This monster... This is no Unversed. Just a dweller of darkness.
The Dark Hide is a monstrous Heartless, resembling a lion. Its appearance consists primarily of a dark purple and black body with dark magenta spikes on its head, back, and tail. It possesses yellow eyes, although they become red when it lurks in the darkness. Its legs are also dark purple with purple claws, its front legs wrapped in two broken chains. When cloaked in darkness, the Dark Hide becomes completely darkened and enveloped in shadow, save for its glowing bright red eyes that pierce through the darkness. From its perspective, everything has a very faint red tint with glowing red veins that are present around the sides of the Dark Hide's field of vision.
As Aqua makes her way through the Dark World, she is stalked by the Dark Hide. Aqua feels the presence of the Heartless and summons her Keyblade - the Master's Defender. She is attacked from behind and knocked down. Aqua gets up and forces the Dark Hide to retreat into the darkness after attempting to shoot it with a Firaga spell. Commenting that it was no Unversed, rather a denizen of the darkness, Aqua soon fights the beast in a vicious battle, eventually emerging victorious.
The Hunter of the Dark is a fast, fierce, and unpredictable opponent. In the first phase of the battle, the Heartless attacks from within the darkness, visible only by its glowing red eyes. It cannot be attacked while hiding. It's primary attack during this phase is its charge, to which the Heartless attempts to ram Aqua. The player is notified of the attack when the battle is shifted to the Hunter's point of view, and the camera zooms in on Aqua. The attack is made slightly harder to dodge than it seems, since during the time the camera is looking at Aqua, her movements are significantly slowed, thus altering the timing needed to avoid or block.
The best way to deal damage to the Heartless in this phase of the fight is to patiently wait until just after the scene where it looks at you through its point of view, then quickly use Barrier to block the incoming attack and finally to use Aqua's counterattack to deal damage. The Heartless will then just stand there idly for a few seconds before returning to the sanctity of the shadows, so be sure to get as many Keyblade strikes in as you can! If you have Teleport equipped sometimes Aqua will teleport behind the Heartless instead of blocking its attack with Barrier.
However, this does leave the Heartless vulnerable, as all of its attacks in this phase are focused on what's in front of him. After dealing around one and a half health bars of damage to the Heartless, it will reveal its true form, starting the next phase of the fight. ge of the battle is the same as the first, with the exception of the new attacks in the boss's arsenal. The boss still retains its claw swipes and spin attacks, but can now charge at Aqua, leaving a trail of flames in its wake. Also, the Hunter of the Dark's movements become more erratic, making it hard to land hits. However, the Rhythm Mixer Command Style finisher deals great damage to the boss. After another round of combat, the Heartless unveils the rest of its attacks.
In the final round of the fight, the Heartless now uses red, blue, and green afterimages of itself for offensive and defensive purposes. It may spin around Aqua, its afterimages charging at her while it slams the ground, creating a shockwave. The boss can also shoot dark energy orbs that, after a few seconds, expand, damaging Aqua if she steps too close. It also utilizes a variant of the Mega Flare command, wherein it shoots a large fireball at Aqua. With some patience, Cure and potion commands, and high HP, the Heartless will eventually fall.
Stats & Abilities
- Claw Swipes: Fast swipes with its claws.
- Tail Whip: Spins around, hitting Aqua with its tail.
- Buzz Saw: A damaging midair flip.
- Fire Charge: Emerges from the shadows and charges at Aqua, leaving a trail of flames in its wake.
- Shadow Bomb: Shoots orbs of dark energy which, after a few seconds delay, expand into damaging force fields.
- Mega Flare: Shoots a large fireball.
- Illusion Spin: Spins at a blindingly high speed around the outskirts of the battlefield, using four of its after-images to charge at Aqua, before pouncing from above and into the center of the area, creating a damaging shockwave.
- Illusion Slash: Each of its after-images attack with their claws.