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I clearly remember these old days when I was going to my cousin to play on his PC because it was better than mine. One day, he told me he had a new game which he just tried out and couldn't figure out how to win. Of course, it was about Mortal Kombat, my favourite game for almost 2 years!
So, we chose to play one against the other and I, as being younger, was just pressing the buttons randomly, managing to do cool combats, and every time my cousin asked me if how I was able to do that I kept telling him: ''This is a secret''.
Finally, after 2 years, I could easily said that the game had no more secrets for me, I could use most of the combos, if not all of them, and I even won a local MK competition...
When I bought the game, I promised my parents that I won't ever ask for a game again, because it was that expensive! But now, it is affordable, and if you want some challenge and to test your skills, here you go! It's still my favourite beat-em-up game and it will remain so for as long as it remains on my computer!
Originally released in the early 90s as an arcade machine and then ported across to numerous home computers/consoles, Mortal Combat is a decidedly dark and gory oriental-themed fighting game in the style of Streetfighter 2. The game has numerous well-developed characters to choose from, including the ninja Sub-Zero, shades-wearing film star Johnny Cage, female martial artist Sonja and the mysterious, big straw-hat-wearing Raiden, a character with the ablity to charge his opponents with jolts of electricity who is borrowed wholesale from Director John Carpenter's classic 80s action film 'Big Trouble In Little China'. In fact, the whole game retains the sinister yet simultaneously comedic ancient oriental feel of the aforementioned film that helps it to rise above from the myriad other similar fighting games out there.
The graphics are excellent, whils the game's characters are all modelled on real-life martial artists, making for some very convincing animation that was revolutionary in its time and still looks great now. The various martial artists in the game actually promoted the game whilst in character when it first came out, leading to an interesting episode of Gamesmaster in which the real-life Sonja and Johnny Cage battled it out, each controlling their virtual counterparts onscreen.
The game is perhaps best known for its graphic violence, particularly the inclusion of 'fatality' moves whereby after beating an opponent the victor gets the opportunity to carry out gory death-moves by pressing a number of buttons inthe correct order. These are great fun and immensely entertaining, with Sub Zero possessing the ability to rip out his opponent's spinal columns whilst another character, Kane, plunges his fist into his opponents chest before bringing out their still-beating heart and raising it aloft.
The controls are responsive and the characters are well-balanced, with a fairly small but well-implemented series of moves at their disposal, and the game remains wholly engaging and great fun even now.
Mortal Kombat first ripped the head off the gruesome corpse of a kiddy hobby in 1992 when this hit the arcades if murderous and controversial fashion. Fighting games themselves werent a new thing, the had been around since way back in the 1980s but they were all tame in comparison to what Ed Boon and John Tobias were to give us.
To game was set with the idea to compete with the Street Fighter game as Midways answer to Capcom. Though it used a significantly different button layout it was always obvious that the two would be compared. Though the controls for MK were simple the Mega Drive version did lose some of the Arcade machines features due to technical limitations of the day. The arcades 6 button lay out therefore had to be adapted for the 3 buttoned Sega control (this was before the 6 button Sega controls were brought out). So this took some of the gameplay features out and simplified the controls and the gore was also "removed" from the home console versions...well from the Nintendo version it was removed completely, the Sega version had the gore and the games trademark fatalities hidden under a button code. The music was also made simpler for the console.
The games story was built around that of a tournament (Mortal Kombat) which saw earths warriors doing battle against the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. Though that was the main story some fighters were there for there own personal reasons and for revenge.
The games biggest complaint centred on the fact the characters all controlled identically a problem that most the early MK games suffered from. Of the 7 playable characters they all had the same reach, speed and jump abilitiess. Meaning the only differences between them were the special moves and the fatalitys. Specials ranged from Liu Kangs flying martial arts kick to Sub Zeros ability to freeze opponents. The use of these are there for the keys to victory for the player be it the single player mode of the multi-player one.
Single player sees the player fighting the other characters then facing the final characters. Eventually fighting Goro (a four armed beast) then Shang Tsung (whos special moves allowed him to change into the other characters in the game).
In the multi-player mode its the simple player 1 v player 2 game that fighting games (especially in the 2-D fra from where this is from) are so well known for. Its in this mode that the game excels as a fun game were friends could battle each other to a fatal and bloody ending.
Finally then...the fatalities...what needs to be said about these that havent already been said? The fatalitys were the games ultimate spit in the face to the folk scared of gore, this was the ability to end fights by ripping out opponents hearts and other similar finishes. Yes this seemed to be the main feature for those daily mail readers who ignored the playability or the graphics.
Yes the graphics which now look as dated as a Victorian table but at the time were a huge step up using motion capture and actors instead of hand drawn sprites. This meant the sprites had almost photographic face on rather poor looking bodys the game therefore looked much more grown up than the rival game.
So overall the game stood out, whether it was the for just the right reasons or the controversial ones is arguably. And although the follow up improved in every way the game was great fun back the day and despite the fact it has aged as expected its still worth a play. Yes its a classic, a complete classic that can now be played on the 360 so you know what to do. Or at very least get your hands on Mortal Kombat II (personally I do feel that was better) as the early MK games really are an early part of gaming brilliance.
Trivia: The code for the Mega Drive gore cheat was "abacabb". Which was an album by Genesis, in the US the console was called the Sega Genesis.
This is the first in what seems to be a neverending line of Mortal Kombat games. Although the more recent versions have vastly improved over this original. The original is what set the stage for the rest. It created the rules of Mortal Kombat, the way the characters move and the characters moves are conducted. The types of special moves and the ranging number of fatality moves to discover and perform.
Mortal Kombat allows you to choose from a number of characters. Each character has their own set of moves and certain style. You must fight in battles randomly selected by the computer against other fighters. You can set the difficulty for the game, this adjusts how good the computer AI is and how much it will let you get away with.
Special moves include throwing fire, ice, flying through the air whilst doing a kung fu kick etc.
Fatalities are performed once you have beaten a character. You have a time where they are standing ready to drop to the floor. If you unleash a fatality then, you will finish off your opponent in colourful ways.
Its a great game to play in two player mode too, against your friends.
Excellent arcade fighting game that you should own or at least try out.
I remember when this game first came out in the 1990's it caused a lot of controversy with its violence. It is a 2D beat-em-up featuring characters digitized from real people.
It is quite a simple game and only features 7 playable characters ranging from standard martial artists right through to ninjas and even a god.
The main draw of Mortal Kombat is its fatalities. The characters each have a fatality or death move. When you beat your opponent on his second round they'll stand stunned for about 10 seconds and the words finish him will flash up on the screen and from here you can perform a combination of button presses to finish your opponent off.
These death moves include ripping your opponents heart out and tearing their head off, the DailyMail would have a field day with this one.
Although a bit dated now it stills stand the test of time, I was a big fan of the Amiga version because this version wasn't censored like the SNES and Megadrive versions of the game.
I was never much good at arcade fighting games, or in fact any game that didnt involve repeatedly guiding a cute cartoon animal or egg across floating platforms from left to right, but Midways Mortal Kombat series unusually captivated me when it was obtained for my much-loved Amiga 1200 in the mid-90s. Designed as an arcade competitor to Capcoms Street Fighter in a similar way to the Mario and Sonic rivalry of home video game consoles, Mortal Kombat relied on extreme violence and purported realism to win over simple-minded arcade junkies and young gore-obsessed freaks playing reclusively in their home at 32 Ashley Meadow, Haslington, Cheshire (or, you know, anywhere).
Mortal Kombat achieved a fair degree of notoriety for its apparently unprecedented violence that only added to its appeal, coming along just as graphical capabilities became capable of rendering something resembling a real human being ready and willing to spray large amounts of bright red blood upon the slightest blow from an assailant. Crucial to this realism was the novel idea of using real digitised photos of actors for the character sprites, as opposed to the cartoon style or attempted, unsuccessful realism of other contemporary games. This ended up looking a lot better than it perhaps sounds, as the 16-bit graphics were able to successfully capture the profiles and limited movements of the games actors and sole actress and incorporate them into the character selection screen, the mini-games and most importantly, the main game itself. The animation of these moves is fairly limited, with actions such as a kick or punch consisting of no more than four stills of each actor being photographed in a slightly different position, but it gives a great and original graphical style to this game that continued into the sequels.
As for the violence itself, the game is set in an Enter the Dragon/Tekken style Oriental arena where competitors fight to the death, and as such involved various acts of extreme violence, particularly in the option to execute special and comically violent Fatality moves unique to each character to deliver the final blow (Sub-Zeros finishing move, for example, involved ripping the head off his opponent, which brought the dangling spinal cord along with it, while others involved incineration). Anyone with a sense of humour, or in fact any sense at all in being able to discern between a 16-bit arcade game and the real, high-def world, will be able to take these extreme and often fantastical acts with a pinch of salt (ouch), and although the more realistic kicks and punches all look convincing, based as they are on real life models, the bright blood and inferior quality sound effects make it clear that this is just a game. In fact, even when this genre received the 3-D treatment with Mortal Kombat IV and the early Tekken releases, the characters were all too clearly composed of angular polygons. Other moves caused controversy for slightly different reasons, most memorably Johnny Cages so-called package check that directs his fist towards a specific part of the characters anatomy. This move doesnt work against Sonya, for some reason that my Dad still wont tell me, but obviously finds amusing. I am so innocent.
Compared to its immediate sequel, the first Mortal Kombat appears quite disappointing, with less arenas (though these are all pretty much the same, and only different cosmetically) and only half as many playable characters with far fewer special moves, also leading to a shorter playing experience on the whole as the player ascends the ladder defeating each computer-controlled opponent before facing off against the four-armed Goro (still based on digitised photos, this time of a clay miniature) and the overlord Shang Tsung. The characters represent a fair range of types, all of which handle exactly the same, as the series still lacks complexity at this early stage: the only real difference comes in each characters unique special moves, and of course the players personal preference. The human characters are Liu Kang (Ho Sung Pak, who also plays Shang Tsung), essentially a Bruce Lee character with a backstory to match; Johnny Cage (Daniel Pesina), an arrogant Hollywood type who fights in indestructible sunglasses; and Sonya Blade (Elizabeth Malecki), the tough b**** Special Forces commando and of course, the games only woman. Keeping up the fantasy side of things are the cyborg Kano (Richard Divizio); the magical masked ninjas Scorpion and Sub-Zero (both also played by Pesina), armed with a harpoon and ice enchantment respectively; and the Thunder God Raiden (Carlos Pesina), who could easily waste them all with his electrifying powers but elects to tone down his abilities for the contest, or something like that. There is a vague storyline and background for each character explained in the manual, and in a brief text finale upon completing the game, but this is the sort of game where the plot is beyond secondary its not even duodenary.
The Amiga port of the game suffers from inferior graphics to the original arcade version due to the compression onto floppy disks, as do the console cartridge versions, but it fortunately lacks the family-friendly editing applied to the butchered Nintendo version. The game is controlled by the joystick in an adaptation of the original arcade stick and buttons, with left and right moving towards and away from the opponent (also necessary for executing special combo moves), the joystick up acting as the jump button, and down similarly acting as crouch, allowing for some lower ground-based varieties of the standard moves. The joysticks fire button controls all the kicks, punches and combo variations (blocking if pressing away and fire, or down and fire for that ever-so-handy uppercut), and an options screen allows the player to choose their difficulty setting, which includes Very Easy for wusses and Very Hard for show-offs. The game is a little awkward to control with the joystick at first, especially in comparison to the console joypad versions (though players could easily buy an Amiga joypad), but on the whole the Amiga version was an impressive reproduction of the original, and obviously a whole lot cheaper and more relaxed.
Despite its simplistic, retro fun, the original Mortal Kombat suffers from its age, having been usurped within a few years by three-dimensional equivalents in the form of Tekken particularly, and as such it feels very primitive and lacking in a way that games of other, more unique styles such as the ever-reliable 2-D platformer never have. The graphics were exceptional for the time, and the music a fairly enjoyable and appropriate series of Oriental melodies, but as soon as Mortal Kombat II came along there became very little reason to play this inferior predecessor. Its important as a piece of video game history, and was integral in spurring angry parents towards forming the Entertainment Software Rating Board and age ratings for games, but otherwise it is of little interest today. Makes you wonder why Im reviewing it, doesnt it?