Tekken (video game)
Front side of North American Tekken arcade flyer
JP March 31, 1995
|Mode(s)||Up to two players|
|Arcade system||Namco System 11|
Tekken is a fighting game and is the first of the series. It was released at arcades in late 1994 and on the PlayStation in 1995. It was developed and published by Namco. It is succeeded by Tekken 2, which came out in 1995.
Tekken is one of the earliest 3D fighting game franchises, with the first game applying many of the concepts found in Virtua Fighter by Sega. As with many fighting games, players choose a character from a lineup, and engage in hand-to-hand combat with an opponent.
Tekken differs from other hand-to-hand fighting games in some ways. Traditional fighting games are usually played with buttons which correspond to the strength of the attack, such as strong punch or weak kick. Tekken, however, dedicates a button to each limb of the fighter, making learning special attacks more of an intuitive process. The player could watch the animation on screen and figure out the appropriate command (if the character kicks low with their right leg, the move is likely to be executed by pressing down and right kick, or a similar variation).
By default, there will be two rounds of combat. However, the players have a choice from one to five rounds, as well as options for the time limit of each round. If the winning character retains all his or her health without the time having run out, the announcer will say, "Perfect!" If the winning character is near knock out, the announcer will call, "Great!" Occasionally, both characters will be knocked out simultaneously, and the announcer will call "Double K.O." If the time limit for the round expires, the character with more health will be declared the winner. If one does not exist, the round will be a draw. In most cases, the announcer will call "K.O." when one character is victorious.
In the game, the name of the location was displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. The locations were all real places and included Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Szechwan (China), Monument Valley (USA), Chicago (USA), Kyoto (Japan), Fiji, Windermere (Great Britain), Venezia (Italy), Acropolis (Greece), King George Island (Antarctica), and Chiba Marine Stadium (Japan).
Heihachi Mishima, the powerful and ruthless owner of the Mishima Zaibatsu conglomerate, announces the King of the Iron Fist Tournament, a fighting tournament with a one billion dollar cash prize to the winner. One competitor from within the tournament is Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi's estranged son who has entered for revenge against his father.
When Kazuya was only five years old, Heihachi had carried him to the top of a mountain and callously threw him off a cliff to test his son's strength and see if he would be able to climb back up the same cliff (this test would determine on whether or not Kazuya was worthy to be Heihachi's heir so that he would be able to inherit the Mishima Zaibatsu one day from within the future). Kazuya survived the initial fall, but with a large scar on his chest, this caused the Devil gene to activate that he inherited from his mother, offering Kazuya the opportunity to gain immense strength and power so that he can have his revenge against Heihachi, driven by anger and hatred while having with life-threatening wounds, he climbed back up.
The King of the Iron Fist Tournament takes place twenty-one years later, and by now Kazuya is an undefeated fighting champion (the only blemish on his record is a draw against Paul Phoenix: an American martial artist who seeks to settle the score with Kazuya while hoping to win the tournament at the same time). Kazuya enters the tournament and ultimately makes it to the final round, where Heihachi awaits him, angry and furious to know of his estranged son's winnings.
Kazuya and Heihachi clash in battle atop the same cliff from which Heihachi tossed Kazuya years earlier until Kazuya, now powered by the strength given to him by the Devil, overpowers Heihachi and beats him into an unconscious state. Kazuya picks up his father's body and drops him from the cliff. Smiling to himself, Kazuya becomes the owner of the Mishima Zaibatsu.
The original arcade version has eight characters available by default. Each character has a "sub-boss", a special character that was fought on Stage 8. The sub-bosses were clones in term of movesets (they generally share the same moveset as the original character with few exclusive attacks). Heihachi, the main antagonist serves as the final boss for the game. All sub-bosses and Heihachi are not playable in the arcade version. When the game was ported to PlayStation, all sub-bosses and Heihachi were made playable. Also, Kazuya's alter-ego, Devil, was made available as an unlock for completing the Galaga-based minigame. The unlockable characters are only playable in the PlayStation version.
The characters are: Anna Williams (Nina's sub-boss) (unlockable), Armor King I (King I's sub-boss) (unlockable), Devil Kazuya (unlockable costume for Kazuya in home version and Heihachi's final boss), Ganryu (Michelle's sub-boss) (unlockable), Heihachi Mishima (Final boss for all characters, except himself) (unlockable), Jack, Kazuya Mishima, King I, Kuma I (Paul's sub-boss) (unlockable), Kunimitsu (Yoshimitsu's sub-boss) (unlockable), Lee Chaolan (Kazuya's sub-boss) (unlockable), Marshall Law, Michelle Chang, Nina Williams, Prototype Jack (Jack's sub-boss) (unlockable), Paul Phoenix, Wang Jinrei (Law's sub-boss) (unlockable), Yoshimitsu.
Tekken was not originally conceived as a fighting game. The project began as an internal Namco test case for animating 3D character models, and eventually incorporated texture mapping similar to that found in Namco's 1993 racing game Ridge Racer. In 1994, Namco acquired developers from longtime competitor Sega, which had recently created the first 3D fighting game with 1993's Virtua Fighter. Directed by Virtua Fighter designer Seiichi Ishii, Tekken was intended to be a fundamentally similar title, with the addition of detailed textures and twice the frame rate. Tekken was further distinguished by its intuitive control scheme and memorable characters. Because it was developed for Namco's System 11 arcade board, which was based on raw PlayStation hardware, Tekken was easily ported to the latter. Tekken was marketed to small arcades as a cheaper alternative to Sega's Virtua Fighter 2, which was released for the more expensive Model 2 arcade board.
The music in Tekken was composed by Yoshie Arakawa and Yoshie Takayanagi.
The PlayStation 2 version of Tekken 5 features the arcade version of Tekken (being an emulated version of its arcade counterpart as well as the other two that were included in the arcade history mode). In 2005, Namco re-released Tekken as part of the NamCollection compilation for the PlayStation 2 to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary.
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On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored Tekken a 38 out of 40, giving it an 8 out of 10 in their Reader Cross Review. The game was met with many positive reviews, with critics claiming it was a good start to the series. Its success and popularity has spawned five sequels and three spin-offs. The Tekken games have been highly popular with the martial arts community due to moves of the fighters being close to the actual style of fighting.
Guinness World Records awarded Tekken with multiple records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. These include, "First PlayStation Game to Sell Over One Million Units", "First Fighting Game To Feature Simulated 3D", as well as a record for the entire series as "The Best Selling Fighting Series for PlayStation Consoles."
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