'Mortal Kombat' Kept Many Secrets Even From Its Co-Creator
If we look at the co-creating credits for the Mortal Kombat series, we'll find the names of John Tobias and Ed Boon. Tobias created the game's story and art, whereas Ed Boon worked as the main coder, and boy did he use his power to create and hide whatever he wanted inside the game.
The fatalities, one of the most, if not the most iconic part of the series, were once a secret for people outside of the development team. Boon came up with the concept when Johnny Cage was the only character in the game, so the very first fatality had Johnny Cage decapitating himself.
Boon seemingly liked the idea of secrets so much that he began putting stuff in the game that he kept secret even from Tobias, the guy supposedly in charge of worldbuilding.
Reptile, for example, was originally just a green-colored version of Scorpion that exists in the game solely because Boon wanted to see how long it would take for fans to find him
Boon's secrets became so prevalent that at some point Tobias had to confront him and ask him to stop putting stuff in the game without his knowledge. Man, just one scene of a grown man complaining about being left out of the process of including ever-more impractically-colored ninjas in a game would make a Mortal Kombat biopic so much better than any of the films we got so far.
Boon got such a reputation as a master of sneaking stuff into MK that Tobias thought that Ermac, the red ninja, was yet another of Boon's shenanigans. He wasn't though, as Ermac, short for “Error Macro” was just a Star Trek redshirt of sorts that Boon had put there just there to test stuff out.
At some point, Tobias caved in and just gave Boon all the assets needed to create different-colored variations of every character if he so desired. Boon seemingly took that as an insult, because he didn't have a thing for creating characters – he had a thing for hiding stuff in the game. Boone then ignored all assets to create and sneak his own all-black shadow copy of Scorpion into MK 2.
And that's how we got Noob Saibot, the Ninjaest Ninja in the history of the franchise as well as the first time someone used the word “noob” in video game history. Interestingly, his name comes from spelling Boon and Tobias backward, a name that all the devs who didn't know he was already in the game thought sounded dumb.
Top Image: NetherRealm Studios