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The Kano Special Move That Didn't Make It Into Mortal Kombat

It's hard to argue anyone knows "Mortal" Kombat" better than Ed Boon. The man helped launch every "Mortal Kombat" game in the series and now works as Netherrealm Studios' Chief Creative Officer, so he's had a unique perspective since the series' conception. YouTuber Brian Tong recently featured Boon in a "Mortal Kombat" 30th anniversary interview, where the "Mortal Kombat co-creator shared his thoughts on the series' history and offered some behind-the-scenes reveals — like special moves that the public never got to see.

Each "Mortal Kombat" fighter has always had special moves that define how they play and showcase some aspects of the character's identity — like Kitana's Fan Toss and Sub Zero's Ice Ball. Tong already knew about some moves that didn't make it into the original game, so he asked which ones Boon had at the top of his head that he could talk about in the video. Boon quickly conjured up an answer for one of his favorites that had to be left out: Kano.

"Kano had this move with his knives where he would kind of spin them like a helicopter," Boon described. They recorded it, but it never made it into the game's final version. Despite Boon's admission that this was one of his favorite special moves left behind, the "Mortal Kombat" co-creator had a good reason to leave it out at the time. Here's why one of Ed Boon's favorite Kano special moves never made it into the original "Mortal Kombat."

Why developers cut Kano's special move

Cutting Kano's special move wasn't personal — it just took up too much space.

Of course, the first "Mortal Kombat" ran on significantly fewer frames than the latest, but the concern about managing file size never faded. Ed Boon told Tong that the hardest thing about game development was ensuring game files never got too big. As a result, developers found resourceful ways to add content without necessarily adding unique content — like recycling frames from Scorpion's aerial punch into a new special move just to save on the memory. In the end, Kano's special move had its fate decided by the same scrutiny.

"We grabbed a whole bunch of prints, but that would have been, you know, 10-15 frames, which you can laugh at today, but back then that was, you know, a deal breaker," Boon said. "It's just too many frames of animation, so we didn't do it."

Boon also talked with Tong about an upcoming video about other special moves that didn't make it into the game. It's not out yet, but it might be worth keeping an eye out for if fans are curious about other "Mortal Kombat" moves that were left behind.