Tekken 7 has re-entered the conversation in a big way. The seventh installment of the classic fighting franchise has been available since June of this year, but they recaptured the gaming community’s attention once again with yesterday’s reveal of the newest fighter: Noctis Lucis Caelum, protagonist of Final Fantasy XV.
The Tekken franchise is no stranger to crossovers. Whether it’s full-fledged titles like 2012’s Street Fighter X Tekken or the widespread participation of characters such as Yoshimitsu and Heihachi in other fighting series (both have featured in the Soul Calibur games), the franchise has always been available for loaning and receiving new characters. The same has held true for Tekken 7, which already features Akuma of Street Fighter and Geese Howard of Fatal Fury and King of Fighters. The fact that there’s a new crossover isn’t the bulk of the news—it’s that the inclusion of Noctis comes as a huge surprise.
While this is far from the first joint effort between developer Bandai Namco and Sony, it’s the first inclusion of a Square Enix character in Tekken. Choosing Noctis makes sense for a variety of reasons; Final Fantasy XV has been a massive success with 2.5 million copies sold, and its expansion Comrades is just around the corner. Furthermore, the Super Smash Bros. series dramatically upped the ante for fighting game rosters with the bombshell announcement of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII—exactly two years ago yesterday.
Combined with the recent announcement of characters like Hellboy and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Injustice 2—and the disappointingly slim roster for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite—Bandai Namco wisely saw the writing on the wall and secured a big-time name to add to their list of fighters. Noctis may not be the most famed of Final Fantasy names, but he’s relevant to the present day and sports an aesthetic that should fit seamlessly into the world of Tekken.