the enemies than he was in the first game, specially towards the members of the Organization XIII. Word of God has also told that, while partly half the reason is because he had been a Heartless once, half the reason why he turns into Anti-Sora is because of the dark emotions that have started to develop in him due to the constant fighting. So far it hasn't been that serious but it has been further hinted in Birth by Sleep with Vanitas, the embodiment of the darkness in Ventus's heart, looking almost exactly like Sora and might being one of the personalities that occupies his heart, and Master Xehanort, The Big Bad, revealed to be Sora's Evil Counterpart; things that might be some form of Fore Shadowing of something big that will come.
- Confirmed, as Sora has actually stored up a lot of darkness; since he didn't know how to control the darkness, it winds up destroying his heart and almost causes him to become a Xehanort clone.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: His main weapon other than the Keyblade.
- The Hero: Of the series as a whole.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Riku.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Unlocked his own heart with the Keyblade of Heart to save Kairi in KHI.
- Hidden Depths: Lazy, goofy, and a bit of a ditz, but has a powerful heart and an innate understanding of light and darkness. Played up with his Drive Forms in KHII, which are explicitly his "hidden depths made manifest".
- Hope Bringer
- Human Alien: Can be thought of as one, though he actually is human. Of course, Space Paranoids and The Grid play this straight, as he's a human-shaped program (or "user", as the inhabitants would call them) in both worlds.
- I'm Crying But I Don't Know Why: This has been happening to him since he was four years old. When he feels Ven's pain in Sleep, when part of him recognizes the Twilight Town kids from Roxas's Lotus-Eater Machine, and when he meets Xion for the first time in 3D.
- In the End, You Are on Your Own: In Kingdom Hearts, it looks like the final battle against Ansem would be a one-on-one duel to the death above the "World of Chaos" battleship. However, as soon as Sora gets some breathing room, he turns tail and raids the battleship until he frees Donald and Goofy from their prisons, and only then does he face Ansem for real.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Actually doesn't go evil when turned into a heartless in the original Kingdom Hearts. He, Donald, and Goofy prove very resistant to Darkness in general, being able to take short dips into the Realm of Darkness without ill-effects. Kingdom Hearts II played with this, by having Sora susceptible to various temptations (Deposing Scar and stealing his throne in the Pride Lands or becoming a Pirate with Jack Sparrow) and being on Santa's naughty list. It's fully subverted in Dream Drop Distance where Sora is overcome by Darkness when tricked into going into a very deep layer of dreams. Because he sheltered Ven's heart within his own, he was able to get a last ditch defense against it and avoid being annihilated altogether. Even then, his inner self was hijacked by darkness and Riku had to purify him manually.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Sora usually has these by default, being fun-loving and kind.
- Invisible Parents: Though clearly someone cooked dinner and took Sora out to play, you never actually see Sora's parents.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In both game and manga canon, Sora has shown to be quite rude and mischievous at times, and has had moments where he's quite a Jerkass. This mainly applies to the first game.
- Kind Hearted Simpleton: Has steadily been flanderized into this as his childlike kindness waxed while his temper and desire for justice waned.
- Knight Errant
- Knighting: Sora's Knight Erranting earns him an official knight's title in 3D as a Royal Musketeer of then-Princess Minnie, at least in the Sleeping Worlds.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: In the final battle of the original Kingdom Hearts, Sora backs the hell away from the giant, powered-up Ansem until he gets Donald and Goofy by his side.
- Not entirely true; after getting some mental encouragement from Riku, Sora immediately flies back up and spares no time in facing Ansem alone. When he puts the Seeker of Darkness temporarily out of commission, Sora uses the opportunity to lay waste to the rest of the World of Chaos and free Donald and Goofy from imprisonment. Then he goes back, friends in tow, to finish the job for good.
- Lazy Bum: Series creator Testuya Nomura has compared him to a humble country bumpkin.
- Leitmotif: "Sora", which can be heard in Kingdom Hearts II when he first wakes up.
- Le Parkour: Only in certain areas, such as The World That Never Was (which has questionable physics at best) and the Sleeping Worlds (with their in-universe Flowmotion system). His time in the latter seems to have added it to his normal skill set, however.
- Let X Be the Unknown: The X on his clothes in 3D. It's known as the Recusant's Sigil, which marks the target as a possible vessel for Xehanort and allows the villain to track his victims; Ansem the Seeker of Darkness was able to sneak it onto the costume at the beginning of the game without anyone noticing.
- Master of Unlocking: His Keyblade lets him open almost anything.
- Meaningful Name: Sora means "Sky".
- Mind Hive: Through various events during the course of his life, he has become a Soul Jar for Roxas, Xion, Ven, Vanitas, a digital copy of Ansem the Wise, and temporarily Kairi. Xehanort even tries to exploit this in 3D by questioning where they end and he begins.
- Motif: Crowns.
- Morphic Resonance: No matter the form he takes, Sora always retains his spiky hair.
- My Nayme Is: Sora's name is pronounced similar to other names such as Zora, Zola, Sola etc. He even gets called Zola at one point; he didn't take that, well.
- Nice Guy
- Not Quite Flight: He has achieved various versions of a "Glide" technique, where he can spread his arms and legs spread eagle to allow himself to float down toward the ground slower than usual, allowing for faster travel while not actually touching the ground. Using this technique is also possible while stationary in the air, allowing for him to simply have a slower descent.
- Older Than They Look: In the first game, Sora is only 14, but can pass as a 12-year-old quite easily. And in KH3D, he's back in his 14-year-old body while in the dream worlds, despite now being 16. His appearance in KHII seems to match his age of 15 - 16, though.
- One-Man Army: Definitely is one in Kingdom Hearts II. While Donald, Goofy and the rest of the Hollow Bastion crew are allegedly dealing with their own foes, Sora takes down literally a thousand Heartless without breaking a sweat.
- Only One Name: Although we know he has parents, we never hear their surname, if they have one. This lack of a last name is lampshaded in 3D.
- Original Generation
- Our Mermaids Are Different: While in Atlantica, Sora will appear as a merman with a blue dolphin tail, thanks to Donald's magic. Though for some reason, he does not transform himself into a merman while in the underwater sections of Prankster's Paradise.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Sora's attire in Halloween Town resembles a vampire, but apart from his white skin, gloves, fangs and eyepatch, Sora is still the same as he is in his normal form. His personality even remains the same, though a bit more childish during the first trip in KHII=
- Badass Santa: In Christmas Town, he gains a black Santa hat and jumper that covers his eyepatch and clothes, respectively, while his fangs apparently disappear and his gloves become black. Though since his white skin is retained, Sora is still technically a pseudo-vampire.
- Personality Powers: Fittingly for a Messianic Archetype, his powers are Light, Heart, and Friendship.
- Planar Champion
- The Pollyanna: Is exceptionally positive, no matter how bad the situation looks. In the rare cases where this is subverted, it goes to show just how bad the situation really is.
- Post Final Boss: In 3D as Armored Ventus Nightmare to Young Xehanort's more traditional Final Boss.
- The Power of Friendship: His mantra, as he always believes that together people can do anything.
- Pride: Sora can show signs of this, especially in the manga adaptation, much to the constant frustrations of Donald and Goofy. In fact, one of them is even Genre Savvy enough to ask Tron to change the subject to prevent the teen from "inflating his ego."
- Primary-Color Champion: His outfits all incorporate red, yellow, black and dark blue.
- Protectorate: To Kairi, twice. Also serving as her Berserk Button.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Riku's blue, extending to somewhat into their clothing choices. He is also in-between Goofy's blue and Donald's red.
- The Rival: To Riku.
- Friendly Rivalry: As kids on Destiny Islands, as well as once they truly reunite near the end of Kingdom Hearts II. Between that, Riku was at times a Rival Turned Evil.
- Shipper on Deck: Tries to hook up some of the canon Disney couples, such as Mulan and Shang. However, he doesn't seem to understand his impact on less up front couples, such as Neku and Shiki.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Doesn't buy into Maleficent's nothing can stop me now speech, Ansem's power of darkness rant, or Xemnas' victim card play.
- Signature Move: Trinity Limit.
- Sleepyhead: Has a habit of wondering off from his friends to sleep on the beach. Both Riku and Kairi have teased Sora on this more than once.
- Smarter Than You Look: See Idiot Hero above. Despite being forthright and naturally child-like, Sora is always extremely perceptive in the areas of empathy and emotions. He's an independent thinker, which other protagonists in the series can't necessarily claim (and have suffered for as a result). His understanding and knowledge of the Heart is contrasted heavily with the multiple scientists who've futzed things up in their research. To illustrate, Sora is so far the only person to go against the grain and figure out that Nobodies have Hearts and the only person to question the wisdom of the Split Personality Merge that Roxas, Xion, and Namine went through.
- Spanner in the Works: Sora ends up derailing every single plan involving him. In Kingdom Hearts II, DiZ even makes note of how all plans he had for Sora fell apart once Sora got awakened. Also lampshaded by Riku and Master Xehanort in Dream Drop Distance.
- Fridge Brilliance: The underlying reason for all this is because Sora was never meant to have a Keyblade.
- Spiky Hair: He even acknowledge himself as one with it when Tifa asked her about Cloud's whereabouts.
- Split Personality Merge: With Roxas, Xion and Ven, all while he was in a coma.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Subverted, to Xemnas. Sora just tries to make Xemnas remember of what was it feels like when he still have a heart.
- Unfortunately, this sympathy was useless. Since in 3D it was then revealed that Nobodies can grow hearts.
- Tender Tears: He cries after he reunites with Riku in ''KHII''.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Chain of Memories'', he becomes so obsessed with finding Naminé that he starts acting abrasive to his allies, going so far as to abandon them to explore the twelfth floor. Luckily, they forgive him, he realizes his mistake, and goes back to being a Nice Guy.
- True Companions: Sora being who he is, it can be a bit of a list.
- Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Riku, and Kairi are essentially one big family.
- Sora's central party of Donald, Goofy, Stitch, Chicken Little, and Tinkerbell are a very tight knit group and constant companions throughout KHII (Genie will appear on command, but doesn't appear to be a constant companion), and Sora is very affectionate with Stitch and Chicken Little in particular. Likewise, he is very close to his summoned companions in KHI, especially Mushu and Simba, since he mostly interacts with their bare souls.
- Individually, Sora has formed extremely strong bonds with The Beast * , Ariel * , Mulan* , Aladdin and Jasmine * , Hercules and Megara* , Tron* , and Mushu and Simba as mentioned above.
- In Dream Drop Distance, he obviously cares very much for his Dream Eaters, who in turn have Undying Loyalty to him, waiting faithfully for him in Traverse Town.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Sora has great capacity of forgiving others, including the villains. Might not being shouted loudly, but his actions proves it.
- He doesn't hate Riku for almost killing him. Instead Sora keeps on looking for Riku, just to make sure he's safe.
- He also forgives Namine for what she has done to his memories of Kairi, though he nevertheless admits that he isn't happy about it either way.
- Surprisingly in the second visit to Hollow Bastion (in KHII), he still has a will to help Maleficent instead of remembering her evil deeds back then.
- He also forgives Axel for kidnapping Kairi, and even stays at his side so he doesn't have to die alone.
- Undeathly Pallor: Sora's skin becomes white in Halloween Town (and Christmas Town) as a result of becoming pseudo-undead. He also takes on a similar tone in Space Paranoids, but for different reasons.
- Unwitting Pawn: Spends about as much time enabling the Big Bads' plans as he does derailing them. In essence, he's hard to predict and impossible to kill, but easily manipulated. Things tend to cancel out in the long run.
- Vader Breath: Sora's breathing starts to become irregular as he goes deeper into The World That Never Was, due to the darkness eating away at his heart. When it finally snaps, Sora is clearly struggling to breathe during his last moments.
- Vocal Evolution: Haley Joel Osment was a few weeks shy of 14 when the first Kingdom Hearts came out in 2002, and was almost 18 when Kingdom Hearts II was released in 2006, leading to a vast difference between Sora's original and current voice. This was reflected in the games as well, with Sora going through puberty.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora's magical outfit is what caused the party to take on animal forms in the Pride Lands.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sora actually scolds Donald and Goofy for getting themselves captured by some weak Heartless in the manga, whereas in the same scene in the game, he just tells them to "show 'em who's boss" in an annoyed, but encouraging tone.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: At first. He loses some of the "wide-eyed" as the games go on, but keeps the idealism.
- Would Hit a Girl: Takes on female villains like Maleficent, Ursula, and Larxene as seriously as the male ones.
- You Are Not Alone: "Riku, why do you do so much things on your own? You got friends, like us!"
Click here to see Riku as he appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
Click here to see Riku as he appears in the 358/2 Days
Click here to see Riku as he appears in Dream Drop Distance
"Once we step through, we might not be able to come back. We may never see our parents again. There's no turning back. But this may be our only chance. We can't let fear stop us! I'm not afraid of the darkness!" Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano
(Japanese), David Gallagher (English)
Young Riku Voiced by: Eiji Shima (Japanese), Ty Panitz (English)
Sora's best friend and rival. His desire to see something greater beyond his tiny, secluded island home led to him being seduced by the forces of darkness. But once he realizes the harm he's caused, he begins working in the shadows to assist Sora in whatever way possible, eventually wielding his own Keyblade and tempering his inner darkness to channel it for the forces of light.
- 24-Hour Armor: Riku's clothes in The Grid
Riku: My clothes. Is this world special?
- The Ace: Sora is occasionally jealous of his friend for excelling at everything he does.
- Always Someone Better: Although in Kingdom Hearts II, Riku admits at times he's equally jealous of Sora.
- Broken Ace: After falling into darkness in Kingdom Hearts.
- Adorkable: This side of him pops up around girls who aren't Kairi, as shown by his meeting with Shiki in Dream Drop Distance. He even states he's not good with people.
- Adorably Precocious Child: In Birth By Sleep.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Sora and Kairi, though they're not related.
- Anti-Hero: Type III when working with fellow Anti-Hero DiZ in KH II.
- Anti-Villain: A Type III in Kingdom Hearts, where he's just doing what he feels is necessary to save Kairi. However, when Sora beats him in a fight, he loses himself in darkness while trying to become stronger.
- In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, he serves as a major antagonist, regardless of his intentions. However, he never wanted any harm to come to Roxas or Xion, and any conflict against the two was only carried out in order to protect them.
- Arch-Enemy: Seems to have found one in Ansem, Seeker of Darkness after turning against him. Judging from how that particular Heartless seemed to concentrate on him in Dream Drop Distance after being freed from his body, the feeling may in fact be mutual.
- The Atoner: From Chain of Memories through to the end of Kingdom Hearts II for his fall into darkness. By Dream Drop Distance, it appears he has forgiven himself.
- Apologizes a Lot
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Of a sort. In Dream Drop Distance, he is named Keyblade Master. Even Sora, who failed in his exam due to Xehanort's interference, is overjoyed for him.
- Badass: One of the more powerful Keyblade wielders, he's also struggled with Ansem long enough to be able to control darkness without being consumed by it, and even becomes a Keyblade Master.
- Bash Brothers: With Sora.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Wears a blindfold willingly during the events of Days and most of Kingdom Hearts II (the latter in his normal form).
- Byronic Hero: Has definite elements of this, though his Character Development shows him slowly growing out of it into a straightforward hero who happens to use Casting a Shadow type spells.
- Child Prodigy: Is suprisingly perceptive and philosophical five-year-old in Birth by Sleep. Even acknowledged by four-year-old Sora.
Sora: I don't know Riku, you say some weird stuff sometimes, but I'll try it!
- Childhood Friends: With Sora and Kairi.
- The Chosen One: Was destined to be a Keyblade wielder, until he screwed it up in KHI.
- Combat Tropes
- Beehive Barrier: Riku's Dark Barrier, whether just in front of him or around his entire body.
- Cool Sword —> Cool Keyblade: Soul Eater from Kingdom Hearts through most of Kingdom Hearts II, though he's seen able to summon it still in Dream Drop Distance. This sword grows more powerful with use of darkness. Way to the Dawn, which evolves from Soul Eater, is his weapon toward the end of Kingdom Hearts II (see Evolving Weapon).
- Cast from Hit Points: "Sacrifice" in Dream Drop Distance.
- Diagonal Cut: Gains Zantetsuken in Dream Drop Distance.
- Evolving Weapon: By the time he came to The World That Never Was in Kingdom Hearts II, it had evolved into his Keyblade, Way to the Dawn, though he still calls it Soul Eater nonetheless, and, as shown in Dream Drop Distance, can summon either weapon.
- Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: From its look to its characteristics, Soul Eater is most definitely an Evil Weapon. It helps that it was implied to have first been given to him by Maleficent. However, Way to the Dawn, with its angelic wing toward the end, is more of a Good Weapon.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Soul Eater featured demon wings, signifying a closer alignment with the corruptive nature of darkness. On the other hand, Way to the Dawn features both a large demon wing and a smaller angel wing, signifying his redemption.
- Limit Break: Aside from the debatably canonical Mission Mode-only "Darkstrom", we have Limit Storm in Dream Drop Distance, which deals more damage the less health Riku has remaining.
- Reverse Grip: In Kingdom Hearts II, he wields Way to the Dawn this way when chasing after World of Nothingness in The World That Never Was in an emergency shuttle and driving, and also wields the keyblade this way in Dream Drop Distance when he attempts to strike Xehanort's Heartless when Riku's pinned down by him. It is unknown if he can actually fight this way, however.
- Spin Attack: Maelstrom in Chain of Memories, and various attacks in Dream Drop Distance. He can use the vertical variant too, like "Shadowbreaker".
- Summon to Hand: Even Soul Eater, not a Keyblade per se, has this characteristic. Tetsuya Nomura even calls it an "intermediary" for a Keyblade.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Barrage in Chain of Memories with the Soul Eater, and Strike Raid and some variants in Dream Drop Distance. It works because of the Summon to Hand characteristic.
- Weapon of Choice: Once he get the Soul Eater, he only ever changes weapons once, when he manages to steal Kingdom Key from Sora. Otherwise, he has always used some permutation of Soul Eater.
- Wreathed in Electricity: "Thunder Dash"
- Elemental Powers
- Black Magic/Casting a Shadow: All his signature attacks are darkness-based, such as his Dark Firaga, Dark Break/Helm Split, Darkstorm, Dark Shield, and his Signature Move, Dark Aura. However, although he favors darkness, he gains various light-based spells and attacks as the series goes on, making him a Yin-Yang Bomb. Also has two Link Styles that use darkness: Darkest Fears and his own version of Ghost Drive.
- Blow You Away: Limited, but he can use it through Tornado Strike. He could also use the "Aero" series of spells in Mission Mode in Days, but that is questionably canon at best. In addition, his Rising Wing Link Style summons a tornado as a finisher.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Riku inherits Terra's Meteor and Meteor Crash commands as his ultimate magic and attack in Dream Drop Distance, which counts as Earth based magic in Kingdom Hearts magic systems, and functions as a Colony Drop.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: His "Dark Roll" skill transforms him into a shadow to dodge attacks.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Gains the Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder series in Dream Drop Distance, along with various melee-based permutations. He also possesses a Link Style each for fire and thunder, but oddly not ice.
- Gravity Master: The "Zero Gravity" series (including the powerful fourth-tier spell "Zero Graviza"), gained in Dream Drop Distance, which has a higher level of power for Riku than for Sora. He also gains the "Collision Magnet" and "Magnet Spiral" attacks, which has a similar effect, but applied directly to weapon strikes.
- Light 'em Up: Limited compared to Sora, but he can use "Shadowbreaker" in Dream Drop Distance which has one darkness related strike and one light related strike, and "Spark Raid". He also possesses the Shining Hammer and BladeCharge Link Styles, the latter also counts as Pure Energy.
- Making a Splash: Through his Wave Surfer Link Style.
- Poisonous Person: Has the Poison command and Poison Dive in Dream Drop Distance.
- Time Stands Still: Gains Slow and Stop in Dream Drop Distance. Stop is also used as a part of his Dark Splicer attack.
- Flash Step: His Signature Move, Dark Aura, which also use Teleport Spam. His Shadow Slide dodge also utilizes this.
- Fusion Dance: He has the ability to Link Style with Dream Eaters in Dream Drop Distance which can give him a variety of Power Ups and Super Modes.
- Full-Contact Magic: Some of the attacks and spells in Dream Drop Distance.
- Healing Hands: Finally gains the "Cure" series in Dream Drop Distance.
- Invisibility: The "Vanish" command in Dream Drop Distance.
- Magic Knight: Adept in the use of both swordsmanship and dark magic, though his pre-Dream Drop Distance skill set was decidedly in favor of the "Knight" aspect. Dream Drop Distance plays with this. Though he has much better strength than Sora, his magic is only one point worse, he's become adept in more conventional magic types, and with his higher quantity of extraordinary maneuvers such as temporary shapeshifting and teleportation, he seems more on the "Magic" side overall.
- Black Knight: Sans the armor, but he fits the sympathetic version to a degree. Even in Dream Drop Distance, he still favours darkness by a large margin, which makes a fitting contrast to Sora's Paladin, and he has much better strength, in contrast to Sora who has better defense.
- Red Mage: Started out with darkness, then began to use light powers as well. However, he didn't really fit into this until Dream Drop Distance.
- Standard Status Effects: A part of his arsenal in Dream Drop Distance. He has "Paralyzed", "Confused", "Stop", "Sleep", "Blindness", "Confused", "Frozen", "Burn", "Poison", and "Slow", along with unconventional effects such as "Mini" and various gravity related effects. However, the focus is most heavily on "Sleep", which has three forms for it's spell alone.
- Super Mode: His Dark Mode in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which gives him strength, speed, and powerful dark magic.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: "Dodge Roll" in Dream Drop Distance, as opposed to "Dodge Jump" from Chain of Memories: Reverse/Rebirth.
- Composite Character: In Dream Drop Distance, Riku gains some of Terra's attack options, but also some of Aqua's defensive options. Two of his Dual Link styles are also taken from Aqua's Command Styles, and one of them is shared by Terra as well. However, Riku often puts his own spin on Aqua's moves and styles, and his Dark Firaga is notably different from Terra's version, acting a lot more like one of Vanitas's attacks.
- The Corruptible: Initially, he has a lot of problems revolving around corruption by darkness.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: As of 3D, he can't be corrupted by the darkness anymore, as he's mastered it. Unusually, this is not due to being without darkness, but rather being able to control it due to repeated use.
- In other words, he's basically developed antibodies to darkness corruption that reside in his heart.
- Cursed with Awesome: Became insanely powerful by tapping into the fragment of Ansem inside himself during Days and KH II, at the expense of being unable to change his physical form back to that of his own body.
- Dark Is Not Evil: After his Heel-Face Turn. He comes to embody it by Dream Drop Distance, in which he not only recovers most of the dark powers he'd lost, but is also by that time more or less immune to corruption by darkness.
- Deal with the Devil: His deal with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness for enough power to beat Sora in Kingdom Hearts.
- Declaration of Protection: As of 3D, his primary motive seems to be to protect Sora and Kairi, aside from protecting the worlds. In fact, it is his concern for Sora that leads to him accidentally traveling into his dreams in 3D, rather than traveling the worlds alongside him.
- Demonic Possession: By Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in the latter parts of Kingdom Hearts and once to destroy Lexaeus in Re:Chain of Memories. In fact, as of Dream Drop Distance, this was revealed to be an attempt to turn Riku into one of thirteen vessels for Xehanort's heart; after Riku gained the ability to reject the darkness in his heart, Xehanort turned his sights to Roxas, then Sora, to take his place.
- Deuteragonist: Of the series as a whole; he serves as the protagonist along with Sora in Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance.
- Double Jump: His "Doubleflight" skill, which uses a burst of darkness under him as a platform for a new jump.
- Boring but Practical: Doubleflight initially feels like a Useless Useful Technique, due to Flowmotion's existence. Then you find out that Riku can execute normal commands when he double jumps, allowing him to stay out of enemy range to charge up a powerful special attack, or safely heal himself. Doubleflight essentially gives Riku more offensive and defensive options, which more than makes up for not getting Glide or upgrades to it.
- The Dragon: To Maleficent in the first game. He plays an anti-heroic version of this to Diz throughout Days and the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II.
- Dream Walker: Unknowingly travels into Sora's dreams when he sees a robed Ansem for the majority of Dream Drop Distance.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Becomes a playable party member in the final world of KH II.
- Enemy Within: The remnants of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, from Chain of Memories until the explosion of the Kingdom Hearts Encoder near the end of Kingdom Hearts II. Acts more like an Enemy Without by 3D.
- Evil Costume Switch: His Dark Mode armor in KH I, though he still uses it after his Heel-Face Turn in Chain of Memories.
- Evil Counterpart: To Sora.
- Expy: The protagonist's rival both in battle and for the affections of his love interest, turned evil and was controlled by the villain in part due to his love for her, broke free and fought alongside the hero to redeem himself, and eventually renounced his inner darkness and returned to the light. We're talking about Riku, not Kain Highwind. Likely a case of Author Appeal, as Tetsuya Nomura is a big fan of Kain. And in an amusing recursive instance of the trope, when Final Fantasy IV got a sequel, Kain got an Enemy Without called Dark Kain that is himself an Expy of the Riku Replica.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: From Heel as Rival Turned Evil to Face to Anti-Hero Face to solid Face again.
- Guardian Entity: Riku unknowingly becomes Sora's guardian Dream Eater during the events of 3D.
- Gone Horribly Right: Xehanort wanted Riku to embrace darkness in order to turn the boy into a Soul Jar. Instead, when Riku fully embraces darkness he becomes immune to Xehanort's influence.
- Green Eyes/Icy Blue Eyes: Depending on the game.
- Hero Antagonist: In Days, due to Roxas' status as a Punch Clock Villain.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sora.
- Human Alien: Like all human protagonists, Riku can be considered one. Though it's played completely straight in The Grid, as he's a program there.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Spent his whole life dreaming of excitement and adventure beyond his little island town, only for The Keyblade to pick Sora instead because of it.
- Instant Expert: He completely masters the Keyblade in an extremely short time-span. It helps that he already had access to some extremely potent dark powers and an immunity to darkness to back him up.
- Invisible Parents: Riku mentions his parents a few times, but they are never seen.
- Important Haircut: His shortened hair in Dream Drop Distance comes with his acceptance of his friends' forgiveness and development away from an Anti-Hero.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not exactly "nice" to people who aren't named Sora or Kairi, and even teases Sora a little bit in the first game. However, when the chips are down, he's willing to give up everything just to save his friends.
- Jumped at the Call: Wanted more than anything to leave Destiny Islands in the first game.
- The Lancer: To Sora.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Riku suffers for deal with Ansem with a Trauma Conga Line that lasts up till the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
- Leitmotif: "Riku" in KH II.
- Le Parkour: Only in certain areas, such as The World That Never Was (which has questionable physics at best) and the Sleeping Worlds (with their in-universe Flowmotion system).
- Let X Be the Unknown: In KH I, the straps on Riku's chest form an X. KH3D suggests that this was a Recusant's Sigil, considering how Riku got turned into a Xehanort vessel in the first game, and how Sora almost became one himself in 3D.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fast, strong, and has great offensive and defensive options, both as a boss and a playable character.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy. In all games till Dream Drop Distance, when he cuts it short.
- Love Triangle: With Sora for Kairi in Kingdom Hearts.
- Master of Unlocking: His Keyblade lets him open pretty much anything.
- Master Swordsman: Is extremely skilled with both a sword and a keyblade. Also, see Awesome Moment of Crowning above.
- Meaningful Name: "Riku" is Japanese for "Land".
- Mysterious Protector: In Kingdom Hearts II, for both Roxas and Sora.
- Not Good with People: Claims this in Dream Drop Distance when talking to Shiki. It might be because Kairi is the only girl he really got to know.
- The Nose Knows: He has the ability to smell darkness and light, and can differentiate between the light or darkness of different individuals, to the point of being able to distinguish Kairi from Naminé, or to sense Ansem, Seeker of Darkness at a distance. However, this only comes up in Chain of Memories.
- Not Quite Flight: When in his Rising Wing Link Style in Dream Drop Distance, Riku descends slowly towards the ground, allowing him to glide through the air for a limited time.
- Older Than They Look: In KH3D, Riku is 17, but spends most of the game in his 15-year-old body.
- Only One Name: Although we know he has parents, we never hear their surname, if he has one.
- Name's the Same: For Western fans, he's only one letter away from having the same name as Rikku (who's called Ryukku in the Japanese version). In fact, avoiding confusion between the two is why Yuffie appeared as Squall's foil in Kingdom Hearts.
- Original Generation
- Personality Powers: A Byronic Hero who primarily wields darkness.
- Post Final Boss: In Days for Roxas to Xion's more traditional Final Boss.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Sora's red, which extends into their clothing choices.
- The Rival: To Sora.
- Signature Move: Dark Aura.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Dispatches Rinzler this way in Dream Drop Distance.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: He only wears them when he's in Dark Mode or an Organization cloak.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: He can talk down to villains any day of the week, but when a cute girl like Shiki Misaki starts flirting with him, he's at a loss for words.
Aren't you my knight in shining armor? Well? Riku:
K-knight? You've got the wrong idea. Shiki:
(exasperated) Ohmigosh, I was so
just kidding. You get out much?
- Take a Third Option: Chose "The road to dawn" between darkness and light, instead of wielding just one.
DiZ: Will you take the road to light — or the road to darkness?
Riku: Neither. I'm taking the middle road.
- Teleport Spam: In Dream Drop Distance, his Dark Splicer attack and Shadow Slide/Shadow Strike abilities let him do this. His Dark Aura attack is also this.
- Thinking Up Portals: From his siding with Maleficent to the destruction of the Kingdom Hearts encoder, he had the ability to form Corridors of Darkness. He is no longer able to do this due to not being that in tune with darkness.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the original Kingdom Hearts, until the Laser-Guided Karma he receives brings him back to his senses.
- Toyless Toy Line Character: Despite being a main character since the beginning, he's usually pressed for merch — especially after KHII, which saw Roxas and Axel get stuff before him, often multiple times in the same line. The articulated figures take this to the extreme — even Ursula got a KH-branded figure before he did!
- Unwitting Pawn: In KH 1.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice changes subtly over the course of the series.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the first game, Riku just wants to save Kairi, despite all his questionable actions.
- White Hair, Black Heart: A villainous version in Kingdom Hearts, but an Anti-Hero one from Chain of Memories through Dream Drop Distance.
Click here to see Kairi as she appears in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories
"Don't ever forget. Wherever you go, I'm always with you." Voiced by:
Risa Uchida (Japanese), Hayden Panettiere
/Alyson Stoner (English)
Young Kairi voiced by:
Sumire Moroboshi (Japanese), Ariel Winter
A close friend of Sora and Riku who came to Destiny Islands from Radiant Garden, which sparked their interest in other worlds. She's one of the Seven Princesses of Heart, meaning she bears no darkness in her heart. Though she mostly remains out of the fighting, she's plucky, determined and courageous in her own right, and eventually acquires her own Keyblade.
A digital recreation of Sora based on the information contained in Jiminy's Journal, this version only appears in Kingdom Hearts Coded
. Nonetheless, he's just as heroic and self-sacrificing.
- Artificial Human: Like all of the digital characters in coded.
- Badass: As badass as his original incarnation at the time of his first adventure.
- Combat Tropes
- Colony Drop: Meteor Rain.
- Four Element Ensemble: Has various Fire, Blizzard, Thunder or Aero variants.
- Light 'em Up
- Magic Knight: Like his original incarnation, he is skilled with both Keyblade and magic, though not emphasizing either of them.
- Red Mage: Like his original incarnation, he can use both elemental magic and healing powers.
- Sword Beam: Judgement Triad
- Standard Status Effects: He has some, though the amount compared to those that the enemies can inflict is small. He can inflict "Freeze", "Stop", "Confused", "Burn", and "Slow".
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: "Dodge Roll", like his original incarnation.
- Cloning Blues: Averted. He's well aware that he's just a computer program and a copy of Sora, but doesn't really mind it.
- Doomed Protagonist: Data-Sora was created to find and stop the cause of the bugs and glitches in Jiminy's Journal, and has to be erased once he's done. Subverted in the end, as both Data-Sora and the world inside the Journal live on.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: Only Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Chip and Dale know the full story of his adventure, with Maleficent and Pete remembering parts of it.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: After Data-Sora's Data-Keyblade is destroyed, the power of the heart he's grown forms a real one.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Once Sora's Heartless is defeated and the bugs fixed, the journal has to be formatted to put everything right again, erasing his memories of the game's events. Though he does get better.
- Only One Name: Unless you count "Data" as a part of his name, it's the same deal as Sora, sans Lampshade Hanging.
- Shout-Out: Can get both Cloud's Meteor Rain and Squall's Blasting Zone Limit Breaks as Overclock Finishers.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Is a digital copy of the real Sora. Nonetheless, he eventually gets a heart of his own and a real Keyblade to go with it.
- What You Are in the Dark: His final trial in the last level. He has to pass a series of Secret Test of Character trials, and is encouraged to take the easy way past them by lying and being mean because it'll be faster. The characters he meets are just chunks of data that will vanish when he leaves, his memories of them will be erased, and no one else knows about any of this, so who cares what he does to them? Turns out, he still can't bring himself to not help them, because even if he forgets the memories, his heart knows the truth.