Jump to content
Shard The Gentleman

Question about Shadow the Hedgehog and Maria

Recommended Posts

Did Shadow actually ever meet Maria, or were those Memories put into Shadow by Gerald?

In SA2 (and ShtH) Shadow has memories of meeting and growing with Maria.  But according to Geralds Journal, Shadow didn't even exist until Maria was already dead.

 


I don't quite know what happened or what went wrong. Was it a mistake to create the ultimate life-form? I thought it would be something that would benefit mankind. But then the military guards landed on the colony that day.

They were sent to destroy the research project that I had been working on. My Colleagues at the research facility, my granddaughter, Maria, I hope you are all safe. The colony was completely shut down, probably to keep the prototype from falling into the wrong hands.

The ARK was shut down under the premise that there had been an accident. I found Maria's name among those who died when the ARK was shut down. She meant everything to me and I couldn't bear the thought that she died because of my research. I lost everything. I had nothing more to live for...I went insane. 

All I could think about was to avenge her...somehow, someway. I got scared as I no longer was able to control my thoughts. All I could think about was that I wanted it all to end. Based on my original projections, I was able to complete my project: Shadow. I designed its mind to be perfect, pure. I will leave everything to him. If you wish, release and awaken it, to the world. If you wish to fill the world with destruction...

We know the Prototype was Biolizard.

Now you could argue that Shadow was existing, just not complete until after the events at the ARK, but that can't be the case since Shadow was launched to Earth by Maria (according to his memories) and Gerald was jailed, with no access to the would-be incomplete Shadow.

In Shadow the Hedgehog, it's mentioned that Shadow COULD have fabricated memories put into him by Gerald Robotnik. Is that the case? Did Shadow never actually meet Maria?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be the craziest fucking twist loool.


I think it's just an inconsistency/plot hole type deal because there are a few of those in shadow's backstory but that would be a wild way to explain most of them away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shadowlax said:

I do like they idea that maria might not even have been real and been some shit Gerald made up to make shadow go aggro

That's immediately debunked by the fact the Commander knew her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even the wording on that is vague. But there are flashback scenes in Shadow's game that directly contradict this- the young Commander running from Maria and stumbling across Gerald and Black Doom developing Shadow, Gerald and Maria's last message to Shadow before the final boss, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Shadow's memories of Maria were entirely fake, then where did the memories of Maria's actual last wish, the ones Amy triggered that got Shadow to switch sides, come from? It wouldn't make any sense for the now-insane revenge-seeking Gerald to give him fake memories that directly contradict the other fake memories that actually serve his goal of having Shadow carry out his revenge plan. It only makes sense if that memory is real. And I'd argue that implies most of his memories are real; Maria's death and Shadow's promise to her wouldn't be such a pivotal moment in his life if she was someone he had only just met. So I don't think Gerald completely fabricated Shadow's memories; he only twisted them just enough to insert his own hatred and desire for revenge into him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

So Gerald was evil all along? Oh. That’s a nice detail. I guess Fleetway’s version was right... 

 

And I now accept the “Maria was never real” theory. 

But.. Gerald mentions Maria in his journal and the Commander remembers her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very serious totally not dumb fan theory: Maria was dead long before the ARK.  The GUN commander has multicolored eyes.  The amber colored eye allows him to see ghosts, of which Maria is one.  Nobody understood the GUN commander and he was often lonely so he made friends with ghost Maria.  So when the ARK was shut down, it meant that he was separated from Maria, not because she died in front of him.  Gerald Robotnik heard stories about Maria from the GUN Commander, who by the way is another one of his experiments, and used them as inspiration for the framework of Shadow's pre-programmed memory.  And also Ash is in a coma and that's why he and Spiderman never age.

 

More serious answer: I think the games ultimately want us to believe Maria is real.  I think what Gerald meant by 'designing his mind to be perfect, pure' is obedient and not accustomed to the cruelty of man and thus more ready to accept the idea of retribution by way of the complete extinction of the human race.  My thought process is that Gerald did not change any memories.  At most, maybe repressed some of them.  Think for example how you can delete files off a hard drive yet someone can still access them if they know how and if it's done in a timely manner, which is what Amy metaphorically did.

Shadow's entire arc leaves A LOT of glaring questions unanswered though so I don't think we'll ever have a definitive answer for the numerous suggestions posed.  Similar to how Knuckles' backstory arc was dismissed at the end of SA1 as "well I still don't know anything but whatever," I don't feel like the Adventure games ever meant to deliver a detail rich story as much as they sort of wanted to draw you in on the concept of a dark, tragic story than the actual execution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Razule said:

But.. Gerald mentions Maria in his journal and the Commander remembers her.

So maybe it’s the “Maria died before Shadow was born” instead. Or maybe Abraham Tower also has false memories...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

So maybe it’s the “Maria died before Shadow was born” instead. Or maybe Abraham Tower also has false memories...

 

4 hours ago, Diogenes said:

If Shadow's memories of Maria were entirely fake, then where did the memories of Maria's actual last wish, the ones Amy triggered that got Shadow to switch sides, come from? It wouldn't make any sense for the now-insane revenge-seeking Gerald to give him fake memories that directly contradict the other fake memories that actually serve his goal of having Shadow carry out his revenge plan. It only makes sense if that memory is real. And I'd argue that implies most of his memories are real; Maria's death and Shadow's promise to her wouldn't be such a pivotal moment in his life if she was someone he had only just met. So I don't think Gerald completely fabricated Shadow's memories; he only twisted them just enough to insert his own hatred and desire for revenge into him.

 

4 hours ago, Almar said:

I suggest to look at the Japanese version.

Okay, I watched the JP version, but it seems to say the same basic thing- Shadow didn't exist until the ARK had already been seized and Maria was dead.

But everyone has a very valid point in bringing up Commander Tower. His memories of Shadow, Black Doom, and Maria are what really throw this whole thing in a loop.

If anyone could put out a sort of timeline on the events of the ARK that explain how the heck Shadow really came to be and if he actually met Maria, all the stuff about commander Tower, etc.

Honestly I just really want answers lol. I mean, it could all be just one big plothole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Shard The Gentleman said:

Okay, I watched the JP version, but it seems to say the same basic thing- Shadow didn't exist until the ARK had already been seized and Maria was dead.

Nothing actually says that. You're reading that interpretation into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Diogenes said:

Nothing actually says that. You're reading that interpretation into it.

I don't really know how else to interpret it. Mostly, if Shadow was existing beforehand, Gerald wouldn't have had access to him since he was launched away by Maria.

 

Then again, GUN could've easily seized him upon his arrival to Earth, but I think Shadow would've remembered that... I don't know.

 

(side note, no idea why Shadow would choose to work for the organization that killed Maria)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't know under what circumstances Gerald was able to "complete" Shadow after the ARK incident, but that doesn't mean Shadow could not have existed before then.

My interpretation is that, while both were held on Prison Island, GUN decided they could still get use out of them so long as Gerald was working under their direct observation rather than on a space station, and that's when Gerald fucked with his memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Razule said:

But.. Gerald mentions Maria in his journal and the Commander remembers her.

I know I know

But the maria is never real theory is super dope and messed up because i like idea that shadow was so up in arms about someone who wasn't even real, I would like it even more if he found out and it bummed him out. He fell for the okie doke and almost blew up the planet for some girl that wasn't even real. That's some sad shit, I love it.

 

1 hour ago, Tara said:

Worth a note: G.U.N. is supposed to be seen as just a little corrupt.

It wouldn't be out of character for them to want Shadow completed so they could have him for their own purposes "just in case."

At least old gun but yeah, they literally murdered everyone and took the immortal time stopping super being and never told anyone that happened. 

Not suspicious at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shadowlax said:

At least old gun but yeah, they literally murdered everyone and took the immortal time stopping super being and never told anyone that happened. 

Not suspicious at all. 

I mean, the G.U.N. Commander also called for the extermination of said immortal, time-stopping super being because of his own personal vendetta, even before he knew whether or not he had done anything wrong.  So even as recent as ShTH, G.U.N. was pretty corrupt.

3 hours ago, Shard The Gentleman said:

(side note, no idea why Shadow would choose to work for the organization that killed Maria)

It's essentially part of his arc on learning to forgive and that people should not judged by the actions of their forefathers and whatnot.

Doesn't make it any less silly, considering the other terrible things they do.  (See above)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can wave Shadow joining GUN off as him wanting to keep a close eye on them. It kinda bothers me we didn't get to see his thoughts on the matter, actually. Like, they just had the commander offer him a job in ShTH and then...he had it.

Anyway, Maria is probably real. I mean, Gerald seemed sincerely messed up over her death too, unless he's a really decent actor. But on the other hand, I'm sometimes a fan of cruel plot twists so I wouldn't have been against that, just uh...it would've had to happen in SA2 or the next couple games at the latest. At this point the only way I could see something like that being established and have it not be jarring is if it was in an alternate continuity or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Tara said:

 

Doesn't make it any less silly, considering the other terrible things they do.  (See above)

Yeah I never liked that, its why I liked what they were kind of setting up in the comics before it got canceled that shadow might have to eventually fight them because they didn't trust him and stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Celestia said:

I can wave Shadow joining GUN off as him wanting to keep a close eye on them. It kinda bothers me we didn't get to see his thoughts on the matter, actually. Like, they just had the commander offer him a job in ShTH and then...he had it.

I mean, being a secret agent beats working at Burger King, I guess.

4 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Yeah I never liked that, its why I liked what they were kind of setting up in the comics before it got canceled that shadow might have to eventually fight them because they didn't trust him and stuff

I was kind of getting lethargic on every Shadow story being about his fragile sense of trust in people, but I did like post-reboot Archie so I'm sure they would have probably maybe done it a fairly entertaining way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Tara said:

 

I was kind of getting lethargic on every Shadow story being about his fragile sense of trust in people, but I did like post-reboot Archie so I'm sure they would have probably maybe done it a fairly entertaining way.

Ussually its " well I don't trust them " and now it was "they don't trust me and am I a monster" and that bout of introspection along with him having to deal with new black arms was genuinely nice because it opened a lot of narratives him being framed and people not trusting him. Or him not wanting to kill eclipse or something, it opened a lot of stuff up , but that's problably super done now. So its whatever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting how the Japanese script simultaneously makes this reading seem both less and more likely.

"In accordance with the original data, Shadow has finally been completed. Even the control over its memories is absolute. I entrust all to Shadow. If, in future generations, there be a person who wishes it, it shall be awakened. If they wish for despair in the world…"

English Shadow has a forgetfulness problem that doesn't jive with his supposedly perfect, pure mind, but Japanese Shadow's memories can be outright edited. So there is a basis for assuming that you could give Shadow false memories of a person called Maria whom he never actually met.

That said, both scripts say Shadow was only completed after Maria's death. Especially the Japanese script includes a phrase—ついに—to clarify this. This project completion was specifically a long time coming, so Shadow was certainly not created after Maria's death.

So the thing to take away is Gerald did indeed edit Maria out, not in.

Also, this explains why the Ultimate Lifeform keeps getting amnesia—because he's been specifically designed as a weapon to be easy to give new protocols and motives. It's technically in-character for Shadow's memories to be reset…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume the reason you seem to theorize that Shadow possibly never met Maria directly is due to this phrase in Gerald's diary?

Quote

'Based on my original projections, I was able to complete my project: Shadow.'


I interpret this as Gerald's insanity having taken over his mind at that point in the journal that he considers brainwashing/altering his memory post-mental breakdown as 'completing' for the purpose of his genocidal doomsday plan.

Sure, it's pretty vague about some details from SA2's story not being addressed like what the reason was for the raid on the ARK in the first place but Shadow remembering Maria throughout the game does seem to clearly indicate to me she was real and he mainly was concerned with acting out on her dying wish even above his creator's plans for global annihilation as revenge for her death.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.