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Watch the first trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 (no, not from 1992)

Watch the first trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 (no, not from 1992)


*Brian McKnight voice* Now we’re starting back at 1.

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Graphic from Mortal Kombat 1 featuring Fire God Liu Kang standing in front of the Mortal Kombat flaming dragon symbol with Mortal 1 Kombat in words in front of him
Image: NetherRealm Studios

The trailer for the newest Mortal Kombat is here, and like that one Brian McKnight song, we’re starting back at 1. (You’re gonna have to watch the trailer, linked above, on YouTube. Y’know on account of all the viscera.)

Mortal Kombat is in the midst of its 30th anniversary celebration, and creative director Ed Boon and the team at NetherRealm Studios have not been subtle at all that some major news was kom — er... coming. (Sorry, habit.)

Earlier this month, NetherRealm put out a video thanking players for their 30 years of support of fighting games’ grisliest elder statesman. At the end of the video, a grain of sand explodes, referencing the timey-wimey shenanigans that have dominated the last two Mortal Kombat games.

Last week, NetherRealm released another much shorter video showing a clock ticking up to 12 before skipping it to arrive at 1. The next game in the franchise would be Mortal Kombat 12 (even though this 12th entry is more like its 20th as Mortal Kombat follows what I’m calling the Kingdom Hearts Theory of Relativity), with the broken clock suggesting that the timeline is about to be reset... again.

And judging from the trailer, it has... sorta. When we last left our Kombatants, Liu Kang had become a god and was attempting to right the disruption of the timeline with Raiden’s help. (Listen, don’t ask.) It seems like, with this new entry, Fire God Liu Kang has created an idyllic paradise for his friends, with Kung Lao living as a humble farmer and Kitana as the rightful ruler of Outworld with her sister Mileena as her loyal retainer.

The trailer seemed a little too wholesome for its bloody source material, and soon enough, our faves were ripping out each other’s guts in increasingly creative ways as Liu Kang speaks of a coming storm. According to the game’s FAQ, Mortal Kombat 1 will feature “reimagined versions of iconic characters as they’ve never been seen before, along with a new fighting system, game modes, bone krushing finishing moves, and more.”

No gameplay yet, but the FAQ mentions a beta in August for players who preorder a premium version of the game and early access ahead of the game’s September 19th launch date.

Thirty years later, Mortal Kombat appears to be entering its second golden era. The 2021 reboot of the 1995 film was pretty good, earning a sequel and launching the latest spate of “video game adaptations are good now” blogs. And the games have also been well received since Mortal Kombat 9 rebooted the franchise and put an end to a string of lackluster titles.