Cloud Strife PS2 PlayStation 2 Final Fantasy VII

Console wars were once so different. They didn’t hinge on Digital Foundry face-offs or timed exclusives, but instead guest characters in Bandai Namco’s unforgettable fighter, SoulCalibur II. Those of a certain age may recall that battle lines were drawn over Link, Spawn, and Heihachi – but victory was almost within the PlayStation 2’s grasp.

While there was nothing wrong with Tekken’s premier bad Dad, he was perhaps the most uninspired of the brawler’s cameos. However, speaking as part of the 8-4 Podcast – a great listen for fans of Japan, games, and Japanese games – localisation producer Nao Higo dropped a bit of a bombshell: Cloud Strife was almost the guest character in the PS2 release.

“The deal fell through on that one – it was supposed to be someone else,” he teased. “I think it’s been long enough. So, apparently they were working out a deal with Cloud. It would have been incredible, [but] at the last minute it got canned.” And so, Heihachi stepped out of a volcano and replaced the Buster Sword with his bare fists.