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Trivia / Mortal Kombat

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Main games: MK1 | MK2 | MK3 | MK4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | MK vs. DC Universe | MK9 | MKX | MK11
Spinoffs: MKM: Sub-Zero | Special Forces | Shaolin Monks
Non-videogame media: Mortal Kombat: The Movie | The Journey Begins | Annihilation | Conquest | Defenders Of The Realm | Malibu Comics | Legacy | Rebirth | Mortal Kombat (2021)

The series as a whole provides examples of:

  • Approval of God: Shang Tsung's and Kano's actor in the live action movie were so popular not only with viewers but also Boon and Tobias, that their appearance and backstories were updated in later games to reflect their portrayal in the film. Kano was changed from Japanese-born American to Australian,note  and Shang Tsung has been both modeled from and portrayed by Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga repeatedly since.
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  • Banned in China: The franchise is probably the most banned video game franchises in the world due to the excessive blood and gore. So much so that it's easier to list the countries that don't ban Mortal Kombat games than those that does.
  • Channel Hop: The franchise was developed and published by Midway Games from the beginning until Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, published just before their bankruptcy. As of Mortal Kombat 9, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is the publisher of the franchise.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Scorpion is adored by both the audience and Ed Boon himself, which is likely why he's the silhouette in the logo of Netherrealm Studios. This is likely also why Scorpion got to be a DLC fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us
    • In a 2012 interview when asked, John Tobias stated his favorite character was Liu Kang.
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    • Kurtis Stryker is also another favorite of the creators. Though he rubbed fans the wrong way at first, he eventually also became liked by players.
    • Baraka, while not to the same degree as the two above, but nonetheless has also been a favorite of the Mortal Kombat team, so much to the point that he was among the MK characters to make it as part of the cast for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
    • Quan Chi. Needless to say.
  • Creator's Pest:
    John Vogel: "We were fully prepared to say, 'Yes, [Jax killing him] really happened. He's dead. He's gone.' But Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is about bringing every character back to life, so Hsu Hao is back... much to my dismay."
    • Even years later, it seems that the team's dislike of Hsu Hao hasn't faded in the slightest. When Kano's design was revealed for MKX, a fan asked Ed Boon on Twitter if Hsu Hao would be "jealous of that chest piece." Ed's response?
      Ed Boon: "Yes, and we don't care."
      • Furthermore, Hsu Hao actually appears in the MKX comic! Has he finally been redeemed in their eyes? Well, one page after he appears, Scorpion just impales him with his spear and kills him off. With this variation of his usual Catchphrase:
      Scorpion: "GET OUT OF HERE!!"
      • Crossing timelines in 11 means more opportunity to disrespect Hsu Hao. Erron Black, in particular, tosses a burlap sack with Hsu Hao's severed head inside it as a match intro, much like Quan Chi and Moloch. (although he also gets a non-demeaning appearance in the Joker's ending, where he's part of the "League of Misunderstood Maniacs" - meaning only an insane sociopath could give him a chance!)
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    • Chameleon is loathed by the developers, and wasn't supposed to be on the roster of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon until fan outcry persuaded them otherwise.note  It doesn't help that Chameleon's entire reason for competing is to become the greatest fighter ever, purely for its own sake, or that he doesn't really have any moves of his own. The developers confirmed he was one of two characters who would not be returning in Armageddon (the other being Hsu Hao).
    • Drahmin. Ed Boon notes that he's one of his two least favorite characters, and he's unpopular with fans due to how newcomer-unfriendly his playstyle is. The flies swarming him and constantly buzzing was a rather distracting nuisance.
    • And then we have his buddy Moloch. The developers even lampshaded this in Mortal Kombat X by having Quan Chi carry around his head.
  • Development Gag: Johnny Cage's real name, "John Carlton", is a Shout-Out to a programmer at the old Midway Games of the same name (most notable for working on the NBA Jam series and appearing as a secret character therein).
  • Follow the Leader: Mortal Kombat was the first fighting game series to include gorn as a main attraction, popularized the Finishing Moves, and digitized sprites. A lot of games that followed either had one of these features or all three.
  • Name's the Same:
  • No Export for You: In Japan, only the first three games and Trilogy were released there on home consoles.
  • Referenced by...:
    • In Wrestle Wrestle Spoony sometimes calls The Miz Johnny Cage.
    • MK fan AJ Lee cosplayed as Kitana during a Halloween Battle Royale and even tried to Fan Lift an opponent (it didn't work).
    • Another MK fan in Xavier Woods had him line-dropping "Your soul is mine" to Sheamus in one promo and "Your brother's soul is mine, you will be next!" and "Finish him!" to The Usos during a match.
    • Despite the fact Mortal Kombat had a small following in Japan, it got referenced by....Hi Score Girl, of all things.
    • In Shazam!, one video-game-loving character quips "Fatality!" when the power of the Seven Deadly Sins are ripped from Big Bad Dr. Sivana's eye. The titular superhero and Freddy Freeman also play MKX during a Good-Times Montage.
    • Another Warner Bros./DC superhero property, Legends of Tomorrow, shows the titular band of heroes being fans of the series and playing the games on occasion while killing time on the Waverider time ship.
    • In Billy Madison, the title character and a classmate have a brief argument over whether Mortal Kombat or Donkey Kong is better (presumably Donkey Kong Country given the film's production taking place during DKC's rabid success and the Sega vs. Nintendo arguments that were a part of mid-90's schoolyard culture).
  • Screwed by the Network: While the series arguably already had a uphill battle to find success in Japan, poor decisions by the Japanese publishers of the series didn't help:
    • The first game was exclusively released as a dedicated cabinet despite employing a standard JAMMA set-up and having no dedicated input or technology to justify this, and sold for the immense price of 1.1 million yennote . For comparison, Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition around this time sold for around 238k yens and the average arcade board retailed between 120 and 150k.
    • None of the home ports beside PS1 Mortal Kombat 3 were translated into Japanese.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The first three sequels were numbered (II, 3, and 4), but the four mainline releases during The 2000s stopped numbering to fight stagnation (although the Deadly Alliance logo does have a huge "V"). While the reboot Mortal Kombat 9 was sans number, the popular short-hand of calling it MK9 led to its follow-ups being labeled X and 11.
  • Teasing Creator: Ed Boon, if his Twitter account is any indication.
  • Throw It In: While the game was being developed, the drawing board had "Combat" included with the possible names and someone later wrote a "K" over the "C". While meeting with Ed Boon, Steve Ritchie noticed this and asked him "Why don't you name it Mortal Kombat?" The name stuck.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • An HD version of the first three games called Mortal Kombat HD Arcade Kollection was in development around the same time as 9. However, when Warner Bros. bought Midway, they cancelled the project and opted for a straight-up port of the games.
    • In 2020, it was reported AT&T, having recently acquired Time Warner to form media giant WarnerMedia, were looking to offload Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and its properties in an attempt to relieve its $150 billion-plus in long-term debt. Gaming outlets soon reported Electronic Arts were already quickly prepping an offer to buy NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat to add to their deep portfolio. After a few weeks, though, WarnerMedia had a change of heart and internally decided to keep WB Games.
    • Ed Boon has attempted to make the fabled crossover with Street Fighter happen several times, at one point asking to work with Capcom to bring in a character as a guest. Capcom declined all of these attempts, many in the company feeling "it wasn't a good fit for [their] characters."
  • The Wiki Rule: The Mortal Kombat Wiki, another Mortal Kombat Wiki, and the Mortal Kombat Fanon Wiki.

The series as a whole named the following tropes: