Just for kicks
Bandai Namco has unveiled the next veteran warrior returning for the studio’s upcoming fighter Tekken 8 — And returning to The King of Iron Fist Tournament is the hard-kickin’, hard-riding taekwondo expert Hwoarang!
Hailing from South Korea and making his debut in 1997’s Tekken 3, Hwoarang was initially established as a major player, set to be the Ken to Jin Kazama’s Ryu and the successor of the aging Baek Doo San. Hwoarang, though disciplined in his martial arts studies, is generally depicted as a smart-mouthed, bad-boy biker, though he has shown loyalty, courage, and dedication to both his craft and to his friends and peers.
The Tekken 8 iteration of Hwoarang, as showcased in the above trailer, sees the return of his trademark red hair, which was dyed black in Tekken 7, additionally, Hwoarang has lost his eye patch, suggesting that the sight has returned in his left eye following an incident in which he was caught up in a botched assassination attempt on his rival, Jin Kazama. While Unreal 5 allows for a more mature visual appearance, the fighter’s arrogance remains firmly rooted in his past appearances.
He’s pretty damn hot, is what I’m saying.
In the ring, we get to see Hwoarang show off his flashy and deceptive kicking combos, unevenly paced to cause confusion and anticipation in the opponent. Hwoarang battles Nina Williams in a military complex, before knocking seven shades of Shinola out of Jin Kazama in an underground cave, a new stage that features several scene transitions. Hwoarang’s super sees him send his foe sky-high with a series of kicks, before bringing them crashing back down to earth with a devastation axe kick.
Tekken 8 is currently in development for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X. It is tentatively expected to launch late in 2023 or early 2024. Be sure to check out the previous trailers for Jin Kazama, Marshall Law, Nina Williams, King, Paul Phoenix, Jack-8, Lars Alexandersson, Kazuya Mishima, Jun Kazama, Ling Xiayou, Asuka Kazama, Leroy Smith, and Lili Rochefort.