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The Story So Far -- King

Delving into video game characters' complex stories. Today's issue: King (Tekken)

If you missed some of our previous issues of The Story So Far, click on any of these links: Yoshimitsu, Kazuya, Resident Evil. Follow STG to stay tuned for more coming soon!

Donning his iconic jaguar mask and wrestling gear, King is one of the few fighters to appear across all the Tekken games. A fan favorite due to his easily recognizable costume, tragic story, along with difficult, grappling combos, King has actually had two iterations. As you will come to find (if you didn't know already), King dies tragically in Tekken 3 and is replaced with another fighter, under the guise of King (King II). However, both of their stories encompass the persona that is one of the best fighting characters in gaming history. Welcome back to The Story So Far!

King II, as he is known from Tekken 3 onward.

King's Intro

As a young child, King was an orphan who wandered the streets of Mexico with no other purpose but to get in street fights. King definitely grew up in the School of Hard Knocks. One day, King was very badly injured in one of his brawls but managed to make his way to the steps of a Marquez monastery. Thanks to the monastery priests, King was looked after and managed to recover with a new outlook on life.

Being ordained and becoming a Catholic priest himself, King looks to the orphans of his region in the hopes that he can guide them from becoming anything like his former self. With the money that King also receives from his Luchadore wrestling matches, he donates to his monastery and orphans. Some time after this goes on, King then decides that he wants to do more and build his very own orphanage for the poverty stricken orphans of Mexico.

 Armor King and King; Mentor and Student

Tekken

Now that King has his life purpose, he was going to need a lot of cash to make his orphanage a reality. Upon hearing that CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu, Heihachi, would be holding a fighting tournament with a $1 million prize, King immediately entered the first King of Iron Fist tournament. He increased his training and pushed himself harder each day so that he could be the victor.

At this time, King found out that his friendly rival, Armor King, would be entering and competing in the tournament also. Knowing full well that Armor King is no pushover, King continued to train with this in mind. He had to beat Armor King if he was going to see any of that prize money and make his dream become reality.

After fighting through the tournament rounds successfully, King faced his rival in the competition. A tough match ensued, with King ultimately damaging Armor King's left eye. Afterwards, King was the winner of this battle, moving up to the third, final fight. While he was unable to win the tournament, King came in a close third place and managed to take enough prize money home. Immediately working on his orphanage, the children of Mexico (and King himself) have never been happier.

 King's ending FMV video in Tekken.

Tekken 2

After constructing his orphanage, an orphan under King's care happens to pass away. This left King absolutely devastated, depressed, and turning to the drink. King fled his orphanage but not before throwing his iconic jaguar mask away. King was done with everything and was content to drink his worries and memories away (a little melodramatic no?).

Having everlasting respect for his former wrestling rival, Armor King began to track King down and find his whereabouts. Clue after clue led Armor King from one place to the next, all leading up to where King had himself holed up. It seems to me that if you are an alcoholic running away from your problems, bars and taverns would be the first place you look, right?

Armor King finds his former friend slumped in an alleyway behind a dingy bar, throws his mask to him and convinces him to get his collective s**t together. He has an orphanage to run, with children dependent on him. Since the institution wasn't going to fund itself, Armor King also convinced King to get back into training and enter the second King of Iron Fist tournament (announced by Kazuya Mishima).

His time with depression and alcoholism didn't do him any favors and even though King and Armor King trained every day for the tournament, it just wasn't meant to be. Not securing a victorious place in Tekken 2, King still had enough money left to fill some children's Christmas with happiness and presents. He remembers what it was like to help kids, and never touched the drink again. King continues to fund the orphanage with his pro-wrestling money and also began teaching the children under his care how to defend themselves. A truly selfless man indeed.

 King's ending FMV video in Tekken 2. 

Tekken 3

Fast forward 15 years later, where a new, evil presence has been found by the Mishima Zaibatsu. Located in an Aztec temple near King's town in Mexico, King went to see what the ruckus was all about. Unfortunately for him, the evil being 'Ogre' was too much for him. He was killed by this beast. Upon learning this news, an orphan under King's care decides to continue King's legacy and dons the jaguar mask. King II is born...

Unfortunately, King II has had very little training and has ever only seen his hero fight on the TV broadcasts. Luchadore match after match sees King II losing, until one day, Armor King shows up out of the blue. Explaining that his friendship with the original King was one of the great things in his life, and to see someone taking up his mantle swelled him with pride, he became King II's new foster father, trainer and mentor. 

Four years of training together, Armor King decides that King II is ready for more. The third King of Iron Fist tournament is announced and Armor King enlists his new protege, to see if he can handle the world's best fighters and if his training has paid off. However, King II had another agenda; taking revenge on Ogre for killing his foster father.

Unsuccessful in this tournament, and not being able to face Ogre, King continues to fight in luchadore matches in order to fund the orphanage he now takes care of. During one of King II's victories in the arena, he becomes worried when he can't see his master celebrating the win. Bursting into his locker room, King II learns that his mentor, Armor King, has a heart illness. Tough break...

 King's ending FMV video in Tekken 3.

Tekken 4

After realizing that his master, Armor King, had cardiac problems, King was distraught. He was going to be losing yet another mentor and foster father. Before his time came however, Armor King managed to get himself killed in a bar fight. When King II heard the news, he was enraged and quickly swore another revenge mission. It seems revenge is the only motivator for anyone entering Tekken tournaments, doesn't it?

Learning that the murderer was currently serving time in Arizona State Penitentiary, King II used his pro-wrestling money to eventually bribe the warden. Securing Craig Marduk's release from prison, King II sent him a plane ticket and an article detailing the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament. King II was hoping he would find his new enemy there and exact his vengeance.

It was a grueling battle between the two fighters but with enough focus and rage, King II ended up hospitalizing Marduk. Not content to stop there, King II moved forward to win the tournament and inherited the Mishima Zaibatsu fortune from Heihachi. After using some of the money to fund his orphanage indefinitely, King II donated the rest of his fortune to help impoverished children around the globe.

Finally, the time had come for King II to get rid of the murderer he hated so much. Walking into Craig's hospital room while he was unconscious, King II was ready to end him. Before he was about to strike, King II noticed a photo portrait of Craig's elderly parents, stopping him in his tracks. He looked on and finally understood that revenge only leads to more pain (such as those losses he himself suffered). King II places the photo on Craig's chest and calmly makes his way out.

King's ending FMV video in Tekken 4.

Tekken 5

Humiliated by the fact that he was defeated at the hands of King II, Craig Marduk donned a black jaguar mask identical to King's mentor, Armor King. He even went so far as to televise his challenge to King II stating that in this tournament, he would beat him fair and square. Disgusted by this insult to his dead master's memory, King II enters the fifth King of Iron Fist tournament in a rage. He would take Marduk down, no matter what!

While making his way to Craig, King II crossed paths with Julia Chang who attempted to convince King II not to fight Craig and to let it go. He isn't worth it and shouldn't have to fight simply because Craig 'called him out.' King II is so angry that he is having none of this and begins fighting Julia when she doesn't get out of his way. He promptly beats her, only further fueling the fire in King II's belly.

King II finally arrives to fight Craig and in a very heated battle of Luchadore Wrestling VS Vale Tudo, King II emerges as the clear victor. However, something strange happens next. We would have expected King II to kill Marduk after everything that has happened but instead he stretches out his hand in friendship. Marduk slowly takes his hand and the two reconcile their differences.

After beating Craig, King II has no more reason to fight and immediately leaves the Tekken 5 tournament, continuing to fight as a pro-wrestler. The difference now? Craig Marduk and King II are a tag-team event and currently the WNW champions of the world. Everyone loves redemption stories...

King's ending FMV video in Tekken 5.

Tekken 6

It seems that if you really want to push King II's buttons, all you have to do is dress up like his mentor, Armor King. During the last tournament, Marduk was attacked by a mysterious assailant clad in the same costume as Armor King. Once King II heard about this attack on his new friend (and that they besmirched Armor King's honor to do so), enraged him to no end. It seems King and King II are either angry or depressed all the time.

Determined to uncover the culprit behind the mask, King II searched and searched. Unfortunately, due to the worldwide warfare being carried out by Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima, it was nigh impossible. After receiving an invitation from Marduk to enter the sixth King of Iron Fist tournament, King II entered with his ally in the hopes that this masked imitation would show his face (or erm, mask).

After the tournament was over, King II sat quietly in his room and stared at an old photo of his dead mentor. Both Marduk and King II were unsuccessful in finding out who the imposter Armor King was but this hasn't stopped them from attempting to find out. As King II carefully places the photo back on the sill, he accidentally drops it on the floor, breaking it into pieces. Noticing that there were two photos in the frame, King II was in shock to see two Armor Kings standing side by side in the hidden photo. Now this doesn't really make much sense until you see both Craig Marduk's and Armor King's Tekken 6 ending.

Staring at the exact same photo, the imitation Armor King sets it down and leaves his room. We then cut to Marduk digging up the original Armor King's grave just to make sure he is actually still dead. As Craig witnesses the body, Armor King walks up behind him, with King II quickly following suit. Meeting the world champion tag-team at the grave site, he insists that he is Armor King and no one else. He is the brother to the original Armor King, who had cardiac problems, and now claims his legacy as Armor King II. Marduk killed his brother (King II's foster father) and now, Armor King II wants revenge...

 Craig Marduk, Armor King and King's ending FMV video in Tekken 6. 

King's Conclusion

A great story of revenge and redemption, it's easy to see why King is a sympathetic and lovable character. Ever since the endings of Craig, King and Armor King in Tekken 6, fans have been waiting to find out what happens next! This could make things very complicated as King II has every right to feel the same way Armor King II does. On the other hand, the friendship and trials Craig and King II have gone through together could be a lesson for the newly arrived Armor King II. We will only have to wait until Tekken 7 hits consoles to find out!

----

So there we have it! The Story So Far has taken you through the entirety of King's life in the Tekken franchise. Hopefully when Tekken 7 is released on consoles, we will have a little bit more to add to the story. Until then, please don't forget to leave a comment.

Published Apr. 11th 2017

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