Rose, the First Doll?

An idea for a theory doesn’t always come up right away. Sometimes, it takes lots of digging before an idea can even formulate. This was the case with Rose. Rose has enough mystery behind her where any number of theories could be attempted. The issue is that unlike G or Necalli, Rose isn’t as mysterious as you’d think. As Fandom points out, she’s a natural-born human who happens to have the good part of Bison’s soul inside her, and her story has been fleshed out in the games she appears in. There is, however, one thing that appears to have been missed altogether:

Was Rose one of Bison’s Dolls?

Looking at the win quotes between Rose and Bison in Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV, the way the two talk to each other seems to be very passive: Rose is being very defensive and Bison, being the megalomaniacal murder machine he portrays himself as, doesn’t really seem to want to hurt or kill her. While Bison not wanting to harm Rose seems out of character for him, it’s actually not out of place – his on-screen murder count is surprisingly low. He’s killed his own men, and he’s killed F.A.N.G.’s partners, but while he gave the order to kill Charlie Nash, Nash was physically killed by people he trusted. Also, while Bison takes credit for killing Chun-Li’s father, this has never been shown in any capacity in-game. In the Udon comics, Bison again gave the order, but Cammy was the one who physically did it.

This means that Bison, with all of his destructive power, doesn’t really like to kill. He instead prefers control and manipulation, and this is where the quotes between Rose and Bison start to make more sense.

Here are their quotes to each other in Street Fighter IV:
Rose: “I refuse to succumb to the likes of you!”
Bison: “Make no mistake! I do not need your blessing to gain the power I seek!

And here are their quotes to each other in Super Street Fighter IV:
Rose: “I will not allow your plan to come to fruition! You will not destroy me!”
Bison: “How dare you defy me? I will see to it that you never attempt that again!”

Let’s take a look at the dialogue by game. In SFIV, Rose does not say anything about death, and instead states she will not “succumb”, or otherwise surrender, to Bison’s control. Bison, on the other hand, says something quite odd. Why would he need Rose’s blessing for anything, and more importantly, why would he even point out that he doesn’t need Rose’s opinion to begin with?

In SSFIV, the two seem to be angrier at each other, but otherwise, it relates back to Rose being defensive and Bison being a controller. Both quotes are rather cryptic, however. Let’s look at Bison’s first. What does Bison mean when he says she’s defying him, and when he says he will make sure she won’t defy him again, does that mean killing her? The first question will be addressed later, but as for killing Rose, both Rose’s ending in SFIV and Guy’s ending in SSFIV show otherwise.

SF4 Rose’s Ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgzXV5uaERk
SSF4 Guy’s Ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G73EB7XtTE

In Rose’s ending, Bison takes back the good part of his soul, knocking Rose unconscious. However, his line at the end reveals his true intent: “You will make excellent fodder for my insatiable spirit.” It sounds more like he wants to rape her than kill her, and it puts Rose’s own quote in an entirely new perspective. Also, the fact that in Guy’s ending Bison’s carrying Rose to his private jet means he wants her alive to do whatever it is he wants to do with her.

So, when Rose states that she will stop Bison’s plan, and then states that he will not destroy her, is she saying she will stop Bison’s plan for world domination as well as stop him from killing her or is she saying that Bison’s plan is singularly focused on destroying her?

In other words, did Bison start an army, kill and hurt a bunch of people, create the Black Moons, and try to conquer the world in a convoluted attempt to just screw with Rose?
The answer is yes, and it goes deeper than that.

My original line of thinking was that Bison wanted to corrupt Rose so that the good part of his soul would, in time, become corrupted as well. He would then take his soul from her and become twice as strong with his soul now complete. However, Rose’s ending completely contradicted this, as he simply took it back from her before he could accomplish any of that.

So, what’s the deal here? Simple: Bison giving Rose his soul was symbolic. Yes, he gave her his soul.

Let’s take a look at Rose’s ending in Alpha 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpOIDZlIPAI

Rose states, “It wasn’t supposed to end like this…. You were my master. Now, I must destroy you with my own hands.”

Bison, as he’s about to inhabit Rose’s body, says, “Just imagine your future…! Can you see it?! Can you see who truly wields the power granted only to us?… We’ll return to where we belong… as was our wish! Two separate lives share the same… soul….”

Rose was once a follower of Bison, and both have identical powers in Soul Power and Psycho Power since Rose had part of Bison’s soul inside her. Why did Bison give it to her? They were meant to rule the world together.

They were more than master and follower – they were in love. Love is often defined as a merging of two souls as one, or as one person giving the other their soul. In Bison’s case, he offered his soul to prove his love, literally handing the good part of his soul over to Rose, leaving him with only his dark side. It made him stronger, but it made him cold and evil, and Rose knew she had to break away. Everything Bison did after this was in response to Rose leaving him – the actions of an angry, jilted lover.

My question at the beginning, though, wasn’t if they were in love. It was, “Was Rose one of Bison’s Dolls?” To answer this, we have to examine Bison’s current Dolls.

In Street Fighter V’s Cinematic Story Mode, we finally get a taste of what the Dolls are actually like. They’re crazy and brainwashed with Psycho Power, but there’s one thing Bison didn’t completely erase: their individual personalities. The two best examples of this are Marz’s shyness and Enero’s arrogance. While it was originally assumed they were robotic, SFV’s Cinematic Story Mode proved this wasn’t the case. This is telling, as several Shadaloo grunts are shown to be completely brainwashed and seemingly brain dead. In fact, when Abel was discovered to be the mole in Shadaloo, even though he was being controlled by Psycho Power, he still had his personality and wits up until the Psycho Power in his body was increased to maximum levels by F.A.N.G.

This is proof that Psycho Power is a means of crowd control; do something that pleases Bison, you keep your mind. Do something against his will, and you lose it. This all goes back to Rose. Because he gave her his soul, he was unable to control her because she had equal but opposite powers and she was able to leave of her own devices. Bison made sure that from then on, he’d be able to keep and control the people he desired – they would never be able to leave him. Those that did manage to escape, like Cammy and the Dolls, were high on his list to recapture – he wanted his “property” back. That’s why he wanted Rose alive. In his mind, she belonged to him.

The Dolls represent Bison’s obsession with control more than anyone. He kidnapped and brainwashed them, and they in turn became his followers. They were forced into it, but over time, they adapted to him, perhaps even finding a twisted form of happiness in the process. As stated in a previous theory discussing Cammy and the Dolls, there are signs that this may be the case.
https://manestreet.home.blog/2019/04/07/the-makoto-and-cammy-double-whammy/

So, we come back to the original question: Was Rose a Doll? If we look at the evidence, we can say that she was – she was a follower/lover of Bison, they were going to conquer the world together, Bison gave her his power, and at the end of it all he tried to get her back. But whether or not you believe she was a Doll, there is one undeniable fact:

She was definitely the blueprint.

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