Are Mortal Kombat's Fatalities starting to become too realistic to enjoy?

Vote in our poll and help us find out how the community feels

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 25, 2019 at 7:46 p.m. PDT

Mortal Kombat was forbidden fruit in my house growing up. Upon seeing MK1 at a friend's house circa age five, it instantly became my favorite game, the really cool blue ninja that could freeze people instantly became my favorite character, and the fact that the MK experience involved ripping, tearing, and blowing up human heads instantly became a problem for my mom.

Indeed Mortal Kombat was one of the two main games that inspired the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board rating system (the other was Night Trap) for its violence and gore, and quickly became one of those violent video games that parents were so sure would turn their impressionable kids into bullies at best and future serial killers at worst. NSFW content ahead.

That was a good quarter century ago now, and our understanding of the psychological impressions such titles can have on young minds has grown right along with the technology that allows for incredibly detailed and realistic visuals.

The verdict? We're not quite as worried that seeing Sub-Zero rip someone's head straight off with the spine still dangling below will turn our children into Ted Bundy imitators, but we're also able to recreate that same spine rip where you can see all the tiny nuances between each vertebrae just before Sub plays jump rope with it, hurls it at his foe's already lifeless body, and effectively impales them through the heart with their own spinal cord.

Those of us that had to look over our shoulders to make sure mom and dad weren't looking when inputting the command for Kung Lao's Mortal Kombat 2 vertical bisection Fatality can input kill move commands all day without worry, but it may be starting to get to the point where many of us just don't want to.

Credit arcadegamesfreak.

Seeing Kung Lao slice his foe in half in 1993's 16-bit graphics was intense, no doubt, but it can hardly be compared to what Fatalities have become here in 2019. The restrictions on graphics from games past gave us more of an idea to fully flesh out in our heads, but now absolutely nothing is left to the imagination.

I recall back when we were nearing the release date for Mortal Kombat X and posting character Fatalities here on the site as NetherRealm Studios released them, one by one.

While there were certainly plenty of "oh man, that's so awesome!!!!" comments, (I assume stated in a tone and inflection of boyish wonder) there were a surprising amount of "I just can't watch these anymore" comments as well.

Indeed just in my talks with colleagues and fellow EventHubs staff members I found out that many didn't play MK because of the gore, or at least had to turn away during the bloodiest sequences to avoid becoming physically sick.

We now find ourselves in the final month before Mortal Kombat 11's release and NRS has continued to up the ante with even more cinematic violence during MK rounds, and ridiculous overkill afterwards. Those same "so awesome!!" comments are surely around, but it seems aversion may be at an all time high.

I'll be transparent and state that I personally just find Fatalities and X-ray moves to be fun and entertaining. I see them simply as the ridiculous, slapstick sequences I believe they're intended to be, but in my perusing of social media reactions as well as in everyday in real life discussions, it's seeming like NRS may have pushed the envelope just a bit too far with gore and violence in MK11.

That's where you come in. I'd like to sample the EventHubs reader base and see where you all stand on this, and so I've put together the following poll. Before you vote, refresh your memory with this video showcasing some of the most brutal sequences from MK11.

Credit Play4Games

How do you feel about Fatalities in Mortal Kombat?

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