News Archive - February, 2005
Nintendo GameCube Receives Mortal Kombat: Deception!
MKD Cubed!
GameCube owners now have the chance to enjoy Mortal Kombat: Deception, which is available in game stores everywhere as of today! Owners of multiple consoles also have an incentive to purchase the GameCube version for two exclusive characters, Goro and Shao Kahn. Midway has issued a press release which announces the game's availability and mentions many of the awards that MKD has won, including: To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
Midway Releases Raiden Render from Unreal Championship 2!
Midway Games has released a render from their upcoming release of Epic Games's upcoming X-Box game Unreal Championship 2! This render is of particular interest to MK fans as it includes everyone's favorite thunder god, Raiden! As can be seen in the render (and in previous UC2 media), Raiden retains his pre-Deception appearance; this is obviously the "good" Raiden as opposed to the dark one.



To see the image in a smaller file-size (more appropriate for dial-up users), click here. To see the full 2 MB render, click here

Our thanks to forum member kubaidragon for this heads-up, and to Mortal Kombat Guides who first broke this story!
GameTrailers Posts MWGD Footage of MK Shaolin Monks
The guys over at GameTrailers also attended Midway Winter Gamer's Day, and have now posted their videos of the whole event. Their footage is exactly the same as what we have posted up earlier, but they're broken up as several smaller videos which many should find convenient. Check them out here: You can also check out the full list of videos here. Thanks to MK Online forum member black_dragon for the news tip!
IGN Posts Video Interview with Ed Boon About Shaolin Monks!
IGN has posted a new video interview with Midway's Ed Boon, in which Ed discusses the upcoming action/adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! For the most part, the interview consists of Ed talking about different features of the game, intercut with footage from the trailer that Midway released during Gamers Day. Not much new is mentioned in this interview; however, Ed does make a few points not previously mentioned. For one, he does confirm that fatalities can be upgraded like special moves can, becoming such things as brutalities, for example. In addition, fatalities can only be performed on non-boss enemies. Also, Ed states that he would like to see a cycle of an MK game coming out every year, with fighting games and action/adventure games alternating every year.
The videos are in Quicktime format for IGN Insider members, and Windows Media format for non-Insiders. To view the video in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member DECEPTION for the heads-up on this interview!
Game Informer Interviews Boon and Himmerick on Shaolin Monks!
New details revealed!
Game Informer has just posted an interview with Midway's Ed Boon and Shaun Himmerick concerning their upcoming action-adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! The interview gives some new insights into the game not previously mentioned. For example, they give the definite answer as to whether the game is online-capable. From the interview:
Game Informer: First off, will I be able to fire up Shaolin Monks and go online and play cooperatively with someone else?

Ed Boon: No, so far there isn't a plan for this game to go online yet, but for future games it may be a consideration.

Shaun Himmerick: We looked at online and the things that we would have to cut back on, and what we found were some things that we didn't really want to do gameplay wise. And, it would have been too expensive. We really want to maximize gameplay and that's the decision that we ended up making: no online.
In addition, there is word that Liu Kang and Kung Lao may NOT be the only playable characters in MK:SM. From the interview:
GI: How many playable characters have you settled on so far?

SH: More than two! There isn't a final number yet. We could fit in a ton of playable characters if we were willing to sacrifice differentiation. If one character fights the exact same way as all the others, heck, we could have everyone be playable. But, we don't want to do that. We really want to make each character feel and play differently. Right now Liu Kang and Kung Lao feel and play completely different from each other. So there may be as few as three and the most there would probably be is six.
The article also goes into detail about the state the game is in at present.
GI: We broke the first news on Shaolin Monks, but so far, how is the development cycle progressing? We got to see a lot of illustrations of boss battles and plans for other characters, but what sort of plans do you have for that element now? How are you going to make each boss battle different?

SH: Believe it or not, content wise, the team has reached their limit in what they've put in the game. So basically we have from now until the game ships to add a ton of stuff that's related to storyline and camera and other things. We have a tremendous amount of time now to just polish every single piece of the game. All the boss fights, in particular, will get a lot of this sort of attention.

EB: One of the things that we'e balancing right now is being able to have all sorts of gamers be able to pick up the gameplay. We'e dealing with queues and flashes in certain areas to get people in tune with what they need to do at certain points in the game. Once we can communicate these nuances, the game is so much more fun because you realize what you need to do. Some people still pick up the game and can instantly figure out what to do, and those are the people that we need to say that you need to do more than simply mash on the buttons.
The interview also contains details on gameplay, elaboration on how the extra characters will work, and gameplay information. It ends with a brief discussion of Mortal Kombat: Deception online, and a quick word on Raiden in Unreal Championship 2.

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member justycist for the heads-up on this important interview!
MWGD: Initial Shaolin Monks and Final GC Deception Impressions!
We are impressed!
Wrapping up our coverage of Midway's Winter Gamers Day, we are pleased to bring to you our initial impressions of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, and our final impressions of the new characters in the GameCube port of Mortal Kombat: Deception.

For now, let us start with MK: Shaolin Monks. The intro is just amazing. Every single character from the first Mortal Kombat game can be seen battling each other in just utter chaos. They also cut to a shot of the Tarkatan hordes charging into the throne room of Shang Tsung, only to have one dispatched fairly quickly by Kung Lao's razor-sharp hat. Shang Tsung's guards from MK1 are also seen, and they are given a beating by Shang himself after being knocked into him by Liu Kang! Kung Lao's presence seems to indicate a major retcon to MK continuity, as the Mortal Kombat II comic by John Tobias establishes that Kung Lao was not present at the Mortal Kombat tournament.

As always, old school fans will have every incentive to play this game, as you can now see what's around stages that will be very familiar, such as The Pit, The Tower, Goro's Lair, The Portal, and The Living Forest. MKSM will also continue the MK tradition of turning rumors into reality - you can now knock your enemies into the mouths of the trees in the Living Forest. In fact, Shaun Himmerick assured that not only would every stage from MKII be included in MKSM, he also assured that each of these stages would have at least one secret unlockable within them.

The gameplay starts out very simply - in a one player game, you can choose to play as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao. You can also choose a 2-player cooperative mode. You begin with your classic moves from the MK fighting game. As you progress in the game, you can get your moves "upgraded" - eg, Kung Lao's Hat can strike multiple opponents, or whizz around the entire room. He never loses the ability to do the plain old Hat Throw, however; it's just that more options become available to the player as the game moves on.

The graphics seem much improved since the early screenshots we saw when the game was first announced. This could be a combination of the fact that the in-game models have been worked on some more, and that since we are now seeing the game in motion we can appreciate its fluidity.

One of the more interesting factions we noticed is the ability of characters to work "in tandem" to create huge damage combos. As you press the indicated buttons when prompted, you can do more and more damage as part of the combined combo. In addition, the air combos are simply amazing. Some of Liu Kang's advanced moves include doing a fireball in mid-air, but they can be directed downwards towards the opponent if you wish. Kung Lao can also be seen doing his famous Diving Kick multiple times in one jump.

Even at this early stage, it is obvious that MK: Shaolin Monks will be a worthy addition to the Mortal Kombat lineup, and we look forward to seeing more of this game in the days and months to come leading up to its Fall 2005 release.

Aside from MK Shaolin Monks, we also got a hands-on experience with the GameCube version of MK: Deception. Goro and Shao Kahn don't feel like bosses, they actually play like normal characters instead. This is great, as you have access to all the basic moves like ducking, uppercutting, jumping, and they play at the same speed as the rest of the characters as well. Congratulations to the MK:D team for their fine implementation of these fan favorites.

We also have some more pictures of the games and the show floor.

Of course, Mortal Kombat Online wasn't the only gaming site to attend Gamer's Day. In addition, check out the coverage from these other fine websites: This closes our coverage of Midway Winter Gamer's Day 2005. On behalf of everyone here at Mortal Kombat Online, we thank you for joining us as we reported on Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and the GameCube version of Mortal Kombat: Deception! This is ]{0MBAT and D'Arque Bishop signing off from Las Vegas.
MWGD: Midway Official Deception and Shaolin Monks Images and Trailers
Pics/Vids From The Asset Disc
While at Midway Gamers Day, we obtained the official Press CDs with official images and trailers for both MK: Deception and MK: Shaolin Monks. Click below to check out the assets:
Check out the Fact Sheet, in Adobe Acrobat PDF format: Also, there are 2 movies available: The videos are in Windows Media video format (.wmv) and are free to download. Keep it tuned here, we'll be back soon enough with our final impressions of the GameCube version of MK: Deception, as well as our initial impressions of the MK: Shaolin Monks footage!
MWGD: New GameCube Deception and Shaolin Monks Images!
While at Midway Gamers Day, we went ahead and took several photographs of the show floor, the trailer and presentations from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and gameplay from the GameCube port of Mortal Kombat: Deception! Some of these images are not too clear, but some provide some never-before-seen choice information, such as Goro and Shao Kahn's bios from MK: Deception! Click on the thumbnails to see the full-sized images.

Stay tuned, official Midway assets as well as our final impressions to come!
MWGD: Three New GameCube Deception Videos, Featuring Kahn and Goro!
Direct feed video carnage!
At Midway Gamers Day, we managed to get some direct feed footage from Midway's upcoming GameCube port of their award-winning fighting game, Mortal Kombat: Deception! This first video features a mirror-match in the Beetle's Lair arena, featuring Goro! This second video stars Goro again, as he faces off against Raiden in the Sky Temple stage. Of particular note in this video is the fact that for the first time, Goro is on the receiving end of a fatality... Finally, we have another mirror-match, featuring Shao Kahn having it out with his clone in the Nexus stage. These videos are in Quicktime format. Keep it tuned here, as we will be updating later on with images from both Shaolin Monks and Deception!
MWGD: Ed Boon and Shaun Himmerick Introduce MK: Shaolin Monks!
MKSM Presentation Video Now Online!
At Midway Winter Gamers Day, Mortal Kombat team members Ed Boon and Shaun Himmerick gave a presentation on their upcoming two-player action-adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! The presentation lasted for ten minutes, and consisted of Ed and Shaun describing the game in detail while scenes from the game played out behind them. We're making this presentation available for you to watch now.

The video is in Quicktime format, and clocks in at 45.6 MB. To view the video, click here.
Announcing Live Coverage of Midway Winter Gamers Day!
VIVA LAS VEGAS!
Mortal Kombat Online is hitting the road again! This time we're taking it to Las Vegas, Nevada where veteran reporters D'Arque Bishop and ]{0MBAT will be reporting LIVE at the annual Midway Winter Gamers' Day 2005! Once again, we are excited to have been invited, and our sources within Midway tell us Mortal Kombat is guaranteed to have a presence at the show. In the next few days make sure you keep it here for the latest impressions, media, and exclusive materials that you won't be able to find anywhere else. The saying always goes, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", however we'll be bringing it straight to your screen as Mortal Kombat Online kicks off another round of live in-depth coverage!
Midway Arcade Treasures 3 Announced; No MK Games Included
Midway Games announced today that they were developing the next game in their popular series of retro arcade game compilations, Midway Arcade Treasures 3. However, this compilation will be focused primarily on racing games; as a result, it appears that Mortal Kombat will be sitting this compilation out. From the press release:
"The Midway Arcade Treasures brand continues to be one of Midway's strongest-selling and most popular franchises," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Midway Arcade Treasures 3 provides the same, classic feel as the previous two Midway Arcade Treasures installments while bringing back several of the most popular racing games in the industry's history to today's next generation consoles."

With the latest addition to Midway's classic gaming vault, consumers will be given the option to either hone their racing skills in single player mode in games such as S.T.U.N. Runner, or fulfill their head-to-head appetite and leave friends in the dust with titles such as Hydro Thunder and Super Off Road.
This news may cause disappointment in some MK fans, as it was hoped that MK would make a reappearance in Midway Arcade Treasures 3. However, if the sales of the previous Arcade Treasures games are any indication, this surely will not be the last Arcade Treasures game, and there's always hope for Midway Arcade Treasures 4...

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
IGN Posts Six New GameCube Deception Movies!
IGN has just posted six new videos from the upcoming GameCube version of Midway's fighting game Mortal Kombat: Deception! The six videos, with one exception, do not show anything not seen in previous demonstration videos posted. The six videos consist of exploring in Konquest mode, training with Bo' Rai Cho, the introduction to Konquest mode where we first meet Shujinko, a demonstration of Puzzle Mode with two Barakas facing off against each other, an example of Kombat from Chess mode as two Scorpions battle over a square, and an example of the chessboard and piece movement from Chess mode. This last is the only one in which something new is shown, as one player has Goro and Shao Kahn chosen as pieces.

The videos are available in Quicktime format for IGN Insider members, and in Windows Media format for non-Insiders. To see the videos in their entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member Baraka_MK for the heads-up on these videos!
Jakks Pacific Launches MK TV Games Mini-Site
The folks over at Jakks Pacific (makers of Mortal Kombat TV Games) have now created their own mini-site for the unit:

http://www.jakkstvgames.com/mortalkombat.html


You will need the Macromedia Flash plug-in to view the site. It's a pretty neat looking site, so you should definitely check it out.
Game Chronicles Magazine Interviews MK Shaolin Monks Producer!
Game Chronicles Magazine has posted an interview with Shaun Himmerick, who is the producer of Midway's upcoming action/adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! In the interview, Shaun gives some tidbits about the game and its development process; for example, he tells what involvement members from the original team has in MKSM. From the interview:
The game is being developed out of the Midway LA office, formerly Paradox Development. Even though this game was originally being done as a 3rd party project, the MK team in Chicago has maintained very close contact and worked closely with the team in LA. The art directors on MKSM are Tony Goskie and Steve Beran from the MK Deception team and have been apart of the MK team for many games. As well, Ed Boon is the Creative Director of the game.
In addition, he gives details concerning the exact placement of the game in the Mortal Kombat timeline. From the interview:
The game play picks up right after the final Battle of MK1 and then travels through the MK2 realms. The player can choose to play as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao in the single player adventure or they can choose to play in 2 player co-op mode and work together to get through the game. You’ll see a ton of characters from the MK universe as you progress through the game. Some MK characters will help you out, like Raiden, and some will be huge boss battles, like Baraka. One nice thing in this game is that if you are an ally of someone in the MK universe they will probably help you in this game, and if they are an enemy, well, there is probably going to be some ass to kick.
Also, he does admit to the possibility of platform-specific unlockables.
Not really. The Xbox gives some inherent advantages with how art looks that will be obvious to players. Also we are considering some platform specific unlockables in the game, but basically we will have the same game on both platforms.
The interview's end also provides a hint to an upcoming game focusing on who is arguably Mortal Kombat's most popular character. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member DECEPTION for the heads-up on this interview!
MK Deception "On The Spot"
MKD Found the G-Spot
The guys over at GameSpot have some more exclusive footage of MK: Deception for the GameCube, this time as part of their weekly online show, On The Spot. Many subjects are covered in this show each week, including D.I.C.E. Summit 2005. This week's video is 55 minutes long (commercial-free) and actually begins streaming pretty quickly. This episode aired live on February 3, 2005. You can stream it for free now, and you will also be able to download it for free as a GameSpot Basic member soon. Also, if interested – check the archives on their site, for an older episode from October 7, 2004 has other MKD-related footage. Thanks to MK Online forum member DECEPTION for the news!
Midway Announces Unreal Championship 2 Pre-Order Bonus!
Pre-Order Now... Play Now!
Midway Games issued a press release this afternoon that fans of both the Unreal and Mortal Kombat series of games can both appreciate. Unreal Championship 2 for X-Box is now available for pre-order, complete with a bonus to whet players' appetites until the game is released. From the press release:
Through Midway's Unreal Championship 2 pre-sell program, gamers can now pre-order their copy of Unreal Championship 2 and receive a FREE LIVE ENABLED UC2 DEMO DISC INSTANTLY. Also included in the pre-sell offer are three (3) character collector trading cards (*3 of 12...collect all 12)!
In addition, Midway announced that the official UC2 website is now online with information concerning the game. From the press release:
Midway also announced the unveiling of www.unrealchampionship2.com where everything that an Unreal fan could possibly want to know about Unreal Championship 2 is now available on one site! Character biographies, new screenshots and numerous gameplay trailers await and promise to appease even the most hardcore fans until Unreal Championship 2 ships to stores on April 11, 2005.
While Raiden is a playable character version in the retail version, we have confirmed he will not be available in the demo version. Stay tuned; as we learn more about this game, especially in regards to Raiden and other possible(?) MK references, we'll be sure to report it here!

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
IGN Explores Inclusion of Raiden in Unreal Championship 2
In an effort to get the juicy details on Raiden's recent induction into the Unreal universe, IGN spoke with publisher Midway Games on how the god of lightning and thunder bolted his way over to developer Epic Games' Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict. From the article:
"The guys at Epic are huge Mortal Kombat fans," said Steve Allison, the chief marketing officer who's also currently serving as executive producer for L.A. Rush. "So when we did the publishing deal for Unreal Championship 2 with them it started as a 'wouldn't it be cool if we could put some MK characters in the Unreal universe?' more as a joke, and then the Epic guys said, 'Let's do it!.' Raiden was chosen because he was the one guy the Epic guys all wanted unanimously. He also fits the Unreal universe well, given his orientation around lightning based projectiles."
You can read more up on this article here, where you can also check out some new videos. Thanks goes out to Baraka_MK of our chatroom for the heads up!
Pre-order a Copy of AREA 51 and Receive MAT2 For Free!
MIDWAY ANNOUNCES AREA 51 PRE-SELL PROGRAM OFFER
Midway Games announced today the pre-sell program for AREA 51 (www.area51-game.com). Gamers can pre-order their copy of AREA 51 and receive a copy of Midway Arcade Treasures 2, for free. Comprised of twenty arcade classics such as Mortal Kombat II and 3, NARC, Gauntlet II, and Pit Fighter, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 allows gamers to rediscover the retro fun of single and multiplayer arcade favorites.

yle1">**Offer available at select retailers, while supplies last. Consumer’s will receive Midway Arcade Treasures 2 when they pickup their copy of AREA 51.**

yle1">AREA 51 Game Description:

yle1">The U.S. Army has received a distress signal from Area 51 where a viral outbreak has just shut down the research facility and the automated quarantine procedures have locked all scientific and military personnel inside. A small Special Forces unit led by Specialist Ethan Cole of the HAZMAT (hazardous materials) Division is sent to investigate. As Cole, players will delve into five massive levels within the confines of Area 51, discovering a deadly mutagenic side effect of the virus that controls the minds of those infected, as well as an ancient alien colony buried beneath the facility. With a multitude of human and alien weapons, players must explore chilling conspiracies such as the extraterrestrial crash at Roswell and the faked lunar landing, in order to solve the enigma of Area 51 before the viral mutagen is released and irrevocably mutates all life on Earth.

GameSpot Releases Unreal Championship 2 Video with Raiden
Its so Unreal
The guys over at GameSpot have released a new trailer for Unreal Championship 2, featuring footage of the Thunder God Raiden. No word on whether this will actually happen, but it would make sense if the game made use of some of the features in of Unreal Engine 3, which Midway recently acquired as mentioned in our news update a couple days ago. Click here and check out Official Trailer 5, which is free to stream for all, and free to download a GameSpot Basic member. Thanks to MK Online forum member kingjolly for the word on this update!
Goro and Shao Kahn Bios from GameCube Deception!
The official MK: Deception website has updated with the bios for Shao Kahn and Goro!
Shao Kahn

Place of origin: Outworld
Alignment: Evil
Foes: Kitana, Raiden, Liu Kang

My defeat at the hands of the Earthrealm warriors had left me weakened, and my dominance in Outworld was waning. Kitana's forces were closing in. It was only a matter of time before they would overrun my stronghold. Using a powerful magical item retrieved long ago by my minions, I created a clone of myself to draw my enemies' attention while I escaped into the wild. When I have regained my strength, I will destroy all who have opposed my rule.

Goro

Place of origin: Outworld
Alignment: Evil
Allies: Shao Kahn
Foes: Baraka, Kitana

Kitana's army allied with my Shokan warriors in an attempt to destroy my old master, Shao Kahn. It was rumored that he has weakening and that our victory was inevitable. During the last battle against Kano's milita, however, I was attacked from behind by a shadow warrior, Noob Saibot. I do not know for how long I lay dying on the battlefield, but when I regained consciousness, I was greeted by the last person I expected to see...
Thanks to MK Online forum member Twiztid_Ninja for the word on this update!
MK: Deception for GameCube to be Released Early!
KOMING MONDAY!
Midway Games has just announced that the Nintendo GameCube version of the award-winning fighting game Mortal Kombat: Deception has gone gold! In the gaming industry, when a game has "gone gold", it means the game has been completed and the final gold master disc has been sent out for mass production. In addition, the game will be released ahead of schedule; the GameCube version should hit stores on February 28th!

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
MK: Deception Wins Best Fighting Game at D.I.C.E. Summit 2005
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) held their 8th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards in Las Vegas yesterday, and Mortal Kombat: Deception won the prize for the best fighting game! The awards ceremony is part of the D.I.C.E. Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate and Entertain), an annual 3-day event held by the AIAS in which fellow video game developers choose amongst themselves the top games of the year.
"The Interactive Achievement Awards provide an important arena for the interactive entertainment industry to showcase the year's most outstanding video and computer games," said Joseph Olin., president of the AIAS.

This year's winners not only represent some of 2004's most popular games, but they also embody the spirit and innovation that has driven this industry since its inception."
Click here to read the full story, or here to check out the rest of the winners from the show. A big thanks to MK Online forum/chat user CAMK for the notice on this update!

UPDATE: Midway has just issued a press release concerning Mortal Kombat: Deception's win of this award. To read the press release, click here.
Midway Acquires Use of Unreal Engine 3
Midway Games and Epic Games have announced a multi-year licensing agreement that will allow Midway to use the award-winning Unreal Engine 3 in many of their upcoming games. This will allow Midway to focus more on creating great content for the games, as opposed to developing multiple engines from scratch for multiple genres. Spokesmen from both companies commented in today's announcement:
"Great next generation games will be defined by how far they push the envelope in terms of graphical prowess, evolved artificial intelligence and revolutionary online functionality beyond what gamers are currently experiencing," said David F. Zucker, president and chief executive officer of Midway. "Our obtaining the use of Unreal Engine 3 empowers us to begin today to produce great next generation content. Our internal studios are already in the process of creating incredible products with the Unreal Engine 3 technology in multiple genres."

Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games agrees, "We are especially gratified that Midway, a major publisher committed to developing high quality games for both next generation console and PC platforms, in numerous st
yles and genres, came to us seeking the right to use Unreal Engine 3 as a basis technology for its enterprise."

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
GameSpot Posts Three More MKD Videos
Threes Company
The guys over at GameSpot have gotten their hands on three more videos of the GameCube version of Mortal Kombat: Deception. Two of them are actually just updated versions of the "Trading Kard bios" (made famous in the Kollector's Edition/Premium back in the USA, as well as the MKD Preview DVD in European countries), but now with footage from the GameCube version. The other video is a great looking trailer put together by Midway that features our favorite two bosses doing some killer combos! Thanks to MK Online forum member Humulis for the news!