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*(About Mephiles And Shadow...)*


Chris Knopps

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Is there a chance Mephiles was meant to become to Shadow what Tails is to Sonic in a way?

I mean, you've got the whole Miles/Mephiles similarity and I could of seen Mephiles somehow trailing behind Shadow in a similar manner Tails does with Sonic, only instead of following with twin tails and gadgets Mephiles would loom in Shadows, well, shadow or something...

I don't know why but I started thinking about that today. Perhaps there's a chance Mephiles was going to go down some sort of path like that, only instead of being the bro/buddy he would of essentially been something more akin to Black Doom and/or Navi the Fairy perhaps...

I could of just... Seen that happening. weird and all, but still... Roaches can survive nuclear attacks, surely he could somehow survive a time/space reboot by latching onto Shadow at some point...? I mean, Shadow probably has this safe zone bubble around him or something that would make such a reboot irrelevant to him...

...Then again Elise did seem somehow keen on Sonic's presence lingering about even after the reboot herself...

...God that ending was just such a mindf@ck...

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No, there's no chance. Any character intended to be recurring, let alone a protagonist, needs more dimensions than "evil". Every major character since Adventure 1 has had that (or at least, did at some point since then). Sonic has more to him than just "save people". He's a snarky dork who hates committing to things other than adventure. Eggman is more than just "rule the world", he wants to have fun doing it, create ludicrous trap designs at risk of letting himself fail just so that he can enjoy himself all along the way, but at the same time, never admits defeat. Tails himself had the whole "trying to become independent" thing, along with "I can be just as good as Sonic" and more recently "I don't need to keep listening to the cocky dork all the time", while Shadow has focused on leaving the past behind and getting his emotions to a point where he doesn't need to angrily dismiss everything (ie. basically become more like Sonic, when you think about it). Mephiles is about becoming a big monster and killing everything, and that's about it. You can place Sonic and Tails in a situation, say, a dinner party, and there are any number of hilarious outcomes, all different and based on how they react to their surroundings (ie. Sonic could stay at the table and watch Knuckles get progressively more drunk, but if Amy's there too, he's trying to get as far away from her as he can without making a scene). Not Meph, though. He'd kill everyone, or leave. End of story, and he's not interesting. I'm not saying anyone's personality was done well in Sonic 06, but Mephiles at no point displayed any signs of existing outside the current story. And indeed, unless you count Ian Flynns tier-2 canon "Time Eater is Mephiles reincarnated and that's why crisis city is there" theory, he hasn't.

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Mephiles is a demigod who concocted a Rube Goldberg scheme to absorb all of time and creation. Shadow tried to help blow the planet up because he'd been fooled into thinking it was Gerald's last wish, but that was five years prior and arguably not even of his own accord - by the time '06 came around, he'd helped save the planet twice over in return. They don't seem like the kind of guys that'd be on speaking terms on one another, just based on that alone, and I'm sure there's plenty more character analysis I didn't catch on.

That's to say nothing of the fact that Mephiles tried to directly recruit Shadow at least twice throughout '06 itself, only to be turned down without a second thought both times. And I like the concept of Mephiles at a basic level, don't get me wrong, but it would take a pretty spectacular brand of asspull to retcon him out of literally being erased from time.

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Eh i don't think so. I think he just thought shadow was rad. And my own persomal belief that that iblis mephilis and the creatures are black arms who came too earth way before black doom was there. Out side of that, i don't think thats going anywhere he just wanted shadow on the squad.

To your idea though, that was almost metal sonic. Iiirc before they soft rebooted metal back into obedient robot murderer, in rivals and sonic univrse shadow tries to convince metal to forge his own path.

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3 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Eh i don't think so. I think he just thought shadow was rad.

This is my new headcanon.

Mephiles saw Shadow and became his ultimate fanboy, even dressing up like him. Ultimately angst ridden, wanting everyone to "drown in darkness" and destroy the world because it's all so meaningless... Mephiles is really just a poor emo teen. :,(

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Mephiles and his whole bad attempt at coaxing Shadow just screams leftovers of Black Doom IMO. Like the writers wanted to deliberately continue the angst and temptation of Shadow turning evil despite ShtH's ending making it clear he's done fussing over the past and that he'll stick to his guns from the present to onward.

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Mephiles and Tails are practically opposites. And Shadow already has a Tails: Rouge. Nevermind that Mephiles tried to kill time itself. There's no way Shadow'd bro out with an omiscidal maniac, especially one who stole his look since he's got issues with fakers.

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45 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

This is my new headcanon.

Mephiles saw Shadow and became his ultimate fanboy, even dressing up like him. Ultimately angst ridden, wanting everyone to "drown in darkness" and destroy the world because it's all so meaningless... Mephiles is really just a poor emo teen. :,(

Im pretty sure thats what happens. He really wants shadow on the squad.

I personally think that the iblis and mephilis shit are just old black arms and thats why he thought shadow was rad he felt as though they were simular, and therefore a sense of superiority about shadow "oh hes like me, he is obviously better" . But outside of some monster design and dialouge choices there is nothing that really supports my theory that high.

 

So yeah he saw shadow thought he was cool copied his style and wanted to be his friend. Shadow declines, boss fight.

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The writers at Sonic Team seem so much more interested in Shadow after he was introduced. In a way, I can see why - in a series where your hero rejects any and all relationships besides that of his best buddy, Tails, there's not much you can plumb for depth. Sonic is a hero, he saves the world and has a great time doing it, but Sonic doesn't seem to have many exploitable faults, or much of an inner life besides an insane need for speed and destroying Robotnik. By Sonic 06, they essentially just had him following Robotnik around, with no justification for anything he does. He even admits he saves the Princess for 'no special reason' besides his hedgehog boner

Shadow, on the other hand, is full of scriptwriting ideas. He's got amnesia! He has a mysterious tragedy in his past! He's a genetically mutated super hedgehog! He has Chaos Emerald based superpowers! He has emotions that aren't 'let's head into that tornado'! The issue, of course, is if you pay attention to SA2's story, is that none of it makes a whole lot of sense. Fan reaction may have been overwhelmingly positive for Shadow, and that's why they claim they brought him back, but I imagine it had more to do with the fact that you could actually write something about Shadow - they pretty much gave up on Sonic after that.

But of course, Sonic Team are a bunch of terrible writers. Even though Shadow pretty much stopped being evil by the end of SA2, because he realised Robotnik had lied to him and his memory was fuzzy, they seem really fond of tempting him with Faustian bargains, even making this the central mechanic of his own game. Robotnik wants Shadow to side with him in SA2 and Heroes, Black Doom stalks you throughout Shadow The Hedgehog, and Mephiles tries that shit again in 06. 

I can't remember where I read this, but it's essentially true - Shadow is the main character in 06. Sonic does literally nothing to alter the events of the narrative, and  Silver's most important contribution to the plot is in tandem with Shadow, when they go back in time. Mephiles sees Sonic and Silver as pawns in his stupid game of chess, but he sees Shadow as a threat. 

But, again, Sonic Team struggle with writing, everyone struggles with writing time travel, and everyone in 06 is an idiot. If Mephiles can go to any point in time, and seemingly exists at all points in time simultaneously, he might have noticed that Shadow constantly rejects the 'come with me to the dark side' gambit, and just left everyone alone and got the Chaos Emeralds at literally any point in history.

Or, if he so desperately wanted Shadow on his side, couldn't he have busted him out of his laser jail? Shadow would have a reason to join him then. But by showing Shadow his fate to be imprisoned in laser jail, you just give Shadow a reason to stop you - you just showed Shadow that he's your fall guy for ending the world, he's not going to want to be your evil bestie when you do him like that.

To rail back round to the point, Shadow simply isn't evil, but the only thing that Sonic Team seemed to be able to write for him is 'come with me to the dark side' from a series of increasingly ridiculous Palpatines. And he always says no, and we always know he's going to say no!  

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The whole 06 plotline was Mephiles scheming to get together with Iblis again and destroy everything as Solaris. His action toward Shadow was either trying to get him on his side or aggressively trying to kill him. If he had anything toward Shadow, it would be vengeance for sealing him in the past and both fear and fascination for his power. He hated Shadow for sealing him in the past, and was willing to eliminate him when he was released. But he realized Shadow was too powerful and, as Hyp3hat said, a threat to both his plan and himself (he gained a lot of power just by fusing with his shadow). That's why he tried to get him on his side; what's more safer than having the most dangerous guy on your side? Also having Shadow means having enormous power of destruction that would make his plan go easier.

He did copy part of Shadow's personality and power when he copied his appearance, but I would disagree on him being a Tails. He is the devil who only saw Shadow as a dangerous but possible source for power, not a friend or mentor or whatever relationship you wanna call it. Once he's done with his plan and Shadow became useless, he would've most likely killed him off without any mercy or feelings.

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13 hours ago, Inspector Shaddy said:

 Mephiles is about becoming a big monster and killing everything, and that's about it.

To be fair, he did have a very pronounced corruption and revenge angle built into his story. It was very obvious that on top of wanting to be an homicidal monster when he grew up he did attempt to turn friends on each other and prey on Shadows darker tendencies. He didn't just want to kill Shadow at first. He wanted to bring him down. Then he just wanted to hurt him out of sworn revenge.

he may have been flat, but wasn't THAT one dimensional.

 

As for the topic, there is no way I could ever see Meph serving as a side piece for Shadow. I think Shadz made it very clear that the two did not see eye to eye during 06. Its actually fairly telling that despite swearing revenge on Shadow, and setting a plan in motion that very well need not even involve Shadow and his pals, Meph went out of his way in his attempts to break Shadow's spirits. He was used as a catalyst to reinforce Shadow's development cycle. To show that he was more than his past, and that he would be in charge of his own future. Even if it were to be bleak.

Thats not the kind of guy you see tagging along cheering you on.

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2 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

To be fair, he did have a very pronounced corruption and revenge angle built into his story. It was very obvious that on top of wanting to be an homicidal monster when he grew up he did attempt to turn friends on each other and prey on Shadows darker tendencies. He didn't just want to kill Shadow at first. He wanted to bring him down. Then he just wanted to hurt him out of sworn revenge.

he may have been flat, but wasn't THAT one dimensional.

 

As for the topic, there is no way I could ever see Meph serving as a side piece for Shadow. I think Shadz made it very clear that the two did not see eye to eye during 06. Its actually fairly telling that despite swearing revenge on Shadow, and setting a plan in motion that very well need not even involve Shadow and his pals, Meph went out of his way in his attempts to break Shadow's spirits. He was used as a catalyst to reinforce Shadow's development cycle. To show that he was more than his past, and that he would be in charge of his own future. Even if it were to be bleak.

Thats not the kind of guy you see tagging along cheering you on.

This would be a plausible if and only Shadow hadn't already gotten over his past. I haven't played 06 in years, so forgive me if I'm forgetting some parts of it, but from what I remember, Shadow didn't seem very burdened by what had transpired in SA2/Heroes/StH. He had come to terms with who he was, as well as his intended purpose. He denied what he was being used for, and decided to forge his own path, which lied with Maria's wish of having him help others. Functionally, his arc was completed in SA2, and was stretched out for no real reason. 

Flash-forward to 06, and his mindset hasn't really changed. Sure he's kind of cynical, but the core sentiment he learned in SA2 hasn't really changed. In fact, it NEVER changes throughout the entirety of 06! Mephiles antagonized Shadow into... doing what he's been doing for awhile now. On both a micro and macro scale, nothing meaningfully changed. He's still the Shadow he's been.

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But what if Mephiles was intended to have a Midna esque type of existence, bound to Shadow's shadow as I slightly mentioned earlier?

I mean, I suppose he could of existed by being bound to Shadow and his chaos abilities after the Iblis portion of Solaris was wiped out, and with Shadow essentially being his life support of sorts... I think it could have been an interesting evolution of Mephiles along the line, lingering in Shadow's presence, watching him and those around him and such, having occasional chats of corruption and eventually garnering a "f@ck it, I'm stuck with you so hell, long as we hurt somebody now and then..." persona...

I think it had potential, such an idea, especially if Mephiles became more active when Sonic was present and tried to cause trouble/mischief in various ways for Sonic, or Eggman perhaps...

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1 hour ago, Chris Knopps said:

But what if Mephiles was intended to have a Midna esque type of existence, bound to Shadow's shadow as I slightly mentioned earlier?

I mean, I suppose he could of existed by being bound to Shadow and his chaos abilities after the Iblis portion of Solaris was wiped out, and with Shadow essentially being his life support of sorts... I think it could have been an interesting evolution of Mephiles along the line, lingering in Shadow's presence, watching him and those around him and such, having occasional chats of corruption and eventually garnering a "f@ck it, I'm stuck with you so hell, long as we hurt somebody now and then..." persona...

I think it had potential, such an idea, especially if Mephiles became more active when Sonic was present and tried to cause trouble/mischief in various ways for Sonic, or Eggman perhaps...

See, now that is a rather neat idea, but it still doesn't get past the problem of, "Mephiles doesn't represent a reflection of Shadow's world view in a way that can meaningfully inform his character." If this "companionship" serves the purpose of unfairly framing Shadow as the bad guy (in the eyes of other characters), it would be needless circular storytelling. Shadow already said in the game that he would remain steadfast in his convictions even if the world turned on him. Mephiles could also just as easily mess with Engman or Sonic himself. It's a neat idea that has been done in other works with other characters, but in Shadow's case there really isn't anything of value to offer here.

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3 hours ago, Toa Axis said:

See, now that is a rather neat idea, but it still doesn't get past the problem of, "Mephiles doesn't represent a reflection of Shadow's world view in a way that can meaningfully inform his character." If this "companionship" serves the purpose of unfairly framing Shadow as the bad guy (in the eyes of other characters), it would be needless circular storytelling. Shadow already said in the game that he would remain steadfast in his convictions even if the world turned on him. Mephiles could also just as easily mess with Engman or Sonic himself. It's a neat idea that has been done in other works with other characters, but in Shadow's case there really isn't anything of value to offer here.

I'm basically thinking of Mephiles taking on more of a sinister prankster persona along the line, a malicious will for amusement akin to Eggman's but just more darker in tone, that kind of evolution would balance out Shadow's angst/silence when around during instances Mephiles pops out.

Think... A Sonic version of Joker. Hell, Mephiles already had a d@mn good laugh in my opinion...

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1 minute ago, Chris Knopps said:

Think... A Sonic version of Joker.

But isn't Eggman kinda like the Joker anyway? 

I mean, if you want to have complete heartless bastard than you got Eggman Nega for that. It would be very interesting to see how similar yet very different the two Eggmen can be, I don't know man. 

I don't see any reason why Mephiles should come back.

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3 hours ago, True Detective Soni said:

But isn't Eggman kinda like the Joker anyway? 

I mean, if you want to have complete heartless bastard than you got Eggman Nega for that. It would be very interesting to see how similar yet very different the two Eggmen can be, I don't know man. 

I don't see any reason why Mephiles should come back.

Just an amusing idea with potential here and there. Not the most extraordinary idea granted, but it's amusing to dip the toe in topics like Mephiles from time to time and see what's stirrin' below the surface.

And as far as an Eggman and Joker comparison... Ahh... Here's what I see happening if the two stood together...

-Eggman shoots green pac-dots at Sonic with his Generations laugh-

-Joker sets off a bomb in a nearby crowded location and laughs-

-Joker looks at Eggman-

"...Faker..."

-Eggman's mustache droops-

You just can't compare Eggman with the Joker nowadays, hence why I said Mephiles would be a more sinister/dark kind of Eggman.

I suppose Nega is a fair comparison however.

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Again, that's what I said about using Nega instead. He has a lot more potential to be a more interesting villain since the writers can show off how different the two Eggmen are. Eggman is a more civil and humane evil scientist who will go to extremes if he needs to and of course, being goofy if he wants while Nega can be a lot more ruthless and will always go to the extreme as his first move. 

With Mephiles, his only real connection established in 06 was Shadow. But most of it is involving "join me Shadow" and Shadow is all "fuck that shit, did that with doom and made him extinct; same will happen to you".

I mean, I would love to be proved wrong on how to work Mephiles into the current canon but I remain unconvinced.

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12 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

I'm basically thinking of Mephiles taking on more of a sinister prankster persona along the line, a malicious will for amusement akin to Eggman's but just more darker in tone, that kind of evolution would balance out Shadow's angst/silence when around during instances Mephiles pops out.

Think... A Sonic version of Joker. Hell, Mephiles already had a d@mn good laugh in my opinion...

To get all literature student up in this...

I brought up Faust earlier for a reason. Sonic Team named Iblis after The Devil (in arabic), and his other half is named Mephiles, I think because they were trying to really tie this into a Faustian thing. Faust doesn't sell his soul to the devil directly, but to Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles, to all intents and purposes, is The Joker. He promises Faust the world, 24 years of bliss, magic powers and good times, all in exchange for his soul, which he reassures Faust is a small price to pay. When Faust signs the contract, he meets the Devil and the Seven Deadly Sins and realises he's made a huge mistake. So Faust goes on a 24 year long bender, with Mephistopheles acting as his butler and partner in crime, then feebly tries to repent as the time comes, and is ultimately dragged into hell.

Mephile's role in 06 is tempt Shadow to sell his soul, pretty much. The problem is that The Devil in this equation is a lumbering fire worm with an attraction to shiny things, so Mephiles has to play both Mephistopheles and The Devil. Mephisto's goal isn't to destroy the world, and so he can be all like 'we're going to get turnt up, Faust, it's going to be SO MUCH FUN' - and Faust still parties it up with him - whilst the Devil gets another soul in his crusade against God. Mephiles doesn't have that plausible deniability. The other problem is that it's not a Faustian tale if your Faust has set his sights on murdering the devil - Faust was tempted by dark magic, was seeking knowledge, saw hypocrisy in the church and the world he lived in. If Faust was a good Christian, he would have told Mephisto to fuck off. 

So if this was Faust, Shadow would have to be tempted, and then the dynamic in OP could work. But as others have said... he had overcome his temptation for evil in other games. Shadow is such a goody goody by this point, he's working for the organisation that killed Maria, which suggests he's so at peace with his past he's forgiven literally everybody. This is not someone who could be reasonably tempted with good times and ruling the world.

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21 hours ago, Toa Axis said:

This would be a plausible if and only Shadow hadn't already gotten over his past. I haven't played 06 in years, so forgive me if I'm forgetting some parts of it, but from what I remember, Shadow didn't seem very burdened by what had transpired in SA2/Heroes/StH. He had come to terms with who he was, as well as his intended purpose. He denied what he was being used for, and decided to forge his own path, which lied with Maria's wish of having him help others. Functionally, his arc was completed in SA2, and was stretched out for no real reason. 

Stretching his arc past SA2 is its own debate and should be removed from this conversation.

What's important here is that Mephilies did serve a role in reaffirming Shadows convictions in 06, because that was a clear and defined new beginning for Shadow as a character.

During the ending of Shth Shadow quite literally left himself behind. When he walked off the stage, he did so with a "Sayonora Shadow the Hedgehog". He left behind his past, he left behind his convictions, his responsibilities, Maria, everything. He cleared the slate. He reset the clock.

My point being that there was NO way to know where Shadow would go from here. People were taken aback to see him join GUN. We had little in the way of heads up to how Shadow would carry himself or behave going into 06. Mephilies was there to provide that temptation. That urge for Shadow to fall back into his old rut where his fate was predetermined by the people around him rather than being solely dictated by his own choices.

 

Quote

Flash-forward to 06, and his mindset hasn't really changed. Sure he's kind of cynical, but the core sentiment he learned in SA2 hasn't really changed. In fact, it NEVER changes throughout the entirety of 06! Mephiles antagonized Shadow into... doing what he's been doing for awhile now. On both a micro and macro scale, nothing meaningfully changed. He's still the Shadow he's been.

Not true. In Shth, Heroes and SA2, Shadows fought and bled for motivations that were not his own. In SA2, he fought to avenge maria, and then fufill his promise to her. In Heroes he made no choices. He simply rode the tidal wave of amnesia and was seeking someone else to tell him his place in the world. The same was true for Shth, were the entire game was spent seeking answers from someone else. Be it Eggman, Doom or whoever.

Shadow's mindset in 06 was completely different and Meph was the first person to really challenge it. Yes, he was still edgy and cynical, but at the same time his motivation was inward in origin rather than leaning so heavily on outward stimuli. All that "fight like I always have" wasn't mindless bravado. It was a clear shift in how he operated as a character. He became less of a weapon and more of an individual.

Meph tried to revert Shadow, and bring him back to what he was before. By rebuking him, Shadow gained the opportunity to grow a little bit as a character.

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