Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu?) is a character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Shadow is an artificially-created life form whose trademark hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival those of Sonic, and with a Chaos Emerald he has the ability to distort time and space using "Chaos Control." Often referred to as being the "Ultimate Life Form," he is a black and crimson male hedgehog that debuted in Sonic Adventure 2. He resembles Sonic in many ways, such as the ability to travel at incredible speeds. He is Sonic's rival and is the antithesis of Sonic himself in all aspects of his life. He has been featured in a variety of games, including his own self-titled game. Shadow works together with either Sonic's group or Dr. Eggman, depending on what suits his own needs.
Concept and creationEdit
The character of Shadow was conceived by Takashi Iizuka, director of Sonic Adventure 2, the game in which Shadow was first introduced. The character was first shown to the public in a game trailer; however, his name was not revealed. GameSpot described what little was shown as anti sonic - similar in appearance, but with darker skin, more angled eyes, and a fearsome snarl instead of Sonic's trademark grin." Takashi Iizuka said that they maintained the mystery around the character of Shadow the Hedgehog and had wanted to feature him in his own game since he was introduced. After feeling that it would be inappropriate to give Sonic's character a gun as fans had requested in mailings, Yuji Naka believed that by focusing on Shadow for his own game, they could use his different identity from Sonic to build upon the Sonic brand. The character was featured as a guest announcer and performed other promotional work for the game's release during a wrestling show set up by the Japanese league, Pancrase, in December 2005. Shadow's design was influenced by films such as Underworld, Constantine, and the Terminator series.
According to official profiles, Shadow was created 50 years ago by Prof. Gerald Robotnik as the Ultimate Life Form, which is ageless and immortal. Sharp witted and seemingly always on the edge, Shadow is described as the dark incarnation of Sonic the Hedgehog. Once he has set himself to a goal, he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it, regardless of any danger. After the trauma of the death of his only friend, Maria Robotnik, Shadow strives to fulfill his purpose and keep the promise he made to her, despite his general loathing of mankind. Although his relationship with Sonic seems to have developed from antagonistic to friendly rivalry, animosity from not understanding their different mindsets continues.