Best canonically reasonable explanations for mirror matches in canon

Should I assume that the “media” place is the best place to talk about the storyline in a fighting video game? If it is it please move it to where it should go, otherwise thank you.

most people assume when you play a two-player fighting game that you just want to be who you want to be and beat whoever comes out that other side of the door. In Street Fighter 2, there’s very little plot other than you want to win fights and your opponent is across from you and you better win.

If you do bother caring about the story most of the early fighting games just had a ending for that character winning the tournament and that’s how we got most of the early information non-fighting information of the characters.

Most fighting games do not use a mirror match in their canonical one-player mode. however Mortal Kombat did have an explicit match call the mirror match where you faced yourself, hence where we got the term.

However as Netherrealm got deeper in the story when the games got bigger, found a way to incorporate more matches as part of the story and have it be canonically believable.

Injustice was the perfect set up there are two alternate universes and two of every hero and villain and sometimes they swap sides depending on what circumstances happened in one world versus the other. since you could travel to the other world there’s a chance you can meet your other self. And usually they are not your best buddy but a dark mirror of your character, assuming you’re playing the light side in the story mode.

One of the best, earliest, arcade-friendly, non-verbal cutscenes demonstrating how a mirror match has occurred happens on Sonic: the Fighters. Doctor Robotnik makes a clone of whatever fighter you are and then voila, you’re in a mirror match.

I want to other canonically reasonable explanations for mirror match. And please try to keep it within the context of only the interactive media, (don’t include movies, TV shows, Comics, etc based on video games) and explicit mentions and explanations.

Mortal Kombat in 1992 came up with mirror match. Mortal Kombat in 2019 explained it canonically

Aight, I’m gonna start leaving these in all your threads


I know you asked not to include movies, and I understand that they are non-canon, but Street Fighter II the movie gave a perfectly good explanation. If the tournament was just a front to make clones of the world’s best fighters to use as Shadloo super-soldiers, then it would make perfect sense if they had a clone of every participant. We know Shadloo has cloning abilities in the game series because Cammy is supposed to be one of Bison’s attempts at cloning a new body for himself. Problems only arise when you start considering clones of clones but let’s just focus on the main problem first.

I can’t buy that Dr. Ivo Robotnik would make a clone though, because he usually eschews the biological in favor of the technological. It should be noted that the copies in Sonic the Fighters are grayscale recolors, so I would suggest that they are either low fidelity versions of Star Trek style holograms emitted from the Egg Mobile. He does perform a quick scan of you and shoot a ray that results in the character you are fighting before he vanishes.

I almost want to say that Tsang Tsu’s transformation magic could at least explain mirror matches in Mortal Kombat I, just so long as a fatality was not executed. The mirror match happens after all of the other matches, and it would make sense that Tsang Tsung would want to size up the greatest threat to an outworld victory. However his transformation magic is based upon stealing the souls of defeated foes, and he has not yet captured your soul and that aspect of the story had not yet been established. There is surely some sort of magical explanation going on here though, given the nature of the series. I don’t know what the reboot series explanation is supposed to be, but given the nature of the basic premise it probably involves time travel. Ugh, time travel! The less said about that the better.

It is also a possiblity that mirror matches are simply non-canon filler. Fighting games historically tended not to have much of an ongoing story during the course of the game, with most elements of the in-game story being established with the introduction and endings, of which only one was canon. Lengthy mid-game cutscenes just aren’t very profitable to arcade operators after-all.

Well, the Robotnik thing was just based on the visuals of the cutscene. Robotnik scans you and has his whatever that thing is with your abilities fight you.

In the Arcade, arcade owners get paid by the loss, and you’re taking on all comers, and Story just takes time away from butt kicking and quarter plunking.