How Mortal Kombat 1 Built Invincible’s Omni-Man Using the Show itself

  • November 11, 2023

I’ve been working as a Designer at NetherRealm Studios for over 10 years, and during that time, the team has had the opportunity to design some truly exceptional characters. We consider this a privilege but also a difficult task to make these characters stand out in our games.

We were already big fans of Omni-Man and the Invincible series, we often refer to the things he did in our office. Designers often communicate references to explain ideas or concepts when coming up with Fatalities, Brutalities, and sometimes general attacks. “Fist in the back, Omni-Man style,” for example, conveys the idea perfectly.

For the most part, all the special moves we created for Omni-Man in Mortal Kombat 1 it relates to something we saw on the show, even down to the subtlest nuances. During the design process, we compiled tons of references for movement, poses, FX, and sounds to be used as a basis for building the gameplay design. From there, we went into the motion capture studio where great care was taken to capture the performances in some situations exactly like the references we had.

Another thing that people don’t pay attention to from the beginning is that even his cap moves in the same way that it is played. The special chest bump movement is an example of animation where we were looking for the cape to move a certain way based on a scene from the show.

Mortal Kombat 1 Omni-Man Screenshot

One of the things that I appreciate and respect the most is all the creative ways that Omni-Man wants revenge, something that I think we are similar to the people of Skybound, in the sense that we are always thinking and coming up with Creative Fatalities. . When I came up with one of the Omni-Man Fatalities, the choice was pretty obvious, and I think it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. While I don’t want to give it away to anyone who hasn’t seen it, it is directly based on an iconic scene from the show. Fun fact: The Fatality set is also inspired by iconic elements Mortal Kombat 3 phase…

In terms of character abilities, we were inspired by Omni-Man’s speed, strength, personality, and brutality. These were the keys to the overall design language of the actor. Often times, the actual ideas are the easiest part of the design process, while the implementation part, which involves capturing the look, feel, and power through a compelling play style is the challenge.

Mortal Kombat 1 Omni-Man Screenshot

With Mortal Kombat 1 Our design and workflow processes have taken a big step forward from the past, especially since the engine changes, thus allowing us to do things with effects and animations that were not possible before. We use these skills throughout to translate the powerful sense of speed and power that Omni-Man possesses from the show to the game.

Through gameplay, Omni-Man is a fast character that revolves around speed and strength. One of his special moves that I think fits him very well is his Viltrumite stance. From the ground or from the air, Omni-Man moves to a confidence level where the player can perform four unique attacks that each use a specific purpose. This both works for the player’s mental game and a way for Omni-Man to surprise his opponent and deal more damage since most of these attacks will allow him to follow up with other moves.

Mortal Kombat 1 Omni-Man Screenshot

Suddenly, while in his Viltrumite form, Omni-Man dodges projectiles, almost haphazardly dodging them, making him strong in matchups where opponents rely on projectiles. In addition, an enhanced version of the Viltrumite form allows Omni-Man to quickly dodge mid-range and close range attacks. Finally, the player can teleport out of the Viltrumite state and end up behind the opponent effectively acting as a cancel.

As a team of designers, we are very happy with the way it has turned out and are very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Skybound team on a great project. Mortal Kombat 1.

Omni-Man will be available in Mortal Kombat 1 from Nov. 9 as part of the early access period for all Kombat pack owners, followed by wide availability on Nov. 16.