Tekken 3 is the third installment in the popular Tekken fighting game series. It was released on Arcades in March 1997, and for the PlayStation in mid-1998. A simplified "arcade" version of the game was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 as part of Tekken 5's Arcade History mode. The PlayStation version is considered by some as one of the greatest games of its genre.
It was the first game released on Namco System 12 hardware (an improvement to the original two Tekken games, which used System 11). It was also the last installment of the series for the PlayStation
Tekken 3 maintains the same core fighting system and concept as its predecessors, but brings many improvements, such as significantly more detailed graphics and animations, fifteen new characters added to the game's roster, more modern music and faster and more fluid gameplay.
Perhaps the most noticeable change from 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 became a universal dodge move that was flying above all of the ground moves. Other than that, the improved engine allowed for quick recoveries from knock-downs, more escapes from tackles and stuns, better juggling (as many old moves had changed parameters, allowing them to connect in combo-situations, where they wouldn't connect in previous games) and extra newly-created combo throws.
Tekken 3 was the first Tekken to feature a beat 'em up Streets of Rage style minigame called Tekken Force, which pitted the player in various stages against enemies in a side-scrolling fashion. If the player succeeds in beating the minigame four times, Dr. Bosconovitch would be a playable character (granted that you defeat him first). This was continued in Tekken 4 and succeeded by the Devil Within minigame in Tekken 5 - but Boskonovitch was dropped as a playable character after Tekken 3. There is also a minigame called Tekken Ball, similar to beach volleyball, where one has to either "charge" a ball (hit the ball with a powerful attack) to hurt the opponent or try to hit the ball in such a way that it hits the ground in the opponent's area, thus causing damage.
Set fifteen years after the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2, the story starts with Jun Kazama, who has been living a quiet life in Yakushima with her young son, Jin, who is the son of Kazuya Mishima.
Heihachi Mishima, meanwhile, has established the Tekken Force, an organization dedicated to the protection of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Using the company's influence, Heihachi is responsible for many events that have ultimately led to world peace. However, while on an excavation in Mexico, a squadron of Heihachi's Tekken Force is attacked and vanquished by a mysterious being. The only surviving soldier manages to relay a brief message to Heihachi, describing the perpetrator as an "Ogre" or a "Fighting God". Heihachi and a team of soldiers investigate, with Heihachi managing to catch a glimpse of the culprit. After seeing the Ogre character, Heihachi's long dormant dream of world domination is reawakened. He seeks to capture Ogre to use him for this goal.
Soon after, various martial arts masters begin disappearing from all over the world, and Heihachi is convinced that this is Ogre's doing. In Yakushima, Jun starts to feel the presence of Ogre approaching her and Jin. Knowing that she has become a target, Jun tells Jin about Ogre, and instructs him to go straight to Heihachi should anything happen. Sometime after Jin's fifteenth birthday, Ogre does indeed attack. Against Jun's wishes, Jin valiantly tries to fight Ogre off, but Ogre brushes him aside and knocks him unconscious. When Jin reawakens, he finds that the house has been burned to the ground, and that his mother is missing and most likely dead.
Driven by revenge, Jin goes to Heihachi and tells him everything. Jin begs Heihachi to train him to become strong enough to face Ogre again. Heihachi accepts.
Four years later, Jin grows into an impressive fighter and master of Mishima Style Karate. On Jin's nineteenth birthday, the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3 is announced, and Jin prepares for his upcoming battle against Ogre. He is unaware, however, that Heihachi is merely using him and the rest of the competitors as bait to lure Ogre out in order to capture him.
Eventually, the tournament leads to the final confrontation between Jin and the God of Fighting. Paul Phoenix was successful in defeating Ogre, however, he leaves after winning the match. Unknown to him at the time, Ogre is able to transform into a much more powerful "true" form, known to the players as "True Ogre". When Jin arrives, he is confronted by this True Ogre form and begins the fight. The battle rages for hours, until Jin finally emerges the victor and Ogre completely dissolves. Moments later, Jin is gunned down by a squadron of Tekken Forces led by Heihachi, who, no longer needing Jin, finishes the job personally by firing a final shot into his grandson's head.
However, Jin, revived by the Devil Gene within him (because after Jin's mother had gone missing following an attack from Ogre, Devil returned, branded Jin's left arm with a mark, possessing him), reawakens and makes quick work of the soldiers, turning his attention to Heihachi and literally smashing him through the wall of the temple. Heihachi survives the long 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 bewildered grandfather staring after him.
The soundtrack of Tekken 3 is mostly composed of Big Beat music, with the songs composed by Nobuyoshi Sano, Keiichi Okabe, Hiroyuki Kawada, Minamo Takahashi and Yu Miyake; the composers were inspired by artists like The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Lunatic Calm, The Crystal Method, Underworld and Coldcut.