Tekken is full of unique characters. There’s a dysfunctional family, animal fighters, a living wood ‘person’, the devil himself and many more. Over 25+ years, Namco Bandai have created a huge roster of fighters with their own aesthetics and story arcs. It’s one of the many reasons why the popular fighting game franchise could very well be the king of the genre, with 2017’s Tekken 7 selling over seven million copies. There are some characters who get left in the past, however. This is because of story purposes or a lack of popularity. Tekken‘s roster has evolved, which has meant taking out fighters to bring newcomers in.
On release, Tekken 7 was filled with a lot of new generation fighters who had either debuted in the sixth entry or in this game, e.g. Alisa, Lucky Chloe. Long-term characters featured those integral to the story and classic faces like Paul and King. However, there were a few people missing who had been mainstays in the series for a while. Some of them were added back in via DLC but there are still others who are due a big return. The characters in this list appeared in 2012’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but that game is a non-canon spin-off. It would be nice to see the next main title give fans the ultimate star-studded roster. Let’s check out 8 characters that should return in Tekken 8.
Angel is a supernatural being whose only main game appearance was in Tekken 2. She was a palette swap for Devil, who was also her rival. Very little was revealed about her besides her goal of protecting Kazuya Mishima from Devil. Angel has appeared in the Tag games, but she continued to be draped in mystery. Tag 2 did give her their own character slot and unique move-set so that she was no longer a carbon copy of her evil counterpart. Could that be a hint of Namco having future plans?
The Mishima/Kazama family continues to be full of hatred after the events of T7‘s story mode. They need a beacon of light to prevent themselves from causing world destruction. Angel’s return as the world’s saviour would be interesting. She is one of the very few beings powerful enough to stop Jin Kazama, Kazuya and the Devil that resides within them both. She could even team up with humans such as Ling Xiaoyu, who in previous games has attempted to stop Jin from giving into his dark side.
In gameplay, Angel should be a strong fighter with supernatural powers. Her move-set has to be more distanced from her typical Mishima Karate style to make her as different as possible from her arch-rival. If Namco choose to keep this character shut away, though, there’s someone else later in this list who could also be a saviour.
One character who played an important role in the stories of Tekken 5 and 6 was Raven. The international intelligence agent witnessed the Hon-Maru explosion in T5 and retrieved Jin’s body after his battle with Azazel in the sequel’s Scenario Campaign mode. His superior, Master Raven, has since replaced him. Unlike Raven, she doesn’t play any role in T7‘s story. She says in her Character Episode, however, that Raven is being “retrained”. Perhaps this is for a bigger mission in the next game?
It would be expected for Raven to return at his superior’s side in Tekken 8, with the world potentially at great threat. The two could work together to spy on the Mishima Zaibatsu and G-Corporation and uncover their deadly plans. Since both characters share fighting styles, it’s important for them to have differences. Raven’s move-set could focus more on his improved teleportation abilities, while Master primarily uses her sword. I believe that the two can co-exist as fighters with enough separate qualities.
3. Michelle Chang
The only character on this list who appeared in the very first title is Michelle Chang, the mother of Julia Chang. Michelle’s last canon appearance was in T2. She disappeared after being kidnapped by Heihachi prior to Tekken 3, who used her amulet to awaken Ogre. Michelle is said to still be alive in the universe after being rescued by her daughter. However, she has since only appeared in the Tag spin-offs. Julia, meanwhile, has showed up in every game although she was DLC in T7.
Jin and Kazuya’s war will surely put all wildlife in severe danger. Saving forests and animals would take far more than a solo job from Julia. Bringing Michelle out of isolation would give that task a big boost. With Julia altering her move-set to include more wrestling moves, Michelle can bring back the classic Chang fighting style which requires plenty of skill to master.
4. Roger Jr
Tekken is well known for its outlandish characters. A prime example is Roger Jr, a baby kangaroo who sits in his mother’s pouch as the pair fight with boxing gloves. It’s bizarre, but this kind of hilarity is what helps make the series so entertaining. Tekken 7 had a lack of animal characters with Kuma and Panda being the only options. An older Roger Jr should return on his own in the next game. Who doesn’t want to dominate people online as a kangaroo boxer?
With humans seemingly intend on destroying the world, it would be funny to see the animal characters form an alliance to put a stop to it all. This would give Roger Jr an actual story that doesn’t involve his father. His move-set should be changed slightly to feature more athletic, youthful fighting manoeuvres. It would bring something different for an animal character and make him more useable for players.
5. Bruce Irvin
This is one of the strangest absences in T7. Bruce Irvin had recently been established as working in G-Corporation as Kazuya’s captain. With the company in the midst of a war with the Mishima Zaibatsu, Bruce’s removal was odd. Kazuya’s full focus is now back on his rivalry with Jin. It really would be a shock if the kickboxer didn’t return in Tekken 8. Fans have said that he’s one of the better characters to play as. This is because his style relies on strong counter-hits and ranged attacks.
Bruce’s arc would simply be to protect his friend and employer while trying to take down Jin. His arch-rival could be Lars Alexandersson, a Tekken Force member who has tasked himself with convincing Jin to right his wrongs. Lars would want his half-nephew to be kept out of G-Corporation’s hands. Bruce can retain his usual Muay Thai move-set, but with the addition of a machine gun as his special weapon since he is a soldier. Players who master him would be a force to be reckoned with online.
6. Christie Monteiro
The Capoeira fighter was absent from the latest entry, having debuted in Tekken 4. Christie Monteiro is the student of fan favourite Eddy Gordo. They are pretty much attached at the hip, as their story endings are usually the same. Eddy has remained in the series where he’s tried to seek out Kazuya, the man who murdered his father. It would be nice to see Christie make a return and be given her own independent journey. Plus, you can never have enough Capoeira characters.
The young Brazilian woman would have a fresh start upon her series comeback. There are many possibilities for what her story arc could entail. One idea is that she wants to train to became a master of her fighting style and open a school. This would require a sizeable amount of money, though, so she enters The King of Iron Fist Tournament 8. Since she’s distanced from Eddy, new Capoeira moves should be added to Christie’s move-set as a sign that she’s enhanced her skills alone. This is what the character needs to ensure she has a future in the series.
7. Jun Kazama
Jun Kazama is someone who fans have requested Namco to bring back for many years. The mother of Jin made her only main entry appearance in Tekken 2. Before the events of the third game, Jun was attacked by Ogre and vanished. Jin believes that she was killed but this has not been confirmed. Various titles have mentioned Jun, although she has yet to make an official return. In Jin’s canon Tekken 4 ending, he saw a vision of his mother which caused him to spare Heihachi’s life when he was at the height of his rage. Not much is known about Jun. Kazuya has called her “mysterious”, while her endings in T2 and the Tag games present her as a spiritual person and a symbol of purity.
Recent games have presented Jin struggling with his dark side as he contributes to the world becoming a warzone. Jun may be the only person who could get through to him and help him fight against the Devil Gene within him. She would have similar ambitions as Angel, although the former will mostly be focused on dealing with her son. Learning more about her relationship with Kazuya would be very interesting, however, so those two should have a confrontation at some point. An explanation for Jun’s long absence is something I’ll get into more with the last character.
Tag 2 featured an expanded move-set for Jun, and Tekken 8 should use that with some new additions. Her classic throw moves should return to please long-term fans of the series. More counter-hit attacks should be included to continue her reputation as a defensive minded fighter. Given her popularity, Jun would be a prominent figure online.
Okay, so Unknown is a character that has never actually appeared in a main Tekken game. She has only ever been the mysterious antagonist of the Tag spin-offs. In her second appearance, though, she was portrayed as Jun Kazama’s evil form. Even in her debut, she saved Jin from being killed in Ogre’s ending. Unknown should finally be made canon as Jun’s dark side if she does make her return in the next main entry of the franchise.
Unknown would be the primary reason for why Jun’s disappearance has lasted so long. In the battle with Ogre, he planted an unknown evil into her soul which has sent her into a ferocious battle with light and darkness. Jun struggles to contain the evil, and so she has stayed away so that Jin does not see her in this state. With the world at threat, her love for Jin powers over Unknown enough for Jun to return. On occasion, her evil could come out leading to fights with Kazuya, for example. An appearance by Angel could also give Jun the chance to be freed of the darkness within her. It would be a powerful story that would impact the Jin vs Kazuya rivalry, especially when Jin finds out his mother is alive.
Just like in Tag 2, Unknown should have her own character slot. She should possess the majority of Jun’s move-set. Of course, she’ll also have supernatural abilities and powerful attacks at her disposal. She shouldn’t use her human form’s throws or more technical moves, though, instead replacing them with more impactful strikes.
Which Tekken characters do you think should return in Tekken 8? Let me know in the comments below!