Mortal Kombat Part 1

New book! Today we are starting Mortal Kombat by Jeff Rovin. It was published in 1995 the same year the movie was released, and Mortal Kombat 3 came out, and we are unsure if it shares any real plot elements with them! So join Phil, Kevin, Kung Lao, Shao Khan, and a lil pudgey demon named Ruthay for part 1 of Mortal Kombat!

Phil 0:00
It's just yeah, it's just when you've been driving all night long the sun's about to come up and you're like, I just need to get home. Yeah, and I'm gonna go to sleep and forget this ever happened and home is seems so far away

Kevin Erhard 0:11
just out of reach. Just seems just out of reach,

Phil 0:15
just out of reach,

Kevin Erhard 0:16
but you know, it's always in reach. What's that? Hey there, everybody. Welcome back to big slit. My name is Kevin. Alongside with me as always as Phil, and today we're starting a brand new book. Oh,

Phil 0:31
this is gonna be interesting.

Kevin Erhard 0:33
This is gonna be interesting. Oh, yeah. So Phil, we are reading Mortal Kombat, which came out in 1995. Yes. The book. I mean, Mortal Kombat by Jeff Roven. Yeah, yeah. So what do you know about Mortal Kombat? Phil?

Phil 0:54
Ah, I mean, that was that was Mortal Kombat was one of those first video games I can recall growing up in the 90s. And it was the first one where parents seemed concerned Yeah, like obviously that we have a grand history of video games where parents are concerned before combat really stirred the turret it really got some shit started. And yeah, I didn't. I was a Street Fighter kid. I didn't play much Mortal Kombat. But he was legendary. Just because everyone was talking about the fatalities. You know this in this is our first fighting game book, isn't it?

Kevin Erhard 1:32
It is. Yeah, yeah.

Phil 1:35
So yeah. Fighting game. It did a lot of at first it did a lot of the oh, what would you call it? It was actual

Kevin Erhard 1:44
photos. Yeah, it was like rotoscoped pictures of writers that they they basically got all the they they took, like photographs of and or in video of and kind of stitched it together. So Right. It had this seamless look of? Yeah, it was it was a weird way to do graphics.

Phil 2:07
Yeah. And it was all about brutality and blood. And yeah, you know, it was the first video game of its kind that had a system where after you'd won the fight, you could still do a move. Right? The fatality system that was such a strange, because that was just for the fun of it. That was just yesterday rig. That you

Kevin Erhard 2:27
there's no Yeah, you didn't need to do it. You just know it was on the game. It was it was something that was whispered about on the playground. Right?

Phil 2:36
Right. And you could find it in you know, Electronic Gaming Monthly or game pro would have like, right, almost a fatality combos in there. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 2:45
Yeah. And I remember there was a big deal between it being on Super Nintendo versus it being on the Genesis because on the Genesis it was uncensored. Yes. And on the Super Nintendo, you needed to enter a code in order to to actually get the blood. I think that's I'm remembering it correctly.

Phil 3:04
Did it wasn't an actual code. I think there was a Blood

Kevin Erhard 3:06
Code. Yeah. To turn it on.

Phil 3:10
It speaking as a Sega kid, I didn't I didn't know my first SNIS until, like, long after the GameCube had come out. Alright, but it was it was one of the only things that people could be jealous about you for having agenesis unless they were just real big fans of Shining Force, which

Kevin Erhard 3:29
I wish I was. Let me tell you the you know, it is a fan of tactics based RPGs the pickings were slim and Shining Force was it was pretty damn pretty damn good ones.

Phil 3:46
Not half bad. I still play it from time to time I beat it like I beat the first one. Two years ago or face yeah, the fun of it that that's a great series said

Kevin Erhard 3:56
it's a fun series. I never played the third one because I didn't have a want to say came out on the Saturn.

Phil 4:03
They had a third one that came out on the Game Gear that I was a huge fan.

Kevin Erhard 4:06
Okay. Yeah, the game year one as well. I think there was one of the Saturn two.

Phil 4:12
I think well actually, I think they're like, oh, like over a dozen of them now like Saturn. It's it's still that franchise is still crazy popular. Ah. Shining Force anymore. It's shining. Whatever. Yeah, the

Kevin Erhard 4:26
latest release shining resonance refrain in March 2018. Yeah, yeah. Interesting.

Phil 4:33
It's all over the place. I think they I think they go through different genres, too. So I don't think they're tactical games anymore, necessarily, but I could be totally wrong there. Yeah. It's kind of like Final Fantasy. It's the same kind of deal. You know, right. They're not necessarily connected. It's all just kind of a it's they all have. They're all different flavors of Lacroix. It's all the same, same aromas.

Kevin Erhard 4:57
Did you ever you ever play the first one The The Shining in the Darkness.

Phil 5:03
Yeah, yeah. The dungeon style. Yeah, yeah, I have that one too. Yeah, actually, I love it. I'm looking at it. I have it on my bookshelf.

Kevin Erhard 5:13
Man we're talking about. We're I totally forgot. We're talking about Mortal Kombat we're not talking about.

Phil 5:19
I'm gonna go ahead and do a quick search to see if there are any novelizations of Shining Force.

Kevin Erhard 5:27
But yeah, I can't remember. I liked Mortal Kombat. I guess I remember having it. And it was just kind of like a game I played. But I wouldn't call myself a mortal kombat super fan by any stretch of imagination.

Phil 5:44
No, me either. Mortal Kombat was the people who the favorite game of the people whose favorite game was Mortal Kombat. You know, we're I had a bunch of friends who were like that, who loved that that and Mortal Kombat was kind of like for a while there. If that was your favorite game, that was all you fucking played? Yeah. You learned everybody's move set. That kind of thing. Of course, nowadays, with fighting games, I guess that really hasn't changed.

Kevin Erhard 6:14
People have their own. I mean, and there's so many fighting games now. Especially now, you know, more fighting games. There was a time where it seemed like fighting games, it was rare that they would get imported over from Japan. Like there's a lot more in Japan and there were over in the States. But now there's just so many to choose from, that you really can find your own flavor that you like, and stick with it.

Phil 6:42
Oh, absolutely. And people do you know, and it's it's Ah, shut up you.

Kevin Erhard 6:49
Siri Siri is yelling at Phil

Phil 6:52
Mike. Like my Kindle. This is what I get your Kindle? Yeah. Kindles yelling at you. It was trying to connect to the internet. And that's my problem for some reason. What the fuck Bezos.

Kevin Erhard 7:08
So, Mortal Kombat this book was written in 1995. It was written by a fellow by the name of Jeff Roven Roven. And I thought it was interesting. It actually starts with a little note from him.

Phil 7:28
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I loved this. Were

Kevin Erhard 7:31
the guy like basically everything that appears in the book outside the characters from the game. He developed out of a lot of the mythology, the actual mythology from China. So he wrote, he read a couple books. He recommends great civilizations, China by Ian Morrison. Which sounds like a British guy. Sure. So let's let the British guy do it. Write the book. And the wonderful alchemy, medicine and religion in the China ad 320. In particular, the James R where translation and actually that name sounds familiar. I think I've I've read or skimmed through another Chinese book. Okay, by that was the the. So the original texts, I believe, for Suikoden which I did a video on several years ago is a Chinese book. And I believe it was it was where who did the translation of that? Oh, that's cool. Okay, if I'm recalling correctly. That's interesting. Yeah.

Phil 8:47
Well, for a little background on our boy, Jeff Roven. Here he is. He's like a lot of our guys writer for hire. He's done some video game books. He actually did like how to play video game books. And he also did. He's done a lot of Tom Clancy novelization stuff just a lot of novelization in general, including April Fool's Day. Reanimator. cliffhanger, Broken Arrow and the game all mid late 80s. Mid to late 90s. So last acts.

Kevin Erhard 9:25
He did it. He did a novelization of the movie. Reanimator That's right, which was an adaptation of this short story. Reanimator. That's right.

Phil 9:36
That's right. He adapted an adaptation, a photocopy of a photocopy. But I think but here's the thing. I think the most interesting thing about Jeff Roven might be that he was actually the editor in chief for weekly world news.

Kevin Erhard 9:58
Huh? You mean like The Bat Boy,

Phil 10:01
that is absolutely correct. For those of you playing the home game, Weekly World News was not just a tabloid because tabloids is like oh, you know the the Queen's having a secret love affair with one of her bodyguards Weekly World News was stuff like Satan's face scene and volcanic eruption over Maui or something like that. Like they

Kevin Erhard 10:24
bet your child food and fav everyone you have. If you're at home listening, you have seen this cover of your bat child found in cave and it's just this this kid with gigantic eyes a huge mouth and pointy ears screaming

Phil 10:42
Yeah, the Bat Boy Yeah, made a musical based on that character. Yeah. And, and, and I bring all of that up, because he's also he also has a very serious career as a just a general fiction writer. He's written his own stuff. He's He is a professional writer. You know, working stiff writer, and very prolific, like a lot of the guys we've read the work of, and I but I only bring that up, because I don't think there's any franchise out there. That is more confusing in terms of its tone than Mortal Kombat. Yes. Because Mortal Kombat, if you recall, is a game about pulling the spinal columns out of your enemy, while doing fatalities at the end, and maybe friendships, Bay valleys who could who could forget the ability to turn your opponent into a little baby version of themself, stuff like that. But it also when they are allowed to make something that isn't just a video game, and even then sometimes, they get very deep and serious about the mythology. Yep, and the gods and the legends behind all of it. And you could break your neck with that kind of a toe. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 12:01
I there is there is zero worlds in which outside of this book, I would make the effort to try to backstory in Mortal Kombat. Absolutely. And there is plenty of backstory.

Phil 12:19
Oh, yes. And and oh, and we're gonna get into

Kevin Erhard 12:22
we're getting into it because it feels like this book might have been the inspiration for a lot of the the big backstory that they they start shelling out later. I'm not Yeah, well, yeah, the relationship between this book and the games is necessarily,

Phil 12:41
I don't know, either, but I will say and I always I didn't pass the first few. I think Mortal Kombat three was probably the last Mortal Kombat game that I played with any level of regularity at all. So I haven't kept up with the mythology with the world or anything like that. Every now and then a new one comes out or some DLC comes out. And I stick my head into the room and say you kids playing nice. Oh, that's interesting. And you got

Kevin Erhard 13:07
Jason from Friday. 13th. Right. That's cool. Is that

Phil 13:12
is that spawn? I didn't know you kids new spawn was all right. I think that was actually that was another game. But any case, Joker? Yeah, that's injustice dad.

Kevin Erhard 13:24
Justice, which is just Mortal Kombat with DC rockers. That's exactly what it is.

Phil 13:30
So I guess what I'm saying is I haven't kept up with the tone and the storyline or anything. But from what I've seen, I feel like it hasn't changed all that much. Oh, but, but I think you might be right. I think this might be this might have shaped the future of how they treated Mortal Kombat. More than more than even people who play the game now. might guess. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 13:55
So the book starts with a prologue, which is just a full on creation myth about a god named pawn coo. Who just existed at the beginning of time, and was the only thing to exists when basically when when time started. Then Pong Q eventually dies and breaks apart and all of the body parts of pawn qu create the various things in nature. That That about sums up the long and short.

Phil 14:44
Yeah, including the gods.

Kevin Erhard 14:47
Like yeah, the gods have become our different parts of him. There is a there's a there's a god named Tian, which so Punku dies with and there's a guide called tn which is created in a TN creates the other gods, right and then also creates, then the gods start creating beasts. And then eventually the gods get bored and create create humans because like the beasts are too dumb and they need some something that will get into trouble. So humans and humans they're they're so silly,

Phil 15:32
right? But they kind of they kind of have to back off that because they don't want to be like discovered by the humans are right,

Kevin Erhard 15:41
exactly so a lot there's a lot centered around a mountain mount

Phil 15:48
mount II fuku Bay

Kevin Erhard 15:50
fuku Bay is basically the mountain in which they live. And yeah, it's it's it's just a full on creation myth and it's pretty, it's it's kind of dense and it gets there's more in the creation myth that kind of gets teased out later. But, but it's it's like, right off the bat, here's like, here's this creation myth, you're gonna need to remember some of this.

Phil 16:19
Right? Right. Here's a little bit of background, it's gonna help you to understand some motivations in here. But yeah, it is a straight up. You know, there's so many aspects of it. That feel it feels kind of genuine. As far as creation myths are concerned, sure. I don't I don't know a ton about a lot of the old pagan pantheons. But it does, it did have a lot of similarities to Norse mythology. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 16:52
And I don't it might be. I wouldn't be surprised given that he references those the books on Chinese mythology, I wouldn't be surprised if these are just basically lifted right out of those books. Like I wouldn't either. Yeah, this is this is this is some Chinese mythology. And here we go.

Phil 17:13
Right. Right. Exactly. It's we have definitely never had a book that started off on this grand of a scale. We are literally this is world building like this, this world building in the most literal sense of the word comes in and says, Here's where the world came from. Here's where the people came from the gods, the animals, the trees and the flowers. And holy shit. That's that's a lot to start off in your first three and a quarter pages. Yeah, like, that's crazy.

Kevin Erhard 17:45
It is. The we move into chapter one, which sets us in ad for ad. So we're not, we're not present day. We're not. We're back in the day. And the point of view is we get is a character named Kung Lao Kung Lao. Wow, who I did a quick search Kung Lao was introduced in Mortal Kombat to Yeah, his hat. His hat was razor bladed hat. But we'll, we'll talk about we'll get to that. You know, we'll talk about this. But basically come Lau is in chapter one. He is discussing with his aunt about like, he wants to leave. He wants to he wants to go find the gods because he found a he found a piece of cloth that had writing on it. And yes, only he can see the writing. No one else can he's like showing it to everybody. And like his aunt is like, No, I can't see it either. What are you doing? He is basically just trying to do something interesting with his life is kind of the vibe that I get.

Phil 19:12
It's like a wave vaguer version of, you know, the Disney princess. I want son. Yeah, he he knows he's being called to some sort of higher purpose. But he isn't sure what. And we do. We do get a little background on his family and kids. It's really it's a little insane. Because he's, he's being cared for by his aunt, because his dad's dead. Because they like,

Kevin Erhard 19:47
well, his dad died because he messed up with proportions for gunpowder. Right and blew herself up.

Phil 19:57
Yeah, yeah, we got let's see. My father. We Tasty. I am not wasn't an AI who warned him not to mix those powders and set them a fire. Yes, she said and after we buried what remained of him? Didn't you return to the hills collect more of those rocks, grind them together and burn them? I did. He admitted. I learned from father's example the correct proportions. It's two. It's like this is but you know what? It is the fifth century AD. Yeah. So like that is how it's working at the dive. It's like we're still at a point where they're like, Okay, those are new mushrooms. Let's one of you eat them. And let's see what happens to you. When you eat that one of these fun ones are killer was

Kevin Erhard 20:39
these fun ones are killer ones. Were like, oh, both okay. Oh, wow.

Phil 20:45
Oh, his head went very far. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 20:50
I had that highlighted because I was. I was like reading reading where you're like, wait, what?

Phil 20:57
It kind of comes out. And that's the thing. We've talked about the creation myth and the gods and we've got this noble

Kevin Erhard 21:03
whiplash of Mortal Kombat is very present, right? It

Phil 21:09
doesn't waste any time. It's like I'm a holy warrior. And I want to go and learn how to be a holy warrior. Like, like, oh, okay, so your father was a holy warrior? Do he maybe, you know, die in a tournament or something. So he built himself up with gunpowder he was he was smoking next to an oxygen workout.

Kevin Erhard 21:27
We had to collect what remained of him to bury

Phil 21:31
it. Yeah, right off the bat. Right off the bat. We're like, Oh, it's so yeah. So he's just spending this time trying to give him his answer. Just let him go. And by the way, this clip a cloth he has that only he can read. Here's what it says. Because you're I know what you're thinking. You're like, Oh my god. Well, he fake whether anyone can read it or not. What is written on it must be some crazy, direct religious shit to like, push him towards this life. You know, if he, especially if you can only read it. I'm gonna go ahead. I highlighted this part where he cannot die yet does not live to his true. He is more than all. And all is Pon coup.

Kevin Erhard 22:16
I gotta go to the mountain.

Phil 22:17
Gotta go to the mountain man. I don't know, man. I like leave everyone who I loved. And sell all my possessions and follow Jesus into the wilderness with that kind of bra. Absolutely, really?

Kevin Erhard 22:32
Yeah, this is really direct a direct call to action is what I would call this. The other thing that I noticed and like, I guess we're just, we're just gonna ignore the fact that why does it rhyme? Because

Phil 22:50
they have a good translator on it.

Kevin Erhard 22:51
There's a really good translator who really wants a rise in both languages somehow, right? That's how good it is.

Phil 23:00
I just I just imagined the author going alright guys, back off. What do you want?

Kevin Erhard 23:07
What do you want from me?

Phil 23:08
Yeah, if if I'd written in Chinese or something, you'd be pissed off over that. Yeah. Yeah. And we get a little interesting Scott up. He he gets kind of a girlfriend his aunt does what aunts and grandmothers and mothers all over the world do with their bachelor sons. He's talking about leaving everything behind leaving all his possessions and going on this holy crusade. And then he like casually mentions quote, V egg girl Lee, and that they like to sit and talk. And she immediately goes, Is Lee interested in you? And I was just like, oh my god mom, could you please but that just my own mother's? So you have grown issues? Is this one series? Good. Is she nice? What's your parents like? You know, she doesn't have any tattoos does she sorry mom. Getting a little flashback here.

Kevin Erhard 24:08
It gets it's starts to get more and more specific.

Phil 24:12
Suspiciously so

Kevin Erhard 24:15
my favorite line in this whole sequence where he's talking about the people that he showed the the piece of paper to or the thing to is Dr. Child drinks rice wine but

Phil 24:31
yeah, he's like yeah, I went to Dr. Chow he said the said I'm fine this is like what Dr. Child drinks Rice was

Kevin Erhard 24:39
an alcoholic fuckin but he disagreed with you.

Phil 24:42
Yeah, it's the fifth century version of he smokes crack Yeah. Yeah, it's for ice one. I think I think we'd all like a little rice wine and maybe if you drink some I've let me follow God.

Kevin Erhard 24:55
All the other kids all the other ants are letting their their nephews I adapted nephew's go to the mountain, right? Why can't

Phil 25:05
my friends, my friends and let him buy Wolfenstein 3d? Didn't matter that I had blood in it. That was another controversial video game that was similar time period.

Kevin Erhard 25:19
So basically, the rest of the chapter plays out with, but what about this person? They'll miss you. And he's like, right? And I'm like, okay, that's your brother. Like, he hasn't been home in months. And I'm like, but he'll come back and they're like, and then he'll go home go on another building project. It's like, right, right. There's just it basically every loose end had to be tied off before he's loose ends that we didn't know exist, didn't know existed and did not have to be did not have to exist in this right in the spirit of editing and brevity.

Phil 25:55
You just gotten cut? Yeah, just just everybody, everyone, we just got to make sure that no one will be even halfway upset that you're climbing a mountain because of this vague couplet. You know, that's, that's

Kevin Erhard 26:07
a big couplet written by Shakespeare. Yeah. So in chapter two, we get a little bit more history about where in China, this is taking place.

Phil 26:21
Yeah, this was interesting. So like the nation, gives us He does everything would give us the longitude and latitude. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 26:29
Well, so basically, it's in central China, in a nation called Chun Cuomo. And following the unification under the chin, China was ruled by the Han Dynasty, for whom Kung Lao had little regard. So he's Kung Lao, not a fan of the Hans. He is not a touch anti Han anti Han Dynasty. Yeah.

Phil 26:54
So it's, it's an interesting detail. It will not be coming up. It will

Kevin Erhard 26:58
not be coming up again. political leanings.

Phil 27:05
Die Hard Democrat back in those days.

Kevin Erhard 27:09
Back when the Democrats were racist,

Phil 27:12
right. Yeah. The old school Democrats. Like right now when

Kevin Erhard 27:17
they're right. You know, what this reminded me of we had we just got a one star rating by somebody who said, we talked about politics too much, and compared our political discourse to the the Neo liberal babblings of children from the from Chapter, the chapter two of the book 1984. And

Phil 27:44
I am just where we get all of our ideas.

Kevin Erhard 27:47
And I am offended. I am not neoliberal.

Phil 27:52
No. I got a terrible feeling, by the way, that this person in JET has not gotten to the Bioshock. And

Kevin Erhard 28:01
no, because it

Phil 28:03
felt a little because he even said at the end, he was like, I'm gonna keep listening, just in case and I was like, oh, no, he hasn't. He hasn't even definitely

Kevin Erhard 28:11
BioShock episodes. Oh, boy. So anyway, Kung Lao, big anti anti honar. Right. He is he's walking, and we're getting a lot of landmarks.

Phil 28:28
Yeah, we're sending a lot of yeah, just like, This is what ancient China was like. I think, you know, it's nice, because it's interesting. I didn't expect like, of light tourists guide to Ancient China from this book, but it's, it's interesting. It's also a little, I don't know, unnecessary. Yeah, the way to get into a fantasy worlds.

Kevin Erhard 28:54
Yeah, like, yeah, the one really interesting part of this chapter is when it reveals that the real reason kung loughs Dad was obsessed with with explosives was because he wanted to build a rocket to the moon.

Phil 29:07
Right? Remember how we talked about that? Whiplash, kids? Here we go again. Yeah. This is by the way, by the way, I don't want you guys to misunderstand. This is not played for laughs This is dead serious. This is dead serious. It just happens to be hilarious. That's all. It's so the choices are really interesting. But yeah, it basically gives us a little background on Kung Lao and his family and how the seeker kind of gene has been strong.

Kevin Erhard 29:45
That generation a generation, right, how do you think the family just goes off and dies?

Phil 29:53
Right? They ask a lot of questions of the gods and then they die. That seems to be It's like Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump. Yeah. Someone from their family has died from every single god over the course of generations. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 30:09
Yeah. In chapter three, Kung Lao is is now he's kind of in the vicinity of the Mountain. And he's climbing now he's tired and talking to himself. And there's there's just a lot of like a description of, you know, catching fish and, and I think at one point, he eats a grub.

Phil 30:43
Yeah, it's a lone Mortal Kombat edition. It's yeah, it's really.

Kevin Erhard 30:48
Yeah, it's Naked and Afraid. Mortal Kombat, right. first few pages of chapter three. things get interesting. Eventually, Kung Lao runs into an unnamed character. Who is mysterious, and there's thunderclaps every time he does anything, which are probably just covering up his farts.

Phil 31:17
I mean, I think they are as far as they are. They probably are his farts.

Kevin Erhard 31:21
God's fart because he's business. Hey, now it's Raiden Raven,

Phil 31:27
classic, classic Rana. You cannot have Mortal Kombat without writing. That's just all there is to

Kevin Erhard 31:33
it. So, yeah, Kung, LAO and Raiden just they have a heart to heart about. You know what it means to really give oneself over to the gods. It they talk a lot about how there's the duality and the duality theme is going to come up a lot. How long was he saw Raiden earlier as a beggar and now he's seeing him as a guide. And Melinda

Phil 32:00
and also heavily implies that because he's seen his dad, when his dad was a seeker and he was alive, he would spend time with this kind of cloaked shadowy man in the distance like, and he didn't know who he was. And it's heavily implied that Raiden appeared to him in the past, and probably generation for generations before. So kung loughs lineage. Reign really likes them. Yeah. Right.

Kevin Erhard 32:27
And like some he tends to talk them into doing stuff that gets them killed, but he likes them. Yeah, yes.

Phil 32:35
We do get a good we do get a good line here with him realizing who Raiden is. Braden says, Your father was not the chosen one. He said, You were you understand? You understood the duality of all things. I did say Kung Lao. Which which I responded he did. I did, but he's a little he was a little kid. It's like you're looking at this little kid and going, yes, that little six year old. He knows about duality. He's the shit. Right? Right. And, you know, look, duality is a fascinating topic, but I think most people understand duality in the world and understand paradoxical ideas.

Kevin Erhard 33:19
Yeah, basically, Kung Lao was Anakin Skywalker.

Phil 33:24
Right? Right.

Kevin Erhard 33:28
If we want to if we want to get down to it Raiden was was was what's his name Qui Gon Jinn and I was Anakin Skywalker. Yeah.

Phil 33:42
Oh, yeah. And so to give him an example of what rate is like, Raiden is going I saw something in you and he says, That night the sky was split by a single streak of lightning, which struck and destroyed the tree. And you were afraid. It's like, okay, yeah. So far, so far that setbacks, to calm your fears, you began to think about the lightning bolt and you realize the flash that destroyed also provided light that there are two sides to everything. darkness, light, fear, courage, life, death, a beggar. God, like, okay, you know, I will admit, if I met a five year old who was thinking about shit like that, I would be I'd be impressed. I'm not sure it would be like, send him on an epic God quest impressed? Yeah. But it might be like, Oh, we're gonna put them in the talent and gifted program. We're gonna make sure that he knows is you know, multiple occasions in elementary school, yeah,

Kevin Erhard 34:43
we're gonna we're gonna move off a grade because he seems a little bored. And this year

Phil 34:47
yeah. And you know, when they're bored, it gets just get into trouble.

Kevin Erhard 34:51
midstream start mixing their explosive rocket to the moon.

Phil 35:00
But because they think they can find God that way or so but I don't know. Your dad was kind of a moron

Kevin Erhard 35:08
what we forget to mention is this whole scene is set to fly me to the moon

Phil 35:15
come to Laos like getting misty eyed. Suddenly he hears the background music. Don't play.

Kevin Erhard 35:22
Let me play among the stars. So yeah, we get we move on to chapter four.

Phil 35:36
New care another classic character here Shang, Shang son. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 35:42
Shang Sung is basically he's been researching the hell out of how to get to the nether world the outer worlds whatever you want to call it. He's been reading the Greeks he's been reading the the Japanese has been reading the Chinese scholars he's been reading literally every scholar he can find he's also left his family to do this. He just like got up and left one day. And the I think the the one who he is kind of leaning on for a lot of his ideas is in Egyptian scribe named amo tap, which I believe is one of the names used in the mummy. Starring Brendan Fraser. Oh no emo tip was was the moment Yeah. So amo tip is the Egyptian scribe. They're trying to reach the dead place. So Shang Sung has been trying to figure figure this out. Yeah, highlighted years before he had left his position as a tax collector for his death by killing and disfiguring another man and changed his name in order to do what his wife's brother wing Lao had done. Experiment quest. Seek knowledge. So,

Phil 37:04
so that makes shank son, kung loughs.

Kevin Erhard 37:08
Uncle uncle by marriage. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep. Because wing WoW is coming Laos, Papa. Wing, and he tried to fly moon. Oh, God, I

Phil 37:23
didn't think about that. Oh, for pizza.

Kevin Erhard 37:28
Boy. But yeah, we recap again. That wing had blown himself in an experiment. But he was always he was always a little bit jealous of wings ability to just like, seek knowledge, you know? Yeah. And he is he's not he was not a fan of Kung Lao. Or his or the the kids or the nephews or what have you. Yeah. So yeah, we get a whole lot of detail about just his research.

Phil 38:08
Yeah, it's he, like, again, it makes you think like, is this possibly based on actual ideas or anything like that? Yeah, it's interesting. They get very specific and, like you said, the philosophers that he's looking into, and I do admire how they did this because instant usually, when you're setting up a character who schooled in the dark arts, you have, you know, a vague tome of evil or something like that. But our author here actually makes a point of saying like he studies minerals, he studies animals he studied

Kevin Erhard 38:48
everything it's not just one like Necronomicon that he writes it's basically he needs there is no set of instructions he basically needs to put put together the instructions himself based on right what everybody else has figured out across the world. So he sails to this like islands that is just kind of gave me the vibes of it's like the the intersection point of ley lines that which is like that supernatural thought of like these like a point of like power like supernatural power. So he goes to this island to do this ceremony that he picked up from the God not the God the scribe amo tap, and he begins to recite the words and suddenly there's there's just this this wall of fire around him, and in cases him and he is somewhere else now. Yeah,

Phil 39:47
yeah. He basically takes over this little island for a little. It's, it's, again, it's this level of detail that lay Oh, yeah. Oh, hold on, hold on. I'm looking at something that I almost forgot. It's just a detail but it cracked me the fuck up he's looking at he's looking at all kinds of stuff the air was damp and cold at times a trick of fog, diffused sunlight, and then says rocks and cliffs that seemed lumpy and jagged from afar were smooth up close, and they're trying to set this world up that he has found himself in as like, strange and geometry doesn't work the right way. So that you know, you see it a lot of stuff, but the first thing I thought was like, Oh, sure, it's an old video game. The rendering was shitting

Kevin Erhard 40:36
the draw distance was all

Phil 40:40
it was all fucked up.

Kevin Erhard 40:43
And I was like, in the back of my head I'm like, this place is strange and unusual. And then the Lydia deeds line of I too am strange and unusual.

Phil 40:54
That's exactly it. That's exactly it. Yeah, he's he's found himself in this place where he can, you know, get into some trouble like you can sorcerers

Kevin Erhard 41:08
he can. He can fuck about, you know? Indeed, he can indeed cast some spells. Meanwhile,

Unknown Speaker 41:15
I will. Meanwhile,

Kevin Erhard 41:17
in the outer I forget what they're called in Mortal Kombat. It's like the outer realm or outer worlds. Something like Yeah. So we had a conversation between a demon and demon king. Shao Kahn, the big baddie, the, it's like Shang Sung is like the, he's like, it's like running a d&d campaign and having a big, bad evil guy like an ad Shang song, and then you kill them and you realize, oh, there's an even bigger, badder evil guy that Shao Kahn.

Phil 41:53
Yeah, if you guys saw the first Mortal Kombat movie, and I know you did, at the very, very end after they defeated Shang Sung and everything like that. And there's the crazy guy with the skull helmet in the clouds shouting at them about taking their souls and stuff and they go, I don't think so. And they strike a pose and the credits roll and that escapable fucking techno song starts playing that guy in that dude, that's Chicago. That's the guy at Chicago. And for the record, it is unavoidable. You will be hearing that song in your head the entire time. You're reading this book,

Kevin Erhard 42:30
fun fact and a sequel. Shao Kahn comes down Johnny Cage. Does a does a jump kick, Adam and Shao Kahn catches him and breaks his neck.

Phil 42:40
Just breaks his neck.

Kevin Erhard 42:43
That's a big Johnny Cage.

Phil 42:45
Yeah, like less than five minutes. That movie was a piece of shit. That's why I think that's why we remember it. You ask people like what do you think is like a really good video game movie and most people will go you know, Mortal Kombat is a lot of fun. Like that was a good one. And here's the thing. It is a lot of fun. It's a terrible movie.

Kevin Erhard 43:07
So oh, so

Phil 43:09
bad Mortal

Kevin Erhard 43:10
Kombat to just walk garbage pile combat

Phil 43:13
is I think Armageddon, Mortal Kombat Armageddon yet, even for a video game movie. Now here's the thing. Mortal Kombat to the movie was the movie that when you're a little kid, and this is a little tangent, but it's totally related. I swear to God, yeah. When you're a kid, most movies are good. Most movies are good. Yeah, ladies, you might get it. Like that's great. I love it. Yeah, yeah, you might or even you might go That's boring. It's a boring movie. You don't say that is a shitty movie. It's badly made. It's badly performed. It's badly edited, et cetera. You just go I don't want to watch that movie. It's a boring movie, right? That was the first I saw it in the theaters when I was in middle school. I want to say whatever it came out, and that might have been one of the earliest movies that I watched and went, Oh, that is a bad movie. Right? That is not like and for the record. That was the same theater that I saw Anaconda three times.

Kevin Erhard 44:14
You watch summer Anaconda three times. Yeah,

Phil 44:18
I paid money to see Anaconda three times in the movie theater that summer. I don't know if it was the same summer is when Mortal Kombat two came out. But that was the same theater. And I happily did it. And Anaconda is a stinking piece of shit. Yeah, I still went yeah, that was pretty great. I'm gonna watch that again. I'm gonna totally watch Ice Cube call a giant snake of bitch one more time. That's going to be great. And but I walked out of the theater for Mortal Kombat Armageddon, just going oh, that was that was horribly made who greenlit that?

Kevin Erhard 44:53
So, so they what's amazing is in between the first In the second movie, they recast ridin. Raiden. Yeah, so the first movie is what am I? Oh, he's a guy that I question why he ever had a career. It goes by the name of Christopher Lambert. I have there is, you know, go to the guest section of the website and look up. There is an appearance that I had on another person's podcasts talking about Highlander. I think I have it in there. Just Just listen to that instead. Because it's basically two hours of me talking about Christopher Lambert's mush mouth accent. That is just, it's just, but they recast him with James Remar. Who James Remar was it like by so it's such a better actor. Whatever,

Phil 46:00
but also, possibly one of the most missed cast actors I've ever seen. Like, of course, he was almost Hicks, for Christ's sake. So who knows? Who knows what's right. I'm just saying Sex in the City zone. Was was playing the god of thunder and lightning,

Unknown Speaker 46:19
so why not?

Phil 46:21
What the fuck do I know? I don't know. James

Kevin Erhard 46:23
Remar. Dexter, too, right. He was in Dexter. Right? He was he was late to play Dexter's dad. That's right.

Phil 46:31
Ladies and gentlemen. We have been interrupted by an impish child, impish being the perfect word for it. She possibly found the smallest crack available. Like you take a door. You open it up a fraction of an inch, maybe even half a millimeter. I think she did even less than that. With her tiny little elephant hands to strike up a bargain with her father. I don't think it's gonna go well. I think. I think she's just pushing man. Yeah, James Remar. Let's see. Yeah. All right. So for those of you at home who didn't know this, alright, so James Remar. Yeah, he played Raiden. In the second second Mortal Kombat movie. He was in Django and Chang Chang, who's in Sex in the City for a while was kind of a prominent guy in that was the Dan the end Dexter. He was in the warriors like this, the students had a really crazy career. And if you look him up, you will know him from something. I guarantee it. That dude was nearly Hicks from aliens. Like he actually, I think they cast like, what they cast him and I think they filmed like a shit ton of it, with him in it. And your experience with him and whether or not you based on where you've seen him in the past is going to color your opinion of whether or not he could possibly have been Hicks in Aliens for God's sake. The fact of the matter was the one of the earliest things I ever saw him it was sex of the city. So the idea of him playing kicks seems insane to me. Apparently, he had I think you had a bit of a drug problem. And they said we cannot put up with that shit. But check it out. Like look it up. There's pictures of him on the set as Hicks. It's kind of crazy. If you're used to the cast that I am given, just given the people a quick history lesson on James Remar who almost played Hicks and aliens.

Kevin Erhard 48:47
Oh, yeah, that would have been weird casting.

Phil 48:50
That's See that's what I was saying. I said your your your belief as to whether or not he could have played Hicks is going to be colored entirely based on what you first saw him in? Yeah, consciously. Right. And actually, one of the earliest things I ever saw I mean was sex of the city. So it just wasn't going to work. Right. Right. Just was that was never gonna work. I think he had a drug problem. They kicked him out. Oh, really? Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 49:13
I mean, it's good that he though that he's he's managed to maintain a really solid career. I mean, he tends to just lace

Phil 49:19
He's everywhere man.

Kevin Erhard 49:21
He's everywhere. He doesn't just guest appear in TV shows by the way. Yeah, he is like in them for easy they're recurring character or whatever.

Phil 49:34
He's he's a good actor. He's a quintessential that guy. Like, very much so he isn't he isn't he isn't that guy, gold star. If you want something real fun and kind of sad. Watch the, what's the series on Netflix about like, the movies that made us they do want on aliens, and they interview him and he talks about it. And he's really humble and very and very charming. about the whole thing, but you can tell like there's a serious sense of regret like not would have not been able to be an alien Ian Oh, absolutely. He regrets it. So it's it's fascinating. It's worth a look. Meanwhile, we're, we're in hell

Kevin Erhard 50:13
we're now. Shao Kahn is the Lord of the Outworld, master of the Furies, King of the dark arts, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons. And he got an MBA from abroad and he has a he has an MBA from Deborah University is talking to a little fat demon called Ruth a.

Phil 50:39
Like Ruth. I wish they'd give us more Ruth a more relator was every there was a It feels.

Kevin Erhard 50:46
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yep. Energy. Really? Yeah. Yep. Energy with Ruth a. Yeah, they really? I want to say Jeff really shortchanged us on that?

Phil 50:58
I think so. That's, that's where I got frustrated. That was first time I was like, I don't know, man. No. It's kind of bullshit.

Kevin Erhard 51:06
So Ruth is reporting to Shao Kahn that there's another human found himself in the Outworld. But oh, we think this one actually might be the one that you're looking for. So Shao Kahn has been waiting for a human to show up? And lo and behold, it is

Phil 51:30
he makes it clear that and yeah, he and so we get this interesting dialogue back and forth between Shang sun and Shao Kahn. And basically the gist of it is that different embodiments of Shang Sun generations of him versions of him have come to Shao Kahn over and over and over again to basically serve Him in a mission to open a portal between the out world and earth right. Yeah, so he said that Shao Kahn can send his army of fat little demon

Kevin Erhard 52:09
babies army every phase, zombie Ruth days

Phil 52:14
through and by the end of their conversation shank soon remembers, and they've got a plan where basically Shang son has to collect souls, because a soul is a piece of Pan who the God

Kevin Erhard 52:29
a God who created every well exists death started the process of everything being created.

Phil 52:35
Right, right. And so Shao Kahn says I'm going to send you back with Ruth day here, and you're going to start collecting souls for me. Yeah. And the more souls we get, the bigger the portal will get and eventually we'll get a portal

Kevin Erhard 52:52
for the armies to exhibit exactly because Shao Kahn's Shao, Kahn's idea is that the intention of Pan coo panuku never intended for there to be an Outworld and a for there to be multiple realms is only ever supposed to be one realm. And that's pretty bold of Shao Kahn to like really talk about the intentions of a pawn coo who doesn't exist anymore. And right, as we learn later that I believe we learned later that Raiden is the only one who knows what pan coos intentions ever would have been. Because yeah, there's a brief mention that Raiden inherited the memories of Pan KU so not even tn Who was the guy that basically started the whole process of using Pong whose body parts right not even tn really knew had the memories upon cool only Raiden does.

Phil 53:56
Right? explains why Raiden is kind of chumming up with the human side of things because he knows how fucked up this could get.

Kevin Erhard 54:04
He knows he knows shits chip can get really real, right quick.

Phil 54:10
Right? And one last thing, any of the souls that they use to open the portal wider and wider. They have to be souls that Shang Sung has one that he has taken. Yes, otherwise, it comes out of his ass literally like pieces of him was gonna

Kevin Erhard 54:29
be Yeah, he has to use his soul to keep the portal living. So we jump over to chapter six and Kung Lao has basically he, this is years later, Kung Lao has is a warrior priest. And, and all that stuff he and oh, here's here it is on like on the next, the second page of this chapter He, Kung Lao says he learned that alone among the gods Raiden carried the member, the memory of the parent God, even tn did not have the knowledge that Raiden did. So, yeah, there you go, right.

Phil 55:16
It's pretty important.

Kevin Erhard 55:17
It's pretty important.

Phil 55:18
And Raiden has been passing on that same knowledge to Kung, LAO

Kevin Erhard 55:23
and Raiden is all about the yes, there must be duality. And Shao Kahn is like, no duality, only oneness. Everything needs to be the same thing. So there you go.

Phil 55:36
Yeah. Raiden is part of a very unique sect on the internet. Called both sides are good.

Kevin Erhard 55:47
Raiden is the guy who shows up on your on your tweets. He's actually the drill tweet. He's he is the. Or Shao Kahn, the drill tweet. Who is the drill? One of them is the drill tweet where it says there's no difference between either side, you buffoon you would or something?

Phil 56:11
Yeah, let's see. Oh, that's

Kevin Erhard 56:14
I guess it's raining? Because I think it's right. Yeah, let's say Raiden. Is that drill tweet.

Phil 56:20
Ravens, the guy who pops up in your replies that you're you say you're not wrong, you're just an asshole. Yes.

Kevin Erhard 56:28
Both sides is talking about both sides all the time. And he wants more context whenever he sees a story, right that the police misusing say that.

Phil 56:39
What do you mean, but what do you mean by that? We find out that con Lau is now wearing a smooth white orb amulet around his neck. Don't get

Kevin Erhard 56:50
used to it. He's getting rid of it. Yeah,

Phil 56:52
yeah, he's he's getting rid of it. We basically get the idea that he has been studying up here in the mountains. He has been fighting a lot. He sees we've jumped ahead a lot. You know, yours at this point. And we were talking about servers. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And he has been fighting in a tournament called Mortal Kombat for all of those years, and he has won it every year. Yes. And the reward, the final test is always against Shang some. And the reward is a immortal life. So even though he has gone forward for 1314 years, he has not aged he's still he's still as young as he ever was. Right? So, but this time around, and he's always had

Kevin Erhard 57:41
well, he's has two things working for him. He's got the fact that he's winning, but he also has this amulet, which also makes him immortal. He's got double immortality, basically

Phil 57:51
double immortality. And he's, he's not he's not interested in using that amulet anymore. No. Why? Why does he get rid of the AMA?

Kevin Erhard 58:03
I missed that. I don't know. I it's not. It's not super clear. He just basically said I'm not going to use it anymore. Yeah, yeah, it's I don't even know why it was introduced to be honest.

Phil 58:16
I choked it's this thing that it's kind of like a failsafe for him. Yeah. The power he

Kevin Erhard 58:23
lost the amulet would prevent him from dying.

Phil 58:26
I think I think the gist of it is is he here? He has heard through I don't know what kind of a grapevine does living on a mountain by yourself with a thunder god have. But he heard through something that there's a new competitor in this year's Mortal Kombat. And there's a pretty good chance that he will lose and I think he's worried about the amulet getting into the wrong hands. Sure. But

Kevin Erhard 58:54
But yeah, that wasn't that was not super cleared. Oh, I did like this. This is a concept that's brought up he wished he could return the amulet to Raiden but he knew that wasn't possible. What a God has given to mortals can never be returned for it is no longer deistic even to touch it would make the God no longer a god but a mortal as like to that's actually a really cool concept. Like yeah,

Phil 59:21
yeah. I liked that, too. That was that was really that was again this guy's building this mythology. And it's pretty kick. Kick Ass.

Kevin Erhard 59:31
It's a kick ass it's a it's a bitch and Van art mythology.

Phil 59:36
Is it really it's a fucking heavy metal album epic. And which makes sense when you think about it because what what do heavy metal nerds love, they love their blood and guts. This is crazy.

Kevin Erhard 59:50
mythology that Frank Frazetta would would would be right at home painting.

Phil 59:56
He would have been thrilled he would have he would illustrated the fuck out of this.

Kevin Erhard 1:00:01
So Kung Lao breaks up some rocks with his fists and then buries the amulet and goes showing off of that goes off for his week long journey to mount to Kashi which is where the place is going to be. So you arrives and chapter seven. He basically arrives and we get some lowdown on all of the like the sights and sounds of of this weird little temple out here and Shamar Island which is I guess I didn't put together just now shimmer Island is the islands earlier that Shang sung had basically used to he that's where he started the whole thing is this

Phil 1:00:48
home base base. Yeah, yeah, he's been he's been renovating the

Kevin Erhard 1:00:51
place renovating. Yeah, he's

Phil 1:00:53
an old like, shaolin temple ruins that he's trying to like, you know, fixer upper kind of thing. So up the resale value, he's

Kevin Erhard 1:01:01
he's up the resale value, he's it but it's not a Love It or List It situation. He's really, he's really got to learn to love it. So rate is Raiden had worn Kung Lao before leaving an image of TN will be present on Kakashi and not as a friend. Now, if you remember earlier in the book, they described in the prologue, there's a description of what tn looks like. And he's basically he's got a bunch of arms, and he's a beefcake. And I guess that kind of spoils what what's going to be coming up soon.

Phil 1:01:42
We all know where that we know where that's going.

Kevin Erhard 1:01:45
But so he was like, so Kung Lao was like, Yeah, I have only ever seen multi limbed creatures tn T and depicted as a multi legged creature. So I wonder what's going on. Anyway.

Phil 1:01:59
And we know and we both know, that can't be right. So I'm sure it means something else come to dumped exam.

Kevin Erhard 1:02:04
Yes. So one of the things that that they he talks about Kung Lao is noticing is every time he comes back Shang Sung is older and older and older. And we learn a little bit more about that about the why of that later. But yeah, Kung Lao also, is this is this as I was thinking of, what is He? Is he doing the thing? What? Oh, there's a there's a moment later we're Conwell basically starts flagellating himself.

Phil 1:02:49
Oh, yeah. Yeah, we get a little bit he basically start Yeah, he starts hitting himself,

Kevin Erhard 1:02:56
okay. No, it didn't happen. It's not in this chapter. This chapter, this chapter basically just continues on as as a pretty detailed description of the temple. And and the people living at the temple and all that stuff. So that's chapter seven. We'll get to the he's got a bad feeling. You got a bad boss. He's getting getting bad vibes about that. We'll get to the flagellating that happens soon.

Phil 1:03:23
Trust me, we're not going to we're not going to.

Kevin Erhard 1:03:28
So chapter eight, we get shanks on. And we get a little bit more detail as to why is he so so old now. Basically, in chapter eight, he has he has a hidden room in the temple. And Ruth A is is in this room as like an anchor for the portal to the Outworld. And Ruth a has gone insane because he has not been allowed to move for 13 years. Yeah,

Phil 1:04:00
yeah. And here's the thing, it's kind of implied that it's like it's a it's it's a stretch of his mind for being so far away from where he's from, from the realm that he's from. Yeah, but honestly, you can just read it as he hasn't been able to move from one spot for 13 years. I think we'd all be ready to snap Yeah, yeah. Mortal Realm or no

Kevin Erhard 1:04:26
mortal realm or not. I think we would have some we'd have some issues. Yeah, so basically, shanks on this chapter details shank sons initial efforts when he gets back from the Outworld. First, he's like, Well, I'll just kill some travelers and throw them their souls into the portal and like, wow, I didn't really do anything. Oops. So he gradually works his way up on who he's killing, to try their souls out. And basically it's it's only going to be great warriors, the soul of a great warrior that really helps him open the portal up. So that's when he comes up with the idea for Mortal Kombat. So he, he sends out a dream to warriors from across the land to come out, come to come here, come to this island and face off in a great fighting tournament. And he kills a bunch of I want to say this is where he kills a bunch of pirates. And yeah, and then he he takes their souls as much as chefs. Yeah, basically, he he kills a bunch of people that are like, that can be like workers and they build this temple. And they like, so they don't, they're just dressed in all black. And in the previous chapter, Kung Lao was talking about how it's like, oh, yeah, there's these weird dudes that are always just wearing black and you can ever see their face and be like, yeah, that's because they're corpses that are just walking.

Phil 1:06:02
Yeah, yeah. Shang son gets his necromancer on and basically has this small army of undead servants that are rebuilding everything that kind of weighed on him. And, you know, because he can't do it all alone. No, he needs some rotting corpses to help get things along

Kevin Erhard 1:06:20
fresh. Some some goals. Yeah. Yeah. So then the chapter kind of breaks down like there's a full beat by beat breakdown of the first fight that Shang Sung and Kung Lao had ever had at the end of the first Mortal Kombat tournament. That it's just like, here's, here's what's happened. Shang, Shang Sung was should have one he's like he really regrets it. He like he basically relives it every day because he's like, Yeah, I should have won that first one.

Phil 1:06:55
I should have won that. It's eating up and it's been eating them up inside for 1313 years,

Kevin Erhard 1:07:02
you've been really bitter about it. And so basically, he, he realizes that he should have one that one and he calls Kung Lao. He's really bitter about Kung Lao. And he calls him a little goldfish who enjoyed swimming in the pool of his own piety. Like is it kind of allows this holier than thou piece of shit, basically. Yeah.

Phil 1:07:34
Yeah, Shang son is Homer Simpson and Khan Lau is Ned Flanders. That's what Yes. As far as he's concerned. Yeah. He and but and despite all of that, he knows that Kung Lao has this magical amulet given to him by Raiden that gives them extra power and so but he still says it's more than just the amulet. It's not just the amulet, right? causing him to kick my ass. Because not only did come though, beat him on the first tournament, he's beat him every single day

Kevin Erhard 1:08:04
Every single year since

Phil 1:08:07
and Shang son is losing more and more of his power he's aging and at a incredibly accelerated pace because

Kevin Erhard 1:08:15
he has to take out a piece of his own soul and feed it to the portal in order to keep the portal open every year exactly every year that he doesn't do it and they give us a little breakdown of basically if if the if roof a were to fully cross over it would obliterate basically all of the good like destroy the universe or something like that. Yeah,

Phil 1:08:46
it's also the one thing just just just that little thing

Kevin Erhard 1:08:51
there there's also this this great little description while he was here trapped atop a circle route a was still rooted in the Outworld but if the doorway were shut, he would be nothing more than an Intuos smear only if God were to cross from one realm to the to the other redefine the nature of the life and matter there. Could the two worlds be mixed?

Phil 1:09:14
Yes. So a lot right.

Kevin Erhard 1:09:18
And there's a lot riding on this.

Phil 1:09:22
Yeah, and and Chang suns feeling the pressure too. So this year, he knew he needed a bit of an A she needs a ringer. He really needs to hear. That's exactly what he needs.

Kevin Erhard 1:09:35
Because he's promising Shao Kahn this this is the year and Shallcross. This is like one It better be the year or else I'm gonna take what your mate says I'm going to take what remains of your soul and I am going to put it as a boil on my Dragon's tongue.

Phil 1:09:53
Right now that Kevin is not yet and Kevin is not like making anything up that is literally,

Kevin Erhard 1:09:58
literally with Shao Kahn threatens him With so chanson stakes are high. Yeah, they're up there up there. So okay, chapter nine. Kung Lao has a ritual. Yeah. Camilla has a ritual where he basically takes a thorn branch. And he, he drags it over every inch of his body. So he's just like, criss crossed with like, just bloody cuts.

Phil 1:10:29
Yeah, whatever. Yeah. And it says here it says the thin superficial wounds did not weaken him, but come round knew that of his flesh were sore, he would react to that much quicker to protect himself from being hurt. I feel like that's not how it works. But then again, anyone who's been threatened with a flyswatter when they have a sunburn? Yeah, maybe maybe

Kevin Erhard 1:10:58
it would maybe it would work I don't know about how he like would refuse to eat, because the hunger would really focus in like, I've never noticed thought that hunger made me more focused usually just made me a little bit. My brain less worky.

Phil 1:11:14
Now, if he said if he said he stopped eating so that he'd be extra irritable and take his rage out on his enemies. Now that's something I would

Kevin Erhard 1:11:24
I would be I believe that 100% He's like, I stopped eating. So I'm hangry during the fight, so like,

Phil 1:11:30
now a younger guy would be like, Oh, no, we're not fucking with this guy. No,

Kevin Erhard 1:11:35
we're not fucking with this guy at all. Yeah, so that's, that's chapter nine. Superduper short, chapter 10 We get a description, more description of the courtyard of the Palace. And there's a really cool description of Shang sung throne

Phil 1:11:56
which is I was hoping you were gonna bring up the throne which

Kevin Erhard 1:11:59
is bad guy throne. 101. The chair was made of made of iron forged in the shape of human bones, cushioned with mystically preserved blubber of a whale, and covered with a thick throw of fur from one of the sacred Pandas for only one such as Shang would dare to take.

Phil 1:12:21
I love the panda in detail and

Kevin Erhard 1:12:24
detail is amazing. a canopy of unknown material supported by a column of constructed of shark teeth, protected him from the hazy sun. Some said the material was human flesh, but few thought that even the vicious Shang could be capable of such a vile and corrupt display. Kung Lao was not one of the few

Phil 1:12:48
it's it's just fucking so over the top. So

Kevin Erhard 1:12:54
over the top.

Phil 1:12:56
It's wonderful. Also,

Kevin Erhard 1:12:57
something that I guess is never really touched on. Does Shang does does Chang sung ever like, mentioned that Kung Lao? Is his nephew by marriage? No, or his Kung Lao ever recognized? Shang son? No, no,

Phil 1:13:16
not to my knowledge. There's no and let's face facts, they would have taken that opportunity for one of them to chew the hell out of the scenery. Sure, with something like that. So I think that's not I don't I don't know if that's happening with this particular section of

Kevin Erhard 1:13:34
the book. Because we're coming to an end. Yes. To this section of the book, because we've we've already pretty much we're towards the end of the of the tournament already. We got some scripts, some quick descriptions of of a couple of the fights the final round

Phil 1:13:57
Yeah, we some some basic five basic fights,

Kevin Erhard 1:14:01
con, loud defeats. A guy named will feel the Ostrogoths we get, we get some nice German representation here. Well, just a little. He doesn't know martial arts, he just uses a spiked club.

Phil 1:14:19
He's not gonna get a lot of crane kicks from this, you know.

Kevin Erhard 1:14:23
And then mohatta, Marian, who recites the Vedic Vedic hymn of creation. So India, that's a which is in from India, I believe. Right? The Vedas are Yeah, yeah. But basically, once he lost his teeth, he had trouble because he was he used this hymn of creation to focus his himself while he was fighting, but then he gets a few teeth knocked out. And basically the fight falls apart there. And then there's a Roman wrestler named Troy Cyrus, who nearly beats Kung Lao. But they circle back the self inflicted lacerations are what give con Lau the focus to break the pin. So, no point is a good strategy to point for Toy Cyrus on the pin. So basically, they, they kind of fast forward through all the fights Kung Lao was victorious. And he is the champion again. And we have a back and forth between Shang Sung and Kung Lao, debating the merits of religion and magic and all that fun shit.

Phil 1:15:40
Yeah, yeah. The classic line religion is not magic. Kung Lao said, a debatable point for some other time. All right. All right.

Kevin Erhard 1:15:51
All right. That's, that's fine. So So basically, they they have their little, their little back and forth their little war with words. And, and so here's the thing is that Kung Lao? He has defeated everybody and ordered to get the title of the champion, he has to defeat the host, which is, I believe, at this point, an optional fight. Like the only way to to be champion and not age for the next year is if he beats the host. He can back out now and everything is fine. And, and Kung Lao was like, No, I got a i Why would I back away? I'm the champion.

Phil 1:16:42
You know, for a guy who was nervous about this fight and everything because of not wearing his amulet. He's, if he makes some dumb calls, let's

Kevin Erhard 1:16:50
just Yeah, so Shang song is like, Oh, by the way, I'm not the one fighting. According to the rules of Mortal Kombat, I can name somebody else. The rules that I made up because it's my tournament. Like it's my tournament tournament because my tournament goddamnit. So he has he lets somebody fight on his behalf. And all this time. There's just been thundering footsteps coming in off the distance. And Kung Lao is like, this is a sinister presence, all that all that stuff. And who could it be? Oh, no, it's goro goro. Right. Who would have thought claymation monster himself from? I think he's quite mentioned in the first four.

Phil 1:17:45
Or something. It's like, it's definitely a practical offense everyday

Kevin Erhard 1:17:48
practice. So So basically, it's it's going to be a fight against Goro. And this fight, basically, is it it's it's that it's that fight from Game of Thrones. It's the mountain Oh, yeah. Versus the Mandalorian what's his name? Yeah. Yeah. Pedro, Pascal's character Pascal. Where the only way he's going to win is if he's like, if he's basically going to be super fast and and fight and try to avoid this. This big beefy boy. Right? And Chapter, Chapter 11 is it's basically just the entire fight.

Phil 1:18:43
Yeah, it's it's, it's the whole fight. It goes back and forth. In fact, at first it looks like Khan Laos pressing the advantage he's doing pretty good to start with to start

Kevin Erhard 1:18:54
to start with but the fact that Goro has extra arms really comes into play.

Phil 1:19:00
Now you know, it's not just for show it really

Kevin Erhard 1:19:04
really are practical,

Phil 1:19:06
practical application. It turns out and yeah, it's we do get one little detail here, which is confusing to me. I have heard Goro referred to as Park dragon, but in the description here it says as much dragon in appearance as human when describing Goro and I can if you tell me like dragons have a fascinating mythology. There's all kinds of shit with them. And if you're telling me that he's part of Dragon fine sure good. It's referring to girl as equally dragon Yeah, appearance as human just

Kevin Erhard 1:19:48
a confusing mental image. Like

Phil 1:19:50
like real quick. If you could describe a dragon to me just let's just for fun.

Kevin Erhard 1:19:55
Just get on the same page as to what kind of Dragon we're talking about. Right there. It's been duly and types of Dragon out there. Just saying drinkies dragon and appearance, not helping me

Phil 1:20:06
not helping not help especially

Kevin Erhard 1:20:07
something saying China. It's like like because because like Chinese mythology, dragons they have their own thing going.

Phil 1:20:19
They have a pretty distinct look. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 1:20:21
So I don't know, Jeff if I if I buy that. But yeah, that

Phil 1:20:29
one I'm not so sure regardless,

Kevin Erhard 1:20:33
Cora wins, he wins. I mean, it seems like it would it seems like Kung Lao is is is might have some chance but that is really each time kind of loud presses his advantage Goro is able to counter by like catching him. He like sprains kung loughs knees or his ankles, he hurts his shoulder. He throws them into a wall basically. He is not doing any damage to Goro and Kung Lao is just getting beat worse and worse. And eventually Goro just throws him into the wall and just pommels him can like just over and over and over again. And finally, finally, Shang son just tells Goro Give me his heart. And the last thing that Kung Lao sees is to two arms holding him by his shoulders, and a third hand just coming for his chest.

Phil 1:21:36
Yeah. And I can't help but think that that. That's a wrap on kung fu that

Kevin Erhard 1:21:43
is a wrap on Kung Lao. That is a wrap on this Kung Lao. And I

Phil 1:21:48
know you're confused ladies and gentlemen, because you're like he didn't even get to throw his razor has razor hat is sharp sombrero

Kevin Erhard 1:21:58
is sharp sombrero. slicey sombrero fear and I. This is just the first Kung Lao the car we all know and love. Not this guy.

Phil 1:22:11
Not this particular guy.

Kevin Erhard 1:22:13
Not this particular guy. Because, meanwhile, 600 miles away, we get kung loughs. Brother, right? Or cousin, whatever. I think it's his brother. This brother is in his brother's having a kid. And wouldn't you know it? They do the whole Luck of the fry Irish Futurama episode. That's exactly what they named the boy. Kung Lao. So basically, there's like a sudden premonition from his brother that he needs to name the kid Kung Lao. And he does so. So. Maybe, and meanwhile, Raiden is somewhere else. And we're like, Well, maybe it's this next one. That is

Phil 1:23:02
actually, like, seem to have fucked up with that last prediction. This one though, and you can't help but think that this has happened a lot in his life. You

Kevin Erhard 1:23:12
can't help but think that Raiden is just been for millennia. Fucking things. With this family tree.

Phil 1:23:22
Oh, terrible. God, this is so stupid. Okay. I am a God. And you're the chosen one Honest,

Kevin Erhard 1:23:30
honest. No one will use those rocks there. Oh, shit.

Phil 1:23:39

Kevin Erhard 1:23:40
so that's the end of Part Part One. That is part one. Yeah, that is the first third of the book. Ah that's very pregnant. Because Phil,

Phil 1:23:56
there was a there was an awful thing. It's an awful long first third of the book on like, a very specific moment in Mortal Kombat. Like, I feel like if this were the TV version, or that TV version of the film version, this whole thing would have taken about 15 minutes. Yeah,

Kevin Erhard 1:24:17
this. Yeah, I agree. Yes,

Phil 1:24:22
no, that doesn't make it bad. Doesn't make it bad

Kevin Erhard 1:24:24
does not make it bad. But, but Right.

Phil 1:24:30
I'm just very high. Don't know where they're going with this.

Kevin Erhard 1:24:36
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's I've already looked at the first sentence of the next chapter. And I know it's in the next section with present day and it starts right out with Keno. Who is so a fan favorite villain.

Phil 1:24:53
He's easily one of my favorites. So I mean, we got Oh, that'd be maybe something good. Let

Kevin Erhard 1:25:00
me something good here. But yeah, I agree. I feel like this is a lot of this is a lot of prologue for the real meat of the story.

Phil 1:25:13
Yes, it is a lot for for. Yeah, exactly as you said and a lot.

Kevin Erhard 1:25:21
The other thing is, it's weird that we spend so much time on on Kung Lao. I guess maybe Kung, LAO and wall characters who? Who is okay, fine. He is one of the main characters starting it from Mortal Kombat to going forward. But it's like, it's Kung Lao. It's not Lukang Lukang is like

Phil 1:25:48
this to be you know? Yeah. It's kind of very consistently been our protagonists. Yeah. In this series for a very long for as

Kevin Erhard 1:25:59
little as I know about Mortal Kombat. When I think of the guy I think of Lukang. He is He is your Ryu an analog from Street Fighter? He is. He's your dude, you know?

Phil 1:26:11
Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's I don't interesting to not hear from him at all.

Kevin Erhard 1:26:17
0%. And I understand establishing it. Okay. So Kung Lao Kung, the first Kung Lao is very, like involved in the backstory of Shao Kahn. Yes. And Shang song. I think okay, I can agree to that. But it feels weird that it you know what it is, I think about if it was a TV series, and I know this is a book and all that fun stuff, whatever. But if it was a TV series, this would not be told. Right all upfront, this would be something that would no pieced out over time. Yes. So we were just talking about before we started recording, we were talking about the Godfather series. And one of the great things that the Godfather series says is that you don't actually get anything about about once. Corleone, what's his name? The Godfather veto veto? Until part two? And it's these interspersed scenes in which you got Robert De Niro playing like young veto. And you that's when you get all the information about I'm like, Oh, what, like why does he have that raspy voice and all that that stuff? So yeah, it in any other media, this information would not have just been.

Phil 1:27:44
Right. Right. It's, it's an interesting, it's a very

Kevin Erhard 1:27:49
bold choice to paste.

Phil 1:27:53
Right, right. And that's the thing. It's like, I'm not saying this won't work. I'm just saying it's a bold choice. And I feel like we haven't actually

Kevin Erhard 1:28:03
started this book yet.

Phil 1:28:06
Right, exactly. And the fact is, we are a third of the way through the book. If this was a much longer book, like twice as long as this, then I would go okay, all right, that makes sense for an opening. Kind of, but that was sort of situation. Yeah.

Kevin Erhard 1:28:23
But that was 1/3 of the book we just covered right now. Yeah,

Phil 1:28:27
that was that was a lot of the book. And so it's really interesting. Now, having said all that, this book has no business being this. Well.

Kevin Erhard 1:28:40
The other thing I was gonna get to is like, yeah, like, this is a fucking Mortal Kombat book. This is

Phil 1:28:46
for all of our bitching about that aspect of

Kevin Erhard 1:28:49
the about the story structure. Right?

Phil 1:28:53
He didn't have to come so hard for Mortal Kombat playing so

Kevin Erhard 1:28:57

Phil 1:28:59
So I feel like I feel like the I just imagined being like an editor working for this publisher. Like we've acquired the rights to Mortal Kombat, we can sell a million of these books to 10 to 16 year old boys all over the United States. Let's let's let's crank something out. 200 some odd pages, make it fast, make it you know, action packed and, you know, a little gory, and let's just fucking just do boom, boom, boom, let's do it. And they call this guy up and they said, Here you go. Could you make it happen? He was like, yeah, here's your here's your first draft. And they're like, what? We we can't pay you more than we offered. He was like, that's fine. I didn't. I didn't do it for you.

Kevin Erhard 1:29:43
This is for me. This is for me for bad play.

Phil 1:29:50
I want you to work batboy into the next Mortal Kombat.

Kevin Erhard 1:29:54
We'll get back to you that I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't be surprised though. If this guy worked. and talk directly with like Ed Boon because I feel like Ed Boon and who's the other guy, John Tobias are like very into because they've been with Mortal Kombat. I want to say the entire time. It I don't think they've left the series. I think Edie Boone is still working on it. I think he's still gonna you might be the producer on it still. Let's let's check that is

Phil 1:30:31
Boone. Ah, let's see. It looks like he might still be there. was employed Midway Games 15 years.

Kevin Erhard 1:30:45
Yet he's been he's worked on every Mortal Kombat title. Yep. From the first one to two, Mortal Kombat. 11 and 2019

Phil 1:30:59
Yeah. 2019 That's right. You're the voice of Get over here.

Kevin Erhard 1:31:04
That's amazing. That's

Phil 1:31:06
a this this man's had a hell of a career. That's so cool. Shit.

Kevin Erhard 1:31:10
Yeah, that's, that's wild, though, that he has managed to. I feel like outside of there's very few creators that get to stick with the series that they created for pretty much their whole career. And oh, god. Yeah, that does. I want to say like Hideo Kojima was able to do it for the most part with Metal Gear. But, yeah, the fact that Edie Boone has been able to just stay, you know, basically stay with first midway. And then as as the series got acquired, you know, as midway and the companies got acquired, he just stayed with it. So,

Phil 1:31:50
yes, it is impressive. That is not something you you see very frequently or at all. Really. Yeah. So that's really,

Kevin Erhard 1:31:59
so I wouldn't be surprised if, if, if Jeff consulted with Ed Boon on this.

Phil 1:32:08
Yeah, yeah. I wouldn't be surprised at all. Yeah. Especially with we know how, you know, particular these publishers and that sort of thing are with their franchisees, so I'm sure it has something to do with it. Yeah. So very interesting start. Let's see where it goes. I'm very curious. And it flies by it is a crazy page turner,

Kevin Erhard 1:32:31
it is quick read, it moves fast. So that'll do it for tonight's episode. If you have the means, a Twitter account if Twitter has not been bought by Elon Musk, yet, in the intervening weeks, since Vegas is we're recording this and when that happens, if you can give us a follow on Twitter at pixel at pod, give us a follow on Instagram. Also at pixel it pod, check out our website pixel ID And rate us five stars on the platform that you listen to us on and I believe that it's going to be Apple, Apple, iTunes, Spotify, and audible allow for five star ratings. So if you listen on one of those platforms, go ahead. Give us a five star rating. And share share us with your friends share us with your family shares with anybody who you think is vaguely interested in video game and a little adaptations in a video game novelisations. Please, please. We need

Phil 1:33:41
your validation. It's

Kevin Erhard 1:33:42
your validation and support. Because that is how we pay ourselves through your validation. And it's delicious.

Phil 1:33:50
It's so good. So good on fries, y'all.

Kevin Erhard 1:33:54
It's like mayonnaise on fries. Yes. Yeah, it's

Phil 1:33:58
just enough. Just a little

Kevin Erhard 1:33:59
little. You mix the mayo with the ketchup, and it's delicious. Anyway, have a good night everyone. Hungry

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PixelLit is the video game-literary nerd’s dream come true. It’s a podcast where we read and discuss video game novelizations, and the games they’re based on. This is a podcast for the former kid who read their instruction booklets cover to cover. For the gamer who listens to every audio log in Bioshock.

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