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Legion (Shadow Man)

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And he asked him - What is thy name? And he replied - MY NAME IS LEGION, FOR WE ARE MANY!
~ Legion (using the biblical quote on which he is based to introduce himself)

The primary antagonist of the video game Shadow Man (which is itself loosely based on the eponymous Marvel comic book). Legion is an immensely powerful demon who rules in Deadside (the Underworld) and plans to invade Liveside (the Land of the Living). To achieve this he has recruited five serial-killers and turned them into powerful, undead half-demons able to travel between both sides of the Veil. Legion is based on the biblical demon of the same name and uses the famous quote "For we are many" as his and his servants' motto.

About Legion

Just like his biblical model, Legion is a demonic entity composed of many evil spirits. As such he refers to himself as both "I" and "we", and  whenever he speaks several threatening voices are heard blending into one and creating a sinister echo. Legion also frequently says "Amen to that" when he proclaims something or when things go as he wishes, further referring to his biblical inspiration.

Legion (forme démoniaque)

Legion's true form

Legion appears as a middle-aged man of aristocratic support who wears elegant but unkempt clothing, like a neglected gentleman, and carries a long sword which he uses as a cane. His mouth is constantly bleeding, hinting at his demonic nature. In his true, demonic form, he resembles a gigantic, floating slug-like insect with a lamprey-like mouth full of pointed teeth, surrounded by many tormented human-like figures (likely the evil spirits which are part of him), long horns, two clawed tentacles and a humanoid head atop his monstrous body.

Like typical Dark Lords, Legion is calm and collected yet menacing, cruel, sadistic and scornful. In contrast with his aristocratic manners, he is not above swearing, using coarse expressions or striking people to whom he is speaking. He has an imposing and demanding demeanour and he speaks with courteous but firm manners when addressing to an ally, or mocking respect and condescending sarcasm when addressing to an enemy.

Legion also displays a sick sense of humour, as he likes to tell scary jokes to disturb people. He enjoys playing with his victims' spirit and feelings by appearing to them under the shape of people they know, either to toy with them or to use them. Furthermore, he displays high levels of intelligence, deviousness and manipulative skills throughout the game and he has enough charisma to get evil people to serve him with few words.

Legion rules over a large realm in Deadside and controls many, if not every malevolent departed spirit and demon found here. He can be regarded as an evil Lord of the Dead, as he ruled in Deadside since the beginning of times and uses the powerful Dark Souls (demonic souls) as a power source.

Legion knows the dead spirits to the point that he can impersonate one with whom he never had any direct contact in a very convincing way. By infusing a Dark Soul into a corpse, he can turn it into a powerful demonic undead bound to his will. It is implied that since Deadside and its guardians are linked to Voodoo magic, he can perform it as well or at least knows how it works.

Backstory

Several millenia before the beginning of the game, Legion roamed Deadside with the intent to gather all the demonic Dark Souls and use their power for his plans of world domination, but the ancient guardians of Deadside managed to defeat him. Unfortunately, he was far too powerful for them and being unable to destroy him, they banished him away from both worlds. They knew full well that he would be back someday, so they kept the Dark Souls that he covets under their protection.

From then on Legion kept an eye on both sides of the Veil, patiently waiting for the day he could return and looking for people he could recruit or manipulate when the time would come.

Eventually, the protectors of both worlds and the bokors (Voodoo sorcerers) learnt about a prophecy that foretold Legion's return, while the ancient Voodoo gods spoke to them through their dreams, imparting them with knowledge about the way to prevent the Apocalypse that the villain seeks to unleash... or so it seemed. Little did they know that it was in fact Legion himself who made the false prophecy; posing as an ancient Voodoo deity and guiding them in a way they thought could thwart his plans, but in fact served his interests.

In the game

Game setting

In the ancient times, they were several Voodoo warriors known as the Shadow Men, wielders of the powerful Mask of Shadows and able to walk between the two sides of the Veil, who were tasked to maintain the balance between said sides and to protect them from any threat. Now that the ancients' teaching have been forgotten and that slavery, segregationism and rationalism have reduced the influence of Voodoo, there is only one Shadow Man at a time, but he gathers all the power granted to the Shadow Men of the past.

In 1999, he current Shadow Man and the game's primary protagonist is Michael Leroi, a failed literature student and hitman from Louisiana, who unknowingly took a huge amount of money that belonged to drug-dealers and ended up inadvertently causing of the murder of his parents and his child brother Luke, something that plagues him with guilt and grief.

Michael works for the powerful bokor Mamma Nettie, who recently had prophetic dreams about Legion's imminent return and decides to send Michael to Deadside, in a quest to retrieve the Dark Souls - which are no longer under the ancients' protection - and keep them away from the villain's grasp.

Game introduction

"Suspends ton geste Jack !"

"Stay your hand Jack! And listen to what I have to say."

The game's introduction takes place in November 1888, in the sewers of London, where Jack the Ripper is writing his journal. The serial-killer confesses that he sought immortality from his victims' souls, but not to avail. As he is about to commit suicide, Legion appears to him.

Legion offers Jack immortality if he accepts to serve him and follow him into Deadside to build a immense Cathedral of Pain, where they would gather the Dark Souls and use them to fuel a Dark Engine. (Jack is depicted in the game as an architect.)

With the Dark Souls' energy Legion would use his Dark Engine to considerably increase the might of his demons and to break through the Veil, enabling his empowered armies to invade the Land of the Livings and take over the world. As Legion plans to bring about the Apocalypse, it is fair to assume that he wants to expand Deadside on the land of the Livings where he would extinguish all life, turning it into a demonic realm that he could rule for eternity.

During the following 111 years, Legion and Jack recruited four other serial-killers, which helped them prepare the demonic armies and set out to retrieve all the Dark Souls, while keeping an eye on those who know the truth about them. In 1999, Legion and his five followers were finally ready to enact their plan. A few years before the start of the game, The villain sends his serial-killers back to Liveside to start a new murdering spree, to raise Legion's evil influence on the other side. Three of them got incarcerated on purpose, so that they could take control of the jail and the other convicts. Meanwhile, Legion influenced Mamma Nettie's "prophetic" dreams to convince her that Apocalypse was drawing near, so that she would order Shadow Man to enter the fray.

Storyline

Shadow Man investigates in both sides of the Veil, as Michael Leroi in Liveside and as the Shadow Man in Deadside. Whenever he is killed he is sent back to the gates of Deadside.

Shadow Man has to collect several powerful Voodoo Weapons that prove highly useful and even mandatory at certain points of the game, many items called "Cadeaux" (French word for gifts) that can help him increase his life-bar and finally the 120 Dark Souls (a nod to Super Mario 64) to increase his power. By using his late brother's Teddy Bear, Shadow Man can teleport to any location he visited in either side of the Veil.

The game is non-linear and the player decides where he has to go, granted that some conditions and a certain number of Dark Souls are required to gain access to some locations. Shadow Man also has to visit four temples: the Temple of Fire, the Temple of Life, the Temple of Blood and the Temple of Prophecy in Deadside, and several towns in the Land of the Living where Legion's followers are operating. Mike Leroi is powerless against the undead serial-killers, so he needs to find a way to become Shadow Man in the Land of the Livings to defeat them and get their Dark Souls.

The five serial-killers whom Legion turned into undead half-demons by infusing them with a Dark Soul serve as the game's bosses. They are known as "The Five" or "The Heralds of the Apocalypse." After killing "The Five" and gathering all the Dark Souls, Shadow Man must return to Deadside and use Jack the Ripper's journal to enter the Asylum, the inner sanctum of Legion's Cathedral of Pain, in which he must destroy the engines. Then, he hears the voice of his late brother Luke pleading him for help. Shadow Man follows the voice and reunites with his brother in a gloomy throne room, giving him back his Teddy Bear.

Boss Battle against Legion

Really Michael, you must learn to let the dead rest in peace.
~ Legion (teasing Shadow Man about his brother)
Combat final

Shadow Man battling Legion

It soon appears that "Luke" is in fact Legion, who shape-shifted as Shadow Man's brother to lure him where he wanted him and to take the Teddy Bear, so that he would not be able to escape. The villain reveals the true origin of the prophecy and all his plans. He made sure that Shadow Man would search for the Dark Souls as well, so that two factions would collect them for him.

Now that Shadow Man has managed to get them all, he guided him into his lair to get rid of him and claim the Dark Souls for himself. Yet, the Dark Souls grant Shadow Man enough power to fight on par with his enemy, but Legion has a trick left in his sleeve.

  • Legion's first form is ridiculously easy to defeat. All Shadow Man has to do is to remain out of reach from his enemy's sword strikes and attack with concentrated gunshots. Legion is easier to hit when he stops after striking but he is no big deal whatsoever and shall fall quickly.
  • When Legion appears to be defeated, he assumes his true form and puts up a real challenge. The throne room is now reduced to several skybridges surrounding big chasms. Legion plunges into a chasm and emerges to attack, and Shadow Man must fire at his "face" as much as he can, before getting away when Legion dives again. The best choice is to use both the gatling like "Violator" and concentrated gunshots. Legion attacks with purple energy balls that track down Shadow Man from behind, (the best way is to use block them with the shield "Enseigne") a purple energy blast, and a long-lasting purple ray, or many purple, homing energy balls from different sides at the same time; all these attacks being pretty damaging. Shadow Man can also dive into the chasm to the lower level where he can find ammunitions, but Legion will track him down and attack without end, so it is better to climb back to the throne level when done.

If Shadow Man loses the final battle, it triggers a bad ending in which Legion gets the Dark Souls and unleashes Apocalypse. Upon winning, Shadow Man uses the Dark Souls to destroy the weakened Legion once and for all, alongside his Cathedral of Pain and his Dark Engine.

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