Sonic Adventure 2 - The Truth of 50 Years Ago...

From Sonic Retro

(This is backstory listed in the Sonic Adventure 2 Japanese strategy guide - taking the form of a report submitted by Rouge the Bat to her superiors. Translation by Windii).

During my latest undercover investigation, I have obtained highly classified data notes of the then federal government president through GUN's security hole that seem to be related to Project Shadow. It is a top secret research request addressed and sent to Gerald from the president of its time, 13 presidents ago. The content of the letter is concisely stated as follows:

"Begin research on immortality, humanity's ultimate, eternal dream."

Gerald seemed to have stubbornly rejected this request at first, for it exceeded man's limits. However, the one who gave him an excuse to realize this plan that was supposed to end as it was, an influential person's nonsense, was his beloved granddaughter Maria Robotnik. Maria had contracted a difficult-to-cure illness; "NIDS: Neuro Immunodeficiency Syndrome," and while treatment continued at the ARK's medical research facility, she was not expected to recover. The irritated Gerald seemed to think that he would overcome this incurable disease by studying immortal life. The research has been documented as being named "Project Shadow" from the irony of creating a shadow (which cannot exist in this world,) and was advancing internally at the ARK behind the scenes in absolute secrecy.

At first, everyone thought that this far-fetched and reckless plan was undoubtedly a fabrication that couldn't have been thought up by Prof. Gerald's ingenious intellect. The Chaos Drives were based on research results of the Chaos Emeralds, and the experimental attempt to apply that infinite energy to life functions was successful. Shortly thereafter, the project lead to completion of a single prototype. Focusing on its restorative ability, the Ultimate Lifeform's prototype, which was modeled after a lizard, showed signs of phenomenal growth, as well as self-recovery and self-replication. The researchers were overjoyed.

However, that joy was brief, as the prototype's abilities eventually far exceeded the researchers' expectations, to the point where it was difficult to control. Voices of doubt begin to rise internally from the researchers, questioning the duration, significance and safety of the research. It is likely that the staff who witnessed the prototype going out of control leaked information of the project to GUN first, but the truth is uncertain. However, the upper branches of GUN that were looking upon the research institution's unique qualities as hostile arrived at the decision to close the ARK itself, taking advantage of this opportunity; an informal operation, "ARK Sealing & Destruction."

A biological hazard suddenly occurred at the ARK research facility, and all colony residents were to be rescued and the colony sealed from the disaster. This was the ostensible purpose of this operation. Of course, the real goal was none other than to shut down the ARK, erase Project Shadow, and detain Prof. Gerald as the person responsible for the disaster. The operation was carried out on an unprecedented scale, the likes of which had not been seen since the founding of GUN. In only seven days since the start of the operation, all inhabitants of the ARK were transferred to the surface. Its facilities were frozen by GUN and all of Project Shadow's staff, with the exception of Gerald, were declared victims of this disaster. The operation was completed by sealing the Ultimate Lifeform's prototype at the deepest part of the colony.

However, there was just one miscalculation in this operation. At the time action was taken, Prof. Gerald seemed to have already nearly completed the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow, using a different model. When GUN special forces entered the laboratory, the fleeing Gerald entrusted Shadow to his granddaughter Maria, and made sure that one escape capsule was ejected towards the surface. (The whereabouts of said capsule remain unknown.)

In the end, Gerald was apparently captured by special forces afterwards and imprisoned at Prison Island. Now, without Shadow the Hedgehog, there is no longer a way to confirm anywhere if the Shadow that was sealed at Prison Island was a replica created by Gerald, or the original Shadow that was ejected towards the surface and recovered...

~From Rouge's final research report on Project Shadow - Partial Excerpt~

Original Japanese Text