The Tekken series began life on arcade machines in 1994 with Tekken, which was then brought over to the PlayStation in 1995. The game then became one of the system’s flagship titles and the franchise would soon become a staple with all other future PlayStation systems, with the exception of one Game Boy Advance release, Tekken Advance. Additionally, the original Tekken was the first PlayStation game to sell over a million units, and Tekken 2 sold over 250,000 on its first day, a record at the time.
The term "Tekken" literally translates from Japanese kanji to "Iron Fist", which is the name of the tournament in the game. The kanji for "Tekken" is featured in the background of each game's logo.
At first glance the controls may seem basic, however the first Tekken game had a pretty advanced button mechanic for its time; utilizing complex button combinations for stronger attacks. What was unique was the fact that the game assigned one button to each limb. The default controls in the first PlayStation game were:
: Right Punch
: Left Punch
: Right Kick
: Left Kick
The D-pad was used to maneuver the player:
Left: Move Left
Right: Move Right
These basic controls have remained the same throughout all generations of Tekken games, as well as the basic throwing combinations of plus and plus , which all characters used. Of course, through each new game, additions were made such as “side-stepping”, and more button combinations were added for different characters, but the basic controls had remained unchanged. It's also worth noting that the player can assign two buttons to each shoulder button (R1, R2, L1, L2) in order to make pressing two buttons at once easier. For example, the player could assign and to one shoulder button so that when they pressed the shoulder button their character would perform a grab.
The Tekken franchise features an extensive background story with multiple endings depending on which character you complete the story/arcade mode with. However, it is usually the case that the main branch of the story depends on only one of the characters’ endings from the previous game, which set the premise for the sequel games. The games plot primarily focuses on the "dysfunctional" Mishima/Kazama family. The other characters’ stories continue differently from their previous game’s endings.
So far, the endings that have determined the main storyline are:
- Tekken – Kazuya Mishima’s ending
- Tekken 2 – Heihachi Mishima’s ending
- Tekken 3 – Jin Kazama’s ending
- Tekken 4 – Jin Kazama’s ending (although Jin's ending is canon, Heihachi actually won the tournament)
- Tekken 5 – Jin Kazama's ending
- Tekken 6 – N/A
However, just because a character does not win the tournament does not mean that their ending is not canonical. For example, in Feng Wei's Tekken 5 ending, we see that he found the scrolls that he entered the Tournament in search for. He did not win the tournament, but he did find the scrolls, making his Tekken 5 ending cinematic canon.
Note: It is Rumored that Kazuya's ending is Canon due to him being in the middle of the cover that and he is the only one that fights Devil Jin.This proves that Kazuya might have won the tournament and possibly defeats Lars, Heihachi, and Jin/Devil Jin but it is yet to be confirmed. But the Devil Orb might be apart of it as well.
The story starts with Heihachi Mishima, the merciless owner of the Mishima Zaibatsu conglomerate, announcing a fighting competition; “King of Iron Fist Tournament”, where the winner would receive a one billion dollar cash prize. Fighters from all over the globe had come to compete, including Heihachi’s son; Kazuya Mishima.
For years, Kazuya sought revenge on Heihachi for throwing him off a cliff when he was a child, so to prove his worth to his ruthless father. Kazuya survived the fall, but in the process obtaining a deep scar across his chest which slowly drained his life. As Kazuya laid there, infuriated while on the brink of death, the devil appeared to Kazuya and offered incredible power to him so to take revenge on his father. Kazuya accepted.
Twenty-one years later, Kazuya would finally be able to get his revenge in the King of Iron Fist Tournament. Kazuya proceeded through all the rounds and finally faced off against Heihachi in the final round. The two fought each other and with the power of the devil flowing through him, Kazuya was able to defeat his father. Kazuya then threw Heihachi’s unconscious body off the cliff face to his death. Kazuya smiled at his revenge and had now become the owner of Mishima Zaibatsu.
Two years after the first tournament, the Mishima Zaibatsu, now under Kazuya Mishima’s leadership, had become even more corrupt than before. The company made new enemies from all around the globe, including animal rights fundamentalist; Jun Kazama. However, little did Kazuya know that his biggest problem would be Heihachi Mishima, who was thought to be dead after the first tournament.
Heihachi had risen from the cliff which he was thrown off and was now plotting his take his revenge against Kazuya and to get his company back. After hearing this, Kazuya announced the “King of Iron Fist Tournament 2” in an attempt to draw out Heihachi. The tournament offered a one trillion dollar cash prize to the winner.
During the tournament, Jun Kazama confronted Kazuya. However, rather than apprehend him, she was drawn to him by the influence of the devil; the mysterious power that inhabited Kazuya. She later becomes pregnant and then flees from the tournament in confusion.
Heihachi eventually confronts Kazuya in the final round. As Heihachi gained the upper hand during the battle, the devil took over Kazuya’s body and transformed into “ Devil Kazuya”. However, (due to inner fight within Kazuya caused this to be confusion) even with Kazuya’s new found powers, Heihachi was still victorious in the end. After regaining control over Mishima Zaibatsu, Heihachi dropped Kazuya’s body into an active volcano, which then erupted. Heihachi grinned at his revenge as he flew away in his helicopter.
Fifteen years after the events of Tekken 2, we find Kazuya’s illegitimate son; Jin Kazama living peacefully with his mother Jun Kazama. Heihachi Mishima, who’s long forgotten his dream of world domination, instead attempts to increase his powers by forming “ Tekken Force”; a mercenary group he established to protect the interests of Mishima Zaibatsu. Heihachi then uses his Tekken Force to end wars and gain the trust of the world leaders. However, when Tekken Force was attacked by a mysterious and powerful “ Ogre”, Heihachi’s quest for world dominance is rekindled and seeks to use the power of the Ogre for his purpose.
It is discovered that the Ogre is seeking out martial arts masters from around the world, and Jun Kazama had become a target. Sensing this, Jun warned Jin to run away if the Ogre ever appeared. However, on that fateful day, Jin disobeyed his mother and tried to protect her. Jin was no match for the Ogre and was knocked unconscious. As he awoke, he found that his mother was nowhere to be found.
Jin then sought out his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima, and pleaded with him to train him so as to take revenge against the Ogre. Jin trained in the art of Mishima style karate for four years, and at the age of nineteen, he had become an exceptional fighter. Heihachi then announced the “King of Iron Fist tournament 3” as a means of drawing out the Ogre for Jin to take his revenge on, or so Jin thought. In reality, Heihachi was using Jin and the other competitors to lure out the Ogre and capture it.
Jin Kazama proceeded to the final round of the tournament and fought the Ogre at the summit of a great temple. As Jin gained the upper hand of the fight, the Ogre turned into it's “true” form. However, even with the Ogre's amazing power, Jin was still triumphant. Angry that Jin had killed the Ogre, Heihachi and his Tekken Force gunned down Jin. However, this triggered the Devil Gene within Jin, and Devil Jin was awakened. Jin quickly takes out Heihachi’s men and then smashes Heihachi through the wall of the temple. They both start falling from the summit, however Jin then sprouts black wings and quickly breaks Heihachi’s fall as he is about to hit the ground. Jin then flies off into the distance, leaving Heihachi bemused.
Although Heihachi failed in capturing Ogre, Heihachi now set his sights on a new target. Two years after the King of Iron First Tournament 3, Heihachi and his scientists had started experimenting with DNA samples of Ogre that had been found. The goal was to make Heihachi immortal. The scientists attempted to splice Heihachi’s DNA with the Ogre DNA, but his body lacked the devil gene required for the testing to be successful. Heihachi then attempted to search for the only person he knew alive who contained the devil gene within him; Jin Kazama. However, the search came to no avail, as there had been no signs of Jin’s whereabouts since he disappeared at the end of the third King of Iron First Tournament.
During Heihachi’s investigations he had come across a picture of the charred remains of a body with protruding wing-like limbs from its back. Sure that the remains were of his son; Kazuya, he sends a team to retrieve the body from where it was being held, Mishima Zaibatsu’s business rival; G-Corporation. However to Heihachi’s surprise, he’d learned that Kazuya had been resurrected by G-Corp and was laying waste to Heihachi’s heavily armed troops as they infiltrated the base. Heihachi was infuriated.
In an attempt to lure Kazuya and Jin out, Heihachi announced the “King of Iron Fist Tournament 4”. Both had taken the bait, and were proceeding through the rounds. At round 7 Kazuya and Jin were scheduled to fight, however, on his way to the 7th round, Jin was ambushed and overpowered by Heihachi’s men. Jin was taken prisoner, and Kazuya was named winner by default. In the final round, Kazuya was finally able to fight against Heihachi. After a grueling battle, Heihachi had ended up being victorious yet again, however instead of killing Kazuya, Heihachi took him to where Jin was being held captive; the Hon-Maru dojo.
In the Hon-Maru Dojo, Jin had been chained up by a special metal that absorbed his powers. Seeing this, the Devil takes over Kazuya’s mind again and telepathically sends Heihachi flying out the room. Devil Kazuya then attempted to steal Jin’s devil gene, and make himself more powerful. However, Jin Kazama was able to stop this using his own will, and in confusion, Kazuya regains control of his own body. Kazuya then realizes the potential of the Devil’s power and decides to kill Jin to absorb his devil gene. Kazuya telepathically awakens Jin, who, now enraged, then charges towards him.
After an exhausting battle, Jin emerges the winner and Heihachi uses this opportunity to attack the fatigued Jin. However, Jin was still able to overpower Heihachi and became more infuriated the more the devil gene took over his mind. Jin was about to deliver a fatal blow until he saw a vision of Jun Kazama. Out of love for his mother, he releases Heihachi. Black wings sprout from Jin’s back and he flies off making a huge hole in Hon-Maru’s roof.
See also - Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Moments after the the victory of Jin Kazama over Kazuya MIshima and Heihachi Mishima, Jin is beginning his devil transformation. He was about to finish Heihachi Mishima though regains control of himself (due to supposed apparition by his mother Jun) and spares Heihachi. After Jin departs from the Hon-Maru an army of Jack-4's are sent by G-Corporation to kill both Heihachi and Kazuya. Kazuya deduces that G-Corporation has betrayed him as he is no longer needed and teams up with Heihachi to battle the wave of Jack-4's. Though successful at first Heihachi tires and Kazuya seeing this as an opportunity tosses him towards to group of Jacks. Kazuya transforms to the Devil and leaves Heihachi behind as one of the Jacks self destructs. These events were witnessed by Raven who reveals that Heihachi Mishima is dead.
Unknowingly at first, the resulting blast triggered the freedom of the founder of the Tekken Zaibatsu and Heihachi's father, Jinpachi Mishima. He is possessed by a demonic force unrelated to the Devil Gene after being captive for 40 years underneath he Hon-Maru. He declares the opening of the fifth King of Iron Fist Tournament, hoping a participant will stop him from completely transforming into the devil and taking over the world.
See also - Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion
It is revealed that Jin Kazama is the winner of Tekken 5 by defeating Jinpachi Mishima. He also inherits Mishima Zaibatsu as its grand prize, declares it a separate nation and wages war against the world. He also hires Eddy Gordo and Nina Williams as his bodyguards as protection against his enemies. As these events unfold it is revealed that Devil Gene is slowly taking over Jin Kazama.
Meanwhile Kazuya Mishima kills those who betrayed him at G-Corporation and takes over the company itself. As Kazuya cannot see anyone taking over the world rather than himself, he hires Bruce Irvin and Anna Williams (as she knew that she would face her sister Nina Williams) and wages war against Jin Kazama and the Mishima Zaibatsu. The world sees Kazuya Mishima and G-Corporation as its savior against Jin Kazama and the Mishima Zaibatsu and endorsed the actions of G-Corporation. As Jin Kazama anticipated this move, he announces the opening of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 in order to fight Kazuya and rid his enemies once and for all.
Tekken Tag Tournament Franchise
The Tekken Tag series are a set of Tekken games also created by the main development team, unique for their non-canonical status, characters that are dead or missing in the Tekken canon being playable and the 2 on 2 tagging mechanics replacing the regular single player and multiplayer modes. Currently two games exist, Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Tekken X Street Fighter
Due to the friendship between Tekken's Katsuhiro Harada and Street Fighter's Yoshinori Ono, a deal was struck to use the Tekken franchise in a Street Fighter game and the Street Fighter Franchise in a Tekken game. Namco will create Tekken X Street Fighter and Capcom will make Street Fighter X Tekken.
A collection including a CGI film, Tekken Blood Vengeance, a HD release of the first Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue (featuring skins and costumes from Tekken Blood Vengeance).
Due to the popularity of the video game franchise, there have been three Tekken-based movies. The first is the animated "Tekken: The Motion Picture", released in 1998, and is an amalgamation of the first two Tekken games. A second Tekken based movie is in the works and is set for a 2009 release. Unlike the first Tekken movie however, this adaption is a real-live action movie (not animated). This movie will follow Jin Kazama as he tries to rid himself of the Devil Gene. It is being directed by Dwight H. Little , previously known in the video game world as the director of the FMV game, G round Zero Texas.
Tekken: The Motion Picture (1997): This is the animated film of Tekken which was released 1998. It focuses on Kazuya's story at gaining revenge at Heihachi. It begins when a young Kazuya and Jun meet and are interrupted by Heihachi. Heihachi gets Kazuya, calls him weak and throws him off the cliff. Sixteen years later, Heihachi announces the beginning of the Tekken Tournament in order to meet his son Kazuya Mishima and probably hand the Mishima Zaibatsu to him if he proves himself worthy.
Tekken (2010): This is the live action film of Tekken released in 2010. It focuses on Jin as he tries to avenge his mother's death (Jun) in the movie. Jin joins the tournament in order to face Kazuya Mishima and gain revenge. It is shown in the ending that Jin won the tournament and Heihachi survives the assassination plot by Kazuya, ready to reclaim his throne.
Tekken Blood Vengeance (2011): This is a CGI film, made by the same company responsible for the cut-scenes of Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and Tekken 6. The Tekken development team will be working together with directors, producers and voice actors known for their work on Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop.