Tekken Tag Tournament
Image: Namco

Tekken Tag Tournament may not be part of the mainline Tekken series, but when the PlayStation 2 launched in 2000, it was one of the most high-profile early releases alongside Namco stablemate Ridge Racer V.

The game recently celebrated its 23rd birthday, and series producer Katsuhiro Harada has taken the time to share a few memories of its inception on social media.

"At the time, Tekken 3 was finished, and I was working on a prototype of [Tekken] 4 on a phantom board called System 15," Harada recalls. "Management ordered me to release [Tekken] 3.5 within six months. I said it as a joke at that moment, and the project was [Tekken] TAG. The project took 5 minutes to plan and only two months to develop [the arcade version]. The sales manager said, 'This kind of game won't sell,' but it sold very well, and the cost was low, so the company made a considerable profit."

Harada also recalls the process of porting the game to the PS2 for its launch:

The port to the console version had to be done in time for the launch of the PS2 due to the lack of memory on the PSX.

The PS2's specs at the time had too much room for drawing processing, and the 3D modelers were baffled by the number of polygons, which was even more than enough to place many mobs in the battle stages, so they elaborately created even the teeth in the characters' mouths. As a result, characters at that time rarely opened their mouths, and the elaborate teeth modeling did not make much sense because of the resolution problem.

Still, there was plenty of room for rendering processing, so I wasted a lot of time layering semi-transparency on the ground smoke to make it look nice...those were good times.

Tekken Tag Tournament sold 1.4 million units and earned $48 million in the U.S., according to 2006 figures. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 would arrive in 2011, launching on PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.