Mortal Kombat, the ultra violent fighter video game series, is now in its 11th incarnation. The blood-splattering game is so popular that its creator, Netherealm Studios, has gifted fans with the answers to every wish they ever had for a fighting game ... except one fans didn't know they wanted.
Netherealm’s last three MK games added a deep story mode that stands as a straight-to-video movie series about the thunder god Raiden’s never-ending battle to preserve the freedom of “Earthrealm.”
The game has brought back pretty much every favorite fighter from the arcade as playable characters (sorry, Stryker) and created new warriors that can execute complex moves, offensive combos and delightfully gory “fatalities” that would make even the most seasoned coroner throw up a little.
Netherealm’s creators and coders have even reached outside of the MK universe and into other movie franchises to add downloadable fantasy fighters to its already well-stocked player selection screen. Thanks to its acquisition by Warner Bros. and the magic of DLC (downloadable content), the last three games have added star-studded cinema slaughterers like Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, the Xenomorph from the Alien movies, Predator and action movie heroes like The Terminator, which alone is worth the price of admission to hear a really good Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator yell “Get over here!” as he plucks his enemy out of the sky and fractures his skull.
The “Aftermath” add-on that landed on Tuesday adds RoboCop to MK11’s fighter roster — the original RoboCop from the 1987 film shot in Dallas starring Peter Weller, not the one from 2014 that looks like he was made in a Goth Apple store.
Then it hit me. Another Dallas legend could and should be on the MK11 select screen.
Walker, Texas Fucking Ranger.
It's not completely crazy. Fans lobbied hard to create a Shaggy from Scooby-Doo DLC fighter and wished so hard for an Ash Williams from Evil Dead add-on that Bruce Campbell himself had to state on more than one occasion that it wasn't happening.
Walker, Texas Ranger's central character was played by Chuck Norris and was shot in Dallas for eight glorious seasons. CBS’ rocking schlock action TV hero was made for a fighting game like Mortal Kombat. If you have to ask why, I’ll explain quickly because you won’t have much time now that you’re on Norris’ “to-decapitate” list.
For starters, Sgt. Cordell Walker, like Norris, excels at fighting. He’s good at kicking. He’s good at punching. Norris created his own martial arts system, one that Netherealm could just copy to create a new combo system. He’s so good at kicking and punching that the audio people who worked on the show had to add ridiculously loud, crunchy “Pow!” sounds. They turned every episode into a beautiful dance interpretation of Don Martin cartoons.
Walker is known for punching people at will and without warning. He’s a fast and formidable fighter, and he never plays favorites. It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting him in a fair one-on-one battle, got your leg caught in a bear trap or if you’re a man or a woman; that indiscriminate will to fight is important if you’re going to compete in a Mortal Kombat tournament. There’s no time to ask yourself if what you’re doing to your opponent’s face with your fists and feet is over the top and unnecessary.
Walker won’t just have to contend every sex and species of fighters across dimensions; he’ll also have to defend himself from a variety of weapons. Mortal Kombat is the rare kind of hand-to-hand combat tournament that allows fighters like gunslinger Erron Black to use revolvers, explosives and even bear traps. It’s like the UFC, but more entertaining (and not just because Joe Rogan isn’t involved).
Walker also carries a gun because he has to — but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to use it. Walker’s combat prowess won’t work alone against a four-armed beast like Goro or a bloodomancer like Scarlet. That’s right. I’m not going to acknowledge the out of date “Chuck Norris facts” lore in his fighting stats. Helloooooo, we’re dealing with reality here.
Walker will have to face more than just a couple of handguns. Fighters like Sonya Blade use mobile rifle turrets and wrist-mounted handguns to dispatch her opponents. The Terminator is allowed his sawed off shotgun and submachine gun. Spawn produces a whole arsenal of firearms of ranging calibers from his cloak, like the world’s most paranoid Renaissance fair actor.
Let’s say Netherealm doesn’t have the time to build another DLC character from the ground up. Even if they leave out all of Walker’s bone mulching moves and quick draws, the finishing moves or “fatalities” would still be worth the additional download.
Each character in the MK11 universe has two fatalities that are enacted just before an opponent falls in defeat. If you looked across the wide spectrum of Walker’s skills and arsenal over the show’s 203 episodes — maybe because it was the only box set you could afford at Movie Trading Co. — you’ll remember that he’s used all sorts of insane items to help defeat the bad guy.
As Walker’s opponents flail on their feet, he could strap on the jet pack he wore at the end of the second season to stop a presidential assassin. Walker could pick up his opponents and fly them to the edge of the troposphere. The low temperature and oxygen levels would freeze their lifeless bodies into a painful push-pop before Walker drops them out of the sky and their limp bodies explode on the ground like a water balloon filled with chunky gumbo.
Or, Walker could throw them into a moving car, and as they regain their consciousness and try to run him over, he could jump kick THROUGH the windshield and into their face.
Another potential scenario is that a massive, raging rodeo bull could run in the ring and Walker could use his Native American heritage to win a staring contest against the bull (which, yes, actually happened on television). Then he would telepathically order the bull to run at his comatose opponent and gore him with its horns before suddenly stopping and throwing the bloody corpse at Walker so he can kick it in the air and cause it to explode into a cloud of blood.
This is a serious call to the makers of Mortal Kombat 11 to make Walker Texas Ranger a new DLC fighter. Just how serious? I’ve started a petition on Change.org directed at the developers and distributors of the game for everyone to sign. That’s how serious. So serious that I've exposed my work email to advertisers and spammers.
Dallas, let’s make this happen “Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon you/Any wrong you do, he's gonna see/When you're in Texas, look behind you/Cuz that's where the ranger's gonna be.”
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