Mortal Kombat X is bringing the brand back into the spotlight, but in the hearts of fans it never left. Hearts they would frequently pull out of each other’s chests to demonstrate their devotion. But wait! There are less lethal ways to show a symbol of love.
We’ve trawled Etsy for the best and worst Mortal Kraftworks and paired them off in fights to the finish. Is every Etsy effort a cheap cash-in? Or can those of skill still claim flawless victory?
The Fatality of Faces
Mortal Kombat and Krochet are a perfect combination: both are about mastering complex input patterns to make something that looks good. The only difference is Krochet uses yarn instead of your enemies’ entrails. There’s also the pleasing irony that this Sub-Zero effort protects you from the cold. And it faces off against…
The “Kandi” Reptile bead mask is much truer to the spirit of Mortal Kombat moves, because it’s incredibly uncomfortable for anyone it’s applied to. But the whole point of bead accessories is assembling them.
Calling a preassembled mask “hand made” is like calling a game over screen “hand played.” You’ve missed all the fun stuff and are now stuck with the unpleasant results. Though their choice of Reptile is wonderfully suitable. Kandi offer dozens of identical “products” which differ only in color selection. It’s fitting since Reptile’s entire origin story was “getting people ridiculously overexcited about a minor color change.”
Sub-Zero wins by locking Reptile in a passionate embrace. While Sub-zero is comfortably padded, the things pressing into Reptile’s face quickly make him too uncomfortable to continue.
The Battle of Style
These cufflinks make us happy. True, anyone actually buying them should trigger a “too much money” alarm which deploys a team of rogue adventurers to invade their house, search all their cupboards, and take all their stuff. But that doesn’t change the fact that someone really made the most ridiculous martial arts jewelry since the Double Dragon movie medallion. Except these are made of silver and worth real money.
Their only problem is that they’re not called Mortal Kombat Kufflinks. Otherwise, they’re a subtle video game fetish for those who can’t wear catchphrase t-shirts to work. This is for a billionaire who wants to show people he has unusual interests, interests which include finding a willing victim and subjecting them to FORWARD, DOWN, FORWARD, HIGH PUNCH.
Still, the only way you could wear them without being crazy is if you were the evil head of the Mishima Zaibatsu mounting a hostile takeover of Outworld before taking on DOATEC. Well, actually, in that situation, you’re still crazy. But at least then it’s because it’s your job. But will they get their ass kicked by …
All the expense of sporty shoes! All the bullying from being the biggest nerd in school! And “nerd” isn’t even a problem any more. All kids play video games. You’d have to work extra hard to resurrect the idea that simply playing games turns you into a social pariah, and PumpedUpKicksShoes is prepared to ship that effort around the world.
We’d never mock anyone for making and wearing these. That’s crafting, that’s expression, that’s defining yourself by what you love, and that’s awesome. But when you start charging money, you’ve opened yourself up to review. When you charge two hundred dollars for coloring-book art so bad you missed the coloring book and hit your own feet, you’re demanding the harshest review available to human science. Maybe it’s genius self-defense by the world’s worst but most cunning artist. They say you shouldn’t criticize someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, and this artist has guaranteed no one will do that.
Result: Death from Embarrassment
The painted kicks sadly die of sheer mortification from being seen in public wearing themselves. Which is truly amazing for a Mortal Kombatant considering some of the clothes they’ve worn in public.
The Kufflinks’ only downside is that they’re twice as expensive for Goro.
The Artistic Struggle
The Mortal Kombat Kupcake toppers are computer graphics printed on frosting. And people complain that we don’t live in the future. Even Back to the Future didn’t think of that. Their noly high-tech idea for making you fat was giving you a floating board so that you never had to walk again.
Cupcakes are an awesomely opposite way of shouting GET OVER HERE! Nobody blocks when you offer cupcakes. And when someone nears the end of one of the edible figures, you can shout FINISH HIM!
We wouldn’t mock artists for sharing their work, but it’s self defense when they charge $400. That’s an uglier attack on capitalism than Rapture’s splicers. Either his faceplate is paper thin or his cheekbones now slant more severely than they did in 1998 when he was made of N64 polygons. And how is his spear levitating when he’s one of the only fighting game characters in history who actually has to throw physical objects instead of pure energy? We’re not just saying the artist should be an expert in Scorpion: we’re saying that for $400, this painting should be accurate enough to teach us how to Hellfire Teleport.
Though we do enjoy the application of art gallery style naming to fan-art. “Original Scorpion, oil on canvas” sounds like something Outworld’s art critics discuss in documentaries about artistic smears of blood and ruptured intenstines.
Mortal Kombat 3‘s animalities allowed us to consume our opponents. Cupcakes allow us to do it without ruining our clothes or attracting the attention of terrifying internet fetish groups.
Literature versus Art
This book should be the stupidest entry on the list. Novelizations of video games aren’t just cheap cash-ins, they’re what the people who wanted unskippable cut-scenes made before there were unskippable cut-scenes. They were crudely carving the worst feature of modern gaming before we had the technology to render it. For four dollars it shouldn’t be worth the effort of putting it in an envelope, never mind going to all the bother of posting it.
But it shows a glorious understanding of retro gaming love. The book might be worthless to millions of people, but it will make at least one person’s day, and this noble seller is making sure it gets there. His craft is beachcombing the world, his craft is making sure someone out there gets what they want. Unfortunately, that’s also true of his rival …
Update: It’s sold out!
“Sonya Blade Erotica” is a hell of a highbrow name for this scribble. Subjecting its entrants to extreme physiological distortions is Mortal Kombat‘s entire deal, but it has nothing on this sketch. The otherworldly horror of a carefully shaded face, the cartoonish porn-tortions of her mangled flesh…That’s scarier than anything Shao Kahn ever managed.
And then we have the beads. In artistic terms, the beads symbolize an artist beholding a naked masturbating video game character and thinking “Nope, not screwed up enough yet. Throw some beads in there. Literally.” It’s clearly designed for special moves based on jerking forward, forward, back, back, low punch, low punch.
The book embodies our nostalgic love for the games of the past. The erotica tries to upgrade an old name with new graphics and features. Here’s hoping that Mortal Kombat X can do a better job of both.
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