WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
While I don’t have as much as an emotional connection to many of Kingdom Hearts‘ original characters as some people do, I won’t deny that the series has some effective and enjoyable original antagonists. For example, Vanitas from Birth by Sleep became an instant favourite of mine due to his personality, his vocal performance and his theme music.
The track begins with a very eerie beat, complete with some indiscernible noises that help to highlight the threat Vanitas poses, as well as how little we know of him. For most of the story, Vanitas’ origins are shrouded in mystery, even more so if you play Ven’s story first. Combined with his mask and those opening notes, it only makes him all the more ominous.
But then the real beat kicks in for the battle. The music becomes more fast-paced and intense, not just to heighten your tension for the fight but also maybe representing Vanitas’ love for fighting and inflicting pain on others. At the same time, the track has slightly more heroic elements to it, perhaps representing you, the player, as you struggle against your masked opponent.
My favourite aspect of the music, though, is that it also contains elements for three other characters’ themes. Naturally, you can hear a little bit of Ventus’ theme music (which makes sense considering his and Vanitas’ relationship), but there are also traces of both Roxas and Sora’s themes – the latter acting as some pretty stellar foreshadowing. I love it whenever music is used like this.
Enter the Darkness is easily one of my favourite pieces in Birth by Sleep; possibly one of my favourite pieces in the whole series, and while the fights with Vanitas can be difficult, getting to hear this music makes it worth it.