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Why fighting-game fans owe Jean-Claude Van Damme some thanks

April 12th, 2013 by Rick Marshall · No Comments ·

mortal kombat

I had another article published by Mental Floss this week, and this one offered up the “secret” origins of 11 popular video games and their main characters.

Here’s an excerpt:

MORTAL KOMBAT

One of the most popular—and controversial—game franchises of all time got its start as a vehicle for martial-arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme to star in his own game. The original plan was to combine elements of Van Damme’s Universal Soldier and Bloodsport movies into a game that featured him fighting a variety of colorful villains. After the deal with Van Damme fell through, the small team decided to continue their work on the game. Mortal Kombat went on to raise the bar for all fighting games with sales that broke nearly every existing record and eventually earned the franchise a Guinness World Record honor as “The Most Successful Fighting Game Franchise” of all time. Oh, and you can probably guess where the team got the idea for the character of Johnny Cage, a movie star looking to prove his fighting talents in the game whose signature movie is a groin-stretching split.

You can read the rest of the article at MentalFloss.com, and remember to say a little “thank you” to ol’ JCVD if you’ve ever groin-punched an opponent in Mortal Kombat.

Tags: clips · gaming