News Archive - May, 2003
MK5.ORG Exclusive: Mortal Kombat 6 Information
We were able to obtain some of the first exclusive details of the next major Mortal Kombat release by series co-creator, Ed Boon. This will hopefully settle some confusion of news of the game in recent magazine publications. This information we received on MK6 came personally from Ed Boon himself while we were covering this year's E3 convention in Los Angeles. From our conversation:
  • MK6 will use an improved version of the MK:DA engine; there will not be a complete rewrite.
  • The next installment of Mortal Kombat will feature more platform-specific code. Each version of MK6 will use the same engine, but it will be tweaked to use the strengths of each specific console. The focus will be more on pushing each system to its limit, as opposed to trying to keep all 3 versions of the game as close to each other as possible.
  • The backgrounds will be much more interactive than anything we've seen yet. When asked about background items that could impale you, Ed assured us, "That's only the beginning."
  • Multiple fatalities are an extreme definite.
  • An online component is confirmed, and will play a major role in the game.

The game, which is currently referred to as "MK6", has not yet been officially named. Chances are, however, that the final name will include a subtitle like Deadly Alliance and Tournament Edition, and not the number 6. MK5.ORG will follow the development of Mortal Kombat 6 straight to its completion, which is reported to be released sometime in 2004.

New Trailer Added To Midways MK:TE Site
As promised to the fans by Midway, they have added some video footage for their upcoming Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition. What they have actually added was essentially footage from the infamous Scorpion vs. Quan Chi fight that was shown at several movie theaters last year to promote MK:DA and was also available elsewhere on Midway's site. A similar video to this one was also shown at this year's E3 convention.

Here is the direct link to the trailer.

Thanks go to MK5.ORG forum user Kombat19 for the tip!

Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition Advertisement
Click to enlargeOur coverage from the Electronic Entertainment Expo might be over, but the same isn't true for our coverage of Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition! If you've seen any of the videos from the previous update, you can be rest assured that this will be a worthy entry into the Mortal Kombat Series. To the right is one of the latest advertisement spots that will eventually make its way into circulation as the release draws closer. On a side note, we have a correction to make from our E3 Coverage. What we referred to as yellow coins in the Krypt of MK:TE are actually gold coins. We apologize for the mistake.

MK5.ORG would like to thank our sources within Midway Games for providing us with this print ad! Click on the thumbnail for a large version.

 

E3 Final Update
Although it may be a little late, today's update was certainly worth the wait. Below you will find links to 16 gameplay videos recorded directly from a copy of MK:TE. These videos include demonstrations of the new tournament and tag team modes, as well as the profiles of the new kombatant Sareena and of Reptile. These videos demonstrate that MK:TE is summing up to be a worthy sequel to the GBA version of MK:DA. We would like to give special Thanks to the Midway staff for letting us tape these videos.

Note: Some of these videos are quite large and may take a significant amount of time to download.


In addition the recording these movies on Friday, the MK5.ORG staff was given a demonstration of the game ESPionage (which looks to become one of Midway's top games) by Ray de Guzman, one of the playtesters for MK: Deadly Alliance and a member of the ESPionage design team. In ESPionage, you play a freelance commando with psychic abilities. Using these abilities and conventional weapons, the commando must try to take down a secret terrorist network named "The Movement" whose only goal is the destruction of the world. The game's engine, although not entirely complete, looks very detailed, especially when the commando uses his psychic abilities, which include the ability to levitate and throw enemies and to set people and objects on fire. In addition, the commando has the ability to "mind drain" an enemy, in order to refill his "ESP energy". This action is usually done when the enemy is dead, but can be done while it is alive, resulting in the enemy's head exploding. All in all, the demonstration was very interesting and we thank Midway for the opportunity to see the game.

We hope you enjoyed this year's E3 coverage and would like to thank you for continuing to make MK5.ORG the Voice of the Mortal Kombat Community.
E3 Second Impressions
As promised, today we will have our in-depth look at MKTE's Tournament Mode. As a side note, we should mention that everything in The Krypt can be unlocked with either Red or Yellow Coins - it doesn't just use one coin type as MKDA for GBA did. Other E3'ers actually unlocked Reptile, Hsu Hao, and Drahmin... no sign of Sektor or Noob Saibot yet, however, some of the Koffins couldn't be opened in the E3 version of MKTE.

Tournament Mode works when all 4 GBA units are connected. If all 4 are not connected, the choice will not be accessible. Once you start Tournament Mode, a shared character select screen comes up on all 4 units, showing who you and your oppenents are. After that, it shows the Tournament Ladder, Players 1 and 3 would go first, followed by Players 2 and 4. If a player was not playing, his screen would show the Tournament Ladder screen, with the word "WAITING" flashing across the top. The winners of the two matches would then fight each other for the championship.

Tomorrow, we will have our final impressions of the game, hopefully accompanied by a surprise or two. This is ]{0MBAT, with D'Arque Bishop and CCShadow, signing off for now.
First Day of E3: Our Impressions of MKTE!
Today, we got the opportunity to play the Game Boy Advance exclusive sequel to Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition! Based on our time on the game, it appears that MK:TE is poised to be a worthy title in the Mortal Kombat series of games.

The game was shown on four display units linked together. Interestingly enough, the system used to demonstrate the games was the new Game Boy Player for the Nintendo GameCube. As a result, it was just like playing on a Game Boy Advance, but on an actual display screen. The main difference was that the X and Y buttons on the GameCube controller acted as the GBA Select button.

The version of MK:TE that was shown at E3 was considerably more complete than the version of MK:DA that was shown at E3 last year. In fact, aside from a few extremely minor bugs (such as Shinnok's name being misspelled in Sareena's bio), this version of MK:TE is remarkably complete. None of the locked characters were available; the only playable characters were Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Scorpion, Raiden, Johnny Cage, Sareena, Bo'Rai Cho, Mavado, Cyrax, and Nitara. The hidden characters returning from MK:DA are Hsu Hao, Reptile, and Drahmin.

The biggest news is the identity of the two hidden characters who did NOT appear in MK:DA. As indicated by the "ketchup" rumor started by Ray DeGuzman, the first secret character is Sektor. As for the second secret character... those of you who heard whispers in the console version of the Krypt that say, "Time will lead you to Saibot" were partially right. You just have to wait until MK:TE comes out for it to be a reality.

In addition to the arenas from the original GBA game, three new arenas were added: Sarna Ruins, The Lost Tomb, and Moloch's Lair, with the possibility of others being unlocked in the Krypt.

The game engine is unchanged from the GBA version of MK:DA. Each character has two unarmed fighting styles, and the weapon attacks are considered special moves. The movement is slow compared to the original console versions, but the control response is still fluid. More interesting is the added game modes from which this game derives its name. We did not get a chance to play Tournament mode; we will have information on it tomorrow. In the meantime, we got to play Tag Team mode. If four players are playing, each character plays one character; otherwise, each player plays both characters. Characters tag out using the Select button; one interesting detail we noticed (that was intentionally left in) is that when a character is inactive, his health does not recharge. Also, Tag Team mode is available in single-player, and the final tag team you face is ALWAYS Shang Tsung and Quan Chi.

Also, one of the reports we heard from one of the playtesters at the show was that weapon fatalities are confirmed to be in the game. We have not seen the weapon fatalities yet; it could be something that is yet to be added before the game's release.

The game is set for a release date of November 2003.

Included below are some of the images from the Midway press CD, including screenshots from the game. Tomorrow we will present more information from the game, and hopefully an interview with series creator Ed Boon on several topics!

From Los Angeles, this is D'Arque Bishop, with CCShadow and ]{0MBAT, reporting from E3. We will speak to you all again tomorrow!

Midways MK: Tournament Edition Site Online!
Midway Games has opened their official site for their upcoming Game Boy Advance exclusive, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition! The site includes screenshots, information on the game, and the actual box art. The site also contains previously unreleased information, duch as game features:
  • NEW! Practice Mode. Wail on fighters as you master your fight style and your special moves.
  • NEW! Gambling. Players will be able to wager on challenges presented to them such as linked battles, mini-games and other secret fighting challenges.
  • NEW! Red Koins. Earn new red koins in order to unlock or purchase hidden characters, backgrounds and other features in the “krypt.â€?
  • Extended player statistics can be viewed for individual characters. Player profile information saved in game pack.
In addition, the site also has the storyline for the GBA-exclusive character, Sareena:
The Netherealm demon, Sareena, lost her human form in an attack from the fallen Elder God, Shinnok. She was transposed back into her demon form as her essence descended back to the 5th plane of the Netherealm. Sareena remained there until she discovered an abandoned portal that led to Outworld. Once in Outworld, she learned to feed off of the living aura of that realm to regain her human appearance. She no longer needed Quan Chi’s sorcery to sustain her exterior beauty.

While in Outworld, the demon known as Sareena encountered Sub-Zero. Since she had freed his brother from his confines of the Netherealm so many years ago, Sub-Zero offered her asylum within the Lin Kuei. His compassion may be honorable, but befriending a demon of Netherealm is not an action without risk... as Sub-Zero may soon discover.

You can get all of this information at Midway's official MK:TE website, located here.

Our thanks to Kano_Fan for the scoop on this story, and to Abismo for being the first to the forums with the (now-confirmed) Sareena bio!
IGN Exclusive MK: Tournament Edition details
IGN.com scored the scoop on the first details and screenshots of the Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition build that will be shown at E3. From the article:

The Game Boy Advance-exclusive sequel will feature an updated roster of fighters, including Cyrax, Drahmin, Hsu Hao, Johnny Cage, Mavado, Raiden, Reptile, Bo Rai Cho and Nitra, as well as characters from the previous game, Scorpion, Shang Tsung and Quanchi. There is also new, original fighters created specifically for the sequel, including Sareena and two secrets. There will also be new arenas such as the Lost Tomb, Wu Shi Academy, Sarna Ruins, Molochs Lair have been added to several of the popular fighting backgrounds from the original Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.

The sequel will include several new modes of play, including four-player tournaments, tag-team mode (two-on-two), Race to Raiden where players change fighters after each victory to become the first to win as Raiden, an Arcade mode where players wager on linked battles, and a Co-Op Mode where players can link GBA systems and play the tag-team mode. The sequel will be reverse-compatible with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance so that players with the old version can fight with Scorpion, Shang Tsung and Quanchi against players with the sequel. There will also be a new practice mode, gambling so players can put wagers on the action, and improved player statistics that are tracked to cartridge.

There is one small error in the article: while Sareena was not present in the console versions of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, that does not mean she is a new original fighter. Sareena made her MK debut in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.

Thanks goes to prince_goro78 for the news tip. Also, don't forget to join us Wednesday, May 14th as we present our second LIVE coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo! Expect our first impressions of MK: Tournament Edition, exclusive screenshots, and more, from only the internet's leading source of Mortal Kombat news - MK5.ORG.

The Playboy Bunny hops its way over to Midway Games
In a rather surprising move, Midway Games announced in a press release today that Neil Nicastro has stepped down as the president of Midway Games after seven years. Taking his place is no other than now former president and chief operating officer, David Zucker, of the adult entertainment magazine- Playboy! From the press release:

Zucker joins Midway from Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:PLA), where he was president and chief operating officer, overseeing all day-to-day operations. Prior to joining Playboy in May, 2002, Zucker was a managing director at Walker Digital LLC and served as president and chief executive officer of DIVA Systems Corporation. He spent 11 years with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), primarily at ESPN where he was executive vice president, overseeing the launches of ESPN2 and the X Games, and later, as managing director leading the build out of ESPN's international networks. Zucker graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and earned an MBA from Harvard University.

The above happens just a week after Midway Games posted its 1st Quarter results for 2003 which has been a consecutive loss for the company over the past three years. Coincidently, immediately after this news first surfaced, Midway Games stock jumped nearly 16% according to a report at ChicagoBusiness.com. Neil Nicastro will remain as chairman of Midway helping with the transitional period. Hopefully the financially struck company is making the right move. But kids, don't expect any Nude-"alities" to appear in Mortal Kombat any time soon.

MK5.ORG Live Coverage of E3 2003
We are honored to announce that MK5.ORG will be returning to Los Angeles, California for our second LIVE coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo! Last year we provided the best coverage of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance on the internet, catching the attention of gamers from around the globe. This year the standard of excellence you've come to expect continues, as we cover the GameBoy Advance exclusive - Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition! Join us once again from May 14-16, as D'Arque Bishop, ]{0MBAT, and CCShadow report live from the E3 show floor bringing their first impressions of the game along with exclusive media and information you aren't likely to find anywhere else.

In addition to our coverage of MK: Tournament Edition, we will be expanding some of our news space this year to the rest of Midway Games' E3 Line-up. Also, even though Mortal Kombat 6 is not scheduled to make an appearance, if any information is to surface you will see it here. Like last time, any media will be updated in conjunction with our E3: Coverage section. Visit that page if you missed our coverage from last year. Don't miss any of the action as we kick off another great year at E3 2003 starting Wednesday, May 14th!

MK5.ORG Live From E3 May 14-16!