|Mortal Kombat 4|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players|
|Arcade System||Midway Zeus hardware|
Main CPU: TMS32031 (@ 50 MHz)
Sound CPU: ADSP2104 (@ 16 MHz)
Sound Chips: (2x) DMA-driven (@ 16 MHz)
|Monitor||Raster resolution 512 x 400 (Horizontal) Palette Colors 32768|
|Input||8-way joystick; 6 buttons|
|Ports||Arcade, Game Boy Color, PC, PlayStation, N64|
Mortal Kombat 4 (1997) was the last game in the Mortal Kombat series to have an arcade version and is the fourth game in the series. It was updated into Mortal Kombat Gold. MK Gold's story overrides MK4's. It is one of the few 3D fighting games to have been described as having "2D gameplay".
Early on, the development team at Midway decided to make a 3D Mortal Kombat to capitalize on the rising popularity of 3D games at the time. However, Midway decided to develop its own hardware (named "Zeus") from scratch, resulting in development delays (a large amount of the game was tested on two dimensional hardware using pre-rendered characters).
As revealed in later interviews, programmer Ed Boon was particularly concerned with maintaining the gameplay feel of a 2D game but with 3D graphics. He at first was worried that there was some intrinsic property of 3D graphics that would make this impossible. Essentially, the major gameplay difference between 2D and 3D fighting games of the time, was that up to that point all 3D fighting games had attempted to somewhat simulate realistic martial arts. One of the reasons this was done was to take advantage of the fluid keyframed and motion captured animation that was now possible using 3D models. For example, in Virtua Fighter, a real martial artist was filmed performing the moves, and this movement was imposed on the 3D model in the game. Thus, while a punch in a 2D game might be a rapidly responding move with two frames of animation, a punch in a 3D game might have a delay between when the button was pressed and when the opponent was hit, owing to the realistic animation.
This delay however fundamentally changed the gameplay experience. Boon eventually decided to use the non realistic 2D rates of animation and movement, simply imposed onto 3D graphics. Thus the gameplay experience is nearly identical to the 2D versions of Mortal Kombat. While this was attempted before with the Street Fighter EX series, that series used more complex animation which did change the gameplay somewhat. Some critics however, were disappointed that Mortal Kombat 4 did not play like other popular 3D games of the time.
- Fujin (God of Wind, ally of Raiden)
- Jarek (the last Black Dragon)
- Kai (Shaolin Monk and friend of Liu Kang)
- Reiko (Shinnok's general)
- Quan Chi (mysterious evil sorcerer)
- Shinnok (imprisoned Elder God)
- Tanya (a traitor to Edenia)
- Meat (a bloody skeleton)
- Jax Briggs
- Johnny Cage
- Liu Kang
- Reptile (noticeably devolved from Mortal Kombat Trilogy)
- Sonya Blade
- Goro (not featured in the arcade version of MK4, added as a sub-boss for the console versions of the game.)
- Noob Saibot (as a secret character)
Boss and Sub-Boss
- Goro (Home Version only)
New to the series
- MK4 is the first Mortal Kombat game to have entirely computer-generated characters, although the texture maps of the characters were taken from most of the live-action actors of the previous games and animations were all generated via motion capture.
- MK4 introduces a limited weapon system to the series.
- MK4 also introduces 3D combat, although limited to sidestepping.
- Finally, MK4 added a 'Maximum Damage' cap to the game's combo system, automatically breaking off combos if they deal over a set amount of damage to a player and, thus, preventing infinite combos (although this cap can be removed with a code).
Thousands of years ago in a battle with the fallen elder god known as Shinnok, I was responsible for the death of an entire civilization. To rid all realms of Shinnok's menace I waged a war that plunged the earth into centuries of darkness and banished Shinnok to a place called the Netherrealm. Now after Shao Kahn's defeat at the hands of the earth warriors, Shinnok has managed to escape his confines of the Netherrealm. The war is now being fought once again, and this time it can be won by mortals. - The Words of Raiden
Some players have 3 costumes to play with any of them do the following : In the arcade mode highlight any character then press start and hold it.
Then press any action button once, twice or thrice.
Mortal Kombat 4 was ported to the Game Boy Color, Playstation, Nintendo 64, and PC.
Characters in ports
|Secret selectable character|
|Selectable using a game-altering device|
|Character||Arcade||PlayStation||Nintendo 64||PC||Game Boy Color||DreamCast (Mortal Kombat Gold)|
Initial reaction to the new 3D look of the series (as is often the case with long running series) was negative, but MK4 managed to be a financial success due to an aggressive advertisement campaign which included a set of live action adverts filmed in Mexico and a US-wide tour of the arcade version by the game's creators which helped spread the word.
Although the game was hugely popular, it failed to pull Mortal Kombat out of a slump that began that same year. In fact, from 1997 to 1999 the series waned due to several Mortal Kombat projects that were either short lived, mediocre in quality, or shoddy all together. It was also the time in which John Tobias, the main storyteller, and much of Midway's staff resigned since the industry had recently made one flop after another.
MK4 was also to be the last Mortal Kombat game released in the arcades due to a dramatic drop in arcade popularity around 2000.
- MK4 was actually not the first game that was created by Midway with the new Zeus software. A fighting game titled War Gods was released several months before MK4's debut. Unfortunately, it bombed in arcades.
- Reptile makes his first playable appearance in the series without his mask.
- Kitana was originally planned to be in Mortal Kombat 4. However, due to there not being enough new characters in the game, her color palette was changed to brown to make Tanya. Her coding is still in the N64 version of the game, and she can be accessed with a GameShark. Her coding is also in the PC version, but it can be only accessed via a trainer. While Kitana's model and textures were deleted from the Playstation version, her moves were left in, and can be assigned to any character with a GameShark.
- None of the game actors from the previous MK titles were used in MK4. Ed Boon, John Vogel and several other Midway employees provided motion-capture footage for the characters. In the end credits, several past actors such as Carlos Pesina, Tony Marquez, Kerri Hoskins and Sal Divita are mentioned as providing motion capture.
- Sindel was supposed to be featured in the game with Kitana, but was scrapped out due to Fujin resembling her and having a similar Fatality.
- Scorpion's "Get over here!" audio clip from this game was recycled in future games, notably in Mortal Kombat (2011).
- Though the character Reiko is male, Reiko is actually a feminine Japanese name.
- Sareena was considered to be added to the roster (the MK team wanting to include another Mythologies character in addition to Quan Chi and Shinnok), but they decided to use Fujin instead.
- First MK game to have animated endings.
- In the CD-based versions and the N64 version of the game, the backgrounds of Goro's portrait is different, depending the version. In the N64 version, the background has flames in it, while on CD-based versions it is purple.
- Kano was also planned for MK4, however, due to there not being enough new characters in the game, they left Kano out of the roster and put Jarek instead of him.
- This is the only main game in the series to not feature Shang Tsung as a playable character, nor in the form of a cameo.
- Some male characters, when performing a throw, will say a gibberish statement that sounds like, "Hey I'm gonna throw you over there!" Also, Sub-Zero will say "Toca el hielo" (Touch the ice) when he does his Ice Clone move. Strangely enough, some other characters will say this statement when they do certain moves.
- 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.