SPOILERS Shadows 7 Dreams

Project_Turtle

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According to this reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/FinalFantasy/comments/qy670
Shadow has 7 dreams. For the most part it seems like only five have been found. I think I have found the last two. If this is correct I don't have an order for them yet, but I though I'd put this out there to see what ppl think:

There are the 5 commonly known dreams (4 in WoB, 1 in WoR)

I believe Shadow (Clyde) was the one who slayed Duncan. But I think when that happened shadow split. His physical form went west and meets up with the gang as they are making there way towards Terra after she screams off into the night.

The dream Shadow (Baram) heads west.

In this theory, Sabin dies after the encounter with the octopus and Cyan dies with everyone else in the kingdom. The Doma forest is where shadow brings them both back. This is also why shadow is quick to disappear if you fight a lot, as it breaks the connection between the two shadows (Clyde/Baram).

The seventh dream in this theory would be the dream in which Shadow brings Relm and friends back from the dead after the house burns to the ground. The physical shadow is actually already with Kefka and the Emperor, dying on the floating island.

In this theory, essentially only Shadow's dog travels with Terra and Locke to Thamasa.
 

Dionysos

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That's a really interesting theory. I've never encountered the idea that Shadow is a split personality before.

Whether the theory that Clyde and Baram are the same person is literally correct or not, the character we call 'Shadow' named himself thus because that was the name of their gang when they were outlaws. So in a sense they are both 'Shadow'.

So the other aspect of the theory is that Shadow greets the dead and revives them / gives them another shot at life?
While I don't believe that Square Enix had these intentions, there are other things which feed into that angle. Sabin (FF's equivalent of Heracles) fights Ultros (named after the monster Orthros in Greek mythology) in the River Lethe (a river of forgetfulness / oblivion in the Greek underworld) and falls in...

Cyan, as you say, should have died along with everyone he loved in Doma. So, if he did, the fact that both Sabin and Cyan end up travelling with Shadow to the Phantom Train (FFVI's steampunk locomotive-themed upgrade to the ferry over the river Styx) might not be an accident.

I think they were playing with the theme of death here. Possibly on a metaphorical level, but it is very interesting to discuss. Here are two heroes who should be dead with a mysterious 'Shadow' being given another shot at life while other spirits depart the realm forever.
 
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Project_Turtle

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Great catch on the mythology. Shadows always felt like the least attached member of the party, especially in the WoB. I used to think it was because he was a late addition, but it may be cause he is somewhat more metaphoric than the other characters.

I don't think Clyde and Baram are the same person at all, I think Baram did die in the way the dreams say.

But "Shadow" is just a guy in a ninja outfit who says "Hi, my name is shadow and this is my dog interceptor." In my theory Baram also donned the outfit.

When we are first introduced to shadow, he is introduced as an assassin. The empire is poised to take S. Figaro. Duncan and his students could have been instrumental in defending the city. So the empire would have a reason to take him out. Maybe the empire hired shadow for this.

We know Vargas slayed Duncan, but I don't think Vargas could have killed Duncan on his own. When we first see him he is "Shadowing" the party.

Now shadow also takes over as party lead at the Doma camp, if you don't change character order. It visually is very similar to Vargas changing into a ninja outfit on the mountain.

So what if Shadow is helping Vargas and in his party when Vargas slays Duncan. Possibly leaving him the moment Vargas ends up at the cave entrance. Clyde-Shadow kills Duncan, Baram-Shadow brings him back to life.

There is also the timing of the three party split that happens after the Returner hideout. If you think about how much each party explores on the world map, and how much each party does, it seems like Sabin/Cyan/Gau takes the longest followed by Locke/Celes and finally Edgar/Terra.

Terra takes the shortest possible route to Narche.

Locke back-traces the route Terra took. Longer by quite a bit, but he also leaves early.

And the third party takes the scenic route, travelling through about a third of the world. Sightseeing. Writing letters. Partying on trains. I mean, omg they do a lot.

And yet all three parties show up at exactly the same time for the meeting in Narche.
 

Dionysos

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Oh, so a sort of spiritual split at the moment of killing Duncan?

That is an interesting idea. I’m certainly a believer that Shadow is a very metaphorical character. As mysterious as he is, that's the point with him. He's literally a 'shadow' and a man with no name for most of the game. The dreams feed us with some details, but even they need unpacking.

I'd never really thought about the significance of where he shows up until this thread, so I really do appreciate this thread for giving me an urge to dig into Shadow more deeply.
 

Project_Turtle

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I think you were right in the first part. These probably aren't the two missing dreams. I have found two better examples of what might be the missing dreams in Kohlingen. I'm not sure if they are, but I'll go with everything I said above maybe suggests Shadow is more "metaphoric" than I previously realized. I guess part of his story is still Locked away from me at the moment.

Where he shows up, and when he shows up too :)

But that might be a bit deeper than I want to go in this thread.
 
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