Dummies, Devils, Bears & Angels: Non-human characters in Tekken (Part 1)
Strange characters in Tekken aren’t out of the ordinary.
With Tekken 7 a little less than three months away, it seems pertinent to get a brief run down of the Tekken story. If Tekken 7 is going to be the game to get more casuals involved, why not share the story of the game in addition to the command list, top players, and tier list?
Tekken has had a cast of strong fighters with demonstrated skill in a vast number of fighting styles. These strong fighters are accompanied by some rather interesting non-human characters. We have seen the Devil, an angel, an Alien (and his second more scary form), two bears, a Velociraptor, a kangaroo, a T. Rex with stunted growth, a wooden training dummy, robots, a wolf demon with a thing for possessing women, a vampire, and a giant creature claiming the role of rectifier.
Despite the odd presence of these non-human characters in the roster, the story of Tekken has managed to incorporate these characters into the fold. In this series, we will look into the bios of these characters to understand their significance in the Tekken story.
Introducing Angel, Devil and Azazel
The Devil was first introduced in the first Tekken. After being thrown off of a cliff, Kazuya was approached by the Devil with the offer to obtain the power to defeat his father in exchange for his soul. Kazuya accepted the offer and from Tekken 2 on gradually becomes one with the devil in his body.
Somewhere during the events of Tekken 2 Kazuya and Jun met and the result of this meeting was the creation of the entity Angel. Angel symbolizes the good within Kazuya. She fights with Devil for Kazuya’s soul. Unfortunately, seeing as Angel is no longer in any non-canonical Tekken games it is assumed Angel ultimately lost the fight for Kazuya’s soul.
Finally, Azazel is known as the ultimate evil. According to the lore of Julia Chang’s tribe, Azazel was said to be awaken when “two evil stars” clash in battle. These two evil stars are of course Kazuya and Jin. Azazel is awakened as a result of the overflow of negative energy produced by Jin after he takes over the Mishima Zaibatsu after the events of Tekken 5.
Significance in the Tekken Story
Given the bio of these characters, it seems like Tekken is drawing from Freud’s model of the psyche but adding a Constantine vibe with the whole angels and demons thing. From Angel and Devil alone one could draw that conclusion. Freud aside, Angel, Devil, and Azazel play strong roles in the Tekken franchise.
While it was Devil we were introduced to first, there is reason to believe Azazel was the one pulling the strings. Seeing as Kazuya and Jin are apart of him due to the devil gene, and play a part in his awakening, there is reason to assume Azazel sent Devil to Kazuya knowing his intense hatred for Heihachi would draw enough evil to fasten his awakening. Even Jin gives into the devil gene after he is shot by his grand father Heihachi. In short, while Azazel gains strength from the sins of mankind, the impending war Kazuya and Jin start prior to Tekken 6 acted as a catalyst in his awakening.
Knowing what we know about Azazel, it not at all a difficult guess why Devil is so pivotal in the Tekken story. Devil came to Kazuya after being thrown off a cliff by Heihachi and being overwhelmed with hatred and vengeance. After Kazuya is thrown into a volcano by Heihachi, half of the devil within Kazuya decided it was best to seek out another vessel. That vessel would be Jin Kazama.
It seems in Tekken 7 that Kazumi also possesses the devil gene which would probably explain why Devil went to Kazuya in the first place. But of course given that we don’t have much information on Kazumi other than she has a devil form and Kazuya would inherit her powers, not many conclusions can be drawn about her. However I will say it is a given that the devil gene isn’t Mishima blood related considering Kazumi is only a Mishima by marriage.
In summation, Devil plays a strong role in the Tekken story as more or less the devil gene. It seems the immense power of the devil is often used to incite vengeance. As seen by Kazuya and Jin, tapping into the devil gene was a response to a betrayal by Heihachi via a near death experience.
Finally, the significance of Angel. After the events of Tekken 2, Angel no longer makes a canonical appearance in later Tekken games. Interestingly enough, neither does Jun Kazama. These missing characters may actually tie in more than we think. Angel represented the good side of Kazuya. She fought against Devil for Kazuya’s soul. Unfortunately she didn’t win the fight as Kazuya continued in Tekken 4 utilizing the devil gene and wanting Jin’s half the devil within him.
I compare Angel to Jun because in a way they have similar goals. Because of Kazuya meeting Jun, the goodness within him grows. Kazuya’s affections for Jun may have been what was giving Angel strength against the devil despite Angel losing the fight.
Aside from growing the good within Kazuya, Jun fought for Jin against Devil. Devil actually tried to take over Jin’s body before Jun went missing. She won the first fight however, after Jun went missing it left Jin unaware and vulnerable to the Devil. Despite Angel and Jun no longer being in canonical Tekken games, there is hope for Jin as his classmate Xiaoyu has been doing her best to fight for the good in him since Tekken 4.
Angel, Devil, and Azazel are catalyst characters. They are non human entities that push forward actions within the Tekken story mainly within the Mishima bloodline or those within proximity of the Mishimas.
Next week, we will look at the animal characters in the Tekken story.