Steve Beran has been contributing to the Mortal Kombat series since 1995's MK3. As a Director of Art, Beran has been responsible for collaborating on some of the goriest moments in the series' long history, for NetherRealm Studios' latest installment in the long running series, Mortal Kombat.

In a new blog for, Beran is taking fans inside the process with a special look at the conceptual gestation of a finishing move. It's a probing follow-up to similar material feature in January's IGN exclusive Inside the X-Ray featurette. [full story]

Liu Kang: A Real Heartbreaker!

With an emphasis on redirecting the series toward it's graphically violent origins, Beran reveals the unprecedent priority fatalities have taken in the construction of Mortal Kombat, in 2011. The process has allowed the team maximum opportunity to create a guaranteed two fatalities per character, with ample opportunity to design and polish the finished product. Modern technologies mean fatalities are now an increasingly elaborate and graphic opportunity to punish and humiliate opponents -- a fact NetherRealm Studios has relished in the making of this game.

The blog describes the importance of every stage of the process, with scrutiny given to the ideas phase, right up to sound design. Included are pictures of Ed Boon's now famous stick figure storyboards, this time detailing Scorpion's sword fatality. Also featured is the plunging stage fatality famously associated with The Pit, as well as another look at Liu Kang's exploding fist fatality, which was featured in both wallpaper artwork, and the recent Liu Kang character vignette (performed on Shang Tsung).

You can find the exclusive blog, along with it's copyrighted pictures, on In the blog, Beran also promises the opportunity to glimpse a preview of more fatality action if you pre-order the game via Gamestop. Those who pre-order the game will be provided a code to enter into their MK widget, revealing more lethal finishers!

Mortal Kombat is available April 19 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in regular and kollector's special editions. All versions of the PS3 game will include the exclusively playable bonus character, Kratos, from Sony's immensely popular God of War series [full story]. PS3 owners are also privy to free "classic" Jade costume DLC [full story], if they buy Mortal Kombat (1995) or Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, released on Blu-Ray April 19!