A Portal to the Past: Mortal Kombat

originaly posted on Screwattack.com


Looking back, through my gaming experience, there was no fighting game series that marked me as much as Mortal Kombat, placed at the top of the list, above such games as Street Fighter II, Killer Instinct, Dead or Alive, Tekken, Virtua Fighter and The King of Fighters series. It was in these glorious 16bit days, the golden age of Mortal Kombat series, when a marvelous set was released: MK, MK2, MK3 and my favorite Ultimate MK3.

The first title of the series isn’t my favorite. But, what made me revisiting this title instead of the others was the novelty factor of its gore and violence that made MK so famous.

Mortal Kombat, created by Ed Boon e John Tobias, was originally released for the arcades in 1992 and then ported on the home consoles, Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis, and later re-released on almost every console system, including handheld consoles. My whole experience of MK is mainly founded on the SEGA Genesis version and here there are some aspects that marked me while playing Mortal Kombat:


First of all, the Blood Code (SEGA Genesis)

The first time I played MK was on SEGA Genesis and I didn’t have this code. There was no blood and no bloody fatalities. So, I needed to search for it to be able to play the real thing, in those times I had no internet not even a PC, god bless the gaming magazines. Finally, when I found out the Blood Code (Down, Up, Left, Left, A, Right, Down on the main screen), it was bloody awesome. This code isn’t needed on the arcade, by standard, the blood and fatalities are already unlocked, and the SNES version was completely censored, no bloody stuff at all.



The Ninjas

In my opinion, Sub-Zero and Scorpion are the greatest combatants in the whole Mortal Kombat series. In the first Mortal Kombat, these two are the only playable ninjas, Reptile is in there as a secret opponent that you cannot play as. Sub-Zero is the blue guy who plays with ice and Scorpion is the yellow one best known for the totally badass line “GET OVER HERE”. Reptitle isn’t the same as the one from the rest of the series, in first MK he is a mix of Sub-Zero and Scorpion with a green ninja outfit. After the first title of the series, so many ninja fighters appeared that puzzled me, other regular ninjas with different colored outfits, the ninja women, the unmasked Sub-Zero and the Cyborg ninjas, if I’m missing someone just let me know.

It can be really hard but it can be really easy too

As much tough as the machine can be it will always have its flaws, precisely with that we usually find some cheap ways to beat the machine. It isn’t due to my laziness, in fact,I have the merit, because I found it out for myself.  Among the many ways to beat the machine easily, the ones I can remember well, are: by throwing Sub-Zero’s ice move to freeze the opponent, then using an uppercut and after that repeat the process over and over; with Scorpion is quite the same but by using the “GET OVER HERE” move; and with any of the fighters applying the jump forward and kick the opponent, then jump backwards and after that repeat the procedure. These kind of techniques aren’t 100% accurate, which it doesn’t prevent you to be knocked down by the CPU.



The Final Boss is piece of cake

It seems to be the rule in MK series (at least between the first MK and Ultimate MK3, I don’t remember so well how it was with the other titles), the main Boss it’s easier than the sub-Boss, in MK it was Goro, in MK2 was Kintaro and MK3/UMK3 was Motaro. All of these beasts are really tough, but as I’m talking about the first MK, before fighting Shang Tsung, the guy who collects souls, you must face Goro at Goro’s Lair. Well, that was a creepy place to be at, with some skeletons on the wall and some creatures with his eyes glaring in the dark, plus I find the Goro’s Lair music on Genesis scarier than on the other gaming platforms. Moving on, with some luck or with good skills, you pass the sub-Boss and then you will fight against the main Boss. Soon it’s noticed that Shang Tsung is really easy comparing with Goro, that is only special exceptional technique is to be able to morph into any character except Goro and Reptile.





Sub-Zero’s Fatality


Again, to perform the true fatality on 16bit SEGA the Blood Code is needed. Without any doubt, this finishing move is the best thing in MK, it is what makes MK so special. All the playable characters have their own fatality, but the most iconic is Sub-Zero’s barehanded technique of reaping the opponent’s head off along with the spine. That scene will always be in my mind. Of course there were other great examples, such as Scorpion’s fatality where he takes his mask off and shows off his skeleton head, and then, he spits out fire on the opponent. At the bottom, the worst is the fatality of Liu Kang, I just don’t understand, it really sucks.




The Reptile’s secret and the Pit stage


It is seeable that at the beginning of some fight rounds Reptile appears with some demand for you to do in order to meet him. Perhaps you achieve it and later on the Pit stage, you will notice something strange when you look at the moon. As I remember all you have to do is to beat the opponent with a Double Flawless Victory and perform a fatality and you will fight against Reptile at the bottom of the Pit. Another enigmatic thing about the Pit stage is the extra fatality of throwing the contestant down the pit.






There is nothing really meaningful about this, aside of, getting more points and some fun, only for a few times, you won’t going to lose a continue if you fail. It was important at the arcades, where it was really badass having the top score, but on the home consoles after you turn off the console the top score will be gone. Something similar can be found in Street Fighter II.


That’s it folks, hope you enjoyed, till next time…


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