Throughout a fighting game’s history the company makes characters that are a variation of another character.
On the rare occasion these variations are seriously unique in playstyle and only look similar in a visual sense and usually they are characters that came out at the same time as the other.
Rare characters like that are Ken and Ryu (SFII and beyond) or Jacky and Sarah Bryant (VF and beyond).
But most characters usually feel like cheap imitations.
So as the title says, who were the pretenders and who was the real deal?
From my experience with Tekken up to 3, Kunimitsu, was a poor man’s version of Yoshimitsu in every way. Her knife limited her range compared to Yoshimitsu’s sword and her moves list was far more limited.
Kuma was completely unnecessary. At least Gun Jack brought something unique with had flight mode and matched the majority of Jack 2’s moves. Kuma though was severely limited and both had less punishing moves than Jack-2.
Lee Chaolan and Martial Law were both “special” in Tekken 2 because they shared a few token moves but neither really stood out from the other because their unique moves and combos essentially sucked or were overly predictable and too easy to block. Tekken 3 changed all of that and Martial Law moved on to being a fleshed out fighter that Lee couldn’t touch.
Jin in T3 overshadows his parents taking the best of what they offered in techniques making him the real deal compared to his various imitators from Devil/Angel to Heihachi.
Accidentally put in Wang in the Devil spot when he played more like Michelle and was better at it in every way even though he came out after her like Jin did with all the “imitators.”