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Top 10 Mortal Kombat X Brutalities (with Video)

Top 10 Mortal Kombat X Brutalities (with Video)

Brutalities: one of the most eye-catching new additions to Mortal Kombat X.  If you’ve been a fan of the franchise for a while, you’ll remember that brutalities began as something quite different.  Appearing in home versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, brutalities were introduced as (yet another) finishing move, consisting of an 11-button sequence that culminated in a massive combo, ultimately obliterating the opponent.  Brutalities were pretty cool the first couple of times you saw them, and one could definitely earn some respect for pulling off these complicated finishers, but they  weren’t really any different from character to character, and nothing out of the ordinary happened during the combos other than the video being sped up.

However, the idea of a brutality has been completely reinvented for Mortal Kombat X.  This time around, they’re designed as special moves that cleverly kill an opponent.  When the final hit is delivered via a certain move and certain other conditions during the match have been met (such as performing a move a certain number of times, having a certain amount of time remaining, having a certain amount of health, and so on), the opponent meets a quick and gruesome ending.  Many of them will happen by accident throughout the course of regular gameplay (making them all the more surprising) while others are exceedingly complex to pull off, especially against a “live” opponent.

So here’s a video of my 10 favorite brutalities.  Picking 10 wasn’t easy.  With a current roster of 27 characters and each character having 5, sometimes 6 brutalities to their name, there’s a lot to see.  A lot of them are quite similar, resulting in similar mutilations to the opponent.  When I was choosing 10, I found myself drawn to the more visually unique finishers.  Check out the video below and let me know what you think, and keep reading to find out why I singled these 10 out!

10.  Reptile – Heart Attack

  • All variations
  • Must perform at least 5 Tongue Slaps during match (Back + Square)
  • Final hit from Tongue Slap 

I wasn’t sold on Heart Attack at first, but after going through several more brutalities and coming back to it, I found it to be refreshingly different than most others and perfectly suited to Reptile’s personality.  I love the frog-like move as Reptile snatches the heart out of the air.  It’s not all that gory, but I appreciate that it shows off Reptile’s Saurian heritage.  Best of all this is pretty easy to pull off against a real opponent.  It should be easy to work those Tongue Slaps in since the opponent won’t be too concerned with the minor damage; the trick is delivering that last blow!

9.  Kenshi – Instant Karma

  • Kenjutsu variation
  • Must perform 5 Tele-Punches during the match (Back, Forward, Triangle)
  • Must be jump distance from opponent
  • Final hit must come from Tele-Punch (or enhanced version)

This is another unique brutality and a great tie-in to the special move being used.  We haven’t seen all that many skeletons in MKX (they used to be quite common in the earlier games); preferred dismemberments seem to revolve around splitting opponents down the middle.  There’s not really any gore to speak of, though there’s a subtle detail worth mentioning: as the corpse falls to the ground, it can be seen to sort of “deflate” for lack of bones.  Instant Karma is another easy finisher to pull off in battle, just make sure you’re at the right distance when the time comes.

8.  Quan Chi – Skull Transplant

  • All variations
  • Must be jump distance from opponent
  • Final hit must come from Skull (Down, Back, Triangle)
  • Must hold Triangle during final hit

What a great idea for a finishing move, and a great name too!  There are probably a dozen, if not more, brutalities that feature exploding heads and decapitations, and this has got to be one of the best.  Watching Quan Chi’s green skull emerge from the opponent’s neck is a fun surprise the first time around.  It reminds me a bit of one of D’Vorah’s brutalities where she implants a larva in her victim and it burst forth after the opponent has fallen.

7.  Tanya – Pop-Pop

  • Pyromancer variation
  • Opponent must be afflicted with Dark Shroud (Down, Forward, Triangle)
  • Final hit must come from Surging Blast (Down, Forward, Square + R2)

Here’s another brutality that ends with a skeleton and the cool burning-away-flesh effect.  There are a few other finishers where the opponent is similarly vaporized, but Pop-Pop takes the cake for not only including a skeleton, but a glowing purple skeleton at that!  Fortunately pulling this one off in battle isn’t too hard thanks to the enduring effects of Dark Shroud.

6.  Scorpion – Get Over Here

  • All variations
  • Scorpion must have over 50% heatlh
  • Final hit must come from Double Spear (Back, Forward, Square + R2, R2)

This is one of the first brutalities I started pulling off on a regular basis and I still think it looks great.  It features a scene familiar in many brutalities – the sort of “exploding upper body” – but with an added twist of a charred torso.  The best part is the pitiful flailing on the part of the opponent just before falling, a scene that’s both comical and gruesome with its partially skeletal remains.  It’s especially fun to execute against Goro!  Depending on how easy your opponent is to catch with a spear, Get Over Here can be really easy or really difficult to pull off.  The entire move also uses up 2 bars of the Super Meter, so even with a full meter you’re only afforded one miss with the Double Spear.  But if your opponent is easy to snag and you can live without an X-ray move, you’ll be pulling this off all the time!

5.  Raiden – Power Outage

  • Master of Storms variation
  • Must perform a 10-hit combo during the match
  • Final hit must come from Half Trap (Down, Forward, Circle / Down, Back, Circle) or Full Trap (Down, Forward, Circle +R2)

Raiden has several worthwhile brutalities, generally utilizing lighting to rip the opponent to pieces.  Of all of them, Power Outage offers up the most gore and the best view. Another of his brutalities, Dark Force, essentially has the same effect, but sees the opponent’s body parts scatter across the floor instead of breaking up in midair (and it’s a little tougher to pull off).  Power Outage is exactly the type of solid brutality we all root for.  Performing it can seem daunting at first, but it was a little easier than I expected.  Raiden’s X-ray will work nicely for the 10-hit combo (delivering 11 or 12 hits I believe), and I think it’s a little easier to get the opponent to walk into 2 Half Traps rather than setting a whole one (and thus needing a bar of Super Meter).  If you plant one behind you, quickly close in on the opponent and plant one in front, it’s nigh unavoidable!  The damage is minimal though, so make sure to strike at the right time!

4.  Erron Black – Swing Low

  • Marksman variation
  • Must have 2 bars of Super Meter
  • Final hit must come from Swing Shot (Down, Back Triangle)

With so many weapons at his disposal and with them playing such a prominent role in his fighting styles (a rifle, 2 revolvers, a Tarkatan “sword,” spurs, sound grenades…), it’s no surprise that this otherwordly cowboy has some badass brutalities up his sleeve.  It doesn’t get much more brutal than playing golf with a human head and then segueing straight into skeet shooting!  The best part?  It’s pretty damn easy to pull off as long as you’re good enough with Mr. Black to finish the fight with 2 bars of Super left.

3.  Sub-Zero – Ice Cubed

  • Unbreakable variation
  • Must have Frozen Aura active (Down, Back, Square)
  • Final hit must come from Icy Slide (Back, Forward, Circle + R2)

Like Raiden, Sub-Zero is also loaded with a strong set of themed brutalities, including the conceptually awesome but somewhat visually lacking, Splitting Image.  Ice Cubed isn’t that gory either, but the final couple of seconds push this brutality beyond most others – the frozen head.  Not many brutalities end with such an effective bang.  Much like Tanya’s Pop-Pop that also requires another ability to activated (or in her case inflicted upon), Sub-Zero’s Frozen Aura stays active for plenty of time to get the deed done.

2.  Kotal Kahn – Sawed Off

  • War God variation
  • Final hit must come from 3-hit combo ending in Saw Blade (Down, Forward, Triangle)

This may not seem like an obvious second choice for some, but to me, it pretty much captures the essence of the word “brutal.”  The special move itself is fairly extreme, and I really like how seamlessly the special move moves into the actual brutality.  This isn’t a quick explosion or a clean decapitation; it isn’t even the slash of a ultra-sharp blade; it’s Kotal literally sawing his victim in two.  It’s not a difficult finisher to perform, but stipulations like the 3-hit combo ending with Saw Blade can sound troublesome.  Luckily, the solution is simple: tack on Saw Blade (Down, Forward, Triangle) to the simple “Square, Square, Square” combo, and you’re ready to go!

1.  Quan Chi – Blood Shower

  • Warlock variation
  • Must win first round with a throw (L1)
  • Final hit must come from a throw (L1)

The name kind of gives it all away, but that doesn’t make it any less cool.  Without a doubt, Blood Shower is the coolest of all of MKX’s brutalities; so far at least.  I know Quan Chi made the list twice and that may seem a little crazy considering just how many brutalities are out there, but hey, I can’t help it if they loaded him up with the awesome ones!  Besides being extra gory and a tad unexpected, I love the fact that Quan Chi just stands there and lets the falling blood cover him without batting an eye.  The best news of all?  It’s really easy to pull off!

There you have it, my 10 favorite Mortal Kombat X brutalities!  There were a lot of great ones that didn’t quite make the cut.  I included a few of these extras in the video. Just to show off; I could’ve probably easily come up with a top 20!  Then again, a good number of them are teetering on unoriginal and many share the same effect (a hole through the torso, exploding upper bodies, and knocking off the lower legs).  Overall though I think the brutalities are a success and I hope they appear again!  It’s easily one the best finishers that the developers ever came up with!

And although some may be really hard to pull off (such as Jax’s Ragdoll brutality – you have a 1 frame window in which to nail all 4 attack buttons simultaneously, and this is at the end of an already tricky combo when it comes to timing) or require endless prerequisites to be met (Kotal Kahn’s Totem This is little more than an uppercut but it’ll only work after summoning all three of his totems, wearing the clock down to less than 30 seconds, and then activating the Crystal Totem just before the final blow), we can take solace in the fact that most of the really cool ones can be done easily or with a little bit of practice and luck at the very worst.

The ones features at the beginning are:

  • Kotal Kahn – Dry Rub
  • Sub-Zero – Snow Ball
  • Kung Lao – Z-Hat
  • Kenshi – Leg Up
  • Jason – Blood Bath
  • Jason – Blunt Trauma
  • Ermac – Controlled Chaos
  • Johnny Cage – Bring It On
So what do you think of these 10 selections?  What’s you’re favorite brutality?  Let us know below!

Also be sure to check out our growing collection of other Mortal Kombat X articles:

Written, played, and edited by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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One Comment

  1. Have you screwed around with the stage brutalities yet? I saw a new rare one today featuring Blanche. I guess she is an old lady in the background at a marketplace. Apparently there are two brutalities with her and they are both pretty sick.


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