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Tekken: Characters Who Have Immortalized The Franchise

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  • Posted on 19th Nov, 2022 15:50 PM
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Tekken's enduring popularity is owed in part to its varied and well-written cast of characters, and the lore behind them really brings them to life.

p>Since debuting in the mid-90s, Tekken has gone on to become one of the most recognizable fighting series on the planet. Its fast-paced, free-flowing combat has managed to continuously evolve over the years, ensuring it remains one of the go-to games of the genre. Tekken's roster of playable characters has evolved too, but at its nucleus, the same core group of fighters has represented the franchise since the beginning, and these characters have played a huge part in its enduring popularity.

Fighters such as Bryan Fury, Jack, and Kuma all bring diverse styles and appearances to Tekken's cast. From cyborgs to dinosaurs and even bears, there's never been a shortage of interesting fighters for players to choose from, and some of Tekken's best characters are instantly recognizable throughout the video game industry.

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The Mishima Family

The Mishima family is the lifeblood of the Tekken series, and at least one of them is usually responsible for most of the major plot points throughout each installment. The family patriarch is Heihachi Mishima, a fierce warrior and ruthless businessman. Valuing strength and power above all else, Heihachi has regularly come to blows with both his son Kazuya Mishima, and his grandson, Jin Kazama. This complex family dynamic has been put to the test over and over again, with none of them being able to stay on the same page for long.

The trio all share a similar move set, having each been trained in Mishima-style karate from a young age. Uppercuts, power punches, and precision kicks are each major features, and each of these fighters are strong all around. With Heihachi supposedly dead after events in Tekken 7, a stunning new trailer showed during a recent State of Play event revealed Jin and Kazuya's rivalry is set to come to a head in the upcoming Tekken 8.

Paul Phoenix

Visually, Paul Phoenix is one of the most recognizable faces in the fighting genre, thanks to his striking block of blonde hair which contrasts with his tough, biker look. Introduced in the first game, Paul has the heart of a lion and never knows when to quit. While initially, it appeared that Paul would be a rival of Kazuya's, as the series progressed he became something of a secondary character, often providing comic relief. He shares a close friendship with Marshall Law and his son Forest and can count the bear Kuma among his fiercest rivals in the game. Paul's fighting style is good for all-rounders, as he is powerful but also deceptively nimble, able to flip and move quickly when necessary.

Marshall Law

Taking one look at the character of Marshall Law, it's clear to see that he is modeled on the martial arts icon Bruce Lee. Everything from his hair, to his fighting style, to his vocals, is a clear nod to the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Introduced in the first game, Law is extremely fast and able to perform a wide range of offensive moves in an incredibly short amount of time. He can transition from punches to kicks in the blink of an eye and possess an aerial threat too. A loving family man, Law will protect his wife and son Forest fiercely, and if he isn't training or fighting, he will probably be found joking around with his best friend, Paul Phoenix.

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Nina Williams

Nina Williams is another who debuted in the original Tekken. A lethal assassin, she is able to put her opponents into a wide range of grapples and holds to gain the upper hand. Her small frame belies her strength, and Nina regularly emerges victorious over men twice her size. She has undergone various traumas throughout her life, repeatedly being experimented on and even losing her memory. During one of these experiments, she was placed into cryosleep for 15 years, which has helped her retain a young, youthful appearance. She has a fierce rivalry with her sister Anna and has served as a loyal and ruthless bodyguard to both Jin Kazama and Heihachi Mishima.

Hwoarang

Since he burst onto the scene in Tekken 3, the plucky, arrogant character of Hwoarang has become a firm fan favorite thanks to his acrobatic move set which mainly relies on an assortment of devastating kicks. These kicks can be stringed together to form insanely long combos, and often by the time his opponent has a chance to catch their breath, the round is already over. Hwoarang is a keen student of Tae-Kwon Do and enjoys a fiercely competitive relationship with Jin Kazama, which began when the two fought to a draw, the first time Hwoarang had ever failed to win a match. The two have been involved in some brutal encounters over the years, with neither able to fully exert their dominance over the other.

King

While King is another ever-present in the series, there have actually been two separate people who've donned the name throughout the series. The original King entered the first King of Iron Fist Tournament and finished in third place after a spirited showing. After entering the second tournament and losing again, he was subsequently killed at the hands of Ogre before events in Tekken 3. Following King's death, one of the children from the orphanage he owned began adopting his name to honor his memory. Both fighters are strong, with an assortment of brutal wrestling techniques at their disposal. Some of these techniques can actually be chained together to form multi-throws, which can be very tough for opponents to escape from.

Tekken 8 is sure to add some new characters to its ever-growing roster, but fans of the series will be hoping that many of these favorites return once again. So far, only Jin and Kazuya are confirmed to return, but given the usual amount of playable characters included, many more are sure to join them in due course.

Tekken 8 is currently in development.

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