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Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano
Sprite(s) Shadow's in-game sprite Shadow's appearance as Clyde. Shadow's menu sprite
Japanese name Shadow
Kana シャドウ『クライド』
Romaji Shadou
Job Assassin
Skill Throw
Limit Break Shadow Fang
Age Unknown
Birthday {{{DoB}}}
Height 6'2" (1.84 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg)
Blood Type {{{Blood}}}
Birthplace {{{Birthplace}}}
Treasure {{{Treasure}}}
Loves Hard-boiled eggs
Hates Dreams
Hobby {{{Hobby}}}
Final Fantasy VI Character
"He owes allegiance to no one, and will do anything for money. He comes and goes like the wind..."
—SNES Description
"He comes and goes like the wind, swearing allegiance to no one. Hidden behind his wintry gaze lies a face known to none who live..."
—GBA Description

Shadow is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. He is a loner, an assassin and a mercenary, as his only friend is his dog, Interceptor. According to Edgar, he was so cold he would "kill his best friend for the right price". He comes and goes as he pleases, and is no fan of the opera, as throughout the World of Balance he leaves the player's party at various points after battles without warning.


Character and Appearance

"He'd slit his mama's throat for a nickel!"
Edgar on Shadow

Shadow is seen in classic ninja attire, wearing almost all black. He wears his hood up and dons a mask, preventing any of his physical characteristics from being shown.

Shadow is a very cold person, typically only showing any tenderness to his dog, Interceptor. He is frequently described by other characters as a ruthless assassin. When he joins the party, he rarely talks and shows little interest in their exploits, often staying only until he can collect his fee, then leaving at the most inopportune moments. It is revealed, though, that he has had a troubled past, including the death of his lover, being forced to abandon his daughter and leaving his partner to die. Shadow later warns Terra about "people who have killed their emotions", and encourages her not to do the same. In Thamasa, Shadow also rescues the party from a burning house, though he claims it was only to retrieve Interceptor who had also gone inside. Despite his cold and silent exterior, Shadow does develop a kinship with the party.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Nothing is known about Shadow's childhood; however, he was at one point a Thief named Clyde Arrowny (クライド Kuraido), who worked with his partner Baram. Together they became known as Shadow, and referred to themselves as "The Great Train Robbers of the Century." At one point, they found a treasure worth one million GP, but the authorities were on their tail by then. They wounded Baram, who begged Clyde to kill him and relieve him of his pain. Clyde did not want to see his friend die, but he could not help Baram, and as a result, Clyde fled as far away as he could. He found himself in the small town of Thamasa, where he was married and fathered a baby girl. He could not hide from his tragic past, so he left his wife and daughter to live safely and changed his identity. He would wear the attire of a dark assassin, and would never show his face to anyone. His dog, Interceptor, followed him out of Thamasa. From then on he would only be known as "Shadow", borrowing from the group name he and his partner collectively used as thieves.


Shadow in the main story

Shadow's SD artwork.

The party first meets up with Shadow in South Figaro, where he does not do anything, but Edgar comments about him. He appears later in a house, where he offers to take Sabin to Narshe. On the way, they had to pass through an Imperial Camp, which was set up to manage the war with Doma. Shadow and Sabin overheard Kefka Palazzo's plan to dump poison in the river that flows through Doma, thus killing many of its inhabitants. They tried to stop him, but to no avail. As a result, Cyan Garamonde, a knight of Doma, came to the Camp and started killing Imperial soldiers. Sabin and Shadow helped out, and together they escaped the Camp on Magitek Armor. The three men traveled south through the Phantom Forest, and accidentally boarded the Phantom Train. In order to get off, they had to make their way to the engine and stop the train inside. However, they then were forced to fight the train. After a successful battle, the train stopped, and they headed south towards Barren Falls, where Shadow left Sabin and Cyan alone if he had not left already.

Shadow popped up next in Kohlingen during the search for Terra, but he refused to join the party unless they were willing to pay him 3,000 gil. Even still, he would only help them as far as Zozo at most.

Shadow's return.

Shadow was eventually hired by the Gestahlian Empire to assist in the mission to Crescent Island. On the way, he overheard an intimate conversation between Terra and General Leo Cristophe, after which he assured Terra that he did not care, as his emotions were dead. He joined Terra and Locke Cole on a trip to Thamasa, where he met Strago Magus and Relm Arrowny. Interceptor was surprisingly friendly to Relm, which confused Shadow. That night, however, Relm was trapped in a burning building, forcing Terra, Locke, and Strago to save her. Shadow did not come until Interceptor tried to rescue her. Shadow arrived just as everyone was about to get burned to death, and helped them escape. He then took Interceptor and left. However, after Kefka's attack on Thamasa, Interceptor returns without Shadow, casting some doubt as to his master's whereabouts.

The party finds Shadow.

However, Shadow was found later wounded on the Floating Continent. He helped the party navigate it and defeat Ultima Weapon, after which he left because he still serves the Empire for unknown reasons. Later, though, Kefka was in a bitter struggle with Emperor Gestahl over the Statues. Kefka succeeded in killing the Emperor, and began to move the Statues out of their delicate balance, which caused the face of the world to change completely. Shadow tried to move the Statues back in balance and stop Kefka so that the party could escape the Floating Continent. At this point, the player could choose to wait for him or to not wait for him. During the timed escape sequence if the player waits until the timer is in the last :05 Shadow will jump onto the airship at the last second. If the player waited for him, he would appear in the World of Ruin alive, otherwise, he would have presumably died.

Shadow in a full motion video from the Anthology release.

One year later, if the party waited for Shadow, he would be found wounded in the Cave in the Veldt (otherwise, Relm would appear). In order to rescue him, the party had to defeat the Behemoth King and take him to Thamasa so he could recover. Eventually, Shadow would head for the Colosseum in search of the legendary dagger, the Ichigeki. If the party wagered it, they would fight Shadow. If they won, Shadow would rejoin permanently.

In the ending, Shadow says "Baram... It looks like I can finally stop running... Come and find me all right?" (and the Japanese version of this translates back into English as "Baram! I don't need to flee anymore. Embrace me warmly."), and he remains in Kefka's Tower alone as everyone else, including Interceptor, returns to the Falcon. It is suggested that he did not intend to survive the tower's collapse, and his fate afterward is left to the player to interpret, as he does not appear later on the Falcon with the other characters.

Relm's father

If the party stays at any inn while Shadow is a member, there is a chance he will have a dream. There are four dreams, which, when viewed in sequence, is the story of Shadow's past. A fifth dream is shown while rescuing Shadow in the Cave in the Veldt.

Flashback of Relm in the Final Fantasy Anthology ending.

There are many hints that point at the possibility of Shadow being Clyde Arrowny, Relm's father. Although Shadow's dog, Interceptor, usually does not like people, he seems to like Relm, as if he had seen her before. In one of Shadow's dreams, we see Clyde (whom we are to believe is Shadow's true identity) leaving the town of Thamasa with Interceptor following him. He then tells the dog to stay together with the girl (the kanji used can also be a humble form for "daughter"). Also If the player decides not to wait for shadow on the Floating Continent then Interceptor will begin parrying and countering for Relm just as he did for Shadow. His statement at the final battle, when he says that he has discovered friends and family, is worthy of mention too.

Shadow's dreams.

Only Shadow and Relm can equip the Memento Ring; its description, "Departed Mom's love protects against fatal magic attacks," hints at their relationship as father and daughter as well.

Also, during the ending of the Final Fantasy Anthology re-release, just before Shadow destroys the ghosts that stand in his path, there is a single video frame where the artwork of Relm can be seen. Shadow seems to forget all hesitation after this and charges at the monsters. The connection is all but said outright in the Game Boy Advance release, during Shadow's dream after being rescued in the World of Ruin, when he explicitly states he has a daughter and that he wants her to live peacefully in Thamasa.

Shadow and Relm's relationship was officially confirmed in developers' interviews in 1995. The developers actually considered having a scene in a bar (presumably in Thamasa) where Strago asks Shadow to reveal his identity. The dialogue was supposed to be as follows:

Strago: I have one request... Show me your face. Even if you are him, I have no intention of wasting time trying to talk you into staying. I just want to know... for Relm's sake...
Shadow: ...... (He takes off his mask and shows Strago his face. However, his back is turned so that the player can't see.)
Strago: Thank you... Shadow. ...Come, let's have a drink.[1]

It is unknown why the scene was not implemented (or removed) in the final game.

Equipment and Stats

Shadow's equipment, stats, and even appearance are closest to that of a Ninja. His stats are pretty average all around, with an emphasis on speed and physical attack power. However, his defense and magic defense stats are lacking, as is his equipment draw. An interesting fact about Shadow is that, when equipped with a Thief knife, Bard's Hat, and two White Capes, he has 49% MBlock, the highest possible value in the World of Balance (for more information on this, see Evade Bug). He can equip daggers, most of which are available to him, and including some only he can use. He is also the only character that can use ninja swords. His armor draw consists mostly of lightweight vests. He can only use universal shields.

Equipment Lists


Dirks Spears
  • Dirk
  • Mythril Knife
  • Imperial
  • Thief Knife
  • Kodachi
  • Assassin Knife
  • Sakura
  • Sasuke
  • Man Eater
  • SwordBreaker
  • Striker
  • Graedus
  • Stunner
  • Ichigeki
  • Oborozuki (GBA)
  • Imp Halberd


Shields Helmets Body Armor
  • Buckler
  • Mythril Shield
  • Flame Shield
  • Ice Shield
  • Thunder Shield
  • Aegis Shield
  • Force Shield
  • Genji Shield
  • Cursed Shield
  • Paladin Shield
  • Leather Hat
  • Plumed Hat
  • Head Band
  • Green Beret
  • Bard's Hat
  • Circlet
  • Dark Hood
  • Thornlet
  • Red Cap
  • Genji Helmet
  • Leather Armor
  • Kung Fu Suit
  • Mythril Vest
  • Ninja Gear
  • Gaia Gear
  • Diamond Vest
  • Mirage Vest
  • Dark Gear
  • Genji Armor


Shadow's special ability, Throw, allows him to throw most weapons, such as swords, dirks, or even rods, at his opponents. All damage done by a thrown weapon ignores Defense and row. There are also Shurikens, and skeans, which are exclusive to the Throw command.

If Shadow is hit with a physical attack, there is a chance that Interceptor will block it. When this happens, Shadow will take no or little damage. Also, when this happens, there is a chance that Interceptor will counterattack using either "Wild Fang" or "Takedown", both of which deal non-elemental magic damage to one opponent so long as it is not floating.

Musical Themes

Trouble with the audio sample?

Shadow has a theme named after himself. The style of the theme is reminiscent of spaghetti western soundtracks, such as ones by Ennio Morricone. His theme is also mixed into the ending.


  • Shadow made an appearance in Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game along with Terra and Locke.
  • Shadow made a cameo in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a tutor from the in-game manuals, alongside Interceptor.
  • In the Advance version, the famous quote "He'd slit his momma's throat for a nickel" was toned down to "He'd kill his own best friend for the right price," - as it had been in the SNES version's original Japanese release - in order to give his persona the style of a ruthless mercenary, rather than that of a mindless killer.
  • Shadow resembles the G.I. Joe character Snake-Eyes, in that they are both silent Ninjas that wear a black skin-tight stealth suit with a mask pulled over their eyes. This bond is furthered by the fact that both own a canine and have a foggy past.


  1. V-Jump issue (in Japanese)

External links

This article uses material from the "Shadow (Final Fantasy VI)" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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