Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Dark Sonic, Jan 22, 2018.
Can we please not have a million pages about Shadow again?
As soon as Shadow stops being written ridiculously.
My dude it's like 5 posts in a thread that rarely sees much activity anyway. You can't expect us to just not talk about the comic in the comic thread.
We just got an issue where people liked him.
We have like five different writers for this book; you're gonna have to understand that not everyone writes the exact same way.
This issue about Shadow has come up in other threads.
They don't have to write the exact same way to avoid writing a character badly.
Well, if they could just write him better people wouldn't complain so much.
The standard that Sonic fans use for writing these characters basically boils down to "write them like X" which is essentially useless information.
"Write them exactly like the game that game 17 years ago that many probably never played."
You guys don't have to nitpick every single line of dialogue that doesn't fit in perfectly with how you want these characters to be written.
Actually, our argument boils down to "don't write him like discount Namek-era Vegeta".
"Please stop writing Shadow like a character from a manga released over 33 years ago."
And we're not nitpicking every single line, we're rejecting their attempt to once more make Shadow discount Namek Vegeta, which has been an issue for years now.
You're the one bringing up twenty year old games, I couldn't care less how he was written then, I just know that I dislike how he's been written right now. Shadow is, in my opinion, an unlikable prick, and a total failure. I don't want Shadow to be exactly like he was twenty years ago, I just want him to be less of a jerk and not make a fool of himself so often.
The issue with shadow seems to be more on Sega than the writers themselves. From the sound of things the notes they get back after trying to write him any differently from his current depictions limit him to being Kirkland Signature Vegeta most of the time. His wording can probably be better sometimes like in the issue we’re discussing, but I don’t think there’s much else that’s allowed to be changed.
This is also a useless critique. Has anyone from Sega, outright came and out said 'Yes, we want him to act like Vegeta"? No, its the fandom taking a few lines of dialogue and extrapolating it to mean something else.
Its one line of dialogue. Literally a single line.
If you consider him saying one line of bad dialogue instantly turns Shadow into an "unlikable jerk who always fails" I really don't know what to tell you. Like literally the next page is him easily defeating the Babylon Rogues easily.
Look, I'm not going to pretend like I've loved every interpretation of how these characters have been written and I don't have any problems, but I feel like I at least look at the whole picture and judge things in their given context as opposed to most people who just take a single line of dialogue, remove any context from it, and extrapolate it to mean something else entirely.
I think y'all can find a good medium between "I think this could have been written differently" and "THIS LINE OF DIALOGUE IS COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER AND HAS RUINED THIS CHARACTER". I'm just so tired of any time Shadow does anything that people don't like that everyone is suddenly screeching "OUT OF CHARACTER". Its beyond exhausting.
If it was one line, I might not care so much, but it's also part of a string of similarly bad lines, that's why it ruffles my feathers.
On the failure thing. Almost every time he shows up he manages to fail at something or do something stupid.
He tries to kill amnesiac Eggman, even though the justification he had for killing him would also justify killing himself.
He accidentally helps Neo-Metal transform into Metal Overlord
He doesn't take Sonic's advice and gets himself turned into a Zombot
When he comes back from being a Zombot he fails to stop Eggman from fleeing Angel Island
He leaves a whole chateau full of people to die in an avalanche (They survived, not that he knew they would)
The only time Shadow has shown up and not done something stupid or completely failed at achieving his goal was Eggperial City. He did blow himself up accidentally, but that was because he was unaware of how unstable the fake chaos emeralds were, not because of any poor judgement on his part, and that didn't stop him from defeating Eggman's tower walker thing.
From what I've heard it's kind of a mix of both the writers and SEGA not REEEALLY understanding what makes the character appealing to the character's fans. For instance, Shadow's Metal Virus stuff where he gets cocky and goes all "Cowards run, I win" and then dies, SEGA didn't make him do that, that was going to happen both based on how Flynn wanted to make things happen and the things SEGA said are part of his character, SEGA just changed like one thing of how it was gonna happen (removing Shadow doing his finishing move that should kick ALL ass but dying anyways).
Making matters worse is that his best (canon) stories happened almost / over a decade ago, and not a single one has managed to end with the experience redefining him, with him saying it doesn't matter or forgetting it ever happened, so there's nothing you can really argue against what SEGA wants for him. And they want a surface level easily marketable evil twin and for him to do surface level easily marketable evil twin things like say he works alone and is so powerful because he has no friends.THOSE are the parameters that have defined every Shadow appearance since Sonic Boom reintroduced him, INCLUDING his appearances after Worlds Collide in Archie (I think the single thing that prevented those paramaters from being such an issue is that they could work around certain things by making sure he has a new history in this world that doesn't contradict them and justifies most of the traits, when Game Shadow has nothing and there's been no attempt to give him anything.)
TL:DR Fuck the Vegeta comparisons, in Mega Man terms, they want Shadow to be Bass instead of Proto Man.
Shadow is allowed to be grumpy and petty and competitive without being labeled an unlikable prick or a dismissive jerk or "Namek era Vegeta" (wow, someone doesn't remember what Vegeta was like in that arc). He's allowed to be arrogant, because like it or not, believing himself to be the ultimate lifeform is part of his character. You can argue that SA2's ending means it shouldn't be, but SA2's ending also means he shouldn't be alive at all.
The point where Shadow's characterization was ruined was in the fact that he was reintroduced to the series at all, and Shadow/06's characterization for him is so clearly confused that it makes sense that they would retreat to a set of easily-repeatable and understandable traits. I would even argue that forming a personality outside of the way he was in his first few appearances makes sense for an ongoing story. It's not any more a betrayal of the character than having Sonic...I dunno, speak full sentences all the time a decade after the games established themselves as dialogue-free.
That doesn't mean his lines can't be bad, that they can't take his personality too far, or that nobody's allowed to complain about anything, but we've breached into a place of very rigid definitions of what does and doesn't constitute proper characterization that I think are gesturing towards a kind of inflexible writing I don't think would be healthy for the series or the fandom.
I think the problem is that there hasn't exactly been a defining characterization moment for Shadow after SA2. They didn't do anything with him in Heroes, they tried to build his backstory and give him an arc with StH but lol, then 06 threw everything out of the window and now Shadow's stuck in this Schrodinger's backstory situation where his backstory is still canon but it's never really brought up either, at least in the context of his character, probably because it's too much baggage to deal with. He's too popular to throw out, but the devs haven't really done any stories with him either after StH (besides the Forces DLC, but again, lol), and I imagine that's the problem - it's hard to characterize someone who hasn't really had anything happen to him after his one character arc.
Like @Shaddy the guy said, this is such a rigid and limiting way of viewing writing and characterization. You're essentially saying that Shadow had to be written in a specific and defined way, otherwise its "out of character" which is incredibly limiting and suffocating for any writer to have to deal with, but if these writers don't do that, then they get their heads chewed off for not writing exactly those old games.
Like it or not, Shadow is a dick at times and does think he's better than others. This has been has an established trait of his since his debut. You can make an argument that maybe he shouldn't be that way after the events of his character arc, and probably be a bit more open and less hostile, but characters shouldn't just lose their defining traits just because they "developed" otherwise you get current Amy, who's kind of bland now.
... Then again, given how much people say current Amy is "an improvement" I guess the default for every character now is to be as bland and cookie cutter as possible to keep likable and marketable. So Shadow being a jerk just rubs people the wrong way.
I don't like that personally, but it is what it is I guess.
reminder shadow's concept art literally calls out he should be like vegeta
if you want to specifically frame things in having this "new shadow" you don't like being like vegeta and that being bad because it's a change and now how he was
well, it literally IS how he was and was intended to be from conception
You can take inspiration, or you can copy wholesale.
But at this point, it's clear some people just want the series to be furry Dragon Ball flat out.
I think in the end it’s mostly that’s he’s a one trick pony now. You always had Shadow’s “I’m the coolest” moments, but even in Shadow the Hedgehog when he was at maximum Vegeta levels you got to see some other sides of him. Nowadays you mostly just see him being a dick and fighting strong opponents to prove himself.
I personally think some writers handle SEGA’s direction better than others but it’s largely up to the dialogue itself. I think “modern Shadow” was handled best in his Sonic Channel story and Prime, though the former is by the guy in charge of the series’ story so he can generally write how he wants, and in the latter’s case I’m not sure how hands-on SEGA was with the scripts.
I have a (mostly baseless) hunch that Shadow’s newer depictions are more in line with what Iizuka had in mind for the character when he created him. The games Iizuka wrote feature a version of Shadow closer to what we see nowadays than Maekawa’s stories. And while the latter fleshed him out as a character, ultimately he’s Iizuka’s baby, and Iizuka’s been in charge of the franchise since 2009.
We'd not even be having this discussion if they'd not ruined the character by not leaving him dead at the end of SA2
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