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Mortal Kombat was almost called Van Damme; dev team wanted to make MTV version of Street Fighter

Posted by Jon 'Catalyst' Grey • December 1, 2016 at 4:39 p.m. PST • Comments: 18

The FGC almost got some serious Van Damage.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was a big action movie star back in the 1990s, and Midway wanted him as the face and name of their new fighting game, which would eventually become Mortal Kombat.

"We wanted to call it Van Damme," Ed Boon told Game Informer. "We just wanted to see huge letters, 'Van Damme' when you walked by. You couldn't pass that up."
The deal with Van Damme eventually fell through though, so the team came up with other names.

"Kumite was high on the list. Dragon Attack, which was a song by Queen ... Death Blow, Final Fist or something... all these crazy, almost cliché martial art movie titles or something," Boon said.

Eventually, someone wrote the word "Combat" out on a board, and they thought of changing the C to a K just to be different and unique.

The game's final name came about when Steve Ritchie was speaking in Ed Boon's office and he saw the name Kombat, and suggested adding a 'Mortal' in front of it, and the rest is history.

MTV version of Street Fighter

Boon also talked about other roots of the series, including how they wanted to make an grittier, rougher version of Street Fighter.

"We said, 'let's make the bad-boy version of this game'," Boon stated.

"Let’s do something with blood. Kind of like the MTV version of Street Fighter," he concluded.

Source: Game Informer.
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