The Biggest Threat in Tekken

People have been asking me if I would ever branch into other games. My theories have been solidly Street Fighter for a long time. Admittedly, I was not expecting to write a Tekken theory. I write Street Fighter theories: it’s what I know and what I do best. However, after being asked recently, I decided to see what Tekken had to offer. Jin, Heihachi, and Kazuya’s stories are pretty open, so obviously I wasn’t going to find too much hidden regarding the Mishimas. I thought Kunimitsu might make for a better topic, so I looked into her, and really couldn’t find anything for her either. It was when I looked at a video that held some of the character profiles of some of the Tekken 7 characters, however, that I finally found something incredible that very few people were talking about.

Upon looking deeper into it, I knew I had to write about it.

Since I’m not as deep a Tekken fan as I am a Street Fighter fan, while it came as a surprise to me, a lot of this may be old news to those in the know. However, as is the nature of my blog, I wanted to go deeper, and I’ve drawn a conclusion that might guide us to where the future of Tekken is going – a future potentially without the Mishimas.

A minor, but playable, character was canonically introduced into Tekken 7, being an export from the non-canon game Tekken Revolution, a downloadable Playstation 3 fighting game that ceased operations a few years after it launched. Her name is Eliza.

Eliza was designed as a narcoleptic “sexy vampire”, who slept in a coffin for 600 years before waking up and deciding she needed blood to restore her energy. She deduced that she needed someone with “an intense spiritual force [to] return to peak condition.” She sought out Claudio Serafino, a man claiming to be the world’s strongest exorcist and a member of a clan who had hunted her before her long sleep, the Archers of Sirius. https://tekken.fandom.com/wiki/Eliza

So, if you’ve looked at the title of this theory, you’re probably wondering how Eliza could possibly be a threat; even though she’s immortal, she falls asleep at the worst possible times.

If you’ve been reading my blog up to this point, then you’ll probably know that I’m not saying that Eliza is the threat. It’s someone else. Someone who appears in Eliza’s character episode. Someone whose story has been building up for years. Someone with the bank account to match the Mishimas.

Yep, it’s Lili.

Emilie de Rochefort, also known as Lili, is the child of a Monégasque oil baron and is the self-proclaimed rival of Asuka Kazama. Throughout her story in Tekken, she has had two primary goals: stop the Mishimas and torment Asuka as much as possible. Her beloved father, who is only known as Mr. de Rochefort and has never been seen in-game, wished for her to take a pacifistic life despite his own dealings with the Mishimas, who have caused him financial distress. Lili wishes to appease her father as much as possible, and so takes matters into her own hands.

However, unlike her father, Lili can best be described as volatile. While Lili fights for good, she comes off as if she’s hiding ulterior motives. Yes, she’s very spoiled and snobby, but she has a penchant for saying truly malicious things. For example, in Lars’s Campaign Scenario in Tekken 6, Lili gifts Lars an SUV she doesn’t care for because she finds it hideous. While the SUV was actually a decent gift, it’s what she tells Lars after she gives it to him that makes her more than a bit scary:

Lili is not above murder to get her way, especially if things go sideway. Granted, Lars does seem to laugh off her threat, but this is just one of many instances in which Lili has shown her darker side. In her own Tekken 6 Campaign Scenario, there are many instances of her pulling a Juri Han move and wanting people to fight her to cure her of her boredom, calling them “playthings” or “toys”. However, if there’s a “plaything” she wants more than anything, she will chase after it like a cat chasing a mouse.

And there’s no plaything she wants more than Asuka Kazama.

Throughout her story, Lili obsesses over fighting Asuka to the point that fans have wondered if she wants more from her than just a fight. Lili mirrors Karin Kanzuki’s obsession over Sakura, and some fans of Street Fighter like to ship Sakura and Karin because of it. However, there’s one thing Lili has that Karin doesn’t: precedent. Nowhere in any form of media is Karin ever shown having sapphic tendencies.

Lili has.

Lili makes an appearance in the game Queen’s Gate: Spiral Chaos, where one cutscene reveals Lili’s “admiration” towards other beautiful girls. (There’s no nudity, but there is a lot of fanservice in this video, so I’m gonna mark this as NSFW). https://youtu.be/dT419YYLZN4

Moreso, in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Lili stages a gang fight just to get Asuka’s attention, and her butler, Sebastian, provides some interesting insight into Lili’s thinking.

With Sebastian’s comment that Lili staged the gang fight out of pure affection, if we put two and two together we realize that Lili torments Asuka not as a rival, but as a lover; she wants Asuka’s affection and she tries to get it the only way she knows how – through convoluted and unnecessary scheming. To be fair, she’s probably terrified that Asuka will just reject her outright, and, going by her personality, that’s something she would not be able to take. So, she continues to pursue Asuka in a petty and child-like manner.

Of course, there is one glaring flaw in this conclusion: both Queen’s Gate and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are non-canon. Is there anything in-game that might show Lili wants Asuka as her partner? Well, there is one thing we can look at. In Lili’s ending in Tekken 6, Sebastian once again alludes to the idea that Lili fights for affection. As she battles Asuka, Sebastian states:

Sebastian sees that Lili really does seek out companionship by fighting, and by that logic, it makes sense that Lili wants to bring out the best in the person she sees as a romantic interest.

“This proves nothing,” you say. Ok, then consider this: in Lili’s non-canon portrayals, Namco still had full control over how she was portrayed. Regarding Queen’s Gate, Namco could have nixed Lili’s portrayal. They didn’t. Considering they created Tekken Tag Tournament, they could have nixed the line about Lili’s fighting for affection. They didn’t. In other words, Lili liking girls, even if it hasn’t been seen in-game, falls in line with how they see Lili. The idea that Lili likes girls has been approved by Namco. The real question regarding Lili’s sexuality is if she likes boys, and that’s more uncertain. Her fascination with Ganryu and his eyebrows raises many questions that probably don’t need to be answered, so instead of pursuing that line of deduction, I will continue with my main theory.

Obviously, Lili lusting after pretty women isn’t enough to make her a world-level threat, unless it’s revealed that her making love to Asuka would start a chain of events that would tear the fabric of space-time apart. That… isn’t very likely. What is, however, is the angle that the developers appear to want to take with Lili – that of the sapphic vampire.

This is where Eliza’s story in Tekken 7 comes in. Lili’s appearance in Eliza’s story is important for one reason: Lili claims that Eliza is her sister.

Eliza immediately denies this.

While the scene is played for laughs, it nonetheless shows a potential major plot point for future games: Emilie de Rochefort could canonically be an immortal vampire. Since Eliza fell asleep in a coffin underneath the de Rochefort estate and was summarily imprisoned there, there are three scenarios that could play out. First, Lili could consider Eliza a sister by proxy – Eliza was entombed at the de Rochefort estate for so long that Lili feels she’s part of the family. Second, Lili could be a clone of Eliza, with Eliza’s own DNA used to create Lili (although in this case, Eliza would technically be Lili’s mother). The third and last scenario seems to be the way that Namco is going, though, and is the one that makes the most sense. Judging by the fact that the de Rochefort estate had a coffin underneath the estate at all, it could be that Lili was already an immortal vampire in a family of vampires, and Eliza is her sister because she is also a vampire and part of the same species. (This could also mean that Mr. de Rochefort, Lili’s dad, is Eliza’s actual father, making them biological sisters, although this doesn’t seem to be the case.)

What this means is that it’s Lili who could potentially equal the Mishimas both financially and physically – she would have the power to take on Jin’s and Kazuya’s Devil forms by herself. Despite the power that Jin and Kazuya have, there’s a very good chance Lili will be the one who wins. Either way, one thing is for certain: Asuka’s screwed.

In Asuka’s Tekken 7 character episode, Asuka beats Lili, who then excitedly informs her that they will be permanent roomies:

Lili goes on to explain to Asuka that she knows everything about her, from her situation with Feng Wei to her family ties with the Mishimas. https://youtu.be/KvC55QdcF1c?t=82

With what we know about Lili, there’s no question she bought Asuka’s house and dojo just to get closer to Asuka, and both the idea that she wants to learn Kazama-Style Traditional Martial Arts and the fact that she decorated Asuka’s dojo with rose petals indicates she very much wants to woo her. However, Asuka doesn’t have a choice in the matter – Lili wants to own her completely, and Lili being an immortal vampire means that Asuka wouldn’t really be able to escape her influence.

Being a Kazama, Asuka does have the power to suppress the Devil Gene, as seen in her Tekken 5 ending. She may not, however, be able to use the same power to stop Lili’s vampire powers. And that’s a great thing for Lili. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJdvPwpXZu8

Lili, knowing everything about Asuka, would likely know that Asuka would have this power, and she could use it to suppress the Devil Gene in Jin and Kazuya, giving her a huge advantage and allowing her to beat them with relative ease if she’s at full power. If Lili can seduce Asuka completely, all of her needs, both personal and business-related, would be taken care of. She would have her lover and no one related to the Mishimas would be able to topple her empire.

If Asuka does not comply, however, her fate would arguably be worse, as she would likely be captured and studied for her power by either Jin, Kazuya, or (if he survived the events of Tekken 7) Heihachi. However, even if Asuka rejects her, Lili would do everything she could to seduce her anyway, but even more aggressively. Lili is crazy for Asuka in every sense of the word – Asuka will be hers no matter what. Asuka’s fate is essentially a prison, and there is no hope for escape.

There’s only two things that could potentially stop this from happening. First, it was shown in Tekken 5 that Rochefort Enterprises, Lili’s family’s business, was heavily dependent on the Mishima Zaibatsu, and was so fragile that the disarray caused by the Zaibatsu’s power struggle caused it to declare bankruptcy. However, if Lili just straight up took the zaibatsu over by defeating those in power and conducting a hostile takeover, there would be no issue – the companies would be under one entity. https://youtu.be/bw3Ewizeiak?t=26

The second thing that could stop Lili? The game’s developers. Lili has always been comic relief since her inception. The idea that Namco would make one of their comic relief characters a full-on antagonist seems like a fever dream. However, this could be exactly what they need to advance the story. If they’re inspired by what Street Fighter is doing, then they could follow a parallel path – if Karin Kanzuki ends up being the ultimate force for good in the Street Fighter series, then Emilie de Rochefort can end up being the ultimate force for evil, even if she is otherwise a decent person.

I suppose love can make people do crazy things.

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