When it comes to Tekken, let’s not kid ourselves. While we revel at the opportunity to dish out a thorough beating to our cocky mates or pummel the less than competent A.I. in a fine display of joypad dexterity via a meticulously timed juggle combo, there’s another reason we all love a game of Namco’s veteran brawler – unlocking and viewing those utterly absurd ending FMV sequences.
From the ubiquitous, moody Mishima’s to the perpetually bumbling Ganryu, Tekken’s ever elongating cast of colorful combatants form the backbone of one beat ‘em ups most convoluted narratives in videogame history, featuring everything from feuding families, love struck grizzly bears, a bloke with a penchant for walking around in a Jaguar mask and tail, a fighting chef, boxing Reptiles and a Devil-infused emo kid among others. Indeed, we doubt we’re not the only ones who enjoy nothing more than devouring every ending like a well-oiled ritual upon the release of a new Tekken game, taking us in to the early hours of the morning in the process.
In celebration of the launch of Tekken 6 this month, PSU decided to compile a top ten list of what we consider to be the best FMV endings in the series to date, from the epic, poignant, perverted to the downright hilarious. We’ve ploughed through every installment in the franchise since its inception back in 1994 all the way up to and including 2007’s Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, dissecting each and every ending and picking the best of the bunch.
Check out our Top Ten below, along with a video of each ending for your viewing consumption (spoiler warning for those who haven’t played the games and witnessed the endings for yourselves). Inevitably, we don’t expect everyone to agree with our list, so feel free to post your own picks in the comments section below. Enjoy.
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#10 - ARMOR KING [TEKKEN 5: DARK RESURRECTION]
The masked Mexican and Kings former mentor made his triumphant return in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, despite having supposedly met his maker some years earlier at the hands of big brute Craig Marduk. Still, after going AWOL for a few years, you’d have thought that the Jaguar mask-wearing wrestler would be pleased to see his old buddy King, right? Apparently not. Indeed, as made abundantly clear in his ending, Armor King appears to have other things on his mind when approached by his former student, and greets him with a swift kick in the gut followed by a rather painful looking tombstone pile driver. Ouch.
#9 - ANNA WILLIAMS [TEKKEN 3]
Tekken siblings Anna and Nina Williams haven’t quite yet observed the meaning of sisterly love. Quite content to engage in hand to hand combat or fire rockets at one another as much as spend a day shopping at the local mall nattering about the opposite sex, the Williams’ have a tempestuous relationship to say the least. Here we find the two relaxing by the pool following Anna’s victory at the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, seemingly getting along with one another. However, Nina soon lets her jealously get the better of her as her sister laps up the attention of the local meatheads, and promptly embarrass her in front of her male admirers. It’s worth mentioning that this is the uncut intro from the Japanese version of Tekken 3, as the North American and European conversion were edited as a result of its ‘explicit content.’ Enjoy.
#8 - KUMA [TEKKEN 4]
There are two distinct matters in which to differentiate Tekken’s cast – the serious contenders and the comic relief. Kuma, unequivocally, falls in to the latter. However, this doesn’t deter from the fact that clown contenders such as Alex, Roger, Panda etc., serve up some of the series most memorable ending FMVs, and Heihachi’s loyal pet is no exception. Here, we see the brown bear triumph over his former master and attempt to claim the sprawling Mishima Conglomerate for his own – only Heihachi has other ideas.
#7 - LEE CHAOLAN [TEKKEN 5]
The adopted son of Heihachi Mihima, Chinese-born Lee Chaolan has taken a while to figure out just what he wants out of life. After siding with Kazuya in Tekken 2, dropping out of the third tournament, returning as his pink-haired alter ego Violet and subsequently losing to a resurrected Kazuya in Tekken 4, Lee ultimately decided that it was probably best to just cut all ties with his adopted family and decided to enter the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 to crush the Mishima Zaibatsu. After succeeding, Lee enjoys the fruits of his labor and humiliates Heihachi by having him serve as his thong-wearing poolside lackey. As Lee says at its climax – “excellent!”
#6 - LING XIAOYU [TEKKEN 3]
In comparison to her fellow combatants, Xiaoyu is perhaps one of the most innocuous characters in Tekken history. She’s not driven by hatred, greed or personal vendettas - she just wants a theme park built for herself and her pet Panda. Unfortunately, little Ling’s naivety over the dodgy Mishima Zaibatsu left her bitterly disappointed after winning the third tournament, as illustrated in her Tekken 3 ending, which remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing entries in the series thus far.
#5 - WANG [TEKKEN 5]
Despite the common perception that Heihachi remains the oldest living combatant in the Tekken universe, the honor in reality belongs to wise old Wang Jinrei. Indeed, although remaining out of the limelight for much of the franchise (and being omitted entirely from Tekken 3 and 4), Wang’s impact in the fifth King of Iron Fist Tournament remains his strongest contribution to date, a factor primarily attributed to his long time friendship with Tekken 5’s resident bad boy, the now corrupt Jinpachi Mishima. After defeating him at the game’s climax, the poor old chap bids an emotional farewell as his lifelong friend disintegrates in to dust. A decidedly rare, poignant sequence we just couldn’t pass up. Hand us the tissues.
#4 - MARSHALL LAW [TEKKEN 5]
Poor old Marshall Law. Having seen his restaurant go bust after the events of Tekken 3, failing miserably in the fourth tournament and ending up completely broke even after triumphing in Tekken 5 due to his son’s mounting hospital bills, everyone’s favorite fighting chef just can’t seem to get a break in life. To top it all off, he’s then presented with the sight of best mate Paul Phoenix rocking up with a rather meaty motorcycle bill, demanding that his long-time friend cough up the funds in a hasty fashion. Already at breaking point, Marshall is mighty miffed, and swiftly clobbers Phoenix with a fine uppercut before making a mad dash for it. It’s hilarious stuff from Tekken’s ever-loveable dynamic duo.
#3 - KAZUYA MISHIMA – [TEKKEN 2]
While not intrinsically evil (put that down to being thrown in to a crevice by his old man at the age of seven and having to make a pact with the Devil to make it out alive), you’re not going to catch a glimpse of spiky-haired Mishima machine Kazuya walking old ladies across the street anytime soon. Here’s a fine slice of classic Kaz in action from his memorable, albeit non-canonical Tekken 2 ending FMV, facing off against Devil. However, whereas some people would welcome the aid of their father fighting alongside them in battle, Kaz instead plumps to utilize daddy Heihachi as a human shield before delivering that fatal uppercut to his purple-skinned alter ego. It’s an absolute classic.
#2 - JIN KAZAMA [TEKKEN 3]
It’s no fun being Jin. Your father is a devil-infused maniac, your granddad’s an evil, power mad corporate bigwig bent on world domination, and your loving mother vanished off the face of the Earth. Oh, and there’s the small issue that you also happen to be infected with the Devil gene yourself. Indeed, perhaps it’s no surprise that the young Kazama’s ending – itself the official outcome of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3 – didn’t exactly have a happy outcome. Brutally gunned down by Heihachi after slaying Ogre, Jin transforms in to a Devil, beats his dodgy grandfather to a pulp before flying off in to the moonlit night. A gripping sequence in its own right, and a precursor to the downward spiral that Jin’s life would ultimately take after that fateful night.
#1 - HEIHACHI MISHIMA [TEKKEN 5]
Old man Heihachi is as tenacious as they come. Having not got the message after being thrown down a crevice in an act of revenge by his son Kazuya, hurled through a brick wall by his grandson Jin, the Mishima boss then went and survived being blown up by half-a-dozen exploding Jack Robots, sent flying through the air several miles before ultimately ending up slamming headfirst into some poor chap’s tombstone. A malicious old goat by nature, Heihachi has done some truly unscrupulous things in his time – but nothing tops strapping his only remaining blood relatives to a rocket bound for outer space before laughing manically at their inevitably demise. Is this the most evil, yet undeniably hilariously-awesome ending ever conceived? You bet.
PSU will be reviewing the PAL conversion of Tekken 6 following its release this Friday.