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Mortal Kombat – Skarlet, First Impressions

Fellow MK fans rejoiced 2 days ago as the blood red carpet was rolled out for the first DLC newcomer. She’s made of blood, she drinks blood, and the fact that she’s a woman already puts some harsh implications on her origins. She’s Skarlet.

Obviously it’s hard to determine, at this time, how Skarlet fits into the grand scheme of tiers and overall roster synergy. Nevertheless she’s a very interesting addition to the MK varsity. Off the bat, I can tell you upfront that, for a number of players, she may take some time to get into. Her moveset alone may seem dry but knowing how to put it all together may require intermediate and above knowledge.

Like everyone in the cast, Skarlet has a rather diverse array of projectile attacks. She throws two daggers at a time on the ground, once in the air (that can go in a spread if you apply EX) at two different ranges, and she has the Blood Ball, an unblockable projectile that does 15% damage. You can opt to have the ball go at a high or low trajectory. Now before you start to panic, in no way do I imagine the Ball as being a game changer. It comes out slow, comboing into it is out of the question, and it drains 7% of your own health. Caution obviously needs to be exercised, but given the speed of her daggers and being able to throw them from a variety of ranges, I don’t imagine frequent sightings of great balls of crimson.

Skarlet’s Red Dash is actually her most important move, it’s the stitch that brings it all together. The command list only advises that the Red Dash can be cancelled into a sliding attack by pressing Rear Kick, but there are two unlisted options. First off, Skarlet has an Up Slash (down, forward, rear punch) and Down Slash (down, back, rear punch). Both are ideal for knocking an opponent into the air for juggles, with Down Slash being an overhead. Problem is, both have a slow start up which may seem to diminish their mixup potential. This is where the Red Dash comes into play. When performing the dash (down, forward, lead kick), you can cancel with back+rear punch for Down Slash, or forward+rear punch for Up Slash. These moves come out faster as a result, making advanced combos and mixups possible.

As for Skarlet’s fatalities, these are perhaps the most disappointing aspects of her character. Both exhibit her appreciation of consuming blood, but like with vampire flicks, they’re only cool the first 2-3 times before becoming a tired gimmick. She doesn’t even take off her mask (nor does her mask get torn from taking heavy damage) which could’ve made the fatalities worth another few viewings. As for her X-Ray, I had imagined that it would be something that involved pressure points or squeezing the guy’s heart; messing up someone’s blood flow resulting in turning the opponent’s eye sockets and nasal cavities into Bloody Marys on tap. A palm to the face followed by a heel to the eye seems out of character. Yes, I’m messed up.

In terms of gameplay, Skarlet fits right in. As a character, her theme is rather contrived (you can’t even teleport as a living pool of blood). And her single player ending only leaves enough to imagine than respect. Had there been no squandering on creativity, Skarlet could’ve been the most disgusting character in the game.

Stay tuned until next time when I get down with Blind Kenshi and Rain.

Special thanks to 1213chenke for uploading the Skarlet combo video.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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