Tekken (video game)
Cover of North American PlayStation version
Shinji Hosoe (PS1)
|Arcade system||Namco System 11|
|CPU||PSX CPU @ 16.9344 MHz,
Hitachi H8/3002 @ 16.384 MHz
|Display||Horizontal orientation, Raster, 640 x 480 resolution|
Tekken is a fighting video game developed and published by Namco. It was released in arcades in December 1994 and on the PlayStation in 1995. It was the first entry in the popular Tekken series, succeeded by Tekken 2 in August 1995. The arcade game features eight playable characters, while the PlayStation version features 17 playable characters in the roster.
As with many fighting games, players choose a character from a lineup, and engage in hand-to-hand combat with an opponent. Unlike most fighting games of the time, Tekken allows the player to control each of the fighter's four limbs independently. The player can 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 are 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 time limit for the round expires, the character with more health remaining will be declared the winner; if one does not exist, the round will be a draw.
In the game, the name of the location is displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. Unlike in the sequels, the locations were all representations of real places and included Chicago (USA), Windermere (Great Britain), Monument Valley (USA), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Szechwan (China), Kyoto (Japan), Fiji (Fiji), Venezia (Italy), Acropolis (Greece), King George Island (Antarctica), and Chiba Marine Stadium (Japan).
The original arcade version has eight characters available by default. Each character (Jack, Kazuya Mishima, King I, Marshall Law, Michelle Chang, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, and Yoshimitsu) has a "sub-boss", a special character that is fought on Stage 8. The sub-bosses (Anna Williams, Armor King I, Devil Kazuya, Ganryu, Heihachi Mishima, Kuma I, Kunimitsu, Lee Chaolan, Prototype Jack, and Wang Jinrei) were clones in term of movesets, generally sharing the same moveset as the original character with few exclusive attacks. Heihachi Mishima, the main antagonist, serves as the final boss for the game.
All sub-bosses and Heihachi are not playable in the original arcade version. When the game was ported to PlayStation, all sub-bosses and Heihachi were made unlockable. Kazuya's alter-ego, Devil, who is Heihachi's final boss, was made available as an unlockable costume for Kazuya by completing the Galaga-based minigame, for a total of 17 playable characters. A cutscene is unlocked when the player finishes the home version's arcade mode with each of the original eight characters.
When Kazuya Mishima is five years old, his father Heihachi Mishima, after he killed his mother, carries him to the top of a mountain and callously throws him off a cliff to test his son's strength, whether he is fit to lead the Mishima Zaibatsu, the family business, and to see if he will be able to climb back up the same cliff. Kazuya survives the initial fall, but left a large scar on his chest which causes a demonic entity within him called the Devil Gene to activate, offering Kazuya the opportunity to gain immense strength and power. Driven by his thirst for revenge, he climbs up the mountainside. To further motivate Kazuya, Heihachi adopts the Chinese orphan Lee Chaolan and raises him as a rival to his true son.
Over the years, Kazuya travels around the world and competes in martial arts championships, becoming an undefeated champion, with the only blemish on his record being a draw against Paul Phoenix, an American martial artist. Twenty five years later, Heihachi decides to test his son's strength and worth and announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament in which the two would meet in the finals. However, Heihachi is unexpectedly defeated by Kazuya, empowered by the strength given to him by the Devil, in an intense father-son battle. In an act of revenge, Kazuya picks up his father's unconscious body and tosses him down the same cliff that he was thrown off as a child. Smiling to himself, Kazuya becomes the owner of the Mishima Zaibatsu.
Development and release
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. The game was originally going to be titled Rave War, but in its final stages of development it was changed to Tekken.
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. It was the first arcade game to use this board. 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.
Originally released for the arcades in late 1994, Tekken was later ported to the PlayStation. The console version allowed players to unlock mid-boss characters when the game was beaten and had FMVs. 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.
Tekken was very well received by game critics. On release of the PlayStation version, Famicom Tsūshin (Famitsu) scored Tekken a 38 out of 40, giving it an 8 out of 10 in their Reader Cross Review. Edge opined that, despite "lacking the overall visual allure" of Virtua Fighter 2, Tekken "not only matches" the "style and quality of Sega’s character animation, but it pushes its rival to the wire in playability terms, too." GamePro called the PlayStation version "one of the best arcade-to-home translations ever" and commented that while the graphics look rough and blocky compared to Battle Arena Toshinden, the moves all have a clear and definite usefulness. They also praised the absence of ring-outs and the sound effects, and concluded "With impressive controls, lots of fighters, and strategic gameplay, Tekken makes Toshinden look more like pretty fighting than a real fight." Maximum called it "far and away the finest beat 'em up to grace this super console so far", citing the well-balanced player characters, "innovative" control mechanic of assigning one button to each limb, complexity of the moves, and ten playable boss characters, and arguing that the game is superior to Toshinden in both gameplay and graphics. However, they did criticize the poor PAL optimization of the European release. Like GamePro, Next Generation considered the game's graphics to be its weakest point, specifically the lack of animation on the backgrounds. They nonetheless considered it a new standard for polygonal fighting games, remarking in particular that the controls are easy to master and every character in the game has their own unique and compelling special move.
Tekken was a bestseller in the UK. The game was the first PlayStation game to sell over a million units. 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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