Video Game / Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
"Face each other, or face me? It makes no difference! YOU! WILL! FIGHT!"
— Dark Kahn
is a Fighting Game
launched in 2008 for Playstation3 and Xbox360. It's a Crisis Crossover between the Mortal Kombat and DC
Universes, featuring characters from both sides beating the crap out of each other.
This game stands out from similar Crossover Fighting Games
by having an actual plot, which is strictly followed in story mode – instead of picking up the characters, you choose a side and play the story with all of them, in order. Both sides' story happen in the same time and space
. It's set up between Mortal Kombat II
and Mortal Kombat 3
, and it's considered a Spin-Off
and an Elseworld
, upon his defeat at the hands of Superman, Darkseid
tries to escape, using a BoomTube
, but Superman blasts him through the portal. Meanwhile, in another universe, Shao Kahn's invasion on Earthrealm has failed and he's blasted by Raiden's thunder right into the magic portal. It seems that peace has returned to both worlds. But it doesn't last long. Quickly, heroes, villains, and fighters from one universe gets transported to the other, both world's magic is disturbed, while powerful, irrational rage starts randomly taking over the characters, making them brutally attack anybody they see, even their allies.
The game features the following characters:
- DC side: Batman, Captain Marvel, Catwoman, Darkseid, Deathstroke, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Joker, Lex Luthor, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
- MK side: Baraka, Jax, Kano, Kitana, Liu Kang, Raiden, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sonya Blade, and Sub-Zero.
It also features some unique minigames which you can play during a fight, such as the Freefall Kombat, (which happens if you throw your opponent out from the ring, your character will jump after him and, if you push the right buttons at the right time, kick his ass in the air, before landing on a new arena), Klose Kombat (a guessing game where you try to block your rival's hits during up-to-four turns), the return of Test Your Might
as a mid-battle event, replacing the Freefall Kombat in enclosed areas, and the plot-pointal Rage
, a temporary Limit Break
where you can't be hit-stunned and where you're able to do a load of damage in six seconds.
The reception of this game was somewhat mixed, and marked the end of Midway Games. Interestingly enough, the Mortal Kombat
franchise is now owned by Warner Bros.
, which also owns DC Comics
. So, who knows, they may give this series another shot if they feel so inclined.
It has a character
See also Capcom vs. Whatever
. Spiritually succeeded
by Injustice: Gods Among Us
(made by Netherrealm Studios, the same studio responsible for Mortal Kombat 9
, even featuring Scorpion as a Guest Fighter
There is also a Comic Adaptation
that introduces both Dark Kahn the Big Bad
and how his actions lead to merging the worlds and how his actions lead to displacing several individuals from both worlds and how he influences the Rage.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Where are the likes of Johnny Cage, Goro, Robin, or Aquaman? Erased from existence thanks to the universes merging. This was only mentioned in the comic book that accompanied the limited edition of the game.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To the Marvel vs. Capcom series as the other top comic book publisher's characters butt heads with the other top fighting game franchise of The '90s. Word Of God also says that the characters were paired up based on their similarities:
- Raiden and Superman are the most powerful of the groups, the De facto leaders, and also the Big Goods.
- Sub-Zero and Batman are the loners. To strengthen that comparison, look at Sub-Zero during most of the events the MK series. Especially Deadly Alliance and Deception. He even had his own "Robin" for a brief time.
- Kitana and Wonder Woman are both the warrior princesses of their worlds.
- Scorpion and The Flash are both motivated by tragic losses. Though in contrast, Scorpion made a literal deal with the devil for power and Flash gained his by accident. Additionally, Scorpion is ruled by vengeance while Flash is selfless.
- Liu Kang and Green Lantern are the appointed protectors of Earth. Liu being the immortal champion of Mortal Kombat and GL being charged with a sector of the galaxy which includes Earth.
- Shang Tsung and Captain Marvel both wield magic. They match perfectly when considering that DC character Black Adam, who shares the same powers as Marvel, requires them to stay young and powerful. Similar to Tsung and his need for souls.
- Jax and Lex Luthor are both tech savvy and utilize tech to enhance their strength. They also contrast in that Luthor is a genius and Jax, while certainly not incompetent, is mostly depicted as relying on his brawn.
- Kano and The Joker are both highly dangerous, unpredictable criminals. While Kano may not be as psychotic as Joker, both are self-serving, and could easily turn on an ally in an instant.
- Sonya and Catwoman are different as they don't actually share character traits. Both operate on opposite sides of the law. But for that reason they share a dynamic as Catwoman could simply fill the role of a female Kano. Not murderous, but certainly self-serving and capable of betraying allies for her own purposes.
- Baraka and Deathstroke, besides wielding blades, are also both mercenaries. Baraka and his Tarkatan brethren have served practically every Big Bad throughout the series, while Deathstroke often sells his skills to the highest bidder.
- Shao Kahn and Darkseid are both evil rulers of their worlds and are always attempting to conquer new worlds and expand their territory. The main focus often being Earth.
- In Kitana's ending, she and her Edenian Resistance inhabit Shang Tsung's Island, renaming it Argus Island. Essentially becoming the MK universe's Themyscira, with the Edenian Resistance (who appears to be made up mostly of females) becoming the MK Amazons.
- Alternate Continuity: The game is non-canon to Mortal Kombat, and Jimmy Palmiotti, the story's co-writer, describes it as an "ultimate Elseworlds" DC scenario.
- BANG Flag Gun: The Joker uses one as part of his fatality. He then drops it and blows away his opponent with a real one.
- The Cameo:
- Johnny Cage, Goro, Robin and Aquaman appear in the prequel comic as some of the disappeared characters.
- Quan Chi appears across the entire MK part of the Story Mode. He's never seen in the DC part.
- Quan Chi also mentions that Shinnok will be displeased of Shao Kahn's failure at conquering Earthrealm in the MK chapter 1.
- Kano mentions to the Flash that he would give Kabal a run for his money.
- Ganthet appears in chapter 3 of the DC side.
- Wonder Woman mentions Martian Manhunter in chapter 4 of the DC side.
- Fujin and Argus appear in Liu Kang's ending. The latter also appear in Kitana's ending.
- Sinestro appears in Green Lantern's ending.
- Clothing Damage: The fighters Shows Damage as the fight progresses.
- Combo Breaker: By filling half of the Rage bar, you can break a combo string.
- Conflict Ball: The Rage is an in-universe form of this.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Shao Kahn being trapped in Phantom Zone, at least for those unaware with DCU. Especially compared to Darkseid being chained to a deep section of the Neatherrealm.
- Crisis Crossover
- A Day in the Limelight: The Story Mode's chapters function like this. Everyone except for Kano, Baraka, and Kitana on the Mortal Kombat side and Catwoman and Deathstroke on the DC side gets one.
- De-Power: After the destruction of Dark Kahn, both Darkseid and Shao Kahn end up in the opposite universe, where they're rendered, apparently, powerless. That lasts until their respective endings in the Arcade mode, where they're repowered again.
- Empowered Badass Normal: All the Badass Normal characters have been temporarily powered up, so they can beat up warriors like Raiden and Superman.
- Enemy Mine: First, the heroes and villains band together against another Universe. Then everybody joins forces against Dark Kahn. It doesn't end well. Thankfully, Raiden and Superman manage to restore everything to normal.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Despite his presence being an indispensable element in Mortal Kombat 1 and 2, Johnny Cage does not appear or is even referenced. Even his best friend (Liu Kang), mentor (Raiden), ally (Jax), rival (Kano), and lover (Sonya Blade) seem to have forgotten he even existed.
- Free-Fall Fight: One of the game's mechanics.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The "Kombat Rage" is the handwave to explain why the heroes are constantly fighting each other, and it's also an actual gameplay mechanic which allows you to change the flow of a fight.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Deathstroke's first appearance sees him cutting a man's head off in silhouette.
- Hammered into the Ground: One of Superman's Heroic Brutality moves.
- Heel-Face Turn: Shang Tsung, Quan Chi and Lex Luthor.
- Let's You and Him Fight: The whole premise of the game. Dark Kahn planned to gain power from champions of both worlds fighting each other. Also used by Quan Chi, who manipulated Scorpion and Sub-Zero into fighting each other so the power of their battle would fuse his prison with part of the DC Universe, freeing him.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the last MK games before it, thanks to the T rating.
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot: Batman and Sub-Zero in the trailer, with the addition of Superman, Wonder Woman, Raiden, and Scorpion on the cover.
- Moral Guardians: US gamers didn't get to see The Joker's full Lethality — shooting someone in the head.
- Ms. Fanservice: The "Bio" bonus feature gives you the option of getting a tight close of any part of a character's anatomy that strikes your fancy. Both male and female characters can be viewed this way, but let's be real; the number of players taking time out for a closeup of Catwoman's Absolute Cleavage far outnumbers those seeking a closeup of Luthor's backside.
- Mythology Gag:
- Superman and his friends find out that some force is merging their world with another, which is destroying them both. The merging is causing certain characters to act violent and hostile. Superman and co. travel to a void between the worlds, with lots of floating rocks. They run afoul of a team of warriors from the other world, and the thunder god challenges them. Superman and the thunder god battle bitterly until they realize that they've been victims of the rage caused by the merging, and the two of them join forces against the main villain. The villain is defeated, and the two worlds are separated and restored to normal - but a major villain ends up suffering an ironic fate. This is similar to the JLA/Avengers crossover.
- In 3, Liu Kang could drop a Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet on the head of his enemy as his fatality. This same Fatality is recreated in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
- Lex Luthor's arcade ending uses the term "Deadly Alliance" when he and Quan Chi join forces.
- His fighting style is a near perfect copy of Sektor's.
- Deathstroke's ending has him forming a clan of ninjas whose designs mirror several of the ninjas in the MK universe
- He also uses a lot of Stryker's attacks.
- Kano points out how The Flash's dash attacks and Super Speed remind him of Kabal.
- Green Lantern's ending has the Armageddon pyramid, and Sinestro tries to take it over.
- He also fights like Ermac.
- In Wonder Woman's ending, she carries a dagger very reminiscent of Ashrah's one, Quan Chi's pendant, and a shield which resembles the logo of Deadly Alliance.
- Darkseid's ending is very similar to the beginning of Mortal Kombat 2, where an old Shang Tsung begs for mercy to a big and manly "lord of darkness".
- Shang Tsung essentially becomes Darkseid's new Desaad.
- Catwoman's ending has her earning the power to turn into a cheetah. While this is kind of farfetched, Catwoman could've learned how to perform an "animality".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: All this mess started because Superman and Raiden had the brilliant idea to blast some crazy gods of evil into portals. Lex Luthor even points this to Supes in the DC side of the story. (See the Character sheet for this.)
- Nintendo Hard: Don't even think of playing the storyline game without spending a lot of time practicing the moves and learning the various commands. If playing the DC side, you begin as The Flash, who is pretty lame in terms of his fighting style. Then, after you switch to Batman, you're faced with a one-sided battle against one of the MK characters who will wipe you out almost instantly if you don't know what you're doing.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: Played straight with the Heroic Brutalities, though half of them look pretty damn lethal anyway, if only by the standards of series not named Mortal Kombat.
- One particularly harsh example is Green Lantern's Brutality, entrapping them inside a green sphere then reducing it to the size of a beachball. That has to hurt, ouch.