This past Wednesday (24), John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal Kombat alongside Ed Boon, shared new details about the origin of Sub-Zero and Scorpion, revealing the first conceptual art that would give life to the Lin Kuei ninja.
According to Tobias, the idea of including a ninja in his first games was a natural suggestion in the production of Mortal Kombat, and the creators were largely inspired by the classic eighteenth-century films by martial artist Sho Kosugi to bring their own characters to life. To formulate the narrative that would be behind the fighters, they used the book China Ninja Connection as a basis, initiating the development of the legendary conflict between Sub-Zero and Scorpion.
While reading about Japan’s ninja relations with China, the concept of rivalry between the co-protagonists of the franchise was established, thus creating Lin Kuei (China) and Shirai Ryu (Japan). From the beginning, John Tobias had the intention of using different color palettes to differentiate his ninjas, and it was in this way that the characters came to life, adapting classic uniforms of the time, masks and a very similar design.
“The real identity of this warrior is unknown. However, based on the marks on his uniform, he is believed to belong to Link Kuei, a legendary Chinese ninja clan.”
After the proposal behind the ninjas was finally ready, John Tobias built his narrative archetypes, making one of the characters the “hunter”, while the other would be the “hunted”. The decision of who would be the one who gave rise to the revenge story that was so deepened in games and audiovisual content, and that will serve as the main plot for the feature film Mortal Kombat, scheduled to be released worldwide on April 16.
What did you think of the creative process of Sub-Zero and Scorpion? Leave your opinion in the comments.