We have all had family spats, even the most perfect families have the odd falling out. Something as simple as forgetting to put your laundry in the basket all the way up to challenging your father’s right to his corporation. It all ends in the same way, with somebody tossed in a volcano for their petulance. Or at least that’s how it goes down in the Mishima and Kazama household, it’s so bad that even the Chaolan and Alexanderson families get involved.
Just ahead of Tekken 7’s release on June 2nd, we decided to deep dive the lore of the Tekken franchise and more importantly the Mishima family. Tekken 7 stands as a key entry in the franchise, promising to bring an end to the Mishima saga. Katsuhiro Harada has even mentioned that Tekken 7 could potentially end in the death of either Kazuya or Heiachi Mishima. Although, like every big argument, most of the family joins in.
And it’s a massive family at that. Starting at the top of the chain, we have Jinpachi Mishima, the oldest member of the Mishima family to appear in the series and the father of Heiachi. It’s highly unlikely that Jinpachi will show face in Tekken 7, considering he was killed by Jin Kazama, but before he was locked in a basement by Heiachi and succumbed to an evil spirit in Tekken 5, Jinpachi was especially keen on his grandson, Kazuya.
I know a lot of names were just thrown at you, and if I am being honest if that deterred you, you might want to stick with Tekken purely for its mechanics. This rather lengthy family feud might be the most confusing lineage in gaming’s history and it has been ongoing for about 15 years. Normally by this point somebody dies or moves out and the drama comes to a close, but with a devil gene running through the bloodline death is merely an obstacle that many of the Mishima/Kazama clan have brushed aside.
Even Heiachi, a mere mortal compared to many others in the family, has been presumed dead. As the father of Kazuya and Lars, as well as being one of the longest running antagonists in Tekken, Heiachi has seen it all and done it all. Throughout Tekken’s dynasty Heiachi has fathered illegitimate children, killed his wife, thrown his son into a volcano, and shot his grandson in the head. All in the name of reclaiming or protecting the Mishima Zaibatsu, the company he stole from Jinpachi after locking him a basement – which we have mentioned before.
Still with us? Great! Next up is Kazuya, the on off hero/anti-hero/villain of the franchise. Kazuya is the son of Kazumi and Heiachi Mishima, Jinpachi’s Grandson, Lars Alexanderson’s half-brother, and the father of Jin Kazama. Kazuya possesses the Devil Gene, a trait passed down to him from his mother. Due to his latent ability to transform in to a devil form, Heiachi raised Kazuya in a strict and almost abusive manner to tempt out his super powers which later resulted in Kazuya being thrown in a volcano at the end of Tekken 2. Kazuya would go AWOL for Tekken 3, resurrecting with the help of G Corporation and eventually enlisting them to help topple the Mishima Zaibatsu.
During Kazuya’s absence, Jin Kazama stepped up to the plate. As a member of the Mishima family; Jin’s the son of Jun Kazama and Kazuya, Jin carries the devil gene too. Although Jin did not discover the true power of his abilities after being tricked to fight Ogre in Tekken 3, only to be shot in the back of the head by Heiachi once the fight finished. Since the events of Tekken 3, Jin has conspired to end the evil doings of the Mishima Zaibatsu by any means possible, including assuming the position of CEO at the company and awakening Azazel in an attempt to kill Jin and his evil counterpart – Devil Jin.
But none of these devil genes would exist if it was not for Kazumi, Heiachi’s wife. Within the Tekken universe, Kazumi is the earliest occurrence of the devil gene – even though she is one of the newest characters to join the cast. Until Tekken 7, Kazumi was a shadow, an unspoken force. All we really know is that Kazuya was painfully aware his mother was no longer with us during earlier entries to the series and now she is back with a bang.
There are also more estranged members of the twisted Mishima saga, the first of which being Lee Chaolan. In the grand scheme thing of things, Lee isn’t really part of the family, but he is Heiachi’s adopted son. Lee was only adopted to inspire jealousy in Kazuya and has since flourished in to his own character that has pretty much stepped outside of all the rabble to go to the shop, like any smart sibling would.
Then you have Lars Alexanderson. Lars is that guy that works at the local chippy with amnesia, he didn’t quite know why he was there but lingered around for a wee bit. Turns out he is also your father’s illegitimate son. That’s right, now he’s moving in and has to share a room with his edgy half-brother with the dodgy scar and glowing eye. As he isn’t connected to Kazumi, there’s no devil gene in his system, but he manages to keep up with the Mishima’s ridiculous anime hair standards.
Naturally, the only way to settle these ongoing family issues is to throw down. To clear a space in the living room and have at it. The winner takes all, or at least the winner gets their shot at ruling over the Mishima Zaibatsu until somebody eats the last Cornetto, again. And that’s where the “King of Iron First” comes in to play. Many, if not all the disputes, are settled in the tournament or as the revelation at the end. Everyone has their eyes set on ruling the Mishima Zaibatsu and using it to their own means and so the cycle repeats.
Like all families, after all the bickering is done and dusted, somebody is forced to relent their entire company based on the results of a tournament. The extended cast can be equated to those friends you share the stories with and occasionally get caught in the crossfire when asked their opinion on whatever it is everyone is fighting over. Christ, Heiachi even gets his pet bear involved and Kazumi has recently upped the game by using a local cat as projectile. So, no matter what the outcome of the current spat is, it’s sure to continue for a very long time.