Shadow appearances in the rest of the Sonic games
I have already described to detail Shadow's appearances in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006.
Now let's focus on Sonic games that I initially didn't find any important. But it is possible that people who might have encountered Shadow in those games only know him from those games. And if Shadow did something really out of character there, it would completely alter his image in the minds of the masses.
Some people are actually of the "opinion" that Shadow was the sole and sometimes even the only element in Sonic series that completely destroyed the whole series, turning it into something that it was "not supposed to be." They had the feeling that Shadow was the tool of fanatic Sonic fans to manipulate with the content of Sonic games. They still think that Shadow and his fans forced the developers to make Sonic games into abhorrent atrocities which in turn completely destroyed the series and doomed the value of Sonic franchise as a whole.
Let's see how this idea holds up to the scrutiny and careful observations of the official Sonic material.
This is a link to my Shadow the Character research, that already explains the behavior of Shadow the hedgehog in the real official material and separates his factual portrayal from myths and fantasies of those who either love Shadow or hate him:
Shadow the Character - part 1I am copying my elaboration back to the journal.
I thought that I needed to move it to the gallery, as it is my work rather than few words I came up off the top of my head. It was a elaborative work with research.
However, Devaintart (despite they shouldn't really care) decided that it was not good enough and they decided that it was merely an opinion or a fanfiction. I don't know what is worse.
So I decided that I put it back to journal, as journal doesn't have a category.
Thanks to :iconrogerregorroger: I found this:
But few references to opinions of the people who realize how bad direction is SEGA taking with Sonic are still troubling me. Especially when they talk about Shadow. Even if Roger is talking about Shadow. When I disagree with him, he changes to his derp mode and says: "replace everything I say about Shadow with - he is awesome, flawless..." just
One important thing that needs to be noted about those smaller or spin-off games: Not only Shadow's story, but stories in Sonic universe in general are pretty much completely disconnected and full of plotholes. Those stories are holding some kind of imaginary continuity, but they are failing on delivering a believable consistent universe. The games I already discussed in the linked article were games from one major plotline and they had minimum of plotholes. Some people might say that there are many plotholes in SA2 and ShtH... I will address it one day explaining all the "plotholes" and clarifying that it's not really at all so complicated. But because the following games are bringing real big plotholes, I may treat Shadow's character and the game stories as two separate entities.
I will also mention the overall story of the entire game and other characters, even though those might not be directly associated with Shadow. It is because in most of those games, Shadow is not really the character around which the plot revolves in those games. But to bring some context, I will still mention the story if I think it is important to know. Also, I will mention portrayal of the other characters so you can make comparisons between the presumably "awful" Shadow's character and the presumably "OK" other Sonic characters.
I expected this game to shatter Shadow's character big time. But I was kind of pleasantly surprised. He was pretty much in character. Few lines in that game actually confirmed all my theories I made about Shadow even prior to seeing those cutscenes. What will the haters say now? All of the people who thought that Shadow was just an empty shell made for pubertal emo tweens said most of the time that Shadow is completely shallow character unlike other characters in the series. But my theories about his character came true. I was able to discover that based on my observations of his character and on the subtle nuances in his behavior and his reasoning. Even though those features of his personality were not really obvious or even part of the mainstream notion what Shadow was supposed to be.
What am I talking about?
Shadow above all else only values his duties. And even now, when he has no official duties, his self imposed duties are very noble. He wishes to protect the world from all the evil that could harm it. But there is the kicker and the most touching part about it: He wants to protect the world from himself. It is stated here in this game that he fears his own power. It is stated here that he never abused his power for evil or even selfish purposes. He always only acted in a way he believed was right. And he was not self obsessed about his power. He thought of his power as a curse that will haunt him and will one day be his undoing. He needs to be prevented from being happy, because his power could otherwise cause something really bad to the world.
That is actually something I could read from Shiro Maekawa's writing alone. I knew this would be how Shadow would act. And Sonic Battle confirmed that. Maybe it is because that game came before the other Shiro Maekawa's games. But that would only mean that he chose to use the more sympathetic personality for Shadow, as opposed to the twisted views people had about Shadow on the Internet.
But... There are some things that bother me greatly. One of those things is that Shadow is a bit more aggressive than his appearances in Shiro Maekawa's stories. He just went to fight people and kill Emerl without trying to think about it. At least in the beginning of the story. But thankfully after that, he was more willing to get to know Emerl and he tried to empathize with him concerning the burden they bore.
Story of Sonic Battle
Where is this story situated on the timeline? I don't really know. This game came before Shadow the Hedgehog and even before Sonic Heroes. But chronologically, the story must be after Sonic Heroes (because Shadow was revived in Sonic Heroes). I however don't know if this game story happens before Shadow the Hedgehog the game or after it. I think that there comes the core of the problem for Shadow haters. Shadow kept searching for his past in three subsequent games - Sonic Heroes, Sonic Battle and Shadow the Hedgehog. In Sonic Heroes and Sonic Battle, he actually didn't find the answers he was looking for. At least not to complete satisfaction.
I heard people saying that Sonic Battle happened after Shadow the Hedgehog. But that breaks the discovery I made before - Shadow throwing his past behind him and not calling himself The Ultimate Lifeform again. He didn't actually say in the end of Shadow the Hedgehog that he will no longer call himself like that... but I thought it was implied when he said: "Goodbye, Shadow the Hedgehog." He had to imply that he is gonna determine his own destiny now. And being The Ultimate Lifeform was actually part of his past he wanted to leave behind. The Ultimate Lifeform was only a label that was imprinted on him by his creators. Something that is supposed to be meaningless to him now. But Shadow still refers to himself as the Ultimate Lifeform multiple times during the events of Sonic Battle. And what's more - he expressed that he doesn't know why he was made. He should already know if this is after ShtH. And it should not concern him anymore for the same reason.
If this story is in fact before ShtH, it's baffling that Shadow in ShtH has even greater memory loss than in Sonic Battle. He again forgot about the professor, he forgot about Maria, and he suddenly gained even stronger drive to seek for the truth. Even though he revealed something like a truth about his origin at the end of Sonic Battle. It was said that professor was forced against his will to create weapons of mass destruction to get funds for his projects that could actually bring something good for the humanity (and cure Maria). And Shadow being powerful and dangerous was unfortunate side effect of his work. That was why he "gave him a heart." Yeah, it was said in such a naive manner. Professor said in his diaries (in Sonic Battle) that he gave Shadow the heart as a safe mechanism so the terrifying power within him would not be misused by humanity. As long as weapons of destruction had a heart, the world would not get destroyed by those weapons. That was actually a nice idea for a story, even if pretty naive, almost in a MLP FiM manner. Shadow however did not accept this answer. He still believed, even after learning this, that he is not supposed to feel anything. He believed that as a weapon of mass destruction, he should not have any feelings (possibly thinking that feelings would more likely trigger the apocalypse, rather than prevent it). I don't however understand Shadow's final words in the Ending after Emerl dies. Maybe it's a mistranslation. And maybe it is a sign that he changed his attitude in the end... But I can't really say.
Maybe Shadow did turn around (in Sonic Battle). But I think that it would be smart to still have him not accepting that he is freed from his curse. Because it was not a main game. Something like this should happen in a main game. And of course, it should happen via some better motivator than hearing just few lines from Gerald's diaries. It should happen in some manner that would feel more meaningful than this rather naive and really weird story.
Also, there was some weird thing regarding professor Gerald. In SA2, it was said that he went mad after Maria died, so he manipulated with Shadow's mind to destroy the world when the time comes. Yet, in Sonic Battle, Gerald after learning about Maria's death manipulated with Emerl's mind to "bring hope to humanity." So in SA2, Maria's death was motivator for Gerald to go insane and wish destruction upon the world. And in Sonic Battle, Gerald acted like Gandi after learning about Maria's death. Isn't that drastically different?
But this could be excused. Maybe Gerald reprogrammed Emerl at first. Then GUN took Emerl away from Gerald. And Gerald was still being imprisoned and was growing more and more mad. And only after that, he came up with an idea to screw up with Shadow's mind.
This is what you get when you have almost every Sonic story written by a completely different writer.
But don't make inconsistency of this story confuse you that the entire problem is only about Shadow. All characters in this story act much more empty then their usual selves. They are in this game only for the fans. Shadow at least has an actual role in the story. But others? They are there only for gameplay. And the way they treat this story in the beginning is really weird. But it's a theme with Sonic game stories - treating the Chaos emeralds like some mundane collectible items or even general currency. Despite there are only 7 Chaos emeralds in existence and they can bring the ultimate destruction upon the world.
If you think that Shadow is a stupid character for being dull or emo or whatever else in this story... look at Sonic and Tails. They discovered that Emerl was a really powerful ancient machine and that he probably was even the very thing that wiped out entire ancient civilization out of existence. So they went like: "Wheeee, let's collect all 7 Chaos emeralds and feed them to this world destructive machine!" Yeah, it's said that all 7 Chaos emeralds "might" reset his programming. Still, doesn't that naturally feel like a risk to you? They never mentioned it as a risk. They just went on and collected those emeralds.
The story tries to make Knuckles look stupid and angry... but it manages to make Sonic look stupid instead. Knuckles first says that he saw Emerl earlier robbing jewelry stores. To which Sonic replies that Emerl just needs Chaos emeralds and that Knuckles should give his chaos emerald to them. What would you say to that? Sonic basically said: "Yeah, he is a thief, but he needs that loot. Give us your stuff!" How else would you react than punching Sonic in his face? And when Knuckles in the end asks who is that thing, Sonic just shrugs it off saying: "Beats me!" What kind of writing is that? Sonic wants to steal from Knuckles and beat him for reasons he barely understands? Completely ignoring the obvious risks? Is that a good writing? Is that caused by Shadow existing?
And I won't even delve too much deep into the stupid reasons characters have to fight each other. Amy for example is fighting Emerl because she wants to loose weight so she can marry Sonic and adopt Emerl as their baby... Yeah. Really. I could not make this up if I tried.
Conclusion for Sonic Battle
After learning the overall story of this game and the behavior of all other Sonic characters, I think it's safe to say that Shadow is not really something that makes this story bad. After all, this story could perfectly work without Shadow existing. Instead of Shadow relating to Emerl and helping him, Sonic himself could probably do it. If that happened, would that somehow fix the story as a whole and make it completely logical? Would the characters be suddenly portrayed normally and would they actually not be hollow shells? I don't think so. Shut up about Shadow being written badly! From all the characters out there, he had probably the most brilliant writing. It seems that people who would dislike him here dislike him merely because of their own biases.
But don't take me wrong. I think that story of this game is overall passable. It might even be good on some level (for a small Sonic spin-off game). It's not trying to be really huge and it is not pretending that it is a big deal... It is just little cute Sonic story that still has Sonic spirit in it. And I bet even the new character Emerl managed to become at least partially relatable despite the beginning when he was introduced in a really ridiculous way. Even though this story was full of really shallow and naive Japanese morals from fairy tales, I think that some people might have found the fate of the character Emerl engaging and sad... And that is a good thing, isn't it? Or maybe it is a good thing for Emerl but a bad thing for Shadow? Why would that be? It's because Shadow is black, isn't it?
Now we are going for some heavy stuff. This... thing... was something that was by far the most obscure Sonic story I have ever heard of. The only Sonic story that would be more obscure would be Mario and Sonic on the Olympic games. But this one, it's a real gem. In a negative kind of way.
I will conclude both Sonic Rivals games at once, only talking separately about Shadow in those games and the story overall.
Shadow is... rather passable in Sonic Rivals. Every Sonic character in this story is passable. They got their flanderized quirks, and that's their whole personality. Knuckles even has something in common with Master Emerald. The Master Emerald is by the way mentioned in Sonic Battle and plays a role in Sonic Rivals 2 as well. It was not completely forgotten, hurray! Or boo? You know, Master Emerald being mentioned doesn't really equal a story or continuity here. It only equals shameless repetition of empty concepts. If a character was doing something in the first game he appeared, let's just have him do the same thing in all other games he appears in the future.
I might have appreciated that the basic character traits were present... But those characters were all just completely empty. Sonic was just rushing forward not caring about anything. Knuckles was just trying to retrieve Master Emerald, not caring about anything. Silver was just pursuing Eggman Nega not caring about anything... And Shadow was for no reason helping Eggman, not caring about anything.
Shadow is again not the only one to be simplified here. The one thing I can't stand about him here is that he is way too cocky in this and he indeed looks down to others. Something I wrote Shadow would not do in my research about his character. But then again: In this game, everybody is doing it.
This game is actually the complete opposite of Sonic Heroes. Sonic Heroes is trying to teach us how teamwork and friendship will make us overcome all the odds. Sonic Rivals is here to teach us that friends only hinder us in our own progress and that we should get rid of them. Seriously, why did Iizuka write the story like that? Characters are literally having identical goals, yet they fight one another instead of helping each other. And it's not just Shadow. The same thing is between Sonic and Knuckles too. I hope that you don't realistically think that this was just caused by Shadow's existence alone. You don't seriously think that just because Shadow didn't die in SA2, all characters behave to each other like asses.
No, that is not the case!
It's just because those games are most likely designed in terms of: "Gameplay first, then shovel in some story later." The gameplay wants the characters to race, to fight or to defeat the boss before the other character does... so story is there to excuse this. Story in this game was not made to make you feel engrossed in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog... it was made to excuse the gameplay gimmick not fearing about the resulting absurd character interactions. And those interactions were not dealt with creatively at all.
When you look at game like Injustice, a game that is full of DC Heroes kicking their friends asses... you must think that just from the concept of the game alone the story needs to be shit. They are all allies, why would they fight one another? But despite that, the story is surprisingly good in Injustice for a fighting game. They managed to make up good excuses for the characters to fight. Sonic Rivals is not doing that. All the conflict comes from two characters wanting to achieve the same goal, but they end up fighting one another because they want to prove their rival how much better they are. It's in most cases dealt with anger and using as much misunderstanding as possible.
Story of... That Game
Ohohohoho... The story. Guess what kids, Eggman can now casually change people (and Master Emerald) to cards. Evil maniac. And what's more - he can use those cards to power his new powerful contraption. Yeah, he can even use card made from Amy Rose to power that thing. It will work just as well as card made from the Master Emerald. And yeah, the ultimate plan of his is to make a photography of the entire world to change it into a card...
And what is about the plot-twist? Eggman is actually not Eggman... he is Eggman Nega!
... OK... who cares? Those two characters are like identical in their role, in their story, in their motives, in their personality... and pretty much in looks as well. So what the heck?
Also notice how Sonic never realized that Eggman was not Eggman but Eggman Nega. Same with Sonic Rivals 2. That's how useless this story was. The titular character of the game can be oblivious to it's story and it doesn't matter. It doesn't change a thing!
Of course, I am making this research from a Shadow point of view. So... what have we learned here? That Shadow is for no particular reason helping Eggman. Yeah, Shadow would be more willing to work with doctor Eggman under certain circumstances... but not just for no reason like that! It's just all so confusing. At least, it is when you are trying to make sense of it. The story is not supposed to make sense. It's just supposed to bring you the feeling that something is happening.
Sonic Rivals 2
Shadow's character seems to be less aggressive and competitive in this game than in Sonic Rivals. But again, it's not really because his character would change - all other characters in this story are slightly more friendly towards each other. But the change is rather insignificant one. Shadow again has approximately the same character - he is focused on his mission, doesn't let anyone get in his way, can change his mission when he discovers that he was helping the villain. It's the same basic personality that he should have. It only feels hollow here because the entire story and all other characters in it feel hollow again.
The main thing what's wrong about his personality here is - there are no real reasons for him to act the way he acts. Being an ally of doctor Eggman? What's the reason? Changing allegiances? What's the reason? Even though him changing allegiances makes more sense, it is still empty compared to real stories. He is doing it here only because Iizuka saw that he was doing it in SA2. Hurray for mindless writing without understanding of the source material!
Story of Sonic Rivals 2
Yes, the story is hollow. Sonic again doesn't even know about Eggman's Nega existence. But that doesn't matter as their existence is rather meaningless anyway. Shadow wanted to help doctor Eggman, only to discover that he was the whole time helping Eggman Nega. And that's when he turned against this villain.
This story feels like a complete StH06 rip-off. We have Silver from the future trying to prevent the destruction of his time. We have time traveling villain. We have crisis city. We have Iblis, that is called Ifrit...
You know, this story is much better than story of Rivals 1, but it's most likely because of reusing the concepts from better stories that already existed in the series.
Conclusion for Sonic Rivals 1 and 2
The story of Sonic Rivals 1 and 2 is just trying to make you feel that something is happening and it is trying to give you unconscious clues about what the characters are. You are getting the basic info that Sonic is fast, reckless and does not care much for explanations. He just races through and wants to save the day. Knuckles just wants to protect the Master Emerald and doesn't allow anybody to stand in his way, and he is prone to anger. Silver is also bent on his mission to defeat Eggman Nega, and has similar dedication to his quest like Knuckles or Shadow. He is also naive, but this feeling is supported mainly by his voice. His actions are not really memorable enough. Shadow is shown to have some fondness of doctor Eggman for some reason, he is dedicated to his task... but when he sees that he was deceived by the bad guys, he doesn't hesitate to turn against them. Rouge only cares about jewels and her reward... but when she discovers that she was betrayed, she will turn against the bad guys as well. Espio is shown to have a great sense of duty. And that is pretty much it. Well, he is also shown to be cunning sometimes, even though sometimes he fails. Tails is just the naive little cute guy explaining things following Sonic. And Metal Sonic is just a robot...
So you see, the actual events happening in the Sonic Rivals games are not really important. Iizuka (hopefully) only wanted to create this feeling in the players minds to make them have the illusion that the characters are having personalities and that there is something happening in the story. I say that you should never really consider that the events in this game literally happened. Those are probably made to be just allegories, making you imagine what the Sonic universe is like and what the characters are roughly about. Even though we are being presented only flanderized versions of all characters, they still retain a basic template of what they were originally supposed to be. Like cartoon versions of real people.
The (hopefully) intended allegory doesn't feel like an allegory to some people, so they take the actions and lines of those characters seriously. It's mostly because the characters are repeating the same mantra all over again. They are pretty much solely focused on one thing only.
This is when you discover that Sonic Team is just abusing it's fans completely. Sonic Team uses some characters, but those are just cardboard placeholders. The word "character" cannot even truly be applied there. You can hardly really make people to like characters for a stupid shtick they make all the time. I have seen people making walk-throughs of Sonic games... and when those people commented on the character interactions, I learned a lot. One person said this after nearly every line Knuckles made:
"Oh Knuckles, you will never change. Always searching for the Master Emerald, always stupid..."
These are not personality traits! Searching for the Master Emerald is not a personality! Being stupid is not a personality! To explain this, I would need an entirely new article to explain just that. But I digress.
All other characters are pretty much in character. It's rather refreshing to see that a game that was outsourced and not created by Sonic Team still has the characters portrayed pretty much well. Too bad that this goes only for the Sonic characters outside of Team Dark. Yeah, the story is weird... but the characters are mostly being portrayed with dignity and some of them resemble what they are supposed to be pretty accurately.
Shadow himself however seems rather irritated for some reason. Probably the writers thought that Shadow being annoyed by Sonic is "his personality." You get to fight him. And the dialog suggests that you can fight him because he is feeling offended that the player accuses him of something. Possibly hinting that they are accusing him of working for Eggman. Yeah, weird. Especially since in Iizuka's simplified game stories, Shadow works for Eggman casually and nobody finds that out of the ordinary.
When Shadow fights you, it's for the same reasons any other Sonic game makes the Sonic characters fight - misunderstanding and/or competition.
Can this be considered as "trying hard to be cool" and "being too edgy?" Well, maybe. He only behaved like this in Sonic Rivals. In Rivals however, everyone was acting like this. In this game, it's only Shadow who acts like this. But since Shadow doesn't really have any affect on the story, it makes no difference for his haters.
Shadow in this game on the other hand feels a great loyality to Omega. He said that he would be really upset if anything happened to him. Making it look like he and Omega are best friends forever, with a bond even stronger than between Sonic and Tails. Weird that he doesn't really interact with Rouge who is in Sonic's group by the time they meet him.
Story of Sonic Chronicles
It's weird that the story starts with Sonic and friends "killing" Eggman. But then in the first minutes of the story, they mention that he is most likely not dead. This alone is telling me that this is one of those weird Sonic stories. Something that is trying to explore new concepts... only to throw them away in the trash can shortly after.
Shadow doesn't really have a huge part in that story. It's safe to say he doesn't even have a small part here. He is just an optional character.
I think it was said that this game story is officially non-canon. If it's true,... I don't know how to feel about it. On one hand, the story is weird and it would rather mess up with the main canon (even though it's already messy as it is). But on the other hand, the behavior of the characters is more in character than in the "modern" Sonic games and the story is actually well structured, as opposed to the "modern" Sonic games. Yeah, the story is not perfect and the characters have their weak moments that stem from the series being stale for such a long time. The entire Team Dark seems to be simplified. Shadow being rather aggressive, Omega being completely aggressive and Rouge commenting on how normal this behavior is. With such a weird dialog even: "If I got a nickel every time you say the stuff about 'System reboot, reactivating all protocols.' or 'Another emotionless quest for revenge, it just gets tired.'" So Rouge hears Omega being activated way too often? And how can be revenge emotionless? Rouge has way too many weird lines in this story...
Just a side-note - Tails seems to be fond of Eggman in this game. Don't get me wrong, despite Eggman does ally himself with Sonic Team, he is still being himself, not like in Boom. And Sonic's friends generally don't trust Eggman. But Tails is excited about technology and he seems to wish he could share this excitement with Eggman - as Eggman would be the only other person to appreciate it. Even though Eggman subtly hinted that he was smarter than Tails. Tails is a nice guy like that. I think that people would love this Tails over the Boom version of him any-day. They just kill it at the ending, when they make Tails boast about his superior intellect. They kill everything with the ending... But maybe the ending can be considered "non-canon", as the entire dialog in the ending is just Sonic, Tails and Omega (why those 3?) reading the credits of the game and commenting on them, breaking the 4th wall.
And other characters? Sonic is just... simple, kind and full of energy. That's OK I guess. Knuckles is extremely focused. Though at times, it's like he only repeats one sentence over and over (We need to get the Master Emerald), it's really bearable this time, because he has more things going on for him. Tails is the explaining guy and he seems to have the majority of lines in this game. This time, his intellect actually seems kind of... logical, because it's not like the knowledge just appears in his head. He is actually using clues. Shade is the Teal'c from Stargate or the Arbiter from Halo of the group. And Amy is a filler, who has a line whenever others don't. And rest of the characters are just fillers too. Big acts as if he was written by Pontaff.
Sonic Free Riders
Shadow's... ugh,... Personality...
They butchered him here. Shadow is just a thug who is here for money.
And you know what is the most ridiculous about this? Shadow and Rouge are actually the nicest characters that are in this story. Their team has actually no stupid feuds and has the least cringe-worthy lines. So I guess that if people hate Shadow, they hate him because even in his worst moments, he is still better than any other Sonic character in the story. I really don't know how are the writers able to keep doing this. It happens way too often. Only Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric has Shadow written more badly than the other characters.
Story of... ah, whatever
Doesn't even matter anymore. They just race against each other, bicker all the time and yeah... that's it. Shadow has a "random robot" on his team, that turns out to be Metal Sonic in the end.
I got nothing to say about this story. Nothing I didn't already say about the stories in Sonic Rivals. And Shadow's role is still insignificant here.
There is not much to say about Shadow in Generations. So I will speak about Sonic characters in Generations in general.
In the end of Generations, Sonic, Shadow and Silver could all turn into super. Why only Sonic and his past clone did that? They claimed they were there to help Sonic... by cheering him on. So they were not there to help Sonic to defeat the monster, there were there to help Sonic to boost his ego, because Sonic was the only one who was supposed to try and defeat that thing. I understand that it was an anniversary game fully devoted just to celebrate Sonic. For that reason, having Shadow and Silver suddenly playable near the end would not make sense. But you know what else did not make sense? The very fact that those Sonic characters actually Appeared there before this last battle. They were transported there from different places and different times via deus ex machina... just to cheer Sonic on. Why would that be even necessary? It would have made more sense if they had appeared only after Time-eater was defeated. You know, for the stereotypical "the evil witch was killed, all of her curses are dispelled" thing? That way, we could at least say - OK, Sonic's friends could not help him because they were not there. I can only wonder how and why they managed to go through all the trouble to find their way through time and space just to stand still in the background. Eggman was right when he claimed that they were insignificant.
Sonic Generations... Plot?
Sonic characters are there, bad guy makes them vanish, Sonic goes and saves them one by one by running through random irrelevant levels by performing "actions" that have nothing to do with saving the characters until the cutscene comes.
Really this kind of plot can't be normally seen in adventure platformers for children. Not if those games have more characters. If those platformers do that, they have only the main character present. The other characters either have a reason not to be there or there are no other characters in that universe.
But if you have the characters and they are already present in the story, why do you shove them to the background? I don't remember that in Ratchet games, characters like Talwyn, Sasha, Cronk, Zephyr, Big Al... would hide in background and were just cheering him. Maybe Qwark, but that's one character and if he does this, he is still actively part of the story! Ratchet characters are doing something during the events. Even if they are not present in the gameplay or in the levels. They are there and they had their moments. And many of those characters had a wide scale of personalities. Even though you have a dumbass like Qwark, you still have someone really serious and smooth mannered like Sasha. All of those characters are in the same story, they interact with one another and it makes sense!
If Shadow was part of these kind of "save poor X" plots, it wouldn't help his character, his fans, not even his haters (because haters are allergic to the mere sight of him). Noone would be glad to see this. But if we saw a story, where something is happening and other characters (like Knuckles for example) have a place to shine, Shadow can have his time too. There is no reason for him not to. Same goes for any other character.
And that's it for official Shadow's appearances in official Sonic games.
Why do people want to see different characters to begin with?
If people want to see Knuckles for example, it is only because they are his fans. There is no any other logic besides that. Because Sonic stories no longer have any continuities. They are just episodes of awesome super God Jesus Chuck Norris Sonic the Hedgehog. The game stories are never based around Sonic characters or their personalities. Not any longer. They are not based around their pasts. They are not based around the places they live. They are not even based around chaos emeralds, except for a mundane fetch quest! They are completely random and the Sonic characters are thrown into those stories and places. So, if some people think that there is a story which makes Knuckles character work, despite Knuckles has no ties to anything in the story at all, any other character can work too. The only tie Knuckles has to anything is the tie to Master Emerald. But Master Emerald is randomly tossed into Sonic stories as well. Look at Sonic Rivals 1 and 2. In neither of those games has Master Emerald any role. It's just an excuse for Knuckles being there. Only Sonic Chronicles is a bright exception to this, since it does feature a story for Knuckles and Master Emerald.
The characters just need their purpose, motivations and only after that is established, only then the writers can write their behavior.
Those people who think that Shadow would screw the plot just by being here... really? How can someone screw the plot just by being there? That won't happen if the plot is solid. In that case, the plot is the the ultimate medium which holds everything together and makes it to have sense. Once they fix the plots, Shadow is really viable. He can't screw up the plot by being serious - Knuckles is supposed to be serious. Now, every Sonic character is only Sonic's cheerleader. Is this good?
If the plot is good, Shadow can only serve it, just like every other character. Now the games look like the plot is serving to Sonic. The good plot is known for having all characters taking their place. Shadow is not so exponentially different from the other characters, contrary to what other people say about him. He can have his place in the story. But the game developers must know what are they doing. If they don't know what they are doing, it's not just reason to not include Shadow, it's a reason to not include anyone.
Conclusion Based on Official Portrayal of Shadow the Hedgehog
- Shadow's character or his presence didn't really affect the quality the games I discussed, nor he forced some kind of content that would be "not Sonic" to those games.
If you actually think that those games are not the games Shadow destroyed,... then why you complain about him being flanderized and hollow shell? If he destroyed the main games, then you are not actually complaining about him being flanderized. In the main games, his character is much more developed, since Shiro Maekawa wrote him. And in the main games, he does have more story and personality to him than all other characters. So if you complain about flanderization and Shadow, you actually complain that Shadow was not flanderized enough. You probably like him in these "no stories" games like Sonic Rivals 1/2 and Sonic Free Riders. In the games I discussed in this article, Shadow has some personality quirks... but everyone else has some weird quirks as well. And those are so much worse in cases of other characters.
- Shadow's character didn't affect the the tone of the stories I discussed here at all. Without him, the stories and the other characters would still act the exactly same way.
- The games where Shadow was written awfully were the exact same games where other characters were written equally awful... or even more awfully than Shadow.
- The only game where Shadow was acting kind of annoyingly and others were OK was Sonic Chronicles. Shadow didn't however affect the outcome of the story, it's direction, tone or any events in it.
- Sonic Battle was hardly damaged by Shadow. You could only claim that this game caused plotholes. But seriously, Shadow has plothoples because he actually has story. Every Sonic character in existence has either plotholes or no story. What is Team Chaotix for example? Are they bunch of detectives or are they protectors of Master Emerald along with knuckles? Who is Knuckles? Is he guardian of Master Emerald that was doomed to stay on his island whole his life... or is he a famous treasure hunter that has extensive knowledge about pretty much all ancient civilizations, no matter how far away from Angel Island?
Shadow in the context of Sonic Chronicles is the closest to this bad boy persona people think he is having or he is supposed to have. The type of persona some people hate with passion, yet they somehow wish to see it even where it is not.
Even if he was really supposed to be like that I fail to understand why would this archetype of character be able to "destroy the franchise." Is it somehow prohibited from "good" fictions to have a character like this? We have much worse character archetypes in Sonic series already. But those other archetypes don't get the hate if they are from the first main characters - Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Eggman.
You know... one day, I would like if people actually started stating their real reasons why they dislike Shadow. If they were doing that, there could at least be a fair dialog.
But since there is not and the misconceptions about his character rule, we end up with shit like this:
SB RoL Butchers ShadowSonic Bombed Rise of Lyric - Special Part
Now, I will talk long about something really specific that takes for only few seconds of the game. But it needs to be said.
Sonic Boom - Friendship is Stupid
So... Shadow appeared. After the first scene with him just... watching from distance. Now I want him to be introduced.
And he is not.
Seriously, we are SUPPOSED TO KNOW HIM. If we do not, this just has no impact. Sonic just knows Shadow. Tails just knows Shadow. We don't know Shadow. I don't know Shadow in this game! New audience my ass.
New audience... if you really think you can introduce to a new audience in a way that the characters you now spent few hours with miraculously know him... and they obviously have some history with each other... Will you not at least hint that history to us? I was about to give them positive points for making Shadow's introduction mysterious. But this is fu***** stupid! It's no longer mysterious! It's like if you misse