Irregular cult-favourite Kabal is about to feature in the Mortal Kombat movie, and according to series co-creator John Tobias -- he's an underrated character ready to be explored. Tobias revealed more about Kabal's backstory, including his original role in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. Read on for details:
Kabal has recently been included in a promotional banner and TV Spot for the movie. Asked about his creation's impending mainstream exposure; John Tobias shared his thoughts via Twitter, delving into the character's iconic history, and some of the lost inspirations that went into informing the mystery man behind the mask.
He confirmed intentions for Kabal to become a crime-fighting vigilante as described in his Mortal Kombat 3 arcade ending [pictured above]. The about-face for the former Black Dragon clansman was meant to reflect a deeper moral ambiguity that existed within the character before the events of his MK3 introduction.
According to Tobias, this was originally intended to be explored in the action-adventure prequel Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. He explained: "In the old MKSF story (which takes place before MK1-3) Kabal wanted out of the Black Dragon and worked as an informant for Sonya and Jax’s Special Forces unit."
Insert Coin director, and former Midway Games developer, Josh Tsui released a deleted scene from the game that shows Kabal in a tense stand-off with Black Dragon leader Kano [embedded below]. The sequence reveals both the ambition of the game's original story, and some of Kabal's moral conflict.
As John Tobias explained in an interview with MKO Online, the ill fated 2000 spin-off "... needed a lot more work, and pushing its release back would've jeopardized our ability to hit the sweet spot for a next gen development deal. That created a difficult situation."
The result was a heavily stripped back version released exclusively to the PlayStation. Kabal was conspicuous by absence, leading some to speculate an additional character, seen escaping maximum security with the other stage bosses in the opening FMV, could be Kabal. The goateed character can be seen in the scene above.
Tobias also resminisced about the fun of seeing Kabal's story adapted in the animated series, and expressed confidence in the upcoming feature film and their interpretation of the character.
I see that Kabal is in the new MK film. I know that the makers are big on authenticity and feel that the characters are one of the series’ most important elements... will be exciting to see how they layer in a complex character like Kabal... (8/9)— John Tobias (@therealsaibot) March 17, 2021
Film previews show Kabal on the side of Shang Tsung and his Outworld loyal warriors, and fighting Liu Kang during the red band trailer. Kabal donned his mask after suffering brutal injuries at the hands of Shao Kahn's Outworld extermination squads, but as Tobias generously notes, "We did not detail the attack, we only implied that it was gruesome enough to leave him disfigured".
We also never describe how Kabal survived or where he got the respirator that keeps him alive. In part because we had limited places to tell story in the old arcade games, but also because it gave him a mysterious quality, which I felt added much more to his character... (6/9)— John Tobias (@therealsaibot) March 17, 2021
The new Mortal Kombat movie is officially released theatrically on April 16th, with same day streaming on HBO Max in the United States. Download the MKO App via App Store or Google Play to join the calendar countdown. Find and more stories by joining the Kommunity Forums!