Mortal Kombat’s Gruesome Sounds Are Made In Some Weird Ways

by : Ewan Moore on : 22 Aug 2019 12:09
Mortal Kombat's Gruesome Sounds Are Made In Some Weird WaysNetherRealm

Mortal Kombat, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is a pretty intense and violent franchise. NetherRealm’s iconic fighter has a long and storied history of bone-breaking, head smashing fatalities that have only gotten more immersive and believable over time. 

You might wonder exactly how the good folk at NetherRealm make these brutal attacks so realistic. You’ve probably already heard that those tasked with animating the fatalities have to study some pretty nasty content (which can reportedly take a real toll), but creating the sound effects for the attacks looks to be a much more light-hearted affair.


That’s according to an excellent new video from VICE anyway. The publication recently visited the NetheRealm HQ in Chicago, and were treated to a behind the scenes look at the cutting edge techniques employed by the studio to replicate the sound of snapped spines, broken noses, and people being torn in half.

Thankfully, the process used to synthesise these sounds is nowhere as violent as pinning an intern down in a sound booth and breaking every bone in their body while an engineer records. Instead, NetherRealm opt to abuse various foods, and the results are incredible.

You can watch the video for yourself below to see exactly how it’s done, but be warned – you might never look at the foods involved in the same away again. Crushing a walnut sounds exactly a spine snapping in two, while squishing a grapefruit with your bare hands sounds terrifyingly like reaching inside someone’s stomach with your fist and rearranging their insides.


The one that repulsed me most of all however, was the poor bell pepper. As it turns, twisting a bell pepper in just the right way sounds like a chest cavity being ripped open. Who knew? I think I might skip lunch today.


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In other Mortal Kombat news, the final batch of characters for the games first DLC pack was just announced. The Terminator and Batman villain Joker are joining Spawn, Sindel, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf. I wonder what fruit is used to replicate the sound of Joker’s jaw being pulled off?

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Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn't gotten out of his mid 00's emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.

Topics: Gaming, Mortal Kombat, NetherRealm, Warner Bros