Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Shadow Man

Go To

The comic

The game

  • Adaptation Displacement: Like it says above, few people are aware that the games were originally based on a comic book. As far as the adaptations themselves go, the first game is often mistaken for an N64 exclusive. Even at that, the games seem to be a separate continuity from the comics they're based upon and are likely separate from the rest of the Valiant/Acclaim universe. The first game was adapted for the comics but condensed to one issue and the second game released after the comic division was shut down.
  • Advertisement:
  • Anticlimax Boss: Although the PC version jacked up the difficulty quite a bit, Dr. Batrachian is still this in all versions for deciding to take on an immortal voodoo warrior with naught but a PR-24 baton.
  • Awesome Music: The musical scores for both games are fantastic. The first is more memorable for being extremely frightening at times, but the sequel has several hauntingly beautiful tracks, particularly the themes for the French Quarter and Moytura Abbey stages.
  • Breather Boss: Avery Marx is, despite his long and creepy build up, perhaps the easiest of all of The Five to defeat. He does little damage, makes no effort to dodge even a full frontal attack, and has a pretty low damage threshold.
  • Complete Monster: Legion is an ancient entity who rules the Deadside with an iron fist. Originally banished from the Deadside by superior forces, Legion poses as voodoo gods and makes up a false prophecy surrounding the end of the world, so he could manipulate those in the Liveside. Wanting to spread his influence to the other side of the veil, Legion assumes the form of an elegant middle-aged man, and visits Jack the Ripper, recruiting him and four other serial killers, giving them a chance to keep committing murders if they help him invade the Liveside. In the Deadside, Legion builds a vast "Cathedral of Pain", where he experiments on the already-suffering Deadsiders, mutilating them to create a massive army of grotesque monsters. Legion toys with Michael Le Roi by taking the form of his deceased little brother, Luke, and reveals himself by telling a joke about murder, mocking him for not letting his brother rest in peace. A sadistic demon hiding behind a façade of aristocracy, Legion proved to be one of the Shadow Man's most personal enemies.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jaunty, the wisecracking skeletal Irish serpent... Thing.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Sisters in the fire temples, due to the fact that they can fly and routinely do this over areas that will kill you until you get to the end of the level. This is especially bad with the red versions, who never come to ground level, move around constantly, and have the strongest attack.
    • The piglike bondage freaks that show up everywhere in the Asylum. The rifle-toting versions aren't too bad, but the ones carrying meathooks and chainsaws will mess you up quick if you aren't careful, and the chainsaw wielder also carries a bloody human torso as a shield, which you have to destroy before you can damage him.
  • Game-Breaker: The SMGs make bosses a cakewalk, thanks to the high rate of fire putting them in hitstun indefinitely. It only sees use against the Five, but it still takes a lot of the challenge out of it. One of them can be obtained without even killing any of the Five, while the second requires beating one of them.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • The Wailers and Shiverers attack Shadowman by draining his life force from a distance. The good news it that destroying them with the Shadowgun gives back whatever they stole. Duppies and Deadwings are also a huge pain in the ass for their ability to spit giant loogies from a distance and -for Duppies- rapidly shred you to pieces up close.
    • And in the sequel, we have small flying demons that will either zip around in the distance shooting energy beams or fly in circles around Shadow Man and claw at him. "Pain in the ass" is too kind a phrase for these hateful little shitstains.
    • Asylum Butchers in Deadside, wild dogs in Liveside.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the quests in the game is to collect three parts to an ancient voodoo blade to bring nightfall to the world of the living, so Shadow Man can stop the Five. The game starts early in the morning can only takes a few hours to beat, meaning everything likely happens in real time and the change to night is actually necessary to beat Legion before he can carry out his plans.
  • Narm:
    • The voice acting. The sequel manages to make this even more ridiculous. It's not so much that it's bad, but Shadowman is a pretty ridiculous Large Ham and all of The Five except Jack the Ripper are really narmy.
    • One standout moment in part 2 is when Deacon pronounces Papa Morté's name as "Pappa Morty".
    • In Avery's tenement several rooms contain Avery's victims and clips are shown of them holding cassette players with recordings of themselves being forced to repeat Mark 5:9 while pleading for mercy. That isn't this trope. Some console adaptions missed out on this content, but didn't bother to remove the clips which are now just 10-15 seconds of staring at an empty chair. Real scary.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Marco Cruz. His disco slang laden Trash Talk and his delightful Ear Worm theme, which is quite a bit of Soundtrack Dissonance compared to the rest of the game, really makes him stand out.
    • Jack the Ripper. During his boss fight, he prances and jumps around like a weird cross between Mick Jagger and Spider-Man, talks in a thick cockney accent, and one of his regular taunts is to "make a Mary Kelly out of you!", but somehow he manages to be the scariest of The Five.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The cheat codes. Disco Mode especially.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The PS1 version is pretty god-awful for a number of reasons. The graphics are absolutely horrible and even more content is missing than in the N64 version, but the worst thing may be the constant disc reading it has to do, as the game is constantly loading while you play it. The PlayStation's laser motor practically groans under the strain. The system was nowhere near up to specs needed for a game this big, and it really showed.
    • Thankfully subverted with the Dreamcast and N64 ports. The original PC game was too big to fit on any of the consoles, but the Dreamcast retained most of the content and even the high resolution graphics (although with the PC game natively supporting modern higher screen resolutions, it can pale in comparison to running the game on modern PC hardware). The N64 lost a few things(a few minor rooms, Mike's more detailed separate shirt, some minor audio), graphics had to be compressed and even sound samples are a bit compressed, but the game is not only rather well done, it's amazing it even fit on the cartridge. Although you WILL need a memory card, the cartridge has no internal saving, and it took up most of the card(around 80 blocks). There was also a higher resolution mode via the expansion pak. While the PC original is far superior, the N64 version was probably the most well known version for many years.
  • Tear Jerker: Luke's teddy bear in the first game. Mostly the backstory surrounding it.
  • That One Boss: Jack may cause some problems. He ceiling crawls, so it's easy to lose track of him, and he will rip you apart at close range. Also, your shield won't work here because it won't deflect his blade (it only stops projectiles.
  • That One Level: The Temple of Prophecy, where the Marcher tattoo is guarded. The previous temple has few enemies and mostly simple/risk-free platforming, and the next temple is one of the final levels in the game, but this level sits around the halfway point and alternates between rooms with difficult platforming over One-Hit Kill lava floors, and rooms containing most of the dark souls of the level, guarded by large numbers of Sisters of Fate. Compounding this, is that unlike other levels in which the checkpoint is right around the middle of a level, this one is practically at the Temple's entrance.
    • The Undercity isn't pleasant either. There are only three dark souls to find in this level, which means they're spread out very well. The level is big in terms of vertical climb, so a fall is really painful, and the third and final key needed to fight the Five is in here too. Plus, it's perpetually dark as all hell so the Flambeau gets a lot of work.

The Cody McFadyen novel:

  • Complete Monster:
    • Jack Jr.- Peter Hillstead—believes himself to be a descendant of Jack the Ripper, and seeks to immortalize himself in history even more so than his ancestor. Trained to torture and kill at a young age by his Serial Killer father, Jack Jr. gleefully assisted his dad in his crimes. After murdering his father, partially because he believed him to be an inadequate descendant of the Ripper, compared to himself, Jack Jr began raping and killing over the years. Regularly manipulating people into murdering others for him, Jack Jr. wastes no time in betraying and killing his acolytes when he grows tired of them, and he used one of them to ensure the deaths of FBI agent Smoky Barrett's husband and young daughter. Declaring Barrett his nemesis, Jack Jr. spent hours torturing and raping Barrett's childhood friend while forcing her 10 year-old daughter, Bonnie, to watch. Jack Jr. then tied Bonnie to the eviscerated corpse of her mother and left her there for 3 days, the resulting trauma causing the girl to become mute. Next, Jack Jr. begins specifically torturing members of Barrett's task force, with methods such as digging up and defiling the corpse of one agent's sister, and chopping off the legs of another agent's dog. When his identity is revealed, Jack Jr. kidnaps one of Barrett's friends, tortures her, then tries to slash Bonnie's throat open while using her as a Human Shield. Though manipulated by his father into killing, Jack Jr. chose to continue his spree even after his father was removed from the picture and his mother tried to redeem him. Happily embracing his dark side while simultaneously preaching his victims are nothing but cattle, Jack Jr. embodied and evolved the legacy of The Ripper.
    • Keith Hillstead is the aforementioned father of Jack Jr., and is the one responsible for starting his path of destruction. As a young man, Keith believed himself to be a descendant of Jack the Ripper, and murdered his parents for trying to hide it from him. After seducing a young woman into becoming his wife, Keith spent weeks torturing and raping her until she gave birth to a son, who he then began to teach how to torture and kill. Claiming close to 100 victims over the years, Keith photographed the tortures, rapes, and deaths of his victims and kept them in an album. When his wife attempted to murder him, Keith violently raped and pummelled her, before trying to slit her throat. With a polite and calm exterior masking his true depravity, Keith Hillstead stood out as monstrous even with his limited appearances.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: