Ah, Valentine’s Day. A time for romance and epic declarations of love – which, if you happen to be Amy Rose, is basically every day. With her daily antics of chasing Sonic, we figured that the Rosy Rascal would be the perfect character to celebrate this February 14th! Now, who’s ever heard of a celebration without some cool knowledge? That’s right, nobody. So let us take a Piko (sorry) at some interesting facts about everybody’s favourite pink hedgehog.
Amy Rose’s first formal video game appearance was Sonic the Hedgehog CD in 1993, but her conception as a character can be dated as far back as 1992. In manga.
The original version of ‘Eimi’, as you see below, was created by Kenji Terada for various Sonic the Hedgehog comic books published by Shogakukan. Her first appearance was in the April 1992 issue of Shogaku Ninensei – she was introduced as the girlfriend of a nerdy young hedgehog character named Nikki, who had the power to transform into the super hero, Sonic the Hedgehog.
While most Sonic manga represented unofficial interpretations and storylines (and this was true of Eimi, who would later appear in a host of unrelated books including Coro Coro Comics Special and other ‘Shogaku’ series), the story goes that Sonic Team designer Kazuyuki Hoshino and the Sonic CD development team ‘adopted’ Eimi and redesigned her specially for her video game debut.
One of Amy’s little-known (or should that be, one of her few actually-known) hobbies include the mystical arts and fortunes. This extends to things like reading the future and tarot which, according to the Sonic the Hedgehog CD Japanese manual, she owns a deck of specialised cards. According to the Japanese storyline of the Mega CD game, Amy would have a premonition that she would have an encounter with Sonic on the Little Planet.
Since then, there have been little flares of mystic ability and influence in Amy Rose’s character. In Sonic Shuffle she actually ended up being transported to a fantasy universe, and in Sonic Rivals she faced the bitter irony of actually being turned into a card by Eggman Nega. Whoops.
Another past-time which is often overlooked is ‘Boxercise’ – which is a combination of boxing and exercise (obviously). Her interest in this fitness regime becomes apparent during the course of the story in GBA brawler Sonic Battle, in which her activity apparently helps her maintain her figure and prepare her for when she’s forced to fight.
When playing as Amy in Sonic Battle, you’ll notice that she deploys some rather meaty kickboxing manoeuvres, along with some jabs and uppercuts to get under her opponents. Probably not a good idea to challenge her to a duel even without her famous Piko Piko Hammer, then!
Amy can’t use the Chaos Emeralds, right? Wrong. In Sonic the Fighters, if you’re good enough to see the true final boss (spoiler alert; it’s Eggman, innit), a scene plays out where your chosen character will absorb the power of the precious gems and activate what is known in the game as a ‘Hyper Mode’.
By going Hyper, you will have an actual chance of beating the final stage, which requires you to think quick on your feet and defeat your opponent in mere seconds before having to escape the Death Egg Mk II. Sure, the Hyper Mode is a generic ‘special’ status for all characters who reach that far in the game, but it still counts – Amy’s one and only flirtation with Chaos Energy.
Amy Rose, in her early years, was at times referred to as ‘Rosy the Rascal’. This is evident in Sonic the Fighters, which uses the nickname on the character select screen. But, while nearly all mention of her has disappeared since the dramatic redesign of the character in the late 1990s (to coincide with the release of Sonic Adventure), there is one medium that Rosy continues to thrive; the Archie Comics.
During the launch of the Dreamcast, and the Yuji Uekawa redesign of Amy, Sega insisted that the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog team adhere to the character’s new look. The problem is, the comic writers had long established their own canon for Sonic – part of this being that Amy Rose was eight years old in the comics. In Sonic Adventure, her official age is 12.
What resulted in the rush to be compliant (yet consistent) was a rather bizarre story arc that involved Amy wishing upon the mysterious Ring of Acorns (an artefact made by Nate Morgan and imbued with the energy of a Super Emerald) to age four years instantaneously. But to still keep the mind of an eight-year-old. Okay.
The cool – and even stranger – part of this plot was that it helped contribute to the descent to madness of Archie Amy Rose’s evil doppelgänger, called… Rosy the Rascal. Residing on Moebius, home of the Anti-Freedom Fighters, Rosy continues to work the classic Sonic CD Amy Rose design, coupled with a twisted personality. Try getting her a Valentine’s Card.