News Archive - January, 2007
GameSpot Updates With More on MKII for PS3
GameSpot has done another update on MKII for the PS3, after checking it out again at the Midway Winter Gamer's Day. The most notable news is the price for this gem (which is worth way more to us MK fans): $4.99.

To read the article in its entirety, click here. Thanks to for the word on this update!

Mortal Kombat Online Attends Midway Winter Gamers Day 2007!
VIVA LAS VEGAS!

It's that time of year again! I'm out here in beautiful and sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, where Midway Games held their annual Winter Gamers Day event, to show off upcoming games to the press! Of course, the main game on tap for the Mortal Kombat franchise was Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the Nintendo Wii. We weren't able to take video of the presentation; however, unlike previous presentations, this one was the same video shown on GameSpot's site a couple of days back demonstrating the use of the Wiimote in the game. In the meantime, however, we can give you these official screenshots, complete with demonstrations of Wiimote use.

In addition, Midway had several of their upcoming Playstation Network titles for the Playstation 3 onhand, including Mortal Kombat II. I spent some time playing MKII to get a feel for the game (especially in two-player). I walked away feeling that the emulation of the game was almost bug-free and arcade-perfect. The one bug that I encountered was in fact a common bug; I could not get Random Select to work properly. Otherwise, the game played almost flawlessly.

I also got to take the time to interview Ed Boon and Shaun Himmerick. During the interviews, we got hit with a couple of surprise revelations. One of these revelations had been suspected by fans before but is only now being confirmed. The other had actually gone against previous information we had been given.

  • Khameleon will in fact be a playable character in the Wii version of MK: Armageddon.
  • Midway is currently working on a Mortal Kombat title for the Nintendo DS.

We didn't find out too much about the DS title that's in development. All that Shaun would hint at was that while it wasn't a direct port of a previous title, it wouldn't be a brand-new game either. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this story; as we learn more about the DS version, we'll be sure to report it here.

We have the interviews in both Apple Quicktime video format for broadband users, and also an audio-only version in MP3 format for those people who would merely like to listen to it.

This has been a quiet Gamers Day, all told, save for the two new big pieces of information we got in the interviews. As I said before, though, we'll definitely be keeping our eyes on these news stories, and when news breaks we'll be sure to bring it from you. From Las Vegas, this is D'Arque Bishop.

GameSpot Interviews Ed Boon About MK: Armageddon for Wii!

The folks over at GameSpot recently took the time to talk to Mortal Kombat co-creator and development lead Ed Boon concerning the upcoming port of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the Nintendo Wii. Several tidbits of new information were revealed about the Wii version of MK:A during this brief one-page interview. For example, one of the first questions asked was about how feedback from the already-released versions of MK:A affected the development of the Wii version. From the interview:

GS: Did any of the user feedback on the released versions of Armageddon affect development of the Wii game?

EB: Yes; MK fans will notice some additional features and tweaks to the kombat. For example, we have implemented and are tuning some new kombat centered around the "laying down" actions in the game. We listen closely to feedback on the game and like to make things better where we can.

In addition, Ed goes into some detail about the control scheme in MK: Armageddon, revealing that the game can be played with the Wiimote and the classic controllers (the classic Wii gamepad or the GameCube contoller).

GS: How did you approach control in the game? Did you feel like you had to use the Wii Remote and motion sensing? How did you implement it?

EB: Using the Wii-mote for MK: Armageddon was a must for us. We felt there would be no point in doing this game for the Wii if we did not support the Wii-mote for all modes and features. We didn't want to just support it, though--we wanted to utilize it and customize the gameplay experience. When you play it, you will notice that every single super move in the game is controlled by a Wii gesture system; also, the fatality systems will use the gesture system. For example, to do a move like throw Scorpion's spear, you will swing the Wii-mote away from your enemy and then bring it back toward your enemy, as if you are throwing the spear yourself toward the enemy, in an "away-toward" motion. It makes all of the moves feel more visceral, and it feels like you are more directly doing the action over just button presses. We want the controls of MK: Armageddon to be the biggest feature of this game on top of all of the content it already has.

GS: Did you implement alternative control methods to make sure longtime MK vets weren't alienated?

EB: Yes! To make sure we stayed true to our fans and people who like the other controllers, we are also supporting the Wii's Classic Controller as well as the GameCube controller for use in MK: Armageddon for the Wii. You could be playing Mortal Kombat with one person using a Wii-mote and Nunchuk, one person with just the Wii-mote, one person on the GameCube controller, and one person on a Classic Controller. We wanted the player to have as many options as possible.

Finally, Ed does mention the two changes made to the game from the XBox/PS2 versions, and the one thing that had to be removed.

GS: How much Wii-exclusive original content is in the game?

EB: There are two main things that we are bringing to the Wii exclusively over the PS2 and Xbox versions. As we've talked about, we have focused a lot on the controls and how we'll use those in the game as creatively as possible.

Additionally, we have implemented a new mode called "Endurance mode" for the Wii. We wanted to enhance the single-player experience on the Wii. In this mode you will fight a series of opponents one round at a time, without getting any additional health after each enemy. How many can you beat? Can you beat all 20 in Endurance mode?

GS: Is there any online functionality in the game?

EB: No. The online components of the Wii were not ready for us when we would have needed them in the development cycle.

In addition to the text interview, there is also a video of Ed demonstrating the Wiimote control system for MK: Armageddon. However, it should be noted that all of the demonstrated moves were for special moves and kreate-a-fatality, and not of actual normal fighting or chain combos.

To read the interview with Ed in its entirety, click here. To watch the video demonstrating playing MK: Armageddon using a Wiimote, click here and choose Official Movie 11.

Our thanks to forum member for letting us know about this important interview!

Midway Releases Raidens Bio From MK: Armageddon!

Midway has come through for the fans again! This time, they've released another bio from Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. This particular bio is that of everyone's favorite Thunder God, Raiden! However, "favorite" may not be the best word to use anymore, as Raiden's bio confirms some information implied in Fujin's ending. From the bio:

No longer will I entrust the safety of Earthrealm to the free will of mankind. The time has come to take matters into my own hands

Centuries ago I defeated an ancient sect of necromancers, the Houan. Though their members subsequently were scattered to the winds, their ancient underground temple still existed, abandoned and unused for ages. On the stone walls within were etched enchantments that would revive the dead. Strewn about were the enchanted chains of binding the Houan would use to control their undead.

I laid the corpse of Liu Kang on a ceremonial altar and bound it with the shackles. Reciting the unholy enchantments, I brought to life the body of my former ally and infused it with a thunderclap of lightning. The corpse of Liu Kang would be no mere zombie; it would serve as my ultimate enforcer. Satisfied, I then set free this abomination to wreak havoc on those who have done harm to Earthrealm.

Though I tried to conceal my activities, my use of the dark energies did not go unnoticed. Shinnok appeared before me and proposed an alliance. He would help secure the protection of Earthrealm in return for my aid in some undisclosed plot. I am no fool. I know well the treachery of this former Elder God. I accepted his offer and will complete this task, but only to discover his true objective. Until then, I will use Shinnok to serve my own ends.

This bio was released in a form different than others; whereas previous bios were available on the question mark page, this one was revealed by Cinder on the Midway Boards and sits on its own page. We'll keep an eye out; as more bios are released, we'll be sure to post them here.

To see Cinder's post announcing this bio, click here. To read the bio page for Raiden, click here.

Midway Expects Wii Version of MKA in April 2007
Earlier today, Midway posted a press release announcing the expected release date of the Wii port of MK Armageddon. From the press release:
Battling its way to a fantastic start at retail, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon joins past games in the award-winning franchise as a top seller and continues to be a major pop culture phenomenon. Midway also announced the action/adventure Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has also shipped more than one million units worldwide. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is currently available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and is expected to release for the Nintendo Wii in April 2007 with exclusive features and game modes. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is now one of the backward compatible titles available for the Xbox 360, allowing Xbox 360 owners to experience Armageddon.

To read the press release in its entirety, click here. To read Cinder's post about this on the official Midway forums, click here. Once again, we thank for this terrific News Lead!
GameSpot Posts MK2 Videos From PS3
As reported a couple days ago, Mortal Kombat II will be featured as a downloadable game on the PS3 (along with 5 other games from Midway)! The folks over at GameSpot have gone and posted some videos of MK2 gameplay, as well as interview with a representative from the company who was able to answer a few questions about the games. Online play was confirmed in the video, as well as a price somewhere between $10-$50 US.

Fans of the game who may have been disappointed with the glitchy shadow/music issues found in the Midway Arcade and MK Shaolin Monks ports of the game will be pleased to discover both of those issues have been resolved and it seems we are to be treated to a 100% arcade-perfect port. Here are some screenshots:
To download the videos in their entirety, you must be a member of GameSpot and can access them here. Many thanks to #1 News Lead submitter for this informative news post!
Midway Posts Nightwolfs Bio From Mortal Kombat: Armageddon!

Today Midway has released the fourth in the series of bios for the most recent installment of Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! This time, the native american shaman, Nightwolf, has his turn in the spotlight. His bio confirms that his ending from Mortal Kombat: Deception is indeed canon, while disproving Liu Kang's ending from that same game. We learn that Nightwolf has joined up with Johnny Cage's forces as more small details are revealed about the Cage/Shinnok storyline as well as new revelations about Liu Kang's spirit. The bio is posted below, in both image and plain text formats:

After imprisoning Onaga's corrupt soul, I was released from the Netherrealm. I passed through the spirit world before emerging in Earthrealm, surrounded by a pack of wolves, my spirit guides. I had only faint memories of that brief journey... or did it last an eternity?

The Ancients spoke to me of a coming storm that would pit the warriors of the realms against each other in an epic battle. But most disturbing of all was a warning that a hidden evil was manipulating these warriors, forcing them to participate.

My visions were seemingly made real when, at a gathering of the Forces of Light, Johnny Cage revealed that Shinnok had returned, and that the fallen Elder God was assembling the Forces of Darkness once more. I agreed to help Johnny Cage and join his fight.

At the summit, Kitana approached me. I was amazed to find that she was accompanied by the spirit of Liu Kang. The bond between them was strong; thus she was able to keep his energies intact until a way to reunite his body and soul could be found. There was not much I could do to help until I achieved a much higher level of shamanic power. I transferred the bond from Kitana to myself and accepted my role as Liu Kang's new spiritual anchor. Perhaps this unknown power sought by the Forces of Darkness could be the key to helping Liu Kang find peace.

To view the entirety of the question mark page, click here.

Thanks to forum member for informing us about this new bio!

MK: Armageddon, MK: Shaolin Monks Sell Over 1 Million Copies!

Gaming review and preview website GameSpot have revealed that Midway Games announced today that their October 2006 release Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for PS2 and XBox has now sold over 1 million copies!

Ripping heads off torsos and dismembering bodies may not make good substitutes for parenting, but it sure does sell a lot of games. Midway Games today announced that Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has shipped 1 million units worldwide.

This announcement happens to coincide with another milestone; that being that 2005's MK adventure spinoff Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has also shipped 1 million copies, also on PS2 and XBox. Our congratulations to Midway and the MK team for these achievements!

To view the story on GameSpot, click here.

Thanks to forum member for notifying us of this story.

Mortal Kombat II To Be Released For Playstation Network!

Sony Online Entertainment released a press release today, announcing that they had licensed six classic arcade games from Midway Games for their Playstation Network. These games, which will be downloadable from Sony and would be stored on the PS3's hard drive, will include the classic MK title Mortal Kombat II! From the press release:

Sony Online Entertainment, (SOE) a global leader in the online gaming industry, announced that it has licensed the rights from Midway Home Entertainment Inc., a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, to develop and release six classic Midway games for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The games will be available for digital download through the PLAYSTATION® Network; with the first game being available in early 2007.

The six downloadable titles are: Mortal Kombat® II, Gauntlet®II, Joust®, Rampage World Tour®, Rampart® and Championship Sprint®. Each title was specifically chosen because of its multiplayer capability, allowing players to experience each of these classics with their friends in the comfort of their own living room, or anywhere else through an internet connection. All of the titles will be offered for PLAYSTATION 3 system download exclusively through the PLAYSTATION Network.


“We knew these titles would be a perfect fit for the PLAYSTATION Network, and based on Sony Online Entertainment’s legacy in the online space as well as their intimate knowledge of the PLAYSTATION Network, it was an obvious decision they would be a top company to work with to bring this project to fruition,” said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway.

The press release doesn't give any firm information on a release date other than "early 2007". We'll be keeping an eye on this story; as soon as we learn more (especially pricing and a release date), we'll be sure to report it here!

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for tipping us off about this important press release!

Midway Released Box Art For MK Armageddon On The Wii
Midway has released the official box art for MK Armageddon on the Wii!
Details right now are still sketchy on the Wii-exclusive control mechanisms for the game, but we will continue to post on this as more becomes known.
Midway Posts Fujins Bio From Mortal Kombat: Armageddon!

Following the release of Kenshi's and Sareena's bios, Midway has released another bio from Mortal Kombat: Armageddon onto the question mark webpage. This time, the wind god Fujin's story in MK: Armageddon is revealed; not only does it show how Fujin came to be involved in the events of Armageddon, it also deepens the mystery of Raiden's transformation and explains the mystery of who animated Liu Kang's corpse.

It is unclear to me what has caused the transformation in our friend and ally Raiden. I have conversed with gods from other realms about the possible reasons for his madness. Rumors abound that he may have sacrificed himself to defeat Onaga. But if that were true, his energies would have dispersed and then reformed in Earthrealm. His spirit would have been reborn, having no memories of the past. He would have become a new god of thunder, neither good nor evil. Yet this new Raiden is dark, acting with a clear goal to defend the realm, but with the ruthlessness of Shao Kahn. What is more troubling is the enforcer he commands. Liu Kang's corpse has been reanimated and is selectively slaying many for reasons unknown. Kung Lao and I have joined forces to confront our former allies. If a way cannot be found to save Raiden and Liu Kang, I fear we will have no choice but to finish them.

We I first reunited with Kung Lao he informed me of a gathering called together by Johnny Cage. At the meeting, Johnny Cage described his encounter with Shinnok, the fallen Elder God thought to have been defeated years ago. I doubted his story. It seems unlikely that Johnny Cage would have psychic powers, and even less likely that he could have defeated Shinnok single-handed. But others present brought forth further evidence that something epic was taking shape. Most interesting was Kenshi's mention of the brothers Taven and Daegon. I knew them well ages ago. When they went missing, I questioned Argus. He would not speak of their whereabouts, but stated that they would bring about a new world. At the time I did not understand what he meant. But now it is becoming clear to me that whatever Argus planned is being corrupted by evil. As the others embark on this journey to defeat Blaze, I must intercept Taven and Daegon to hinder their progress and determine the true purpose of the quest. I only hope I am not too late.

To see the question mark page in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for letting us know about this new bio!

Gamasutra Tours Midway Studios, Discusses MK on Nintendo!

Gamasutra recently got the chance to sit down with Scot Bayliss, head of Midway's Chicago studios, to discuss a multitude of subjects, ranging from his start in the gaming industry to titles being produced by Midway. As can be imagined, it isn't too long before Mortal Kombat figures into the interview. One aspect of the conversation turns towards the MK team itself, where Bayliss discusses a side of the team not commonly seen: its work dynamic and how well the team works together. From the article:

Bayless noted a transformation that the Mortal Kombat team is undergoing. "It has to do with the fact that, I think, Ed [Boon] has been tightening his focus on the things he believes are essential." There is a kind of free-form arrangement of people around Boon. "We've got really talented producers, really talented art directors, we’ve got really talented technology guys. But they tend to be very agile about how they move around from thing to thing. They've got a lot of stuff going on. They’ve got Armageddon going on, we're working on some next generation stuff, we've been involved in some PSP work with people on the outside. We've got all this stuff going on. And they're multiplexing through all those things."

...

The Mortal Kombat team is like a studio itself. Bayless explains that Midway is reaching the point where key franchises are taking on the aspect of being a full franchise, not just a single title in development. "I think for a while, Ed was sort of uncomfortable with that. Because his history has always been, 'I do this, and when I'm done, I do that.'" Bayless describers a time when Boon intimated, "Gee, guys, I’m not sure I can do all this at the same time."

However, Boon found that his best team members have been able to step into roles or places where Boon might have taken responsibility for a certain thing before. "And it frees him up to drill down on the creative." Now, Boon's time is focus on two major efforts. "One is driving the creative, proactively. 'Here’s what we should do.' And the other one is that iteration, which is hugely important."

The other MK-related part of the interview comes when the subject of MK on Nintendo comes up. The first system that is mentioned is the Nintendo DS, where it's confirmed again that there are no plans to bring MK to the DS. From the article:

Which next-gen platforms will Midway pursue? "We're going after everything. And that's not unconsidered." Bayless says, describing the big idea: "Let’s put things where it matters, let's put things where it makes sense. Let's try to get in all the spaces it does make sense."

"But to be honest, I would be skeptical about putting an M-rated, unlicensed football game on certain platforms. That platform is aimed at an audience that isn't interested - or if they are interested, their Moms and Dads won’t let them play it."

"The same is true of Mortal Kombat. I'm not going to be a big fan of putting it on Nintendo DS. It would be hard for me to believe that's a good idea. It might even be able to make some money, but it's not a great use of our time.

"Our goal is to create great IP," Bayless concludes. "And to project that IP wherever it makes sense. So are we excited about Wii? Yeah, actually, we are. You should see the proposals that are showing up in my inbox. It’s awesome."

The discussion then leads into talk about the Nintendo Wii, where it's strongly hinted that the Wii may not just get MK: Armageddon, but also possibly some exclusive games. From the article:

"My experience at the [E3] show was, this—" Bayless makes broad, sweeping arm motions "--doesn't work. Or it works kind of marginally. What did work was this--" Bayless makes controlled, tight motions. "I think that makes a pretty big impact on how you design your game."

"The other thing all fighters live and die on is responsiveness," he continues. "Right now, there are some profound questions about that controller and timing. But is it interesting? Is it an interesting problem? Heck yeah!"

Despite a Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon announced for spring of 2007, Bayless remains generally hesistant about bringing Mortal Kombat to a platform known to draw a young audience, adding, "Is there something else we might do with Mortal Kombat that could be appropriate for that audience? Maybe. We’re actually kicking some ideas around." Does this mean Mortal Kombat for Kids? Bayless laughs. "We can't tell you what they are, but they're pretty cool."

"We actually have some very concrete plans that we're chewing on right now," he concludes. "And we're pretty serious about it, and you'll probably hear about it next year, but we just can't talk about it – as much as I'd like to."

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member for the heads-up about this news story!

Midway Releases Sareena's Bio From Mortal Kombat: Armageddon!

Continuing from the release of the Kenshi bio, Midway Games had released a second bio from MK: Armageddon. This time, the debuting playable character (on non-portable consoles), Sareena, is in the spotlight. Her bio is included below in a text only version and the original image:

I was given asylum by the Lin Kuei in gratitude for aiding Sub-Zero in the Netherrealm years ago. I swore to uphold the laws of the clan and protect it from any outside threat. My allegiance was strong, but Sub-Zero felt I still had much to prove before the clan would fully accept me.

He entrusted me with a small metallic object that would guide me and grant me access to the hidden Lin Kuei temple. He ordered me to wait for him there as he departed for the Netherrealm. Instead, I followed him -- I could not bring myself to allow him to come to harm. But the realm's essence began twisting my soul, and I had second thoughts about disobeying him.

When he was attacked by Noob Saibot and Smoke, however, it seemed I had made the right decision. I leapt from hiding and prevented Noob from killing Sub-Zero. With the sides now even, we soundly defeated Noob and Smoke. They escaped to parts unknown, but not before rendering Sub-Zero unconscious.

The intense fight and the influence of the Netherrealm's dark energies caused me to lose control of my human apperance, and I reverted to my demonic form. When Sub-Zero regained consciousness, he was confused and attacked me. To avoid harming him, I fled to the depths of the Netherrealm. There I was ambushed by Noob, Smoke, and my former master, Quan Chi. The sorcerer knew of my allegiance to Sub-Zero and demanded to know the location of the Lin Kuei temple. At first I refused, holding to my oath. But Quan Chi's influence is great. He cast his dark sorcery upon me, returning me to my human form and showing me my true nature. I am not a being of Light. I am a demon of the Netherrealm, a servant of Quan Chi. I will follow him to whatever end. I surrendered the object given to me by Sub-Zero. He was a fool to have trusted me.

Adding new plot elements as far back as MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero and leading through the endings of MK: Deception, confirming Noob Saibot's ending took place in some sense, this bio spans Sareena's history to her current situation. This bio also fixes a few of the events from MK: Armageddon's Konquest mode in which Sareena briefly appeared along side Quan Chi.

Thanks to forum member for sending in this bio!