Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Guilty Pleasures: Mortal Kombat

I’ll be the first to admit that Mortal Kombat has seen its fair share of turkeys both in video games and on the big screen over the years, but that hasn’t stopped me from being a huge fan. From the first moment I uppercut my opponent into a pit full of spikes and watched in glee as crimson gore spurted up into the air to then be followed by a demonic voice stating ‘Fatality!’ I knew I was hooked.

From the brilliantly observed, if cheesy, first film, the TV series with its excellently choreographed fight scenes and the-more often than not-highly entertaining video games, I’ve enjoyed it all.  Arguably the most appealing aspect of the Mortal Kombat universe-and what certainly keeps me coming back for more-is the characters and the inner struggles they face between good and evil inside a rich and vibrant setting that’s bathed in a dark storyline spanning over centuries. From the ruined temples and woodland plains of Earth Realm; the seas of molten lava that make up Netherrealm; the unholy desolation of Outworld; the constant turmoil of The Realm of Chaos and the beauty of Edenia; all of which are crammed with heroic warriors, demonic Ninja’s, mutant cyborgs, gods of lightening, four armed ogres, beautiful women with a taste for human flesh and more martial art styles, blood, guts and magical fireballs than you can shake a Nunchuck at one has to ask: What’s not to like?

Okay, fair enough, as a video game the fighting mechanic has never been as polished as the likes of Street Fighter or The King of Fighters series of games but it does have a distinctive charm of its own, and one that suits the setting and the characters therein perfectly. However, when the guys behind Mortal Kombat get it right, (as they did with the Mortal Kombat Trilogy, MK: Deadly Alliance and MK: Armageddon), it works a treat, and with the new Mortal Kombat shaping up to the best MK game to date things can only get better.

It's also worth noting that Mortal Kombat was turning people into killers long before the Grand Theft Auto video games hit the scene:

On November 22, 1997, thirteen-year-old Noah Wilson died when his friend Yancy stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The mother of Noah, Andrea Wilson, alleges that her son was stabbed to death because of his obsession with the Midway game Mortal Kombat. She alleges that Yancy S. was so obsessed with the game, that the child thought he was actually the character Cyrax. This character, Cyrax, used a finishing move in which the character grabs the opponent in a headlock and stabs the character's opponent in the chest. Wilson alleges that this is the maneuver in which Yancy S., killed her son. However, despite the character's other varieties of finishing moves, the character Cyrax does not actually perform this move at all. The conclusion of Wilson v. Midway games, Inc. was, according to the court case report, "Wilson's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The product liability counts fail because Mortal Kombat is not a "product" within the purview-of the CPLA [...]"

And even our good friend, and disbarred attorney, Jack Thompson got all bent out of shape about his likeness appearing in a Mortal Kombat game:

In 2006, attorney Jack Thompson ordered a cease and desist to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon stating, "It has today come to my attention that the newly recently Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game." In fact, what Thompson thought was an actual character put by the developer into the game, was actually created by a player, who used the game's "create-a-fighter" mode to construct a likeness of Thompson and demonstrated it in a film on YouTube. Thompson had the video successfully removed.

Whatever your thoughts on Mortal Kombat this is one fan who isn’t tired of this violent, sometimes comical slice of fiction just yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment