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The Story So Far -- Yoshimitsu (Part 2)

Delving into video game characters complex stories. Today's issue: Yoshimitsu (Soul Calibur & Tekken) Part 2

Welcome back to 'The Story So Far'- Yoshimitsu (Part 2), delving deeper into the character we love yet know almost nothing about. In Part 1 we covered Yoshi's history throughout the Souls series, gaining control over the evil Soul Edge, pursuing his mission to destroy the shards, and finally, bestowing everything upon his protege.

In Part 2, I will be covering his escapades and quests throughout the Tekken universe to better understand his story. Strap in boys and girls because this is a roller coaster of a ride, just like our previous story!

The first (and most important) thing to remember from Part 1 is that Yoshi is not the original Yoshimitsu. He is the second best warrior that the original Yoshi chose to continue his quest and lead the Manjitoh clan. It is this new leader of the reformed Manjitoh that enters the King of Iron Fist Tournaments we have all come to know and love.

As the new leader donning the guise of Yoshimitsu, he continues to fulfill his previous master's quest. The new Yoshi continues looking to assist the poor and rob from the rich. He also knows that the evil from the sword still lurks as shards somewhere throughout the world, and that they must be destroyed.

yoshimitsu, tekken, armor, outfits, gearYoshimitsu's different costumes throughout the Tekken series.

Tekken

A little while after his initiation and acceptance as the clan's leader, Yoshi gets word that a famous sumo wrestler/criminal underling named Ganryu has stolen items and money from a village close to them. Yoshi is having none of this and determines the best course of action to retrieve everything.

Hearing that Ganryu will be entering a new tournament to be held with fighters from all over the world and all walks of life, he decides to enter. You might think that the prize money would be more than enough to give back to the people but Yoshi just isn't interested in money. He is a force of karma. He enters the King of Iron Fist tournament in order to face Ganryu, distract him, and have his clan secretly infiltrate. They then steal the ill-gotten gains back for the villagers.

Things go well for Yoshi in the very first Tekken tournament, besting Ganryu and fleeing with his Manjitoh back home. He and his clan ride through the village as triumphant heroes, spreading the wealth among all the villagers. They cheer for Yoshi and the Manjitoh as the clan ride off into the sunset a la Western movies. There may also be a connection between the Manjitoh clan and the Law family, as Marshall, his wife, and little Forrest can all be seen cheering among the villagers. Yoshi's life in regards to the Tekken tournaments has just begun.

Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken. Yes, that IS Marshall and the Law family.

Tekken 2

At this point you wouldn't know who Dr. Boskonovitch is, and why should you?It's never explicitly shown in the Tekken series unless you are watching some of the manga, comics, books, and movies that are released as part of Tekken canon. In Tekken 3, a little bit more to the story is shown but again it shows very little to piece together. It seems that the writers at Tekken were never really big on story anyhow.

Having said that, Dr. Boskonovitch (or Dr. B for short) is a key player in Yoshi's life. We don't know what the circumstances were (until later on in the series) but at some point, the good doctor managed to save Yoshi's life after some unforeseen incident.

The problem now is that Mr. Duality himself, Kazuya Mishima, son of Heihachi Mishima (and one time heir to the Mishima Zaibatsu), has kidnapped Dr. B. The reason is never exactly specified but nonetheless, Yoshi feels that he owes the doctor a debt he can never repay. It is for this reason that he signs up to enter the second King of Iron Fist tournament, Tekken 2. This is also the installment where I truly believe had some of his best costumes, but that's just on a personal level.

After fighting through the trials of Tekken 2, Yoshi finally comes face to face with Kazuya (and the evil inside him, only known as Devil). He defeats both of them and moves as fast as he can to secure Dr. B from any harm or extraction attempts. The Mishima Zaibatsu are already underway with lifting the doctor off to another location but Yoshi leaps through the air, smashing his way into the helicopter's cockpit. After grabbing Dr. B, he leaps out of the helicopter and initiates his own helicopter spin using his prosthetic/robotic arm (which Dr. B created for him). They slowly hover towards the ground as the helicopter explodes in the distance. Yoshi is victorious, the good doctor is safe, and he smiles into the camera. Job well done, I'd say.

 Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken 2.

Tekken 3

Still in charge of the Manjitoh clan, Yoshi began helping Dr. B's efforts to achieve immortality. Raising funds for the research, Yoshi came to find out that his long time friend and ally is infected with some sort of pathogen unknown to humanity. After carrying out enough research, Dr. B hears about the 'Ogre' attacks from the Aztec pyramid the Mishima Zaibatsu were digging up. The doctor concludes that in order to find the key to lasting life he would have to secure a vial of blood from this 'Ogre'. There's absolutely no way the crippled doctor could manage to do this (though he is a playable character that is pretty hard to beat). Yoshi offers to enter yet another King of Iron Fist tournament to secure the vial he needs and sets off to Tekken 3 in order to save his friend once again.

Yoshi fights his way through the tournament and fights hard, annihilating every opponent that dares to cross him until he finally reaches the evil entity known only as 'Ogre'. He fights through the first incarnation of the Ogre and just as he thinks the day is won, Ogre transforms into his second form. A much more grotesque and horrifying being that knelt before him a few minutes ago. After an intense fight, Yoshi emerges victorious once again and is able to extract the blood from Ogre. He rushes back to the good doctor to bring him the fantastic news.

The final moments of Yoshi's story in Tekken 3 are more comedic than serious but then again, Tekken never took itself too seriously. After handing the vial over to Dr. B, Yoshi and the doctor test a sample of the elixir on a simple lab rat to determine its effectiveness. The doctor isn't as skilled as he thinks, proving that science is sometimes more art than actual science. After ingesting some of the elixir, the rat begins to grow tremendously in size and has Yoshi running away from the manor, with Dr. B in his arms. Why are they running? Well, the rat is chasing them. Oh, and now it's the size of a dinosaur. I guess Dr. B needs to keep working on that formula? At least in this one, Yoshi's costumes are just as incredible as the last.

Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken 3.

Tekken 4

It seems that Yoshi's life mission to rob from the rich and give to the poor is a noble cause. The problem is with more and more refugees arriving (and the increasing amount of poverty), he began to wonder how much longer the Manjitoh clan can actually continue this endeavor. As he contemplates his options, he gets word that Heihachi Mishima, the volcano dropping, filicide loving CEO of Mishima Zaibatsu (and father to the literal Devil!), is offering the challenge of a lifetime. The fighter who wins the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament will inherit his billion dollar empire. The winner will take all! This really is an offer too good for Yoshi to resist. I feel like I should have some input here. Why would anyone trust Heihachi? I mean, he threw his own son into a volcano, but I digress...

Well once again, after beating every opponent who faces him (including Heihachi), Yoshi stands victorious as the champion of Tekken 4. The Manjitoh are ecstatic when they learn of their new billion dollar company but Yoshi is always ever the wiser. He knew that trusting Heihachi to fulfill his end of the bargain would never happen and so he springs a plan to action.

After discussing the plan with his Manjitoh, Yoshi begins his walk to the Mishima manor as Heihachi reveals that he is in fact not going to give up his company (who saw that coming?). Yoshi has been through enough crap to know that Heihachi would never give up his empire, no matter who won, so he organised a contingency plan.

While Heihachi was busy insulting the Manji clan and Yoshi, the clan was actually already breaking into the Mishima vault and carrying it off into the night. Yoshi- 1, Heihachi- 0.

Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken 4.

Tekken 5

Sometime during the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament, Yoshi found an injured Bryan Fury (unknowing of who he was) and brought him back to his lab shared with Dr. Boskonovitch (remember the dying scientist?).

Unfortunately, after stealing the Mishima vault and returning to the lab, he saw that everything had been destroyed and all the staff, including the good doctor, have been killed. Enraged at the sight of his friends and life's work destroyed, Yoshi swears yet another mission of vengeance; to kill Bryan Fury. After learning that Bryan intends to fight in the upcoming fifth tournament, Yoshi joins for the fifth consecutive time. His new mission begins, again.

In the seventh round of Tekken 5, Yoshi finally faces off against his enemy, ready for the killing strike to land. However Fury, in all his cowardice, runs away. Yoshi is in hot pursuit while Bryan fixes himself with a large Gatling gun. Since Yoshi is an adept and agile ninja, he effortlessly dodged every bullet coming at him, allowing him to get close enough to Bryan to literally cut right through him. Unbeknownst to Yoshi, Bryan is actually a cyborg created by Dr. B's rival, Dr. Abel, so instead of dying like a human, he explodes. Yoshi mutters one word after all of this. One that encapsulates his entire reason for being; "Retribution."

      Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken 5.

Tekken 6

This is where Yoshi's story seems to start falling (at least in my opinion) but it is a call back to the earlier Souls seriesin which Yoshi's sword (still containing the evil of Soul Edge within) is not getting enough kills. The sword itself will eventually send its owner insane if it does not get enough blood and also becomes a lot weaker. To fix this, Yoshi adopts another sword (the first time the character wields two in the series), Fumaken. This allows Yoshi to seal the magical and cursed properties within his original blade. How he does this is beyond me but hey, that's what the lore says!

As it is only a temporary solution, Yoshi enters the sixth King of Iron Fist tournament after he hears that the supernatural being Azaezel is now a part of the competition. A mystical temple with a supernatural, evil fighter would surely have the answers Yoshi needs before it becomes too late.

After making his way through to the final round of the tournament, Yoshi comes face to face with Azaezel. A desperate fight ensues and after much battling, Yoshi emerges victorious. Once Azaezel falls, an orb drops emanating the same power from the original Soul Edge sword and immediately merges itself to Yoshi's sword. Yoshi fights with all his might to stop it from happening but it is too late. The orb has taken control of Yoshimitsu's sword and begins to poison him. Not one to go quietly into the night, he screams with madness and slashes the entire temple in half, crumbling it with him still inside. What happened to our beloved Yoshi?

      Yoshimitsu's FMV ending sequence in Tekken 6.

Yoshimitsu's Conclusion

After the last ending, players speculated whether Yoshi would actually appear in Tekken 7 but our fears were put to bed after the seventh installment was released for arcades. Sporting a very drastic change in appearance (something like an octopus?) and the two swords once again, we can't wait to find out what happens to this great character. It doesn't feel like Namco would get rid of one of their best characters but then again, this could be the last appearance Yoshi gives us.

What is this noble ninja's fate?

So what did you think? Was there anything I missed while explaining the complicated story of this character? Please leave a comment below and get involved! Stay tuned for more issues of "The Story So Far."

Published Apr. 3rd 2017

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