Raven in Tekken Tag Tournament 2
|First game||Tekken 5 (2004)|
|Voiced by (English)||Jack Merluzzi (Tekken 5 - (onwards) (in-game voice))
D.C. Douglas (Tekken 6 - (onwards) (quotes and endings), Street Fighter X Tekken)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Kenji Sugimura (Japanese dub of the Tekken film)
Kenichiro Matsuda (Street Fighter X Tekken)
|Portrayed by||Darrin Henson (Tekken film)|
|Occupation||Intelligence Agent, Ninja|
Raven (Japanese: レイヴン Hepburn: Reivun?) is a character from the Tekken fighting game series released by Namco Bandai Games. Raven was introduced in Tekken 5 and he has returned for all subsequent games. He is a ninja of black African descent who works for a mysterious government intelligence agency and is considered highly skilled and iron-hearted. To date, despite not being of Japanese origin, Raven is actually the most traditional (and some would say even lightly accurate) ninja in the Tekken series.
In video games
The mysterious ninja, codenamed 'Raven'. He is known as one of the most skilled and ruthless agents from the equally mysterious government intelligence agency to which he belongs. Apart from a scar in the shape of an "X" on his face, his details, including age and nationality, are unknown. While on a mission investigating connections between the Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporation, he witnessed Heihachi Mishima and Kazuya Mishima being ambushed by a deployment of Jacks. Although Kazuya managed to escape, the Jack robots were able to restrain Heihachi, while they self-destructed, causing a massive explosion. It seems that he is the first one to report of Heihachi Mishima's supposed death. Afterward, news reaches Raven that The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 will be held. Raven enters, in order to gather intel about the tournament and the motives of those behind it. During The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5, Raven encounters Heihachi Mishima, who was presumed to be dead. They began to fight, but before a victor could be decided, Raven received orders to return to headquarters, forcing him to withdraw from his battle with Heihachi. After their encounter, the batlle between both the Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporation intensified, with the Mishima Zaibatsu declaring itself an independent nation (declaring war on the world in the process). In order to prevent any further losses, Raven is sent to investigate the Mishima Zaibatsu once again via The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6.
Raven also appears in Tekken 3D: Prime Edition and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Raven appears in Capcom-made crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken with Yoshimitsu as his official tag partner. His Swap Costume is modeled after Guy from Final Fight. According to the download blurb, Raven impersonated Guy in order to infiltrate the Bushinryu dojo and learn its secrets.
In other media
Raven appears in Online Tekken Comic (2009). Raven appears in the 2010 live-action film Tekken, portrayed by Darrin Henson. He participates in the Iron Fist tournament where he defeats Eddy Gordo and later gives Jin Kazama some words of advice and encouragement before his fight with Bryan Fury. A dossier on Raven is briefly seen in the CGI film Tekken: Blood Vengeance when Anna Williams opens a file containing dossiers on various persons of interest.
Raven is depicted as muscular, black man whose personal informations are unknown. He has an "X" Shaped scar on his face, a thin moustache, and short, bleached-blond hair. He also has a Japanese symbol as a tattoo on his left arm. His Player 1 costume usually consists of a black jumpsuit, with gold talon symbols running down the left and right sides of the front and back. He has matching black gloves with gold designs and silver metal plates on his shoulders, knees and back of gloves. He also wears dark sunglasses and a black rope holding two kunai. His Player 2 Costume consists of a traditional hooded gray ninja suit with a white scarf/emblems, he also wears black and red shin guards. He does not wear sunglasses in this outfit, and his mouth is covered with red material. Raven resembles famous Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes and specifically two of his characters, Simon Phoenix from Demolition Man (blonde hair) and more obviously, the Marvel Comics character Blade (specifically, the Blade from the Blade film series in terms of shades, tattoo, costume and personality). When Namco was asked about the similarities being intentional, they stated that they simply wanted a true ninjutsu practitioner and a "cool black guy" for a character, and that the similarities were purely coincidental.
Gameplay and fighting style
Raven fights using Ninjutsu. His ninjutsu fighting style is highlighted with his teleportation moves and extremely quick maneuvers. Raven is one of the trickiest and hard to use characters in the series. Most of his attacks are really unsafe, so he's best used as a defensive/runaway character: he has an incredible ability to reverse and parry attacks, and also has the ability to backflip out of the situation. To compliment his capability to set the pace of a match, Raven has some good poke and pressure options. As with other tricky characters, gaining familiarity to his moveset is the key to use him effectively. Like several other characters, Raven has his own 'special' move. It is called Summon Mirage and allows him to split in half, but also takes 5% of his energy. Like Yoshimitsu, he has the ability to teleport.
Raven has enjoyed a warm reception for his unique fighting style, and for the fact that he is a rarely seen ethnicity when it comes to Ninjas. In a 2012 VentureBeat list, they named Raven "The series’ first Ninja, as well as possibly the first and only African American ninja in a fighting game." Around the time of Tekken 5 release, IGN comented "He's quite different from any other characters in that he doesn't rely too much on power, but rather on a very competent high/low game which can seriously piss off opponents." In a review for Tekken 5, Video Games Daily added "Highly skilled in the art of Ninjutsu, Raven offers well-balanced strength and speed to batter opponents, with techniques including a mid-air face stomp." Prior to the release of Tekken 6, The Lone Gamer stated "For the most part though, Raven’s cool fighting style and ninja-magic are skills to be admired by players looking for a very flashy and impressive fighter to kick ass with. He’ll take a bit of work, but once mastered, this messenger of death can surely live up to his sinister monicker." Raven was one of the "Honorable Mention" characters in SheAttack list "12 Black Video Game Characters That Kick Ass!". GamingBolt included his likeness to Wesley Snipes as Blade in their list "25 Celebrities That Shockingly Resemble Video Game Characters." In GamesRadar article for Street Fighter X Tekken, they stated "Known for his distinctive “X” scar, Raven has become a ninja-rific asset to the Tekken roster." For his resemblance to Wesley Snipes as Blade, WatchMojo ranked Raven as the "9th best video game character based on celebrities", adding "Their physique being quite similar, we can also note that both are incredible fighters whose combat abilities aren't encumbered by shades." In the official poll by Namco, Raven is ranked as the 45th most requested Tekken character to be playable in Tekken X Street Fighter, at 2.39% of votes.
- "The real life inspiration behind Tekken characters.". VentureBeat. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
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- "Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 34: Raven". The Lone Gamer. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
- "12 Black Video Game Characters That Kick Ass!". SheAttack. 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
- "25 Celebrities That Shockingly Resemble Video Game Characters". GamingBolt. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
- "Street Fighter X Tekken roster: Meet all 55 characters". GamesRadar. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
- "Top 10 Video Game Characters based on Celebrities". WatchMojo. 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
- "Tekken vs Street Fighter". Fb.namcobandaigames.com. Retrieved 2012-07-28.