The Jakarta Post
An e-sports staple, "Mobile Legends" has been played in numerous international championships in Southeast Asia and is a medal event at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. (shutterstock.com/Jasni /File)
Southeast Asian superheroes have finally entered the gaming limelight as Apple’s App Store highlighted iconic characters from several countries in the region as featured in one of the hottest mobile multiplayer video games in recent years, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
In an "Inside the Game" list published on Sunday, the App Store puts the spotlight on five mythical characters originating from Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia that avid Mobile Legends players can choose from to aid in their quest for leaderboard domination.
Developed by China-based game developer Moonton Technology in 2016, Mobile Legends quickly thrived as a pop cultural sensation, particularly in Southeast Asia where it has drawn the largest number of players.
The game is an e-sports staple, having been played in numerous international championships in the region. Mobile Legends is serving as a medal event at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
According to the App Store, Minsitthar was modeled after Kyansittha, a notable king of the ancient Pagan Empire in Burma (modern day Myanmar). Kyansittha, whose name means “the last one standing”, rose to prominence as an accomplished general and eventually went on to claim the ancient throne as king, bringing prosperity to Burma. The fabled figure was also known for the development of Burmese culture during his reign, the App Store noted.
In the game, Minsitthar is among the "fighter" class of characters who are in charge of dealing direct offense to opposing team members. As described in the list, his crowd control capability is not to be scoffed at, given that his spear allows him to pull enemies toward him, while his shield can stun and knock back foes.
Minsitthar was added to the game’s sprawling roster of playable characters last November.
Malaysia’s own superhero monomyth Badang is also highlighted on the list. A fisherman-turned-hero who hailed from the ancient kingdom of Singapura, Badang is famous for his aquatic superpowers, such as the ability to push a ship into water after 300 people had failed before him, or to throw an enormous boulder from a hilltop into the mouth of the Singapore River. A stone fragment of what was claimed to be the fabled boulder is now considered a national treasure of Singapore.
Similar to Minsitthar, Badang qualifies as a fighter-class character who is able to stun and knock back opponents. As noted in the list, Badang’s First Break skill creates a stone wall that traps enemies, effectively making them vulnerable to a chain of attacks courtesy of his other skills.
Badang was made available in the game earlier this year in January.
Lapu-Lapu has a more intimate relationship with his home country than any other hero mentioned on the list, as he was widely considered to be the first Filipino national hero. Lapu-Lapu’s iconic imagery is now incorporated into the insignia of the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection, the App Store noted.
Lapu-Lapu also qualifies as a fighter-class character who is able to deal considerable damage on his opponents through a variety of combos and deadly strikes. He is noteworthy for his ability to combine two blades into one, making him a force to be reckoned with.
Added to the roster in 2017, Lapu-Lapu is one of the oldest playable characters in the game.
Also known by her more popular moniker Nyi Roro Kidul, the goddess Kadita is a notable figure in Indonesia’s famously intricate Sundanese and Javanese mythologies. According to the various myths chronicling the adventures of the character, Kadita was once a princess who jumped into the sea to escape a curse of black magic. She then gained supernatural powers and became the mermaid Queen of the Southern Sea.
True to her local reputation as the harbinger of doom in untamed waters, Kadita as portrayed in Mobile Legends is a mage-class hero who relies on her magical abilities to summon mighty waves and wreak havoc on the battlefield. Some of her abilities, such as those dubbed Breath of the Ocean and Rough Waves, deal massive damage and impair enemy movements.
Kadita was among the new additions in a Mobile Legends build that was released late last year.
Another Indonesian superhero that players can choose in the game, Gatotkaca is known as a mighty warrior who was well-versed in powerful magic. He is an essential part of Javanese folklore and is a popular character in the shadow puppet art of wayang, the App Store noted.
Mobile Legend’s depiction of the character is based on his portrayal in wayang, as he is clad in the iconic Antakusuma armor and wields the Brajamusti-Brajadenta gauntlets, which were claimed to be powered by the spirits of his slain foes.
Gatotkaca is one of the game’s tank-class heroes who is able to heal himself and boost his defense. He is also equipped with a range of skills that can slow enemies and knock them into the air.
Gatotkaca was made available in the game in 2017. (rfa/wng)
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