Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 26: Panda

She knows Kung-fu, but unfortunately Panda lacks the dreaded Wuxi Finger Hold.

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 6 in our hands already.

Fighter number 26 has the dubious honor of being one of the Tekken roster’s few ‘palette swap’ characters. She shares the same stature as Christie Monteiro- a female version of an existing fighter. However this character doesn’t even have her own unique win poses- just her own story to separate her and give her identity. Nevertheless, there are certainly those who love this cuddly competitor, and why not… who can resist the charms of a fighting Panda?

Distinguishing Features: She’s a PANDA.

Strengths: STRENGTH OF THE PANDA BEAR! Sharing all of Kuma’s moves, Panda is all the male bear is, but with a bit more agility and lady-like charm. Or not.

Weaknesses: Her huge size makes her an easy target. Lots of her moves were apparently nerfed. Worries much about Ling Xiaoyu’s safety. Bamboo shoots.

Affiliation: Accompanies Ling Xiaoyu as her bodyguard and companion, which places her against the Mishima Zaibatsu.

Background: When Ling Xiaoyu joined the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, she was adopted as a ward by Heihachi Mishima and transplanted from China to Japan. As a gift and to help her acclimate to her new home, Heihachi had Panda, a beloved pet and mascot from Xiaoyu’s school, flown in. Panda has since become Xiaoyu’s personal bodyguard and constant companion.

Intelligent and insightful, Panda is a silent but comforting presence to Xiaoyu, and she often watches her charge with sad eyes, seeing the hardships she has had to face- from Heihachi’s apparent death to JIn Kazama’s sudden turn into darkness. As Xiaoyu prepares to face her former friend in the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6, Panda resolutely places herself in harm’s way for her beloved mistress…

Character Analysis: Kung Fu Panda! Sadly this demure lady is just a clone character, so all she has that’s unique to her are her customizations and her personal story. She’s a support character, attached to Ling Xiaoyu primarily with some connection to Kuma (who has the hots for her). It will certainly be interesting to see what Panda does in Tekken 6’s storyline, but it’s safe to say she’s one of the most minor players in the grand scheme of things.

What lies in the future for Panda? She’ll certainly be there at Ling Xiaoyu’s side for the foreseeable future, and will continue to be the game’s cute mascot as the series moves on. Probably we won’t ever be seeing the Black and White reign over as the Queen of Iron Fist, but what the heck- she’s still the only female fighter who has a bikini in her wardrobe.

Stay tuned next week as we delve into another fighter’s story!

Tekken 6 is set for release on PS3, Xbox360 and PSP this Fall 2009.


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