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My problems with Shadow, in concept and execution

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46 minutes ago, Sean said:

I've loosened up on a large number of my feelings about the Sonic series over the years, and that includes Shadow and everything that involved him in the 2000s (yes, even the aliens... It's silly but the entirety of ShTH is like some bad yet enjoyable cheesy action flick so I've learned to roll with it at this point). I think the biggest problem I continue to have with him is that it feels like the series hasn't tried to portray his abilities as balanced compared to Sonic's. Almost every player character has their advantages and disadvantages, such as Knuckles' lower jump height and Blaze's lower top speed. With Shadow though it never felt like they tried to do this (except for 06, which I'll get into shortly). To an extent I'm willing to let some of that slide due to most of his appearances having him be a deliberate clone of Sonic gameplay-wise - SA2, Heroes, and Forces for example - but I don't get the sense that he has any ability disadvantage compared to Sonic. The image I get from him is that he has all of Sonic's abilities plus magical chaos powers whose limits have been poorly defined. On top of that he gets even more super powerful when he takes his bracelets off. As a result he comes off as overpowered to me. I'm not going to get into whether or not the series' playable characters have had good balancing because I think that's a separate issue, but Shadow is one of the few instances where it seems like they never bothered, even in the context of a story.

This is something we touched upon earlier; I feel like Shadow's speed should be more unrefined compared to Sonic's. He can move as fast as Sonic, but Sonic is much more experienced at actually using his speed better. How you translate that to gameplay is anyone's guess. 

46 minutes ago, Sean said:

 

Another thing I don't like is how SA2 is literally the only game where they butt heads and constantly get under each others' skin. I never liked Sonic being super buddy-buddy with him and think the rival aspect needs to be played up more, not less. Sonic and Shadow seem like characters who would have totally different methods of solving a problem and this is what should put them at odds with each other, not to mention just having a plain petty rivalry as shown in SA2. The only instance of their rivalry I can recall being brought up is in 06's Crisis City when Sonic says "Well Shadow, looks like we have to work together" like he's reluctant about it, but it's never brought up beforehand in the game and it's just that one single line of dialogue..

I can understand this since Sonic himself is pretty downplayed in the game, but it's actually my favorite moments from 06; there's a sense of respect but reluctant teamwork between them. Another good moment is right before Flame Core when Sonic tells him don't be late (implying that Shadow will lag behind) and Shadow shoots him right back to him. Notably, Sonic is aggressor in their interactions as opposed to nowadays, but Shadow at least played along. Need more of that. 

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18 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

This is something we touched upon earlier; I feel like Shadow's speed should be more unrefined compared to Sonic's. He can move as fast as Sonic, but Sonic is much more experienced at actually using his speed better. How you translate that to gameplay is anyone's guess.

I haven't read all of the replies in this topic so sorry if I'm retreading old ground, but the other day I was thinking it'd be neat if Shadow focused on long-ranged attacks compared to Sonic. Instead of having a homing attack or that... punch-kick combo in 06, he could rely on chaos powers to attack enemies from a distance, and multiple ones at the same time. ShTH kinda does this in the form of guns but he should be able to do it with his innate abilities. This could mean that he would have trouble dealing with enemies in close quarters combat, something that Sonic never struggles with. Maybe he can also have a slower top speed than Sonic but have a temporary means of going even faster, similar to Metal's boost mode or something. He should still be a speedy character but one that trades away some of that for power. He just felt too damn slow in 06 and his slow-paced level design didn't help, and using his chaos powers was a crapshoot since I could never figure out their utility, so I think they went too far in the other direction to differentiate him from Sonic. If you make his attacks feel insanely fast then he could still feel like a character who goes toe-to-toe with Sonic's ability.

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23 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

This is something we touched upon earlier; I feel like Shadow's speed should be more unrefined compared to Sonic's. He can move as fast as Sonic, but Sonic is much more experienced at actually using his speed better. How you translate that to gameplay is anyone's guess. 

I forgot if it was said earlier or not, but SA2 seemed like it was pushing "Sonic is better at speed and super form than Shadow". Of course the latter doesn't matter as much when it's usually end game only, but I could see them building off of that divide plus moves introduced in later games. I would say make Sonic more speed based (obvious I know), with Shadow being slightly slower and having Chaos abilities Sonic doesn't. (better handled than 06 of course) Speaking of the other way around, Sonic had bounce while Shadow didn't so maybe more things like that would work.

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13 minutes ago, Sean said:

I haven't read all of the replies in this topic so sorry if I'm retreading old ground, but the other day I was thinking it'd be neat if Shadow focused on long-ranged attacks compared to Sonic. Instead of having a homing attack or that... punch-kick combo in 06, he could rely on chaos powers to attack enemies from a distance, and multiple ones at the same time. ShTH kinda does this in the form of guns but he should be able to do it with his innate abilities. This could mean that he would have trouble dealing with enemies in close quarters combat, something that Sonic never struggles with. Maybe he can also have a slower top speed than Sonic but have a temporary means of going even faster, similar to Metal's boost mode or something. He should still be a speedy character but one that trades away some of that for power. He just felt too damn slow in 06 and his slow-paced level design didn't help, and using his chaos powers was a crapshoot since I could never figure out their utility, so I think they went too far in the other direction to differentiate him from Sonic. If you make his attacks feel insanely fast then he could still feel like a character who goes toe-to-toe with Sonic's ability.

I feel like Sonic and the Black Knight actually kind of touches on this; Lancelot's gameplay is noticeably heftier than Sonic's. Sonic can slash through an entire string of enemies with one homing slash, while Shadow has stuff like his final sword giving his sword attacks slightly more range. Shadow is still about as fast as Sonic, but his attacks are a lot more aggressive and heavier than Sonic's. 

But that moves the game's focus slightly more to combat over movement; but I think that actually fits Shadow's style better. Sonic has been maneuverability to avoid enemies, while Shadow can just plow through enemies outright.  

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45 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

How you translate that to gameplay is anyone's guess. 

Clearly the only solution is to make him Metal Sonic.

High jump, high accel & low traction, low HA range.

Otherwise you cannot do this thing, as it would only ruin him.

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One of the ways I could see Shadow stand out apart from Sonic in any hypothetical 3D adventure game would be to carry over some of the behaviors from the Modern and Dreamcast era games. If Sonic has a homing attack that carries momentum after hitting an enemy and can spindash/roll downhill, Shadow's equivalent move would be a snappier homing attack with better range, but without the follow-through, and instead of a spindash or dropdash, he has a stomp, somersault and slide ability. Another thing to consider is how Shadow's 'skates' affect the physics of the terrain. He might have a faster downhill speed than Sonic while running, but it's harder for him to go uphill, for example. 

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On 4/18/2020 at 5:56 AM, Iko said:

I think that one off characters should not come back unless the writers find a good reason to bring them back.

This is why I want the Sonic games to have a story mode and a separated arcade mode where you can play as several other characters without messing with canon. This way, you can play as a dead character in a game where he/she wouldn't make sense.

E102 Gamma is dead, the flicky inside him escaped, there's literally no way to recreate him. I liked E102 Gamma but I don't want them to bring him back, his story has a well made ending and capturing the bird again only to recreate the character and have him around every game just feels wrong. But I wouldn't mind if E102 Gamma returned in the form of a not-canon playable character in the arcade mode of a game. They can still use him for marketing, write what-if spinoffs featuring him, and other stuff, without ruining his original story..

This would indeed be a cool feature.

Quote

The Kirby series also has this problem with Metaknight, people occasionally complain about why Metaknight is not in a game and there is no explanation for that (mostly the Dark Matter trilogy, but it also happend with Rainbow Curse, Nintendo even released a gag comic to explain that).

Not sure I heard of that game, but that is hilarious.

On 4/18/2020 at 2:27 PM, Shadowlax said:

Short version.

Not gonna go too deep, but shadow , silver and blaze are pretty busted and they came from a time where everything was a shounen power progression and they got more busted. If you aren't a fan of that, I can totally see the argument of shadows power set being offputting.

Yeah, that kinda are. 

A bit of it is cutscenes power to the max, but it's still there.

Quote

Heck there is a good chance, they might go back into previous versions of things to make him more busted. I don't think them being kinda busted matters. Heck I think force of nature characters add a lot to the world, its why I like characters like magneto , or storm, or plasticman. But if you aren't a fan the argument is valid.

Did...did you just call Plastic Man a force of nature? :lol:

On 4/18/2020 at 2:58 PM, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

I mean, why not do the reverse and make Sonic compare more to them?

Build him up, give him newer abilities to complement his speed in a way that still makes him look like a powerhouse to Shadow and Blaze? If people think Sonic looks too weak, find a way to strengthen him.

This would address the problem while potentially expanding the gameplay.

On 4/18/2020 at 3:25 PM, batson said:

Actually, being retroactively fitted into the lore of previously established characters is yet another trait of the kind of fan-characters that everyone makes fun of. Coldsteel the Hedgehog is very likely to be Sonic's long lost brother or the person who killed Tails' parents. So Shadow being the creation of Eggman's never before heard of grandfather is, again, exactly the kind of thing that if a fan-character had that backstoy then people would roll their eyes at it.

So again, as far as I'm concerned if your'e cool with Shadow then you better be cool with Coldsteel if you wanna remain consistent.

I was trying to decide what to say, but I won't say anything. Just gonna appreciate this is a thing.

On 4/18/2020 at 3:38 PM, thumbs13 said:

Everyone has all these abilities only for the purpose of differentiating them. That doesn't stop the characters from being on equal terms every time they fight. Like, Blaze is apparently OP or something yet Sonic was able to fight her in Rush just fine. This isn't as much of an issue as people make it out to be. 

Honestly, Blaze's capabilities more than anyone's is pretty aggrandized.

In Rush, she did pretty much anything Sonic could but slower and with more dance like movements involved. The exceptions were the flame pillars(her version of Sonic Wind), her hover ability, and the blast she uses to keep Sonic from taking the Sol Emerald(which react to her power anyway).

06 continued that in addition to giving her a drilling twirl similar to Metal Sonic that does no damage.

And Generations just brought up the fact that she can theoretically control fires she didn't start.

She's basically Sonic but fire, but everyone tended to exaggerate how fluid this is in part by chuck fireballs at will.

 

On 4/18/2020 at 3:42 PM, Kuzu said:

I'm not really saying its an issue, I'm just making a point; but Blaze canonically can do everything Sonic can do, but has fire powers on top of that. So like...what does Sonic have if Blaze is already as fast as him?

The ability to Zaheer her apparently.

On 4/18/2020 at 3:49 PM, Kuzu said:

I agree, but that's not really touching upon the power scaling part of the equation. Hell, Sonic only really gets through to these characters after literally beating them in a fight lol. 

This isn't a case of Dragon Ball Z where we actually see Goku train and get a new power up to surpass his rivals, that actually has some justification. But as far as the player can see, Sonic doesn't do that. 

So let's take your second point; if Sonic was already ahead of all of these characters, why is he "holding himself back" then. 

 

Oh my god, I'm actually doing a power scaling debate about Sonic.....

Yeah, it is that bad isn't it?

Granted, I don't think there's anything really wrong with keeping tabs on stuff like that when everyone is super.

On 4/18/2020 at 3:58 PM, Shadowlax said:

Power scaling only matters if you care for it to matter. And I don't think it does in sonic land. Silver could like, look at sonic and snap his neck. Or shadow could...I dunno break his spine in the stopped time. Those things wont happen, but they could hypothetically. Whether those potential things are relevant to your perception of those characters are up to you.

Like anyone can do anything with sonic power scalling. Knuckles could just, shift tactonic plates with his fist.

Also its not accurate? Most of sonic's bouts against shadow are inconclusive and they don't fight much in general.  Silver was clearly above and beyond sonic's capabilities at the time and shadow came in and saved his bacon. I think the only character sonic beat handily that became a regular cast member, is knuckles. So its not actually accurate. Particularly so nowadays when they aren't afraid of showing shadow being a pretty capable dude and doing things sonic can't do. Silver too, and blaze when she's around.

And I dunno , I personally don't think " Not getting anything done when he's not around" doesn't mean anything. Its often plot contrivances. That are not believed by the audience, like forces.

Sonic characters are varying degrees of busted in general.

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On 4/18/2020 at 4:57 PM, Kuzu said:

More like showing how Shadow's speed based abilities are inferior to Sonic's; they both have the same abilities, but Sonic should naturally be more adept at using them. So I guess a more...power and less refined focus for Shadow in gameplay is a good example. 

His game and 06 gave Shadow more of a focus on combat than speed, but then he starts deviating from the gameplay principles established by Sonic. I'm reluctant to give him more of a focus on power since that Knuckles` territory though. Honestly, him just being a skin of Sonic is acceptable at this point. 

Yeah, you're kinda stuck between that and emphasizing him as a weapon.

On 4/18/2020 at 5:14 PM, Wraith said:

I was specifically talking about the point made by the OP that Shadow and things of his ilk get made fun of by adult gamers as if a series aimed at 11 year olds should care. There are a lot of 'adult gamers' that wouldn't touch a Mario game either but I don't see people begging Nintendo to cave for them. 

Wouldn't the difference be that one still wants to play vs the others not being interested in trying?

On 4/18/2020 at 6:11 PM, Kuzu said:

This logic makes no sense to me; you can literally say this about almost every single thing about this series; good concept and bad execution.

So why are you singling out Shadow for this? I feel like you're only doing so because he's popular and thus is an easy target.

I mean...kinda? 

One of the points starts with how he's praised for things others are ridiculed for.

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15 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

Honestly I think people are kind of over blowing Shadow's physical resemblance to Sonic. He's a male hedgehog, which given the series fairly homogeneous character designs means he's going to look a fair bit like Sonic regardless. His design is really not significantly less divergent from Sonic's than Silver's though, and it's actually more divergent than Classic Amy was from Classic Sonic or the Echidnas in SA1 were from Knuckles. The cases where people mistake Shadow for Sonic in-universe all have additional factors at play, like them not having a clear view of view of Shadow or being in a situation where they would expect to see Sonic: Eggman initially sees Shadow at an awkward angle, from a fair distance away, while he's in the middle of executing an evil plan and thus expects Sonic might show up to try and stop him at any time. Amy knows Sonic is somewhere on Prison Island, sees Shadow from behind, and, being Amy, goes in for the glomp before fully registering what she's seeing, like that this "Sonic" has black fur and is standing right next to Doctor Eggman. The general populace is less familiar with Sonic than the other two are, saw a male hedgehog moving at superhuman speed in the dead of night, and assumed it was Sonic since he's the only person people they know who matches that description (which is actually impressively accurate as eyewitness testimony goes; in real life there is a non-zero chance Shadow would have been identified as a female capybara, possibly orange in color).

What character are you referencing?

12 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Eh, I don't like it that personally. I don't even like the mural. Like I hate the mural for knuckles. ( i really do not like that mural in relation to the echidina's and i hate it even more thanks to ian) I don't like sonic being super super fate guy. I like him just being a dude. And I don't think he needs to be connected to everything.

Sometimes the best things in fiction are happy coincidences that can be used for interesting narrative parallels. . That's my take anyway

 

12 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

If that's how you feel, more power to you.

I just really like it when characters are just...out of nowhere. I think it adds a lot to the world and creates interesting dynamics if they are taken advantage of. Its something that shadow kind of has, that I think could also be applicable to sonic.

Now you might be like " wait a minute how is shadow out nowhere"

Sonic is the guy destined to be some hero

Knuckles is a guardian given a job and apart of the previous guy's destiny

Blaze is a magical princess given power from another world

And silver is from the future with incredible powers kind of destined to save the past. 

And shadows... a guy who is made in a lab by an alien guy and a mad scientist and can kind of slap their shit. And I think that narrative isolation is fascinating. I do not want him connected, the idea that all these people who sound like they could be out of an rpg and then the goddamn space alien is like a living anomaly that stands in contrast to all of that. Not just in the story, but outside of that. Shadow was supposed to die, and he defied his fate. While that may not ever be acted upon, it is an interesting fun character quirk. That I do not think is worth getting rid of because of narrative cohesion. I don't think it matters.

I find these characters facinating, that's just me.

 

The Deadly Sex must butter your biscuits then.

11 hours ago, Kuzu said:

That's the besides the point; a concept being used terribly does not make that concept inherently bad. 

Metal Sonic is used comparatively less than Shadow, so yea you can say he hasn't been used enough for them to mess him up, but that's damned by faint praise if anything.

If you prefer him over Shadow, power to you, but there's kind of a reason Shadow is given more focus than Metal even nowadays. The former just has more than writers are willing to work with.

 

11 hours ago, Wraith said:

I'm also gonna double back and argue that Metal Sonic is exceptionally terrible opposition to Sonic specifically because he doesn't challenge him in any meaningful way. Metal Sonic has been used to wipe the floor with so utterly in such a vast amount of Sonic games without even getting so much of a cut-scene where Sonic is intimidated by his precedence. Sonic straight up doesn't feel pressured when he's around, and with how mechanically brain-dead almost every boss battle he's in is he ends up being little more in the series than a footnote. 

Compare this to Sonic's drive to best Shadow despite Shadow's inherent advantages and you can see which rival character brought the best out of our hero. The thing all good rivals are supposed to do. 

But hey Metal Sonic is less likely to be made fun of and that's what we value in this fanbase amirite? I mean, he's never done anything edg-shit.
ce3879ceb39bbd95ea5bde30fa8290ee3b7945dc6b2fa6d677e496fa03b3cfcefd151b4706bfccaf

Fuck Metal Sonic. Wasted potential: The character moreso than any other concept in the series. I don't care if he has seniority. 

 

11 hours ago, Kuzu said:

And I like Metal Sonic for the record, but at the end of the day, he's just a really cool design and nothing more. 

He never gets any focus besides just being a footnote as a boss fight. He doesn't even get to show off how strong he is against other characters or even have his own spotlight to flesh him out because he's never anything more than Eggman's attack dog.

The simplicity of the character is fine, but come on, even Knuckles got to get in Sonic's way when he was still an adversary, and Jet actually got under Sonic's skin in the one field Sonic prides himself in. So it's not even exclusive to Shadow.

 

10 hours ago, Bowbowis said:

Metal Sonic has been "edgy" from day one. Everyone just gives him a free pass because he debuted in 90s, and we all know Sonic was never edgy in 90s.

latest?cb=20200325085009Metal GIF - Find & Share on GIPHYMetal Sonic | MMKB | FandomSonic Forces 'Grim Gala' Begins, Reaper Metal Sonic Up For Grabs ...Image may contain: possible text that says 'EVENT NOW ON! SONIC DASH'latest?cb=20181221004710

I was wondering when people were gonna start shittin on Metal.  A whole three pages.

He kinda got lucky-- he's just another Sonic knockoff that got more use than the others and his integral role in Amy's backstory saved him from the eventual Classic embargo.

So now he's a nice novelty, but little else except when they remember to use him.

10 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Dude, comic writers  and even manga writers try to contextualize shit through retcons and continuity reboots, so this reasoning doesn't hold water.

When you're telling a story, it's the writers job to sell that this is a cohesive and logical universe unless you just don't give a shit about the story you're trying to make. 

And they clearly were trying to tell a story with Shadow, so this idea that all of the shit about him "doesn't matter" is some grade A bullshit and it feels like you're trying to stifle discussion.

It feels like you only care about Shadow's story in a vacuum, and not how it fits in the universe it's set in.

It's like he's a well documented massive fan or something.

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10 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

Yeah, trying to bring everything back to one specific event is always gonna be annoying. It makes the world smaller and there's not really a good reason for it. It's why I hated those fan theories about Silver being Shadow and Amy's son.

Are you sure it not being Sonamy didn't have anything to do with it?

10 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

I'm glad we're past the 2000s stage where Gerald Robotnik was somehow responsible for everything that's ever happened. 

"I found out my grand ancestor knew about an alternate dimension containing a psychic firebeast that eats babies!"

10 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

Shadow looks like Sonic because he's a reflection of his character, yeah sure. But that doesn't mean everything he does has to do with Sonic. As someone said before, he's the Akuma to Sonic's Ryu, with Metal Sonic being Evil Ryu. 

There's a literal Evil Ryu?

8 hours ago, Wraith said:

They're not gonna do it and I really don't give a shit anyway so I'm not gonna keep this going. 

But since that argument got me thinking I'll actually lean into the topic's premise and talk about the other parts of Shadow's character I don't actually like, despite liking him a lot on the whole. 
 - 

 

8 hours ago, Kuzu said:

If we're going to talk about concepts about Shadow that we don't like;

  •  

Holy smokes, y'all found something neato to do! Might just have to follow suit 

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12 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Are you sure it not being Sonamy didn't have anything to do with it?

Silver being Sonic and Amy's son would make even less sense as that would mean one of them would have to have a waaaaay to long lifespan. At least with Shadow you have the black knight thing.

 

13 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

 

There's a literal Evil Ryu?

 

 

Yeah, the literal manifestation of Ryu's dark side, has been playable in a bunch of the games. 

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8 hours ago, Kuzu said:

If we're going to talk about concepts about Shadow that we don't like;

  • He leans a bit too hard on being a typical Shonen Antihero rival, without much whimsical moments to balance him out. Not even moments that take advantage of his overly serious demeanor, and it feels like writers are afraid of deviating from that. Even the Boom writers didn't use him much because they were too afraid of that, but as a result, it left the character with very little to work with. And now we're seeing that with how Sega are dictating how his character can be used. Just let the writers work jeez. 
  • When he did show up before, he got excessive preferential treatment and while I'm not the type to complain about "Muh favorites", I do admit he tends to overshadow a significant portion of the cast because of how much he's built up as Sonic's undisputed equal. 

I think his powers or how they have them use them. This is a criticism that can fit the rest of the cast but for shadow it hits hard. Theres a lot of very cool stuff you could do with shadows powers and they are presented in very limited ways. I would them to get more creative with that

I actually think gerald is a bad concept. And I think if you were gonna go with scientist route Maria should have been the scientist.

Shadow needs to interact with the rest of the cast more. He doesn't they want to keep him a mysterious loner, i get that. But that often comes with the loss of interesting story telling. Having him interact with other folks would do everyone good

He needs quirks, like real quirks. The most we got is "likes to fix bikes" homie should have more interests and hobbies that help define him as a person

 

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7 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I actually think gerald is a bad concept. And I think if you were gonna go with scientist route Maria should have been the scientist.

I don't think it'd make that much of a difference, and goes against why they made two separate characters. They used Gerald because this was the first time Eggman was playable. Dark and Last story actually did a pretty good job of fleshing out Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge. I certainly knew more about them in that game than I do about Infinite, and that was with having to split it 3 ways. If anything there were a ton of plot points they could have built off that they dropped (like Rouge and Knuckles, the Chaos drives used to power life, how fake emeralds could be used for other things, etc.). 

Going into Gerald he seems to be continuing the theme from Classic and Adventure about science being used for good vs for evil. Normally we only have Tails and Eggman to show this. When he's first revealed we assume since he is related to Eggman, he must have been evil from the start too. However we learn later on that he started out as a scientist for the good of human kind, and only after Maria got sick did things change. (some of the details are in written form, but a lot of this was still in the game itself) He wanted to find a cure for her illness (it's actually kind of similar to Mr.Freeze's BTAS backstory), and it led into the research of immortality. However through his journal we see him going from a man just trying to save his grand daughter, to one filled with grief and losing his mind. Even Eggman is shocked that his grandfather wanted to destroy the world in revenge. (it also indirectly shows he never read the full journal and probably stopped at the part where Shadow was mentioned) Eggman wants to take over the world, but if it's destroyed there's nothing left to rule. He mentions in the end that his grandfather had inspired him into science, and it makes sense. They don't see themselves as the bad guys, so even if some say it's not needed I think it gave some interesting depth to Eggman. If anything I wish we had seen more of his reactions to Gerald in the past and Maria being his cousin, but it is what it is. A little kid Eggman would be funny.

Maria's role is probably a bit more obvious. She is Shadow's main motivator, first for revenge and later to save humanity. (for those wondering why it's because Gerald was able to manipulate Shadow's memories. It's implied in the English script but outright stated in the original.) Maria got sick at a young age, so she represents innocence and kindness, as well as life taken away too soon. I do kind of wish they fleshed her out more through flashbacks, but there's only so much you can include in the game and the cutscenes were already hitting movie length. I insist that if they ever did a remake that being able to find journal entries would be a great way to give more info without having to animate and voice it all.

So if Maria's goal is simple, why do I think they shouldn't have merged the two? Partly because they'd have to rewrite major points of the plot and likely not for the better. It would mean making Maria go insane instead of Gerald, and also would have to completely change the goal and reason for starting Project Shadow. I find Black Knight is a better example of that sort of thing if you haven't seen that yet. Hopefully you get what I mean better now.

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18 hours ago, Kuzu said:

It's not quite the same since  Shadow was always planned on coming back from the grave if interviews are any indication; they just did a poor job at actually properly connecting the events from his "death" to his revival. Vegeta actually was supposed to die, and Toriyama even came out and said that he created Frieza specifically to have an antagonist worse than Vegeta so that he can keep the latter around as part of the main cast. And god bless his soul, Vegeta has never gotten the preferential treatment that Shadow has gotten. He's never been the star of his own arc seperate from Goku the way Shadow has an entire arc completely divorced from Sonic. The difference is honestly in the details. 

Really now? I know that's how these characters tend to happen in stories, but still.

So in a different timeline, we mightve had Vegeta ordering around the Frieza force on Namek leading up to a rematch?

18 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

Does GUN care that rouge is a theif? Does anyone but Knuckles care?

But GUN isn't a police force. They're more the FBI/ Men in Black. If they were just cops, the goverment conspiracy thing wouldn't work.

Rouge is a pardoned thief who was using her skills to pay a debt to society, iirc.

But yeah, GUN is a military group.

18 hours ago, Wraith said:


- Shadow having a dead friend is fine and I even don't mind the military being apart of it all that much but I would rather her have gone naturally than get shot. Would have grounded the whole thing in something a bit easier for people to relate to and not been as jarring in a series where the characters regularly take bullets and explosions.

That would've been interesting to consider, a terminally ill girl dying after being taken into custody.

18 hours ago, Wraith said:


-Shadow and Rouge's relationship not being as fleshed out as it could be in general. I think Rouge picking him up like a stray and the two of them sticking together makes sense but making them both just cops feels like a misreading of what makes both of them cool. 
 

They're supposed to be the Special ops that the Special Forces call on for special tasks.

14 hours ago, Meta77 said:

Well if this current arc is anything to go by they are making it seem like he is going to be the one to beat the current villian

If so, it'll be long well earned.

13 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

As usual I'll preface this by saying this is SA2 based. I'm not ignoring the rest of his appearances as I do think they have various issues, but I think some either forget or don't know all the details about his debut game and I like sharing about it. (not knowing is understandable as even for it me it took a lot of willingly going out of my way to find this information)

I'm not sure if you're thinking of the same ones as me, but going through the story again as well as his character themes, one flaw of Shadow I have noticed is using over confidence as a facade for insecurity. Just like Knuckles raps were used to somewhat convey what he was feeling during the stages, Shadow was the only other character to have vocals for his stage music. Due to these vocals being warped on purpose, the meaning is lost on many players. But a reoccurring theme in these pieces are focusing on the current objective repeatedly to drown out his self doubt and fears. (I only found out today that these lyrics were translated from Japanese and not written in English first, which explains some of the odd grammar errors) I will include links to the lyrics to read. I find reading it with this in mind really changes the perspective on Shadow. (White Jungle) (Final Chase) (For True Story - Final Sonic vs Shadow) (Supporting Me - Shadow vs Biolizard)
 

Ah?

You know, that is both genuinely neat to know and also kinda funny.

13 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

Yes, specifically the roar after Knuckles says the emerald speech. The original audio of them screaming you can find here

Woof. Thank goodness they didn't go with Shadow's.

I thought the Biolizard was just supposed to be Perfect Chaos again, but to be fair, I didn't really pay it much attention beyond the Cheetah roars when you hit it.

13 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

I wonder if I should make a playlist at some point. There are some details I haven't seen elsewhere. I considered posting it in one of the threads, but didn't want to bump a dead one.

That's be helpful and informative. How old is the thread?

13 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

I admit I was probably exaggerating a bit, but when the guy writing it goes "it was my least favorite project" and "stages were valued over the story", and every other project he did was praised, I can't help but think meddling had to be involved considering Sega's history of doing so.

Oh. Yeah, that is telltale.

13 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

I am very sad that all those ideas got scrapped. Spin offs are a good way to flesh out the other characters without them feeling like they are stealing the spotlight from Sonic in games named after him.

Chaos 0 looks so good, I was so let down when I saw there was no boss. Not to mention the Shadow part in the main story going nowhere that I can recall.

I hope we'll one day get some manuscripts or board meeting minutes showing things that were discussed with future plans before getting shelved.

It is worth noting that the model itself is apparently not in the game's files, which tells me two things: 1. They never got around to doing anything with it outside of his few prerendered scenes, or 2. There were technical difficulties with the model in gameplay.

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2 hours ago, DryLagoon said:

So if Maria's goal is simple, why do I think they shouldn't have merged the two?

Because its more interesting. So I want to be clear, I need to shoutout bunches of people on twitter and like reset era because this isn't an idea I had in my own brain. This is an idea that I saw that I think is very good and is partially inspired by the recently ended Steven universe.

Simply put. With Gerald  , he can just put that away in his head. Gerald made me, gerald kind of also did and indulged in bad things. I appreciate that I exist or maybe i don't , but gerald is bad I can just follow maria. With black doom there is a more interesting interaction with shadow being related to what is essentially planet eating space demons. And him having to come to terms with the notion that while he maybe be the same, he isn't and can define his own path.

With maria, being the scientist and you turning up the messed up stuff she would have done, it would essentially be shadow coming to terms with the idea that his motivation might not be perfect and maybe its ok to deviate from it, if its not making you happy. And a more in depth lesson about making one's own family.

Imagine this, the end of sa2 happens shadow's memories were manipulated but it was by the same person. The same person that tells him to protect the planet changed his memories to tell him to destroy it. And that kinda fucks with him.  And from that moment forward. Maria robotnik's legacy would be a complicated one, you can enhance this further by being a sort of narrative opposite to ivo. Instead of being recklessly destructive in the name of self serving science, she could have been in the way of trying to move science forward. She could legitimately be trying to make the ultimate life form for good reasons, but could have  done awful shit getting there. You could have her upending entire achient ruins with flagrant disregard for the peoples involved in it for science. Even to the degree in which they died, she could have numerous experiments like the biolizard just left to rot because she was done with them and they didn't yield results. All serving the goal of creating shadow, even meeting aliens she may know are bad before had to further her goal.

Shadow living his life and having the memory of the woman he saw as the good in humanity warped would be an interesting lesson in people not being perfect. And for him to learn to be a bit more adaptable in terms of his thinking. Shadow as a character follows maria's wishes , yes because she was his friend. But also at least to me , because he kind of doesn't know what else he could do without that. I always saw shadow's drive as not only a promise, but kind of this goal that will probably never be completed so he can't be too alone with his own thoughts. And having the person who gave him the goal be this arbiter of misery and woe , makes him question whether the goal is worth it. And in the end make the decision try and find out who he is and what he wants to do, and who he is in this world 

The worst thing the series did is try to lionize gerald a bit. But having maria take that role, rules out lionization. She has to inherently be bad. She left misery in her wake and essentially abused her child and shadow dealing with her legacy would be very interesting.

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10 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

Silver being Sonic and Amy's son would make even less sense as that would mean one of them would have to have a waaaaay to long lifespan. At least with Shadow you have the black knight thing.

True true. 

10 hours ago, thumbs13 said:

Yeah, the literal manifestation of Ryu's dark side, has been playable in a bunch of the games. 

Oh, so he's Mad Jack. Got it.

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2 hours ago, DabigRG said:

That's be helpful and informative. How old is the thread?

I hope we'll one day get some manuscripts or board meeting minutes showing things that were discussed with future plans before getting shelved.

It is worth noting that the model itself is apparently not in the game's files, which tells me two things: 1. They never got around to doing anything with it outside of his few prerendered scenes, or 2. There were technical difficulties with the model in gameplay.

I felt like the SA2 thread would be the best place to post it, but I don't really want to open that can of worms as I'm certain it would devolve into arguing again.
 

I don't know if we'll ever get the details, but at least we occasionally get beta art of the characters and stages.

Oh I didn't know that. I don't see the point of having Chaos if you don't use it either way. I wonder what kind of difficulties it could be, considering what is allowed to slide.

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On 4/20/2020 at 10:54 AM, Shadowlax said:

Because its more interesting. So I want to be clear, I need to shoutout bunches of people on twitter and like reset era because this isn't an idea I had in my own brain. This is an idea that I saw that I think is very good and is partially inspired by the recently ended Steven universe.

Simply put. With Gerald  , he can just put that away in his head. Gerald made me, gerald kind of also did and indulged in bad things. I appreciate that I exist or maybe i don't , but gerald is bad I can just follow maria. With black doom there is a more interesting interaction with shadow being related to what is essentially planet eating space demons. And him having to come to terms with the notion that while he maybe be the same, he isn't and can define his own path.

With maria, being the scientist and you turning up the messed up stuff she would have done, it would essentially be shadow coming to terms with the idea that his motivation might not be perfect and maybe its ok to deviate from it, if its not making you happy. And a more in depth lesson about making one's own family.

Imagine this, the end of sa2 happens shadow's memories were manipulated but it was by the same person. The same person that tells him to protect the planet changed his memories to tell him to destroy it. And that kinda fucks with him.  And from that moment forward. Maria robotnik's legacy would be a complicated one, you can enhance this further by being a sort of narrative opposite to ivo. Instead of being recklessly destructive in the name of self serving science, she could have been in the way of trying to move science forward. She could legitimately be trying to make the ultimate life form for good reasons, but could have  done awful shit getting there. You could have her upending entire achient ruins with flagrant disregard for the peoples involved in it for science. Even to the degree in which they died, she could have numerous experiments like the biolizard just left to rot because she was done with them and they didn't yield results. All serving the goal of creating shadow, even meeting aliens she may know are bad before had to further her goal.

Shadow living his life and having the memory of the woman he saw as the good in humanity warped would be an interesting lesson in people not being perfect. And for him to learn to be a bit more adaptable in terms of his thinking. Shadow as a character follows maria's wishes , yes because she was his friend. But also at least to me , because he kind of doesn't know what else he could do without that. I always saw shadow's drive as not only a promise, but kind of this goal that will probably never be completed so he can't be too alone with his own thoughts. And having the person who gave him the goal be this arbiter of misery and woe , makes him question whether the goal is worth it. And in the end make the decision try and find out who he is and what he wants to do, and who he is in this world 

The worst thing the series did is try to lionize gerald a bit. But having maria take that role, rules out lionization. She has to inherently be bad. She left misery in her wake and essentially abused her child and shadow dealing with her legacy would be very interesting.

I can sorta see what you're saying.

In that case, it'd be a interesting if cynical to be the Maria we see in the flashbacks was the dolled up version of her younger self(assuming she isn't a straight up super prodigy) when she was really in her 20s at the youngest and the footage of her execution reveals an unusually haggard woman, looking closer to the other Robotniks(within reason, like noodle limbs and a slightly pointier nose than normal). She could probably still have the "for the betterment of humanity" vibe about her, but as you said, she was a different brand of eccentric that would offhandedly accept commissions from GUN and even their enemies as long as they kept the funding going so she could practice highly unethical experiments with a blase excitement.

On 4/20/2020 at 1:07 PM, DryLagoon said:

I felt like the SA2 thread would be the best place to post it, but I don't really want to open that can of worms as I'm certain it would devolve into arguing again.

I don't know if we'll ever get the details, but at least we occasionally get beta art of the characters and stages.

Oh, of course.

On 4/20/2020 at 1:07 PM, DryLagoon said:

Oh I didn't know that. I don't see the point of having Chaos if you don't use it either way. I wonder what kind of difficulties it could be, considering what is allowed to slide.

Things they probably planned early on that didn't pan out and they just kept what they had for pragmatic purposes. A Chaos Boss fight for example might've had issues rendering his arm stretching in game or something.

That said, Classic Sonic one shotting him was in all versions of the Beta Script.

 

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

Oh, of course.

 

I decided to make the playlist, you can see it here. Feel free to share it. Note there might be some redundant stuff but if I see anything good I'll add to it.

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So in a motion that is probably not an awful idea, I thought we might extend this conversation a bit: This topic goes into issues with Shadow's character and whether he was flawed to begin with, but now I think it's time to add the aftermath of his arc to the equation.

How has Shadow being affected the franchise and in turn eventually by an effect from it?

Why does what his place in the series then collide with the circumstances of the last decade?

Where might certain elements of his heyday be causing portrayals to be to be handled the way they are now?

And what are your feelings on him in review?

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

So in a motion that is probably not an awful idea, I thought we might extend this conversation a bit: This topic goes into issues with Shadow's character and whether he was flawed to begin with, but now I think it's time to add the aftermath of his arc to the equation.

 

1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

How has Shadow being affected the franchise and in turn eventually by an effect from it?

 

1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

Why does what his place in the series then collide with the circumstances of the last decade?

I want to answer these two at the same time. Shadow as a character exists in a weird conundrum.

Shadow is popular for who he is, who his is is incompatible with what sonic wanted to be for the past several years. He's too popular to get rid of , but he's an akward fit at least in the eyes making the material. Ian Flynn fits him just fine, but sega doesn't care about that.

1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

Where might certain elements of his heyday be causing portrayals to be to be handled the way they are now?

People say the aliens, but in honest the aliens are fine ( for sega ) and i think if there ever is a reboot. They are the things that are staying, its GUN. And his entire backstory is the problem. ( for sega)

Police like entities are in fiction are getting a stern look and GUN already was an entity sega decided to all but officially ditch. But now its kinda certain its an issue for them. It feels like they regret GUN (probably especially  now) but it feels like they also regret maria and gerald. They want shadow's characters to be a bit more loose, and they don't want it just limited to those two characters in terms of his motivation.I don't think that last thing is a bad idea... I actually think its a good one. I think sega came to that idea for the wrong reasons which is why it resulted in his current assholish interpretation.

I want it to happen because I think he has a lot more potential backstory and characterization wise, if its just all alien stuff. Like his maria was like an alien mom and then gun or some entity took him and locked him away it changes his dynamic in an interesting way and allows him to just add whatever dumb bullshit they want to him without having staple on addendum like " also gerald went to a bar once and liked it so now shadow has the ability to make perfect alcoholic beverages" or some nonsense. Just vague alien magic ancient bullshit and everyone can kinda get behind that.

I feel like sega did it because they want him to be whatever they want him to be, popular portrayals be damned , and here we are. Ignore what he's been through we want him to be an asshole. Though given what may be in store for the comic, they may have backed down from that idea.

1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

And what are your feelings on him in review?

I think he's cool and has a lot of potential. But exists in a franchise where at the moment it feels like no aspect of it wants to reach any kind of potential. It is content with what is or rather what was in terms of nostalgia. And it doesn't help a bunch of the people making it don't get how it worked in the first place.

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 For minor clarification since I didn't erase that part, I said this might be a bad idea because the collective original question was more...personal/opinionated in terms of what the answers could be. I just decided to expand whatever it was into the questions that are there, particularly the latter half.

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

 

I want to answer these two at the same time. Shadow as a character exists in a weird conundrum.

Shadow is popular for who he is, who his is is incompatible with what sonic wanted to be for the past several years. He's too popular to get rid of , but he's an akward fit at least in the eyes making the material. Ian Flynn fits him just fine, but sega doesn't care about that.

Indeed.

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

People say the aliens, but in honest the aliens are fine ( for sega ) and i think if there ever is a reboot. They are the things that are staying, its GUN. And his entire backstory is the problem. ( for sega)

Police like entities are in fiction are getting a stern look and GUN already was an entity sega decided to all but officially ditch. But now its kinda certain its an issue for them. It feels like they regret GUN (probably especially  now) but it feels like they also regret maria and gerald. They want shadow's characters to be a bit more loose, and they don't want it just limited to those two characters in terms of his motivation.I don't think that last thing is a bad idea... I actually think its a good one. I think sega came to that idea for the wrong reasons which is why it resulted in his current assholish interpretation.

I want it to happen because I think he has a lot more potential backstory and characterization wise, if its just all alien stuff.

Oho..?

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Like his maria was like an alien mom 

also gerald went to a bar once 

Boy, what two fragments to nearly interplay in a skim.

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

so now shadow has the ability to make perfect alcoholic beverages" or some nonsense. Just vague alien magic ancient bullshit and everyone can kinda get behind that.

Lol

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I feel like sega did it because they want him to be whatever they want him to be, popular portrayals be damned , and here we are. Ignore what he's been through we want him to be an asshole. Though given what may be in store for the comic, they may have backed down from that idea.

Pretty much.

2 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

I think he's cool and has a lot of potential. But exists in a franchise where at the moment it feels like no aspect of it wants to reach any kind of potential. It is content with what is or rather what was in terms of nostalgia. And it doesn't help a bunch of the people making it don't get how it worked in the first place.

Er, a chunk of it anyway.

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Shadow's biggest problem nowadays, to me at least, is that fan opinion is still extremely split on how he should be handled and Sega, in their infinite wisdom, are trying to satisfy both parties, which means they are satisfying nobody. 

Shadow is a fundamentally controversial character, because what the character represents is at odds with how many people perceive the series. Namely that most fans feel that Sonic shouldn't be too complex, because the series simply is not mature enough to handle it, and it's attempts at being complex are why the series tends to be mocked, and routinely point out every example of poorly written games where the complexities are completely glossed over due to shoddy execution. 

On the flipside, Shadow also represents what many people feel is one the series` core identities. Sonic as a series has always been built on character motivations dictating their actions, and Shadow is the logical conclusion of  that, being a character who is completely defined by his motivation to act instead of it just being a personality quirk of his. His backstory completely shapes his character, and that in turn, is what adds intrigue to him.

So you have two equally vocal contingent of fans with completely opposing views vying for attention; when Shadow is streamlined and his personality is exaggerated, fans like it because they feel it's more in line with what the series is (or currently is anyway) , while the other side feels this cheapens the character and misses the point of what made him popular and reduces him to a parody of himself. On the flipside, when Shadow is treated more seriously and with more gravitas, fans like it because they feel it adds a level of complexity to an otherwise simple narrative, but the other side feels this is pretentious and difficult to take seriously and drags attention away from the lighthearted whimsy of the series they enjoy. 

 

 

The simplest solution is to just give Shadow his own fucking series so people can have their cake and eat it too, but since that isn't going to happen any time soon, we're stuck with this. No I don't know how you fix this discrepancy. I lean more towards thinking Shadow is better used as a serious foil to the more jovial and upright heroic cast, and when used well, serves as a good juxtaposition. But I also understand that is not everyone's cup of tea and they would prefer to see him in a less dignified light to bring him on the level of everyone else and make him enjoyable.   

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People go on about how Shadow's personality is exaggerated now, by being written as a generic "jerk" character, and I agree.

But I'd argue that Shadow's gross character exaggeration began the moment he was brought back from the dead. 

In Sonic Heroes, they had the chance to continue Shadow's character where it left off in SA2. With his fresh new view on the world and on humanity. But they didn't. They conveniently erased his memory so that he'd have a new reason to be sad and angry. They effectively undid the character development he went through in the previous game, just so he could go through a very similar arc all over again.

To this day, I don't fully know if Shadow the Hedgehog (the game) was meant to be taken seriously or not. It's like the ridiculous over-the-top B-movie of the Sonic franchise. Shadow shouting mild profanity as he waves around guns that are as big as he is, an alien overlord literally named "Black Doom" who's revealed to be instrumental to Shadow's creation, and paths where Shadow outright kills people or even destroys the world. Is this the same character from SA2?

Following games give a really unclear picture of what Shadow's personality is. 2K6 and Rivals make him rather chilled out and contemplative compared to Heroes and his own starring role, going from practically a poster-boy of rebellion against authority to being a cool, calculating government agent. Meanwhile Chronicles again makes Shadow super aggressive and quick to anger.

By the time of Boom (which is noncanon to the games, but important for the purpose of this discussion) they just decided to make Shadow antagonistic to Sonic by default, with no apparent motivation; An outright malevolent figure who laughs at Sonic and derides him for... uh, having friends, like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Fair enough, Boom's a separate continuity, but then this motiveless antagonism seems to have been adopted into the mainline games themselves, with even Ian Flynn saying Sega's mandated that he write Shadow this way.

I feel like Shadow was a cohesive character once, and that was in his debut game, Sonic Adventure 2. Since then, his portrayal has effectively been at war with itself, shifting and changing and being every extreme imaginable - none of them truly feeling like a proper followup to his epiphany on the ARK in SA2. 

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1 hour ago, Dr. Mechano said:

People go on about how Shadow's personality is exaggerated now, by being written as a generic "jerk" character, and I agree.

But I'd argue that Shadow's gross character exaggeration began the moment he was brought back from the dead. 

In Sonic Heroes, they had the chance to continue Shadow's character where it left off in SA2. With his fresh new view on the world and on humanity. But they didn't. They conveniently erased his memory so that he'd have a new reason to be sad and angry. They effectively undid the character development he went through in the previous game, just so he could go through a very similar arc all over again.

To this day, I don't fully know if Shadow the Hedgehog (the game) was meant to be taken seriously or not. It's like the ridiculous over-the-top B-movie of the Sonic franchise. Shadow shouting mild profanity as he waves around guns that are as big as he is, an alien overlord literally named "Black Doom" who's revealed to be instrumental to Shadow's creation, and paths where Shadow outright kills people or even destroys the world. Is this the same character from SA2?

Following games give a really unclear picture of what Shadow's personality is. 2K6 and Rivals make him rather chilled out and contemplative compared to Heroes and his own starring role, going from practically a poster-boy of rebellion against authority to being a cool, calculating government agent. Meanwhile Chronicles again makes Shadow super aggressive and quick to anger.

By the time of Boom (which is noncanon to the games, but important for the purpose of this discussion) they just decided to make Shadow antagonistic to Sonic by default, with no apparent motivation; An outright malevolent figure who laughs at Sonic and derides him for... uh, having friends, like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Fair enough, Boom's a separate continuity, but then this motiveless antagonism seems to have been adopted into the mainline games themselves, with even Ian Flynn saying Sega's mandated that he write Shadow this way.

I feel like Shadow was a cohesive character once, and that was in his debut game, Sonic Adventure 2. Since then, his portrayal has effectively been at war with itself, shifting and changing and being every extreme imaginable - none of them truly feeling like a proper followup to his epiphany on the ARK in SA2. 

I think Sonic 06 and Sonic Battle are the ONLY game that properly builds on his arc from SA2; In the former, he is confronted with the idea that he will be betrayed by humanity and imprisoned, and is tempted by the literal devil. But this time, Shadow has friends who support him and he is confident enough in himself to tell Mephiles to piss off and reinforce his character arc from SA2. 

In Battle, he has to contend with another potential threat to the world created by Gerald, and tries to not have history repeat itself by destroying it before it can do any harm. He relents though when he remembers that he was given the choice to go against his programming and Emerl should be given that same courtesy and sacrifices his chaos emerald in doing so. 

 


Both of these do great jobs at following what happened in SA2. I feel like Sega's biggest problem is that they had no idea where to go from there. They had basically milked his backstory for all that it was worth, and you can only do that for so many times before it gets stale. But then that led to the problem of without his backstory, "who is Shadow the Hedgehog?" By not establishing a solid purpose and roll for him after his story was completed, it just leaves the character in a really awkward position. Because they never properly transitioned his character, any time they add traits like him being an arrogant asshole, it just feels WEIRD and completely nonsensical because it flies in the face of what the character experienced. 

I feel like they want to move on from Shadow's backstory, but they don't know how and just kind of default to the most popular public perception of him; which is that of an angsty, jackass loner. There's transition point, it's just a change for the sake of a change. 

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