Here are just some random thoughts and observations that probably won't help you in the game, but you may like if you're a fan of it.

The Shadowrun CultureEdit

If you are new to Shadowrun, you should know that the video games were spawned from the original Shadowrun pen-and-paper RPG. If you're into those, you will probably like Shadowrun, as it is very similar to the Genesis game. Even if you don't know what a pen-and-paper RPG is, you may want to check out some resources. Unfortunately, FASA, the company that created Shadowrun, has gone out of business. The FASA web page is still up, though, for the time being. If you're quick (The date as this is being written is June 19, 2001), you should be able to check out their expansive Shadowrun section. It's mostly a big catalog of licensed stuff to buy, but there are also a few features such as a discussion board. The URL is:

Fortunately, the Shadowrun franchise has been sold to WizKids, LLC, and will continue. Unfortunately, the WizKids web site is focused only on their current game, Mage Knight. But, I would assume that at some point, they will begin to host pages containing info about the Shadowrun line of products. Maybe this will happen about the time the FASA site goes down. The WizKids site is at:

Another site, which is very in-depth and will likely stay around for a much longer time (since it's run by fans) can be found here:

UPD: Shadowrun is currently being developed by Catalyst Game Labs, and a new edition has gone to print since the time the original version of this page was written. Despite some changes the new edition has brought to the system, the history of the world is still the same, so most books from the previous editions can be used still.

The web site of the system can be found here, and (note the shameless self-advertising) you can try to find an online game here.


You will be hard-pressed to find multimedia resources for Shadowrun, the video game. It's still best known as the pen-and-paper RPG, and even some hardcore fans don't realize that the video games even exist. The only useful resource I could find is a page that has some nice scans of the original Shadowrun box, game cartridge, and manual.

Cyberpunk and NeuromancerEdit

You may have heard the word "cyberpunk" being tossed around to describe many different things. The truth is that Shadowrun almost perfectly embodies the relevant aspects of cyberpunk culture. This is because the Shadowrun franchise is strongly (and I mean STRONGLY) based on the Cyberpunk Bible itself, William Gibson's 1984 novel, Neuromancer. Contrary to what I wrote here in previous versions of the FAQ, Neuromancer DID in fact collect several significant awards, including the Nebula (previously awarded to such landmark publications as Flowers for Algernon and Dune) and the Hugo (which has also gone to Dune and more recently -- ahem -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

The more significant result (at least to us Shadowrun fans) is that the book spawned an entire subculture that includes this game. If you want to read the novel that started it all, check out Neuromancer -- you'll be amazed at how far ahead of its time the book seems to be. You'll also be able to understand a lot of the subtle references that exist in the game. And if nothing else, it's an enjoyable read that can be finished in a day or two.

Other ResourcesEdit

There are tons of books, games, and merchandise available for Shadowrun. Most of these can be found on the sites listed in part 1 of this section. The one thing that you may not find, and also the one thing that readers of this FAQ may be most interested in, is the SNES version of Shadowrun. Shadowrun on the Super Nintendo is a completely different game, with a different story and everything. The SNES game is driven more by point-and-click action and detective work that makes it feel much more like an adventure game (think Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion). I try my hardest not to be biased, but I really think that the Genesis version is way better. The interface and cursor- based style of play just doesn't fit the game setting. The game never displays a fixed atmosphere, and it's easy to get stuck or just plain bored. Those are just general aspects, but there really are a lot of little differences that you'll notice.

Of course, I don't want to scare people away from it. In and of itself, it's a good little game with almost as much depth and variance as the Genesis version. If you're a Shadowrun fan, you'll definitely want to check it out.


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