It has been a symbol and beacon of battle since the beginning, rendered in stone and steel, enduring fire and rifts in time itself. The Dragon Logo has been silent witness to it all, and with its thirtieth anniversary upon us, John Tobias has detailed the origins of the famous design that means Mortal Kombat to all who see it! Read on:

The logo designer & series co-creator went deep in a thread posted to Twitter where he shared a recently recovered drawing of the first finished Dragon Logo [pictured below] taken from footage filmed by artist John Vogel for the digitization process. Edited versions appeared in the 1992 classic everywhere from the character select screen, to Shang Tsung's Throne Room arena.

The Throne Room stage also holds in-game renderings of the golden dragon statue that inspired the design [pictured above]. As Tobias explains, "... John Vogel saw a golden dragon statue on the desk of Midway’s general manager, Ken Fedesna. John borrowed it to digitize for use in our game’s backgrounds."

The same statue inspired the design of the arcade cabinet side panel, which in turn informed the design of the dragon logo as Tobias deliberately searched for an iconic image to brand both the game, and the in-fiction tournament. He likens it to "Superman's "S" or Batman's bat...".

The dragon motif suited the Eastern martial arts concept, but as long time fans will know, Tobias had a more literal reason for starting there: "The inspiration to use a dragon as the fictional tournament’s symbol came from "Dragon Attack," which was in contention as our game’s title before [Ed Boon] and I changed it to "Mortal Kombat."" He notes that "Dragon Attack" was itself borrowed from the title of a song on the 1980 Queen album The Game -- one of many musical references to work their into the series.

This tangled web may make it seem as if the finished product were fated to occur, but Tobias reveals the logo almost didn't happen! It was almost "tossed" when his sister mistook the side profile dragon head for a seahorse. His earliest "doodle" [pictured below] shows a more complete dragon dividing the halves of a yin yang symbol in reference to the "balancing of the furies" included in early lore.

Since the home release of MKII it has officially faced right, but the logo was briefly redesigned in 2014 with new details, and adapted & reappropriated many times over as franchise branding, and design motif.

Still the original rendering stands the test of time -- most recently its becoming home decor as a high-price lambs wool rug! What are the strangest things you've found with the symbol on? Share your memories and thoughts in the comments below and go deeper into nostalgia in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!