Mortal Kombat is blazing trails for media fluidity. That’s fancy talk for, “they have a lot of cameo characters in their game.” A recent teaser trailer showed that Mortal Kombat X will not only feature well known horror icon Jason Voorhees, but also The Predator of sci-fi fame, and it likely won’t stop there.
Last month, Todd McFarlane revealed that NetherRealm studios asked for permission to use Spawn in Mortal Kombat X . While Spawn hasn’t officially been revealed yet, NetherRealm studios are definitely teasing him. Ed Boon just tweeted an image of a 4 movie Blu-Ray bundle which includes Mortal Kombat , Mortal Kombat Annihilation , Mortal Kombat Legacy , and Spawn the Director’s Cut along with the text “Why would SPAWN be packaged with Mortal Kombat?” So yeah, this dark comic book hero is practically already ripping out spines.
Mortal Kombat , at this point, is well known for allowing cameo characters into its roster. Mortal Kombat 9 allowed Freddy Krueger and Kratos to fight alongside the standard cast. Of course, it’s not the first game to allow for cameo characters. Soul Calibur allowed Link, Heihachi, and Spawn to enter the battle, and Marvel vs Capcom is practically completely made of cameo characters. But NetherRealm is one of the first characters to really play around with icons from movie franchises.
This is a good thing, though. Video games and IP in general are starting to become more fluid. We are seeing a lot of crossovers, both in games and movies. This, of course, allows for more creativity with less worry about copyright law and licensing. So if Mortal Kombat X can serve as an example, a bloody, gory example, that’s a good thing.
What other characters could find their home in a Mortal Kombat game? There are any number of horror villains, like Leatherface, Pinhead, Michael Meyers, and more. Anyone from a Tarantino movie would fit in just fine in this gore-fest, from Kill Bill to Django Unchained . Then there are always darker comic books like Sin City that could offer up cameos as well. I’m not saying that any of these properties will have cameos in the upcoming game, just that it would be awesome if they did.
If more games follow Mortal Kombat ’s example, we may eventually see some of our childhood’s wackiest fantasies realized. We always scoff at the kids who keep screaming “Goku for Smash Bros !” or “Goku for Marvel vs. Capcom !” but something tells me this iconic anime character hasn’t cameoed simply because no one asked him to. If more studios were willing to simply have some crazy crossover fun, we might see this become a reality.
What do you think? Do you think NetherRealm’s willingness to seek out characters in other properties is opening up new doors for video game crossovers? Or are all these crossovers just cheap gimmicks? Maybe both? Let us know what you think in the comments.