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Unannounced Mortal Kombat 11 DLC character listed instead of Joker in potential in-game message error

An entirely different fighter might have been planned instead of the Batman villain if these screenshots are real

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • August 22, 2019 at 11:58 a.m. PDT • Comments: 59

Mortal Kombat 11 fans were blown away this week as the official trailer for the game's Kombat Pack was released. In it, we learned the identities of the final two characters in the bunch, as well as saw what each of the currently unreleased fighters will actually look like in-game.

The Kombat Pack consists of Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Terminator T-800, Sindel, DC Comics' Joker, and Spawn, but an in-game message that popped up after the reveal seems to have originally contained a name of a completely different character in Joker's stead. Potential spoiler alert: We will be getting into specifics beyond this point, so turn away now if you'd like to avoid potential spoilers.

Several screenshots have surfaced online showing a notification in Mortal Kombat 11 advertising the Kombat Pack and its full line up. What's interesting, though, is that instead of Joker we see that none other than Evil Dead protagonist Ash Williams is listed as part of the cast.

While it is entirely possible that these can be well made fakes — and it's worth noting that when we looked for the in-game notification ourselves an hour after spotting it the first day, we were given one that properly lists Joker — several different people online shared different screenshots of the same message.

The message in question reads: "Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Terminator, Ash Williams, Sindel and Spawn will join the fight." This differs from the standard message we see now, which says "Terminator T-800, Sindel, Joker and Spawn will join the fight."

If this was indeed a mistake on the part of NetherRealm Studios and/or Warner Bros., there would be quite a bit of evidence to back it up.

Potential in-game message error leaks another Mortal Kombat 11 DLC characters image #1 Potential in-game message error leaks another Mortal Kombat 11 DLC characters image #2 Potential in-game message error leaks another Mortal Kombat 11 DLC characters image #3
Click images for larger versions

For starters, Ash Williams isn't just some random character choice that was thrown in to stir things up. The smack talkin' wise-ass has seen various hints, rumors, and potential leaks of his inclusion in the game over the past several months — despite Ash's actor Bruce Campbell outright saying he is not in the game.

When the Nintendo Switch version of the game was data mined about four months back, a Reddit user claimed to have found file names pointing to nine new DLC characters that were inbound. Among those listed was not only Ash Williams, but Nightwolf, Sindel, Spawn, Joker, and Terminator.

Shortly after, a user on the Test Your Might forum shared what they claimed was an extensive collection of in-game dialogue that featured each of these DLC characters interacting with each other and other characters on the roster. Again, Ash was present here.

The biggest hint at Ash came when NetherRealm Studios unveiled most of the Kombat Pack's contents along with Shang Tsung's gameplay. Toward the end of the showcase, we see white text pop up that says "and two more guests" quickly followed by a chainsaw noise and blood splatter on the words, which fans immediately associated with Ash and his chainsaw arm.

When the Kombat Pack was finally fully revealed earlier this week, the trailer was met by a lot of praise. However, one thing did stick out as odd to a lot of fans, and that thing was Joker.

A lot of people weren't surprised that Joker made the cut, especially considering the aforementioned leaks, but the character's design just seemed... odd, and was pointed out by numerous fans on social media. The Joker shown doesn't seem to pull too heavily from the various iconic looks Batman's arch nemesis has established over the years, but even aside from that, looking at Joker next to the other DLC characters in the trailer sees him stick out for some reason, as if his render style was different or possibly rushed out.

Again, this is just speculation based on everything we've talked about here so far. However, a tweet from Mortal Kombat Creative Director Ed Boon shortly before EVO 2019 does have me thinking that somewhere along the way the plans for the Kombat Pack were changed — and in short order.

On July 31st, only a few days before EVO took place, Boon took to Twitter to share a quick glimpse of then upcoming character Nightwolf and provide fans with an update on the rest of the DLC characters. His message included a couple of cryptic statements that didn't really make sense at the time, but might apply to what we're seeing now.

"MK11 players waiting to hear news about DLC characters. We know this timing isn't ideal and FWIW this isn't our choice..."
— NetherRealm Studios' Ed Boon.

"MK11 players waiting to hear news about DLC characters. We know this timing isn't ideal and FWIW this isn't our choice," Boon said. "But thanks for hanging in there with us. Things are still looking good for the Nightwolf game-play trailer tomorrow. Stay tuned..."

Saying "this timing isn't ideal" and "isn't our choice" makes it appear as though the company's initial plans to reveal their characters had changed. If that's the case, it would explain why Nightwolf's trailer was released a few days early instead of seeing a big Kombat Pack reveal on the EVO main stage, and could explain this potential in-game notification error showing that Ash Williams was originally planned to be in this Kombat Pack instead of Joker.

At the end of the day, if the message we're seeing shared on social media is legitimate and Ash was planned to be in the Kombat Pack, it could mean a number of things for everybody's favorite S-Mart employee. Either Ash was moved to a launch after this initial Kombat Pack has ran its course, or the character was scrapped entirely and Joker replaced him.

This is a large, Mortal Kombat 11-filled can of worms, but what do you think? Was the notification error real and did it leak the fact that Ash Williams was actually meant to be in Mortal Kombat 11? Or should we take off our tinfoil hats?

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