We’re lucky that the latest Mortal Kombat games have turned out to be so excellent. There was a stretch during the 90s when the series wasn’t as good — and it’s hilarious to look back on all of it now.
In the last month, a particular Mortal Kombat clip has been floating around on the internet. In it, you can see one of the endings available in Mortal Kombat 4 — and boy, is it terrible:
The cringe-worthy dialogue delivered in the most stilted way possible, the constantly-repeating animations, the terrible twist, the corny as hell line about fatalities, and the awful graphics: all of this combines in a really hilarious way. Thing is, this isn’t an isolated incident. Most of the endings in Mortal Kombat 4 are this bad, if not worse. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Ah, yes. The eternal rivalry between Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Should make for a good storyline, right? Well…not so much, apparently!
What I like best about this ending is all the gesticulation. Scorpion points VERY INTENSELY as he tells Sub-Zero about his revenge:
He must really mean what he’s saying, huh?
You gotta love this close-up, too:
This ending is the inverse of the Scorpion ending: instead of having Sub-Zero on the ground while Scorpion points dramatically, Scorpion is on the ground and Sub-Zero points angrily:
I actually love the twist in this scene, but only because having Quan Chi come out of nowhere and punch Sub-Zero in the back of the head is pretty funny.
But the best part about this scene is that it ends in a bizarre whisper from Sub-Zero. ARRIGHT.
Many of the endings in this game clearly have a formula: two people argue about something, and then a third party appears out of nowhere to fuck shit up. In this case, it’s Shinnok stopping Reptile from elongating every word with an S in it.
This part is definitely the clincher:
Quan Chi’s Ending
OK, the dialogue here is actually great. The nerve, giving someone a prize that’s just “yeah, you can continue to exist!”
Quan Chi’s face after hearing Shinnok say that is the best:
Really, all of his expressions are killer:
A variation of the Jax ending, this 14-second clip ends with Jarek’s weird laugh.
Raiden gets to ascend into heaven, where the great grey man in the sky bestows him with elder godhood. Seems legit.
I think a large part of what makes some of these clips good is that the N64 can barely handle the graphics:
Amazingly, this one ALSO ends with arright. According to TV Tropes, this arright thing only happens in the N64 and arcade versions of the game — not on PlayStation. Curious!
I love how Shinnok just sort of floats in the background — it almost looks like he’s struggling to maintain his balance:
Liu Kang’s Ending
Potentially the most awkward ending of them all, here’s an emotional moment that falls flat almost immediately.
What gets me the most about all of these endings is that I distinctly remember playing through the game as a kid and thinking nothing of them. This was just how how the game was; if anything, I thought it was all serious and dramatic back then. How things change!
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