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Get over here and see how Scorpion's iconic spear-throw was created

Scorpion throws a chain
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Mortal Kombat's 30th anniversary doesn't technically take place until 2022. But ahead of the big three-oh, co-creator Ed Boon has shared a few early development insights on Twitter—including a look at the team figuring out one of fighting games' most famous moves on-the-fly with Scorpion actor Daniel Pesina.

Speaking through grainy VHS footage from 1992, Boon interrupts a motion capture shoot by suggesting what he thinks would be a "cool ass move". What follows is a back-and-forth that sees the team figure what would, indeed, be recognised by gaming history as a cool-ass move.

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In follow-up tweets, Boon explains that the process involved a bit more than just watching a yellow ninja pretend to toss sticks. Because the move had to be surprising to opponents, the motion had to be quick, simple and readable, and you can hear the team discuss how many frames it should take up.

Memory restrictions also meant that the fewer unique animations the team could use, the better. Instead of recording bespoke "impaled" animations for every character, Boo talks about how they borrowed frames from existing animations to cobble together the completed move.

"We were so tight on memory, that we didn’t even capture any motions for the victim reactions. Instead we borrowed from their existing animation frames. You can hear us talk about reusing one of the victim’s “knockdown” animations when they initially get hit by the spear."

Scorpion's "get over here!" may well be one of the oldest videogame memes, a fighting game move as recognisable as Street Fighter's roaring Hadouken (if not more so). It's fascinating to see its origins in an impromptu recording session, and Boon hopes to keep sharing dev insights from the series' history in the run-up to Mortal Kombat's 30th anniversary.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.