A few years back, Fighterpedia did a video about how to make a Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter Game. The Video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7DZpTYQP_E
At 3:18 and 8:28 barriers keeping this crossover from ever happening are addressed and discussed. Also, Mugen and its ilk have been allowing Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter Characters to do battle online for years now. All this got me thinking. If consumer demand is high, and the barriers are all cultural, how do we make a product that circumvents those barriers?
OK, before we do anything else, we’ve got to address the only other Mortal Kombat crossover game, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. This is the elephant in the room, it is the game that shall not be named, but it is also the game that MUST be named. I must isolate and highlite how this mistrustful convergence sabotaged itself, and look for ways to avoid the same mistakes that came to embody that game. The latter will not be easy. They made a lot of the same moves that I would have. Converging storylines, periodic teases of things to come in the next Mortal Kombat game (particularly in character design and Quan Chi’s relation to other characters), and Fatality alternatives, although I would only change striking someone when they’re clearly too dizzy to stand. I endorse ending opponents with a finisher rather than just a rebranded Fatality. But before anyone starts a flame war, let’s make something clear. I endured both story modes to get this right, and I hope you appreciate that.
Meanwhile, Marvel vs. Capcom Also has some culture clash lessons to learn from. Typically, Western media goes for a much more “Serious Business” vibe, which translated to a considerably higher tier roster. But the relatively oddball and eclectic nature of Capcom games and the Japanese popular culture they inhabit made the Capcom fighter’s much more dynamic, unpredictable and versatile in nature and moveset. Anything from blowing minds to coming at opposing players sideways (no pun intended).
Guest Fighters: Maybe there are a handful of Mortal Kombat Kharacters who could appear in Street Fighter or Tekken r the Like. Certainl in Killer Instinct. The Cage Family, Mokap Man, Anyone sorely needing a redesign like Li Mei. The Cage family has some Friendships and their fatalities could be converted into more SF Style ways of beating on a dead player while still being recognized. Mokap Man has none of the infamous Fatalities that scares Capcom away. Li Mei is basically a pallet swap of Marvel’s Elektra Natchios. Marvel’s clearly not too scary for Capcom.
Experimental vs. Game: If we could find a game company either eager to try new MA things or who just don’t care anymore about the gaming products in their franchises. Konami we’re looking at you. Between just the Metal Gears (and their corresponding snakes) with any original characters from your Ninja Turtles games and your own long-neglected fighting games, you have enough.
And after crawling has leg to leg strength to stand and walk, running must commence before flight. A Capcom Style Crossover with Capcom, not simply Street Fighter.
Eligibilty roster: What follows are 50+ checkpoints across vital and specific categories to determine how well a Capcom character meshes with ongoing trends and themes found within Mortal Kombat Franchise, as well as who would be the least jarring to see in fatalities, and who would provide the most entertaining character interaction and combat mechanics. To submit your suggestions, please copy and fill out the questionnaire below. Every character needs to have their name and the odd blank slot filled out. If something does not apply, please do not submit it below, the checklist will already be quite long.
Style: This is where playstyle and small touches go. You can fit in look and mythology and fatality in other categories, but this is also essential. It’s also where there is the greatest difference between Mortal Kombat and Capcom Versus series.
- Does this character have an expy with their own move set? 1 Point.
- Has multiple Stances? 1 Point for each, list them here:
- Has a design feature that couldn’t be supported with available technology when they were in use? ½ point: Specify:
- Do you use a sword? 1 point
- Do you perform Sorcery or any other magical art? 1 Point
- Have you ever taken on another character’s Moveset? ½ point for each.
- Have you ever taken on another character’s appearance or apparel? ½ point for each.
- ½ point for every time this character has appeared as an assist.
Visual Design: How well does the design here mesh with established MK motifs? When vs. games (and other media) come together, oftentimes it is the differences between the respective sets of designs that make the two clashing designs, well, clash so well. But here we’re trying to look for similarities to help two wildly different developers approach each other’s comfort zones.
- ONLY if this character is a discarded design, ½ point for every game that utilizes characters from the installment this design was intended for. Example, King Rasta Mon from Slam Masters is a discarded character design of Blanka, from the original Street Fighter 2, so any games with a Street Fighter 2 character give him a half a point. But he’s a rare case, most discarded designs stay discarded. This lets the ones on paper compete with the rest.
- Are you fully covered in fur, feathers,scales, etc. ? 1 point.
- Is the character model only half covered or so in something not human skin? ½ point.
- Originally using a Live-actor screen capture animation? 1 point.
- Has ever been cyberized and playable in or out of canon? 1 point.
- Does it have any particular organs or limbs replaced with machinery or something else, with nothing else? 1 point.
- Has a playable mechanized doppleganer (such as Zero Gouki or Metal Zangief)? 1 Point.
- Has Capcom created a playable expy of this character with a distinct moveset? 1 point.
- Has another character as a pallet swap? 1 point
- Is another character a head Swap? 1 point
- Is another character a drawn over replacement? 1 Point
- Is this character an expy of a preexisting character? 1 Point.
- Is this character a parody or a semi clone of another character? ½ point for each.
- Does this character possess any relation to souls? 1 point
- Have they ever taken control of someone’s mind? 1 Point.
- Have they created another character outside of reproduction? 1 Point for each
- Was that Character Playable? 1 Point for each.
- Has ever been part of an organized faction? 1 point for each List them Here:
- Is vengeance a driving factor in their decisions?
- Do you or have you ever solely lived for vengeance? 1 Point
- Do they sell everyone and everything for the highest bidder? 1 Point.
- Do they sell everyone and everything for their own agenda? 1 point.
- Do you possess undying loyalty? 1 Point.
- Are you a villain: 1 point
- Is a present/former assassin? 1 point
- Brainwashed? 1 Point.
- Has your Character only been playable once outside of Card Fighters Clash? 1 point.
- Has only been playable once counting Card Fighter’s Clash? 1 Point.
- Has Capcom made it clear they have no plans to bring this character back in any way?
- Has management from within Capcom expressed disdain for said character or native franchise?
- Has the development team that created and guided said character disbanded with no hope of return?
- Has this character never been seen outside of their native franchise? 1 point.
- Did this franchise have a failed attempt at a reboot? 1 point
- ½ points for every five years since the latest installment in their native FRANCHISE.
- ½ point for every five years since the last installment in their native series (counting Street Fighter Zero and III as separate series).
- ½ point for every five years since this character was ever playable in anything.
- Did their franchise get sent to foreign divisions/developers and receive a failed reboot attempt? 1 point for each such attempt. ½ point for every 5 years since this character’s last appearance in any Capcom game made by Capcom hands.
- Do you already possess an animation for attacking a defeated opponent?
- 1 point for each move or other animation that features blood.
- 1 point for having a unique physical relation/reaction to blood (i.e. getting stronger from it, or being made of mobile fluids indistinguishable from it).
- Has ever killed anyone confirmed by canon, counting mooks and stray passersby? 1 Point for each, list them here:
- 1 point for being emotionally drawn to or excited by it.
- 1 point for being bloodied in each post-fight still.
- 1 Point for each time the Continue button stayed off a death animation.
- ½ point for every finisher you’ve been exposed to.
- ½ point for every fatality (or Psuedo-fatality) you’ve experienced in prior games, released or otherwise.
- For each time you’ve been a Guest fighter, 1 Point
- Uses Ice in any attacks? 1 Point
- Share a name or a theme reflected in your name with anyone from Mortal Kombat? 1 point
- Do you have a move that utilizes chains/ chords or anything that pulls your opponent towards you? 1 point
- Are you a religious figure like a monk, past or present? 1 point.
- Is this a ninja, or ever was? 1 Point.
- Are you currently dead or have you ever been? 1 point
- Are you some form of living dead or have you ever been? 1 point
- Do you have a way to come back to life you’ve yet to use? ½ point.
- Are you any sort of demon seen in Mortal Kombat already (Vampire, part cat or dragon, etc)? 1 Point
- Are you from a realm humanity is not native to? 1 Point
- For each fan production pitting you against a Mortal Kombat Kharacter, 1 point.
- For every written piece or fan fic of said productions, pitting you against a Kharacter, ½ point.
And now, we have to address the other Elephant in the Room. Capcom Fatalities. I don’t know what it is. But no Capcom game with Fatalities in it has ever had a Sequel. Some never had Home release, some never got full Arcade distribution, some were never even released in Japan. Some, like Capcom Fighting All-Stars, never got released at all. Now, maybe I’m wrong. But of all the following Fatality-equipped games, and games with elevated gruesome strikes from Capcom, none of these ever had sequels. In Chronological release order:
In Ninja Commando’s Hands the Shuriken cuts foes in half, while Mummy Commando can liquefy foes with his knives.
Slam Masters 2: Ring of Destruction
With the bloody introduction of the Finishers and Secret Finishers in the sequel, Mike Haggar’s Prequel series Saturday Night Slam Masters had nothing left behind it.
Street Fighter the Movie: The Game
Normally I’d overlook this, but check out Sawada’s Hara Kiri move. He never made the gaming move past Pixelated still capture. Though it might also be his Super…
Used largely as a test for new Software later seen in SFIII, Only one Character I know has Fatality’s and he’s largely based on Ninja Commando. Hence cutting his foes in half.
Darstalkers were afforded blood before. But nothing new since Jedah Dohma took it to cascading new heights in ‘97. Maybe that’s because of Capcom canning its Fighting department around 2000, with so many fighting games introduced in the intervening years. Maybe Jedah really was alienating for his time.
Capcom Fighting All-Stars
Poor reviews in the test product stage got this canned and left us stuck with Capcom Fighting Evolution to offset costs. Since then it’s only been the odd scrap of info or video that illuminates what we were missing, including the Finish Blows fatalities therein.
And let’s not forget how Capcom Vs. games typically. You make a team of playable characters. And then you pit them against each other. They proceed to follow in order of selection when each is defeated. The fighters also provide occasional support when someone else is at Bat. All of this is out of step with Fatalities, which are ways of pummeling an already bested player. This would be going through 2-4 bested players awhile after you’ve bested a ways back. This disrupts Fatality Flow. So the finishers we saw above in Slam Masters, these would be the ideal vehicles for bringing 2-D era classic Fatality style without ever A) disrupting the flow of gameplay, or B) displaying more blood then Capcom ever has before. And they’ve been relatively generous with gore in times past, as I’ve tried to demonstrate above.
While we’re discussing using “Finish Hers” in the matches themselves, there’s another game mechanic we typically don’t get to see: 1) Attack Point Runoff from one Komabatant to the next. Say Jon Talbain’s dragon fire is his finisher. It burns the opponent, and if all the attack points that deals out more damage than the opponent can still take, the Kharacter who replaces said opponent takes the remainder of attack points as they show up, and so on. 2) Evening out Tier levels. A big problem Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 had is that quite a few Marvel Characters, many of whom had been previously developed for other games by that point, were much more efficient and effective than so many of the Capcom characters. With these finishers, someone likewise underpowered could have a much more powerful finisher than even a True Final Boss. By this logic, the True Final Boss would have the weakest Finisher, not even as strong as some of their combos, but extremely flashy, varied, and able to begin dominating the next contestant. In Capcom’s Vs. Series, Low to Mid-Tier Characters are seen as better suited for the Support roles than the High Tier are. These Finishers become one more way for the weaker characters to remain competitive and commanding.
So to wrap this up, I’d like to address ways this article might seem misleading. It refers to Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter. But I’ve written what’s clearly a Capcom vs. Mortal Kombat game. Well, here’s the lynchpin for my strategy. Capcom vs. Has to Happen first. That way the roster can be customized so that Capcom AND NeatherRealm can be more comfortable and trusting. Once a play-style has been established. Once the Villains have had their fun. Once the potential of a non-canon Crossover movie with Vampires, assimilating cyborgs, and possibly Xenomorphs has been explored, then we have the framework to ask ourselves about the plausibility of Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter. And who knows, maybe I’m completely off my rocker. If I had a lot of feedback from players, maybe I would have completely different notions about this. Please leave comments and share the link with whoever would be interested. Any feedback helps refine this deductive process.
For Part 2, we look at what opportunities this holds for Capcom and NeatherRealm specifically, how the different character designs and Mythos would Gel, clash, or Merge, examine NetherRealm character assignment criteria, ask ourselves who from DC would actually work in an MK crossover (I’ve got 3 prime candidates in mind) and submitting my Koncept of a story mode. Also, please tell me if you’re sick of my appropriating the Mortal Kombat “Big K” spelling of words.
To be Kontinued…