Having given us a glimpse of the new Liu Kang, the logical next reveal for Midway's Mortal Kombat reboot might be some villain profiles or backup characters. But MK has always done things its own way: the latest gameplay trailer showcases the series' best-known Easter egg character, the smoke-ninja Noob Saibot. Besides showing off Saibot's varied move-list (similar to that of alter-ego Sub-Zero), the trailer highlights some hyper-graphic fatality action, making it unsuitable for anyone born after Mortal Kombat II (an embarrassing marker if ever there was one).
Famously, Noob Saibot began life as a Shen Long-esque in-joke: the moniker comes from reversing the surnames of MK programmers Ed Boon and John Tobias. Presumably much of the character's fighting expertise comes from defending himself against accusations that such a stupid name speaks to his status as a persistent throwaway gag.
Above: The trailer emphasizes Saibot's shadow-duplication skills
Debuting in the second game – don't share your lunch money with anyone who tells you otherwise – the non-playable ninja presented a challenge to any player who won 50 rounds in a row. Since then, he's become integrated into the playable roster as the reincarnation of Sub-Zero. While Noob Saibot's incorporation into the MK canon (kanon?) offers some of the most tortuous convolutions in a series never known for its narrative clarity, we trust it'll all make sense within the new game's revised continuity. How he got to looking like a martial arts version of Victor von Doom, on the other hand, will be left to fans to deduce.
Feb 15, 2011