Along with Hien, Mao Mao is one of the most iconic characters from Sonic Wings. She appears in every Sonic Wings game and was the only female pilot to appear in the original. Generally a sweet, happy girl, Mao Mao is a popular idol singer with the secret identity of a fighter pilot. Her special skill is her ability to stop time for a few seconds, freezing any enemy she encounters. Although she is usually cheerful, Mao Mao can also be a bit lazy, and she loves to sleep. She also has a crush on Hien and is usually partnered with him in the games. Hien often loses patience with her, but at times it seems that he might return her feelings.
According to Video System's defunct Sonic Wings site, Mao Mao got involved in Project Blue by accident. She posing for photographs in the F-15 when Fata Morgana attacked. Mao Mao found herself in the middle of a battle! However, things seem to have worked out just fine for her.
Mao Mao wears several different outfits throughout the series, although her basic appearance is the the same. She has dark brown or black hair and large brown eyes, somewhat heavy eyebrows, and a beauty mark under her left eye. She doesn't seem to wear makeup. Her hair if worn long is usually pulled back in a ponytail, and she always wears a strand over each shoulder, held with barrettes. Mao Mao also wears a pilot's hat when fighting, and she typically wears a hat when performing as well.
Mao Mao was chosen as number 11 in Gamest magazine's ranking of video game girls in the special issue Gal's Island 2. Her birthday in this magazine is given as November 14, 1972, making her 19 when Sonic Wings was released.
Mao Mao is the only female pilot in the original Sonic Wings. She wears a blue pilot's uniform with a skirt and a sash that reads 一日司令官, meaning "commander for a day." (This is a reference to the practice in Japan of allowing celebrities to hold an official station such as train conductor or air force commander for a day, during which they'll wear the appropriate uniform and a sash with this text.) In single-player mode, Mao Mao dreams the whole adventure; after the boss battle, she awakens in bed with a Rabio plush and her uniform hanging behind her. She then goes back to sleep and dreams the rest of the game.
Sonic Wings is a fantasy in two-player mode as well. Mao Mao is paired with Hien, on whom she has a bit of a crush. However, he complains about her whining and calls her a baby. The sequence after their boss battle depicts the game as a movie in which they starred, along with the game's enemies.
Mao Mao also appears in Rabio and Lepus's endings the SNES version of the game. The endings are similar to her own in that she wakes up with a Rabio or Lepus plush. For Rabio's or the two-player ending, Mao Mao is wearing red striped pajamas and holding a Rabio plush. For Lepus's ending, Mao Mao wears green stripes and has a Lepus plush.
Invincible Sonic Star
"A singing star is asked to join again because of her special talent as a 'Time-stopper.' She loves thrills and has a special interest in Hien."
-Aero Fighters 2 English game manual
Mao Mao returns to battle after her performance as an idol singer was interrupted. She appears wearing one of her costumes, including a red scarf, black top, and white skirt. Her hair is shorter here, although she still wears her characteristic pigtails and barrettes. After the final boss battle in single-player mode, Mao Mao returns to her career as an idol singer. However, her manager scolds her for being late for her concert; her identity as a fighter pilot is a secret even to him.
In two-player mode, Mao Mao can be paired with any of the other pilots:
- Angela: Angela and Mao Mao work well together, possibly because they are both performers with similar, indefatigably cheerful personalities. Mao Mao admires Angela and thinks that she's quite cool; after the final boss battle, she happily declares that she'll join Angela's musical. However, she doesn't work hard enough for Angela, who gives her a position with the cleaning crew.
- Arthur: Mao Mao thinks Arthur is cute, but when she fawns over him, he'll have none of it. She ends up changing her opinion a bit and declaring him rude, though she does admire his flying skills. After they defeat the final boss, Mao Mao and Arthur revel in their victory-- until the boss falls out of the sky and crashes into a city, destroying it.
- Cincia and Ellen: Mao Mao gets along extremely well with Cincia and Ellen; they often compliment one another on their fighting skills. After defeating the final boss, Mao Mao wants to form a music group with the two. Cincia loves the idea, but Ellen feels silly on stage.
- Hien: Mao Mao has a crush on Hien, but he rebukes her for trying to date instead of attending to their mission. Likewise, throughout their battles together, he constantly reminds her to be more serious. Still, he does seem to secretly like her, and when her plane crashes after the final boss battle, he rescues her by catching her and parachuting down to earth with a kite on his back.
- Mecha-Keaton: Keaton thinks Mao Mao's cute and tries to flirt with her, but she ignores him. After they defeat the final boss, Mao Mao asks Keaton to come over to her house. Keaton thinks she likes him, but when he goes home with her, she takes his head off and plays Sonic Wings on his robot body.
- Silver: Mao Mao rather rudely declares that Silver looks old, but they get along well enough for all that. After the final boss battle, Silver tells Mao Mao that he'll miss her because his parrot Flint is his only friend; however, Mao Mao and the other pilots assure him that he isn't alone after all.
- Whity: Mao Mao thinks that a dolphin pilot is "sweet," but she doesn't take Whity very seriously, even when he flirts with her by asking for fish and a fin-massage. She offers him a job after the final boss battle, but Whity regrets taking her up on the offer when he finds out that the job is performing in the "Mao Mao and Dolphin Show."
Mao Mao was filming a movie when she was called to fight; thus, she appears wearing traditional Japanese clothing. She's understandably irritated about missing the filming and complains about the nice views the bad guys have ruined. After defeating the final boss, she is seen with Hien's master, the Shogun. The Shogun says he's heard about her from Hien (hmm) and asks her "Will you be my bride?" Mao Mao says "no" quite cheerfully.
In two-player mode, Mao Mao is paired with Hien. Hien is a little more tolerant of her than usual, even telling her she looks cute in her costume; however, he also tells her not to be a pain. After the mid-point boss battle, Mao Mao tells Hien she wants to know what he really looks like. He obliges by taking off his mask to reveal first Mecha-Keaton, then a log, leading Mao Mao to realize that he can change his appearance at will.
In Special and Limited, Mao Mao accidentally ends up in battle while she's posing for photographs in an airplane. Mao Mao has two outfits in Special: a pilot's outfit similar to what she wore in Sonic Wings and the more traditional Japanese outfit she wore in Sonic Wings 3; she appears in this outfit if the player selects the Seiran plane for her. She is again paired with Hien in two-player mode.
One-Player Mode Endings:
- Boss battle with Pandora: Mao Mao gets a tribute as "the super sonic idol star," showing glimpses of her from various games. . . and her nervous manager.
- Boss battle with Lar: As in her single-player ending in Sonic Wings, Mao Mao awakes from a dream with her Rabio plush (and Mambu in an aquarium behind her). However, the airplane crashed into the building next door indicates that it might not have been a dream after all. . . .
- Boss battle with Purple Sphere: Mao Mao travels around the world and beyond: to Paris, to Antarctica, and finally, to the moon.
Two-Player Mode Endings:
- Boss battle with Pandora: As in their two-player ending in Sonic Wings, Hien and Mao Mao appear in a movie, credited in the cast along with the game's bosses.
- Boss battle with Lar: The ending for Sonic Wings 2 is repeated, with Hien rescuing Mao Mao from her burning plane.
- Boss battle with Purple Sphere: Mao Mao is walking in the rain, lost in thought about Hien. She runs into a man who teases her for thinking too hard; as he walks away, she realizes that his voice sounds awfully familiar. . . .
One-Player Mode Endings:
- Boss battle with Pandora/Gurabura: Mao Mao gets a tribute as "the super sonic idol star," showing glimpses of her from various games. . . and her nervous manager.
- Boss battle with Lar/Do-ni Revision: As in her single-player ending in Sonic Wings, Mao Mao awakes from a dream with her Rabio plush (and Mambu in an aquarium behind her). However, the airplane crashed into the building next door indicates that it might not have been a dream after all. . . .
- Boss battle with Osaru: Mao Mao travels around the world and beyond: to Paris, to Antarctica, and finally, to the moon.
Two-Player Mode Endings:
- Boss battle with Pandora/Gurabura: As in their two-player ending in Sonic Wings, Hien and Mao Mao appear in a movie, credited in the cast along with the game's bosses.
- Boss battle with Lar/Do-ni Revision: The ending for Sonic Wings 2 is repeated, with Hien rescuing Mao Mao from her burning plane.
- Boss battle with Osaru: Mao Mao is walking in the rain, lost in thought about Hien. She runs into a man who teases her for thinking too hard; as he walks away, she realizes that his voice sounds awfully familiar. . . .
Mao Mao is a hidden, unlockable character in Assault. She can be unlocked by entering the following code on the title screen: C left, C down, C right, C up, C left, C right, C down. She once more appears in her pilot's uniform with a few minor changes from earlier games. Especially of note are her Inufuku hair barrettes. Mao Mao is voiced by Tomoko Kawakami in the Japanese version of the game and Lynne Rutherford in the English version.
Mao Mao is a hidden non-playable character that the player will meet in October when the player selects "Go far away from home." The player will finally go for sight-seeing in an army show. This time Mao Mao's sash reads "一日師団長" ("one day, the division commander"), and she is part of Japan's army. However Mao Mao doesn't always appear; the player must accomplish some other goals. The player will get an extra question part after s/he successfully meets Mao Mao.
Mao Mao is again a hidden non-playable character. She will appear in August when the player goes to see the naval review event, and Mao Mao becomes "一日艦長" ("one day, the warship captain") this time. Mao Mao doesn't always appear; the player must accomplish some other goals. The player will get an extra question part after s/he successfully meets Mao Mao.
Mao Mao reprises her role from Special, but she appears only in her "normal" pilot's uniform outfit.
Voice Samples Edit
- Mao Mao's ending theme featuring a clip from "Sonic Maiden"
- "You asked for it!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Bye bye!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Gosh! They're on me!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Great!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Here we go!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "How sweet of you!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Oh hell! They're shooting at me!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- "Oh no!" (Aerofighters Assault)
- From Sonic Wings Assault