Monday, May 05, 2008

Y'know, one of the advantages of spreading these updates over a weekly schedule was supposed to be emerging news and discussion points for the upcoming video game. Alas; the well of information has mostly been dry, with the exception of a magazine publication of a less than impressive in-game render for Scorpion!

Scorpion was confirmed on announcement along with Superman, and the trailer featured, Sub-Zero, and Batman. Since the announcement of those names, many fans have taken up the challenge to pair their favourite characters from the MK and DC universe together in battles royale!

Of course, with the MK design team reverting to old habits of sloppily homogenous and thoughtless design, one thinks back to other recurring themes! The infamous rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero ended when Scorpion successfully killed the Sub-Zero who murdered him, and learnt his benevolent replacement was innocent of killing his family and clan, an action undertaken by the sorceror, Quan Chi.

Still, everyone's been so busy thinking about the game in terms of dream match-ups that noone's talking about the story. Story promises to be a big part of MKvsDC with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray joining Ed Boon, John Vogel, and the rest of the MK team in steering characters toward suitable ends.

As much as I expect a central theme of market share heroes battling to prevent the interdimensional catastrophe being sponsored by peppered villain characters; I'd like to think there's potential for layered conflict. Afterall, the already announced characters may very well come to blows with their intercompany counterparts, but the home teams both have storied rivalries of their own!

Superman and Batman have one of the most popular rivalries in comics, epitomized by battles like the defining Frank Miller penned battle from The Dark Knight Returns. While the incarnations of one character may have changed; Scorpion and Sub-Zero's rivalry is certainly part of video game history!
Food for thought, true believers!

[10%] :ODDS
Darkseid's Elite

ODDS: [40%]
Elder Gods
Strength: Draw 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Blaze 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 2 (Average)
Stamina: Brimstone 7 (Unstoppable)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting: Blaze 7 (Born Fighter)
Energy: Blaze 7 (Cosmic)

The Battle...
Gee, what do you suppose led to this pairing?
These two flaming giants of immense power may be harbingers of armageddon, but that doesn't mean they're both evil.

While Brimstone serves as pawn to the sinister whims of Darkseid; Blaze is loyal to his creators; the Elder God, Argus, and his prophet wife, Delia. When Delia foresaw the culmination of powers in the Mortal Kombat universe, she witnessed armageddon. Charged with the duty of monitoring the super powers; Blaze was forcefully deviated from his mission when loyal priests of the long dead Dragon King bound him mystically to protecting the lava pits where an egg promised the King's reincarnation.

When Onaga was successfully resurrected, Blaze was left to resume his quest, only to find the number of powers had multiplied exponentially, and one of the demi-god brothers tasked with aiding him had become corrupted.
These were the events contributing to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and with no final resolution provided in-game, may actually have contributed to the collision of worlds in MKvsDC.

Brimstone started life and destruction in the pages of Legends and has popped up from time-to-time since to menace folks like Firestorm, Superman, and the Martian Manhunter. Not a guy with a lot of prospects for a game like this, particularly as MK already has a resident flaming giant, but a fun pairing all the same. Although, given Blaze's secret origins as "Torch," not as fun as other options more close to the source?...

The Math: Blaze Our Winner: Blaze

[#514] :RANKING
[40%] :ODDS
Injustice League

ODDS: [50%]
Black Dragon
Strength: Metallo 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Kabal 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Kabal 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Metallo 7 (Unstoppable)
Agility: Kabal 2 (Average)
Fighting: Kabal 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Metallo 4 (Arsenal)

The Battle...
Well known for his hookswords, Kabal's in-game arsenal included a super speed move that left his opponents in a spin. Concessions made by gaming mechanics like this might be evidence for accepting the DC pantheon into a balance game; but it's also a reminder that not everyone is as they seem. Take Kabal -- a character who should not be confused for a super speedster!

Invincible Iron Month as it is, it's almost hard not to draw parallels between Iron Man and Kabal as men relying on technology to keep them alive. It was that defining quality that led me to the vague common ground presented by Metallo; the mechanical man with a Kryptonite heart!

Metallo isn't technically wearing life support, especially not since Neron granted him the ability to recompose himself using any available metals, but no the same token, that's a pretty major dependency! Also tying these characters together; their bitter hatred for their enemies!

In Metallo's life is an undying passion to see Superman punished for his part in the many foilings of his plans. Kabal has a much more personal mission: to see Mavado dead for the role he played in brutally defeating, hideously disfiguring, and nearly killing him. Hey, why not?

Technically this is a gross mismatch given Metallo's considerable power, and enhanced ability to dismantle and assimilate the technology that keeps Kabal alive. Still, as an iconic menace in the DCU, it's entirely plausible that Metallo would not only make for an interesting visual with his glowing green heart, but also as a powerhouse mechanical menace. Then again, with characters like Sektor in the race, the DC pickings could probably be better served...

The Math: Metallo Our Winner: Metallo

[30%] :ODDS

ODDS: [35%]
Strength: Moloch 6 (Invinvible)
Intelligence: Blue Devil 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Blue Devil 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Moloch 6 (Generator)
Agility: Blue Devil 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Blue Devil 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Blue Devil 5 (Lasers)

The Battle...
Blue Devil actually started out as a devout Catholic garbed in a hi-tech costume full of sensory enhancements that complimented his extensive training in the martial arts. Eventually, however, this Daredevil-wannabe got a little more Hellboy when his suit was fused with him, and he gradually began to manifest his abilities as a result of transforming into a literal blue demon!

Given MK's long association with infernal creatures, like Moloch, it just seems logical to bring Blue Devil to the table. Unfortunately, as a fairly obscure fellow, I can't imagine he has any shot of beating out the stiff competition of his fellow Justice Leaguers. Lucky for ol' hornhead MK has a blue devil of their own we at the Infinite Wars can throw him up against, where experience and versatility get him the win.

While weapons aren't likely to be a factor in the T rated mash-up; it's hard to resist the thought of Blue Devil masterfully wielding the Trident of Lucifer for weapon battles, and custom projectiles.

The Math: Blue Devil Our Winner: Blue Devil

[#518] :RANKING
[5%] :ODDS
Horsemen of
the Apokolips

ODDS: [40%]
Strength: Draw 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Draw 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Onaga 6 (Generator)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting: Onaga 6 (Warrior)
Energy: Onaga 4 (Arsenal)

The Battle...
Y'know, when I sat down to come up with a list of interesting match-ups [over three weeks ago, now] I thought it would be a lot of fun to draw upon a mix of characters likely and unlikely to appear. Half the point here is to give both sides better chance to acquaint themselves with the enemy, as it were.

Onaga may have only made his in-game debut in 2004's Mortal Kombat: Deception, but as the fabled Dragon King ruler of Outworld, his history was intertwined with the centuries of backstory known and loved by MK fans.
His was the deception named in the title, detailed in the Konquest adventure game that saw the manipulation of a warrior called Shujinko, who unwittingly went about setting the stage for the Dragon King's return as chief antagonist.

The Dragon King's an ancient evil said to challenge even the combined might of sorcerors and gods. When it came to pairing him with a DC hero or villain, I thought there was a nice synergy between he and a character defined by a menace as old as time itself - Death!

Azraeuz may have suffered a tortoruous death at the hands of Black Adam, but both universes know all too well the swinging door policy of the afterlife!
This cattle-headed bioengineered killing machine emerged as one of Dr. Sivana's most recent Monster Society, a quartet aptly named The Four Horsemen of Apokolips. Though apparently not linked to Darkseid; they certainly lived up to their name as harbingers of doom for the citizens of Khandaq! Doom comparable to that brought by the rampage of the Dragon King in Outworld!

Onaga was ultimately a dull super powered dragon boss with flame breath and flapping wings, but Azraeuz needn't be so bland. An ability to summon strength from surrounding death and decay could surely prove an interesting power in the Mortal Kombat universe, and a method for drawing strength from an opponent's defeat, perhaps? Then there's that giant scythe, too... A great weapon, but probably still not enough to stop the ancient slaughterer that is, Onaga.

The Math: Onaga Our Winner: Onaga

[40%] :ODDS
New Gods

ODDS: [50%]
Strength: Orion 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Orion 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Orion 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Orion 6 (Generator)
Agility: Rain 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting: Orion 6 (Warrior)
Energy: Orion 5 (Lasers)

The Battle...
Some would tell you it's a lack of creativity and penchant for lazy design, others would tell you it's the zany sense of humor that made the MK games more than just gore encrusted tot. Either way, Rain began life as a purple alternate for the already over used "ninja" costume.

Purple Rain claims to be a Prince of Edenia, despite betraying his home realm to bow to the might of it's conqueror, Shao Kahn. If you read that first part aloud, you'll probably get the gag, but if you didn't, you're better off for it.
I was actually a fan of the potential of Rain, but promise of redemption was quickly quashed by a character intent on amassing powers seemingly owed to him by birthright as a descendant of the Elder God, Argus.

This lack of magnificence is in distinct contrast to Orion!
The son of Darkseid, it was written in prophecy that Orion would one day bring about the death of the villainous ruler of Apokolips. Raised on New Genesis after a trade between the warring sister-planets; Orion came to know the sweeter things in life, but still dedicated himself to the higher purpose of his own father's evil and it's destruction.

Orion's a powerful berzerker with a heart of gold, and as far as in-game capabilities go? Well, I'll leave that to your own imagination. Kirby-dots a plenty would be sure to delight as the character unleashed assaults of berzerker and technologically funded sorts, I'm sure. Attacks all sure to overwhelm Rain, who, despite being a well designed character, suffers from poor characterization.

The Math: Orion Our Winner: Orion

[#491] :RANKING
[25%] :ODDS
Justice League

ODDS: [25%]
Strength: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Draw 2 (Average)
Speed: Draw 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon)
Agility: Draw 5 (Cat-like)
Fighting: Khameleon 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Khameleon 3 (Explosives)

The Battle...
Running tragically late, we're going to round this week's update out with a couple of animalistically powered femme fatales!

If you're familiar with Reptile, then you already know most of what you need to understand Khameleon. Believed to be the last female of the Saurian race; Khameleon has remained a Nintendo exclusive character, appearing in corresponding games for the N64 (Trilogy) and Wii (Armageddon).
The character is ultimately in search of other survivors of her species, and has apparently not suffered the same de-evolution experienced by Reptile. She possesses most of the abilities of her male counterpart, the notable ability being invisibility implied by her namesake [not to be confused with Chameleon, or Chameleon].

All of these abilities make Khameleon a worthy adversary, but against the Justice League's Vixen, they might be her downfall! Vixen has the innate ability to mimick the abilities of animals within range, potentially making Khameleon a source for power as long as she's within fighting distance!

I'm not entirely sure what constitutes as an animal, but you'd have to think there'd be some pretty interesting wildlife in Outworld and such for Vixen to absorb the abilities of! Ultimately, as cliche acceptable as a power mimicking character is in these types of video games, I'm not sure Vixen's powers lend her to that particular role. An unlikely inclusion, but a character on the rise after being drafted as part of Brad Meltzer's Justice League.

The Math: Khameleon Our Winner: Vixen

PREVIOUSLY: If you missed out, be sure to catch-up on previous MKvsDC Fantasy Fight pairings from Round 1, and Round 2! Also for the MK fans: the C2C covers the common ground of MK and DC; plus! The moments they didn't want you to see! Some of DC's greatest heroes performing deadly fatalities!

NEXT: Invincible Iron Month rolls out the heavy artillery for more from the Shellhead, while we take classic looks back through the C2C! Also coming to the Infinite Wars will be a fight MK fans won't want to miss! One of the biggest, most significant throwdowns from the DC Universe, where a fatality will be delivered as preordained! All that, plus much more, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Moloch over the Blue Devil, Moloch's a beast. Rain is very underrated, he'd whoop Orion.