- This article is all about the character. For the video game of the same name, see Shadow the Hedgehog (game).
Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu?) is a fictional, anthropomorphic black hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the arch-rival of Sonic the Hedgehog. He was created as the "Ultimate Lifeform" by Professor Gerald Robotnik, using the DNA and blood of Black Doom. Shadow is immortal, and does not age. Since his debut, Shadow has appeared in a multitude of games, television shows, and comic books. His past was almost a complete mystery until the game Shadow the Hedgehog revealed the events surrounding his creation. In contrast to Sonic, Shadow is typically portrayed as an antihero, or a renegade who can just as easily serve the forces of evil as those of good. According to an official poll, Shadow is the second most popular character in the series, second only to Sonic.
Concept and Creation
After the success of Sonic Adventure, it was only natural to assume that a sequel would be produced. Hoping that the game would be for the Dreamcast what Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was for the Mega Drive, a portion of the team responsible for the first Adventure title was sent off to work at Sega of America. It was led by director Takashi Iizuka, while Yuji Naka remained back in Japan to work on other properties, including Phantasy Star Online. With the team in place, brainstorming soon began on what form Sonic Adventure 2 would take.
Early on, it was decided that one of the main themes of the game would be the dichotomy between good and evil, and to help explore that, the creators came up with new characters that would both assist Dr. Eggman and challenge the established cast of heroes. Though Yuji Uekawa was tasked drawing the final design of the character, it was Iizuka who came up with the idea to use a dark, anti-hero figure who was similar to Sonic in shape, but not in personality.
When being designed, the character's original name was "Terios," which translates to "reflection of," more than likely to play off of the hero/villain dynamic within the game. Shadow was originally conceived as a female character, a concept that was later used for Blaze the Cat.
Once Sonic Adventure 2 was announced, the identity and nature of Shadow was a heavily-guarded secret; his existence teased at the end of the first trailer for the game. Indeed, the push to build hype for the new character put other characters on the back burner; Tails was not even announced for the game until a few months later.
In the end of Sonic Adventure 2, players get to see Shadow's "death" scene. There was a huge fanbase for Shadow to appear in more games, after being disappointed by his "death". This let Takashi Iizuka input Shadow as a playable character in Sonic Heroes and even star in his own game, Shadow the Hedgehog. Iizuka released the following statement:
"The Shadow character idea was something that we all had in our minds in the dev team when we were creating the first Sonic Adventure. When creating that game, we had the intention of creating a rival character for Sonic Adventure 2 and we didn't really talk about it that much, but we were all thinking about it. When we were working on Sonic Adventure 2, we all did a bit of brainstorming and we brought this to the table and prepared the storyline for the Dark side and the Hero side. As you know in the story, Shadow was only meant to appear in that single title. But because of the reaction of the fans, we decided to bring him back in Sonic Heroes and eventually you saw him in his own title."
Fighting for a Friend
Shadow debuted in the game Sonic Adventure 2 as one of three playable "dark" characters, alongside Rouge the Bat (who also debuted in this game), and Doctor Eggman. Dr. Eggman set Shadow free from a G.U.N. base on Prison Island, where he had spent approximately 50 years in suspended animation. In exchange, Shadow agreed to aid the doctor in his plans to take over the world; holding his true intentions as wishing to get revenge for the death of his friend, Maria Robotnik, as he thought she wanted; it is strongly implied that his belief that Maria's final wish was revenge against humanity stemmed from Gerald Robotnik modifying Shadow's memories between Maria's death and Shadow's encapsulation. To achieve this, Shadow revealed the Eclipse Cannon to Dr. Eggman, who later destroyed half of the moon in a demonstration to the populace. Beforehand, he also stole the green Chaos Emerald from a bank, unknowingly also framing Sonic the Hedgehog for the deed. He later participated in the second heist alongside Dr. Eggman and Rouge the Bat against Prison Island, where he would plant explosives throughout the island as part of their getaway, although his resemblance to Sonic also resulted in Amy Rose mistaking him for the latter. However, because Tails came to Amy's rescue from Dr. Eggman, he was forced to act fast due to the unexpected delay. In addition, after Rouge ended up getting caught and stranded in the containment area while recovering the four Chaos Emeralds, Shadow, largely because he realized that his plans of avenging Maria would be for naught if Rouge perished in the explosion, rushed to get to Rouge and by extension the Chaos Emeralds.
After meeting Sonic for a second time, Shadow also believed that Sonic was trying to copy him. They fought to a stalemate before Shadow was forced to leave to rescue Rouge (which Sonic also learning from Eggman via Shadow's radio that the island was about to blow up), and just barely arrived at Rouge's location and used Chaos Control to warp himself, Rouge, the four Chaos Emeralds, and presumably Eggman out at the last possible second. After the demonstration, needing the final Chaos Emerald to fulfill their plans, Shadow pursued Tails' plane at a canyon. Although he was unable to stop them, he nonetheless reported to Eggman that they are headed his way. After Sonic was seemingly killed by Dr. Eggman via a rigged escape capsule, Shadow, witnessing the explosion, guessed that Sonic was only an ordinary hedgehog. Afterwards, Shadow stumbled upon Rouge's plan to steal the Chaos Emeralds, and deduced that she was in fact a spy for the President of the United Federations, although Rouge then unveiled a report from Gerald Robotnik regarding the Biolizard, claiming, it, not Shadow, was the actual Shadow. However, Shadow was forced to depart after Eggman mentioned an anonymous figure (Sonic) heading towards the Eclipse Cannon, although not before stating that he's still Shadow despite his memories possibly being fake, and that "the fake emerald is good enough for [Rouge]." He then discovers Sonic at the area. Shadow, impressed at Sonic's capability of using Chaos Control despite using a fake Chaos Emerald, nonetheless stated that he cannot allow him to live before fighting on a collapsing bridgeway. In the last story, Eggman inserted the final Chaos Emerald, only to initiate a destabilization program on the ARK. Professor Gerald Robotnik then revealed that he had made this function to have revenge for Maria, and that the ARK would destroy the Earth. Sonic, Eggman, Rouge, Tails, and Knuckles took a shortcut to the cannon's core so they could stop the Professor's mad plan. Amy Rose then helped Shadow realize Maria's true wish. In a twist of fate, Shadow ultimately aided Sonic when realizing, with Amy's help, Maria's true wish, which was to save humanity. Meanwhile, Sonic and Knuckles had reached the central core, where they reactivated the Biolizard. Notably, a scene from Gerald Robotnik's diary appeared again. After Shadow defeated the Biolizard, Knuckles used the Master Emerald to stop the Chaos Emeralds. But the Biolizard, being the prototype of Project Shadow, used Chaos Control to fuse with the ARK, continuing its fall. Then, Sonic and Shadow, in their super forms, destroyed the Biolizard. The Ultimate Lifeform prototype became a monster, codenamed FinalHazard. Using their pooled energies, Shadow and Sonic executed an enhanced Chaos Control which stopped the fall, and warped the ARK. Afterward, Shadow fell to the Earth and was presumed dead.
In the game there are many unlockable costumes for Shadow.
Formation of Team Dark
In Sonic Heroes, Rouge discovers Shadow in a stasis tube located in the deepest part of one of Dr. Eggman's bases, after he was believed to be dead. As she activates the capsule, and E-123 Omega begins to attack the newly awakened Shadow, believing him to be a creation of Eggman. Rouge steps in to break them up, quickly ending the skirmish. Shadow discovers that he has amnesia and cannot remember anything before his release, aside from his name and brief images of Maria Robotnik's death. He joins forces with Rouge and the robot, E-123 Omega, to form Team Dark and find Eggman. It is later revealed that Eggman had made robotic android versions of Shadow, and the question is raised as to whether or not Shadow himself is one of these androids. Ultimately, when Metal Sonic transformed into Metal Overlord, Shadow worked with everyone else to help defeat him. Shadow is last seen with Omega holding the defeated Metal Sonic.
A Dark Fighter
In Sonic Battle, Rouge saves Shadow while they are investigating Dr. Eggman's secret base and takes him back to her home. Shadow talks about how the people of Earth must destroy him and Emerl if they ever want peace, still believing that he is a weapon. It is revealed, however, that he ultimately has the heart and soul of Maria Robotnik, implying he could not be the enemy of humanity. However, Gerald Robotnik's journal entries in this game contradicts truths found in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog.
Learning and Leaving the Past Behind
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is revealed to be the dual creation of the evil alien overlord Black Doom and Professor Gerald Robotnik. Gerald could not finish the project on his own, so he contacted the Black Comet and used Black Doom's blood, and presumably his DNA to create Shadow. Shadow eventually gathers all of the Chaos Emeralds and as Super Shadow, he confronts Devil Doom, Black Doom's powered-up form. He then destroys the Black Comet with the Eclipse Cannon. In the end, Shadow puts the past behind him and chooses to move forward. Also, in the last battle of the game, after ten minutes of fighting Devil Doom, Eggman confesses to Shadow that he sent one of his robots to save him after the incident in Sonic Adventure 2, which reveals that he is the actual Shadow and not a Shadow Android, as he previously believed.
Dealing With the Devil
In the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game, Shadow is a playable character and even has his own storyline, which intertwines with those of Sonic and a new character, Silver the Hedgehog. In this role, Shadow encounters the new villain, Mephiles the Dark, when the Scepter of Darkness falls and shatters. Mephiles was sealed inside the Scepter of Darkness and was subsequently released with the relic's destruction. Shadow is sent to the future and is revealed to have become the enemy of mankind, due to their fear of his power. It has also been revealed that Shadow is sealed away by the reprogrammed Omega sometime during this event. Eventually, Mephiles gains hold of the seven Chaos Emeralds and merges with Iblis, becoming Solaris. Shadow turns into Super Shadow and joins with Super Silver and Super Sonic to defeat Solaris. The events of the game are then reset and do not occur, possibly leaving his future open.
Aiding the Doctor
Shadow appears in Sonic Rivals as a playable character, alongside Sonic, Knuckles, Silver, and Metal Sonic. Summoned to a strange land by Dr. Eggman via a cryptic transmission asking for his aid, Shadow is able to successfully locate Eggman, but once he mentions the cryptic message, Eggman denies it. The mystery continues to unfold itself as Rouge warns him of an impending danger and upon stumbling across a secret about Eggman, her transmission is cut short. Shadow continues his quest to uncover the truth about Dr. Eggman. Shadow also appears on four of the 150 collectible cards in the game.
An Uncanny Partnership
Shadow also appears in the sequel to Sonic Rivals, Sonic Rivals 2. He is confronted by Metal Sonic and Eggman via a speaker in Metal Sonic, and tells him that he needs help. Before he can ask questions, he and Metal Sonic find Espio and Silver. Curious as to why Silver has returned to the present, Shadow begins to follow Silver while Metal Sonic follows Espio. Eventually, Shadow forgets to ask the Doctor why he is helping him and just continues to work with Metal Sonic. Shadow discovers that Eggman Nega is trying to release the Ifrit with the seven Chaos Emeralds. He enters the Chaos Inferno Zone to press the switch to seal the Ifrit in its own dimension, but he and Metal Sonic are trapped in the process. Metal Sonic tears himself open to reveal a Chaos Emerald, and Shadow Chaos Controls them back to their own dimension.
The Search For Omega
Shadow appears in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. He is searching for Omega, who disappeared looking for Eggman's robots. The first fight against Shadow takes place in Mystic Ruins, though, depending on the player's choice of dialogue, Sonic may not have to fight him. If, however, the player chooses the more hostile dialogue options, Sonic will have to fight Shadow. The second encounter happens when the team reaches Blue Ridge Zone. At the start of the battle, Shadow states that while he can't outrun Sonic, he can outfight him. After suffering damage at the hands of Sonic and his team, Shadow flees from the scene. Sonic is the only one fast enough to catch him, so once Sonic catches up, the two have a showdown without the rest of the group. When Sonic ultimately wins, Shadow remarks that Sonic "has been practicing."
At first, Shadow only joins Sonic's team to help find Omega, but if he finds out that Omega was attacked by the Nocturnus, he remains with the party to help defeat them. If Shadow happens to be included in Sonic's team when they are about to face Commander Raxos, Shadow states that he can see many ways out this situation for himself but not for the others, possibly meaning he could simply use Chaos Control to escape leaving the others to their fate. In combat, Shadow deals medium attack power and has medium armor and is as quick as Sonic, allowing him three attacks per round.
When Omega joins the team, they can work together to use "Focus Field." When Rouge is in the party, the three can use "Metal Storm," which sends Omega through the air like a missile at the enemy. Shadow can team up with Sonic to use a move called "Atomic Strike," in which the two hedgehogs use spin-dashes to circle around all of the enemies to create an electrical field.
The Ultimate Knight
Shadow appears in Sonic and the Black Knight as Sir Lancelot. He is the most loyal to the King at first and said to be the most skilled of the Knights of the Round Table. After Sonic faces him in a duel and wins (Lancelot is the first Knight to be fought and the second Boss in the game), his sword is taken. Despite being Shadow's parallel, Lancelot still shows the ability to use Chaos Control with his swordplay. This is most prominent in the optional rematch with Lancelot, where he uses Chaos Blast, Chaos Control, and Chaos Spear. When in combat against Lancelot's stronger potential, the player must not only land many hits, but time them closely or risk fierce damage. In addition, Lancelot can use a move called Chaos Punishment, where he uses a series of Chaos Controls and slashes at every enemy nearby.
Winner Takes All
Shadow has most recently appeared in Sonic Free Riders with Rouge the Bat. The two enter the competition late as "Team Dark," but are one member short. They quickly decide to use a seemingly-random robot as their third member and face off against the Babylon Rogues, Team Rose, and Team Sonic. In Team Dark's story, they win the competition and intend to sneak away with the treasure and cash prize. But they are informed by Omochao that the jewels they had taken were fake and, much to their dismay, they would have to attend the closing ceremonies to receive the actual treasures. This is the only time Shadow has appeared in a game with the intent on making money, rather than his usual ulterior motives. However, it says in the game manual that Shadow joined to see if his extreme gear skills were better than Sonic's.
The Ultimate Racer
Shadow, like other really famous Sonic characters, appears in the All-Stars Racing sub-series of the Sega Superstars games along with notable SEGA all-stars. In Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Shadow drives the Dark Rider, a modified G.U.N motorcycle with the Black Arms insignia on the fuel tank. Shadow drives this in order to beat Sonic, but this game does not have a story, so this is a possible reason why he races it. His All-Star Move turns him into Super Shadow and has him flying through the track while launching exploding Chaos Spears at everyone that gets into his line of fire.
The Ultimate Racer Transformed
Shadow, like other all-stars such as Sonic, or Amigo appear in the game's sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but he doesn't drive his G.U.N chopper. Due to racing requirements to only drive cars, ATVs or trucks, he decides to drive an experimental G.U.N vehicle (as evidenced by the insignia on its hood) that has tank treads instead of wheels. For transformations, it transforms into an armored military speedboat, which references G.U.N being the military in the Sonic games. Another transformation is a jet, for water and air racing respectively.
A Second Chance to Settle the Score
- For more information, see Final Rush.
Shadow appears as a rival boss in the game Sonic Generations. Like all the other characters in the game, Shadow is sucked into the White Space by the Time Eater. After completing all acts in the Dreamcast era, Shadow can be found in the City Escape hub. When found, he is waiting for Sonic, stating that he neither knows nor cares where they are, as long as he gets a chance to finish their rivalry. He is fought in Final Rush. He has a unique rival battle, where the two have to race each other on a looped pathway to and gain power cores to unleash special attacks. The battle is won when one depletes the other's ring count whilst using a special attack.
Shadow appears later on in the Center of Time, motivating both Sonics, alongside Rouge and the all the other characters after their initial defeat. After the Time Eater is defeated, Shadow shows up at Sonic's birthday party along with all the other characters.
Shadow is an unlockable character in the game Sonic Riders after beating the Hero Story Mode. He is a Speed type character, with his default Gear, Darkness, which he uses to skate like his default shoes. His Level 1 Attack is "Energy Ball," which temporarily stuns a nearby opponent; the Level 2 attack is "Back Kick," which makes an opponent temporarily lose his or her balance, and the Level 3 attack is "Chaos Control," which freezes a nearby opponent so that Shadow can easily pass them. He appears in the sequel Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity as a speed character, and his default Gear is called Black Shot. In both games he is unlocked by completing the Hero Story.
Shadow also appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games as a speed character along with Sonic, Yoshi, Princess Daisy, and Metal Sonic. He also appears in the game's sequel, Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games. Shadow helps Mario and Sonic make a deal with Rouge and open a gate in Sparkleton with Chaos Spear after they beat him in a Dream Ski Cross Racing match during the DS Adventure Tour. He later goes on to help defeat Bowser and Dr. Eggman.
Shadow is also an unlockable playable character in Sega Superstars Tennis. He can also be found in the DS version of Sonic Colors as a non-playable character, making sure Sonic would be able to take on Eggman. He also discovers that Dr. Eggman's "giant wisp" had escaped.
Shadow is a loner, to put it bluntly. He is rarely seen with others for an extended period of time, and distances himself from essentially everyone. He is somewhat soft-spoken, and only says what he needs to before a fight. If he makes a threat, he has every intention of carrying it out. Shadow constantly refers to himself as the Ultimate Lifeform and thus belittles others as well as insulting their lack of strength. He has a ruthless edge in combat that all other characters in the series lack, and displays a natural "killer instinct". At times, Shadow is the most violent and merciless character in the series.
Alongside Shadow's dark demeanor, he can be smug, stubborn, and somewhat sarcastic. He treats others in a very callous manner, throwing in his opinion no matter how cold-hearted it is and not caring for whatever the response is. He is shown to be highly arrogant and self absorbed; one of many examples is in the 2006 video game, he (as Super Shadow) states that their battle against Solaris may actually be "a fair fight." He is also consistently serious, even when not on a mission, and he has no regard for silliness.
On occasion, Shadow appears to have some degree of mental instability. This can be seen when he would often have hallucinations about Maria's face, or through his numerous threatening speeches. He appears to improve with amnesia, but this tendency returns in the Shadow the Hedgehog game, where, in the various possibilities, he often pursues his foes with disturbing determination. The canon ending of Shadow the Hedgehog showed Shadow willing to destroy anything in his way to get to Black Doom.
Shadow possesses a strong sense of identity, as evidenced when after being told that he isn't the Ultimate Lifeform due to a lab report, he states to Rouge that even if his memories were fake, he is still Shadow the Hedgehog. Similarly in Sonic Heroes, during the Egg Fleet level, he mentions that even without his memories, he is still the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow the Hedgehog. Because of this, he possesses a strong will, making him rarely susceptible to being manipulated by other forces. This is especially evident with his encounters with Mephiles the Dark, where, even after learning of the possibility that he was sealed away for all of eternity due to humanity fearing his potential and feeling he was responsible for Iblis's ruin of the world, Shadow still refuses to aid Mephiles in his plans, and states that "he determines his own destiny."
Shadow is not without sentimental emotions and has shown a small sense of compassion, as seen in the Sonic Heroes opening scene for Team Dark. When Omega begins his attack, Shadow could have easily fled and left Rouge. Instead, he defends her against Omega, despite having absolutely no memory of her. He was also shown to be legitimately shocked when he learned that his goal of gaining the Chaos Emeralds to restore his memories were actually manipulated by Black Doom in order to wipe out humanity. Likewise, when the GUN Commander finally confronts him with his own memories of Shadow's nightmarish creation, Shadow agrees to face judgement if he was indeed responsible for the ARK massacre 50 years ago.
It is possible that Shadow does not have much of a sense of humor or happiness, or he doesn't like others to see him acting in such a manner. Shadow brushes off any kindness or sympathy that is sent his way. This is shown in Sonic Heroes, when Rouge showed concern for Shadow when he saw a broken android. Shadow curtly brushed her concern away. Also in Shadow the Hedgehog after Sonic suggested some "friendly competition," Shadow turned his back to Sonic and said, "Don't waste my time". Later in the game, Vector tried to cheer him up, but Shadow ignored it.
Despite Shadow being considered neutral in terms of alignment, he is considered an anti-hero by the most part with his overall motivation, which is dedicating his life to protecting mankind. He has also been selfless, such as nearly giving his life at the end of Sonic Adventure 2 to save Earth. Regardless, Shadow is still neutral, because he does whatever is necessary to get what he wants.
Shadow was created by the renowned scientist Professor Gerald Robotnik, using Black Doom's DNA. Gerald had made many attempts to create the Ultimate Lifeform before Black Doom and his children, the Black Arms, came to Earth. Unfortunately, the closest he came was the Biolizard. Black Doom, however, approached Gerald and offered his help, but only on one condition; if Black Doom helped Gerald, the professor must promise to deliver the seven Chaos Emeralds to him. Gerald agreed to these terms, and Black Doom gave some of his DNA, which was added to the samples that Gerald had already obtained. The result of this experiment was Shadow the Hedgehog. Gerald seems to be one of few people whom Shadow felt happy around, and the professor might have acted as a surrogate father to him. This is further proved when Gerald refers to the hedgehog as his "son." Despite this, however, when defeating the FinalHazard, Shadow states that he promises to "destroy all evil that the professor had created," implying that while he might still respect Gerald Robotnik, he nonetheless feels that any bad things that Gerald Robotnik had done after going insane must be stopped.
Shadow's approach to Eggman is different from most characters in the Sonic series. Shadow sees Eggman as the super-genius he has proven to be, rather than the megalomaniac that Sonic and the others see him as. This can be backed up by the fact that Shadow almost always calls Eggman by his title "the Doctor", as opposed to his alias of "Eggman." Eggman has shown similar respect by referring to Shadow's powers as "spectacular", and by how he sometimes applauds Shadow. This is seen in Shadow the Hedgehog, when during a cut scene, Eggman remarks, "excellent job, Shadow."
However, even though Shadow and Eggman display a level of respect toward each other, they also show a dislike toward one another. This can be backed up in Sonic the Hedgehog when Eggman refers to Rouge as his "dear Rouge", and just flatly states Shadow's name. In the same game, when Shadow breaks through the ceiling of his base, Eggman responds with, "wouldn't the door have been easier? So....What do you want now?" The disgusted tone may refer to Shadow having just smashed the ceiling. In Shadow the Hedgehog, Eggman tells Shadow, "You will obey me, or there will be dire consequences". In a possible storyline in Shadow the Hedgehog, he even kills Eggman. This evidence suggests that even though Shadow and Eggman have some respect for each other, they still do not regard the other as anything more than an acquaintance. The reason Shadow respects Eggman is probably because he is Gerald's grandson, making Eggman part of his family, and vice-versa. It can also be noted that Eggman could be thought of as Shadow's "nephew", since Shadow looks upon the Professor as his father, and the Professor sees Shadow as his son.
The relationship between Shadow and Black Doom may have been brief, but has played a significant role in Shadow's life. Shadow was made from Black Doom's blood, in a deal between the alien and Professor Gerald; this, technically, makes Black Doom Shadow's biological father. It is that DNA sample which gives Shadow his black and red fur. Black Doom, at first, tried to get Shadow on his side by playing on what remained of Shadow's painful memories of losing Maria. Regardless of the path taken during gameplay, Shadow, in his super form, fights and defeats Black Doom, who transformed into Devil Doom. Shadow then destroys the Black Comet with the Eclipse Cannon in the last story. However, throughout the events of Shadow the Hedgehog, Black Doom threatens Shadow and demands extreme loyalty and respect, even when choosing the "Dark" path; in gameplay, Doom acts with no compassion whatsoever. He also doesn't tolerate any kind of mistake or failure, no matter how difficult the task on Shadow's part may be.
Professor Gerald's granddaughter, Maria Robotnik, is by far the one person that made Shadow the happiest. She was like a sister to him, and they shared the same dream; to visit Earth. Unfortunately, GUN deemed Project Shadow to be too big a threat to the world. As a result, they eliminated everything they could in relation to the project, including the people. Maria was shot and killed by G.U.N. during the raid on the ARK. Her last parting words were "sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog," after begging him to "bring hope to humanity". Shadow still stays strong to keep his promise to her and mourned her death, although at the end of Shadow the Hedgehog, he implies that he is putting his past behind him. After Maria's death, Shadow has never opened up to anyone, possibly due to fear of losing another friend.
Shadow's arch-rival is none other than Sonic the Hedgehog. They became enemies when meeting in Sonic Adventure 2, but later became bitter arch-rivals. Shadow and Sonic's rivalry can be fierce enough to the point of trying to kill each other, and at other times an intense competition. In any case, one always wants to outdo the other.
Shadow and Sonic frequently butt heads due to their own views on justice and morality, and how to act on them. Each does not care what the other thinks of those views. In a sense, the two hedgehogs are polar opposites in every way except their appearance. Almost every time they meet, they fight ferociously. Neither is ever willing to accept defeat from one another, and it has never been truly shown who is stronger.
Despite their fierce arch-rivalry, Shadow and Sonic have helped each other from time to time. Shadow checked if Sonic was ready to defeat Eggman in Sonic Colors. He also saved Sonic from Silver in the 2006 Sonic title, and motivated Sonic to defeat the Time Eater and the Eggmen in Sonic Generations. Afterwards, Shadow attended at Sonic's birthday party, and was the only character present to not wave goodbye to Classic Sonic and Classic Tails.
Shadow and Tails first met in Sonic Adventure 2. Shadow was mistaken for Sonic, and the military captured Sonic and imprisoned him on Prison Island. Shadow, Tails, and everyone else later became allies when they had to save the planet from being destroyed by a collision with the Space Colony ARK. In Sonic Heroes, they fought very briefly because Shadow and Rouge had provoked Team Sonic into fighting them.
While Tails cannot match Shadow's power and experience in a fight, his machines have hindered Shadow before. The main creation that hindered Shadow was the fake Chaos Emerald in Sonic Adventure 2. Sonic used the fake Chaos Emerald to activate Chaos Control to escape the exploding capsule that Dr. Eggman tried to destroy him in. Soon after, Sonic used the fake Chaos Emerald to sabotage the Eclipse Cannon and prevent it from firing.
Shadow has a companionship with Rouge the Bat that is based mainly on partnership during the games. The two are teammates in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, and often work together during mission stages, but they do not spend time in the other's presence outside of duty alliance. This marks them as occasional teammates when it comes down to appreciation, respect, and consideration over the term of "best friends." Shadow has not shared the closeness of opening up to neither Omega or Rouge the way best friends would do, let alone accompanying them as casual company due to his independent and distant nature, unlike how Sonic interacts with his companions. However, Shadow was implied to have at least heard of her before their formal meeting onboard the Space Colony ARK, as Shadow responds, "Now I know who you are! You're that government spy, Rouge the Bat, aren't you!" when stumbling upon her true intentions at the controls of the Eclipse Cannon.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow saved her life when Rouge was trapped in Security Hall, though when she questioned him about his actions later aboard the ARK, he told her he only returned for the Chaos Emeralds that she had acquired. Although, Rouge teased that this wasn't "the whole story." Their conversation was then interrupted by Dr. Eggman.
In Sonic Battle, Rouge implies that she may hold a certain level of attraction towards Shadow and lets him stay with her at Club Rouge when he is injured during a fight at the Gimme Shelter. Also, while Shadow is dreaming, an image of Rouge appears and he whispers, "Ally." After he regains consciousness, Rouge seems somewhat hurt and offended when he doesn't thank her for helping him.
In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow shows he is protective of Rouge's well-being. Once, when catching her from a fall after she was momentarily knocked out by one of Dr. Eggman's robots, and again, when he jumps in front of her after a fake Chaos Emerald explodes. When E-123 Omega reveals to Shadow that he is the one who traps him in the future; Rouge tells Shadow, "Even if you believe the entire world will be against you, know that I will always remain by your side... Remember that..." Shadow pauses, then strongly replies, "I will." However, this event was erased along with the rest of the events within the game after the "future was reversed."
In Sonic Rivals, after Shadow saves Rouge from Eggman Nega, Rouge tries to coerce him into going treasure hunting with her and suggests the two "take a peek" into their own future using Eggman Nega's device. Shadow declines and the story ends with Rouge still trying to convince Shadow to join her in hunting for the remaining cards.
In Sonic Rivals 2, their encounter was less than friendly from their previous ones to separate the fact their overall relationship seems to be more partner-focused when they ally for the occasion rather than best-friend designated. Shadow is consistently trying to stop Rouge and Knuckles from reaching the Chaos Emeralds at all costs, and seeks to manipulate the Chaos-finding device from Rouge. Rouge asks Shadow on what's going on, saying that Shadow can trust her, and Shadow tells her about the Ifrit. When Rouge mentions her client, Shadow demands to know who her client is, but Rouge refuses against him, leading him to yell after for her to, "get back here." When Shadow catches up to her, Rouge still refuses to tell him about her client as Shadow mildly threatens her, and then she trips him over and replies that he was being "clumsy," and he growls, "Why you...!" The conversation then devolves into a fight between the two.
In Sonic Free Riders, both Shadow and Rouge appear as Team Dark along with E-10000B. Their main focus during the game is winning the treasure and prize money. Unlike in previous games, Shadow seems perfectly content with helping Rouge obtain the treasure she covets.
Shadow has a very close relationship with Omega who, other than Maria, may be Shadow's closest friend. This relationship is first shown when Shadow looks out for Omega in Sonic Heroes halfway into the game. This was also shown in Shadow the Hedgehog when Shadow willingly helped Omega in Iron Jungle and Lava Shelter. In Sonic the Hedgehog, both Shadow and Rouge were somewhat saddened by Omega being reprogrammed to hunt down Shadow in the future, due to Shadow being seen as too strong of a lifeform, causing humanity to fear him. The bond between the two may have been strengthened by the fact that Shadow is the Ultimate Lifeform and that Omega is considered the Ultimate Robot and share a common importance to the world.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Shadow joins Sonic's team to find Omega, he clearly shows anger if the player refuses to rescue him and states that if he doesn't find Omega, then he'll "be very upset". He also states that "he was also my friend" which is the first time Shadow openly calls someone his friend, although he notably only says this after questioning by Sonic, not willingly. This is proof that he doesn't like seeing his closest friends being hurt. This is also shown when the player finds Omega in Metropolis and Shadow orders Eggman to be quiet after saying not to bother checking if Omega's okay. When Tails says that robots are coming, Shadow responds with, "Good. I need to smash something." Again, this is shown when Tails realizes he can fix Omega, Shadow simply orders him to "do it." Shadow and Omega pair up for two POW moves. One is Focus Field, which involves Omega opening fire on a foe with his Gatling guns, then Shadow following up with a Chaos Blast. Team Dark partner up for Metal Storm, in which Shadow sends Omega into the air with Chaos Control. Rouge follows up by kicking Omega, who then collides into the target like a torpedo.
In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow and Amy Rose interact twice, but each time seems to gain an odd reaction from Shadow. Amy first meets Shadow when she mistakes him for Sonic and hugs him from behind, while Shadow remains still after having been briefly caught off-guard by her touch. He also does not shake her off or resort to violence. When Amy senses the lack of a reaction, she releases him, causing him to glance back at her. Amy demands his name when she realizes that he is not Sonic, but Shadow continues to glare at her quietly. After Amy notices Dr. Eggman, she also realizes the mistake she has made, and runs off screaming. During this, Shadow simply tilts his head when she is out of range as Dr. Eggman tells the team that he'll take care of Amy.
Later in the game aboard the ARK, Amy meets Shadow again and this time does her part in helping by begging Shadow to save the world. At first, Shadow simply replies that it is pointless, but then Amy points out that despite people sometimes being selfish, they were still inwardly good and that saving them was right. Because of this, Shadow suddenly has a flashback of Maria begging Shadow to make people happy. When Shadow comes to his senses he goes off to fight the Biolizard, determinedly and softly telling Amy that he has to keep his promise to "Maria...and her."
Amy was also the only one to see Shadow's tear after he remembered that Maria wanted him to save the people that live on Earth, making her the only person to see him cry in Sonic Adventure 2.
During Sonic Battle, Amy shows excitement and concern upon hearing Shadow's survival through Rouge, but quickly becomes angry when Rouge will not tell her why he's there.
During Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow can choose to assist Amy in helping find Cream the Rabbit and have her fight alongside the player during the stage and in the boss battle, but this time, there is no reward in return. Also, at the end of Shadow The Hedgehog, Amy shows an odd amount of faith and admiration for Shadow, regardless of him being Sonic's arch-rival. When Rouge mutters to herself, "I hope he's okay up there," Amy comforts her with her hands clasped and a cheerful smile on her face, "I'm sure he's fine, Rouge! After all, he is Shadow!" which further displays her positive outlook on the black hedgehog and her general optimism.
The Commander and Shadow didn't get along at first. This is because the Commander blamed Shadow for the death of his family and Maria, but after the events of Shadow the Hedgehog, the Commander invited Shadow over to their organization; this is presumably the time that Shadow became a G.U.N. agent.
Shadow, along with Rouge, Omega, and the rest of the teams from Sonic Heroes were distracting Metal Sonic, in his Metal Madness form, so that Team Sonic could transform into their Super state. Sometime later, Shadow and Metal Sonic are forced to work together when Doctor Eggman calls for Shadow's assistance in Sonic Rivals 2. Although they are together for a brief amount of time, Shadow does seem concerned about Metal Sonic multiple times, despite the fact that Metal Sonic is a robot with the inability to speak. Shadow constantly asks him if he's alright and at the end of the game when Metal Sonic tears himself open to retrieve the Chaos Emerald within his body, Shadow tells him to stop, for he fears Metal Sonic will destroy himself. Feeling a possible connection due to his friendship with Omega may be the reasoning for his concern. He also may think that he was doing this on his own intention as he only needs Eggman to speak for him. Another possibility is that since Gerald Robotnik created him, and Eggman, Gerald's grandson, created Metal Sonic, he felt it was right. Shadow does show some deep concern for him as he even talked to Metal Sonic himself instead of Eggman.
Shadow and Silver were enemies at first, but became partners later in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. They were both allies when they worked together after their fight. After using Chaos Control, the two travel back ten years to witness the Solaris Project's accident. The two work together then later split up to go after their own targets, Silver sealing Iblis inside Elise and Shadow sealing Mephiles inside the Scepter of Darkness. After they finish, Shadow and Silver meet up outside the Aquatic Base. They then use Chaos Control and leave to go back to the present. They meet up once again during Solaris' resurrection.
In the Sonic Rivals games, Shadow and Silver are rivals. Shadow does not trust Silver's intentions and speculations about Dr. Eggman's identity, but after he discovered that Silver was right, the two seem to share a trusted bond. In Sonic Rivals 2, they are at odds, mostly because Silver did not want Shadow getting in his way. It doesn't seem that Shadow remembers anything about their last journey in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, seeing how the time was erased.
Shadow has had several altercations with the detective agency, the first being a confrontation in Sonic Heroes that escalated into a brawl, with their differences then seemingly set aside later when they joined forces against an evolved Metal Sonic. The Chaotix resumed their role as allies in Shadow the Hedgehog, with each member participating as a partner in the hero missions of various levels. Individually, Vector perceives Shadow as a friend, as demonstrated in one of the endings of Shadow the Hedgehog when the crocodile attempted to console him when he concluded himself to being nothing more than a living weapon of mass destruction, though Shadow apparently didn't want to hear it. However, Shadow seemed constantly annoyed with Vector as he repeatedly reminded him to find the computer room.
Espio has shown his capacity of friendship for the black hedgehog and the two proved to make a good team when they confronted Dr. Eggman. When Eggman tries to lie and manipulate Shadow, Espio tells the hedgehog not to fall for the doctor's tricks and to defeat him first. Charmy has exercised a more enthusiastic relationship with Shadow, demonstrating how much he respects and looks up to him while often stating how "cool" Shadow is. All the Chaotix voices are present in supporting Shadow during the last story as well as Expert Mode.
- Rouge the Bat (Best friend)
- E-123 Omega (Close Friend)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Ally and rival)
- Amy Rose
- Silver the Hedgehog]
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Charmy Bee (Looks up to Shadow)
- Vector the Crocodile
- Espio the Chameleon
- Maria Robotnik (Best friend before her death)
- Metal Sonic (Sonic Rivals 2 Only)
- Doctor Eggman (Depending on Shadow's goal)
- Gerald Robotnik (Creator, deceased)
- Black Doom (Biological father, arch-enemy)
- Gerald Robotnik (Surrogate/second father)
- Maria Robotnik
- Eggman Nega (Sonic Rivals, Sonic Rivals 2)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Arch-rival)
- Doctor Eggman (Depending on Shadow's goal)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Depending on Shadow's goal)
- G.U.N. Commander (Depending on Shadow's goal)
- Black Doom
- Black Arms
- Mephiles the Dark [Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) only]
- Shadow Androids
- Eggman Nega (Sonic Rivals 1 and 2)
Basic traits between Shadow and Sonic are virtually identical. Like Sonic, Shadow is highly acrobatic, capable of gracefully leaping over many obstacles in his way. Also, like Sonic, he can perform the basic Homing Attack, allowing him to jump and home in on an enemy to get over large gaps he can't normally reach. He can also perform Sonic's trademark Spin Attack, which is a variation on the tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection.
Also, with his Hover Shoes, Shadow can hover-skate at speeds fast enough to rival the speeds Sonic can run, although games have differed on who is faster. Many times Shadow is said to be using his Air Shoes or his Chaos Powers to go fast, instead of his actual speed. In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic commented, "Wow, he's fast, wait it's not his Speed, he's using the Chaos Emerald to warp", which implied that Shadow used Chaos Control to make it seem as if he was going fast. In Sonic Battle, Shadow was faster than Sonic, but his Skill Card said that he "uses the power of his Air Shoes to move fast", again implying that Shadow is not truly fast, but is fast because of his Air Shoes. Most games, however, place them as equals, but the character profiles of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and Sonic Rivals both claimed that Sonic is faster. In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Shadow admitted that he wasn't faster than Sonic, as he mentioned that while he couldn't outrun him (which could put Sonic at the same speed or at a faster speed than Shadow), he could outfight him.
In Sonic Generations, Shadow appears to be performing a super speed boost during the Sonic and Shadow fight, which is similar in function to the Sonic Boost. Rather than skating like usual, Shadow uses the fire from his Air Shoes to propel himself forward, floating in a stance like Tails when he is Propeller Dashing or Boosting while in Boost Mode. This is another time Shadow uses his Air Shoes to move faster. His hover shoes also grant him flight to some extent, as evidenced by his levitating in the air shortly before he confronts Hot Shot. In the 3DS version of Sonic Generations, E-123 Omega considers Shadow's abilities to be equal to Sonic's, although equal doesn't necessarily mean identical, as while Sonic favors speed, Shadow favors his Chaos Powers more.
Additionally, Shadow is immortal and ageless, being the end-product of Project Shadow, which was meant to create an immortal life-form. Although he is not nearly as strong as power characters like Knuckles, with effort he can overturn objects too large for him to lift. Shadow is also capable of surviving things that would normally kill someone, including falling down to Earth and through re-entry in the atmosphere. However, he does still receive some injury despite this, as evidenced by his gaining amnesia from his surviving re-entry and falling down to Earth.
Shadow utilizes a variety of upgrades from Sonic Adventure 2, which are listed below:
- Air Shoes: Allows Shadow to travel along a path of rings at light speed.
- Mystic Melody: Play at the ancient shrines to open up new paths or shortcuts.
- Ancient Light: Allows Shadow to attack enemies in a row quickly.
- Flame Ring: Allows Shadow to somersault in a fiery fashion, allowing him to destroy metal containers.
He can also use different Chaos Powers, that have varying effects and names. Shadow's trademark move is Chaos Control, which allows him to manipulate time so that he can move at normal speed, while other objects are shown to be stopped or moving at a subnormal speed. The move actually allows the user to manipulate time and space to warp across "space" or manipulate time or move through or across with two users. Sonic, Black Doom, Biolizard, and Silver can also use Chaos Control, though the move originally appeared with Shadow and he makes the most extensive use of it. Although nearly all cutscenes and biographies in manuals and websites often claim Shadow needs a Chaos Emerald to perform the technique, Shadow has demonstrated the curious ability to use Chaos Control without a known Chaos Emerald in his possession. Shadow is also able to shape Chaos Control into a variety of offensive and defensive attacks.
As described in Shadow the Hedgehog, all of his Chaos powers increase in greatly in power with the addition of a greater number of Chaos Emeralds, until reaching full power with all seven Emeralds. It is currently unknown as to what extent Chaos Control can be used, as Shadow has never been seen using it on another object without warping himself along with it, but it has been shown that he can take objects and people into the warp with him, and all examples of this suggest he must be touching an object to bring it with him, such as transporting the Black Comet off of Earth. Aside from its final usage in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow has used Chaos Control with three Emeralds at most, using Chaos Control to save Rouge from Prison Island, and they ended up on the ARK afterward. In the series Sonic X, he is holding four Chaos Emeralds and is not touching or holding Chris Thorndyke or Rouge to teleport them to the Space Colony ARK. At the end of Sonic Adventure 2 and in Sonic X, Super Shadow, with the help of Super Sonic, is able to warp the entire ARK to somewhere in deep space.
Another form of attack that first appeared in Shadow the Hedgehog is an attack called Chaos Blast, which is induced when Shadow commits excessive acts of evil. While the Chaos Spear can attack single or multiple targets, the Chaos Blast is quite literally a shockwave of energy that eliminates anything and everything in a circular radius range. When this attack is formed, his eyes and his entire body begins to glow red.
As shown in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic X, Shadow is able to unleash more of his power if he takes off the rings that are on his wrists. Sonic X was the first to present this idea, which at first made it seem to be exclusive to the anime, as during the Sonic Adventure 2 adaption, Shadow loses his rings when trying to stop the ARK from crashing to Earth. In the game, Sonic enters the ARK with one of Shadow's rings, but he is never shown actually losing them. In the anime, this increase in power comes at the expense of reducing his stamina, causing Shadow to become exhausted after a relatively short time engaged in combat as seen in episodes 60, 61, and 63 of the series, and in episode 73 in the Japanese version. However, in the video game series, he shows no sign of fatigue, probably because of the mere dashing around he did in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The increase in his power from taking off his rings shows a drastic change in the final cutscene of his story in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), after he plows through what appears to be hundreds of copies of Mephiles. This ability was also demonstrated in recent issues of the Archie comic as mentioned below, wherein Shadow removed the rings in order to call up his full power when he engaged the newly-reborn Enerjak in combat. These are called "inhibitor rings" in the Archie comics.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow has shown that he can also skillfully use a wide range of firearms, semi-automatics, heavy assault, and close-combat weapons. He can also improvise with debris, and drive a wide range of vehicles, as shown in Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Riders, and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). This proves a great distinction between him and Sonic because, in the same game, Sonic says that he would never submit to using a gun and that he prefers running over using a vehicle.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Shadow's POW moves involve offensive attacks based on various Chaos Powers with the extra effect of weakening the opponents stats or leave the opponent distracted. These powers are:
- Chaos Spear (カオススピア): Shadow hurls two bolts of raw Chaos energy at an enemy. These lightning bolts, while armor piercing, may either hit a single enemy, or tail off and hit an adjacent enemy.
- Chaos Rift (カオスリフト): Shadow opens a rift in time and space, then launches it at a foe in an attempt to banish it. If the foe remains, the foe may become distracted
- Chaos Blast (カオスブラスト): Shadow concentrates his usual Chaos Blast into a sphere of energy within his hand, and delivers it in concentrated beam of chaos energy that may weaken affected targets.
- Atomic Strike (Atom Strike アトムストライク): Shadow and Sonic rapidly spinball around the opposing team, creating an electrical field around them and damaging everyone inside.
- Focus Field (Focus Shot フォーカスショット): Shadow hits a foe with a Chaos Blast as Omega simultaneously fires with his machine guns, in a dual attack which can leave the foe vulnerable.
- Metal Storm (メタルストーム): Shadow lifts Omega using Chaos Control, and Rouge tornado-kicks the robot into a foe, with a chance to stun them. Chaos Control allows Shadow to stop time, whether it be to attack in an instant or escape danger.
Like Sonic and Silver, by harnessing the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Shadow is able to use super transformation to transform into Super Shadow. In this form, he is bestowed with the new abilities of flight and near invulnerability. Also, like other super transformations, his normal abilities regarding speed, strength, and power are greatly enhanced as well, and his skills with Chaos Powers are increased to their full limit.
Appearances In Other Media
Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie)
Shadow appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, published by Archie Comics. His backstory is similar to that of the games, having been created by Gerald Robotnik by means of Black Doom's blood. After the events of the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation, Shadow was rescued by the Bem aliens in order to help fight the Xorda, and became integral in defending against the Xorda Attack on Mobius.
Shadow served Eggman for a time, and was an occasional ally of the Freedom Fighters, before eventually joining G.U.N. His relationship with Sonic the Hedgehog is less tense in this continuity. The two have willingly helped each other on several occasions, and Rouge has suggested that the only reason Shadow doesn't admit that Sonic is his friend is because it would be "far too scandalous".
Shadow also appears on the anime Sonic X, in the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation from episodes 33 to 38. His appearance was very faithful to that of the games, with a few differences; for example, it was Chris Thorndyke who reminded Shadow of his true promise from Maria, not Amy. As in the game, he appeared to have died in the battle against Biolizard, but eventually reappeared in episode 60, "The Return of Shadow". Also as in the games, Shadow seems to be stricken by amnesia following his return, and while he has an image of Maria in his mind, he cannot seem to work out who she really was.
In season 3, following his return, Shadow encounters a girl named Molly who reminds him of Maria. In the Japanese and French versions of the series, Molly is killed when the Metarex fire lasers at her plane and Shadow constructs a grave for her, but in the English dub her death is cut out. Instead they say that she left the planet.
At the end of season 3, Shadow had become Super Shadow and teamed up with Super Sonic to defeat the Metarex-like planet. After Cosmo had fused with the planet, Shadow punched Sonic in the stomach rendering him unconscious. Shadow then used Chaos Control to send the detonating planet far away. It then burst into millions of Planet Eggs and Shadow was never seen in the series again. In the Japanese version, his shadow is seen over Molly's grave. He also places a pink flower on the grave.
Shadow's violent tendencies seem to have been toned down somewhat, at least for the 4Kids dub, but are still present; for example, he attempts to kill Cosmo after discovering that she was a Metarex spy, albeit an unwilling one; Tails attempts to stop him, and is brutally beaten by Shadow as a result. But as everyone still trusted Cosmo even after learning she's a spy, Shadow attempts to leave, but is stopped by Chris, trying to convince him that they can join forces with Sonic and co. to defeat the Metarex, but Shadow refuses the offer, still not trusting Cosmo. Shortly, Bokkun arrives telling both Shadow and Chris that Doctor Eggman has been kidnapped by the Metarex as well as Decoe and Bocoe after realizing he was spying on them.
The Battle: Sonic vs. Shadow
Ever since Shadow's introduction, nearly every Sonic continuity featuring him has had the recurring and unfinished battle between Sonic and Shadow. Because of their differences and morals, the two are constantly getting into crossroads, which then turn into outright deathmatches. Sometimes, it's a test of pure speed between the two hedgehogs. However, they finish the battle tied, or something serves to interrupt the battle before its end, thus putting the fans in suspense as to who is the more powerful of the two.
This recurring battle has appeared in the games, comics, and TV series. It appeared in Archie's Sonic comics and Sonic X, the latter even featuring a battle between Sonic and Shadow's powered-up selves, Super Sonic and Super Shadow. In the game Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow defeats Sonic in the Dark Story. In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, later on, Sonic actually defeats Shadow in a two part battle, and Shadow is surprised at his defeat and states "You...you've been practicing." In Sonic Generations, Sonic wins against Shadow and gains a Chaos Emerald.
Shadow Androids are robots based on Shadow that first appeared in Sonic Heroes, though it was never actually stated to be such. Instead, one Team Dark cut scene showed a broken Shadow robot, and another one showed an entire room of androids in stasis, which affected the story in a way, making several characters believe Shadow was a robot. The Shadow Androids reappeared in Shadow the Hedgehog as somewhat-strong enemy robots on the single-player mode's Iron Jungle and Lava Shelter stages, along with the Iron Jungle boss. These androids can counter Shadow's Homing Attacks, or lock-on to Shadow and toss rockets at him, which they seem to use more often than the Homing Attack. If the player performs the Neutral Dark or Neutral Hero stories, it reveals that Shadow is an android.
At the last Team Dark cut scene of Sonic Heroes, when Rouge finds the multiple Shadow androids, she suspects that Shadow is an android, but Omega says that the real Shadow exists, as there is no way anyone could make Shadow androids without the real Shadow. Also, Shadow was the only one in his area, and because E-123 Omega was guarding this "Shadow Android", it made it very likely that "Shadow Android" was actually Shadow. This is confirmed in Shadow the Hedgehog. While Shadow is facing Black Doom in his Devil Doom form, Eggman says that he used a robot to rescue Shadow after he fell from the Space Colony ARK in Sonic Adventure 2, meaning that while Shadow was in a stasis tube, Eggman was making Shadow Androids.
In the multiplayer mode of Shadow the Hedgehog, there are six special Shadow Androids. Four of these robots are silver with green, pink, orange, or blue stripes, each wielding either an alien-like machine gun or a bazooka. They also resemble Metal Sonic. The other two look more like Shadow, but on one of them, the stripes are yellowish-orange instead of red. These two, like the real Shadow, start off without weapons but can carry any other weapon they collect and have limited ammunition while the other four androids can only use their built-in weapons, which have unlimited ammo. The androids can activate Dark Shadow and all of its normal effects and attacks, just like the real Shadow. Hero Shadow is available, but is almost useless, as it simply flies you around the stage (usually through loops and tunnels). All of these androids claim to be the "real Shadow", as well as claim that the others are fakes.
- "I am Shadow the Hedgehog, the Ultimate Lifeform!"
- "Shadow the Hedgehog... Why does that name haunt me...? It's the only thing I can remember... and that... gruesome image..." - Shadow suffering from amnesia.
- "Dammit!" - Shadow after getting hurt in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "If the world chooses to become my enemy....I will fight like I always have." - Shadow before confronting Mephiles in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- "Witness the true speed!" - When starting a race in Sonic Free Riders.
- "Maria, this is what you wanted, right? This is my promise I made to you..." - Shadow before his "death" in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "I promise you... revenge!" - Shadow promising Maria revenge on the humans.
- "I've heard enough. You're boring me to death, Black Doom! You're going DOWN!" - Shadow confronting Black Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "This is the end of you, and the end of my cursed past." - Super Shadow after defeating Devil Doom in Shadow The Hedgehog.
- "Goodbye forever, Shadow the Hedgehog." - From the final cut scene of Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "Ultimate victory!" - Getting an A rank in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "Hmph, too easy for me!" - Getting a B rank in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "That wasn't so hard!" - Getting a C rank in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "Maybe I didn't try hard enough." - Getting a D rank in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "I guess I'm not at full power here." - Getting an E rank in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "I have to go now. I have to keep my promise to Maria...and you." - Sonic Adventure 2, to Amy on the ARK.
- "Before this is over... I'll show you the true power of CHAOS CONTROL!" -Sonic Adventure 2, just before his second fight with Sonic.
- "Anyone who gets in my way is my enemy." - Said after completing the Westopolis Dark Mission in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "How pathetic." - Shadow facing the police in Sonic Adventure 2.
- "You're going straight to hell!" - Shadow confronting Dr. Eggman in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "Ha! There's no strength in numbers!" - Shadow after destroying enemies in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
- "I will release you from the chains of your past." - As Super Shadow when fighting Solaris in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- "Time to unleash the Ultimate Power!" - When fighting Solaris as Super Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- "I determine my own destiny." - Shadow before he fights Mephiles.
- "Where's that damn fourth Chaos Emerald?" - Shadow running through the Carnival Park in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "Don't touch it!" - Shadow yelling to Rouge when she was going to grab a fake Chaos Emerald in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)..
- "Goodbye, Doctor!" - Shadow killing Dr. Eggman in the Semi Dark, Neutral Dark and Neutral Hero Endings in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "You best try your hardest, or else you'll get hurt." - Shadow before he fights Emerl in Emerl's Story.
- "Then, I will destroy you, too...." - Shadow talking to Sonic in Sonic Battle when Sonic refuses to turn over Emerl in Sonic's Story.
- "Hmph. Fine." - Shadow being selected in the Mario & Sonic series.
- "It's do or die, Sonic the Hedgehog." - Shadow when he defeats Sonic and Diablon.
- "Game over, Sonic." - Shadow when he defeats Sonic and Diablon.
- "You've got this, Sonic." - Shadow cheering Sonic to keep going in Sonic Generations.
- "Is that so? Well then...it'll be a date to DIE for!" - Shadow to Team Sonic in Sonic Heroes.
- "I'll take it from here!" - Shadow when taking the lead of Team Dark in Sonic Heroes.
- "You'll regret this, Doctor. Even if I'm not real, I'm still the ultimate lifeform, Shadow The Hedgehog!" - Before attacking the Egg Fleet in Sonic Heroes
- "Who am I, and why can't I remember anything?" - Shadow at the start of Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "Arrgh! Behold the ultimate power!" - Shadow after gaining Chaos Control in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "RRGH! DEATH TO ALL WHO OPPOSE ME!" - Shadow after gaining Chaos Blast in Shadow the Hedgehog.
- "I'm Shadow...Shadow the Hedgehog. I was created to bring order and justice to the humans. With the power of the Chaos Emeralds, I'm going to destroy this damn planet! This is WHO I AM! Hahahahaha..." Shadow after beating Sonic and the prototype weapon in Shadow the Hedgehog's Pure Dark ending, in reply to Sonic's question of what Shadow was going to do with the Emeralds.
- "I am Shadow the Hedgehogl; a research experiment, gone deadly wrong. I've caused so much destruction; I should have never been created. This is who I am." Shadow after defeating Black Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog's Semi-Hero Hero ending, in remorse of the bad he has done, regretting his very creation.
- "Don't bother to try and deceive me. I know who I am!" - Shadow at the beginning of his first fight against Mephiles.
The video games have featured several theme songs for the character. Shadow's themes consisted primarily of the techno and industrial genres often with synthed vocals that are barely audible in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, but have shown an increasing preference towards the hard rock genre in more recent games.
- Sonic Adventure 2: Throw It All Away - Everett Bradley. (A short instrumental version appeared in Sonic and the Black Knight in the event called "Sir Lancelot Appears.") Also, the song Live and Learn seems to also be his theme, but shared with Sonic, since it is the final boss theme when Super Sonic and Super Shadow are used. An instrumental also played in the game, Shadow The Hedgehog when Shadow was turning into Super Shadow in the final story. A short version of this song also appears when standing in front of Shadow in the Sonic Generations hub world.
- Sonic Heroes: This Machine - Julien-K. (This was a team theme shared with Rouge and Omega.)
- Shadow the Hedgehog featured multiple themes:
- Sonic the Hedgehog: All Hail Shadow (Remix) - Crush 40 (This appears in Sonic and the Black Knight when the Medal of Lancelot is equipped)
- In addition, there are several vocal level themes associated with Shadow's character in Sonic Adventure 2:
- Also, a special remix of Tripod Baby performed by m-flo was released as a promotional song for Shadow.
- A song called Broken by Sins of a Divine Mother was going to be the Neutral- Hero theme of Shadow but was replaced by Chosen One because SEGA could not contact the band leader.
Shadow was ranked as the second favorite Sonic character, beaten only by Sonic the Hedgehog himself, in the official Sonic character poll. In the Sonic Character Tournament held by the Sonic News Network, Shadow was voted the second most popular character by the fans. Out of the thousands of votes that were tallied, Sonic only won by ten. However, many game reviewers, such as GameSpot, have called Shadow a "clone" of Sonic. Game Revolution described his character as a "quintessential anti-Sonic." 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.
For more images, see: Shadow the Hedgehog/Artwork.
- Though the design of Shadow the Hedgehog was meant to be a secret until such time SEGA decided to reveal the finalized version, details of the character were leaked when ReSaurus announced they were making figures of Shadow and Rouge, much as they had for the first Adventure title. Ironically, the company went out of business before they could release these figures to the masses.
- In the games, when Shadow performs Chaos Control, he usually shouts or exclaims "Chaos Control," but in Sonic X, he states in a normal voice "Chaos Control, now."
- Shadow often uses the green Chaos Emerald to use Chaos Control, like in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes.
- Shadow and Knuckles were originally confirmed to appear in Sonic Unleashed as optional, playable characters alongside Tails and Amy as the game was still slated to be Sonic Adventure 3 at that point. When the concept for Sonic Adventure 3 was dumped for Sonic Unleashed instead, the characters' involvement was also changed. Tails and Amy remained in the story of the game, Knuckles had no mention in the game, but Shadow did. In the Brenda Blurb Side-Quest beginning in Chun-Nan, one of the questions Brenda asks is along the lines of "What creature was revealed from the planet when Eggman broke it?" One of the three answers is "Shadow the Hedgehog". Another mention is made in Empire City, on a street sign exclusively in the Xbox 360/PS3 version.
- Shadow presumably has green blood, as Black Doom said Shadow was created from a sample of his blood, which is green. However, memebers of the Black Arms only have green Blood in other releases of the game, as in the Japanse version of Shadow the Hedgehog, the Black Arms have red blood.
- Prima's Official Game Guides for Sonic Adventure 2 referred to Shadow's Super form "Hyper Shadow," despite how Sega and Sonic Team have referred to it as canonically being "Super Shadow." Prima also said in their Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) guides that there are rumors that Rouge has feelings for Knuckles and Shadow.
- In Shadow the Hedgehog, the President has a picture of Sonic and Shadow standing near the White House on his desk.
- Shadow was originally meant to be a one-time character, hence his supposed "death" scene at the end of Sonic Adventure 2. However, due to his popularity, he was brought back for Sonic Heroes. Sega decided to have Shadow notice a wrecked robot resembling him, as well as Rouge finding a series of androids in capsules similar to the one she released Shadow from, making some people wonder if the Shadow from Sonic Adventure 2 is truly dead and the one from Sonic Heroes is just a copy. However, it was all cleared up in Shadow the Hedgehog's game ending, where Eggman revealed that his robots saved him from the fatal fall back in Sonic Adventure 2.
- In the Japanese commercial for Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is seen dancing.
- In his Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games artwork, Shadow appears to be missing his tail.
- Shadow crosses his arms in the left-handed manner, leads with his left, and throughout the game Shadow the Hedgehog, uses all weapons with his left hand and punches with his left hand first in his double punch-to-somersault kick combo. However, he's also shown wielding a gun in his right hand on his box art in Shadow the Hedgehog, and in a cut scene where he watches Sonic pass out from being beaten. Shadow is also shown holding his racket in his right hand in SEGA Superstars Tennis, and holds his sword in his right hand in Sonic & the Black Knight, both as Lancelot and in multiplayer mode, where the player can take control of Shadow himself. He is likely left-handed, but the use of his right hand may be for technical purposes, mainly the Wii's right-handed controls. However, Shadow is still considered left-handed due to his self-titled game, Shadow the Hedgehog. He could be possibly mirroring Sonic, who is right-handed. Throughout the games, though, Shadow demonstrates ambidexterity, with a left-side dominance.
- In the 2006 Sonic game, Shadow always leads with his right for his attacks during cut scenes and game play.
- Shadow has been proven to be very strong because in Shadow the Hedgehog, he is able to overturn heavy objects with ease while holding a weapon in the other hand. He is also able to destroy walls as well as carry some heavy objects without effort.
- In Sonic Riders and Zero Gravity, Shadow will reach high speeds without the use of his jet shoes after gaining the Attack Mode power-up.
- Shadow's skin color is usually tanner in his 2D artwork than his 3D artwork.
- In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Shadow seems to be able to use psychokinetic powers, as seen in some of his POW moves such as Metal Storm. This power has not been seen in any other continuity. It is possible that this ability is a variation of Chaos Control.
- In the 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, Shadow placed 25th in the "Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time." Sonic placed tenth.
- Shadow's chest fur has been mistakenly colored yellow in the Archie comics. It has been changed to the correct color in subsequent comics.
- Shadow's Brawl Trophy is almost identical to his Sonic 06 artwork.
- In Sonic Generations, the player is rewarded with the fourth Chaos Emerald for defeating Shadow. Coincidentally, in his own game, Shadow mentions the fourth Chaos Emerald in a line, "Where's the damn fourth Chaos Emerald!?" which has since gained internet popularity.
- Shadows quills heavily resemble those of Hyper Sonic.
- Shadow the Hedgehog at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Shadow the Hedgehog Concept: "Mobius" (REAL Character Profile)
|Heroes||Sonic | Tails | Amy | Knuckles | Vector | Espio | Charmy | Mighty | Big | Tikal | Cream | Emerl | Blaze | Omochao | Silver|
|Antiheroes||Chaos | Gamma | Shadow | Rouge | Omega | Jet | Wave | Storm|
|Villains||Eggman | Metal Sonic | Eggrobo | Fang | Eggman Nega | ZERO|
|Other||Mecha Sonic | Gerald | Froggy | Cheese | Vanilla|