Sega’s Sonic Write Mandates Make Shadow an Edgelord


In recent years, Sonic fans have noticed a curious lack of Shadow. In games and in the recent Sonic Boom show, the fan-favorite hedgehog has had very little screen time. And when he appears, many are disappointed to see him reduced to an edgelord, despite having already been shown to care about others. Well, now it looks like we know why.

According to the authors of Sonic, Sega is far too protective of Shadow. Creatives hoping to use Shadow in their games, shows, and comics apparently have to abide by strict rules about how he’s allowed to act, leading some to think it’s just not worth the hassle. Frustratingly, one of those rules even states that Shadow isn’t allowed to make jokes, explaining why he’s been so pissed off during his recent appearances.


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This confirmation comes from Ian Flynn, a writer on the comics who also works on Sonic Frontiers. On Twitter, he shared an excerpt from an interview with Megavisions with Sonic Boom writers Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, addressing the difficulties they faced with Shadow.

“Writing for Shadow was a challenge in itself,” Denton says. “Sega didn’t consider him a comedy character. They told us we could use him, but he shouldn’t make jokes […] So to get around that, the joke became the very fact that Shadow is completely humorless. So pissed off, all the time.”

Worse, Shadow wasn’t the only character this applied to. The writers admit that they much preferred to use their own original characters, as even a Vector the Crocodile or Big the Cat cameo would require “layers of clearance”.

“It would have taken forever to get approved,” Hahn says. “It wasn’t worth it. That’s why there’s only Shadow, Metal Sonic, and Vector the Crocodile in a handful of episodes.”

Seemingly confirming that was the case, Quote Flynn retweeted the interview, writing “QT’d no comment.” Flynn has also previously indicated that the write warrants mean that Sonic isn’t allowed to cry, so it looks like Sega is pretty strict in all areas.

For those of you who have just delved into and out of the Sonic series, you may have only known Shadow as the hateful, catastrophic, dark counterpart to the Blue Blur. However, Shadow has already proven himself to be a good pig at heart, even in his first appearance. His story in Sonic Adventure 2 ends with him sacrificing himself to save humanity, keeping his promise to his friend, Maria. On top of that, he’s been shown to have a softer side, saving Cream the Rabbit when asked to, so clearly not completely apathetic.

Hopefully, we’ll see that side of Shadow again someday. Don’t expect him to crack any jokes anytime soon.

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