When Midway Games first released the perpetually controversial hit Mortal Kombat back in October of 1992, they probably didn’t expect their gruesome fatalities to become as elaborate as they are now. What started as a simple uppercut—and maybe a few spikes—has grown into the signature combat feature of the franchise, with ever-increasing levels of creativity. The two classic ninjas of the franchise, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, became instant hits. This was before their outfits were copy-pasted with dozens of various colors for new characters. But Scorpion remains a fan-favorite, with his iconic catchphrase, menacing skull and fiery talents. So, here are Scorpion’s all-time best fatalities that blew your mind into gory oblivion.
10 Mortal Kombat 4: Scorpion Sting
So, "animalities" were a rumor before they were even introduced in Mortal Kombat 3. It’s an intriguing feature that was a major plot point in that national treasure, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. That movie alone may have killed it. But the idea that your characters would transform into an animal for a fatality was definitely innovative; it just didn’t really work. Many of the fighters would turn into a totally unrelated animal. And for some reason, Scorpion of all people was not allowed to turn into his namesake. That was taken by Sheeva, though she does have multiple limbs. Until the much maligned MK4, where Scorpion finally gets to become an actual scorpion and then sting his opponent to death.
9 Mortal Kombat 3: Multiple Scorpions
This is a fatality type that never really showed up again for Scorpion. Most fatalities involve some elaborate slicing, and physical damage. Those are generally pretty dull, and that’s the reason Armageddon is ignored on this list. However, in this sequel, Scorpion was allowed to summon an army of duplicates.
It’s a great deal more mystical than he usually gets, and tests the limits of what Scorpion’s powers might actually be. He hasn’t had a "magical" fatality since then, so perhaps it wasn’t received very well. It doesn’t help that the actual death is only implied by a few sounds. This franchise isn’t known for its modesty.
8 Mortal Kombat (2011): Lava Drowning
This game completely reinvigorated the franchise, and judging by its title, they bet on that potential beforehand. The developers clearly wanted to reinforce a return to form, revisiting the “klassic” formula that worked, and simply elaborating on it a bit. They reminded us why we loved Mortal Kombat to begin with, and the fatalities were no exception. Though it's actually just a stage fatality, it's set in Hell—known to MK3 fans as Scorpion's Lair. But now, you abruptly grab your opponent and shove their face into a river of lava, drowning them in it. When their head emerges, they actually resemble Scorpion himself, which should also make it count. The fact that the lava pours out of their eye sockets is a nice garnish.
7 Mortal Kombat 11: You’re Next
After such a successful predecessor, which delivered very satisfying fatalities, it was going to be tough to keep up the pace. The fatalities that people love most involve an equal level of creativity and gore, and that’s what ultimately makes this one so middling. It’s definitely a lot of fun that Scorpion sets himself ablaze at the onset, diving through his opponent to burn out their torso.
However, the way they just stand there and observe their wound is too similar to MKX’s “Stop Ahead” fatality. It’s definitely neat that we get a close-up of the decapitated head at the end, but it isn’t anything this franchise hasn’t done before. It’s been desensitizing us for almost three decades, now.
6 Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance: Spear Head
This entire franchise is hinged on an over-the-top attitude. Everything needs to feel excessive. So, it’s always rewarding when the series is willing to embrace a little humor. Although, all of the fatalities ever made have an amusing quality to them, just by their extremity alone, and that’s the charm of the series: severe indulgence. Allowing this fatality to give fans a genuine laugh—without any quipping—is refreshing, turning instead to physical comedy. It’s almost reminiscent of an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon. Scorpion throws his signature spear, only for it to get caught inside the opponent’s head. It takes a couple tugs before the head finally tears off, and the comedic timing is...flawless.
5 Mortal Kombat (2011): Nether Gates
One of Scorpion’s signature abilities is teleportation, a frustrating technique to deal with when someone is using it effectively. It also makes for a lot of opportunities in the fatality department, and they’ve arguably used it pretty well.
First, Scorpion wraps his chained spear around the enemy’s neck like a noose, and then throws them through a portal. When they come out from a second portal above, they’re a toasty skeleton. Which begs the question, why even use the chain to begin with? Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining visual, and no one gets tired of seeing that spear in action.
4 Mortal Kombat Deception: Spear Kombo
This selection brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.” Yet another spear-based fatality, Scorpion proceeds to rip off his opponents limbs in such an order that they get to limp for a moment. That’s certainly amusing—in its own special way—and it’s definitely a fun addition that the enemy will actually beg for mercy while they’re staggering in place. It’s extraordinarily bloody, and the level of brutality is further heightened by the sheer length of the move. The game is more than willing to take its time, and every emphasis on slow torture is far more impactful than the swift nature of its earlier predecessors.
3 Mortal Kombat X: Stop Ahead
Scorpion definitely wasn’t aiming for mercy on this one. He pitches a fireball straight through the opponent’s torso, and they linger for a moment, just like the Mortal Kombat 11 selection. Difference is, instead of just an exposed spine, this game makes the enemy’s heart literally drop into their stomach.
The manner with which it simply dangles there is ridiculous and fantastic. Next, he simply slices their face off, which isn’t exactly creative. However, the remaining brain plops out, and the twitching tongue at the end really seals the deal for its higher position. It’s just unabashedly gratuitous.
2 Mortal Kombat 11: Chain Reaction
This was a surprisingly effective fatality, because it included many of the unique character traits that give Scorpion his winning personality. Rather than setting himself aflame, this time he sets the handy chain for his spear on fire, and subsequently uses it to perfectly cut his opponent in half. It’s a terrific idea that he catapults himself into a portal to achieve the slice, an acrobatic style that he doesn’t usually get to display. Also, the symmetrical pose at the end of the fatality is a great shot—and the chain is somewhat positioned to achieve the likeness of an actual scorpion’s tail.
1 Mortal Kombat (1992): Fireball
So, the fatality was a pretty novel idea, and despite this fatality’s simplicity, it would be outrageous to ignore the impact of Scorpion revealing his demonic skull for the first time. Although it’s fun that he spits a fireball into his opponent, reducing them to a blackened skeleton and a sudden explosion, it was a pretty engaging character moment as well. This sets it apart from Sub-Zero’s corresponding spine rip. Scorpion’s fatality wasn’t really a gruesome spectacle, compared to something that bloody. Actually, it was more so an abrupt statement on Scorpion’s backstory, and the reasons for his resurrection have been explored a great deal. Plus, this fatality is undeniably his most iconic, following him into Mortal Kombat’s sequels.