Mordekaiser was a champion released on February 24, 2010 (22.214.171.124 if you look on the wiki) along with 2 skins, both recolors; Dragon Knight and Infernal Since then he has gained a noteworthy presence in League of Legends amassing a seemingly endless set of bugs, a book of bugs to boot, and and still holding that simple Season 1 pizza-footed feeling along the way.
In the year 2018 he is still much the same as he was then. Sure he gets a nice pet Dragon to accompany him in the rift, but he sure hasn't changed otherwise. He joined a band named Pentakill in September of 2010, got some nice boots when he became Lord Mordekaiser in May of 2011, and even after some time became King for a while to reign supreme in May 2015.
Unfortunately, with time he became a niche champion choice, falling into obscurity much like Urgot Galio and Yorick prior to their reworks. But even then, he would still bring one hell of a fight when you saw him.
What few people talk about is the skin he once had planned, was almost pushed to PBE, but was dropped due to quality and identity concerns.
This is everything I have found and documented about his canceled skin, especially after a 4 years of no skins for him (between Lord and King).
Dark Crusader Mordekaiser is his name and he was ready to purge the rift and take it as his own.
So what's the story? Why does it matter? What does it look like? Patience my Children of the Grave, all will be answered if you take a moment to read.
Back in the _distant year of 2011_ we were graced with the PBE, or Public Beta Environment. This was a testing ground for new upcoming content that would make its way to Live if it passed their tests. New items, skins, champions and balance changes.
With the PBE there are bound to be bugs, and not just ones from Morde himself. These bugs would occasionally show some upcoming content due to some accidents. Dark Crusader Morde is no exception to this.
Some of you may know the King of Clubs skin, and king he is, but it didn't always start that way. You see, prior to his crowning achievement as king, he didn't have a 5th skin. Well, not one you could see at least.
When the PBE was released, they had shipped code for the game with 5 skins for our bug filled friend. For those who were on you may remember only seeing 4. Dragon Knight, Infernal, Pentakill, and Lord. This is because his 5th skin [laid dormant in data for a few days](https://i.imgur.com/NlQFqqB.png), and only a few days, before it was removed.
Why would they remove it? Well that's just how PBE is. Things change and sometimes some assets need updating or changing or even removing. Recent examples include the Sewn Chaos Amumu and Blitzcrank skins.
I might lose some of you here so try to follow along, dont feel bad if you get lost. It's alright if you do.
Riot's game assets have changed over the years in how they're contained. Initially a Zip file with all its contents. Then to a custom Riot Archive Format (or RAF files). And as of now, moving to a new format called WAD files (shoutouts to ID Software).
After the push from Zip to RAF, they needed a format to follow with patches. This format was to use folders, each holding certain RAF files, starting from 0.0.0.0 and climbing up, each able to go to a value of 255. At the time of writing this, for Live we're on 0.0.1.139. For PBE we're on 0.0.5.181 (those patches add up).
For Mordekaiser, this was a strange ordeal. His mysterious 5th skin was in the game from the start. Sitting in 0.0.0.0 (September 6th 2011) on the PBE, just chilling, then suddenly gone in 0.0.0.16 (September 9th 2011).
After a week (7 days exactly) on patch 0.0.0.17 his data was gone, never to be pushed back to the game.
Fast forward some years and King of Clubs skin made it to PBE, but with a special bug to go with it. In the shop, [some players reported King of Clubs Mordekaiser had the name "Dark Crusader Mordekaiser" instead](https://i.imgur.com/b30XgnK.jpg), but this didn't affect all players.
This was a sign that this skin was reused and reworked into the King we know today, a common practice Riot uses for development. This unfortunately was the sign that the Dark Crusader wasn't coming back, or out. Dead for good (unlike his lore).
So what gives? A skin made was made, scrapped, and remade after 4 years. A simple story right? Well yes, but not entirely.
Some keen players looking in the data found his [LoadScreen splash art](https://i.imgur.com/TAg47xu.png). This is the loadscreen you have probably seen floating around. A simple loadscreen, but only a loadscreen. Nothing else.
Eventually the hype for him died down due to Riot staff never talking about. We got acknowledgement, but nothing more than that.
I'll drag this out a little longer. A small bit about me and why I looked into this.
I am a very big advocate for preservation of game assets, documents, prototypes, development builds, concept art, unused data, leftover data and more things alike. It's a hobby and a hobby only. For example, if you've used the archive.org wayback machine, then you've used a tool used to preserve a web page or it's content to ensure it's content isn't lost.
I do some small things for the wiki (sorry bout not doing the transcribing for voices), but mainly focused on the [canceled or removed content page](http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Unreleased_Content). From here I found the page to be a little lacking in some aspects. Very good regardless, but some entries needed work.
With some tools available and some resources I found myself looking for canceled skins. Namely SKT T1 Sivir, Arm Cannon Tristana, Exterminator Twitch, and Dark Crusader Mordekaiser. And I did find success.
Thanks to Riot taking a big effort to preserve patches properly I was able to find most of the data I was looking for. Not all of it but that's another issue all its own. Compared to other companies with games of this nature, Riot does one thing right about preserving their game data. If you need it, you can get it.
I picked up some work to fuel my hobby, and made my way to finding a 7 year old canceled skin's data and content over the course of a few months.
The community is very much to thank for this as without them this skin would still only be a loadscreen. While he cant be in game, I will take this time to revive interest in him as much as I can since his long awaited VGU (en masse bug removal) is coming up sooner or later.
So once again, thanks to the Wiki, Wiki Contributors, some popular PBE news group members, and a few individuals who have been playing since the first closed beta for the help uncovering all his data and teaching me what I now know about the game.
In the end this was a fun experience, saddening that he only exists as a relic of Riot's development, but still fun.
Bring him back for his VGU. Or, since I know you still have the data, work him in in his current form. He deserves a spot on the rift as Morde's 6th skin, especially when he was so close to being finished.
Enough dragging it on, here's the pictures of the model, its splash, its loadscreen, and in game.
Mordekaiser has 5 skins
He used to have a skin before King
Skin was scrapped and made into King
Skin was Dark Crusader Mordekaiser
Was incomplete outside of loadscreen found
7 years later it's complete (or so I believe)
Thanks to everyone who helped fuel my autistic hobby
Bring him back for VGU because it's a good skin