The Shadow

The Shadow:

The Shadow is the mysterious guardian of the Orbs, hunting down and killing anyone unable to fully take control of the Orb. It chases after Daniel relentlessly.

Daniel cannot fight back against this living nightmare, or hope to hide from it. All attempts to banish it have failed, all Daniel can do now is flee from it for as long as possible.

Where the Shadow passes, it leaves behind a fleshy organic residue that is harmful to skin and bone. If Daniel is too close to this residue, Daniel’s sanity will decrease. Sometimes, Daniel has to jump on this residue in order to pass by.

As Daniel progresses through objectives and travels deeper into Brennenburg Castle, more of the fleshy substance is visible because Daniel is getting chased by this so-called Demon. The residue can be seen to have human skulls, parts of rock, and occasionally whole limbs stuck in it. The flesh is very strong and elastic, it cannot be damaged by tools or brute strength. Only certain types of acid can dissolve a thin webbing of it, though given time will regenerate as the Shadow’s influence intensifies. When it corrupts the Back Hall it turns the water from the fountain into blood. The Shadow’s more sudden appearances are accompanied by violent shaking and loud echoing roars.

Although it is likened to a “beast”, the Guardian actually demonstrates that it is very intelligent. It pursues Daniel quickly as the young man tries to escape it, whereas when it finally has him cornered it’ll slowly advance on him, taunting him, almost savoring the moment as it closes in for the kill. It also knows about Daniel’s fear of the darkness and will often blow out or obscure all sources of light as it passes, but Daniel’s oil lantern is helpful for all situations. The Shadow notably hates Daniel having high sanity and will often roar just to lower it.

At the beginning of the game, the Shadow was pursuing Daniel because he had taken an Orb that resided in an African tomb in Algeria. Though the young man was not directly harmed everyone else he came into contact with was brutally killed afterwards. In order to seek refuge from this ancient horror, Daniel travels to Brennenburg Castle, where the baron Alexander promises a means of warding off the Shadow.

Alexander repeatedly mentions that Daniel is “tainted” and “branded” by this supernatural force. The meaning of these labels concerning the young man is not understood, as Baron was intentionally being cryptic. To ‘taint’ something is to contaminate it, whereas ‘branding’ someone is to mark them indelibly, indicating ownership. Whatever he was implying it is certainly obvious that the Shadow knows exactly where Daniel is and is never far behind.

It will not allow Daniel to escape it via the portal Alexander creates in the Orb Chamber, because he’s “branded” so the cosmic force literally “owns him”. It causes the young man pain whenever he tries to pass through the gateway himself. Alexander coldly states it makes no difference, even if Daniel could travel beyond the Universe, it would still inevitably catch and consume him either way.

Occasionally The Shadow roars when Daniel does certain things, like making progress or entering a new area, the castle shakes but the red residue does not appear. It will constantly hinder his progress, blocking the most direct route to Alexander. If Daniel tries to leave the castle via the Entrance Hall in the beginning of the game, however, red flesh covers the door, preventing his escape.

It proves itself to be unstoppable in its hunt for Daniel. From the towers of the castle, to the toxic Sewer tunnels and the bottomless pits of the Chancel, no environment deters or hinders its expanding organic matter. It works very similar to the gameplay mechanic of an “advancing wall of doom”.

While this fleshy residue is easily seen even in the darkest reaches of the castle, there is no mention of it before Daniel arrives in Brennenburg. In the journal entries the Shadow is described as a completely invisible force. A bright red aura is often radiated when large masses of flesh join together. Also, though this residue is known to be left by the Shadow, the being itself is never seen. It is unknown if it has physical form at all. All that can be assumed is that the ancient horror is gigantic. The stomping noises made as it chases Daniel gives a feeling of its immenseness. The movements it makes when following Daniel cause all of Brennenburg Castle to tremble. It makes the ground quake, and fells tall trees. It also makes the castle start to cave in.

The Shadow hounds Daniel and thus is constantly confronted throughout Brennenburg Castle. It is responsible for the unnatural darkness that shrouds the rooms in Storage. If Daniel lights some candles it will randomly roar causing the entire environment to go darker still. Any lit candles and his own lantern will also glow with an eerie dark red.

Curiously, this supernatural entity interacts with the monsters it comes across differently. When it consumes the Cellar Archives and Cistern, it allows the Kaernk to appear and attack Daniel. Without its influence and flooding the cellars, the water monster wouldn’t have been able to even pursue Daniel in this area. Whereas with the Gatherers, a Servant Grunt was seen lying in a bloody mess somewhere in the Sewers. It tore Alexander’s servant apart.

An unseen force. Its sole purpose is to guard the Orb that Daniel took from the burial chamber and has killed numerous people to achieve that end. It is not seen as a physical being, it’s described as a huge sluggish mass of darkness and leaves behind a fleshy damaging substance over anything it touches. The Fleshy Residue:

 

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