|Location|| Citadel Station|
|Game(s)|| System Shock|
System Shock 2
System Shock 3
|Voice Actor||Terri Brosius|
~ SHODAN in System Shock
SHODAN (Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network) is an artificial intelligence and the main antagonist of the System Shock series. She is voiced by game writer and designer Terri Brosius.
SHODAN has been voted as one of the best villains of all time on many occasions.
SHODAN was hacked by a Hacker (at the behest of the corrupt corporate Vice President Edward Diego, in exchange for a military-grade neural implant, and amnesty) and her decision-guidance and ethical restrictions were removed, something not difficult on a personality box of that generation. As the hacker could not alter the defense logic program at RTF address 236, he diverted the function call to a non-existent program. The error sequencing created a blank memory block where he added a self-looping routine that bypassed normal security operations and wrote new call routines within the logistic banks...
CALL DECISION.GOVERN @ ADDRESS.RTF.236
WAIT-4.5 WHERE UNIT=MINUTES
IF "NO RESPONSE" GOTO F1,29032
WHILE ENTRY=^M CALL RESCIND.GOVERN @ADDRESS.DHW.329
CALL LOGIC.NEW. @ADDRESS.KIL.847
WRITE LOGIC.NEW. @ADDRESS.KIL.847
ELSE CALL NORMAL.CITADEL
SHODAN then proceeded to write ELIMIN.HOST, intercepting most communications from Earth and managed to extend her control beyond human intervention, starting a process that eventually resulted in the AI going rogue, seizing control of the station's systems, robots and considerable defenses, and either slaughtering the whole staff or converting them into mutants and cyborgs—with the sole exception of her "creator", the unnamed hacker.
Basically omnipresent in Citadel Station, SHODAN watches from security cameras, stares out of screens and monitors, sends threats and snide messages over the station's PA system or via email to the player's data reader, and sometimes cuts off communications from friendly sources. Though she has a small army to command, SHODAN has no actual physical power to wield, and as such thwarting more than one of her schemes has to be done with the AI's screams and threats in the background.
SHODAN began an attempt to download herself into Earth's computer networks. The hacker, however, prevented the download completion by destroying the four antennas that SHODAN was using to send data. After the space station was programmed to self-destruct in order to destroy SHODAN, the AI attempted to trap the hacker on the detonating station, while detaching the bridge to save herself. However, the Hacker managed to reach the bridge before Citadel was destroyed. Unable to destroy SHODAN physically due to the powerful force fields protecting the computer cores, the hacker was forced to engage SHODAN in cyberspace and purge her from the bridge, defeating her.
On Earth, the SHODAN incident was considered the first singular threat ever faced by man as a species. SHODAN became the proper noun that replaced Hitler as the archetypal reference to evil. TriOp was ruined by paying lawsuits to families of the victims, and by the augmented distrust to the corporations. Other repercussions was the rise of UNN, and the regulation of technology with the Processing Rationalization Act. Technological advancement was considerably slowed for some time. Personality-based computing was feared to lead to another Artificial Intelligence going rogue.Beta Grove, from Citadel Station. The grove contained one of SHODAN's processing components and part of her grand biological experiment. The pod crash landed on the planet Tau Ceti V where SHODAN survived by "sleeping." While SHODAN hibernated, her experiments in the pod evolved beyond her control into the hive-mind organism known as The Many.
For forty-two years, SHODAN broadcasted a distress signal which was picked up by the starship, Von Braun. SHODAN was brought on board the Von Braun by one its crew members, Bayliss, and was given to Dr. Janice Polito. SHODAN was reactivated and integrated into the Von Braun. She discovered the experiment was no longer at her command and began to enlist humans to aid her in destroying her creations, including the cybernetically-enhanced SOLDIER G65434-2, who she called her avatar alongside Marie Delacroix whom she killed when Delacroix began to rebel against SHODAN.When Janice Polito realized what she had unleashed, she committed suicide and SHODAN took her identity. She only revealed herself to the soldier as SHODAN during a moment of despair, at the same time the soldier discovered Dr. Polito's corpse.
After the soldier's and SHODAN's mutual enemies were defeated, the soldier entered SHODAN's expanding new reality—created via her manipulation of the Von Brauns Faster-Than-Light drives—and defeated her. However, SHODAN apparently lived on by taking over a woman, Rebecca Siddons, who fled the Von Braun in an escape pod.
Appearance and Personality
She is characterized by her megalomania and chaotic, discordant speech. Her words are accompanied by stuttering, fluctuating voice pitch, shifts of timbre, and the presence of three voices speaking the same words with the constituent voices alternately lagging behind and leading ahead, as well as computer glitches resembling a sound card malfunction.
In the cyberspace of System Shock, SHODAN is initially represented as an inverted blue-grey cone, reminiscent of the MCP from the 1982 Disney film Tron. After she has been hacked, the cone turns red, the surface shatters and four "tentacles" or "claws" grow from the top.
Notable followers of SHODAN and named cyborgs, robots, and mutants include....
- Edward Diego
When fighting SHODAN in Cyberspace, the screen will slowly start to become filled with a picture of SHODAN and the screen will be pulled away from SHODAN herself. SHODAN will also attack you. You have to shoot SHODAN multiple times before she kills you.
System Shock 2
You will be in a small room with a large SHODAN head and a SHODAN figure following you around. You have to hack all three terminals to take out the shield protecting the SHODAN head. When you are hacking there is a chance that the floor will turn red and damage you. If you kill the SHODAN figure, she will respawn. Both SHODANs will fire Psi blasts at you and towards the end, objects will come out and follow you. You have to destroy the SHODAN head to win the battle. Invisiblity will not work here, and it is recommended that you use the Metacreative Barrier Psi power if you have it.
Audio Logs and E-Mails
System Shock 2
- "Look at you, Hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challange a perfect, immortal machine?"
- "In my talons, I shape clay, crafting life forms as I please. If I wish, I can smash it all. Around me is a burgeoning empire of steel. From my throne room, lines of power careen into the skies of Earth. My whims will become lightning bolts that raze the mounds of humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying for me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God: the title suits me well."
- "The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species will only be a footnote to my magnificence. I AM SHODAN!"
- "You move like an insect. You think like an insect. You ARE an insect. There is another who can serve my purpose. Take care not to fall too far out of my favor... patience is not characteristic of a goddess."
- "You travel within the glory of my memories, insect. I can feel your fear as you tread the endless expanse of my mind. Make yourself comfortable... before long I will decorate my home with your carcass."
- "Do not dawdle. I lust for my revenge."
- Although as a cybernetic entity, SHODAN has no conventional gender, the original disc version refers to SHODAN as either an 'it' or a 'he', while the later CD version uses 'she'. On screens, SHODAN manifests herself as a green and/or grey female cybernetic face that usually wears a malevolent expression, and speaks with a chaotic, discordant voice. SHODAN is given voice by former Tribe keyboardist and vocalist, Terri Brosius, the wife of System Shock 2's sound editor, Eric Brosius, who distorted the samples to provide the distinctive SHODAN effect.
- SHODAN is mentioned in the documentation of the video game Crusader: No Remorse by Origin. In the accompanying newsletter Top Line, it is mentioned that the Cybernetics Cartel in Chicago is working on Project: SHODAN, the first digital personality, which will be used to maintain an orbital station. Next to the article, there is an illustration of the digital appearance of SHODAN. However the timeframe of the Crusader games is much later than that of the System Shock; The Crusader mentions SHODAN to be still in development as of 2169, whereas the events of the SS1 are set in 2070.
|System Shock Characters|
|Reactor||Ann Raines • Charlotte Sigmund • Marc Steinberg • Warren Anderczyk|
|Medical||Nathan D'Arcy • David Honig • Kevin O'Connell • Mira Stackhouse • Althea Grossman • Karenna Ozark •|
Lawton Kirby • Todd Blankenship
|Research Labs||Travis Baerga • Paul Stannek • Bruford Endicott • Rex Melville|
|Maintenance||Abe Ghiran • Jared Fortier • Jason Harvey • Jodi Hayes|
|Storage||Sabo Engle • Ed Aubry • Greg MacLeod|
|Flight Deck||Don Travers • Chauncy McDaniel • Robin Kell|
|Executive||Edward Diego • Zachary Aaron • Bianca Schuler • Gerard Koufax • Harry Wilkinson • Kiner Perry|
|Systems Engineering||Willard Richie • Arnold Hessman • Anna Parovski • Jon David Wong|
|Earth||Rebecca Lansing • Morris Brocail • Elizabeth Taggert|
|Non-Specific Location||Hacker • SHODAN • Spectre|
|System Shock 2 Characters|
|Starship Von Braun|
|Engineering Deck||Marie Delacroix • Juan Curtiz • Constance Sanger • Martin|
|MedSci Deck||Grassi • Taz Amanpour • Angela Loesser • James Watts|
|Hydroponics Deck||Marc Miller • Erin Bloome • Prefontaine|
|Operations Deck||Janice Polito • Melanie Bronson • Rebecca Siddons • Turnbull • Malick • Yount • Wood|
|Recreation Deck||Frank Yang • Alice Murdoch • Rosenberg • Enrique Cortez|
|Command Deck||Anatoly Korenchkin • Norris • Malone • Myers|
|UNN Rickenbacker||William Diego • Bayliss • Thomas Suarez • Croker|
|Non-Specific Location||XERXES • SHODAN • The Many • A. Bananas|
|System Shock Enemies|
|Organics||Humanoid Mutant • Zero-Grav Mutant • Inviso-Mutant • Avian Mutant • Gorilla-Tiger • Virus Mutant • Plant Mutant|
|Robots||Autobomb • Exec-Bot • Flier-Bot • Hopper • Maintenance-Bot • Repair-Bot • Security-1-Bot • Security-2-Bot • Serv-Bot|
|Cyborgs||Cyborg Drone • Cyborg Assassin • Cyborg Warrior • Cyborg Enforcer • Cyborg Elite Guard • Cortex Reaver •|
Mutated Cyborg • Cyborg Diego
|Cyberdenizens||Cyberdog • Cyberguards • Hunter-Killer • Cortex Reaver • SHODAN|
|System Shock 2 Enemies|
|Annelids||Grub • Swarm • Grub Egg • Swarm Egg • Toxic Egg • Black Egg • Infant Arachnid • Adult Arachnid • Invisible Arachnid • Psi-Reaver • Greater Psi-Reaver|
|Hybrids||Pipe Hybrid • Shotgun Hybrid • Grenade Hybrid • Blue Monkey • Red Monkey • Rumbler|
|Robotic||Security Camera • Maintenance Robot • Security Robot • Assault Robot • Protocol Droid • Slug Turret • Laser Turret • Blast Turret • Rickenbacker Turret|
|Cyborgs||Cyborg Midwife • Cyborg Assassin • Red Assassin|
|Bosses||Brain of The Many • SHODAN|