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Dark Mode

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Riku (Dark Mode)

Dark Mode (Dモード D Mōdo?, lit. "D Mode") is a special form Riku can enter in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories. Riku initially receives the ability to enter Dark Mode from Maleficent, and he uses it against Sora after he reclaims the Keyblade. Riku 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. Since Riku has a strong affinity to darkness, 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. The Riku Replica can embrace the darkness willingly, thus he can also use and stay in Dark Mode.

Vanitas, one of the main antagonists of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, as well as the Vanitas Remnant, wears a bodysuit similar to the one Riku wears while in Dark Mode. Under Vanitas's possession, Ventus also wears this suit.

Journal entry[edit]

Kingdom Hearts[edit]

Riku gained immense power through the forces of darkness. But ordinary humans are no match for the darkness, and it is gradually consuming his heart.


Kingdom Hearts[edit]

Ansem, Seeker of Darkness - possessing Riku's body - addresses the existence of other worlds and their connections.
Riku wielding the Keyblade of heart under Ansem's possession.
"The darkness will destroy you."
—Riku upon entering Dark Mode for the first time.

After coming into the service of Maleficent, Riku's heart began to be weakened by his continual use of the darkness, so the witch granted him power over it, allowing him to control Heartless and enter Dark Mode. Riku used this power to subdue Sora on Captain Hook's ship with his own shadow and fight off the Beast when he arrived at Hollow Bastion. When challenged later by Sora, he mocks him, entering Dark Mode for the first time. However, the strength of Sora's heart soared, his friends Donald and Goofy, and his weapon returned to him, which defeated Riku.

Riku fled injured and severely weakened through a Corridor of Darkness back into the heart of the castle, where he reverted to his normal form. There, he met a hooded Ansem, who persuaded Riku to open his heart to darkness. The enigma possessed Riku, and used his body, now permanently in Dark Mode. In this mode, he created and wielded the Keyblade of heart, which he used to unlock Maleficent's true darkness. He waited and watched as Maleficent fell at Sora's hand, allowing Ansem to claim Kingdom Hearts as his own. All he needed was the heart of the last Princess of Heart, which resided within Sora. He attacked the Keyblade wielder, but was defeated. Riku used the last of his strength to fend off Ansem as Sora released his own heart to free Kairi's heart.

Riku's heart and soul were forced into the Realm of Darkness, and Ansem took full control of his body. He entered the Door to Darkness to the End of the World, awaiting Sora. There, he did away with the form of Riku's Dark Mode, revealing his true appearance. From this point forward, Dark Mode was lost to Riku.

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories[edit]

"I know who I am!"
—Riku in Dark Mode after battling Zexion, no longer fearing the darkness.
Riku Replica entering Dark Mode.

After his re-encounter with Ansem in Castle Oblivion, Ansem tempered Riku's darkness, activating Dark Mode once again. Riku would utilize this form as he struggled in the card worlds. He would change into Dark Mode sparingly, a massive fear of the darkness manifesting in the depths of his heart, much to Ansem's displeasure.

Later on, Vexen, Lexaeus, and Zexion, members of the Organization, wished to use the boy and his dark powers to halt the plans of the traitorous Marluxia. When Vexen challenged Riku, it was his immense power that led to the creation of the Riku Replica, an aggressive replica of Riku created by Vexen from the boy's combat data. Ansem seized the replica as an opportunity to use it as a model for Riku, urging him not to fear the dark like the fake.

Eventually, Riku came before Lexaeus. A battle ensued between the two, Ansem possessing Riku's body in order to do away with the Nobody. Riku's sudden recollection of Ansem's control almost allowed Ansem complete control over his body. Were it not for King Mickey, Ansem's plan to get Riku back under his control would have succeeded.

After the failures of both Vexen and Lexaeus, Zexion was forced to take action and tormented Riku with illusions in the Destiny Islands card world, taking on the guise of Sora and swallowing Riku in the light. It was here that Naminé appeared in the form of Kairi, teaching Riku not to fear the darkness and not to run from the light. Riku then regained himself, controlling and transforming into Dark Mode willingly in order to defeat Zexion. Riku no longer feared the darkness from this point forward.

In the Twilight Town card world, Riku was approached by DiZ, the bandage-faced man telling him to seek out Naminé. He battled his replica a final time, meeting up with Naminé at last. She offered to put him to sleep so she could lock his heart, freeing him from Ansem and the consequences Ansem had on Riku's heart. Riku refused, needing his power to finish Ansem for himself. It was then Riku headed towards his final battle in Castle Oblivion to face Ansem for the last time. Afterwards, Dark Mode is never used by Riku again.

Kingdom Hearts II[edit]

Riku's Dark Mode was also shown in Roxas's dreams in the beginning of the game.

Kingdom Hearts coded[edit]

Data-Riku is shown to be able to use Dark Mode after he is infected by the Bug Blox.

Kingdom Hearts III[edit]

Riku Replica appears in Dark Mode whenever he appears to the real Riku. Although Dark Riku and Vanitas are initially seen wearing the same black coats as the other Seekers of Darkness, they don their Dark Mode bodysuits during their clashes against the Guardians of Light.


Main article: Form:Riku

In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, when Riku activates this form, a blue aura surrounds him, he jumps into the air and shouts, "Darkness!". A bright blue light shoots out of his chest, and in a flash of light, his clothes transform into the same suit he wore while possessed by Ansem in Kingdom Hearts. This consists of a form-fitting suit that appears to be made of black muscle tissue.

The black fades to red around the wrists and comes with purple gloves that are tucked under the suit. The suit has a purple-blue color on the chest and part of the torso with the Heartless emblem on the chest, but without the spiked bars crossing it. It has purple feet and shins that fade into black legs. It has a dark purple belt and a cloth around his waist, opening in the front. The cloth is an off-white color that fades into dark purple and is ripped all around at the bottom.

In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Vanitas's suit is colored in various shades of blacks and reds rather than blacks and violets, a distorted version of the Unversed insignia appearing on Vanitas's chest rather than the Heartless insignia-like emblem that appears on Riku's while in Dark Mode. The Vanitas Remnant uses the same suit, but it is black and white instead of black and red.


In Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, since Riku is a playable character, he has a specific moveset while in Dark Mode, along with additional sleights.


Dark Mode is only triggered when the player manages to fill up the Dark Points gauge up to 30 by either breaking cards or taking damage[?] and while having any card(s) in use at that time. If Riku takes a Card Break, he loses DP and cannot enter Dark Mode, even if he was going to do so.

Once Riku enters Dark Mode, his cards get automatically reloaded (counting as 1 reload for an Enemy Card with a reload duration in use), and the Potion and Hi-Potion cards that he eventually had in his deck depending on the World he is in are removed until the next reload after he reverts to normal. Once in this form, he can stay in that state for as long as he has Dark Points remaining. Riku loses DP when taking damage, in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, the amount of DP he loses is proportional to the damage taken[?], while in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Riku loses 5 DP from each hit taken, regardless of damage, making attacks or situations that deal continuous damage deplete a lot of points and end the form very quickly. When his Dark Points reach zero, Riku reverts to his normal form. In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, having the Dark Points at 0 before the enemy's combo ends makes Riku unable to cardbreak it until it ends, where he reverts. Dark Mode is permanent during the fight against Zexion where Riku starts immediatly in Dark Mode and never loses any DP.

Whether Riku is in Dark Mode or not, he loses a certain amount of Dark Points if his card is broken, with the number of Dark Points lost equal to the difference between the enemy's card and the broken card. For example, if an enemy breaks Riku's 2 card with a 9 card, Riku loses 7 DP. Additionally, if a sleight card breaks Riku's single card, the total value of the sleight is taken into account when calculating the difference between the sleight and the broken card, but with a maximum amount of 9 DP for Riku to lose. The same calculation is applied when Riku gains DP when he breaks cards while not in Dark Mode, and gains 5 additional DP from performing a Rapid Break, where he can gain up to 14 DP.

While in Dark Mode, Riku's main combos have increased speed, he can utilize additional Sleights, and his Soul Eater reacts to the darkness, increasing in power. His three-hit combo has the power to stun with the second hit, flames bursting from the Soul Eater upon the combo finisher. Riku possesses an aerial spin-slash (counting as a combo finish for Warp Break), also able to Double Jump behind an enemy and perform a downward slash with the next attack, and his High-Speed Step becomes a dash that covers more distance; however, it grants no invincibility.

Attack sleights[edit]

Sleight Description Card Combination
Dark Break (ダークブレイク
Dāku Bureiku
Leap into the air and attack enemies from above. Only available in Dark Mode.[KH CoM]
Leap into the air and attack enemies up to six times from above. Only available in Dark Mode.[KH Re:CoM]
Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png (5-15)
Press Triangle when it flashes on-screen to add an attack. Pressing Triangle when it isn't on-screen will cancel the sleight.
Dark Firaga (ダークファイガ
Dāku Figa
?, lit. "Dark Figa")
Expel dark energy in a searing blast. Only available in Dark Mode. Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png (16-25)
Dark Aura (ダークオーラ
Dāku Ōra
Rush enemies repeatedly with blade in hand. Only available in Dark Mode.[KH CoM]
Rush enemies repeatedly with blade in hand. Finish off by stabbing Soul Eater into the ground for a column of light that confuses the enemy. Only available in Dark Mode.[KH Re:CoM]
Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png (27)

Friend sleights[edit]

Sleight Description Card Combination
Inverse Burst[KH Re:CoM] (インヴァースバースト
Invāsu Bāsuto
Multiple shots with your back against the king's. Enemies become confused when hit. Only available in Dark Mode. The King (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png + Soul Eater (card).png
Use the left stick to control the direction of the tornado.

Duel sleights[edit]

Sleight Description Requirements
Dark Impulse[KH Re:CoM] (ダークインパルス
Dāku Inparusu
Knock foes into the air before a hard slam down to the ground, damaging multiple enemies. Only available in Dark Mode. Win a duel that requires you to break three cards.
Dark Maelstrom[KH Re:CoM] (ダークメイルストロム
Dāku Meirusutoromu
Unleash a powerful spinning attack on the enemy. Damage is concentrated to one enemy. Only available in Dark Mode. Win a duel that requires you to break five cards.
Dark Barrage[KH Re:CoM] (ダークバラージュ
Dāku Barāju
Throw multiple Soul Eaters towards the enemy. Damage is concentrated to one enemy. Only available in Dark Mode. Win a duel that requires you to break seven cards.

As a Boss[edit]

During the first battle with Riku's Dark Mode in Kingdom Hearts, he uses supreme agility to jump far distances, either away from or towards Sora's location. While Sora is in close range, Riku will attempt a powerful spin-slash. He can also perform a single slash before following it up with a rushing slash, and he is also able to deal immense damage. Magic has no effect on Riku, so the player must rely solely on the Keyblade. Jars can be found on the sides of the battlefield which contain HP Orbs and Hi-Potions.

When tackling a possessed Riku, who wields Dark Mode to its maximum potential via Ansem, one must take extreme caution. Riku will dodge almost every hit, attacking with just as much speed. Guard and retaliate immediately afterwards. Depending on what attack is blocked, a certain number of Tech Points may be earned. As his HP dwindles, Riku will begin to empower himself further with Darkhand state, gaining new abilities and adding additional properties to his old abilities. His dash attack fires Shock Slashes that can be blocked back to him, and he can use Helm Split to perform a jump attack that fires bursts of darkness from the ground and ends Darkhand state. Eventually, he will also gain the ability to use Dark Aura, and when he reaches his final HP bar, he will stay in Darkhand state permanently. Again, magic has no effect, the Keyblade and its abilities the player's only chance of survival.

When fighting the Riku Replica in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, he attacks in a fashion comprised of a two-hit combo that stuns on the second hit. He also uses a jump-attack that causes flames to burst from the Soul Eater. Over the series of four battles, the Riku Replica gains access to Sleights, each very powerful and threatening to the player's HP Bar.

See also[edit]