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Sonic News Network

Hero or Villain? Uncover the truth about Sonic's arch-rival, Shadow the Hedgehog.

— Tagline

Shadow the Hedgehog (シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadō za Hejjihoggu?) is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Sega Studio USA and published by Sega. It was released for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles in late 2005. The game stars Shadow the Hedgehog and his quest to recover his memory, a goal he has been pursuing since Sonic Heroes, while an evil alien race known as the Black Arms is invading the earth.

The game received generally unfavorable reviews from critics who criticized its controls, the addition of weapons into Sonic gameplay, and other mature themes (such as swearing), although it was praised for its replay value.


Spoiler warning: Plot, ending details or any kind of information follow.

Main Story


Shadow standing outside of Westopolis.

After the Neo Metal Sonic incident, Shadow the Hedgehog had left to uncover the truth of his past. While standing on a hill near 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. Shadow pays it no mind as he struggles to recover all the pieces of his past with the few memories he has, which involve him and Maria Robotnik aboard the Space Colony ARK running for their lives until Maria was shot by a GUN Soldier in front of him, with Shadow calling out her name. He continues to ask himself who he was, why he couldn't remember anything, and who was Maria.

As Shadow ponders, 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. Not caring about the humans' fate, Shadow turns to leave until a dark voice calls out his name. He turns around to find a floating, tentacled creature with one eye, which projects a hologram of an alien entity, whose colors match that of the creatures as well as Shadow. The entity informs Shadow that the "day of reckoning" is soon to come, and instructs the hedgehog to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and bring them to him as was promised. Confused by this, Shadow demands answers of the alien's identity and what he was talking about, but then the hologram disappears and the tentacled creature takes its leave. Shadow nearly chases it until the ground around him is pocketed by multiple explosions.

Shadow becomes flustered by the turn of events, but is convinced that the entity knows who and what the hedgehog truly is. Determined to find the answers to his past, Shadow sets out on a quest for the Chaos Emeralds, starting in the city nearby.


In the ruined city of Westopolis, Shadow gets caught in the crossfire between the soldiers of the Guardian Units of Nations (GUN) and the Black Arms. During which, he meets his old rival, Sonic, who trusts his counterpart to help stop the evil aliens from wrecking the city. Along the way, he finds a Chaos Emerald and continues forward to locate the next one. However, he also encounters Doom's Eye, from which the the alien leader, Black Doom communicates to Shadow and orders him to deal with the GUN soldiers interfering with his plan. The player can decide to help out either side or choose to ignore their battle to find the Emeralds. Either way, Shadow's presence during the invasion is then made known to GUN's Commander, who holds a deep grudge against Shadow for the deaths of Maria and everyone-else aboard the Space Colony ARK and orders his soldiers to eliminate him on sight. Meanwhile, the President declares that humanity must stand united to repel the Black Arms, and after witnessing the senseless destruction during the war, Dr. Eggman decides to put an end to it and declares war on both the aliens and GUN.

The rest of the story's progression will depend on the player's decisions and actions within the first mission and the missions that follow, collecting the seven Chaos Emeralds in the process. In each level, Shadow can either follow a Hero route by working with GUN and Sonic, as well as Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Rouge, Omega, the Chaotix, and even Maria in flashbacks, or he can choose to go with a Dark route by assisting the Black Arms or Eggman with their own sinister agendas.

At the end of each storyline, the player will reach an ending depending on their actions:

  • By following a True Dark route, the player will end up in the GUN Fortress. There, Shadow must either destroy the mainframe cores and defeat GUN for good, or work alongside Rouge to obtain the last Chaos Emerald before the aliens do.
    • Choosing the Dark mission will have Shadow battle against both Sonic and Diablon, which is piloted by the Commander. After defeating them, Shadow will be granted the last Chaos Emerald. A weakened Sonic will then ask Shadow what he plans to do with the Emeralds, to which Shadow, under the influence of Gerald's reprogramming, will reply that he will use them to destroy the planet.
    • Choosing the Hero mission will have Shadow battle against Black Doom himself, who is outraged because Shadow betrayed him at the last minute. After defeating Black Doom, Shadow will get the last Chaos Emerald. With all the Emeralds, the hedgehog states that he will conquer the universe.
  • By following a Dark route, the player will end up in the Black Comet, the Black Arms' home base. There, Shadow must either defend the comet from an invasion of GUN soldiers, or assist Knuckles in finding the comet's core so they can destroy it.
    • Choosing the Dark mission will have Diablon and Sonic fight Shadow, only to be defeated. Then, Shadow will be granted the last Chaos Emerald and say that he will become Black Doom's minion to assist the Black Arms conquest of all of Earth.
    • Choosing the Hero mission will have Shadow and Knuckles fight Dr. Eggman and his Egg Dealer. After defeating the doctor, Shadow will get the last Chaos Emerald, and he will say that only he knows what is best for himself before striking down Eggman.
  • By following a Neutral route, the player will end up in the Lava Shelter, Eggman's secret lair. Shadow, who is now convinced that he is an android replica of himself, must either aid the mad scientist by activating the lair's defense systems, or assist Omega in finding their creator.
    • Choosing the Dark mission will have Eggman appear in the Egg Dealer to congratulate Shadow on his performance and demand the Chaos Emeralds from him, but Shadow turns on him and defeats him in battle. Shadow will then get the last Chaos Emerald and says that he will use the emeralds to become more powerful than the original Shadow and proceeds to strike down Eggman.
    • Choosing the Hero mission will have Shadow and E-123 Omega fight Dr. Eggman and his Egg Dealer. After defeating the doctor, Shadow will get the last Chaos Emerald and explains that he will use the emeralds to take over the Eggman Empire. Both Omega and Shadow then proceed to strike down Eggman.
  • By following a Hero route, the player will end up in Cosmic Fall, which takes place aboard the collapsing Space Colony ARK. There, Shadow must either find the last Chaos Emerald on Black Doom's orders, or help Vector in finding the main computer before the ARK completely falls apart.
    • Choosing the Dark mission will have Shadow fight against Eggman and his Egg Dealer. After winning, Shadow will get the last Chaos Emerald and say that he will protect the Space Colony ARK for the rest of his life. He then orders the defeated Eggman to leave the space colony and never return.
    • Choosing the Hero mission will have Shadow and Vector fight Black Doom, who insists that Shadow alone is responsible for the tragedy fifty years ago. After he wins, Shadow will get the seventh Chaos Emerald, though he will claim that he was a failure that should never have been created. Vector tries to console him with little success.
  • By following a True Hero route, the player will end up in the Final Haunt, which takes place within the Black Comet. There, Shadow must either obey Black Doom's orders and activate the comet's shields, or aid Sonic in reaching Black Doom himself.
    • Choosing the Dark mission will have Shadow fight Diablon and Sonic, whom he wants to settle the score with. After winning the fight, Shadow will get the last Chaos Emerald, and states that he will be the most powerful hedgehog in the world with the Emeralds in his hands.
    • Choosing the Hero mission will have Shadow and Sonic fight Black Doom. After the heroes win, they will get the last Chaos Emerald. Shadow will say that he will take down the Black Arms with Sonic's support, therefore fulfilling Maria's last request to protect the earth.

Last Story

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 five of the previous endings.

In the Last Story, Shadow had obtained all seven Chaos Emeralds aboard the Black Comet. Black Doom then appears before him and commands that Shadow must give up the Emeralds so that they can begin the "Ritual Of Prosperity." Just then, Sonic arrives, followed by Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Rouge, and even Eggman, to tell Shadow not to listen to Black Doom, as the alien plans to destroy the planet. Doom rebukes this, claiming that the Black Arms are here to save the humans from destroying themselves with their greed and treachery, and are offering salvation and peace. He then reveals that he also plans to harvest the humans as an energy source for his race, shocking Shadow and others. Suddenly, he takes the Emeralds and from Shadow and uses Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet down to the surface of the Earth, where it creates tendrils to anchor itself to 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. Shadow becomes distraught by this revelation and becomes unresponsive while Eggman is in disbelief that his grandfather would betray the planet just for research. Sonic and the others prepare to fight back, but their bodies are then suddenly paralyzed by a special gas being emitted from the comet. Black Doom gloats on his victory and leaves them to be devoured by his alien offspring. As the end seems near, Shadow suddenly hears Maria's voice asking for help, which assists him in regaining his composure. He then shows that he is immune to the gas by standing up and stepping on one of the leeches, shocking Black Doom. Shadow then states that he has left his past behind him and has become determined to destroy Black Doom. Enraged that Shadow would betray his creator, Doom threatens to take back the life he gave Shadow before fleeing with the Chaos Emeralds. Shadow gives chase to the alien overlord, leaving behind the others, with Sonic calling Shadow their only hope.

After fighting his way through the Black Comet, Shadow catches up with Black Doom, who congratulates Shadow for making it so far and continues to claim that his way is the only method for the humans to survive. Shadow ignores this reasoning and prepares to fight, but Black Doom then reveals that his blood was used to create Shadow, thus making him a member of their race and revealing why Shadow wasn't affected by the paralysis gas. Shadow then finds himself attacked by Black Doom's mind control, as the alien gloats that Shadow can never defeat him nor escape his own past. Meanwhile, the Chaotix are onboard the ARK and have managed to hack into the data disks that they found earlier. Once finally inside, Charmy activates a recording of a still-sane Professor Gerald Robotnik, which is broadcasted both around the world and on the Black Comet.

In the film, Gerald leaves a message for Shadow that the government plans to shut down the ARK and convict everyone who know of the hedgehog's existence. Taking full responsibility, the professor states that it was all because of his dealings with Black Doom. He then reveals that he invented the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet and entrusts Shadow with using it and saving the world, with Maria giving extra encouragement. Black Doom scoffs at this, stating that Shadow is under his absolute control, but is then stunned to see Shadow resisting him. The hedgehog states that he now knows his true purpose, and prepares to attack before Black Doom teleports away while proclaiming his intention to destroy Shadow with his full power. In response, Shadow retrieves the Chaos Emeralds and uses them to become Super Shadow. He then flies away to take on Black Doom, who has also transformed into a full-powered form.

After an intense fight, Black Doom is defeated and falls to his demise. Shadow then uses a super-powered Chaos Control to warp the Black Comet back into the planet's orbit before destroying it completely using the Eclipse Cannon. Everyone on the Earth cheers in joy as the alien threat has been destroyed forever. Sonic and friends congratulate Shadow for his success while Eggman attempts to sneak away to obtain the Chaos Emeralds, only to pursued by Knuckles. The President decides to honor Gerald's memory by working toward a better future, with the Commander in full agreement.

In one final scene aboard the Space Colony 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."


Image Character Biography
S.T.H. - Artwork - 9 (Shadow).png Shadow The black hedgehog who resembles Sonic. With his powerful body, he can easily rival Sonic's world class speed. Shadow was created as the Ultimate Life form in a secret lab by Professor Gerald Robotnik. Everything else about Shadow's past is a mystery. After risking his life to save the planet with Sonic, he suffers from amnesia, having no memories of his past.[6]
S.T.H. - Artwork - Sonic.png Sonic The world's fastest hedgehog whose supersonic speed is second to none. He strives to life according to his own rules rather than for the sake of heroism and duty. Until now, he's been busy stopping Dr. Eggman's preposterous ambitions, but this time, he is motivated more than ever to take on the alien invaders, Black Arms.[6]
Blackdoom pose0 flatten.png Black Doom Black Arms, the mysterious alien army that suddenly appeared in the sky bringing darkness and destruction to the world. Black Doom is the leader who is in total control of the alien army; while Doom's Eye is Black Doom's third eye that helps guide Shadow to the Chaos Emeralds. Where are they from? And why are they searching for the Chaos Emeralds? More importantly, how do they know Shadow? Their dark purpose will be revealed as Shadow discovers his true identity.[7]
S.T.H. - Artwork - 2 (Doom's Eye).png Doom's Eye
S.T.H. - Artwork - 1 (Dr. Eggman).png Dr. Eggman Dr. Eggman is a scientist with an IQ of 300. As usual, he is plotting to take over the world and his plans for the ultimate utopia, Eggmanland, are in full swing. He considers the Black Arms, who rely on massive destruction to intimidate the world, a prime threat that could interrupt his master plans.[7]
GUN-Commander.png Commander The highest-ranked commander of the GUN (Guardian Units of Nations) federation forces. With complete confidence and an iron will, he is the cornerstone of the force. He is known for his "heart of stone," and remains totally unshaken even as the Black Arms attacks[sic] the planet under his watch. For reasons only known for him, he harbors a deep hatred for Shadow. He is one of the few who knows the secret about Shadow's past.[8]
Gerald and Maria Photo Shadow the Hedgehog.png Prof. Gerald Robotnik Professor Gerald is a renowned scientist, regarded as the most intelligently-gifted researcher of all time. Maria is the professor's lovely granddaughter. Fifty years ago, his top-secret-government project to create the Ultimate Life form was deemed too dangerous and a threat to mankind, and as a result, they eliminated everything related to the project, including the staff. Even Maria, who was like a sister to Shadow, fell victim to this conspiracy.[8]
Maria Robotnik


Westopolis, the first Stage in the game.

Shadow the Hedgehog is a 3D third person shooter action platforming video game, which plays similar to past 3D Sonic games such as Sonic Heroes. The game's main storyline takes place in "Story Mode," over the course of which two of three different factions will be present in each stage: the Black Arms, Guardian Units of Nations (GUN), and the Eggman Empire. They will usually be seen attacking each other, but will all try to attack the playable character regardless. However, GUN enemies will not attack the player in Lost Impact, and neither do most in Westopolis for the most part. Similarly, the Black Arms enemies will not attack the player in Space Gadget.

Shadow, with a second player controlling Sonic, in Westopolis.

The player mainly controls Shadow the Hedgehog. For some missions, they also team up with various characters from the series, such as 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. While they are controlled by an AI by default, most of these characters can be controlled by a second player in the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube versions of the game by connecting a second controller and playing in a "co-op mode". These characters can run, jump, and attack under the second player's influence. Some allies have different attacks compared to others however:

  • Amy: Can perform the Punch and Jump Dash.
  • Espio: Can perform kicks and chops and a a small Jump Dash.
  • Knuckles: Can perform the Punch, but slightly differently from the other allies' punches, and the Jump Dash.
  • Omega: Can Attack with his arms, but differently from others punches and Jump Dash.
  • Maria: Can Punch, but only jump one foot off the ground and cannot use the Jump Dash.
  • Rouge: Can perform kicks and the Jump Dash.
  • Sonic: Can perform the Homing Attack and Punch. Sonic's Homing Attack in particular can aim towards targets outside the usual range.
  • Tails: Can perform the Tail Swipe and Jump Dash.
  • Vector: Can bite the enemy and perform the Jump Dash.

If an ally is controlled by an AI, they will act differently compared to the others. If it is a playable ally, 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 they themselves tell Shadow not to harm the former). The allies overall act as combat support and guidance and give help to Shadow should he need it.

Similar to past games, Shadow can use most of his basic abilities; he can run, jump and Jump Dash/Homing Attack, as well as Spin Dash, Light Dash, Slide, Triangle Jump and perform a punch-punch-kick combo. He also has the ability to drive vehicles that he finds or commandeers. In addition, Shadow the Hedgehog also makes use of a weapon system. Ranging from pistols and machine guns to close combat weapons, Gatling guns, bazookas, and even laser rifles, weapons are commonly found in Containers and dropped by defeated 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.

Shadow has two gauges he can fill depending on how the player makes him act towards enemies/allies. When Shadow fills up either 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. Killing Black Arms, healing wounded GUN troopers and civilians, putting out fires and other good deeds fills up Shadow's Hero Gauge. Upon filling the gauge, the player can become Hero Shadow, with which they are able to activate Chaos Control, allowing them to fast forward through the stage, attack enemies, and slow down time in boss battles, until the Hero Gauge is empty. On the other hand, defeating GUN troops, environmental objects and healing Black Arms fills up Shadow's Dark Gauge. Upon filling this gauge, Shadow can become Dark Shadow, with which he is able to use Chaos Blast, which destroys or damages anything and anyone near him. Destroying Eggman's mechs can fill either gauge depending on which other faction they are fighting.

Shadow the Hedgehog has nonlinear gameplay, which allows the course of the story to change according to the decisions the player takes. Most stages, with some exceptions, have three different types of missions: Hero, Dark and Neutral. The Hero and Dark missions usually have the player doing some tasks such as killing multiple enemies or interacting with certain objects, whereas the Neutral missions just have the player heading to a Goal Ring. However, it is possible to end a stage in a mission the player did not intend to complete.

Six special weapons can be unlocked in the Story mode by completing enough missions. These weapons are contained in Special Weapon Containers. 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.

As with past Sonic games, Shadow the Hedgehog's stages have Rings scattered in them. Rings serve as the playable character's main method of protection; if the player gets hit while having at least one Ring, they will survive with the cost of losing ten of their Rings. However, should Shadow suffer damage without having any Rings on them, the player will lose a life, or get a Game Over if they run out of lives. In the former case, Shadow will respawn either at the latest Save Point touched or at the start of the stage, if no Save Point was activated. However, falling into a bottomless pit will cost the player a life regardless of the Rings they have.

Shadow the Hedgehog uses the traditional A through E ranking system. A minimum total point 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 a stage, 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 defeating GUN troops (and sometimes Eggman's mechs depending on what side the player is in) and things in the environment. Hero points are earned by killing Black Arms (and sometimes Eggman's mechs depending on the player's opposing side), healing wounded GUN troops and civilians, and putting out fires. The player's total score for Normal missions equals their Normal score plus their Time Bonus (Hero and Dark scores are ignored). Their total score for Dark missions equals their Normal score plus their Dark score plus their Time Bonus minus their Hero score, and vice versa. By earning an A rank for all stages, "Expert Mode" will be unlocked.

Scoring system


Button formation Shd-Shadow-Life.png Movement
GameCube PlayStation 2 Xbox
Control Stick Left Analog stick Left Thumbstick Move
C Stick Right Analog stick Right Thumbstick Rotate camera
A Button GameCube v2.png PSXButton.png XboxA.png Jump
A Button GameCube v2.png in mid-air PSXButton.png in mid-air XboxA.png in mid-air Jump Dash/Homing Attack/Triangle Jump
SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png PSSquareButton.png XboxX.png Attack/Shoot
Gamecube X Button.png PSObutton.png XboxB.png Spin Dash/Dark Spin Dash/Light Dash/Pick up item
Control Stick + Gamecube X Button.png Left analog stick + PSObutton.png Left analog stick + XboxB.png Slide
Gamecube Y Button.png PSTriangleButton.png XboxY.png Drop Weapon
Chaos Control (Hero Shadow)
Chaos Blast (Dark Shadow)
Rgame.png R1ps3.png/Playstation-Button-R2.png Xbox-Button-RB.png/Xbox-Button-LB.png Strafe



Gimmicks and obstacles


Playable characters

Non-playable characters



Mid-Story bosses

Story Ending bosses

Final boss


Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Last
Central City The ARK GUN Fortress The Last Way
Digital Circuit Cryptic Castle The Doom Air Fleet Black Comet
Westopolis Glyphic Canyon Prison Island Sky Troops Iron Jungle Lava Shelter
Lethal Highway Circus Park Mad Matrix Space Gadget Cosmic Fall
Death Ruins Lost Impact Final Haunt

Other modes

Battle Mode

Battle Mode,[9] also known as 2P Mode, is the competitive aspect of Shadow the Hedgehog. In it, two players each take control of a Shadow Android and must take down their opponent twice in order to win.

When selecting Battle Mode on the game's main menu, the players will be able to choose an aspect for their Shadow Android, though it will not affect gameplay. Then, the player will have to choose three different stages to play in: Air Fleet, Lava Shelter and GUN Fortress, with Radical Highway used. They can also select 3-Stage so that the game will pick up a random stage.

Battle Mode plays mostly the same as Story Mode, though the players will not be able to transform into Dark or Hero Shadow. Both playable characters will start at different points of the stage, near the center of it. If a player is hit without having any Rings left or falls into a bottomless pit, the opponent will be declared the winner. After three fights, the game will end and the players will be taken back to the title screen.

Expert Mode

Main article: Expert Mode


Shadow the Hedgehog was developed by Sega Studio USA, the later defunct division of Sonic Team in the United States.[1] Takashi Iizuka served as the writer and director of the game, while the Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka was the producer. The development team wanted to develop a game that would attract a teen audience, using Shadow as the protagonist due to his popularity amongst Sonic fans and him fitting with a "gun action" game the best.[10][11] They also felt that Shadow's design, which was inspired by films such as Underworld, Constaine and Terminator, would allow for a darker story and the inclusion of new elements, such as guns and vehicles, normally considered inappropriate in a Sonic game.[12] During development, the team wanted to make the game featuring Shadow finding out about his past and solving the mysteries that had first appeared in Sonic Adventure 2.[13]

Shadow the Hedgehog is notable for its profanities and use of weapons. The decision of including this was made early during the game's development, mainly because of its intended mature tone. Back then, the game was planned to fit the "T" (teen) rating for "cartoon violence" and "language." However, that same year, the ESRB had created a new "E10+" rating, and as such, Sega was forced to censor many scenes of the game so that it could fit in the new rating. The ESRB ultimately assigned the game an E10+ rating for "fantasy violence" and "mild language."[14]


This is the first game in the series to feature the 4Kids Entertainment voice actors from Sonic X.

Role English voice actor Japanese voice actor
Shadow the Hedgehog Jason Griffith Kōji Yusa
Sonic the Hedgehog Jun'ichi Kanemaru
Black Doom Sean Schemmel Ryūzaburō Ōtomo
Dr. Eggman Mike Pollock Chikao Ōtsuka
Gerald Robotnik
Amy Rose Lisa Ortiz Taeko Kawata
Miles "Tails" Prower Amy Palant Ryō Hirohashi
Knuckles the Echidna Dan Green Nobutoshi Canna
Rouge the Bat Kathleen Delaney Rumi Ochiai
E-123 Omega Jeff Kramer Taiten Kusunoki
GUN Soldiers Andrew Rannells Takashi Yoshida
Commander Marc Thompson Banjō Ginga
President Maddie Blaustein Yutaka Nakano
Secretary Bella Hudson Junko Kitanishi
Vector the Crocodile Carter Cathcart Kenta Miyake
Espio the Chameleon David Wills Yūki Masuda
Charmy Bee Amy Birnbaum Yōko Teppōzuka
Maria Robotnik Rebecca Honig Yuri Shiratori
Cream the Rabbit Sayaka Aoki
Ryō Hirohashi
Additional Chao

4Kids controversy

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:


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 53% (GCN)[15]
49% (PS2)[16]
52% (Xbox)[17]
Metacritic 51% (GCN)[18]
45% (PS2)[19]
49% (Xbox)[20]
Review scores
Publication Score 4.0/10[21]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 5.75/10[21]
Eurogamer 5/10[22]
Game Informer 4/10 (GCN)[23]
GamePro 2.0/5 (PS2)[24]
GameSpot 4.8/10[25]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[26]
Hyper 56%[27]
IGN 4.7/10[28]
Official Nintendo Magazine 60% (GCN)[29]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 4/10 (PS2)[30]
Official Xbox Magazine (UK) 7.0/10 (Xbox)[31]
X-Play 1/5 stars[32]
Herald Sun 3.5/5[33]
Entity Award
Jetix Magazine Best Game of 2006[34]

Shadow the Hedgehog received mixed reviews from critics upon its release;[35] the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox versions are respectively rated 51%,[18] 45%,[19] and 49%[20] on Metacritic, along with sitting at 53%,[15] 49%,[16] and 52%[17] on GameRankings. By 17 May 2006, the game's worldwide sales total exceeded one million.[36] The game was later released as a part of two budget lines—Greatest Hits for the PlayStation 2, with this representing sales of at least 400,000,[37] and Player's Choice for the GameCube, representing at least 250,000.[38]

Much criticism stemmed from the unwelcome sense of maturity and, in particular, the addition of guns.[35] 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."[23] Eurogamer staff writer Tom Bramwell felt that "the game's other selling point – its darker edge – [is] not really meant for us,"[22] with G4's X-Play and GameSpy staff writer Patrick Klepek thinking similarly.[26][32] In contrast, Nintendo Power staff writer Steve Thomason rated the game 8.0 out of 10,[35] stating that this "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".[35]

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,"[23] with Nintendo Power, X-Play, Eurogamer, Official Xbox Magazine, and GameSpy agreeing.[35][22][26][32][31] 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.[25] IGN staff writer Matt Casamassina, 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.[23][26][32][28][39] However, Nintendo Power claimed that "blasting Shadow's foes with the wide variety of weapons at his disposal is just plain fun."[35]

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.[31][33] Nintendo Power agreed, although criticizing the difficulty of the missions that require the player to locate objects.[35] GameSpot praised the game's variety of levels and its music.[25] Despite of the overall mixed to negative reception, Shadow the Hedgehog was voted the best game of 2006 in the Jetix Magazine Reader Awards.[34]


Image Title Platform Description
SFP PS2.jpg Sega Fun Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus & Shadow the Hedgehog PlayStation 2 Released in 2008 as a Sega Fun Pack compilation with Sonic Mega Collection Plus.


  • 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.
  • During the levels of this game, some G.U.N. soldiers will shout, "Mr. Yuji Naka is all right!" This is an obvious reference to the former head of Sonic Team, Yuji Naka.
  • Since this game is similar to Sonic Heroes in both graphics and engine, most characters reuse their models from said game.
    • Additionally, Knuckles retains his victory pose from Sonic Heroes.

Red Black Arms blood in the prototype screenshots of Shadow the Hedgehog.

  • 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 songs from Sonic Adventure 2 that were reused in the game, such as: 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.
  • 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.
    • Additionally, this game is the third Sonic game containing profanity, following Sonic Adventure 2 (specifically, some of the lyrics used its songs), and Sonic Heroes.

The Sega logo on the back-wheel of Shadow's motorcycle.

  • 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).

Shadow using one of his many guns in the game.

  • 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".
  • The game was released on the same day as Sonic Rush was released for the Nintendo DS in North America.
  • 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 used to promote the Sega 32X.
  • 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, although he can be briefly seen during Shadow's flashbacks of the events of Sonic Adventure 2, which are relayed during the cutscene prior to Space Gadget as well as the cutscene shown prior to Lava Shelter.
  • 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. Whether this is an intentional reference or not is unknown.
  • 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 seen holding on the cover artwork for this game 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.
  • Vector and Omega cannot harm enemies by using the Spin Jump, which is most likely a bug because their AIs will 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.[citation needed]
  • 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 toxin 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.
  • Mistakenly, 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.[40]
  • 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.





  1. According to the library version on the library ID stamp of Shadow the Hedgehog's Renderware engine. Library version uses hexadecimal 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 for instance would be encoded as 0x37000.


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External links

Shadow the Hedgehog

Main article | Scripts (Main Story, Last Story) | Credits | Manuals | Glitches | Beta elements | Library Sequences | Gallery
Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off games