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Kreate A Fighter Must Return!

Posted by MortalKombatX on July 22, 2014 at 8:20 AM Comments comments ()

The only MK game to ever have the Kreate-A-Fighter mode is MK Armageddon. Like the Impale move in Deadly Alliance, and the Hara-Kiri in Deception, it seems to be a one-time only thing. I say, every MK game should include this feature.  

This must return in the upcoming 2015 game. Must!


But, what else could be done to escalate the custom fighter mode's greatness?


1 - Narrator Pronouncing the Customized Name

Maybe they could create some attempt at the narrator, who says "Mileena wins" and such, saying out loud the name of the custom character, followed by "wins".

For instance, the narrator's voice could record a list of many possible names people would come up with. 20 names off the top of my head: Al, Axel, Iris, Azrael, Azazel, Quentin, Brock, Misty, Miss (for a name read as Ms.), Mister (for Mr.), Ed, Edd, Eddie, Griffin, Griffith, Peter, Bart, Jackie, and so on. So, Eddie Cage could be pronounced. After covering plenty of whole names, so that their recording would sound smooth, there is no way that could cover everything in the world, so, to cover every remaining possible name, imagine a system of connecting written letters with corresponding audio recordings.

For instance, record a guy saying:

"Ab. Ac. Ad. Aeee! Aff. Ag. An."

"Mo. Muh. Mi. Mee. May. Mah. Mun. Mon. Min."

"No. Nah. Nuh. Nee."

"Or. Omm. Ome."

"So. Suh. Sah. See."

Then, when naming your custom character NAOMI, the recorded syllables "Nay", "ome", and "mee" would be stitched together so that the narrator would seem to be saying "Naomi", yet also be capable of pronouncing the name "Capcom", "Red Skull", "Green Goblin", and so on.

Lucky (the Lucky Charms leprechaun) wins. Mxyzptlk wins. Eddie Griffin wins.

Also, I must complain that the names did not have a long-enough length in MK Armageddon's Kreate A Fighter mode. I wanted some names to be longer. Ya know?


2 - Combine two coats into one

Remember how I had to use MS Paint to show my homemade estimation of what it would look like for Dick Tracy to wear a yellow coat over a black-and-white suit? In MK Armageddon, you can only pick one article of clothing at a time. So now imagine using a "combine" button to literally mix those two items together, acheiving the effect of Dick Tracy's complete costume in the game - the yellow coat, AND the black and white suit with a red tie, COMBINED.  Really, the game only lets you select one or the other.  The "combine" feature would be like MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero, which lets you combine things like Herbs and Potions into one blended item, like the Healer.  Possibly, some combinations would be deemed impossible.

Combining two outfits would sure open up some doorways.


3 - At least 4 Custom Character slots on the character select screen

Not since "Mario Paint" have I seen a video-game that's all about your own customizeable input. But what it's missing is the availability of 4 separate characters right off the bat.

Here's the thing about MK Armageddon's custom characters.  You can pretty much only have one at a time.  The game only handles ONE character per profile.  In order to get around this limitation, you can create multiple profiles and keep one character per profile. This involves logging in and out repeatedly, using passwords every time.

Now imagine how much nicer it might be to have 4 Custom Character slots, clearly identified as such, per profile.

Another great idea - making a 2-D snapshot picture of the finished 3-D model, to create a picture for the character select screen.  That technically would have to be possible.  Very possible.  Maybe even have a camera studio mode where you position the game's camera angle just right to establish that snapshot - the 3-D custom character against a host of backdrops.

It should then be marketed in a more "Insert you and your friends into the game!" kind of social-gaming light.


4 - Create A Chest Symbol 

This is what is really, truly missing from Kreate A Fighter thus far: the ability to draw anything and thus make anything.

One thing I'm missing from my picture of Bizarro is his chest symbol. Same for Superman Red, Superman Blue, and Flash Gordon.

Imagine being able to draw a chest symbol over these characters.



In Mario Paint, you can draw freehand to make circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, ovals, or simply draw freehand.  I think there should be a chest symbol option in MK's KaF, where you draw stuff freehand and the design then gets applied over the chest. I could use those shape tools and some freehand to make the Flash Gordon chest symbol, or various other things.


5 - Height, Weight, and Age Control

Back in 2001, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, on the PlayStation, was an enormous success. It's no coincidence that one of the most successful games of that time had a create-a-skater mode, allowing you to insert into the game anyone from real life. So, I could play as myself on a skateboard, and it would look just like me.

You could set the age, the height, the weight. MK Armageddon has three sizes in small, medium, and large, but I think it should be more like a copy of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, setting the height in feet and inches, setting the weight by pound, and the age, making someone skinny as a twig or fat. I was skinny at that time, and put in my own true weight, probably 107 lbs. at the time, and was shocked by how real it looked in the game. They even had my skinny arms. Golly.

John Hammond from Jurassic Park just does not look enough like the movie John Hammond. I also was unable to make Beavis and Butt-Head skinny or thin instead of bulky and muscular.

Also, the "old" face in MK Armageddon's KAF mode is what is used to establish an old appearance (check out Nick Fury, below), but if you could set the number in years, you could easily create a 17-year-old Robin or a 31-year-old Robin.


6 - Use A Gloved Hand To Ditch Individual Items

See the gold shoulders in the Raiden costume? Imagine using a gloved hand mouse cursor, moved around by the controller's analog joysticks, to pick individual items from a costume to select for deletion. This would drastically alter an entire costume.


7 - Female Characters Putting On Male Articles Of Clothing

Blue jeans, for instance, do not belong exclusively to men. All the female costumes in the KAF mode were just a big assortment of skimpy, sexual outfits, and there's almost nothing in that mode that you would want your daughter to wear outside. I think there should be more articles of clothing that you would be okay with your daughter wearing outside, and they should simply be able to take from the male assortment of articles of clothing, from the Fedora hats to the buttoned golf shirts to the suit and tie. Whatever was already purchased in the male side could be accessed by the female characters. For instance, in MK Armageddon, female characters cannot wear the male superhero pants.


8 - Face Manipulation ala Super Mario 64

Come on, man, admit it. In 1996, who didn't spend hours and hours ****ing around with Mario's face in Super Mario 64? That should be the means of stretching or warping eyebrows, eyes, and other facial features, because if it's possible on the N64 then it must be possible on the X-Box and newer systems. This would also help guarantee that you are not simply selecting from a list of preprogrammed faces.

From ""


9 - Not Just Solid Colors, But Also Pattern Textures

10 - Basically Just More Outfits Available

The male selection of clothing could use a little more, and the female selection could use a lot more.  But remember, only costumes that you would be A-OK with your daughter wearing outdoors in an area that's expected to have a lot of people around.  As for fictional characters I try to insert into the game, I was able to think of a few familiar characters not yet possible.

Metroid. Maybe a "tech armor" suit.  The different colors would apply to the Metroid games - orange, yellow, blue.

Mario and Luigi. This is one reason I say it's very important to have 4 slots available, all the time. Imagine Mario and Luigi, side by side, in Slots 1 and 2, with Luigi being slightly taller and thinner. "Overalls" are missing from the male wardrobe selection. I cannot completely the make Super Mario Bros. However, it should be possible to change one or both of the solid colors to textures, like Microsoft Word's WordArt. Thus, the blue in Mario's overalls could be set to plaid, ala the Super Mario Bros. Super Show!'s live-action segments. Also, keeping adding enough hairstyles, moustache styles, and clothing articles to make possible the Movie Version of Mario (with the blue breast pockets over the red chest and torso), Movie Version of Luigi, Movie Big Bertha (spikes), and the Movie Version of Daisy.

The Cat in the Hat. That is certainly a hat that is missing. If it's already possible to create a reptilian character, a Cat in the Hat-intended preset should not be too difficult to imagine.

Good Burger hats.  Why not?  Also, the striped shirt should be an option, like the blue and white vertical stripes of the Good Burger outfit, and also the horizontal stripes of Sandman and Calvin.  Further, pretty much any article of clothing should be available in any color as well as a "striped" texture design, available in several level of thickness, and in plaid, and other two-color textures.

The kids from Good Burger.  Adding the hairstyles, hat types, and striped pattern would build up the Kreate A Fighter mode.

Tony Hawk, Pro Skater. Is it possible to make him in the game?

Dante and Randall. Almost possible, yet not quite. A sweater option is missing, to make Dante.  Randall is lacking a "short sleeves" option in his coat - the only detail missing in my MK version of Randall.  I say, "short, medium, or long sleeves" should be an option for pretty much all shirt-type articles of clothing, with no extra charge.  Yes, Kevin Smith's work could influence Mortal Kombat, why not.  I had fun making Jay and Silent Bob in the game.

Only a couple things are really missing to make these characters, such as a real sweater for Dante, a short-sleeves option for Randall, and maybe another thing or two like the moustaches and beards.  In fact, beards should always be a whole separate option than hair.

Green Goblin. The wizard cap is the closest I was able to get to the Green Goblin's headgear. I say, that . . . whatever you call it article of headgear should be available in three sizes, short, medium, and long, to make the Green Goblin or Link.

"Wild, crazy tongue", ala Venom, and Demogoblin, should be an option.  As long as Baraka's grin is an option, why not?  I could improve my version of Demogoblin by inserting a wild, crazy tongue, after stretching out the Tarkatan grin.

You should be able to not only draw a chest symbol, but also draw one layer of drawing over the 3-D model's chest and torso, to draw, say, Venom's large white symbol.  The white design over the Parasite.  Or, let's say, use a freehand drawing tool to create a black outline of a shape, and instead of filling in the inside with a solid color, erase the inside, to remove one chunk of cloth from Elektra's red costume, making it look more exact to Elektra.

Of course, in 2006's MK Armageddon, I noticed some hairstyles and clothing articles in the Kreate A Fighter mode intended to recreate Guile from Street Fighter II, Akuma, Sailor Moon, and a couple other familiar characters.  I say, it does not ALL have to be inspired by non-MK characters.  I think the developers should focus on trying to replicate the Movie Versions of Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya, Shang Tsung, Jade, and Jax. Jade's hairstyle in MK: Annihilation seems to be missing from the Kreate A Fighter mode. Sonya's hairstyle. Are all those movie costumes all possible yet? That should be the goal - making it so that all the MK Movie Version costumes could be accomplished in the game. While mostly suiting Mortal Kombat's needs, this would also open up the doorways to who knows how many possible outfits.

Maybe there should be some bonus characters found simply by typing in their name!  For instance, name a character Ed Boon, and automatically the preset would appear.  A John Tobias preset.  Therefore, it would be possible to use their moustaches, eyebrows, and other unique features on any and all characters.

Of course, 4 slots being available from the start would make it a more fun experience when played by many people at once, to insert people you know from real life into the game, and/or shock and surprise people who don't yet know of this feature.  Also, it seems to be impossible thus far to make a perfect version of Kitana's MK2 costume.

Finally, soon as I can, I've gotta make this posse.  This is another good reason why 4 slots should be available at any time per profile.

The Original Palette Swaps

Posted by MortalKombatX on June 30, 2014 at 10:05 AM Comments comments ()

Mortal Kombat has been known since its beginning for using the technique of palette-swapping to recolor the sprites of one character to be used for a second character - Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile.  MK2 brought the 3 male ninjas back, and added 3 female assassins as well.  MK3 involved a palette-swapped set of 3 cybernetic characters, and Ultimate MK3 used 3 sets of palette-swapped characters simultaneously for male ninjas, female ninjas, and cybernetics.

But what else used the palette-swapping technique before that?

Mario Bros.

In 1983, Mario Bros. was a 2-player game.  Following the trilogy of Donkey Kong, DK Jr., and DK3, Mario Bros. was the first Mario game to be 2-player, with the player Luigi using the Mario sprite in a different color palette.

In the arcade cabinet artwork for Mario Bros., in 1983, you can see that already Mario was intended to have a cartoon-like, unrealistic shape and size, akin to the later Super Mario 64, rather than realistic.  Another interesting detail: although they both wear blue in-game, Luigi is wearing green and brown in this official cabinet artwork, something that would later be seen again in 1999's Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on the Game Boy Color. 

This is the Mario Bros. arcade machine.  As you can see, Mario and Luigi, in-game, were always meant to wear blue, along with red or green.  In this version, Mario's hat is blue.  This was the Sub-Zero and Scorpion of 1983.

Palette swapping would be used again to create red turtles, separate from the green turtles.  A blue-and-pink turtle, when the last one rises back up.  Things of that nature.

Some hysterical irony in this Atari 2600 cartridge's artwork.  The orange "boom" looks like the later Super Mario Bros. fireball.  Two bumps on their heads look eerily similar to the Racoon Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. 3.


In Super Mario Bros. and the Japanese version of SMB2, Mario and Luigi use the same sprite, in differerent colors.  Luigi wears green and white.  Mario appears to wear red and brown, using the same color palette as the question blocks and ground, but in the story Mario was intended to wear red and blue.  Later, in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, on the Game Boy Color, in 1999, Mario wears red and brown in-game while Luigi wears green and brown in-game.


Tapper (1973)

Space Invaders (1976)




In that green zone, everything will be seen in just black and green, one shade of each. In the lower-left corner is one small square with the black and white color palette. In the lower right is a rectangle with that same color palette. The UFO passes horizontally through the red row. Therefore, as the player, your laser becomes green, white, and red in its travel upward through space.


The point is, that is how one sprite appears to go through change of color.



 Jailbreak (1985)

Each letter of the alphabet, plus the ! symbol, is drawn ONCE, but represented in FIVE colors - at the same time!! You can imagine how the horizontal rows of color-palette schemes are positioned. (If only real life was like that!)


In the 80's, video-games that were imagined to be giant, at a large, epic scale, were technologically limited, and these limitaitons in space and sprite storage forced the creativity of video-game developers to use "palette-swapping" to get extra mileage out of bad guy sprites. They may wear blue OR red! This was common in many video-games.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT was a comic book in 1983.  They all wore red, in this black-and-white comic book.  In the 1987 TV show, they wear different colors, and therefore, ninjas wearing different colors.  If you think about it, video-games based on the Turtles must therefore involve palette-swapping.

The four turtles appear to be palette swaps of each other, except for the weapons in their hands.  The jump-kick move, which only becomes an attack on the way down toward the floor, is the same for all the Turtles.  But!  Look at the enemy ninjas.  In the comics, they all wear black.  In the cartoon show, these ninjas turn out to be robots, and they all wear purple.  Yet here, in the game, it seems that you can encounter purple, blue, or red ninjas, even some white outfits not shown here.

That 80's Nintendo game, TMNT II: the Arcade Game, was based on the arcade machine that was simply called TMNT.  The 80's Nintendo already had a game called TMNT which was nothing like the arcade game.

And this was very possible at Pizza Hut in the late 80's.

Mortal Kombat did not exist yet, and yet a multitude of ninjas wearing palette-swapped colorful outfits was already in use by something.  I don't remember any color but purple for the robots in the 80's cartoon.  The 1990 movie stuck more to the comics and had the ninjas wearing all black, with some red.  This colorful assortment of Foot ninjas, which I really believe happened only in the video-game, is interesting.

The actual four turtles are somewhat debatable.  Their weapons make them different, as well as the fighting stances and poses (Sub-Zero and Scorpion have also always differed in their stances and poses).  Maybe they just used one set of Turtle sprites, and had separate weapon sprites overlapping them, who knows.

To stretch out the purple ninjas into several colors is comparable to the Mario games doing that for the enemy turtles - sometimes green, sometimes red, in Super Mario Bros., and in the earlier Mario Bros.  Hmmmm.  Green and red.  Like the 1983 comic book turtles - green and red.

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers

You know who did palette-swapping Japanese martial artists first?  THESE MOTHER-****ERS!!!

1993 was the first year it hit American TV, but it was derived from earlier Japanese TV, in which their version of the Pink Ranger detonates the enemy's entire building with C4 explosives.  I think the American version had toned-down violence.

And here they all are unmasked.  This was the Season One lineup that I loved in first grade.  After they dropped the Green Ranger, he returned as the White Ranger.  He is the only Ranger to really deviate from everyone else's costumes.  Look at the gold.  It looks kind of like Rain/Prince.

Then they got into other seasons, and they started over with different casts of actors every time, but: still a bunch of palette swaps.

Although this was a TV show first, if you think about it, video-games based on the Power Rangers would likely end up using that same palette-swapping technique.

Well.  Clearly, palette-swapping was used in this game.

Street Fighter II

Take a look at Ken and Ryu.  From the neck up, they are different.  From the neck down, they are palette-swaps.

They are, after all, the same as each other, the white and red (flag colors of Japan?).  The head, hair, and face areas are all changed, but from the shoulders down the computer is using the same sprite for both characters.

You wouldn't think they are the same, but look again at the Vs. screen pictures.  Different head/face/hair/chin, but look again at the hands, chest, and outfit.

In the 1994 Street Fighter movie, which is based primarily on SF2 the Game, the outfits are shown, in a twist, to look different from each other, like MK4's Sub-Zero and Scorpion.  Ken's outfit is closed, and Ryu's is open.  Maybe the open outfit is meant to look like the Vs. screen, where it appears open.

Street Fighter II Turbo

The colors are all different from Street Fighter II.  Ken now wears purple, Ryu now wears light blue, Zangief wears green instead of red, and essentially everything is recolored.  Also, all the characters can now be played with 4 possible colors.  Yes, you can choose what colors you will appear as.

Super Mario World had also involved the entire world appearing different after you beat the game, and play it a second time in its Autumn mode.  The same sprites that made the backgrounds earlier now appear way different, like your hometown after 20 years.

Street Fighter

The first game, Street Fighter 1, from 1987, also involved palette-swapping, for Ken and Ryu.  But wait a minute.  What I'm about to explain might shock you.  Street Fighter was not a fighting game where you can play as 8 characters, like Street Fighter II, and then all 4 villains in SF2 Turbo, and then 4 newcomers in Super SF2.  No, in Street Fighter 1, Ken and Ryu are THE ONLY TWO characters in a 2-player game in which either Ken or Ryu embarks on the total journey to fight all the bad guys, finally ending with Sagat.  So, that 2-player game format of Mario and Luigi is likely what shaped Ken and Ryu.  In a 2-player game, you go up against a whole bunch of computer-controlled enemies, like Mario and Luigi going up against entire armies of monsters.  Street Fighter 2 had the brilliant idea to let you play as ALL the characters involved (except the 4 villains), and ever since that has been the expectation of all fighting games made.

Chun-Li, Zangief, E. Honda, and M. Bison are household names.  Street Fighter's cast and crew of people, including Joe, Mike, Geki, Adon, and Gen, would either remain unknown or be brought back in sequels.  In Street Fighter 3 we learn that Gen, from SF1, was Chun-Li's mentor.

That explains how you end up with the final result of Street Fighter 2, in which there are two characters palette-swapped except for the heads.

You know what else had it?  PAC-MAN.  In a 2-player game, the second player is a palette-swapped version of Pac-Man.  So, you see, these things have happened a little bit in video-games outside Mortal Kombat's ninjas.  Once again, Mortal Kombat's crew was:

MK1 - Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile

MK2 - Smoke, Noob Saibot.  Kitana, Mileena, Jade

MK3 - Cyrax, Sektor, Smoke

Ultimate MK3 - Classic Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Human Smoke, remade Noob Saibot, new Ermac and Rain

MK Trilogy - Male Chameleon, Female Khameleon

MK4 - Slightly different designs for Sub-Zero and Scorpion.

MK Gold - Different designs for Kitana and Mileena - Kitana is unmasked.

More MK use of palette swapping was the Mirror Match, which displayed one's own enemy in a slightly darker shade of color, or in a drastically different color instead.  Green Sonya fights a red Mirror Match.  Perhaps the Mirror Match was inspired by the fact that the first working demo of Mortal Kombat, the arcade machine, was a match of Johnny Cage vs. Johnny Cage.  The loss of Jean Claude Van Damme as an actor in the game - first slated to play the star character of Universal Soldier, the Game - was considered a significant loss, but the MK team making the most of the situation by making Johnny Cage a character, an actor with the initials J.C., was what gave us this great character.

2-player Mortal Kombat matches, in which both people play as the same character, result in the Mirror Match palette in MK1 - Sonya vs. Red Sonya, for instance.  Everyone except Sonya simply fights a darker version of themselves, because in MK1, the costumes were all very simply designed, and were mostly one color (white, for Raiden).  In MK2, the Mirror Match was gone, but the changes in color remained in case of a character fighting himself.  Liu Kang, normally wearing red and black, fights a doppelganger who wears blue and black.  Although Scorpion's doppelganger is still simply a darker version of Scorpion, Raiden fights a red Raiden, and Kung Lao's double wears pants that look more biege than blue - more often is the difference between two of the same person the coloring.  In short, palette swapping still went on, in that sense.

There have actually been plenty of other video-games that have used palette-swapping.  Maximum Carnage even used palette swapping to turn one bad guy into 2 to 3 types of differently-colored bad guys.

Kreate A Fighter in MK Armageddon

Posted by MortalKombatX on June 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments ()

Look how many characters can be made in 3-D now!

WATER GOD from MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero


DICK TRACY Alternate Outfit

DICK TRACY Third Outfit

(Doctored in MS Paint, not possible in-game)




THUN, Prince of the Lion-Men















The attorney from Jurassic Park

John Hammond from Jurassic Park


NICK FURY (Ultimate Marvel)



IMP from Doom

General Zodd




The Parasite



Mxyzptlk 80's Version

Superman Red

Superman Blue

Green Goblin




Mario Movie Version

Luigi Movie Version

King Koopa Movie Version

Big Bertha



Fujin (Japanese Shinto):

The next characters I ought to create are:

- Big Trouble in Little China's Lo Pan, Jack Burton

- Prince

- Comix Zone's Sketch Turner

- Katt Williams (I mean look at how he dresses)

Hey MK team. You guys should remake MK: Special Forces.

Posted by MortalKombatX on June 15, 2014 at 9:15 PM Comments comments ()

Although it's exciting to think that the 2015 Mortal Kombat X game is going to explore all kinds of new characters and stories, it would also be cool if someone remade MK: Special Forces.

This game looked like the most exciting on Earth when I was 12, in the year 2000, when I read about it in magazines.

And then they went and cut Sonya.

Why?  Because the time was very limited, in the production of MK: Special Forces.  With more time, Sonya may have been very possible.  Instead we end up with a one-player game, but imagine, now . . . a remake of MK: Special Forces, with all the same characters, remade.  This would be 3 PlayStations later, but 2015's Mortal Kombat X takes the user-friendly approach of being released for the PS4 and PS3 alike, X-Box One and X-Box 360 both.  So imagine that kind of remake.

It could be set as a prequel to MK9's MK1.

Sonya was originally meant to be a character who might be able to slip through small spaces, where Jax could not fit, while Jax would be stronger than her.  That would be cool, if that idea were brought back.

Maybe Kano and Kabal could become playable characters, or something.  I dunno.  But I do know this: it would be an ass-kicking game that people would be thrilled to learn about during its development period.  If only you guys at the MK team would remake this game.

All the Mortal Kombat Dragon Symbols Ever (1992-2015)

Posted by MortalKombatX on June 8, 2014 at 11:10 PM Comments comments ()

I can't even imagine what the dragon symbols will look like in 2019, but I wonder.

In 1992, Mortal Kombat was just one thing on Earth: an arcade game.  Thus, it was assumed that this was the one and only dragon symbol that would be used in Mortal Kombat's expansions into action figures, comic books, trading cards, and other such things.  That is, until MK2 reinvented Mortal Kombat and did not just use the same dragon symbol for the cover art.

 <-- Hat!

 iPhone game (basically the same as Ultimate MK3)

Upcoming: 2015

Sprite Comics

Posted by MortalKombatX on June 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM Comments comments ()

3-D characters made with MK: Armaggeddon's Kreate-A-Fighter.  Raiden as a silhouette, talking to Shinnok and Izanami, is based on the silhouette of a Raiden Halloween costume, and the sky in that panel was from a photo I took in my own backyard with a cell phone.  I just had to edit out power lines, by copying and pasting the sky and clouds.  Incidentally, in Halloween 2013, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida I saw at least THREE people dressed as Raiden alone: one in white and blue, one in red, and one for Dark Raiden.  And that's just counting Raiden costumes.

Mortal Kombat: BitStrips Edition

"Some day I'll have my own game."

A comic strip based on the footage of Mortal Kombat's actors in costume being filmed for the game.

The reason I started making Mortal Kombat sprite comics was at the suggestion of my brother Justin, aka ]{0MBAT, maker of the Kombat Pavilion web-site (

BitStrips is this whole Facebook thing and I quickly learned that it could be manipulated to look close enough to Mortal Kombat characters.

I never used to believe that a lot could be accomplished with sprite comics, until I noticed something, which you can see in my oldest Blog on this site.  Ideas from comic strips in 2006 . . . looking just like stuff used in Mortal Kombat in 2011!

Suddenly, I saw this vision.  Create a sprite comic as if I were designing an entire elaborate game.  Create sprite comics less with the attitude that these are just doodles and scribbles for amusement, that "won't go anywhere big".  I had to take those words back.  Create sprite comics more with an attitude of empowerment, I decided.  Look at my oldest blog entry to understand what I mean.

My inspiration for making MK Mythologies: Raiden was the amazing-ness of MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero.  That game is the opposite of mainstream arcade action.  It's more meant to be seen inside the home.  It just creates an amazing world of fiction not identical to Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, or even Street Fighter II.  Mortal Kombat is its own world of mythology.  I asked myself, if I could make an entire game, as amazing as Mythologies: Sub-Zero, what would I make?  Mythologies: Raiden, expanding on MK4's backstory, so more deeply exploring old terrain instead of inserting an entirely new chapter like Deception or Armageddon.  It should really feel unchanged from the mentality of Mortal Kombat enthusiasm in 1997.

Finally, as for Slumberland, look up Little Nemo in Slumberland.  A very separate topic from Mortal Kombat, a comic strip from 1905.  Maybe not entirely: Shao Kahn "wakes up" from his dream where he talked to Shinnok, waking up like Little Nemo in Slumberland, in my second script.

Kloth Bags? Mortal Kombat Environmental Konsciousness

Posted by MortalKombatX on April 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments ()

I wish these things existed!  A variety in colors would help make it further marketable.  Maybe dark blue against blue.

I got this idea from the Lion King.  You see, the Lion King, the movie, was released in 1994 or 5.  At that time, I was in 2nd grade.  I loved that movie.  I had some of the toys, the comics, the trading cards.

In 2011, the Lion King was re-released in theaters, this time in 3-D.  Not only was it back in theaters, but a marketing promotional campaign was conducted that had Lion King toys back on the shelves of stores in 2011.  The popularity of the Lion King from 1994 was back!  For today's kids.

Wow.  And to think that Mortal Kombat, as a series, seemed "over" for a few years.  2000.  2001.  It seemed to be a thing of the past, and it was upsetting to think that a source of so many joys - games, movies, TV shows, comics - had simply died and would no longer produce new joy.  After a while, Mortal Kombat came BACK with 2002's MK: Deadly Alliance, an overhaul on the series.  But to think!  All you really have to do is re-release a movie in theaters, with no new content, and the popularity and spirit it had 20 years ago is BACK!  All it really takes is a 20-year anniversary.  (There's a certain rule of life that things bounce back after 20 years.)  The Lion King also has a really good TV show, "Timon & Pumbaa", in 1999.  I like that show a lot.

So of course I saw it in theaters in 2011.  Similarly, in 1993, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had been put back in theaters, and THAT had been my favorite for a while, before the Lion King.  I went as Dopey, the dwarf, for Halloween, wearing the Dopey style shoes, pointy ears, and an oversized green robe.  Why?  Because toys, costumes, all kinds of merchandise for Snow White was STILL IN STORES, making it CURRENT, NEW, POPULAR, despite it actually just being a re-release of an old movie.  Not quite the same as just watching an old movie in your house, alone.  It was current for everyone again.

Why should there only be a small, limited window of time for the world to enjoy the popularity of a movie?  The Lion King, Snow White.  After a few months, the size of any movie's audience dwindles down, and a new movie takes over.  But why let a movie only last a few months out of the whole century?  Why not re-release more things?  Forget most of the new garbage they come out with.  Just give me "Aladdin" in 3-D!

Well anyway.  The point is, I remember having some Lion King toys and comics as a kid in 1994, so in 2011, when I was 23, I had to look at how they were re-marketing the Lion King.  I remembered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and taking YEARS to learn that it was not a movie made in the 90's, but a re-release of something older.  This is the Lion King, for the kids of 2011:

Oh!  Right!  Get a discount on the Blu-Ray disc if I use my kid credit card!  Right, of course, because NOBODY has a DVD player these days.  NOBODY.

You see my point here.  When the Lion King came out in theaters, you know what I was thrilled to own?  A VHS copy - bootlegged, filmed with a video camera in the theaters, by some guy who later got arrested - that my Dad bought me, off a street corner in Washington, D.C., in 1994.  I was the only kid on my block to have VHS copies of the Lion King, the Mask, and True Lies WHILE THEY WERE STILL OUT IN THEATERS.

Now it's 2014 and kids can simply download it via satellite via cell phone before it's even in theaters.

Well, it look a lot of years to grow to that point.

1994 - the Lion King VHS.

1995 - everyone starts to learn what the Internet is.

1997 - everyone starts adding Internet to their home.  People start learning about the mp3 file format.  A 10-second clip from an episode of South Park can be downloaded in 10 minutes.  Not possible in 1995, using the Internet on the library.

2000 - faster Internet starts taking over.  Wireless Internet starts taking over.  Internet separate from the house phone starts taking over - no more crashing the Internet every time the house phone is picked up.  No more logging on.  No more logging off.  Now you're just connected 24/7.

2001 - the explosion of downloading songs on mp3 begins.

2002 - it becomes common to download movies, even episodes of TV shows, onto your computer.  Bootlegging music has led to this.  PDF files of comic book bootlegging - free, illegal - becomes its own scene.

2011 - An iPhone app, a coupon off a Blu-Ray disc, and a cloth bag for environmental consciousness, is the merchandising that accompanies the Lion King.  Not like 1994.  Not a handful of plastic toys that look like Lion King characters.  Video-games on the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Game Gear.  NOPE.

2014 - I still am not high-tech enough to own a Blu-Ray DVD player.  This is 3 years after the Subway advertising campaign completely fails to acknowledge the DVD players that some of us still use.

iPhone app?  You would not have that in 1994.  Coupon off a Blu-Ray disc?  These kids are just spoiled.  Cloth bag?  Now that's an interesting one.  For sure, this is what marks the identities of 1994 and 2011.  The 2011 Lion King merchandising campaign includes a cloth bag.  Nobody had ever heard of such a thing in 1994.  "What do you need this thing for?  This is no toy," any REAL kid in 1994 would have said.  "We've got plenty of plastic.  Plenty of money left over.  We don't need to conserve!"

To give a kid a cloth bag and say that it's the merchandising of the Lion King . . .

. . . well, wait, that's kind of cool.  Not much different from a Lion King backpack.  Another note - backpacks did not exist yet, in the 1960's.  Kids had to carry their books around.  So, now imagine a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs backpack, made in the 90's, or made in 2014.  Very possible.

Toys these days are becoming excessive.  They were all at just the right level of excess in 1994.  Same with video-games.  Now toys cost $80, they're incredibly complex, and they leave zero room to your own imagination.  But a cloth bag?  Instead of using plastic bags at grocery stores, use a cloth bag.  If you can get to a point of consuming zero plastic, you're doing your part!

That's an interesting concept.  It certainly reflects the society we live in now, in 2011 and 2014, where cloth bags are commonplace.  At first, I say, nah.  It's a nice thought, but the world will never adapt to everybody having cloth bags.  One or two people can do it, but they will be alone.  But then I learned about the movements being spread through various stores.  When I worked at Target, on Earth Day they had a free cloth bag give-away, one bag to every person.  I started to learn that, yes, changes can happen - the car can overcome the bicycle, the DVD can overcome the VHS.  It just takes a lot of work to get everyone in the world to convert, but once that's done, you end up with the end result of total harmony.

Cloth bags, as a form of merchandising.  What did I notice in Toys R' Us in 2011?  Some action figures of Mortal Kombat, totally redesigned, re-imagined.  Reptile now wears all black.  Raiden is now completely white, in a new "pure energy" form.  Wow!  And to think that MK was considered OVER with in 2000 and 2001!  Like the Lion King, Mortal Kombat was back!

There are Mario cloth bags.  One with Mario.  One with Luigi.  One with Yoshi.  One with a complete roster of all the characters.  Sonic the Hedgehog cloth bags.  In the 90's, Mario and Sonic were rivals - Nintendo and Sega.  They were engaged in a competition, and the cloth bags reminded me of their former competition.  "Cloth bags" are the new "thing" that everyone's getting into.  Hey, this is way better than the $80 complex toys they market to kids these days!

I bought a Yoshi cloth bag.  Now, at age 26, I would rather have cloth bags in solid colors, green, black, but still, to think - this is one way to get young people excited about cloth bags, a way of reducing and even entirely eliminating our consumption of things like plastic.  A Yoshi cloth bag.  A Sonic cloth bag.  One cloth bag for the villain, Bowser.  This is not a bad way to market environmental consciousness!

And then it hit me.  Mortal Kombat.  Kloth bags.  WHEN??

Wouldn't that be great?  One cloth bag for Sub-Zero.  One for Scorpion.  One for Reptile.  Like with the Mario characters, just pick and choose your favorite.  Some people would buy the Princess Peach cloth bag.  Maybe some people would buy a blue Kitana cloth bag.  A purple Mileena cloth bag.  Now that would be a stylin' way to not use plastic!

Cloth bags are a lot more useful than you think.  It's just one of those things you assume you don't need, but after you have one, you realize . . . whoa.  I can't believe I didn't make this small, simple move earlier!  I have shopped at 3 stores in a row, Publix, Dollar Tree, CVS, and had EVERYTHING put into ONE cloth bag, using up ZERO plastic bags.

Why buy a cloth bag?  For a dollar or two?  Without one, you end up with a LOT of plastic bags in your house.  And what do you do with them?  What do you do with 100 plastic grocery store bags?

1 - Use them as garbage bags?

2 - Put them in an empty wastebasket, so that you're not putting trash directly into the empty bin?

3 - Keep a few in your car, to be used as garbage bags?  Then, you can have a concrete way of enforcing the rule that nobody in your car should EVER throw garbage out the window.  Remember to scream at your friends: "Don't EVER throw garbage out the window!  There's a trash bag right here."  Always keep a few in the glove compartment or backseat.  Additionally, this habit makes it easier to clean your car - when you notice it's gotten dirty, it can take only a minute to get it all clean again when you've got a plastic bag to put all the garbage into.

Okay, so you may have some need for plastic bags.  But not 100!  Buy a cloth bag.  Then, you won't have these excess plastic bags in your house anymore.

Remember - Publix, Dollar Tree, CVS, and all my groceries fit in ONE cloth bag.  Why is this a big deal?  I put my groceries away and completely SKIPPED that whole step of getting everything out of the bags, stuffing them tightly into a drawer, and so forth.

Mortal Kombat Team, imagine cloth bags being made.  That would be nifty.

But then I thought, what could *I* do, to do *my* part, environmentally?

How about ride my bike around Boca Raton, Florida, for miles and miles and miles, throwing out over 100 garbage bags worth of garbage that I found on the side of the road and sidewalks?  Beer cans.  Beer bottles.  Piles of broken glass that I removed with a dustpan and brush - in the old days I would just ride around the glass or simply ride over it and just hope there's no damage.

This is why I have yelled and screamed at total strangers, and even best friends, after seeing them throw glass bottles out the window.  You spoiled brats - you haven't even had your car taken away, like I did, and what you do with your life of privilege is to throw bottles out the car window?  And to say "Shut up"?  I don't think so!

You can do your part, by screaming and yelling and simply not breaking - not saying "Okay, you're right, I should throw bottles out too".  Just don't give up.  Try to get your friends to take on that permanent habit of keeping some plastic bags in the car.  A day or two later, it'll come in REAL handy.

But then I thought.  What could I do, to use Mortal Kombat as a means of spreading environmental consciousness?

How about simply show the beautiful state of Edenia, as it was before, and then show the ruined, polluted Outworld that it became?  At the end of a flashback scene, Shao Kahn could throw garbage all over the ground, carelessly, in the ruined fields that used to be Edenia.

That, in a movie in theaters, might actually get people to stop throwing garbage on the ground!

These would be nifty.  If they actually existed.

Okay these pictures look kind of crappy and obviously fake, but: imagine original John Tobias artwork being done for cloth bags.  Baraka and Kitana/Mileena could also have their own.  This would cause millions of people to start using cloth bags over plastic.

If You're Into Mortal Kombat . . .

Posted by MortalKombatX on April 27, 2014 at 10:10 PM Comments comments ()

If you're into Mortal Kombat, you should also be into

- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

- Flash Gordon

- Star Trek: the Next Generation

TMNT should help you appreciate Mortal Kombat's emphasis on old-style marial arts.  TMNT has much emphasis on Japanese ninjas coming to New York.  Check the early 80's comics, 1990 movie, 2003 cartoon, and the newer 2012 cartoon, 2011 comics . . . lots of ninjas.  Also, the Purple Dragons gang appeared in issue 1 of the TMNT comics, a little like Mortal Kombat's Black Dragon gang.  However, both might be named after the real life Black Dragon gang.

Flash Gordon should help you appreciate Mortal Kombat's emphasis on grand adventure, mostly with Mortal Kombat II, in Outworld.  Flash Gordon is a polo player (football in the 1980 movie) who, alongside girlfriend Dale Arden and half-crazy scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov, takes a rocketship to planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming, to travel through 8 regions of the world to get to his Imperial Palace.  There's a grassland region, an ocean region, jungle, desert, sky/clouds, so, basically a precursor to Super Mario Bros. 3's formula for adventure.  Flash Gordon interacts with many species - lizard-men, lion-men, shark-men, basically a bunch of animal-men, many species that are each ruled by a general, with all the generals working for Emperor Ming.

Cryo, the Ice Realm, my own addition to Mortal Kombat, was certainly inspired by Flash Gordon, with its Frigia, the Ice Kingdom.  That was the only thing the 1980 Flash Gordon didn't really show!  Frigia.  Watch the 1936 and 1940 movies - WAY better.  (1936: Flash Gordon.  1938: Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars.  1940: Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.)  In the 1940 movie, it is said that the people of Frigia are keeping their secrets, of how they survive in their freezing cold environment.  In my story, not only do I add Cryo . . . since MK Deception said that Sub-Zero has ancestors, the Cryomancers, who "came from somewhere" . . . I also add Khione, Greek Goddess of Ice, to be the appointed guardian of that realm.  Mortal Kombat does not have that many Goddesses, I feel, so I've added Khione, Theia, Luna, Venus.


And definitely, Princess Aura helped to inspire Mortal Kombat's Kitana.  At first, in Mortal Kombat 1, it was to be Kitsune (named after the Japanese shape-shifter foxes), princess daughter of Shang Lao, who falls for Liu Kang and betrays the evilness of her heritage.

Flash Gordon should feel like a precursor to the Mortal Kombat cartoon show, which likely was taking a Flash Gordon approach to MK.  Flash Gordon had a 1979 animated movie, with action, excitement, curse words, and adult-level discussions of Hitler's activities, as the 1979 movie takes place in 1939.  Check out that movie - it should remind you of MK: Defenders of the Realm.  So should the Planet of the Apes cartoon show.  What else should remind you of it?  An 80's cartoon called "Defenders of the Earth."  Flash Gordon, Mandrake, and the Phantom - 3 separate comic strip heroes - paired together to fight evil.  Just like the 80's "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" - Spider-Man, Iceman (of the X-Men), and the Human Torch (of the Fantastic Four), except the studios said this would inspire kids to play with fire, so they made Human Torch into a girl named Firestar (like turning black guy Stryker into blonde girl Sonya in Mortal Kombat 1).

Flash Gordon, with its planet Mongo, its ray guns, its gigantic Imperial Palace of Emperor Ming, not only inspired Super Mario Bros. 3, and likely the 1993 Mario movie, and the Justice League, and Mortal Kombat, it also likely inspired Superman (Flash Gordon on Mars . . . Superman on Earth), Batman (Comissioner Gordon), Spider-Man (jerk Flash Thompson), and especially, Star Wars.

Star Trek: the Next Generation can feel, at times, like Mortal Kombat in Space.  This late-80's TV show has many species in it.  Star Trek's creation of the Klingons are constantly exploited.  But the Next Generation also adds new recurring villain species, like the Ferengi, and the Borg.

This may have helped to inspire Baraka and the cybernetic Lin Kuei seen in Mortal Kombat 3.


Ferengi n' the Borg

So, yeah.  Mortal Kombat in space.

Watching this show, I think: I should pay attention to these costumes.  The Whoopi Goldberg costume may have been a source of inspiration, helping to inspire Ashrah in MK: Deadly Alliance, who knows.

60's Star Trek - Portals

"The City on the Edge of Forever" -- 60's Star Trek

In the days of my parents' youth, Star Trek involved portals between worlds.  Whoa.  It's not just a video-game word after all.  My Dad saw portals in Star Trek in the 60's.

In this episode, they jump into a portal to 1930's New York, and end up stuck there.  A woman's life is saved, who, originally, had been run over by a truck.  But the saving of her life may have a consequential effect of causing the Nazis to win the war.  The important thing is, PORTALS.  They've alawys been around.

In those days, when the Flinstones was on TV, a portal was considered to be like a machine - a giant round rock containing the gateway.  The cartoon show, MK: Defenders of the Realm, showed portals as gateways without machines.

So, again, that's Ninja Turtles, Flash Gordon, and Star Trek: the Next Generation.  All 3 should help you appreciate Mortal Kombat a little bit better, as well as the Planet of the Apes cartoon.

Also, of course, Big Trouble in Little China played a large part in inspiring MK, with Chinese mythology, a very old Chinese man, black blood of the Earth . . . a really cool movie from the 80's.

Another thing Flash Gordon inspired in Mortal Kombat: the marriage between Emperor Ming and Dale Arden - the marriage between the Emperor Shao Kahn and Sonya, in the 90's MK comics.  It had also inspired some early-90's Super Mario World manga comics with a brainwashed marriage between Bowser and Princess Toadstool.  Similar things happen in Big Trouble in Little China.

In my story, MK Mythologies: Shao Kahn, I show the brainwashed marriage between Shao Kahn and Sindel - something always said to have happened long ago, in the backstory of MK - now shown in a more Flash Gordon-ish way.

Where All The Characters Came From

Posted by MortalKombatX on April 27, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments ()

Where all the characters in Mortal Kombat X came from.

Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat 2

Mortal Kombat 3

Ultimate MK3

Mortal Kombat 4

Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

90's MK Comics

MK Movie

MK Animated Video

MK: Defenders of the Realm (cartoon)

Deleted MK Characters

MK1 - Minamoto, Michael Grimm, Lin Kuei, Kitsune, Rukoro

MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero - NetherRealm Hound

MK Gold (4) - Belokk

MK Deadly Alliance - Baphomet

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

Bo Rai Cho, Moloch, Drahmin, Kenshi, Frost

Mortal Kombat: Deception

The One Being, Onaga

Mortal Kombat: Armaggeddon

Argus, Delia


Everything That Is New:

- Baphomet, deleted character, is now used, not as an Elder Demon, but as the master of the NetherRealm.

- Belokk, deleted character, is now used, in name only, not an Elder Demon anymore, but a red djinn, or genie.

- Izanami.  There was a female Elder God in MK9, but I give her the name Izanami, named after Izanami-no-mikoto from Japanese Shinto, and I describe her as being Raiden's mother, and the husband of Shinnok before his banishment to the NetherRealm.


- Ra, God of the Sun. From Egyptian mythology.

- Venus, Goddess of Beauty. From Roman.

- Theia, Goddess of Light. From Greek, in name and job title only.

- Luna, Goddess of the Moon. Entirely new.

- Gaia, from Greek. In the past, the only time she's been seen in Mortal Kombat was being referenced in the 1995 MK novel. However, in keeping with Greek mythology, she's more of a spirit who is everywhere than a Goddess contained in a body. I establish Gaia as a Goddess contained in a body, who can control nature.


- Pearl, like Jade except wearing white, inspired by a dream that was inspired by 1994 MK fan art.


I come up with names for the Water God and Fire God: Aegaen and Hephaestus.  Ever since I was a kid, I've used my brother Justin's suggested name, O'Shinn, for the Water God. However, at age 25, for MKX, I decided to change the name from O'Shinn to the nearest match in actual mythological literature. So I searched Google for a complete list of all the Water Gods ever. Aegaen was the one I liked the best. It sure felt strange to pass by an Aegaen hotel. Also an Abacus building.


- Cavemen Enngok and Rawa are brand-new.

- Shao Ming, mortal mother of Shao Kahn. Brand-new. Think Emperor Ming.

- Kaylani, Princess of Cryo, the Ice Realm. Brand-new. Her costume is based on Mileena's MK: Deception costume, but in crystal-blue.


- doppelgangers, living gargoyles, witches, genies.



- Cryo, the Ice Realm. MK Deception says that the Cryomancers came from . . . well, somewhere. In a couple of the characters' endings, Sub-Zero and Frost embark on a journey to explore their ancestry with the Cryomancers. MK Deception IMPLIES a pretty clear message that there's some sort of ice-cold realm out there. I present: Cryo, the Ice Realm - I really think there could be no other name for an MK ice realm (and remember, I, a kid, came up with this) - where the Cryomancers served, until Shao Kahn showed up, challenged the realm to 10 tournaments, and overwhelmed Cryo with Outworld, to establish Cryo as one of the provinces of Outworld. Oh, right, I forgot to mention - in the 90's MK comics, Outworld is split into many provinces, one of which is underground Kuatan, home of the Shokan species. Movie 2, MK: Annihilation, says that it takes 6 days to merge a realm with Outworld. Thus I assume that Shao Kahn took 6 days to merge Edenia, 6 days to merge Kuatan, 6 days to merge Cryo the Ice Realm, and thus every merged realm becomes one province of Outworld.


- Kantarian, the Centaur realm, is a new name. A girl at my college had the last name Kantarian and it seemed like a good name for the Centaur realm.


- Ochanep, realm of aliens. Now that's a different twist on MK: space aliens. I was really unsure about this, as I feared it might ruin MK. MK3 had the mini-game Galaga, a space-themed game that, according to MK3, takes place in Rellim Ohcanep, meaning Miller Penacho's name backwards. What about, instead of Rellim Ohcanep, it's the alien realm of Ochanep? With a new, original MK cast of aliens. Used very briefly, when I outline all the 9 realms Shao Kahn conquered. Why space aliens? Because they could use green lasers to capture that "green laser light" element of MK: the Live Tour, the stage theater production. I use the aliens again in the "Shao Kahn Takes Earth" segment, adding spaceships flying around with lasers to topple buildings to give Shao Kahn that presence of "the War of the Worlds".


- Ar'qun, desert realm of men and genies, is brand-new. I have thought for a decade that genies and witches would be great in Mortal Kombat. Deadly Alliance added an army of Chinese mummies, and Deception added the Dragon King, so why not genies and witches? Belokk is now the name of a red genie in MK1.


Those are my new entries into Mortal Kombat. 


Posted by MortalKombatX on April 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM Comments comments ()

There are a lot of characters in Mortal Kombat.  Now let's focus on one individual: Rain.

Rain: concept art from Ultimate MK3.  I'm pretty sure this was drawn by John Tobias (whose artwork is a major source of my inspiration in MKX).

He was technically a part of Mortal Kombat 3's early arcade machine models.  By not playing the game, you could watch the machine, and eventually see a demonstration video play itself.  Watching the preprogrammed fights, sometimes Rain would be fought.  People thus believed Rain was a character in Mortal Kombat 3.  The intention of the MK team was that, at some point, it would hit you - "Oh, the joke's on me.  There is no Rain."  He was a joke character named after Purple Rain, the Princesong.  However, popular demand made Rain become a reality in home console versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.  Now look at him.

Rain in Mortal Kombat (2011), also known as MK9.

In my version, Mortal Kombat X, in 2002 I decided to make Rain a robed Shadow Priest.  Thus, his costume is simply a purple robe, taking the "Ultimate Spider-Man" approach in remaking characters to be similar but different.  Now I say, when you enter an arena to fight, you would likely take your robe off and reveal a more MK9-based costume underneath.

People think they know the story of Rain.  Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, an update of Mortal Kombat 3, included two new characters, Ermac and Rain, basically just more palette swaps.  The same way that Mario was once palette swapped to create Luigi, using the same sprite (and Ken and Ryu were actually palette swapped as well, except for the head), Ermac and Rain were the red and purple ninjas.

In time, I would learn that Ermac was based on the ERror MACro message in Mortal Kombat 1, which led some to believe Ermac was an unlockable character wearing red.  Rain was a reference to a Prince song called Purple Rain.  That's the basic story that most MK fans know.

This is what inspired Mortal Kombat's Rain.



But of course to me I think of Prince in connection with Dave Chappelle.

This is indeed what inspired Mortal Kombat - or, rather, what the character was named after.  Maybe that lady's dress and collar could make a good outfit for someone in MK, who knows.

Notice the gold lining on his right shoulder?  Look again at Rain from MK9.

Although he was not originally in 2011's Mortal Kombat, he was added as a downloadable character in 2012.  Why?  Due to POPULAR DEMAND.

They also added Skarlett, a female ninja wearing red rumored since MK2, similar to the MK team's move of inserting Ermac into Ultimate MK3.  That right there is proof that these people will do anything you tell them to do.  Anything.  Anything.  Anything.  Even Sub-Zero transforming into a polar bear.  Kids insisted, to the MK team, that they had seen it pulled off.  In MK3, that could be said truthfully.

Although Rain was just a simple palette swap at first, within a few years he had appeared in three forms of media: in the second movie, in the cartoon show, and in an episode of MK: Konquest.  MK comic books had been discontinued at that time, except the MK4 comic, so Rain never appeared in comic books.

 <-- Cartoon show, "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm", episode 3, "Skin Deep".

That picture is from my older brother's web-site, the Kombat Pavilion, online since 1996 or 7.  Everyone who ever shows a picture of Rain unmasked, anywhere on the Internet, is always copying from that picture, which my brother took of his own recording (on VHS) of the show.

What is notable here is that he is unmasked just about the entire time.  He first appears executing a flying kick right as we cut to commercial break.  After landing from this flying kick, he takes off his mask.  As a former prince of Edenia, he was said, in the cartoon, to have formerly had a relationship with Kitana, sparking bad vibrations between Liu Kang and Rain.  Some interesting twists.

The character's story in the games would have, at first, had him running away from the Lin Kuei.  His story was replaced with a new one.  He was a baby in Edenia during the time of Shao Kahn's invasion.  So that explains the question of what would happen to babies during the invasion.  He was carried away, only to come back thousands of years later in servitude to Shao Kahn, making him a traitor.  Prince.  Revolution.

Something notable about Ermac and Rain.  Their costumes were exact to the games.  They managed to break away from being a perfect copy of the first movie's template for Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Reptile, with two palette-swapped Ultimate MK3 ninjas instead.  They looked like real life, while sticking to the games' outfits, a very difficult two tasks to get right.  Rain demonstrates correctly-choreographed martial arts poses - not just any old punch, punch, kick, kick.

And this version of Sheeva at least covers up her body more than all the other versions do.  I'm just saying.  It's always Sheeva and Mileena that they try to exploit, what gives.

In the novelization of MK: Annihilation, it seems that there is no Rain, at all.  Instead, there was Baraka from MK2.  Whoa.  The movie would have thus involved Baraka assaulting the Shaolin temples, similar to MK2.  But Ermac without Rain would have felt like kind of a gyp.

MK Konquest - Rain fights the old Kung Lao.  I have the same match happen in my "Mortal Kombat Begins" segment of MKX.

Something that began in the cartoon and carried over into live-action MK Konquest?  Besides Quan Chi?  Rain having a prior relationship with Kitana.

So that is Rain!

In Mortal Kombat X, Rain's role is different.  He works for King Jerrod, when we first meet him, but Shao Kahn corrupts Rain into darkness.  Rain kills King Jerrod under orders by Shao Kahn, so that the Elder Gods technically cannot say that Shao Kahn killed him.  I was afraid people might not like that idea.  But then Baraka killed King Jerrod in MK: Legacy, so, okay!  People might not mind my version!  Going back to Shakespeare, Kitana thinks her father died by lightning, and is greeted by her father's soul, to tell her that Rain did it.  Rain's motivation for killing the King: being paid by Shao Kahn in silver and gold.  This is a major change to the game's story of Rain being a baby at the time of Shao Kahn's invasion.

Later on, Rain is sent to Europe, in the times of the Renaissance, to track down Princess Kitana and kidnap her.  That is Rain's adventure.  The "princess has been kidnapped' adventure story in reverse - Rain's adventure to go to Europe, track down the princess, get to her, and finally, his success in capturing her.

I came up with this trying to imagine what Rain's solo video-game would be like, and that's what I came up with.  Rain's adventure to capture her, under orders by Shao Kahn.

Imagine every character in Mortal Kombat being focused on, isolated, one-on-one, every character having their own game.  A game for Kano, a game for Rain, a game for Shao Kahn.  Well, now, instead, imagine Mortal Kombat as one gigantic action/adventure/RPG in which you select your character but each character has his own 20 minutes of their own game, basically.  That is my vision: play as Kano and go through a Grand Theft Auto level for a while, stealing cars and motorcycles.  Or play as Sonya and play a more military-like game, a helicopter level.  Play as Liu Kang and walk around the village in China.  For Rain: his mission to track down and capture the princess.

Then again, if my idea is so great, the total story would have to be told in one chronological order, so, the game would have to start with only Raiden being playable, and after Raiden, at some point Fujin levels.  So I guess the story structure would be a lot like what they're already got going on with the Story Mode in MK vs. DC Universe, every chapter shifting to another character's viewpoint to tell one total story in one chronological order.

Whoa, maybe the video-game could start with Shinnok only, in space, roaming space, a space game, creating asteroids.

THEN the Raiden levels, for MK Mythologies: Raiden, then the Fujin levels.  Water God.  Then you get to the Shao Kahn levels for a while, and whoever you meet, you can then unlock in the character select screen.  One by one, characters on the screen would go from gray to color when unlocked.

Well anyway that is how I wrote my story.  By trying to imagine the gigantic remake, beyond MK9, the gigantic action/adventure/RPG where it's as if every character has his or her own game.  Sonya's helicopter levels would be intended as a cute reference to the Raiden trademark difficulty in 1992.  YOU GUYS REMEMBER THAT?  Y'ALL HAD TROUBLE USING THE NAME RAIDEN BECAUSE OF A HELICOPTER GAME CALLED RAIDEN.  SO RAIDEN HAD TO BE SPELLED LIKE RAYDEN.  WASN'T FAIR, WAS IT???

Someone please make my idea a reality?  All the characters available in MK Armaggeddon in "their own game" for 20 minutes?

Mortal Kombat Princesses

Posted by MortalKombatX on April 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments ()

Princess Kitana: a Mortal Kombat character.

Not quite the same as a Disney princess.  Take a look at the Disney princesses.

One head above the Little Mermaid's Ariel is some sort of new princess from Tangled, a newer Disney movie.

The fact that these different princesses, from separate movies, are shown together in a lot of marketing and advertising led me to realize how immersive this whole "Disney princesses" scene is.  Mortal Kombat has Princess Kitana, and technically also Sheeva.

Maybe it's time to add more than just one (human) princess into Mortal Kombat.  Thus my new character, Kaylani, princess of Cryo, the Ice Realm.  She wins her fights, but the rest of Cryo's people lose, and the realm of Cryo is lost to Outworld, in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Shao Kahn.  Also, Kitsune (deleted from MK1 - became Kitana in MK2), in "Mortal Kombat Begins" - a princess in China who fights in Mortal Kombat, alongside Kung Lao, and loses.

So, yes.  I think it's time to add more princesses to Mortal Kombat.  Kaylani.  Kitsune.  And I also make Mileena a princess of Outworld, a new detail, after my little twist that Kitana escaped to Earth rather than serve Kahn.  So, again, that's Kitana, Sheeva, and now also Mileena, Kaylani, and Kitsune, to make five princesses - because why not?  Disney's had many.

Princesses Mortal Kombat has had thus far:

Kitana, Sheeva.

Princesses I add:

Mileena, Kaylani, Kitsune.

Mortal Kreativity

Posted by MortalKombatX on March 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM Comments comments ()

The fiction and mythology in Mortal Kombat is sometimes inspired by looking at real life, and imagining how whatever you see around you could be worked into the fiction.

There was Mortal Kombat, taking place on an island, and Mortal Kombat II, taking place in Outworld - all made in the Midway studios in Chicago, Illinois.  Here's Boon and Tobias on the rooftop of Midway, in Chicago.

Ed Boon and John Tobias In Chicago (1995)

And then Mortal Kombat 3 takes place IN Chicago.


I just think it's amazing.

Only Mortal Kombat is truly immersive, the ONE best world of epic fiction to be into, rivaled only by a few things, like Star Wars and Star Trek.

You see, the thing about Mortal Kombat is that it really does make you think differently of certain things forever.  The word "tournament", for instance.  Maybe not so big a deal to people who were over the age of 30 in 1992, when Mortal Kombat came out.  But today a kid starting college may have not yet been born in 1992.  (I was 4.)  The word "tournament" belongs to Mortal Kombat now, the position previously held by Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon".

What else belongs to Mortal Kombat?  The word "fatality".  The word "sub-zero".  The phrase "Finish him!"  The very phrase "mortal combat".  Now I look at the phrase "Purple Rain" very differently.

Because, of course, Rain, from Ultimate MK3, was named after Purple Rain.  A Prince song?  I knew this since 1997, but thought little of it.  Actually, flipping through HBO in 2013, I saw a MOVIE from 1984 called Purple Rain.  I learned that the song belongs to an album, and the album is the soundtrack to a movie, Purple Rain.  How funny, to navigate through my 2013 menu of TV shows and movies, and to see "Purple Rain" among the movies playing on HBO.  It would be like seeing a movie called "Ermac", or "Reptile".  "Red Sonja" is a movie name that sparks that light bulb / rings a bell of Mortal Kombat, to me.  Red Sonya.  In Mortal Kombat 1, Sonya was INFAMOUS for wearing all green, and having a Mirror Match wearing all red.  (All the kids in my 1st and 2nd grade classes knew this fact.  The boys, anyway.)  So, "Red Sonja" has that spark of Mortal Kombat now, to me.

Lots of stuff does.  Mortal Kombat leads you to see EVERYTHING around you differently.  Purple Rain, the Prince movie, now gives you an extra "Ahhhh!" of joy to share with people, because of Mortal Kombat.  The very phrase "engaged in mortal combat" being said by anyone in any movie now gives you an "Ahhhh!" of joy to share with people, because of Mortal Kombat.  The phrase "steal your soul" now feels as though it was invented by, or at least mastered by, Mortal Kombat.  Certain masks or ninja outfits can remind you of the Mortal Kombat ninjas, and watching some movies, like the Chronicles of Riddick, the influence from MK outward into other works of fiction is clear.

Seeing Purple Rain, and realizing that this was indeed THE movie that built the world up toward Mortal Kombat . . . Prince, in the 80's, having this girl in the city argue about how she loves him . . . I felt like I'd been led to realize: I should take a close look at any well-known source material that inspired Mortal Kombat.  Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.  Big Trouble in Little China.  Purple Rain.  Bloodsport.  Jean Claude Van Damme.  Universal Soldier.  All these random things from the 80's to early 90's helped to inspire Mortal Kombat's characters.  I should look at how this character played by Prince is dressed . . . indeed, in all purple.  Also with some gold at the top of Prince's outfit.  I thought to myself, then Rain should have a little bit of gold added to the top of his costume, bringing it back to the original inspirational source material of the Prince movie Purple Rain, of all things in history.  Lo and behold: MK9 already has some gold at the top of Rain's outfit.  Now I looked again and understood it a layer better.  It takes years to grow wise enough to keep up with these MINDS out there.

Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon -- inspiration for Liu Kang, a tournament

Big Trouble in Little China -- sorcerer villain, Raiden

Bride of Frankenstein -- inspired Sindel's hair

Shang Tsung working for the Emperor, Shao Kahn -- somewhat like the transition from Star Wars to Return of the Jedi

Flash Gordon - before Star Wars, Flash Gordon had Emperor Ming

What else was Mortal Kombat inspired by?  I'll tell you what.  Baby sound effects, and soothing baby music, were in a CD of public domain sounds that the Mortal Kombat II sound designer was looking through, and he just kinda came up with the idea of the Babality just like that.  "Hey, maybe we could work THIS music in, and call it the Babality."  And then there it is.

I cannot even tell you how many people have made sprite comics, using graphics from the 90's Mortal Kombat video-games, on the Kombat Pavilion, my brother's web-site since 1997.  I was 9 years old back then, and he was 14, so, that's an interesting time of nostalgia, of when the good old days of the simple early 90's were broken by that Internet revolution.  Well, whatever.  Now that I think about it, one random little comic from 2004 would probably have seemed AMAAAAAZING to look at in 1997.  Later, not so amazing.  Now it's another 10 years later?  It's 10 years after 2004 already?  Whatever.

Sorcerers.  Dragons.  Both words have existed for a long time, but Mortal Kombat gets it the most right.  From then on, all other versions of sorcerers and dragons are mild, watered down compared to how Mortal Kombat did it.  Otherwise, only "Big Trouble in Little China" showed a Chinese supernatural martial arts story in an awesome way.  MK makes me look at the Sorcerer's Apprentice, the "Fantasia" version of it by Disney, differently, with the sorcerer with the blue hat making me think of Shang Tsung in MK1.

The Kombat Pavilion, the web-site, was named after Mortal Kombat, but also after the Honan Pavilion, a great Chinese restaurant around where we lived in Alexandria, Virginia.  So, you see?  You can walk around, and see ordinary things, and ask yourself: "How can I factor this into Mortal Kombat?"  Remember, a major MK fan-made web-site was named, in part, after a Chinese restaurant.  Looking at the two lion statues that I would have to walk between to enter the building, I would think of two things.  The Twilight Zone, where one lion statue makes a roaring sound (in "The Jungle" episode, I think).  And Mortal Kombat 1's lion statues.  Maybe Shang Tsung's palace could have two lion statues besides the door, so that everybody has to walk between them.  Maybe they could spit balls of fire, too.  You see, you just never how much of the reality around you will end up in Mortal Kombat.

Little things I intend to change about Mortal Kombat.  I want to add doppelgangers, the German mythological concept of evil doubles of people, into the many species of MK, to explain the Mirror Match physically.  I was tempted to change the idea into tanuki, but I will keep it with doppelgangers and find some other way to work in tanuki.  Mortal Kombat has used oni, from Japanese mythology, for over 10 years now so Japanese tanuki should be no strange thing at all.

It could be baby music that makes its way into Mortal Kombat.  Remember that.

Now I look at this bike, and I say to myself: "That's a Rain bike!"  Without Mortal Kombat, it would be just another mindless object.

                   "Hey!  That's my bike!" - Rain

Over the years, I've seen it all.  A Cyrax car.  An Ermac car, at a gas station.  A Sektor truck.  Yep.  Mortal Kombat has me seeing everything around me differently.

See the floor?  That's where one of my dragon symbols came from - that cement.

See the marble design in the walls, behind the two chairs?  Underneath the horizontal white lines?  THAT marble design became my red-and-black dragon symbol.

I say, take a garbage can at a gas station, and MAKE it Mortal Kombat.

How I Made The Dragon Symbols

Posted by MortalKombatX on February 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments ()

Start with the basic 2 to 3 colors for a dragon symbol.  Then substitute each solid color for different photos of ordinary things like walls and floors.



The rocky ground, at 3 a.m.


Just search Google for "outer space" and you'll find this right away.



THE CLOUDS (not my photo):



Silver and gold are frequently mentioned together.  In the 1890's decade, silver and gold became a major political debate, as Republicans and Democrats differed in which material they wanted to become the future monetary standard.  Some scholars say that "The Wizard of Oz" has underlying themes of silver and gold - the Tin Man, the Yellow Brick Road.

COOKWARE (being thrown out):


I used Paint Shop Pro 6 - that's from 2001.  Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI is newer.











It takes several effects to get a picture looking good.  Then: the edited bra, over a background of the regular bra.



Now imagine Marble Counter 2 against Asphalt Street!


Or, to reverse that, Asphalt Street against Marble Countertop 2:




Grass ground.  I also re-colored the green grass to become red, below, and used it as the texture for the lettering in the "Mortal Kombat Begins" title picture.

 Okay, maybe still kinda lame.  BUT!  More effects produce this cool blue background.

You would NEVER think it's a photo of a tree against grass.

So now picture there being black trees, and blue grass, somewhere in Outworld.


Red Grass




GARBAGE CAN at Cumberland Farms Gas Station:

Now some more, just for fun.

Maybe not that important, but still kind of cool.

This is based on the very simple premise of blue for Sub-Zero, against yellow for Scorpion, with a light touch of green for Reptile.  This is what it might look like in the 80's 8-bit era.

  Might make you remember 1950's Superman comics,

or 80's Nintendo Mario.  The nostalgia of a time when stuff was filled with action and yet was clean the whole way through.

Also true of clean versions of Mortal Kombat for the Game Boy and Game Gear.

Like the gray text against black.

Similarities Between My Comic Strip And MK9

Posted by MortalKombatX on February 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments ()

My Comic Strip, MK: Altered Destiny (2006)

In my comic strip, in 2006, Shang Tsung goes back in time, his consciousness sent to the body of his younger self, to avoid Shao Kahn's hammer killing him.

Okay, I guess I should elaborate a little.  My comic strip is a choose your own adventure comic strip, using video-game graphics, in which one possibility for the first page ends in two choices, leading to two possibilities for the second page, leading to four for the third page, and basically eight possibilities for the fourth page.  The HTML files were labeled as page_a, page_aa and page_ab, and AB leads to ABA or ABB . . . so in route ABBBAA, you get this.  Shao Kahn is about to hit Shang Tsung over the head with a hammer.  So Tsung sends his consciousness back in time to his younger self.  He will send a gust of wind to pass by the coin that was flipped at the end of the first page.  So, for once, instead of reaching an ending, ABBBAA is the only path which instead leads back to a choice of AA or AB through time-traveling.

SOME of this comic strip was what my brother Justin, or ]{0MBAT, suggested I put into it.  The "man of a thousand faces" comment was an idea he suggested I put in.  Similarly, in his comic strips about Shao Kahn having the hiccups, I suggested he add confetti to the panel where he celebrates the hiccups being over, and he used it.

This comic strip was put up online in 2006.  I never thought anyone in the MK team would actually read it.  If I had, I'd have probably invested more time into Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn in the last few panels, and not let them use the same sprite over and over. ( -_- )  The narration described Shao Kahn's hammer "coming closer to" Shang Tsung, yet we don't see it due to my working fast at just getting the whole project finished and wrapped up.  I do kinda wish I had actually SHOWN that hammer attack.

Shang's life begins to flash before his eyes, and he realizes that he can soon be destroyed.  In a moment of panic, a crazy idea hits him: to alter the course of history in order to undo his current predicament.  That moment in the past in which he flipped the coin is the most critical moment.  That is the moment that must be altered.  Shang sends a gust of wind to blow by that coin at a precise second.

This idea is a bizarre one, but as Kahn's hammer gets closer, Shang begins to see its merits.  He sends the gust of wind into the past . . . either turning it over once, from tails to heads - or twice, back to tails again.

What They Put Into

Actual Mortal Kombat (2011)

Raiden is about to die, being killed by Shao Kahn.

As Shao Kahn's hammer gets closer, Raiden uses his broken amulet (similar to the one seen in the 1995 MK Jeff Rovin novel??) to send a message back in time to his younger self: "He must win."  And thus the message of words is sent backward in time to younger Raiden.

Have you ever seen the Final Destination movies?  They always start out this way.  Now it turns out that, back in time to Mortal Kombat 1, Raiden had a premonition of all this happening in 1992.

Another thing I would say about MK9, or MK (2011), is that . . . I always wanted to make my amazing remake of Mortal Kombat.  Now, here it is, the game doing everything I wanted to do, like Johnny Cage's outfit looking how it looked back in the days of MK1's trading cards, and other stuff.  Now we have a time-travel reboot of Mortal Kombat.

So, my remake, Mortal Kombat X, waits until MK3 for Raiden to share with Liu Kang a premonition of something he saw earlier, but did not want to share before.  In one vision of the possible future, Shao Kahn is the last one standing, killing Raiden last.  Raiden must not let this dark possible future come to pass.  So.  Suppose they DID borrow from me.  Everything goes back to everything else.


Or maybe not.

Shao Kahn had kind of been shown as progressively weakening in the years building up to 2006.  In my comic strip, I went back to showing him as the be-all, unstoppable villain that wins.  MK9 brings Shao Kahn back to that state - taking him seriously again, moreso than he was in the last several years of games.  Inspired by my approach, in my comic strip?  Or coincidence?

My Brother's Comic, Ghost in the Machine (2006)

What They Actually Put Into Mortal Kombat (2011)

Jax's Ending

This was a surprise change of direction for Mortal Kombat: virtual reality.  Jax plugs himself into electronic networks, using human/mechanical cyber-tech, connected to his arms, only to find that Kano can be found due to the mechanical implant in his eye.  They enter virtual reality, and fight, and - this is the twist - Kano's consciousness gets kept inside a machine.  For now, it seems like victory for Jax.

Kano's Ending

Kano learns that, inside the machine, he can access networks without his physical body.

He spreads like a virus . . .

. . . and becomes a one-man army.  Holy fuck.

But a man's consciousness kept in a machine at the Special Forces base?  Kano instead of Shang Tsung.  Coincidence?  Or the farthest thing from it?