Heihachi Mishima in Tekken 7
|First game||Tekken (1994)|
|Created by||Seiichi Ishii|
|Designed by||Aya Takemura (Tekken 3–5, Tekken Tag, Soulcalibur II, Namco X Capcom)
Takuji Kawano (Tekken 4–5, Soulcalibur II)
|Voiced by (English)||John Paul Shephard (Tekken: The Motion Picture)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Soulcalibur II)
Jamieson Price (Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Street Fighter X Tekken)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Banjō Ginga (Tekken, Japanese dub of the live-action Tekken films)
Wataru Takagi (Tekken 2)
Daisuke Gōri (Tekken 3 - Tekken 6, Tekken: The Motion Picture, Soulcalibur II, Death by Degrees, Namco x Capcom, Ridge Racer 6)
Unshō Ishizuka (Tekken: Blood Vengeance - onwards)
|Motion capture||Syuichi Masuda (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
Kouji Kawamoto (Tekken: Blood Vengeance) (stunts)
|Portrayed by||Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa|
|Nationality||Japanese (although it was denied by the Japanese government)|
|Fighting style||Mishima-ryu Karate (based on Goju-ryu karate)|
|Occupation||Head of Mishima Financial Empire (Tekken, Tekken 3, Tekken 4, Tekken 7)|
Heihachi Mishima (Japanese: 三島 平八 Hepburn: Mishima Heihachi) is a fictional character and one of the main characters of the Tekken fighting game series. Given that he is almost always responsible for the series events, he is considered the main antagonist of the series.
First appearing in as the main antagonist in Tekken, he is one of only five characters (the others being Yoshimitsu, Paul Phoenix, Nina Williams and King) to have appeared in all major installments in the series. He served as the main protagonist in Tekken 2 (despite his intentions) and three as a boss (Tekken, Tekken 3, and Tekken 4).
Conception and creation
Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada has stated that Heihachi is his favorite character in the overall series and the character he most frequently selects when playing. He further described Heihachi as a "very human character", stating that while focus had been placed on his appearance he found the character's philosophy more interesting, and that in the series he was a "perfect portrayal of the evil that lurks in men's hearts", an evil "far more hideous than any made-up monster or demon."
In video games
Heihachi is the son of Jinpachi Mishima, the husband of the late Kazumi Mishima, the father of Kazuya Mishima and Lars Alexandersson, the adopted father of Lee Chaolan, and the grandfather of Jin Kazama. He fights with Mishima style of Karate and is the founder and the Commander of the Tekken Force Unit. He has hosted half of the King of the Iron Fist Tournaments with the second, fifth and sixth King of Iron Fist Tournaments being hosted by Kazuya, Jinpachi, and Jin respectively.
Heihachi is better known as the only son of Jinpachi Mishima, a famous martial artist who founded the Mishima Zaibatsu company. Decades before the events of the original Tekken, Heihachi used to have a happy life following his father's foot-steps. He later meets Kazumi Hachijo, who is much younger than him and sent by her family to train in Jinpachi's dojo, with Heihachi as her friendly rival. Eventually, Heihachi and Kazumi becomes closer and get married, and Kazumi gives birth to their son, Kazuya. A few years later, when Kazuya was five years old, Kazumi suddenly becomes ill, leaving Heihachi to nurse her. Thankfully, Kazumi recovers quickly, but her personality changes considerably. One evening during Heihachi's training, Kazumi attempts to kill Heihachi in cold blood and reveals that the reason she married him. Her clan foresaw his attempt at world domination in the future and she was sent to assassinate him before that future comes to pass. However, Heihachi overpowers and, realizing the woman he loved is gone, regretfully kills her. In the same year, Heihachi overthrows his father for control of the Mishima Zaibatsu. He wished to go against his father's wishes and utitilize the company as a military power and manufacture weapons for the highest bidder. When Jinpachi attempted a coup d'état to reclaim the Mishima Zaibatsu, Heihachi quickly captures and imprisons him below the Mishima compound Hon-Maru and left him to starve to death.
Later, in an attempt to eliminate his son's "weakness", he revealed to his five-year-old son Kazuya that he killed Kazumi in cold blood, unleashing Kazuya's anger towards Heihachi. As Kazuya is too weak to fight his father, Heihachi knocked Kazuya out and tossed him down a deep ravine. According to Heihachi, if Kazuya was truly his son, he would be able to survive the fall and climb back up. In actuality, Heihachi used this means to confirm if Kazuya has the Devil Gene or not. To further motivate Kazuya, Heihachi adopted Chinese orphan Lee and raised him as a rival to his biological son. After Kazuya travels abroad and becomes an undefeated champion, the 52-year-old Heihachi announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament. Kazuya wins the tournament, tosses Heihachi off the same cliff and assumes control of the Zaibatsu. Heihachi survives the fall, meditates and trains extensively, then returns two years later in the second tournament to defeat his son. After Defeating Kazuya, Heihachi tosses Kazuya's body into a volcano, killing him effectively.
After assuming control of the Mishima Zaibatsu once more, Heihachi formed the Tekken Force, an elite army whose actions would ultimately lead to world peace. Fifteen years later, during a Tekken Force expedition at an Aztec Temple in Mexico, the Tekken Force was obliterated by a mysterious being called "Ogre". Realizing that Ogre had immortal blood, Heihachi sought its blood in order to create an "ultimate life form". Around this time, he met a teenager named Jin Kazama, who claimed to be his grandson and begged Heihachi to train him so he could take revenge against Ogre for murdering his mother Jun. Heihachi agreed, and four years later, announced the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3 to lure Ogre out. After Jin defeated Ogre, Heihachi betrayed and attempted to kill him. However, Jin transformed to Devil and knocked Heihachi out.
Afterwards, Heihachi collected the remains of Ogre and attempted to combine his and Ogre's DNA, but discovered that he would need the Devil Gene possessed by his son and grandson as a catalyst. Unable to find Jin, Heihachi learned Kazuya had been resurrected by G Corporation. To lure both to him, Heihachi held the fourth King of Iron Fist Tournament two years later with his company's ownership as the grand prize. After the Tekken Force captured Jin upon arrival, Heihachi is eventually defeated by Kazuya in the finals, and took him to Hon-Maru. However, the two would later be defeated by Jin, who escaped after sparing Heihachi's life.
Immediately after Jin's departure, an army of G Corporation Jack-4s invaded Hon-Maru. Heihachi was seemingly killed in the attack, but in reality was blown a great distance away after the Jacks detonated. It is revealed in Tekken 6 that he was unconscious for the duration of the fifth King of Iron Fist Tournament. Upon his recovery, he discovered that Jin had taken control of the Mishima Zaibatsu in his absence, and so he entered the sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament to take back the Zaibatsu. He appears as an enemy in the Scenario Campaign, the story mode in the console version of Tekken 6 whose main character is Lars Alexandersson, Heihachi's illegitimate son. Heihachi apparently forgot about Lars, as he was quite surprised when Lars recalled his past. Heihachi tries to make an alliance with Lars, who refuses and tries to shoot Heihachi, but is unsuccessful. Lars leaves, telling Heihachi that he will be the "last person" Heihachi ever meets.
Heihachi returns as the main antagonist in Tekken 7. In the story, following Jin's disappearance after his battle with Azazel, Heihachi single-handedly retakes the Mishima Zaibatsu and announces a seventh tournament to lure Kazuya out. At the same time, he is confronted by Akuma, whose life was once saved by Heihachi's deceased wife, Kazumi, and who promised to kill both Heihachi and Kazuya for her in return. Heihachi clashes with Akuma and loses, but survives. In order to save the Zaibatsu's image, Heihachi captures footage of Kazuya's battle with Akuma in his Devil form; Kazuya loses but also survives. Deciding to face his son one on one, Heihachi allows a reporter to interview him about his past; Heihachi reveals that he was once happily married to Kazumi Hachijo, who had secretly been sent by her family to get close to Heihachi and kill him, having foreseen his future actions. Heihachi killed Kazumi in self-defence, and then threw Kazuya off the cliff to kill him in case he had inherited the Devil Gene from Kazumi; Kazuya's survival confirmed his worst fears. Heihachi then confronts Kazuya at the site of a volcano and the two clash. After a long struggle, Heihachi is finally killed when Kazuya damages his heart with a devil-powered punch to the chest; his body is subsequently thrown into a river of molten lava.
Other video games
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Revolution, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Project X Zone, and Project X Zone 2, Heihachi appears to have regressed back to his original appearance. Heihachi is seen with a full head of hair for the first time. According to his character profile on the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 website, this is because he drank a rejuvenation serum. Katsuhiro Harada also commented on Heihachi's new voice actor for the game as former voice actor Daisuke Gōri died in 2010.
Heihachi makes a brief appearance on the Tekken spin-off game Death by Degrees as an optional boss. He also makes an appearance as a playable guest character in the PS2 and HD Online versions of the fighting game Soulcalibur II, and as an unlockable narrator in Ridge Racer 6, one of the launch titles for Xbox 360. A Mii costume of Heihachi was added to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U through DLC. In an interview, Masahiro Sakurai said that he considered including Heihachi as a playable character, but would ultimately pass on the idea as it would have been too difficult to have a moveset for him in Super Smash Bros.
Heihachi is one of the bonus characters available to play as or against in Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis for the PlayStation (alongside fellow Namco characters) and is an unlockable character in Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2. He also makes guest appearances in the role-playing game Tales of the Abyss (as one of Anise's custom dolls) and in Pac-Man Fever (alongside several other Namco characters).
In the crossover tactical RPG Namco × Capcom Heihachi appears as one of playable characters representing the Namco universe. He also appears in the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken with Kuma as his official tag partner. Heihachi's younger incarnation appears as a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale with Kuma assisting him in one of his super attacks. He appears in the Capcom, Namco-Bandai and Sega crossover game Project X Zone initially as an enemy and later as an solo unit. He also appears in the sequel Project X Zone 2 as a solo unit.
In other media
Heihachi appears in both the anime Tekken: The Motion Picture, voiced by John Paul Shepard, and the 2009 film Tekken, Heihachi is portrayed by stuntman Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. In the former, he is the main villain, while in the latter, he is initially a villain but becomes a much more sympathetic and honorable character (similar to his father Jinpachi) than in the games, as he is willing to give his life to save Jin from the Tekken Corp soldiers. Tagawa reprised his role in the prequel Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge. He also appears as the main antagonist in the 2011 CGI animated film Tekken: Blood Vengeance, which is an alternate retelling of the events between Tekken 5 and Tekken 6. In it, he was supposedly killed by Kazuya four years ago, though in reality he is hiding and had conducted the M-cell experiment (taken from the Devil Gene) on a high school class to test immortality. However, all of the subjects died with the exception of Shin Kamiya, who managed to gain immortality as Heihachi desired. Heihachi is absent for most of the film until the climax, where he reveals that the experiment was just a ruse; he instead tries to take the Devil Gene from Kazuya and Jin, which gives its users increased power. After killing Shin, he fights Kazuya and Jin, awakening the Mokujin spirit for help, though he is ultimately defeated by Jin.
Tohru Fujisawa featured Heihachi as a cameo in his manga Great Teacher Onizuka, modeled after his younger appearance in Tekken. In it, he engages in an arm wrestling competition with protagonist Onizuka, shouting out controller inputs while the crowd shouts for him to "Do a combo!" Though Heihachi strains him for a moment, Onizuka defeats him, calling him "triangle head" as an insult. Heihachi cameos again in a later issue briefly, overseeing students as they clean graffiti from the school's walls. Heihachi also makes a cameo appearance in the Puchimas! Petit Petit Idolmaster ONA series. Heihachi appeared in One Minute Melee, a spin-off series of ScrewAttack's Death Battle, where he fought against Geese Howard from Fatal Fury. Near the end of the fight, Kuma appeared and he and Heihachi attacked and defeated Geese with cross-art style attack from Street Fighter X Tekken. Later, Heihachi tied Geese to a rocket and sent him into space, which is a reference to his Tekken 5 ending.
In 2006, Namco released a Heihachi figurine as part of a Tekken 5 set based upon his promotional artwork for the game. While not posable, the PVC figure came with equipable clothing items modeled after those in the game. A "statue" of Heihachi modeled after his Tekken 5 attire also appears in the Namco-themed lounge available for Japanese PlayStation Home users.
In 1996, Japanese magazine Gamest named Heihachi the 15th best character of the preceding year, and in December 1997 he placed 40th on their list of the best video game characters. Gaming Target listed him as the best Tekken character, citing his strength despite his age. IGN called him "...one grandpa you don't want to come across in the retirement home", citing his ruthlessness in their profile of him. GamePro in their preview of Soul Calibur II's console ports called Heihachi's appearance in the series a landmark both as the second Tekken character to appear in the titles and as the first unarmed fighter in the series. Complex ranked Heihachi as "The 24th Most Dominant Fighting Game Character", commenting "The King of the Iron Fist Tournament son". Complex also ranked Heihachi as the 7th best Tekken character, commenting "The old man who's responsible for everybody's misery, Heihachi just won't be killed. The same cite also named Heihachi's Tekken 2 ending as one of the craziest moments in the Tekken series, and also listed him as having one of the best mustaches in video games. Computer and Video Games also listed him as one of the angriest gaming characters as a result of his actions towards Kazuya made to eliminate his weakness. GamingBolt ranked Heihachi as the "89th greatest video game villain of all time" and for having the "5th best mustaches in video games". GameSpot named him one of the top ten villains in video games at number three, describing him as one of the most interesting villains in fighting games and adding comments on his little changed design across the series. In PS2Planet's "Top 5 PSOne Villains", Heihachi was third with comments on him being the most realistic villain because of the themes the character touches. He was listed as the 78th "most dastardly ne'er-do-wells" villains on video game by GamesRadar. GamesRadar listed Heihachi as the 3rd "Top badass old folk", with comments focused on his role within the story. GamesRadar also ranked Heihachi's guest appearance in Soul Calibur II as the "40th awesome character cameo". The same site also named him as the "3rd gaming's richest jerk", for having the "10th most impractical hairstyle in gaming", "3rd gaming's most sinister mustaches" and as the "3rd gaming hero you didn't realize was dead the whole time". On the other hand, Arcade Sushi named Heihachi for his appearance in Soul Calibur as one of the "worst fighting game guest stars". Edge described him as "a legendary fighting game villain", and cited the impact of his supposed death in Tekken 5. WhatCulture named him as the "9th Most Memorable Video Game Boss Of All Time", stating "Heihachi is one slippery fish, and despite constantly finding himself in situations where his extended family wants to kill him a thousand times over, always manages to come out on top. He's basically un-killable, and his Goju-Ryu moveset is the bomb." Peter Austin from WhatCulture named Heihachi the "7th Greatest Tekken Character of All Time".
GameDaily named his hairstyle one of the weirdest in gaming, stating "Heihachi Mishima is a tough old bird, and he's got the wings to show for it." His younger appearance in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 resulted in surprising reactions by critics who mainly pointed his hair. Both Kotaku and Game Informer have labelled him as one of the worst parents in video game history because of how he treats his relatives Kazuya and Jin. In 2012, he was listed as one of the most "ridiculous" Tekken characters by Game Informer, who said "Now that he's young again, his hair, eyebrows, and moustache all line up in a series of inverted Vs. Does he seriously think that looks cool? Apparently Heihachi's cure for old age couldn't turn back the clock on his dementia". Den of Geek ranked Heihachi as the 9th best fighting game character, adding "The grand dame of the Tekken series, Mr Mishima Senior is one of only a handful of characters to have appeared in each of the main entries in Namco's legendary brawler." Mashable placed Heihachi 7th in their list "17 Video Game Characters With Amazing Facial Hair", adding "His twin peaks of hair aren't losing him points either." FHM placed Heihachi's hairstyle among the "10 wtf hairstyles in videogames no sane man should get", adding "The hairstyle is a futile attempt to look badass when your panot genes get the best of you, and when Rogaine would no longer work."
In a GamesRadar article by Michael Grimm, a fight between Heihachi and M. Bison was written as one of the ones players wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken because of their two similarities such as being their franchises' villains and other characteristics. Now Gamer listed Heihachi and Gen as one of the rivalries they want to see in Street Fighter X Tekken. FHM listed Heihachi and M. Bison as one of the "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken, adding "These dudes fight like a boss. M. Bison with his fancy psychic techniques and megalomaniac tendencies, and Heihachi with his old-man grit, and constant teeth-grinding ruthlessness". PlayStation Official Magazine ranked Heihachi as the "best tag team finisher" in Street Fighter X Tekken, adding "Thanks then, Heihachi, for your mega-satisfying Super Art." In GamesRadar article for Street Fighter X Tekken, they stated "Father of Kazuya, grandfather to Jin, and son of Jinpachi, Heihachi is the cause of much of the pain in the Tekken series." In 2013, Topless Robot ranked Heihachi as "The 2nd Most Diabolical Boss From Classic Fighting Games", adding "How many were sinister enough to toss their own flesh and blood into a volcano? And on multiple occasions?!" In 2014, What Culture ranked him as the 8th greatest character in fighting games, calling him "one of the most iconic and important characters in the Tekken series, and even hardcore fans may have lost track of how many times he has died and come back to life." PlayStation Universe included Heihachi and Kazuya among the top 5 rival pairs in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, commenting "Kaz and Heihachi are powerhouses and, as practitioners of Mishima-style Karate, make for a near-unstoppable Tag Team in the right hands." Shinkan Crossing ranked Heihachi as the "2nd toughest Tekken character" where they commented on his feats and concluded "He gets props for being the only Mishima to not have the devil gene and be just as powerful. What a badass." In 2015, Gamer Headlines named Heihachi the "2nd top over 50 video game character in gaming", stating "Heihachi lands here at number 2 because of just how freakishly powerful he is as well as how resilient he is. Heihachi may have obsessed about getting the Devil-gene for himself but obviously doesn’t need it." WatchMojo ranked Heihachi (alongside Jin) as the "5th best fighting game character", as the "3rd best fighting game boss", and as the "7th top Tekken character", adding "Don’t be fooled by this guy’s age—he’s still one badass fighter. His powerful punches and kicks are always to be feared, and his twin tufts of hair never cease to amaze." In the official poll by Namco, Heihachi is currently ranked as the 24th most requested Tekken character to be playable in Tekken X Street Fighter, at 6.12% of votes.
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