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Ermac is back in Mortal Kombat X (update)

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

NetherRealm Studios unveiled the latest returning fighter for Mortal Kombat X today, psychokinetic combatant Ermac.

During a livestream for Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm's Tyler Lansdown, Derek Kirtzic and Paulo Garcia showed off Ermac in battle for the first time. Many of his trademark moves, like his telekinetic grab and teleportation-based attacks, will return. Like other Mortal Kombat X characters, he'll have three fighting variations that will mix up his move set.

In the Master of Souls variation, Ermac is surrounded by three glowing green orbs. He can shoot those orbs like your typical fighting game projectile, but there's a twist. If Ermac fires that projectile while all three orbs are active, the first will momentarily stun his opponent. Throw an orb when only one or two are orbiting Ermac, and they'll do projectile damage.

Ermac's Mystic variation gives him enhanced telekinetic lift and telekinetic push moves. He can lift opponents up for an extended time, leaving them hanging helplessly upside-down, and push back opponents from across the screen.

His Spectral variation gives Ermac the ability to hover and fly around the stage for a limited time. He'll have a new set of standard moves while hovering, which makes him very mobile, Lansdown said, but also vulnerable to attacks since he can't block.

NetherRealm teased one of Ermac's fatalities, which includes levitating his opponent and twisting their body into a torturous, bone-breaking shape. They showed another fatality in which Ermac telekinetically ripped off Sub-Zero's head, shoved it down his neck and then ripped it out of his torso.

Lansdown also teased a new "ality" for the game, meaning that Mortal Kombat's trademark fatalities won't be the only finishing moves in Mortal Kombat X. Previous entries featured finishing moves like friendships, animalities, babalities and brutalities.

Ermac was first introduced as a playable character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 as a palette swap for the game's other ninja characters, Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Reptile. Ermac was born out of an urban legend from the original Mortal Kombat, in which a diagnostic for the game — "error macro" — was presumed to be a hidden character, a la Reptile. NetherRealm confirmed earlier this week that Reptile will also appear in Mortal Kombat X.

Update: NetherRealm released Ermac's debut gameplay trailer today, which you can now watch at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second.

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