A look at Amy Rose's character over the years in various universes.
I wanted to write an editorial, but was worried, what would I write. Seeing Crazy Penguin's editorial I came to realize, I could do anything. So what subject am I hot on at the moment, well if you check the forum, you will see quite obviously that I am very let's celebrate 10 years of Amy Rose at the moment. So, I have a subject, let's see how it goes.
With Amy Rose 10th Anniversary coming up in September, celebrating 10 years since Sonic CD, I have to admit that my favorite character of the series is Sonic, but that’s just because Sonic is Sonic, but if you want to go into depth, to look at a character that Sonic Team has managed to do great justice to and kept on seeing her great potential, and yet seriously messed her up recently, I’m here to announce why We Care about Amy Rose.
Strictly speaking, this is a SegaSonic article, but I will spend brief amounts of time summing up other universes she’s appeared in.
Introduced in Sonic CD, assumed as 8 years old, with a serious crush on Sonic. A bright, energetic girl who likes fortunes and mystic things. She came to the Little Planet by "the order of the cards," but there she has a "destined" encounter with Sonic. Well, truth be told the "Order of the cards" point has never been picked up on since, and personally I hope it won't be, she’s moved of being a mystic if indeed she ever was one. But you could immediately see the potential of the character back then, unfortunately with 2D format, often you don’t get a serious plot so she was left out for the immediate time onwards. But it does mention, Sonic is her hero, she has a childhood crush on him, she adores him for what he is and wants him to be hers.
She made appearances in Sonic R, both the Drift games and Sonic Jam, but nothing major happened there and Jam just repeated what we already knew about her from CD. In Drift, there is nothing to say really. It is a shame though that she's in a car in Sonic R, and even then she is really slow. I know she’s slower than Sonic, but even so...
But the MAJOR plot points for Amy Rose came in Sonic Adventure. And it is here that I learnt exactly how much I adore her character.
In Sonic Adventure, Amy plays a bored pragmatist, someone who all those years ago had been on a fantastic adventure with Sonic, and hadn’t seen him since (actually, this isn’t confirmed but she acts like it, puts doubt on Sonic R as a cannon game, supporting Crazy Penguin's editorial theory here). She longs for the good old days, and wants something interesting to light up her life. She has nothing else to do but shop till she drops, and she is well known in Station Square so she’s obviously been here a while. Her age is given as 12 years old (Crazy Penguin says this rules out the 8 year old Sonic CD, but truth be told this actually supports Sonic CD. Sonic Team have mentioned that Sonic was 5 in Sonic 1, which many people disagree with but this would mean that most the characters have grown, Sonic isn’t given an Age in Sonic CD, so Amy could of been 8, back then and it would of been 4 years between Sonic CD and Sonic Adventure. Unfortunately this is confusing as Between CD and Adventure. The only thing this explains is that the SegaSonic age rating universe is EXTREMELY messed up and is in desperate need for someone to explain it). So back to the bored 12 years old Amy, at 12 years old she’s changed quite a bit in the 4 years, she entered that young adult stage where she’s striking out for her own independence, but she still has that childhood crush on Sonic, but she still is considered as a girl by Sonic and the others, so she still describes herself as a girl, and desperately longs to be more grown up.
I love this character element, it is similar but different to Tails. Both consider Sonic their hero, and want to be with him to help, Tails as his sidekick and friend, Amy as his girlfriend. Obvious plot points can be drawn across the two, and I personally think Amy Rose handles it better as she makes it personal. Although you can see Sonic treats Tails with more respect than Amy, in fact he almost seems scared of her when they meet. In his eyes, she is this mad young girl who chases him around and he’s freaked out by her insistence that she should marry him. Yet he does care for her, he follows her into Twinkle Park and sets out to rescue her from Robotnik when she is captured. Although I’m sure that he would go after anyone who Robotnik captures as he is the hero, he acts sort of responsible to get her, and when he rescues her, he makes sure that she is in Tails capable hands to get off the Egg Carrier. Sonic cares for her, but not in the way she wants him to.
She is self motivated, she takes it upon herself to see that the bird comes to no harm. First she talks to Sonic to ask for his help, and he palms her off wondering what possessed her to go into this crazy errand. Did you see that, BIG plot point here. Sonic is the hero, he deals with the big picture and saves the world, he defends it from harm. Yet, he doesn’t seem to care about this small bird as compassionately as she does. Sure he'll make sure neither Amy or the bird gets caught by Zero, but he doesn't want to spend his time hunting down its parents or being small quiet bird's bodyguard. He’s got better things to do. So Amy Rose is compassionate, more compassionate than Sonic. She isn't as heroic as Sonic, but she’s better than him. This is picked up in Sonic Adventure 2 later when she is able to remind Shadow of his real promise to Maria, not the one that Gerald put into his mind, (that was if Shadow ever really did know Maria, which is left uncertain but has NOTHING to do with this editorial). So Amy is in her own way a better hero than Sonic, and she’s also just as determined. She sets out to do something and she does it. She will stand up for her beliefs, her rights, and is as willing to put her own life on the line as Sonic is.
Continuing of that, she isn’t as strong as Sonic. She can't roll and bounce like the rest of the gang, and her only weapon is the hammer. Now personally I think that the hammer is a bit well, each. But she needs it for gameplay’s sake, and it fits in perfectly with the gameplay, so you have to respect the hammer in its own way. With her its not just a weapon, it's a symbol of her defiance of the lack of morals that Robotnik displays in his creations.
And of that note, we can see many ways in which her morals stand out. She shocks and confuses E102 in what has to be an overused plot point through the years, yet she plays it off well with Gamma, and uses her own method to escape the Egg Carrier. Not by bashing her way out hammering everything in sight, but by simply standing up for what she believes in and keeping with her morals, she keeps herself determined and active and she finds a way. But, when confronted by Robotnik face to face, she still remains morally strong, but weak. "No, not the birdie." she calls out, but is unable to do anything.
Which leads to point out, she is still weak. She’s a similar age to Tails, she and him are both clamouring for respect by Sonic and having trouble facing up to the danger. Both do it their own way. Tails by acting tough like Sonic and Amy by sticking with her own beliefs. But when it comes down to action, she’s still just a little girl, and it is a compliment to her that she is still scared and helpless against these robots that surround her on every side. She needs Sonic to look up to get her out of the spots where action and only action will suffice. Lucky isn’t it that he pops along when he does.
She also proves that she has a moral sense of right and wrong by saving E102. She rescues him from Sonic and Tails, and pleads his case that he can change for the better and doesn’t have to stick with Eggman any longer. Sonic and Tails back down, and it is tribute to her that E102 does go against Robotnik afterwards rather than just sitting quiet. Then afterwards Tails drops her of home in Station square and leaves. She pauses to look around, before realizing that she still hasn’t helped the bird. She discovers that it has parents, her task is left unfinished, so the game continues.
It is also compliment to her personality, that she oversees Tikal’s first meeting with the Chao and Chaos, apparent happiness all round. She isn’t a girl of action. She believes in happiness and love, she cares...
When she does find the birdies parents, and Zero attacks them, she is motivated to fight. Direct contracts to earlier, she will fight when she has to. So we can surmise something here, she knows when she can win a fight and when she can't, and she knows that she will win here because Zero has had this coming for a long time now. It's just a shame that the boxing ring comes up during the boss because it sort of makes Amy's victory seem forced, thanks to the electric rings than to her own power. It's a nice idea that they are fighting in a ring, a grudge match, but the fact the ring kills Zero and not Amy is a shame.
Then she lets the birdie and his parents leave, unknowing that this is in fact E102. If she hadn’t helped E102 see the light side, then she would of never found the birdies parents. The birdies flies of and inspires her, she has completed her task, but not her life. She still hasn’t earned Sonic's respect which was the point of the entire game, but she promises next time will be different, next time....
Many people have criticized SA2. It's corny dialogue, bad voice acting, horrible music, the mach’s are a shambles, Knuckles and Rouge are odd, the bosses are too repetitive and usually easy, the ending is predictable. The levels are to linear, the emblem system is boring. I could go on......
But what really ruined it for me was Amy Rose. She is horrible, and I will explain. She looks older in SA2, but she acts like an 8 year old, sending her right back to Sonic CD age range, frustration for both Amy Rose fans and Amy Rose haters. I think I’ve identified the reason though. Amy Rose is either in it or not. She has to be a main player who you can see inside for her to work. She doesn’t work as an outsider. And also, a good voice actor helps.
She first appears by Tails, who was also handled badly in that game, and after she demonstrates her meekness in the face of danger and her love for Sonic, it also adds a touch of naivety, and IS SHE BLIND? This is a BLACK hedgehog, standing side by side with Robotnik and a female bat.
Then Tails rescues her, which she didn’t want, and tells her it's not safe here. She should go while he rescues Sonic. Amy claps her hands in delight, acting like a child, but the last game she was growing up????
Then she rescues Sonic, asks him to marry her, and after babbling discovers she’s been left behind. That bit wasn’t too bad, but could of been better. Then we assume she joins Tails and waits for Sonic to tell them the island is going to blow up and they fly off.
Next she starts stating the obvious when Eggman makes his threats, and then gets left behind by Sonic and Tails because she was babbling again, I don’t remember her being this bad in SA1?
She somehow meets up with Tails, and when Knuckles appears, she grabs his head and tells him to move it. Then she and Knuckles watch as Tails drives off. Arghhh, she’s getting irritating.
Then later, with Knuckles and tails and co, they all mass outside Robotnik’s base, Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all help them get in, she just tags along and laughs like a child. ARGHHHH, stop doing that. Then she, Tails and Knuckles sneak off whilst Sonic fight the Egg Golem, and man the space ship for flight. They take of and she sits patiently while they arrive. Then as Sonic and Tails discuss plans, she babbles to herself and gets LEFT BEHIND AGAIN????????
Robotnik kidnaps her, uses her as a reason to get Tails. Then uses Tails communicator to get Sonic, and disposes of Sonic. This could of been done really well, but no. She remains silent barely struggling, Tails sits silently determined, sure Sonic will sort things out, and Sonic just blunders into a trap confidently. Then as Sonic is killed, Amy and Tails just stand there opened mouthed, only Robotnik is played well here, he looks on respectfully as his nemesis dies, then goes back into action to do a deal with Tails. Amy just steps back to let the big boys fight it out. Excuse me, she’s as old and confident as Tails is, and he’s fighting over HER again? Something wrong here. Then she laughs and claps happily jumping around like a child when the Ark Cannon blows up and they all find out Sonic is alive. I thought she'd stopped doing that.
Then, she stays in the main laboratory as everyone else goes to save the world. She sits bored wishing she hadn’t been left behind. She sees Shadow and demonstrates her moral beliefs on him. He picks up some odd memories and runs off. This is the ONLY scene in the game where she is handled properly. And it is almost her last, except for the end sequence when she talks with Sonic briefly before they leave.
So SA1 set her up as a wonderful character, SA2 dashed her across the rocks and crashed and burned. Not only that, she had terrible voice acting in SA2, as did most the cast. Come on, surely after SA1, Sonic Team can do better than that?
The 2 Advance games do little for her personality, but they show that she will confront Robotnik when needed. She joins them tagging along to do her best. Sadly, these have no plot so I can't comment really in depth.
In Shuffle, she seemed more mature, but the bad game in itself meant that she could be too good. She spends a lot of time worrying about her clothes. She almost is disregardful of Sonic. She’s into fashion, but she still has her beliefs. Sadly this isn’t a character game and that’s all we see of her.
Now, Fleetway is my favorite representation of Amy outside the SegaSonic universe. She sets herself up as Sonic's girlfriend, lying for popularity and this gets her into trouble. Sonic rescues her and is resentful of the way she set herself up with him and her at first. But after she joins the team, eventually he comes to respect her. She becomes the second in command of the gang. When Sonic is out of action, she takes control. She trains Tails to be a freedom fighter, she came up with a way of controlling Super Sonic. Sonic still jokes about hating her, and she jokes about loving him, but deep down their still good friends. She eventually matures into a self standing young woman, joins up with Tekno and leaves the gang to do her bit. She eventually comes back minus Tekno to stand in for Sonic when he goes missing in the SA strip. Yes, Fleetway handled Amy Rose well even if at times their plot were a bit consorted.
In Archie, I am less able to comment. Although from what I have seen she seems less outstanding. She came to Knothole to hide from Robotnik as a young girl. She has a childhood crush on Sonic, but unlike Mina she respects the friendship between Sonic and Sally, and eventually (Cant remember what) uses some weird power to make herself older because she hates being treated like a child, and even if her bodies matured her mind isn’t. I can't say any more than that though.
I can't comment on Sonic X as I haven’t seen it yet. I just hope that she acts the way she did in SA1 to it, because that’s the Amy Rose character I’ve come to love.
So, 10 years of Amy Rose, and I can honestly say her only appearance that is shameful is Sonic Adventure 2, and that isn’t a bad track record. Amy Rose had added a new depth to Sonic games that was badly needed, given the story a feministic touch without going down the alley of sexual differences at all. Overall a great character, a great game, and a great series of games to be in. Amy Rose, this is your life...