Bandai Namco have finally revealed all 32 playable characters for the upcoming Tekken 8.
The final character to join Tekken 8 at launch is Reina. Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada officially unveiled newcomer Reina earlier today during an extended Tekken 8 showcase after her inclusion was leaked earlier this year.
The roster for the latest in the long running fighting series features a healthy mix of legacy characters and new faces, albeit it with some notable omissions too.
Where art thou Lei Wulong?!
I’ve clocked in thousands of hours across all of the Tekken games and smashed through all the movies and TV shows. I even got my grubby mitts on Tekken 8 during the recent Closed Beta Test and again when I visited MCM Comic Con in London. Of course this isn’t Retro Dodo’s first hands on with the game as Rob and Brandon put up their dukes at WASD x IGN Video Game Expo in September.
With years of Tekken experience under my black belt, I felt suitably placed to deliver a rundown of every combatant entering the eighth King of Iron First Tournament ahead of Tekken 8’s launch on PC, Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 on the 26th January 2024.
Get ready for the next battle!
Table of Contents
1. Alisa Bosconovich
Alisa was first introduced in Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion on the PS3 and Xbox 360. She’s an android created by Tekken’s resident genius scientist Doctor Bosconovich to resemble his deceased daughter.
While it’s kind of sweet that Doctor B. would want to recreate his lost daughter, he definitely took some liberties with her design. We’re pretty sure that the original Alisa didn’t have rocket thrusters, chainsaw arms and a detachable head that can be used as a bomb.
Alisa uses a unique fighting style in the Tekken games, utilising her mobility (thanks to those rocket thrusters) to deliver powerful attacks. She’s great at applying pressure to opponents although her forward thrusting attacks can be easily sidestepped and countered.
2. Asuka Kazama
Asuka is one of several Tekken characters that practice the Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts. Her fighting style differs from Jun and Jin Kazama however by including several moves that would serve her well during street brawls in her native Osaka.
Asuka originally joined the Tekken lineup in Tekken 5 and entered the tournament to hunt down Feng Wei after he attacked her father’s dojo and hospitalised him.
Despite failing to adminstor justice to Feng Wei in the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5, Asuka did inadvertently gain a new rival in Lili, and eventually learn of her bloodline connection to Jin Kazama.
Tekken 8 will likely see Asuka’s rivalry with Lili grow more complex, with Lili purchasing Asuka’s family dojo and teasing Asuka with her knowledge of Feng Wei and Jin Kazama.
3. Azucena Ortiz
Just like our Editor-In-Chief, Seb, Tekken 8 newcomer Azucena Ortiz is obsessed with coffee. Unlike Seb however, Azucena is a master of Mixed Martial Arts and a professional model and dancer.
Hailing from Peru, Azucena has entered the latest King of Iron First Tournament to promote her own ‘Azucena Blend’ coffee. She even has her own advertisements for Peru’s finest ground coffee pop up when she wins a fight in Tekken 8!
The Coffee Queen, a moniker she also goes by, is a speedy fighter who uses a lot of taunts during battle. During my hands on time with Azucena during the recent Closed Beta Test, she reminded me of Steve Fox in the way she ducks and weaves around the arena.
However, unlike Steve, Azucena isn’t afraid to administer a kick or two in order to win. In that respect, perhaps Azucena and Seb are more alike than I first thought!
4. Bryan Fury
Tekken’s happiest man (if you’ve heard his maniacal laughter, you know what I mean), Bryan Fury is a reanimated police detective with an overwhelming love of violence.
Bryan has been kickboxing his way through the Tekken series since he was first introduced back in Tekken 3 on the original PlayStation.
He has a hard-boiled backstory that saw him abusing his authority as a detective, with his corruption embroiling him with Hong Kong drug dealers. It’s believed that he was killed by Tekken’s Jackie Chan facsimile, Lei Wulong, before being resurrected with cybernetic augmentations.
Tekken 8 sees Bryan continue his psychotic quest for combat, with strong kicks and impressive counters. His Slash Kick being a favourite move for Bryan players looking to propel their opponents away before charging in for more punishment.
5. Claudio Serafino
Tekken 8 marks Claudio’s sophomore appearance in the series after his debut in Tekken 7. This Italian exorcist originally believed he had been drafted by Heihachi Mishima to exorcise the Devil Gene from Heihachi’s son, Kazuya, although it later transpired that Heihachi merely used Claudio for his information network to track down Kazuya and Jin.
As you can see in our screenshot above, Claudio is also capable of wielding fantastical powers in Tekken 8 with his Rage Art proving a potent turn-around mechanic.
Despite his magical abilities, Claudio can be predictable to fight against due to his limited moveset. Claudio players need to constantly mix up attacks to avoid being punished by players anticipating his advances.
6. Devil Jin
Jin Kazama’s terrifying alter-ego, Devil Jin, is set to return in Tekken 8. Jin’s inherited Devil Gene has previously overwhelmed him, to the point that the two don’t seem to acknowledge or remember the other’s actions.
Tekken 8 seems to continue this trajectory with Devil Jin’s profile on the official Tekken 8 website confirming that Devil Jin has ‘lost all reasoning due to the devil blood that controls his mind’.
Devil Jin’s moveset is strongly linked to that of his normal self however it is different enough to warrant his own spot in the roster. The most obvious difference being the addition of several laser attacks and the ability to take flight.
Players picking Devil Jin need to be patient during their combat encounters as a large portion of his moves are prominently telegraphed and easily countered. Instead, Devil Jin excels when opponents make mistakes, with his attacks delivering fearsome punishment to anyone who slips up in front of him.
7. Feng Wei
Feng Wei returns in the hope to ascend to the status of the perfect warrior, the Dragon God.
Feng’s pursuit of power has seen him focus his attention on defeating masters of every martial arts style. His progress through Tekken 7 was brought to an abrupt end however when he was bested by Wing Chun master Leroy Smith.
Despite falling to Leroy, Feng is still one of the strongest fighters among the Tekken 8 lineup with a consistently high placement on tier lists across the web.
The red-haired student of Tekken 2’s Baek Doo San, Hwoarang is a master of Taekwondo and demonstrates his proficiency with his range of impressive and powerful kicks and leg combos.
While Hwoarang’s arsenal is spectacular to look at and may excite new players watching him for the first time, he isn’t the easiest character to take control over.
To unlock Hwoarang’s true potential in Tekken involves understanding and mastering his many different stances, in addition to sacrificing defensive play for an overly aggressive playstyle.
The former street hustler considers Jin to be his closest rival and returns to the King of Iron Fist to score a meaningful win against him.
Jack-8 is the latest in a long line of ‘Jack’ fighting robots to take part in the Tekken tournaments.
Boasting unrivalled power and strength, Jack is predictably slow but with a massive damage output. Jack’s moveset is also fairly easy to read for experienced players so he’s best used as a defensive fighter that can deal substantial punishment once their opponent slips up.
One advantage of being a 7ft tall fighting machine is the exceptional reach and range the Jack robots possess. Like the previous models in the Jack series, Jack-8 comes pre-installed with devastating throws that will smash through health bars faster than a hungry weightlifter at lunch time.
10. Jin Kazama
Central to the main Tekken storyline since his debut in Tekken 3, Jin Kazama’s relationship with the majority of Tekken’s main cast can be considered complicated at best.
Harbouring the Devil Gene inherited from his father Kazuya, Jin studied Mishima Style Fighting Karate under his Grandfather, the late Heihachi Mishima after learning Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts from his mother, Jun Kazama.
Jin’s ultimate goal has been to rid the world of the Devil Gene, which has brought him into direct conflict with some of the series most powerful fighters including, Kazuya, Ogre and Azazel.
Tekken 8 appears to set the stage for a final conflict between Jin and Kazuya, with the pair expected to battle to the death for control of the Devil Gene as well as the world.
11. Jun Kazama
Despite joining the Tekken roster back in 1995’s Tekken 2, Tekken 8 will be Jun’s canonical return to the series following an extended absence from the main storyline.
Her return to the series could prove pivotal as Jin and Kazuya prepare to go toe-to-toe once more.
I got to go hands on with Jun during the recent Closed Beta Test and her moveset appears to be an expanded version of her, non-canonical, appearance in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Obviously Tekken has undergone some big gameplay changes in recent years so Jun now comes packing a range of Rage Arts and Heat attacks in addition to her existing technical moves.
12. Kazuya Mishima
Kazuya is another character, like his son Jin, to be at the centre of Tekken’s overarching storyline with deep and complex connections with almost every fighter across the series, except maybe Panda.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen those two come to blows!
After finally resolving his long-standing daddy issues in Tekken 7 (I’d probably have them too if Papa Litston decided to throw me into a volcano), Kazuya assumes full control of the G-Corporation and attempts world domination by pitting his army against that of Jin’s Mishima Zaibatsu.
Kazuya is most effective when used as a patient punisher, counter-attacking when his opponent makes a wrong move. His Electric Wind Godfist move is regarded as one of the best punishing moves in the series although it is shared with his father and his son.
While Kazuya can no longer transform into his Devil form at will, he can still become the purple skinned monster during his Heat state in Tekken 8.
The conflict between Kazuya and Jin will form the staging ground for Tekken 8, and the results of their clash may have long-lasting implications for the series moving forward.
King is a professional wrestler from Mexico and possesses a surprisingly big heart for a man that grapples people while wearing a jaguar mask.
For when King isn’t delivering suplexes and pile drivers, he’s caring for orphans and acts as the primary patron for the orphanage where he was raised.
This jaguar-faced juggernaut has appeared in every Tekken game in one form or another and is iconic amongst fans of the series.
His attacks, unsurprisingly, take influence from real world wrestling techniques and grapples, with his chain grabs being capable of decimating opponents that fail to execute a grab counter or reversal in time.
Let’s address the bear in the room – Kuma is a bear. His name, literally means ‘bear’.
The Kuma that appears in Tekken 8 is the son of the original Kuma, who passed away between Tekken 2 and Tekken 3. Both Kuma’s were extremely loyal to Heihachi Mishima and acted as his bodyguards before his death at the end of Tekken 7.
Kuma still believes that Heihachi could be alive somewhere so he dons his masters attire and enters the King of Iron First Tournament 8 looking for answers.
His enormous stature (on account of being a bear) helps Kuma to dominate fights with ranged attacks that make him particularly deadly to smaller opponents.
Kuma’s moveset has similarities with that of the Jack robots but brings some originality thanks to his Hunting Bear Stance. Once on all fours in his hunting stance, Kuma can transition into various moves that can easily bewilder unsuspecting players, leading them to their grisly demise.
15. Lars Alexandersson
The Lion of The Rebellion, Lars Alexandersson leads the rebel army against Kazuya Mishima’s G-Corporation forces in their quest for world domination.
Lars is the illegitimate son of Heihachi and has formed a strong bond with Jin as the pair set their sights on dismantling Kazuya’s army.
Lars practices Tekken Forces Martial Arts and is one of the most versatile fighters appearing in Tekken 8.
His fast attacks are suited to new players looking to jump straight into the action and his moveset is simple to learn. Lars also has a variety of moves that are perfect for smashing open walls and floors in stages, and Tekken 8 appears to feature plenty of destructible environments, at least from the matches we’ve played so far.
Lars is extremely potent against airborne enemies with several of his stances allowing him to capitalise on opportunities when opponents have left the ground.
16. Lee Chaolan
Lee Chaolan is the adopted son of Heihachi Mishima and was forced into rivalries with Kazuya from an early age.
Like his sibling, Lee was trained by Heihachi in Mishima Style Fighting Karate, although his appearances in the series before Tekken 4 would suggest that he was a clone of Marshall Law, with several moves shared between the two.
Lee’s greatest strength is his ability to provoke attacks using lightning fast pokes and jabs that also work well to interrupt opponents mid-combo.
The Silver-Haired Demon happens to be my main, so watch out if you see me enter the arena with Lee! I love his Hitman stance that can quickly transition into a range of explosive kicks, jabs or combos but can also allow for a fast escape if pressured from enemies.
17. Leo Kliesen
Leo first joined the series in Tekken 6 and offers a balanced fighting experience for players. They’re an excellent all-rounder and one of the easiest characters to pick up and play.
Leo is the first character in the Tekken series to exclusively use the Baji Quan fighting style, and this is reflected in their rapid elbow strikes and ability to deliver short-range pummeling.
Newcomers to the series may also prefer to use a character like Leo because their moves require little recovery time, meaning that even if an attack doesn’t connect or is blocked, they won’t be left feeling vulnerable for very long.
After the death of their mother, Leo is determined to uncover the truth behind her demise, believing that Kazuya Mishima may have been responsible.
18. Leroy Smith
The Grandmaster of Drip, Leroy Smith returns for his second King of Iron First Tournament after joining the series as a DLC character in Tekken 7.
Despite being one of the newer faces in the Tekken universe, Leroy has proven popular with fans and even featured prominently in the excellent Netflix animated series Tekken Bloodline.
Leroy, like several other fighters, had entered the tournament to settle a score with Heihachi Mishima. With Heihachi gone, Leroy turns his attention to Kazuya, with an aim to restore peace to his native New York by taking out the G-Corporation leader.
Leroy is a master of Wing Chun, a martial art that uses parries and counters to turn the energy of incoming attacks back at opponents. In Tekken 8, players can expect to utilise Leroy’s speed to deliver multiple quick blows to their adversaries.
If you weren’t already sold on giving Leroy a go, he is always accompanied by his pit-bull, Sugar, who pops up during his fight introductions and in his winning poses, as well as occasionally joining the fray to perform special attacks.
19. Emilie ‘Lili’ De Rochefort
The heiress to the Rochefort oil empire, Lili is going to be the prime target for protesters to cover in orange paint during Tekken 8.
Lili had been fighting behind her father’s back to try and disrupt the Mishima Zaibatsu, who were encroaching on her family’s oil fields, but now her attention is fixed firmly upon her rivalry with Asuka.
Lili’s playstyle benefits from her long legs that enable her to inflict damage while remaining out of range of smaller characters.
Tekken 8’s new Heat system, which promotes aggressive play, will see Lili players using her strong yet simple combos to apply continuous pressure during rounds.
20. Ling Xiaoyu
What’s not to love about Xiaoyu? Ever since her first appearance in Tekken 3, this diminutive yet nimble fighter has been a solid choice on every character select screen.
Ling’s moveset is full of flowing sweeps and elegant palm attacks that are beautiful to look despite their low damage output. Experienced players will control the stage with Xiaoyu and use her speed and flips to steer the course of battle.
She attended High School with Jin Kazama and has yearned to be near him ever since. Her entrance into the King of Iron Fist Tournament 8 is just another stop on her journey to be close to him.
If Ling’s quest for Jin isn’t endearing enough, her best friend is a giant panda. Cute but deadly, Xiaoyu is a fantastic pick for players with time to master a rewarding combatant.
21. Marshall Law
In a game series that features fighting robots, zombies and space ninjas, perhaps the least subtle element in all of the Tekken universe is the Bruce Lee homage that is Marshall Law.
While Tekken 8 beefs Law up to the max with bulging muscles and throbbing veins, the influence of Bruce Lee has never been more prominent. His latest design even includes the chest scratches that Lee sustains at the end of Enter the Dragon.
Law’s mannerisms and moveset also echo Lee’s most famous on-screen antics, with creative flourishes like the screams and the little nose flick all adding to the superb recreation of one of cinema’s greatest treasures.
While he’s a top tier fighter, he’s never been financially stable and his appearance in Tekken 8 is undoubtedly driven by the need for prize money to keep his failing dojo afloat, rather than for any personal vendettas.
22. Nina Williams
Silent Assassin Nina has been with the Tekken series since the very beginning and holds the distinction of appearing in every single Tekken game. Her enduring popularity also saw her star in her own spin-off game, 2005’s Death By Degrees.
She currently operates as Kazuya’s second in command within the G-Corporation and employs her master of the lethal arts and experience as a contract killer to further his quest for world domination.
Much like pro-wrestler King, Nina comes fully equipped with chain throws that can wreak havoc on players that don’t know how to deal with them.
She also possess immense strength and above average speed in her attacks. She’s not the easiest character to control for newcomers but she can be deadly in the hands of anyone willing to put the time in.
In addition to her martial arts prowess, Tekken 8 allows Nina to use her twin pistols in battle, although thankfully, they only deal chip damage and don’t immediately end every fight with a gruesome headshot!
Her sister and arch-nemesis Anna, is not currently confirmed to appear in Tekken 8 although she may arrive later as a DLC addition.
Ling Xiaoyu’s pet and best friend, Panda started her Tekken career alongside Ling in Tekken 3 and has become a staple of the beat ’em ups roster ever since.
Ever the loyal companion, Panda has entered the latest Tekken tournament in support of Xiaoyu as she continues on her quest to find Jin Kazama.
While Panda occupies her own slot in the expansive Tekken lineup, she still shares a large portion of her moves with Tekken’s original bear brawler, Kuma.
It goes without saying then, that Panda, like Kuma, suffers from short range kicking abilities but is capable of powerful range attacks thanks to her long arms… do pandas have arms?! Surely that should read ‘thanks to her long front legs’.
Arms or legs aside, Panda uses the same Kuma Shinken fighting style and Hunting Bear Stance that was popularised by her grizzly counterpart to catch opponents off-guard.
24. Paul Phoenix
Another legacy character that can claim to have appeared in every Tekken game, Paul Phoenix is a judo master from America who is close friends with, and the sparring partner of, Marshall Law.
Paul has come close to winning the tournaments on several occasions but has been repeatedly thwarted by his bizarre rivalry with Kuma. Despite striving to be ‘the strongest in the universe’, a phrase Paul regularly shouts during his matches, he’s so far failed to bring home the grand prize.
Perhaps his most iconic move is the Burning Fist. After a short wind up Paul unleashes a devasting and powerful mid-height punch to his opponent. In earlier games in the series the Burning Fist could deplete an entire health bar if it connected cleanly, although it has received a nerf to it’s impact over time.
While the majority of the marketing for Paul has shown him sporting a new floppy barnet, you can see from our screenshot above that Paul Phoenix purists have nothing to worry about as his infamously ridiculous haircut from previous games is available as an alternative costume.
Raven joined the Tekken series back in Tekken 5 alongside Asuka Kazama and Feng Wei, and makes his return in Tekken 8 after being sidelined by Master Raven in Tekken 7.
As a secret agent for the United Nations, we don’t know a huge amount about Raven but it’s presumed that he’s trying to foster some form of peace between the warring factions of the Tekken universe.
Raven is a notoriously difficult character to use and this doesn’t change with his reappearance in Tekken 8. From my hands on time with the ninjitsu master, I failed to win a single match! His new abilities that allow him to summon clones of himself are impressive to look at but failed to secure a victory for me during the recent Closed Beta Test.
The final character to be revealed during today’s Tekken 8 Showcase is Reina. We also got our first look at her stage, ‘Secluded Training Ground’.
Reina’s unveiling came at the end was of the EVO Tekken 8 Showcase. Moments before her reveal, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada teased the EVO panel by saying ‘I have one comment for you. Heihachi Mishima is completely dead’.
While Heihachi may be no more, Reina demonstrated her proficiency with several of Heihachi’s most famous moves.
Her gameplay trailer included matchups against Jin and Kazuya with the pair of them questioning Reina’s identify before being absolutely decimated by the mysterious newcomer’s ‘Purple Lightning’.
It has long been rumoured that Reina is actually Heihachi’s secret daughter. While today’s showcase neither confirmed nor denied this, her gameplay reveal along with her taunting of Jin and Kazuya certainly adds fuel to this theory.
One of the key concept’s behind Reina’s design is duality, and she was designed by Bayonetta designer, Mari Shimazaki. Reina appears to be a fluid yet powerful character and I can’t wait to enter battle with her when Tekken 8 launches in the New Year.
27. Sergei Dragunov
Sergei has been dubbed ‘The White Angel of Death’ by his Spetsnaz comrades and it’s easy to see why. Dragunov is a stoic and ghostly figure that rarely speaks and is dedicated entirely to his work.
Players choosing to enter the tournament with Sergei Dragunov can expect a character that excels in reversals and defensive play. He is unique in that he is the only Tekken fighter that can execute a reversal from a crouching position.
Dragunov is a deadly adversary in the arena and players fighting against him must pay close attention to his moves as several of his attacks have similar wind up animations that can be altered on the fly to catch opponents unaware.
G-Corporation’s expansion into the Middle East may have been responsible for the death of Shaheen’s childhood best friend, who he had sworn to protect.
Like several other members of the cast, Shaheen enters the King of Iron Fist Tournaments to gain access to Kazuya Mishima. Unlike everybody else who’s looking for the head of G-Corporation leader, Shaheen is a firm believer in second chances and may just be looking for closure and a chance to forgive Kazuya for the atrocities he has committed.
Shaheen is an expert in Close Quarters Combat (CQC) and is capable of aggravating opponents with his array of counters and jabs.
As another relatively new fighter, he has been designed to be easy for newcomers to get to grips with, although his weak low game may put some people off.
29. Steve Fox
British boxing champ Steve Fox is unique among the Tekken elite for having practically no kicks in his arsenal. Instead of leg sweeps or drop kicks (which are definitely not permitted by the British boxing governing body) Steve will bob and weave with fancy footwork to rival the great Muhammed Ali.
Steve’s absence of kicks may be seen as a weakness by some but his fisticuffs more than compensate for his lack of lower body attacks. His punches are some of the strongest in the game and can be easily chained together to create cataclysmic combos.
Due to his punch-heavy style, Steve also becomes a good defensive choice against fighters like King, who favour lots of throws, as his punch inputs can often inadvertently break attempted grapples.
Born from Heihachi’s evil experiments, Steve is the biological child of Nina Williams from when she was undergoing cyrosleep along with her sister, Anna. Unfortunately for Steve, Nina is unwilling to accept him as her son and considers him nothing more than an inconvenience.
30. Victor Chevalier
Victor was the penultimate character to be revealed in Tekken 8’s long marketing campaign leading up the game’s launch on the 26th January 2024.
This silver fox is a French United Nations operative that makes his series debut in Tekken 8. Victor makes a great first impression with his suave sophistication and penchant for fine suits and designer sunglasses.
From his announcement trailer it appears that Victor will control in a similar fashion to Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis, from when he appeared as a DLC character in Tekken 7. Mr. Chevalier wields a sword in what his trailer describes as ‘refined violence’.
Confident and capable, Victor doesn’t only bring a sword to the King of Iron Fist Tournament 8, but also makes use of a small dagger and a handgun in his moveset.
Tekken’s resident space ninja is our next Tekken 8 character and is once again ready for battle. His return in Tekken 8 means, along with Nina and Paul, he is one of the few fighters to appear in every game in the series.
As is to be expected by now, Yoshimitsu has donned a brand new look for the tournament, this time losing his squid like appearance from Tekken 7 and adopting an aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place going toe-to-toe with the Power Rangers.
Yoshimitsu has one of the most interesting arsenal of moves of any character in Tekken. His multiple stances enable him to keep opponents guessing and his ability to heal makes him a crafty fighter to go up against.
Another sword based fighter like newcomer Victor, Yoshimitsu can employ his blade in numerous ways, including in his flea stance, where he can pogo around the arena like a monstrous Scrooge McDuck.
Zafina was confirmed to be returning to the Tekken series alongside several other fighters in the recent ‘Return of Legends’ trailer.
Zafina is a Middle-Easten astrologist that was tasked with protecting a sacred tomb that held the demonic Azazel captive in Tekken 6. After Azazel’s defeat at the hands of Lars and Jin, Zafina sealed the demon spirit within herself.
As her demonic guest threatens to return, Zafina looks to destroy Kazuya and Jin, to break the prophecy of her ancestors and save the world from annihilation.
Zafina offers players a variety of stances to use and can be exceptionally unpredictable to fight against. In a similar fashion to the criminally absent Eddy Gordo, Zafina’s unorthodox movements become her biggest strength and overcome her otherwise unwieldly nature.
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.