News Archive - May, 2004
Team X-Box Provides MK: Deception Preview!
Team X-Box has posted an article in which they give their impressions on Midway's Mortal Kombat: Deception, based on the build they saw at E3! Nothing new is really revealed in this article, though they do take the time to give their impressions of the game. From the article:
There have also been a couple of tweaks made to the engine which powered Deadly Alliance, but for the most part, the game plays much the same. Gamers are still able to switch fighting stances on the fly which balances out any apparent advantages between most of the characters. Each fighting style has its own group of combos, along with special moves which can be activated with the right controller inputs. The button configs are the same but now there is the ability to pick up and dispose of level weapons. The weapons are best saved for trying to knock opponents into a death trap since they are extremely hard to swing and really slow a character down (the ones we experienced were always near a death trap). Picking up a weapon is a one button affair and getting rid of one can be done merely by changing styles.

There is an obvious increase to the overall speed of the gameplay in Mortal Kombat: Deception which will confuse fans of DA for awhile. After some quality time with Deception, we actually liked the faster game pace since it really separated itself from its predecessor and made the action feel more advanced without feeling hokey. We’re sure that the game speed will be tweaked even further since it seemed as though the aerial moves still were running at the slower rate. Even at the higher speeds, the game seemed to retain a satisfactory framerate, even when breakable objects and multi-tiered drops were in effect.
To see the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member CAMK for the heads-up on this news story!
Ed Boon Pre-E3 Fan Interview Transcript Available
For those who had difficulty viewing Mortal Kombat Online's Exclusive Video Interview with Ed Boon (which can still be downloaded here [Right-Click/Save As]), the official transcript has now been made available! From the interview:
Scott Howell Alright, Question #2 is from Alfonso Navarro from San Paulo, California. "In the past, it was said there would be 24 characters in total for MK: Deception, the amount we've seen in most of the line-up or heard of their confirmation. Boon, are you planning more, meaning will there be more than 24 characters?"
Ed Boon Yes, there will be more than 24 characters. Your main grid of characters will be 8x3 which will be 24 characters, but we do like hiding additional characters in the Konquest mode that will be in addition to the 24 characters.
To read the rest of the transcript, click here. Thanks to forum member GuiltyByDesign for helping to complete this transcript! releases new Mortal Kombat: Deception videos!, an affiliate of Happy Puppy, has come through with some new videos of Mortal Kombat: Deception. All of the videos appear to be the same ones we first witnessed and recorded by our video camera during the presentation that Ed Boon made at the Midway Games MK: Deception Launch party on May 11th. Now you can watch as we did in wicked detail as fatalities are performed by returning favorites, including Sub-Zero and Baraka. Hopefully these fatalities will put the same sick feeling in your stomach, just as they did to us at the party! Links to all of the videos are below:

Thanks to Mortal Kombat Online forum poster austintrees for bringing these to our attention!

HomeLan MK: Deception Development Team Interview
It looks as if the Mortal Kombat: Deception Development Team has started another round of post-E3 interviews. HomeLan has scored the latest, which although touches on almost everything that is already learned like gameplay features and online modes, Steve Baren makes the first public announcement of characters Kira and Dairu. From the interview:

HomeLAN - While you are bringing back old favorites from past Mortal Kombat games, there will be some new characters. What can you tell us about MK Deception’s new fighters?

Steve Beran, Character Designer - We have a lot of new characters in MK Deception. Kira is a leather clad beauty and the newest member of Kano’s infamous Black Dragon gang. Hotaru is a guardian of Order. His current mission is to restore order to Outworld. Dairu is a deadly mercenary. Ashrah is a demon hunter bent on purifying herself of evil.

To find out what other developers had to say about the game, you can read the entire article in full by clicking here. Thanks goes out to MK Online forum user prince_goro78 for the news lead.

GameSpot Live at E3 2004: Ed Boon Interview
GameSpot has posted a new 18-minute long video with a simultaneous direct feed, interview, and walkthrough of Mortal Kombat Deception with lead programmer and Mortal Kombat co-creator, Ed Boon. There's a nice detailed explanation of the Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat modes, as well as an explanation of what's new with the overall fighting engine. Of most interest:
  • The Pit makes its 3-D debut, as one of the classic backgrounds found in Chess Kombat.
  • The PS2 version has PS2 supports using the headset online.
The video is free to stream as a GameSpot Basic member, and you must be a member of GameSpot Complete to download the high quality version. So click here and begin downloading the movie now.
Wildseed Announces MK: Deadly Alliance for Identity Cell Phone!
Wildseed, a maker of interactive accessories for cell phones, has announced that their first GameSkin accessory for the upcoming Identity cell phone by Curitel will be an accessory which features Midway's best-selling fighting game, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance! From the press release:
The GameSkin featuring Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance marks the first time a Mortal Kombat game will be played on a wireless phone. This game accessory will add Game Boy Advance style controls to optimize the phone for competitive Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance play. This first GameSkin will debut later this year, and it will be available for use with Identity, a new phone manufactured by Curitel that will be launched this summer.

Wildseed research indicates that teens and young adult consumers want a robust gaming experience on their phones. Young people indicated that they want a way to take the console gaming experience with them on the go without having to carry multiple devices. The research and Nintendo’s market demographics also demonstrate that young consumers do not want to carry around a "game console" or put one up to their ear for voice calls, rather, they want "a cool looking wireless phone that also entertains."

"We are honored to launch our gaming strategy with Midway Games’ legendary Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance," said G. Eric Engstrom, Wildseed CEO. "We are dedicated to dramatically improving gaming on a wireless phone with specialized GameSkins designed to optimize the game play of each title delivering an arcade experience in the palm of your hand."
This marks the first confirmed sighting of an MK game on a cell phone. As we learn more about this product, we will report it here.

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

Our thanks to forum user pretender for the News Lead Submission that led us to this news story!

UPDATE: We have received an image which should give you an idea of what to expect when the MK:DA GameSkin is released later this year. To see a full-sized image, click on the thumbnail.

We'll be getting more information concerning this product soon; keep checking back with us as we release more information!
Mortal Kombat: Deception wins Best Fighting Game of E3!
After playing thousands of games in the course of three short days at E3, it is a diehard fact that only a select few stand out as being truly impressive. Mortal Kombat Online would like to congratulate Midway Games and the entire development team of Mortal Kombat: Deception for their outstanding victory in winning three separate awards for Best Fighting Game of E3!, Gamespot, and IGN XBox have all awarded Mortal Kombat: Deception this outstanding recognition.

From IGN Xbox:

After 2002's surprisingly sound 3D rendition of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Midway has taken its time to dig deeper into the MK chest of goodies. Mortal Kombat: Deception adds to the combo carnage by bringing expected new characters and moves, but it's upped the ante with brutally punishing environmental traps, and it's rounded out the fighter with solid, likeable side games giving players secondary and tertiary reasons to goof around. The fighting itself is still skill-based, combo-laden and tighter than ever, and the wealth of moves and character rivalries brings new life to the aging series. Mortal Kombat may be an old series, but the new engine and tireless work on Midway's part to hone it have shown us the spine-ripping beast of a brawler still has all the right moves.

Be sure to check out what each of these publishers had to say about the next installment of Mortal Kombat, and stay tuned here to Mortal Kombat Online as we bring you the latest coverage!

Final E3 Mortal Kombat: Deception Review!
We are excited to present you our final hands on impressions of the E3 Build of Mortal Kombat: Deception! After four days straight of playing this game, it's safe to say we didn't come home disappointed. Mortal Kombat: Deception is here once again to revolutionize the fighting game genre. From our four-page review:

Initially, playing Mortal Kombat: Deception is incredibly similar to playing Deadly Alliance. The familiar elements of three-styles per character, style branch combos, and a slew of special moves remain in tact. Digging deeper, however, it is obvious that the team has spent considerable time under the hood. Increased game speed, level-based weapons, and death traps were all present for us to make use of.

The overall game speed upgrade is not nearly as drastic as Street Fighter 2 to Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but it is evident that the characters move with an increased amount of adrenaline. This factor makes the game play a notch more difficult, as it is now trickier to run through a variety of the combos. To instinctively pull of a style branch combo will result in a bit of a shock, as the game registers the hits much quicker. I particularly enjoyed this, as it made me work my brain a little harder to actually pull of seemingly insignificant three-hitters. On the defensive side, combo breakers and reversals were not yet present. However, the block function seems to have changed in order to pave way for more in depth fighting. In Deadly Alliance, after your opponent executes a special move that fails to connect, they are incredibly vulnerable to your incoming attack. In Deception, this is particularly true because though character movement is much fast, the “hang-timeâ€? is still the same length. This allows the offensive player to quickly come in for a kill, and definitely makes the defender think twice about executing a projectile that is not likely to connect.

You can read the entire review written by our new Mortal Kombat Online staffer, Mobster4Christ, by clicking here. With that, we would like to thank everyone who helped us with this year's coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo! Special thanks goes out to Mobster4Christ, RivetSPOOn (also her mom!), and everyone at Midway Games for all the help and support that they've given us during our coverage. This has been one of our greatest experiences on the site thus far, and we look forward to future trips to E3! This concludes our coverage, if you've missed out on any of the coverage check out our E3 2004 coverage section. Thanks for making Mortal Kombat Online the top source for all of your MK related needs!
Final E3 Mortal Kombat Media Updates!
While at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, we tried to get the most important media assets out to you first while in Los Angeles. Now rested, we are releasing some assets that we didn't have time to get up while on our trip. First, we have some exclusive assets from Midway Arcade Treasures 2. While at the MK Party and at the Midway Booth, we had some time in between our matches of MK: Deception to play some old school Kombat. Unfortunately, only the original Mortal Kombat was playable in this demo build. However, we had a great time reminiscing the older days of blood-shed yore. Not much in room of assets was released for this game, but here is the official trailer that was showcased at E3. We also have raw footage of the game straight from Midway's press kit.

Moving on to Mortal Kombat: Deception, we are now releasing two exclusive trailers of the game, as well as an interview with series co-creator Ed Boon that was passed out to various media outlets, including ourselves. We would have brought this to you sooner, but we had our own interview to post during the week of E3. As for the two trailers, one of them is an updated version that was shown on a display of sixteen TVs that were outside of Midway's Booth. Last, check out our exclusive face-off between ]{0MBAT and Scott-Howell, that you won't find anywhere else!

A lot of these videos have already been seen, save the last one, but we at least now have them in one central location. Tonight concludes our E3 2004 coverage as we release our final hands-on review of Mortal Kombat: Deception!

MK Online Goes In Depth: Puzzle Kombat
The Puzzle Kombat Mode in Mortal Kombat: Deception is quite simple, yet quite addictive. Many people have described it as feeling like Tetris, Columns, Puyo Puyo, or Dr. Mario. The truth is, this game is a lot more like Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

The game is not like Tetris in that you need lines, or other puzzle games in that you want 3 or 4 of a similar kind in a row. You can gather up many many different blocks of a similar color (say red), and then when you get a red dragon koin color, that will wipe out every red block connected to it. Dragon koins are fairly rare, giving the game an interesting challenge while not making it impossibly hard. As you obtain the dragon koins and knock out your blocks, you can do combos along the way, and this will charge up your super meter.

Once in a while, you can get an item such as a bomb - This knocks out every single block of the color your set your bomb down on, whether it's connected to the other squares or not. Using your bomb in a combo charges up your Super Meter faster. Of course, every time you get rid of a bunch of your own blocks, you're also sending a bunch of extra blocks to your opponent's screen. One of the other things we noticed (thanks to some very good playing skills, and a little luck) is that when you clear your screen all the way down to the bottom, you get a little notice saying "EXCELLENT!" and it bumps up your Super Meter as well.

While you're playing Puzzle Kombat, you have caricatures of the normal MKD fighters representing how well you're doing - and as you do your combos they will do a special move. Each special move that your fighter does affects the blocks in a different way, so which character you picked comes heavily into play. For instance, if you do a combo while playing as Scorpion, it will jumble your opponents blocks around. Not all of these specials are aggresive, as Mileena has a drill for her special that will destroy two columns of her own blocks. Still another special in the game will group your own blocks by color.

Your fighters are also pushing each other to the corner of the screen, so when one person's blocks are all the way up to the top, that person has also been pushed all the way to their corner into a deathtrap - FATALITY! Each background in Puzzle Kombat has its own unique Stage and therefore Stage Fatality, as well.

Like regular Kombat, it is best 2 out of 3, so you still have a shot at it regardless of what happens in the first round. The best strategy that seems to work for us while at E3 was to stack up all the blocks of the same color in a row (as best we could) in order to knock a bunch of them out at once when the dragon koin arrives. Doing this in a way that sets up combos would be ideal (for instance, destroying a pile of red blocks, which in turn destroys a pile of blue ones). Remember, doing a combo is what activates your special move, giving you the real upper hand in the game!

Like Chess Kombat reviewed yesterday, Puzzle Kombat will be one of the modes that can go online. In fact, in the video, you can see Mortal Kombat Online's own DArqueBishop and Scott-Howell battle it out over a LAN! Click here to download the Puzzle Kombat video.

MK Online Goes In Depth: Chess Kombat
Mortal Kombat: Deception's Chess Kombat might seem uninteresting at first, but once you've played it it's hard to put down. For starters, this game is not exactly like chess. If you've never played chess, don't let the name fool you because you will be able to pick this up relatively easy. It's more like that game Archon, but you don't have to have played that before in order to start Chess Kombat either.

When you first start, you can elect to play against the computer, a second player, or someone online. Next, you will be asked to assemble a team of 5 characters. That's five different characters, you can not pick the same characters over and over. You may, however, use the same characters that your opponent is using. This is good, because it forces you to master many different fighters and not just stick to one.

The Leader is your most important fighter; if your leader dies, you lose. This is kind of like the King in chess. Your Champion is the most powerful fighter; it can move farther than your other pieces can. Your Sorcerer (you have 2 of these) is interesting, as you have access to 8 different spells such as imprison, resurrect, etc. If you lose one of your Sorcerer's, then you only have access to 4 spells, so try to be careful. Then we have the Shifter. When you fight as the Shifter, you turn into the person you're fighting against. Last, but not least, we have the Grunt. Your grunt is like chess's pawn, you will have the most of this piece and will do most of your fighting as the Grunt. Make sure you really know how to use the fighter you select here.

Once you begin, you will notice 2 pieces on the board highlighted in green. These recharge the health of all your fighters if you manage to get your piece on that square. You also have one piece reserved as your trap, you can set it anywhere on the board you like. You want to be aware of where your opponent set their trap, so you know to avoid that square.

Now when you begin your first move as the Grunt, you can move one space diagonally or 2 spaces vertically (you can move horizontally if that space is available to you). Different pieces will be able to move farther, or shorter, depending on the piece. When 2 pieces land on the same square, that's when the good ol' MK fighting begins. Whoever lands on the square second is considered the attacker and starts with a 10 point bonus (slightly more health). The battles go pretty quickly, faster than a normal MK battle since your health starts out very limited. When you win, you are given the opportunity to finish your opponent with a Fatality - it really wouldn't be Chess Kombat without it!

The best part about Chess Kombat? The classic, retro, MK backgrounds redone in 3-D! We've already seen the pics of The Courtyard (which can be seen in the video below), The Dead Pool, The MK3 Champions, and The Portal. And the game's not even finished! Who knows what old-school stages will end up returning? These are definitely a treat for the long-term Mortal Kombat fans. The monks and Shang Tsung's guards are enough to make any MK fan start salivating. In the E3 version of the game, you had one stage as the background for the entire game. It remains to be seen if this will be true for the final version.

So, check out this exclusive, direct-feed video of Chess Kombat.

Also, as a special treat to the Mortal Kombat fans as to what E3 was like, there was a huge set of 16 TV screens right outside Midway's booth. Here is a special video of one of the MK: Deception trailers being displayed across all these TV sets at once. Enjoy!

MK Online Goes In Depth: Konquest Mode
Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest Mode can be summed up in one word: Wow. Where to begin? Well, the star of the show is a pupil of Bo Rai Cho's named Shujinko. His name will probably be customizable in future versions, but for now he's known only as Shujinko as this was just the E3 beta of the game. Anyway, as you control Shujinko you meet your friend, Apep, who pals around with you and shows you what missions there are for you to accomplish. When he leads you to the dojo, you train with Bo Rai Cho to learn new moves.

You may have heard that Konquest Mode is a game all on its own, and this is absolutely true. You start out in a dojo with Shujinko as a young boy, and all the other kids in the village are acting out a play. The characters that the children are pretending to be are famous MK warriors, such as Kung Lao, Goro, and Shang Tsung, acting out famous events in the Mortal Kombat universe.

The main missions as well as the side missions there are to do are simply incredible. There is a sick boy who you help by finding medicine for him, or a guard that is hungry and you go to the butcher to get some food for him. By helping people, you can get various rewards such as Kurrency (koins), or being granted access to areas that were blocked off before. Many things such as secret fighting styles will be unlocked through Konquest Mode, so it is important to help as many people as possible.

It's been said multiple times that every MK character will be in this game. The Midway guys confirmed this again at the pre-E3 MK party and E3 itself. Even in this beta version, we are shown characters from Lin Kuei clan members to a messenger for the Elder Gods.

It is this messenger of the Gods that grants Shujinko the ability to develop the fighting styles of all the warriors he encounters. Herein lies in the customization: with all the fighting styles in the game available at your finger tips (through Shujinko), it is up to you to decide which ones you want to use. And you will have every fighting style in the game to choose from; as Shujinko's adventures lead him through the 6 different worlds that Bo Rai Cho sends him to: Earthrealm, Outworld, Netherealm, Orderrealm, Chaos Realm,and Edenia.

One of Ed Boon's answers in MK Online's 10-Question Fan Interview revealed that you can play as Shujinko in Konquest mode until he is an old man, at that point he will be playable in regular Kombat mode as well as online.

In short, Deception's Konquest mode is everything a die-hard Mortal Kombat fan could ever ask for! Check out these videos:

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2004 comes to a close.
Last night the E3 Expo came to an end. Mortal Kombat Online would like to thank its users that have appreciated all of the hard work that has gone into this year's coverage. The last day at E3 was spent getting final impressions of Mortal Kombat: Deception, as well as having our final discussions with various Midway contacts and team members. Most of us are already on the way home, or will be leaving later this morning- so don't expect our next update until sometime towards the end of this weekend. Once we get back and get things situated, we will post more information learned on the gameplay, and eventually get the rest of our videos up that we haven't had time to post. We've been very tired from long nights of reporting, so once we're fully rested, expect more updates. Even though the Exposition might be over, our coverage will continue soon!

Update: Well to hold you over.. we just remembered in two different brochures given to us at the Midway booth, that it confirms Raiden is in the character roster of MK: Deception. Also, we read earlier today that Gamespot has confirmed that Jax is also in the line-up.
Second Day at E3 - MK: Deception Media Frenzy!
Greetings from Los Angeles, CA on behalf of the entire Mortal Kombat Online staff! We have just wrapped up Day Two of our LIVE E3 Coverage, and it has definitely been an exciting (though exhausting) day at the Midway booth. We have had ample time with Mortal Kombat: Deception and the MK Development Team, and have learned a great deal regarding the next installment of this phenomenal series.

To headline, we are excited to announce that Mortal Kombat: Deception has been nominated as the Best Fighting Game of E3 2004! While the winner has yet to be announced, we are confident that MK: Deception will (literally) beat out the competition. Good luck to the Team MK! Next, we were finally able to access the online portion of MK: Deception, specifically the Kombat mode and the Puzzle MK modes. Scott Howell and D'Arque Bishop were able to kick it back arcade style by facing off in Kombat over XBox Live via the Midway booth's Local Area Network. This was able to provide us with a teaser of how the online functionality of the game will act, and we must say we are impressed. Though it was only over a LAN, we were unable to notice any amount of lag or decrease in game quality for the online experience. This was very promising, particularly as Steve Beran re-confirmed that MK: Deception Online will only be compatible with broadband connections. This is a breath of fresh air for those who feared choppy dial-up opponents.

Also of particular note, we were able to observe the PS2 and XBox versions of MK: Deception side-by-side. While the game looks beautiful on both formats, there are note-worthy graphical improvements on the XBox (including HDTV support, bump-mapping, and smoother textures). The PS2 version still looks fantastic, and both versions are sure to go through some major polishing. Steve Beran noted that the remaining months on the development cycle will go directly towards tweaking and tuning the game for each system, and fans are sure to be pleased with the finished products regardless of which console they play on.

In more exciting news, Midway granted MK Online direct access to the press booth so that we were able to capture exclusive direct-feed footage of MK: Deception! Be sure to check-out the downloads section to see ]{0MBAT and Mobster4Christ face off in battle and showcase many of the game's exciting new elements. The first three videos are in MPEG format, while the Press Kit footage is in Windows Media format.
As you check out our screenshots and videos, be sure to look out for the many Classic Mortal Kombat throw-backs. MK Chess features a montage of revamped MK1, MK2, and MK3 background elements. This includes The Deadpool (featuring Shang Tsung observing the match from above in his MK2 attire), The Courtyard, The Portal, and a Hall of Fame (with the Destiny Towers of MK1-MK4 looming in the background). Also, Dan Forden has obviously had his hand in remixing classic Mortal Kombat background tracks, as newer versions of these tunes appear in MK: Deception. These added touches truly make the game feel like a tribute to the fans of Mortal Kombat, retouching on the history we all know and love. You may notice that one of the screenshots was taken from Psi-Ops - one of its special features is the early MKD trailer included on the game!  And by the way... who is that old looking gentleman sitting next to ]{0MBAT?

Click here for the entire gallery of media - Well over 50 screenshots in total for this update. Reporting Live Los Angeles, see you tomorrow as we wrap up our final day of coverage!

UPDATE: We are providing a better quality (but unfortunately larger file size) version of the Fan Interview! This version is much brighter and has a much improved audio track derived from the WAV file created by Konqrr! To see the new Fan Interview video, click here. Our sincerest thanks to Konqrr for the better quality audio track used in this version of the video!

Ed Boon Answers YOUR Questions!
A couple of weeks ago, we made the call for the second Mortal Kombat Online Fan Interview. We had a lot of questions submitted, but in the end, we picked what we thought were the best ten. On Tuesday night, at the pre-E3 MK party thrown by Midway, Scott Howell and Justin Deering sat down with MK team leader and co-creator Ed Boon to have him answer the questions YOU submitted. However, as a surprise for you the fans, we are providing the interview not as a expressionless text file, but as a full movie file! This file is encoded in Quicktime format, and comes in at around 30 MB.

To download the Fan Interview, click here.

Our thanks to the many users who submitted their questions and participated in this Fan Interview!

Note: We're aware of the poor quality of the video and the darkness of it; we're working on a tight schedule trying to get everything up in at least some form for all of you as fast as we can. We should be able to get a better version up tonight. It was just the conversion from the camera that made it dark. Later tonight we'll try to get a better version up ;-)
First Day of E3 - Mortal Kombat Screenshot Mayhem!
We are now making available even more new screenshots from the Electronic Entertainment Expo as well from the official Mortal Kombat Party at the Standard Downtown LA, on Tuesday Night. Feast your eyes and enjoy... and who is that short guy standing with myself, CCShadow, and ]{0MBAT?

Check out the entire gallery in our E3 2004 Coverage Section!

First Day of E3 -- First Impressions of MK: Deception!
This is D'Arque Bishop, reporting to you from the show floor of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition. As promised, we're here to cover Midway's new fighter, Mortal Kombat: Deception. After spending last night and this morning playing the E3 build of MK Deception, we feel that it's time to present our impressions of the game so far.

The E3 build has twelve characters playable: Scorpion, Baraka, Mileena, Sub-Zero, Hotaru, Sindel, Kenshi, Bo'Rai Cho, Ashrah, Li Mei, Nightwolf, Ermac. The characters have the same level as detail in MK: Deadly Alliance, and we've noticed some details in the characters that have not been seen in renders so far. For example, characters returning from MK Deadly Alliance tend to have the same fighting styles in MKD. However, we have been told that this is not set in stone; their styles may change. Also, small little graphical details can be seen, such as the fact that Mileena's veil is translucent; you can see her teeth underneath the veil. Li Mei's costume is also much improved, in that while her costume is the same color has her MKDA one, it is much more reminiscent of the armor of a soldier in the Dragon King's army. The three ninjas, while LOOKING like ninjas, are VASTLY different in appearance. For example, Ermac's mask is actually black bandages wrapped around his head, while Sub-Zero's is more like a samurai helmet. Also, some characters have returning moves, such as Sub-Zero's ice clone and Scorpion's teleport punch. (In the case of the teleport punch, Scorpion disappears in a whiff of black smoke, and appears on the other side of the current view in a blast of flame.) Ashrah possesses what appears to be souped-up versions of Raiden's torpedo and Kung Lao's spin. Finally, Baraka's weapon style is referred to simply as Blades, and not Baraka Blades.

The core fighting engine and how characters move is little changed from MK Deadly Alliance. We have been told that more characters now have throws, and also we have observed that combos are easier to pull off. The biggest change in how the game plays is in the interaction of the characters with the environments. One thing we noticed is that a death trap is considered to be the gameplay equivalent of a ring-out. It does not end the entire match; the game continues to the next round with the characters returning to their starting point in the arena. One thing we noticed in the arena that is constantly falling to pieces is that both characters can fall to their deaths on the spikes below at the same time. We have yet to figure out, however, what method they use to determine the round winner. That part may not be finalized. To pick up a background weapon, you choose your weapon style when within range of the weapon, One thing I did notice is that once you grab a background weapon, you cannot change back into another fighting style. Also, if you get knocked into a death trap and the map resets, you keep your background weapon and a new one is put in place.

Not much can be said about Chess Kombat that has not already been said. However, one item that may not have been noticed is that the fighting arenas in Chess are NOT from Deception; the two used are actually 3-D versions of MK1's The Courtyard (complete with aged Shang Tsung on his throne) and MK2's The Dead Pool. As far as Puzzle Kombat goes, one item that makes it much different from games like Puzzle Fighter is that there are multiple rounds in Puzzle Kombat. Also, fatalities are done automatically in Puzzle Kombat.

We have also acquired several official images from MK Deception, including the proposed box art for the game. In addition, we have gameplay movies recorded, and will get those to you ASAP. Finally, for those interested in our Fan Interview, the Interview was performed at the party last night, and we hope to have it online as well.

This is D'Arque Bishop signing off from the E3 show floor. We will be back later tonight with more information.
Ed Boon Presents MK: Deception at Pre-E3 Party!
Last night, we at Mortal Kombat Online had the privilege of attending a party held by Midway Games in honor of their new game, Mortal Kombat: Deception! During the party, a special presentation was made by Reilly Brennan and Ed Boon, giving a brief history of Mortal Kombat, and more importantly, a brief rundown of MK: Deception. During the presentation, Ed gave a detailed rundown of the game modes, including Arcade, Konquest Adventure, Chess Kombat, and Puzzle Kombat.

However, rather than go into detail, we'd rather just have Reilly and Ed speak for themselves. Our intrepid reporter ]{0MBAT managed to videotape the entire presentation. The presentation can be downloaded here. We do warn you that the download is over 240 MB and lasts over twenty minutes. A smaller version is available here thanks to Konqrr.

More information and media will be coming today. Stay tuned to MK Online for the latest in E3 information!
Mortal Kombat Online attends Pre-E3 Midway Party!
As you might of noticed in a press release sent out yesterday by Midway Games, they mentioned a special invite-only party that would reveal all of the official details on the current project in works by Ed Boon and team. You'll also notice that during our announcement of our E3 coverage this year, that we have made no mention of this party, and that our coverage would start on Wednesday during the first day of the E3 Expo. Well.. is it ok to say we lied? If there's anything we like to do at Mortal Kombat Online it's keeping secrets. But it's now time to take the the cat out of the bag. We were invited to the official party itself on May 11, and later today we are bringing you more then just exclusive details!

Last night we got our first hands on impressions of  Mortal Kombat: Deception, and we were more than impressed! During the party we had several conversations with various members of the Mortal Kombat Team including Ed Boon, Steve Beran, Mike Taran, and Tony Goskie among others.  We've returned home from the party late, so we need to get some rest for the big day, but expect all the information on the party and more when our E3 Coverage kicks off later today!

Mortal Kombat Online E3 Coverage Begins Next Week!
We're packing our bags, getting on a jet plane.. and we're not sure if we'll even want to come back again! Get ready as Mortal Kombat Online takes the sky to Los Angeles, California to kick off its LIVE coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo on Wednesday, May 12th! With Mortal Kombat: Deception and Midway Arcade Treasures 2 center state at the Midway Booth, we envision this being our most exciting coverage ever done from the E3 show floor. Last night the deadline came for our fan interview with series co-creator Ed Boon, and well over a hundred die hard questions were submitted. We've picked the top ten, and they will be released as well during the week of E3; you won't want to miss out! With that, here's a little something to hold you over...
Mortal Kombat: Deception
New MK: Deception videos/interview surface at Gamespot!
As previously mentioned, GameSpot has given to us 3 new videos featuring the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception! We start things off with yet another "official trailer" that begins much in the same way as the first of two trailers that IGN released two days prior. There isn't too much in this one that hasn't already been seen. This time we're treated to an excellent shot of Nightwolf facing off against Sindel on the spire-like arena followed by several glances of the "Yin Yang" arena, Ermac performing his Telekinetic Slam (which gives an early indication that he does indeed retain his telekinetic powers in spite of Kenshi), and finally, the Courtyard background featured in Chess Kombat that GameSpot mentions in their preview, complete with monks and patrolling guards.

The second video is more interesting than the official trailer and shows a few special moves, more weapon use, and more detail in the modes overall. It opens up with Scorpion performing his Summon Hellfire move from Deadly Alliance on Baraka. Beetles can be seen crawling on the wall in the background. This is followed by a shot of Li Mei performing her Flying Fists on Ermac. Sindel wields a hammer of sorts and knocks Sub-Zero off of the Sky Temple, with the fall shown in its entirety. From this it cuts to Chess Kombat, which looks to be coming along quite nicely. Again, the MK1 Courtyard background is shown in this mode and a better shot of the patrolling guards is given. This segment ends with a brief scene of Li Mei and Ermac duking it out for a square, finishing him off with yet another special move, her Klock Kick. Ermac now has his own icon below his life meter (fans everywhere can rest). The video wraps up with various shots of Konquest and Puzzle Kombat. Some old, some new. One scene, located in a dojo, shows your Konquest character facing up against Bo' Rai Cho, completing objectives via moves much like in Deadly Alliance's Konquest mode. The Puzzle Kombat shots are completely new and sport a background with a steel press on each side.

The third video is an interview with the man himself, Ed Boon. While brief, he discusses various details about the game, such as the main grid of characters, gameplay improvements, and the Krypt and Konquest mode. As for the the number of characters that will be playable in the final game, the given number by Ed is 24, but also makes note that there will be more. Though it is unclear if these characters will be playable or not. Also hinted is the possibility of features that will not be apparent on any main select screen. Moving on to the topic of gameplay, fighting styles will be even more distinct from each other. The combo system has been revamped. While still elaborate, it will play less of a role in the actual fight, for players can now break out of combos, creating more of a strategical battle. Expansion upon the juggling system will give players more control over where you want to position yourself and your opponent with respect to the background. Finally, Ed discusses what's in store at E3. The E3 build of the game will feature 10 playable characters in the fighting game, 6 to 8 selectable characters along with 4 backgrounds complete with fatalities in Puzzle Kombat, Chess Kombat will be playable and mostly complete, as well as a peek of the first and second realms in Konquest mode. In actuality, there is a 4th trailer. However, it's identical to IGN's Trailer 2. On a final note, you must be a subscriber to GameSpot Complete in order to view the interview with Ed Boon.

You can find all of the media located here. Our thanks go to Mortal Kombat Online forum member Konqrr for the news tip!

GameSpot Pre-E3 Mortal Kombat: Deception Preview!
The guys over at Gamespot have managed to get their hands on the playable Mortal Kombat: Deception demo, which will appear at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week in Los Angeles, California. After giving the pre-release version a complete analysis, they have posted an in-depth preview of the demo, including information on the E3 roster. From the article:

The work-in-progress version of the game features an impressive sampling of some of what the final game will offer. The first mode in the game we tried was the traditional fighting mode. The roster of available characters clocks in at 12 characters--roughly half of whom will appear in the final game. Old-timers Baraka, Nightwolf, Mileena, Sindel, Ermac, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion join Deadly Alliance's Li Mei, Kenshi, and Bo Rai Cho. All the characters' designs have had varying degrees of work done, resulting in slightly new looks for everyone. In addition to the old crew, newcomers Ashra (the Raiden-looking female seen briefly in the first trailer) and Hotaru (a male warrior sporting an elaborate suit of samurai-inspired armor) are on hand to brawl.

New details are also given on the interactive environments, but a lot more significant information has been learned about the fight status indicators that will appear on screen during battles. These will assist players at any skill level; by giving notice of elements during gameplay, including death traps, that can change the entire outcome of the fight. GameSpot continues to say:

While the fighting system is still a work in progress, since the team is still balancing everything out, what's on hand offers a good idea of where things are headed. The basic combo and three-fighting-style systems are back but are enhanced by some significant additions. The fight-state indicator system lets you gain a better understanding of the flow of battle, because it lets you track your vulnerability and that of your foe. The indicator offers three color-coded warnings--red, blue and yellow--that let you know when you're open to attack during a battle. The system has been tweaked since our last look at the game to make the indicators less obtrusive on the screen. The meters for you and your opponent now appear under your health bars, as opposed to up the side of the left and right sides of the screen. Another addition to the game is marked by the return of the old-school uppercut, which is a comfortable amenity to have in a fighter's arsenal of common melee attacks.

Moving on, GameSpot also provides a detailed explanation of what to expect in the new Puzzle Kombat and Chess Kombat mini-side games. Here's an excerpt of what to except in regards of chess, Kombat style:

The goal of the game is to take out your opponent's leader with the assorted "pieces" at your disposal. Your pieces are fighters that you assign to one of five classes. The classes affect each character's attack and life stats, forcing you to be a little careful with how you deploy them. The "leader" is the equivalent of your king in standard chess. Your "champion" is essentially your queen and is the most mobile of your pieces. The "grunt" is your pawn, and it serves as cannon fodder. The last two classes, the sorcerer and shifter, don't have ties to traditional chess and are more in tune with MK sensibilities. You'll actually have two sorcerers--in good and evil flavors--who are able to cast spells. The good sorcerer will cast support magic that will let you heal, protect, and resurrect fallen pieces. Your less virtuous spellcaster will be able to do all the fun stuff, like instantly kill one of your opponent's pieces, teleport one of your pieces anywhere on the board, and sacrifice one piece to heal another. Before you think you can kick back and let your sorcerer's do all the work, you should know that you're only going to be able to cast these spells once over the course of a match, so you'll have to use your head. Finally, your shifter is a unique piece that transforms into an exact copy of his or her opponent. This actually makes for a good test of skills, because then you can see who knows how to play a specific character better.

GameSpot concludes the article by giving a breakdown of the online Konquest mode, detailing their comparison of how the graphics compare to MK: Deadly Alliance; also providing some information on the music and audio that appears in the game. But not to spoil us even further, they also showcase a whole slew of new screen shots. Why most focus on the game environments, including a prison stage, (see who you can make out behind those bars!), we are also treated with a few new renders that first appeared in print publications.

For a complete look at this preview, click here. Thanks goes out to Mortal Kombat Online forum users, MrShadowMan and Faction, for the heads up! Stay tuned for another update about new videos that have been released, including a GameSpot exclusive interview with MK: Deception lead, Ed Boon!

Midway Arcade Treasures II Trailer
With all the updates and hoopla over Mortal Kombat: Deception, it's important that Midway Arcade Treasures II not be forgotten. This collection of classic arcade Midway games (20 games for $20) features MK1, MK2, and MK3. There's also some cool artwork of different icons representing various games on this trailer, and a cool picture of Sub-Zero is used to represent MK (no pun intended!). You have to be a member of GameSpot Basic to download the video - account registration is free, so don't worry.
Special thanks to Mortal Kombat Online forum member CAMK for the word!
IGN Provides Two New MK Deception Trailers!
IGN has just posted not one, but two brand-new trailers from Midway's upcoming fighting game Mortal Kombat: Deception!

The first trailer is more of an official trailer, complete with the opening narration from the first trailer. It also continues the FMV battle between Mileena and Baraka seen in the first trailer, as Baraka is knocked through a wall into the temple below, followed by Mileena. As Mileena readies her sais, Baraka picks up the stage weapon, and they both charge at each other. The video then shows plenty of gameplay, including such scenes as a kombatant being kicked through the ceiling of a level, flying across the arena above, and crashing through the glass floor of said arena to land on the opposite end of the original arena. A number of characters are shown in the trailer, including the first known gameplay footage of Bo'Rai Cho. Chess Kombat is also featured, this time with actual MK: Deception characters instead of MK:DA placeholders. Puzzle Kombat is the next to be demonstrated; unlike Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, the cartoonish characters constantly battle each other while the game progresses, and a fatality is shown when Ermac drops a one-ton weight on Sub-Zero's head. Also, two known stage fatalities are shown: a character is kicked into a grinder, and a character is smashed by steelworks after being kicked into a forge. Then, once you think it's over... the fatalities start. Among the fatalities shown are Hotaru picking up a character and smashing him face-first on the ground several times until he explodes, a character ripping another's arm off and beating her with it, the aforementioned Hotaru snapping his own neck in a hara kiri move, Mileena biting off Sub-Zero's head, and Sindel kicking Nightwolf off a tall spire so that he impales himself on a spike far below.

The second trailer looks far less official, and seems to be comprised mostly of ingame footage. Of note in this trailer is the fact that in Konquest mode, characters speak using both voiceovers and subtitles. Moreover, it appears that buildings/doorways of note are indicated by a green light under them. Also, in Puzzle Kombat mode, Hotaru also drops the one-ton weight on Baraka; whether other fatalities are available is yet to be seen.

To see the trailers in their entirety, click here. Please note that you will need to be an IGN Insider member in order to acquire the higher-quality Quicktime versions of these trailers.
Our thanks to forum member Kel-X for the heads-up on these trailers!

UPDATE: For those of you not members of IGN Insider liking to see a higher quality version of the above released "MK: Deception Trailer 1", it is now available for download via TeamXbox. Thanks prince_goro78 & Hydro.

Mortal Kombat Online Live Coverage of E3 2004!
LIVE from E3 May 12-14!It all started here with our exclusive render of an angry Baraka, that gave fans their first glimpse ever of Mortal Kombat: Deception. Since then you've downloaded the screenshots, read about the new characters, saw the interactive environments, and set your eyes on the return of Stage Fatalities. Advancing on the backbone of 2002's hit Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Midway Games is determined this next installment of the best selling beat 'em up franchise will continue to drive back the darker days of the series that fans enjoyed in Mortal Kombat II. Ed Boon and team see no better way to achieve this goal, than to make Mortal Kombat: Deception the first Midway online enabled fighting game for home consoles! When this game is released this Fall, fans will be able to fight once again against complete strangers, show off their moves, and disgust their opponent with a blood drenching finishing move.

At Mortal Kombat Online, we're having a hard time waiting until Fall to get our hands on this title. That's why we are proud to announce our return to Los Angeles, California for our third consecutive LIVE coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo! On May 12-14, stick it here as Scott Howell, CCShadow, D'Arque Bishop, and ]{0MBAT provide their first impressions of Mortal Kombat: Deception as well as the Mortal Kombat titles in Midway Arcade Treasures II! With a day to day breakdown of the games, exclusive screenshots and videos, and in-depth reports, Mortal Kombat Online plans to do everything in its power to outshine its first coverage of E3 in 2002 that rose this site to the top.

This year, Mortal Kombat Online wants to involve its readers in our E3 coverage. That's why we are giving you the opportunity of a life time! From today until Friday, May 7th at 11:59 PM Eastern time we will be accepting submissions for our exclusive Fan Interview with co-creator of the MK series himself, Ed Boon! All submissions are allowed one question per username; any duplicate submissions either by same account and/or clone accounts will not be accepted. We are looking for very well written and thought provoking questions only. From all of the submissions we will be picking the ten best entries which will be taken to Los Angeles to be used in our formal interview with Ed Boon. The ten winning entries will also be entered in a raffle for a free Mortal Kombat Online Shirt! To submit your question please fill out our submission form located here. Any submissions not sent through this form will not be selected for the interview.

As always, our coverage will be updated in conjunction with our E3 Coverage Section. There you can view all of our past trips to E3 and the media that came from those events. Don't miss out, our coverage begins the morning of Wednesday, May 12th!

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