KPB Character Battle: Jin Kazama VS Rock Howard

Hell yeah! Tournament season is in FULL SWING & June is looking to be a -very- busy month for the FGC. Are you ready for the show? I know I am and to prove it, this month's Character Battle is between the heirs of the most dangerous legacies in gaming history...

When you're the progeny of two of baddest BAMFs to ever walk the face of the Earth, there are a number of pitfalls that come with that identity. There's an image to uphold, major life decisions, some huge shoes to fill and a daunting shadow hanging over you. Regardless of pedigree, not everyone can handle that burden. For that reason, this month's Battle is a Clash of Daddy Issues.

You can call 'em momma's boys all you want... I choose life.

You can call 'em momma's boys all you want... I, on the other hand, choose life.

Given their natural (albeit subtle) similarities, these two couldn't be more different. On one hand, you have Tekken's Jin Kazama and on the opposite side of the spectrum, Garou's Rock Howard. Outside the context of their games, these two enjoy an almost obscene level of popularity amongst players. You could attribute their character success to their hybrid play styles, since Jin originally played like a mix of his parents before adopting a more traditional style & Rock uses a combination of his biological/adoptive fathers' stances. However, because of their relation to all these warriors & the events of their lives, these two are privy to some fairly astounding psychological damage. Not the least of which is an almost direct result of their fathers' respective impact on their lives.

Let's start with Jin. Right off the bat, he was attacked by the (hereditary) Devil spirit while still in the womb! (Disclaimer: As we've come to learn, the "Devil Gene" the Mishimas are known for in the latter half of the series is actually a trait from Jin's grandmother, Kazumi.) He then goes on to learn of his Mishima heritage only to lose his mother to Ogre, get betrayed his megalomaniacal grandfather & ultimately tormented by his (for all intents & purposes) reanimated scumbag of a father. Since then, he has made it his mission to be the perpetual thorn in Kazuya's side until one them is no more. With the exception of Ling Xiaoyu & Hworang, this guy has next to nothing in the "emotional variety" department. Factor in all that on top of his sole control over the Mishima Zaibatsu with Kazuya's G Corporation forever locking horns and you have just a laundry list of issues that would give Sigmund Freud a migraine.

Rock, on the other hand, has a far more grounded (albeit tragic) history. For starters, Geese was an unapologetic absentee father. Even after Rock begged & pleaded for help since his mother was deathly ill, Geese simply had the boy turned away. To make matters worse, his mother Marie died later that same night. When he learned that Geese had met his end, Rock was actually a little happy. However, some decidedly mixed feelings had arisen within the boy & he eventally started stalking Terry. This led to a confrontation between the two, but with Terry both owning up to his actions & also knowing where Rock was coming from, he took the boy under his wing. Fast forward about a decade with a new tournament underway and things got... well, complicated. He met his devious uncle, Kain R. Heinlein, and he revealed not only that Rock might be the key to understanding the true depths of Geese's last will & testament... but that Marie might still be alive. With his loyalty to Terry wavering & his questions possibly finding their answers, Rock turned his back on Terry to side with Kain.

No matter how you slice either of those stories, both of these guys are justifiably screwed up. Trying to live anything even remotely resembling a passably normal life is out of the question. However, as uncomfortable as it may be, the point of this contest was to see who had the worse issues & who was more deeply affected by said issues. Despite how turbulent his family's history may be, Jin can let most of his problems roll right off his back. Remember, he's running the Zaibatsu. With the exception of Kazuya & maybe a few world leaders, there is no one more financially or politically powerful than him walking around. Simply put, he has too many luxuries to fall back on to really be traumatized. Furthermore, despite always trying to kill each other whenever they cross paths, Jin can still see his father. Rock, on the other hand, can't. His answers are forever out of his reach because despite however close Terry or Kain may have been to him through whatever correlation, neither can claim to truly know what Geese was thinking or whatever his ultimate ideals were. As it stands, Rock will forever be in limbo regarding his parents.


Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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