Tekken 8 reveals final new character for launch, Reina

Reina is a newcomer to Tekken 8 and the series itself, but has a very familiar fighting style that poses a lot of questions.
Tekken 8 character - Reina - A young Japanese girl with a short black bob and purple tips wears a black and purple rain jecket.

Bandai Namco has revealed the 32nd and final character to be added to the Tekken 8 launch roster – Reina, a brand-new character that has more than a few things in common with the now-deceased series antagonist, Heihachi Mishima.

Reina’s reveal came off the back of a Tekken 8 exhibition match, which featured all the past finalists of the annual Tekken 7 tournaments at the Evo Championship Series. Tekken 8 will likely supersede its predecessor at competitive tournament events from 2024 onward.

Imbued with the same electrical power as Heihachi, the young Reina’s fighting style also heavily resembles the hard-hitting karate-inspired moves of the former Mishima patriarch – plenty of headbutts, stomps, and knockbacks.

In a PlayStation Blog post, Tekken 8 director Kohei Ikeda revealed that she also adopts a second fighting style in her moveset: Taido, which evolved from traditional karate from Okinawa. Reina was developed in collaboration with four-time Taido World Champion, Tetsuji Nakano.

Naturally, it appears she’ll have a deep and mysterious connection to the ongoing narrative of the series, as the trailer depicts encounters with Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama, with the father and son both shocked and confused by who she might be. Is she Kazuya’s long-lost little sister? Jin’s cousin? Heihachi’s granddaughter twice removed?

In the aforementioned PlayStation Blog post, Ikeda describes her as having a “charismatic sense of evil” who conceptually exhibits a sense of duality – referring to her uses of hard-hitting Mishima techniques and the more acrobatic Taido.

Reina carries herself with style and confidence, and Mariko Shimazaki was responsible for her character design. Shimazaki was also responsible for characters Kazumi and Josie in Tekken 7. She looks like a very fun character to use, and the continuation of Heihachi’s techniques in the Tekken series, albeit in a fresher and more dynamic remixed format, makes for a very welcome final reveal before the game launches in early 2024.

Tekken 8 launches of PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S on 26 January 2024.

05/15/2024 08:06 pm GMT

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran