Mr. Sakurai Presents “Kazuya” Discusses the Trials of Getting a Tekken Character into Smash
In case you missed the news, Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima will soon be arriving in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, like Sephiroth and Pyra and Mythra before him. He was announced as a DLC character during E3 2021 and Masahiro Sakurai just finished a presentation on how he managed that–and how Kazuya will actually play in-game–earlier today. This episode of Mr. Sakurai Presents is about 40 minutes long and discusses the different game design approaches of Tekken and Super Smash Bros., and how Sakurai overcame those differences to make Tekken’s first protagonist feel right at home in Smash.
According to Sakurai, Tekken is a game about understanding the spacing between characters and where you need to hit in order to succeed. Attacks are divided into categories of high, medium, and low, forcing players to pay close attention to their surroundings. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. is a game about location, where players use heights and distances against each other. To try and bring the essence of the slower-paced and more technical combat of Tekken into Smash, Sakurai decided to rely on the Devil Gene that Kazuya carries. This is a bloodline curse of terrible power that allows Kazuya to draw on the power of–and physically transform into–a malicious supernatural entity known as Devil.
Sakurai decided to model Kazuya’s normal attacks after his brutally efficient Mishima Style Fighting Karate and make Kazuya’s midair jumps, smash attacks, and special moves use the power of the Devil Gene. The video then goes into Kazuya’s special moves, including the devastating long-ranged Devil Blaster, the enhanced jump called Devil Wings, and the Devil fist attack that allows him to phase through his opponents. They all look quite useful, especially Devil Wings, which makes up for Kazuya’s relatively low default jump height. Hopefully, Kazuya’s arrival in Smash is successful enough to revitalize the Tekken fanbase, because those games tell a surprisingly solid story of corruption and revenge, and we desperately want a new Tekken movie that does that story justice.
Kazuya Mishima releases as a Super Smash Bros. Brawl DLC Fighter on June 29th, 2021.