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Tracing the Legacy of Paul Phoenix, the Strongest Man in the Universe

From Tekken 1 to Tekken 8: The Evolution of Paul Phoenix

Paul Phoenix has always been a fan favorite, whether it’s because of his signature eraser hair or his iconic red ripped karate uniform. But beyond his distinctive appearance, his story is one that is both admirable and inspirational.

With his recent Tekken 8 gameplay trailer drop, let’s take a closer look at a man who has always dreamed of becoming the strongest in the universe.

Tekken 1

In the original Tekken booklet that came with the game, the American hand-to-hand fighter was described as a passionate martial artist who worked as a bodyguard and street fighter. Although these are not stable career paths, he felt he could be his true self in the heat of battle.

Once, Paul fought Kazuya, which ended in a draw. Paul considered Kazuya to be his rival and joined the first Iron Fist Tournament in search of stronger opponents. While fighting his way up the ranks, he faced Kuma, a giant brown bear, and, determined not to let anyone stand in his way, defeated him. However, he was exhausted by the time he faced Kazuya and lost the fight.

In Paul’s ending cinematic, he is shown training, and at the end, he punches through a wall with Kazuya’s picture on it, foreshadowing his next main motivation.

Tekken 2

Paul had been traveling throughout the United States to become stronger by fighting different opponents to prepare for the next tournament. When the tournament was announced, he eagerly signed up to end his rivalry with Kazuya. Unfortunately, he got stuck in a traffic jam on his way to the final showdown, causing him to forfeit. This experience sparked an undying motivation in Paul, and he began training harder than ever for the next tournament to show the world that he was number one.

Tekken 3

After several years, the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3 was finally announced, and Paul received an invitation. Despite his age, he joined the tournament to settle the score that was taken from him all those years ago. In the end, he emerged victorious, defeating Ogre and earning the title of the self-proclaimed strongest in the universe. Paul returned home and opened his own dojo, not knowing that Ogre had changed form, and the tournament continued.

Tekken 4

After winning the KOIF3 tournament, Paul lived a high life, but people grew tired of his bragging and didn’t really believe he was the true winner since Jin defeated True Ogre. He began losing students and eventually closed down his dojo. Paul stumbled across a newspaper announcing the fourth tournament, sparking his motivation to show the world that he was the true champion. While fighting his way up the ranks looking forward to facing Kazuya, he ran into Kuma again. This time, Kuma was not letting Paul get away and floored him. This experience made Paul realize he had lost his competitive edge, and he began training like never before to regain his motivation.

Tekken 5

Determined to show the world that he was the strongest in the universe, Paul joined the fifth tournament two months after his loss at the last tournament. “This time, I will be the undisputed champion!” Paul exclaimed. He ran into Kuma, looking annoyed. Kuma tried to explain that the tournament wasn’t what it seemed, but Paul didn’t want to hear it. They started fighting, and Paul got the upper hand, defeating Kuma. In his cinematic ending, Paul trained like he did in the first game’s ending, punching through a wall with a picture of an alien on it. The camera zoomed out, showing he was actually on a satellite dish in space! He went on to broadcast into the stars “Anytime, any place, Bring it on, ya aliens!”

Tekken 6

After leaving the last tournament empty-handed, Paul and Law came up with an idea. If they both participate in the upcoming 6th tournament, they’ll have a better chance of winning and splitting the prize money to cover their debts.

To ensure their plan falls through, they started sabotaging the tournament by getting other competitors disqualified. In the end, the plan worked, but on their first attack, they accidentally knocked each other out, leaving no winner. Bummer, really.

Tekken 7

Proving himself as the strongest in the universe, Paul enters the 7th tournament and prepares for his match against Kuma. However, Kuma is nowhere to be found, and a last-minute replacement is announced: none other than Panda.

Paul defeats Panda, but to his dismay, he is greeted with boos and insults as the audience loves Panda for her status and symbol. It’s not easy being on a conquest.

And there you have it! Although Paul may have flaws, you can’t help but respect his journey. Being the strongest in the universe may seem like an impossible dream, but it’s just believable enough to inspire anyone to strive to be the best version of themselves.

With the new trailer just released, Paul looks amazing for someone pushing 50! Will you be maining him?


The King of Iron Fist... where people fight for glory and fame toward their own morals... Safe to say I'm no different and am glad to make your acquaintance! My name is Kevin and I've lived, hell, even BREATHED Tekken since I was a kid. All these years later and the KOIF story continues. I'm proud to be a part of this community and looking forward to engaging with you all! And as always... Get Ready For The Next Battle.


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