The Mortal Kombat franchise is in the middle of a major resurgence. Not only is a sequel to the 2011 MK reboot in the works, but also a Kiefer Sutherland-led movie based on the popular YouTube series, Mortal Kombat: Legacy. 2015 promises to be a huge year for the 22 year old franchise, but today brings bittersweet news of some projects that won’t be part of Mortal Kombat’s future.
The Mortal Kombat Shrine, a fan-made Tumblr, posted over a dozen never-before-seen images of actors performing video capture work for a never-produced HD remake of the Mortal Kombat Kollection. Entitled Mortal Kombat Kollection HD, the remake would have included the original MK trilogy with all new animations and character models. Unlike most fighting games, the first three MK games used motion-captured actors instead of hand-drawn sprites. In addition to giving the games a unique look, this method also makes it more complicated to remake in HD, requiring performers to reprise their roles for an entirely new session of kicking, punching and spear-throwing. Sadly, when Warner Bros. bought out the remains of Midway, it cancelled the project and opted for a straight re-release of the three games under the title The Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, leaving us with only these images, provided by make-up artist Tanea Brooks.
While this HD collection will never see the light of day, it’s cool to see what Midway and developer Other Ocean Interactive was working on. The costumes shown are perfect recreations of the originals seen in MK3, and it appears that at least some of the original actors were back in their signature roles. Elizabeth Malecki returned as Sonya and Michael O’Brien was back as Kurtis Stryker, though Liu Kang appears to be portrayed by a new actor. Kung Lao, Shao Khan, and Mileena are also shown, but it’s tougher to tell who is portraying them. It’s interesting to note that Sonya’s costume, normally green, is shown blue here, likely to stand out against the green-screen. Series mainstay Liu Kang is shown with two distinct haircuts that seem to represent his looks from MK2 and MK3. Likewise, Mileena and Kung Lao are shown in two different costumes, indicating that one actor would have likely handled each incarnation of their character, providing a nice sense of continuity.
Meanwhile, on Ed Boon’s Twitter, a fan asked whether or not there was a chance of seeing the SNES versions of the first three games (essentially the Mortal Kombat Kollection) on the Wii U’s Virtual Console. While emulated versions of the first three Mortal Kombat titles would certainly be a welcome addition to the console’s library, Boon’s response left little room for debate: “0.0 percent." The original tweet only mentioned the less violent SNES version, and not the blood-soaked Genesis or arcade version, but his unambiguous response indicates that players won’t be tearing off heads or ripping out spines on the Wii U VC any time soon.