Mortal Kombat (commonly abbreviated MK) is a popular series of fighting games created by Midway, which in turn spawned a number of related media. It is especially noted for its digitized sprites (which differentiated it from its contemporaries' hand-drawn sprites), and its mix of bloody and brutal action; its graphic fatality killing moves contributed to the founding of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). 
The original Mortal Kombat was developed as a reaction to the popular Capcom fighting game Street Fighter II, with simpler controls and digitized graphics. The original idea of Mortal Kombat was thought up in 1989 along with storyline and game content, but not put to arcades until 1991 (and game systems). Some say the game's graphic violence was gratuitous, and was only included in order to generate a public outcry and controversy that would garner publicity for the game. Although highly controversial, the mix of realism and violence propelled Mortal Kombat to widespread and historic renown.
Throughout the series, the game was noted for its simplicity of controls and the exotic special moves it featured, as well as a tendency to replace a hard c sound in its lexicon with the letter k, thus deliberately misspelling the word "combat" in the title, as well as any other words with a hard c sound.
History of Mortal KombatEdit
Midway created five sequels for the arcade and home systems, each one bloodier, more brutal, and stranger than the last. Mortal Kombat 4 brought the series into 3D, replacing the digitized fighters of the previous games with polygon models, while Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was the first in the series to skip arcades altogether and go directly to consoles, a symptom of U.S. arcade market's dramatic decline. The twelfth installment in the series, Mortal Kombat: Deception, was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 platforms in October 2004 (with a Nintendo GameCube version released in February 2005). Following a gameplay style very similar to the one found on Deadly Alliance, Deception also features several new gaming modes, such as a Puzzle Fighter-like puzzle game, an Archon-like chess game, and an RPG-style quest mode, as well as a suicidal finishing move for each character, usually performed to prevent the opponent from doing a fatality. A Sony PSP version of Deception (named Mortal Kombat: Unchained) was released, and a final sixth-generation console title, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, continued the current story continuity and featured almost all the characters that had appeared in the series. Then, Mortal Kombat moved to the next-gen consoles, Xbox 360 and PS3, with the non-canon, crossover game, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which featured several characters from both the MK and DC universe. It also introduced new gameplay features such as Freefall Kombat, Klose Kombat, and a combat-related Test Your Might minigame. Then, on April 19th, 2011, the newly created Neatherrealm Studios released the ninth game in the series, Mortal Kombat (2011). It retells the story from MK1-MK3 with a few unexpected twists, as well as bring the series back to its roots, placing the action back on a 2-D plane, rather than the 3-D planes introduced in MK4.
Finishing moves in later games included the Animality (turning into an animal to violently finish off the opponent), the Brutality (decimating an opponent into pieces with a long combination of hits or combo), the Friendship (offering one's opponent a token of friendship), and the Babality (transforming the opponent into a baby). The Babality and Friendship moves were created as a jokey non-violent finishing move, a swipe at the US 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, yet Mortal Kombat's "purely violent" and dark gameplay was once again implemented after the release of Mortal Kombat 4.
Moreso than other fighting games at the time, Mortal Kombat was notorious for recoloring certain sprites to appear as different characters. This was most prominent with the series' various ninja/assassin characters. Although many of the more popular characters were spawned from these pallete swaps, the sheer oversaturation of the roster with them (to date, eight male ninjas, four female assassins, and three cyberninjas, making a total of 15 repaints, or roughly one-third the series' total roster), as well as the fighting game genre's gradual demand for unique looks for all their characters, lead to many fans growing sick of the recolors, and joking about their overuse in the series. Hence, 'ninja syndrome' is a typical complaint among fans to describe any fighting game that has similar-looking or palette swapped characters.
Four official Mortal Kombat arcade tournaments have taken place during the game series' history: two in England and two in the United States. The compiled list of tournament winners are as follows. The next tournement will be held in 2013 in america for the new Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat 1 (American) winner: Sam Heyman Mortal Kombat 1 (England) winner: Warren Ogilvy Mortal Kombat 2 (American) winner: Ravi Chorpra Mortal Kombat 2 (England) winner: Alex Fisher
Games in seriesEdit
- Mortal Kombat (1992)
- Mortal Kombat II
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat Advance
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- Mortal Kombat 4
- Mortal Kombat Gold
- Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
- Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition
- Mortal Kombat: Deception
- Mortal Kombat: Unchained
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- Mortal Kombat HD Kollection
- Mortal Kombat (2011)
- Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero: The first in a planned series of MK solo outings for popular characters from the fighting games. MKM:SZ, a platform/action game, focused on the original Sub-Zero and his missions just prior to the first Mortal Kombat.
- Mortal Kombat: Special Forces: An action game also set prior to the first Mortal Kombat, featuring Jax in pursuit of Kano and the Black Dragon.
- Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks: A spin-off action game (with a versus-fighting mode as well), starring Liu Kang and Kung Lao, telling an alternate version of the events between the first and second Mortal Kombat. The storyline of Shaolin Monks is now known to be non-canon. Players could also control Scorpion and Sub-Zero as bonus content.
Every single game in the Mortal Kombat series features a different ending for every character. Because many endings in a single game will contradict each other, only one or a few per game are considered canon, and the true endings are never known until the next game is released. The result is that when a new Mortal Kombat game is released, fans speculate about which ending (or endings) are real. Different Character Select Screens from the Mortal Kombat SeriesNearly every game's canon ending involves the good guys emerging triumphant over evil, except for the release of Mortal Kombat: Deception, which revealed that Earthrealm's warriors in Deadly Alliance had failed to prevent Shang Tsung and Quan Chi from resurrecting the Dragon King's army; and the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat, where it will be revealed that Shao Kahn emerged victorious at the end of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
Easter eggs and secretsEdit
Mortal Kombat was among the first titles in the fighting game genre to include secret characters, secret games, and other Easter Eggs. Mortal Kombat 3, for example, included a hidden game of Galaxian. Many extras in the series have only been accessible through very challenging, demanding, and sometimes coincidental requirements. In the 1992 original, by executing a Fatality when fighting on The Pit stage (the bridge) without taking any damage or pressing the block button in the winning round, the player could fight Reptile, a merge between the Sub-Zero and Scorpion characters... provided that you obtained a double flawless and never hit block during the fight (due to Sonya's fatality combination including the block button, she was allowed to face Reptile on the home ports). In Mortal Kombat II, Reptile would be developed into a full character with his own special moves and would be available from the outset. The Sega Genesis games had some unique eggs: in one, a headshot of President of Probe Software Fergus McGovern flew in front of the moon in Mortal Kombat's Pit stage, while in a second, Raiden could perform a "Fergality" by pressing Back, Back, Back, Block during a fatality on the Armory stage. It was pioneering ideas like these that has made Mortal Kombat one of the most memorable of the genre.
Another Easter egg actually came about from a rumored glitch. In the original arcade version of the first Mortal Kombat, a rumor stated that the game would sometimes present problems due to a bug and mix two characters together. This would usually be two of the ninja characters, resulting in a ninja in a semi-red suit. The computer would display his name as "ERMAC", short for "error macro." As word spread, people thought they had found a secret character. In the game audits, ERMACS will appear on one of the pages, possibly being a stat to either show how many times a player encountered a secret character or a glitch. That wasn't the case, yet in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, it was decided to make an actual Ermac character. Also, glitch characters occurred should the player accomplish the very difficult feat of reaching Reptile in Endurance mode. Once Reptile was defeated, the second character would jump down. As Reptile used a special green colour palette, the following fighter (a normal fighter) would be a jumble of the character's original colors plus Reptile's green colors.
However, one of the most fascinating elements of Mortal Kombat was completely unplanned and out of the programmers' hands. Following the release of Mortal Kombat II, a myth culture was created around the game. The most famous one is the Goro myth. In the first game, Goro was a four-armed monster that acted as a miniboss to the game's main boss, Shang Tsung. Many fans were convinced that Goro was hidden somewhere in Mortal Kombat II and many were obsessed with finding him. Alas, these rumors were later confirmed as untrue.
Some Easter eggs originated from private jokes between members of the Mortal Kombat development team. The best-known example is "Toasty", which began in Mortal Kombat II. Developers fell into the habit of yelling the victory cry "Toasted!" (and later, "Toasty!") during the testing phase of development. This joke 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 and sing the word "toasty." Later games included other jokes that originated in similar fashion; Mortal Kombat IV had characters uttering strange battle cries such as "That's nacho cheese!" or "I'm gonna throw you over there". "Toasty" is also found in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks after pulling off a chain of hits and will appear randomly, but the picture of Dan Forden will not appear. Pressing the start button during the "Toasty" will also result in the player receiving a 1000 experience points bonus.