10 interesting facts about Mortal Kombat

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The intriguing realm of Mortal Kombat is one that has always been steeped in mystery and absurdity. Ever since the release of the original Mortal Kombat in 1992, the franchise has paved the bloody path for video game violence. Now more than a decade later we see the release of Mortal Kombat X, the 10th major title in the series and one that is expected to only further cement the MK franchise as one of the best in the fighting genre.

Let us dig into the bizarre history of this critically acclaimed fighter. See how much of the series was shaped by rumours and accidents, making it a game of both the developers and the people.

The Animality

Animality

The Mortal Kombat franchise has always been known for its brutal finishing moves. One of the most gruesomely awesome finishers was the “Animality”, a finishing move that was unfortunately only featured in some of the early Mortal Kombat titles. Instead of just ripping your opponent apart with your bare hands (because that’s obviously boring), you had the ability to turn into a vicious creature before inflicting your malevolent form of justice. The really interesting part is that the “Animality” was inspired by fan rumours. It was during the era of Mortal Kombat II and rumour had it that there was a finishing move (the Animality) so illusive that, well, nobody had yet performed it. The MK creators found the idea so entertaining that “Animality” finisher was featured in the next three titles.

The Advent of Glitch Ninja Ermac

^783F5E5ED1CDC9E2F614F2F3D7F6031A12006891E6CFC54CD3^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Ermac is another product of fan rumours. In the early days of Mortal Kombat, the developers cut their production costs by creating a single character model and painting their clothes in different colours, hence the similarities between Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile. Back in the development stages of the game, all the characters were originally painted in red and they would receive their respective colours in-game through a method known as “palette-swapping”. Now if you and your friends were playing one of the early instalments of Mortal Kombat for hours on end, there was a possibility that a glitch would surface that converted the ninja back to the original red. This was usually accompanied by the words “Er Mac” that stood for “Error Macro”, the name of the glitch that caused the colours to revert. Naturally this sparked rumours of a secret character, Ermac the red ninja. Once again the Mortal Kombat creators were amused and inspired by a fan rumour and Ermac was featured as a playable character in the very next title. Just comes to show how being in touch with your fans can pay off in the long run.

The Crow would have acted as Johnny Cage

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Brandon Lee

In the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, actor Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) was chosen to play the role of Johnny Cage. He was set to start filming immediately following the completion of The Crow. Unfortunately, Lee was accidentally shot only eight days before the completion of the film. The film crew’s lack of gun knowledge led to a live bullet being fired from the “prop gun” which hit Lee in the abdomen and caused internal bleeding. He was rushed to the nearest hospitable but sadly his life could not be saved. It was then eventually Linden Ashby who replaced Brandon Lee as Johnny Cage in the Mortal Kombat feature film.

Mortal Kombat originally intended to be Bloodsport

Bloodsport

The Mortal Kombat creators, Ed Boon and John Tobias, originally intended to create a game based on the John Claude van Damme movie, Bloodsport. But then the deal to acquire the license fell through. Fortunately, this didn’t stop Boon and Tobias from creating a fighting game and eventually Mortal Kombat was born. Another interesting fact is that the character Johnny Cage is actually based on John Claude van Damme himself, a low-budget actor with some nifty martial arts skills.

Mortal Kombat responsible for the ESRB rating

ESRB

The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating is an American and Canadian rating system that was set-up to apply age ratings to video games. The formation of this board was thanks to none other than Mortal Kombat. In the early 90’s there weren’t many games that dabbled in violence. It was the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario Kart. Then along came the original Mortal Kombat, awakening our inner bloodlust and treating us to cacophony of red soaked violence. Naturally some people’s world of rainbows and fairy dust was shattered when they first laid eyes upon the gruesome “Fatality” and within the next few years (1995), and after yet another MK title release, the ESRB was created to regulate who was exposed to what content. Thank god that wasn’t something my parents knew anything about.

Jax as Kurtis Stryker

Jax concept art

The character Jax was originally meant to be included in the roster for the original Mortal Kombat under the name of “Kurtis Stryker”. But then Mortal Kombat creator, Ed Boon, felt that the game was lacking a female personality and “Kurtis” was then replaced by Sonja. Jax eventually made into the second instalment of the series as Sonya’s partner and the name Kurtis Stryker was later given to a police character in Mortal Kombat III.

Mortal Pong-bat

Pong

In 1993’s Mortal Kombat II, if two players played 250 consecutive matches against each other in a single session they would unlock a game of Pong in between round one and two. The game of Pong would last until one of the players reached seven points and then they would be returned to the match to continue with round 2.

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A first for Mortal Kombat – Juggling

Air juggling

Though it was intended to be a feature in Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, juggling was ripped out, leaving just a hint at the future of fighting games. Mortal Kombat was the first game to implement something known as the “Juggling Concept”. This refers to the fact that when players are knocked into the air, they can’t defend themselves and they’re vulnerable to more damage. Each successful hit will also keep the player in the air, further opening him/her up to more combo damage. This is a feature that can be seen in many fighting games today and interestingly enough, John Tobias admitted that it this was another accident that led to a Mortal Kombat innovation.

Mortal Kombat wasn’t intended to be a success

Video game image #135458

The original Mortal Kombat is a skeleton compared to the franchise’s recent titles. It boasted a mere 7 characters, had only a handful of stages to choose from and was developed in only 10 months. This is not so surprising considering that its developers received a very low budget from Midway and it was created by only 4 people. There was Ed Boon the programmer, John Tobias and John Vogel were the graphics artists and Dan “Toasty” Forden the sound designer. Who would have thought that four dudes on a minimal budget would create one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time?

Bonus Facts! – Mortal Kombat is a Guinness Book of World Records Veteran

Congratulations dear reader! You’ve received a bonus fact. This entry is actually a few facts in one (you lucky bastard), and it all has to do with Mortal Kombat’s knack for breaking world records such as these:

  • It is the first 3D fighting game to offer online play between two opponents over the internet
  • It is the first one-on-one fighting game to use digitized sprites as characters, meaning that it used graphics obtained via digitized footage of real actors to portray characters rather than hand drawn animations.
  • It has the longest running voice actor in video games. This honour goes to the Mortal Kombat creator, Ed Boon, who has voiced the character of Scorpion in every entry in game’s series.
  • To this day, the Mortal Kombat movie (1995) is the still the highest grossing feature film that is based on a beat ‘em up video game. Admittedly, there hasn’t been much competition since then.

Last Updated: April 14, 2015

  • Umar

    Hi Wiehahn !….Welcomes to Lazygamer, the most unethical website in the world.
    Also………….Why the hell is Dawid in the header lol

    • Captain JJ the flash noob

      Don’t LIE. You liar. I’ll kill you!
      We’re very ethical! ;P

      • Brady miaau

        Well, I am. I am sure you, like most people, think you are. But, logically, if I am ethical, you, be definition, cannot be. Sorry, mate. But ethics are set by my standard and no other person meets it. So you are, by all my definitions, unethical. One of my cats (the one in the avatar), funnily enough, easily meets the standard of ethicalness, as set and defined by me.

        Hi. If you read that, I pity you. Have an ethical day, then.

        • Admiral Chief asked for this

          SENSE, U NO MAKE IT!

          • Brady miaau

            No, no. I do make sense. I define sense, I make sense. I AM sense. Also, if you cut me do you not bleed?

            Hmm, funny mood today, this young man is in.

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Walker chestnut laptop painting grass pen cheesecurl?

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            You know it’s unethical to drink at work, right?

          • Hammersteyn

            Also to poop 10 minutes at a time, but I do both anyways.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            lol

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            That’s when work stopped being fun.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Haha

          • Brady miaau

            I do not drink anything more than tea.

            too much Oolong tea can make a bit light-headed, perhaps. But have not had in a good long while

          • Hammersteyn

            If I cut you I’m pretty sure you’ll bleed, unless you’re Batman

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Haha

          • Brady miaau

            Maybe. I am not Batman, do not be silly. Batman wishes he was me.

            Also, if you cut me, you will bleed. I hired Batman, to make sure of that. Bleeding is not dying.

            . Also, as an aside, did you know a lot of the time the person with knife will cut both when attacking? Knifes are not so easy to attack with.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Statistically, according to your avatar, there’s a bigger chance of you being a villain.

          • Brady miaau

            According to my Avatar? How so? Intriguing….

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Cat characters. Not as a genus, or species, the specific animal.
            Like Catwoman.

          • Brady miaau

            Yes

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            If we’re to go with species then you’ve got Black Panther and pretty much the entire crew from Thundercats though. 😉

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            There is however Catman. Which is pretty much Batman, but in cat form. But he’s a bit strange.

          • Hammersteyn

            Catwoman?

        • Captain JJ the flash noob

          A cat with ethics. Those are rare.

          • Brady miaau

            Ah, but he does. He does not kill without need, he does not cause trouble, he ensures the safety of my daughter.

            Siamese cats, on the other hand, are super sweet and friendly and all that. But coupled with that happiness and friendliness is a definite mean streak, just for the sake of it sometimes.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Haha. Excellent.

          • Brady miaau

            and true

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            I love cats

          • Brady miaau

            Me too. Seriously. I want to go get a Norwegian Forest Cat, when my little one is a little older. Get as kitten, the two will bond very nicely. I like that.

            Will cost a bit of money, but I think it is worth it. I spend money on my cats, other peope spend money on other things that are important to them. I often get judged when people hear how much a pedigree animal can cost. Tough luck, I buy for breed specific traits, it makes a different to me.

            https://www.google.co.za/search?q=norwegian+forest+cat+personality&newwindow=1&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=1PcsVfLoH7ON7Aa6qIHoDg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=955

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            I have no problem with that. I’m very much an animal person, though I’d never get a pedigree dog. They’re too messed up. Cats somehow don’t seem to have that problem, strangely.

          • Brady miaau

            Yes. It seems some of the dog breeds have a lot more problems, like hip and knee displasia and so forth. Weird. There are some cat breeds with problems, like Persians can have a heart defect (happened to us) but the breeders try to breed that out now, so the percentage chance of that happening is becoming less and less. Also, genetic testing and so forth is becoming more and more common,

            I also get asked why I do not support a shelter and take a kitten from there. Simple. Feline Aids. not going through that again. Take in one, it infects the others and in six months the cats all start dying, bar one of my cats. That will not happen again.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Yes. A friend of mine had that problem with their cats. It’s actually quite terrible.
            My fiancé worked with dogs, and the horror stories of pedigree dogs and breeders is shocking. So we only take in shelter dogs and sadly she’s quite allergic to cats, so there’s no luck for me getting one 🙁 I would’ve loved a Scottish fold or a munchkin.

          • Brady miaau

            Well, you see my Scottish fold as Avatar. Only two breeders (Registered, I mean), that I know of. I have bought two now, one sadly no longer with us.

            Also, if your young lady (wife, soon) takes in a cat, she will suffer for about a month and then get used to THAT cat only. Seen it happen with two different people.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Oh yes, can’t miss that avatar.
            That’s interesting about the allergy though. Very. Something to consider for sure. Thanks.

          • Brady miaau

            well, I am not a doctor or anything, but yeah something for the future

    • Wiehahn

      Yo Umar, thanks! Probably relevant to note that this was a once off piece. Glad my Mortal Kombat article (somehow) is inspiring such heated debates on ethics, knife fighting and illusive bananas. Also my maths is terrible. The bonus fact is, in fact, not a bonus fact at all. But at least it is a multiple fact fact. That makes sense right?

  • Admiral Chief asked for this

    Fact #11
    MK > SF

    • Ryanza

      Witcher 3 fist fighting > MK > SF

      • Admiral Chief asked for this

        No, you are wrong.
        Let me help you.

        Witcher 3 fist fighting
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        MK
        >
        SF

  • Admiral Chief asked for this

    Dat Ermac!

  • Hammersteyn

    MK also had the best music video in my opinion.

    • Your opinion is MUTE!

      • Admiral Chief asked for this

        RinceThisMod, then put on the spin cycle

      • Captain JJ the flash noob

        So he’s like Gordon Freeman?

        • OMG! You answered me, which makes you the second person to. Meaning 2 + 1 = 3 Half Life Confirmed! *sadbastards

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            I take it you have never played any of them, which is quite sad

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            He’s trying to grasp the magic of Half Life.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            Why would you need to confirm Half Life? Everyone knows it exists. :/

        • Admiral Chief asked for this

          Nah, he doesn’t have glasses

      • Hammersteyn

        Jeez has Trevor been that hard on you today?

        • Only when I beg 0_O

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Woof?

          • Hammersteyn

            You beg for abuse? Stop reading 50 shades O_o

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            I take it he is the submissive then?

          • Hammersteyn

            Well If I had to pick between Rince and Trevor.

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            …I’d pick jumping off a cliff

          • Hammersteyn

            hahahaha

        • Admiral Chief asked for this

          Hehehe

      • *moot

        • Admiral Chief asked for this

          Oh snap, corrected by Geoffus

        • Captain JJ the flash noob

          Finish him!

        • Sageville

          *Ugh

  • Who is this Wiehahn?! You can’t keep changing things LG, people need stability and Mountain Dew in their lives! Nice feature 🙂

    • Weanerdog

      I don’t believe he is from Cape Town either, I never saw him at any of the lagz meet ups.

      • Captain JJ the flash noob

        Neither does the Banana. But his existence is still in question.

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          Banana is always there, he’s the flickering movement spotted out the corner of your eye but when you turn to look…

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            O_o

        • Weanerdog

          Banana is always there as that bit of rogue Java Script residing in the corners of your tech.

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            He is actually active on the site, under another alias……..

          • Weanerdog

            Well aren’t you Mr Cryptic today

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Oh, it’s not just today.

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Lol, I feel it is just not my place to unmask him, even though I know

        • Weanerdog

          Seriously though I have heard that Banana does not join us based on religious grounds and having met you lot I can see his point. Also why are you a flash noob?

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            That is a wonderful question, I hope he gives you the correct answer! (since I know the facts behind this!)

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Wait for Admiral’s response on flash noob. I’m sure he can’t wait to answer you

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            The honour is all yours…

          • Weanerdog

            I hope that it does not involve you starting a new hobby where you expose yourself to passersby.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            No. Way more embarrassing.
            I turned on my pc and couldn’t figure out why it said “No operating system found”
            Turned out I had a flash drive plugged in.

          • Weanerdog

            Let me guess. You only figured out the problem after entering into the bios and changing the boot sequence after numerous reboots.

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            No. Admiral just asked me to check if a flash was in.
            Now I regret ever asking him, he’ll never make me forget it ;P

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            NEVARRRRR

          • Weanerdog

            That kind of instant knowledge usually comes from personal experience.

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Quite, we have a few people here at my office who give me grey hairs

          • Weanerdog

            Yeah sure it was a “colleagues” computer

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Calling them colleagues makes it sound as if I actually care about them

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            Hehe

        • Rock789

          The Banana doesn’t exist – he is AI unleashed upon the internet by LG. Hence, he has no physical body…

    • Brady miaau

      He writes well.

      • Admiral Chief asked for this

        Dunno, looks like typing to me…

        • Brady miaau

          Sigh. Yes. typing.

          Write: Defined

          verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or(Archaic) writ; writing.
          1.
          to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface ofsome material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means;inscribe:
          Write your name on the board.
          2.
          to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
          3.
          to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing :
          to write a check.
          4.
          to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.:
          to write two copies of a letter.
          5.
          to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down:
          to write a letter to a friend.
          6.
          to produce as author or composer:
          to write a sonnet; to write a symphony.
          7.
          to trace significant characters on, or mark or cover with writing.

          • You don’t have to put up with his shit. Bloody comedians, comedians everywhere. 😛

          • Brady miaau

            Yes. Cue the montage music as preparations are made

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Maffmateeshian

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        And he uses Geoff maths. There’re only 9 facts, unless the bonus facts count as the 10th.

        • IT COUNTS

          • Admiral Chief asked for this

            Maffs, you haff it in skewl?

          • Captain JJ the flash noob

            “Suddenly” it counts.

        • Sageville

          …he did it wrongly!

          No mention of: “Number 5 will restore your faith in humanity”.

          Theyre being no ethics in jurnalizm!

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            I watched a reliable source on Youtube say that he saw on Reddit some guy said that he purposefully didn’t number them to try hide the lack of numbers!

  • Very hospitable…

  • Great article, however one can argue that “Animalities” first showed up in MK2 with Lui Kang turning into a Dragon as one of his “fatalities”. Lui Kang was the only one with this ability.

    • One could argue that, but they’d be wrong. 😛

  • Sky Dragan

    Can anyone tell me which is better to play PS4 or Xbox 360 i am having difficulty in choosing one.

  • chimera_85

    I don’t even like MK anymore and this was interesting, but then again, I loved this as a kid and now I find them to be seriously boring and monotonous.

  • B4d R0b0t

    Just a small note on the death of Brandon Lee, please excuse me if it had been mentioned below. His death was not caused by a live bullet. In short what happened was the scene were the crow fights the gangsters on the long table and they all shoot at him was running over, the production team had hired less armourers then needed to keep the weapons clean and there was a build up of gun powder and small pieces of the blank shell had accumulated in the barrel of one of the weapons. If you have ever seen a blank it is crimped at the top and these crimped areas break off when the explosive leaves the casing pushing the crimped area outwards. Typically on a well funded set guns are cleaned aftet each shot as this is a well know problem, crew usually stand behind perspex or plywood to avoid getting hurt from.this debris. Brandon Lee bled out on the operating table from many small deep wounds to the abdomen and was killed by what is silently known as the main cause of death on the film industry, bad planning, small budgets and over worked crew. Really sad story.

  • Charl van der Merwe

    “The intriguing realm of Mortal Kombat is one that has always been steeped in mystery and absurdity. Ever since the release of the original Mortal Kombat in 1992, the franchise has paved the bloody path for video game violence. Now more than a decade later we see the release of Mortal Kombat X”

    hehe, wouldn’t it be more than 2 decades later? 😉

  • Ndivhuwo Mogashoa

    “John” Claude Van Damme. Really?

  • Nice read! Awesome article!

  • NoobSaibot

    Man I can only imagine how awesome Brandon Lee would have been as Johnny Cage.

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