A Brutality is a finishing move from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. They were first introduced in the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo home ports of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and all versions of Mortal Kombat Trilogy in 1996. Brutalities were another form of Mortal Kombat’s trademark Fatalities, which included Babalities, Animalities, and Friendships. Many saw this an offshoot of Killer Instinct's "Ultra Combo" and "Ultimate Combo".
A Brutality allowed a player to pull off an extraordinarily long combo to kill an opponent. These combos appeared in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy before they were dropped, alongside the other forms of Fatalities before Mortal Kombat 4. They were introduced following the release of Killer Instinct in 1994. In the game, there was a finishing move known as an Ultra Combo in which a fighter brutalized an opponent with a tremendous combo of over twenty hits. Mortal Kombat, to possibly outrival their adversaries, incorporated their own form of a deadly combo, known as Brutalities. In doing one step further, Mortal Kombat’s deadly combo-finisher actually killed an opponent, making them explode in a fantastic, bloody fashion.
Brutalities were, however, very difficult to perform. Upon defeating an opponent, “Finish Him” or “Finish Her” would appear on the screen, and the player would then be able to perform a Fatality. To do the Brutality, one had to perform a long combo by quickly pressing an eleven button combination. Even if successful, the Brutality had what was considered a lackluster payoff — the opponent would disappear in a fiery explosion, accompanied by an unrealistic amount of bloody bones and limbs covering most of the screen. (In the picture above, there are about four rib cages, three skulls, and over a dozen femur bones.) In some versions, the opponent's bones and limbs would simply fly off screen.
Because of its extreme difficulty in performing and unspectacular results, the Brutality was unpopular. It was dropped after Mortal Kombat Trilogy and not featured in Mortal Kombat 4. Brutalities were brought back for Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks in 2005. They were upgraded into a three dimensional environment, and they were easier to pull off and were more spectacular in comparison to previous games. Here they function as a power-up mode of sorts that lasts until all fatality orbs are depleted and turns normal attacks into devastating combo assaults, with strong attacks and throws instantly killing the enemy.
A move similar to the Brutality appeared in Mortal Kombat: Deception, in the form of one of Li Mei's Fatality. Her Fatality was to rapidly strike the opponent repeatedly, then to step back and pose as her opponent twitches for a moment, before exploding in a pile of gore.