Tessa (known as Tabasa, タバサ, in Japan) is a fighting game character originating in the fantasy-themed 2D arcade game Red Earth as one of the four playable main characters. A witch-like character, Tessa is very curious and is always in the pursuit of knowledge, traveling across various realms, attempting to learn something new.
Tessa is a sorcerologist who lives in Icelarn, and excels in the use of magic. A large number of storms began breaking out in the year 1999. Tessa doesn't believe this to be a natural phenomenon. She leaves her home to find the person behind this. To this end, she first discovered Hydron. They fought and she defeated him, thinking that "marine creatures" shouldn't be in her land.
When she meets an opponent, she can easily tell something about him or her, such as whether the opponent is evil or good.
Tessa owns four cats, the most prolific of which are Al (アル Aru) and Iven (イブン Ibun), who often aid her in battle. They appeared, along with their mistress, as cards in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, though being among the weakest cards.
Tessa has other pets, including her bird Hato, her frog Kaeru and a dragon spirit called Manot.
Tessa appeared as a playable character in Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix. While many people in this dimension mistake Tessa for a witch, she is actually something even more powerful: a sorcerologist. That is, she employs magic in her everyday studies to discern the properties of the universe. She is as intelligent as she is powerful, and she is constantly on a quest to acquire more knowledge and understanding about the nature of all things. Unfortunately for her, she often finds that in order to gain information from those that she meets, she must typically beat it out of them, but she doesn't mind as she enjoys a good fight, and can employ several of her unique skills on her opponents.
As illustrated in her Transformation Combo, she can alter her nature to something more savage and beast-like. In her Arabian Combo, she can tap into the mystical Arabian arts of snake taming and genies in a bottle. Her Circus Combo shows her ability to entertain a crowd by summoning an attacking dolphin from her top hat, and transforming her poor kitty into a rocket which she straps unsuspecting opponents on to before it blasts off. In her Robo Combo, she shrinks down in size and is replaced by a large robotic construct of herself which conducts the fighting for her.
Tessa is seeking out a staff which has magical shapeshifting properties, and she imagines Hsien-Ko knows of its whereabouts. In her ending, she gets the magical staff but discovers that it has transformed her into a penguin.
Tessa also appeared in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos as a playable character. Having learned about the alternate timeline of the modern world, Tessa confronts the many fighters for her pursuit of sorcerology to see for herself the powers that they wield. She expresses interest in not only the Satsui no Hado, Psycho Power, and the existence of Red Arremer, but also the Secret Scrolls of Qin in the possession of Geese Howard, the legends of the Kusanagi Clan and Orochi, the existence of Reploids (of which Zero is impressed by her knowledge), and the possibility of establishing the study of supra-sorcerology upon entering heaven and encountering Athena.
Some of her normal throws originally from Red Earth have been upgraded into command throws. Tessa has all-new animation for throws, involving her cats and even her own hat. Her Exceed in this game is actually her pursuit move (an attack meant to hit downed opponents) with new touches.
- Tessa, along with her pet cats Al and Ivan, appeared as a card in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series.
- Tessa made an appearence in Leo's ending in Capcom Fighting Evolution and in Doctor Strange's ending in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Tessa also appeared in the Japan-only social game Onimusha Soul.
Attacks and Abilities
- Chakra Wave - Tessa fires off a wave of (presumably) chakra, while performing this technique, she uses her cape (which can take the form of a dragon) in performing this attack.
- Mystic Force - An elemental attack.
- Reverie Sword - Tessa flies upwards with a spinning sword in front of her.
- Tricicle Edge - Tessa throws a flask towards her opponent. Upon contact it explodes outwards, sending three shards flying. Each will do damage if they connect, meaning the player could possibly hit an opponent with all three. It is useful to take note that, like Tessa's heavy punch attacks (which results in her throwing a flask), she an detonate the flask when she wishes by holding and releasing the attack button.
- Air Chakra Wave - Like the Chakra Wave, which can now be performed mid-air once Tessa levels up to Level 3.
- Glace Cannon - Her first cannon-related move, Tessa summons up a cannon which launches out some kind of ice fairy, this "Glace-fairy" slides along the ground when launched.
- Electron Cannon - Tessa summons up a cannon which shoots out an electrical fairy, soon after launching, the fairy flies upwards.
- Fiamma Cannon - Tessa summons up a canon which fires out a fire fairy that flies straight forward.
- Hyper Cannon - Tessa's Super Move. An elemental cannon attack. Hit Light Kick for ice, Medium Kick for fire, or Heavy Kick for electric.
- Jamming Ghost - Tessa fires a single ghost at her opponent. If it connects, four more ghosts appear and viciously attack her foe.
- Death Phenomenon - Tessa surrounds herself with tiny winged heart-like objects and launches them at her foe if she hits with the first part of the move. When they connect, her opponent is surrounded by numerous cat-like balloons, and is cursed with a countdown. When the countdown finishes, each balloon explodes and the opponent is damaged. In SvC Chaos, the opponent must inflict damage at Tessa to cancel the countdown, as the resulting explosion cannot be defended against.
As Tessa levels up by fighting opponents in Red Earth, her title changes and grants her more abilities. Her titles are as follows:
- Magician - (Level 1)
- Sorcerer - (At Level 3)
- Witch - (At Level 6)
- Phantasm - (At Level 10)
- Summoner - (At Level 14)
- Sage - (At Level 19)
- Archmage - (At Level 25)
- Magelord - (At Level 32)
- Tessa's Japanese name, Tabasa, may have been intended to be Tabitha, possibly a reference to a witch character from Bewitched and its spinoff, Tabitha.
- The animated series Little Witch Academia, from animation studio Trigger, have a character called Shiny Chariot, who shares some visual resemblance with Tessa (and also the fact they are both almost in a magelord level).
For more of this character, see their gallery.