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SYFY WIRE Mortal Kombat

What we learned at the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event

By Jenna Busch
mortal kombat 11

This week, SYFY FANGRRLS attended the big Mortal Kombat 11 reveal in downtown Los Angeles, where creative director of NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon took the stage. We also got a chance to chat with Brian Lebaron, Senior Designer at NetherRealm Studios. From the new character Geras, the return of Skarlet and Baraka, a few fatalities and character customizations, here's everything we learned.

Warning: the info in here is pretty graphic, so keep that in mind. 

This time around in Mortal Kombat 11, we’re getting character customization. We saw some of the variations on Baraka — he's back, you guys! He’s got spikes in one, all over his body, and red slashes on another. In yet another one, he’s got a face mask that is pretty terrifying. We saw characters fight on Shang Tsung’s Island Ruins, where there's a little animal murder just to get you started. Later, during some gameplay matches, we saw Baraka with his spikes dealing with the new meter system, which exists for both offensive and defensive energy now. We also got to see some Fatal Blows, which appear if you get below 30% health. Um, Baraka ripped Scorpion’s flesh with his teeth. So much delicious murder! There are three costume variations for each character, and you can customize weapons and more. 

We know you want to hear about more Fatalities. We saw Scorpion cutting off Baraka’s head and kicking it like a soccer ball. Oh, and then there's the return of fan favorite Skarlet, she of the blades of blood. We saw her fighting Sonya Blade, who has some amazing moves, both classic like her kiss and new ones. We also got to witness some of her Fatal Blows like Sonya smashing Skarlet’s face, breaking her leg, walking her into a machine gun which delivers a headshot, then a face stomp. Ouch. Meanwhile, Skarlet’s Fatality includes pulling blood out of her opponent’s face, then turning the blood into spikes, and smashing through a skull with an eyeball popping out the back of the head. YUP.

In fact, we also got to watch a compilation of fatalities, which included everything from heads getting frozen or chopped off with helicopter blades, blood spikes, burning through the middle of a body, and a glowing hot chain that melts opponents in half. 

As for Sonya Blade? This time around, the character is voiced by Ronda Rousey, who took the stage after a video where she said that she always wanted to be the character. She was introduced to the game, she said, by one of her mother’s students. 

We also got a sneak peek at the story prologue, where we see Shinnok, who is pissed at Raiden after his defeat in Mortal Kombat X. Dark Raiden in all his red-lightening glory cuts off Shinnok’s head after he’s told that even he can’t kill an elder god. A certain lady named Kronika who has been behind the game since the beginning tells us that the universe is bending to her will, and that it’s only a matter of time. Ooh. We’re apparently going to be able to move through time where characters will see their younger selves. 

A bunch of new characters are joining the Mortal Kombat fray this time around, including Geras, a Black man with blue glowing blood, eyes and a very Tony Stark-esque glowing chest plate. He’s insanely powerful. He can turn into sand and teleport, and punch through a body. One of his Fatalities involves him punching through someone’s skull, pushing their brain out and the front of their skull. Check out his reveal trailer below. 

Kombat Kast will be back starting on January 30 with a brand new logo, and we’re getting some collector’s editions of the game that include an exclusive steel case and magnet, a 1:1 scale Scorpion mask and a collector box. You can check out the beta on March 28.

Later, we spoke with Lebaron, who told us his thoughts in the crowd reaction to the reveal. "I've been great. I'm really looking forward to getting back to work and seeing the actual videos of peoples' faces reacting. Like, seeing the crowd is always great. It's hugely motivational for me. It makes all the hard work we put into it worth it. It's just so great for me, like teardrops. Almost brought me to tears. I didn't want anybody to see it, but it was there. It was there."

He spoke about bringing back Skarlet, who is a favorite of his. "I'm a huge fan of her, always really have been. You know, we brought her back in K9, I believe, and people absolutely wanted her back so badly. We brought her back - huge fan uproar. They love it. To be able to bring her back now and to be able to reinvent her a little, to redesign her. With our new systems, our gear systems, be able to elaborate on her moves a lot more. We just had a lot of fun with her. She's just a fun character to work with."

What sort of minds come up with the fabulous Fatalities? How do they do it? He told us, "There's multiple ways. I mean, there's a lot of us that contribute. A couple of us will contribute and then another guy will contribute and be like, 'Oh, no, you know what would be good if you did this.' We'll be like, 'Oh no, you can't do that.' 'Oh we can do that.' 'Oh what about if you do this?' After 20 years, 25 years of games, it's hard to come up with something unique. 

"There is this one asshole I do hang out with every now and then, and I don't like him. But, I'll go, 'Come out and I'll buy you drinks,' just to look at him and go, 'Man, if I had a spear, what would I do to this guy?' There's some of that stuff in my life, believe me, I do do that."

He continued, saying, "There's a lot of people we all kind of collaborate on it and like, 'Oh, that's not a good idea, this is a good idea.' Like, 'What happens if you do this or you do that?' Like, there's a Skarlet one that we showed today where the spikes hit her, hit the victim, and you're like, 'Oh that's really cool.' But they're like, 'Why don't you have her push one of those through the back of her head?' It kind of evolves into like, 'Oh that'd be cool. Oh how about an eyeball come out with it?'"

While he couldn't reveal much about the overall story, he told us "it picks up right where the last game ended off and Raiden being all badass and evil... we showed a little bit of it today and he kind of screwed up the timeline. We have a new character, the first female boss in our games, Kronika. She's going to come in and try to fix what's going on. Which leads us to a lot of really cool stuff because we can reset the whole timeline. It's just amazing because now you can have characters meeting their younger versions of themselves and all of the merger stuff, bringing characters back. Skarlet, bringing characters in, like Baraka. Bringing characters that are dead or not dead. We're like, 'Oh we have full reign to do whatever we want.'"

We love the fact that Sonya Blade is a badass, and an adult woman with an adult child. When we asked about whether or not that was a discussion, Lebaron said, "I've always looked at her as a badass character. To me, one of the great things is bringing in Ronda Rousey for it. I thought it was great. To me, when I was a kid, it was Kerri Hoskins as the actress that played the character when I first got into Mortal Kombat. So for kids now, younger generations, they don't have a real life person they can relate a character to. Bringing her in as the voice has been amazing to me. It reminds me of those moments of being a kid and being like, 'Oh, I met Kerri Hoskins at this event and got a picture of her before I even started working on Mortal Kombat.'" 

Finally, Lebaron told us about what he's most excited for fans to experience in Mortal Kombat 11. "Mostly the meter system...the augments are great, being able to switch your spears and your swords for scorpions. Being able to give additional augments to those weapons as well. They're all slotted, it's pretty cool. In general, just giving more customizing ability to the player for their variations and giving them that freedom and just see what comes out of it. I'm really excited to see what people come up with as far as creating their custom variations."

Are you excited for Mortal Kombat 11? Check out the livestream below. The game will be released on April 23 for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.