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Purple Rain: Mortal Kombat's Living Prince Tribute

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:

WCW Glacier Discusses Mortal Kombat on Keep It 100

The debut episode of The Fight Network's newest podcast Keep It 100 has featured an in depth interview with former World Championship Wrestling star Ray Lloyd, better known to fans as Glacier.

The ice themed striker was conceived in 1996, right as MK Trilogy was hitting arcades and home consoles. Best known for borrowing liberally from Mortal Kombat at the height of its popularity! Just one year after the feature film hit theatres, the gimmick attempted to repurpose the concept of a stylized martial arts tournament fighter -- namely Sub-Zero -- for the weekly serial of professional wrestling.

As noted in a previous feature, it was a concept also pitched to ECW star and eventual WWE Champion: Rob Van Dam. As Lloyd explains, the idea was driven by WCW parent Turner Broadcasting and WCW President Eric Bischoff:

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?

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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!

Feature: The Importance of Comics to Mortal Kombat

Comic books have always been important to Mortal Kombat.

The energetic, visual world of American superheroes helped inspire some of the most iconic qualities associated with the long running series. Co-creators Ed Boon and John Tobias have never been shy about their inspirations - frequently citing a pop culture melting pot as crucial education that informed the original games. The association runs deep.

Tobias dabbled in comics as a writer and artist; ultimately utilizing the medium to expand and embellish the saga of the original Mortal Kombat games. His comic styled designs and branching story techniques were a natural fit in the four colour medium, and proved crucial to making Mortal Kombat the complete pop culture phenomenon it became. As he discussed in a 2012 interview with Mortal Kombat Online [read more], his comics fed the growing MK multimedia machine, providing valuable source for the blockbuster 1995 feature film.

Before the movie; Malibu Comics launched an extensive line of licensed mini-series starring characters from Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II. The 1994 series Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder started with a version of Tobias' iconic tournament-centric plot, but quickly spun the publications into a variety of original manifestations. Though remembered in infamy, the rapid expansion into comics remains one of Malibu's most lasting legacies, and a fond but guilty pleasure for many MK fans.

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