Paul is another OG character from the Tekken brawling video games franchise. He has been beloved by the fans since day one.
After a strong showing in the first game, and a bit of a comeback in Tekken 3, Mr. Phoenix was relegatedTo transfer to an inferior position. to the role of a joke character. As of this writing, he hasn’t been taken seriously in a long time.
That said, Paul is a competent brawler – although not the brightest. He could be useful in various campaigns, particularly those with martial arts.
That and he’s repeatedly beaten up bears, so that makes him pretty cool in my book (animal cruelty aside).
- Real Name: Paul Phoenix.
- Other Aliases: Hot Blooded Martial Artist Aiming for the Top, Blazing Brawler.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Allied with Marshal and Forrest Law, and more recently Steve Fox.
- Base of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 6’2” (1.88m). Weight: 179 lbs. (82 Kg.). Age: 48.
- Eyes: Blue. Hair: Blond.
Powers & Abilities
Paul’s been a playable character in every single installment, and has the martial arts prowess to prove it.
He used to be able to fight his arch-rival Kazuya to a draw. But nowadays, their rivalry is much more one-sided. Kazuya just plain left him in the dust.
- He’s repeatedly fought and won against martial-arts-trained bears.
- He beat a weaker form of Ogre, the main antagonist of Tekken 3.
- He’s also able to punch through brick walls.
- He’s skilled enough to break two glass bottles with a double kick after throwing them up in the air.
Paul also seems to be an experienced motorcyclist, and rides a Harley.
Fists of the phoenix
While he’s also technically a judo fighter, his biography notes that he has heavily modified the art into his own style.
Phoenix still makes use of traditional Judo throws, holds, and evasive moves. But he added quite a bit of striking to the form. Most additions seem to come from karate styles – plus baji quan as evident in his double kick.
Adding all these strikes to the simplified, low-violence, sportive form that is judo might mean that Mr. Phoenix could be considered a jujitsu practitioner of sorts.
But in the storyline, Paul doesn’t evidence the “anything goes” attitude of many jujitsu styles. Sure, he’s a bit of brickhead, but he wants clean, sportsmanlike matches against worthy opponents. Paul is not out to maim or kill people.
(However, his in-game moves are more aggressive than what the storyline implies).
In the games
Gameplay-wise Paul became an instant favorite with fans. He’s got:
- Superior offense and defense.
- A lot of powerful punches and kicks that do a lot of damage on their own.
- Some good combo options and juggling capabilities, with a large damage output.
- Good low attacks that come out quick.
- Some excellent rush down and evasion moves to control the range and tempo of the match.
Paul grew up idolizing karate champion Wilie “The Bear Killer” Williams . Williams’ title fight against Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki for the World Martial Arts Heavy Weight Championship in Tokyo in 1980 was important in sculpting later mixed martial arts tournaments.
(The fight actually ended in a draw, as both fighters fell out of the ring too many times.)
Paul discovered his own natural talent for fighting. His only goal in life became to surpass his hero, and prove that he was the toughest fighter ever.
Hey Paul, let’s have a ball
He rejected having a normal life and career, and spent all his free time training.
While financially irresponsible and perpetually broke, Phoenix eked out a modest living by prize fighting, plus bouncer or bodyguard gigs. He lived as a drifter, and kind of went wherever there were good fights to be had.
He eventually wound up in San Francisco. There he trained alongside Marshall Law, who became his best friend. As well as a much-needed adviser and voice of reason in his chaotic life.
Lee Chaolan also trained with the pair for an undetermined amount of time.
Paul Phoenix then finally ran into a fighter he couldn’t defeat. That was Kazuya Mishima, Lee’s adopted brother. The two fought to a draw, as time ran out for their match.
Kazuya had his own lengthy family drama to deal with. He soon moved on from this single blemish on his record. But Paul became fixated on Kazuya. He needed to defeat his rival in order to prove that he was the toughest in the universe.
Therefore, Paul enthusiastically entered the King of the Iron Fist Tournament hosted by Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya’s father.
He gained a new rival – Kuma, Heihachi’s pet bear. To become better than his idol Willie “The Bear Killer” Williams surely, he would need to defeat a ferocious bear?
While he did manage to defeat the beast, he still lost in his rematch to Kazuya – who would then go on to win the tournament. So perhaps Paul wasn’t the toughest in the universe?
Paul now trained in the South Bronx. For two years, he returned to the kind of dangerous jobs he was used to doing.
Then Marshall heard about a second Tekken Tournament, hosted by Kazuya. Considering that his previous loss was nothing but a fluke, the arrogant Paul immediately registered.
Mr. Phoenix once again defeated Kuma and was poised to get his rematch with Kazuya. But a multi-car pile up on his way to the rematch delayed him for so long that the judges declared it a forfeit for him.
As a result, Heihachi Mishima went on to defeat and seemingly murder his son Kazuya.
Paul was therefore deprived of both his “rival” and a rematch to prove he was the toughest. He just went back to doing what he’d done before. Train, prize fight, and do dangerous jobs to support himself.
Not much of interest happened to Paul Phoenix during the next 20 years. He still trained and had his decent share of fans as well as be respect in the martial arts world. But without Kazuya things just weren’t the same.
When he heard about a third Tekken tournament, he eagerly entered to prove his strength. While now well into his 40s, Paul was as tough as ever.
He defeated Kuma II, the son of the bear he had twice beaten. Phoenix qualified all the way to challenge a mysterious and ancient being said to be the god of fighting.
It was yet another tough battle for Paul, but he emerged victorious.
Paul left the site to boast about his win to anyone who would listen. But the event had been a private one. Worse still, his enemy — the immortal Ogre — morphedImpossibly shifting into another form. into a more powerful form. Which was defeated by Jin Kazama – Kazuya’s son.
Phoenix’s boasts about beating a god were met with great scepticism. Even his diehard fans grew sick of it. Most of Paul’s opportunities dried up, and he had to close his dojo as students left.
Humbled and broke, Paul enrolled with the fourth Tekken tournament ASAP. He sought to prove the haters wrong.
Once again, as decreed by the ancient gods, he wound up fighting a bear. Paul’s overconfident cocky attitude cost him the match, as Kuma II defeated him.
Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection
All that Paul could do was to resume training. But as luck would have it, it was a mere two months later when the next Tekken Tournament was announced.
Phoenix ran into his nemesis Kuma II early on. He won, but the match took far too much out of him. He had to drop out – and didn’t reach the stages with prize money.
Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion
By this point, Paul’s best buddy Marshall Law was heavily in debt, due to his chain of failed restaurants. The two formed a team to increase their chances of winning tournament prize money.
(How they expected to make money by forming a team in a single-entry tournament was never explained. Perhaps they angled for some sort of match-fixing to hedge their odds and bet on one of them on the side).
(Either that or they’re both that dumb. At this point, neither fighter has been taken seriously for several games. All their endings have been jokes – with them being the butt of the joke).
The story never went into specifics, but their scheme didn’t pan out.
Tekken 7 Fated Retribution
The pair sought to recruit a third fighter as part of whatever their scheme was. They approached Steve Fox.
Mr. Fox was a former lightweight boxing world champion. But he was banned from the ring due to mob ties. He also had big debts, and so he joined Phoenix and Law.
Paul was all set to fight Kuma II in one of the early rounds. But there was a sudden change. While Paul was fervently hoping he would be pitted against Kazuya, his opponent turned out to be Panda.
The match wasn’t shown, but Mr. Phoenix presumably won. On the other hand, it is doubtful that the get-rich-quick scheme worked.
Paul is a well-built, all-American muscular White man with blond hair and blue eyes.
His signature haircut is a gravity-defying flat top.
He has a small black scorpion tattooed on his right arm.
Out of all the Tekken characters, Paul went through the least changes. His main costume is a red sleeveless training gi with black hand and foot guards – looking much like Ken Masters’.
His other costume is the kind of black biker leather that you would expect someone who rides around on a Harley to wear.
There have been some cosmetic changes to this second outfit. But it’s usually just adding some chain or skull motifs – or accessories.
Paul is a large, brash, rude and crude brawler. While he does take his training and martial arts seriously, his attitude and ego do not make for a good combo with his lack of intelligence.
While he is loud and arrogant and does have a bad temper, he’s actually not a bad guy at heart. It’s just difficult for people to see past all the posturing he does.
He doesn’t like bears and enjoys beating them up – just as his hero supposedly used to. But Paul considers his fights with Kuma to be nothing more than a pit stop on the main event to his rematch with Kazuya.
This “rivalry” is quite one-sided, if not deluded. Kazuya seems to have long since forgotten about the one time he and Paul fought to a draw.
He has had a long and endearing friendship with his good buddy — and frequent training partner — Marshall Law. This led to friendships with Marshal’s son, Forrest Law, as well as Steve Fox.
Unfortunately, Paul’s not the best with money. He’s also grown desperate to pay off his debts. Several other characters have called Paul and Marshall out for both their shady behavior and harebrained con.
“No pain, no gain !”
“Nothing like a good workout !”
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Or he can simply pop up as bodyguard or bouncer.
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 07||Str: 04||Bod: 05|
|Int: 03||Wil: 03||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 03||Spi: 05|
|Init: 018||HP: 070|
Acrobatics: 03, Martial Artist: 09, Weaponry: 06, Vehicles (motorcycles): 04
Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (stance assessment).
Marshal Law (High), Forrest Law (High), Steve Fox (High), Lee Chaolan (Low).
Debt (-2 CS), Enemy (Kuma II), CIA (proving that he’s the toughest in the universe).
Anti-heroic Mercenary (was Anti-heroic Thrill of Adventure).
- BIKING LEATHERS [BODY 06, Kinetic absorption (Structural only): 05, Skin armour: 01, Drawback: Real armour].
- Harley [STR 04 BODY 05, Running: 05, R#03].
Source of Character: Tekken Series.
Helper(s): Tekken Fandom, Sébastien Andrivet, B. Moss.