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Kuzu

Why Shadow matters

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I'm not a big fan of Shadow anymore, but I did like your recap of your childhood with Shadow, I'll reply in kind, because I also have memories with him.

I had Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast and loved it, but I think I got the game a year or two after it originally came out here in the UK. When SA2 came out, I knew that Shadow was a new character and at the time, he seemed incredibly cool. I know it's hard to take him seriously now, especially when he comes out with cheesy lines like "ugh, I'm the coolest!", but I'd be lying if I said I didn't think he wasn't incredibly cool as a kid. I remember I was really salty that he had one level less than Sonic in SA2 because, believe it or not, I wanted to play as Shadow and not Sonic!

Also, on the whole genocide thing, I do think it's really jarring now, but I honestly wasn't impacted by it when I was 12. I thought I was a damn grown up at that point :P . I liked SA2 a lot because of how it went far more anime and over the top, even if I didn't know what the fuck anime even was back then. That's not to say I didn't pick up on the really dumb aspects though; I thought the president was fucking stupid even when I was a kid.

I was also really impacted by Shadow's death in SA2, and I think it's one of the few scenes which still holds up in SA2's story. They handle it with a surprising subtlety and sensitivity. Sonic doesn't go in to the space centre and start screaming in pain about Shadow's death, which honestly you'd expect from the story being so cheesy; instead everyone is deadly silent and no one wants to talk about it, but they all know he's gone. In fact, I think Sonic's presumed death holds up for that same reason, Tails just goes into denial, shock and wanting to defeat Eggman. I still think the Shadow scene holds up really well. 

And while I prefer Metal Sonic over Shadow and always did even as a kid back then, I do think there is a certain quality about Shadow which made him endearing in SA2. He certainly had more complexity than villains to come out since Adventure, since he has actual motives for his actions, even if they are a bit over the top. And I think his turn to the good side is actually believable too, although I wish his flashback restoration of Maria's message was revealed more throughout the game rather than just one revelation scene. And I don't really think he went full 'good side', he still operated simply on what Maria told him to say. I think that's why his ending is bittersweet rather than full on depressing, he's working with the good guys, but he's not really a part of their team.

I think Shadow has been horribly mishandled since and wish he had remained dead in SA2 if I'm being honest. I can certainly look back now and laugh at Shadow even in SA2, and when I was a kid I thought he was cool for really dumb reasons (chaos control is so cool!). But I do like him for that nostalgic reason, at least to some extent.

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I used to be quite captivated by Shadow alongside Knuckles Tribe back when McDonald's did those LCD games and remember watching Sonic X in part to finally get a chance to see him since I didn't have any games at the time. I think Team Dark was even the first team I played as in Heroes, as hard as their and Sonic's level was for me at that point.

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13 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

I gotta say...Metal Sonic did it better.

But I can only say it once and only speak for one.

Metal Sonic's not an exceptionally profound villain to be honest.

He does look very cool though. And I like that he fits with the aesthetic of Eggman's robots.

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Shadow is neat. As you mentioned, he's a guy who is kind of on a surface level kind of incompatibility with a lot of the series themes , and not only by that nature is he, he is simultaneously compatible with those themes but in his own way. His a character who just... kind of chews scenery if you write him well and is kind of a reflection of what you can do when you let the characters be characters sometimes.

But more so that than, he's weirdly relatable. Obviously you nor I weren't children who were born in labs to cure fake diseases . Shadow's themes of self discovery, making your own family, and growth resonate with a lot of people. He's a character who's regularly just... not ok. And he's working through it.  Its why he continues to be extremely popular today.

I hope whoever is making those weird creative decisions , remembers that. Or gets replaced by someone who does. Though... that last line can unfortunately apply to a lot of the series recently.

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Metal Sonic is perfectly fine and he does fit the aesthetic of an "evil Sonic" better. But he's not a particularly interesting character and as a result, is mostly just an extension of Eggman's will rather than his own character.

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Just now, StaticMania said:

The gist of my opinion piece is this...

Metal Sonic is the Goku Black to Shadow the Hedgehog's Turles,

I'm thinking more Clone Goku from Fighters, but maybe that works better than it looks.

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2 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

The gist of my opinion piece is this...

Metal Sonic is the Goku Black to Shadow the Hedgehog's Turles,

That's pretty interesting but I don't recall Metal steal Sonic's body. 😂

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7 hours ago, Kuzu said:

But beyond his relationship to Sonic, there was also his story arc...which, yea, in hindsight I can understand the complaints about it being unfit for the series and they probably shouldn't have gone with something so...grim for this series. But at the time, I never felt that way. I grew up watching Mufasa and Littlefoot's Mom dying, this shit was Carebears compared to the trauma I got from those movies. But I can understand that if you grew up in the 90's with Sonic, this type of stuff would feel extremely out of place and alienating to you. But for better or worse, all of that just served to make Shadow stand out even more. He wasn't JUST an evil Sonic clone; he was a character with his own story to tell and had his own reasons for his actions. Was it a bit TOO out of place for what came before? Maybe, but that story did its job at getting the audience to care about him.  

This was always something I had trouble reconciling because I always felt the series was flexible enough to handle it. My particular experiences with Sonic prior to Sonic Adventure 2 were not only playing the Genesis games, but also watching the cartoons, and I was an avid reader of the Archie comic which was far and away much different from anything else in this series for many years (and I think it left the biggest impression on me next to the games). I was more than a little familiar with the idea that Sonic can be all sorts of things. I get being a kid might have a lot to do with having this sort of openness (I was 13 when SA2 came out on Dreamcast), as my tastes were still developing and around that time I was mad into Dragon Ball Z, so that's probably another influence as well.

As I've gotten older... I still feel the same way, to be honest. It just seems more like the actual delivery of the message is flawed. I feel like Shadow's backstory and basic revenge plot has a lot of similarities with Chaos's in Sonic Adventure, just with more of a sci-fi bend and probably influenced by American action movies. It also feels like it's built on spectacle and looking cool, and I think it shows with the set pieces and characters a lot--this isn't a bad thing at all, but I think it came at the cost of the actual plot barely holding itself together. You could retain the same elements of the story and retell it in a more coherent way, especially when looking from Shadow's perspective; he could have moments where his memory nearly gets jolted remembering what Maria said but fights to ignore it because he's made up his mind before seeing the error of his ways. It feels like there are moments close to this in the actual game, but there isn't really an attempt to develop it as much as it could have been.

I don't even think this is impossible to tell in a game, it just feels more like there wasn't time for them to do as much as Sonic Team probably wanted.

I think the game did serve its purpose though, and for most people it's practically the most definitive version of the character. I think SA2 is also a pretty clear influence on how Ian Flynn developed the character during his run on the Archie comics, which I think is why I started giving the character more of a second look over time. I like how he can come off as pragmatic and willful, but it seems less out of overconfidence (which he still has) but a kind of overprotectiveness he often has due to finding more productive ways of fulfilling Maria's wish, and I like that (in most cases) he's willing to learn and values his teammates as friends. He's also just fun in that comic, either because of the way certain artists make him emote at the ridiculous situations or the way he can actually banter and joke around with Sonic, or even be really childish about things like Knuckles calling him a jerk (which was 100% called for btw). And none of this really feels at odds at how cool and varied his actual ability to get the job done is. That version feels the most like a fully realized version of Shadow once his issues with his past were resolved and it carries through both continuities.

 

Of course I'm also an Archie fanboy at the end of the day so lol

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Quote

He was not interested in researching weapons. He was researching a way to bring happiness and hope to all people. But, he was forced by the government and by the military to use his research for war. That's why he gave you and Gizoid a "soul." A soul identical to his beloved granddaughter, Maria."

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I've said before I'm a fan of all 3 of the major Shadow story arcs for one reason or another. I think he's a legitimately strong character, possibly one of the series strongest, and even plays to a lot of it's themes if you look beyond the "pollution bad" themes of Sonic from the 90s. 

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Before we start with that though I'd just like to say it needs to be stressed how slick this character's design is, right down to the details. There are so many ways a "dark" Sonic could have come out lazy or uninspired but they went out of their way to pick a pleasing color palette and twist the core of the character in so many satisfying ways. Telegraphed clearly as related to Sonic but able to be picked out by his sillouette. 

One of the twists on the core Sonic concept was giving Shadow rocket skates. On top of hammering home his artificiality compared to Sonic's natural abilities, it looks dope as fuck and gives his running animations a weighty finesse that contrasts well with Sonic barreling forward with all of his might.

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Everything about this character on the surface level is already a home run as far as concept and design goes but he'd be little more than a cooler replacement for Metal Sonic if they didn't dig deeper into what this character was. The last thing I would want is for this design to be wasted on another ragdoll for Sonic to smack around on his way to Eggman. Thankfully Sonic Team felt the same way and took several risks with the character. 
 


Shadow uses the Chaos Emerald's natural affinity for space time manipulation to warp circles around Sonic, establishing himself as the first real character capable of outdoing his speed and lighting a fire under Sonic's ass that last for the rest of the game. The best part about this is that Shadow didn't have to come toy with Sonic. His more serious demeanor is masking an immaturity and ego that only comes out occasionally when he feels challenged.

Shadow has no qualms about where his speed and his power come from: at the start of SA2, he's proud of his status as the ultimate weapon and happy to flaunt it. This assault on Sonic's identity gets under his skin in a way we hadn't really seen before or since. 

If you start with the dark story instead you'll find out earlier on that Shadow is driven by trauma and revenge in a similar way to SA1's antagonist, tying the games together thematically despite claims that they're unrelated. This backstory is the backbone of why the character is cool to me, despite some sloppy storytelling even in it's original portrayal. 

Shadow's relationship with Maria is something that we don't get to see very much of but I'm automatically a fan of the deep voiced, endlessly cool edgelord that exudes a lot of masculine energy being a pushover for his little sister. I think SA2 or really any of the Shadow centric stories afterward would have benefited from digging deep into that relationship and showing us the every day side of things. It's a thing I think a lot about and I'm not the only one if all the sibling Shadow fanart is any indication. 

It also would have made Maria's death that much more tragic. A lot of the people aren't a fan of gruesome child murder in the Sonic series but I think Maria's passing and Shadow lashing out is probably the thing that brings the character together for me. It's tragic in a way that's relatable when you break it down to it's base components, and Shadow being able to eventually grow past it and cope with it in ways beyond lashing out at the world is one of the most human things in the series.

"We've all got dead people." - Rocket Raccoon. 

One thing I will say Shadow's pivot to good in SA2 was a little too sudden for me. I think the games afterward are a little better about how they handle getting him where they want him to go and thus have their own merits.

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Shadow the Hedgehog is a game where Shadow wields firearms and curses. That's hilariously tone deaf, but despite that I never felt like the game really betrayed the spirit of the character. The game is much maligned for it's aesthetic choices but it's hard for me to find that to be a big deal in the grand scheme of bad decisions the franchise has made.

His memories are gone again which is silly but I choose to blame the game I don't like, Sonic Heroes, for that one. 

The weapons in Shadow extend past firearms and all the way through beam swords to stop signs. Shadow always seemed more like a combat pragmatist so him picking shit up off the ground and using it isn't the worst thing. There are also a lot of really goofy scifi or over the top artillery weapons in that game, to the point where I wonder if the AKs and pistols were just emphasized in the marketing for shock value purposes. 

A lot of people think the additions to his backstory are unnecessary. I don't disagree but I don't think they hurt anything about the previous games. Shadow being the son of a literal hellspawn just adds to his list of insecurities but the game is smart to air pretty much every single one of those things out by the end. Including the dumb android subplot from Heroes, thank god.  

There is definitely some OOC content in that game but in a game like Shadow the Hedgehog it's kind of the point. The few scenes in the game one can read as canon form a solid direction for a character used as a tool to complete another character's will again and again. Shadow refuses to be a pawn even to his own past anymore, deciding to complete Maria's will with head clear of any baggage.

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I'm surprised in retrospect that the series mostly honored that. There's new Shadow baggage in 06 but it's largely related to things Shadow did in the present day. A literal dark version of the dark version of the main character appears because Sonic is just like this now, I guess. There's no self awareness but we all know it's funnier this way. 

I don't really care to get into Mephilies's nonsense plan or Sonic 06's nonsense lore, but I like that Shadow is confronted about his insecurities about how the world sees him right off of the back of a game where you could have blown up the presidential plane if you wanted. 

I like the conclusion he comes to too, but everybody does. 

He also gets his own vengeful emotionally immature teenager deal with in Silver. Of course, Shadow is completely empathetic to Silver's situation and sets him straight with firm, honest conversation. 

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I don't know if I stressed this enough in my kind-of recap so I'll say it here: I think my favorite thing about Shadow is that the calm mature power fantasy is hiding how flawed he really is. He is easily manipulated. He lashes out instead of dealing with his feelings. Despite his ridiculous list of powers he loses a lot of fights to simpler strategies, implying that maybe all the superpowers he's been gifted with can't beat the raw experience Sonic has with his one or two. Ego driven in a lot of the same way Sonic is which makes it even worse when he comes short of backing it up. There aren't really enough pieces of Sonic media that use all of these traits of his to their full potential to make him the great character I imagine him to be(especially not lately). But I feel like Ian brought it all together in a way that felt fairly well balanced and made him a welcome addition, even in the series lighter moments.

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My biggest wish for the character going forward is that they'll let him be fun. Let him be a more natural fit in the gang who has his own sense of humor to add to the comedic side of things. Don't just bring him out when it's time for things to get tense. 

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I think a key problem with Shadow is that he's very much a product of his time. He's a 2000's edgy dark character who is supposed to be cool and appeal to teenagers. And to be honest, he did very well in accomplishing that goal and was probably ahead of his time. When I think of Shadow, I don't just think of SA2 or even Shadow and Sonic 06, I think of all the fan art and terrible fan games which were made for him. He was unarguably at the height of his popularity in the mid-to-late 2000s, where the emo trend reached its apex.

Unlike Sonic, who moved on past his 90s characterisation to become a more generic anime style hero and then a new memey comedic style (regardless what you think of that new style in terms of quality), SEGA doesn't know what to do with Shadow. They've tried making him more comedic in Boom and the shorts, which I personally like and find funny, but a lot of fans hate it for poking fun at him. In games like Forces he just comes across as boring and uninteresting.

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I feel it's because Shadow as a character is very hard to balance without leaning too far in one direction; because he's supposed to be "dark Sonic", he ideally, should be a reflection of Sonic's' personality.  But because of that, any game time he appears, he is liable to overshadow the rest of the plot which was the case in the mid-late 2000's. So to compensate, they just used him a lot less starting in the 2010's outside of spin offs. 

And when they do use him, it's never in a particularly good light either; in Boom, he literally shows up out of nowhere with no context or reasoning, and in Forces, he doesn't really have any effect on anything. It's like they're afraid of actually making his appearances mean anything, so they just kind of half ass it by throwing him into whatever and calling it a day. 

 

If they're committed to this new comedic direction, then they need to own it. Have him and Sonic get into stupid pissing contests and just start trying to one up each other, poke fun at his "too serious" attitude (The TSR shorts actually did this right), makes his appearances actually mean something dammit. 

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28 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I think a key problem with Shadow is that he's very much a product of his time. He's a 2000's edgy dark character who is supposed to be cool and appeal to teenagers. And to be honest, he did very well in accomplishing that goal and was probably ahead of his time. When I think of Shadow, I don't just think of SA2 or even Shadow and Sonic 06, I think of all the fan art and terrible fan games which were made for him. He was unarguably at the height of his popularity in the mid-to-late 2000s, where the emo trend reached its apex.

Unlike Sonic, who moved on past his 90s characterisation to become a more generic anime style hero and then a new memey comedic style (regardless what you think of that new style in terms of quality), SEGA doesn't know what to do with Shadow. They've tried making him more comedic in Boom and the shorts, which I personally like and find funny, but a lot of fans hate it for poking fun at him. In games like Forces he just comes across as boring and uninteresting.

How oddly appropriate.

The funny thing is Forces is probably the best appearance he's had lately.

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50 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I think a key problem with Shadow is that he's very much a product of his time.

Hot take: maybe that's not an issue and a bunch of people still like him. And that's ok.

Hotter take: Considering kids like him now and relate to his character going back and playing the games themselves, wikipedia articles, and watching gameplay. And he still remains very popular. His product is more universally relatable than you think. Espically considering the "emo " thing never went away. It just changed aesthetics and musical genere's

 

37 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

I feel it's because Shadow as a character is very hard to balance without leaning too far in one direction; because he's supposed to be "dark Sonic", he ideally, should be a reflection of Sonic's' personality.  But because of that, any game time he appears, he is liable to overshadow the rest of the plot which was the case in the mid-late 2000's. So to compensate, they just used him a lot less starting in the 2010's outside of spin offs. 

And when they do use him, it's never in a particularly good light either; in Boom, he literally shows up out of nowhere with no context or reasoning, and in Forces, he doesn't really have any effect on anything. It's like they're afraid of actually making his appearances mean anything, so they just kind of half ass it by throwing him into whatever and calling it a day. 

To be fair about boom shadow, and I always want to mention this. Boom shadow, and boom in general was supposed to be more shit. Due to development and the entire brand just shutting down nothing ever happened. Maybed that " more" was bad I dunno. And while I do not like boom shadow, I can't really come down that hard on it because we were just missing a greater context. Like IIRC multiple people working on boom as a thing really liked shadow and wanted to use him, but the wheels fell off before the first game was released. I know you have to judge things for what they are in situations like these and boom in a whole was various types of dissapointing. But i feel like we were gonna get that, and everything died before we got game one.

As for them being afraid of shadow mean anything. I don't think its that, I think shadow is a symptom of a larger issue(s). They are afraid of " canon" , they want to be able to plop these characters anywhere and just make em go, and that's it. And shadow's not that character, his character's existence implies canon. While yes he's an extremely versatile character, you can't just up and change him without people noticing and getting upset and sega is currently experiencing this. Unless they strait up say " we are rebooting sonic these past games don't matter" ( they never will ) , people will expectations of that character based on past experiences .

You just don't notice with other characters because a lions share of them can be ignored. Some of them are noticeable, blaze is a good example. But the idea is to make things more simple. Issue is, shadow's in a very particular situation where you can't really make him simple, and you can't ignore his past because even his debut game is one of the most mythologized games in sonic period and kind of in the general video game populous.

They can't simplify his character down

They can't pretend his past doesn't exist

So what can they do, just put him in shit. Now obviously they could just... write better stories and occasionally include shadow in those. But they don't want to , they want very simple non offensive content. Even forces that is supposed to be harkening back to another era is simpler and worse version of it.

If I were in a more dire mood I would suggest this character may eventually just go away because they can't fit him in their vision clearly. But a few things have given me a bit more hope that wont happen.

But Yeah I don't think its a shadow thing. I think he just gets hit hard because they want to unilaterally go in another direction and what he is does not work in that direction.

 

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56 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

I feel it's because Shadow as a character is very hard to balance without leaning too far in one direction; because he's supposed to be "dark Sonic", he ideally, should be a reflection of Sonic's' personality.  But because of that, any game time he appears, he is liable to overshadow the rest of the plot which was the case in the mid-late 2000's. So to compensate, they just used him a lot less starting in the 2010's outside of spin offs. 

And when they do use him, it's never in a particularly good light either; in Boom, he literally shows up out of nowhere with no context or reasoning, and in Forces, he doesn't really have any effect on anything. It's like they're afraid of actually making his appearances mean anything, so they just kind of half ass it by throwing him into whatever and calling it a day. 

 

If they're committed to this new comedic direction, then they need to own it. Have him and Sonic get into stupid pissing contests and just start trying to one up each other, poke fun at his "too serious" attitude (The TSR shorts actually did this right), makes his appearances actually mean something dammit. 

This really, Sega is fearful of depicting Shadow as extremely adaptable as Rouge nowadays. He cant just be implemented into anything and that's based of of sega being hesitant to shadows character based on the many failures hes accumulated from his game. He sadly has to be a relevant to foil sonic in order to be a character nowadays, when once he used to have his own story and independence from being a rival to sonic or another sonic clone.

 

They should just make him Wario and have his character detached from any sonic main role. Sonic Team has trouble establishing Shadow as Sonics rival and a main core face, so they might as well give him his own free space to stretch his charscter in it's own tone. And have rouge and omega go with him.

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25 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Hot take: maybe that's not an issue and a bunch of people still like him. And that's ok.

Hotter take: Considering kids like him now and relate to his character going back and playing the games themselves, wikipedia articles, and watching gameplay. And he still remains very popular. His product is more universally relatable than you think. Espically considering the "emo " thing never went away. It just changed aesthetics and musical genere's

 

To be fair about boom shadow, and I always want to mention this. Boom shadow, and boom in general was supposed to be more shit. Due to development and the entire brand just shutting down nothing ever happened. Maybed that " more" was bad I dunno. And while I do not like boom shadow, I can't really come down that hard on it because we were just missing a greater context. Like IIRC multiple people working on boom as a thing really liked shadow and wanted to use him, but the wheels fell off before the first game was released. I know you have to judge things for what they are in situations like these and boom in a whole was various types of dissapointing. But i feel like we were gonna get that, and everything died before we got game one.

As for them being afraid of shadow mean anything. I don't think its that, I think shadow is a symptom of a larger issue(s). They are afraid of " canon" , they want to be able to plop these characters anywhere and just make em go, and that's it. And shadow's not that character, his character's existence implies canon. While yes he's an extremely versatile character, you can't just up and change him without people noticing and getting upset and sega is currently experiencing this. Unless they strait up say " we are rebooting sonic these past games don't matter" ( they never will ) , people will expectations of that character based on past experiences .

You just don't notice with other characters because a lions share of them can be ignored. Some of them are noticeable, blaze is a good example. But the idea is to make things more simple. Issue is, shadow's in a very particular situation where you can't really make him simple, and you can't ignore his past because even his debut game is one of the most mythologized games in sonic period and kind of in the general video game populous.

They can't simplify his character down

They can't pretend his past doesn't exist

So what can they do, just put him in shit. Now obviously they could just... write better stories and occasionally include shadow in those. But they don't want to , they want very simple non offensive content. Even forces that is supposed to be harkening back to another era is simpler and worse version of it.

If I were in a more dire mood I would suggest this character may eventually just go away because they can't fit him in their vision clearly. But a few things have given me a bit more hope that wont happen.

But Yeah I don't think its a shadow thing. I think he just gets hit hard because they want to unilaterally go in another direction and what he is does not work in that direction.

 

I don't actually agree with any of this; Shadow's story is only relevant up until it's resolved. That was the entire point of the game's ending, Shadow moving forward with his life without being burdened by the past. 

His story does only serves to tell you where he came from, but not how his actual character is supposed to be. At his fundamental core, he is "Dark Sonic", he's Dark Sonic with a significant backstory, but he is mainly dark Sonic first and foremost. 

People get get hung up on his backstory because its where most of the character's appeal is from, but his backstory is no longer relevant to the direction the series is headed towards. And I can get how can how that be frustrating if you're a fan of how he was portrayed in that time period, but Shadow needed to either be changed to fit in with the trends like Sonic, or just left behind and forgotten and there's just way too much potential for the character for the latter to happen. 

I used to be pissed off too at how his character has been utilized, but I also started to understand that his character was beginning to stagnate by the end of the PS3/X360/Wii Generation. Sonic is a contemporary series and constantly changes itself to fit with the current times, and Shadow is no different. 

21 minutes ago, WhatHasHappenedtoMyDreams said:

This really, Sega is fearful of depicting Shadow as extremely adaptable as Rouge nowadays. He cant just be implemented into anything and that's based of of sega being hesitant to shadows character based on the many failures hes accumulated from his game. He sadly has to be a relevant to foil sonic in order to be a character nowadays, when once he used to have his own story and independence from being a rival to sonic or another sonic clone.

 

They should just make him Wario and have his character detached from any sonic main role. Sonic Team has trouble establishing Shadow as Sonics rival and a main core face, so they might as well give him his own free space to stretch his charscter in it's own tone. And have rouge and omega go with him.

He has always been primarily a foil to Sonic first and foremost. His backstory is secondary to that. 

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1 hour ago, WhatHasHappenedtoMyDreams said:

They should just make him Wario and have his character detached from any sonic main role. Sonic Team has trouble establishing Shadow as Sonics rival and a main core face, so they might as well give him his own free space to stretch his charscter in it's own tone. And have rouge and omega go with him.

So what the comics and his later appearances in the Dreamcast & early Modern era were?

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I admit Shadow has been my favorite Sonic character for a while, and that while lasted until he returned after his sacrifice. I really liked his role in SA2, as a "Dark Sonic" first, then developing and showing complex sides of his personality and backstory, and finally become an hero. After his return, he became the edgy guy who's everywhere because he's popular, and I don't like that type of characters.

Today, he's along with Amy and Metal Sonic one of my least favorite characters in the franchise (I'm still ok with them, I don't hate them or anything, but that's it, just ok... It's that I'm not a big fan of characters who are "Sonic but edgy", "Sonic but evil robot" or "Sonic but girl").

I liked him because he was supposed to be an one off, but now he became one of the main characters, and SEGA clearly has no idea of what to do with him, they use him only because he looks cool and it helps them to sell more copies of their games.

On a side note, I like a lot his hover shoes and the way he skates instead of running; I wish it was used in gameplay by making him the only character able to use the surface of the water as a platform (land/walk on it even at slower speed).

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Amy's not Sonic but girl though...

And that mindset implies other hedgehog characters who look like they'd actually be hedgehogs (compared to Sonic) can't exist because they're visually similar.

If there's a reason for looking similar, then it shouldn't be acknowledged.

That there hasn't been more than 2 animals of most of the cast is surplexing.

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7 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I don't actually agree with any of this; Shadow's story is only relevant up until it's resolved. That was the entire point of the game's ending, Shadow moving forward with his life without being burdened by the past. 

His story does only serves to tell you where he came from, but not how his actual character is supposed to be. At his fundamental core, he is "Dark Sonic", he's Dark Sonic with a significant backstory, but he is mainly dark Sonic first and foremost. 

People get get hung up on his backstory because its where most of the character's appeal is from, but his backstory is no longer relevant to the direction the series is headed towards. And I can get how can how that be frustrating if you're a fan of how he was portrayed in that time period, but Shadow needed to either be changed to fit in with the trends like Sonic, or just left behind and forgotten and there's just way too much potential for the character for the latter to happen. 

I used to be pissed off too at how his character has been utilized, but I also started to understand that his character was beginning to stagnate by the end of the PS3/X360/Wii Generation. Sonic is a contemporary series and constantly changes itself to fit with the current times, and Shadow is no different. 

Yo homie it sounds like you just gave up. Shadow was literally fine and was being portrayed in updated settings fine. The comics exist as proof of that. Maybe maybe I would agree with you if ian flynn didnt exist, or evan Stanley, bunches of fan content. Even shit like twitter take overs, heck sonic goddamn forces. If these didn't exist, I might agree. But they do and he does work.

Which means the issue isn't shadow. Its who's controlling him. You like many fans have been beaten for over the head for so long with sega/sonic team's incompetence. That you started to think there was something inherently wrong with the franchise and its parts. But no, it's just sega.

You know what speaks to why you are so wrong.  Modern sonic is currently having a dramatic arc where characters have motivations and shadows,  the character literally built for that, is the only one that is bad. Not because of some inherent flaw. Or the times have changed.It's because sega made him that way.

You gave up and now blaming shadow instead of sega. You taking on a corporations argument as a consumer. And its flawed. Because they are gonna screw up more things. If they keep screwing up game tails are you gonna tell me tails isnt fitting sonic anymore?

No. No one at Sega/ST in exec positions or positions of creative power, has had an interesting thought about shadow, heck a lot of this series in years. It speaks volumes that the community manager, not a writer the community manager. Wrote a better more modern jokey shadow for a bit than sega has in years.

You gave up because you think the the company in charge isnt gonna provide you the quality you want. And that's cool, problably healthier than a lot of sonic fans means of coping. But dont sit here and try to blame this character for being unfitting when there are examples of him working fine. If not better.

Shadows weird because they want to capitalize on nostalgia without understand what made it work  and without too much work. They don't want to try, they dont want to commit time. And that has nothing to do with shadow.

Because again people litterally have the ability to make him work right now.

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19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

 

But beyond his relationship to Sonic, there was also his story arc...which, yea, in hindsight I can understand the complaints about it being unfit for the series and they probably shouldn't have gone with something so...grim for this series. But at the time, I never felt that way. I grew up watching Mufasa and Littlefoot's Mom dying, this shit was Carebears compared to the trauma I got from those movies. But I can understand that if you grew up in the 90's with Sonic, this type of stuff would feel extremely out of place and alienating to you.

Time out.

You mean the same exact 90’s that gave us the grim dark SatAM Robotnik that would fit right at home with the tone Shadow partially brought with him several years later? And that’s just one example.

Not to gripe at you because it’s actually worthwhile for you to point out, but at the same this is pretty hypocritical at best or ignorant at worst in hindsight to how people categorize themselves as a certain type of fan from a certain era but pigeonhole it to one aspect while disregarding everything else of that era like they don’t represent the franchise as opposed to literally everything else when the only critieria for that is preference—and hey, everyone has them, but that doesn’t invalidate the other things outside of that preference that represents the franchise.
 

I grew up in the 90s and was an avid Sonic fan. And during that period, we had Sonic in the manner of Looney Tunes with AoSTH, Sonic in the form of an underground militia with SatAM, and Sonic as a prince in Underground. Not to speak for everyone on what they like, but if you grew up with Sonic in the 90s, at least here in the US, it wasn’t just the games that influenced your Sonic fix as you were exposed to far more than that out there given how that was the main period Sonic was the bigger juggernaut than Mario before his fall. And regardless of which you happen to be a fan of or the direction the series is going in now, you’d think with these things being wildly different representations of the franchise that a character like Shadow wouldn’t be that alien in the series general. It’s been far more flexible in the past that someone like Shadow wouldn’t be that alien compared to the stuff that came after him—and sometimes even that.

And the truth is, he wouldn’t. If you rewind the clock back two decades, I find it hard to believe Shadow wouldn’t fit somewhere in the series. He could very well have easily been a character somewhere in SatAM or Underground at the very least, and funny enough without even changing his backstory all that much barring a few details. And quite frankly, this idea that things weren’t that grim in 90s before Shadow came along is pretty asinine and dishonest when you consider the entirety of the 90s-era of Sonic as a franchise, because much of the grim aspects were already there before Shadow was even on the drawing board.
 

Shadow just happens to be a staple of an old paradigm shift like a lot of things, and just as much a representation of his time as what came before him. And the stuff he brought with him isn’t any less alienating that the many directions the franchise went before or even after his debut.

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