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Written by  :  Trixter (9119)
Written on  :  Dec 23, 1999
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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A near-perfect translation of the arcade game.

The Good

Probe's conversion of Mortal Kombat for the PC is nearly identical to the arcade version in one extremely important area: Gameplay. Since the original hardware in an MK machine is a 386, the PC port has nearly identical gameplay, down to the bugs and tricks you can exploit on the original machine. The graphics are also a good conversion, given that they were downsampled to 256 colors and a smaller size from the original 12-bit color (4096 colors) images. You can even fiddle with the machine's DIP switches. If that's not authentic, I don't know what is.

If you're not familiar with Mortal Kombat, you must have been living in a hole during the early 1990s. Choosing one of seven characters, each with their own set of special moves, you try to beat the other person into a bloody pulp before he/she does the same to you. At the end of two winning rounds, you have the ability to add additional shame and humiliation to your opponent's experience by performing a secret Fatality, which kills them outright in suitably gruesome fashion.

The Bad

If you didn't like Mortal Kombat in the arcade, the home PC version won't make you like it any more.

The sound code is a bit buggy, unfortuately, but most users won't notice it. A patch from Acclaim fixes it, but that patch may be hard to find today.

While the gameplay is identical, the method of controlling the characters is not. Playing with the keyboard double-headed (one hand for movement, the other for attacks and blocking) works the best, and gives you all the control you need to execute the special moves. A 4-button gamepad works okay too. (2-button joystick users will not have all moves available, however.)

The Bottom Line

If you liked Mortal Kombat in the arcade, you'll have just as much fun playing it at home.