Interceptor is kind of a big deal. While there are animals all throughout RPGs, how often do they help you out in battle? Sure, Rinoa has Angelo in FFVIII, but I see Interceptor as the original RPG pet, and we all know that the original is always better. Interceptor gets his fair share of screen-time (and even interaction with the party), so I thought he deserved a section all to himself.
They always say that "a dog is a man's best friend," and in Shadow's case, it's true. While the people in Shadow's life come and go, Interceptor is his one constant companion -- try as he might to leave Interceptor behind, Interceptor always manages to catch up to him (and he even saves him a few times). In fact, Interceptor will protect his owner even it means taking some harm himself -- he frequently blocks attacks to Shadow (how he recovers from it is a mystery), and if he gets mad enough, he'll even charge the enemy and dish out a crazy amount of damage. In fact, Shadow is the only character who can theoretically do nothing throughout a battle and still win -- Interceptor will take care of it (if the enemy is easy enough). An interesting side note is that Interceptor looks like he is probably a German Shepherd or a Doberman Pinscher. Both breeds are used in the police force -- they are not only intelligent, but they make for good guard dogs. Additionally, both breeds are known to attack if they sense that their owner is in danger.
the dog eats strangers
Part of Interceptor's charm results from the way Shadow describes him. Shadow tells your party that Interceptor doesn't usually like people, and even worse, he tells them that he eats strangers. What makes these lines so entertaining is the fact that we see no evidence of this -- Interceptor is almost always sitting calmly next to Shadow, the one exception (that I can think of) being when he greets Relm very excitedly. As long as no one tries to harm Shadow, Interceptor is pretty much as tame as they come -- there are no instances of Shadow trying to get Interceptor to calm down after they meet someone new. So, it's unclear why Shadow goes out of his way to paint his dog as being more ferocious than he really is. Maybe he thinks it makes him look more tough and unapproachable, or maybe he just doesn't want the liability if Interceptor should decide to go haywire.
a sad goodbye
One of the saddest moments in the game is Shadow's scene in the ending -- while all the other characters are shown helping each other escape Kefka's tower, Shadow's scene revolves around him departing on his own, leaving everyone (including Interceptor) behind. No one seems to notice, but Interceptor seems very reluctant to let Shadow leave. He finally listens and leaves his owner, as Shadow declares that he is going to stop running and start over. Both Interceptor and Shadow are noticeably absent on the Falcon -- maybe Interceptor ended up following Shadow after all, or maybe he was left to fend for himself in Kefka's tower. It's unclear, and that is what makes it so sad. I like to think that he eventually catches up to Relm -- after all, he is a pretty tough dog, and he has managed to find the party without Shadow a few times before!
I've capped a few sprites of Interceptor -- he's pretty cute, so feel free to adopt him and put him on your site! Just be sure to save the sprites to your own server. If you're feeling nice, you can even link him back to this site!