If it wasn't for a deal with a major action star falling through, NetherRealm may never have gotten toasty, and Mortal Kombat would never have been created.

The great thing about video game development is how, almost always, every game we know and love today started out as something completely different. The best laid plans, and all that jazz. Sometimes, all it takes is one simple factor not working or striking the proper chord, and the game can change drastically seemingly overnight.

Other times however, it's a bit of a licensing snafu. Such was the case for Mortal Kombat. Originally intended to be a video game vehicle for Jean-Claude Van Damme, one of the biggest action stars of the 1990s, Midway's version of this game wasn't quite as outrageous or violent. Of course, being of the biggest action stars of the day has its perks, such as demanding an exorbitant amount of money to use your likeness. When a company can't pony up, it does the next best thing--make a new game entirely.

That said, Mortal Kombat isn't without its JCVD references. They're actually pretty hard to miss. Still, you can't help but wonder what would have been if Jean-Claude had allowed Midway to develop a game based around him. Would Mortal Kombat even exist?

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