Tekken fans pester developer to add a Waffle House stage

Get ready for the next battle… at the Waffle House. For a while now, Tekken fans on social media have been pestering Katsuhiro Harada, longtime Tekken producer, to add a Waffle House battle stage. All the posts seemingly got to Harada, who finally asked, “Why?” The resulting thread on X was a neat bit of American / Japanese cultural exchange in which fans explained the deep lore of the Waffle House franchise and why it’d make for a fitting addition to the King of the Iron Fist Tournament.

Waffle House is a breakfast diner known for being always full and always open; it’s the place you go at 2AM when you’re drunk and hungry. And because it remains open rain or shine or worse, feeding families and the inebriated alike, it’s developed a bit of a reputation for hosting knock-down, drag-out fights that often go viral on social media. In one famous clip that’s often used as the example for why the Waffle House is not a place for the faint of heart, a Waffle House employee is seen expertly deflecting a chair thrown at them by an angry patron. 

In Harada’s X thread, one commenter explained the Waffle House phenomena quite succinctly: “Overworked and underpaid drunk Southerners with communication issues and insomnia consume fried sugary snacks in a confined space with bad lighting and uncomfortable seating attended to by questionable customer service reps with military grade combat skills.”

A Waffle House is good for two things only: eating and fighting. And since Tekken features stages from all over the world, corresponding to its characters’ nationalities, a Waffle House would be perfect to represent America.

Harada appeared to take the suggestion seriously, responding to the many posts with enthusiasm grounded in legal realities.

“Thanks for the explanation guys,” he posted. “However, I think you are missing one important point. The restaurant has both the trademark and the rights to the restaurant, so if the restaurant chain’s headquarters refuses to accept my proposal, it will not happen.”

So while Harada might be in the process of securing permission to feature the restaurant Anthony Bourdain once described as “better than The French Laundry,” the likelihood of such happening is more remote than your chance of winning a fight against a Waffle House employee.

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