Bruce Irvin (ブルース・アーヴィン Burūsu Āvin?) is a character in the Tekken series of fighting games. Bruce first appeared in Tekken 2, and he has returned for Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, as well as the spin-off titles Tekken Tag Tournament and its sequel, Tekken 3D and Tekken Mobile.
Bruce Irvin was born and raised in a rough neighborhood, one troubled by criminals and gangsters. While at a young age, Bruce was left with no family when his parents and older brother were attacked and killed by gangsters. With no other family to turn to, Bruce was forced to survive, alone, on the streets. This did not break him, however, and knowing that he had to be strong to survive, Bruce trained in the art of Muay Thai kickboxing. Forced to fight on a daily basis to survive on the mean streets, Bruce turned this to his advantage by competing in the underground fight scene to earn money, where he soon developed a fearsome reputation due to his vicious temperament and uncompromising technique. This led Bruce to compete in professional tournaments, where he soon became the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Just as Bruce's fortunes seemed to have changed, his life took a drastic change of course when he entered a Muay Thai tournament in Thailand. A bookmaker, keen to turn a profit, offered Bruce a sum of money to rig a fight and lose. When his turn came to fight, Bruce's pride would not allow him to lose, and he ended up beating his opponent to death. Enraged by the loss of revenue, the bookmaker hired a killer to take Bruce's life, while the police sought Bruce for murder. Forced to flee, Bruce took a plane out of the country, only to find that a detective and his hired killer were also on the plane. A fight soon escalated, resulting in the crashing of the plane. Whereas the detective and killer were killed, Bruce survived, albeit with amnesia. Wandering alone in a foreign wilderness, Bruce was found by the forces of Kazuya Mishima. Kazuya, seeing the potential of Bruce, hired him as a mercenary, and the two grew to be friends. When Kazuya arranged the second King of Iron Fist Tournament, Bruce entered, keen to test his abilities, but was ultimately defeated by Lei Wulong, a police officer from Hong Kong and partner of the detective killed in the plane crash. After the tournament's conclusion, and Kazuya's apparent death at the hands of his father Heihachi, Bruce left Kazuya's militia and eventually ended up at a survival school.
Around 21 years later, Bruce heard that Kazuya, his former employer thought to be dead, had entered the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament. Intrigued, Bruce wanted to learn more, and when a fifth tournament was announced, he entered, seeking information and also the fun of testing his abilities against the forces of the Mishima Zaibatsu. As the fifth tournament progressed, Bruce reunited with Kazuya and joined his forces to aid in his plot to take over the G Corporation. While Bruce's participation in the tournament was minor, the plot to seize the G Corporation was successful, and Kazuya ran it from behind closed doors while Bruce headed a task force whose main focus was to travel the globe eliminating any Mishima Zaibatsu operatives he should find.
As the plot to eradicate the Mishima Zaibatsu progressed, a time came when Kazuya set his sights on Jin Kazama, his son as well as the Zaibatsu's leader. To lure Jin into the open, a bounty was put on his head. Jin, having anticipated the G Corporations attempt on his life, arranged the sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament, as if he had been waiting for the G Corporation to make the first move. Bruce, seeing the reward for the capture of Jin, enters the tournament with his eyes on the prize, despite the risks to his own safety, due to his association and loyalty with the G Corporation. Bruce was unsuccessful in capturing Jin, however, and his whereabouts since the tournament's finale is, so far, unknown.
Bruce has a seemingly complex personality; despite being ultimately on the side of good, Bruce is a brooding, cynical individual with a threatening persona, always merciless against his opponents. However, he despises bullying and constantly looks out for those more vulnerable than him, having a soft spot for children. This is most likely due to his own troubled past and rough background. He also holds gangsters in contempt due to the killing of his own family by them, though he himself will happily beat up whoever stands in his way. Bruce lives to fight, and is very confident of his own ability while showing little respect for his competitors and no fear in the face of danger. In his Tekken 6 also reveals that he is also a natural leader during a war with his G Corporation army team against one of Jin’s Zaibatsu army team.
Bruce is a tall, muscular African-American man with brown eyes and black hair, styled into a Mohawk, and a small goatee beard. Upon his return in Tekken 5, Bruce had more facial hair; short, neatly-groomed stubble that ran along his full jawline, as well as arching over his top lip. He also has a small ponytail, secured with a white hairband; while this ponytail was visible when he wore his Player 2 outfits in the earlier games, it was less visible. Bruce also has three distinctive tattoos - two tribal designs on his chest, one on each side, and a large abstract piece on his back, which seems to show a phoenix or dragon-like design, although, in earlier titles in the series, he had another two tribal designs on his back, similar to his chest tattoos.
Main Article: Bruce Irvin/Outfits
As a Muay Thai kickboxer, the majority of Bruce's outfits have consisted simply of shorts, as worn by practitioners of the sport. These shorts are typically a shade of blue, but pink has also been used, and bear fire-like patterns. He has also worn white and red shorts with his name on the front. Bruce usually has wrapping around his hands and forearms, as well as his lower legs and ankles, when wearing these outfits, although he has worn protectors on his legs and boxing gloves on his hands.
Bruce has also worn a more casual outfit consisting of a tank top and jeans, also decorated with flame-like patterning, with brown shoes, and a black tracksuit, as well as his G Corporation military outfit of a pale green shirt and pants with a bulletproof vest, combat boots and knee pads.
Version 1: Bruce Irving: Invincible fighter.
Bruce, who had lost both his parents and elder brother in his infancy, grew up living a life plagued by hunger and much violence. Disliking the cards fate had dealt him, Bruce yearned to live the good life, and his resolve made him a very strong fighter.
As he was a kickboxing practitioner, Bruce went to Thailand to compete in a Muay Thai Kickboxing tournament, and his performance destroyed the former popular champion's hopes of ever returning, and as a result, a Muay Thai gambling organization put out a contract on Bruce's life.
While onboard a returning flight home, the contract killer attempted to take Bruce's life, but an investigator of Hong Kong's International Police force, who was also on the flight, thwarted his efforts. A fight ensued and when it was over the plane went down.
A unit from Kazuya's facilities later rescued Bruce, who had been surviving off of human remains for several months.
Version 2: In the kickboxing circle, Bruce has carved a niche for himself. He became the undisputed heavyweight champion five years before The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2. His ferocity and uncompromising technique dominated all the competition. It is thought that the reason for his temper and nature is due to the fact that, at an early age, his parents and brother were killed, which left Bruce on the streets having to fight on a daily basis just to survive.
He learned to inflict great pain on his victims. He accumulated a small amount of money competing in pit fights and brawls. He lives for the fight! He entered a Muay Thai tournament in Thailand, where he was paid to rig a fight and lose. Bruce decided otherwise and beat his opponent to death. The bookie of the Muay Thai gym, enraged at his loss of revenue, sent a hired killer after Bruce. He fled the country by plane, only to meet a Hong Kong detective and the hired killer. Within minutes, the three confronted each other. It developed into a full-blown battle, which caused the plane to crash.
The detective (Lei Wulong's partner) and the killer were killed on impact, but Bruce was thrown free. Wandering in a remote region, Kazuya Mishima's men picked him up, and he was given a new job as Kazuya's combat champion.
Ending Description: A boy watches as Bruce practices. Noticing this, Bruce smiles and strikes a couple blows to the punching bag, finishing with a powerful kick that breaks the bag off its chains. Shocked, the boy falls to the ground. Bruce opens the window and gives the boy a thumbs up.
Bruce does not appear in the third game, but he is mentioned in Lei's backstory, where it is stated that Lei drove Bruce to the brink of utter defeat in the previous tournament, but with him still managing to escape. After the tournament, Bruce's flight home was reported to have crashed once again, seemingly by Kazuya's men as a way of silencing Bruce, but Lei personally believes that it was a staged accident and Bruce still lives. Despite these suspicions, Lei was never able to find the truth regarding Bruce and devoted his time to solving numerous other crimes for the next 20 years instead.
In Tekken 5, it was revealed that Bruce truly did survive, but the alleged plane crash is not mentioned once, so it seems that the crash either did not happen, or that he successfully faked his death with the help of Kazuya's men to escape the authorities 20 years ago.Zaibatsu would soon hold The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5. The seasoned veteran sensed something was going on behind the scenes. He wondered who or what it could be. "I need some action. Maybe I'll go have some fun with the Mishima Zaibatsu." says Bruce.
Ending Description: A young boy in an alley is practicing his boxing on a punching bag, when three gangsters come and harass him. The gangsters beat the boy up, cut open the punching bag, and steal his boxing gloves. Bruce appears out of nowhere and beats up the three gangsters, eventually returning the gloves to the boy, encouraging him to keep on practicing.
After becoming reacquainted with Kazuya Mishima at the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5, Bruce decided to assist Kazuya with his scheme to take over G Corporation, and after they had succeeded, he (Kazuya) started controlling the corporation from behind the scenes. G Corporation waged war with the Mishima Financial Group (MFG), and Bruce, as Kazuya’s captain, led his private corps into battle, fighting the MFG the world over. Soon afterwards, G Corporation made preparations to annihilate the MFG by placing an enormous bounty on Jin Kazama and, as anticipated, the MFG made their move: The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 is announced. Bruce Irvin enters the tournament to capture Jin.
Ending Description: Bruce is seen leading a group of military soldiers (presumably from G Corporation) against what appears to be the Mishima Zaibatsu. His men cover for him as he takes out several enemies and machine guns. Eventually, all of the enemy forces are captured. Bruce then calls HQ, telling the person on the other side of the line that he has won a bet between them. The receiver tells him to clean up, but Bruce replies that he does not need to be told twice. He then rallies up his troops.
Bruce Irvin was featured in Tekken: The Motion Picture as Lee Chaolan's bodyguard. Bruce was ordered to fight Jack-2 and broke his fist against Jack-2's steel alloy. Jack-2 would then knock him into the water, presumably killing him.
Bruce appeared as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament.
Ending Description: The camera approaches Bruce, whose back is facing the screen. Bruce turns around and throws many punches and a couple of kicks. Afterwards, it is revealed that Bruce beat up many Tekken Force soldiers, Heihachi Mishima, and Kazuya. This ending takes place in Heihachi's stage.
Bruce returns as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Ending Description: Bruce is seen running past people with urgency. He manages to reach his destination, in the middle of a road, where he startles a driver. Before the car can hit Bruce, he manages to flip the car by smashing the bonnet with his elbow. He then picks up a baby chick that had been in the middle of the road, saving it from the traffic. "You're safe now.", he says as the car he attacked before falls to the ground and explodes behind him.
Bruce is often regarded as one of the better characters in the series, and for good reasons. He is a counter-hit heavy character, meaning that many of his moves have special properties on counter hit, and his punishers deal a lot of damage. He also uses fast, ranged pokes and flurries of knee and elbow strikes to chip away his opponent's health. So, he can be played both offensively and defensively.
A great side effect of many of Bruce's attacks being knees and elbows, is that he cannot be defended against with reversals and most parries.
Bruce fights using Muay Thai, a style of Kickboxing renown for its additional usage of knees and elbows for striking alongside punches and kicks. Unlike other kickboxing styles, Muay Thai also holds an emphasis on clinching in order to control the fight and expose the opponent to knee or elbow strikes. It also, in regards to kicks, focuses almost solely on striking opponents using the shins and not the feet.
- Lei Wulong - His rival in Tekken 2. Bruce was involved in the death of Lei's partner, when a fight caused a plane crash.
- Kazuya Mishima - His boss and friend. Bruce is Kazuya's mercenary and second-in-command in both Tekken 2 and Tekken 6.
- Ganryu - His colleague in Tekken 2.
- Jin Kazama - Bruce was ordered by Kazuya to capture Jin in Tekken 6.
- Anna Williams - His colleague in the G-Corporation.
- Lee Chaolan - Lee's bodyguard in Tekken: The Motion Picture (non-canon).
- Heihachi Mishima- His boss in Tekken: The Motion Picture (non-canon).
- Jack-2 - Defeated and seemingly killed by him in Tekken: The Motion Picture (non-canon).
- Bruce's design was possibly influenced by the image of the Black Eyed Peas member, Apl.De.Ap.
- Bryan Fury replaced Bruce in Tekken 3. As such, they share many similarities, such as moves, a single win animation (which Bryan performs in Tekken 3), their nationality, and an involvement with and hatred of Lei Wulong. Despite these facts, there is no confirmed relationship between the two in the storyline.
- Josie Rizal replaced Bruce in Tekken 7 and has some of his moves and a fighting style similar to his as her fighting style of Eskrima-based Kickboxing is based on Yaw-Yan, meaning that Bruce has been replaced two different times by two different characters, making him the only character to hold this distinction.
- Before Raven, Bruce was the only African-American character in the Tekken series.
- In Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, one of Bruce's victory animations directly imitates Tony Jaa's series of movements from "Ong-Bak The Muay Thai Warrior".
- His name is shared with number #51 Bruce Irvin of the Oakland Raiders in the NFL.
- Bruce is Lei's sub-boss and is unlocked once the game is beaten with him.
- Lei is his stage 8 sub-boss.
- Bruce is unlocked by beating story mode four times with different characters.
- Bruce's sub-bosses are Steve Fox and Kazuya Mishima.
- Bruce is Christie Monteiro's stage 4 sub-boss.
- In the Scenario Campaign mode, Bruce is encountered at G Security Service, Operations Headquarters as the stage's boss. Occasionally, Bruce will also appear in West District, Chinatown (Marshall Law's stage) as a sub-boss.
- One of Bruces' Item Moves is a mohawk that gives him the ability to summon baby chicks out of nowhere. This seems to be a reference to obscure Fatal Fury character Duck King, who owns several chicks.
- In his TTT2 ending, he rescues a baby chick from getting run over by a car, seemingly not caring if the passengers of the car get injured or killed in the process.
- In Bruce's ending, the real Jaycee and her friend are briefly seen when Bruce runs in between them.
- In Tekken: The Motion Picture, he is renamed Bruce Arvin.
- In Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Bruce's dossier is briefly seen when Anna Williams opens a file containing dossiers of various persons of interest.
- Strangely, this shouldn't have occurred due to the fact that Bruce had actually joined G Corporation and had also assisted in Kazuya's takeover.