Hey there, everyone! Mod Knight back with Feminism in Gaming, and we’re here to talk about a game that I’ve logged more hours into than Skyrim and Fallout 4 combined. That’s Sonic Adventure 2! No joke, I was like, addicted to Chao raising for years…but I digress! This game is one of the more story heavy Sonic games out there, and it could be argued that it’s the one that really caused the darker angstier trend that the series (and the fanbase) took; after all, it introduced the poster child for angsty hedgehogs: Shadow.
Now, then! Because the game is so heavy on plot, that also means it has a decent focus on it’s characters and their interests! And speaking of, that’s one of the most interesting points of the game; that you’re given two stories to play through, which for the time, was a good amount. Interestingly, in the villain’s (or “Dark”) story, you learn that all of the dark characters are fighting for their own interests in conjunction with working together; a very classic villain team scenario!
Now, one of the best parts of the dark story? We get a female player character! Like in the previous Sonic Adventure game, there only gets to be one female player character. And now with Rouge the Bat taking that spot, we see Amy Rose downgraded to a side character once again. But now, let’s get into the real meat of this story and take a look at the several female characters who do appear. Warning, spoilers will follow!
Since we’ve already touched on the subject, let’s start with Rouge. Easily the most interesting of the female characters in this entry of the series, Rouge is an extremely deep character for the franchise; she’s a mercenary treasure hunter whom we first meet trying to steal the Master Emerald from Knuckles. Unfortunately for her, the jewel is shattered leaving her to race to find the pieces before Knuckles can.
Rouge (on the surface) seems shallow and a bit ditsy; however, under that guise lies a calculating and clever woman who will do whatever it takes to get what she wants, and as it turns out, she is secretly a government agent working undercover to foil Eggman and Shadow’s plot. She appears to only ever truly get caught off her guard once when she was defeated, and then saved by Knuckles, letting herself express slight interest in the echidna before leaving.
Now, then, the game features two other female characters semi-prominently, namely: Amy Rose, and Maria Robotnik.
Let’s look first at Amy, the only returning female character featured in previous games, Amy plays only a small role in this game. Originally attempting to break Sonic out of prison, she mistakes Shadow for him and is captured by him and Eggman. Sadly, Amy spends most of the game playing either tag-along or the damsel in distress, as she is repeatedly captured and needing rescue. Ultimately, her role in the story ends up being that of a motivation for Shadow to become good at the very end of the game.
Finally, we have Maria Robotnik, who died before the story even began! As the story explains, she was a sick girl on the space colony where Shadow was created, and when the military came to shut down the project, she was killed. This created Shadow’s hatred of humanity and his desire for revenge. Later on, however, the memory of her reminds him of what she truly wanted, to give the people of the world a chance to be happy. Ultimately, Maria is a character who was fridged before she could even appear in the story, serving only to motivate Shadow’s backstory.
While I personally enjoyed this game in the past I can definitely see that there was a sad mishandling of the female characters in the game and it’s story. Ultimately, Rouge is the most feminist character appearing within, and honestly is probably the most feminist character in the entire series.
Thanks for reading! – Mod Knight