With the release date of April 14th fast approaching, NetherRealm Studios and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive are accelerating their pre-release marketing campaign, revealing and more of the playable fighting roster at an almost head-spinning rate.
Last week it was Reptile that saw himself added to the growing cast, complete with rather disgusting acid-vomit fatalities and a number of stealth-based moves. This week, it’s the turn of another series stalwart – Ermac.
Ermac has a rather interesting history that stretches further than his initial appearance waaaay back to 1993’s Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Originally, he existed as little more than a rumor springing from an audit code in the very first Mortal Kombat. Curious players discovered that the arcade version of the original game contained an audit code labelled “ERMACS” and listed just beneath “Reptile Battles”, leading to the false speculation that the game contained another secret character (the term is actually development speak for “Error Macro”), as well as a number of hoaxes and bogus “tips” for unlocking the character, all with increasingly ridiculous requirements. With original developers Midway failing to confirm or deny the rumor, it gathered pace – being widely circulated in the gaming press at the time.
Eventually, as a self-referential nod to the rumor, Ermac finally became a character in UKM3, though he was little more than a red palette-swap of Scorpion at the time. It wasn’t until 2004’s PS2 and Xbox game Mortal Kombat: Deception that he finally evolved into a distinct character in his own right, complete with a fleshed-out backstory (well, fleshed out compared to other fighting games, at least). According to the series’ lore, Ermac is the result of the thousands of combined souls from the Outland Wars being fused together by series villain Shao Kahn. Because of all these disparate personalities, he refers to himself in third-person. Eventually, he broke free of Shao Kahn’s control with the aid of Kermac and was granted protection from the eroding effects of NetherRealm on his humanoid form by an ancient artifact called the Soul Stone (thanks, Mortal Kombat wiki).
In combat, Ermac uses his telekinetic abilities and his ability to pass between different realms in order to teleport and perform superhuman feats against his enemies. He’s a bit of a lunatic, as the trailer below demonstrates.
Mortal Kombat X is due this June on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s being developed using Unreal Engine 3, rather than the more modern Unreal Engine 4.