Now with the emblem pack there is a truly ludicrous amount of Shout Outs to Namco games and other sources. As well as original works, there's many emblems from Ace Combat as well as 8-bit art of their other games, logos and chibi versions of the Tekken fighters, even designs for Tekken websites.
In Kuma's ending in Tekken 7, Josie and Kuma pulls out the famous gag from Kemono Friends when Kaban thinks Serval is going to eat her.
The Wii U version of Tag Tournament 2 gives each fighter a Nintendo-inspired costume. One of those costumes, the Sheik costume to be exact, is worn by both males (King, Forest Law...) and females (Leo and Miharu), alluding to Sheik's then-ambiguous gender.
Shin Akuma in Tekken 7 can parry like in Street Fighter III, and even has similar animation when doing it.
For Tekken 7 each fighter can wear a Bullet Club t-shirt and your status and life bar (yes, you can modify it with different emblems and mods) include a panel for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
His characteristics happened to be based on Vegeta.
He also greatly resembles Demitri Maximoff of Darkstalkers fame, specially with his Devil mode resembling Demitri's true, demonic vampire appearance.
At least design wise. His white Karate pants and red gloves evoke Ryu from Street Fighter, but what most people don't know is that Virtua Fighter had an unused version of it's main character, Akira, that was left in development. He sported pants without a top and a very different fighting style, with a few Spinning Back Fists... and a Low Spinning Kick, sound familiar? When several workers left SEGA and went to work for Namco, they took Akira's prototype, added a Shoryuken to his moveset and named him Kazuya, making him an Expy of sorts to both Akira and Ryu.
He is basically a giant reference to Heihachi Edajima from Sakigake!! Otokojuku, being similar in both name and appearance. They have even been voiced by the sameactors.
He also looks an awful lot like Lee Van Cleef, which is appropriate given that Heihachi is the Big Bad of the series and Van Cleef was famously great at playing villains. There seems to be some play with this reference, though - Lee Van Cleef sounds like Ron Van Clief, another actor who was a martial arts champion and participated widely in Hong Kong cinema.
Of course there's going to be that joke sooner or later now that there is a character who can summon a tiger. Yes, Kazumi can do a literalTiger Uppercut.
CLAMP designed a special costume for Jin in celebration of the upcoming console release of Tekken 6. It's Lelouch vi Britannia's emperor outfit from R2, a series with a similar storyline, minus the hat. Fridge Brilliance hits in: Jin's plan sounds very similar to the Zero Requiem (right down to the Heroic Sacrifice and bearing the burden of the world's hatred on his shoulders) when you think about it.
One of Devil Jin's win poses has him apparently Force-choking his defeated opponent.
Given his friendship with the Bruce Lee Clone Law family, his imposing beard and his almost unstoppable power, he is probably meant to resemble Chuck Norris. Only his Boisterous Bruiser personality and facial design (which resemble more Triple H) distinguish him from being a clear Chuck clone.
The customization mode in 5 allows the player to turn him into a bearded Ken.
King is an Expy of the titular character in Tiger Mask, and he also shares similarities with his and Fray Tormenta's story. He even has some of the signature moves of Satoru Sayama, the first real life wrestler who donned the Tiger Mask mask.
One of King's grabs is called Muscle Buster. See also the Tag Move King performs with Marduk in his ending in 5. Muscle Docking anyone?
In 7, King II gains an bonus outfit based on Kazuchika Okada as well as his finishing move, The Rainmaker (a wrist-lock lariat), as an alternate Rage Art as part of a cross-promotion with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He even performs Okada's Rainmaker pose (complete with money falling everywhere) if he connects.
He gains some customizations that pretty clearly give him the appearance of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. As both characters derive inspiration from Bruce Lee, this is a justified nod.
Tekken 6 also lets the player buy a series of tracksuits for Law with the famous yellow tracksuit costing around three times as much as the rest. Earlier in the series, this was occasionally one of his alternate outfits, and it reappears in newer games as well.
The various Jacks, including their Flawed Prototype Prototype Jack, are obvious Terminator Impersonators. But even more closely than resembling the Terminator itself, they resemble another, bigger and hulkier Terminator Impersonator, namely Major Metallitron (aka Sergeant Metallic) from Dragon Ball. Special mention goes to Prototype Jack, since (starting in Tekken 2) he wears the Cool Shades that come with the territory of being a Terminator Expy, unlike his more advanced successors.
Jack/Jack-2/Jack-5/Jack-6 are also reminiscent of Guile's classic appearance. Blonde hair with a funky hairstyle? Check. Green tank top? Check. Military cargo pants with a green camo pattern and boots? Check. Jacks also happen to have a move in their moveset, "Cross Cut Saw/Blast", done by tapping forward, forward + both punch buttons, or simply forward + both punch buttons in the earlier Tekken games, which looks similar to Guile's Sonic Boom (with the character crossing his arms in front of himself) except that it doesn't launch any projectile.
In Jack's ending, he's attached to a machine codenamed "System 11". This is the name of the arcade cabinet hardware that ran Tekken and Tekken 2.
Jack-6's ending in Tag 2 (in which he takes off from a city in order to stop a meteor from crashing into it, sacrificing himself in the process) is very similar to the ending of The Iron Giant.
Being an arrogant sumo wrestler who becomes a champion at an Improbable Age, is ousted dishonorably from the business and later gets into martial arts, Ganryu is clearly based on Koji Kitao (sumo name Futahaguro). If that's not enough, one of his alternate costumes is a white gi, just like the one worn by Kitao in pro wrestling and MMA.
He's obviously based on Jackie Chan, to the point of being nicknamed "Super Cop" as in the subtitle of Police Story III.
Early on she was clearly an Expy of Chun Li from Street Fighter, although as time's gone on she has become quite different.
His ending in Tekken 5 is a nice homage to a scene from AKIRA. In it, Hwoarang is riding his motorcycle down a highway when he sees Devil Jin in the middle of the road. Devil Jin destroys his motorcycle with what appears to be telekinesis and sends Hwoarang flying before he gets up and prepares to fight.
In some games, an alternate costume for Julia has thigh holsters, grenades, short shorts and boots. Now think about that as you watch her 6 ending and ask if that reminds you of anyone.
Jaycee is a reference to the short-lived masked wrestling female persona created as a Distaff Counterpart to the real-life Tiger Mask, Tiger Dream (who was portrayed by Tomoko "Candy" Okutsu). Her pink costume and mask resemble Tiger Dream's, and she even has an unlockable custom mask which looks almost identical to Tiger Dream's mask.
Interestingly enough, one of the characters in Tiger Mask W (Haruna Takaoka AKA Spring Tiger) shares Jaycee's backstory of becoming a wrestler for the sake of replacing one of her wrestler friends after the latter was unable to perform, making her somewhat of a Jaycee expy.
In 7, some Japanese players have taken to calling her "Sumireko", given how closely Julia now resembles her.
Both visually and in nature, he is a copy of Roy Batty from Blade Runner. He's even referred to as a Replicant in his Tekken 3 profile. Considering another trait he shares with Replicants, Lack of Empathy, this might border on Fridge Brilliance. His Tekken 7 profile makes this reference as well.
Mokujin's appearance is based on the training dummies from the Jackie Chan movie Shaolin Wooden Men. He even has special win-poses with Wang and Lei where they use him as one!
He's based on the Pillar Men from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, both visually and in profile. Like them, Ogre is a Mayincatec adaptative lifeform from ancient times which is obsessed over fighting.
He also echoes Cell, being both green colored bio-weapons with alien DNA and who can absorb other lifeforms to get more power and possess many moves from various fighters.
Her facial appearance in Tag 2 certainly seems based on actress Saoirse Ronan back in 2010-11; see here◊ for comparison. (While this has not been confirmed nor denied by Word of God, it IS known that Tekken's director Katsuhiro Harada is apparently a fan of hers, since he had listed one of her movies among his favorites in his Twitter account.)
Angel's unlockable outfit in Tag 2 is a suit of armor including a full helmet that covers completely her face, giving strong vibes of Kayle from League of Legends. The armor comes with a sword as well (which is her unique Item Move) but it's not just any sword, it's a Laser Blade whose blade grows to a ludicrous length. Kind of like the Shining Gundam's Shining Finger Sword, or Susanoomon's "Celestial Blade" attacks.
His name is a reference to Bosconian, a 1980s Namco shooter.
Geppetto Boskonovitch brings his creations - robots, androids, cyborgs - to life.
His fighting style in Tag 2 is highly reminiscent of a character from another Namco 3D fighting game Dampierre from Soul Series (specifically, Dr. B's Mad Pain stance, where he hits the opponent and reels back in pain from the limb he attacked with).
His name is probably an obscure reference to Craig Kukuk, the first American to receive a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
His outlook comes basically from Goldberg, being strong and bald, with stubble/beard, chest hair and similar taunts. His ending in Tag Tournament 2 even has Marduk hitting the Jackhammer.
He's also clearly based on Bob Sapp, an enormous, brutal mixed martial artist with outrageous behavior and a huge following. One of Marduk's moves is a piledriver, which was famously used by Sapp in MMA, and some alternate costumes make Marduk black, just like Sapp.
There's also something of Nathan Jones on him, being an Australian giant who is an ex-con and did both professional wrestling and martial arts. They are also so physically similar that when the maligned live action Tekken film was in production, there was the rumor Jones was going to appear playing Marduk.
His injured left ear is probably a reference to the Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield bout in which Mike bite off Holyfield's ear. One of his customization options in 6 is based on Mike Tyson's face tattoo.
His fighting style contains several signature moves of Kazushi Sakuraba, like the Mongolian chop and the jumping stomp.
In Dark Resurrection, his alternate costume can be customized with a short mohawk, scruffy beard, and a large gold chain, making him look very close to Mr. T.
He really looks a lot like Kaioh Retsu from Baki the Grappler in terms of fighting style and appearance such as his hairdo, and arched up eyebrows. Not that mention that both of the characters can destroy a boulder with their fist.
Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do was built around taking aspects of different styles, adding what was useful and discarding what was not. Lee was also heavily criticized for breaking the traditions and customs of kung fu. Feng's God Fist style revolves around overcoming other styles and conquering them. Feng also broke the rules of the dojo he trained at and got scolded for it. Whereas Law seems to just be lighthearted homage, Feng reads like a dark mirror of everything Lee stood for.
His unlockable costume in 5 looks like a getup you can unlock for Ryu Hayabusa in the Xbox Ninja Gaiden, right down to the color scheme. It also looks like the outfit Blade wore in the comics when he was brainwashed by Silver Eye.
His ending in 5 is Raven merely saying "Mission Complete" and then leaving the battlefield with style ala Strider.
Master Raven is an Expy of Taki from Tekken's sister series Soulcalibur. Both are highlybuxom female ninja with an acrobatic moveset featuring teleportation. They both exhibit similar personalities of being no-nonsense shinobi who value their duty above all else.
She can be customized to look like Karin and her rivalry with Asuka even mirrors the one with Sakura.
Not the per se, but their father seems like one of Indiana Jones, if their 6 Story prologue is anything to go by.
Their clothes are kinda similar to those of RockHoward.
His outfit looks very similar to Rugal Bernstein from The King of Fighters. He even has the Genocide Cutter as a launcher.
His fighting stance is exactly like Goenitz, also from KOF.
His white suit, hairstyle, and blue flame-like energy also bring another SNK Boss to mind - Shinnosuke Kagami from The Last Blade.
The stance he takes in his Rage Art and the way he fires his blue energy at the opponent makes it look like he's firing a Quincy arrow. His outfit somewhat resembles that of a Quincy as well.
His cool headed demeanour, white trenchcoat, Italian heritage, and background of hunting down and destroying supernatural creatures with magical martial arts call William A. Zeppeli to mind. To tie this even further, his exclusive headwear item resembles the stone mask from parts one and two.
Judging by his size and role, he was also inspired by Mongkut (played by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) from the 2018 film Kickboxer Retaliation.
Nina is an Expy of Sarah Bryant from Virtua Fighter, in line with Kazuya being a partial Expy to Akira of the same franchise (the director of the first two Tekken games, Seichi Ishii, and presumably most of his staff, had previously worked on the first Virtua Fighter game as well). Both Sarah and Nina are young blonde women who wear their hair in ponytails, have similar purple/blue-ish outfits, are Brainwashed and Crazy at some point in their stories, and have a strong rivalry with a sibling as well.
In terms of the rivalry, though, it's actually Jacky that Nina most resembles, since she's the older and more accomplished of the sisters. And the parallels don't stop at lore—Nina, like Jacky, set the template for both siblings' gameplay, with an emphasis on uptempo aggression, a moveset that keeps building on the foundation from game to game and a recurring presence in the top tiers. Meanwhile, Anna, like Sarah, diverged over time into her own style of rushdown that emphasizes stances, mixups, and high-risk/high-reward strategy, and tends to wind up in the mid-tier for competitive play—though, of course, Anna can make plenty of noise in the right hands.
Nina's and Anna's endings in 5 have them dueling with swords, with Raphael Sorel's theme in Soul Calibur III "Endless Warfare" playing in the background.
Nina's wedding dress in 7 is an evident homage to The Bride from Kill Bill. In some of the in-game character panel artwork, she's depicted wielding weapons like katanas or submachine guns as well.
Zafina has a few unlockable outfits in Tekken 6 (her debut game). One of them is called the "Bastet outfit" (inspired in the eponymous Egyptian cat goddess), which makes her look very much like Catwoman from the Halle Berry movie; this one appears in Tag 2 as well. Another of her unlockable outfits gives her a Bedlah Babe look, not unlike Princess Jasmine of Aladdin fame.
In Tag 2, Wang has a custom head item, a "Wizard Hat" whose Item Move makes him shoot lightning from his fingertips, like a certain Sith Lord.