Mortal Kombat 11 Easter Eggs And References: The Best We've Found (So Far)
The Deep Kuts of MK
Mortal Kombat loves itself some Mortal Kombat. And Mortal Kombat 11 is essentially a love letter to the long-running and hyper-violent fighting game series. It wipes the slate clean with its main villain Kronika and her use of time manipulation, allowing for some really fun nods to its storied past. Everything from character intros, acknowledgment of the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, and even references to outside franchises are found throughout MK11.
Particularly, NetherRealm has become known for its efforts on the lore front and it shows in the plethora of lines of dialogue that call back to established character relationships and past story events. In addition to the wealth of returning characters and stages, Mortal Kombat 11 also features a new edition of the Krypt, allowing you to explore Shang Tsung's island for the first time.
Below, we gathered some of the best (and strangest) Easter eggs and references we've found so far. Undoubtedly there will be ones we missed, so please post those in the comments below. We have the game covered from every angle, so be sure to check out our Fatalities compilation or roundup of Fatal Blows and Brutalities. If you're still getting your feet wet, check out our MK11 beginner's guide, and if you're on the fence about jumping in, read our MK11 review-in-progress.
Liu Kang's Fatal Blow
When Liu Kang delivers his Fatal Blow, he summons a dragon that bites down on his opponent. This a callback to his Fatality in MK2 and Animality in MK3. It's a nice little touch considering Animalities haven’t appeared in the series since 1996's Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
Shang Tsung's Cameo
One of the more surprising and exciting things about MK11 is how it shows love to the 1995 cult classic adaptation. Shang Tsung’s voice actor and face model is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the actor who portrayed the character in the original film. Though the immortal sorcerer's appearance in MK11 is largely just a cameo in the Krypt--which takes place on his island fortress--he'll soon become a playable fighter in the game's future DLC.
Revisiting The Klassic Stages
The Krypt is a fully realized version of Shang Tsung’s island where you can walk around, explore, and unlock additional content. The whole area is filled with callbacks to the original game, allowing you to visit classic Mortal Kombat stages such as The Pit and Warrior Shine.
Kano’s Corpse In Goro’s Dining Hall
Shang Tsung's Island also features locations taken from the film, such as Goro’s dining hall. At the head of the table is the skeletal remains of Kano, who in the film spent time there stuffing his face.
The Bucket Of Water
The Krypt is filled with countless items to collect, many of which relate to certain characters through the videogame series and even the live-action film. . This includes a bucket of water known as "Element That Brings Life." At first, it may seem like an item that's out of place, but it's actually another nod to the film, referencing how Liu Kang uses a bucket of water to defeat Sub-Zero.
Johnny Cage’s $500 Sunglasses
Another movie reference comes from Mr. Hollywood himself. One of Johnny Cage’s cosmetics is a pair of $500 dollar sunglasses, the same pair Johnny wore in the film--which Goro destroyed prior to their battle.
Cassie Texting Ronda
Cassie is one of the more tongue-in-cheek characters in MK11, which is evident in her intros. She has a few where she texts various people before the fight--including MKX's Takeda-- but one of the recipients is "Ronda". As a nod to Ronda Rousey, the former UFC fighter and WWE star, she also provides the voice for Sonya Blade in MK11.
Cassie Texting Ed Boon
In another text exchange, you can see her talking with someone with the handle "noobde" which is series co-creator and MK11 director Ed Boon's Twitter handle.
Cassie’s Texting Intro Cracks A Samurai Jack Joke
Another text has Cassie making a nod to the animated series Samurai Jack, where she texts Jacqui Briggs "he's no samurai, Jac."
Cassie Cage's Mokap Mocha
In Cassie’s intro where she’s holding a drink, the cup's logo says "Mokap Mocha," a reference to Mokap, a hidden character in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance who is literally a man in a mocap suit.
Shout Out To Disney's Frozen
Who would've thought Disney's Frozen would get a shout out in Mortal Kombat? During the fight intro between Cassie and Frost, Cassie cheekily calls her Elsa in reference to the movie's main character. You'll get another one in a Frost mirror match where the two recite lyrics from the song "Let It Go" from the movie.
Noob Saibot And Harry Potter
If you do a Noob Saibot mirror match, you might get a Harry Potter joke where one Noob refers to himself as "he who must not be named," to which the other says "return to your deathly hallow."
Remembering The Spin-Offs
This one is a bit subtle, but it's something longtime fans will notice. Certain chapters in the main story reference the MK developer's previous spin-off games. In Chapter 3, focusing on Liu Kang and Kung Lao, it's titled "Shaolin Monks", a nod to the spin-off action game of the same name starring the two characters.
What makes it even better is that the follow-up chapter is called "Fire & Ice", the name of the canceled sequel to Shaolin Monks which would have starred Scorpion and Sub-Zero. You play as them in this story chapter as well.
Raiden and Liu Kang Reference The Original Timeline
Raiden and Liu Kang play on the names of the 3D era of Mortal Kombat games, Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon, in an exchange before a fight.
The Fate of Hsu Hao
Erron Black’s default intro has him dropping a sack with a severed head in it. That head belongs to Hsu Hao, a member of the Red Dragon Clan who first appeared in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance alongside Erron Black. Ed Boon also said on record that Hsu Hao is his least favorite character in the franchise.
Tears In Rain
When fighting Geras, Johnny Cage can give a nod to the famous “Tears In Rain” monologue delivered by the character Roy Batty at the end of the original Blade Runner movie.
Raiden And Sub-Zero Remember The DC Universe
Both Raiden and Sub-Zero appeared as DLC guest fighters in NetherRealm’s DC Comics fighting game Injustice 2, and they will acknowledge it in a fight intro together by recalling battles with "a dark knight" and "a caped wonder."
The Tournament Stage Is Full Of Nods
First off, the tournament stage's music is a remix of the iconic Mortal Kombat movie theme. It's a fantastic stage that has arcade machines in the background for Mortal Kombat X, Deadly Alliance, Shaolin Monks, and Deception. It's also the only stage where you get to hear that high-pitched "Toasty!" Easter egg, which displays on the main screen in the center of the stage.