— Hope Robotnik
Hope Elizabeth Robotnik is the sole niece of Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, and also his last living relative. Orphaned by her uncle, she led an itinerant life until she was discovered by Rouge the Bat. She now works as a junior mechanic for G.U.N.
Born to Colin Robotnik and Angela Hopkins-Robotnik in Amethyst Town, Hope lived a relatively normal lifestyle at first. However, what set her apart at an early age was her penchant for fixing machinery and electronics. In kindergarten, she was able to fix her teacher's laptop with little effort, making her popular not only with the faculty at Vincent Woods Elementary School, but her fellow students. While a select few tried to bully her for being part of the human minority, her parents' teachings and her own personal vows meant that she would end up welcoming people no matter their color, species, sex, orientation or other characteristics.
Tragedy, however, would befall Hope when she was seven: her parents were murdered by her uncle Ivo, who believed that Colin owed him 1,000 Mobiums for a job he did. Saddened and not wanting to face the possibility of being placed in foster care, Hope ended up living in an abandoned factory for a time before leaving Amethyst Town entirely. For the next few years of her life, she travelled around the Kingdom of Mobius, earning a living by fixing people's cars and other technological devices. She even helped out with the reconstruction of Emerald City following the Great War.
However, Hope would be forced to run again when her uncle Ivo took over Emerald City and the rest of the Kingdom of Mobius. She spent her time hiding in a cave in the Great Forest. Eventually, things cleared up, and while in search of her next meal, Hope discovered Rouge the Bat, whose G.U.N.-issue Humvee had suffered an engine issue on her way to a job. Hope fixed it, thereby impressing Rouge, who offered her a job with G.U.N. in addition to steady housing. Not one to turn down a roof over her head and the possibility of three hots and a cot, she accepted, and after some negotiating with the local base captain, Hope's life took a turn for the better.
Hope is very kind, caring and thoughtful. She is willing to look past other people's dark pasts to see the good that they currently possess. On the other hand, she can be a bit naïve, particularly when it comes to people trying to manipulate her. Despite that, she is ready to offer words of kindness and encouragement to people in distress. She is also very accepting of others regardless of characteristics such as race, color, sex, religion and the like. In spite of her kindness, she can get mad or sad if suitably provoked.
Hope is a petite girl with blue eyes and relatively short blonde hair in a flipped bob style. Her typical attire is a red long-sleeve T-shirt – typically with the sleeves rolled up during warmer months – black overalls and brown boots. However, she has other outfits for different occasions. For example, when going to rock concerts, she wears a black T-shirt with the words "ROCKER GIRL" on the front, a denim vest, skinny blue jeans with a studded black leather belt, and black Caterpillar Echo steel-toe boots.
Owing to her size and weight, Hope is not very gifted physically. In spite of this, she has been shown to be able to handle a handgun with reasonable accuracy. Where she really shines is her intellect. She can repair pretty much any machine she puts her hand on. She’s even made a few of her own creations. In "Wir sind Menschen", she has even been shown to speak Tedescan.
Items & Weapons
Hope’s main items are the various tools she uses for her mechanical work. One of her most prized items is a US/metric socket wrench set. In "Wir sind Menschen", she tried out a Beretta 92FS in the firing range of Rouge's mansion and admitted to firing other handguns at G.U.N.'s Mobius Command.
In spite of having heard certain things about him, Hope is delighted to meet Shadow for the first time and is excited when she finds out about his Trans Am. She is even more excited when she sees Rouge's mansion, sees Rouge's Corvette and meets E-123 Omega. During supper, Hope is surprised to find out that Shadow knew Gerald, although she is concerned when he threatens her life just for being related to Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Nevertheless, she retains enough cool to calm him down and promises that she's a good girl. While watching the news with Team Dark, she wonders if it's normal for Shadow and Omega to argue. Later, she visits Shadow in his room and has a good time listening to Slayer, playing his synthesizer and just chatting with him.
The next day, Hope enjoys her breakfast in spite of being weirded out by Shadow admitting that he doesn't need to eat. At work, she throws her back out and asks for a massage from Shadow. In spite of his discomfiture, he agrees to it, and they both enjoy the massage in the mansion's spa. Hope also takes well to Shadow and Rouge's supper, and when Rouge tickles Shadow during the news, she giggles before changing the channel. After the show, Hope plays some video games with Shadow and does surprisingly well against him. She even gives him a hug.
The next day at breakfast, Hope expresses her gratefulness for Shadow's company and hugs him again. When Hope learns that Rouge has invited Sonic over for a party later that day in the ballroom, she is excited about the possibility of meeting the Blue Blur and also laughs at how cute it is that Shadow has a crush on him. Later at supper, Hope asks about Shadow's day and also talks about hers. She even admits to liking Shadow.
After Sonic arrives, Hope expresses her excitement to him. Afterwards, she gets dressed for the party and has a really good time disco dancing with Shadow. When Sonic reveals that his band is going to be playing at the International Festival of Community, she accepts his offer for a backstage pass. Once Ol' Blue leaves, Hope asks to take a shower with Shadow, which flusters him at first, but he accepts, and they have a very good time here, too. She also hugs him for telling her that she's beautiful in spite of her bodily hair. Hope then goes with Shadow to his room, where she thanks him for dancing and taking a shower with her. She then gives him his first kiss and cuddles with him in bed.
By Saturday, Hope has totally fallen in love with Shadow. She even enjoys spending time with him on her day off, partaking in activities such as meditation, exercise and listening to rock music, though she is put off by the death metal he plays at first. After having lunch with Shadow and Omega, Hope goes down to the mansion's garage with the former and marvels at the collection of vehicles. She enjoys riding with Shadow on his Dark Rider motorcycle, but is put off by him going too fast and nearly getting pulled over by the Royal Mobian Constabulary, not to mention his lack of a helmet. Nevertheless, she kisses him again when he gives her a glass pyramid with an eagle engraving in it as a gift.
After putting her gift away, Hope joins Shadow on the mansion's rooftop observation deck, where they share a romantic interlude with each other. Once Rouge returns, she tells her about her day over supper when suddenly, she gets a notification from Facebook about a video of the aftermath of a machine gun attack that Shadow committed in Emerald City. When Shadow expresses his sadness, Hope assures him that she’ll be there for him.
After a bit of difficulty in waking Shadow up the next day, Hope joins Team Dark for breakfast again and is confused when Rouge scolds Shadow not only for not eating his breakfast, but also for snarking at her. When she joins Shadow for another round of meditation, she is concerned when he has a nightmarish vision of an evil monster. She manages to calm him down, and though surprised when he asks to be tickled, she nevertheless tickles him and cuddles with him, after which they play video games. She also changes the oil in Shadow's Trans Am.
At lunch, Hope expresses concern when Shadow attempts to eat a whole box of Swiss rolls and gets yelled at. Nevertheless, she tries to remain as calm as possible, though she thinks of him as being weird for being able to eat so much junk food and not get fat. After lunch, she catches Shadow on the rooftop observation deck and agrees to leave him alone, but he joins her for TV soon enough. At supper, Hope tells Rouge about her concerns regarding Shadow's shift in behavior. After supper, Hope finds Shadow in his room playing his synthesizer, and he snaps at her because he messed up. She accepts his apology and listens to him play for a bit before deciding to read some books with him.
The next morning, upon learning that Shadow had another nightmare, Hope tries to comfort him and promises that she won't be going anywhere for a while. After breakfast, she checks up on Shadow to make sure that he'll be OK while she's at work. She gets back home early with Rouge and dresses up for the International Festival of Community. She stops with Shadow and Rouge to eat at a Five Guys near the Emerald City Palladium and orders her Little Bacon Cheeseburger with mushrooms, lettuce and hot sauce. She admits to not having been to Five Guys before, but is nevertheless intrigued when Shadow and Rouge praise their food. Hope enjoys her burger and jokes around with Shadow when he says that it's sexy when girls are into hot sauce. She also enjoys the fries, though she wonders why Five Guys gives so many. Given her liking for the food, Hope wants to go there more often and even asks Shadow to take her, telling him about some romantic daydreams she had about it. She laughs when Rouge calls her "pretty" and calls her pretty, too.
At the Emerald City Palladium, Hope meets Sonic and his friends, and she takes well to all of them, but she wonders if Sticks is racist for thinking she's an alien. During the last song in the concert, Hope is concerned when Shadow runs off, but nevertheless allows it. After the show, she expresses her appreciation for Shadow hugging Sonic, but is concerned when the former is largely silent on the trip home. She is shocked when he reveals that somebody planted a bomb under the Palladium's stage. Nevertheless, she calls him her hero and nibbles his ear.
The next day, Hope gives Shadow a hug along with Rouge. Before going to work, Hope gives Shadow her phone number, and he gives her his number in exchange. Once she returns home with Rouge, she partakes in the cookout. Here, she asks Shadow about his day and laughs when she hears about weird sports such as scraper drag racing. When Shadow talks about his research into the Ferdinand Rozmiarek killing, Hope asks a bad question when she asks him if he wouldn't get worked up if he was part of an oppressed minority.
After the cookout, Hope visits Shadow in his room and decides to play some music. However, she is shocked when he destroys her iPod for playing a song that he dislikes. This leads into an argument, and Hope gets punched and ends up crying. Despite her initial anger towards Shadow, she accepts his apology, but is still in shock and requests something to dull the pain. She gets an ice pack from him and is surprised when he writes her a check for 1,500 Mobiums as compensation for what he did. She ends up forgiving him, but makes him promise to go into therapy, and smiles when she learns that Rouge set up a session for him. Speaking of Rouge, when she enters the room, Hope tells her about how Shadow hit her and is shocked when Rouge tries to teach him a lesson by hitting him back. She is also sad yet happy when she witnesses Rouge cry and hug Shadow after he admits his love for her. Her happiness intensifies when Shadow initiates an ear nibble war against Rouge. In spite of her continued sadness regarding Shadow punching her, Hope takes a shower and cuddles with him anyways.
Hope has to work a little to get Shadow out of bed the next day and is puzzled when Rouge demonstrates continued animosity towards him. However, she calms Rouge down and praises her for her skills as a mommy. On their way home that day, Rouge and Hope get takeout for supper and is surprised when Omega seems to be capable of jokes. After supper, she watches TV with everybody and picks Celebrity Arm Wrestling for the program. She questions Shadow's need to leave, but nevertheless accepts his lie about going to the bathroom. When Sergeant Stauerbach and Detective Moroder question her about Shadow, Hope pretends not to have seen him and continues watching the show. Hope later appears in one of Shadow's dreams with Maria and shows him a water fountain with Pepsi instead of water. She also tickles him after Maria holds him down.
Hope enjoys seeing Shadow feel better the next day and enjoys that day's breakfast, even asking Rouge where she gets all her recipes. She also wonders why Shadow, Rouge and Omega are referred to as "Team Dark". Much to Shadow's surprise, Hope gets a call from the local G.U.N. Captain, saying that another mechanic agreed to cover her shift. She is happy about the opportunity to spend more time with Shadow, and when he admits that he feels weird about spending time with her after hitting her, she assures him that she’s not mad about it anymore. They then partake in some more meditation, after which they go down to the firing range. She practices with a Beretta 92FS and is reasonably accurate, if not precisely so. After she sweeps up the expended cartridges, Shadow gives her the target she used, and she requests to go out to lunch with him.
After putting on a summer dress, Hope tags along with Shadow to the same Five Guys that they went to on their way to the International Festival of Community. Upon learning that Shadow is 50 years old, she calls him "handsome" for his age. They flirt with each other over lunch, after which she cajoles him into taking a walk with her. She is shocked when members of the Human Liberation Front and the Mobius People's Defense Force hold them at gunpoint. Her shock only grows when Shadow pulls out his Model 29, and she tries to dissuade him from further vigilante actions, even putting herself in front of his gun barrel, but he shoves her aside, and she gets another nasty surprise when the HLF and the MPDF try to gun down Shadow right in front of her. Though saddened when she hears about his pain regarding Maria, and though afraid of getting shot, she comforts Shadow when he's crying. When Rouge joins in, she scratches in front of one of Shadow's ears and makes him purr.
After Shadow is released from police custody, Hope attends his speech at the Royal Palace. At the end of the story, Hope marvels at the night sky, but is concerned when Shadow expresses his worry about whether she’ll still love him after acting as a vigilante. While not a fan of murder, she forgives him and ends the story by trying out her new MP3 player and dancing with him.
- BearfootTruck had been inspired to write a story pairing Shadow and Hope ever since he saw a scan of a panel from Sonic Universe #4 that depicted Hope hugging Shadow.
- In the Archie comics, Hope's last name is "Kintobor". However, since BearfootTruck's universe did away with the Kintobor/Robotnik distinction at some point, so too did Hope's last name change in this universe.