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The Dead Pool is an acid-filled torture chamber and arena that serves as the recurring location in Mortal Kombat franchise.

Overview

Located somewhere in the realm of Outworld, the Dead Pool is said to be a place of punishment and sacrifice. It consists of a large pool of green acid that makes up majorities of the dungeon with a straight walkway of concrete to safely navigate through (in Mortal Kombat: Deception, a square patch of concrete in the middle of the acid has been either added or revamped out of aforementioned walkway to serve as the proper arena for kombatants to fight at), a balcony to oversee things that going on, and hooked chains that can be manually operated to execute prisoners with a large reel. Prisoners who unfortunate to be brought into this place are bound and suspended above the acid by the hooked chains where they are promptly dipped into the acidic pool after a few moments. They are then dragged back up by their flesh and proceed to disintegrate. Shang Tsung was said to have favored this method of punishment over all others, and was given to those condemned by Shao Kahn himself. The acid itself is a mass of residue of past creations from Shang Tsung's flesh pits.

Sometime prior to Aftermath, Dead Pool went a design overhaul where it gained additions such as two massive stone statues resembling Oni Warriors at the centerpiece of the stage with acid falls pouring over them, metal cages, and more chains and hooks (some of which are still occupied with past victims). By the time the quest to claim the forbidden Crown of Kronika already begun, however, many years of neglect and decay saw its walls and floors of the arena become eroded and coated with fleshy gunk and moss.

Trivia

  • The idea of hooked chains in the area being used to hang people with (one may hurl an opponent into one of them) as well as part of the mechanism to unlock something by applying them with body weight was among popular rumors among fans revolving the Dead Pool. This later inspired a minor plot point in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks in which player must hurl one of the enemies onto one of the hooks in order to open the doors.
  • The Dead Pool arena is based on the Torture Chamber from the 1986 supernatural chopsocky adventure comedy movie Big Trouble in Little China, the same film which inspires some aspects of Mortal Kombat series.
  • The soundtrack "The Dead Pool" was released in the album Mortal Kombat II: Music from the Arcade Game Soundtrack composed by Midway sound programmer Dan Forden. An extended version of the song is found in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
  • Originally, artist Tony Goskie had designed several corpses for the background of the Dead Pool in Mortal Kombat II. Ultimately, they were removed. This concept would later appear in Mortal Kombat (2011).
  • In Mortal Kombat II, holding the down button during the Stage Fatality will make the voice of game producer Dan Forden say "Oh". The soundbite plays automatically in the death trap in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
  • Unused sprites from the arcade version of Mortal Kombat II show that, originally, the Dead Pool was to have an orange sky background behind the windows, much like the Portal and Kombat Tomb. In the SNES version of Mortal Kombat II, as well as the N64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the orange sky is present.
  • In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the Shao Kahn Treasures feature that involve fighting somebody (i.e. Chameleon) are fought in the Dead Pool stage.
  • In (Mortak Kombat (2011), ghostly screams can be faintly heard, especially if the music volume is turned down low enough.
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