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FINISH HIM: A Love Letter to Mortal Kombat

Mortal KombatToday, with the internet, you hear about a videogame’s release at least a year before it’s even in development stages. You can chat to people all over the world, you can see concept art etc. But, for me at least, there is a place that was far better than the internet for hearing about video games you never knew existed. It was a place that had the harshest critics, the best people to “hype up” a video game and it had 100% reliable information. That place was the school playground and that place was where I was the first time I ever heard of Mortal Kombat.

I was nine years old and I remember walking onto the playground a seeing a small crowd of kids my age standing in a circle around something next to the set of swings. I made my way through the crowd and standing in the middle was a friend of mine from my class who had just got back from holiday. He hadn’t returned with stories of nice weather or nice cool pools or anything like that, he had returned with a story of a video game. Whilst out there, he said, he found this old arcade with this machine in there called “Mortal Kombat”. He was telling us about this cool ice ninja and this cooler yellow ninja and how you could punch people’s heads off and how you could rip their spine’s out. I was in complete and total awe. Next time my parent’s took me to the super market or to a place with arcade machines I searched for the game but to my constant dismay it was nowhere to be found.

Three months later my family and I were on a plane going over to Spain for two weeks and at this point I had completely forgotten about Mortal Kombat and the cool yellow and ice ninjas. Whilst my parents were checking in at the hotel I went and looked around the place. I turned a corner into a little conservatory that lead onto the pool and I came to a halt and let out a little gasp of shock. I was standing in front of this guy dressed in white with a stupid hat on firing lightning into the air and screaming. It was a Mortal Kombat II arcade machine.
Mortal Kombat II Arcade Machine

Now, when I say that literally all I did on the holiday was play the game, I mean LITERALLY all I did was play the game. The only two times I was separate from the machine was when I was in the hospital briefly and when my family took me to a restaurant to eat (and even there they had a Playstation One and the Mortal Kombat Trilogy) I was head over heels in love. I had played some fighting games before but nothing compared to this. The thing that struck me at the time, and got me killed a lot, was how god damn fast the game was. It was high speed fighting at its finest and I loved it. To this day I honestly can’t stand slow fighters, they just don’t do anything for me. I love the fast intensity of fighters, they need to be fast otherwise, what’s the point?

After returning home from my holiday I made sure I tracked down any and every Mortal Kombat game I could to play. I was addicted, I just loved them. Mortal Kombat II has always been my favourite and to this day it still is.

I think one of the things most great fighters need is great characters. I love the colourful characters of Mortal Kombat and I love their back stories, designs… EVERYTHING. I love them all (Except Stryker, fuck you Stryker). I don’t really consider myself a “fan boy” of anything except Mortal Kombat simply because of how much I’ve played, read up and watched of it.
Scorpion vs Sub Zero

Now, I think with this post I need to address two important things:  the first is the violence, what do I think of the extreme violence and gore? I love it! Honestly, I do get annoyed at people who think it’s too violent because it’s FANTASY VIOLENCE. I can understand if it’s realistic violence but there aren’t people who can rip your entire skeleton out of your flesh by your spine. It’s completely fantasy. The other thing is the new game. I fucking love Mortal Kombat (2011) – it’s fantastic, it completely encapsulates what was great about the original trilogy and I’m excited to see where Netherealm take it next.

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About Jack Wood

Aspiring journalist, novelist or documentarian. Occasional cameraman, photographer and can sometimes be sort of funny.

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