|Japanese name||Shadow (Clyde)|
|Desperation Attack||Shadow Fang|
|Height||6' 0" (184 cm)|
|Weight||145 lbs. (66 kg)|
|Final Fantasy VI Character|
- "He owes allegiance to no one, and will do anything for money. He comes and goes like the wind..."
- —SNES Description
- "He comes and goes like the wind, swearing allegiance to no one. Hidden behind his wintry gaze lies a face known to none who live..."
- —GBA Description
Shadow is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. He is a loner, an assassin and a mercenary, as his only friend is his dog, Interceptor. According to Edgar he is so cold he would "kill his best friend for the right price". Shadow comes and goes as he pleases, as throughout the World of Balance he leaves the player's party at various points after battle without warning.
Character and Appearance
- "He'd slit his mama's throat for a nickel!"
- —Edgar on Shadow
Shadow wears classic black ninja attire. He wears his hood up and dons a mask, preventing any of his physical characteristics from being shown. In the flashbacks he is seen as sandy-haired, wearing a brown scarf and cloak over black clothes.
Shadow typically only shows tenderness to his dog, Interceptor and is frequently described by other characters as a ruthless assassin. When he joins the party, he rarely talks and shows little interest in their exploits, often staying only until he can collect his fee, then leaving at the most inopportune moments. It is revealed, though, that Shadow has had a troubled past. Shadow later warns Terra about "people who have killed their emotions," and encourages her not to do the same. In Thamasa, Shadow rescues the party from a burning house, though he claims it was only to retrieve Interceptor. Despite his cold and silent exterior, Shadow does develop a kinship with the party.
Shadow was at one point a thief named Clyde (クライド Kuraido), who worked with his partner, Baram. Together they became known as Shadow, and referred to themselves as "The Great Train Robbers of the Century." At one point, they found a treasure worth a million gil, but the authorities were on their tail. Baram was wounded and begged Clyde to kill him and relieve him of his pain and to avoid capture by authorities. Clyde did not want to see his friend die, but he could not help Baram, and as a result, Clyde fled as far away as he could. He found himself in the small town of Thamasa, where he married a woman and fathered a baby girl. He could not hide from his tragic past, so some years later he left his wife and daughter and changed his identity. He would wear the attire of a dark assassin, and would never show his face to anyone. His dog, Interceptor, followed him out of Thamasa. From then on he would only be known as "Shadow," borrowing from the group name he and his partner collectively used as thieves.
Shadow in the main story
The party first meets up with Shadow in South Figaro, where Edgar comments about him. He is found later outside of a house, where he offers to take Sabin to Narshe. On the way, they have to pass through an Imperial Camp set up to manage the war with Doma. Shadow and Sabin overhear Kefka Palazzo's plan to dump poison in the river that flows through Doma and they try to stop him, but to no avail. As a result, Cyan Garamonde, a knight of Doma, comes to the Camp to kill Imperial soldiers with revenge in mind. Sabin and Shadow help out, and together they escape the Camp on Magitek Armor. The three men travel south through the Phantom Forest, and accidentally board the Phantom Train. In order to get off, they have to make their way to the engine and stop the train. Afterward they head south towards Barren Falls, where Shadow leaves Sabin and Cyan if he has not left already.
Shadow pops up next in Kohlingen during the search for Terra, but he refuses to join the party unless they are willing to pay him 3,000 gil. Still, he would only help them as far as Zozo at most. Alternatively, the party can hire him after Zozo, but he will leave during Scene I of the opera.
Shadow is eventually hired by the Gestahlian Empire to assist in the mission to Crescent Island. On the way, he overhears an intimate conversation between Terra and General Leo, after which he assures Terra he does not care, as his emotions are dead. He joins Terra and Locke Cole on a trip to Thamasa, where he meets Strago Magus and Relm Arrowny. Interceptor is surprisingly friendly to Relm, which confuses Shadow. That night, however, Relm is trapped in a burning building, forcing Terra, Locke, and Strago to save her. Shadow does not come until Interceptor tries to rescue her. Shadow arrives just as everyone is about to get burned to death, and helps them escape, but only takes Interceptor and leaves. After Kefka's attack on Thamasa, Interceptor returns without Shadow, casting some doubt as to his master's whereabouts.
Shadow is found later, wounded, on the Floating Continent. He helps the party navigate it and defeat Ultima Weapon, after which he leaves because he is ashamed he ever served the empire and feels unworthy of fighting alongside the player party for the time being. Later, Kefka is in a bitter struggle with Emperor Gestahl over the Warring Triad and succeeds in killing the Emperor, and begins to move the Statues out of their delicate balance, which causes the face of the world to change completely. Shadow tries to move the Statues back in balance and stop Kefka so that the party could escape the Floating Continent. At this point, the player can choose to wait for him or to not. During the timed escape sequence, if the player waits until the timer is in the last :05, Shadow will jump onto the airship at the last second. If the player waits for him, he appears in the World of Ruin alive, otherwise, he presumably dies.
One year later, if the party waited for Shadow, he can be found, again wounded, in the Cave in the Veldt (otherwise, Relm would appear in his stead). In order to rescue him, the party has to defeat the Behemoth King and take him to Thamasa to recover. Eventually, Shadow heads for the Dragon's Neck Coliseum in search of the legendary dagger, the Ichigeki. If the party wagers it, they fight Shadow. If they win, Shadow rejoins permanently.
In the ending, Shadow says "Baram... It looks like I can finally stop running... Come and find me all right?" (the Japanese version of this translates back into English as "Baram! I don't need to flee anymore. Embrace me warmly."). Shadow remains in Kefka's Tower as everyone else, including Interceptor, returns to the Falcon. It is suggested he did not intend to survive the tower's collapse, and his fate is left to the player to interpret, as he does not appear on the Falcon with the other characters.
If the party stays at any inn while Shadow is a party member, there is a chance to view a dream. There are four dreams, which, when viewed in sequence, tell the story of Shadow's past. A fifth dream is shown while rescuing Shadow in the Cave in the Veldt, and a sixth dream belonging to Relm is only viewable if the player allows Shadow to perish on the Floating Continent. The dreams reveal Shadow is Relm's father and tell the story of him as a train robber named Clyde who robbed a train of a million gil with his partner Baram, and together they took the name "Shadow" as a duo. Baram was killed when fleeing the authorities, but Shadow escaped to Thamasa, where he fell in love with an unnamed woman and fathered a child before leaving the village to keep his past from catching up with him. The village dog, Interceptor, followed him. This is why Interceptor is so friendly towards Relm, and why both Shadow and Relm can use the Memento Ring, said to be empowered by the love of a departed mother - in this case, Relm's mother and Shadow's lover.
If the player allows Shadow to die on the Floating Continent, the flashback sequence viewed when the player rescues Relm changes to show Strago speaking to Relm, who then cries out for "Daddy" and asks where he went and if he will come back, before Interceptor leaves the house. This fits perfectly with the flashback viewed if the player rescues Shadow instead of Relm, which shows him, as Clyde, walking away from Strago's home when Interceptor runs up from behind him. In the original English Super NES release, he tells Interceptor to stay with "the girl," but the word used for "girl" in the Japanese release could also be used as a humble form of "daughter." In the Game Boy Advance release the word "daughter" is used instead, making it clear Shadow fathered a child in Thamasa before fleeing the village.
Shadow and Relm's relationship was officially confirmed in developers' interviews in 1995. The developers considered having a scene in a bar (presumably in Thamasa) where Strago asks Shadow to reveal his identity. The dialogue was supposed to be as follows:
- Strago: I have one request... Show me your face. Even if you are him, I have no intention of wasting time trying to talk you into staying. I just want to know... for Relm's sake...
- Shadow: ...... (He takes off his mask and shows Strago his face. However, his back is turned so that the player can't see.)
- Strago: Thank you... Shadow. ...Come, let's have a drink.
Shadow is an Assassin, and thus has high speed and strength but low defense and average magic stats. His weapons draw is limited to daggers, but he can use almost all of them, and for armor equips hats, vests, and universal shields. His ability is Throw, which lets Shadow throw almost any weapon at enemies for high damage. Shadow is also able to use specialized throwing weapons in addition to other weapons to attack multiple enemies at a time. If Shadow is hit with a physical attack, there is a chance Interceptor will block it. When this happens, Shadow will take no or little damage. There is also 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. In the case of the Rippler Bug, the player may permanently lose Interceptor's use in battles. Shadow begins with a Kunai and Ninja Gear.
An interesting fact about Shadow is that, when equipped with a Thief Knife, Priest's Miter, and two White Capes, he has 49% MBlock, the highest possible value in the World of Balance (for more information on this, see Evade Bug).
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
Shadow's theme has a style reminiscent of spaghetti western soundtracks, such as ones by Ennio Morricone. When the player enters a location where Shadow is present, such as the South Figaro and Kohlingen pubs, the background music abruptly switches to his leitmotif, indicating his presence. His theme has an orchestral reprise in the Ending Theme between 09:16 and 10:04.
- Shadow makes an appearance in Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game along with Terra and Locke.
- Shadow makes a cameo in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a tutor from the in-game manuals, alongside Interceptor.
- In the Advance version, the famous quote "He'd slit his momma's throat for a nickel" was toned down to "He'd kill his best friend for the right price," - as it had been in the SNES version's original Japanese release - in order to give his persona the style of a ruthless mercenary working for money, rather than that of a mindless killer working for the kill. It is also more fitting since nickels are not used for currency in the game; ironically, it is later revealed that Shadow actually refused to kill his best friend.
- The game data contains dialogue lines for Shadow when spoken to on the Blackjack, however, the player never gets to board the airship with Shadow, so these lines can never be viewed. It is also possible to ignore Shadow until the mission to Thamasa, yet he always acts as if he's already made the player's acquaintance. Dialogue for "never-before-met" Shadow on the boat to Thamasa exists in the game data, but apparently the developers forgot to include it.
- In the SNES version, if the party chose to save Shadow on the Floating Continent, in the World of Ruin when he is found in the Cave on the Veldt instead of Relm, he will be called a "her". This has been fixed in future installments.
- It is possible to trigger the Empty Party Glitch by having Shadow as the only party member, and having him leave the party. This will freeze the game.