Kratos vs Mortal Kombat: Ed Boon and Stig Talk Fatalities, Weapons, Ending

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Kratos vs Mortal Kombat: Ed Boon and Stig Talk Fatalities, Weapons, Ending

“The first time we saw him we thought, ‘Oh my God, what a great Mortal Kombat character he would make.’”

Ed Boon is very excited. The Mortal Kombat creative director and co-creator can finally spill his guts regarding one of the most anticipated video-game crossovers of all time: Kratos’ exclusive guest appearance in the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat. “We kind of felt it was meant to happen,” he says. “We think we’ve done Kratos justice.”

Ed Boon and God of War III director Stig Asmussen don’t remember who made the first phone call, but both recall the Kratos crossover talks starting early in Mortal Kombat’s development cycle. “I remember somebody saying, ‘‘hey, there might be this possibility of Kratos appearing in Mortal Kombat,’” Stig remembers. “I said, ‘ You gotta be kidding me, we gotta make this happen! Let’s get on the phone.’” Describing himself as a “huge God of War fan,” Boon was all too eager to work out the details and spark a larger collaborative effort between both studios.


Capturing “the real Kratos” in Mortal Kombat was a prime goal for Boon and Netherrealm Studios, but it wasn’t always an easy one. “The God of War team set certain ground rules,” Boon says. “From the beginning, we were absolutely set on respecting the character.” Boon describes a “receptive” relationship with Sony Santa Monica Studios – creators of God of War – during development of Kratos’ Mortal Kombat incarnation, with Boon’s and Asmussen’s teams regularly trading feedback and ideas. Absolute authenticity being a key consideration, Boon’s team went so far as to use Kratos’ God of War III character model as a reference asset. “Once we started sending playable builds of Kratos, that’s when they got specific regarding things like animation,” Boon recalls. Particularly regarding Kratos’ fatality, which went through a number of edits and revisions due to feedback from Sony Santa Monica Studios. “It was mostly minor stuff, certain tweaks to the animation,” Boon remembers. “We went through a lot of iterations, but in the end, when you look at that screen, you see Kratos.”


Asked about his favorite aspect of this chaotic crossover, Boon answer comes easily. “Just seeing Kratos and Scorpion on the screen at the same time. You never thought you’d see that.” Boon loves God of War and, in particular, Kratos because he’s “unapologetically brutal.” The feeling is mutual – Stig is a longtime Mortal Kombat fan, too. “One of the strongest points of Mortal Kombat has always been the character design,” he tells Boon. “You’ll see a character and you’ll know it’s a Mortal Kombat character.”


Kratos’ guest turn in Mortal Kombat wasn’t without a few creative conundrums, of course. As a demigod, Kratos is not one to show vulnerability. So at first, seeing the all-powerful Kratos torn to pieces by the likes of Shang Tsung – in glistening HD detail thanks to Mortal Kombat’s gruesome character damage modeling – came as a bit of a shock to Sony Santa Monica Studios. “The things that were being done to Kratos were not things that we were used to seeing,” Stig confesses. “It’s taking it to an almost uncomfortable place at times because here Kratos can get his ass kicked.” On the other hand, Boon points out, “Kratos is in the mud like everybody else.”

“I will say that I’ve never seen his skull before this game,” Stig counters with a laugh. “But man,” he adds, “you guys really pulled through. I’m proud of that game.”


Yes, Kratos has an ending. But there’s a catch. “From the start, we decided we wouldn’t put him into the Story and have him interacting with Scorpion or things like that,” Boon explained. But when you conquer the Arcade ladder, you’ll get your just desserts. “We do explain what happens when Kratos wins the tournament,” Boon hinted, describing the endings as “a lot more elaborate” than in prior games.

Yes, Kratos has a fatality. No, we’re not going to spoil it here. “We had 10 fatality ideas we wanted to do,” Boon teased. “But the final versions are in line with all the crazy deaths you’ve seen in God of War over the years.” Boon hinted that Netherrealm Studios is making creative use of Kratos’ weapons in designing his kills, adding, “It’s probably over the top, but we’ve always been over the top.”

Yes, Kratos has a stage. And yes, it has a stage fatality. “It has the best stage fatality we’ve put into any Mortal Kombat game ever,” Boon said excitedly without further elaboration. The stage itself was inspired by the end of God of War III, when Kratos battles Zeus in the Chamber of Flame. “That fight had an almost fighting-game mechanic,” Boon said, “so when we saw that we thought, “It’s writing itself!”

Yes, Kratos is being carefully balanced. How do you balance a character who is practically omnipotent? Not an easy question. “Kratos is interesting because his God of War fighting style is so long range – it’s designed for crowds,” Boon said. That approach won’t necessarily fly in a one-on-one fighting game, so Mortal Kombat emphasizes Kratos’ close-range brute strength and reserves the long-ranged attacks for special moves. “Anyone who loved MKII or MK3, which are particulatly combo-centric, are going to be happy with Kratos.”

Yes, Kratos uses X Weapon. “He has more weapons in this game than any of our other characters by a factor of two,” Boon confirmed. We spotted Apollo’s Bow, Cestus, Blade of Olympus, Helios Head and, of course, the Blades of Exile.

No, Kratos won’t participate in Test Your Might. “We’re not too shy about putting our Mortal Kombat characters in silly situations,” Boon said. “There’s just no humorous side to Kratos,” Boon said. “You’re not going to see Kratos do a Friendship … we kept him out of those situations out of respect.”

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22 Author Replies

  • My god, I just went from most likely getting this game a few weeks or even months after release to most likely being a day 1! Kratos is just too awesome to pass up and not experience from the get go! I have a question though, that may have been answered in the past, but I haven’t read it if it has been. Will there be unlockable characters or is everyone already there from the start?

  • I absolutely loved the demo! and I can’t wait to play the full game, my question is how many characters come with MK9 to begin with including unlockable characters? definitely day 1 buy, but I was just curious :P

  • Totally not interested in Mortal Kombat now that Kratos is in it.

    Even if I never played with the character, I’d be constantly bumping into other guys playing as that moronic design abomination of Greek mythology fanfiction. God of War can go die in a fire.

  • I was sold on the MK name looong ago. Seeing how amazing they made this game, just based on the demo, i just cant wait. Excellent work! Kratos is gonna be SICK!!!! Perfect match for MK!!!

  • Awesome. Boon and Stig together…A very very smart move Mr. Boon. And putting Kratos in MK means instant mega sales for you… =D

    I just trust the game itself will be epic. The demo was really fun.

    Anyway, for Kratos, I hope we get the Ares Armor and the Deimos skin as alternate outfits…be it in-game unlockable or DLC.

  • Those two guys scare me.

  • I am absolutely stoked for an MK reboot! However!:

    “You’re not going to see Kratos do a Friendship … we kept him out of those situations out of respect.”

    Is this a Friendship confirmation?

  • This is game is gonna be epic!

    Got my KE and KE Guide preordered and I’m waiting!

    April 19th can’t come any sooner!

  • “We spotted the Bow, Cestus, Blade of Olympus, Icarus Wings, Helios head and, of course, the Blades of Exile.”


    Looks awesome.

  • Day 1 purchase for me. GOW fans need to should buy this.

  • By the gods….it’s just awesome to me.

  • will the other lousy system get Kratos Stage?

    please say NO!

  • I have an Idea for when you fail Test Your Might: Kratos walks in, grabs your character, drags him/her off screen, you hear screaming and flesh ripping, then Kratos walks back in, all bloodied-up GOW3 style, glares at the screen, and the screens cracks. Does anyone agree?

  • well done video there,sid!

  • sry for the double post i just received an e-mail for a new terms of services.i’m asking because i’m not sure if this is legit since it seems that you guys changed the network name to snea?

  • Very Nice!

  • @Sid Shuman or Rey Gutierrez please answer my 6 questions below…..

    1.Are they using the latest build of the unreal 3 engine that was previously shown at gdc 2011

    2.I’ve noticed that other mk games global illumination has always felt off & noticed it in this mk game as well so will this be fixed before this game launches?

    3.Are they gonna fix the announcers voice in the new mk game because it feels a little out of place versus previous mk games?

    4.Will brutalities be coming back?

    5.Did they improve the button responsive time & combo system in this game because those issues were present in mk vs dc universe & very frustrating?

    6.any sort of dlc coming for this game during or after launch like costumes,weapons ect..?

    Thank you!

    • I don’t work on the game but 1. the version of Unreal they’re using is heavily customized. 3. I like the announcer’s voice, though I’ll grant you that nothing can top MKII Shao Kahn. 5. The response time feels good to me, have you tried the PSN demo? 6. The Netherrealm guys have said many times that DLC will come.

  • I’m going to be completely honest – I’ve already pre ordered the game and I will still play it and love it.

    However, I’m still iffy on the entire concept of Kratos being in this game. They keep over emphasizing that it feels like he belongs in Mortal Kombat – but I feel that he doesn’t. This game was supposed to be the resurgence of Mortal Kombat and thus should include Mortal Kombat characters.

    If anything, the fact that Kratos is in this game is actually a downside to me believe it or not. I saw something that I swear looked like quicktime events for Kratos in MK, that better not be in the game.

    I know I will still love this game and everything – but Kratos being in it is still disappointing to me.

    • That’s an interesting perspective, thanks for sharing. I’m an old-school MK guy (since the very first arcade version) so I sort of know where you’re coming from. Let us know what you think when the game comes out!

  • oh yeahhh kratos is in mortal kombat!!!!!!!!!!! only in playstation the mortal kombat

  • so what can you you guys tell meabout the weapon that you get when you kill hades? will that be featured in the game also?

  • I have only 1 thing to say:
    whooooopsy!!!! jajajaja,sorry MS, the battle is for Sony!!!!

  • O.O wow!!! i am definitely buying this just for Kratos!!!!!!

  • Really? The Blades of Chaos are in it? All the cool demigods have the new Blades of Exile…
    This is gonna be goooood. I haven’t seen Kratos in a fighter since Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny…
    Does the final version of MK tell you how to do the fatalities of the character you’re playing? Like if I’m Scorpion, and I go to Move List, will it list how to perform my fatality?

    • Yes! You can pull up the menu to see all specials, some combos and style moves, and fatalities. Have you tried the demo?

  • Looks like the best MK game since MK3.

    Will there be friendships, babalities, special stage fatalities, etc?

  • This is awesome i cannot wait to get this game. Netherrealm did a good job.

  • Right, now tell us what Xbox is getting so I can decide who is cooler.

  • You know……. that will be freakin awesome if supposesly there were going to be another god of war game that they should put a mortal kombat char in their too. How cool would that be, playing as kratos encountering scorpion on your journey!!!

  • sounds awesome , gonna pre-order it right now!!!!

  • [DELETED] brutal! I think this was just meant to be hehe..
    I love that Kratos is in this MK. What I will hate will be all those idiots who buyed the game only for Kratos, playing always with the same character in the online…
    But I guess we will all be that idiot at first hehehe.

  • Day 1 buy for me, I gotta say… MK Is BACK!!!!

  • so is it multiplayer? i never got a chance to play the god of war series, but I’ve always been into mortal Kombat.
    i see how Kratos looks like he fits in to MK and im thrilled to try his character out, against Scorpion.

    Can we look forward to seeing any new mortal kombat vs streetfighter releases as well?

  • I saw the gameplay Demo.
    He’s moves are to ordinary, plain. He is a monster, show him as the monster he truly is.
    Maybe it’s just me but for MK, Kratos should have an infinite bloodlust, maybe even bigger than in the GOW series.
    Of course, it was just a Demo, I may be overreacting.
    What really matter is that Kratos will destroy Shao Khan, Raiden, Liu Kang, all the Realms and eat the Elder Gods for breakfast. I hope one of his Fatalities is in first person, at least a part of it.

  • Playing MC jus to play as Kratos. I hope they put in master chief as the 360 exclusive character in the PS3 copy and you can crush him using Kratos. I wish it happens.

    Do it!!!!!!

  • :O kratos yes can’t wait!!!

    Can’t wait!

  • Just pre-orded because Krato’s rules and this is finally back to the real MK style that was in the arcades. Can’t wait to play this!

  • So there will be friendships, brutalities and babalities, right?
    I’m definitely gonna buy this game, I remember the first time I played Mortal Kombat I was
    6 years and I got scared because of a fatality.

  • Dis so awsome

  • Sold…

  • where is the full interview i dont want to look just highlights

  • The Sub-zero that Scorpion is spearing in the collectible figurine, is that the elder Sub-zero or the younger brother?

  • Kratos is awesome and sooooo right for mortal kombat. the only bad thing is he seems like he’ll just dominate the whole mk characters. i do have one question though about the fighting stick i pre-ordered and and was wondering if you have tried it and if so does the button layout and stick work well? i tried the thumb stick on the demo and it suck was much easier to use the directional buttons.


    watch dis new video of kratos to c his brutality…definately gonna pick it..

  • To tell the truth….im gettin this on 360. NOT PS3 fora reason. kratos seems like a really bad ass character to use and all, but having him in this doesnt make it a pure Mortal Kombat game like most people want. so im PROUD to be a 360 owner. i would rather have exclusive Mortal Kombat content than some character because they said they would be going back to its roots. thats what ive been wanting in a mortal kombat game. i want a more MKIII feel to it. so without Kratos im getting that! GO MICROSOFT!!!!!!

  • Pre-ordered the tournament edition on PS3. I was already sold, but wow, this looks fantastic. Kratos really does fit in the MK universe. I haven’t been this excited for an MK game in a really long time. Good job!

  • Seeing that Kratos has quick time events in MK I’m willing to bet that his fatality will implement the hold botton dynamic they made in God of war 3 when you cut Hermes legs…or maybe, just maybe a first person view LOL.

  • I will like to say that im proud the mortal kombat series is still continued today. i been a huge fan since day one, p.s i hope the arena called ” The Bank ” will be in mk9. thats my favorite stage and music from mk3/mkt

  • You just can feel after watching the video that they enjoyed creating the game and really passionate about it. Something which is hard to come by, only few like Naughty Dog show this level of passion.

  • “Respect” huh? Lol thats funny cuz Kratos is the only video game protagonist that I can think of right off hand that I have absolutely none of that for. He’s a horrible person and more like a villain than the villains of the series

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