‘Mortal Kombat 1’ is a fantasy fighting game that follows a group of warriors who fight to save various realms from destruction. Liu Kang the God of Fire has restarted a new timeline and existence for all beings, but the new era of peace is threatened by an adversary.
The game is classified M18 for strong violence and gore.
The player can choose from a main roster of fighters to battle in various game modes against the AI or other players. Each character has their own set of fighting moves and supernatural powers, and will have a companion fighter to call upon for assistance during matches. Using a variety of punches, kicks, grapples and weapon strikes, the player needs to deplete the opponent’s health in order to win matches and progress through a tournament or the storyline.
There are frequent and strong depictions of violence and gore. Certain attacks may depict characters being impaled, dismembered or decapitated, or trigger an x-ray view of the opponent’s bones and skulls fracturing, or internal organs bursting from the impact of attacks. At the end of matches, the victor is given the opportunity to execute a gory finishing move called a ‘Fatality’ on the defeated opponent. These moves require the input of relevant button combinations within a short window of time, and will result in a cinematic scene showing characters being impaled, disembowelled, decapitated, dismembered or bisected. The player may encounter a mini-game in certain game modes, where a decapitated head may be presented to the player character to destroy, in order to progress. Story scenes also depict strong violence, such as characters being impaled in the eyes. These depictions are in a fantasy context, and the ‘Fatalities’ occur infrequently given the overall length of matches. The M18 guidelines allow for “depictions of realistic violence, such as killing, maiming or causing other serious injury to humanoid characters”.
The game dialogue contains the use of infrequent coarse language, such as ‘f**k’ and its variations. This is permitted under an M18 rating which allows the “frequent use of strong coarse language”.