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This first installment of Mortal Kombat DLC Breakdown covers Skarlet, the latest fighter to join the Mortal Kombat roster. Find her on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points (or as part of the 1200 point Season Pass plan) and on Playstation Network for $4.99.
Skarlet is a warrior composed of the blood of thousands of dead warriors. Created by Shao Kahn to be his top enforcer, Skarlet is only released from her shackles during desperate situations. With the threat of Quan Chi’s possible betrayal looming heavy on the emperor’s brow, he releases his bloody enforcer to keep an eye on the sorcerer.
Mortal Kombat (2011) [See Origin]
When Midway created Reptile, a palette swap of Scorpion and Sub Zero for Mortal Kombat (1992), they opened the door for a flood of rumors surrounding other possible hidden characters. One such rumor started when players insisted that they had fought a red-clad version of Kitana in Mortal Kombat II. Over time, players began to refer to this elusive — and nonexistent — hidden character as Scarlet, or Skarlet, if you prefer the MK way of spelling things. And you do.
One great thing about Midway, and by extension, Netherrealm studios, is that they give fans what they want, and often take character rumors and develop them into actual content down the line. Now, almost 20 years after the rumor began, Skarlet is a fully developed and realized part of the MK universe.
Skarlet isn’t dressed like a ninja for nothing. Her strength lies in her speed, and with her ability to mix high and low attacks together with overheads, she’s an excellent rushdown character who excels at keeping her opponents guessing.
Skarlet, being made entirely of blood, has a unique attack called Blood Ball, which launches a projectile or her own bodily fluid in an arc of her choosing. The attack deals high damage, but costs 7% of her health to fire. It works great as a risk/reward proposition, the kind rushdown characters are known for.
Surprisingly, Skarlet also has a great ranged game. Her Dagger Toss flings two quick knives that are fast enough to beat most other projectiles to the punch, and she can stagger the second toss to mess up the opponent’s timing. Skarlet can also dash cancel out of a held Dagger Toss, giving her more options to mess with your mind. Additionally, she can shoot them either straight or at a downward angle when she’s in the air, allowing her to cover a lot of space easily. Complementing Dagger Toss is her Blood Drop, a teleport move that can quickly end a projectile war. Be careful not to spam it too heavily, though, as it’s not safe on block, and its rear approach may cause Skarlet to switch sides with her opponent, confusing the player for a crucial second or two.
In terms of combo ability, Skarlet is a high-level execution fighter that requires a lot of canceling into her command dash, called Red Dash, to extend her chains. By pressing F+BP, B+BP, or BK during the dash, Skarlet can transition into a high launcher, an overhead bounce attack, or a low hit, respectively. This makes her combinations a threat even at mid range, and from the two BP slashes, she can easily continue the combo with her five-hit Flesh and Blood string. However, having to cancel strings into Red Dash adds another layer of complexity to Skarlet, so players are advised to spend some serious time in training mode in order to get her rigid timing down.
As if Skarlet wasn’t already well equipped, her X-Ray attack, Blood Bank, is an overhead that arcs upwards before coming down, and can easily punish jumping or crouching opponents with its speed and multiple hits on start up. Players may also find a useful tool in her Thicker Than Water combo, a pair of kicks ending with a back flip that act as a somewhat safe way to create distance between opponents if they need breathing room, even on block.
Finishing Move Inputs
Blood Bath – D, B, D, D, BLOCK (Touching)
Make It Rain – F, B, D, D, BK (Jump)
Stage Fatality – F, B, F, FP (Touching)
Babality – D, B, D, F, BP (Jump)
With her incredible potential for mind games, long combo strings, and ability to control space at any range, Skarlet is an excellent, if difficult to master, addition to the Mortal Kombat roster. Those looking for a rushdown character who also excels at pestering opponents at range will easily flow into Skarlet’s fighting style, so long as they spend some time learning how to mix up their combo strings and keep the other guy guessing.