Rouge the Bat
Sonic the Hedgehog series
Rouge2006.png
Rouge, as she appears in Sonic the Hedgehog
First appearance Sonic Adventure 2 (2001)
Created by Sonic Team USA
Voiced by
(English)
Video Games
Lani Minella (2001-2005)
Caren Manuel (2005-2010)
Karen Strassman (2010-present)
Anime
Caren Manuel (Sonic X)
Voiced by
(Japanese)
Rumi Ochiai
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Species Honduran White Bat

|- |} Rouge the Bat (ルージュ・ザ・バット Rūju za Batto?) is a video game character in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega. She is a well-determined treasure hunter and part-time government agent who plans to make all the gems and treasures of the world hers. Her main jewel obsessions are the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds. She made her debut in Sonic Adventure 2, released June 19, 2001, and has been featured in several games following it. Rouge is an 18 year old anthropomorphic bat with white hair and her main outfit consists of a black bodystocking with a pink heart-shaped breastplate along with arm-length gauntlets and metal-heeled thigh-high boots, both of which are white and have pink at the top. Her boots also have pink heart-shapes over the toes that are used for digging. In Sonic Heroes and the two Sonic Riders games, she wears different outfits, but often with similar color schemes and heart-shaped details. She also has an unlockable costume in Sonic Adventure 2.[1]

Game appearances

Rouge first appears in Sonic Adventure 2 as the treasure-hunting character of the Dark Story, her goal being to seek out the pieces of the Master Emerald. She primarily attacks with kicks (though bats usually bite or claw). She makes a deal with Eggman, that she would help him find the Chaos Emeralds to power the Eclipse Cannon if he gave her an Emerald tracker to find the Master Emerald pieces. She constantly butts heads with Knuckles and the two engage in a battle during which Rouge almost falls into a lava-like substance, which presumably would have killed her if Knuckles had not come to her rescue. The two then have a tender moment, leading Rouge to return his emerald pieces and then run off. Rouge does find many emeralds during the game after breaking into "Security Hall" and stealing them. However, she is revealed by Shadow the Hedgehog to be a Secret Agent and stops Rouge from taking the emeralds from the Eclipse Cannon. Rouge cheers Sonic and Shadow on during the final battle to save the earth from the Biolizard and is given Shadow's bracelet by Sonic after his supposed death.

In Sonic Heroes, Rouge is the flight member (and presumptive captain) of Team Dark, as the player can have the ability to fly when they choose her to be playable. She releases Shadow from his stasis pod, and (accidentally) activates E-123 Omega, who attempts to destroy all of Eggman's robots, including Shadow, who Omega thinks is a robot clone. Rouge stops Shadow and E-123 Omega from fighting, suggesting that they work together as a team to find Eggman. She looks different than in Sonic Adventure 2, wearing purple eye shadow and a pink-and-purple suit with the heart being on her belt.

In Sonic Battle, Rouge is one of the most prominently featured characters in the game, with her story being the third to be played through. She is the owner of Club Rouge in the Night Babylon area in the story mode. Most of her fighting techniques appear to be derived from kickboxing. Her special attacks include sending a round bat that blows up towards her enemies, doing a powerful kick and sending what appears to be a ball of glittering energy into her opponents.

Rouge also appears in Shadow the Hedgehog, and helps on hero missions in the Digital Circuit, Death Ruins, and GUN Fortress levels. In Expert Mode, Caren Manuel lends her voice to Rouge at the beginning of Cryptic Castle, Lava Shelter (along with Omega's), and The Last Way (along with the voice of every other character that appears in Expert Mode). She is working for GUN in this game, in her levels she rescues the Chaos Emerald, and fights the Black Arms when they are pushed back into the forest and defends the GUN base when it comes under attack by them.

Rouge appears in Sonic Riders as an unlockable racer. She is a Flight type, and is the strongest Flight type character in the game. Rouge plays no role in the story of the game. Rouge returns in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity as a secret character. The official website states that Rouge has some kind of rivalry with Wave the Swallow.

In Sonic the Hedgehog, Rouge appears as an "Amigo" character, playable in stages White Acropolis, Kingdom Valley, Flame Core, and Tropical Jungle. She first appears escaping Eggman's base with Shadow after stealing the Scepter of Darkness as part of a mission from GUN. After escaping, Rouge and Shadow go to Kingdom Valley to find the GUN rendezvous point, however they are ambushed by Eggman and the Scepter is broken after a struggle. Mephiles the Dark emerges from the broken scepter and is reborn in Shadow's shadow and sends the two into the future. Rouge then teams up with Sonic and his friends to find two Chaos Emeralds that enable them to return to their own time. Rouge returns to the present alone and realises that Shadow has stayed in the future. Rouge then goes about finding E-123 Omega and programs him to wake up in the future and help Shadow. Rouge eventually finds Omega and Shadow have found a way back from the future and so she teams up with them once again to find Mephiles and after an encounter with him, Omega confesses he betrays Shadow in the future and that one day the whole world will turn against him. Rouge assures her friend that if the whole world does turn against him, she will always remain by his side. Rouge then helps Shadow defeat Mephiles. She later helps the rest of the cast save Sonic. In the end, Sonic, Shadow and Silver destroyed Solaris.

Rouge appears as a playable character in Sonic Rivals 2. During the storyline she teams up with Knuckles the Echidna to find the "Master Emerald" and the "Chaos Emeralds". She steals Eggman's emerald tracker to find them. She and Knuckles find themselves having to battle with other rivals and Eggman Nega in order to find the Chaos Emeralds while Knuckles is unable to find the Master Emerald. Rouge finds six emeralds, which are then taken by Eggman Nega who opens a portal to another dimension, Rouge is dragged into the portal by Knuckles, leading to her finding herself separated from Knuckles in another dimension. When she finds Knuckles, she sees that his mind is being control by the Ifrit, a big fire monster that could destroy the world. Rouge manages to defeat the Ifrit and saves Knuckles, she then finds the emerald detector destroyed and sees the Master Emerald inside it. The two return to their own dimension. Knuckles takes the Master Emerald but is then distracted when Rouge calls him dashing, giving her enough time to steal it and run from the scene.

Rouge is playable in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.[2] She, as one of the playable characters plays only a minor role as one of the 'fighters'. She generally, comparing to the others has quite low level moves some including Tornado Kick and Distract. Tornado Kick, a wind offensive move and Distract is used to distract the enemies from the current battle. She is first met in Central city as a helper sent from the GUN.

Rouge appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, as a rival in the figure skating event on festival mode

Rouge also appears in Sonic Free Riders as a playable character.

Rouge appears in Sonic Generations as one of the guests at Sonic's birthday party. But, when the Time Eater appeared, it warped all of Sonic's friends through various time holes, one of them sending Rouge to City Escape. However, she was eventually freed by Sonic. She also appears in the Center of Time, where she is alongside Shadow the Hedgehog to motivate the two Sonics to defeat the Time Eater.

Characteristics

Rouge is depicted as a professional treasure hunter devoted to the pursuit of jewels.[3][4] She also calls herself the "World's Greatest Thief," and she fearlessly does whatever needed, disregards personal cost, and ignores abstract morality or manners for potential profit.[3][5][6] Additionally, she serves as a part time spy for the government's G.U.N. Federation.[3] Her "feminine charm" makes her appear careless, but she is actually scheming and manipulative.[3] She teams up with Shadow the Hedgehog and E-123 Omega to form Team Dark.[3] Rouge fights using kicks, especially her signature "Screw Kick," and she can fly using her wings.[3][4][7]

In other media

Sonic X

In the anime Sonic X, Rouge is a main character, and often appeared throughout episodes, although she did not have any dialogue in the series premiere. The character can often be seen hanging from the top of Dr. Eggman's base, presumably spying on him.

In the storylines of the anime, she generally shares the same personality traits as her video game counterpart, and also plays the same role. She first appears trying to capture "The World's Biggest Cubic Zirconia," and she eventually does. News about the crisis was spread around about the robbery. She later tries to rob another building with another jewel in it, although when she entered the building, she didn't find the jewel she was looking for. Instead, she fell into a trap. GUN military men and women popped out of everywhere, although she wasn't freaked out. She was then taken to the president, and they had a talk. Here she became a GUN military spy, because she had said that she would help destroy Eggman's base. Rouge was voiced by Caren Manuel in the anime, who would later go on to voice the character in game series as well. Along with Amy Rose, Cream the Rabbit, and Shadow the Hedgehog, this is the only appearance of Rouge in a Sonic TV series so far.

The character has also appeared in the comic series based on the anime, and had a leading role in one of the issue's plot where she was framed for stealing several rare gems.

Sonic the Hedgehog (comics)

Rouge is featured in the American Sonic the Hedgehog comics, having appeared first in the comic adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2. For the most part, she seems to be exactly the same as her video game counterpart, even being shown working as a covert operative for the President of Station Square, even rescuing him from an assassination attempt by Eggman just prior to the arrival of the Xorda. Rouge also had an encounter with Bunnie Rabbot, who had been sent to rescue her when she was captured by Robotnik. She managed to escape on her own and soon after encounters Bunnie, attacking her when she mistakes her for one of her captor's cronies, resulting in an 8-page brawl between the two girls; it only ended when Sonic steps in and breaks it up, the girls exchanging somewhat half-hearted apologies. She and Fiona Fox are rivals in both fighting and robbery, both having competed in an illegal tournament in which Rouge not only defeated Fiona, but also her teammates Nack the Weasel, Bark the Polar Bear, and Bean the Dynamite. She later joined up with Shadow the Hedgehog and E-123 Omega to form "Team Dark"; a covert operations unit for GUN.

Cultural impact

Promotion and merchandising

Rouge has been featured in many advertising campaigns and advertising for the Sonic the Hedgehog Series in North America and Japan. At the launch of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, Rouge and a few other characters were featured in a line of plushes advertising the game. Another Rouge plush was released as a prize for crane games in Japan at the launch of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.[8][9] As a campaign for the Sonic X anime in North America and Japan, keychains were distributed for the main characters in the show, one of whom was Rouge.[10] Sega partnered with the fast food chain McDonald's to release a series of Sonic-themed LCD games at McDonald's in 2004 as toys packaged with Happy Meals. Rouge was featured in the game Amy & Rouge Volleyball in which "players are challenged to move Amy from side to side to return Rouge's serves and volleys."[11]

Critical reception

Upon Rouge's introduction in Sonic Adventure 2, many game reviewers commented on her similarity to Knuckles,[12][13] including such critical remarks as "Knuckles with bat wings and breasts",[14] whilst some further criticized her design.[13][14] Her "daring attitude" and her "self-centered" nature received further comment.[15][16] Rouge appeared on GamerRadar's list of "The Sexy Lady Beasts of Gaming", in which she is described as "Proof that voluptuous curves, thigh-boots, sexy eyes and rubber gloves can make any animal in the kingdom an object of lustful furverted desire. No matter how freaky-looking their real-world inspiration might be."[17] Games.net ranked her #10 on their "Top Ten Disturbingly Sexual Game Characters" list.[18] Likewise, Screw Attack placed her as one of the worst women in video games.[19]

Theme songs

The Sonic the Hedgehog video games have featured several theme songs for the character. In Sonic Adventure 2, it's "Fly in the Freedom" by Tabitha Fair and Todd Cooper.[20] In Sonic Heroes, it's "This Machine" by Julien-K.[21] This was a team theme shared with Shadow and Omega. Additionally, the background music for the stage Security Hall, titled "I'm a Spy", by Tabitha Fair[20] in Sonic Adventure 2 is generally attributed to Rouge.[citation needed]

Also in the anime, Sonic X, music plays in the background of most of her events and appearances. The background music is called "Mysterious & Sexy Thief Rouge"[22] and was first heard in episode 11.

References

  1. This (Sonic Heroes), this (Sonic Riders) and this (Sonic Adventure 2).
  2. IGN: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood nulls (DS) 2400195
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Sega (2004). Sonic Heroes instruction manual, pp. 9
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sega (2001). Sonic Adventure 2 instruction manual, pp. 11
  5. Sega (2003). Sonic Battle instruction manual, pp. 5
  6. "Sonic Central/about/characters". http://www.sega.com/sonic/globalsonic/post_allabout.php?article=soniccharacters. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  7. "Sonic Channel Official Profile for Rouge the Bat". http://sonic.sega.jp/chara/rouge/index.html. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  8. "A description of all plush lines of Sonic the Hedgehog Characters". http://www.sonicgear.org/JapanPages/JapanPlushes2.html. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  9. "A description of all plush lines of Sonic the Hedgehog Characters". http://www.sonicgear.org/JapanPages/JapanPlushes4.html. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  10. "Sonic the Hedgehog Pins & Keychains of the USA". http://www.sonicgear.org/USAPages/USAKeychains.html. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  11. "McDonald's and SEGA Reveal Details of New Happy Meal Promotion Featuring Sonic and 'Search for the Silver Game' Eight New Handheld Videogames Based on SEGA's Classic Character Sonic The Hedgehog Make Stopping at McDonald's During the Holidays a Fun-Filled, Interactive Adventure". Game Zone. 2004-12-02. http://www.gamezone.com/news/12_02_04_06_16PM.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  12. "Sonic Adventure 2 Hands-On". GameSpot.com. http://www.gamespot.com/dreamcast/action/sonicadventure2/news.html?sid=2708046&mode=all. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Sonic Adventure 2 Review for DreamCast". Ken Innes. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/dreamcast/sonic_adventure_2. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "GameJam: Yuji Naka Unleashes Sonic Adventure 2". IGN.com. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/093/093470p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  15. "A brief description of Rouge's traits". Game Revolution. http://www.absoluteanime.com/sonic_x/rouge.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  16. "Rouge the Bat is detailed here". sonicretro.org. July 6, 2008. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/093/093470p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  17. "Furverts! The sexy lady beasts of gaming". GamesRadar. 2008-03-26. http://www.gamesradar.com/f/furverts-the-sexy-lady-beasts-of-gaming/a-20080326145123218031/p-3. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  18. Karl, Ben; Rudden, Dave (2007-10-05). "Top Ten Disturbingly Sexual Game Characters". games.net. http://web.archive.org/web/20110716022642/http://www.games.net/article/netten/1/116901/top-ten-disturbingly-sexual-game-characters/. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  19. "The Worst EVER: Sexy Chick". Screw Attack. http://www.screwattack.com/shows/originals/best-ever/worst-ever-sexy-chick. Retrieved May 2012. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Amazon.ca: Sonic Adventure, Vol 2: Various Artists: Music
  21. TeamARTAIL Sonic Heroes Triple Threat Vocal Trax
  22. TeamARTAIL Sonic X Original Soundtrack

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