In 2016, Mortal Kombat X gets even bigger than before with the arrival of Kombat Pack 2! Announced officially in September: the pack will include new character skins, a klassic arena, and as unveiled last week: four new playable characters!

Revealed during NetherRealm's Best Fighting Game acceptance at The Game Awards 2015: the Kombat Pack 2 character trailer launched as many questions as it answered. The full story won't crystallize until next year, but some preliminary questions can be answered. Here's what we know, so far:

Tri-Borg: How To Get A Head in Advertising
The most mysterious entry into Kombat Pack 2 is without a doubt the grey mechanoid known as Tri-Borg.

His name was revealed by NetherRealm Studios with the release of the official trailer, in which he can be seen collecting what remains of broken Lin Kuei cyborg Sektor. Mortal Kombat X story mode already showed us Sektor was reduced to broken parts and a severed head - so there's no mystery there. What Tri-Borg means for Sektor's future, and the futures of fellow Lin Kuei cyborgs Cyrax and Smoke - a little more ambiguous.

It seems Tri-Borg will assimilate Sektor's skills to create one of three Character Variations - likely the first seen in select screens, according to NetherRealm Voice Director and Writer Brian Chard. Don't expect Tri-Borg to be a mere vehicle for three unused characters, though. The new cyborg is "his own 'man'", according to Chard, and will speak with his own voice, regardless of variation!

Chard couldn't reveal if Tri-Borg will be assigned his own LK Unit code like his predecessors, but he is a new character, even if the grey representation seen prominently in the trailer is to reflect cyborg Smoke. How can Smoke be a cyborg in the new timeline, where he was never converted by the Lin Kuei, and was last seen causing trouble as an Enenra/Revenant in story mode? "Not sure it'll end up being canon but there's an explanation", says a candid Chard.

Fans can look forward to more character depth revealed through fight intro dialogues. Lin Kuei icon Sub-Zero will have 'a few interesting things' to say to Tri-Borg. Even more intriguing: "... in a mirror match intro one of them calls himself something else." Could this new cyborg be someone, or something, we already know? A fallen Lin Kuei warrior? A remnant of the original timeline? A new twist on Sektor's Tekunin clan? Chard unsurprisingly rules out comics fodder turned Legacy robot, Hydro. The plot will thicken in 2016.

Go Home Console, Bo' Rai Cho. You're drunk.
The drunken master is back! We last saw Bo' Rai Cho helping fight the forces of Shinnok during Mortal Kombat X's story mode, but we haven't played as the master martial artist since Armageddon! That'll be just shy of ten years, when downloadable content is released in 2016!

Another master drunk (on power) is series co-creator and creative lead Ed Boon, who's promising big things from Bo' in the gameplay department: "His drunken fighting style is so much fun to play & watch!" He isn't the only one! Brian Chard also elects Bo' Rai Cho as his tentative favourite character from Kombat Pack 2! Mortal Kombat Online fans responded positively, overwhelmingly voting him the best character! [Updated poll below].

Deadly Alliance introduced Bo' Rai Cho as a stumbling slob whose style incorporated various bodily functions as special attacks. It's tough to imagine the drunk fist won't arrive with at least one gross out Variation style, but if the hype is real, we'll look for an effective throwback to the martial arts mythology we know and love.


- Bo' Rai Cho (48.4%)
- Leatherface (4.5%)
- Xenomorph (8.1%)
- Tri-Borg (38.9%)

Drunken fist kung-fu is a real group of styles, imitating the movements of a drunkard - something the alcohol swilling Outworld master knows plenty about! His very name is a play on the Spanish word for drunk: "borracho". Cho favors Earthrealm rice wine, but has never competed for his adopted home in the Mortal Kombat tournament. If he did, the victory would be Outworlds! Instead, he's responsible for training the likes of Liu Kang, Kung Lao and Shujinko, and fighting the good fight away from tournament rules.

Speaking of rules - there's been much consternation over the role Warner Brothers played in the selection of Kombat Pack 2 characters. Brian Chard fanned the flames, noting character selection "... gets decided over weeks, sometimes months, by lots of people/depts in NRS and WB." Adding that it's "not solely an NRS decision" Guest characters no doubt play a part, but it pays to remember WB are sitting on an unreleased, completed webseries with an unverified significant role for Bo' Rai Cho. Food for thought.

Alien versus Predator - Fight!
The favoured of two new guest characters, the Alien arrives to complete the classic inter-company rivalry with prior guest Predator! Mortal Kombat Online teased at the Alien's potential coming in August, but even we failed to fully explore the possibility of kombatants playing host for the Xenomorph!

In the trailer, a Tarkatan is the unlucky soul from which a chest burster is violently born! If you know your movie lore, you know the Xenomorph adopts minor traits from it hosts. The result has given us an Alien with the terrifying addition of retractable blades, but if you think this is a stand-in for Baraka - you might want to do your homework! The Xenomorph has evolved many strong traits that will assuredly set the Mortal Kombat X Alien apart from the klassic MKII fighter!

Brian Chard notes, "there's plenty of alien about him." And that's exactly what he'll be called in the game - Alien. Chard reveals creating the unique character posed challenges, of which he believes the tail is one.

The alien is certainly very physically different from most characters, possibly requiring unique skeletal work, internal organs, and hit detection. It has no eyes; is typically an imposing figure; often takes advantage of uncanny agility and wall crawling abilities, which have interesting fighting game potential; and is most famous for its corrosive, acid-like blood. It will be interesting to see how burning blood is dealt with in a game where bodily fluids flow frequently! Chip damage may be one option, but another simple solution: the Alien's sturdy hide, which may not breach as easily as other characters.

With three Character Variations to fulfil, we're curious if there may be more than one MK twist to the character. Could other variations reflect a different hybrid? What about a Shokan Xenomorph? A Kytinn? A Zaterran? A XenoGod? As far as guest characters go - this has been one of the more fun integrations of an intruder. It's just a shame similar ideas couldn't have been used to fuel a new, or existing character.

If Leatherface Sees You, He'll Saw You
By far the most controversial new addition: Leatherface rampages out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series and into Mortal Kombat X! He isn't nearly the iconic rival for Jason Voorhees that Freddy Kreuger might have been -- but the slasher comparisons are easy to make. Both are mute, masked, movie maniacs who've prowled the American psyche for a couple of generations!

The differences between machete and chainsaw are obvious, but Brian Chard assures fans Jason is the only truly silent character in the game:"[Leatherface] doesn't talk, but makes noise". Fans of the films will also know Leatherface is a more erratic character than the traditionally stalking, stoic, silent threat of Jason. A fact captured brilliantly in animation in the Kombat Pack 2 trailer! Whether you love or hate the choice, it's clear NetherRealm are working to capture the insane waltz of one of modern horror's earliest mascots.

For bonus points: trivia buffs will recognize that the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an informative inspiration behind Ridley Scott's original Alien. Which means coupling the pair in Kombat Pack 2 isn't such a crazy idea! Granted, it's difficult to ignore the overwhelming corporate logic of a character who'll headline Lionsgate's Leatherface Texas prequel in 2016. We noted the possibility in September, and can clearly see how DLC may have potential as a revenue source built on a captive audience [read more]. Product placement comes to Kombat.

You Can't Please Everyone...
There's no denying fandom has been divided in its reception of Kombat Pack 2. A vocal diehard contingent has made it abundantly clear these aren't the characters they were hoping to see, favouring instead home team characters. A logical perspective, but not the only one, and by no means united in alternative preference.

Mortal Kombat X has reportedly sold over five million copies, making it a contender for the highest selling instalment of the series! This builds on the 2011 reboot, which also attracted a dramatic increase in audience - old and new. There's a very different majority, and downloadable content sales continue to reinforce their enjoyment of the novelty of crossover characters.

The old adage comes to mind where pleasing everyone is concerned. Emphasizing this fact was Brian Chard, who received his own torrent of disappointment, despite having nothing to do with character selection. A fan himself since joining the series with Deception, he noted his hypothetical Kombat Pack 2 might've included: Fujin, Havik, Sareena & Khameleon, with Ashrah and Li Mei outlying contenders.

Informed by MKX's status as a retelling of MK4; Mortal Kombat Online named Fujin the character we most wanted to see return from post-Armageddon absence. Will he make it to DLC before Mortal Kombat X closes up shop? Brian Chard says it's "a vocal minority" requesting specific characters. That may be true, but given the character's treatment as Raiden's equal in Mortal Kombat X story mode sequences, and comics, we're willing to believe the majority would welcome him as much, if not more, than Bo' Rai Cho.

Will fans get a chance to show their affection with a DLC purchase? Prior to the game's release, Mortal Kombat Online speculated Fujin might become this game's Martian Manhunter. The speculation was base on NetherRealm's surprising decision to omit the Justice League stalwart from Injustice: Gods Among Us until very late in its life. With DLC ballooning and only four kombatants downloadable, that prospect still seems viable. Failing that - there's always next game!

Did new information change your mind? What are you still waiting to find out? Register to join the discussion and share your thoughts on the Mortal Kombat X forum! Follow Brian Chard on Twitter @bcharred and tag us in your conversations @MK_Online. Stay tuned for more!