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Tekken 8 developers discuss guest characters and whether Heihachi will return

James Daly

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Tekken 8 developers discuss guest characters and whether Heihachi will return

Featured Image Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment

At a recent hands-on preview event for Tekken 8, GAMINGbible sat down with a selection of journalists from other outlets to talk with series developers Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray about the upcoming fighting game.

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We began the session by asking Harada-san (via Murray who graciously translated our questions) about potential guest characters or collaborations. “So, Akuma was in Tekken 7 but Harada says that wasn’t a collaboration because he was part of the storyline, but he was the only one who was there from the start, the others were added later,” Murray replied. “It’s similar to Tekken 8 in that we’re not creating the game with guest characters in mind, we’re focusing on our old characters and the starting lineup.”

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He continued: “If at some point we need that boost of excitement, or there’s something the fans are overwhelmingly asking for, maybe that’s something we’ll add later on, but right now it’s now something we’re considering.”

Tekken 8 / Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Tekken 8 / Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Earlier in the preview event, the development team mentioned their Guinness World Record for ‘longest-running 3D fighting video game franchise’, among other accolades. Growing up with the series as many of us did, I never quite thought about what a huge achievement that is, so naturally I had to ask Harada-san if he ever imagined getting to this point.

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“Short answer: no,” Murray replied with a chuckle. “In the early 90s when he joined the Tekken team, his manager at the time asked him how many years would he need to catch up and beat Virtua Fighter, and Harada’s answer was 10, so he knew he could be working on the series until 2005. But he never thought that he’d be working on it for 28 years, so much longer than he expected,” Murray concluded.

Tekken 8 / Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Tekken 8 / Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment

At the end of the session, one interviewer asked Harada if Heihachi’s death at the end of Tekken 7 was permanent, and if that made Kazuya the new primary antagonist of the franchise. After a brief moment of laughter following the translation of the question, Murray replied, “Harada says he looked pretty dead to him!”

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Fan theories about Heihachi cheating death were then raised but brushed aside by the developers, who explained the character doesn’t possess the same Devil Gene as Kazuya and Jin.

The duo then recalled an anecdote where Harada-san expressed surprise at just how dead Heihachi really was. “I remember Harada said ‘Heihachi’s been dead so many times, you have to make sure it’s convincing this time,’” Murray explained. “So we were like ‘You told us to make sure Heiachi’s dead, right?’ So that was an interesting little episode about how the dev team were like, ‘Well, that was the order you gave us, so what do you mean you’re surprised?’” Murray said as he shared a hearty chortle with Harada, bringing our interview session to a close.

Topics: Tekken, Bandai Namco

James Daly
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