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MKO Interviews Ed Boon Regarding MKvsDCU

07/25/2008 :: Posted at 01:58 PM by ]{0MBAT
[Mortal Kombat Online]: This is Justin Deering reporting to you live from San Diego Comic-Con. Here with me is Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat and leader of the project, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Ed, thank you for having us.
[Ed Boon]: Always good to see you guys.

Thank you, thank you. A couple of questions we had about the game. First -- John Tobias.
Yeah... John Tobias.

He's back?
You know what, in some ways you will hear the name John Tobias pretty soon.

Alright. Could you expand on that a little bit, possibly?
I can't at the moment, but by the time you're even probably going to post this, you will have had your answer.

So, as far as the story behind the new game goes, is this a collaboration between the Mortal Kombat and DC teams or is maybe one team putting a little bit more into this than the other team?
Well, I guess the framework of the story was put together by John Vogel, Alexander Barrentine, and Jon Greenberg, who for the last 2 or 3 games have kinda done that, and then the behavior for the DC characters and a lot of writing was also done by a guy named Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, who have done a good amount of comic book writing. They know the DC characters. They know Superman and Batman, so they've kinda corrected us, you know. "Batman wouldn't react this way, he'd say this". They're a lot more familiar with the characters, so it was a collaboration of the two teams.

Now, I know you're not really in charge of the story, but if you wouldn't mind helping us and shed some light on the plot. We know that "cataclysmic events" have opened up between the two different realms. If you could tell us a little bit more what happens on the Mortal Kombat side of it, does Armageddon have anything to do with the cataclysmic event?
It has nothing to do one of the Mortal Kombat timelines, it's a bit of a "What if?" scenario. So it's not like we're saying this even takes place after Armageddon or something like that. From our standpoint, if you were to pick a time where it landed, I would say maybe it's between Mortal Kombat II and 3. But we're not considering it something that if you go by a future Mortal Kombat, they're not going to be talking about these DC heroes that they had ran into before. So it's more like a "What if?" scenario, for argument's sake, it's not supposed to be canon.

Gotcha. A lot of people when they saw the Liu Kang render were wondering, it looks like Zombie Liu and Spirit have merged back or has it not even happened yet?
Well, like I was mentioning before, since it happened before Liu Kang was killed, there's no need for Zombie Liu. Even though a lot of people liked that look, it's not quite appropriate.

Understood. So are there any non-playable characters that will appear in the story mode?

Could you tell us who maybe a couple of them will be?
Yeah, I'll tell you the whole roster. I wish I could, but there is a plan to release characters, like for instance tomorrow at our panel we're going to be releasing 4 characters, and in Germany the Leipzig show we'll show 3 or 4 playable characters. So there's kind of a whole sequence of events that's planned out, and if I told you right now it'd kind of throw that off, as much as I'd like to.

samus_aran3900 had a question about mini-games -- if there will be any -- and also Kreate-A-Kharacter mode.
No, and no. Not that we don't like it or don't want to but I think that one of the things that when we went into this game that we put on ourselves was to not continue this evolution of mini-games. We liked them and we had fun, and I don't think you've seen the last one, but certainly for this time we're not going to be putting in Babalities and Friendships and mini-games. This is the next-generation of Mortal Kombat in terms of the consoles and technology, so we really want to focus on the fighting and the two storylines.

So I guess that doesn't look good for our next question! IceKakashi was asking us if there will be a tag team mode.
No -- again, a good idea. Definitely something we'd consider for a future game, but again our focus is really on the core fighting -- the whole wiping the slate clean, going to the more gritty feel and what not, and establishing that.

So possibly if there's a sequel.
Oh, possibly, maybe.

Major_Kenny has a question about the Kollector's Edition extra. Cinder that that poll... will it be a comic book, a T-Shirt, or a CD? Any idea whatever came of that?
Yes! You'll find out tomorrow. Like I said before, we have a number of announcements that are coming along.

What if I promise not to post this until tomorrow?
Well... [looks back, and refers to another Midway employee in the room] she said no.

Well, how about this one, then. We're wondering if it will still be released in Europe?
You mean the special edition? Because it wasn't in a previous...

Sometimes they get left out.
I think so. I've been in a number of the marketing meetings that we're doing and I don't believe I've ever heard anybody say that we're not going to release it there.

Kevin Hall was wondering if there will be any kontests like the "Fan Submission" and "Skream it".
Oh, like the fan art and all that.
It's a great idea, but because there's other characters that we don't own, like we don't own Batman, we don't own Superman, maybe that's one reason we didn't do it. Also, I think because we've done it before, and again I'd like to think that we're going into this game -- even if something worked before, we want to try something different. Our goal for this game is to make this game enjoyable as much as possible, especially for people who have not encountered Mortal Kombat before.

Tim1980 is wondering if Shang Tsung will have his morphs in it.
No, I'd love it if he could, but the reality of the situation is that we're reading off a DVD or Blu-Ray disc. The speed of which you can load the data is only so fast. You can't have all 20 characters information in memory at once. The reason we were able to do it before was because the arcade games ran on ROMs, we had instant access to anything, there was no hard drive, so if I was to say let's grab the Kung Lao stuff, load it in, and then have him instantly morph into him... it was easy. That's probably the main reason you haven't seen him have them in the more recent previous CD-based games. But, there is going to be something very cool that he's going to be doing with what is in memory.

So is it going to be like with Shinnok in MK4, where he just does their special moves?

I'm sorry, what was going to do again?
[laughs] Next question.

ChubbyShark is wondering if there's going to be a Krypt or other type of unlockable system.
Well, we will have additional kontent, but again, we've done the Krypt... we've done it multiple times before, so we don't want to repeat what we've done before.

So there will be a different way to unlock kontent?
[nods in agreement]

He also wondering if we're going to have alternate kostumes.
That's a tough one. I guess what you need to keep in mind is that every version of the characters that we show, we need approval for them. And so it's pretty time consuming. So the process of kind of doubling that up by saying "Okay, let's do alternate Superman, let's do that Russian one..."

Red Son.
Yeah, exactly. And all the different versions... that's quite a bit of turnaround time. We've kind of restricted it, because we don't have time for 40 approvals, as opposed to 20. So we are going to have more subtle modifications to the characters, kinda like the alternate pallettes were. If you pick Superman and I pick Superman, you need a way to distinguish your Superman from mine. And we are going to have that. But it probably won't be like the Russian Superman, or we can't make a Batman that looks like the Dark Knight, because that's a different property.

So you can't do "Movie Batman".

That kind of leads into my next question, I was going to ask how have the movies and other media impacted the designs of the characters?
Zero percent. As a matter of fact, that was a point made to us that we were not supposed to make the artwork look like Batman Begins, the Dark Knight, we can't make our Superman look like Christover Reeve or Brandon Routh or anybody who's played him before. We need to make our own Superman. I think we had some inspiration from the general look of the Alex Ross characters, but we had to stay away from things like The Dark Knight.

You couldn't have that diagonal "S" he wore in Superman Returns.

A lot of fans on Mortal Kombat Online have said that Scorpion's mask reminded them of the mask that was in the Mortal Kombat movie.
Yeah, it does. Not on purpose, but yeah, when you mentioned it, it does look like that.

Bloodfang is asking if there's going to be a demo.
No. Our focus right now is on polishing the game and finishing. Demos, as cool as they are, are kind of a distraction for the team. They kind of prevent progress on some level, we have to kind of get a game that's playable, go for a QA process, testing it, submitting it, and that actually detracts from making the final product. So we're just focusing for the rest of the summer and into the fall on getting everything finished.

mkflegend was wondering if there's going to be any patches to fix any bugs or glitches that may slip through the cracks in playtesting.
You know, if there's something that needs addressing, and we have the ability to do it... I'd be surprised if we didn't. We always want the game to be as solid as possible, especially with online play. Before, that wasn't really an option, and now with the new system, it's a lot more viable. We all talk about it, and hopefully, we want to ship this game as solid as possible, but certainly if that's something that's warranted we will do it.

Some of the fans are concerned that if they find a 100% combo or something, you'll patch it.

That's pretty much it, thank you very much for watching, and keep it tuned to!

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