Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

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Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero is a story-driven fighting game that casts you in the shoes of Sub-Zero, and chronicles a series of events that occurred prior to Mortal Kombat 1.

In a storyline that is reminiscent of Looking Glass's Thief, the Lin Kuei assassin/thief is sent to steal an important document; this mission proves to be a test from a mysterious character (which turns out to be MK4's Quan Chi) and who charges you upon retrieval of this object to recover an ancient medallion of untold power. However once you retrieve the medallion, Quan Chi reveals that he actually tricked you, and the medallion is the key to awakening the demonic Shinnok (yup, the same baddie from MK4). You must now become a reluctant hero, as you pursue Quan Chi trough hell itself hoping you get to Shinnok before him.

Gameplay wise the game takes the Mortal Kombat familiar 2D fighting environment and turns it into a hybrid fighter/platformer game, where you must travel trough hazardous levels running and jumping around as well as fighting your way against both digitized and polygonal enemies. Sub-Zero's interface is the same as in every MK game, with the addition of a "use" and "turn around" buttons and additions such as an inventory, and a slight RPG twist in which you get exp. for defeating opponents, which translates into new techniques and moves to execute in the game.

Technically speaking this game represents the final evolutionary step in the MK's series 2D engines. New features include zooming, 3D lighting as well as 3D backgrounds and characters, etc.

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Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 30 ratings with 2 reviews)

Surprisingly good spin-off manages to be the best MK game ever!! News at eleven!

The Good
What made the Mortal Kombat games the behemoths they are today? Not the lame gameplay that's for sure...the gore? yeah, but also...The story! that's right! At the time it came out, every fighting game followed the "corny martial arts tournament/avenge your father" premise. MK took that and placed it for the first time in a dark and somber world without any Ryu and Ken characters, and, for the first time, with anti-heroes, assassins and the like fighting in outwordly, dark settings instead of down the street, and for motives very different from the "gotta rescue my sister" ones. Throughout the years the backstories to every character, situation, etc. have been fleshed out considerably and, surprisingly, this has been done well enough to keep the series interesting. Finally, to my joy, a game was released that focussed on all this interesting myths and backstories the series has had....well, some. This game explains and fleshes out practically every bit of information there is on one of the game's coolest characters: the assassin/thief Sub-Zero. You'll get to know how he entered the original Mortal Kombat (this game is sort of a prequel), what's his relationship with Rayden, how his feud with Scorpion got started, etc, etc plus some interesting new original stuff (like a possible love interest?? hmm? ;)). Everything that served as a backdrop to the MK fighting games is placed on center stage in this game, mixing it with a very well made plot that turns you into an unlikely hero as you are hired to steal an artifact and are forced Thief-style to recover it after you discover the true intentions behind it (the resurrection of Shinook, the MK4 baddie).

The game itself is a very good combination of arcade/platform action with puzzle/rpg elements, where you go around kicking butt in standard MK fashion but with the added bonus of gaining exp. for every foe killed (which translates into new powers and moves) and in a fully side-scrolling world with multiple levels, traps, etc. The puzzles are no brain teasers, but they are kept well above the annoying and manage to give the game the right amount of depth without becoming frustrating.

Technically the game is very good, with bright, crisp, fmv sequences and great graphics and moody sounds. Plus there's a small modicum of replayability, as some key choices you make can lead to alternate situations (kill Scorpion and you have to face him in the afterlife, don't kill him and... who knows!)

The Bad
Essentially the only bad things about this game are its acting and the lack of play options. The acting is simply atrocious. It seems the guys that got digitized as game characters were also hired to play themselves in the fmv sequences and well.... let's just say that as actors they are very good models. Sometimes it's bearable, but mostly it's just atrocious.

The other gripe mainly has to do with the fact that after the game is over....it's really over. The small variations you can add with your change of in-game choices don't last much, and I couldn't help but feel that even a one-on-one two players fighting mode would have increased the longevity of this game, or even some sort of survival mode...I dunno.

Also I should mention that if the idea of Mario meets Street Fighter seems like a marriage made in hell to you this one isn't gonna be exactly you cup of tea. Trust me, it is really good. But if you just hate the idea....

The Bottom Line
Quite simply, if you have a Playstation you have to have this game. It's a short and challenging ride, but it's worth it. I've played nearly every MK game, but this one is the only one I'm proud of owning. But.... Mortal Kombat? I hear you say. Yes, trust me, unless you have a serious aversion to arcade/adventure console crossbreeds, then go for it.

PlayStation · by Zovni (10504) · 2001

What a horrible game

The Good
Mortal Kombat Mythologies is the first MK game that isn't a fighter. It's a spinoff game that invloves Sub-Zero trying to get some artifact thing back from some other people for his clan. Amazingly, it is the worst game ever.



The Bad
First of all, MKM was placed on the N64. After the horrid MK Trilogy I thought Midway could finally realise that they weren't dealing with a 2D world anymore. Still, MKM clings onto 2D graphics. The N64 supports polygons for a reason!

MKM consists of the worst, worst, WORST graphics ever seen on a N64 and even maybe the snes. The animations are limited, and Sub-Zero himself is so pixelated looking that I wonder how they ever pulled this off. The backrounds, though seem to be more 3D, but it doesn't matter, because Sub Zero only moves left and right!

The controls are horrible. The attacks and buttons have been placed all over the N64 pad, its impossible to play with them. Who's idea was it to turn around by pressing a button!?

The game plays slow and sluggish. The game slows down quite often, enough to be very annoying. Sub Zero moves slow mostly, and all his enemies aren't any difficult to kill.

The Bottom Line
I say that is you're looking for a game where you move left and right and beat people up, get a SNES game like Maximum Carnage because those are much better than this game. I give MKM:SZ a poor 1 / 5

Nintendo 64 · by ThE oNe (180) · 2002

Trivia

In the regular series of Mortal Kombat games, Sub-Zero is in fact the only character to have appeared in every installment to date.

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  • MobyGames ID: 4494

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zovni.

Nintendo 64 added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: MegaMegaMan, DreinIX.

Game added July 13th, 2001. Last modified February 27th, 2023.