Meet the Filipina who will kick butt in Tekken 7
Our country is home to the best gamers in the world. It’s cool to know that these kids are making money out of it and are getting international attention.
Everyone who grew up with a console has played Tekken at least once in their lives. (You totally missed out if you haven’t.) The highly popular fight game made by Bandai Namco Games is perhaps the most popular, aside of course from Street Fighter.
Recently, the creators made a feature on AK Lavarez, the Filipino Tekken prodigy who is considered the best player in the world, at only 14 years old. While some of us are procrastinating at our computers playing Sims, AK here is kicking butt in Tekken, and he’s not just smashing random control buttons here.
Perhaps to pay homage to millions of Filipino Tekken fans like AK, the creators made a new Filipino character for the upcoming Tekken 7, named—wait for it—Josie Rizal.
Her character is obviously a tribute to our national hero Jose Rizal, and just like Xiaoyu, Anna, Nina, and every female Tekken character there is, Josie Rizal must not be underestimated: she is skilled in the Filipino martial art of Yaw-yan, AKA Sayaw ng Kamatayan. Woahhh.
And in typical Pinoy melodrama style, Josie breaks down in tears of joy, overwhelmed that she won the match.
Josie dons an anime-inspired costume that reflects the colors of the national flag and the sun in the center; she was conceptualized by Mad Catz community manager Mark “MarkMan” Julio, who is based in the US. Bandai Namco artist Mari Shimazaki breathed life into Josie.
Together with Josie, Bandai Namco will also release familiar characters Jin Kazama and Devil Jin on March 31 and April 7, respectively; they have not issued an official release date for Josie yet.
But little do people know that prior to Josie, a Filipino has also made waves in the gaming scene way back in 2002. Namco’s Soulcalibur II introduced Talim, a Filipino teenage babaylan who can control the winds to her desires.
Now that we’re on it, perhaps it is just about time that Filipinos make more video games that reflect our culture. A fighting game set along Roxas Boulevard, perhaps?