Talking Point: Shadow Is Evil in Sonic Forces?

Talking Point: Shadow Is Evil in Sonic Forces?

by June 30, 2017 32 comments

The Sonic fan-base is pouring over this crazy Sonic Forces trailer that shocked us with an all-star motley crew of Sonic “villains.” I typed “villains” in quotation marks because two of these characters aren’t even villains! We know all too well that both Chaos and Shadow had character arcs that revealed them to be heroic. Yet here they are, looking all menacing next to Zavok, who is textbook “bad guy,” without any explanation why these guys are acting all big and bad.

It sent fans into a frenzy, questioning these characters’ motives and whether or not this game would respect backstories. Take a look at the community’s response.

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The apologist argument was simply this, “Don’t jump to conclusions! Sonic Team will surely have a good explanation for everything.”

“Why would you assume that Sega wouldn’t care?” the apologists ask. Well, perhaps it’s because of Sega’s track record of ignoring, retelling, changing, and retconning a character’s story mere moments after it’s established.

How many times must Tails learn to be independent?
How many times can Knuckles get tricked by Eggman?
Is Blaze the Cat from the future or another dimension?
Why does Silver the Hedgehog randomly show up in the current time period without motivation?

And for crying out loud, when was the last time Knuckles was seen within 100 feet of the Master Emerald? It’s as if our beloved red echidna has a restraining order against the very thing he’s supposed to be guarding. Furthermore, let’s not forget that this new villain trailer came out mere days after an Iizuka interview pretty much stated that any sort of Sonic canon is loosely grounded and is liberally adapted to fit whatever they need it to fit at the time.

I’d like to flip the apologist question around and ask, “Why would anyone assume that Sega WOULD care?” They’ve clearly set a precedent that says they don’t, at least, not whole-heartedly.

But alas! There’s a glimmer of hope in the face of canon-less anarchy. In a Famitsu interviewSonic Forces producer Shun Nakamura says that “If you think about mysteries such as ‘Why is Shadow on the enemy’s side?’, I’m sure you will enjoy the story even more.” Perhaps, Sonic Team actually has a reason why Shadow and Chaos are being so grumpy. However, this doesn’t guarantee that this reason will be a good one.

That is…unless there’s a second glimmer of hope.

Holy cow. Ian, don’t do this to me. I am cautiously containing all my hype and tempering my expectations, but if there is a chance that proven comic book writer Ian Flynn is involved in this game’s narrative, I rest some of my fear at his feet….or his pen, rather…..or I guess his keyboard? *Amen* Either way, I’d like to call your attention to a “secret project” listed on Flynn’s website.

It’s been previously announced that Ken Pontac and Warren Graff would be returning to write Sonic Forces, much to the dismay of everyone but the jaded game journalists that liked Colors.* However, Ian Flynn’s video game portfolio lists an unnamed upcoming project in which he acted as a “script doctor for dialogue in a few cutscenes.” Could this be Forces?

Maybe. Maybe not. Keep your dreams in check, this secret project could easily be something that has nothing to do with Sonic. And even if it is Forces, Flynn’s role sounds rather limited. He may have simply wordsmithed some lines and had no influence on the grand narrative and motivations of why Chaos and Shadow have joined this game’s rogue gallery. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Until then we can only muse about it. Hey, it makes for a good talking point, eh? (See what I did there)

*Please don’t kill me, Pontac-Graff fans. I know you exist and I know you’re not all jaded game journalists ….just most of you.


Noah Copeland is a somewhat interesting human. He makes music, makes films, and stands at exactly average height. You can follow him on Twitter @NoahCopeland

Famistu Interview translation found here 

32 Comments so far

  1. Paramount Piglet
    #1 Paramount Piglet 30 June, 2017, 16:09

    Ian Flynn said he’d work on Forces, but the deal he made killed Archie Sonic in the process. Sacrifices are being made more often these days.
    And whiney fans??? When haven’t they criticized SEGA’s every move. Let’s not forget this guy’s ”war” on SEGA:

    Reply this comment
    • Kid Kaos
      Kid Kaos 1 July, 2017, 12:33

      were exactly did you see this about the comics and Ian’s involvement with Forces? I had guessed before that the upcoming games and the comic’s hiatus were somehow connected (I guess Tyson Hesse making that trailer for Mania supported that assumption) but I haven’t seen anything concrete anywhere.

      Reply this comment
      • Hero
        Hero 7 July, 2017, 03:49

        I think this guy is a bit of a jokester, Ian Flynn made no such announcement (at least nothing more concrete than “#KnowingSmile” anyway) and if anything his most recent quote about the Archie dilemma proves that he knows NOTHING about what’s going on and that he’s as in the dark about this as we are. Not to mention, that link goes to a random fan site conversation that is locked (meaning no one can contribute anything to it anymore) and it was started all the way back in 2009. What he’s saying is about as concrete as quicksand.

        Reply this comment
        • Hero
          Hero 7 July, 2017, 03:52

          Took me a second to realize that link is supposed to be articulating his point about “whiney fans”, and is not related to what he said about Flynn. My bad there.

          Still doesn’t excuse making up info about Flynn without even sourcing though.

  2. serpx
    #2 serpx 30 June, 2017, 16:24

    I stopped caring about plotholes in Sonic games a loooooong time ago. You really have to treat them as if each game is its own universe thats separate from all other games. If games are sequels (Sonic 2, Sonic 3, etc.) (Sonic Adventure 1, 2, etc.) Then I care.

    Reply this comment
    • sonicgalaxy27
      sonicgalaxy27 30 June, 2017, 16:29

      You stop caring about it?

      Reply this comment
    • Noah Copeland
      Noah Copeland Author 1 July, 2017, 23:35


      “You really have to treat them as if each game is its own universe thats separate from all other games”

      This makes me sad. You’re right; it’s true, but I wish it wasn’t that way. I’d like a more consistent through-line. But hey, what do I know?

      Reply this comment
  3. sonicgalaxy27
    #3 sonicgalaxy27 30 June, 2017, 16:28

    Well, both of those characters like shadow and chaos have there own reasons because of this new villain. SEGA can’t be criticized over this information because I seen a bunch of people started to be piss about the Archie sonic comics being killed in the process.

    Reply this comment
  4. Matteso586
    #4 Matteso586 30 June, 2017, 17:08

    I too, am suspicious of Shadow and Chaos’ presence in Sonic Forces.

    Reply this comment
  5. Chris
    #5 Chris 30 June, 2017, 20:34

    I think Infinite is manipulating Shadow into working for him. Maybe he promised to use his powers to bring back Maria?

    Reply this comment
    • Noah Copeland
      Noah Copeland Author 1 July, 2017, 23:32

      @CHRIS my friend, that is a theory I can get behind. I like that a lot.
      It goes with what the Sega press release said, “Shadow fights for his own reasons.”

      Reply this comment
  6. SoYummy69
    #6 SoYummy69 30 June, 2017, 20:50

    Maybe if we let bad guys be bad guys instead of anti-heroes we won’t have so many OC characters with emo AF backgrounds.

    Reply this comment
  7. ys
    #7 ys 1 July, 2017, 00:36

    That was annoying and irritatingly targeted. I regular tssz but I think I’ll leave this and leave before I do something I’ll regret.

    Warren griffin might be working on the in game dialogue similar to mad world. It seems to be event script heavy so my guess is that dialogue triggers are placed with experience. The finer details of the story might not even matter because at the end of the day, this is a world where sonic wasn’t around. That mean no super sonic vs perfect chaos, no adventure fans, no victories, and no more bad tssz articles.

    Reply this comment
  8. Dr. Egguman
    #8 Dr. Egguman 1 July, 2017, 01:32

    I REALLY HOPE that Shadow and Chaos presence here IS NOT fanservice.

    Well, I mean, I don’t really think that Shadow is a “bad guy” here because he is with all other bad guys. I think this is just a thing for the teaser and they put him there to shown that he is here and that’s all.

    I believe that Shadow it’s gonna be “out” of this group and search for something for his own (like SEGA said before, he is have is own reasons to fight) and Sonic just step through his way and they fight because Shadow don’t like Sonic in his way.

    MAYBE, this game is REALLY playing on a alternative universe and all the other’s Sonic games never really happened like Sonic never saved the wisps or Chaos has never back to the Master Emerald…

    Reply this comment
  9. Tanya S
    #9 Tanya S 1 July, 2017, 05:39

    Where Classic Sonic is involved, you can expect some things to “not make sense”. However, I can already guess that Chaos and Shadow being villains means that they were simply collected from the point in time where they were bad! Before Shadow learned about Maria’s true wish and before Chaos was purified of all his hatred.
    Also I think Ian is just being cocky because he always writes these kinds of “gather all the heroes and have a big fight” things. I wouldn’t bet money on it, but he probably has very little or nothing to do with the game.

    SEGA already has far more reliable writers. They have no reason to hire somebody who disrespects their characters.

    Reply this comment
  10. Raw
    #10 Raw 1 July, 2017, 10:46

    I really have high hopes for the story, so far it seems very intriguing and more complex than past offerings (Sonic Unleashed – Sonic Lost World).

    I really hope this is the present and canon Shadow acting on his own, that would make him more interesting and all signs point to that being the case, they just need to come up with a good idea for why he is siding with the bad guys, with a good enough reason almost any hero would do the same, even Knuckles, Blaze or Silver.

    Reply this comment
  11. HyperSonicX
    #11 HyperSonicX 1 July, 2017, 16:30

    Why can’t we all just wait till the game comes out, and make our judgements then? I’ve had to say this NUMEROUS times in speculating on Forces’ story. We don’t know anything about it, aside from the premise. We don’t know why Classic is back, how the Custom Hero will factor in, or even what this new villain’s beef is. There is discussion to be had, sure, but you need information to argue with, and we don’t have enough.

    Reply this comment
    • Paramount Piglet
      Paramount Piglet 1 July, 2017, 18:07

      ”Why wait when we can complain about Shadow because we’re overly obsessed fan boys/girls?”

      People complain no matter what………

      Reply this comment
    • Noah Copeland
      Noah Copeland Author 1 July, 2017, 23:28

      @HYPEROSNICX Do you think I’m going to make all my judgement calls right here and now and never change them even after the game comes out? This isn’t my “final verdict” on Forces, and I don’t claim it to be. When the game comes out, I’ll give that final verdict.

      This article shows where am I right now with Forces. This game has me asking questions. This stuff is running around inside my head and wish to express it and talk about it with you guys. I want to see what you think and what your thoughts are. Theorize. Speculate. Run wild. Who cares? What does it hurt?

      Reply this comment
  12. Novarek
    #12 Novarek 2 July, 2017, 10:32

    I honestly don’t understand why TSSZ haven’t made yet a big “leak and spoiler” article yet, since the question about the involvment of Ian Flynn as been already answered by the leak, and especialy since lot of the info from the leaks has already been confirmed to be legit by the last trailer some of them are even public since the last years (like the OC characters).

    Reply this comment
    • Noah Copeland
      Noah Copeland Author 2 July, 2017, 17:36

      Because leaks have little credibility. You can’t trust them. Anyone can fake a leak and some will go to great lengths to do so (google “artsy omni rayman”). We still feel stupid for reporting the whole “Sonic Dimensions” fiasco. Fake-leakers have even got lucky and got things right off of mere guesses (see “wentos the traveling salesmen). We get tired of “leaks.” Ultimately though, It’s up to Donnie and the rest if they feel like reporting on them or not. It’s out of my jurisdiction, as I my role here is to write commentary and opinion pieces.

      Reply this comment
      • Novarek
        Novarek 6 July, 2017, 15:00

        @Noah Copeland

        I agree, but when in the end a leak was right (they were right for the OC, they were right for the bad crew casting (Chaos, Zavok, Shadow…) and months before their official announcement…

        I think it’s enough to conssider the rest of the leaks from that same source to be very potentially legit.

        Reply this comment
  13. A L
    #13 A L 2 July, 2017, 18:51

    Hmm this is just my guess but judging from the picture Chaos, Zavok, and Metal Sonic’s eyes all appear to be glowing and by Danny Phantom logic glowing eyes on a character that normally doesn’t have them is most likely possessed or being controlled so I’m gonna say that Infinity pulled a Shattered Crystal Lyric and brainwashed Shadow, Chaos, and Zavok into obeying Eggman. The real question we should be asking is WHERE THE HELL ARE OMEGA AND ROUGE TO KEEP SHADOW IN CHECK

    Reply this comment
  14. McFarty
    #14 McFarty 2 July, 2017, 19:05

    “I think Infinite is manipulating Shadow by saying he can bring Maria.”

    Sadly, as much as I like this, it’s too much of a good idea. It’s probably something super simple like mind control or something.

    I’ve lost faith in these writers to come up with a good story.

    Reply this comment
  15. SSJSonicXX14
    #15 SSJSonicXX14 3 July, 2017, 00:39
    Sonic Team doesn’t give a shit so why should we? The only thing they know is making stupid plots with no sense of place or history beyond Sonic beats Eggman all the time and boy does Eggman hate that! Forces will probably have the one of the stupidest cringy plots ever ever seen in this series, notice how they brought up the nonstop asinine dialogue during gameplay a calling card of the worst games in the franchise. And then realize that the plot has to factor in your DeviantArt character which seems impossible to do without unleashing 100% cringe waves. Forces will provide meme fuel to last the Sonic Twitter a lifetime.

    Reply this comment
  16. flybygeek
    #16 flybygeek 3 July, 2017, 15:34

    Majin Shadow

    Reply this comment
  17. Axx
    #17 Axx 3 July, 2017, 17:29

    Well that was an unusually bias read.

    Graff is doing dialogue, not plot right? If Ian is working on it, then same thing right?

    There is totally the possibility that this will screw over continuity but there’s nothing to SUGGEST it will. Where’s this assumption coming from? What track record?? I’ve heard ppl complain about imaginary plot holes before (some not imaginary) but I tend to chalk it down to ppl not completely grasping what they observed. But never usually to the extent where every game has to be viewed as its own universe. The portrayal of the universe is what is always revamped for each project, but the core bible still exists.

    Example: Tails’ Workshop is always different and in a different area. But it is always on South Island.

    Honestly, I expect a simple and unsurprising reason these guys are here and for their roles to be small, although bigger than in Generations. lol

    Reply this comment
    • Noah Copeland
      Noah Copeland Author 4 July, 2017, 12:02


      Yes, this is a biased read. It’s an opinion piece. That’s kinda the whole point.

      “Where’s this assumption coming from? What track record??”
      Well, if you scroll back up and read the article, you’ll see a track record listed out. I’ve could’ve even listed more examples, but I think you get the point.

      Reply this comment
  18. Hero
    #18 Hero 7 July, 2017, 04:00

    Even just the mere idea that Flynn might even be involved in the slightest of roles has me a tiny bit more hopeful for this title’s story, and it’s been quite a roller-coaster so far. I mean I’m still not going to let myself get swept up in the hype-wind here, especially over something that has no direct confirmation yet, but at the very least the wind is starting to feel a little more friendly. Guess we’ll just have to see what develops from this point on.

    Reply this comment
  19. Shego13
    #19 Shego13 9 July, 2017, 04:19

    I knew it. I knew Shadow the Hedgehog is up to no good. Just as I suspected, Shadow intends on doing Eggman’s dirty work. I bet Rouge the Bat would be on Eggman’s side too.

    Reply this comment

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