|Mariko Tanaka (DECEASED)|
|Date of birth:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||2666|
|First Appeared:||Wing Commander I|
Mariko "Spirit" Tanaka is a fictional character in the computer games Wing Commander and Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. Spirit is an excellent pilot and plays a couple of roles as Christopher "Maverick" Blair's wingman throught the computer game series.
Mariko Tanaka was born in Sapparo, Japan, and became a Terran Confederation fighter pilot during the Terran-Kilrathi War. She comes from a long line of warriors, her father having died in battle, and joined the war effort out of tradition, but would quickly learn that the war against the Kilrathi is one that has to be fought and won if the human race was to survive. In Wing Commander I, she was introduced to Christopher Blair. Her pilot callsign was Spirit. Spirit was transferred to the TCS Tiger's Claw and was a wingman under Christopher Blair in several missions. Mariko was a distinguished fighter pilot, her superior flying skills were top-notch.
Spirit remains a soft spoken, philosophical, and friendly pilot, lending a sympathetic ear or some words of advice and encouragement. She would later fall in love and become engaged to a man named Philip, who was in the enlisted in the medical corps. Unfortunately he became a prisoner of war, and Spirit grew angry and vengeful of the Kilrathi at first, before fantasizing of being a commando and saving Philip. After many years, nothing was ever found about Spirit's missing fiancé and was thought to be dead. This left Spirit to better herself as a pilot and fantasize about being a commando to save her beloved.
In Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, Spirit was transferred to the TCS Concordia (CVS-65), and one of the few pilots that survived from the loss of TCS Tiger's Claw. However, a traitor reveals to Spirit that her missing fiancé, Philip, was not dead as she feared but was actually on board a Kilrathi space station. She was contacted by the Kilrathi with this information and was tempted to defect, but refused. Later she kamikazed her ship into the station holding Philip, killing herself and destroying the station. Her last words to Blair were "Tengoku de omachi shite imasu" (I am waiting for you in Heaven).