||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
Rikku as she appears in Final Fantasy X (drawn by Tetsuya Nomura)
|First game||Final Fantasy X|
|Created by||Motomu Toriyama|
|Designed by||Tetsuya Nomura
|Voiced by (English)||Tara Strong|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Marika Matsumoto|
|Motion capture||Miyuki Shimizu (FFX)
Natsuho Matsuda (X-2)
Concept and creation
Rikku was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who also designed other characters from Final Fantasy X and X-2. She is voiced by Tara Strong and Marika Matsumoto in the English and Japanese versions respectively. Rikku's outfit changed from a casual outfit to a skimpier outfit from Final Fantasy X to X-2. Tetsu Tsukamoto, the alternate costume designer, explains that the change could come from the changes in Spira from the two titles from a "darker, religious feel". The decision to pick Rikku as one of the three female leads came early on in the design process of X-2, due to the developers challenging themselves to create an all-female character party. Yuna and Rikku were the original choices, while a third original character was created to complete the trio. It was rumoured that Square Enix planned to have two sequels to Final Fantasy X - one starring Yuna and one starring Rikku. However, the developers later elaborated that there would be no such "Rikku Version", and it was just a rumour that arose during development.
Tara Strong was cast as Rikku by the game's English version voice director Jack Fletcher, who had worked with her in other roles before. To prepare for the role, she was given the original recordings of Rikku's Japanese voice actor, as well as a description of her from Fletcher and the writers. Strong found it easy to fit Rikku's personality, due to it being fairly straightforward. She found the most challenging part of voicing Rikku to be dubbing the lines to make the characters' voices sound more real. The Al Bhed language was created beforehand, having to be told on a word-by-word basis of what each word means.
In Final Fantasy X, Rikku is a 15-year-old Al Bhed who helps Tidus when he first arrives in Spira, but then disappears from the story for a while, becoming the last character to join Yuna's entourage of guardians. She is bilingual, able to speak both Spiran (English or Japanese, depending on the region) and Al Bhed fluently. Rikku's character class is most similar to that of the Thief from earlier Final Fantasy titles, combined with the Chemist class. She can steal a large variety of items from fiends and bosses alike, many of which can only be acquired through theft. She also is able to dismantle Machina with her "Steal" ability. Once Rikku permanently joins the party, the group gains the ability to customize weapons. Her attitude is somewhat childish, but is also quite cheerful and positive. Rikku is also highly intelligent, being bilingual and skilled in chemistry. An Al Bhed, she is also Yuna's cousin and loves her dearly, and, as such, wishes to prevent her from going through with her pilgrimage, becoming particularly insistent as the party climbs Mount Gagazet toward Zanarkand. She is also the one who informs Tidus that Yuna will die should she summon her Final Aeon. In battle, Rikku uses a variety of claw-like weapons. After the Calm, Rikku visited Yuna at Besaid often before the events of X-2.
Rikku returns in Final Fantasy X-2 as a main protagonist, now 17 years-old and prominently featured as a Thief. She was also the one who convinced Yuna to leave Besaid on a journey after showing her a mysterious sphere featuring a person resembling Tidus.
Rikku also appears alongside Yuna and Paine in Kingdom Hearts II as a miniature fairy version of herself wearing modified versions of her Final Fantasy X-2 attire; much like her Final Fantasy X-2 self, Rikku is a bit ditzy and good-natured as well as a treasure fanatic like her teammates. Itadaki Street Special features a miniature Rikku in her Final Fantasy X-2 outfit, along with Yuna and Paine.
Several figurines of Rikku were releassed by various manfucaturers, including by Coca Cola and Square Soft in 2000 (two), Kotobukiya in 2001, Bandai in 2002, 2003 and 2005, Hobby Japan in 2003, Kotabukiya and Square Enix in 2003, Square Enix in 2003 (three) and 2006, and Square Enix and Amono Shiro in 2008. A special PlayStation memory card was also released by Hori in 2003.
Rikku was critically well received, in large part because of her physical attractiveness. She has won the award for "Hottest Character" in G4's 2004 G-Phoria awards show and the "Viewers' Choice: Baddest Good Girl" on G4's Video Game Vixens in 2005. Her English version voice actor, Tara Strong, has received mostly positive reception for her portrayal of Rikku in both Final Fantasy X and X-2, winning an award for "Outstanding Character Performance - Female" at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences's Interactive Achievement Awards.
In 2008, GameDaily ranked Rikku as the 15th "hottest game babe" for her as spirited personality, excellent figure and knack for mechanics. In 2010, UGO.com included her on the list of the "hottest video game girls", while Complex ranked her, along with Yuna and Paine, at 20th place on their list of the "hottest women in video games". In 2012, PLAY ranked her as the fifth "hottest" blonde in games.
In 2007, Rikku was included by Tom's Games among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history. In 2008, GameDaily included Rikku in their list of "ten babes who should meet your mom", citing her good sense of humour, but 1UP.com used her as an example of the "perky idiot" character type. That same year, Chip ranked her as the 18th top "girl of gaming". In 2013, Rikku was voted the 13th most popular female Final Fantasy character in an official poll by Square Enix. The character has became a popular subject of cosplay.
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- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Macalania. "Rikku: Well, my dad's sister is Yunie's mother, you get it?"
- Square Co (December 20, 2001). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Bikanel Island - Home. "Rikku: Summoners journey to get the Final Aeon. Yuna told you, didn't she? With the Final Aeon, she can beat Sin. But then...but then... If she calls it, the Final Aeon's going to kill her! Even if she defeats Sin, it will kill Yunie too, you know! / Tidus: Was I the only one who didn't know...?"
- Square Co (March 13, 2003). Final Fantasy X-2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. "Yuna [voiceover]: It all began when I saw this sphere of you. At least, it looked like you. I couldn't say for sure. I thought I might find more spheres like it if I joined the Gullwings. So I did. Oh, in case you're wondering, the Gullwings are sphere hunters, and sphere hunters are, well...this! We fly all over Spira. I'm really enjoying myself."
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- "Final Fantasy X-2 - Rikku - Trading Arts Mini - Vol. 3 (Square Enix)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- "Final Fantasy X-2 - Rikku - Memory Card (Hori)". MyFigureCollection.net. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- "Biggest Guns, Best Bounce and Viewers' Choice Baddest Good Girl". G4TV. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Keighley, Geoff (2004-08-02). "Spot On: Inside G-Phoria". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- "Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Announces Winners of 7th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards". PR Newswire. UBM plc. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Mitchell, Richard (2011-12-02). "Top 50 Hottest Game Babes on Trial". GameDaily. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- UGO Team (2011-10-27). "Rikku - Hottest Girls in Games | Top 50 Videogame Hotties". UGO.com. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- The 50 Hottest Women In Video Games, Complex.com, November 8, 2010.
- "Top 10 hottest blondes in games | PLAY Magazine". Play-mag.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History, Tom's Games, 2007-02-20.
- Mitchell, Richard (2011-12-02). "Ten Babes Who Should and 10 Babes Who Shouldn't Meet Your Mom". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "Top 5 Final Fantasy Character Types from". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "Top 20 Girls of Gaming - Gallery 7 - EN". Download.CHIP.eu. August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
- "Square Enix Poll: Favorite Female Final Fantasy Character". Anime News Network. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Andy Gold (2010-07-23). "47 Hot Rikku Cosplay Chicks (PICS)". gamefront.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
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