STORY: Heihachi Mishima, the powerful and ruthless
owner of the multi-national Mishima Zaibatsu, has announced the King of the Iron
Fist Tournament, a fighting competition with a one billion dollar cash prize.
There are eight competitors, and one of them is an undefeated world champion who
is apathetic towards the prize money and solely wants to take his revenge on
Heihachi. This man's name is Kazuya
Mishima, the son of Heihachi.
As history puts it, when Kazuya was five years
old, Heihachi threw him off a cliff to see whether or not he was really his son
(this would be determined by Kazuya's ability to survive the fall and climb back
up). Kazuya did indeed survive the fall, but it left a deep and bloody scar on
his chest which was slowly claiming his life. The Devil appeared before Kazuya,
offering him the opportunity to retrieve his strength back to take his revenge
on Heihachi in exchange for his soul. Kazuya, driven by anger and hatred,
"Iron Fist".... Catchy name.
The original 3D fighting game known as
Tekken first emerged in arcades around the world in 1994/1995, joining the
current "reigning" 3D fighting game franchise, Virtua Fighter.
While not nearly as "pretty" as the likes of Virtua Fighter 2, Tekken
did one-up the original Virtua Fighter by running at a smooth 60 frames
per second. The title offered an
interesting cast of characters and some particularly hard-hitting gameplay to
the ever-growing fighting genre.
Tekken's control scheme introduced a
unique 4-button layout (which is still used today in the latest Tekken
games). Each button is assigned to a specific limb on the character,
making attacks feel natural to the player. Combining buttons allows for alternate
attacks and various throw techniques. Each
fighter has your basic punches, kicks, special moves and throws; a comparable
set-up to Virtua Fighter / Virtua Fighter 2. Each character can also execute at least
one 10-hit combo string, which requires hitting a series of buttons in order and
with proper timing.
Yeah, Kazuya used to rock the
tank top & jeans.
In Tekken, the 3D stages go on
indefinitely, as characters will never encounter a wall. This original gameplay
element offers unique mind games, allowing players to better set up their
attacks, as well as run & tackle each other after creating a distance.
Unlike future installments to the series, the first Tekken featured no sidestepping.
Characters can also jump incredibly high, making the game comparable to many of the top fighting games at the time (which
were simply running arcades in 1994).
character presents a unique fighting style, packed with a generous variety of
priority attacks and some brutal looking throws. There were, however, a handful
of more "awkward" animations in the original Tekken, but the apparent
weirdness of the animation actually allowed the game to stand out even more
among its competitors (which wasn't a bad thing).
Even with its awkward moments, what Tekken's
animation did right was collision detection and "ouch factor". Characters
have a considerable amount of weight to them and nearly all of the moves in the
game look painful when they connect, possibly more so than in any other fighting
game in 1994/1995! Tekken also didn't feature any projectile attacks,
which really set it apart from the wildly popular Street Fighter 2 series (where
Hadokens & Sonic Booms ran rampant). Most of the moves that fighters can
pull off in Tekken also came off as "original" and didn't blatantly
copy other fighters from other games (which some other games were doing).
Michelle's leg looks kinda
broken there... lmao.
The biggest downside of Tekken was its
somewhat odd presentation. The character selection screen shows off some pretty
funny looking 3D-rendered character faces... did I say funny? I meant to say
Honestly, the game itself was also on the ugly side, even for the time.
Character models are a polygonal mess and the actual backgrounds are 2D,
basically warping around the 3D characters and square floor (which actually
became a trademark of the series). Even though the graphics weren't nearly as
impressive as some of the other 3D fighting games in '94, Tekken managed
to stand out with its original characters and unique style of animation &
gameplay. The fighting was also semi-realistic, an achievement which so few
fighting games even attempted, although characters are still able to jump
incredibly high (much like in Virtua Fighter).
The PlayStation version of Tekken was a
faithful port of the arcade version and presented a new, and very graphically
impressive, opening cinematic for the time. Tekken was the first PlayStation
game to sell over a million copies and was awarded a Guinness World Record for
"The Best Selling Fighting Series for PlayStation Consoles". The
PlayStation version also featured impressive FMV character endings and allowed
players to unlock mid boss characters when the game was beaten. In more ways
than one, the original TEKKEN was no doubt a head-turning console fighting game at the
time of its debut.
This silly little game was the foundation of what
became one of the greatest, and best-selling fighting game franchises in
history. Most of us know Tekken
as a 3D fighting game, but the original Tekken played more like a 2D
fighter... the game clearly had a lot of room to grow, and grow it did!
The first Tekken had a certain coolness
about it, but definitely came off as more "laughable" than serious.
Although, at the same time, the game didn't seem to take itself too seriously either
(which also became a trademark of the series).
Tekken was a huge success on the Sony
PlayStation and quickly became a favorite among fighting game fans. Only a year
later, Tekken 2 made its way to arcades and was a vast improvement over
the original. ~TFG