SLIDESHOW

9 Strange Facts About Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat may have some incredibly cheesy moments in its long-running series, but plenty of other things about the franchise are just downright strange.

A Little Background

Mortal Kombat as a video game is plenty weird on its own. There's not many fighters out there that have four-armed mutants fighting ninjas and cyborgs, much less finishing moves that involve tearing out someone's skull and beating them to death with it. Still, we've picked through the random odds and ends of MK's long, strange history and dug up nine weird facts that you many not know.

Jean-Claude Van Damme Was Almost In the First Mortal Kombat Game

Mortal Kombat creators Ed Boon and John Tobias originally wanted to do a fighting game starring famous martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme. It never happened, as JCVD had a prior deal for a Sega Genesis game that never happened. Mortal Kombat would eventually feature Johnny Cage, a character modeled after Van Damme, from his Bloodsport outfit to that famous "punch to the groin" attack.

Mortal Kombat Is Partially Responsible for Creating the ESRB

When Mortal Kombat released in arcades, it was one of the key video games in the early 1990s that had parents, priests, and politicians alike tripping over themselves to get the federal government involved in a ratings system. Eventually, Congress laid down a hard ultimatum to heads of Nintendo, Sega, and other video game companies -- get a ratings system in place that they could approve, or get steamrolled by Senator Joseph Lieberman's Video Game Ratings Act of 1994. Fortunately, the gaming industry's representatives finally got their act together and founded the Entertainment Software Rating Board before it ever came to that.

Mortal Kombat Is Credited As One Of YouTube's Early Success Stories

Smosh, the web comedy duo that currently headlines as one of YouTube's highest paid partners, got their start posting wacky lip-synced music videos of Power Rangers and Pokemon. One of their first successes was the famous Mortal Kombat video, which today sits at just above 20,000,000 views. Smosh are considered to be early pioneers of the site, and hilariously campy videos like this would be the first of many that later built YouTube into a huge, billion dollar company.

Watch it here: YouTube.com

It's Illegal To Buy, Sell, Or Import Mortal Kombat in Australia

Australian gamers have it rough. Not only do they get internationally released titles months after everyone else, but the Australian Classification Board is hardcore about the games they don't want in the country. Rather than at least assigning the new Mortal Kombat an "R18+" rating, the ACB has outright banned any sales of the game in the region. Even worse, breaking that law will net you a hefty fine of $110,000 in Australian Dollars. (At current exchange rates, that's about 116,464.00 in the United States, so, yikes.)

Mortal Kombat Could Have Been Titled "Dragon Attack"

Back when the original MK team was putting the finishing touches on the very first Mortal Kombat, they had no idea what to call it. Some ideas that got kicked around included terrible, generic titles that weren't nearly as good as what we got. As Ed Boon told OXM Magazine:

Probably six out of the eight months [we worked on Mortal Kombat], we didn't have a name and I had a greaseboard in my office where we were just writing down things. For the longest time, it was called "Kumite," it was called "Dragon Attack," it was called "Death Blow." It was called, I think, "Fatality" at one point.

Back In the Day, There Was A Mortal Kombat Live Stage Tour

If you were a popular franchise in the 1990s, you probably had a musical stage show to go with your action figures and TV series. Mortal Kombat was no exception, complete with dance routines, laser lights, and incredibly hammy acting that went from one end of the country to the other in over 200 cities. It wasn't a complete loss, though -- at least it involved the insanely hot Kerri Hoskins, who often played Sonya Blade in various MK projects.

Watch it here: YouTube.com

Mortal Kombat's Third Film, Devistation, Has Been In Production Since 2005

While the Mortal Kombat movie was a box office smash, the sequel is still considered one of the worst films ever made. Somehow, plans for a third movie, Mortal Kombat: Devastation, have continued to circulate around the Internet, with various rumors and news stories resurfaced on fan sites with every new game. At this point, the 2013 release date on IMDB is little more than wishful thinking, especially with Mortal Kombat: Rebirth director Kevin Tancharoen hard at work getting investors together for his own feature-length MK film.

Mortal Kombat Had A Live Action TV Show That Lasted For Only One Season

Regardless of its quality, Mortal Kombat: Conquest is notable for two things. It wasn't a total train wreck, and still stands out as one of the only live action shows based on a video game that aired on network television. Of course, it only lasted for 22 episodes and ended on a terrible "everyone dies" finale, but it was still loads better than MK: Annihilation.

Watch it here: YouTube.com

Several of Mortal Kombat: Conquest's Guest Stars Posed Nude For Playboy Magazine

Mortal Kombat: Conquest's female guest starts were all cut from a very specific cloth. And by specific, we mean most of them modeled nude for Playboy Magazine, amongst other less notable publications. Aside from the more famous Jamie Pressly (March 1998, February 2004), the short-lived show also had small roles for aspiring models like Suzanne Stokes (February 2000 Playmate of the Month), Angelica Bridges (November 2001), Sung Hi Lee (12-Time Playboy Magazine model, 1993 -- 1998) and Kathleen Kinmont (November 1991, February 1993).