Since the early days of Mortal Kombat, the series has taken a wonderful B-movie-esque approach to universe building. Gods, portals to other realms, skeletal ninjas returning from the dead, shapeshifters, cyborgs, monsters and things you thought would never really be explained because they were just there for the fun of it.
Why were there screaming trees in the background of? Mortal Kombat 2† As a child I never felt the need to know; just looking cool was enough.
Turns out the trees – excuse me, the living forest—has a wiki entry for fans and a track record of multiple games, because of course it does. The Mortal Kombat team has developed a fanatical dedication to building their game world over the decades. Their dedication is matched only by the enthusiasm of fans of the franchise to consume and dig into this backstory.
In the fighting game community, we refer to the general background of characters and their world as “the lore,” and no one knows lore better than NetherRealm Studios. street fighter may have delved into the Illuminati, but where are the older gods and time loops, Capcom? Do you have screaming trees?
In our latest video “Unsolved Mysteries” we spoke with the Mass effect team on all the nerdy things that give Lee Hutchinson special tingles. This time, we’re going beyond the fan wikis and straight to the source to really see how deep the Mortal Kombat rabbit hole.
We spoke to Dominic Cianciolo, Story and Voiceover Director at NetherRealm, and found him with some of the most well-known questions we could find. For help, we even contacted the Mortal Kombat subreddit, and boy did they deliver. We got hundreds of responses, both on Reddit and email, with respondents sometimes getting incredibly (disturbingly?) granular in their thirst for knowledge.
As befits someone with a title like ‘Story Director’, we got equally detailed responses from Cianciolo. If I lose you somewhere among the screaming trees and elder gods, buckle up – Dominic could give a Trekkie a shot when it comes to explaining things you didn’t even know to ask about in the first place.