Chasm

Should Riku be killed off?

Recommended Posts

This isn't a question of whether or not he will be killed or not, but rather...should he be. A friend of mine and I have debated this time and time again and i wanted some other points of views. He says the evidence is everywhere. I say the only evidence that points to him is Nomura stating some characters weren't returning after KH3. I don't see this as Riku's final outing. He JUST became a Keyblade Master. He JUST got a new Keyblade. Sure, his arc is finished, but that doesn't mean he can't get a new one. Besides, a game without the Destiny Island trio is breaking the trope of...well Trios. We all know Riku can't be replaced. They all started this adventure together and it would be silly to start the next one with 2/3s of a "trio".

 

For me, a redemption arc is considered good until the redemption ultimately ends in a sacrifice. To me that's just lazy writing. Riku wanted the power to protect others. He can't protect them if he sacrifices himself. I mean he could. but after the sacrifice how is he protecting his friends? Now that he finally has the power to protect them, why give that up? I just don't see Riku as the one to go. I don't think i could support writing him off as a sacrificial lamb just to further Soras story. I'd be very disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chasm said:

This isn't a question of whether or not he will be killed or not, but rather...should he be. A friend of mine and I have debated this time and time again and i wanted some other points of views. He says the evidence is everywhere. I say the only evidence that points to him is Nomura stating some characters weren't returning after KH3. I don't see this as Riku's final outing. He JUST became a Keyblade Master. He JUST got a new Keyblade. Sure, his arc is finished, but that doesn't mean he can't get a new one. Besides, a game without the Destiny Island trio is breaking the trope of...well Trios. We all know Riku can't be replaced. They all started this adventure together and it would be silly to start the next one with 2/3s of a "trio".

 

For me, a redemption arc is considered good until the redemption ultimately ends in a sacrifice. To me that's just lazy writing. Riku wanted the power to protect others. He can't protect them if he sacrifices himself. I mean he could. but after the sacrifice how is he protecting his friends? Now that he finally has the power to protect them, why give that up? I just don't see Riku as the one to go. I don't think i could support writing him off as a sacrificial lamb just to further Soras story. I'd be very disappointed.

If they want Kingdom Hearts to have a more grown-up conclusion, then I say yes....as long as there is an alternate ending where Riku lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could see there maybe being some kind of fakeout where he does something extremely risky that shows that he would give everything for his friends, even his life, but I just haven't felt the death flags on him. I was more concerned about Riku in KH2, but he pulled through and made up for his wrongs by learning how to control the darkness.

I'm worried more for Terra. He's Riku's parallel in the Wayfinder Trio. Terra struggled against the darkness like Riku did, but he ultimately let Xehanort control him by giving in to his selfishness and doubts. There's no way Terra could escape KH3 without the story forcing him to pay the price for that somehow.

But also, I don't think anyone HAS to die. Any conflict can be set straight without death being "necessary".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, setsugekka said:

I could see there maybe being some kind of fakeout where he does something extremely risky that shows that he would give everything for his friends, even his life, but I just haven't felt the death flags on him. I was more concerned about Riku in KH2, but he pulled through and made up for his wrongs by learning how to control the darkness.

I'm worried more for Terra. He's Riku's parallel in the Wayfinder Trio. Terra struggled against the darkness like Riku did, but he ultimately let Xehanort control him by giving in to his selfishness and doubts. There's no way Terra could escape KH3 without the story forcing him to pay the price for that somehow.

But also, I don't think anyone HAS to die. Any conflict can be set straight without death being "necessary".

This was another point of mine. When Nomura says some characters aren't returning post KH3 that could just mean some are leaving this life behind. I can see the Sea Salt Trio leaving just to hang with each other. It's just odd that people immediately thought "Riku is gonna die". I can be wrong. I just think if anyone is going to go the "I need to redeem myself so i'll sacrifice my life" trope then it would be Terra. Riku, imo, is too developed in a cast of under developed characters. If anything, he should be brought along to usher in the new times in KH4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Chasm said:

This was another point of mine. When Nomura says some characters aren't returning post KH3 that could just mean some are leaving this life behind. I can see the Sea Salt Trio leaving just to hang with each other. It's just odd that people immediately thought "Riku is gonna die". I can be wrong. I just think if anyone is going to go the "I need to redeem myself so i'll sacrifice my life" trope then it would be Terra. Riku, imo, is too developed in a cast of under developed characters. If anything, he should be brought along to usher in the new times in KH4.

Exactly. There are so many characters at this point, it would be hard for KH to move forward into a new saga without leaving some characters behind. That doesn't have to mean death. (But for someone like Xehanort... Yeah, probably death. lol)

The trailers haven't given any indication of Riku being in danger, either. imo, it would feel like an unexpected gut punch if something DID end up happening to him. Nomura also seems really reluctant to permanently kill off characters. I think he'd probably only kill someone off for good if he had a reeeeally good reason.

Edited by setsugekka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought that it was a possibility that Riku could sacrifice himself out of guilt for Roxas or Xion or out of friendship for Sora or Kairi. 

But I think that Riku would be too much for the fans and I think that Terra is the more ''obvious''  choice.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think someone should die, to raise the stakes and so Xehanort's defeat doesn't feel too easy. Riku is one of the more likely candidates I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone should die if they really want to raise the stakes and I don't really mind who it is as long as the send out isn't forced or just out of nowhere and doesn't match the tone of the overall game if it's just forced and used as a way to give Sora powerup or the such and doesn't affect the characters in any meaningful way there is no point to it.

 

Should this be Riku? Sure but it can be anyone else as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here I just thought the "some characters aren't returning" thing was with the villains. Well, I think it would probably be redundant to kill off all of the developed characters, like (in this case) Riku. Especially because how cliche it seems and due to many others being underdeveloped in terms of writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Novayon KH said:

I think someone should die, to raise the stakes and so Xehanort's defeat doesn't feel too easy. Riku is one of the more likely candidates I guess.

Does anyone actually die in Kingdom Hearts though?

I wonder if Clayton disproves that though.  I am getting off topic but still my point is that it would be pretty contradictory if anyone like Riku or Terra is killed off since it's been said that nobody really dies in Kingdom Hearts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ienzo628 said:

Does anyone actually die in Kingdom Hearts though?

I wonder if Clayton disproves that though.  I am getting off topic but still my point is that it would be pretty contradictory if anyone like Riku or Terra is killed off since it's been said that nobody really dies in Kingdom Hearts.

It depents. If we assume that scene in the trailer with riku sitting on the beach is him in the afterlife than you would be right. Me I am torn on this on the one hand It would feel like a good conclusion to his arc, he fell to darkness and fought so many battles to free himself from it and now there isnt really any place left for him to go on the other hand for this exact reason it would feel kinda wrong to let him die after all his sufferings just like that.

I feel about it in a similar way about thanos killing half the universe. I mean we all know most of the people will return and they have to be because they are to important as chracters but there is also a part in me  that screams for something that has a lasting impact. I REALLY dont want to be in the shoes of any author who has to resolve this in a way that pleases the highest number of people (since you cant please everybody as they say) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dustin Lübbers said:

It depends. If we assume that scene in the trailer with Riku sitting on the beach is him in the afterlife than you would be right. I am torn on this on the one hand It would feel like a good conclusion to his arc, he fell to darkness and fought so many battles to free himself from it and now there isn't really any place left for him to go on the other hand for this exact reason it would feel kinda wrong to let him die after all his sufferings just like that.

I feel about it in a similar way about Thanos killing half the universe.  We all know most of the people will return and they have to be because they are too important as characters but there is also a part in me  that screams for something that has a lasting impact. I REALLY don't want to be in the shoes of any author who has to resolve this in a way that pleases the highest number of people (since you can't please everybody as they say).

I guess, I just think the point that I've been hearing about "Nobody dies in Kingdom Hearts" could probably be addressed better once KH3 comes out.  Did Eraqus die or is he coming back?  What about Terra and Lea?  Why does Riku have to be one that gets sacrificed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ienzo628 said:

I guess, I just think the point that I've been hearing about "Nobody dies in Kingdom Hearts" could probably be addressed better once KH3 comes out.  Did Eraqus die or is he coming back?  What about Terra and Lea?  Why does Riku have to be one that gets sacrificed?

Eraqus, as far as we know, is the only character to die and stay dead. But the state of what it means to "be alive" is so abstract in the universe of Kingdom Hearts now, I find it hard to believe that he's really dead. And I personally think that's kinda cool. Lemme explain--

There was a line from Axel in Days about how even apart, people are always connected. It wasn't just something Axel said, either. That sentiment is echoed in various other ways throughout the series. It gives the sense that even death isn't enough to separate people. As long as someone remains in your HEART, they'll always be alive. (Hey there, Sephiroth!) Kingdom Hearts presents many of its abstract concepts (light, darkness, hearts, etc) in literal ways. I think that even death is following this type of logic. That's why "nobody dies" doesn't sound like a criticism to me. It sounds more like a fact of the universe. Nobody truly dies. Nobody dies, even if they're forgotten by everyone. As long as a part of them remains somewhere in the corner of someone's heart, they'll live forever. Literally.

...And this is why I think Nomura would have to come up with a really good reason or some situation that would break through this logic.

Like, idk, erasing someone's existence entirely from the timeline. *stares at young Xehanort* What happens if your past self dies in the future? I wonder if we'll find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that Riku will it looks like that his saga has ended aswell.

20 hours ago, ienzo628 said:

Does anyone actually die in Kingdom Hearts though?

I wonder if Clayton disproves that though.  I am getting off topic but still my point is that it would be pretty contradictory if anyone like Riku or Terra is killed off since it's been said that nobody really dies in Kingdom Hearts.

Yes Frollo died in the flames.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, ienzo628 said:

I guess, I just think the point that I've been hearing about "Nobody dies in Kingdom Hearts" could probably be addressed better once KH3 comes out.  Did Eraqus die or is he coming back?  What about Terra and Lea?  Why does Riku have to be one that gets sacrificed?

See my understanding when it comes to death in KH is that it HAS happened, but people tend to return in the way the universe allows it. For example, all of Organization 13 died. Their nobody counterparts are NOT their somebodies. A Better example would be Ansem and Xemnas. They are dead. Finished. Defeated. Obliterated. They come back due to time travel. They still died. Eraqus' is special because we KNOW keyblade masters can transfer their hearts and i believe right before he died he did just that with Terra. I get the "Nobody dies in Kingdom Hearts" thing, but people have died. I think the better term to coin would be "Everyone comes back in Kingdom Hearts".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Chasm said:

See my understanding when it comes to death in KH is that it HAS happened, but people tend to return in the way the universe allows it. For example, all of Organization 13 died. Their nobody counterparts are NOT their somebodies. A Better example would be Ansem and Xemnas. They are dead. Finished. Defeated. Obliterated. They come back due to time travel. They still died. Eraqus' is special because we KNOW keyblade masters can transfer their hearts and i believe right before he died he did just that with Terra. I get the "Nobody dies in Kingdom Hearts" thing, but people have died. I think the better term to coin would be "Everyone comes back in Kingdom Hearts".

There was also Clayton's death in KH1 and Oogie Boogie's in KH2.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of writing and storytelling, we have to look at the effect and impact of a character's permanent death.

Aerith's death in FFVII is a perfect example (fun fact: it's recommended by Nomura himself). Her death is emotional and brought a huge impact to the entire party especially Cloud in his motivation and guilt. Not only that. She's the last Cetra on the Planet and the theme of the game revolves around life itself. So the sudden and unexpected death of an important character when the theme is life gives players the necessary emptiness. The development team also made sure that only Aerith died so as to focus on the weight of death and not dilute it.

As for whether Riku should die, we have to ask ourselves what and how the impact is like if he were to die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kenneth Choo said:

In terms of writing and storytelling, we have to look at the effect and impact of a character's permanent death.

Aerith's death in FFVII is a perfect example (fun fact: it's recommended by Nomura himself). Her death is emotional and brought a huge impact to the entire party especially Cloud in his motivation and guilt. Not only that. She's the last Cetra on the Planet and the theme of the game revolves around life itself. So the sudden and unexpected death of an important character when the theme is life gives players the necessary emptiness. The development team also made sure that only Aerith died so as to focus on the weight of death and not dilute it.

As for whether Riku should die, we have to ask ourselves what and how the impact is like if he were to die.

Well i think it would be fairly obvious in this sense, which is why i think it shouldn't be done. Nomura has never been this upfront with us. Like others have said, Terra fits the bill for sacrificial lamb more than Riku. If Riku were to die i know it would impact Sora, but i don't necessarily think it would do well to impact Sora on a level we haven't seen him. I mean sure, he would probably be incredibly sad and it would force him to mature, but seeing Sora so close to darkness kinda feels off as a character development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chasm said:

Well i think it would be fairly obvious in this sense, which is why i think it shouldn't be done. Nomura has never been this upfront with us. Like others have said, Terra fits the bill for sacrificial lamb more than Riku. If Riku were to die i know it would impact Sora, but i don't necessarily think it would do well to impact Sora on a level we haven't seen him. I mean sure, he would probably be incredibly sad and it would force him to mature, but seeing Sora so close to darkness kinda feels off as a character development.

Plus, if Riku is supposed to sacrifice because of Xion and Roxas going back to Sora; it would be kind of ironic since we saw Roxas in one of the recent trailer.  I wonder what impact Riku's sacrifice would mean if Roxas is norted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hope they don't kill Riku off. I also think the whole redemption= sacrifice is overused. And with Riku who already redeemed himself multiple times I don't see the need for more redemption. Like give the kid a break, he did some bad things when he was fourteen out of wanting to protect someone and being manipulated by multiple adults, and like his whole arc revolves around redemption and learning to be comfortable about himself. This arc is now over. But that does not mean he can't have another one. If they were to have a redemption death it would make more sense to be Terra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riku's death just seems way too obvious for my liking, yes I accept he has had the greatest character development in the series and he has rightfully become a master. When it comes to death, I always question whether it's an essential act- for me I'd argue in Riku's case no- instead I'd have him replace Xehanort. Not as the next antagonist, but as the Solitary Master who travels the worlds keeping an eye on safety and looking for answers. You can then moving forward choose to use him as you see fit. 

Plus from an economic point of view killing Riku makes little sense as the Riku merch does sell and he does have a large cult following. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Seyin95 said:

Riku's death just seems way too obvious for my liking, yes I accept he has had the greatest character development in the series and he has rightfully become a master. When it comes to death, I always question whether it's an essential act- for me I'd argue in Riku's case no- instead I'd have him replace Xehanort. Not as the next antagonist, but as the Solitary Master who travels the worlds keeping an eye on safety and looking for answers. You can then moving forward choose to use him as you see fit. 

Plus from an economic point of view killing Riku makes little sense as the Riku merch does sell and he does have a large cult following. 

This is a good point.

 

17 hours ago, Tyranto Rex said:

I really hope they don't kill Riku off. I also think the whole redemption= sacrifice is overused. And with Riku who already redeemed himself multiple times I don't see the need for more redemption. Like give the kid a break, he did some bad things when he was fourteen out of wanting to protect someone and being manipulated by multiple adults, and like his whole arc revolves around redemption and learning to be comfortable about himself. This arc is now over. But that does not mean he can't have another one. If they were to have a redemption death it would make more sense to be Terra.

Extremely overused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rather see Terra trying to redeem himself than just being sacrificed.  The theme of sacrifice is too common.   If anyone should be the sacrifice, it might as well be Aqua.  She mainly played babysitter to Ventus and Terra under orders from Master Eraqus.  Terra and Ventus were treated too much like kids that got barely any freedom.  Terra barely got to do anything of his own.  He failed the Mark of Mastery because of Xehanort.

He went out on his own but only to be followed by Aqua to make sure he wasn't getting into trouble.  He stole Princess Aurora's heart because of Xehanort.  He killed Eraqus because he wanted to save Ventus from being exterminated.  Everything he did was always because of someone else.  He felt more like a confused teenager rather than an Anakin Skywalker.

Edited by ienzo628

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, ienzo628 said:

I rather see Terra trying to redeem himself than just being sacrificed.  The theme of sacrifice is too common.   If anyone should be the sacrifice, it might as well be Aqua.  She mainly played babysitter to Ventus and Terra under orders from Master Eraqus.  Terra and Ventus were treated too much like kids that got barely any freedom.  Terra barely got to do anything of his own.  He failed the Mark of Mastery because of Xehanort.

He went out on his own but only to be followed by Aqua to make sure he wasn't getting into trouble.  He stole Princess Aurora's heart because of Xehanort.  He killed Eraqus because he wanted to save Ventus from being exterminated.  Everything he did was always because of someone else.  He felt more like a confused teenager rather than an Anakin Skywalker.

Terra didn't fail the Mark of Mastery because of Xehanort. He failed because Eraqus knew that Terra was more concerned with "winning" and possessing the title than with what it really meant be a Keyblade Master. Aqua passed because she showed a levelheadedness that Terra didn't possess. However, her flaw is that she expected Terra and Ventus to always be as rational as she was, and that caused her to overlooking their feelings. That's why she wasn't able to get through to them.

Aqua has spent a small eternity inside the darkness, fighting endlessly, constantly reaffirming her resolve, struggling towards a goal that has become like a mirage, always out of her reach. As we've seen, she ultimately wasn't able to withstand that struggle anymore, but she didn't fall before putting forth a tremendous amount of effort. This is what makes her impervious to death now. She's paid the tax.

I don't think we've seen anything comparable from Terra yet. If he hopes on making it out of KH3 alive, he's gonna have to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now