Mortal Kombat’s Iconic Logo Wasn’t Far From Being Scrapped!

We dread to think that Mortal Kombat could have become a franchise if it wasn’t for that dragon logo that almost everyone knows.


The logo wasn’t far from being scrapped altogether. John Tobias, the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, had his sister, who could have played a pivotal role in the franchise’s future. Still, Tobias elaborated on Twitter in a thread: “I designed the icon as both a symbol of our game and its fictional tournament. The image comes from fellow MK artist John Vogel’s videotaped footage used to digitize my pencil drawing. We traced the digitized image with pixels for use in the game. The inspiration to use a dragon as the fictional tournament’s symbol came from “Dragon Attack,” which was in contention as our game’s title before Tobias Boon and I changed it to “Mortal Kombat.” The name “Dragon Attack” came from Boon’s love for the band Queen and their song of the same title. I used the colours described in the lyrics of that song on our eventual coin-op cabinet design. The inspiration for the dragon icon’s design started when John Vogel saw a golden dragon statue on the desk of Midway’s general manager, Ken Fedesna. John borrowed it to digitize for use in our game’s backgrounds. I saw the dragon statue and thought of using an Asian-inspired dragon design as part of our coin-op cabinet’s side panel art.

I had been thinking of creating an icon to represent the fictional tournament and brand the game with a symbol… like Superman’s “S” or Batman’s bat symbol. I used the dragon from my cabinet side panel sketch to inform the look of the dragon icon as our symbol. Up until MKII, we used the icon facing both left and right. With Acclaim’s console releases, we had to pick one or the other for trademarking purposes. We chose facing right, and it’s been that way ever since. The eventual icon design attempted to replicate the yin-yang symbol, which represented the balancing of the furies, a core part of MK’s early fiction. I almost tossed the dragon icon sketch aside when I was at home working on it at my drafting table, and my sister mistook the dragon for a seahorse,” Tobias said.

Below we’ve embedded all the images he posted, and for a good reason: Mortal Kombat launched in arcades on October 8, 1992. So the 30th anniversary is coming up…

Source: PSL



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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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