7 ways you didn't realise the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is the most stunningly accurate video game adaptation ever made

Turns out it was secretly a work of genius all along

The Goro fight is just as cheap and unfair as Mortal Kombat boss fights usually are

Mortal Kombat boss fights are often utter works of art. Unfortunately, the particular works of art in question tend to be postmodern performance pieces deconstructing the various constituent elements of bad video game design. Interactive mixed-media installation pieces on the perils of lazy game balance and artifical challenge, if you will. All the cheap hits are there. Unblockable attacks, damage nullifying moves, spammed super-attacks, random combo-breaking… Mortal Kombat boss fights use them all with the kind of extreme prejudice that implies that Ed Boon has been feuding with your family since your grandmother’s time.

But look! Here is the Mortal Kombat movie’s first Goro fight! Let's see how it compares, shall we?

Virtually unbreakable blocking. On the couple of occasions he does get hit he takes barely any damage at all. He keeps spamming the same over-powered swinging punch attack until his opponent is naught but a salty pile of mulch and regret. Anyone who’s fought Shao “I’m going to interrupt your combo whenever I damn well like” Kahn in the latest MK game's story mode will know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Goddamn it, Mortal Kombat movie, you're so accurate that if you were screened in 3D it would like being transported into the very game itself. Just like Tron, but smellier and with more kidneys on the floor.

There’s an Endurance Match just before the last boss fight (with authentically nerfed opponents)

Bit of a Mortal Kombat tradition, the near-end Endurance Match. The gist is simple. Whereas in normal endurance-free fights you battle against one blood-thirstily antisocial git or gitess, in endurance matches you fight against a bunch of them in a row, with only one magical green gauge of personal survivability to work with. At their best, Endurance Matches are taut, tactical tests of skill, focus and stamina, and actually damnably rewarding to win. Though to ensure game balance and avoid making the conflict about as fair as setting two toddlers on each other and only giving one of them a hammer, EMs will often gimp the opponent characters a bit in order to make them less resilient to your high-speed fleshy impacts, or drop the damage of their own flailing tickles of aggression.

Obviously someone on the Mortal Kombat movie production team was paying insanely close attention to detail when planning the film’s climactic scenes, because guess what? Frankly, you shouldn’t have to guess, because I’ve already told you what in the headline of this section. And there's a video of it just above this paragraph. Pay attention.

Not only does Shang Tsung step out to let multiple guys have a go at Liu Kang, sharing in the brotherhood that only a bunch of generic multi-ethnic violence sterotypes can understand, said random punch-mongers all turn out to be weaker than a Mormon warehouse party once Kang gets amongst it. Put it this way, at one point our hero blocks a fully-trained Samurai’s katana blow with his toes.

I repeat:

If you try that against a real fully-trained Samurai, the only thing you block is your ability to get shoes that fit for the rest of your life. Conclusion? Gimped samurai.

Second conclusion: Authentic adaptation flawless victory!


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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