Mortal Kombat 3

aka: MK 3
DOS Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

Shao Kahn has won. The Earthrealm is no more. In order to revive his Queen Sindel, the emperor Shao Kahn used the Outworld Tournament from Mortal Kombat 2 as a diversion while his Shadow Priests revive his fallen Queen on Earth. Once enacted, the dimensional bridge between the two realms connects, allowing Kahn's extermination squads to invade and destroy Earth, and enslave the population's souls.

A small team of Raiden's "Chosen Warriors" survives the attack: Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang and his ally Kung Lao, Special Forces agents Sonya Blade and Jax, the shaman Nightwolf, the riot cop Stryker, the nomadic Kabal, and former Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero, who has gone rogue from his clan. Facing the warriors are the mercenary Kano, cyber-ninjas Smoke, Sektor and Cyrax, Sheeva, a female Shokan, the sorcerer Shang Tsung, and Queen Sindel herself.

Mortal Kombat 3 brings new elements to the 2D fighting series: multi-level playfields, "Dial-A-Combo" attacks, a "Run" button to speed up the battles, and "Vs." codes, which unlock new powers and abilities once both players enter a code sequence in pre-match-up screens. Also included are more stage fatalities and finishing moves as each warrior attempts to go one-on-one with the Centaurian enforcer Motaro, and Shao Kahn himself.

Mortal Kombat 3 is the last traditional one-on-one fighting game game in the series to feature motion-captured digitized graphics for its kombatants, and introduces online network play to the PC version.


  • モータルコンバット3 - Japanese spelling
  • 真人快打3 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (DOS version)

59 People (42 developers, 17 thanks) · View all



Average score: 77% (based on 32 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 180 ratings with 5 reviews)

Another worthy installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise

The Good
The controls are the cream of the crop. They're smoother and faster than the previous two installments and you can pull off almost every move with ease.

The music and sounds capture the arcade's very well in all its 16-bit glory and most of them are all here Only a few grunts and Shao Khan taunts are missing.

Unlike the arcade, you can actually play the bosses through a series of kodes known as Kool Stuff , Kooler Stuff and Scott's Stuff, all these at the main menu. Also, these kodes allow to play as Smoke, which saves a lot of headaches over the infamously long kode in the arcade.

The Bad
The graphics, while still awesome by SNES standards, has room for improvement. The characters are a little small and skinny vis-a-vis the previous two games. Also, the graveyard stage and music is not included due to lack of memory space. But otherwise I have no more complaints in this department.

Also, some moves are a little tricky to pull off, such as Shang Tsung's Kano and Kabal morphs.

The Bottom Line
It's a well-balanced , worthy adaptation of the arcade game and a masterpiece of the 16-bit fighting genre. It may not have the looks and crisp sounds of the Playstation version, you sure don't have to wait around for those annoying load times. It's fast, has a lot of blood, and you won't regret adding this one to your collection.

Final verdict: pick the SNES over all versions, it's the most-balanced and it the game doesn't freeze when performing Shang Tsung's morphs.

SNES · by Stsung (30) · 2009

Hey kids!! Want to see how to screw up Mortal Kombat??

The Good
New and way, way, waaaay better graphics are probably the most recognizable upgrades one sees in MK3, and they are indeed better. The graphics are much more clear and defined than on earlier games, with incredibly realistic fighters (if you can call a four-armed transvestite realistic), some new pre-rendered effects (as opposed to regular bitmapped sprites in things like limbs, etc.) and drop-dead gorgeus backgrounds that now can also scroll vertically to continue the fight in another level (you can literally uppercut your opponent through the ceiling!).

The sound department has been revamped also, and at least on the pc version sounds even better than on the arcades, with every sfx and the funky darkish music sounding cristal clear.

...well, that's about it!

The Bad
"They did it! They did it!! ... damn them! Damn them all to hell... !!!"

Yes, boys & girls. Midway screwed up it's golden baby, they completely and utterly dissapointed every single player that had eagerly been awaiting for MK3 and to this day it remains the most loathed 2nd sequel to any fighting game only defeated by Street Fighter 3 and Art of Fighting 3.

After the quantum leap MK2 was over the original, fans were expecting MK3 to be the big daddy of arcade fighters, with enough features and perks to keep us entertained for ages. Well guess again kiddo, because this sequel simply adds better graphics and actually detracts from MK2 in many aspects!

The only major additions to the game are a "run" button which is actually a good concept but sucks since it adds another button to the already unintuitive MK control scheme, and a "mercy" feature that is so anal it's practically useless (you have to win using only LP and LK, you have to lose 1 round, do a weird-ass coded sequence when "finishing him/her", stand on one leg, and cover your left eye in order to continue fighting for a short while). You get the same amount of fatalities as on MK2, and the same gay "babalities" (doesn anyone consider them funny???) and "friendships" but as a consolation prize you get some cheesy (even under MK standards) "Animalities" that make your character morph into a glowing plasmatic animal to chew on your enemy.... but they can only be done after "mercys" so forget about them!! Yay!!! Can you tell I'm excited?? Add to that a ladder selection to see how many fighters you want to take on, and you have MK2 with a facelift and the worst and most useless additions ever.... Heck, MK2 had 3 secret characters!! Want to know how many does MK3 have?? 2!!! What the hell is wrong with that???

Of course, that still leaves us with a fairly decent fighting game, right? Well, that's before we enter the realm of fandom my boy... You see, Midway suddendly decided that they were an innovative developing house, and they couldn't keep churning the same crap over and over, right? some re-invention was in order... Super I say! However, they are Midway... so the only thing they did was to re-design most characters or replace them altogheter. What? Were you expecting them to overhaul the gameplay or something like that?? :)) Bwahahah!!!!! Moron!!!

Essentially they took every cool character in the series and replaced them with the most stupid things they could think of, while leaving the usual assortment of Bruce Lee clones we all love so much... so yeah, demonic ninjas, thunder gods, mutants and ninja babes are nice and all, but the people need to see the same generic characters that every other fighter has! So bring back the tough blonde chick, and keep the super-exciting chinese dumbasses nobody ever chooses!! Yeah... but, wait... do you know what is even cooler?? Everybody loves Sub-Zero right? I mean, he's a kickass ninja assassin that shoots ice! Total badass! Yeah, why don't we redesign him and take AWAY all that mistery and remove his mask off!! That way we can get rid of his super-cool ninja image and turn him into yet another generic martial arts dumbass!! Yeah!!! That's what all the kids want!!

But hold on for a sec. That's just a small prize to pay for what surely has to be the best lineup of new characters ever to grace MK, right?? Well, the new characters are.. (hold on to something) A four-armed transvestite, a guy in a mask, a screaming Elvira look-a-like, some robot ninjas and... (drumroll please)... A COP!!! A FRIGGIN COP!!!! Oh man..... Now that's something we have Never ever seen on a videogame ever!!! Thank god Midway gave me the chance to play as a cop, because I never ever in all my years of gaming have been able to slip on the skin of a pig... yeah, that beats playing as a ninja babe all the way man!!

Man... Admitedly Sheeva (the four-armed tv) is nice to have around, and the robot ninjas are cool, but they are nowhere near as cool as ninja babes... Kabal looked promising, but he's nothing but a guy in a mask (read his bio!) and he has the cheapest moves ever! And that cop... sob sob.... Furthermore the whole storyline went down the toilet this time, you see Shao Kahn managed to find a loophole that prevented him from staging those stupid Mortal Kombat tournaments and invade the earth without any stupid Martial artist getting in his way, so he does and he destroys the earth!! Now, I'm all for fighting in an apocalyptic setting, and I don't particularly mind that every background is pretty much devoid of animations and characters (except for the one with the subway, nice to know some things still work after all hell has broken loose on earth :) but while the idea that an ancient one-on-one tournament was the way to prevent an invasion from another dimension was halfway passable, the idea that a one-on-one tournament was the only way to get the earth back after armies of monsters destroyed sounds... well, let's just say that it sounds like every other fighting game ever made. Something Mk hadn't ever sounded like.

The Bottom Line
This may all sound extremely fanboyish to some of you (buh, buhl.. they took MY Mortal Kombat away!!) but as fighting aficionados know, these "minor" things(and a good gameplay) are the cornerstones of every fighting game. There is a reason why all the characters battle on goofy super-hero like costumes and stuff like that, good designs and settings make a fighting game. take that away and you have to rely on good features and gameplay, and that was something the MKs were never known for.... especially this one.

Don't even look at it. If you want to have your MK fix, get the MK trilogy, MK2, 1 or Ultimate MK3 (which is what this game should have been) or the original moive, but for the love of Rayden... Stay away from this game!!!!

DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2003

How did this game get so huge?

The Good
The game has a nice collection of fighters, I especially like Kabal. The voice of the announcer ("you'll never win!", "friendship? again?") is dark & creepy like it should be. The game has a sick sense of humor; the fatalities, babalities and other special moves are fun to watch. Lots of blood & gore. Finally, the graphics are a lot better than they were in the previous MK games.

The Bad
This game doesn't belong on a PC. Some of those combos seemed impossible to pull off with a keyboard, I tried using my Logitech Thunderpad Digital but that only made things worse. With one on one beat' em ups timing & control are everything. Console versions of these games are made with a specific configuration (controller & CPU) in mind. This is not the case with the PC versions. The communication between the controller and the CPU doesn't seem to be as good on the PC as on the console. Furthermore I don't like the idea of having 6 different attack buttons (high & low punch, high & low kick, run & block). It makes the controls needlessly complex. Why did they make separate block and run buttons. Could have been solved by replacing run with pressing forward twice and block with pressing backwards when under attack. All of this causes the controls to be less than perfect.

Also this game is not much fun in the 1 player mode and it is pretty hard; I never got past Motaro (maybe cause I didn't like it enough to give it a serious try or maybe I just stink).

The game hasn't got much depth, just two guys beating the crap out of each other. When you win you have to fight again against another guy (or gal). For what reason?

The Bottom Line
I really don't understand the hype that surrounded this game. Sure being the sicko I am the blood & gore kept me fascinated for two afternoons, after which I had seen enough. This game gets boring pretty fast and in my opinion is only fun to play if you're playing it with a friend. I must admit that I'm not a fan of the genre though (everyone seems to like One Must Fall, so maybe I'll give that one a try).

DOS · by Roedie (5221) · 2001

[ View all 5 player reviews ]



The game's "animalities" were inspired when upon the release of Mortal Kombat II, Liu Kang's dragon-morph fatality started a rumour that all the characters were able to morph into some sort of animal as a finishing move. The creators thought this was a fun idea and included it in the game.

Arcade version

The "Graveyard" stage that was found in the arcade version was scrapped for the 16-Bit versions due to memory constraints of the cartridge space. The rest of the gameplay and features remained intact.


  • Originally, the character Kurtis Stryker was supposed to appear on Mortal Kombat, but he was scrapped early in the development process when beta tests revealed player's interests on a female character (Sonya replaced him). Later, on for Mortal Kombat II, Kurtis Striker almost made it to the final game, but had his name changed at the last minute to Jax. Finally, Stryker would make his debut in Mortal Kombat 3.
  • This was the first Mortal Kombat game to feature Sub-Zero unmasked and have a red mark on his eye. This led to many questions however, and it wasn't until 1997 the question were answered in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. This Sub-Zero was the original's little brother.
  • Instead of being a ninja like usual, Noob Saibot was actually a palette swap of Kano, Presumably because almost all the ninjas were removed (except the new robot ninjas and Sub-Zero, whose appearance was changed),
  • Before the developers could come up with names for the new characters Cyrax and Sektor, they were called Mustard and Ketchup respectively.

German index

On November 30, 1995, Mortal Kombat 3, with the exception of the Game Boy version, was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

In addition to the indexing, on June 12, 1997, the Genesis and PlayStation versions were also confiscated for violating §131 of Germany's penal code (for showing gruel violence against humans etc.)


This was the only game for the original Game Boy or for the Game Gear to receive an M rating from the ESRB.


There are references to the game's creators in the game. Boon and Tobias (MK creators) can be seen on signs in the background of the subway stage and the creators' names are on tombstones in the graveyard stage.


The developers dismissed a rumour: that you could perform a "nudality" with Sonya Blade's character.

Version differences

  • The differences between the PS and SNES versions of the game are the following. In the PS version, they had Friendships and the SNES didn't. In the SNES, you have Shao Kahn, Motaro, and Smoke as secret characters. In the PS version, you only get Smoke. In the SNES version, there was a cheat that would let you play a mini-game. The PS doesn't have that. In the SNES version, there was a code that could let you do one-button fatalities. In the PS, that code is missing.
  • The Windows 95 PC version released in September, 1996 was different from the 1995 DOS version in that it had "eight all-new characters, two new boss monsters and exclusive new encryption 'kodes' which enable players to alter control settings and intensify game play". It was in fact a port of the Playstation version. A $10.00 rebate was offered inside the retail box for those who had previously purchased the DOS version.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • October 1995 (Issue 75) - Game of the Month (Playstation version)
  • Game Players
    • 1995 Holiday Edition (Vol. 8, No. 13) - Best Arcade-to-Home Translation Award (along with Tekken)

Information also contributed by Ace of Sevens, Big John WV, Dracula_Marth, Guy Chapman, Medicine Man, NightKid32, Scaryfun, Stephen Gillespie, and Xoleras

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by IJan.

Game Boy added by Zovni. PlayStation added by Adam Baratz. SNES added by Roedie. Game Gear, SEGA Master System added by Freeman. Arcade added by The cranky hermit. Windows added by Scaryfun. Genesis added by Syed GJ.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Exodia85, Alaka, DreinIX, CalaisianMindthief, Rik Hideto.

Game added December 19th, 1999. Last modified August 22nd, 2023.