The explanation behind certain characters powers
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The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/14/2014 06:47 PM EST
My thread about Kuai Liang has been derailed a bit, and it's now about what this thread's title mentions. I decided that it was worth it's own thread, as I do have certain things to say on the subject matter.

To me, powers like Kano's cannonball were just a case of certain people being born with them. They could be genetic, or maybe anyone can be born with them. I never thought some huge explanation behind the abilities was required, not that I mind having one. This need some fans have to explain some of the human characters' gifts seems to come from a desire to make the story a little more realistic. Like, some humans being just born with those abilities would make them, and the Earth of the MK universe, too different from the real world, and thus less relatable. It's just a theory though.

One explanation for a character's abilities I didn't like was the one for Kabal's. I really don't see why he couldn't have had them from the start. It's not that it eats away at me or anything, I just thought it was unnecessary.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/14/2014 09:46 PM EST
DG1OA Wrote:
To me, powers like Kano's cannonball were just a case of certain people being born with them. They could be genetic, or maybe anyone can be born with them. I never thought some huge explanation behind the abilities was required, not that I mind having one. This need some fans have to explain some of the human characters' gifts seems to come from a desire to make the story a little more realistic. Like, some humans being just born with those abilities would make them, and the Earth of the MK universe, too different from the real world, and thus less relatable. It's just a theory though.


No, I totally accept that the MK universe has X-Men.

Mythologies flatout uses the words "mutated" to describe the sort of people the Lin Kuei recruit. But the games also say gifted people are rare and secretive and the modern world doesn't believe in the supernatural, that's why when Sonya and Jax warned the army that MK3 was gonna happen, they were laughed out of the room.

(An NYC street cop running around like the Flash in broad daylight probably would hurt that whole "the public doesn't know about powers and monsters" concept, I imagine that's why they had Kabal get his speed after the maiming. Personally though, I kinda agree with you, I don't like the explanation they came up with. But I don't like Kabal being a cop either, he should've been a Black Dragon who turns good BECAUSE he's maimed by allies of Kano...but that's a tangent for another time.)

But Kano is already established to be a cyborg. His MK9 bio specifically mentions how his eye isn't his only graft, for no other reason than to explain why he can do the things he does. If they wanted him to be gifted from birth they would have mentioned that too since their intention was to explain his shit.

I'm just saying, even with an explanation, the cannonball is still nonsense. It's probably the silliest looking move in MK9, and that's a game where people don't die after Kitana and Baraka shove knives through their eyesockets and all the way out the back of their skulls!

I mean, even if the explanation WERE that he was born with the power to cannonball, what kind of stupid fucking superpower is that, anyway?

Cyclops got eye lasers, Storm controls the weather with her mind...and Kano can fly through the air in any direction he wants, even zig-zag...but only if he curls up into a ball and spins? Fuck you, X-Gene! Can you imagine if he was on an actual superhero team, travelling through the air cross-country for miles, alongside people who can actually fly the normal way like Superman? That's not a power, that's a comedy sketch.
I dare you to come up with a worse power. Even the fucking Morlocks all make more sense than "Flies-But-Only-In-Ball-Form-Man", and most of them only have the power of "my face is melting" or "I have a really bad rash."
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/14/2014 10:54 PM EST
@ Razors:

The flying cannonball move is a tricky little bastard to explain if we're trying to make each characters' special abilities make sense in the MK world. Kano is obviously a trained martial artist, so him using chi as a means to propel himself through the air (much like Liu Kang does for his flying kick and bicycle kick) is definitely a possibility. In fact I'm going to roll (pun intended) with that explanation until I hear otherwise. Haha! smile
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 04:18 AM EST
Shokan sweat is pretty much petrol, hence the ease of fire powers.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 09:17 AM EST
JohnBoyAdvance Wrote:
Shokan sweat is pretty much petrol, hence the ease of fire powers.

That, and the fact they are half Dragon.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 03:21 PM EST
Yeah, the Shokans' dragon ancestry, assuming it's a true story and not some myth they've perpetrated about themselves to sound more badass, explains the fire-breathing just fine.

Granted that Goro doesn't breathe fire in MK1 or 9, he punches green energy or copies of his fist at people. But that's explained, he's Shang Tsung's "pupil", so he's learning sorcery.

Sheeva doesn't either, she claps so hard it makes a shockwave of explosions. That could just be a comic book-y superstrength trick.

But I'll be damned if spinning through the air like Sonic the Hedgehog ain't the dumbest looking power in the world, no matter HOW you explain Kano doing it.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 09:45 PM EST
@Razors:

Kano traveled to Brazil to seek out the mysterious Blanka after word got out in the criminal underworld that a mutant living in South America learned how to propel himself like a cannonball in mid-air. Kano promised Blanka riches and a high rank in the Black Dragon order, if he taught him this devastating technique. The cunning Australian never intended to keep his promise and after learning this powerful move, he left the gullible Blanka in the jungle to remain there and impress the locals. Upon this admission by Kano, Kobra showed up out of nowhere and approached his master to discuss the next step in their plans to destroy the Special Forces once and for all. To Kano's surprise, it wasn't Kobra at all, but his doppledanger Ken. Before he could blink, Ken caught Kano with a hadoken followed by a shoryuken that sent the stunned Black Dragon leader reeling and seeing stars. Kano momentarily regained his wits and made haste upon his retreat. Never again would the Black Dragon leader travel to Brazil alone, or cross anyone on the Street Fighter circuit, but the price he paid was worth it...for Kano had learned the legendary cannonball technique.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 10:47 PM EST
Okay, now come up with an explanation that doesn't involve crossing over with another franchise.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 10:52 PM EST
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
But I'll be damned if spinning through the air like Sonic the Hedgehog ain't the dumbest looking power in the world, no matter HOW you explain Kano doing it.


RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
no matter HOW you explain Kano doing it.


RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
no matter HOW


At this risk of being obnoxious, I do hope the emphasis is not missed this time.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 11:15 PM EST
@Spider & Razors:

I had 20 minutes to kill before the start of the Giants/ Dodgers game, so I just thought up a funny (hopefully) backstory for Kano's cannonball move off the top of my head real quick. Just going for some laughs fellas, not meant to be taken seriously. wink
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 11:21 PM EST
Oh, I got the joke.

I'm just saying. It doesn't matter how he gained the move, it still looks stupid as hell.

I think it'd look cool and brutal if it had some weight behind it, like a dude straight-up jumping and landing on people like a rock.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/15/2014 11:53 PM EST
@Razors:

I think what you just suggested would make for a kick ass looking x-ray move.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/16/2014 08:27 AM EST
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
Yeah, the Shokans' dragon ancestry, assuming it's a true story and not some myth they've perpetrated about themselves to sound more badass, explains the fire-breathing just fine.

There is no reason to think otherwise. The very reason the Shokans have six limbs is because that comes from the Dragon side (wings = limbs).
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/16/2014 12:39 PM EST
Which is worse though. Kano's "Ball Roll" or Kabal's "Nomad Dash"? I've hated that Dash since MK3. I mean really, am I watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon where you can be spun around like a top? Sooooo cartoony.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/16/2014 01:11 PM EST
I've always thought Kabal had the strangest moveset out of every character there is in the series. Either they really had no idea what to do with him, move-wise, or they just wanted the most confusing powers to give to someone and they chose Kabal. I'd like to know more about his than anyone else.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/16/2014 04:43 PM EST
Icebaby Wrote:
I've always thought Kabal had the strangest moveset out of every character there is in the series. Either they really had no idea what to do with him, move-wise, or they just wanted the most confusing powers to give to someone and they chose Kabal. I'd like to know more about his than anyone else.


Well we got the origin for his dash, and his fireball has been established as some kind of plasma exhaust he vents out of his gasmask.

The buzzsaw I dunno, I'd LIKE to believe it's just some sort of tech-gadget he carries, but the animation for it does look more like he's magically summoning it from offscreen...

And I don't know WHAT the fuck they were thinking with that move from Deception where he like makes people slam into himself belly-first.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/17/2014 11:55 PM EST
Talking about strange character powers, how about Jax? Since when does punching the ground hurt some one? If the strongest person who ever lived had his strength multiplied by 20 and had his arms replaced with bionic implants, it still wouldn't hurt you if he punched the ground right next to you.

That being said, I'm glad it's in the game. It's a sneaky move that can be done from a distance and catch opponents off guard. Good for game play.glasses
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 04:33 AM EST
His punches cause seismic activity. The ground cracks and explodes beneath your feet.

Earthquake punches are a common move for superheroes with strength powers like Superman and Hulk.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 11:16 AM EST
@Razors:

That's exactly what I'm talking about; how goofy is that? A human punching the ground hard enough to cause seismic activity (a mini earthquake) to where the ground is cracking open and exploding underneath you? That's quite ridiculous if we're trying to make sense of the different character powers in MK. We're not talking about Superman or the Hulk here, just a normal human albeit a very strong one.

Like I said earlier though, these crazy abilities are part of the game and don't need to make perfect sense. MK would get stale and boring without characters being able to pull off gravity defying moves or ones of superhuman strength. There would be no character balance either, which is a must for a competitive fighting game.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 01:43 PM EST
Jax is not "a normal human being albeit a very strong one". His strength is chi-enhanced. That's a superpower. You can SEE his arm glow with energy when he does his moves.
I'm sure you're ready to dismiss any glowing auras and visual effects as just visual embellishments to fit your "moves aren't part of the story, don't take them seriously" philosophy, but obviously I disagree considering that we also see the characters do their moves in storymode cutscenes all the time.
Note how nothing Stryker does makes him glow. THAT is a normal dude with no magic or cybernetics in the MK universe.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 07:52 PM EST
@Razors:

That's reasonable actually; if a character's special ability can't be explained, we can just throw "chi" in there as a crutch and every one should be happy. Hence Jax can focus his chi and turn his hands all glowy purple, so he can punch the ground and cause mini earthquakes like Superman. Is it goofy as hell? Sure is. Does is make sense? Sorta. Do I really care? Nope.

Here's one: Before Kano turned to a life of crime, he was actually an aspiring Olympic gymnast as well an expert martial artist. Upon his world travels Kano learned how to harness his chi from a disgraced former Shaolin Monk. This particular monk was an expert at teaching his pupils to use chi as a means to propel themselves through the air at high rates of speed for short distances. This skill was very effective for increasing the power of certain attacks such as jump kicks, which Liu Kang had fully mastered. Being the crafty guy that he is, Kano found that mixing his gymnastics training with his newly learned skill, would create a devastating technique that no one had seen before. All the years of tumbling and perfecting front flips, to fully learning the power of chi had paid off. On this day the deadly flying cannonball technique was born.smile
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 08:54 PM EST
Kano has a backstory already. He was military, then went mercenary, joined the BD gang, and used being a thief and dealer of weapons and tech to get himself upgrades after being severely injured by Jax.

Again, his moves are the product of under-the-skin bionics. That's why, for example, he doesn't glow like someone using chi/magic would.

But no argument about "how moves work" or "what the origin of a character's powers are" can ever change the fact that the Cannonball LOOKS dumb.

He's supposed to be performing a feat of agility, jumping at someone and crashing into them. Instead, it looks like he can FLY. He is levitating, hovering, has complete control of what direction he moves and doesn't need to land.

And he does this without glowing with magic, he does it without rocket-exhaust burning out of holes in his body like Sektor, and he does it while curled up into a ball which is just plain the single most retarded pose a person could ever be in while flying. The Ambiguously Gay Duo from Saturday Night Live's "partner clinging to the flying guy as if having sex doggy style" method of flying looks less dumb than the Sonic the Hedgehog spin.
But I think we all KNOW the creators never intended for him to ACTUALLY be able to fly. The SPIRIT of the move is not supposed to be a method of travel, he's not Raiden, it's supposed to be a brawler's crude method for barreling into people in a big, heavy "let me slam all of my bodyweight into you at once" pose. Which is why I repeatedly suggest that it needs to be revamped the way Sonya and Kitana's Square Waves were.

Stop trying to come up with a story that justifies it when the goofy appearance is a worse problem than the science or suspension of disbelief. Explaining it won't make it not-dumb, reanimating it would.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 09:52 PM EST
Holy moly Razors, chill out please. If you can't tell I'm just having fun with this and not being serious at all. Kano an aspiring Olympic gymnast? That was meant to give you a chuckle. FRIENDSHIP dude. We all get it, you don't like Kano's cannonball move. And we know nothing any one says will change your opinion of that and that's fine.

I do want to commend you for your knowledge of every character in the series and how you know the details of how everything fits together. I consider myself a big MK fan, but you put me to shame in that department. I got to thinking when you mentioned cut-scenes, how cool it would look to see Jax do his ground pound move on a legion of ONI from the Netherrealm.. Having them flying in all different directions would look so awesome! I hope in MK10 we get to see more special moves like this during cut-scenes.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 10:01 PM EST
I did assume you were kidding again, but to be honest, your "joke" stories could use more of a punchline.

I didn't mean to sound angry or intense or whatever, I come across that way a lot 'cause I over-explain things, use caps for emphasis (holdin' down the shift key is just plain easier than, say, typing italics tags), and have an authoritative manner of speech, I guess. I'm just bored of the Kano subject, really, wanted to put some kind of "the end" stamp on it.
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RE: The explanation behind certain characters powers
04/18/2014 10:41 PM EST
Okay, I'll try to be a little more obvious when I'm joking if I ever make a goofy backstory again. And no worries, you know your shit. You're passionate about MK and it comes across strongly. That's a plus. glasses