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Here it goes- every reference in the Mortal Kombat saga which isn't a reference to other MK games.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat

  • The code used to unlock the blood mode in the Sega Genesis version is called "ABACABB".
  • The designs of the ninjas, black tight fitting clothing with a split down robe thing, looks remarkably similar to Luke's outfit in Return of the Jedi only more colorful.
  • Johnny Cage was inspired directly off of Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in Bloodsport. This is because the game was originally planned as a tie-in for the film.
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    • In Deadly Alliance, apparently, he was a contestant on a celebrity edition of Smash TV. From the same game, one of Johnny's films was entitled Exiting the Dragon of Death. He starred opposite Hong Kong action star Channie Jack.
      • The poster for his fictional movie Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, is an homage to other movies' posters, Army of Darkness in the middle.
    • In 9, he starred in various movies titled Time Smashers, Citizen Cage, and Tommy Scissorfists.
      • One of the Challenge Tower missions has Reptile trying to stop him from reaching the premiere of Breaknose Mountain.
    • In X, one of his Fatalities has him recreating a classic scene from The Shining, complete with Johnny saying "HEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!"
      • Chapter 1 of the story mode has him defending himself from Sub-Zero by using a familiar looking crowbar.
      • One of his Brutalities has him performing the same jumping split kick Van Damme did in Bloodsport. The kicker? The Brutaility's called Blood Spurt.
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    • One of his bucke designs in 11 is called Bullet Gang is Fine. The design is composed of two cross pistols over a multicolored skull of sorts.
  • Kano's cybernetic eye-plate pays obvious homage to Terminator.
    • Deadly Alliance has a fake cereal advertisement showing Kano eating a bowl of Kan-Os.
    • The style of his Badass Beard in X might have been inspired by Khal Drogo.
    • The names of some of his combo strings in 11 include references to AC/DC.
  • Liu Kang:
    • In Shaolin Monks, he has a Fatality named Shaolin Head Soccer.
    • His arcade ending in the DC crossover has him gaining the ability to summon the powers of the Elder Gods by shouting "MORTAL KOMBAT!", much like Captain Marvel's powers.
    • In Mortal Kombat X his throat-ripping fatality surely reminds people of MacGruber.
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    • One of his fatalities in 11 begins with a more grotesque take on the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique from Kill Bill, and ends with an explosive one inch punch as another homage to Bruce Lee.
    • His "Spring Autumn Knife" skin in 11 is based on Son Goku's color scheme.
  • Raiden's most iconic traits, namely his electric powers and his conical straw hat, were both designed after Lightning, one of the three servants of Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China.
    • His arcade ending in the DC crossover has him being weakened under Earth's sun, but being able to regain his power so long as he keeps a mysterious green rock nearby; this is an inversion of how Superman's powers work.
      • Likewise, his Torpedo special is renamed as "The Superman".
    • His second fatality in 9, "Just a Scratch", is a reference to the Black Knight scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Scorpion's blazing skull is an homage to Ghost Rider.
    • In the official Mortal Kombat comic book, Scorpion grabs Sub-Zero and tells him to look into his eyes. This is an even clearer reference to Ghost Rider and his Penance Stare power.
    • After defeating Scorpion in Shaolin Monks, Scorpion gets dragged into the lava by skeletons. As his arm goes in, he gives the player a thumbs up. This is a reference to the ending of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) gives John a thumbs up before he gets engulfed by molten metal.
    • In X, while using his Hellfire ability, Scorpion may occasionally say "through fire be cleansed!"
    • In 11, Scorpion's Maize and Blue skin heavily resembles Wolverine's classic outfit.
  • In the first game, Shang Tsung's role is similar to that of Mr. Han from Enter the Dragon. His Evil Sorcerer-ness, however, is pure Lo Pan.
  • Sonya Blade is inspired by the karate champion and movie actress Cynthia Rothrock.
  • Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality resembles the Predator's method of killing people, which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when the alien showed up in X.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat II

  • Jade's main outfit in Deception is a very similar imitation of that worn by Black Orchid in Killer Instinct.
  • Jax's fatality in Mortal Kombat 3 in which his arms turn into blades is likely a reference to the T-1000.
    • In MK vs DC, his ending is very similar to Cyborg's origin story.
    • Also, his look in MK vs DC is inspired by his appearance in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
    • In 9, one of his fatalities is a shot-for-shot copy of Tak's Fatality in War Gods, another Midway project. If you remove the kick at the end, it's also a shout-out to one of Superman's Heroic Brutalities in MK vs. DC.
    • In X, if his Carl Weathers-inspired costume is chosen and his opponent is Johnny Cage in his "Commando" costume, they recreate the handshake from Predator, complete with "You son of a bitch!"
      • In one intro in X with Ermac, he seeks revenge for having his arms taken, saying, "Call it my pound of flesh."
  • Kitana's Animality in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 turns her into a white rabbit. She then proceeds to attack the enemy in some savage manner.
    • In 4, her facial features are modeled after Talisa Soto, the actress who portrayed Kitana in the theatrical adaptations.
    • In MK vs DC, she becomes Mortal Kombat's version of Wonder Woman when the gods grant her Shang Tsung's island to form the Edenian resistence, which is also seemingly made up of only women.
    • In 9, her chapter during story mode contains a scene very much like one found in Alien: Resurrection where she finds a lab filled with progressively more human half-breed clones of herself.
      • Her Arcade Ladder ending has three Edenian women re-united to fight for justice all over the realms; as the narrator explains this, the three characters are posed in silhouette over an orange background and as the ending fades to black, the music closes with the iconic jingle from the show.
  • Kung Lao's weaponized hat gimmick was inspired by Bond's villain Oddjob.
  • In the SNES version of the game, Sculptured Software continued its tradition of humorous credits, including a parody "special thanks" list titled, "People We Owe No Thanks To". The people thanked include three famous figures, namely Elvis Presley, Howard Hughes, and Jim Morrison. The other two names on the list are probably just shout-outs to more personal friends of the developers.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat 3

  • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the SNES has the Konami Code as a Classic Cheat Code.
  • Cyrax and Sektor seem to be ripped right out of Predator. If you ever had doubts about this one, Cyber Sub-Zero from 9 and Predator himself in X makes it even more obvious.
    • Cyrax's self-destruct fatality has him typing some kind of sequence in a panel in his pulse, like the Predator himself. Later games show that Sektor and Cyber Sub-Zero have similar panels.
    • Cyrax uses a "Sabre of Light" in 4. In the PS2 games, Sektor also uses that and was renamed as "Pulse Blades": A blue one (green in Armageddon) for Cyrax, and two red ones for Sektor.
  • If Ermac gets knocked off Raiden's Sky Temple in Deception/Unchained and Armageddon, and sent plummeting to his death, he's got two words for ya: "SUCK IT!!!" note 
  • The gas mask Kabal wears? A tribute to Tusken Raiders.
    • Speaking of Star Wars, Kabal was burnt alive, horrifically scarred, and forced to wear a respirator & hide behind a mask the rest of his life, a possible reference to Darth Vader.
    • One of the game over messages in Shaolin Monks is "Kabal says thank you very much." Aside from referencing the mission in which you can rescue him, Kabal's voice acting appears to be modeled after Elvis Presley.
    • Kabal's ending in 9 features a cyberneticist who rebuilds him "Better. Faster. Stronger."
  • Rain's costume is purple, there's also his name, and Armageddon reveals that he's a Prince.
  • Sheeva's namesake is Shiva, the (male) Hindu destroyer god with multiple limbs. Like Shiva, Sheeva has extra arms and is turned into a destroyer goddess in her Armageddon ending.
    • Her arcade ending in 9 involves the Shokan taking control of Australia with the permission of world leaders. This is a possibly reference to Lex Luthor in Superman II. This may also be a reference to the fact that 9 is Banned In Australia.
  • Stryker's design in 3 has him resemble Woody Harrelson to a good degree.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero or Mortal Kombat 4:

  • The original Quan Chi is somehow similar to Spawn's demon-in-the-guise-of-an-evil-clown, Violator. His appearance in X was modeled after classic horror movie actors like Boris Karloff.
  • Reiko's original design in Mortal Kombat 4 bears more than a passing resemblance to Nightwing.
    • In the X comics, he suffers a superpower meltdown due to not being the chosen one of an ancient legend. Now, replace the ancient legend with the Orochi legend and you have the MK version of Rugal Bernstein.
  • Shinnok is an expy of Yan Wang.
  • The Nepalese character Kai has a strong resemblance to African-American retired professional basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (given that Kai's prototype was originally to be an African-American instead of Nepalese), who was also student of Bruce Lee and also starred along with him in Game of Death.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deception

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

  • In the same vein as Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat, Motor Kombat is inspired by another videogame, in this case Mario Kart.
  • In Kreate a Fighter mode, available features and accessories (though with some minor modifications in some cases to avoid potential lawsuits) include the following:
    • "Cyborg" face: It resembles that of the T-800 from the Terminator franchise.
    • "Skull Tattoo" face: A face tattoo that resembles the face paint skull warn by Image Comics character Chapel from Youngblood and Spawn.
    • "Eye Stripe" face: Based on face paint worn by Pris Stratton in Blade Runner.
    • "Anime 1" hair (female): Based on that of Ryoko Habuki, though the default color is light green rather than aqua.
    • "Anime 2" hair (female): Based on that of Sailor Moon's odango-and-twintails (though the default color is blue instead of blonde). In addition under Head Accessories is "Tiara" which strongly resembles those worn by the Sailor Senshi.
    • "Anime 1" hair (Male): Based on Cloud Strife's (though default color is light blue instead of blonde).
    • "Anime 2" hair (Male): Based on Goku's. In addition, there is also under Torso "Layered Gi" which is based on his and Krillin's most common outfit though without any Kanji on the leftside chest or back.
    • "Devil" and "Wave" hairstyles: Based on Akuma and Guile rspectively.
    • "Feral" hair: Based on Wolverine.
    • "Swoop" hair: Based on Kazuya Mishima.note 
    • "Space Hawk" helmet: Based on Ken Washio's helmet.
    • "Space Ninja" helmet: Based on the Red Power Ranger's and Geki's helmet from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger respectively though with some antennae added. The additional antennae also doubles this as an allusion to Kamen Rider, which is Super Sentai's brother show.
    • "Crew Neck" torso and "Striped Running" pants: Based on the outfit warn by Bruce Lee's character in Game of Death. Clothing for female characters includes a similarly designed "Track" torso and pants which is modeled on The Bride's whose outfit in turn is based also on the aforementioned Game of Death one.
    • "Harness" torso: Based on that worn by He-Man (including lacking any other shirt or clothing aside from the harness) though without any sort of heraldry on it.
    • "Suspenders" Torso and Pants: Based on outfit of Vampirella. In addition "Wrap" (also under torso) is also very similar (minus any sort of collar).
    • "Daisy" Torso and Pants: A rather obvious reference to Daisy Duke.
    • "3 Knives" glove: Based on the claw worn by Mr. Han, the main villain of Enter the Dragon.
    • "Utility" belt: Based on Batman's (minus any sort of Bat symbol).
    • "Punk Glasses" head accessory: Based on the Visor of Geordi La Forge's and/or that of Cyclops.
    • "Shield" chest accessory: The shield is placed on the back and also has a design that looks like a turtle's shell. In addition "Trident" under helmets is a holdover of the helmet of Sub-Zero in Deception, but it was in turn based on that of the Turtles' archnemesis The Shredder.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat 9

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat X

  • One of the modifiers for Test Your Luck, which spawns random portals in the match, is called "Portal Kombat". The icon for the modifier is inspired by 300.
  • Intro dialogue references:
    • Johnny Cage vs. Ermac:
    Johnny Cage: The mummy returns.
    Ermac: You annoy us, Earthrealm fool.
    Johnny Cage: That supposed to make me feel bad?
    Johnny Cage 1: Is this for real?
    Johnny Cage 2: How many of us are there?
    Johnny Cage 1: "There can be only one!"
    • Johnny Cage vs. Kitana:
    Johnny Cage: Hello nurse!
    Kitana: You're gonna need a nurse!
    Johnny Cage: Hot, but can't trash talk!
    • Kano vs. Cassie Cage:
    Kano: Over here, sweet girl.
    Kano: Here's how the story ends.
    • Kano vs. Kung Lao:
    Kano: I love a good hat.
    Kung Lao: Do not provoke the Shaolin.
    • Kung Lao vs. Johnny Cage:
    Kung Lao: Why are you here, Cage?
    Johnny Cage: To tell you Zorro's mom wants her hat back.
    Kung Lao: Any hope for mercy is lost.
    • Bo Rai Cho vs. Reptile:
    Bo Rai Cho: I sensed a Zaterran.
    Reptile: The last Zaterran.
    • Tanya vs. Kung Lao
  • The Alien has a fatality called Killer Queen, which also serves as a Mythology Gag to Bishop's bisection in Aliens.
    • Having either Alien perform the "Alien Baby" Brutality or letting it go to the default win-pose against Predator will result in a Predalien coming out of the latter's chest.
    • One of the Xenomorph's fatalities, the Alien Queen impaling the opponent from behind and then bisecting them, is directly taken from the scene in Aliens where it dispatches John Bishop.
  • Cassie Cage by way of being the Pop-Cultured Badass she is:
    • Issue #3 of the MKX prequel comic calls her match against Frost a "Celebrity Deathmatch".
    • Issue #5 has Cassie being dominated by Frost in the aforementioned match. After a comeback, Cassie calls her rival Elsa.
    • Issue #12 has her calling Mavado Captain Hooks.
    • Her "Selfie" Fatality has her posting the selfie on an obvious expy of Facebook called "Friendships". Many of the cycling comments on the picture feature popular Internet memes and phrases such as "How can she slap!" and "rippin and a tearin". A trollface can even be seen on one of the profile pics.
    • One of her intros against Erron Black in 11 references Tinder and other similar dating apps and websites, where swiping left is the indication that you're not interested in someone:
    Cassie: This your idea of flirting, Erron?
    Erron Black: Easy, sugar! Just bein' friendly...
    Cassie: This is me swiping left!
    • One of her pistol designs is called LFG-9000.
  • D'Vorah has several cues towards Sarah Kerrigan. She commands an army of insects (mutated insects in Kerrigan's case), many of her attacks involve some kind of Body Horror, two of her variations are called Brood Mother and Swarm Queen, the Comics show how she was killed, with the implication of being resurrected by an evil force, mirroring the ending of the next-to-last mission of the Terran campaign in the original Starcraft, the Story Mode has her starting in the "good" side and then showing her true colors (mirroring Kerrigan's actions in Brood War) and her ending has her declaring herself Queen of an insectoid species who conquers every other realm and slaying a powerful being, similar to the ending of Brood War.
  • Erron Black, anachronistic Wild West gunslinger, is a blatant Expy of Clint Eastwood's character in A Fistful of Dollars, and has several cues towards John Marston. He also has a combo string named Firefly and a Brutality named Serenity.
    • His gun twirling is reminiscent of Ocelot. Considering his voice actor in MGS V...
    • When he uses his X-Ray on the Predator, the bullet he fires has Ugly Mofo written on it.
    • In the comic, he mentions that the rescue operation feels more like a Suicide Squad.
  • The duo of Ferra/Torr have a very Master Blaster-like dynamic going on, something that has not gone unnoticed by fans or commentators at E3 2014. Johnny Cage goes so far as to call them Master Blaster in pre-match intro dialogue.
    • Their playstyle in general note  also calls to mind Chang and Choi in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Torr does the brunt of the brawling and Ferra issues orders, though several specials (especially in the Vicious variation) have her jump into the fray (and off of his shoulders) to help out.
  • Jason Voorhees' alternate palette gives him blue marks on his hockey mask after the copycat killer from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning.
    • Jason's "Unstoppable" variation allows him to resurrect via a lightning strike, which was how he was revived in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Said variation also gives him a chain on his neck that stuck with his appearances from that film onward.
    • Jason's Relentless variation gives him a chrome mask.
    • His second fatality is reminiscent of the numerous sleeping bag kills in the franchise, according to the developers.
    • One of Jason's Brutalities has him punching the head off of his opponent, similarly to how he killed Julius in Jason Takes Manhattan.
    • His Arcade ending features him killing Liu Kang after he brings him to the Netherrealm, making it a literal case of him being in hell.
  • Kung Jin has a costume which makes him the game's version of Green Arrow.
  • Leatherface displays an attraction to Cassie in his ending similar to his interactions with Stretch in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 while Drayton is mentioned.
  • Predator has six human skulls hanging in his trophy room during his win outro. The skulls of the six members of Dutch's team that the Predator killed in the first movie.
  • One of Tremor's brutalities involve him turning the opponent to gold (While also impaling them in the chest with a spiked gold ball,) is called "It's Me." This is a reference to both the phrase "It's me" and Golden Freddy from the Five Nights at Freddy's series, as the two are commonly linked together by fans.
  • A brutality for the Cyber Sub-Zero variation of Triborg shoots a continuous stream of ice, freezing his opponent in an ice block with only their face, hands, and knees poking out.
    • Speaking of Triborg, it is a robot with a rogue A.I. seeking the end of organic life that it deems as inferior to itself and also inhabits multiple bodies simultaneously. Sounds eerily similar to Ultron in yet another tribute to Marvel Comics.

Characters and stuff introduced in Mortal Kombat 11


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