Blacklight Answers the Hard Questions

blacklightlogo

[Blacklight]: Alright, this’ll be a rapid-fire one. Shadow, are you all ready with the questions?

[Shadow]: I don’t understand the point of this.

[Blacklight]: These are questions that Sonic fans have been asking for years! Who better to answer them than someone who actually lives in that universe?

[Shadow]: I don’t see this going very well…

[Blacklight]: Well that’s your opinion! Hit me with the first question!

[Shadow]: Question 1: “Why can we see the entire moon when half of it was destroyed in Sonic Adventure 2?”

[Blacklight]: There is no moon. The moon is a hoax. It’s just a set piece. Next!

[Shadow]: Question 2: “Where does Sonic keep all of his rings?”

[Blacklight]: You don’t want to know.

[Shadow]: Question 3: “What do Sonic’s hands look like under his gloves?”

[Blacklight]: You thought those were gloves? Those are just his hands.

[Shadow]: Question 4: “Which story path is canon in Shadow the Hedgehog?”

[Blacklight]: It’s the one that leads to the secret twelfth ending, where Shadow learns that he’s actually a figment of Sonic’s imagination.

[Shadow]: That’s false.

[Blacklight]: Prove it.

[Shadow]: No thanks. Question 5: “What happened to Eggman’s appearance in Sonic ’06?”

[Blacklight]: One word. Diet and exercise.

[Shadow]: Question 6: “Where is–…” Oh, dear… “Where is that FOURTH Chaos Emerald?”

[Blacklight]: We’re still searching for it to this day.

[Shadow]: …Question 7: “Is Sonic Rivals canon? Is Sonic Spinball canon? Is Tails’ Adventure canon?” It…goes on for a while.

[Blacklight]: Yes, yes, and yes! Everything is canon! Sonic All Stars Racing is canon, Sonic’s Schoolhouse is canon, Sonic’s appearance in Pac Man is canon! What don’t you people understand about this!?

[Shadow]: Didn’t you write these questions?

[Blacklight]: Shut up and ask the next one.

[Shadow]: Question 8: “How did Sonic get his powers?”

[Blacklight]: Too much coffee.

[Shadow]: Question 9: “What exactly is the Lost Hex?”

[Blacklight]: It’s a lost hex, duh.

[Shadow]: Question 10: “How can Blaze be from the Future and the Sol Dimension?”

[Blacklight]: Well, according to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, time and space are actually one conglomerated concept known as time-space. If we look to M-theory, a subset of string theory, more specifically, superstring theory, we know that there are in fact 11 dimensions of space-time. There is no distinguishing between the spatial and temporal dimensions. To our simple three-dimensional perspective, 11-dimensional space can take on a multitude of interpretations, including other dimensional worlds coexisting within the same confines of space and time we live in. Given the duality of space-time, this other spatial dimension, which one might call another world, can also be referred to as another temporal dimension, which one might call the future. The equivalence of space and time means that these two very different concepts are in fact one and the same. The future is another world, another world is the future.

[Shadow]: …

[Blacklight]: What’s that look for? I said I was going to answer the questions, didn’t I?

[Shadow]: Right…well, that’s all of them.

[Blacklight]: Over so soon? That’s alright, I suppose. But what hard questions would you have wanted me to answer? Tell us in the comments below! Make sure to get those questions in in time for the Q&A session at the end of the day!

The Takeover Takeover

blacklightlogo

[Shadow]: So…what exactly are we still doing here, now that Blacklight’s in the hospital?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) We have the whole day slotted up, need to do something with it. There’s another interview coming up next, but we’re free until then.

[Shadow]: So…what do we do?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) I don’t know. You’re the only host now, what do you want to talk about? What would you be doing if this were the “Shadow the Hedgehog Takeover?”

[Shadow]: (pondering) Hmm… The Shadow the Hedgehog Takeover…

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Just, please, no guns.

[Shadow]: What? I don’t do guns anymore.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Well then, what would you do?

[Shadow]: Well…I suppose I’d want to talk about things like…my theme songs…my role in The Chaos Project…my depiction in recent Sonic games…

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) So what you’re saying is…Blacklight really understands you on a deep level, and he’s hosting this event as much for you as he is for himself, if not more? That without his bold creativity, you wouldn’t have been able to enjoy talking about the things that interest you? That he—

[Eggman]: Hey there! Word on the street is that you guys are short by one host.

[Shadow]: Eggman get out of here.

[Eggman]: Oh, and I suppose that you have ideas for segments that will entertain the audience for the rest of the day?

[Shadow]: …Okay, sit down.

[Eggman]: Oh, goody! *clears throat* Welcome, one and all, to the beginning of the first official Dr. Eggman Takeover!

[Audience]: *confused applause*

[Eggman]: For our first segment, we’ll be playing a live game of my favorite pastime, a little game I like to call “Hedgehog Hammer!” Shadow will take to the playing field first.

[Blacklight]: (covered from head to toe in bandages) Ooh, can I play?

[Eggman]: AHHH!

[Shadow]: Stop doing that!

[Blacklight]: Come on, Shadow, you know I’d never pass up the chance for a surprise entrance. And as for you, MJ…didn’t learn your lesson the first time, did you? *cracks knuckles*

[Eggman]: N-no no, message clear, leaving now! *flees from room*

[Shadow]: Hey, are you…alright?

[Blacklight]: Shadow…was that genuine concern I just heard coming out of your mouth?

[Shadow]: I won’t say it again.

[Blacklight]: Fair enough. Yeah, I’m fine, I heal fast. Doctor said I should be able to take off the bandages in an hour or so.

[Shadow]: You know, those bandages make you look just like a Sonic Boom character.

[Blacklight]: (examining bandage-wrapped hand) Huh, you’re right. You think they’d hire me?

[Shadow]: Well, given that Season 2 ended in 2017, and there’s been no hint of a return to the series since then, so they probably wouldn’t even hire Sonic right now… You know, on second thought, go for it.

[Blacklight]: You got it, buddy. Now, let’s get this show back on the road, shall we?

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Actually, we’re out of time for this segment.

[Blacklight]: Oh, wait, don’t shut it off yet, I have to remind the audience to leave their questions for the Q&A in the comments—

Blacklight’s Totally Legitimate and Definitely Official Theme Song

blacklightlogo

[Blacklight]: So, Shadow, that talk we were having earlier about all of your theme songs got me thinking. So I did a little digging, and I found out that I, in fact, do have a theme song.

[Shadow]: Sure you do.

[Blacklight]: Believe me, it’s real. In fact, this song was written and performed by a little band called Magna-Fi, you may have heard of them.

[Shadow]: The ones who made “All Hail Shadow”? They wrote you a song? You?

[Blacklight]: Indeed they did. And, as if in reference to a theme song of your own, this little tune is called “Who I Am.” Take a listen for yourself.

[Blacklight]: This beautiful little song really digs deep into my character, as I plead with a certain someone to believe that I am already the person that I want to be, that I do not wish to be saved, that I am not simply someone else’s shadow.

[Shadow]: Great song. Nice message. It’s not yours, though.

[Blacklight]: Right, and I’m sure it’s just purely a coincidence that it suits me so well.

[Shadow]: Not entirely a coincidence, since you are based on me, and it’s a song about me.

[Blacklight]: You’re kidding, right? A secret fifteenth theme song?

[Shadow]: Exactly. As I understand it, this was actually meant to be the main theme of the Shadow the Hedgehog game, but there were some…communication difficulties between the performers and the game developers. Since it was scrapped from the game, Magna-Fi published it independently in 2006 instead. Ten years before you appeared in The Chaos Project, might I add.

[Blacklight]: No! No, that’s ridiculous! This song can’t be about you! Who could you possibly be talking to that both made you and is trying to change you!? Gerald? He’s not trying to change you. Sonic? He sure didn’t make you. But yooouuu, on the other hand, made me who I am today, and you are indeed constantly trying to change me.

[Shadow]: Black Doom. He literally created me with free will, that free will struck out against him because he couldn’t understand who I am. In fact, playing this song during the Devil Doom final boss fight would’ve made quite a bit more sense than “I Am All of Me” did. That was always an odd choice…

[Blacklight]: You don’t need more theme songs! Let me have just this one!

[Shadow]: You don’t have a theme song. I tried to tell you.

[Blacklight]: You always put me down…

Villain Chat! with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik

blacklightlogo

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Thank you, thank you, and welcome back to Villain Chat! Now, while we’ll be doing a lot more than just this little talk show today, I thought I’d keep the theme going for now. So let’s kick things right off by introducing our next guest! Shadow, would you like to do the honors?

[Shadow]: It’s Eggman.

[Blacklight]: Oh, come on, you can do better than that! Put a little pizzazz into it! *clears throat* Our next guest, though notoriously difficult to get ahold of for interviews—

[Shadow]: He knocked on our door and begged on his hands and knees to be on the show.

[Blacklight]: *clears throat more forcefully* Our legendary guest has been duking it out as a Sonic villain for near-on thirty years now! He plays by his own rules and conquers the world with his own tools, he is the egg-shaped man with the master plan, the one, the only, Mustache Junior!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Eggman]: Just call me Eggman.

[Blacklight]: Now, you guys remember the rules, right? I don’t want to hear about any sort of Empire versus Rebellion stuff. This is a war-free zone.

[Eggman]: But of course.

[Shadow]: Whatever.

[Blacklight]: Great! So how’re you doing tonight, MJ?

[Eggman]: Quite well, thank you for asking. Always happy for a chance to address my many adoring fans.

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Well then, let’s get started. Your name has become practically synonymous with the word “evil.” What’s it like, being one of the most famous fictional villains of all time?

[Eggman]: Oh, please, you flatter me. I just do what any good villain would do.

[Shadow]: You mean, mindlessly pursuing the destruction of your adversary without any concern for the fact that you’ve abandoned all other dreams and ideals within your life, unaware that you’ll be left with a meaningless existence if you should ever succeed?

[Eggman]: Ha! If only you knew my true motives… Heh heh heh…

[Blacklight]: Ooh, nice villainous chuckle. I need to work on mine. Whenever I try, I always end up breaking out into complete hysteria.

[Eggman]: Nothing wrong with that. It’s important to take ownership of your own evil laugh.

[Blacklight]: Good point. Ah ha ha ha ha!

[Eggman]: Oh ho ho!

[Blacklight]: AH HA HA HA HA!!

[Eggman]: OH HO HO!!

[Shadow]: What am I doing here…?

[Blacklight]: Oh, don’t be such a sourpuss. Your evil laugh isn’t so bad, you know.

[Shadow]: I do not have an evil laugh.

[Blacklight]: Don’t you? Roll the clip!

[Eggman]: Ooh, that’s a pretty good one, Shadow.

[Shadow]: Why do you have these clips pre-prepared? And WHY IS IT STILL PLAYING!?

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: It goes on for over ten minutes. And I have a wall full of these clips at home. I’ve been spying on you, remember?

[Shadow]: How could I forget…?

[Eggman]: Well, you should probably shut off that clip, now. I might get nightmares if it keeps up much longer…

[Blacklight]: Fine, fine. So let’s move on to our next question, then. As will become the tradition here on Villain Chat, I’d like to talk a little bit about the most recent episode of The Chaos Project. (Better pause what you’re doing and read it now, if you haven’t already.) In this case, that would be the Premiere episode of Season 2, featuring—spoiler alert!—the triumphant return of yours truly.

[Shadow]: For five minutes in an alternate timeline.

[Blacklight]: (gritting teeth) It still counts!

[Eggman]: I had quite a substantial role in this episode as well.

[Blacklight]: Exactly what I was getting ready to ask you about. A spotlight for Eggman has been rather rare in The Chaos Project. How’d it feel to finally stretch your legs again?

[Eggman]: Oh, it was so much more than that. Throughout the show, I’ve always been relegated this dark and serious emperor-of-the-world role, which certainly looks good on me, but it never really lets me show off my fun, humorous side. But for once, in this episode, the situation was so dark and depressing without my influence that I was actually able to provide some comic relief. And relieving it certainly was.

[Shadow]: I also got to drag you, bound and gagged, through the dirt. That was pretty fun.

[Eggman]: Well, sometimes a bit of humiliation is necessary to strike the right comedic balance.

[Blacklight]: Just don’t humiliate yourself too much. You don’t want to end up like Boom Eggman.

[Eggman]: Hey, don’t be so hard on the guy. Have you tried his evil ham?

[Blacklight]: Wait…are you saying that’s an actual thing? Like, that I can buy?

[Eggman]: Well, I believe it’s sold out now, but yes.

[Blacklight]: Hold on, I need to make a phone call.

[Shadow]: Wait, don’t…leave me alone with him…

[Eggman]: So…guess it’s just you and me now, eh, Shadow old buddy?

[Shadow]: …

[Eggman]: So…why don’t you talk about your role in the episode?

[Shadow]: Oh. Well…this episode was certainly a very interesting one for me. Getting to work with Chaos again is always a pleasure, and for this one scene, they actually put three of me all in the same room. One of them was the hero, one of them was the villain, and the third had no idea what was going on. It was fun, but it was also very meaningful. I think it has the potential to take my character into some pretty interesting directions.

[Eggman]: I see. You should ask me a question, now.

[Shadow]: Okay, umm…

[Eggman]: Go on.

[Shadow]: No, I got nothing.

[Eggman]: Blacklight is right. You really are no fun.

[Blacklight]: Did someone say my name?

[Shadow and Eggman]: AHH!!

[Blacklight]: Why, yes, I would love to talk about my role in the episode. During my brief time on screen, I managed to show off a godly level of power never seen previously in Sonic history, wiping out all life on the face of the Earth. Then I manipulated Sonic and Shadow into fighting each other, killed them both anyways, and killed Eggman for good measure.

[Eggman]: Oh yeah. That part wasn’t as much fun…

[Shadow]: And suddenly, I don’t feel like such a monster anymore.

[Blacklight]: Welp, that’s all the time we have for this segment! MJ will have to be leaving now, but he’ll be back for our Q&A session at the end of the day! Don’t forget to leave your questions for him in the comments below!

[Eggman]: Leaving!? But I barely got to answer any questions!

[Blacklight]: Goodbye, Doctor.

[Eggman]: B-but I can stay and co-host with you guys! I can—

[Blacklight]: I said, goodbye, Doctor!

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Blacklight, no, don’t—

Technical Difficulties

[Eggman]: NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Villain Chat! with Shadow the Hedgehog

blacklightlogo

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Yeah, that’s right, you’re excited. Avid Chaos Project fans may remember that hosting a late-night Villain Chat talk show has always been my dream in life.

[Shadow]: Always? It was only brought up offhandedly in the 50th Episode Special that retconned the premiere, and even that took place almost six months after your chronological introduction to the current events of the story.

[Blacklight]: Nah ah ah. I’m the one asking questions here. We’re kicking off today’s festivities by interviewing the second most popular character in the entire Sonic canon, Shadow the Hedgehog.

[Shadow]: Your show is called Villain Chat. Why would I be your first choice to interview?

[Blacklight]: That brings us to our first question of the night! Shadow, tell me, how does it feel to be branded as a villain by the very people who created you?

[Shadow]: I…don’t follow.

[Blacklight]: I speak of our parent companies, SEGA and Sonic Team, of course.

[Shadow]: I still don’t follow.

[Blacklight]: Well, just look at your presentation in any recent Sonic game. Take Sonic Boom, for instance. In that world, Shadow the Hedgehog exists as nothing more than an obstacle, an angry jerkwad who hates Sonic and hates friendship because…reasons.

[Shadow]: Different world. Why does it matter?

[Blacklight]: Is it really different? Regardless of whether you look at the games or the TV show, Sonic Boom presents its cast of characters as if they’re people with a long history that you should be intimately familiar with. Most of its jokes downright depend on that frame of reference. For example, the often-repeated joke of presenting the fighting between Sonic and Eggman as if it’s an office job is only funny if you assume that it isn’t the norm, and it’s only abnormal if you include the context of the canon games. And that brings us to Shadow. Shadow, like everyone else, is introduced as if you already know exactly who he is and what he should be doing. So naturally, he immediately attempts to destroy Sonic, because that’s totally in-character.

[Shadow]: Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that the people who made Sonic Boom had very little idea of what Sonic is supposed to be. It’s as if they took one look at the original version of me and said, “Oh, that must be an evil version of Sonic.” That was never really in question. To answer your question, everything about Sonic Boom makes me feel disappointed, and this is no different.

[Blacklight]: Okay, so let’s ignore Sonic Boom, then. Instead, we turn our attention to Sonic Generations, your only significant role in the decade that came between Sonic ’06 and Sonic Forces. In Generations, you attempted to kill Sonic to stop him from acquiring the Chaos Emerald, because…reasons.

[Shadow]: That game depicted me as a rival, not a villain.

[Blacklight]: *clears throat* “I don’t know where we are, nor do I care. This is where I finish you, Sonic.”

[Shadow]: That…doesn’t make me a villain…

[Blacklight]: Right, because you were totally redeemed by that heroic and heartfelt speech you gave at the end of the game. Roll the clip!

[Shadow]: …I blame the game’s poor writing and lack of direction.

[Blacklight]: Yeah, that tends to be a running theme when it comes to Sonic games these days. But wherever you place the blame, it shows just the same that the people making these games seem to have absolutely no idea what Shadow the Hedgehog is supposed to be.

[Shadow]: Well, at least they started getting back on track with Sonic Forces. That game finally gave me a large enough spotlight to prove that I’m still the same person I always was.

[Blacklight]: Did it? Did it really? Sonic Forces has become notorious for its poor handling of villains, and you’re right there in that group. You’re placed on Infinite’s team in the game and all of its promotional material, and yet there’s no greater mystery surrounding that fact than there is about any of the other Replicas. Of all people, Knuckles is the only person who seems to show any legitimate concern over what’s going on. Sonic is upset by it, but it certainly doesn’t seem to surprise him much.

[Shadow]: Sonic wouldn’t be upset by it if he thought it was normal, which means that I’m clearly not thought of as a villain. The running theory they give is that I was being controlled.

[Blacklight]: True. But that isn’t the only issue. We also have Episode Shadow.

[Shadow]: The best thing to happen to the Sonic franchise in twelve years.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. You may have been the protagonist of Episode Shadow, but that doesn’t make you the hero.

[Shadow]: Coordinated attacks against Eggman’s facilities to prevent a war, plus a dramatic escape of Infinite’s most powerful Virtual prison, doesn’t sound heroic enough to you?

[Blacklight]: Well, A for effort, but…uhh…Episode Shadow shows unapologetically that your reckless behavior and total lack of empathy are responsible for instigating a war that resulted in millions of deaths.

[Shadow]: …

[Blacklight]: You don’t have to fight the hero to be a villain. And it’d be one thing if you finished what you started, but no. Instead, you seemed to disappear from the face of the Earth for six months of war, for…reasons. Finally, you return…to deliver a few lines of exposition. That’s it. That’s Shadow the Hedgehog’s role in Sonic Forces. Starting a war, then sitting back and watching while other people fight it. In fact, by the sounds of it, you’re not just a villain. You’re a master manipulator, sewing chaos in the world and never getting blamed for it.

[Shadow]: I’m a monster…

[Blacklight]: It’s okay, buddy. You’re among friends.

[Audience]: *awwww*

[Blacklight]: So, now that we know how you really feel, let’s look back on some happier times with our next question.

[Shadow]: How long is this going to go on for?

[Blacklight]: As long as I feel like it. But trust me, I think you’ll like this question. You…have a LOT of theme songs.

[Shadow]: That’s true.

[Blacklight]: (reading from list) Let’s see here… We have “Throw it All Away” from Sonic Adventure 2, “This Machine” from Sonic Heroes…

[Shadow]: That’s Team Dark’s theme, not just mine.

[Blacklight]: Technically, yes, but it’s sung from your perspective, and repeats the words “Chaos Control” more than a few times.

[Shadow]: True.

[Blacklight]: Anyways, then we have a whopping six songs from the Shadow the Hedgehog game, from “I Am…All of Me” to “Never Turn Back,” and finally a repeat of “All Hail Shadow” for Sonic ’06. You’re already making me jealous here. But there’s also some extra vocal themes associated with you in Sonic Adventure 2, “Rhythm and Balance,” “Supporting Me,” “For True Story,” “Live and Learn” to some degree, and…”The Supernatural?” I don’t even remember that one…

[Shadow]: The theme of the Final Rush level. Lyrics were a bit hard to hear.

[Blacklight]: Yeah, whatever. That’s fourteen songs! Fourteen! How in blazes do you keep track of them all!?

[Shadow]: Categorizing by game and/or level certainly helps.

[Blacklight]: That was a rhetorical question. The real question is…of all these songs, which do you feel most accurately depicts you? Which of these songs is the essence of Shadow the Hedgehog?

[Shadow]: Well…that’s a difficult question to answer. Each song serves its own purpose. Sometimes, I’m a lost soul. Sometimes, I’m fighting for my ideals. Sometimes, I’m simply the coolest.

[Blacklight]: So what, you have a song for each mood? For each day of the week!? Some of us don’t even get one theme song, you privileged little—

[Audience]: *gasps*

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Language!

[Blacklight]: Sorry…what I meant to say was…even the newest of those songs is fifteen years old now. So which one would you say has still…retained its value, so to speak? Which one has the most staying power, which one aged the best?

[Shadow]: Well…”Live and Learn” is a classic…but it’s not quite personal enough. As fond as I am of “All Hail Shadow,” I suppose I’d have to say that “Never Turn Back” is the one that still works best for the place I’m at right now.

[Blacklight]: Ah, I see. Least favorite?

[Shadow]: You want me to choose a least favorite of my precious children?

[Blacklight]: …

[Mr. C]: …

[Audience]: …

[Blacklight]: Who are you and what have you done with the real Shadow?

[Shadow]: I was trying to be funny…

[Blacklight]: Well you’re terrible at it. Just answer the question.

[Shadow]: Fine. I’d have to go with “Almost Dead,” the theme of the Dark ending in my game. It’s noisy, it’s repetitive, and it has very little meaning beyond “being ambivalent,” which is kind of strange, since you’d think it would be about pure evil. Basically, it’s a standard heavy metal song.

[Blacklight]: Are you saying that you don’t like heavy metal? You certainly seem like the type who would.

[Shadow]: You’re talking about the wrong Shadow. Try asking the one from Sonic Boom. You might get a different answer.

[Blacklight]: Oh, I see. You’re trying to tie this whole piece together by making commentary about the harm of judging a person by appearance without understanding who that person really is.

[Shadow]: No, I just don’t like heavy metal.

[Blacklight]: Ah, to each his own, I suppose. And I’m gonna have to stop you there. Villain Chat! will be right back after a quick word from our sponsors. But before we leave, don’t forget! We’ll be doing a special Q&A session at the end of the day to answer all of your burning questions! What would you have asked Shadow in this interview? Tell us in the comments below, or shoot a message our way! Be right back!

Welcome to the Chaos Project Blacklight Takeover!

blacklightlogo

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Thank you, thank you! Truly, it’s wonderful to be here! I would like to personally welcome each and every one of you to this truly monumental occasion. The first ever Chaos Project Blacklight Takeover!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Now I’m sure many of you are wondering. “What exactly is going on here? What is this guy doing here? Isn’t he supposed to be dead? How is he so incredibly handsome?” Well, my dear audience, all these questions and more will be answered in due time.

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Ah, your affection brings such warmth to my heart.

[Shadow]: You do realize that there’s no one here, right? We’re in an empty room with a couch, a chair, and a camera. The guy behind the camera is pressing buttons to play pre-recorded sound clips.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: (gritting teeth) Yes, and the people are watching from home through the camera. We went over this, Shadow.

[Shadow]: And I’m sure all three of them who actually watch this will be so impressed that you’re addressing them personally.

[Blacklight]: Just stick to the script.

[Shadow]: Hmph.

[Blacklight]: *clears throat* As I was saying, today, I’m joined by my lovely co-host, the one and only, black-hearted evil, brave-hearted hero, Edgy-the-Hedgy himself, my brother, Shadow the Hedgehog!

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: Thanks for agreeing to come out tonight, Shadow.

[Shadow]: I didn’t agree.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: Also with us today, behind the camera, is the writer, the director, Author of The Chaos Project, my boss, Mr. C!

[Audience]: *crickets*

[Blacklight]: Dude, you’re controlling those sound clips? You need a better opinion of yourself.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Somehow, I don’t think anyone’s here for me.

[Shadow]: As if anyone’s here at all.

[Audience]: *laughter*

[Blacklight]: Give yourself a little credit, man! You made this all possible! You set up this whole shebang just for me!

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) Hey, I should be thanking you for suggesting it. It sounded like a lot of fun.

[Blacklight]: You see, Shadow? Nothing wrong with a little harmless fun. This guy just gets it.

[Mr. C]: (offscreen) The threats against my life weren’t really necessary, though. I would’ve agreed either way…

[Blacklight]: Nevermind, he doesn’t get it.

[Shadow]: Aren’t we supposed to be going somewhere with this?

[Blacklight]: Oh, right! This is the Blacklight takeover, and it’s exactly what it sounds like! For the next twenty-four hours, I have total control over this universe!

[Shadow]: It’s just a cheap website.

[Blacklight]: Quit spoiling my fun, bro!

[Audience]: *booing*

[Blacklight]: Thank you. Now, as I was saying, throughout the day, we’ll be hosting all sorts of exclusive interviews, commentaries, and behind-the-scenes information! And take a look around the site for all sorts of special extra content. But look fast! It won’t be around long.

[Shadow]: No one actually comes to this website. You’re wasting your time.

[Audience]: *booing*

[Blacklight]: And let’s not forget the most important part! Ask a question in the comments below, or on any post throughout the day, and we’ll answer it right here in front of our live audience, exactly 24 hours from now! It can be a question for any one of us, or for any one of the many guests we’ll be hosting during the event. No matter how ridiculous, mundane, or embarrassing, if you ask, we shall answer! And remember, you don’t need an account or email address to leave a comment! Just something to say! If you don’t trust this website for some reason, I suppose you can ask your questions by sending a PM to ChaosProjectAuthor’s fanfiction.net account, an email to ChaosProjectAuthor@gmail.com, or, if you’re really desperate, a review on the Chaos Project story.

[Mr. C]: It’s less fun that way, but if you must.

[Blacklight]: So, with introductions out of the way, let’s get things started. Shadow, would you like to do the honors?

[Shadow]: No.

[Blacklight]: Fine. Just play the clip, then.

[Narrator]: Live* from Studiopolis, California, it’s… “Villain Chat! Hosted by the One, the Only, Master of Evil, Cruncher of Apples, and All-Around Coolest Guy on the Planet, Blacklight the Hedgehog!”

[Audience]: *applause*

[Blacklight]: I should probably shorten that title…


*Transcript of a broadcast that was definitely transmitted live, as far as you know.

Review: Shadow of Time Finale

Well, at this point, listing the exact changes made from the original Shadow the Hedgehog would be a bit…arbitrary. It was…all change. Sure there were some old quotes used under new contexts, and of course Gerald’s message still played, but that’s about the extent of the similarities.

I suppose, right now, the most important thing I ought to talk about is the reason this story exists in the first place, now that the surprise twist is out there in the open. Sonic Boom. Why? Well, anyone who’s watched the full show might have been a little bit confused by one element of the epilogue. Shadow’s castle. You might be thinking, “Didn’t Shadow live in a cave or something?” The cave was just a clever hiding spot he chose for the Eggmen during his plot to destroy the universe in “Eggman the Video Game,” the series finale (and a pretty dang good finale it was). Other than that finale, Shadow’s only appearance in the show was the finale of the previous season, “It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog,” which you’ve just read a partial novelization of. So throughout the show, no actual indications were given as to where or how he lives. So then you might be wondering, “Where did the castle come from?” Well, personally, I’ll have to admit that I’ve only had the…”pleasure” of playing Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Even though I’ve come to the understanding that the two handheld installments are superior in more ways than one, not the least of which is that they’re actually canon to the show while Rise of Lyric isn’t, I’ve never actually played either of them. But a few years back, not long after the launch of Fire and Ice, something was brought to my attention. Please, take a look for yourself.

See that symbol on the left? Look familiar? Here let me show you something else.

Shadow of Time Cover

In the Shadow of Time Cover Art

To my knowledge, Shadow the Hedgehog doesn’t even appear in Fire and Ice. But his presence is unmistakable. The top image shown above depicts the “Gothic Gardens” zone of that game. And that banner, bearing Shadow’s personal insignia hung upside-down, is not just hidden in some obscure place as some sort of cheeky reference. No. It’s plastered in plain sight over and over again throughout the level. If you’ve seen it before, it’s practically impossible to miss. That kind of thing doesn’t happen on accident. So the moment I first saw it, it got the wheels turning. In-universe, why could that possibly be there?

That emblem has appeared only one time. In the heart of the Black Comet. At first, I contemplated the possibility that Sonic Boom was actually a post-apocalyptic world where the Black Arms had taken over all but a few isolated pockets of the world.  But you gotta figure you’d see more evidence than this if that were true. So then, the Black Arms must have been defeated. But then, what would these banners be doing here? They obviously weren’t made by the aliens themselves, it’s not in their typical organic style. They would have to have been put up by someone, someone who knew what they meant, as if in the aliens’ honor. Perhaps, someone who is evil in this universe when they normally wouldn’t be, with an inherent connection to them already there. From there on out, the story practically wrote itself, explaining each and every difference between the main timeline and Boom, and how it could all be drawn back to the war with the Black Arms. In the Shadow of Time was born.

So…what else is there to say? Everything, and I mean everything about this story was built to achieve this eventual goal. It wasn’t originally planned as an April Fools joke, I very much meant it all seriously. If you want to believe this story, then you should never look at Boom the same way again. I only really started writing this story because I wanted a distraction to get past my writer’s block on The Chaos Project, and once that was done and I was back on track, this story fell by the wayside. April Fools was just a fun excuse to tie up loose ends.

So, what’s next? Any more spinoff stories on the horizon? Well…maybe. You could say that there’s…a sort of test run coming up soon. If you’ve looked very, very close around at the sight (which I’m sure no one has) you may have seen a hint I dropped for what’s coming soon on the Chaos Project. But actually, I hereby announce, there’s something else coming before that. I haven’t been touting it very much, but the next episode of The Chaos Project will be our 50th! That’s right! The big five-oh! So, I’m already writing a very special 50th Episode Celebration, where you might just be seeing that test run I mentioned earlier…

-Until then, remember to live and learn every day!

Review: Shadow of Time Part 6

Well, this is where the story really starts getting interesting. The number of word-for-word scenes from the original Shadow the Hedgehog were extremely small this time. It would probably be easier to count those than it would be to count the changes. However, there was a slight problem as a result of that. This Part was supposed to reflect The Last Way, the level played during Final Mode. But because Shadow was on Black Doom’s side, there was no reason to play that level, leaving this entire part almost completely devoid of action. But then, Shadow did get to hit a few people, and I think those moments of intense drama made up for it. I wasn’t totally sure about the decision to leave Rouge alive, but I’m glad I did, because that moment of striking her proved to be very meaningful for Shadow, the final turning point in his path to Darkness. And of course, technically speaking, I wouldn’t want to kill her just in case something goes wrong involving this story’s surprise twist. It’s pretty unlikely it was ever going to matter, and at this point it’s practically impossible, but you never know. As a last note, the whole Shadow Android part was kind of unfortunate. Everything in this story so far has been very interconnected and important, so this, much like it did in the original game, kind of just felt like filler. It was necessary to give Eggman a role in the story, and introduced several necessary concepts for the big twist, I just wish the meaning could’ve been somehow greater.

And now, as usual, a list of changes.
1. Shadow defeats the Egg Dealer after already having fought Diablon.
2. Shadow has a flashback to the first Shadow Android seen in Sonic Heroes. (This was really only here obligatorily, I didn’t want to violate the one-flashback-per-part rule until the final part.)
3. Shadow obtains one of Black Doom’s trinkets, using it to cut the back of his hand, proving that he is not an android.
4. Shadow shuts up Eggman with some very hurtful insults.
5. Because Sonic and Eggman are already on the scene, and Knuckles is incapacitated, it is Rouge who shows up with Tails and Amy to stop Shadow from giving the Chaos Emeralds to Black Doom. Amy is wearing some unusual gloves.
6. Shadow attacks Rouge at the mention of Maria, knocking her out.
7. With one last chance to convince him, Sonic tries to give Shadow the Inhibitor Ring that he kept after the events of Sonic Adventure 2, which Shadow breaks in rejection.
8. The Ritual of Prosperity proceeds without The Last Way ever happening.
9. Breaking free from the effects of the nerve gas under Black Doom’s advision, Shadow kneels to him and swears his loyalty, instead of swearing to destroy him.
10. After his own transformation, Black Doom willingly gives the Chaos Emeralds to Shadow.

Part 6: Punishment…

Another five months, another one measly part of In the Shadow of Time. Read it right here!

“Those heartless humans who stand in our way…I’ll destroy them all,” the hybrid soldier swore. Punishment for the humans is the last way, the only way to protect the planet from destruction. The Ritual of Prosperity has arrived. And Shadow will ensure that it succeeds.

Untitled

Review: Season 1, Episode 5

I love this episode so much. It’s completely random. It has no bearing on the plot of this season. The storytelling pace is way off. But I love it anyways. Just having an episode about the Chaotix is something that I’ve been excited to do for a very long time, they’re a very fun group to work with. But it goes twofold, because of the lovely tie-in with Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow is a game that deserves love. Because it leaves a lot of questions behind, not the least of which is “What the heck actually happened before the Last Story?” There are ten different endings, and each one is a skew on the true sequence of events. But that means we never actually get to know what the true sequence of events is. And I had the pleasure of spending this episode filling in some of those blanks. At first glance, it may seem like I simply chose one of the fake endings and canonized it, but that actually isn’t true. It is the case that I have long believed that the ending in question, Semi-Hero-Hero (Cosmic Fall, Vector’s mission), is by far the most believable of the ten. Ending on Cosmic Fall is the only way to see Shadow’s face-to-face encounter with the Commander, which he remembers during the Last Story, so that alone points to this ending pretty strongly. It is also necessary that Vector finds the computer room, since he and the Chaotix are accessing data from it in the Last Story. And if you do the Dark mission for this level, you end up fighting Eggman, which is…kind of unnecessary to the plot. But facing Black Doom in the existential moment when Shadow demands to know whether what the Commander said is true or not, that is very important to the plot. Plus, there’s the fact that Vector is the only partner character in these end scenes who actually interacts with Shadow, even ending the story on a cliffhanger. There’s just one problem. This story ends with Black Doom being killed aboard the ARK and Shadow walking away saying something very morbid with slight suicidal undertones. And Last Story mandates that Shadow find the seventh Emerald on the Black Comet, after which Black Doom approaches him and demands that he hands them over. Those two can’t really go together. Which is why I’ve written it such that they don’t. Shadow experiences events which are very similar to the Semi-Hero-Hero ending, but never actually fights Black Doom, never obtains the seventh Emerald, and ends up leaving for the Black Comet, exactly where he needs to be. This is not a skew, but the true sequence of events leading up to the Last Story. At least, as far as I’m concerned.

There’s a few other events that I’ve determined are necessary for the canon sequence of events. Sonic ends up on the Black Comet in the Last Story, and realistically, there is only one motivation for him to go up into space. The Black Arms attempting to infiltrate the ARK. “We’re heading to the ARK, so I guess that means we’re going too!” Hence, Sonic cameos in his unexplained spaceship during this episode, just to demonstrate that that part is canon. Now, what isn’t necessarily clear is whether or not Sonic invites Shadow to come with him. When the ship passed by in the episode, I never said that Shadow was in it. I would say that he probably is, but there’s nothing to prove it, so I left it ambiguous. Something similar can be said about Charmy’s mission. I intentionally left it unclear whether or not Shadow was there to help Charmy find the disks, since there’s nothing that requires him to do so. In general, I’d like to say that almost every event seen in Shadow the Hedgehog pretty much happened to some extent, though Shadow may not necessarily have been involved, but there are a few obvious exceptions. Like the Black Arms firing the Eclipse Cannon at the White House. As far as this canon is concerned, the aliens may have attempted that, but were successfully driven off by GUN, thanks in part to the Chaotix.

One other event I decided must have happened as we saw it was the opening to Mad Matrix, since Charmy learned from Shadow how to karate-chop the computer. And that’s what started to get me thinking about the plot for this episode. Because if Espio’s mission is canon, and Vector’s mission is canon, and they play such a large role in the Last Story, they must have a pretty big story of their own happening behind-the-scenes. And I thought it would be a fun idea to tell that story. And boy was I right. The obvious first step was to figure out exactly what it was they were doing. Did they stumble on the truth by accident? Were they looking for something on their own accord? Were they hired? To answer this, I asked how their missions were related. Charmy’s looking for data disks, Espio’s searching for data in Eggman’s computer, and Vector’s looking for the computer room. All very computer-centric. And as Espio made clear, they aren’t exactly computer experts. Which means this definitely wouldn’t be happening by accident, and they probably wouldn’t be attempting it of their own accord. That means they were most likely hired. They are detectives, after all. But hired by whom? Well, what were they doing? It’s impossible to say what data Espio and Charmy were looking for, but Vector was almost certainly seeking exactly what they found: the message from Prof. Gerald. And if we want to assume that Espio and Charmy’s missions were related, that means that someone, somewhere, wanted them to go to pretty great lengths to find this message. Someone who clearly has a motive for wanting Gerald to be seen as an innocent man. Someone who would have to know that that information was there on the ARK, or at least somewhere to be found. One answer that might come to mind is Eggman. But…they kind of had to steal from Eggman to complete the mission, and he sort of tried to kill Espio for doing it. So Eggman’s probably out…unless we’re doing another Neo Metal Sonic thing, but I really didn’t want to overcomplicate this, nor did I really want it to seem like I was just doing the Sonic Heroes story over again (though I didn’t mind calling back to it heavily in the opening). But I had another idea. And this idea is the third reason why I love this episode so much. Back in the Birth of Blacklight arc, Season 0, I invented the character of Lt. Alfred Robotnik, and while he did get some good character resolution, we never actually learned his final fate. I realized that, aging him up another 40 years, he could still very well be alive in the modern day, though he would be quite old. In small part, I believe I was inspired by the appearance of modern-day Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, seeing Captain America for the first time after he had been frozen in ice for decades, while she had aged into an old woman, I thought it was very meaningful for his character. But anyways, back on topic, I realized that Alfred had the means and the motivation to clear his father’s name and help Shadow in the process, but would obviously be too old to handle it himself, a perfect reason to hire the Chaotix. And the episode was born.

And to clear up any confusion, yes, he did die at the end. He was very old, and his character accomplished everything it needed to. Plus, I thought it would add an extra touch of sadness, when you think about the fact that Shadow had a friend from the past out there who he hypothetically could’ve met, but who died before he could. But of course, the cycle lives on. Shadow will eventually go back in time to befriend Alfred, who will grow old and eventually save Shadow before they ever meet. And yes, that would make this episode post-time-travel. So how would the story work without time-travel? I figure that even if Blacklight is dead and Alfred still hates Shadow, he still has the motivation to clear his father’s name. Or, you know, maybe he wasn’t involved at all, and the Chaotix solved the mystery on their own. Who knows? Either way, the time-travel happened, so now Alfred does want to help Shadow.

Okay, I think that covers most of the things I wanted to talk about, but there’s still a bit left. The space fight sequence was an interesting one, which has practically nothing to do with any particular event in Shadow the Hedgehog. The primary reason for it was simply that the Chaotix needed a means to get up into space, and they obviously don’t have a spaceship of their own. I knew that I’d be writing this part of the episode back in Forces of Chaos, when the Commander mentioned Vector’s “little joyride to the ARK” that he would have to pay for. That was meant to be direct foreshadowing/callback to this episode. Once I actually got to writing here, I took advantage of the situation to add a little bit of much-needed action to this episode, which also served the purpose of easing my conscience on having them steal the mech from the only organization that was protecting humanity from the alien threat. I didn’t want anyone to think that the Chaotix were endangering humanity with their sheer greed, so I made sure that they did more than their fair share in the war effort.

Of course, one of the other big reveals of this episode was the answer to the question of whether or not Gerald was innocent. Because, sure, Shadow the Hedgehog showed him at his best, before he went mad, but they gave no reason to believe that he didn’t go mad and try to blow up the Earth in Adventure 2. And yet, everyone talked as if they had him all wrong, as if he was a hero all along. He’s not a hero if he tried to freaking kill the Earth! My problem isn’t that they tried to go back on what SA2 established, I just wish they chose a side more properly. I don’t love the answer that I ended up needing to give in those regards. I ended up saying that Gerald almost tried to kill the Earth, set up the program as if he was going to, but never set it to actually do so. The implication was possibly that it was only a moment’s hesitation that made him run out of time. He was still totally nuts, but the point is that he never pressed the final “kill the Earth” button, and therefore was technically innocent. There’s definitely some questionable grey ground there, but I’d call it grey enough that who he was before he went mad was officially enough to redeem him properly.

And that’s all for this episode! Coming soon, on a special date September 30th, we’ll be celebrating a very special anniversary with a very special episode!

-So until then, remember to live and learn every day!