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Video Game / Rumble Roses

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In 2004, Konami decided to put a foot in a genre that is rarely touched by video game companies, the wrestling genre (well, at least outside Japan), which in the last years, was in the hands of THQ, the holder of the WWE license. However, to the surprise of many, Konami announced that this game would feature an all female cast. The end result was a big fanservice extravaganza, with 10 ladies (each with her own face and heel persona) wearing quite revealing outfits, appealing to various fetishes. Aside from these regular in-ring costumes, they would also wear swimsuits for beach-side mud wrestling matches.

The story modes for each wrestler persona are also notable in a B-movie way. But let's go into a little more detail. It's set up more like a Fighting Game than a Wrestling Game. Anesthesia, the Big Bad of the series, wants to take over the world. She plans to use a wrestling tournament to do it, offering a large cash prize to the winner as an incentive. She plans to take the DNA of the tournament winner to make an unstoppable cyborg army. Each of the girls has their own reason for being involved in the tournament. Reiko Hinomoto is trying to live up to her mother's legacy and search for her lost sister. Aisha is obsessed with a rematch against Dixie Clemets, who she was never able to beat. Makoto Aihara is an Olympic judoka seeking competition. Candy Cane wants the cash prize to save the orphanage she grew up in. Miss Spencer enters the tournament accidentally while trying to chase down a recalcitrant runaway student (Candy Cane). Anyway, at the end of the tournament, the player fights one of Anesthesia's cyborgs, Lady X, and whoever wins goes home happy.

As of right now there is one sequel, Rumble Roses XX, which was released in 2006 for the Xbox 360. It introduced three new modes (Tag Team, Queens Match and Street Fight) as well as a very unelaborate create-a-wrestler feature. It also introduced "Superstar" personas for each character's face and heel modes. Unfortunately, it featured no storyline mode at all, and an incredibly labyrinthine and time-consuming method of unlocking characters and rewards. Additionally, the extras like Queens Mode, Street Fight, the shoddy create-a-wrestler system and the playable bear proved very unpopular overseas. While Rumble Roses is generally considered to be a decent game, Rumble Roses XX was enough of a flop that it seems to have brought the series to an end. The series fell into obscurity with the closest to a revival being Reiko making a playable cameo in Super Bomberman R. Additionally, there's also a Japan-only slot machine game titled Rumble Roses 3D.

Rumble Roses contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Everybody, naturally.
  • Alliterative Title: By being a way to refer to combat, and also referring to pretty women.
  • Always Someone Better: Dixie to Aisha.
    • As a more minor case, Aigle to Makoto.
    • In American marketing, Dixie to Reiko as well.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The CPU pays no attention to actual win conditions, and will keep going in for the pin even in an H-KO only match where pinfalls don't count. Because of this, H-KO matches against the AI are a lot harder to lose since it doesn't think to prioritize filling up the opponent's humiliation meter the way a human player would.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the girls have highly entertaining and energetic introductions, but some such as all of Becky's would leave her pretty tired 'before' the match starts. Others such as Yasha's literally requires nameless ninja women to die as part of it (assuming it's not just staged for theatrics).
    • Averted by all of the Lady X incarnations, they are rather simple, which wouldn't help her human opponents considering how little energy the robot would use compared to a human girl just getting into the ring.
  • Beach Episode: There's a beach arena. There's also the option to wrestle in swimsuits. Oh, and by the way, there's also a mud wrestling match, which takes place at said beach arena, and the only selectable outfits for that match type are the swimsuits.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The girls' heads and hair repel the mud in the mud matches. There's also no blood in this game, even though blood was commonplace in wrestling games at the time the original Rumble Roses was released.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • Subverted in The Black Belt Demon's entrance.
    • But played incredibly straight with Non Non in Rumble Roses XX.
  • Carpet of Virility: Disturbingly sported by Sebastian the Clown.
  • Clothing Switch: Rumble Roses XX had a feature where the player could buy extra outfits for the girls, including each other's outfits.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: Queens Mode in Rumble Roses XX. The idea was that the girl who lost the match would suffer a penalty, like having to sweep around a pool with a push broom, and then she'd react to it by getting angry, sad or embarrassed. This was supposed to be a selling point of the game. In Japan, it was. Western audiences, however, found it to incredibly weird and creepy.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Rumble Roses has the same control scheme as the contemporary games in the WWE series, but the actual buttons aren't mapped exactly alike, so get ready to run headlong into your opponent a few times when you meant to grapple them.
  • Denser and Wackier: Rumble Roses XX is a mild example, having added such things as the playable bear, the Street Fight mode where getting hit can send the girls flying 20 feet in the air, and "moves" like Bloody Shadow's opponent-inhaling giant frog, and pretty much everything about Lady X Subsistence.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Sort of. There are various moves in the game that cause a "humiliation meter" to rise. The moves that do these are moves that put one or both of the girls in some kind of compromising position. For example, most girls in the game have a backdrop in which they lift the other girl behind the knees so that the audience gets a good look at her crotch before suplexing her and that move fills the meter fast. Most moves fill the defender's humiliation meter, although several fill both fighters and a couple fill the attacker's. When a character's humiliation meter is filled, their opponent can then perform a "humiliation finisher", which is invariably a submission hold that puts them in an embarrassing position as well as being painful. humiliation finishers give the attacker several more seconds to keep the hold applied than even other finishers and in Rumble Roses are the only way to beat the computer by submission on hard difficulty.
  • Depending on the Writer: Reiko's competency in the ring tends to vary wildly in story modes. In her own, she is a more than capable wrestler who despite her inexperience can defend herself. However, in Evil Rose's story, Reiko is helpless and has to be saved even from lower tier enemies than Anesthesia to justify Evil Rose's big sister instinct.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Goes with the face to heel switches.
  • Excuse Plot: Described in the intro.
  • Face: Each character has a face and a heel persona. For some though, it is not as simple. For example, Bloody Shadow is a good, if not nice person. However, because Bloody Shadow's dressed darker than her alter ego Judgment, she is labeled the heel persona. Same thing goes for Candy Cane to Becky. Likewise, Anesthesia, the face persona, is lighter than Dr. Cutter despite also being presented as evil. This aspect is actually more accurate than most wrestling games since heel and face doesn't mean "good" and "evil", but who is "cheered" and "booed". Everybody else plays this straight, though.
  • Fanservice: The main selling point of the series.
  • Finishing Move: Picture "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's Stunner or The Undertaker's Tombstone. These girls dish out vicious airborne versions as standard and they get more exotic, complex and unrealistic from there. H-KO (humiliation submissions) vary from, well, presenting your opponent in a sexual manner to grounded knees until they are forced to tap out. Double team finishers are also possible.
  • Game Mod: There's a fan-made ISO for the PlayStation 2 version that removes the severely limiting Face/Heel restriction and lets you use both versions of every character in all match types.
  • Good Costume Switch: Goes with the heel to face switches.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: Provided most blatantly by Dixie with her height, blonde hair and having the largest bustline of the cast.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Lady X Substance and Lady X Substinence both have a move that, in pro wrestling terminology, could be called a "wrist rotating single arm press slam" - that is, they lift the opponent overhead with one arm, then utilize their robotic wrist joints to spin their hands in a circle, spinning the opponent before dropping them.
  • Humiliation Conga: A potential result of losing a Queen's Match, the loser first could be humiliated, then finished with an attack meant to embarrass her until she can't take it anymore. Following this the loser then has to do a task such as clean the pool, apply oil to the winner, or dance. All of these actions also involve the loser wearing what the opponent wants. Some of the girls appear visibly hurt afterwards by this.
  • Humiliating Wager: In Rumble Roses XX, the Queen's Match matchtype is essentially this; the loser must do whatever task the winner tells them to do, which in the game, usually means the loser doing a menial/embarrassing task in their wrestling gear, specialty outfit, or bikini.
  • Idol Singer: Reiko and Makoto.
  • Jiggle Physics: Yup.
  • Joke Character: Despite both being physically bigger and stronger looking than the Roses, Sebastian and Non-Non both have lower than Benikage levels of defense and very low damage potential.
  • Leotard of Power: Noble Rose/Evil Rose, Benikage/Yasha.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Mostly averted, most of the girls have short hair, even the girly girls tend to have shorter hair. The girls with the longest hair (Dixie, Benikage) have them not much longer than shoulder length, ostensibly to minimize No Flow in CGI. Some girls that have girly hair styles like Becky/Candy Cane have Pigtails which are not that long. The few girls who do have longer hair (Aigle/Killer Khan, Ms./Mistress Spencer) have it either braided or done up so as to keep it out of the way— a sensible choice for wrestling and grappling.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Evil Rose is actually Reiko's Brainwashed and Crazy older sister, while Lady X is a cyborg made from Kamikaze Rose's DNA. Kamikaze Rose is Reiko and Evil Rose's mother.
  • Make an Example of Them:
    • The Humiliation Move is this; if you've filled up the meter to use this move, you likely could've won normally and all Humiliation Moves are some kind of submission hold putting the opponent on display. It's also extremely embarrassing in Rumble Roses Canon to lose via H-KO/Humiliation Move, to the point that losing in such an embarrassing way ends feuds.
    • The penalty game could be considered this, as not only does the loser have to do something against her will but her reaction positive or negative is also shown. The girls can react quite distraught in some occasions.
  • Male Gaze: Everything in the game, but the one that really stands out is when a character is ready to be finished off with a Humiliation Move. Also the character select screen in XX, which includes a close up of each character's butt.
  • Moe Couplet: Reiko and Dixie; Miss Spencer and Candy Cane; Makoto and Aigle.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Literally every female in the game, to varying degrees. For example, Reiko is a bikini model who strikes poses for the cameras during her entrance while Makoto is a judoka who doesn't wear pants.
  • Ninja: Bloody Shadow and her alter ego, Judgment.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Noble Rose is blatantly inspired by Cutey Honey.
    • Aisha is sort of a portmanteau of a few different pop starlets, including Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez.
    • Becky, Candy Cane's face gimmick, who looks like a cross between Britney Spears at the start of her career and Emma Bunton.
    • Candy Cane is a teenage punk rocker from Canada. However, she is a lot "meaner" than Avril Lavigne, thus making her personality more akin to American female punk rockers like Kathleen Hanna or Brody Dalle. Additionally, Candy Cane plays in a band called "The Killer Bambies", an obvious nod towards Spanish punk band The Killer Barbies, who provide her theme song "Have Some Fun" in the original Rumble Roses.
    • Much like Ryoko Izumo and Ryoko Kano, Makoto was almost certainly based on real-life judoka Ryoko Tani.
    • Reiko looks a lot like Asuka, particularly in her early career as Kana before she started dyeing her hair. The only major difference is tha5 Reiko wears boots while Kana was barefoot with kick pads.
  • The One Guy: Sebastian the Clown (the gimp with clown makeup who accompanies Mistress Spencer during her ring entrance) is an unlockable character in the Japanese version of the first game. He is unlockable in all versions of Rumble Roses XX.
  • Pain to the Ass: The atomic drop and Manhattan dropnote  both exist in this game and they're moves in which the attacker drives the defender tailbone first onto the attacker's knee. While the move supposedly compresses the spine and hurts the back, the Roses sell it by holding their butts. That being said, the holding-your-butt sell is used for a lot of back based slams and throws and sometimes just randomly.
  • Painted-On Pants: Even the girls who have outfits that fully cover their lower bodies tend to have very, very tight fitting outfits. In particular, Aisha's pants are almost as tight as Noble Rose's leotard.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: Real enough that an evil overlord wannabe is using the DNA of pro wrestlers to create an unstoppable robot army. Though in all fairness some of the stuff the Roses go through can't be faked.
  • Punishment Detail: In one of the game's Queen's Match punishments the loser can be made to clean the pool area. A further humiliation could be that the loser has to wear what the winner chooses for them.
  • Recycled Premise: In Rumble Roses XX's Queen's Match mode, the loser of each match is subjected to public humiliation, which is similar to another all-girls fighting series that came years before it involving combat waitresses.
  • Seashell Bra: One of these can be purchased from the game store in Rumble Roses XX and worn by any girl in the game.
  • SNK Boss: Lady X. She has a ridiculously overpowered unblockable move for a taunt, but even without the taunt, most of her regular moves are other wrestlers' finishing moves and her humiliation meter fills at about a tenth of the speed of anyone else's. Rumble Roses XX has Lady X "Subsistance", who is even stronger than Substance in terms of offense and defense and even has an attack stronger than the "Human" girls Killer/Lethal attacks where she places her robotic fingers on her opponent's ears and uses her rotating parts to rotate her fingers while they are in the ears of her opponent that can leave lower defense characters like Becky unable to kick out in two cycles.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Although the attire of even the good girls could hardly be called modest, in general the good girls dress a bit more modestly than the bad girls. For example, Aisha wears pants and a sports bra while Showbiz/Sista A wears a skimpy 2 piece and Black Belt Demon wears her judogi looser exposing more of her bra than Makoto Aihara.
  • Start of Darkness: Conveniently provided in the introduction to the heel storylines of normally face characters.
  • Stripperiffic: Everybody except Lady X. Lady X wears a full suit and tie ensemble. Other than that, Makoto and Noble Rose have the least skimpy outfits in the game. They wear a judogi and short-shorts and a backless leotard with thigh boots, respectively. However, both are not without their quirks in this area as Noble Rose's leotard rides up her backside to the point nothing is left to the imagination and Makoto, while she wears shorts in her Judo outfit, her panties are visible to a degree.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: All the wrestlers' finishing moves fit this.
  • That Man Is Dead: The essence of some of the Roses' responses to their former friends' attempts to get through to them post heel turn.
  • Third-Person Person: Aigle/Killer Khan talks like this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: This can apply to anyone in the roster, some of the grapples from characters such as Becky and Yasha require the opponent to actually fight back. In one of Becky's turnbuckle grapples, her opponent literally locks her in a full nelson and Becky proceeds to counter and drop her opponent on her head. In Yasha's case, she needs her opponent to German Suplex her after Yasha purposely whiffs a high kick. In both of these cases, the opponents never wise up to the slippery escapes and will fall for the exact same moves the same way every time.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: In Rumble Roses XX, there are outfits that can be unlocked, although the process of doing so is as labyrinthine as everything else in the game. The girls also come with a slider that can cause them to gain muscle or gain fat. This slider is adjusted by which moves you use in the matches.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: The girls fight in swimsuits in mud wrestling matches.
  • Whip of Dominance: One of the weapons is a riding crop which in addition to doing damage, it can humiliate an opponent. While any character can pick it up outside the ring and use it, Mistress Spencer, whose gimmick is being a Dominatrix, actually starts the game holding it.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: As par for the course. Reiko is a race queen/bikini model, Miss Spencer is a teacher, Aisha is a pop idol and so on and so forth.