There are many important video game anniversaries taking place right now, and next year will be no different. One of the most important celebrations will be 30 years of the famous brutal, bloody and violent western fighting game, Mortal Kombat.
Ahead of their anniversary milestone, series co-creator Ed Boon has decided that he will share some “fun” behind-the-scenes footage, allowing fans to see first-hand (well, kind of), what it would have been like to see these games created, from the perspective of a “fly on the wall”.
The first movement he has shared is the iconic “Come here!” From Scorpion. spear attack. Here’s the clip, which also shows him in action in the original Mortal Kombat:
Boon also shared a series of follow-up tweets, which we have compiled here:
We certainly did a lot of preparation for our video recordings, but we came up with some ideas during filming. With Scorpion’s spear, he started with “You know what a cool move would be?” From there it can be a fly on the wall and see us working on the details.
One of those details was how fast Scorpion threw the spear, which had to be fast in order to catch opponents by surprise. This meant keeping the animation simple and with very few frames. We also wanted the spear to go over a crouching opponent, so we kept it at chest level.
We were so tight in memory that we didn’t even capture any movement for the victim’s reactions. Instead, we borrow from your existing animation frames. You can hear us talking about reusing one of the victim’s “knockdown” animations when they are initially hit by the spear.
We also borrowed the victim’s “dizzy fatality” frames to show they were stunned after being dragged inside. Reusing existing animations was one of the many tricks we used to save memory, which was much more limited in 1991.
Some things make me laugh seeing this so many years later. Try to count how many times you see my arm reaching out from the right side, trying to imitate (ninja) the movement. Also listening @therealsaibot (Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias) describes how he wants to make the rope like a snake by saying “shh shh.”
Also … did you notice how young Ed Boon really likes to use the word “WAH” to describe things? WTF?
Finally, even though there was A LOT more involved with us in creating this classic move (effects, sounds), it’s still great to see the germ of an idea that eventually became synonymous with Mortal Kombat, and was duplicated MANY TIMES in future games, movies, tv, animation and comics!
Fingers crossed, I hope to release more videos (fly on the wall) like this one in the future as we get closer to Mortal Kombat’s 30th anniversary.
2021 has seen the release of a new Mortal Kombat live-action movie, sales of Mortal Kombat 11 pass the 12 million mark worldwide and the release of a new animated film. NetherRealm has also called in time for its latest entry in the series, revealing that it would be ending DLC support to focus on the “next project.”
Are you excited for Mortal Kombat’s 30th anniversary in 2022? What did you think of Ed’s history lesson above? Leave a comment below.