Over the course of 23 years, the Tekken fighting game franchise has produced 7 main titles as well as a few spin-offs. (LINK 1) During that time the developers intoduced its audience to over 70 playable characters. (LINK 2) You can imagine that at least a few of them ended up being a bit strange to play with or to even look at when attempting to apply logic to these characters’ appearance in the game.
“Mokujin is a training dummy made from a 2,000 year old oak tree” While that doesn’t explain why a training dummy is suddenly able to fight you back, Mokujin knows every playable character’s fighting style from each game he appears in (LINK 3). When mimicing some of these styles, he even takes on part of their appearance. For example, if Mokujin mimics Devil Jin’s fighting style, (who has wings) Mokujin will suddenly have a new pair of wooden wings on his back. (LINK 4) Where did they come from? They certainly weren’t there last round. In one moment Mokujin could be fighting you like a sumo wrestler, but in the very next round, he becomes a winged block of wood that shoots laser beams.
While he does not speak, Mokujin appears to have a personality as well as his own life. In his Tekken 3 ending (LINK 39) he is launched via uppercut by a female Mokujin who appears to want him to fetch two buckets of water. He does not appear to be having very much fun while completing this task. While walking through the woods, he spots two younger and smaller beings like himself playing a wooden arcade cabinet with Tekken 3 installed onto it. This intruiges Mokujin. He puts aside his buckets to play the game. Comically, he plays as himself beating up the very same female Mokujin that tasked him with fetching the water. Mokujin is so pleased with himself he fails to notice the female Mokujin is right behind him up until the point she bumps into him. Mokujin turns to see her angry face only be to uppetcutted yet again at the end of the clip.
While the ending is likely not canon, Tekken is implying that there are more blocks of wood like Mokujin that have also come to life. If that’s the case, how many 2,000 year old oak trees did they have to cut down in order to make these training dummies? Who did they belong to before they came to life? Who decided it was necessary to punch a child-sized training dummy? What is that arcade cabinet’s power source?
King is a luchador (LINK 5) that wears the mask of a Jaguar. You would assume, because he is a man, that you would be able to hold a conversation with him. King is special, however. When he speaks, he makes animal sounds that appear to be audio clips of different wild cats such as lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards. This form of speech is accompanied by subtitles to help the player understand him. Other characters, like Marduk, have been seen speaking to him in different cut scenes and understanding him perfectly… somehow. (LINK 6) King is a wrestler that does not appear to ever break kayfabe (LINK 7) and would be a good fit for any professional wrestling league.
Gigas looks like a big red machine. There are metal plates with the number “03” all over his body with a few of them attached to tubes or cables. This implies that he is a sort of lab experiment. (LINK 8) Fans of Tekken have theorized that Gigas might actually be the character Marduk who has many of Gigas’ moves. (LINK 9) There is currently a distinct absence of Marduk on the Tekken 7 Roster, however, Gigas is suddenly here. Is that a coincedence?
In Tekken 5, Jinpachi Mishima is revealed as the final boss of the game. He is the father of Heihachi Mishima, who left him to die of starvation underground. (LINK 10) When Jinpachi came back to life for… reasons… he became the opponent the player has to win against in order to beat Tekken 5. When the player gets to his stage, a short moment of dialogue is exchanged when he suddenly transforms into a devil with spikes all over his body and a face where his stomach should be that shoots fireballs. (LINK 11) Jinpachi can be a difficult opponent to fight as he can stop the player from moving for a short time while he continues to attack, (LINK 12) causing rage inducing gameplay. It is never explained what exact entity took over Jinpachi’s body. Instead he refers to it as “this thing” and “this monster”. (LINK 13)
Roger Jr. is a boxing kangaroo that is holding yet another boxing kangaroo in its pouch. (LINK 14) This concept is truly silly. There are so many questions: Where did they learn to fight? Who gave them boxing gloves? Is there a chance that Roger Jr. could actually be the one in the pouch? All mysteries.
Akuma is a character from Street Fighter who now appears in Tekken 7. (LINK 15) When Akuma was first revealed, players of both Street Fighter and Tekken were shocked. After all, Street Fighter and Tekken characters have not appeared along side one another in video games that are considered “canon”. When asked in an interview by Gameblog Fr, (LINK 16)Michael Murray, game designer at the Tekken Project had this to say about Tekken and Street Fighter sharing the same universe.
(Note: This quote was google translated from French to English from the Gameblog Fr website.)
“We would not go as far as saying that the Street Fighter universe is integrally connected to Tekken. Tekken has always its own history and atmosphere. This unique part of the Mishima saga contains a window where Akuma plays a role. As a character, it fits very well in this environment. It does not look out of his element in Tekken. But add to this part of the story makes it even better mixing.
But I would not say that the two universes are linked. Just this part.” (LINK 17)
Part of the meaning in this response is clearly lost in translation. (Google Translate can only do so much.) From what fans were able to understand in this article, it appears that the developer was saying that Akuma, who is from Street Fighter, is in Tekken, but that does not mean that Tekken and Street Fighter are in the same universe. (LINK 18) In addition to this explanation not being very clear, considering where it came from, Akuma was later revealed in his own game, Street Fighter V, as a playable character, (LINK 19) causing even more confusion on the subject.
Yoshimitsu has to be one of the weirdest characters in Tekken. While appearing across all 7 Tekken games, (LINK 20) all 5 Soul Calibur games, (LINK 21) plus Tekken Tag Tournament 1 and 2, Yoshi has had many oppotunities to dramatically change to his appearance. He usually took them. Ninjas usually don’t want to be seen, but Yoshi has always put forth the extra effort to make himself fashionable.
In Tekken 1, he wears a full suit of armor and a strange mask. (LINK 22)
In Tekken 2, It’s a different mask with a farmer’s hat and upper body armor with pants and boots. (LINK 23)
In Tekken 3, he looks like the predator. (LINK 24)
In Tekken 4 he’s a beetle. (LINK 25)
In Tekken 5 he’s actually dressed like a samurai but with a “skull inside of a fish bowl” helmet. (LINK 26)
In Tekken 6 he looks like a futuristic samurai and begins holding two swords. (LINK 27)
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2 his armor takes on a rather clean and creative look. This time around it’s less bulky than Tekken’s 5 and 6. (LINK 28)
In Tekken 7, Yoshimitsu did something completely different. He became a squid. (LINK 29)
His various appearances in both Soul Calibur (LINK 30) and Tekken (LINK 31) have led fans to believe that he can live for an extremely long time because he is an alien, as it is written in his character bio in the manual of Tekken 1, where it calls him “A ninja from space”. (LINK 32) It is entirely possible that the line of text is intended as a joke, but no one truly knows for sure.
In Tekken 3, Doctor B. is an elderly man of science (LINK 33) who cannot stand up straight. (LINK 34) Most of the time he’s crouched or lying down, the implication being that he has back problems. With that said, why is he fighting? Every so often Doctor B. will have an electric current visibly run through his body causing him to suddenly be able to perform strange techniques like launching himself in different directions, spinning in the air, and stabbing people with the antenna on his handheld device. The man is clearly a mad scientist. It is rather humorous to see, but when you think about the logic of what is actually happening on screen, you’ll begin to wonder “Why is this all necessary?”.
Gon is a boxing dinosaur. (LINK 35) C’mon, again? He is too short to be hit by an opponent of normal size who is not aiming low. He’s like oddjob from 007 Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. (LINK 36) He does not look like he belongs in the game at all and that’s because he is a guest character who appears to be meant as a joke. He has to be extremely close to an opponent to punch them because his arms are too short. When that fails, Gon has access to a tail whip… and a fart move that causes the opponent to topple over.
The craziest thing you can do in Tekken 3 is to play Tekken Ball Mode (LINK 40) with Gon vs Doctor Bosconovitch. You will see just how much sense this actually makes. You will be playing a deadly game of volleyball with a short boxing dinosaur and an old man holding a button to determine which one of you is better at actually being able to hit the ball into the opposing character’s court. Hilarity ensues.
Sake (LINK 37) is the most unconventional character that made absolutely no sense. In the arcades, Sake ended up being a salmon that when selected would do nothing more than a regular salmon would, flopping around and making flappy fish noises, followed by dying. This turned out to be a bad idea when the developers realized that a player who puts their money into the machine to play this character would get frustrated when they discovered that they were unable to fight, effectively wasting their money. (LINK 38) It was a joke gone awry.
(LINK 1): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/Tekken_(series)
(LINK 2): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tekken_characters
(LINK 3): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Mokujin
(LINK 4): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/Mokujin
(LINK 5): https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/luchador
(LINK 6): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjU3nrRQAW4
(LINK 7): https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kayfabe
(LINK 8): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Gigas
(LINK 9): https://youtu.be/Q_CWoVgFU-s
(LINK 10): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Jinpachi
(LINK 11): https://youtu.be/PIjgd0Pzz_A
(LINK 12): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaWZoNFIY3E
(LINK 13): https://youtu.be/WBevGDIJQOU
(LINK 14): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Roger_Jr.
(LINK 15): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Akuma
(LINK 16): http://www.gameblog.fr/news/55530-street-fighter-et-tekken-partagent-ils-un-meme-univers-la-re
(LINK 17): http://www.avoidingthepuddle.com/news/2015/12/22/round-up-tekken-7-interviews-at-jump-festa-2016.html
(LINK 18): https://youtu.be/UklUU8bereU
(LINK 19): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P0NI8ed_eg
(LINK 20): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/Yoshimitsu
(LINK 21): http://soulcalibur.wikia.com/wiki/Yoshimitsu
(LINK 22): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu_Artwork_-Tekken_1.jpg
(LINK 23): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu(T2)2.jpg
(LINK 24): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu(T3).png
(LINK 25): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu_(T4).png
(LINK 26): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu_T5.jpg
(LINK 27): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu_-Full-body_CG_Art_Image-_Tekken_6.png
(LINK 28): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:Yoshimitsu_TTT2_CG.png
(LINK 29): https://eng.tekkenpedia.com/wiki/File:TK7-Yoshimitsu-CG-Art.jpg
(LINK 30): https://youtu.be/dtLEVCG7e3I
(LINK 31): https://youtu.be/B_5hHvoo0N0
(LINK 32): http://www.manjikai.com/inside-manjikai/manji-vault/about-yoshimitsu/Yoshimitsu-Bio
(LINK 33): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Doctor_Geppetto_Bosconovitch
(LINK 34): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CBp_TZ02os
(LINK 35): https://youtu.be/LLGWs2WLJxA
(LINK 36): http://goldeneye.wikia.com/wiki/Oddjob
(LINK 37): https://www.eventhubs.com/images/2013/mar/12/did-you-know-gamings-tekken-3-character-sake/
(LINK 38): http://tekken.wikia.com/wiki/Sake
(LINK 39): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOlYbBPQ1Ms
(LINK 40): https://youtu.be/ki31rfaam4g