Mortal Kombat has a long and storied history as a gaming franchise, and the most iconic fighter on its roster has always been none other than the famed Shirai Ryu ninja, Scorpion. Debuting in its initial arcade outing and appearing in virtually every installment since, even non-fans immediately associate his image with the characteristically over-the-top violence of Mortal Kombat.
While he undoubtedly has a passionate legion of fans and devotees, there's actually a lot more to everyone's favorite spear-tossing yellow ninja than meets the eye. If you just so happen to be one of them, why not put your knowledge to the test? Here are ten little known facts, juicy tidbits and behind-the-scenes secrets about Mortal Kombat's most iconic character that every devoted fan needs to know.
10 He Has Appeared In At Least Four Non-Fighting Games
Scorpion's inherently cool aesthetics and fiery persona simply couldn't be contained by even the wild Mortal Kombat universe. He's made guest appearances in several titles, four of which weren't even conventional, fighting-type games.
His resume of unexpected appearances includes 1995's NBA Jam Tournament Edition, The Grid, a 2001 arcade-based third-person shooter, and in 2004 he showed up in both MLB Slugfest: Loaded as well as Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, another third-person shooter.
9 He's Obviously A Big Terminator Fan
Who knew that Scorpion was such a big Schwarzenegger fan? It's a blink and you miss it sort of moment, but sharp-eyed fans of both the Mortal Kombat and Terminator franchises might have caught this subtle nod during Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
After Scorpion is defeated and he's dragged into the lava, he slowly sinks beneath the molten tide. And as his outstretched arm is finally engulfed, he signals the player with a cheeky thumbs up - in just the same way that the Terminator himself does during his climactic farewell scene in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
8 He Has A Bit Of A Temper
Sure, being an undead specter doomed to wander the Netherrealm in an unending quest for revenge might grate at the nerves after a certain point, but he tends to stay pretty well put together, all things considered. That is until he meets an opponent that he just can't seem to sink his kunai into during Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
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Repeated failure to land his spear attack will eventually push him past his boiling point, and he'll adopt a few "colorful" pieces of vocabulary into his signature spear taunts when they finally connect. If you're just dying to know what they are, here's a hint: the words rhyme with 'duck' and 'stitch.'
7 He Is One Of The Co-Creator's Favorite Characters
But really, can you blame him? Ed Boon is one of the co-creators responsible for the original genesis of Mortal Kombat, and has served as creative director for almost every installment in the series since its humble beginnings, which makes for an impressive twenty-seven-year run at the time of this writing.
While artists in almost any creative medium have a certain fondness for most of their creations, Ed Boon has been less than shy about admitting his favoritism. That may or may not go a long way when it comes to explaining why Scorpion is essentially the series' mascot, outside of his undeniable coolness factor.
6 His Classic Appearance Was An Economic Decision
And really, this applies to practically all of the classic Mortal Kombat ninja-style characters' appearances, including Sub-Zero, Reptile, and Smoke. They were all virtually the same, barring their signature color schemes, which has historically earned them the title of "palette swap ninjas." But it wasn't for lack of originality.
The hardware that the games were originally designed for was woefully short on memory, so as a way to budget its usage, the creative solution to padding out their roster without pushing the limit, they simply reused the same models with different color schemes.
5 He's Only Absent From One Mortal Kombat Fighting Game (Technically)
Although Scorpion is the more recognizable and acclaimed of the classic Mortal Kombat ninja duo, Sub-Zero actually has him beat in terms of actual presence in the games, having been prominently playable in every single mainline title to date, and then some.
Although Scorpion comes close to claiming omnipresence in the Mortal Kombat franchise, he was actually left out of Mortal Kombat 3's initial release. He would, however, end up being included in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, so it's a matter of how specific and technical you want to get with that title.
4 He Was One Of The First MK Characters To Wield A Real Weapon
The first Mortal Kombat game, while totally amazing for its time, was a little short on bells and whistles. And understandably so, as gaming technology circa 1992 was quite limited and developers largely had to work around its limitations.
But that didn't stop Scorpion from bringing his now-iconic toy to the tournament. While other characters had their own unique powers, such as fireballs and freezing projectiles, Scorpion was one of only two characters to bring an outright weapon at his side - his infamous kunai.
3 He Could Have Starred In His Own Spin-Off Game (Alongside Sub-Zero)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks toed its way outside of Mortal Kombat's conventional format to bring a story-driven action title to the series, following the exploits of Kung Lao and Liu Kang. Paradox Games had fully intended to follow it up with a similar title that focused on the dynamic ninja duo of Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
Entitled Mortal Kombat: Fire & Ice, it sounds like something that fans would've totally scrambled to get their hands on. Unfortunately, the game's development wouldn't have met deadlines nor come out under budget, and was thus abandoned.
2 He's Got A Sensitive Side
Though Scorpion's typical attitude and aesthetic don't really contribute much to his sense of humanity, players can manage to get a peek at the man behind the ghastly, spectral vengeance machine at various points throughout Mortal Kombat history and background lore.
He was a family man that cared very much for his wife and son, he feels a debt of honor for killing Kuai Liang's older brother, Sub-Zero, and he takes the wayward Takeda under his wing to train him as Shirai Ryu. You might not like him when he's angry, but under that flaming skeletal facade, there's a heart of gold.
1 His Iconic Spear Taunts Are Voiced By Ed Boon
If there's anything about Scorpion that's more iconic than his infamous rope spear, it would have to be him hoarsely bellowing "Get over here!" as he hurls it towards his unlucky opponent. Chances are that you haven't made it this far into the article without hearing it in your head three or four times.
Funnily enough, almost every iteration of that catchphrase was voiced over by none other than series co-creator Ed Boon, and given his well-known love for the character, that should probably be less than surprising. Still, it's a cool bit of trivia for dedicated fans.