17 Best Easter Eggs and Hidden Details in Mortal Kombat 1
With Mortal Kombat 1 now in the hands of many players, the long-awaited brutal combat can finally begin. The next installment of the series presents f...
With Mortal Kombat 1 now in the hands of many players, the long-awaited brutal combat can finally begin. The next installment of the series presents familiar characters in different hierarchies and alliances due to the new universe, allowing for plenty of references and Easter eggs to past games. You might even come across notable film references.
Mortal Kombat 1 features numerous Easter eggs in many of the chapters of the campaign, particularly thanks to the character of Johnny Cage. Some of these may be difficult to discover and require your attention to find, which can be challenging during combat scenarios. Here are some that you may have missed.
Updated on September 24, 2023 by Dennis Moiseyev: The Easter eggs and references in Mortal Kombat 1 are a gift that keeps on giving. There are countless ones to be found, not only in the campaign but also in the stages, fatalities, invasion mode, and even character equipment. Several additional nods to films, characters, and past games have been discovered and added to this list to make it even more comprehensive.
17 Scorpion, Cyrax, And Sektor's Classic Fatality References
Although Mortal Kombat 1 introduces many new, spectacularly bloody fatalities for the characters, some classics from Mortal Kombat 3 and the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 version make a return with some twists, additional blood, and, of course, graphical updates. These include Scorpion's second fatality as well as the fatalities of the cameo fighters Cyrax and Sektor.
In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Scorpion had a fatality where a large wave of his clones appeared on the screen, surrounding your opponent until it turned black. Well, this time, only three clones appear, and they assist with the fatality until MK1 Scorpion finishes the job with a kick that protrudes the skeleton through the back.
Cyrax's fatality showcases a multitude of grenades falling out of the cyborg suit, detonating and blowing up the entire planet Earth, while Sektor has a crusher to crush the character, both featuring completely different visual effects, and they make a return.
16 Mortal Kombat 1 Still Keeps It Toasty!
Dan Forden is the sound designer of Mortal Kombat, whose voice and sometimes even face would appear at the bottom of the arcade cabinet screens, delighting players with his falsetto exclamation of "Toasty!" after they delivered clean uppercuts. While Mortal Kombat 1 may be a new timeline, it still includes the familiar Toasty!!! Now even in multiple places.
In Johnny's second fatality, where he uses the Lamborghini to drag an opponent by their entrails, you can hear the quick sound of Forden's "Toasty!" as the engine starts and flames shoot out of the exhaust. Another way the insider joke appears is in the Invasion mode, where the hint for the 'Pure Chaos' node in the Sun Do Festival is "Toasty!!!" (three exclamation marks for extra flavor). If you know this Easter egg, you know what to do.
15 Ashrah's Wonder Woman References
Ashrah is a demon with black eyes and angelic wings who hasn't appeared as a playable fighter since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon in 2006. Now, she returns with a new character design and a new voice actress. The voice of Ashrah is provided by Susan Eisenberg, who is best known for her portrayal of the DC superhero Wonder Woman in numerous animated series, films, and video games, including NetherRealm's Injustice series.
And the development team has made sure that references to that are plentiful. In one of her fatalities, Ashrah's sword transforms into a glowing golden lasso, resembling Princess Diana's Lasso of Truth, with the difference being that Ashrah uses it to slice off body parts of a character instead of eliciting the truth. Furthermore, Johnny has one of his intro lines for Ashrah where he responds to her with, "You truly are a wonder, woman."
14 Smoke's Gear References Watchmen
Mortal Kombat 1 is quite open with references in Johnny's one-liners, but here's another DC reference you can find in the game with another fighter. Like other masked characters, Smoke also has customizable equipment that allows him to swap different masks. The mask named 'Fogged In' is a direct nod to the character Rorschach in Watchmen.
Watchmen is a graphic novel by DC, written by Alan Moore, which presents a dark noir version of a superhero team. It was also adapted into a film by Zack Snyder and later turned into an HBO series. Instead of the mask being made entirely of metal like the rest of the equipment, it has a white cloth sewn inside, serving as a covering with ink blots running all around it. Although it lacks the details of the moving ink, it faithfully replicates the exact design of Rorschach's mask.
13 Johnny's MK11 Best Actor Award Decorates His New Home
In Mortal Kombat 11, Johnny Cage's Excellence Award, essentially his Oscar for Best Actor, was used as a weapon for his brutality and deadly strikes. It inflicted quite gruesome blows and stabs, but the trophy has now been cleaned and retired. It is now displayed as it should have been from the beginning, on a shelf in Johnny's villa from Mortal Kombat 1.
If you manage to send your opponent to the other side of the room, beyond the pool where the staircase is located, through punches, combos, and kicks, you will notice a wooden shelf extending along the wall above the fireplace. One of the awards is a matching statuette to the one Johnny received in MK11, with engravings, color, and a figurine shape.
12 Indiana Jones And Steven Spielberg References
The first part of Chapter 2 in Mortal Kombat 1 is dedicated to Indiana Jones and the director of the film series, Steven Spielberg. You accompany Johnny Cage in his natural habitat - a Hollywood set for an action-adventure film called "Temple of Katara Vala" (Temple of Doom, anyone?), in which he wears the iconic costume with a hat, explorer's bag, leather jacket, and pants.
And if that wasn't obvious enough, the director sitting on the chair with a WB Studios ID bears the name Steven, which is also seen on the clapperboard, and the enemies you fight against are called Kalima, after the phrase chanted in Temple of Doom. In Chapter 3, when Raiden unleashes his lightning, Johnny also exclaims, "Ark of the Covenant!"
11 Aliens Ellen Ripley Reference
You will notice that Johnny Cage just can't help himself and constantly makes film references. With his love and dedication to Hollywood, he has probably memorized every movie in the industry's history. Another reference he drops relates to James Cameron's 1986 sequel to Alien, where Ripley fights the Queen using a Power Loader - also a fantastic mech design that you should consider for your character in Armored Core 6.
The special reference in MK1 occurs when Kenshi starts with the phrase "Get away from her," and Johnny adds, "You bitch." Kung Lao disapproves of such language, and Johnny tries to explain that it comes from a movie. He even mentions the character Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, as that's exactly the line she says to the Queen in Aliens.
10 Jennifer's Body Reference
With actress Megan Fox lending her voice to the winged vampire fighter Nitara, who consumes blood from her victims, there is inevitably a reference in the game to her 2009 horror film, Jennifer's Body, in which she portrays the titular character who also consumes her male classmates. This reference is cleverly placed in her introduction with Kung Lao.
While crossing his arms before the fight, Kung Lao asks Nitara, "What did you do to Jennifer's body?" to which Nitara responds that he will never see her body again. This seems to imply some sort of meta resolution to what happened to Jennifer after the events of the film, or it could also be a reference to MK Conquest. In Nitara's introduction with Johnny, he refers to vampires as foxes, which adds another layer of meta and directly alludes to Megan Fox's name.
9 Johnny's Boots Weren't Made For Walking, But Nancy Sinatra's Are
Chapter 4 sends Johnny Cage, Kenshi, and Kung Lao on a quest to find the villain Shang Tsung through the desert, but the terrain is apparently not suitable for Johnny's choice of footwear. He complains about the length of their journey and then emphasizes, "These boots weren't made for walking."
This is, of course, another pop culture reference from Johnny, but this time to a song rather than a film. The irony lies in his feet causing him discomfort, contrasting with the lyrics: "These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do" from the song by singer Nancy Sinatra. It seems like the day has come when they have walked all over Johnny Cage.
8 Shujinko's Kill Bill Fatality
A film reference in Mortal Kombat 1 that goes beyond a mere quote can actually be seen in the fatality of the cameo character Shujinko, and Quentin Tarantino might appreciate it. It is a direct allusion to the martial arts move that Uma Thurman's character, The Bride, uses in self-defense to literally kill her mentor, Bill, in the second installment. The technique is called the "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart" and involves the fingers arranged in a specific pattern.
Shujinko's character utilizes an extra dose of power in his technique with the deadly attack, as beams appear with each strike. The culmination of destruction begins similarly to Bill's reaction, coughing up some blood, but then takes a turn as the heart explodes out of the chest!
7 Johnny Cage Foreshadowing
In the latter half of Chapter 2, when you throw Kenshi to this side of the room, you can also discover a table with three picture frames in Johnny Cage's mansion stage. The larger black and white photo on the far left showcases Johnny's ex-wife, Cris, but the one in the middle depicts Johnny in a Shaolin monk's uniform, stacking his fists on top of each other.
Immediately after the fight between Johnny and Kenshi, Liu Kang enters the scene to recruit both of them and train them for the tournament. Next, Johnny suddenly wears the yellow monk's attire in the surroundings of the Wu Shi Academy. This is a clever way to hint at a story through the background in a fighting game.
6 A Selfie Of MK11's Younger And Older Kano
The first battle in the story is a friendly one that takes place in Madam Bo's establishment, and there is an Easter Egg in the background featuring previous character designs for Kano. Mortal Kombat 11 featured a younger version of Kano and an older version with a mustache and goatee. You can find a selfie of the two together posted on a structure in Madam Bo's.
The photo appears as a faded black-and-white image directly below the poster of Madame Bo on a wall. It's a kind of picture that strongly resembles "Here, Hollywood actors have already dined," suggesting that they may have paid a visit to Madame Bo in a different timeline.
5 Jean-Claude Van Damme's Film References And Bloodsport Johnny Cage Model
Not only do you have Hollywood star Megan Fox in MK1, but you also have the legendary action film icon and martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme as a different version of Hollywood action film star Johnny Cage, and rightfully so. The character design of this Johnny matches that of Van Damme's character Frank Dux in "Bloodsport," where he participates in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong. Wow, this is truly a special moment of returning to the roots.
From the posture and muscular upper body model with clearly visible muscles and abdominal muscles to the details of the black shorts, black belt, and the red sash tied around Johnny's waist, the Bloodsport design is complete.
In his intros, Van Damme's Cage also makes references to his other films like "Universal Soldier" with "I've played universal soldiers," "Time Cop" with "Excuse me, Time Cop!" as a response to being late, and "Kickboxer" and "Street Fighter" with "I play a kickboxer, you play a street fighter."
4 MK11 Johnny In New Johnny's Phone Gallery
This is a fun little Easter Egg that can be easily overlooked as it passes by quite quickly. When Johnny takes out his phone to record Raiden's first use of his lightning powers, the user interface has the usual icons and settings, some of which are customized to Johnny's preferences (such as the sunglasses slider). However, one could also discover a selfie of MK11 Johnny as the latest photo on the phone.
On the bottom right side of the screen, next to the red icon for taking a photo, there is an image of Johnny wearing the same sunglasses and having his head in the same position as his character model in Mortal Kombat 11. This is just another fun way in which the old timeline sneaks into the storyline.
3 Liu Kang's MLK Quote
Even the great words of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. find their place in Mortal Kombat 1, albeit slightly adapted to fit better into the game's story. The actual quote from MLK is: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." However, Liu Kang remixes it in his speech, stating that "across all timelines, the course of history bends toward justice."
Shang Tsung questions Liu Kang's certainty that the battle will unfold in their favor. But Kang is stubborn and firmly believes that they will emerge as winners for precisely this reason. That the timelines align themselves to justice on their own.
2 Liu Kang And Raiden Use The Same Hero Line In Opposite Timelines
Those who have remained loyal to the series for a long time may have noticed this immediately. In the old timeline of Mortal Kombat 2011, it was Raiden who directed the famous words to Liu Kang: "He [Johnny] is a hero, even if he doesn't know it yet." In the new timeline of Mortal Kombat 1, the roles are now reversed. It is Liu Kang who responds to Raiden but holds the same thoughts about Johnny.
Johnny's personality definitely justifies the questioning of Liu Kang's choice, but the exact word-for-word exchange in the new timeline is perfect. The developers of Mortal Kombat have likely captured the attention of many fans with this scene.
NetherRealm is likely delivering one of the most epic finales ever seen in a Mortal Kombat game with the events in the final chapter. Titled "Armageddon," we witness Liu Kang and all other versions of the characters from different lineups and timelines coming together to confront Shang Tsung and Quan Chi's evil adversaries from the multiverse, all of which takes place at the Pyramid of Argus.
Well, this elaborate action scene, the location, and the name of the chapter are all a great homage to the cutscene on the same steps in the PS2 game Mortal Kombat: Armageddon from 2006. However, there it served as an opener, while here it is the finale - another opportunity to juxtapose the changes in timelines.