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 is a series of fighting games developed and published by Namco. Originally an arcade game, versions exist for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WonderSwan, and Game Boy Advance. The story in each game in the series (with the exception of the non-canon game Tekken Tag Tournament) documents the events of the fictional martial arts tournament, The King of Iron Fist Tournament, with the game's chronological number corresponding with the current iteration of the tournament. The tournament is always hosted by a financial corporation called the "Mishima Zaibatsu", with the tournament prize generally being control of the company offered to the victor (who then is free to host the next King of Iron Fist tournament). The arcade versions are known to traditionally use PlayStation based hardware for each installment, and subsequently each arcade version was eventually made for its respective PlayStation.

Series overview

A listing of each main game in the series with the year in which the original version of the entry was released in Arcades.


The Tekken series is one of the earliest 3D fighting game franchises, with the first game released less than two years after Virtua Fighter. There are six Tekken sequel games: Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, Tekken 5 and Tekken 6. Updates of Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, titled Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, respectively, have also been released.

The Tekken series also includes Tekken Advance, (a GBA version of Tekken 3) which was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. However, Namco did not release any other Game Boy Tekken titles subsequently, due to the franchise's exclusive deal on the PlayStation platform. A PSP version of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection retitled Tekken: Dark Resurrection, was released in Japan and the U.S.marker in summer 2006. The European version was released in September 15, 2006. Tekken Card Challenge was also released on the Japan-only handheld Wonderswan.


As with many fighting games, players choose a character from a lineup, and engage in hand-to-hand combat with an opponent. It is primarily a competitive two player series, but a human player can fight an AI-controlled character for practice or amusement.

In the original Tekken game, the characters would fight on arenas. The name of the location was displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. The locations included Angkor Watmarker, Szechwanmarker, Monument Valley, Chicagomarker, Kyoto, Fijimarker, Windermeremarker, Veneziamarker, Acropolismarker, King George Island, and Chiba Marine Stadiummarker. Subsequent Tekken games do not have the names of real locations displayed in-game during fights.

Tekken differs from other hand-to-hand fighting games in some ways. Traditional fighting games are usually played with buttons which correspond to the strength of the attack, such as strong punch or weak kick. Tekken, however, dedicates a button to each limb of the fighter, making learning special attacks more of an intuitive process. The player could watch the animation on screen and figure out the appropriate command (if the character kicks low with their right leg, the move is likely to be executed by pressing down and right kick, or a similar variation).


The Tekken games are popular within the martial arts community thanks primarily to the fact that most of the characters' fighting techniques can be found in real life martial arts. However, there are questions as to the accuracy of the style labels ascribed to certain characters. For example, in previous releases of the game, the character Paul Phoenix is listed accurately as fighting using integrated martial arts based on judo, despite judo not generally allowing punching and kicking, especially in competition. Similarly, the character Marshall Law is listed as being a practitioner of "martial arts", which is not a specific discipline. Similarities exist between Marshall Law and Bruce Lee, including their fighting style, Jeet Kune Do as well as appearance. The misunderstanding concerning Marshall Law's "martial arts" is commonly attributed to the fact that in the manual for the American PlayStation release of Tekken 2, the translator for the manual missed a small pun where Marshall Law practiced 'Marshall arts', a reference to his own name. Other Tekken characters also draw heavily from real life action heroes, such as Lei Wulong and Craig Marduk, video game analogues of Jackie Chan, and large wrestlers/mixed martial artists, such as Bill Goldberg, Nathan Jones, and Bob Sapp. Namco themselves have stated that the styles in Tekken are not supposed to accurately represent real styles, but merely give the impression of them. Paul Phoenix, King (albeit through two different identities), Nina Williams, Yoshimitsu and Heihachi Mishima have been playable characters in all Tekken games, while Lei Wulong first appeared as a playable character in Tekken 2 and has since shown up in all subsequent games. Kazuya Mishima is a playable character in all Tekken games with the exception of Tekken 3, which he only appears or is mentioned in various cinematics.

Apart from Yoshimitsu and Heihachi Mishima, there are many crossovers between Tekken and the Soul series, such as King's mask available for custom characters in Soulcalibur III, and Ivy's hairstyle for Anna in Tekken 5. Yoshimitsu and Heihachi, being originally Tekken characters, obtained many new moves when brought to the Soul series. In later Tekken games, some of these attacks were added to their moves lists.


The Tekken series uses separate buttons for right and left limbs, resulting in four buttons. Other trademarks include throw escapes, and starting from Tekken 2, autoblock. Each iteration was improved upon both graphically and technically. Tekken 3 introduced the ability to move into the foreground or away from the background, commonly referred to as "sidestepping." Also, Tekken 3 reduced recovery time after being knocked down then previous games and each game afterwards include rolls to recover instantly after hitting the ground; allowing the player to get back into the fight instead of pounding buttons. Tekken 4 gave characters even greater mobility by adding true 3D movement while simultaneously including geometrically complex arenas with unleveled ground, obstacles, and walls. This differed from previous Tekken games, where all of the arenas were level and contained no boundaries, meaning the player could walk forward or backward without limit. Tekken 5 saw the return of both walled and infinite arenas, with the fluid mobility of Tekken 4 being toned down to appease many players who felt it made the game more focused on evasion. Tekken Tag Tournament, released between Tekken 3 and Tekken 4, is not a part of the Tekken storyline. The game allowed each player to control one of the two selected fighters, who could be tagged in and out of the fight by the additional fifth button, which can be used for tag team attacks and juggles, amongst other tactics. Otherwise, Tag Tournament used much of the Tekken 3 gameplay engine and reintroduced characters who weren't available since Tekken 2.


By default, there are two rounds of combat. However, the players have a choice from one to five rounds, as well as options for the time limit of each round. If the winning character retains all his or her health without the time limit expiring, the announcer will call, "Perfect!" If the winning character is near knock out, the announcer will call, "Great!" It is possible that both characters can be knocked out simultaneously, and the announcer will call "Double K.O." If the time limit for the round expires, the character with more health will be declared the winner. If both players have equal health remaining, the round will be a draw. In other cases, the announcer will call "K.O." when one character is triumphant or "Double K.O." when both opponents have been knocked out simultaneously. Double K.O. results in a loss for the player in Arcade mode.


Tekken is notable and praised for depicting its characters with visual flair and style. Players can choose from a diverse cast that hails from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and fighting styles. A few characters have supernatural origin, such as Devil and Ogre, while others like Roger Jr. and Kuma provide comic relief. In the story mode of the game, each character generally has their own personal reasons for entering the tournament and competing for the prize. When a player selects a character, completion of the game would assume that particular character won the tournament and their ending is shown, hence there are multiple endings depending on which character is chosen by the player. The plot of subsequent games in the series, however, assumes only one of the endings to be correct. The overarching plot of the series revolves around the Mishima family (Heihachi, Kazuya, Jin, Jinpachi, and most recently Lars), who together are the only characters to host and win the tournaments canonically in the series so far. Paul Phoenix, Nina Williams, Yoshimitsu and Heihachi Mishima are the only characters to have been playable in every Tekken game so far.

1 Unlockable character.
2 Appears as alternate costume for another character.
3 Mentioned briefly in-game.
4 Makes a cameo in-game.
5 Appears as a customization for another character.
6 Unplayable boss character.
7 Available only in a specific version of the game.

Character Tekken Tekken 2 Tekken 3 Tekken Tag Tournament Tekken 4 Tekken 5 Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Tekken 6 Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion
Alisa Bosconovitch
Anna Williams
Armor King
Armor King
Asuka Kazama
Baek Doo San
Bruce Irvin
Bryan Fury
Christie Monteiro
Craig Marduk
Devil Jin
Dr. Boskonovitch
Eddy Gordo
Feng Wei
Forest Law
Gun Jack
Heihachi Mishima
Jin Kazama
Jinpachi Mishima
Julia Chang
Jun Kazama
Kazuya Mishima
Lars Alexandersson
Lee Chaolan
Lei Wulong
Ling Xiaoyu
Marshall Law
Michelle Chang
Miguel Caballero Rojo
Miharu Hirano
Nina Williams
Paul Phoenix
Prototype Jack
Roger Jr.
Sergei Dragunov
Steve Fox
Tiger Jackson
True Ogre
Wang Jinrei

Appearances in other games

Appearances in other media

  • Tekken: The Motion Picture, a two-part OVA series, was released in 1998.
  • The Young and Dangerous series features scenes where the cast plays Tekken 3.
  • The film Kuen sun (a.k.a. The Avenging Fist) is loosely based on the Tekken storyline.
  • Charles Stone III is directing a live-action movie tentatively titled Tekken, which is said to only be loosely based on the Tekken series.
  • Tekken Forever, a comic book published by Image Comics in December 2001 features a story that focused on the Kazama family and also the Unknown character from Tekken Tag Tournament. The comic only has one issue, and the reason for the comic's cancellation is unknown.
  • Characters and settings from the series appear in the collectible card game Universal Fighting System by Fantasy Flight Games (specifically characters from Tekken 6) and in Epic Battles by Score Entertainment.
  • On Comedy Central Presents, Comedian Dane Cook makes a reference to Eddy Gordo, a playable character in Tekken, in a skit where he tells a story about the first time he had seen someone get hit by a car.
  • Johnny Storm and Benjamin Grimm are shown playing Tekken 5 in issue 33 of Ultimate Fantastic Four. When Ben asks Johnny about an explosion that just occurred in their building, Johnny replies by saying, "Who cares? I finally mastered that face-kick thing."
  • An episode of the British TV show Spaced features a scene where the two main characters have an argument, their verbal sparring mirrored by a fight between Nina Williams and Paul Phoenix, ending with Daisy winning the argument, the Tekken announcer voice saying "Daisy Steiner wins" and Daisy imitating Nina Williams win pose.
  • In the video for the Blind Guardian song "Mirror, Mirror" several band members can be seen playing Tekken 2 for a few seconds.
  • In the film Shaun of the Dead, a character mentions "staying up all night playing Tekken 2."
  • In an episode of Room 401, Tekken 3 can be seen in the background.
  • In a sketch on Saturday Night Live where Sully (Jimmy Fallon) and Johnny (Ben Affleck) fight over Zazu (Rachel Dratch), Johnny tries to convince Sully that they have gone through too much to let a girl break up their friendship and reminds Sully about the time they "broke into the arcade and played Tekken until four-in-the-morning."
  • Yuksek's Tonight There is a background music of Yoshimitsu's Tekken 3 ending
  • In an episode of Grounded for Life, Brad O'Keefe, the next door neighbor of the Finerty, has a new PS2 and mentioned having Tekken Tag Tournament, which the youngest son, Henry, has exclaimed, " Brad's got Tekken Tag Tournament, why can't we play?"
  • A live-action Tekken film is in the works, due for release for 2009. Production is expected to start in February. According to, it will be filmed in Louisiana. Luke Goss has been officially cast as Steve Fox. For this article, see Tekken .
  • Mokujin (or a whole lot of them) made a cameo appearance in the manga Mahou Sensei Negima. In one of the ending songs of the Negima! anime, one of the characters made a reference to Tekken.
  • In the movie Drillbit Taylor the main characters play Tekken 5 to prepare for a fight with a bully.
  • In the music video Picha Pie by Filipino band Parokya ni Edgar, the fight scene parodies Tekken, in a comical manner.
  • In the game Death By Degrees,Nina Willams is featured as the main character.
  • In one episode of the British soap Emmerdalemarker children can be seen playing Tekken Tag Tournament.
  • In Dude Where's My Car, in the scene where the two main characters are at the arcade, a Tekken 3 game machine can be seen in the background.
  • In Eastenders between 2000 and 2006, a Tekken 3 arcade can be seen in the background of the cafe in Albert Square.

Developers' opinions

Developers of non-Tekken games have commented on the series.
  • Ed Boon, the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, revealed in one of his interviews with GamePro that his favorite fighting game out of his competitors is Tekken
  • In contrast, Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead or Alive series, has repeatedly criticized the series, calling it an annoyance and, in particular, stating that "Tekken 4 is a piece of shit". He also stated at a later time "Tekken sucks. I don't know what you're talking about" when asked about an upcoming Tekken 6 game.
  • Both Sega and Namco have shown interest in a possible crossover between Virtua Fighter and Tekken.

See also


External links

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