Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 7: Hwoarang


He’s in it just for kicks.

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.

Part 7, by special request, brings us to a member of the newer generation of Tekken fighters. Joining the tournament after the big ‘time skip’ after Tekken 2, this fighter took over the mantle of resident Taekwondo expert from the M.I.A. Baek Doo San. Not only did this young Turk take his senior’s style, he added his own tricks and arsenal of kicks as well as punches to become one of Tekken’s most feared competitors. He’s the Korean Bad Boy, Hwoarang.

Hwoarang

Distinguishing Features: Red hair. Ever-present scowl. When not in his trademark TKD uniform, favors motorcycle leathers with lots of buckles or the occasional military outfit.

Strengths: His Taekwondo style is characterized by machine-gun fast kicks that rain down on opponents like deadly hail. His various stances give him a wide range of attacks to mix up challengers’ minds and chip through the most defensive turtlers. A hot-blooded warrior who fights for the thrill of combat, Hwoarang truly finds himself when he battles a worthy opponent.

Weaknesses: His deadly chains can still get predictable and countered. Still lives and fights under the shadow of his teacher and mentor, Baek. Hotheaded and stubborn, hates rules.

Affiliation: Enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 alongside his mentor and teacher, Baek, in order to find and defeat the supernatural force known as Devil Jin.

Background: A delinquent and streetwise hustler, Hwoarang could have been just another punk on the mean alleys of South Korea if it weren’t for him being the pupil of Taekwondo master Baek Doo San. He would engage in prizefights in underground competitions for the hell of it, finding no fighter that could even approach his skill. That is, until the day Jin Kazama showed up. The two fought to a draw, finally blemishing Hwoarang’s perfect record and marking Jin as his true rival. Shortly after though, Baek’s dojo was attacked by Ogre. Hwoarang, thinking his master was dead, enters the Tekken 3 tournament both to get revenge and reach a conclusive fight with Jin.

Hwoarang has a good showing in the tournament, even bringing home one of the golden Heihachi trophies. However, this all meant nothing. His score with Jin Kazama was as yet inconclusive, so he continued to seek his rival out. He is later drafted by the South Korean army and placed in a Special Ops unit. At first, Hwoarang embraces his duty since it brings him the opportunity to engage in close combat… something he misses sorely from his more care-free days. When he hears of the Tekken 4 tournament though, Hwoarang goes AWOL, knowing that Jin would also be in the tournament.

Hwoarang once again fights Jin, but the fight is inconclusive, thanks to the interference of South Korean troops who came to apprehend him. Before they separated, he told JIn that they should settle things for sure in the next tournament.

Later, as he awaits court martial, Hwoarang receives a letter from Baek- now revealed to be alive. Hwoarang finds new focus and returns to Korea. Two months later, Hwoarang is finished with his military duties and is ready once more to face Jin Kazama in earnest.

After many heated fights, Hwoarang finally managed to face Jin Kazama and defeat him during the Tekken 5 tournament. However, as Hwoarang stood over Jin’s unconscious form, a sudden maelstrom of energy sprang out, and Devil Jin appeared before him. Totally unprepared for the supernatural foe, Hwoarang was easily knocked out. He woke up later in a hospital, with Baek at his bedside. Hwoarang then begged his master to help him become even stronger. Later, he trains with unparalleled devotion as he prepares for the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6… his goal, to defeat the paranormal foe known as Devil Jin.

Character Analysis: Yet again, Hwoarang is a fighter I rarely ever choose to play as. He’s a war freak and hotheaded punk, finding his pleasure only in fighting. He’s brash and seemingly possessed of a one-track mind judging from how he pretty much became Jin’s stalker soon after their first fight. However, I think that perhaps Hwoarang found in Jin a true kindred spirit, in a way. The Jin-Hwoarang relationship though is pretty odd- a different kind of Brokeback Mountain- with Jin silent and taciturn while Hwoarang is loud and domineering, with their interest in the other solely for the opportunity to beat the crap out of the other. However, in the few instances that they fight together, they are a force to be reckoned with. There is admiration and respect in their unusual bond, something that resonates most in Tekken 4.

However, it seems that this bond is clouded as Jin is further consumed by the darkness in his soul. By Tekken 5, Jin is indifferent to his rival, and respect turns to vindictive rage manifested in Devil Jin. Surely, if they should cross paths, their fight will be no mere brawl… it will be a deadly fight to the finish.

What does the future hold for Hwoarang? As JIn’s, and now Devil Jin’s rival, Hwoarang certainly holds the drive and perhaps the strength to defeat the devilish opponent. Of course, he cares little for the possibility that defeating Jin and his alter ego will bring peace to the world or end the current crisis… all he cares about is the good fight.
Certainly Hwoarang is no mere thug. When he focuses on a goal, he never gives up until he succeeds- this is his true strength, his inner power that is surely recognized by his master, Baek. Perhaps the stubborn hothead is there merely as a stage in his life… in the same way that a sword must be forged in flame before it becomes a tempered, perfect blade. For once Hwoarang truly masters his art and finds true meaning in his skills for more than simply kicking butts, he may surpass even his master and become an unparalleled fighter.

Let his enemies everywhere quake at the possibilities.

Next week we’ll delve into another fighter’s story. Stay tuned!

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

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7 Responses to “Tekken 6 Character Countdown Part 7: Hwoarang”

  1. Yay, thanks for so much! Awesome analysis! Do you have MSN btw? Mine is clouds_fury@ffsanctuary.org.

  2. Opps typo. *Thank you so much*

  3. Glad you like the article, ZeroX. I don’t have an MSN account. You can just post here on the blog if you wanna ask anything. ^_^

  4. Aww ‘cos I wanna hang long chats with you about Tekken and other games, would be easier via MSN.

  5. What’s wrong with me today? All these grammatical errors. *have* not hang.

  6. We can always converse here in these posts, at least on various topics of the moment. But as you probably know, I’m no expert in Tekken gameplay- I wouldn’t know an EWGF from a WS or a CH (well, I do, but not that well), and don’t really know crap about strategy or move lists. But I do love the game anyway, and know the stories and characters like the back of my hand. ^_^

  7. this guy pisses me off hes a good fighter but i just don’t like fighting with him and I’m always put up against him in a fight

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