By: Chris Hodges, editor-in-chief
The stable of Mortal Kombat characters is a large one, as evidenced by the whopping 62 characters that appeared in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Armageddon was meant to be something of an MK anthology, a culmination of the entire franchise up to that point and a send-off for the “first era” of MK prior to the reboot that was first teased with Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe and came full bore with 2011’s Mortal Kombat (aka MK9). Still, even with a roster that large, not quite everyone who had ever appeared in an MK game was included as a playable character in MK Armageddon (although some were still featured within the game). Here’s a look at some of the kombatants who didn’t make the kut.
The beautiful Kerri Hoskins has played a number of roles in various Midway games, from a cheerleader in NBA Jam to various roles in Revolution X. Most famously, though, she was the portrayer of Sonya Blade beginning in Mortal Kombat 3, and was one of the few MK actors to reprise their role in the Mortal Kombat live tour. Her other contribution to the MK world was as Kia, an assassin who first appeared in the spin-off game Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. She even got to show off some acting chops, as that game also featured live action story segments. Kia, unfortunately, has thus far lived out her entire MK career as an unplayable character, with her only additional game appearance being as an NPC in Armageddon. Supposedly, the character of Mika in the live action MK series “Mortal Kombat: Konquest”, portrayed by actress Jamie Pressly, is technically the same character as Kia story-wise, but since I’m sure the keepers of the MK canon don’t consider anything about that series to be “official”, we’re going to go ahead and keep Kia’s official appearances to just those two games.
Much like Kia, Jataaka began as a villain in MK Mythologies and never appeared again until Armageddon (also unplayable, alongside Kia). She also has a questionable counterpart with a different name in the “Konquest” TV series, named Sora and played by Renee Tenison. Side note: In 2009, Tenison was Playboy’s first-ever African American Playmate of the Year. Kerri Hoskins was also in Playboy. Coincidence? Not really. Back in the 90s, women who portrayed video game characters rarely weren’t attractive models who had naked or nearly-naked pictures published in magazines at some point.
While Eurocom was developing Mortal Kombat Gold, a Dreamcast-exclusive title that was an upgraded version of Mortal Kombat 4, they decided to try their hand at creating their own MK character. Things went much further than a few simple character sketches, as Belokk already had a functioning in-game character model and screens existed of him battling other MK characters. Ed Boon eventually vetoed Belokk, stating in an online interview with Mortal Kombat Online that Eurocom didn’t have the time to finish him (no pun intended). What separates Belokk from the countless other characters planned for and eventually scrapped prior to a game’s release is that Eurocom accidentally included screens containing Belokk in the MK Gold media packet that they sent to magazines. Whoops. Other rumblings have suggested that Ed simply wasn’t happy with the design of the character and/or didn’t feel comfortable including a character that wasn’t created by the internal MK team, but I share that only because it’s out there and not because I know that to be fact. Maybe I’ll ask Ed myself instead of awkwardly walking past him 12 times without saying anything at the next industry event I’m at with him…
Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, by far the worst of the three MK spin-off games, actually featured four completely unique characters that never appeared in any other MK game before or since: Gemini, a female operative who assists Jax via radio from HQ and is only heard but never seen; No Face, a member of Kano’s Black Dragon organization who lacks a nose and ears, hence the name; Tasia, also a member of Black Dragon, who wields two swords and can teleport; and Tremor, an evil brown ninja who escaped prison with the help of Kano. Tremor is noteworthy among this dubious foursome because he wasn’t technically created specifically for Special Forces. In fact, his origins date all the way back to Mortal Kombat Trilogy, where he was going to be one of the all-new characters added to the roster that hadn’t appeared in MK1-3. Much of his planned backstory as a member of the Lin Kuei was eventually merged with Rain, the purple ninja who had made his debut in Ultimate MK3, and he was put in the game instead. Tremor was also planned for Armageddon but was cut from that as well. However, unlike the other characters in this feature, Tremor actually has a happy ending: He was finally resurrected and made a playable character in the Challenge Tower portion of the PlayStation Vita port of MK9.