Mortal Kombat and a Fond Farewell to C2E2 – Games & Tech on Day 3

Kombat Begins at C2E2 2018. Photo by Marielle Shaw.

We spent less time on the floor and more time in some great panels during our last day at C2E2—and there were some really great ones, from the amazing Mortal Kombat panel to some great voice acting advice from Overwatch’s Fred Tatasciore and Charlet Chung and other voice actors that have lent their talents to various video games over the years.

The “Kombat Begins: A Look Back at Mortal Kombat” panel was both a nostalgia trip and a trove of fun new information from many of the original cast of Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3 who lent their likeness and martial arts performances to the original trilogy of Mortal Kombat fighting games. Despite this year marking 20 years since the release of Mortal Kombat II, many of the actors still embrace their Mortal Kombat personas, and are fully aware of the legacy they helped create. For example, Kung Lao actor Anthony Marquez heads up a band called Kung Lao and the Scorpions, and when the patients of Dr. Phillip Ann, MD google him and discover he used to be the shape-shifting, soul-stealing wizard Shang Tsung and ask why he wasn’t forthcoming, he jokes, “you didn’t ask!”

Even the “Mortal Monday” ad campaign of 1993 was still fondly remembered, with Sonya Blade actress Elizabeth Malecki happily reminiscing about the press tour. Daniel Pesina (Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile) recounted his experiences getting the cast together, and how most of them ended up being local Chicago talent. Katalin Zamiar (Kitana, Maleena) joined the Mortal Kombat II cast as a recent UIC graduate, while John Parrish (Jax) and Richard Divizio (Kano, Baraka) are still local to the area.

Surprisingly, according to Daniel Pesina and Richard Divizio, a lot of the original Mortal Kombat lore, including the famous fatalities the characters would perform, was sort of developed on the fly by the actors who shared some of the creative influence on those infamous death scenes. The alternate finishing move, “friendship” was the brainchild of Elizabeth Malecki (Sonya Blade) who’d jokingly complained about all the blood and guts fatalities and asked “why can’t we all just get along?”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Voice Acting at C2E2 2018. Photo by Marielle Shaw.

The “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Voice Acting” panel was a similarly entertaining, though pretty technical look at voice over work, from how to break into the business to the day-to-day grind. Injustice 2 voice talent Vanessa Marshall (Black Canary) and Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman) and Phil Lamarr (Swamp Thing, Aqua Man, Green Lantern) were joined by Overwatch’s Charlet Chung (D.Va) and Fred Tatasciore (Soldier 76) as well as Tom Kenny (SpongeBob, various video games) to answer fan questions. Though not very video game oriented beyond a few quick references, it was a great opportunity for those interested in voice acting to learn how to break into the industry, or get a few pointers to help out with their endeavors.

C2E2 continues to expand into the realms of tabletop and video games, and after this year’s great showing, we’re excited to see what next year brings. Thanks to our friends at I Play Games for an awesome place for gamers to gather and compete, as well as putting on their daily tournaments. We hope to see you all next year!

Antal Bokor
Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian.
He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.