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A Brutality is a finishing move from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. They were first introduced in the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo home ports of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and all versions of Mortal Kombat Trilogy in 1996. Brutalities were another form of Mortal Kombat’s trademark Fatalities, which included Babalities, Animalities, and Friendships. Many saw this an offshoot of Killer Instinct's "Ultra Combo" and "Ultimate Combo".


A Brutality allowed a player to pull off an extraordinarily long and rapid combo to kill an opponent. These combos appeared in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy before they were dropped, alongside the other forms of finishing moves when Mortal Kombat 4 was released. They were introduced following the release of Killer Instinct in 1994. In the game, there was a finishing move known as an Ultra Combo in which a fighter brutalized an opponent with a tremendous combo of over twenty hits. Mortal Kombat, to possibly outrival their adversaries, incorporated their own form of a deadly combo, known as Brutalities. In doing one step further, Mortal Kombat’s deadly combo-finisher actually killed an opponent, making them explode in a fantastic, bloody fashion.

Brutalities were, however, very difficult to perform. Upon defeating an opponent, “Finish Him” or “Finish Her” would appear on the screen, and the player would then be able to perform a Fatality. To do the Brutality, one had to perform a long combo by quickly pressing an eleven button combination. Even if successful, the Brutality had what was considered a lackluster payoff — the opponent would disappear in an explosion of blood and an unrealistic amount of bones and limbs covering most of the screen. In some versions, the opponent's bones and limbs would simply fly off of the screen.

Because of its extreme difficulty to perform and unspectacular results, the Brutality was unpopular. It was dropped after Mortal Kombat Trilogy and not featured in Mortal Kombat 4. Brutalities were brought back for Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks in 2005. They were upgraded into a three dimensional environment, were easier to pull off and were more spectacular in comparison to previous games. Here they function as a power-up mode of sorts that lasts until all fatality orbs are depleted and turns normal attacks into devastating combo assaults, with strong attacks and throws instantly killing the enemy.

Mortal Kombat XEdit

Brutalities make a return in Mortal Kombat X. However, they function in a completely different way compared to previous games. Brutalities are now essentially special attacks or combos that kill the opponent outright in a more violent fashion similar to a Fatality. An example of a Brutality being used as a finisher has Quan Chi using his throw where he forces an opponent into a portal, the Brutality finisher has Quan Chi push his opponent in the portal but instead his opponent is ripped apart and their remains shower Quan Chi. In addition, many of the Brutalities in the game require different criteria to meet, and they can literally be anything such as performing special moves a number of times or the use of interactive objects. However, they all share the one thing in common in that the required special move must be the one that depletes the health gauge completely and even then, the attack must be delivered under certain circumstances such as hitting them in the head.

Each character has at least five different Brutalities, more are being found to have six with unlisted brutalities being found. Shinnok can also do Brutalities linked to the moves initiating them that are copied only via Impostor variation and by meeting the conditions of another characters Brutality in some circumstances. Kenshi can also reflect projectiles with Brutality properties in his Balanced variation.

In addition, there are also Stage Brutalities, similar to Stage Fatalities. For example, in the Dead Woods arena, a broken tree stump can be thrown and impale the opponent as a Stage Brutality.


  • Brutalities were originally set to appear in Mortal Kombat (2011). However, Ed Boon later confirmed via Twitter that the finisher was cut due to the short amount of time they had to finish and release the game. [1]
  • A move similar to the Brutality appeared in Mortal Kombat: Deception, in the form of one of Li Mei's Fatality. Her Fatality was to rapidly strike the opponent repeatedly, then to step back and pose as her opponent twitches for a moment, before exploding in a pile of gore.
  • Brutalities are the only fatal finishing moves available to Rain and Noob Saibot in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, other than Stage Fatalities.


Principal Games
Mortal Kombat | Mortal Kombat II | Mortal Kombat 3 | Mortal Kombat 4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | MK vs. DCU | Mortal Kombat (2011) | Mortal Kombat X
Updates and Ports
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Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Special Forces | Shaolin Monks | Konquest Mode
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