The full version of The Consuming Shadow contains four playable characters for the player to choose from before beginning a new game. These are unlocked by either finishing the game through specific endings, or by completing a job that the player earns randomly, which are followed by a very hard dungeon.
The characters have traits that gives them different play styles. They receive different kinds of text messages and have different resources available to them. These characters level up and collect Birth Stars separately.
The Scholar Edit
Main article: The Scholar
The Scholar is the only character available to the player from the start, thus, all the traits of the other characters are balanced around him. He has 60 in-game hours to banish the Ancient; a gun, with which he starts with a full supply of 9mm bullets; £15 to spend when he starts his journey; an empty spell book; he loses sanity when he casts spells and basic melee abilities. The Scholar also has a unique constellation: The Priest, which allows the player to fill the bestiary easier. The Magician constellation also always appears in his night sky, which increases the chance of discovering random spells.
The Ministry Man Edit
Main article: Trilby
The Ministry Man is one of the unlockable characters. He has the same traits as the Scholar, except he has £100 to spend, the full Banishment Incantation and knowledge of all the towns in England and Wales. However, he has only 24 in-game hours to banish the Ancient. The Ministry Man also has a unique constellation: The Emperor, which makes prices cheaper in towns.
The Warrior Edit
Main article: The Warrior
The Warrior is one of the unlockable characters. He differs from the Scholar by not having a gun. Instead, he as a stronger melee ability with a longer reach, though unlike the Scholar and Ministry Man, the player cannot move while using it. He also has a dodge ability, in which he quickly slides backwards. While dodging, the player cannot be hurt, similar to how Soldier Buzzers cannot be hurt while in their somersaulting state after taking damage. The Warrior has no unique constellation, but instead has two which always appear in his night sky: The Bull, which strengthens melee attacks; and the Smith, which increases the chance of finding random items.
The Wizard Edit
Main article: The Wizard
The Wizard is one of the unlockable characters. She differs from the Scholar by having a full spell book, she does not lose sanity from casting spells and she has no melee ability. The most notable change to her play style is that when she uses a rune in a spell, it degrades. Runes can be replenished by examining them found randomly on walls in dungeons, or all can be replenished at once by examining the banishment ritual. This can make the Wizard very difficult to play, since with no melee ability, if the Player has run out of bullets and the runes needed for the Circle of Death and Mass Death spells (the only two spells which cause damage to enemies) are depleted, the player cannot kill monsters. The Wizard has a unique constellation: The Alchemist, which increases the effectiveness of drugs.