The following post contains minor spoilers for Mortal Kombat (2021).

The old Mortal Kombat movies of the 1990s played a little fast and loose with the video games’ mythology. They had all the characters, like Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade, but they would often reinvent or muddy their backstories to suit their films’ narratives. (Sub-Zero and Scorpion, for example, spend the first Mortal Kombat film as brainwashed puppets of Shang Tsung.) Still it could be worse. Just look at the Super Mario Bros. movie.

The new Mortal Kombat seems to go to great pains to honor the decades of Mortal Kombat games with all kinds of references to the source material. And I’m not talking about having someone yell “Fatality!” or something like that (although they do that too). I’m talking about specific Fatalities from the game being translated, blood, guts, and all, to the big screen. Even some of the characters’ movements are transferred exactly.

Below are 12 of the coolest shoutouts to vintage Mortal Kombat games in the new Mortal Kombat movie. (Again, we didn’t count the obvious stuff, like having Sub-Zero freeze people. That’s not an Easter egg; that’s a fundamental part of his character.) Mortal Kombat is in theaters now and streaming on HBO Max.

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