Mortal Kombat Celebrates 30 Years of Development With Scorpion's Spear

Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon celebrates 30 years of development by telling us the origins of Scorpion's iconic spear move.

Published: October 13, 2021 9:05 AM /


Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.

30 years ago, development started on the very first Mortal Kombat game, a fighting game franchise known for its brutal combat and violent Fatalities. To celebrate this milestone, co-creator Ed Boon gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of one of Scorpion's most iconic moves.

In a Twitter thread posted yesterday, Boon showed off a two-minute video where he talks with John Tobias, the other co-creator of Mortal Kombat about "what would be a cool-ass move" and Daniel Pesina, the actor who played Scorpion and Johnny Cage, acts out the move. In the original Mortal Kombat, all of the characters were digitized sprites based off of real actors who acted out the moves that appeared in the game. From the start, they work out various details about the move, such as how Scorpion would drag in his opponent for an uppercut, and how the spear could be dodged if his opponent was ducking.

The thread also went over how Boon and his team overcame some obstacles caused by being a memory-heavy game. Games in 1991 didn't have nearly as much memory as games do today, so the team managed to save some memory by reusing some other animation frames for the other characters in the attack. Most notably, the team discussed using the start of their knockdown animations for the initial grab and reusing the Fatality stun (the animation they go through when they're defeated and the opponent has the opportunity to perform a Fatality) for the moment when they're pulled in right before the uppercut.

Mortal Kombat's official 30th anniversary is October 8, 2022.

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I am a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a major in writing and a minor in gaming. I have a passion for video games and writing. I also… More about Brian