|First game||Super Mario Galaxy (2007)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Voiced by||Mercedes Rose (2007–2010)
Kerri Kane (2011-2014)
Laura Faye Smith (2013–present)
Rosalina (known as Rosetta (ロゼッタ Rozetta?) in Japan) is a fictional character in the Mario franchise by Nintendo. She debuted in Super Mario Galaxy, where she acted as a major non-player character who resides in the Comet Observatory, the game's hub world. She is the adoptive mother of the Lumas, a fictional species in the game, and also watcher of the cosmos. In the game's storyline, the Comet Observatory was attacked by Bowser, leaving her stranded in space without a source of power. In return for Mario's help in collecting Power Stars and repowering the Observatory, Rosalina agrees to help Mario rescue Princess Peach, whom Bowser had kidnapped. Rosalina has since appeared as a player character in subsequent Mario games, including the Mario Kart series and 2013's Super Mario 3D World. The character has received generally positive reception, with praise being directed at her character development and in-game story, as well as her physical appearance.
Super Mario series
In Super Mario Galaxy, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach by removing her castle from the ground with Peach still inside, and also attacks the Comet Observatory, where Rosalina lives with her adopted Lumas, and steals its main source of fuel: Power Stars. Rosalina asks Mario to retrieve the lost Power Stars; in return she promises to help him save Princess Peach. Once Mario retrieves enough Power Stars, Rosalina is able to turn her Comet Observatory into a comet and drive Mario to the center of the universe, where Bowser keeps the kidnapped Princess Peach. After Bowser is defeated by Mario, Bowser's galaxy at the centre of the universe turns into a supermassive black hole, devouring Princess Peach's castle and Rosalina's Comet Observatory. All of Rosalina's Lumas throw themselves into the black hole in order to stop it. After this, Rosalina appears to Mario, explaining to him about the cycle of life and the death and rebirth of stars; it is implicit in her explanation that the universe and all the Lumas are to be reborn. Afterwards, Rosalina is gone and Mario, as well as Bowser and Peach, wake up back in the Mushroom Kingdom again. Once 120 Power Stars in the game are collected, Rosalina delivers a thank you message to the player, promising to watch over them. In a backstory which is unlocked gradually as the game progresses, it is explained how Rosalina was a young girl who went off in a spaceship in order to help a lost Luma find its parents, hiding the fact that she herself had lost her own mother. As Rosalina starts to feel lonely, numerous other Lumas soon come to join her, and she comes to know about their purpose in life to eventually transform into other things. Rosalina decides to build a house for her new family, which soon became the Comet Observatory.
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, throughout the game, a shadowy form named the "Cosmic Witch" or "Cosmic Spirit", strongly resembling Rosalina, appears to help in levels where the player has died multiple times. Rosalina herself appears after Mario defeats Bowser and rescues Princess Peach in the final cutscene before the credits play. Rosalina also appears late in the game as well (by collecting 120 Power Stars), telling Luma the story of the "Green Stars", which opens the Green Star missions (additional optional missions in the game), and finally, with the game completed, she appears on the game's hub and thanks Mario. Later, Rosalina was featured as an unlockable fifth character in Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. She possesses the ability to perform the Spin Attack that Mario could in the Galaxy games, using it as both an attack and a second jump. When asked why Nintendo chose Rosalina over other Mario characters, 3D World director Kenta Motokura responded, "I was thinking about what would be pleasing after the ending and wanted to bring in another female character in addition to Princess Peach. Rosalina has a following among the Super Mario Galaxy fanbase, and she's appeared in Mario Kart recently, so I think she's well known."
Rosalina appears in Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, and in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX as a playable character. She also appeared in Mario Kart 8 (as an unlockable character) alongside her baby version. Rosalina also has a namesake racing track in Mario Kart 7 called Rosalina's Ice World. Joystiq commented on her appearance, saying that it was nice to see that another "Nintendo character join the obscenely large roster of folks showing their faces in the game." She also appears as a playable character in Mario Golf: World Tour, available via downloadable content. Rosalina was confirmed as a newcomer fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, where she fights alongside various colored Luma.
In an interview, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he had planned the usual kidnapping of Princess Peach, but also "had another cast of characters, a princess from outer space and her family of talking stars, who had a deeper, sadder story that was revealed through elegant picture-book scenes throughout the game." This storybook was known in-game as Rosalina's Storybook, which told Rosalina's backstory and was written by Yoshiaki Koizumi late at night so that no one will find out about it, saying that "for a long time, it really felt like telling a story in a Mario game was something that wasn't allowed" in an interview. During an interview with Koizumi on the development of Super Mario Galaxy, he explained that Rosalina was originally meant to be related with Peach. The character was voiced by Mercedes Rose until 2011's Mario Kart 7, in which she was voiced by Kerri Kane. Laura Faye Smith has provided the character's voice in all subsequent appearances.
Rosalina is generally wise, kind, thoughtful and mother-like. She has a very tall frame in comparison to other female characters within the series and is classified as a large-class character in Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8. Rosalina's skin is very fair, being a pallor white, and her facial features are similar to Princess Peach's, but sharper. Her eyes are similar to Peach's as well, but are more almond-shaped and have a deep, brown shade to her lashes rather than black. Like other main human characters, Rosalina has blue eyes, though hers have a noticeably cyan hue. Rosalina's hair is depicted as a platinum-blonde, a much lighter blond than Peach's golden-blond. Her hair style is very similar to Peach's, as it consists of two separate flips on the sides in the same shape. Unlike Peach's hair, however, Rosalina's includes one large bang (which covers her right eye completely), two long, shaped ear-tails, and two rows of flips at her shoulder. Continuing from her shoulder is a large single flip down her back. Rosalina currently appears in a turquoise evening gown and light purple high heels; her brooch and crown are silver star shaped accessories. Her earrings are also star shaped, but yellow in color. In Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, Rosalina wears a turquoise jumpsuit whenever she rides on a motorbike or an ATV.
Rosalina has received mostly positive reception. Chris Greenhough of Joystiq claimed that Super Mario Galaxy was the first Mario game to have an engaging story, and cited Rosalina as an example, saying that "although this narrative thread (Rosalina's Storybook) starts life as the kind of standard fare you'd expect from a Mario title, Rosalina's tale quickly becomes tragic". Game researcher and designer Douglas Wilson opined in GameSetWatch that Super Mario Galaxy's most surprising moment did not involve new gaming mechanics, a plot twist, but rather the character Rosalina and her storybook, stating "The biggest shocker was a simple storybook tale told by a princess named Rosalina." Writing for Gamasutra, Wilson stated that Super Mario Galaxy, at its core, is a game about Rosalina, and that the storybook "anchors an emotional heart of the game world". Continuing, they said that "Super Mario Galaxy is a brilliant game, for reasons already covered in various reviews. Yet despite the largely positive coverage, I was disappointed that the gaming press so overwhelmingly ignored (or in one case, dismissed) Rosalina’s storybook", and compared it to The Little Prince and My Neighbour Totoro. Siliconera called Rosalina's Storybook "bittersweet" as "the game could just as easily been a simple "save the princess" story and still have been a great game, but...the engaging story takes Super Mario Galaxy to an artistic level other Mario titles haven't approached."
Destructoid reviewed Rosalina very positively, saying that she is a "celestial stunner", summing up that "Rosalina embodies style perfection" and thus is "out of this world", giving her an "A+" on their Gamer's Red Carpet. Kotaku's Michael McWhertor called her an "attractive Peach replacement" in their Super Mario Galaxy impressions. Shane Bettenhausen of 1UP.com labelled Rosalina as a "celestial hottie", and one of the better Mario Kart Wii characters in an otherwise disappointing roster. Larry Hester of Complex listed Rosalina as one of the 40 "hot but forgotten" female video game characters. Tom East of Official Nintendo Magazine listed Rosalina as the sixth best Nintendo "leading lady", saying that "she obviously made a big impression on you because after one appearance (not counting Mario Kart) she has made the top ten."
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