- "Richard B. Riddick. Escaped convict. Murderer."
- —Riddick introducing himself to Paris P. Ogilvie
- "This is a man who can see in the dark" -Boss Johns
Richard B. Riddick is the titular character of the Riddick series.
Riddick was born on Furya and inherited the traits of an Alpha Furyan, which gives him an advantage in strength and endurance over normal Furyan infants. Before Riddick's birth, a Necromonger officer named Zhylaw consulted an Elemental seer (implied to be Aereon), who prophesized that a male child born on the planet Furya would be his ultimate downfall. To forestall this prophecy, Zhylaw attacked Furya in an attempt to massacre all male children, going so far as to personally strangle newborn infants with their umbilical cords, including Riddick himself. In doing so, Zhylaw believed that he had culled his own doom, but unbeknownst to him an infant survived. It is possible that this particle infant's inherent advtanges were key to his survival. It is unknown who collected the infant Riddick from where Zhylaw had left him for dead, or how he got off planet. As his official records read "Place of Birth: Unknown," it is clear whoever was responsible did not reveal Riddick's origins to any authorities.
Little is known about Riddick's childhood, save that he was, by his own admission, educated in the penal system.
While Riddick retained memories of massacre on Furya, these memories were repressed and forgotten, likely due to his extreme youth at the time. Instead, he believed his mother attempted to kill him at birth by strangling him with his umbilical cord and dumping him in a liquor store trash bin . This is likely the story contained in his records and just as likely told to him repeatedly by those with little care for the child Riddick's sense of self worth.
As Riddick grew older he began receiving periodic visions of a Furyan named Shirah; visions which he believed to be signs of mental instability. It would not be until his encounter with the Necromongers that his repressed memories would finally escape their imprisonment and he would realize that he had a homeworld and a tragic past of which he had never been consciously aware .
Once grown, Riddick became a Company ranger. It was here while in the military that he learned how to pilot ships. He was assigned to Sigma 3, where he worked as a sweeper. Sweepers worked in the tunnels, where they drew out spitfires. It was incredibly dangerous, and the method of drawing them out required two sweepers to lay in wait while another acted as a distraction for nearby spitfires so the other two sweepers could kill them. Riddick was wounded multiple times doing this, and since the ranger team played dice to choose the decoy, Riddick learned to cheat at dice. During his tour on Sigma 3, he learned how corrupt the Company was.
He was promoted to the prestigious Strikeforce Academy on Sigma 3's moon. There, he became a much more efficient soldier. After graduating from the Academy, he was once again assigned to Sigma 3, this time to "enforce security." Riddick learned that life on Sigma 3 was nearly slavery, and enforcing security there meant murdering and torturing. Riddick spoke out against it, but the Company refused to change their inhumane system on Sigma 3. Instead, the Company disposed of the evidence Riddick gathered and sent him to a prison known only as Deep Storage.
Riddick spent less than three years in Ribald S Correctional Institute. Before his third year was up, he overpowered a guard and took his uniform. Riddick shot two guards and a pilot before escaping on the prison planet's only space freighter.
The Company put a million-credit contract on Riddick and he became a wanted man on five planets in three systems, and was pursued by nearly every bounty hunter, bushwhacker and Mercenary in the space lanes. Every time he killed one of them, their deaths were added to his list of serial killings.
Over several years, Riddick evaded all who wanted to kill him, though several times he was caught. He spent time in the Hubble Bay Penal Facility, Ribald S Correctional Institute, Tangiers Penal Colony, among other places. He took a psychological evaluation, by Dr. Snyder, at one of these prisons, which stated that he was a violent sociopath and a murderer. He escaped each prison with relative ease.
During one escape, Riddick joined a mercenary outfit that augmented a company of E-TAC soldiers fighting in the Wailing Wars. Of the 500 men in that outfit, Riddick was supposedly the only man to leave the planet alive. Rumors suggested that Riddick killed most of his own platoon.
Once, Riddick was captured and brought to Ursa Luna Maximum Security Prison -- also known as Slam City -- by a pair of hired guards. He had been put into cryosleep during their journey to the prison. When the warden of the Slam City demanded that Riddick be woken up to prove that he was alive, Riddick 'woke' with calculated violence, killing one merc and capturing the other. He briefly held a mercenary hostage and stole both their transfer fee and cigarettes before escaping into the dark, unlit bowels of the prison. There, he survived attempts on his life by the guards, Shiners (individuals with medically augmented night vision) and automated security weapons.
He escaped the prison area of Slam City, and killed a medtech and stole his uniform. He then moved towards the hangar, but his cover was blown while doing so. He killed two guards, and escaped in a spaceship. Riddick only spent 11 hours and 22 minutes in Slam City.
At the end of Slam City we are introduced to someone we will see again... the uniformed, shotgun wielding 'lawman' we will come to know as William J. Johns in the movie Pitch Black. He has responded to Ursa Luna's report of an escaped convict. The prison staff, however, have developed such a fear of Riddick that they do not want him brought back to Slam City, and instruct that he be taken to Hubble Bay Penal Facility instead.
(Previous to the Butcher Bay game, Ursa Luna was the original source of Riddick's 'eye shine'. After losing his recently stolen cash to the Shiners, Riddick encounters Cutter, the slam doc who gave the Shiners' their enhanced night vision and pays the 'doctor' in cigarettes to perform the same surgery on his eyes. Despite this surgical eye shine origin being documented in multiple canon sources [including Pitch Black, the novelization, the Slam City flash movie and even the pop up bonus info on the TCoR DVD] many considered it retconned by the origin given in the Butcher Bay game - see below.)
With the arrival of Johns and Riddick at Butcher Bay Correctional Facility. Johns meets with Hoxie to negotiate his pay, while Abbott escorts Riddick to his cell in the "single-max" security area. Riddick familiarizes himself with the facility, and soon instigates a riot; during the confusion, he escapes into the prison's sewer system. Fighting through the sewers against mutant "dwellers", Riddick eventually meets Pope Joe, for whom he retrieves a lost radio. A woman named Shirah tells Riddick that he "has been blind too long", and he gains his trademark "eyeshine" night vision. Afterwards, he accuses Pope Joe of tampering with his eyes; Joe says that he merely treated Riddick's injured arm. Riddick then continues his escape, while using the eyeshine to his advantage.
Riddick is captured and transferred to the "double-max" security area, where he infiltrates a mining facility. He meets an inmate of great influence in the area named Jagger Valance, who wishes to escape with him. However, Riddick is discovered and caught by the guards. During his transfer to another section, the prison is disrupted by an outbreak of creatures called "Xeno", and Riddick attempts to escape with Valance. His plans are foiled again by Johns, and Riddick is placed in the "triple-max" area, where inmates are kept in cryonic sleep. They are awakened daily for two minutes of exercise; during this time, Riddick discovers a flaw in the system and escapes. He then hijacks a large robot and fights his way through Butcher Bay Correctional Facility to reach Hoxie. Tired of dealing with the prison officials, Johns helps Riddick to elude the guards, and the two trick them into killing the warden. They then steal a ship and escape the prison.
Not long after Riddick and Johns escape from Butcher Bay Correctional Facility, on their ship together in a cryogenic sleep, they are dragged unwillingly into the Dark Athena, a gigantic mercenary vessel run by Gale Revas and her second in command, Spinner. Riddick avoids capture as Revas and her men take Johns away. Using the same stealth tactics as he did in Butcher Bay Correctional Facility, Riddick sneaks and hides throughout the ship seeking to escape, killing the guards and mercenaries he encounters along the way. Many of the guards are automated drones that are human bodies with implanted machine parts, controlled remotely from within the ship.
He meets with a little girl named Lynn Silverman who is hiding from the guards in the air vent systems. Riddick makes his way to the prison cells and finds several people captured, including the former Captain of the Dark Athena before Revas took control. There he meets Lynn's mother, Ellen Silverman. She offers to make Riddick the tools he needs to escape through the air vents if he can get the right parts. She also asks to find Lynn because she is concerned for her safety. Another prisoner named Max Dacher offers his technical skills to help Riddick escape on a ship and unlock doors for him if Riddick can find him a Data Pad. He agrees and finds the Data Pad for Dacher and the parts for Silverman. Having again met with Lynn, Silverman keeps her word and makes him the tool he needs. Riddick moves on and is in contact with Dacher via video communication at computer terminals on the ship. Riddick frees the prisoners but most are killed, including Lynn's mother Silverman. Revas kills Dacher as he prepares the ship for their escape. Riddick finally meets Revas face to face. As they fight, he wounds her severely and she is thought to be dead. As he is preparing an escape pod to take off, Lynn is pounding on the door begging Riddick to take her with him. Revas, who is still alive as Riddick's pod takes off, fires a missile that hits the pod, causing it to crash on the planet Aguerra Prime below.
Riddick wakes up on the shore of a beach (the same beach seen in the introductory tutorial level) and he makes his way into an abandoned city. The planet is under siege from Revas' troops who are capturing civilians and harvesting their bodies to use for their drones. Riddick realizes his only way off the planet is to get back on the Dark Athena again. He makes his way through the city and back to the port where the Athena is docked. Spinner attacks Riddick in a robotic mech suit but is defeated. He gets back onto the Dark Athena and meets Lynn again. She tells Riddick her mother taught her how to make the drones turn on Revas' crew and attack them instead. Fighting ensues on the ship between the drones and the mercenaries. He makes his way up the ship and Riddick meets with Revas again, who is in a suit of armor with heavy weapons. He defeats her by pushing her into an elevator shaft and she falls to her death. Lynn meets up with him and they are seen going into the elevator. She asks him if Revas is coming back, and Riddick answers "When I say goodbye, it's forever."
The Hunter Gratzner Crash (Pitch Black)
Johns decides to travel with Riddick using ghost lanes to avoid anymore trouble. While its crew and passengers in cryo-sleep on board the transport ship Hunter Gratzner, passes through a comet's tail while on autopilot; debris from the comet ruptures the hull and kills some of its crew, including the captain, Tom Mitchell. The remaining crew is awakened and docking pilot Carolyn Fry crash lands on the nearby planet, M6-117, despite nearly dumping the passenger compartment; although many survive, the ship is a total loss. The survivors find the planet to be near desert, its orbit around three suns keeping the surface in perpetual daylight. The survivors learn that one of the passengers is a dangerous criminal, Richard B. Riddick, who escaped in the crash. Riddick is chased by Johns, before he gets away. Meanwhile, one of the other survivors is killed while investigating a nearby cave. Johns returns with Riddick, who is accused of the survivor's murder and kept under close guard.
A group of the survivors travel to a nearby abandoned geological research settlement to find a supply of water and a spaceship they can use to escape the planet, though lacking power cells needed to start it up. They come to learn that the planet has a native species of extremely deadly, bat-like Bioraptors, that preyed on the residents of the settlement but only hunt in darkness, staying in the planet's cave systems otherwise. The survivors, discovering an Orrery of M6-117 orbit, realize that the suns will soon become eclipsed from M6-117 by another planet in the system, plunging the surface into darkness for an unspecified length of time. They quickly race back to the crashed ship to collect the power cells, other supplies and the other survivors before this occurs.
As they begin the journey back from the crash to the settlement, the eclipse begins and the creatures begin to emerge from the underground caves and attack the survivors. Riddick reveals that he has perfect night vision and the group finds it necessary to trust him to lead them to safety. After Riddick realizes that Jack, a young runaway disguised as a boy, is female and on her menstrual cycle, Riddick tells the others that her blood is attracting the creatures. When Johns suggests leaving Jack behind to lure the creatures away, Riddick instead wounds Johns and leaves him as the bait. Soon the group is whittled down to Riddick, Fry, Jack and the Muslim Imam Abu al-Walid; Riddick has the other three wait in a nearby cave with bioluminescent worms that will keep the creatures at bay while he proceeds with the heavy power cells. Concerned, Fry follows Riddick and finds him ready to take the escape craft by himself but manages to convince him to help rescue Jack and the Imam.
Returning to the cave, Riddick and the others proceed to the ship; Riddick is taken by the creatures, but is saved by Fry's sacrifice. As they prepare to take off, Riddick waits for the last possible minute to kill as many of the creatures as possible in the ship's engine blast. As they are leaving the planet, Jack asks what they should say if they run into bounty hunters or other law enforcers asking where to find Riddick. Riddick responds:
"Tell 'em Riddick's dead. He died somewhere on that planet."
Captured on The Kublai Khan (Dark Fury)
Shortly after escaping the planet, Riddick, Jack, and Imam are picked up by a ship Kublai Khan. They quickly discover that it's a mercenary ship. Although Riddick attempts to conceal his identity from the mercenaries by impersonating William J. Johns over the intercom, they quickly voice-print and identify him.
Captured by the mercenaries, the trio of survivors rapidly discover that their captors have unusual plans for them. The ship's owner, Antonia Chillingsworth, is a collector of criminals, whom she freezes and keeps as statues that are, in her view, art. Although the criminals are frozen, they are still alive and conscious. To her, Riddick is the ultimate "masterpiece" for her collection. Riddick, Jack, and Imam must face down and fight their way through the enormous army of human and nonhuman creatures at her disposal, or they will meet a fate far more cruel than death.
Riddick is pursued much of the story by Toombs and his Mercs. Mercs here are soldiers that are kept in suspended animation until they are needed. They are released to confront Riddick and company aboard the ship.
Jack shoots Chillingsworth just before she can kill Riddick. This discovery is clearly a source of worry for Riddick and Imam as the three escape from the mercenary ship. This manifests itself in Riddick's decision to deliver both Jack and Imam at New Mecca.
The Necromongers and Crematoria (The Chronicles of Riddick)
5 years later, on the icy world of the planet U.V.6 where Riddick is evading bounty hunter Toombs and his crew. Toombs is trying to collect the 1.5 million bounty placed on Riddick's head. Riddick kills or disables all but Toombs and leaves the planet with their ship, setting a course for the planet Helion Prime, from which the bounty originated. While in cryo-sleep, Riddick is plagued by visions from a character named Shirah during the flight, who tells Riddick he is the last of a warrior-race called the Furyans.
When Riddick lands on Helion Prime, he confronts Imam in the city of New Mecca, believing he is responsible for the bounty. Imam explains that he only gave information on Riddick's location to the one who placed the bounty. Imam also tells Riddick that Jack, the other survivor from the Hunter Gratzner crash, went looking for him several years earlier, missing her brother-like influence. She became a criminal and was sent to prison on the planet Crematoria. He introduces Aereon, an envoy of the Elementals, who arranged for Riddick to be brought to Helion. She explains he is part of a prophecy that states a lone Furyan will one day challenge an unstoppable evil and bring balance back to the universe, and says the Necromongers are the ones the prophecy foretells.
Following this revelation, the Necromonger army attacks Helion Prime, wiping out the planet's defenses in one night. Imam is killed in the attack while protecting his family. An enraged Riddick heads to the city forum, where the Helion Prime leaders are gathered before the Necromongers and the Lord Marshal. He challenges and dispatches Imam's killer, Irgun easily. Suspicious of his abilities, the Lord Marshal has Riddick taken into his fortress to confirm his identity. Placed before the psychic Quasi-Deads, who claim Riddick is a Furyan, the Lord Marshal orders his death. Riddick escapes, only to run into Toombs again. Toombs has hired a new crew. Riddick allows himself to be captured so he can be transported to Crematoria, a dead world where daytime surface temperatures scorch the face of the planet.
Riddick is reunited with Jack, who now goes by the name of Kyra. She blames him for leaving her and Imam in New Mecca, but eventually they reconcile. Back on Helion Prime, the Lord Marshal commands Necromonger Commander Vaako to find Riddick and have him killed, so Vaako sets out with a small group of Necromongers and a Purifier to bring him down. Vaako is curious as to why the Lord Marshal is so afraid of Riddick. With encouragement from his rabidly ambitious wife, Dame Vaako, the two learn, before he achieved his current title, the Lord Marshal destroyed the Furyans' homeworld of Furya and its citizens. This occurred after a seer foretold that a male Furyan would cause his downfall. They deduce Riddick is the one around whom the prophecy is centered.
When Toombs and his crew argue over Riddick's bounty with the prison warden, Vasilev, and his guards, the warden reveals he has pictures of the incoming Necromongers, who have picked up the trail left behind by Toombs's ship. A gunfight erupts, with the staff emerging victorious. The warden and guards depart, running through man-made tunnels towards the ship hangar, locking the rest of the prison down to prevent the inmates from escaping. Riddick, Kyra, and some of the inmates decide to reach the hanger first by traveling on the surface, surviving by keeping pace with the temperate zone created between the scorching heat and freezing cold of Crematoria's daily cycles. They reach the hangar, but Vaako and his contingent of soldiers have arrived on the planet, hastily taking out the warden and his guards. Riddick and company are forced to fight the Necromongers.Amidst the numerous casualties, Vaako narrowly defeats Riddick. Riddick suddenly manifests a powerful energy burst which knocks out both himself and most of the Necromongers. Vaako leaves Riddick for dead as the rising sun burns Crematoria's surface. Vaako and the surviving Necromongers make their escape, taking Kyra, who believes Riddick has perished. Riddick nearly burns to death, but is suddenly saved by the Purifier. He states the Lord Marshal has offered to spare Riddick's life in exchange for assurance that Riddick will not attempt to kill him; however, the Purifier goes on to say Vaako will likely claim Riddick's death, in fear of failure, leaving the Lord Marshal vulnerable. Before walking into the sunlight and his death, the Purifier reveals himself to also be a Furyan. Vaako returns to the Legion Vast, where the Lord Marshal promotes him. Riddick flies Toombs's ship back to Helion Prime, intending to rescue Kyra. Not quite convinced of Riddick's death, the Lord Marshal orders the "Ascension Protocol", which will ultimately destroy all life on Helion Prime. Dame Vaako spots Riddick, who has infiltrated the Basilica. She suggests to her husband that Riddick be allowed to fight the Lord Marshal, hopefully injuring him and allowing Vaako to deal the final blow so he may assume power, based on the Necromonger philosophy, "you keep what you kill." Riddick makes his way to the throne room, where he comes face to face with the Lord Marshal, who reveals Kyra has converted to their faith. After lamenting to himself that the Necromonger has killed everyone he loved, Riddick does battle with the Lord Marshal, whose unique powers prove too great for Riddick to handle although Riddick manages to put up a good fight.
Before the Lord Marshal can deliver the final blow, Kyra stabs him in the back, but he backhands her into a spike on a column, mortally wounding her. Vaako, sensing an opportunity to vanquish his superior and claim leadership, strikes out at the Lord Marshal, who narrowly escapes the blow. Riddick, however, had positioned himself where the Lord Marshall retreated, and stabs the Lord Marshal in the head, killing him.Riddick turns to the mortally wounded Kyra, and she dies in his arms after telling Riddick that she was "always" with him. As he collapses with shock on the Necromonger throne, the Legion Vast kneel before him, and Vaako repeats the Necromonger adage "you keep what you kill," realizing Riddick is the new leader of their empire. The Necromonger fleet abruptly departs, sparing Helion Prime as Riddick orders the Necromonger fleet to ascend leaving Helion.
Back to Basics (Riddick)For 5 years Riddick has been neglecting the Necromongers as Lord Marshal and has yet to take the sacred oath or lead them to the Underverse. Several assassins try to take him out by orders of Necromongers commanders, but all of them fail. Seeing that he has let his animal side slip past, he orders Commander Vaako to take him to his home planet. When Riddick arrives on a planet he finds out it is Not-Furya, and the Necromongers betray him trying to kill him. Krone sends Riddick falling off a cliff where he breaks his leg, as the Necromongers believe Riddick to be dead. Riddick emerges from the fall with a broken leg and over the course of six months he heals while taking a pet pup as his own, raising it. He and his pup becomes familiar with the planet as they find out the dangers like the mud demons which emerge when the ground is wet. After taking measures to immunize himself and his dog, Riddick manages to bypass some of the demons and makes it over to a savannah where he treks until he finds Mercenary Station P7. Knowing there's a thunderstorm nearing that will bring out the mud demons, Riddick scans himself inside sending out a distress beacon to any merc ship near by.
Two mercs arrive Santana's crew who is hell bent on decapitating Riddick for the bounty, and Boss Johns' crew who just want answers to William J. Johns death. Both merc crews feud with each other, and Riddick begins picking them off one by one and he manages to steal both of their power nodes to the ships, burying them and leaving them unable to take off. Riddick then tries making a deal with the Captains, but it is spoiled when Santana tries to kill Riddick from behind, but his pet jackal attacks Santana instead. Riddick tries to kill Santana but Dahl shoots him with several tranquilizers which brings him down, as he watches Santana kill his pet before being knocked out by Boss Johns.Riddick is captured and chained up as Boss Johns questions him for answers about the death of his son in the M-344/G System, but Riddick gives little answers. The storm hits the merc base as they pick up the mud demons on Cyclops. In anger Santana tries to behead Riddick, but Riddick ends up kicking a machete through his head slicing it in half. The mercs free Riddick and they ride off on their Jet Hogs to the location where Riddick buried the power nodes. While Riddick digs for the nodes he tells Boss Johns about his son and that he did not kill him, but Johns wanted to kill a kid to save his own neck. Boss Johns refuses to believe it and Diaz tries to kill them both, but Riddick kills him before he can. With all their jet hogs destroyed Riddick and Boss Johns make their way with a node each across the storm ridden plain fighting mud demons. Riddick gets bit and a tooth gets broken off in his chest and Boss Johns takes Riddick's node leaving him there to fight for his life. Riddick makes it up to a steep cliff where he uses a hot rock to cauterize his wound and fights a hoard of mud demons with his fist. Boss Johns' craft emerges to blast the remaining mud demons as Dahl brings him on board.
Boss Johns gives Riddick Santana's Ship to take as they agree to settle their difference on a another day, and both ships part ways. Riddick returns to the Necromonger fleet, who have come to the Threshold for the ceremony to ascend Vaako as Lord Marshal, Riddick then interrogates Krone and demands to know if Vaako is alive or dead to which he receives the answer of 'Both' before dying at Riddick's hands, Riddick then watches on as Vaakos ship descends into the Underverse.
Riddick was wanted for the kidnapping and murders of Mercenary Guild members:
Riddick has been described frequently as a psychopath. He has never shown any remorse for the murders he commits nor does he show much empathy for those around him. However, Riddick may more accurately be called an animal, as his crimes originate from his ruthless will to survive rather than for the sake of killing. He has even referred to himself as an animal at times. Due to feeling the rage of his kind for as long as he can remember, Riddick's mental state has been regularly pushed to its limits.
Despite this however Riddick's personality most reflects a true survivor. He will do whatever he must to survive and will kill anyone who tries to end him or his freedom. At the same time, he is not without some form of morality. He is not one to kill those he does not view as a threat to himself. Likewise, if someone gets close enough to him they become part of the "Kill All Who Threaten" mindset, willing to defend them. Noticeably, Riddick also has a sympathy for children, as he was willing to risk his life to save Kyra.
Riddick has a low opinion of himself, despite valuing his continued existence. This conflicts with his destiny to avenge his race. When Fry died trying to save him, Riddick could only scream "Not for me!" believing his life was unworthy of her sacrifice. He also expresses deep regret and sadness when Kyra sacrifices herself for him.
Riddick personality falls under the alignment of Chaotic Neutral.
Due to Eyeshine, Riddick's eyes developed a night vision-like quality, allowing him to see and detect things in pitch darkness. A draw back to these eyes is his high sensitivity towards light, unable to properly see through too much of it.
According to Riddick, while in Butcher Bay he received eye surgery, or a "surgical shine job", as he calls it, from a doctor that gave him permanent night vision in exchange for "20 menthol KOOLs". This surgery made his eyes more sensitive to light, requiring him to wear welding goggles to protect them from bright light, particularly when out in the open, although he has been shown operating without the goggles when inside a regularly illuminated room.
In the flash movie on the Pitchblack.com website, Riddick gets the eyeshine to avoid disadvantage following an encounter with humanoids called "shiners" (who refer to Riddick as darkeye) who already have the same operation to see in the dark bowels of the Ursa Luna prison where the guards do not tend to go. The eyeshine surgical procedure seems to be performed by a bovine veterinarian on board a prison facility at which Riddick arrived only a few hours before and from which he is already in the process of escaping. Riddick elects to have no anesthetic despite the procedure involving cutting the cornea and drilling through the eye to inject a reflective substance behind the retina. The cost quoted to Riddick is 1000 creds. Having no cash, Riddick offers down payment of a pack of Kool cigarettes which he earlier took from a guard. He also takes welders goggles from the facility.
The video game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (which serves as a prequel to Pitch Black), clarifies that Riddick's eyeshine is more than just something he picked up in a prison. After helping a character called "Pope Joe" retrieve his "blessed voice box", a radio that picks up religious programming (including a Necromonger Talk Show), Riddick goes into a den to get stitches for an injury. After he is finished receiving stitches, Joe tells him how to escape, and, perhaps coincidentally, warns Riddick not to "trust [his] eyes"; at that moment, a ghostly voice informs Riddick that he has "been blind for far too long..." and that he is to receive a gift. It is at this moment that Riddick receives his eyeshine. The mysterious voice belongs to a character named "Shirah", who appears to serve as a sort of spiritual guide to Riddick, helping him awaken the Furyan abilities that lie dormant within him. In the Chronicles of Riddick film, Jack/Kyra angrily tells Riddick that when she was sent to prison, she found out that it is impossible to find anyone who can perform a "surgical shine job" at any price, and accuses him of lying about how he received his night vision.
Light amplification surgery, somewhat similar in effect to Riddick's eyeshine, has been patented in real life.
Wrath of the Furyans
Aside from helping Riddick unlock his eyeshine, the character Shirah also either allows or helps Riddick discover his ability to unleash a sort of energy wave. It is shown in the director's cut of The Chronicles of Riddick after she lays her hand on Riddick's chest, leaving a glowing blue hand print, and says, "this mark carries the anger of an entire race... but it's going to hurt". After either receiving a shot from Vaako's energy handgun or a fraction of a second before the discharge of said weapon, she immediately emits a large blast of blue energy from Riddick (or Riddick himself does so with her guidance), leaving the group of surrounding Necromongers dead. This ability is also displayed off screen in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
As an Alpha Furyan, Riddick has a near-superhuman level of physical strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability. He has been shown to be capable of dislocating his limbs to escape traps and reset broken bones with little recovery time needed. He has shown an exceptional resistance to drugs. As with most Alpha Furyans, Riddick has heightened senses.
Aside from his more supernatural skills, Riddick is in superlative physical condition and is an exceptional fighter with or without the use of his eyes. Whether as a result of his Furyan heritage or simply training, Riddick is stronger, faster, more agile, tougher, more resistant to damage and injury, possessing more acute senses, immense stamina, and superior healing when compared to most humans; he is shown on more than one occasion dislocating his limbs for brief moments with only slight signs of discomfort, although he was in more obvious pain when his leg was broken in a fall, and had to use a heated rock to cauterize a wound when he was impaled in the chest by a creature's sharpened tooth. In general, Riddick possesses an abnormally high threshold of pain and psychologically channels what pain he does feel into anger. His ability to cope with toxins is also heightened; when a merc team was attempting to take him out with horse tranquilizers, it took four darts just to make Riddick stop running, and he still remained conscious until he was hit in the head.
Riddick's abilities at hand-to-hand combat is a mix of krav maga, hapkido, eskrima, and ninjutsu; he uses his formidable fighting skills while confronting one of the night-creatures of Pitch Black with only his bare hands and a shiv he had made, killing it with relative ease, as well as defeating one of the Lord Marshall's best Necromonger warriors in a matter of seconds in Chronicles. Also, he was able to hold off the Lord Marshall and even injure him which the Lord Marshall admitted hadn't happened in a long time. While Riddick was no match for him in speed, he was able to hold off the Lord Marshall for several minutes.
A very tactical and methodical man, Riddick is shown able to quickly adept to seemingly any situation or environment, able to forge tools from his surroundings, perform minor medical care to himself including usage of hot rocks to cauterize serious injuries, forage for food, and ultimately even survive alone and isolated on a barren planet.
Despite his harsh upbringing and violent attitude, Riddick has been shown to have a certain knack for deductive reasoning, rapidly deducing what had happened to the original inhabitants of the mining base where he and the other crash survivors had been staying, as well as finding the creature's blind spot in Pitch Black and swiftly deducing what had caused the firefight between the Warden's and Toombs' men in The Chronicles of Riddick. He has also been described as having "a knack for escape", surviving not only the Lord Marshall's purge of the Furyans when he was an infant but subsequently escaping from various prisons over the course of his life. He is also able to quickly judge the quality of, and find even seemingly minor flaws in most weaponry, down to very specific details.
In one case, Riddick concluded that the prized dagger of a Necromonger was "a half gram too heavy on the back end" after an inspection lasting all of a couple of seconds, although the tone of voice in which he delivered this appraisal suggested pre-fight bravado rather than abstract fact. His only weakness (other than light sensitivity, leaving him in pain when in daylight without his goggles), as stated in the Pitch Black DVD, is his soft spot for children and anyone who really grows on him (those people become his friends), which resulted in his capture by the bounty hunter Johns (Cole Hauser).
While he may be a ruthless killer when necessary, Riddick has never been shown to kill anyone who was not actively trying to kill him first, and has been known to help people in need only if they don't slow him down or make him vulnerable. The only exception to this was when, in Pitch Black, he returned with Carolyn to help the others, after she pleaded with him. He also mentions on board the Dark Athena that people he helps often end up dead. In The Chronicles of Riddick, he considered it an insult, when he discovered the bounty placed on him was around a million of the currency for most planets, and when Toombs has a small crew to capture him (it was originally four crew members, then it was five).
In addition to raw analytical skill power, Riddick is generally an astute judge of character, especially in the dark side of human nature. A killer himself and resident of several maximum security facilities, he is often able to predict an individual's negative impulses before they act on them. He has been known to be surprised on occasion, such as when Carolyn Fry in Pitch Black altruistically gave up a fast escape to save Jack and Imam from the alien creatures. Riddick was also surprised when he underestimated Jack's (Kyra's) affection toward him between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, only learning of it after she had become a mercenary and resident of a maximum security prison in order to see him once again.
Otherwise, he correctly predicted which of the group in Pitch Black would turn on each other (in particular that Johns would try to double-cross Fry), and that the mercs and guards on Crematoria would turn on each other prior to his escape attempt. In Riddick, he appeared pleasantly surprised to learn that Johns' father was a better man than his son, complimenting Johns' nerve when he came back to help Riddick when he didn't have to.
One major characteristic of Riddick is his indomitable will. Despite finding himself in situations where the odds of survival and/or escape would seem insurmountable, Riddick always pushes forward and never gives up. Faced with several creatures far more powerful than himself, or any human for that matter, he has shown himself to be capable of evading, killing, or even taming them. He has escaped out of prisons when most prisoners would resign themselves to captivity.
When Riddick was mentally probed by the Quasi-Dead of the Necromongers, he not only resisted them, but also retaliated, the Quasi-Dead's containers actually exploding from the strain of trying to process Riddick. Given the Necromongers' apparent faith in and respect for the power of the Quasi-Dead, this is a very impressive feat. Perhaps even greater was his ability to resist the Lord Marshall's attempt to steal his soul. The one time his will seemed to waver was when Kyra was killed, sacrificing herself to save him and help him defeat the Lord Marshal, and even then he channeled his loss into new strength.
Riddick is very well-trained hunter and combatant. He is shown to be highly proficient if not deadly with any tool at his disposal; from firearms and melee-weapons to simple tea cups he is silent, quick, and deadly. His weapon of choice, to which he has shown undeniable precision, with is knifes. Likewise, Riddick is proven to be a fearsome hand-to-hand combatant, showing impressive and methodical attack patterns.
Riddick is deadly with any weapon that he can get his hands on, but his weapon of choice is undoubtedly a knife. However, Riddick's most famous weapons are surely a pair of Ulak blades that he is seen using during his escape from Crematoria in The Chronicles of Riddick.
He has also been known to use anything from Necromonger gravity rifles, teacups and anything in between. Riddick can also kill efficiently without using a weapon. In the second film, he used the knife he took from Irgun as his weapon during his fight with him and the Lord Marshall, killing both with it. The third film sees him predominately relying on a bone-sword he made from the remains of a creature he had killed.
- Escape from Butcher Bay
- Assault on Dark Athena
- Pitch Black: Slam City
- Pitch Black
- Pitch Black (novelization)
- Dark Fury
- Into Pitch Black
- Hunt for Riddick
- The Chronicles of Riddick
- The Chronicles of Riddick (novelization)
- Riddick (film)
- Riddick: The Merc Files
Riddick's first appearance outside of the Riddick series was in the game Fallout Tactics. He is a potential recruit that becomes available in the Gamma bunker after you've reached the rank of Junior Knight, and after you've saved him in the random special encounter called Pitch Black. Like his movie counterpart, Riddick is a stealth focused melee fighter skilled in unarmed combat who possesses night vision.
Riddick has also appeared as a playable character in the Xbox game Deathrow. He is one of the final players available on the Convicts team and has the highest amount of strength and aggression of all recruitable Convict players, although he has the equal-lowest teamplay rating in the game.
Behind The Scenes
- Richard B. Riddick first appeared in Pitch Black: Slam City, a Shockwave prequel comic on the official Pitch Black website, one month before the release of the movie. In the film, and in all subsequent appearances the character has been portrayed by Vin Diesel.
- Riddick is 36 years old as of Riddick. The invasion of Furya took place 30 years ago as mentioned in the Chronicles when Riddick was a baby.
- In the theatrical cut of the Chronicles, Riddick never says a word, but it's Vaako who says "You keep what you kill", but in the unrated director's cut Riddick speaks these words.
- In the theatrical cut of the Chronicles, Lord Marshal Zhylaw never remembers Riddick as being familiar to him but in the director's cut he does.
- In Jim and Ken Wheat's original script for Pitch Black the Riddick character was a woman named Taras Krieg.
- ↑ Pitch Black
- ↑ The Chronicles of Riddick (Unrated Director's Cut)
- ↑ Pitch Black (novelization) page 27
- ↑ The Chronicles of Riddick: The Hunt For Riddick
- ↑ According to DVD special feature Timeline
- ↑ Wheat Script FAQ at PitcherBlacker
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