How to unlock all fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1

How to unlock all fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1
Images via Netherrealm

Written by 

Dave McAdam


10th Oct 2023 17:48


If you are looking to expand your repertoire of Mortal Kombat 1 fatalities, or if you are just morbidly curious, we have you covered. Mortal Kombat 1 continues the series tradition of allowing players to finish their opponents in the most gruesome and inventive ways.

Fatalities in MK1 do not need to be unlocked like some characters and Kameos, but only one fatality per character is present in your move list when you start the game. Here is everything you need to know to unlock more

How to unlock all fatalities

To unlock fatalities in MK1, you must level up your characters to mastery level 14. Each character has an individual list of rewards for increasing mastery ranks, but each one follows the same order. However, completing this task only puts the fatality input into your character's moves list.

Every fatality is technically available from the start, they just don't appear to be. As with many previous Mortal Kombat games, the inputs for fatalities are hidden and must be unlocked to view them - but they can be performed at any time.

As such, the only thing you need to perform every fatality in Mortal Kombat 1 is the list of inputs.

All fatality inputs in Mortal Kombat 1

Liu Kang using his fatality on Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1
Click to enlarge

Here is the all-important list of Mortal Kombat 1 fatalities. Each character in the game has two, but as mentioned, even if you have not unlocked a character's second fatality, you can still use it.

First, here are the button inputs so you know how to use them. Directions are the same regardless of platform or controller, but for the face buttons, we typically refer to them in Mortal Kombat as 1, 2, 3, and 4.

1 being front punch (square on PlayStation, X on Xbox, Y on Nintendo), 2 being back punch (triangle on PlayStation, Y on Xbox, X on Nintendo), 3 being front kick (X on PlayStation, A on Xbox, B on Nintendo) and 4 being back kick (circle on PlayStation, B on Xbox, A on Nintendo).

Some fatalities use the block button instead, and Kameo fatalities (list is below) use the Kameo button. This is R2 on PlayStation, RT on Xbox, or ZR on Nintendo Switch.

Fatalities must be performed at a specific distance. The distances are close, mid, and far. Close is close enough that a regular hit will land, far is at least a full screen away, mid is basically anywhere in between.

Here are all of the MK1 fatalities:


Fatality input (distance)
  • Down, Forward, Down, 2 (Mid)
  • Down, Down, Back, 4 (Mid)
  • Back, Forward, Down, 1 (Close)
  • Forward, Back, Down, 4 (Close)
General Shao
  • Back, Forward, Down, 1 (Mid)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 1 (Mid)
  • Forward, Down, Down, 4 (Mid)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 1 (Close)
  • Down, Forward, Down, 4 (Close)
  • Forward, Back, Down, 2 (Close)
Johnny Cage
  • Forward, Back, Down, 2 (Close)
  • Forward, Down, Back, 4 (Mid)
  • Forward, Down, Down, 2 (Close)
  • Back, Down, Back, 1 (Mid)
  • Down, Forward, Down, 4 (Far)
  • Down, Down, Back, 4 (Close)
Kung Lao
  • Back, Forward, Back, 4 (Mid)
  • Back, Down, Down, 3 (Close)
Li Mei
  • Forward, Back, Forward, 3 (Close)
  • Back, Forward, Down, 4 (Close)
Liu Kang
  • Down, Forward, Back, 4 (Close)
  • Back, Forward, Back, 3 (Close)
  • Back, Forward, Back, 1 (Close)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 3 (Close)
  • Down, Down, Back, 1 (Mid)
  • Back, Down, Back, 4 (Mid)
  • Back, Forward, Back, 2 (Close)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 1 (Mid)
  • Down, Down, Back, 4 (Close)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 3 (Mid)
  • Down, Down, Back, 2 (Mid)
  • Back, Down, Down, 4 (Close)
  • Forward, Back, Down, 4 (Mid)
  • Forward, Down, Back, 3 (Close)
  • Down, Forward, Back, Block (Mid)
  • Back, Forward, Back, 2 (Mid)
Shang Tsung
  • Back, Down, Down, 4 (Close)
  • Forward, Down, Back, 2 (Mid)
  • Down, Back, Down, 1 (Mid)
  • Back, Forward, Back, 2 (Mid)
  • Back, Forward, Down, 1 (Any)
  • Down, Forward, Back, 2 (Any)
  • Forward, Down, Down, 2 (Any)
  • Forward, Back, Down, 4 (Close)
  • Down, Back, Down, 3 (Close)
  • Back, Forward, Down, 2 (Mid)

All Kameo Fighter fatalities

The world exploding during Cyrax's fatality in Mortal Kombat 1
Click to enlarge

As well as the main fighters, each of the Kameo Fighters also has their own fatalities. Kameo characters have one fatality each, and they do not need to be unlocked.

Here are all of the Kameo Fighter fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1:

Kameo Fighter

Fatality input (distance)
Cyrax Forward, Back, Forward, Kameo (Mid)
Darrius Down, Back, Forward, Kameo (Mid)
Frost Back, Down, Back, Kameo (Mid)
Goro Back, Forward, Down, Kameo (Close)
Jax Down, Forward, Down, Kameo (Far)
Kano Back, Down, Forward, Kameo (Mid)
Kung Lao Forward, Back, Forward, Kameo (Mid)
Motaro Forward, Down, Down, Kameo (Mid)
Sareena Back, Down, Back, Kameo (Mid)
Scorpion Down, Forward, Down, Kameo (Mid)
Sektor Back, Forward, Back, Kameo (Mid)
Shujinko Down, Back, Down, Kameo (Mid)
Sonya Back, Forward, Down, Kameo (Mid)
Stryker Forward, Down, Forward, Kameo (Mid)
Sub-Zero Forward, Down, Forward, Kameo (Mid)

What are the best fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1?

Baraka and his buddies barbeque Reptile in Mortal Kombat 1
Click to enlarge

Choosing the best or a favourite Mortal Kombat fatality feels like the kind of exercise that gets you on some kind of government watch list, but these are the risks we take for the content.

MK1 has some absolutely stellar fatalities, which is to say they are truly gruesome. The further gaming technology progresses, the more harrowing these fatalities become.

There is no shortage of ripping, tearing, and bone-breaking across the many fatalities of the game. As such, the fatalities that tend to stand out are the more creative ones, the fatalities that bring in other props and characters.

These include Johnny Cage's fatalities, where he smashes his opponent's face into their own Walk of Fame star, or kills them with a supercar. Other standouts include Baraka turning his opponent into a barbeque and inviting all his friends over for dinner. Likewise, Scorpion also likes to bring in the squad to absolutely decimate his enemy in a variety of ways.

Some of the Kameo Fighters bring back classic fatalities, such as Sub-Zero's famous spine rip. Easily one of the most fun here is Cyrax, who inexplicably blows up the entire world. That or the equally silly Jax fatality, where he grows to a giant size and then squashes the opponent with his giant boot.

Geras about to smack Reptile with his own head in his Mortal Kombat 1 fatality
Click to enlarge

Of all the fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1, the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest, is Geras' second fatality. In it, he opens a portal, reaches through, and rips the head off of another version of his opponent. He then smacks them with their own head so hard their jaw comes off.

If that wasn't enough, the opponent looks down to see the other version of their head is also missing a jaw, the reason becomes apparent a moment later when a portal opens behind them, and the past version of Geras reaches through and rips their head off.

Of all the ways to kill someone, smashing their face with their own head is pretty creative, but when you consider that Geras essentially creates an infinite time loop of this person dying over and over again, it is hands down the most intense fatality in the game, possibly the entire franchise.

Those are all of the fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1. For more, head to our Mortal Kombat homepage for guides like the Mortal Kombat 1 voice actor list or does Mortal Kombat 1 have rollback netcode?

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

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