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Ermac[note 1] is a fictional character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by

Midway Games. Originating as an imaginary character born of rumors by players and
fans over an audit-menu listing and alleged glitch in the first game, which were never
explicitly dispelled by Midway Games and were further perpetuated by video game
magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), he transformed from urban legend to a
player character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, as a red palette swap of Scorpion with
his own special moves.

A mysterious psychokinetic combatant composed of multiple warrior souls, Ermac
made his series debut as an enforcer to evil Outworld emperor Shao Kahn in the two-
dimensional games, then played a central role in Mortal Kombat: Deception by gaining
a distinct design and breaking free of Kahn's control to ally with main series protagonist
Liu Kang. He has had lesser roles in subsequent game storylines, including returning to
his series roots in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, while in Mortal Kombat X, he serves
in the guard of new Outworld ruler Kotal Kahn.

Ermac has appeared in other Mortal Kombat media such as the animated series Mortal
Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, and on
official series merchandise. Critical and public reception has been mainly positive, with
appearances on multiple lists of the top characters and Fatality finishing moves in the
Mortal Kombat franchise from video game and mainstream publications, while his
origins have been rated among the most-memorable legends of general video gaming.

 1 History and conception
o 1.1 Legacy
 2 Appearances
o 2.1 In video games
 2.1.1 Design
 2.1.2 Gameplay
o 2.2 In other media
 2.2.1 Television and film
 2.2.2 Literature
 2.2.3 Promotion and merchandise
 3 Reception
o 3.1 Cultural impact
o 3.2 Critical reaction and popularity
 3.2.1 Finishing moves
 3.2.2 Gameplay and other reception
 4 See also
 5 Notes
 6 References
 7 External links

History and conception
The name "Ermac" has been a controversial subject that dates back to the beginning of
the Mortal Kombat series. In the 1992 original game, an audits screen on the arcade

dated March 1993. tinted red and with a superimposed center-screen phrase that read "Ermac Wins. and then performing a Fatality in a specific area of the Warrior Shrine. or 'ermac. EGM claimed that Boon had personally confirmed Ermac's existence in the game.[17] It was spelled as ERMACS—a pluralized contraction of error macro—as in how many times the program would execute.[26] Reader responses to the picture and letter contained overly complex instructions for accessing the character. "Ermac does not exist"). [28] The audits screen in the arcade version of the original Mortal Kombat.[21][note 3] but it failed to quell ongoing speculation about the character that intensified after Electronic Gaming Monthly published a submitted screenshot from the first Mortal Kombat in the "Tricks of the Trade" column .[20][26][27] With the still-nonexistent character now visualized as a red ninja. [28] However. such occurrences were not possible. as the macro counter could not increase in the event of a genuine glitch while no red palette for the character existed. players claimed sightings of a random glitch that would cause Scorpion's or Reptile's graphics to flash red with "Error Macro" or "Ermac" appearing in their energy bar. [21] which provoked players into searching for what they believed was a second secret character named Ermac hidden in the game. Midway removed the ERMACS listing from the menu."[25] Two issues later (#53.[18][note 2] First seen on the audits screen below a counter titled "Shang Tsung Beaten" (in reference to the game's final boss fight) in early revisions. such as first finding Reptile. the photo was a doctored image of yellow ninja character Scorpion in a victory pose on the "Warrior Shrine" stage from the Super NES version of the game."[18] Midway denied the character's presence in Mortal Kombat II (1993) by way of a scrambled message that appeared on the bottom of the screen after beating the game (CEAMR ODSE NTO EXITS. Mortal Kombat co-creator and programmer Ed Boon explained that the listing did not represent a character but "how many times this error macro.under the heading of Most Wanted Trick from their October 1993 issue (#51).[29] and a random pre-match appearance of hidden character Jade with the message "Ermac Who?"[29] But when .[25] Unbeknownst to the magazine.[24] along with a letter from "Tony Casey" that claimed he had played against a red ninja named Ermac with a low-quality Polaroid of the screen as evidence. In the fifth and final update. with the ERMACS listing (bottom) that led players to believe Ermac was a hidden character. achieving a double flawless victory (winning two consecutive rounds in a match while taking no damage) with only punches.machine's diagnostics menu displayed a macro written by series co-creator and programmer Ed Boon in order to catch coding errors.' would execute.[16] a practice that was employed by series developer Midway Games since their 1990 release Smash TV.[21] it went unnoticed by players and fans until Boon added the hidden character Reptile into the third revision of the game.[22] ERMACS was now listed with "Reptile Appearances" and "Reptile Battles" on the audits menu. December 1993).

go on to live as legends until the creators have no choice but to make it a reality. and swiftly corrected. but it's an event that happens in the game that shouldn't happen. in a 2009 Electronic Gaming Monthly retrospective. and . he admitted that he had kept the meaning of the ERMACS listing secret in hopes of stirring up fan speculation about the character.[31] because. a 2005 beat 'em up spinoff title that spans the events of Mortal Kombat II."[35] WatchMojo ranked it sixth in their 2014 selection of the top ten video game said in 2011. An unnamed red ninja was seen therein with Smoke piloting Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei hoverjet. he was coy about the issue.[32][33] and when interviewed the next year during the Evolution Championship Series. because it could never happen again. "It is a little-known fact that 'Ermac' is short for 'Error Macro'". according to Boon.[45] Despite not appearing in . Some. "I can't tell you if it's in MKII. like Ermac from Mortal Kombat."[40] Midway (now NetherRealm Studios) has paid tribute to the fan rumors and the hoax."[18] In January 2011. [36] According to Mental Floss. Tobias revealed on Twitter in 2011 that the ninja was Ermac. fine. glitch from the Pokémon franchise.[44] He was an Easter egg boss hidden at the Warrior Shrine level in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.[41][42] Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest (training) mode contained a message that read. we [Midway] just decided to make it real."[30] Midway marketing director Roger Sharpe took a similar route: "If you're one of the fortunate few to ever encounter [Ermac]. most respected. labeling the search for Ermac "gaming's most hilarious and/or saddest treasure hunt" and opining that Boon "thought it was funny watching players drive themselves nuts trying to unlock a secret that didn't exist. Savor the moment. Ermac was added to the playable roster of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (an upgrade of Mortal Kombat 3). ."[34] The staff of GameTrailers unsuccessfully attempted to access Ermac in the first game. two years after the EGM incident.. he "became this urban legend thing. starting with their 1994-published Mortal Kombat II comic book written and illustrated by series co-creator John Tobias.GamePro asked Boon about the character. had run a picture of Ermac. important gaming mag in the country .[28] Cracked considered the hoax one of their "5 Random Coincidences that Invented Modern Pop Culture".. and nobody reads corrections.. "Most glitches are regarded as mistakes. Midway was "impressed with the fans’ passion for the character" in adding Ermac to the games..[37] The Escapist's William Bloodworth considered Ermac a "reward" for Mortal Kombat fans."[39] ScrewAttack cited the MKII scrambled message as an example of Boon "using puzzles and playing word games rather than confirming or denying rumors.[38] Kyle LeClair of Topless Robot remarked that the fabricated screenshot "made him into the video game equivalent of Bigfoot". in an episode of their PopFiction web series that premiered at PAX Prime 2012. "The biggest. [28] Legacy GamesRadar executive editor Eric Bratcher."[30] In October 1995. per the reader instructions published in the magazine. I can't say it's a bug.. credited the magazine hoax with the character's addition into the Mortal Kombat series. Boon clarified the rumors on Twitter. and likened the fan reaction to the character to that of the MissingNo."[24] Steve Watts of 1UP. but he was added to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 "at which point no one really cared about him.. [43] an homage to his origins that was revived in Mortal Kombat X for a pre-match introduction sequence with Ermac and series newcomer Takeda.

Sub-Zero and Reptile in a bundle of downloadable classic costumes for the 2011 reboot. It's great to see them get proper treatment.the original Mortal Kombat. "I really like the revisiting of our old palette-swapped characters like Ermac and Noob Saibot.[47] Tobias."[48] . a fan-fabricated character from MKII with a similar background. said in a 2012 interview with fan site Mortal Kombat Online.[46] and inspired the series debut of Skarlet. Ermac was included with Scorpion. who left Midway in 2000.