:  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. 

Tekken Character Selection Screen.

(Story continued) ... 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, accepted.


Tekken's humble beginnings. . .

:  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.


The hardest-hitting throw animations the fighting genre has ever seen.


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).

Each 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).


Hilarious (and difficult input) special moves for players to learn & discover.


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 UGLY. 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.

michelle-chang-tekken-early-concept-sketches.jpg (27792 bytes)            heihachi-ganryu-jack-tekken1-early-concept-sketches.jpg (35082 bytes)            ganryu-tekken-early-concept-sketches.jpg (31375 bytes)            ganryu-tekken-early-concept-sketches2.jpg (46345 bytes)

  Click Here for all Concept Sketches!





  View more products at TFG Shop

Page Updated: March 2nd, 2024
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Designer(s): Seiichi Iishi                        Director
Hijame Nakatani            Producer
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, PSN
Release Date(s): Dec. 9th, 1994                 Arcade
May 12th, 1994             WW Arcade
Mar. 31st, 1995
Nov. 7th, 1995
Nov. 8th, 1995                  PS1
May 21st, 2011                PSN
May 21st, 2011                PSN
June 3rd, 2011                 PSN
July 6th, 2011                   PSN
Characters Kazuya Mishima, Marshall Law, Jack, King, Nina Williams, Michelle Chang, Paul Phoenix, Yoshimitsu, Prototype Jack, Lee Chaolan, Armor King, Ganryu, Wang Jinrei, Anna Williams, Kuma, Kunimitsu, Heihachi Mishima, Devil Kazuya

Featured Video:

Related Games: TEKKEN 2, TEKKEN 3, TEKKEN Tag Tournament, TEKKEN 4, TEKKEN 5, TEKKEN 5: Dark Resurrection, TEKKEN 5: Dark Resurrection Online, TEKKEN: Dark Resurrection, TEKKEN 6, TEKKEN 6: BR, TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2, TEKKEN 7, TEKKEN 7: FR, TEKKEN 8, TEKKEN Hybrid, TEKKEN 3D: Prime Edition, TEKKEN Advance, TEKKEN Revolution, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 2, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter EX, Tobal No .1, Dead or Alive, Battle Arena Toshinden, Street Fighter X TEKKEN, Namco X Capcom, Soul Edge

Gameplay Engine  7.5 / 10
Story / Theme  8.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.0 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.5 / 10
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Art Direction  6.5 / 10
Customization  5.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.0 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10

 7.9 / 10

 Review based on Arcade / PS1 versions    


Final Words: This unorthodox 3D fighting 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... while introducing innovative mechanics such as the 4-limb button system, chain throws, and 10-hit combos. Tekken surely had a lot of room to grow and improve, and that's exactly what it did over the decades!

The first Tekken had a certain coolness about it, but definitely came off as more "laughable" than serious. The game didn't seem to take itself too seriously (which also became a trademark of the series), while featuring authentic and hard-hitting martial arts techniques. Tekken 1 offered a unique blend of characters based in martial arts, pro-wrestling, as well as other obscure characters that made it stand out at arcades. 

Months following its original arcade release, Tekken seemed to gain more and more steam. While fighting game fans of 90's arcades didn't seem sure about Tekken at first, I can remember crowds eventually forming around the Tekken 1 machine. Discovering new moves and characters kept the game fresh! The hype and mystery surrounding Tekken continued strong until the release of Tekken 2 (which quickly became a smash hit.)

Tekken 1 was huge success on the Sony PlayStation and quickly became a favorite among 3D fighting game fans. About 1 year after Tekken 1's original release, Tekken 2 hit the scene and was a vast improvement over the original, soon becoming another monumental title in arcades and on PS1.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

FOLLOW    ON: