When people first witnessed the absurd gore and over-the-top finishing moves of Mortal Kombat, they were mortified. Horrified. Shocked. Because gamers were desperate to play a video game that depicted violence on this scale, it was easy to see how MK became a hit. It was so successful, it spawned sequels, tv shows, spin-offs, and a movie.
Despite the fact every entry in the franchise ups the gore, it's not as shocking as it used to be. It's hard to believe but modern gamers can watch Kung Lao slice his rival in half, genitalia-first, without batting an eyelid. As brutal as the Fatalities are in recent games, it doesn't have the same effect as before.
But that doesn't mean the series stopped being shocking. Far from it. Over the last 25+ years, Mortal Kombat has had many mind-blowing moments.
Remember the first time you discovered a secret character? How crazy was it when you learned the true identity of Noob Saibot? How heart-breaking was it witnessing a beloved hero turn evil?
There are surely plenty more, but these are some of the most shocking moments in the history of Mortal Kombat.
10. Onaga's Reveal
Throughout the Konquest Mode of Mortal Kombat: Deception, you play as a young warrior called Shujinko. One day, an ethereal spirit called Damashi encounters Shujinko and claims he is the only one who can stop the resurrection of Onaga the Dragon King.
Since Onaga's return could end all existence, Damashi agrees to aid Shujinko on his quest. Our hero travels throughout multiple dimensions to locate the only artefacts that can defeat Onaga; The Kamidogu.
Over 60 years later, Shujinko manages to track down each of these items and places them in the Nexus of reality to destroy Onaga's essence once and for all. Only then does our hero learn that Damashi IS Onaga! ("Damashi" literally means "Deception." That should have been his first clue.)
This means that Shujinko spent his entire adult life helping this malevolent entity, under the false pretence he was preventing his return.
What's more shocking is that Raiden's ending shows the thunder god slaying Shujinko for his blunder. Even though Shujinko was pure of heart, Raiden felt obligated to kill him since his folly nearly destroyed the entire multiverse.