|Release Date||1992, October 8|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players|
|Arcade System||Midway Y Unit (upto Rev.3)|
Midway T Unit (Rev.4 onwards)
|Monitor||Raster graphics, horizontal orientation|
Buttons: 5 (HP, LP, BLOCK, HK, LK)
Sega Master System
PlayStation 2 (with Mortal Kombat: Deception Premium Pack)
PSP (as part of Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play)
PS3,XBOX360,Windows PC (As part of Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection)
- This article is about the original 1992 arcade game. For the 2011 remake, see Mortal Kombat (2011 video game).
Mortal Kombat is the first game in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by Midway. It was released in arcades in 1992. It centers on the first Mortal Kombat tournament (Shang Tsung, Goro, and Raiden know it is actually the 10th tournament) and the ultimate defeat of the evil Shang Tsung by the monk Liu Kang.
The game was a response by Midway to Capcom's highly successful Street Fighter II, which spawned a number of fighting games. However, it used a fighting system different from the Street Fighter formula, which was used in all sequels until Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The controls consisted of five buttons arranged in an "X" pattern: a high punch, a high kick, a low punch, a low kick, and a block button, as well as an eight-way joystick. Unlike Street Fighter, characters did not block while retreating or crouching, but required pushing the block button to low block. Even then, characters would take (reduced) damage from any hit while blocking. If the two fighters were fighting each other, hitting any of the attack buttons would result in a different strike that was unblockable: a low punch turned into a throw, a high punch turned into a heavy elbow, backhand, and either kick turned into a long strike. Crouching and hitting either punch resulted in an uppercut, which was the heaviest strike of the game. Jump kicking and crouch-kicking were executed in a similar fashion to Street Fighter.
The game retained a similar scoring system (based on successful hits, the Test Your Might minigame and other bonuses) to those games; this would be dropped in later entries to the Mortal Kombat series in favor of counting wins.
Another of the game's innovations was the Fatality, a special finishing move executed against a beaten opponent to kill them in a gruesome fashion. For example, one character (Sub-Zero) would grasp a defeated opponent by the head, then rip off their head and spine while the body crumpled to the ground in a pool of blood. Fatalities could only be executed after you had defeated your opponent in kombat, and essentially served as a memorable and gruesome sort of victory dance.
Mortal Kombat also introduced the concept of juggling, an idea so popular it has spread to many games and even other genres. Juggling takes advantage of the fact when a character is knocked into the air, that player is unable to control his or her character until he or she lands and gets up again. The idea behind juggling is to knock the enemy into the air and then follow up with other combat moves to keep them there. Theoretically, one could juggle one's opponent to death without ever taking damage, though this was difficult to accomplish in practice.
Finally, Mortal Kombat also changed the way special moves were performed. Street Fighter (and many other fighting games) performed most special moves in fractions of circles (usually full, half or one-quarter) on the joystick followed by a button press (such as a quarter-circle forward, plus punch). Mortal Kombat was the first to introduce moves that did not require a button press (such as tap back, tap back, then forward), and only a few of the special moves required circular joystick movement.
Characters and castEdit
- Johnny Cage - Daniel Pesina
- Liu Kang - Ho Sung Pak
- Sub-Zero - Daniel Pesina
- Scorpion - Daniel Pesina
- Raiden - Carlos Pesina
- Sonya Blade - Elizabeth Malecki
- Kano - Richard Divizio
- Goro (Only Gameboy, otherwise sub-boss) - Stop-motion
- Ermac (red palette swap of Scorpion)
There are a total of seven different backgrounds to fight on:
- Palace Gates
- Warrior Shrine
- Pit I - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted off the bridge where they will land on a bed of spikes. Although the announcer doesn't acknowledge it, this would be the series' first stage fatality.
- Throne Room
- Goro's Lair
- Pit Bottom (Versus Reptile Only)
Characters' live backgroundsEdit
- Reptile in The Pit Bottom
- Shang Tsung in Throne Room and Courtyard
- Goro in Goro's Lair (Liu Kang and Goro -- battleground)
500 years ago, the annual Shaolin Tournament, long the most prestigious fighting tournament in the world, was interrupted by the appearance of an old sorcerer and a strange four-armed creature, who entered the tournament and defeated the Great Kung Lao. This Shokan warrior was the half-human, half-dragon fighter named Goro, who became the ultimate fighting champion for the next five hundred years. This was all part of Shang Tsung's plan to tip the balance into chaos and help Outworld conquer the Earth Realm.
Liu Kang would go to the tournament with the intent to restore balance. A martial artist/movie star Johnny Cage also entered the tournament and befriended Liu when a fight broke out between himself and Kano. Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero was invited to join the tournament by Shang Tsung himself, two years earlier after his ordeal with Shinnok's Amulet. (According to his MK Ending, his reason for joining the tournament was to assassinate Shang Tsung, by the request of a wealthy enemy of Tsung's. This, however, was never mentioned again). The undead Shirai Ryu ninja Scorpion entered the tournament intending to kill Sub-Zero, believing Sub-Zero to be responsible for killing him (in Mythologies, it was also stated that Scorpion thought that Sub-Zero had murdered his family and clan as well). Raiden, the God of Thunder, was also asked personally by Shang Tsung himself, and Raiden himself boasted that "all those who would oppose Raiden would be crushed." He took the form of a human in order to participate in the tournament.
Kano, the Black Dragon's most diabolical thug, was being chased by a U.S. Special Forces Unit, led by Lt. Sonya Blade, when he managed to get onto the boat leading to the tournament; his goal in the tournament was to loot Shang Tsung's Palace (where the walls are rumored to be made of gold). Once Sonya and her men arrived, Shang Tsung had his personal army ambush them. The Special Forces Unit got caught in the surprise attack, so Sonya had no choice but to take part in the tournament in order to save her team. Thus the tournament was set.
With Outworld already having won 9 tournaments in a row, our heroes would have to avoid handing Earth Realm the 10th loss, or all of humanity would crumble into the darkness of the Outworld (the "10 tournaments in a row" detail was added in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and had previously been a key plot point in the film adaptation of the original Mortal Kombat).
Character bios and endingsEdit
Bio: A martial arts superstar trained by great masters from around the world, Cage uses his talents on the big screen. He is the current box-office champ and star of such movies as Dragon Fist and Dragon Fist II as well as the award-winning Sudden Violence.
Ending: Through the battles and life-or-death situations faced during the tournament, Johnny Cage learns the true importance of his fighting skills. He also realizes the full potential of the tournament.
He returns to Hollywood after defending his new title as Grand Champion. Cage goes on to film Mortal Kombat: The Movie and its many successful sequels.
Bio: Mercenary, thug, extortionist, and thief - Kano lives a life of crime and injustice. He is a devoted member of the Black Dragon, a dangerous group of cut-throat madmen feared and respected throughout all of crime's inner circles.
Ending: With the defeat of Goro and Shang Tsung, Kano will bring his own brand of treachery to the Tournament. His Black Dragon organization forms a monopoly over the contest that brings shame and torment to all those involved.
Their reign will end in anarchy and death. It will result in the final dismantling of the Tournament and the Battle of the Sans.
Bio: Once a member of the super-secret White Lotus Society, Liu Kang left the organization in order to represent the Shaolin temples in the Tournament. Kang is strong in his beliefs and despises Shang Tsung.
Ending: After defeating mighty Goro, and putting an end to Shang Tsung's rule over the tournament, Kang is able to return the contest to its rightful hosts - the Shaolin Temples.
Kang's heroics will always be remembered. He will continue the traditions of the Shaolin Temples and restore the true pride and respect of this once great tournament....
Bio: The name Raiden is actually that of a deity known as The Thunder God. It is rumored he received a personal invitation by Shang Tsung himself and took the form of a human to compete in the Tournament.
Ending: Raiden's victory comes as no surprise to him. He was never impressed by Shang Tsung's inferior sorcery, Goro's brute force, or the challenge of the other contestants. He quickly becomes bored with his mortal competition and soon invites other Gods to participate in the contest.
The Ensuing battles rage on for years. And the wars result in our world's final destruction. Have a Nice Day.
Bio: Like Sub-Zero, Scorpion's true name and origin are not known. He has shown from time to time distrust and hatred towards Sub-Zero. Between Ninjas, this is usually a sign of opposing clans.
Ending: Marked for death years ago by the Lin Kuei, Scorpion was murdered by Sub-Zero. He left behind a wife and child in his former life but was allowed to return and avenge his death.
Even with Scorpion's triumph in the Tournament and new title as Grand Champion, the price he paid was high. He can never again know his family and must exist forever with his secret curse.
Lt. Sonya BladeEdit
Bio: Sonya is a member of a top U.S. Special Forces unit and paramilitary police force. Her team was hot on the trail of Kano's Black Dragon organization. They followed them to an uncharted island where they were ambushed by Shang Tsung's personal army.
Ending: Captured by Shang Tsung, Sonya's Special Forces unit was taken hostage - their only hope was the tournament. Shang Tsung promised to release the entire team...only if Sonya could win the contest.
Her victory not only released her unit, but also put an end to the Black Dragon and Shang Tsung's powerful grip on the tournament.
Bio: The actual name or identity of this warrior is unknown. However, based on the markings of his uniform, it is believed he belongs to the Lin Kuei, a legendary clan of Chinese ninjas.
Ending: After receiving the title of Grand Champion, Sub-Zero disappears back in to the shadows from which he came.
His only goal in the tournament was the assassination of Shang Tsung. He was paid a large sum* of money by one of Tsung's wealthy enemies. With his mission accomplished, Sub-Zero will collect his fortune and retire from his dangerous profession.
* -- incorrectly spelled as "some" in the actual arcade game ending.
Mortal Kombat featured two bosses. One was a sub-boss (whom you'd have to face before challenging the main boss of the game). The sub-boss of the game was a four-armed Shokan warrior named Goro, a half-human, half-dragon beast. Upon Goro's defeat, the player would then face the game's main boss, Shang Tsung. Despite the sorcerer's old age, he moved with incredible speed and summoned skull fireballs at will. Shang Tsung's darkest magic empowered him to steal the souls of fallen adversaries. Due to this sorcery, he also had the ability to morph into any character in the game, including Goro, and assume their appearance and their special abilities. Upon defeat, the many warrior souls that Shang Tsung used during battle would leave his body and then he would be engulfed in flames.
From a marketing perspective, the 1993 launch of Mortal Kombat for video game consoles by Acclaim was probably the largest launch of a video game up until that time. A "Mortal Monday" TV campaign featured a flood of TV advertisements, which were unusual for video games at that time, and all four home versions of the game were made available for sale on the same date.
Versions of the original Mortal Kombat game appeared on several different formats, most notably the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Nintendo's SNES. When the first game in the series was released for the SNES in North America, Nintendo of America had a strict "Family Friendly" policy towards the content of the games released on their systems which required the removal of graphic violence, religious imagery and themes, mentions of death, sexual themes, and other sensitive subjects. Hence, the first Mortal Kombat game on the SNES had the blood recolored gray in an attempt to pass it off as sweat, and the various Fatality moves were graphically changed to be less gruesome. The SNES version was graphically superior to the Mega Drive/Genesis port, but all violence was censored.
- Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis (1993) - Mortal Monday edition. The Mega Drive/Genesis version was censored, but entering a secret cheat code restored the full gore and fatalities from the arcade version. This version was given an MA-13 rating by the Videogame Rating Council, and the game's soundtrack also contained the music from the arcade only rearranged and remixed rhythmically and melodically.
- Sega Mega-CD/Sega CD (1994) - This version of the game was released with arcade quality sound and a grainy version of the famous Mortal Monday commercial. This version did not require a code to be entered and thus was given an MA-17 rating. While this port was technologically inferior to the better-looking SNES port, it resembled the arcade version more faithfully in actual gameplay.
- Amiga (1993) - This version is famous for being able to perform all moves in the game using just one button on a joystick. This was required because most amiga joysticks of that time only had one button.
- Game Boy (1993) - Mortal Monday edition. This version is really popular for being the only game port where players can actually play as Goro. In edition a code would have to be input by holding diagonal up+left+select & A, after the end of the credits would roll. Like it's parent system (SNES) this port also didn't include any blood/gore. Due to memory space of the cartridge, this port omitted Johnny Cage.
- IBM PC (1993) - The IBM PC version is probably the most faithful port of the original arcade version. Mortal Kombat II would also see a PC port, with a similar result.
- Sega Game Gear (1993) - Mortal Monday edition. Much like it's parent system Mega Drive/Genesis, it was censored unless a cheat code had been entered. Also, because of the 8-bit nature of the Game Gear, the game was somewhat crippled: it featured fewer characters (for example, in this port, Kano isn't present), it had only 2 levels and the frame rate of the game was lower. This made it rather hard to do any kind of special move or fatality, due to its delay, which sometimes lasted almost a second.
- Sega Master System (1993) - Pretty much the exact same game as the Sega Game Gear edition, only difference really being is the characters along with anything else that was present on Game Gear, were much smaller.
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1993) - Mortal Monday edition. This version contained censored greyish blood, which is widely believed to be 'sweat'. Some critics overlooked the fact that the game played far differently from the original arcade version; for example, the venerable uppercut counter to air attacks was missing in action, and the combo system barely resembled the one from the arcade version. However, the graphics and sound are far superior to any other home console version.
- This game has been ported illegally to the Famicom in Asia. It has appeared in several multicarts in China.
- Mortal Kombat has also been ported to the PS3 and XBOX 360, as part of Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection.
Characters in portsEdit
| ||Selectable character|
| ||Unselectable character|
| ||Unlockable character|
| ||Secret unselectable character|
| ||Selectable thanks to game glitch|
| ||Selectable using a game-altering device|
|Character||Arcade||SNES||Mega Drive/Genesis||GameBoy||Game Gear/Master System||PC||Sega CD|| Tiger
|Johnny Cage|| || || || || || || |
|Kano|| || || || || || || |
|Raiden|| || || || || || || || |
|Liu Kang|| || || || || || || || |
|Sub-Zero|| || || || || || || || |
|Scorpion|| || || || || || || || |
|Sonya Blade|| || || || || || || || |
|Goro|| || || || || || || || |
|Shang Tsung|| || || || || || || |
|Reptile|| || || || || |
- In the arcade version of Mortal Kombat, an unproven glitch occasionally caused Scorpion or Sub-Zero to morph into a red ninja (due to color, with which the original ninja animations were shot), named "ERMAC" (short for "error macro"). This rumour spread like wild-fire when a magazine published "actual images" of this glitch, even though it was stated later on that it was a hoax. However, some players still believed that there was another secret character, when in fact they had only uncovered a programming bug. Due to the rumors surrounding the glitch, Midway did eventually include a red ninja character named Ermac as an official character in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and he has subsequently appeared in other Mortal Kombat games, such as Deception.
- Another false rumor that spread among many players was the existence of a code that would make Sonya appear naked in the game. Various reports told of its existence only appearing in the Sega version, only in the arcade version, and so on.
- In the arcade version of Mortal Kombat, a glitch could be done using Sub-Zero. It involves doing three uppercuts, two sweeps, and a freeze as the final move before the fatality. When this is accomplished, the opponent is seen being shattered as part of the fatality, but instead of disappearing as they should, the opponent is seen standing in the spot where their body was frozen.
- A real cheat code that could be used on the Genesis and Sega CD versions would unlock an entire menu in the main screen called "Cheat Enabled". In the menu a player could turn on and off certain aspects of the game, such as having shadows always crossing the moon during The Pit stage, infinite lives, or being able to choose the material for the Test Your Might stage. The code was "down - up - left - left - A - right - down", an acronym for DULLARD. It could only be performed at the main title screen.
- Reptile could be fought by executing a Fatality after fighting on The Pit stage, assuming a shadow flew over the moon in the background, without taking any damage or pressing the block button in the winning round (initially, this meant that Sonya, Liu Kang and Scorpion could not fight him at all, as their fatality required the block button to be pressed, but this was fixed in later versions. Kano was believed to not be able to fight Reptile as it was originally thought that his fatality needed the block button, but there is a way to perform it without pressing it). Reptile, a merge between Sub-Zero and Scorpion, is fought on the Pit Bottom. Later, in Mortal Kombat II, Reptile was developed into a full character with his own special moves and would be available from the outset. The SNES port, however, omitted the no-block rule, allowing any player to confront Reptile.
- The disembodied heads of various Midway employees like MK creators Ed Boon and John Tobias can be seen impaled on the bottom of The Pit stage.
- A carving of Pac-Man eating a pill, along with a ghost from Pac-Man, can be seen on the right wall of the Palace Gates stage.
- Instead of Johnny Cage, the designers intended to have martial arts star Jean Claude Van-Damme in the first game. However, he was involved in a Genesis game and declined. Ironically, that game never came to be.
- Another rampant rumor spread with the Genesis version of an African American kickboxer named Nimbus Terrafaux. It was simply just a magazine hoax.
- The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive ports of Mortal Kombat's soundtrack featured most of the music from the original arcade game. But were all remixed rhythmically and melodically.
- During discussions on porting the game to home game consoles, their were talks with TTI the US branch of NEC behind the Turbo Grafx 16 for an exclusive. However NEC, out of touch with its customer base declined stating gamers were tired of fighting games.
- Daniel Pesina, Richard Divizio and Ho Sung Pak appear in the movie "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze ".
- Mortal Kombat is also notorious for being the rival of Street Fighter II during its launch. This lead to an advertising campaign on Capcom's behalf where they attempted to show that SFII was the superior fighting title. Commercial
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 This information became available in future Mortal Kombat games, it was not mentioned in the original.
- ↑ http://www.pressthebuttons.com/2009/08/twenty-years-of-turbografx16.html