Mortal Kombat II’s source code leaked, revealing feature cuts

Mortal Kombat II’s entire source code has been leaked to the public, revealing the omissions of several features before its release. Users can access and download the game’s source code on GitHub.

The leaked content includes animations, canned assets, movement sets and sprites. The source code contains parts that Mortal Kombat fans have never seen before. Many fans said these parts were likely cut from the final version due to time or budget constraints.

YouTuber TehDrewsus live-streamed himself exploring the source code for three hours, which he said did not even cover half of the leaked materials. He pointed out another Shao Khan’s Fatality and more Johnny Cage animations in the code.

Fans on Twitter also started discussions about the leak. For example, they found the blue-skinned version of the Scorpion — an undead ninja out to avenge his family’s demise. Fans also said the creators scrapped some movements intended for the character.

Mortal Kombat II was initially released back in April 1993 as an arcade game by Midway, but the game later became available in several home gaming systems, like Super Nintendo and PlayStation. It served as the second installment of the successful 1992-released Mortal Kombat. This sequel offers more fatalities, roster members — including Shao Kahn, Kitana and Kung Lao — and finishers for each character.

The game’s co-creators, Ed Boon and John Tobias, often address fans on Twitter, sharing behind-the-scenes information about the franchise. As of this writing, Boon and Tobias have not discussed the leak.

Mortal Kombat throughout years

Mortal Kombat was controversial at the time of its debut due to the over-the-top gore materials. The game garnered scrutiny from Congress and parent communities who were concerned about children accessing the violent game. It eventually became one of the reasons for the establishment of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994.

Despite controversies surrounding the game, Mortal Kotbat quickly became popular even decades later. Mortal Kombat’s popularity led to big-screen adaptations, with the latest one released in 2021 and directed by Simon McQuoid. Reports said a sequel for the movie is in the works, with Moon Knight writer Jeremy Slater participating in the screenwriting.

The latest entry to the series was Mortal Kombat 11, released in 2019 for home consoles. Fans expect its developer, NetherRealm Studios, to reveal something new soon, especially after Boon teased fans about the new entry.

Throughout the years, the franchise has faced poor reception for some of its releases. Many fans called its 2009-released video game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe the franchise’s “lowest point.” DC and Warner Bros’ involvement in the production made developers dial down its iconic gore.

In response to the criticism, Boon said the game taught them a big lesson that would be useful for the development of new games within the franchise.

“This resulted in us deciding that the next Mortal Kombat game would be a full reboot and aggressively embrace everything signature about Mortal Kombat,” Boon said.

“This included going back to a 2D fighting plane, retelling the [story of the] original trilogy, and going back to our classic Fatalities without restrictions.”

Other prominent leaks in game industry

Many game companies have suffered from source code leaks in the past years. A notable case in February 2021 was the source code sales of The Witcher 3 — which included an unreleased version — and Gwent: The Witcher Card Game for $7 million on the dark web. The leaker also compromised the developer CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077’s private data, including accounting and investor information.

In September this year, a teen hacker sold the source code for Grand Theft Auto V before being detained. Previously, the hacker shared low-quality videos of the unreleased Grand Theft Auto VI.