Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mortal Kombat: It's Time To Give The People Shaggy

Just imagine it: Sub-Zero, the icy assassin of the Lin Kuei clan, takes his place on the battlefield. Standing atop a platform suspended over a pit of spikes, he cracks his knuckles and waits for his opponent to arrive. From the shadows, a high-pitched voice calls out: "Zoinks." Sub-Zero's eyes widen as his opponent slowly steps into the moonlight and finishes a large sandwich. Sub-Zero knows that the end is here; Ultra Instinct Shaggy Rogers has arrived.

Believe it or not, there's an incredibly specific cross-section of gamers who love both the hyper-violent tournament fighting of "Mortal Kombat" and the "peace and love, man" can-do vibes of the "Scooby-Doo" series. That segment of the fanbase has frequently begged NetherRealm and Warner Bros. to bring the two disparate multimedia franchises together, with fans even signing a 2019 petition to try to get Shaggy added to "Mortal Kombat 11" as a playable fighter. This all sprang from a series of memes in which Shaggy, the lovable coward of the Mystery Inc. group, somehow managed to tap into Ultra Instinct powers similar to those displayed by Goku in "Dragon Ball Super." Despite the enthusiasm of the fanbase, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon has put the kibosh on that dream, repeatedly hinting that no such collaboration could ever come to pass. 

But why shouldn't Shaggy get his chance to throw down with Scorpion, Johnny Cage, and the rest of the Kombatants? Looking at the trajectory of the "Mortal Kombat" franchise and the continued adoration the fanbase has for Shaggy, it feels like it's well past time to add the character to the roster when "Mortal Kombat 12" drops.

There's a precedent and a demand for Shaggy

Even though Shaggy has never officially made it into a "Mortal Kombat" game as a playable character, gamers have spent the last couple of years attempting to show how well he'd adapt to such a situation. Mods of everything from "Dragon Ball FighterZ" to "Jump Force" have illustrated the ways in which Shaggy just makes games better. Last year, Warner Bros. almost gave fans what they wanted by adding Shaggy to its crossover brawler "MultiVersus," complete with Ultra Instinct powers. And while there's something oddly satisfying about seeing the wily hippie putting the smackdown on Bugs Bunny and Batman, what fans still want to see is an official match-up with the "Mortal Kombat" universe. This is especially true since "MultiVersus" has gone on hiatus, leaving the world without a Shaggy-starring fighting game. 

Warner Bros. has even fueled these demands on more than one occasion through cheeky references to the internet memes. The most prominent of these, of course, would be Ultra Instinct Shaggy's actual cameo at the beginning of 2021's "Mortal Kombat: Battle of the Realms" animated movie. Seeing Shaggy take out Scorpion before the opening credits was a blast for fans who had longed for such a match-up, but it definitely hasn't helped to crush the desire to see it in an actual game. And at this point, what the heck is Warner Bros. and NetherRealm waiting for?

It's not like Mortal Kombat is averse to silly crossovers

At this point in the "Mortal Kombat" franchise, bonkers guest fighters have become an expected element of the series. Kratos brought his Spartan Rage to "Mortal Kombat 9," Freddy Kreuger and Jason Voorhees reignited an old grudge match in "Mortal Kombat X" — heck, "Mortal Kombat 11" singlehandedly revived 80s action movies by adding John Rambo, Robocop, and the Terminator as playable characters. At this point, it's not the most ridiculous idea to add a cartoon character that fans have genuinely spent years asking for. Let's face it; though the "First Blood" series started as a deadly serious examination of alienation and PTSD after war, the Rambo movies have progressively turned into cartoons themselves.

It's not 100% clear why Ed Boon has been so adamantly opposed to having Shaggy join the cast of the next "Mortal Kombat" game, but it seems like adding the character as a paid DLC fighter would only result in a win for fans and the developers. Sure, it would be ridiculous, but this is a series that's featured characters as silly as Mokap — literally a regular guy wearing a motion capture outfit. 

If adding graphic violence to this beloved children's character is the biggest concern, then it may be worth making that part of the joke. Maybe Shaggy is the only character not ripping out people's spines; let him perform Friendship moves or run away at the end of a match. But give the people what they want. If the meme's not totally dead at this point, then maybe that's a sign that this is a fun idea with some real staying power.