• What If... Shadow Didn't Run Off On His Family

    Warning: This article will contain spoilers on a 20 year old game. Viewer discretion is advised.

    There’s a saying that everything happens for a reason. But, what if for some reason, something that was supposed didn't happen? Anyone could make a decision in their life and drastically change the outcome of history.

    We all remember Shadow in Final Fantasy VI, where he played a critical role in saving the party from Kefka’s wrath in the middle of the game. His story began as a train robber named Clyde. He and his partner Baram were a duo named Shadow. While on the run, Baram became injured. He begged Clyde to kill him, but Clyde couldn’t do it. Clyde escaped to a town called Thamasa, where he fell in love with a girl and they had a baby together.

    Afraid his past would catch up with him, he ran off. Taking the identity of an Assassin, he called himself Shadow. With his dog Interceptor at his side, he worked as a mercenary, gaining notoriety.

    Eventually, he crosses paths with the party and joins them on-and-off. When the party faces Kefka on the Floating Continent, he risks his life trying to stop him from unbalancing the Warring Triad Statues. This allows the party to escape, despite everything not ending so well. However, what if, at some point, his life took a different turn?

    What if Clyde didn’t run from his family? When the party enters Thamasa, he’d be there, with his daughter Relm. It’s not sure if her mother would be alive or not, nor whether his past would’ve caught up with him. Assuming it didn’t, when Relm snuck off with her friend to play with the fire rod, its likely Clyde would’ve been the one to go into the burning house to save Relm instead of Strago. After Strago explains the history of the Thamasa villagers’ connection with the Espers, it’s likely that Clyde would’ve been the one to join the team, leaving Strago at home to keep an eye on Relm.

    This means that Relm and Strago wouldn’t have joined the party at all. Even if Strago joined instead, Clyde likely would’ve stayed behind to mind Relm. Either way, Relm and the bugged out Sketch ability would’ve been relegated to the Darkest Timeline, leaving the party without its bratty child trope.

    The other critical point of the game Shadow participates is in the aforementioned Floating Continent battle. After running off, ashamed of ever helping the Empire, he returns to the team just in time to throw a wrench in Kefka’s plans of disturbing the Warring Triad statues. He attempts to realign them, allowing the party to escape.

    If Shadow never became a mercenary, he wouldn't have felt guilty for helping the Empire. Nor would he have been able to return and save the party from Kefka’s manipulation of the statues. Either way, the world would still fall into ruin, but the active party would have died on the Continent.

    In this case, it was probably a good thing Clyde was a coward, terrible husband, and deadbeat dad. This just goes to show how one can change history by even the simplest choices in life.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: What If... Shadow Didn't Run Off On His Family started by Colonel Angus View original post
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