Shadow is a black-furred anthropomorphic hedgehog. Like Sonic, Shadow is rather slim with relatively long arms and legs and pronounced shoulders that give him a tall and slightly lanky appearance; unlike Sonic, however, Shadow appears to be more barrel-chested with broad shoulders. He has red eyes, a small patch of white fur on his chest, a tan-skinned muzzle, and tan-skinned ear canals. He also has six quills on his head, four of which curve upwards while the other two curve downwards, two spines on his back, and a small tail. He has red stripes on each of his head quills, around the edges of his eyes, and on his arms and legs. He also has a single cowlick-like spike that sticks out from underneath each of the top side quills on his head.
Shadow's attire includes white gloves with red backs which have long red and black cuffs with fasteners and golden ring bands around his wrists. His shoes are mainly white and smooth with black heel regions. Above the topline, each shoe has a long red tongue and black cuff encircled by a single golden ring band. Around the rim of the soles, Shadow's shoes have red strips of metal on the rear and front of the bottom, broken below the in-steps. On the bottom of each sole is also an orange-yellow line of four small "jets": three up front and one on the heel.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
In Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, Shadow silently watched Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic from a distance at Lyric's Tomb, which Team Sonic had gotten themselves locked within, before leaving. He soon after confronted Sonic and Tails at the Abandoned Research Facility where both of them had opened a portal to travel to the past which Shadow refused to let them go through. Taunting Sonic for being weak due to his loyalty to his friends, Shadow engaged them in a fight across time. On the verge of defeat, Shadow was kicked into a portal by Sonic that sent him to the near future, after Team Sonic had defeated Lyric the Last Ancient. Although prepared to fight again, Shadow instead gave the team his approval when he saw the beaten Lyric before walking away with a sinister chuckle.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
In Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, Shadow caught Lyric the Last Ancient excavating an area, but did not object to Lyric's dark sense of justice when he brought up seizing the Lost Crystal of Power. Grimly, Shadow refused to serve Lyric when the snake took an interest in making him his slave, only for Lyric to plant a Mind Control Device on him.
Under Lyric's control, Shadow confronted Team Sonic, but was knocked unconscious by Sonic after he beat him in a race, damaging Lyric's Mind Control Device in the process. When he awoke, Shadow came back to his senses, albeit with no memory of what had happened since his first encounter with Lyric. As Shadow had Tails analyze the device, a hologram of Lyric appeared, warning the group not to cross him. Shadow threatened Lyric to come and face him, but the villain declined, so Shadow left on his own to hunt down Lyric and pay him back.
Shadow finally found Lyric when he was about to destroy Team Sonic with a cannon, whom Shadow saved by disabling Lyric's weapon. He then kicked Lyric away as Sonic opened a trapdoor, sending Lyric falling to his doom. While everyone agreed their teamwork made the difference, Shadow called them out for being pathetic and left on the notice that he was Sonic's superior.
Receiving an invitation from Dr. Eggman, Shadow came to Eggman's lair where he joined Eggman's league of villains in their mission to defeat Sonic. However, Shadow quickly grew tired of their foolishness and left the group. He soon showed up again to destroy Sonic himself after Team Eggman proved incapable of doing so. After an intense battle, Shadow got the upper hand, only to be distracted by an excited Eggman, allowing Sonic to take him down. Fed up with Eggman, Shadow warned Sonic that they would soon fight again, but on his terms, and teleported away.
When Eggman needed special motions and attacks of someone who could defeat Team Sonic in his own video game, he asked Shadow to provide them. Shadow refused, however, stating that he would never work with the doctor again. Eggman approached Shadow again later, and showed him a poorly-edited video of Sonic trash-talking Shadow. Feeling insulted, Shadow hunted down Team Sonic and took each member down until only Sonic was left.
While they fought, Sonic told Shadow that the footage he saw was edited. Furious that he had been manipulated, Shadow began hunting down Eggman. At Eggman's lair, Shadow tore apart Orbot and Cubot when they stalled him so Eggman could flee. Eventually, Shadow found who he thought was Eggman, but it turned out to be Lord Eggman, Eggman's counterpart from another dimension. Explaining that Eggman was in his dimension, Lord Eggman opened a dimensional portal for Shadow to enter, with Sonic joining him. Upon arriving however, the two were attacked by their Eggman and an upgraded Metal Sonic. Eventually, the four crossed into their home dimension, where Shadow got blown into a building with Eggman by Metal Sonic. Now wanting revenge on everything for what he had to put up with after losing his temper, Shadow kidnapped the Eggmen and hid them away so their presence in the Sonic Boom World could create an abnormality that would destroy the universe. Shadow then announced his plan to Team Sonic before bidding them farewell. However, Sonic managed to stop the abnormality by getting Lord Eggman home. Shadow then appeared, expressing his disappointment, though he did admit that he was impressed with Sonic, and left, once again swearing to face Sonic on his own terms soon.
Other game appearances
Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom
In Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom, Shadow became a playable character following a new actualization where he can be unlocked by the player. In this game, he possesses the following characteristics:
|Icon||Special Power||Score Bonus||Unlocking Requirement|
|Chaos Spear||Combo Score: Multiplies the points received per combo.||
In later updates to the game, Shadow makes an appearance on the High Score menu, holding third place with a score of 750,000 points.
Shadow comes off as blunt, aggressive, arrogant, and uncaring. He does not take kindly to outside interference, swiftly disposing of whoever gets in his way. Extremely aggressive and lacking in inhibitions, he is perfectly willing to eliminate a foe rather than merely subduing them, unlike Sonic, and believes that justice must be had by any means necessary. Despite his selfish and aggressive tendencies, his motivations to fight are purely related to his pride, and not villainy or heroism. Because of this, he is often very destructive and even brutal in battle. Nonetheless, he usually maintains a calm, aloof, and indifferent attitude, and lacks a general interest in anything. Shadow also has a strong sense of purpose and sticks to his goals with grim determination and intense focus, not resting until they are fulfilled. He is also not one to run away from a confrontation.
Shadow is fiercely independent; he operates as a lone wolf, viewing friendship as a sign of weakness and refusing to serve anyone but himself. Even when joining forces with others, he has no interest in collaborating or the listening to their plans unless they align with his own goals. In the rare event that he does team up with someone, he outright refuses to cooperate with them; when Sonic suggested coordinating Spin Attacks from either side of Metal Sonic, Shadow bluntly stated that he "take[s] orders from no one" and knocked him aside. While not above the occasional brash smile or witty remark, Shadow is usually very serious and has little patience for inane behavior; he has no qualms about criticizing and voicing his low opinions of others in the harshest and rudest way possible. He likewise despises weakness and people he deems weak, but is willing to at least give compliments to others when deserved. His serious nature also makes him difficult to impress. However, he is quite touchy and sensitive, namely when he believes that he has been insulted.
Shadow is very vengeful, to the point where he appears remorseless and devoid of any mercy. He is likewise willing to bring absolute punishment to anyone over anything, minor or major, and expand his vengeance to include people who did nothing to him; after being fooled by Eggman multiple times, Shadow grew so vengeful that he lost his temper and chose to exact revenge on his "pathetic" universe by attempting to destroy it, showing no sympathy for the innumerable lives that would have been lost as a result of his actions. He likewise does not let go of grudges easily; upon being freed from Lyric's control, he spent most of his time hunting down Lyric to make him pay for enslaving him.
Shadow is also highly intelligent, as demonstrated when he figured out that Eggman had deceived him from bantering with Sonic. Despite this intelligence, he can be manipulated through his arrogance and short temper, as he was easily fooled into thinking Sonic insulted him by Eggman's poorly edited recording of an earlier conversation.
Powers and abilities
Shadow is a very powerful individual. Said to match even Sonic in both speed and abilities, Shadow is regarded as the one person who can beat Sonic in a fair fight. As a testament to his power, he is able to effortlessly defeat each member of Team Sonic and fight Sonic to a near standstill, although not without gaining the upper hand multiple times.
Although he relies on his shoes for running, Shadow can move at speeds that rivals Sonic's on his own as well, and has reflexes to match both his and Sonic's speed. In addition to speed, Shadow is exceptionally strong, capable of kicking Sonic into the ground with such force that he made an impact crater, and hitting Sonic with enough strength to knock him through three palm trees in a row without slowing down (to the point that the broken parts of those palm trees even have scorch marks on them). Shadow also has impressive durability; even after taking a direct hit from Sonic's spin attack while his guard was down and getting knocked through a house, Shadow instantly got back up. He is also able to project red energies for a variety of purposes; he can envelop himself in a red aura which empowers his attacks and makes him virtually invulnerable, throw energy bolts named Chaos Spears to attack his enemies and unleash an explosion of energy named the Chaos Blast. He is also capable of teleportation. With his teleportation skill, Shadow can dodge attacks and launch surprise attacks with ease.
Shadow is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, capable of taking on multiple opponents at the same time. Shadow can as well perform the spin attack, where he curls tightly into a concussive ball. In this stance, Shadow can damage, destroy and mow down obstacles or foes when in motion and even equal Sonic's spin attack head-on.
Shadow wears a pair of specialized shoes. These footwear produce small jet streams that let him hover-skate at speeds equaling Sonic's. Alternatively, Shadow can use his shoes to produce fire, letting him hover in midair and fly at high speeds.
Shadow also possesses his own Enerbeam, an energy tether that can latch onto objects or form a makeshift whip/rope.
Shadow generally looks down on Team Sonic with contempt, viewing most of its members as pathetic due to his personal opposition to friendship, and the ease at which he can take them down. Whenever they cross paths, he is most likely to ignore them unless they are actively fighting him, focusing almost exclusively on Sonic. Like with Sonic, however, Shadow holds a hint of respect for the rest of the team, willing to acknowledge and give them credit if he feels they deserve it.
He respects Tails' intelligence, having no qualms about letting him examine his Mind Control Device. While he does not find Knuckles very smart, he does acknowledge his strength and is not above using it to his advantage in combat. He is also open about how pathetic he finds Sticks to be, to the point where he and Knuckles shared a look of confusion during one of her tirades.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is Shadow's tense arch-rival and his equal in both speed, abilities and dashing looks. Despite their similarities, they are polar opposites in every way, with Shadow disagreeing with nearly everything Sonic stands for. While Sonic is joyful, free-spirited and adventurous, Shadow is brooding, serious and violently aggressive. Whereas Sonic draws strength from his friends and believes in teamwork, Shadow is a loner who only relies on himself. Shadow's rivalry with Sonic is hostile to the point of them being enemies, but he will put their rivalry aside when a greater threat is present.
Shadow shares a bitter arch-rivalry with Sonic which goes way back, and is determined to defeat him at all costs due to his pride. He finds Sonic extensively annoying and criticizes him for being weak and a disgrace to hedgehog-kind. Shadow also firmly thinks of himself as Sonic's superior, and whenever they meet, they usually end up arguing. While willing to ignore Sonic out of a sense of superiority, Shadow will just as easily pick a fight with him and go out of his way to defeat or even kill Sonic to prove how pathetic he is, which Shadow justifies on the grounds that Sonic deserves it for being such a disgrace. In fact, fighting Sonic is one of the few things Shadow ever shows an interest in. For all his animosity though, Shadow has a small degree of respect for Sonic, like when he willingly complimented Sonic and let him go after noticing that he beat Lyric.
In spite of their shared animosity for Sonic, Shadow thinks little of Dr. Eggman. While the doctor idolizes Shadow, Shadow sees Eggman as a pathetic fool and buffoon who is only a waste of his time, an opinion of which he is very open about. Regardless, Shadow was once willing to join forces with Eggman to plan Sonic's demise, although he left once he got fed up with him. In battle, Shadow will not hesitate to brush the doctor away, but at the same time finds him such an annoyance that he would abandon a fight with Sonic just to get away from him. Despite this, Shadow seems to have at least a hint of tolerance towards the doctor, begrudgingly letting him take a selfie with him when he could have easily left or attacked him instead.
After their failed attempt to take down Sonic together, Shadow has sworn to never work alongside Eggman again. Also, when Shadow found out Eggman had tricked him into attacking Sonic, he came after the doctor without mercy.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (arch-rival)
- "Why don't you come here and face me?"
- —Shadow, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
- "I'm not thrilled with the results, but I must admit I'm impressed of how you saved the universe. I'll be back, Sonic, but next time, on my terms."
- —Shadow's goodbye to Sonic, "Eggman: The Video Game Part 2: The End of the World"
- According to Alan Denton, it was initially decided during the writing process of the first season of the Sonic Boom television series that Shadow was not going to be used in the series. The reason was that if they had to, it would have to be in a way that did not make fun of him or made him look stupid or goofy. After a lot of work though, the writers found a way to include him in "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog".
- In the Japanese version of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, it is revealed that Shadow is controlled by Lyric through a mind control chip on his head. His Japanese voice is given a mechanical filter to sound more robotic, giving the impression that Shadow was an android. This aspect was not included in the game in other versions, for unknown reasons.
- In the game files of the non-Japanese versions of the game, some of Tails' unused lines indicate that Shadow was mind-controlled by a chip that Tails saw on the latter's head. Shadow, however, was not shown with a chip in the game.
- Shadow's appearance in the Sonic Boom franchise was first officially hinted to the public as one of two "fan-favorite" characters, along with Metal Sonic, to appear in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
- Unlike his other counterparts, whenever Shadow curls up into a spinball form, he gives off a fully-red color instead of his black color with small shades of red. The trail that follows him is also red as opposed to yellowish-orange.
- Due to Sega restrictions, Shadow did not appear in any issues of the Sonic Boom comic series. He did, however, appear in the Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal prologue comic.
- This is so far the only version of Shadow to not have his origin fleshed out or seen.
- In the Netflix's Spanish subtitles for the second season of Sonic Boom, he is named Sombra instead of Shadow.
- Sombra is also his translated name in both Spanish dubs of Sonic X.
- Big Red Button Entertainment, Illfonic (18 December 2014). Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Wii U. Sega. "Shadow the Hedgehog profile."
- Sanzaru Games (10 November 2014). Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. Nintendo 3DS. Sega. Area/Level: Q-N-C's Toy Shop.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg (14 November 2015). "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 52. Cartoon Network.
- Derrien, Jean-Christophe (11 November 2017). "Eggman: The Video Game Part 1". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 103. Boomerang.
- Raut-Sieuzac, Natalys (11 November 2017). "Eggman: The Video Game Part 2: The End of the World". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 104. Boomerang.
- Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (14 November 2015). Retrieved on 15 November 2015. "Uncle Festive: Awesome job on the finale, again! Question, was there much/any push-back from SEGA about Shadow being a flat out villain? / Alan Denton: Working out the plot was a collaborative experience. Shadow's motivations to fight are related to his pride, not out of villainy"
- Alan Denton (@AlanTheWriter) on Twitter. Twitter (13 November 2015). Retrieved on 14 November 2015. "Alan Denton: Real quick, before the Twitter fun starts up again. / [Image transcript]: True story: During the Sonic Boom season 1 writing process, I had a document on my computer with every possible episode concept that we could think of. One of these ideas, way down towards the bottom, simply said, "Shadow Episode." And, next to that title, I had written these words. "Never Gonna Happen." The reason? Because if we were going to use Shadow, it had to be in a way that didn't make fun of him or make him look stupid / goofy. It took a lot of work, but finally we did come up with a concept that we think served the character AND made for a funny episode. It airs tomorrow as the final. I think you should watch it. Hugs and kisses, Alan Denton"
- Hogfather (22 January 2015). 2nd Update: Shadow is actually an Android in Sonic Boom? What..?. Sonic Stadium. Retrieved on 30 January 2015.
- Whitehead, Thomas (13 August 2015). Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Set to Add "Two Fan Favourite Characters". Nintendo Life. Retrieved on 3 July 2014.