Lars Alexandersson in Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion
|First game||Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion (2008)|
|Designed by||Ninnin (Tekken 7)|
|Voiced by (English)||Zach Hanks (Street Fighter X Tekken)|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Junichi Suwabe|
|Portrayed by||Jonathan Henry (Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Live-Action Short Film)|
|Fighting style||Karate (based on Shorinji Kempo) in Tekken Tag Tournament 2|
|Occupation||Former Tekken Force Officer
Lars Alexandersson (Japanese: ラース・アレクサンダーソン Hepburn: Rāsu Arekusandāson?) is a video game character from the Tekken fighting game series developed by Namco Bandai. Introduced in Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion as the new protagonist. Lars appears as a member from the Tekken Force military unit confronting the Mishima Zaibatsu that started a war. During the game, Lars is revealed to be the illegitimate son of Heihachi Mishima, the former leader from Mishima Zaibatsu and goes to confront the current one, Heihachi's grandson Jin Kazama.
Lars also appears in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, a video game based on a series whose author was in charge of designing Lars' alternate outfit. Lars has gained positive to mixed reviews among video game critics who had often commented on his personality and also praise his appealing fighting style, but criticizing his design to the point of finding it ridiculous.
Following Jin Kazama's victory at the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5, the Mishima Zaibatsu started a war against the world, with Jin at the helm. The rise of the G Corporation opposition resulted in a global trail of carnage. In the fray, a large portion of the Zaibatsu's special military unit, the Tekken Force, defected from the organization. Lars Alexandersson led the coup d'état and became a ranking officer in the Tekken Force at a fairly young age due, in part, to his renowned physical and mental ability. Despite this high rank, Lars often fought on the front lines, which made him quite popular among his subordinates. Only he knew the fact that he drew the Mishima bloodline through his father, Heihachi, the latter of whom is even unaware of this. Lars' fighting style is heavily based on the Japanese martial art known as Shorinji Kempo.
In the console versions of Tekken 6, and more specifically in the story-driven Scenario Campaign within, Lars is made the central character. After an infiltration of a Mishima Zaibatsu-run laboratory goes awry and a series of Jack robots overwhelm Lars' rebel squadron, Lars is left with no memory and begins to seek out his true purpose. Joined by an activated Alisa Bosconovitch, he crosses the world trying to grasp his identity. Along the way he meets a lieutenant in his rebel Tekken Force army who tries to enlist him to help the cause once more. Lars' memory is restored upon encountering Heihachi Mishima at his compound, at which point he also rediscovers his purpose. He resumes his role as the leader of the rebel Tekken Force army and infiltrates both G Corporation and eventually the Mishima Zaibatsu itself where he encounters Kazuya and Jin respectively. Before he is able to fight Jin at the Zaibatsu headquarters, it is revealed that Alisa has been acting as Jin's surveillance unit and has been monitoring Lars' movements around the world. He commands Alisa to attack Lars, to which she unwillingly complies as per her programming. After a fight with Lars, Alisa leaves to join Jin. At this point, Raven offers to accompany Lars and together the two pursue Jin into the desert where he intends to awaken the ancient beast "Azazel". At Azazel's Temple, Raven and Lars collectively defeat the newly awoken Azazel and encounter Alisa and Jin one more time. Lars disables Alisa and engages Jin in battle but before he is able to finish his fight, Azazel reappears and Jin turns his attention to the monster. Jin destroys Azazel (seemingly at the cost of his own life) and Lars' mission is completed. He brings the disabled Alisa to Lee Chaolan, who offers to restore her. After leaving Alisa with Lee and parting company with Raven, Lars gets a call summoning him for a new mission.
Lars also appears in the spinoff games Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, and Tekken Revolution. Outside Tekken, he is also featured as a playable character in the fighting game, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and in his alternate Tekken 6 costume designed by Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto. He appears as a playable character via downloadable content in Street Fighter X Tekken, with his official tag partner, Alisa. Lars appears in the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 live-action short film portrayed by Jonathan Henry. Lars also appears in Tekken Comic, a manga based on Tekken 6.
Creation and design
In contrast to other Tekken 6 debuting characters that were based on fans' suggestion, both Lars and Alisa were created with a different approach. Lars was developed to be a character that veteran Tekken gamers would find new. Additionally, his motions and moves were made so that players could develop various strategies at the time of using him. The storyline from Tekken 6 was also made to focus on Lars' mysterious identity and intentions of an encounter against Jin Kazama. Katsuhiro Harada stated that Lars' techniques were made so that they could easily overpower his opponents as well as to counterattack them when the player is facing a difficulty using him. As with several Tekken 6 characters, Lars was given an alternate outifit designed by a manga artist. His outfit was designed by Masashi Kishimoto, author of Naruto.
Critical reception to Lars' character has often been mixed with several writers commenting on the character's outfit. IGN's Ryan Clements found Lars appealing commenting on his "badass nature" as well as his movesets which were often punches aimed at the opponent's face. Additionally, the accessories that became to available to Lars were noted to make the him more likable to the point of commenting "I don't think you realize how badass this guy [Lars] is." On the other hand, writers from GameSpy labelled Lars as "Captain Ridiculous" owing to his "absurd" looking design which they found similar to Michael Jackson. Nevertheless, he liked his gameplay mechanics as it made him a fast character and allowed to torture the opponent. GameSpot's Justin Calvert found him similar to Jin Kazama and commented that "the only thing remarkable about him on this occasion was his gravity-defying hair style." Writing for 1UP.com, Shane Bettenhausen also praised Lars' moves mentioning their balance between speed and strength. However, like other reviewers, Bettenhausen considered the character's appearance ridiculous comparing him with Final Fantasy protagonists despite his integral role in the story. While also calling Lars similar to a Final Fantasy character, Bryce McDonough from IGN AU stated he was "ridiculously strong" joking it was better not to make fun of him. Jeff Gerstmann from GiantBomb considered his actions in the plot "pretty dull" and concluded that his leading role from the story mode was "sloppy" since while players were able to choose any character to play with, Lars was always the focus following fights. His moves were also compared with the Mishima characters by Videogamer.com's Wesley Yin-Poole, yet at the some less effective. Yin-Poole often called Lars "the emo", but added that his hairstyle and cape are "classic Tekken." Within the debuting Tekken 6 characters, GameZone found him as the most challenging one as his moves would require a skilled player. Nelson Hum of GameFocus called Lars a "dud" and "Dragon Ball reject". In GamesRadar article for Street FIghter X Tekken, they stated "As former heroes of Tekken like Jin and Kazuya gave in to their darker impulses, Lars rose through the ranks to fight for good."
Lars' addition to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 has receive mostly positive comments. Kotaku's Mike Fahey liked it as it helped to expand the game's roster, but thought others characters from the Tekken series would be more suitable than Lars. A similar comments was made by Tyler Nagata, a writer from GamesRadar, who found Lars' alternate design to resemble Naruto's character Sasuke Uchiha despite not suffering changes for the game. Jamin Smith from Videogamer called it a "strange crossover", but still noted that fighting games fans would appreciate his appearance in the game.
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