Mortal Kombat 1 2
Image: Warner Bros. Games

If you were to go back to 1993 and tell the likes of US Senator Joe Lieberman and Nintendo of America's Vice President Howard Lincoln that Nintendo would one day host a video of Mortal Kombat that features eye-gouging, decapitation, and neck-breaking, they'd both probably break out in a cold sweat.

Yet here we are! Thirty years after the infamous Senate Hearings regarding the depiction of violence in video games - namely Mortal Kombat and Night Trap - and not only does Nintendo play host to a number of so-called "violent" video games on its flagship platform, but it is also openly advertising NetherRealm's latest fighting game, Mortal Kombat 1, on its official YouTube channel.

Of course, given the very existence of the ESRB, Nintendo is free to advertise whatever it likes so long as the content is appropriately flagged. Still, the company's willingness to showcase such brutal violence is definitely a stark contrast to how it operated back in the mid-'90s.

If you remember, Nintendo requested Acclaim Entertainment - the now-defunct publisher of Mortal Kombat on consoles - to effectively remove all instances of explicit violence in the game. This meant that blood splatters were turned into sweat, fatalities were replaced by boring "finishing moves", and references to violence in the marketing material were also removed.

It meant that Sega's version of the game on the Genesis, which allowed for the inclusion of blood via a special cheat code, was able to outsell the SNES version drastically.

How far we've come, eh? It's nothing groundbreaking in the grand scheme of things (after all, there are a number of videos for Mortal Kombat 11 on the NoA YouTube channel) but to see Nintendo embrace the violence depicted in Mortal Kombat is a nice change of pace for the notoriously strict company.

Are you looking forward to Mortal Kombat 1 on the Switch? What's you own personal history with the franchise? Let us know with a comment.