Beat-‘em-ups are notorious for offering up their fair share of memorable, hair-pulling boss scraps, and Tekken is certainly no exception to this rule. Being quite the Tekken aficionado, I can recall many a time I’ve grit my teeth in sheer frustration after having my arse whopped by Heihachi Mishima, or having to physically restrain myself from hurling my control pad through the TV screen after taking a battering by Azazel. As with most games though, endurance is the key, and ultimately I triumphed over all adversity and subdued the anger beast. Still, if we’re talking memorable boss battles then nothing quite stands out like Tekken 2’s Devil Kazuya, a right git of a game boss even on the lower difficulty settings. As such, the purple, high-haired antagonist is the latest focus of our on-going ‘Badass Bosses’ feature.
Once the revenge-seeking protagonist of the original Tekken, Kazuya Mishima didn’t spend his victory relaxing by the pool and sipping on stupidly-named drinks with umbrellas in them. Rather, he embraced the Dark Side of the Force, assimilating his very being with the Devil himself and subsequently taking over the family business, which he ran with unscrupulous and ruthless efficiency. Players encounter the moody Mishima at the climax of the King of Iron First Tournament 2. After being beaten down by the player character, Mishima transforms into his alter ego, Devil Kazuya. Thus begins the final battle of the game. And despite the game’s antiquated visuals making Kaz look like some bloke wearing a blow-up Flamingo suite, he’s one formidable opponent.
Devil Kazuya’s core moves are, as one would expect, based on Kaz himself. As such, he wields the usual assortment of Mishima staples, including the rising uppercut, dragon uppercut, bitch-kicks, and twin pistons. However, Devil augments the evil corporate CEO with a pair of laser attacks, one fired from a standing position and another executed in mid-flight. Yep, Devil boy can fly, but fortunately not for long. Still, he’s brutal with his attacks, which do enough damage as it is in his regular form without the super-human devil strength backing him up. The fight is fundamentally similar to how you’d handle Kazuya, so if you’re a dab hand at low blocking those hell sweeps or sparing your chin the fury of an uppercut, you should be able to stand your ground. Nonetheless, Devil Kazuya is relentless, and won’t hold back; he’s particularly fond of grabs, so if you’ve nailed the art of grapple escapes, you’re already one up. Good luck returning the favour though, as your opponent has a nasty habit of escaping your own attacks.
Being a boss though, Devil won’t fall for unblockables and will block most of your bread-and-butter specials, so the key to depleting his health is to chip away and wait for openings. The key to finding a chink in his armor lies with avoiding his laser attacks, which leave him highly susceptible to a battering. Of course, you’ll have to have almost immaculate timing to avoid them, but if you do, then he’s going to feel your retribution. If he does the ground-based laser, duck to avoid it; however, you’ll need to be fairly close to exploit any opening that presents itself, so follow up with a crouch-rising attack like a roundhouse if possible. The air laser is easier to spot coming, though you’ll have to leg it quickly to run behind Devil and avoid the attack. Accomplish this, however, and he’s easy pickings for a back throw or special move of your choice – just be quick to get in there and don’t let him regain his equilibrium after landing.
Having been a Tekken fan since ’97, I can state unequivocally that no other boss in the series gave me as much hassle as Devil Kazuya; either that’s a testament to the difficultly of the game or the fact I’m rubbish at it. Regardless, with many folk moaning – rightly so, in my opinion – that many recent entries in long-running franchises are too easy, Tekken 2’s final battle is a refreshing reminder as to how brutal early 3D-based beat-‘em-ups could be. Plus, the purple baddie obviously struck a chord with the developers, as they resurrected the Devil Gene aspect for Kazuya’s son, Jin, in Tekken 5 and 6. Fortunately, it looks like the original specimen will be back for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – bring it on.