Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu?) is a 2005 third-person shooter video game developed by Sega Studio USA (the former American division of Sonic Team) and published by Sega for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox consoles. It was released on November 2005 in Western nations, while Asian releases followed a month later. The PlayStation 2 version was then digitally re-released for the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in Asian countries in 2013.
Although it is a 3D platform game as with the more recent Sonic Adventure games, the game's levels each feature up to three different missions (Hero, Dark, Normal) that the player may choose to complete. The game's plot depends on which mission is completed as well as subsequent playable levels. The game stars Shadow the Hedgehog and his quest to recover his memory, a goal he has been pursuing since his debut in Sonic Adventure 2, while an evil alien race known as the Black Arms is invading the planet.
The game received mixed reviews; it has been criticized for the addition of weapons into Sonic gameplay and other dark themes (such as swearing) although it was praised for its replay value.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Story Mode
- 5 Cast
- 6 Music
- 7 Reception
- 8 Plot holes
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Videos
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The story begins with Shadow standing on a hill next to a tree outside the city of Westopolis. A newspaper with the headline of celebrations taking place now that the "Black Comet" has come back after its fifty year cycle blows by in the breeze, catching on Shadow's leg, then blowing off into the distance. Fighting with his amnesia, Shadow struggles to remember who he is and constantly thinks back to "that gruesome image" which is the one memory he seems to have left: Maria Robotnik getting shot dead by G.U.N. soldiers right before his eyes.
As Shadow ponders his past, a gaping hole opens up in the sky over the city. Strange black and red creatures descend from the clouds and begin to cause pandemonium in the city. Shadow turns to leave, not caring about the humans' fate until someone calls out his name. A large floating figure, known as Black Doom, appears and tells Shadow to bring him the Chaos Emeralds "as promised" before disappearing in multiple explosions. Fueled with desire to seek out his past and find the truth behind Black Doom's words, Shadow speeds off into the city.
The story's progression then depends on the player's actions of deciding the path Shadow takes by choosing which missions to complete in each stage. Some scenarios will reveal certain information about Shadow's past including flashbacks to the Space Colony ARK and Maria and the connection of the events on board the space colony to others, such as the Commander. All of the story paths lead to one of the following unique endings depending on how much Shadow aids the protagonists and GUN forces or Black Doom and the Black Arms:
- If Shadow chooses to aid the Black Arms in their conquest of the planet, then he will either become a servant of the Black Arms, defeat and kill Dr. Eggman or even betray the Black Arms and claim the universe for his own. In the Darkest scenario, Shadow vows to destroy the planet with the power of the Chaos Emeralds.
- If Shadow chooses to remain neutral to both parties, then he will become convinced he is simply an android copy of the original Shadow and then kill Eggman.
- If Shadow chooses to aid the protagonists in combating the Black Arms, he will either become the protector of the ARK, become convinced that he is nothing more than an experiment gone horribly wrong and thinks he should never have been created, or fight with Sonic to proclaim himself the most powerful hedgehog in the world. In the best Hero scenario, Shadow defeats Black Doom and vows to destroy the Black Arms and keep his promise to Maria.
However, all of the aforementioned endings are actually distortions of the truth. The true story of Shadow's past is told in the Last Story, which can only be unlocked by obtaining all of the previous endings.
In the Last Story, Shadow is confronted by Black Doom after gathering all of the Emeralds. Black Doom commands him to give up the Emeralds so that they can begin the 'Ritual Of Prosperity'. Sonic and the others (including Eggman) then arrive and tell Shadow not to listen to the alien leader. After it is revealed that Black Doom wishes to harvest humans as an energy source, he takes the Emeralds from Shadow and uses Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet down to the surface of the planet.
Black Doom then explains that he helped Professor Gerald create Shadow, but only in return for the Chaos Emeralds, which were needed to bring the comet down to the surface. This reveals that Shadow was actually created using Black Doom's DNA. As Eggman is in disbelief that his grandfather would betray the planet just for research and helping the Black Arms, Black Doom paralyzes everyone with a special gas being emitted from the comet and leaves them to be devoured by his alien offspring. As the end seems near, Shadow suddenly hears Maria asking for help and he breaks through the paralysis. Black Doom flees, leaving behind Shadow, the only hope for the planet.
Shadow catches up with Black Doom, and suddenly is attacked by mind control. Black Doom tells him that he can control him as they have the same blood running through their veins. Shadow refuses to believe it as the scene switches to the ARK, where Charmy Bee, Vector the Crocodile, and Espio the Chameleon race to hack data disks that they found earlier in the game. This room seems identical to the one where Gerald's first video in Sonic Adventure 2 is activated. They finally get inside, and Charmy activates a film showing a sane Professor Gerald Robotnik. He refers to Shadow as his "son" and tells him that he is the only hope for the planet. It is revealed that the only way to defeat the Black Arms is to destroy the Black Comet using the Eclipse Cannon, a powerful weapon built into the ARK. As the video ends, Maria steps into the frame and gives Shadow the inspiration he needs to break through Black Doom's control. Black Doom escapes and prompts Shadow to use the Chaos Emeralds to become Super Shadow and fight the alien leader. Black Doom (now in his Devil Doom form) fights Shadow and is defeated.
Shadow then uses a super-powered Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet back into the planet's orbit and tear it apart with a blast from the Eclipse Cannon. Everyone below in Earth cheers in joy as the alien threat is destroyed forever. In one final scene on board the ARK, Shadow looks at a picture of Maria and Gerald before tossing it away as he leaves the room, remarking "Goodbye forever... Shadow the Hedgehog".
For some missions, Shadow teams up with various allies from the series, some new and old. Potential allies for Shadow include Amy Rose, Charmy Bee, Doom's Eye, Dr. Eggman, E-123 Omega, Espio the Chameleon, Knuckles the Echidna, Maria, Miles "Tails" Prower, Rouge the Bat, Sonic the Hedgehog and Vector the Crocodile. The allies act as combat support and guidance and give help to Shadow should he need it. When an ally is not present, Shadow himself talks to the player about what they need to do.
In the PS2 and GameCube versions of the game, a second player can connect a 2nd controller and play as another character in a "co-op mode". This cannot be done with Eggman, Doom's Eye, or Charmy and will not work on the Xbox version.
Ally Special Attacks
For the most part the allies can do what Shadow can do, except things that deal with weapons and vehicles. When an ally is played as in "Co-op" mode the second player can run, jump, and attack with their character. Some allies have different attacks compared to the other allies. Allies with special attacks are listed below.
- Sonic - Can perform the Homing Attack, all other allies can do the Jump Dash but it won't home in on the enemy (this is because in order for Sonic to fight Shadow in the boss with the Commander his Homing Attack would need to work). When controlled he can punch like other allies, however the NPC doesn't use this ability at all. Sonic's Homing Attack unlike most can even aim towards targets outside the usual range/angles, such as working on targets right above him or right below.
- Tails - Uses a Tail attack for his attack. (the only ally attack which damages more than once in one attack)
- Knuckles - He punches but it is slightly different than the other allies punches.
- Rouge - Kicks instead of punching the enemy.
- Vector - Bites the enemy with his jaws.
- Espio - Kicks and chops enemies. When controlled, he can do a small Jump Dash.
- Amy - Punches
- Omega - Attacks with his arms, but different than the others punches.
- Maria - She can only jump one foot off the ground and can't jump dash, other than that she acts like the others.
When the ally is played automatically by the computer, they will act differently compared to the others. If it is a playable ally, then they will attack any nearby enemy if Shadow gets within range. Some allies will use their attack and others will jump to attack an enemy. Hero allies will always attack Eggman's robots and Black Arms soldiers, even if defeating the Eggman soldiers increases Shadow's Dark Meter. An example is in Mad Matrix, in which Espio attacks the Egg Pawns. This adds Dark points and when Shadow attacks them Espio tells Shadow/the player to not attack them in order to avoid being detected by Eggman.
- Sonic - Will Jump or use the Homing Attack
- Knuckles - Will Jump to attack
- Rouge - Will Jump or use her attack
- Espio - Will Jump to attack
- Omega - Will Jump to attack
- Tails - Will use his Tails Attack
- Amy - Will use a combo of punches
- Rouge - Will use her Kick
- Vector - Will use his Bite to attack
- Maria - Will punch to attack
During the story, two of three different factions will be present in each of the missions: the Black Arms, GUN, and the Eggman Empire. The Black Arms enemies include gun and sword wielding humanoid aliens, flying creatures, and missile-launching worms and killing them earns Hero points. The GUN enemies, who are hunting him down due to their Commander's orders, include human troops as well as traditional GUN Beetles and walkers and destroying or incapacitating them earns Dark points. The Eggman Empire enemies are Eggman's typical robots, including the Egg Pawns and bomb-throwing jugglers, as well as Shadow Androids. Killing them earns either Dark or Hero points, depending on who the opposing side is. They will usually be seen attacking each-other, but will all try to attack Shadow regardless of who he sides with in a mission. However, GUN will not attack Shadow in the level Lost Impact, due to it being a flashback of the ARK before GUN deemed the experiments dangerous. Also, enemies shot with the Heal Cannon will no longer attack Shadow nor will it damage him to come into contact with the said enemy. In addition, shooting an enemy with said weapon will fill up the bar that is affiliated with the enemy (Black Arms will fill up Shadow's Dark Meter and GUN soldiers will fill up Shadow's Hero Meter).
The enemies that appear in the game are as follows:
- Black Arms:
- Eggman Empire:
Once certain levels are completed for a certain alignment, Shadow will face off against a boss of the opposing alignment.
- Blue Falcon/Heavy Dog and Sonic/Diablon (GUN)
- Black Bull and Black Doom (Black Arms)
- Egg Breaker and Egg Dealer (Eggman Empire)
Shadow's abilities in Shadow the Hedgehog are similar to those from Sonic Adventure 2. He can jump and Jump Dash/Homing Attack, as well as Spin Dash, Light Dash and slide to attack while running, and can perform a punch-punch-kick combo. He also has the ability to use weapons (including guns, swords, rocket launchers, etc.) and drive vehicles that he finds or commandeers. Shadow also keeps his ability to wall run from Sonic Heroes. He is able to use Chaos Spear, but only when you unlock the last story and turn into Super Shadow.
Shadow can use a variety of weapons found throughout each stage. Ranging from pistols and machine guns to close combat weapons, Gatling guns, bazookas, and even laser rifles. Weapons are commonly found in boxes and dropped from enemies. When a weapon is first picked up, Shadow receives some initial of ammunition for that weapon; more ammunition can be gathered by picking up more copies of the weapon. Only one weapon can be held at a time, and when Shadow runs out of ammunition for his weapon, he will toss it aside and it disappears. Even melee weapons such as swords have ammunition points, which may represent their durability.
Six special weapons can be unlocked in Story mode. The first five are each unlocked by completing either the Hero or Dark mission of one of the five Stages (and their ammo can be increased by completing both the Hero and Dark missions.) The last special weapon, the "Shadow Rifle" is unlocked upon completion of the Last Story.
These special weapons are contained within black boxes with Shadow's head on it. When one of these boxes is opened, it drops all unlocked special weapons.
Shadow has two gauges he can fill depending on how the player makes him act towards enemies/allies. When Shadow fills up a gauge to the maximum, he enters a state where he is invincible, gets unlimited ammunition, and can use a specific chaos power that is affiliated with whichever gauge he fills.
Destroying Black Arms, healing wounded GUN troops and civilians, putting out fires and other good deeds gives Hero points and fills up Shadow's Hero Gauge, which is blue. Upon filling the gauge, Shadow becomes Hero Shadow and can activate Chaos Control, which lets him fast forward through the stage and attack evil enemies (or slows down time in boss battles) until the Hero gauge is empty.
Defeating GUN troops, environmental objects and healing Black Arms gives Dark points and fills up Shadow's Dark gauge. Upon filling the gauge, Shadow becomes Dark Shadow and can use Chaos Blast, which destroys or damages anything and anyone unfortunate enough to be near Shadow
Destroying Eggman's robots can fill either gauge depending on which other faction they are fighting. There is also a third Chaos Power that only be used in the Last Story, called Chaos Spear.
Interestingly, while both sides are often seen exchanging shots with one-another, they will rarely ever hit each other. This is because the developers wanted all the enemy deaths to be a result of the player's actions. The player cannot simply wait out a fire fight until enemies are weakened, but must instead do the work themselves.
The story mode of Shadow the Hedgehog is broken into stages, with cut-scenes in-between. The first stage of a game of story mode is always Westopolis. After that, however, the next stage played is determined by which "mission" was completed in the previous stage. For example, if the "Dark" mission is completed in Westopolis, the next stage will be Digital Circuit, whereas if the "Hero" mission is completed, the next stage will be Lethal Highway and if the "Normal" mission is completed, the next stage will be Glyphic Canyon. Each stage (except for Last Story, which has only The Last Way) has two or three missions, which can be Dark, Normal, or Hero. There is a door in each stage, which requires five keys to unlock. There are bonuses such as weapons, vehicles and shortcuts behind the door.
- Westopolis (Starting)
- Digital Circuit (Pure-Dark/Semi-Dark) after Dark mission in Westopolis
- Glyphic Canyon (Normal) after Normal Mission in Westopolis
- Lethal Highway (Pure-Hero/Semi-Hero) after Hero mission in Westopolis
- Black Bull as Boss
- Cryptic Castle (Pure-Dark/Semi-Dark) after Dark Mission in Digital Circuit or Glyphic Canyon
- Egg Breaker as Boss
- Prison Island (Normal) after Normal Mission in Glyphic Canyon, Hero Mission in Digital Circuit or Dark Mission in Lethal Highway
- Circus Park (Pure-Hero/Semi-Hero) after Hero Mission in Glyphic Canyon or Lethal Highway
- Central City (Pure Dark) after Dark Mission in Cryptic Castle
- The Doom (Semi-Dark) after Dark Mission in Prison Island or Normal Mission in Cryptic Castle
- Heavy Dog as Boss
- Sky Troops (Normal) after Hero Mission in Cryptic Castle or Dark Mission of Circus Park or Neutral Mission in Prison Island
- Mad Matrix (Semi-Hero) after Normal Mission in Circus Park or Hero Mission in Prison Island
- Egg Breaker as Boss
- Death Ruins (Pure Hero) after Hero Mission in Circus Park
- Black Bull as Boss
- The ARK (Pure Dark) after Dark Mission in The Doom or Central City
- Blue Falcon as Boss
- Air Fleet (Semi-Dark) after Dark Mission in Sky Troops, Normal Mission in The Doom or Hero Mission in Central City
- Iron Jungle (Normal) after Hero Mission in The Doom, Neutral Mission in Sky Troops or Dark Mission in Mad Matrix
- Egg Breaker as Boss
- Space Gadget (Semi-Hero) after Hero Mission in Sky Troops, Normal Mission in Mad Matrix or Dark Mission in Death Ruins
- Lost Impact (Pure Hero) after Hero Mission of Mad Matrix or Death Ruins
- GUN Fortress (Pure Dark) after Dark Mission in Air Fleet or The Ark
- Black Comet (Semi-Dark) after Dark Mission in Iron Jungle, Neutral Mission in The Ark, Neutral Mission in Air Fleet
- Lava Shelter (Normal) after Normal Mission in Iron Jungle, Hero Mission in Air Fleet or Dark Mission in Space Gadget
- Cosmic Fall (Semi-Hero) after Hero Mission in Iron Jungle, Neutral Mission in Space Gadget or Lost Impact
- Final Haunt (Pure Hero) after Hero Mission in Space Gadget or Lost Impact
- Sonic & Diablon (Dark) - Fought by completing Dark mission in GUN Fortress, Black Comet, and Final Haunt
- Egg Dealer (Normal) - Fought by completing Cosmic Fall on Dark, Black Comet on Hero & Lava Shelter on Hero or Dark.
- Black Doom (Hero) - Fought after completing the Hero mission in Final Haunt, GUN Fortress and Cosmic Fall
Shadow the Hedgehog uses the traditional A through E ranking also featured in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, etc. A certain minimum total score is required to earn each ranking, with A being the most points and E the ranking earned when less than the required number of points for a D are earned. The number of points required for each ranking varies between stages and between missions within each stage.
There are also three types of points earned during the level, and the way the total score is calculated depends on which mission is completed. Normal points are earned by collecting rings and items. Dark points are earned by killing GUN troops (and sometimes Eggman's robots) and things in the environment (such as signs and lights.) Hero points are earned by killing Black Arms (and sometimes Eggman's robots), healing wounded or dead GUN troops and civilians, and putting out fires. The player's total score for Normal missions equals his/her Normal score plus their Time Bonus (Hero and Dark scores are ignored.) His/Her total score for Dark missions equals their Normal score plus their Dark score plus their Time Bonus minus their Hero score, and his/her total score for Hero missions equals their Normal score plus their Hero score plus their Time Bonus minus their Dark score. By earning an A rank for all stages, "Expert Mode" - a challenging version of all stages is unlocked, similar to "Super Hard Mode" in Sonic Heroes.
Final Levels & Endings
Final levels do not feature neutral missions, causing the player to choose either a Hero or Dark boss battle as their final fight.
- GUN Fortress (Pure Dark)
- Dark: Doom's Eye: Destroy GUN's 3 Central Computers then defeat Sonic the Hedgehog and Diablon (controlled by the Commander). Shadow then declares he was created to bring order and justice to the humans, and he is "going to destroy this damn planet".
- Hero: Rouge the Bat: Find the 6th Chaos Emerald; afterwards, the two defeat Black Doom and Shadow declares he will conquer the universe.
- Black Comet (Semi-Dark)
- Dark: Doom's Eye: Eliminate all the GUN mechs infiltrating the base, then defeat Sonic & Diablon and steal the seventh Chaos Emerald. Shadow announces himself the protector and servant of Black Doom.
- Hero: Knuckles the Echidna: Find the center of the comet; Dr. Eggman appears and demands Shadow hands over the six Emeralds to him. With Knuckles's help, Shadow defeats Eggman and declares that he, and only he, knows what is best and that he is the master of his own life.
- Lava Shelter (Neutral)
- Dark: Dr. Eggman: Activate the base's lava defenses to stop G.U.N. from entering. Afterwards, Shadow faces Eggman. Upon the Doctor's defeat, he declares that he is a copy, replacement, and, thanks to the Emeralds, stronger version of the original Shadow the Hedgehog.
- Hero: E-123 Omega: Find Dr. Eggman and defeat his army; when they find him, Omega and Shadow are determined to defeat him (Shadow stating he will make him regret creating him); when they do, Shadow announces himself "Shadow Android" and that he will take over and lead the Eggman Empire.
- Cosmic Fall (Semi-Hero)
- Dark: Doom's Eye: Find the Chaos Emerald. Shadow and Vector then defeat Eggman. He soon declares himself protector of the ARK. An interesting note about this ending is the fact that this is the only ending where Shadow defeats Eggman but spares him instead of killing him.
- Hero: Vector the Crocodile: Find the Computer Room before The ARK explodes then defeat Black Doom. Once Shadow gets the last emerald, he accepts to himself that he is an experiment gone horribly wrong, and leaves while Vector tries to comfort him.
- Final Haunt (Pure Hero)
- Dark: Doom's Eye: Activate the Comet's shield defenses. He later fights Sonic & Diablon. After getting all of the Emeralds, he declares himself the most powerful hedgehog in the universe.
- Hero: Sonic the Hedgehog: Find Black Doom then defeat him; Shadow announces to keep the promise he made to Maria to "protect the planet she loved so much".
This is the first game in the series to feature the 4Kids Entertainment voice actors.
In this game, Sega decided to hire the 4Kids voice actors who were cast for Sonic X for the Sonic the Hedgehog games as well, with their debut featured in Shadow the Hedgehog. This move was poorly received by fans, with many criticizing the 4Kids actors as either trying to imitate their predecessors too much, or being unsuitable for their roles. Despite protests by fans, as well as a long running campaign by former Sonic voice actor Ryan Drummond to return to the role, the 4Kids voice actors were kept up until Sonic Free Riders in 2010 where the cast was replaced once more except for Mike Pollock, the voice of Doctor Eggman.
The vocal tracks were released on an album in February 2006, entitled Lost and Found: Shadow the Hedgehog Vocal Trax. They are:
- "I Am... All of Me" by Crush 40 (Intro song, Main theme, and Final Boss theme)
- "Almost Dead" by Powerman 5000 (Pure Dark ending theme)
- "Waking Up" by Julien-K (Neutral ending theme)
- "E.G.G.M.A.N. Doc. Robeatnix Mix" by Lee Brotherton and his Remix Factory (Eggman's theme)
- "The Chosen One" by A2 (Semi-Hero ending theme)
- "All Hail Shadow" by Magna-Fi (Pure Hero ending theme. Following games often use this as Shadow's theme as opposed to the others)
- "Never Turn Back" by Crush 40 (Last Story ending theme)
Shadow the Hedgehog received mixed reviews from critics upon its release; the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions are respectively rated 51%, 45%, and 49% on Metacritic and 53%, 49%, and 52% on GameRankings. By May 17, 2006, the game's worldwide sales total exceeded one million. The game was later released as a part of two budget lines—Greatest Hits for the PlayStation 2 (this represents sales of at least 400,000), and Player's Choice for the GameCube (250,000).
Much criticism stemmed from the unwelcome sense of maturity and, in particular, the addition of guns. Game Informer staff writer Matt Helgeson said that "not only is this new 'adult' interpretation of Sonic painfully dumb, it’s also ill-advised and almost feels like a betrayal to longtime fans." Eurogamer staff writer Tom Bramwell felt that "the game's other selling point – its darker edge – [is] not really meant for us." G4 sX-Play and GameSpy staff writer Patrick Klepek thought similarly. In contrast, Nintendo Power staff writer Steve Thomason rated the game 8.0 out of 10, stating that "[t]his darker take on the Sonic universe succeeds for the most part, giving the series a bit of an edge without going overboard on violence." However, in the last issue of Nintendo Power, Thomason would go on to say that giving it this rating was his worst mistake while working on the magazine and described the game as an "abomination". 
The game's controls were criticized, especially because Shadow's homing attack caused unexpected character deaths. Game Informer's Matt Helgeson complained that the attack "frequently sends you careening off into nothingness, resulting in cheap death after cheap death." Nintendo Power, X-Play, Eurogamer, Official Xbox Magazine, and GameSpy agreed. Other complaints focused on the mechanics of weapons and vehicles. Greg Mueller of GameSpot felt that the guns were nearly useless because of a lack of an aiming ability. IGN staff writer Matt Casamassina, 1UP.com staff writer Greg Sewart, Game Informer, X-Play, GameSpy, and London's The Times also criticized the mechanics of Shadow's weapons and vehicles, and other aspects of the game's controls. However, Nintendo Power claimed that "blasting Shadow's foes with the wide variety of weapons at his disposal is just plain fun."
The many possible paths through the game caused reviewers to praise the game's replay value. Rating the game 8.3 out of 10, GameTrailers stated that "this choose-your-own-adventure style gives the game replay value that many platformers lack." The Melbourne, Australia, publication Herald Sun, and Official Xbox Magazine thought similarly. Nintendo Power agreed, although criticizing the difficulty of the missions that require the player to locate objects. GameSpot praised the game's variety of levels and its music. Despite of the overall mixed to negative reception, Shadow the Hedgehog was voted the best game of 2006 in the Official Jetix Magazine Reader Awards.
At the beginning of the opening, Shadow can be seen standing in front of the moon. Dr. Eggman destroyed nearly half the moon in Sonic Adventure 2, although it could be possible that it was the side that was left intact, or even the Space Colony ARK judging by how its rear looks like the moon's surface. The latter seems unlikely, seeing as the ARK's back-surface seems to be mostly brown in color. Although, it could be possible that there is a second moon in Sonic's world, as seen in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. However, it was confirmed by Ilzuka Takashi of Sonic Team at Sonic Boom 2013 that in all later games after Sonic Adventure 2, the Moon is actually still blown up. However, from Sonic Heroes onwards, the player is just looking at the opposite, intact side of the moon, which is on the opposite side of the world. So if one were to go across the world, one would see the destroyed section of the moon. However, this is a contradiction as the moon always faces the same direction while orbiting the Earth. So the destroyed side would actually always be visible.
Another plot hole is that one of the levels takes place on Prison Island, which was destroyed in Sonic Adventure 2. The Island itself was not destroyed, but the G.U.N. base was. Perhaps this was a secret area not previously explored, or perhaps G.U.N. rebuilt it.
Another notable plot hole is that the picture of Sonic and Shadow in the President's office could only have been taken after the Earth was saved in Sonic Adventure 2, as they could have only been seen together then, but Shadow was presumed dead after that event. It could also have been taken after Sonic Heroes.
- There are few differences between each version. The GameCube version maintains the steadiest framerate, but only has one voiced language available (Japanese in the Japanese release, English elsewhere). The Xbox version contains dual languages dependent on system settings, but is the only version that does not allow a second controller to play as a mission helper (only the flying characters Eggman, Charmy and Doom's Eye could not be controlled in other versions). The PlayStation 2 version is often remembered as the least favorable port, having gameplay glitches and no ability to clean pause as well as framerate issues, but at least containing freely selectable languages.)
- Some G.U.N. soldiers shout, "Mr. Yuji Naka is all right!", an obvious reference to the former head of Sonic Team.
- Since this game is similar to Sonic Heroes in graphics and other subjects, Knuckles is the only one to retain (or have a similar victory pose to) his pose in Sonic Heroes.
- Before the game was released, it was going to take more advantage of the ESRB "T" rating. For example, some FMV scenes had violent extensions (such as the opening showing a lone G.U.N. soldier getting shot in the opening, though he can still be seen bracing for the impact in the final version, and the flashback of Maria getting shot originally showed her fall), the aliens' green blood was originally red, and there were more instances of cursing such as Shadow saying "What the hell was that all about" in the intro and Sonic saying “piss” instead of tick .However, the E10+ rating was created during development, causing some changes between pre-release and the final version. Contrary to popular belief, the Japanese version is not uncensored.
- There are a few tunes from Sonic Adventure 2 reused in the game: Event - Strategy, Blue Falcon (with a remixed techno version of the G.U.N. Mobile boss), Heavy Dog (G.U.N. Mobile with different drums), and 2P vs Battle (a remixed version of Radical Highway). Event - Super Shadow has a small clip of "Live and Learn", the main theme from Sonic Adventure 2.
- Additionally, many levels in this game have names similar to levels from Sonic Adventure 2: Glyphic Canyon (Wild Canyon), Lethal Highway (Radical Highway), Prison Island (Prison Lane), Sky Troops (Sky Rail), Iron Jungle (Iron Gate), Space Gadget (Crazy Gadget), Cosmic Fall (Cosmic Wall), Lost Impact (Lost Colony), and Final Haunt (Final Rush/Chase).
- This game has made the character Vector the Crocodile popular for the line "Find the computer room!" in Cosmic Fall. This line has become an internet meme.
- Big the Cat was the only playable character from Sonic Heroes to not return in this game.
- This is the first Sonic game with an E10+ rating from ESRB and a 12 rating from PEGI. This is due to the game's explicit nature compared to other games in the series, making it what some regard as the darkest, most mature Sonic game ever made.
- However, some other Sonic games are a close second, such as Sonic CD (which features dark art depictions for the Bad Futures, the US version of the Boss, Game Over theme and the "fun is infinite" picture), Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (which involves Sonic actually getting killed by impalement and hopeless, apocalyptic themes), Sonic Unleashed (which involves Dark Gaia growing extra arms from his shoulders and extra eyes from his mouth while excreting what is presumably green blood and lycanthropy transformations), and Sonic and the Black Knight (which featured Knuckles as Sir Gawain almost committing suicide and focusing on the corruption of King Arthur).
- Additionally, this game is the second Sonic game that uses profanity; for example, when Shadow dies, he says "Damn". The first was Sonic Adventure 2, but only in some of the song lyrics, such as Knuckles' theme song, and the Death Chamber music. The Third game was Sonic Runners, because Knuckles says "Damn" on a few occasions.
- Shadow the Hedgehog was supposed to have an odd type of first-third person view that is indicated by a map similar to other 3rd person shooters such as Gears of War and Ratchet and Clank (refer to the picture on the right).
- Although the game was directed towards a more mature audience, the game was nominated for a Golden Joystick Award for Family Game of the Year in 2006 on the website for the British newspaper "The Sun".
- Sonic is the only assistant character who can use the Homing Attack. This could be due to his involvement in one of the final bosses. This is also the only game in which a Homing Attack (only in Sonic's case as an NPC) can defy certain physics, such as being able to aim straight upward or instantly retaliating after getting hit.
- In one cutscene, Sonic says "Welcome to the next level!" a reference to one of SEGA's mottos.
- This is the first mainstream 3D Sonic game that does not feature Super Sonic as a playable character in the final boss.
- In addition, this is the first mainstream 3D Sonic game where Super Sonic is unimportant to the game's plot.
- However, if players look closely at the flashback Shadow has of the climax of Sonic Adventure 2 during the cutscene prior to Space Gadget as well as the flashback shown prior to Lava Shelter, behind Super Shadow, one can make out Super Sonic due to the Soap Shoes he (Sonic) wore in said game, but is mostly blocked out by Super Shadow due to Super Sonic not being an important part of this game.
- In addition, this is the first mainstream 3D Sonic game where Super Sonic is unimportant to the game's plot.
- The scene where the Eclipse Cannon destroys the president's office is very similar to a scene in the movie Independence Day, where an alien laser beam destroys the White House.
- The symbol of the game that represents Shadow also resembles a tomoe, with extra curves added to represent Shadow's spine.
- The gun that Shadow is holding on the cover is not featured in the actual game.
- As revealed by Ilzuka Takashi at Sonic Boom 2013, Shadow the Hedgehog is the last game released to be part of the Dreamcast Era, while Sonic Advance 3 was the last game of the Dreamcast Era chronologically. Sonic Rush starts off the Modern Era.
- The graphics are almost identical to Sonic Heroes in terms of game-play and some cutscenes. However, the CGI ones in the game use a different graphical style.
- Vector and Omega cannot harm enemies by using the Spin Jump, which is most likely a bug because the NPCs still unsuccessfully try to attack that way.
- Before the game was released, Sonic Team had Sins of a Divine Mother make a song for Shadow's Semi-Neutral story known as Broken; it was not put into the final release and ultimately went unused.
- The adaption of Black Doom's reason for gathering the Chaos Emeralds differs between the English and Japanese version of Shadow the Hedgehog. In the English version, he states that he needed the Chaos Emeralds to teleport the Black Comet down to earth because its velocity was not powerful enough to pass through a planet's atmosphere. In the Japanese version, he stated that the Black Comet is a cyclic comet that never touches a planet, so he needed the Chaos Emeralds teleport it down to the planet.
- The reason behind the characters' paralysis differs between the adaptions of Shadow the Hedgehog. In the Japanese version, Black Doom states that the Black Comet releases a natural gas that, when coming into contact with the Earth's atmosphere, develops into a toxic that paralyzes nerve cells. In the English version, he states that the Black Comet has just released a nerve gas that paralyze its victims when it has spread across the planet's crust.
- Mistakingly, the European box on the back refers to the G.U.N. Commander as "The General".
- In the GameCube version, there exists a huge unused level in the game files. This one includes leftovers from the Egg Emperor's boss arena in Sonic Heroes with the same textures as the original battle arena. The unused level also includes exclusive large buildings, wide bridges and different street signs. These file also has a separate texture image depicting what looks like a city with the same name label as of Westopolis's textures, indicating that this level may be an older version of it.
- The Shadow the Hedgehog Official Soundtrack on iTunes and in CD format is missing at least sixteen tracks compared with the original soundtrack, five of them being some boss tracks including the final fight against Devil Doom and the rest being missing levels. While some would believe that's because of re-used level music, this isn't the case as every level and boss has its own unique music piece.
- The missing Level tracks are: Cryptic Castle, Circus Park, The Doom, The ARK, Air Fleet, Iron Jungle, Space Gadget, G.U.N Fortress, Black Comet, Lava Shelter, and Final Haunt. The missing Boss tracks are: Egg Breaker, Egg Dealer, Heavy Dog, Sonic & Diablon, and Devil Doom.
- According to the library version on the library ID stamp of Shadow the Hedgehog's Renderware engine. Library version uses hexademical numbers and has the form 0xVJNBB where V (3 bits) is the Renderware version, J (4 bits) is the major revision, N (4 bits) is the minor revision and B (6 bits) is the binary revision. Version 188.8.131.52 for instance would be encoded as 0x37000.
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