Matakishi's Tea House

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Shadow Man is a video game developed by Acclaim Studios Teesside and published by Acclaim Entertainment. It is loosely based on the Shadowman comic book series published by Valiant Comics and was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and PC. A sequel, entitled Shadow Man: 2econd Coming, was released exclusively on Sony's Playstation 2 three years later in 2002.

Shadow Man's story revolves around a man by the name of Michael LeRoi. Mike, over a decade prior to the game's events, was an English literature student. However, after flunking his courses, Mike spent his remaining college funds on drinking and gambling. Due to his hedonistic lifestyle, Mike was now in dire need of money and as such took a job as a taxi cab driver in Chicago, all the while keeping his failure a secret from his family back home in New Orleans.

One night in 1991, during a routine drop-off, one of Mike's customers was killed in the back of his cab in a gang-style drive-by shooting, leaving a briefcase containing $20,000 behind. In a panic, Mike sped off and took the money with him. He then returned home to New Orleans, lavishing gifts on his family and paying for his younger brother Luke's much needed operation. However, it wasn't long before the gang tracked Mike down to New Orleans and began issuing threats against his and his family's lives.

In desperation, Mike sought out a bokor to give him protection against the gang's attacks. This worked, but far too well. The gang decided to call in their debt by staging a drive-by shooting on the car in which he and his family were traveling on their way to dinner one night. Mike's parents and brother were killed, but somehow he survived.

Upon recovering from a coma and near-fatal injuries, Mike discovered he had lost his memory and was drawn into the New Orleans underworld by the bokor he had made the deal with. It was now time for Mike to pay the price for the bokor's protection. He was now the bokor's zombie slave. Working under the pseudonym 'Zero', the amnesiac Mike acted as a hitman for the bokor, unaware of his true identity.

This went on for some years until one night Mama Nettie, a powerful but dying voodoo priestess, stormed into the bokor's bar, the 'Wild at Heart'. She was there with a crew of her thugs to retaliate against the bokor for hits he had ordered against several of the priestess' gang members. Whilst the chaos ensued, Mama Nettie dragged Mike into a back room where she summoned her remaining powers to forcibly implant the Mask of Shadows, a powerful voodoo artifact, into his chest. Thus Mike became the Shadow Man, one in a long line of African voodoo warriors blessed by the gods with supernatural powers to protect both their native tribes and the entire world from threats crossing over from the spiritual plane known as Deadside - the place where everyone goes, without exception, when they die.

After regaining her powers and taking the bokor's soul, Mama Nettie left the 'Wild at Heart' in Mike's ownership. However, Mike regained something also: his memory, which began to torment him endlessly. Unable to simply end his suffering due to his newfound immortality, Mike had little choice but to enter into Mama Nettie's service. It is here where the events of the game begin.

One night in 1999, after an evening spent with Mike (Mama Nettie must engage in sexual intercourse with Mike often so as to receive voodoo power from him and remain youthful), Mama Nettie has a prophetic dream in which five serial killers known as 'the Five', under the direction of an immensely powerful and evil being known as 'Legion', are attempting to bring about Apocalypse by transporting an immortal army of hideous monsters to Earth (Liveside) through an enormous construction on Deadside simply called 'Asylum'. After awaking Mike, she tells him of this and instructs him to immediately travel to Deadside using his strong emotional attachment to his dead brother's teddy bear as a conduit and meet up with Jaunty, a skull-headed snake who acts as Nettie's eyes and ears in Deadside. This is where the adventure begins.

Shadowman Theme Music

Gameplay video

The Project

This project started out as just a small faction of Deadside themed units to be added to my Weird War 2 project because I've wanted to introduce Shadowman into my games for a long time. When I checked the lead pile I found I'd actually accumulated a lot of figures over the last couple of years with that goal in mind; certainly more than enough to field an impressive Deadside force for Crossfire. Taking this as a sign, I've elevated Shadowman to a full-blown project that I hope will encompass figures, scenery and rules.

At the moment, January 2008, I have no concrete ideas about what sort of game I'm working towards and no rules set in mind. Everything is being based for Crossfire so they can at least be used for their initial Weird war role. I have some ideas for scenery and I'm drawing things and exploring my options.
What I do have is lots of figures which I'll add here as I complete them.

Click on the map for a larger version
A not-very-helpful map of Deadside. Unless you have the video game and then it's invaluable.

The Heroes

Mike LeRoi, Shadowman.
Mike LeRoi, a man with a valuable lesson for all of us -- don't mess with black voodoo. After getting protective help from a Bokor (a voodoo priest), Mike quickly found out that the price for a priest's services was eternal service. Mike was "freed" by a dying voodoo priestess who planted the Mask of Shadows in his chest, and cast him as her personal warrior. Now the voodoo priestess has had a premonition about the end of the world, and it's up to Mike to put a stop to it. Mike must travel to the Asylum, where all killers go when they die, and make things right. Find Legion, the master of Asylum, and his band of serial killers loose in the real world before the prophecy of Armageddon comes true.

Nettie, 400 year old Voodoo Priestess.
Less familiarly known as Agnetta, Nettie is a 400-year-old voodoo priestess who controls Shadowman, though somewhat tenuously. Nettie maintains her youth and beauty through sexual relations with Mike LeRoi. Nettie’s voodoo power is less than the Lord of Deadside’s, and she is unable to travel to Deadside to assist him there, but her experience with things arcane make her a valuable mentor and helper in Liveside.

If you want to include Shadowman in games of Alien Invasion (and why not?) the rules are here:

The Bad Guys

Click on the picture for a larger version. Grubs from Heresy.

Figures from Pardulon.

Click on the picture for a larger version. Killjoy from Wyrd.

Ghouls from Games Workshop.

'I am the Lord of Deadside - shadowborn at the confluence of worlds to walk between.  Liveside is without the meaning that my partly living possesses here, in Deadside, where the darkness is manifest at the edges of reason.  As a god I step forth upon the writhing, suppurating surface of the Deadside serpent.  What sleep is here?  What dreams there are in the unctuous coilings of the snake's mortal shuffling.  Weapon in my hand.  My hand the arcing deathblow at the End of All Things.  The horror.  The horror.  I embrace it...' - Mike LeRoi, the Shadowman