Mortal Kombat 1-2-3: The Classic Trilogy That Defined Fighting Games
Mortal Kombat is one of the most iconic and influential fighting game franchises of all time. The series is known for its brutal and bloody gameplay, its memorable characters and fatalities, and its rich lore and mythology. But how did it all begin? In this article, we will take a look back at the first three Mortal Kombat games that started it all and shaped the genre forever.
Mortal Kombat (1992)
The first Mortal Kombat game was released in 1992 by Midway Games for arcades and later ported to various home consoles. The game was created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, who wanted to make a realistic and violent fighting game that would rival Street Fighter II. The game featured a unique digitized graphics style that used real actors as models for the characters, giving them a lifelike appearance. The game also introduced the concept of fatalities, special finishing moves that allowed the player to kill their opponent in a gruesome way.
The game’s plot revolved around a mystical tournament called Mortal Kombat, where fighters from different realms competed for the fate of the world. The main protagonist was Liu Kang, a Shaolin monk who entered the tournament to stop the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung from conquering Earthrealm. The game also featured other iconic characters such as Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, and Kano. The game was a huge success and spawned many sequels and spin-offs.
Mortal Kombat II (1993)
The second Mortal Kombat game was released in 1993 by Midway Games for arcades and later ported to various home consoles. The game improved on the original in many ways, such as adding more characters, stages, moves, and fatalities. The game also had a darker and more serious tone than the first one, as well as a deeper story and mythology.
The game’s plot continued from the first one, where Liu Kang defeated Shang Tsung and saved Earthrealm. However, Shang Tsung’s master, Shao Kahn, the emperor of Outworld, was not pleased with his failure and decided to invade Earthrealm himself. He resurrected Shang Tsung and gave him more power, as well as kidnapped Sonya Blade and Kano to lure the Earthrealm warriors to his realm. Liu Kang and his allies had to enter a new Mortal Kombat tournament in Outworld to stop Shao Kahn’s plans. The game also introduced new characters such as Kitana, Mileena, Jax, Baraka, Reptile, and Kung Lao.
Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)
The third Mortal Kombat game was released in 1995 by Midway Games for arcades and later ported to various home consoles. The game changed the gameplay mechanics significantly from the previous games, such as adding a run button, a combo system, and multiple fighting styles for each character. The game also had a more modern and urban setting than the previous games, as well as a more sci-fi oriented plot.
The game’s plot followed the aftermath of Mortal Kombat II, where Shao Kahn failed to conquer Earthrealm but managed to merge it with Outworld by resurrecting his queen Sindel on Earth. This caused a massive cataclysm that killed millions of people and transformed the world into a wasteland. Liu Kang and his allies had to fight against Shao Kahn’s army of extermination squads and free Sindel from his control. The game also introduced new characters such as Cyrax, Sektor, Smoke, Kabal, Stryker, Nightwolf, Sheeva, Sindel, and Motaro.