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Page 1:
Introduction
Characters

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Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat 2

Page 3:
Mortal Kombat 3
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Mortal Kombat Trilogy

Page 4:
Mortal Kombat 4
Mythologies: Sub-Zero
Special Forces

Page 5:
Deadly Alliance
Deception

Page 6:
Shaolin Monks
Armageddon

Page 7:
vs DC Universe
Mortal Kombat (2011)

Page 8:
Shows
Movies
Comics

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by Bobinator - March 2013

At the start of the 1990's, Street Fighter II was absolute king of the then fledgling fighting game genre. Sure, there were competitors, such as SNK's Fatal Fury, but they tended to take directly from Capcom's game, only changing around a few ideas here and there. Midway, an American arcade game developer, was hardly new at the time. They had made a bunch of games that were major hits in the arcade, like Smash TV. Having noticed the popularity of Street Fighter II, a small team was organized to make a fighting game of their own. Unlike other games that copied Street Fighter's look and controls, Mortal Kombat went in an entirely different direction. Instead of drawing the characters in pixel art, the decision was made to have real actors perform moves on a greenscreen, which were then digitized into the game. Sure, now it looks pretty hokey, especially compared to the better looking sequels, but for the time, this made Mortal Kombat appear more lifelike than any other game.

The other major change from the Street Fighter formula was the addition of tons and tons of blood, which would stay as pretty much the major selling points of the series. Sure, the Street Fighters would end up a little bloodied up after every fight, but characters in Mortal Kombat bled pints of the stuff after every hit. And of course, there were the Fatalities, the trademark of the series. The developers liked how you could lay devasting hits onto a dizzied opponent in Street Fighter, so they took that basic concept and added a violent new twist onto it. In Capcom's game, defeated opponents would fly dramatically through the air before crashing to the ground, but remain perfectly intact. Mortal Kombat, however, gave the winner the ability to finish off the opponent in incredibly violent ways at the end of the match.

This, of course, dragged in a ton of players hoping to see some blood and decapitations, as well as a ton of controversy from everybody else. Among other things, Fatalities were the cause of major backlash against Nintendo's then strict censorship policies, the severe toning down of said policies, as well as helping bring forth the creation of the ESRB. The insane success of the original game brought forth a whole slew of sequels, along with an incountable number of imitators that ranged in quality, from the decent Eternal Champions and Primal Rage, to absolute garbage like Kasumi Ninja and Survival Arts.

As the Mortal Kombat series went on, the blood and Fatalities would become even more over the top, to the point where you'd regularly see people explode into 3 skulls and about 5 legs. With the popularity of the games came a series of increasingly baffling merchandise, including a pretty good live action movie, its horrendous sequel, and a children's cartoon. Yes, a children's cartoon! As time went on, however, people started to lose interest in the series, moving on to more traditional fighters like Street Fighter Alpha and King of Fighters. Even the move into 3D didn't help, with the series looking absolutely dated compared to games like Tekken. While the series kept on chugging, for years it would end up in its own little niche, popular only among its hardcore fans, with "professional" fighting game players scoffing at each new release.

With a new generation of consoles, however, the latest game has completely revitalized the series, bringing back all the blood and gore, and tightening the gameplay far beyond any MK title before it. The result was a Mortal Kombat game that people could take seriously once again, and hopefully, the future of the series will continue to remain bright. It's been a long, crazy ride from 1992 to the present day, and it wasn't always pretty. For every Mortal Kombat II, there's always a Special Forces just behind it. But, as spotty as the series may be, Mortal Kombat's an important part of gaming history, both for challenging Capcom's monopoly over the fighting game genre and for introducing a bunch of innocent arcade players to all kinds of blood and gore.

The story to Mortal Kombat isn't buried quite as deeply as your average Japanese fighting game, where you'd often have to import and translate audio CDs, art books, and other merchandise to have any sort of real idea what's going on. The basic premise for most of the games is that there's usually some villain who seeks to control the Earthrealm, which is "our" world, out of the Outworld, an alternate dimension ruled by the tyrant Shao Kahn. Aside from that overarching plot, the characters themselves have their own backgrounds stories and agendas, which range from simply fighting to defend the Earthrealm, to exacting vengeance on those who wronged them, among other things.

Like most fighting games, the cast is constantly shifting around and changing. Some characters appear in every game, others are more or less forgotten after their first appearances. Everybody's constantly gaining and losing new moves, so much like in King of Fighters, just because you know a character in one game doesn't mean you will in the next. And as you'd expect from such a violent series, characters tend to die in the story. Rather frequently, in fact. One thing to keep in mind is that one of the most important "rules" of Mortal Kombat is that, much like in superhero comic books, nobody stays dead for long. Only the most hated or obscure characters are left buried, and even then, they'll usually have at least one "dream match" game left in them before they kick the bucket for good.

If you're new to the series, your best bet would be to skip straight to the newest game. While they're not really up to Capcom's best games, the first three entries are at least functional once you can get past their rather different ways of doing things. One thing you have to remember when you play any Mortal Kombat is that they were deliberately trying to differentiate themselves from anything in Street Fighter, and while that does give them their own unique feeling and play style, it can be odd to get used to, especially if you're more comfortable with Japanese fighting games. After the first three games, however, it's best to just simply pretend that the series just died until 2011, and nothing at all ever happened ever since. If you don't, you're just opening yourself to a world of pain, disappointment, and Hsu Hao.

Mortal Kombat (Arcade)

Mortal Kombat Gold (Dreamcast)

Mortal Kombat (2011)


Characters


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Characters

Page 2:
Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat 2

Page 3:
Mortal Kombat 3
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Mortal Kombat Trilogy

Page 4:
Mortal Kombat 4
Mythologies: Sub-Zero
Special Forces

Page 5:
Deadly Alliance
Deception

Page 6:
Shaolin Monks
Armageddon

Page 7:
vs DC Universe
Mortal Kombat (2011)

Page 8:
Shows
Movies
Comics

Back to the Index