Something went wrong. Try again later

    Tekken 3

    Game » consists of 8 releases. Released Mar 20, 1997

    The third "King of Iron Fist" tournament is underway, and several newcomers enter the fray in the third installment of the Tekken series.

    Short summary describing this game.

    Tekken 3 last edited by Nes on 01/29/24 04:24PM View full history


    Several newcomers test their prowess in Tekken 3.
    Several newcomers test their prowess in Tekken 3.

    Tekken 3 is a 3D fighting game developed and released by Namco for arcades (using PS1-based System 12 hardware) on March 20, 1997.

    The third installment of the Tekken series, Tekken 3 takes place 19 years after Heihachi Mishima reclaimed his position as the head of the powerful Mishima Zaibatsu, believing to have killed his son Kazuya during the encounter. The plot centers around Kazuya's son Jin Kazama, who was trained by Heihachi to fight in the third "King of Iron Fist" martial arts tournament. However, Heihachi's true intentions with the tournament are less than benevolent, and involves luring out an ancient being known as "Ogre" to harness its power.

    Along with a revamped roster with various newcomers, several of which are students or successors of those from previous games, the game features a greater emphasis on 3D movement with free-form side-stepping and less overwhelming jumping. It also removes the "rival sub-boss" system of previous games and is the first game to run on updated System 11 hardware (known as "System 12", with improved processing power).

    The game later received a home conversion for the Sony PlayStation in Japan on March 26, 1998, in North America on April 30, 1998, and in Europe on September 12, 1998. Although the graphics are not as accurate due to the more powerful arcade hardware, this version features an updated roster (including a guest appearance by Gon, from the manga of the same name) and two bonus game modes: the belt-scrolling beat-'em-up "Tekken Force" and the volleyball-inspired "Tekken Ball". This version was later included in the PlayStation Classic mini-console.

    Tekken 3 was later used as the basis for the 1999 spin-off title Tekken Tag Tournament, adding a tag team mechanic while adding most of the remaining cast from Tekken 2.


    Tekken 3 follows the same general control setup and fighting gameplay established by prior Tekken entries. The game uses eight-way directional controls and four buttons (as opposed to the six-button setup commonly used by Street Fighter and its derivatives), with each button roughly corresponding to one of the player character's limbs: Left Punch, Right Punch, Left Kick and Right Kick. By performing specific sequences of directional and button inputs, players can execute advanced character-specific fighting techniques, or link together successive strikes to form combo attacks.

    All characters can execute grapple throws which cannot be blocked by an opponent and usually deal significant damage. Typically these throw moves must be performed at very close range, though there are a few exceptions. A character on the receiving end of a grapple can potentially cancel their opponent's grapple by performing a certain timed input accordingly, such as pressing Left Punch or Right Punch at the moment the grapple is initiated.

    The 3D movement system has been completely revamped for Tekken 3 and plays a much more important role compared to previous Tekken titles. Players can now side-step into and out of the background in order to avoid an opponent's attacks and potentially set up their own counter-attack.


    The original arcade version of Tekken 3 features eighteen unique playable characters, as well as the three clone characters Anna, Tiger and Panda that appear as alternate costumes for Nina, Eddy and Kuma respectively. Only ten characters are available upon the arcade hardware's initial activation: Jin, Forest, Hwoarang, Eddy, Xiaoyu, Paul, Nina, King, Yoshimitsu and Lei. The remaining hidden characters are time-locked, each one becoming available in succession after the machine has been in operation for a specified length of time.

    The home console version has different requirements for unlocking the hidden characters as specified below. This version also makes Anna a unique character with her own moveset and adds two brand-new hidden characters, Gon and Dr. Bosconovitch.

    New Additions

    Base Roster

    • Jin Kazama - The son of Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama, he practices a blend of both parents' fighting styles in an effort to win the new Tekken tournament and take revenge against Ogre for the death of his mother four years prior.
    • Forest Law - After some friendly encouragement from Paul, Marshall Law's son enters the tournament in order to prove his strength to both his father and himself.
    • Hwoarang - The brash student of Taekwondo master Baek Doo San who enters the tournament after Baek is attacked by Ogre. His self-proclaimed rivalry with Jin also drives him to participate.
    • Eddy Gordo - An escaped convict and capoeira master. He enters the tournament with the goal of using the Mishima Zaibatsu's considerable resources against the criminal organization that murdered his wealthy father.
    • Ling Xiaoyu - The spunky teenage student of Wang Jinrei who has been promised her own theme park by Heihachi if she wins the tournament.

    Hidden and Boss Characters

    • Panda - A domesticated female giant panda trained by Heihachi to be Xiaoyu's bodyguard, Panda is also frequently the object of Kuma's unwanted affections. She is an alternate costume for Kuma and shares his full moveset.
    • Julia Chang - The adopted daughter of Michelle Chang enters the tournament in search of her missing mother, who disappeared shortly after traveling to Japan to meet with Heihachi. She is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with two characters, or by starting 150 matches.
    • Mokujin - Ogre's appearance also brings this two-thousand-year-old wooden training dummy to life which randomly copies other fighters' styles. It is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with four characters, or by starting 250 matches.
    • Bryan Fury - A sadistic cyborg with his own unique kickboxing style who sneaks into the tournament while targeting Yoshimitsu and Dr. Bosconovitch. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with six characters, or by starting 350 matches.
    • Ogre - The immortal "God of Fighting" responsible for the disappearances of several of the world's strongest martial artists, and the initial form of the game's final boss. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with eight characters, or by starting 450 matches.
    • True Ogre - After being defeated once, Ogre transforms into a hulking gargoyle-like creature and gains the ability to fly and spew fire. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with nine characters, or by starting 500 matches.
    • Tiger Jackson - This funky capoeira fighter was an unused character concept for Eddy that lives on as one of his alternate costumes. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with sixteen characters and then pressing Triangle or Start when selecting Eddy. Alternatively, start 600 matches.

    Exclusive to the PS1 Version

    • Gon - A special guest character exclusive to the console version and licensed from the manga of the same name, Gon is a small dinosaur of indeterminate species. He is unlocked by defeating Gon in Tekken Ball Mode or Arcade Mode as a random opponent. Alternatively, earn a first place high score in Time Attack or Survival Mode and enter "GON" as your name, or start 650 matches, or complete Arcade Mode with Dr. Bosconovitch.
    • Dr. Bosconovitch - The second of the two console-exclusive characters is an elderly scientist with a highly unorthodox fighting style in which he constantly falls over. He is unlocked by completing Tekken Force Mode four times and then defeating Dr. Bosconovitch in a special encounter. Alternatively, start 700 matches.

    Returning Characters

    Tekken 3 retains nine characters from the rosters of previous entries. However, King and Kuma are technically new characters with the same name and basic movesets as their predecessors from Tekken and Tekken 2.

    Base Roster

    • Paul Phoenix - A hot-headed American judo expert driven to be the world's number-one martial artist. After narrowly losing the previous Tekken tournament, he's determined to win the third.
    • Nina Williams - An assassin who failed to kill Kazuya during the last tournament and was subsequently forced into cryogenic sleep for fifteen years, afflicting her with amnesia. Now controlled by Ogre, she is compelled to eliminate Jin.
    • King - After the original King was killed by Ogre, his old wrestling rival Armor King decided to train a former resident of King's orphanage to become his replacement. The new King enters the tournament to test his skills and avenge his namesake.
    • Yoshimitsu - The enigmatic leader of the Manji ninja clan seeks a cure for his ailing friend Dr. Bosconovitch in the form of Ogre's blood, leading him to participate in the new tournament.
    • Lei Wulong - An overzealous "super cop" from Hong Kong investigating the disappearances of prominent martial artists worldwide. His search eventually leads him straight to Heihachi's tournament.

    Hidden and Boss Characters

    • Kuma - The son of the original Kuma has been similarly trained by Heihachi to be his personal pet bear and bodyguard. In the PS1 version, he is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode once, or by starting 100 matches.
    • Gun Jack - An upgraded version of the "Jack" line of combat robots manufactured by the Mishima Zaibatsu. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with three characters, or by starting 200 matches.
    • Anna Williams - When she discovered her sister Nina had been placed into suspended animation, Anna requested the same procedure for herself. Unlike Nina, Anna retained her memory and wishes to reignite their sibling rivalry by fighting Nina in the tournament. She is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with five characters, or by starting 300 matches.
    • Heihachi Mishima - The ruthless head of the Mishima Zaibatsu and orchestrator of "The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3" is also the game's penultimate boss. He is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with seven characters, or by starting 400 matches.


    In addition to standard Arcade and Versus modes of play, the home console version of Tekken 3 contains several modes not present in the arcade version.

    Team Battle

    (1 or 2 players) A mode in which players form teams composed of multiple fighters, with the goal of defeating all of the opposing team's fighters in succession. Each player can also choose their total number of team members, up to a maximum of eight fighters per player. The winner of each match regains a small amount of health.

    Time Attack

    (1-player only) A time attack version of Arcade Mode where players race against the clock to achieve the shortest time to completion. Difficulty, time limit and total number of rounds cannot be altered in this mode, and there is no option to switch to a different character after continuing.


    (1-player only) A survival mode in which players attempt to defeat as many CPU opponents as possible on a single health bar. Each match consists of a single round, and the player character regains a small amount of health after defeating each opponent. The game ends when the player character's health is depleted. Difficulty, time limit and total number of rounds cannot be altered in this mode.

    Tekken Ball

    (1 or 2 players) A minigame inspired by volleyball or dodgeball where direct attacks between characters deal no damage. Instead players must use a large ball to deal damage, either by landing the ball on the ground inside the opponent's half of the court, or by striking the opponent with the ball. Player attacks that connect with the ball will "charge" it with damage, with successive strikes increasing the ball's charge. The ball's speed also increases along with its total charge. When fully charged, the ball catches fire and will deal heavy damage to any player it strikes.

    The damage dealt by the ball also depends on the type of ball used: the Beach Ball deals 60% of damage from attacks, the Gum Ball deals 80%, and the Iron Ball deals full damage.

    This mode is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with all ten of the game's non-hidden characters (Jin, Forest, Hwoarang, Eddy, Xiaoyu, Paul, Nina, King, Yoshimitsu and Lei), or by starting 550 matches.

    Tekken Force

    (1-player only) A belt-scrolling-style beat-'em-up consisting of four stages. After selecting a character, players fight through waves of unarmed Tekken Force soldiers across four stages. Each stage ends with a boss fight against one of the playable roster of fighters, which vary depending upon the player's chosen character.

    Heihachi is typically the final boss unless Mokujin is chosen as the player character, who fights a copy of himself as the boss in every stage.


    (1 or 2 players) Players can practice without time or health limits here, either against a customizable AI opponent or a second player. This mode includes a "combo training" feature for learning certain characters' lengthier combo attack strings.


    Any unlocked pre-rendered cutscenes can be replayed here, including each character's unique ending cutscene.

    Once all cutscenes have been unlocked, additional options will appear; the first is a music player containing both the Tekken 3 arcade and console version soundtracks. A second new option allows cutscenes from the previous two Tekken titles to be replayed through this menu by inserting their respective discs.

    Theater Mode is unlocked by completing Arcade Mode with all ten of the game's non-hidden characters (Jin, Forest, Hwoarang, Eddy, Xiaoyu, Paul, Nina, King, Yoshimitsu and Lei), or by starting 750 matches.


    Jin Kazama in Tekken 3's opening sequence
    Jin Kazama in Tekken 3's opening sequence

    Following the events of Tekken 2, Heihachi Mishima reclaimed his position as CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu and established the "Tekken Force," a private army dedicated to safeguarding the Zaibatsu's interests. Under Heihachi's direction, the formidable Tekken Force has also claimed responsibility for quelling numerous small-scale conflicts across the globe, ultimately ushering in a new era of world peace.

    Fifteen years after the second King of Iron Fist tournament, Heihachi receives a report that an entire squadron of Tekken Force soldiers has been wiped out while excavating a Mexican ruin. The report only describes the lone attacker as a powerful "Fighting God" or an "Ogre". Heihachi personally travels to the site and catches a brief glimpse of the mysterious entity before it disappears. Witnessing Ogre's power first-hand reignites Heihachi's dreams of world conquest, and he resolves to bring the creature under his control. Soon afterward, various martial arts masters around the world begin disappearing, and Heihachi becomes convinced of Ogre's involvement.

    Meanwhile, Jun Kazama has been living a quiet life in Yakushima with her son Jin, who was fathered by Kazuya Mishima at some point during the last tournament. Upon Ogre's awakening, Jun begins to sense the creature's malevolent presence slowly drawing closer to her location. Realizing that Ogre is targeting herself and possibly Jin, Jun informs her son about the impending threat and instructs him to go straight to Heihachi if anything should happen to her. Sometime after Jin's fifteenth birthday, Ogre does indeed appear at their home. Jin attempts to defend his mother against Ogre, but the powerful being easily brushes him aside, knocking him unconscious.

    When Jin reawakens he finds his home burned, and his mother is missing and most likely dead. Following Jun's final wishes, a vengeful Jin seeks out Heihachi and tells him everything about his parentage and Ogre's attack. The teenager begs his grandfather to train him in the ways of Mishima-style karate in order to become strong enough to face Ogre again, and Heihachi accepts Jin as his newest student.

    Four years later, Jin has grown into an impressive fighter and master of the Mishima style. On Jin's nineteenth birthday, "The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3" is announced, and Jin prepares for his upcoming battle against Ogre. However, he is unaware that Heihachi is simply using him and the rest of the competitors as bait to draw out Ogre for his own ends.

    Canonical Ending

    Eventually the tournament leads to a final confrontation between Jin and Ogre at an ancient temple, but not before Paul Phoenix makes his way to the final match and defeats Ogre himself. Confident that he will be declared the winner of the tournament, Paul leaves the temple; however, Ogre subsequently transforms into an even more powerful "true" version of himself, and the tournament continues. Jin reaches True Ogre and a vicious fight ensues in which Jin finally emerges as the victor, causing the monstrous creature to dissolve in a flash of light.

    Moments after True Ogre's defeat, Jin is gunned down by a Tekken Force squad led by Heihachi who, no longer needing Jin, personally fires a final handgun round into his grandson's head. However, Jin is immediately revived by the Devil Gene he inherited from his father Kazuya. In his new Devil form, Jin makes quick work of the soldiers before turning his attention to Heihachi and smashing him head-first through the stone temple's outer wall, causing Heihachi to plunge to the temple grounds far below. Still not finished, Jin jumps out after him and sprouts black feathery wings in mid-air before diving straight down and smashing Heihachi into the ground. He then flies off into the moonlit night, leaving his bewildered grandfather staring after him.


    • Tiger Dojo Tokyo
    • Carnival
    • Taekwondo Dojo
    • Martial Arts Dojo
    • Grassy Land
    • Laboratory Courtyard
    • Hong Kong Street
    • Forest
    • Skyring
    • Mexican Temple
    • Junky Mansion
    • Beach Island


    The official Tekken 3 soundtrack list:

    • Track 1 Attract Movie 0:23
    • Track 2 Attract EMBU 1:02
    • Track 3 Character Select 0:47
    • Track 4 Paul Phoenix 3:45
    • Track 5 Forest Law 3:48
    • Track 6 Lei Wulong 3:45
    • Track 7 King 2:43
    • Track 8 Yoshimitsu 4:04
    • Track 9 Nina Williams 3:33
    • Track 10 Hwoarang 3:10
    • Track 11 Ling Xiaoyu 3:41
    • Track 12 Eddy Gordo 3:27
    • Track 13 Jin Kazama 4:02
    • Track 14 Hidden Characters 3:19
    • Track 15 Heihachi Mishima 3:39
    • Track 16 Ogre 3:23
    • Track 17 Continue? 0:36
    • Track 18 Game Over 0:06
    • Track 19 Staff Roll 1:16


    • The home version of Tekken 3 is one of only a few PlayStation titles that natively run in an interlaced "480i" high-resolution video mode.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.