Tekken Character Countdown Part 2: Heihachi Mishima

Tekken’s evil All-father, Heihachi Mishima.

As a way of counting down the time to the release of Tekken 6 for the PS3 and Xbox360, I’ve decided to begin this weekly series of lengthy, character-specific articles, each one featuring one of the 40 or so competing warriors in the latest and greatest King of Iron Fist Tournament. Hopefully, by the time we finish and reach character number 40, we’ll have the console version of Tekken in our hands already.

Our second fighter in the spotlight? One of the most important characters in the whole series, one of the few that has appeared in every single game (and some outside the franchise). He’s bad, and he’s got even worse hair. He’s the Father of the Tekken Tournament and the Rave War’s cagey, wily and evil old ringleader and mastermind. He’s Heihachi Mishima.

Heihachi Mishima
Distinguishing Features: His unique ‘horn’ hairstyle, moustache and beard. Traditional Japanese fighting attire. Geta sandals collection. Sheds electricity so tends to have lots of static cling.

Strengths: A true warrior and master of the Mishima style of martial arts. Seemingly unkillable and indestructible.
Weaknesses: Despite being as bad as month-old milk and eggs, still has a warrior’s code of honor. Slowly but surely, age is creeping up on the evil old coot…

Affiliation: Himself (Anti-Zaibatsu/G-Corporation). Taking down Jin and winning the tournament is the most direct path for Hei to take back his corporation.

Background: Tekken’s first and finest villain, Heihachi is the son of Jinpachi Mishima, founder of the ubiquitous and powerful Mishima Zaibatsu. Heihachi far exceeded his sire’s ambition and lust for power, so he seized control of the company from Jinpachi with goals of militarization. Since then, the Zaibatsu has been a notorious, dangerous organization steeped in shady deals worldwide. His goals have always been to extend and expand his own power, both financial and personal.
Heihachi’s status in the Tekken saga would have its ups and downs. He was Head of the Zaibatsu and Final Boss during the first Tekken, only to be defeated and dropped down a cliff and left for dead by his own son, Kazuya. He’d regain control of the Zaibatsu after Tekken 2, and remain CEO of Mishima Corp till the end of Tekken 4. During that time he had a direct part in unleashing the being known as Ogre on the world, and then attempted to harness its power through his grandson, Jin Kazama.

Largely out of action in the canon storyline of Tekken 5, Heihachi finds himself out of the loop in the big picture in Tekken 6. With Jin and Kazuya now waging war on a global scale, Heihachi enters the announced Tekken 6 Tournament to take back all that he has lost… preferably over the dead bodies of his son and grandson…

Character Analysis: Heihachi is Tekken’s original villain and old-school end boss. He’s Megatron, Dr. WIly, Dick Dastardly, Evil Otto, Oil Can Harry and the Godfather squeeze-injected into a pair of hakamas. Despite being undeniably evil, cruel and ruthless, he is often shown in a comedic light, which probably explains his relative popularity and longevity. He’s a bad guy we feel comfortable with, because we know, despite his uncanny ability to bounce back from incredibly punishment, he’s still human.

What drives Heihachi? In the crappy animated movie, he was a megalomaniac, a black-and-white baddie seeking to destroy the world to recreate it. But the Heihachi in the games is more interesting. From all indications, Jinpachi Mishima was a kind, if understandably stern and demanding father- why did Heihachi turn out so different and so evil? It it simply the cursed Mishima bloodline that consigns Heihachi to an evil path? Or was it something else? Could it have been the death of his beloved wife during childbirth that drove Heihachi to seeking power and mastery over life and death?

That said, it cannot be stressed that no one should ever underestimate the Old Tiger; he is always plotting, always manipulating, always seeking the way to his goals. Jin and Kazuya should watch their back- giving Heihachi even a little bit of an opening can lead to disaster. History has shown that the Old Man may rule the Zaibatsu again.

What lies in Heihachi’s future? Even though he’s pushing into his senior, senior years, I don’t see Heihachi slowing down anytime soon. As I see it, there are only two paths open to Heihachi- if he eventually does manage to unite his body with the Devil, he will become the ultimate villain and thus invite his inevitable destruction. The other path can only be redemption, which may make Tekken’s first villain it’s last true hero.

Tekken 6 is slated for release on the PS3 and Xbox360 in Fall 2009.

Next Week: We’ll take a look at Tekken 6’s Fallen Angel, Jin Kazama.


2 Responses to “Tekken Character Countdown Part 2: Heihachi Mishima”

  1. Great info and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for giving your ideas and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up

  2. i love the Bazooka of Megatron, i don’t understand why they did not include it on the movie -“:

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