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Mortal Kombat

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Mortal Kombat is a landmark, and controversial, fighting game by Midway released in 1992.  Intended to be a quick project before they moved on to a bigger-scale game within Midway, Ed Boon & John Tobias struck gold.  Featuring live-action performers converted into fully-digitized 2D sprites instead of hand-drawn sprites, along with an excessive drenching of blood and gore, MK snatched the attention of the gaming world. This game was the genesis of a monstrous franchise that spawned a multitude of sequels, a series of comic books, music CDs, a live tour, and two major motion pictures.

To hype up the game's release on home consoles, Midway began a marketing blitz that labeled the game's September 14, 1992 release as "Mortal Monday". On that day, 16-bit versions of the game were released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.  While the core game matched its arcade counterpoint, the two consoles had a very different gore level.  In the Sega Genesis version, the game removes the blood, and modifies the fatality finishers to make them less offensive.  However, the player can enter a "blood code" that adds all of the original fatalities and blood back into the game.  The SNES version, on the other hand, replaced all of the blood with sweat, and modified all of the fatalites.  Players can not change the settings to add the blood back in.  Though the SNES version is considered to look better, the Genesis version was ultimately more popular due to the "blood code."   Handheld versions of Mortal Kombat were later released for the Nintendo Game Boy and Sega Game Gear.  A year later, the game was released for the Sega CD and PC. The game was re-released in 2004 as part of Jakks' "TV Games" line. An emulated version of the arcade game was bundled in the Collector's Edition of 2004's "Mortal Kombat: Deception" for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was also packed into "Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play" for the Sony PSP in 2005 and "Midway Arcade Teasures Deluxe Edition" in 2006 for the PC.


Mortal Kombat was formerly a tournament of honor held within the Shaolin to determine the very best fighter in the world. The emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, longed to invade Earth and usurp it into Outworld. Unable to access Earth, Kahn sent a sorceror named Shang Tsung to do his bidding. Tsung was unable to defeat the Tournament's Grand Champion, Kung Lao (the ancestor of Mortal Kombat II's Kung Lao). Upset with Tsung's loss, his youth was stolen from him as punishment. In his new form as an aged man, he was granted another chance, but this time it was not him who fought. Tsung brought the 1,500-year-old Prince of the Shokan, Goro, to compete. Goro defeated and killed Kung Lao to become the Gran