Ever wondered how the developers over at NetherRealm Studios come up with all the creative and diverse Mortal Kombat fatalities that you could think of? Well wonder no more, Creative Director and founder of the franchise Ed Boon has informed us of his genius method to tackle this creative process… stick figures!

Yep, you heard it right here folks! Our Mortal Kombat leader and divine troller Ed Boon has informed us all that he begins the process by scribbling out multiple bloody depictions of headless stick figures missing limbs or other bodily features.

He begins by stepping up to the whiteboard and fiercely scrawling an image of a decapitated character with Scorpion’s spear arriving through the back of the mouth of the victim, this was the case in how they approached the epic kill in the cinematic launch for Mortal Kombat 11 on Dark Raiden.

In an interview with art director Steve Beran over at Polygon, Beran mentioned how the team approaches the situation saying: “It’s how the whole team approaches any creative decision when walking through the construction of a fatality for each character, taking in what the graphics engine can do at the time and applying the physics accordingly to what they think and then draw it on the board,” this usually takes place amongst them all in a room full of designers and developers.

The team at NetherRealm exaggerate further on how the victim should look after their face being ripped off with eyes bulging out and mouth dropped open for example. Everything is executed precisely from the moment the character begins their fatality to how it ends, it’s an incredibly thorough process and requires precision all the way down to the positioning during development.

You have to envision what this high-end graphical feat will look like in your minds eye, otherwise all you’ll really be looking at is a crazily drawn stick figure that looks like it’s been made by a 5-year-old, it’s at that point they can find the humour in what they’re doing but also find the divide between seriousness and laughter in the creative process.

Earlier today NetherRealm revealed the official story trailer for Mortal Kombat 11 which brings with it more fatal blows and fatality’s to bear witness to, so make sure you watch that right here!


Mortal Kombat 11 releases on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & PC on April 23, 2019.

Join the Conversation

Notify of