Mortal Kombat has always been at the forefront of controversial discussions. Its exceptional level of gruesome fatalities became a landmark staple within the franchise. If it wasn’t for Ed Boon and John Tobias pushing the envelope of graphic violence within MK we wouldn’t have been blessed by Entertainment Software Rating Board let alone a hilarious litany of complaints from concerned parents, politicians, news anchors, and anyone wanting to point the finger at video game violence as to what’s supposedly corrupting modern youth.
Arcades in the 90s were a sight to behold with hysterical crowds surrounding brightly lit-up Mortal Kombat cabinets, dumping quarter after quarter into the machine so they could pulverize each other. The moment you heard the announcer say “Finish Him!” that once ruckus crowd was now waiting with bated breath as they all get to see Sub-Zero rip Johnny Cage’s head clean off his shoulders with the spine still attached. Welcome to 1992 everyone, don’t mind that pool of blood at Sub-Zero’s feet.
Fast forward over thirty years later and what was once thought to be controversial in the world of gaming, that had congressmen up in arms, and required an industry-wide change going forward is considered to be rather tame by comparison to what we have demand. Now the fatalities we have featured in modern Mortal Kombat games can even put some of the most legendary blood-soaked slasher movies of the 80s to shame with the level of brutality that’s on display.
We all know about the iconic ones such as Kano ripping out someone’s heart or uppercutting your opponent down into a pit of spikes but today we’re going to focus on all the modern Mortal Kombat fatalities from MK9 to MK11. With the level of detail to every creative kill it only seems fitting to go over some of the best and most gruesome NetherRealm Studios has had to offer the bloodthirsty masses, especially with Mortal Kombat 1 just around the corner.
15 Savage Modern Mortal Kombat Fatalities:
Kung Lao’s Hat
Kung Lao, who was feeling a bit inspired after listening to “Half The Man I Used To Be” by Stone Temple Pilots during one of his many training bouts and thought to himself why don’t I incorporate that into one of my fights and use it as a fatality?
He did just that. Kung Lao throws down his stylish as ever razor-rimmed hat, spinning into the ground like a circular saw, and proceeds to drag his screaming adversary by the feet right through it. A few gallons of emo pudding later and we’ve got ourselves two neat halves that Kung Lao rises in each hand during his victory pose, to be fair I’d be quite proud too if I pulled off such a feat.
Noob Saibot’s Double Team
Noob Saibot summons forth one of his handy dandy shadow clones, together they both grab one arm and one leg each and begin pulling their foe in half. This isn’t immediate either, oh no no no.
We’re talking slowly hearing their flesh rend with each passing second, bones snapping, innards just piling up onto the arena floor.
As soon as they get to tearing up to the upper torso you can see them wriggling and violently spasming before they’re ultimately torn right in two. Both Noob Saibot and his shadow clone hold up their half in absolute violent victory. Hell of a mess to leave behind.
The Tarkatan Cuisineart
Baraka with the most beautiful and envied Colgate smile of the entire Tarkatan Horde stabs one of his retractable blades into his victim’s stomach, hoists them high up above his head, and begins spinning them.
He then brings out the blade on his other arms and chops them up into chunky travel-size pieces. All appendages are a thing of the past. Finally throwing what’s left of their corpse to the ground and pose for the camera covered in blood.
High PH Levels of the Dead Pool
The Dead Pool made an indelible impression on fans right from the start when it was introduced in Mortal Kombat II with one of the more memorable stage fatalities of watching the now-dissolved remains of your enemy float to the top after getting knocked into it. Mortal Kombat 9 is without question the best iteration of this iconic stage.
Between the skinless corpse dangling from one of the many hooks in the background like any good Cannibal Corpse album cover. The duo of executioners could be confused for members of The Mentors.
When players knock their opponents into the Dead Pool you get to watch as their flesh dissolves as they scream and frantically try to escape only to succumb, with their exposed spinal column in full view. Easily one of the more gory stage fatalities on display in the series.
Quan Chi Doesn’t Know When To Quit
Quan Chi reprises his classic Mortal Kombat 4-leg rip fatality here in MK9. For those unaware of this infamous yet understandably legendary fatality, he just rips the leg off his fallen foe and beats them to death with it. It’s hilarious, primitive, and extremely effective.
I get a certain Jason Vorhees swinging the camp counselors at a tree sort of vibe whenever I get to see it in MK9. The best part? He doesn’t stop. With most fatalities in Mortal Kombat, they pose or they finish up at some point. Not Chan Chi, he’s just having a grand ol’ time and keeps the party going with blood flying in every direction it could splatter from the lopped-off limb of theirs.
To add further insult Quan Chi even manages to burst their braincase like it was a water balloon. What an absolute legend.
Best girl Mileena goes bananas and leaps onto her prey just ripping and tearing at the abdomen with her hands. There’s just blood and viscera pouring out with each consecutive swipe while they lay on the ground screaming in agony while she’s happily making a mess of their midsection.
They’ll feebly try to get away only to find out she’s torn them in half as their upper torso separates from the rest of their body a few feet away before slumping down into a pool of their blood while Mileena gleefully chows down on their remains. Probably one of the more brutal fatalities since it’s so animalistic.
My boy Kenshi treating these poor souls like he’s their local butcher and his deli is open for business. Tele-Copter is probably his most well-known fatality and there’s a good reason why. He starts by floating his sword up into the air, rotating it like a propeller, then levitating his enemy head first into this whirlwind of death.
With each passing sword slice, you can see every little detail of their anatomy on full display as the sword passes through. They look like Carpaccio… or in Mortal Kombat’s case, it would be Karpaccio. Afterward, he cleans off his sword and busts out a nice little pose for good measure while his fallen enemy looks like a plate of cold cuts.
Quan Chi’s Mind-Control
Quan Chi, our favorite cueballed MK sorcerer and dabbler of necromancy conjures up a floating blade for his fallen foe. He then hypnotizes his victim forcing them to walk forward upon his command mouth-first right into and eventually through the conjured blade.
With more and more blood gushing out of their mouth each step taken as the blade disappears inside their face, they go until it’s up to the hilt and poking out the back of their skull. Only to have Quan Chi then slowly levitate their convulsing carcass up through the blade, further splitting them and dropping them right back down, clean in half.
The Hollywood megastar casually walks up to the poor sap he beat to a bloody pulp and coldcocks them right in the kisser til they spin around only to then stuff both of his hands into and through their back, breaking through their spine and ribs. Creating for himself an opening just wide enough that he can pay homage to Jack Torrence from The Shining and make it his saying “Heeeere’s Johnny!”.
Somehow still not as disturbing as that one guy in the dog suit but still. Afterward, he just lets their corpse fall right over, you gotta love him.
Scorpion’s Two-For-One Special
MK poster boy Scorpion wasn’t having anybody’s nonsense this time around. The artist formally known as Hasashi conjures up a nice little ball of hellfire and hurls it right through their chest. Exploding torso debris out their back. We are then treated to a nice little cinematic shot of their crispy yet somehow still beating heart falling into place where the newly made hole resides.
They then collapse to their knees as Scorpion takes his sword and proceeds to cut through their whole skull. Resulting in a slab of what was once their face now hitting the ground that surely wouldn’t go to waste in the Sawyer household along with what was left of their brain sliding onto the floor as well. Gotta appreciate the little detail of the twitching tongue that’s missing the tip.
Kano must’ve been reminiscing about all the pub brawls he’d gotten into in his younger years. Our Black Dragon leader starts by popping the cap off his bottle using his teeth then chugging that sucker in one go. Afterward, he busts the thing over their head and proceeds to stab a broken bottle of hooch right into their jugular. As they’re falling back blood pours out at a rate that would make most distillers quite jealous.
Why let the night end there? Kano grabs them before they hit the floor and begins to dance with them, twirling round and round. It’s probably one of the most fitting and in-character fatalities I can think of and how can you not be charmed by a smile like that? He looks so pleased with his handy work.
Kabal running around at the speed of sound, like he’s got places to go while he’s dragging some poor sap’s carcass across the ground, grinding them to bits.
Complete with eyeballs dangling out and teeth flying around like enamel-covered Jiffy Pop. Only to then teleport onto the other side while their corpse is still going at full speed and split them right in two using his hook swords. Making most wish that they would reopen the Bodies Exhibit once again after seeing that sort of display.
D’Vorah knocked on the door of anyone suffering from entomophobia only to traumatize them with her ‘New Species’ fatality. Grabbing her opponent and then stabbing them in the shoulders using her ovipositors while puking masses of Kytinn eggs into the mouth of her unfortunate victim.
Once their body begins to violently convulse we see large arachnid legs break through their torso and an Kytinn’s face crack open the top of their skull only to make it their shell. Another soldier for the hive has been spawned. It’s fine, we didn’t need to sleep anyways right?
Scorpion’s Fresh Take On A Classic
Scorpion’s kunai spear is one of the most legendary weapons within video game fandom so it’s no surprise that one of his best fatalities ends up utilizing it in such a manner that it would get a standing ovation from the one and only Johnny Blaze after such a feat.
Our favorite undead specter throws his all too familiar spear into his staggered opponent’s chest but this time around it’s glowing red hot. He then leaps over their head with chains in hand and disappears into a hell portal behind them with the searing hot chain burning through the flesh on their face while Scorpion travels underneath them only to pop back up and sawing them in two.
You can see the burning embers flying off the charred remains of their body with Scorpion doing his best pose for the cameraman.
Bad Hair Day
Edenia’s least favorite and Netherrealm’s absolute favorite Queen gets some top billing thanks to her fatality here in Mortal Kombat 11. Sindel thrusts her infamous mane down the throat of an enemy, which in itself is already quite gross but you quickly see it’s shredding the insides of her foe with obvious internal bleeding occurring almost instantly.
Her hair bursts out of their chest and begins to weave in out of various forced entry and exit points on the body. We’ll ignore the obvious shibari jokes and focus on how every part of their body is now entwined with her hair both inside and out. Sindel then gives one simple tug and amputates each limb while also degloving the remaining parts in one big gory spectacle.
I think we can all agree that Queen Sindel evokes horrors the likes of which have only been seen by the most clogged drains and veteran plumbers. Not someone you want to mess with by any means.
It’s not easy picking only a few fatalities from each Mortal Kombat. There are so many of them that are genuinely incredible but these are some that certainly felt fun for us to highlight while we look ahead to the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1 coming out this Fall.
We’ve already gotten a taste of a few finishers such as the double dragon fatality by Lui Kang which became an immediate fan favorite. Looking back through many of the newer entries that led us to this newest installment can be a lot of fun so why not indulge? So here’s to many more years of death, gore, and more from one of our favorite fighting franchises still going strong today.