What is the filter to fight in the King of Iron Fist Tournament? Knowing martial arts is a plus, but the truth is that among the Tekken regulars we find robots, two generations of kangaroos, an adorable panda and even a dinosaur taken from a Manga. Even Negan, from The Walking Dead, showed up to distribute trash. But even in those, the biggest craziness that was proposed (and so far it has not happened) was adding the 45th president of the United States: Donald Trump.
If you think about it, it makes sense: in the Tekken universe, the leaders of megacorporations and the world give out blows. At the same time, their family quarrels and love affairs are resolved in a bizarre way. And we are not going to deny it, seeing Trump fight against Heihachi Mishima in the ring it would be a spectacle. But how did the idea come about? The answer is found in the “when”: on January 20, 2017.
Make Tekken Great Again
According to Katsuhiro Harada, the creator of the saga and director of all installments, the arrival of Donald Trump to Tekken It occurred to him on the same day he was elected president of the United States. At that time, not so long ago, he was traveling through San Francisco with Michael Murray, producer of the saga. The two were sharing an Uber and brainstorming new ideas for the game.
Between one thing and another, motivated by the recent news of the presidential replacement, Harada had one of those revelations that generally appear in privileged Japanese minds: whether including the presidents of the United States in video games does not require having to pay a license, why not include Trump in Tekken?
Michael Murray and I were in San Francisco the night Donald Trump won the presidential election. I remember asking Michael,
“If I remember correctly, there’s no licensing fee for creating character products or video games based on the President of the United States, right? I’ve heard something about that, so why don’t we put him in the game?”
The idea soon led to a conversation in which Harada and Murray began to fantasize about the possibilities. What would Donald Trump’s combos be like if he came to Tekken? What kind of super attacks would it have? And we’re not going to deny it, it wouldn’t take too long for Paul Phoenix to take the title of the most striking hairstyle in the game. And from the saga.
I was precisely talking about that. So Michael and I had a lot of fun talking about what Trump’s fighting style would be and coming up with Rage Arts ideas, then we calmed down and decided to shelve that idea.
An Uber driver took Trump out of the ring
The possibilities when it came to bringing the new president to the game were enormous and it is worth remembering that Tekken 7 would arrive that same year on consoles and PCs with new features and additional fighters, so the inclusion of Trump would be quite a coup. So why did that madness stop? Well, let’s say that it didn’t take long for him to see firsthand what the reactions beyond that car to that idea could be like.
Why do we shelve that idea? Because the driver of the UBER we were in at that moment got hot, accelerated to 200 km/h and he started yelling “Fuck Donald Trump!!”.
Coincident or not, several great fighting games were adding United States presidents with a colorful personality to their repertoire of fighters.
- To give some examples. In Street Fighter V the very particular G arrived, of which we are not very clear if he is a hero or villain.
- And years later, in Guilty Gear Strive, we met and were able to fight with Goldlewis Dickinson, the United States secretary of defense and right-hand man of the President.
We will never know if we lost a powerful fighter to Tekken or we save ourselves some trouble, but it is clear that an Uber driver who is not a Trump sympathizer left the idea behind. Discarded? Well, seeing the trajectory of the saga and its joyful way of recovering ideas and characters that we took for granted, it is best not to take things for granted.
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