Though he is not the hero of the franchise, there is no doubt that Scorpion has far and away become the mascot of the Mortal Kombat games. The only other character from the games who even comes close to rivaling his popularity and recognition is Sub-Zero, but Scorpion still feels like the more iconic ninja. He’s so beloved that Scorpion’s lack of inclusion in Mortal Kombat 3 got backlash from the fans.
Since Scorpion has been around since the very first game, he’s had a lot of story development over the years. Scorpion’s supernatural nature also sets him apart from many of the other characters, so his past might have some twists you aren’t aware of. Or maybe there are parts of his real life creation that would surprise you. Let’s see how well you know the classic yellow ninja, because these are 15 INSANE Things You NEVER Knew About Scorpion.
15. HE WAS IN NBA JAM
It really can not be emphasized enough how big of an impact Mortal Kombat made when it came out. Alongside Street Fighter II, it really helped kick off the fighting game genre. And the violence of Mortal Kombat played a part in the government demanding a rating system for video games, leading to today’s ESRB ratings. Plus, everyone recognized the characters from the games, even people who were not gamers themselves.
The cast of Mortal Kombat made such a big impact in the ’90s that other games were happy to include the fighters to capitalize on their popularity. NBA Jam: Tournament Edition was one such game, doing so by allowing players to swap the heads on basketball players for a variety of characters and celebrities, including Scorpion and Raiden. That wasn’t the end of their crossovers, though. The characters have also been in Major League Baseball: Slugfest, Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, and of course, the Injustice games.
14. THE VOICE OF “GET OVER HERE”
The original Mortal Kombat was made on a team that was unimaginably small by today’s standards, featuring just four people responsible for the programming. Ed Boon and John Tobias are the two most well-known members of the team, with Ed Boon pretty much being the face behind the franchise now that Tobias has moved on from the games. Boon is more than just the face though, and at one time was even the most iconic voice of the games.
One of the most distinctive parts of the franchise is Scorpion’s famous cries of “get over here” and “come here” when he performs the spear. As weird as it may be to imagine, Ed Boon is actually the one who supplied these voice clips for the game, and would continue to do so for further games in the series. Not only that, but Ed Boon even did Scorpion’s voice in the Mortal Kombat movies.
13. PALETTE SWAPS
Anyone can see that the ninjas in the first Mortal Kombat were just different colors of the same outfit, which is a trend that continued for the next few games as additional ninjas joined the cast. But it’s not that the creators of Mortal Kombat were originally planning to feature multiple ninjas in their first game. Rather, they found out after creating one of them that they had almost enough game memory left to include one more character if they cut corners. They couldn’t introduce someone totally unique, but if they had someone who was basically the same as a preexisting character, they’d have enough room. Thus Scorpion and Sub-Zero were created by just swapping colors on the same character.
Even after that resourcefulness, there was still a bit more room for another character if the creators did the same thing again. So, that gave us the game’s third ninja, the hidden boss Reptile. Reptile was even more of a copy than his predecessors because he didn’t even have unique moves, just a mishmash of Scorpion’s and Sub-Zero’s. But it was enough to give the game a few of its most popular characters.
12. SUB-ZERO AND SCORPION: THE SAME GUY?
A natural side effect of the ninjas almost being clones in the early games in the series is that it did not require separate actors to portray most of them. All the characters in the early games were depicted with live-action actors, so Scorpion and Sub-Zero were people in ninja costumes rather than digitally created characters. The funny thing about that, though, is that because the ninjas just got recolored to be different characters, Scorpion and Sub-Zero were really portrayed by the same actor.
In the original Mortal Kombat and MKII, the two ninjas were played by Daniel Pesina. You probably couldn’t tell due to the masks, but the actor playing the ninjas changed after that, and a man named John Turk took over as Scorpion and the masked version of Sub-Zero. It took until the series switched to digital characters in Mortal Kombat 4 for the two ninjas to truly become separate people.
11. THAT SCORPION, SUB-ZERO BEAT ‘EM UP
There’s no doubt that Shaolin Monks is the best non-traditional Mortal Kombat game we have had. Special Forces focuses on Jax and is just unfinished and not a lot of fun. Meanwhile, Mythologies focuses on Sub-Zero and introduces some good characters like Quan-Chi, but has cheesy cinematics, bad controls, and repetitive gameplay. Shaolin Monks was surprisingly fun though, playing as a 3-D beat ’em up focusing on Liu Kang and Kung Lao as they go through the events of the first two Mortal Kombat games.
The success of Shaolin Monks sparked interest on possibly doing a similar game focusing on Scorpion and Sub-Zero called Fire and Ice. It sounds like it would have been a lot of fun, but unfortunately it has yet to wind up coming to fruition. We’d still be happy to play it even if it was released today, but for now everyone just has to suffice with playing the unlockable versions of the ninjas in Shaolin Monks.
10. HE’S THE ONLY PERSON TO KILL IN THE FIRST GAME
Ask anyone what sets Mortal Kombat apart from other fighting games and they will quickly talk about the violence. Even protective parents and censors know that this is a game series infamous for your ability to kill your opponent and perform gruesome fatalities. And yet, for as much of a reputation as the franchise has, the first game was surprisingly sparse on actual murders in its story.
The only canonical death that happens within the first game is actually Scorpion killing the original Sub-Zero, which wasn’t even shown on-screen until recent games retold the story. Scorpion did have the biggest grudge, though, since he believed Sub-Zero was responsible for the slaughter of his clan and family. Of course, Scorpion would later find out he had been lied to about that, but another thing the franchise has become known for is that no character stays dead for long, so the original Sub-Zero returned in the very next game as Noob Saibot.
9. HIS TERMINATOR 2 REFERENCE
This one is probably pretty obvious to anyone who actually played Shaolin Monks, but a lot of fighting game fans might have skipped that one. Shaolin Monks was a 3-D beat ’em up after all, so it was a departure from what the franchise had struck gold with. And to be fair, it’s not like the franchise’s prior deviations from its wheel house had been worth checking out, like the terrible Special Forces game. Fortunately, not only was Shaolin Monks surprisingly fun, but it also had some cool Easter eggs.
The Scorpion boss fight in the game was naturally a big deal since he is so popular, and it was an opportunity for him to get in all his usual moves. But even with the franchise’s violence, it has still found room to incorporate humor, like with the babalities in earlier games. Scorpion’s fight was capped off with a funny moment where he was knocked into lava and drifted out of sight, but gave a thumbs up as he sank, obviously giving an homage to Terminator 2’s ending.
8. THERE’S A “COOKING WITH SCORPION” VIDEO
If you never played Deadly Alliance, or have but only played with your friends who already had everything unlocked, you missed out on some funny things. Deadly Alliance was the first game in the series to award the player in-game currency to unlock extra content. You could get secret characters, developmental art, and alternate costumes in Deadly Alliance’s Krypt section. There were even some funny things the player could unlock, like the “cooking with Scorpion” video.
This was a live-action video featuring Scorpion in an apron with his own TV cooking show. The narrator for the show introduces what Scorpion will be teaching people to cook this week, and features him decorating cakes, tenderizing meat, and chopping lots of food in half with weapons. It’s less than thirty seconds long, but it’s worth a chuckle and actually inspired a Youtuber to start his own recurring skit based on the clip.
7. SCORPION: SUB-ZERO’S PROTECTOR?
Even though Scorpion and Sub-Zero are known as the eternal enemies of the franchise, that actually has not always been the case. Not only have the two ninjas buried the hatchet in the modern games, they nearly had a lasting peace dating back to Mortal Kombat II. Scorpion still believed the original Sub-Zero, Bi-Han, had killed his family. But Scorpion killed Bi-Han in the first Mortal Kombat and was satisfied… until he found out Sub-Zero was back in Mortal Kombat II.
Scorpion was all prepared for inflicting some more vengeance, but then he realized this new Sub-Zero wasn’t Bi-Han, but instead his younger brother. The two fought and Sub-Zero won, but didn’t try to kill Scorpion. That earned Scorpion’s respect, and he felt bad for the bad blood between them. To atone for it, Scorpion decided to protect the younger Sub-Zero, and did just that in both Mortal Kombat II and 3. Of course Quan Chi attempted to ruin that, but it was good while it lasted.
6. HIS POWER IS CONNECTED TO THE NETHERREALM
Being a product of hell, it only makes sense that Scorpion would not be bothered so much by being there. In the world of Mortal Kombat, hell is known as the Netherrealm, and Scorpion definitely feels right at home there. He even has the power to travel there at will, and can summon hellfire to use to scorch his opponents if the mood strikes him. But it’s beyond just not minding the flames; Scorpion is actually empowered by the Netherrealm.
Scorpion’s most significant advantage of being in the Netherealm was revealed during the events of Mortal Kombat: Deception. Scorpion eventually caught on that Quan Chi was the one who wiped out his clan and family, and it just so happened that the two of them wound up in the Netherrealm during that period. This was great for Scorpion because he became even more powerful to torture the person who ruined his life.
5. HIS SPEAR IS ONLY ALIVE IN THE MOVIES
A lot of newer Mortal Kombat fans probably aren’t going back to play the original game in the series, so they might not have the clearest idea of what the game was like. But the first Mortal Kombat movie has developed a cult fan base and is pretty accessible to go back to and check out. Fans who watch the movie might recall how Scorpion’s spear attack in the movie featured what seemed like a living snake that shot out of his hand. The problem is this interpretation of the spear has no basis in the games.
Scorpion’s spear has definitely changed over time, but in the games it has never been a living creature. In the first game it was basically just a rope with a barbed weapon on the end of it. Over the years it has evolved to feature cords, chains, spikes, and fire, but never sentient creatures. That aspect of the films was just a misinterpretation of the weapon.
4. SCORPION IS A SEPARATE PERSONA
In Mortal Kombat X, we finally got to see Scorpion’s human side. We mean that literally, since before the latest game, we had only seen the undead specter that Scorpion had become. He wasn’t always a ninja from hell though, and actually was human before. His name was Hanzo Hasashi, and he even had a family. It was only after his family and clan were killed that he became filled with rage and his new dark side emerged. Whereas “Scorpion” was once just a nickname, it had now become a separate persona.
In the Mortal Kombat comics in particular we see how, when Hanzo is calm, he retains his human form. He has to keep his emotions in check, though, because when he taps into those emotions about his past, it turns him into his alter ego. Scorpion is more powerful than Hanzo, so it has its advantages. But it also makes Hanzo lose control and can make him commit acts he will regret later.
3. HIS GRIEF IS HIS POWER
Even though everyone thinks of Scorpion as this scary, merciless monster, he’s really a ninja with a heart. The only reason he developed into this undead ninja to begin with is because the death of his clan and his family left his spirit in such a state of unrest that he yearned for vengeance. And so, Hanzo Hasashi was reborn by the nickname he was given for the lethality of his weapons: Scorpion.
Hanzo’s grief not only allowed him to defy death, it also strengthened him. When Hanzo gives in to the pain of the past, it brings out his Scorpion persona and imbues him with more power. It can actually get to the point of overwhelming Hanzo and making him lose control. He’s one combatant who has to keep his feelings in check if he wants to avoid a Jekyll and Hyde situation.
2. HE FROZE SUB-ZERO
Though Scorpion’s finisher where he spits fire on his opponent is one of the most recurring finishers in the series, perhaps the best known finishing move among the fighters is Sub-Zero ripping out his opponent’s spine. By the standards of the first game, it was definitely one of the more brutal moves. Sure Kano rips out his opponent’s heart, but it was shocking at the time to see Sub-Zero holding a head with the spinal cord still attached.
Clearly, this finishing move isn’t just well-known among real life fans, but also among the other characters as well. Scorpion was obsessed with getting vengeance against Sub-Zero thanks to Quan Chi’s lie, and Scorpion decided to do that in the most brutal way possible. Not only did he kill Bi-Han, but when Scorpion teleports out of the Netherrealm and back to the tournament in Mortal Kombat 2011, he is holding Sub-Zero’s skull and spine to show he has a taste for irony.
1. HIS SIGNATURE SCREAM ISN’T IN THE ORIGINAL
Ask any person what Scorpion says when he uses his spear and they’ll tell you without a doubt that he shouts “get over here!” That’s his catchphrase and it’s what he has always said, right? Not quite. Everyone knows how the original Mortal Kombat’s blood got censored for home consoles and was turned gray and called “sweat.” The Sega Genesis version had a code that let you make it red again, but a lot of people only ever saw sweat in the first game. That wasn’t the only thing that got changed from the arcade version of the game, though.
While the arcade version of Mortal Kombat does include Scorpion’s iconic line, it got cut for home release due to memory constraints. Scorpion originally had two lines he’d say in the first game and the player had a chance of hearing either one each time the spear connected. The second line was just Scorpion shouting “come here” and is still in the home versions of the game. You’d think the line that got cut would have gone the other way around, but a lot of people have never heard Scorpion’s famous words in the first game.
What other fun facts do YOU know about Scorpion? GET OVER HERE and let us know in the comments!