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The Will 'o Wisp appears as ghostly apparitions resembling floating orbs of blue flames, with electrical discharges emitting from the core, and give off purple sparks. No one really knows exactly what the Will o' Wisps truly are.
The Will o' Wisps appear as stationary objects in Missions. If the player attacks an Will o' Wisp, it will cause the Will 'o Wisps to explode violently and cause damage to the player. To dispatch a Will o' Wisp without causing damage to one self, the player has to target a Will o' Wisp with Soul Surge, and then perform a kick on it (which can only be done during Soul Surge) to send the Will o' Wisp flying away and cause it to explode upon contact with a surface a safe distance away.
By kicking the Will o' Wisp away, the player can use it to their advantage; this includes sending the Will' o' Wisp into one of the Knights of the Underworld to destroy them, or launching it into troublesome or otherwise unbreakable obstacles, or even into other Will o' Wisps, to open new paths.
Real world background
The Will 'o Wisp is based on the real-world Will-o'-the-wisp phenomenon, which are atmospheric ghost lights in much of European folklore.
The term "will-o'-the-wisp" comes from the word "wisp", a bundle of sticks or paper that are sometimes used as a torch, and the name "Will", thus giving it the name "Will-of-the-torch". In folklore, the Will 'o Wisps are believed to be spirits of the dead or other supernatural beings, such as fairies, that are seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. They are said to recede if approached, though the will-o'-the-wisp's role varies from drawing travelers from safe paths, to being guardians of treasures.
It is believed by scientists that the instances where Will-o'-the-Wisps have been observed are due to the spontaneous combustion of methane or other hydrocarbons originating from decomposing organic matter.
The "Will-o-the Wisp" on the Sonic and the Black Knight website.