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Mortal Kombat
Genre(s) Fighting
Developer(s) WB Games Chicago (formerly Midway Games)
Publisher(s) Midway (1992-2009)[1]
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (2009-present)[1]
Creator(s) Ed Boon and John Tobias
Composer(s) Dan Forden
Platform of origin Arcade
First release Mortal Kombat
August 1992
Latest release Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
November 16th, 2008
Spinoffs Films and television series, comic

Mortal Kombat is a best-selling series of fighting games, which were picked up by Acclaim Entertainment for the home console versions. Then Midway Games exclusively created home versions of Mortal Kombat. The franchise had been sold to Warner Bros. in July 2009.[1]

It is especially noted by G4TV and Forbes for its realistic digitized sprites (which differentiated it from its contemporaries' hand-drawn sprites), and its high levels of blood and gore, including, most notably, its graphic fatalities—finishing moves, requiring a sequence of buttons to perform, which, in part, led to the creation of the ESRB. [2][3]The series itself is also known for using the letter "K" in place of "C" for the hard C sound, thus misspelling the word "combat," as well as other words with the hard C sound within later games in the series. As a result of its success, Mortal Kombat has been spinned off into several films and television series.




The Mortal Kombat characters played virtually identically to one another (with the exception of unplayable bosses and hidden characters). Whereas other fighting games had characters with considerable differences in speed, range, height, normal moves, strength of normal moves, walking speeds, jumping heights and distances, and so on; characters in Mortal Kombat differed mostly in their special moves and finishing moves.[citation needed] In an interview with Computer and Video Games video game magazine, Ed Boon stated, "[...] since the beginning, one of the things that's separated us from other fighting games is the crazy moves we've put in it, like fireballs and all the magic moves, so to speak."[4]

Midway changed this in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance by differentiating characters normal moves and even giving them multiple fighting styles. Most characters would have two unarmed fighting styles, and one weapons style. There are a few exceptions to this, such as monster-like characters like Onaga, who would have only one fighting style. Most of the fighting styles featured are based on real martial arts styles, though a few of them are not. Goro's fighting styles, for example, are designed to take advantage of the fact that he has four arms. For Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, fighting styles were reduced to a maximum of two per character (generally one hand-to-hand combat style and one weapon style) due to the sheer number of playable characters.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe dropped the multiple fighting style trend altogether in favor of giving each character a much wider variety of special moves (with the exception of Baraka, who uses two fighting styles, one utilizing the retractable blades in his arms, and Deathstroke who also possesses the ability to use another fighting style in the form of a sword).

Mortal Kombat introduced the fatalities which are finishing moves that allow players to end a fight by killing their opponent in a gruesome manner.[5] Finishing moves in later games included the Animality (turning into an animal to violently finish off the opponent), the Mercy (where the victor gives a little health to the opponent), the Brutality (bashing an opponent into pieces with a long combination of hits or combo), the Hara-Kiri (as described by Gamespot, "[...] the hara-kiri, or self-fatality. Basically, players who've lost a match have the ability to punch in a command to perform a self-fatality." )[6], the Friendship, "[which] include[s] giving opponents a present or a bouquet of flowers, instead of killing them"[7], and the Babality "[where] your opponent turns into a baby."[7]. The Babality and Friendship moves were created as a satirical non-violent finishing move, a sarcastic swipe at the U.S. congressional Investigation for Violence in Videogames who came down harshly on the Mortal Kombat games. Purists, fonder of the earlier style, were upset by the introduction of such finishing moves, and Mortal Kombat's "purely explicit" and dark gameplay was once again implemented upon the release of Mortal Kombat 4.


Screenshot of Mortal Kombat.

The original Mortal Kombat was developed with digitized sprites based on actors, as opposed to animated cartoon graphics.[8] Mortal Kombat 4 brought the series into 3D, replacing the digitized fighters of previous games with polygon models.

More so than other fighting games at the time, Mortal Kombat was famous for re-coloring certain sprites to appear as different characters. This was most prominent with the series' various ninja/assassin characters. Many of the more popular characters were spawned from these palette swaps.[9]

In the very first game, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile were essentially the same character. The colors of their attire, fighting stance, and special techniques indicated the difference. Sub-Zero wore blue attire, Scorpion wore yellow, and Reptile wore green.[9] Later games added other ninjas based on the same model: Noob Saibot (fully black), Smoke (gray with an attire that emitted clouds of smoke), Ermac (red), and Rain (purple). Chameleon was later introduced as a ninja whose attire changed to match the other ninjas.

Easter eggs and secrets

Mortal Kombat included secret characters, secret games, and other Easter eggs. Mortal Kombat 3, for example, included a hidden game of Galaxian.[10] Many extras in the series have only been accessible through very challenging, demanding, and sometimes coincidental requirements.

The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis versions had some unique eggs: in Mortal Kombat, a head shot of the President of Probe Software, Fergus McGovern, flew in front of the moon in the Pit stage, while in Mortal Kombat II, Raiden could perform a "Fergality" (by pressing Back, Back, Back, Block as a fatality) on the Armory stage.

In the 1992 arcade original when fighting on The Pit stage (the bridge), the player could qualify to fight the hidden character Reptile.[11] The requirements to face Reptile would be met on home ports if the fighter achieved a double flawless victory without blocking, and performed the standard finishing move, rather than the finishing uppercut to the pit. In some versions, a silhouette must float across the moon in the background during the fight, as described above. In the original, Reptile was more or less a green coloured merger of the Sub-Zero and Scorpion characters. For Mortal Kombat II, he was made into a playable character–selectable from the outset, and given his own special moves and backstory.

Some Easter eggs originated from private jokes between members of the development team. The best-known example is "Toasty", which found its way into the game in the form of a small image of sound designer Dan Forden, who would appear in the corner of the screen during gameplay (after performing an uppercut) and yell the word "Toasty". This egg was also the key to unlocking the hidden character Smoke when it happened in the Portal stage. Another note of interest is in Mortal Kombat 4, Forden appears at the bottom of the screen saying "Toasty 3D!", a reference to the fact that it is the first 3D game of the series. "Toasty" is also found in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, appearing randomly after the character pulls off a chain of hits, though the picture of Forden was removed for that version. Pressing the start button during the Shaolin Monks "Toasty" results in the player receiving a bonus 1000 experience points.[12][13]

Later games included other jokes that originated in similar fashion; Mortal Kombat 4 had characters quickly uttering unintelligible battle cries such as saying "ooh I'm gonna throw you over there" when a player performed a throw (many are, in fact, screams of silly words in Spanish like "play the piano" and "don't touch me!") Yet another private joke was the hidden character "Noob Saibot", who appeared in various versions of the game. The character's name derived from two of the series' creators' surnames, Ed Boon, and John Tobias, spelled backwards. In addition, the character Ermac's name is short for "error macro" referring to a glitch in previous games that causes a ninja character to appear red, while Mokap's name is short for "Motion capture" (with the series' traditional K replacing the hard C) and is based upon Carlos Pesina who leads the motion capture team for modern MK games.


Video games

Fighting games

Mortal Kombat title was released for Arcade during August 1992, having since been ported to over ten consoles. The sequel, Mortal Kombat II was released for arcades in 1993, featuring an increased roster and improved graphics. Mortal Kombat 3 followed in 1995 in both arcade and console versions, later getting two updates which expanded the number of characters and other features from the game: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, published in the same year, and Mortal Kombat Trilogy the next one. The following game, Mortal Kombat 4, was released in 1997, and ported to the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, while an update named Mortal Kombat Gold was released exclusively for the Dreamcast in 1999. While to this point, Mortal Kombat games were only titled with their installment number, starting with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (also depicted by its logo as Mortal Kombat V[14]), the series' naming scheme changed to favor the use of sub-titles instead of the previously usual numbering.[15] Also, it was at this point that the series started being targeted at consoles only, with Mortal Kombat 4 being the last Mortal Kombat game to ever be released for the arcades. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was thus released in 2002 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 (PS2), and GameCube. Two ports for the Game Boy Advance were also released under the name of Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Revenge during 2003. The sequel from Deadly Alliance is Mortal Kombat: Deception developed in 2004 for the PS2, Xbox and GameCube.[16][17][18] A port for the PlayStation Portable, Mortal Kombat: Unchained, was released in 2006 by Just Games Interactive.[19] Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was published in the same year for the PS2, Xbox, and the Wii. On September 29, 2008, Midway released The Mortal Kombat Kollection, an anthology of the 3 most recent titles to the main franchise: Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. The latest MK fighting game is Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, a crossover between the MK franchise and DC Universe released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a ninth game in the series, initially known as Mortal Kombat 9 in development by Warner Bros. Games' Chicago studio, formerly Midway Games Chicago.[20][21]

Adventure games

Besides the fighting games, there are three adventure titles which work as spin-offs from the MK storyline. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero was released in 1997 for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The story is focused on the first incarnation character of Sub-Zero. Is in the timeline of before the first Mortal Kombat game. The next adventure game is Mortal Kombat: Special Forces released in 2000 for the PlayStation. It is an action game starring Major Jackson Briggs in his mission to capture members of the Black Dragon. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was released in 2005 for the PS2 and the Xbox. The game stars Liu Kang and Kung Lao. It tells an alternate version of the events between the first and second Mortal Kombat tournaments.

Other games

Raiden, Reptile, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero appeared as playable characters in early versions of the arcade game NBA Jam TE and its Sega Saturn conversion.[22] Raiden and Shinnok appeared as unlockable characters in the original NFL Blitz game as well as in NFL Blitz '99.[23][24] Scorpion, Noob Saibot, and Sub-Zero can be unlocked in the third-person arcade shooter The Grid.[25] Scorpion can be unlocked as a skin for the main character of the Midway game Psi Ops.[26] Raiden appeared as an unlockable character in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict[27](which coincidentally also included a fatality system similar to MK's). Shao Kahn's voice is also an alternate to the default announcer. Sub-Zero and Scorpion both appear as secret characters in MLB Slugfest Loaded.[28] In NBA Ballers: Phenom, in the Training Academy stage, characters such as Sub-Zero, Raiden, and Liu Kang in the background watch streetball with the crowd.[29] The Mortal Kombat characters are also featured in the trading card game Epic Battles which pits them against characters from other fighting game series.

Other media

Movies and television

Mortal Kombat was adapted into two major motion pictures, Mortal Kombat (1995), and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997). Neither film was screened for critics prior to theatrical release. The first movie was well received by fans of the series and became a financial success, eventually grossing $70 million in the U.S. (and over $125 million worldwide) while jump starting the Hollywood careers of Paul W. S. Anderson and Robin Shou, among others. That momentum did not carry over into Annihilation, however, which suffered from a poor reception with critics and fans alike, and grossed only $36 million in the U.S. and overall $51 million worldwide versus the first movie's worldwide intake of $122 million. A third film is currently in the development stage with a tentative release date of 2010, having read the script, Ed Boon has stated the next movie will actually be more of a reboot, as opposed to a third sequel as previously believed. The title "Mortal Kombat Devastation" appears to have been scrapped, as the current working title is simply "Mortal Kombat".

The franchise also sparked 2 TV series, the 1996 animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the 1998-1999 live-action Mortal Kombat: Conquest. Neither series ran for more than one season (despite the popularity of Conquest) due to budget constraints. Also, in 1995, an animated prequel to the first movie, titled Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, was released straight to home video. Coinciding with the popularity of TV media, the Mortal Kombat: Live Tour was launched at the end of 1995. The tour expanded to 1996 featuring MK characters in a theatrical display on stage.

Other merchandise

There have been several graphic novels based on Mortal Kombat. There were official MK and MKII comic books, the latter of which was written by Tobias. Both were advertised in the attract modes on early versions of the first two MK games. Meanwhile, in 1994, Malibu Comics launched an official MK comic book series, spawning two six-issue series ("Blood and Thunder" and "Battlewave"), along with several miniseries, and one-shot character issues, until production ended in August 1995.

Brady Games also produced a collectible card game based on Mortal Kombat called Mortal Kombat Kard Game in 1996.

Jeff Rovin penned a novelization of the first Mortal Kombat game, which was published in June 1995 in order to coincide with the release of the movie.

Mortal Kombat: The Album, a techno album based on the first game was created by the Immortals in 1994. It featured two themes for the game, Techno Syndrome and Hypnotic House. Techno Syndrome was adapted for the 1995 movie soundtrack, and incorporated the familiar Mortal Kombat yell first shown in the MK1 commercial for home systems.[1] Each movie to follow would also have their own soundtracks. In addition, samples from the video games have occurred in music, most notably music by KMFDM (also included in the movie soundtrack) and as source recordings in the Comparative Anatomy song 'Elephantality.'[citation needed]


Mortal Kombat started development in 1991 with only four people; Ed Boon, John Tobias, John Vogel, and Dan Forden.[30] As Ed Boon stated in an interview with Major Nelson "The first Mortal Kombat game was 4 guys, literally, one programmer, myself (Boon), two graphics guys (Tobias and Vogel), and a sound guy (Forden) was the entire team, literally"[31] Originally, Boon and Tobias wanted to create a video game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, with a digitized version of the action star fighting villains.[2] In a podcast interview with the Official Xbox Magazine, Ed Boon stated for six out of the 8 months while they were in production of Mortal Kombat, "...nobody could come up with a name nobody didn't hate." Some of the names suggested were Kumite, Dragon Attack, Death Blow, and even at one point, Fatality. Someone had written down "combat" on the drawing board for the names in Ed Boon's office and someone wrote a K over the C, according to Ed Boon, "...just to be kind of weird..." Steve Ritchie, a pinball designer at that time, was sitting in Ed Boon's office and saw the word "Kombat" and said to Ed Boon, 'Why don't you name it Mortal Kombat?' and according to Ed Boon, that name "just stuck."[32]

The series itself commonly uses the letter "K" in place of "C" for the hard C sound, thus misspelling the word "combat," as well as other words with the hard C sound within later games in the series. According to an interview with CraveOnline, Ed Boon stated that during game development they initially spell out the word grammatically correct as it should be but, "...someone on the team will always say, 'Shouldn't that be spelled with a K?' 'Oh, you're right, you're right.' Then we correct it like that. We don't try to do it but somebody will point it out at some point in the game."[33]

As outlined in an article by TIME in 2001, the team switched from digitized actors to motion capture technology stating, "To make the characters in video games more realistic, actors are being recruited to serve as models. Acclaim, the video-game company that made Mortal Kombat, has created a special 'motion capture studio' for this purpose. A martial-arts expert with as many as 100 electronic sensors taped to his body sends precise readings to a camera as he goes through his moves -- running, jumping, kicking, punching. The action is captured, digitized and synthesized into a "naked" wire-frame model stored in a computer. Those models can then be 'dressed' with clothing, facial expressions and other characteristics by means of a computer technique called texture mapping."[34]


The series takes place in a fictional universe that consists of six surviving realms which, according to in-game backstories, were created by the Elder Gods: Earthrealm, home to such legendary heroes as Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, and Jax, and also under the Protection of the Thunder God Raiden; Netherrealm, which fiery depths are inhospitable to but the most vile, a realm of demons and shadowy warriors; Outworld, a realm of constant strife and where Emperor Shao Kahn claims this realm as his own; Seido, The Realm of Order, whose inhabitants prize structure and order above all else; The Realm of Chaos, whose inhabitants do not abide by any rules whatsoever, where constant turmoil and change are worshipped here; and Edenia.[35][36] The Elder Gods decreed that the denizens of one realm could only conquer another realm by defeating the defending realm's greatest warriors in ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments.

The first Mortal Kombat game takes place in Earthrealm where seven different warriors with their own reasons for entering participated in the tournament with the eventual prize being the continued freedom of Earthrealm. Among the established warriors were Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage. With the help of the Thunder God Raiden, the Earthrealm warriors are victorious and Liu Kang becomes the new champion of Mortal Kombat.[37] In Mortal Kombat II, unable to deal with Shang Tsung's failure, Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn forces Earthrealm warriors to go to Outworld by kidnapping Sonya. They eventually thwart Shao Kahn's sinister plan and rescue Sonya. The Earthrealm warriors defeat Shao Kahn, ending his threat. With Kahn defeated, Edenia was freed from Outworld, and was returned to a whole realm. By Mortal Kombat 3, Shao Kahn revives Sindel, the Edenian queen in Earthrealm who committed suicide, combining it with Outworld. As such he attempts to invade Earthrealm but is defeated by the Earthrealm's warriors. The following game, Mortal Kombat 4, features the former elder god Shinnok attempting to conquer the realms and attempting to kill his enemy Raiden. However, he too is defeated by the Earthrealm warriors.

In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the sorcerers Quan Chi and Shang Tsung join forces to conquer the realms and subsequently become the antagonists. By Mortal Kombat: Deception, after several fights, the sorcerers emerge victorious having killed most of Earthrealms' warriors. Onaga, who had been freed by Reptile at the end of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance,[38] had deceived Shujinko, the protagonist of Mortal Kombat: Deception, into searching for six pieces of Kamidogu,[36] the source of Onaga's power. Onaga then confronted the alliance of Raiden, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi and thus obtained Quan Chi's amulet,[39] the final piece of his power, becoming the antagonist. Only a few warriors remained to combat against the Dragon King and his forces. Shujinko eventually triumphed over the Dragon King and removed his threat to the Mortal Kombat universe.[40]

In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon the catastrophe known as Armageddon starts. Centuries before the first Mortal Kombat, Queen Delia foretold the realms would be destroyed in an event known as Armageddon. King Argus had his sons, Taven, the protagonist of the game, and Daegon, put into incubation who would one day be awakened to save the realms from Armageddon. In the end, however, because Blaze's design has been corrupted by Onaga's holy men, Taven's victory over Blaze does not destroy the combatants or strip them of their powers, instead increasing the powers of the fighters, potentially exacerbating the onset of Armageddon. As a result, Taven will make it his duty as a new god to delay Armageddon until a solution can be found.[41]


Aggregate review scores
As of January 16th, 2010.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Mortal Kombat 84.17% (Sega Genesis)[42] , 83.3% (SNES)[43]
Mortal Kombat II 85.63% (Genesis),[44] 85.87% (SNES),[45] 68.40% (PS3)[46] 72 (PS3)[47]
Mortal Kombat 3 76.67% (Genesis),[48] 80.23% (SNES),[49] 70.33% (PS)[50]
Mortal Kombat 4 75.75% (PS),[51] 76.07% (N64)[52]
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance 82.67% (Xbox),[53] 82.17% (PS2),[54] 82.16% (GC)[55] 81 (Xbox),[56] 79 (PS2),[57] 81 (GC)[58]
Mortal Kombat: Deception 81.33% (Xbox),[59] 81.94% (PS2),[60] 77.43% (GC)[61] 81 (Xbox),[62] 81 (PS2),[63] 77 (GC)[64]
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon 77.39% (Xbox),[65] 75.66% (PS2),[66] 72.71% (Wii)[67] 77 (Xbox),[68] 75 (PS2),[69] 71 (Wii)[70]
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe 75.36% (X360),[71] 77.53%(PS3)[72] 72 (X360),[73] 76 (PS3)[74]

"The original Mortal Kombat video game debuted in 1992. Its combination of story line, character and mega-violence soon made it a hit worldwide. And the controversy engendered by its blood-gushing special effects only served to boost its popularity."[75] During 2007, Ed Boon reported that the Mortal Kombat series have sold 26 million copies.[30] During its release week, Mortal Kombat: Deception sold one million units, becoming the fastest-selling game in Midway's history.[76] In a 2007 listing of the 52 most important games of all time by GamePro, Mortal Kombat II ranked as number 38 because it was, "Arguably the best Western fighting game to date, and certainly the title that defined Mortal Kombat as a brand, this game launched a thousand imitators en route to becoming one of the most famous -- and infamous -- video games ever made. Its technical and artistic mastery is only matched by its gushing gore."[77] In article by, the Mortal Kombat series was ranked number 2, second only to God of War III, on the most beautiful deaths in gaming, stating, "You have to give the game that got the whole world interested in video games a mention. Besides featuring awesome death sequences, this was also the title that got the American government to take a stand against the gaming industry. Thanks to Mortal Kombat, we have the ESRB now to tell us if a game is safe for children, teens, or if only adults should play. Cheers to you, Mortal Kombat."[78] In a ranking by CraveOnline, Mortal Kombat was ranked one of the "Goriest, Bloodiest, Nastiest Video Games of all time" stating that it was responsible for three things,"1.Mainstream games would now follow MK’s lead and start including fountains of blood, gruesome executions and de-bonings like they were going out of style. 2.A rating scale would now be necessary for home console games going forward. 3.Nintendo would embarrass themselves with their shitty, non-violent port and finally have to sack up and start making games for adults for once." However, it condescended on the series by stating, "Not too bad for a game in which the same two or three palette swapped ninjas do the same goddamn moves over and over to each other before one of them gets bored and rips the other one’s head off!"[79] In another ranking by CraveOnline, it was ranked #2 of the "Top ten 2-D Fighters of all time".[80]

In a Poll, as of November 2009, 21% of voters rated Mortal Kombat as their favorite fighting game series, ranking third behind Street Fighter and Tekken.[81] GameTrailers ranked Mortal Kombat 9th in the Top Ten Fighting Games Franchises,[82] while Mortal Kombat II was 5th in Top 10 Arcade Games.[83] GameTrailers also ranked Mortal Kombat as the 7th bloodiest series of all time.[84] The fatalities finishing moves were featured in ScrewAttack's "Top 10 OMGWTF Moments" due to the competition it gave to other games including Street Fighter II and how it popularized the arcades.[85] Guinness World Records awarded the Mortal Kombat series with seven world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Most Successful Fighting Game Franchise",[86] "Biggest Fighting Game Series", and "Most Successful Video Game Spin-Off Soundtrack Album".

Mortal Kombat's commercials have also received some criticism. In the 1993 hearings on violent video games, Senator Joseph Lieberman criticized Sega for one of its TV commercials saying that the commercial promoted violence. The commercial, as described by Current Events, a Weekly Reader publication, "The TV commercial shows a boy gaining the respect of his friends after winning Mortal Kombat. At the end of the commercial, the boy angrily knocks over a tray of cookies given to him by friends now frightened by the boy's fighting ability. The boy roars, 'I said I wanted chocolate chip!'"[87] As well as an ad for Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks titled, "Blood on the Carpet" which was created by the London-based "Maverick Media" was, as quoted from The Register, "... slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority as condoning and glorifying violence." The commercial, as described by The Register, "It features a boardroom scene in which a Mr Linn, the mysterious trouble-shooter at a sales meeting, instructs two men to fight. Punches lead to a pen being stabbed into an arm; then a water jug is smashed over an executive's head – before his heart is ripped from his chest. Mr Linn concludes proceedings by decapitating another executive with his hat."[88] The result of the complaint was, as quoted from the ASA report, "We told Midway not to repeat the approach and told them to consult CAP Copy Advice before producing future ads."[89]

Court cases

On December 9, 1996, Daniel Pesina sued Midway Games, Williams Electronics Games, Inc, Acclaim, Nintendo, and Sega, alleging "that all defendants used his persona, name, and likeness without authorization in the home version of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II and the related products..." The conclusion of Daniel Pesina v. Midway Manufacturing Co. was that "alleged use of martial artist's name, likeness or persona in a martial arts video game did not violate his common-law right of publicity"[90]

On May 28, 1997, Philip Ahn (Shang Tsung), Elizabeth Malecki (Sonya), and Katalin Zamiar (Kitana, Mileena) jointly sued Midway Games, Williams Electronics Games, Acclaim, Nintendo, and Sega, for using their likenesses in an unauthorized way. "[They sought] a constructive trust on all moneys defendants received and continued to receive from their alleged breach of their dutys to [the] plaintiffs.[91]" Ahn, Zamiar, and Melecki alleged "...that they were only modeling for the coin-operated video game, not the subsequent home video, home computer, and hand-held versions of the game." The conclusion of Philip Ahn v. Midway Manufacturing, et al was "The plaintiffs lost on all counts because they had all consented to the videotaping and because the choreography and choice of movements used in the game were not jointly 'authored' by the individuals."[92]

On November 22, 1997, thirteen-year-old Noah Wilson died when his friend Yancy stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The mother of Noah, Andrea Wilson, alleges that her son was stabbed to death because of his obsession with the Midway game Mortal Kombat. She alleges that Yancy S. was so obsessed with the game, that the child thought he was actually the character Cyrax. This character, Cyrax, used a finishing move in which the character grabs the opponent in a headlock and stabs the character's opponent in the chest. Wilson alleges that this is the maneuver in which Yancy S., killed her son. However, despite the character's other varieties of finishing moves, the character Cyrax does not actually perform this move at all. The conclusion of Wilson v. Midway games, Inc. was, according to the court case report, "Wilson's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The product liability counts fail because Mortal Kombat is not a "product" within the purview-of the CPLA [...]"[93]

In 2006, attorney Jack Thompson ordered a cease and desist to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon stating, "'It has today come to my attention that the newly recently Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game.'"[94] He was indeed successful in the removing of the video containing his character-likeness from YouTube however he was unable to remove his character from the game as stated by Law Vibe, "...he was custom-made in the game!"[95]


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  12. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Review".;continue. Retrieved 2009-11-23. "In addition, Dan "Toasty" Forden's voice returns once again to utter the famous line at all the right times." 
  13. ^ "Toasty 1000". 
  14. ^ Mortal Kombat V: Deadly Alliance logo
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External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Mortal Kombat
Box artwork for Mortal Kombat.
Developer(s) Midway Games
Publisher(s) Midway Games (arcade), Acclaim (home conversions)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Fighting
System(s) Arcade, Commodore Amiga, Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega Channel, Sega Game Gear, MS-DOS, Sega CD, Sega Master System
Players 1-2
Series Mortal Kombat
This is the first game in the Mortal Kombat series. For other games in the series see the Mortal Kombat category.

Mortal Kombat is an infamous arcade game that was a developed by Midway in response to Capcom's successful Street Fighter II. It used a different kind of fighting system from Street Fighter's formula; the buttons were laid out in an "X" pattern with high punch, low punch, high kick, low kick, and block buttons along with an eight-way joystick. The game also introduced the concept of juggles, or the ability to attack the opponent while he or she is still in mid-air. One of the most famous (and notorious) features was the fatality, a finishing move executed on a defeated opponent in a gruesome fashion.

The game features seven playable characters, all of whom are unique in their own way, with different special moves and fighting styles. Unlike Street Fighter II, each fighter shares a common pool of regular moves (e.g. down and high punch performs an uppercut for every character.) Once the player chooses a character, he or she must face seven other combatants (including yourself) until they reach three endurance matches (which is a handicap match, or two against one) and the two bosses (a sub-boss named Goro and the final boss: Shang Tsung).


Table of Contents

  • Kintaro
  • Kung Lao
  • Liu Kang
  • Mileena
  • Nightwolf
  • Noob Saibot
  • Raiden
  • Rain
  • Reptile
  • Scorpion
  • Sektor
  • Shang Tsung
  • Sheeva
  • Sindel
  • Smoke
  • Smoke (Cyborg)
  • Sonya
  • Stryker
  • Sub-Zero
  • Sub-Zero (Unmasked)


Johnny Cage

Name Input
Green Bolt Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Shadow Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.png
Ball Buster Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Jump Kick to Shadow Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-UR.png Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LKick.png
Jump Kick to Jump Punch (in corner) Image:Arcade-Stick-UR.png Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-UR.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Uppercut to Shadow Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LKick.png
Fatality: Decapitation Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png


Name Input
Cannonball Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-360.png
Knife Throw Hold Image:Arcade-Button-Block.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png
Uppercut to Cannonball Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-360.png
Jump Kick to Cannonball Image:Arcade-Stick-UR.png Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-360.png
Fatality: Heart Rip (at close range) Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png

Liu Kang

Name Input
Fireball Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png
Flying Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-HKick.png
Uppercut to Flying Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Button-HKick.png
Jump Kick to Flying Kick Image:Arcade-Stick-UR.png Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Button-HKick.png
Fatality: Super Uppercut Image:Arcade-Stick-360.png


Name Input
Teleport Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Up.png
Lightning Bolt Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Torpedo Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png
Uppercut to Torpedo Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png
Fatality: Electrocution (at close range) Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png


Name Input
Spear Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Teleport Punch Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png
Spear Uppercut to Teleport Punch Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png
Fatality: Inferno Hold Image:Arcade-Button-Block.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Up.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Up.png

Sonya Blade

Name Input
Plasma Bolt Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Leg Grab Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png+ Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.png
Wave Punch Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png
Leg Grab to Plasma Bolt Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.png+Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.png Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Fatality: Kiss of Death Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Left.png Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png


Name Input
Freeze Image:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png
Slide Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.png+ Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.png+Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png
Jump Kick to Slide Image:Arcade-Stick-UR.pngImage:Arcade-Button-LKick.png Image:Arcade-Stick-Left.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LPunch.png+Image:Arcade-Button-LKick.png+Image:Arcade-Button-Block.png
Fatality: Spine Rip (at close range) Image:Arcade-Stick-Right.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Down.pngImage:Arcade-Stick-Right.png Image:Arcade-Button-HPunch.png


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Mortal Kombat

Developer(s) Arcade: Midway

Consoles: Probe Entertainment Limited
Sculptured Software Mobile: Backbone Entertainment

Publisher(s) Arcade: Midway

Consoles: Arena (NA & EU), Acclaim Japan (JP)
Mobile: THQ

Release date Arcade:

1992 (NA)
September 13, 1993 (NA)
May 27, 1994 (JP)
Game Gear and Game Boy:
1993 (NA)
December 24, 1993 (JP)
Sega CD:
May 26, 1994 (NA)
1995 (NA)
September, 2004 (NA)

Genre 2D fighter
Mode(s) Single player, Two player
Age rating(s)
Platform(s) Arcade game, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Super Nintendo, PC, Game Gear, Game Boy, Mobile
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Mortal Kombat is a controversial game released into arcades in the early 1990s. It used photorealistic images of digitized actors and stop-motion animated characters for each of the fighting characters in the game. Many religious and parental groups were appalled at the graphic violence displayed, and tried to rally against it, hoping to get it banned from being sold. However this effort only furthered the public's interest in it, causing the game to sell even more units. It also helped bring forth the ESRB ratings system.


It is a standard one-on-one tournament fighter game where one player's fighter confronts the other player's (or the computer's) to beat the opponent in two rounds, using high kicks, low kicks, high punches, low punches, blocks, jumps, and ducks. Each player selects his or her own fighter that has special attack moves that can be activated by using a controller code. When the player beats his opponent twice, the words FINISH HIM flash on the screen, which is that player's opportunity to activate a finishing move called a "fatality" on the opponent before he falls.


The characters in this game, all but three of which are playable, include:

  • KANO
  • REPTILE (secret character, not playable)
  • GORO (boss character, not playable)
  • SHANG TSUNG (final boss character, not playable)

The Gameboy version does not include Johnny Cage and Reptile, while the Game Gear version does not include Kano and Reptile. Both Goro and Shang Tsung can be unlocked for play in the Gameboy version via code.


The Super NES and Gameboy versions were released with the blood spews changed to sweat and some finishing moves altered to suit Nintendo's "family friendly" standards of videogame releases for their systems. The Genesis and Game Gear versions left the blood and finishing moves intact, though only accessible by entering a controller code before starting the game. The changes in the Nintendo system releases of the game resulted in negative feedback even from parents who believed they should be the ones who decide what their children should see in a videogame and not Nintendo. With the Super NES release of Mortal Kombat II, Nintendo allowed the blood and fatalities to remain intact, though they had to put a special label on the game box to warn people of its content.

Mortal Kombat series
Main series
Mortal Kombat | MK2 | MK3 | MK4 | Deadly Alliance | Deception | Armageddon | Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 | Mortal Kombat Trilogy | Mortal Kombat Gold | Mortal Kombat Advance | Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition | Mortal Kombat: Unchained
Adventure Games:
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero | Mortal Kombat: Special Forces | Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Black Dragon - Brotherhood of the Shadow - Deadly Alliance - Elder Gods - Lin Kuei - Outer World Investigation Agency
Red Dragon - Shirai Ryu - Special Forces - Tekunin - White Lotus Society - The Noob-Smoke Alliance - Wu Shi Academy
Ashrah - Baraka - Blaze - Bo' Rai Cho - Chameleon - Cyrax - Daegon - Dairou - Darrius - Drahmin - Ermac - Frost - Fujin - Goro - Havik - Hotaru - Hsu Hao - Jade - Jarek - Jax - Johnny Cage - Kabal - Kai - Kano - Kenshi - Khameleon - Kintaro - Kira - Kitana - Kobra - Kung Lao - Li Mei - Liu Kang - Mavado - Meat - Mileena - Mokap - Moloch - Motaro - Nightwolf - Nitara - Noob Saibot - Onaga - Quan Chi - Raiden - Rain - Reiko - Reptile - Sareena - Scorpion - Sektor - Shang Tsung - Shao Kahn - Sheeva - Shinnok - Shujinko - Sindel - Smoke - Sonya - Stryker - Sub-Zero - Tanya - Taven
Minor characters | Realms | Species | Storyline | Arenas| Konquest mode
Film: Mortal Kombat | Mortal Kombat: Annihilation | Mortal Kombat: Devastation | Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins
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