Art of Dark Riku.
|First appearance||KINGDOM HEARTS (2002)|
|MG appearance(s)||A Super Mario World|
|Created by||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Company||Disney Interactive Studios|
Dark Riku (ダークリク) is the name given to the alternate form of Riku from the KINGDOM HEARTS franchise when he is possessed by Xehanort's Heartless, entering his Dark Mode in KINGDOM HEARTS. He appears in McLeodGaming's flash cartoon series, A Super Mario World.
Dark Mode is a special form Riku can transform into in KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS: Chain of Memories. Riku initially receives this ability from Maleficent, and uses it against Sora after Sora reclaims the Keyblade, but loses it after his body is taken by Ansem.
After entering Castle Oblivion, Ansem manipulates the darkness in Riku's heart, giving Riku the ability to use Dark Mode freely. In this form, Riku can use his darkness without the worry of being taken over by Ansem. Because Riku is so darkness-oriented, this form gives him a substantial advantage in battle, such as increased speed and feeding the Soul Eater's unique power-up ability with the power of Darkness. Riku Replica can embrace the darkness willingly, thus he can also use and stay in Dark Mode.
In A Super Mario World
Dark Riku, simply referred to as Riku, appears as the true antagonist in A Super Mario World. In the second episode, after Mario and Link escape the castle with Princess Zelda, Cloud Strife prepares to fight the greater foe that Bowser had warned them about before being killed. Riku is then suddenly revealed to be the mastermind behind everything. Cloud is at first disappointed (as he thought the foe was Sephiroth), but they still engage in a fight to the death that continues in the final episode. He ultimately defeated when he and Cloud deliver their final blows at the same time, but only Riku is affected by it, and he crumbles into bloody pieces.
- It was initially hinted at that Dark Riku would act as an alternate form of Riku for his playable appearance in Super Smash Flash 2, but it was never officially confirmed. As Riku is now an Assist Trophy in the game, it is not likely that Dark Riku will also appear.