Content tagged Feature
  • Page:
  • 1
Articles 10 of 10
Retrospective: The Mortal Kombat Cinematic Universe

Superhero summer blockbusters and licensed sequels have rewritten the box office rulebook for Hollywood in the 2010s. These days you're nothing if you aren't striving for a total media blitz, building a multi-pronged franchise "universe" across spin-offs and tie-ins. Marvel's Avengers has become the multimedia benchmark, extending its Disney-owned tendrils across multiple major movies, an on-going television series, several upcoming Netflix original series, and various other projects. It's the model everyone now aspires to - but did you know Mortal Kombat actually kinda did it already in the nineties?

The announcement of the first-ever Region 2 DVD release of Mortal Kombat: Conquest - The Complete Series has stirred a massive amount of interest within the fan kommunity. As well it should! Conquest isn't just a time-locked series that's only been available in its entirety to digital pirates, Australians [via a 2005 Region 4 release], and devotees of late night reruns. It's a unique piece of Kombat franchise history, and a rare example of a video game license thriving in a film environment.

Whether you're new to Conquest and the world created by Larry Kassanoff and his Threshold Entertainment Group, or simply revisiting, we hope you'll join us as we look back at what we generously consider the Mortal Kombat Cinematic Universe. Here's the rundown:

Speculation X: Was The Returning -Ality Revealed All Along?

Since June's E3 unveiling of Mortal Kombat X, much has been made about the addition of new and returning finishers. There have been clues, innuendos, and a storm of speculation about the new game's modes -- but what if the returning -Ality has been in front of us all along?

MKO USER POLL

- Stage Animality! (34.2%)
- Stage Fatality! (17.9%)
- Hidden Characters (5.0%)
- Arena Decoration (21.3%)
- Just Another One of
Nightwolf's Crazy Tests
(21.3%)

Feature: Before MKX - The Other Outcome of Mortal Kombat 4

Before the announcement of Mortal Kombat X, minds were understandably narrowed on the events of Mortal Kombat 4. The plot of the first three games was retold by Mortal Kombat (2011) -- heavily implying the next in sequence with a story mode cliff-hanger schemed by MK4 antagonists: Quan Chi and Shinnok.

Much remains a mystery about the plot of the 2015 sequel, or how the new history of MK2011 will play-out across MKX's 25 year timeline. The grim predicament left by a slaughter of heroic mainstays could force some surprising twists, but this isn't exactly unchartered territory. The worst outcome has always been a presented option for MK - as forewarned by a tradition of hypothetical arcade endings.

From sequel to sequel, it's typically been the heroes whose possible outcome is made canon. Over the course of Deadly Alliance and the sequels that followed, we learned it was mostly the MK4 heroes' endings that had a role to play in shaping the on-going saga. Liu Kang was victorious for a fourth consecutive event - defeating fallen Elder God Shinnok; Raiden was briefly appointed Elder God; Lt. Sonya Blade survived Jarek's aggressions, and Scorpion discovered the truth behind his spectre's curse - plunging Quan Chi into a dogged pursuit through the Netherrealm.

As Mortal Kombat Online continues to shift some of its extensive video archive to YouTube, we revisit the past of MK4 to ponder what would've happened if it all went horribly wrong. At a glance, MK4 proposes two realities -- the one we've experienced, and a darker alternative where heroes perished and evil won. Could this alternate ending influence the course of MKX? We'll find out April 14, 2015.

Feature: Could Hydro Appear in the Next Mortal Kombat?

In June, the first trailer for Mortal Kombat X left us with an inquisitive tagline: Who's next? Fans hardly needed prompting to ask. After more than twenty years as a franchise - Mortal Kombat's ever-increasing cast of characters has made this a prevalent question ahead of any new installment!

The aggressive turnover of ideas, designs and playable characters has made Mortal Kombat a unique series to follow. Fans typically hold on to favourites with zealous fervour, but are just as inclined to seek untapped obscurities to keep the final cut fresh.

Thanks to the breadth of Mortal Kombat's reach as a pop culture icon - obscurity comes in many shapes and forms! There's the tradition of in-game easter eggs, hoaxes & rumors, and forgotten cult favourites from side-projects, like Tremor (Special Forces). Then there's the entire world of cross-media licensed adaptations - which brings us to today's feature question!

Many fans within the MKOmmunity have asked and speculated: Could Hydro appear in the next Mortal Kombat? The simple, odds-on answer is: No. The reason: A bit more complicated... Read on for the full story:

Feature: Mortal Kombat X Reveal Trailer Breakdown

It has begun! Mortal Kombat X was finally revealed in an updating frenzy that kicked off a massive Mortal Monday! If you haven't seen it by now, you're going to want to check out the MKX launch trailer before we continue!

The 1 minute 57 second clip is all CG fury, featuring no actual gameplay, but littered with allusions to past and present playstyles that we're very interested in! It wasn't the all-out reveal of the last game, which gave us much more in its first outing. In the scheme of things, that might mean the most decisive step forward from the last decade of Mortal Kombat! If you're up for getting dirty, stick with us as we break down the epic trailer into minute, fastidious detail that raises as many questions as it does answers!

Be sure to join us on the Mortal Kombat X forum to immortalize your thoughts!

Feature: The Saga of Mortal Kombat HD

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.

Blind Kenshi Kompletes Expert Playthrough

If you think you have trouble beating Mortal Kombat with Expert difficulty settings -- try doing it without looking at the screen! That's the extra tier of challenge Metalhead666 -- better known as Carlos "OBSKHRattlehead" Vasquez -- plays with every session! If you think that sounds like an impossible task; watch as he breezes through the entire arcade ladder with - you guessed it - the blind sword saint: Kenshi!

Kountdown: 10 Things Mortal Kombat has to be Thankful For!

The inescapable echo of turkey gobbling can mean only one of two things: either someone's cracked out Mortal Kombat II for a little retro revenge, or there are thanks to be given in the MK homeland!

We understand not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving this time of year, but in the spirit of MK's origins and the general act of well wishing, we hope you'll oblige. Afterall, Mortal Kombat fans have had a lot to be thankful for in the last couple of years!

#10 Mortal Kosplay
We kinda missed the boat on Halloween, so why not start simple?
The influx of interest in Mortal Kombat has been a boon [see what I did there?] to fans of dressing up as their favourite kick-butt characters. This kostume kombat phenomenon goes well beyond the thrills of Halloween and officially endorsed costumes, extending to some of the world's biggest pop culture events and contests. There have been official models endorsed, too, as I'm sure you've managed to notice.

As an enlightened bastion of modern thinking, Mortal Kombat Online would never think to stoop to merely objectifying the female cosplayers among us, but that doesn't mean we aren't as thankful for the Kitana and Jades of the world, as much as Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Not to mention some of the less usual suspects! Check out the MKOmmunity's own keruuu (and friend) rocking a seriously bad ass Kung Lao and Nightwolf combo! [pictured right]

Yes, yes. Mileena, too. Perverts...

#9 The Fans
You can't have a wave of living tributes in costume without fans to squidge and wiggle inside them! The ragtag crew in the Mortal Kombat Online MKOmmunity represent only the tip of the iceberg, the coolest and most handsome fans who've flocked to Mortal Kombat in the last few years.

The continued success of the series is a testament to the diehard loyalty of its fans, old and new. Mortal Kombat has always had a sympathetic ear toward the fanbase, incorporating some of our ideas and rumors into the very games themselves! MK and MKO more than anyone knows what it means to be thankful for the fans (most of the time)!

#8 Music & Soundtrack
Fans of the Mortal Kombat games have long been spoiled by the tailor-made soundtracks of Dan "Toasty" Forden. The atmospheric musicman returned in 2011 to work his magic (and "toasty" cameo) in the latest game [read more], but he wasn't the only artist inspired by the warriors!

Mortal Kombat has a long and interesting history with music outside the games. From The Immortals' classic (infamous) concept album and single, to the borrowed music of the movies, music has made fans of many. Songs Inspired by the Warriors took MK back to the pop-alternative masses, uniting characters like Reptile with artists like Skrillex in an audio-concept fusion.

#7 Return to Live-Action
Granted, this step hasn't come without controversy, resulting in a wide variety of perspectives, not all of them good. Even so, however you slice it, the demand for a return to movies has been there since the 1997 sequel flopped, and we're thankful Mortal Kombat is getting another run.

Feature: The PSVita Cameo That Shook the Earth- Tremor!

Self-fulfilling prophecy: MKOs Tremor April FoolIn April, Mortal Kombat Online featured classic Mortal Kombat characters who existed in hoaxes and rumor, as well as characters who were nestled deep within the games themselves. We also began the month with our customary April Fool, pulling on references somewhere in between, to allude to some vaguely prophetic, discarded phony DLC follow-ups.

If you're at all worried about spoilers for Kombat on the PlayStation Vita, it's at this point you might like to gouge your eyes out and run screaming into the night, desperately trying to unsee what has been seen [below].

Feature: Mortal Kombat is for Fools, Fakes & Phony Ninjas

It's been a long time since Reptile compelled quarter stuffers to look moonward, or Smoke and Jade shared a private joke behind a talking tree, but the element of secrets hasn't left Mortal Kombat entirely. While other franchises begin to abandon the long practiced chase of unlockable characters, MK keeps one foot in the shadows, taunting a rabid fanbase all the way to the end date and beyond.

Yesterday, Mortal Kombat Online enjoyed a customary April Fools rib. The lure of DLC additions and discarded characters may be rooted in truth, but you weren't fooled so easily. For MK fans of the past, however, it hasn't always been so easy to discern truth from fiction.

For fans eager to squeeze a little more out of obscurity, characters like Tremor and Wu Lae remain a luring prospect. Even the likes of Hydro -- a water-themed Lin Kuei character, created by Malibu Comics -- have fought for renewed existence, getting as far as a cameo appearance in the final Mortal Kombat: Legacy [last year]. There is another class of character, however, who contributes to the MK mythology as much, without ever actually having existed -- the rumored, or prank character.