King is one of the core characters in the major series of brawling video games Tekken. He’s been there since the first game, in 1994.
He’s a heroic luchador (masked Mexican wrestler) who runs an orphanage and gets into his own fair share of trouble. So he could fit in many martial-arts-centric stories.
Two men have used the King identity in the course of Tekken games. Both versions of King are among the most recognizable characters in the franchise – and arguably fighting games in general.
King’s visuals evoke famous Japanese wrestler Tiger Mask (sometimes “Tiger King”), and his biography seems, hmm, inspired by real-life padre Fray Tormenta.
- Real Name: Unrevealed.
- Other Aliases: Beast Priest, Mysterious Masked Wrestler (original King only).
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Unnamed luchador organization, the Catholic Church, unnamed orphanage.
- Base of Operations: Somewhere in Mexico.
- Height: 6’3” (1.90m) (original), 6’7” (2m) (current). Weight: 188 lbs. (85 Kg.) (original), 270 lbs. (122 Kg.) (current). Age: 47 (at the time of his death), 30 (current).
- Eyes: Unrevealed (but theorized to be brown) (original), blue (current). Hair: Brown (original), Black (current).
Powers and Abilities
King is one tough luchador.
He’s a big bulky guy that is quick on his feet and has some killer throws.
The second King is quite a bit larger, but still fast on his feet. In practice, they perform similarly in a fight.
In Tekken games
In particular his Octopus Combo (an insane multi combo throw) does a whopping 130% damage. And one of his punches will stagger an opponent to set up combos.
King was thought overpowered in the first Tekken game, and toned down in later games. Nevertheless, his chain throws can still take more than half an opponent’s life bar. But many players hesitate to use them for fear of the moves being countered, leaving them wide open.
Despite popular belief — and his fearsome appearance — King is best used as a defensive character. Most of his moves lack reach. And the ones that don’t tend to leave him wide open, with lagging startups and recovery. He’s a grappler through and through, working up close and personal.
That said if an opponent’s attack is successfully blocked he’s got a ton of great options to punish them. Chief amongst those are his powerful throws.
He does have a few quick hand strikes in an attempt to add depth to the character. But they have low priority and damage. So these aren’t really a solid long term strategy.
Let’s have King’s musical theme in Street Fighter vs. Tekken.
The original King was a young, angry drunk. He used his superior size and strength to become a nasty bully. He often got into fights with multiple people – and usually prevailed. Such was his life, and he was a tough enough fighter that he was rarely injured.
One day he got into yet another street fight. That one didn’t go his way. He was badly beaten and left for dead.
As luck would have it he passed out in front of a monastery. Kindly priests took him in, tended to his wounds, fed him and taught him the words of Christ. The youth vowed to spend the rest of his life atoning for his sins.
He took the cloth. While tending to his priestly duties, he found his second love – helping children.
It broke his heart to see so many unwanted and uncared for children. The priest scraped together enough money to open his own orphanage. But funds were always tight, and his institution always was on the verge of closing.
After praying for guidance, he donned a jaguar mask. The priest used his natural fighting prowess in the wrestling ring to secure funds for his passion project. Surely Jesus would approve.
He crossed the path of Armor King, another fighter in a jaguar mask. The two became bitter rivals.
After much publicity, the pair finally got in the ring and slugged it out.
King won the match, but only after accidentally blinding his rival in one eye. He collected the prize money and swiftly gave it to his orphanage. Armor King was less than thrilled and vowed revenge.
Tekken 1 – The Rise of the King
King entered the very first King of Iron Fist Tournament. He sought prize money to keep his orphanage afloat.
After many hardcore battles, he even fought his rival Armor King, who was out for blood. King won.
He placed third in the tournament, which meant a hefty reward.
Tekken 2 – Fall, Redemption, and Death
The money didn’t last. His orphanages turned into a monetary sink hole. Even with his wrestling prizes, he was struggling to pay the bills.
Then one of the children under his care died under mysterious circumstances. King couldn’t take it and hit the bottle pretty hard.
King stumbled around drunk out of his mind for a couple of weeks. But Armor King, whom he had reconciled with, found him. His former rival got him away from the drink and trained him back into shape.
Although King’s actions didn’t have a major impact on the main storyline (the Mishima blood feud) he’s generally assumed to have had a solid showing. As he kept his orphanage up and running for quite some time until his death, which implies big prize money and/or notoriety.
Heir to the throne
Quite a bit of time passed. But one thing that didn’t change was Heihachi’s insatiable lust for power.
While excavating ancient ruins in Central America, Heihachi’s Tekken Force unleashed an ancient evil. Ogre, the God of Fighting, began to wander the earth killing highly skilled martial artists.
King was among those slain by Ogre.
His dying wish was for one of his former charges to take up his mantle. Both to keep his legacy alive and to fund the orphanage.
An unnamed young man who had once been in King’s care and had since stuck around to help him run the orphanage stepped up. He donned the legendary jaguar mask and entered the ring…
…only to lose every single match. The main problem being was that despite being a huge man, the newcomer had no talent for fighting. He was only doing a pale imitation of moves he remembered his mentor performing when he was a child.
Now a laughing stock, the younger King was about to give up. But King’s former rival Armor King offered to train him, to support King’s legacy.
After four years of nonstop hellish training the newcomer was able to master his former idol’s moves. He returned to the ring and was an instant break out success.
When the third Tekken Tournament was announced, Armor King told King II about Ogre. And how he expected the evil god to make an appearance in the tournament as it was attracting the strongest martial artists in the world. Both wrestlers joined, hoping to avenge King I.
Their adventures went largely unchronicled as they didn’t really have any impact on the main plot. But King II presumably had a pretty strong showing as he made enough money to keep the orphanage open. He also started focusing more on wrestling.
El Rey esta muerto
King II enjoyed a successful career as a pro wrestler.
Armor King went into semi-retirement due to age and injuries. He mostly stuck to managing King and training other younger wrestlers.
One day in a bar, a drunk started ranting about how wrestling was all fake. Despite his better judgment, Armor King stood up to defend his life’s work. But the troll was Craig Marduk, the current reigning heavy weight MMA champion.
Armor’s old and beaten body was no match for a champion in his prime, and Marduk accidentally killed him.
Craig had always been a controversial figure in the sports and martial arts world. He was an ill-tempered bully who just couldn’t stay out of trouble. But Armor King’s death was way beyond silly tabloid scandals. He was thus stripped of his title and given a lengthy prison sentence.
Tekken 4 – The Royal Wrath of Vengeance
King swore revenge, but he wasn’t one to pay to have Craig shanked in prison. No, he wanted this to up close and personal.
King bribed enough people to get Marduk out of prison on a technicality. He then made sure that he would also receive an invitation to the fourth Tekken Tournament.
The two squared off early in the tournament. The enraged luchador pummeled the arrogant MMA fighter within an inch of his life. He likely would’ve killed him had the referees not halted the fight.
King then went to the hospital to finish the job. But just as he was about to strike him down he saw a picture of Craig and his elderly parents on the stand next to his bed. This put a more human face on his opponent and he decided that revenge was not the answer.
King placed the photo on top of Craig and went home.
Tekken 5 – Revenge for Revenge
Craig swore that he would get revenge. Once he recovered he put himself through a hellish training regimen.
Marduk then donned the same jaguar mask as Armor King and started taunting King on international television. With the next Tekken Tournament just around the corner the two soon met in the ring for their rematch.
King fought Julia Chang early on in the tournament. A successful, media-savvy YouTuber, she urged him not to seek revenge. But King was dead set on defending his mentor’s honor. King beat her and won several subsequent matches after that to get to Marduk.
Their rematch was a much closer fight, but King once again emerged victorious. However, King had grown to respect Craig’s tenacity. Instead of further pummeling him he graciously offered a hand up when it was clear that Marduk was beaten.
Marduk was moved by this act of kindness and the two basically hugged it out. This started a long lasting bromance. They regularly trained together and became successful tag team wrestling partners.
Craig became far less of a jerk during his time with King. He even helped out with his orphanage.
Tekken 6 – Revenge Still Pending?
Craig then got jumped and badly beaten by a mysterious assailant. This man wore Armor King’s costume, and used his moves and fighting style.
With the world on the brink of Armageddon King’s only hope of getting to the bottom of this mystery was to enter the next Tekken Tournament.
But his matches are unchronicled, he didn’t have a role in the main storyline, and he didn’t encounter the mysterious new Armor King.
Still searching for answers he went to Armor King’s old gym – which he presumably inherited. A noise startled him and he dropped the photo of his old mentor he’d been looking at.
When he went to pick back up the glass framed picture he noticed that there was a second picture of two Armor Kings behind the first. The newcomer might be the rightful successor of the gray jaguar after all.
King went looking for Marduk. He found him in a graveyard, unearthing Armor King’s coffin to make sure he was still dead. But as the second King arrived, so did the other Armor King.
Both demanded answers. The newcomer explained that the original Armor King had been his brother. He had sometimes wrestled in his stead when the original had sustained injuries and needed time to recover.
The new Armor King stated that unlike King II he was the true successor to the Armor King legacy. And that he would avenge his brother at all costs by killing Marduk.
He then left. The blood feud would have to wait to be settled until the next game…
Tekken 7 Bloodline Rebellion
Craig Marduk and Armor King II got into it during the earliest stages of the tournament.
The fight was considered a draw. The referees halted it as both fighters were too injured to continue, and had to be hospitalised.
King II had other things on his mind. With the conflict between the Mishima Zaibatsu and the G-Corporation having started a world war, his orphanage wasn’t safe. But winning the Tekken tournament meant so much money and power that he could push for a peace treaty.
However, he didn’t advance as far in the tournament as he would’ve liked. And while visiting at the hospital, he found that Craig had recovered first and was about to kill Armor King II. King stopped him.
He then suggested that Craig challenge Armor King II to a retirement match. The loser would be forced to retire from fighting permanently. Marduk seemed interested in this idea and it’ll likely be picked up in the next instalment.
King II then fought Jack 7. The canon ending is yet unknown, but he likely won. King is a reasonable mid-tier fighter, and Jack basically gets destroyed every instalment only to be replaced with a new model.
In his ending, King dominated the fight against Jack 7 early on. But after being knocked around for quite a bit Jack announced that King’s moves had been analyzed. He completely turned the tables on the wrestler. But King started using Marduk’s moves, and crushed the robot.
Obviously the trade mark jaguar mask is a thing with every costume. In true luchador fashion, it is never removed.
The original King was a dark-skinned Latin man. The second is also Latin, but with a lighter skin tone.
The original King was a larger man wearing typical wrestling fare with trunks, tights, knee pads and wrestling boots.
His alternative outfit was business casual with dress slacks, brown leather shoes, and a blue dress shirt with a black tie. He did retain fighting gloves with both outfits.
King II is one of the most massive fighters in the game. He also wears a wrestling outfit, but favors yellow and quite often blue and/or purple.
He’s had quite a few alternative outfits. Often business casual, or high end fashion such as furry pimp coats or capes and other high class items. But he’s also sported a few different styles including western cowboy themed clothes, racing leathers, a full-body jaguar costume, or plenty of nondescript sports attire.
Neither King speaks. They just kind of growl presumably like a jaguar.
Yet other characters and the audience (with subtitles of course) have no problem understanding them. This is presumably just a character quirk, so it’s best not to read too much into it.
It’s also noteworthy that in Tekken almost all characters speak their native language regardless of who they’re talking to. And yet there no one seems to have any problems understanding one another.
The first King was a dreg of humanity. He lived for nothing more than drinking, fighting, and all around raising hell.
But after being cared for by kindly monks he turned himself around. King I became a devout priest who selflessly ran an orphanage. He only wrestled to earn extra cash to support his charitable works.
Yet he was not without his demons. King was an alcoholic between the first and second game.
The second King is also a kind and compassionate man. He was presumably raised on similar Catholic tenets such as doing charitable work and giving to the poor.
However he seems to have far less religious overtones. His goal appears to simply give back as he was raised by the same orphanage that he now supports.
He too was not without his flaws. His anger over Armor King’s death nearly lead him to become a killer. But he was able to forgive and even show his former enemy Craig Marduk how to live a better life.
“I will not stand for my mentor’s name to be disgraced !”
“Hold on Marduk ! After I’m through here, you’re next !”
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
King can basically be inserted as is as there isn’t a lot going on in Mexico.
He likely would’ve been trained by Wildcat in his early career. If you want to integrate him even further you can merely substitute Wildcat for his mentor instead of Armor King. He could have been forced to participate in some of Roulette’s illegal underground fights.
He also might have ties with some of the youth superhero teams. Perhaps some of his young charges start manifesting powers and need to join one of the junior super teams in training.
Marvel Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in Marvel Universe stories).
As a wrestler he may have undergone the Power Broker treatment and participated in some of the wrestling matches associated with them which could have had him easily run afoul with any of the major crime syndicates.
I feel like a team up with Daredevil (Matt Murdock) might be in order as they would share both the Catholicism and the being orphans background.
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 05||Str: 05||Bod: 06|
|Int: 05||Wil: 05||Min: 05|
|Inf: 06||Aur: 05||Spi: 06|
|Init: 018||HP: 040|
Acrobatics: 04, Martial Artist: 06
HQ (expansive, his orphanage), Expertise (orphanage management), Iron Nerves, Languages (Spanish).
Craig Marduk (High), Julia Chang (Low).
Upholding the Good (King I) / Responsibility of Power (King II).
Catholic priest (King I only) / Luchador / Orphanage headmaster.
003 (King I) / 07 (King II)
The old King would’ve had Debt at -1 for the first game and -2 for the second.
He also had Guilt and SIA (alcohol) for a time, before he retrained with Armor King and bought those off.
As a priest he likely would’ve had an Expertise in Catholic Practical Liturgy, and *possibly* True Faith.
Seeing how the original King placed third in the very first Tekken Tournament, it’s possible that his Martial Artist and Hero Points were one and ten points higher. Or perhaps even two and twenty points higher respectively. But then he took a back seat and became just another mid tiered fighter.
During the T4 storyline the new King would’ve had SIH (Craig Marduk) and Minor Rage. But he managed to buy those off in the next game.
Source of Character: Tekken Series.
Helper(s): Tekken Fandom.