Tekken Tag Tournament (commonly shortened to "Tekken Tag") is a 3D fighting game developed and originally released by Namco as an arcade title in 1999. The fourth main installment in the Tekken series, this game uses the same PlayStation-based "System 12" hardware that powers the arcade version of Tekken 3. Tag Tournament is considered non-canonical to the franchise's overarching storyline and features nearly every playable character from the first three Tekken games. It also introduces a tag team mechanic which allows players to swap between two different characters during a fight.
The game later became a launch title for the North American release of the PlayStation 2 in October 2000, as well as for the console's European debut in November of the same year. The home version of the game received enhanced graphics and other extra features not present in the original arcade release.
Tekken Tag Tournament enjoyed a very positive critical reception from game media outlets such as GameSpot (9.6/10), IGN (8.7/10) and GameSpy (91/100). The game has an average score of 85.6% on the review score aggregation website Game Rankings.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was released in 2011 as a direct sequel to Tag Tournament. Like the original, Tag Tournament 2 serves as a non-canon compilation of the series' roster of characters, but the sequel is updated to include every major installment of the franchise up through Tekken 6.
Tekken Tag Tournament follows the same template established by previous Tekken titles, though the gameplay mechanics most closely resemble those of Tekken 3. However, Tag Tournament adds a tag team component to fights; instead of traditional one-on-one matches, players choose two characters at the start of a match which may be swapped between at any time, though the active character cannot be tagged-out while receiving damage. Characters slowly regenerate health while tagged-out, but only the red segment of their health meter can be replenished in this way. A round ends when any single character's health bar is depleted, or when the round timer reaches zero. If time runs out, the team with the highest combined remaining health is declared the winner.
Tag Tournament also introduces "Tekken Bowl," a separate mode in which players select two characters for use in a bowling minigame. Different characters have different bowling attributes; for example, Jack-2 uses a unique targeting system due to his robotic nature and has greater throwing strength than most of the series' smaller characters, such as Ling Xiaoyu. However, the less-powerful characters are generally easier to control when attempting to select the angle and power of a throw.
At its initial release, Tekken Tag Tournament was notable for having the largest roster in the series with thirty-nine playable characters; it held this distinction until the release of Tekken 6, which features forty fighters (including its non-playable final boss Azazel). Nearly every playable character featured in Tekken, Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 is also playable in Tag Tournament, although some characters are simply model swaps of others with identical movesets. The only characters who do not make a return from previous games are Gon, Marshall Law, the first Jack robot, the first King, the first Kuma, and Dr. Bosconovitch. However, Dr. Bosconovitch does make a cameo appearance as a crowd member in Tekken Bowl.
Tag Tournament introduces only two new characters: Unknown, the final boss of Arcade Mode, as well as Tetsujin, a metallic version of Mokujin.
An asterisk (*) indicates a character that is only selectable as an alternate costume of another character.
- This is the first of two Tekken games that have alternate covers, the second being Tekken 4.
- Although Marshall Law does not appear in this game, one of Forrest Law's costumes resembles his father's "1P" costume from Tekken 2.
- Kunimitsu gains a new costume in this game, consisting of a purple bodysuit and a golden mask that reveals her mouth and lower jaw.
- Panda appears in the background of the School stage.
- Regardless of the number of rounds per match selected in the Options menu, the final boss fight with Unknown is always a single round.
- The final move that Lei performs in his ending became a useable move from Tekken 4 onwards. This move is listed as the "Comet Kick".
- This is the first game in the Tekken franchise where the character falls into the "agony" position once K.O'd.
- Certain pairs of characters can have special interactions prior to a match or after losing a match. For example, when Paul and Kuma are on the same tag team, the team leader will perform a special attack against the second character before the match; Kuma inflicts his "Salmon Hunter" move on Paul, while Paul executes a "Phoenix Smasher" against Kuma. Law and Lei will both lay down on the floor in a comical fashion after a loss.
- When Kazuya and Devil are chosen as tag team partners, they will transform into one another instead of tagging-out.
- Unknown is the only character in this game to have an FMV ending.
- This was the first Tekken game released for the PlayStation 2, as well as being one of the launch titles for the console.
- Tekken Tag Tournament is the only game to have a female character as the final boss (although in Tekken 2, Angel will be the final boss when playing Arcade Mode as Devil).
- In the PAL version of the game, the booklet has an error. On Jin Kazama's page it has a picture of Kazuya Mishima instead of Jin.
- This is the last Tekken game where all the stages have no walls.
- This is the first game in the franchise since the original Tekken to have the same background music for nearly every character's ending, except for Unknown's.
- In Tekken Bowl mode it is possible to K.O Dr. Bosconovitch and the other people watching from the sidelines. To do this you must move your character all the way to the left and then try to press the X button when the moving cursor is to the left (this works much better with right handed characters). If done correctly you'll hear the announcer say "K.O!"
- Tiger Jackson appears alongside Eddy Gordo in the latter's ending further alluding to the fact that Tiger could not be an alter ego of Eddy. However, as Tekken Tag is non-canon, this could just be a surreal ending.
- Ling Xiaoyu is the only character in the game to have two endings. It is viewable by beating Arcade Mode in her Schoolgirl outfit.
- Additionally, Xiaoyu has the most outfits with an aditional secret green/orange costume, only obtainable by selecting her with a random select.
- Screaming no longer echoes if KO'd.
- There are no replays after every round, but after Arcade Mode, they show replays from the last round, and the word "replay" now flashes on the top left of the screen instead of the top right, but in Tekken Bowl Tournament, the word flashes on the bottom left, but omitted when a super strike occurs.
- The health meters no longer load up before the fight begins.
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