News Archive - March, 2014
Kountdown: Kiefer Sutherland Kommunity Kasting
MKOmmunity User Poll Results Speculate who Kiefer Sutherland will be in new MK!

Tell me, Michael. How could a billion Chinese people be wrong?When 24: Live Another Day star Kiefer Sutherland told IGN he'd completed work on a mystery Mortal Kombat game [original story] -- Mortal Kombat Online turned to the MKOmmunity to narrow down which character he might be!

2011's reboot Mortal Kombat set the story in motion for a return to the plot of Mortal Kombat 4 - and it was there we looked for prime suspects. Our User Poll narrowed in on characters who didn't have a prominent voice-actor in the most recent game, and might find their way into an all new, shuffled cast.

It should be noted: We don't know what the unspecified game is, or any of the characters who will appear in it! This was merely an educated guess based on the likelihood of a sequel -- supported in part by the already over-active rumor mill.

#1 Shinnok (47%)
With an overwhelming 47.4% of the vote: It seems there's very little doubt as to who most fans think the Hollywood star will be! Once famed for his quiet menace and sinister performances; Sutherland certainly has the skills to personify evil as the fallen Elder God: Shinnok!

Providing a cliff hanger to the retold Mortal Kombat 3 plot; Shinnok was presented as the sequential big bad for the next, time altered instalment - right where you would expect him to be. The anticipated significance of the villain probably steered some votes in this direction, reflecting impressions that Sutherland is a big time get for the new game's voice cast. Shinnok had several lines in Mortal Kombat, but they certainly weren't memorable enough to make recasting out of the question.

A little bit of wishful thinking may have penetrated voting, as well.
Shinnok lived in infamy for a time as one of the least respected boss characters in the franchise. While Mortal Kombat 4 quickly informed us of the Netherrealm ruler's might -- it failed to adequately demonstrate it in story or play. This left Shinnok an impotent villain whose move-set revolved around borrowed attacks, and story concluded with Looney Toons prop swapping and confusion. 2006's Armageddon made efforts to install credibility, but there's still work to be done, and there's no doubting Kiefer Sutherland would be an asset to the task!

#2 "Other" (13%)
With so little information to go on, it's no surprise the nebulous "other" option would receive a noteworthy chunk of votes.

Looking for roles with suitable gravitas and performance spotlight: many on the forums suggested the game Announcer or Narrator as an alternative option. Mortal Kombat has always been well known for its announcers and this would certainly showcase Sutherland's distinctive voice. In most cases, however, this role can be attributed to one of the playable cast. Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn & Quan Chi are among the best known in-game announcers.

Some looked to Sutherland's contemporary references as a street level tough guy to contemplate other characters. Kobra was an unexpected suggestion, while Sutherland guest characters Jack Bauer (24) and Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid) took a more literal route. Nobody could rule out a sequel to the 2008 Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe either.

#3 A New Character (10%)
In 2011; Mortal Kombat introduced the fewest playable, new characters of any sequel -- just one! Its story mode also went to great lengths to finish many fan-favourite heroes with fatalities! As the series moves forward, there's every chance the roster of characters will be expanded once again!

By and large, it's standard for most major fighting games to attempt to introduce at least 1-4 characters in a new installment. New creations have been hit and miss for about the last decade, but with Kiefer Sutherland giving voice to the character, a new fan-favourite may be right around the corner!

#4 Reiko (8%)
Introduced in Mortal Kombat 4; Reiko was a General of Shinnok's armies who led the forces of darkness against the heroes of Earthrealm -- and the Elder Gods themselves!

Despite the scope of his backstory; Reiko has never been entirely fleshed out as a character of significance. An ending sequence on home consoles made him the subject of years of rampant speculation -- leading many to believe he was the then thought-dead Shao Kahn. All but relegated to jokes and fan-fiction ever since: Kiefer Sutherland could be the man to make Reiko a militant force to be reckoned with! Having played military men in everything from A Few Good Men to the Metal Gear Solid V series, he certainly has experience in this arena!

#5 Fujin (6%)
At the centre of Mortal Kombat 4's plot is Shinnok's war against the Heavens, and the mass murder of the Elder Gods! Joining Raiden in the fight against the threat is one of his few surviving ethereal contemporaries: the god of wind - Fujin!

With Raiden never quite passing the torch, Fujin has struggled to be more than a second tier player. With Kiefer Sutherland in the role, the god of wind could finally break out as the voice of humanity and the protector of Earthrealm he is destined to be! The potential for drama with an airy rasp is there for the actor, but clearly not everyone thinks this character is up to his level.

#6 Kenshi (6%)
The sword saint Kenshi first appeared in 2002's Deadly Alliance, becoming one of the most enduring characters introduced since the departure of series co-creator: John Tobias. Cut from the same martial arts fiction cloth as many of the other classic characters, Kenshi struck a natural chord through his simple plot, and feud with Shang Tsung. Such is the success of the character that he was incorporated into the 2011 reboot as downloadable content - the only character from his era.

Despite the recent inclusion; Kenshi -- like other 2011 DLC characters -- did not feature a recorded voice actor. As a likely choice for any prospective sequel, he's bound to require the full character treatment for his glorious return. Sutherland has played the kinds of cool and confident characters that fit the bill -- and if Kenshi hooks up with the Special Forces like he did in the previous series, we're right back in the 24 wheelhouse! Being #6 may reflect this choice as a real dark horse.

#7 Jarek (5%)
Introduced as one of the last surviving members of the notorious Black Dragon Clan; Jarek is another Mortal Kombat 4 character, and another street level tough that taps Kiefer Sutherland's recent work as a no nonsense action icon.

Although more likely to be the kind of character TV's Jack Bauer would be tasked to defeat -- Jarek did briefly join the forces of light in their battle with Shinnok. Reprising the role in a modern sequel could be the chance to beef this overlooked character up, but it's clear his status as the poor man's Kano has few believing in the casting of a talent as prominent as Sutherland. Plausible, but not necessarily convincing.

#8 Shujinko (3%)
Shujinko was created as a story-driven protagonist for 2004's Deception, which effectively kept him busy while the plot of Shinnok's war on the Heavens was unfolding. As a matured warrior who started his quest in youth, Shujinko has ties to a vast array of the major characters. Unfortunately, his life's work was built on a lie, making him the fool of Deception's entire story mode.

Shujinko is arguably a criminally underrated character, crying out for a second chance in the MK pantheon as the curmudgeonly master who withdrew from the world. While Sutherland has the seasoning and stature to take a turn as a martial arts master, the timing is probably off. It's not out of the question, but clearly the fans feel it's much less likely.

#9 Tremor (2%)
Reaching much deeper into the longshot category we have Tremor. Until Mortal Kombat's release on PSVita [in 2012], Tremor had never technically appeared in a fighting game context. He was originally conceived for the Mortal Kombat 3 era, but didn't make an official appearance until 2000 third-person shooter: Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. There, he was finally incorporated as a muscle-bound palette swap with a penchant for pounding the Earth. This provided cut & paste inspiration for his Vita Challenge Tower appearance!

The Lin Kuei powerhouse turned Black Dragon mercenary has gained considerable cult following in recent years. If fans had their wishes, he would probably be a lock for any upcoming 2011 sequel. That said, Special Forces -- and its motley crew of villains -- are notoriously disliked by enduring NetherRealm Director Ed Boon. Sutherland could probably do it, but even we have to doubt the legitimate chances of this one.

#10 Argus (0.6%)
Scraping the barrel with less than 1% is a character who was introduced as a memory in Armageddon (2006). Argus was the protectoral god of Edenia, who supposedly died before Shinnok's uprising at the hands of his own corrupted demi-god son: Daegon. As fans well know, death is rarely a permanent predicament for even the most mortal of characters -- let alone a god! In the same game, there were also suggestions that Argus may have survived out of sight.

If a Mortal Kombat (2011) sequel revolves around a Shinnok/MK4 plot, then it would be appropriate for the endangered gods to be given an identity. Argus is not only a more recent, recognizable god, but also a perfect pick given Edenia's central role in Shinnok'z rise from the Netherealm! The fans obviously don't expect a Sutherland style voice to come from the Edenian god, but you never can be sure!

Did we miss an obvious choice? What type of game did Mr. Sutherland work on, any way? Register to vote in the updated User Poll and share your thoughts on the forum! Delver deeper into plots related to this post in our review of Trama Editorial's Mortal Kombat 4 #1.

Review: Mortal Kombat & Annihilation Blu-Ray
A close look at Mortal Kombats leap from cinema, to DVD, to hi-def Blu-Ray.

Note: This is an archive repost of a review first published April 15, 2011. Some information may no longer be valid. For the most recent update, see; Mortal Kombat 3-Disc Blu Ray Set Coming May.

Mortal Kombat

Opening up the Mortal Kombat Blu-Ray

Mortal Kombat first hit theaters in 1995, and was widely regarded as the most successful videogame-to-movie adaptation at the time. In fact, it is still considered the greatest such film adaption by many, even today.

Let’s begin by talking about the quality of the main film. Here is a synopsis:

Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert) has rescued them, but he cannot fight for them. They – a martial artist, an action film star, a soldier – are the chosen three. And while the world's fate rests on their shoulders, the rest of us can enjoy the thrills as they compete to save us all in the body-slamming, mystical-tinged, full-tilt spectacle of creatures and conflict that is Mortal Kombat. Paul Anderson (Resident Evil: Afterlife) directs this astonishing and trend-setting experience that showed how to turn a smash-hit video game into a movie smash. Cheer these intrepid three Kombatants – they're fighting for you!

As is common with Blu-Ray discs, there is a bit of film grain present in the movie. This is more noticeable in the outdoor scenes, especially during the daytime, but after a while you get used to it and can't tell that it's there any more. This is an inherent feature in High-Def movies because of the increased resolution, which sharpens the entire picture including the film grain along with it.

The picture quality is a dramatic improvement over DVD. You can discern much more detail on the Blu-Ray version of the film. Through the magic of the pause button, I was able to read the back of the National Examiner (the newspaper that has "JOHNNY CAGE A FAKE" as its headline) and notice that horoscopes were written by real-life astrologer Wendy Hawks. I was able to notice the skeletal husks in the background, when Shang Tsung has his first conversation with Goro. Reptile is easier to pick out while he is invisible. In short, the amount of details you are able to pick out when watching the film really lend to a new appreciation of the film.

The special effects still look great, even in high definition. Sub-Zero's freeze, Scorpion's fire, and even Reptile's... er... reptilian form all look as good as they ever did.

The 16:9 aspect ratio has been preserved for the Blu-Ray release. In other words, this is the exact same ratio present for "Widescreen" DVD release. A small note for those who are interested: When using the skip buttons to jump ahead to the next scene, they are also divided the same way as they were in the DVD.

MK Blu-Ray Spoken Languages MK Blu-Ray Subtitles

Next, let's talk about the language options.  You can listen to the film in English, Spanish, or French – a clear improvement over the US DVD release, which only featured English and French. Fun trivia fact: Christopher Lambert did his own voiceover for the French track in his role as Rayden.

The subtitle options are English for the hearing impaired, as well as Spanish as French.  The subtitles have totally been redone since the DVD release, and are much more accurate now. See a comparison of the subtitles from the DVD (on the left) and the Blu-Ray (to the right), below.

Mortal Kombat DVD Subtitles Mortal Kombat Blu-Ray Subtitles

Since these were done with the hearing impaired in mind, events like [THUNDER RUMBLING] and [GRUNTING] are subtitled.

Mortal Kombat Blu-Ray Special Features

Finally, let's take a look at the special features. Included is a trailer for the film (standard fare). Also included is a trailer for the new Mortal Kombat (2011) – something Warner Bros. has been including on a lot of their newest movie releases, such as Due Date.  Finally, they threw in Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. This was a wonderful choice because this animated adventure was never released on DVD (only VHS and laserdisc). Not only is this a great piece of nostalgia for the older MK fans, but this will be the first time that a younger generation of fans will be exposed to this.

The Journey Begins is shown in standard definition, as there is presumably no high definition master copy in existence.  Also, the only audio track is English, though subtitles are present in English and Spanish (but not French).

The only disappointing thing here is that there weren't more special features.  Longtime fans of the series are already aware that there were TV spots, and an audio commentary track (recorded by producer Larry Kasanoff and visual effects supervisor Alison Savitch), and multiple behind the scenes featurettes.



Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Opening up the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Blu-Ray

Not much time will be as dedicated to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation due to there being less fan interest in the film.

A new era... but for whom? The Mortal Kombat victory in the Outworld was supposed to give rise to a generation of peace on Earth. But never trust the word of the fiendish and the power mad. They've opened the portals linking their dimension to ours, and Earth will be overwhelmed – if a gutsy band of human heroes doesn't acquire new kombat skills that will crush Outworld's imaginative array of bad-ass warrior creatures. John R. Leonetti, cinematographer of Mortal Kombat and 2010's Piranha, directs the fighting fury of Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Smash evil!

Needless to say, the special effects are not quite up to par with the first film, so the Blu-Ray treatment doesn’t do quite as much for the viewer.

MKA Blu-Ray Spoken Languages MKA Blu-Ray Subtitles

Mysteriously enough, there is no French subtitle or language option – only a choice between English and Spanish. This is perplexing, because the U.S. DVD release of Annihilation featured French audio and subtitles (though not Spanish).

Again, more special features would be nice, as the only ones present on the Annihilation disc were the trailer for the movie and the trailer for upcoming game. I know of several fans who have stated they would be willing to buy the movie again if the infamous deleted scene featuring Quan Chi would have appeared on the disc.

Overall I would have to say that, provided you have a good enough television set where you'll be able to perceive the difference, shelling out the extra bucks for the Mortal Kombat movie on Blu-Ray is worth it. The digital copy for your mobile device is a nice inclusion. And, if you're a PS3 owner, then this is an even better deal due to the inclusion of the Classic Jade costume. Keep in mind that Warner Bros. has a site, DVD2Blu, that will allow you to trade-in your DVDs and exchange them for Blu-Ray discs. As of right now, WB will do this for 104 titles. No word as of yet whether Mortal Kombat will be included, though we at Mortal Kombat Online will keep our eyes on the situation.



These titles will be available April 19th, 2011 coinciding with the release of Mortal Kombat on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Order your own Blu-Ray copies of Mortal Kombat (Includes Free Exclusive Original Jade Character Costume Download) and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation today. Also, get the inside scoop on WB movie & DVD releases! Visit www.wbreelnews.com today.

Both MK Blu-Rays Unopened
MK Digital Copy MKA Digital Copy
Jade Classic Costume - Front

Note: These movies were watched in 1080p using a Sony PlayStation 3 connected to a 46" Sony Bravia LED 3DTV through HDMI. For more movie content visit the Media & Merchandise forum.

Mortal Kombat 3-Disc Blu Ray Set Coming May
Mortal Kombat home media gets 3-disc blu-ray value set!

Fans yet to make the leap to Blu-Ray HD will finally be able to upgrade their Mortal Kombat movie collections in one fell swoop!

Mortal Kombat (1995), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Mortal Kombat: Legacy [Series 1] will be bundled for the first time in a single 3-disc box set from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment!

Coming May 13 with a given retail price of $19.98; the box set collects the 2011 release of the two feature films [full details], and the original blu-ray home release for the Legacy anthology [full story]. Extra features across the discs include: animated feature Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins (1995) and featurettes exploring the legacy of Mortal Kombat.

The Mortal Kombat Blu-Ray set is available for pre-order direct through Warner Brothers, through Amazon, and others.

You can revisit Mortal Kombat: Legacy online via Mortal Kombat Online's extensive coverage archive. Discuss these home video releases and other products on the Media & Merchandise forum. Special thanks to MKOmmunity User for sharing the original link.

Kommunity: Full Mortal Kombat HD Q&A with Bleed
Gabriel Melendez Elaborates on the Fate of Mortal Kombat HD: Kommunity Edition

To users on Mortal Kombat Online he's known as Bleed: A long time contributor with a talent for developing characters in 3D models & 2D sprites [gallery].

To date; Gabriel "Bleed" Melendez has been noted as one of the driving forces behind a much discussed fan-made Mortal Kombat (1992) HD remake. His talents as a character artist have been exemplary, producing a professional level of content that has had fans salivating, and license owners justifiably concerned.

In the wake of Warner Brothers' intervention in "Mortal Kombat HD: Kommunity Edition" -- Melendez has become the voice of fate. A conduit through which a major corporation has made its presence known. When news of the shutdown spread, we talked to Bleed about what went down, and his general feelings about the project. You've read excerpts in the Saga of Mortal Kombat HD feature. Here is the unedited Q&A;:


Kommunity Edition Mortal Kombat HD Work in Progress.

[MKO]: Can you give a recap of what went down with Warner Brothers? What is the situation?
[Bleed]: I received an E-mail from WB asking to get in contact with them, to talk about our fan project, Mortal Kombat HD Kommunity Edition. I did so right away and had a short conversation with someone, [whose] responsibility is to find and deal with copyright infringement. In general terms this person said that we can not release a working game, no matter how small, even if it's free. And we have to remove the website dedicated to its progress, because it crosses the line of what type of fan art is okay with them.

I asked a few questions to see what is acceptable, and it sounded like anything but a working game would be fine. Posting artwork on the forums or a personal website is not a problem. I then asked if a working game is the problem, can I release parts of it? A character, for example, like you see all over with MUGEN and mods. They were not sure about this. They would have to ask someone higher up, but [assumed] that it's probably not allowed, because technically fan art is copyright infringement. If you make some drawings, no problem, but as soon as you get something playable, they raise an eyebrow.

The fact that I was reached about it, I think is simply due to the amount of attention our work was receiving. You see MK MUGEN games all over, and It looks like ours happened to get enough attention for them to look in to.

I'm still waiting for a response to that question, so I don't know if I can even share a single character with other fans of MUGEN and MK.

How do you feel about the project as a whole and the effective cease & desist?
There was no C&D; letter, just a phone conversation letting me know their stance on this issue.

The project as a whole is a labor of love that naturally came together by a mutual interest from people who just happen to be skilled in different areas that would make a working game.

I'm not a lead in this project. Nobody is. There is a loose order in things because we have our natural tendencies. This person likes to model, this one likes to critique, this one likes to keep track, etc. and we just go with the flow. When I'm answering these questions, I'm speaking for myself, and my point of view. I don't speak for anyone else.

I've been working on MUGEN mods since 2008 - starting with edited MK sprites, eventually learning how to code and get better with 3D art. Naturally I wanted to make my own 3D characters from scratch, based on MK, because I'm just a fan.

A friend was chatting on a forum thread about making an HD MUGEN game, and just so happens I was getting in to the 3D part of creation at the time. They asked if I wanted to work on it and I was like 'sure, this'll be fun, right up my alley.'

That's all it is. People just show up and see what's happening. Maybe they want to help with it or not. I took it as a fun learning experience: working on something of interest while improving my skills in art.

I never thought of competing with the real MK. It wasn't even the idea. I was doing it for my self, just because I love it and I like to share. If I draw an MK character, I'll post it online. If I make a playable MUGEN character, I'll post it just the same.

I have no problem with the C&D; warning. It's their [intellectual property] and I'm not trying to cause any trouble. I can still do my art and share it, but I can't let anybody play it. It's a downer because sharing is part of the fun, but that's how it is.

Do you think this is indicative of the official MKHD being back in development in some form? Is that something you'd like to see?
I don't have any information on what NRS is doing, I can just assume they are always working on the next MK, and hope for an HD upgrade to the classics. So much that I'm willing to spend the time to do it my self.

Had MKHD gone according to plan, were there intentions to expand upon the original game with hidden characters and so on?
Not on the first pass. The idea was to make a straight copy of MK1 with all the assets, coding, art and audio created from scratch. After getting a solid base, you can always add something to it. Most people thought it was a better idea to stick with the original formula, so we did.

If ideas were to be expanded, it would be the result of community interaction, like it's been this whole time. I tend to go for something closer to what MK 2011 and Injustice are like, because I play 3D fighters. If you see my channel on YouTube [link], that is obvious. I would expect a community upgrade to MK1 would be way more toned down, adding minor tweaks here and there to preserve the essence of the original.

Are you interested in parlaying the skills you've developed into an original project?
Yes. I love making fighting games especially. This is my favorite genre, so original or not, I'd love to work on it!

Klassic vs MKHD Sprites [Click to Enlarge HD]

Learn more about the original cancellation and fan shutdown in our feature story: The Saga of Mortal Kombat HD. You can check out more words from the wise in our extensive Interview Archive. Be sure to also support and contribute to the Fan Submission forum!

Feature: The Saga of Mortal Kombat HD
The Whole Story - From Canceled Side Project to Fan Project Shut Down.

After 20 years as a successful franchise, its the sequel to the eponymous Mortal Kombat that many still regard with fondest memories. For fans who live and bleed Mortal Kombat, however, the tournament-centric original can never be completely forgotten. Such is the dedication of a focused group of industrious fans, who've applied themselves to independently designing and developing a playable revamp of the original dubbed: Mortal Kombat HD.

Determined by consensus; the objective of Mortal Kombat HD was to create a slavishly complete, high definition remake of the 1992 arcade classic. Built from the ground up, using popular 2D freeware engine MUGEN as a playable base and 3D models -- the project would be made of all original resources, designed to imitate the original as exactly as possible. Therein would lie the problem, however, leading to an effective shutdown of any intention to release a working product, rendered by Warner Brothers late last week.

While the enthusiasm of fans may lead them to desire otherwise, Warner Brothers' position represents an open and shut case. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's also a self-evident example of copyright and trademark infringement. Exceptions may exist at the prerogative of intellectual property owners who choose to overlook infringements, but they are always within their rights to shut down unlicensed fan projects.

On the surface, this would appear to be an effective end to the MKHD fan game as it was intended. To release any playable version to the public would be to court personal ruin. No fan will play it. Much less clear, however, is the exact motivation for Warner Brothers' intervention. While there is broad intellectual property protection and brand management to consider -- there is an extensive history behind MKHD.


Work in Progress: Demonstrations of MKHD "Kommunity Edition" show considerable promise.

The fan-made passion project -- initiated late in 2011 -- was to have filled the void of Warner Brothers' own much discussed, but ultimately aborted trilogy of HD klassic remakes (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II & Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) [original story].

Art from the project leaked [gallery below], including various images of animality assets and preliminary character design. While the HD digitization process was abandoned - a milque toast version of the Arcade Kollection did eventually find its way to consoles and PC through 2012.

A source that worked on the ill fated official HD Kollection told Mortal Kombat Online, "I wish I knew more of what happened to the game, but no one from the developer side even knew what actually happened. What most of us knew was one day, every [developer] got into a big meeting and WB basically decided to scale down the scope of the game because they thought it was risky to release it close to the release of the latest Mortal Kombat game. The game was only meant to be a filler before the [reboot] was out, so it's understandable why they didn't [want] a full game that would take the sales of the [MK2011]."

Mortal Kombat HD Arcade Kollection Concept Art:

Speculation about the future of HD projects was reignited when NetherRealm Creative Director Ed Boon recently discussed a "Mortal Kombat II Director's Cut" during the Giant Bomb GDC Livestream. Update (May 2): Make-up artist Tanea Brooks has release a gallery of new behind-the-scenes photos from the MKHD shoot.

Though speaking hypothetically and in past-tense about what may simply have been the cancelled HD Kollection; Boon's vernacular of vague details about a specific title [MKII] has inspired hope in the imagination of many fans. Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland is known to have recently completed work on an unknown Mortal Kombat project, open to similar speculation [full story].

The intervention of Warner Brothers in the fan-made Mortal Kombat HD has been interpreted by some as a question of competition, anticipating a new release. MKOmmunity User and MKHD contributor Gabriel "Bleed" Melendez told us, "I received an e-mail from WB asking to get in contact with them, to talk about our fan project, Mortal Kombat HD Kommunity Edition. I did so right away and had a short conversation with someone, [whose] responsibility is to find and deal with copyright infringement. In general terms this person said that we can not release a working game, no matter how small, even if it's free, and we have to remove the website dedicated to its progress, because it crosses the line of what type of fan art is okay with them."

If you thought this might have given Bleed the inside track on Warner Brothers' plans, think again; "I don't have any information on what NRS is doing, I can just assume they are always working on the next MK, and hope for an HD upgrade to the classics. So much that I'm willing to spend the time to do it my self."


Excellent: Cage battles Sub-Zero in fans' classic arena Shang Tsung's Throne Room!

On the future of the Mortal Kombat HD "Kommunity Edition", Bleed offered some hope for fans eager to see more and possibly get their hands on elements, "I asked a few questions to see what is acceptable, and it sounded like anything but a working game would be fine. Posting artwork on the forums or a personal website is not a problem. I then asked if a working game is the problem, can I release parts of it? A character for example, like you see all over with MUGEN and mods. They were not sure about this, they would have to ask someone higher up, but that it's probably not allowed, because technically fan art is copy right infringement. If you make some drawings, no problem, but as soon as you get something playable, they raise an eyebrow."

"I took it as a fun learning experience, working on something of interest while improving my skills in art. I never thought of competing with the real MK, it wasn't even the idea."

Would you like to see an official Mortal Kombat HD come to life? Share your thoughts about the fan project and official MKHD on the forums! Find and support other fan projects in the Fan Submission forum!

MLG Vice President Expressing Interest in Injustice
Major League Gaming Executive Vice President Eyes Injustice for June

Major League Gaming Executive Vice President Adam Apicella has flagged interest in adding Injustice: Gods Among Us to an expanding line-up for MLG's upcoming Championship event in Anaheim.

MLG previously featured NetherRealm Studios' Mortal Kombat in their 2012 Pro Circuit Line-Up [full story], but infamously dropped fighting games after the Fall Championship in November of the same year.

MLG's EVP clearly has his eye back in the fighting genre, also citing Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct and Street Fighter [IV] as expansion titles of interest. MLG currently features Super Smash Bros. Melee and Warner Brothers DC MOBA Infinite Crisis.

Injustice already has the support of a majority of competitive tournaments, with the DC fighter slated for a second year at the Evo World Championship in July [full story]. MLG's Anaheim Championship takes place in June.

Are you excited by the prospect of Gods Among Us bringing NetherRealm Studios back to MLG? Register to show your support and share your thoughts on the forums. Revisit the MLG Kombat era on the Gameplay & Matchmaking forum!

Game Informer Replays Shaolin Monks Co-Op Mode
Shaolin Monks Co-Op Features in Game Informer Replay Series

In his recent appearance on the GDC Giant Bomb Livestream; series co-creator Ed Boon discussed the concept of a full HD remake of iconic sequel: Mortal Kombat II.

Self-professed "huge fans" Dan Ryckert & Andrew Reiner have revisited the first major MKII video game remake: 2005 action-adventure - Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. This time; Game Informer: Replay tackles the co-op mode that sees eponymous monks Liu Kang & Kung Lao navigate the Outworld threat simultaneously. Watch below:


Super Replay Shaolin Monks: Watch Episode 01, 02

Wearing its flaws for everyone to see; Shaolin Monks had to weather a storm of sometimes harsh fan criticism in 2005. Remaking and embellishing Mortal Kombat's franchise high point was a more daring feat a decade before the market became massively stuffed with remakes and do-overs. Alterations in perceived characterization and plot undermined what was ultimately an incredibly fun experience!

The third genre spin-off after Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero (1997) and Special Forces (2000): Shaolin Monks Is arguably the most successful. Navigational backtracking belies just how much content is packed in to the hugely referential game -- which included some truly mind boggling extras, like the impossibly hidden Survival Mode and playable versions of Mortal Kombat II [where available].

By far the most memorable quality of Shaolin Monks is its adaptation of classic Kombat gameplay. Sandbox roaming was exciting enough, but the easy-to-master appropriation of classic moves ensured a fun time, every time. Launching effortlessly into flying kicks and combos was cool, but nothing tops the glory of tossing Kung Lao's hat into an enclosed melee with unsuspecting cannon fodder!

Co-op features added extra flavour for social gamers and was a nice touch in a game built around Mortal Kombat's all-star heroic tag team. Throw in unlockable options to play as Sub-Zero and Scorpion -- and you're onto a winner.

Check out the Game Informer: Replay(s) above and tell us what you think on the forums. Got fond memories of Shaolin Monks? Discuss the recently retro in our 3D Klassics forum!

Ed Boon on GDC Giant Bomb Livestream
Ed Boon discusses classic remakes of The Grid, MKII, and more at GDC.

In what will no doubt go down as one of the finest moments in gaming press; NetherRealm Studios head Ed Boon appeared live on the Giant Bomb stream for the final day of the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC). The appearance capped off a mammoth five hours of streaming, now available archived on Twitch.tv [embedded below]. Boon appeared opposite what was left of Midway alums: David Lang (Iron Galaxy Studios CEO), John Vignocchi (Disney Interactive Executive Producer), and regular Giant Bomb host Jeff Gerstmann.

Though only briefly featured; Boon was able to share a few nuggets of general interest. Most prominent among them: an off-shoot reference to the now defunct Mortal Kombat HD Kollection, with specific focus on a remade Mortal Kombat II. There was no discussion regarding the recent news of Kiefer Sutherland working on an unspecified Mortal Kombat title [full story].

  • The Grid: a modernized update subject of inside jokes and mildly registered interest. No plans for a sequel proper.
  • Indie fighting games like Divekick and Samurai Gunn only make the genre more interesting. Notes limited number of fighting game developers and expanding the market. Looking forward to Ultra Street Fighter IV.
  • Guilty Gear and Divekick: interesting alternative fighters.
  • Predicts a future Capcom fighter (Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom) will explore similar story mode to Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us.
  • Has discussed a traditional, sprite based Mortal Kombat II "Director's Cut" in the past. May have included embellishments taken from popular arcade myths.
  • Profane objection to invitation to drunken split screen pantomime.

The scrapped HD remake was ultimately supplanted by Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection; released August, 2011. Do you still carry a flame for a digitized, HD sprite remake? Share your wildest thoughts on the forums!

Rumor: Online Store Reportedly Lists Mortal Kombat Sequel
The Rumor Mill Stirs as Italian Site Reports Australian Store Sequel Listing

In a case of he said, they said; Italian gaming site Games.it is reporting a listing for "Mortal Kombat 10" via online store Oz Games Shop.

The Australian online retailer is reported to have since pulled the listing, which included a November 22 release date across all platforms. This includes: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC & PSVita.

Exciting, though it may be, it's not unusual for retailers to set up place holding pages for anticipated future products. Acknowledgment of an expected sequel has been noted for quite some time. The most substantial news broke in February; when Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland revealed his contribution to voice work in an unspecified Mortal Kombat video game [full story].

Update (Mar. 20): Oz Games Shop (@ozgameshop) have denied the rumor, telling Mortal Kombat Online (via Twitter):

Parent company Warner Brothers Interactive Ent. has confirmed a presence at the upcoming E3 event in June. The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo could be where the next NetherRealm Studios project is officially announced.

Is the next Mortal Kombat right around the corner? Could something other than a sequel be in our midst? Join the speculation on the forums! Found news? Send it to us using the newslead submission system! Special thanks to @MKServer for tweeting us this international intrigue.

Art of Kombat: Just A Little Bit Of Green...
Were painting MKO green for St Patricks Day with a parade of Reptiles!

Whacking Day is still a couple of months away, but that just means there are still plenty of snakey artworks slithering around to celebrate this year's St. Patrick's Day with!

We're painting Mortal Kombat Online green with a parade of the very best Reptile artwork housed in our world famous Fan Submission Archive! If you'd like a little luck of the Irish for yourself, register to submit your work for discussion, archive & future feature consideration!

This month's theme kicks us off with two shades of green and two shades of Reptile! goes full lizard: her character popping off the screen with a fun and bright digital painting called "Raptor Reptile Roaaarrgh!" dwells in a darker domain, embellishing the once disguised bodyguard in his imaginative "Mk Origins: Reptile".

's "reptile" emerges from the shadows to strike with a sinister, snake-like sneer [above]. The just forming forceball adds an extra flourish to what is already a very impressive piece!

A character with so many iterations is bound to inspire different takes. MKOmmunity stalwarts and put their own spin on the original design [above], revealing the Reptile within much more than the sprites of the palette swap age. Even in this niche, the variations of a theme are self-evident. While one draws upon Reptile's savage side with tattered, organic garb -- the other probes a uniform look inspired by UMK3 and MKII!

Yet more intriguing alternate visions come courtesy of
, & ! Take a closer look at their art tributes by clicking on the thumbnails below!

We're steeling ourselves for the April Fool's Day ahead, and won't want to miss a trick! Don't be the fool! Register to submit your works to the Mortal Kombat Online Fan Submission system! There you will join an archive of thousands and be automatically featured in the dedicated Fan Submission forum! You can discuss each submitted Art of Kombat work by clicking the piece to enter the forum.

Review: Mortal Kombat 4 #1 (Brazil, 1998)
Rare Brazilian Mortal Kombat 4 Mini-Series Goes Under the Spotlight!

When you consider the importance of comic books to the history of Mortal Kombat -- it's a wonder there haven't been more of them!

Beginning in 1994; now defunct publisher Malibu Comics served a catalogue of interconnecting mini-series inspired by the hit games. Since then, the pickings have been slim. There have been official comic book tie-ins related to key game releases, but even a crossover with DC Comics -- and subsequent acquisition by DC parent company: Warner Brothers -- has failed to turn up any significant progress.

The success of Injustice: Gods Among Us and its comic book tie-in has led to a flood of requests for Kombat comics. News of an impending new Mortal Kombat game [full story] may be the catalyst fans have been waiting for -- but in the mean time, those hungry for four-colour Kombat may find refuge in an obscurity published back in 1998.

Our substantial South American readership may already know the material well, but for a vast majority of fans, the mere existence of a 4-issue mini-series based on Mortal Kombat 4 has gone completely unknown!

The subject was raised by MKOmmunity User back in 2009 -- and since that time, Mortal Kombat Online affiliate and former staffer has been on a grail quest to uncover the mysteries of the little known series. At the end of last year, he completed the series, and with the help of User , has translated it into MK's native language of English [read more]. Published in Brazil in 1998 by Trama Editorial; the series is primarily written by Rogério Saladino [of Panini's localized Marvel Comics] and drawn by Eduardo Francisco.


Irredeemable: Jarek is Aussie Black Dragon scum!

Though not necessarily the best remembered of the games, [MK4 Is] arguably the most fertile period for serial story exploration. The trilogy prior has been adapted into several cross-media platforms and games, including a deviating adaptation for the most recent 2011 reboot. The games that followed had more scope, but also more pieces of the puzzle delivered in the games themselves.

A substantial backstory was spun-off of MK4 into the cult classic platformer: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero -- but the contemporary story of a fallen Elder God's rise from the Netherrealm was only glossed over in game materials, and a single Collector's Edition comic. Original writer and series co-creator John Tobias told Mortal Kombat Online, "I actually think I lost my way a bit in that era. I remember thinking that while I was writing the story for the MK4 comic. I had all of these ideas for the story I should've done for MK4 and thought I'd have an opportunity to tell them in some future iteration. Sadly that never happened..."

What eventuated in Brazil - as far as we know - had little to no input from Tobias himself. That casts the series in its own unofficial bubble, to be accepted and appropriated per the individual reader. On the surface, it's a very respectful and serviceable embellishment of the official story. In summary, it compliments the plot well, even if specifics are subject to debate. With the 2011 reboot behind us and prospects of an all new, all different telling of the Mortal Kombat 4 mythology, one starts to wonder how much it matters. A depressing consideration for the present and future, but not what we're talking about here.


Get Over Here! Scorpion drives the plot as heroes assemble!

Trama's Mortal Kombat 4 #1 surprises in a few ways. Opening in the "streets" of Australia; the story begins in particularly pedestrian fashion, following Jarek as he flees from the US Special Forces. This is in contrast to the official MK4 comic, which dwells much more heavily on the supernatural machinations that are the backbone of the story. In no small way, Paladino seems to be echoing the earliest chapter of the original game and comic, which began with Kano's escape.

Told with big, single page splashes and spazzy kinetic artwork, there's little doubt that you're reading something from '98. Anyone entrenched in the manga-infused art that was popular at the time will recognize the style that was prevalent in American comics, as well. With exaggerated poses and sometimes absurd anatomy; Francisco's pencils are reminiscent of the most excessive art by Joe Madureira at the height of his popularity, if not artistic powers.

To a modern eye, the bombastic and colourful abandon of this comic may look unrefined, but with present day equivalents like Mortal Kombat: Legacy taking these same elements to a plodding, generic end - it's tough to be too critical.

Where Legacy pitched the Special Forces as a grounded core of the story, imitating the aesthetic of other material as if to apologize for the supernatural mania that makes the MK iconic: the Mortal Kombat 4 comic cranks it up as high as it will go, whilst still using the mortal side of things as an entry point for the virgin reader.


The Sequel: Johnny Cage Returns - and this time it's personal!

Like Legacy; there's clearly a desire to address a lot of disparate elements in almost episodic order. A key difference is in the sense of a balanced, painterly approach to how they're laid out. The mortal realm unfolds to the reader with an escalation of supernatural elements. As the hero of the familiar story, Liu Kang may have been expected sooner, but as second he's another step into the fantasy beyond the earthbound military institution of Sonya and Jax.

Some fans may grouse at the arrival of Scorpion -- but knowing that the other characters are present and/or soon to be accounted for, I defy anyone not get a little thrill out of the ninja spectre's arrival! All things considered, it's also an economic way to introduce some of the converging Earthrealm forces -- notably Sub-Zero, who hasn't always been readily connected to the heroes.

In ramping up the thrills: Raiden emerges in fine form, taking the next step up the heroes' chain of suspended disbelief. Those who remember MK4 will know he was key to resurrecting Johnny Cage -- who returns here in an abrupt, but gleefully over-the-top sequence. This is a comic of the nineties, and if your primary focus is action -- you are catered to!

Given the procession of heroes that has been the first issue, there are no prizes for guessing who makes a dramatic entrance on the last page. Given the minimal screen time Fujin has had in anything baring the Mortal Kombat name, this is going to be the kind of introduction thrilled fans have been waiting almost 10 years to see!


Confessions: Tragic drama grants Tanya credibility like never before.

Of course, if a kick-ass introduction for Fujin wasn't titillating enough for a die hard fan: there's a four-page back-up at the end of the issue called Tanya: Confessions.

Joe Prado takes over the art for the short, which uses Tanya's written manifesto as a framing device for her backstory. It's a level of credibility the character has almost never been seen to possess in any official material!

The montage shows Tanya's transformation from ambassador's daughter to kickass warrior, while illuminating key plot points to the larger story. The economy and design of this complimentary piece really defies expectations of action comics of the era, of Mortal Kombat 4, and of tie-in products. It's validating for one of the least interesting characters of the franchise. The special breed that is a Tanya fan will finally have something to convince sceptics of her value!

Mortal Kombat Online really must thank & for making this review possible. Check out Mortal Kombat 4 #1 for yourself, and share your review on the forums! Stay tuned to the Media & Merchandise forum as we look ahead to issue #2!

Darkseid Injustice Mobile Update Now Available
The New God of Evil Arrives in Apokolips Challenge Update!

Updating previous reports of a playable Darkseid -- the Injustice Mobile App has today added the Apokolips Challenge to unlock the necessary gold card. Darkseid is exclusively playable on the app.

Darkseid makes a cameo appearance in console versions of Injustice: Gods Among Us, appearing on the throne of Apokolips in a Hall of Justice stage interaction. He appeared previously as a playable boss in 2008's NetherRealm made Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe.

Fans of DC Comics will better know Darkseid as the premiere villain to vast swaths of the DC Universe. Having first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (1970); he was introduced as the stone face of evil behind artist Jack Kirby's unique Fourth World series of titles.

The Fourth World saga pitted Darkseid against his counterparts and their heroic allies in an epic tale of good versus evil. As despot of vile Apokolips, he would war against the planet New Genesis and its ruling Highfather. Fighting on behalf of the Highfather were heroic warriors of New Genesis: Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Lightray, Metron, and his son Orion, who was raised by Highfather in a diplomatic exchange of heirs. Despite its esoteric mythology, Darkseid and the New Gods have endured as true Jack Kirby originals.

Darkseid's attempts to eradicate freewill using the mysterious and dreaded Anti-Life Equation would also, of course, frequently see him battling the familiar heroes of Earth. Superman, Wonder Woman and the Justice League have often assembled to thwart the villain's grand cosmic plans. In 2008, he and Batman battled for life and death in Final Crisis -- a story that momentarily seemed to lead to bother characters' demise! With the New 52 reboot of the DC Universe, Darkseid has since been installed as the first villain faced by the Justice League.


Check out more images of Darkseid in our previous report. Could Darkseid be a villain in a future Injustice sequel? Share your thoughts about the deadly despot on the DC Universe Injustice forums!

Injustice Hotfix 3.5.14 Solves Batgirl Glitch
Glitch & Combos Get Tweak in late Injustice Hotfix.

Batgirl Concept Art. Click for more.All eyes may be on the next Mortal Kombat, but the boffins at NetherRealm Studios haven't given up on Injustice: Gods Among Us just yet!

A new hotfix for PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 has addressed on-going concerns effecting glitches on Batgirl.

    Hotfixes:
  • Batgirl can no longer leave an invisible bola attached to the opponent.
  • True combos started from a push block no longer do damage.

According to the Injustice.com official website: the team are "investigating" the problem for PC and PlayStation 4 platforms. The update comes four months ahead of Injustice's second year at the Evo World Championship [full story].

Is this fix just what Dr. Fate ordered? Did they miss something else? Share your thoughts about the update on the DC Universe Injustice forum!