Paul Phoenix (ポール・フェニックス Pōru Fenikkusu) is a character who made his debut in the first Tekken game and since then has appeared in every Tekken game to date. He is a hotheaded, aggressive character, determined more than ever to win the tournament to prove he is the best fighter in the entire universe (he means this literally, according to his ending in Tekken 5). He is very hostile towards the Mishima family and everyone and anything associated with it (most notably the Mishima Zaibatsu and Kazuya Mishima) and never hesitates to show this hatred in matches.
Although he gets close several times (especially in Tekken 3), Paul has never won a tournament. Despite his initial setup in the first game to be a possible rival to Kazuya, as well as his serious standing in previous games, Paul has increasingly become something of a joke character (story-wise). This is quite obviously evidenced by the fact that he is rivals with joke characters (Kuma I and II). Paul also had a comic relief ending in Tekken 5. Nevertheless, he is among the most popular and well loved Tekken characters.
Starting in Tekken 5 (but hinted at in Tekken 3 and Tekken 4), Paul Phoenix is characterized by his overconfidence and his muscle-brained attitude, as well as his oafishness and arrogance.
All of Paul's appearances are the same in every game except Tekken 4. He usually wears a red judo uniform and black biker uniform. In Tekken 4, he wears a white T-shirt, red gi pants with logos, black boots with flame designs and a red gi jacket tied around his waist, but remained wearing the black belt and his black handguards. He also wears a black T-shirt with flaming skull design on the back, green jeans with brown belt with a buckle and black shoes. He also has his hair down instead of his usual tall flat top style.
Paul is an extremely overconfident individual who never doubts himself. This overconfidence tends to get the better of him as his ego spins out of control with the end result usually leaving Paul in difficult and awkward situations. Despite this, his arrogant attitude has never changed throughout the years and still he strives in becoming "best in the universe." Paul has always been portrayed as being short-tempered albeit kind hearted, slightly dim-witted, brash, loud and totally presumptuous. He considers Kazuya as his rival, though Kazuya tends to see him as little more than a nuisance at best. Paul shares a deep friendship with Marshall Law despite the two's constant squabbling; Law is usually seen as Paul's mentor or advice giver. The pair tend to end up in the most bizarre of circumstances alongside other characters. Paul is also friends with Forest Law and Steve Fox. When entering tournaments, Paul's first priority is always to prove that he is the "best in the universe." Paul's laziness usually results in him being bankrupt and in desperate need of money. This leads to him entering a tournament to win the prize money to keep him going a little while longer or just to temporarily find a job as a bouncer.
He is a hot blooded American hand-to-hand fighter who likes training and knows martial arts. He previously fought Kazuya to a draw and unilaterally considers him to be his rival. He considers his true self to be there all the more when he is fighting and he is taking part in this tournament to look for stronger opponents.
Version 2Driven to be the best of the best, Paul travels the world in search of the perfect opponent. He is a judo expert but he is also skilled in many forms of the martial arts. There is only one fighter in this tournament who is ranked on an equal level to Paul. His name was Kazuya Mishima, whom he had once fought to a draw with. His goal is to eliminate any comparisons.
Ending Description, "Burning Heart": Paul is in the training room. He breaks a stack of 3 glass blocks with his fist, and kicks two glass blocks into the air. Next, Paul punches a brick wall that has a drawing of Kazuya on it, destroying it. It ends with a close-up of Paul.
Paul has apparently no allegiances to either law enforcement agencies nor any known criminal cartels, and has been classed as a low security risk. However his hot-headed nature could yet cause problems.
Paul performed well in the first Rave War and although he was the only competitor insane enough to challenge a fully brown bear and win, he was defeated by Kazuya in a furious battle that lasted for hours. Shaking his head in disbelief, Paul left the Mishima estate and returned to New York. He found work in the south Bronx as a bouncer, his ego and arrogance led him into numerous confrontations with unsavoury characters; all of whom came off second best to his Judo techniques. After months of punishing streetfighting, throughout the USA, Paul emerges ready for the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 with overwhelming confidence believing himself to be the strongest fighter in the world. This time, the Tournament belongs to Paul Phoenix!
Ending Description, "Hammer Fist": Paul is riding along a mountainside highway on his motorcycle. While on the road, Paul encounters a rockslide, which blocks his path. Paul dismounts his motorcycle and breaks the rock with a single punch.
Version 1 Paul Phoenix is a fighter who is admired by young kids worldwide. He let victory escape him in the last Tournament, but has since renewed his training with vigor - he won't let victory slip away this time! Even at the age of 46, Paul has no weak spots!
Version 2 WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE. In the last tournament Paul earned the right to fight Kazuya, but a multi-car accident on the expressway prevented Paul from getting to the match on time. He was forced to forfeit.
Despite Paul's enviable career, he has yet to win the one tournament that would mark him as being one of the true greats.
Last spring, he received an unexpected invitation to the '3rd King of the Iron Fist Tournament'. With training still a part of his daily regiment, he is still in peak condition and feels he still has what it takes to win the big one. Now thought to be 46 years old, he still has the eyes of an eagle with the strength and reflexes of a tiger!Ending Description, "Winning Run": Paul is speeding along a freeway, cutting in front of an oil-tanker. A police officer spots him and pulls him over. After much arguing, the officer gives Paul a ticket for speeding. Paul gets angry in a funny way. He kicks the dust and puts his fingers on forehead.
Paul went undefeated through the entire The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3 and was even victorious against Ogre. Swelling with pride, Paul returned home. However, Paul's happy ending was short-lived. Unknown to Paul, Ogre morphed into his second form - True Ogre - and the tournament continued after he had departed from it.
Although Paul asserted that he was the true champion of The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, few believed him, and even those that did eventually grew tired of his attitude. Friends and admirers slowly disappeared, and his dojo eventually went out of business from the lack of students.
One day, Paul came across a newspaper flyer announcing The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4. Burning with the desire to win this Tournament, he decides to give it his all once again to prove that he is the one true champion, once and for all. He had to win!
Ending Description: Paul is walking with a woman after a night of partying. He tells her that they will take a cab home. Paul then turns to the glass behind him to fix his hair. The lights go on in Marshall Dojo and students begin to train. As they train, Paul sees a picture of himself from his 'fighting days' on the wall. The woman, who has found a cab, calls out to Paul but is ignored. The screen turns white. Paul is then shown on his motorcycle. He takes off the red, tinted glasses and tosses them aside, saying: "Ain't my style." Paul then drives out, his fighting spirit renewed.
Tekken 5 Manual Version
Paul recognized his overconfidence when he was dealt a severe blow and lost the last tournament. He had forgotten some important lessons and strayed from the path to becoming a great fighter. He wanted to rediscover what he had lost. Two months later, he entered the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5.
Official Version Self-proclaimed 'toughest fighter in the universe'. Paul Phoenix.
"This time I'll show them. I'm going to win this tournament!" Paul thought as he tried to contain his excitement about facing off with Kazuya Mishima, a rival he hadn't fought in over twenty years.
However, Kuma stood in his way, as always. Paul started out well against Kuma, but soon began to feel desperate because of Kuma's tenacity. Paul realized he had been overconfident when he was dealt a severe blow by Kuma and lost the match.
Reflecting on his loss to Kuma, Paul realized that he had forgotten some important lessons and had strayed from the path to becoming a great fighter. He decided to start over again in order to discover that which he had lost.
Two months later, Paul entered the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5. "I'll win this tournament and prove to everyone that I'm the greatest fighter in the universe!".
Ending Description: A space colony is shown, which Paul is using to broadcast to the aliens so that he can challenge them. Then, some buildings are shown. Paul is shown throwing a kick. The camera zooms in on a shack that is between the other buildings. Paul is inside this shack. Paul is shown throwing a punch. The camera zooms in on the sign on the top of the shack, which says, "Bring it on ya aliens!" Paul is shown throwing a punch and a kick. A drawing of an alien is taped to a gray brick wall. Paul prepares to punch through the gray brick wall. He successfully does this, and all of the bricks fall to the ground. Paul raises a fist and says, "Yeah! Any time! Any place! Bring it on, ya aliens!" The scene changes to show the space colony. A large number of UFOs approach the space colony.
Paul Phoenix’s rematch with the bear called “Kuma” was fierce, and though victorious, he was utterly exhausted, leaving him unable to continue the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5.
Unable to collect any prize money from the last tournament, Paul, who was already burdened by his mountain of debt, learns that a new King of Iron Fist Tournament will be held soon.
Believing that if he won the tournament, he could finally say goodbye to his loan troubles, Paul deeply thought about ways to increase his chances of winning—participating on his own was out of the question. If he could assemble a team with someone, his chances of winning the prize money would greatly increase. And so he went over his plan with his best friend Marshall Law.
Ending Description: Paul and Law stop at nothing to win the tournament prize money. Slowly but surely, the two made their way into the final round. They had set the stage carefully, with Law having to pull off a flying kick and Paul dodging it, and everything went according to their plan. On the ring, both are ready to fight each other. Then Paul says "Let's get started". Law then says "Leave it to me. Just as we planned". The announcer rang the bell to give the signal to start fighting. Law and Paul accidentally hit each other's vital place. Law accidentally kicks Paul in his face and Paul accidentally punches Law in his groin. Both fighters are knocked unconscious and the supporters boo the fighters. Steve shakes his head and shrugs in disbelief at Paul and Law's incompetence.
When Paul Phoenix, the golden boy of the martial arts world, steps into the ring, the excitement in the crowd is palpable. But this time when his opponent's name rang over the arena's loudspeakers, he could only scratch his head in disbelief. It was Kuma... again!
However, Kuma was nowhere to be seen. Word went round that the bear had dropped out of the tournament. The ring announcer informed the spectators of a last-minute change to the fight card. Relieved, Paul awaits the entrance of his long-anticipated human opponent... But however, it wasn't Kazuya as he hoped, it was a black and white bear, who is in a boiling point of rage by Paul's behavior.
He is also present helping Marshall finding a better fighter to run the dojo, and Paul claim himself to be one, but Marshall declines and it will be a bad idea for Paul to run a dojo like the last time he did when winning the third tournament. Instead, Marshall put the word out that if any strong fighters wanted to try out for the job, they should come and prove their skills in combat. Challenger after challenger appeared, but none of them were good enough for either Paul and Marshall.
Ending Description: Paul celebrates his victory against his opponent who turned out to be an another bear, Panda. The audience however begins to boo Paul for defeating Panda. Paul is then forced to flee the arena after the crowd began attacking him with various objects especially when someone threw a sword at him.
In Marshall's ending, he aids his best friend, Marshall Law against Feng Wei in a handicap after the latter is overpowered by his fighting style. Paul is the only one who defeated Feng by knocking him with a powerful Burning Fist after Marshall assists him in the battle. However, Feng does not accept his defeat and unleashes his powerful aura showing his dangerous side. Knowing how dangerous he was, Paul and Marshall eventually retreated in fear.
Paul appeared in Tekken: The Motion Picture as a minor character where he participated in the tournament. At the end, he appears holding Michelle Chang.
Paul appeared as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament.Ending Description: Paul approaches Kazuya Mishima, and the two of them are about to fight. Kuma appears behind Paul. Paul turns around and punches Kuma, sending him to the ground. Paul turns around to fight Kazuya, but Kazuya is nowhere to be seen now. Disappointed, Paul kicks the floor and walks away.
Paul Phoenix appeared as a playable character in the crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken. His official tag partner is Marshall Law.
Paul appeared as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.Ending Description: Paul, Marshall, and Forest take a vacation in Alaska. The three all breathe in fresh Alaskan air. Suddenly, Forest spots a bear and says, "Dad, look! It's Kuma!" as he points at a napping bear. Marshall then chuckles, turning his head and waving his finger, responding with, "No, no, son. That's not Kuma. You see, that's just a wild grizzly bear." However, without warning, Forest throws a rock at the bear. He comes closer, believing it is Kuma but the bear turns its head at Forest, roaring furiously. Forest then makes a horrified face upon the discovery.
Paul, Marshall, and Forest are seen running away from the bear. Forest is way behind Paul and Marshall as the bear is chasing right behind him. He is struggling to keep up with their pace. Paul yells, "Don't bring him this way!" as he and Marshall continue to outrun the bear. After running for several moments, Paul heroically turns around abruptly and gives the bear a Phoenix Smasher, knocking the bear out, thus causing a distraction so that Forest can escape. As the three celebrate and cheer, another larger bear (presumably its mother) is seen tending to the injured bear and appears behind Paul, towering over him while dusting its hands angrily. The scene fades to black as the trio is heard screaming along with some growls.
Paul appears in Tekken Revolution as a playable character.
Paul appears as a playable character in Tekken Card Tournament. He plays as a tank, with his cards focusing on extremely powerful and damaging card stats but at the cost of usually losing large amounts of HP; He also doesn't draw quickly, and has very few healing cards, and those that he does have require losing HP max or for him to strike the opponent. Despite these setbacks, most players block when facing him out of fear of taking horrendous damage, so by scaring his opponent into thinking he's going to strike, he can continue drawing, and bait the opponent by utilizing mind games. It's also possible to make a deck that doesn't focus on damage, and instead focuses on his other abilities, such as gaining cards when his cards are blocked, or draining health from his opponent with a variety of cards that greatly discourage blocking by making the opponent lose HP, protection, or a card if their block is missed or won. He's great for all skill levels.He poses a threat for most of the other fighters, but Xiaoyu will give him trouble since she draws faster than he does by a wide margin. Panda is another annoyance for Paul, thanks to her tremendous amounts of cards that grant her protection.
Paul is a paragon of aggression, brutal force and strong offense. His combat has a particular emphasis on raw power punches especially with attacks like Hammer of the Gods, Hammer Punch, and Burning Fist, which can do large amounts of damage. His fast sweeps and charging blows are among the best in the series and can make any defense crumble, while his juggles and wall combos are very damaging. His defense is also good: successful parries will automatically have Paul attack the opponent, and many of Paul's moves allow him to sway backwards or forwards, which can be used to dodge an attack and punish players.
Paul's fighting style is a personal, hybrid martial arts based on Judo, as can be seen by his throws, including Karate for his signature powerful one punch attack like Burning Fist and Baji Quan like his variations of Chain Leg Kicks and back shoulder attack. It probably undergone into cross-training since Paul is a long time training partner of both Marshall and Forest Law.
- Marshall Law - Paul's oldest and greatest friend. Both are usually seen in odd and comical situations. Marshall is also his occasional mentor.
- Forest Law - Because of Paul and Marshall's deep friendship, Paul and Forest undoubtedly get along well.
- Lee Chaolan - Lee trained with Paul, prior to the events of the first Tekken. Their current relationship however is unknown.
- Kuma - Kuma and Paul are seen as indirect rivals of some sort. Kuma is usually seen as an obstacle for Paul.
- Kazuya Mishima - Paul has considered Kazuya to be his greatest rival. Kazuya almost always shrugs this off and considers Paul to be an idiotic timewaster, despite the fact that Kazuya usually struggles to beat him.
- Steve Fox - His friend and teammate.
- Jin Kazama - Jin gives Paul prize money after he wins the Tekken Tournament in the Online Tekken Comic. Paul kindly remarks that he looks a lot like his father which in return, surprises and angers Jin. (non-canon)
- Ogre - Paul defeated Ancient Ogre in Tekken 3 and returned home after, being prideful of the fact that he was the true champion of the third tournament. However, Paul was unaware that Ogre morphed into his second form and the tournament continued after his departure.
- Panda - Both Panda and Paul share their hatred towards Kuma. This is evidenced when Paul cheered on Panda turning down Kuma's offer for flowers in Tekken Tag Tournament (non-canon). Panda is also Paul's opponent in Tekken 7.
- Feng Wei - After Paul's friend Marshall Law is defeated, Paul steps in and beats Feng on his behalf, however Feng doesn't accept his defeat and angrily glows with a dark aura, which scares both Paul and Law away.
- Along with Heihachi Mishima, Nina Williams, and Yoshimitsu, Paul Phoenix has appeared in every single Tekken game to date.
- According to current canon, Kazuya Mishima and Kuma are the only two characters to have ever defeated Paul in a tournament. It is very possible that Paul could be regarded as one of the most powerful or "toughest" fighter in the Tekken universe, somewhat ironic considering Paul has become more of a comedy gag character in recent installments. Obviously Paul is comically oblivious to this feat however.
- It was admitted by Katsuhiro Harada in an interview with EDGE Magazine that Paul's hairstyle and first name are based on Jean Pierre Polnareff from Jojo's bizarre adventure.
- Paul's hairstyle is similar to Street Fighter character Guile's hairstyle, but with a higher height. In Street Fighter X Tekken Paul even recognizes this and makes a remark about the similarity of both character's hairstyle.
- In Street Fighter X Tekken, Heihachi Mishima looks at Guile's hair and ponders that he has seen that hair style before, pointing to his previous fight with Paul.
- Paul Phoenix also bears striking similarities to Street Fighter character Ken Masters. They are both American martial artists with blond hair who wear a red torn judo gi and brown karate gloves. They also have best friends and rivals who are of Asian descent(Ken Masters has Ryu while Paul has Marshall Law). Also, Paul's hairstyle can be customized to look like that of Ken Masters.
- Interestingly, his primary outfit in Tekken 4 has carried over to Ken Masters in his latest appearance in Street Fighter V.
- Paul is the only character without an iWR attack.
- Paul sports a scorpion tattoo on his right arm.
- One of Paul's voice actors, Jamieson Price, also voices Heihachi Mishima in Tekken: Blood Vengeance and Street Fighter X Tekken.
- Paul's ending cutscene shows him performing his Burning Fist move with his left arm, while in fact he performs this move with his right arm during gameplay.
- His stage 8 sub-boss is Kuma.
- In his ending, Marshall Law's ending, and a few artworks for the game show Paul with two earrings in his left ear. Since these earrings haven't been seen since then, one can assume it was an unplanned detail. If considered in a realistic manner, one could say it was a decision Paul made in his youth, which he later took back, or he realized they may be a weakness during a fight.
- The incomplete backflip, performed by Paul in Marshall Law's ending, later becomes a special move and also a secret win animation for Paul in later installments of the series.
- Paul Phoenix's bosses in the Tekken Force side game are (in order of appearance) Forest Law, Kuma, Jin Kazama, and Heihachi Mishima. Aside from Heihachi, these are also his rivals in Tekken Card Challenge.
- In the rare "Tekken 3 Symphony Orchestra" calendar by Namco, Paul is seen in a black formal suit while playing the french horn.
- Paul's ending cutscene, named 'Winning Run', is also the name of an arcade racing game made by Namco and released in 1988.
- Paul's stage has a Soul Edge logo on the wall in the background.
- Paul is able to perform the Rainbow Kick if partnered with Forest Law.
- Paul's second outfit has him with flat hair, which had not been seen in any other Tekken game. This hairstyle returned in later installations as a customization item (this customization also makes Paul slightly resemble Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series).
- Although his red karate gi is not wearable, it makes an appearance in Paul's ending when he looks inside a dojo and sees a poster of himself.
- His first primary outfit becomes Ken Masters' new main outfit in the upcoming game, Street Fighter V.
- Paul has one of the few Tekken 5 epilogues where the game's final boss, Jinpachi Mishima, does not turn to dust.
- Paul's ending has a reference to his Tekken ending, in which a crudely drawn picture depicting his "nemesis" Kazuya is stuck onto a wall, which is later smashed by Paul's punch.
- As of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Paul is the only character who remains on the ground after performing one of his main throws. This throw is called Shoulder Pop. The command for this move is (2+4_F+2+4). All of the other characters automatically get up after performing one of their main throws.
- Paul has two secret win animations in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, giving Paul a total of seven win animations. They are as follow:
- 1+2: Paul kneels down, above the head of his unconscious opponent. Then, Paul hits the ground with one of his hands, with his palm striking the ground, three times. Each time, the camera pans outwards slightly. After three strikes, Paul gets up, raises his left arm, looks up towards the sky, and does a kiai.
- 3+4: Paul crouches slightly, and then he does a backflip and a kiai. He is unsuccessful, and he lands on his stomach, grunting afterwards. Then, he raises his head and his left arm slightly, while still laying on the ground.
- There is somewhat of an inconsistency in his prologue, it is stated that he entered the King of Iron Fist 4 to fight Kazuya but his desire to fight Kazuya was not mentioned in Tekken 4 at all.
- Paul's Item Move feature in Tekken 6 is the ability to make his hair grow larger.
- In Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament, Paul has a pre-fight animation where he ran his hands up his hair. It was not featured in Tekken 4, Tekken 5 or Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. However, it is featured in Tekken 6, although the animation for it has changed.
- In the Scenario Campaign mode, Paul is a boss in the West District, 13th Avenue.
- In the opening movie, Paul is shown fighting Bryan Fury.
- Paul can be customized to resemble Street Fighter main protagonist Ryu and also like Virtua Fighter main protagonist Akira Yuki. All their customizations are based on their gi.
- His avatar is used for the Trophy/Achievement, "Alien Hunter". Ironically, Paul attempts to defeat a huge number of Aliens in the end of his Tekken 5 ending.
- In the Wii U Edition, Paul has a Mario costume. Additionally, Marshall has a Luigi costume.
- Paul makes a playable guest appearance in Urban Reign, another game made by Namco and released in 2005, alongside Marshall Law.
- In Street Fighter X Tekken, Cody's Swap Costume is based on Paul's biker outfit.
- In Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Paul's dossier is briefly seen when Anna Williams opens a file containing dossiers of various persons of interest.