Did you know there is a large portion of the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom that ships the blue blur with his black-and-red rival Shadow? The golden retriever boyfriend and black cat boyfriend dynamic apparently stirs something in people. If you weren’t aware of the Sonadow ship, you, and likely many others, are about to be subjected to it if you look up the newly-announced Sonic X Shadow Generations remaster, because that is one extra word away from googling the pairing and every piece of fanart people have been drawing of them in the past 20 years.
Take my hand fellow hedgehog lovers, let’s test this theory. I’m going to pull up Google and see how long it takes me to find an image of Sonic and Shadow smooching when I search “Sonic X Shadow.”
Sonic X Shadow Google Results
If we don’t count the suggested search “love” at the top, it took all of 10 seconds to find an image of the rivals in a lover’s quarrel. I opened it in an incognito window so the algorithm wouldn’t give me diluted results, too. If you look down only a few results later, an image has been blurred by Safesearch. Heaven knows what could have been under there.
The funny thing is, Sonic X Shadow Generations does take up most of the early search results, and I can’t help but put on a tin foil hat and wonder if this was Sega’s plan all along. The prevalence in search results could be because the game was recently announced, and the platonic ideal of the search engine is that it prioritizes newsworthy stuff.
Whether or not this was an elaborate plan to suppress the SEO of two of its best boys kissing, Sega had to know what putting an x between two names means on the internet, and fans are running with the joke. We’ve reached out to Sega for comment and will update the story if we hear back.
In fairness, this isn’t the first time “Sonic X Shadow” has been a relevant search term. Sonic X, an anime that adapted the stories of several games in the franchise, features Shadow as a prominent character. So if people were looking for information or pictures of that iteration of the broody Ultimate Life Form, they would likely have searched that phrase, too. The lesson learned is Sonic needs to stay away from the letter X, especially if it’s the only thing keeping him away from fan-made smut featuring his best frenemy.
Jokes aside, Sonic X Shadow Generations was a highlight of Sony’s January 31 State of Play. I’ve been disappointed in how underutilized Shadow has been in the past decade of Sonic games, so seeing Sega lean into him again for both a Generations remaster and the upcoming third live-action movie has been a real treat.