[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadow23.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[TheNameIsBondJamesBond He's Shadow - Shadow the Hedgehog.]]]]

-> "''Shadow the Hedgehog... Why does that name haunt me? It's the only thing I can remember. And that gruesome image. [...] Who am I? And why can't I remember anything? And... who is this Maria?''"
-->-- '''Shadow The Hedgehog'''

''Shadow the Hedgehog'' is a 2005 game in the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series that focuses on the AntiHero black hedgehog, Shadow. The game begins with Shadow on the outskirts of Westopolis, just as the sky turns blood red and [[AlienInvasion aliens begin swooping in to invade]]. Shadow is [[BystanderSyndrome about to turn away, uncaring,]] but a strange creature with a terrible voice speaks his name, calling on him to bring the alien leader -- by the name of [[ObviouslyEvil Black]] {{Doom|yDoomsOfDoom}} -- the [[MacGuffin Chaos Emeralds]]. Thus begins Shadow's personal quest of self-discovery, which can take any one of 326 (!!!) paths through the game's 22 levels.

While the typical controls of the 3D entries in the Sonic series apply to some extent, it is playable as a third-person shooter, a different direction for the franchise. Its DarkerAndEdgier tone, Shadow's constant {{Wangst}}ing, and frequent [[ContemplateOurNavels navel-gazing]] turned many fans of the franchise away, and the game was disliked by some critics due to its poor controls and camera. It is, however, defended for its branching-path style, relatively bug-free gameplay, and decent music and visuals. On another note, this game marks the debut of the [[Creator/FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids]] cast from ''Anime/SonicX'' into the video games. Ironically, they started off doing the Sonic game that's the ''least'' kid-friendly.

----
!!This game provides examples of:
* HundredPercentCompletion: Taken to a truly absurd extreme. There are ten endings (plus the GoldenEnding), but if you want ''true'' 100% completion, you can't just get all ten and call it a day. You can't just complete all 39 missions, either. You have to take ''all 326 possible paths''. Yes, the game ''really'' keeps track of this. And [[http://info.sonicretro.org/List_of_Shadow_the_Hedgehog_Library_sequences they're all individually named]].
* EleventhHourRanger: Notably, only Sonic, Vector, and Omega can assist Shadow in his various endings. (Rouge and Knuckles can help him during boss fights, but they won't show up in the corresponding cutscenes.)
* EleventhHourSuperpower: Super Shadow.
* NinetiesAntiHero: The advertising and aesthetic impose this on Shadow himself. He uses guns, kills people, has a name from the DarkAgeOfSuperNames, is brooding, sarcastic, and an over-the-top badass.
* AlignmentBasedEndings: For actual ''endings'', there are 10 alignment-based endings, and [[OmegaEnding 1 "true" ending]] unlocked for completing all of them.
** The 326 ending paths are differing names for reaching these endings through completing the stages in various sequences.
* AllPowerfulBystander: [[spoiler:Shadow becomes this at the end of the Slightly Hero - Dark Ending]].
* AllThereInTheManual: Expert Mode reveals that the GUN Commander recently became a Grandfather.
* AmnesiacHero: But his goal is to remember.
* AmnesiacDissonance: An odd case is the Slightly Hero - Hero Ending, where Shadow realizes that he was a failed experiment who has caused so much destruction and wishes that he was never created.
* AnimationBump:
** In the trailers, there are a few very well-animated cutscenes. Obviously, this is from a time when cutscenes were considerably better animated than the game. But then you play the game and realise that despite the many, MANY cutscenes in the game, these are the ONLY cutscenes with high animation; the rest are animated with the more blocky, cheaper in-game models -- despite two of them taking place mid-game.
** In general, coming from ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'', the in-game animation is a lot more fluid and smooth, with Shadow especially being quite cartoonishly stretchy and bouncy.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Sonic gives out a small chuckle on a few occasions.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: When Shadow uses Chaos Control to travel through a stage, it usually runs on the meter and ends when the meter runs out ([[GuideDangIt or when you press the Chaos Control button again, if you need to stop or want to preserve some of the meter for the infinite ammo]]). If the meter runs out over a pit or in a dangerous location, however, the Chaos Control will keep running until Shadow reaches a stable platform. Some of the best shortcuts in the game revolve around abusing this feature; for instance, if you time things correctly and move quickly, [[GameBreaker the last quarter of Space Gadget can be circumvented entirely, due to it being nothing but a network of rails and gravity switches, netting you an easy A-rank on the Hero mission if you managed to get up to that point relatively quickly.]] Don't try abusing this, however. [[NoFairCheating Trying to blatantly circumvent certain sections, such as sections using mounts, will result in Chaos Control either being disabled outright or taking you the distance that the meter would cover and dumping you off in the pit.]]
* ArcWords: "This is who I am."
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Shadow. It shows in the Pure Hero-Dark Path where he ended up challenging Sonic as earned to being his rival, then boasted highly about his own strength after he defeated him, and even laughing about it.
* TheAtoner: Shadow implies this after defeating Black Doom in the Semi Hero path, after the latter revealed to him that he was a part of the Black Arms.
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: The word "damn" is constantly peppered through the dialogue. Shadow says it ''almost every time he gets hit'', or whenever he falls into a deathpit.
-->'''Shadow:''' Damn! ''Not here!''
* AwesomeButImpractical: Despite the fact that filling either of your 2 Chaos meters grants you access to really powerful moves, the best use of either of them is often just the passive invincibility/unlimited ammo perks that come with filling either meter:
** The Chaos Control ability is supposed to be the "good" ability, obtained from killing evil characters, and it allows Shadow to skip part of a level. Problem is, because all but a few of the "good" missions are based on finding stuff and not getting to the end, and because many of these things can only be found in out-of-the-way areas, Chaos Control is next to useless on the alignment it's associated with. It's only useful on neutral missions and the handful of good missions which involve simply getting to the end.
** Chaos Blast allows you to unleash a powerful explosive attack, which does come in handy in a couple of missions, but typically A) there usually aren't enough mooks to make it worthwhile (especially since most enemies are just fodder), B) when there ''are'' enough enemies that would otherwise make it worthwhile, there are other enemies of the other alignment in range, which ultimately hurts your score, or C) the bosses are too mobile to make it effective (Shadow comes to a standstill while the cinematic plays, but bosses like the Egg Dealer can still move about, usually out of range).
* TheBadGuyWins: Aside from the obvious endings where [[spoiler:Shadow turns evil and takes over the world (or outright destroys it)]], there's a rather subtle one for the Slightly Hero - Dark Ending. (Though considering other plot developments, it's less TheBadGuyWins and more Good And Evil Get Stuck In A Stalemate.)
* BadassBiker: Shadow rides a motorcycle in some of the cutscenes and the player can choose to make him ride one during the game.
* BatmanGambit: Black Doom's ''entire'' plan for collecting the 7 Chaos Emeralds. He takes advantage of Shadow's amnesia and desire to learn about his past, and claims to have knowledge about all that Shadow doesn't know about -- he will only share this information if Shadow retrieves the Chaos Emeralds for him. The entire scheme revolves around Black Doom expecting Shadow to collect the Emeralds, under the assumption that the hedgehog couldn't possibly resist the chance to learn the truth. This can either go really badly for Black Doom, or work out perfectly. You decide.
* {{BFG}}: Well, obviously, when compared to Shadow, whose entire body is as tall as an assault rifle is long. It gets pretty ridiculous, though, when he gets his hands on a minigun the length of a car.
* BigBadEnsemble: Dr. Eggman and Black Doom. By the end of the game, it's clear that Black Doom is the real BigBad, though.
* BigBoosHaunt: Cryptic Castle.
* BigNo: Used during some of the endings by [[spoiler:Eggman]].
* BlackScreenOfDeath: On all but one of the Shadow vs. Eggman endings, it's implied that [[spoiler:Shadow killed Eggman. [[FridgeLogic Or did he?]]]]
* BleakLevel: Black Comet and Final Haunt.
* BloodKnight: After clearing Lethal Highway, Black Doom summons Black Bull to kill both Sonic and Shadow. Sonic's response to seeing the massive, fire-breathing alien dragon thing?
-->'''Sonic:''' Woohoo! Now we're talkin'! Bring it on!
* BonusFeatureFailure: Each level has keys that you can use to unlock secret doors. Some of the items are useful, including The Last Way teleporter that sends you ahead in the level (past the area where you must Chaos Control to get past). But most are completely useless, including the armored car in Lost Impact... in a cramped space station filled with areas you must spin dash under or use rail cars to get to. Helpful!
* BookEnds: The FinalBoss of this one (the last game dealing with the "Shadow's amnesia" story arc) has some similarities with the final boss of [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes the first game]] in the aforementioned story arc.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The original idea for the game was to be much darker, with GUN soldiers actually dying, Black Arms bleeding red blood, and use of the word "piss" (by ''[[{{Badbutt}} Sonic]]'', no less). However, during production, the ESRB announced they were creating an E10+ category, so Sonic Team toned down the game to get an E10+ instead. It still was pretty edgy, as could be witnessed from the frequent use of "damn" and "hell" in the final product, with even Sonic, Espio, and other established characters cursing.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Playing on Expert Mode changes your allies' DialogDuringGameplay so they encourage him not to get tired, keep stock of extra lives, and head to the Goal Ring no matter what.
* CallBack: Several areas return from ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'':
** Prison Island, now derelict & overgrown with plant life after it was destroyed in ''[=SA2=]''.
** Numerous levels also take place on the Space Colony ARK, which is breaking apart after the events of ''[=SA2=]'', such as Cosmic Fall, Space Gadget (which Sonic states is the remains of the area Sonic & Shadow has the final boss battles in Hero & Dark stories in ''[=SA2=]''), The ARK (which follows the same route as Final Rush, Sonic's final level in ''[=SA2=]''; both stage themes are quite similar, furthering the connection), The Doom, and Lost Impact (both of which are flashback levels which depict Shadow's life before Maria's death).
* CameraScrew: Present throughout the game, but it's especially egregious in Cosmic Fall, where the camera spazzing out makes it very difficult to judge jumps. (And the platforming would be kind of tricky even ''without'' the CameraScrew.)
* CaptainObvious: Due to an attempt to write the script around teaching the game's mechanics to newcomers, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id4Y11-CBGs it looks like]] almost every single character in the game is bound to do this.
* {{Catchphrase}}: Shadow has a few of these:
** "This is '''who I am!'''"
** "Damn, not here!" when he dies. As if there's a good place to die...
** "No one tells me what to do!"
** "Stupid humans."
* CharacterDevelopment: The entire game is basically one big character study for Shadow -- all of his actions drive the story and we can watch as Shadow goes through CharacterDevelopment; his troubled, questioning mind and quest to learn the truth about his past are given extensive scrutiny. It's in this game that the loose ends in Shadow's past are dealt with and he declares that he's put his past behind him. Indeed, he would lose pretty much all of his {{Wangst}} in the next games he would appear in, even having his share of [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Moments]] in ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic 2006]]''.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Shadow in the previous games is a bit moody and serious while having some cockiness to him. This game takes away the cocky aspect of his character and made him more serious and cynical. He regains his disdain for humans for some reason, he has a rebellious attitude ("No one tells me what to do!"), and he's annoyed with Sonic's presence, unlike in ''Heroes'' where he seems to be fond of fighting against him.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: Two from ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' in this game's Last Story. [[spoiler:The Chaos Spear, which Shadow only used when you fought him as Sonic, is Super Shadow's method of attacking Devil Doom. The second is the Eclipse Cannon, which was made for the purpose of destroying the Black Comet. It actually fills in a plot hole, too; it's hard to believe that Gerald converted an entire space colony into a cannon by himself, but it makes much more sense that it was already a cannon in preparation for the Black Comet and he simply put in new coordinates.]]
* ChekhovsGun: Those five top secret discs and the data terminals from the Chaotix missions? [[spoiler:It's never outright stated, but there's a good possibility that they're actually bits and pieces of the entry in Prof. Gerald's diary that appears in the last story. It's especially likely since it's possible to help out all three Chaotix members in two of the stories.]]
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: You have the option of doing this ''multiple times in a row'' due to the setup of the levels and karma system. In one stage, you help Sonic; in the next stage, you can help Black Doom; in the next, you can help...
* CircusOfFear: Circus Park.
* CollectionSidequest: Most of the non-neutral missions involve some sort of collection. This can range from killing every enemy of a certain type to sucking up twenty small bombs with the vacuum gun.
* TheComicallySerious: Shadow when paired with an hyperactive and chummy Sonic in the Hero path.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Shadow, when he isn't contemplating his [[MilkingTheGiantCow over-expressive hands]], and just about everyone who works for GUN.
* ContinuityNod: In the cutscene after Mad Matrix, Eggman tells Shadow that he has no past, which is what he ([[spoiler:Metal Sonic in disguise]]) said to him in ''Sonic Heroes''.
* CoolBike: ''All'' of the trailers for this game shamelessly used the fact that Shadow can drive a motorbike in the game as a selling point. In fact, in some of the trailers, that was all he ''did''. In-game, said bike only appeared in Lethal Highway, handled poorly, and is far slower than Shadow's normal running speed. Made worse when the intro proudly displays Shadow driving full speed into a monster and jumping off at the last second cueing a Hollywood explosion. Try this in game... and you quickly learn that the 'jump off' and 'brake' buttons are the same... you'll slow to a stop in front of your target, calmly step off the bike, and get slapped in the face for your efforts.
* CorridorCubbyholeRun: Many, many levels, such as the abandoned base with its vast acid lakes, or Eggman's fortress, which will fill with lava if you choose to side with Eggman and protect it.
* CreatorCameo: One line of EnemyChatter from GUN troops references Yuji Naka, one of the founding members of Creator/SonicTeam.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Inverted. An early cutscene in the game shows that Maria was killed by one gun shot. However, in the two levels where she acts as an assist character, getting hit by bullets doesn't kill her, mostly because assist characters aren't designed to die (or at least respawn if they fall too far into a bottomless pit or stray from the player).
* CuttingOffTheBranches: Notable for doing this in the very same game the multiple endings were in instead of in the [[VideoGame/SonictheHedgehog2006 sequel]]. It's also a particularly annoying example, as in order to see the canon ending, you are required to see all ten non-canon endings first.
* TheCynic: Due to his past experiences, Shadow has a pretty pessimistic and dark worldview. He also has high disregard for Sonic's carefree nature, and is quite annoyed with his cheerful and unserious behaviour.
* {{Cyberspace}}: Digital Circuit and Mad Matrix.
* DaddyIssues: Shadow has these with Black Doom.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Downplayed. Shadow the Hedgehog is darker than previous franchise entries mostly in terms of aesthetics. For all its posturing, there really isn't anything in this game that comes close to being as unnervingly morbid as Gerald's diary and execution speech from ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 SA2]]''. Most of the plot is only as grim as ''Adventure 2'' (Black Doom's behavior and ToServeMan plan notwithstanding); the game's mood is primarily brought about by darker textures (even the '''springs''' look like they belong in a M-Rated game), environments, and the use of [[AvoidTheDreadedGRating mild cursing]] and guns.
* TheDayOfReckoning: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Black Doom: "Shadow... As you can see, the day of reckoning will soon be here. Find the seven Chaos Emeralds and bring them to me as promised."
* DeadpanSnarker: Shadow, often.
-->'''Shadow:''' Stupid humans.\\
'''Shadow (to Doom's Eye):''' Having a little trouble with those GUN Agents, are we?\\
'''Shadow (to Sonic):''' Don't waste my time.
* DeathMountain: Glyphic Canyon.
* DispenseWithThePleasantries: In one scene, Sonic offers Shadow a chance of [[FriendlyRivalry friendly competition]], with Shadow telling him not to waste his time.
* DoesntLikeGuns: Sonic states this outright as soon as you find one in Westopolis, [[TakeThatAudience in a way that implies you're a loser for needing it]]. Why he (or any other support character) can't pick up melee weapons either, nobody knows, though Tails does enthusiastically gush about a particularly well-designed gun turret.
-->'''Tails''': That turret is ''so cool!'' I've never seen vulcanized ceramic used for this sort of thing before!
* DontLookBack: The general theme of the final ending song, "Never Turn Back".
* DontSaySuchStupidThings: An [[DownerEnding unsuccessful]] attempt in the Semi Hero - Hero ending:
-->'''Shadow:''' I am Shadow the Hedgehog. A research experiment... gone deadly wrong! I've caused so much destruction... I should never have been created! This is who I am.\\
'''Vector:''' Hey... don't go there... yet! Things may not be what they seem. You could be...\\
''[Shadow walks off without listening to him]''
* TheDragon: In the Slighty Dark - Dark ending, Shadow declares that his purpose is to serve and protect [[BigBad Black Doom]], having no mention of what he personally desires.
* DrivingQuestion: Who is Shadow, and is he even the original?
* DungeonBypass: Though risky, it's possible to beat Sonic in the racing segment by jumping off the track and guiding yourself to a rail leading to the finish. Be prepared to lose several lives in trying.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: To truly get what he wants, Shadow has to go through the game ''ten times'', and then defeat Devil Doom. He damn well deserves a happy ending when he does.
* EmptyRoomPsych: The Doom and Lost Impact have quite a few of these.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: Inverted in the ending. [[spoiler:Gerald Robotnik made a video at some point between Shadow's creation and GUN's attack on ARK. It is a message to Shadow that it was his fault that Black Doom is going to attack Earth, that he intends for Shadow to save it by destroying the Black Arms, and that the Eclipse Cannon was originally designed to destroy their homeworld, the Black Comet. Upon Charmy activating the message, it was transmitted throughout the world, and onto the Black Comet where Black Doom was currently attempting to break Shadow's will. It's also implied that the reason why Gerald didn't tell them sooner about the reason was because Black Doom would have seen it.]]
* EternalEngine [=/=] LethalLavaLand: Lava Shelter.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When Eggman learns in the final chapter that [[spoiler:his grandfather apparently sold out his planet for research, for ''Black Doom'',]] he was legitimately horrified.
* EverythingIsTryingToKillYou: The game does not care whose side you're on; ''all'' the enemies will try to kill Shadow, even if his partner is allied with them.
* EvilLaugh: Shadow gets one in the dark endings.
* EvilerThanThou:
** The level "Sky Troops" has both Eggman and Black Arms missions. Eggman counts as the "Hero" side.
** Omega is considered the Hero side in his missions, which usually involve his desire to kill Eggman. In fact, the main difference between the outcomes of the Hero and Dark "neutral" endings is that Omega appears in the Hero one.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Black Doom.
* EvilVersusEvil:
** Some levels contain Eggman's robots and Black Arms aliens as enemies.
** After you complete the hero mission of G.U.N. Fortress, the battle between Shadow and Black Doom turns out to be this, and after Shadow defeats Black Doom, Shadow plans on conquering the world on his own.
* FantasticRacism: Black Doom's general opinion of humans. In some endings, Shadow has a tendency to agree with him.
* {{Flanderization}}: Shadow did partake in some minor brooding in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', but that wasn't a primary character trait. However, in his game, Shadow would never stop brooding and pondering about his past. However, once he learns about his past, that apparently satisfied his ponderings and he relaxed into a characterization closer to his original portrayal.
* FreudianExcuse: The GUN Commander, arguably, [[spoiler:going by his relationship with Maria]].
* FriendlyRivalry: Sonic tries to invoke this on Shadow, especially in the Space Gadget stage where he reminisces their rundown aboard the Space Colony ARK in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''. Needless to say, Shadow isn't interested in "friendly competition", but if you choose to turn on Sonic in Final Haunt, Shadow will reciprocate in the Pure Hero - Dark ending, where he decides that he is the Most Powerful Hedgehog In The World.
* GameBreakingBug: In the [=GameCube=] version, one of the GUN Troopers in [[TheMaze The Doom]] will always fail to spawn the first time. It will spawn if you come back, but it is nonetheless frustrating because it can require you to {{backtrack|ing}} quite a bit when you miss it.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: The GUN soldiers will try to kill Shadow in every stage except for Metropolis (since the Commander hasn't learnt Shadow is alive at that point and thus hasn't given out the order yet) and Lost Impact (which is a flashback taking place before the GUN raid on the ARK).
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: If you have a dark/hero side character following you, they will obviously get mad if you attack soldiers that are on their side; however, [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption sometimes you are forced to do so in order to proceed in the mission.]] Also, ALL enemies will attack you on any level, regardless of whose side Shadow's on.
* GangUpOnTheHuman: The Black Arms have invaded and human soldiers are apparently trying to fight them off. And the aliens you would be expecting to be killing off the soldiers. Except they don't; all they do is gang up and fire rapidly at YOU, even when you're on their team. Justified in that GUN has orders to bring Shadow in dead or alive. And in the only stage before they get those orders, they actually DO ignore Shadow. Black Doom, however, given he is trying to get Shadow on his side, has no such excuse.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: So OK, it's pretty established there is some minor swearing throughout the game, but that's not too out of line with an E10+ rating. The ''lyrics'' of the credits song in the Dark paths contain excerpts such as "No more gods, no more graves" and "Heaven can't save us, hell is a joke", themes not touched elsewhere in the game.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Several endings that have the Egg Dealer as the final boss have Shadow ''kill'' Eggman. The scene cuts to black just as Shadow karate chops the Doctor's head, as he lets out a BigNo.
* GottaCatchThemAll: A number of missions are find or KillThemAll.
* GraffitiTown: Westopolis, Lethal Highway, and Central City.
* GravityScrew: Space Gadget is full of green... [[BuffySpeak blocky things]] that shift the gravity around. There are several points throughout the stage where Shadow is standing on the ceiling.
* GunsDoNotWorkThatWay: In the introductory cutscene, Shadow pumps a Sub-Machine-Gun like a shotgun. [=SMGs=] ''do not pump.''
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Shadow was a bad guy in ''[=SA2=]'', but became good at the end. He remained essentially neutral through ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes''. In this game, for some of the routes you can take, you can switch sides up to six times.
* HeelFaceTurn: G.U.N. became much less antagonistic to Shadow after the events of this game, to the point of hiring him as an agent. A few people think Rouge may have had something to do with it.
* HeelRealization: In the true ending, the GUN Commander realizes what a [[{{Jerkass}} douchebag]][=/=]KnightTemplar he's been and that Shadow wasn't nearly as responsible for the ARK disaster as he thought.
* HeroAntagonist: G.U.N., no matter whose side you're on... with Rouge being the exception for some reason.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** The Blue Falcon/Heavy Dog has a number of attached guns. Knock one off, and you can pick up the RPG weapon, which also has lock-on capabilities. Once you've done that, you can do serious damage, and knock off more of the RPG's, making this a pretty quick fight. Similarly, while there are guns provided in the arena for the Egg Dealer, it's much quicker to simply home in on its slot-machine style buttons, which can either result in instantly filling your Chaos Blast gauge or turning the robot's Missile Fever or Bomb Fever techniques against it.
** The whole endgame is a case of this, with Black Doom being hoist by Shadow, who's meant to be his tool.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The attitude of the Black Arms. Also, Shadow seems to have regained this disposition.
* ItsAllMyFault: Shadow feels this way in the Slightly Hero ending after G.U.N falsely accused him for the deaths of the ARK.
--> "I'm Shadow the Hedgehog. An experiment gone deadly wrong! I've caused so much destruction... I should never have been created... This is who I am..."
** Professor Gerald also proved to feel guilty for making the deal with Black Doom to carry revenge on humanity.
--> "Shadow, my son... If you're listening to this, then the worst has happened... you need to know the truth. The government plans to shut down this research facility... The government plans to cease all of our research... and imprison all who know about you. I made a terrible mistake, Shadow... It's all my fault... making contact with that Comet..."
* IFellForHours: The "Cosmic Fall" stage, natch.
* InfinityMinusOneSword:
** Most of the unlockable weapons, acquired by watching certain endings, are like this. If you see both the Hero and Dark endings for a particular endgame level, you can "upgrade" your unlockables to Level 2, where they can become slightly more powerful.
** The heal gun is really useful for The Doom (Hero). The Egg Vacuum is the weapon of choice in Central City (Hero) and Circus Park (Hero). Speed runners REALLY love the Omochao gun for the ability to bounce off anything. In levels where there are not very many large/elite enemies such as Giants and Mechs, it's actually BETTER than the Shadow Rifle.
** InfinityPlusOneSword: The Shadow Rifle does A TON of damage to the point where it can kill every normal enemy in the game, except Artificial Chaos, with [[OneHitKill a single shot.]] This also makes it great in Lethal Highway, Air Fleet, and Iron Jungle for dealing with the fleeing vehicles.
* IronicEcho: After the fight with Sonic and the GUN Commander's Diablon Mech on the Slightly Dark - Dark Ending, Shadow says, "Game over, Sonic!", a direct CallBack to what Sonic said to Shadow after their second battle in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'': "Game over, Shadow!"
* IWasJustPassingThrough: This is what Shadow says to Sonic after you clear the hero mission of Westopolis.
* {{Jerkass}}: Black Doom, Eggman, and the GUN Commander. The GUN Commander orders his soldiers to kill Shadow, even when you're doing Doom's missions his aliens shoot at you, and in all of the levels where you can assist Eggman, regardless of the path you take, you ''still'' end up fighting him as a sub-boss. EverythingIsTryingToKillYou.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Shadow. Is ruthless in achieving his goals, acts callous, and is apathetic to (most) things that are going on in the world. However, he tries to stay on the side of justice, while still focusing on getting answers to his past. He also blames himself for Maria's death and views the humans as terrible beings for what they did, saved Sonic earlier on despite his annoyance of his presence, and was ready to go against Black Doom after realising that he wanted to use the Chaos Emeralds to destroy the planet. This is best shown in the Slightly Hero ending, where Shadow got completely wrecked after finding out that the world views him as a nightmare, going so far as regretting his own existence.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: He can also be this, especially in the Pure Hero path if you turn on the good guys in Final Haunt.
* JungleJapes: Prison Island, Death Ruins, and Iron Jungle.
* KarmaMeter: Doing more "evil" or "good" actions will fill the respective gauge, which, at max, will allow Shadow to use [[LimitBreak Chaos Blast or Chaos Control]] respectively. Ironically, Chaos Control's main use is to accelerate you towards the goal of the ''neutral'' path, except in the boss levels where it freezes time.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: The Samurai Blade, the unlockable melee weapon, is stronger than any other melee weapon. In addition, its upgraded form [[RazorWind fires a shockwave that does just as much damage as a slash]] and doesn't use up one of its uses.
* KillSat: The Eclipse Cannon and [[spoiler:the unlockable Satellite Laser weapon]].
* KnightTemplar: Oddly, Shadow turns out to be this in the Pure Dark - Dark ending, claiming to bring justice and order to humanity.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Shadow, carried over from ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'', the prequel of sorts to this game.
* LethalLavaLand: Lava Shelter.
* LevelsTakeFlight:
** Air Fleet, where Shadow has the option to either cover the President's escape from the Black Arms (Hero), find the Chaos Emerald (Neutral), or assassinate the big man himself (Dark).
** Sky Troops.
* LongSongShortScene: The game contains a rather neat remix of ''E.G.G.M.A.N.'' by Paul Shortino. Unfortunately, the segment used in the game is less than 30 seconds long, only used in one cutscene, and is buried in the SoundTest behind the anonymous "Event" title. The full version of the track did eventually appear on the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H34JxbKDCYA "Lost And Found"]] soundtrack CD, however.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** In the cutscene before Lethal Highway (one of the three second levels of the game), Sonic says, "Welcome to the next level!"
** He also says, "Well, Shadow, it looks like we've reached the climax of this little game. Time to make [[BigBad the big boss man]] responsible for this invasion step up and play." at the beginning of Final Haunt, one of the potential final levels.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:As revealed in the Last Story, Shadow was created from Black Doom's blood.]]
* MassMonsterSlaughterSidequest: Kill all aliens, soldiers, etc.
* TheMaze: The Doom, Lost Impact.
* MeleeATrois: Black Arms versus Team Sonic/GUN versus The Eggman Empire, though the levels only feature two of these teams. However, Shadow can potentially fight against both of the featured teams in each level, thus still playing this trope straight.
* MisbegottenMultiplayerMode: The 2-player battle mode feels very much like it was tacked on, being a simple deathmatch mode with only three stages, and different-colored Shadows and Shadow Androids to choose from.
* MissionControl:
** Every level has one or more characters that give you orders. Dr. Eggman doesn't follow you, instead using a hovering video transceiver drone and a VoiceWithAnInternetConnection.
** Black Doom does something similar with his "familiar" Doom's Eye. [[spoiler:Which turns out to be his weak point during the final battle with Devil Doom.]]
* MoodWhiplash: The game as a whole can be considered this to the entire Sonic series, considering it came out after the incredibly kiddy and bright [[spoiler:(end-game notwithstanding)]] ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes''.
* MoralDissonance: Shadow often does things that don't make sense for his current moral path, which is occasionally [[WhatTheHellHero called out by his partner character]]. Even when it's vital to complete the mission.
* MoreDakka: The gatling gun equipped on the Bigfoot mechs.
* MultipleChoicePast: Played with, but ultimately subverted. The different endings each have Shadow coming to different conclusions about his true identity, including some objectively false ones like believing that he's a [[RobotMe robotic duplicate of the real Shadow.]] However, the true ending settles once and for all who Shadow really, canonically is.
* MultipleEndings: ''Ten'', all of which need to be seen in order to get to the TrueFinalBoss and OmegaEnding.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Shadow's initial reaction when he realizes that he was used by Black Doom in the final story.
** The GUN Commander also gives a similar reaction to what he nearly did when Shadow, after hearing about his apparent involvement in the destruction of the ARK and Maria from the Commander, says "if what you say is true, then I will face the consequences", making it very clear that he really ''cannot'' remember it.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: [[DoomyDoomsofDoom Black Doom.]]
* NintendoHard: Most of the time the game isn't hard ''per se'', just tedious and meandering, but there are times when said tedium and aimlessness affect the game in a truly bad way:
** Mad Matrix's dark mission involves you trying to destroy a handful of bombs placed in Eggman's cyber network; however, due to the layout of the stage, finding all of these bombs is a pain in the proverbial ass. Expect to take quite a lot of time on it.
** The ARK missions, Lost Impact and The Doom. The latter in particular because it is incredibly easy to get lost within the ARK's massive interior space, or just simply die.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Apparently, the Sonic universe has a ''really'' efficient system for city evacuation. Central City is evacuated in about a day, and no civilians are seen in Westopolis. It is, however, said to have suffered "heavy casualties", according to the cutscene after the first level.
* NominalHero:
** Shadow is one if you complete various hero missions. He will help out the heroes, but only for the sake of finding the Chaos Emeralds to regain his memories.
** Eggman is this too, only teaming up with Sonic and his friends to stop the Black Arms from destroying earth, so he can conquer it.
* NostalgiaLevel: Space Gadget, which appears to be a [[MotifMerger mixture]] of Final Rush (taking place primarily outside of the Ark), Crazy Gadget (the gravity gimmick), and Final Chase (the pillars Shadow has to move up).
* NoNameGiven: The GUN Commander.
* NoPointsForNeutrality: Averted. There's a "neutral" objective in every stage but the last one on any path, which is just "get to the end of the stage" every time. Going TrueNeutral in the war between the heroes and Black Doom results in Shadow having his own fight with Dr. Eggman. Said war still goes on, but Shadow doesn't affect the outcome of it.
* NotNowKiddo: How Vector regards Charmy Bee.
* ObligatorySwearing: Not just Shadow -- Sonic, Knuckles, and Espio get in on the act too.
* ObviouslyEvil: Black Doom. Who'da thunk it?
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:Devil Doom, a combination of Black Doom and a Black Bull.]]
* PercussiveMaintenance: Shadow's preferred method of computer hacking, as demonstrated to the Chaotix at the beginning of one mission. [[BrickJoke Charmy takes it to heart during the Last Story.]]
* PoorCommunicationKills: Shadow apparently never thinks to ask any of his friends about his past, even though every single one of them both know him well as well as found out about his past in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''.
* PragmaticVillainy: Eggman, in response to the Black Arms' assault on Westopolis.
--> '''Eggman:''' How can I take over the city and begin building the Eggman Empire if there ''IS'' no city?!
* PreAssKickingOneLiner:
--> '''Shadow:''' Death to all who oppose me!
* PromotedToPlayable: Maria is playable in The Doom and Lost Impact.
* RandomEventsPlot: Since most of the scenes are designed to fit a variety of moral alignments and plotlines, many of the paths tend to involve Shadow warping around doing arbitrary and frequently contradictory things before having some kind of epiphany at the very end.
* RebelliousSpirit: Shadow has this kind of attitude. He reveals this purpose in the Slightly Dark - Hero Ending, declaring that he knows what's best for him and that no one can tell him what to do.
* RecurringBoss: Black Bull, faced after the Hero Stage 2 and True Hero Stage 4. Egg Breaker, faced after the Dark Stage 3, Neutral/Hero Stage 4, and True Neutral Stage 5. (Note that it's impossible to get to both of the first two appearances in a single playthrough, but possible to get either of them and the third.) To a lesser extent, Heavy Dog (faced after Neutral-Dark Stage 4) and Blue Falcon (faced after True Dark Stage 5) are essentially the same boss, as well, only time-shifted 50 years because Neutral-Dark Stage 4 is a flashback level. You're probably more likely to see one of these bosses twice in a playthrough than to see all three of them in the same playthrough. [[note]]It is possible to see all three in the same playthrough by starting off with a Hero Mission, then doing two Dark missions and then another Hero Mission. This will take you to Hero Stage 2, Neutral-Dark Stage 4, and True Neutral Stage 5.[[/note]]
* RemilitarizedZone: Sky Troops, Air Fleet, and GUN Fortress.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: In the Iron Jungle and Lava Shelter levels, [[MadScientist Eggman]] Robots that look exactly like Shadow appear as enemies, and Shadow is uncertain if he is a robot too. If you stick around in the fight against Devil Doom long enough, however, Eggman will contact Shadow and [[spoiler:explain that he rescued Shadow with his robots and chucked him into a pod while he healed, and Eggman just let him think he was a 'bot to screw with his head.]]
* RivalTurnedEvil: Shadow becomes this to Sonic if you choose to clear one of the dark missions of G.U.N. Fortress, Black Comet, or Final Haunt. What stands out the most is one scene where Shadow declares that he's siding with anyone who is against Sonic (though that's the same ending mentioned under FriendlyRivalry above, so it may not really be "evil").
* RoleReprisal: The Creator/FourKidsEntertainment cast voicing the characters in this one counts as both this and TheOtherDarrin, since while said cast replaced the previous games' voice cast, they had voiced the roles in the ''Anime/SonicX'' dub.
* RuleOfCool: [[FridgeLogic Why does Shadow need a gun? Or vehicles?]] Because of this trope.
* RuleOfThree: Three missions in most levels, three scores, three {{Final Boss}}es (albeit in branching storylines), and of course [[MeleeATrois a three-way war]].
* ScoringPoints: You have three different meters keeping track of your points -- your neutral points, your hero points, and your dark points. If you finish a hero mission, your hero points are added to your neutral points, and your dark points are subtracted for your final score; the inverse is true for a dark mission. On neutral missions, only the neutral points count. It's a good thing the neutral missions pretty much only involve getting to the end of the level, because your time bonus will probably account for most of your score -- neutral points are hard to come by. And, yes, the points matter. [[ScoreScreen You get]] [[RankInflation ranked]].
* ShadesOfConflict: Black vs. White vs. Gray -- Shadow is very much "gray", and it's up to the player to decide whether to take him down the white path, the black path, or leave him gray.
* ShipTease:
** At the end of the golden ending, Amy is practically swooning as she watches Shadow's victory and what she says afterward implies that she at least holds a pretty high level of admiration for him.
--->'''Rouge:''' I hope he's okay.\\
'''Amy:''' He'll be alright, Rouge. After all, he ''is'' Shadow!
** If you do all dark missions before Cryptic Castle (where Amy is the hero character) and then do all hero missions after that, the pathway is titled "Miracle of Love", because [[LoveRedeems Amy made Shadow a hero]].
** Rouge gets in on this too. If you do Dark Westoplis then Hero Digital Circuit, then do all the hero missions after that, that pathway is called "For Love's Sake". If you do the normal Prison Island mission after Dark Westoplis and Hero Digital Circuit, then the rest of the Hero missions, it's called "ThePowerOfLove". Granted, there is one normal mission in this one, but Shadow doesn't go dark after Rouge's influence either.
* ShoutOut:
** There are a pair of bosses are "Blue Falcon" and "Black Bull", the names of two of the racing vehicles in the ''VideoGame/FZero'' series. It probably helps that Sega developed ''F-Zero GX''.
** Occasionally, one of the GUN soldiers will shout out "Mr. Yuji Naka is alright!" in the ARK flashback levels.
** The president of the United Federation looks a heck of a lot like [[WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant Kent Mansley]].
** Sonic says "I guess that means...welcome to the next level" during a cutscene. "Welcome to the Next Level" was one of Sega's slogans during the 16-bit days.
** The Egg Vacuum weapon is based on ''VideoGame/BillyHatcherAndTheGiantEgg'', since it's an egg from the game with a chicken's head.
** In the Dark path, [[spoiler:the Black Arms uses the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the ''Sonic'' universe's equivalent of the White House, similar to the famous scene from ''Film/IndependenceDay'']].
* SlaveMooks: The Shadow Androids, physically identical replicas of the original Shadow the Hedgehog. In the Neutral endings, [[spoiler:Shadow becomes convinced he's one of them that somehow went rogue]].
* TheSouthpaw: Shadow handles his weapons in a left-handed manner. In official art of the cover and with that wonderful chopper, he handles his gun with his left hand, and if you know what to look for, you'll see that he leads with his left in his body-language too.
* SpaceZone: The Doom, The ARK, Space Gadget, Lost Impact, and Cosmic Fall.
* TheStarscream: The Pure Dark - Hero Ending has [[spoiler:Shadow defeating Black Doom so that he can conquer the universe for himself]].
* StoryBranchFavoritism: The game plays this trope straight, where although the game features up to 11 different endings ranging from Evil to Neutral to Good, only the hidden Neutral ending against the obvious BigBad is considered to be the game's GoldenEnding from the creator standpoint.
* TragicHero: Throughout the game, Shadow has difficulties deciding which path to choose. He is unsure on whether to destroy the humans as revenge for murdering Maria, or if to keep his promise to her by protecting them.
* TakeOverTheWorld: [[spoiler:Shadow reveals this motivation in the Pure Dark - Hero Ending.]]
* TelephonePolearm: You can break traffic signs and various other objects, and then use them as melee weapons.
* TomatoInTheMirror: It's revealed that Shadow's at least partially [[spoiler:a Black Arm]].
* ToServeMan: Between this game and the Archie adaptation, it seems the Black Arms race with their Black Comet treats other planets like drive-thru restaurants.
* TotallyRadical: On the level of the game's ''entire aesthetic''. The whole time it feels like the creators are yelling at you "Look how DARK and EDGY we are now!"
* TronLines: Used in the layouts for Digital Circuit and Mad Matrix.
* TrueFinalBoss: Unlocked after seeing the first ten endings. [[spoiler:It is Black Doom's OneWingedAngel form by the name of Devil Doom.]]
* UnwittingPawn: Shadow, by both Doom ''and'' Eggman.
* VideoGameCaringPotential:
** Use the Heal Cannon/Capsules on a downed/injured GUN soldier. Not only will they attack any enemy of yours and not ever aim at you, but you will get quite a few heartwarming thank yous from the soldiers (who will salute you as you pass by).
** Using the Heal Cannon or Heal Capsules on almost any attacking enemy (including Black Arms and robots) will make them cease attacking you immediately.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** In Cryptic Castle, you'll come to a room full of little Chao. You can beat (or shoot!) up all of these Chao and make them bawl their little eyes out, and you even get Dark Points for doing so!
** In the same level, you can also punch Cream if you're feeling particularly dastardly.
** The same stage has Amy Rose as your hero-side partner. It also has exploding barrels; you throw them at certain walls to break them, or use the barrels to attack big groups of enemies. You could also chuck these barrels at Amy if you so desire.
* ViewersAreMorons: The game never stops giving you tutorials about how to play it. Even in the Last Way, the very last level of the game, it still puts up messages on how to use basic mechanics like the homing attack.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Sonic and Shadow have this kind of interaction. Sonic treats Shadow as a friend, but Shadow would rather continue in his mission to regain his memories than put up with his friendly and adventurous nature. This dialogue in one scene before the ARK stages tells the story:
-->'''Sonic:''' What's up, Shadow!\\
'''Shadow:''' Not you again.\\
'''Sonic:''' [[SarcasmMode Nice to see you, too.]]
** If you [[RivalTurnedEvil side with Black Doom]] in the last level (Final Haunt), Sonic drops his friendly attitude and proceeds to oppose you along with Diablon. The same goes for the other final stages in the dark path, such as G.U.N. Fortress and The Black Comet.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** If you pick a non-neutral story path, killing your allies or completing incorrect story objectives will earn you a rebuke from your Mission Character. However, this is ironic considering your "allies" attack you.
** In a cutscene example, before the Sonic and Diablon boss fights, Sonic calls out Shadow for siding with the Black Arms.
* WildCard: You can change Shadow's allegiance at any time, even during a mission. Sometimes your allegiance will be changed for you if you accidentally collide with a different Mission Character.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: In one ending, specifically the slightly heroic path's hero ending, Shadow will regain his memories after defeating Black Doom, and says in a remorse-filled tone that he was good at nothing more than destruction, and he was better off not being created, despite Vector's attempts at telling him otherwise, indicating that one of his paths would end in this trope.
* WorldOfHam: The dialogue really is terribly hammy, ''especially'' Shadow, Eggman, and Black Doom. The voice actors all seem fully aware of this, and [[ChewingTheScenery work it hard]].
* WorldsStrongestMan: After defeating Sonic and Diablon in the Pure Hero - Dark Ending, Shadow proclaims himself as one due to the energy of the 7 Chaos Emeralds.
* YouKilledMyFather: The Commander has a vendetta against Shadow, blaming him for the death of everyone aboard the ARK fifty years ago, especially Maria.
* YourMindMakesItReal: "The Doom" and "Lost Impact" take place as flashbacks, but Shadow can still manipulate his morality during these events.
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