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Why "I" dislike Amy's Piko Piko Hammer

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Controversy the thread to be sure, but I've brought it up on many occasions and once promised to go into details and so I have written a 6300 word explanation for why I dislike Amy's Piko Piko Hammer. After thinking it over I also decided to present it in a thread here since it is Sonic related and discussing my opinion is one of the reasons I joined SSMB.

Before beginning though, I would just like to post a reminder that this is my opinion and the history behind how that opinion came to be. It's not meant to change anyone's mind, just to give some insight into how I think and why. My dislike of the hammer seems to be singularly unique to me and so it seems appropriate to explain the reasoning behind that. I know some of my reasoning may seem, childish, simple, due to implementation, the result of bad writing, and maybe even in some cases spiteful. But well, some of those things are just being human, and other reasons are natural since I react to what I see. Maybe I've over thought things as well, but that is also part of who I am. So, without further ado here is my 6300 word explanation

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Amy Rose, one of the most well known and controversial characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise since her adaption into the games back in 1993. Debuting as a fangirl damsel in distress who Sonic rescues and subsequently flees from, she would continue to persist in the franchise in spinoff appearances interacting with the rest of the cast and continuing her crush driven pursuit of Sonic. Come 1998 she was granted her first chance at being in a mainline platformer entry in Sonic Adventure. In this game Sonic Team experimented with giving every character their own unique way of playing through the game with each playstyle being further and further from Sonic’s own, and the one that put the franchise on the map to begin with. Some were reasonably accepted and others weren’t. Amy’s was one that was criticized primarily for a lack of speed and made the toy hammer she used in Sonic the Fighters a staple of her character. In time the hammer would become an element of Amy’s design that I would come to dislike and not even believe that she needed at all. To understand the many problems I have with the hammer, the role it has in gameplay, in its use, thematically, and Amy’s reliance and affiliation on/with it, I must first provide a retrospective of my own history with the franchise and how my viewpoint of the series changed when I looked back on it with the announcement of Mania.

At the age of five in 1991 I was living with my parents in the house they had just bought. My dad was a diehard SEGA fan who hated Nintendo with a passion and owned both the Genesis and Master System and he was finally allowing me to start playing video games. I immediately became attached to Alex Kid and though I was no good at the games I absolutely loved them. Then one day my dad brought home Sonic the Hedgehog. It was unlike any game I had played or seen my dad play and though I was not good at it, it completely enthralled me. Then came 1993 and Sonic CD, and my mind was blown away again. From the diverse levels and time traveling experience to the amazing opening and ending animations it was the game that solidified my interest in Japan and that I finally got good at playing Sonic games with. I was the first of my family to beat it and everything about the game won me over and Sonic, Amy, Metal Sonic, and Eggman won themselves permanent places in my heart. To me anything American made was dead and to this day I still do not know how I knew about Eggman and Amy’s Japanese names at that time as they were not used in the USA. Then though the dream was over as my dad sold his Genesis and Sega CD. I would not be able to see Amy again until my dad bought Sonic Jam for the Saturn and she appeared in the updated version of the CD ending as well as the CGs that were included in the game. For years I played the original trilogy with my younger brother but those games never captured me like CD did. Then Adventure came and I was enthralled all over again. But things were different, there was voice acting that was nowhere near as good as the Japanese voices in the OVA trailer included in Sonic Jam and Amy and Eggman had been redesigned almost beyond recognition and Amy suddenly had a hammer which origins I learned about through game magazines at the time. But back then that didn’t matter to me. I could play as one of my favorite characters and it was awesome with me loving her Hammer Vault more than anything else she could. I would spend hours just running around Station Square Hammer Vaulting over and over again because it was just so much fun. Then my sister one day brought home Sonic R and Sonic CD for Windows and the magic of that game was rekindled. I would play for hours and it was the greatest thing in the world. It was Sonic at his purest and nothing compared, not even the uniquely enjoyable Sonic R. I enjoyed Sonic Adventure 2 when it came out, but it was not CD and Amy had been removed from play except in competitive mode where she was just a slower Sonic, who himself disappointed me beyond instant Light Speed Dash compared to Adventure 1. Then the end seemed to come as SEGA withdrew from the console market and I was faced with the fear of Sonic having come to his end. Fortunately that was not the case as Sonic Heroes debuted across all platforms and I played it on my older brother’s Xbox. The game had everything in it that should have made it my favorite, but the cheesiness and way Metal Sonic was handled just disappointed me. There was also Amy who though playable again, was lacking her Hammer Vault from Adventure still and stripped most of the fun out of playing her for me, and when combined with her teammates and easy mode difficulty left me almost never revisiting the game as even Sonic was missing that purity that I so loved. Not surprisingly I returned to Sonic CD and mostly just watched my sister and younger brother play Shadow. Then 06 was revealed and something about it captured my imagination like nothing else had in a long time. Even with the game’s problems I was one of the few who was fortunate enough to not have that many glitches appear as I played the game and generally enjoyed it. But there were more disappointments and my family pretty much stopped caring for the franchise at that point beyond my younger brother who mostly stuck to CD like I had for year before as well. When Unleashed was first teased I remember being apprehensive about the Werehog idea but then that first trailer with Endless Possibilities won me over and everything about the game seemed right. Sure I was disappointed by the Werehog and how Tails and Amy weren’t playable, but they seemed so much better represented than anything I saw in what little I watched of Sonic X. It was a grand adventure again and Sonic was Sonic again, at least during the day. At that point though, while my younger brother played Unleashed even he had pretty much given up on the franchise having forward progression and pretty much stopped talking to me about the franchise. Fortunately for me I had discovered the SEGA forums around this time and between the community and the wikis my eyes were opened up to so much more. I learned a great deal about the Archie Comics which I had previously ignored due to my preference for the Japanese side of things and discovered so much more. I just soaked up as much of the franchise as I could. When Sonic Colors came out for Nintendo only it was disappointing but the forums kept me informed and in the game to an extent. Then there was the day of Sonic Generations reveal and my dad showed it to me when I got home from work and it was a game I had to have. But the more I studied it, the more it was wrong. Classic Sonic was round and chubby instead of sharp and dynamic. I was exposed to the belief that he was always cute in greater form than I ever was when I first heard such comparisons drawn by Morgan Webb on X-Play back when Heroes released. Everything seemed wrong but I bought the game anyway and was blown away by what was being done level-wise for Modern Sonic but was disappointed by so much of the game that I couldn’t revisit it. It wasn’t just Generations though, everything was going completely sideways from what I knew and loved about the franchise and I could no longer even retreat to Sonic CD because the PC it ran on had pretty much died and all of the working PCs could not run a Windows game that old. Christian Whitehead’s remake was a godsend in a way, but it too was wrong. I was able to finally experience the Japanese soundtrack for the first time, which immediately won me over in game context, but Sonic felt so heavy and slow compared to the Windows version that I just stopped playing because it didn’t feel right. Somewhere around this time I managed to finally be able to watch the subtitled version of the OVA with my younger brother and it was one of the most nostalgic experiences we had ever had. Sonic was Sonic, Metal Sonic was Sonic. Tails was fast and competent, and Knuckles was probably the most enjoyable I had ever seen him even though he was removed from his role in the games. It was everything I wanted though, bar Amy missing, and it made me wonder how much I was missing from the old days of the Japanese side of the franchise that never made it over. It was at that time I found Sonic Retro’s archives and my world was opened up again in ways that the Mania previews couldn’t touch.

Of all the arguments that never made sense to me in my time in the fandom it was that Sonic was a children’s franchise so it should be full of weak comedy and Teletubby levels of childish harmlessness. It was an argument I had never seen pre-Shadow the Hedgehog and made no sense in the context of Sonic being a teenage rebel with an attitude as I had been introduced to him back in 1991. I found myself frequently siding with Adventure diehards in the belief that the games were so much more but I had no real context for what I was talking about. But I finally realized that Sonic really was a children’s franchise when my younger brother translated the story in the first Sonic Drift and I saw that Amy addressed Sonic as Sonic-sama. It’s so hard to describe what it was that clicked due to the use of that Japanese honorific, which implies utmost respect and on occasion even admiration, but in that moment I realized that characters around Sonic’s age actually undermined the franchise being a children’s franchise. Sonic was a character of the nineties, a character who parents feared being a bad influence on their children because of his rebellious ways and cheeky attitude yet here was this eight year old girl who looked upon Sonic with such admiration and respect. And why wouldn’t she? She was a hedgehog and adventurer herself in a world where Sonic was the most famous hedgehog in the world, so much so that even a fox (a hedgehog’s natural predator) wanted to be like him. He was a role model. He was the cool teenager that your best friend’s older brother was. The problem solver. The one you wanted to be like because he was that awesome. That was who Sonic was and I had forgotten that at some point in the years since I was first introduced to him. I wanted my brother to translate more of the untranslated material from the Japanese side but he refused for reasons unknown to me so I instead started reevaluating the series and what it was. Everywhere I looked where another character around Sonic’s age was introduced it smothered the influencing effect he had on young children in favor of the Shonen Jump tenet of friendship, and Sonic changed over time from being the cool teenager who young kids looked up to into this shining beacon of righteousness who corrected the path of everyone he met. But who he was was no longer there and Tails trying less and less to be like his hero as the years went by nigh completely erased that aspect of Sonic’s character. But back then even Amy had that idolization of Sonic, instead of a hammer that she swung at him with if he refused to go on a date with her. Her idolization was gone in favor of violent jokes played off her infatuation. She was not the genki girl I loved but some green eyed monster who was routinely accused of being a stalker and yandere. While plenty of arguments were made in her defense it was not enough for me. I had to see what was missing from Amy’s character and so I studied the games and discovered some amazing things. Amy was introduced as a damsel in distress, but how much of a damsel was she? If I went by Sonic Adventure she should have been perceived as a helpless damsel before then but this clashed with her tomboy description and Rascal nickname from CD so I would have to look at her from before then. My starting point was again the Japanese manual of Sonic Drift where, according to what my younger brother translated, the car that Sonic drove was praised by the hedgehog for being nearly as fast as he was. That meant that since Amy was competing that she was driving a car that could nearly keep up with Sonic. Taken in context that means she had the strength and reflexes to control such a car and actually race against Sonic. This was taken to its extreme in Sonic R where Tails supposedly upgraded her car and she was now competitive with a cast of characters who could keep up with Sonic on foot in one way or another. She was significantly more impressive than some average person or damsel in distress. But how much further back could I trace this astounding competence of Amy’s. As it turned out, all the way to Sonic CD where she debuted and Sonic Team Japan presented her as a damsel in distress. What they did not do though was make her helpless. She traveled to Never Lake under her own power led on by nothing but a message from her cards and a love for mysterious things. Upon arriving she didn’t just hang around the lake but got herself up on Little Planet which the only demonstrated way up within the game and manual was Eggman’s chain, which can be inferred to mean that Amy made her way up there by that method. Then on Little Planet she demonstrates enough strength to hold Sonic in place if he is moving slowly enough and makes it through Palmtree Panic to Collision Chaos before Sonic. Later in the game once she is rescued from Metal Sonic she appears at the end of Metallic Madness after Eggman’s defeat, but is shown catching up with Sonic. This can be inferred to mean that she made it through Metallic Madness on her own, navigating all of the death traps designed to stop Sonic himself. But what about her being a damsel in distress? Considering she was captured by Metal Sonic who even Sonic cannot straight up defeat in head on confrontation instead having to simply outrun him, then Amy’s capture makes sense. She’s not as fast as Sonic and even Sonic can’t beat Metal so of course she is captured. Not because she is helpless, but rather because she was simply outclassed by something beyond her abilities. In light of this, when discussions about Mania and Amy being included were ongoing I proposed that Amy did not need her hammer and could be included without it. This resulted in me being ostracized due to a general love of Amy’s hammer and her Sonic Advance 1 gameplay amongst the community. Faced with such a reaction I decided to look at the place of Amy’s hammer in the games and the more I studied the more I disliked the hammer and the more I believed that Mania was a chance to re-explore Amy without it as it had no place in Naka’s original rolling gameplay that gave birth to the franchise itself, no less Sonic the Hedgehog, the object of Amy’s affection and the hedgehog who she has enough respect and admiration for to use the -sama honorific in pre-Adventure content.

I don’t recall where I first heard the story but I have seen it revisited several times over the years; how Naka when tasked with creating a paltformer franchise created rolling momentum based gameplay based on the movement of a ball so as to allow continuous movement without stopping to attack, instead bumping into enemies to defeat them. While that formula was tweaked heavily over the years, and even abandoned for a time, it is still something that is genius in its execution and simplicity. Using a hedgehog, a creature that naturally curls into a ball to defend itself, was even a further stroke of genius as it created the necessary imagery to connect the concepts of attacking and rolling together due to a hedgehog’s quills and the motion of a ball. When Sonic curls into a ball you know instinctively that a ball of spikes will do damage, so it is naturally affiliated with attacking, especially since when Sonic jumps he curls into a ball and damages any enemy he bumps into. Then the fact that Sonic curls into a ball when he ducks tells the player that if Sonic curls into a ball while running he will roll and carry any momentum that he had while running. It is absolute genius simplicity that provides both depth and ease of play. There is no memorizing numerous button inputs and combinations, just running and curling into a ball. Deceptively simple, but when combined with solid, engaging, and imaginative level design the possibilities are near endless, and above all, fluid. The intention of achieving continuous movement is met with this simple design that is both easy to pick up and play and provides as much depth as the levels have variety. It is this formula which the franchise built itself upon and that always pulls me back on the gameplay side of things. As much as I enjoyed Amy’s Hammer Vault in Sonic Adventure it was never as engaging beyond just enjoying doing it. It required sometimes excessive effort to pull off and in turn was frustrating in level where it was meant to be used. The compromise for this was to create a complex command system for Amy that has been described by many as a hard mode in Sonic Advance and excludes all traces of the original rolling gameplay to defeat enemies by bumping into them. Simplicity was gone and what should have been intuitive instead required major experimentation to even begin. Yet in the same game the traditional gameplay still existed and could be used to complete the game without the use of any other ability tacked on. So why make Amy so complicated? I’ve heard plenty of arguments, some ranging from thematically to others that argued for uniqueness. None though could ever address the fact that Amy is a hedgehog who lacks her natural ability to curl into ball and take advantage of the original gameplay design. But gameplay complications further arise from there

Jump
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Run       Roll

Jump
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/__\
              Run           Swing Hammer

Take the two triangles above. They describe the basic gameplay that the franchise began with and Amy’s gameplay. While they are similar, 1/3 of Amy’s gamplay is completely different and leads into a series of complex additional commands as well as a focus on melee gameplay which requires stopping to fight instead of maintaining the flow of continuous movement. As the versatility of “Swing Hammer” becomes even more in depth the triangle become unbalanced and you no longer have a platformer but a brawler with platforming elements. It is fairly disingenuous and betrays the simplicity and intention of rolling so as to not need to stop to defeat an enemy. It puts an emphasis on combat based gameplay instead of movement based gameplay. When approaching Mania and its return to the top triangle and the simplicity it relies on there is no room for the hammer, and thus Amy if she must have it. As someone who wanted Amy playable in Mania and was starting to have a desire to see how she could be explored without the hammer in a setting where it was not as much a part of her character, the insistence that she had to have that overly complicated gameplay even in a setting that thrived on the use of simple gameplay played into my dislike of the hammer. In a way, it was keeping one of my favorite characters and gameplay styles separate. I could not have both and that just seemed wrong since Amy originated in that gameplay era.

Further discussions I would have about Amy’s hammer and its use in the franchise would only fuel my dislike of it as I began to see it as a rather twisted and horrible tool. To me, Amy is a genki girl, or a girl who is overwhelmingly positive, optimistic, energetic, and is always trying to get everybody to have as much fun as she is so that they too can be happy. She is joy incarnate in a way, yet the hammer is the very opposite of that. While it is designed as a toy, a hammer is technically a tool for building things but that is far from what Amy primarily uses it for. She doesn’t build anything with it beyond fear as she wields it as either a sledge hammer or war hammer destroying everything that gets in her path. This destructive use of the hammer combined with the temper introduced to her character in Sonic X would convert what was once a silly toy into weapon of entitlement where any time Amy would not get her way she would bring out her hammer and get her way in an instant. She was no longer a genki girl, but an over entitled brat that no one would put in her place for overwhelming fear of her hammer. If she didn’t like something, just swing the hammer and the world would fall in place, a far cry from the bubbly and energetic girl who could win people over with kind words and a smile by calling out their inner good. To make matters even worse, she would turn that same hammer against Sonic, the very hedgehog who holds her affection and who she was once demonstrated as having enough respect and admiration for to use the –sama honorific when addressing him. But even beyond Sonic, her supposedly best friend Cream is also an unfortunate victim of hammer abuse if some her lines throughout the franchise are anything to go by. As the lead heroine of the franchise I find this type of behavior from her completely inappropriate, and further, as someone who sees the franchise as a children’s franchise it is content that can teach children all kinds of twisted values. It shows that if you want something bad enough you just have to swing anything you can make a weapon out of, even your toys, as hard as you can and everyone will fall in line. It’s a horrible lesson and not one that should be being taught on any level. For example, take Knuckles and his ability to punch. In his debut game he is demonstrated punching on a number of occasions, including at Sonic and Tails, but once he is playable his punching is a not an option for the player unless they try to use his glide leaving him instead to use Sonic’s special abilities. To a small child this can appear as only villains punch people and it is very hard for a good guy to punch anything, but instead a good guy has special abilities that they use to defeat bad guys. This can leave a profoundly positive effect on a child and can even potentially lead to a child having an interest in learning the right ways to deal with bad guys and maybe even becoming real life heroes like our police, firefighters, doctors, and soldiers. In contrast, Amy’s hammer encourages a more villainous approach of using weapons to get what you want and that if you act sweet enough everyone will let you get away with. It is disingenuous and is a horrible message to pass along to children. But it gets even worse. When Amy is using her hammer against her friends they are shown as weaker then weapons which undermines the roles of the heroes having special abilities to beat the bad guys. But then, if you take Amy’s hammer away from her she is usually made to be completely useless and helpless promoting a need for weapons and self armament. It is spectacularly tonally dissonant with the rest of the series and her optimistic ways.

Over the years the Sonic franchise has gone through many changes but one thing has stayed consistent; the image of a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog running with a confident smirk on his face to his next adventure. It is so iconic an image that at one point back in the nineties I remember hearing that Sonic was more globally recognizable than even Mickey Mouse. It’s lavish praise for a simple blue hedgehog who loves adventure but it speaks strongly of his image; red shoes for running and a shade of blue that evokes the freedom of the open sky and peacefulness of that scene. He may have a strong sense of justice and won’t stand for injustice but at the end of the day even he enjoys the peaceful times when he can run to his heart’s content. And that brings me to the image of Amy’s hammer. What does it imply if not combat. When it comes out everyone knows that Amy is intending to do harm. That does not evoke the peace that Sonic fights for and represents just by being. It instead evokes the very images of the conflict that Sonic puts an end to and is an opposite image of the optimistic girl that Amy is supposed to be. While it can be said that combat is as much a part of the Sonic franchise as adventure, to me part of what works is not glorifying traditional combat and instead using the fantastical specialness of a hedgehog’s ability to curl into a ball. It makes Sonic and his cast of characters unique from other franchises and can make any blue ball evoke thoughts of Sonic, or yellow with Tails, and red with Knuckles. But what about Amy? Well, when I see hammers I think of construction work, or the Animaniancs, or Thor and his hammer Mjolnir, or even Harley Quinn from Batman with the Tales of series usual being my first thought when I see the type of hammer that inspired Amy’s. It also doesn’t help that a hammer does not make me think of Sonic gameplay in any way and it does not conjure up images of rolling and running. As an Amy fan who wants to see more of her this lack of strong identifying imagery means that most people outside of the fanbase would not think Amy if you showed them a picture of a hammer limiting demand to see her. Even in fanbase it is not good as her hammer is usually affiliated with her violent representations where she uses the hammer in ways as to make people feel like she is a yandere, a type of character who harms those who show interest in their affection even going so far as to kill their affection so no one can have them. Further, when the hammer appears arguments for combat centric gameplay arise and sense of adventure is washed away in the wake of a clamoring for action. Praise is constantly heaped onto the hammer for its deep and involving platforming and combat. No mention is made of exploration and discovery with the worst parodies of the hammer simplifying Amy down to a cheep Incredible Hulk knock off. Imagery like this while made in good fun in some cases is disingenuous with Amy’s character. When you can show her on one hand as a bright and cheerful girl who you can’t help but smile at and then on the other where she is a hammer wielding force of terror it can be horribly jarring. While it could be argued that it shows multiple facets of her personality it can also be argued that she is treated almost as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character due to how different the personalities are. This change in imagery though is all controlled by whether or not her hammer is out. When there is no sign of it she is typically cute and adventurous with an all around cheerful disposition. Once the hammer comes out though, she becomes something else which is almost always affiliated with combat and destruction. This dual imagery is not conductive for a character that is intended to have a single image, especially one of being, curious, optimistic, cheerful, and adventurous. By affiliation with her hammer Amy is portrayed as having two extremes she can exist in which, while reconcilable are rarely shown as such with her either being in hammer mode or normal mode. As a fan of Amy’s character, hammer mode feels like a detraction to me that smothers the genki girl that she is at her best.

Amy’s affiliation with her hammer does more than just give her an unneeded violent image, it also affects her interactions with those around her. The first thing that typically comes to mind even in universe when Amy’s hammer appears is typically fear. Or occasionally in the reverse the sign of hammers will make the characters think of Amy. Her affiliation with her hammer makes her interchangeable with the sight of any hammer, effectively reducing her role to just hammer. If something needs hammered everyone thinks of Amy. It is a gross simplification of her potential in the franchise. She is never addressed as an adventurer or someone who has a great sense of intuition, or even just someone who can listen to your troubles and lend a hand. Her affiliation with her hammer and overreliance on it also cuts off her own potential for growth. As mentioned above, I see Amy as spectacularly competent and that she has been since Sonic CD when she debuted in the games years before she was given the hammer. Like Tails, she idolized Sonic and made every attempt to chase after him. Unlike Tails though who was gifted with the concept of flying like a helicopter to keep up with Sonic, Amy was given nothing back in that period and when she finally was adapted into a main game she still was not given gameplay that would reflect her pursuit of Sonic. Instead she was severely undermined and was even slower than Big the Cat. In a platformer series where you run fast and plow through enemies without stopping by curling into a ball she was made excruciatingly slow and provided a weapon that brought her to a stop every time it was swung unless she was going fast enough to Hammer Vault. In fact, her affiliation with her hammer at that time required you had to be going fast enough to attack without slowing down which was counter intuitive with Sonic design up to that point where you attacked by rolling so you did not slowing down. In other words, her hammer represented slow methodical gameplay in a franchise that was about moving fluidly with speed as a reward. Amy was instead rewarded with fluidity for moving fast but to tell you that you were going fast enough to be rewarded you had to wait for her hammer to appear, an almost cruel reminder of what it was that was keeping you slow in the first place. Even when the problem was resolved in the Sonic Advance series by giving her speed, she was still deprived of the classic rolling gameplay which allowed for fluid play as soon as you picked up the controller. But her hammer association would not get better from there as her next and final in her modern design platformer gameplay appearance in 06 sacrificed everything she had built up in prior games. From there it would not get better. Her violent image continued to get worse outside of the games and she was only considered relevant if she had her hammer. Her hammer became so relevant that when the Archie Comics did their 25th anniversary celebration with the Mega Drive Comic, Amy was only allowed to follow along because of her hammer and how it was useful with Sonic even then seeing her as at risk if Eggman decided to go after her. Her hammer is treated as so representative of her that when Eggman is bested in Cascade Temple Zone and everyone attacks him, Amy is left off screen with only her hammer being visible. In the next volume things get even more out of hand with the hammer as it is practically the only reason Amy, Tails, and Knuckles are able to best a dragon robot as swinging the hammer keeps Amy safe from its attack. Yet in the same issue her hammer is then useless against an animal container that Sonic can plow through with ease using the classic spin attack which is shared by Tails and Knuckles. She is again shown as useless if her hammer is unavailable even though she herself is a hedgehog who chases after Sonic and should be able to imitate him if Tails can. The fact that she doesn’t at all also cuts off some of her potential as a motivating character. Her and Tails were both introduced as characters who idolized Sonic and chased after him with Amy being the optimistic and cheerful one and Tails being the one who struggled to be confident. From a narrative standpoint it was a perfect opportunity to create a relationship between Tails and Amy as Amy cheered on Tails’ efforts to be like his hero even going so far as to give her best examples to show him that one could be like Sonic without being Sonic. Unfortunately it was a wasted opportunity and now outside of Sonic Mania even Tails has not attempted to be like his Hero in well over a decade. Amy meanwhile is waiting for a game where her hammer can fit in so she can finally be playable again. If she was not so affiliated with and dependent on it she would already be playable again and accomplishing who knows what. Just like Tails, the game she was introduced in showed she could keep up with Sonic and make it through Eggman’s death traps with only the most extreme of circumstances being beyond her, in her case a metal doppelganger of Sonic even he could not directly fight in game. It was a theme at that time that could have been followed to spectacular effect showing how Sonic could motivate young children to be all they could be in pursuit of what motivated them without fear of what others thought while subtly hinting at what is good and bad. Instead Amy out of all of the main cast, barring games like Sonic and the Black Knight and Shadow the Hedgehog, was the only character to be given a permanent weapon and not to have any lessons attached to it creating an image dissonance between a sweet bubbly character and nightmarish over entitled brat who even her friends were terrified of. It brings nothing to her character or her best moments, but her affiliation with it bars her from more traditional takes on the series and leaves her with a violent psychopathic imagery at its worse.

Though argued by many, I, after my long history with the franchise was able to look back and see it as the children’s franchise that it was supposed to be. A story about a blue hedgehog and his adventures and all of those he met and inspired along the way. As a children’s franchise the characters who best represented that were Tails and Amy, but where Tails was able to be like his hero for a while Amy was left out until she was given a hammer that did not allow her to truly belong. In light of the current times where equality and equal opportunity for all is being fought for in the public eye again, as well as equal representation for women, it really is a shame that Amy is held back from being able to achieve what Tails did in favor of a hammer. A message is left with Amy for any girl who wants to chase their dreams and that is that they will never be able to catch up to their heroes and so they might as well take up arms and make a ruckus until the world bends over backwards for them. That is one reason amongst the many above that I have detailed for why I dislike Amy’s hammer. I acknowledge its iconic place in the franchise but I would like to see Amy put it down for good and become a character like Sonic who fights for what is right and what she believes in without relying on the way of villains. I want to see her smiling brightly as she chases after Sonic with her heart on her sleeve and believing that she can catch up him. To me, as long as she holds onto her hammer she never will, because all she will be is the one who hammers, and not Amy Rose.

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And there we have it. It may honestly be missing a few things but it is the majority of my thoughts on Amy's hammer and my subsequent dislike of it. I apologize if any part of my explanation comes across as offensive, insensitive, confrontational, or aggressive. My intent was not to be argumentative, but explanatory, and to show that my opinion is not something shallow and spontaneous but rather something thought and affected by my history with the franchise. Even though I'm certain no one will agree with my opinion, which is fine, I just hope that this helps give some clarity into my thought processes and feelings and will make it easier for everyone to understand me better. That said, I'm open for discussion about my seemingly one of a kind opinion and am more than glad to talk about it. Thanks for everyone's time.

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Actually Amy's hammer is one of the few things I like about her, but i will agree the mechanics are all off in game.

While i actually did like Amy's levels in Sonic adventure the hammer was rendered rather useless.

If the hammer was able to ward off ZERO it would have been better but the only thing it does is stun him.

ZERO was very overpowered compared to Amy making her hammer a mere prop.

If the hammer could be thrown and used to stun a mass amount of enemies then i would feel it would be more useful.

Now one could bring up Amy used a crossbow in the Fleetway comics however against baddies made out of metal this makes zero sense unless its armor piercing ammo but it will still be a one time use weapon making Amy more vulnerable without it.

At least having a large comedic sized hammer implies that Amy is super strong

 

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While I can see how the hammer contrasts at times, I can't really begrudge it. It's a very unique weapon, cartooniness be damned. Compared to her having a crossbow (STC), throwing rings (Xtreme), or just some generic girl power like martial arts ('Who else here can kick?') the cartoon piko piko hammer just looks sounds and feels like something distinct to Amy.  It's like Sally using her NICOLE device over something generic like martial arts and laser swords, neither really compliment her personality and approach the same way.

I think the key problem is both Amy and the hammer don't get utilised and developed enough. I agree having Amy with a gameplay where her hammer is more pivotal besides 'smashing things' would be intriguing, as much as I thought her propelling moves based on the hammer's force where quite clever in Adventure and Advance.

The hammer being connected to Amy's nasty temper and tendency to bully the others is an unfortunate thing, but at the same time, anime just has that sort of humour with cartoon females, they're often either meek little things or abusive nut jobs who beat up boys at the drop of a pin. Even without the hammer, Amy could have easily went in that direction. Hell western medias can do the same thing, mistaking matriarchal or abusive female behaviour for spunk and empowerment, likely why Archie Amy became a rabid guard dog for a while too.

The hammer at the very least I think merges with Amy's spunk, her ability to pack a punch in spite of her innocent looks, just of course, that can so easily be flanderized into being 'a psycho jerk who plays nice until someone isn't doing exactly what they want'. Remember X Amy wasn't always a violent little asshole, she was capable of being a headstrong little brat at first, but not in the same 'all shall fear my wrath' sort of way.

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Your analysis of the thematic connotations of the hammer has actually won me over.  I never particularly liked it from a gameplay perspective, but I previously tolerated it as it helped to define Amy's character and role; however, you make a powerful argument that it has an ultimately detrimental effect on a character who was once more positive and interesting.

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Wow thanks @FFWF. I wasn't honestly even trying to change anyone's mind, just provide a detailed and comprehensive explanation for my stance. As someone who knows what it feels like to be biased in defense of ones own opinion I really do respect that most people don't agree with mine. I just thought it would be better for everyone if they knew where I was coming from so they could see that it really just had to do with me being me. Still, I'm glad that you understood what I was saying and had reason to think about yourself.

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Well big question, what would you give to Amy Sonic Fan J?

Would you just make her have a traditional moveset?

Or give her another weapon?

Keep in mind all weapons have pros and cons and some are just generic like a sword and a gun

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I like her hammer the most in cutscenes where she hits Sonic with it for being foolish in gameplay all of her other moves from Battle and Chronicles are much more interesting then her hammer ones. I really got tired of Amy's hammer in Sonic Boom as it started to be the only point she had or did in that show smashing bots in similar ways never changing the way she attacks she even sings and dances about it I would love to see Amy in a TV show or game without that hammer. 

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1 hour ago, E-122-Psi said:

I think the key problem is both Amy and the hammer don't get utilised and developed enough. I agree having Amy with a gameplay where her hammer is more pivotal besides 'smashing things' would be intriguing, as much as I thought her propelling moves based on the hammer's force where quite clever in Adventure and Advance.

Basically this. What I've always liked most about the hammer is not it's combat potential, but when it's used like a pole vault to propel Amy though the air with more force then the others can manage. That aspect is kind of shallow in Adventure 1 or Advance, but I think it can be fleshed out.

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20 minutes ago, Fire-N-Space said:

I like her hammer the most in cutscenes where she hits Sonic with it for being foolish in gameplay all of her other moves from Battle and Chronicles are much more interesting then her hammer ones. I really got tired of Amy's hammer in Sonic Boom as it started to be the only point she had or did in that show smashing bots in similar ways never changing the way she attacks she even sings and dances about it I would love to see Amy in a TV show or game without that hammer. 

Yeah well considering boom is one of those budget CGI shows it does suffer a lot from re used shots.

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Typing while sleepy, try to be coherent. 

I agree with a lot of what you said, and I was never fond of the hammer. In my headcanon, eventually she ditches it and just fights with her fists. Given there are multiple characters who are really strong...she would just be another strong character. And since shadow is strong. I dunno maybe its just a mutation some hedgehogs have. 

All that said unfortunately I don't think much will change. Sonic team japan, seems to have very particular views of female characters in sonic, and untill that changes we wont see changes. Everytime they don't have their hands on characters, female characters get pushed and are interesting, but when they do get their hands on them, they get paired off with male ones or pushed into the background, or in suggested romantic relationships. These are the " female hedgehogs can't go super " people, these are the " male characters can't wear clothes because" people,  untill those people change... or just...leave sega its not much we can do except for hope for expansions in supplementary material, but even then amy wont loose her hammer

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18 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Typing while sleepy, try to be coherent. 

I agree with a lot of what you said, and I was never fond of the hammer. In my headcanon, eventually she ditches it and just fights with her fists. Given there are multiple characters who are really strong...she would just be another strong character. And since shadow is strong. I dunno maybe its just a mutation some hedgehogs have. 

Yeah but that would make her generic as well, quite boring too.

I actually like the solution i once had, I gave her a metal staff/pole to work with.

You dont see too many bostaff or pole like weapons much anymore everything is either guns, fists, swords and occasionally bows and arrows.

No love for big blunt weapons like a staff.

Heck give her a Halberd, never see those anymore

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13 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Knuckles and most other power characters already use their fist...

Amy either needs the weapon or doesn't fight at all...

Eh, not really?

Omega Uses guns, and also technically isn't the strongest member of his team... he might be the least. Big regularly uses a fishing pole, and Vector often resorts to his voice. And even other strong characters like shadow, has like other chaos control stuff he's doing. She could also being doing stuff along with her fists that makes he look a bit more capable  than just a hammer

For example, the fact that she can use magic, and its basically never used. Maybe do something with that, maybe amy being able to use magic would be infinitely interesting than a hammer

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2 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Eh, not really?

Omega Uses guns, and also technically isn't the strongest member of his team... he might be the least. Big regularly uses a fishing pole, and Vector often resorts to his voice. And even other strong characters like shadow, has like other chaos control stuff he's doing. She could also being doing stuff along with her fists that makes he look a bit more capable  than just a hammer

For example, the fact that she can use magic, and its basically never used. Maybe do something with that, maybe amy being able to use magic would be infinitely interesting than a hammer

Nah magic wand is cliche and overdone and this is not harry potter

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3 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

Nah magic wand is cliche and overdone and this is not harry potter

One, I actually believe she can use cards

Two, they could just make her use anything other than a want, like say her hands.

three, you know magic can be channeled through anything in fiction right?

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4 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

Omega Uses guns, and also technically isn't the strongest member of his team... he might be the least. Big regularly uses a fishing pole, and Vector often resorts to his voice. And even other strong characters like shadow, has like other chaos control stuff he's doing. She could also being doing stuff along with her fists that makes he look a bit more capable  than just a hammer

For example, the fact that she can use magic, and its basically never used. Maybe do something with that, maybe amy being able to use magic would be infinitely interesting than a hammer

4

Vector also has that fire breath and uses his jaws as well as Hammer Down. Amy could have something revolving around those Tarot cards she uses.

4 minutes ago, MadmanRB said:

Nah magic wand is cliche and overdone and this is not harry potter

When has it ever been a rule that you need a wand to use magic? Being a magic user doesn't make them like Harry Potter.

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3 minutes ago, Shadowlax said:

One, I actually believe she can use cards

Two, they could just make her use anything other than a want, like say her hands.

three, you know magic can be channeled through anything in fiction right?

true but still if she must use magic make it connect to her character more.

I mean you could use tarot cards but maybe make her like Gambit from X men

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That was a HUGE wall of text! Would had been better as a video because many people won't want to read all of that... Anywho I read over all the main points regardless.

I'm gonna be as understanding and respectful as I can here while also being honest. First off and I don't know any other way to say it, my opinion is you have a warped view on a silly cartoony hammer and how you also relate it to Amy's character. Yes I'd agree I don't like how her personality is portrayed lately... but my opinion is all Sonic characters are mistreated and handled poorly nowadays. To me the modern portrayal of even modern day Sonic himself is awful and he is nothing like the Sonic I think of him as anymore. However I don't agree Amy needs to be a nice loving sweet heart girl to such extremes that you do in order to fix her character.

I don't agree that her hammer can't be integrated better into speed based gameplay. I LOVE the Hammer drop move. Sonic Advance's gameplay for her can easily be improved on... And they even started to do that on the next games where they added rolling for her, and yes I'll agree that she should be able to roll because absurdly even Tails can do it... I'll say that even despite the fact that I prefer characters to have more unique gameplay over being mere boring clones with small added powers on top... which is something me and many Sonic fans won't see eye to eye on ever. I don't disagree with characters using the same base... but I feel far more should be done to them to make them differently fun then just 1 or 2 added on small powers. Simply making Amy a pink Sonic with a added high jump or something basic like that doesn't do it for me, not in the slightest... It basically would just be better then nothing, which in my book is not good enough.

Next I'll comment on is the more or less whole "Think of the children!" parts which does not amuse me one bit as I hate those kinda arguments, which are often used as a cheap excuse to just manipulate people. Her hammer by itself doesn't make her a bad character or a bad influence on kids, and I won't entertain that thought process. Even heroes with a heart of gold can wield a battle hammer. You say you loved the concept of pre-hammer classic Amy with the idea of her being a sweet girl with a nearly pure heart aiming to be a hero?... Yet are we just going to ignore the obvious here and how her nickname was Amy The "Rascal?!" and the fact many Sonic characters are designed and known for their bratty personalities? I know I sure didn't forget, and it's part of why i like them. Sure Amy isn't handled good in her modern incarnations, but she should never be made into something she isn't either. Amy needs some spice to her character, so them playing up the whole "rascal" angle would be ideal if done correctly.

Lastly I'll say this. The real question is why do you think we all need to know why you dislike her hammer to such a degree? You act like you are not trying to change the opinions of others... which by the way I do not believe whatsoever. People almost never say things over and over and over on open public places just to hear themselves talk/knowledge their own feelings to themselves. Lets be real here, you feel alone of your thoughts on this and want to see at least SOME people agree with you, and that is understandable. But I say that is it REALLY necessary to beat it into our faces your opinion on a single subject at almost any chance you get? Some advice. Feels like half the posts from you I've seen discusses the same subject with you never letting a chance go by how much you hate her hammer. Am I saying for you to stop? No. But maybe lower it down a notch? For example you know how annoying it would make me seem if I kept on ranting on about every chance I got how I think Blaze is the among the top best Sonic characters and deserves her own spinoff game series? It would make me unbearable... hell i would be sick of me if I did that... And yes I have gotten sick of my own behavior before, I just took a step back and looked at everything with fresh eyes and realized how overbearing I was being. Anyways I'm not saying this to be rude to you or to get you to stop, just advice how I think you could handle it better.

On a personal note. My first encounter with Amy in life was on Sonic The Fighters which was inside a chuck e cheese during the 90s. I have good memories of that game. To me it's not Amy without her hammer. When I see Amy in Sonic CD... all I see is a early prototype concept for her character where Amy was not interesting or meaningful until later on in the series... And just to say, MetalSonic also was not used good enough in that game itself despite all the heavy advertisement for him. Really was a game with tons of miss opportunities and unflushed out ideas.

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10 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

You say you loved the concept of pre-hammer classic Amy with the idea of her being a sweet girl with a nearly pure heart aiming to be a hero?... Yet are we just going to ignore the obvious here and how her nickname was Amy The "Rascal?!" and the fact many Sonic characters are designed and known for their bratty personalities? I know I sure didn't forget, and it's part of why i like them. Sure Amy isn't handled good in her modern incarnations, but she should never be made into something she isn't either. Amy needs some spice to her character, so them playing up the whole "rascal" angle would be ideal if done correctly.

This. While Amy's obnoxious nasty tempered side does get over exaggerated, I tend to find whenever they try to dilute that for a more sound minded Amy she ends up....kinda boring. Amy was always meant to be a bit outspoken and bratty, even in most of CD's supplement material and even from what hints we get in CD itself, she was implied to annoy the hell out of Sonic and not give it a second thought, not to mention walked right into danger to follow him. In Drift's ending she glomps Sonic in spite of his discomfort. She was maybe more innocent and child like, but she was always headstrong and a bit ignorant, especially concerning her crush.

Boom took a rather different direction with Amy, but even there that sort of approach and behavioural pattern still exists, thinking she knows what to do, and getting very petty and high strung if no one listens to her. She is still to some degree childish and egocentric, just it hasn't overwhelmed her whole personality.

 

And concerning Amy using her fists over a hammer, how would that be an improvement. Knuckles uses his fists and he is regularly converted into dumb muscle who just smashes everything as a form of 'strategy'.

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2 hours ago, Cuz said:

Basically this. What I've always liked most about the hammer is not it's combat potential, but when it's used like a pole vault to propel Amy though the air with more force then the others can manage. That aspect is kind of shallow in Adventure 1 or Advance, but I think it can be fleshed out.

I think that's a fine idea.  Sonic Boom also touched on the idea of Amy as acrobat, and I think giving Amy a different kind of manoeuvreability to Sonic, a skill which is incredible but isn't super-speed.  Playing that up in a way hopefully beyond just "double-jump" I think holds potential.

Conceivably you might be able to keep the hammer itself if it was essentially remodelled into a kind of boi-oi-oi-oing comedy hammer; it doesn't actually hurt anything - but it bounces, it still has the spring-empowering property, and particularly can be used to bounce enemies away.  Defensive gameplay...

Alternatively, as suggested above, you could do something with Amy's early fondness for tarot... but I don't really know what.  I'm not drawn to the idea of Sonic as high fantasy (and indeed I think Black Knight's premise suggests magic and the main universe are not really compatible), and as cards then the cards would be difficult to communicate visually owing to their small size.  Maybe they could grow to gigantic size and form platforms at various angles depending on Amy's position (ground, ascending, descending) when thrown...?

Alternatively alternatively - kind of a joke idea, but: Amy with no powers... but can't game over.

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35 minutes ago, E-122-Psi said:

And concerning Amy using her fists over a hammer, how would that be an improvement. Knuckles uses his fists and he is regularly converted into dumb muscle who just smashes everything as a form of 'strategy'.

I agree. I have YET to see anybody suggest a hugely better idea for her character. I mostly only see ideas that makes her more generic and boring of a character when replacing her hammer with something or nothing else.

On another note. Am I the only one who found Amy the most fun to play as on Sonic Advance? Sure she needed some improvements like a roll and maybe the Super Peel Out... But she was different and fun to me. Pretty much the only character I use when I replay the game. xD

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6 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

I agree. I have YET to see anybody suggest a hugely better idea for her character. I mostly only see ideas that makes her more generic and boring of a character when replacing her hammer with something or nothing else.

Not even my halberd suggestion?

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