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Kratos vs Mortal Kombat: Ed Boon and Stig Talk Fatalities, Weapons, Ending

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 // Director, SIEA Social Media

“The first time we saw him we thought, ‘Oh my God, what a great Mortal Kombat character he would make.’”

Ed Boon is very excited. The Mortal Kombat creative director and co-creator can finally spill his guts regarding one of the most anticipated video-game crossovers of all time: Kratos’ exclusive guest appearance in the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat. “We kind of felt it was meant to happen,” he says. “We think we’ve done Kratos justice.”

Ed Boon and God of War III director Stig Asmussen don’t remember who made the first phone call, but both recall the Kratos crossover talks starting early in Mortal Kombat’s development cycle. “I remember somebody saying, ‘‘hey, there might be this possibility of Kratos appearing in Mortal Kombat,’” Stig remembers. “I said, ‘ You gotta be kidding me, we gotta make this happen! Let’s get on the phone.’” Describing himself as a “huge God of War fan,” Boon was all too eager to work out the details and spark a larger collaborative effort between both studios.


Capturing “the real Kratos” in Mortal Kombat was a prime goal for Boon and Netherrealm Studios, but it wasn’t always an easy one. “The God of War team set certain ground rules,” Boon says. “From the beginning, we were absolutely set on respecting the character.” Boon describes a “receptive” relationship with Sony Santa Monica Studios – creators of God of War – during development of Kratos’ Mortal Kombat incarnation, with Boon’s and Asmussen’s teams regularly trading feedback and ideas. Absolute authenticity being a key consideration, Boon’s team went so far as to use Kratos’ God of War III character model as a reference asset. “Once we started sending playable builds of Kratos, that’s when they got specific regarding things like animation,” Boon recalls. Particularly regarding Kratos’ fatality, which went through a number of edits and revisions due to feedback from Sony Santa Monica Studios. “It was mostly minor stuff, certain tweaks to the animation,” Boon remembers. “We went through a lot of iterations, but in the end, when you look at that screen, you see Kratos.”


Asked about his favorite aspect of this chaotic crossover, Boon answer comes easily. “Just seeing Kratos and Scorpion on the screen at the same time. You never thought you’d see that.” Boon loves God of War and, in particular, Kratos because he’s “unapologetically brutal.” The feeling is mutual – Stig is a longtime Mortal Kombat fan, too. “One of the strongest points of Mortal Kombat has always been the character design,” he tells Boon. “You’ll see a character and you’ll know it’s a Mortal Kombat character.”


Kratos’ guest turn in Mortal Kombat wasn’t without a few creative conundrums, of course. As a demigod, Kratos is not one to show vulnerability. So at first, seeing the all-powerful Kratos torn to pieces by the likes of Shang Tsung – in glistening HD detail thanks to Mortal Kombat’s gruesome character damage modeling – came as a bit of a shock to Sony Santa Monica Studios. “The things that were being done to Kratos were not things that we were used to seeing,” Stig confesses. “It’s taking it to an almost uncomfortable place at times because here Kratos can get his ass kicked.” On the other hand, Boon points out, “Kratos is in the mud like everybody else.”

“I will say that I’ve never seen his skull before this game,” Stig counters with a laugh. “But man,” he adds, “you guys really pulled through. I’m proud of that game.”


Yes, Kratos has an ending. But there’s a catch. “From the start, we decided we wouldn’t put him into the Story and have him interacting with Scorpion or things like that,” Boon explained. But when you conquer the Arcade ladder, you’ll get your just desserts. “We do explain what happens when Kratos wins the tournament,” Boon hinted, describing the endings as “a lot more elaborate” than in prior games.

Yes, Kratos has a fatality. No, we’re not going to spoil it here. “We had 10 fatality ideas we wanted to do,” Boon teased. “But the final versions are in line with all the crazy deaths you’ve seen in God of War over the years.” Boon hinted that Netherrealm Studios is making creative use of Kratos’ weapons in designing his kills, adding, “It’s probably over the top, but we’ve always been over the top.”

Yes, Kratos has a stage. And yes, it has a stage fatality. “It has the best stage fatality we’ve put into any Mortal Kombat game ever,” Boon said excitedly without further elaboration. The stage itself was inspired by the end of God of War III, when Kratos battles Zeus in the Chamber of Flame. “That fight had an almost fighting-game mechanic,” Boon said, “so when we saw that we thought, “It’s writing itself!”

Yes, Kratos is being carefully balanced. How do you balance a character who is practically omnipotent? Not an easy question. “Kratos is interesting because his God of War fighting style is so long range – it’s designed for crowds,” Boon said. That approach won’t necessarily fly in a one-on-one fighting game, so Mortal Kombat emphasizes Kratos’ close-range brute strength and reserves the long-ranged attacks for special moves. “Anyone who loved MKII or MK3, which are particulatly combo-centric, are going to be happy with Kratos.”

Yes, Kratos uses X Weapon. “He has more weapons in this game than any of our other characters by a factor of two,” Boon confirmed. We spotted Apollo’s Bow, Cestus, Blade of Olympus, Helios Head and, of course, the Blades of Exile.

No, Kratos won’t participate in Test Your Might. “We’re not too shy about putting our Mortal Kombat characters in silly situations,” Boon said. “There’s just no humorous side to Kratos,” Boon said. “You’re not going to see Kratos do a Friendship … we kept him out of those situations out of respect.”

//Add Your Own

124 Comments   24 Replies

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+ Pyrokid16 on March 24th, 2011 at 10:24 am said:

i think it’all be the first mortal kombat with a good rating 4 once


+ DaNTi3L on March 24th, 2011 at 10:27 am said:

i already have my copy pre-ordered cant wait to play as kratos and see his fatalities …kratos sure fits perfectly in the MK world


+ Trixzter7 on March 24th, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

OMG that was awesome.
I hope one of his fatalities is like the Helios head rip!
Day 1 buy.


+ CaruthK on March 24th, 2011 at 10:32 am said:

I’m so in on this Kratos So SO BadA$$ I thank all GOW Devs who brought him into my life……………. sad but true


+ TheGuardianFID on March 24th, 2011 at 10:32 am said:

I have the collector’s edition reserved, Kratos’s gameplay looks AWESOME!!! 8)


+ HJayZ91 on March 24th, 2011 at 10:36 am said:

So, will other characters in the game be able to do fatalities on Kratos? or is it just Kratos doing it on MK characters?

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 10:38 am said:

    Oh, definitely. :) It made the God of War guys feel a little uncomfortable at times! If you read the full article above, there’s a lot of detail on that.

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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 24th, 2011 at 11:20 am said:

    I actually had an original cut of the video feature that showed Kratos taking damage (brutal X-Ray performed by Sindel to the Kratos jewels), but it didn’t add anything to the video and I removed it before we published.


+ Busca-Cabezas on March 24th, 2011 at 10:40 am said:

You know what guys…? I wasn’t going to pre-order this game… I really wanted to see Kratos and the MK demo was pretty good but… It just wasn’t enough for me. Now that I see this very nice peek of Kratos in the game with full blown action packed bloody moves… I think I’m headed to the store right now!!

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:47 am said:

    Smart man :)


+ zombie9 on March 24th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

Any Sex mini games:) it so preoordered


+ loadstone007 on March 24th, 2011 at 10:47 am said:

The guy didn’t read the entire article, and you expect him to come back to this and look for a response? LOL.


+ Jeigh on March 24th, 2011 at 10:50 am said:

Alright, that all sounds good. But just so we’re clear: if Kratos weren’t holding back, no contest. XD

Ah, that’s pretty cool. Sounds like this a lot more than some tiny bonus perk for the PS3.


+ NoGodsOnlyMan on March 24th, 2011 at 10:54 am said:

this is awesome incentive to get the game!

Kratos looks like the best fighter in Mortal Kombat, he can do everything and then some


+ MK24ever on March 24th, 2011 at 10:55 am said:

Thanks to Santa Monica Studio and to NetherRealm for making this possible! I can’t wait to play my two most loved franchises in one!


+ DarkRecoil on March 24th, 2011 at 10:55 am said:

freaking AWESOME


+ playaplus on March 24th, 2011 at 10:56 am said:

cannot friggin wait


+ TomHoang on March 24th, 2011 at 10:56 am said:

I’m glad the God of War guys and Sony will let the Mortal Kombat characters F up Kratos as he would do to them.


+ gamerholic on March 24th, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

OMG THIS IS SOOOO AWESOME!! I love scorpion, but Kratos is a BAD ASS!! Nice to hear that they did him justice in this game, and it was not just an after thought! :D I <3 MK & GOW!!

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:50 am said:

    I was pleased to see this as well.


+ FBanin on March 24th, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

Release now… please! :D


+ NoGodsOnlyMan on March 24th, 2011 at 10:59 am said:

this was HHG idea… why not mention him??????


+ Skater_Ricky on March 24th, 2011 at 11:06 am said:

Wow Kratos he can kick some @$$ I’m proud to be a PlayStation 3 owner and buying Mortal Kombat Kollectors.


+ bmart008 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:08 am said:

That’s pretty cool, I must say the last Mortal Kombat I played/bought was for my Genesis (the first one) but this one actually gets me really interested. I will have to check this one out for sure.


+ snakeman07 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:13 am said:

I LOVE Playstation 3 :D Got my copy pre-ordered, can’t wait to try out Kratos!


+ dragonleader33 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:14 am said:

Cant wait for this game to come out. Got the KE paid and ready to go. Went ahead and bought the KE version of the guide even!

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:19 am said:

    I went for the Tournament Edition arcade stick :) Couldn’t resist!


+ Globox_82 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:22 am said:

looks sick.


+ Globox_82 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:25 am said:


Do you really think this group of intelligent people waited for someone like HHG to come up with it? Get real. Even I had that idea, so did many others. It’s a no brainier at this point.

SID:Is there a chance to see other PS characters in future as DLC? Like COLE from Infamous, and Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal for example?

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:49 am said:

    As a fan I’d love to see that! But I have no clue…a lot of factors play into something like that.


+ Kchow23 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:29 am said:

Cool interview, wish we could see Kratos’ fatality tho

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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 24th, 2011 at 11:32 am said:

    We don’t want to ruin the surprise. But it’s awesome!


+ Kchow23 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:30 am said:

on a side note… I miss the little section where you guys would update it with links that later on the week gets posted as “What we read”.. any chance that comes back?

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:46 am said:

    It’s set up a little differently now, but you can still find it on the scrolling red boxes on the front page of the Blog. Or just go here: http://www.delicious.com/sceablog


+ Berae on March 24th, 2011 at 11:33 am said:

Cant wait for that game!


+ scorpio182 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:34 am said:

Looks great!!!

May just pick it up.

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:50 am said:

    Did you try the PSN MK demo?


+ burning_dawn on March 24th, 2011 at 11:34 am said:

Kratos is the epitome of Awesomeness!!!


+ Kchow23 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:37 am said:

Does Kratos come with every copy of MK? or will it only be available in a few copies then you will have to get it on PSN?

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 11:47 am said:

    Kratos comes with every copy of MK, but only on PS3


+ Destiny89 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:38 am said:

Looking Epic, hopefully we see God of War 4


+ marlyt on March 24th, 2011 at 11:53 am said:

Will any fatalities be accessible to players who not not fighting-game experts, a la Marvel versus Capcom 3 (circle button)? In other words, will there be a “dumbed down” control scheme for dummies like me? Either way I’ve already paid for it. Looks fun as hell.


+ KazeEternal on March 24th, 2011 at 11:54 am said:

Kratos = Probably the hardest reason to say no to buying this game.

To many games right now, but I’m a huge God of War fan. I lost interest in Mortal Kombat after MK2 (my favorite, not because of it) when it just started getting ridiculous and Tekken stole my attention. Between Kratos and the changes made for this game (not to mention what appears to be respect from the publisher) I may reconsider my stance on not getting this game.

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 1:01 pm said:

    You and I are much alike. Have you played the new MK PSN demo? It’s pretty great, totally restored my interest. :) MKII is also my favorite in the series and I moved on to Tekken not long after as well!


+ RAMPANT84 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:55 am said:

Time for Kratos and God of War to get it’s own fighting-game spin off!!


+ RAMPANT84 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:56 am said:

Sid, youve said Multiplayer doesnt work in the God of War games.

How about making Multiplayer a 1v1 2.5D fighting game like Mortal Kombat/ SFIV ???????

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 1:02 pm said:

    Not multiplayer, but crowd combat.


+ KAPADO on March 24th, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

Wow its nothimg short of amazing,how they brought mortal kombat back and people will line up to give them money and experience this.
it has mad ew me finally return to fighiting games. Kratos sealed the deal


+ Santos21 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

Ahh man I am so pumped! Can’t wait to rip people apart as the all mighty kratos. Can’t wait to check out his fatalities.


+ Wipeoutt31 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

So glade I pre-ordered.


+ IIITRU3M4STAIII on March 24th, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

Kan’t wait I got my tournament edition, kollectors guide, and mk bluray all pre-ordered I’m going all out. Everything looks amazing they really brought MK back and Kratos is icing on the cake.

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 1:02 pm said:

    Mmm…delicious bloody kake :)


+ thshdw on March 24th, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

@ #7 I was on the fence too about MK, then yesterday I saw the Kratos video on IGN. I pre-ordered later that day.

Really looking forward to playing Kratos


+ RAMPANT84 on March 24th, 2011 at 12:06 pm said:

It’s too bad PSN is built so poorly.

Epic videos of Santa Monica and Ed Boon talking about a collboration should be seen by the gaming masses.

PSN needs to incorporate video into it’s UI.


+ Butters360 on March 24th, 2011 at 12:22 pm said:

Best video interview I’ve seen in a long time. Props to the PlayStation Blog team on this one. Kratos is going to be hella fun to play.

Also this has to be said:

“In the end, there will be only chaos!”


+ kingkranz on March 24th, 2011 at 12:24 pm said:

Krato’s rules! This is awesome Santa Monica Studios and Ed Boon are working as a team. God of War III is one of my favorite games and Krato’s angry personality fits perfect in MK. Thank you Stig and please make God of War 4.


+ theamazen1 on March 24th, 2011 at 12:29 pm said:

The is the most incredible crossover in gaming HISTORY.

Bless Sony and NetherRealm Studios for making this work.

Mortal Kombat is going to challenge Uncharted 3 for Game of the Year (and I’m pretty sure U3 will be the greatest game ever). So yeaaaah, it’s safe to say MK will be EPIC and BRILLIANT.


+ gold5225 on March 24th, 2011 at 12:32 pm said:

I can’t wait. I’m going to pre-order tomorrow!


+ thundercat17 on March 24th, 2011 at 12:47 pm said:

i keep hearing rumors that those losers at microsoft might get an exclusive character, if they do, i will NOT buy this game

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    + Sid Shuman on March 24th, 2011 at 1:05 pm said:

    Not something that keeps me up at night :) Besides, it’s KRATOS!


+ TheLastNinja- on March 24th, 2011 at 12:50 pm said:

Oh man, I can’t wait! Mortal Kombat is making a comeback! :D


+ Vandaliser on March 24th, 2011 at 12:58 pm said:

been a mortal kombat fan all my life. last game played was mk4 arcades. glad to see a reboot of 1-3. kratos addition makes it all that sweeter


+ AngHelIic on March 24th, 2011 at 1:02 pm said:


Wow, really? You’re such a hardcore fanboy that you’ll miss out on a great game if the competition gets an exclusive character as well? Fair enough. The less scrubs the better.


+ NoGodsOnlyMan on March 24th, 2011 at 1:06 pm said:

@ Globox 82

im not doubting the capacity of the developers involve, but the first tiime this issue was brought to Stig (on camera at least) was on the HHG channel, and Stig looked clueless as to what to say. then months went by and the announcement is made that kratos is coming to MK

Anyone can contribute, a good idea is good no matter the source.

either way kratos in MK is looking like he will take down the whole kingdom and leave chaos behind :)

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