jean-claude van damme in mortal kombat 1

Jean-Claude Van Damme enters the ring in Mortal Kombat 1 trailer

Talk about a hard target!

Everything comes full circle as Jean-Claude Van Damme prepares to join the lineup of Mortal Kombat 1. The inspiration for Johnny Cage is now a skin for the character, and he’s on display in a new trailer. Van Damme provided his likeness and voice for the skin, which lets him fire off quips with the klassic kast. 

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After trading blows that make Bloodsport seem tame, Van Damme closes out the clip with a brutal finisher. It’s only appropriate that said finisher is delivered to Johnny Cage. Quite the gruesome price to pay for a life in the copycat spotlight. The video is age-restricted on YouTube, so you’ll need to click through to watch

Screenshot via NetherRealm Studios

Splits Decision

The very existence of the Mortal Kombat series can be traced back to JCVD. Co-creator Ed Boon wanted a fighter with Van Damme at the center of it, but the action film star declined. Thus, the notoriously gory, original fighter that still has us all double-checking our spelling of combat was born.

The Jean-Claude Van Damme character skin for Johnny Cage will be available as part of the Kombat Pack. As previously detailed, you can get that pack in the Premium Edition and Kollector’s Edition versions. Van Damme will be released alongside six new early access DLC characters, including Quan Chi, Ermac, Takeda Takahashi, Peacemaker, Omni-Man, and Homelander. There will also be five new Kameo Fighters, all of which will be available post-launch. The Van Damme skin will be usable at launch, so start practicing your splits now.

Mortal Kombat 1 hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store on September 14, 2023.  

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Joseph Luster
Joseph has been writing about games, anime, and movies for over 20 years and loves thinking about instruction manuals, discovering obscure platformers, and dreaming up a world where he actually has space (and time) for a retro game collection.