According to official profiles, Shadow was created long ago by Prof. Gerald Robotnik to be the Ultimate Life Form. Sharp witted and seemingly always on the edge, Shadow is described as the dark incarnation of Sonic the Hedgehog
. Once he has set himself to a goal, he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it, regardless of any danger. After the trauma of the death of his first closest friend, Maria Robotnik
, Shadow strives to fulfill his purpose and keep the promise he made to her, despite his general loathing of mankind. Although his relationship with Sonic seems to have developed from antagonistic to friendly rivalry, animosity from not understanding their different mindsets continues.
Shadow is ageless and immortal
. However, Shadow shares a lot in common with Sonic. Although Sonic's speed is described as "second to none", Shadow can skate at speeds fast enough to rival the speeds the world's fastest hedgehog can run. He can also perform spin attacks
common to Sonic, which are variations on the tendency for hedgehogs to roll into tight balls for protection. Additionally, with the power of a Chaos Emerald
, Shadow can warp time and space with Chaos Control. In contrast, the Archie Comics version of Shadow can directly access the "Chaos Force" and does not require a Chaos Emerald. Shadow is also able to use a variety of other Chaos powers, such as "Chaos Spear" and "Chaos Blast". While at first Shadow is the only one seen to be able to use Chaos Control, following the trend that Sonic and Shadow have the same abilities, Sonic is later revealed to be able to use it as well. The prototype "Ultimate Life Form" can also use Chaos Control, and Silver the Hedgehog
who is from the future is revealed in Sonic the Hedgehog
as another character to have the ability.
By harnessing the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds, Shadow is able to use super transformation to transform into Super Shadow. He is bestowed with the new abilities of flight and near invulnerability, like Super Sonic, and his normal abilities of speed, strength and his Chaos powers are greatly enhanced.
After being conceived by Takashi Iizuka
, the character of Shadow was first shown to the public in a game trailer, however his name was not revealed. GameSpot described what little was shown as an "evil version of Sonic himself - similar in appearance, but with darker skin, more angled eyes, and a fearsome snarl instead of Sonic's trademark grin." After his popularity grew to being right below Sonic, Yuji Naka felt that they could use his different identity from Sonic to build upon the Sonic franchise
and thus focused on him for a new game; Shadow the Hedgehog