May 13, 2015

Mortal Kombat Content Guide

Test your might!

Or just how much super-gory-ultra-disgustingly-nausea-inducingly-sickening content you can stomach. One of the two.

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Extremely Graphic Violence)

Recommended Age: 18+

Strongest Content: Violence

Areas of Concern:

Potential Emotional Triggers:

--The Fatalities. Hoo boy, the Fatalities. The brutality of it all could be a strong emotional trigger for some. Caution heavily advised. (10)


Mild Moderate Heavy Intense Explicit X-Rated


--The Fatalities are extremely gruesome finishing moves which involve mutilating and brutalising your opponent, causing a rather painful death. Listed below are the most pertinent pieces of content: (10)

Cassie Cage:

-The victim is shot in both knees, blood squirting out, and then shot in the head, with a geyser of blood squirting out for quite some time. The attacker then places a piece of chewing gum over the head wound. Blood fills the chewing gum, which inflates and pops, blood splattering.

-The attacker slices the victim's jaw off, which hangs from the tendons, dripping with blood, which we see for quite some time.


-The victim is stabbed through the abdomen and head with giant pincers, creating huge bloody holes through the victim, who twitches with shock. The attacker pulls the victim's brain and heart out, and smashes them together, blood splattering and a squishing sound heard.

-The attacker summons a swarm of flies, which she sends through the victim's body twice, creating two bloody wounds through their torso, before sending the swarm to their head. The victim screams horribly as their skin and jaw unravel, leaving the bloody skull behind, which falls off and rolls towards the attacker, who stomps and crushes the skull with a *crunch* sound effect.


-The attacker telepathically lifts up the victim, and snaps their head and body sideways twice, cracking heard. The attacker then gradually pulls the victim's intestines out of their mouth, blood squirting out with crunching sound effects and gurgling heard. He pulls one intestine loose, leaving the others hanging from the victim's mouth, and crushes the stray intestine into a ball, letting it drop to the ground in a loose wet pile.

-The attacker telepathically grabs the victim's head, and tears it from their head with a deep, meaty crunching sound, before slamming it down through the neck and out their torso, exposing the blood ribcage and pulling an intestine out, blood spraying and crunching sound effects heard.

Erron Black:

-The attacker shoots a hole through the chest of the victim, and throws a ball of sand into the hole. It explodes, spewing sand out of all of the victim's orifices, popping out their eyes, mouth, and ears, with blood spraying and crunching sounds heard.

-The victim is shot in the chest and shoulders three times, before being shot through the head, taking out a chunk of their skull, bloody flesh shown. The attacker then shoots them a couple of times in the lower abdomen, blood bursting out and leaving a large gaping hole in their body, before they finally collapse, dead.


-The attacker grabs the victim and holds their arms out; the sidekick jumps out and retracts his claws, stabbing the victim in the face, and, with the claw still in the head, flipping over to face the victim's back, bringing the claw down out the victim's spine, cutting them clean in half down the middle, with a horrific scream of pain from the victim. 

The attacker then tears them apart and drops both sides on top of each other, blood pooling out and wet, crunching sounds heard.

-The attacker takes a small sidekick with metal claws on his hands, and throws it at the victim; the sidekick gets stuck halfway through the torso of said victim, leaving a huge hole. The sidekick then sticks his arms out sideways, and retracts his claws, the attacker taking the sidekick and pulling him out, cutting the victim in half. 

Their upper body collapses on the ground with a scream of pain. The lower body then collapses on the upper body, and we see blood gushing out of the lower body, forming a pool of blood on the ground. (Make sure to read that a couple of times. It's very disorientating.)

Jacqui Briggs:

-The attacker grabs the victim by the throat and crushes their neck, a crack heard, and then punches them with extreme force, shoving their fist clean through the skull with a burst of blood and a meaty thud, before slowly retracting it through the hole with crunching heard and a splatter of sinew as the fist is removed. The victim then collapses, and we see the bloody hole in their head in close-up.

-The attacker grabs the victim's "love handles" and tears them out, throwing aside the bloody flesh, and the attacker impales their hands in the wounds, squeezing incredibly deep into the victim with a loud crack, and said victim's entire back bursts out from the pressure, leaving a huge fleshy wound with lots of flesh, sinew and intestines exposed.


-The attacker stretches out the victim's arms, and then pushes with extreme force them into their body, shortening the arms to the elbows, blood spurting out of the resulting wounds. (Read: The attacker pushes the victim's own arms back into their torso. Yep.)

The attacker then grabs the victim's lower and upper jaw, snapping them in two with upwards force, the upper head hanging loosely from the body, the bloody flesh of the neck and lower jaw visible, the severed jugular still bubbling with blood.

-The attacker punches their hand into the side of the victim, and removes part of their ribs. They impale the ribs through the victim's ears, blood spurting, and the attacker twists the victim's neck right around to face their back, exposing their throat and jugular.

Johhny Cage:

-The attacker grabs the victim and throws them on the ground, grabbing their head and slamming their face several times against the ground at a fast speed, lots of blood bursting out and several meaty impact sounds heard, tearing off the skin from the victim's face, the muscle and bone beneath exposed in close-up, before pulling their head back one last time, sinew stretching up from the ground, and then throwing their head against the ground one last time, a splatter noise heard as the attacker walks away.

-The attacker drives both his hands into the back of the victim, a crunch heard, and pushes either side of their torso away from each other, creating a hole through their chest, which he then sticks his head through as the victim screams horrifically.


-The attacker slices the victim's abdomen, which splits open and their intestines fall out with lots of blood pouring from the wound and leaking all over the floor. The attacker then grabs the victim and uses a laser to burn through their head, horrific screams heard, as a hole bursts through the victim's (now empty) cranium.

-The attacker throws a knife at the victim, which impales them in the throat. Blood sputters and leaks out, as they make wet gurgling sounds. The attacker then throws another knife, which impales them through the head, and the victim falls face-first, driving both blades even further through their head, blood splattering and leaking out onto the ground.


-The attacker telepathically throws their sword out, making it spin like a metal fan. The attacker then picks the victim up and slowly moves them through the "fan", cutting the victim's face off in slow-motion, which peels off and falls to the ground as we see part of their brain and surrounding flesh. The fan then cuts the rest of the victim apart with geysers and geysers of blood spraying, gore falling to the ground and chunks of meat splattering all over the place.

-The attacker telepathically punches the victim, causing their spine and ribs to be ripped out of their back, connected by sinew to their arms and legs. The attacker then lifts the spine, causing the screaming victim to hang in the air like a puppet. The attacker then cuts the sinew from the spine, causing the victim to collapse in a limp pile on the ground.


-The attacker takes two knives and splits them into hand held fans, which have blades. The attacker then slices both hands off the victim, blood pouring out of the wounds, jumps on them, and stabs them through the forehead and jaw, causing their scalp and part of their head to peel off, bloody flesh shown in close-up.

-The attacker throws both knives at the victim, blood bursting out with a cry of pain, and the knives split open into hand-held fans, slicing through the victim's scalp and hands. The attacker removes both blades and telepathically picks up the victim, spins them around, and tears their upper and lower body apart, with only the victim's scalp and fingerless hands remaining.

Kotal Kahn:

-The attacker gives the victim a brutal bear-hug, loud cracking heard as the victim's head bursts like a melon, a geyser of blood, gore and bones spewing from their neck for three seconds with a deep, crunching sound heard.

-The attacker slices the victim's chest open with blood squirting out, screams of pain heard, and then shoves his hand inside, tearing their heart out with a burst of blood. The attacker then squeezes the heart, causing an artery to burst and blood to squirt all over the attacker's face as they seem to bathe in the liquids.

Kung Jin:

-The attacker runs up the victim and kicks their head, severing it, and sending it into the sky with a long squirt of blood. The attacker then shoots three arrows and impales the head through the eyes and mouth, a soft fleshy crunch heard as blood squirts out of the wounds. The head (with arrows) hits the ground, impaling the arrows even further into the head.

-The attacker fires three arrows into the sky, and impales the victim with the end of their bow, causing their upper body to burst apart with a crack and a huge spray of blood, their severed head and hands flying up into the sky before being impaled by the three arrows from earlier.

Kung Lao:

-The attacker takes off his bladed hat, and slices the victim's head off, sending it flying up in the air, before slicing both sides of the victim's chest. The head impacts the body, causing the torso to peel open in a gruesome flower-petal style, bloody flesh shown and blood dripping from the "petals".

-The attacker throws his bladed hat into the floor vertically, like an upright sawblade, and throws the victim towards it. He then stomps the victim's head throw the saw-blade, slicing it in half, peeling open with bloody flesh shown and blood pooling out on the ground.

Liu Kang:

-The attacker kicks the victim into the sky. The attacker jumps after them and impales his feet into their torso, doing a split and, ahem, splitting the victim's upper and lower body apart with a crack and lots of blood splattering.

-The attacker grabs the victim's throat and pulls their jugular out, a burst of blood spraying. The attacker drives the piece of flesh into the victim's mouth, splitting their mouth more open and blood pulses out of the mouth and throat wound, gruesome gurgling sounds heard as the victim keels over.


-The attacker knocks the victim over and digs their hands into their abdomen, tearing out flesh with spurts of blood. The victim's abdomen is eventually hollowed out, as the victim screams horrifically with pain, before their upper body is severed, intestines shown, and they attempt to crawl away, but collapse dead as the attacker starts feasting on a portion of flesh, blood splattering and crunching heard.

-The attacker impales the victim through both sides of the head and tears the head from the shoulders, before feasting on the face, with lots of blood splattering and crunching heard. We then see the victim's torn face, the bloody skull visible, before the attacker discards it on the ground.

Quan Chi:

-The attacker opens two portals on either side of both characters. He pushes the victim through one, their upper body sticking out the opposite portal. The attacker pulls on both sides, cracking heard, before the portals close and cut the victim in half, their upper and lower body on opposite sides of each other as blood pours out of the wounds.

-The attacker suspends a sword in the air, facing the victim. He then telepathically pulls the victim towards him, making them walk head-first through the sword, which slowly impales them through the mouth and out the back of their head, blood pouring out. He then stops the victim, and telepathically lifts them, with the embedded blade cutting them in half vertically. The attacker then throws both sides on the ground, splitting them apart, bloody flesh visible and blood pooling out on the ground.


-The attacker grabs the victim's head, electricity surging with a cry of pain, causing the victim's eyes to pop out and hang loosely from the sinew. The electricity eventually causes the victim's head to burst off the shoulders, flying into the air, eye-balls still hanging loosely, before the entire head is destroyed by another surge of electricity from the attacker, blood splattering.

-The attacker pulls out a lightning rod and sends a burst of electricity towards the victim's lower legs, severing them. The attacker then leaps into the air and impales the lightning rod straight down the victim's throat, a deep crunching sound heard as the victim spasms. The attacker summons lightning, causing the victim to spasm again, before going limp, smoke rising from their body.


-The attacker sprays acid on the victim's face, causing it to melt and exposing the bloody, sinewy skull beneath. The attacker grabs the victim's head and splits it sideways, peeling it in half, brain exposed and blood pulsing from the open neck.

  -The attacker sprays acid on the floor beneath the victim, causing them to sink half-way into the floor, screaming, before the attacker shoots their tongue and wraps it around the victim's head, pulling it from their body with a burst of blood and swallowing the head as the rest of the body sinks into the ground, blood still pulsing from the neck wound.


-The attacker brings out a fireball and fires it through the victim, bursting through their chest and leaving a huge, bloody hole. The victim's heart drops out and hangs from the hole. The attacker then slices the victim's face off, which slowly peels off the face and drops, exposing the victim's skull and part of their brain and tongue, which were both sliced in the attack, the brain looking like a loaf of sliced beef. The victim falls over and the brain slowly slides out of the cranium. 

  -The attacker fires a blade attached to a grappling hook at the victim, impaling them through the head with a crack and burst of blood, before tugging hard and severing the victim's head with a burst of blood. The head is sent flying towards a rock on the far side of the room. The attacker throws a blade, impaling the head against the rock, as we see that one of the eyes are still twitching in death spasms.

Sonya Blade:

-The attacker summons an attack helicopter and grabs the victim with a garotte around their neck, kicking them against it, severing the head with a spray of blood. The attacker helicopter then shoots the skin off the head, with only the bloody and sinewy skull left.

-The attacker jams a flare into the victim's mouth, before summoning the attack helicopter, which saws off the arms from the victim with a laser, bloody stumps visible, before firing a rocket at the head, causing it to burst with a spray of blood.


-The attacker sprays ice beneath the victim, which forms spikes on the ground. The attacker then kicks the victim onto the spikes, blood spraying, and stomps on them, causing a spike to burst through the victim's mouth and impaling an eyeball, which is wrapped around the spike by sinew.

-The attacker punches the victim's chest, filling it with ice, before punching it again, causing their back to burst out and exposing their spine. The attacker then grabs the spine and tears it in half, a crack heard, and holds the victim in the air, tearing their upper and lower body apart with a large burst of blood as the victim screams and both sides hit the ground with a splatter of blood.


-The attacker pulls out a long tentacle of blades, slicing the victim's arms off with sprays of blood and horrific screams. He then sends a grappling hook through the victim's mouth, tugs once, bringing the victim's spine up with lots of blood gushing, and then tugs again, tearing the victim's spine out entirely with blood spraying out.

-The attacker shoots two cable grappling hooks through the victim, horrific screaming heard, and the attacker pulls the hooks back, taking out the victim's chest and rib bones, which he then impales through their face, blood spurting and gushing out of their jaw.


-The attacker leaps into the air and stomps on the victim, slamming them on the ground. He then grabs both arms and legs and slowly and painfully rips them from the screaming victim's torso, bursts of blood shown.

-The attacker grabs the victim's torso and head, driving their screaming head down through the neck into the chest. He then grabs the chest and tears a piece of flesh off with a loud crack, exposing the inside of the chest, the head visible as the victim collapses.

--Additionally, players can perform "Brutalities", which are basically sped-up/trimmed down versions of the Fatalities listed above. Attackers kick, spit acid and dismember foes with explosions and high-impact punches, shattering them in half with lots of crunching and limbs flying, exposing spines, ribcages and geysers of blood spew from wounds.

Lasers and guns are fired, causing huge exit wounds and drilling holes through enemies, exposing innards. Explosives and brute force cause the victims to explode into showers of blood and gore, stray limbs/gore falling everywhere. Bones, skulls and brains are exposed during attacks.

We've refrained from listing all examples for the sake of brevity, considering the long Fatality section above. Let's just say that they are slightly less brutal than the fatalities, but still quite graphic. And there are many of them. (10)

General Violence:

--Characters kick, stomp, slice and punch other enemies, with bursts of blood and crunching sound effects heard. Characters break arms and legs by twisting and slamming the limb, a loud crack heard and blood spraying out. Some characters use special moves such as firing a gun or throwing fireballs at characters, with blood spraying and cries of pain heard. (9)

--In more intense moments, the game goes into an "x-ray mode", which shows a victim's bone shattering in medical detail, be it a leg, arm, chest or skull, and the organs inside shattering. Below are a few examples. (9)


-The attacker throws a grappling hook into the victim's mouth, which impales them through the back of the head, blood spurting. The attacker then twists the victim around and kicks them in the back, shattering their spine, and flips them over, the attacker slamming their heel down into the victim's face, cracking the front of their skull into disparate pieces.


-The attacker kicks the victim into the air, dislocating their jaw and popping their teeth out. The attacker then throws a grappling hook into the victim's forehead, cracking their skull apart, and then slams the victim head first against the ground, breaking their neck with a scream and a crack heard.


-The attacker slams the victim against the ground, shattering their skull, punches them in the abdomen, cracking their ribs, and the victim is then stabbed through the eyes, blood squirting out as a single eyeball starts to pop out.


-The attacker jams both of her pincers into the victim, the second one going through their head with blood spurting out, and the attacker then stomps their back, cracking the spine.

Cassie Cage:

-The attacker punches the testicles of the victim up into their body, blood spurting, and then shoots them in the face, cracking their skull, and then repeating, skull cracking again.


-The attacker throws a knife into the victim's skull, cracking it, plunging the sword even deeper, cracking the skull even more more, and then removing the sword and stabbing it through the victim's abdomen, the spine shattering into pieces. 


-The attacker restrains the victim, and slaps them hard with a back-hand, popping their jaw loose with tooth flying, cracks their ribs with the bones breaking and popping loose, and then finally drives a spear into the victim's chest, blood squirting out.


-The attacker slaps the victim extremely hard with the flat of his hand, slapping over the victim's torso and eventually reaching their face, cracking the victim's skull. He then slaps them several more times and chops the victim's neck with his hand, shattering their spine, and then kick and slaps their back, popping their ribcage open with bones flying.


-The attacker performs an ultra-gruesome move involving tearing a victim's pancreas out, freezing it, turning it into a spike, and jamming it through their eye and skull, blood squirting out.


-The attacker slams the victim in the back of the skull, their skull cracking in x-ray vision. The attacker shoots arrows into the victim's eyes, seen in slow-motion with blood squirting, and slams them on the ground, cracking their ribs. 


-The attacker drives a sword through the victim's neck with blood pouring out, kicks their neck, cracking the spine, and then kicks their skull, which cracks into pieces.


-The attacker plunges both of her blades through the victim's temples, their face contorting in pain, biting against their forehead, shattering their skull, and then stabbing them through both eyes, blood squirting out as the arteries burst.

--We see several mutilated corpses of fallen humans and creatures lying in pools of blood, impaled to walls, or with torn flesh. (7)

Storyline Violence:

(This list will exclude moments which are similar to the Fatalities or General Violence listed above. There are TONNES of gruesome moments; I've just excluded the majority for the sake of brevity.)

--A woman "kisses" another woman, causing her throat to swarm with parasites, her face slowly melting off, exposing the pink and bloody flesh beneath, until the bloody skull is visible and the woman falls back with a blood-curdling scream. We see the parasites eating away at her flesh in close-up as a pool of blood forms beneath the remains of her head. (8)

--A man chops off another man's head in slow-motion; we see a close-up of the blade fluidly slicing through his neck, exposing bone and sinew, with blood spraying and wet sound effects heard as his severed head falls to the floor. (8)

--A man swiftly hacks another man's head with a hook, a slice heard and we see the bloody stump, spewing blood as the man's torso falls over. (7)

--A man jams his thumb into another man's eye, a loud crack heard as the man screams in pain. (7)

--A woman stomps on a man's crotch and twists her foot, cracking sound effects heard as he groans in pain. (6)

Context of Violence: Thrill, Shock Value, Dark Comedy


Mild Moderate Heavy Intense Explicit X-Rated

--Some of the female characters in the game wear suggestive outfits, exposing cleavage, abdomen, back and thighs. They also make sexual and suggestive movements while walking or during combat. (5)

--A female character "kisses" another female character in order to kill her. (See Storyline Violence above.) (4)

--A man emerges naked from a portal on the floor; we see a vague image of his crotch from afar, but no detail is discernible. (4)

Context of Sex/Nudity: Fanservice


Mild Moderate Heavy Intense Explicit X-Rated

Uses of F**k, S**t, B**ch, B**t**d, H**l, D**n,

-God's name is taken in vain.

Context of Language: Grittiness

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Intense Explicit X-Rated

--An area in the game has a giant hole in the floor with a portal to the "Nether Realm", which appears to be reminiscent of "Hell". Several skulls, candles and what appear to be occult books are scattered throughout the level. A devil-baby lies in a puddle of blood to the side of the level. (7)

-At one point, one of the characters is nearly killed and starts forming a "dark version" of themselves in the portal, said to be a "spell" of some kind. Another man attempt to reverse the spell by reciting an incantation. 

--One of the characters, Kotal Kahn, appears to perform blood rituals whilst fighting. He slits his own chest in combat and pours blood over his fight when mutilated an enemy. (7) 

--Several gods and god-like characters wage combat in the game; they cast spells, summon demons and open inter-dimensional portals as fighting techniques. (7)

-One of the characters summons a ghostly skull with a spine, which makes ghoulish sound effects as it flies towards characters.

-One of the moves a certain character can perform is a "blood ritual". 

-Quan-Chi, a villain in the game, has what appears to be an upside-down cross on his forehead. 

--The backstory of the game is of a God betraying fellow deities, and invading Earth. It's mentioned that he was stopped and locked up in the "Nether Realm". It is mentioned that he plans to restart the war and escape from the Nether Realm. (6)

-We see a couple of men bowing before a statue in the background of a level.

-The Tournament portrayed in-game was part of a negotiation between gods and men, as a chance to "even the odds" between them and stop a massive invasion of "Earth-Realm" by demi-gods and sorcerers.

-A man talks about demons, magic swords and communicating with "Djinn", which are creatures in the Islamic religion.

--We see several demonic and dragon-like creatures throughout the game, like flying reptilian beings and horses with goat's horns. One character shape-shifts into a demonic goat-man creature with glowing eyes and a demonic voice. (6)

--A character talks about "Sento" containing the "souls of his ancestors", and that "they" guide him. (6)

Context of Spiritual Content: Dark Fantasy


Mild Moderate Heavy Intense Explicit X-Rated

--A man takes a swig of alcohol from a flask. (4)

--Jax smokes a cigar upon winning a round of combat. (4)

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Undetermined


Abysmal Sketchy Average Good Heroic

While laced with extreme gore, the morality is not as bad as you may think. The storyline covers concepts of honour, justice and loyalty. The treatment is regular, but still somewhat refreshing.

That does not mean, however, that the brutal Fatalities are justified. They are done out of sheer sadism and cruelty, and serve no moral purpose whatsoever.

Morality Type: Black and White 


Let's just roll up our sleeves and get to the main course: Fatalities.

Graphic, intense and prolonged, the Fatalities are designed to repulse, titillate and gross out the player with sheer brutality and over-the-top displays of cruelty. 

The writer was tempted to make the final rating N (Not Recommended) at first because of said Fatalities, but chose against it. Upon reflection, the Fatalities were decided to be a bit "too brutal" and the writer had a tough time taking them seriously enough to give the game a verdict of N. If a game's not bad enough for the N rating, it gets the MA (Mature Gamers Only) rating.

Lastly, taking into account that they only take up a portion of the game (admittedly a significant portion, but still), made the writer reconsider and give the game a Mature Gamers Only. 

Disgusting and brutal as they may be, it's a bit hard to imagine waking up in a cold sweat from a nightmare induced from playing this, save if one was an impressionable child or immature teen. As such, a mature and responsible gamer should be more than able to (barely) handle it. Mature and responsible. Hence, "Mature" Gamers Only.

However, make no mistake: This game is very graphic and not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. Our ratings should always be taken seriously, and this one is no exception.

The MA rating does not excuse the fact that the Fatalities are extremely graphic and prolonged. They are. Seriously. One should seriously think things through before purchasing the game. My personal recommendation is to watch a video of the Fatalities and see if you can handle it.

If you're under the age of 18, I would rather not risk it. It's far too graphic, and might be upsetting for some. That applies to the main game as well. 

Play at your own risk.

Verdict: 18+
For Extremely Graphic Violence

Outro: There you go, I hope the rating makes sense. This was a bit of a tough decision, yet I hope the reasoning was clear sensible enough for you folks. I'll see you guys again on Friday with my Thoughts & Impressions on the featured game of the week.

Stay safe, and happy gaming!

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