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The Shade Elite is the infantry unit of Lord Brevon's army, often led into battle by said Warlord and Serpentine. They are creatures with a single shade core encased in a mechanical battle suit and armed with an energy rifle. They first appear in the Opening Cutscene of Freedom Planet, being deployed by the Absolution to attack the Soldiers of Shuigang and following Brevon as he confronted the King, appearing in several cutscenes afterwards. They later appear in Jade Creek, where they are deployed by Serpentine's Gunship to attack the Player. The Shade Elite also appears in Thermal Base, Battle Glacier and all four rounds of Final Dreadnought.

In the Stages it appears in (except Jade Creek), the Shade Elite teleports in on teleport pads as the Player comes within a certain distance. It attacks every few seconds by crouching and firing a long four-shot burst from it's energy rifle, which can be blocked and deflected by Milla's Shield. It will follow the Player as far as they can reach until it's either defeated or the Player transends to the next area. If a Shade Elite takes a certain amount of damage, it will fall over and cannot be damaged between falling down and standing back up, but will be defeated once they take the same amount of damage again. When playing Jade Creek as Carol, any Shade Elite she defeats will drop a Fuel Tank so that she can use her Motorcycle to make it easier for her to attack Serpentine's Gunship.

In Thermal Base, the Player will encounter a unique Shade Elite, who acts as a mini boss, and will try to push them into a lava stream with a wall. The Player must attack the wall to push the Shade Elite into a detonator that is placed behind it. Recommend using Lilac's Hair Whip, Carol's Claw Combo or Milla's Shield Burst to push the wall into the detonator. Once pushed, the detonator wil explode, destroying the Shade Elite, then the wall will transform into Crystal Shards, allowing the Player to proceed.

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