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What We Learned at Mr. Sakurai’s Kazuya Presentation

As Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gets ready to welcome Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima to its decorated roster, Game Director Masahiro Sakurai gave players an extended look at what’s to come!

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Courtesy of Nintendo

At the Nintendo Direct E3 2021 Presentation that premiered on June 15, Kazuya Mishima of the Tekken series was officially announced to be the newest challenger arriving to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He will be the fifth challenger in the Fighters Pass Volume 2 DLC set alongside Min Min, Steve & Alex, Sephiroth, and Pyra & Mythra. Via livestream, Game Director Masahiro Sakurai formally broke down Kazuya’s character and gameplay for his upcoming role in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Kazuya’s Gameplay 

Kazuya overall as a fighter is skilled at making comebacks. He boasts high attack power and he possesses super armor, allowing him to endure flurry attacks to some extent and even interrupt attacks against him under certain conditions. With his skills and abilities, Kazuya can turn the battle around in his favor; however, he falls short in terms of reach, speed and attack range. Matching that of his gameplay in Tekken, Kazuya’s jump is also relatively low, but this can be circumvented with his other slew of abilities. Similar to fighters like Ryu and Terry, Kazuya will automatically turn to face his opponent in a one-on-one battle formation, allowing for back attacks and alluding to the nature of fighting games like Tekken, Street Fighter and Fatal Fury. Kazuya has little to no hitstun capabilities as this was not a part of Tekken

Normal Moves

With regard to his normal moves, Kazuya possesses a control scheme that differs from the other fighters, in which the left stick has eight different input directions. Additionally, he also has some command input moves, giving him a larger compendium of normal moves overall. Because of this unique control scheme for Kazuya, each of his normal moves have a lot to offer in terms of attack prowess and abilities. His neutral A button, “10 Hit Combo,” will execute his normal attack and will automatically utilize both his arms and legs, but he can also perform other abilities simply utilizing joystick tilt strategies or timing certain attacks. For example, quickly tilting the left joystick twice and then pressing the neutral A button will allow Kazuya to perform the Left Splits Kick move, which can send projectiles back at opponents. Pressing A while dashing will execute the Leaping Sidekick attack, which enables Kazuya to close the gap between himself and other opponents and better optimize his fighting characteristics. With regard to his access to eight different input directions, there is a lot that Kazuya can do. It is recommended to gently tilt the left stick to enact these normal moves, and to avoid performing smash moves. 

Kazuya’s wide range of normal abilities don’t stop there. There are also a slew of moves he can perform whilst crouching. Some examples are the Tombstone Crusher move in which players must tilt diagonally forward and attack while crouching. This move can counter and has a long invincibility period. Another move that is a one-of-a-kind input move, is the Demon God Fist, in which players will have Kazuya crouch and then press A halfway through standing back up. This move, upon making contact, can cause opponents to flinch heavily and may even result in a KO. 

Special Moves 

With regard to this, Kazuya’s gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was made to resemble that of his gameplay from the Tekken series as closely as possible. His normal attacks are based on his standard Tekken fighting style whereas his midair jumps, special moves and smash attacks take inspiration from his Devil’s Power. 

Kazuya’s special moves enable him to transform into his Devil Form. His neutral special attack is the “Devil Blaster,” a trademark move of Devil Kazuya, in which he fires a high-speed beam with long reach. This move can be aimed upward and downward to reach opponents of and at different heights. 

Kazuya’s side special move is called Devil Fist, in which Kazuya punches through opponents in a rushing attack. This attack can immobilize opponents and can also be used as a recovery of sorts. 

Kazuya’s upward special move is Devil Wings, which allows him to ascend high up and functions essentially as a recovery. Devil Wings can also inflict damage and even KO opponents. 

Kazuya’s downward special move is called Heaven’s Door, where Kazuya will grab his opponent, jump and crash them into the floor. Because Kazuya has super armor, he will be able to grab other fighters by force to enact this move. This move can also be used on airborne opponents and can even KO them similarly to Bowser’s play; however, Kazuya will be KO’d before them when falling off the stage. The player being thrown by Kazuya can push back to some extent depending on their accumulated damage.

Rage Mode

When Kazuya incurs damage at or above 100% or if his stamina falls below 25% of his max health in Stamina Mode, he will enter a trance called “Rage Mode” once-per-stock. In this mode, Kazuya will be consumed by a red aura and his nametag beneath his damage counter will increase in size. This state will see his attack power multiplied 1.1 times over. Players will also be able to execute a special once-per-stock move called Rage Drive, which is an enhanced version of Heaven’s Door. There are three ways to perform this move, with the first being to Grab, the second using the downward Heaven’s Door special move, and the third method, the Shoryuken command input plus holding down the attack button. While there is no time limit for Rage Mode, Kazuya will return to normal after either the Rage Drive move is executed or if he takes a certain amount of damage. If an attempted Rage Drive attack misses, Rage Mode will phase out more quickly. 

Smash Attacks

When performing his smash attacks, Kazuya takes on his more powerful Devil Form. His side smash is called the Glorious Demon Fist and has high launch capabilities. This attack could potentially be stronger than Captain Falcon’s Falcon Punch if powered up and landed directly, however, it can leave Kazuya wide open afterwards. This, along with his other moves has super armor and can interrupt attacks from opponents. The strength of Kazuya’s super armor for her smash attacks differs between each attack, with the side smash having the strongest super armor. The upward smash move is called the Devil Twister, a simple smash move that sends other fights into twisting up into the air. The downward smash is Lion Slayer, which can launch opponents and be used in combos. This attack has a meteor effect and can inflict great damage upon shields.

Air Attacks

Like the other fighters, Kazuya has five air attacks including up, down, left, right and neutral. The neutral air attack is called the Jumping Knuckle, a fast attack with a meteor effect. The forward air attack is called the Searing edge, which is mostly meant for use on the ground and optimizes Kazuya’s low jump height. The back air attack is called Jumping Sobat, which can launch opponents, but may struggle in one-on-one fights due to Kazuya’s automatic face-forward feature in those settings. The upward ait attack is known as the Rising Toe Kick, which is handy against opponents on platforms and works well in combos. The downward air attack is the Demon Scissors, which can be controlled in the air and can also be used to execute recovery. 

Grabbing/Throwing

Kazuya’s grabbing technique is called the Sternum Smash. His forward throw move is the Double Face Kick, which boasts high launch capability. The back throw move is called the Steel Pedal Drop, high in attack power. The upward throw move is the Air Inferno, which fires a blaster and launches opponents. This can also hit other opponents in the area. The downward throw attack is Stonehead, which while not particularly the strongest move, can weave into combos very effectively. Kazuya also has a special throw known as Gates of Hell, which requires inputs of down-forward, down, then down-forward again on the joystick to execute. 

Additionally, players can also perform a special Shoryuken commands for Kazuya, in which they must quickly input forward, down and then down-forward. If used with the A and B buttons and timed or strategized a certain way, players can utilize the Crouch Dash, Wind God Fist and Electric Wind God Fist moves. Other moves utilizing these types of command inputs include the Spinning Triple Kick and the Dragon Uppercut.  

Final Smash 

Kazuya’s Final Smash is called “Final Blaster,” which he releases a flurry of Devil Blaster attacks in his complete Devil form. The beam he fires spreads out like a fan, enabling him wider range to hit more opponents. However, if the first beam doesn’t hit anyone, the Final Smash will ultimately fail. 

Additionally, Kazuya’s side taunt is known as Demon’s Wrath, which features him performing a four-hit combo. While not recommended, this move can be used with overall fighting combos. 

New Stage, Music and More 

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Courtesy of Nintendo

Kazuya’s Challenger Pack will also include a brand new stage, the Mishima Dojo. The Mishima Dojo (Belonging to Heihachi, Kazuya’s father) is an enclosed space where Heihachi sits in the background and will react to player combos. The walls and ceiling of the dojo can be broken and players can then be launched off or fall off the stage. 

In addition to the stage, there will be a total of 39 new songs from the Tekken series, including “Ethno Evening” and “Desperate Struggle.” There will be songs from every Tekken title in the series, including new and original arrangements. 
Also very notably, Kazuya does not have a victory fanfare, but instead, his name will be announced as the winner and he will enact poses, which is a strong salute to the original Tekken games.

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Courtesy of Nintendo

Like all other fighters, Kazuya will have different color and outfit variations, with some inspired by other characters from Tekken series like Jin Kazama and a coat outfit, referencing his outfits and appearances throughout the Tekken series. 

Kiry’s Copy ability gives Kirby Kazuya’s hair and eye color scheme and allows him to use the Devil Blaster move. Using the Devil Blaster move will similarly see Kirby transform in a Devil form. 

Like all characters with DLC challenger packs, Kazuya will also come with his own Spirit Board consisting of characters from the Tekken series. Upgrading the Jin Kazama spirit to level 99 will upgrade him to his Devil Jin form. Additionally, for those who purchase the Heihachi Wig and Outfit Mii costume, the fighter will transform into Heihachi for his Spirit challenge. 

New Mii Fighter Costumes – ROUND 10

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Courtesy of Nintendo

The newest Mii Fighter Costumes coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with Kazuya are a Swordfighter costume for Tales of Symphonia’s Lloyd, a Swordfighter costume for The Elder Scrolls series’ Dragonborn, a Swordfighter costume for the Devil May Cry series’ Dante, and a Brawler costume for the titular protagonist of the Shantae series, Shantae. Additionally, Shantae’s Mii Fighter Costume also includes a music track from the game Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, “Burning Town”. 

Release Date and New Min Min Amiibo

Challenger Pack 10 – Kazuya and the Mii Fighter Costumes – ROUND 10 will officially launch on June 29. Those who purchased the Fighters Pass Volume 2 will receive Kazuya as a part of the DLC set. He can also be purchased individually for $5.99. The Mii Fighter Costumes will be $0.75 each. 

Additionally, a Min Min amiibo will be arriving some time in 2022. 

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Courtesy of Nintendo

With Kazuya coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the fifth challenger in the Fighters Pass Volume 2 set, Sakurai has confirmed that only one more fighter remains to be announced. The final fighter will be revealed much later on, but still some time this year. Sakurai has also stated that this will be the final character to be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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