Namco's answer to Sega's Virtua Fighter, featuring a unique button system where each of the four buttons corresponds to attacks from each of the fighter's arms and legs.


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Tekken is a 3D fighting game developed and released by Namco for arcades (using PS1-based Namco System 11 hardware) in Japan on September 1994, followed by a worldwide release on December 1994.

Namco's first 3D fighting game, Tekken follows eight martial artists in the mysterious King of the Iron Fist Tournament. While it follows the gameplay of traditional one-on-one fighting games (such as Virtua Fighter), Tekken is known for its unique four-button control scheme, where each button correlates to attacks from each of the fighter's limbs (left arm, right arm, left leg, and right leg). It received numerous sequels and spin-offs, along with an animated film adaptation.

As the game's hardware is based on the Sony PlayStation (the first game to do so), the game quickly received an accurate console port for that system, with a release on March 1995 (in Japan) and November 1995 (worldwide). This version is known for making all boss characters unlockable and for its video cutscenes, and was later digitally re-released for supporting PSOne Classics consoles in May-July 2011. This version was also included in the Japanese PlayStation 2 compilation namCollection.


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Heihachi Mishima is the ruthless owner of the multi-national Mishima Zaibatsu company. He announces to the world the beginning of the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, with a prize reward of one billion dollars. 8 of the finest competitors in the world arrive to take part in the tournament. One of them, Heihachi's own son Kazuya, is not drawn towards the enormous cash reward but is fueled by revenge.

When Kazuya was five years old Heihachi cast him from the top of a cliff, as he wanted to judge the power and determination of his son. Kazuya indeed survived the fall but it left a deep scar on his chest. Kazuya's blood loss would have proven fatal had the Devil not shown up to offer him the chance to seek revenge on his father in exchange for his soul. 21 years later and Kazuya is an undefeated fighting champion, he hears about the existence of his father's tournament and considers this his opportunity to seek revenge.


Tekken immediately sets itself apart from most other fighting games with its button scheme. Whereas most fighting game control schemes have different buttons corresponding to the power of the attacks (such as strong kick or light punch), in Tekken, each button corresponds with a limb (square for left punch, circle for right kick, ect.). Like most fighting games, there is a default setting of two rounds per match, and Tekken consists of the usual 1 on 1 combat found in fighting games, where you win after you deplete your opponents health bar. The player can get a "perfect" if they win a round without suffering any damage, a "great" if they win a round with a health bar that had less then about 5% health left and double K.O.'s can also occur. If the time limit expires (usually 60 seconds), the player with the least health loses.


The game includes 17 characters, only eight of which are playable in the arcade version. Each character follows a standard arcade ladder: the rest of the main roster, followed by that character's rival (as the sub-boss), followed by final boss Heihachi.

All rival characters, as well as Heihachi himself, cannot be selected in the arcade version, but are unlockable for play in the console version.

  • Kazuya Mishima - The cold-blooded Japanese son of the tournament's sponsor, entering the tournament with his family's brand of karate not for the prize money, but to get revenge against his father Heihachi. His in-game rival is Lee Chaolan, Kazuya's adopted Chinese brother who was raised as his rival by Heihachi.
  • Paul Phoenix - A hot-blooded American martial artist who enters the tournament to challenge Kazuya, who he considers his main rival. He is skilled in many forms of martial arts, particularly with Judo. His in-game rival is Kuma, Heihachi's pet bear bodyguard trained in a unique animal form of martial arts.
  • Marshall Law - A Chinese-American martial artist, entering the tournament with his own brand of "Marshall" Arts (based on Jeet Kune Do) in order to open his own dojo with the prize money. His in-game rival is Wang Jinrei, a kindly old Chinese practitioner of the martial art Xīnyì Liùhé Quán.
  • Jack - The first completed model in a series of weaponized androids, dispatched by the Russian military to eliminate Kazuya (as it believed his victory would start a world coup d'etat). His in-game rival is Prototype Jack, an earlier version of Jack stolen by Heihachi and entered into the tournament to face the upgraded model.
  • Nina Williams - An Irish assassin, specializing in an Aikido-based assassination style, who is contracted to infiltrate the tournament and kill its main sponsor, Heihachi. Her in-game rival is Anna Williams, Nina's younger sister with a strong sibling rivalry.
  • Yoshimitsu - The mysterious ninja leader of a chivalrous international thieves guild known as the "Manji Clan", entering the tournament as a decoy while his subordinates attempt to steal the event's funds. His in-game rival is Ganryu, A Japanese sumo wrestler whose unacceptable conduct led to a life of crime.
  • Michelle Chang - A fighter of both Native American and Hong Kong descent, who enters the tournament using a blend of Chinese martial arts in order to get revenge against Heihachi for the death of her father. Her in-game rival is Kunimitsu, a former member of Yoshimitsu's thieves guild who seeks valuable Native American treasure held by Michelle.
  • Heihachi Mishima - The head of the distinguished Mishima Zaibatsu and the tournament's organizer and sponsor, using the tournament to recruit the world's strongest warriors for his own personal use. He is the game's final boss and his arcade ladder in the PS1 version is unique as it is only rival characters (followed by a unique form of Kazuya, known as "Devil Kazuya").


Unlike most other fighting games at the time, stages and stage themes are independent from each character. All stages are based on real locations and monuments.