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Master Xehanort Adult Master Xehanort Xemnas Ansem, Seeker of Darkness Terranort (Wielding Ursus Keyblade) Xigbar (Wielding Unicornis Keyblade) Saix (Wielding Anguis Keyblade) Marluxia (Wielding Vulpeus Keyblade) Xion (Wielding Leopardos Keyblade) Replica Riku Ephemera Young Master Xehanort Vanitas
Something has been stewing in my mind lately and I want to hear you guys thoughts. I was rewatching the cutscenes from ReCom, and Days and I noticed something about Rikus relationships with Repliku, Xion and Roxas. Lets go in order of him meeting them: He first meets the Repliku in Com and treats him like his enemy giving him no sympathy until the very end when Riku kills him in Twilight Town. I mean I don't really blame him, Repliku is constantly attacking him and treats him very hostile. But you really do see a shift in Rikus view of this puppet in its final moments. Even going so far as to maybe pity and show some sympathy- giving Repliku a hope that his existence will go where ever Rikus heart would end up, rather than simply disappearing. I never really thought about this much until I rewatched Days and really critically looked at Rikus relationship with Roxas and another puppet being of course Xion. When ever I saw Riku and Xion interacting, I noticed that their was almost a softness to the way Riku treated her. At first I thought maybe it was just because she looks like Kairi, and Riku having a nostalgic fondness for her appearance. Making him treat her nicer than he might've. But then it hit me when Namine told Riku about Xion and how she and Roxas needs to disappear. He seemed at least to me, to be reluctant to do it. Like he didn't like the thought of it at all but would go along with it because it would wake up Sora. But look at what he does after this. Riku could've just done what he did with Roxas and take her back by force. I mean there is a point where he is holding her unconscious in his arms! He had the perfect opportunity to do it but he chose to talk to her instead. He chose to try and convince her to come back to Sora rather than take her by force. And he even leaves the option open for her to not come back. He lets her go and make her own decision to either come with him or stay with her friends. Although what he would've done if she chose to not come back is a topic for another day... I mean Xion held Soras memories of KAIRI, one of the most important persons to Sora. She holds the key to waking Sora up. You would think knowing all this that Riku would go to any lengths necessary, collateral damage and all, to get those memories back. Compare how he treats Roxas to see what I mean. When I watched the end of Days and their fight, this is what I expected Riku to be like towards Xion. Pretty unsympathetic, goal oriented, distant, and cold. I mean the entire time they are on screen together, Riku doesn't even say Roxas name. He refers to Roxas as 'he', 'thing', and - although jokingly- as Sora. The closest he gets to naming Roxas is to call him "his (soras) Nobody" Do you know what this implies? This is evidence of Riku trying to distance himself from what he is doing. He is trying to depersonalize Roxas so that he (riku) will not feel as bad about what he is doing. It is a mental defense mechanism to help him cope. I mean, he could've gone the route he took with Xion and tried to talk to him instead. I mean there is a great scene in the Manga where he talks to Roxas but doesn't tell him about Sora. I mean, Roxas wants to know who Sora is by the end, why he has the Keyblade, and who he is. Riku could've promised him answers; told him about Sora, and his relation to him (roxas) and how he would be complete going back to him, and how Sora would fulfil Xions and Roxas last wish of freeing Kingdom hearts. But he doesn't, he takes him by force. At the end of the fight in Days, Riku reflects on this saying things could've been different if Roxas knew about Sora. And then, throughout the beginning of KH2, Riku says it is better that Roxas not know, that he receive his fate to return to Sora unwillingly-the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF HOW HE ACTED TOWARDS XION! I began to think, why is he doing this? Why is he treating them so different? It would've been so much easier to just take Xion and Roxas back by force and have Sora wake up sooner, right? I think Rikus exp with Repliku is the reason he treated Xion so softly. He saw Repliku go to really extreme lengths just to have his own existence and being, going so far as to try to kill him. And I think the memory of having to strike Repliku down is what bred a sympathy for these puppet creatures. They never even had a say in their own creation or destiny. They were created to be tools to use til broken, nothing more. And maybe Riku in a small way can relate to that, having had been used as a tool by Ansem SoD. Maybe he wanted to give this puppet, for once in its life, the choice of what its fate would be. But that didn't explain why he treated Roxas so coldly even from the beginning. I think it is because Riku perhaps felt he had no other choice. That by the time he had to confront Roxas there was no other way to get him to come with him. But again, he knew that both of them had to return to Sora in Days so he could've just TALKED TO ROXAS IN DAYS or HAD XION TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT! But he didn't, which lead to my next theory that, Riku at least at the beginning harbored a bit of hate towards Roxas. I mean, if you recall Ansem the Wise apologized to Roxas, Riku never did, even to say it to Sora hoping Roxas could hear him. I think that perhaps Riku looked at Roxas and saw him just as DiZ saw him: someone who should disappear who had no right to even be. That Roxas was a part of Sora and had no say about where he belonged. Roxas was Sora and his destiny was to go back. Riku maybe saw him as an obstacle to Sora waking, and his destruction as a means to an end, instead of seeing him as the person who he was. Which led to a tragic irony that, in trying to not treat the puppet Xion like a tool, he came to treat Roxas like a tool. Or perhaps he just took on this way of treating him as a mechanism to rationalize what he had to do: end an existence to save another. It really is rather tragic, and really human in a way. He had no right answer in how he treated these two people. He couldn't let them live, and he didn't want to make them die, but he had to make a choice. He chose his friends, the ones he loved. And really, what would so many real people do if faced with that situation? I think we kinda forgot that Days really tells the story of not only Roxas and Xion and Axel, but of Riku too. Of his struggle to make the right choice, and decide the fates of three people. What do you guys think? I think RIkus side of the story in Days is one that really gets ignored in discussions and I would love to hear your thoughts.