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Transcript of Ed Boon E3 Interview Now Available!

05/27/2002 :: Posted at 12:22 PM by DArqueBishop
[Mortal Kombat Online]: Ed, I was wondering if it would be all right if I asked you a couple quesions about the new Mortal Kombat game.
[Ed Boon]: Sure.

All right. I noticed a big improvement over Mortal Kombat 4. Can I ask, were you heavily involved in this one as you were with the old Mortal Kombat games?
Oh Yes.

You were?

So you were the lead programmer as usual?
I don't know if I would consider me the lead programmer, I mean I did the game programming so... but you know, there's 8 programmers on the team now so I don't think I could qualify as lead programmer.

Oh, okay. Shang Tsung - I noticed his special moves haven't been implemented yet.
Yeah, we have the special moves for Shang but we disabled them because we're still in kind of like a balancing phase. Because it really adds to the whole mix and it's showing more of a skeletal version just to prove this concept of the changing styles and all that.

Like I noticed there's [Sub-Zero's] freeze in one of the trailers.

But that's been disabled.
Right, it's been disabled.

OK, now Shang Tsung's morphs - is he going to be able to morph?
No. Unfortunately, we can't load in - it's kind of like the problem with the old disk-based versions where morphing consists of having to grab a lot of data and you can't grab instantly on that.

So it would really slow it down.
Right, exactly. That would slow the game down so much we'll probably give him some other comparable special moves but not an actual morph.

So will he be sort of like Shinnok in the last Mortal Kombat game?
Probably not. I don't think we'll do that because like I said he's gonna have three styles of his own so it doesn't really make sense to really just have him just have like 30 different styles.

So he won't be able to do like Scorpion's Spear or Sub-Zero's Freeze or anything this time around.
No, probably not. He'll have his own distinct moves.

OK, I know my friend Scott over there wanted to ask a couple questions.

What about Johnny Cage, do you know is he going to be in it yet?
Oh yeah, he's the top-left character, just shadowed out. [Ed points to Johnny Cage's picture on the character select screen.]

Yeah, I've noticed a lot of the characters have been grayed out. So you're not finished with them yet, right?
Oh, no. A lot of them are functioning and they work in the game but we just wanted to show the game that we have.

[Pointing to the screen] So there's, Cyrax, and Raiden. Is that Kung Lao? Or Liu Kang in a hat?
On the bottom right, yes.

Is that Kitana next to him?

OK, then some of them I don't recognize - either their looks have been updated too much or they're brand new.
There's a lot of new characters that we have.

OK, now who's doing the story for this game? Are you doing the story, or is there someone else handling this?
No, primarily it's John Vogel writing the story. But as with everything it's like everybody's involved.

So everyone's contributing here and there to the stories.

OK, what's Johnny Cage's excuse for being alive? Do you know?
What was that?

Why exactly is it that Johnny Cage is coming back from the dead?
It's just by hearing comments and stuff from people, who they want to see come back.

Have you written a story for any of them?
Oh yeah, we have a whole bunch of stories.

So that's finished pretty much.
Yeah, the story part is pretty much defined. We have this whole "Konquest" mode which is a's kind of a like a combination of a Mission Caliber training and the Virtua Fighter. It'll be a long sequenece that you play as single player.

So will there be FMV scenes [in Konquest Mode] or just only in the endings?
There's FMV and endings as well.

OK, now are the endings going to be like in MK4 where the N64 had endings that were slightly different because the PlayStation and PC had upgraded versions - what I mean to say is, will all the endings be exactly the same on the consoles?

OK... and is there anything that you've done with Mortal Kombat that hasn't been shown yet at E3?
Oh yeah, there's plenty of stuff. I mean we have whole categories of stuff, we've disabled them here - we have projectiles; Scorpion has a spear, Sub-Zero has his freeze, there's a whole bunch of magic moves. There's throws - that's a whole other category of moves that are in there.

We haven't even seen throwing yet.
Throwing's going to be a huge part of the game, and counters too. Some of the fighting styles will be a lot more radically different - like Judo's going to be all throws. We're gonna have counters where you catch the other guy's leg or something, and so we're gonna have a lot more diversion. We have the drunken fighting style and everything.

You are going to have drunken? Awesome. Everyone loves drunken.

I had a question and I almost forgot...Oh yeah, how about Reptile? It doesn't look like he's in.
[points to Reptile's pic on the select screen]

Oh wow, that's him. OK, and can I ask - who's this guy on the bottom left?

Oh yeah, the red eye. OK, so we got Kano, Cyrax...

Mavado, Reptile...who's that guy?
That's the drunken guy. [Editor's note: Now named Bo' Rai Cho.]

The drunken guy, alright. Raiden... not sure who that is...
That's a new guy.

Have you come up with a name for him?
Uh no, we don't have a name. [Editor's note: We now believe it's Drahmin]

OK, how about that guy on the right of him?
He doesn't have a name either; he's a new guy also.

OK, and that's Kitana and Kung Lao.
No, Female Sub-Zero and Kung Lao. Kitana's on the top.

Female Sub-Zero, OK. Does she have a name or is it going to be Female Sub-Zero?
Oh no, she'll have a name. We don't know yet, we haven't come up with a name. [Editor's note: Now she is known as Frost.]

OK, the idea of a female Sub-Zero's been really popular, and you've said he [Sub-Zero] has a sister. In Mortal Kombat Mythologies, I think you guys said he had a sister.
They might have mentioned that, I'm not very sure. But I don't think it's really going to be related to that.

Oh. So you're just going to make a separate person, who's not related?

Now what's the deal with the Runestone?
The what?

The Runestone. I heard that on the [Midway] website, I read something about a runestone.
Well that's the first I heard of it. [laughter]

Are you gonna be here tomorrow?
Oh yeah, I'll be here all 3 days.

Hidden characters, are they gonna be in there?

A long time ago you said something about bringing back "Test Your Might", along with "Test Your Sight".
Yeah, that's all in there.

OK, so how's Blind Kenshi going to do on the "Test Your Sight"?
We don't know yet. [smiling]

Well he'll do okay hopefully. And my friend, D'Arque wanted to know - is there going to be a PC version?
Probably not.

I thought of one last thing I wanted to ask you.

I know in a lot of the old games, like the first three, I know they were fully digitized actors. And in MK4, I know they were computer-built but you used a real face to base their faces on. How have you done the new faces for the new characters and everything?
They were modeled. They're completely modeled, and they're not based on anybody's likeness or anything like that. They're sculpted completely.

No real people at all?

Any word on Noob Saibot?
Probably not for this game.

OK. Good decision. Well thank you again!

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