What it is

The “fatality” move was a selling point of the (very bloodletting) Mortal Kombat series. Unlike any old one-hit kill move, a fatality is strictly reserved for a brutal finishing move.

Fatality (Mortal Kombat)

After performing what would usually be a final round K.O., a fatality is a sort of special move performed using a command that you can only use at that time. These commands are character-specific, and sometimes difficult to perform (though usually the problem is memorizing the command).

As one might suspect, this move is fatal, and often very bloody.

Samurai Shodown

Danmatsu Ōgi (Samurai Shodown IV)

Performed after a final-round K.O., if one does not perform knockdown for the final hit, the fatality can be performed by inputting 22866 + C.

It won’t work on/with certain characters, for definite reasons (e.g., no cutting up Nakoruru or Rimururu).

Zetsumei Ōgi (Samurai Shodown V Special)

Halfway between a fatality and a one-hit kill, the opponent is allowed to move.

Essentially, the opponent must have already lost a round; when they are low on life (such that the lifebar turns blue to indicate that they may enter Mu no Kyōchi), one may use a Rage Explosion, and input 214 + CD.

If the ensuing motion hits, grim taiko-and-flute music will start playing, and the opponent will be destroyed in whichever manner one’s character uses.

Further reading

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Based off the article on the kakuge.com wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 18 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.