Richard B. Riddick (played by Vin Diesel), more commonly known simply as Riddick, is the protagonist of a number of films in the Riddick series, including Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, and The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. He is also the star of two video games based on the series; The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and the upcoming The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
Riddick stands around six feet tall, with a muscular frame, and is cunning. His eyes reflect light due to his "eyeshine" and he also has a deep baritone voice. Riddick usually wears welding goggles during the day because of his augmented vision. His attire usually consists of a black shirt, dark-colored cargo pants, a utility belt, and combat boots. He usually keeps knives or shivs on his person.
As explained in Pitch Black, Riddick is a Furyan, and one of the last of his kind; the sequel, Chronicles of Riddick, explains that the evil Lord Marshall systematically killed all but a few of the planet's inhabitants.
Riddick was once a military solider, mercenary, and then later part of a security force, as stated in the special features on The Chronicles of Riddick DVD; this also explains how he is an experienced pilot and observational skills. His fighting style is a more aggressive, brutal variation of the martial art of Kali.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
According to Riddick, while in Butcher Bay he received an eye surgery, or a "surgical shine job," as he calls it, from a doctor that gave him superlative night vision in exchange for "20 menthol KOOLs", but, in turn, made his eyes more sensitive to light. This is the reason he wears tinted welding goggles to protect his eyes. His eyes seem to be less sensitive to light in The Chronicles of Riddick than they were in Pitch Black, although it should be noted that when he appears without his goggles in Chronicles he is always indoors and the light was brighter in Pitch Black than anything he was exposed to in Chronicles. However, in The Chronicles of Riddick, it is implied that the story may have been made up, as at one point in the film, Kyra (or Jack, as credited in Pitch Black, now with a more mature, feminine appearance) says, after recounting the many prisons she's been to, "...only there wasn't any doctor here who could shine my eyes, not even for twenty menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?"
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 is performed by a bovine veterinarian onboard a prison facility at which Riddick arrived only a few hours before and which he is already in the process of escaping. Riddick elects to have no anaesthetic 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 downpayment of a pack of Kool cigarettes which he earlier took from a guard. He also takes welders goggles from the facility. Riddick escapes the facility, including time for the operation, in, "exactly 11 hours 22 minutes." The movie closes with Johns being given the job to hunt Riddick and take him straight to Hubble Bay. As the movie is called a classified "re-enactment of events" of Riddick's escape from the Ursa Luna Slamcity Facility (indicating this is an official record with a medical procedure known to the prison authorities and not a story told by Riddick) and as the credits to the flash movie list David Twohy (director and co-writer of Pitch Black) as the writer it is likely that this version was intended to be canonical.
The video game (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, 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 him that Riddick has "been blind for far too long...so I'm going to give you a gift ..." It is at this moment that Riddick receives his eyeshine.
The mysterious voice belongs to a character named "Shirah", who serves as a sort-of "spiritual" guide to Riddick. She is featured in the video game and in the director's cut of The Chronicles of Riddick, helping Riddick to awaken the Furyan abilities that lie dormant within him.
In a sequence from The Chronicles of Riddick, there is a scene sequence which features scaly canine creatures, called Hell Hounds, with shiny silvery eyes surprisingly similar to Riddick's. The creatures are released into the Crematoria penitentiary at "feeding time," during which they attack inmates indiscriminately. Riddick is found by one whilst hiding behind a waterfall and confronts the creature with a stare. Incredibly, the creature is seemingly tamed by Riddick to which he offered the explanation, "It's an animal thing." The similarities between the Hell Hounds' corneas and Riddick's eyeshine is unexplained. In the flash movie of the escape from Ursa Luna, Riddick encounters a trained German Shepherd guard dog called Max which he similarly stares down and befriends. He later successfully commands Max to attack the guard who is presumably Max's handler.
Wrath of the FuryansEdit
Aside from helping Riddick unlock his eyeshine, the character Shirah also allows Riddick to unleash a sort of energy blast. 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 that never disappears, and says, "this mark carries the anger of an entire race... but it's going to hurt." Immediately, a large blast of blue energy explodes out of Riddick's body, sending the group of surrounding Necromongers out in every direction. This ability is also displayed off screen in Escape from Butcher Bay.
Aside from his more supernatural skills, Riddick is in excellent physical condition and an exceptional fighter with or without the use of his eyes. Whether as a result of his Furyan heritage or simple training, Riddick is portrayed in both films as being stronger, faster, tougher, more resistant to damage and injury, possess acute senses, immense stamina, and a quicker recovery than most humans from injuries; he is shown on more than one occasion dislocating his limbs for brief moments with only slight signs of discomfort. In general, Riddick possesses an abnormally high pain threshold and psychologically channels what pain he does feel into anger.
Riddick's abilities at hand-to-hand combat are particularly formidable, confronting one of the night-creatures of Pitch Black with only his bare hands and breaking its neck, as well as defeating one of the Lord Marshall's best Necromonger warriors in a matter of seconds in Chronicles. Most likely due to Riddick's faster-than-normal healing speed, he seems to age at a much slower rate, looking much the same, even after a ten year period, as he did in the past.
Despite his harsh upbringing and violent streak, Riddick has been shown to have a certain deductive streak, rapidly concluding what had happened to the original inhabitants of the mining base that he and the other crash survivors were staying at in Pitch Black and swiftly deducing what had caused the firefight between the wardens and Toombs' men in Chronicles. 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. His only weakness (other than light sensitivity), 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).
In addition to raw analytical power, Riddick is generally an astute judge of character, especially in the dark side of human nature. A killer himself and resident of almost one hundred 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 Caroline Frye in Pitch Black altruistically gave up a fast escape to save Jack (Kyra) and Imam from the alien creatures, and 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 slam. 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 Frye), and that the mercs and guards on Crematoria would turn on each other prior to his escape attempt.
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 other 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. 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.
Riddick's first appearance outside Pitch Black was a guest appearance and potential recruit in Fallout Tactics. He appears in the game during a random special encounter, aptly titled Pitch Black. Like his movie origin, Riddick is a stealth focused melee fighter with advanced hand-to-hand fighting skills and the ability to see in the dark.
Riddick has 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.
Famous quotes from the "EFBB" PC-Game.
- "The Dark. Mmm, my favourite."
- "Darkness. You afraid? I'm not. The dark... is afraid of me..."
- "Cleansing routines. An indignity of slam life. Lets the merc's think they're in charge. That's their weakness. Their foolish belief, [that] all they see is under their control. It'll be their downfall."
- "The air is thick. Smells of oil, machines, 'n crushed rock. Mmm... 'n something else: Fear..."
- "It ain't the fall that kills you! It's the sudden stop... at the bottom."
- "It'd be easier... if I had something sharp." [As response to Hox' question "Already trying to get under my skin, Riddick?"]
- "If you can't keep up, don't step up. You'll just die."
- "I think you're gonna need backup." [When held at gunpoint by a Riot Guard]
- "You're not afraid of the dark are you?"
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