Alright, for the next week or so I'll be putting up some basic character concepts, as I already start with the other day. There are a lot of characters in this design (as you may have seen with earlier posts) and as I said, expect about 1/3 of them to be cut, but that leaves me with a lot of work in the meantime. Today, I decided to jump slightly ahead in the character roster and present Shadow. There were two reasons for doing so, the first of which is that I have been spending a large amount of time thinking about how to take his character past what has already been done. Secondly, he's popular and I do not doubt that people are more curious to see how Shadow works into this then say...Tails or Silver.
Shadow the Hedgehog: The Prince without a Kingdom
Personality and History: Shadow hails from a far off desert kingdom that no longer exists. When he was very young, this kingdom became involved in a war with an aggressive neighboring kingdom, a war which his kingdom was unable to win. When the kingdom fell, Shadow's entire family was killed by assassins, and he alone survived, saved by his families guard as the remains of his kingdom was sacked and conquered by the invaders. Shadow spent the next 14 years of his life on the run, protected by the last remnants of his elite royal entourage as they were pursued from nation to nation by his enemies. As the years passed, figure after figure in Shadow's life has perished in one way or another, with the result that Shadow has become a calloused and hardened individual.
Never being safe, Shadow was constantly on the move as a child, being trained in both high learning and in all manner of combat. When he came of age, he was given several of his families greatest treasures, including a pair of enchanted sandals that allowed him to "skate" across any surface, and an ancient dagger said to be from Atlantis itself.
After years of hiding in the deserts and moving from place to place, Shadow reached a marriageable age and his advisers concluded that the best way to keep him alive (and therefore continue the royal line) would be to marry him into an even larger and richer kingdom. After being denied by several local kingdoms who did not wish to incur the wrath of the conquerors, Shadow suggested that they try Atlantis, as it was both powerful and a great distance away. Additionally, although non of his remaining assistants knew the origin of the ancient dagger, he pointed out that they may at least provide sanctuary in return for such a treasure. Contacting a local merchant caravan, Shadow himself sent a message to Atlantis, declaring himself a prince in exile and making his request. To his utter surprise, a member of the royal family sent back a response with the same caravan, asking him to begin the journey and requesting that he send messages ahead to her directly.
Over the next few months, Shadow continued his correspondence with Atlantis through couriers sent to meet him along his routes. And to the amazement of his aides, for the first time in years Shadow seemed to have found a purpose in life.
Unfortunately, Shadow arrived in Atlantis on the same day that the Chancellor made his bid for power. His crew was met at the docks, not by the Atlantian princess but by ambush by the Chancellors guards. Several of his last remaining guards fell, and his aides where captured. Shadow, heeding their advice, fled. In the process, he stabbed one of the Atlantian golems with his dagger, and the dagger reacted to the magical energy, bringing it to life and revealing it as one of the artifacts left by Chronos. After running and debating his options, Shadow chose the method that appealed most: Save the princess that had written him and destroy anything and everything that got in his way.
Personality-wise, Shadow is a very quiet individual who often appears angry, a side effect of loosing so many loved ones at a young age. Additionally, Shadow's isolation for most of his life has left him very unsure of how to act around others, so he often reacts and comes off as a harsh and uncaring individual. One of the Key elements of Shadow's story will be his growth as he begins to care for others and opens himself up somewhat.
Game Plot: With Shadow, everything at first revolves around saving the princess and saving his aides and he cares for little else. However, as his story moves forward, he should interact with the citizenry of Atlantis and begin to see the world from a new perspective that opens him up and has him still desiring to save the princess and his people, but also the people of Atlantis as he discovers his own sense of honor and responsibility.
Play Style and Movement: Shadow will be a very similar offering to Sonic with only a few key differences. He will be just as fast as Sonic and his jump will be the same height. Shadow's ability to open new paths (and therefore discover other parts of levels) will come from the fact that certain citizenry of Atlantis know that he is royalty on the run and will offer to help him, opening up new areas and routes.
Combat-wise: Shadow is very similar to Sonic, with both an aerial and ground dash maneuver, although Shadow has slightly less range due to his dagger. His dagger is faster however, and Shadow can execute a few more combos then Sonic can. His specials should also involve more casual use of his daggers time powers (mimicking Chaos Control or Chaos Spear) as well as several moves similar to Sonic's. His dash will stop at the first opponent he comes to similar to Sonic's as well, and in the event of an equally powered attack meeting one of his, he will bounce off at an angle relative to the impact (this applies to dashes).
Time-powers: Unlike Sonic, Shadow does not have as many out-of-combat time powers. The majority of his powers are used in combat to allow him to "teleport" or other similar abilities. The one power that he does have outside of combat allows him to move super fast while time slows (chaos control) but costs rings to enter and drains rings while it is in use, limiting its effectiveness.
Physical Description: While it is the Shadow that all fans know, his clothing should be completely different. Shadow should be wearing some lightly tanned desert gear, say a long scarf that could be used to cover his face if needed, and some sort of vest. Pants? With or without...both looks could be used, try either in art to see the look. His shoes however, should look a little different, a little less hi-tech. He also has a single small hoop earring in his left lower ear.
Shadow's dagger should look ornate and be somewhat gilded with gold, maybe a few gems. He should hold it with the blade down when he uses it, when not it will be in a small sheath on his left side (right handed).