It’s clear that SEGA was going for a very difference audience and approach with Shadow the Hedgehog. 2005 was a weird time for Sonic, and SEGA was looking to woo back lapsed fans and usher in new ones with something edgy. That’s where Shadow the Hedgehog comes into play, but it turns out what we got was extremely sanitized compared to SEGA’s original plans.

Apparently SEGA was somewhat seriously considering taking Shadow the Hedgehog down the mature-rated route, although the game we eventually got was rated E10+. What was the mature-rated version going to be like? According to a Gameluster interview with former Shadow voice actor Jason Griffith, Shadow the Hedgehog would have very much garnered a mature rating through foul language alone.

“They were going for an M-Rating with this game and they hadn’t heard back from the agency if they were going to get it yet. So they had me record two takes for every line, and I swear, the version that was for the M-Rating, they had me say f* in every single line. It was just every sentence, I would be yelling ‘Sonic, give me that fing Chaos Emerald!’ or something like that. I had no idea what was going on but I just went with it, and I had fun. There’s a hard drive somewhere with hours of recordings of Shadow yelling f** at Tails and Sonic and stuff.”

[Jason Griffith, former Shadow voice actor]

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