Mortal Kombat X’s Familial Fatalities Have Got Me Down

Mortal Kombat X’s Familial Fatalities Have Got Me Down

No parent should ever outlive their child. They definitely shouldn’t tear open their child’s chest while quoting a classic horror movie and hamming it up for the camera.

As a long-time fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, I have no problem with the franchises brutal signature finishing moves. The latest batch might be gorier than most, but they maintain the spirit of the horrible drawings I used to doodle of my classmates being stabbed, shot or run-over by steamrollers until they popped like sausage back in high school. Good clean fun, only without the good. Or the clean.

But this round of Mortal Kombat introduces several new characters, several of whom has strong family ties to veteran fighters. Take Cassie Cage, the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. It’s easy now that her loving father has slit her down the middle. Johnny Cage wins.

Now there’s any number of story reasons that a parent and a child might be at odds. Demonic possession, childhood trauma, bad relationships and the like. One of the new game’s other children, Kenshi’s son Takeda, had a normal life with his mother before all hell broke loose, so not trusting his father to the point of doing something horrible in battle could be a thing.

But in the case of Sonya and Johnny’s daughter, each battle begins with a little light-hearted (and unfortunately light-volumed) banter.

They seem to have a great relationship. The kind of relationship I’d like to have with my children if the Earth is ever invaded by otherworldly supernatural forces. Maybe we’ll spar and train together to take back our planet.

We certainly wouldn’t do this.

Coupled with the familiar banter before the match, this just urks me out. It’s the same horrible feeling I had this morning, when Evan Narcisse and I faced off as Jax and Jacqui Briggs, the father-and-daughter special forces team.

He can’t protect her forever, so instead he tears her head in half and uses it as an ashtray.

Oh, Dad.

I’m all for a good family-based rivalry in my fighting games, be it the good-natured competition between Bass and Tina in Dead or Alive or the not-so-good-natured competition surrounding Tekken‘s Mishima clan. The difference is neither of those franchise get anywhere near as brutal as Mortal Kombat, where family game night involves a little Monopoly, some pizza and exposing each others’ innards.

Now I’m not saying fighting game families shouldn’t murder each other. I just think they should have more motivation for it. Maybe telegraph it a bit more. Less friendly banter, more tearful “I’m going to have to rip your chest open now, baby.” That, or perhaps Netherrealm could craft family-specific “fatalities” that play off those relationships. with less gore and more humiliation. Nothing says an afternoon with your parents like humiliation.

Maybe it’s just the dad in me. Mortal Kombat 9 came out in April of 2011, two months before the tiny men hiding in my wife’s stomach escaped. Perhaps witnessing their plight and growing close to them despite their squicky origin has changed the way I think about parent/child relationships.

Just know that should we ever face off online in the guises of related pairs of characters, I will not use my gruesome fatalities on you, because we’re supposed to love each other.

Also because I can never remember the inputs.


    • LMAO!!!!! God there were so many unusual moments in the story mode. Found the story rather weak compared to 9 to be honest, but still moments like that totally made it for me.

  • As much as I’m a fighting gamer, this is exactly why I don’t play MK. It’s just too gory for me.

    • Exactly. I can’t begin to understand the appeal. I like some of the character designs and moves but the fatalities… why would anyone like that?

      • Why would anyone like anything? Because different people like different things. Obviously there’s a considerable audience for this kind of thing, or else they wouldn’t bother selling it that way.

    • Absolutely this. They were too much for me in the SNES era, but this… man, it’s way too much.

      • Now lets all go watch THE WALKING DEAD where people get eaten alive! Where another dude got torn apart and there’s another guy who got his jaw pulled out!!!

        • Doesn’t bother me as I don’t watch the show, but shouldn’t his be enclosed in a spoiler tag? It was only last month, some people may not have watched it yet.

          That aside, I’ve always loved the brutality of Mortal Kombat games. It’s what sets them apart from other fighters.

        • Actually, I was turned off The Walking Dead by the level of violence, so I’m at least reasonably consistent in that regard.

      • At least with the snes it was obviously cartoonised. But in this one they’ve worked so hard to make it look real. God when he rips her head off with his bare hands to use it as an ashtray. That’s really foul.

  • I’ve notice a trend of fathers suddenly being against violence once they get a kid. I think it’s part of the reason why the prequels turned out like they did.

    • I’m not against violence in gaming or movies/TV shows, I just want my son to be the appropriate age before I allow him access to it. Also, there’s a massive difference between the original Mortal Kombat and the latest entry.

    • Yeah that’s true in my case. I always didn’t like ultra-violence but now that I have kids I find it really objectionable.

    • Possibly. I’ve got an 11 year old, we play violent games together, I check them out first of course. But I’ve never changed my liking of horrors, action movies, violent games etc. I think it’s easy to become protective over your new kid for a while, but after a while, especially if you start sharing an interest in gaming, you eventually find maybe you’ve been a little overzealous, perhaps a bit hypocritical. By all means it’s ok to protect your own child from violent games etc, but just be sure to never push that on others, that’s when it becomes wrong.

  • Where was this bleeding-heart bull dust when Kitana was slicing off her mother Sindel’s head as far back as 1996? Edenians are people too; people with families.

  • Because brutally murdering someone is totally fine, as long as they aren’t related to you.

    • It’s just a game man, it’s the same as getting a headshot in any FPS albeit a lot more graphic, but you’re still killing a video game character. It’s video game violence, not real life, there’s a massive difference.

      • Um, yeah I know.

        I guess the sarcasm wasn’t evident, but my point was that I thought it odd that the author was offended by characters killing their family members/loved ones, but seemed totally fine with fictional murder in all other situations.

  • There’s no story motivation because you’re doing these outside of story mode…? Are they going to just dwarf the roster of playable characters because in the story you’ve got familial ties? Kenshi and Cage are good friends yet that doesn’t stop you from being able to pit them against eachother outside of the story.

    I’m not going for one of those tiresome arguments where people are on both sides in regards to the violence, but “we certainly wouldn’t do this” doesn’t exactly fit the bill when it comes to a fighting game sandbox.

  • I can’t help but feel most people are missing the point. 50% of the time it’s the child ripping apart their parents and who never wanted to do that as an angsty teenager? I find these fatalities hilarious and dammit I didn’t touch it… leave me alone.
    That’s what I took away from it anyway.

  • Theres a big difference between the violence in Mortal Kombat and the violence in, say, Manhunt.
    MK, even though its ultra violent and graphic with its fatalities, theyre so over the to theres a slapstick/comedy feel to it.
    But Manhunt, thats straight up graphic, violent murder.

  • But my biggest annoyance with the MK games is the button combinations for the fatalities.
    Theres so many characters with various finishers each and each with different button combinations.
    Every game turns into: Play round, “Finish Him”, pause game, look up fatality, un-pause, try the combination, fingers crossed it worked.
    Just make it so you can press a button. I cant remember 64 different button combinations. I just want to play the game.

  • Wow i just finished this mortal kombat on PS4 and i have to say that this game is PURE AMAZING!!

    i will write some review later but here are quick pros and cons:


    Roster additions almost universally great to play

    Streamlined, more fluid story mode


    Final boss almost too easy after build-up

    i am job tester from this site and i can recommend it to EVERYONE!!!!

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