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 Kombats 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

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!