Another International Women’s Day has come and gone, so here’s another list to celebrate females in video games – more specifically from my favourite video game franchise, Tekken.
- This list is in no partical order apart from the top 3 spots.
- I can put family members in the list, i.e. Julia and Michelle Chang can both be included in this list
- Having said that, I’m not allowed to put two female characters in the list if they have the same fighting style, i.e. if I choose Miharu Hirano, that I cannot put Ling Xiaoyu on the list either are their fighting styles are the exact same.
- However, I can put family members in the list if they have the same fighting style but they differ in execution, .i.e. again with Julia and Michelle Chang, they have the same fighting style, but their execution differs due to they way they perform some moves, along with different grapples and throws.
- These rules don’t really make sense, but I don’t care – I had to restrict myself some way so I could get this list done
- Oh, and I won’t be including any new female fighters from Tekken 7 as I have yet to play them (but I will by June – maybe I’ll do a 2.0 version of the list then).
Enough about the rules – let’s crack on!
#10 – Kunimitsu
Introduced in the original Tekken, disppearing by Tekken 3, but included in Tekken Tag Tournament 1 & 2, Kunimitsu is a fox-mask wearing ninja banished from the Manji Clan by their leader and fellow fighter, Yoshimitsu.
Despite her fighting style being similar to Yoshimitsu’s, I had more fun playing as her – especially in the last game she appeared in TTT2 where her style had been slightly revamped, along with her image.
She is quick, nimble and has some great blocking moves. That, and she can spit fire in TTT2.
#9 – Zafina
Zafina is probably one of the newest characters on this list, but also probably one of the most mysterious. She also plays a very big role in Tekken 6, especially in the Scenario Campaign. She from a line of assassin’s who guard a sacred temple that houses a legendary monster (Azazel). She also a astrologist.
Her fighting style is often described as ‘creepy’ due to her 3 stances (Scarecrow, Tarantula and Praying Mantis), flexibility and strange animations. That, and she also laughs when performs some moves.
Her style is almost successful in button-mashing but the fact that she took down a group of foreigners who were after the contents of the temple single-handedly at a young age and the fact that she seems to know a lot about other Tekken characters, such as Dragunov and Raven, says to me she is wise and strong female not to be messed with. Unless your name is Jin Kazama (spoilers!).
#8 – Nina Williams
One of the originals who has appeared in every Tekken game (she’s actually the only female character to do so), Nina is not only an iconic figure for the Tekken series, but she’s an all time favourite (in September 2012, DigitalSpy released a poll of who the most popular Tekken character was at the time and Nina won by 10.8% of total votes).
Nina is your typical assassin (don’t let the wedding dress fool you) who grew up with her young sister Anna (who also appears in the series). Both her parents were trained assassins and so passed their skills onto their daughters. Despite this, the sibling rivalry began at a young age when their father clearly favoured Nina over Anna. Her storylines throughout the games don’t really differ either – she was sent to assassinate all three of the Mishima boys (OK yes, Jin is technically not a Mishima because of his last name but his heritage dictates that he is, end of) in the first 3 Tekkens, then Steve Fox in Tekken 4, then settling things between herself and Anna in Tekken 5 and then becoming Jin’s bodyguard in Tekken 6 – meaning her storyline isn’t exactly original, but I love the sibling rivalry between her and Anna. Then again, families seem to get fucked up in Tekken.
She also has a tragic backstory – she lost her father before Tekken 2; she kidnapped and drugged by a underground assassin group; she was kidnapped again after Tekken 2 and put in the experimental cryosleep where she was impregnated (not raped) unwilling; suffering from amnesia and then having to fight her sister constantly – I would say that’s pretty messed up. Yet, none of it really seems to affect her – she is ruthless, even after finding out about her child who she ‘felt nothing’ for.
She fighting style is tricky but she can pull off some great moves, including breaking limbs and even stabbing the heel of her shoe through her opponents back.
If you’re a fan of Nina, I highly recommend you play her side-story game, Death by Degrees. It’s a bit more X-rated compared to Tekken (although her ending for TTT2 was pretty brutal) and the control schemes are different, but it is good (the story, not so much).
#7 – Ling Xiaoyu
Xiao is probably the least-liked character from the series to be on this list but I see her differently. Yes, she is annoying by following Jin around all the time, being immature when getting into arguments with her grandfather and she’s so cutesy, it hurts. Despite this, I still like her.
Her fighting style is hard to master – or maybe it’s because she has so many cool moves that I want to keep doing them over and over again so I do and my opponent ends up predicting my moves. But that doesn’t explain why I had such a hard time defeating Jinpachi Mishima during Tekken 5.
I like to think Xiao has matured as year go by (but still not graduated high school) and is someone who can handle herself. However, in the least movie Tekken: Blood Vengance, I didn’t really enjoy how she was portrayed – in the beginning, she was shown to be a bit of a trouble maker because of her lateness to school and breaking the gym equipment easily. Then it came to the ending segments (with that awesome 3 way fight scene) where she was hugging a half-broken Alisa, crying constantly and whining at Jin to stop. No, Xiaoyu! You’ve done well without him so far, you can do well without him now.
Sorry to the haters, but Xiao is a small, powerful woman with a caring personality and that whole anime-cute vibe.
#6 – Asuka Kazama
Another ‘annoying’ character – only because she keeps the peace and sticks her nose into other people’s business. But she is a ‘brutish tomboy’ who’s pretty strong and has a comedic side.
Asuka is Jin’s cousin (don’t even get me started on the pairing stuff I’ve seen for them) with the same fighting style as Jin’s mother Jun (still with me?) but poplar opposite. In comparison, Asuka’s execution of the Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts is much ‘heavier’ with more damage made than Jun. That and Asuka enjoys fighting, whereas Jun uses it as a last resort.
If I would compare myself to any character in Tekken, it would probably be Asuka. Yes, I have brown hair and brown eyes, but the fact that believes in justice (and not quite as patronizing as Pharah from Overwatch) and isn’t afraid to fight with the boys makes her very appealing to me.
#5 – Angel
OK, so there’s something you should know about me – I’m obsessed with angels (the clue is in the name, right?). It’s not because I’m religious – because I’m not – but I’m drawn to angels because of their good energy and the fact that they have wings.
Angel has only appeared in 3 games – Tekken 2, Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. In Tekken 2, she wishes to fight Devil so Kazuya can be at peace with himself once again (despite not being a part of his soul, as many players speculated). After that, she disappears and it is thought that she was unsuccessful.
Granted, she uses the same moves as Devil and Kazuya (including a laser beam) and makes some weird sounds sometimes but she is a beautiful character, despite the games hinting of her having a ‘merciless’ side. Kinda reminds me of Elysium from Soul Calibur V.
#4 – Alisa Bosconovitch
When I first saw Alisa in a reveal trailer for Tekken 6, I definitely thought she looked a like out of place for Tekken. She’s more anime than Xiaoyu, and that’s saying something. Then again, she is a robot and Tekken does not skip out on robots.
I’ve always been a fan of robots in any genre, mainly because of how they perceive humans. For example, in Tekken Blood Vengance when Xiaoyu is crying (yet again) about how humans should destroy eachother because they are not worthy to live, Alisa says, “Don’t say that, Xiao-san. I’ve grown rather fond of you all,” (or words to that affect). And who can forget the joke on when Xiaoyu falls asleep on her – “Are you recharging too, Xiao-san?”.
Despite her sweet personality, she can have a deadly side – I mean, she has fricking chainsaws in her arms! Her head can explode! She can fire her fists like rockets! That, and she was created for Jin when he went all dark side. That twist in Scenario Campaign!
She’s not like other robots – especially the many in Tekken. She has emotions and cares for other people – even putting herself in danger for the sake of their lives. And she’s super polite (I know a rough amount of Japanese and I know for a fact she uses many of the polite terms that are not always fully translated).
#3 – Emilie “Lili” De Rochefort
I was really surprised how quickly Lili became popular after her debut in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. Maybe it’s because of her fighting style – it is a unique form of ‘Street Fighting’ that comes from mainly classical dance and ballet choreography. Much like Christie Monteiro and Eddy Gordo, she is a heavy button-mashing character – despite this, her moves are gracefully and poised, but do a hefty amount of damage. That, and she’s great to use when you have your opponent pinned against a wall.
Her backstory is also much more personal compared to other characters. She comes from a rich family and so was targeted often by kidnappers. One day, she fought back and managed to take down her attackers (the Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection opening is a good example of this). Thus began her lust for fighting but her father despises violence, so she does it in secret. She then gained a rival – Asuka Kazama.
I have great satisfaction in using many of Lili’s great moves and somewhat snobbish personality.
#2 – Christie Monteiro
Christie was included in my blog entry for Internal Women’s Day last year, so I’ll keep it short.
Despite being an almost carbon copy of Eddy Gordo, Christie adds that playfulness and sex-appeal that Tekken needs to appeal to the not-as-serious fans. She’s very much happy go lucky and cares deeply for her loved ones – mainly Eddy and her grandfather.
However, I feel that in Tekken (2010) she is portrayed as nothing but a love interest for Jin (despite their paths never really crossing in the games) and rarely fights (granted, she took down Nina, but apart from that, she doesn’t really fight much).
And let’s not forget the possible romantic connection between her and Eddy (I’ve written about it for another blog entry).
#1 – Jun Kazama
A beautiful, fearless fighter who wants nothing but peace and purity in this world. She hates fighting, but will do so in order to make things right again. Despite the parallels between herself and her niece Asuka, she also draws some similarities to Angel – they both want the same things and even their endings in Tekken Tag Tournament are remarkably similar. Even in one of the Tekken comics, Angel gives her power to Jun in order to stop Kazuya, making many fans speculate that they may be one in the same person/spirit. I personally think they may be connected, but not necessarily two halves to a whole person.
I do feel sorry for her – when she knew she was pregnant with Jin, she got as far away as possible from the Mishimas in order for him not have hatred filled in his heart like the rest of them – even to the point where she fought off Devil before he was born. Jun was the only family he had, but even she knew he would not be able to survive on his own should something happen to her and instructed him to find his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima, despite his actions in the past and what eventually happened at the end of Tekken 3. Sadly, her prediction was true, and she disappeared. Many thought she was dead, but Tekken’s director Katsuhiro Harada, confirmed that they only deceased Tekken characters are the first King and the first Armor King.
If Jun does return, it will definitely shake things up and , hopefully, answer some questions.
Jun is mysterious yet good hearted, as portrayed in Tekken: The Motion Picture where she worries over Michelle Chang. I hope that she does come back, even though Tekken 7 may be the end of it all.
And there you have it – I hope you enjoyed it! Let me if you would make any changes to this list – do agree with my decisions, or do you disagree?
I may do more lists like this for other games serious I enjoy. Who knows?
Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!