All About Tekken 2

If you're a fan of fighting games, you've probably heard of Tekken 2. Released in the mid-90s, Tekken 2 quickly became a cornerstone of the fighting game genre, setting new standards for gameplay, graphics, and character development. This blog post will provide an in-depth look at all about Tekken 2, including its storyline, characters, gameplay mechanics, and legacy. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the series, this comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about this iconic game.

Tekken 2, the second instalment in the Tekken series, was first released in arcades in 1995 and later for the PlayStation in 1996. It brought significant improvements over its predecessor, introducing new characters, enhanced graphics, and innovative gameplay features. Let's dive into the world of Tekken 2 and explore what makes it a classic.

Game Overview

Tekken 2 was a groundbreaking release in the fighting game genre. Initially launched in arcades in 1995, it was later ported to the PlayStation in 1996. This sequel built upon the foundation of the original Tekken, enhancing graphics, introducing new characters, and adding innovative gameplay mechanics. The game became one of the best-selling titles of its era, largely due to its refined gameplay and extensive character roster.

Key Features of Tekken 2:

  • Enhanced graphics with improved character models and detailed stages.
  • Introduction of new characters alongside returning favourites.
  • Innovative gameplay mechanics such as sidestepping, attack reversals, and chain-throws.
  • Multiple game modes including Team Battle, Time Attack, Survival, and Practice Mode.

Note: Discover our latest blogs on Retro Gaming Accessories and Retro Games!

Storyline and Characters

Summary of the Main Storyline

Two years after the events of the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, Kazuya Mishima has assumed control of the Mishima Zaibatsu. To further his dominance, he announces a second tournament. As the tournament progresses, Kazuya confronts new and returning fighters, including his father, Heihachi Mishima, who seeks revenge. The story culminates in a dramatic showdown between father and son.

Kazuya Mishima, the winner of the first tournament, has taken over the Mishima Zaibatsu and is rumoured to have made a pact with the devil to gain more power. He organizes the second King of Iron Fist Tournament to attract the strongest fighters from around the world. Amid the fierce competition, Kazuya faces his father, Heihachi Mishima, who survived being thrown off a cliff and is now determined to reclaim his honor and the Mishima Zaibatsu.

Detailed Look at Characters

Returning Characters:

  • Kazuya Mishima: The main antagonist of the series, now the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu.
  • Paul Phoenix: A hot-headed American martial artist with a unique fighting style.
  • Yoshimitsu: The enigmatic leader of the Manji Clan, known for his ninja techniques and weapon mastery.

New Characters:

  • Jun Kazama: A wildlife protection officer with mysterious powers.
  • Lei Wulong: A Hong Kong police officer inspired by martial arts movie stars.
  • Baek Doo San: A Taekwondo master seeking revenge for his father's death.

Unlockable Characters:

  • Anna Williams: Nina Williams' sister, unlocked by beating Arcade Mode with Nina.
  • Armor King: A rival to King, unlocked by beating Arcade Mode with King.
  • Devil/Angel: Unlocked by beating Arcade Mode with Kazuya Mishima, representing his internal struggle between good and evil.

Each character in Tekken 2 comes with a unique backstory and fighting style, adding depth and variety to the game. The addition of unlockable characters provided players with additional challenges and rewards, keeping them engaged and motivated to explore all aspects of the game.

Atom Retro Gaming console!

Note: Buy our Atom Retro Gaming console!

Gameplay Mechanics

Basic Gameplay Mechanics and Controls

Tekken 2 retained the core fighting system of its predecessor, featuring an infinite playing field and a four-button control scheme: left punch, right punch, left kick, and right kick. Players could execute a variety of moves and combos, allowing for strategic and dynamic fights.

The gameplay in Tekken 2 is intuitive yet deep, making it accessible for newcomers while offering complexity for seasoned players. The four-button system allows for precise control over punches and kicks, enabling players to string together combos and special moves. The game's infinite playing field means there are no boundaries, encouraging players to stay on the move and think strategically.

Notable Improvements and Additions

  • Sidestepping: Allowed players to dodge attacks by moving into the background, adding a new layer of strategy to the fights.
  • Attack Reversals: Certain characters could counter incoming attacks, providing opportunities for comeback plays.
  • Chain-Throws and Back Throws: These additions enhanced the grappling mechanics, making fights more dynamic and varied.
  • Graphical Enhancements: Improved lighting effects, more detailed character models, and dynamic backgrounds that moved during battles.

Tekken 2 also introduced a significant number of new moves and combos for each character, doubling the variety compared to the first game. These improvements made the gameplay more engaging and visually appealing, contributing to the game's lasting appeal.

Game Modes

Overview of Different Game Modes

  • Team Battle: Players form teams and compete in sequential matches. This mode adds a strategic element, as players must decide the best order to deploy their team members.
  • Time Attack Mode: Players race against the clock to defeat opponents as quickly as possible. This mode tests players' efficiency and skill.
  • Survival Mode: Players fight against a continuous stream of opponents, aiming to last as long as possible without losing. This mode challenges players' endurance and adaptability.
  • Practice Mode: Allows players to refine their skills and learn new moves in a non-competitive environment. This mode is essential for mastering complex combos and techniques.

Secret Modes and How to Unlock Them

  • Sky Mode: Unlock all characters and hold Select + Up when selecting a character to engage in high-flying battles.
  • Wireframe Mode: Hold L1 + L2 when selecting a character to play in a unique visual style that resembles early 3D models.
  • Big Head Mode: Hold Select until the fight begins to give characters oversized heads, adding a humorous twist to the gameplay.

These secret modes provided additional entertainment and replay value, encouraging players to experiment and discover all the game had to offer.

Atom Plus Retro Gaming Console!

Note: Buy our Atom Plus Retro Gaming Console!

Stages and Music

Description of Various Stages

Each stage in Tekken 2 featured unique backgrounds, some of which included recognizable landmarks like Stonehenge and a partially buried Big Ben. These detailed stages contributed to the game's immersive atmosphere and added variety to the visual experience.

The stages in Tekken 2 are not just backdrops but play an integral role in setting the tone for each fight. From the serene yet eerie environment of Jun Kazama's stage to the intense, urban feel of Kazuya Mishima's stage, each location is meticulously designed to enhance the gameplay experience.

Overview of the Soundtracks

Tekken 2 boasted four soundtracks:

  • Namco Game Sound Express VOL.26 Tekken 2 (arcade)
  • Tekken 2 Strike Fighting Vol.1
  • Tekken 2 Strike Fighting Vol.2 (console)
  • Tekken 2 Strike Arranges (remixes)

These soundtracks added to the game’s appeal with memorable and dynamic music. Each track was carefully composed to match the intensity and pace of the fights, contributing to the overall atmosphere and immersion.

The music in Tekken 2 is one of its standout features, with each character having a unique theme that reflects their personality and fighting style. From the energetic beats of Paul Phoenix's theme to the mysterious and haunting melody of Yoshimitsu's theme, the soundtrack enhances the emotional impact of the game.

Impact and Legacy

Tekken 2's Influence on the Fighting Game Genre

Tekken 2 set new standards for fighting games with its advanced graphics, complex characters, and engaging gameplay. It received critical acclaim and became a staple in the genre, influencing many future titles.

Tekken 2's success paved the way for future instalments in the series, each building upon the innovations introduced in this game. Its impact is evident in the continued popularity of the Tekken franchise, which remains one of the leading names in the fighting game genre.

Reception and Critical Acclaim

The game was praised for its deep gameplay mechanics, extensive character roster, and visual improvements. It achieved high sales and remains a beloved classic among fans.

Critics and players alike appreciated the balance between accessibility and depth in Tekken 2. The game's learning curve allowed newcomers to enjoy it while offering seasoned players a challenging and rewarding experience. This balance is a key factor in its lasting popularity.

Long-term Impact on Subsequent Tekken Games

Tekken 2’s innovations and characters laid the groundwork for future instalments. Many of its features became series staples, solidifying Tekken’s reputation as a leading fighting game franchise.

The characters introduced in Tekken 2, such as Jun Kazama and Lei Wulong, became fan favourites and continued to appear in subsequent games. The gameplay mechanics and features refined in Tekken 2 also became integral parts of the Tekken formula, ensuring the series' continued success.

Personal Impressions

Personal Experiences with Tekken 2

As a longtime fan of the Tekken series, Tekken 2 holds a special place in my heart. The introduction of characters like Jun Kazama and Lei Wulong brought fresh dynamics to the game. The improved graphics and gameplay mechanics were impressive for their time, making Tekken 2 a favourite among my friends and me.

I remember spending countless hours mastering each character's moves and combos, challenging friends to epic battles, and discovering hidden secrets and modes. Tekken 2's depth and variety kept us engaged and entertained for years.

Why Tekken 2 Remains a Favorite Among Fans

Tekken 2’s blend of strategic gameplay, memorable characters, and engaging storylines makes it a timeless classic. Its influence is still felt in modern fighting games, and it continues to attract both new and veteran players.

The game's balance between accessibility and complexity, its diverse cast of characters, and its immersive stages and music all contribute to its enduring appeal. Tekken 2 is more than just a game; it's a piece of gaming history that continues to resonate with players around the world.


Tekken 2 is a landmark in the fighting game genre, offering rich gameplay, an engaging story, and a diverse character roster. Its legacy endures, making it a must-play for any fighting game enthusiast. If you haven't experienced Tekken 2 yet, now is the perfect time to dive into this classic. Share your own Tekken 2 memories and favourite characters in the comments below!


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What year was Tekken 2 released? 

Ans: Tekken 2 was released in arcades in 1995 and on the PlayStation in 1996.

Q2. Who are the main characters in Tekken 2? 

Ans: Main characters include Kazuya Mishima, Jun Kazama, Paul Phoenix, and Heihachi Mishima.

Q3. What new gameplay features were introduced in Tekken 2? 

Ans: New features included sidestepping, attack reversals, chain throws, and back throws.

Q4. How many characters are there in Tekken 2? 

Ans: Tekken 2 features a total of 25 characters, including unlockable ones.

Q5. What are the main game modes in Tekken 2? 

Ans: The main game modes include Team Battle, Time Attack, Survival, and Practice Mode.

Q6. How do you unlock secret modes in Tekken 2? 

Ans: Secret modes like Sky Mode, Wireframe Mode, and Big Head Mode can be unlocked by specific button combinations during character selection.

Q7. What makes Tekken 2's stages unique? 

Ans: Tekken 2's stages feature detailed and dynamic backgrounds, some of which include recognizable landmarks like Stonehenge and Big Ben.

Back to blog