The Top 7… Most absurd Mortal Kombat offshoots

2. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces

Above: lol, faceplant

It’s not your fault, Jax…. How exactly did something that began as a Triple-A aside end up being the lowest point in the in the Mortal Kombat franchise? After a slightly disastrous E3 showing, MK: Special Forces was pulled back for a dramatic retooling. Unfortunately, MK co-creator John Tobias exited the company, and basically left this very needy baby in the hands of Midway stockholders.

Above: God, it could've been so beautiful!

The game was originally supposed to co-star a playable Sonya Blade and feature a "dynamic 3D camera." WOW! But rather than bring on more people to fix the title and deliver on its promise, Midway stripped crucial features, axed the N64 version altogether, dropped cut the price to $20 as a nice way of saying “We know it sucks and we’re sorry” and Jax’s jagged, stillborn Loaded/Final Fight hybrid remains the biggest flop in MK history, both critically and commercially!

Above: Muzzle Kombat

Oh, and we don’t know where or when the bright idea of giving it a Blaxploitation vibe came in, but it’s certainly one of the most bizarre choices you’ll see in MK’s silly, strange chronology. Jax is a bad mother, apparently. Or possibly Austin Powers...



1. Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour

Above: Ever seen Scorpion look that bored?

What, you thought Charlie Sheen and Spider-Man invented shitting the stage, kids?! Please understand that by the mid-nineties Mortal Kombat had conquered damn near every medium in the universe, generating about TWO BILLION DOLLARS and cold, bloody beeswax. The games were at the height of their popularity on every conceivable platform, and had been successfully spun off into toys, comics, music, a live-action feature, and a direct-to-video animated movie. Yet there was one medium MK had yet to saturate… THE THEATRE: Get Over Here!

Above: Neither cosplay nor a LARP-about

In the summer of 1996, Scorpion and Co. embarked on a multi city tour of in-your-face jazz karate with Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour and no civic center was safe from the spandex-soaked Punch-capades. If you thought that the movies, TV shows or MK vs. DC nerfed the bloodening, try and imagine the safe-for-families violence that had to be pantomimed and lip-synched by a group of chop-socky actors not good enough to pose for in-game sprites. The storyline is said to have followed close to the events of the game, while also utilizing the audience for a few call-and-response “Finish Hims” and even for kids to hold up plastic Amulets to have been purchased at the event, but had *whoops* yet to be manufactured.


According to Henry Gilbert, the only person in our office with the ironic foresight to actually purchase tickets back then, his family’s plan to enjoy fake Fatalities was all for nothing. When they got there it was clear from the shuttered theater doors that it had been canceled without so much as an email from Shao Kahn. Sadly, video of the performance is scarce but at least we have this hilariously awkward news piece to help us remember it always.

Apr 11, 2011

VIDEO: Cosplaying Kitana pole dances, scores a flawless victory
See Tanya “MsTooney” Jordan’s powerful moves


Is MK vs DCU a porno...
…or does the dialog just sound like one?


15 years of “FIGHT!"
A video celebration of the word that starts the brawl

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  • ABACADA6494 - April 12, 2011 1:45 a.m.

    first.... anyways i was just wondering where this was. Yay Top 7...
  • Dabenguin - April 12, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    Nice and punctual Chris, nice and punctual.
  • SlinkyDink - April 12, 2011 1:54 a.m.

    You forgot Shaolin Monks, but i guess it wasn't really all that absurd. Then again I wouldn't say MK VS DC was all that absurd either. SHAZAM!
  • blakebeauchamp - April 12, 2011 1:54 a.m.

    MK got weird. Just realizing this.
  • inSovietRussiaDatesRecallBrettElston - April 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

    good to see that a 'lets get this karty started' reference made it's way into another GR feature, lol
  • Redeater - April 12, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    Sweet! Just heard about this on T'dar. Was looking forward to it.
  • Spocksjock - April 12, 2011 1:59 a.m.

    To be honest I liked Mortal Kombat vs. DC universe but it was really really odd.
  • Turboash - April 12, 2011 2:07 a.m.

    Wow that news clip was hard to watch.
  • ninjaemperor - April 12, 2011 2:08 a.m.

    I can't wait to hear about the live tour on Tdar this week!
  • juicenpancakes - April 12, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    "Boomtube" has become a regularly used word amongst my friends and I.
  • TheGuy42 - April 12, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    Get Some MK!
  • juicenpancakes - April 12, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    Or *among, in case you aren't from the 18th century.
  • skynetiscoming - April 12, 2011 2:31 a.m.

    I love the stupid grin on the Joker's face while he's getting clocked.
  • mchammer75 - April 12, 2011 2:34 a.m.

    Jesus this might be the best top 7 you guys have done, I had no idea how far the MK series has strayed over the years. The animated stuff is gold as well, please chris, watch the horrible animated crap I'm sure there is plenty to sample from for the podcast: MK the journey begins
  • MexicAntista - April 12, 2011 2:49 a.m.

    Hahahahaha!!! Oh god! That news piece is hilarious. I love that Baraka is just a guy in spandex and a ski mask. Make some effort.
  • clubsandwich - April 12, 2011 2:53 a.m.

    Yep. my dad totally surprised me one night and trucked my eight-year old ass to the civic center for the Live Action Mortal Kombat thing. It's a little fuzzy, but there were lazers and a smoke machine and kung-fu. Nostalgia Trip. Also, My dad loved it. Also, my dad is a pothead.
  • bviper - April 12, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    The Grid was awesome me and my friends you to kill the crap out of each other on that machine. You c
  • pin316 - April 12, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    holy crap, talk about having zero-personality...that interview was painful. only slightly redeemed by being able to imagine that just after the camera vct, the reporter actually goes on from the pose to crane-kick Sonya Blade
  • iAmARealSuperTurrican - April 12, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    Jesus, I forgot how bad the acting was in the Sub Zero game. Also funny to see Divizio in make-up doing his best acting.
  • BigLandoz - April 12, 2011 3:34 a.m.

    Wow. Just...WOW. The Live Action tour just blows my mind. Great article. A fun read. ------ Recaptcha - 1/EEC Gestop Do I need to show my work on how I got "gestop"?

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