I never thought I would say this at any time in my collective articles but, it must be said that, gaming is a lot like sweet romance: It’s all about the climax. We gamers love the big stuff at the end (euphemism not intentional.) The huge final dungeon, that ridiculous feature long cut scene and, most importantly, the ultimate finishing moves that beat the bad guy once and for all. Mortal Kombat took this to heart with its fatalities creating what are, arguably, some of the most iconic finishers ever. Below is a short list of some of the more brutal fatalities that sprang to mind. For ease of reading the entries will be listed in chronological order by game in the series and not ranked order of gruesomeness. Finish him!
From Mortal Kombat
Ripping out the spine – Sub Zero (0:22)
The classic and best. Sub Zero has a tonne of cool ice related moves but, as great as it is freezing a guy to death, you can’t argue with disconnecting their entire head and spine from their body. It was this particular fatality that sticks in my mind as defining the thematic content of the MK series: Gratuitous violence.
From Mortal Kombat 2
Going for the arms – Jax (2:15)
In terms of sheer blood shed, this one has to rank among the great finishing moves. Jax simultaneously disables his opponents top half, whilst also taking them out for the count. The way that the other character just stands there bleeding from their stumps for a few seconds afterwards is also oddly amusing. It’s times like this I realise what a terrible human being I am.
Enter the Dragon – Liu Kang (2:57)
For a game as violent as Mortal Kombat, some of the fatalities are oddly tame. Punching off someone’s head is cool and all but, when you can turn into a dragon, using your fists seems fairly conservative. So yeah, Liu Kang just casually turns into a dragon and munches on the top half of his adversary. And he makes it look so easy.
The kick inside – Shang Tsung (3:35)
This particular fatality always grosses me out, but more in a Alien or The Fly body horror sort of way, as opposed to due to gore and blood. The idea of Shang Tsung being able to get inside your body just gives me chills thinking about. The aftermath of exploding is also fairly unsavoury. Textbook fatality all around.