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Kuzu

Why Shadow matters

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9 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Once again, I did not give up on him but I'm also not going to scream and rant on why isn't he being portrayed in the exact specific way I want him to be. You need to be open-minded about this type of stuff otherwise you're never going to be satisfied.

If being open minded means I have to tolerate Sonic Team's current level of mediocrity, I think I'd rather deal with dissatisfaction. Seriously though, I don't have an issue with people having a different interpretation of a character but I draw the line at disregarding his core traits and warping him beyond recognition. 

 

9 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I will call out when he's treated like shit, and I have, many times. I think he's trash in Boom, and trash in the comics but those are only two examples out of an entire decade. But, I do love his his initial appearance in IDW because it's the first time in a long time that him and Sonic have had a legit interesting dynamic after it felt like the  two had nothing really in common any more. 

Given that he was terrible in Free Riders and Team Sonic Racing too, and his only other noteworthy appearances in the last decade were Archie and Forces, I don't think it's unreasonable to be upset with Sonic Team's handling of him over the last decade. Especially since they were comparatively hands off with Archie; meaning that, of the five major Shadow appearances they had significant input on, three were Boom!Knuckles/Lost World!Tails level bad, IDW is only marginally better (presumably thanks to Ian being there to try and mitigate the damage), and only Forces was decent.

9 hours ago, Kuzu said:

You may feel like Shadow can stand completely on his own as a character and I agree with that, but being "Dark Sonic" is just as integral a part of his character as being his own person. It defeats the entire purpose of him looking similar to Sonic to begin with and he just becomes another character in the fold who just happens to look like Sonic. 

It's integral to his relationship with Sonic but doesn't have much bearing outside of that context. Being "Dark Sonic" has nothing to do with his relationship with Rouge and Omega, it doesn't impact his interactions with Dr. Eggman or Silver, it's not what compels him to fight to protect the world, and it's not why he's determined to control his own destiny. Yes, he's Sonic's foil and that's important since Sonic is the main character,  but I think it's ridiculous to say that Shadow's relationship to Sonic is what defines him first and foremost. Especially when compared to his backstory, which, unlike his connection to Sonic, informs every aspect of who he is.

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I can't hate shadow because he was my little brothers favorite character as a kid. And actually I like him and think he's a good addition to the series as anither rival to Sonic. The only issue I've had with him, is that he like so many other "rival" characters for Sonic, forces the last one to seem more irrelevant and then over stays his welcome. But it isn't a big problem with him. 

 

But to be honest I don't think there are that many characters that "matter" in this series beyond personal taste. They may be popular with some fans but they're not necessary to continue the story or franchise. Shadow would be one who does not matter. 

Not arguing that I'd make him disappear, that'd be stupid with his popularity. 

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1 hour ago, WhatHasHappenedtoMyDreams said:

 

 Comic were faulty to me, shadow had more character exploration, but it was badly rushed and made him look more a flanderized jerk when hes being just like his sa2 self to certain characters. He was also the the most incompetent and somehow more hardheaded than knuckles. I like my shadow cool,  competent and ready and prepared for anything. As for the games, he had moments where he ended things the way I liked it but had to depend on sonic himself carrying his arcs because without sonic, shados would be no where near as popular as alone.

Dude, I was talking about things like Eclipse and Mephiles.

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5 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Then instead of needing to be changed...do something with them. That doesn't support your case of needing to be changed. That supports that they should do something with the characters. Infact given the time at the moment is " cash in on nostalgia " not changing him and doing things with specifically shadow might be a pretty good idea.

Changing is doing something; now if you mean do something with his changed personality, then I agree. They haven't really done anything with him until recently.

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To be fair here.  And i'm not advocating for you to do this , I want to be clear. But classic fans did yell into the void and not only got the thing they want, in trying to appeal to them screwed up and removed whole parts of the franchise for long periods of time. So it worked.  The void yelling did work. You probably should do something healthy. But youtube man yelling about why sonic friends suck and the good ol' days got the job done.

Now lets get to my main point here, " But I've learned it's important to not confuse their incompetence with my own personal biases" , that's a adult reasoned mature take. A take that has come with time and maturity to understand that changes in direction in a franchise isn't always some sort of attack. The issue is, that change isn't immune to criticism, and the change isn't that good. Its actually the result of obfuscating issues rather than anything genuine IMO, because as soon as that became less viable , they just went back to nostalgia mining. My point being , that line, good healthy. Does not apply currently with thing is doing bad.

Fine

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I don't think the current video game/comic shadow is being used correctly. And while I can't say it inherently wrong because yes on a cosmic scale nothing is objective. I can't to the massive disdain he has been getting as a good barometer that maybe its just not working for folks.

I welcome weird and wild interpretations. I have and still do advocate a 3d sonic reboot. I want them to reboot all of 3d sonic, starting with 1 and 2 remakes and change the stories dramatically. I want them to focus on the alien shit for shadow. I want them to expand on the echidna lore an do entirely new shit. I want them to actually do the metal sonic redemption arc they tried to do and gave up on. I want so much new shit ,  I want a reboot. I have read comics my entire life I am ok with people doing wild different shit. I like both the TT and TTG cartoons, I also like young justice. I can enjoy batman the brave and the bold and the white knight. I don't care about change. I care the change is bad. And I think a lot of the sonic fanbase is the same, at least when it comes to not gameplay. With how welcome movie sonic is an interpretation a full departure from a lot of sonic interpretations. A fanbase willing to welcome that into the fold and looks at current comic shadow and goes " nah that ain't it " might have less to do with change and more to do how the character has changed and why did that change need to happen.

But I also think its healthy not to blame yourself for being selfish in these situations, sometimes bad decision are made and they are just kind of bad. And its ok to call those things out. Shadow didn't need to change, sega is just bad at sonic.

The only disdain that comic Shadow has gotten was from one issue; his initial appearance was well received..or at least it wasn't as noticeable as issue 19. I already know that you didn't like his debut and felt it was weak, so I don't think we need to go into that. But beyond that, most of his appearances just...aren't really substantial, Forces included and that's his most prominent video game appearance to date.  

And no, there's no reason to reboot the series; the series is broad enough as it is that rebooting is unnecessary and people would just see it as yet another desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant, ya know like Boom was. They just need to fucking find a focus, stick with it, and make sure it's actually good. 

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Considering the loud reaction to his recent comic interpetation. And recent idea's sega has had for him. The bolded might be why most people like him. He wasn't fated from the heavens to do battle with sonic. Even back in sa2, once you got past all the bullshit. He was just some dude who looks like sonic. He's a guy from another lets say " comic book " with different ideas and ways to carry himself and he just happens to look like a sonic character. He is very weird in the context of what sonic is, and got even weirder as time went on.  And that weirdness is why I think a lot of people like him.

So I dunno if sega feels like he needs to change, instead of trying to pair him down. Embrace the weirdness. Though " embrace the weirdness " is what I have been saying about the franchise for.. a while

Sonic Adventure 2 still remains his most popular portrayal, bar none. Nothing since has really gotten the same reception, and that's a large reason why the popular opinion is that he should have died there. The closest thing is Sonic 06. 

Sonic Adventure 2 strikes a good balance of him being a good foil for the main character, while still having his own engaging storyline; both of those things are what made Shadow popular and a large reason why people even still give a shit about him. 

4 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

If being open minded means I have to tolerate Sonic Team's current level of mediocrity, I think I'd rather deal with dissatisfaction. Seriously though, I don't have an issue with people having a different interpretation of a character but I draw the line at disregarding his core traits and warping him beyond recognition. 

Aside from Sonic Boom, I don't think he's been changed all that much; people are just fatigued because he hasn't done shit in ages. Free Riders and TSR are spin offs and should not be taken seriously...even if they are the character's main appearances in forever. Forces falls more in line with how Sega would probably use him. 

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Given that he was terrible in Free Riders and Team Sonic Racing too, and his only other noteworthy appearances in the last decade were Archie and Forces, I don't think it's unreasonable to be upset with Sonic Team's handling of him over the last decade. Especially since they were comparatively hands off with Archie; meaning that, of the five major Shadow appearances they had significant input on, three were Boom!Knuckles/Lost World!Tails level bad, IDW is only marginally better (presumably thanks to Ian being there to try and mitigate the damage), and only Forces was decent.

Once again, Free Riders and Team Sonic Racing are spin offs with excuse plots to justify why the characters are racing. It should not be taken as a serious interpretation of the character much for the same reasons I don't take Boom!Knuckles seriously. Now yes, those two games are his main appearances, but you still need to be able to differentiate what you should take seriously or not. 

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It's integral to his relationship with Sonic but doesn't have much bearing outside of that context. Being "Dark Sonic" has nothing to do with his relationship with Rouge and Omega, it doesn't impact his interactions with Dr. Eggman or Silver, it's not what compels him to fight to protect the world, and it's not why he's determined to control his own destiny. Yes, he's Sonic's foil and that's important since Sonic is the main character,  but I think it's ridiculous to say that Shadow's relationship to Sonic is what defines him first and foremost. Especially when compared to his backstory, which, unlike his connection to Sonic, informs every aspect of who he is.

As I just told Shadowlax above; before you even knew what his backstory was, you had all you needed to know about his personality in Sonic Adventure 2. His full backstory is not even revealed until the last segment of the game. That's why I said it was periphery to his character. The game that focuses on his backstory in more detail is his least popular incarnation and many felt said game ruined the character (even though I disagree). There's a reason why Adventure 2 still remains his most popular appearance and why popular opinion is that he should have died there. 

I don't disagree that his background and independence is important, but you are severely downplaying just how popular he was simply by virtue of being a darker version of the main character. That alone just carries so many possibilities that has never really been capitalized on since his debut.  It's the combination of those two things that made him so popular, and his more divisive appearances are usually when they forgo one or the other. 

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On 4/6/2020 at 2:25 PM, Shadowlax said:

Metal Sonic trying to steal sonic's body to become the true sonic , sounds like a sick story i'm not gonna lie.

I wonder, you know.  If you look at the lower-right concept design here:

On 4/6/2020 at 12:22 PM, Kuzu said:

 

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It has very heavy Metal Sonic vibes - general colour scheme, certain non-organic traits like the missing iris and mouth...  It's pure speculation, but I do wonder if one of the early ideas mooted for Shadow (or Terios, I suppose) was that he could be Metal Sonic given an organic body to become a greater rival to Sonic.  You could have done a lot of the same things with the character that way, really; the cockiness, the mystery, the way he can be mistaken for Sonic; it lends itself to some of the traits they would establish for Metal Sonic later, like his desire to replace Sonic and become the "real" Sonic, but it's also a vehicle for a classic story of a machine becoming human and having to deal with newfound emotions (doubtless starting with cockiness, envy, rage, but perhaps later self-doubt), and ultimately have him become an independent agent, an anti-hero of shifting allegiances a little like Sonic Team seem to want Shadow to be.

Of course, what they went with was completely different and now they can't ever do that idea because people would just call it a rip-off of Shadow.  A shame, in my opinion.

On 4/8/2020 at 4:52 AM, Kuzu said:

And no, there's no reason to reboot the series; the series is broad enough as it is that rebooting is unnecessary and people would just see it as yet another desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant, ya know like Boom was. They just need to fucking find a focus, stick with it, and make sure it's actually good.

I'm broadly in agreement.  I think Sonic does have continuity and it would be better not to overtly erase or rewrite that because there are still elements there you can or may want to later use, but at the same time I think that continuity has always been very loose and there's ample room for manoeuvre if they want to quietly backpedal on some things and reinterpret them a bit.

It's part of why I don't see any need for a Classic and Modern "split"; different gameplay styles suit different kinds of story, and I don't think anyone has a problem with both being around.  People welcomed Mania as a throwback, but I don't think anyone really saw it as mutually exclusive to what was being done with Modern Sonic (except maybe Sonic Team - and they keep on combining the two anyway!).

On 4/8/2020 at 4:52 AM, Kuzu said:

As I just told Shadowlax above; before you even knew what his backstory was, you had all you needed to know about his personality in Sonic Adventure 2. His full backstory is not even revealed until the last segment of the game. That's why I said it was periphery to his character. The game that focuses on his backstory in more detail is his least popular incarnation and many felt said game ruined the character (even though I disagree). There's a reason why Adventure 2 still remains his most popular appearance and why popular opinion is that he should have died there. 

I don't disagree that his background and independence is important, but you are severely downplaying just how popular he was simply by virtue of being a darker version of the main character. That alone just carries so many possibilities that has never really been capitalized on since his debut.  It's the combination of those two things that made him so popular, and his more divisive appearances are usually when they forgo one or the other. 

This, I think, may be the problem.

On the one hand, I agree that Shadow, considered independently of his design, stands sufficiently well on his own.  He has a distinct personality, he has his own clear motivations, he has his own circle of friends and his own approach.

But on the other hand, he's dark Sonic.  That's inescapable because it's his design.  He has a few little tweaks that give him his own style, but the overwhelming force of his design is that he is Sonic but black.  And the result of that is that you cannot use him without reminding people instantly of Sonic, without them contrasting him to Sonic.  We see this in the games, where he is either presented as a rival to Sonic, or cast in the role of Sonic - as playable co-star, as team leader, and so on.  Whole games hinge on this structure.

I suspect this may be an unpopular way of phrasing it, but I actually think Sonic Team made a serious mistake when conceiving Shadow.  They designed a character to look like a dark Sonic, but they wrote him as having nothing to do with Sonic; and I'm frankly not convinced that you can have both at the same time.  I think there's something quietly tragic - not deliberately, but in its nature as a product - about the Sonic Adventure 2 experience of going through the game seeing this character who looks like Sonic, who styles like Sonic, who has powers like Sonic, and who is consequently  at the centre of this long mystery of exactly who he is and why he is so similar to Sonic... and then there is no reason.  If you dig into the lore, there's a tiny little implication of why he might look like Sonic, but fundamentally it's inconsequential.  The real answer is marketing; a trick, basically.  And so there will always be a dissonance there for everyone except long-time fans who have gotten used to this quirk; but an outsider is never going to view Shadow as an independent character.

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7 hours ago, FFWF said:

This, I think, may be the problem.

On the one hand, I agree that Shadow, considered independently of his design, stands sufficiently well on his own.  He has a distinct personality, he has his own clear motivations, he has his own circle of friends and his own approach.

But on the other hand, he's dark Sonic.  That's inescapable because it's his design.  He has a few little tweaks that give him his own style, but the overwhelming force of his design is that he is Sonic but black.  And the result of that is that you cannot use him without reminding people instantly of Sonic, without them contrasting him to Sonic.  We see this in the games, where he is either presented as a rival to Sonic, or cast in the role of Sonic - as playable co-star, as team leader, and so on.  Whole games hinge on this structure.

I suspect this may be an unpopular way of phrasing it, but I actually think Sonic Team made a serious mistake when conceiving Shadow.  They designed a character to look like a dark Sonic, but they wrote him as having nothing to do with Sonic; and I'm frankly not convinced that you can have both at the same time.  I think there's something quietly tragic - not deliberately, but in its nature as a product - about the Sonic Adventure 2 experience of going through the game seeing this character who looks like Sonic, who styles like Sonic, who has powers like Sonic, and who is consequently  at the centre of this long mystery of exactly who he is and why he is so similar to Sonic... and then there is no reason.  If you dig into the lore, there's a tiny little implication of why he might look like Sonic, but fundamentally it's inconsequential.  The real answer is marketing; a trick, basically.  And so there will always be a dissonance there for everyone except long-time fans who have gotten used to this quirk; but an outsider is never going to view Shadow as an independent character.

I wouldn't say it's tragic, or even wrong; but you do bring up a good point that unless you're a longtime fan and have gotten used to it, it is kind of hard to see Shadow as his own character because his entire design is focused on the contrast between him and Sonic. I don't think there's nothing inherently wrong with the lack of an explanation for it, and I think if the story called more attention to it, he'd be too similar to Metal Sonic, the other Sonic doppelganger.

I don't think Sonic Team ever thought long term about the implications of having a character like Shadow around; they wanted a new rival for Sonic that could match him in everything, and well...they made it. I feel the main reason he  hasn't been utilized as well after SA2 is primarily rooted in that the games don't utilize the contrast between him and Sonic as well as Shadow's own independence that well. I think 06 is the closest thing you got to capturing the SA2 magic, but Sonic is barely a factor in Shadow's story and vice versa their existences are pretty incidental to each other. 

Since 2010, they've kind focused on making Shadow a more antagonistic foil; which isn't bad but he lacks the depth that he had before, but that's mainly due to how he hasn't really had a major role in any game from the past 10 years. I feel like if they fleshed out his current characterization more, you could have something solid. That's why I like what the IDW comics did in his debut; him and Sonic have a legit disagreement in handling a situation and confront each other over it, rather than Shadow just being antagonistic for no reason.

Shadow CAN work, the writers just need to actually give a damn and try. 

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12 hours ago, FFWF said:

I wonder, you know.  If you look at the lower-right concept design here:

It has very heavy Metal Sonic vibes - general colour scheme, certain non-organic traits like the missing iris and mouth...  It's pure speculation, but I do wonder if one of the early ideas mooted for Shadow (or Terios, I suppose) was that he could be Metal Sonic given an organic body to become a greater rival to Sonic.  You could have done a lot of the same things with the character that way, really; the cockiness, the mystery, the way he can be mistaken for Sonic; it lends itself to some of the traits they would establish for Metal Sonic later, like his desire to replace Sonic and become the "real" Sonic, but it's also a vehicle for a classic story of a machine becoming human and having to deal with newfound emotions (doubtless starting with cockiness, envy, rage, but perhaps later self-doubt), and ultimately have him become an independent agent, an anti-hero of shifting allegiances a little like Sonic Team seem to want Shadow to be.

Of course, what they went with was completely different and now they can't ever do that idea because people would just call it a rip-off of Shadow.  A shame, in my opinion.

So That's a pretty interesting take. And I can see that now in terms of color pallete. I'm personally of the belief that the reason those shadow's look the way they do is because they planned the black arms or alien thing from the beginning and were focusing on essentially making an alien or demonic version of sonic to fit that take and leaned into it super hard. The eventual design, while still keeping the demon motif backs off on purely string to be sonic and does different colors. I think its the result of them still being stuck inside of " well he kinda has to be like sonic box" before breaking it.

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This, I think, may be the problem.

On the one hand, I agree that Shadow, considered independently of his design, stands sufficiently well on his own.  He has a distinct personality, he has his own clear motivations, he has his own circle of friends and his own approach.

But on the other hand, he's dark Sonic.  That's inescapable because it's his design.  He has a few little tweaks that give him his own style, but the overwhelming force of his design is that he is Sonic but black.  And the result of that is that you cannot use him without reminding people instantly of Sonic, without them contrasting him to Sonic.  We see this in the games, where he is either presented as a rival to Sonic, or cast in the role of Sonic - as playable co-star, as team leader, and so on.  Whole games hinge on this structure.

I suspect this may be an unpopular way of phrasing it, but I actually think Sonic Team made a serious mistake when conceiving Shadow.  They designed a character to look like a dark Sonic, but they wrote him as having nothing to do with Sonic; and I'm frankly not convinced that you can have both at the same time.  I think there's something quietly tragic - not deliberately, but in its nature as a product - about the Sonic Adventure 2 experience of going through the game seeing this character who looks like Sonic, who styles like Sonic, who has powers like Sonic, and who is consequently  at the centre of this long mystery of exactly who he is and why he is so similar to Sonic... and then there is no reason.  If you dig into the lore, there's a tiny little implication of why he might look like Sonic, but fundamentally it's inconsequential.  The real answer is marketing; a trick, basically.  And so there will always be a dissonance there for everyone except long-time fans who have gotten used to this quirk; but an outsider is never going to view Shadow as an independent character.

I so I feel two ways about this and they are contradictory

way 1) who cares? Not to you, I mean to those people. Those people exist in every franchise that exists. People who see character and might not get the inner workings because they aren't quite into the thing. If they choose to invest their time, if they don't they don't. I think its kind of a non problem. If an outsider wants to view that character that way, who cares? He's popular and makes money.

Let me give you an example. Fighting games, Take Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. They both have a very popular archetype of character, in Street FIghter they are called shoto's. In MK they are called Ninjas. While initially starting off with similar designs, they over the time diverge and very much become their own things. These characters often get criticism as to being derivative and they shouldn't stand on their own and their should be less of them on rosters. Those characters most often are the most popular characters on thier rosters. This isn't even getting these days, they don't even play or for the most part look like each other really. There's some simular base elements but things have gotten so different,  its noticeable. There always be people who don't get that a character isn't related to some character due to some arbitrary reason they made in thier head. What you , or the company need to focus on is why people like that character.

Way 2)I kinda agree with you in spirit? I don't think I can call it a " mistake " because shadow being alive and his arc was impromptu. And that's why I want that 3d reboot. Well I want for a few reasons. But the main reason that I think covers a lot of why I want is " Go back with the knowledge we have and improve and re-contextualize" We can go back with the knowledge of what works, what doesn't work, what kind of works in gameplay, story and visual design. Focus on those good things and create a more focused product with neat changes. Because if they were in a position where 3d reboot was going to happen. Shadow shouldn't be a hedgehog IMO, or rather only a hedgehog if that makes sense. Shadow's this hedgehog infused with alien ...lizard dragon demon DNA, play with that. Give him scales, maybe make him breath a fire. Maybe play with that original design with him being kinda strong looking give him some honkin' fore arms. If you want to use previous lore. he could be a mish mash of gerald going to multiple ruins and combining legends together. He got the body of hedgehog, he using black arms DNA and maybe his powers come from some Gzoid ruins. He could be this weird chimera in design, using a hedgehog as a base. And make him look relatively unique.

And a reboot could hypothetically allow you to redesign him and various other characters.

I think its a neat idea

4 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Since 2010, they've kind focused on making Shadow a more antagonistic foil; which isn't bad but he lacks the depth that he had before, but that's mainly due to how he hasn't really had a major role in any game from the past 10 years. I feel like if they fleshed out his current characterization more, you could have something solid. That's why I like what the IDW comics did in his debut; him and Sonic have a legit disagreement in handling a situation and confront each other over it, rather than Shadow just being antagonistic for no reason.

Shadow CAN work, the writers just need to actually give a damn and try. 

I don't think even with good writing , even if they fix shadow tomorrow. Has the nerve to write sonic in a way to make that work. Because character interactions are a two way street. Shadow written better and he's a hardass that his own way of doing things and they class over what heroic's is? Not my favorite interpretation of the character  , but as you said it isn't bad and could yield potentially interesting results in way of story telling.

Issue is again character interactions are a two way street and I don't think sega would want a sonic to allow that to work. Sonic would kind have to be at times actively aggressive, angry or just wrong in ways that kind of go against the live and let live care free and in particular sarcastically jokey tone that they set for him these days. And I don't think they are going to break that.

So you will have shadow making reasoned arguments and being reasonably angry at someone who isn't responding and will just do whatever anyway or will be yielded right. It will be my exact opposite issue I have with the comics currently. I'll just be ranting about sonic other than shadow.

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3 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

 

Let me give you an example. Fighting games, Take Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. They both have a very popular archetype of character, in Street FIghter they are called shoto's. In MK they are called Ninjas. While initially starting off with similar designs, they over the time diverge and very much become their own things. These characters often get criticism as to being derivative and they shouldn't stand on their own and their should be less of them on rosters. Those characters most often are the most popular characters on thier rosters. This isn't even getting these days, they don't even play or for the most part look like each other really. There's some simular base elements but things have gotten so different,  its noticeable. There always be people who don't get that a character isn't related to some character due to some arbitrary reason they made in thier head. What you , or the company need to focus on is why people like that character.

 

I agree with this point a lot. Sure, Shadow and Sonic look alike but don't have that much in common. But so what?  A lot of characters look like each other, and Sonic already has an evil double and like ten foil characters. The reason they look alike is to draw people in, asking what's with the mysterious hedgehog who looks like Sonic. The people who get confused why Shadow and Sonic don't act alike aren't, like a focus group or anything. It's just like an empty thought people who don't play Sonic have. 

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2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

So That's a pretty interesting take. And I can see that now in terms of color pallete. I'm personally of the belief that the reason those shadow's look the way they do is because they planned the black arms or alien thing from the beginning and were focusing on essentially making an alien or demonic version of sonic to fit that take and leaned into it super hard. The eventual design, while still keeping the demon motif backs off on purely string to be sonic and does different colors. I think its the result of the

I don't think even with good writing , even if they fix shadow tomorrow. Has the nerve to write sonic in a way to make that work. Because character interactions are a two way street. Shadow written better and he's a hardass that his own way of doing things and they class over what heroic's is? Not my favorite interpretation of the character  , but as you said it isn't bad and could yield potentially interesting results in way of story telling.

Issue is again character interactions are a two way street and I don't think sega would want a sonic to allow that to work. Sonic would kind have to be at times actively aggressive, angry or just wrong in ways that kind of go against the live and let live care free and in particular sarcastically jokey tone that they set for him these days. And I don't think they are going to break that.

So you will have shadow making reasoned arguments and being reasonably angry at someone who isn't responding and will just do whatever anyway or will be yielded right. It will be my exact opposite issue I have with the comics currently. I'll just be ranting about sonic other than shadow.

We literally just had a game that was darker than any prior game before it after think believing that Sega would never do it again. Shadow was playable for the first time in forever in Forces, and Sega despite having much greater creative control over the comic, still allowed Ian to write their conflicts in a different light. 

I know Sonic fans have kind of up put up this mental prison of assuming the absolute worst about this series as a result of numerous mishaps and failings, but things are not as set in stone as you think they are, this franchise is constantly shifting and Sega are constantly changing their minds over what's appropriate or not. So it's ludicrous to assume things are just going to remain as they are. 

Things aren't going to be perfect, but things are not as bad or set in stone as people think either. There's a nuanced take you can have about this. It doesn't have to be an A or B thing. 

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2 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

We literally just had a game that was darker than any prior game before it after think believing that Sega would never do it again. Shadow was playable for the first time in forever in Forces, and Sega despite having much greater creative control over the comic, still allowed Ian to write their conflicts in a different light. 

That game was a failure to understand why any of those things worked and was a largely cynical attempt to capitalize on multiple types of nostalgia without actually putting the work in. Shadow being playable has little to do with characterization, particularly with sonic's . Who in that game suffers from the thing i'm talking about. With nothing effecting him ( or any of the other characters for that matter ) and nothing ultimately mattering. And they didn't, kind of . Ian Said he was getting notes on shadow the first issue it got worse over time.

2 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

I know Sonic fans have kind of up put up this mental prison of assuming the absolute worst about this series as a result of numerous mishaps and failings, but things are not as set in stone as you think they are, this franchise is constantly shifting and Sega are constantly changing their minds over what's appropriate or not. So it's ludicrous to assume things are just going to remain as they are.

Things aren't going to be perfect, but things are not as bad or set in stone as people think either. There's a nuanced take you can have about this. It doesn't have to be an A or B thing. 

Here's the nuanced take. Sega has not proven to me , they can act right. The corporation who owns this IP needs to start investing time and money into it, finding talent suitable for their projects and releasing decent games at a regular clip. Until then I do not believe that things will be ok. I hope they will, but those are two different things.

You are taking basic expectations and trying to frame it as a prison of negativity. No , I do other shit and sonic's current state is kind of embarrassing. For example KH3 was dissapointing as hell. I'm hyped for future kingdom hearts. You know why? Most other Kh games are good,  and I enjoy ff7 remake the game a bunch of the KH guys are working on. There are good products being released made by these people. That make me believe they can make cool shit

Untill sega does better, all I can do is hope. But me thinking they are gonna screw up like usual isn't unfounded. Hell I would say its healthier than pretending the corporation is gonna act right

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5 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

That game was a failure to understand why any of those things worked and was a largely cynical attempt to capitalize on multiple types of nostalgia without actually putting the work in. Shadow being playable has little to do with characterization, particularly with sonic's . Who in that game suffers from the thing i'm talking about. With nothing effecting him ( or any of the other characters for that matter ) and nothing ultimately mattering. And they didn't, kind of . Ian Said he was getting notes on shadow the first issue it got worse over time.

Here's the nuanced take. Sega has not proven to me , they can act right. The corporation who owns this IP needs to start investing time and money into it, finding talent suitable for their projects and releasing decent games at a regular clip. Until then I do not believe that things will be ok. I hope they will, but those are two different things.

You are taking basic expectations and trying to frame it as a prison of negativity. No , I do other shit and sonic's current state is kind of embarrassing. For example KH3 was dissapointing as hell. I'm hyped for future kingdom hearts. You know why? Most other Kh games are good,  and I enjoy ff7 remake the game a bunch of the KH guys are working on. There are good products being released made by these people. That make me believe they can make cool shit

Untill sega does better, all I can do is hope. But me thinking they are gonna screw up like usual isn't unfounded. Hell I would say its healthier than pretending the corporation is gonna act right

How you personally feel about Forces is irrelevant to me; I'm merely talking about the implications of it as apart of the bigger picture. Yes, they have missed the point like they usually do, but the important thing is that they are trying. The tone and writing of this series has never been A+ material, even the content that fans considered "good" from the 2000's. Forces is, at worst on par with Shadow's game, which means it is simply a middling game that leaves no impact but hardly the dumpster fire that fans think it is. 

They literally did exactly what you said, and as a result, we have the best reviewed Sonic game in almost fifteen years. Yes, it is a prison of negativity because you're trying to convince me that a company that produces at worst, mediocre games on average is some cardinal sin. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having expectations and it is in fact something that this series needs, and I fully understand that it feels like Sega are just running the series into the ground by consistently ignoring your requests and ideas.

I'm not even going to tell you to be like "Oh they'll get it next time" because that's naive and stupid; but there is such a thing as being cautiously optimistic and you can recognize the things they do get right. Even if you don't personally feel that way, you can still measure audience reactions and then go from there where the series might be headed. 

 

Was Forces a middling ass experience, hell to the yea. BUT, the avatar was a reasonably popular addition, people liked that Shadow was playable again in some capacity, and some fans liked the fact that the story was attempting to take itself somewhat seriously again. You can build reasonable expectations off of that alone. 

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2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

How you personally feel about Forces is irrelevant to me; I'm merely talking about the implications of it as apart of the bigger picture.

Actually considering this is a conversation about implications now. My personal feelings are pretty relevant to the conversation considering there's no objective way to view that.

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Yes, they have missed the point like they usually do, but the important thing is that they are trying. The tone and writing of this series has never been A+ material, even the content that fans considered "good" from the 2000's. Forces is, at worst on par with Shadow's game, which means it is simply a middling game that leaves no impact but hardly the dumpster fire that fans think it is. 

They are trying to half ass appeal to groups of people without having the time, focus, talent or money to actually execute them. I'm not naive enough to confuse the current machinations of this corporation as some form of compassion , even if its employee's may have some.  Forces isn't broken, but it very much is a dumpster fire. And is a shining example of everything going wrong with sonic games as of current.

Trying means nothing without proper intent, and the ability to at least somewhat execute what you are trying to attempt. Otherwise you are wasting time.

Sega is not my friend or yours. They are  corporation. And I don't think it behooves us to try and frame them as such

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

They literally did exactly what you said, and as a result, we have the best reviewed Sonic game in almost fifteen years.

What is it that they did.

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Yes, it is a prison of negativity because you're trying to convince me that a company that produces at worst, mediocre games on average is some cardinal sin.

Who said this, who said this. No one said this.

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having expectations and it is in fact something that this series needs, and I fully understand that it feels like Sega are just running the series into the ground by consistently ignoring your requests and ideas.

Or I'm just tired of it poorly executing ideas in general?

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

I'm not even going to tell you to be like "Oh they'll get it next time" because that's naive and stupid; but there is such a thing as being cautiously optimistic and you can recognize the things they do get right. Even if you don't personally feel that way, you can still measure audience reactions and then go from there where the series might be headed. 

Optimism, is earned. Not owed. Particularly when it comes to corporations. Furthermore, what they get right doesn't matter if they don't understand why its right. And that's my problem, that's forces. A game of shit they do not understand why people like , but its in there anyway.

Sega is not my friend. I do not owe them optimism if they do not produce anything worth of it. Like wise they do not owe me to follow my desires. That's just life dude.

Until sega demonstrates they can regularly produce content that gets why people like things, or at least regularly hire people who do with the budget and time that it requires. I don't really trust them.

2 hours ago, Kuzu said:

 

Was Forces a middling ass experience, hell to the yea. BUT, the avatar was a reasonably popular addition, people liked that Shadow was playable again in some capacity, and some fans liked the fact that the story was attempting to take itself somewhat seriously again. You can build reasonable expectations off of that alone. 

That's cool that people like those things. That's great. My problem is , sega seems to never get why people like ( or hate ) anything. They are the masters of breaking out a scalpel for something that requires a bandaid. So people can like ideal's all the want, sega has a tendency to either ignore or mangle ( or both) the things people like for whatever vision they got going. And until they stop doing that, my issues still stands

 

And I want them to stop. I would like to feel optimistic about sonic's future. But I can't.

But I do hope its better. But again, hope and optimism are two different things.

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If you're just gonna say "Sega sucks and everything they do sucks, so there's no point in trying to be open-minded" then there's really nothing else to discuss about this. I just find it incredibly stifling for discussion if all you're gonna say is "There's no point in hoping because they suck" but if that's you really feel, then there's nothing I can do to change that. 

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3 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

If you're just gonna say "Sega sucks and everything they do sucks, so there's no point in trying to be open-minded" then there's really nothing else to discuss about this. I just find it incredibly stifling for discussion if all you're gonna say is "There's no point in hoping because they suck" but if that's you really feel, then there's nothing I can do to change that. 

I'm saying Sega in regards to sonic, doesn't seem like they want to improve and that's kind of an issue. I didn't even say there is no point in hoping. I hope shit gets better. I'm just not gonna give them unearned optimism.

Understanding the corporate realities of the situation doesn't mean giving up hope.

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I mean, I brought the idea of how certain things about the series could be handled in the future, specifically Shadow to keep this on topic, only to be met with "Sega is gonna make it suck" so...

You don't need to keep telling me Sega is a corporation like I don't understand, I know Sega is a corporation and they're only interested in lining their pockets with money. I don't give a flying shit about them though, I care about my personal interests as a consumer and I certainly am wondering how they're going to handle the series based on everything that has occured recently. 

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I agree with a lot of what's been said already. Lots of potential. Cool ideas with iffy execution. Killer design. Conceptually it's very simple but that's a good place to start before diving into lore depth. He's been the victim of some "mystery box" style storytelling where big questions are thrown at him, then inarticulately solved. There's also the issue of where to fit him, what role he can serve in the story, other than merely being the Vegeta to Sonic's Goku.

Here's my pitch on it. I'm not sure what the plot would be, but I have an idea of how I would position Shadow within the cast. I would lean into the Dark Sonic clone aspect of his design/conception, and then reveal his deeper character by pairing him with the other Dark Sonic clones and contrasting their differences in personality. 

Shadow and Metal Sonic with Silver, maybe all three as a team, like the new Team Dark. They'd need a cool name, not sure what it would be, at least not yet. Shadow is the leader, and most powerful; he's an anti-hero with a dark exterior but a heart of gold. Metal is the evil robot clone with newly acquired free will; now he's a villain trying to become a hero, kinda like the Gamma/Omega stories, except Metal's is about revenge and killing Eggman. Silver is the psychic time-traveler from the future; he's the purest hero, and the most confused. Silver is mixed up in a world he's unfamiliar with, trying to find a way to alter his future's apocalyptic history. He now believes Metal plays a key role in whatever happens.

Let's say the origin story is something like this...

...

One day, Shadow stumbles across Metal in the city of Metropolis and, thinking its Sonic, approaches with a taunt. When he realizes its actually Metal Sonic — "You're not Sonic. You're one of the Doctor's creations!" — Shadow instinctively prepares for attack, which makes Metal's battle settings automatically engage. After a fight (that Shadow easily wins), Metal pushes Shadow back to tell him what he's not understanding.

"My A.I. has evolved into a consciousness. And a conscience. I have free will now, and I think I am... alive." Metal says, flatly. "When the lights went on inside my mind, I was horrified by the actions of my memory data files and immediately left on my own. "

Shadow can sympathize with this. "I've been down that road," he says.

"I am aware. Both of us were created by a Robotnik to imitate Sonic," Metal observes, no emotion or judgment in his tone. "And both of us wonder now, knowing what that means, if we even deserve to continue living." Shadow is silent, acknowledging the truth of the point. Metal adds: "We both know, whatever the answer for ourselves, he does not. Eggman must die."

"I can't say you're wrong," Shadow tells him. "But I'm not saying you're right, either. For as monstrous as he is, Eggman is still human... and I made a promise, a long time ago, to protect their kind." 

"So you oppose me then, Shadow the Hedgehog?" Metal asks, and begins to hover.

"No. I want to destroy Eggman's Empire, too. But you have to follow my lead, got it? I've got a lot more experience than you do having free will."

"I have free will for a matter of hours, and now you want to take it from me? That is evil."

"No. I'm asking you to use your free will to make the choice and follow me. I'll set you free. We can escape from the city. We'll make it through. Follow me."

🙃

Shadow takes Metal to his secret base in the city with altered versions of old Eggman robots and equipment; a variety of vehicles and weapons. Silver arrives via portal, for the first time; he'll arrive many more times, later in their quest, asking "Am I at the right time yet? No, I'm too early! Or late!"

He's found what he's looking for — the day Shadow and Metal formed their friendship, an alliance that will forever alter the course of the world, at least according to Silver, fanboying out on both of them. Shadow and Metal are both perplexed by what Silver is going on about, but Silver tells them: "Whatever adventure you're about to embark on, count me in," he says. "I don't know exactly what dooms the future, but I have a good feeling that whatever it is, has something to do with the two of you together." 

Shadow knows Silver's powers as a psychic will be valuable in their efforts, and isn't one to argue with destiny. Metal is initially confused. "That's it? We're a team now?" 

Silver grabs them both by the shoulders. "Even better! We're already best friends forever!" Metal and Shadow both grumble awkwardly, looking away, not committing to anything one way or the other.

And so, they go forth on various adventures together.

Initially, their first story would be about Metal's revenge on Robotnik and how it nearly causes a nuclear apocalypse, prevented by Shadow saving Robotnik's life at the last second, and Silver's psychic powers keeping the combustible elements from touching. Crisis averted. Silver grabs Eggman with telekinesis and flies away from his base (they have an interesting chat), while Metal initiates a self-destruct code for the base and Shadow uses Chaos Control to warp the nuclear weapons into the Special Zone, where they detonate harmlessly (it seems).

Eggman's weapons are gone, his base is destroyed, and this particular apocalypse was prevented. Silver thanks Shadow and Metal for their help, and he warps away. Metal thanks Shadow for helping him avoid doing something he'd regret, and Shadow tells him that's what friends are for. Metal and Shadow silently acknowledge the point together, before Silver immediately returns and says there's another apocalypse destroying the future. "Or the same one, a different one. I don't know but everything is still on fire!"

"Damn. How doomed is our future?" Shadow broods. "Maybe none of this matters. We should just throw it all away." 

Metal observes that their lifespans could be infinite; as a synthetic being, he doesn't know if he'll ever die unless he's destroyed; same with Shadow, and although Silver isn't a clone or robot, his time travel indicates that his natural lifespan knows no bounds, either. 

"Now that I have freedom... I want a future," Metal states. Silver agrees with a thumbs up. Shadow considers, then nods. Three dark 'hogs hover in mid-air, propelled by three distinct sources of power. Cybernetics. Telekinesis. Chaos Control. Together, there may not be another team more formidable.

"We shall fight for the... good future."

😮

Rouge also needs space from Shadow to establish herself as something besides Shadow sidekick. Her spy angle is interesting, and she provides the story a lot of the same things that Shadow does — anti-hero, dark, morally gray, but ultimately a good guy, deep down. The thing is that Rouge needs a new design, and better focus on her direction.... so, I would have Rouge join the Chaotix. She's a spy, they're detectives. If Rouge is going to keep being this over-the-top femme fatale type, why not pair her with the other Sonic characters riffing on film noir concepts?

As much as I like the Chaotix as a three-piece, their dynamic can easily handle additional ingredients without spoiling the broth. Plus, it's always been a boys club (unless we're counting Julie-Su in Archie, and even then, Vector wouldn't), and it puts similar characters into the same group where they can be stronger together. The other thing is that the Chaotix lack a true leader/front character; they're a good backing band without a singer. It worked when they were associated with Knuckles, but now they're pretty independent and relying heavily on the charm of Espio's design. 

"Rouge and the Chaotix" has a nice ring to it, too, don't you think boys?" 

Espio, Vector, Charmy (and I'd be fine adding Mighty and Ray with them, too) with Rouge as the leader. It adds an interesting conflict that could sustain a lot of stories. They're an independent detective agency and intelligence team, working for profit. What happens if a bad guy wants to hire them? Who's side is Rouge really on? Is she telling the truth, or is she playing them for her own ends? Are the Chaotix right to distrust Rouge because of her shady spy background, or are they just stand-offish because she's a girl and that's scary enough to a group of boys? 

I think Rouge could take the Chaotix to new and interesting heights, narratively, by nudging them all toward Mission Impossible scenarios. You can have more spy game shenanigans with Rouge and the Chaotix playing off each other in stories. Everybody is true to their character, and become stronger and more interesting when compared/contrasted together. 

The question is — how do you bring these character together?

Let's try a scenario.

...

One day, Rouge the Bat comes to the Chaotix and solicits their help. She wants them to investigate G.U.N. in secret, find a secret master file containing the information on every agent and assignment. "I think the agency's got a mole problem, and I want you to help flush them out," she says.

"Don't you work for G.U.N?" Espio wonders.

"That's why I need your help," Rouge teases. "I can't trust anyone on the inside."

"That's gonna be a tough gig," Vector complains. "Spying on G.U.N.? How is that even possible?"

"Look, do you want to take the case or not?"

"Well, sure! But... it'll cost ya," Vector warns.

"This is a blank check job. Trust me, the reward will be worth it," she says. 

Charmy is sympathetic and urges his teammates with a pep talk: "C'mon guys, she really needs our help! We can do this! We're Team Chaotix!"

And so the Chaotix take the job and investigate G.U.N. in a variety of ways.

-Vector puts on his favorite hacking playlist, and starts to remotely infiltrate G.U.N.'s computer mainframes, downloading secret files. But then someone seems to discover Vector's presence, and sends malware and viruses to the Chaotix computer. 

-Charmy buzzes around the G.U.N. headquarters compound, taking photos and installing secret microphones. But it doesn't take long for Charmy to notice he's being watched and followed, then under assault from an unknown assailant. Charmy escapes. 

-Espio camouflages himself as a G.U.N. officer, and sneaks inside. He rendezvous with Vector & Charmy over headset, who both report failures on their end. Espio changes the plan, and tells them to come create a diversion at the HQ while he sneaks further into the base to grab the secret files they're looking for. 

-Espio has some close calls, but manages to successfully find the master secret file. It's encrypted, but otherwise exactly as Rouge described. "Now all I've gotta do is find a way to get out of here," he thinks. Espio finds a place to hide with the file, and waits for Vector & Charmy's distraction to begin before he makes his escape. 

-Vector and Charmy arrive dressed like mimes and begin causing ridiculous havoc in the security area of G.U.N, then flying and running away to keep them distracted. 

-Espio is torn from his hiding spot and knocked unconscious by their mystery attacker. Over his comms piece, Charmy asks Espio how much longer they need to keep this up. The mystery attacker whispers into Espio's mic, telling the Chaotix that they should both come in, actually. "Really?" Charmy wonders. But it's a trap, of course, and Charmy and Vector are apprehended quickly outside.

-Espio, Charmy, Vector wake up in a dark room, handcuffed to their chairs, and surrounded by G.U.N. agents. 

-The President steps forward from the shadows, followed by Rouge. He asks, "So these are the guys?" 

"That's them," she nods.

"What! You set us up, lady!" Vector shouts. "You hired us to break in -- why!?"

"You told us there was a mole. But it's actually you, isn't it?" Espio deduces.

"Not exactly," Rouge says. 

"What's that supposed to mean?!" Charmy pleads.

"And what's in this file that's so important?" Espio asks.

"Nothing. It's a ruse. There's no master secret file with that kind of information," the President declares to the room.

"But we needed to check our security in the case that there was such a breach. That's where you came in, and you played your part wonderfully," Rouge tells them. 

"Patsies! We were patsies!" Vector howls. 

"We appreciate your services," the President tells them. "And we need your agreement that this whole exercise will never be spoken of again. Or you will be pressed with the charges you face. But if you agree to silence, you are free to go."

"We agree! We agree! Just let us go, I can't take this anymore!" Vector cries out, over-dramatically. 

And so, feeling busted, the Chaotix lick their wounds and return home.

That night, they're visited with a knock on the window. Rouge the Bat glides inside. 

"What! You again!?" Vector protests.

"I was wondering if I could borrow your computer? After that, I promise, the job is done, and I will come through with the promise I made earlier." Rouge bats her eyes.

"Whatta ya need our computer for? You gonna frame us again by downloading incriminating stuff and letting us take the fall??"

"Not exactly," Rouge says again. She takes the secret master file from her bag, plugs it into the computer. "When you were hacking earlier, that was me on the other end, sending you a matching encryption for this file. A key and a lock."

"I don't understand," Charmy says, frowning.

"You hear the president. This file doesn't exist. And yet," Rouge says, clacking some keys on the Chaotix computer. "It does."  Espio, Vector, and Charmy crowd behind Rouge as she scrolls through the unlocked document. All eyes are wide from the Chaotix, but Rouge can only sigh.

"It's just as I feared. The mole problem is worse than I could've ever guessed. The entire agency is corrupted. I don't know when it happened or how, but Robotnik is controlling the President, and G.U.N. as a result. My only question was whether the President was working with Eggman willingly, or unwillingly. When he stepped up to maintain the lie about this file, I knew I was either just being paranoid, or not paranoid enough. Turns out it was the latter."

"So Eggman has been ruling the world this entire time, and we never knew?" Espio considers. "It doesn't seem like him to do it in secret. Why isn't he bragging about it?"

"I'm not sure. But I need to find out how deep this goes, and how to stop it." Rouge looks at the Chaotix and smiles. "That's where you come in. And I have a feeling, we'll all be able to play our parts wonderfully."

And so Rouge and the Chaotix form a secret alliance to take down G.U.N., as Rouge continues to work inside as the "mole" within a corrupt and evil organization.

...

Expanding the worlds for Shadow and Rouge separately like this, by connecting them to other members of the ensemble cast, gives both characters more depth. And it means that when Shadow and Rouge reunite again in the future, they'll have tons more story possibilities together.

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3 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

Just now? How?

I figured my initials would at least give me away that I was the same person. Didn’t expect the name change would make people see me that differently. :lol:

I just thought you were some random new fan who likes trying to fight to be the nail. Then I just read your subtitle/motto/whatever.

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