When you’re a fighting franchise that’s been around for a few generations, you tend to accumulate a lot of characters. The Mortal Kombat series is a prime example – with every game in the franchise getting a host of new characters to use. Later in the series, the Mortal Kombat team overwhelmed players with too many new faces – making it difficult to get excited about any one specifically.
However, the most recent game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat, addressed this problem by going back to the beginning of the story and retelling the narrative, giving fans the chance to play as old favorites with a few new twists to their personas. Now, with the first bit of character DLC on the way, fans will have more to choose from when engaging in pure bloody mayhem. We know that new character Skarlet, along with returning faces Kenshi and Rain, will be three of the four available. However, that fourth face is still up in the air.
Hopefully it’ll be one of these characters – as bringing in a like Shujinko wouldn’t exactly go over well with fans. These are just a few suggestions, so feel free to mention what character you’d like to see in the comments below.
WARNING: There will be mention of spoilers at one point in this feature. If you haven’t played Mortal Kombat yet, and don’t want to know what happens, it may be best to leave now – as the article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the latest Mortal Kombat game.
The Sub-Zero brothers plotline has become one of the more interesting arcs in the Mortal Kombat series, even more so with the new direction taken in the newest title. We know the eldest is now Noob Saibot, and is officially a force of evil, but his connection with the Netherrealm and Quan Chi runs deeper than expected. Before the events of the first game, the elder Sub-Zero was sent on a quest to defeat Quan Chi and prevent Shinnok from being released – it was on this quest that he met Sareena. Sareena was originally a servant of Quan Chi, and fought Sub-Zero, but for some reason, he spared her life. Reintroducing her in the new timeline could add a new dynamic to both her character and the Sub-Zero brothers.
The problem with using her, and the reason she’s the lowest on the list, is that her fighting style is far too similar to the new DLC addition, Skarlet – who also specializes in throwing knives. If she was to be included, at least for the sake of the story, then her gameplay mechanics would need to be tweaked, to prevent a possible clone issue.
Speaking of Skarlet…
Not the most encouraging name – to be sure. However, here’s the basic explanation: Hornbuckle is the Liu-Kang lookalike facing off against the flaming kombatant in the image above.
More specifically, back in Mortal Kombat II, players noticed the two fighters in the background of the “Pit II” stage and wondered about their backstories. The guy on fire eventually became the character known as Blaze (who would become a major player in the later 3D MK games). One of the hints used to lead players into a face-with special character Jade was the cryptic text: “Hornbuckle Who?” This led a number of players into believing that the character in green was “Hornbuckle” – setting off plenty of petitions for the character to become a full-fledged fighter.
It wouldn’t be the first time Moral Kombat fan wishes came true - Blaze, Skarlet, and Ermac were all made playable as a result of gamer enthusiasm. It’d be a nice little surprise for the fans, especially considering how long Hornbuckle’s been around.
Here’s a very basic summation of what happens in Mortal Kombat‘s story mode: Everyone dies.
Well, OK, not everyone. But by the end of it, almost all of the heroes are dead, and the villains aren’t doing too great either. The only heroes left are Raiden, Johnny Cage, and Sonya, and the villains are left leaderless and scattered. Not only that, but all the ones who died are now forced to serve Quan Chi in the Netherrealm. As it turns out, the war between Earthrealm and Outworld was all part of a plan by Quan Chi and Shinnok, so that whoever’s left standing would be weakened and easy to overtake. And with so many warriors at their disposal, Netherrealm could easily defeat the armies in both realms.
Including Shinnok as DLC would not only acknowledge the huge plot twist at the end of the mode, but also serve as a sneak peek of things to come. If there is going to be another game after this (we’re sure there will be), Shinnok’s ending could give players an idea of what to expect from the story in the next game.
#2.) Another New Cyber Character
Another big change in the new timeline is Sub-Zero getting turned into a cyborg – rather than his friend Smoke. The change-up essentially told fans that anything was possible in the story, and nothing that’s been established was safe. In addition, it opened up some cool gameplay ideas – centered around what other characters would be like as cyborgs. Playing as Cyber-Reptile in one of the missions of the Challenge Tower followed this notion – though he was just a skin and not a new character with unique moves.
A new cyber-character would be interesting, but the question is, who would it be? Cyber-Ermac? Cyber-Noob? One of the female ninjas – like Cyber-Mileena or Cyber-Jade? Of course, it wouldn’t have to be limited to any of the ninjas either (Sektor and Cyrax even have human models in the story mode). Cyber-Liu Kang? Cyber-Kung Lao? Whatever choice would certainly be interesting, especially to see how their fighting styles would be incorporated into a new moveset.
Of course, there was one old-school character that got cut from the roster. That being the original dark-blue cyborg, Cyber-Smoke. Of course, the character didn’t appear due to the change in the timeline, with Smoke keeping his humanity and Sub-Zero getting transformed. Still, a number of fans liked the cyborg version of Smoke, and were somewhat sad to see it go.
As said before, if there’s one thing the Mortal Kombat series is good at, it’s giving the fans what they want. Including Cyber-Smoke would do just that, giving the fans all the characters from the first three games in a newer title. This one snags the number one spot not only because the character was one of the most popular in MK3, it’s also very likely to happen – either as a standalone DLC character (with new moves) or as a complimentary reskin (like the recent Sektor and Cyrax DLC).
We won’t know for sure until the final character DLC is revealed – later on this year.
Mortal Kombat is out now for the Xbox 360 and PS3.