It's the real Johnny Cage! Original Mortal Kombat mo-cap videos emerge

[Edit: After this story was posted, current Mortal Kombat rights holder Warner Bros. apparently demanded the video be taken down from YouTube. So why did we leave the story up? So more people would read this: Dear WB - You DO realize you just tore down a historically valuable video that is actually helping revive interest in the MK franchise, that has absolutely no ability to harm your new MK, and which was posted by a man who could have been a tremendous PR asset if you hired him to help you promote the series revival instead of behaving like a selfish, obnoxious nine year-old, right? Honestly - even Activision, which pulled the plug on Brutal Legend and then sued EA for plugging it back in, thinks that's a dick move.]

Wow - here's a blast from the past. Daniel Pesina, the martial artist who played Johnny Cage in the original Mortal Kombat, has posted videos on YouTube showing the original game's mo-cap sessions. Of course, it isn't real motion capture - the idea was to pose realistically for individual frames of the game, so some of these are rather staged. It's fascinating to see glimpses of the game you recognise as he goes through the motions of various attacks. Check it out right here.

The first Mortal Kombat was famous for two reasons. The first was obviously the level of gore. But secondly, it was the first fighting game to use digitised images of real actors for its sprites, unlike Street Fighter II which used hand-drawn imagery. Nowadays, the original game looks like some horrible Xbox Live Indie abomination (c'mon, even hardcore MK fans have got to admit that), but it's one of gaming's most treasured institutions, so plenty of people are going to enjoy this vid.

Above: Placing Dan toe to toe with his digitised sprite, you can see where the art team made small tweaks

There are more videos from the session here, although one has reportedly been pulled after an alleged complaint by Warner Bros who currently hold the rights to the franchise. So watch 'em before they all disappear. We hope they do stay up - the guy even promises he'll be posting videos of the girl who played Sonia real soon. Yup, thought you'd be interested in that.

20 Aug, 2010

Source: GameSetWatch




  • nobody_joe - August 23, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    All the videos are online 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9-
  • Dabenguin - August 23, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    Damn you WB!
  • bigwill1982 - August 22, 2010 5:53 p.m.

    @Nobody_joe, Good looking out man
  • nobody_joe - August 22, 2010 1:59 a.m.

    i'm downloaded the videos. Link: i'm uploaded the first to youtube: tomorrow i'll gonna be upload the others
  • therawski - August 20, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    Does time warner know that I can just download the rom of the game and play it? It's not like the game is still in print, plus no one would want to make sprites this way ever again, the kids want 3d fighters where they can shout ignorant banter and racism at strangers. Basically they only made the videos get deleted because they could, and copyright law has gotten so strict lately that sedition and liable are prolly going to come back soon.
  • punkduck2064 - August 20, 2010 10:07 p.m.

    OH NOOOOOes, the video is gone :(
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - August 20, 2010 8:47 p.m.

  • neon6 - August 20, 2010 7:58 p.m.

    Goddamn Steve Jones.
  • chrismack - August 20, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    arrrrghh! i want to see this nostalgic video, karma needs to deliver a big splits/nut punch to the siblings of warner! Bosch!
  • d0x - August 20, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    God damnit its down. This is the only problem with linking youtube videos instead of uploading them directly to the site. All the cool stuff is taken down. I dont even see a reason for them to have removed this!
  • foxyexplosion - August 20, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    I agree, warner bros should learn how to deal with fans. Right now i think they suck for taking this down since i was super excited having read the headline. NERD RAGE
  • ventanger - August 20, 2010 4:48 p.m.

    GODDAMN YOU Warner Brothers, and the Warner Sister Dot!
  • montyburns - August 20, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    I think all of the videos are down now...
  • Patius - August 20, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    ok, Warner Bros apparently is filing frivilous anti copyright violations on youtube.
  • Cligedy - August 20, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Didn't Pitfighter use digitized models for its fighters before MK first?
  • SouthTippBass - August 20, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    Wow, thats really great! :) Would have liked to see victory pose with shades and a splits/nut punch though!

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000