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Shadow the Hedgehog is a character from the Sonic the Hedgehog games.

An artificially created hedgehog made by the late professor Gerald Robotnik. 50 years before the start of the series, Gerald made a deal with an alien named Black Doom that he'd create the ultimate weapon for Doom in exchange for his immortal blood to cure his ailing granddaughter, Maria. G.U.N. caught wind of Project Shadow and had the entire project shut down - but not before the project in question could come to fruition. They stormed the ARK and Shadow was sealed away until Dr. Eggman released him. Shadow reveals he was carrying out Gerald's will and worked to destroy the planet as revenge for Maria's death. However, Amy manages to convince Shadow to help, and he remembers Maria's wish to protect humanity. He and Sonic team up to destroy his own prototype, and he apparently dies in the effort.

In the XP4 fics, Shadow debuted in XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!.

In the AWA fics, Shadow is a student at the AWA Academy and yet to make an appearance.

Appearance

Shadow is a black hedgehog with red stripes on his quills, around the edges of his eyes and on his arms and legs. He has red eyes, a patch of white fur on his chest, and his muzzle is tan. He has six quills on his head, four of which curve upwards, and two that curve downwards, has two spines on his back and a small tail. For attire, Shadow wears white gloves with black cuffs and red tongues, and Air Shoes which, like his gloves, have black cuffs and red tongues. On each of his wrists and ankles, he wears a single gold ring.

Following Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow's Air Shoes's red paint is scratched off on the front, and his eyes have become more red-orange in color.

Personality

Shadow is a brooding loner, to put it bluntly. He usually acts with a cool and businesslike indifference, only occasionally showing his vulnerable side. He is rarely seen with others for an extended period of time and usually distances himself from essentially everyone. He is usually soft-spoken, silent and doesn't speak much, but he always knows exactly what to say in combat. However, Shadow never bluffs. If he makes a threat, he has every intention of carrying it out.

Shadow also does not mind boasting about how powerful he is, calling himself the "Ultimate Lifeform" and like Sonic can be extremely arrogant, often belittling his opponents and insulting their lack of strength. He believes no one can beat him, and tends to see anyone as a fool for challenging him. Shadow also has a ruthless and merciless edge in combat that all other characters in the series lack, and displays a natural "killer instinct".

Shadow's infamous ruthlessness and aggression lead to fear and a nervousness that inhibits characters from his unshakable intent or sheer power in combat. Numerous characters from the Sonic series have shown absolute dread from encountering Shadow. Shadow's enemies never treat him lightly; he is one of the very few people Sonic takes seriously and acts hostile towards.

Alongside his dark and violent demeanor, Shadow can be smug and stubborn. 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. Shadow is also shown to have a sharp wit, like in Sonic Adventure 2, where after Sonic calls him a faker, he replies that Sonic isn't worth being considered his fake, and in Shadow the Hedgehog, he taunts Black Doom's eye for having trouble with GUN. This attitude is reflected in the original Japanese version, where Shadow omits honorifics and speaks highly of himself (if not rudely), though contrasting this, in Japanese he normally uses the "boku" pronoun when referring to himself as opposed to the more arrogant/confident "ore" pronoun (which characters such as Sonic use).

On occasion, Shadow appears to have some degree of mental instability. This is demonstrated by his instances of post-traumatic flashbacks to Maria's face prior to and during the events of Shadow the Hedgehog, though it could be argued that they were simply an effect of his amnesiaAnother example could be that in many games Shadow is featured in, he pursues his foes with disturbing determination; that is to say he'll go to any length to accomplish something he desires or feels should be a certain way, no matter what the cost. In Sonic Forces, it's heavily implied that Shadow ruthlessly slaughtered an entire mercenary band not only in an extremely dismissive, nonchalant manner (not even remembering the incident a few months later), but also seemed slightly proud, mocking the mercenary defence squad by saying they themselves needed a defence squad. He also showed a rather coarse language in his own game.

Shadow also possesses some sense of identity. As evidenced when after falsely 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. These qualities make him rarely susceptible to being manipulated by other forces.

Despite his apathetic nature, Shadow is not without compassion. When Omega begins his attack in Sonic Heroes, Shadow could have easily forgotten about Rouge and engaged Omega without defending her. Instead, Shadow saves her from 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 was 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 judgment if he was indeed responsible for the ARK massacre 50 years ago. In Sonic Colors DS, Shadow was also shown to be worried about the possibility of Sonic and Tails getting hurt while trying to save the wisps, much to their surprise. However, he remained dismissive about his concern for them. He spent the majority of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood trying to find Omega out of worry for his well-being. He was also quite enraged when he found out that the Marauders had been hurting Omega, and helped him to get revenge.

Shadow brushes off most kindness or sympathy that is sent his way; 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 bluntly rejected his offer. At times, however, Shadow is also shown to appreciate genuine care. In Sonic Adventure 2, after Amy made him remember his promise to Maria, Shadow told her that he is keeping his promise both to Maria and her. Also, in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), when Rouge told him that she would always be by his side, he acknowledged her.

Despite the fact that Shadow often fights for the greater good, he is considered an anti-hero by the most part due to his morality. He does whatever is necessary to get what he wants or feels is right, though this enthusiasm causes him to take risks and jump into situations without fully thinking it through. He is also shown to have some criminal behavior, like in Sonic Free Riders where he stole the cash prize from the World Grand Prix. Regardless, Shadow does have his moments of selflessness, helpfulness, and heroism. He nearly gave his life at the end of Sonic Adventure 2 to save Earth and helped Silver uncover the truth of the Solaris Project, after saving Sonic from Silver.

XP4 Fanfic

Shadow is a member of the Heroes Coalitions and is part of the Death City Squad as it's second-in-command. He also attends at Vanguard Academy as a student.

XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!

In Chapter 9, Shadow, alongside his team, the Death City Squad, are seen in a large desert taking on several gigantic Emotionless. After defeating the creatures, Death the Kid made an urgent order to head back to Neo-City after hearing that Donzerg Stronghold plans on painting the La Lopez Memorial Museum with rainbow paint in a zigzag pattern, much to Shadow and everyone's bewilderment.

XP4 Heroes Coalition - Remnant Chronicles

In Chapter 1, Shadow, alongside the Death City Squad, Qrow Branwen, Jaune Arc, Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie, arrives in Mistral. They later met up with Leonardo Lionheart at the Haven Academy where Qrow told him information about the Spring Maiden but Leonard delays going after her, much to their frustration. Later that night, everyone are seen at the living room of their house when Qrow, Death the Kid and Brook arrives and introduced Oscar Pine to everyone, Oscar then revealed that he's Ozpin, much to everyone's bewilderment.

In Chapter 2, Shadow, alongside the Death City Squad, Qrow Branwen, Jaune Arc, Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie, are seen inside their current residence somewhere in Mistral where they had a conversation about Oscar Pine being Ozpin. They then witnessed Ozpin taking over Oscar, reintroducing himself, telling them his plans to retrieve the Relic of Knowledge and decided to train Oscar alongside Ruby Rose, Jaune, Ren and Nora, much to everyone's confusion and bewilderment.

In Chapter 6, Shadow, alongside his team, are seen in the living room in their residence somewhere in Mistral when Qrow Branwen, Kiba Inuzuka, Akamaru, Yang Xiao Long, Weiss Schnee, Ichika Orimura and Tomomichi Motoyama arrived. Shadow and the others watches Ruby Rose reunited with Yang and Weiss, much to their joy.

In Chapter 7, Shadow took part of a dinner get-together at the residence somewhere in Mistral. After Ichika Orimura and Tomomichi Motoyama left for another mission in Atlas, they had a conversation about their recent experiences, Ruby Rose, Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie & Lie Ren revealing their Gifts and Ruby & Jaune revealing that they're a couple, much to Weiss' shock and Yang's ire. Later in the living room, they were joined by Qrow Branwen, Oscar Pine and Ozpin, everyone are present when Ozpin explains to them about the magic he gave to Qrow & Raven Branwen and detailed that everyone had a choice. After that, everyone decided to keep moving forward and decided to enjoy the rest of the night.

In Chapter 8, Shadow is heard pointing out that Patricia "Patty" Thompson and Nora Valkyrie were responsible for the lack of syrup.

In Chapter 10, Shadow, alongside his team, Yang Xiao Long, Weiss Schnee, Jaune Arc, Lie Ren, Nora Valkyrie, Qrow Branwen and Oscar Pine/Ozpin are seen gathered in their residence somewhere in Mistral. Qrow then got a call from Leonardo Lionheart and told them to meet them in school however, Shadow the Hedgehog revealed that an ambush awaits for them, much to everyone's shock. After that, they decided to counter their enemies with an ambush of their own.

In Chapter 11, Shadow, alongside his team, Qrow Branwen, Nora Valkyrie, Jaune Arc, Lie Ren, Yang Xiao Long, Weiss Schnee, Oscar Pine and a number of heroes from the Heroes Coalitions, arrives in Haven Academy and confronted Leonardo Lionheart, Cinder Fall's group, Raven Branwen and Vernal. Then both sides got into a battle with Shadow taking on a number of Emotionless.

Abilities

Physical Abilities

Shadow is capable of easily matching Sonic's abilities in both speed and power. Although he is not as strong as people like Knuckles the Echidna, Shadow has superhuman strength; with effort, he can overturn large objects many times his weight and size such as trucks, buses and large slabs of concrete with one hand. Like other characters in the series, Shadow can also move at super speeds, an innate talent that members of the hedgehog species possess, and can evenly match even Sonic's speed as well, who can run at hypersonic speeds. While Shadow's Air Shoes are credited as the source of his speed, his powerful body lets him easily rival Sonic's world class speed as well. While there is some inconsistency about how fast the two are compared to each other, Shadow has admitted that Sonic is the faster of the two of them.

Shadow is extremely acrobatic, agile and an experienced athlete, capable of gracefully leaping over any obstacles that comes in his way and performing various forms of nimble movements. He has as well radical reaction time to match his movements, being able to react to danger within a split second.

Shadow has incredible resilience to damage, being able to survive otherwise fatal situations even by the standards of superhuman creatures, making him nearly indestructible. He is completely bullet proof and can take a lot of major punishment in battle before he starts to wear down. The most prominent testament to his durability, however was in Sonic Adventure 2 when Shadow survived his fall down to Earth from space and re-entry in the atmosphere before Eggman's robots rescued him, though the experience left him with enough physical trauma to give him amnesia. Even after receiving major damage, Shadow displays a remarkably fast recovery rate, allowing him to quickly get back up in a few moments.

Being the end-product of Project Shadow, Shadow is immortal and does not physically age and is presumably immune to disease. Being part Black Arms, Shadow has a connection to the Black Arms' hive-mind, allowing him to sense his kinds' presence and is immune to the Black Arms' nerve gas.

Chaos Powers

Shadow is naturally able to tap into the arcane powers of any nearby Chaos Emeralds to utilize their chaos energy to empower himself and can use a wide variety of Chaos Powers as well. Shadow can specifically harness both positive and negative chaos energy, depending on his state of mind. His Chaos Powers are so potent that should he removes his restraints, he becomes a walking dynamo of raw power, releasing such tremendous amounts of innate energy that it forms an impenetrable barrier around him. While in this state, Shadow gains increased strength and speed, enough to overpower hundreds of Mephiles the Dark clones at once. However, using his full power tires him out more quickly.

Shadow's trademark Chaos Power is Chaos Control, and is possibly the most adept user of it in the series, having mastered it to perfection. With Chaos Control, he can manipulate space and time to slow down time and warp across space, and can use it delicately enough to distort space in small centralized areas, such as around his fists or in midair. Additionally, he can mold Chaos Control into a variety of offensive and defensive moves and can even use it to heal himself. It is unknown what Shadow's full limit for warping time and space with Chaos Control is, but it has been shown that he can warp objects and people with him all the way into space.

As described in Shadow the Hedgehog, all of Shadow's Chaos Powers increase in power with the number of Chaos Emeralds he possesses. Furthermore, he can draw power from the Emeralds without making physical contact.

Combat Skills

In combat, Shadow is a lethal and extremely powerful force that very few can defeat. He never holds back his immense strength, making him a brutal fighter with a distinct killer instinct. Shadow's skills are more than a match for even the strongest in the series, and have been able to take down some of the most fearsome foes of the series on his own, such as Black Doom. To best put his skills in perspective, as seen in some of the scenarios in Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is one of the very few individuals who has been able to defeat Sonic in combat, even when Sonic had the Diablon for support.

Fighting Style

Shadow's fighting style focuses on brutal, unrestrained and powerful hand-to-hand combat. In line with his nature and potent abilities, Shadow has adopted a fighting style where he fights his opponents using powerful blows, such as karate chops, swift punches and roundhouse kicks. With the speeds Shadow can move at, he can disable the opponent through the force of his blows alone, leaving them at the mercy of his incoming attacks.

Shadow's fighting style revolves around making heavy use of his Chaos Powers, especially Chaos Control and Chaos Spear. Using Chaos Control, Shadow can teleport up in front of or behind his opponents in battle to launch surprise attacks. Also, Shadow can use Chaos Control to increase the damage he deals to his opponent when striking them, often resulting in significant forces being released and blowing the opponent a certain distance away. Shadow will use these Chaos Powers and any other means necessary to overwhelm his opponents.

Techniques and Moves

Like Sonic, Shadow's basic combat moves revolve around the various forms of the Spin Attack where he curls tightly into a concussive ball while in locomotion to damage, mow down, or burrow through obstacles and foes. The Homing Attack allows Shadow to dash in midair toward a target, the Spin Jump lets him curl into a ball and attack opponents by landing on them, and the Spin Dash lets him shoot himself forward as an acceleration roll at full speed while mowing down enemies and obstacles. He is also able perform the Boost where he turns himself into a highly destructive projectile by moving at high speed, though Shadow uses the fire from his Air Shoes to propel himself forward rather than skating like usual. The Light Speed Dash and Light Speed Attack also allows Shadow to achieve light speed movements for either exploration or combat.

A less frequent technique that Shadow uses is the Black Tornado, in which Shadow jumps into the air and creates a black whirlwind by circling a particular spot at high speeds, which can throw his opponents into the air or blow away armor and weapons. For more direct combat, Shadow has his Chaos Attack in which he deals a barrage of chaos energy-fueled strikes to his opponents, and his Spin Kick lets him create a small tornado that can suck in enemies to strike them.

Many of Shadow's signature techniques are Chaos Powers. His trademark move is Chaos Control which lets him manipulate time and space to either warp across space, slow down time, or distort space to form other types of Chaos Powers. His second most used Chaos Power is his Chaos Spear technique, in which he throws bolts of chaos energy at his opponent. However, his most powerful technique is Chaos Blast, in which Shadow releases a shockwave of chaos energy that eliminates everything within its range. Alternatively, he can focus it into a beam for more concentrated damage.

Miscellaneous Skills

In Sonic Free Riders, Shadow proves himself to be an expert Extreme Gear rider, as seen in the tournament where he was able to put up quite a fight and even defeat some of the world's best Extreme Gear riders. When riding on an Extreme Gear, Shadow is skillful enough to ride on rails, execute complex tricks while in midair, and even perform his Chaos Powers and combat moves with ease. Also, Shadow may have some knowledge about machinery, being able to fiddle with a deactivated Omega and deduce he was in stand-by mode.

He is not above using weaponry and equipment, and demonstrates proficient skills in a wide range of firearms, semi-automatics, heavy assault, and close-combat weapons, as well as all forms of vehicles, militaristic or otherwise.

Equipment

Shadow wears a pair of specialized shoes called Air Shoes. These footwear are the primary source of Shadow's speed, producing small jet streams that let him hover-skate at speeds rivaling,[21] and supposedly even surpassing Sonic's speed. Alternatively, Shadow can use his Air Shoes to produce fire to attack opponents with, improve his jumps, or achieve midair hovering.

Shadow wears four gold rings on his wrists and ankles that limit the amount of power he uses during combat and other situations. By removing them, Shadow is able to use his full power, turning him into a nigh-unstoppable force.

Transformations

Super Shadow

Main article: Super Shadow

By harnessing the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Shadow can enter a Super State, transforming him into Super Shadow. In this state, all of Shadow's abilities far surpass his normal ones and his Chaos Powers are increased to their full limit. He is also able to fly and is nearly invulnerable. Initially, Shadow found it difficult to stay in this state due to inexperience, but he has since mastered it.

Hero Shadow

Main article: Hero Shadow

In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is able to transform into Hero Shadow with the use of positive chaos energy, whenever his mind is fueled by thoughts of justice. In this state, Shadow is temporarily invincible and can perform a large scale use of Chaos Control. However, it only lasts for a short time.

Dark Shadow

Main article: Dark Shadow

In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is able to transform into Dark Shadow with the use of negative chaos energy, whenever his mind is fueled by thoughts of evil. In this state, Shadow is temporarily invincible and can perform a large scale use of Chaos Blast. However, it only lasts for a short time.

Chaos Boost

Main article: Chaos Boost

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow can access an enhanced state dubbed the Chaos Boost. In this state, his powers are boosted significantly, granting him warp-like speeds, near invulnerability, and bolstered Chaos Powers.

Color Powers

Main article: Color Power

By harnessing different variants of Hyper-go-on from Wisps, Shadow can use specific Color Powers to transform into a certain form, such as a drill, a laser or even a planet, each one possessing its own unique abilities. So far, Shadow has been able to transform into the Cyan Laser, Yellow Drill and Indigo Asteroid. However, these transformations require a steady supply of Hyper-go-on to be maintained.

Trivia

  • Though the design of Shadow 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 Sonic Adventure title. However, the company went out of business before they could release these figures to the masses.
  • According to the games' canon (and confirmed by Takashi Iizuka), Shadow and everyone else requires at least one Chaos Emerald close by to draw power from for Chaos Control, or the technique is impossible - however, Shadow has appeared to use Chaos Control and other Chaos Powers during gameplay of some games without visible Emeralds nearby. Fans have argued that it is implied in statements Shadow made in Sonic Battle that his memory of Maria allows it.
  • Shadow and Knuckles were originally confirmed to appear in Sonic Unleashed. Although Shadow doesn't appear, he is briefly mentioned; during an interview with Brenda, she will ask the name of the creature that came from the planet's core. Sonic can incorrectly answer 'Shadow the Hedgehog.'
  • In the Japanese commercial for Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is seen dancing.
  • In his artwork for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Shadow is missing his tail.
  • Shadow uses his left hand when using weapons in Shadow the Hedgehog. His counterpart, Lancelot, however, fights with his right hand, possibly because of the Wii motion control. In Sonic the HedgehogShadow always leads with his right for his attacks during cutscenes. Shadow may either be ambidextrous or have left eye dominance, seeing as those with left eye dominance are recommended to fire guns whilst favoring their left hand. He also tends to cross his right arm under his left arm in most artworks.
  • The Official Game Guide for Sonic Generations mentioned that a scientist is the one who ejected Shadow's capsule to the earth, however, he was ejected by Maria Robotnik.
  • In the 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, Shadow placed 25th in the "Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time" while Sonic placed tenth.
  • Shadow was not originally intended to be in Sonic Heroes, revealed in an initial list of teams for the game. Rouge would have been in a team with Cream and Amy and there was no mention of Omega.
  • In Sonic Heroes, Shadow is shown to be faster than Sonic in grinding, but this has been modified in Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Shadow's trophy pose in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is almost identical to his artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog(2006).
  • Shadow's skin color is usually tanner in his 2D artwork than in his 3D artwork.
  • Normally Shadow is seen with red eyes, but in his Sonic Chronicles artwork and pictures his eyes are more of an orange color, but this may be because the artwork in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood was made by someone other than the usual Sonic Team artist.
  • In the game Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Shadow is missing a quill on his head. This is also present in Sonic X.
  • In Sonic Generations, the player may be rewarded with the fourth Chaos Emerald for defeating Shadow (third if he is fought before Perfect Chaos). Coincidentally, in his own game, Shadow mentions the fourth Chaos Emerald in a line, "Where's that damn fourth Chaos Emerald!?", which has since gained Internet popularity.
  • Shadow's three main Chaos abilities are generally color-coded in relation to the three Chao alignments. Chaos Control requires positive chaos energy that generally glows blue, as Hero Chao have blue markings. Chaos Spear is generally depicted as being yellow-white, while Neutral Chao have yellow markings. Chaos Blast requires negative chaos energy, and is generally red, whereas Dark Chao have red markings.
  • In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Shadow's profile says he likes "nothing."
  • In the 2D indie fighting game Skullgirls Encore, the 17th selectable color palette of the character Fukua is a direct reference to Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • Shadow's trophy pose in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U resembles his artwork for Sonic Rivals.
  • Strangely, in the leaked transcript of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow was described as a "fifteen-year-old" hedgehog, just like Sonic, unlike all the other official materials which do not put an actual age to him.
  • Despite many fans having speculated that Silver is related to Shadow due to Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad's relationship in Arthurian lore (where the latter is the son of the former), Takashi Iizuka has confirmed that Silver is not a descendant of Shadow.

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