WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This article contains spoilers relating to this character and their source material.
Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu) is a fictional character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic hedgehog/Black Arm hybrid and the arch-rival of Sonic. Shadow was created by Dr. Gerald Robotnik, using the DNA of Black Doom, was the best friend to the late Maria Robotnik, and is the end result of Project Shadow.
Why He's the Ultimate Lifeform
- His entire backstory is very tragic and sympathetic, while trying to destroy humanity for the loss of his best friend Maria. But in a change of heart, he remembers that his true promise to her was to protect Earth.
- A serious loner by nature, Shadow is slightly egotistical and self-absorbed due to his "Ultimate Lifeform" status, yet calm and heroic by the most part.
- His personality, abilities, and outlook on life make him the perfect arch-rival for Sonic, one that like Knuckles, isn't a robust roboticist.
- Speaking of Sonic, he has a great amount of respect for the blue blur, even going as far as telling him that he might be the true Ultimate Lifeform.
- Regardless of his motivations, he has helped Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies save the world multiple times. Not only that, but he even saved Sonic a few times.
- In Sonic 06 When Silver was about to finish Sonic off, He saved the latter's life and even helped the former to discover Iblis' origin.
- He also saved Sonic several times in Sonic Prime:
- In the finale of Season 2 "Ghost of a Chance" He Picks Sonic Up To Save him From Being Destroyed by Missiles
- In the premiere of season 3 "Grim Tidings", he throws Sonic out of the Grim so Nine can't capture him.
- In episode 5 in "Home Sick Home", he saved Sonic from being attacked by clones of Chaos Sonic while they were in a big crack.
- And in the series finale 'From the Top" bringing Sonic back home to their real reality before Sonic could get shattered when sacrificing his prism energy to bring back their world.
- Out of all the other Sonic characters, he has a best unique design.
- Like Sonic, he has little to no trouble forgiving others, as he started working with G.U.N. (infamous for raiding his home on the ARK and killing Maria).
- Shadow has lots of amazing music in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog (game), like "Throw It All Away", "I Am...All of Me", "All Hail Shadow" and "Never Turn Back".
- He has so much popularity that it sometimes overshadows (no pun intended) other characters.
- He has some memorable quotes (for better or worse), such as "It all starts with this. A jewel containing the ultimate power." Don't talk to me about fair! Not after what happened here!""Where's that damn FOURTH Chaos Emerald?!" and "Home doesn't exist anymore, BECAUSE OF YOU!" "I am the Ultimate Lifeform, I go Whenever I Want"
- His aforementioned (and heartwarming) friendship with Maria and Professor Gerald.
- While a loner, Shadow still has people he loves and cares for, mainly his teammates Rouge the Bat and E-123 "Omega" and has good chemistry with them.
- Starting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he became an assist trophy in the Super Smash Bros game series along with Knuckles.
- His gameplay can be fun to play as:
- He Works Pretty Good in "Sonic Adventure 2" Not to mention his second boss fight (as well of fighting Sonic) is good and is an improvement over the previous One.
- He works decently in "Sonic Heroes"
- His gameplay as a playable character in the fam-made remaster in Sonic P-06 is much better than the original and more fun to play as (before that the glider is a pretty good vehicle to use there).
- His boss fight in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations is fun, despite being short.
- His Sonic 06 outing is unanimously agreed to be his best one yet, despite his poor gameplay
- In the steam game The Murder of Sonic the Hedgeho, He tried to get Amy some tickets for a band for her birthday, which he does in the seventh Sonic Twitter takeover.
- David Humphery (Sonic Adventure 2 - Sonic Battle), Jason Griffith (who also voiced Sonic and Jet in Sonic X - 2009), Kirk Thornton (Sonic Forces - Present), Ian Hanlin (Sonic Prime), And Giovanni Salazar (Project Shadow) Do Very Good Jobs Voicing Him.
- Jason Griffith even reprised his role in the sixth episode of Sonic and Tails R.
- His cameo and foreshadowed appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2's post-credit scene that foreshadows his appearance for the third movie drove countless fans nuts And He's Going to play a Major Role in the Third Movie Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- His self-titled game can be enjoyable; especially for those who wanted Shadow to star his own game and want to play as him
- He even got his own fan film called Project Shadow, which was very good.
- Some of his gameplay is pretty bad:
- His self-titled game wasn't well-received, even though it sold very well.
- His first boss fight (Along with Fighting Sonic) In "Sonic Adventure 2" Is a hit or miss.
- Despite having his best character in "Sonic 06", he is terrible to play as a playable character, and a boss to fight in "Sonic 06". Thankfully, it greatly improves in the fan made remaster "Sonic P06"
- He was a lame race in the 3DS version of "Sonic Generations".
- His DLC prequel for Sonic Forces, "Episode Shadow" was poorly received due to its short length and being rushed.
- Sometimes, he can show very little personality (outside of folding his arms while looking silently at the camera with a frown).
- In recent years, he has been portrayed as a one-dimensional edge-lord who can be excessively edgy to be likable, but not as bad as his Sonic Boom counterpart.
- Kirk Thornton (Sonic Free Riders and Sonic Boom) Did a Rather Bland and Generic Voice for Shadow. Thankfully, He later improved In Sonic Forces.
- Idiot Move: After sealing Mephiles in the Scepter of Darkness, he just Leaves it behind instead of taking it to the present with him. Thus missing the opportunity to prevent it from breaking and releasing Mephiles.
- He's not handled too well in the television series:
- He is excessively violent, and very unlikable in Sonic X at times to the point where Cosmo scared him. In episode 38, he brutally attacked Chris when he tried to confront him, twice (though the second instance was cut in the English dub). He was at his worst in episode 73, where he not only attacked Chris, Sonic and Tails, but tried to kill Cosmo for being a spy for the Metarex, despite her clearly being on the Sonic crew's side of the conflict. He refuses to tell preferring to beat around the bush. Fortunately, he redeemed himself by saving both of them from Black Narcissus' clutches, as well as leaving them unscathed.
- His Sonic Boom counterpart was badly flanderized.
- In Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, he infamously took a bag of popcorn from a Chao, wich is pretty mean spirited.
- He doesn't have that much screen time in Sonic Prime and depending on your view, he could be considered somewhat unlikable in the season 2 premiere "Avoid the Void", for stealing Sonic's tech. To be fair, Sonic did cause the problem and created the Shatterverse so it is justifiable and he redeems himself in episode 8 and in Season 3 .
- The look and feel of his character was based on movies like Underworld, Constantine and the Terminator films.
- Although Shadow is one of the series' most popular characters and was named one of the greatest video game characters by Guinness World Records in 2011, he has proven divisive among video game journalists.
- Ian Hanlin, who voiced Shadow in Sonic Prime, also voiced Big the Cat and his Shatter-verse counterparts in the same series.