- Paul Phoenix’s distinctive appearance makes him one of Tekken’s most recognizable characters.
- Despite his consistent participation in The King of Iron Fist Tournament, Paul has never been able to win it.
- Over the years, Paul’s importance to the overall story of Tekken has diminished, but at least his rivalry with Law has finally ended in Tekken 8.
Tekken‘s longevity over the years has been down to its constant ability to reinvent itself, but at the core of that has remained a group of characters that have evolved alongside the franchise. Outside of the Mishima family, who clearly serve as Tekken‘s main focal point, other characters such as Nina Williams and Hwoarang have come along for the ride. Paul Phoenix has been a part of the group since the very beginning, and despite not always having a consistent or clear role in the main plot, he has remained a popular choice among players thanks to his versatility. Tekken 8 finds Paul Phoenix sporting a new look, but just as determined as ever to be crowned the King of Iron Fist.
Thanks to his striking visual appearance, Paul Phoenix is one of Tekken‘s most instantly recognizable characters. In all previous entries, Paul has sported a pretty unique hairstyle, with a thick trunk of blonde hair that grows straight up, but it seems he has decided to change things up for Tekken 8. This is perhaps in a bid to change his bad luck streak when it comes to the tournaments themselves.
Tekken 8 Review
More than a fresh coat of paint, Tekken 8 outdoes its predecessors in every way, and builds the best starting point for the series in the process.
Tekken 8’s Paul Phoenix is a Series Mainstay
In the early days of the series, Paul was very much seen as one of Tekken‘s main protagonists. A close friend of Marshall Law’s, Paul’s desire to be the world’s best fighter has seen him entering every single iteration of The King of Iron Fist Tournament, and while his progress in each tournament has varied greatly, he has ultimately never been able to win it. During the first couple of tournaments, Paul proved himself to be a fighter capable enough to win it, but for one reason or another, it just never worked out for him. The hot-blooded American, specializing in Judo, had fought Kazuya to a draw before the first tournament and entered seeking revenge on the man he considered to be his fierce rival. Despite this, he was bested by Kazuya in the final round of the tournament.
Paul’s hopes of a rematch during the second tournament were scuppered by an enemy he had no chance of defeating: a multi-vehicle accident on the expressway, which ultimately stopped him from getting to his fight on time. An older Paul returned for Tekken 3, which occurred 20 years later, with a renewed determination to win it. Paul came agonizingly close to achieving this, having gotten to the final and even defeating Ogre himself. Assuming he had finally won it, Paul leaves, only to find out later that Ogre’s true form had been revealed and defeated by Jin Kazama, rendering Paul’s victory null and void.
Paul’s Importance to Tekken’s Story Has Diminished Over the Years
After this, Paul’s part in the overall story became gradually less important. Tekken 4 saw an overconfident Paul lose to the bear, Kuma, a humbling defeat that dealt a massive blow to his self-esteem. Paul managed to get revenge on Kuma in their rematch during Tekken 5, but it took a heavy toll, forcing him to eliminate himself from the tournament. At this point in his life, with no real career to speak of, Paul found himself heavily in debt. He entered the 6th tournament in the hopes of using the prize money to pay this debt off, forming a somewhat incompetent team with Marshall Law, but ultimately neither failed to secure any prize money. Tekken 7‘s tournament was called off mid-way through, halting Paul’s progress.
Tekken 8‘s qualifying rounds pit Paul against Law, with the former able to defeat his long-time friend and advance to the finals where he was set to face Kuma once again. After the tyrant Kazuya sparks an all-out war in pursuit of his son Jin, Paul finds himself on opposing sides of the battlefield to Law, who feels his friend reneged on their agreement to split any prize money earned. During the ensuing battle, Kuma attempts to attack Paul and inadvertently stops a missile from hitting him. Paul mistakes this as a good deed, halting the pair’s long-running feud. Tekken 8‘s ending shows them both working in a free soup kitchen, confirming their bitter rivalry has finally ended.
Bandai Namco’s Tekken 8 will be the franchise’s debut entry on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, and the fighting game is built in Unreal Engine 5. The story revolves around Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama’s relationship.
- January 26, 2024
- Unreal Engine 5