#010 - 29.05.16

by Kachō

Hier klicken für deutsche Version!
click here for German version!

In the year 2003, when the internet was still powered by steam engines, I was 17 years old and a member of several message boards for fans of the game Mortal Kombat. Under the moniker the shirt ninja, I discussed the current and classic games, witnessed a lot of internet drama, and last but not least, visited the fan art sections to view, rate, and eventually contribute some art myself. Many fans created "fakes", that's faked screenshots, to visualize their own ideas for new fatalities, special moves, characters or stages. Other fans even animated their ideas. My attempts to create good-looking fakes failed, and so I tried out animation instead. I wasn't able to use animating software like Flash, so instead I created short GIFs, which I pasted together frame by frame. Unlike my fakes, the other board members liked my animations right away, and so I created many more over the next couple years.

In this article, I would now like to give you a little show of my personal favorite animations, most of which are over 10 years old by now, and comment them as well. Oh, and there's also a brand new one for y'all at the end. That's right! I came out of retirement after 9 years in order to once again put old 2D sprites in motion. Now without further ado, let's commence the tour.

Raiden at the Palace Gates


My very first animation ever, and it's still pretty decent for a first try, in my opinion. I like how the sky in the background darkens as Raiden charges his lightning, although of course it all goes way too fast. Today I'd make the charging part a little longer. I think I took those lightning sprites from another character that I had lying around in some M.U.G.E.N. game at the time...it doesn't look like Nightwolf's lightning from MK3 to me. Oh, and that ball that Raiden is charging was lovingly crafted in MS Paint.




This animation was created shortly after my first. Instead of trying my hand at another 1 VS 1 Fatality, for some reason I decided to animate a chain of simple Fatalities with multiple characters, with the foot from the Monty Python intro serving as the perfect punch line. I watched and read lot about Python back then, and this was my own little tribute to them.


Subway Stage Fatality


A silly little animation with a twist ending to MK3's Subway Stage Fatality. Kind of an obvious joke to make, yet it hadn't been done before. I guess that means leave the obvious jokes to me? I still love how Johnny Cage gets back up in full win pose.


Sonya's MK4 Fatality


This animation is featured here because it always makes me think of...how it could have been so much better. It's one of Sonya's Fatalities from MK4, and as you can see it is merely okay, and nothing more. I was trying to stay true to the style of MK4's Fatality sequences, in which the lifebars move out of the picture to make room for the scene, and I also used the lifebars and FATALITY logo from MK4. The FINISH HIM graphic, stupidly enough, is the one from MK: Deadly Alliance, MK5. For some reason I didn't use an MK4 stage either; I can only guess that MKWarehouse did not yet have any MK4 stages, and I wasn't able to rip the stages myself. The Fatality itself is lazily animated. Reptile's single sprite is slightly moving up and down (he's really not selling it)...Sonya does not appear be putting any effort in it either...PLUS the MK4 props on an MK3 background look hideous. MK3 Sonya fighting MK2 Reptile also doesn't fit together all that well (I couldn't use MK4 character sprites because, well, MK4 didn't work with sprites, using 3D models instead). A lot went wrong with this one, even if the final result isn't entirely terrible (only about 68% terrible), and it actually has always remained a special one to me due to all of its mistakes and oddities.


Frozen Spinerip


We're slowly raising the bar with this one! You don't see a bloodless Fatality every day. I vaguely recall this one getting a mixed reception, but I liked it a lot and I still do. It's a combination of Sub-Zero's MK1 Fatality and one of his MK2 Fatals, or an update of the former, if you want to put it like that. The classic "Spine Rip", but this time performed on a deep-frozen oppponent AND Subby slips it in from behind (get your mind out of the gutter, geez).

Anyway, this one's looking pretty nice already. Sprites and props all come from the same game (MK2), FINISH HIM zooms into the picture like in the real game, animated "Sub-Zero Wins!" message, win counters, and everything is placed correctly. My first effort to really make it look like a recording from the actual game.




Another huge favorite of mine. Back then a couple of people liked to create fakes that had "Team Fatalities", i.e. Fatalities that had two characters working together. So I took that idea and put my own spin on it, which of course wasn't meant quite as seriously. Here, Johnny Cage "borrows" Kung Lao's famous razor-sharp hat in order to deliver the final blow. I thought the joke really worked well, and the animation itself runs smooth as can be. Nothing seems to be going too fast or taking too long, just the way it should be.


Salty Loser


You thought the last animation was silly? You ain't seen nothing yet! Rather that try and look like a scene from the game, this one plays more like a straight up sketch from a TV show. Stryker wins a match of Mortal Kombat 1 against Kintaro, and Kintaro is not a fan of Stryker's gloating (not at all). Remember that line from Star Wars, "let the wookie win"? The same goes for a Shokan, apparently. Let him win.

The arcade itself was put together with props from Shang Tsung's throneroom in MK1, one of my favorite stages. The arcade cabinets are MK1 (foreground), MK2 (center background) and MK3 (left and right). I know the MK1 arcade cabinet sprite comes from Liu Kang's MK3 Fatality; I forgot where the others came from. Could be I ripped them myself from some photographs, but I don't remember. That "Leaf Shield" poster on the wall came from a sprite comic I really liked back then called "Crash & Bass". As for the rest...special guests in the background are Jax (MK) and Raphael (Ninja Turtle), and the non sequitur dancer is Cyrax (MK). Do the cyborg!


Jax MKDA Fatality in MK2


I made most of my animations in 2003 and 2004. After that my output slowed down considerably. According to my records I didn't make a single one in 2005, so this one, from 2006, was like a little comeback for me. And I really cranked up the efforts with this one.

This is Jax' Fatality from MK Deadly Alliance, translated into MK2 style. For the first time I animated the background objects as well, which meant I now had to use seven different background images instead of just one, and I always had to keep using them in the right order or else the animation wouldn't have looked smooth. It's not FUN to do, but it makes the end result look pretty sexy. Please note how parts of Jax' and especially Shang Tsung's bodies are blocked by the spikes in the foreground. The shaking of the screen accompanying Jax' heavy hits turned out nice as well. I've got nothing to complain about here. Here's the original Fatality for reference.


Scorpion's got guts!


Aw yea, GUTS! This Fatality is so Death Metal that Paul Mazurkiewicz called and personally congratulated me. I am still amazed by how well the whole "pull out the guts and wrap them around his neck" segment came out. On the other hand, I don't like how Baraka seems to view his situation with relative indifference. He's just not reacting at all. I suppose I was so preoccupied with animating those guts that I completely neglected giving Baraka some movement. If I was to remake this animation with a handful more Baraka sprites, it might just become my best one, although I really doubt that the gut-handling would turn out that good again. Anyway, in spite of its obvious flaw, the ridiculous Fatality alone makes this one of my best ones.


Liu Kang MK1 Style


My last animation with Scorpion was intended to be my only contribution in 2007, but then Mortal Kombat Online held an animation contest, and I decided to compete. Since this one was made specifically for a competition, I made sure to get everything right. I also had a gimmick for this one, which was using the rarely seen MK1 style. And I love this Fatality and this entire animation. If I absolutely had to decide on a single favorite, I think this one would be it. I remember making sure that the points given out at the end corresponded to the leftover time and life, and would be added to the counter in the top left. I worked on this one meticulously, and in the end I think I got 3rd place out of 7. Meh, it's not like there was a price anyway.


Kitana VS Shang


After the contest on MK Online, I went on an extended animating break of 9 years. During that break, I programmed this website and eventually decided to write about all these old animations I had lying around on my hard drive. But, just talking about old stuff didn't seem all that cool. So I got my old easel back from the basement and decided to craft an entirely new animation just for this article, and after working on it for 4 days, here is the final result.

Something weird happened between 2007's MK Armageddon and 2015's Mortal Kombat X: Kitana became my favorite character to play. I never cared about her too much before, but I liked her style in Mortal Kombat 9 (2011) so much that I made her my main character in that game, and later in MKX as well. Hence, I gave her the starring role in this new animation. I also wanted to use the MK3 style again, after mostly having used the MK2 style in the past. In the end it didn't turn out to be my best work ever, but still really solid. Not #1, but probably #4 or 5. Who knows, maybe this one won't remain as my last one either. Time will tell...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed all this...or at least some of it. If you did, feel free to let me know in the comments or share this article on facebook. This was also the first English article I ever did for this site. I'm thinking about doing this for more articles in the future, so stick around. Well, until next time.



Greets and thanks to...

Murdoink and MK Warehouse.com, my #1 resource

]{ombat and the Kombat Pavilion for enjoying and hosting my stuff

Mortal Kombat Online


And the guys and gals that used to post at Mortal Kombat Odyssey (sadly defunct):
Chief Thunder, reptile329, SilentHillHarry, GuiltyByDesign, Kahn, Gororules, raidenfighter, Kan0
if any of you ever sees this, send me an obscene email why don't you?

Back to the Articles (They're German though)
To Main Page (Oh nein, that's German too)