Even Tekken 8's lead devs can hardly believe how dead Heihachi is

Tekken 7's ending cutscene
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Spoilers for Tekken 7: Heihachi Mishima is dead. Death does not tend to mean a permanent end for most Tekken characters, but Heihachi was punched in the chest so hard his heart stopped and then his lifeless body was tossed into a river of magma. That's a tough one to come back from, and in the lead up to Tekken 8, even series legend Katsuhiro Harada can hardly believe how dead Heihachi is.

As designer Michael Murray explained in a recent group interview attended by GamesRadar+, Harada told the Tekken 7 team that "Heihachi's been dead so many times, you have to make sure it's convincing this time." In an interview after the game's release, however, Harada mentioned that he was "surprised at how dead Heihachi was in the story" of Tekken 7. That led the rest of the team to ask "'Hey, what are you talking about? That was the order you gave us,'" Murray said.

"We were like 'you told us to make sure he's dead! So in the interview, though, you said you were surprised he was that dead?'" According to Murray, Harada has no recollection of his big directive to make sure Heihachi looked as dead as could be - and, after all, Heihachi is Harada's favorite character.

"Me and Nakatsu [director Kouhei Ikeda] were just laughing so much because we're like 'What's wrong with you? You hit your head or something, I don't know," Murray said. Harada explained that "maybe he's getting older and losing his memory that he told us to make sure Heihachi is dead. I don't think we've told anyone that."

Tekken lore is a wild, convoluted mess even by fighting game standards, and Heihachi has already been dead multiple times. Tekken 5, a game in which Heihachi is both a playable character and a major figure in its story, famously features the line "Heihachi Mishima is dead" in its opening cutscene.

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Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.