I was reminiscing about Mortal Kombat today so I figured I'd list my personal favorite fatalities (11 of them to be exact). Some people may complain that some of their favorites are missing from this list, but hey that's what makes this list my list. There's 11 of them because one of them is a stage fatality. Anyway, on with the list!
11. Bell Tower Stage (Mortal Kombat 3)
If I would have been able to pick two stage fatalities, one of them would have been the MK2 pit, but the Bell Tower Kombat Zone in MK3 was far more memorable. You uppercut a dude into the air, and his body crashes through a bunch of floors in the tower, until he reaches the bottom level, which by chance has a bunch of gigantic spikes laid out. This fatality in the console ports was a bit less flashy, the spikes were very tiny and didn't look nearly as menacing.
10. Baraka's Head Slice (Mortal Kombat 2)
Seeing as Baraka is my favorite character in Mortal Kombat II, he had to make it on this list somewhere. I enjoy performing this fatality more than anything, Back, Back, Back, Back + High Punch (close range). It's just such a clean decapitation, and a nice glob of blood flies out of the dudes neck afterward. "bloop!"
9. Jax' Arm Rip (Mortal Kombat 2)
Mortal Kombat II has the best fatalities in the series, bar none. The gore looks just right, blood flies out satisfyingly and spatters across the ground, and there's just enough of that grim tone left from the first game to make it seem wicked. Jax ripping off a dudes arms is one of those unique animations in MK2 that makes MK3 fatalities look like a joke. The blood trickling out afterward is a nice touch.
8. Robot Smoke's Armageddon (Mortal Kombat 3)
One of the more comical fatalities on this list, it's just absurd what this fatality implies. Robot dude opens up his chest-compartment and drops like 20 bombs on the ground, camera zooms out, planet earth explodes. What makes this even more hilarious is that Smoke somehow "WINS!", and he then proceeds to fight the next dude on the ladder. Maybe Smoke has some sort of time-traveling device in his chest-compartment as well.
7. Johnny Cage's Triple Decapitation (Mortal Kombat 2)
Johnny Cage does the impossible in Mortal Kombat II, and it's just an inside joke from the developers of the game. In Mortal Kombat 1 there was a glitch where Johnny Cage would uppercut two heads off, and in MK2 they decided to up the ante and make it three. The normal fatality is simple enough, Forward, Forward, Down, Up at close range. But afterward, if you hold Down + Low Punch + Block + Low Kick, he'll uppercut two more heads off. Mysterious how the human body works.
6. Kano's Heart Removal (Mortal Kombat 1)
One of the more iconic fatalities in MK history involves Kano ripping a dudes heart out of his chest, WITH HIS BARE HANDS. After the heart is removed, it continues to beat for a small period of time, which is amazing in its own right. Not much else needs to be said about this, since it's pretty awesome. In the SNES port of the game, there was no blood involved, and the heart looked more like a smokers lung, all black and stuff. Man that version sucked.
5. Liu Kang's Arcade Cabinet Slam (Mortal Kombat 3)
I'm not sure what kung fu school Liu Kang went to, but where ever it is, I want to go. He apparently gained the ability to summon/turn into a Mortal Kombat 1 arcade cabinet, and while that's not too useful on its own, it also plummets from the sky and falls on unsuspecting victims. Much better than that silly Kartwheel uppercut thing from the actual Mortal Kombat 1. Putting that machine to good use!
While Mortal Kombat Trilogy didn't really add anything useful to the UMK3 engine (look at the Aggressor meter, for instance) it did provide one of the cooler concepts for a fatality. Since the game lore had established that there were two Sub-Zero's, one of the dudes got the ice clone and air freezing crap (the stupid mask-less scar-faced hair gel idiot) -- and the other dude kept the ground freeze (and kept his mask, and therefor his ninja dignity). So what happens is Classic Sub-Zero uppercuts his opponent high into the sky, and then he does a big ol' ground freeze which forms a giant spike made of ice, at which point the opponent falls back onto it.
Not the Scorpion fatality everyone was expecting, I'm sure. Flames are cool and all, but they don't necessarily make a good-looking fatality. When I was at my local Great Skate I would frequent the UMK3 machine and try to perform this fatality all the time, brings back so many memories. Scorpion lifts his arms up in the air all cool-like, which summons a whole pack of identical Scorpion twins (complete with yellow ninja suits), at which point the screen gets all black and they proceed to beat the crap out of the enemy. Truly memorable, who knows what's really happening when the lights go out, though?
2. Sub-Zero's Spine Rip (Mortal Kombat 1)
Probably the most violent and serious of them all, it's also the catalyst behind the court acts taken against violent video games. Sub-Zero grips his opponents head with conviction, and pulls it off like a beast. Not realizing his own strength, the dudes spinal cord comes along for the ride. Sub-Zero just stares at the screen like, "WHAT." The fatality would make a return in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but the screen would go black because they developers were A) too lazy to animate that again, and B) didn't want any more legal troubles headed their way.
1. Kung Lao's Vertical Slice (Mortal Kombat 2)
The best fatality goes to none other than the vertical hat-to-body slice to rule them all! Exhibiting the greatness of Mortal Kombat 2, this animation was completely unique to Kung Lao, and also completely wicked to see unfold (HA, GET IT! UNFOLD). You must perform this fatality at the edge of sweep distance (I remember the spacing being pretty picky). Mr. Kung Lao takes his hat with a blade on it, and cuts vertically down the body of his opponent. There's a red seam in the flesh that can be seen, a little blood spurt, then shortly after each hemisphere of the body peels away from itself and flops to the ground. You can even see the meaty and frayed interior of the enemy, it's gruesome for sure, and my favorite fatality of all time!