LP's Otaku Trash Machine Plays: Tekken's Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees


Thanks to my good friend Square for the banner image!

Tekken is a fighting game series developed by Bandai Namco, with its first entry released in 1994. Like many other franchises in its genre, much of Tekken’s plot was originally isolated into character endings for its arcade modes, but there would be a greater emphasis on a larger interconnecting story as the series went on, fleshing out character relationships and tying events together into more than just a series of fighting tournaments. By the time Tekken 4 was released, the console versions would see characters get more dedicated story modes to expand their depth and provide more context to the way they fit into the complete Tekken narrative.

Tekken’s Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees is Bandai Namco’s first, and so far only, non-fighting spin-off game in the franchise. An action-adventure title developed for the PlayStation 2 in 2005, the game centers on Tekken’s Nina Williams, a famous assassin who has been hired to assist MI6 and the CIA in a sting operation to bring down the criminal organization Kometa. She is brought in as a sweeper, an undercover agent only meant to be called in for emergencies. Of course, things go wrong almost immediately, and so it’s up to Nina to save the day and discover the truth about Kometa’s plans. All in a day’s work. While not considered canon to the core Tekken story, the game does provide plenty of backstory on Nina and how she connects to various characters throughout the franchise, and attempts to flesh out what these characters do when not embroiled in a King of Iron Fist tournament. According to frequent series director Katsuhiro Harada, Nina was chosen as the lead character because she was, and continues to be, the most popular character in the Tekken series.

Like its main franchise, Tekken’s Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees is focused on precision and technical combat. However, the introduction of contextual commands for the game’s exploration segments meant that the face buttons on the controller were already accounted for and could not be used for fighting. Instead, movement and dodging is handled via the left joystick, while combat is entirely handled via the right joystick. While this setup is functional and provides more player freedom than in might seem on first glance, it’s a difficult system to get accustomed to, and it often feels like trial and error to execute more complex commands. But when the combat starts to flow, it can feel satisfying to outmaneuver opponents and catch them off-guard, executing the perfect counter for the scenario. Outside of the combat, the exploration portion of the game can be fun once you start to understand the layout of the maps, with plenty of little references to the larger Tekken universe scattered throughout. Puzzles range from Resident Evil-style “take the conspicuous item to the more conspicuous location” to multiple alternate gameplay modes that test both your reflexes and your wit. A lot of effort was put into making this a fully-realized adventure and I think that shines through the rough parts of the game.

I’m special agent ChorpSaway, and I have my team of sweepers TheJayOfSpade, Taoc, and FutureFriend on backup duty. Our mission: to examine this oft-forgotten Tekken spin-off and talk about unhinged fighting game lore. FutureFriend is our resident Tekken enjoyer who’ll be helping fill in the gaps for the rest of us as we learn just what it takes to be a major competitor of the King of Iron Fist tournament.

I will be completing the main campaign with a fresh save on Normal difficulty, as well as completing all of the major sub-objectives tracked by the game (fingerprints, gold coins, puzzle boxes). I will also be showing off as much bonus material as I can stand to collect.

Also, please do not post story spoilers in the thread. If you wanna talk about Tekken lore that’s fine, but anything pertaining to Tekken’s Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees specifically should be saved until we see it in the LP.








1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

The espionage mission is officially underway and Tekken’s Nina Williams has already been given a difficult task: find their missing CIA operative John Doe! Fortunately, John has a GPS device on him that allows Nina to see exactly where he is on the boat right now. Unfortunately, the cruise ship is a veritable labyrinth, full of twists and turns and locked doors with elaborate puzzles and systems attached to opening them. But this is all in a day’s work for the world-renowned assassin, so let’s track down our missing person!

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Last time, Tekken’s Nina Williams found out that the CIA operative on the mission had been killed, before Bryce Adams appeared to let her know that he’d taken his GPS tracker along with his life. Now the hunt is on as Nina tries to capture Bryce and retrieve this intel! But there are many deadly traps set up throughout the Amphitrite, and Nina’s single-mindedness with the mission might lead her directly into Bryce’s hands. Will she survive her next encounter with the dangerous gunman and meet back up with Alan Smithee, or is this the end of the line for the world-famous assassin?

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

With the “help” of Alan Smithee, Tekken’s Nina Williams has now been directed to gain the final level of access needed to explore the Amphitrite and investigate the ongoing Kometa meeting. All she needs to do is infiltrate Lana Lei’s room and pull a fingerprint from her belonging, how hard could that be? That’s not all she’s getting up to though; Nina needs a new suit if she wants to keep things tactical, and once she has full reign of the ship she’s going to want to explore everything the Amphitrite has to offer is visitors. Hopefully that meeting Nina needs to crash is running late!

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Will full access to the Amphitrite secured, it’s finally time for Tekken’s Nina Williams to crash the Kometa board meeting and see what’s really going on aboard this ship. However, things quickly go south of the infiltration and it’s all hands on deck while everyone tries to evacuate. Can Nina catch her marks before the escape, or will the chaos of their exit strategy cause her to fall right into their hands?

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

After an improptu run-in with Enrique and Lana, Tekken’s Nina Williams finds herself locked up in a run-down prison facility. Nothing the most famous international assassin can’t handle though, especially when she finds out there’s plenty of intel to get in her new temporary residence. Sometimes it’s nice to see a plan come together, even if it involves being poisoned and taken away to a dilapidated prison without any sort of proper accommodations. Plus, there are new fingerprints to steal!

1 Like

Can we really be certain this area isn’t another part of the cruise ship? This could be a very elaborate brig.

Yeah sorry this is actually where Enrique’s room is, Lana called dibs on the suite so this is what he was left with afterwards.

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

From one labyrinthine structure to another, it’s time to explore the depths of the prison! Following our lead to help break Lukas out of prison so he can give us details on Kometa’s terrorist plans, Tekken’s Nina Williams finds herself navigating the prison sewers to find her way to the rest of the facility. But danger lurks around every corner, whether it be Tekken Force, the lack of hygiene, or a water level puzzle. Can Nina find her way back to ground level, or will she drown in the seedy underbelly of the prison before she can escape?

1 Like

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:

Tekken’s Nina Williams may have escaped the sewers, but she’s landed in an equally miserable situation: bureaucracy! In order to reach Enrique and acquire his fingerprints in order to free Lukas from his cell, she’ll have to navigate the many layers of security present on Prison Island, from metal detectors to literal gatekeeping. And once she meets up with Enrique, he won’t be willing to just hand over his identifying information for free… Nothing’s ever easy for a world-renowned assassin!