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Shadow, I beg of you! Give them a chance to be happy!


— Maria Robotnik, Sonic Adventure 2

Maria Robotnik[2] (マリア・ロボトニック[3] Maria Robotonikku?) is a fictional character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. She was a young human, the granddaughter of Gerald Robotnik and the cousin of Dr. Eggman. Born and raised on the Space Colony ARK, Maria suffered from a terminal illness that made her unable to leave the place of her birth and go down to earth. To save Maria, Gerald worked on Project Shadow in hopes of finding a cure for her. Gerald's research produced Shadow the Hedgehog, who Maria became close friends with. When G.U.N. later shut down the ARK, Maria was killed by a GUN Soldier while trying to assist Shadow in his escape from the colony. Her passing had a big impact on Shadow's psyche and proved to be an event that would strongly influence the fate of the world in the decades that followed.

Appearance

Maria was described as beautiful,[2] yet frail in appearance.[1] She was a young human girl who was about two heads taller than Shadow. She had shoulder-length blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes. Her hair was wavy and held back with a blue hairband. For attire, she wore a dark blue puffy-sleeved t-shirt with light blue trim, a light blue knee-length skirt and dark blue slippers.

In Sonic Adventure 2, Maria's clothes were slightly different. Her clothes were paler, her dress had long sleeves and she was barefoot.

History

Past

It has been implied that Maria comes from a long line of brilliant scientists.[4] She was born and raised onboard the Space Colony ARK. Before she could visit earth however, she contracted Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome, an incurable and inevitably fatal disease.[1][5] Due to her illness, which left her frail and weak, Maria needed constant attention, which meant she could not leave the ARK's hospital, leaving her confined in space.[1] Additionally, her condition was only mitigated by the low gravity onboard the ARK, further confining her to the station.[6] Despite getting medical help though, Maria only grew weaker over time. While looking down at the earth from the ARK, Maria developed an interest in it and longed to go there.[1]

Onboard the ARK, Maria was looked after and cared for by her grandfather, Gerald Robotnik.[1] Maria came to mean everything to Gerald,[7] and the two of them would work and live together onboard the ARK.[8] Maria also befriended a young Commander whom she would play with.

Maria and Shadow watching the earth together, from Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

In an attempt to save Maria's life, Gerald, who was the greatest scientific mind of his time, agreed to work on Project Shadow, a government project for creating an immortal life form. The reason for this was that Gerald believed that he could make a cure for Maria's illness with the creature they sought to make.[1][5][8] Gerald's research eventually led to the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog, an immortal and powerful creature, who received a soul identical to Maria's.[9] Maria eventually befriended Shadow and they grew very close to each other. While raised together,[1][10] Maria remained by Shadow's side and they would spend their time together gazing down upon the earth from the ARK's control room, wondering what the planet was like and wishing to visit it.

When the Artificial Chaos went on a rampage onboard the Space Colony ARK, Maria sought out Shadow to help save the ARK. Shadow complied to Maria's wishes, saying that he would do anything to protect her and the ARK, and the Artificial Chaos crisis was soon after averted by the combined forces of Shadow and GUN.[11]

When the government began growing suspicious about Project Shadow, Gerald prepared a contingency video for Shadow where he told the black hedgehog about Project Shadow's imminent shutdown and about how he was meant to defeat the Black Arms, an evil alien race who helped create Shadow, with the Eclipse Cannon when they returned in fifty years to conquer earth. During the recording, Maria joined her grandfather and promised to help Shadow protect the planet alongside him.

Some time after the completion of Project Shadow,[8] Maria's peaceful existence was shattered when GUN attacked the Space Colony ARK to eliminate everything and everyone related to the project, as the military had come to believe that Project Shadow was too dangerous. Meeting up with her grandfather during the attack, Maria was entrusted with Shadow by Gerald, who told her to escape the ARK with Shadow in some escape capsules.[5] While Gerald distracted GUN, Maria and Shadow tried to escape the raid,[5] but Maria was unwilling to leave the other researchers in the captivity of GUN and pleaded Shadow to help them.[12] After Shadow had made his decision, he and Maria continued onward, but were attacked by a Heavy Dog on their way to the escape capsules. Fortunately, Shadow defeated the Heavy Dog, allowing him and Maria to resume their escape.[12]

Maria making her request to Shadow, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

Eventually, Maria and Shadow got to the ARK's escape pods in the research center. There, Maria saved Shadow by initiating his escape pod's launch with him in it. However, the GUN Soldiers were right behind them, and Maria ended by being mortally wounded by a GUN Soldier's gunshot. With her last strength, before saying goodbye, Maria asked Shadow to protect the world for her sake and give everyone a chance to be happy, just as the black hedgehog was jettisoned from the ARK. Afterwards, as Maria perished, her parting words were "Bring hope to humanity."[13]

Legacy

Maria's death was an event that had a huge impact on the friends and family of the young girl, and would strongly influence several conflicts that would determine the fate of the world. Shadow, who witnessed Maria's death first-handed, was traumatized by this sight and came to loathe humanity for what they did. The Commander also suffered a deep loss, as Maria was like a sister to him, which made him develop a life-long grudge at both Gerald and Shadow for inadvertently killing her. However, none was more affected by Maria's death than her grandfather, Gerald, who went mad with grief and made a plan to destroy the world to avenge her by having the Space Colony ARK collide with the earth once all seven Chaos Emeralds were inserted into the Eclipse Cannon. To ensure his plan's success, the professor brainwashed Shadow, twisting his memory of Maria's last request so that Shadow would be motivated to seek revenge at the human race.[8] Before he went insane though, Gerald made Maria's last words the keywords that would activate Emerl's free-willed emotion-based AI.[13]

Maria's last request for Shadow to protect the world and its people would be a driving force in the hedgehog's life, which Shadow made the promise to keep despite his loathing of humanity. When Shadow was reawakened nearly fifty years later though, he sought to avenge Maria's death (due to Gerald manipulating his memories)[8] by destroying the human race. It was not until the eleventh hour that Shadow remembered Maria's dying wish, and he aided Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies in stopping the very plan he had set into motion, seemingly sacrificing his life in the process. Shadow survived his ordeal only to lose his memories, with the exception of a disturbing image of Maria being shot. When the Black Arms invaded and set Shadow out to rediscover his purpose, Black Doom would use Maria's demise at the hands of the humans to sway Shadow to his side. Fortunately, Shadow learned of his true purpose from a final video message from Maria and Gerald, which gave him the motivation needed to obliterate the Black Arms.

Currently, Shadow strives to keep his promise to Maria,[10] which has made him save the world multiple times.

Personality

While frail in appearance, Maria was strong in spirit.[1] Eternally cheerful, optimistic and positive despite her condition, Maria could see the good in almost anyone or anything. She was likewise a very kind, loving[6] and generous[6] soul who always put others before herself, supported her friends, and held an unconditional love for the people of the world, even showing compassion towards her enemies when they were distressed. Because she never got down to earth, Maria was very interested in the planet and wished to see it.[1] She was as well very encouraging as she could make others accept themselves and calm others down when in stressful situations, including Shadow.

Always gentle and thinking about others before herself, Maria was one who found it easier than most to forgive and forget, not to mention trust. Even after GUN violently raided the ARK and shot her down, Maria did not hold any ill will against the people on earth and only wished for them to live happy lives. She was also utterly selfless as she sacrificed her life for Shadow's sake, having faith he would carry on her dreams for her.

Despite her youth and frailness, Maria was brave, determined, and had a strong sense of righteousness. When the Artificial Chaos were on a rampage, Maria wanted to stop them to save the innocent, and during the GUN's raid on the ARK she refused to leave the injured researchers behind. Even on her deathbed, Maria remained undeterred and only wished for Shadow to fulfill his purpose.

Powers and abilities

Maria did not have any special skills, and because of her Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (N.I.D.S.), she had a frail and weak body. However, she did have some abilities: she was able to run fairly quickly and had enough strength to land weak blows.

Relationships

Gerald Robotnik

A photo of Maria with her grandfather, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

Gerald Robotnik was Maria's grandfather and the one who took care of her when she was suffering under her disease.[1] Like Maria was the jewel of Gerald's eye,[1] Maria was very fond of Gerald and was always seen smiling and caressing him in his presence. She always referred to him as simply "grandfather" and she admired him for his creations that could help mankind, most noticeably his Heal Units.

Shadow the Hedgehog

Shadow, I believe in you...


— Maria Robotnik, Shadow the Hedgehog.

Maria asking Shadow to save the people of the Space Colony ARK, from Shadow the Hedgehog

Maria's most prominent relationship was with Shadow the Hedgehog, a creature created to help make a cure for her illness. The two of them were raised alongside each other onboard the ARK and they formed a very close bond, with Maria considering Shadow a brother of sorts.[1] Maria also shared the same dream with him which was to visit earth, making them kindred spirits in a sense, and they tended to look at the earth from the ARK together and ponder about it. Sharing a mutual compassion for one another, Maria was always concerned for Shadow whenever he expressed confusion over his purpose.

While Maria was well-aware of Shadow's purpose to protect mankind, she was always behind him on this subject, no matter the danger involved. She promised to help him stop the Black Arms and she had unwavering faith that Shadow could accomplish his purpose. Also, whenever there were problems, Shadow would be the one Maria sought for help, knowing she could always count on him. Ultimately, Maria's love for Shadow led to her sacrificing her life and dream of visiting earth to save him from the military. Even when dying, Maria's only thoughts were for Shadow to fulfill his purpose and she pleaded him to do it for her sake, knowing he could carry out her dream for her.

The Commander

Maria embracing the young Commander, from Shadow the Hedgehog.

The Commander was one of Maria's friends before she met Shadow. In terms of how they got along, Maria basically had a brother-sister relationship with the Commander. The two of them would often play merrily around with each other, though Maria would be annoyed with the Commander's antics and chase him around, but they still cared for one another.

Friends/allies

Enemies

In other media

Archie Comics

Maria Robotnik, from Sonic Universe #60.

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics, Maria was a female Overlander, the daughter of Geraldo Robotnik and Meredith Sanders, and a member of the House of Ivo. Suffering from Neuro-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, Maria was looked after by her grandfather Gerald Robotnik, who made Shadow to develop a cure for her. When the military attempted to seize Shadow, Maria was killed by them when trying to help Shadow escape. A year after his awakening, Shadow encountered a digital version of Maria who helped him uncover his purpose.

Following the events of Worlds Collide, Maria became virtually indistinguishable from her game counterpart.

Sonic X

Maria Robotnik, from "Sonic's Big Break."

Maria makes a number of appearances in the anime Sonic X, partial in Shadow's memory. In this media, much like in the games, she was a human from earth, and the granddaughter of Gerald Robotnik and cousin of Dr. Eggman.

Like in the games, Maria was a terminally ill patient confined to the Space Colony ARK. During her stay on the ARK, Maria became very close to Shadow. When GUN came to shut Project Shadow down and seize Shadow himself, Maria sacrificed her life to save Shadow, though not before asking him to protect the world for her sake.

Quotes

"Shadow, what do you think it's like on Earth?"
—Maria wondering about the planet with Shadow, Sonic Adventure 2
"Shadow I beg of you, please do it for me... for a better future! For all the people who live on that planet... give them a chance to be happy... Let them live for their dreams. Shadow, I know you can do it. That's the reason why you were brought into this world. Sayonara, Shadow... the Hedgehog."
—Maria's last words to Shadow, Sonic Adventure 2.
"Why do we have to fight amongst one another like this?"
—Maria, Shadow the Hedgehog.
"Please, Shadow... I need your help! Everyone's fate depends on... YOU!"
—Maria's last words to Shadow, Shadow the Hedgehog.

Trivia

  • In the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions of Shadow the Hedgehog, Maria can be played by player 2 in the stages The Doom and Lost Impact, where she can run at high speed and smash tough objects and enemies by slapping down on them. She also can damage enemies by jumping into them, though it has to be very close. This is the only game in which she is playable. This in turn makes her the first playable female human in the Sonic series.
  • In the original Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2, Maria had lengthy eyelashes. In Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and all subsequent appearances, they were removed.
  • Her appearance and outfit are reminiscent of Alice, the heroine of Lewis Carroll's novels Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
  • Maria's name is the password for both activating Shadow the Hedgehog and accessing the ARK's files about Project Shadow. Also, the reason why the password is utilized as "Ma-Ri-A" is because of Japanese phonetics.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, a narrator with Maria's voice can be unlocked by getting all 180 emblems in the game. It can be bought in Chao World's Black Market for 30,000 Rings.
  • The song that played during Maria's flashback scenes in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was an instrumental mix of "Throw It All Away," Shadow's theme in the game.
  • A character called Marie from another Sega game, called Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, has a similar design to Maria.
  • In Team Sonic Racing, one of the Performance Parts for the Dark Reaper is named "Maria's Boon".

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Prima Development (20 June 2001). "The Beginning". Sonic Adventure 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-0761536147.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast) United States instruction booklet, p. 12.
  3. Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 27.
  4. Backbone Entertainment, Sega Studio USA (24 November 2006). Sonic Rivals. Sega. Area/Level: Meteor Base Zone (Shadow's version). "Eggman Nega: Heh heh heh... I'm here to change my destiny! I come from a long line of brilliant scientists, but that lineage was disrupted with Dr. Eggman's failures!"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "50年前の真実"" (in Japanese). ソニックアドベンチャー2パーフェクトガイド. Enterbrain. 10 October 2001. ISBN 978-4757706255. Retrieved on 5 February 2007.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-1506719276. "Maria Robotnik - A loving and generous girl suffering from NIDS (Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome). She lived aboard the ARK so that the low gravity would keep her condition in remission."
  7. Sonic Team USA (23 June 2001). Sonic Adventure 2. Dreamcast. Sega. Cutscene: Last Story. "Gerald: I found Maria's name among those who died when the ARK was shut down. She meant everything to me! And I couldn't bear the thought that she died because of my research. I lost everything!"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 BioWare (30 September 2008). Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Nintendo DS. Sega. Area/Level: Codex. "Prof. Gerald Robotnik entry: His most remarkable creation was the Space Colony ARK, where he lived and worked with his granddaughter."
  9. Sonic Team (27 February 2004). Sonic Battle. Game Boy Advance. Sega. Area/Level: Gimme Shelter. "Rouge: He was not interested in researching weapons. He was researching a way to bring happiness and hope to all people. But, he was forced by the government and by the military to use his research for war. That's why he gave you and Gizoid a "soul." A soul identical to his beloved granddaughter, Maria."
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sega of America. Shadow. Sega. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005. Retrieved on 26 October 2017. "Maria, who was raised with Shadow and was Shadow's only friend, died in front of his very eyes; her final wish was that Shadow save the world. Saving the world from what is a secret only Shadow knows. Traumatized by the grief of her death, Shadow remains strong enough to keep the promise he made to her."
  11. Sonic Team (15 November 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/Level: Lost Impact.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Sonic Team (15 November 2005). Shadow the Hedgehog. Nintendo GameCube. Sega. Area/Level: The Doom.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sonic Team (27 February 2004). Sonic Battle. Game Boy Advance. Sega. Area/Level: Prof. Gerald's Journal #7. "My beloved granddaughter... They tell me her parting words were, 'Bring hope to humanity.'"

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