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Mortal Kombat is a fighting video game franchise known for its graphic depiction of violence and gore. Since the launch of the original title in 1992, it has expanded into numerous feature films, television series, comic books and even a collectible card game. Mortal Kombat is widely regarded as one of the most successful fighting game series of all time, with more than 30 million copies of the games sold as of 2012.
For most the of games in the Mortal Kombat franchise, players must fight their opponents in timed battles using a variety of kicks, punches and special moves. The game is known for its unique finishing moves, in which a player can gruesomely destroy their opponent at the end of a match in a “fatality.” Additional finishing moves were added throughout the series, including “animality,” “brutality,” “hara-kiri” and “friendship.”
By 2012, the games featured a total of 64 different characters, including Baraka, Cyrax, Ermac, Goro, Jade, Jax Briggs, Johnny Cage, Kabal, Kano, Kenshi, Kitana, Kung Lao, Kurtis Stryker, Liu Kang, Mileena, Motaro, Nightwolf, Noob Saibot, Raiden, Rain, Reptile, Scorpion, Sektor, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sheeva, Sindel, Smoke, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero and crossover characters from DC Comics.
In 1991, game developers Ed Boon, John Tobias, John Vogel and Dan Forben began working on Mortal Kombat as a video game adaptation for the 1992 action film Universal Soldier. After failing to secure a deal with actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, the team continued the project as a fighting game competitor to Street Fighter II. On October 8th, 1992, the first Mortal Kombat arcade systems were released, followed by console versions of the game the following year. In 1995, the live action film Mortal Kombat was released (shown below, right).
Over the next 19 years, 20 additional Mortal Kombat games were released for a variety of game systems, including PlayStation, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. On June 2nd, 2014, the Mortal Kombat Community YouTube channel released a trailer for the upcoming game Mortal Kombat X, set for release in 2015, which featured a battle between the characters Sub-Zero and Scorpion in a snowy forest (shown below).
On January 12th, 2006, the Mortal Kombat Wiki was launched, gathering more than 1,500 entries in the following eight years. On October 23rd, 2009, a martial artist who had performed the motion captured moves for characters from five different Mortal Kombat games participated in an “ask me anything” (AMA) post on the /r/IAmA subreddit. On April 15th, 2010, the /r/MortalKombat subreddit was created for discussions related to the video game franchise. On May 5th, a Facebook page titled “Mortal Kombat” was launched, garnering upwards of 5.2 million likes in the next four years. On October 3rd, 2012, Redditor Ryno3639 submitted an animated GIF featuring characters from the first Mortal Kombat game dancing at a prom to /r/funny, where it gained over 14,400 upvotes and 200 comments prior to being archived (shown below).
Mortal Kombat Warehouse is also the biggest collection of sprites used in the games.
Finally, the Kombat pavilion contains comics, animations and games that have something to do with MK.
On Tumblr, several fan-made Morkat Kombat single topic blogs have been launched, including Mortal Kombat Daily, Hell Yeah Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat Gifs. As of June 2014, over 70,300 submissions have been uploaded under the tag “#mortal kombat” on DeviantArt and more than 850 Mortal Kombat stories have been submitted to FanFiction.net.
Although the character came first and his name being the last name of both creators backwards (Boon=Noob and Tobias=Saibot), due to the more popular use of the world in the online-gaming community it is joked that the black ninja is, indeed, a n00b. It is not known if intentional, but the development team gave this character the weapon ‘Troll Hammer’ in the Armageddon installment and most recently in the 2011 game there is challenge called “Still a Noob”.
Due to the names being almost the same, in 2008 then candidate Barack Obama was nicknamed after the iconic tarkatan warrior. His opponent, John McCain, was nicknamed either ‘Johnny McCage’ or ‘John McKano’. After winning the presidency the comparison remained.
Reptile, the king of puns
Although unknown as to why he received that title, Reptile is usually interpreted as someone who makes fun of other combatants through puns. Mortal Kombat Deception has a moment when the main character, Shujinko, talks to Reptile and the later responds “Make like a tree and leave me be!”.
“Get Over Here!”
“Get Over Here!” is a memorable taunt uttered by the character Scorpion when throwing his spear weapon at an opponent. The iconic phrase has been complimented by gaming blog ScrewAttack and was listed in the PlayStation gaming blog PLAY’s list of “best chat-up lines.”
Lindomar (also known as Brazilian Sub-Zero) is a man from the countryside of Brazil who earned a bit of Internet notoriety in 2002 after dropping a flying kick on a local babysitter that had been caught on video tape physically abusing children. He was later nicknamed "Brazilian Sub-Zero” due to the resemblance between his high kick and that of Mortal Kombat character Sub-Zero.
“Finish Him” is a message that appears on screen during gameplay to inform the player that the opponent is one final strike away from being defeated. Due to its notable appearance in almost every title, many Internet users have created parodies of the closing sound bite. In addition, fatalities were featured in ScrewAttack’s “Top 10 OMGWTF Moments” as well as in Machinima.com’s list of top ten gaming memes.
Too Bad You Will Die
“Too Bad You Will Die” is a memorable quote from the 1997 live action film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, in which Sonya Blade’s mother threatens her daughters life when confronted by her (shown below).