|Shadow the Hedgehog|
|Developer: Sonic Team, Sega Studios USA|
|System(s): GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) is a video game starring Shadow the Hedgehog, an antihero of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was revealed at Sonic's inauguration into the Walk of Game. Shadow the Hedgehog was the first Sonic game to have an E10+ rating by the ESRB. It is also the first post-Sonic Adventure Sonic series game to not feature Sonic's name in the title.
The game is the first and only in the series to feature branching level progression based on the choices of the player, allowing for up to a total of over 300 different ways to complete any given playthrough, which culminate into one of ten different endings. As in most Sonic titles, the Chaos Emeralds play a big part in this game, as Shadow must collect them in order to unlock the secrets of his forgotten past.
The attempt at an overall darker storyline, as well as Shadow's use of weapons and vehicles, has been criticized by fans. This has resulted in the game being considered one of the worst in the franchise.
Over 50 years ago, deep in a Military Research Space Station, Prof. Gerald Robotnik forged an experiment known as "Project Shadow" while trying to unlock the secrets of the Chaos Emeralds at the request of the United Federation Government. The experiment culminated in "The Ultimate Life-Form"; Shadow the Hedgehog, a hedgehog with the ability to harness the mysterious power of the Chaos Emeralds in ways not thought possible.
After being thought dead in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow has returned - with amnesia. He does not understand who he is or where he's from, but he's determined to find out, be it from Black Doom, the leader of an alien race who claims he and Shadow made a pact involving the Chaos Emeralds, or from Dr. Eggman, who seemed to be experimenting on Shadow for an unknown purpose in Sonic Heroes. He may also have to learn his secrets from the very military organization that he swore revenge against, G.U.N.. Essentially, all parties are after the Chaos Emeralds and know something of Shadow's past, and he intends to get them first and make one of them talk.
There are 10 endings in the game, and five possible final sixth missions (each having two ways of being completed). All 10 endings are listed from top (most evil) to bottom (most heroic)
Once all ten endings are unlocked, a true, canon final ending is unlocked.
These characters are playable with controller 2 in the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions.
Shadow must get from the start of the level to the end, as has traditionally been the case for the Sonic titles. It is possible to reach the end of the level in more than one way, the traditional way is to reach a goal ring, however certain objectives can be completed to finish the level earlier. The way in which levels are completed affects how the game progresses, what levels are played, and, ultimately, which of the 10 possible endings that will be shown. As each level features cutscenes and boss battles, there are a total of 326 different paths in which to complete the game, and each one has a name. There are a total of 23 levels including the last story stage, and each time, the player only plays six levels. A list of possible paths can be found here: List of Library sequences.
Three missions are available in almost every level (these being Hero, Dark, and Neutral), although some only have two, and these can be chosen to accomplish at any point in the level. Whichever mission is completed will determine which level is played next, and the ending cutscene that is played. Only the final ending, the hardest one to obtain, is considered Canon.
Shadow can still use all his moves from the previous games like the Homing Attack and Spin Dash. More weapons will become available as the games multiple endings are obtained. Also, Shadow now has two Chaos abilities, Chaos Control (In stages it lets him teleport through the stage, but in boss battles it lets him slow down time) and Chaos Blast (creates an explosive 20 yd radius blast of energy damaging enemies), and gains these by killing certain targets: killing aliens the Chaos Control Gauge, and killing humans and destroying nature or architecture (trees, plants, etc.) increases the Chaos Blast Gauge. Additionally, Super Shadow can use "Chaos Spear", a move previously used in Sonic Adventure 2.
The biggest change in gameplay, however, would be Shadow's ability to use several weapons and parts of the scenery. Weapons dropped by defeated enemies or inside crates can be swapped for another, but only one can be carried at a time. The weapons and objects can, naturally, harm opponents, but they also have the ability to break down large pieces of the level, such as tall columns. There are 6 weapon types: close combat, gun, lock-on, cannon, laser and vacuum. Close combat weapons are melee weapons. Gun weapons are weapons which can harm opponents that are further away. Gun weapons can come in semi- or fully-automatic variants. Lock-on weapons usually take the form of missile launchers in which several targets would be locked onto before firing. The missiles would automatically home in on these targets. Laser weapons are similar to gun weapons except that they cause greater damage. Vacuum weapons are weapons that involve a gun "inhaling" enemies and firing them back at other enemies, and can also pull out some walls in Final Haunt. The use of weapons is mostly optional, although there will be some levels that require their use.
Besides wielding weapons, Shadow can use vehicles: 4x4's, motorbikes, G.U.N. mechs, alien crafts, etc. Shadow can run as fast as Sonic, so the use of vehicles has been deemed by fans as unessesary as he should be able to outrun most of them. Although Shadow can run faster than the game's vehicles, the vehicles have some capabilities that Shadow does not have (e.g. using a motorcycle as a rolling missile, running over enemies, driving through acid soaked floors). Like the weapons, most of the vehicles are optional.
|Weapon||Damage||Rounds||Range||Rapidity of fire||Picture|
|Objects (like poles)||Low||5||Very Short||X||manual|
|Black Sword||Low||5||Very Short||X||manual|
|Heavy Machine Gun||High||30||Long||Medium/High|
|Laser Rifle||Medium (multiple)||20||Medium||Medium/High||manual|
The enemies change depending on which side the player chooses, though all non-partner characters will indiscriminately attack Shadow regardless of the chosen mission. If Shadow chooses to commit acts of heroism, then the Black Arms will be the main enemies. If Shadow chooses to commit acts of evil, then the GUN Troops will be the enemy. If Shadow decides to be neutral, then everyone is an enemy. Whether Eggman's robots are a Hero enemy or a Dark enemy depends on whether the opposite group of enemies are the Black Arms or GUN. Shadow is free to attack any free-roaming enemy/ally present (exempting Shadow's 'partner character'), regardless of which faction Shadow chooses to ally himself with. Attacking an ally provokes a scold from Shadow's partner and a score penalty at the end of the level.
The gaming community had strong opinions on the preview 'Shadow' videos posted on popular Internet gaming sites (such as GameSpot or IGN.com).
Many comments were made about the gun Shadow wielded. Some argue that it goes entirely against the spirit and/or gameplay mechanic of the Sonic series or that Shadow should be powerful enough that a gun would not be necessary, given that he has proclaimed himself to be the "Ultimate Life Form" in Sonic Adventure 2. Others note his technological background in defense of the weapon, from his inception to the air shoes he wears and the weapons that Eggman and Tails used in Sonic Adventure 2.
Another topic of discussion is Shadow getting a game over Sonic; after Sonic Heroes, many fans had been hoping for a new Sonic game that would take the direction that game was heading and lead it toward a more retro feel, closer to that of the original Sega Genesis games. When it was revealed that that was not the direction the new title was heading, some people were disappointed.
A rebuttal to some of the criticisms was that it was a sidestory game, and not starring Sonic himself; therefore, as it couldn't be considered a true Sonic game (much like Knuckles' Chaotix), it should be given some freedom to attempt new things without hampering the main series. Another rebuttal was that it was an early preview, and that it could have ended up significantly changed by the game's ultimate release.
An album has been released entitled Lost and Found: Shadow the Hedgehog Vocal Trax. Several music tracks from the game are featured in this album, while some mixes were made to others. There is also a promotional song in Japan : a remix of m-flo's "TRIPOD BABY" track off of BEAT SPACE NINE, their latest album.
Since it was the game in which Shadow was introduced, many of the songs featured in Sonic Adventure 2 were remixed for Shadow the Hedgehog.
|Boss||Level // Mission||A||B||C||D|
|Black Bull||after Lethal Highway||1:40||2:00||2:30||3:00|
|after Death Ruins||2:00||2:30||3:00||3:30|
|Egg Breaker||after Cryptic Castle||2:00||2:30||3:00||3:30|
|after Mad Matrix||3:20||4:00||4:30||5:00|
|after Iron Jungle||0:45||1:00||1:30||2:00|
|Sonic and Diablon||after GUN Fortress (dark)||4:00||4:30||5:00||6:00|
|after Black Comet (dark)|
|after Final Haunt (dark)|
|Black Doom||after GUN Fortress (hero)||2:00||3:00||4:00||4:30|
|after Cosmic Fall (hero)|
|after Final Haunt (hero)|
|Egg Dealer||after Black Comet (hero)||3:20||4:00||5:00||6:00|
|after Lava Shelter (either mission)|
|after Cosmic Fall (dark)|
This is one of the first Sonic games in which the North American voice actors from the the cast of Sonic X voiced the videogame characters in the English language dub. Many Sonic fans were angered by the change and sent demands to Sega to rehire the original voice cast. The Japanese cast was unaffected by this decision, since the Japanese version of Sonic X already used the same voice actors as the game series did since the first Sonic Adventure game.
|Role||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor|
|Shadow the Hedgehog||Jason Griffith||Kōji Yusa|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||Jason Griffith||Junichi Kanemaru|
|Black Doom||Sean Schemmel||Ryūzaburō Ōtomo|
|Dr. Eggman||Mike Pollock||Chikao Ōtsuka|
|Gerald Robotnik||Mike Pollock||Chikao Ōtsuka|
|G.U.N. Commander||Marc Thompson||Banjō Ginga|
|Maria Robotnik||Rebecca Honig||Yuri Shiratori|
|Miles "Tails" Prower||Amy Palant||Ryo Hirohashi|
|Knuckles the Echidna||Dan Green||Nobutoshi Canna|
|Amy Rose||Lisa Ortiz||Taeko Kawata|
|Rouge the Bat||Kathleen Delaney||Rumi Ochiai|
|E-123 Omega||Jeff Kramer||Taiten Kusunoki|
|G.U.N Soldiers||Andrew Rannells||Takashi Yoshida|
|Vector the Crocodile||Carter Cathcart||Kenta Miyake|
|Espio the Chameleon||David Willis||Yūki Masuda|
|Charmy Bee||Amy Birnbaum||Yōko Teppōzuka|
|The President||Maddie Blaustein||Yutaka Nakano|
|Secretary||Bella Hudson||Junko Kitanishi|
|Cream the Rabbit||Rebecca Honig||Sayaka Aoki|
The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have both voice language tracks included in the game disc. The PlayStation 2 version, together with a multi-lingual text language option, is the only version featuring an additional option to switch between both English and Japanese voice language, though this is only present in the Japanese and North American versions. The EU/PAL PlayStation 2 version remove this feature and only has the text language option present, defaulting the voices automatically to the system language. Since the Xbox version doesn't feature any language option at all, neither of text nor of voice, the only way to have the Japanese voices in this version is changing the console language to Japanese in order to set the game entirely in Japanese.
The GameCube version features only one voice track in the disc and according to the regional version, due to size constraints. The Western versions have the English voice language whereas the Japanese version has the Japanese one, while the text language is entirely multi-lingual and manually selectionable in all regional versions.
For a complete list of the game's production credits, please click the following link: Shadow the Hedgehog credits
|Shadow the Hedgehog|
GUN Soldiers & Robots:
|Sonic games for the Sony PlayStation 2|
|Sonic Heroes (2003/2004) | Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004/2005) | Sonic Gems Collection (2005) | Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) | Sonic Riders (2006) | Sega Genesis Collection (2006) | Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008) | Sonic Unleashed (2008) | Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog (2009)|
|Sonic games for the Xbox|
|Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004) | Sonic Heroes (2003/2004) | Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) | Sonic Heroes & Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (2005) | Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (2005) | Sonic Riders (2006)|
|Pre-release Sonic games for the Xbox|
|Sonic Heroes (Xbox E3 version) | Sonic Extreme|