Original Tekken concept art revealed for the first time ever including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Hulk knockoffs

by AryanArtnews
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And of course Sailor Moon

The Tekken series is one of the longest-running and most iconic sets of characters and ideas in the entire fighting game genre, but if some of the early ideas remain, things are clearly very different. You may have seen it.

Last night, Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada unveiled the original Tekken design document and concept art for the first time before the project found its identity. It’s really interesting to see as part of history … and a bit hilarious.

At the 3rd Japan Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable, all presenters were asked to present their rarest or most valuable possessions, and Harada was full of pages of what Namco was initially trying to cook for a fighting game. I destroyed the old folder.

Before they came up with the name Tekken, the first page introduced a rugged fighter with walrus skins on its head and arms.

The character’s name seems to follow the line of Greenland’s Killer Zasnu, and he clearly loves salmon.

There was only one female fighter, a young Indian girl who seems to be very directly inspired by Sailor Moon named Lalula Annie.

It’s written on the page where she fights the aura of yoga, and in this document Lalah Sune, the original mobile suit Gundam character, refers to Lalah’s design.

Decades before Fakumram joined the Tekken cast, Namco came up with a Muay Thai fighter named Hanuman Mr. wearing a traditional Thai mask.

His document also mentions that Street Fighter 1 Aidon is weird.

Early Tekken concept art image # 1

Early Tekken concept art image # 2

Early Tekken concept art image # 3

Early Tekken Concept Art Image # 4

Early Tekken Concept Art Image # 5

Click on the larger version of the image

The first American representatives shown certainly push the line of inspiration and plagiarism.

He seems to be a doctor or scientist taking medicine and growing up under the name of Emperor Hulk. There’s even a joke that glows green after he transforms … he’s no different from another incredible Hulk that has been around for a long time.

Finally, Jean Claumandall / Claw Man Dall (Kuroomandaru lit.) Is another American fighter based literally on actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.

His name is also written in the design documentation along with street fighters Gillet and Ken.

After the character himself, Harada presents an earlier presentation and design paper. This reveals that Tekken may not have started as a 3D fighting game.

Instead, one of Namco’s main ideas at the time was to create a direct successor to Street Fighter 2, but fortunately they turned to Virtua Fighter for direction.

It probably helped Seiichi Ishii, the coordinator and game designer of the original Virtua Fighter, to be brought in to oversee the first two Tekken games.

Given the original Tekken released in 1994, these documents probably date back to 1992 or 1993. Therefore, it makes sense for Namco to take a closer look at SF2 and its world domination at the time.

Just a few years before the release of the original Soul Edge / Soul Blade, it’s also very good to see all the pages laid out explaining why making a weapon-based fighting game is a bad idea. It’s interesting.

Presenters mention the fact that Tekken was actually the backup name for the title because it was first released to the world as Kamui, but Namco and Sony couldn’t secure the trademark at the time.

The history of such a big and important fighting game was just casually exhibited during such a live stream, and after being trapped in a filing cabinet for 30 years, it’s pretty wild to see, but it’s also pretty wild. That’s great.

However, it should be noted that these documents were not written by Harada himself, but by other members of the Tekken design team that were not directly named.

If you want to see a part of Mr. Harada’s presentation completely for yourself, check out the stream archive starting around 1 hour 57 minutes.


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