Shadow the Hedgehog
|Shadow the Hedgehog|
|Sonic the Hedgehog character|
Shadow the Hedgehog, in promotional artwork for Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing.
|First game||Sonic Adventure 2 (2001)|
|Created by||Takashi Iizuka|
|Voiced by (English)||Video Games
David Humphrey (2001-2005)
Jason Griffith (2005-2010)
Kirk Thornton (2010-present)
Jason Griffith (Sonic X)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kōji Yusa|
|Nickname||The Ultimate Life Form|
|Species||Hedgehog, Black Arms|
Energy projection (V.I.A Chaos Spear and Blast)
Expert hand-to-hand combat skills.
Reality bending abilities (Chaos Control)
Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu ) is a character who appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by SEGA. He is a Black And Crimson Male hedgehog whose hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival the speeds of Sonic. and he can use the Chaos Emeralds to manipulate time and space through a technique called "Chaos Control". Designed as Sonic's arch-rival, Shadow has been featured in a variety of Sonic series games, including a self-titled game.
Concept and creation
The character of Shadow was conceived by Takashi Iizuka, director of Sonic Adventure 2, the game in which Shadow was first introduced. The character was first shown to the public in a game trailer; however, his name was not revealed. GameStop described what little was shown as Anti-Sonic - similar in appearance, but with darker skin, more angled eyes, and a fearsome scowl instead of Sonic's trademark grin." Takashi Iizuka said that they maintained the mystery around the character of Shadow the Hedgehog and had wanted to feature him in his own game since he was introduced. After feeling that it would be inappropriate to give Sonic's character a gun as fans had requested in mailings, Yuji Naka believed that by focusing on Shadow for his own game, they could use his different identity from Sonic to build upon the Sonic brand. The character was featured as a guest announcer and performed other promotional work for the game's release during a wrestling show set up by the Japanese league, Pancrase, in December 2005. Shadow's design was influenced by films such as Underworld, Constantine, and the Terminator series.
Appearances in video games
Shadow debuted in the game Sonic Adventure 2 as a playable character with gameplay similar to that of Sonic. In the game, it was explained that he was created fifty years prior to the game's events by Professor Gerald Robotnik, grandfather of Doctor Eggman. Robotnik designed Shadow to be the "Ultimate Life Form", a first step towards achieving the goal of immortality, but the government deemed Project Shadow a threat, and dispatched G.U.N. troopers to the space colony ARK. G.U.N. destroyed the research, shut down the ARK, and killed Robotnik's granddaughter, Maria. Before Maria's death, she was able to send Shadow to Earth, but GUN then apprehends him. Fifty years later, Shadow was released from suspended animation by Dr. Eggman at the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2. Dr. Eggman hoped to use Shadow to conquer the world, but Shadow hoped to destroy it in revenge for Maria's death. The game ends with Shadow reversing his decision, working with Sonic to save the world from another of Professor Gerald Robotnik's experiments, and falling to the Earth from the ARK.
In Sonic Heroes, Rouge discovers Shadow in a stasis tube in Dr. Eggman's secret base. Suffering from amnesia, Shadow joins forces with Rouge and E-123 Omega to track down Dr. Eggman. During the game, Shadow encounters androids working for Dr. Eggman that resemble him, causing him to question whether he also is an android.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is still suffering from amnesia and remembers nothing other than his name and brief images of Maria's death. He meets an invading race of aliens called the Black Arms; their leader, Black Doom, seems to know Shadow. Throughout the game, Shadow searches for information about his past and for the Chaos Emeralds. In this game, Shadow is able to use a variety of handheld weapons and vehicles. By the game's end, Shadow learns the truth about his past, including that Professor Gerald Robotnik created him using Black Doom's blood, and he defeats the Black Arms.
In the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog video game, Shadow, now an agent of G.U.N., works with Rouge and Omega after confronting Mephiles the Dark. One of Mephiles' goals is to interfere with Shadow's future, but along with Sonic and Silver, Shadow super transforms and defeats Mephiles.
Shadow appears in Sonic Rivals as a playable character in which he locates and uncovers the truth about Dr. Eggman. He also appears in the sequel Sonic Rivals 2. He is an unlockable character in the game Sonic Riders as Speed-type character, and he also appears in the sequel Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Shadow also appeared in the game Sonic and the Secret Rings, being the first unlockable character for the Party Mode and also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy and a sticker. Shadow's next appearances were in Sega Superstars Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games as a playable character.
He also appears in the Sega racing game, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. In the game, he rides a modified black and red G.U.N. motorcycle called Dark Rider. His All-Star move involves him transforming into Super Shadow and speeding across the track.
Shadow then appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, where he is categorized as a "speed" character, rivaling Sonic. Shadow appears in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, the Sonic RPG by Bioware.
Shadow appears in Sonic and the Black Knight, portrayed as Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table. He is the first of the knights encountered in the game, and the closest to Sonic in terms of gameplay; he is also the only Knight of the Round Table that appears as a boss fight twice. In Sonic Free Riders, he is a playable character in normal race mode and in story mode along with Team Dark.
In Sonic Generations, Shadow is an non-playable character and a rival boss to Sonic in the game. He challenges Modern Sonic to a battle for a Chaos Emerald. This battle takes place in a location originally from Sonic Adventure 2, the Space Colony Ark. He is also seen in the Center of Time alongside Rouge and all of Sonic's friends, who were supporting the two Sonics to defeat the two Eggmen and the Time Eater to restore the time-space continuum. After the Time Eater's defeat, Shadow decides to stay at Sonic's birthday party in the PS3 and Xbox 360 version. In the 3DS version, Shadow races against Sonic in Radical Highway, a location also originally from Sonic Adventure 2.
According to official profiles, Shadow was created 50 years ago by Prof. Gerald Robotnik as the Ultimate Life Form. Shadow is sharp witted, seemingly always on the edge, and is described as the dark incarnation of Sonic the Hedgehog. Once he has set himself to a goal, he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it, regardless of any danger. After the trauma of the death of his only friend, Maria Robotnik, Shadow strives to fulfill his purpose and keep the promise he made to her, despite his general loathing of mankind.
However, Shadow shares a lot in common with Sonic. Although Sonic's speed is described as "second to none," Shadow can skate at speeds fast enough to rival the speeds of Sonic's running. He can also perform spin attacks common to Sonic, which are a variation on the tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection. Additionally, with the power of a Chaos Emerald, Shadow can warp time and space with Chaos Control. Shadow is also able to use a variety of other Chaos powers, such as "Chaos Spear" and "Chaos Blast".
By harnessing the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Shadow is able to use super transformation to transform into Super Shadow. He is bestowed with the new abilities of flight and near invulnerability, like Super Sonic, and his normal abilities of speed and his Chaos powers are greatly enhanced.
Although he is mostly a maverick, he is also able to work in a team. He's also mostly portrayed as rough, cold, and arrogant.
Shadow also appears on the anime Sonic X. He is voiced by his game voice actor, Kōji Yusa, in the Japanese version and by Jason Griffith (who also voices Sonic) in the English version. Although his character has little difference from the games, the series is the first to introduce Shadow's ability to increase the powers he draws from the Chaos Emeralds when he removes the rings on his wrists, but he loses power after a short time. Shadow is only featured briefly in the opening sequence during the series, and he does not appear until Episodes 33 through 38, which are based on Sonic Adventure 2. Afterward, he makes short appearances in flashbacks, but he makes his real return in Season 3 episode 60, “Trick Sand” (dubbed 'Shadow's Rebirth' in Japanese). During this season, Shadow had no clear memory of his mysterious past. Only a fragment of his memory returns when he meets Molly, who reminds him of Maria. At the end of the season, he sacrifices himself again to warp away the explosive seed of the dead Metarex. However, at the end of the Japanese and French version of the show, his shadow can be seen by the grave he made for Molly where he has placed a flower, so it appears that he is still alive after all, although in the Japanese version of Sonic X, he is still alive and he is seen near Molly's tomb. However, this last scene was cut in the 4Kids version, mainly for the reason that Molly's death never occurred in that version but an epilogue at the end of episode 78 also reveals Shadow being alive.
Sonic the Hedgehog (comic)
Shadow also appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. His origin is similar to that in the games in that he was created by Gerald Robotnik to stand against the threat of Black Doom and the Black Arms. He debuted in an adaptation of the game Sonic Adventure 2, with a few changes to accommodate the Archie version of Earth. However, instead of the events of Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow later reappears explaining he was rescued by the alien race called the Bem to combat the Xorda.
Shadow often works alone to achieve his goal, which is to discover the truth about his mysterious history. He has at times allied with Sonic and the Freedom Fighters to fight greater evils, like the Xorda, and he has been known to work either for or against Dr. Robotnik depending on the circumstances. Often, he will side with whomever he believes will bring him closer to the truth. This search has led him to interact with various other characters, including the robot Isaac, Brotherhood of Guardians member Locke, and various versions of Metal Sonic. Hope is one of the few living beings to show compassion towards him besides Maria, and also bears a striking resemblance to her (enough so that he nearly mistook Hope for Maria at one point). After discovering and resolving to fulfill his creator's wish to protect Earth from the return of the Black Arms, Shadow joined the Guardian Units of Nations, or G.U.N.
Shadow's abilities in the comics are similar to those in the games, but this version can directly access the "Chaos Force" and does not require a Chaos Emerald for any of his Chaos powers. The Chaos Force (also referred to as "The Power of Chaos") is a mystical energy field that serves as a wellspring for all Chaos powers of which Shadow is the first known to be able to harness outside of the Brotherhood of Guardians. When he removes the "inhibitor rings" from his wrists, his Chaos powers are greatly enhanced.
In Sonic Universe, the first four issues are a sub-series that explores more of Shadow's multi-dimensional encounters and newest stories.
Shadow the Hedgehog has received mixed to positive reception among critics. The character was ranked as the second most popular Sonic character in an official Japanese Sonic character poll. Many game reviewers, like GameSpot, have called Shadow a "clone" of Sonic. Game Revolution described his character as a "quintessential anti-Sonic." GameDaily included him in a top 25 list of video game anti-heroes, stating that while he sometimes fights for good, he also enjoys using firearms. Yahoo! Games listed Shadow on its April 2010 unranked list of the top nine "Sour Game Characters", calling him "a wise-cracking, free-wheeling free agent." Similarly, he was listed as the third best Sonic character by Official Nintendo Magazine based on his role in Sonic Adventure 2. And he was voted 25th out of the top 50 video game characters of all time in Guinness World Records 2011 Gamers' Edition.
Conversely, in a 1UP.com feature about "How Sega Can Save Sonic the Hedgehog," Jeremy Parish wrote that of the "tagalongs" that the series must ditch, Shadow's character was the most in need of it. In 2009 Levi Buchanan, an editor at IGN, referred to Shadow as an unnecessary "would-be mascot" along with a few other characters new to the Sonic Universe; Hilary Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of IGN's Xbox team mentioned the mechanics of Shadow's solo game, specifically the use of firearms, as part of the central problem nowadays with Sonic games, being there is less emphasis on both speed and the original hedgehog. GamesRadar saw his role in th his solo game as the main reason for listing him as one of Sonic's worst allies as he stopped being the hero's rival.
- "PlayStation Games & Media News: Fast Talking". Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- "Sonic channel/character/character data/shadow". Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
- "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood". Characters (Tails icon): Sega.com. p. Shadow the Hedgehog. Retrieved 2008-08-18. "Shadow is an artificially-created life form designed by the renowned scientist, Professor Gerald Robotnik at the height of his career. His trademark hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival those of Sonic"
- "Sonic Retro Sonic Rivals 2 manual". sonicretro.org. p. 7=right side. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- Pallesen, Lasse (2004-03-25). "News Article: Sega Confirms Shadow the Hedgehog". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- "Sonic Adventure 2 Hands-On". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- "Shadowing a Hedgehog". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- "Shadow the Wrestling Hedgehog". 1up.com. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
- "Sega's Yuji Naka Talks!". GameSpy.com. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Castro, Juan (August 25, 2005). "Shadow The Interview". IGN. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Sega (2002). "Characters: Shadow". Sonic Adventure 2 Instruction Manual. Sega. "pp. 7"
- "Sonic Central/about/characters". Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- Sega of America. "Shadow's official character profile from Sega of America". Sega of America. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
- Sega (2004). "Team Dark". Sonic Heroes Instruction Manual. Sega. "pp. 8"
- Sega (2005). "Characters". Shadow the Hedgehog Instruction Manual. Sega. "pp. 7"
- Sega / Backbone Entertainment. Sonic Rivals. (Sega). Sony PSP. Level/area: Card Collection, #147. "Super Shadow (2005)"
- "Sonic Channel Official Popularity Poll" (in Japanese).
- "Sonic Adventure 2 Hands-On". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- "Sonic Adventure 2 Review for DreamCast". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Gallery and Images - GameDaily
- "Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog Series)". Yahoo! Games. April 15, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "The best and worst Sonic characters". Official Nintendo Magazine. May 29, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
- "Guinness Names Top 50 Video Game Characters Of All Time". Game Informer. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- "Hit Reset: How Sega Can Save Sonic the Hedgehog". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- "How the Blue Blur got to here and how he can come back". ign.com. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- "The 10 worst Sonic friends". GamesRadar. June 23, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Shadow the Hedgehog|
- Sonic Central official character profiles
- Shadow at Sonic Channel
- Shadow's official Sonic-City profile
- Shadow the Hedgehog at the Internet Movie Database