|“||We have a mechanical mutant here... Looks like it can not take damage when it is in motion. When it's weak point stops moving, turn and unload on it!”|
|— Eve • Blaster Master Zero|
Photophage is shaped like a cube and has a single eye. It is gray with red, yellow, and blue wires coming out from its eye, which is on the top of the cube. Its eye is red with a white center. When Photophage is inactive, its color changes to magenta.
Photophage initially appears as the second mid-boss in the Industrial Area. Defeating it grants the Jump Booster, which allows SOPHIA III to use energy to perform aerial jumps. Photophage later makes another appearance in Area 9 as the second of three bosses guarding the Area's first key (the first and last bosses being Drap Trappers and Ancient Freeze, respectively).
Despite being a mid-boss, the player usually cannot fight it until after Central Gear, as it usually requires using the Hover Pack; however, most EX Characters are capable of making it over without the Hover Pack, serving as a minor sequence break. If this is performed, Central Gear becomes optional in terms of progressing through most of the game; however, as all items need to be obtained to reach Area 9, skipping Central Gear will result in obtaining the bad ending.
Photophage is composed of 16 individuals, although none of them are present upon entering the arena, which resembles a 7x6 grid. Photophage begins by having one of the individuals appear. It can move either horizontally or vertically, fire a shot aimed at the player, or fire three triple shots, one straight and two diagonal at 45° from the straight shot. Photophage can also move while shooting a shot aimed at the player; after a Photophage has “attacked,” it will become inactive, turning red and becoming invincible. After the eighth Photophage has attacked, eight Photophages that were most recently active will activate, and fire shots aimed at the player. When Photophage reaches half health, they move faster and can fire two shots aimed at the player instead of one.
For every battle, each Photophage spawns in the same position. The numbers listed below indicate each Photophage's spawn position; 1 is the first Photophage, and 16 is the last.
It is beneficial to know where and when a Photophage will spawn so that the player will be in an optimal position to attack while also avoiding being attacked. There are two general ways to go about this fight: trying to defeat each Photophage individually, or defeating multiple at a time when more than one is active; in some cases, it is a good idea to employ elements of both methods, such as only defeating some individually and some in a group.
Using Reflect, Jason can nullify any of Photophage’s projectile attacks; the player will still need to worry about their movements and spawning, as simple contact will deal damage (unless they are inactive, where they instead act like walls). Since Photophage doesn’t always use a projectile during the individual attacks, Reflect performs better in defeating multiple Photophage simultaneously when multiple become active. A single perfect reflect is almost enough to defeat one, and with multiple shots being reflected, at least a few will be defeated, with others being damaged.
Using Wave, Jason is able to cover a relatively wide area, making accuracy less important. Wave can also stun Photophage, giving the player ample time to fire enough shots to defeat one. While Wave can defeat Photophage on a single or multiple individual basis with relative ease, the former is the better option, as it leaves less risk of taking damage and is quicker.
Photophage is weak to Striker, with one hit being enough to defeat an individual. Striker can also use either the single or multiple individual strategy; the former strategy is quicker, but the latter strategy is easier, as the player only needs to target one of them in order to instantly defeat eight of them, dropping it to half health in one shot. Using Striker’s extra damage can make quick work of Photophage, defeating it in less than 30 seconds.
Photophage is immune to all Gun types except Blaster and Long Range. Since neither of these are penetrating weapons, it is best to defeat each Photophage individually, using Grenade Bombs or Ignition Bombs to accelerate their demise and replenishing Sub-weapons with small Ammo capsules, the only capsule drops in this fight, when they appear. If this cannot be done, Flash Bombs can be used when multiple are active, allowing the player to delay their attack, as well as giving more time to defeat them, now that they’re vulnerable.
The following list shows how many shots it takes from each Gun and Sub-weapon type to defeat an individual Photophage. Stun means Photophage will be unable to act for a brief period of time; weapons can only stun every so often in order to prevent the boss from being stun-locked. Weak means Photophage will take twice as much damage from the Gun than usual; in-game, they flash red, and are also stunned, when this occurs. Sub-weapons do double damage against bosses compared to enemies to mitigate their limited ammo.
- Blaster: 16
- Long Range: 8
- Penetrator: 8
- Diffusion: 7; 4
- Auto: 20* (stun)
- Reflect: 4* (stun); 2* (stun)
- Striker: 1* (weak)
- Flame: 20 (direct only); 8* ticks (burning only)
- Wave: 16 (stun); 6 (stun)
- Grenade Bomb: 2
- Ignition Bomb: 1
- Turret: 4 (bullets); 1 (explosion)
- Remote Blast: 2 rockets
*Gun attack deals increased damage to this boss
Photophage appears as the mutant boss of Area 3. There are 16 individuals, and the arena is a 6x6 grid. Photophage can move horizontally or vertically, shoot a spread of projectiles, or fire a projectile aimed at the player. Only one will be active at a time.
Photophage appears as the mutant boss of Area 3. There are only eight individuals, and are described simply as "killer robots.” It is unclear if Photophage is a projection or is actually real, as the other mutant bosses, which are organic, are projections instead of animals, whereas Photophage is a robot, and various robots are destroyed in the story.
Photophage appears as the third Lightning Being boss, appearing in the Jungle Zone (Plant). There are 30 individuals and the arena is now a 9x9 grid. When inactive, they are colored blue instead of magenta, and they don’t give contact damage. Photophage can still perform its spread shot and aimed shots, but it can also create chain lightning between two individuals, fire a ring of projectiles, and can fire cross lasers, going vertically and horizontally. Multiple Photophage can be active at the same time, but they generally do not act in sync with each other.
- Photophage is the only boss from Blaster Master to be repurposed in Blaster Master Zero, as opposed to being replaced by a similar individual.
- Photophage is also the only boss from Blaster Master to reappear in Blaster Master: Blasting Again.
- Eve's advice for the fight is rather flawed. She tells Jason that Photophage is immune to damage while in motion, and vulnerable when it stops moving; the opposite is true in most situations, however. When Photophage is red and invulnerable, it is not moving, and any instances where it is moving are states of vulnerability; however, it is possible for it to be vulnerable while not moving.
|Areas||1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8|
|Upgrades||Capsule · Hyper · Crusher · Hover · Key · Dive · Wall 1 · Wall 2|
|Subweapons||Gun · Grenade · Homing Missile · Multi Warhead Missile · Thunder Break|
|Bosses||Mother Brain · Crabullus · Photophage · Fred · Hard Shell · Frozen Crabullus · Enhanced Fred · Plutonium Boss · Underworld Lord|
|Other Topics||Pause Trick · Worlds of Power: Blaster Master · Blaster Master comic · Blaster Master: Destination Fred|