Tekken Wiki
Tekken Wiki

Tekken 3 (鉄拳3 Tekken Suri?, lit. Iron Fist 3) is the third installment in the Tekken fighting game series. It was originally released in 1997 in arcades, with a home release for the PlayStation following in 1998. A simplified "arcade" version of the game was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 as part of the Arcade History mode featured exclusively in Tekken 5. Tekken 3 was the first game released on Namco System 12 hardware (an improvement over Tekken and Tekken 2, which used System 11). The game had a significant high energy gameplay and feel, which contributed to it being often considered the best game in the entire series by both fans and critics and one of the greatest games of its genre on the original PlayStation. It was the last installment in the Tekken series to be released for the original PlayStation; it was followed by the spin-off Tekken Tag Tournament and its successor Tekken 4 exclusively on PlayStation 2.


Fifteen years after the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2, Jun Kazama is living a quiet life in Yakushima with her son, Jin Kazama. Jin’s father is Kazuya Mishima, the former owner of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Kazuya is presumed dead after being defeated in the final round of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 by his father, Heihachi Mishima, and thrown into a volcano.[1]

Having reclaimed the Mishima Zaibatsu, Heihachi Mishima has established the Tekken Force, a private corporate army. One day, Heihachi learns that a Tekken Force squad conducting an excavation in Central America have been annihilated by a mysterious being. He suspects that the mysterious being is Ogre, a legendary ‘god of fighting’. Heihachi believes that capturing Ogre will give him the power to rule the world.[2]

Following Ogre’s awakening, martial arts masters from across the world start disappearing. In Yakushima, Jun senses the impending danger and begins to prepare Jin for the outcome, instructing Jin to find Heihachi Mishima if anything happens to her. Jun’s intuition proves right, and she and Jin are attacked one night by Ogre. During the attack, Jin is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, his surroundings have been burned to the ground and his mother is nowhere to be seen. Unbeknownst to Jin, a part of Kazuya's Devil, which sought to possess Jin in his mother's womb,[1] returns and is able to possess him now that he no longer has Jun's protection. Devil brands Jin's upper left arm in the process.[3]

Driven by revenge and guided by his mother’s wishes, Jin seeks out Heihachi and reveals that he is Kazuya’s son. He tells his grandfather about Ogre’s attack and asks that he be taught the means of defeating Ogre.[1] Plotting to use Jin as a decoy to draw out Ogre, Heihachi begins training his grandson in Mishima Style Fighting Karate. As Jin’s training progresses, Heihachi begins to suspect that his grandson possesses the same dangerous power as his father.[2]

Four years later, Heihachi announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, believing that a clash of strong fighters will draw Ogre out.[1] Jin, who has grown into an impressive fighter, enters with the intention of killing Ogre and avenging the loss of his mother. [4] He progresses through the tournament and reaches the final round, where he confronts Ogre’s true form. Something inside Jin snaps, and he emerges as the victorious one upon killing Ogre.[5]

Moments later, Jin is gunned down by a squadron of Tekken Force led by Heihachi. Having intended on disposing of Jin from the start,[2] Heihachi fires a final gunshot into his grandson's head. The attempt to kill Jin fails; revived by the Devil Gene within him, he reawakens and makes quick work of the soldiers. He turns his attention to Heihachi and slams him through the wall of the temple. Heihachi survives the fall, but Jin, in mid-air, sprouts black, feathery wings and strikes Heihachi one last time. He then flies off into the night, leaving his grandfather staring after him.[6]



Gameplay (Law vs Paul)

Tekken 3 maintains the same core fighting system and concept as its predecessors, but brings many improvements, including significantly more detailed graphics and animations, and faster, more fluid gameplay. Fifteen new characters were added to the game's roster (albeit in place of seventeen characters from Tekken 2). Additionally, Tekken 3 added a wider variety of sound effects for characters. The music is also significantly different, opting for a more energetic and upbeat electronic and rock tone compared to Tekken 2. Technically speaking, Tekken 3 pushed the limits of the PlayStation's graphical capabilities, and the porting from the arcade was only possible through compression.

Perhaps the most noticeable change from the Tekken 2 fight system is movement reform; whereas the element of depth had been largely insignificant in previous Tekken games (aside from some characters having unique sidesteps and dodging maneuvers), Tekken 3 added emphasis on the third axis, allowing all characters to sidestep in or out of the background by lightly pressing the arcade stick (or tapping the controller button in the console version) towards the corresponding direction.

Another big change in movement was that jumping was toned down, no longer allowing fighters to jump to extreme heights (as was present in previous games), but keeping leaps to reasonable, realistic heights. It made air combat more controllable, and put more use to sidestep dodges, as jumping no longer functioned as a universal dodge move. In addition, the improved engine allowed for quick recoveries from knock-downs, more escapes from tackles and stuns, better juggling (as many old moves had altered parameters, allowing them to connect in combo situations where they would not have connected in previous games) and extra newly-created combo throws.

However, the AI in Tekken 3 was also toned down compared to its predecessors, making fights (especially later stages and boss battles) significantly easier to beat (a notable example being the relative ease of beating the final boss, True Ogre).

New Modes[]

There are two new game modes present in Tekken 3:

  • Tekken Ball: A one-on-one game of beach volleyball in which the player must use kicks and punches to knock the ball to the opponent's side. Attacks charge the ball up, and it causes damage if it hits the opposing character or lands on the far side of their court. The mode has three balls to choose from: the Beach Ball is listed as Beginner and does 60% damage; the Gum Ball is listed as Expert and does 80% damage; and the Iron Ball is listed as Grand Master and does 100% damage.
  • Tekken Force (Mode): The player takes a character through a side-scrolling mini-game, fighting against the Tekken Force military in four stages. At the end of each stage is a boss character from the playable roster. The boss the player fights against in each stage depends on which character the player chose, with the exception of the fourth stage where the boss is Heihachi Mishima. If the player succeeds in beating the mini-game four times, Dr. Bosconovitch becomes a playable character (under the condition that he is defeated first). This mode was continued in Tekken 4 and succeeded by the Devil Within mini-game in Tekken 5.


List of moves by character that can be performed in Tekken 3.

See: Tekken 3 Move Lists


Returning characters[]

New characters[]


Unlockable characters[]

Character Condition to unlock
Kuma II / Panda Beat Arcade Mode one time.
Julia Chang Beat Arcade Mode two times with a different character.
Gun Jack Beat Arcade Mode three times with a different character.
Mokujin Beat Arcade Mode four times with a different character.
Anna Williams Beat Arcade Mode five times with a different character.
Bryan Fury Beat Arcade Mode six times with a different character.
Heihachi Mishima Beat Arcade Mode seven times with a different character.
Ogre Beat Arcade Mode eight times with a different character.
True Ogre Beat Arcade Mode nine times with a different character.
Tiger Jackson Beat Arcade Mode sixteen times with a different character.
Doctor B. Beat the Tekken Force mode four times.
Gon Beat him in Tekken Ball or achieve a high score in Survival Mode and input the name "GON".



Tekken 3 has two soundtracks, Tekken 3 Arcade Soundtrack 001 ex and Tekken 3 PlayStation Soundtrack 002.


Main article: Tekken 3/Gallery



  • This Tekken game is notable for having these distinctions:
    • It is the only game that does not feature Kazuya Mishima, Marshall Law, and Lee Chaolan as playable characters.
      • Despite this, Kazuya still appears in the arcade opening and in a photo in Eddy Gordo's ending, and Marshall Law appears in the console opening and in Forest Law's ending.
      • Lee neither makes an appearance nor is mentioned in this game.
    • It features a sound-echoing replay; this is only present in the PlayStation version.
    • It has two mini-games.
    • The only game where no Jack model is a default character.
    • The first game to have a Theater Mode outside Japan.
    • Apart from the first game in the series, this entry introduced the most new characters to the series. It also introduced the most replacement characters in the series. Notable examples include Jin Kazama in place of Kazuya Mishima; Hwoarang in place of Baek Doo San; and Julia Chang in place of Michelle Chang.
    • It is the last game where the round timer is set at 40 seconds by default.
    • The only Tekken game where Kuma and Panda share the same ending.
    • The last Tekken game where the fighters do not have full movelists.
    • The first Tekken game to feature pictures of the characters in the VS. screen.
  • If the player puts the Tekken 3 game disc into a CD player (or activates the "CD player" function on their game console), the second track will play. The song is called "The King Of Iron Fist Tournament 3: Enter The Tekken" and runs for 2 minutes and 37 seconds.
  • Theater Mode is unlocked after the player beats arcade mode with the ten default characters.
  • If the player has any saved data from Tekken or Tekken 2 on their memory card, the player can view unlocked FMVs from those games while in Tekken 3sTheater Mode.
  • In Paul and Bryan's stage, a piece of graffiti on the wall says "Soul Edge". This is a reference to Namco's Soul series (and possibly the fictional sword itself).
  • Crow, Falcon, Hawk, and Owl, members of the Tekken Force who appear in the eponymous mini-game in this installment, are playable through the use of a cheat device such as Action Replay/GameShark.
  • Doctor Bosconovitch and Gon appear as secret characters in the console version of the game and do not appear in any subsequent main-series titles.
  • Dr. Bosconovitch is also spelled "Boskonovitch" within the game.
    • This spelling appears when the player completes Tekken Force Mode for the fourth time. At the end, when the high score is displayed, it says below: "YOU SAVED DR. BOSKONOVITCH!"
  • In the manual, Eddy Gordo's first name is accidentally spelled "Eddie" in every language. Ironically, his first name is spelled correctly in the brief biography.
  • On March 20th 2022, Netflix announced a TV series based largely on the plot of Tekken 3.
  • Tekken 3 is mentioned in the Eiffel 65 song "My Console".
  • Tekken 3 is featured in an episode of the British sitcom Spaced. In the skit, a character called Daisy is playing as Nina Williams in a match against Paul Phoenix. When she comes away from the game to argue with another character, Tim, she and Tim's exchanges are visualized with Tekken 3 gameplay, with Daisy represented by Nina and Tim as Paul. At the argument's close, Tekken 3 health bars are imposed on the screen and Daisy mimics Nina's win pose as a narrator announces that she wins.
  • In the beta version there is an unidentified hit property that pushes the opponent forward but also downward, but not as strong as a full spike. This property does not exist in the release version or in any subsequent game.[7]


Aggregator Aggregate score
Magazines from the Past 97%
(25 reviews)[8]
Publication Review score
Arcade 5/5[9]
Computer and Video Games 5/5[10]
Edge 9/10[11]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 39/40[12]
Famitsu 39/40[13][14]
Game Informer 9.5/10[15]
GamePro 5/5[16]
GamesMaster 95%[17]
GMR 10/10[18]
Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine 5/5[19]
Play 92%[20]

See Also[]

External Links[]