Paul Phoenix (Tekken)

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Paul Phoenix
Tekken character
Paul Phoenix in Tekken Tag Tournament 2
First game Tekken (1994)[1]
Voiced by (English) Scott McCulloch (Tekken - Tekken 2)
Eric Kelso (Tekken 3 - Tekken 6 (in-game voice), Tekken 3D: Prime Edition)
Jamieson Price (Tekken 6 (ending voice), Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Revolution)
Mike McFarland (Street Fighter X Tekken)
Voiced by (Japanese) Hōchū Ōtsuka (Drama CD)
Kanehira Yamamoto (Street Fighter X Tekken)
Portrayed by Scott Sheeley (Tekken Reload)
Fictional profile
Birthplace United States United States
Nationality American
Fighting style Judo-based integrated martial arts
Occupation Biker (when he needs extra money, he is often employed as a bouncer or bodyguard)

Paul Phoenix (Japanese: ポール・フェニックス Hepburn: Pōru Fenikkusu?) is a video game character and one of three Tekken characters (the others being Heihachi Mishima and Nina Williams) to have appeared in every video game for the Tekken series. He is a staple character of the series who wants to become "The Toughest Guy in the Universe" and is prominent for his hi-top fade hairdo.


In video games[edit]

In Tekken, Paul's sub-boss was Kuma, a bear supposedly trained by Heihachi Mishima; this was explained by Paul having witnessed as a child that a martial artist named Willie Williams fighting a bear. Willie Williams is a real-life martial artist, who can indeed be seen challenging a bear in a sequence filmed as part of a documentary.

In Tekken 2, Paul performed well in the last tournament, and although he encountered Kuma and won, he was defeated by Kazuya Mishima in a furious battle that lasted for hours. After many months have passed, Paul enters The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 with an extreme desire to become a champion of the world.

In Tekken 3, Paul went undefeated during The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, starting a feud with the new Kuma then he even managed to beat Ogre. He left soon afterwards, claiming himself to be the winner. However, Ogre evolved into True Ogre and the tournament continued after his departure. Having realized this only sometime afterwards, Paul became frustrated and angry. Few believed him when he told everyone that he was the true winner of The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3.

In Tekken 4, after a short while, he soon turned to alcohol while Paul then heard an announcement for The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4. Paul trained vigorously and entered the tournament to prove himself once more. Rolling through his opponents one-by-one, Paul felt excited at the prospects of facing Kazuya Mishima, whom he never faced in over 20 years since the first tournament.

In Tekken 5, however, he once again found Kuma standing in his way. His mind distracted, Paul did not take Kuma seriously at first, and by the time he realized his mistake, he was quickly overwhelmed by the bear and defeated. His loss to Kuma shamed Paul greatly, and he realized he had strayed from the path of a true martial artist and started his training all over again. When the fifth tournament was announced, Paul entered to prove that he is, literally, "the toughest fighter in the universe". Paul's rematch with Kuma was fierce, and though victorious, he was utterly exhausted, leaving him unable to continue the tournament. Unable to collect any prize money from the last tournament, Paul, who was already burdened by his mountain of debt, learns that a new King of Iron Fist Tournament will be held soon. Believing that if he won the tournament, he could finally say goodbye to his loan troubles, Paul deeply thought about ways to increase his chances of winning—participating on his own was out of the question. If he could assemble a team with someone, his chances of winning the prize money would greatly increase. And so he went over his plan with his best friend Marshall Law - but thinking a three-man team was better than two, renowned boxer Steve Fox caught his attention.

He appears as a playable character in non-canonical Tekken games Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Card Challenge, Tekken Advance, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Card Tournament, Tekken Revolution and Tekken Arena. Paul appears with his official tag partner, Marshall Law in the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken (in its ending they are trapped inside the Pandora's box in space) as playable characters, and both unlockable characters in the beat'em-up game Urban Reign.[2]


Paul's fighting style is a hybridized form of martial art that is primarily based on Judo. In common with many Tekken characters, his move set includes flamboyant fictional attacks mixed with more realistic-looking techniques.

According to IGN, Paul is considered one of the most devastating characters in Tekken 6, having brutal juggles, one of the best low attacks and a very powerful wall game.[3] Paul is well known for his "Phoenix Smasher" (which also has a more powerful unblockable version called the "Burning Fist"), seen in promotions images of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Street Fighter X Tekken.

In other media and merchandise[edit]

Paul makes a cameo appearance in Tekken: The Motion Picture as one of the tournament competitors. He has no spoken lines, and it is unknown how he progresses through the tournament. He is last seen, with his clothes a bit torn, carrying an unconscious Michelle Chang out of the exploding Mishima resort. His rivalries with Kazuya and Kuma are not present in the anime.

Paul's name is mentioned in the film Tekken where he got knocked out by Marshall Law in 28 seconds. His dossier is also briefly seen in the CGI film Tekken: Blood Vengeance when Anna Williams opens a file containing dossiers on various persons of interest. He appear in the short film Tekken Reload portrayed by Scott Sheeley.[4]

In 1998, Epoch Co. released a Paul Phoenix action figure, based on his appearance in Tekken 3. The action figure is 6.75 inches and comes with replaceable gloves.[5]


Gaming Target ranked Paul as 10th top Tekken character, stating that "he’s a fan favorite for his All-American flavor, USA landmark-rich battle arenas, and high-rise hairdos (taller than Kramer, but not quite as tall as Marge Simpson). Oh, and he also beat up a bear once. It’s hard to top that".[6] listed Paul as one of the characters wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken, "as a fairly straight forward character with solid combos that may not be flashy, but do a ton of damage."[7] GamesRadar listed a matchup between Paul and Guile as one of the ones they wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken, commenting, "Paul and Guile may be little more than organic devices designed to carry around ridiculous hair, but what a gelled, feathered battle it would be".[8] In GamesRadar article for Street Fighter X Tekken, they stated "A motorcyclist with an impressive head of hair, Paul Phoenix might be silly, but he at least is determined (or too dumb to know when he’s beat)."[9] Complex compared him to Guile, predicting Guile would win in a fight.[10] In 2012, Complex placed Paul's Tekken 5 ending 2nd in their list of the craziest moments in the Tekken series.[11] Complex also ranked Paul as the third best Tekken character, commenting "Paul's greatest strength is... well, his strength."[12] FHM listed Paul and Guile as one of the "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken", adding "This is about as evenly-matched as two fighters in this game can get. Their biceps and chest look equally ripped".[13] In 2013, 4thletter placed Paul's Tekken 5 ending at 127th place in their list "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings", adding"See, when he says he’s to become the toughest guy in the universe, he isn’t kidding. He literally means the universe."[14] Shinkan Crossing ranked Paul as the "3rd toughest Tekken character" where they commented on his feats and called him "everyone's favorite American muscle head" and a "loud, obnoxious, and recently stupid tough-guy stereotype."[15] In 2015, WatchMojo ranked Paul as the "5th top Tekken character", adding "He’s a rugged American fighter trying to become “The Toughest Guy in the Universe,” and it’s hard to imagine someone questioning his claim on the title."[16] In the official poll by Namco, Paul is currently the third most requested Tekken character to be added to the roster of Tekken X Street Fighter, at 15.72% of votes.[17]


  1. ^ "Paul Phoenix - IGN". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  2. ^ "An Early First Look At Tekken X Street Fighter". 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  3. ^ "Tekken 6 Guide & Walkthrough - PlayStation 3 (PS3) - IGN". 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Tekken Reload Fan Clip". 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Action Figure Gallery". Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Tekken A Look Back (Special) @ Gaming Target". Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  7. ^ Crisan, Neidel. "Street Fighter X Tekken Preview for PS3, 360, Vita from". Archived from the original on 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2015-02-08. 
  8. ^ "12 matchups we want to see in Street Fighter ...". GamesRadar. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  9. ^ "Street Fighter X Tekken roster: Meet all 55 characters". GamesRadar. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  10. ^ "THE FLATTOPPED WHITEY-OFF: PAUL VS GUILE — Tale of the Tape: Street Fighter x Tekken's A-Alikes". Complex. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  11. ^ Rich Knight, "Tekken's" 15 Craziest Moments,, October 12, 2012.
  12. ^ "3. Paul Phoenix - The 20 Best Tekken Video Game Characters of All Time". Complex. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  13. ^ "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken | Read reviews of movies, CDs, games, gadgets, cars, and more!". 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  14. ^ "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Four". 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  15. ^ "Top 5 Toughest Tekken Characters". Shinkan Crossing. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  16. ^ "Top 10 Tekken Characters". WatchMojo. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  17. ^ "Tekken vs Street Fighter". Retrieved 2012-07-28. 

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