Tekken series logo as of 2012
Bandai Namco Studios
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment
|Platform of origin||Arcade/PlayStation|
|Latest release||Tekken 7: Fated Retribution
|Spin-offs||Live-action and animated films, comics|
Tekken (Japanese: 鉄拳?, "Iron Fist") is a fighting game franchise created, developed, and published by Namco (later Bandai Namco Entertainment). Beginning with the original Tekken in 1994, the series has received several sequels as well as updates and spin-off titles. Tekken was one of the first fighting games at the time to use 3D animation. The series has also been adapted into three films and other media. The series' official English name is always written in all-capital letters (TEKKEN, abbreviated to TK). There are six main installments to the series, one installment having an updated version that also made a home release, two non-canonical installments, and a seventh mainline game in the works.
The premise of each game in the main series documents the events of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, hosted by the Mishima Zaibatsu corporation. The prize is typically control of the company, which then allows the winner to host the following tournament. After beating the game with each character, an ending cutscene is unlocked and usually one of the endings from each game becomes the continuation of the story into the following installment. The story has largely revolved around the Mishima clan curse, which began narratively with Heihachi Mishima throwing his son Kazuya Mishima from a cliff when he was 5 years old. Kazuya was nearly killed from the fall, but through the influence of the "Devil Gene" he survived and swore revenge to his father by the time of the King of Iron Fist Tournament.
The second game and its sequel were considered breakthrough titles and among the greatest games of all time, the latter also being the second best selling fighting game to date. The series itself is the best selling fighting game franchise in history.
- 1 Games
- 1.1 1994–98: PlayStation trilogy
- 1.2 1999–2005
- 1.3 2006–12
- 1.4 2013–present
- 1.5 Spin-off and crossover games
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Characters
- 4 Adaptations
- 5 Reception
- 6 Legacy
- 7 References
- 8 External links
All major installments of the series are originally arcade games, and the boards used to run them have traditionally been based on PlayStation hardware. Following their release in arcades, home releases in the series have mainly been for consoles in the PlayStation line.
|Year||Title||Arcade board||Home release|
|1994||Tekken[a][b]||Namco System 11||PlayStation|
|1997||Tekken 3[a]||Namco System 12|
|2000||Tekken Tag Tournament[e]||PlayStation 2|
|2001||Tekken 4||Namco System 246|
|2004||Tekken 5||Namco System 256|
|2005||Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection[f]||PlayStation Portable|
|2007||Tekken 6[g]||Namco System 357||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|2011||Tekken Tag Tournament 2||Namco System 369||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U|
|2015||Tekken 7||Namco System ES3||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
1994–98: PlayStation trilogy
The first game in the series, Tekken, was released in 1994, first as an arcade game and then as a port for the PlayStation in 1995. The game featured eight playable characters, each with its own sub-boss and stage and theme. The PlayStation version featured remixes of the characters' themes, and also made the sub-bosses playable for a total of eighteen characters, including a costume swap for Kazuya (Devil Kazuya). In addition, a cutscene was unlocked when the player finishes arcade mode with each of the original eight characters. The canon ending of the game consisted of Kazuya exacting revenge on his father Heihachi Mishima, beating him in the tournament and tossing him off the same cliff that he was thrown off by Heihachi.
Tekken 2 was released in 1995 in arcades and in 1996 for the PlayStation. A port was also made several years later for Zeebo. There were ten playable characters as well as fifteen to unlock, for a total of twenty-five characters. The home version featured four new modes that would become staples to the series, which were Survival, Team Battle, Time Attack, and Practice. The game once again featured remixes of the arcade versions' characters' themes, and a cutscene unlocked once the player completes the arcade mode. The canon ending of this game consisted of Heihachi surviving the fall, entering the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 and defeating Kazuya, throwing him into an erupting volcano and reclaiming the Mishima Zaibatsu. During the events of the second King of Iron First Tournament, Kazuya fell in love with Jun Kazama.
Tekken 3 was released in arcades and for the PlayStation in 1997 and 1998, respectively. The game largely featured a new cast of characters, including the debut of staple main character Jin Kazama, the love child of Kazuya and Jun, as well as now-staple characters Ling Xiaoyu and Hwoarang, with a total of twenty-three characters. The home version included a new mode called Tekken Force, as well as the bonus Tekken Ball mode, and also included remixes to the characters' themes from the arcade version. The canon ending of Tekken 3 consisted of Paul Phoenix defeating Ogre, then leaving believing himself to be victorious, only to have Ogre transform into True Ogre. Jin Kazama then faces True Ogre and defeats him, avenging his mother. However, Heihachi, Jin's grandfather, shoots Jin, leaving him for dead. However, Jin survives, being revived by the Devil Gene he inherited from his father.
Tekken Tag Tournament
Tekken Tag Tournament was the next installment, released in 1999 in arcades and as a Launch title for the PlayStation 2 in 2000. Although the game was non-canonical to the storyline, it was considered a major entry to the franchise. In contrast to previous titles, Tekken Tag Tournament features tag battles and included almost all of the Tekken characters in the series up until that point in time, for a total of 34 characters. The game ran on the same arcade board as Tekken 3, and thus saw major graphical upgrades when ported to the PlayStation 2. The home version once more featured remixes of the characters' themes from the arcade version, and also featured a bonus Tekken Bowl mode. A remastered version of the game, Tekken Tag Tournament HD, was included in the 2011 collection Tekken Hybrid, which also contained a playable demo of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and the film Tekken: Blood Vengeance.
Tekken 4 is the fifth installment and the next canon game in the series, released in 2001 in arcades and 2002 for the PlayStation 2. Placing distinction on the story, the home version included a new Story mode which would unlock cutscenes when played, in contrast to previous installments in which such cutscenes were unlocked from playing the Arcade Mode. The game also harbored many gameplay revisions, including the ability for the player to move about before the round begins, as well as walled-stages. For the first time, the themes used in the arcade mode were the same ones put into the home version. There were 23 characters to choose from. The story revealed that Kazuya survived the fall into the volcano from 20 years prior, and enters the King of Iron First Tournament 4 to take back the Mishima Zaibatsu. In the canon ending, Kazuya loses to Heihachi and then his son Jin, and Jin defeats Heihachi afterwards, transforms into his Devil form, but refrains from executing Heihachi from seeing a vision of his mother, despite his desires to do so.
Tekken 5 was released in arcades in 2004 in arcades and 2005 for the PlayStation 2, with a remarkably short period of time of transition from arcade to PlayStation, of two months in North America and four months in Japan. There were 32 characters to choose from, including for the first time, Devil Jin. Most of the characters who were removed from Tekken 3 would return in Tekken 5. The home version included a mode known as Devil Within, a variant of the Tekken Force mode introduced in Tekken 3. In the canon ending, Jin Kazama defeats his great-grandfather Jinpachi Mishima (who took over the Mishima Zaibatsu shortly after the ending events of Tekken 4), and inherits the Mishima Zaibatsu.
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Although Tekken games normally sometimes saw updates to the arcade versions, Tekken 5 was the first installment in the series that saw a revision significant enough that it saw a retitle, which was Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection in 2005. The game was ported to the PlayStation Portable in 2006 and featured two new characters, Emilie "Lili" De Rochefort and Sergei Dragunov. The game also introduced a ranking system to the series. The home version featured new modes, such as Ghost Mode, Tekken Dojo Mode, and the two bonus modes, Gold Rush mode, and a revised version of the Tekken Bowl mode introduced in Tekken Tag Tournament. The Devil Within mode from the PlayStation 2 version however, was absent. Namco Bandai saw the fan demand for a console version and a port for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network was released in 2007, in full 1080p HD. The PlayStation 3 version also saw an update and was retitled Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection ONLINE marking the first time in the series that online play was featured. The PlayStation 3 version also made Jinpachi Mishima playable (but not online).
Tekken 6 was originally released in arcades in 2007, followed by an updated version in 2008 titled Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion. The home version was based on Bloodline Rebellion and was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, marking the first time in the series that a game was multiplatform. The game featured a Scenario Campaign mode, which follows gameplay from previous Tekken Force modes, which was playable online alongside standard versus. In the Scenario Campaign ending, after being defeated by Heihachi's illegitimate son Lars Alexandersson (who suffered amnesia at one point during the Scenario Campaign), Jin Kazama is revealed to have wreaked havoc and waged war on the world to fill it with negative energy and generate a physical manifestation of Azazel, so that he himself can face and kill him. After the battle, Jin's body is found by Raven.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was released in Japanese arcades in 2011. Its console version was released the next year and is based on the updated arcade version called Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Unlimited that contained new features. The Wii U version which serves as a launch title for the console included a revised version of the Tekken Ball mode from Tekken 3.
In early 2014, Harada expressed interest in continuing the series on PlayStation 4. Tekken 7 was released in Japanese and Korean arcades in 2015. It is the first game in the series to be powered by Unreal Engine 4. The game will receive an update, subtitled, Fated Retribution, which will feature the series' second guest character: Akuma from the Street Fighter franchise by Capcom. The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows versions will be based on this version, and will be released in early 2017.
Spin-off and crossover games
Tekken 3 was also ported to the Game Boy Advance as Tekken Advance in 2001. Tekken 6-based Tekken 3D: Prime Edition was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012. A free to play version of Tekken was released in 2013 for PSN as Tekken Revolution. Tekken Card Challenge was released on the WonderSwan, a Japan-exclusive handheld, in 1999. A spin-off action adventure game featuring series' character Nina Williams as the protagonist, Death by Degrees, released for the PS2 in 2005. Two mobile Tekken spin-off games were released in 2011: a 2D fighting game Tekken Resolute, which was the first game not to include Heihachi Mishima, and Tekken Bowl, the bowling mini-game from Tekken Tag Tournament, for the iOS operating system. Tekken Bowl was first game not to include Yoshimitsu, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, or King. In 2013, a third mobile game titled Tekken Card Tournament was released by Namco Bandai to the App Store for iOS and Google Play Store on Android. It is currently in public beta status, featuring virtual cards, an in-game store to buy booster packs, and online tournaments. Namco Bandai also plans to release real world cards that have QR codes to upgrade the virtual cards and unlock new characters. That same year, Namco Bandai also released Tekken Arena to the Google Play Store on Android.
Namco and Capcom agreed to create crossover games of the Tekken and Street Fighter franchises. In 2012, Street Fighter X Tekken was released, followed by Tekken X Street Fighter (in development as of 2013[update]). The former game was developed by Capcom and includes 2D gameplay mechanics as seen in Street Fighter IV, whereas the latter game will be developed by Namco and will include the gameplay mechanics from Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Pokkén Tournament was announced in August 2014 (Released in Japan for Arcade in 2015, and worldwide for the Wii U in 2016) featuring characters from Nintendo's Pokémon franchise such as Pikachu, Lucario, Gardevoir, Mewtwo, etc. In 2015, Bandai Namco Entertainment released Galaga: TEKKEN Edition for the Android on the Google Play Store.
As with many fighting games, players choose a character from a lineup and engage in hand-to-hand combat with an opponent. 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 of the four limbs of the fighter. The gameplay system includes blocks, throws, escapes, and ground fighting.
In the original Tekken, players could only block attacks manually. From then on, starting with Tekken 2, characters automatically block while not moving forward or performing actions, a feature called "neutral guard." Standing or retreating characters will block high and middle attacks with no input from the player, while crouching characters will duck high attacks and block low ones. Normal middle attacks will hit crouching players, but some special mid-attacks can be blocked by both stand and crouching neutral guards. Meanwhile, pressing backwards will give the player an "active guard" that can withstand certain combo attacks that would normally penetrate the neutral guard. Some characters are equipped with parries and reversals that act like traditional "press button to block" systems.
Tekken 3 introduced several gameplay possibilities that were retained in later games, including the ability to sidestep into the foreground or background. Tekken 3 and later games also reduced recovery time after being knocked down and gave characters rolls to recover instantly after hitting the ground, allowing the player to get back into the fight more quickly at the risk of being hit while rolling. Tekken 4 gave characters even greater mobility by adding true 3D movement inside geometrically complex arenas with uneven ground, obstacles, and walls. The 3D gameplay allows damaging side and back throws as a reward for outmaneuvering the opponent, as well as evasive attacks that develop directly from a sidestep.
Tekken 5 saw a combination of walled and infinite arenas, while discarding uneven ground. Tekken 6 retains much of the design from Tekken 5 but also includes a "Rage" mode, which activates when a character is near the end of his vitality bar and earns a damage multiplier. "Bound" hits were also added, in which a player connected with an airborne opponent will place him in an inescapable grounded state, allowing combo extensions. Tekken 6 also has destructible floors and walls that allow the fighters to blast through to new fighting areas when broken. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 retains these elements while also adding a new kind of stage break ("balcony breaks", which is a combination of floor and wall breaks where characters will go through a breakable wall and fall to a lower level in the same sequence). Tag 2 specific features include Tag Assaults (cooperative combos triggered by hitting a Bound and a tag at the same time) and Tag Crashes (an emergency tag occurring when downed and the partner is currently in Rage).
Tekken 7 introduces some movement changes to the Tekken formula. The back walk animation is now similar to Tekken Revolution, featuring a more fluid movement away from the opponent as opposed to a slower shuffle. Regular back rolling from a grounded state has been removed and instead replaced with a new rising animation and performing a "ankle kick" (kicking the standing opponent while laying face up on the ground) is now accompanied by a new back roll to help create separation. Balcony breaks from Tag Tournament 2 are present and function similarly to how they did in solo play. New features include "Power Crushes" (an attack that cannot be interrupted by regular attacks once the animation has begun) and "Rage Arts" (attacks that can only be used when your character has hit a Raged state near the end of their vitality meter, sacrificing the Rage mode to perform the attack). Bound has been mostly removed save for specific situations (certain moves can cause a Bound if not comboed into and all low parries will cause a Bound effect, similar to Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion; floor breaks now result in an effect similar to a Tag Assault in Tag 2 rather than a standard Bound) and instead characters now have more frequent access to an "Aerial Tailspin" effect (an attack that throws an opponent backwards onto their head as opposed to straight downwards, although it is still inescapable once triggered which means the combo can continue).
Players can choose from a diverse cast that hails from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and fighting styles. A few characters have supernatural origin, such as Devil, Angel, Mokujin, Ogre and Azazel, while animal characters like Kuma, Panda, the Roger family, and Alex provide comic relief. In the story mode of the game, each character generally has their own personal reasons for entering the tournament and competing for the prize.
So far, only four characters have appeared in all main Tekken games: Yoshimitsu, Heihachi Mishima, Nina Williams and Paul Phoenix. The Jack cyborgs and Kazuya Mishima appeared in eight installments (though Kazuya did make a cameo in the third game). Other recurring characters includes Anna Williams, Lee Chaolan, Lei Wulong, Marshall Law, and King. In fact, all nine games feature Law and King style fighters, even if they were represented by different characters (i.e. Marshal vs. Forest Law and King vs. King II).
Characters with background connections in the story typically have styles or moves in common. For example, Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima, by virtues of familial connection and studying under the same Advanced Mishima Style Fighting Karate discipline, have very similar moves and a signature "crouch dash" stance for pretty much their entire appearances in the series. Jin Kazama, when he debuted, also had the same Mishima fighting style, though he mixed this with Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts as practiced by his mother, Jun Kazama. For storyline reasons, starting on Tekken 4, he forwent this in favor of Traditional Karate, a completely different discipline that technically made him an entirely different character, while his old movelist was given to his demonic form, Devil Jin. Meanwhile, there are some characters who were formerly clones of each other before they diverged and gained unique moves, such as Lee Chaolan (a clone of Marshall Law), Anna Williams (a clone of her sister, Nina), and Armor King (a clone of King). Still further, there are also characters who are replacements or "successors" of older characters; this happened principally in Tekken 3 due to the significant time skip, though some older characters later returned alongside their successors anyway. Examples include Julia Chang (replacing her mother, Michelle), Hwoarang (replacing his mentor, Baek Doo San, who later returned), and, as mentioned above, Jin Kazama (replacing both of his parents, Kazuya and Jun, the former of whom later returned, while the latter was replaced by Asuka Kazama).
Some Tekken characters have been featured as guest characters in other video games, such as Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis, Digimon World Re:Digitize, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, Pac-Man Fever, Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2, Soulcalibur II, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Ridge Racer 6 and Urban Reign, as well as in some crossover role-playing video games, including Cross Edge, Namco × Capcom, Project X Zone, Project X Zone 2, and Queen's Gate: Spiral Chaos.
Tekken: The Motion Picture, a two-part OVA anime series, was released in Japan in 1998. It was developed by Studio Deen and directed by Kunihisa Sugishima. Its story follows Kazuya Mishima's revenge against his father Heihachi in the King of Iron Fist Tournament.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance, a full-length CGI-animated film in Digital 3D directed by Youichi Mouri, premiered in the United States in 2011 and was released in Japan two months later that same year. Digital Frontier developed and Bandai Entertainment distributed the film. Blood Vengeance is an alternate retelling between the events of Tekken 5 and Tekken 6. It was released in Japan in December 2011 as a part of the Tekken Hybrid collection.
Tekken, a live-action film directed by Dwight H. Little and starring Jon Foo, Ian Anthony Dale and Kelly Overton. It was released at the AFI Film Festival on November 5, 2009 and in Japan on March 20, 2010 through Warner Bros.. The film focuses on Jin Kazama who enters into the King of Iron Fist Tournament after his mother's death. Katsuhiro Harada, director of the Tekken video game series, has panned the film. A prequel to the 2009 film titled Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge was released direct-to-DVD on August 12, 2014. It is directed by Wych Kaosayananda and stars Kane Kosugi and Kelly Wenham, with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Gary Daniels returning from the first film. Variety reports that Paul Stevens will produce a Tekken remake with China's company Financing City Network.
There have been five printed adaptations of the Tekken games. Knightstone Comics published both Tekken Saga and Tekken 2, released in October 1997 and September 1998 respectively. Both comics were written by John Kim and illustrated by Walter McDaniel. Tekken Forever, a comic book by Dave Chi, illustrated by Paco Diaz, and published by Image Comics in December 2001, features a story that focused on the Kazama family and also the Unknown character from Tekken Tag Tournament. Tekken: Tatakai no Kanatani (鉄拳：戦いの彼方に?, lit. "Tekken: The Other Side of Battle") is a manga written by Keiichi Suzuki and published by Shogakukan, which was collected in two tankōbon volumes with the first one on December 5, 2000 and the second one on April 5, 2001. Tekken Comic is a manga illustrated by Rui Takato and published by Ultra Egg Jump in 2009. Although the story leads up to the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6, it is non-canonical to the main video game series.
|Tekken Tag Tournament||85%||85|
|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection||(PSP) 89%
|Tekken 6||(PSP) 83%
|Tekken Tag Tournament 2||(PS3) 82%
(Wii U) 83%
(Wii U) 83
Critical reception to the games has been positive with, the series peaking in 1997 with Tekken 3 receiving an average of 96% at Metacritic and GameRankings, and to this day considered one of the greatest fighting games of all time.
Developers of non-Tekken games have commented on the series in various ways. Ed Boon, the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, revealed in one of his interviews with GamePro that his favorite fighting game out of his competitors is Tekken. Both Sega and Namco have shown interest in a possible crossover between Virtua Fighter and Tekken, which came in the form of Project X Zone and its sequel for the 3DS. The series has often been labelled as a "rival" to Virtua Fighter as the two became the most famous 3D fighting game series. On the other hand, Tomonobu Itagaki, designer of the Dead or Alive series, expressed dislike for the Tekken franchise to the point of placing it as one of his most hated games.
In 2012, Complex ranked Tekken at number 11 on the list of the best video game franchises, commenting: "Just when we thought that the Street Fighter franchise was going to be the epitome of fighting games, Tekken came to make it share its portion of the knuckle-busting pie. Tekken has cult-like fans who live and breathe the moves and storylines."
As of March 2015, the Tekken franchise sold 44 million units of games, with a large portion of sales achieved while being exclusive to the PlayStation series of consoles. Tekken 3, which is critically the most successful in the series, is also the most successful commercially as well, having sold 8.3 million copies to date, with 1.4 million in Japan. Tekken 3 is the second best selling fighting game of all time, just behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Since the series has a long history of being exclusive to PlayStation along with the arcade cabinets running on PlayStation hardware, Tekken has been associated closely with the PlayStation brand. Katsuhiro Harada has stated that PlayStation remains the main platform of development for Tekken. Tekken has been featured in several retrospective PlayStation videos on YouTube.
The first game in the series was the first PlayStation game to sell over a million units, which earned it a Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition award in 2008, among other awards including "First Fighting Game To Feature Simulated 3D", and a record for the entire series, "The Best Selling Fighting Series for PlayStation Consoles." Tekken Tag Tournament was one of the most popular launch titles for the PlayStation 2.
Soulcalibur II, a game also developed by Namco, featured exclusive characters for different console versions and found Heihachi Mishima, a character that has been in all Tekken games and the protagonist of Tekken 2, exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version. He was also playable in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and is Harada's favorite character in the series. Jin Kazama, the protagonist of the series, is often recognized as a PlayStation mascot.
Tekken 7 's PlayStation 4 announcement trailer featured a retrospective celebration of "20 Years of Tekken ".
In May 2012, Namco Bandai opened Tekken Museum in Osaka, Japan. The museum showcases goods, action figures, artworks, life-size statues of Tekken characters, and various merchandise. The items on display will be rotated regularly so that the museum is worth multiple visits, but the admission is free. Namco held a grand opening on May 26, 2012 which featured a tournament for visitors.
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