Ah Shadow. What used to be the most popular Sonic character at the time became the center of scorn after getting his own game. Personally, he was ruined  for me when he was brought back to life and given animu trope #5: AMNESIA!! Because it works so well in Japan! 

Even so, Shadow still remains a relatively interesting character despite his severe mishandling over the years (Oh Boom), but at the time, people complained that Shadow was taking the spotlight away from Sonic. It’s a complaint that confused me until I went through his story in 06.

Gameplay & zones

Combat, combat, and oh yeah, combat. Shadow is all about destroying enemies. All of his moves are tailored made for going long bouts against enemies… which is honestly pathetic when compared to Sonic’s bounce attack that rips asses to shreds.

 I don’t like Shadow’s gameplay. Back then, everyone loved Shadow in this game, and it had to have been a content reason. The recovery of his homing attack is slow because he has some little retarded kicks added to the mixture (IE nerged damage on homing attack), his Chaos Spears only stun enemies, and worst of all, Shadow has micromanagement. Chaos Boost gives him a glowing rash and ass & allows access to new abilities like the Chaos Lance and Blast.

Shadow also gets vehicles that are worse than the ones in his own game. They can only shoot missiles that have to be recharged after 2 fuckin shots (only the motorbike has bullets) and control about as well as the Ridge Racer games.

Ironically, his amigos are more fun to play. Rouge is basically Tails and Knuckles with bewbs and better gliding abilities (doesn’t descend too fast) and Omega is explosions. Nuff said. His hovering abilities are shit, though. 

Shadow’s zones are more tedious than Silver’s but less than Sonic’s. Most of them have annoying little missions you must complete before finishing the zone.

Acropolis is a mediocre primer for Shadow’s gameplay as you start off on a friggin ski slope! The angles on that camera are terrible! And of the trees obscure your view, and hide a switch under a pile of rocks!? I was stuck for days trying to figure out what the fuck to do. Then you gotta destroy search lights for some reason… bah

Kingdom Valley once again infuriates me to no end as they decided to throw in a fetch quest! Some reason we needed to be reminded of the tedium of SA1&2’s treasure hunting zones. But see, those days we had FUCKING RADARS!!! We don’t get shit here and in a big ass place like this, it should’ve been here in the first place! But naw, we gotta do shit blind!

Wave Ocean I got stuck on in the last area as I just didn’t know what to do. Plus, Shadow’s ass is glued to the seat or something as he cannot exit the vehicle. I was trippin the entire time, I thought it really was a bug. It could’ve been, there shouldn’t be any reason I can’t dismount from a vehicle. Then I went up to an accelerating ramp, launched off of it, and died. …..yeah! The damn… boat or w/e just up and crashed in the water. I have no dea how or why, but…. dead!

Dusty Desert starts off with that same boat where I had to follow pillars with arrows that rise out of the ground to lead me to Act 2. It’s… kinda dumb, and unless you hit that hint ring, you’re likely to get lost the first time, having no idea of what to do. Like me.

Shadow’s bosses are the same as Sonic’s for the most part, being that the same strategies of waiting for opportunities certainly applies here. The only differences are the 2 Mephilis fights where you simply have to build up your meter and use Chaos Boost to damage him at all. The first time, he just hides in your Shadow (creepy bastard) until you get a boost to beat him, at least until you play Omega and completely murder his ass. 

The second fight is barely any different with the exception of 3 big ass… liquid crystal golems that shoot lasers at you, but they’re still just fodder for building up your meter.

So really, Shadow’s bosses are just as unimpressive as Silver’s. 

Story & Missions

It’ll be quite difficult to make fun of Shadow’s story because…  honestly? It’s the most well written one of the bunch! And it barely affects anything else in the game’s story aside from 1 scene. I also enjoyed the lack of missions.  🙂 Let’s get on wit it. 

So Shadow starts off by running straight through an army of robots as though they were just a light breeze. Then hides from a searchlight even though he shows that he can fucking teleport… which confuses me unless the intro to Shth is somehow canon and not just there for Sega to show off some CG talent. He infiltrates Robotnik’s base to find Rouge who was looking for something called the “Scepter of Darkness”. Wooooo, spooky! As they try to head out, they’re ambushed by Cerberus, but… teleportation. 

After escaping, they wind up in the small room in the tunnel entrance to Acropolis (no one else found this room? It’s hard to miss) They get briefed on the Scepter’s location in Kingdom Valley, and head out there immediately. 

And hey! No trials!? Awesome! You just gotta find a mountain wit steps to find a warp gate that takes you straight to the Zone. Convenient! Why Sonic and Silver couldn’t be given the same courtesy is beyond me, but… government agencies, I guess, have those special privileges. 

So they journey inside to find the Scepter without too much trouble (or however long it took you to find those damned keys) until they run into Robotnik who wants the Scepter for himself. Good luck figuring out why. Anyway, he bitch slaps Rouge, causing her to drop the Scepter, shattering it and unleashing a smoked snake. 

Robotnik pusses out and runs away while Shadow and Rouge deal with Mephilis who (get this) stole Shadow’s. … shadow and transforms into a clone of him. Because magicBudget? He blames Shadow for putting him in the Scepter and vows revenge. But instead of trying to kill him, Meph just sends them both to the future. Nice revenge plan. >_>

In Crisis City, they both check a random computer room to see that they’ve been flung into the future, right before Sonic’s crew drops in. With that, copy/paste scenes, Rouge finds an emerald and gets horny as they both find a deactivated Omega (Ironic in a sense) but decide to leave it behind because it’s just not important. 

copy/paste until after Iblis to find everyone jumping through the time rift… except Shadow as he sees Mephilis slithering away. So he stays behind to deal with him… which was… kind of a bad idea. He couldn’t create time rifts on his own without Sonic’s help, and he was one emerald short. And Shadow is supposed to be the most pragmatic of the 3 Hedgehogs, this was just reckless. 

Rouge returns to the present to find Shadow’s dumb ass was still in the future, and quickly heads to Tropical Jungle to find Omega who’s…. just walking around bored, I guess. Rouge gives it some orders to not activate until 200 years later (Damn, she’s smart!)

Shadow confronts Mephilis in a Volcano (his shoes should be melting by now). They argue over their I own self-righteous ideals until Meph shows Shadow his future in a cage (they locked him in a Volcano!? That’s crazy!) and that people wanted to find a scapegoat for the disaster at hand. One of those “people hate you, so join me” types of villains. Shadow doesn’t really budge and they fight with Mephilis showing off his crystal form. Funny how you can see him change into crystal before the actual transition finishes.

After fighting for a while,  Shadow gets blasted into a pillar. And then… Omega to the rescue! After getting his ass kicked by robots, Mephilis opens a rift to the past (how convenient for our heroes to jump in) 

After returning, Team Dark is reuinited as they head for Radical Train as Shadow suspects that Robotnik knows more about Mephilis than most. But stupidly enough, he says he doesn’t need help and ventures off alone. This asshole has to be frustrating to work with. We could probably assume he was disturbed by his future prison and is starting to have trust issues (I guess?) but that would imply he doesn’t have the personality of a brick in this game.

Damn, what happened to the charismatic anti-hero of SA2? He’s too.. serious. Laugh! Smile! Crack jokes about someone is going to die after dealing with you. I thought Sonic was aped. It’s right around here where the complaints of “06 takes itself too seriously” stem from. Every character is depressing, and the few upbeat ones are irritating to be around. Even Sonic himself is too serious. Shadow, on the other hand, is more exaggerated. He just seems pissed off all the time. In SA2, he literally blurts out “im the coolest!” What happened to that guy?

Anyways, he heads for train yard and crashes in the eggo exress. Robotnik ofcourse bitches him out about it. Shadow brings up Mephilis and asks what he’s up to. At first, buttnik blows him off, but then makes a bargain. Information in exchange for a captured Mephilis. I still don’t know why he wants him.

Anywho, Shadow then saves Sonic from a perpetual ass beating and promptly owns Silver (I actually remember reading on Wikipedia that Shadow won the fight because he is the ultimate life form. Whoever wrote that was genius!) More copy/pasta to Elise’s dying father giving Shadow the Scepter of Darkness as he pursues Mephilis in the past. When he finds him as nothing but goop,  he immediately seals him inside the Scepter. Outside, he leaves the Scepter on a tree (WHY!?) Bcuz he knows what happens to it in the future. Goddammit it. If he took the Scepter with him to the present time, after the Scepter got broken, that would’ve over written the event completely. But nope! Gotta make things complicated.

So back in the present, Shadow requests GUN to analyze the materials used to make the Scepter in the first place, while i get my first mission, to save some arch-

Damn! She kinda cute! Why couldn’t she be Elise?

Ahem… you have to save her from iblis monsters before she reveals something about magic candles. So afterwards, I had to travel all the way to the opposite end of the damn city just to light 4 candles. I was at this shit for 16 minutes cause I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Had to use the Chaos Spears to light them all. Then I get a material that just appears out of thin air, send it to HQ, then make my way to Wave Ocean as he needs backup dealing with Mephilis. Whew!

When I get there, Omega was already beating wholesale ass on Mephilis. But he escapes. Omega’s logical processors dictates that instead of informing the 2 about what Mephilis was doing on the beach, it instead tells Shadow that Omega imprisoned him.

This was one of the last times we would ever think of Robotnik as a badass. He created a robot that was capable of defeating an organism with time altering powers! He can teleport and cause explosions! 

Back in town, Iblis monsters start attacking (Why would they exist nowIblis is still inside Elises head). After that, i’m off to Dusty Desert.

As they make their way to the center of the ruins, Mephilis is just sitting there playing with his balls or something. He asks Shadow to join him again, but is refused and defeated again. With Mephilis reduced to a puddle, Shadow tries to seal him into the Scepter, but it fails and Mephilis creates an army of himself. Then Shadow takes off his rings and runs straight into the horde with his… Sonic X references?

It’s not until you get to the end of the story that you come to realize that Shadow himself seems wholly unnecessary. His mode is like a side story, detached from the rest of the game’s events. It’s really more about himself rather than anything pertaining to “Ze flames of disaster”. 

And even though its the best written story mode, its also… kinda boring. It starts off very promising, but ends with a whimper. There’s no resolution to this plot thread. And Mephilis’s attempts to coax Shadow into helping him instead of just trying to kill him seems… silly. What would he gain from Shadow’s help in controlling time? Not to mention Robotnik’s reasons for wanting Mephilis are never explained, it just seems like a convenient excuse to move Shadow’s story along. At least the amigos here have a point to their existence rather than just being there to keep an even number of playable characters for each side.

As well, I don’t like his gameplay style either. He’s basically a weaker Sonic with a strange ariel kick barrage with iffy hit detection at best. I wish his bolts actually did damage instead of simply stunning enemies. Even so, this mode is still not as frustrating as Sonic’s, but it could be a helluva lot better.

(Next: Last Episode)