Final Fantasy fiends want Tifa for Tekken 8, forcing producer to respond

Final Fantasy 7 fans, also known as Tifa Lockhart fans, have a suggestion for veteran Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada: Put Tifa in Tekken 8. They’ve hounded Harada on social media about including their No. 1 girl so rabidly this week that the producer has been forced to respond, telling the Tifa-loving masses that he fully appreciates their adoration, but that Tekken 8’s guest roster is still being determined.

“We all know she is attractive and I understand that,” Harada said on X to one of the many requests that Bandai Namco add Tifa to Tekken 8. “But as yet we have not decided anything about guest characters etc.”

It’s a surprisingly cordial response to what must be an annoying chorus of Tifa stans. Harada is, of course, known for his “Don’t ask me for shit” stance when it comes to Tekken fans’ wants. Despite that, he is regularly asked for shit, including popular requests to add characters like Tifa and Kiryu Kazuma from Sega’s Yakuza/Like A Dragon series.

Tekken 8 just officially launched Friday with a 32-character roster, including newcomers Azucena, Reina, and Victor. There’s more to come over the next year, as Bandai Namco has already confirmed four seasonal releases, starting with returning fighter Eddy Gordo.

The previous game in the franchise, Tekken 7, had four seasons of downloadable content, which spanned multiple years and added 15 fighters to that game’s roster. In addition to new and returning characters from the Tekken world, Bandai Namco brought a healthy list of outside guest characters to Tekken 7, including Street Fighter’s Akuma as part of the main roster. On the DLC front, Tekken 7 players also got Geese Howard from SNK’s Fatal Fury series, Negan from The Walking Dead, and Noctis from Final Fantasy 15.

One would think that Noctis’ inclusion in Tekken 7 would certainly open the door for other Final Fantasy characters to make the jump to Bandai Namco’s fighting game.

Guest characters in the Tekken franchise are a relatively new tradition. With the exception of the tiny dinosaur Gon, who appeared in Tekken 3, guest characters have largely been the domain of another Bandai Namco fighting game series, Soulcalibur. The weapons-based fighter has seen its inclusion of big stars, including Link from The Legend of Zelda, Geralt from The Witcher, Darth Vader and Yoda from Star Wars, Kratos from God of War, and Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed. Square Enix also lent 2B, from Nier: Automata, to Bandai Namco for Soulcalibur 6 — so don’t give up hope, Tifa fans. What I’m saying is: There’s a chance.

In the meantime, Tifa will get plenty of screen time in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second game in the Final Fantasy Remake project, next month. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is coming to PlayStation 5, as a timed console exclusive, on Feb. 29.

Tekken 8 is available now on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X.