- Sony's Senior Social Media Specialist Sid Shuman
has posted up a video today where Ed Boon and Stig entertain Kratos vs Mortal Kombat on PS3.
To quote: The first time we saw him we thought, 'Oh my God, what a great Mortal Kombat character he would make.'
Ed Boon is very excited. The Mortal Kombat creative director and co-creator can finally spill his guts regarding one of the most anticipated video-game crossovers of all time: Kratos‚‚ā¨ô exclusive guest appearance in the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat.
"We kind of felt it was meant to happen," he says. "We think we‚‚ā¨ôve done Kratos justice."
Ed Boon and God of War III director Stig Asmussen don‚‚ā¨ôt remember who made the first phone call, but both recall the Kratos crossover talks starting early in Mortal Kombat‚‚ā¨ôs development cycle. ‚‚ā¨úI remember somebody saying, ‚‚ā¨ė‚‚ā¨ėhey, there might be this possibility of Kratos appearing in Mortal Kombat,‚‚ā¨ô‚‚ā¨Ě Stig remembers.
‚‚ā¨úI said, ‚‚ā¨ė You gotta be kidding me, we gotta make this happen! Let‚‚ā¨ôs get on the phone.‚‚ā¨ô‚‚ā¨Ě Describing himself as a ‚‚ā¨úhuge God of War fan,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon was all too eager to work out the details and spark a larger collaborative effort between both studios.
Capturing ‚‚ā¨úthe real Kratos‚‚ā¨Ě in Mortal Kombat was a prime goal for Boon and Netherrealm Studios, but it wasn‚‚ā¨ôt always an easy one. ‚‚ā¨úThe God of War team set certain ground rules,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon says. ‚‚ā¨úFrom the beginning, we were absolutely set on respecting the character.‚‚ā¨Ě Boon describes a ‚‚ā¨úreceptive‚‚ā¨Ě relationship with Sony Santa Monica Studios ‚‚ā¨" creators of God of War ‚‚ā¨" during development of Kratos‚‚ā¨ô Mortal Kombat incarnation, with Boon‚‚ā¨ôs and Asmussen‚‚ā¨ôs teams regularly trading feedback and ideas.
Absolute authenticity being a key consideration, Boon‚‚ā¨ôs team went so far as to use Kratos‚‚ā¨ô God of War III character model as a reference asset. ‚‚ā¨úOnce we started sending playable builds of Kratos, that‚‚ā¨ôs when they got specific regarding things like animation,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon recalls.
Particularly regarding Kratos‚‚ā¨ô fatality, which went through a number of edits and revisions due to feedback from Sony Santa Monica Studios. ‚‚ā¨úIt was mostly minor stuff, certain tweaks to the animation,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon remembers. ‚‚ā¨úWe went through a lot of iterations, but in the end, when you look at that screen, you see Kratos.‚‚ā¨Ě
Asked about his favorite aspect of this chaotic crossover, Boon answer comes easily. ‚‚ā¨úJust seeing Kratos and Scorpion on the screen at the same time. You never thought you‚‚ā¨ôd see that.‚‚ā¨Ě Boon loves God of War and, in particular, Kratos because he‚‚ā¨ôs ‚‚ā¨úunapologetically brutal.‚‚ā¨Ě
The feeling is mutual ‚‚ā¨" Stig is a longtime Mortal Kombat fan, too. ‚‚ā¨úOne of the strongest points of Mortal Kombat has always been the character design,‚‚ā¨Ě he tells Boon. ‚‚ā¨úYou‚‚ā¨ôll see a character and you‚‚ā¨ôll know it‚‚ā¨ôs a Mortal Kombat character.‚‚ā¨Ě
Kratos‚‚ā¨ô guest turn in Mortal Kombat wasn‚‚ā¨ôt without a few creative conundrums, of course. As a demigod, Kratos is not one to show vulnerability. So at first, seeing the all-powerful Kratos torn to pieces by the likes of Shang Tsung ‚‚ā¨" in glistening HD detail thanks to Mortal Kombat‚‚ā¨ôs gruesome character damage modeling ‚‚ā¨" came as a bit of a shock to Sony Santa Monica Studios.
‚‚ā¨úThe things that were being done to Kratos were not things that we were used to seeing,‚‚ā¨Ě Stig confesses. ‚‚ā¨úIt‚‚ā¨ôs taking it to an almost uncomfortable place at times because here Kratos can get his ass kicked.‚‚ā¨Ě On the other hand, Boon points out, ‚‚ā¨úKratos is in the mud like everybody else.‚‚ā¨Ě
‚‚ā¨úI will say that I‚‚ā¨ôve never seen his skull before this game,‚‚ā¨Ě Stig counters with a laugh. ‚‚ā¨úBut man,‚‚ā¨Ě he adds, ‚‚ā¨úyou guys really pulled through. I‚‚ā¨ôm proud of that game.‚‚ā¨Ě
Yes, Kratos has an ending. But there‚‚ā¨ôs a catch. ‚‚ā¨úFrom the start, we decided we wouldn‚‚ā¨ôt put him into the Story and have him interacting with Scorpion or things like that,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon explained. But when you conquer the Arcade ladder, you‚‚ā¨ôll get your just desserts. ‚‚ā¨úWe do explain what happens when Kratos wins the tournament,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon hinted, describing the endings as ‚‚ā¨úa lot more elaborate‚‚ā¨Ě than in prior games.
Yes, Kratos has a fatality. No, we‚‚ā¨ôre not going to spoil it here. ‚‚ā¨úWe had 10 fatality ideas we wanted to do,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon teased. ‚‚ā¨úBut the final versions are in line with all the crazy deaths you‚‚ā¨ôve seen in God of War over the years.‚‚ā¨Ě Boon hinted that Netherrealm Studios is making creative use of Kratos‚‚ā¨ô weapons in designing his kills, adding, ‚‚ā¨úIt‚‚ā¨ôs probably over the top, but we‚‚ā¨ôve always been over the top.‚‚ā¨Ě
Yes, Kratos has a stage. And yes, it has a stage fatality. ‚‚ā¨úIt has the best stage fatality we‚‚ā¨ôve put into any Mortal Kombat game ever,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon said excitedly without further elaboration. The stage itself was inspired by the end of God of War III, when Kratos battles Zeus in the Chamber of Flame. ‚‚ā¨úThat fight had an almost fighting-game mechanic,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon said, ‚‚ā¨úso when we saw that we thought, ‚‚ā¨úIt‚‚ā¨ôs writing itself!‚‚ā¨Ě
Yes, Kratos is being carefully balanced. How do you balance a character who is practically omnipotent? Not an easy question. ‚‚ā¨úKratos is interesting because his God of War fighting style is so long range ‚‚ā¨" it‚‚ā¨ôs designed for crowds,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon said.
That approach won‚‚ā¨ôt necessarily fly in a one-on-one fighting game, so Mortal Kombat emphasizes Kratos‚‚ā¨ô close-range brute strength and reserves the long-ranged attacks for special moves. ‚‚ā¨úAnyone who loved MKII or MK3, which are particulatly combo-centric, are going to be happy with Kratos.‚‚ā¨Ě
Yes, Kratos uses X Weapon. ‚‚ā¨úHe has more weapons in this game than any of our other characters by a factor of two,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon confirmed. We spotted the Bow, Cestus, Blade of Olympus, Icarus Wings, Helios head and, of course, the Blade of Chaos.
No, Kratos won‚‚ā¨ôt participate in Test Your Might. ‚‚ā¨úWe‚‚ā¨ôre not too shy about putting our Mortal Kombat characters in silly situations,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon said. ‚‚ā¨úThere‚‚ā¨ôs just no humorous side to Kratos,‚‚ā¨Ě Boon said. ‚‚ā¨úYou‚‚ā¨ôre not going to see Kratos do a Friendship ‚‚ā¨¶ we kept him out of those situations out of respect.‚‚ā¨Ě