Why I Love Tekken’s Paul Phoenix
Date Published: 16 July, 2019
Perhaps never in the history of fighting games has a character turned into comedic relief, yet still maintain iconic status in the franchise’s legacy. Enter Tekken’s Paul Phoenix.
The hot-blooded modified judo biker has been on a life-long course of proving he is the best martial artist and the toughest man in the universe, and over two decades later, Paul has shown no signs of slowing down.
Despite a shift in story-line from a possible serious rival to the Mishima family, to one that is more so predicated around lighthearted comedy involving rivalry with bears and unfortunate luck with highway traffic, Paul has remained one of the most popular characters in the Tekken franchise to date.
As a legacy character, Paul’s development has been well documented over the years, and the characteristics that make him so relatable are traits that are endearing to the common man. He is not the smartest, wittiest, or savviest of fighters. His loud presentation includes a less than fashionable haircut and constant recklessness.
Though, along with his brashness, Paul’s goal-oriented nature, perseverance, and unshakable confidence, overshadow his shortcomings, and less-than traditional superficial traits, making it easy to root for a guy that never stops rooting for himself.
In perhaps one of the most complimenting fusion of personalities and playstyles in fighting games, Paul is certainly not faking confidence as his skills definitely back up the talk. Paul’s sheer presence can be enough to make his opponents second guess themselves.
Paul’s gameplan, along with his arsenal is fairly straight forward, the use of short-ranged offensive pokes to close the gap, lend him to threaten and eventually capitalize on riskier, yet devastating moves that can completely shift momentum.
Paul’s most famous move—Phoenix Smasher better known as ‘Death Fist’ is arguably the most powerful single-handed offensive move in the franchise, and truly can be referred to as ‘The Great Equalizer’ due to the fact that while Paul can fall behind at times, a mistake from an opponent can truly lend Paul to shut the lights off on anyone.
In retrospect, the gameplan against Paul is not so much to beat him, but rather survive against him. He can be overcome, however, with ‘The Great Equalizer’ always on deck, he is never truly out of a fight.
While Paul Phoenix is not the typical protagonist who is destined to save the day, his lighthearted mentality along with his devastating playstyle has kept him relevant to this day.
However, perhaps most importantly, what Paul has also demonstrated over the years is great determination to becoming a champion, and despite coming up short in many of The King of Iron Fist Tournaments, his continuous efforts have in a way made him a champion. The people’s champion.
MacSplicer Stats – Paul Phoenix
Favorite Paul move – Kawaragoma
Favorite Paul player – Knee
Favorite game w/Paul – Tekken 7
Favorite match-up w/Paul – vs Sergei Dragunov