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Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Mortal Kombat

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chris-littlechild - June 18, 2014

Hold on to your butts, gentlemen. Spines will snap, livers will be punched right in the damn liver and stray limbs will be used as chew toys for hellhounds. This is Mortal-effing-Kombat, right here. If you have a strong stomach and balls of steeliest, steely steel, join us as we party like it's 1992 and take a look back at the first entry.

This goretastic brawler just announced its tenth main-series release, but nuts to that. Who has time for fancy-ass Xbox Ones and PS4s (whatever they are)? We sure don't. Not for the next few paragraphs. Today's story began in arcades over two decades ago.

Back then, we enjoyed the simpler things. Like flying about in shitty little triangular ships (Asteroids), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and garishly-colored shellsuits. And the lack of Justin Bieber. Most importantly, this was before video game violence was a huge, controversial issue. You can imagine how many minds were blown --blown right off-- by Mortal Kombat.

The earlier Street Fighter, and Tekken and its ilk later, taught gamers the gentlemanly way to do battle. Beat your foe unconscious using any underhand tricks you fancy, but leave it at that. It's all very chivalrous, and nobody dies. Nobody has to be mailed home to their next of kin in tiny fleshy fragments afterwards. This wasn't enough for Ed Boon and the guys and gals of Mortal Kombat, who took the title far too literally.

The game's story is much like that of others in the genre, only much more the-whole-effing-universe-is-doomed-y. It centers around a fighting tournament in Earthrealm. Nefarious sorcerer Shang Tsung is trying to take over the world, but has to defeat all kinds of crazies in a martial arts contest first. You know how it can be with world domination plans.

"Um... it's not what it looks like, officer."

‘Kombatants' include the goodly Liu Kang, Tsung's nemesis, ice ice baby Sub-Zero and Scorpion ‘GET OVER HERE' McScorpy Scorpionson. Alongside boobtastic special agent Sonya Blade and movie star Johnny Cage, the playable seven would all become Mortal Kombat stalwarts.

But on to the meat of the thing: these iconic characters beating the shit out of each other. The franchise is legendary for its Fatalities, which were present and correct from the start. Each character has their own gruesome little coup de grâce, which requires some complicated button-flailing after your opponent is defeated. If you input it correctly after the famous call of FINISH HIM!, a bloody and distinctly un-pretty killing animation will ensue.

As we know, one sure way to make something much more popular is to bitch about it. In the early nineties, Mortal Kombat rode a wave of controversy to success. It now has a dedicated following, who can't wait to see what depraved finishing moves the team have in store for Mortal Kombat X.

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