NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 3)

NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 3)
*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*
*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF NAMCO*

This is the last part about the “NAMCO MALE AGE RULE.” After seeing the many number of Tekken and Soul guys who aged throughout the series, unfortunately, there are victims of the “rule.” Like the female counterpart of the “rule,” the unlucky guys were either:

• Replaced by a younger/newer character inheriting their fighting style
• Dropped entirely from the series

First, let’s see the guys who were replaced as the series progressed:

JACK

06_Jack

The token hulk robot of Tekken, the Jacks have been present in all canon installments except in Tekken 4. However, technically speaking, the Jacks in each installment are different robots. In the first Tekken, the Jack was simply a robot designed to hunt down Kazuya Mishima. In Tekken 2, a different unit was upgraded to Jack-2, a version with human characteristics. It is that unit which saved a young girl named Jane. However, Jack-2 was destroyed and Jane, who had become a scientist after 19 years, was determined to revive the robot. In Tekken 3, Jane was able to create a new version, Gun Jack, but she needed additional programming from the Mishima Conglomerate. However, Gun Jack was destroyed by the Tekken Forces and Jane soon joined G Corporation, a powerful biotech firm. Jane soon developed Jack-5 to fight in Tekken 5. In Tekken 6, Kazuya, who became the leader of G Corporation, demanded an upgraded version of Jack to combat the Jacks developed by the Mishima Conglomerate. With future Tekken installments, expect a bigger, more badass version of Jack!!

KING

06_King

Tekken’s resident wrestler was King, the luchador who wears the iconic jaguar mask. Debuting in Tekken, King was a favorite due to his wrestling moves, grappling arts and chain combos. However, by Tekken 3, Namco decided to add an element of drama to the plot. It was revealed that the original King was killed by Ogre, the God of Fighting. However, his spot in the series was assumed by King II, who was an orphan raised in King’s orphanage. King II went on to carry King’s legacy in succeeding Tekken installments.

KUMA

06_Kuma

The Tekken series is also known to add intelligent fighting animals in their roster. The first fighting animal introduced was Kuma, Heihachi Mishima’s pet bear. After being taught some martial arts, Kuma became Heihachi’s bodyguard in the first Tekken installment. However, he was defeated by Paul Phoenix and since then, Kuma has loathed the red-clad Judo fighter. Sad to say, Kuma died of old age. However, Kuma had a cub that became Heihachi’s second pet. By Tekken 3, Kuma Jr. was taught some martial arts and also developed hatred against Paul. Kuma Jr. has since appeared in succeeding Tekken installments.

ROGER

06_Roger

Namco decided to add another notch to their roster of fighting animals. With a touch of comedy, Namco introduced Roger, a kangaroo who wears boxing gloves in Tekken 2. Roger was a product of genetically altering a kangaroo’s DNA combined with a martial artist’s genes. Despite being absent in Tekken 3 and Tekken 4, the boxing kangaroo returns in Tekken 5 with Roger Jr. in his mother’s pouch. Roger Jr. is the son of Roger, who disappeared after he was born. Wanting to find his father, Roger Jr. entered the tournament in Tekken 5 only to find his father living a carefree life totally unconcerned about his family! The adventures of Roger Jr. continue in Tekken 6 so that he and his mother can win the prize money to support themselves.

ARMOR KING

06_Armor_King

The “other wrestler” of Tekken, Armor King was the bitter rival of King. Introduced in Tekken as an unlockable character, Armor King’s fighting style was similar to King but he had extra special moves which made him more useful than King. Technically speaking, Armor King survived the “rule” as he was a background character in Tekken 3, where he trains King’s replacement to avenge King’s death. However, before the events of Tekken 4, Armor King was murdered by a Vale Tudo fighter, Craig Marduk. In Tekken 5, a new Armor King appears, who is revealed to be the younger brother of the first Armor King seeking vengeance.

ASTAROTH

06_Astaroth

The big bad guy of the Soul series, Astaroth was introduced with an “executioner” theme in Soul Calibur. Wielding a giant axe, he is a solid fan favorite due to his arrogant personality, easy set of moves, long ranged attacks and rush attacks that virtually guarantees an easy ring out! In the story, Astaroth was a golem created by Kunapektu to find and obtain Soul Edge. After massacring the entire crew of Maxi, Astaroth wanted to obtain Soul Edge for himself. After Soul Calibur IV, Maxi finally defeats Astaroth. However, Astaroth’s core was retrieved by Kunpaektu as he decided to create an even more powerful golem. He created a second Astaroth, who appeared in Soul Calibur V.

YOSHIMITSU

06_Yoshimitsu

Another fighting style that has been a favorite since its introduction in Soul Calibur is the Manji Ninja Arts. The honorable leader of the Manji Clan, Yoshimitsu originally desired Soul Edge to take revenge against a feudal lord who massacred his men. Upon learning of the sword’s evil nature, Yoshimitsu changes his plan to destroy Soul Edge instead and organized a new group to his cause. 17 years later, the first Yoshimitsu was slain by his dearest disciple; a ritual of succeeding the former leader. The new Yoshimistu is to continue the legacy of the Manji Clan.

And now, here the characters who were dropped from the series:

PROTOTYPE JACK

07_P_Jack

Prototype Jack (P. Jack for short) was introduced in Tekken as an unlockable character and a more powerful version of the playable Jack. In Tekken 2, P. Jack boasts flying stomps and several useful techniques as compared to Jack-2. P. Jack was indeed more powerful but his design was too plain for a robot and as a video game character overall. The fact that most of his moves were slow didn’t help either as he was deemed a low-tier character. After Tekken 2, P. Jack has not appeared in another canon installment. However, his useful moves were incorporated in the fighting style of the newer Jack versions in succeeding installments.

ALEX

07_Alex

Debuting as a palette swap for Roger in Tekken 2, Alex was known the genetically altered boxing lizard of Tekken. However, Tekken 2 has remained his only canon appearance. We know that both Roger and Alex have no big impact in Tekken if basing on the story alone but if Roger had a Roger Jr., doesn’t Alex deserve to have an Alex Jr.? I guess not as that would require an additional storyline for Alex.

DEVIL

07_Devil

It was Devil that possessed Kazuya Mishima before the events of Tekken 2. Yes, his fighting style and his appearance may be similar with that of Kazuya, but in fact, they are both distinct and different characters. Devil was the spirit who made Kazuya more powerful and seemingly, he was the root cause of the Devil gene in Kazuya’s lineage. After Kazuya’s defeat, Devil tried to possess Jun’s unborn child but was defeated. After Tekken 2, Devil was dropped from the series but the continuity of the Devil gene within the series gives a speculation that Devil will return in a future Tekken installment.

SEONG HAN MYEONG, HWANG SUNGKYUNG and HONG YUN-SEONG

07_Korean_Swordsmen

The Korean swordsman style has been consistent in the Soul series. In Soul Blade, Hwang Sungkyung wielded a Chinese sword and was introduced as a principled warrior ordered to obtain Soul Edge for his country. Hwang’s dojang master, 53-year-old Seong Han Myeong, was an unlockable character who uses the exact fighting style of Hwang. In the story, it was his greatest wish that his daughter Seong Mi-Na would marry Hwang, his best student. Soul Blade had been the only canon game Han Myeong has appeared and Hwang was brought back in the next installment, Soul Calibur, but this time, he wields a Chinese blade. By Soul Calibur II, the Korean swordsman style was inherited by Hong Yun-Seong, another student in Han Myeong’s dojang who wanted to obtain Soul Edge to prove his strength. By Soul Calibur III, both Hwang and Yun-Seong were present in the series emphasizing the slight difference in their respective styles. By Soul Calibur IV, Yun-Seong was the sole Korean swordsman and by Soul Calibur V, the Korean swordsman style seems to have been dropped. This was a big surprise to the Soul community as both Hwang and Yun Seong were too young to be dropped (In the period of Soul Calibur II-IV, Yun-Seong was only 18 and Hwang was already 32). Additionally, their styles were regarded as being mid to high tier.

LI LONG

07_Li_Long

The Soul Series’ original Nunchaku wielder, Li Long was very popular among the early fans of the Soul Series. Li Long’s story reveals that he was a Chinese assassin hired to obtain Soul Edge. Li Long eventually falls in love with a Japanese woman named Chie. However, Chie was thought to have been killed by a wandering samurai. Li Long resolves to find Chie’s alleged murderer and obtain Soul Edge. However, Li Long was absent during Soul Calibur and Soul Calibur II. But by Soul Calibur III, 31-year-old Li Long made a comeback. To emphasize the difference against another nunchaku wielder, Maxi, Li Long wields 2 BLADED nunchakus while Maxi only had one REGULAR nunchaku. However by Soul Calibur IV, Li Long was seemingly dropped and was never heard of again.

ROCK

07_Rock

Nathaniel William Adams, or simply nicknamed Rock, was the big good guy and the original giant axe wielder of the Soul Series. He was English adventurer who, after a shipwreck, was eventually washed upon the shores of the New World (present-day United States). He eventually learned the ways of the land and adopted a native boy Bangoo. His plot centers on the rescue of Bangoo (who was kidnapped in Soul Calibur). Despite being absent in Soul Calibur II, 42-year-old Rock was back during Soul Calibur III and Soul Calibur IV, but this time, he wields a giant mace. Rock is one of the less popular characters in the series. His slow attacks can easily be evaded and his main tactics which composes of different grappling techniques is easily escapable. Despite these shortcomings, a lot of fans speculated that Rock will be replaced by Bangoo in Soul Calibur V. Alas, when Soul Calibur V was released; there was neither Rock, nor Bangoo…

ARTHUR

07_Arthur

Arthur was basically a palette swap of Heishiro Mitsurugi, substituting for him in territories were the image of the Samurai was discouraged. Arthur’s story reveals that he was a young English sailor who visited Japan, where he was soon adopted into a local family. He was, however, not accepted by the community and was an outcast. Leaving his home, he became a swordsman. After settling with a local woman and having a daughter, Arthur hears about the cursed sword, Soul Edge. Believing that he’ll be accepted into society if he obtains the sword, Arthur was determined to conquer Soul Edge. Arthur reappeared in Soul Calibur III at the age of 31 and with a slight difference in fighting style compared to Mitsurugi. He was unsuccessful in obtain Soul Edge but he was able to bring home a shard of it. However, that shard was believed to have caused the death of his wife. Blaming himself for the tragedy, Arthur sets sail once again but this time, to destroy Soul Edge. Arthur has not appeared in any installment since Soul Calibur III.

CHARADE and OLCADAN

07_Mimic

Mimic characters are also present in installments of the Soul Series. In Soul Calibur II, Charade was a creature formed from a man who was tracking down fragments of Soul Edge was murdered. The man’s tenacity soon activated the fragments’ power and thus, Charade was born, determined to seek out the remaining shards of Soul Edge. By Soul Calibur III, Olcadan, a master of all fighting arts dares challenging the gods. He was punished by transforming his head into that of an owl and was imprisoned in a labyrinth beneath the earth. Centuries later, Olcadan was able to escape and would seek challenges after his imprisonment. As a summary, the storyline of both Charade and Olcadan, has no impact to the main plot and it’s understandable that neither will return in future installments.

ZASALAMEL

07_Zasalamel

The lone black guy in the Soul Series, Zasalamel was positively received in the Soul community due to his badass weapon and cold personality. Zasalamel was introduced in Soul Calibur III as a tribesman tasked with the protection of Soul Calibur. However, he tried to take control of the sword and afterwards, was shunned from his tribe. Being an outcast, Zasalamel soon learned the art of reincarnation. As time goes on, he grew tired of his reincarnations but he was unable to break his cycle. Believing that the powers of Soul Edge and Soul Calibur will bring death to him, Zasalamel seeks both swords, eliminating obstacles that would prevent him from his goal. By Soul Calibur IV, Zasalamel had a glimpse of the modern world and he shifted his plan to use the power of the swords to obey his will. However, Zasalamel was absent in Soul Calibur V and it seems that he was dropped. His absence was surprising considering his storyline where he was supposed to be an immortal.

That’s a wrap! I will continue to update this post for updates if ever.

I would also like to have a special mention to the following Tekken guys who were introduced as badass old men since their first appearance:

08_Dr_Boskonovitch

Dr. Boskonovitch (96 years old in Tekken 3)

08_Jinpachi_Mishima

Jinpachi Mishima (108 years old in Tekken 5)

In my opinion, the concept of the “Namco Male Age Rule” is almost similar to real life. When men grow old, they became wiser, stronger and more matured in their decisions. However, if applied in Video games storylines, I think that male characters will have the advantage that they will have character development in their history thus gaining more appreciation from fans.

As a conclusion just like in my previous post, I am NOT criticizing Namco’s decision to allow male characters to age throughout the series. Also, I am NOT criticizing their decision if they want to drop/replace characters due to their importance or popularity in the storyline. Again, they are the developers, they are the ones who have the final decision over these matters and it’s up to us, the audience/players to give the proper feedback about their games. Besides, a game wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t for the fans playing the game.

Peace everyone!

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NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 2)

NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 2)

*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*

*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF NAMCO*

This is the second part about the “NAMCO MALE AGE RULE.” We’ve already seen the Tekken guys go strong and become more badass as they age and for now, we’ll see the men of the Soul series. Again, I provided a timeline below so there will be no confusion about the year gaps between each installments.

 Soul_Timeline

SIEGFRIED SCHTAUFFEN

 04_Siegfried_Schtauffen

The iconic blonde swordsman of the Soul Series, Siegfried has been the main protagonist of the franchise ever since his introduction in Soul Blade and has never been dropped from any installment. Introduced as the fully armored knight seeking redemption after accidentally murdering his father, Siegfried has become the central character of the series’ theme of good versus evil. After finally destroying Soul Edge in Soul Calibur IV, Siegfried returns to Soul Calibur V, now aged 40. Despite becoming a supporting character upon his return, Siegfried’s fighting style remains one of the most used and studied among the Soul series fans. With an overwhelming advantage on reach and power, Siegfried is definitely a character to watch out for in the future.

HEISHIRO MITSURUGI

 04_Heishiro_Mitsurugi

The resident Samurai of the Soul Series, Mitsurugi is another seasoned veteran and one of the few characters to have never been dropped from the roster. Mitsurugi’s plot revolves around being a warrior whose ultimate goal was to become the most powerful. He believes that by destroying Soul Edge, he will attain his goal. By Soul Calibur IV, he was finally able to meet his match in Algol, the Hero King. However, their duel was cut short and was not concluded. By Soul Calibur V, Mitsurugi is now 46 and has become a farmer. Upon hearing of Algol’s return, he is determined to finish off his rival once and for all. Despite his cliché story, Mitsurugi is one of the high tier characters due to the ease of his move list, speed and power.

CERVANTES DE LEON

 04_Cervantes_De_Leon

The ever immortal pirate, Cervantes has been the recurring antagonist throughout the Soul Series. With an undead pirate theme and an absolutely evil persona, Cervantes is best known as the previous wielder of Soul Edge and was the original boss character of Soul Blade, the first installment. Armed with a long sword and a pistol sword, Cervantes’ fighting style boasts a lot of various attacks, whether they are short-ranged, long-ranged, multiple strikes or single blows. With regards to his plot, Cervantes desires the power of Soul Edge until he was defeated by his own daughter, Ivy, during Soul Calibur IV. In Soul Calibur V, Cervantes is chronologically 72 years old and has obtained a middle-aged body after being released from Soul Edge’s power.

VOLDO

 04_Voldo

In every videogame, there’s the “Odd one” in every roster. In the Soul Series, Voldo was the recipient of this theme but it was taken to the extreme by Namco. Voldo’s suggestive bondage and sadomasochistic theme has been consistent in the succeeding installments while his fighting style is the most infamous and unpredictable of all styles. Utilizing short-ranged dual Katars, Voldo also relies on tricky moves, surprise attacks and he is the only character having the ability to block while facing away from the opponent. As a total, Voldo is absolutely one of the most unique and weirdest characters in Video Game history. That uniqueness also makes him a top tier character, especially for players who infuse “mind games” in their game play. Voldo’s story reveals that is the devoted servant of a dead merchant, defending his master’s grave and treasure. However, due to his involvement with the cursed sword, Soul Edge, Voldo who is 67 years old by Soul Calibur V, has become a servant of Soul Edge instead. In Soul Calibur V, we learn that individuals influenced by Soul Edge have stopped/slowed their aging rate. Hence, Voldo’s appearance remained unchanged.

KILIK

 04_Kilik

Despite not being the original pole user in the Soul series, Kilik instantly gained a lot of fans during his introduction in Soul Calibur. His easy move list and long-ranged attacks contributes a lot to his popularity, not to mention a lot of fan girls love him as well. Introduced as a diligent protégé of Edge Master, Kilik seeks to cleanse his stained soul and to purify the victims of Soul Edge’s power and eventually, destroy the cursed sword itself. He is usually accompanied by Chai Xianghua, whom he became intimate with during Soul Calibur IV ;). However, Kilik chose the path of a warrior, knowing that Soul Edge was rebuilding its power. By Soul Calibur V, Kilik is chronologically 40 years old and has become a master of different fighting styles. Via plot details, Kilik tried to close the gates of astral chaos, the dimension where Soul Edge was being reborn. While in astral chaos, Kilik encountered several souls and was able to learn their fighting styles (in the game, Kilik became a mimic character utilizing the fighting styles of male characters). Kilik’s original fighting style was passed on to his estranged son, Xiba.

MAXI

 04_Maxi

What do you get when you combine Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee? You get Maxi, the wandering dandy of the Soul Series. Though he was not the pioneer of the Nunchaku fighting style, Maxi was immediately welcomed as a fan favorite of the Soul Series community for his powerful techniques and Jeet Kun Do-inspired moves. Introduced in Soul Calibur as a pirate from the Ryukyu Kingdom, Maxi’s entire crew was slain by the golem Astaroth. Maxi’s main goal in the series is to avenge his comrades by defeating Astaroth at any cost. Along the way, Maxi was cured using a shard of Soul Edge, which caused him to age at a slow rate. After finally defeating Astaroth in Soul Calibur IV, Maxi makes a comeback in Soul Calibur V and at the age of 45, he has become a mentor to the younger generation of fighters. Maxi, like other “pretty boy” characters had the privilege of retaining their youthful appearance even after many years via plot details… again, to appeal the female fans of the Soul community.

LIZARDMAN

 04_Lizardman

Lizardman may fit the “Beast” trope in video games but Namco gave him weapons just like any other Soul character. Aeon Calcos was once a Spartan warrior but was transformed into Lizardman after being captured by the sorcerer Kunpaektu, who also created the golem Astaroth, and together, they became servants to Soul Edge. Unfortunately, Lizardman was never able to regain his humanity and instead, he devoured any opponent whom he defeated. By Soul Calibur V, Lizardman would have been 53 years old if he was still human; however, due to devouring various opponents, he was able to infuse new techniques with his own abilities. Lizardman has definitely come a long way since his introduction in Soul Calibur. Despite his absence in Soul Calibur II, his weapons kept on changing (Sword and Shield in Soul Calibur, Axe and Shield in Soul Calibur III and IV, Dual Axes IN Soul Calibur V). Lizardman’s fighting techniques were also upgraded in every installment as his mutation would just make him more badass than before.

EDGE MASTER

 04_Edge_Master

Introduced in Soul Calibur, Edge Master is the original “Mimic” Character of the Soul series. Just like in another Namco game, Tekken, Mimic characters are also used to randomly select an existing fighting style. However, in Tekken, Mimic characters are delegated as supporting characters (Mokujin, Combot). But in the case of Soul Calibur, Edge Master was given a very important storyline being the mentor of Kilik and several characters in the plot. With that, he’s storyline follows that he is a wise, old master of all fighting styles and weapons (in game, he can mimic any fighting style). In succeeding installments, Edge Master was replaced by other Mimic characters (Charade in Soul Calibur II, Olcadan in Soul Calibur III). But by Soul Calibur V, Edge Master is back and virtually, his design didn’t change from his previous game appearance. Initially, Edge Master’s return was very much welcomed. However, after the introduction of 2 other Mimic Characters in Soul Calibur V (Kilik and Elysium), there were many outcries from fans due to the “excessive” number of Mimic characters and that other favorites were not included.

RAPHAEL SOREL

 04_Raphael_Sorel

The Soul Series’ resident Fencer, Raphael Sorel was Soul’s response to Tekken’s Lee Chaolan. Like Lee, Raphael also sports an upper class personality, a “pretty boy” image (despite being already 32 years old during Soul Calibur II) and a badass fighting style. Debuting at Soul Calibur II, Raphael has been in every installment ever since. Raphael’s storyline revolves around a poor orphan girl named Amy, who helped him escape his pursuers. After adopting Amy as his daughter, Raphael vowed to obtain Soul Edge for the sake of Amy. However, Raphael’s encounter with Soul Edge’s power turned both him and Amy into vampires. Raphael then resolves to spread his evil plague across the world. Having become a vampire, Raphael did not seem to age upon his return in Soul Calibur V (he would have been 49 years old for a normal human).

NIGHTMARE (INFERNO)

 04_Nightmare

Without a doubt, Nightmare is the symbol of the Soul Series. Being a top-tier character, Nightmare seems perfect in areas of power, range, easy move list and combo attacks. Being a central antagonist in the series, Nightmare surely has become an icon. Nightmare’s history seems complicated but I’ll summarize it in the best way I can: Inferno is actually the name of the spirit of Soul Edge. When Siegfried Schtauffen was possessed by Inferno, he became known as Nightmare, the Azure Kngiht. After Soul Calibur II, Nightmare was soon defeated and Inferno lost control over Siegfried. Siegfried discarded his former armor and Zasalamel decided to help Inferno. Zasalamel fused Inferno with the armor discarded by Siegfried and hence, the new Nightmare (appears in Soul Calibur III and IV). Being defeated by Siegfried after Soul Calibur IV, the remnants of Soul Edge were scattered around the world. By Soul Calibur V, Soul Edge’s minions were able to restore much of the sword. Nightmare was soon reborn but this time, under the name of Graf Dumas, which is a façade of gaining human allies.

ALGOL

 04_Algol

Introduced as the final boss of Soul Calibur IV, Algol is probably the most overpowered character ever introduced in the Soul Series. With moves varying from projectiles to standing attacks with great range, Algol is one badass character. And why wouldn’t he? He has a badass storyline to justify his powers. Being known as the “Hero King,” Algol was able to obtain Soul Edge without being corrupted by its powers. With it, he was able to achieve an era of peace. However, his son, who also desired Soul Edge, took it for himself and got possessed by its evil power. Algol was forced to slay his own son together with Soul Edge and for that, he decided to create Soul Calibur but at the expense of his own life. Algol’s soul, together with his crave of power, was eventually sealed upon Soul Calibur. Centuries later, the clash between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur awakened Algol. Algol was freed and created copies of both swords, wanting to achieve absolute power. By Soul Calibur V, Algol plans on taking over the world by corrupting it with the power of Astral Chaos, the dimension of Soul Edge.

DAMPIERRE

 04_Dampierre

Okay… where do I begin… Dampierre, Dampierre, Dampierre…  A.K.A. “Le Bello” he is probably the “Joke” character of the Soul series. Yeah, it’s cool to have joke characters in a series where the character is usually given a very limited set of moves and virtually, a weak shot in winning a battle. But in Dampierre’s case, you’ll get a lot of moves that will easily frustrate your opponents just as Dampierre’s personality will surely annoy everyone 😛 Introduced in Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny (the PSP version of Soul Calibur IV), Dampierre was an infamous Italian fraud artist who got fed up with his unethical lifestyle. He then decided to “save the world” after hearing of the battle taking place between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. However, that goal didn’t last long as Dampierre was back into being a conman 17 years later. And guess what… HIS APPEARANCE DID NOT CHANGE AFTER 17 YEARS!!! Surely, Namco knows to hit the spot when introducing a character that will surely grate on gamers’ nerves 😀

NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 1)

NAMCO MALE AGE RULE?! (part 1)

*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*

*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF NAMCO*

OK, last time I shared some of the hot NAMCO Babes and the alleged “NAMCO FEMALE AGE RULE.” To be fair and square with the guys, I decided to the see if the “NAMCO MALE AGE RULE” really exists. Like the previous post, we’ll see if the NAMCO males are allowed to age throughout the series/succeeding installments and still be playable despite their old age. This post is divided into 3 parts. The first part discusses the Tekken guys who were NOT replaced or dropped from the series. Just to be clear, I provided a timeline below so there will be no confusion about the year gaps between each installments.

 Tekken_Timeline

PAUL PHOENIX

 03_Paul_Phoenix

Everyone’s favorite hot-blooded judo guy is one solid favorite among the Tekken community and has never been dropped in any Tekken installment. Whether in his distinctive Red Judo Gi or in his Black Motorbike Gear, Paul is a top tier character and is still out for blood during tournaments even at the age of 49. Having never officially won the King of Iron Tournament in the past, Paul still fights with passion to prove he is the undisputed Number #1.

YOSHIMITSU

 03_Yoshimitsu

The Ninja Leader of the Manji Clan, Yoshimitsu’s consecutive appearances within the Tekken franchise just makes him more badass than his previous appearances. Despite never revealing his age or face, Yoshimitsu’s consistent evolution in design and game play, surely makes him another solid favorite with the Tekken community. With a lot wacky tricks beneath his sleeve, it looks like we’ll see more of him in future Tekken installments.

HEIHACHI MISHIMA

 03_Heihachi_Mishima

Heihachi Mishima is the original King of Iron Fist… NUFF’ SAID! 😀 At the age of 52, Heihachi, the CEO of the Mishima Conglomerate, organized the first King of Iron Fist Tournament and so began Tekken’s epic story of blood battle and quest for power. In the majority of the Tekken plot, Heihachi has always been in control of the Mishima Conglomerate until the end of Tekken 4, where he lost control of his empire. Ever since his fall from power, Heihach, at the age of 76, is determined to reclaim his massive empire no matter what the cost. A main villain and an accomplished warrior throughout the Tekken series, Heihachi has become an icon not only in Tekken but in gaming history as well.

LEI WULONG

 03_Lei_Wulong

Lei Wulong is probably famous for being the “Video game reincarnation of Jackie Chan.” Since his debut in Tekken 2, Lei’s faithful derivation from everyone’s favorite Hong Kong Martial Arts superstar, from his looks to his fighting style, made him another fan favorite in the Tekken franchise and he has appeared in succeeding installments ever since. Despite his status as a supporting character in the Tekken plot, Lei remains one of the most studied characters in Tekken due to his unpredictable tactics and complex fighting style. In Tekken 6, he is 48 years old.

KAZUYA MISHIMA

 03_Kazuya_Mishima

The original bad boy of Tekken, Kazuya Mishima is the protagonist/anti-hero of the Tekken plot. Having a huge impact on earlier Tekken installments and being one-time leader of the Mishima Conglomerate, Kazuya was temporarily dropped in Tekken 3 to make way for his son and semi- style successor, Jin Kazama. But by Tekken 4, Kazuya made an epic comeback for vengeance against his father, Heihachi and the entire Mishima Conglomerate. By Tekken 6, at the age of 50, Kazuya has acquired full control of the powerful biotech firm, G Corporation, to combat the Mishima Conglomerate, who is now led by his own son, Jin. Equipped with a badass personality and a fighting style to match, Kazuya is definitely a Tekken Icon.

MARSHALL LAW

 03_Marshall_Law

Probably the most faithful rendition of Bruce Lee in Video Games, Marshall Law’s “Marshall Arts” has always been a favorite fighting style among Tekken fans. From his battle cries, outfits, customizations and strategy, Marshall Law, without a question, screams “BRUCE LEE!!!” And for that reason, Marshall Law is easily one of the most recognizable characters of the Tekken Series together with his best friend, Paul Phoenix. Despite missing a playable appearance in Tekken 3 to make way for the debut of his son, Forrest Law, Marshall has been present in all canon Tekken games. By Tekken 6, at the age of 49, the fire within “the Flaming Dragon” still burns and Marshall can still kick ass.

LEE CHAOLAN

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Nicknamed “The Silver-Haired Devil,” Lee Chaolan was introduced in Tekken as the adopted son of Heihachi Mishima. Although he was initially introduced as derivative of Marhall Law’s fighting style, Lee was given a “pretty boy” theme by Tekken 2 through official artworks and soon, Lee had a massive fanbase of female fans. Though he was temporarily absent in Tekken 3, Lee made a comeback by Tekken 4 and guess what.. Lee’s appearance seems to have NOT AGED AT ALL!! I guess Namco wanted to retain Lee’s horde of fangirls so they decided that Lee should maintain his youthful appearance and gave him a “metrosexual” and “ladies’ man” theme. By Tekken 6, Lee is an accomplished businessman and at the age of 49, he can still hold his own during battles.

GANRYU

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The resident Sumo Wrestler of Tekken, Ganryu was considered a low-tier character during Tekken and Tekken 2 due to his slow but powerful sumo moves. His plot revolves that he was a talented sumo wrestler who was once a bodyguard for Kazuya Mishima. He is also infamous for joining the King of Iron Fist Tournaments to gain the attraction of the Native American girls, Michelle and Julia Chang, only to be rejected at the end of each tournament! 😦 (poor fellow, he was rejected by Michelle after Tekken 2 and by Julia after Tekken 5) By Tekken 6, 56 year old Ganryu is now a successful businessman wanting to promote his restaurant in the tournament.

WANG JINREI

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If there’s a character who epitomizes the alleged “Namco Male Age Rule,” that character would have to be none other than Wang Jinrei. Any Tekken fan would surely know Wang Jinrei, the wise old Chinese martial arts master and a very good friend of Jinpachi Mishima, Heihachi’s father. Wang, who was introduced as an unlockable character back in the first Tekken installment was an 82 year old master of Chinese martial arts. The “Old Martial Arts Master” theme is very common in fighting-genre video games but in my opinion, Namco took it to the extreme with Wang. After appearing in Tekken 2, Wang was dropped during Tekken 3 and Tekken 4. However, by Tekken 5, Wang returned sensing that his old friend was still alive. By Tekken 6, Wang is officially the oldest human character in the series at 106 years old! Additionally, he is one of the most revered characters in the Tekken plot.

BRUCE IRVIN

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Bruce Irvin is the resident Muay Thai practitioner of the Tekken Series. Just the thought of Muay Thai itself is badass, with Bruce being a Muay Thai fighter just makes the Muay Thai factor more badass. Introduced in Tekken 2, Bruce was hired by Kazuya Mishima as his bodyguard. He was also Lei Wulong’s rival after it was discovered Bruce was responsible for the death of Lei’s partner. Bruce was absent during Tekken 3 and Tekken 4 but would resurface in Tekken 5. Despite the 21 years of gap, Bruce’s fighting prowess is still unmatched. In Tekken 6, Bruce again becomes reacquainted with Kazuya who now becomes the leader of G Corporation. At the age of 54, Bruce leads Kazuya’s private corps into battle against the Mishima Conglomerate.

BAEK DOO SAN

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Taekwondo was another discipline of Martial Arts popular among fighting-genre video games. In the Tekken franchise, the distinction of the very first Taekwondo practitioner goes to Baek Doo San. Baek debuted in Tekken 2 as the lone taekwondo fighter and sub-boss to Marshall Law. After Tekken 2, however, Baek was dropped in favor of his younger disciple, Hwoarang, who debuted in Tekken 3 which was set 19 years after Tekken 2. Okay, at first, I thought Namco had its first victim of dropping an older male character in favor a younger one. But behold, by Tekken 5, Baek returned and this time, both Baek and Hwoarang are present in the tournament. The reason for Baek’s absence was that he’s knocked out by Ogre, the god of fighting and the main boss of Tekken 3. Hwoarang thought that Baek was killed but in reality, Baek had fully recovered after a year when Hwoarang was drafted into the military. Baek’s return was considered epic; his Taekwondo techniques were updated giving him more speed and having a faster attack rate. In Tekken 6, Baek is already 49, and he’s still kicking… Literally!