In recent years, Sonic fans noticed a strange absence of Shadow. In both the games and the recent Sonic Boom show, the fan favourite hedgehog has not had any screen time. And when he appears, there are many disappointed people who were disappointed to see him reduced to an edgelord, despite the fact that he was shown to care for others. Well, now we don’t know why.

THEGAMER DAY’S SOCIAL VOID OUT!

According to Sonic writers, Sega is much too overprotective of Shadow. Some creators who want to use Shadow in their games, show and comics seem to adhere to strict rules relating to how he is allowed to act, making certain it’s not worth the hassle. Frustratingly, one of these rules even dictates that Shadow isn’t allowed to make jokes, which explain why he’s so edgy in recent appearances.

Related: The Sonic Frontiers series is fantastic. However, it should be very simple and boring.

This confirmation comes from Ian Flynn, a comic writer who is doing the same thing as the Sonic Frontiers writer. On Twitter, he shared an excerpt from the interview of Megavisions with Sonic Boom writers, Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, on how they got over the difficulties they encountered with Shadow.

Writing for Shadow was an overwhelming challenge, says Denton. “Sega didn’t consider him a comedy character. They told us that he could’ve used him, but he didn’t make any jokes. That makes Shadow completely humorless so that it can work around that, it turns out. So edgy always.”

Even worse, Shadow wasn’t the only character that this was applied to. The writers admit they much prefer using their own original characters, because even a cameo from Vector the Crocodile or Big the Cat would require “layers of clearance”.

It would’ve taken ages to get approved, says Hahn. It’s not worth it. Thus why there’s only Shadow, Metal Sonic and Vector the Crocodile in a handful of episodes.

Since that proved that it would be the case, Flynn quote retweeted the interview, which read, “Quid and non comment.” Flynn has previously said that the writing mandate means that Sonic isn’t permitted to cry, so Sega seems pretty strict across the board.

For those of you who are just getting lost in the Sonic series, you may have only known Shadow as the hateful, doom and gloom counterpart of the blue blur. However, Shadow previously proved to be a well-understander, even when he first arrived. In Sonic Adventure 2 his story ends with him sacrificing himself to save humanity while he meets his friends promises. Also, he appears softer than cream the rabbit, so it’s apparent that he’s not entirely apathetic.

If there’s anything you can see on that side of Shadow, we’ll see it again one day. Just don’t expect him to crack jokes anywhere soon.