At San Diego Comic-Con 2023, I had the pleasure of sitting down with NetherRealm Studios’ Ed Boon, Thiago Gomes, Dominic Cianciolo, and voice actors Kelly Hu and Yuri Lowenthal to discuss Mortal Kombat 1.
Fu and Lowenthal had a bit of a discussion about the characters and the changes made to them, as the upcoming installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise will serve as a reboot of the series.
This interview follows a big announcement during yesterday’s Mortal Kombat panel, revealing that Homelander, Peacemaker and Omniman, as well as Mortal Kombat returning characters Quan Chi, Ermac and Takeda, will be available in the first Combat Pack. Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon explains why the studio chose Homelander, Peacemaker, and Omniman as his guest characters, and how all three aptly tie into the theme of his first Kombat pack.
Read the full San Diego Comic-Con interview with NetherRealm Studios.
IGN: It’s been a while since I met Lee May. When was the last time you saw Lee May in this series?
Ed Boone, Creative Director: I think it might have been Armageddon. It was a long time ago. Yes I am very excited. One of the re-appearing 3D characters that many fans have requested.
IGN: Where does Lee May fit into this story?
Dominique Cianciolo, Story Director: In the rebooted Mortal Kombat Universe, Thor Lee Mei is the first constable of the city of Sundo, the capital of Outworld. So she’s responsible for things like police and maintaining order. And before taking on this role, she was the head of the Umgadi, the new palace guards of Outworld’s royal family. And she has many responsibilities. She’s clearly a very prodigious fighter and has a very enhanced position in the new universe.
IGN: So what is her playstyle in Mortal Kombat 1?
EB: I tried to incorporate some of her signature moves she had in previous games, but now she has this firework effect. I don’t know, Tiago will tell you more about that.
Thiago Gomez, Art Director: Many of her effects are really bright colors and reflect the aesthetic of the city of Sun Do, and there are a lot of really bright and wonderful effects associated with it.
IGN: Very cool. Do you think Tanya and Baraka will definitely come too?
EB: Obviously Baraka had to be brought back, but story-wise it’s more of an infection and more of a disease than it’s part of his race. In other words, both Milena and Baraka have a disease called turkat, which causes teeth and other things to grow. So many of these characters return as you know them, but with completely different origins. The biggest attraction of this game is the appearance of familiar characters in a completely new story.
IGN: So what was your favorite element of Mortal Kombat lore when it came to that timeline reset?
How about fine-tuning and having fun?
DC: I mean, when the decision was made, there were a lot of things I wanted to reboot, do something
different. I was really looking at all of the great foundations we had before.So while we were talking
When I talked to Ed about it, what he really wanted to do was take that foundation and give the story a unique perspective.
It’s a completely different direction, so it surprises people and adds novelty to it.and so be
You can play with the classic Sub-Zero, Scorpion relationships and you can play with Mileena’s origins and her relationships
Kitana’s relationship with Cindel, it was a lot of fun being able to tweak all of them and just push
They are in slightly different directions.
EB: Again, there are hints that there will always be competition between Scorpion and Sub-Zero,
Now they are not mortal enemies trying to kill each other. They are brothers and it is a rivalry between brothers. This is just one example of him in characters, relationships, and all of the things we’ve devised throughout the game. And again, Liu Kang and Raidon have literally swapped places. Liu Kang is like a god and Raidon is more of a normal person, so that’s great. For me, it’s one of the things I’m most excited about about him in this game’s story.
IGN: So you play Smoke?
Yuri Lowenthal, Voice of Smoke: yes.
IGN: So what does this version of Smoke look like?
YL: I’m going to send it back to Dominic to see if he’s in the right place.
Tradition goes. I mean, one of the things that really drew me to this when I was first cast, I said,
“I’m not really into fighting games.” And Dominic started down this story with me.
And I think, ‘Oh, that’s something that can lead to me.That’s why I finally got excited about this
In particular, it was all the stories that came in and the stories that were being created, but for now,
Where is he in Liu Kang, and all, yes.
DC: smoke. Is he very similar to what we have seen before? The big difference is that it emphasizes his relationship with Scorpion Kuai Liang, deepening that relationship and applying it to the overall sibling dynamics. He’s the adoptive brother of Sub-Zero and Scorpion, which really levels up their conflict and relationship.
IGN: And as for the DLC fighters, I think I’ve confirmed that this is the official Peacemaker, Homelander and OmniMan. What a trio!
YL: When I heard that, I thought it was a joke. the best.
IGN: Do you have a theme? Because I think Mortal Kombat X and 11 had a kind of theme to DLC characters, horror movies, and action movies. what is the theme here?
EB: Well, obviously, it’s the R-rated or M-rated heroes and villains of the comic genre. again,
Peacemaker, Homelander, Omniman, they all fall into this category of hyper-violent guests.and it is
The theme there and the Mortal Kombat characters of Takeda and Quan Chi. And I draw blanks and ermak. If you think of Omniman or Homelander, guest characters also fall into such a category.
IGN: I imagine it would be cathartic for many viewers watching the boys watch the murders take place in Homelander.
DC: oh yeah.
EB: I think just seeing Homelander and Omniman in the same frame would make a lot of people the same thing all over again
It’s a classic of who wins in scenario battles where players can see the outcome.
IGN: Mortal Kombat 1 is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X and S, PC, and Nintendo Switch. First of all, how is that possible?
EB: A lot of work and a lot of optimizations have been done, but I’m also very excited about the final result of that version.
IGN: I’m looking forward to seeing that too. let’s see. There has been a lot of discussion in the community about the Cameo Fighter system. What are your thoughts on fan reaction to the mechanic after the recent online stress test?
EB: Oh, I couldn’t be happier.What the players came up with, it’s exactly what we wanted
break out. They have come up with a unique combo that we have never seen before.and once
When something like that happens, I feel like I’ve thrown away my tools and get really excited.
It’s a sandbox where players just come up with their own ideas.And that’s exactly what happened, and
We couldn’t be more excited to see how players are taking advantage of this feature.
Taylor Lyles is a reporter for IGN.