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Will Shadow ever live down his reputation as an edgelord?

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At first I wanted to say "no", but the very positive reaction on social media to Sonic's sacrifice for Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (slowing down and trying to save him while other characters try to fight or run away from Galeem's light beams) reminded me of a thing that may or not help his image if Sega tries or hires somebody competent enough to write: Sonic Team needs to do something similar to Shadow's characterization in Sonic Adventure 2 and remind people that he isn't just edge: He has a soft side and will sacrifice himself for others. Shadow the Hedgehog tried to do this again while retelling his interactions with Maria, but the entire plot of that game was a very bad comedy.

I'm not a fan of SA2 and I don't like Shadow as a videogame character (he is very nice in the Archie/IDW comics, though. I love Team Dark in these stories), but I think that SA2 was a game where he was actually important and did something worthy of value. Sega needs to show the players why me, you, whatever should know and care about him. They need to take inspiration from successful plots, authors, characters and make Shadow more than "I'm serious, I'm stoic, I'm powerful. Ow ThE EdGe".

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Shadow doesn't even need to shake the edgelord moniker. The best parts of that trope are a good deal of what makes Shadow so appealing as a character - especially when put in contrast with the rest of the cast. 

Embrace the good, weed out the unnecessary.

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I don't normally comment on Shadow topics because I don't really feel like my perspective gels with most, but even with the whole edge lord problem I think one of the problems is that indeed, Shadow's compassionate side is never shown outside of SA2 and ShtH. That compassion is typically what drives him to me, and his serious and earnest nature is enforced by it due to how much he clings to what he cherishes and believes in as well as the importance he puts into those things. The problem is, as he is always sold as a dark Sonic everyone prefers to shy away from the good heart that he possesses that actually is the reason for his seeming edginess. It's a weird decision to me since being a dark Sonic would still imply that he should have that heart of gold that Sonic does, he's not a robot after all (that would be Metal who is supposed to be the moral-less version of Sonic). Perhaps if people were to actually explore the love aspect of Shadow's character and his heart his edge would make sense and his reputation would soften from edgy to a tragic character that is cheered for.

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12 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I erase Dash Speed from my memory untill I need to deal with dash speed

Yo dude, we frown on throwing shade at other people under normal circumstances, let alone completely unprovoked and unnecessarily like this. Knock that off.

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Y'know thinking about it I don't think I'd classify either comic version of Shadow as "Edgy". He's standoffish and a bit headstrong more intent on insisting he does things himself but he's been shown to care. For Hope Pre-Reboot, for his Team Post-Reboot and for the entire planet's safety in IDW.

Granted he's still more likely to stand in the corner with his arm's crossed like Vegeta but he's always felt like he has slightly more depth in his comic appearances as opposed to his game or Boom appearances.

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No matter how fast he is, he can't run from the truth: he is Dark Sonic.

Even if people somehow managed to forget about ShtH (which probably isn't happening any time soon), he is still defined by being the darker, edgier counterpart to Sonic. You can't remove that without making him no longer Shadow.

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14 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Shadow doesn't even need to shake the edgelord moniker. The best parts of that trope are a good deal of what makes Shadow so appealing as a character - especially when put in contrast with the rest of the cast. 

Embrace the good, weed out the unnecessary.

Yeah, pretty much what I think. Shadow is an edge lord, no getting around it. Embrace it, use it when it works whether in comedic contexts or not.

However it is true that he is basically just dark sonic. I dont think shadow can be re-written in such a way that differentiates himself enough without changing his identity significantly. The things that are appealing about him are essentially exaggerated traits of Classic Sonic.

You cant get rid of characters that are as appealing as he is though, despite the fact that he is a bit of a punching bag. I think with him you actually do have to embrace what he is...and realize that you cant arbitrarily place him into Sonic's typical adventures without poking fun at him a bit, because the situational tone will rarely ever match what he was created for. As writers you have to know when to use him in conjunction with Sonic's primary narrative, or else section him off into his own thing entirely. 

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4 hours ago, Diogenes said:

No matter how fast he is, he can't run from the truth: he is Dark Sonic.

Even if people somehow managed to forget about ShtH (which probably isn't happening any time soon), he is still defined by being the darker, edgier counterpart to Sonic. You can't remove that without making him no longer Shadow.

You could, its not hard and sega has been doing it kind of for years in many respects. They only really play up the counter part thing in character descriptions

3 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Yeah, pretty much what I think. Shadow is an edge lord, no getting around it. Embrace it, use it when it works whether in comedic contexts or not.

However it is true that he is basically just dark sonic. I dont think shadow can be re-written in such a way that differentiates himself enough without changing his identity significantly.

You can totally do that

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The things that are appealing about him are essentially exaggerated traits of Classic Sonic.

What ... What?

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You cant get rid of characters that are as appealing as he is though, despite the fact that he is a bit of a punching bag. I think with him you actually do have to embrace what he is...and realize that you cant arbitrarily place him into Sonic's typical adventures without poking fun at him a bit, because the situational tone will rarely ever match what he was created for. As writers you have to know when to use him in conjunction with Sonic's primary narrative, or else section him off into his own thing entirely. 

Or you  just write stories with him in it like Ian flynn does and its fine?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

You could, its not hard and sega has been doing it kind of for years in many respects. They only really play up the counter part thing in character descriptions

You can totally do that

What ... What?

Or you  just write stories with him in it like Ian flynn does and its fine?

 

 

I'm referring to the videogames. The comics are an entirely different issue and have always had a different continuity than the games. I'm sure he's fine there.

The games are much looser and mostly only follow the Sonic vs Eggman, nature vs machine narrative and theme in general. 

And yes, Shadow is an exaggerated version of Classic Sonic. I'm referring to Sonic as he was portrayed in the 90s, of course. Shadow is basically just a darker version of that personality, with a tragic backstory. The character is very very similar.

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1 minute ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I'm referring to the videogames. The comics are an entirely different issue and have always had a different continuity than the games. I'm sure he's fine there.

The games are much looser and mostly only follow the Sonic vs Eggman, nature vs machine narrative and theme in general. 

My point still stands, just write a good story with him in it.

That's it. " Loose " or whatever doesn't matter really

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Just now, Shadowlax said:

My point still stands, just write a good story with him in it.

That's it. " Loose " or whatever doesn't matter really

That's not a point. You only said "Yes you can write a good story with Shadow." That's just a basic statement, not anything more.

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Just now, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

That's not a point. You only said "Yes you can write a good story with Shadow." That's just a basic statement, not anything more.

Yes you can, your point was " They have to construct this wild ass scneario for shadow to even fit" and shadow fits just fine in quite a few scenarios, while he shouldn't be in all of the, his character is pretty versatile. So like I said ' Just write a good story with shadow in it "

5 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

And yes, Shadow is an exaggerated version of Classic Sonic. I'm referring to Sonic as he was portrayed in the 90s, of course. Shadow is basically just a darker version of that personality, with a tragic backstory. The character is very very similar.

No, what... what the hell. No.

God no, what are you even talking about.

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1 minute ago, Shadowlax said:

Yes you can, your point was " They have to construct this wild ass scneario for shadow to even fit" and shadow fits just fine in quite a few scenarios, while he shouldn't be in all of the, his character is pretty versatile. So like I said ' Just write a good story with shadow in it "

No, what... what the hell. No.

God no, what are you even talking about.

"Wild ass scenario is not how I would describe it. But Shadow does not really fit in within the primary narrative and conflict in this series. Which is why today, he is mostly a side character who doesn't do much. Because again, the series basic conflict is Sonic vs Eggman, nature vs machine. You'd have to change that to make him fit in.

You seriously don't think Shadow is a darker version of Sonic? I...I sort of thought that was obvious that he was, from day one. Most of his personality traits are very similar to Sonic. The difference is really the backstory. Guess I can't convince you if you don't already see it, it should be that obvious. Which is why it has been said so often even in this thread.

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6 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

"Wild ass scenario is not how I would describe it. But Shadow does not really fit in within the primary narrative and conflict in this series. Which is why today, he is mostly a side character who doesn't do much. Because again, the series basic conflict is Sonic vs Eggman, nature vs machine. You'd have to change that to make him fit in.

The reason he doesn't show up in much is because he's not playable much. And that's the same for most characters not named sonic at the momento. He will probably show up more now that they are open to more playable dudes and dudes in general. And even when he wasn't " Not showing up as much" he was still showing up... alot . So what are you even talking about

Also considering he literally wants to protect the world for maria's memory he fits right in with the main conflict just fine

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You seriously don't think Shadow is a darker version of Sonic? I...I sort of thought that was obvious that he was, from day one. Most of his personality traits are very similar to Sonic. The difference is really the backstory. Guess I can't convince you if you don't already see it, it should be that obvious. Which is why it has been said so often even in this thread.

He's a dark version of sonic in the sense of " He is literally black and has similar abilities and is upset a lot " , if you wanna go that route. But in terms of personality its pretty different to the degree it pops up in a lot of character descriptions for shadow. Him and sonic two very different people, and even while they are on friendlier terms, they don't like each other because they are so different. This has been pretty apparent from the beginning, and shadow became a more different dude in terms of personality as the series went on.

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12 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

The reason he doesn't show up in much is because he's not playable much. And that's the same for most characters not named sonic at the momento.

Also considering he literally wants to protect the world for maria's memory he fits right in with the main conflict just fine

He's a dark version of sonic in the sense of " He is literally black and has similar abilities and is upset a lot " , if you wanna go that route. But in terms of personality its pretty different to the degree it pops up in a lot of character descriptions for shadow. Him and sonic two very different people, and even while they are on friendlier terms, they don't like each other because they are so different. This has been pretty apparent from the beginning, and shadow became a more different dude in terms of personality as the series went on.

Wait, is protecting the world based on Maria's memory a part of the basic conflict of the series? I wasn't aware of this.... I sort of doubt it. For that debut game and for Shadow's game, yes but for the rest of the series...no. Which again is why Shadow has mostly not done anything since. If this is not what you mean by this please clarify. Being motivated by Maria doesn't have anything to do with Sonic stopping Eggman from his usual goofy hijinks.

Also, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy appear all the time and mostly haven't been playable since 2006 in the main games. Because (at least with Tails and Amy) they have reasonable motivations to want to tag alongside Sonic's adventures and thus fit as part of the narrative. Knuckles not as much, but one can justify his inclusion when the emeralds are involved and they are often.

Maybe in the comics Shadow is portrayed a little differently but in the games he is quite similar to Classic Sonic. The main difference is his origin and trying to remember who he is. Otherwise, his action first, talk second, short fuse attitude is basically what Sonic already is...its just dialed up a few notches. This is very similar to how Classic Sonic was portrayed in the 90s, but with a darker flair.

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39 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Wait, is protecting the world based on Maria's memory a part of the basic conflict of the series? I wasn't aware of this.... I sort of doubt it. For that debut game and for Shadow's game, yes but for the rest of the series...no. Which again is why Shadow has mostly not done anything since. If this is not what you mean by this please clarify.

 

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Being motivated by Maria doesn't have anything to do with Sonic stopping Eggman from his usual goofy hijinks.

Eggman's goofy hijinks usually involve trying to take over the world, or A world. And shadow wants to save those.

Some mental  gymnastics. right here

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Also, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy appear all the time and mostly haven't been playable since 2006 in the main games. Because (at least with Tails and Amy) they have reasonable motivations to want to tag alongside Sonic's adventures and thus fit as part of the narrative. Knuckles not as much, but one can justify his inclusion when the emeralds are involved and they are often.

Shadow appears quite a bit too.

But again, we are on mental gymnastics time with you.

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Maybe in the comics Shadow is portrayed a little differently but in the games he is quite similar to Classic Sonic.

No, no he's not

No one thinks this.

39 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

 Otherwise, his action first, talk second, short fuse attitude is basically what Sonic already is...its just dialed up a few notches. This is very similar to how Classic Sonic was portrayed in the 90s, but with a darker flair.

Congratulations,

You have described knuckles. and amy in some respects , and jet... and a lot of characters in this franchise.

You also forgot to mention, the other character traits that make him not like that at all.

Again with the mental gymnastics

 

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Must be in a bizarro world. Not only was a warning just made in this thread to stop being snippy for literally no reason, but Shadowlax is trying to give a lecture to another member about them making terrible arguments.

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I never understood how he was an edgelord to begin with tbh. Shadow the Hedgehog introduced the unnecessary swearing and a "good and evil" path system, yeah, and his name is attached to that, but the tone applied to the rest of the cast as well, and everything outside of that doesn't feel extreme in the slightest. He's stoic, he's reserved, serious but not to an unreasonable degree, and does heroic deeds on his own time and his own way. Nothing about him seems trying too hard to be dark, offensive, or gritty; at worst he's a really tame shonen antihero, which isn't that far from a cartoon's antihero archetype in the first place. Compared to every other well renowned edgelord there is in media, Shadow feels like a plastic lunch knife by design in comparison.

Is a "tragic backstory" really the only qualifier an edgelord requires? Because if that's the case, Chaos, Tikal, Gamma, Gemerl, and even Eggman with Gerald can all fall into those same categories tbh

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27 minutes ago, The Deleter said:

I never understood how he was an edgelord to begin with tbh. Shadow the Hedgehog introduced the unnecessary swearing and a "good and evil" path system, yeah, and his name is attached to that, but the tone applied to the rest of the cast as well, and everything outside of that doesn't feel extreme in the slightest. He's stoic, he's reserved, serious but not to an unreasonable degree, and does heroic deeds on his own time and his own way. Nothing about him seems trying too hard to be dark, offensive, or gritty; at worst he's a really tame shonen antihero, which isn't that far from a cartoon's antihero archetype in the first place. Compared to every other well renowned edgelord there is in media, Shadow feels like a plastic lunch knife by design in comparison.

Is a "tragic backstory" really the only qualifier an edgelord requires? Because if that's the case, Chaos, Tikal, Gamma, Gemerl, and even Eggman with Gerald can all fall into those same categories tbh

Edgelord is one of those internet terms that don't quite have to make too much sense and applies to whatever the user wants to apply it to and in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter much. Whether shadow is an edgelord or not , he's still popular. Sometimes internet stuff doesn't make much sense, and analyzing it doesn't do you any good and only gives you a head ache.

But I generally agree from what you are saying, but Imagine the guns and the cursing did that for a lot of people

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Just to throw out a baseline definition of the term

 

Quote

The term "edgelord," is a noun, which came from the previous adjective, "edgy," which described the above behaviour. With "edgy" in turn being. (entertainment, advertising) on the edge between acceptable and offensive; pushing the boundaries of good taste; risqué (slang) Cool by virtue of being tough, dark, or badass

 

That last bit is pretty much Shadz in a nutshell. Where as Sonic is cool by virtue of heroism, radicalism and quite frankly popular-ism (he has all the friends) - Shadow gets it done by being the resident take no nonsense badass.

There is no reason to shy away from that. Its what he was designed to be.

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