What were they thinking with Mortal Kombat 4's roster?

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.


Like who even are these assholes?

You have Kai in the upper left who is a generic martial arts monk. Sounds like a decent Liu Kang substitute right? Except Liu Kang is right there in the roster next to him...

You have Reiko in the middle who looks like a comic book reject. His entire schtick is that he uses a big hammer. Cool. His backstory had potential to be interesting in that he is Shao Khan's heir, but nothing even came of that. In later games Mileena would take up that role, and actually she was added to this game in MK4 Gold with an ending to that effect.

You have Tanya in the bottom left who I can't remember anything about. Literally any of the ninja girls would have been cooler. She gets a little more interesting (and a much needed hairstyle change)in Deception & certainly MKX where she was a top-tier character, in MK4 she's just a random nobody.

And then on the right middle you have Jerek. A character specifically made to be a Kano clone...so why not just put Kano instead? Especially when Sonya and Jax are part of the team.

Fujin is cool he can stay. The others can blow.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
They probably knew that they needed to mix things up and not just keep releasing the same game over and over again with better graphics. So they tried new characters with various degrees of success.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Cancer the womens baby so we can pregnant the panda, we are looking for igloos tonight Are you sexy?
Reiko was originally supposed to BE Shao Kahn and then they changed the story later to make him a wannabe that sat in his chair. His inclusion made sense.

Jarek was a new character related to the special forces that was a terrorist being tracked and he was only added to the game for Sonya and Jax and killed off from the series in the ending. Armageddon aside. They weren't going to kill off Kano especially after the movies had them change him.

kai was there to add another black character to the roster.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
I had a hard time liking MK4. At the time I couldn't get into the shift away from the digitized games. It felt like a step backwards. I didn't mind the roster so much because the series needed some new characters.
 
It's pretty bad but character designs were never one of MK's strengths to start with.

In fact I don't think any of the characters in Mortal Kombat are any good, design wise, beyond some memorable fatalities, except Sub Zero, Raiden, Goro, and Mileena with her mask offf. These characters were just photo sprites of goofy actors dressed up in Big Trouble in Little China/Shaw Bros costumes they found from the dollar store to begin with, how could they be any good? Low rung artistic value.

Compare this to the insanely talented artists over at Capcom, who were already doing some amazing work at the point of Super Street Fighter II, and the designs only got more outstanding and solidified over time over each game. Look at the shape, the the lines, the color, the proportions, the balance of everything. Not even remotely comparable. It's just world's apart.



Sorry to derail but you saying MK4 had shit characters vs the regular roster is like saying what were they thinking with the double cheeseburger when they already have the quarter pounder. It doesn't mean much when the designs of other fighters are like steak dinner by comparison.
 
I recall enjoying this immensely with friends during the N64 couch co-op days. Every character was just a reskin with some specials but the combos were fun to pull off and it was cool because it was the first one with polygons.

Character design-wise MK always includes a few forgettable jobbers, MK4 was no exception.
 
Last edited:

Scotty W

Member
Sorry to derail but you saying MK4 had shit characters vs the regular roster is like saying what were they thinking with the double cheeseburger when they already have the quarter pounder. It doesn't mean much when the designs of other fighters are like steak dinner by comparison.
You can keep your Kobe beef, I’m stickin’ with the kuadruple hamburker.

 

Eddie-Griffin

Cancer the womens baby so we can pregnant the panda, we are looking for igloos tonight Are you sexy?
Does anyone remember Boon's claim that each character was made out of 1 million polygons? lmao

On the arcade machine? High possibility.

It's pretty bad but character designs were never one of MK's strengths to start with.

In fact I don't think any of the characters in Mortal Kombat are any good, design wise, beyond some memorable fatalities, except Sub Zero, Raiden, Goro, and Mileena with her mask offf. These characters were just photo sprites of goofy actors dressed up in Big Trouble in Little China/Shaw Bros costumes they found from the dollar store to begin with, how could they be any good? Low rung artistic value.

Compare this to the insanely talented artists over at Capcom, who were already doing some amazing work at the point of Super Street Fighter II, and the designs only got more outstanding and solidified over time over each game. Look at the shape, the the lines, the color, the proportions, the balance of everything. Not even remotely comparable. It's just world's apart.



Sorry to derail but you saying MK4 had shit characters vs the regular roster is like saying what were they thinking with the double cheeseburger when they already have the quarter pounder. It doesn't mean much when the designs of other fighters are like steak dinner by comparison.

Why are you comparing SSFII to MK4 when the comparison that would make sense is Street Fighter EX2 to MK 4?

NOW let's talk about which has worse characters and bad designs.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
heres a fact.
Any character that is not wearing a mask is not consider as cool enough to play character in MK games.
 

Ivan

Member
I remember the feeling, MK 4 was SO underwhelming in every possible way, but now when I seen any screenshot of it, it kinda has it's place...ah, I'm old.
 
You have Tanya in the bottom left who I can't remember anything about. Literally any of the ninja girls would have been cooler. She gets a little more interesting (and a much needed hairstyle change)in Deception & certainly MKX where she was a top-tier character, in MK4 she's just a random nobody.
That's because she kind of is. Kitana was actually supposed to be in MK4 instead, Tanya was a late change built off Kitana's already in progress model, which is also why a modified version of Tanya's model is used for Kitana in Lui Kang's ending as that ending was already being made before Tanya was thought of. Reason simply being to add yet another new character.
 
Last edited:

hyperbertha

Member
It's pretty bad but character designs were never one of MK's strengths to start with.

In fact I don't think any of the characters in Mortal Kombat are any good, design wise, beyond some memorable fatalities, except Sub Zero, Raiden, Goro, and Mileena with her mask offf. These characters were just photo sprites of goofy actors dressed up in Big Trouble in Little China/Shaw Bros costumes they found from the dollar store to begin with, how could they be any good? Low rung artistic value.

Compare this to the insanely talented artists over at Capcom, who were already doing some amazing work at the point of Super Street Fighter II, and the designs only got more outstanding and solidified over time over each game. Look at the shape, the the lines, the color, the proportions, the balance of everything. Not even remotely comparable. It's just world's apart.



Sorry to derail but you saying MK4 had shit characters vs the regular roster is like saying what were they thinking with the double cheeseburger when they already have the quarter pounder. It doesn't mean much when the designs of other fighters are like steak dinner by comparison.
This is somewhat a matter of taste. I'd say quanchi and shinnok from mk4 are better designed characters than the generic boxer dude (balrog) and generic bruce lee dude (fei long) from sf. And ken is just a repaint of ryu lets not kid ourselves. Many characters in MK are better designed than many in SF and vice versa.
And that burger comparison was just cringe dude. I'd take a good burger over steak anyday.
 
This is somewhat a matter of taste. I'd say quanchi and shinnok from mk4 are better designed characters than the generic boxer dude (balrog) and generic bruce lee dude (fei long) from sf. And ken is just a repaint of ryu lets not kid ourselves. Many characters in MK are better designed than many in SF and vice versa.
And that burger comparison was just cringe dude. I'd take a good burger over steak anyday.
It's less the occupation or idea of the character (though sure that can be part of it), than how the character is shaped, drawn, down to every angle detail and line. There's entire industries dedicated to design, that's what I'm referring to. My problem is less MK's characters are inspired by kung fu movies than how that is expressed visually (garish stop motion photos of real people). The devil's in the details.
 
Played the hell out of this game on PS1.

Never had a problem with the roster. Only have a problem with Johnny Cage. But I always do.

I just really dislike him.
 
Last edited:

nkarafo

Member
6th gen console MK games were far worse. MK 11 was also pretty bad.

It's pretty bad but character designs were never one of MK's strengths to start with.

MK2 was pretty good.

It refined Liu Kang and added a few notable characters that became pretty iconic. I don't think there's a badly designed character here except maybe Jax, who feels like a generic black token character here, there's nothing notable about him just like Johnny Kage. He got metal arms in MK3 and a great moveset though, becoming one of the best characters IMO.
 
Last edited:

Barakov

Gold Member


Like who even are these assholes?

You have Kai in the upper left who is a generic martial arts monk. Sounds like a decent Liu Kang substitute right? Except Liu Kang is right there in the roster next to him...

You have Reiko in the middle who looks like a comic book reject. His entire schtick is that he uses a big hammer. Cool. His backstory had potential to be interesting in that he is Shao Khan's heir, but nothing even came of that. In later games Mileena would take up that role, and actually she was added to this game in MK4 Gold with an ending to that effect.

You have Tanya in the bottom left who I can't remember anything about. Literally any of the ninja girls would have been cooler. She gets a little more interesting (and a much needed hairstyle change)in Deception & certainly MKX where she was a top-tier character, in MK4 she's just a random nobody.

And then on the right middle you have Jerek. A character specifically made to be a Kano clone...so why not just put Kano instead? Especially when Sonya and Jax are part of the team.

Fujin is cool he can stay. The others can blow.
Quan-Chi's face is just
 
Didn’t all the characters have the same dial-a-combo or something? If I remember correctly, that bothered me more than the characters actually.
 

SJRB

Gold Member
Tanya was hot and Scorpion was back after stupidly omitting him from MK3, so it's not a total dumpster fire.

I guess Boon was going through a comic book phase because a lot of designs remind me of comic book characters.
 

Ceallach

Smells like fresh rosebuds
If you wern't following the games mags and boards and stuff at the time, Mortal Kombat 3 was not looked at favorably. It really had a reputation of more of the same. Mortal Kombat on the whole was considered stale. MK4 was an attempt to address the concerns and complaints.

Now I think the reality is that while games mag journos and stuf complained about endless palette swaps, kids would have shit themselves if they released a Mortal Kombat that was all ninjas lol.
 
Top Bottom