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

From Sonic Retro

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

During my latest undercover operation, I obtained through the security hole at GUN classified jurisdictional data of the President of the Federal Government at the time, which appeared to be related to Project Shadow. A top-secret letter from thirteen presidents ago to Pr. Gerald requesting research. The letter stated succinctly as follows.

"Begin research on the eternal and ultimate dream of mankind: immortality."

At first, Gerald stubbornly refused the request, claiming that it was beyond human capacity. However, it was Gerald's beloved granddaughter, Maria Robotnik, who (ironically) gave him the opportunity to make this project, which should have ended as mere delirious ramblings from the powers that be, a reality. Maria had been suffering from "NIDS: native immunodeficiency syndrome," a disease that even today is considered difficult to treat, and although she continued to receive treatment at the ARK's medical research facility, there was no hope for her recovery. Gerald, frustrated by this, decided to overcome her intractable disease by researching immortal life. The research was conducted in secret even within the ARK, and it is recorded that it was named "Project Shadow" from the irony of creating a shadow (thing that cannot exist in this world).

What everyone at first thought was a far-fetched project was not entirely a pipe dream for Pr. Gerald's genius mind. Based on the research results of the Chaos Emeralds and Chaos Drives, his attempt to apply the boundless energy to life was successful, and the project soon resulted in the completion of a prototype. Focusing on its self-healing ability, the "ultimate life form prototype," which was created using a lizard as its base body, showed signs of amazing growth, self-healing, and self-propagation, much to the delight of researchers.

However, their joy was short-lived, as the prototype's capabilities soon exceeded their expectations to such an extent that they began to have trouble controlling it, and even within the research community, there began to be doubts about the continuation, significance, and safety of the research. Perhaps it was an insider who saw the prototype run amok who first leaked information about the project to GUN, but the truth is not clear. However, the danger of the project was somehow brought to GUN's attention, and GUN's top brass, which at the time was hostile to the uniqueness of the ARK research institute, took this as an opportunity to plan the closure of the ARK itself. This was an unofficial operation called "Operation ARK Shutdown."

A biohazard suddenly broke out at the ARK research facility, and all colony residents were to be rescued from the disaster, and the colony was to be sealed off. This was the ostensible objective of the operation. The real objective, of course, was to shut down the ARK research facility, erase Project Shadow, and hold Pr. Gerald responsible for the disaster. The operation was carried out on a scale never seen since the founding of GUN, and within seven days of the start of the operation, all ARK residents were moved to the surface, all ARK facilities were frozen by GUN, and all Project Shadow personnel except Pr. Gerald were declared victims of this disaster. The operation was completed with the sealing of the "ultimate life form prototype" found in the deepest part of the colony.

However, there was only one miscalculation in this operation: when this operation was carried out, Pr. Gerald had already almost completed the ultimate life form "Shadow" using another base body. When the GUN Special Forces raided the research institute, the fleeing Gerald entrusted it to his granddaughter Maria, and it is confirmed that an escape capsule was ejected toward the surface at that time. (The whereabouts of the capsule at that time are still unknown to this day.)

As a result, Gerald was subsequently captured by Special Forces and imprisoned on Prison Island, where he was eventually forced to continue his research on the ultimate life form, "Shadow," apparently under orders from GUN. Now that Shadow the Hedgehog is no more, there is no way to know whether the Shadow sealed on Prison Island was a replica created by Gerald or the real Shadow that was ejected toward the surface and recovered...

~Excerpt from Rouge's final investigation report on Project Shadow~