Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)


I wrote an article about the Tekken 8 story before, and I could barely cover it halfway through the game. Considering how long the story took (even though I tried speed-running and cheesing my way through it), there’s no doubt that I needed more than a single article to complete the review.

So, here are some of the highlights of the second half of the story that I want to talk about. Expect spoilers ahead, if you haven’t seen or played the Tekken 8 story mode just yet.

Tekken Force is Back, Somewhat

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Fighters who are with the Resistance and UN Independent Forces.

Tekken fans love the Tekken force game mode. It was first present in Tekken 3, then in Tekken 4. Tekken 5 adopted the game mode similarly, but focused only on Jin Kazama in a mini-game called “The Devil Within”. In Tekken 6, the story revolves around a scenario campaign that fully embraces the Tekken Force game mode which lets players choose any characters they want (so long as they have unlocked it the further they progress in the story) to finish the campaign.

They don’t have that in Tekken 7, unfortunately, because of the tight budget. But we have it again in Tekken 8, somewhat.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Lili and Asuka finishing off Jack-8 to help Alisa.

In chapter 10: All-Out Assault (the chapter right after Zafina and Claudio’s alleged deaths), the Resistance of Mishima Zaibatsu (together with the UN Independent Forces) and G-Corporation are at war, where the fighters from the tournament joined in to aid in the battle. Some of the fighters will be teaming up with the Resistance, and some with G-Corporation. The characters you play are with the Resistance, with the goal of pushing the G-Corporations back from advancing.

This is where the Tekken Force game mode comes into play. It’s very much similar to the previous Tekken Force game modes, but it’s only stuck to that chapter alone, and you can’t choose characters (they’re tied to segments, where you will be switched to different characters as you progress through the chapter).

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Reina is against Nina in the conflict.

But hey, you get to see King doing a German suplex on the G-Corporation soldiers and Steve Fox dodging bullets like some anime characters (this is Tekken we’re talking about, so throw any logic off the cliff like Kazuya did his father Heihachi).

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
King suplexing the G-Corporation soldiers.
Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Steve dodging bullets.

The fact we get to see martial artists like Feng, Leroy, Paul and Law, as well as MMA fighters like Azucena, Leo and Steve, ninjas like Raven and Victor, pro-wrestlers like King, and young fighters like Lili, Asuka and Reina be in a massive battlefield (not to mention Kuma the bear was there, too) as canon to the Tekken plot kind of made me scratch my head a bit. It is purely enjoyable to see such a treat, however.

Jun Returns, Yet She Didn’t Play a Major Role

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Jun Kazama’s character episode ending.

When Tekken 8 announced the character reveal trailers, and Jun Kazama was one of them, I was super thrilled to see if she was playable in the story when I finally got my hands on the game.

She was not.

A bit of a bummer, if I might say so myself. The story even relates to her power in purifying the Devil Gene in Chapter 13: Awakening, and that Jin Kazama finally uses the gift bestowed to stop Kazuya once and for all. We did see Jin adopting some of Kazama style’s move sets in the final battle (which I will cover further below), similar to Jun’s (and Asuka)’s move sets.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Jun Kazama bestows the Kazama power on Jin in his ‘mind’.

I get it if Asuka Kazama couldn’t play a big role in the story, but Jun was right there. She’s been missing since the events of Tekken 2, where she was allegedly killed by The Ogre, and the hype of her returning brought expectations that she’d finally be the one to end the cycle between the Mishima family. Not to mention that Jun Kazama is both Jin’s mother and Kazuya’s wife, both of are which important to the story.

A person lying on the ground

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“Mysterious figure” walking up to the unconscious Kazuya in Jin’s ending.

But at the very least we have a tease shot of her walking up to Kazuya upon his defeat at the end of the story before the credits roll, so here’s hoping in the next title.

The Final Battle was just Peak Anime

A colorful explosion in space

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The clash between the wing of hope and destruction.

I saw a post saying that Tekken has turned into anime-like, and I personally think Tekken has already been one ever since the launch. It just didn’t show the true anime experience that players can have until Tekken 8 was launched because by then players could experience the hype of showing off their extensive and flashy combos and using the newly introduced mechanics (heat rush, heat engager, and heat smash) to further spice things up in the battle.

With Jin finally regaining his Devil power after losing it upon defeat by Kazuya, combined with the Kazama power, Jin reaches his ultimate form in Chapter 13 — Angel Jin. Kind of fitting that Angel Jin is going against Devil Kazuya.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Angel Jin
Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Devil Kazuya

The fight keeps going for a while, too, to the point they even get out to outer space in Chapter 14. Ultimately, in the heat of the battle, the extreme clash between the Devil and Angel causes the meteor they are standing on to crumble and fall back onto Earth, all while losing their respective Devil Genes completely.

The fight between them both isn’t over yet, though. Kazuya and Jin are still at each other’s throats in Chapter 15: Strength and Conviction, even after losing their powers. This is where we get to see Jin Kazama finally using both Mishima and Kazama styles in the fight.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
The real final battle takes only strength and conviction

When Jin first used the Mishima-style combat stance, something felt off. I didn’t notice it at first, until Kazuya highlighted the fact that Jin had disregarded the Mishima style before, indicating that Jin finally embraced the Devil Gene in his blood (he used to associate Mishima style with the Devil Gene that runs in his lineage).

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Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Kazuya stated his disbelief in Jin adopting the Mishima fighting style.

Then after one round, he switched to the Kazama style he used back in his first appearance in Tekken 3, similar to his mother’s fighting stance. That’s when my mouth just dropped. It’s like watching an anime protagonist recalling and using all the strength and powers given by his family and friends to overpower Kazuya, who’s sticking to only Mishima’s fighting style.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Jin switched from Mishima to Kazama fighting style similar to Jun.

In the end, though, Jin sticks to his Kazama-style traditional karate to end the battle once and for all. Depending on the outcome of the final round, the ending of the game can be split into two: Kazuya ending, or Jin ending (with Jin’s being the canonical one). If the player loses to Kazuya, then we can see Jin sharing a similar fate to Heihachi, his grandfather (or Kazuya’s father) by being thrown off a cliff, a trait all Mishima family members share.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Kazuya delivers his ‘final’ blow to Jin.

Jin’s ending, though, leaves Kazuya to be knocked unconscious (he’s definitely not dead after the final blow by Jin), and Jin leaves him there afterwards, breaking the chains (or the alleged ‘tradition’) in the Mishima family. Before the credit rolls, an ambiguous figure can be seen walking up to Kazuya, showing nothing but a pair of feet belonging to the person. The shoes worn are the exact ones Jun wears in her default outfit, confirming the fact that she is, unsurprisingly, not dead and finally awakened from her deep slumber.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Kazuya lost to Jin (Jin’s ending).

This, together with Reina’s after-credit scene where she transforms into the Devil after being ‘killed’ by Kazuya’s super laser beam, is a tease to Tekken fans that there will be either story DLC or sequel titles after Tekken 8. Either way, I’m definitely hyped for it.

My Take on the Story

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Zafina (and Claudio) is shown alive in the credits.

It is absolutely phenomenal, that’s for sure. All Tekken titles so far, apart from the animated series and movies, haven’t gone up to this level of storytelling. Tekken 5 was highly praised for its story interludes between characters, Tekken 6 for its unique interaction with characters in the scenario campaign, Tekken 7 for its very first time of gameplay integration within cutscenes, and now Tekken 8 practically goes all out for both story and the gameplay within it.

The four-to-five hours spent on Tekken 8: The Dark Awakens really leaves me in complete satisfaction at the conclusion of the never-ending clashes between the Mishima family. Sure, we still have Reina with the Devil Gene, but whether she’ll be a threat remains unknown for now. She’s on the Resistance’s side, but that’s probably to aid in her motive.

Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Let’s Talk about Tekken — The Story (Part 2)
Reina Mishima awakened the Devil Gene in her in the post-credit cutscene.

Regardless, the story is definitely worth playing the game for. The game really focuses on Jin and his role in breaking the chains of the cursed bloodline, so Jin mainly benefits well from the story. Some characters aren’t playable in the story, like Asuka and Jun, so any hope of getting to play them can be thrown away. You can still play character episodes, though — these are mostly just for some laughs, and they aren’t canonical (more to what-ifs).

If you’ve missed Part 1, be sure to check it out here. Otherwise, if you’re interested in other gaming reviews like Stray, feel free to check them out. I have a list of articles for you to read more. See you next time!


  • Muhammad Hariz

    A ’00 Malaysian freelance writer for MugenMilano. Occasionally writes for fun; otherwise, going to the gym and playing video games would be the R&R for Hariz. Having a keen interest in the area of gaming and technology, Hariz’s written materials would mostly be tech-related and gaming news, particularly in adventure, horror, and fighting genre. Doesn’t stop him from writing other interesting topics, though, as long as it is worth checking out.

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