—Meat's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Ending
Meat's backstory in Armageddon, actually revealed during his game-ending, stated that he was a horrific experiment created by Shang Tsung. He escaped the sorcerer's clutches before he could be fully completed. The official strategy guide for the game describes Meat as being "a fun character who assists Shinnok," although this relationship is not made clear in the story.
In his Armageddon ending, it is said that while the other fighters focused on each other, Meat rushed past them up the pyramid. Once he defeated Blaze, he gained the power to shape-shift. Since he had the ability to become anyone he pleased, Meat lost his sense of identity and slipped into obscurity.
Powers and abilities
It is quite unknown what Meat's powers are or their extent. In his debut, Meat was able to mimic the moves of the fighter that was originally chosen in his place down to the last detail. In Armageddon, Meat specializes in self-mutilation and immunity to pain, as he is able to function even without a head, and harms his own body as a means to rejuvenate himself when need be. Meat is also seen using weapons, such as the Cleaver.
- Head Roll: Meat pulls off his own head and rolls it towards his opponent. (MK:A)
- Meat Leg Slide: Using the blood that soaks his body, Meat will perform a low slide towards his opponent at high speed. (MK:A)
- Body Mutilation: Meat pulls his loose eye and lets it ricochet back into position; this bizarrely enough gives him some health back. (MK:A)
- Flesh Teleport: Meat falls forward and explodes into a puddle of blood upon impact with the ground; he then reappears behind his opponent. (MK:A)
- Armageddon (Non-Canonical): "Meat was an experiment who escaped Shang Tsung's flesh pits before he could be completely formed. As the other kombatants fought, Meat rushed unseen to the top of the pyramid and defeated Blaze. Godlike energy enveloped him, giving him the power to shape-shift. With the ability to become anyone, Meat lost his sense of identity and disappeared into obscurity."
Meat initially served as a skin, created by art director Tony Goskie for each fighter in Mortal Kombat 4 to swap models if the character was subject to a Fatality that destroyed their flesh, such as Reptile's "Acid Puke" or Fujin's "Wind Skinner". The name "Meat" was simply a designation given to the model so it could be used in the game. It was later decided to make him a playable character as part of a hidden Easter egg. Players first learned of the character's given name after the text "Meat lives!" was placed on Ed Boon's website promoting Mortal Kombat 4's 3rd arcade revision. The later released strategy guides also referred to the character as "Meat", subsequently making it an official moniker. Despite this, the name Meat is found nowhere in the actual game.
For a long time afterwards, his existence as a true character or a joke character was heavily debated amongst fans. Some believed he wasn't a character as he was really nothing more than an alternate costume for all other fighters and had no storyline. Still others believed the opposite, citing the fact that many Mortal Kombat characters in the past such as Reptile, Noob Saibot, Smoke, and Jade all started with no original moves or storylines in their first appearances either. Meat also appeared in Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode, giving more credence to establishing him in the canon plot. Finally, with the development of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Midway decided to make Meat an official character and wrote him a story.
During the character's video in IGN's MK Fighter of the Wiik series, Mortal Kombat art director Steve Beran humorously states that Meat has a cousin named "Skully", who is just a skeleton with no muscle or tissue. However, Beran laments that he never made it into the game.
To access Meat in Mortal Kombat 4, the player had to defeat all challengers in Group Mode, which would have to include every single character. After that, any selected character became Meat. The character resembled a bloody skeleton, but its move set took after whatever character was selected. Losing a battle as Meat will cause him to re-lock, necessitating the player re-complete Group Mode to reobtain him.
In Mortal Kombat: Deception, like many other characters, Meat makes a short cameo appearance during the game's Konquest mode. The player as Shujinko finds him standing in a small cave in the Netherrealm. If interacted with, Meat will reward the player with 1000 onyx koins and then flee soon after.
- In two Top 10 lists hosted by Screwattack.com, Meat was placed at #4 of the worst characters in the Mortal Kombat series, and at #7 of the weirdest fighting game characters.
- Meat, Nitara, and Skarlet are the only characters whose powers involve the use of blood.
- Clearing Mortal Kombat 4 as Meat in the arcade version causes the game to reset itself.
- Meat cannot be saved in Mortal Kombat 4 or Mortal Kombat Gold. Turning the game off and turning it back on requires the player to complete Group mode once more to play as him again.
- Due to his method of unlocking, Meat cannot fight himself in Mortal Kombat 4 or Mortal Kombat Gold.
- Due to complications involved due to serving as an alternate skin for all existing characters, Meat is subject to several glitches in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Gold.
- If Meat is frozen by Sub-Zero, he will appear as a frozen version of the character he is imitating. If Meat is frozen while imitating Goro however, Goro's frozen model will appear highly deformed.
- Playing as Meat using a character whose attacks involve swapping parts will cause said character's original parts to reappear. Examples of this include Scorpion's "Toasty!" Fatality, which causes Scorpion's bare skull to appear, Kung Lao's Fatalities, which cause Kung Lao's hatless head to appear, and Baraka's blades, which cause Baraka's forearms (without hands) to appear.
- Meat is one of the few characters to fight with bare feet. Others include Kobra, Reptile, Moloch, Goro, Kintaro, Drahmin, Sheeva, and Blaze.
- Meat is one of 4 non-boss characters in Armageddon to not receive an alternate costume, with the others being Daegon, Chameleon, and Khameleon.
- Meat makes several appearances in Mortal Kombat 11. He appears throughout the game's Krypt, appearing in various Blood Pits throughout Shang Tsung's Island, popping out briefly and roaring to startle the traveler (and unsuspecting players) and as a giant, bloody, chattering skull in the Towers of Time as a modifier.
- Dawson, Bryan (2006). Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 0-7615-5448-3.
- MK Fighter of the Wiik: Meat. IGN (2007-04-19). Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
- Mortal Kombat 4 - Revision 3.0. Brady Distributing Company (1998-10-06). Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
- Fink, James (1998). Official Mortal Kombat 4 Fighter's Kompanion. Brady Publishing. ISBN 1-56686-795-9.
- Cain, Joe (1999). Mortal Kombat Gold: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 0-7615-2329-4.