The creative director for the Mortal Kombat series, Ed Boon, reveals the original pitch for the Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks spin-off game.
The creative director of the Mortal Kombat series, Ed Boon, reveals that the spin-off title Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was pitched much differently. This includes the character who would have been in the starring role, alongside its gameplay focus. Ed Boon revealed this factoid in response to a fan’s reminiscence over Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, released in 2004, is one of the few games in the franchise that isn’t a fighting game. Instead, this spin-off focuses on both Liu Kang and Kung Lao, after the events of the very first Mortal Kombat. Both monks are exploring Shang Tsung’s island fortress, taking place over the events of Mortal Kombat 2. It was praised for its smooth transition from a one-on-one fighting game to an action-adventure game while retaining aspects from the fighter like Fatalities and combos. Unfortunately, this is the last game of its kind, with some fans lamenting how the game never got a follow-up, a sentiment that a fan shared online that caught the attention of Ed Boon himself.
This tweet was posted by TheSpineRip on Twitter, where they wished that instead of a Mortal Kombat 12, they would like to see a revival or remaster of Shaolin Monks, stating it is one of the “best games of all time” to boot. Boon responded to this tweet, stating that he wished Netherrealm Studio could have done a remaster or follow-up as well. He then shared the game’s original pitch, where it would have been a single-player adventure that starred Raiden as its lead.
Another fan replied with a developmental screenshot that Ed Boon had shared a few years ago, this being the first look at the game that would eventually become Shaolin Monks. It featured Raiden the Thunder God in his classic attire, where he stood in front of a waterfall at night. Fans reminisced that there were a bunch of lost Mortal Kombat games that fell through when Midway declared bankruptcy.
Some find that these lost games were brimming with potential. One of these was another adventure-based Mortal Kombat spin-off, the canceled Mortal Kombat: Fire and Ice. It was touted to play much like Shaolin Monks, but instead of Liu Kang and Kung Lao, it would have focused on the iconic Scorpion and Sub-Zero duo. Some fans hope that the single-player Raiden-centric concept could be revisited one day, alongside the discarded Fire and Ice too.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was originally released for the PS2 and Xbox.
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