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Shadow the Hedgehog’s Voice Actor Recorded an Expletive-Filled Version of the 2005 Game

Let the hedgehog curse.

Shadow the Hedgehog

Shadow the Hedgehog is a bizarre game that feels like a direct byproduct of the Hot Topic era. A game that tries desperately to be edgy and cool, giving its anthropomorphic hero a wealth of firearms to mow down enemies, along with a sick motorcycle. The game even lets Shadow say “damn” a few times, making it downright scandalous for the family-friendly Sonic the Hedgehog series. While Shadow is genuinely one of the best characters in the Sonic franchise, the mostly middling PS2 game has become a cult classic. Even better, according to Shadow’s voice actor, there’s an official recording somewhere out there that has the character dropping F-bombs left and right.

Recently Game Luster talked to voice actor Jason Griffith at Momocon, who said there’s a version of the game that could have been M-rated, with an even edgier Shadow.

Yes, scenes like Shadow unloading an automatic weapon are really in the PS2 game. It’s amazing Sega still managed to land an E10+ rating.


“Back when I was recording for that game, for Shadow the Hedgehog, I don’t remember what year it was, but they sat me down in the studio and they weren’t sure what rating the game was going to get,” Griffith tells Game Luster, “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 f***ing Chaos Emerald!”

A version of Shadow that drops an F-bomb every other sentence is a genuinely hilarious thought. In 2005, it would have been an astoundingly bold move to have an M-rated Sonic game, and even more surprising is the idea progressed at least far enough to record voice lines. In the end, it’s easy to see why Sega decided to stick with an E10+ rating, and even just that allowed Shadow the Hedgehog to live on infamously as a left-turn for the franchise. Going from an ultra-violent mature game to the same colorful Sonic the Hedgehog would have been some serious whiplash.

With Keanu Reeves, the third Sonic movie can finally realize the full edgelord potential of Shadow.

Paramount Pictures

Griffith says there’s likely a hard drive out there somewhere containing hours of him shouting “F***” at Sonic and Tails, and I for one hope Sega finds the heart to release that someday, for history’s sake.

Even more than that, it’s high time Sega allows Sonic’s counterpart to finally realize his full potential and curse like a sailor.

Last month, it was announced that Keanu Reeves would be voicing Shadow in the third feature film. That could be perfect timing to bring back this alternate Shadow. Reeves’ legendary performance in Johnny Pnemonic, and even Cyberpunk 2077, show that no one can drop an F-bomb like him. It’s a match made in heaven.

Sega has proclaimed 2024 the “Year of Shadow,” so let’s give the people what they want.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 hits movie theaters on December 20, 2024.

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