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

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

“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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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126 Comments

22 Author Replies

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

  • 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

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

  • 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

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

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

    • Sid Shuman

      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.

    • Rey Gutierrez
      Rey Gutierrez

      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

    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!!

  • Any Sex mini games:) it so preoordered

  • loadstone007

    @6
    The guy didn’t read the entire article, and you expect him to come back to this and look for a response? LOL.

  • 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

    this is awesome incentive to get the game!

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

  • 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!

  • freaking AWESOME

  • cannot friggin wait

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • Release now… please! :D

  • NoGodsOnlyMan

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

  • Skater_Ricky

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

  • 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.

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

  • dragonleader33

    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!

    • Sid Shuman

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

  • looks sick.

  • @NoGodsOnlyMan

    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?

    • Sid Shuman

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

  • Cool interview, wish we could see Kratos’ fatality tho

  • 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?

  • Cant wait for that game!

  • Looks great!!!

    May just pick it up.

  • burning_dawn

    Kratos is the epitome of Awesomeness!!!

  • 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?

  • Looking Epic, hopefully we see God of War 4

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Sid Shuman

      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!

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

  • 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 ???????

  • 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

  • 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.

  • So glade I pre-ordered.

  • IIITRU3M4STAIII

    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.

  • @ #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

  • 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.

  • 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!”

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • thundercat17

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

    • Sid Shuman

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

  • TheLastNinja-

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

  • 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

  • @45

    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

    @ 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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