Tear Jerker / Shadow the Hedgehog

  • Play either The Doom or Lost Impact, with the music turned up, and think about what exactly is occurring.
  • All of the endings have Shadow figure out who he is... and there's the Slightly-Hero: Hero Ending. Shadow realizes all the damage he caused, and for the first time, is actually broken up about it. And the title for one of the routes you can take to get to it? Shadow's Second Death. He really sounds like he's contemplating suicide.
    Shadow: I'm Shadow...the Hedgehog. A research experiment...gone deadly wrong. I've caused so much destruction...I should never have been created. (Quietly, to himself.) This is who I am.
    • Vector's response and the fact Shadow just silently walks off without listening to him afterward makes it even worse.
  • To some extent, defeating Sonic in the Pure Dark and Semi-Dark Endings. In hindsight, the fact that you have defeated everyone's beloved blue hedgehog along with Diablon and the fact that you have turned your back on all of the heroes makes this all an unpleasant sight.
    Sonic: Shadow...why? Why are you siding with them...?
  • At the end, when the President says "Even though we tried to destroy him, he still saved us." It brings to mind Sonic Adventure 2 and how Shadow sacrificed himself to fulfill Maria's wish despite his former Humans Are Bastards attitude. That one line perfectly captured Shadow in that moment. The piano tune over the credits didn't help matters either.
    • Also at the end of Shadow, Shadow standing aboard the ARK and looking at a picture of Maria and Professor Gerald, before tossing it behind him and saying "Goodbye forever, Shadow the Hedgehog." Part of the impact may be from the callback to Adventure 2's "Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog."
  • The music to Lost Impact. Made worse by how it's one of the two flashback levels you go through with Maria Robotnik.
  • The music for GUN Fortress, the final level of the Pure Evil path. It perfectly captures the mood of the level— humanity is all but wiped out, and you're storming their last line of defence. Regardless of if you go the "Hero" (more like Starscream at this point— given that in doing so, Shadow is betraying Black Doom to take over everything for himself) or Dark ending, the World is doomed.
    Youtube Commenter: This song not only reflects that Shadow's actions are irredeemable, but also how he's not really himself anymore. Shadow already resorted to putting his past behind him before this game— but when Black Doom came around, he just filled his head with toxic dreams of hatred and revenge, corrupting Shadow into someone that wasn't even recognizable as himself anymore. Not only are his actions irredeemable, but he is, too. He's gone.
  • Right before you play through The Last Way, Team Sonic, Amy and Rouge are all paralysed. Then Shadow takes off to stop Black Doom, and there's these words:
    Rouge: (Desperate tone) Shadow!
    Sonic: You're our only hope, now...
  • Shadow killing Dr. Eggman in three of the endings was pretty heartwrenching, especially considering that the game portrays Eggman as a morally-complex character who isn't irredeemably evil like Black Doom is. Seeing such a lovable villain get killed off, non-canon though it was, was a real gut-punch to the Doc's fans.
    Shadow: (Raises his hand) Goodbye, Doctor!
    (The screen immediately cuts to black as Shadow brings his hand down to kill him)
    Dr. Eggman: NOOOOOOOOO-!
  • Watching the president's Broken Pedestal reaction to Shadow trying to murder him can be pretty sad.
    President: Shadow? I...can't believe it.
  • One of the endings has Shadow lose all faith in humanity. To see somebody who made a Heroic Sacrifice for Earth just... give up on everything and go Laughing Mad is very unnerving. Not to mention the lack of emphasis on the Precision F-Strike, something setting it apart from most of Griffith's acting in the game. Even worse since he genuinely believes that this was what Gerald wanted—
    Shadow: Finally... I've got all the Chaos Emeralds.
    Sonic: (barely conscious) Shadow... w-what are you going to do with them?
    Shadow: I'm Shadow... the Hedgehog. I was created to bring order and justice to the humans. With the power of these Emeralds, I'm going to destroy this damn planet! This is who I am! (begins to laugh insanely)
  • If you spend about seven minutes in the final battle against Devil Doom, Dr. Eggman takes the time to explain to Shadow that he is indeed the original, after trying to make him think that he was one of his Shadow Androids to coax him onto his side. It doubles as a Heartwarming Moment, given that not only does it provide closure on whether or not it was the real deal, but the fact he was saved by Eggman of all people only makes it more effective.
    Dr. Eggman: Shadow, can you hear me? This may be the last chance I get to speak to you, so... What I said about having created you? It was all a lie. Everyone thought you had died during that horrible incident. But I rescued you with one of my robots! You lost your memory, that's all. You really are the Ultimate Lifeform my grandfather created!