Thursday, June 3, 2010

Characters: Amy Rose the Hedgehog

Yep, it's time for another character design update, this time returning to the Hedgehog roots of the series with Amy Rose, the little pink hedgehog who has, kudos to Sega, moved from abject dislike to acceptance in the Sonic universe, and now even has fans. I'm not joking, here either, I seem to recall a Sonic fansite back in the wee early days of the internet that ran a poll asking fans if they were a fan of Amy with a yes or no response. Out of over 5000 responses, two admitted yes. Ouch. Since then though, Sega's given her significant redesigns and managed to improve her standing among the fans.

As usual though with my designs for SatLoA, Amy will not behave exactly like her current iteration, but rather reflect a more advanced and mature character. Much like Black Knight changed Amy to fit her role in the story, SatLoA will be doing the same.

Amy Rose the Hedgehog: Princess of Atlantis and Last Surviving Heir (?) of the Royal Family

Personality and History: When your raised to rule a Kingdom, you learn to accept all responsibility for your actions. From her earliest days, Amy was raised with the expectation that one day she would be ruling Atlantis. As a result, Amy is filled with a high sense of duty and obligation to the citizens of Atlantis, and is well known among them due to all she has done on their behalf. Highly educated by some of the best tutors her parents could find, Amy is nonetheless humble and dignified, believing in the selfish good of people and often spending her free time working with the citizens in her city. Many a time growing up, workers would be startled as royal messengers arrived at their workplace to bring messaged to one who had been working, filthy and dirty, in their midst. Amy's dedication to serve her people is indeed part of the reason she survives the Chancellors coup; The majority of the citizens refuse to believe that the Princess would turn on them.

One year before the events of the game, Amy was informed by her parents of a marriage request from an exiled Prince. Trusting their daughter, they handed over communication with the Prince to her, and intrigued, she invited him to Atlantis and began exchanging letters. Although at first Shadow seemed harsh, Amy's talent for digging past the surface successfully opened him up a little (if in letters he and her only saw) and she realized the deep sense of honor and responsibility that he possessed, even if he didn't act on it [this plays heavily in both stories, Amy serves as a catalyst for Shadows character growth]. Then the coup happened.

Personality-wise, Amy is a compassionate, caring and idealistic character who burns with inner determination to succeed, and she holds the welfare of her citizens above all else. So highly does she hold this duty that in the end of her portion of the game, she is captured by the Chancellor when he threatens to level a section of the city if she does not turn herself over. She is also the trained wielder (by tradition) of the Hammer of Chronos, a powerful war hammer said to awaken when the royal family is threatened.

[Problem with this history: The parent angle. This game has a lot of characters and plots going for it already. Amy's parents add to that weight and introduce several problems.

1) They Live: Assuming that Amy's parents are simply imprisoned by the Chancellor, she is not the last heir. Additionally, this brings family issues into the game, as the character will desire to save their parents and this must be worked into the plot in a way that makes sense. Furthermore, Sega has never given their characters parents, and such an act could result in canon confusion as well as design problems working with Sega.

2) They're Dead: Assuming they have died at the start of the coup as the result of the Chancellor, the character is freed from family entanglements and the characters may be regulated to memory/game artwork and more easily made non-canonical. The problem: Anyone who does not react to the death of a parent is heartless, and games tend to take the "Oh no. They're dead. Argh." approach which I refuse to take. However, Amy's grief at losing her parents could be worked into her interaction with Shadow, her acceptance and dealing with it could serve as a springboard for both characters interactions as well as their growth. This option seems more workable from a story perspective, but then it comes to the question of how squeamish Sega is with side-characters directly dying as a result of a main villain, off screen.]

Game Plot: Amy's game opens with her escape from the Chancellors coup and then focuses on her attempts to get back to the palace and regain control of her kingdom. Along the way she interacts with Silver, Knuckles, Sonic, and most importantly Shadow. Amy's levels will be focused on either making her way closer to the palace or meeting up with the other characters to coordinate her movements with theirs, and in Shadow's case serving as a catalyst for character development.

Play Style and Movement: Amy will control much like the other hedgehog characters. Her jump will be just below Sonic's in height (although she will spin vertically, like Espio with her hammer out), and her movement speed will be a little bit slower. On the flipside however, Amy brings greater range during combat. Combatwise, Amy should have the longest attack reach of any characters with her Hammer. Her dash should be mid-ranged but extended through the hammer. Most of her moves will be slower but hit extremely hard. Additionally, Amy's hammer will be used outside of combat during high speed movement to perform the classic "hammer jump" that will send her flying high but only in the direction initiated. Amy will be able to access different level areas due to the help of nearby citizens who will open doors, raise platforms, etc.

Time-Powers: Like Sonic and Shadow, Amy has time powers of her own due to her hammer. These powers should focus primarily on affecting the status of nearby enemies, slowing them down or even freezing them to be used as platforms.

Physical Description: Amy should be a bit older this time around, and needs to look the part with her character expression. She needs to look determined but understanding, which calls for a complete personality difference in her expression compared to the usual character expression. This difference will be shown in her clothing as well. Rather then a barrette, Amy should be wearing a woven headband with an Atlantian Royal mark on it that should be represented around the city decor. Her outfit itself should have an "on the run" look to it, with a cloak thrown over a nondescript pair of pants and a sleeveless vest. What sets her apart should be the hammer slung across the back of her waist, her gloves and her boots, all of which should have the look of a traveler. Her hoods cloak should always start the level up and should be complimented by a scarf wrapped around the lower half of her face to hide her identity. Both the hood and the scarf should be independently animated so that they can slip off during jumps and such, but her idle animation should be to adjust/return them to the correct position.

Color: While the majority of her gear should follow the tanned "weathered leather" look, her headband should be a reddish brown, while the cloak and scarf should be a dark royal color (purple, blue, red, etc).


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