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 that generate electrical currents.
The Lightning Masters' basic appearance is that of a humanoid phantom-like wizard. They are dressed in Shamrock green clothes with black shadows, 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 dark faces. They are also always carrying a yellow/green staff with lightning bolt-shaped points at the top.
The Lightning Masters and the rest of Dark Gaia's Minions came into being when Dark Gaia broke apart at 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 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 in the Wii/PlayStation 2 version and only in Jungle Joyride Night Act 2 in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3.
In 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 destroy themselves. The Lightning Masters almost always appear in the company of other enemies, but will rarely show up in pairs of themselves.
In battle, the Lightning Masters will attack Sonic by hitting him with their staff by using it like a club or, in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, by hammering it down on Sonic when enlarged. They can also shoot balls of electricity which can deal a large amount of damage. When trying to avoid damage, they will move around in the air in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, or float out of attack range or teleport short distances away in the Wii/PlayStation 2 version, all of which make it harder for the player to target them. It should also be noted that in the Wii/PlayStation 2 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 types of Dark Gaia's minions) were returned to the beast, who was later defeated and sealed within the planet's core.
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 teleport 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 staves 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 staves, giving them greater range and attack power.