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The visual evolution of Mortal Kombat's roster

Slamtastic

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From the best ninja design thread:
This thread makes me think that it would be incredibly interesting to see the visual evolution of Mortal Kombat's roster, all laid out with side-by-side comparisons. Really neat how the character styles change from installment to installment.
I'm glad you posted that Converse, as I'm happy to have a thread where I and others can appreciate that this series varies up the character designs entry to entry.
 

kodecraft

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Feb 16, 2010
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Different character designers throughout the years working on the Mortal Kombat led to this.

I don't like the over-design. Too much going on as the years past.
 

Data West

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Sep 20, 2010
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I really liked Masked Smoke's design in MK9.
The last couple of games they got too over-designed, but Smoke was a balance between classic and new. Really dug it.

And Noob Saibot is one of the best looking designs in all of games imo.
A lot of people hate on MK designs, but I love a lot of MK9's designs. Kung Lao, Liu Kang, Ermac, Sindel, Nightwolf
 

jackissocool

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Oct 24, 2013
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The ninja designs in MK9 are really fantastic. It's shocking to me how awesome some of their designs are and then you see their female characters and you want to puke.
 

enzo_gt

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Jun 7, 2009
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It's amazing how well they made and progressed Scorpion in Injustice. Best design and diversification of the roster since the second one down.

I would love to see that direction continued in MK10 to further differentiate characters.
 

Silky

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Apr 6, 2013
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I love MK's male designs...I just don't like their female designs. Hideous.

I think MK needed this. To differentiate the different personalities/styles of the MK ninjas. Not every ninja is the same, and the color swap nonsense needed to stop.

Ermac is the best ninja btw.



He's a Ghostbuster! :D
 

RoninChaos

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Mortal Kombat's designs have always been pretty damn good. Especially the ninjas. I really liked how the core ninjas ended up differentiating from one another over the years.
 

ViewtifulJC

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I always thought 3 was the best look, but all the ninjas were basically palette swaps of each other. The later games could be quite overdesigned, but they made them more unique, like Sub-Zero turning into the fuckin' Ice Shredder or Reptile being more, uh, repetialian. I think Shaolin Monks was there way of retconning Reptile into being a unique character design instead of a sprite edit

 

Sub Zero

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I really hope that they don't stick with Jim Lee's Scorpion design for the next game. It's just horrible
 

Slamtastic

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I always thought 3 was the best look, but all the ninjas were basically palette swaps of each other. The later games could be quite overdesigned, but they made them more unique, like Sub-Zero turning into the fuckin' Ice Shredder or Reptile being more, uh, repetialian. I think Shaolin Monks was there way of retconning Reptile into being a unique character design instead of a sprite edit
Most people I've seen seem to hate that Reptile is obviously a Reptile at first glance nowadays and want him to go back to hiding his true form with a human disguise.
 

Dereck

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REPTILE

Mortal Kombat 2







Mortal Kombat Trilogy



Mortal Kombat 4







Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance



Mortal Kombat





Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks

 

Loxley

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I still dig Sub-Zero's old n' grizzled badass look (I think it was from Deadly Alliance):

 

Dereck

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Liu Kang

Mortal Kombat 1





Mortal Kombat II







Mortal Kombat III







Mortal Kombat 4





Mortal Kombat Deception



MK vs. DC



Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks



Mortal Kombat

You can only evolve Bruce Lee so many times
 

Bad_Boy

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Jun 15, 2006
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Even though my above statement stands, I really didn't mind his MK9 design. However, when I first fired up MK4 back in the day and looked for him I was like "where the fuck is Reptile?"
best reptile was shaolin monks alternate costume for him in human form.
 

boosh5

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Reptile has been my favorite character from the very beginning. That being said, this lizardman nonsense is the worst.
 

Shaanyboi

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I love MK's male designs...I just don't like their female designs. Hideous.

I think MK needed this. To differentiate the different personalities/styles of the MK ninjas. Not every ninja is the same, and the color swap nonsense needed to stop.

Ermac is the best ninja btw.



He's a Ghostbuster! :D
I agree with just about everything you said

Modern Ermac is amazing. And they've done a generally really good job of differentiating the ninjas by infusing more personality into the designs.

And yes, the female designs are still cringeworthy
 

kunonabi

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MK4 had nice, classic designs. You must be thinking of Deadly Alliance and the shitfest of spikes, studs and other superfluous nonsense.
Yeah the Mk4 designs weren't bad aside from awful all the newcomers were.
 

hawk2025

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Aren't a lot of the Sub Zeros different people, though?

I seem to remember that from the glorious MK story mode.
 

Akira83

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I'll never respect netherrealm studios as being talented

Get some female designers for fucks sake if you need to see what women should look like

Every female in mk9 and injustice is just butt ugly

So bad I'd almost jerk off to oblivions female NPC's by comparison
 

jaxword

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The ninja designs in MK9 are really fantastic. It's shocking to me how awesome some of their designs are and then you see their female characters and you want to puke.
The irony that seeing a woman in a bikini makes you want to puke...instead of people murdering each other by ripping each other's spines out.
 

-Deimos

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Aren't a lot of the Sub Zeros different people, though?

I seem to remember that from the glorious MK story mode.
There were only the two brothers, I think. The older Sub Zero was killed by scorpion and the younger took on the name. The older one turned into Noob Saibot. I could be wrong.