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Buff Riku refers to a fan illustration of the character Riku from the video game series Kingdom Hearts drawn with enormous bulging muscles. The fan art was popularized by the Games Repainted video game stream, who began placing the image on modified video game textures in March 2015.
On July 7th, 2008, artist O'Melissokomos uploaded an illustration of a very muscular version of the Kingdom Hearts character Riku to the Choose Your Own Change database (shown below).
In March 2015, the video game streamers Games Repainted broadcast themselves playing the 2002 Nintendo Gamecube video game Super Mario Sunshine, which included the Buff Riku illustration edited on to various textures in the game (shown below).
On May 13th, 2015, the Buff Riku Wiki was created. On June 2nd, Tumblr user masked-paradox posted a Feel Old Yet? image macro comparing a normal Riku illustration to the Buff Riku drawing (shown below, left). On July 18th, DeviantArtist NegitiveX uploaded a four-pane comic titled "Buff Riku in Darkest Dungeon" (shown below, right).
On November 12th, Tumblr user itsfredfuchs posted a video featuring a parody version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" replaced with lyrics repeating the name "Buff Riku." On January 2nd, 2016, YouTuber The Society of Intellectual Hebrews V2 uploaded the Buff Riku illustration with the "Hallelujah Chorus" from the oratorio Messiah Part II by George Frideric Handel playing in the background (shown below).
In February 2016, the @BuffRiku Twitter feed was created, featuring tweets written from the perspective of the fan illustration. On May 24th, 2016, the Games-Repainted Tumblr answered a question asking about the backstory of the Buff Riku drawing, claiming that it was found during a search for "buff Kingdom Hearts characters."
 Tumblr – Buff Riku Star Spangled Banner
 Tumblr – Games-Repainted
 Tumblr – masked-paradox
 CYOC – Riku Kingdom Hearts
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Aug 18, 2016 at 04:51PM EDT
Aug 18, 2016 at 03:51PM EDT
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