Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 15: Ling Xiaoyu

Ling Xiaoyu: Killing with Cuteness.

As a way of counting down the time to the release of Tekken 6 for the PS3 and Xbox360, I’ve decided to begin this weekly series of lengthy, character-specific articles, each one featuring one of the 40 or so competing warriors in the latest and greatest King of Iron Fist Tournament. Hopefully, by the time we finish and reach character number 40, we’ll have the console version of Tekken in our hands already.

Part 15 brings us to a younger but relatively veteran member of the roster. Being a third-generation Tekken fighter, she joined the tournament alongside Jin Kazama, Eddy Gordo and Hwoarang. Easily one of the most well-known and popular fighters in the series, this pixie-like pugilist is known for her lightning speed and graceful fighting style. Even after three tournaments since she first appeared, this young lady seems to have changed little- though only to grow more beautiful and powerful- even if she hasn’t started any Cold Sleep treatments like the Williams Sisters. She’s the Panda Trainer, the Eternal Schoolgirl and the Magical Happy-Happy Joy-Joy Heroine of the Iron Fist Tournament. She’s none other than Ling Xiaoyu.

Ling Xiaoyu
Distinguishing Features: An attractive teenage Chinese girl with black hair, Ling’s primary trademark are her distinct twin pigtails on the left and right sides of her head. Panda patterns or motif somewhere on her person, along with lots of neon or pastel colors, neon, glitters, bells, ruffles, feathers, furry baubles- basically anything ‘cute’.

Strengths: Arguably the fastest character in the roster, a skilled Xiaoyu can literally run circles around the opposition. This gives her high priority with her dizzying and fascinating arsenal of graceful attacks. One moment the opponent is imagining how a tiny twerp can do any damage… the next, they’re comatose on the floor.

Weaknesses: To compensate for her high speed, Ling doesn’t pack as much punch as the big boys- she has to work twice as hard to keep her attacks flowing to pile on damage and win. A Xiaoyu player can’t make too many mistakes.

Affiliation: None. Though formerly a ward of the Mishima Zaibatsu, Ling is not part of Jin’s entourage, and in fact enters to try and stop her former friend’s current ramage of destruction.

Background: Ling is basically an ordinary Chinese teenager who has a very unhealthy love of theme parks and just happens to be a protege and natural genius in the martial arts. At a young age, she was the student of Wang Jinrei, who saw great potential in her but was also disappointed by her carefree attitude.
Prior to the Tekken 3 Tournament, Ling stowed away on board Heihachi Mishima’s yacht, totally trouncing the Mishima Zaibatsu’s security detail. When confronted with Heihachi himself, Ling demanded that Heihachi build her the Theme Park of her dreams if she won the Tekken tournament. Amused, Heihachi granted her request.

Ling eventually became a ward of the Mishima Zaibatsu, transplanting to Japan and being enrolled in the Mishima Zaibatsu High School. She even brought along a trained panda from her old school in Hong Kong (named ‘Panda’) to be her companion and later, bodyguard. There in the school she met her two most important friends- Miharu Hirano and Jin Kazama.

After the tournaments, Ling would continue to live and study at the Mishima School, even coming to love Heihachi as a kind of grandfather. She was worried though by the sudden disappearance of Jin after the Third King of Iron Fist Tournament. Later, she received an mysterious email warning her of Heihachi Mishima’s evil intentions, and this got her to enter the next tournament to uncover what really happened to Jin.

Ling was rescued by Yoshimitsu after her investigations into the Zaibatsu’s affairs caused her life to be endangered. Afterwards, Yoshimitsu revealed to her the dark history of the Mishima Family. Instead of being repelled by the revelations, Xiaoyu decided to make it her personal mission to save the Mishima Family from their cursed destiny. Saddened by Heihachi’s apparent death prior to Tekken 5, she enters the Fifth King of Iron Fist Tournament with the rather absurd notion that she will use the winnings to fund a Time Machine that will allow her to change history of the Mishimas for the better. Needless to say- she did not succeed.

After Tekken 5, Ling was relieved that Heihachi was still alive, but now she realized that Jin Kazama, as the new CEO of the Zaibatsu, would eventually try to take Heihachi’s life. She wished to try and stop Jin, but the recent militarization of the Zaibatsu made reaching her friend impossible. All around her, she could see Jin’s darkness spreading as the Tekken Force caused great unrest throughout the world. As the Sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament is announced, Ling joins with the goal of saving Jin’s soul from darkness…

Character Analysis: If there is a character that walks the fine line between absurd and awesome, it has to be Ling Xiaoyu. I have to admit that I am not a Ling player- she’s damn hard to use and play with unless you really invest a lot of effort to know her moves and strategies well. Then there’s her story- usually silly stuff that just shows how weird this girl thinks. A Time Machine. Really?

That said, a skilled Xiaoyu is a joy to behold, and Tekken 6 brings us Ling at her most graceful and deadly as well. She’s no longer a child, and has blossomed into a beauty who hopefully will eventually start acting her age as well as looking it. Thankfully her story also seems to be a bit more serious as well. Perhaps it’s time for the Eternal Schoolgirl to finally grow up and be the heroine of power (not magical power, damn it) we know she can be, if she put her mind to it.

So what does the future hold for Xiaoyu? Surely this powerful pixie will continue to be part of the Tekken series, as close as she is to the Mishima family and the Zaibatsu. Perhaps the future can bring us a more mature Ling, with a more serious storyline to match- perhaps evolving into the Tekken world’s answer to Chun Li. But given how the series has been very slow with or averse to change… I don’t think we’ll be seeing Ling get rid of the pom-poms and stardust anytime soon.

Tune in again next week as we take on another fighter’s story!

Tekken 6 is set for release on the PS3 and Xbox360 in Fall 2009.


2 Responses to “Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 15: Ling Xiaoyu”

  1. earthwindfire Says:

    cool character but her moves are so hard to use. leave it to the experts! i still like xiaoyu nonetheless.

  2. princess of flowers Says:

    ur story is interesting but when will xiaoyu start to have a love story

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