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Shadow's Endings


Frozen Nitrogen

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Shadow the Hedgehog had more endings than usual. Lots and lots of endings. Eleven, in fact, ranging from Shadow becoming a planetkilling omincidal maniac to some sort of Angel of Mercy. But which one was best, from a character / story / I-just-liked-it-that-way point of view? Let's review:

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PURE DARK ENDING:

Via GUN Fortress Dark: Destroy GUN's core computers co-ordinating the remaining human armies, then fight Sonic & the GUN Commander in Diablon.

Shadow declares he's going to use the power of the emeralds to "Destroy this damn planet!". Quite whether he means that literally (in that there'll be nothin' but asteroids left behind), or the less mad idea that he's simply going to sow ruin and indiscriminate violence all over the place, isn't clear, but it's obvious he's gone Chaotic Evil here. OMG.

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ALMOST PURE DARK ENDING:

Via GUN Fortress Hero: Run to the core of the base with Rouge and take the last Chaos Emerald, then fight Black Doom (coming down from the Comet to oversee the human's destruction personally doesn't seem like such a good idea now, does it Mr. Doom?).

Neutral Evil in this one. Shadow's motives at the end, that he'll use the Emeralds to "conquer the universe", mean he's effectively turned into a supervillain in the same grain as Black Doom and the Fat Man himself.

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MOSTLY DARK ENDING:

Via Black Comet Dark: Defeat the GUN counter-invasion of the Black Comet. Fight Sonic and Diablon again at the comet's core.

This one is where Black Doom's plan WORKS exactly like he hoped it would when he manipulated Gerald 50 years ago. Shadow resolves to "protect and serve Black Doom", so that the world can become the Arms' dark empire. Way to go Doom!

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LESS MOSTLY DARK ENDING:

Via Black Comet Hero: Just fight your way to the center of the comet. For absolutely no good reason that I can discern, EGGMAN is at the core, and the Egg Dealer is the boss.

"I am Shadow the Hedgehog, and only I know what is best. No-one can tell me what to do. THIS IS WHO I AM!"

Shadow goes a bit Against All Authorities here, determined simply that he ain't gonna be manipulated any more; not by Eggman, not by Doom, not by anyone. Chaotic Neutral, much?

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NEUTRAL WITH A HINT OF EVIL ENDING:

Via Lava Shelter Dark: Activate the Doctor's defences to repel GUN (Shadow's rationale smmed up in one of his gameplay quotes: "The Doctor is mine. No-one may lay a hand on him but me!"), then fight Eggman at the center of his own base.

The Lava Shelter endings are the ones where Eggman has successfully convinced Shadow that he's an android - although this doesn't work to secure his loyalty like the Doc presumably planned. Shadow becomes fixated with hunting down and punishing his creator a'la Mewtwo. This ending sees Shads declare that while he may be a copy, he's going to use the Emeralds to become greater than the original. Overcompensatory, no?

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NEUTRAL WITH A HINT OF GOOD ENDING:

Via Lava Shelter Hero: Cut your way through the Doctor's defences (and GUN's attackers, too), to fight Eggman.

Shads is again convinced he's an android (and Eggman curiously doesn't try to correct this, even when karate-death is staring him in the face). Much like Black Doom got exactly what he wanted in the mostly dark ending, this one is pretty much Omega's wish-fulfilment fantasy. Shadow does an exact recreation of Metal Overlord (minus the dragon-ness), declaring himself the new ruler of the android-supremacist Eggman Empire.

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LESS MOSTLY HERO ENDING:

Via Cosmic Fall Dark: Simply follow Black Doom to the core of the ARK. As with the less mostly dark ending, Eggman's there, for no reason.

Ol' Shadow gets a little melancholy here, declaring to Eggman that he's determined to live on as proof of Gerald's life and works. He effectively turns into the Knuckles of the space colony, apparently wanting to live there in solitude and not let anyone violate the "sacred ARK".

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MOSTLY HERO ENDING:

Via Cosmic Fall Hero: FIND THE FUCKING COMPUTA ROOM, BITCH!! And Black Doom's there (why?)

Ol' Shadow gets a LOT melancholy here: "I am a research experiment gone deadly wrong. I should never have been created..."

And you really know you're life's in the toilet when it's Vector trying to cheer you up. Shadow mopes away from this one in a depressed shuffle, presumably to go cut himself while listening to Linkin Park.

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ALMOST PURE HERO ENDING:

Via Final Haunt Dark: Activate the defences of the Black Comet, then fight Sonic and Diablon.

This is where Shadow really plays his "I'm Sonic's rival" card. He actually says in-game that he's only siding with the aliens because they're siding against Sonic. With the Emeralds he declares himself "the world's ultimate hedgehog"... an almost laughably low aspiration considering that he was going to conquer the universe in the almost pure dark ending.

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PURE HERO ENDING:

Via Final Haunt Hero: Team up with Sonic to get to the core of the comet, then beat up Black Doom.

Shadow stays true to The Cult Of Maria in the goody-two-shoes ending: "I made a promise that I intend to keep" (i.e. promising Maria to "Give them a chance to be happy"). He's gonna use the Emeralds to destroy Doom and his army.

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385px-Sa2_shadow02.png

Now, we all know that the final true ending is Super Shadow destroying Devil Doom and then resolving to discard his past, but watching the

that doesn't quite match up with any of the preceding 10 'intermediate' endings. So which one of the 10 do you prefer, or think is actually most in keeping with Shadow's character as it stands at the start and / or end of the game? And, as an aside, which one is most likely to be the true one, that matches up best with the Last Story ending?

My own favourite is LESS MOSTLY HERO; the one where Shadow lets Robotnik go and becomes the Knuckles-esque hermetic custodian of the ARK. Possibly just because I loev Knuckles, but the idea of Shadow guarding the ARK, making it and himself a dignified, solitary testament to Gerald's works and the good man that his creator once was, is like OMG DEEP. He shoulders the responsibility with a kind of weary resignation, letting go of all his anger and hatred and just walking away from Eggman, devoid of the kind of wrathful kill-him-for-the-sake-of-it attitude he takes in the Lava Shelter missions (and, I think, still nurses in his true moody incarnation).

The best thing about this ending, though, is that it's an entirely believable what-might-have-been. This is easily how Shadow could have really ended up: crushed by the weight of his past rather than freeing himself from it.

Doomed by his own psychoses to spend the rest of his immortal life shuffling about in a metal tomb; on the one hand tortured by the ghosts of those long dead, but on the other hand unwilling to leave the place where he was born; the place where he grew up; the one place where he ever had a friend.

;_;

Edited by Frozen Nitrogen
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I think the "Less Mostly Dark Ending" would be the most logical ending leading up to the Last Story. It ends on the Black Comet, setting up for the location of the Last story, and most importantly, he declares complete neutrality, which is how he stood at the beginning of the last story, not having sided with anyone yet.

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As for which ending is most true, you already answered that, but it was obvious what Sonic Team intended in the first place. What I find interesting is how the path one takes in the game almost changes the truth of Shadow's past. Sonic Heroes needs to be factored in as well: defeat of the Egg Albatross shows Shadow noticing the wreck of a Shadow android, Rouge's nondisclosure at the end being rendered moot. Shadow's real world-altering choices tend to come at the point he has acquired five Chaos Emeralds. There seem to be set events in the game that take place no matter what path is taken: cyberspace is invaded, Central City is ravaged, Eggman sends his fleet after the floating ruins, the President is evacuated, Black Arms make an attempt to take over the ARK (causing moderate damage to the satellite in the process), and the Black Comet shows up at the end. The Last Story cancels out any other ending, but it does obviously take place on the Black Comet, which narrows it down to the final mission with Sonic (it is likely not the final mission with Knuckles because Shadow there is much more evil-driven and would probably not be open to listening to anyone else like he does in the story). Considering all this, I do not think it can really be determined which storyline is most true. Some parts can be eliminated (i.e. Shadow being convinced he is an android), but everything else seems to happen whether Shadow is there or not. There may be more clues from what the characters say during the Last Story, but I have not played it in quite a while.

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MOSTLY HERO ENDING:

Via Cosmic Fall Hero: FIND THE FUCKING COMPUTA ROOM, BITCH!! And Black Doom's there (why?)

Ol' Shadow gets a LOT melancholy here: "I am a research experiment gone deadly wrong. I should never have been created..."

And you really know you're life's in the toilet when it's Vector trying to cheer you up. Shadow mopes away from this one in a depressed shuffle, presumably to go cut himself while listening to Linkin Park.

This one, for a couple of reasons. First, Vector trying to console a bitter, horrified Shadow is unintentional comedy gold. I love the guy, but still. Second, I adore the way Shadow says "This is who I am...", not with the hammy arrogance of most of the other endings, but with utter dejectedness. And yet the subtitles still put the WHO I AM in all-caps for some reason. Joy.

Edited by Octarine
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I adore the way Shadow says "This is who I am...", not with the hammy arrogance of most of the other endings, but with utter dejectedness

Totally agreed here. That was the most memorable ending for me.

It annoys me that Eggman dies in both the Lava Shelter endings. One of them should have totally been Shadow serving Eggman like he does in one Mostly Dark ending.

Overall, I don't believe any ending is canon. They are all just possibles. What IS canon is every event leading up to every possible ending. The true story is that he somehow goes through all that, ends up at the Black Comet, and ends up being convinced to do good with the chaos emeralds by everyone else and Gerald and Maria's recording.

For the true ending to exist:

Shadow must have destroyed Central City with the eclipse canon.

Eggman must have tricked Shadow into thinking he may be an android.

Shadow and the GUN Commander met on the ARK.

Shadow went through both The Doom and Lost Impact's flashback scenes.

Essentially... I see the story as very vague - intentionally so. Canonically, Shadow made all these discoveries we see, but when you play story mode, you get to enjoy just one way the story COULD have gone for old Shadsie.

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Overall, I don't believe any ending is canon. They are all just possibles. What IS canon is every event leading up to every possible ending. The true story is that he somehow goes through all that, ends up at the Black Comet, and ends up being convinced to do good with the chaos emeralds by everyone else and Gerald and Maria's recording.

Agreed. I like to think that the canon story is all of the routes stapled together in some weird way, with Shadow changing his mind about what he is several times through the story (perhaps as sequential emeralds recover more and more of his memories). And this bizarre mish-mash ends up just getting capped off with the Last Story.

I really liked the branching structure in Shadow, and totally think they should do that some more in future games. Perhaps not requiring the choices to be quite so blatantly good or evil (since it would be difficult to justify Sonic turning into an omnicidal maniac), but still; route / mission choice is gooooood.

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Since I never played the game, I don't know what things happened during the story course, but watching the endings the possibilities are:

MOSTLY DARK ENDING:

Via Black Comet Dark: Defeat the GUN counter-invasion of the Black Comet. Fight Sonic and Diablon again at the comet's core.

This one is where Black Doom's plan WORKS exactly like he hoped it would when he manipulated Gerald 50 years ago. Shadow resolves to "protect and serve Black Doom", so that the world can become the Arms' dark empire. Way to go Doom!

In the last story we can see Black Doom actually succedes in his plans, since Shadow has the seven emmeralds and Doom can begin with the ritual of prosperity.

ALMOST PURE HERO ENDING:

Via Final Haunt Dark: Activate the defences of the Black Comet, then fight Sonic and Diablon.

This is where Shadow really plays his "I'm Sonic's rival" card. He actually says in-game that he's only siding with the aliens because they're siding against Sonic. With the Emeralds he declares himself "the world's ultimate hedgehog"... an almost laughably low aspiration considering that he was going to conquer the universe in the almost pure dark ending.

This one makes me think too, maybe it's just dumb, but this not only explains why Shadow actually never intended to do anything with Black Doom (he just wants to learn about his past), it seems like the blackarms also succeed here, so Doom can initiate his ritual as seen in last story.

EDIT: but as you said, the real story should be almost every single paths stapled together :P

Edited by christmasrafan
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For the true ending to exist:

Shadow must have destroyed Central City with the eclipse canon.

Eggman must have tricked Shadow into thinking he may be an android.

Shadow and the GUN Commander met on the ARK.

Shadow went through both The Doom and Lost Impact's flashback scenes.

I am curious as to why you think all these events must have specifically occurred.

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I am curious as to why you think all these events must have specifically occurred.

I think it's mostly in order that all the most significant plot points from the dispirate threads have been ticked. In general I agree, though I'd add the Sky Troops battle between the Eggman Fleet and the Glyphic Canyon ships (so as to give resolution to the "Eggman Enters The Fight" CG cutscene).

You've also gotta be careful with the Eclipse-Cannoning of Central City, because Sonic Battle shows that the place is still standing.

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Hmm that's true. Perhaps it wasn't... completely destroyed? It's clear Battle can only take place after Shadow (be that intentional on the writers' part or not), but in the final story, the president has been evacuated to the GUN Fortress, and the destruction of Central City is the only place in the regular story mode where it can happen.

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Wasn't Sonic Battle BEFORE Shadow the Hedgehog?

still, Central City is still there in Sonic Chronicles so it dosen't meatter....

Battle came out after Heroes and before Shadow's game. But Shadow's got his memories back in Battle, despite the fact that the whole point of Shad's eponymous game is to show the process of him regaining said memories. So unless Shadow remembered everything between Heroes and Battle, then FORGOT everything again between Battle and Shadow, we have to conclude that Battle must come after Shadow despite being released before it.

Also, Chronicles. ;)

EDIT:

While Central City's partial destruction would give us an out... there's a hitch.

You'll notice, I hope, that the cannon melts the crust of the planet, taking out DAKOTA.

"Everyone was evacuated to the safe zone" my ass.

Edited by Frozen Nitrogen
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Yes, but the ending of Shadow's game was him finally leaving the past in the past, while in Battle his past is still explored with the appearance of Emerl. I do believe 06 is after ShTH since the black hog is working with GUN and since his part of the story focus on his future.

At the beggining of ShTH we see him saying that he only remembers a few things of the ARK incident. Battle did showed some things of his past but wasn't something more than what we already saw in adventure 2 which apparently is what shadow remembers the most (excluying everything related to emerl of coruse).

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You'll notice, I hope, that the cannon melts the crust of the planet, taking out DAKOTA.

"Everyone was evacuated to the safe zone" my ass.

Maybe Central City is just really... really... really big? D= This one is a toughie.

The main problem with Battle being before Shadow is that Shadow remembers Maria by name. It takes him a few levels before he remembers Maria properly in Shadow.

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I like points of several.

ALMOST PURE DARK ENDING - He turns into a villain.

LESS MOSTLY DARK ENDING - As you said, Chaotic Neutral. It suits him.

LESS MOSTLY HERO ENDING - Him accepting himself as he is. I do not like that he stays in the ARK though. It doesn't accomplish anything and doesn't surpass it.

ALMOST PURE HERO ENDING - "He actually says in-game that he's only siding with the aliens because they're siding against Sonic." I kind of love it.

I can't really talk much though. I didn't play much of that one.

Edited by redmenace
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I want to note that despite the game's flaws, bad as they are, I think it has one of the best morality systems in any video game to have one. When you look at games like inFamous or Fable, you're pushed to be either completely good or completely evil and trying to go middle ground often compromises the rewards you get or the overall intensity of the game. Shadow, though, gives you an equal opportunity to follow whatever area on the spectrum you want, vague as it may be. Make what you will of the title's overall execution, but I still think its level structure is one that more games should try to emulate when doing a morality based story structure.

Edited by SuperStingray
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Hmmmmm...... Maybe none of the endings ever did happen and Shadow left like being on the Black Comet. After all he did showed some interst in it. And no one ever thought Black Doom didn't blow up Central City either. It could be a possiblity.

But all we need now is more fan fics... =_=

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I have a lot of problems with Shadow's origin, but that's a rant for another time and another thread.

I enjoyed Shadow the Hedgehog for it's outrageousness, but as a sincere exploration of the character I feel it did more harm than good. Branching paths and alternate endings were a reaction to the popular trend in gaming at the time, and capping them all with the Sonic series' now-trademark "Final Story" ended up confusing the whole package. To the average audience, its conflicting endings raised far more questions than they answered. (Hence this thread, as an example.)

If there's one thing I can say that Shadow the Hedgehog's many alternate endings did to improve my thoughts on his character, it would be this: After playing through the whole game just to see every possible outcome, I felt the same thing as Shadow at the end of his Final Story: an eagerness to forget his origin and leave it behind. Because man is that thing ever a clustered mess. The fact that it finally dedicated the franchise to moving on is something I celebrated.

If I may follow that thought up with an additional point:

Ironically, and as a result of the origin "finality" from Shadow's standalone game, I thought that Sonic '06's portrayal and treatment of Shadow was the best in any game so far. I liked that he suddenly worked for GUN as a merc, I liked that he retained ties with Rouge and Omega, and I especially liked that he was stoic without the added baggage of not knowing WHO. HE. AM. It's the only thing about that game's story that I thought wasn't awful garbage. Who saw that coming, eh?

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=BLACK DOOM KNITS A SWEATER=

The gaudy leg-less alien in the tattered robe commanded his soldiers to bring forth the means to his diabolical end. And lo, the black and crimson creatures came, each carrying a sacred totem in each arm. With majestic grace, the alien overlord seized the metal implements that he would use to bring his grand design to fruitition.

Tense silence filled the vastness of the Black Comet. Every Black Arms spawn, soldier and underling held their breath.

Black Doom picked up the totem and the metal implements; a ball of yarn and a pair of long knitting pins, and he spoke to his children.

"Behold! Long have we awaited this opportunity. The time is now. On this day we shall knit the ultimate perfect sweater, a testament to the supremacy of the Black Arms."

Much silent applause followed, because although the Black Arms people really liked this sort of thing, cruel nature had evolved them without mouths to speak. Not that it would matter anyway, since none of the aliens spoke English. Why Black Doom did the lingo was anyone's guess.

Black Doom started knitting, slowly. This was where their species' awesomeness really showed. While those pathetic humans had to contend with just two measly eyes, Black Doom had three to see exactly what he was doing. Sure, the humans had nearly twice as many fingers, but honestly who really needed five fingers? Three was fine. Three was an excellent number. Much better than five. Humans really sucked. Stupid humans. It was a consensus that all Black Arms agreed with, even tough most of them had two eyes as well, but since they didn't have pupils, theirs were obviously better.

Bit by bit, the threads were woven together by Black Doom's expert wielding of the metal pins. Black Doom talked some more. He was a guy who just really liked to talk. Not too surprising since he seemed to be the only one around with vocal chords.

"With each turn of these weapons greater length of this thread devised by human hands is conquered by our superior power and molded as we choose. Soon all these human balls of yarn will be unraveled and rewound to the will of Black Arms."

More applause. The boss was totally in the zone. Entranced, the army of aliens watched their leader demonstrate his incredible incredibility. Some of them were starting to raise lit lighters above their heads as a sign of reverence. A group of gelatinous spawn on the ground used their tentacled mouths to raise a homemade Black Doom rules banner over their heads. Of course, since their heads were just a few inches off the ground it didn't make that much difference, but it was still pretty cute of those kids.

Things were getting more tense by the minute. Black Doom seemed to have finished an arm and was now beginning on the nerve-raking task of creating a turn in the fabric so he could start on the middle bit. A few female members of the audience started biting their nails, but then awkwardly remember that they didn't have mouths or fingernails...or genders. It was more embarrasing for the couples in the back who'd been trying to make out a moment earlier. Inability to do that kind of...well, stuff, didn't make them any less superior to humans, of course.

"Witness our triumph!" Black Doom exclaimed suddenly. Yup, he'd done it. A perfect turn in the fabric. This master plan of his was really coming along well.

The colours of the sweater so far were of course black and red. They were the best colours of all. Not that any other colours wouldn't work as well, as the Black Arms were self-proclaimed to be omni-fashionable. They were simply genetically incapable of not lookin' good. Seriously. Even 80's style fashion couldn't bring them down. They literally oozed of style. Well, they literally oozed, anyway (should really pick up a couple of boxes of tissues next time they visit Earth).

Black Doom's kniting was poetry in motion. You could really tell how the pain of the artist's soul transferred to the work. And there was pain. Pain of loss and betrayal. Sure, this alien overlord was completely perfect in every way, but that didn't transfer well to his ungrateful kid. Half the time he wouldn't listen, even when Black Doom threatened to send him to his room without supper. Plus, there was that one time the kid blew up the whole comet and nearly doomed the entire alien race to extinction, and that sort of thing was just not fine and dandy in this house. Oh, and not to mention running off with the family jewels. Black Doom had tons of gaudy jewelry, as you could easily tell by looking at how he dressed, but the ensemble just wasn't in vogue without those seven coloured jewels hovering over Black Doom's horned head to get the chi right. Yeah, okay, except for that thing about the now-disowned son and the missing jewels Black Doom was perfect in every way. Yeah. Totally.

Oh yeah, the sweater. It was coming along fine. Two-thirds done now.

The Black Arms had plenty of reason to resent humanity. The one time they let that Gee You Enn army onboard the comet, those jerks backed up the public toilets and flooded the entire comet with acidy goo. They had to ride around on those circular hoverboards for days just to get around until the plumbers fixed the problem. Awful day, that was. It was almost as bad as when that spoiled brat of a son brought his punk friends home and let them mess things up all over the place. Before the security staff could do anything about it there were hedgehogs and echidnas running wild and ruining the furniture.

Of course in all fairness the Black Arms did blow up those cities and cause a lot of harm to the environment of Earth, but anyone who saw how tacky the place looked before the Black Arms stepped in would have to sympathise with their cause. For one thing the whole planet was an eye sore that ruined the view from Mars where Black Doom kept his summer apartment.

Okay, back to the present. The alien audience held hands and bit their lip- did NOT bite their lips as they watched Black Doom go through yarn after yarn. There was just no stopping him now. In just a few moments the Black Arms would be the proud creators of the best darn sweater ever made by a sentient creature.

But then... No! It couldn't be! The calculations had all been perfect! How could they have tallied too few balls of yarn? They were just one short of success and suddenly the stores were empty.

No...

Black Doom threw the unfinished sweater on the ground in disgust. Shaking his fists he yelled in frustration, the shock of defeat having blistered his dignity.

Disappointed, the fans rolled up their banners and put out their lighters, a few of them wondering where in the world they got those. The Black Arms went back to their regular affairs. Ah, well. Maybe next master plan.

And far away on Earth, Black Doom's rowdy rebellious teenage kid grinned wickedly as he clutched the stolen ball of yarn in his hand. Shadow the Hedgehog was such a naughty boy...

END.

That was purely epic.

Edited by Indigo Claus
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I honestly believe Battle is non-canon since it just doesn't fit in with any part of the continuity. He clearly knows who Maria and Gerald are which means it should to take place after ShTH, but he's still angsty about them which completely goes against the end of ShTH. And it can't be a case of ignoring character development since it holds true later in 06.

Edited by Black Spy
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I honestly believe Battle is non-canon since it just doesn't fit in with any part of the continuity. He clearly knows who Maria and Gerald are which means it should to take place after ShTH, but he's still angsty about them which completely goes against the end of ShTH. And it can't be a case of ignoring character development since it holds true later in 06.

Shadow's Battle wangsting about Gerald and Maria doesn't bother me. As you might infer from my love of the LESS MOSTLY HERO end, I liked Shadow's psychoses, and them effectively getting thrown in the bin after ShtH is a waste of good pathos as far as I'm concerned. So a bit of going back on his ShtH resolution in Battle is welcomed by me.

Shadow's got to willfully remember some of his past, because otherwise he might end up completly contradicting everything he's been up to now,by inexplicably working as some sort of ham-fisted secret agent for the very people who killed his childhood friend and sent him and his creator into a spiral of destruction in the first...

Oops.

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Shadow's got to willfully remember some of his past, because otherwise he might end up completly contradicting everything he's been up to now,by inexplicably working as some sort of ham-fisted secret agent for the very people who killed his childhood friend and sent him and his creator into a spiral of destruction in the first...

Oops.

I use to think same thing until I remembered the current G.U.N. Commander is a survivor of the ark tragedy. He claims that everyone he knew and loved died 50 years ago including Maria. If the GUN commander didn't climb the ranks and change GUN himself, you could at least consider that the GUN of today is not the same as GUN 50 years. If GUN is different and Shadow has put his past behind him then I see no problem with him working as a agent of GUN.

Edited by Burning Neoxor
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