A Decade with The Main Man: One of Tekken’s Original YouTube Pioneers
YouTube launched on February 14, 2005, and in November of 2006, Google purchased it, turning it into the video sharing powerhouse it is known for today. But while YouTube was still very fresh and new, almost a decade ago a born and bred Swedish lad who called himself The Main Main uploaded his very first video called “Kazuya Combo Exhibition.” Set to music and showcasing some of his best moves with his favorite character, The Main Man would be one of the first few who established a trend that still exists to this day – Tekken combo and gameplay videos.
There are others who got their start around that same time, such as E-Ninjas, CKZaibatsu, RelentlessRelento, Teddy Susan, WWTekken, JagTheGemini, DunDunDunosososos and others, but their channels are ghosts towns today, having made their last upload around the time they made their first. But The Main Man? He is still around. He never stopped. He never settled. He never quit. Actually, he loves Tekken more now than ever before.
Ironically, The Main Man is on a flight to Japan as we publish this, to get some hands on experience with Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!
The Main Main, thanks so much for this interview! Wow! This is awesome! First off, how did you get that name, The Main Man? What’s the story behind that?
Hello! No need to thank me, the honor is mine! The name can seem a bit self-centered at first glance, but it is a tribute to Kazuya. He is often refereed to as “the main man of Tekken.” I thought it sounded better than just calling myself “Devil Kazuya” or something else I found less inspired.
Ah, so the story has been revealed (laughs). I believe you are from Sweden, correct? What’s the Tekken scene like out there?
That is correct. The Tekken scene here is actually quite vivid. Lots of talented players with a strong commitment to the series. You always have someone to travel with to tournaments!
We did an interview with BatAAr, a rock band from Sweden. They’re actually featured on the Tekken 7 soundtrack. Had you ever heard of them?
I had not heard of them and I have yet to listen to the song featured in Tekken 7. I believe it was called “Rage”? Like a Lars theme?
Yes, it’s called “Vrede.”
I will have to check them out for sure and I am happy to hear you got an interview with them!
Thanks, man. Now, you are best known for your combo videos and tutorials. On your YouTube channel, the very first video you have is from 9 years ago – a video titled “Tekken 5 Kazuya Combo Exhibition 2,” correct? What made you decide to upload that video? And was Tekken 5 your first Tekken? Also, what happened to Exhibition 1? (laughs)
I uploaded that video because I wanted everyone to tell me how awesome I am. (laughs) I wanted to blow everyone away as I was blown away by combo videos I had seen from KYSG and others. As the years passed and I matured my YouTube channel went from an ego thing to a place where I try to inspire people to pick up Tekken and Mishimas. I’ve played Tekken since the console realease of Tekken 1, and Exhibiton 1 can be found on my channel. Uploaded shortly after Act 2. Act 1 was released through an FTP sever link on websites, before Youtube was a big thing.
Wow! FTP? See, that’s how you know you are truly one of the pioneers for Tekken on YouTube. You dedicate that video to KYSG, the Swedish Tekken Community and Team ACE. Are any of those entities still around?
The Swedish Tekken community is very much alive. So is KYSG. One specific member is one of my Tekken heroes, the legendary, in my eyes, combo maker You-KYSG. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Tokyo in january and will have the pleasure of meeting him again on my new trip in just a few days. Super friendly! Team ACE was a Tekken combo team that consisted of me and four other people. Two of those are still active with combo videos and doing very well. OgreKiller and Sithlord. Check out their youtube channels if you’re into combos!
I would venture to say that you may be somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to combo videos, because 9 years is a long time ago. What would you say? And do you know of any others who were doing that sort of thing back then?
that stuff back then. Some of those are still active. I have mentioned some of those. Nine years is indeed a very long time. I look back with pride on what I have done and feel very privileged to be in the position I am. I have people write me telling me they picked up Mishimas due to my playstyle with them or tell me they feel my combo videos are the greatest thing to happen to Tekken. They probably arent the greatest thing that has happened to Tekken but that someone feels that way is very humbling.
So today ,what is your goal with your YouTube and Twitch channel?
To get more people to play Tekken and discover the unique quality of the game and the Mishimas.
Why do you love Tekken so much?
I dont know why I love Tekken so much. 20 years later it’s still very engaging and fun. The Mishimas still feel to me like the biggest badasses in gaming history. The fact that the Tekken developers are geniuses probably also plays a part. I decided to call them that after seeing Akuma brought into Tekken while still retaining most of his Street Fighter mechanics. That was unprecedented and speaks volumes regarding their design ability.
Why do you love Mishimas so much? And have you ever tried to adopt any non-Mishima characters?
I like their visual design and their story. Tekken 4 is the perfect game if you want to see the Mishimas at their best storywise and designwise. Just take a look at the new poster for Tekken 7 featuring Kazuya and Heihachi. It really captures the rough nature of the two.
It really does.
If they had you in their grip they would crush you into nothing in a split second. I don’t get that feeling looking at Bruce or Hwoarang. Bryan comes close. Kazuya taming the devil in Tekken 4 contributes a lot to his character, his voice also resonates authority and command. His theme from Tekken 2 is one of my favourite musical compositions found in video games. The Mishima gameplay is extremely demanding and requires rigorous discipline. Just like a proper martial art. They rely on patience and landing that one devastating blow instead of relentless pressure with a myriad of kicks and punches. All of this combined and more is why I love the Mishimas. I dabble a bit with Bryan, Armor King, Jin, Steve, Law. But no one will ever replace the Mishimas as my main.
Kodee here in America is also a Kazuya player, and considered to be the best Mishima player in America. What do you think of his use of Mishima’s? Are you familiar with him?
Kodee is an amazing player who I’ve had the pleasure to watch in a couple of tournaments through YouTube. I like the fact that he doesn’t settle for the easiest combos. His execution and creativity allows him to reliably use advanced Mishima tech, making for very entertaining gameplay!
You were recently at HeadStomper. How did you fare in Tekken 7 in that tournament?
I did reasonably well. Lost to JDCR and a Swedish Ling player called Guice. The latter a very close fight. I made top 8, at least I think. (laughs)
Did you have much hands-on experience with Tekken 7 before the tournament? Are there any locations in Sweden with Tekken 7?
I had about twenty hours of experience with the game due to my first trip to Japan. That helped quite a bit! There are no arcades in Sweden. Tekken 7 actually cannot be found on the continent I reside in (Europe).
I watched the video of your 9-day trip to Japan earlier this year. You hung out with KuroKuro a lot when there, and he seemed like the greatest host ever! I thoroughly enjoyed it, because I love Japanese culture. How was that trip? And, I see that you are raising money to go back again. What do you plan to capture from this specific trip?
Japan was and is amazing. I would recommend everyone to go there at least once. Especially if you are like me and have a geek side to your personality. Japanese people are very humble and strive for a collective mindset rather than the lone individuals demands and fulfillment. KuroKuro is a boss and one hell of a nice guy. The Japanese community was very welcoming and polite! I’m gonna get to stream again with Kuro and this time he wants me to do something harder than CH d/f+2, 6 EWGF’s. We will see if I can deliver. (laughs) Tekken-wise on this trip I will stream, record ranked battle sessions and a atleast one combo video. I almost reached the goal. I got more funds than I ever thought I would get to be honest. The people who donated know I wont forget it.
Have you ever considered travelling to the States to compete in any tournaments?
I’ve wanted to go to EVO for a long time. Hopefully it happens next year! I will get smoked by the competition but I desperately want to meet the community.
What did you think of EVO? Did you watch it, and who did you think would win it?
My favorite to win was JDCR. I consider him the best Mishima player so it was biased. I watched EVO and as expected it was a thrilling tournament with a lot of upsets and cool games. Nice to see Akuma make it far and happy he didn’t come out on top. Would have been weird.
Yes, that wouldn’t have been good. We just published a story on that.
Saint is a very worthy champion. I wish he would have used another character though. (laughs)
What’s next for you? How do you plan to grow and evolve your platform?
Tekken 7 will hopefully grow the community. I’m experimenting with a weekly Tekken show called “Weekly Tekken.” Positive feedback so far and I hope people keep tuning in!
Do you think Tekken 7 will be the biggest Tekken game we’ve seen?
Nope. Tekken 3 is always going to be the biggest Tekken game. The video game industry and culture has changed so much and there is no going back. Tekken 7 is looking like one hell of a game right now. In every aspect it is better than everything we have seen before. Plus they have added Akuma and kept his street fighter gameplay. What more could you ask for? It will sell less than I hope for but I do hope it does better than Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Worrying is the fact that in Asian arcades the player base has halfed going from Tekkn 6 and Tekken 7. But that was also before Fated Retribution.
Are you big on the Tekken lore? What do you think of Akuma being introduced into the story?
I like the Tekken story. Although lately it has been kind of a joke. I wish they would put a proper writer in charge. The movie “Blood Vengeance” or whatever it was called is a travesty. The Hollywood movie as bad as it is is way more engaging. It’s amusing that Namco distanced themselves from the live action version. Akuma could be amazing and could be a flop. I just don’t want to see him kill Heihachi or Kazuya. He does not deserve that.
How do you feel about this supposedly being the end of the Mishima saga? Quite possibly, Kazuya and some other could get killed off.
It is with some worry I see this story and marketing campaign. If it is the last time I get to see the Mishimas then I am very sad. Though happy to see that they get to go out with such a polished and neat game. If the series does continue it would be very hard for me to accept the death and removal of Kazuya. Heihachi I will miss but he is not as essential in my opinion.
Any theories on how the Tekken 7 story will pan out?
I can only speculate, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they decide to end the Mishima saga by killing both Kazuya and Heihachi. Then they go Tekken 3 on us all over again and we see a teaser for Tekken 8 in a couple of years with a new young protagonist twenty years later. Maybe Jin’s son or something comepletely foreign. Perhaps a middle aged Jin as the boss of the game or the mentor? I really hope Kazuya survives though. He is not going to come out on top as it’s not that unpredictable. Jin is overpowered as the undefeatable hero. But hopefully he lives.
Thanks so much for this interview. I’m sure our readers will thoroughly enjoy it. How can people keep up with you?
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