Friends, even in my youth when Dinosaurs ruled the Earth, Mortal Kombat was a pretty big thing. I became a fan of the game rather quickly. It wasn’t the violent martial arts aspect that drew me in – although I totally did dig playing Johnny Cage in the first game, especially using his Shadow Kick move. For myself I was enamored with two elements above all. The mythology of the MK game as well as Goro, who was obviously stop motion animation. Of course this was all back in 1992, four years before the Mortal Kombat Live Tour would be unleashed. Now in all honesty, it was 1993’s Mortal Kombat II that really got the ball rolling on Kombat fever – Ed Boon and John Tobias really raised the bar on the amount of characters you could play. To say nothing of seriously expanding the mythos of the game universe, including a hidden character that fans didn’t find until just recently.
The silly fan made GIF aside I believe that much of the success of Mortal Kombat II was due to Kung Lao – the former Order of Light warrior who chose to join the White Lotus Society to help defend Earthrealm against the dark forces of Shao Khan. Of course I am a little biased to say the very least as Kung Lao is in fact my favorite Mortal Kombat character. Ever. It might have something to do with being a sharp dresser, not to mention that razor sharp hat he sports.
After the releases of Mortal Kombat III as well as Ultimate MK3 – Midway Games felt it was time for the game series to step into a new direction. Then of course a live action film was released to theaters in 1995 starring the likes of Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Mortal Kombat was helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson the then future Director of Event Horizon, Resident Evil, and AVP: Alien vs. Predator.
You might recall that in 1990, the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles led to a live tour – one that was at least party sponsored by Pizza Hut for obvious reasons. With comic books, music, toys, and of course video games for the fighting game franchise being so popular, is it really any wonder that the Mortal Kombat Live Tour would come to be? Mortal Kombat Live debuted at the Radio Music City Hall in September of 1995. After that it went on a 200 city tour for 1996, featuring none other than Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. No, not portaying his character of Shang Tsung from the hit 1995 film, but as one of the fight coordinators.
So grab your favorite snack and beverage and enjoy this 1996 clip from KTLA 5 News in Los Angeles, featuring the performers of Mortal Kombat Live Tour!