I had been a huge SEGA fan (especially of Sonic) since I was in the first grade. I wasn't really into the retro games, though. I liked the 3-D ones, like Sonic Heroes. My shits were flipped when I found out about Shadow the Hedgehog, in 2005. It is still today, my favourite game. I remember spending a good sum of my childhood playing Shadow. It took me about a year to beat though, and even today I still have no idea what happens when you acquire every "story" (all 71). So, you could expect the next years of my life would be craving something new in the Shadow the Hedgehog chapter. My requests, however, would prove later to cause my trauma.
About four months ago, (today being April 18, 2013), I was typically derping around on Omegle with my friend Matt. Going through the strangers on video chat, we met one guy wearing a T-shirt that had the SEGA logo on it. I said, "Cool, I'm into SEGA as well!" And me and the stranger both got into a long conversation about Sonic and Tails and how Dr. Eggman will always be Dr. Robotnik and what not, until finally getting on the subject of Shadow.
We both geeked out on how awesome Shadow is and always will be better than Sonic, and then he said something that got my attention. He told me that he works alongside with Sega for a potential sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog. Of course, when he said something about a sequel, my mind exploded. But, I'm not ENTIRELY stupid. I asked him why I should believe that there's actually going to be a sequel, because as far as I knew SEGA wasn't going to make one. He said that he and a man named Hisao Oguchi had been developing a beta version on his computer, and set up a download link for private sampling. After he spoke, he commented a web url for me to copy-paste (in a new tab so we could keep talking), and it was a blank white page except for a logo of webs.com and a tab that said "Click Here to download Shadohog2-ms.rar." Being the SEGA nerd I am, I clicked it and it saved into a new folder. Before he disconnected, he told me to extract the .rar folder. So I did.
Eager to begin playing, I opened up the folder and extracted it. Matt told me he had to leave, he said his mum texted him to go home. That was fine, I thought. More fun for me. Thus, I began my playthrough on the much waited sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog.
The main menu had no image or audio, it only had two choices. "Begin" and "Recap." Out of curiousity, I hit Recap, and the game took me to a cutscene of Shadow defeating Black Doom in the first game. The music, "I Am," seemed slower, but fit in better with the slightly darker scene. The voice of Shadow and Black Doom, were suprisingly similar to that from the original game. Once Black Doom swore his revenge, the game took me back to the main menu. This time, there was a picture of the Black Comet as the background with the two options. Shaking with excitement, I finally hit "Begin."
The screen stayed black for about two minutes. After waiting, the opening cutscene began. Shadow was in the Ark, looking at the remains of the comet. He turned around and began walking, as he did in the original ending, but instead of throwing the picture of Maria to the side, he stared at it for an uncomfortable amount of time. The only sound was some sort of moj-poj of 8-bit sounds, but I think it was just from my laptop. His eyes just stared at the picture. Eventually, a slight static noise began to crescendo in, and as it got louder, Shadow turned his face to the camera. He was staring coldly at me. Then all was silent.
The scene then changed, abruptly, and caused me to jump back. Sonic was with Amy and Knuckles on the ground, talking. They kept asking, "Where is he?" Except, they weren't "speaking." There were subtitles, but no voice. Robotnik, shook his head and the subtitles read; "He gave his pathetic life for us." I was confused of the way the characters were acting. It just didn't make sense. Going back to the game, Sonic's caption read "I believe he is watching us."
Shadow, now back on the Ark, "said" to himself, "Sonic, you damn fool. You could have stopped me." Subtitles kept repeating "You could have stopped me."
The screen faded to black, and a caption that read "50 Years Later" appeared. The loading screen appeared, and the level name read "Westopolis Ruins." In control of Shadow now, I wandered through the level. Something I noticed, was that his life count wasn't there. Shadow walked around slowly, not like his usual running action. I tried making him jump, but he wouldn't. He just kept walking very slow. Going through the town, I saw buildings were destroyed, streets were crumbled, and the overworld was covered with fire. As I kept walking, my Dark Guage rose every time I took a step. Upon entering the tunnel (where the second checkpoint in Game 1 would be), I saw G.U.N. soldiers, lying on the ground. Dozens of them, crying out "Help me" as they normally do. As the area got brighter, it seemed as though Shadow's character sprite grew darker. As the tunnel ended, the entire area was almost entirely bright, and Shadow being pitch black. The loading screen appeared, and a cutscene played. In the scene, we see Sonic, clutching Amy in his arms, both appearing to have aged. Sonic's fur was mostly gray, and Amy looked as though she was dying. Sonic just held her, crying. It even brought a tear to my eye as well. He looked up, and saw Shadow. "You did this," Sonic said, "This is all your fault." To my surprise, he actually spoke, and with a legitimate hatred in his voice!
Not knowing what the hell was going on, I kept moving. As I was about to exit through a door, Sonic started yelling. "Get back here! Help me!" The camera panned to Shadow's eyes, and I began to grow sick to my stomach. His eyes were cold, showing what appeared to be true anger. In control of Shadow again, I made him walk closer to Sonic. The Dark Guage was filled, and the game was telling me to press 2, (which would be Triangle/Y for an Xbox or Playstation controller), to unleash Chaos Blast. I tried making Shadow move, but he wouldn't budge. Reluctantly, I pressed 2.
Instead of exploding, like Shadow normally does, he grabbed Sonic's head and Shadow pushed both of his thumbs into Sonic's eyes. As Sonic was screaming in agony, Shadow put his hands on Sonic's chin, and snapped his neck. Amy, barely unable to move because of her anorexic-like state, asked, "Shadow, why did you give them a chance?" Instantly a picture of Maria appeared and the audio from Sonic Adventure 2 played, Maria saying "Shadow, give them a chance to be happy." Shadow turned around and kicked Amy. As he lifted her up, he said to her, "I gave them a chance because THEY actually deserve one." The game paused and gave me a Yes or No option choice. Without thinking I selected No, frightened and confused. Shadow closed his eyes and set her down. Amy was in tears, begging for death. Begging for her to be with her Sonic.
At this point I was crying. And, I never cry. Never. This was just, madness. The screen was black now and I was left to wonder what the hell Shadow did that was so bad. The game took me back to the main menu, and the background was different. This time is was of Black Doom, holding a silhouette puppet of Shadow. This time, there was a new option. "Flashback" was added to the menu. I was hesitant, but proceeded with the game.
I wish right there I had just stopped playing. A cutscene of Maria and Shadow on the Ark played. They were looking out of the window. Maria asked "Shadow. I'm scared. Grandpa keeps talking about these aliens. Please, promise me you'll keep me safe?" A textbox appeared, giving a "Yes" or "No" option. I picked "Yes." Prior to selecting, she smiled. I sort of felt, relieved. She looked like herself normally, and her smile made her look beautiful and happy.
Then the door behind Maria slammed open. At least five soldiers pointed in our direction and shouted, "Stop! Don't move, or we'll shoot!" Shadow and Maria started running. As the soldiers chased her I realized, these were G.U.N. soldiers. And, this was the memory Shadow had in the first game. Finally, upon reaching a dead end, Maria turned in looked at Shadow with tears in her eyes. Then, a gunshot was fired, and Maria fell to the ground, with a large bullethole in her forehead. The screen then faded to black as Shadow yelled, "Maria!"
The screen stayed black for what seemed like minutes. Thinking the game was over, I pressed Escape, and I see that I was on a website. An image of Maria showed, and she had a demented smile, her head tilted, and her eyes popped and spewing blood. A green caption read, "You let me die. You deserve this, Shadow."
I lost it. I let out a scream, tears in my eyes. My mum, downstairs, demanded to know what the hell was going on. I didn't answer, I just kept crying. She came upstairs to see what I was doing, so I opened the application again, and I was taken back to the main menu. As I expected, a new option appeared. This one said, "The Original." My mum, seeing I was playing a video game, decided to go back downstairs. So, curious as to where this game would take me, I clicked it. An image of Shadow, with bleeding eyes and the red on his black fur glowing appeared. I gulped, and hit the back button. The main menu changed the option "Begin" to "Resume."
A loading screen appeared, and the level name was "G.U.N." When the level finished loading, a white screen appeared. Shadow, running through the empty whiteness, kept looking around and asking "Where's that damn Chaos Emerald?" Giving me control of Shadow, I moved foward into the whiteness. There was no audio. Not even the sound of Shadow moving. As I kept moving, Shadow grew more and more transparent. I must have been wandering for five minutes now. Shadow, was now invisible. I couldn't tell if I was even moving, so I paused the game. The objective screen appeared, and it only showed the ring. (Indicating a Normal mission). There was no Hero or Dark mission. I unpaused the game and continued "moving."
I grew bored with the blank white screen, so I paused and selected "Quit." A text box appeared saying, "You can't quit now, you're so close." I sighed, and unpaused. As soon as I unpaused, the area grew red. The room was visible, and I could finally tell where I was. I was on the Ark. I looked around and I found a room with four doors (two on each side.) Another thing I noticed, was that I was in a first-person camera view now. I went through a door, and I saw Knuckles, hanging on a noose. I shuddered, and tried another door. This room had Tails, crying. I walked up to Tails, and when I got close he seemed happy to see me. He stood up and ran to me. To my suprise, Tails looked like he hadn't aged at all. He spoke with an usually dark and distorted voice. "Please, stay with me. I'm so lonely. I've killed everyone and I'm so lonely." A textbox appeared, giving me a Yes or No option. I hit "No." But, the textbox didn't go away. I kept selecting "No," but it stayed. So, I finally hit "Yes." Tails smiled, and said "You'll join the others. You'll just be another collection."
The screen faded to black. To my surprise, it quickly returned to the room I was in. Tails was nowhere to be found. I turned around and went through another door. This door, had a decomposed body of someone in a blue dress. I walked closer to the body, and realized, this was Maria. I stayed there, gawking at the corpse. But, what really got my attention, was that there was something next to her. I walked over to see what it was... and it was Shadow. This really disturbed me, I couldn't see who I was even playing as, and seeing that Shadow was right here. Who am I playing as? I turned, and went through the last door.
The screen became covered in static, and a loud screech went through my headphones. The sound was deafening. When the static stopped, I was greeted with Black Doom. He had all seven Chaos Emeralds over him, and he was laughing, menacingly. My character began to speak, but his voice didn't play. Instead, there were subtitles. "Fifty years I've been waiting for this. Just. Kill me. This planet is over, I'm all that's left. There's no point, just kill me." The camera panned to a third-person view, and showed the Commander in his very elderly age. Black Doom, lifted his demonic arm and pointed to the Commander. The subtitles read, "The humans brought this to themselves. I offered salvation, and even the thing created to ensure it defied me. The humans brought their end to themselves. Their greed, thirst for power, and affinity for betrayal has lead them on a path of self-destruction. And the Ultimate Life Form martyred. Now, let us begin the much waited ritual of prosperity." Doom's baby aliens emerged from under his cloak, and a subtitle read "Ahh... My dear offspring. Eat, and devour this savory dish." A swarm of Black Aliens grabbed the Commander, and began ripping him apart. Slowly, his cries of agony seised. The aliens then began to devour him. Starting with his intestines, they dined on him.
Black Doom held up the Commander's head, and said the words, "Chaos Control."
The Ark exploded. But, no sound was heard. There was only slight feedback, bearly audible. The camera then zoomed in on Earth, before panning to black.
The screen stayed black. I assumed the game was over, so I hit escape. An error notice popped up saying; "Sorry. I cannot allow you to escape your fate, Shadow." I pressed "Okay," and a gruesame picture appeared. Shadow, was wearing a thorn-crown, his eyes popped. The view of the photo zoomed out, and I saw Shadow, laying on a cross, like he was Jesus. At the bottom, there were the words, "Black Out. Thank you for playing Shadow the Hedgehog 2." as the camera panned out, before eventually fading to black, and the application ending.