Tekken 8 already looks bigger and more epic than its predecessors, with a new trailer recently revealing crisp, crackling footage of an incredible in-engine fight between protagonists Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima. But according to Katsuhiro Harada, Tekken director and General Manager of Bandai Namco Entertainment, Tekken 8 won’t just be a stylish, cinematic romp – it’ll also mark a major ‘turning point’ in the narrative for the long-running franchise.
‘Whoever wins this [Jin or Kayuza] is going to have a huge impact on the fate of Mishima bloodline, which is a turning point for the franchise if you look at it that way,’ Harada recently told IGN. ‘We’ve always up until now had all these different characters in the Mishima clan fighting each other in many storylines, and it’s always been unclear how it would play out.’
‘But with Tekken 7 you saw some conclusion to some of those pieces, and now you’re left with this main showcase … so we feel that it’s going to really create a turning point in the series for people who witness it.’
According to Harada, Jin and Kazuya’s epic fight, depicted in the recent trailer, will have major implications for the future of the franchise. Both characters have a long history in Tekken, and have taken turns in the protagonist and antagonist roles – which has led to divided fanbase loyalties, according to Harada.
‘It’s divisive, whether you’re in Camp Kazuya or Camp Jin. A lot of people throughout the series, they love those villains that Tekken does quite well, so are big fans of Kazuya,’ he said. ‘But at the same time, Jin has his loyal supporters. I got a lot of feedback from the fans that they weren’t happy about Jin almost being a villain in Tekken 6. So people feel strongly one way or the other about these two.’
While it appears Tekken 8 will continue to follow the Mishima bloodline closely – it has played an essential part in battles over the last three decades – it appears the outcome of the game’s central fight will help to reshape the future of the franchise.
Tekken is filled with worthy fighters, each with their own unique story. While many of their paths are defined by the Mishima bloodline, there is certainly potential for this bloodline to be broken, and for the franchise to finally move on from its cyclical father-hating narrative. Tekken 8 has the potential to change the course of these characters forever – and may do so with a definitive ending of a sort.
According to Harada, there is a distinct ending in mind for the series, and it’s been kicking around since the 1990s – although whether it arrives in Tekken 8 is yet to be seen.
‘I actually had the ending kind of plotted out in ’96. I was writing down the story and thinking, okay, we’ll probably have one more after this one and, this is how it’s going to be wrapped up … the ending, I didn’t see it taking this long to get there. I had one back then, but it’s just gradually grown along with the series. If there’s an end, it’ll be when I’m buried, whenever that is.’
The entire IGN interview is well worth a read, and gives a great insight into Tekken 8, and what to expect as the series progresses.
Tekken 8 is currently in development for Windows PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. It does not currently have a firm release date.