Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tekken (Playstation, 1995)

 With Tekken 7 finally releasing, I figured it'd be a good time to check out the game that started it all. I never played this when it was current (started with Tekken 2). Join me as I play the origin story of the Mishima family, that cat wrestler, and whatever the hell Yoshimitsu is.

 Wait, what? This is a space shooter? I've heard of games starting as one genre and then becoming a different genre as the series progresses, but I wasn't expecting this to be...

 ...oh, here it is. Check out these 1995 full-motion video visuals!

Back in the mid-90's, spiky-headed jerks riding motorcycles were all the rage on PlayStation.

The roster is as barebones as it gets for this series, and we only have the originals. There's The Terminator (seen here), the blonde femme-fatale, Bruce Lee, the wrestling cat, Kazuya The Main Character, Paul the Gaijin, the non-blonde, and...whatever the hell Yoshimitsu is.

I usually would roll with Marshall Law when I played this series, because he's got those Bruce Lee moves. Later I moved to Hwoarang and his fancy kick arsenal. In the more modern Tekken variants I'm more likely to just go for whoever the hottest female character is.

The physics in these early 3D fighters are insane. Behold how they contort and bend in midair like they're made of rubber!

I'm playing as Kazuya since he's the canon "hero" of this game. He's the villain in some of the others...I think...maybe it's his brother Jin that I'm thinking of. The Mishima family gets confusing.

The good news about the PlayStation version of this game: Unlike the arcade version that it's based on, you don't need quarters. Unlimited continues means you can play as long as you want. The bad news? There are no difficulty levels, and the default level is pretty tough. Good thing we have those continues.

I really like some of these backgrounds/environments. The way they move with your characters really helps things feel more 3D. These fights take place on what is best described as a 2.5D plane, where you're essentially "shifting" between 2D spaces when you hop into the foreground or background.

Next I battle the Terminator. This guy attacks with rapid-fire uppercuts. In later Tekkens, there are newer models of this dude like Jack-2, Jack-3, and so forth. All of them do the same rapid-fire uppercuts.

This is definitely 1995, because there are still glaciers.

Nina is, of course, the resident sexy law enforcement of this series. These backgrounds continue to be awesome, even if they aren't interactive. This looks like something out of Daggerfall's early attempts at 3D.

Here's Chicago, again looking pretty impressive for the time.

Cool music here too, kinda reminds me of Metal Mario.

SKYLINE REALISM CHECK: How spot-on is Tekken's depiction of Chicago in 1995? As it turns out... pretty spot-on. No major buildings are repeated, the several most iconic buildings are represented, and it looks like the actual city rather than just a "generic filler city visual". Tekken has succeeded where The Last of Us failed on that front.

Kazuya breaks it down with a Degeneration X double-chop!

Windermere is the next location, and sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Get through all of that, and it's off to Kyoto for the main event. Heihachi is such an iconic character, and deserves to have the best stage theme in the game:

Oh Yeahhhh. This track is insane.

Here he is dishing out a vicious noogie (no, really). You see, Kazuya is his son, and Heihachi was a terrible father, but Kazuya is also some sort of demon-child, and later entries try to make Heihachi a sympathetic character. In any case, here, he's just the villain. We don't have a huge overarching lore yet.

My first exposure to this universe was watching a guy play Tekken 2. Specifically, he was fighting Heihachi. Later I watched the same guy fight a boss in the original Wild Arms, so the two games are forever linked for me.

After winning the final battle, we get a famous scene that gets repeated throughout the series, as Kazuya... throws Heihachi off a cliff!

Heihachi comes back, of course, and that's why we have like ten more Tekken games after this one. It's pretty cool to finally see the genesis of this series, though.

Things take a turn for the creepy, as Kazuya now transforms into...

...Kazu yeahhhh.

Man, this makes Creepy Richie look completely non-creepy in comparison.

The scene of Kazuya throwing Heihachi off a cliff is actually revenge on the part of the younger dude. In Tekken 7 we see how Heihachi once threw a young Kazuya off of a cliff:

...and later in the series, more cliff-throwing transpires. This is pretty much a series about the Mishima clan throwing each other off of cliffs.

In other news, I put together a video with footage from some of the later games, so check that out too.


  1. Is Lee the Goro of this game?

    Wow, you weren't kidding about the music.

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