Shadow The Hedgehog
Shadow the Hedgehog is the rival of Sonic the Hedgehog. He was created as the "Ultimate Lifeform" by Professor Gerald Robotnik using the DNA of Black Doom. Shadow is immortal; however, that doesn't mean that he does not feel pain. Shadow is ageless as well. Since his debut, Shadow has appeared in a multitude of games, television shows, and comic books. His past was almost a complete mystery until the game Shadow the Hedgehog revealed the events surrounding his creation.
In contrast to Sonic, Shadow is typically portrayed as a tortured anti-hero, or a renegade who can just as easily serve the forces of evil as those of good. However, he does what he needs to do to accomplish what he knows to be right. According to an official poll, Shadow is the second most popular character in the series, second only to Sonic himself.
Shadow debuted in the game Sonic Adventure 2 as one of three playable "dark" characters, alongside Rouge the Bat (who also debuted in this game) and Doctor Eggman. Dr. Eggman set Shadow free from a G.U.N. base on Prison Island, where he had spent approximately 50 years in suspended animation. In exchange, Shadow agreed to aid the doctor in his plans to take over the world; holding his true intentions as wishing to get revenge for the death of his friend, Maria Robotnik, as he thought she wanted. To achieve this, Shadow revealed the Eclipse Cannon to Dr. Eggman, blowing up half of the moon in demonstration. In a twist of fate, Shadow ultimately aided Sonic when realizing Maria's true wish with the help of Amy Rose, which was to save humanity.
In Last story, Eggman inserted the final Chaos Emerald, only to initiate a destabilization program on the ARK. Professor Gerald Robotnik then revealed that he had made this function to have revenge for Maria, and that the ARK would destroy the Earth. Sonic, Eggman, Rouge, Tails, and Knuckles took a shortcut to the Cannon's Core so they could stop Prof. Gerald's mad plan. Amy then helped Shadow realize Maria's true wish. Meanwhile, Sonic and Knuckles had reached the Central Core, where they reactivated the Biolizard. Notably, a scene from Gerald Robotnik's diary appeared again. After Shadow defeated the Biolizard, Knuckles used the Master Emerald to stop the Chaos Emeralds. But the Biolizard, being the prototype of Project Shadow, used Chaos Control to fuse with the ARK, continuing its fall. Then, as Super Sonic and Super Shadow, they destroyed the Biolizard (the Ultimate Lifeform prototype), having become a monster -codenamed Finalhazard- and using their pooled energies, executed an enhanced Chaos Control which stopped the fall, and warped the ARK. Afterward, Shadow fell to the Earth and was presumed dead.
In Sonic Heroes, Rouge discovers Shadow in a stasis tube located in the deepest part of one of Dr. Eggman's bases, after he was believed to be dead. As she activates the capsule, and E-123 Omega begins to attack the newly awakened Shadow, believing him to be a creation of Eggman . Rouge steps in to break them up, quickly ending the skirmish. Shadow discovers that he has amnesia and cannot remember anything before his release (aside from his name and brief images of Maria Robotnik's death). He joins forces with Rouge and the robot, E-123 Omega, to form Team Dark and find Eggman. It is later revealed that Eggman had made robotic android versions of Shadow, and the question is raised as to whether or not Shadow himself is one of these androids. Ultimately, when Metal Sonic transformed into Metal Overlord , Shadow worked with everyone else to help defeat him. Shadow is last seen with Omega holding the defeated Metal Sonic.
In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow is revealed to be the dual creation of the alien overlord Black Doom and Professor Gerald Robotnik. Gerald could not finish the project on his own, so he contacted the Black Comet and used Black Doom's blood, and presumably his DNA to create Shadow. Shadow eventually gathers all the Chaos Emeralds and confronts Devil Doom (Black Doom's powered up form) as Super Shadow. He then destroys the Black Comet with the Eclipse Cannon. In the end, he puts the past behind him and chooses to move forward. Also, in the last battle of the game (after 10 minutes of fighting Devil Doom), Eggman confesses to Shadow that one of his robots found and saved him after the incident in Sonic Adventure 2, meaning he is the actual Shadow and not a Shadow Android as was previously believed.
Shadow appears in Sonic and the Black Knight as Sir Lancelot. He is the most loyal to the King at first and said to be the most skilled of the Knights of the Round Table. After Sonic faces him in a duel and wins (he is the first Knight to be fought and the second Boss in the game), he takes his sword. Despite being Shadow's parallel, Lancelot still shows the ability to use Chaos Control with his swordplay. This is most prominent in the optional rematch with Lancelot, where he uses Chaos Blast, Chaos Control, and Chaos Spear. When in combat against Lancelot's stronger potential, the player (Sonic) must not only land many hits, but time them closely or risk fierce damage. Not to say his damage is intensified, but more frequent. The Chaos Blast is somewhat of a last resort for when the player uses "Soul Surge" to strike. In addition, Lancelot can use a move called "Chaos Punishment" where he uses a series of Chaos Controls and slashes at every enemy nearby.
Shadow's outer appearance is quite unique compared to the other characters. He prefers to work alone and distances himself from essentially everyone, with few exceptions. Though soft-spoken and reserved, he never bluffs; if he makes a threat, he has every intention of carrying it out. This is seen in Shadow the Hedgehog, when Shadow warns Sonic in one of the storylines that if he were to try to stop him, the black hedgehog would inevitably destroy his blue counterpart. Shadow views Sonic as his rival and equal in all aspects of his life, but still sees him as annoying and foolish as he can be. Like Knuckles used to be with Sonic, Shadow has a rivalry with Sonic due to their animosity with each other in terms of how they view their own methods of justice and morality, but will work together despite certain problems they have with one another, and readily come to the others' aid. Shadow is known to treat others in a very callous manner, and in combat, he displays a natural "killer instinct" that Sonic lacks.
As shown in Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow sometimes displays an unusually rough manner of speech as opposed to the rest of the characters (though Sonic, Knuckles, and Espio are also heard swearing at times during the game). Alongside his dark demeanor, he can be smug, stubborn, and somewhat sarcastic. He is shown to be highly arrogant and self absorbed; in the 2006 video game, he (as Super Shadow) states that their battle against Solaris may actually be "a fair fight." Shadow constantly refers to himself as the Ultimate Lifeform and thus belittles characters as well as insulting their lack of strength. Based on this, he shares a competitive ego that is close to Sonic's. He is also constantly serious, even when not on a mission, and he has little to no regard for silliness. Although, Shadow is not heartless: he does care about Omega and Rouge deeply. He also seems deeply disturbed at the possibility of being created as a weapon of mass destruction, as in one of the possible endings of Shadow the Hedgehog, he shows some form of sadness when he remembers that he was created to be a WMD. On a related note, Shadow initially proposes that they destroy Emerl due to it being a WMD, which implies that he may not like the idea of being a WMD himself.
On occasion, Shadow appears to have some degree of mental instability. This can be seen when he would often hallucinate Maria's face or through his numerous threatening speeches. He appears to improve with amnesia, but this tendency returns in the Shadow the Hedgehog game, where in the various possibilities he often pursues his foes with disturbing determination. In these instances, he also chuckles to himself madly, believes himself to be an android, and destroys city blocks and even an entire city itself in his rage. Although he usually either destroys or saves something at the end of these storylines, there is one where he completely admits he is good for nothing but destruction, and regrets his entire existence. Vector tries to cheer him up in his own special way, but inevitably fails. Shadow could be suffering from a mild form of schizophrenia and a moderate depression. He also might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Shadow also has a strong sense of identity, as evidenced when he states to Rouge after being told that he isn't the Ultimate Lifeform due to a lab report that even if his memories were fake, he is still Shadow the Hedgehog. Similarly in Sonic Heroes, during the Egg Fleet level where he mentions that even without his memories, he is still the Ultimate Lifeform, Shadow the Hedgehog. Because of this strong sense of identity, he is possesses a strong will, making him very rarely susceptible to being manipulated by other forces. This is especially evident with his encounters with Mephiles the Dark, where, even after learning of the possibility that he was sealed away for all of eternity due to humanity fearing his potential and feeling he was responsible for Iblis's ruin of the world, Shadow still refuses to aid Mephiles in his plans, and states that "he determines his own destiny."
In Sonic Free Riders Shadow appears not only for the thirst of power, instead the thirst for riches being tempted by the cash prize the 2nd EX World Grand Prix. Shadow seemingly goes for the prize money and has a lack of concern for the E-1000 B when he said that he was tired. Shadow, along with Rouge, even force him to compete so that they can get the prize money. In the last story of the game, E-1000 B starts malfunctioning which leaves Shadow a little bit concerned and asks Tails if there is anything wrong with him. Though, despite caring a little bit, throughout he shows a lot of greed. Thus, in the end of the game, when no one gets the prize money, everyone cheered themselves up being thankful that they had fun except for Shadow and Rouge who were disappointed that they could not get any prize. It could be shown that Shadow has a knack for competition should something of interest occur, though the prize was one of the few things to stir it up so far. However, as noted above, the instruction booklet for the same game mentioned that one of the reasons why he joined was to see whether his extreme gear was better than Sonic's, indicating that at least part of his reasons for joining was for the sake of competition, eclipsed by the prize money.
However Shadow isn't a madman, he has a fairly good heart, such as in the Sonic Heroes opening scene for Team Dark, when Omega beings his attack, Shadow could have easily fled and left Rouge, but instead he defends her against Omega despite having absolutely no memory of her. Also, after Sonic has completed one of Shadow's missions in the DS version of Sonic Colors, Shadow admits the purpose of his mission was to ensure that Sonic was physically fit enough to continue his journey towards Dr. Eggman. Even with his lack of trust towards humans, Shadow would team up with them to fight for the greater good, therefore humans are one of his allies. He was also shown to be legitimately shocked and horrified when he learned that his gaining the Chaos Emeralds to restore his memories were actually manipulated by Black Doom in order to wipe out humanity. Likewise when the GUN Commander finally confronts him, Shadow, still having little memory of the events of his past, agrees to face judgement if he was indeed responsible for the ARK massacre 50 years ago.
Shadow is highly intelligent when it comes to technology. In the 2006 video game, he was able to read the computer (as did Rouge) and identify that Omega was in standby mode. He seems to progress through Digital Circuit and Mad Matrix using his computer intellect. He is able to tell Egg Albatross, Egg Emperor and Metal Madness inside and out.
Shadow is rarely seen smiling, unlike some of the other characters except Chaos, Mephiles and Shade. The only instances he is seen smiling are in Sonic Adventure 2, before battling Sonic as a boss in Sonic Heroes, in some of the dark endings in Shadow the Hedgehog, and in some episodes of Sonic X (in those dark endings of Shadow the Hedgehog, and in Sonic X he was also seen laughing). So some may suggest that he does not have much of a sense of humor or happiness, or he doesn't like others see him acting in such a manner. On a related note, Shadow brushes off any kindness or sympathy that is sent his way. This is shown in Sonic Heroes when Rouge showed concern for Shadow when he saw a broken android. Shadow curtly brushed her concern away. Also in Shadow the Hedgehog after Sonic suggested some, "friendly competition" Shadow turned his back to Sonic and said, "Don't waste my time." Once might assume that Shadow just doesn't know how to respond to kindness and therefore shoves it away, or he prefers not to let others see his emotions, preferring to be alone.
Despite Shadow being considered neutral in terms of alignment, he is considered a hero by the most part with his overall motivation which is dedicating his life to protecting mankind. He has also been selfless, such as nearly giving his life at the end of Sonic Adventure 2 to save Earth. In recent games, he is slightly more warm hearted than he used to be. Even with his significant disliking with Sonic as well as humans, he has become more trusting with humans and more tolerant with Sonic. Also seeing that, he seems to despise evil above everything else, especially the Black Arms. Regardless, Shadow is still neutral because he prefers working alone.