Those of a certain age may have gaming moments from the halcyon years of the 1990s burned into their minds. Who could forget Monkey Island’s 'insult sword fighting' section, the title music from Sonic the Hedgehog, or the first time you heard “finish him” while playing Mortal Kombat.
If you ever imagined the man behind that famous line was as scary as he sounds, prepared to be surprised. Steve Ritchie, a pinball and video game designer who seems like a very nice man, was the person who told millions of Mortal Kombat players what round it was, when to fight, and that they’d achieved a flawless victory (among other things).
As you can see in the video, Ritchie’s bark is definitely worse than his bite. Despite lending his vocal talents to a number of pinball games he designed, the main reason Ritchie ended up as the iconic Mortal Kombat narrator was because he worked in the same building as the game’s designers.
Ritchie was advised to say his lines “more breathy. Lower.” He also rolled his “r” slightly when pronouncing some words. After a few effects were added, the final samples made their way into the game.
Most people will be impressed by Ritchie’s contribution to the franchise that spawned numerous games, two movies, and a short-lived TV series, but he’s also created more pinball machines than anyone else in the industry’s history, which is a more impressive fact to have on his CV.
Check out the video above from YouTube channel Great Big Story to learn more.