News Archive - April, 2016
Van Dien Brings Johnny Cage to Life in New Set Photo
Casper Van Dien Wears His Role on His Chest in Set Photo

Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2 star Casper Van Dien has shared a new set photo from the as yet unreleased third series that shows just how far designs are starting to borrow from the look of the games! Check out the happy snap with third series director Garrett Warren below:

As is obvious, Casper Van Dien reprises his role as Johnny Cage. The "Johnny" chest tattoo and "Cage" belt directly reference the design introduced in Mortal Kombat (2011) [full story]. The same look was featured recently in a WWE Immortals crossover, and as an alternate skin in Mortal Kombat X. Other photos from the set show MKX inspired designs for Scorpion and Erron Black.

[Related Topic: Van Dien & Ashby Make Movie Magic as Cage Meets Cage]

Rumored to be called Mortal Kombat X: Generations but unofficially known as Legacy 3; the series was completed last August, and at one-time scheduled for "early" 2016 release [full story]. Its exact status is currently in limbo.

Catch up on all the news and major stories from the third live-action series in MK Online's Information Hub. Register to discuss all things webseries and movie in the Media & Merchandise forum! Help spread the word by liking stories via @MK_Online and Facebook.

Mortal Kombat X Mobile - Erron Black Challenge
Gunslinger Erron Black has a bullet with your name on it!

Prepare yourself! There's a bullet with your name on it and it's in the barrel of Erron Black's gun! This gun for hire can be working for you if you beat the latest Mortal Kombat X Mobile free-to-play challenge!


Unlocking Gunslinger Erron Black means answering five tiers of low down, no good outlaws! Each tier consists of 12 battles, with the exception of the final 15-fight challenge! Tier 1 is a lightning round of all Bronze Kards, Tiers 2 & 3 promote you to Bronze & Silver kards. You'll need an Outworld fighter kard in your Tier 4 team, before Tier 5 demands the bullseye of Kung Jin to win the shoot out with Erron Black!

Mortal Kombat X Mobile is available to download free-to-play now from Apple Store, Google Play & Amazon Games!

Are you the fastest gun in Earthrealm? Register to share your exploits on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Support the kommunity by liking & sharing via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

Purple Rain: Mortal Kombat's Living Prince Tribute
Late Musician Inspired Mortal Kombat Tribute Two Decades Ago

News late last week of the shock passing of music legend Prince has inspired an outpouring of mourning and tribute from fans the world over. The global pop sensation was prolific throughout the 1980s and '90s: as remembered for his unique visual signature and fashion sense, as his provocative music and lyrics.

Purple was the color of choice; forever associated with the musician thanks in no small part to his 1984 record and film: Purple Rain. Rolling Stone call the soundtrack the second greatest album of the eighties. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score that same year.

The success of Purple Rain led Warner Brothers to apply the resident artist to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. An odd combination complimented by the madcap antics of the purple villain Joker. Mortal Kombat and Prince may seem an even more unusual combination, but as many fans know: Series co-creator Ed Boon is a self-professed long time fan, who stumbled into his own living tribute to the artist through the game series, in 1995.

Kotaku jumped on the connection, pulling a quote from a 2011 interview with PlayStation.Blog:

PSB: Speaking of Rain, he was originally hinted at in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. What was the genesis of Rain?
Rain was me being a jerk, basically. [laughs] When we were working on Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, I was thinking “what ninja color have we not done yet?” … and I’m a huge Prince fan, so I was thinking Purple Rain. I was probably still listening to the album. There was no time to actually make a character, because the game was done. So I hacked into the attract screen a quick little sequence of this purple ninja running at Shao Kahn. We didn’t even have the word “Rain” in the powerbar, so I manually built it using our font. So I included this quick glimpse just to drive people crazy. Once Mortal Kombat Trilogy came out, we gave Rain new moves and he finally became a real character. Later we brought him back for Mortal Kombat Armageddon. That’s one of the things about Mortal Kombat: many of the characters have these goofy development histories. Noob Saibot, Reptile…all of these odd origin stories.


Rain as he appears in character art for 2006's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

The palette swapped purple Rain was first made playable in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy, before a lengthy hiatus led to a fully designed character arriving a decade later in Armageddon [above]. The character had no royal ties himself, but his Prince inspired origins clearly indirectly influenced his future, described in 2007 in an official bio:

The Edenian race is descended from the gods. That is the reason for our longevity, our nobility, and our strength. But I am more than a distant relation to the deities of old. I am a direct descendant of Argus himself. Only recently have I discovered my royal heritage. Quan Chi, an emissary of Shinnok, revealed to me that I am entitled to great power — and control of Edenia.

Rain has grown in popularity to become one of the cult favorites of the series. He returned recently in Mortal Kombat X, still fighting to acquire greater power as a non-playable character in the game's story mode. Rain also featured as an Invasion Boss in the online mode.

The main roster omission of Rain came as a surprise: the character featured among Mortal Kombat Online's pre-release Top 10 Returning Kombatants and continues to be a popular request. Annual fan voting determined Rain the seventh most popular missing MKXL character [full story]!

Will Rain finally return in a future sequel? Much like the velvet universe Prince created around his music - anything is possible in Mortal Kombat! With or without future appearances, purple Rain remains a curious living tribute to the influential pop culture phenomenon that Prince created.

Kountdown: Top 10 Supremely Missed in Mortal Kombat X
MK Online Draws On Years of Data for Fans Top 10 MKX Absentees

MKO USER POLL

- Fujin (43.0%)
- Kai (5.0%)
- Reiko (7.5%)
- Jarek (2.5%)
- Noob Saibot (12.6%)
- Jade (10.1%)
- Rain (3.7%)
- Baraka (1.2%)
- Kabal (7.5%)
- Other (6.3%)

With a growing roster of more than seventy characters\u037E NetherRealm Studios faces difficult decisions when selecting the playable roster in every new Mortal Kombat game!

Mortal Kombat X introduced an entire generation of new fighters, forcing some fan favourites and cult klassics to sit the tenth installment out. In the last week, series Creative Director Ed Boon polled fans on their most missed male and female characters. Boon offered four options for each gender, inspiring reactions based largely on hopes for more DLC in spite of the disc release of Mortal Kombat XL.

Mortal Kombat Online asked fans their most missed MKX characters in a larger User Poll, garnering overwhelming support for omitted absentee Fujin. The full results are published right. What if there was a vote that didn\u2019t limit character options?... What if every absent kombatant was measured against the rest?... What if voting input took a larger overview?...

Once a year, Mortal Kombat Online invites fans of all persuasions to participate in exactly that! The Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion tournament is a yearly census for Mortal Kombat fans, taking stock of the moving trends and interest in characters of all shapes and sizes. From this cumulative data, a rankings system based on average vote getting evens out the abberations to paint an overall picture of fandoms favourite fighters.

Every year the Top 16 ranked fighters are guaranteed entry into the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion tournament, and for this reason, the rankings have always been a guarded secret -- until now!

We\u2019ve crunched the numbers and combed the data to assemble the fan\u2019s Top 10 Missing Kombatants!

By hitting NEXT you\u2019ll get a rare insight into a slice of fandoms overarching interest in characters who weren\u2019t playable in Mortal Kombat X! Did you vote for these characters in previous years? Register to share your thoughts and your own Top 10 on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Supporting the kommunity by liking & sharing via @MK_Online and Facebook!

#1 Noob Saibot
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat II (NPC)
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat (2011)

Beginning life as a simple jetblack palette swap of Scorpion in Mortal Kombat II\u037E Noob Saibot has spent the last decade growing in popularity and complexity. The character topped Ed Boon\u2019s recent poll of most missed male characters, clearly among the most popular Mortal Kombat (2011) characters completely unreferenced in Mortal Kombat X!

Appearances in Mortal Kombat Trilogy and MK4 grew intrigue around the mysterious warrior, described only as an agent of Shinnok, but it was Deception that finally delivered the fully fleshed out wraith we know today. By introducing the concept of Noob\u2019s true identity as Bi-Han aka\u037E the Sub-Zero killed in the first Mortal Kombat [game]\u037E MK elevated the character, making beautiful music out of the coincidence of his introduction post-Mortal Kombat.

At the close of MK2011, Noob Saibot had been tossed into a soulnado by Nightwolf. In Deadly Alliance, we saw Noob\u2019s traditional nemesis Scorpion befall the same fate, emerging in the sequel as the purified chosen champion of the Elder Gods! Seeing Noob undergo a similar transformation, with a radical new look, could be an exciting way to refresh the character! The thought of a white garbed Noob is so bizarre a contrast it just might work. Certainly a more favorable option than the oft teased return of some version of Sub-Zero. With little brother Kuai Liang back among the living in MKX, and Frost still fighting for attention, we have more than enough masters of the kori arts!

Did your most missed Mortal Kombat X kombatant make the list? Remember: this Top 10 was determined by several years worth of voting data registered by you - the kommunity! Narrowly missing out on the Kountdown: Sindel, Sareena, Kintaro, Frost, Reiko and many more! You can help shape their future destiny by being on Mortal Kombat Online when next we ask who is the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion?

Don\u2019t forget to tell us what you think! Register to share your Top 10 and post your thoughts on the forum!

#2 Smoke
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat II (NPC)
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (Cameo)

Like Fujin\u037E Smoke made a lasting impression with his appearances during the Mortal Kombat X story mode. The character was controversial winner of the 2013 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion tournament, having gained a surge of popularity particularly with European fans after Mortal Kombat (2011). The reboot timeline rewrote the book on the Lin Kuei fighter, reintroducing him as Tomas Vrbada - a Czech born Japanese style smoke yokai (Enenra) that was burned alive by demon worshipping cultists. A bit of a mixed bag of references, his look aruably took a hit with the wacky whispy troll hair, and his story was unwritten by an arbitrary plot-twist that turned Sub-Zero into a cyborg, instead of him.

Sub-Zero was unsurprisingly restored in the Mortal Kombat X comic, becoming a human revenant alongside a more tastefully redesigned Smoke. While Sub-Zero made it back to life and the playable list, Smoke had to sit it out, grimacing about his new status as an Enenra to no meaningful end. He makes an indirect playable appearance through Triborg - a gestalt Lin Kuei cyborg whose variations are based on Cyrax, Sektor, Smoke and Cyber Sub-Zero.

The new backstory generates friction with the reality of the character, but if the concept is to remain, it opens up a world of gameplay possibilities for a bizarre smoke monster entity beyond what we\u2019ve already seen. That\u2019s enough reason to think the door is still open to Smoke, but like other revenant characters, his future relevance depends on how the series progresses from where it is. Aspects of the character now infringe on our #1 missed fighter, whose history as a tandem would take a lot of stretching...

#3 Fujin
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat 4
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (Cameo)

Quite possibly the most missed character of Mortal Kombat X\u037E Fujin benefitted from an organized effort by disappointed fans to controversially win last year\u2019s Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion title! He defeated Kenshi: a Deadly Alliance addition who was incorporated in Mortal Kombat (2011) as DLC, before successfully graduating to the main roster of MKX. It was the result that launched many arguments - but nobody can argue with the shock of Fujin\u2019s omission!

The Wind God was introduced as a sub-boss in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and playable hero of Mortal Kombat 4. The latter game was direct inspiration for the plot of Mortal Kombat X, which features Fujin prominently in his role as ally to Raiden and defender of Earthrealm. He battles the forces of the Netherrealm in a very memorable sequence, also taking a supporting role in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic. A perfect storm of expectation that went unfulfilled -- and often unackowledged Creative Director by Ed Boon. Snap a selfie with Cassie Cage in Mortal Kombat X and you might see a comment poking fun at the situation, though! Sadly, it\u2019s been a long time since Mortal Kombat has boasted truly hidden unlockable characters.

In plotlines reminiscent of Armageddon, Raiden is left corrupted by his experiences in Mortal Kombat X. In the original timeline, this led Fujin to come to the fore as Earthrealm\u2019s defender. The next game could finally be the moment fans get their hands on a playable Fujin, fulfilling a prophecy foretold by arcade endings in Mortal Kombat 4!

#4 Shang Tsung
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat (Boss)
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat (2011)

Deeply rooted in the history of Mortal Kombat mythology\u037E Shang Tsung has been there since the beginning, and undergone as many changes as the series itself. He began as a wisened old sorcerer, master of the Shaolin Tournament with the ability to conjure the ability and appearance of other fighters in the game. Morphing remained a part of his arsenal throughout the 2D Trilogy, until technical restrictions forced him to become a fully fleshed out kombatant in Deadly Alliance!

As one half of a playable terrible twosome of bosses with Quan Chi\u037E Shang Tsung stepped up his legend when he finally killed Liu Kang in the opening of MKDA and found a new, definitive form that combined his original robed sorcerery with the youthful martial arts of later incarnations!

By retreating the plot of the original Trilogy\u037E Mortal Kombat (2011) brought Shang Tsung back to his origins, reliving the corrupt Shaolin Tournament and his fall from grace. In this timeline, Shao Kahn stripped him of energy to increase the powers of Sindel. A smooth move that led to the decimation of Earthrealm\u2019s champions, and left Shang Tsung\u2019s fate uncertain.

Many have assumed Shang Tsung was killed in the scene, but his entire existence has always been predicated on the consumption of souls to maintain his youth and vigor - which was once taken from him! We like the idea the sorcerer has been lying low, waiting for an opportunity to renew himself with fresh souls. Something he does in Ermac\u2019s Mortal Kombat X arcade ending!

The idea of the soul creature Ermac as a living power source and one-man army for Shang Tsung is an intriguing concept that\u2019s long overdue! We\u2019d love to see Shang Tsung return, perhaps even as a future boss if the aspirations of the Deadly Alliance are transposed to sub-servient Ermac in this timeline. Perhaps the pair could be juiced up by a soulnado, giving us a whole new take on two old favorites!

#5 Jade
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat II (NPC)
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat (2011)

Created in the tradition of Mortal Kombat\u2019s original secret character\u037E Jade was first witnessed by most fans peeking out from behind a tree with Smoke, in Mortal Kombat II\u2019s Living Forest. She was the secret character behind the battle plan question mark, accessible only through flawlessly defeating an opponent with kicks.

When she returned in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, we learned the green palette swap was an Edenian assassin who served as Kitana\u2019s conflicted bodyguard. In that role she has remained, serving as the Princess\u2019s ally until she perished at the hands of Sindel in Mortal Kombat (2011).

Jade ended MK2011 as one of Quan Chi\u2019s revenants, but unlike the rest, she did not return in Mortal Kombat X. Instead, the weapon wielding assassin was killed between games by unknown means, paid homage by Kitana with her Mournful variation. She makes a brief spirit cameo in Kitana\u2019s arcade ending, but little has been made of Jade\u2019s true fate in any medium.

Benefitting from a fiercely loyal cult following\u037E Jade topped Ed Boon\u2019s poll of missing female characters, and always performs well in the Mortal Kombat Online Supreme Tournament vote. The mystery surrounding her disappearance invites a follow-up, but also speaks to the superfluous nature of the character. As Kitana\u2019s second, with few memorable motivations or relationships of her own, she tends to be easily overlooked. MK2011 boosted the character, but the challenge is there to find ways to make the character more legitimately impactful.

#6 Shao Kahn
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat II (Boss)
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat (2011)

One of gaming\u2019s final boss legends: Shao Kahn is a character who casts a long shadow over the entire Mortal Kombat franchise!

His menace was forecast by the original game, but he didn\u2019t stand atop the arcade tower until Mortal Kombat II, when the true nature of Outworld became revealed in definitive detail. He returned for three versions of Mortal Kombat 3, before taking a ten year break ended by GameCube versions of Deception. He was playable with the majority of the series\u2019 characters in Armageddon -- a game we\u2019re told he won, prompting the alternate timeline reboot of Mortal Kombat (2011).

The reboot gave NetherRealm an excuse to relive their greatest hits, and Warner Brothers a chance to own a new version of history. This twisted retelling of the original Trilogy ended with Shao Kahn obliterated by the Elder Gods. The toll taken by Earthrealm\u2019s heroes set up the events of Mortal Kombat X, and resurrecting Shao Kahn would be an awfully unnecessary way to diminish that legacy.

Kahn may rank 6th on our list based on several years of Supreme Tournament fan voting, but does so with a noted drop-off in support since the arrival of Mortal Kombat X. The power vaccuum created by his death gave MKX the most compelling half of its story, elevating the importance of characters like Mileena, Kotal Kahn, Rain, Goro and Reiko, assuming you indulged the DC Comics.

Those who lived through Mortal Kombat 4 may remember the fun of rampant fan speculation over whether or not Shao Kahn had survived, or adopted another identity. The thought of a vulnerable, playable Shao Kahn does have its appeal. We can\u2019t miss him if he won\u2019t go away, though. The Emperor is dead. Long live The Emperor. (Or not).

#7 Rain
First Appearance: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (NPC)

It still seems like a bit of a weird joke that Rain didn\u2019t make the playable cut in Mortal Kombat X! He was presumed a sure-thing when Mortal Kombat Online named him one of the Top 10 Returning Kombatants before the game was announced. With the game released, his relevance only became more convincing.

The longtime cult favorite became a legitimately compelling character when he was finally given a unique design and storyline in Armageddon. After being snubbed initially by Mortal Kombat (2011)\u2019s reboot retelling of the original Trilogy that introduced him -- Rain found his way into the Komplete Edition as a late downloadable content addition. 2011 tweaked his look to be more in keeping with the klassic cowled ninjas, but retained his history as an Edenian half-god intent on claiming power perceived his birthright.

Mortal Kombat X did feature Rain prominently throughout its story mode, even making him a non-playable character with solid new versions of the classic water based attacks he had in MK2011! Even his design harkened back to the princely ponytailed look that really put him no the map. So what the heck happened?! This time it was the less striking Tanya who turned into a paid DLC version of her story mode NPC. Prospects of a playable Rain evaporated soon afterward.

It seemed like a no brainer to include Rain in MKX, so what his chances are for the next game are completely unpredictable! His prominent role in story mode left him free to chase power and glory in the aftermath of Mileena\u2019s death. Continued opposition to Kotal Kahn could be an interesting elemental theme. Rain\u2019s design and attacks are good enough as they are. Audience interest may be divided, but strong enough to make him the 7th absent character on our list.

#8 Kabal
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat 3
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (Cameo)

A design in search of a character\u037E Kabal is one of the series\u2019 stranger fighters - slightly incoherent, and arguably the victim of one retcon too many.

Mortal Kombat (2011) revised his origins as a Black Dragon mercenary who went good, adding an additional backstory that made him a New York cop working alongside Stryker before Outworld\u2019s invasion.

As in the original timeline\u037E the reboot put Kabal on a path of light. He aided Earthrealm during invasion, before he flipped bad again when Sindel killed him, and he became a revenant. That\u2019s where Mortal Kombat X finds him, still working for Quan Chi in a couple of FMV appearances during story mode.

Looking somewhere between Freddy Kreuger and a Tusken Raider: Kabal has an undeniable cool factor that makes him a cult favorite. How being horribly burned and hooked up to life support grants him super-speedy dashes, circular blades that can be summoned out of the ground, and a non-descript purple blast, is anybody\u2019s guess. The real appeal is his weapons of choice: the hookswords!

If he ever makes a comeback, hookswords are what we want to see a whole lot more of! Given complaints about his playstyle being overpowered in MK2011, this could be a good way to improve the character and refine gameplay. If the reboot era continues to repeat itself, it might be interesting to see Kabal\u2019s hooksworded rivalry with Mavado play out. It also might be intereting to see him face-off with another, more successful nomadic piecemeal creation - Erron Black. Otherwise, it\u2019s down to the fate of the remaining revenants. Kabal may have a cool factor, but it\u2019s always hard to find a reason to prioritize him ahead of so many other great characters.

#9 Baraka
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat II
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (NPC)

A sometimes underrated klassic\u037E Baraka played an instrumental role in establishing the identity of Outworld\u2019s unique mythology in Mortal Kombat II.

Violent and savage, with just a hint of recognizable humanity\u037E Baraka remains one of the series\u2019 instantly identifiable icons thanks to his protruding arm blades, and grotesque grin.

Deception implied a turbulent relationship with Tarkatan hybrid Mileena, giving Mortal Kombat its own bizarre twist on The Honeymooners. Like many ideas, his romantic notions remain largely unexplored, as do the Kingly aspirations described in his MKII arcade ending. Because of this: Baraka sometimes gets lost in his role as a brute minion serving which ever boss has swayed the Tarkatan horde. Writing him off as just one of the many is always a gross disservice, though.

In Mortal Kombat X, Baraka was appropriately serving Mileena during her precarious reign as Empress of Outworld. He even made it into the game as a non-playable opponent through story mode, and online Invasions! Sadly, he died pointlessly mid-story - impaled in a fight with treacherous newcomer: D\u2019Vorah. Adding insult to injury, he also appeared to be the vessel through which guest fighter Alien was born - grafting Tarkatan blades to the DNA of the movie Xenomorph!

For better or worse, Mortal Kombat has long since given up the idea of incorporating fatality into its fiction with any consequence. In this case, it\u2019s a positive, because Baraka is far too good a character to throw away. He may sit the next game out, but if he doesn\u2019t, little needs to change. MKX tweaked the design to incorporate the hodgepodge of Deception\u2019s armor warrior, adding a few extra protrusions for good measure. If they wanted to incorporate the apparent death, this might be a good time to revisit Mortal Kombat Gold\u2019s solution of a Baraka stapled back together. As long as Baraka stands out from the Tarkatan pack and has his klassic blade attacks - it\u2019s all good!

#10 Nightwolf
First Appearance: Mortal Kombat 3
Last Appearance: Mortal Kombat X (Story Cameo)

Viewed by some as a simplistic caricature in early appearances\u037E Nightwolf\u2019s appeal grew when leaning deeper into his unique heritage as a Native American shaman.

Deception established a darker edge for the character as a mohawked sin eater, before Mortal Kombat (2011) took him back to his origins, emphasizing neon green spirit weapons, and a strong connection to his ancestors and gods. 2011\u2019s alternate design visualized this version best with a striking wolfskin headdress and muted attire.

The reboot timeline controversially inserted Nightwolf into the Shaolin Tournament, but also gave him his most memorable role: An act of self-sacrifice that ended Sindel\u2019s slaughter of heroes during Outworld\u2019s invasion of Earthrealm.

Mortal Kombat X picks up the story where MK2011 left off, with Nightwolf still dead - a revenant under the control of Quan Chi. He makes limited appearances in story mode in this capacity, bedeviling his former allies. Several revenant characters made it to the playable list, complete with improbable new mortal designs, but Nightwolf was sadly not among them.

With Kung Jin taking archery to the next level, and Kotal Kahn making use of mystic beams of light\u037E Nightwolf may need some new gimmicks if he\u2019s to regain momentum as a future playable character.

His prolonged status as a revenant leaves the door open to a darker reinvention in the mould of the sin eater. A literal wolfman is an obvious idea referenced in arcade endings, but a waste of a potential new character concept and too reminiscent of bad memories [see\u037E Annihilation]. Incorporating animalistic attacks with new shaman magic could be a new combo, though, and with his traditional tomahawks, Nightwolf could be a compelling new pressure character. Considering his role in dispatching a couple of the characters featured later on the list, he also has in-built rivalries to revisit should NetherRealm staff choose to remember.

Boon Polls Most Missed Women in Mortal Kombat X
Creative Director Asks Fans Which Ladies They Missed in MKX

Hot on the heels of an all male poll [full story]; Mortal Kombat X Creative Director Ed Boon has asked fans which female kombatant they missed most from the best selling tenth installment.

The four character Twitter poll produced a closer race between options, with 1,334 more votes registered than the initial query. Jade was an unsurprising winner with 37%, often commanding a highly motivated cult following. 2011 DLC fighter Skarlet was a more surprising second with 27% of the vote.

Like the first poll; the selection of lady fighters offers a mix of the overlooked and truly absent. Sindel (24%) appears prominently in the Mortal Kombat X story mode as a non-playable character, also featured as an eventual Invasion Boss. Sheeva (12%) and Skarlet didn't return in any notable game capacity.

Jade was inexplicably killed off between games - the only revenant from Mortal Kombat (2011) to not appear in the sequel. Kitana pays homage to the fallen Jade with her Mournful variation in MKX. Jade also makes a brief cameo appearance in Revenant Kitana's arcade ending [below].

Which lady of kombat did you miss most? Register to record your fandom in the MK Online User Poll and Mortal Kombat X forum. Get hardcore and pit your favorites against one another in the Fan Koliseum!

Ed Boon Polls Fans For Mortal Kombat X Most Missed
Ed Boon Polls Fans on Characters They Missed in Mortal Kombat X

One year on from the record release of Mortal Kombat X; NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon has polled fans on the controversial subject of absentee characters.

Using a Twitter poll: Boon asked which character fans missed the most, isolating his options to just four characters. With a 45% majority, Noob Saibot was the overwhelming winner. Popularly requested cult favourite Rain came second with 22%.

The question asked was arguably a loaded one, with only one of the four "missing" characters completely absent from Mortal Kombat X. Baraka (17%) and Rain made appearances as non-playable opponents in the game's story mode, and as eventual Invasion bosses. Kabal (16%) appeared in story mode cut scenes, reprising his Mortal Kombat (2011) role as a revenant soldier of the Netherrealm.

Speaking to Gamereactor; Boon discussed balancing fan expectations and requests, explaining: "Unfortunately, it's simply not possible to satisfy every single wish from players. Often times those wishes contradict each other and it falls on us to determine what is best for each iteration of Mortal Kombat. While we certainly do listen to what the fans would like to see in the next game, we also want to surprise them with each game and give them something they were not expecting."

Notable by omission from Boon's poll is Fujin: A significant figure in the game's FMV sequences, and one of the most talked about characters who did not make the Mortal Kombat X roster cut.

Fujin appears alongside Raiden during the story mode, playing a similar role featured in Mortal Kombat 4, upon which Mortal Kombat X is loosely based. He topped Mortal Kombat Online's pre-release comeback character list for that same tie, and was also voted 2015 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion by fans hopeful to encourage his inclusion as downloadable content. The March release of Mortal Kombat XL appears to have closed the book on DLC for this installment in the game series.

Which unseen character did you miss the most? Register to vote in the MK Online User Poll, and sound off on your favourites on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Go deeper into character debate in the Fan Koliseum!

Ed Boon Discusses Mortal Kombat X With Gamereactor
Ed Boon Discusses Managing Fan Input in New Interview

European gaming site Gamereactor has a new feature interview with Ed Boon discussing some of the basic beats of Mortal Kombat X.

Not a lot of new information to speak of, but the NetherRealm Studios Creative Director and Mortal Kombat co-creator touches on the influence of fandom and how the team manages content. Registered users can give their thoughts on the Mortal Kombat X forum.

GR: People really love Mortal Kombat and you probably get tons of requests on what should be included in the games. How do you cope with fan demands?
EB: We love the fact that fans are so passionate about Mortal Kombat. They always have their list of demands they want to see in the game. Unfortunately, it's simply not possible to satisfy every single wish from players. Often times those wishes contradict each other and it falls on us to determine what is best for each iteration of Mortal Kombat. While we certainly do listen to what the fans would like to see in the next game, we also want to surprise them with each game and give them something they were not expecting.

GR: Is there any example in Mortal Kombat X on how fans had influence over what is or isn't in the game?
EB: The fans are very influential in determining which characters we include for the DLC fighters that come after the game is released. Mortal Kombat fans are also very vocal about which characters they would like to see in the game who they missed in the original roster. So our ears are definitely open and listening to what they have to say. But again, we also feel it's important to surprise them with something they didn't see coming.

GR: A common thing in fighting games is to add more meters, more stances, more super features and more gimmicks for every new game. Mortal Kombat has always been loved by both casual and hardcore players alike. How do you make sure you keep this audience intact when making the game deeper and more complicated?
EB: That is a very delicate balance (between core and casual) that we are constantly discussing, debating, and evolving over the years. Fighting game players today are much more sophisticated than they were 20 years ago and we've tried to keep an eye on where the casual player is and where the pros are as well. That sweet spot is different for pretty much every game that we release, so we are always re-evaluating everything.

GR: NetherRealm is leading the fighting genre when it comes to single-player content. Why do you focus so much on this in a genre generally made for versus gaming?
EB: The fact of the matter is that most people spend the majority of their time playing video games by themselves. Mortal Kombat by nature is a one-on-one fighting game that is most fun playing against real people. But we feel it's important to provide fun experiences for the single player as well. We feel Mortal Kombat provides the best single player experience of any fighting game and we are very proud of that.

Make sure you visit Gamereactor for the full interview!

Can't get enough Ed Boon in your life? Hit up the Mortal Kombat Online Interview Archive for more sage wisdoms from throughout the MK ages! You'll also find in depth conversations with John Tobias and a who's who of MK makers!

Mortal Kombat X Mobile - Shinnok Challenge
Shape your own destiny by unlocking Bone Shaper Shinnok in MKX Mobile!

The warriors of Earthrealm are puppets for the amusement of a fallen elder god! Shinnok has returned from the Netherrealm to shape a dark destiny. You can wield his awesome power for your own end if you beat the Mortal Kombat X Mobile free-to-play challenge!

Unlocking Bone Shaper Shinnok means answering five tiers of infernal evil! Each tier consists of 12 battles, with the exception of the final 15-fight challenge! Tier 1 is a lightning round of all Bronze Kards, Tiers 2 & 3 promote you to Bronze & Silver kards. You'll need a Spec Ops fighter kard in your Tier 4 team, before Tier 5 demands the devil's favorite demon Scorpion take down the ruler of Netherrealm himself: Shinnok!

Mortal Kombat X Mobile is available to download free-to-play now from Apple Store, Google Play & Amazon Games!

Are you good enough to escape the inferno with your soul? Register to share your exploits on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Support the kommunity by liking & sharing via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube!

Mortal Kombat X April Fool Stage Fatality Discovered
Joke Character Becomes Reality in April Fool Stage Fatality

Edit: Are you ducking kidding? Of course we are! We went three layers deep to imbed this year's April Fool within an April Fool within an April Fool Tower -- but you knew all along! You just can't fool a Mortal Kombat Online reader - their source of MK news keeps them too reliably informed! We hope you had a quacking good time with our little joke, all the same. You never know - maybe one of these days they really will give us a new MK secret! If they do, you'll read about it on MK Online - so stay tuned!

Players with fully updated versions of Mortal Kombat XL are discovering a timely surprise to go with the April Fools Premier Tower. Along with the mind bending challenges of the latest Living Tower; fans are discovering two new visitors to The Kove stage!

The visitors come in the form of a mysterious ninja and a giant shark, who appear at seemingly random intervals in the background when fighting at The Kove. The sightings started roughly when the April Fool Tower went live. Screenshots follow:

The appearances are reportedly tied to a unique April Fool's Stage Fatality, which can be activated only when both the shark [fin] and ninja are present during the fight. What, if anything, will trigger their appearance is still unknown, but the combination of the two is said to be particularly rare.

MK Online follower @BlameItOnRain reports the stage fatality sees the background ninja raise his arm to summon a tidal wave that will fill the screen, bringing the shark into play for a bloody finish. The fatality is similar in concept to Aquaman's Super Move in Injustice: Gods Among Us [Watch: Mad Sharks].

The mystery ninja in question, who will emerge from the surf mid-fight to watch the match from the rocky shore, appears to be Aquilluxborg Hydroxybot -- a direct reference to a past Mortal Kombat Online April Fools prank! The design and stance of the character used directly recalls the fake render created for MK Online's 2015 prank. Creative Director Ed Boon also shared Mortal Kombat Online's Special Forces April Fool with fans in 2014.

The infamous character first appeared as a curiosity of Mortal Kombat Trilogy [read more], where he began life as Mortal Kombat's only waterproof, duck-billed ninja. Little is known about the true circumstances of his bizarre creation, but like Ermac and Skarlet before him, it seems "Aqua" has joined the fold of lore made reality. At least for as long as the April Fools Tower is live!

Special thanks to MK Online Users Poasty-Guy, ShoeUnited & @BlameItOnRain for providing information and screenshots. Found something we might like to know about? Submit a newslead! Support the site by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online and Facebook!

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