Mavado's design originally resembled a matador, as part of an overall Spanish theme -- his name was "Malvado", meaning "evil man" in Spanish and Portuguese. This was changed because the developers felt that his appearance didn't fit in with the Mortal Kombat universe, and they redesigned him to give him a darker persona.
The character Bo' Rai Cho's name sounds like the Spanish word Borracho which translates to "drunk", aptly describing his nature and Drunken Fist fighting style.
Drahmin's design gave the developers problems. In early development, the club on his right hand switched to his left hand when he faces a different direction. They had to create special codes so that it would stay on his right hand.