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Awesome / Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage

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An army of Darksides against Aqua...Good luck to the Darksides. They're gonna need it!

  • The fact that a whole game is designed with Aqua as the focus and sole playable character. Her appearance in Birth by Sleep has been derided by some as flat and symbolizing yet another case of Never a Self-Made Woman in the series, as the reason she involves herself in the adventure is because she is tasked by her master to save her friends, instead of taking any agency herself. Yet this time, her friends are eliminated and Aqua has to journey through an alien environment by herself, throughout which her thoughts, fears, hopes, and most importantly, how she actually feels are explored freely, now that she no longer takes orders and there's no one to hide from.
  • As if this can't be stressed enough, Aqua survives being trapped in the darkest part of the Realm of Darkness by herself for 10 years relatively unscathed. While this means next to nothing in previous games as how the realm functions isn't known, this game reveals that it is indeed a most harrowing experience. Malevolent Architecture forms the backbone of the world, enemies are everywhere (some of whom can form into swirling towers), and hurtful illusions (including an Evil Doppelgänger) that constantly taunt Aqua with hopes only to take them away. And she's still standing.
  • At the end of Enchanted Dominion, Aqua does something that no other character has ever done: she faces several dozen armies of Darksides by herself. Try reading that again. Of course, it's less about taking them down one by one and more about exploiting their weakness, but dang she has come a long way from being a Keyblade Master initiate.
    • Plus, the way she exploits their weakness is exactly how a Darkside managed to consume Destiny Islands during the prologue of the first game: she prevents them from gathering up the dark energy ball and then forces it to absorb them down to the molecular level. Hoist by His Own Petard, indeed.
  • Terra managing to take control of his body and fight back Xehanort using the same golden chains he used in Birth by Sleep to prevent him from escaping the Keyblade Graveyard.
    Terra: THAT IS ENOUGH!!!
  • While it's been revealed in previous games, Mickey's reasons for being in the Realm of Darkness are revealed in full: he was searching for the Keyblade of darkness so he could lock down the artificial Kingdom Hearts from one side. While Aqua is in the realm because of an unfortunate accident, he enters the realm on purpose, which he admits was not an easy task, as he had to wait for the right moment to enter through an opening from the destroyed worlds.
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  • In the epilogue, Aqua gives a soliloquy about how she has come to accept the fact that she may not be able to escape from the Realm of Darkness any time soon, but that she's ready to pull herself together, be the light in the darkness for anyone else who gets stuck there, and hold on until someone can bail her out. All while the game shows her battling waves upon waves of Heartless.
  • The graphics of the game have come a long way from previous installments, thanks to being made specifically for the PlayStation 4. Environments are highly detailed, the lighting is superb, and the infamous "Pixel Mouth" is mostly gone. Considering that the game takes place almost entirely in the Realm of Darkness, the player would be left dazzling at the details of Scenery Porn and Scenery Gorn of the area, as the game somehow makes ruined worlds look breathtaking. It feels as if the game is wholly a FMV (though a proper FMV sequence is shown as part of the opening). And all of these are just a preview for what's to come in Kingdom Hearts III...
  • Aqua gets dragged away by an enormous swarm of Heartless. What does Mickey do in retaliation? He murders two Darksides in a single strike to each and then works with Sora to close the door, with that triumphant exclamation of "Now, Sora! Let's close this door for good."

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