It’s a cliché, but sometimes we really are our own worst enemy. Although we don’t usually literally attack our reflections with a deadly obsidian staff.
We all know that Pao’s been feeling pretty guilty over what happened with Dante, but being pursued by a vengeful shadow version of yourself takes self-hatred to a whole new level. So, what are you supposed to do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? We’ve got a few tips.
First of All, Don’t Panic
Encountering a shadow version of yourself in the wild can be incredibly disorientating. But remember to stay calm, because your dark twin won’t be as freaked out as you when you two first come face-to-face for the first time.
Who knows how long your shadow-self has been waiting for the opportunity to finally meet you in the flesh? Always lurking in some shady corner, keeping watch as you go about your mundane daily routines blissfully unaware that someone is hiding just beyond your vision . . .
We take it back. The first step shouldn’t be “Don’t Panic.” It should be “Arm Yourself Immediately.”
Use Your Words
If your shadow self is anything like Pao’s, it may come at you with some sort of deadly weapon. But don’t confuse the creature for a mindless attack-drone. Pao’s shadow-self is not only capable of speech, she also has kind of a big mouth.
Once you get past the initial insults about your appearance and personality, see if you can’t find some common ground with your shadow-self. You may discover that you two actually have a lot in common, like your hairstyle, your sense of fashion, your entire cellular structure . . . That’s a lot to work with!
Focus on the Differences
Shadow Pao may look the same as regular Pao (albeit shrouded in darkness), but she sure doesn’t act the same. For one, Shadow Pao evidently lacks the fear that regular Pao has so often struggled to overcome. Instead, Shadow Pao is confident, collected, and honestly, a bit of a jerk.
Encountering a version of yourself who doesn’t behave as expected can be a real trip. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for subtle differences. For example, shadow-selves have a habit of distorting their features when they’re angry, up to the point where they look a lot less like you and more like a horribly deformed wraith with glowing eyes. Once they start ranting about having to serve some mysterious “master” looking to take over the world, you’ll be able to breathe easier. By that point it’ll feel like you’re talking to a completely different person altogether.
Ignore the Guilt Trip
Psychological warfare is one of Shadow Pao’s go-to strategies. After all, if you can’t cause physical damage, why not go for the emotions? With all that’s gone on in Pao’s life recently, it’s easy for Shadow Pao to target her victim’s negative thoughts.
But Pao isn’t alone in carrying regret. We all do sometimes. As it turns out, though, the better you are at acknowledging such feelings and confronting them head-on, the more powerful you’ll become in opposition to your shadow self.
We still recommend that you arm yourself with a sharp-bladed spear, however. You know, just in case.
Want to learn more about Shadow Pao? Be sure to pick up Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows, on sale August 2nd!