Even harmless Dark Bats can grow wild after absorbing too much of Dark Gaia's sinister energy. These mutant bats fire energy bullets from their tails. — Description, Sonic Unleashed
The Dark Bat Sniper (ダークフロートキャノン,Dāku Furōto Kyanon?, lit. "Dark Float Cannon") is an enemy that appears in the nighttime Stages in Sonic Unleashed. They are a variant of Dark Gaia's Minions, mutated from Dark Bats, that can shoot energy balls and be used by the player to cross gaps.
Like the Dark Bats, the Dark Bat Snipers have a mostly egg-shaped, rose-colored body with cyan eyes and body markings. They have small horns on top of their body and their lower body mostly consists of a large lower jaw with a horn-like growth at each jaw joint and two "antennae" in front. They also have a small, thin tail extending from their back with a tip that resembles a pseudanthium that can open and close.
Unlike the harmless Dark Bats, the Dark Bat Snipers are quite wild as a result of absorbing an overdose of Dark Gaia's energies, and will fight as the frontline soldiers amongst their kind.
Powers and abilities
The Dark Bat Snipers are able to move around by teleporting into an area in a puff of purple smoke. As a Dark Gaia minion, the Dark Bat Snipers can possess people by latching onto the deepest, darkest part of the heart, and generate despair, negative emotions or even erratic behavior that are completely opposite to the person's personality.
The Dark Bat Snipers are able to levitate and move through mid-air, albeit at a rather slow rate, and can carry much weight while flying, such as Sonic the Werehog.
As their unique trait, the Dark Bat Snipers are able to shoot harmful energy bullets from the tips of their tails over long distances, making them excellent long-range attacks.
The Dark Bat Snipers, along with the rest of Dark Gaia's Minions, were born when their source Dark Gaia awoke some millions of years too early in its cycle and as a result broke into millions of fragments, which became Dark Gaia's Minions. Specifically, a Dark Bat Sniper is created when a regular Dark Bat absorbs too much of Dark Gaia's energy and mutates into a Dark Bat Sniper. They first appear in Rooftop Run Night Act I: Alleys of Spagonia in the PlayStation 2/Wii version and Savannah Citadel Night Act 1 in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version.
In battle, the Dark Bat Snipers attack by shooting Sonic with pairs of their energy bullets. In the PS3/Xbox 360 version, the shots have a fifteen-second charge time with a five-second interval between them, while in the PS2/Wii version, their shots take three seconds to charge and are shot in succession. Their shots, however, can only travel in straight lines and are therefore easy to avoid on the ground. Like the Dark Bats, the Dark Bat Snipers are some of the most fragile foes in the game, as they can be defeated with one or two hits.
Like the Dark Bats, the Dark Bat Snipers can be grabbed by Sonic the Werehog to travel over bottomless pits or large gaps. By grabbing onto Dark Bat Snipers, the player can ride them through midair or pull themselves towards safe ground or another grabable object. However, the Dark Bat Snipers can attack Sonic in the process to make him fall down, making them very dangerous to use. In the case where they are needed for transport, killing a Dark Bat Sniper will only cause another one to instantly appear and take its place to prevent the player from unintentionally halting their progress.
Upon the reconstruction of Dark Gaia by Dr. Eggman, all of the Dark Bat Snipers, along with the other Dark Gaia minions, were returned to the beast, who was later defeated and sealed within the planet's core.