Mortal Kombat's fatalities can be dividing factors among gamers; they are the fuel behind the series' notoriety and arguably the most controversial element of the games, yet thanks to certain animations (we're looking directly at you Sub-Zero, with your spine-ripping party trick of the nineties) the medium has become encumbered with the creation of the ESRB and its long running governance. Yes, the violent nature of the game was that shocking when it had its popularity spike in the arcades that an entire ratings board for video games was formed - it therefore comes as no surprise that Mortal Kombat was the first game to receive the accolade rating of 'Mature'.
The ultimate way to humiliate your opponent, these fatalities became a phenomenon and would go on to influence a new level of violence and bloodshed in titles that would follow, with many rallying to brush Mortal Kombat away as nothing but a series dependant on shock value and gratuitous violence for the sake of it. However they would then fail to realise that underneath the over-the-top brutality and literal bloodsport of the battles were games rich with cultural influence and well-developed storylines that would prove there was substance underneath an abundance of heavy stylisation and an emphasis on fighting.
The latest game in 2011 hosted a wide array of vicious new X-Ray attacks (mid-fight spectacles that show the Kombatants innards and skeletal structures whilst taking severe injury) which can bring on the nausea thanks to the likes of stiletto heels to eye sockets, testicle-squishing and numerous other ways of shattering, splintering and the grinding-to-dust of various bones. Whilst they are in a sense mini-fatalities - and in real life would render you deader than dead - not all of them will outright kill you in a battle, ultimately serving as hard-hitting gimmick special-moves, hence why they are omitted from this feature but still perfectly embody the essence of a fatality all the same.
Mortal Kombat has never been a stranger to cheesy, generic and/or stupid finishing moves, most of them can be inventive and downright disturbing, but others can clearly be for the laughs or at times just 'WTF' reactions. Like this little nugget of 'we ran out of ideas and it was a slow day at the office':
Sorry Quan Chi, but the only stomach-churning aspect of your fatality in MK: Deadly Alliance was that it actually got off the drawing board.
So let us proceed to the fatalities; the bread and butter of Mortal Kombat. Viewer discretion is advised if you are faint-hearted in regards to pixelated gory effects, dismemberment, slicing, dicing, death by cannibalism, death by ribcage, evisceration, genital pummelling and have a fear of being without your skin.
The rest of you though, time to get stuck in.
Ardent gaming enthusiast who lusts for a taste of working in the industry. Fighting game bruiser who would play professionally if he could learn to block just that little bit more. Bartender on the side and used to be a freelance Makeup Artist. Enthralls everywhere he goes.See more from Tony