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''Shadow Complex'' is a 2009 {{Metroidvania}} action-adventure game for the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}} by Chair Entertainment, a subsidiary of Creator/EpicGames. It was released in August 2009 on UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade.

A woman named Claire and the man interested in her, Jason, go on a date that involves spelunking. You think this would be a fun little date, right?

Nope. Claire is captured by black ops troopers, and Jason pursues her and her captors into an underground base, where a sinister organization called the Restoration is waiting to bring forth what it believes will be a new golden age for America and the world. Starting with only a pistol, a flashlight, and some climbing gear, Jason begins to tear the base apart looking for a way out...

The game is part of the ''Literature/{{Empire}}'' universe by Creator/OrsonScottCard -- the Empire novel was actually written for this game, not the other way around. The game was heavily promoted and released to near-universal acclaim during Xbox LIVE Arcade's first "Summer of Arcade" event. The gameplay is essentially just like that of a refined ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'': the protagonist, Jason, runs, guns and jumps around a 2D base, gaining equipment, items, and levels as he explores more and more of the place and unravels the sinister plot that is about to be put into action. It uses the [[GameEngine Unreal Engine 3]] and notably introduces "2.5D" elements smoothly into classic {{Metroidvania}} gameplay, such as allowing Jason to shoot enemies in the background of the stage. A remastered version for PC, UsefulNotes/XboxOne, and UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation 4}} has since been released, giving the game a graphical overhaul and with new content; the PC version came in December 2015, with the Xbox One release following in March 2016 and the [=PS4=] one (alongside a UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} release of the PC version) the following May.

!! This game contains examples of:
* HundredPercentCompletion: Required if you want the Completionist achievement.
* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: The maximum level is 50, but to reach that, you need to play through the game several times, making sure that you explore most of the map each time around since doing so nets you far more experience than killing enemies.
* AirVentPassageway: A fairly prominent method of slipping through the complex, both to avoid combat and just to get around. Some of the vents are reinforced with plating that renders them resistant to everything short of a missile launcher.
* AKA47: With the exception of the two made up weapons, this is almost painfully true. For the most part this consists of adding some zeros to the end of the name and switching out the real company for the fictional [=WhiteSands=], in example: H&K [=MP5=] becomes the [=WSMP50=], the model is almost exactly the same as well.
* ATasteOfPower: The game starts you off with some Colonel guy in a stolen suit of power armor, armed with the game's second-best gun. Unfortunately, the bad guys have the cheat codes to disable that suit and they cut him off, following with what appears to be his death.
* BadassNormal: Jason is a rather average joe but he's still really effective when the chips are down.
* BagOfSpilling: Justified. The few skills you start the game with are lost due to the player character's death. The rest of the game is played using a different character.
* BaitAndSwitchGunshot: At the end of the game, [[spoiler:it looks like Jason shoots Lucius in the head, but then the camera reveals Claire there, with the smoking gun.]] Particularly amusing if Jason has the Inertial Element, as he will [[spoiler: look at his own gun with confusion as if he thinks he could've accidentally discharged it, but the Inertial Element fires like a shotgun and wouldn't hit Lucius with the single headshot he's downed by]].
* BeehiveBarrier: The representation of energy shields, on the large walkers and from the Fusion Helmet.
* {{BFG}}: The Inertial Element, the best weapon in the game, varies from the other weapons in the game in that it acts more like a shotgun than an automatic weapon. It also kills any soldier in one shot, and does more damage than missiles to armored vehicles and walkers.
* BlingBlingBang: Finding all the Gold Bars grants you golden versions of all the weapons in the game.
* BlownAcrossTheRoom: Meleeing soldiers in Power Armor is quite satisfying.
* BoomHeadshot: You get an achievement for a certain number of these, and it deals more damage to the sturdier enemies.
* CheckpointStarvation: Unlike ''Metroid'', ''Shadow Complex'' auto-saves in specific rooms and the places where it does this are somewhat infrequent, which can send you back a long way if you haven't triggered one in awhile.
* CollapsingLair: [[spoiler:Lucius blows up the control room after Jason reaches it and they have a [[JustBetweenYouAndMe nice pleasant conversation.]]]]
-->'''Jason:''' "Oh, ''crap, crap, crapcrapcrap!''" ''[runs]''
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Shining Jason's flashlights on destructible walls will reveal what tool he can use to destroy them: normal bullets, grenades, foam, missiles, or high-velocity collisions.
* CoolAirship: [[spoiler:The final boss, which appears to be an ''AirborneAircraftCarrier.'']]
* DegradedBoss: Several of the mechs fought as bosses appear during the final battle as ordinary, if deadly, foes.
* DramaticIrony: Jason runs into a TortureTechnician who tells him "You don't ''look'' like a killer" in an attempt to psych him out. By this point in the game, the player has probably killed a few dozen Restoration goons, and a tank or two. Jason simply shoots the guy in the head from point blank range.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Almost the entire game takes place in an enormous underground lab.
* EnemyChatter: You can overhear mooks talk about this-and-that as you sneak around the base, sometimes about trivialities, sometimes about their plans for the United States.
* FacelessGoons: The Restoration's entire membership all seem to enjoy wearing helmets that don't even possess a ''visor''. Glowing lights on the side of the masks seem to indicate cameras of some sort. Interestingly, the hero can become faceless should he pick up the breathing mask or the fusion helmet. The {{Mooks}} don't even take their helmets off when they are sitting down to eat in the mess hall!
* FakeDifficulty: The "difficulty" in shooting bad guys in the background or being shot by bad guys from offscreen.
* FlunkyBoss: [[spoiler:The final boss is assisted by a small army, including a couple of [[DegradedBoss mechas that had previously served as boss battles unto themselves.]]]]
* FollowTheLeader: The developers have eagerly admitted that they based the gameplay off Metroidvania styles. The game as a whole is very similar to ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid''.
* FreezeRay: The Foam Gun is effectively this, in that it's a weapon that instantly immobilizes enemies à la HarmlessFreezing by covering them in rapidly-hardening plastic foam.
* GameplayGrading: After defeating the final boss, the game tallys up your overall score based on how quickly you finished the game, how many enemies you killed, which difficulty it was completed on, and percentage of items collected. Your final score is then sent to the leaderboards.
* GambitRoulette: Jason taking down the complex was all planned, and encouraged during the process, by [[spoiler: his girlfriend Claire]].
* GrapplingHookPistol: One of the gadgets Jason finds in the complex is a wrist-mounted grappling hook. It's called the [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda hookshot]].
* GroinAttack: Once you get the Omega Armor, this is the default melee attack -- the player can send enemies flying hundreds of feet away with a simple punch to the groin.
* HumongousMecha: The first boss in the game is a spider tank infantry fighting vehicle, which is quite a bit larger than a main battle tank. You also fight small "Devastator" class walking tanks, which are about ten feet tall, and massive "Walker" tanks that are much larger and better armed versions of the Devastators, standing about 30 to 40 feet tall.
* InfiniteSupplies: The gun has unlimited ammo, with reloads. Later in the game, it's possible to earn infinite foam, grenades, and missiles, either through collecting power ups or simply reaching a high enough level.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: The Coil Gun has the highest bullet count in the game, is slightly stronger than the WSM4000 assault rifle, and shoots incredibly fast.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Inertial Element is the strongest weapon in the game, functioning as a ridiculously powerful shotgun capable of killing any soldier in one shot.
* ItGetsEasier: At one point in the game, Jason notes with a chill that it's rather easy for him to shoot people now. [[PlayingWithATrope In a bit of playing around with the trope]], he wonders to himself whether that's a good or a bad thing...
-->'''Jason:''' "Killing's getting easier. Not sure if that's good or bad. [''shaky breath''] [[spoiler:...It's good.]]"
* ImplacableMan: You, if you find the Fusion Helmet. As a bonus, the forcefield that allows this requires that you don't increase your movement speed beyond UnflinchingWalk if you want it to stay active.
* KillHimAlready: Subverted; in an early scene, Jason runs into the room where Mr. Sweet is preparing to torture Claire. Mr. Sweet starts advancing on Jason with a knife and, upon seeing the gun pointed at him by Jason, remarks in a patronizing tone that Jason doesn't "look like a killer". The moment the words leave his mouth, Jason shoots him dead without flinching.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: [[spoiler: The final boss will counter with a massive missile salvo whenever you hit it, destroying the missile silo and everything around it.]]
* MadeOfIron: Even before he gets the Omega Armor, Jason can take a surprising amount of gunfire in only a shirt, compared to the armored guards he fights who can only take one or two shots.
* MegatonPunch: Taken to new heights once you get the Omega Armor. Performing take down moves with the Omega Armor equipped will send enemies flying across the room when punched.
* MinimalistRun: The game acknowledges two different levels of this challenge - there is an Achievement for finishing the game with 13% or fewer items, and a 'Master Challenge' for only collecting the backpack, grenade, foam, and missile - even picking up the pistol will result in failing the challenge. [[spoiler:However, if you've found all of the gold bars, you'll have access to the gold weapons, which don't count against you. So you can grab the best gun in the game, skip the pistol, and grab the 3 sub-weapons to complete the challenge. This also skips essentially ALL of the story.]]
* {{Metroidvania}}: ''Shadow Complex'' is an action-adventure involving running, platforming, action and frequent backtracking as new abilities allow access to earlier inaccessible areas. The game was heavily inspired by both ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''; [[http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4119/making_shadow_complex_donald_.php?page=3 the first month of development was spent just playing those games!]]
* MinecartMadness: One brief section of the game involves riding a mine cart over a cliff and jumping out, using the extra momentum to clear the jump. At the base of the complex, there is also an optional mine cart shortcut that you can use as much as you wish.
* MistakenForSpies: This is what happens to Claire and Jason in the beginning of the game, [[spoiler:until the end, when it is revealed that Claire really ''is'' a spy.]]
* MultiPlatform: The original is an Xbox 360-exclusive. ''Remastered'', however, is an Xbox One, [=PlayStation=] 4, and Windows PC release.
* MultipleEndings: [[spoiler:If you go back to the jeep and press B, Jason will drive away, commenting that there's "plenty of fish in the sea."]]
* NewGamePlus: Automatic, and with permanent upgrades (both levels and collection bonuses) that make subsequent jaunts through the Complex much easier.
* NinjaLog: Storm Shadow ninjas do this if you close to melee, except it's [[spoiler:a Ninja Grenade.]] Once you get the Omega Armor, you can [[TalkToTheFist let them know how you feel about that]].
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: You don't take damage from falls. Granted, this is pretty much the only way a Metroidvania can work, but it can feel a little silly sometimes when you can fall down a few stories without worrying.
* OhCrap: Verbatim, and in excess, when [[spoiler:Lucius blows up the room that Jason is in]].
* OlympicSwimmer: Presumably, Jason's pre-game fitness regimen included a ''lot'' of swimming.
* TheOnlyOne: Halfway through the game, Jason stumbles into the Restoration's factory, and Claire basically says "Hey, since you're doing such a good job anyway, why don't you put looking for a way out on hold and single handedly destroy the enemies' supply line." Jason [[LampshadeHanging points out how silly that is]], [[ButThouMust but does it anyway]]. Claire is actually surprised when he tells her that he did it [[spoiler: and drops some foreshadowing for good measure]].
%%* OutrunTheFireball: Courtesy of [[BigBad Lucius]].
* OxygenMeter: The player is subject to one of these... until Jason picks up the SCHCA Mask.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: The [[InfinityPlusOneSword Inertial Element]] is the only power-up that you can render completely unobtainable. [[spoiler:If you don't get it before the control center explodes, you can never get it.]]
* PointOfNoReturn: When [[spoiler:Lucius blows up the central control room]], you can no longer access a certain area without starting the final battle.
* PoweredArmor: You eventually come across the Omega Armor XOS-7. It is deeply entertaining to use, especially when fully assembled. Several {{Heavily Armored Mook}}s have powered armor as well, though their version is [[MightyGlacier much bulkier and more encumbering]].
* RailingKill: You get an achievement for killing enemies by knocking them over railings 100 times!
* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Guards make more and more alarmed comments about how unusual it is that one intruder could possibly cause so much damage.
* SceneryPorn: The forests of the U.S. Northwest are rendered in great detail, and the surface areas of the game aren't afraid to show them off.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler:Going back to the car in the beginning will have Jason simply drive off commenting that there are plenty of fish in the sea. It gives you an achievement as well.]]
* SequenceBreaking: The Foam allows this, with proper use (it helps that you can stack charges to build pillars). The game seems designed around encouraging sequence breaks, [[{{Metroidvania}} which is appropriate for the genre]].
* ShoutOut:
** The grappling hook is called the [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda hookshot]].
** The developers mention ''Franchise/GIJoe'' as an inspiration.
** The third {{spider tank}} boss fight is a homage to the fight at the end of ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell''. The design of the tanks themselves are pretty blatantly modeled after the ''[=GitS=]'' tank, as well.
** One of the Master Achievements is called Jason Bailey, a reference to the "Justin Bailey" password from ''VideoGame/{{Metroid|1}}''.
** Reaching Level 20 in ''Remastered'' rewards players with an achievement called "Charted", nodding to the ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' series; specifically the fact Jason is voiced by Creator/NolanNorth, the voice actor for series protagonist Nathan Drake.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: The final weapon upgrade is a super-shotgun that can kill anything in one hit, at super-long range.
* TheSlowWalk: The final piece of your armor makes you completely invincible as long as you do this, or stand still.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Despite little music being present in the game, a calming piano piece plays when you have to [[spoiler: navigate a base you flooded, complete with several still-drowning mooks]].
* SpiderTank: Jason runs into one of the Restoration's spider tanks early in the game, but he ends up dispatching it with a few well-tossed grenades in an exhaust vent. More of them show up later, tougher to kill because of the lack of easily exploited explosions.
* StoryBreadcrumbs: Much of the plot can be gathered from guards who talk to one another when you're not killing them.
* SuperSpeed: About halfway through the game you are given Friction Dampers that triple your speed, complete with breaking the sound barrier. A few of the more interesting power-up placements involve solving a few logic puzzles that can only be solved with the gravity-busting properties of the boots, which require a significant charge-up time.
* TemptingFate: In the opening sequence, the PlayerCharacter's armor locks up, via a security measure, after he beats all the bad guys attacking the Vice President. Then his VoiceWithAnInternetConnection reveals he's actually working for the bad guys.
-->'''Dallas:''' "At least... At least the Vice President is safe."\\
''[black SUV explodes in the background]''\\
'''Voice:''' "Oh, ''that'' Vice President? Of the United States?"
* TenSecondFlashlight: The flashlight's batteries run out in just a few minutes, but they recharge quickly as well.
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler:Lucius spends the entire climax standing in his observation tower while the player fights the final boss. He's shot in the head in a cutscene, by ''someone else'' no less.]]
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Shadow Complex Remastered'' gives the game a new coat of HD paint with new challenges added to the game and take down moves. In addition, the villains are given different dialogue to more accurately fit in with the ''Empire'' series as a whole[[note]]In the original game on Xbox, the villains seemed to have a very conservative slant, but in the Remastered version, they're more explicitly militant liberals, noting that New York and San Francisco are their first targets because they're likely to side with the Restoration for having shared values[[/note]].
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: The soldiers scream when you send them flying (whether by uppercutting them with the Omega Armor, blowing them up with missiles or grenades, dive-bombing them with the GroundPound, plowing into them with the Friction Dampener, and more often than not when you "stealth" kill them with melee, notably early on when you can pull an unsuspecting enemy into the water you are swimming in, even with several others nearby), and there's an achievement for making a hundred of them scream.
* VillainBall: Lucius and the Restoration really should have read the EvilOverlordList to avoid things like AirVentPassageway escape and JustBetweenYouAndMe, but their biggest mistake has to be [[spoiler:hovering their AirborneAircraftCarrier over the nuclear missles to take out one guy instead of flying off to San Francisco.]]
* VillainousBreakdown: Lucius has a pretty impressive one.
* WasItAllALie: [[spoiler:Jason asks this of Claire, when she tells him that she was using him as cover to get into the [[TitleDrop Shadow Complex]]]].
-->[[spoiler:'''Claire:''' Not everything. You really do have nice eyes]].
%%* WellDoneSonGuy: Specifically averted with Jason, who disappointed his father when he refused to join the military, despite his father training him for years for just that, because he doesn't believe in any cause strongly enough to kill someone. Jason notes the irony of the situation when he's forced to kill to rescue Claire, fulfilling his father's wishes anyway.