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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.
The Black Ballade appears only in the Bamboo Thicket. 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 the wrong Ballade will let it attack Sora with a near-unavoidable shock. The player can more easily keep track of the Black Ballades by repeatedly pausing and unpausing the game. Black Ballades are the only Heartless in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix to drop a Lightning Stone.