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How would you fix story of Shadow (game)?


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I've been thinking about this for a while. Could one of worst Sonic stories be fixed, if it was written by some more competent that try-hard edgy child?

I mean, some changes are obvious. Remove swearing, guns, "stealing candy from a baby", generally just better voice acting and translation. And the core of the story is... functional enough, even if in the end Shadow clearly picked his allegiances at the end of SA2.

I think what really killed the story was the dumb moral choice things. Rather than one solid story, we have countless nonsensical ones, with no structure or pace. And because Shadow could have two (actually more) personalities, he really had none. Still, I don't want to chance to much, otherwise I'm saying "Sonic 06 could been fixed if story was about human child falling into land of monster and meeting evil flower".

So trying to change as little as possible, here's my idea


- Start the game with Shadow already hunted by GUN.  Black Doom will approach Shadow in a vision and tell him same stuff as before BUT he doesn't ask for chaos emeralds. They story isn't' about collecting them.
- First stage is just trying to escape GUN, no tasks or anything.
- Only after the first stage aliens invade, and attack GUN. Maybe Shadow followed instructions of Black Doom and lead them into a trap. This is first moral choice: does Shadow leave them to their fate or help guys that tried to kill him seconds ago. Notice he doesn't join aliens, his decision is fairly rational either way.

- This would be the only Big Choice, there are only two Routes: good and evil. There are tiny declensions sprinkled out, but they either have no impact or minor one, like switching one stage. Both stories would mostly go through different stages and characters, with only few repeats, but no single identical scene, not even similar ones.
- Neither route would play Shadow as insta-good or insta-evil. Both would play up hesitation and decision making. Goon Route is fairly easy, but in evil for example Black Doom would tell Shadow his backstory and Shadow would be angry Rouge knew it, but kept it a secret. Climax in both stories would be the reveal that Gerald was a "traitor" and totally was working with Black Doom to destroy humanity. So Shadow must pick whenever he keeps his promise to Maria or was it naive plea of a child who didn't knew how bad humanity was. It's presented like a moral choice for the player, but at this point Shadow made his mind and will down right ignore player if he tries last moment side switching.
- Hero story ends with Black Doom seemingly destroyed and Shadow while Shadow sulks about being made for evil (kinda like ending with Vector). The evil one would have Shadow leading aliens into GUN compound. It could end in few ways (maybe kill GUN Commander), but I think it would be most fitting if he beats Sonic and does that karate chop and dark screen like he did with Eggman in few endings.

- Playing both campaigns unlocks Last Story. Not "true" story. Last.
- Starts with heroic Shadow charging through Black Arms, saving the day... only to see Sonic defeated. Laying down and about to be killed. By another Shadow. (Obviously he stops him at the last second).
- And that's my Big Twist: both routes are canon. Both happened. One to Shadow the Hedgehog. Other to Shadow the Android made by Eggman, who started to believe he's a real one. Black Doom knew it, but decided to 'recruit him' either way. And BTW, this is why Rouge didn't tell Shadow his backstory: she wanted to make sure if he's android or not.
- Ideally on second play through you can find tiny evidence that other story took place (say Evil Shadow activates the flying temple, Good Shadow must fight the fleet lead by flying temple.
- Shadow defeats Android, but before he can finish him Black Doom (who obviously survived) does mind-link spell, making both Shadows learn everything the other one went through, in hopes to convince real Shadow to join him like fake did.
And that would be played with certain melancholy. If you think the "Big Choice" I presented shouldn't wasn't extreme enough to decide if you're good and evil (not saving assholes who try to kill you isn't THAT bad)... well, that's the point. Both Shadow acknowledge how little they differ. How if events went slightly differently, they might switched places.
- And the rest is similar to Official game. Shadow learns Gerald was always a good guy, Super fight, the end.


Thoughts?  Or better ideas?

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Given that the whole premise of the game is choosing your own story path, maybe don't have a final story segment that renders all of them pointless?

Just lean into the what-if nature of the story and leave the ending ambiguous on if any the events that happened were true or Shadow's memory fucking up. Like don't even answer if he's the real Shadow or not and just leave that shit for the fans to argue about.

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Maybe instead of branching levels, each route always goes over the same levels, but your choices drastically change how they're contextualized, a la Undertale.

I'd also make sure members of the various factions (Heroes, GUN, Eggman Empire, and Black Arms) actually acknowledged your current alignment and acted accordingly. If you're helping them, they won't just mindlessly attack you as if you're their enemy.

In doing this, perhaps streamline the ten endings into just 5 - one for joining each of the four "sides" above, and a fifth one for simply remaining neutral. Really trim the fat here.

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I watched a video a while ago, I can't remember who made it but they hypothesized an alternative route for Shadow The Hedgehogs mission alignments criteria by following how Star Fox integrated advancing to alternate levels.

Simple stuff like, say, saving Tails who is being attacked by Black Arms. Ignore him to continue the neutral path or save him, then he'd open up a new path that leads to a new exit which in turn, sends the player on the Hero path. The Dark path on the same level could ask Shadow to activate a Black Arms bomb which, once done, destroys a building which opens up the Dark path exit.

I believe this was the idea he was suggesting as certain missions are too convoluted or just plain incompatible with the Chaos Control ability in the actual game. I'd also add to remove the character following Shadow mechanic, just so nobody is their to complain at you if you pick an alternative path. But maybe in the next level, the characters might have a passing comment asking "Have you seen Tails?" if you took the neutral exit on the previous level or "I heard you saved Tails, thanks Shadow." if you took the Hero path, just to try and make it seem what Shadow is doing is having an effect on the characters around him. Maybe if you've been on an all Dark run, Hero characters start to lose patience with Shadow as you progress through the levels.

The narrative would have to be simplified in some ways too as depending on the path you take, you could end up with characters reacting to stuff that never happened in previous scenes. 

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1 hour ago, Kuzu said:

Given that the whole premise of the game is choosing your own story path, maybe don't have a final story segment that renders all of them pointless?

Just lean into the what-if nature of the story and leave the ending ambiguous on if any the events that happened were true or Shadow's memory fucking up. Like don't even answer if he's the real Shadow or not and just leave that shit for the fans to argue about.

One problem with that is that Shadow will return inevitably, in 06 or Rivals, whatever. So one way or the other, good path will be canon,

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