A while ago, I wrote about the importance of storytelling in fighting games. The case that I analysed extensively was Tekken 7.
Since then, more additional content for the game was released, including the original character Fahkumram. The Muay Thai fighter with the hard to pronounce name was revealed during the TWT Finals 2019 in Bangkok, and impressed many with his physique and appearance. But, who is he?
While, as with all the downloadable character except Eliza, he is not featured in the Story Mode or Character Episode part of the game, Fahkumram was given a backstory.
According to his profile, Fahkumram (Thai for “Roaring Sky”) is a legendary fighter from Thailand. After refusing to throw a fight, he was set up by the police, while his family was taken hostage. Now, he is forced to participate in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, with the goal to eliminate the Mishima Zaibatsu, which his government sees as a threat. The promise is that if he wins, he will be able to see his wife and child again.
So, a nice story overall, don’t you think? A rare competitor that fights for reasons other than greed, bragging right, or some kind of family feud. His background has drama, passion, and quest for redemption. As YouTuber Hankshaw said, Fahkumram might be the only character that does not want to participate in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, and probably couldn’t care less.
Well, sadly we will not be really finding out much about the outcome of his efforts. A powerful character, with a complex backstory that could easily be in the foreground and given more importance in the direction of the game’s narrative. Furthermore, one of his intro quotes is “What are you fighting for?”. In a few words, he encapsulates the question that should be take into consideration in the designing process of each fighting gamer character. As I keep saying, those 30-40 competitors that participate in a tournament need a reason to do so. So, it is always better when they are given one (and even better when it is extensively explored).
That is unless of course he is part of Tekken 8, and then we can know more about him and his mission to save his loved ones. Maybe, now that the clash between the Mishimas is over, we can see the story taking a turn towards less established characters, and their ulterior motives to fight. The aforementioned content creator, Hankshaw, even called him “the unlikely protagonist”. I would agree that although unlikely, indeed, to see him as a protagonist, his story is compelling enough and could benefit from some good character development.
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