• Amir-Hamza

New Character Ideas for Tekken 8

We haven't had an announcement for Tekken 8 just yet. But with the announcement of the Netflix Tekken Bloodline anime, we thought maybe this would be a good time to look at potentially new character ideas for Tekken 8. We already covered a few ideas for Street Fighter 6, King of Fighters 15 and Virtual Fighter 6. So here are a few of our ideas that we'd like to see work for Tekken.

Nigerian Dambe Boxer

First of we've always wanted to see a Nigerian Boxer in a fighting game. Why? well gotta show the Naija community some love with boxers like Anthony Joshua (British Nigerian) and Raymond Olubowale (Nigerian Canadian). Both also happen to be around 2 metres tall. So a Nigerian boxer based on them two can easier measure up to Vale Tudo Wrestler Marduk and Muay Thai Kickboxer Fahkumram. Whats more interesting is that Nigeria has a boxing style called Dambe which would be a perfect fit for Tekken. You see Tekken works with left hand and right hand buttons. The martial art Dambe is asymmetrical due to the lead hand being the "shield" and the rear hand being the "spear". In any case a Dambe fighter would use their lead hand for parries, blocks, grabs, pushes, etc. Their rear hand (which would be wrapped up typically), can be used for punches, straights, hooks, uppercuts, overheads, backfist, etc. Many of these would make our Nigerian boxer a very different type of fighting to Steve Fox. On top of that Overwatch (First person shooter of all things) had actually made a Nigerian Dambe fighter a playable character in the form of Doomfist. So maybe Tekken's Dambe fighter can evolve overtime to have a high tech bionic arm?

French Algerian Savate Soldier

So one of the most common nationalities for playing Tekken 7 at Esports was French. With 15 French players at Esports, it made France among the top 5 countries playing Tekken 7 for the event. Surprisingly however, France does not have single Tekken character representing the country in the games. But it doesn't mean Tekken couldn't possibly include one. After all Lili from Monaco speaks French and they have Brazilian Katrina Alves using Savate (a french martial art). So why not a French Savate fighter. They could even use French Algerian Benson Mokhtar as the model for the character since he was the face and model capture for Carlos Oliveira in Resident Evil 3 remake. This type of character could appeal to both the French and North African fans too since the North African community in France make up nearly 10% of the France's population. Hell even French Arab actor Jawed El Berni could also be another influence due to his acrobatic kicking style would perfectly fit a Savatuer fighter, it is likely Jawed himself has some Savate experience.

Pakistani Luchador

When talking about Tekken having a French character. We mentioned how Tekken 7 had 15 French players attend for Esports. Well Pakistan had 36 players attend Esports just to play Tekken 7. In fact the sudden rise of popularity of Tekken 7 in the South Asian country has lead to Katsuhiro Harada to even stated on twitter that he is open to introducing a Pakistani character to Tekken in the future. Now we already did an article on the different possibilities on what a Pakistani Tekken character could be like. But out of all the idea we had. We kinda want to go with a Pakistani Luchador idea. May sounds strange but hear us out. There are several Pakistanis who are into wrestling but rather than go for generic big strong guy, why not go for an average height high flying wrestler to contrast that. Yes Teken does have King (who is apparently 6'4" or 6'7"). But we felt a Pakistani Luchador based on the likes of Pakistani American Mustafa Ali, British Pakistani Amir Jordan and even the British Pakistani Luchador Marduk Malik would make the world of sense. In fact Jordan and Malik were featured as British Asian athletes in one of our previous articles. Design wise all three aren't lacking threads and can stand out among the Tekken cast rather than be dull and to contrast with King the character can also have a story linked to the law since Mustafa Ali was a in fact a Police Officer and Marduk Malik was a lawyer. So that could tie into their character or storyline too.

Malagasy Moringue

This is one of the more random ideas. Madagascar has had one character represent them in a fighting game. That being Darli Dagger from Samurai Showdown. However Madagascar does in fact have a martial art called Moringue or Maraingy (depending on how you spell it). The style seems to be very reminiscent of kickboxing styles, some people theorise it may be distantly related to Asian martial arts form South East Asia and South Asia. The modern version of the style itself is also said to be lightly inspired by Savate and Capoeira over the years with other African Islands in the Indian Ocean using such techniques providing more variety. Tekken doesn't have a lot of African characters, so a Moringue fighter could be a way to introduce that. In fact YouTube channel Asara Roots even has videos of themselves learning Moringue Techniques. So Namco can easily find YouTube videos of the style online to influence the character and design.

Peruvian Takanakuy Princess

Peru, an underrepresented South American country yet 8 players from said country played Tekken 7 at Esports. Putting Peru into the top 10 countries playing Tekken 7. So yeah why not include a Peruvian fighter for Tekken. Peru has a few fighting styles unique to their culture that can be used for influence. One of these is Bakom/Vacon a style influenced by street fighting and Japanese Jujutsu, this shouldn't be a huge surprise as Peru does have a significant Japanese community. In fact the fighter can be imagined as being Japanese Peruvian if Namco wanted. But looking at more traditional Peruvian culture, there is a festival called Takanakuy in which the locals in the Peruvian Andes will attend a day of dancing and ritual combat. Using dressed in vibrant colours and patterns like Pink, Green, Yellow and White. The combat is very much striking focused with punches and kicks. But Tekken can probably make something more of it if they use Bakom/Vacon techniques with it. Many of these traditional brawls tend to be between men. But in recent years, there are more women participating in Takanakuy, even in traditional dresses. This could make an eye-catching and unique addition to the cast.

Danish Turk girl based off Semra Turan

Denmark is yet another country where Tekken could base a new character from. However the influence we are going for is form a Danish film The Fighter which features Semra Turan as Aicha a Danish Turk girl wanting to take up Kung-Fu. We should point out that Turkey does have several martial arts of their own. One notable style they could use for a Turkish girl from Denmark is Sayokan. The style itself is descended from Japanese Ashihara Karate and Turkish Kurash a style of Wrestling. This could make for an interesting style especially as Tekken is no stranger to playing around with karate styles. Adding some folk wrestling techniques.

Dutch fighter based off Giulini Wever

Looking through online forums on what new nationalities Tekken fans want to see. A Dutch fighter from the Netherlands was suggested. The idea specifically being a giant Dutch wrestler, we did already suggest this idea for Virtua Fighter 6 with Dutch actor and strongman Olivier Ritchers being the inspiration such an idea. But for this idea we decided to go with a female fighter based on Giulini Wever. We have mentioned Giulini Wever before, in our article on martial arts women. Wever has worked as a model, actress and martial artist, skilled in Boxing and Taekwondo. She has made appearances in music videos such as Akon's Beautiful and Nicki Minaj's Your Love alongside Michael Jai White. A character based on her could easily be introduced as a contemporary to Josie Rizal or even as a boxing friend of Steve Fox's using a mix of techniques from both Steve and Hwoarang. Wever's mixed heritage includes Native America, Eurasian and Latin American heritage so she could easily be shown as a women of many cultures too.

Indonesian Pencak Silat Swat Police

Another heavily demanded fighting style and nationality is Pencak Silat from the South East Nation of Indonesia. Surprisingly there is very little representation of both the style and the nationality in fighting games. However ever since the Raid films hit off, the actors Iko Uwais, Yaya Ruhian, Cecip Arif Rahman and Joe Taslim into internationally praised martial art action stars and fans have wanted an Indonesia Silat fighter to make an appearance in the franchise. What's notable is that Namco had considered including a Tekken force soldier as a Silat fighter and due to the Raid franchise being focus on a Tactical Police officer who infiltrates a crime ring and is offered allegiance by the Japanese Yakuza at the end of the second film. Well maybe this Indonesia Silat fighter could be undercover, working to destroy the Mishima Zaibatsu or G-Corporations. Depending on what the storyline is, Namco can easily make this character concept work and use many of the recent films and TV shows starring Iko Uwais as a reference for how this character will fight.

Maori Mau Rakau Mercenary

One interesting idea we want to consider is a Maori from New Zealand that uses Mau Rakau. But rather than be a generic fighter, we felt this character could be more inspired by Manu Bennett's portrayal of Deathstroke from CW Arrow. Manu Bennett's version of Deathstroke is an Australian mercenary who later develops super powers. However, Manu Bennett is of Maori origin (an ethnic group from New Zealand), so making a Maori mercenary form New Zealand can work and rather than using a generic set of weapons like a straight sword and bo staff. He can use traditional Maori weapons used in Mau Rakau for the character feel like his own. Many of his moves can borrow from the New Zealand tv show The Dead Lands which portrays the Maori culture including Mau Rakau techniques.

Greek Pankration Fighter

Finally we are looking to the Mediterranean nation of Greece which itself has its own ancient styles of Grappling, Striking and MMA. Most notably focusing of the MMA aspect the Ancient Greeks practised Pankration, which mixed Greek Wrestling Pale with Greek Boxing Pygmachia. This essentially was the first concept of MMA, mixing grabs with strikes. Nowadays this styles is being brought back into the world as a modernised fighting style and considering Greek was one of the highly requested nationalities among tekken fans online. We feel a Greek Pankration fighter will be the best idea to go with especially as Greek American Jim Arvanitis has made efforts to revive the style. Namco could try and contact a modern Pankration practitioner to mo-cap how this potential character could fight.

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