Ermac is a red-clad ninja who utilizes telekinesis during fights in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Before that, however, he was a subject of fan speculation that began with a glitch in Mortal Kombat.
About Ermac Edit
Making his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Ermac has been a controversial and mysterious character in the Mortal Kombat series whose existence was rumored since its inception. Ermac is a fusion of the many souls destroyed in Outworld's wars, only to be controlled by Emperor Shao Kahn and his Shadow Priests. Because of this, he refers to himself as "we", "our", "us", and "ours", instead of "I", "my" "me", and "mine". Because of the sheer concentration of souls within Ermac, he possesses the gifts of telekinesis, teleportation, and the ability to travel between realms.
Ermac rarely shows any signs of emotion, but he has proven to be quite wise and a very deadly combatant, using his telekinetic abilties to battle multiple opponents at once while keeping the upper hand. Disappearing after the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he only returned in Mortal Kombat: Deception, where he was freed from Shao Kahn's grip by the blind swordsman Kenshi, whom he repaid by teaching him the Telekinetic Slam. He decided to become a force of good, partly in guilt of his past evils. To prove this, he decides to help Liu Kang free the souls of his friends from Onaga's control.
In the current timeline, this did not happen and, after the events of Mortal Kombat, he soon came under the possession of Shao Kahn's soul, as well as King Jerrod's. Despite this, it's implied that Ermac has free will and is no longer evil due to Shao Kahn's death, as he willingly chose to side with Kotal Kahn to be ruler of Outworld instead of Mileena in Mortal Kombat X, despite Shao Kahn's decree. While Ermac's goal has varied over time, his overall allegiance is to Outworld, whether from defending it from threats like Onaga or finding a proper ruler for the realm itself.
Starting as a palette swap of Scorpion in his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Ermac wore the iconic ninja garment, colored in black and red respectively. From Mortal Kombat: Deception onwards, like most of his ninja counterparts, Ermac adopted a new and unique design, which is adopted in future games. This design consists of a mask made only from black bandages fully wrapped around the head, leaving the eyes and nostrils visible, with a small green amulet placed on his forehead, functioning as a means to concentrate the souls in his body. Ermac's clothes are mainly black with red accents, with bandages wrapped around his arms and legs, giving him a sinister look.
This design is carried in Mortal Kombat (2011) with small modifications like the inclusion of shin guards with skull motifs. Ermac's appearance in Mortal Kombat X is inspired by his alternate in the previous game, consisting of a hooded trenchcoat with the basic black and red scheme along with a few golden motifs. His face is also partially exposed, revealing decaying skin as a consequence of the lack of proper rejuvenation and income of souls. Before Kotal Kahn's takeover, most of his upper body was exposed and grafted a metal emblem similar to the one from Deception onto his chest to keep his souls from escaping. He also wore bandages around his head.
- Mortal Kombat - "As punishment for resisting Shao Kahn’s claim to the realm of Edenia, the souls of the vanquished were torn from their bodies and fused together to form the being now known as Ermac. Bent to Shao Kahn’s will, Ermac is his foremost enforcer. The essences of so many souls bound together give Ermac immense telekinetic power–an advantage that will destroy Earthrealm’s resistance to Shao Kahn’s rule."
Character development Edit
In the first few arcade versions of Mortal Kombat, there was a listing in the audit menu for "ERMACS". In Revision 3.0, it was actually listed directly underneath "Reptile Battles" giving the appearance that they were grouped together. It was believed to reference a character the same way "Reptile Battles" does which led people to believe that Ermac was also a secret character. The Ermac listing is a shortening of the term "Error Macro". This is referenced in a hidden reversed message in Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode which states "It is a little known fact that Ermac is short for Error Macro". Electronic Gaming Monthly published a photo to accompany a letter from Tony Casey reporting an alleged encounter. However, Ermac did not appear in any version. There is also no naturally occurring default character palette that would provide a full palette swap for Ermac. Ed Boon later confirmed in a Tweet that the Error Macro was simply a macro created to catch coding errors/traps.
The developers denied that he existed in Mortal Kombat II with one of the jumbled messages that appeared at the bottom of the screen after beating the game: CEAMR ODSE NTO EXITS (an anagram of "Ermac does not exist"), and the occasional appearance of the secret character Jade with the message "Ermac Who?" The numerous rumors of his existence led to his debut as an official character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. His storyline is even based on his own rumor as well and later changed to become a legitimate character in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Until Mortal Kombat: Deception, he was just another palette swapped ninja. Around the time of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the creators made the choice to give all the ninjas their very own look and identity.
Ermac was created by the MK Team because of fan mythology. It was said that by overplaying the Sega version of Mortal Kombat with Scorpion, the screen would eventually flaw and flash an alert message on the screen. The message read "ERror MACro" and it would turn Scorpion's yellow outfit red. This was proven to be completely false. Despite repeated references that tried to inform the player that Ermac did not exist, they eventually decided to create him and include him in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. This actually refreshed some of the speculations regarding this rumor.
Kombat Characteristics Edit
Powers and Abilities Edit
As mentioned above, Ermac is not one person, but an entire collection of souls of warriors brought together into physical form through means of powerful magic, courtesy of Shao Kahn. Due to this, Ermac always refers to himself as a group instead of a single person (saying things such as, "we" and "us", instead of, "I" or "me"). As a result of his very being being composed of thousands of souls, Ermac possesses various powers related to them, most commonly in the form of telekinesis, which allows him to manipulate every aspect of living and non-living objects with his mind. In addition to his telekinesis, he is also able to manipulate soul energy because of his composition, which he utilizes in the form of both levitation and firing projectile attacks.
In addition to his souls-based abilities, Ermac is also immensely skilled in physical combat. This may also be the result the fact that many of the souls that make up his body are that of ancient warriors who possibly are the source of his knowledge of different forms of martial arts. As showcased by Takeda's failed attempt, Ermac is immune to telepathy due to the many minds of the thousands of souls within his body.
While he may not appear to have any at first glance, Ermac does have one major weakness: the Netherrealm itself. Since he is a being created completely by magic, his powers would decrease over time the longer he stays in the realm, weakening the bond holding the souls together and overall threatening his very existence. However, by using a mysterious stone dubbed the Soul Stone Shujinko found for him, he ultimately is protected from this threat.
Signature Moves Edit
- Teleport Punch: Just like Scorpion, Ermac vanishes in a cloud of fire and reappears behind his opponent punching them. This move can also be performed in the air.
- In MK:A, the enhanced version is named Teleport. Ermac connects with the first punch and hits them with his elbow to knock the opponent down to the ground.
- In MKF, the enhanced version is called Force Port. After the punch or kick, Ermac knocks his opponent in the air with a few bursts of soul energy, allowing for a juggle.
- Force Lift: Ermac lifts his opponent via telekinesis, flips them upside down and slams them headfirst into the ground.
- The enhanced version is called Tele-Lift and leaves the opponent hanging in the air for a moment before the slam, allowing Ermac to attack them.
- Soul Burst: Ermac makes a short ranged burst of soul energy with his hands. This can also be aimed upwards and be performed in the air against aerial foes.
- The enhanced version is called Soul Blast, which has armor and knocks the opponent to the other side of the arena.
- Mystic Float: Ermac uses his telekinesis to propel himself into the air for a few seconds. In MKII:O, this is called Hover.
- Mystic Bomb: After performing Mystic Float, Ermac slams his back down onto the ground, creating a small shock wave.
- In MKII, the enhanced version is named Levitate Smash and can also be delayed for a short time.
- Dive Kick: After performing Mystic Float, Ermac dives forward with an aerial kick.
- Mystic Bomb: After performing Mystic Float, Ermac slams his back down onto the ground, creating a small shock wave.
Gains an improved Tele-lift and the Tele-Choke. Gloves and lower, inner portion of his jacket emit a green glow.
- Force Push: Ermac lifts his opponent via telekinesis, floating them backwards helplessly until he strikes them with a telekinetic blast.
- In MK:A, the enhanced version is named Telepush. Instead of striking them with another telekinetic blast, Ermac flips the opponent upside down and slams them down face first.
- In MKF, the enhanced version is called Levitate. It has armor and makes Ermac recover a small portion of his health while the opponent is held up. And it drains some of the opponent's Super Meter in the process. However, it greatly decreases in damage.
- Tele-Hang: Much like Tele-Lift, Ermac lifts his opponent via telekinesis, flips them upside down and leaves them hanging for a moment, during which they can easily be attacked. If the opponent is not attacked, they take damage by falling headfirst into the ground. This replaces his Force Lift in the Mystic variation.
- The enhanced version makes Ermac slam the opponent on the ground instantly, bouncing them and allowing for a juggle. However, the special itself greatly decreases in damage.
Gains the ability to fly and unique attacks from the air. A glowing, green gem is placed on his chest.
- Soul Charge: Ermac flies straight at his opponent at a high speed to hit them with his fists. It can also be performed in the air.
- Soul Accession: Ermac lifts himself in the air to fly at any direction he desires. He can perform all of his aerial specials, including the Ground Slam, although doing any of them will take him back down instantly, and can also perform basic attacks such as punches and kicks. This replaces Hover in the Spectral variation.
Master of Souls Edit
Gains Soul Ball and the ability to disappear to avoid damage. Three soul orbs flow around his body.
- Soul Ball: Ermac shoots a sphere of soul energy straight at his enemy, which can also be performed in the air. It increases in damage depending on how many orbs are floating around Ermac when it's performed. If there are three of them around him, besides the great damage increase, the Soul Ball will also stun the opponent, involving them in green energy for a brief moment and setting them up for a free hit. While they're stunned, Ermac can also perform a Soul Release, which makes the green energy surrounding the opponent burst them into the air, allowing for a juggle.
- The enhanced version is called Soul Trap. It has all properties of a Soul Ball shot with three orbs around Ermac (with the obvious exception that it doesn't require all three orbs to be used) and also drains the opponent's Super Meter while they're held in the green energy.
- Disappear: Ermac uses his soul powers to disappear from the arena and evade any enemy attack for a moment. This replaces his Teleport in the Master of Souls variation.
- The enhanced version is called Vanish and makes Ermac disappear faster.
Other Moves Edit
- Throw: Ermac grabs the opponent while take up and down to the ground above smash, then push off.
- Reverse Throw: Ermac grabs the opponent, when taked sky then fall into ground when switiched away.
X-Ray Move Edit
- We are Many: Ermac flies up into the air before flying into his opponent with a headbutt, breaking the skull, then flying back up and flying back into them again, this time with a kick to the neck, snapping it (causing the opponent to fall to the ground) and the finally flies down onto the opponent, stepping onto their jaw breaking it.
Finishing Moves Edit
- Telekinetic Slams: Ermac repeatedly slams the opponent with his telekinetic powers until they explode. In MK:Dhe yells "YES!" after the opponent explodes.
- Telekinetic Tear: Ermac lifts the victim into the air with his telekinetic powers. With both hands, he brings them together as the opponent's body is suddenly forced into a fetal-like position before spreading the opponent out and rips them in half.
- Nether Force: Ermac performs a Force Port, kicking the opponent and pulsating green energy into their torso, which leaves a greenish glowing skeleton of what's left.
- We Win: Ermac performs a Force Lift, lifting the opponent and slamming them into the ground head-first, destroying it.
- Gluttony: Ermac lifts the opponent, flips them upside down and proceeds to tear them vertically in half. He then drops the halves onto the ground. (Mystic Variation)
- Controlled Chaos: Ermac flies into the opponent with a Soul Charge that is hard enough to obliterate their torso and head with the arms flying off in either direction. (Spectral Variation)
- Soul Eater: Ermac releases the souls inside the opponent's body with a Soul Release, which splits them in half by bursting their torso upwards, while the legs and waist collapse. (Master of Souls Variation)
- Controlled Chaos: Ermac flies into the opponent with a Soul Charge that is hard enough to obliterate their torso and head with the arms flying off in either direction. (MKX - Spectral Variation)
Battle Intro Edit
Ermac teleports into the battlefield and says, "We are many! You are but one! WE WILL KILL YOU!" (If Ermac's opponent has a companion, he'll instead say, "We are many! You are but two! WE WILL KILL YOU BOTH!!")
Victory Pose Edit
Ermac unleashes a soul shockwave while shouting some gibberish. He then crosses his arms while looking ahead.
- In UMK3, he shared the Uppercut From Hell Fatality with Human Smoke.
- In UMK3, his skin tone was darker than it is now, but if the 2nd player controls him, he has lighter skin. However, in Trilogy, the lighter skin became the default.
- In his Deception ending, he is described by Shujinko as being capable of handling Kung Lao, Sonya, Kitana, Jax, and Johnny Cage all by himself (with relative ease), facing them in the Chamber of Artifacts arena. The five combatants were under the control of Onaga at the time and therefore may have been fighting at significantly less than their full potential, allowing Ermac to effortlessly hold off all five of them at one time. Along with this, it is thought that Ermac was truly aware of Onaga's scheme and the possible consequences of it.
- In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, one Game Over message reads, "Ask Ermac for Help". This is designed as a hint to the player of how to encounter the hidden boss fight with Ermac at the warrior shrine. Some believe this as a reference to MK:D, however this is very unlikely as the games have yet to have any history in exchanging messages from each other, let alone revealing storyline which has not yet to have taken place. Ermac's appearance at the Warrior´s Shrine (a stage in the first Mortal Kombat) in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks can be taken as a sort of inside joke, as he was rumored to be in the first Mortal Kombat game; the hoax that appeared on EGM also hinted that, supposedly, the way to fight him had something to do with the Warrior Shrine. Also, he takes the place of the Scorpion statue for who he was originally a palette swap of.
- In Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Ermac has a darker skin tone, much like in UMK3, but from Mortal Kombat: Deception to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon his alternate costume shows his skin in a lighter tone.
- Because he had taught Kenshi the Telekinetic Slam, it was believed that he was going to be Kenshi's mentor and trainer. This concept was to give him a rather "human" look, but because Ermac is well known to the fans as a ninja, the concept of giving him a human look was dropped (it was also said that his concept made him look too wealthy as well). Also, being Kenshi's mentor didn't make sense since Kenshi is considered to be a skillful and talented warrior himself, so that concept was dropped also. However, Kenshi and Ermac remain as comrades-in-arms.
- Ermac also appears in the intro of Armageddon. Ermac is seen briefly in the beginning when he clotheslines Rainas the Forces of Light first run into the Forces of Darkness. After Sheeva sends Bo' Rai Cho and apparently Cyraxflying, he and Nightwolf begin to fight Sheeva with a series of punches. Though unsuccessful, Sheeva almost killed them by choking them, until Kenshi stabs Sheeva with his sword. It was after Kenshi's battle with Quan Chi that Ermac appears to recover, and tosses Quan Chi off of the pyramid. He then jumps into the air and comes down on Kenshi's ribcage while revealing that he is, in fact, Shang Tsung, while the real Ermac was nowhere else to be seen.
- In MK 2011, Ermac's "Mind Over Splatter" Fatality only seems to rip Sheeva's top arms off, leaving the lower two intact and unharmed.
- His "Pest Control" Fatality seems to be based on Jax's MK3 fatality, where he grew in size and stomped on his opponent, only that in this case, it is the opposite: Ermac shrinks his opponent instead of growing larger.
- He is the only male ninja in MK 2011 to have a Klassic Costume without a Klassic Fatality.
- When he performs his "Pest Control" Fatality on Kratos, Kratos will yell at him instead of running around in fear.
- Storywise, he is, so far, the second character created by Shao Kahn's will, the first being Mileena and the third being Skarlet. Unlike Mileena and Skarlet, he turned against Kahn to act as a heroic being.
- Ermac is the only character whose battle damage concept on one of his outfits, was supposed to have his eyeball hanging out.
- Along with Kano, Sektor, Cyrax, and Cyber Sub-Zero, Ermac is one of the few characters who don't have one of their eyeballs stuck to the screen while being victims of Kenshi's "Scatterbrained" Fatality.
- In the game Skullgirls Encore, the character Fukua has a color palette that is based off of Ermac's colors. This is one of her three color palettes referencing Mortal Kombat, the other two being Reptile and Rain.
- During Cassie's "Selfie" fatality, it is shown that Ermac has commented on the image as well as several other characters. His username, "It'sNotAirmac", references the past games he was in, such as UMK3, in which the announcer would pronounce his name as "Airmac" rather than "Ermac".
- The concept art of Ermac shows that he had become Shao Kahn's living prison. This had been stated in matches but not the story mode of MKX. This was confirmed by the developers in Ermac's concept art as Shao Kahn seems to be trying to take over Ermac.
- In Mortal Kombat X, Ermac refers to themselves as "me" rather than "us" in intro dialogues with Kung Lao and Tremor.
- In one of Ermac's in-game quotes, he says "we are many, you are but two" in reference to Ferra and Torr. This is a variation of Ermac's iconic quote from Mortal Kombat, as well as Mortal Kombat X.
- Despite his UMK3 ending suggesting that he will return in the "fourth Mortal Kombat", Ermac did not appear at all in either MK4 or MKG.