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Mortal Kombat

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MortalKombat title.png
Mortal Kombat
Publisher: Arena, Acclaim (JP)
Developer:
Developer(s) of original games: Midway
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Peripherals supported:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega-CD
Six button pad
Genre: Action































Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥7,800 T-81013
Sega Mega Drive
US
$? T-81186
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£49.99[2] T-81186-50
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F T-81186-50
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM 140[3] T-81186-50
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas T-81186-50
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
BR
R$? 047030



Sega Master System
UK
£34.99[4] MK-29021-50
Sega Master System
FR
?F MK-29021-50
Sega Master System
DE
DM 120[5] MK-29021-50
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas MK-29021-50
Sega Master System
BR
R$? 028240



Sega Game Gear
JP
¥4,800 T-81017
Sega Game Gear
US
$? T-81198
Sega Game Gear
UK
£? T-81198-50
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F T-81198-50
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? T-81198-50
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas T-81198-50
Sega Game Gear
PT
? ?



Sega Mega-CD
JP
¥6,800 T-81014
Sega Mega-CD
US
$? T-81025
Sega Mega-CD
UK
£39.95[7] T-81025-50
Sega Mega-CD
FR
?F T-81025-50
Sega Mega-CD
DE
DM ? T-81025-50
Sega Mega-CD
ES
?Ptas T-81025-50
Sega Mega-CD
BR
R$? 063240



Mortal Kombat (モータルコンバット), also known as Mortal Kombat Kanzen-ban (モータルコンバット完全版) on the Mega-CD in Japan, is a 1992 arcade fighting game by Midway. At the time, it was considered revolutionary for its use of digitized graphics, though was also met with controversy thanks to its high levels of violence.

Following its release in the arcades, home versions were created and released in September 1993 on a date which became known as "Mortal Monday". This date saw Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear versions of the game (among versions for other systems), published by Arena simultaneously in North America and Europe, although Japan and Brazil were forced to wait some months later and a Sega Mega-CD version did not arrive until 1994.

Gameplay

Like in most fighting games, Down crouches, Up jumps, UpLeft and UpRight flip back and forward respectively. All characters have punches and kicks that can either be aimed high or low, and a block button. Using a three-button controller A and Left+A do low and high punches, respectively, B and C do low and high kicks, also respectively, and Start blocks. Six-button controllers have A and X assigned for punches, C and Z for kicks, B and Y for blocking. In the 8-bit versions 1 punches and 2 kicks; block is assigned to Start in the Game Gear version, and Down+1 in the Master System version. Combinations of buttons can be used to perform special moves such as projectiles, throws, and other special attacks.

After a set number of matches players can play a minigame called "Test Your Might" and break objects by rapidly tapping buttons to raise a stamina bar, then pressing block to launch the attack. At the end of a match, players can use a finishing move which kills their opponent in various ways. By default violent finishing moves are censored and blood is disabled. By entering a special code blood will be enabled and some finishing moves will be more graphic.

Characters

MK MD JohnnyCage portrait.png Johnny Cage
MK MD Kano portrait.png Kano
MK MD LiuKang portrait.png Liu Kang
MK MD Rayden portrait.png Rayden
MK MD Scorpion portrait.png Scorpion
MK MD SonyaBlade portrait.png Sonya Blade
MK MD SubZero portrait.png Sub-Zero
MK MD Goro portrait.png Goro
Penultimate enemy; non-playable.
MK MD ShangTsung portrait.png Shang Tsung
Final enemy; non-playable.

History

Release

Sega's success with the Mega Drive version of the game prompted Nintendo to change their somewhat strict policies put forward in the late 1980s, and the SNES version of the sequel, Mortal Kombat II features red blood. Sega's Videogame Rating Council was also criticised for rating the Mega Drive version of the game a MA-13, implying that the game's content in its non-censored state was suitable for 13-year-olds. Mortal Kombat and other games such as Night Trap would inspire the creation of the ESRB, which would cover all game consoles in North America and remains in place to this day.

It has been said that the Mega Drive version was not released in Spain, as Sega España was fearful of the controversy surrounding the game's release[8].

Legacy

Mortal Kombat was followed by Mortal Kombat II in the following year, and continues to see sequels to this day.

Versions

Mega Drive version

The Mega Drive version was a mini-success story for Sega. This is because the Super Nintendo version, at the time in direct competition with Sega's console, opted for strict censorship, removing blood, toning down fatalities and creating a far less "violent" product. The Mega Drive version was considerably more faithful to the arcade original, and was the preferred choice at the time by consumers.

The Mega Drive version is censored by default, but the full gore can be unlocked with the code ABACABB. This combo is a nod to the Abacab album by the band Genesis, who share the same name as the console in North America.

There is a unique Easter egg in the Mega Drive version, in which the president of Probe Software, Fergus McGoven, sometimes flies in front of the moon on the "The Pit" stage. The music was also rearranged by Matt Furniss, this arrangement being unique to this port.

Mega-CD version

The Mega-CD version was rated MA-17 in North America and was therefore subject to less criticism. In fact, there is actually a code to turn the gore down in the Mega-CD port - DownUpLeftLeftARightDown.

As well as a CD audio soundtrack (which is essentially a recording of the arcade version), the game contains a grainy version of the famous "Mortal Monday" TV commercial. Some tracks play in the wrong stages, though there are some bonus remixes that can be heard if the game is played on a regular CD player.

The Mega-CD version is otherwise identical to the Mega Drive version, though load times can mean that Shang Tsung is open to attack while transforming. Curiously this version uses fighting music track from Amiga port when fighting Shang Tsung.

Master System version

Predictably the Master System version is toned down for the weaker hardware, and is censored until a cheat code is inputted. Kano and Reptile have been omitted from this version, presumably to save space. It includes only Goro's Lair and The Pit stages, the latter having stage fatality removed. The music is based on Allister Brimble's arrangement, the arrangement shared with PC Floppy and Game Boy ports.

Like all Master System games post 1991, this version was not released in North America.

Game Gear version

The Game Gear version is almost identical to the Master System port, but suffers from a smaller screen size.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Source: In-game credits
Mortal Kombat Cast of Characters
  • Daniel Pesina as Johnny Cage
  • Richard Divizio as Kano
  • Carlos Pesina as Rayden
  • Ho Sung Pak as Liu Kang
  • Daniel Pesina as Scorpion
  • Daniel Pesina as Sub-Zero
  • Elizabeth Malecki as Sonya
  • Goro Character Design: John Tobias
  • Stop Motion Miniature: Curt Chiarelli
  • Ho Sung Pak as Shang Tsung
Mortal Kombat Design Team
  • Software: Paul Carruthers
  • Additional Software: Richard Costello
  • Graphics: Lee Ames
  • Producer: Gary Liddon
  • Music and Sound: Matt Furniss, Shaun Hollingworth
  • Testing: James, Simon, Barg and Tim
  • Special Thanks to: Dave Spangle
Acclaim Development by the Grey Team
  • Producer: Rob Leingang
  • Associate Producer: Stacy Hendrickson
  • Analysts: Tyrone Miller, Joe Libertella, Tom Rademacher, Jim MK Fink
  • Special Thanks to: Eric, Alex and Tony, Ed and John at Williams

Mega-CD version

Source: In-game credits
Mortal Kombat Cast of Characters
  • Daniel Pesina as Johnny Cage
  • Richard Divizio as Kano
  • Carlos Pesina as Rayden
  • Ho Sung Pak as Liu Kang
  • Daniel Pesina as Scorpion
  • Daniel Pesina as Sub-Zero
  • Elizabeth Malecki as Sonya
  • Goro Character Design: John Tobias
  • Stop Motion Miniature: Curt Chiarelli
  • Ho Sung Pak as Shang Tsung
Mortal Kombat Design Team
For Midway
  • Design and Software: Ed Boon
  • Design and Graphics: John Tobias
  • Music and Sounds: Dan Forden
  • Background Graphics: John Vogel
  • Software: Paul Carruthers
  • Graphics: Lee Ames
  • Producer: Adrian Curry
  • Sound Effects: Andy Brock
  • QA Technicians: Tim Bradstock, Simon Bland, James Stewart, Ashley Fawkes
  • QA Manager: Barg
  • Special Thanks to: Greg Michael, Bob Armour, Richard Costello, Gary Liddon, Dave Dootson, Dave Spangle, Rusty Chestnut, Dr Helmutt Moss, Mr Fish
Acclaim Development by the Grey Team
  • Producer: Rob Leingang
  • Associate Producer: Stacy Hendrickson
  • Analysts: Alex DeLucia, Joe Libertella, James Johnson
  • Special Thanks to: Eric Samulski, Wang Lee, -

Master System and Game Gear versions

Source: In-game credits
Mortal Kombat Cast of Characters
  • Daniel Pesina as Johnny Cage
  • Carlos Pesina as Rayden
  • Ho Sung Pak as Liu Kang
  • Daniel Pesina as Scorpion
  • Daniel Pesina as Sub Zero
  • Elizabeth Malecki as Sonya
  • Goro Character Design by: John Tobias
  • Stop Motion Miniature by: Curt Chiarelli
  • Ho Sung Pak as Shang Tsung
  • Programming by: Keith Burkhill
  • Backgrounds by: Lee Ames
  • Other Graphics by: Keith Burkhill
  • Music by: Allister Brimble
  • Produced by: Gary Liddon
  • Quality Assurance by the Probe Quality Assurance Department Who Are: Simon Bland, Barg, James Stewart, Tim Bradstock
Acclaim Development by the Grey Team
  • Producer: Rob Leingang
  • Associate Producer: Stacy Hendrickson
  • Analysts: Tyrone Miller, Joe Libertella, Tom Rademacher, Jim MK Fink
  • Special Thanks to: Eric

Magazine articles

Main article: Mortal Kombat/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
GamePro (US) #48: "July 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #54: "July 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[9]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #55: "August 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[10]
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #49: "August 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[11]
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #50: "September 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[12]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #14: "August/September 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
VideoGames (US) #58: "November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #15: "October/November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega-CD print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #17: "February/March 1994" (199x-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega-CD print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #59: "June 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Magazine (UK) #1: "January 1994" (1993-12-10)
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Joypad (FR) #23: "Septembre 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Consoles + (FR) #23: "Septembre 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[13]
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Play Time (DE) #9/93 (1993-08-04)
also published in:
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Aktueller Software Markt (DE) "Oktober 1993" (1993-09-13)
also published in:
  • Play Time (DE) #10/93 (1993-09-08)[15]
</div>
Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Magazin (DE) #2: "November/Dezember 1993" (1993-11-03)
also published in:
  • MAN!AC (DE) #11/93 (1993-xx-xx)[16]
  • MAN!AC (DE) #12/93 (1993-11-10)[17]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Video Games (DE) #12/93 (1993-11-22)
also published in:
  • MAN!AC (DE) #01/94 (1993-12-08)[18]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive/Master System advert in
SuperGamePower (BR) #2: "Maio 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
</div>

Sega Master Force Combat Cards

Screenshots

Mega Drive version

Master System version

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
83 №11/93, p36[19]
92 №23, p18/19[20]
90 №141, p48-51[2]
90
88 №50, p56-58[21]
92 №8, p34-36
81 №37
93 №23, p38/39[22]
74 №1, p57/58[23]
95 №13, p28-31
82 №13, p46/47
90 №5, p18/19
94 №20, p82-86[24]
85 №10/93, p30[25]
80 №2, p60-63
90 №21, p76-79
79 №11, p70-73[26]
93 №34, p75[27]
73 №11/93, p136
83 №48, p66/67
93 №23, p36-38
94 №2, p16-19[28]
92
80 №11/93, p110-113[29]
Sega Mega Drive
87
Based on
24 reviews

Mega Drive, US
MK MD US Box.jpg
Cover
MK MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Mortalkombat md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
MK MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
MK MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
MK MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat MD JP CartTop.jpg
MortalKombat MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, AU

MK MD AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mortal Kombat Megadrive AUS Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, BR
MK MD BR Box.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, FR

Mortal Kombat MD FR Manual.pdf
Manual

Mega-CD version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 №33, p148[30]
63 №59, p34[31]
80
72 №vol.7, 5, p34/35[32]
20 №60, p62[33]
67 №17, p66
86
78 №22, p46[34]
72
80 №20, p74/75[7]
89 №43, p96[35]
58 №7, p92/93
85 №56, p44/45
93 №34, p46/47
60
81 №7/94, p80[36]
Sega Mega-CD
74
Based on
16 reviews

Mega-CD, US
MK MCD US Box Back.JPGMK MCD US Box Front.JPG
Cover
MK MCD US Disc.jpg
Disc
Mortalkombat mcd us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, EU
MK MCD EU Box Back.jpgMK MCD EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat MCD EU Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, JP
MK MCD JP Box Back.jpgMK MCD JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
MortalKombatCD MCD JP Spinecard.JPG
Spinecard
MortalKombatCD MCD JP Disc.jpg
Disc
MortalKombat MCD JP manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, BR
MK MCD BR Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMK MCD BR Box Front.jpg
Cover
Mortal Kombat MCD BR Manual.pdf
Manual

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60
82 №23, p40[37]
71 №1, p79[5]
71
94 №35, p152[38]
92 №3, p18-21[39]
93 №23, p40/41
92 №7, p58/59[40]
52
55 №11/93, p110-113[41]
Sega Master System
76
Based on
10 reviews

Master System, EU
MK SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
MK SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU
MortalKombat SMS AU Box.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat SMS AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, BR
MK SMS BR Box.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Mortalkombat sms br manual.pdf
Manual

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60
82
83 №50, p62/63[42]
93 №24, p92[43]
92 №21, p122/123[44]
94 №35, p152[38]
90
89 №49, p100/101
91 №24, p48
89 №13, p62
73
75 №11/93, p110-113[45]
Sega Game Gear
84
Based on
12 reviews

Game Gear, US
MK GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMK GG US Box Front.jpg
Cover
MK GG US Cart.jpg
Cart
Mortalkombat gg us manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, EU
MK GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMK GG EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat GG EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP
MK GG JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
MortalKombat GG JP Cart.jpg
Cart

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 1aa3a207
MD5 a1dd8a3e4b8c98dee49d5e90d6b87903
SHA-1 c098bf38ddd755ab7caa4612d025be2039009eb2
2MB 1993-06 Cartridge v00
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 33f19ab6
MD5 e0bb4d00ea95b75aac52851fb4d8ee47
SHA-1 2c4a0618cc93ef7be8329a82ca6d2d16f49b23e0
2MB 1993-09 Cartridge v01

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 File:GamePro US 050.pdf, page 7
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 File:CVG UK 141.pdf, page 48
  3. File:MAN!AC DE 1993-11.pdf, page 58
  4. File:SegaForceMega UK 07.pdf, page 59
  5. 5.0 5.1 File:MAN!AC DE 1993-11.pdf, page 79
  6. File:EGM US 058.pdf, page 177
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 File:MeanMachinesSega20UK.pdf, page 74
  8. File:EGM US 053.pdf, page 90
  9. File:VG&CE US 54.pdf, page 7
  10. File:VG&CE US 55.pdf, page 112
  11. File:EGM US 049.pdf, page 5
  12. File:EGM US 050.pdf, page 5
  13. File:ConsolesPlus FR 023.pdf, page 39
  14. File:SegaMagazin DE 01.pdf, page 35
  15. File:PlayTime DE 1993-10.pdf, page 117
  16. File:MAN!AC DE 1993-11.pdf, page 33
  17. File:MAN!AC DE 1993-12.pdf, page 4
  18. File:MAN!AC DE 1994-01.pdf, page 2
  19. File:ASM DE 1993-11.pdf, page 38
  20. File:ConsolesPlus FR 023.pdf, page 18
  21. File:GamePro US 050.pdf, page 58
  22. File:Joypad FR 023.pdf, page 38
  23. File:MAN!AC DE 1993-11.pdf, page 57
  24. File:MegaForce FR 20.pdf, page 82
  25. File:MegaFun DE 1993-10.pdf, page 30
  26. File:MeanMachinesSega11UK.pdf, page 70
  27. File:PlayerOne FR 034.pdf, page 73
  28. File:SegaForceMega UK 02.pdf, page 16
  29. File:VideoGames DE 1993-11.pdf, page 109
  30. File:ConsolesPlus FR 033.pdf, page 148
  31. File:EGM US 059.pdf, page 34
  32. File:GamePlayers US 0705.pdf, page 36
  33. File:GamePro US 060.pdf, page 64
  34. File:Mega UK 22.pdf, page 46
  35. File:PlayerOne FR 043.pdf, page 94
  36. File:VideoGames DE 1994-07.pdf, page 76
  37. File:Joypad FR 023.pdf, page 40
  38. 38.0 38.1 File:PlayerOne FR 035.pdf, page 136
  39. File:SegaMasterForce UK 03.pdf, page 18
  40. File:SegaForceMega UK 07.pdf, page 58
  41. File:VideoGames DE 1993-11.pdf, page 110
  42. File:GamePro US 050.pdf, page 64
  43. File:Joypad FR 024.pdf, page 92
  44. File:MegaForce FR 21.pdf, page 122
  45. File:VideoGames DE 1993-11.pdf, page 111


Mortal Kombat games for Sega systems
Mortal Kombat (1993) | Mortal Kombat II (1994) | Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) | Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1996) | Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1997) | Mortal Kombat Gold (1999)
Mortal Kombat & Mortal Kombat II (unreleased)