Shadow is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. He is a stealthy mercenary plagued by mysterious dreams. Shadow joins the party whenever he feels like it, but can have a random chance of leaving after a battle. His dog, Interceptor, can attack for him in battle, and he can throw weapons, shuriken and scrolls.
In the World of Balance, Shadow is recruited in Gau's father's house, in Kohlingen for 3,000 gil, and on the Floating Continent for free. At any time before the Floating Continent, but not within the Imperial Camp or on the Phantom Train, if Shadow is in the player's party, he has 1/16 chance of leaving at the end of every battle. He won't leave if he's the only character alive or if the combat is a pincer, side, or back attack. Shadow also won't leave the party if he's KO'd, Petrify, or has the Zombie status.
In the World of Ruin, Shadow must have been properly rescued on the Floating Continent. If so, he can be found wounded at the end of the Cave on the Veldt and recovered when the Behemoth King is defeated. He will be returned to Thamasa, but leave later. If the player wages the Ichigeki in the Dragon's Neck Coliseum, he is fought, and after winning, can be recruited permanently.
His unique ability is Throw, which lets Shadow throw a variety of weapons which include; daggers, swords (except Ultima Weapon), spears, ninja daggers, katanas, rods (except for the Flame Rod, Ice Rod, and Thunder Rod), throwing weapons (including boomerangs and chakrams), Gambler's Items (except for the Dice and Fixed Dice), shurikens, and scrolls at his opponent. Shadow's Desperation Attack is Shadow Fang that deals magical damage to one enemy and inflicts Sap.Interceptor will block it. When this happens, Shadow will take little to no damage. There is a chance Interceptor will counterattack using either "Wild Fang" or "Takedown", both of which deal non-elemental magic damage to one opponent so long as it is not floating. Interceptor will not aid Shadow on the Floating Continent since the dog is resting in Thamasa. In the case of the Rippler bug, the player may permanently lose Interceptor's use in battles.
Shadow is fought in Dragon's Neck Coliseum as a boss in the World of Ruin, if he survived the Floating Continent and the player visited the Cave on the Veldt, collected the Ichigeki from there and bets it at the coliseum. Fighting him re-recruits Shadow into the party, this time permanently.
Shadow stays behind when the rest of the party flees the Floating Continent under a time limit at the end of the World of Balance storyline. When the party is prompted to return to the Blackjack, the player must refuse and wait for Shadow. If the player waits until the timer is running out, Shadow will follow and can be re-recruited in the World of Ruin. If the player leaves without waiting for Shadow, he will will presumably perish and not be available for recruitment.
If the party stays at any inn while Shadow is a party member, there is a 50% chance to view a dream. There are four dreams, which, when viewed in sequence, tell the story of Shadow's past. The player can stay at an inn over and over again until all dreams have been viewed. Each dream plays once. A fifth dream is shown while rescuing Shadow in the Cave on the Veldt in the World of Ruin, and a sixth dream belonging to Relm is only viewable if the player allows Shadow to perish on the Floating Continent.
The only place the player cannot view Shadow's dreams is at the inn in Thamasa after the owner reduces the service fee to 1 gil. The first four dreams can be triggered in either the World of Balance or the World of Ruin.
Shadow is a good character to fight at the Dragon's Neck Coliseum, as he will never use Throw and having him without any magic learned at this point is possible. Shadow joins the party twice after the party has acquired magicite: once on their way to Thamasa, and the other during the portion of the Floating Continent. He has weaponry that can inflict instant death, such as Assassin's Dagger or Ichigeki, which has a 25% chance to kill an enemy in a single blow, but the player should not use these weapons when fighting an undead opponent. An alternate weapon is the Kagenui, that can randomly cast Stop on the attacked target. Shadow has 28% evasion, having the highest raw evasion out of the party, and being the second speediest character (tied with Gau). When evading an attack, there's a chance of Interceptor attacking the enemy without losing a turn, but this attack will miss floating opponents.