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The secrets of Mortal Kombat's fatalitites revealed at C2E2

By Josh Weiss
Mortal Kombat Sub Zero fatality


The Mortal Kombat cast panel at this year's C2E2 got violent (figuratively speaking, of course) when the discussion turned toward fatalities, the battle-finishing moves that involve hearts and spines being ripped out of the bodies of their owners.

When asked about some of the elements that went unused for the original game in 1992, Daniel Pesina (Johnny Cage and Sub-Zero) was more than happy to talk about how each character almost had three fatalities apiece.

"Actually, there [are] a lot of moves in MK1 that came out later on through the MK series, so it kind of ignited and helped the series," he said. "Each character in MK1 probably had at least three fatalities, three different ways to end things."

Another idea that never made it into the flagship title was the concept of tag teams, which came from a bout of goofing around from Carlos Pesina (Raiden) and Richard Divizio (Kano).

"You see Rich riding on Carlos' back and they were goofing around, saying, 'We want a tag team,'" Daniel added. "Even in [MK] 1, they wanted to have a secret way where, all of a sudden, the one person would be fighting two people like in the kung fu movies going over each other ... I hear that [in later games] they have tag teams or switch-off, so we had a lot of ideas during the first game."

Naturally, the fatality victorious move is always preceded by the simple exclamation of "FINISH HIM/HER!" which has become an iconic trademark of the franchise. Nevertheless, the moves that have become iconic in their own right were inspired by major and already-iconic pieces of pop culture like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's Indiana Jones franchise.

"A lot of the stuff that's popular now, like Stranger Things, you see in the [show] The Thing poster and John Carpenter and all this kind of stuff," said Divizio. "As we grew up, we were into all this stuff, Indiana Jones and things like that. Even the Kano heart rip—I thought about that because I liked [Temple of Doom] where the guy rips the heart out."

The next installment in the franchise, Mortal Kombat 11, was also teased at C2E2 by developer NetherRealm Studios. Going on sale April 23, the game (which will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC) is all set to feature the return of the popular character known as Noob Saibot.