It was recently announced that Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will be bringing back both Rain and Mileena to the MK franchise, as well as John Rambo from the Rambo film series. This last new MK11 DLC fighter isn’t a completely surprising addition, as Mortal Kombat has long been interested in both collaborating with and simply referencing other media properties, not just recently but going all the way back to the first game.
It’s pretty obvious how closely the plot of Mortal Kombat, and the character of Liu Kang in general, follows the formula established in Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon, but that wasn’t the only film the developers at Midway (who would later go on to become NetherRealm Studios) referenced in their early blood-filled fighting games. As the years went on these references and Easter eggs to other people and concepts became both more overt (the Mortal Kombat character Rain, for example, is a purple ninja, and is a reference to Prince’s “Purple Rain” hit) and more prevalent, and one of the funniest involves a finishing move from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (not to be confused with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition) was the second version of Mortal Kombat 3 to release, and included characters like Mileena, Jade, Reptile, and Ermac, who were all not present in MK3′s original lineup. Another one of these new additions was Kitana, returning from her debut in Mortal Kombat II, and, like all the fighters in Mortal Kombat 3, she was assigned an Animality. Animalities were special finishing moves Mortal Kombat players could only execute if they performed a “Mercy” on their opponents, and at the time was seen as the ultimate form of Fatality-based victory.
For Kitana’s Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 animality, she turns into a small white rabbit. This may seem more like a move benefitting a Mortal Kombat Friendship rather than a Fatality at first, but then the rabbit viciously attacks the dazed opponent, causing blood and bones to go flying across the screen. It’s ridiculous, it makes little logical sense, and it seemingly comes out of left field, unless the players has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his companions stumble across a very similar rabbit (there called the Rabbit of Caerbannog) guarding a cave where the Holy Grail is said to be stored. Although it doesn’t look very dangerous at first, the rabbit is actually a bloodthirsty monster, and tears through King Arthur’s men until it is destroyed with a device called “The Holy Hand Grenade.”
Unfortunately for anyone unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of Kitana’s Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Animality, there are no holy hand grenades available, and they only thing players can do is sit back and watch helplessly as the princess-turned-rabbit devours their corpse off-screen. It’s ridiculous, it’s a little shocking, and it’s definitely not expected – which is why this Monty Python & The Holy Grail reference is one of Mortal Kombat‘s best moments.