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Riku & Maleficent



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We all know Riku's relationship with Ansem SoD has spanned basically the entire series since KH1. I think that's a really well developed relationship and one that I have really enjoyed seeing develop on screen, with Riku having to overcome his possession by Ansem in KH1.

What of Riku's relationship with Maleficent?

Ultimately, she is the one who got Riku started down the path of darkness that he takes in KH1. If not for Maleficent, would Ansem have been able to possess him at the end of KH1? I would argue no. There would be no Riku-Ansem storyline if there had been no Riku-Maleficent storyline first.

Yet, we have had virtually no Riku-Maleficent interaction since KH1, while we have had Riku-Ansem interaction in KH1, CoM, KH2 (kinda), Days, DDD and KH3. Surely Riku blames her in part for what happened to him? Why do we never see a scene where he confronts her?

So, now that Ansem SoD is (hopefully) out of the picture, will Maleficent and Riku's relationship replace that of Riku and Ansem? Will Riku blame her for his actions in KH1, or try to fight her? Will she try and get him to join her again? Or will they simply never cross paths again? (I find this unlikely, since they already have seen each other at the end of KH2. They both know of each other at this point.)
 

senninichigo

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We all know Riku's relationship with Ansem SoD has spanned basically the entire series since KH1. I think that's a really well developed relationship and one that I have really enjoyed seeing develop on screen, with Riku having to overcome his possession by Ansem in KH1.

What of Riku's relationship with Maleficent?

Ultimately, she is the one who got Riku started down the path of darkness that he takes in KH1. If not for Maleficent, would Ansem have been able to possess him at the end of KH1? I would argue no. There would be no Riku-Ansem storyline if there had been no Riku-Maleficent storyline first.

Yet, we have had virtually no Riku-Maleficent interaction since KH1, while we have had Riku-Ansem interaction in KH1, CoM, KH2 (kinda), Days, DDD and KH3. Surely Riku blames her in part for what happened to him? Why do we never see a scene where he confronts her?

So, now that Ansem SoD is (hopefully) out of the picture, will Maleficent and Riku's relationship replace that of Riku and Ansem? Will Riku blame her for his actions in KH1, or try to fight her? Will she try and get him to join her again? Or will they simply never cross paths again? (I find this unlikely, since they already have seen each other at the end of KH2. They both know of each other at this point.)
Well as far as Ansem and Riku; Ansem possesses Riku's body and is tied to him and his heart (in some way) so the answer may be as simple as the relationship between them was so much more personal than the one who tricked him and gave him his sword. Another way to look at it is Ansem SoD would eventually perish at the end of KH3 and Maleficent wouldn't so they left room there for that relationship and it's problems to be confronted and solved for future titles. I could keep speculating but I think one of these two is probably likely. Or the series wasn't fully thought out and keeps changing depending on how Nomura is feeling that day which could also be very likely knowing this madman.
 

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Maleficent definitely played a bigger role in Riku's descent into darkness and the series completely glosses over that fact. She preyed on his insecurities and groomed him to become a wielder of darkness. All Ansem did was offer a new dark power to a kid who already went over the line.

Its beyond bizarre how we never got closure for that. Bad enough that Riku is going to miss Ansem, but Maleficent's manipulation is forgotten and credited to someone else.
 

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All Ansem did was offer a new dark power to a kid who already went over the line.
I'm not arguing on who had a bigger role on Riku's descent, but this is severely downplaying what Ansem did to Riku. He possesed his body, continued to affect Riku for a much longer period than Maleficent, and kept tempting Riku to give in to the darkness. Not to mention that he offered him the new dark power exactly by preying on Riku's insecurities much like Maleficent did as well. Regardless of who had a "bigger role" (Which I think it's subjective) but Ansem definitely had a much longer role and effect in Riku's life.
A good example of this is that if you think of Riku as Batman, then Maleficent would be Joe Chill but Ansem would be The Joker. It's not about who had the bigger role in his descent (Which again, I'm not arguing on that), but Ansem continued to prey on Riku, continued to tempt him with darkness, continued to affect his life, unlike Maleficent, who just disappeared from Riku's life despite having a big impact in it, so this is why he's a more personal enemy for Riku.
 

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My point is to show this series most blatant failing: dropping major plot points for the newest shiny idea.
And I’m talking about the context of Kingdom Hearts 1, it would be stupid of me to even insinuate that Ansem didn’t play a huge role in Riku’s suffering.
In Kingdom Hearts 1, Riku spends an obvious amount of time with Maleficent, and the fact that Maleficent was intended to be the final boss only proves that her role with Riku was more important.
Since we’re doing references: Maleficent was Palpatine and Riku was Anakin, but for some reason Darth Plaguise(Ansem) took over after their efforts.
 

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That's not what I was talking about. Regardless if you agree it was a good idea or not, but Riku acknowledging Ansem more than Maleficent makes complete sense.
That's what I was saying. Riku spends a lot of time with Maleficent but then she just forgets about him and moves on, clearly showing he didn't meant much to her at all now that he was no longer relevant to her plans, but Ansem continued to affect Riku's life, and this is how he became a more personal enemy for Riku, by being a more constant presence and continuing to prey on him. Had Maleficent done that then maybe Riku would give her the same amount of importance he gives it to Ansem.
Not a completely accurate comparison since Anakin never even interacted with Plagueis while Ansem actually was a constant part of Riku's life. But continuing with the comparisons, to further elaborate on my Batman comparison. It's true that Joe Chill played a bigger part in turning Bruce Wayne into Batman, but he didn't played a larger role in his life, which is what The Joker did. That's the difference between Ansem and Maleficent when it comes to Riku. Maleficent may have played a bigger role in his descent, but Ansem by far played a bigger role in his life and in his struggles.
As I've said, you can disagree and think it's a bad decision, I can't change how you feel, but Riku acknowledging Ansem more than Maleficent makes complete sense. And since I personally find Ansem a much more interesting and compelling antagonist than Maleficent, I think this was for the best.
 

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It’s a bad decision. Also my name is Absent, my whole shtick is that I critique and hate everything Nomura does.

Also curious why did you think I was disagreeing with you? I was originally replying to OP. This whole time I thought you were the OP.
 

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I am not arguing whether it's a good decision or a bad decision, this is completely subjective. I'm arguing that it makes sense and that it worked because of how well developed Riku and Ansem's animosity was. But if you think it's a bad decision then more power to you, I can't change how you feel about something, so let's agree to disagree.
 

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I don’t wanna disagree, I want you to agree with me, so renounce you misguided opinions and see things my way. You have until tomorrow.
 

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Wasn't Ansem the one that persuaded Riku to open the door on Destiny Islands and open his heart to darkness in the first place? At least that's what KH1 and CoM implied, with him saying he wasn't afraid of the darkness (who else would have told him of that) and probably told him it was the only way off their world at all. With that in mind Maleficent only continued what Ansem had started.

Riku's period of absence game is obscenely overdue, but I sadly don't expect it to ever be made.

It is a definite shame that they dropped the whole subplot of Riku and Maleficent's history. Even playing KH2 I was frustrated when they were in the same room together in TWTNW, and didn't say a word to each other or even exchange a meaningful glance. Why bring Maleficent back at all if they weren't bothered enough to explore their dynamic or past? I'm still salty about the choices that game (and other games) made years later.

The series as it is now doesn't really care about past character arcs or reconciling of characters' influence over each other. New confusing lore and shallow plot twists matter more of course.
 
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Alpha Baymax

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Maleficent definitely played a bigger role in Riku's descent into darkness and the series completely glosses over that fact. She preyed on his insecurities and groomed him to become a wielder of darkness. All Ansem did was offer a new dark power to a kid who already went over the line.

Its beyond bizarre how we never got closure for that. Bad enough that Riku is going to miss Ansem, but Maleficent's manipulation is forgotten and credited to someone else.
I don't think there needs to be closure for Maleficent and Riku's interactions just yet. The only other time Riku has interacted with Maleficent post Kingdom Hearts is when he was in The World That Never Was, and even then, that wasn't really much of an interaction.

In fact, Maleficent has made a new enemy in Lauriam so it'll be interesting to see where that plot thread goes.
 
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Very interesting points!

Do we think Riku and Maleficent's relationship will be brought up again moving forward?
 

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I don't think their past relationship has totally been forgotten since it was still acknowledged in KH3 through her interactions with Dark Riku in San Fransokyo

Maybe if she gets control of the Box and fed up with Pete she could try and recruit Riku again if they ever cross paths. Once Riku refuses and turns her down she'll know he isn't the same boy she knew in KH1 thus giving them the same conclusion like with Ansem.
 
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I don't think their past relationship has totally been forgotten since it was still acknowledged in KH3 through her interactions with Dark Riku in San Fransokyo

Maybe if she gets control of the Box and fed up with Pete she could try and recruit Riku again if they ever cross paths. Once Riku refuses and turns her down she'll know he isn't the same boy she knew in KH1 thus giving them the same conclusion like with Ansem.

Who says Riku would turn her down? Lol, kidding.

I think that would be very anticlimactic. I would hope we would get something beyond an Ansem rehash with her. I would love to fight her as Riku, but given he seems to be the one primarily searching for Sora, I don't see that happening in the near future.

I am glad you brought up Dark Riku though. That whole interaction was so mind-boggling to me. Why was Riku so antagonistic towards her? At the time Riku was possessed, weren't he and Maleficent still on the same side?
 

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Very interesting points!

Do we think Riku and Maleficent's relationship will be brought up again moving forward?
Absolutely. I don't see Nomura abandoning that especially if their interactions are used to highlight Riku's growth as a character.
 

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I am glad you brought up Dark Riku though. That whole interaction was so mind-boggling to me. Why was Riku so antagonistic towards her? At the time Riku was possessed, weren't he and Maleficent still on the same side?
Most of the interaction between Riku / Ansem and Maleficent reeked of condescension on Ansem’s part. The face he makes as she walks away to “deal” with SDG. “Do you need some help?” in a mocking voice. And then he calls her a fool and steps on her shadow remains as if it’s something disgusting.

I would've liked to see more interactions between Maleficent and Riku, too. I suppose Nomura thought CoM was enough, but Riku's interaction was with a fake Maleficent there....
 
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Most of the interaction between Riku / Ansem and Maleficent reeked of condescension on Ansem’s part. The face he makes as she walks away to “deal” with SDG. “Do you need some help?” in a mocking voice. And then he calls her a fool and steps on her shadow remains as if it’s something disgusting.

I would've liked to see more interactions between Maleficent and Riku, too. I suppose Nomura thought CoM was enough, but Riku's interaction was with a fake Maleficent there....

Good points. I didn't forget about the CoM interaction, but I find it hard to "count" that.

I definitely think Ansem was the cause of Riku being so dismissive towards Maleficent. We see Riku slowly grow to trust Maleficent over the course of KH1. Then as soon as he's possessed, bam. Complete 180. I'm rather surprised Maleficent didn't seem to notice anything, or at least didn't comment on his sudden change in demeanor and attitude.

I unfortunately don't really see this relationship being explored too heavily in the near future, with Riku trying to find Sora and Maleficent trying to find the book, but I would hope at some point they have Maleficent and Riku confront each other. At the same time, I would rather they not just reuse the Ansem plotline with Maleficent. Their respective relationships were quite different, as others have pointed out, and I don't think we need a rehash of Ansem SoD again.

What could this look like? Admittedly, I'm having some difficulty putting something together with where we're at. I kind of like the idea of her using her power to take over Riku (like she did with Terra in BBS) but I also see issues with that. I don't think she'd be able to maintain control over him for a long period of time. I also think that might be too close to her just possessing Riku, which has obviously already been done.
 

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Did Riku ever actually trust Maleficent though? I seem to recall a interaction where she tells him that she thinks of him like a son, and only wants him to be happy, but he brushes her off. Seems to me like he just saw her as a means to an end.

Also, we're forgetting that Maleficent also interacted with Riku in Coded, but it was yet another fake Riku and not the real one. Seems like that's being a reoccuring trend. It's only a matter of time till Riku searches for Sora and finds a fake one in every world, Kind of like, "your princess is in another castle".

And I don't think the manga really did much for that relationship either, Pete asks what happened to her lackey before him, and Maleficent states "I let my pet get too bold, and it bit me back" or something to that effect.
 
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I got the impression that he trusted her towards the end. I'm thinking specifically of the scenes where Maleficent gives him the power to control the Heartless in Neverland, and then when he arrives in Hollow Bastion with Kairi.

 
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