Video Game Double Feature: Tekken, an introduction.

Hello J360 Fans, I know this has been long overdue but I’ve managed to track down multiple copies of different live action video game adaptations to keep this feature going so this will be well worth the wait.

Today we’re going to take a look at the Tekken Series from Namco Bandai.

The year is 1995, the move from traditional 2D fighters to 3D was underway following a trend led by Virtua Fighter over at Sega. Namco decided to enter the fray with their Tekken series and it was revolutionary for its time for the movements were smooth for the characters and each button the player used could control each of the four limbs.  As each installment landed at the arcades and home console, this series became a big money maker for Namco just like the Soul Series.

Another bonus for this series was if the mechanics and smooth gameplay didn’t interest gamers, the core story of the characters did.

Tekken follows the exploits of a corporation called the Mishima Zaibatsu and its leader, Heihachi Mishima.  Heihachi hosts a tournament called The King of the Iron Fist which rewards a $1 Billion cash prize along with (depending on the game) ownership of the Zaibatsu itself.

Now while this sounds nice, Heihachi like most fighting bosses at the time is a smug snake who has a literal demon coming for him in the form of his estranged son, Kazuya.   When Kazuya was a young boy, Heihachi believed him to be weak and unfit to inherit the company.

Heihachi Mishima

So like the spartans in 300, Heihachi threw young Kazuya into a ravine to see if he would be strong enough to climb back up.

The process worked in a bizarre sort of way for Kazuya was near death, full of rage, and sold his soul to the devil so that he would gain the strength to destroy his father.  This tragedy gave an inverted look for the series because it trumps the cliched “flawed warrior vs his evil father” storyline.  Kazuya became a monster and the tragedy expands far from the Mishima bloodline into the Kazama bloodline where it affects his young son Jin Kazama as the true tragic protagonist.

Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima

At least when Tekken 3 rolls around in the games storyline then it becomes more about Jin trying to cure himself of the devil gene, only to slowly repeat the sins of the father as Kazuya and Heihachi continue their own private war against one another.

While sad, this core story ties in other characters’ storylines and presents a grey morality that is (arguably) rivaled by the Soul Series and the Mortal Kombat Series.

Or no wait, I’m wrong because the Street Fighter series does a similar scenerio with Ryu and the Satsu No Hadu, Cammy’s “history” with Bison, and Akuma.  We’ll touch on comparisons between the series at another time and we might use Street Fighter X Tekken in such a feature during a PowerPlay Episode.

Back to Tekken, once Jin is involved in the series you began to understand that he’s a man caught into pure turmoil because of his bloodline, and you’re immersed into his story to see if he’ll break the curse, if there is a cure because it is about how much of his innocence is retained through each installment while his father has long since went to a path he can never recover from.   Heihachi never had the Devil Gene but he was always working behind the scenes in some way and it turns out that the Devil Gene from Tekken 5 was always there as his own Father, Jinpachi had it within him.

The Dysfunction doesn’t stop there either because things really start to shift with the introduction of Lars in Tekken 6, and it just keeps adding layers to a great storyline which I hope to see comes together in Tekken 7.

Coming Eventually (:P)

Now this is only an introduction/summary to the games storyline and to cover everything would take too many pages before I get to the movie review so let’s get to that starting with Tekken: The Movie (2010).

I will return with the movie review.

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