Michelle Chang (Tekken)
Michelle Chang in Tekken Tag Tournament 2
|First game||Tekken (1994)|
|Voiced by (English)||Lynn Harris (Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken Tag Tournament)
Mibu Minami (Tekken 3)
Jessica Robertson (Tekken: The Motion Picture)
Julie Ann Taylor (Tekken Tag Tournament 2)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Narumi Hidaka (Tekken: The Motion Picture, drama CD)|
|Fighting style||Chang kenpō and xingyiquan|
Michelle Chang (ミシェール・チャン Mishēru Chan?) is a fictional character in the Tekken series of fighting games by Namco, where she was introduced in the original Tekken in 1994. A young woman of Chinese and Native American descents, Michelle possesses a mysterious pendant allegedly capable of controlling evil and powerful spirits. The pendant has caused many problems in Michelle's life, including her father's killing by Heihachi Mishima's men when he failed to retrieve the treasure, as well as her mother and even her own kidnappings in later years. She later becomes the adoptive mother of Julia Chang, who masters her mother's discipline.
Michelle is dropped from the canonical games after Tekken 2, but continues to appear in the series' spin-offs. She has also appeared in other media related to the series, including animated films and comics. The character has received positive reception and was noted by some as epitomizing racial diversity in fighting games.
In video games
Michelle Chang is a Chinese-Native American woman (her father was from Hong Kong and her mother is a Native American from Arizona) and the foster mother of Julia Chang. Michelle's father had been ordered by Heihachi to search for an ancient treasure of the Native Americans; a pendant allegedly capable of controlling powerful spirits, which is owned by Michelle. When he failed to retrieve it for Heihachi, the latter ordered his men to murder him. This fact is presented by Michelle's mother when she turns eighteen; she thus sets out to enter The King of Iron Fist Tournament in order to take revenge against Heihachi. Michelle also encounters Kunimitsu, a female ninja treasure hunter that was seeking the pendant. Michelle defeats Kunimitsu and secures the amulet. She promptly withdrows from the tournament; as she has achieved what she then realises should have been her main goal, and although she does not win the tournament, Michelle is still satisfied that another fighter (Kazuya Mishima) defeated Heihachi. In Tekken 2, Michelle's mother has been kidnapped by Ganryu, who is working for Kazuya, who desires the pendant. She has entered the tournament to rescue her mother. Michelle meets Ganryu and battles him. After defeating Ganryu, she rescues her mother and returns home. However, unknown to her, Ganryu has fallen in love with her.
A couple of years later, Michelle discovers an abandoned baby girl nearby her village. She adopts the infant, names her Julia, and loves her as if she were her own daughter. When Julia grows into a teenager, Michelle teaches her Chinese martial arts such as xingyiquan. Michelle's tribe grow worried when various martial artists around the world disappeared, allegedly because of the awakening of Ogre, whose legends have been passed on the tribe. They fear that Michelle's pendant is the suspect. Michelle departs for Japan to ask Heihachi why he sought her pendant before, but she fails to return. Julia has entered the tournament to rescue her mother. She appears in Julia's ending, being reunited with her adopted daughter. Her further fate has never been canonically resolved within the games.
She also appears as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament and is one of the console-exclusive returning characters via free downloadable content (DLC) in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (first introduced as pre-order bonus from GameStop). In her TTT2 ending movie, Michelle dons a mask to team-up with Jaycee (Julia) in lucha libre professional wrestling.
Design and gameplay
Michelle debuted in the Tekken series at the age of 18, which, alongside Anna Williams, made her the youngest human character to debut in the series until Ling Xiaoyu, who debuted in Tekken 3 at the age of 16. She is 20 years old in Tekken 2 and chronologically would be 41 as of Tekken 6; however, due to her never making a canonical appearance since Tekken 2 (aside from a cameo in Julia's ending in Tekken 3), she appeared in Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in her Tekken 2 appearance, making her physically comparable to her daughter, Julia, who also appeared in both games and is around 20 years of age as of Tekken 6.
During an early development of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, some of Michelle's motion capture was done by the producer Katsuhiro Harada. On Twitter, Harada complained about the "spam" from fans demanding to bring back Michelle and Jun Kazama, even after they were both confirmed to return in this game.
Gameplay-wise, Michelle utilized a variation of Kenpo called "Chang kenpo" mixed with xingyiquan. She shared many moves with Wang Jinrei, who also practiced xingyiquan. Her style and moveset were later adopted by her adopted daughter and substitute in the series, Julia. She still used the same fighting style in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, however, she gained several unique moves to differentiate herself from both Wang and Julia. According to Prima Games' guide to the original Tekken, "though she does not have the awesome power of the heavy hitters, Michelle can tear through her enemies with fast counters and spectacular juggles. Michelle is next to unbeatable once you have mastered her ability to evade attacks and counter with lingering juggles."
In other media
Michelle appears in the anime film Tekken: The Motion Picture with a bigger role than most of the other contenders. Before the tournament, she attempts to kill Heihachi with a tomahawk, but Heihachi breaks the axe with his teeth and welcomes Michelle's challenge if she makes it to the tower. Michelle encounters and defeats Ganryu, but is beaten by Kazuya to the point that she begs him to let her face Heihachi and take revenge for Heihachi burning down her village and inadvertently killing both her parents, but Kazuya refuses and almost kills her when she attacks him relentlessly but for Jun Kazama's timely intervention. She is later found and rescued from the crumbling island by Paul Phoenix. The character also appears in the comics Tekken Saga, Tekken 2, Tekken: Tatakai no Kanatani and Tekken Forever.
According to Computer Game Graphics (1999), "Michelle Chan, a 'superbabe' who cuts a nice line in denim hot-pants in Tekken epitomizes the racially diverse characters that populate the modern [video] games." Joystick Nation claimed that Michelle, having an Asian name but ambiguous features, is "such a confused mixture of signs" that she "represents a perfect metaphor of video games themselves."
In 2008, FHM listed Michelle as one of the "female vixens that are equally tough and certainly hot", representing Tekken along with Nina Williams and Christie Monteiro. Complex featured Michelle among the 50 "hottest women in video games" in 2010, and ranked her as the 13th "best looking sideline chick in games" in 2011. Her breasts placed 23rd on GameFront's 2011 list of the "greatest boobs in video game history".
Dorkly listed her as one of the most stereotypical Native American characters in fighting game history, ranking her at seventh place, tying with Julia Chang. Complex compared her to the Street Fighter series character T. Hawk. In an official poll by Namco, Michelle was the 26th most requested Tekken character to be added to the roster of Tekken X Street Fighter.
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