Mortal Kombat 1 - Bringing the Weird
Mortal Kombat 1’s explanation for its mirror matches is… well, weird. The classic fighting game introduces a unique approach to mirror matches, with one character revealed to be Johnny Cage in makeup. In Mortal Kombat X, these fights had semi-logical explanations, with evil clones or alternate timeline versions of the characters. In a Kung Lao mirror match, it’s stated that one of the Kung Laos is actually Johnny Cage in disguise. The banter between the characters confirms that this isn’t a multiverse situation, and that one of these fighters is a cosplaying celebrity.
Mortal Kombat 1 is certainly bringing the weird with its new story mode. One of the game’s early fights pits Kung Lao against one of his counterparts. Despite the fighter’s insistence that he’s the real deal, he loses the match, and the victor even takes a selfie with his corpse.
This whole thing left me with a lot of questions. Is this a multiverse situation? Is Johnny Cage a shape-shifting sorcerer? Is he a demon or an interdimensional traveler? Is he just that good at cosplaying as Kung Lao?
Thankfully, Mortal Kombat community manager Tyler “Canary” Cassaro addressed the situation on Twitter. “This is canon,” he confirms. “One of the Kung Laos is Johnny Cage in disguise.”
Some fans have mixed reactions to this new explanation for mirror matches. Some appreciate the idea and hope to see more mirror matches where Johnny cosplays as other characters, but others believe there are more logical explanations for these fights.
The developers have had fun with mirror matches in the past, referencing events from the animated film Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind and previous timelines. Mortal Kombat 1 promises to bring more weird and wacky banter in these fights, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else the game has in store.
The game’s creator Ed Boon also weighed in on the roster, suggesting that fans should lower their expectations for the starting lineup. This isn’t the first time a Mortal Kombat game has started off with a smaller cast, and DLC characters are always a possibility. Just look at how Mileena returned in Mortal Kombat 11 after a years-long absence.
The fanbase has been particularly vocal about its desire to see certain characters return. Personally, I’d love to see Kitana and Jade return, as both have been big parts of the series for decades. We’ll have to wait and see what NetherRealm has in store for the roster of its newest fighting game.