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Mortal Kombat Memories: Development Tales from NetherRealm Studios

Steve Beran's Avatar + Posted by Steve Beran on Aug 26, 2011 // Director of Art, NetherRealm Studios

I’m really happy to see the upcoming release of the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, which hits PSN next Tuesday, August 30th. The MKAK is a great way to relive the classic Mortal Kombat arcade games right in your own living room, but I’m also excited that players who enjoyed this year’s new Mortal Kombat will soon have the opportunity to play the first three games that set the foundation for the entire fighting-game franchise.

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection for PS3 (PSN)

I was introduced to Mortal Kombat on April 20th, 1992. I was fresh out of art school and starting my career at Williams/Bally/Midway. I remembered being overwhelmed that I was actually walking into the building where some of my favorite games were created: Narc, Robotron, Defender, and Smash TV just to name a few. Mortal Kombat was yet to be released. However there were a few Mortal Kombat prototypes lining the halls of Midway that we could test out. I remember being just blown away by my first experiences with Mortal Kombat. What first struck me was the size of the digitized characters on the screen. They were huge! I remember selecting Kano as my first character: I was a big Terminator fan at the time, so the choice was obvious. I also remember how in awe I was working (and playing) along side of the guys that created the game. A few days after that, I met the actors that were filmed for the game. John Tobias and Ed Boon brought the whole cast of characters back in to capture the video bio sequences that happened during the attract mode. It was funny how low-budget the whole thing was. It was actually just filmed in the hallway where we tested the games with a low-end video camera, a few lights, and a piece of black cloth as the backdrop. It was a very garage-band scenario but I recall just being blown away that I was witnessing the creation of something big, never really knowing how big Mortal Kombat would actually become.

In this video clip, Mortal Kombat’s longtime Lead Sound Designer Dan Forden discusses the origins of “Toasty!” — one of the most celebrated Easter Eggs in the history of gaming.

Mortal Kombat II was fun in that I had the opportunity to witness the team create the game from the ground up. I was working on another game team at the time, but I was slowly becoming friends with Tobias, Ed, and Tony Goskie. Tony is an amazing artist that bases his talent in surrealism; Mortal Kombat II’s introduction to Outworld was a perfect match for Tony. Luckily my office was directly across from Tony’s so I had the opportunity to see him create some of the most iconic environments in the game. I remember Tony’s disappointment when he had to remove the crucified four-armed Shokan from the Wastelands. We thought it was an interesting element in the background, but the company thought it may be perceived as sacrilegious. One of the best memories I had from the Mortal Kombat II days was when I was asked to be the floating monk in the Tower background. You can’t really tell it’s me in the shrouded robe, but at the time I dorked out hard telling everyone I knew that I was in the latest Mortal Kombat!

In this video clip, Creative Director and co-creator Ed Boon talks about the creation of Mortal Kombat’s iconic dragon medallion logo.

Mortal Kombat 3 is special to me because that was the first Mortal Kombat I was on as an artist. I was honored that John and Ed asked me to join the team. I basically worked alongside John, cleaning up characters, building costumes, and creating special FX. Making Mortal Kombat 3 was a really great time. We busted our asses. We worked crazy hours and stayed overnight quite a bit. Building the character costumes was probably the most fun. Now we build everything in 3D, but back then we had to rely on sporting goods stores, army surplus stores, Halloween shops, and a lot of duct tape. It was a blast getting the cyborg costumes together: it was a mix of BMX motocross gear, hockey protection, duct tape, and rubber tubing. For being really thrown together I am really happy with the way Sektor and Cyrax turned out. By the way, before they were known as Sektor and Cyrax, John Vogel named them Ketchup and Mustard.

In this video clip, Mortal Kombat artist, animator, and motion-capture performer Carlos Pesina recalls how his mother reacted to his career choice.

I am honored to still be working on the Mortal Kombat franchise. I love the Mortal Kombat universe and all the talented people I get to work with every day. In addition to that, I feel we have the best fans in video games. They are extremely devoted and our team deeply appreciates their devotion over the past (almost) 20 years. Thank you all sincerely.

//Add Your Own

89 Comments

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51

+ tekkenismusa on August 26th, 2011 at 6:48 pm said:

MK4 HD remix would indeed be amazing! Many MK fans would be more than happy to see MK4 as a part of this collection. A MK Arcade Kollection without MK4 is not a MK arcade collection!


52

+ Rorek_IronBlood on August 26th, 2011 at 7:13 pm said:

Meh.. Ironically I still have my copy of – Mortal Kombat – for the Sega CD. This is not such a bad deal, but it depends on how, much it will cost for this bundle on the PlayStation Network (which makes me cringe knowing how, horrible the pricing of content is on the PlayStation Network.) I just really am not happy with the recent crap of Mortal Kombat and the stunts they’ve pulled with their restart to the series (including horribly over priced content, and the introduction of the “online pass” function which is just plain unethical.) It’s just left me really sour about them all around. I doubt I’ll be dipping out any cash to purchase this.

It’s sad, but given the two choices I’d rather support Capcom’s – Street Fighter – series then say – Mortal Kombat. Thankfully we’re not stuck in the ninties and there are a lot of “other” and “better” options then either of these series.


53

+ xxnike629xx on August 26th, 2011 at 7:29 pm said:

TOASTY~!
Such a simple idea…LOL…and one that stuck~

And I find it funny how parents and older people in general these days (like 40ss and up) who don’t know much about video games, and still view them as being childish things.

Video games are an art, and with modern technology, they look so realistic that in some instances, it looks like “real world” stuff…


54

+ deltakong on August 26th, 2011 at 8:36 pm said:

3 platinums? please?


55

+ shadysaiyanz on August 26th, 2011 at 8:51 pm said:

Awesome! Steve, while i love the classic MK games and wil be gettign this, any reason Mortal Kombat Trilogy isn’t included? that was THE BEST MK!. it had everybody!


56

+ ugo_88 on August 26th, 2011 at 10:34 pm said:

I still have those 3 (plus MK3) for my SNES, but I can’t play them online. This one can be played online isn’t it? if it does, I’ll buy them for sure!

For deadly alliance, it would be nice to have it, but with better graphics cause they were crapy and I never really liked it because of that, I preferred to play my old ones then deadly alliance.

I would REALLY REALLY love a shaolin monks style for ps3 with more playable character tho. seriously this was a very good idea, with online co-op it would become “outstanding” lol!

FInally, the job done on the most recent MK aka MK9 is just crazy! If it wasn’t of the lag online I would be playing it right now. I can’t wait for the next one with the “deadly alliance” I hope the story line will be just as awesome as this one!


57

+ CRuSHeR2k on August 26th, 2011 at 11:16 pm said:

This was a really cool article, thanks to everyone involved. I forgot all about “Toasty” lol, oh the memories!! Day one here!


58

+ LinKueiNinja on August 26th, 2011 at 11:27 pm said:

OH YES! I only wish they would not have scrapped the HD version of this kollection. That is upsetting….especially after seeing those screenshots of it in HD.

Oh well…..I still am excited about this VERY much! MORTAL KOMBAT!


59

+ Kyle_Reese23 on August 27th, 2011 at 12:22 am said:

i want mortal kombat trilogy .. lets make a petition .. at least as a ps one classic release !! pliss :)


60

+ nyc_haze on August 27th, 2011 at 12:55 am said:

finally somethin worth buying


61

+ NeoZion_11 on August 27th, 2011 at 2:19 am said:

A will say one thing:

This was the best part of my life…

I love this game he make me remember when i was child…

Yes, i wil buy this game !

Fight!


62

+ ArcticNinja21 on August 27th, 2011 at 6:09 am said:

@55 and 59 Mortal Kombat Trilogy sucks. I would rather stick with UMK3 than play that mess.


63

+ JuniorPS on August 27th, 2011 at 6:29 am said:

Quick question before I spend my PSN bucks: are the games on this Kollection REAL ARCADE PORTS? I bought MK2 from the PSN store a while back and found out it was an emulation of the SNES version. Anyone?


64

+ ibMAPs on August 27th, 2011 at 7:22 am said:

12 trophies in total:
finish mk1, finish mk2, finish mk3, finish all three games, first fatality, first babality, first anamality, first friendship, flawless victory in a ranked match, win first online 1v1, win 200 matches, double flawless victory on computer,


65

+ ibMAPs on August 27th, 2011 at 7:23 am said:

def a day 1 buy!! i remember the lines in the arcades as a kid, quarters were your entrance fee!


66

+ Neo-CTU on August 27th, 2011 at 7:25 am said:

I’m really sad :(
they said No platinum trophy :((, how come you guys not making this Kollection REAL enough for the fans ? really ? you guys couldn’t put more trophies in this “Kollection”, I’m really disappointing :((


67

+ comatosevessel on August 27th, 2011 at 7:54 am said:

Pretty cool, I already have MK I & MK II. Hope I can get Ultimate MKIII by itself. I already have it for PS2 with one of the other Mortal Kombats that it came with as a special edition, but it will be cool to have it on the PS3 displayed on a HUGE HD Plasma.


68

+ Wozman23 on August 27th, 2011 at 9:56 am said:

On the subject of history: What ever happened with the Psi-Ops IP? I know a lot has changed with the studio since its Midway Chicago days, and the rights to the IP have probably moved around, but I’d really like a sequel. I thought it was one of the best games from the last generation.


69

+ mouse915chuco on August 27th, 2011 at 12:14 pm said:

mortal kombat will always be the first and best graphic fighting game


70

+ xMEXICANx85 on August 27th, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

mk is the best evver ima get this
“come over here”
웃~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>웃유


71

+ Jayson619 on August 27th, 2011 at 7:19 pm said:

I hope the AI is balanced in MK2 this time round!

DOES ANYONE REMEMBER HOW THE DAMN AI CAN STILL THROW YOU AFTER YOU LAND ON THE FLOOR!?!


72

+ shadysaiyanz on August 27th, 2011 at 7:36 pm said:

@62 – How? Trilogy was amazing!!!

@ibMAPs – Is that real? ifso that really really sucks… probably wont get it now.i Wanted to kick a ton of butt but also get 3 plats in teh process..oh well. I wouldn’t feel like i accomplished anything playing this now.

@Neo-CTU – I know right….


73

+ Souledge94 on August 27th, 2011 at 10:03 pm said:

Im buying this day 1.


74

+ DCS-Tekken on August 27th, 2011 at 10:14 pm said:

Yeah i’ll get the Arcade one thats for sure… Even thoe its way outdated now and would of been nice if they made it in HD aww…

otherwise i’m waiting on MK10… Come on Boon! MK10 FTW!

By: DCS


75

+ PersianVersion on August 28th, 2011 at 1:11 am said:

Please release MK Trilogy(best MK ever) the ps1 game in HD and online support. Had everything you needed from 1-3 in one game, with the MK3 engine.


76

+ xRedxViolence on August 28th, 2011 at 1:30 am said:

i was hyped when they finally revealed it to be released sometime in the summer, though i was expecting this early in the summer. instead we get it right at the end of august haha. hey it’s better late than never.


77

+ leandroreplay on August 28th, 2011 at 7:25 am said:

joguei mk minha vida toda pra mim a franquia durou até mk trilogy lançado para o n-64,até q fim mk voltou as origens com essa coleção espero que não decepcione igual mk do ps2 que na minha opinião deixou a deseja,com movimentos lentos e robóticos,além do exagero de personagens que da a impressão de uma criança ter desenhado,ainda estragando o visual de alguns lutadores é caso do liu kang,kabal e cia.Acho que mk do ps2 e até do ps3 perdeu o foco da verdadeira luta arcade.Agora e treinar para disputar online esse clássico que marcou a década de 90 hehe,ok!!!!!
quem quiser me adicionem na psn.


78

+ LordStoneRaven on August 28th, 2011 at 9:54 am said:

I would love a MK collection with Deadly alliance, deception, and Armageddon for ps3. Think it will happen?


79

+ zaca21 on August 28th, 2011 at 10:00 am said:

if_any_one_wants_to_no_how_to_glitch_messages_just_IM_me_on_ps3_and_i_will_reply_with_the_instructions_so_yea_i_reply_to_all_meggages.


80

+ Shark2Brasil_ on August 28th, 2011 at 3:13 pm said:

How to solve the problem of disappearing from the BCF BC Weapons 2.
http://www.battlefieldbadcompany2.com Simply access the site and log on the user and click on the EA Autoalizar status.
But this time you must be Playing the Game Online your rank will be back in a few seconds.


81

+ matt11707 on August 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm said:

i played mk1 and mk2 in the arcade wow awesome times.


82

+ CHARMELEON87 on August 28th, 2011 at 5:35 pm said:

will have trophies? per game ?


83

+ CAPEDCRUISADER21 on August 28th, 2011 at 5:37 pm said:

cant wait im on it……………. been a mk fan since 92 when the first 1 came out n got every mk… still remember the code ABACABB lol good ol days


84

+ G-ometry on August 28th, 2011 at 6:59 pm said:

MK Trilogy HD with online would be amazing!


85

+ JEC94 on August 28th, 2011 at 7:39 pm said:

I’m buying the classic trilogy for sure


86

+ JEC94 on August 28th, 2011 at 7:40 pm said:

klassik*


87

+ JEC94 on August 28th, 2011 at 7:42 pm said:

@matt11707 I remember playing UMK3 on the Pizza arcade near home! the good days lol


88

+ ChameleonX on August 29th, 2011 at 6:45 am said:

Can’t wait!


89

+ dragon_frost on August 29th, 2011 at 9:36 am said:

Scorpion Wins! Flawless Victory! Fatality!


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