The 20 Greatest Bosses in Video Game History - #18: Goro

Mortal Kombat , Various systems
Two versions of Goro

Mortal Kombat turned heads upon its release thanks to its bloody gameplay and now-infamous fatalities. One character, Kano, reached into his opponent’s chest and pulled out his still-beating heart (back-down-forward-low punch), and Sub-Zero’s head-rip fatality (forward-down-forward-high punch) is one of the most notorious moments in gaming history. All this would’ve meant nothing without good gameplay, as the makers of failed competitors like BloodStorm and Pit Fighter would attest. MK’s lightning quick gameplay found its perfect foil in Goro, a four-armed beast from another dimension. 

Goro was actually the penultimate foe in the single-player mode, staking a place in the grand tradition of sub-bosses who are tougher and more renowned than their superiors. (The boss proper, Shang Tsung, is better remembered today as a playable character in the Mortal Kombat sequels). Goro was big and mean, yes, but his appeal lay in how truly alien he looked. All the other characters were created from digital images of actual people. Goro was a product of stop-motion animation. His movements gave a creepy sense of unreality, but his attacks — including picking up his opponent with his bottom arms and pounding them with his top arms — were painfully realistic.

- Mitch Krpata

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