Hello again, retro junkies. For this article, I would like to write a little piece about mortal kombat II (MKII), in honor of the new mortal kombat game coming out on April 19, 2011. This is a game that I grew up playing and have always considered it to be one of my favorite games. I want to take you back on a journey through my favorite entry in the long running series of games, mortal kombat II. I hope you enjoy my take on this masterpiece of a game. Let us begin...
Mortal Kombat II is the sequel to the popular fighting game Mortal Kombat, which was released in October, 1992. The first mortal kombat game had a huge impact on the gaming world, shocking players of the game with it's intense violence and gore, which was very uncommon in that day and age. Because of it's extreme violence, Alot of controversy surrounded the first game and parents did not want their kid's playing such violent games. As with the first game, MKII had atrracted the same controversy for it's explicit violent content. The first two MK games, along with a few other non-related titles containing explicit violent content are responsible for the ESRB(entertainment software rating board) being established in 1994, which is the reason why you see those little black and white stickers on the corner of video game cases, those let you know which games have adult content. After the success of the first mortal kombat, it was time to shock fans of the game once again with it's sequel, mortal kombat II. MKII was released on November 1, 1993. Mortal Kombat II is regarded by fans as the best entry in the long running franchise. MKII was originally released as an arcade game, then ports of the game became available on many different platforms such as Super NES, Sega genesis, Nintendo gameboy, sega game gear, sega 32x, PC, sega saturn and can even be purchased on the PlayStation network now. MKII was a smash hit in the arcades and one of the most popular arcade machines ever. I think it's safe to say alot of kids lost their lunch money playing this machine. This game was such a huge success and cultural phenomenon, it pulled in over $50 million dollars in sales on cartridges in it's first week.
The storyline for MKII goes something like this...
After the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung failed to defeat Liu Kang in the first mortal kombat tournament, he begged his master Shao Kahn to spare his life. Shao Kahn grants the evil sorcerer his youth back after He tells Shao Kahn of a plan to lure the earthrealm warriors to participate in mortal kombat in outworld where Shao Kahn and his evil minions will have a home court advantage and the earthrealm warriors will meet their demise at the hands of Shao Kahn himself.
I'd like to give you just a little description on each character in the game. There are twelve playable characters, two boss characters and three hidden characters in the game. I will begin with the twelve playable characters, than the hidden characters, than the boss characters.
Liu Kang is a shaolin monk and is the reigning mortal kombat champion. He travels to Outworld to seek revenge for the deaths of his monastary brothers. Liu Kang is a descendant of Kung Lao. Liu Kang is a well balanced character who is easy to get the hang of when playing the game. He has a wide variety of moves such as his signature bicycle kick and his trusty fireball.
Kung Lao is a shaolin monk and is a descendant of the great Kung Lao who saved Earthrealm from the clutches of Outworld hundreds of years ago. Kung Lao can be a deadly character when used right. He's a bit more technical then some of the other characters in my opinion. His signature move is when he throws his hat and it cut's you because there's a blade around the rim of the hat.
Johnny Cage is a famous hollywood martial arts film actor. After the first tournament, Johnny Cage joins Liu Kang on his journey to Outworld. Johnny cage has a nice variety of special moves including his plasma fireball, his shadow kick and his infamous nut-punch where he does the splits and then proceeds to punch the opponent square in the nuts.
Reptile is Shang Tsung's personal bodyguard. He has a human form and a reptile form in which he turns into a lizard like creature(not in this game). Although reptile appeared in the first game, he was not a playable character. Reptile has special moves such as his acid spit, his energy ball and he can turn invisible.
Sub-zero is the master of the lin-kuei ninjas and possess the power of ice. Sub-zero is the sworn enemy of Scorpion. Sub-zero is a fan favorite character and is easier to use then some of the other characters on account of his ability to freeze his opponents. his special moves include his iceball projectile, his ground freeze and his slide.
Shang Tsung is an evil sorcerer and Shao Kahns top minion. After failing to defeat Liu Kang in the first tournament, he is granted his youth back by Shao Kahn to lure the Earthrealm fighters to Outworld and compete in the tournament. Shang Tsung has the ability to morph into any playable character in the game and he also can shoot up to three consecutive fireballs. Shang Tsung is also a sub-boss in the game. You fight him before You fight the two main bosses (Kintaro, Shao Kahn)
Kitana is a ninja and a princess who is the adopted daughter of Shao Kahn, the Emperor of Outworld. She fights for Outworld but is secretly aiding the Earthrealm warriors. Kitana has two deadly fan-blades which she can throw at you or make you levitate, then hit you while You're in mid-air. For some reason, I find her very difficult to play against when playing the CPU.
Jax is a U.S. special forces agent who enters the tournament to rescue his partner Sonya Blade who is being held captive in Outworld. Jax has some decent special moves like his ground punch(temporarily stuns the opponent) and his projectile wave. At close range, he can grab the opponent and repeatedly punch them in the face up to five times, which deals some nice damage.
Mileena is a clone of princess Kitana but with Tarkatan(Baraka's race) traits. She is also Shao Kahn's personal assassin. Some of her special moves can be a little tricky to defend against, such as her ground roll and her teleport kick. She can also throw her two sai's at you. Like Kitana, she to gives me quite a bit of trouble on the CPU.
Baraka is a Tarkatan warrior and him and his clan are responsible for the assault on the shaolin monastary. Baraka is definetly another fan favorite and one of my favorite characters in the game. One thing that makes Baraka so cool is that he has two long blades that come out of his forearms. He also has a few special attacks such as his projectile (he shoots a shrapnel from his blade at you) and his chop chop blades.
Scorpion is a Hellspawn spectre who's soul purpose for entering the tournament is to assassinate his sworn enemy, Sub-Zero. Scorpion is not only one of my favorite characters, but is also the game's creator, Ed Boon's favorite character. Scorpion is responsible for one of the most infamous video game phrases ever, "GET OVER HERE". He scream's the phrase when he throws his handy spear at you and pull's you towards him. He can also teleport from one side of the screen to the other and hit you with a punch (You can do this while jumping, which come's in handy when playing).
Raiden is the god of thunder. He sort of looks out for the Earthrealm warriors. He enters the tournament to stop Shao Kahn's evil plans to take over the Earthrealm. Raiden is one of the coolest characters in the game and one of the best characters to use. He is well rounded and can be used fairly easy. He has really good special attacks like his thunderbolt projectile, teleport and of course, his special where he flys across the length of the screen horizontally and slam's you into the wall, all while yelling some incomprehensible gibberish.
Jade is a palette swap of Kitana, so she has the same moves as Kitana. she appears as a hidden character in MKII. To access Jade, you must defeat the last opponent you face before fighting Shang Tsung using only low kicks. Jade is extremely hard and is invulnerable to projectiles.
Noob Saibot has no story in MKII, he is referred to as a "new warrior" when you face him in the game. Noob Saibot gets his name by spelling the creators of the games(John Tobias,Ed Boon) last names backwards.Noob is also extremely hard to beat.
Smoke is a palette swap of Scorpion. You can spot Smoke in the background of the living forest stage when he briefly sticks his head out from behind the trees. You face Smoke when you face Noob Saibot.
Kintaro is a big Shokan(same race as Goro of the first MK game) warrior with tiger stripes going down his back. Kintaro joined Shao Kahn's forces to avenge the death of fellow Shokan warrior Goro. Kintaro has four arms and is the sub-boss you face before facing the final boss of the game. Kintaro is a devastating power house that can destroy you with only a few blows. His special moves include jumping high into the air out of the screen and then landing on you and stomping on you, and he can shoot a fireball from his mouth. Kintaro is definitely one of the coolest characters in the MK world and one of my favorites.
Shao Kahn is the final boss you face in MKII. Shao Kahn is the evil emperor of Outworld, and wishes to seize control of the Earthrealm by any means necessary. Shao Kahn is known for his godlike strength and his extreme brutality. Shao Kahn weilds a big hammer that he uses in the game. Shao Kahn is very difficult to defeat and will give you tons of trouble.
The gameplay style is pretty simple, each character has a basic set of punches and kicks, and a few unique special moves. Every characters punch and kick moves are the exact same. Each character also has their very own unique fatalities(finishing moves), which are for the most part, very bloody and violent. Fatalities are done by executing a precise(sometimes a little to precise) button combination on the controller at the end of the match when your opponent is dazed after You've drained his/her life meter, you hear a voice that says "finish him!", and the words finish him appear on the screen. MKII also has some really cool levels, alot of them have a really dark, evil style theme because the game is based in Outworld. On some levels, you can perform a level fatality(for example, on the acid pool stage you can knock your opponent into the acid pool in the background and watch them float by as a skeleton)
MKII is also chalked full of great secrets such as cheat codes, hidden characters and even a secret intro. There are also quite a few glitches in the game, which can be hilarious. An infamous Easter egg in the game happens when you do a certain move(uppercut), a picture of sound composer Dan Forden appears in the bottom right side of the screen and says the line "toasty!" in a high pitch sounding voice(people often think it sounds like he says "whoopsies!" rather than "toasty!").
I've decided to put a video on here of all the fatalities and level fatalities in the game. Some of my favorite fatalities include Reptile's head eating fatality, Raiden's electricution fatality, Jax's arm rip fatality and Shang Tsung's soul steal fatality, just to name a few.
Well, it looks like we've come to the end of our journey through the world of Mortal Kombat II. I really hope You enjoyed and that it was a good read for you. MKII will forever be revered as one of the best fighting games ever and one of the best video games ever made and You should play it again for old times sake, or if You've never played it, I suggest You do so right now! Thanks for reading.