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Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance In Development

Beta Select Screen, Unused Subtitle Names, Unused Logos, Unused Cover Art, Intro Development, Characters Who Didn't Make The Final Cut, Characters Development, Arenas Development

Beta Select Screen

An early demo version of the game, that has only been shown on 2002 E3 has a very different select screen from the final product:

Characters: Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sonya, Jax, Kenshi, Quan Chi, Li Mei, Sub-Zero, Shang Tsung, Kitana, Kano, Cyrax, Mavado, Reptile, Bo Rai Cho, Raiden, Drahmin, Hsu Hao, Frost and Kung Lao.

Noticeable differences: the select screen is horizontal instead of vertical, there are only 20 characters displayed on it instead of 21, Nitara is missing, most of the characters have a completely different mugshots.

Unused Subtitle Names

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is the first fighting game in the series that actually has a meaningful subtitle instead of just been called with its instalment number, which is 5. With this the team wanted to achieve one very important thing: The rebirth of the series. So here is a list of suggested subtitles, that were discussed during the development of the game:

1. Vengeance

This one is probably the one that stuck the longest. There were a lot of logos created with this name. (see below) We believe that this was the subtitle for the game (Mortal Kombat 5) that was suppose to appear in the year 2000. Unfortunately there is almost nothing to confirm that, except a few cover art images (see below) that show Johnny Cage and Reptile in looks, similar to these seen in Mortal Kombat 4.

Other subtitles were released as a reward in one of the krypt koffins. These subtitles are called by the developers "Top 10 Worst Subtitle Name Suggestions":

  1. Visceral Voyage
  2. Bring It
  3. In Contempt
  4. Life is Shorter
  5. Virus of Violence
  6. Vortices
  7. Male Volence
  8. Evilution
  9. Death Watch
  10. Pinnace of Pain

There are probably others too, but that's all we have.

Unused Logos

There are a lot of suggested logos for the game. Most of them use the subtitle "Vengeance". The second image (the one with Scorpion's face) is actually not confirmed to be an early logo for the game. It is actually one of the very first images that appeared on Ed Boon's personal website Don't bother going there, the website no longer exists. It was however widely accepted as a possible logo for the game and that's actually the reason for it to be here.

Unused Cover Art

The developers really went trough a lot of discussions on their way to the best cover art for the game. There were a lot of images created, all of them heading in a different direction: character-based, logo-based, dragon-based, etc. Most of the have the subtitle name "Vengeance" on them and the first three are using similar to Mortal Kombat 4 models. See above (Unused Subtitle Names) to learn our explanation for this.

Intro Development

There isn't really much to say here, just three images from an unfinished version of the intro movie. Notice that Sub-Zero isn't even in the first part of the final movie.

Characters Who Didn't Make The Final Cut

Just as any other Mortal Kombat there are a lot of fighters that were planned, discussed, sketched and then dropped from the game for a different reasons. Before starting with the most noticeable characters who didn't make it into the game, here is a sketch of 9 fighters, none of them can be recognized as a fighter present in the game. Some will be described below in this section.


OK, let's start with the joke. We know, most of you will tell, that the team never intended to put this one in the game. That's maybe true, but we are sure that there are people on the team who thought that it will be fun to add him as a secret character. According to the original story, Zebron is a Prince who is fighting for freedom for his race. The sketch below is actually one of the first things that made it onto Ed Boon's personal website back in 2000. It was meant as an April's Fools Joke but unfortunately didn't make it in time.

OK, after the joke, let us start with the most significant characters:


Believe it or not, the team was really going to add Kai as a selectable character in the game. His look is very different from the one he has in Mortal Kombat 4. He looks a lot more dangerous then before. If he had made it into the game he would probably seek revenge for the death of his fellow Shaolin Monk, Liu Kang, but this part was given to Kung Lao.


What makes this character special? It is simply the fact, that he actually made it into the Mortal Kombat universe, but not with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Dairou is a selectable fighter in Mortal Kombat: Deception. On the two images below you can see the ideas behind his original outfits for the game.


This lizard like creature was also planned for the game but didn't survive the final cut. However ideas from his design were transferred on Reptile.


This character is called Hachiman. Unfortunately that is all we know about him.


Baphomet is another character that was dropped somewhere during the production of the game. The only thing we know about him is that he is a Elder Demon.

The Evil Masters

Not one but three are the characters here. They have no names. The only piece of information we have is that these three are part of a group called the Evil Masters. This movement never made appearance in the Mortal Kombat universe.

Shao Kahn

It is unclear whether Shao Kahn was ever planned for the game or not. This sketch shows an early version of his outfit that is a lot more different from the one shown in the introduction sequence.


This character has no name. She is a martial arts sorceress based on Hong Kong movies. Long flowing strips of fabric magically lash at opponent and cut with hooks sewn in the ends.


This character has no name too. He is a Martial Arts student, based on Hong Kong movies.


Another nameless character. He is a Martial Arts teacher based on Hong Kong movies.

Character 1

This character is a tormented soul whose body was a cage of unending pain, which would be redirected against his opponent in a berserking fury. The screws in the eye sockets and wrists exaggerated his look of agony.

Character 2

Below is a sketch of drunken fighter character shown in mid drunken stumble. Although never really released his fighting style and the whole idea behind him were transferred to the character Bo Rai Cho.

Character 3

Below is a very early sketch of a unnamed character. Any information about his identity or background is missing.

Evil Sumo

Evil Sumo is yet another character, who didn't make the final cut. He has completely no background story.


This character is a tribal warrior goddess.


The name of this character is Siobhan. She was going to be a more contemporary, club girl martial arts mistress. Unfortunately she never made it into the game.

Lava Shrine Priest

The Lava Shrine Priest is not exactly a fighter in the game. He is a background character much like the monks on the Drum Arena, only this one is for the Lava Shrine. As a member of the ancient sect his job is to guard the last dragon egg. Unfortunately he never made it into the game.

Characters Development

The outfit of almost every single character in the game has changed drastically from the beginning of development to its end. We will describe this changes in the order the characters are displayed on the fighters select screen:

Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung went through a really huge transformation. There is no need to describe the changes, the four early sketches below can do this a lot better than I can.

Bo Rai Cho

In its early stage of development the character Bo Rai Cho was not so overweight than he ended up in the final version of the game. The sketch below shows the master in a different outfit too.

Quan Chi

Quan Chi's design has really evolved a lot since Mortal Kombat 4. Part of the original design was a living weapon, that never made it in to the game. The first sketch above also shows an alternative outfit that was never seen in the final product.

Li Mei

Li Mei's outfit has also been changed a lot before it was finalized for the game. These three sketches show outfits that never made it into the game. A staff-like weapon is also present, but this got later changed with sai.


Scorpion was one of the first characters that were announced for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The first image below is a very early sketch of Scorpion. His outfit here has nothing to do with the one from the final game. The second image shows probably the original idea behind the character's outfit. The third one image comes from a very short teaser trailer shown on E3 in the year 2001 that's more than 1 year before the final game got released. Here and on the next 4 images we see a much simplified outfit than the one drawn on the sketch. There are no swords on this one and the character has a symbol on his back. This is actually the design that was used in most of the promotion materials. In the end parts pf this design were used in Scorpion's second outfit. On the last image you see a render with outfit very similar from the one in the final game. Difference here is the shield that Scorpion has on his right shoulder.


The two sketches below show an early version of Sonya's primary outfit and one design that never made it into the game.


Although we don't know that much about Kenshi's design, we do know that the design team couldn't finalize his name a very long time. The character started as Blind Gi, then at some point switch to Blind Kenshi. In the end the "Blind" part of the name was dropped and the character remained as Kenshi. The second image shows an untextured render of Kenshi.


Mavado's design has also changed a lot. There were a lot of different variation about the way his face was going to look like in the final version. at some point a helmet was going to be part of his second outfit, but this changed later.

Kung Lao

Originally Kung Lao first outfit was going to be his second one, but this has changed later. Below is a untextured render of this outfit.


Nitara's original design can be seen in the sketch below. This was very simplified for the final version of the game.

Hsu Hao

The character Hsu Hao was originally going to be called Kublai Khan or just Khan as shown on the screenshot below. There were a lot of different ideas and variations for his outfit too.


The character Frost was announced as a female Sub-Zero character which totally divided the fans. Some said that this is great, while others hated Frost ever since the begin. The design team went through a lot of trouble in order to find the perfect outfit for Frost.


Jax was another character who went through huge changes during the development of the game. The first sketch probably shows the idea behind Jax's original design. The second image comes from a very short teaser trailer shown on E3 in the year 2001 that's more than 1 year before the final game got released. There was only one frame in the entire trailer that shows Jax. We assume that this outfit is the same as the one shown on the next three images. This outfit is just an updated version of his Mortal Kombat 4 one. The last image shows a new direction for Jax's look in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.


Below you can see a very early sketch of Kitana. This outfit has nothing to do with the one that appeared in the final version of the game. This picture has never been released on any other website.


The first image shown below is actually one of the first things we ever saw from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. It was shown in a interview with one of the team members. Back then this video was one of a very few things that actually proved to the fans that the game is being in development. The second image is actually what we see on the first one, only that it was released with the game itself. This Raiden outfit has very little to do with the final one. The outfit from the third image is more closer to the final look of the character.


The image below is a concept sketch of Reptile redesigned with less human and more reptilian approach. This new design was based on Tiamat character sketches (see above) and the Reptile from the MK movie. This outfit was redesigned and made Reptile's second model.


The development team of the game created a lot of different outfits for Cyrax before finalizing his look for the game. Here are some of them. The last image is an untextured render of the final primary outfit of Cyrax.


Blaze's origin leads back to the time of Mortal Kombat II. There is a fighter in flames in the back of the "The Pit II" arena. According to the rumors from those days, there was a way to play as this character, called "Torch" by the fans. Well, we all know that this was just a rumor. But it is a known fact that every rumor in the Mortal Kombat universe becomes true soon or later in some of the new games. Examples are Animalities, Ermac, human eating trees and others. So for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance the development team decided to make Torch a real fighter from the game under the name Blaze. Below you can see some sketches of early designs for Blaze.


This image shows a untextured version of Moloch.

Arenas Development

The pictures below show an early, not yet finished and/or not textured versions of several arenas from the game. Some of these arenas never made it into the final game:

Water Temple

This arena is one of those that never made it into the game. It is unclear whether this arena has something to do with the God of Water who appeared in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. Its location is also unknown.

Sarna Ruins

Consul Of The Elder Gods

An Arena inspired by the FOMA videos. Unfortunately never made it into the final game.

Acid Bath

An early version of the acid bath arena. This version was used in a unfinished/test version of one of the first teaser trailers made for the game.

Lin Kuei Temple

An early, not yet textured version of the Lin Kuei Temple arena.

Konquest Mode Cave

The two images below show an unfinished version of the Cave arena from Konquest mode.


An early and not yet textured test version of the Dragonfly arena.

Wu Shi Academy

This early and not textured version of the Wu Shi Academy looks really great.

Hause of Pekara

Another early version of one of the arenas in the game.

Quan Chi's Fortress Exterior

These are different sketches and a render of an early version of Quan Chi's Fortress Exterior.