Shadow the Hedgehog
|Shadow the Hedgehog|
|Sonic the Hedgehog character|
Shadow the Hedgehog in promotional artwork for Sonic & 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|
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 an artificially created black and red hedgehog whose hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival those of Sonic. He can also use the Chaos Emeralds to manipulate time and space through a technique called "Chaos Control".
Concept and creation
Shadow the Hedgehog was shown by Takashi Iizuka for Sonic Adventure 2, he was first shown to the public in a game trailer, but his name was not revealed. GameStop described what little was shown as Anti-Sonic - "similar in appearance, but with darker skin, more angled eyes,a fearsome scowl, instead of Sonic's trademark grin." Iizuka said that they maintained the mystery around Shadow 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 Terminator.
Appearances in video games
Shadow debuted in Sonic Adventure 2 as a playable character and before the game's events, it was explained that he was created by Doctor Eggman's grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik who 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 who (for her sacrifice) sends Shadow to Earth, before the G.U.N. apprehends him. Fifty years later, Shadow was released from suspended animation by Dr. Eggman who hoped to use him to conquer the world, but Shadow hoped to destroy it in revenge for Maria's death. As Shadow reversed his decision, he helps Sonic destroys another of Professor Gerald Robotnik's experiments from falling to Earth near the ARK. Using his full power, along with Sonic he manages to teleport the ARK back to its original position with Chaos Control, but unlike Sonic, he falls to Earth and is thought by all to have died while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.
In Sonic Heroes, Rouge discovers Shadow in a stasis tube in Dr. Eggman's secret base. Suffering from amnesia, they along with E-123 Omega join forces to track down Dr. Eggman. Shadow then encounters the androids of Dr. Eggman that resemble him, causing him to question whether he is also an android or not.
In the video game of the same name, Shadow, still suffering from amnesia 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. In the 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, Rouge and Omega, now as agents of G.U.N. confronts Mephiles the Dark, a part of Soleanna's god Solaris who is interfering Shadow's future, but along with Sonic and Silver, Shadow super transforms and defeats Solaris.
In Sonic Generations, Shadow is a 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.
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, as well as in the sequels Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders, appearing as part of Team Dark in the latter. Shadow appears as a party member in the Nintendo DS role-playing game Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Shadow also appeared in the game Sonic and the Secret Rings, being the first unlockable character for the Party Mode, and as an unlockable character in its sequel Sonic and the Black Knight, where he took on the role of Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table.
Shadow has appeared as a playable character in several crossover titles, including Sega Superstars Tennis and every entry in the Mario & Sonic series. He also appears in racing games Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, where he rides a modified black and red G.U.N. motorcycle called Dark Rider, and in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, where he drives a miniature G.U.N. tank. Shadow also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as an assist trophy capable of slowing time during battle via Chaos Control.
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, and 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 maverick, he works with his team and 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/Mobius. 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/Mobius 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. In issue #61, he becomes servant of Eclipse due to being brainwashed by Black Death.
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 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.
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