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Monsters born of Dark Gaia with exceptionally high intelligence can take on a humanoid appearance like these fiends. While their control of lightning makes these mages a threat from afar, they resort to clumsily waving their staffs around when cornered. — Description, Sonic Unleashed
The Lightning Master (ライトニングマスター,Raitoningu Masutā?) is an enemy that appears in the nighttime Stages in Sonic Unleashed. They are a variant of Dark Gaia's Minions that resemble wizard-like phantoms. They can cast spells generating lightning currents.
The Lightning Masters' basic appearance is that of a humanoid phantom-like wizard. They are dressed in Shamrock green clothes with black shades which have a pointy hat and cape, and are decorated with yellow symbols. The only parts on their body that are shown are their yellow eyes and some of their back faces. They are also always carrying a law green staff with lightning bolt-shaped points at the top
Powers and abilities
The Lightning Masters are able to move around by teleporting into an area in a puff of purple smoke or by emerging from black puddles on the ground. As a Dark Gaia minion, the Lightning Masters 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 Lightning Masters are born with exceptionally high intelligence. They are capable of casting spells focusing on manipulation of lightning, allowing them to fire concentrated balls of electricity for long-ranged attacks or augment their own physical strikes with electricity which can paralyze enemies. When casting their lightning spells, the Lightning Masters form a circular seal underneath them. Additionally, the Lightning Masters can perform spells that instantly teleports them over short distances and they have the innate ability to levitate above ground and move through mid-air rather quickly.
The Lightning Masters possess some skills in stick fighting, being able to use their staffs in close combat to hit their opponents using quick and swift movements. As a supplementary ability to their stick fighting, the Lightning Masters can enlarge their staffs, giving them greater range and attack power.
The creation of the Lightning Masters and the rest of Dark Gaia's Minions occurred when Dark Gaia broke apart in the beginning of Sonic Unleashed due to its premature awakening by Dr. Eggman. These fragments were then spread across the Earth and became Dark Gaia's Minions, with the Lightning Masters some amongst them. Due to being born with high intelligence, they are able to take on a near-perfect humanoid appearance. They first appear in Jungle Joyride Night Act II: Restless Coastside on the PS2/Wii version and only in Jungle Joyride Night Act 2 on the PS3/Xbox 360.
On both versions of Sonic Unleashed, any of the Lightning Masters' attacks can paralyze Sonic until either it wears off on its own, or the player completes the interaction shown on the screen. They are also vulnerable to water as dousing them in a water barrel will make them short-circuit and destroying themselves. The Lightning Masters almost always appear in the company of other enemies, but rarely in pair of themselves.
In battle, the Lightning Masters will attack Sonic by hitting him with their staff by using it like a club or, on the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version, by hammering it down on Sonic when enlarged. They can also shoot balls electricity which can deal a lot of damage. When trying avoid damage, they will move around in the air on the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version, or float out of attack range or teleport short distances away on the PlayStation 2/Wii version, all of which make it harder for the player to target them. It should also be noted that on the PlayStation 2/Wii version, the Lightning Masters have much faster movements.
Upon the reconstruction of Dark Gaia by Dr. Eggman, all of the Lightning Masters along with the other Dark Gaia minions were returned to the beast, who was later defeated and sealed within the planet's core.