Tong Pooh (東風, lit. East Wind), originally spelled Ton Pooh and Tong Poo, is a recurring character and antagonist in the Strider series of action platformer games, appearing in most version of the first Strider game, and returning for its two official sequels. She's also the character with the most exposure in the series besides Hiryu himself.
Tong Pooh is the middle sister of a trio of bounty hunters and assassins known as the "Kuniang M.A. Team" (in the classic games) or the "Four Winds" (in the 2014 game). She serves as the team leader, recognized from her sisters by her green clothes and unique hairstyle, two braided pigtails. The most skilled among her sisters, Tong Pooh combines her mastery of martial arts and acrobatics with kenjutsu ("sword arts"), fighting with a Chinese Rinkaku (Unicorn's Horn, Sword (麟角刀; "Rokkaku" butterfly sword in English). Though Rinkaku swords are usually wielded in pairs, Tong Pooh uses a single one with incredible dexterity.
Tong Pooh is the most influential of the three sisters, and possess a strong-minded personality which helps her drive the team forward during battle. Very confrontational and prone to violence, Tong Pooh has a fiery temper that tends to make her stand out as the most vocal of the sisters, and the one who always taunts Hiryu after their eventual defeat. She, however, knows how to channel her rage during a confrontation, drawing strength from her surging anger in order to effectively exterminate her targets in the blink of an eye. Her devotion to Grandmaster Meio is also notably pronounced in her speech, making her one of his most passionate subordinates.
Answering a bounty for Hiryu's head placed by Grandmaster Meio after he single-handedly brought down his base at St. Petersburg, the Kuniang M.A. Team took up the job to stop Hiryu on his advance. Leading her sisters aboard the Russian "Sky Thunder Mk-II" airship, they were flying over Siberia when Hiryu boarded it, intent on hijacking it. The three sisters sprung into attack, but Hiryu claimed victory against all three in the end.
Hiryu confronts the defeated Ton Pooh about her boss, but she only answers with taunts, calling him an idiot while assuring that they are invincible as long as the Flying Battleship Balrog is active. This, however, only prompts Hiryu to assault and eventually destroy the flying fortress by himself.
Tong Pooh and her sisters work as efficient assassins, using their martial arts mastery to kill their targets while concealing their operations behind a cover job as contortionists in an acrobatics circus troupe. During the Chinese Mafia's terrorist strike on Neo Hong Kong City, likely orchestrated by the Grandmaster's followers, the three sisters confront Hiryu in the high society residential area, on a speedway crowded by flying cars. Jumping from car to car, Hiryu faces the three acrobatic assassins and defeats them in battle.
After bringing down the Mafia's Emperor Dragon machine, Hiryu is confronted by a defeated Tong Pooh as she taunts him about foolishly believing he can take on "her Lord", and how everything in the world (including Hiryu himself) belongs to him. Hiryu simply retorts that she's the only one that will always be Meio's servant, and leaves her behind.
Tong Pooh is the team leader of the Winds, a martial arts trio trained by the mysterious and powerful Chinese master Xi Wang Mu, the "One who Controls the Wind". Loyal to a fault, they serve Grandmaster Meio as his personal assassin unit. After Hiryu infiltrated Kazakh City, they pursued him across the city complex.
Tong Pooh enters into scene after her two sisters failed to defeat Hiryu together. She awaits for him deep within Kazakh City's Processing area in the Underground, taunting him and encouraging General Mikiel's troops through the broadcast system. When Hiryu finally arrives at her location, he's greeted by the three sisters. Tong Pooh fights him first on her own, commending him for causing her sisters trouble. As she's unable to get the upper hand fighting alone, her sisters eventually join her in battle, first one at a time and finally all three together.
In the end, however, the three Wind sisters are unable to defeat Hiryu and are defeated. Tong Pooh angrily shouts at Hiryu to revel in his "false victory", claims they will "raise again", and taunts that he'll never defeat "[their] lord", who "is everything" and rules over everything, including him. Hiryu simply replies that she's the one who will always be his servant and proceeds with his mission.
Some time later, Xi Wang Mu confronts Hiryu while claiming revenge over her students' demise, implying the three eventually died at some point afterwards.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
While their true strength is found in their combined team attacks, each sister is an expert martial artist in their own right. The most skilled among her sisters, Tong Pooh displays graceful acrobatics and nimble movements in her attacks, her technique said to "mesmerize anyone who observes it" right before she finishes her targets off in the blink of an eye. Tong Pooh has mastered an original form of martial arts based on Chinese Kenpo to a degree far beyond ordinary, and she's stated to be equal in skill to Hiryu. Specially in the strength of her attacks, her kicks being so powerful they generate a "Plasma Whirlwind", an arc of plasma energy identical in its cutting power to the blade of Hiryu's weapon, the Cypher.
When the three sisters fight as a team, she carries the position of "main attacker", leading the battle straight ahead as her sisters support her from behind. Covered by Nang Pooh's defense and Pei Pooh's support fire, she lunges forward against her targets with an all-out offensive strategy.
Tong Pooh (here spelled "Ton Pooh") appears as one of the many "Special Partners" in Capcom's side of the roster, characters which can be called forth during battle to deliver a quick attack and then leave. Upon being called, Tong Pooh jumps into the screen and delivers her signature back kick attack, which covers the full length of the screen.
Tong Pooh appears as a minor enemy alongside Solo and Strider Hien, using moves from Strider 2 when attacking. She serves Grandmaster Meio as one of the guardians of his base, the Third Moon. She's portrayed as being blindly loyal to Grandmaster Meio and very aggressive against anyone standing in his path, specially Hiryu. She's entirely focused on killing anyone opposing her master.
She confronts the main party at several points, often accompanied by Meio's other subordinates or by a group of Nam Pooh soldiers, grey-clothed clones of herself. She finally dies, along Meio's entire entourage, in Chapter 44.
Tong Pooh appears as a Rival Unit in Project X Zone 2 alongside Solo. As one of the last survivors of Grandmaster Meio's army, Tong Pooh is seeking for a way to bring back her master from beneath death. She's finally killed by Hiryu during Chapter 37.
- Tong Pooh makes a small cameo in one of the cutscenes in the Sega Genesis port of Strider Returns.
- Tong Pooh appears in Felicia's ending in Capcom Fighting Evolution.
- Tong Pooh appears as cards in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series.
- Tong Pooh and her sisters appear as three cards in a special promotion for Dragon's Dogma Quest.
- Tong Pooh appears as one card in the crossover mobile game Street Fighter × All Capcom.
- In Japan, Tong Pooh was one of the more popular characters during the game's early life. Gamest magazine specially ranked her 13th Best Character of 1989. She left a strong impression on the Marvel vs. Capcom staff (or more than likely in its director, Atsushi Tomita) was likely the reason for her inclusion in the game, despite not being a protagonist/playable character.
- Reportedly, the design of Street Fighter's popular Chinese warrior Chun-Li was inspired by Tong Pooh. The Street Fighter III: New Generation Secret File appears to make a nod to this fact, showing a picture of Tong Pooh in a TV while wondering if it'd be the "next Chun-Li".
- Tong Pooh is also referenced in minor Street Fighter character Toli's profile from the Capcom Fighting Network online encyclopedia, noting how similar her name is to both Chun-Li's and Toli's.
For more of this character, see their gallery.
- ↑ Gamest issue 41 (December 27, 1989). "3RD Gamest Grand Prix" pg. 68-79.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Official Marvel vs. Capcomwebsite - Support Characters Introduction (Japanese). Waybacked
- ↑ Nakayama (September 6, 2016). "Character Encyclopedia #154: Toli" (Japanese). Capcom Fighters Network official site. Retrieved August 5, 2016