Big franchises always have curious fans all clamouring to understand where the inspiration for logos on all their favourite games comes from. The fans of the Mortal Kombat series are no different. Co-Creator John Tobias chatted to his followers on Twitter about the original dragon logo design for Mortal Kombat.
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John Tobias (@therealsaibot on Twitter) recently revealed the original hand-drawn dragon logo that he created for the first ever Mortal Kombat game which was then digitized by Mortal Kombat artist John Vogel by tracing over the sketched image with pixels.
“Here’s a recently discovered image of the very first drawing of #Mortalkombat’s dragon icon. I designed the icon as both a symbol of our game and its fictional tournament.” – @therealsaibot September 22, 2022.
Tobias shared that the design was planned to have been used for the game’s coin-op cabinets but ended up inspiring the logo itself.
“I had been thinking of creating an icon to represent the fictional tournament, but also to brand the game with a symbol… like Superman’s “S” or Batman’s bat symbol. I used the dragon from my cabinet side panel sketch to inform the look of the dragon icon as our symbol…” -@therealsaibot September 22, 2022.
The dragon logo had originally faced both left and right, however, when it came time for the release of Mortal Kombat II on console, they were asked to choose one or the other for trademarking purposes. Without giving much insight into why they made the choice they said, “We chose facing right and it’s been that way ever since.”
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Story Behind the Logo
Many fans have always wondered why the artists would opt to use a dragon as the symbol for the game. Tobias shared with his followers that Mortal Kombat was not the only idea for the name of the game and that the logo was inspired by the other option. “The inspiration to use a dragon as the fictional tournament’s symbol came from “Dragon Attack”, which was in contention as our game’s title before @noobe [Ed Boon] and I changed it to “Mortal Kombat”.”
Tobias also attached a rough marker sketch of the marquee logo and explained that it was originally Ed Boon’s idea to name the game Dragon Attack because of his intense love for the song by the same name by Queen.
The Mortal Kombat logo was also inspired by a golden dragon statue that had captivated John Vogel’s attention sitting on the desk of Midway Games general manager Ken Fedesna. Vogel managed to persuade Fedesna to let him borrow it to digitize it for their use in backgrounds for the game.
“The eventual icon design was an attempt at replicating the yin yang symbol, which represented the balancing of the furies – a core part of MK’s early fiction,” continued Tobias.
The dragon logo almost didn’t happen at all when the original Mortal Kombat design was mistaken for a seahorse by Tobias’ sister. The humiliation was almost enough to make him scrap the whole design and start over again, but thank goodness he didn’t. Tobias and Vogel went on to create one of the most iconic logos in gaming history when they created this unique logo for the Mortal Kombat franchise.
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Tell us, what are your thoughts on the iconic Mortal Kombat dragon logo?