In the games canon, before he fought Mephiles, has Shadow ever actually purposefully removed his inhibitor rings?
Like, iirc, they were originally just a random part of his character design until the idea was taken from Sonic X that they were there to put a limit on his power. They were there from the beginning of SA2 so presumably Gerald designed them? After all, Shadow wasn’t just supposed to be a peaceful experiment on immortality and cures for diseases, as much as Gerald would have preferred that - GUN was insisting he be designed as a weapon, and Gerald also had to give him enough fighting ability to be able to successfully take on the Black Arms (hence why he originally built the Eclipse Cannon).
So like… Gerald creates this incredibly powerful creature, realizes that it’s harmful (both to Shadow and to others) to enable him to use his power without restriction, and gives him inhibitor rings that, if Sonic X is anything to go by, don’t stop him from using any abilities but rather put an upper limit on how much he can use at once, so he doesn’t burn out or accidentally hurt anyone. Because of that reason, I doubt it was GUN who insisted Gerald make them - they were very clearly there not to shackle Shadow, but to protect him and others (and Shadow continues to willingly wear them throughout all the games, suggesting he agrees). They were, if anything, an act of kindness and caution on Gerald’s part.
Now I seriously doubt that Shadow would have seen cause to remove them anytime before GUN placed him in suspended animation, because before Gerald tampered with his memory he wasn’t a violent personality. Even when GUN was trying to hunt him and Maria down on the ARK, his response was to run away and try to protect Maria first. Then in SA2 he also never removes them, just loses one at the moment of Chaos Control, the one Sonic brings back to Rouge. In Heroes he has both again, so I’m assuming Eggman copied the remaining one so he’d have two again, and in ShTH he also leaves them on the entire time.
So my question is basically, how did Shadow have any idea what would happen when he fought Mephiles? When he snaps off the first one Rouge gives him a look of shock, almost like “I can’t believe it, it’s really happening, he’s really doing it”, a look that makes me think he’s probably warned her before that if he removes them she should be prepared for anything. But like… assuming he really never has had any prior cause to remove them, all Shadow would have to go on is hazy memories of 50 years ago, Gerald giving them to him and telling him to wear them always, so nothing will go wrong. He just knows that they hold back some of his power.
Like… it honestly just makes me impressed. Because if all of the above is true, that means that even when facing down threats like the Finalhazard, Metal Overlord, and Devil Doom, he never got the impression that they were undefeatable by normal means. Mephiles, however… the moment he sees Mephiles standing amongst his hundreds of clones, that is the moment that finally convinces him that it’s time. He’s gonna take off the rings and deal with whatever consequences that might have.
You notice he puts them back on immediately after he’s done fighting. I don’t think he likes the uncertainty of having them off.
Sonic is gay and asexual, or at least a questioning/closeted gay. Which kind of started when he found that he absolutely could not bring himself to be attracted to girls, even if that’s supposedly “the norm,” and that he pays more attention to the likes of Knuckles and Shadow when they fight bad guys alongside him. He also watched Super Shadow with excitement and intrigue during their battle with Finalhazard, and grieved especially hard when he “died.”
Sonic himself was pretty oblivious about his attraction until he asked Tails about the sudden feeling of nervousness and bouts of blushing he experiences when he’s around Knuckles or Shadow (especially Knuckles), and that was when Tails confirmed that yes, Sonic has crushes on boys, and he’s never felt like this with any of the girls. He plans to admit his attraction to Knuckles first (but never in a pushy I-love-you-let’s-get-married kind of way, the last thing he wants to do is make his friends feel uncomfortable), but he’ll only follow suit if Knuckles admits he felt this way about Sonic too.
Yeah, judge me all you want. Yes, I know it was rushed. Yes, I know it’s the most flawed piece of Sonic shit ever. Yes, I know it was chockablock full of bugs, the control sucked, it wasn’t coded properly, the voice acting was crap, the story made no sense, I could go on. I know all these things. But I still love it. Why? Let me list the reasons.
The story is confusing as heck, but it’s still an epic story. I like Sonic games best when they’re big, dark and epic as opposed to light and silly. It’s what separates them from the Mario games for me. I also like the stories when they involve lots of characters. I felt one or two points of view (like Adventure 2) were too few, and six points of view (like Adventure 1 and Heroes) were too many. This game I felt had just the right balance to tell the story: three points of view. I also like the mystery that builds up around the hedgehogs: questions in Sonic’s story are answered in Silver’s story, and Silver’s story is clarified by Shadow’s.
Shadow. I know, I know, Shadow takes the spotlight completely off Sonic, but I still like him being involved in the stories, and he is PERFECT here. It’s so weird to go from Sonic’s story, where Sonic has no personality, to Shadow’s, where Shadow OOZES personality, and it’s the right one at that. I didn’t mind his whole amnesiac phase as much as lots of people did, but I still vastly prefer this version of him. He’s quiet, practical, stoic and badass and he gets shit done. That’s the way he’s supposed to be. Also I love the interactions between him and Team Dark. If you don’t count Sonic 06 as a continuity reboot (which I don’t), it really shows how far they’ve come since Heroes and how tight they are as a group.
Sonic and Shadow’s relationship. I don’t like Sonadow at all, but I do love the idea of enemies becoming friends, even if it’s reluctant. They’ve been butting heads since Shadow first appeared, but they’ve been forced to work together so many times, and in this game their relationship has progressed to a point where they have each other’s backs again and again and again. You fight the Iblis worm thing as both Sonic and Shadow and I like to think that this is meant to signify them working together to beat it. Also Shadow goes out of his way to save Sonic’s life twice in this game. Much like the Team Dark scenes, that’s great character development and I think it’s adorable.
Silver is freakin’ adorable. Some people think he’s annoying, but I love him to bits. To have such a young character with such power who’s in completely over his head is a refreshing change. I do love both Sonic and Shadow, but sometimes their egos get so bloated that I want to clonk their heads together. Silver isn’t like that (except in the Rivals games where everyone’s uncharacteristically jerkish just to keep the plot moving). He’s very earnest and desperate to do the right thing, and while he’s seriously powerful, he’s insecure. Sonic, Shadow and pretty much the rest of the cast (even the ones younger than Silver) are old hands with the kind of crap they deal with, but Silver’s very inexperienced. He, Sonic and Shadow are great protagonists and make for a very charismatic team and I wish the games would do more with them – kinda like a secondary Team Sonic. Just strand them somewhere remote, have a game about them getting back home and the banter would write itself. So yeah, I love Silver and I think he’s a great addition to the cast.
The music. Not as good as the Adventure games, but still solid and ambitious and BEAUTIFUL.
The art style. I’d like the humans to be a touch more cartoony (like they were in Sonic Unleashed) and less Final Fantasy, but I still love the way this game looks. Recently two of my friends indulged me by ploughing through the glitch-laden mess, but the bonus was that I got to see it in its hi-definition glory and while it’s not mind-blowing or anything, it’s still a pretty game to look at. This also has my favourite in-game models for the characters. I really hated the super-shiny models from the Heroes and ShtH era.
Good lord, this game had IDEAS. They just weren’t executed very well. The final segment, ‘End of the World’ is still one of my favourite moments in the entire Sonic franchise and I don’t care how crappy the gameplay was. The idea in itself is great: Sonic’s hovering in limbo between life and death, so the characters are racing through a timeless void to collect the Chaos Emeralds and save his life, meanwhile Solaris tears the world asunder all around them. Then we have the final battle with three Super forms (I really don’t count the half-Supers from the end of Heroes) battling a god of time… what part of this isn’t amazing?
Elise could have been interesting, but was the ultimate victim of crappy writing. She’s been holding back a monster for ten years by basically shutting down and not showing any emotion: no laughing, no crying, nothing. And for people who call bullshit on this – it can actually happen, even if someone has lost someone very dear to them. People can potentially shut down completely. You know another character who had almost the exact same backstory? ELSA FROM FROZEN. Seriously, Elise could have been Elsa. The difference was in their stories and the fact that Elsa is just a better written character, but the backstory similarities are still pretty startling. Sonic breaks down Elise’s emotional barriers and sets her free, which seems to be the effect he has on most people. He’s a Peter Pan. There have been some great and sympathetic interpretations of Elise in fanfics adapting Sonic 06, which I’m really glad to see because she deserved SO much better than what she got, poor sap.
THE VILLAINS. I love the villains in this game. Seriously, LOVE them. We have a god of time who was yanked out of his own reality and experimented on by scientists, causing his body to split into his mind and his raw power. jajhfghudrnjsdukd THAT’S A GREAT IDEA. And then, because he’s mighty pissed, these two beings just see fit to destroy everything and everyone they find. They combine the elegant, quiet, sophisticated evil with the loud, monstrous, terrifying evil. They can attack you both mentally and physically. Sure, Mephiles’ plans don’t make a lot of sense because they weren’t thought out well enough, but the atmosphere around him is glorious; the music, the animation, everything. He’s an awesome villain, one you could really fear and despise, while Iblis is kinda reminiscent of the other monsters like Chaos, the Finalhazard, Metal Overlord and Devil Doom.
I never believed Mephiles killed Sonic just to make Elise cry. Come on, he could make her cry later with a bit of torture; it wouldn’t have been hard to get Iblis out of her that way. I always believed that Mephiles’ main target was Sonic. Why? Sonic’s a threat. If Mephiles knew anything about Sonic, he’d know Sonic stopped the God of Water, Chaos. If anyone has the capacity to take out the God of Light, it would be Sonic – and that’s a concern that is justified. Shadow’s motivations have been a little murky for a while, which is probably why Mephiles attempted to get him on his side. Too bad for him this was at a point when Shadow had definitely decided where he stood and was not going to waver from that. So yeah, Mephiles set up Silver to kill Sonic because he figured if it came down to a proper fight, he wouldn’t be able to defeat Sonic, let alone kill him. But Silver finally cottoned on so Mephiles did the job himself – when Sonic’s back was turned and there was no way he could fight back.
So yeah, those are the reasons I love Sonic 06. I acknowledge its flaws, of course I do – but I still think it’s a pretty interesting salvage operation, as has been proven by lots of good fanfics I’ve read. It’s got some good stuff in it, it’s just buried under a whole load of crap and you have to get your hands dirty to find it.
The games that came after were undeniably better games – after all, once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up – but Sonic 06 was the last game in the series that had a lot of things I loved: the big, complex, epic stories, the many characters involved, the arc and development from other games. I actually wish the games had continued in the same sort of format as Sonic 06: the Sonic Adventure format, I really miss it.
But Sonic seems to be in a good place right now and if that’s what he’s got to do to continue being successful, then I’ll patiently wait for when they feel confident enough to try a darker, more complex story again. I’m sure it’ll happen eventually.
For all his talk, Shadow genuinely believes Sonic is the true Ultimate Lifeform - not just physically, but in a moral sense.
While Shadow knew about Chaos Control and using the Chaos Emeralds to
power weapons like the Eclipse Cannon, he never knew it was possible to
achieve a super transformation until he did so with Sonic to stop the
Finalhazard. Between Sonic transforming, using Chaos Control with a fake
Emerald and fighting Shadow to a standstill without any boosts in power
a Chaos Emerald could give, Shadow is convinced Sonic is more than an
Shadow is also deeply ashamed of some of the actions he committed
during the Black Arms invasion and after Eggman awakened him, even more
so after the future Mephiles showed him. Shadow was astounded by how
quick Sonic was to forgive him.