You probably saw his figure The deadly beatHis dragon logo so often that you don’t even think about how little sense it has. There were no dragons in the original The deadly beat, and doesn’t take into account the backstory about an interdimensional martial arts tournament to determine the fate of the planet. So what’s the deal? Co-creator John Tobias now explains that the iconic dragon was inspired by a statue on his boss’s desk.
Tobias recently rediscovered his original pencil sketch for the dragon logo and went on Twitter to share the story behind how it came to be the central symbol for the decades-long fighting game series. Midway CEO Ken Fedesna had a gold statue of a four-toed Chinese dragon on his desk, and Tobias apparently saw it one day when a colleague borrowed it to scan and upload as active in one of the stages.
“The inspiration to use a dragon as the symbol of the fictional tournament came from ‘Dragon Attack’, which was in contention as the title of our game before. [Ed Boon] and I changed it to “Mortal Kombat”, he wrote on Twitter yesterday. This working title was inspired by a Queen song of the same name. Although ultimately abandoned, the colors mentioned in the original song formed the basis for the eventual arcade cabinet, which also included the Chinese dragon on Fedesna’s desk.
“I thought about creating an icon to represent the fictional tournament, but also to mark the game with a symbol… like Superman’s ‘S’ or Batman’s bat symbol,” Tobias wrote. The final design ended up being a combination of the yin-yang symbol and the profile of the dragon’s head. Tobias’s sister thought he looked like a seahorse, but 30 years later he’s synonymous with one of the bloodiest and most popular fighting game franchises to date. The original statue there is also him.
Meanwhile, fans are desperate for news about the next game in the series. Last one appeared in 2019and so far there have been no clues as to when Mortal Kombat 12 can be expected. Director Ed Boon and NetherRealm Studios were expected to step up to the plate Injustice 3, but there was no official announcement about it, and the messy merger Warner Bros. Discovery fears the worst. Perhaps NetherRealm can fill the void with a 30th anniversary collection that brings the series’ past into the present.