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Tekken (鉄拳, Iron Fist) is a series of fighting games developed by Bandai Namco.

The series was first represented in Super Smash Bros. 4, with a Mii Costume based off of series icon Heihachi Mishima. This would later be followed up with the addition of Kazuya Mishima as a playable DLC character in Ultimate.

Franchise description

Originating in arcades in 1995, Tekken followed successfully in the footsteps of other 3D fighting games such as Sega's Virtua Fighter (though Tekken using infinite-scrolling stages was a deliberate counter to Virtua Fighter's use of ring-outs.) Adding to the franchise's success was Namco's decision to hitch it to the then new but developer-friendly Sony Playstation, granting it wider access. The series is personified by it's largely more realistic depiction of martial arts (very few characters even have a traditional fireball move,) with great care taken to ensure that each fighting style is depicted accurately and respectfully. This includes Capoeira, Muay Thai, pro wrestling and combat Sambo. Despite this, the series does feature a number of outlandish playable characters including Kuma, a large grizzly bear trained in karate, and Alex, a genetically resurrected boxing velociraptor.

Tekken also popularized the use of "juggle combos", where players repeatedly attack a helpless airborne opponent to keep them in the air for as long as possible.

The game revolves around a fighting tournament called "King of Iron Fist", with various competitors joining up for their own reasons. That said, the series focuses largely on a violent blood feud within a family known as the Mishimas, with tragedies often setting them against each other. The first tournament was a by product of that, hosted by military tech magnate Heihachi Mishima, head of the Mishima Zaibatsu. He is defeated by his son Kazuya, who he had thrown off of a high cliff with Kazuya was a little boy, though the Devil Gene within Kazuya's body saved him. After crushing Heihachi, Kazuya would throw his father off of the very same cliff. The second game reveals that Kazuya took control of the Zaibatsu, but proved to be far more evil as his father, yet in different ways. Heihachi, however, survived the fall, and took revenge by defeating Kazuya in a second tournament and throwing him into an active volcano.

The second game merely improved on the foundation set by it's predecessor, but its larger playable cast was one of many reasons that the series became a household name. The third game moved the plot forward by fifteen years, and introduced much beloved series protagonist Jin Kazama, the son of Kazuya and Jun Kazama. Addtionally, mechanics were tightened to speed up the pace of the game. Tekken 3's console port included various extras such as Tekken Ball (a volleyball-type game,) Tekken Force (a beat-em-up mode) and even a guest fighter in the manga character Gon. Tekken 3 also marks the first time where few characters begins to speak in their native languages, rather than being silent.

Tekken Tag Tournament was the game's first non-canon "dream match" type game, bringing back almost every single character from the previous trilogy including Kazuya, who was believed dead at the end of Tekken 2. Kazuya's presence was not kept a secret, with Namco going so far as to advertise him on posters and put him front and center on the game's boxart. True to the game's name, a tag mechanic was implemented where players could choose two fighters and tag out when necessary. Different team setups afforded different bonuses as well. Finally, the game served as a launch title for the PlayStation 2, where it not only proved to be arcade perfect, but graphically outright surpassed it's arcade original. Tag series is infamously introduced the final boss Unknown, the final boss of the Tag series, who was originally meant to be possessed Jun’s sister in the first game, but eventually being re-introduced as Jun’s corrupted form in the second Tag game onward. Tag Tournament also introduced the fan-favorite Tekken Bowl mode, a ten pin bowling minigame that has seen semi-frequent re-appearances in subsequent games.

Tekken 4 re-introduced Kazuya into the series' canon storyline and all characters properly spoken in their native languages with full dialogues, but was controversial for it's use of uneven terrain and environment hazards, which were seen as unbalanced by some. It also removed the series staple "infinite scrolling" stages. Nonetheless, the game's success saw the release of Tekken 5, which addressed many issues players had by not only removing the uneven terrain aspect, but brought back the series' quirkier characters and "infinite" stages (while keeping walls in some stages for variety.) That game's console port also featured Devil Within, a story based minigame starring Jin, as well as playable arcade versions of the first three Tekken games (as well as Starblade, an older space-theme rail shooter.) Tekken 5 had an updated version called Dark Resurrection, which added extra moves to the returning cast, and introduced the younger successor of original Armor King as well as the debut of french martial artist Lili de Rochenfort and Russian mute soldier Sergei Dragunov.

Tekken 6 introduced extended combo systems, and Rage mechanics, which evolves and changes throughout the games, as well as universal Stage Environment Break (both Wall and Floor Breaks). It also introduces Lars Alexandersson, Kazuya’s half-brother and member of the Mishima bloodline. It's story revolves around a world war started by Jin Kazama, currently in charge of the Mishima Zaibatsu and is believed to have ascended to the path of villainy on purpose. Jin is opposed by many, including Kazuya, who runs the G Corporation that revived him, as well as Lars and his allies.

The latest installment, Tekken 7, is known for it's robust story mode, which attempts to put an end to the Mishima family feud present since the start of the series, starting with Heihachi's true death, as well as delving into the origins of the Devil Gene that binds the family. It is somewhat notorious for it's large amount of guest fighters including Capcom's Akuma from Street Fighter (who plays an important role in the game's storyline), SNK's Geese Howard from their various fighting series' (most notably Fatal Fury shared universe, but he is based on his recent appearance in The King of Fighters XIV), Final Fantasy XV protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum and, most bizarrely, Negan, a principal antagonist from Image Comics 'The Walking Dead (albeit based off of it's AMC TV adaptation.) This game is the first to introduce their own super/EX move(s) similar to SNK’s Samurai Shodown current Rage mechanic, which Tekken indeed refers to as "Rage Arts" and "Rage Drive". Tekken Tag Tournament 2, despite being a second non-canon dream match tag-themed game, which featured every single character from the previous games up to Tekken 6 before Tekken 7 was announced, eventually has one of the characters’ endings canonically took place before 7 storyline.

Tekken shares a few links with another Namco 3D fighting game franchise, Soul Calibur. Yoshimitsu is a recurring character in both series with the Soul version considered an ancestor of the Tekken Yoshimitsu, and Heihachi was a guest fighter in the PS2 and HD versions of Soul Calibur II.

In terms of non-game media, Tekken has seen an animated feature called Tekken: The Motion Picture as well as an infamous live action movie set in apost-apocalyptic future and a CG feature, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, headed by Katsuhiro Harada himself as a direct response to the live action movie.

List of games in Tekken franchise

  • Tekken (1994, Arcade; 1995, PlayStation)
  • Tekken 2 (1995, Arcade; 1996, PlayStation)
  • Tekken 3 (1997, Arcade; 1998, PlayStation)
  • Tekken Tag Tournament (1999, Arcade; 2000, PlayStation 2)
  • Tekken 4 (2001, Arcade; 2002, PlayStation 2)
  • Tekken 5 (2004, Arcade; 2005, PlayStation 2)
    • Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection (2005, Arcade; 2006, PlayStation Portable)
  • Tekken 6 (2007, Arcade)
    • Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion (2008, Arcade; 2009, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable)
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (2011, Arcade)
    • Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Unlimited (2012, Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U (released on console simply as Tekken Tag Tournament 2)
  • Tekken 7 (2015, Arcade)
    • Tekken 7: Fated Retribution (2016, Arcade; 2017, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

SPIN-OFFS

  • Tekken Card Challenge (1999, WonderSwan)
  • Tekken Advance (2001, Game Boy Advance)
  • Tekken's Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees (2005, PlayStation 2)
  • Tekken 3D: Prime Edition (2012, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Tekken Revolution (2013, PlayStation 3)
  • Tekken Mobile (2018, iOS, Android) (was discontinued in 2019)

CROSSOVERS

  • Namco x Capcom (2005, PlayStation 2)
  • Street Fighter X Tekken (2012, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, iOS, PC)
  • Project X Zone (2012, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Project X Zone 2 (2015, Nintendo 3DS)
  • Tekken X Street Fighter (TBA, on hold due to development of Tekken 7)
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