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A glitch is a short-lived computing error generated by an unintended execution.
Although often brief and resolved within mere seconds of occurring, glitches are popular amongst gamers and were especially laden in earlier games, often producing bizarre, beneficial or hurtful results in gameplay or graphics. Its longer-living counterpart is a bug.
Glitches in Mortal Kombat
Glitches are no stranger to the franchise and have, once discovered, been often exploited and/or experimented on. In earlier days, some may have perceived these strange occurrences as either hidden characters or moves well-placed within the game and have spread the news to others.
- Ermac - An abbreviation of the term 'Error Macro'. This glitch had inferred that a secret character alongside Reptile existed within the game that was not only harder to locate, but was also available as a playable character. The glitch rendered Scorpion in a red sheen instead of the usual yellow, which is in fact, the original costume color that was used in filming before it was digitally recolored. ERMACS is nothing more than a statistics listed within the arcade ROM's game audits.
- Double Super Uppercut - A glitch that required either precise time or rapid button mashing, it is possible to execute Johnny Cage's Fatality twice in a row, producing a second head in the process almost immediately after the original is knocked off.
Mortal Kombat II
- Baby Bashing - In Revision 2.1, the game did not lock the character's position after performing a Babality, allowing the player to continue on and proceed to attack the baby, resulting in severe graphical and gameplay glitches such as the characters disappearing and half of the screen replaced by a wall of scrambled sprite work.
- Deep Freeze Experiment - The first half of Sub-Zero's Deep Freeze Uppercut Fatality resets the finisher timer so that the user may inflict the fatal blow. However, using other Fatalities such as the Ice Grenade or a Stage Fatality or using Shang Tsung's morphs can produce different results.
- Freeze Frame Frenzy - This is a glitch that can be caused by performing a certain move over a hundred times in one round, mainly a teleport. While this isn't possible in the time allotted and because of how the timer goes down quickly, turning it off makes this doable. This seems to be related to how teleporting works in the game and once the threshold has been passed, the teleport frame will stay on screen, leaving behind a non-animated copy of your character. At this point, sprite loading will not function properly and if any more moves are performed, they become unusable. Finishing moves can be performed, but they produce incredibly strange effects, mostly missing sprites for Fatalities that call for a large number of animated objects like exploding bodies or Scorpion's Toasty. Several background sprites and features flickering or disappearing altogether or malfunctioning camera which causes the screen to scroll down instead of shake whenever a character hits the ground. Sometimes the Finisher message even fails to load, which could force the player to reset.
Mortal Kombat 3
- Kabal's Ripoff - While all characters have to grant "Mercy" before they can perform their Animality, Kabal doesn't have to in the Sega Genesis port. However, performing the Animality firsthand causes Kabal's head to fall off by no visible means.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
- Scislac Busorez - Playing as Human Smoke in the arcade, Xbox Live Arcade and Nintendo DS versions of UMK3 forces the background to Scislac Busorez and will remain in there in all fights (except bosses) until the player loses and chooses someone else.
- The Blackness Doesn't Affect Me! - Performing Classic Sub-Zero's Spine Rip Fatality as Shang Tsung causes the latter to unmorph and reappear in the blackness.
- Colored Ice - In the Genesis version, select Unmasked Sub-Zero and perform his Ice Clone move directly above the opponents head. The color of the ice will be the same color palette as the opponent. Example, doing this to Rain will turn the ice purple.
- In the DS version, when watching the Supreme Demonstration, the screen will not darken. Also, when Kabal's Animality is shown, after Stryker touches the floor, he will jump towards Kabal.
- Where's the Joke? - In the SNES and Genesis versions where the Quick Finish code is available, one can execute any finisher with one button. Pushing the button for Friendship while playing as Ermac, Classic Sub-Zero, Noob Saibot, Human Smoke and Mileena will cause them to freeze in place but the game will still go on as usual with the message appearing. This was due to the fact that they were not given Friendships until Trilogy.
- Sometimes, in the DS version, if you get defeat by either Classic Sub-Zero or Ermac, the screen will turn black, but Ermac/C. Sub-Zero will stand like normally and after a second, Shao Kahn will say “Ermac/Sub-Zero Wins, ANIMALITY”, this is because it isn't an Animality animation until Mortal Kombat Trilogy. The frog sprite for Ermac's Animality form is within the original arcade version ROM but is not animated.
- I Quit - In the arcade version if you let the Attract Mode run after finishing a game (either winning or through a Game Over), the attacking characters may instead either fall down or assume their win pose.
- Can't Do That Here - In the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, using Scorpion's Annihilation Fatality at the Subway stage will cause the game to soft reset or at least crash. In the split second that the game loads Scorpion's Lair, the background light sprites from the Subway are still visible, indicating that the animated sprites are the cause of this.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- Ice Spike - If you use Classic Sub-Zero's Ice Stalagmite Fatality on Smoke, he will become gray and red.
- Orange - Extremely rare, the arena will go black, the foreground objects would stay the same and all projectiles would be orange (e.g Kano's Blade Spin would glow orange instead of blue).
- Motaro's Snake - If Shang Tsung is attacked while morphed into Motaro at the very last second when he morphs back into Tsung, he will jump around the screen performing a gray version of his Animality, and then he will turn into a yellow blob of pixels every second.
- These aren't my clothes! - This only works in the N64 port. When Playing 3on3 Kombat, if both players have Rayden as the third kombatant and Player 2 loses his first two characters, his Rayden will come out with the default outfit as usual. However, if P2 still has Rayden, when Player 1's Rayden comes out, he will have P2's outfit. If P1's Rayden teleports, or gets up, his clothes will be back to the default color, effectively both Rayden's having the same color. Also works with P2.
- Music Cycle - Normally, all of the tracks in the disc versions of are around two minutes or so before fading out as they act as music files ripped from the OST rather than porting the music straight from UMK3. However, if you set the timer to 99 and wait for longer than that, the current BGM will fade away and play the next track in line. The process will repeat until the last track. Once it loads, it will attempt to load the next track in line, but this time it will begin to glitch up as it cycles through the Fatality jingles and eventually messes up completely as it plays a completely static track. This is actually the game attempting to read itself as music tracks.
- Boss Playthrough - Normally in the N64 version of the game, Shao Kahn and Motaro, although are not selectable in the character select screen, they can be made playable through a cheat code when on a certain stage (the only exception being when fighting against the bosses themselves). When holding the corresponding buttons for either boss, the fighter will transform into them. In a two player match, however, it's possible to perform this "transformation" twice, one for each round. If you win the match as a boss doing this and let the timer run out during the Continue screen, you will go to the Choose Your Destiny screen as normal, but you will instead play the next battle and the rest of the tournament as the boss character and can even fight the bosses normally. This is due to a sort of overriding glitch where the game officially registers the boss as a playable character after the second transformation, replacing the originally chosen character.
- Unstoppable - In the N64 version, there is an AI glitch exploit with Shao Kahn's Rising Charge that causes the opponent to simply stand there and take the hit without blocking. This is because the AI registers the player's position going into the air as if they were jumping forward but seem to never actually register the movement as an attack. If done again, they will immediately stand up without even going through the rising animation. If timed consecutively, it's possible to win the entire match this way as they will never attempt to block the attack. Interestingly, if done on Raiden, he will use a glitched palette as he has a unique rising animation.
Mortal Kombat 4
- Meat Reset - Clearing the game as Meat makes the game reset itself.
- Sometimes, when a character comes to deliver a neck-breaking move to the opponent, the other will say "Don't touch my head". When the move is performed, the player might be treated to a rare occurrence. Despite the opponent's neck being broken, he/she will scream out "AAAAH! My legs!"
- When a character is defeated and falls to the ground, they will sometimes get back up, but then fall right back down.
Mortal Kombat Gold
- Revenge of the Glitch - Mortal Kombat Gold is rather notorious for its numerous, randomly occurring glitches, notable for the fact that they can happen at anytime and anywhere. These were prominent in the original golden disc version.
Mutant Goro - Randomly when the player attempts to play as Goro through normal means, the disc may end up accidentally duplicating the opponent's model and try to read it through Goro's data, resulting in a disturbing, warped version of the opponent character, the exact form differing on the character Goro is fighting against.
Glitch Realm - Sometimes the whole game may fail to load and result in the entire menu being glitched aesthetically, although still working properly. However, during gameplay, the characters may be replaced with a random model and a small box, the arena turning black and the blood being replaced by the portraits of the characters
Meaty Walls - At other times, the backgrounds of the arena maybe replaced with Meat's textures.
Sektor Malfunction - The glitch is done by having Sektor being down to a sliver of health in the last round. Have him fire off a Homing Missile and then hit him for the Finish Him prompt. Immediately perform a Fatality on him. As it is being performed, the missile will return to hit the player out of the animation. Sektor will continue as if he is still being killed, but the winner is free to move around in some cases. In others, it may cause both Sektor's and the winner's model animations to glitch, resorting in hilariously contorted poses and movements.
Flaming Crazy - If Sektor performs his Flamethrower Fatality at the edge of the arena/screen, the victim will begin to flail about in a bizarre and distorted manner instead of running around before crumpling into a contorted mess.
- Toasty? - If Scorpion is the victim of the finisher, then Dan Forden will exclaim Toasty.
Abrupt Change of Tune - At random times when there is a lot of sound going on, the current music track abruptly changes to the Rain theme, only returning to normal on the next round.
Ripoff - (Works with the Easy Fatality cheat). Mashing the HP button constantly when the Finish Him/Her prompt pops up will cause the character to perform Kai's Body Rip Fatality. This glitch only works with the characters added to Gold with the exception of Sektor.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
- Endless Test Your Might - If the player starts a new Konquest Mode and plays it until mission 18, quits the Konquest, and starts Versus, they will need to do a Test Your Might. Finishing the minigame will make another one start, and repeats.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
- Self Inflicted Fatality - If the winner inputs a Fatality and the loser inputs a Hara Kiri at the same time, the Fatality will affect the winner, causing them to mutilate themselves. The glitch will use the loser's weapon if the fatality uses a weapon. The glitched fatalities can be seen here
- Purple Blades - In Konquest mode, training with Baraka will make his blades purple.
Mortal Kombat: Unchained
- Purple Blades - In Konquest mode, training with Baraka will make his blades purple.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Play as 0 - There is a Debug character known as "0", with a fighting style called, "Bug This". The look of the character is that of an unaltered female Kreate-A-Fighter. In order to use said character, start up a 2-Player game. From there, try to switch profiles while selecting your created fighter. If done correctly, when you go into the fight, you'll be playing as "0".
- Electric Impale - It works anywhere: in Arcade, Versus and Practice. It's simple: Choose Stryker and fight another random character on the Falling Cliffs. After a regular period of time, the edge of the Cliff falls off. Wait until the rocky edge has fallen off, then push your enemy right on the edge. Keep Stryker now on the center of the plain, when it shakes, wait 2 seconds then use his Stun Gun (Long Taser). The edge falls off along with him, you'll notice he still has electric shockwaves on his body until the screen gets black and the electricity sound can still be heard from the moment he falls to the moment the screen turns black (For another fight / Options / Kontinue / Further Practice etc.).
- CPU vs. CPU - NOTE: Whether or not this glitch works on any version other than PlayStation 2 is unknown. To make the game's computer fight itself, you must select Kombat on the main menu. From there, highlight either Arcade or Practice (This does not work on Versus mode). Press L1 to display the profile password box and input the following code: "L1, L1, L1, L1, X, down." Then, immediately press and hold L1, select the mode you highlighted earlier and mash any attack button. If done correctly, the player will either be guided to the character select screen for a split second, the arcade ladder screen, and then a CPU vs. CPU match if Arcade mode was selected, or directly to a CPU vs. CPU match if Practice mode was selected. In Arcade mode, despite the player's portrait always viewing Sareena, the P1 CPU will be the first opponent on the arcade ladder while the P2 CPU will be a randomly generated character. The fights can be exited at any time by pressing Start on either controller. Practice mode will only show an endless fight between two randomly generated characters on a random stage that can only be exited by resetting your console. Both CPUs will be set to Medium difficulty at all times.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- Jax's Power Fist - If the player presses pause for a long time right in the moment that Jax hits the ground with his "Ground Pound", there is a chance that Jax will get stuck with purple energy on his hand.
- Electrical Batman - If Batman launches his Batarang past the Joker, then Joker performs his "Put it there pal!" Special Move to electrify Batman, as soon as the Batarang hits The Joker, Batman will stay electrified.
- Liu Kang's Invisible Fire - When Liu Kang does his Flaming Dragon Special Move, if the player pauses it right when the Fire hits the opponent, Liu Kang will be stuck doing the same Low Fire maneuver without shooting fire.
- No Music? - Once the player goes to practice and keeps on pressing back, after 5 minutes, the music will turn off.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Klassic Ninjas' Color Swaps - Randomly, if the player is wearing a Klassic Costume, and encounters a hidden fighter, the fighter's clothes will swap to the player´s colors. This is most noticeable with Klassic Noob Saibot.
- Sub-zero's freeze glitches - You do this by using Sub-zero's ice clone move then, at a certain distance, performing an x-ray. The other person gets frozen from the ice clone just right before the x-ray begins. Then the other player will be frozen but will not have the ice-like texture. This can cause the other player to not be playable.
- Ermac needs better control of his powers - This glitch can only happen in Test your luck. (You have to play as Ermac) When the other player has a little health left, do Ermac's force push move. The other player will still be in this air, but will eventually come down.
- Will it ever end? - This is not exactly a glitch but can cause your system to freeze. Two players must be Kratos. One person shoots a projectile, then the other does the parry move, this continues until the game freezes.
- Kahn Kan't be Killed - If the player gets Shao Kahn's health down to 0% while Kahn is charging or is invulnerable, Kahn can still kill the player.
- Scorpion's Single Sword - If the player is playing in Scorpion's Klassic Costume and wins a round on the right side of the screen (P2's side), Scorpion will pull out a sword and do a pose with it, while a copy of the sword remains at its spot and the other sword disappears, even though Scorpion never touched it. When Scorpion sheathes it, the sword returns to its appropriate spot.
- Reptile Eats Hats - If the player uses Reptile's Klassic Yummy! Fatality on either Kung Lao or Raiden, their hat will go through Reptile's neck and disappear afterwards.
- Noob Saibot's Hidden Move - It seems that when in Tag-Team, if the opponent is using Noob Saibot with Ermac and switches out during a combo, he will shoot a puff of bright green smoke to the player.
- Invisible Sektor - If the player plays as Smoke and faces Sektor, when Sektor does the Homing Missile and the Teleport Uppercut in order, as Smoke uses Shake, as Sektor's uppercut contacts while Smoke counters the rocket, Sektor will turn invisible for a few seconds.
- Clipping Through the Hat - When Smoke does his Smoked Out Fatality on either Raiden or Kung Lao, his hand will clip through the hat. If Sonya Blade does her Kut-Throat Fatality on Raiden or Kung Lao, her arms will have severe clipping issues with the hats, mostly notable on Kung Lao.
- Frozen Sektor - Sometimes when fighting, Sektor will freeze, being unable to attack and unable to take damage.
- Ermac's Possession - When fighting Goro or Kintaro with Ermac, due to unknown circumstances, when you use his Force Push on them they might randomly continue floating to the top of the screen like they're being possessed.
- Gray Klassic - Certain X-Ray Attacks, such as Shang Tsung's, or Fatalities, such as Scorpion's Toasty or the Dead Pool Stage Fatality, on Klassic Costumed ninjas will cause the color of the costume to revert to its base gray color.
- Invisible Foe - This glitch is hard to preform and takes timing. This only works in a Tag Team Battle. Pick any character and the match must be timed. Get your super meter to X and use your X-Ray move on the last second with your opponent being able to die from the move. The other partner of the victim must be active. If done correctly, Kahn will say "Finish Him/Her!" and your opponent should be invisible. The invisible character can not be hit and this works on anyone other than Smoke or Reptile. The best performance should be with Scorpion using the X-Factor move. It's best to do it on the Tag Team Ladder.
- Undead Opponent - This is an alternate glitch of the Invisible Foe glitch. Use the X-Ray move but do it a little earlier on the last second. If done correctly, the first opponent should be gone and reappear. The health bars will not change and this only works in a Tag Team Battle but it's easier to do it in a 2 Player Battle. Remember: The 2nd Partner must be active and get your Super Meter to X just like the Invisible Foe glitch.
- Two Actual Noobs - This is a common glitch, and happens while Shang Tsung transforms into Noob Saibot, while the player is Noob himself. After the transformation, if a fatality is performed on Shang Tsung at the right time, Noob's clone will appear, but will look like the real Noob, and not in its shadow form. This will also happen during Noob's victory pose and first round win.
- Arms come back - This will indeed happen during a 2 player armless kombat while playing as Sheeva. If the player connects Sheeva's Stomp as the final attack in the winning round, the opponent will regrow back his/her arms.
- Chest Acid - This is a minor glitch and happens every time when a player selects Reptile and chooses his MK Costume. If the player uses Reptile's special move Invisibility and combines it with his enhanced special Acid Stream then the acid will be spewing from his chest instead of his mouth. To see exactly where the acid is coming from use his enhanced special Acid Stream right before Reptile is about to become visible. If the player timed this right they should see exactly where the acid is protruding from.
- Zombie Cure - In Zombie Kombat when Noob uses his Disabler move, the foe will turn back into human, but will still have wounds and red eyes.
- Noob's Lightened Smoke - If you perform the Two Actual Noobs glitch with Noob Saibot's Klassic costume, Noob's Smoke will not have any shadow effects and will be as light as the original Smoke.
- Armless Sub Zero creates armed Ice Clone - During Armless Kombat, If Sub Zero does his Ice Clone move, the clone will have arms.
- Headless opponent loses only one leg - If the player connects Jade's Staff Grapple as the final attack in the winning round during a Headless Combat, the opponent will only lose one leg.
- Armless Skarlet Character Intro Glitch - If Skarlet does her intro during an Armless Kombat. The flesh remains of her arms will just suddenly appear like they are floating before Skarlet shows herself fully.
- Invisible Shang Tsung - If timed correctly and if far enough, Shang Tsung will morph invisible if he wins a round against Noob Saibot or another Shang Tsung, if they are using their unique getting up motion.
- White Head - When in Headless Kombat as Klassic Smoke, if the player turns invisible and wait to reappear, the decapitated head will be completely white.
- Scorpion's invisible VS render - Go to the character select screen and immediately keep tapping the back button. If timed correctly, Scorpion's versus render will be missing on the select screen.
- Unwinnable Challenge 92 - On Challenge 92 ("Storm Front"), if Kabal is killed with Nightwolf's lightning, half of his body will stay on screen and the challenge won't end. (This happens randomly.)
- Mileena's clean face - This is a common glitch. If Mileena's MK3 costume is chosen and Mileena performs the Be Mine Fatality, Mileena's face will not be coated with blood. This can happen without the MK3 costume if Mileena performs this fatality on Raiden and Kung Lao.
- Goro/Kintaro Model issue - Due to the fact that Goro and Kintaro are unplayable characters in the game (Goro being an exception in Challenge #150) if they are made playable through hacking the game and their bio and 3D model are shown, their 3D model will have severe clipping issues with the arms, as the upper arms will go straight through the lower arms.
- X-Ray Glitch - The only way to perform the glitch is in 2P Tag Team, both players in the same team. This glitch is hard to perform can freeze the game, and requires VERY precise timing. When a player performs an X-Ray move, the other player presses Select with very precise timing; If performed even half second early/late, it will not work. For example, if P1 performs a X-Ray, and P2 presses Select at the right time, the result can be either two things; the opponent being attacked by an invisible figure, or P2 performing P1's X-Ray. Check "Mortal Kombat X Ray Glitch Compilation" for more information. Crashables: Kratos, Skarlet, Kano, Stryker, Jade, Kabal.
- Downloadable Content Select character - Though fixed in Ladder Mode in the latest patch, this can still be done in Training Mode. Choose your character as usual in the Character Select screen then scroll down over to the DLC character slot and highlight any of the characters. While the box is still open, cancel the selection and choose a character again for you. When selecting a character for the CPU again, move the cursor outside of the DLC box and try to highlight a DLC character again. Instead of Skarlet, you will end up highlighting the DLC section itself instead, known as "Downloadable Content Select", showing a blank monochrome red-colored male model, although this selection cannot be used. Attempting to select anyone else however with this glitch in effect will result in Sub-Zero's name being called out with his slot flashing, although the character you originally highlighting will appear as normal.
- In return...: By using Shang Tsung's Soul Steal move, you can temporarily play as the secret fight characters with their unique properties and special moves. However, this will take away your Super Meter for the rest of the match as none of the secret characters have one.
Mortal Kombat X
- Jason Can't Be Killed- When a Brutality is performed on Jason Voorhees in his Unstoppable variation, when the character does their Post-Brutality victory pose, Jason will sometimes do his Resurrection animation, but the fight will still be considered a win to Jason's opponent. There is a chance of this happening regardless of the damage done to Jason, for example this has a chance of happening even if Jason lost his legs as a result of the Brutality, or even his head.
- The best fatality ever- Online, if your opponent ragequits just as you perform a fatality, the winning player sits there doing nothing instead.
- Hatless Kung Lao- With Alien's Konjurer variation, when you grapple the opponent just as a Facehugger hits the opponent at a precise moment, Kung Lao permanently loses his hat for the battle. This limits Lao's attacks as most of Kung Lao's hits require his hat. When a match ends, the camera freaks out temporarily. Kung Lao's Hat Toss uses an invisible hat though, as well as his fatalities.