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Comparison

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Usually writing up a comparison section is one of my favorite parts of making a shrine, but I really struggled this time around! It was hard to think of characters that resemble Shadow on more than just a superficial level (such as saying that a character reminds me of Shadow because he's also a ninja), but I've managed to scrounge up a few! Please feel free to contact me if you can think of any other characters who remind you of Shadow, and I will consider adding that character to this page.

Amarant Coral

Amarant Name: Amarant Coral
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Similarities: Back-story, occupation, demeanor

Out of every game I've played, there is no character that resembles Shadow more closely than Amarant. Although classes of characters aren't as well defined in Final Fantasy IX as they are in Final Fantasy VI, Amarant's fighting style is similar to Shadow's -- he is the only character in the game who can utilize the throw command (but he also has some features in common with a monk). While his physical appearance isn't similar to Shadow's, they both look socially reserved and secretive -- Amarant doesn't mask himself entirely, but his wild hair, facial hair, and constant slouching make it hard to discern his facial expressions, so he might as well be wearing a mask.

On a less superficial level, there is a surprising amount in common between these two. Like Shadow, Amarant feels like the only thing he knows how to do is fight -- in fact, he claims that his first memory is of the face of someone he had to fight. Before joining up with the party, Amarant worked as a bounty hunter, and he is first introduced to the party while he is working for Queen Brahne. This is similar to how at one point, Shadow is working with the Empire. His reputation is just as notorious as Shadow's, and if you ask about him in Treno, the local townsfolk will tell you about how fearsome he is. For all of his tough exterior, Amarant mostly just keeps to himself, and he stays out of everyone else's business (once again, just like Shadow).

There are a few interesting differences between the two, and the first one is his relationship with Zidane, compared to Shadow's relationship with Locke. Just like how Shadow and Locke are foils for one another, Amarant and Zidane are foils (Zidane is even the same type of character as Locke -- he is a thief, but he is lighthearted and caring). However, unlike Shadow, Amarant actually looks up to his foil, and he feels like he has much to learn from him. While Amarant never actually becomes like Zidane, it's interesting that he admires him. However, even though Amarant looks up to the main hero of Final Fantasy IX, it's worth noting that Amarant never performs any significant heroic acts, as opposed to Shadow.

Magus

Magus Name: Magus / Janus Zeal
Game: Chrono Trigger
Occupation: Mage
Similarities: Demeanor, interaction

Magus looks nothing like Shadow, and he's not even similar to him in terms of battle style (Magus is the best mage in Chrono Trigger, and Shadow is a ninja). And for that matter, their back-stories have very few similarities, if any. And yet when I think of each character, I can't help but be reminded of the other. Both can be described as lone wolves, and they tend to keep to themselves. While everyone else in their respective parties bonds, Magus and Shadow linger on the periphery and stay uninvolved. That's not to say that they're bad guys, but they have spent so much of their lives isolating themselves from other human beings, so they don't even know how to interact normally at this point.

While their demeanors are somewhat alike, that is not what makes this comparison stand out in my mind. Oddly enough, both Magus and Shadow are linked by the fact that they are foils for other characters in their respective games -- Magus is a foil for Frog, and Shadow is a foil for Locke. Both Frog and Locke are valiant heros who have overcome troubling events from their pasts, whereas both Magus and Shadow have turned to darker lifestyles to compensate for their tragic pasts.

Another interesting similarity between the two has to do with their function in their respective games -- both Shadow and Magus are more or less optional characters. There are portions of Final Fantasy VI in which you have the option to recruit Shadow or decline his services, and in Chrono Trigger, you can choose to reject Magus as well. Even more striking is the fact that you can actually kill both of these characters (and they're the only characters in their respective games that can be optionally killed). In Shadow's case, if you leave him on the Floating Continent, you will not be able to recruit him in the World of Ruin; in Magus' case, you can choose to fight him instead of recruiting him, thus resulting in his death. There are very few characters in the RPG universe who have optional deaths, so I thought that was worth mentioning.

Vincent Valentine

Vincent Name: Vincent Valentine
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Occupation: Gunman, ex-Turk
Similarities: Back-story, demeanor

While Vincent isn't a ninja like Shadow or Amarant, regardless, there are a surprising amount of similarities between him and Shadow. Thirty years prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII, Vincent was a member of the Turks, and it was his task to supervise the Jenova project. After morally questioning Hojo, the lead scientist of the Jenova project, Hojo reacted by shooting Vincent, and he proceeded to perform scientific experiments on him. To make a long story short, due to Hojo's alterations, Vincent becomes essentially immortal -- he is unable to age. For various reasons, he ends up sealing himself in a coffin, and he remains undisturbed until Cloud and the gang release him. Once he learns how the Jenova project has progressed, he decides to join the group in their quest to stop Sephiroth.

None of that sounds too familiar, but I think there's one important association here -- Vincent was once employed by a group that the main party of Final Fantasy VII is fighting against, similar to how Shadow was once employed by the Empire. Not only that, but he was harmed by them, and this is his reason for joining them. Both Vincent and Shadow seek revenge, but their involvement with the rest of their respective parties is minimal. Vincent rarely speaks (mainly because he's an optional character), but he gets his chance to shine if you engage in an optional sidequest -- you learn a lot concerning his past, just like how you can choose to view Shadow's dreams and learn about his. Both characters are full of deep regrets, and neither one is ultimately able to overcome them.