Guardando nel buio
"Guardando nel buio" serves as both a boss battle theme and is used in cutscenes.
"Guardando nel buio" serves as the boss battle theme against the second form of Sora's Heartless.
"Guardando nel buio" is approximately four minutes and twenty-four seconds in Kingdom Hearts. In the HD remake of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, the piece is approximately four minutes and twenty-six seconds long. Regardless of the game, the piece has a time signature of 4/4, starts with a brief two-measure introduction, then slows down through the use of a ritardando, and finally picks up tempo for the main, looped theme. In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, the introduction plays at 77 beats per minute. In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, this introduction is very slightly increased to 78 beats per minute. The main, looped theme in Kingdom Hearts plays at 156 beats per minute. However, for Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and Kingdom hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, this has also been slightly increased to 157 beats per minute.
For instrumentation, the games use the same instruments. However, for games not in the HD remake, some voices are covered through electronic means- such as synthesizer. In general, the instrumentation includes: a complete strings section- violin, viola, cello, and stringed bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, snare drum, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, tambourine, castanets, sleigh bells, timpani, harp, piano, and full chorus.
Regardless of the game, the composition's name "Looking in the Dark" is easily felt and understood. Sharing themes with other major boss battle themes- such as "Forze del Male"- and End of the World tracks- such as the overworld and main battle theme- the thick, dark texture is the connecting thread between each of these tracks. "Guardando nel buio" also shares many thematic ideas from "Destati," namely the chorus and string parts. Being a greater boss theme, the instrumentation favors the brass and percussion families, employing the use of many auxiliary percussion equipment.
The opening introduction immediately sets the tone for the piece: a sharp wall of sound accented by the low brass, followed immediately by crash and suspended cymbals, and chorus. This dramatic entrance gives way to the main looped theme which is rhythmically carried by the ostinato in the violins and longer note durations in the chorus. The piano here serves as the main melody, playing sixteenth note runs that seem slightly out of place. This slightly thinner texture deceptively leads into the heart of the looped section, which, through the addition of other instruments, adds several varying, unique layers of tone and harmony. Here, the darkness is easily characterized by the louder dynamic and themes in the low brass and violin melody. The underlying percussion and piano parts help add to this ominous intensity. Simultaneously, the brief flourishes played by the flute and piano add a sense of anxiety and apprehension. The following section features a chordal structure primarily established by the chorus. The original "Destati" motif plays in the middle register of the clarinet during this section. The natural tone of the clarinet and this specific register serve as a somber cry amidst the surrounding dark themes in the low brass. Like a betrayal, once the low brass resume the main melody, both the clarinet and flute now join in with the same theme- this differs from their prior independent and comparatively lighter parts. This cycle of betrayal and foreshadowing of darkness repeats continuously through the piece.