Tekken has certainly come a long way. Namco has been delivering the series since 1996. Five years later we're kicking back with our Dual Shock 2 controller at hand, getting ready for the opening scene of Tekken Tag to boot up. We've come a long way from our early fighting days of Tekken, the characters went from 100 polygons to 10,000 polygons each! And the difference will literally take your breath away. Tekken Tag was a great game, but it wasn't a sequel, fans wanted something that can follow up Tekken 3's endings, and so Namco prevails with Tekken 4. A completely revamped fighting game, this new Tekken will feature something others never had... the inclusion of walls. These 'walls' could range anything from statues to barricades or actual cement walls. The new inclusion could be used for the gamer's preference in two ways, offensive and defensive. You can either pin your opponent against the wall and beat him down, or you can hide behind the wall and avoid your enemy for a period of time. Make note that Tekken 4 takes place two years after Tekken 3, so I'll make it clear that Tekken Tag had no actual story line that tied in with Tekken in general. Tekken 4 is a wild twist in the Tekken series, there are various characters missing, one died, one is missing a third of his ear, this is Tekken like you've never seen it before!
Introducing, Christie Monteiro, she is a student of the Brazilian fighting style called Capoeira. Christie is the grand-daughter of Eddy Gordo's master, the man who taught Eddy the art of Capoeira while he was in prison (which would be during Tekken 2's time). After the Iron Fist Tournament 3 ends, Eddy teaches Christie the Brazilian form. She's a quick learner who grasped the art quickly and became almost as good as Eddy. But now Eddy has disappeared, leaving a note explaining that he must seek vengeance on an enemy, an enemy who killed his father. Christie believes he has entered the Iron Fist Tournament 4, so she follows his path and registers herself. Does she know what she's gotten herself into?
The formerly known Dean Earwicker (I prefer that much over the new name) is now Steve Fox. An English chap who's a middleweight champ. One day a mafia threatens to kill Fox if he doesn't throw a huge match between one of his opponents. Fox understands the consequences but wins with the fear of knowing he could be killed. He quickly escapes the UK and flees for the US. He knows he can't hide from the mob, because they are scattered around the US as well. So he decides to enter the Iron Fist Tournament 4. Steve seems to be one of the more powerful Tekken entries.
Marshall Law, well guess what? Forrest Law is...missing. And his father Marshall has no idea where he is. Suffering a terrible case of depression, due to the closing of his dojo and various other things, Marshall Law decides to get himself back into shape and enter the IFT4 in the search for answers of the whereabouts of his son Forrest. You guys should remember Marshall from his cameo appearances in Tekken 3 (beat game with Forrest Law) and in Tekken Tag.
Perhaps the most tragic of all Tekken characters is Craig Marduk. A master of another Brazilian fine art called 'Vale Tudo.' Vale is a vicious and brutal sport, think Ultimate Fighting (UFC) times three, there are hardly any rules in the sport, therefore you will notice a huge piece of Craig's ear missing. Craig Marduk is not a very orderly man, as he accidentally killed another in a bar fight (right after Tournament 3 ended). He was instantly thrown into jail, but two years later, just a few weeks before the fourth tournament, Marduk was set free on bail. But who would bail a man who killed another man? Who would do something so idiotic? The answer's simple... King.
It turns out that the man Craig killed was Armor King (one of my all time favorites), who as we all know is King's mentor and teacher. King, mourning the loss of a loved one, takes all of his money earned from various wrestling matches and uses it to set Craig free, in order to seek vengeance against the man who had killed King's inspiration. Craig also receives an Iron Fist Tournament form and fills it out, thinking it would be fun. He has just fallen into the hands of King.
Tekken 4 is without a doubt the most plot inspired fighting game of all time. You've got everything a fighter fan could wish for. Now what I'm feeling is that each character will have his/her own last boss, the best example would be King, his last match would be between Craig because he is the man who he is seeking. Instead of just having Heihachi, or some other boss as the last fight for all characters, Namco needs to vary the coup to every fighter.
From these screenshots of the Emotion Engine powered System 246 hardware, Tekken 4 looks absolutely stunning. The character detail seems better than Tekken Tag's, and the backgrounds have a whole lot of detail in them. The characters feature better body definition and look more realistic. I should also mention that the Tag feature has been removed from the game, but that doesn't mean that Namco may not add it as an extra in the PS2 home conversion next year. Below is the focus story for Tekken 4, between Kazuya and Heihachi. It seems long but it isn't. It should take about five minutes to read through and will re-connect you to the world of Tekken 3 and 4. I highly suggest giving it a read...
"Two years ago, Heihachi failed to capture Ogre.
Not willing to give up, Heihachi ordered his researchers to collect blood samples, skin tissue, and hoof fragments left behind by Ogre (or known as True Ogre in its true manifestation) in order to conduct genetic experiments. Heihachi’s goal was to create a new life form by splicing Ogre’s genome with his own. However, the research was unsuccessful.
After extensive experimentation, Heihachi’s bioengineers came to the conclusion that an additional gene - the Devil Gene - was necessary in order to successfully splice Ogre’s genetic code into another living organism. Heihachi learned that his own genome lacked the Devil Gene, but he knew someone who did...
Jin, who vanquished Ogre in The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, was shot and mortally wounded by Heihachi. As his life slipped away, Jin transformed into a Devil. Upon his transformation, he struck down Heihachi and took flight.
Jin’s whereabouts were unknown after the Tournament.
Heihachi searched for Jin to no avail. However, Heihachi discovered a photograph during his investigation that stirred his curiosity. The 20-year-old photograph was an image of a burnt corpse covered with laceration wounds. Heihachi paid particular attention to the corpse’s back, which had what looked like deformed, protruding wing-like limbs.
Convinced that the picture was of Kazuya, his own son whom he threw into a volcano 20 years ago, Heihachi diverted all his resources into a search for the body. This search eventually led Heihachi to G Corporation, a leading-edge biotech firm making unprecedented advances in the field of biogenetics research.
Heihachi discovered that G Corporation found the corpse and extracted and analyzed its genetic data. In fact, Heihachi learned that the company was in the midst of creating a new life form by using the data. Heihachi also determined that Kazuya’s remains and research data were secured at G Corporation’s Nebraska and Nepal research laboratories, respectively.
Friday, 25 December. The Tekken Force raided G Corporation’s maximum security research laboratory in Nepal. The bottom floors of the building were obliterated, and the remaining data storage facility containing file servers was airlifted by a group of heavy-duty helicopters.
At the same time, a separate unit led by Heihachi infiltrated the underground research facility in Nebraska, where Kazuya’s remains were preserved. As Heihachi observed from his helicopter, he soon realized that unlike the Nepal facility, the operations in Nebraska were not going according to plan. The tactical status monitor screens showed the first wave of the Tekken Force troops being blown out from the storage room where Kazuya’s remains were supposedly kept.
A silhouette of a large figure slowly emerged from the room... When Heihachi could see clearly enough, he instantly recognized the large figure as Kazuya.
Kazuya was resurrected in G Corporation’s research facility. After his resurrection, Kazuya offered his body as research material to determine the true nature of the Devil that resided within him. Kazuya’s goal was to unify his two selves into one. Kazuya theorized that if he unified his body with the Devil, he would be able to truly harness its powers. He could then finally take revenge against Heihachi and the Mishima Zaibatsu (Financial Empire).
Enraged that Heihachi thwarted his plans, Kazuya obliterated the heavily armed Tekken Force and vanished into the flames of the lab’s wreckage.
Heihachi was infuriated by Kazuya’s escape and took out his anger on his hapless subordinates who reported the escape.
Abel, Heihachi’s lead scientific advisor, urged the enraged Heihachi to quickly find a way to capture Kazuya. Once his anger subsided, Heihachi focused his mind and decided on a plan. An evil smile crept upon his lips.
Two years had passed since The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3.
The Mishima Zaibatsu announced The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4 and placed the massive financial empire as the top prize.
The champion who manages to defeat Heihachi at the end of the Tournament would inherit the Mishima Zaibatsu.
Well aware that the tournament is just a trap designed to lure him out, Kazuya nevertheless enters - it is his chance to defeat Heihachi."