×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Mortal Kombat Fatality Even The Creators Hated

The "Mortal Kombat" series has one of the biggest followings of any franchise, and years of history to draw from. In many ways, it broke barriers in terms of what's allowed in a video game, and sent the message that games can be, very intentionally, for adults. Of course, the series doesn't have a spotless history, and there are some strange bits of lore that might confuse fans, both new and old. Still, the series has gone through a stunning transformation, rising from its controversial origins to become the face of fighting games everywhere. 

Over the years, the series has been helmed by Ed Boon, who frequently interacts with fans online. While Boon has largely demystified the development process of "Mortal Kombat," there's one detail he's mostly kept to himself. However, the fact that Boon — and the entire "Mortal Kombat" team — hates one specific fatality in the series is making its rounds online yet again.

In a behind the scenes "Bonus Kontent" clip from "Mortal Kombat: Armageddon," the game's developers confessed that one Fatality — a special ultraviolent finishing move that can only be unlocked by a complicated button sequence — just didn't feel right. However, it somehow still made it into the game despite its goofy appearance. Here's the one Fatality even the creators of "Mortal Kombat" hated.

What does the Fatality look like?

"Mortal Kombat" has become known for its elaborate finishing moves, like Fatalities, and the sillier Friendships. However, "Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance" had one final move that some players might have seen as less threatening than it should've been. In that particular installment, which was released in 2002, Quan Chi's Fatality involved him climbing on his opponent's shoulders, squatting behind their head, and pulling their head upwards. While one might think that the victim's neck would snap under pressure, their head popping off their body like an old Barbie doll. However, that's not the case at all. Instead, the victim's head just sort of rises, their neck stretching in an incomprehensible way.

Part of the silliness of Quan Chi's Fatality is that it uses cartoon physics in what is otherwise a gruesomely realistic franchise. In a game where bones frequently break and blood flows freely, an elongated, stiff neck is just sort of funny. Commenters on one YouTube video of the Fatality had similar ideas. One joked, "he ruined that man's life. he can't wear turtle necks ... and he can't get chicks...sad day." Others speculated that the odd Fatality might, in fact, be a bug.

What makes the Fatality even more strange is the fact that it looks much more violent on the Game Boy Advance, on which "Deadly Alliance" was also released. Thanks to the Game Boy Advance's limited graphics, Quan Chi simply wrenches the victim's head around in a bloody mess, with no brontosaurus neck in sight.

However, Quan Chi's biggest move wasn't just a miss with fans. The creators hated it, too.

Why did Quan Chi's Fatality remain in the game?

It turns out that the developers behind "Mortal Kombat" absolutely hated Quan Chi's Fatality, but by the time they realized how goofy it looked, it was too late to change it. In a behind the scenes clip, Boon explained, "My least favorite Fatality coincidentally also involves Quan Chi, and it is his neck stretch Fatality from 'Deadly Alliance.'" The game's lead programmer, Mike Boon, said that the move was "done in a rush," leading to a Fatality that seemed very different from the others included in the game.

The move wasn't universally disliked, though. Art director Tony Goskie had a different take on the move, saying, "This guy walking around with an exaggerated neck, it makes me laugh. I know it's silly, but I think it's funny." Unfortunately, even though the creators didn't love the move, it had to remain in the game.

John Vogel, one of the four original creators of "Mortal Kombat," had a practical reason for why Quan Chi has such a goofy finishing move. "It was a funny idea, and we were gonna do it, but once we saw it in the game, I kinda said, 'Looks kinda dumb,'" Vogel recalled. "But we left it in because we were running out of time, and I'm sorry about that." It turns out there just wasn't enough time to make Quan Chi's Fatality something different, so he's stuck stretching necks for eternity.

As "Mortal Kombat" producer John Podlasek said, Fatalities are a "way to put an exclamation point on the end of a fight." Sometimes, fighters have to make that exclamation point for themselves, in the form of a long, long neck.