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Shadow Archetype

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"I am a shadow... The true self..."
The Shadow Selves, Persona 4

Shadow Archetype has to do with two elements of writing: characters and settings, and also the most feared archetype, even to heroes. In this article we discuss character archetypes. For the settings viewpoint, see Shadowland.

Character-wise, it's the part of the personality that embodies everything a character, called the 'Self', doesn't like about themselves, the things they (often subconsciously) deny about themselves and project on to others. In fact, the more the Shadow has been repressed, the more powerful it becomes. To show these things to the audience we need an embodiment of some sort.


Around here, we call some of those embodiments things like:

Those tropes have examples listed of characters playing those more-precise Shadow roles that often overlap with this but do not have to.

A common trope involves the Self accepting their Shadow, metaphorically coming to terms with their flaw (see I Am What I Am). That is, The Hero refuses to kill the Shadow, given the opportunity, or outright refuses to fight it. In Enemy Within, Enemy Without, and Evil Twin situations, the Self and Shadow sometimes even merge towards the end for an endgame powerup, further emphasizing the symbolism.


Note that in Jungian psychology, the Shadow Archetype includes positive as well as negative things, anything suppressed or denied in the personality. Compare and contrast Foil, which is there to highlight traits something or someone has, sometimes by lacking said traits.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Crane Hermit is a shadow of Master Roshi. He represents what Roshi would be like if he became corrupted.
    • Before his Heel–Face Turn, Tien represents what Goku would be like if he allowed his arrogance and natural talent for fighting to go to his head. This also highlights the difference between the Turtle and the Crane Schools. Master Roshi went out of his way to teach his students humility and that there was always someone better. The Crane Hermit bloated his students' egos, telling them that there was no one stronger than them.
    • King Piccolo is a shadow archetype to Goku. Given their similar backstories, Piccolo is what Goku would have become if he embraced his ruthless Saiyan nature.
    • Turles. In fact, Turles was originally supposed to be the result of what Goku would have been like if he hadn't lost his memory.
    • After character development, Frieza to Vegeta. Frieza is everything Vegeta would have become if he succeeded in taking his place as ruler of the universe instead of settling down on Earth.
    • Cell serves as this to different characters in his evolutionary line:
      • In his Imperfect form, he represents what Piccolo would be like if he never met Gohan and became a friend.
      • In his Semi-Perfect form, he is Vegeta if he never settled down on Earth and became completely ruled by his pride and arrogance.
      • In his Perfect form, he is what Goku would be like if he chose only to live for fighting and used his natural talent to terrorize people instead of protecting them. In fact, Cell sook out the means to gain his perfect form purely for the sake of it, himself not realizing that of all the genetic material he is made up of that particular path is most invokative of Goku.
      • When he reaches his Super Perfect form, he is Gohan if he embraced the rage of a Super Saiyan and became an uncaring monster who only lives to destroy.
    • Majin Buu to Goku. If Goku lived only to eat, satisfying his need for battle, and cared for no one outside of himself, he would be similar to Buu.
    • Beerus is what Goku would be like if he didn't have anyone around to act as his moral compass.
    • Goku Black. With all of Goku's power at his disposal and none of his kind-heartedness, Black is living proof of just how terrifying and unstoppable Goku would be as a villain. Goku is pure in his desire to always improve, to always better himself. Black is also pure, but bettering himself is a means to an end. His purity is in his desire to change the world as he sees fit, with no regard for anyone else living in it.
  • In Cowboy Bebop, it's heavily implied that Vicious is what Spike would've turned into without Julia's influence (and vice-versa).
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena being a complex psychological piece has plenty of examples. The elevator in the Black Rose arc is all about getting in touch with one's shadow. All the Black Rose duelists become Black Rose duelists by entering the elevator and confessing something, usually that they secretly hate some other character.
  • Paranoia Agent is ultimately about what happens when someone's Shadow Archetype gets out and starts breaking everyone else's shadows free.
  • In Attack on Titan, this is the case with Eren Yeager and Reiner Braun. Both are Eldians raised with what they learn to be falsified history and lose their innocent view of the world at a young age, resulting in them becoming driven with their goals and more cynical. However, Reiner was the heroic leader and protective big brother to everyone, when in reality he was one of the Titans that attacked the Wall in the beginning and was fighting for a hostile country, intending to kill everyone living in Paradis. Eren was a misfit and mostly shone through his determined attitude, who turned out to be a Titan himself, but decided to use his powers to keep the people in Paradis safe.
    This gets thrown on its head post-Time Skip, as Eren becomes more corrupt and even admits that he and Reiner are very much the same, and Reiner shows that he has become guilt-ridden from his previous actions and genuinely wants to do better now. They are displayed like the same character, but viewed from 'the other end' of the war. And then it becomes more ambiguous which one of them is the other's Shadow, due to the growing Grey-and-Gray Morality.
  • Trigun
    • Vash's brother Knives, instead of having an extreme aversion to killing, sees humans as pathetic and inferior, and has no compunction about killing them for any or no reason. Knives has serious self-control issues which occasionally cause him difficulties and turn out to have shortened his lifespan, while Vash being The Fettered is... ubiquitous. His twin isn't just everything-bad-that-he-isn't, he's everything Vash refuses to be. Even more in the manga, where Vash almost flipped out the same time Knives did, and had a suicide attempt and accidentally almost killed Rem, which was met with maniacal laughter, and then he pulled himself together and chose to not give up on people.
    • Wolfwood is Vash's foil, though Vash may be viewed as the idealism-shadow of either Knives or Wolfwood, who wear Jade-Colored Glasses.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
    • Gendou gives a good idea of how disillusioned, cynical and bitter Shinji could grow up to become. It's even lampshaded in the Angelic Days manga, which shows Gendou as a Troubled, but Cute (in Yui's eyes!) "nobody loves me so I hate everybody!" teen.
    • The actual shadow archetype from Jungian psychology shows up, as a shadowy Shinji on a train that reveals truths Shinji doesn't want to face. However, since Shinji frequently suffers from negative opinions of himself he rather likes his shadow and feels it to be much better than he is. This projection of positive value judgements makes his shadow contrast with the typical 'dark' and 'evil' depiction of this archetype.
    • It is also invented with Kaworu, who as a character is pretty much an embodiment of all of the qualities Shinji lacks, but rather than being his Evil Counterpart or The Rival, Shinji's extremely low self-esteem means that he quickly deems Kaworu much better than he is because of this, and the two get along extremely well.
  • Among the many interpretations of Fuuma's strange anti-Christ character in X/1999 is that he is a Shadow Archetype born out of the dark side of Kamui's nature. In the TV series this character claims to be Kamui's "Gemini" and its implied that if Kamui had been consumed by his own rage and grief, this character would have instead become a Messianic Archetype in Kamui's stead.
  • The incredibly freaky first appearance of Dark Sonic in Sonic X, in response to the sight of his friends being injured and imprisoned (and exposure to the negative energy of Fake Chaos Emeralds) Dark Sonic emerges from the normally far-calmer (by comparison, anyway) Sonic and proceeds to beat the living begeezus out of a couple of Metarex testing robots. Ironically enough, he was snapped out of it by Eggman.
  • In Aquarian Age: Sign for Evolution the character Yoriko has two distinct personalities for two of the five different factions in the show, Aryashiki (the side she grew up believing she had to take command of) and Darklore. It turns out that her Darklore persona (which has been causing havoc for most of the series) was as much a part of her as her Aryashiki one and it just took a while for her to realize. She embraces her other half and takes her back.
    Yoriko: I kept thinking... I'm not doing those awful things to Kyouta. It's not me. But it was.
    It was a little scary there for a while. But it's going to be okay now.
  • Valvrave the Liberator: Haruto and L-Elf. Haruto winds up as the titular mecha's pilot for brash, emotionally driven, but overall selfless reasons. L-Elf does everything he does for a cold, carefully calculated purpose, and that included attempting to steal the Valvrave — which he would have succeeded at if not for being unaware of the changes it puts its pilot through. Haruto is rather emotional and kind, thinks with his heart, and generally only takes the short-term into account with his actions. L-Elf plans out his strategies literal years in advance and his only moral code can be summed up as successfully bring revolution to my country, nothing else matters. Whereas Haruto is an super-powered being due to his status as a Valvrave pilot, L-Elf is technically a normal human being, but is still widely known as the One-Man Army. Haruto attended a normal high school until the war between their countries, and L-Elf graduated from an elite military academy meant to train Child Soldiers. Yet, amidst all of this, L-Elf is completely hellbent on forcing Haruto to join him in his efforts as Haruto can potentially help L-Elf achieve his revolution as much as five years earlier than he'd originally predicted.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, Lance is this to Yellow. Both were born in Viridian Forest, and both have the power to heal Pokémon and listen to their thoughts. While Yellow is a pacifistic Friend to All Living Things who just wants everyone to live in peace as a result of this, Lance is a brutal Well-Intentioned Extremist who plans to wipe out all of humanity because he believes Pokémon and humanity to be completely incompatible with each other. (And when they clash? Good. Lord.)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Certain amoral alchemists are fond of telling Edward Elric that he's just like them for trying to bring his dead mother back to life, something he really doesn't want to hear but sometimes acknowledges is true. Izumi reacts with anger when she finds out because Ed represents her own guilt at her own attempts to bring her child back to life.
    • The creepy creature that sits outside the Portal of Truth and selectively reveals ugly truths is a proper, Jungian shadow archetype, and tells Ed "I am also you." Interestingly, he's visually inverted, so he's bright light and not the traditional shadow.
    • Hohenheim and Father, the Big Good and Big Bad respectively, down to their identical appearances.
    • Greed may eventually pull his Heel–Face Turn act, but he is this to Ling as well. Both expressed interest in Alphonse's nature as a disembodied soul attached to armor, both are power-craving individuals inclined to do anything to get what they want, and both have a strong unwillingness to lose anything of value to them, which extends to their comrades. Ling however is good-natured and has an openly declared willingness to serve his people, compared to his jerkass Homunculus counterpart who tries to center absolutely everything around himself. Their similarities foreshadow Ling merging with Greed.
    • Most of the homunculi fit the bill for someone or another: Pride for Edward, Envy for Mustang, Sloth for the Armstrongs, Wrath for Scar, and, as has already been covered, Greed for Ling. Interestingly, Pride is the only one who isn't killed by the hero.
    • In the 2003 anime version, Wrath is a shadow archetype to Envy. They're both Artificial Humans of Ambiguous Gender, with the same bad taste in fashion, vindictive streak (watch Wrath kill Lust and say there's no sadism there), impulsive tendencies (although Envy's are slightly more controlled due to his greater experience), abandonment issues and fondness of displaying a Slasher Smile in combat. The difference is that Wrath has people who genuinely care about him, and is eventually able to lose that anger and pull a Heel–Face Turn, whereas Envy, after 400 years of nurturing his spite, has nothing but deep-seated rage left to him; all that remains is psychosis and self-loathing.
  • Kenichi and Kanō in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Kenichi embodies the light aspect of martial arts, and Kanō embodies the dark aspects. They are opposites in every way, personality and appearance-wise, yet they are also very similar in that both are students of multiple Master-class fighters and partly because of this, they are viewed as the best fighters in their individual peer groups.
  • The Prince of Tennis has a few as well. Fuji originally did not care as much for winning as enjoying the thrill of the game. Shiraishi, on the other hand, finds his own tennis boring but is committed to winning no matter what. Both are also considered the most formidable members of their respective teams, even more than their captain/lancer.
  • Death Note
    • Kira is this to Light, becoming all the things he claims to hate, even as he's punishing the world for being them.
    • L and Light have a whole reciprocal shadow thing going. Light is the social one, who not only understands but really cares about proper socialization and not being indecorous, but as Kira he's also the one who's the most prolific serial killer in history. L is antisocial and willfully unsocialized, and he doesn't really care about little things like illegal detainment, mock executions, and torture, but he's the one trying to enforce that you don't go around killing people, and he means it. Enough to be unwilling to test the Note. They're certainly both liars. The primary difference between L and Light — two childish geniuses who hide behind their claims of justice and have no idea how to be wrong — is that L is capable of accepting and coping with his own and the world's flaws, two concepts that Light will never even grasp.
      Light: The world was too rotten, with too many rotten people... Somebody had to do this! The world had to be fixed!
  • Rurouni Kenshin
    • Big Bad Shishio is the assassin who succeeded to Kenshin. He represents what Kenshin could have become if not for a certain incident in his past.
    • Seta Soujirou is the naive, emotionless killer to Kenshin's Obfuscating Stupidity cheerfulness and paficism. They're both heavily influenced by the ideals of their respective masters, but while Kenshin eventually learned from his experiences, Soujirou was only ever guided by Shishio's ideals.
    • Saitou Hajime is the ruthless Anti-Hero to Kenshin's atoner. Like Kenshin, he operates on his own sense of justice and does what he thinks is right. However, he's willing to kill for his beliefs and doesn't believe in people changing in spite of his changing affiliations of over the years.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Besides Accelerator, Tsuchimikado Motoharu serves as the Anti-Hero counterpart to Touma. Despite his good intentions, he is almost always willing to take more deadly measures to achieve things. While Touma has no organization affiliations, he tries to help any of his friends regardless of their loyalties. Tsuchimikado has multiple affiliations but is only really loyal to his younger step-sister. While Touma's Blessed with Suck powers are played for laughs, Tsuchimikado is in danger of dying from using his powers.
  • Tiger & Bunny It's shown that Kotetsu and Kriem both had very similar histories. Both were NEXT that grew up during the height of NEXT prejudice and had come to hate themselves before encountering someone that inspired them to embrace their abilities and follow in their new idol's footsteps. The key difference is that Kotetsu's encounter was with Sternbild's first superhero Mr. Legend, while Kriem ran into NEXT-supremacist supervillain Jake Martinez.
  • Black Lagoon
    • The protagonist Rock serves as a shadow for later character Yukio, who chose to take leadership in her yakuza family not that she had much choice. Later, Yukio even calls him out on his motivations for saving her, citing that he only sees her as his old self, but is unwilling to let go of his past.
    • Within the main cast are Rock and Benny. Both are among the nicer members of the Lagoon Company and aren't much for physical confrontations. But while Rock still (mostly) has a sense of morals and wants to save others, Benny has become completely desensitized to the violence that his fellow Lagoon members commit.
  • This is the entire premise of Yu-Gi-Oh! (well, besides the card game) and was the whole plot of the beginning manga. There are three doubles: one of the main character and two of the main antagonists, respectively. For the main character, Yugi, his double, which in the American fandom is called a yami ("darkness") evolved into a protagonist, but is still a Darker and Edgier version of Yugi. The antagonists are a classmate of Yugi's whose body is taken over by a vengeful spirit (the second yami) and a revenge-obsessed teen with an actual Split Personality (the third). A good deal of conflict in the series revolves around the magic of the Shadows wielded by them and others.
  • Fairy Tail has Jiemma, guildmaster of Sabertooth, where only the strongest wizards are allowed and failure is not tolerated. His mentality is very similar to Laxus's way of thought before he Walked The Earth and Tamed His Anger.
  • In Bleach, the Inner Hollow is Ichigo's true Zanpakuto spirit Zangetsu. Treating it as an invasive parasite instead of merely being his more aggressive side manifested is one of the reasons his power has fluctuated throughout the series. In the final arc, he at long last accepts that it along with the manifestation of his Quincy heritage the Old Man are not his enemies or his allies — they are him.
  • In Fruits Basket, Tohru is an incredibly sweet and selfless girl who always puts others before her own happiness. Akito is an angry emotional and mental mess who selfishly clings to the Zodiac curse, out of fear of rejection. While Akito envies the unconditional love Tohru receives, Tohru herself has deeply-repressed selfish urges (mainly her desire to have her mother all to herself, hating her father for "taking" her mother even though she knows such hatred is wrong). Over the course of the manga, Tohru comes to terms with the idea that it's okay to be selfish once in awhile, and Akito is able to let go of the curse, believing that there will be people out in the world who will still love her.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica Madoka represents selfless love, sacrificing herself to save everyone, while Homura represents selfish love, sacrificing everything to save Madoka. This is blatantly apparent in Rebellion, where Madoka is God and Homura is The Devil.
  • One Piece:
    • A good number of adversaries of Monkey D. Luffy were once idealistic young pirates like Luffy, except they witnessed a horrible incident and either became disillusioned with the world, resorting to unethical means to get what they want (Crocodile, Doflamingo), or outright snapped and went insane (Moriah, Arlong); and some others (Kuro, Don Krieg, Hody Jones) represent basically what Luffy, as a pirate himself, simply is not and would not do. Luffy himself had almost lost his optimism when his brother Ace was executed by the Marines in front of him, but he had close friends to lift his spirits during his darkest moments, whereas all of those villainous characters were alone during theirs. Trafalgar Law is an Anti-Hero case, who is Luffy's equal in potential and influence but let the tragic events in his past consume him, causing him to become moody and unconcerned in the present. Same with Eustass Kid, who has the same passion and dreams as Luffy and even respects Luffy for that but won't hesitate to kill bystanders who disagree with him.
    • Of special note is Blackbeard, who is the one character as jolly and idealistic as Luffy, and even shares the same philosophies about life as Luffy, but whereas Luffy spreads his joy to everyone around him and cares deeply about people, Blackbeard cares only about himself and his social status. Most of his crew is also composed of people with similar abilities to Luffy's crew, only with their positive personality traits removed: Both Zoro and Shiryu live to fight, but Zoro duels only people who accepts his challenges whereas Shiryu is a Blood Knight who fights anyone he feels like and will kill anyone in his way; Sanji and Burgess are both very loyal to their captains and are martial artists, but Sanji is careful and keeps Luffy in check whereas Burgess is reckless and always genuinely agrees with Blackbeard no matter how wrong it is; etc.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has Big Bad Zarc be one for the protagonist Yuya. Though it might be more accurate to say Yuya is the shadow archetype for Zarc as Zarc is Yuya's original self. Both Zarc and Yuya wanted to make people happy by dueling but had opposition to their ideals. While Zarc focused on the audience happy at the price of his own happiness, Yuya kept reaching for ideals by changing himself till he was able to wow the audience. The difference led Zarc to grow bitter at humanity for their bloodlust and kill everyone while Yuya was able to fulfill his ideals and while keeping his sanity.
  • The title character from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has three in fact.
    • The first one is her cousin Maki, who is basically what she would be if Shirogane was dating Fujiwara, right down to the same birthday, reactions, facial expressions, and lines of thought. Even her hair and eye colors are a more muted version of Kaguya's (brown and pink instead of black and red). Fittingly enough, this is partly why the two don't like each other.
    • According to the bonus content in Volume 19, her third eldest brother Unyo is basically what she would have been if she embraced her harsh family upbringing. His past life of befriending a Hayasaka and has a different mother from the rest of his brothers is no different from his little sister, except that befriending Shirogane and the student council members changed her into a better person, something that even Unyo acknowledges.
    • As revealed in Chapter 208, the relationship between Shirogane's parents played out in the same way as Shirogane with Kaguya. Both Shirogane and his father pushed themselves to their limits to win the girl they liked, but while Shirogane's mother is an implied Gold Digger who judged her family members with their talents, Kaguya fell for Shirogane due to his kindness and accepting the flawed person he is.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle:
    • Fugil serves as one to Lux. While Lux is an Ideal Hero who tries to save his enemies, Fugil is ruthless and calls such ideals foolish. This is emphasised by the later revelation that Lux once nearly lost his own idealism but was saved by his childhood friend and eventual love interest. On top of that, Fugil is heavily implied to have once been like Lux, later becoming cynical after the death of his love interest.
    • Yoruka is this to Lux in a different way. Both are royalty of now-fallen countries, both lacked the right to inheritnote  and both suffered because of the Old Arcadia Empire. However, Lux played a pivotal role in destroying the Empire by non-lethally defeating its army, while Yoruka became an infamous assassin for the Empire (albeit in a failed attempt to save her country) and remains loyal to it after its destruction. Both are subservient to others, but Lux helps out anyone who asks while Yoruka devotes herself to a single master at a time. They have near-identical fighting styles, having invented the same techniques independently, but Yoruka's is naturally more lethal. Finally, they both have younger siblings of the opposite sex who can't fight, but Yoruka's brother was killed prior to the start of the series.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure has Devimon and his later forms like Daemon or Murmuxmon representing what would happen if Angemon, Holy Angemon or Seraphimon ever gave up hope or gave in to Wrath.
    • Digimon V-Tamer 01 also has Neo Saiba, who represents what Tai would be like if he let his guilt and anger devour him. This is an odd case, as the Taichi that shows up in this manga is NOT the one from the anime, but anime!Taichi and Neo have a number of very interesting parallels.
  • Inverted in Tales from Earthsea. Throughout the movie, Arren is pursued by a shadow in his form. As a matter of fact, the Arren we watch for most of the movie is actually Arren's shadow, and is fleeing in fear from the noble and courageous self he refuses to acknowledge, instead blaming it for all the violence and fear he's lived through.
  • Area 88: Shin and Nguyen are both Asin pilots stranded in a foreign country. Unlike Shin, Nguyen enjoys committing acts of brutality.
  • Tekken Chinmi: Oudow was what Chinmi could've become if he wasn't kind-hearted. When Oudow was younger, he studied under Master You Sen who only gave him menial tasks (the same ones You Sen would give to Chinmi until he actually started teaching him) and never really taught him anything. Why? Because Oudow has evil heart and is too arrogant and impatient to learn anything from You Sen. Eventually Oudow mastered Tsuuhaiken by himself without You Sen ever taught him that, left for a lone journey, and eventually returns to Dai Rin as dreaded villain who menaces everyone in the temple.
  • In Food Wars!: Momo Akanegakubo is also born with The Gift, heir to a wealthy family but was adored and spoiled rotten by her parents. She became a Womanchild Elitist obsessed with cuteness. She represents what Erina could have become if she was spoiled and used her gift carefreely.
  • Black Jack:
    • Dr. Kiriko (aka "Mozart"). A doctor who served in wartime, he believes in helping patients die painlessly when there is no chance for recovery. He's not evil, as such, but where Black Jack will do anything possible to make a patient live, Dr. Kiriko will choose euthanasia rather than prolong the patient's suffering. Naturally, the physicians clash at times but must cooperate at others. To his credit, if he discovers that the patient has a chance of recovery, guess who he turns to?
    • Black Jack actually had three shadows, though Kiriko was the only one who stuck. An acupuncturist who disdained traditional medicine appeared a few times, and an idealistic doctor who worked within the system appeared exactly once.
  • Done subtly in Major with Joe Gibson Jr. in relation to protagonist Goro Shigeno. Both of them become rivals during the Minor Leagues arc, and part of the rivalry is fueled because both want to challenge and defeat Joe Gibson Sr. in the Majors. Gibson Sr. played a part in a childhood tragedy for both of them (for Goro, he accidentally killed his father Shigeharu with a dead ball to his head, and for Junior he drove his wife to divorce and leave with their daughter back to the United States, where they'd die in a car accident). While Goro forgives Gibson Sr. for his father's death as early as his childhood, Junior continues to blame his father for the death of his mother and sister still as an adult, and his main reason to play is to eventually crush his father as revenge for destroying his family. In fact, Junior assumes at first that Goro is also motivated to play against Gibson Sr. for revenge too, and is shocked to learn that Goro holds no ill will towards him. It's even reflected when they play against one another: Goro is mainly a pitcher, while Junior plays second base and is primarily a slugger.

    Comic Books 
  • Major Batman villains are sometimes presented as Shadow Archetypes for the Caped Crusader, Depending on the Writer (especially ones that focus on his myriad psychological issues):
    • The Joker, in obsession and madness, in a case of Not So Different. This is explored by Alan Moore in The Killing Joke, where the Joker tries to turn Commissioner Gordon insane by putting him through "one bad day". In the end, when Batman confronts the Joker, the Joker says, "You had a bad day once, am I right? ... I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed." This is all while we see what could be the Joker's origin. The whole thing ends with Batman and the Joker laughing together at one of his jokes about two guys in a lunatic asylum.
    • Two-Face, in his origin and obsession with double identities and justice. The Long Halloween also shows what Batman would become if he succumbs to the darkness.
    • Catwoman, fellow master thief/spy using a motif of an animal associated with the supernatural and the night.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul, in his aim to make the world a "better" place.
    • The Scarecrow, in using fear to manipulate.
    • The Riddler, in leaving clues instead of finding them, with a need to prove that brain beats brawn.
    • The Penguin, a dark shadow of Bruce Wayne's fop persona (according to the widow of Bill Finger, Batman's co-creator).
    • Hush, a rich kid who tried to kill his parents.
    • On the flipside of Hush we have Master Bruce, another rich kid who murdered his parents, the difference is he was a Loony Fan of Bruce Wayne who realized that his parents deaths made him a better person and tried to do the same only to become a Deconstruction of Batmans "kid crying out for mommy and daddy" shtick personified.
    • Poison Ivy, seeking to be a guardian over a purified entity.
    • Prometheus and the Wrath are entirely explicit about being Batman-driven-to-villainy-when-parents-killed-by-cops.
    • Hugo Strange, trying to understand the mind of a criminal in order to reach a goal.
    • The Captain America parallel is made rather explicit in the JLA/Avengers crossover. While Cap and Superman are set as the opposing team leaders, it's Batman who gets the We're Not So Different match, as they prove evenly matched in skill and intelligence (with Cap's strength and stamina giving him a theoretical advantage), before sensibly deciding to set aside the fight to figure out what's really going on.
    • To a lesser extent, Deadshot, Catman, the original Black Mask, and Jean-Paul Valley as Batman can also be seen as shadow versions of Bruce Wayne.
    • The best example may be Bane. Trained to physical perfection, Genius-level intellect, lack of parents in his formative years, and Papa Wolf tendencies.
    • Occasionally he's even a Shadow Archetype to Bruce Wayne (himself... except the voice in his head that says "Here I am" doesn't call him Bruce).
    • The comic A bullet for Bullock explores Bullock's life as an honest Noble Bigot with a Badge who has managed to alienate everyone in his private life through his acts of Jerkassery. When Bullock claimed Not So Different, the Batman was not amused...
    • Even the Ventriloquist, with the fictional persona overshadowing the real human being.
    • Mr. Freeze, who lost his loved ones in a terrible day and cannot reach out to other human beings.
    • Harley Quinn can be seen as one of Batman's various sidekicks. Both having a family relationship with their partner but while Batman is a Benevolent Boss who cares for them like they were his kids and gets their life back on track. The Joker's in abusive asshole who sends Harley further into the criminal life.
    • The Dark Knights in Dark Nights: Metal are twisted versions of the Batman:
      • The Batman Who Laughs represents Batman's fear of becoming Not So Different from the Joker, how much he is defined by the never-ending war with the Clown Prince of Crime, and his regret he cannot stop the Joker for good without killing him.
      • The Grim Knight is a Batman from an Alternate Universe where Joe Chill dropped his gun soon after the murder of Bruce's parents, allowing Bruce to shoot him to death. The rest of his origin is basically Batman: Year One, but with Batman as a Gun Nut (as opposed to otherwise).
      • The Dawnbreaker represents Batman's fear of how dangerous he would be with superpowers but lacking his adult discipline, his inner despair taken to its extreme, and his inability to get over his parent's deaths.
      • The Devastator is a Batman giving into despair, not recognizing how important his friendship with Superman is, and both the fear and regret that he can't fully trust the Man of Steel anymore.
      • The Drowned represents Batman's fear of going too far in the fight against superhumans, his love for Catwoman, and his inability to trust anyone but himself.
      • The Merciless is a Batman becoming Not So Different from his enemies if he broke his no-kill rule, his ignorance of how Wonder Woman helps him see the good in people, and his regret that he really cannot end his crusade as his enemies keep coming back.
      • The Murder Machine represents Batman's fear he isn't as self-sufficient as he thinks, his disillusionment over his father-son relationship with Alfred, and regret of cutting off other people.
      • The Red Death represents Batman's fear of losing members of the Bat-family, how his love for them has clouded his judgement, and regret for those he failed. Some of his dialogue and his Speed Force quirk imply he might also represent Batman's fear of old age slowing him down.
  • From X-Men: Sabretooth is what Wolverine would be like if he ever fully embraced his berserker side. Cassandra Nova is Prof. X's shadow archetype, being his evil twin that was killed before birth. Everything she has done since finding herself alive is something Xavier himself could have done, and is more than likely tempted do to.
  • Aquaman had an explicit Shadow Archetype in the Thirst, which was the dark side of his then-newfound Waterbearer abilities; as his mentor the Lady of the Lake put it, "he is you Arthur". It's also in this same series that Batman is established as the clearly defined opposite of Superman, the pair taking roles previously held by Hades and Apollo.
  • The Sentry and his nemesis/other-half, the Void are a pretty literal example given the Void's appearance and the nature of their relationship.
  • Nega-Scott of Scott Pilgrim. In the true Jungian tradition, Nega-Scott represents everything about himself that Scott doesn't want to deal with, both his flaws, his mistakes and his true potential as a better person. However, what worsens and complicates matters is that Gideon tampered with Scott's memories, thus making Nega-Scott's nature even more dubious. In fact, given its appearance when Scott began going out with Ramona and the mechanics of The Glow (the psychological weapon Gideon made that traps you in your own head and brings out your worse tendencies), it's possible that Nega Scott didn't truly exist until Gideon messed with Scott's mind in the first place. In a potential case of Wrong Genre Savvy, Scott finally clashes with his shadow and believes if he defeats Nega-Scott, he can move on. However, the battle ends when Kim explains what it actually means and Scott absorbs Nega-Scott.
  • Spider-Man has several:
    • The classic is Doc Ock, whose powers come from the "other" famous eight-legged creature and whose powers also involved an atomic mishap. Like Peter, Otto Octavius was also bullied and also has a gift for science. He is what Spider-Man could have easily become if he let his powers go to his head.
    • And Superior Spider-Man takes Ock's role as this up to eleven, as he gets to literally become Spider-Man, and when confronted with the same choices as Peter, proceeds to make the opposite and more ethically dodgy decisions. Jeopardizing the public to spend more time with loved ones, winning public support by being unnecessarily brutal with criminals (even terrorizing JJJ for good publicity), forcing the symbiote to stay bonded with him despite its own wishes... it all comes back to bite him, though.
    • The Scorpion parallels Spider-Man's arachnid-based powers and costume. Though he is quite different from Spider-Man in personality, being a crazed villain, he still lets one guess what Spider-man could be like if he cared for number one and didn't consider the consequences of his actions or inaction on others.
    • The Green Goblin parallels Spider-Man's Halloweenish or creepy style (even going so far as to throw exploding jack-o-lanterns!), has similar strength and agility, and shares Peter's sense of humor and love of adventure. If Parker had more ambition and less sense of responsibility for the well being of other people, Osborn is what he could be. Is Spider-man allowed himself to have more fun, and care less about doing what is right or beneficial, he'd be like the Goblin.
    • Venom has many of Peter's powers, sense of humor, and represents what he would have become if he hadn't had the will to resist the symbiote. Even after his transition into Anti-Hero, Venom is still a Sociopathic Hero who more or less represents what Spider-Man could have been if he were fully willing to kill.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man takes Venom's role as this Up to Eleven, as they basically had the same backstory, only Eddie didn't have a loving Aunt and Uncle after his parents died to steer him on the right track.
    • During JMS's run on Spider-Man, we met Ezekiel, who had all of Spider-Man's powers but lacked the courage and determination to be a hero (he's also one for Uncle Ben in a way).
    • Kaine is Peter's defective clone, who would later take the mantle of the Scarlet Spider. While bearing the same power set, Kaine is first an Anti-Villain, then a brutal Nominal Hero, and finally an Anti-Hero who claims to pride himself on having all of the power but none of the responsibility that comes with it. Of course, those damned Parker genes won't let him abdicate that responsibility, and he later claims it outright, telling an insane Ben Reilly that Reilly doesn't deserve to be the Scarlet Spider any more.
    • Both Spiderman and The Lizard are both people who got their powers by accident because of science, The Lizard show just how wrong his mutation could have gone.
    • Mysterio reflects Spider-Man's desire for respect and his temptation to use his powers for his own selfish gains instead of helping others.
  • Baron Mordo to Doctor Strange, who represents what Strange might have become if he hadn't learned humility, patience, and respect for others. Doctor Strange: The Oath introduces Nicodemus West, yet another student of the Ancient One, with the added resonance of also being a physician.
  • Many of Superman's archenemies are dark reflections of himself:
    • General Zod is Superman with a sense of personal entitlement instead of charity. Zod also serves as an example of what Superman could become, if he gives in to self-righteousness.
    • Mr. Mxyzptlk is an "alien" who is "careful" with his immense power but still uses it frivolously instead of responsibly.
    • Metallo is a "Man of Steel" whose powers came at the cost of his humanity, in contrast to Clark's powers which enhance his humanity. He's also an example of what a Superman weaponized by the U.S. military might look like.
    • Doomsday is all the power harnessed for destruction instead of protection.
    • Brainiac, being the malevolent planet-destroying alien to Superman's benevolent planet-saving alien.
    • While not created as a Superman villain, Lobo has been used as Superman's shadow as well: both are comparably powerful, both are the survivors of a dead race (Lobo killed his race while Superman's was dead before he was old enough to know them) but Lobo does whatever he wants and leaves a path of destruction behind him.
    • Lex Luthor sees Superman as his own Shadow Archetype: Lex sees himself as someone who's worked and struggled for everything he has who represents the best humanity has to offer, and he sees Superman as someone who never had to earn his powers who sets himself above humanity and lords it over us. Furthermore Superman uses power for the good of mankind, while Lex would use his fortune and influence just to show how powerful he is. Superman grew up with a loving family, while Lex's were abusive and were killed (possibly by him).
      • Furthermore both Lex and Superman believe in humanity's ability for self-improvement and ability to achieve greatness. However Superman believes humanity should put those traits to use for the betterment of all, while Lex holds that humanity should seek to secure its own interests and power above all.
    • Darkseid is what Superman would be if he decided to use his powers to be a God ruling over everyone. Superman is what Darkseid might have been like if his formative years had not been guided by malevolent figures. Darkseid was capable of love once.
    • Martian Manhunter could be seen as a heroic example of this. Both Clark and J'onn are powerful, benevolent aliens who are the last of their kinds. The difference being that Superman was raised on Earth and considers himself an Earthling for the most part, while J'onn is Martian through and through. Superman is a friendly, handsome white guy; J'onn is a bald, crimson-eyed, stoic green man (though his human guise is that of a Bald, Black Leader Guy). Superman's powers (super strength, flight, super senses) are the stuff of Greek legends; Manhunter's powers (telepathy, Shapeshifting, invisibility) are the stuff people feared about aliens during the 50's.
    • Bizarro is Superman lacking his sense of justice and cannot tell right from wrong, often reveling in destruction for its own sake. He is also an imperfect copy of Superman created by science gone awry.
    • Mongul I, another alien despot who enjoys watching others fight and die for his sadistic amusement, feels that the universe owes him its fealty, and runs every planet he rules into the ground with his limitless ambition and cruelty.
    • As with Metallo, Cyborg Superman's powers came at the cost of losing his sanity, causing him to irrationally blame Superman for his misfortunes.
    • Ultraman of Earth-3 is what happens when absolute power is given to a small-minded, petty jerk, and demonstrates why Earth-1/the Matter universe is so lucky to get the Superman that it did.
    • Regime Superman is an alternate Superman who snapped because of a tragic event, lost any semblance of morality, and established a dictatorial regime. Regime Superman even irrationally blames others for the tregedies he suffered.
    • Born on a parallel world that was devoid of any superheroes or even superhumans, and was destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy-Prime was trapped outside time for decades. Unlike mainstream Superman, his faith in Earth-1's heroes was destroyed by decades of their mistakes, and he emerged from a pocket dimension to try to replace Superman. Prime firmly believes that being Superman is his calling despite the fact that he has become a psychotic and murderous villain.
  • Justice League of America
    • The Crime Syndicate of America are the Justice League if they decided to rule the world instead of helping it. They demonstrate how important it is for the League to act responsibly.
    • As with the Crime Syndicate, the Justice Lords are the League if they decided to establish a dictatorial regime after a tragic event that caused them to snap.
    • The Hyper Clan are copies of the Justice League who are more aggressive and are willing to execute criminals.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws
    • Red Hood, to Batman. After being revived, Red Hood trains with the All-Caste, a secret, somewhat mystical sect of warriors who mirror Batman's League of Assassins. Red Hood is also Crazy-Prepared like Bats, with safehouses around the globe, each one full of weapons and supplies.
    • Starfire to Superman. She's the flip side of Clark's coin, both being nearly all powerful aliens that are powered by the yellow sun. Both came from being traumatically removed from home into unfamiliar surroundings, with two very different upbringings. Starfire's perceptions of humanity, along with her tendency to attempt to kill whatever she doesn't like directly contrast Clark's. Star wishes to remain very private, only presenting herself willingly to the public eye when it's unavoidable. She doesn't wish to come off as friendly or there for others' protection, she just wants to do what she wishes. In issue 14, they meet... and it nearly breaks out into all out brawl involving the "team" and Sups, mostly due to her and Jason's character traits. It takes Jason's date, Isabel, from keeping things from getting out of hand while getting them all to sit down and talk.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Scourge became this for Sonic, showing what would happen if Sonic decided to let go of his morals and cut loose. However, it's probably accurate to say that it's the reverse, that Sonic is Scourge's Shadow Archetype.
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: Aphra realizes during the Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel, Aphra eventually realizes that this is the case for her and Luke. Both grew up on backwater Outer Rim worlds, and lost loved ones to random acts of violence, but whereas Aphra became The Cynic who sees only the bad in the universe, Luke has managed to maintain his optimism and hopefulness. Aphra is shown to be quite disconcerted by this epiphany.
    • Star Wars: Han Solo - Imperial Cadet: Yurib Nakan is essentially what the older Han Solo would have been like had he remained a loyal Imperial officer.
      Nakan: I came from chaos, Solo. Just like you. I eventually became the best for one reason and one reason only: I followed orders. The Empire is order, Solo. The end of chaos.
  • In Ant-Man, the Killer Robot Ultron's programming was based on his creator Hank Pym's own brain patterns. Pym is understandably very disturbed by what this implies about him. Ultron is essentially a copy of Pym's own mind acting on his subconscious misanthropy. When they end up in a Fusion Dance in Rage of Ultron, this is why Pym doesn't fight Ultron's control.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • Megatron is eventually set up to be the shadow to Optimus Prime. Before the War, both were young, idealistic, and wanted to make Cybertron a better place; indeed, there was a degree of mutual respect whenever they crossed paths. However, Megatron gradually abandoned his ideals in the fires of the war, becoming a bloody-handed tyrant no better than the corrupt Senate or the Functionist Council, while Optimus fought to retain his basic optimism. When a penitent Megatron had another chance after travelling to the Functionist universe, he basically became the Optimus Prime figure to that universe's Optimus Prime.
    • Getaway to Rodimus. They have a very similar list of faults, save one: while both are manipulative and ambitious, Rodimus at least tries to temper it with loyalty to his crew, while Getaway views everyone else as a pawn.
  • Daredevil's classic counterparts are Bullseye and the Kingpin, whose constant evasion of criminal convictions cause Murdock to seriously doubt the law's ability to deal with the most calculating criminals. Mark Waid's run introduces Ikari, who has all of Daredevil's powers along with sight, which was accomplished by recreating Daredevil's origin. Appropriately enough, his costume resembles Daredevil's original yellow and red.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender – Imbalance, it's easy to see Ya Ling and Ru Ling as Katara and Sokka respectively if the two water nation siblings allowed Katara's bending to drive a rift between them.
  • Supergirl has several dark counterparts like Satan Girl and Dark Supergirl (who are literally her dark side given shape and sentience), Overgirl (her Nazi counterpart from a parallel universe), Bizarrogirl (her backwards, imperfect clone), and in Who is Superwoman?, Lucy Lane, who is pretty much her complete opposite: She's an adult woman whose powers are artificial and who is willing to do anything — no matter how abhorrent — to earn her surviving parent's approval.
  • In The Stuff of Legend, The General is one to the Colonel, as both are military-type toys that have each spent time as the Boy's favorite. But while the Colonel has Undying Loyalty to the boy, the General was corrupted by the Boogeyman.
  • Wonder Woman has a few of these as well:
    • The original Earth 2 Wonder Woman Diana had her twin sister Wonder Woman Nubia, who valued life in the same way Diana did, in spite of the fact she was raised by Diana's nemesis Ares. Still, Nubia was less interested in being a hero to the world than she was defending her territory and reinforcing her status as its ruler, because she was raised by Mars and cohorts instead of the disciplined and loving amazons or their doting gods. While the Amazons of Paradise Island had mostly abandoned their warlike ways, and had a responsible queen to guide them, the monsters of slaughter Island needed to be kept in check, and it was really a testament to Nubia's independence and strength of character that she was decent a person as she was. Nubia was much like Diana, and would have been just like her if Ares hadn't gotten to her much earlier in life than he did Diana.
    • Duke Mephisto Saturno and Eviless were this to Queen Hippolyta and Wonder Woman. They came from a society ruled by demons that encouraged sin but did little to reward their mortal subjects, resulting in an expansionist slave trading empire who had powerful, stolen techologies but were physically lacking, where the gods would reprimand the amazons for their sins, but also heap huge rewards for their corrections and virtues, leading to an isolated society that made revolutionary scientific advancements and were physically powerful. Eviless was their Wonder Woman, and while she seemed nothing like her at a glance, flipping their circumstances wouldn't likely change the story at all.
    • Circe's cynical and hateful attitude towards humans (men in particular) is played in deliberate contrast to Diana's more compassionate and optimistic view. Really exemplified after Circe briefly stole Diana's powers and became an Evil Counterpart to Wonder Woman.In her first Post-Crisis story, she herself pointed this out. Much like Diana, Circe was to fulfill a mission from the gods — namely, Hecate, who wished to punish humanity for her mistreatment, which Circe did by driving divides between men and women further. She later invokes their similarities again when she explains how both she and Diana are powerful women who are outsiders feared by humans because the causes they fight are hidden beneath blood shed by their hands (Circe fought and killed to get her daughter back, while Diana fought and killed others like Maxwell Lord to protect her friends and herself).
    • While not a villain, Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall is a shadow archetype to Diana as well. Both are the champions of their respective Amazon tribes and are named after a hunting goddess. But whereas Diana is friendly, warm and humble, Artemis is rude, brash and arrogant (though she does have a hidden heart of gold).
    • Donna Troy ultimately gained her own shadow archetype in the form of Dark Angel, an evil version of Donna from another universe.
    • Heracles could be considered a shadow archetype to Cassie Sandsmark. Both are demigod offsprings of Zeus but while Cassie has adjusted to the values of her age and become Diana's friend, Heracles struggles to adapt and often her enemy.
    • During the Golden Age, Gundra the Valkyrie served this role to Wonder Woman. Both come from mythological races of warrior women but while Diana fought for the Allies, Gundra fought for the Axis powers.
    • Invoked: With Devastation and Genocide, whom were both created, psychologically at least, to be everything Wonder Woman is not. Diana has personally intervened in their lives to forcibly make them more like herself, and while she didn't succeed to redeeming either one of them before the universal crisis made her efforts mute, both monsters had to repress the ability to love and desire to bring reconcilliation that come naturally to Wonder Woman.
  • While LeTonya Charles/Cyborgirl is a foe of Wonder Woman, she's established as an evil Distaff Counterpart to Cyborg. Like Victor Stone, who was cyborgized following a horrific accident, Cyborgirl damaged her own body, but was saved by one of the scientists who repaired Victor. But unlike Cyborg, who used his newfound gifts as a Teen Titan and a member of the Justice League, LeTonya is a drug addict who deliberately damaged her own body and used her cybernetics to focus on personal gain. Her life is just a haphazard mudslide over which she has relatively little control due to her own failures, and choosing to destroy her body with Tar is what led her to become a cyborg. For all intents and purposes, she's an insane psychopath even after being robotized.
  • Amanda Waller represents Batman's paranoia and what could happen if he became The Unfettered in his pursuit of justice.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Like Scrooge McDuck, Flintheart Glomgold is a cheap old miser who lives in a bin full of money, except in South Africa. However, Glomgold's whole character is essentially a Scrooge who never made his fortune square, not to mention his lack of friends in comparison to Scrooge's large group of family. Also, Glomgold will use underhanded means such as deception and murder to become wealthier than Scrooge if he thinks he can get away with it.
  • In Gravity Falls: Lost Legends, Anti-Mabel herself says that every selfish choice Mabel makes, that’s her being Anti-Mabel.
  • There were two early attempts to give Marvel Comics' second Captain Marvel an Arch-Enemy. Both doubled as shadow archetypes.
    • Moonstone is also a Legacy. She has the same values and the same desire to be special, but doesn't hold the same values in equal measures. Moonstone and Captain Marvel both provided a service, but Moonstone values power over service, keeping her from doing her job to its fullest. They both got powers on the job while dealing with criminals. Captain Marvel immediately set out to find a way to put them to good use, Moonstone immediately induldged in criminal activity. Losing their powers was almost fatal to both. They both ended up as leaders in their new fields, displacing Captain America and his villain, Baron Zemo, respecitvely. The one fundamental difference is Moonstone's sadism, and even that doesn't stop her from being more like Captain Marvel. It's the different lessons they learned from the rich and powerful. Helping people feels as good to Moonstone as hurting them. Her pursuit of hedonism ahead of duty stems from learning to put herself first ahead of all other distractions.
    • Nebula rose up to captain freight, not unlike Captain Marvel, just in outerpace instead of on the water. She turned her talents to mercenary work, where Captain Marvel went to harbor patrol. Nebula also has the same deepseated desire to be special, but where Captain Marvel's role models were a firefighter and a seemstress, where she was shoehorned into the "Captain Marvel" legacy and reluctantly relinquished it to the man's family, Nebula's role models were Warlod Zorr and mass murderer Thanos Of Titan, legacies she claims ahead of their families despite lacking proof of relations. Captain Marvel got her powers pursuing criminals misuing an extra dimensional power source, Nebula became a pirate misuing similar things. When Captain Marvel got super powers, she joined The Avengers, Nebula used hers to torture the group. Losing her powers wasn't inherently life threatening to Nebula as it was to Captain Marvel, but she still ended up infirmed as a consequence of her choices. Despite it all, Nebula isn't incapble of altruism. She inspired loyal followers from thousands of worlds and willingly joined Gamora's Graces to defend The Universe from The Annihilation Wave. She incinerated her followers to save herself and ended up corrupting Graces, but Nebula could have been just like Captain Marvel with more positive influences in her formative years. On the flip, Captain Marvel showed similar vindictiveness toward the Beyond Corporation that ensnared her as Nebula did to her jailers on Titan. She didn't go out of her way to repay them the way Nebula did, but different circumstances could have made her just like Nebula.
  • Blue Marvel's nemesis Anti-Man went through the same experiences as he did, from fighting in the same war, suffering the same restrictions in society and getting their super powers from the same source. They were good friends. Blue Marvel just happened to be lucky enough to maintain his right mind upon being empowered. Anti-Man wasn't (and, it later transpired, Blue Marvel's attempts to help only made it much, much worse). Therefore, while Anti-Man didn't react to their circumstances in the best way going forward, Blue Marvel believed it was not Anti-Man's fault and tried to help him... until Anti-Man accidentally killed Blue Marvel's wife. Even then, Marvel eventually (after being shown his unwitting role in Anti-Man's insanity) finds it in himself to try and reconcile with his insane counterpart.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Azula Trilogy, several of the main villains reflect aspects of Azula's own nature, be it Azun's Fire Nation nationalism, the Governor and Long Feng's cold-blooded Chessmastery; Ilook has Azula's Ax-Crazy without her smarts or self-control; Wei Ming is a similarly deadly, unnerving warrior who comes from a different nation and the opposite social class — and she's a shadow-themed character pitted against a fire-themed character to boot!
  • In Child of the Storm, this is a recurring theme:
    • Lucius Malfoy, despite being played up as Fury's Evil Counterpart, is more accurately one for Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black. Both are brilliant and utterly ruthless Pureblood spymasters from old families, who grew up in lives of privilege and embraced Voldemort's ideals. Both ultimately disdained those ideals, forging their own paths, merging magical power with muggle organisation and know-how, dismissing the Ministry as incompetent and unfit for purpose, looking to reshape the world they grew up in. Both fulfil every single criteria to be a Magnificent Bastard and a Manipulative Bastard. Both are borderline sociopathic, with their only apparent genuine love being for their immediate family. And both seek power. The only apparent difference is that Lucius is entirely self-serving and a social darwinist who believes in the rule of the strong (he's just altered his definition of who qualifies), while Wisdom/Regulus is completely devoted to his country and utterly disinterested in personal benefit, erupting with absolute fury when it's implied otherwise, and seeks to co-opt supernatural/superhuman power to protect those without it.
    • Steve Rogers has two: the Winter Soldier and Baron Zemo. The former Steve worries is essentially him when you take away everything human and leave behind only the Supersoldier (the story hints that he's not far wrong, either), while the latter is a Supersoldier explicitly described by Word of God as 'the Anti-Cap', being The Strategist for HYDRA, a master combatant on the battlefield, and entirely loyal to the dream of HYDRA, while being more than willing to facilitate Klingon Promotion if a specific leader is deemed unsuitable, in contrast to Steve's strategic leadership on the battlefield and loyalty to America as an idea.
    • Gravemoss qualifies as this to Loki: a master sorcerer, born different to everyone around him, and occasionally shunned because of it, who delved into darkness and madness, seeking the power he deemed his due, surrounding himself with those he could control... you could be discussing either of them. Of course, even in his madness, Loki had his limits and did love people, as well as displaying Villainous Valour and eventually turning back from the darkness. Gravemoss is a Dirty Coward who cares for no one but himself.
    • Harry has one in Voldemort, as per canon, though with a few twists: both are half-bloods, who grew up in miserable circumstances, and whose fathers weren't quite as dead as was generally believed, who are especially influenced by their mothers even from beyond the grave, and cleave particularly strongly to that side of the family while very closely resembling their fathers, who have become incredibly powerful Ambiguously Human beings that may not actually be able to die (with Harry, it's not down to some inherent quality so much as the protection of the Phoenix), wielding vast Psychic Powers (though Voldemort's were stolen) and magic. Harry is also often stated as, if he gave into his dark side, being capable of being much like Magneto at his worst — which, in turn, is Not So Different to Voldemort. However, the difference is that while Voldemort uses Mind Rape as a standard tactic, for Harry it's a last resort, one that absolutely horrifies him. Equally, Voldemort surrounds himself with puppets and sees himself as superior, while Harry plays down his background and any basis for superiority, actively seeking the company of those not dazzled by his already growing legend.
  • Code Prime - R1: Rebellion:
    • Megatron is one to Lelouch — whilst both are incredible commanders with a penchant for the dramatic, Lelouch is still capable of traits like empathy and kindness and is motivated by a desire to create a better world for his sister. Megatron, in contrast, is a power-hungry, sociopathic tyrant who fights solely for his own power. Megatron represents both the likely future Lelouch would've had if he was still a part of the Royal Family and a potential future for Lelouch if the prince loses sight of what he's fighting for.
    • Suzaku has steadily been becoming this for Optimus as of late — his idealism and belief in moral absolutes has been stated by several Cybertronians to resemble Optimus in his youth when he was originally known as Orion Pax. Unfortunately, under Megatron's corrupting influence, Suzaku is gradually transforming into a darker version of Optimus...
  • In the first part of Slayers fanfic Slayers Trilogy every character meets a "reflection" of them.
  • One of Stray's major themes is "What can change the nature of a man?" The protagonist, Adamska, has two shadow counterparts within the story who represent different variants of himself-gone-wrong. One is an older version of himself that represents everything he doesn't want to become and the other is a former Tyke-Bomb raised by the setting's Ancient Conspiracy as a successor when Adamska himself broke free of their control.
  • In keeping with the Shinji/Gendo dynamic mentioned above, Shinji And Warhammer 40 K makes the comparisons between the two quite explicit, which Shinji fervently hopes to avoid coming to pass. Ritsuko even goes as far as to label Shinji "mini-Gendo".
  • JLA Watchtower/DC Nationthe "Strangers" plot. Dark Angel "swapped out" several Titans with Evil Counterparts, and twisted reality so that the feelings people had towards the "replaced" Titan went to the villain instead. Nastiest in the case of Cheshire and Troia, but also pretty bad with Starfire's husband and a creepy shapeshifter, and between Fauna and Terra.
  • In the Order of the Stick Fan Fic series, Oneiroi, Deirdre is the Shadow Archetype of Tiasal. Sadly enough, Tiasal didn't figure it out on time before she surrendered control of her body over to her.
  • To Kill A Thief has Light Yagami as the Shadow Archetype of Miyako Toudaiji.
  • Pony POV Series
    • Fluttercruel manages to be her own shadow archetype. Specifically, the Epilogue/Dark World timeline version of Fluttercruel shows how much of a monster her main universe counterpart isn't, even before her Character Development and Heel–Face Turn. Word of God is that the defining difference is their upbringing — Epilogue!Fluttercruel was raised by Discord, whereas the main version of 'Cruel was raised by Fluttershy.
    • Also in the Dark World, the Valeyard, the Doctor's discorded self, is this to the Doctor himself. He possesses all of the Doctor's negative traits (his ego, his manipulative abilities, and even a full on Time Lord Victorious power trip), but none of his positives. Also, where the Doctor has faith in his companions, the Valeyard believes allies only hinder one's progress. While the Doctor has on many occasions been willing to sacrifice himself to save others, the Valeyard seems absolutely terrified of permanently dying. He also notably is a Chess Master, but doesn't seem as good as the Doctor when it comes to performing an Indy Ploy. Fitting, as the Valeyard was explained by the Master in the original series to be the personification of the Doctor's inner evil and darker qualities.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves: Checker Monarch Trixie's sinister sister is this to Trixie, showing what The Great and Powerful Trixie could have been if she hadn't seen the error of her ways. This is show most directly when Checker infiltrates Trixie's dreams and assumes the form of The Great and Powerful Trixie. It's only by admitting that she was like that and that she's changed for the better that allows Trixie to defeat Checker and finally be happy with herself.
  • In Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams, the title character is part of a race of creatures that act as a collective Guardian Entity for humans and other races that inhabit our dimension, protecting them from being Mind Raped by the demons and horrors of the Mindscape, who becomes trapped in the mind of Rick Sheridan's mind. The manipulations of his Arch-Enemy Cobweb led to the creation of the nightmarish Psyko, a human gang leader imbued with demonic energy from the Mindscape and turned into a hideous monster that can brutally Mind Rape people and force them to experience their worst nightmares over and over again while using their bodies as People Puppets. The confrontations between them are bloodbaths that Sleepwalker usually emerges from more dead than alive.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: Invoked and exploited. The fourth and final Deadly Game on Cobra Island has Medusa and Free use a combination of Ouroboros and Spatial Magic to isolate the main cast each in individual abysses of darkness. Awaiting them upon waking up are literally shadows that reflect their inner insecurities, faults, and flaws that they, and probably others, ignore or never knew they had. The shadows have no compunctions delivering “The Reason You Suck” Speeches that air out said things. They also dish out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on their real selves, which Medusa wants because, in case they survive, they will be broken psychologically and physically. The scenario sounds like a Shout-Out to the below-mentioned Shadow Selves of Persona 4.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations
  • Old West:
    • Grace Glossy realizes eventually that her lover, Rattlesnake Jake, is this to her after she witnesses him murdering her husband remorselessly and in utter fury for hurting her. She's afterwards unable to face him while she's dealing with the fact that under her stand-up shell, she's just as capable of taking a life in righteous fury (like those of the robbers who killed nearly all of her unborn babies) as Jake is.
    • Like with Sheriff Rango, the vices of Benjamin Hares include pretentiousness and cowardness. After Rango was exposed as a false hero, he returned to save the day as a true hero. While he hasn't fully lost his vices, he attempts to do the right thing as a sheriff. Benjamin in turn is an incorrigible Con Man who cares firstly about himself and his own safety. He charmed Grace into marrying him and left her penniless to escape his debts, returning ten years later with false regrets in order to sell her out again and get his debts covered. In short, Benjamin is what Rango could have become if he had never decided to redeem himself by saving the people of Dirt and instead continued his life as a fraudster on the move. In the climax, Rango does something Benjamin wouldn't have likely done: rescuing the wife and son of Hares by jumping in front of the bullet aimed at them.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, Arawn is this to the Horned King. The former is the latter's more evil former master. Like the Horned King after him, Arawn was a feared warlord who sought the Black Cauldron in order to conquer the world. After his death, he has for centuries been imprisoned for life inside the Cauldron. Arawn is the monster the Horned King was before Avalina came to his life and what he would become if he fails his Redemption Quest and remains trapped in the Cauldron forever. Arawn's role in the story is to persuade his former apprentice to turn away from his positive Character Development and return to his old ways so that he'll be sealed in the Cauldron for Arawn to torture forever.
  • Played with in TRON: Endgame Scenario where two of the TRON 2.0 cast are deliberately written as "light-sided" equivalents to villainous characters in the film timelines. Ma3a is a Benevolent A.I. meant to be a contrast to Master Control and Clu. Mercury's role as her enforcer and Champion has the same role as Sark and Rinzler, but played on the side of good. Jet is The Lancer and Foil to Sam Flynn, having a very different experience in Cyberspace that makes him a firm ally of the Programs, contrasted with Sam's ambivalence. The F-Con Trio and the Dillingers are also written as inverses of the Flynn-Bradley team, seeking domination over the digital world and control of the analog one where the heroes are fighting more for cooperation and symbiosis of both worlds.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has one for Ash in Belladonna Tyrian who is strongly hinted to be his half-sister. She represents what Ash might become if he doesn't restrain his anger over people hurting his loved ones.
  • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, Queen Chrysalis' lawyer Alexander Estermann and the ICC prosecutor Serafina Pierman bear a number of striking similarities, down to their very names: Both are dogged legal professionals who fight their battles out of sheer conviction, have a tendency of brooding in their office, and both receive help and guidance from overtly dedicated pony assistants (Lyra Heartstrings and Indigo Beam respectively).
  • Angel of the Bat: It is acknowledged that The Seraphim and Cassandra Cain have a few things in common, including that they were raised without religion and came to embrace it as they grew older and that both were groomed to be Tyke Bombs. Naturally the difference is Cassandra's healthy association with her faith and The Seraphim's murderous obsession.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl is Supergirl's evil duplicate, fashioned from her dark impulses with nothing of her humanity or compassion. It disturbs Kara that vicious, hateful, blood-thirsty mass-murderer with her face and her world-breaking powers was spawned from her.
    Supergirl had been rocketed backward in the starry void by the collision with Satan Girl. Unlike Black Adam, Satan Girl didn't bounce off her opponent or waste time with an introduction. She stayed with Kara, grappling, punching, kicking, and scratching. Kara was aghast. She'd been in tough fights before, even against Satan Girl herself, but the viciousness of her cloneling's attack was like that of a rabid leopard.
    The worst part of it was looking at Satan Girl's face. Her own face. Twisted in hatred and fury, brimming with viciousness and lust, void of mercy or love. Her Dark Side.
    With all of her world-staggering power.
    Kara would sooner have been grappling with a Kryptonian rattlesnake.
  • Ultimate Spider-Woman: Putting on a mask and becoming Spider-Woman allowed Mary Jane to come to terms with her anger and let out other parts of her personality, making her grow and mature as a person in the process. Putting on a mask and becoming Jack O'Lantern allowed the person wearing the pumpkin to indulge his darkest fantasies, making him go completely over the edge in the process.
  • Loved and Lost: Like Twilight Sparkle, Prince Jewelius is an inquisitive and charismatic young unicorn with close ties to Equestria's ruling royalty (with Twilight being Princess Celestia's student and Princess Cadance's former charge, while Jewelius is the former's nephew and the latter's close cousin). However, Jewelius turns out to be a manipulative sociopath who sets the events of "A Canterlot Wedding" in motion in order to dispose of his aunt and cousin whom he hates due to their superior popularity. He charms Twilight and manipulates her into losing all trust towards her friends, brother and mentor and renouncing them for the way they treated her at the wedding rehearsal. However, once she realizes how evil he truly is, she turns him down and reconciles with her loved ones, while Jewelius refuses to redeem himself. In short, Jewelius is what Twilight could become if she permanently cut ties with her loved ones and chose selfishness and obstinate hatred over forgiveness and responsibility.
  • In Denounce the Evils, while Jessie and James try to make amends and turn over a new leaf, Cassidy and Butch are still as power-hungry as ever. Jessie realizes that she doesn't envy Cassidy anymore—she pities her.
  • Distortions (Symphogear): The White Noise Unit are this to the Adaptors:
    • Samantha Acamporra is Hibiki's, being what Hibiki would become if the events Hibiki has gone through would cause her to abandon the idealism she has about the world.
    • Jwa Ji-Eun is Tsubasa's, being how Tsubasa would have turned out if she was made into an avenger rather than protector, raised with nobody in her life but Fudou, and then left to boil in that kind of environment for years.
    • Mwikiza Gowon is Chris', being what Chris would of ended up becoming had she not ended up being saved from the path she was heading towards by working with Finé by Hibiki and Genjuro.
    • Timoty Darmawan is Maria's, whereas Maria wishes to take her weakness and improve herself to become stronger, Darmawan is obsessed with building upon his existing strength.
    • Caprice Calcaterra is Shirabe's, while Shirabe is passionate but relatively reserved, whereas Caprice is outgoing but relatively impassionate.
    • Kir Cheslav Voronin is Kirika's, both of them have issues with their own self-worth, but while Kirika's is just a flat out lack of value in her own self-worth, Voronin's is that his entire sense of self-worth is tied up in his skills and abilities as a sniper.
  • In the Star Wars fanfic Precipice, Palpatine's Sith Lords, Darth Specter and Darth Infernalis, are representations of Anakin's darker attributes:
    • Specter embodies Anakin's need for the approval of others and his sense of self-importance. He desperately seeks to live up to impossible expectations while crumbling under the weight of trying to do so and acts high-and-mighty to cover his insecurities. All of these are flaws that Anakin possesses that he doesn't like to think about, even acknowledging that Specter's need for approval hits too close to home for him.
    • Infernalis embodies Anakin's Blood Knight tendencies. He's a murderous killing machine who lives for conflict, much like how Anakin is at his best in the heat of battle and thrives off fighting powerful opponents. Anakin isn't really fond of how much he enjoys fighting and how it flies in the face of the pacifist Jedi philosophy that he's never been good at maintaining.
  • In Marvel Universe fanfiction Fire!, Red Skull is played up as Captain America's evil counterpart. Both are patriotic people who have been considered heroes in their respective countries. However, Cap strives to build a country which lives up to the principles of freedom and equality for all it was founded on, whereas Skull craves for… well, Nazism.
    Red Skull: "Oh, Captain, you truly amuse me. Look at us. Thesis and antithesis. Each of us was no more than a symbol, Captain. A symbol our governments created to spur on the ones who fought for them. Did you know there were fiction magazines devoted to my exploits in the Fatherland, Captain? Not unlike your cheap pamphlets of colored paper over here, fictionalizing your battles. The Red Skull was their hero, Captain. He was the fearsome foe of the enemies of the Reich, the upholder of truth, justice, and the Aryan way, the only one strong enough to stand against the damnable traitor, Hauptmann Amerika, who slaughtered the flower of Deutschland's youth! That was what I was, Captain America. That is what I am. I am no less a hero than you."
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship
    • Both Crocker and Doombringer are also this for Sunset. Both of them are what Sunset would've become had she not learned to let go of her lust for power and obsessions, respectively.
    • Vicky is this to Sunset, representing how mean Sunset and two-faced Sunset used to be, albeit while targeting little kids who can't hit back.
    • Gary and Betty are this to Pinkie Pie. All three of these characters are peppy and cheerful. However, while they have good intentions, Gary and Betty don’t have empathy, unlike Pinkie Pie. Even when she is insensitive, Pinkie realizes that, or when it points out to her, she always apologizes and tries to make things right. Gary and Betty remain blissfully unaware of the harm they cause. When Pinkie first meets Gary and Betty, they get along; they got on her bad side when they took her candy and burned it because they say that they are bad for her brain. Pinkie grows disgusted with them; when Gary and Betty humiliated Timmy in a safety seminar under the glades of helping him, she angrily calls them out for their insensitivity and calls them idiots. Gary and Betty remain unaware of the harm they cause Timmy, while Pinkie took Timmy away and hugs him to comfort him.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • Sara Diktaylis, like our heroine Chloe, is deeply resentful of others who have what she wishes she did, such as a doting father. But while Chloe simmered in her resentment for years before finally lashing out, Sara channels her envy into manipulating everyone, corrupting her classmates into a Gang of Bullies. Sara also completely lacks empathy and remorse for anything she's done; all she cares about is getting what she wants at any cost.
    • Chloe and Sara also share a secret love of horror. Both believe that others will treat them poorly for it — in no small part because Sara has gone out of her way to mock Chloe and paint her as a Creepy Loner Girl. While Chloe wants to be accepted for who she is, macabre tastes included, Sara chose to 'put away' and downplay those interests in favor of more traditionally 'feminine' ones, and leads the bullying with claims that Loners Are Freaks and that anyone whose interests don't conform to the norm deserves to be isolated. Putting it another way, Chloe resists conformity while Sara not only complies, but uses it as a bludgeon against others.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Lion King (1994): Scar is Simba's Shadow Archetype in Jungian terms: he is an adult with young Simba's headstrong and cocky nature and immature understanding of what being king means ("I'm the king, I can do whatever I want"). The plot is only solved when Simba defeats Scar, representing how he's overcome his irresponsible outlook on being king.
  • Superman: Doomsday features Superman's clone, who still holds Supes' desire to help people and protect his city, but goes into extreme measures to do so, from threatening civilians to killing Toyman. Superman even calls him "My reflection in a cracked mirror."
  • Cars has Chick Hicks, who is this to Lightning McQueen, representing what McQueen could've been if he didn't stop by Radiator Springs and went down the path of arrogance. While McQueen also starts out as a selfish and arrogant racecar, he eventually moves out of this thanks to Character Development. Chick doesn't, as he wins the Piston Cup only because Lightning forfeited his own chance, stopping just short of the finish line to go back and help another racecar after Chick rammed him off the track out of spite. This, combined with his unsportsmanlike gloating, results in him being heckled at during the cup presentation, rendering his victory meaningless.
  • Wreck-It Ralph has Turbo, a character from another game who, like Ralph, felt unappreciated about his status in the arcade. However, Ralph's adventure outside of Fix It Felix Jr.'s is motivated by an innocent need for approval. Turbo is driven by his obsession for recognition. Ralph doesn't intend to harm anyone and sneaks into a neighboring video game simply to win a medal, whereas Turbo is responsible for the destruction of his home world, another nearby video game, and the reprogramming and enslavement of the Sugar Rush world. Turbo's pursuit of respect and acknowledgement mirrors Ralph's, but he is shown as willing to destroy anything that opposes him out of spite to get it.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup has his mother Valka. While they both saw that dragons weren't the monsters others thought they were, she gave up on trying to change Stoick and the other Berkians and left to live with dragons for roughly two decades, adopting a Humans Are Bastards view and trying to keep dragons and humans apart. Hiccup, on the other hand believes that people CAN change for the better, and didn't give up trying to change Berk (and his father's mind) for the betterment of both humans and dragons, and succeeding.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston and the Beast start out very similar to each other. Both are indifferent to the pain they cause to others, aren't afraid to use violence to get what they want and both want to use Belle for their own selfish reasons (the Beast to break his curse and Gaston to be his trophy-wife). For both men at the beginning, their self-worth comes from the exterior. The Beast is cursed to look like a monster so he thinks he's a monster whereas Gaston wants Belle because "here in town, there's only she who is as beautiful as me". However, the Beast learns to see Belle as the kind, intelligent, courageous and independent woman she is, changes his behavior upon realizing that it's wrong and proves his own self-worth by letting her go be with her father, which helps him earn her love to break his curse. Gaston, on the other hand, refuses to change as he still clings to his opinions of self-worth. Also, the Beast is proven to be more courageous, as he was willing to risk his life to protect Belle from danger, while Gaston is proven to be cowardly, as he has no qualms using cheap shots to get what he wants for himself.
  • In Moana, the Giant Enemy Crab Tamatoa serves as one to Maui. Tamatoa is a monster who overcompensates for his insecurity by decorating himself with priceless treasures and artifacts. Maui compensates for his insecurity (due to being abandoned at birth by his parents) by performing heroic deeds for mankind and receiving praise for it. These heroic deeds are then immortalized as tattoos on his body. At one point, Tamatoa even states that he got the idea of decorating himself from seeing Maui's tattoos. However, where Maui hates that he has to define his self-worth this way, Tamatoa whole-heartedly embraces it and even believes it to be the RIGHT way to live.
  • Conversed in Coco: Miguel's family, living and dead, continuously admonish him for his musical ambitions, saying that they don't want to see him become like his great-great-grandfather. The man who Miguel believes to be his great-great-grandfather, Ernesto de la Cruz, was an accomplished musician who achieved his dreams by murdering his songwriter and taking credit for his work; these action reflect Miguel's hurtful actions against his family, and after discovering Ernesto's true colors, Miguel laments following in the footsteps of de la Cruz. Miguel's actual great-great-grandfather, Héctor, was de la Cruz's first victim who wrote all the songs he sang in his life, and was murdered for wanting to return home. All the warnings from Miguel's family apply here, as Miguel came dangerously close to ending up like Héctor, if he hadn't succeeded in reconciling with his family.
  • ParaNorman: Norman has two of these in his relatives, who are All of the Other Reindeer among the townspeople because of having the ability to speak to the dead:
    • Mr. Prenderghast is what Norman would be if he had completely (and bitterly) resigned to everyone's expectations about him being weird.
    • Unlike the goofy Mr. Prenderghast, the witch serves as the Evil Counterpart as well as the Big Bad. She's what Norman would be if he embraced his desire to be mean back to the people who treat him badly. Norman, however, seeks to save the townspeople and learns to value the people who care about him, while Agatha only sought to make them suffer and completely forgot about the people who loved her in the process.
  • The Incredibles: Syndrome/Buddy Pine is one to Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr. At the start of the movie, they both desire the glory of being a superhero, but while Bob's motivation was due of his sense of justice and desire to save people, Syndrome wants the praise and recognition. When the Super Relocation Act is passed, Bob continues to pursue the glory by illegally listening to the police scanner and helping out when he can. Syndrome, however, kills Supers to develop his Omnidroid which will be part of an elaborate Engineered Heroics scam that will bask in the glory without regards for those who may be hurt or killed as a result. In the end, Bob realizes his desire for the glory days has caused him to miss out on his family and apologizes, but Syndrome has no such realization.
  • Aladdin:
    • Gazeem represents what Aladdin could've been as a heartless, completely greedy thief. It was because of Aladdin's lack of those vices that he was allowed to enter the Cave of Wonders and not Gazeem. As an afterward sense of irony, Gazeem's name is similar to that of Cassim, Aladdin's father who's also the King of Thieves.
    • Prince Achmed is one of the Hopeless Suitors that attempts to marry Jasmine before Aladdin does the same in his Prince Ali alter ego, and shows how repulsive Aladdin would be had he been born in royalty, rather than poverty. Whereas Prince Ali shares his newfound riches with the people of Agrabah, Prince Achmed holds them in such low regard that he attempts to whip two children that ran in front of his horse. Aladdin even lampshades this trope:
      "If I were as rich as you, I could afford some manners!"
  • In Frozen, Hans is this to Anna and Elsa.
    • With Anna, he embodies her feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, and shows what she can become if she stopped reconciling with Elsa. Unlike Anna, who remains optimistic and loving, and reconciles with the sister who pushed her out, Hans's Freudian Excuse causes him to think Love Is a Weakness, remain estranged with his brothers, and zealously focus on his own betterment at others' expense. Also, it's all the more telling to the trope regarding how they react towards someone who truly needed help: while Hans chooses to leave Anna to die, Anna chooses to sacrifice herself for her estranged sister Elsa when she could have gotten a kiss to save her own life at the cost of hers.
    • With Elsa, he embodies her fear of becoming a villain, but she is able to maintain a grip on herself thanks to her family and friends. Due to his Freudian Excuse, Hans accepts causing harm to others and avoids forming emotional bonds. Also, while both hide key aspects of who they are, Hans does so to selfishly manipulate others for his own gain.
  • In Frozen II, King Rueneard, Anna and Elsa's grandfather, is one to both sisters:
    • Elsa: Both are monarchs who dealt with the fear related to magic's impact on their rule, but Runeard shows what Elsa could be if she valued her power over other people's lives. While Elsa feared others would react negatively if they find out their queen has magic, but eventually develops a trust toward others closest to her, Runeard feared that magic wielders would threaten his rule and allowed it to corrupt his judgement in order to protect his power, even showing a selfish willingness to attack others. Elsa also worried her magic could be monstrous, but eventually learns that magic isn't inherently bad and eventually embraces hers as a gift, while Runeard never learned, and it led to his demise.
    • To Anna: He shows what she could be like if she let her desire to be significant and her fear, especially of magic, overrule her empathy for other people. Both are monarchs without magic of their own, and both have some unease about it. Their character designs even have the most similar complexions and coloring of the family, but they have very different approaches to magic and fear:
      • Runeard is primarily worried that magic would empower people to question his own authority, and he never learns to see the good in it. By contrast, although Anna has herself been seriously harmed by magic before, her fear is primarily for the sake of others, and not only does she see the good in it, she wants other people to be empowered and helps Elsa to embrace her magic, even knowing that Elsa could hurt her with it. She only fears that Elsa will get killed, and only if Elsa goes too far. Yet although Anna tries to caution her sister about that particular danger, she is still able to realize that it is not the magic itself that is the problem and to let her love guide her instead of her fear. She still supports Elsa and sees the beauty in it when others don't, even Elsa herself, and is even the one to show her sister how to embrace her power.
      • While Runeard attacks people out of fear, Anna can empathize with and trust people who are different from her. Runeard, to protect his power, builds a dam designed to harm the Northuldra, and Anna, despite the personal cost, risks her life to destroy it.
      • They both are focused on maintaining some part of the status quo and are afraid of how magic will affect it, but for very different reasons and have very different responses. Runeard is afraid of the Northuldra's connection to magic itself and that they might use it to challenge his power, and so he uses subterfuge to attack them. By contrast, Anna celebrates and encourages Elsa's connection with magic, and is only afraid of Elsa dying if she goes too far, even though such an outcome would increase Anna's own power. She is straightforward with Elsa and rather than try to stop Elsa from exploring magic, sincerely offers to help her do so in a safe way. Realizing what Runeard did plays a major role in spurring Anna to accept Elsa's pursuit of a magical destiny.
  • Toy Story 3: Lotso the Hugging Bear is a shadow of what Woody could've been if he gave into his resentment over being replaced and possessiveness toward his owner. This even mirrors Woody's character arc in the 1st movie. While Woody and Lotso are the leaders of a "family" of toys, Lotso keeps his own in line with outright bullying and manipulation instead of love and genuine friendship. Also, whereas Woody decides he wants what's best for Andy, Lotso has grown to hate children for their constant destruction and abandonment of toys. Lotso also believes the bond he had with his owner was a sham in his Straw Nihilist mindset, having sunk into bitterness after being accidentally abandoned and venting his anger out on the world.
  • Cinderella III: A Twist in Time: Drizella represents what Anastasia could've been had she not made a Heel–Face Turn and continued to be a nasty stepsister under her cruel mother's rule.
  • Zootopia:
    • As a small child, Nick Wilde had a dream to become a Junior Ranger Scout, but found that species' prejudices against predator animals made it very hard to be accepted in that role by facing the same struggles as Judy did to become a police officer. However whereas Judy pressed forward to achieve her dream, Nick decided "there's no point in trying to be anything else". However, Nick eventually realizes the error of his ways and becomes allies with Judy.
    • Like Judy, Assistant Mayor Bellwether is an unappreciated, small prey animal who is not appreciated by her larger boss, and has a bias against predator animals. However, whereas Judy eventually rises above this, takes responsibility for her anti-predator statements at the press conference, and works to make the world a better place, Bellwether incites anti-predator fear for the sake of revenge and power, and doesn't care who she hurts with her biases. Bellwether represents a Judy whose anti-predator biases and pangs of insecurity are out in the open and drive her to act without caring who she harms rather.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • Tai Lung serves as one to both Po and Tigress in Kung Fu Panda:
      • He represents what Po could have been with a bad teacher. Notice one of his first lines (see Large Ham) is similar, if less funny, to Po's first line. Also both of them are incurable show-offs, even when the situation calls for dead seriousness. When Tai Lung appeared before Shifu out of nowhere before their confrontation, he was hiding at a distance for some time and waiting for Shifu to blink, so that his entrance could be appropriately dramatic (as explained in DVD commentary).
      • He is also one to Tigress, due to their similar Inferiority Superiority Complex and The Resenter role for not being chosen as the Dragon Warrior. However while Tigress' honour code and loyalty to Shifu still offset that slight, Tai Lung's sense of entitlement made him betray his masters.
    • Lord Shen serves as one to both Po and Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda 2:
      • With Po, both have parental abandonment issues and are real animals likened to mythical beasts (Po the Panda is the Dragon Warrior, while Shen the peacock is clearly meant to be a phoenix with his passion for fire). Both are nervous and unsure of themselves, having many a Failed Attempt at Drama moment. Both are black-and-white animals who are (apparently) the last of their kind, and both fight using unconventional methods. They achieved their places of power by using fireworks and by defeating highly skilled masters (Tai Lung and the Masters' Council) who stood in their way. Both their destinies were set in motion when the Soothsayer predicted their eventual conflict, and both sought inner peace to deal with their tragic pasts. Shen represents what Po could have been had he kept on to old grudges and refused to move on from the past.
      • Shen is Master Shifu's villainous foil. They both had a clairvoyant elder who watched their development (the Soothsayer and Master Oogway) and who foretold a disaster (Shen's demise and Tai Lung's return). Both proteges then try to avert said disaster, only to inadvertently cause it to happen. Like with Shifu in the first movie, Shen's present is influenced by the pains of the past, making him demanding and biased, with his high expectations in regards to his subordinates mirroring those of Shifu with his students. In particular, neither of them believe initially that someone like Po could be a mighty warrior, only for the determined panda to defy their expectations. Their main difference is in regards to the advice offered to them by their mentors; Shifu doesn't want Oogway to leave and afterward respects his master's wish to train Po despite his doubts, but Shen eventually sends the Soothsayer away when he decides he can't find happiness from her advice. Shifu ultimately finds inner peace by listening to Oogway while Shen can find peace only in death through his own self-destructive decisions.
  • The Sword in the Stone: In the book The Disney Villain, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston say that if Arthur had spent much more of his life under Sir Ector, he would have degenerated into a boorish, cynical bully like Kay.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The titular Black Swan is everything the protagonist is repressing.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Gollum is a vivid reminder of what Frodo could turn into if he gave into the ring.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy
    • Harvey Dent and Batman of The Dark Knight are shadows of each other — both had a day where they lost the people most important to them, which changed their lives forever. The difference being that Rachel Dawes was there to push Bruce back into believing there's good in the world worth fighting for, whereas for poor Harvey there was just the Joker showing up to mess with his head some more.
    • The Dark Knight Joker tries to draw parallels between himself and Batman:
      "Don't talk like you're one of them [normal regular citizens]...To them, you're just a freak. Like me."
  • Star Wars
    • Darth Vader is this to Luke, especially in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; both of them dressing in black, losing a hand in battle etc, and the family connection only adds to their similarities. The prequel trilogy emphasizes them further by giving Anakin's backstory parallels to Luke's. Luke is even offered a chance to turn to The Dark Side; the difference between Vader and Luke is that Luke opts to remain in the light.
    • In A New Hope, the nearest thing Luke has to a shadow is Han Solo. Luke is young and naive, empathic, believes in the Force, and is a great pilot; Solo is Older and Wiser, self-centered, a Flat-Earth Atheist, and is also a great pilot.
    • The villains in the prequel trilogy (with the exception of Palpatine, perhaps the shadow to Yoda) are reflections of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader:
      • Darth Maul, a young, extremely skilled and powerful Sith apprentice. Their similarities are further shown in The Clone Wars animated series, where he returns from a near-death situation with prosthetics.
      • Count Dooku, a former Jedi who left the Order due to disagreements in philosophies.
      • General Grievous, a twisted mixture of machine and man which causes problems in breathing and combat.
    • The battle droids, mass-produced and programmed machines, to the clones, mass-produced organics who are also programmed to some degree.
    • Kylo Ren from The Force Awakens is essentially a Luke Skywalker turned to the Dark Side of the Force. They both struggle with temptation from the opposite side of the Force (Luke tries to resist the Dark Side, while Kylo wants to become immune to the Light), both come into conflict with their fathers, with Luke ultimately redeeming Anakin and Kylo ultimately murdering Han, and they both idolize Anakin Skywalker, with Luke proudly declaring himself a Jedi "like my father before me" and Kylo doing everything he can to emulate Darth Vader. The Last Jedi sees both of them deal with their failures and disillusionments. Luke is able to overcome this and redeem himself, while Kylo descends further to villainy because he's unwilling to let it go.
  • Fight Club: Tyler Durden is the Shadow Archetype to The Narrator, considering that he is nothing more than The Narrator's alternate personality, comprising what The Narrator wants to be, but can't, because of the pressures of society. For Hollywood, this makes him an unusually Jungian version — he's what is repressed, not what is evil.
    "I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck. I am smart, capable and, most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not."
  • Ironically, Shiwan Khan in 1994's The Shadow is this to the titular protagonist, The Shadow himself. He got the same training as The Shadow, has same powers and is a big fan of Shadow's former self, ruthless crime lord Ying Ko.
  • Adaptation.: Charlie Kaufman's (fictional) twin brother Donald functions as his shadow, embodying everything Charlie dislikes about his profession and doesn't want to become. In true Jungian fashion, however, there are positive aspects to his character as well, which Charlie's neuroticism and self-awareness lead him to suppress, and which he ultimately grows as a person by accepting.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • The Avengers: Loki works as a warped mirror to the Avengers more than once. He's an example of different parts of their personalities, like Thor's values about becoming King, the Widow's past murderous life or Tony's Big Ego, gone wrong. In Tony's case, he's able to figure out what Loki's big plan is because it's something he'd do.
      Tony: Yeah, divide and conquer is great, but he knows he has to take us out to win, right? THAT'S what he wants. He wants to beat us, he wants to be seen doing it. He wants an audience... This is — this is opening night. And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva, right? He wants flowers, he wants parades. He wants a monument built to the skies with his name plastered... [Beat] Son of a bitch.
    • Thor and Thor: The Dark World: Loki is a twisted reflection of Frigga. Both are sly, fashionable, spell casters and agile combatants. But Frigga is benevolent, puts others first and is content with not being number one. She is admired by the Asgardians because she is what is expected from the Queen. Loki could never compete with Thor in Odin's eyes, and was disparaged by his peers, Proud Warrior Race Guys for being different. The need for validation made him self-centered, ambitious, and ultimately villainous and violent. In Avengers: Infinity War, he comes to terms with who he is and shows that he cares for those he loves more than his own life, just like Frigga.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Hela is this to Thor, showing what Thor might have become if Odin didn't managed to teach him humility: a violent, sadistic Blood Knight who talks about the glory of Asgard, but cares nothing for the people in it, to the point of murdering its army and trying to keep the people in line with murderous undead.
  • James Bond: Many, if not all, Bond villains represent the worst aspects of 007.
    • Skyfall: Big Bad Raoul Silva is a former MI6 agent (and a brilliant one, according to M), who is what Bond could easily become if he didn't forgive or trust M for the things she puts him through. Silva even points this out multiple times over the course of the film, and the other characters aren't arguing with him, especially given that M leaving Silva for dead in China has echoes of her risking Bond's life at the beginning of the movie. Silva going rogue also harkens back to Alec Trevelyan, another ex-MI6 agent who had a similar grudge against his former employer.
      Silva: We are the last two rats.
    • Other examples from the films include Die Another Day's Gustav Graves/Colonel Moon, From Russia with Love's Red Grant, Casino Royale's Le Chiffre (suave, handsome men of action), and A View to a Kill's Max Zorin. The titular villains of Dr. No and The Man with the Golden Gun also attempt, less convincingly, to play Shadow Archetypes to Bond. They all easily serve to remind Bond of what he could be if he decided to cross the line and become immoral. Some of them even freely admit being Card Carrying Villains, invoke the Not So Different card on 007, and harbor no loyalty to others but to themselves.
    • GoldenEye: 006/Alec Trevelyan, Bond's former partner, who reappears from the dead and continually taunts 007 about his loyalty to England and Failure Hero tendencies to lose allies and women during missions. Despite sharing many of Bond's qualities, Alec's personality shows the dangers of clinging on to old grudges, as he despises England for their (perceived) past transgressions.
    • Ernst Stavro Blofeld, James Bond's Arch-Enemy and head of the Nebulous Evil Organization SPECTRE, is a stark contrast to both M, Bond's boss, and 007 himself.
      • While both lead a secret organization and give orders directly to their subordinates, M commands the respect of his peers and subordinates, but Blofeld would often kill minions just for minor reasons.
      • Blofeld also serves as a warped mirror image of Bond, especially in terms of lethality, wit, and shrewdness. The way they rose is also a stark difference: whereas Bond is of Blue Blood (albeit a minor one) yet puts his life on the line to stop power-hungry nutjobs, Blofeld is of modest origins but rose to power by questionable means and is willing to hold the entire world at gunpoint if he doesn't get what he wants. To drive this even further, the Mirrored Confrontation Shot between the two during Spectre's climax even shows the visual similarities they share, with Blofeld being a Bond corrupted by a lust for revenge and domination.
    • Spectre: M gets another Shadow Archetype in the form of C/Max Denbigh, the new head of the Joint Intelligence Service. Whereas M is an ex-spy like Bond, is capable of handling firearms, and has shown genuine concern for his subordinates, C is an Obstructive Bureaucrat who mocks M's insistence on stopping the 00-agent program from being scrapped in favor of his new surveillance operation, and hurls childish insults whenever someone inquires about the surveillance program he favors. It's later revealed that C is in bed with Blofeld, and is willing to sell out England for more political power unlike M, who remains loyal to queen and country. When C tries to have Bond and M killed for interfering in his Evil Plan, he didn't realize M's field experience enabled him to sweep the room and empty Denbigh's gun before he got there. In short, C represents an M whose lust for power has corrupted him to the point he's even willing to betray others for selfish purposes.
    • Octopussy: A crooked and treacherous Glory Hound, Soviet general Orlov is essentially what General Gogol could have been had he chose to become bloodthirsty and lustful for power. Unlike Gogol, who remains an important Bond ally to stop Orlov's scheme, Orlov is even willing to betray his own country by plotting with Kamal Khan to kill millions of innocents in his power-hungry plans to invade Western Europe.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: When Oscar Isaac encapsulates En Sabah Nur's modus operandi in the "Clan of Akkaba: Apocalypse and his Horsemen" documentary on the Blu-Ray, it's identical to Professor X's. Apocalypse is the warped mirror image of Xavier if the latter loses all self-restraint and fully succumbs to "absolute power corrupts absolutely" — Charles even gets Drunk on the Dark Side for a couple minutes to showcase that he's not immune to its effects. En Sabah Nur governs his Apocalypse Cult with the Four Horsemen as his devotees, whereas Professor X can be interpreted as a highly idealized cult leader (if a truly good-hearted one exists, then he'd be it) with the X-Men as his disciples.
    Isaac: He finds people that are in need, people that are in a very dark part of their lives, that are searching for something. He zeroes in on these people and reads them, and figures out what it is that they need to feel fulfilled, to feel strong.
  • In Superman Returns, Richard White is essentially a reflection of the man that Superman could have become if he had fully embraced his human side as "Clark Kent" instead of traveling across the galaxy in search of his home planet. Like Superman, he's a brave, kind-hearted, square-jawed heroic figure who loves Lois Lane and can fly (in a plane); unlike Superman, he's a fully committed family man who actually marries Lois, and becomes a father to the son that Superman unwittingly abandoned.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: After two decades of fighting crime, Batman has become cynical and apathetic towards the world. His crimefighting methods are less about protecting the innocent and more about punishing the guilty, to the point even ordinary citizens fear him. Superman, who also struggles with insecurities in this film, begins to see Batman as the kind of person he could become if he ever lost his faith.
  • Varies through continuities but Godzilla fellow monsters reflect an aspect of the Big G character.
    • One of Godzilla's defining traits is that he's the product of an unholy union of Nature and Technology, being a surviving Cretaceous-era dinosaur who was mutated by exposure to nuclear radiation. That's why Mechagodzilla plays such an important role as Godzilla's Foil: as his evil robotic doppelganger, he's entirely a product of technology, and represents Godzilla's "unnatural" side.
    • Mothra plays an equally important role as the classically heroic Foil to the antiheroic or Villain Protagonist Godzilla, being entirely a product of nature. They also both represent Gaia's Vengeance but while Godzilla has extreme hatred or apathy towards humanity Mothra still sees worth in them. She also represents what Godzilla could become if he become a pure force for good.
    • While it depends on the continuity, King Ghidorah acts as a dark reflection of Godzilla. While Big G is a Tragic Monster whose evil stems from being angry at humanity or straight up ignorance at what he's doing anything can be wrong, King Ghidorah is a truly evil being who knows exactly what he's doing and relishes in it. King Ghidorah shows just how truly destructive Godzilla can be if he took pleasure in his rampages.
    • In the film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Destoroyah has the most similarities with the Big G. Both are organisms that existed longer than man, they were both unfortunate and unforeseen victims created by humanity’s own destructive weapons (the atomic bomb and the oxygen destroyer respectively.) and both bring terrible destruction to humanity. However, Godzilla by this time had gone through Character Development, and a Morality Pet in the form of Junior. While Destoroyah fully embraces the weapon humanity made it into.
    • In Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, SpaceGodzilla is this to Godzilla in a nutshell, purely of extraterrestrial origin, and is the byproduct of an alien merged with Godzilla's G-Cells. In contrast to Godzilla's close combat prowess, radioactive abilities and anti-heroism, SpaceGodzilla is entirely malevolent, and his powers prioritize mental, gravitational and long range abilities, while also being able to fly. He represents what an alien Godzilla would look like as well as what Godzilla would become if he was tyrannical, and had the powers of a literal god.
      • In a way, SpaceGodzilla can also be considered a result of Godzilla being gamma powered instead of nuclear.
      • This goes for Biollante as well from Godzilla vs. Biollante, who is a plant-based life form and is also created from Godzilla's G-Cells. It is also female.
      • An amalgamation of the three of them takes on its true form in the anime film, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters.
    • Orga from Godzilla 2000 resembles a hideously deformed, bizarro-version of Godzilla that, unlike Biollante and SpaceGodzilla, botched the absorption process of his DNA. His skin is grey instead of green, he has a shoulder cannon instead of a mouth beam like most other kaijus, his back is hunched, and he has extremely large hands with three fingers. He lacks much of Godzilla's intelligence and speed, but makes up for it with pure strength and power.
    • Gigan can be seen as a sick joke of Godzilla's existence. Both being monsters that are an unholy combination of technology and nature. The only difference is Gigan fully embraces the weapon it was made into.
  • Rene Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark openly describes himself as this towards Indiana Jones, as both are passionate Adventure Archaeologists, but Belloq doesn't have Indy's code of honor, lending his services to Nazi Germany.
    Belloq: I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.
  • King Louie to Mowgli in the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. Louie is a Gigantopithecus who's Intrigued by Humanity and doing his best to emulate them by living in an abandoned human temple, ruling over his fellow primates as a king, hoarding (worthless) material possessions and trying to learn the secret of fire to gain more power. Mowgli is the opposite, being a human raised in the jungle who's doing his best to emulate its animals, rejects civilized society, yet takes advantage of his human ingenuity to survive in the wild. In short, Louie represents humankind's greed and ego without its intellect or creativity, while Mowgli represents that intellect and creativity without the corruption.
  • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends has Ultraman Belial as the shadow to Ultraman Zero. Like the latter, the former was once a young and powerful Ultra Warriors but attempted to touch the Plasma Spark after getting Drunk with Power. Unlike Zero as we found out later on, Belial has no one to stop him at the last minute, which leads to his eventual banishment and Face–Heel Turn into the evil Ultra that fans have known to this day.

  • In the second arc of the H.I.V.E. Series, Otto is forced to kill several innocent people while under the control of the Animus, only able to break loose when his intended target is his best friend, Wing. Because of this, Otto develops a paranoia of hurting the people he cares about. Cue the entrance of cold, evil, fairly emotionless Agent Zero, who works for Anastasia Furan. He is Otto's clone, with advanced control over his electrokinesis to enable mind reading. Zero mind rapes Laura, who turns into a shivering huddle when confronted with Otto. This bothers Otto deeply, as seeing himself harm one of the people he cares about most is his greatest fear. Zero is one of only two or three people in the series whom Otto kills.
  • Sherlock Holmes has Professor Moriarty: Holmes's equal in every way but dedicated to crime.
  • Jekyll & Hyde, from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • In the fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea, the main character Ged accidentally raises an evil spirit representing the darkness in himself, which is actually called the Shadow in the book. It follows him everywhere until he can call it by its true name — which is Ged.
  • The Lord of the Rings.
    • Gollum is the shadow of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins — and, to some extent, Sam. Remember all those conversations between Sméagol and Gollum that Sam spied and was utterly sick of hearing? Just when Sam and Frodo reach Mount Doom, what is Sam doing? Talking to himself about the futility of their quest!
      Sam: And then what, Sam Gamgee, then what?
    • Sauron is to an extent the shadow of both Gandalf and Galadriel, while Saruman is a more specific shadow of Gandalf.
      Gandalf: I am Saruman. Or rather Saruman as he should have been.
    • Frodo gets to watch several people confront their own Shadows when he offers the Ring to them. (The ever-humble Sam, notably, sees his Shadow — a mighty hero — when he becomes Ringbearer, and consciously rejects it.)
  • Discworld
    • The sisters Esme and Lily Weatherwax (complete with lots and lots of mirror imagery). After Lily chose to use magic to serve herself Esme grudgingly became her good counterpart. They're both clever, proud and absolutely certain of their rightness.
    • Angua and her psychotic brother Wolfgang von Uberwald. Angua constantly struggles with the werewolf dilemma of looking like a human sometimes and a wolf the other, but not really fitting in with either. Wolfgang is utterly exultant in both forms and is a Fully-Embraced Fiend.
    • Moist von Lipwig and Reacher Gilt. Moist's clashes with Gilt cause him to do a bit of soul-searching to see what actual difference there is between them. Turns out Moist can make a pretty good Anti-Hero when he puts his mind to it. Reacher is Moist if he indulged his ambition and greed and cared nothing for screwing people over.
    • And Vimes has his Beast, which he sees in many of the worst criminals he faces. Carcer is another example of a shadow archetype for Vimes: Where Vimes spends all his time controlling his inner monster, Carcer indulges the Beast to the fullest extent.
    • Death gains one in Reaper Man, when he is replaced and made mortal. This "New Death" lacks his respect and compassion for mortals, instead seeing itself as a ruler, not a caretaker.
  • Harry Potter
    • Voldemort and Harry share many things, but the most important might be that both had a hard time when they were children and had their lives completely turned around when they discovered the world of magic. But if Harry found friends and love, Voldemort found a way to gain power. And while Voldemort's desire for fame and respect ended up corrupting his soul, Harry never let his fame as "The Boy Who Lived" go to his head. The Not So Different speech is often given with these two.
    • Voldemort also could be considered a shadow to Severus Snape. Both are: ambitious, magically-gifted, half-blooded, lonely young men from uncaring families; fascinated by the Dark Arts and fashioned a fancy name (The Dark Lord, The Half-Blood Prince). Snape could easily have been (and for most of the series seems to be) a Voldemort In The Making. Ultimately, it may be Voldemort's greatest weakness that keeps Snape from becoming a Dark Lord in his own right.
  • In the sequel to Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes, Zozie de l'Alba is Yanne's shadow, everything about herself that she has repressed — her magic, her glamour, her bohemian lifestyle, her free-spirited ways — as well as her impulse to use her magic to influence and control others.
  • In the works of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Aloysius Pendergast has a shadow in the form of his brother Diogenes. Both are utterly brilliant, masters of disguise, and experts in numerous fields; Diogenes, however, suffered a childhood trauma which drove him quite mad.
  • Charles de Lint has the formation of actual Jungian Shadow Archetypes be an actual thing that happens in his Newford setting. One story revolves around the young woman who is the shadow of a recurring skeptic character; he cast her off at some point in childhood and no longer is aware of her, and she has identity issues. Eventually concludes she can be her own person, having been independent ever since she was cast; honorable mention to a conversation she has with a mentor figure:
    Mentor: I once met the shadow of a man who was on death row for murder.
    Christmas: What was he like?
    Mentor: Meanest sonuvabitch I ever saw.
    Christmas: I meant the shadow.
    Mentor: Yeah, me too.
  • In The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and its sequel, this is done with actual shadows that separate from their owners. The shadows are usually similar in personality to the originals, but tend to act with less restraint. The shadows of Ell and Saturday, for instance, still care for September as her friend, but do things like enchant her or kiss her trying to make her happy, without considering that she doesn't like having things done to her without her permission. Halloween, meanwhile, is much colder and crueler than September, but they do share some similarities as we see Halloween is willing to use her considerable power to rescue her father (the shadow of September's father). Inversely, we see that the shadow of Maude/the Marquess is considerably more subdued and kind to September than the original ever was.
  • In A Frozen Heart, a tie-in book to Disney's Frozen:
  • Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves: Baasen Ray for Han Solo, made explicit after his death. Baasen was once a fellow smuggler and a friend of Han, though they had a falling out, and a run of poor luck turned Baasen into a cynical Bounty Hunter willing to turn his former friend in to Jabba. After he is shot in the process of killing the Big Bad Galassian, Han muses that he could have easily turned out like Baasen, if he hadn't taken a certain charter to ferry an old man and a kid to Alderaan.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Inverted with Gustavo Fring. He's what Heisenberg aspires to be. Rich, powerful, feared, and possessing state of the art infrastructure, making him the most powerful drug lord this side up north. Problem is, Heisenberg's effectiveness is crippled by his ego and bad decisions, a fact pointed out by Fring himself and later on, Mike in "The Reason You Suck" Speech. When Heisenberg kills Fring and tries to forge his own drug empire, things start to go downhill.
    • Played completely straight with Jack Welker. In many ways, he's the ultimate personification of the kind of person Walt would be if he had allowed his Heisenberg persona to take complete control of his personality — a ruthless, merciless, sociopathic man ready to retire with a multi-million dollar profit.
  • The Sopranos: Phil Leotardo represents the darkest aspects of Tony Soprano's personality cranked Up to Eleven — whereas Tony is a deeply flawed Jerkass but is still sympathetic, Phil is unlikable, unpleasant, depraved, and a massive Hate Sink.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Roose Bolton to Tywin Lannister of all people. Both are the patriarchs of their families, both are Straight Edge Evil and Magnificent Bastards who usually lock down their emotions and both have evil descendants (Ramsay for Roose, Joffrey for Tywin), both employ other psychopaths as their top enforcers (Locke and Gregor Clegane, respectively) but while Tywin is defined by his Pragmatic Villainy and total devotion to his family's legacy, Roose every now and then lets slip that he just might be in it For the Evulz, although he's far more subtle about it than his son, and both betrayed their kings. It's also fun to point out that Michael McElhatton looks quite a bit like a younger Charles Dance. They also both die an Undignified Death at the hands of their respective sons.
    • Cersei is the picture of what could have gone wrong with several other female characters who shared some characteristics with her:
      • To Sansa. They were both sheltered daddy's girls from noble families, living a fantasy of marrying a Prince Charming, which in both cases has gone horribly wrong, leaving them both disillusioned. Sansa's kinder nature and not actually spending years in a horrible marriage have left her in a better mental shape than Cersei, for now at least.
      • Tywin notes a similarity between a young Cersei and Arya in their spirited and rebellious natures. However, Cersei was forced by Tywin to conform to the standard submissive role for a Westerosi woman, and put her energy into becoming an evil queen.
      • Both Tyrell women, Margaery and Olenna, share many traits with Cersei — they're manipulative, willing to use seduction (in Olenna's case, in the past) to further their goals and were "blessed" with not particularly politically competent husbands. Olenna and Cersei also share ruthlessness and and similarities in their acts go as far as committing a regicide and letting an innocent man take the fall. However, by growing (at least in Margaery's case) in a household where the female role was valued and taught — instead of being reduced to a property of a man and a piece to haggle — and being sane, they get out of their roles everything Cersei couldn't: Margaery is a popular queen and gets to manipulate even Joffrey, and Olenna is the real head of her family who has raised a capable heiress and is the closest thing the series has to a female Tywin.
  • Star Trek
    • A classic shadow pair is the good-yet-indecisive Kirk and his evil-yet-effective twin in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Enemy Within": "I have to take him back... inside myself. I can't survive without him. I don't want him back. He's like an animal, a thoughtless, brutal animal — and yet it's me. Me." Really though, both the good and evil Kirk are Shadow Archetypes to the real Kirk; he wouldn't want to be either one of them.
    • Romulans are the shadows of the Vulcans, and on dimensional level, the Mirror Universe is the shadow of the Star Trek 'verse.
    • The Borg are shadows to humanity, being uniform and collectivist versus human individualism and self-determination. They also share several traits with humans, such as adaptability and desire for self-improvement, all of which they can do MUCH faster. They explore space searching for other forms of life, but while the humans of Star Trek wish to meet with other species peacefully to learn about them, the Borg learn by conquering and assimilating other life. Another parallel is mentioned by Eddington in Deep Space Nine, pointing out how the Borg state their plans for assimilation, while humans slowly manipulate races into joining the Federation.
    • The Dominion are shadows to the Federation — they are a large galactic alliance that professes the ideals of peace, co-operation, freedom and self-determination, yet do not truly practice them and are extremely aggressive in war. The Dominion is what the Federation would become if humanity became hypocritical to the point where they only paid lip service to those ideals.
    • Patrick Stewart once suggested in an interview that Q was Captain Picard's shadow, representing the repressed aspects of Picard's psyche (possibly including repressed homoerotic impulses as well).
  • Shadow pairs are very common on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where they are what the good character could have been if they'd gone wrong. Faith is Buffy's shadow; Ethan is Giles's shadow; Adam is Riley's shadow. Vampires are sometimes seen as the shadow of the people they were when alive. Some characters manage to be their own shadows: Angel, Willow, Oz, Spike, and (in one episode) Xander. Willow's shadow, the vampire from the Wish Dimension, gets extra points — not just dangerous and creepy, but also showing signs of Willow's latent sexuality. Jonathan is what Xander might have become if he'd made a few wrong turns.
  • Similarly, the Miniature Killer (and her presumably-incestuous foster father Ernie Dell) are shadows of Sara and Grissom on CSI. The Miniature Killer represents everything that Sara and Grissom are unwilling to face about Sara's past and her consequent incompleteness as a person.
  • Fraggle Rock
    • Boober Fraggle came into conflict with the fun-loving, irresponsible part of his personality, which manifested as his Evil Twin Sidebottom (the side of himself which he keeps on the bottom). It wasn't until Boober accepted Sidebottom as a part of himself that he was able to make his Evil Twin go away.
    • Lively, enthusiastic Red met her own opposite — the modest, cautious Beige — when the Fraggles encountered another colony of their species.
  • Fringe has a series of complex and interesting examples revolving around Walter Bishop. Beware Spoiler:
    • In the early season, Walternate was meant to be Walter's shadow should he lost his son and still retain his intelligence: a brilliant, ruthless scientist who's also at the height of power.
    • Even earlier, William Bell was made out to be Walter's shadow: they're are equally brilliant but one became a billionaire and one was locked up in a mental institution. Walter (and everyone else) even lampshaded this.
    • However, come season 4, it turned out that Walter, had he met all the required conditions: brain intact, loss his son and with William Bell encouraging his brilliance and egomania was much much worse than either of them. This was represented by changed timeline Williams Bells who had a massive god complex that led him to destroying two universe to creat his own ideal utopia with his own will imposed as the law of physics. He also implied that this is what Walter would've done had he not been so afraid of his own power.
  • Heroes
    • Elle Bishop and Claire Bennett — it's explicitly mentioned by the resident Magnificent Bastard that he protected Claire from the company because he didn't want her to become Elle.
    • Sylar and Peter Petrelli have been explicitly described by Word of God and the actors, as two sides of the same coin, with similar powers and desires to be special. Sylar's method just involves a lot more blood and crazy.
  • Doctor Who
    • The Master is this to the Doctor, with all of his arrogance, superiority and passion for meddling augmented with megalomania. The new series at several points makes it explicit that it would be very easy for one to become the other.
    • The new series frequently contrasts the Doctor with himself and what he could become. Especially in "Amy's Choice", with the darker self showing the Doctor's wishes for control, power, and interestingly, his own self-hatred.
    • The Valeyard is a more literal example, as he's explicitly stated to be the Doctor's inner evil and darkest qualities personified.
  • Tony's second series episode of Skins is a study in Jungian psychology; Sean Pertwee's character(s), the crazy dude on the train and the admissions counselor at the university, together form Tony's shadow (Tony explicitly describes himself as "<the counselor>'s bad dream, him before he was destroyed by the system").
  • Babylon 5
    • The Vorlon race and its shadow counterpart, the, er, Shadows. The series starts off with the standard depiction of the Shadows as evil, but then shows that in a different way Vorlons are evil too. Both the Vorlons and Shadows are ancient races who remained in this galaxy to guide and help younger races develop. The problem is the Vorlons believe development from strict order and control. The Shadows believe in development from the chaos found in survival of the fittest. They were supposed to work together, but they got into a pissing contest about who was right, and forgot why they were left in the galaxy in the first place; they leave in shame when the younger races remind them of this fact and tell them to get lost.
    • Garibaldi faces his own darker side, in a way, in season 4. He was captured by a telepath named Bester who wanted him to find an anti-telepath conspiracy. He didn't have Garibaldi's personality wiped, but enhanced Garibaldi's paranoia and dislike of authority to the point Garibaldi left his job, his friends, and betrayed one all for the sake of this mission.
    • Then there is Londo Mollari and Lord Refa. Refa initiates Londo`s darker side extremely well. Only after his heel realization does Londo consciously try to get rid of him.
    • Londo and G'Kar as well. G'Kar starts as a Machiavellian instigator who is reasonably well-connected within his government, while Londo is a sympathetic powerless has-been reliving old glories. Over the next several seasons, Londo rises greatly while being responsible for widespread destruction, G'Kar is forced into exile and becomes a major resistance leader, and finally, G'Kar is offered and refuses the chance to rule Narn, while Londo ascends to the throne as Emperor and lives out the rest of his life at the mercy of a Puppeteer Parasite before welcoming death at G'Kar's hands.
    • Londo (yet again) and his protege, Vir Cotto, who acts as Londo's conscience (as best as he can). Londo is entirely aware that he is the darker side of this coin, and does what he can to protect Vir and keep him on the path of good.
  • Dexter's whole shtick is that he kills people who represent what he would be if he didn't have a code. So, in effect, he has killed hundreds of manifestations of his Shadow Archetype. On top of that, every season introduces a new mentor-type figure who presents a more personal version of the archetype.
  • House: In one episode, a man became his own shadow when he had a neurological problem that caused him to spout whatever came into his head.
  • A less serious example on Friends is Mr Heckles and Chandler. They both started out as witty jokesters, but avoided getting close to anyone. The difference was Mr Heckles never overcame his issues and died alone, while Chandler learnt from his example and thanks to his friends, built meaningful relationships and eventually fell in love.
  • In Smallville Lex Luthor was always being warned about the darkness that he carried within himself. Enter Lx-3, a failed clone of Lex in the Season 10 premiere, "Lazarus". Lx-3 was essentially Lex without the facade, with all the rage and anger simmering at the very surface. An Ax-Crazy psycho to Lex's Manipulative Bastard, Lx-3 showcases exactly what is lurking beneath the surface of our favourite Corrupt Corporate Executive, while demonstrating how vital that restraint really is if Lex is to be a successful supervillain.
  • In the BBC's Sherlock, Jim Moriarty, the "consulting criminal", is an even more direct Shadow Archetype to Sherlock Holmes than the original literary character was. Like Sherlock, Jim is phenomenally clever, unfettered and easily bored with everyday life. But unlike Sherlock, who solves crimes and puzzles, Jim staves off boredom and puts his brain to the test by masterminding perfect crimes on behalf of wannabe criminals. He represents what Sherlock could become someday, and shows just how important Sherlock and John's friendship is in pushing Sherlock towards being heroic and doing the right thing.
  • Ultraman Orb Jugglus Juggler is basically what Gai could be like if he had no one around him to serve as his moral compass. As both of them lost someone close to them according Orb novel — with Gai nearly to the point of Roaring Rampage of Revenge after losing Shorty as much as Juggler lost Micott. Luckily, Gai regained his senses instead of going off the deep end.
  • Ultraman Geed: Like the aforementioned Ultraman Zero above, Belial is also one to his own son, Riku, the titular Ultraman Geed himself, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance with. If people like Laiha, or even Zero himself weren't around in Riku's life to guide or support him, he would essentially become a second Belial.
  • Morgana is this to Merlin post-Face–Heel Turn. She's done a lot of the immoral things he's done (killing innocents, betraying friends, choosing loyalties) but while he avoids them until he has no choice, she does them with an almost sadistic relish. Her Freudian Excuse is also one of the key parts of his Conflicting Loyalty (they are magical in a kingdom that fears magic).
  • The Wild Wild West: Why is a Diabolical Mastermind like Depraved Dwarf Miguelito Quixote Loveless is so obsessed with a lowly paid Secret Service Agent like Jim West, to the point of purposely adding him to all his world conquest schemes (and ensuring Failure Is the Only Option)? Both of them are intelligent (but Loveless is a scientific genius), handsome, and have a lot of success with the Girl of the Week. Loveless will never accept that succeeding at world conquest would result for him in a ''But then what?'' situation; he'll still be the same bitter man (James West once sadly and respectfully eulogizes him as That little man with a giant rage against the whole universe). Trying to destroy West, the man who reminds Loveless that being shorter than anyone else is not obstacle to happiness, is his true dream. This is also why James West, who is usually quite willing to kill a malefactor, tries nearly every episode to rehabilitate Loveless, pointing out how much good his genius could accomplish.
    • In many ways, Loveless is also Artemus Gordon's shadow: both are geniuses who often come up with technology decades ahead of their time. In many episodes, Artemus seems to be genuinely jealous of Jim West's respect for Loveless' intelligence!
  • Jackman and Hyde in Jekyll, just like the source material.
  • Daredevil (2015): Frank Castle serves as a direct shadow for Matt Murdock. Both serve as vigilantes fighting crime after a series of traumatic event (The Punisher for Frank; Dardevil for Matt) and both use violent methods in doing so. However,Matt refuses to kill anyone during his crusade against crime, while Frank believes the only way to stop crime permanently is to kill the criminals causing it. Also, Matt is constantly questioning himself on wether he has crossed the line into becoming an evil, while Frank has fully convinced himself, that he is forever dead and damned.

  • One possible interpretation of Billy Joel's "The Stranger," although some interpret it to be about infidelity. The first verses of the song are about the "face that we hide away forever"... but that we secretly delight in when no-one else is around. The later verses warn that everyone has this hidden side, and that people have no right to be shocked when they discover other people have secrets too. It closes by reminding the listener that while "the Stranger" can be alarming, it isn't evil — in fact, it can be the more truthful self.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Christianity has Satan to God, obviously. Adaptations may play this up — for example, The Divine Comedy has Satan as a three-headed monster as a sort of imitation of the Trinity. And, of course, the Antichrist to Jesus.
  • In The Bible, Bilaam to Moses. While Moses gave up life as an Egyptian prince to lead the Hebrews from slavery, Bilaam is a sort of prophet-for-profit who tries to curse the Hebrews for King Balak. Jewish tradition says that Bilaam was actually given abilities near Moses' level just so that the other nations couldn't claim that they would have been better if they had had a leader like Moses.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sometimes enemies sometimes allies Low Ki and Xavier. Xavier openly expresses many things Low Ki himself feels or relates to but chooses to keep under control. Xavier has repeatedly mocked Low Ki's style of wrestling but in fact wrestles in largely the same manner, which only becomes more obvious when they are opponents.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Shadow is an integral part of Wraith: The Oblivion. Your worst enemy, who's always with you, tries to manipulate you into falling into oblivion... and everyone has one. Even worse, the standard approach is to have the players play each others' shadows on the side, leading to a whole deal of sneaky backstabbing.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The Ravenloft setting had a monstrous device called The Apparatus which could split any character into two opposing personalities (it could also turn two people into one). The only way to undo it was to get them both back into the machine and run it again in reverse.
    • The mirror of opposition. Any character who gazes into the mirror will create an identical twin of opposing alignment, with identical levels, skills and equipment.
  • Exalted
    • The Ebon Dragon. One of his titles is "the Shadow of All Things", and he exists to oppose heroism wherever it may exist and corrupt it into villainy. Which just leads to layers of complexity, when one considers that the Ebon Dragon instigated the creation of the Unconquered Sun to provide him with an overarching 'light archetype' to define himself against. This resulted in the emergence of Five Days Darkness... best described as the Unconquered Sun's Shadow Archetype, and effectively the Ebon Dragon's grandchild.
    • The Abyssals are presented as being narrative Shadow Archetypes of what the Solar Exalted might become, now that they've returned... while the Terrestrials are easily used as a narrative Shadow Archetype for what the Solars had become when they ruled the world; oppressive tyrants that must be unseated.
    • There's a very powerful (Solar Circle Sorcery) magic spell with a similar effect to the mirror of opposition above, with the twist that the original is trapped in the mirror while their Evil Twin runs loose.
    • For third edition, Infernals fill a similar role to Dragon-Bloods as dark mirrors of the First Age Solars. The big difference is that the Dragon-Bloods are dark mirrors of the Old Realm itself, while the Infernals are dark mirrors of the Solars sitting atop it...according to developer commentary, anyway.
  • Warhammer 40,000 usually has the forces of Chaos and the Dark Eldar as merely Evil Counterparts, but as everyone is evil most of the time they fit better as Shadow Archetypes:
    • Imperial Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines are both fanatical Blood Knight Warrior Monks who worship powerful beings that couldn't care less about them, committing endless atrocities and slaughtering billions in their name. About the only difference is that Imperial Marines are fighting for some semblance of civilisation, whereas Chaos Marines mostly do it For the Evulz.
    • The Imperial Guard and the Lost and the Damned are poorly equipped, poorly trained and have piss-poor morale note , used as expendable Cannon Fodder by the higher ups with little or no regard for the horrific casualties they'll inevitably suffer. This is especially evident in the Gaunt's Ghosts novel The Armour of Contempt, where a Guard character is smack in the middle of human wave tactics that are identical to the one Chaos forces used in Necropolis.
    • The Craftworld Eldar and the Dark Eldar are arrogant egotists desperately trying to stave off both their inevitable extinction and the attentions of the Chaos God Slaanesh. The difference is that while the former protect themselves by rigidly controlling their emotions at all times, the latter indulge that side of themselves entirely, satisfying Slaanesh by feeding it the souls of others in place of their own.
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: Chuubo/the Wishing Boy and Leonardo/Nightmare's Angel. Both have constructed magical engines, but Chuubo wants to be normal apart from that and Leonardo has grabbed at specialness with both hands, even when it wasn't a good idea. Chuubo staves off loneliness by making friends (literally, in the case of Seizhi/the Best Friend), while Leonardo has abandoned friendship in order to better defend Town. Chuubo's memory is a bit cracked through mysterious past experiences; Leonardo may have deliberately erased his own. Both are Imperators of a sort, but Chuubo is a healthy if amnesiac one while Leonardo has been corrupted into a Mimic. They're even depicted in artwork with similar hairstyles, although Chuubo's is wavy, unkempt and stops above the eyes while Leonardo's is straighter and has Peek-a-Bangs. There's a lesser shadow-archetype pairing in Billy Sovereign and the Best Friend, who have very similar stats and Arcs, and are both Actuals, although Seizhi has a soul and Billy does not, but given that Billy once impaled Leonardo on a railroad spike, that probably crosses over into full-on Evil Counterpart.

  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: Miss Zakharova to Mrs. Hawking in part III: Base Instruments. Her devotion of her entire being to the work that means everything to her is destroying her body to the point where eventually she won't be able to carry it on, which is Mrs. Hawking's worst fear.
  • Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has, in addition to Hyde himself, the character of Richard Enfield, a respectable man living a less virtuous double life without any psychopharaceutical excuse.

    Video Games 
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Most of the characters are shadow archetypes to one another (Jedi Knight vs Sith Warrior, for instance) both in story and gameplay terms. The non-Force-using classes split the roles up slightly; for instance, the Trooper (Republic) fights like a Bounty Hunter (Imperial) but their storyline and personality draw more comparisons to the Imperial Agent.
    • The main representatives for the factions also count. Grandmaster Satele on the Republic side is, at first appearance, an ideal Jedi. However, her being descended from Bastila Shan and Revan, who both had nasty falls to the Dark Side put her under a lot of scrutiny. She also had a forbidden affair that produced Theron Shan, was anything but a model parent, and doubled down on Jedi dogma. On the flip side, there's Darth Malgus, who looks like your typical Darth Vader Clone, but is a surprisingly reasonable and thoughtful Sith, and was once a devoted husband (granted, his Twi'lek "wife" was a Sex Slave on paper, and he killed her when another Sith pointed out she could be used as a weakness against him), who ends up rebelling against the Empire in a Xanatos Gambit to force it into making needed reforms.
    • A more pronounced example is the relationship between the apprentices of both the Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior (Kira and Jaesa). Both have very similar personalities, but ultimately went different ways based on their relationship with Jedi. Kira had a mentor who was kind and supportive, and had seen the evil of the Sith. Jaesa had a master who was a hypocritical bully. As a result, Kira became a Jedi Knight while Jaesa (potentially) turned to the Dark Side and became a Sith Apprentice.
    • The Sith Inquisitor and Jedi Consular crank it up even more; their entire teams are inverses of one another. Their first companion is The Big Guy; Qyzen is a Trandoshan who prefers hunting dangerous, but nonsentient wildlife. Khem is a Dashade who prefers eating Force wielders. Talos is a naive Absent-Minded Professor who loves Sith history and mysticism, despite being unable to use the Force himself. Tharan Cedrax is a streetwise citizen of Nar Shadaa who loves anything but Force-based mysticism. Andronikos is a surly pirate that isn't loyal to much but credits, Felix is a cheerful and loyal Republic grunt. Nadia is a powerful, but untrained Force wielder who needs to learn how to control her powers and emotions. Ashara is equally talented, but has been trained as a Jedi all her life and her arc is in accepting her passions. Xalak and Zenith aren't quite as matched, but they're both the bloodthirsty type; Zenith approving of destroying Imperials and collaborators (and civilian casualties are no big deal) as a Cold Sniper and Xalek being a Proud Warrior Race Guy who sees the Sith as living gods.
    • Each class is also its own shadow archetype, since the player is free to choose Light or Dark Side actions at various points throughout the story. For instance, a Light Side Jedi Knight is a Humble Hero and The Cape, whereas a Dark Side Knight is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and He Who Fights Monsters; a Dark Side Bounty Hunter is a Psycho for Hire and usually Ax-Crazy, whereas a Light Side Hunter is a Consummate Professional and a Hitman with a Heart.
  • In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu and Fou Lu are the two split halves of one god; Fou Lu, an ancient Emperor, has grown tired of the mortals he once ruled, and decides to kill all of them, whereas Ryu, new to the world, wants to protect everyone, most prominently Nina. The two end up fusing together at the end of the game, but who ends up as the dominant personality depends on whether you agree with Fou-Lu's mindset or not.
  • Persona:
    • Characters meet their Shadows in both Persona 2 games. There is much misery to be had as their doppelgangers air out character flaws to all in earshot, daring them to prove they have learned from or grown past these issues. However these are all just avatars for the one single collective Shadow of all humanity. In Eternal Punishment, neither Kei/Nate Nanjo nor Eriko/Ellen Kirishima meet their 'evil twins' in this way, but find corrupted people who they share common traits with — Kandori Takahisa in Kei's case and Chizuru Ishigami in Eriko's. Eriko also gets chewed out by doppelgangers of her stalker and the Persona protagonist for being obsessed with tracking down the latter herself.
    • Aigis and Metis in Persona 3 FES. Aigis is more reserved and introspective, while Metis is more impulsive and extroverted. It turns out that Metis is, in fact, a product of the Abyss of Time, created when Aigis locked away her human side after the Main Character's death in the original storyline.
    • Persona 4:
      • All the main characters, except the Heroic Mime lead, encounter their inner Shadow Archetype at one point, which are even referred to as "Shadows". These Shadows follow the Jungian archetype and represent whatever the characters may have repressed. They will loudly exclaim these repressed feelings to the world, and do not take kindly to being denied. Accepting and embracing the flaws the shadow archetypes represent is how the party members obtain their persona, another call-out to Jung.
      • A more mundane example of the trope is the real killer, Tohru Adachi, who is a counterpart to both The Hero and Yosuke Hanamura. On the latter's end, they both suffer from Small Town Boredom, Yosuke merely repressing it until his Shadow spills the beans, while Adachi deals with the boredom by using murder for entertainment. With regards to you, both you and Adachi are both relatively recent arrivals who received their powers from the same goddess (Adachi's own persona is basically a palette swap of your starting persona), but only you use it for good. It's played up more in Golden, where your Social Link with him ("The Jester") is the reversed version of your own arcana ("The Fool"); you even both have a mutual fondness for magic tricks. But while you spend your time improving yourself and getting close to people, Adachi basically drifts through life and ignores opportunities which don't offer immediate gratification; basically, he's you if you didn't bother with the non-combat parts of the game.
    • Persona 5 plays with this. The main bosses are the Shadows of the various corrupt individuals you're trying to defeat, and represent the purest form of their distorted ways of thinking. The real people would almost certainly deny what their Shadows say about them, not out of any repression or guilt, but to protect themselves from the repercussions of their evil actions being discovered. And then there's the fourth target, whose Shadow stands as completely unique in this series: Shadow Futaba is a golden Shadow, meaning that she represents repressed positive traits and desires. In this case, the desire to live and be loved. Consequently, she's a very helpful Shadow who wants her real self to accept her so that she can recover from her mental illness.
  • In Catherine there is Shadow of Vincent, which represents all of Vincent's repressed fears of commitment to marriage and women in general. If this sounds overly similar to Persona, that's because both were created by Atlus.
  • BlazBlue's Jin Kisaragi has two shadows: Hakumen and Kagura Mutsuki. The former represents what Jin would be if not for the Yukianesa's influence (and vice versa), and the latter represents what Jin would be if he ever got over his deep-seated issues.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • If his name wasn't a dead enough giveaway, Shadow the Hedgehog represents this for the eponymous main character. Specifically, Shadow is what Sonic would be if he was willing to go through some extremes to get the job done.
      • Shadow himself got his own Shadow Archetype, Mephiles, who was created from his actual shadow (take a few seconds to process that). Both were created in human laboratories and have had horrible mistreatment from humans (G.U.N. trying to shutdown Project Shadow and killing Maria, while the Solarian scientists performed experiments to use Solaris for their own game). They also have large egos and manipulated others (Eggman and Silver) to get what they want. While Shadow decided to leave behind his desire for revenge on the human race, Mephiles embraces it with a touch of sadism and wants to destroy every living thing.
    • The Babylon Rogues are this to the main trio of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles.
      • Jet to Sonic. They both live a free life, but Jet is a self-absorbed, petty jerk, who only cares about winning and respects no one but himself.
      • Wave to Tails. They both tend to be the smart one of their group, but Wave completely lacks the humble attitude of Tails, and is very nasty and selfish.
      • Storm to Knuckles. They're both the strong ones of their group, are extremely loyal, somewhat hot-heads, and tend to be a bit shy around girls (which somewhat expose their tough image), but Storm is rather rude, insensitive, and obnoxious, and hangs with the wrong crowd.
  • Kingdom of Loathing
    • The player character is forced to fight a shadow version of themselves. The only way to damage it is with healing items.
    • Every character has a (class-based) Nemesis, who turns out to represent a corrupted version of that class. Seal Clubbers face a seal stronger and fiercer that any before. Turtle Tamers fight a former TT turned Poacher. Pastamancers, who control Pasta Spirits, fight a malevolent pasta spirit who no one can control with a god complex. Saucerors, who allow The Sauce to flow through them, fight a blob formed from the various bits and pieces rejected by the Sauce until it became sentient. Accordion Thieves fight an angry mariachi, and Disco Bandits fight the Spirit of New Wave, the genre which killed Disco. In mid-2009 brief encounters with the Nemesis became possible, and as of early 2010 it's possible to complete the full side-quest against the Nemesis, complete with a secret Island Base (with volcano!) and the Nemesis possessing a One-Winged Angel form.
  • Dante faced this a few times in Devil May Cry.
    • One of the late-game bosses of Devil May Cry 3 (the last faced before the Boss Rush) is a shadow version of Dante. When it first confronts him, Dante demonstrates an oddly adroit knowledge of literature and culture (pointing out that the Shadow typically represents aspects of themselves the hero must overcome) before defaulting to his typical persona.
    "I know why you're here. You want to ask me some questions. Well too bad! I've already answered them myself. I don't need you. Get lost, you poser."
    • Dante's more direct shadow is his Evil Twin Vergil. While they're both born from a human and a demon, Vergil is what Dante could become if he embraced his demon heritage instead of his humanity.
  • Word of God for NiGHTS into Dreams... is that NiGHTS is supposed to represent the Shadow Archetype. However, the character is an aversion of the "Always Negative in Fiction": NiGHTS, while somewhat mischievous, is definitely not evil... at least, not during the events of the game. It's said that NiGHTS was created by the Big Bad, Wizeman, as a helper. They instead embodies positive traits that are buried in the protagonists due to their problems—freedom, courage, self-confidence, etc. And NiGHTS has their own shadow archetype: Reala, a servant to Wizeman.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Mithos seems to fit this trope with Lloyd, both having much the same origins, but the latter not becoming the former by willing to accept one's own mistakes. More specifically, both of them are different flavors of Determinator; one of which is willing to back off to readjust their worldview and grow as a person, the other unyielding and unwilling to stop or reflect on their actions under any circumstances. Three guesses which one is the villain.
    Mithos: Farewell, my shadow, you who stand at the end of the path I chose not to follow.
  • Silent Hill: From the second game on, the hero and antagonist are more or less shadow archetypes of each other:
    • Silent Hill 2: James and Pyramid HeadSpoiler 
    • Silent Hill 3: Heather and Claudia (Heather and Alessa as well)Spoiler 
    • Silent Hill 4: Henry and WalterSpoiler 
    • Silent Hill: 0rigins: Travis and the ButcherSpoiler 
    • Silent Hill: Downpour: Murphy and The Boogeyman. The Boogeyman is the embodiment of the murderous revenge that Murphy took against Patrick Napier, the guy who raped and killed his son. The Boogeyman in essence embodies the dehumanization of objects of revenge. He's also a shadow for Anne in her quest to get revenge on Murphy.
  • Ryu's "evil" side (more like unrestrained) from Street Fighter, the result of Ryu letting go of his humanity to win at any cost. Akuma wants to permanently draw this out of him while Gouken (Ryu's master) teaches him that this is not the way of the warrior. In the actual canon of the story, this is more metaphorical than realized (Ryu never rampages around in his dark side, though he is always afraid it will get the better of him) but some games do allow the player to use this version of Ryu.
    • Street Fighter IV introduces Juri Han, who is this to Chun-Li. In addition to being Kick Chicks, both of them had fathers in law enforcement who were assassinated by Shadaloo. But while Chun-Li follows in her father's footsteps and fights for the sake of justice, Juri is selfish and completely absorbed by her love of violence. In Street Fighter V, Chun-Li's win quote against her even has her wondering how they ended up so different.
  • Commander Shepard racks up four of these throughout Mass Effect:
    • Saren Arterius, the main antagonist of the first game, is a Spectre much like Shepard, and showcases exactly what happens when a Spectre goes bad. Much like Shepard, Saren is an elite soldier who bands together an elite squad to deal with the Reapers. Saren chooses to side with the Reapers in hope of being spared while Shepard is out to defeat them.
    • Tela Vasir is an Asari Spectre who jumped off the slippery slope by allying herself with the Shadow Broker. If called out on her deeds, Vasir will throw back in Shepard's face how s/he's also willing to work for a morally questionable organization (Cerberus).
    • Javik, the first non-villainous version of this, is the Prothean version of Shepard who failed in his mission to stop the Reapers. During the last Cycle, he watched his homeworld burn, saw his team get indoctrinated and lost the War. As a result of both this and his people's cultural norms, he's taken a rather Social Darwinist philosophy.
    • The Mysterious Figure from the Citadel DLC for 3, who is later revealed to be a Cerberus-created Clone of Shepard. Part of their hatred towards the real Shepard stems from having been created solely for spare parts if they were badly injured, never even supposed to have been conscious at all. Their goal is to Kill and Replace the original Shepard, hacking information from multiple government databases to try and steal their identity. They're shown throughout to be a Bad Boss, a human-supremacist and extremely arrogant, simultaneously jealous and dismissive of the real Shepard's feats and accomplishments, as well as the loyalty they instill in their allies.
    • In Mass Effect 2, Mordin is a scientist who struggles with the guilt of unleashing a virus that reduced the fertility rate of a species, in order to save the galaxy from them. During his loyalty mission, you meet Maleon, another scientist who represents what Mordin would be if he let his guilt overtake him and jumped off the slippery slope.
  • Alex Mercer of [PROTOTYPE] has... Alex Mercer. Or rather, the real Alex Mercer and the Blacklight Virus as Alex Mercer. Both are ruthless, cruel in their methods, and quick to destroy those who get in their way or cross them... but while the real Alex Mercer truly was completely selfish and sociopathic — trying to take his deadly enhanced Blacklight virus as a bargaining chip to buy his safety from a purge of his company, then releasing it out of spite when that failed, despite his sister living in the citythe Blacklight Mercer actually has some capacity for compassion and kindness. He fights to protect Mercer's sister where the real Mercer was willing to let her die. His fight, although selfish initially, helps save Manhattan and improve things for the innocents caught in the crossfire between Blackwatch and the infection. And in the end, he risks his own life to save Manhattan from nuclear annihilation. Whereas the real Mercer sacrificed his conscience and morals out of self interest, an initial motivation of self interest causes the Blacklight Mercer to develop a conscience and morals.
  • In one way or another, Oersted of Live A Live manages to shadow almost every other protagonist in the game. (Pogo's desire for love saved him, while Oersted's desire for love damned him, Masaru strengthened his body and soul, while Oersted strengthened his body at the expense of his soul, and so on.) The only exception is the nameless martial arts master — Oersted instead shadows his students.
  • Dark Pit of Kid Icarus: Uprising is an example of this, actively defying the Evil Twin trope by manifesting some of Pit's positive repressed traits, such as the desire not to be a pawn of the gods (including the evil goddess who created him).
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Paarthurnax lampshades that just because the Dragonborn is mortal, doesn't mean they don't have the same innate urge to dominate and destroy that all Dragons have.
    • In fact, the Dragonborn DLC introduces another Dragonborn who gives in to these impulses.
  • In Bioshock Infinite Booker and Comstock are nearly perfect parallels and anti-parallels. A lone anti-hero revolutionary, a monstrous leader of a religious nation. Both at the brutal massacre of Wounded Knee, and other historical parallels. They're Alternate Self versions of one another. Booker is the man who rejected baptism as false redemption, Comstock is the man who accepted it... and ignored redemption.
  • In Touhou, there are a few examples:
    • Byakuren Hijiri is a devout Buddhist nun. Despite having quite the rap sheet of transgressions in her past, most notably using sorcery to make herself immortal in staunch defiance of Buddhist principles and willingly consorting — even empathizing — with youkai and demons, she strives to be one of the nicest people in the setting and one of the strongest proponents for peaceful coexistence. Contrasting her, Seiga Kaku is a heretical Taoist nun whose immortality is at least partly derived from the realization nature contains no moral guidelines, which she treats like a license to be an amoral necromancer. While there is little love lost between Byakuren and the Taoist faction, she responds particularly violently to Seiga.
    • The main character, Reimu, has a shadow archetype in Watatsuki no Yorihime. Both of them are naturally strong and can channel Gods, but Reimu is too carefree and blunt, even lazy, to actually train her own powers much. Yorihime on the other hand is very serious and trains a lot, which means in a fight, Reimu actually loses to Yorihime, despite the fact that Reimu can make herself invincible (for some time).
  • In Dragon Age II, Anders and Fenris. Both were essentially enslaved and have a deep, seething hatred of the group that enslaved them; the big difference is that Fenris is a warrior who was enslaved by mages, while Anders is a mage, and so a group of warriors — the Templars — is to him the symbol of subjugation. Both have abilities outside the norm for their class — Fenris has lyrium tattoos that grant him special powers, while Anders is possessed by a spirit of Vengeance that grants him special powers. They hate each other so passionately that there are times one will approve of something they would normally consider horribly unethical just because it pisses the other off.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud, a highly-experienced, sulky jerk, has repeated visions of a weak but kindly little boy that resembles himself. The boy is especially likely to appear when Sephiroth is performing Mind Rape on Cloud, and you can actually control him at some points (although he's limited to running around and cannot interfere with events). After Cloud's mental breakdown, the boy helps talk Tifa through sorting out Cloud's False Memories, eventually shown symbolically 'merging' with Cloud to restore him to his real self. Cloud later admits that he was ashamed of his real self and repressed it, making and embracing delusions in order to present a cooler exterior to the outside world.
      • Vincent also counts as a heroic version but nonetheless he fits. A brooding loner haunted by the loss of a woman he loved at the hands of his arch-enemy? Vincent is what Cloud might become if he doesn't learn to cope with his issues. Word of God shares this viewpoint.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has Lumina, who seems to be some sort of evil twin for Serah. In actuality, she's everything Claire Farron rejected as weakness as a child when she became "Lightning", now made flesh. Throughout the game, Lumina does some morally ambiguous things that ultimately end up working out for the best for Lightning's friends; some might say Lightning is doing the same by submitting to Bhunivelze's servitude. In their one-on-one talks, Lumina pokes and prods Lightning with facts that the savior herself denies or hides; that the "Serah" that appears to her is fake, that Hope in the Ark isn't quite genuine, and that Lightning needs to admit her own weakness and reach out to her friends for help. In the end, Lumina breaks down and cries at the prospect of being left alone in a dead world. When Lightning admits her weakness, she does the same.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series loves these, using all sorts throughout the games.
    • Ansem, Seeker of Darkness becomes one for Riku. After the first game, Ansem loves reminding Riku of his inner darkness, his Face–Heel Turn, and the fact that Riku betrayed his friends. Thus, he comes to represent Riku's self-loathing.
    • Riku also gets one of these in the form of the Riku Replica (or "Repliku," as a Fan Nickname), who acts like Riku if he'd fallen to darkness permanently. Riku hates being reminded of it.
  • The World Ends with You also have this with Neku Sakuraba. Picks up at least three throughout his time in the Reaper’s Game.
    • Joshua can be considered the logical extreme of Neku’s previous mindset, with both of them having trouble being able to understand others, only instead of showing outright disdain like Neku, he opts for a more smug, self-righteous temperament. However, unlike Joshua, who has made this mindset more or less his way of life, Neku finds himself caught between his old worldview and newfound beliefs throughout Week 2 and eventually develops a desire to actually understand people and not give up on them altogether, which comes as a genuine surprise to Joshua.
    • Kitaniji is essentially a look at what a grown up Neku would be like if he had never learned the lessons he did in the game, with both of them wearing headphones, having a passion for the arts, and having a mutual dislike of other people, seeing them as inherently flawed and worthless. However, whereas Neku learns to fully embrace Shibuya, faults and all, and appreciate other viewpoints and ideologies, Kitaniji flat out rejects them, instead trying to force his will on others in an attempt to achieve total conformity.
    • Sho Minamimoto is a very big one for Neku. Both are highly talented and motivated Broken Aces with huge amounts of Imagination (Neku is one of the most powerful Players in the game while Sho is regarded as a top-class Reaper with one of the highest erasure streaks in the history of the UG) that Hanekoma takes a personal interest in for their use when it comes to the Reaper’s Game. They both believe that no one can ever truly understand them and share a distaste for cooperation and other people in general, and are mostly in it for themselves. However, whereas Neku learns to let go of his self-centered mindset and to use his talents for the benefits of other people besides himself, Sho never chooses to reflect upon himself and stays a total asshole to the very end.
  • Asura and his mentor Augus in Asura's Wrath have a lot in common: two deities who love fighting to a somewhat unhealthy degree and rely mostly on their strength rather than their Mantra powers and are a force to be reckoned with among the Guardian Generals. Their purpose in life, however, sets them apart drastically: while Asura cares deeply about humanity and his family in particular, and despite appearances takes his duty seriously, Augus joined the Guardian Generals only to satisfy his lust for combat (and for other things such as pretty women for that matter) and seems totally consumed by it given that he rarely talks about anything else. Their final confrontation really highlights their differences.
  • The Last of Us has Joel and Marlene. Both are harden survivors living in a Post-Apocolyptic world, seen the atrocities humans are capable of committing, and come to view Ellie as a surrogate daughter.. However, Marlene, despite witnessing the worst in humanity still believes its still worth saving and will go to any lengths to ensure its survival even if it mean having to kill her surrogate daughter to extract the cure for humanity. Joel on the other hand greatly detest humanity because of how much he'd lost at their hands, and is willing to doom it, rather than loose his surrogate daughter. In short, Marlene is Joel if he chose to put humanity's survival above his own feelings and the well being of his loved ones and Joel is Marlene if she chose to put her feelings and self-interests above the greater good.
  • Copy X from the Mega Man Zero series is essentially X without his moral compass, honed by a century of ethics testing. Unlike the real X, Copy X takes a side in the conflict between humans and reploids, creating a utopia for humans by brutally oppressing reploids, instead of trying to bring about mutual peace. At the end of the first game, after Copy X's death, the real X admits that, after a century of non-stop fighting, he began to feel himself becoming more and more like his copy.
  • Regime Superman in Injustice: Gods Among Us represents what mainstream Superman can become if a tragic event caused him to snap, let his emotions consume him, and lose his moral compass for good. At the end, the main universe Superman even comments that if he were to experience similar conditions after understanding what drove his Regime counterpart to villainy, he would've done the same things.
    • He's also one to Supergirl in Injustice 2, as while he still hasn't recovered from the Despair Event Horizon, she wishes to actually give people hope (and make them trust the House of El again) and not be a Well-Intentioned Extremist dictator unlike her estranged cousin. Not that one could rightly call her a heel in the first place, but she ultimately turns against the Regime and joins up with Batman in the endgame. Even then, she feels she failed her cousin, who she was supposed to protect from people like the Joker, and her family by being unable to stop the House of El's reputation from being tarnished.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Noob Saibot is one to his younger brother Sub-Zero. While both are Lin Kuei assassins, Sub-Zero tries to actively redeem the Lin Kuei from its checkered history, but Noob embraces villainy after he Came Back Wrong as a wraith. This is driven home in Mortal Kombat 9, where even after being robotized, Sub-Zero notes that they are both corrupted versions of their former selves.
      • He's also one to Scorpion, as while bothare wraiths who were killed by his arch-nemesis and are resurrected in the Netherrealm thanks to Quan Chi and Shinnok's machinations, Scorpion tries at best to redeem himself and does so in Mortal Kombat X, and goes against Quan Chi when he finds out the necromancer was behind the tragedies he suffered, Noob decides to fully embrace his corruption.
    • Revenant Sub-Zero is a dark mirror of Kuai Liang. Though he was an effective assassin of the Lin Kuei, his compassion and assertiveness prevented him from becoming a fully unfeeling and ruthless assassin. His assertiveness was even enough to make him be a good leader to the Lin Kuei. However, as a Revenant, Sub-Zero is none of those. He's completely subservient to Shinnok and Quan Chi, and he follows every order they give and kills their enemies with no remorse whatsoever. In other words, Kuai Liang's Revenant is what he would be if he were truly cold-blooded.
    • Mortal Kombat 11: The revenant versions of Nightwolf, Kabal, Sindel, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kitana and Jade are dark reflections of their past selves, representing what could happen if they fully embraced the Netherrealm's taint to the point it corrupted their minds.
      • Liu Kang may be the Chosen One and the champion of two Mortal Kombat tournaments, but Revenant Liu Kang is what would happen if he lets the glory get to his head and lets it rule his decision-making. His entire hate for Raiden and desire for Kronika to rewind time is because he feels that Raiden "stole his glory" by stopping Shao Kahn and killing him accidentally, unaware of the bigger picture.
      • Revenant Kitana is what would happen if Kitana became the perfect daughter Shao Kahn wanted her to be. In other words, if Kitana acted like Mileena. Arrogant, uncompromising, and indifferent to the suffering of her people, Revenant Kitana cares only about using her status to take what she desires and make those she feels has wronged her suffer under her rule, upholding her adoptive father's desire for Outworld "being the conqueror and never the conquered."
      • Much like how Revenant Kitana is Shao Kahn's perfect daughter, Revenant Jade is his perfect assassin. Unlike the living Jade, who remains loyal to Kitana that is still willing to stand up to both her and Kotal when she feels they're acting out of line, Revenant Jade is a cold-hearted killer that obeys whoever she currently serves without question, taking pride in the fact that she has ditched her morals in favor of killing whoever she's ordered to. She even tells her past self that sticking to Kitana would lead to her death, an idea her past self is appalled by.
      • Revenant Kung Lao is what would happen if Kung Lao was purely Driven by Envy towards his friend and rival Liu Kang, and only cared about avenging the death of his ancestor instead of fighting for a greater good just as his ancestor did. His entire reason for joining Kronika is so he can have a do-over and defeat Shao Kahn in the tournament to one-up Liu Kang.
      • In 11, Sindel is depicted as a queen whose primary belief is that Edenia should embrace its divine heritage and use it to assert power and superiority over other realms. It is because of this belief that she is so compatible with Shao Kahn, as they both desire conquest and an eternal empire to rule over through superior might. Thoguh while she may be evil, Sindel does have her own standards and pride which she upholds to the letter. Her revenant has none of those qualities, meaning she is what would happen if Sindel fought solely For the Evulz. Not for her own enjoyment or for what she perceives to be good for her people, but for the sake of a higher power controlling her, thus becoming no different than one of the lowly commoners her living self takes so much pleasure in lording over.
      • Revenant Kabal is this to his past self in 11. It's revealed that in the past, while Kabal was a former member of the Black Dragon, he only joined as a sort of "get-rich-quick" plan, forgoing becoming a police officer under the impression that it "wouldn't pay the bills". Eventually, his better conscience would catch up to him, and he would abandon the Black Dragon to repent for his crimes, before being unceremoniously killed in the line of duty, resurrected, and then killed again. While a Black Dragon member, Kabal was very prideful and kowtowed to no one, not even Kano, as it's shown that Kano had to trick Past Kabal in order to get him to fight Sonya. Revenant Kabal, by contrast, is fully subservient to those who command him and, whether he realizes or not, more in line with how Kano viewed him.
      • As with the others resurrected to serve Shinnok, Revenant Nightwolf is this to his past self. Years ago, Nightwolf had fallen from the righteous path and had been at odds with the faith of his people. Revenant Nightwolf is what would happen if he had remained a criminal and given in to evil. He has completely renounced his faith in the Great Spirit and is now purely devoted to Shinnok.
    • Raiden has several Shadow Archetypes:
      • Shao Kahn, as an Evil Overlord who ill-treats his minions and subjects just for the sake of it. By Mortal Kombat 11, everyone in Outworld is sick of his tyrannical reign, and this is frequently lampshaded in arcade endings and character interactions.
      • Kronika, a power-hungry Mad God who represents what Raiden could become if he started micromanaging mortals instead of guiding and respecting their free will, corrupting his mind over time. Also, when it comes to gathering followers, Kronika favors manipulation and lying, and discarding her minions when they're of no use. In his MK11 arcade ending, her minion Geras comments how her repeated attempts to create the ideal timeline have whittled away her sanity.
      • Shinnok, a rogue Elder God and the son of Kronika. He easily serves to remind Raiden what he can become if his mind became corrupted with a raw lust for power over the realms. In the past, Shinnok was one of the Elder Gods who sealed away the One Being, but his desire to lord over the realms caused his peers to banish him to the Netherrealm, where he became its overlord after usurping the position from Lucifer.
      • Dark Raiden serves as this to his original self in 11, as he is what happens when Raiden takes his status as Protector of Earthrealm to the worst possible extreme. Devoid of mercy and compassion, Dark Raiden will completely destroy any threat to Earthrealm without exception. He'll even go so far as to obliterate entire realms.
    • Shao Kahn is also the dark antithesis to Kotal Kahn as well, as while Kotal cares deeply for his people and understands when sacrifices and hard choices are needed in order to ensure his subjects' survival, Shao Kahn is an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight who rules as a tyrant and would kill anyone on a whim. In addition to this, Kotal had achieved and attained leadership without murdering his predecessor, while Shao Kahn overthrew his predecessor Onaga and took over at first opportunity.
    • As with her revenant version, Mileena is another example of what would happen if Kitana became Shao Kahn's ideal daughter. Ax-Crazy and indifferent to the suffering of her people, Mileena flaunts her status to take what she desires. Also, while both Kitana and Mileena do become the rulers of Outworld, Mileena leads it with complete incompetence and was widely despised for her abysmal rule. Mileena is also an Evil Knockoff of Kitana, having been created from Kitana's essence but also mixed with some Tarkatan genes. The end result is a monster with a child's mind.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: In many ways, the Skinner Brothers (a gang of brutal killers) mirror Dutch's modus operandi and philosophy before his descent into madness. With all the savagery, chaos, and misanthropy that they embody and none of the Van der Lindes' standards and anti-heroism, the Skinners are living proof of how incredibly frightening a big organization of killers would be if they took Dutch's philosophy Up to Eleven.
  • Metroid: Both Dark Samus and the SA-X are doppelgangers of Samus Aran created from a remnant of her own likeness (Phazon Suit for the former, and the Varia Suit infested by an X Parasite). Both represent of what Samus would be like at her worst, that is becoming the most unstoppable and dangerous threat to the galaxy.
    • The SA-X's presence in Fusion while Samus escapes her makes a lot of sense. In the second game, all Metroids were exterminated by Samus herself, except for one, the Metroid hatchling. Simply put, the SA-X is basically what if Samus jumped off the slippery slope by killing the baby Metroid rather than sparing it, in the process ensuring the extinction of all Metroids, and allowing the X Parasites cultivate even further.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night
    • Shirou has two main examples. Firstly, there is Kotomine, a man whose sense of self is just as underdeveloped as Shirou's, but who can only find meaning in hurting others where Shirou can only find meaning in helping them. Secondly, there is Archer, the embodiment of Shirou's Wide-Eyed Idealist ideals of becoming an 'ally of justice' who'll always try to save everyone; said person hates what he's become and wants to kill Shirou to wipe himself from existence or, at the very least, save Shirou from destroying himself.
    • The "Alter' Servant category as a whole perfectly encompasses this, going all the way back to the very first one in Saber Alter. Alter Servants as a concept involve said Servants becoming darker versions of their original characters, embodying what they could've been like without their personal scruples and standards, whether it's from being corrupted into it or being an Alternate Self that walked a different path. A large number of them end up being Evil Counterparts, since a Heroic Spirit becoming evil is a common way of becoming a darker version of themself, but turning into an Evil Counterpart is not fully necessary, just that they change into something their original self might feel embarrassed to acknowledge as what they could potentially become.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY Volume 5 does this with Adam Taurus and Ilia Amitola, members of the White Fang. Both were friends of Blake prior to her defection from the White Fang, and both have suffered at the hands of humanity and desire revenge, but their desire for vengeance has very different impacts on their personalities. Ilia is a legitimately good person who loses her way and makes all the wrong decisions while Adam is a spiteful prick, consumed by hatred and rage into lashing out at the world that hurt him. While Ilia second-guesses her actions, Adam is convinced of his superiority and determined to achieve his goals no matter what the cost. Blake confides in Sun that she has to save Ilia from herself before Ilia becomes just like Adam.

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, when Ellen first appeared — inadvertently conjured into existence when Elliot used the Dewitchery Diamond to cure himself of a Magitek Gender Bender — she came down with a bad case of Cloning Blues and decided that she was going to be Elliot's Evil Twin. Even after she realized she was completely unsuited to be a villain and pulled a Heel–Face Turn, she deliberately rejected many facets of Elliot's personality, such as his shyness around strangers and his self-conscious attitude about sex. This puts her in a unique position to become a particularly effective Annoying Younger Sibling when she feels like it, dealing out good-natured teasing with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Homestuck
    • Probably Jadesprite to Jade, seeing as Jade is optimistic despite the future not looking too good while Jadesprite believes everything is doomed and won't even listen to a "the future's worth fighting for" speech. Jadesprite's hysterics drive Jade from a get-ahold-of-yourself-man-slap to assault. This is eventually lampshaded by acting-psychiatrist Karkat.
    • A Dark Is Not Evil example is Karkat to John. Both have similar rooms, fulfil similar roles in the plot, and use weapons with a symbolic similarity (John uses a hammer, Karkat uses a sickle). However, their personalities are quite different — John is sweet, mischievous and innocent, and Karkat is bitter, angry, but rather wise. John types in all lower-case, but Karkat types in ALL CAPS. And while both of them love terrible movies, John just has really bad taste and defends the quality of the films he loves — Karkat is aware his favourite romcoms are terrible, but loves them passionately anyway. This is one of the reasons why Karkat, at one point, falls in hate with John (and also one of the reasons why John doesn't reciprocate).
  • One Piece: Grand Line 3.5
    • During the Syrup Village Arc, a parallel is created between Natalie and DM, who respectively play Nami and Kurahadol. Natalie lives by the Rule of Drama, and created Nami with a complex Backstory that makes her hate pirates. However, she's still fully capable of working together with the group while keeping Nami in-character. DM, on the other hand, makes absolutely no effort to intergrate with the others, having Kurahadol blantantly bait and insult them, then refusing to apologise in or out of character. (Unless you count her stating "That's just how he is," acting like it's the others fault for not being able to put up with him.)
    • Later in the same arc, another parallel with Luffy's player Luke is revealed: both are all about having fun. However, while Luke enjoys playing with his friends and doesn't care whether they 'win' or 'lose', DM only cares about her personal enjoyment. It simply doesn't matter that her preferred gaming style constantly screws over everyone else, so long as SHE's having fun.
  • Lackadaisy:
    • Freckle and Mordecai are an interesting case as this trope works both ways: both smart kids who join a criminal gang in their late teens when they have nowhere to go and become triggermen in their respective gangs, and both happen to have significant trouble handling social situations. While Freckle is painfully shy, nice to anyone remotely nice to him and struggles to remain a good person in spite of his sudden outursts of rage he can barely control when he has to use a gun, Mordecai is cold, calculating, heartless, has no sense of loyalty, only following his own interests and keeps himself in check thanks to his obsession with order. Mordecai is what Freckle would become if he stopped caring about his friends, and Freckle is what Mordecai would become if he didn't control his impulses.
    • Mordecai and Rocky eventually become this as well. Both are intelligent men who, like the above example, are socially awkward and who work in organized crime (and used to be coworkers), and both men are clearly willing to get violent in order to achieve their goals. However, Rocky's intelligence is creative while Mordecai's is strictly logical. Rocky clearly craves affection and validation which fuels most of his impulsive, eccentric and erratic behavior, while Mordecai largely rejects interpersonal relationships and is a remorseless Sociopath, albeit an extremely ordered and serious one. Rocky's need for affection also fuels his all-consuming loyalty to anyone willing to give him the time of day, while Mordecai has no loyalties beyond himself. Both men also sustained brain damage which has drastically altered their personalities. A stray bullet to the brain turned the nerdy, anti-social, but basically decent Mordecai into a heartless murderer. While Rocky was always erratic and kind of flaky-in-a-charming-way, his general demeanor has become more...disturbing after he got hit in the head by a hearse. Notably, it isn't clear that Mordecai has sustained such an injury, but Rocky has a large, ugly gash in the middle of his forehead. Rocky is effectively what Mordecai would be if he had empathy but no impulse control, and Mordecai is what Rocky is in danger of becoming if he gives up on trying to gain the approval of others.
  • In How to be a Werewolf it is rapidly made clear that Malaya Dysangco Walters and Aubrey Greensmith are frighteningly similar. Both are werewolves raised by non-werewolves, entirely isolated from any sort of contact with other werewolf packs, largely cut off from human interaction/society as well, greatly ignorant of their capabilities, and perhaps slightly emotionally stunted for being in their mid-twenties. The key difference is that Malaya's parents had no clue whatsoever what was going on when their five year old was infected with lycanthropy but did impressively well for going in blind; while Aubrey's mom got intentionally knocked up by her werewolf lover, consciously kept her in the dark from day one, and alternates between screwing with her kid's head and draining her inherent magic for her own use.

    Web Original 
  • Metamor CityMaking the Cut:
    • Female alter-ego Danni brings out aspects of Daniel's personality that Daniel might not otherwise acknowledge. In particular, her rant at Rebecca for betraying their relationship is something Daniel never would have said, though he had doubtless been carrying those feelings around for years.
    • Subverted by Evan and Eva, who actively embrace their personality split; the alter egos will trade off situations between them, depending on which one is better suited to handle the task at hand.
    • Played straight with Victor, who has pushed all of the aspects of his personality that troubled him into his "Dark Place" — inadvertently creating a rage-fueled monster that he is no longer able to control.
  • In Suburban Knights, The Nostalgia Critic and Jaffers. They're both pathetic and played by brothers, but whereas the Critic proves his loyalty to his friends by stepping up and becoming a leader, Jaffers is a cowardly weasel who acts more like a He Who Fights Monsters Well-Intentioned Extremist.

    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack:
    • Aku used a spell to create a dark copy of Samurai Jack, theorizing that Jack could not defeat himself in combat, which proved to be true. Jack prevailed by becoming peaceful and calm, proved his mastery over his own anger and drew the physical manifestation of his anger back into himself.
      • This happens again in the final season, as Jack is faced with his own insanity, a walking image of himself that tries to get Jack to kill himself and calls out all the things people should be doing for Jack. Ultimately Jack has to stand up to him and remove his anger to destroy it.
    • The Cult of Aku's high priestess is a shadow of both the Scotsman and Jack's father, representing what both could have been if they took a parenting route that transformed them into mentally unstable adults. The High Priestess trained her daughters to become the best warriors in their class, but she saw her children as tools for her master, and even tried to kill her only surviving daughter when called out on her abuse. In short, she represents what a parent should not be towards their offspring.
    • Like the Scotsman's daughters, the Daughters of Aku are a large group of many female siblings who were trained by their parents as combatants in Aku's perpetual conflict on Earth. Though of course, they're on opposite sides of the war. Also, their mother abused and deprived them of the care they desperately needed to the point they become mentally unstable killing machines. Ashi realizes just how horrible her mother was after spending time with Jack. In essence, they show how the Scotsman's daughters could have become if their parents never loved them.
  • Shego is Kim Possible if she got bored of being good. She's also a shadow of her brother Hego, who is a superhero.
    • Bonnie Rockwaller, Kim's rival in high school, is basically Kim's worst traits (pride, arrogance, vanity, self-centeredness, shallowness) minus her positive qualities (selflessness, heroism, kindness, compassion).
  • Teen Titans
    • Red X and Slade are both Robin's shadows—X represents what Robin could become if he decided looking out for himself was more important than helping people, while Slade represents what could happen if Robin gave in to evil completely (as Slade is an Evil Mentor, he's also a shadow of Robin's actual mentor, Batman).
    • Though it isn't really played up, Terra can be seen as Raven's shadow. Both are Dark Magical Girls with powers tied to emotions, but Raven practices intense self-discipline to keep herself on the good guys' side, while Terra is an emotional wreck who doesn't really mean evil, but turns out to be very susceptible to serious temptation the first time it comes down the pipe. Raven calls Terra out on how much she has to work to control her powers while Terra won't take that responsibility.
    • To a lesser extent, Raven and Jinx. Raven tries to be a hero in spite of being the daughter of an Eldritch Abomination (and being one herself when she gets angry enough), while Jinx became a villain solely because she figured her 'bad luck' powers couldn't be used for good.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Antoine is basically what Sonic would be if he lacked his cool and cocky attitude and was more of a bigger idiot than he already is (at times).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Princess Azula and Prince Zuko both lived under the same abusive father and the same expectations, and Zuko spends a lot of time trying to be Azula, but never comes close to her levels of cunning and cruelty and (eventually) turns to the side of good.
    • Firelord Ozai is a dark reflection of Zuko's worst traits. Both were hot-tempered and impatient in their youth, and both resented being The Un Favourite next to their sibling. The difference is that Ozai allowed his envy to consume him while Zuko managed to rise above his flaws during his journey. According to Iroh in Legacy of the Fire Nation, there were many times he saw Ozai inside Zuko yet also many times where he saw Zuko becoming what Ozai should have been.
    • Hama is a fellow Waterbender who develops a deadly Waterbending technique in order to escape from a Fire Nation prison. However, her Irrational Hatred of the entirety of the Fire Nation led her to utilize the aforementioned technique to terrorize and harm innocent Fire Nation citizens. She also ends up teaching Katara the same technique. Katara very nearly became consumed with the same vengeance when faced with her mother's killer but decides it wasn't worth it after a little help from Zuko.
  • The Legend of Korra: Korra was deliberately designed as a Shadow Archetype of Aang from the parent series.
    • It goes beyond their personalities. Korra excelled at the physical side of bending, displaying talents with earth, fire, and water at age four, but had trouble with the spiritual side, especially airbending, while Aang excelled at the spiritual side of bending, being a master Airbender and all, but had trouble with earthbending. Aang tended to default to airbending, his native element, Korra doesn't carry any water with her and tends to use other types of bending more. Korra accepted her identity as the Avatar at such a young age she had trouble finding self-worth outside of it, while Aang didn't want to be the Avatar at first. Korra's journey is that of The Chosen One learning to live a more normal life, while Aang had to learn how to go from just another kid to being the Avatar.
    • In Book Four, main antagonist Kuvira was designed to be Korra's Shadow Archetype. The two are very similar in physical build, are both phenomenal benders, have both been tasked with restoring order/balance to the world, and are unafraid to get their hands dirty to accomplish that. It's even lampshaded a few times in-universe that they're Not So Different.
  • ThunderCats (2011)
    • In the episode "Ramlak Rising", the Anti-Hero Captain Tunar to protagonist Lion-O. Like Lion-O, he too lost his home to a horrible monster, one that he wishes to destroy at all costs. Seeing where that mindset eventually leads convinces Lion-O to move past it.
    • Rataro, a leader who treats his own people with cruelty, as opposed to how Lion-O is trying to save his people from slavery in the same episodes as well as treating one of Rataro's minions with mercy. As Lion-O put it, Rataro's people are slaves on the other side of the whip.
    • In that same vein, Mumm-Ra also fits; he leads the lizards against the cats by exploiting the generations of racial tensions and hatred building for so long. Lion-O, on the other hand, gets people to fight on his side by showing them kindness.
    • Finally, we have Vultaire, who believed that the birds of Avista would be perfectly safe by staying out of the war below, when Lion-O knows the only way to win the war is to unite. Although Vultaire does learn to unite...when he joins Mumm-Ra.
  • American Dad! parodies this trope with The Antichrist who intentionally strives to take aspects of Jesus and the Bible and turn them inside out. For instance, he manages to trap Stan, Jesus, and Francine in a Death Trap that fills with sand... which breaks after two seconds. He gives an Evil Laugh and declares that since Jesus is a carpenter, he can't build to save his life.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Huntsgirl and Jake are both forced by their roles to be enemies. Jake being the protector of magical creatures, against Huntsgirl who has to hunt them. Jake has to deal with accepting responsibilities while Huntsgirl has to fight her fate.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Nightmare Moon began as just Princess Luna's Superpowered Evil Side, but the latter's A Day in the Limelight episode shows her to be this trope instead, complete with the same theatricality and passion for the creepy. However, while they both desire friends, Nightmare Moon tries to force the ponies to love her.
    • Twilight Sparkle has had several over the course of the show. Just like her, they're all unicorns with prodigious magic skills, but all contrast with Twilight in different ways: Trixie is a boastful unicorn who loves showing off her magic, which is contrast to Twilight's modesty. Sunset Shimmer was once a student of Princess Celestia, but wanted to be a princess and craved power, unlike Twilight. Starlight Glimmer is a unicorn who can remove cutie marks on a whim and did so to bring about her own twisted version of harmony so she's the only one who was "special". Then we have Moondancer, a childhood friend who is basically Twilight if she rejected the idea of friendship entirely and continued focusing only on her studies.
      • After her Heel–Face Turn, Sunset Shimmer gets her own in the form of Adagio Dazzle. Cruel, manipulative, and power-hungry, Adagio embodies what Sunset once was and is now struggling to move past.
    • Rainbow Dash also gets one in the form of Lightning Dust. Both of them are excellent flyers, are very boastful about their abilities, and dream of joining the Wonderbolts. However, while Rainbow Dash is very loyal to her friends and teammates, to the point she embodies the Element of Loyalty, Lightning Dust is only loyal to herself. Lightning has no problem hurting others to get her way, whether by accident or intentional, and refuses to take responsibility when called out on this attitude. She actually is very similar to how Rainbow Dash was before her Character Development, but without any of the positive qualities she started with.
  • Regular Show has Mordecai and Benson. While Moredecai is easy going and tends to slack off as much as Rigby, he does try to follow the rules, and is diligent enough to finish his work, and Rigby points out he sometimes acts like Benson. While Benson is hard working with a real short temper, he doesn't seem to have any friends outside the park and tends to be alone most of the time.
  • Daria has the title character and Jodie Landon. They're both quite intelligent, and similarly cynical about their surroundings and peers. However, Jodie is much more active, and still wants to change things even if it costs her values while Daria is mostly content to observe and snark. It is implied that as a Token Minority Jodie cannot afford to be as apathetic as Daria, because everyone (including herself) expects her to represent the black community in a positive light. Also, parental pressure, something Daria is better at dealing with.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • This version of the Clock King, Temple Fugate, shadows Batman's Crazy-Prepared tendencies.
    • The rare heroic version in Harvey Bullock. He very much does what Batman does as he bends (read: breaks) the law quite regularly to get results. Also, much like Batman and his seemingly harmless alter-ego Bruce Wayne, Bullock seems inept as all hell but is as capable of a fighter as Batman when surrounded by bad guys or Mooks. He also has that "one rule" he'll never, ever, EVER break, for all his flaws, Bullock is one of the few regular Joes in Gotham that will never take a bribe.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine: Spencer is this to the other pompous tender engines, particularly Gordon. He's just as prideful and arrogant, but while the others have gained experience and made friends on Sodor, Spencer is an unpopular fool that looks his nose down on the others. Downplayed as his character softened slightly in later episodes.
  • Rick and Morty has one of the most literal examples of this trope in the episode "Rest and Ricklaxation". After going to an alien spa to get the toxic parts of their personalities removed, a version of the titular characters called Toxic Rick and Toxic Morty are created. They don't just contain Rick and Morty's negative traits, but also traits they feel are negative, even things most people would consider good (in Rick's case his compassion for Morty).
  • Sarah Lynn from BoJack Horseman proves to be one to her cast-mates, including BoJack, showing that, for as messed up as they may be (save for Bradley), they could have it much worse.
  • South Park:
    • Heidi Turner is one for Wendy Testaburger. Both are the only known girls to wear hats, are very intelligent, and harbored romantic feelings for Eric Cartman. However Wendy does to recognize how having feelings for a person like Cartman could have a negative impact on her life, while Heidi is refuses acknowledge this fact and continued to be Cartman's girlfriend, letting his influence change her. As a result, Wendy was able to resolve and lose all her feelings for Cartman on her own and keep her self-worth and identity, while Heidi became a female version of Cartman until an Armor-Piercing Response from Kyle makes her realize the follies of her feelings.
    • Heidi herself would receive one of her own in Mr. Hankey. Both were once heroic characters whose bad choices has caused them to be shunned by society, with only Kyle trying to help them, only for them to take a level in jerkass and mistreat Kyle resulting in him giving up on them. However, Heidi would eventually learn to take responsibility for her own actions, while Mr. Hankey would constantly refuse to do so continuing to blame his behavior on Ambien(R). As a result Heidi was able to find redemption, improve her life, and was accepted back by her friends, while Mr. Hankey would only worsen his predicament to the point that was forced to leave town before he had a chance to atone for his behavior.
  • The Lion Guard: Just as Scar was one for Simba in The Lion King (1994), he's also one to Kion, showing what Kion could have been had he sought more power at the cost of forsaking familial relationships and letting his bestowed powers corrupt his mind. Like Kion, Scar once had the Roar of the Elders and led his own Lion Guard during Mufasa's reign, but lost the Roar permanently when he used it to kill his own Lion Guard for refusing to back him in his plot to overthrow Mufasa. For this reason, Kion actively strives to not become another Scar. Some scenes in season 3 even depict Scar actively attempting to corrupt Kion.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Catra parallels multiple people. She mirrors Adora (raised in the same toxic environment, but Adora left and began to recover while Catra stayed and ended up stewing in the venom), Glimmer (both intent on earning the love and respect of a parental figure, but Glimmer's is a decent person who happens to have faults while Catra's is an abusive, self-serving monster), and even Shadow Weaver (Catra is, in many ways, a continuation of the cycle of abuse begun by Shadow Weaver...but Shadow Weaver's cruelty is driven by her arrogant and self-serving nature, while Catra's, founded as it is in her past as The Un-Favourite, is more self-destructive, with her envy driving her to continually hurt the people around her and make her own life worse).
    • Entrapta is, in many ways, Bow without the moral compass. They're both smart, compassionate, technically savvy, care about their friends and like learning new things...but Bow is also committed to the side of the Rebellion because he knows why the Horde is a problem (what with all the warmongering and burning down villages), while Entrapta has trouble seeing anything outside her immediate circle of friends and her research.
    • In many ways, Hordak is a dark mirror image of Adora. Like Adora, he was intended to be an obedient tool in his predecessor's war machine. Neither he nor Adora were supposed to bond with others, as this would distract them from their intended purpose (Light Hope frowns upon Adora's friendships, and Horde Prime is angered by Hordak's love for Entrapta). Both he and Adora have acted on free will and developed strong personalities in spite of their predecessors' intentions. However, Hordak uses his autonomy to conquer Etheria in a futile attempt to win Horde Prime's respect, while Adora uses her autonomy to stop the Etherian superweapon and reclaim her own destiny. Hordak is intentionally or unintentionally mimicking Horde Prime in his tyranny, while Adora is transcending the evil ways of the First Ones.
  • An episode of Rugrats had Tommy and Chuckie have a falling out because Chuckie was tired of Tommy being adventurous and Tommy was frustrated over how scared Chuckie was over things. They end up finding other kids who were exaggerated versions of themselves, Tommy hanging with a girl covered in bandages from getting banged up all the time, Chuckie finding a kid who was crippled by all their phobias. They both recognized the value of their friendship after spending an episode dealing with these kids.
  • Obake from Big Hero 6: The Series is what Hiro would be if he never set limits for himself and was unable to recognize that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. This is best exemplified by how they interpret the story of Icarus.
    Obake: Do you know why Icarus fell, Hiro?
    Hiro: Because he flew too close to the Sun.
    Obake: No. Because he didn't build better wings.
  • Fangbone!:
    • "The Keeper of Toe" has Wargrunt, a barbarian who was a former Drool-Keeper like Fangbone, with her protecting Drool's left elbow while suffering from the stress and pressures of the job. Unlike Fangbone, who had Bill to help him ease his burdens and protect the Toe, Wargrunt was left to protect the elbow by herself and eventually started using its power for herself, becoming Drunk with Power until her clan confiscated it from her and exiled her.
    • "The Defeat of Glory" has Hammerscab, a young barbarian warrior like Fangbone who's just as much of a Blood Knight as he is if not moreso. However, while Fangbone has the sense to not let his love for fighting consume his life and skew his priorities, Hammerscab's insatiable battle lust ended up alienating her from everyone, including her own clan.
    • "The Burg of Lar" has Kael, a young but skilled Shadowstepper like Cid. Unlike Cid, Kael has a good relationship with One-eye, but is completely obnoxious and lacks the redeeming traits she has. He's pretty much what Cid would have been like had she not gone through the Character Development that she did up until that point.

    Real Life 
  • The appropriately named "shadow types" in Myers–Briggs/Kiersley/etc. personality theory, which is based on Jung's original work. They can be messy, and there's a book on them called "Was That Really Me?"


Video Example(s):


Kion Consults Mufasa

After witnessing the destructive power of the Roar of the Elders, Kion worries about becoming very much like Scar and consults with his grandfather Mufasa on his fears, but Mufasa reassures Kion that he'll never be like Scar. Like Kion, Scar once had the Roar, but selfishly abused its power and lost it permanently.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShadowArchetype

Media sources:

Main / ShadowArchetype