Designing Mortal Kombat Fatalities with Ed Boon

Designing Mortal Kombat Fatalities with Ed Boon


(typing) (techno music) (wailing) – [Game Narrator One] Johnny Cage wins. (moaning) – [Game Narrator Two] Sub-Zero wins – [Game Narrator One] Fatality. – The very start of it in
the first game is always a fatality that’s going
to kind of set the tone for the rest of them. And I’m usually the one who
draws up that fatality and says, this is gonna happen, that’s gonna happen. This is gonna let us demonstrate
our new Olympic Blood. And this is gonna be something that’s gonna let us exploit
this type of animation or this kind of partical system. And let’s– So I’ll draw something up, go into the motion capture
studio, capture the animations. It’s usually an animatic
without the final effects. We get a sense of the pacing
of it, where the big bursts of cool moments are gonna be. And by the time that
one is completely done, we have a whole bunch of other ones that are kind of in the queue. But that one kind of leads the charge and kind of sets the tone for all the rest of them to go by. (action music) (slugging) – [Woman] Cut! Reset! – [First Man] Deadly uppercut take two. – [Woman] Action! (powerful slugging) – [Woman] Cut! – [Second Man] Who hired
this guy? What the fuck? – [First Man] Deadly uppercut take 19. (guts squishing) (smacking heavily) – [Game Narrator One] Fatality. Johnny Cage wins. – We iterate back and forth as far as where we’re going to pause because we have these moments where the blood slash is really big and that’s a big part of our visual presentation for the game. (guts squishing) – [Game Narrator One] Fatality. – So we get one of those done, and then everybody goes,
okay, yeah I get it. Then, from that point
on, the rest of the team and myself, we spend just
weeks, months in meetings where somebody stands up and
says, okay, how bout this? Johnny Cage grabs this, does this. And then everybody kind
of talks it through and says yeah, that’s cool. Then it goes to a concept artist. The concept artist draws
it, we motion capture, and then go through the same process as we did with that very first one. Multiply that by 50. And, that’s pretty much the process of how we make fatalities. Some of them that we
thought were really going to be great on paper or in a concept don’t translate through animation or through the cameras. So, we’ll make changes on– This isn’t feeling right. How about we add a moment in here, or we remove this one
or replace it with that. So we do some editing after the fact. Even after we’ve locked the cameras down because it just doesn’t hit the same bar as the other ones that we’ve done. So, those are the tough ones because the person who came up with them always is a little, “Well, you know, we could
of done this better.” Or something like that. But everybody kind of has
ownership to the various ones that we have. (aggressive music) (brain squishing) The more outrageous the
better but not realistic. Nothing that somebody could think, “Oh, I’m gonna repeat that.” It’s so ridiculous. Garris hits somebody behind in the head and their whole face
comes out is ridiculous. The fact that we’ve made 11 of these games and each one is more
outrageous than the other puts us in the stratosphere
so outside of reality that it’s almost a parody, at this point. that it’s almost a parody, at this point. (aggressive techno music) – [First Game Character]
One more time, Hanzo. – [Second Game Character] Never learn. – [First Game Character] A
man is never too old to learn. – [Game Narrator] Round One. Fight! (brutal fighting)

100 thoughts on “Designing Mortal Kombat Fatalities with Ed Boon

  1. We tried something new! There was a press/influencer day up at NetherRealm in Chicago so we paid our own way and piggybacked it to record short interviews with some of the team. This video is the first of two we're publishing this week. The second is longer at around 10 minutes and explores the design of a modern Mortal Kombat game. We used this trip as a test-bed to see if we could record design-focused interviews at press events. Basically, a way to see if we could make shorter little features in between our large docs. Not in replacement of our larger features or anything like that. Let us know what you think!

  2. Really, to be so over the top that the foolish would pass on recreating it (mind you they'd sooner light themselves on fire or eat detergent) yet still be provocative enough to turn heads and continually entertaining after each iteration of the title…. Now that deserves some commendation.

  3. Aw man, this is one Noclip doc I'm going to have to skip… maybe an unpopular opinion here, but imo the fatalities in modern Mortal Kombat are genuinely sick (and not in the "sick means cool" way)… Like there's something actually wrong with the people who create these scenes and those who enjoy watching them. MK used to be pretty abstract and cartoony but somewhere along the way they crossed a line into the genuinely sadistic. Again, not gonna watch this video, but I saw a scene from I think the previous game recently and it left me genuinely disturbed and thinking I would not want to ever meet the kind of person who would make that. I think people are kinda blinded by the mechanics and "it's just a game" that they've stopped considering whether the things being depicted are maybe actually not so good… I'm not advocating censorship, but in the words of Jurassic Park sage Ian Malcolm "you were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you never stopped to think if you should".

  4. I remember sending a tweet to Ed Boon asking if there was a way in sending in Fatality ideas? He replies with; "You can see why that wouldn't be a good idea, right?" lol

  5. Ed Boon is western Masahiro Sakurai.

    Except his roster choices, which mirrors Sakurai's in every way possible.

  6. Coming up with new fatalities is the adult equivalent of imagining all sorts of scenarios on the playground as a kid.

  7. Realistic should be used sparingly tho. They make for some truly horrific finishers like Leatherface’s mallet brutality for instance… like Jesus Christ lmfao

  8. Bruh Ed Boon have you seen the leatherface brutality where he repeatedly bashes in their heads with a hammer. That shit is very real lol, and i love it

  9. There was a time that japanese beat'em ups were at its peak and generations ahead of western competition, in the heyday of VF3/DOA2/3, now the disparity is WAY bigger, but its been the reverse. I don't think japanese publishers these days take beat'em ups nowhere near as a serious genera. The money and development, and production time taken on Tekken 6 or DOA6 or worse, Soul Calibur 6 are a joke.

  10. Ole Eddie should sit down and tell about all of the different ideas for fatalities they've had over the years and didn't use, it would be really neat and I'm almost certain there would be some real gems in there

  11. Love fatalities but yet they have no impact in the game. Instead of story mode, fatalities on certain characters should determine which ending you get on the tower. If Cassie performs a fatality on an ally, Johnny Cage, she gets the ‘bad’ ending and so on.

  12. I miss the fatalities in the very first 3 mortal Kombat video game series. These modern new fatalities are super unrealistic.

  13. The dream job! Going to meetings and talking with a board on the best and most gruesome ways to kill. And you get paid…dont arrest me

  14. 1. We offer random people $20
    2. We dress our actors up as the characters
    3. We give the actors weapons
    4. ??????
    5. A dead body and a new clip for the game

  15. i wish geras had a fatality where he makes you age rapidly or something that uses his sand and time powers more than just punching them twice and slapping them in the head
    Although his 2nd fatality is great

  16. ‘Nothing someone is gonna say ‘oh I’m gonna do that’’
    Because science: ‘today, we’re gonna see if you can cut a mans head off with an ice axe’

  17. I’m gonna poop in my cousins mouth brb 😡😡😍🦍🔪😳😃🥺🤤👶🏽🦀👶🏽🥺🌫🌫🌫🌫🌫🌫

  18. Yeah, always add something that’s elemental or not possible to do in real life like how scorpion turns into a flaming skeleton and dives through someone. We all know that some mentally unstable person might see something and try to do it to someone in real life. I’m glad that the devs are responsible enough to understand that.

  19. I know it's just a Game but Ed is pretty much rooted within himself as a sick man. Just look at that Smile every time he talks about gore 😅

  20. Ed Boon is just being modest. Every fatality he's done in real life and he's just taking a trip down memory lane.

  21. You really have to respect a guy like Ed Boon who’s invested in his creations for such a long time! He’s not just some guy who publishes games to make money, he’s genuinely interested in the quality his games have…unlike let’s say EA…

  22. All I see in the comments are fighting game casuals or sf fanboys talking shit about mk cause they’re salty their favorite franchise is getting wiped off the map by mk where ever it isn’t banned LOL

  23. I'm very curious about how they do that fatalities, how they program that. The particles, facial expressions , anathomys and physics are so realistic

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