Super Smash Bros. takes a turn for the macabre with the arrival of Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima, reveals Nintendo game director Masahiro Sakurai on Tuesday. The almost 3-minute character showcase was the unexpected highlight of this year’s Nintendo Direct presentation at E3, where Kazuya was bundled with five other new playables: Pyra and Mithras from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7, Min Min from Arms, Steve/Alex from Minecraft, and a sixth yet-to-be-revealed mystery character. All six will be released as part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s upcoming Fighters Pass Vol. 2. The DLC comes out on the Nintendo eShop on December 31.
See the Super Smash Bros character reveal video below.
Kazuya Mishima is the fourth fighting game stalwart to debut on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after Terry Bogard from King of Fighters and brothers-at-arms Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter. G Corporation’s top dog can be seen beating the ever-living heck out of his fellow competitors in the Switch game, only to methodically — almost casually — toss them into a volcano in textbook Mishima fashion. Heihachi would be so incredibly proud. This is still Nintendo however, and no Super Smash Bros. trailer would be complete without a feel-good twist. The teaser ends with a punchline; Kazuya peers curiously over the craggy edge, searching for his would-be victim, only for Kirby to float back up to safety.
Kazuya Mishima brings a history with him to Super Smash Bros. He has long been Bandai Namco’s obligatory Darth Vader insert. His evil form symbolizes not only his untold power reserves but also his fall from grace; he was the franchise’s original main character when the first Tekken released in 1994. He was Devil before his son Jin used the same genetic defect to wage a one-man war against the Mishima Zaibatsu. Though neither character manages to overcome the adverse effects of the Devil Gene, Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima represent the light and dark in each other. Like Luke Skywalker and Vader, are being set up for mutual redemption.
Kazuya’s origins are less of a morality play. If any, his example only proves evil begets evil. His father Heihachi flings him off the side of a cliff to test his might as a Mishima; a young Kazuya survives the fall only to confront Heihachi later in life and best him in battle. Adult Kazuya closes the loop by throwing Heihachi off the same cliff; Heihachi survives only for the cycle to repeat. Super Smash Bros. uses this quirk to great comedic effect. Hurling someone to their death has never been more adorable.
In terms of character functionality, Kazuya has a hundred different combos that make him perfect for Super Smash Bros.. His Flash Punch Combo and Oni Front Kick make a daring entrance in the trailer, as well as his iconic Lightning Uppercut and Spinning Roundhouse. Players can switch to his Devil Form at will and fire optic lasers. For diehard Tekken fans looking for complexity, Kazuya’s 10-Hit Combo can also be executed in-game. It’s a fantastic time to be both a PlayStation and Nintendo fan. Super Smash Bros. is the one game that allows for a splashy marriage between both worlds.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Expect more details about Kazuya on June 28. Meanwhile he’ll likely also be appearing in the upcoming Tekken X Street Fighter game.