Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Meet the guy who yelled “finish him” on Mortal Kombat, be disillusioned forever

There was a smoky, satanic quality to the voice that urged you to “finish him” after crushing an opponent in Mortal Kombat; it was easy to imagine it echoing from beneath Shao Kahn’s skull mask as he watched you battle from his gilded throne. If that’s an image you’d like to maintain, it might be best to skip the above video, which reveals that that terrifying voice was actually uttered by Steve Ritchie, a sweet, sheepish man who giggles timidly after ordering murder.


Ritchie is also a pinball wizard, having helped design any number of those elaborate, blinking pinball games at your local arcade. He first lent his ominous vocals to the games he designed—“Most of the time I do bad guys,” he says—and really only got the Mortal Kombat gig because he worked in the same building as the designers. His only real note from the guys behind the game? “More breathy. Lower.”

Being the guy who’s told millions upon millions of gamers to rip out their opponent’s spine is a pretty cool legacy, though it’s bullshit he never got a cameo in the movie (or its sequel).

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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