A Black Ballade, true to its name, has a smooth, conical, black body with a Heartless emblem emblazoned on its chest. The top of its body flares outward and forms a jagged "collar" below the Heartless’s spherical, pitch black head.
It also wears a conical, dark red hat with a jagged brim, white stripes decorating it, a silver band around it, and a thin, curled tip. Like many Heartless, the Black Ballade has glowing yellow eyes. Its seemingly useless feet sport three small, thin toes.
Like many Heartless in its family, the Black Ballade's name is comprised of a color, in this case, black—and a musical term—in this case, a "ballade", a one-movement musical piece with lyrical and dramatic narrative qualities.
When battling a Black Ballade, the player must watch it split into five. From those, the player then must find the one that jumps, indicating that it is the real one.
Attacking otherwise will lead to a shock that can be avoided with a well-timed Dodge Roll. To keep track of the Black Ballades more easily, one can repeatedly pause and un-pause the game. Black Ballades are the only Heartless in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix to drop a Lightning Stone.