Mortal Kombat first graced our lives back in 1992. Published by Midway and a huge Arcade hit that dazzled with it’s amazing realistic looking digitised graphics. When it was announced for home consoles by Acclaim Entertainment, this game caused a serious stir for a multitude of reasons.
Game mode: Single Player or Two Player
Featuring seven playable characters, each with their own set of martial arts skills. The game also included the four-armed monster Goro, and Shang Tsung who had the ability to shape shift into any character of his choosing. Mortal Kombat also featured a hidden character called Reptile, he was a computer opponent only.
Reptile’s character was conceived while Ed Boon (Creator) was driving back from lunch. Noting the success of utilizing a palette swap method for Scorpio and Sub-Zero’s character sprites. Ed and Tobias (co-creator) decided tio include a “super secret hidden feature” in Mortal Kombat.
Reptile’s inclusion was intended as a marketing tool for the arcade game. As extreme conditions must be met to encounter Reptile, the designers hoped to rely on word of mouth to spread rumors of the character’s existence. However, the character was not included in the title until version 3.0 of the game.
“MORTAL MONDAY” – GET READY, THE IMMORTALS ARE COMING
The launch of Mortal Kombat on home console was probably the largest of it’s kind at the time. Channel 4’s Games Master with Dexter Fletcher new to the show, held a huge launch episode competition. It pitted players against each other on both SNES and Mega Drive versions.
After a flood of TV commercials, it launched on 13th September 1993, known as “Mortal Monday”. In the same year a comic book was written and illustrated by the games designer artist John Tobias and was available through mail order, it described the games backstory in greater detail.
The comic book was difficult to get hold of outside of the US, but the later released Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, featured the comic as an unlockable acheivement.
Mortal Kombat: The Album, an album by The Immortals featured typical early 90’s techno and was launched in May 1994. Featuring two themes for the game, “Hypnotic House” and “Techno Syndrome”, it also included themese written for each Mortal Kombat character.
MORTAL KOMBAT PORTS
On Mortal Monday, four versions of the game were initially launched. The SNES version was closest in graphics and sound to the coin-op. But because of Nintendo’s “Family-Friendly” approach, they replaced the blood with sweat, and dumbed down some of the fatalities.
Whilst the Sega Mega Drive version may not have looked as graphically polished, the game did feature a cheat on the opening titles where if you press “A,B,A,C,A,B,B” you will here Scorpio shout “Get over here” and the writing turns red, meaning you have activated the blood, this became a huge game in the 16-bit battle arguments on school playgorunds.
In america, the Genesis version was given a “MA-13” rating by the video game rating council, it was games like Mortal Kombat and Night Trap on Mega CD that sparked a rethink on games and introducing ratings systems.
The game also launched on the two handhelds, Game Gear and Game Boy, the Game Gear version was faster, in colour and had much more responsive controls than the Game Boy port.
The Game Gear port was later brought to the Master System in 1994, the Amiga version only got a release in Europe, whilst a NES version was planned, but got cancelled before entering the programming stage.
THE ARCADE GAME – SO REAL IT HURTS!
GAME PLATFORMS: Arcade, Super Nintendo, SEGA Mega Drive, Commodore Amiga, Game Gear, Game Boy, Mega CD, Master System, MS-DOS
GAME BOX ART
Arcade vs Amiga (Use the slider)
SNES vs Mega Drive
Game Boy vs Game Gear
Mega-CD vs Master System (Unfair, I know)
THE MAKING OF MORTAL KOMBAT, AS FEATURED ON GAMESMASTER
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