Why Yoshimitsu Is In Both Tekken & SoulCalibur

Two of Bandai-Namco’s premiere fighters share a link, with Yoshimitsu featuring in both Tekken and SoulCalibur. Here’s why he appears in both games.

As a mainstay of the Tekken franchise, Yoshimitsu breaks the series’ own conventions, being one of only two fighters who wield weapons. When then-Tekken publisher Namco (now Bandai-Namco) grew its other fighting franchise, SoulEdge, into SoulCalibur, the company decided to make the logical crossover happen, bringing Yoshimitsu into the world of the newly rebranded weapon-based fighter. Ever since, Yoshimitsu has been a consistent figure in both series.

Tekken, which saw its first entry in 1994, has become Bandai-Namco’s flagship fighting game franchise. Its brand of 3D fighting carved a niche in the fighting game community that continues to grow today, helped by the company’s ongoing support of Tekken 7. Released a year after the first TekkenSoulEdge would go on to be the foundation for the long-running SoulCalibur franchise, giving Bandai-Namco two premiere fighting games under its umbrella.

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With both fighting games flourishing in the arcades under Namco, players noted their similarity in feel. SoulEdge was created using some of Tekken‘s DNA, borrowing elements of Namco’s first fighter as the company experimented with creating a weapon-based fighter. After the initial success of the experiment, SoulCalibur would forge its own path, creating systems more unique to itself, such as the 8-Way Run. As the two series diverged, though, they would continue to share one factor: Yoshimitsu.

How Is Yoshimitsu in Tekken and SoulCalibur?

Yoshimitsu is the leader of the Manji Clan, a band of ninjas that displays traits not dissimilar to Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor in Japan. The Tekken series explores this through the characters Yoshimitsu and Kunimitsu, but it’s SoulCalibur that goes into the origins of the ninja unit. The events of the SoulCalibur franchise take place in the late 16th century, placing it far in the past compared to Tekken‘s futuristic setting. The first SoulCalibur‘s Yoshimitsu, therefore, is the first person to bear the name as the Manji clan’s leader, chronologically. This means that “Yoshimitsu” is a title, not a name, explaining how Tekken has a character called Yoshimitsu despite its wildly different setting.

The SoulCalibur series is no stranger to crossovers, so players can look back at Tekken as the game that started it all for the weapon-fighting franchise. With SoulEdge having been made using Tekken as a base, it is safe to say the titles will forever be tied together through their respective histories as both games continue to be supported through the current generation.

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Updated: November 14, 2020 — 11:45 pm

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