Character Overview: Shadow

Following on from implementing the crit system I talked about in the last post, this week I begun prototyping the 4th playable character in Aria: Shadow. Fittingly Shadow is all about stealth, traps and huge crits. Today I want to give you an overview of Shadow’s current design.

But first, a heads up: I want to point out that Aria is still in the pre-alpha phase of development and none of the artwork is necessarily representative of the final version of the game. This is especially true of the character models, which are all currently placeholders! So that means that Shadow looks like a man at the moment. Yeah, you’re just going to have to work with me on that. Onwards!


Okay so let me quickly explain how Aria’s stats work. There are three stats in the game:

  • Might grants extra direct damage and health
  • Cunning grants extra crit damage and stealth detection
  • Wisdom grants extra damage over time and cooldown reduction

Stats range from 0 to 10, with most characters averaging around 3 per stat. So lets look at how Shadow weighs in:


The muscles represent might, the eye cunning and the brain wisdom.

A quick glance shows that Shadow has the highest cunning out of all the characters. So what’s that mean? Shadow is good at finding hidden things (like traps) and does fantastic crit damage. These two things will sound more terrifying once we go over her abilities…


This one is pretty straight forward: when activated Cloak allows Shadow to become invisible to the enemy and gain increased movement speed for a period of time.


Now, if you happened to catch my explanation of Aria’s crit system in the last post, you might have realised something: since stealth is a kind of advantage, all of Shadows attacks will be crits while she is cloaked. Very handy considering Shadow’s cunning!


Shadow likes knives. When she’s not shanking an unsuspecting monster in the back with one, she’s hurling a handful of them across a room. The Fan ability involves the latter activity. Shadow will let loose multiple knives in a cone towards her current target. The further away the target is, the tighter the cone will be.


This makes Fan a surprisingly versatile ability: when used at close quarters it’s a wide-sweeping AoE, when used at long range it becomes a high damage snipe.


Shadow likes to take things. She also likes to break things. Loot is all about both of these inclinations. When standing next to a trap, Shadow can dismantle it and gain a useful item as a result. The type of item she gets depends on the nature of the trap that was looted but it will most often be some type of grenade.


For example, looting an explosive barrel will give her an explosive bomb but looting a spider web will give her a web net. This variety of throwables kept in Shadow’s back pocket means she’s always got an answer for when things go sour.

Putting it All Together

So with everything explained, what is the picture painted for Shadow? She takes a little more planning and care than some of the other characters, since most of her damage requires advantage and her arsenal requires looting rooms. However, the payoff is a wickedly versatile character that handily clears rooms of traps, controls enemies with grenades and delivers deadly waves of critical hits.

And remember, team mates are expendable:


That’s it for this week, see you next time!



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