What your choice of Tekken 3 character says about you
If you picked Eddy Gordo you were a shithouse. I was, unfortunately, a shithouse (on occasion). It was funny. I don't care
I have to be completely honest here: several Tekken games hold a special place in my heart. In fact, my heart has actually been completely erased by Tekken. I no longer have a heart. I just have fond memories of Tekken. If you were to disinfect a scalpel, make an incision just beneath my ribcage and thrust a blue latex-gloved hand up inside me to rummage around and find an actual, physical beating lump of muscle then you'll be disappointed.
Instead, you'll pull out a framed picture of Jack-2 and Yoshimitsu celebrating moments after one of the many millions of trouncings I used to dish out on Tekken Bowl (the mini-game in Tekken Tag Tournament). That's it. That's the thing in my chest that keeps me alive. Now put it back where you found it. Please.
Conscious of the fact that I have used the word 'Tekken' an innumerable amount of times already, so much that the word is quickly beginning to lose all meaning (say it in your head. Tekk-en. Doesn't it sound funny? Repeat it) I will keep the rest of this intro short so the word doesn't lose all meaning. Tekken. Sorry. What I'm going to do is: Go through all the characters in Tekken 3 (why Tekken 3? Because Tekken 3 is the best Tekken, you idiot) and explain what each choice says about you. Ok? Good. Tekken. Let us Tekken.
You were my Dad. You were literally just my Dad.
The short answer: shithouse.
The slightly longer answer: Eddy Gordo a.k.a The Drip King was the single Tekken character with the greatest capacity for shithousery by abusing the same moves over and over and over again and he was, therefore, also the best Tekken character.
With Gordo's unique capoeira stylings, which were basically impossible to stop if you didn't know what you were doing (and very, very easy to stop if you did, which made it funnier somehow) and mostly involved him standing on his hands and spin-kicking you in the head ad infinitum, you could properly get under somebody's skin. You could royally piss them off. There is nothing more frustrating in the entire world than being dance-battered to death by a character that looked like the above, one of those weird paddleboard instructor lads who has lived in a hostel for the last several years of their life, and not being able to stop it. And not even being able to lay a finger on him.
Whilst picking him doesn't necessarily make you a bad person, it also does, in a way, definitely make you a bad person. I have picked Eddy Gordo on many occasions in the past and helicopter-kicked friends to death until they, enraged, threw their controller at my head and do you know something? I'm not proud of it. But I'd do it again. My god I'd do it again in an instant.
If you play as Paul you like Metallica and you had a pull-up bar, some dumbbells and a bench in your bedroom and you have, on more than one occasion, used the 'extreme hold' variant of Brylcreem gel in your hair. These are the facts I'm afraid. I'm just here to deliver them.
You really really really liked Enter the Dragon. That's it. That's all it is. His backflips were cool though.
As much time as I do have for Jin's trousers, the flamiest tracky bottoms in the known universe, picking to fight as him is just evidence of a complete lack of imagination. He is on the fucking box you fucking prick. Picking Jin is like playing Crash Team Racing as Crash. It's like choosing Mario in Smash Bros. It's like being James Bond in a multiplayer game on GoldenEye. It is small-time, vapid behaviour and I simply will not stand for it. You're not picking Jin. I'm sorry. Pick someone else you loser or we're not playing. Yes, yes I am being Eddy Gordo. What's wrong? What on earth is wrong?
Quite simply, Hwoarang was the boy. Or more specifically, he was my boy, a ripped, ginger biker/cowboy/taekwondo prodigy who could basically kick the skin off his opponents' face. Once you had properly learned how to utilise his full array of kicks you could basically just juggle your opponent in the air by booting them repeatedly.
Even better, once you mastered switching his stance you were practically unbeatable due to his otherworldly combination of range and speed. If you picked Hwoarang you were a champion. You were a fucking king. That is all. (You were also, most of the time, me).
As a young boy with semi-problematic opinions on how effective an angular-breasted assassin in heels would be in a street brawl, I can't say I ever played as either Nina or Anna Williams. As I result, I do not think it is fair for me to comment on those who did. Would I play as them now? Yes. Would I relish piercing straight through the chests of my fallen opponents in my stilettos like their skin tissue was wrapping paper? Yes. Very much so. So what I'm saying, what I'm saying is that adult me eternally regrets child me not giving them the time of day. For that I am sorry. I am so, so sorry.
Here's a fun game. Without looking it up, try and explain what Yoshimitsu is. For example, in my opinion, all things considered, Yoshimitsu is... a kind of human-cyborg ninja in a suit of armour who holds a lightsaber that he doesn't really use much, instead choosing to mostly just jab people with that hand, rather than simply eviscerate them, you know, with his laser sword, and can kind of clone himself if he wants and teleport and also fly?
So that's what Yoshimitsu is, kind of. If you were the type of person that played as Yoshimitsu, again, this unknowable amalgamation of nonsense all sort of slopped together into one obscenely cool, obscenely weird, fighting character, then you were either a) also a cool person yourself or b) a person who has since grown up to be a neckbeard, messageboard incel who also has a YouTube channel where you chop up water bottles with a samurai sword. Those are the only two options. I pray to God you are in the a) category.
Xiaoyu was, without a doubt, the character who gave me the hardest time on the game. She would, how do I put this, how do I word this to accurately reflect the level of emotional and physical pain and destruction she would inflict upon me, she would... beat the absolute living breathing fucking shit out of me. She would wallop me to smithereens. She would turn my hopes and dreams into ash. She would just batter me, no matter what I did. And that taught me a valuable lesson as a young boy: never ever ever get on the wrong side of a small woman with her hair tied up. They will fuck you up beyond measure. And those are words to live by my friends.
Heihachi, as you can see, had two completely different vibes. One is a hot grandad yoga instructor which is yeah, great, but also, alternatively, there's his nefarious, gangland pimp, opium mogul side to go with it. Which is... bad. Obviously. Fortunately, he can get away with fluctuating between these two completely incongruous states of being through the sheer force of will of his personality. He is also electric, somehow, as in, electricity will come out of him when he punches you. His hair looks like the wings of a bird. He makes really, really odd grunting noises when he fights, too, like you're listening to a Rafael Nadal/Serena Williams baseline rally. He's meant to be the main villain of the Tekken series but everybody loves him anyway, even despite all his murdering of family members, even despite his open-toed sandals and unnecessary but seemingly constant bare chestedness.
If you played as Heihachi you were basically just... a completely normal person. That's it. He was a character everyone loved being. I'm not going to even try and take that away from you. I'm not going to try and take that away from anyone.
It's impossible to dislike King, the Jaguar-headed luchador who dresses like he owns a pop-up clothes shop in Shoreditch. Along with Eddy, he also has a great capacity for shithousery, being able to string together a chain of his wrestling throws can result in a 'Perfect' win and an entire skeleton of broken bones for your opponent.
If you picked King you knew what were you about, basically. You knew what you wanted from Tekken. You knew you wanted to be a 6 foot 3 Mexican wrestler who is also somehow a Catholic priest (King has the best backstory btw, have a read) and you knew you wanted to low kick the shit out of your opponent's shins. And I respect that. You had it all figured out.
You're probably a doctor now or a solicitor, in an unhappy relationship and with a hefty mortgage on a house in Surrey but once upon a time, well, you had your whole life ahead of you, didn't you, with those kaleidoscopic visions of possibility that always raced through your mind every time you suplexed someone into the cold, unforgiving, girded-steel floor of the Skyring as a giant cat-man in purple spandex and golden knee-high boots.
You miss King? Yeah. Well, we all miss Tekken 3 King, buddy. Our lives have gone to shit without him.
I am sorry but if you were fighting as either Kuma (brown bear on the left) or Panda (the literal panda, on the right, the one that looks like a Panda, the big Panda-looking fucker there) you were a weirdo. Possibly a furry. It's hard to say. You certainly can't rule it out. They were slow, they didn't have any cool moves bar the one where they kinda just started to eat you (I think? I don't know if I'm imagining this, I'm fairly sure that was a move they did sometimes?) and because of their stumpy bear legs, they basically couldn't even kick at all. If you were picking one of these guys you were a chump. I could beat these guys in a fight. I could honestly beat both of these bears in a fight. At the same time. They've got no range! I'm telling you!
If you played as Gun Jack you were, at best, incredibly naive, and, at worse, a complete imbecile. Be honest with yourself. You picked him because he was big and really strong looking and also a robot but lo and behold you got him in the arena and realised, to your shock, that his outfits were garbage, his moves were trash and his range of movement beyond reprehensible. Congratulations. Every single time you played as Gun Jack you were really just playing yourself.
(Note: does get loads better in Tekken Tag, the next game in the series, and is also the GOAT at Tekken Bowl. So there is that.)
I'll be completely candid here: if you used Lei, you were an artist. A Tekken artist. You were a far better player than me. He had the strangest collection of moves in the game and fighting him was always maddeningly difficult. Sometimes he would simply turn around and not face you. Sometimes he would lie on the floor. Sometimes he would stand on one leg and look like a plastic lawn flamingo. And he would kick your ass. So yeah, if you used Lei, you have my respect. Well done. I hope both you and your family are proud. Because you and they should be.
Nobody played as Julia. Sorry. Not a single person. As evidence, the above was the best image I could find and even this tiny reminder of her existence has annoyed me. As a result I'm not writing anything on Gon (haha little dinosaur that farts haha), Dr. Bosconovitch (actually quite a harrowing look at the impact of spinal injuries within fighting video games) and Ogre/True Ogre (obviously both great. Obviously both fantastic). Fire up Tekken and do it yourself. Leave me alone.