Katsuhiro Harada, the director of the Tekken team, on the latest instalment of The King of Iron Fist Tournament on PS3 and PSP.
Can you explain the setting and plot for TEKKEN 6?
In TEKKEN 6, Jin Kazama has become the leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Up until now Jin was on the side of good, but as soon as he became head of the Mishima Zaibatsu he declares independence from and war against the rest of the world.
Kazuya Mishima and the G Corporation rise to stop him, and the world is entangled in the war and chaos that ensues as a result of the clash between these two. This time, it's not just about the feud between father and son; it spills over into war around the globe.
What new characters have you introduced in TEKKEN 6?
Bob (USA) possesses incredible speed, despite being overweight. He used to be slim, but he felt underpowered so he began a unique training regimen to gain weight while maintaining his speed. His training paid off, and he produced remarkable results. He uses an acrobatic style of karate and his strengths are his speed, power and jumping ability. He hardly has any weakness.
Miguel is from Spain. During the war-driven chaos created by the Mishima Zaibatsu, Miguel's younger sister was caught in an explosion and killed as a result of a Zaibatsu bombing strike. Miguel swears revenge against the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu, Jin Kazama, for his sister's death.
Miguel has no formal martial arts training; he is simply a brawler. He has neither polished punches nor kicks, and he doesn't assume any fighting stance; however, he has incredible reach and power.
Leo (Germany) is a Bajiquan practitioner, whose real name and gender are unknown and is hot on the trail of Kazuya Mishima of the G Corporation. The cool character design is very popular among Japanese players. Leo is very easy to control, and is a good character to choose to enjoy Tekken.
Zafina is a mysterious female and is the first character from the Middle East. Her storyline is heavily intertwined with the main plot and the storyline of the final boss character. She uses a form of assassination arts that has been passed down through the generations. This very intimidating style uses fighting stances that resemble spiders, lizards and scorpions.
Lars Alexandersson (Sweden) is an officer in the Jin Kazama-led Mishima Zaibatsu's elite private forces; the Tekken Force.
Discontented with the way Jin ran the Mishima Zaibatsu, Lars led a great number of the Tekken Force in a rebellion against Jin. Lars uses a form of hand-to-hand combat taught in the Tekken Force. The characteristic of this style is its hard-to-read accelerated movement, making it easy to overpower opponents. Also, Lars has the ability to turn the tables on his opponent when he has his back to the wall.
Lars is the secret child of Heihachi Mishima, but the only ones who know are Lars and his Swedish mother. No one else, not even Heihachi, knows of this connection.
Alisa Bosconovitch is a robot said to have been modelled on the appearance of the daughter of Dr Bosconovitch (no one knows for sure); Dr Bosconovitch appeared in the console version of Tekken 3. This unique character has a variety of attacks and fighting systems never before seen in the series. More details on this fascinating character will be unveiled at a later date.
Apart from the traditional fighting modes, are there any other modes such as Adventure or Campaign?
It has a lot more to offer than other fighting games that contain only Versus and Practice modes. Scenario Campaign Mode and Online Mode, plus renewed and expanded customisation provide quite a lot of content for fans to enjoy.
What online features does the game have?
The game includes some very nice online features such as the online battle, leaderboards or downloading the ghosts of the best player to practise. The Scenario Mode also allows you to play with your friends online.
What plans do you have for additional download content from PlayStation Store?
There is a strong possibility we will. However, even if we were to do so, it would be free to the end user.
What are the differences between the PSP and PS3 versions?
Obviously the biggest difference is the graphics as the power of these two systems is different. However, we did or best to adapt the PS3 version to the PSP in the best way possible. I don't think that the fans will be disappointed.
What are you most proud of in the game?
I can't cover them all. This is my 15th year on the series, the longest for a director on the franchise, so I've helped come up with most of the core spec in the game and a lot of the ideas as well. Even down to story setting and characters' items.
Which are your favourite characters and why?
Jin Kazama has been the main character in the series for the longest time. The background story has been kind of portrayed through his eyes. Starting as a young and innocent boy, Jin has experienced the evils of society and the corruption brought about by power. He is gradually transformed by his ambition until the world sees him as a villain. This is the story arc I have been planning for 10 years.
Heihachi Mishima often stands out because of his appearance but personally I like his character. He is often portrayed as a villain, but he has a lot of human qualities. These human qualities portrayed in Heihachi are scarier than any monster or demon.
How do you go about creating each character's backstory?
I used to only create enough of a mythology for a character as was needed for his or her project design sketches, but as the series and its fan base grew, gamers wanted to know more and more about the world of Tekken. That's what led us to what we have today. In the past we worried about backstory only when actually creating a character; nowadays it's an important part of what we do for our fans.
Check out PlayStation 4 at the PlayStation E3 press conference on 10 June 2013.