Time for the second Design Evolution, this time about the rumor turned official character Ermac. Time for a little history lesson, at first Error Macro was listed under the Reptile battle in the original arcade version of Mortal Kombat 1. He was designed to catch coding errors/traps as confirmed by Ed Boon himself. In Mortal Kombat 2 a jumbled message would appear upon beating the game that when rearranged it’d say “Ermac does not exist”. By Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Ermac made his grand official debut.
Ermac joined the fray as the latest palette swap ninja clad in red. Why a Ninja who both uses and is made up of souls and fights with telekinesis picks red as his uniform is beyond me but hey it was the 90s. As you can guess, visually he was the same as the other Ninjas sans his color and move set so not much to say about that. By the time Ermac returned in Mortal Kombat Deception, he had a considerably more unique look as did all the Ninjas.
Here he has bandages wrapped around his face leaving only his glowy green soul eyes visible. His gi, compared to the other Ninjas, now looks more like robes than anything. Keep this in mind for the future because now we’re hoping to the Reboot timeline and Ermac has changed his look once more.
Now his robes appear similar and more constrained than his previous outfit. The red has begun to slip away even more with the black and green being the most prominent features in his design now. But now it’s time for the grand finale!
By Mortal Kombat X, any pretense of Ermac being a Ninja is gone. Out of all the Ninjas, he’s the most far gone from his original look. In fact, he’s made his full transition to Sorcerer motif with him never touching the ground unless crouching and relying entirely on his soul magic/psychic powers. His robe even has a bloody hood, which was a nice touch, as was the more noticeable amounts of red added to the lining and inside of his robe. Just seeing it in action makes me wonder if he was planned to be a sorcerer type long before this but they just never had a chance to make the change. Leaving him labeled as a Ninja simply because of his original design.
Ermac has come a long way and probably the most drastic design change next to Reptile and honestly, this was probably for the best. Now his look and feel are in sync and Ermac feels complete. Even if it takes years you can have character designs grow and develop into something that truly fits them. Now if only certain other characters would change and grow design wise instead of staying the same simply because it’s iconic.