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The revival of Onaga in a 'Castlevania meets Mortal Kombat' themed tournament was a potential concept for Mortal Kombat 11's story mode

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • January 24, 2021 at 5:10 p.m. PST • Comments: 9

Many ideas were tossed around for Mortal Kombat 11's main single player mode before NetherRealm Studios settled on the current story. We recently learned that one of the safer ideas focused on Dark Raiden's pursuit to eliminate Netherrealm as a threat to Earthrealm. This apparently would've resulted in many "deadly alliances."

During History Behind the Warrior's YouTube video, we also heard about another idea from former NetherRealm Studios writer Shawn Kittelsen that focused on the revitalization of Onaga, the Dragon King. If things played out this way, fans would've been treated to a story that focused on a "Mortal Kombat tournament," something that hasn't happened since Mortal Kombat 9 replayed the events of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2.

"One of the ideas we had for Mortal Kombat 11 was [the] 'Castle of the Dragon.' Think Castlevania meets Mortal Kombat," exclaimed Kittelsen. "[It'd be] an epic quest for gear, and a battle royale in a house of horrors. When you think about it, it's kind of what Krypt became beside the main game — an epic quest for gear."

This isn't to say that Konami's Castlevania would directly be represented in Mortal Kombat. It's more focused on the idea that the events would take place inside some mysterious castle.

"11 deadly champions would've been invited to a mysterious castle where they would meet the immortal guard of Onaga, the long dead Dragon King," continued Kittelsen. Fans of Kittelsen's Mortal Kombat comics might already be aware that Kittelsen is apparently a big fan of Onaga.

"After the contest claims its first victim, Onaga would be resurrected in a weakened state. As the tournament progressed, Onaga would've grown stronger with each fighter's death." - Shawn Kittelsen

"They would be hosting a tournament to find mortal warriors worthy of joining the immortal ranks of Onaga's elite guard. After the contest claims its first victim, Onaga would be resurrected in a weakened state," declared Kittelsen. "As the tournament progressed, Onaga would've grown stronger with each fighter's death. Eventually, 10 of the original 11 champions would be defeated. Those 10 would be killed or spared in varying order, with varying rewards based on player's choices."

As one might expect, the finale of this story mode would pit the player up against a full-powered Onaga at the depths of the dragon's tomb. It sounds like the reward of becoming an immortal guard was nothing more than a false promise.

Based on the description, it seems like the direction of the story would be greatly influenced by player choice. Ultimately though, Onaga would serve as the game's final boss.

Although this sounds really cool, it was seen as an unrealistic idea. Kittelsen speculates that this change in direction for the Mortal Kombat series would've meant that Mortal Kombat 11 probably wouldn't have been ready for release by 2019, or even 2020.

It was also noted that this story doesn't really work with Mortal Kombat's canon very well. "Glad we didn't do that," said Kittelsen.

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