We talk to Bayani creator Anthony Dacayo about his proudly Pinoy fighting game, where Magellan is one of the boss battles, Rizal’s finishing move is aptly-named Mi Ultimo Adios, and everybody in the game is sporting abs. Nothing feels more patriotic than brawling against hulked-up invaders for the sake of our motherland.
(Button-mash for freedom!)
What was the idea behind Bayani?
After encountering Bible Fight, a fighting game where bible characters duke it out for glory, I was inspired to do a concept fighting game featuring our national heroes. I would then [post my art] yearly during Independence Day and National Heroes Day. When I posted my concept art at the height of the Heneral Luna craze, it went viral!
When and where does the game take place?
It takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of the Philippines. The game’s plot is similar to the Flashpoint comics where Flash changed the course of history. The apocalypse causes our country’s historical timeline to reset and tell a different story. The characters are modern versions of our national heroes such as Joe Rizal and Andre Bonifacio.
Can you tell us more about Joe and Andre’s movesets?
Joe Rizal is what we call the Ryu of our game—the one that’s easy to master. He carries a modified rapier, which he calls a ‘quill.’ He has four special skills and one ultimate move.
Noli Me Tangere: A projectile attack where Rizal throws a flaming book at the foe.
El Filibusterismo: Attacks with multiple rapier stabs
Mi Ultimo Adios: A finisher move consisting of a more powerful flaming book projectile
Meanwhile, Andre Bonifacio carries two swords with a side arm revolver. He can interchange his stance from duel-wield swords to a sword-and-gun combo.
Katipunan: Dual-wield combo chain
Supremo: A berserker barrage (similar to Wolverine’s move in the Marvel Versus Capcom games)
Magdiwang: Shoots revolver whenever he changes stance
What were some of the fighting games that influenced the mechanics?
Bayani is a mix of old and new games like Street Fighter, Rival Schools, Samurai Showdown, Dark Stalkers, Soul Calibur, King of Fighters, and Guilty Gear.
Who are some of the bosses that our national heroes will face?
For the three main bosses, we have Fernando Magellan, Tomo Shita (inspired by Yamashita) and the iconic Uncle Sam. Magellan is a melee fighter who throws around barrels and is patterned after Raizo in Rival Schools. Tomo Shita is a swordfighter and inspired by Samurai Showdown. Finally, Uncle Sam is a grappler who’s a mix of Alex from the Street Fighter Alpha series and Hulk Hogan.
The Filipino revolution also included badass women. Will we be expecting them to show up in the game?
Of course! The first set of characters will include Oria de Jesus and Lolang Tsora inspired by Gregoria de Jesus and Melchora Aquino, respectively. If the game does well, future updates could include Ela Silang (Gabriela Silang), Iza Magbanua (Teresa Magbanua), Ida Tecson (Trinidad Tecson of Red Cross) and a lot more.
Are you planning on expanding the current roster?
Aside from the female fighters, we’re hoping to add Demon Joe (Orochi version of Joe), Datu Lapu (Lapu Lapu), Meelo Jacinto (Emilio Jacinto), Reggo del Pilar (Gregorio del Pilar), and Carion Sakay (Macario Sakay).
How do you think your characters like Joe and Andre would fight for freedom in today’s society?
I think each character in the game will have a different concept about justice and freedom. Being a hero doesn't mean you are immune to the laws of men. Yes, you may be forgiven but there are things that we have to pay for. The Bayani characters are reflections of how people in our society view heroism. And so it would be unique to each of them. What lacks nowadays is our sense of heroism. Society, media, and technology desensitized us in either small or big ways. And that is part of history. And if we don't learn anything from it then we just don't get it.
How will Bayani help promote our culture and history?
Culture is what defines a Nation and it's people. If we don't know who we are, we lose our identity. And with what's happening to our society nowadays, I think it's about time we go beyond just knowing but actually understanding and living our rich culture.
Bayani is currently in demo mode but Ranida Games is looking for a Q4 2017 release. A promotional short comic series has also been released featuring the backgrounds of the characters. (Part of the proceeds go to Bahay Aruga Foundation) If you’d like to follow the progress of this homegrown brawler, you can check out their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bayaniph/