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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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!