Tekken 8’s roster continues to expand, with the return of Hwoarang, the fiery, arrogant, and impulsive taekwondo master. He joins a cast of characters that includes Emilie ‘Lili’ De Rochefort, Paul Phoenix, Leroy Smith, and Asuka Kazama.
Hwoarang has always been portrayed as a character who values his fighting prowess and is often found bragging about his abilities in the ring. Despite his rebellious nature and disdain for authority, he shows deep respect for his master, Baek Do-san.
The driving force behind Hwoarang’s journey in the series has always been his rivalry with Jin Kazama. Initially starting with a tie they fought before Tekken 3, this rivalry has evolved into something beyond just proving his superior fighting skills. Throughout the series, Hwoarang often appears disinterested and dissatisfied in everyday life, even after major victories. It is the prospect of another difficult battle with Jane that rekindles his spirit and draws him away from his routine life.
Although Hwoarang is usually seen as self-centered, he has also shown emotional depth around those he truly cares about. This side of him is especially evident in his interactions with his master, as seen in Tekken Tag Tournament 2’s end scene.
As a character, Hwoarang is recognized for his taekwondo techniques, which focus on quick, fluid kicks that can easily overwhelm his opponents. His style is more in line with the martial techniques of the International Taekwondo Federation than the more famous World Taekwondo styles. Hwoarang’s motion capture is performed by seventh ITF black belt and lightweight champion Hwang Soo-il.
Hwoarang’s aggressive playing style is highlighted by his moves, which enable him to charge into opponents with a series of attacks. However, while his kicks offer impressive damage and range, his speed is very average, and his movements are prone to shocks. His punches are best used as quick jabs or to maintain aerial maneuvers, and should be used strategically due to minimal initial damage.
Despite his flashy and agile movements, Hwoarang is still one of the most complex characters in the Tekken series. His multiple turnarounds in his stances and his extensive movie list make him a challenge for the uninitiated. However, those who master his aggressive playing style and constant pressure tactics can turn Hwarang into a formidable opponent, despite his limited defensive abilities.
Although the release date has not been announced yet, the game is set to launch on PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X, and Series S platforms.