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Video Game / Tekken 4

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Welcome to the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4.
Tekken 4 is a 3D fighting game and the fourth main installment of the Tekken series. Developed and published by Namco, it was released in 2001 for the arcades and 2002 for the PlayStation 2. The arcade version's system board is the PS2-based Namco System 246, allowing the console port to be arcade-perfect.

After his plans to capture Ogre failed, Heihachi attempted to create the ultimate life form by combining a sample of its DNA with his own. This too was a failure, however, as Heihachi lacked the powers of the Devil Gene - which Jin Kazama, his grandson and the previous tournament's winner, is now confirmed to possess. In the two years since then, Jin has gone on the run to Australia, unlearning Heihachi's teachings and casting aside any association to the Mishima bloodline, despising Heihachi for stabbing him in the back.

Jin won't be necessary, however - as a tip-off comes to Heihachi's attention that G Corporation, a biogenetics Mega-Corp of similar size to the Mishima Zaibatsu, has recovered the deceased body of Kazuya Mishima, who Heihachi seemingly killed over twenty years prior. Heihachi opts to send in the Tekken Force to raid G Corp's labs and recover his son's cadaver, believing the Devil Gene can be sourced from there, only for the troops to get more than they bargained for. Kazuya Mishima is alive and well, and makes quick work of the Tekken Force's men before giving a message to his father that he'll claim his revenge, and take back what's his.

And so, Heihachi announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, with the Zaibatsu itself as the grand prize for whoever can best him in combat. Both Kazuya and Jin recognise this for what it is, a deliberate facade to draw them both out - but they enter regardless, believing their chance for revenge has finally come. Of course, they aren't the only ones striving for the greatest prize of all - and Heihachi won't go down without one hell of a fight.

The installment introduced many gameplay changes to the series. Doing away with infinite stages, none of the stages in this game are boundless, with specific walls and boundaries that allow for juggling to be performed by cornering opponents into the wall. The game is also the only one in the series to have uneven stages, with some stages having different elevation in its plane, and is also the only one that allows the characters to move before the match properly begins. A side effect of so much focus on environment is that the game feels slower-paced compared to Tekken 3. Last but not least, the graphics have been completely overhauled. The switch to better engine allows for more realism and physics. For example, characters' hair flows as they move, rather than staying in one place. The game is also the first to introduce voice acting outside grunts.

Most of the gameplay modes in Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament return, except for Tekken Bowl. A new Command Attack mode is introduced, where the player is challenged to follow commands issued by the game one by one. Arcade Mode has been separated into two distinct modes: Arcade Battle, an exact emulation of the 8-stage arcade playthrough with no new content; and Story Battle, which features cutscenes and endings, and allows the player to unlock the hidden characters.

Playable characters in the game include:

Tropes provided by the game include:

  • Athletic Arena Level: Arena, the Final Boss stage, is a wrestling ring where the finalist for the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament faces against Heihachi.
  • Back from the Dead: The G Corporation found Kazuya's body preserved at the bottom of a volcano and resurrected him. It's unknown how, though the Devil Gene is implied to have had a hand in it.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Kazuya's and Heihachi's endings. In the former, Kazuya absorbs Jin's Devil Gene power and becomes an even more powerful Devil. In the latter, Heihachi successfully captures both Jin and Kazuya and presumably enacts his plan to create the ultimate lifeform.
  • Book Dumb: In Xiaoyu's ending, Miharu apparently failed all of her college entrance exams.
  • Bus Crash: Marduk killed Armor King during a bar brawl. This was what motivated King to enter the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament: to kick Marduk's sorry ass.
  • Clothing Damage: Jin loses the top of his karategi in Stage 7 while he is fighting the Tekken Force. As a result, he fights Kazuya and Heihachi in Stage 8 and 9, respectively, while shirtless. Unless you hack the game, the outfit cannot be selected outside these fights.
  • Conscription: Hwoarang underwent one during the timeskip, hence his 2P military uniform. However, he left it halfway through upon the announcement of the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament.
  • Continuity Nod: The BGM for the Corridor level in Tekken Force is the same one used for the "Eternal Darkness" stage from Tekken 2 arcade. As with Eternal Darkness, Corridor is dimly lit and its boss is Kazuya.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Tekken Force mode's credits has an irritated Heihachi lecturing his Tekken Force goons until they all snap and rush him. At that point the player can control Heihachi and fight back while the credits roll.
  • Dedication: Played for Laughs at the end of Tekken Force Mode. Upon beating the final stage, the words "Dedicated to all of the Tekken Force members who lost their lives in battle" will be shown, followed by a scrolling list of every named Tekken Force member you defeated as well as the specific moves you used to defeat them. Also counts as Bragging Rights Reward, since unlike 3's Tekken Force Mode where a character can be unlocked by finishing the game mode 4 times the only other reward for finishing Tekken Force in this game is unlocking a stage (Hon-Maru), which is particularly annoying since it's so much longer and more difficult than in 3.
  • Dangerous Deserter: Hwoarang left the mandatory Korean military draft midway through to enter the tournament so he can fight Jin Kazama again. In his ending, he does get his fight with Jin, but the two end up having to work together when a Korean army unit sent to capture him attacks them both.
  • Darker and Edgier: Although a fair bit of humor remains, the game is overall more serious in atmosphere compared to previous entries, with the arcade silliness being replaced with darker realism. Even Paul's signature haircut is all but eliminated. Later games would find a middle ground between silly and serious.
  • Ditto Fighter: Combot fills Mokujin's role in this game. Unlike Mokujin, however, he only changes his moveset every stage, not round.
  • Doing In the Wizard: This game, in general. Most soft sci-fi and blatantly supernatural elements are downplayed or eliminated entirely. For example, the Mishima Clan's Devil powers seem to be attributed to a genetic mutation. Ogre, instead of being an ancient god, is a "bioweapon." The Ridiculously Human Robot, Jack, was replaced by the Clockwork Creature, Combot. Neither Angel nor Devil are playable characters. And the final boss, like the first game, is simply Heihachi rather than some sort of Humanoid Abomination.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Kazuya Mishima's left eye glows red as of this game, either because of the Mishima bloodline's Devil Gene, or his resurrection by G Corporation.
  • I Have a Family: In King's ending, he visits the hospital where Marduk is being treated and comes close to killing him, therefore avenging Armor King. However, he then sees a photo of Marduk's family. After pondering a bit, he decides to leave the hospital without killing him.
  • Jungle Japes: The Jungle stage. The second level of Tekken Force is also modeled after this.
  • Land Down Under: Marduk is Australian, accent notwithstanding. Also, after leaving the tournament at the end of Tekken 3, Jin left Japan and eventually settled in Brisbane.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Nina and Steve learn separately that they are mother and son. Problem is, this is moments before she has to assassinate him per her contract. She eventually refrains from doing it.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: The Laboratory stage, as well as the first level of Tekken Force.
  • The Mall: Mall. Since they have the same architecture, the Parking Area, Statue, and Building stages are apparently located around here, too.
  • Married to the Job: In his backstory, Lei was so consumed by his police work that his girlfriend eventually dumped him in favor of his assistant.
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: In Nina's and Steve's endings, it is revealed that Steve is Nina's biological son. He was conceived when she was undergoing cryosleep through an unclear method, but in any case it still involved her being impregnated without her consent.
  • Moveset Clone: Other than the returning Kuma/Panda, the new character Christie Monteiro is the Distaff Counterpart of Eddy Gordo, sharing his entire movelist except for throws. They even share the same character slot, with Eddy being treated as Christie's third costume. Also, the game introduces Miharu Hirano, Xiaoyu's high school friend who shares her movelist. Outside the Tag Tournament games, this is her only canon appearance to date.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Steve's, Nina's, and Lei's endings are interconnected, though Lei's contradicts the previous two. In Lei's ending, he manages to capture Nina, while in other endings, she is still on the run.
    • Kazuya's, Heihachi's, and Jin's endings also start the same way, but with different outcomes. In Kazuya's ending, he absorbs Jin's Devil Gene power, strengthening his own. In Heihachi's, he tricks Kazuya into a trap, managing to capture him and Jin. In Jin's, he defeats Kazuya and Heihachi and almost kills the latter, but is discouraged by a last-second vision of Jun, instead telling the confused men to thank her for Jin's mercy before flying away.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted for the first time. As if trying to highlight it, the game really goes all out in showing it off, such as giving King long, flowing black hair and Jin a hoodie, which can fall off during fights.
  • Palette Swap: Characters sharing the same slot and moveset are Kuma/Panda, Christie/Eddy, Xiaoyu/Miharu, and Lee/Violet. Lee and Violet are literally palette swaps, though, so their case is justified.
  • Palmtree Panic: Beach, the largest stage in Tekken history set somewhere in Brazil.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lee's alter ego of Violet amounts to nothing more than dyeing his hair violet and wearing violet-colored shades and clothing.
  • Parking Garage: Parking Area, a constricted arena featuring unlucky cars to bash your opponent into as well as destructible support pillars.
  • Rival Final Boss: Hwoarang's final stage in Story Battle is not Heihachi, but Jin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Bryan enters the tournament partly to get back at Dr. Abel, his creator, for abandoning him when he decided that he had no use to him anymore. According to Story Battle, when he finally confronts Abel, he punches him across the room before passing out.
    • King also enters the tournament to take revenge against Marduk for killing his mentor, Armor King.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The Building stage is set on top of a, well, building.
  • Same Character, But Different: Jin Kazama, both story and gameplay-wise. Since his traumatic incident of being shot by his own grandfather, Jin has become a quieter and more calculating individual, rather than the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy he was in Tekken 3. Since he detests anything that has to do with his Mishima heritage, he also "unlearned" Mishima Karate in favor of old-school Karate. As a result, Jin fights nothing like he did in 3, so you're out of luck if you choose him thinking that he has the same movelist as before.
  • Secret Character: Jin, Lee/Violet, Nina, Lei, Bryan, Julia, Kuma/Panda, Heihachi, and Combot, in that order, are unlocked by beating Story Battle multiple times. Some characters can be unlocked earlier if you play as certain characters; for example, beating Story Battle as Steve will unlock Nina.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Law enters the tournament to earn money so he can reopen his restaurant chain. In his ending, he does reopen the chain, but an altercation with a customer results in a brawl, causing it to close again.
  • Shrines and Temples: Honmaru, the Mishima family temple. Kazuya's and Jin's final Story Battle fights take place here.
  • Sickbed Slaying: King almost does this to the hospitalized Marduk, but decides not to at the last second.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • When you first unlock Lee, only his Violet alter-ego/palette swap is available, since you're not supposed to know that he is Lee. When you reach Stage 8 of Story Battle as him, his real identity is outed by Heihachi, so he spends the rest of the tournament as Lee. Once you clear his story, Lee will be available.
    • No matter what outfit you choose for Jin in his Story Battle, he will fight Stage 8 and 9 in a shirtless karategi outfit, since he was captured and put into that attire by the Tekken Force. Similarly, Kazuya fights Stage 9 in his shirtless karategi, even if you pick the 2P costume.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: As the game reveals that Nina is Steve's mom, this makes her this. Because Nina did not age during cryosleep, she is physically 24 years old, just three years older than her son.
  • Time Skip: Set two years after Tekken 3. While the adult characters mostly do not change, the teenage characters do. Xiaoyu and especially Julia have grown from cute teenagers to, ahem, comely young women. Jin, too, has noticeably changed, with a calmer voice and hunkier body.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: Some stages in this game are ridiculously large (Airport and Mall come to mind), such that you might not explore every inch of them in one battle. They do give the impression of endless stages from previous games, though, luring players to go around until, surprise!, walls. Later games severely limit the size of walled stages, so now they're the size of a typical fighting arena.