|“||I'm Shadow! Shadow the Hedgehog!||„|
|~ Shadow the Hedgehog.|
|“||You must respect that i can no longer let you live. Your adventuring times are over!||„|
|~ Shadow, to Sonic|
Shadow the Hedgehog is an anti-hero, and former antagonist of Sonic X. He is Sonic's arch-rival, and dark counterpart. Shadow is a neutral character. Though not evil, Shadow will occasionally join the villains and serve them if neccesary to achieve his goals. He formerly helped Doctor Eggman with his evil plans, but redeemed himself after discovering that he was used this whole time, and later helps his arch-rival Sonic defeat the Metarex.
Fifty years before the events of Sonic X, a top-secret project known as "Project Shadow" had begun on the Space Colony ARK. Led by Professor Gerald Robotnik, it was a government-sanctioned initiative to create "The Ultimate Lifeform," an immortal being that could be used for the benefit of the nation, likely in a militaristic fashion. While Gerald had initial misgivings to the purpose of the research he was assigned to, he realized that his results might be able to save his granddaughter, Maria. Suffering from the incurable disease Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Maria only had a short time left to live, and Gerald was willing to do whatever it took to save her life. Going against his worries of stepping into territory man had no business playing with, the professor immediately began work, hoping that he could apply any newly-gained knowledge to find a cure to N.I.D.S.
Even with the resources at his disposal, Professor Gerald was unable to make significant progress. Without alerting anyone, Gerald decided to plea to the stars for help, contacting the Black Arms race. An alien civilization that lived upon the Black Comet, a celestial object that passed near the planet every fifty years, its leader Black Doom offered to assist Gerald in his quest. He offered his blood - which ended up being the key to perfect the ultimate lifeform - in exchange for the seven Chaos Emeralds, which he would collect the next time he passed through. Knowing that the Black Arms' intentions were less than desirable, Gerald made the deal regardless, and was able to successfully create Shadow the Hedgehog.
Once brought to life, Shadow immediately befriended Maria, and they became close during their short time together. Gerald, meanwhile, made precautions for the return of the alien race, ensuring that the Eclipse Cannon - an extremely powerful laser built into the ARK - was compatible with the seven Chaos Emeralds, so that when they did return humanity would be able to defend itself instead of bowing to their whims.
However, Gerald's progress was ruined when it was leaked to G.U.N. how he was able to create the successful prototype. During the meeting between Gerald and the Black Arms, one of the other children aboard the ARK had accidentally seen what transpired, and reported back to those in charge. As ties between the ARK and the United Federation had already been strained, hearing the news of the dealings with an alien race scared those in charge. Afraid of the implications, it was decided to launch an invasion and put a stop to the work being done there.
What happened next was nothing short of madness, as G.U.N. troops descended onto the ARK, causing chaos and confusion wherever they went. Immediately they went after the Biolizard, which they thought was the successful "Project Shadow" prototype, and in the process of putting the creature into stasis lost quite a few soldiers. From there they went about doing damage control, shutting down everything, getting everyone off the ARK, and killing those who resisted if need be. Knowing that the G.U.N. forces would be there at any moment, Maria convinced Shadow to enter an escape pod, her final wish to him that he give the people on the planet a chance to be happy. Wishing him goodbye, Shadow could do nothing as he watched the G.U.N. soldiers storm into the lab, firing a shot which would forever change the hedgehog's life.
Learning of his granddaughter's death, Professor Gerald soon went mad, swearing vengeance on humanity for taking away the only thing that ever meant anything to him. Though just what exactly transpired is cloudy, what is known is that both Gerald and the escape pod that held Shadow were gathered by G.U.N., Shadow being placed in cryogenic storage within Prison Island, and Gerald being incarcerated and charged with the crimes that happened aboard the ARK.
Shadow is the defining example of "edgy". Being Sonic's double-ganger, Shadow exhibits large scares of both similarities and differences to him. He's far more stern and serious than Sonic. However, he can be just as smug and sassy as Sonic at times and they both end up arguing who's the "faker".
Shadow is shown to be very proud of himself being the Ultimate Lifeform and likes to have others pay attention to it. He often gloats about his abilities, and will warn his opponents that they don't stand a chance against him.
Though he's almost always calm individual, Shadow can react rather violently in some situations, like attacking anyone for getting in his way or making him angry, regardless of the age, gender or how weak they are compared to him. He can also be rather savage in his actions, like killing even a child if viewed neccesary. However, his intentions are always good. He is acting solely out of protecting the galaxy and will only go on extreme lengths if it's for that cause. Because of this extremistic tendencies anyhow, people often misunderstand Shadow and have a hard time figuring him out.
Despite his attitude, Shadow is very caring of others and can be kind to those he feels deserve it. He will also help anyone who's in trouble. He is also shown to have developed bonds with several characters, like his arch-rival Sonic, Molly, his partner Rouge, and Chris because he reminds him of Maria in several ways.
- Shadow notably bears some similarities to Red X. They're both neutral characters, who rival the protagonist, and are shown to be equal to them in their abilities, but are darker in general.
- He's also similar to Sasuke Uchiha. They're both dark, quiet anti heroes who rival the protagonist, and can be cocky and prideful about their abilities. They also have a tragic past, that has shaped how they act, and are both very distant from everyone, even their closest friends.
- Shadow is usually seen to have a missing quill in his "hairstyle" as compared to the games.
- Shadow uses the third least amount of "Engrish" in the Japanese version. Right behind Vector, who uses the second least amount of Engrish, and Charmy, who only used it once.
- At the end of Season 3 in the English dub, it leaves a cliffhanger of Shadow's whereabouts but it is implied that Eggman is aware of what happened to him.
- At the end of Season 3 in the Japanese dub, Shadow's shadow can be seen placing a rose on Molly's grave. This tells the viewers that Shadow is in fact alive.
- Although Shadow's blood is red in episode 73, it is hinted in the game Shadow the Hedgehog that his blood is actually green due to all members of the Black Arms having green blood. It should be noted, however, that the Black Arms had red blood in the Japanese version of the game.
- When Shadow is first shown running, he runs like Sonic rather than himself. This was probably to confuse the audience into thinking it was Sonic instead of Shadow because, at the time, he wasn't officially introduced.
- Even though he clearly is more dark natured than Sonic, Shadow was seen tearing up before Sonic was ever seen crying. Shadow shed a tear when he realized Maria's true wish (episode 38) and Sonic cried before he had to part ways with Chris at the end of season 2. Chris was present in each scene and triggered the reason for both hedgehogs to cry.