Scorpion’s iconic Mortal Kombat move was a goofy last-minute addition

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Mortal Kombat X

Image: NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

On October 8, 2022, Mortal Kombat will be 30 years old, no longer interested in staying out past nine and wondering if it has been lactose intolerant the whole time. This means, as co-creator Ed Boone wrote on Twitter, it is currently 30 years since the team at Midway began working on Mortal Kombat and making video game history — like Scorpion’s signature “Get over here!” chain-yank. A move that, it turns out, was made up on the fly.

In a video Boone posted Tuesday, Boon and fellow Mortal Kombat designer John Tobias are directing a performance capture session with a very patient Scorpion actor.

“You know what would be a cool-ass move?” Boon says, before beginning to describe a “spear” throw that he and Tobias begin to work out the logistics of in real time. It’s serendipitous and very charming, especially given Boon’s preferred sound effect being a sort of hushed “wahhhhh.”

As Boon elaborates further in his thread, some of the most beloved parts of a game are the product of equal parts preparation, experimentation, and iteration. The team prepped lots for the capture shoot, so the ideas weren’t coming from nowhere, and further sound and graphics work would have to be done before the idea would reach its final form. And all of that comes before the lore stuff about how Scorpion is a revenant and the “spear” they’re talking about here eventually becomes something that comes out of his dang hand in later games.

 

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