The phantom Aqua is a boss in Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-, fought three times in the story. A stronger version of her also appears as a secret boss.
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The first battle against the phantom Aqua is relatively the easiest fight against her. In this form, she only has few attacks. In one, she can disappear and cast six giant ice crystals that can home in on Aqua, which can be blocked or dodged. When she initiates the attack, it is possible to cancel it with any magic spell, preferably Thundaga due to its instantaneous attack. She can also perform teleporting combos, which can be blocked. Whenever she appears vulnerable, attack her with Keyblade combos and she will soon fall. Mixing up the combos with magic makes it possible to defeat this version in a single move.
The second battle is nearly identical to the first. The phantom Aqua retains her move set from the first battle, but she uses them more frequently. Still, the same tactics can be used to end her.
The phantom Aqua drastically changes her move set in the third battle. Not only does she have three health bars, but she now has access to Spellweaver, so be even more cautious.
When the battle begins, the phantom Aqua activates Spellweaver. Stay away from her when she does this because the burst she creates from the activation can deliver damage. During this period, she can fire orbs that can track Aqua. Occasionally, she will wander the arena with her clones, telling Aqua various insults and intrusive thoughts. The real one is distinguishable from the normal health bar as opposed to the full single health bar the clones have, as well as teleporting away when Aqua gets too close rather than vanishing. If Aqua is unable to locate and hit the real phantom in time, or makes all of the clones vanish, the phantom and nine other clones will reappear and immediately fire off magic orbs. Thundaga is sufficient enough to quickly expose the real phantom Aqua. Eventually, the phantom Aqua and three of her clones will use the Spellweaver finisher and surround Aqua, shortly before attempting to close in on her and unleash the final ice-based attack, dealing massive damage. This attack has no escape, as the four will also track Aqua so matter how fast she is moving, and all of them unleash Blizzaga spells that prevent Aqua from attempting to jump to avoid the finisher. Barrier is necessary to survive the attack, and the real phantom will be left wide open for a short instance when the attack finishes. From then on out, she will frequently activate Spellweaver.
This phantom Aqua is given an extra layer of difficulty when there is an Objective that requires that the player not take any damage during this fight. The first and most necessary step is to use the first two versions of the boss as a sort of practice; learning the timing for attacks, learning whether a Barrier or a Cartwheel would be the optimal counters to different attacks, and which attacks can leave the phantom vulnerable. The most difficult part of the battle is learning how to handle Spellweaver without receiving a single hit. Another difficulty is simply applying the strategies learned from the previous forms to the current, more aggressive phantom Aqua. With time and patience, the Objective will naturally be complete.
A much more powerful version of the phantom Aqua is the final boss of the Zodiac boss rush in the World Within, and is considered the hardest boss of the game. Not only does she boast more health, she has a handful of new attacks. Many of her attacks cannot be blocked in this phase, indicated by red auras, necessitating timed Cartwheels to avoid them. In general, all of her attacks will deal massive damage capable of finishing Aqua off in one fell swoop if she did not have Second Chance and Once More. The phantom Aqua has very few openings, but when she does leave an opening, make the most out of her vulnerable window with combinations of physical attacks and magic.
During the first phase, the phantom Aqua will appear vulnerable like her previous forms, but this is actually a bait. Upon an attempt to hit her, the phantom Aqua will teleport and retaliate with an unblockable melee attack. However, avoiding taking damage and attempting to hit her three times in retaliation as well will force her to leave an opening. Randomly, the phantom may teleport to attempt to hit Aqua with a three-hit unblockable combo with no indication of the attack whatsoever, though the third attack can be parried for an opening. Another similar attack has her run at Aqua before teleporting into the air nearby, then immediately teleporting again and beginning a lengthy barrage of teleporting melee attacks that slowly pick up in speed and end with an unblockable attack. While hitting her during the first teleport will prevent the attack from happening completely, and the initial thrust can be parried, Barrier will protect Aqua from the barrage. Counter Blast is necessary to survive the finisher.
The second phase is marked by the phantom Aqua either activating Spellweaver or summoning eight giant ice crystals. The ice crystals can be interrupted with magic, but this time, the phantom instantly teleports away after falling. If not interrupted, the phantom Aqua will strike with her previous moves while the ice crystals fall. During her Spellweaver phase, the phantom Aqua now fires unblockable orbs. Without warning, she will attack in droves of clones, firing orbs or using melee attacks, with no way to make her vulnerable. Her attacks have a set pattern, making them easier to defend against each time if remembered. Like before, she will perform the Spellweaver finisher, however, the final ice burst will be unblockable and a well-timed Counter Blast should be used early in order to strike the phantom with combos.