It’s the instantly recognisable call to complete the job and to not only defeat your opponent but make sure anybody in ear shot knows that you are doing it in style… “Finish Him!”
The fatal finishing moves were the icing on the fight cake for the player, victory is in your grasp and at the infamous prompt the character’s specialist finishing move can be used to highlight their dominance, oh and also to humiliate your opponent… you enjoy it, you know you do!
Mortal Kombat was the game of my childhood, they even brought out the film when I was 14 and I was there watching it. Mortal Kombat, the film, followed hot on the heels of the Streetfighter film which featured Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue. I think it would have been good to see Kylie Minogue swapping the Locomotion for some killer fatality moves in Mortal Kombat?
The move from a video game to the big screen was a huge leap for Mortal Kombat and it took over $100,000,000 worldwide at the Box Office. If you want to make a phrase crossover into the mainstream one way to go about it is via the big screen… you talking to me, anybody?
The cry to make your finishing move however has spread from the video game and evolved to become a recognisable call to complete an action to complete a task, even by those who have no familiarity with the game.
As a phrase becomes recognisable and crosses over it becomes rife for parody, a good sign in my opinion of appreciation and “timeless-ness”. You just have to watch Spaced to see their appreciation of Tekken and use of the game as Tim and Daisy argue. This great parody of “Finish Him” takes the fatality command and plays on the direction provided by Shang Tsung
Finish Him has crossed over into the world of rap, whether it’s the game’s images being mixed with the songs or even raps being written about the game, they all play on the fatality command as the key crossover element of the game that is recognised by all.
Whenever I hear the phrase or see “Finish Him” printed on a t-shirt or a mug it always brings a smile to my face. To see how the fatality element of Mortal Kombat – a feature added to distinguish the game from its rivals – has crossed over into everyday vernacular and with an entry in the Urban Dictionary just shows that Ed Boon and John Tobias really got it right with the Fatality moves. Even when Mortal Kombat is forgotten (not sure this will happen!) the phrase will live long and prosper… now where did I get that phrase from?
Nothing left to do but to finish this post with a video of Kano finishing it old school style – heart rip time people!