don't click here

Fearless Year of Shadow Campaign

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Kilo, Apr 9, 2024.

  1. shilz

    shilz

    Member
    1,014
    264
    63
    getting my daily allowance of vitamin kk
    It's funny to think that Shadow is actually sandwiched between and launched alongside a few of the most unserious Sonic games ever made, alongside not being all that serious in tone throughout actual playtime, and you would have people at the time being annoyed that no, their specific needs have to be met 4/4 times instead of 3/4 times.

    I guess time hasn't changed anything.
     
  2. BenoitRen

    BenoitRen

    Tech Member
    465
    204
    43
    Shadow the Hedgehog was released 6/7 years after Sonic Adventure. You'd think they would have been used to it by then. Furthermore, the previous game, Sonic Heroes, was rather light on storytelling.
     
  3. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Professional Internet asshole Member
    2,151
    1,162
    93
    OR
    The problem with Shadow was that it did a poor job at telling a story that already wasn't very good. It was tone-deaf, incomprehensibly structured, repeated and retconned itself multiple times (with a series of events that can't actually be experienced in the order they need to have happened for the final story to play out), all capped off with an ending that invalidated any idea that the player's choices mattered.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • List
  4. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    Yeah, I think the game is awful. I do actually like Shadow in SA2 though, despite how obviously flawed that game is.

    I think in general I've just got to a point now where I'm just honest with myself. SA2 was very different in style and tone from the originals. It is very corny and silly. But I also like it so....

    In reality a lot of the games I love are really dumb when you actually think about them. I love FF7 and the Persoha games and they are also unbelievably dumb in many ways. And it isn't like Classic Sonic isn't dumb either. Just dumb in a different way.

    A lot of us Classic fans like the Adventure aesthetics and it has always been that way really.
     
  5. Vertette

    Vertette

    Member
    309
    175
    43
    At the end of the day it really is all about execution. Shadow the Hedgehog really isn't that much dumber than Sonic Adventure 2 is, the writing and presentation are simply better in the latter. In theory a lot of Shadow's silly ideas could've worked as long as the gameplay and writing weren't so buttcrack. I think that's why people are receptive to bringing Shadow's guns and bike back (as well as the thing I brought up before).
     
  6. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

    Oldbie
    1,300
    1,244
    93
    Again, Shadow the 'character' is so popular that people love him even when he does have mediorce content. And that is almost exclusively because of SA2.

    Shadow has probably had more onscreen 'bad' moments than good ones, but the good ones alone generate a huge fandom, and the character is popular because of his design and meme culture. Everything about the 05 game was bad, save maybe the soundtrack and the absurd stupidity of it all, but because Sonic didn't die off, we can all look back now and laugh at the game's silliness. Ironically, his story was probably the one good part of 06, even if his gameplay, once again, was not.

    Then you have fan projects like P06 getting hugely popular and doing a lot of work to fix his gameplay.

    It's more SEGA realizing that they've been stupid for ignoring the insanely high demand and fandom the character has and finally deciding to lean into it. Unfortunately, the character's appeal now relies so heavily on memes that it's impossible to know whether or not he can even have a good quality story again. His arc truly was complete at the end of SA2.
     
  7. Vertette

    Vertette

    Member
    309
    175
    43
    There's plenty you could still do with Shadow's character after his arc in SA2 was done, but Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog didn't live up to the potential with the former being intentionally light on story and the latter being Shadow the Hedgehog. His story in 06 was genuinely the best part of the game, yeah, but he's gotten sidelined since so for the longest time it was hard to say what Sega was even trying to do with the character since then. At least the Vegeta-wannabe phase should be over now, I hope.
     
  8. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG

    Oldbie
    1,300
    1,244
    93
    I mean, I'm honestly not sure what to do with him now that doesn't retread the Maria tragedy that makes him popular. Hell, even Sonic X did that in the 3rd season (japanese version, anyway), and it does make for a decent episode...

    I'm not saying the character shouldn't get more content. His 06 story was the game's one genuinely good storyline, but that too is kind of a one time thing that's hard to replicate.

    Granted, I haven't sat down and fully watched Prime yet, and he's got a place there as just Sonic's foil/modern era rival... but it's hard to know where to develop him as a character. I guess in the end he just becomes an ally like most Dragon Ball Characters do for Goku and co after they get beaten/redeemed.... which is fine.

    The point I'm getting at is that I can't entirely blame Sonic Team for knowing what else to do with him. Even after liking the character for 20+ years, I'm not quite sure what to do with a new storyline focused on him either.
     
  9. synchronizer

    synchronizer

    Member
    2,196
    93
    28
    I think given Shadow’s backstory as Maria’s protector of sorts, he really is best staying as a kind of protector/selfless knight kind of character.
     
  10. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Why can't it be like with Sonic? Just adventuring on his own.
     
  11. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Professional Internet asshole Member
    2,151
    1,162
    93
    OR
    SEGA clearly didn't know where the hell to take Shadow after SA2, and honestly the amnesia feels like treading water more than it does a character arc. It's not like character moments across Shadow the game really build him, because every conclusion he comes to is non-canon except the true ending!

    So having him say "fuck it" and leave behind his motivations from SA2 and join GUN makes sense, right? Well, other than being a big stretch since GUN are responsible for ruining his life (I would accept if we got clarification that his understanding with Commander is to reform it and make sure nothing like SA2 ever happens again, but that scene does not exist), it makes sense on paper. He can be the darker, edgier character who does missions for the military and has access to weapons and gets his hands dirtier than Sonic.

    Except...that doesn't really happen. In every other game except 06 Shadow is just here because he's here. GUN is proactive to the point of constantly fucking up before now, but after Shadow the game, they're shockingly reactive, only sending him on a rocking one mission across the entire series, and even that was destroyed by space-time rewind.

    People like his dynamic with Mephiles, and how his 06 story fits into the character's themes as a whole, but everything since then has been a black hole with regards to his motivation. Like, what did anything in Forces actually tell us about Shadow? I'm not even sure if GUN are the ones issuing the "missions" they're supposedly going on (we don't know when they were dismantled during Eggman's war), but his cruelty to Infinite is part of what creates the biggest threat in the game, only for him to be utterly replaceable in the main story. It's not even really treated as a mistake he needs to grow from, nor does Infinite even seem to care about him in the game proper.

    I know people don't like the arrogance of 2010s Shadow, but I've said multiple times that I do understand the choice. It'd actually be kind of a poignant idea that Shadow would quickly get bored of life on Earth, and instead resort to constantly challenging himself in ways that happen to put him at odds with other characters fairly often. It's all in the execution. I have no idea what Shadow Generations is going to do with him, but I do agree that he shouldn't be moving backwards in his motivation.

    If I had to decide it for myself, I'd have him dedicate himself to investigating and finding similar cases to his own, other living weapons or people harmed by systems outside their control. The best moments Flynn gave him in Archie were when he was made to relate to Metal Sonic, Eclipse and the like. I think that would be a cool thing to see in the main series, you'd just have to contrive a lot of different things for him to hunt down.

    Or, y'know, have him go full ACAB and tear down what's left of GUN himself.
     
  12. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

    Little Dolly Member
    I've been told that the Japanese script of Shadow's game is a whole lot better with (at minimum) its characterization of Shadow himself, to the point where the English script comes off as parody. (Not including the inherent inconsistencies that come with switching moral paths mid-playthrough. They really should have planned around that better.)
    To make sure I checked the Japanese script a tad, and from my admittedly brief viewings there's two things of note.
    1. The "This is like taking candy from a baby, which is fine by me." line is entirely absent. No clue how that got into the English script other than the localizers thinking it sounded cool.
    2. Could very well be wrong here, but I think all the swears are absent, too.
     
  13. Antheraea

    Antheraea

    Bug Hunter Member
    also literally Sonic 06 came out the year after. any issues Shadow the Hedgehog The Game had, including whether it was cringe, were completely and entirely eclipsed by literally everything anyone could bring up about Sonic 06, including that somehow Shadow's gameplay was worse in that game.

    basically, people thought things were bad, and then somehow things got far, far worse in a way that the "bad" seemed just silly in comparison
     
  14. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    2,378
    977
    93
    That's what Sonic Battle and the Sonic Channel wallpaper cover stories did. They showed that Shadow is fighting to protect the world while pretending not to care about anyone, and displaying some self-loathing for being created as a weapon.

    As said above, Sonic Battle gave Shadow a character arc where he showed self-loathing for his origins, and implied that his aloofness is an act he puts to push other away, likely as a result of previously losing the one person he cared about. That's something other games could have continued this, but didn't.

    Sonic Battle suggested that toward the end of his story in that game, Shadow was starting to come with terms with himself, and starting to accept people like Rouge as friends. But that character arc was ignored by later games, presumably because it came from an obscure handheld spin-off that most people didn't play. Or because it was an odds with the console games' "Shadow suffers amnesia" plotline, meaning that Battle can only take place after Shadow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
  15. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

    Little Dolly Member
    I think you may have misinterpreted that Sonic Channel story.
     
  16. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    2,378
    977
    93
    The self-loathing aspect was only in Battle, but aloof facade was in both.
     
  17. CharlaChale

    CharlaChale

    Little Dolly Member
    As for Battle, I wasn't really referring to it, as I don't know much about that game's story. (I should really check it out sometime)
    But with the story, I wouldn't say it's a facade.
    upload_2024-4-14_20-5-50.png
    Sonic asks him why he did that, Shadow explains, and tells Sonic not to think anything wrong about him.
    He isn't the type to lie about intent, I feel.
     
  18. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Member
    2,378
    977
    93
    You'll notice that Shadow made a brief pause before giving his retort to Sonic, and that Sonic was still grinning after hearing it.

    The implication here, to me, is that Shadow just made up an excuse for his actions on the spot to hide his true intentions, and Sonic (who is canonically supposed to be a pretty sharp and intuitive guy) saw through it. Hence why Sonic showed little reaction to it, keeping his mocking grin and proceeding to humor him.

    That's consistent with their dynamic in Sonic Battle, where it's made clear that Shadow merely pretends not to care about anything or anyone, with Sonic seeing through his facade.
    Shadow claims that he and Emerl are weapons without compassion or conscience, and must be destroyed if the world is to have peace. Sonic counters that he wouldn't have saved the world if he didn't have a conscience. Shadow demands to be handed Emerl so that he could destroy him, leading to Sonic calling his bluff:

    Sonic: Shadow... All right, all right! Just take Emerl, already! If you're not going to listen to me, then do whatever you want!
    Shadow: ...Yeah. Then you don't care if I exterminate Emerl?
    Sonic: I'd like to see you try!
    Shadow: You don't think I could?
    Sonic: You have a heart. Emerl has a heart. I don't think either of you has it in you to kill! Maybe you guys should just play games together or something?
    Shadow: ...

    After a few more exchanges, Shadow takes Emerl with him to learn more about this one (as opposed to, you know, just destroying him like he claimed he was going to), prompting Sonic to remark "Ha ha ha! Some ultimate weapon you are!"

    Later on, Rouge spells out that both Shadow and Emerl "were created as a weapon, yet feel sympathy for living beings." She then reveals that there is a way of disabling Emerl's weapon functionality so that he can live in peace without endangering others, but it requires Shadow to give up a Chaos Emerald he was holding, which he holds dear because it's a memento of Maria (or something along these lines, forgot the details). Shadow decides to do so in order to help Emerl, arguing that he no longer needs the emerald as he "has Maria in his heart".


    At the end of Shadow's story, Sonic outright calls Shadow's facade.

    Sonic: Hey! Shadow! Maybe you should try learning a thing or two from Emerl and be more honest with yourself! ...Heh! Not that I'd expect anything different out of you, though!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
  19. Solid SOAP

    Solid SOAP

    Nut Lord Member
    1,688
    90
    28
    All these posts are doing are making me realize I have a deep nostalgia for Sonic Battle, one that will not be satiated by SEGA because you know they're never going to release a compilation of the GBA games despite them holding up pretty well today!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  20. Chimpo

    Chimpo

    I Gotta Be Me Member
    8,693
    1,562
    93
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    I'm wishing for them to show up on Nintendo Switch Online so I can use the shitty online multiplayer function.