Mortal Kombat 9 Could Have Looked Like This

By Ishaan . May 8, 2012 . 4:00pm

Mortal Kombat has seen a variety of reboots of late. One the game front, we had 2011’s Mortal Kombat, which was almost a “Best Hits” version of characters and stories represented throughout the history of the series, while on the video front, we got Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series.


Another reboot that may have happened, but didn’t, is one that was being pitched in 2008 by a concept artist who worked at NetherRealm Studios before they were acquired by Warner Bros.


Vincent Proce envisioned a game that was based on the original premise but mixed in “modern multiplayer and dismemberment game design”. For his pitch, Proce created the following character designs:


“Scorpion as a wraith wearing the yellow blood of the demon that helped him resurrect to exact his revenge against his mortal enemy.”


“Raiden as a god whose feet rarely touch the ground.”


“Sonya, the daughter of a Texas Ranger whose sex appeal weakens her opponents while her Special Forces training kicks their asses.”


“Kano, half Japanese half US military bad ass.”


“Here is Sub Zero how I envision him. I haven’t worked out much of his back story other than that he was a part of the Way of the Frost Dragon, an honorable secret society of warriors that were direct enemies with the ninja organization Scorpion was a part of before he was killed by Shang Tsung (disguised as Sub Zero).”


Despite his departure from NetherRealm, Proce’s services were called upon to provide concept art for 2011’s Mortal Kombat game. You can find his character designs for the game here, along with brief notes about which ones he brainstormed on his own and which ones were more guided by the devteam.

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  • yoUNg_grOUp568

    these were for mortal combat 8

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    I could swear I saw these on Kotaku before the current Mortal Kombat was even announced.

    • aoihana

      I see, but I missed such an article on Kotaku, seeing as how I’m not a reader there, so I’m glad to see it here, too. 

      Better late than never! (◕‿◕✿)

  • SirRichard

    “half Japanese half US military”


    • aoihana

      In writing it seems a bit ridiculous, but it actually looks pretty cool, and it makes sense! 

      I think what they tried to go far was the traditional Japanese look, or outfit, and US military influence would be his cyborg, or robotic parts, but most of all the weaponry and tactical wear! 

      I think that’s an awesome design! (◕‿◕✿)

      • ShawnOtakuSomething


      • How he did the description makes it sound like he was possibly born on a military base in Japan.

  • Xeawn

    I like Scorpion’s, that’s about it. Kano in a Ryu cosplay looks weird…Sub Zero kinda looks like a ninja turtle.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    looks better

  • aoihana

    Urban Kombat 9 (*^ワ^*)

    I think they are very interesting twist to the characters, but my favorite would have to be Kano. 

    Like @SirRichard:disqus , I thought it was a bit odd, but after analyzing the character design, it actually makes sense! 

    In Kano, you can obviously see the Japanese influence in the outfit, in the bandages, but you can get the US military influence, too. 

    Specifically, I get the feeling from the cyborg or robotic parts in Kano’s design, but most of all the weapons. I think the holstered knife and tactical pouches on his chest are an excellent touch! (◕‿◕✿)

    I think these would make some pretty amazing, unique DLC costumes! Definitely! (>y<)

  • Dantis

    That Sonya design is amazingly terrible.

    • aoihana

      I think it looks pretty good! At first glance, it looks pretty bland, but if you examine it closely, it looks pretty good!

      For example, her olive green outfit screams ranger, and her revolver and leg holstered knife are just selling it. 

      Whenever I think about a special force or squad, especially in a fighting game, I always think about a katana! I think that was also a nice touch. 

      I think her gauntlet is pretty cool, too! (◕‿◕✿)

    • Göran Isacson

      It really is just about every single ridiculous negative female design-stereotype ever assembled into one glorious package, isn’t it? And the thing is, maybe it could have worked- Mortal Kombat has always been about that kind of stuff. But man, I never thought I’d see a design that’s actually less dignified than what Sonya ended up with in the reboot… and Kano? Eeeeugh Liefield-pouches…

    • Tom_Phoenix

      My problem with it is that it reminds me too much of Kelly Bundy:

  • All of those are so freaking cool. Damn, I would have loved to have played that.

  • Not grindmark enough.

  • Oi, doez iz some orky character designz!

  • That doesn’t look cool at all, it looks satanic.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Poor Sonya, her breasts are 3 times bigger than ger breasts

  • Kitestwinblades

    I’ve never seen anyone look so bad ass with honey mustard sauce on them.
    LOOK AT SCORPION! The last thing you’ll taste is DEATH… and maybe mustard lol

    I’m getting an assassin vibe from every last one of them, except Raiden. He looks cool but I sware he’s holding an invisible guitar. “Ride the Lightning”, etc. But I have to say, I would DEFINTELY buy these outfits for DLC or something.

    • Nice comment about the mustard.  That was funny.  Because you said Raiden looked like he was holding a guitar, I present you with this.

      • Kitestwinblades

        Absolutely WICKED XD This is like, the PERFECT reply.
        Its one thing that he looks like Raiden, but the god-like playing on the guitar…
        It’s beyond fitting lol  Mr. Ewan Dobson should like ascend to the heavens in Raidens clothes playing this XD 

  • Shao Kahn: A tournament shall be upheld in the various streets of the world. You will fight until only one remains. This shall be called: Mortal Street Fighting Combat.

    Scorpion: Ermm, Shao. You can’t do that. Sorry, but that Shadaloo and Capcom company are doing something Street Fighter tournament again and they are really sensitive with the name. Their lawyers are some of the most demoniac of all the realms. I heard one of the lawyers have a spiked hair and a big mean finger.

    Scorpion: Also, Liu Kang wanted to meet this Ryu guy but both of them seems to have their agendas full. A suit wouldn’t help that.

    Shao Kahn: So why the hell we can’t fight in both tournaments ?

    Scorpion: You know, they have rules. No killing in the match.

    Shao Kahn: A STREET FIGHTING tournament, with rules ? It’s like our nearly-nobody-dies Mortal Kombat. People change clothes, it’s just Mortal Kombat now. You know, the regular thing.

    Scorpion: Actually I got an idea….

    Sub-Zero: Stop right there before he comes up with a stupid subtitle or some weirdos in this tournament. Last time those costume guys made this tournament look like Halloween.

    That’s what I pictured for the denial of this pitch. xP

  • takopako

    Win, if they had.

    Fail, cause they didnt.

    Everyone is so much more well designed and sexy here…why not choose them?!?

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    sonya and kano look to oriental, and end up looking tacky, on the other hand the other characters are just plain awesome sub-zero does look like a ninja, scorpion looks out of a onimusha and raiden indeed look like a japanese god(for once) instead a rice farmer.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I love how Raiden looks, otherwise…

  • Go2hell66

    i’m not feeling these char designs at all, probably just me but i think they’d look awful once transferred into 3D char models

  • Muggshotter

    You know, I would’ve gladly seen some of these make it as DLC costumes. Scorpion and Kano look so great in this.

  • Setsu Oh

     i would like to see that in the second game.

  • Göran Isacson

    Save Raiden, these all look so damn BLAND. Sub-zero looks like he’s wearing a baseball umpires uniform, even if I do like his frost-enchanted knife. Kano is an unimaginative cliche white gi with Liefield pouches, and the only thing that stands out on Scorpion is the yellow blood… which I’m not too sure I actually like, because it makes the rest of his outfit look dull by comparison. And Sonya? It’s…

    I can like Ayla as a character, even if her design is essentially just a fur-bikini. But her outfit can be semi-excused by having all the other characters from her world dress in that style, just fur draped over their naughty bits. It’s harkens back to classic camp fantasy, it’s got context, even a little bit of style to it. This? There’s just a bikini and a ridiculous, completely misplaced gauntlet. What kind of Texas Ranger would be caught dead wearing that anywhere else but on the beach? The tats are kind of nifty, but the rest is just stand-out awkward.

    Raiden is the only one who escapes with his dignity intact. He looks really regal and imposing in his billowing robes and I like the concept of him never touching the ground. But the rest? Awful. Awful and dull.

  • urbanbuddha

    I see a lot of Street Fighter-like references. Kano resembles Ryu and his Johnny Cage (on the linked website) reminds me of Sagat.

  • Pichi

    I like Raiden the best. The rest, it seems like their trying too hard to be on the edgy side. Tone it down some, and it might look alright.

  • I’m kinda on the fence in the regard of these designs and glad they didn’t go with them. Artistically done for sure, but outside of Raiden not doing much for me….though Scorpion looks like he would fit right in with the King of Fighters series in that get up :P.

  • These all look AWESOME…except Sonya. 

  • NavidHayder

    What I don’t get is… the “Way of the Frost Dragon” and the wraith-god that resurrects Scorpion? Yeah those aren’t exactly what i’d call original backstories. The designs look good but of late they’re really going over-drive with the redesigns. You can give ANY (read: ANY) competent artist a few days and if s/he’s a fan of the games (who isn’t?) will be able to come up with a series of really good and really interesting takes. Sorry, this… isn’t exciting. :(

    I like the Raiden and Scorpion designs, the rest just seems like the artist is pushing it.

  • Elias Hizzy Hernandez

    M i the only one that thought mortal kombat vs dcu version of sub zero was the coolest version

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