News Archive - May, 2006
Direct Feed Gameplay Footage of MK Armageddon
While at E3 2006, we were able to acquire a copy of the B-Roll footage from Midway. On the footage were 2 trailers for MK Armageddon, which were already posted, but there was also some gameplay footage which hadn't been seen before. They showcase a couple traps (including the ones in the Tekunin Warship, the Bell Tower, the Wastelands, and Goro's Lair), as well as some of the various special moves. There is also footage of the new-and-improved Konquest mode, featuring Taven, as well as the Kreate A Fighter mode.

Here are some pics of the B-Roll itself:
Here is where you can download the gameplay video:And finally, on a completely unrelated note, we'd like to thank MK Online reader unrooolie for sending us some images of M. Bison that he had created in MK Armageddon's KAK mode. Check them out:
Direct Feed Gameplay Footage of MK Unchained on PSP
Direct Feed Gameplay Footage of MK Unchained on PSP Here's some video footage of gameplay from Mortal Kombat: Unchained, the PSP port of Mortal Kombat: Deception. From the videos, you can actually see footage of all four exclusive characters, Kitana, Jax, Frost, and Blaze in action! It should be noted that Blaze looks way hotter (no pun intended) than in MK: Deadly Alliance, as flames continue to follow him wherever he goes. Footage of Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat is also included. This footage came directly from the Midway B-Roll given to us during E3 about a week and a half ago.
MK: Armageddon Nominated for Game Critics Best Fighting Game of E3!
Winners announced May 31
Gamespot published a story today announcing the Game Critics Awards nominees for Best of E3 2006. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has been chosen as one of the nominees and is against such titles including Heavenly Sword, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Virtua Fighter 5, and WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007. From their story:

In the wake of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the only thing almost as abundant as the trinkets and schwag being sold on online auction sites are the Best of E3 lists touted by various publications. However, one set of awards stands out from the rest as it represents a large sample of the gaming press.

The Game Critics Awards, first held in 1998, is decided by a group of dozens of journalists from different media outlets. This year, 37 judges participated in deciding the best games and hardware from E3 2006. Leading gaming editors culled from publications such as Newsweek, CNN/Money, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and GameSpot chimed in on what they thought were the highlights of the conference.

Winners will be announced after the judges decision on Wednesday, May 31, 8:30 PM Pacific.

Thanks goes out to for this important news lead!

Cinder Posts Rain Wallpaper from MK Armageddon!

Hot on the heels of yesterday's posting of koncept art to the Midway Boards, everyone's favorite Midway moderator, Cinder, has come through for the fans again. This time, he's posted a character wallpaper from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! The featured character is everyone's favorite purple ninja (missing in action since Mortal Kombat Trilogy), Rain!

To see the original forum thread in which this wallpaper was posted, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member for the heads-up on this new wallpaper!

Cinder Posts Koncept Art for the Netherrealm in MK Armageddon!

Over on the Midway Boards, the moderator known as Cinder has been continuing to post concept art from Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Today, however, he's decided to start posting works from Midway's upcoming game, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! In this piece of "koncept" art, Cinder shows us how the infamous Netherrealm might look in what is presumably Konquest Mode!

To see the original forum thread in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for the heads-up oin this new piece of koncept art!

E3 2006 Unchained Trailer
With all the hype over MK Armageddon, and even Ultimate MK3 being available for the 360 on the Xbox Live Arcade, we thought we'd wait until a little while after E3 2006 was over to show you the trailer for MK Unchained on the PSP. Available on the video is brief direct feed footage of Jax in action, not to mention the revealing of a new Endurance Mode, so check it out:
Video of UMK3 from X-Box Live
As our coverage of E3 is winding down, we thought we'd continue with one of the classics: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. In this video, you can see a match of Liu Kang vs. Smoke in the waterfront. Very good news for fans of the classic games - none of the shadow glitches that plagued the Midway Arcade Treasures series seem to be present in this build. We couldn't tell if the music was arcade-perfect - the show was very crowded and noisy - but since there are no other obvious glitches, we think it's safe to say that everything else is in order. So without further ado, download the following: The video above is in MPEG format.

Also of interest - Mortal Kombat II was apparently in the Classic Gaming Booth in E3's Kentia Hall, but someone had allegedly stolen the cartridge long before we got there. At least they had good taste!
Transcript of MKO Fan Interview With Ed Boon
Though E3 2006 is over, we at MKO still have a few more updates planned for you, the MK fan. For this update, we have now typed up a transcript of the entire video interview with Ed Boon from E3 2006. (If you haven't seen it yet, you should probably check it out first!)

To read the transcript in its entirety, click here.
Complete Walkthrough for the E3 version of MK Armageddon Konquest!

E3 may be over, but our coverage is only now winding down! While we were at E3, ]{0MBAT and CCShadow managed to get some time to sit down and run through the version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's Konquest mode that was available for people to play. What we saw covered about the first thirty to forty minutes, as Taven, son of the protector of Edenia Argus (presumably Edenia's equivalent of Raiden), awakes from a long sleep to find himself at the center of an ages-old prophecy, and facing off against such warriors as the Black Dragon and the Tekunin. ]{0MBAT and CCShadow recorded their run through Konquest mode, and we now make these videos available for you in Quicktime format.

This concludes this year's coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition. On behalf of everyone here at Mortal Kombat Online, I thank you all for joining us as we reported on the current state of MK Armageddon and MK Unchained, and invite you to join us as we continue our coverage of these games up until their releases!

Final Impressions of MK Armageddon
Today marks the final day of our live E3 2006 coverage here in Los Angeles. I'd like to start this update out by stating we had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow MK fansite TRMK again as well as fansites DavesMK and Total Mortal Kombat.

Continuing our coverage of MK: Armageddon, you may have noticed in one of our earlier updates today the alternate costumes included for all the playable characters. This is somewhat of a rarity, as in previous E3's alternate costumes were not accessible by simply pressing start instead of one of the main buttons. To comment a little bit more on the gameplay, one of the best improvements over Deception was the addition of "cross-ups" - e.g., when you flip over an opponent and kick them, you will actually be kicking in their direction. This definitely rewards more offensive fighting and brings back that old-school feeling, but at the same time works well with the new Aerial Kombat system.

In regards to the special moves, there are many moves which really capture the feeling of each character. Scorpion's teleport has a "ghostly" effect to it that looks better than ever. When he throws his opponent, he pushes them away - but while they're in the air, throws the spear upward, and brings them back to him for more punishment. Jarek has a move where he takes a lasso and slams you all around the room. Kintaro has the ability to bring you towards him from across the arena simply by pulling his arms towards himself fast enough to create a gust of wind that traps his opponents. Stryker's grenades from MK3 are back, and his Taser Fatality from that game is back as a special move. When Sareena uses her throwing knife, the blade actually does get lodged in her opponent's shoulder, impaling them, but it does not cause actual draining on the energy bar (just like Nightwolf's Arrow in MKD).

And now, here is a list of all the playable characters and their fighting styles (both their hand-to-hand and their weapon style). Keep in mind that everything on this list is just based on the E3 build and is subject to change.

Goro - Shokan, Gauntlets
Stryker - Hua Chuan, Night Sticks
Sektor - Choy Lay Fut, Pulse Blade
Shinnok - Pao Chui, Amulet Staff
Sheeva - Kuatan, Shokan Blades
Kintaro - Tiger Fist, Saber Teeth
Fujin - Mian Chuan, Wind Blade
Rain - Zi Ran Men, Storm Sword
Kai - Moi Fah, Machete
Sub-Zero - Nan Chuan, Kori Blade
Reiko - Pi Gua, Devastator
Jarek - Kuo Shou, Kick Axe
Scorpion - Zha Chuan, Ninja Sword
Shao Kahn - Tai Tzu, Wrath Hammer
Sareena - Yue Chuan, Demon Fangs

This concludes our final impressions. Our congratulations to Midway for winning the 1UP.COM Best of E3 Nominee Award. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for a big update on Konquest Mode coming up!
And check out the following videos:
The E3 2006 Fan Interview with Ed Boon is Now Available!

Our coverage of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Unchained at E3 2006 continues! Earlier today, our very own Justin "]{0MBAT" Deering got to sit down with Midway's Ed "Ed" Boon, and ask him the questions you submitted! We're now happy to present the video to you, in Quicktime format.

Keep it tuned here; the show itself may be over, but we'll keep posting media throughout the weekend, and will have our final impressions up soon!

Mortal Kombat Armageddon Character Gallery
As it happens every year, the trumpet has sounded through the hallowed halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, marking the end of a great show at E3 2006. We are working feverishly on our final updates, including more movies, screen shots, and of course, the Annual Fan Interview. In the meantime, however, enjoy this gallery of side-by-side comparisons of every playable character from the E3 demo along with their alternate outfits!
Stay tuned to Mortal Kombat Online for the finale of our live coverage of Mortal Kombat at E3 2006!
MK Armageddon Second Impression and More Pics
Welcome to the update for our second day here at the E3 show in Los Angeles, California. We're going to discuss a bit more in depth some of the background arenas featured in MK Armageddon. But first, we would like to include a guide that will explain all ten levels of the Fatality system, based on the number of hits used to create your Fatality:

Level 1 - Fatality
Level 2 - Deadly Fatality
Level 3 - Killer Fatality
Level 4 - Bloody Fatality
Level 5 - Mortal Fatality
Level 6 - Brutal Fatality
Level 7 - Evil Fatality
Level 8 - Vicious Fatality
Level 9 - Savage Fatality
Level 10 - Extreme Fatality
Keep in mind that this information is valid as far as the E3 build of the game is concerned, though we were told this is all subject to change.

The first background arena featured is the Tekunin Warship. This background is very reminiscent of the MK4 Prison Stage, and even includes a reference to the giant fan from that background. However, there are many fans in this stage - and not all of them are deadly. Some cause your character (or your opponent) to be sucked in and then spit out of another place of the arena, minus some damage to the energy bar. Others are in fact deadly and will count as a death trap. In the beginning of the fight, you can see two Tekunin members in the stage hiding about right before the announcer yells fight.

The next background is the Subway Stage from MK3. This background really feels a lot like an actual subway station. There are benches and trash cans you can get rid of, and of course, there is a death trap in which the actual Subway Train will run your opponent over. This can happen on either side of the stage, so don't get too comfortable cornering your opponent as the tide can easily be changed here.

The next stage is the Bell Tower. This stage has traps galore. The main one is a giant bell on the top floor where you start out. When you knock your opponent into it, they freeze for a bit and are visibly shaken before they fall down into the arena below. Of course, they can be knocked right back up the bell at which point they will down it again. There is another smaller bell and an MK Dragon Symbol on both sides of the stage that will knock the opponent around a bit. And, if you can find it, there is a death trap here which will send your opponent crashing through the floor below and onto a spike, resulting in their head, arms, and limbs falling off and a rat even carries off one of the limbs offscreen. (We were told that this was just a placeholder for the E3 build, and the final version would have a different kind of animal here.)

The next stage is reminiscent of the Hell's Foundry Stage. There is lava everywhere, and tons of death traps laying about. If you don't get burned in the lava, you can also be smooshed to death by a bunch of rollers that are laying around.

The next stage is Goro's Lair. This stage has tons of things like a bunch of skulls laying around - and if you step on them, they just get smashed. You can knock someone up into another level in the lair, at which point, there are a bunch of gates laying around that all lead to a bunch of secret rooms. Those rooms all look pretty much the same, but we were told that in the final version, you will actually be able to fight up in the sky. That feature was absent from the E3 build, however.

The next background is Kahn's Arena. Gone are Sonya and Kano as in MKII, but he found a couple more generic nameless prisoners in their place. This stage really shows the insidious side of Shao Kahn, as he has placed four separate types of death traps in his arena. There is one place where you have to watch out for spikes, another spot where there is an Acid Pool, another location where there are rollers, and one more place that has lava. If using these traps to your advantage, you can win the battle quickly - but you can be beaten just as quickly.

The last stage that you can fight is the Wasteland. This is easily the coolest incarnation of this stage ever seen, and that of course includes Shaolin Monks. This is the stage that has a trap that results in either you or your opponent falling down a flight of stairs. Once that happens, there is a death trap here that will end up with the character screaming to death because of his being on a bunch of hot coals - and then being catapulted to his doom.

This concludes tongight's update. Enjoy the included pictures and videos - and of course, stay tuned for our final impressions!
Also be sure to get the following movies:
MK Unchained Pictures from E3 2006
For this update, we post some more information on the upcoming MK Unchained for the PSP. In the pictures included below, you will find the bios for Frost, Kitana, and Blaze (whose bio will make even more sense tomorrow when his backstory is explained in greater detail in our reporting on MK Armageddon's Konquest Mode).

We also had beaten the game with Jax, as he is the only truly exclusive character in this build, but out of respect to Midway and the fans of the game who want to save something for its release, decided not to post his ending. Still, enjoy the pictures at the end of the update, and fans of the game's storyline should appreciate the bios (believe me, they were NOT easy to obtain as the kontent was blocked off so the process involved a lot of waiting time!)
UMK3 on Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Welcome to the second day of live coverage at E3 2006 in Los Angeles! For this update, we went to visit the Microsoft Booth where they showcased a bunch of games for Xbox Live Arcade - including Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3! This seems to play arcade perfect. It should be noted that in the version we played, there were no Classi\c Sub-Zero, Ermac, or Mileena playable. Of course, they could be unlocked using the correct Kombat Kode, but there is no word yet on whether the characters would be unlocked permanently or whether you would need to re-enter the kode each time you start the game in order to use these characters. Enjoy the pictures!
E3: First Impressions of Mortal Kombat Armageddon (and MK Unchained)
Today at E3, we at Mortal Kombat Online got a chance to play a demo version of the latest installment of Mortal Kombat: MK Armageddon.

As is well known, Armageddon uses an updated version of the fighting engine used in Deception. Unlike the last fighting game installment of MK, however, there is only one hand-to-hand fighting style and one weapon style per character. This is a logical move, as there are too many characters planned for each one to be able to have two unique fighting styles. Sadly, this means an absence of style-branch combos which were very powerful in Deception, but on the plus side, it's now a lot easier to get out your weapon. The breakers from Deception are back as well, and are even able to be used on aerial moves. In fact, Aerial Kombat is pretty intense, as combos of punches and kicks and even throws can be done on an opponent who is airborne. The little light indicators from MKD near the energy bars are gone; though yellow and red indicators in the arenas still reveal where the traps are.

The character select screen had the following characters available - Scorpion, Rain, Jarek, Sub-Zero, Kintaro, Reiko, Fujin, Shao Kahn, Sheeva, Shinnok, Stryker, Kai, Goro, Sektor, Sareena, and the custom character (named "Kombatant" by default). There were a lot of characters who were darkened out because they weren't available in this build - so much so, that an extra button for "rotate" was added to access the additional characters. On the versus screen, Blaze is shown in the beginning and appears to be much bigger and stronger than he was when he was last seen in MKDA. One wonders if he was somehow merged with another being like Reptile was in MKD when Onaga used his body as a vessel.

A lot of the characters return with their signature moves, as well as new special moves that are based on their old Fatalities. For example - Sektor has his Flamethrower as a special move, a regular missile, a missile that goes up and lands down on the opponent (like Kai's vertical fireballs from MK4), and a teleport punch that looks somehow reminiscent of Cyrax's net from MK3 with the green computerized 0's and 1's that fall to the ground whenever he does the move (trust us, it looks cool!). Shinnok now his own set of moves, and his old Fatality where he summons a giant hand can be used to hold the opponent down or as a projectile. He also has a teleport-type move that involves him opening up a portal and travelling through it quickly enough to appear on the other side of his opponent. It should be noted that he uses a staff as his weapon which cases his Amulet - fans of the storyline can speculate on how this came to be. One more fascinating special move worth mentioning - Reiko has a special move where we when he attacks you, he actually appears to wear Shao Kahn's helmet for a brief moment before it disappears.

The loadings screens this time around are all animated. This really seems to give the impression that the game is loading faster as its not just a stationary image on the screen any more. As with the previous fighting game, each mode has its own unique screen (eg, Konquest Mode will have its own animated loading screens which are completely separate from the regular fighting mode screens). In fact, versus mode doesn't even use loading screens, per se - you actually get a versus screen similar to what was in MK3 that actually shows your two characters as they prepare to go up against one another. (Note that if you create your own custom fighter, you will just see a generic vs. mode picture in place of your custom one, though we were told that may be possible to change by the time of final release.)

The new "Create-A-Fatality" system is surprisingly easy to pick up - there will even be a couple of them revealed in videos in a future update. Every step you take while in Fatality mode is counted, and that will determine what type of Fatality you did. For example, a Fatality done in 1 step is just a Fatality. A Fatality done in 2 steps is called a Deadly Fatality. There are 10 different levels in all, with the 10th level being called Extreme Fatality. We've seen that it is possible to actually do more than 10 steps while in Fatality Mode, but anything above ten will still be considered an Extreme Fatality.

The Create a Player system was also present in the E3 build. You can choose the character's gender, size, weapon, race, basic and special moves, as well as a host of other features. One of the best created characters at the show had to be an Incredible Hulk someone had made. You can give them other attributes as well (such as Baraka's mouth or Nitara's fangs), and you can come up with a name for your character - as well as a name for their weapon, their moves, their homeworld, and even a paragraph you can write as their bio. A lot of the created characters posted in the Fan Submission forum would probably do well if adapted to this mode and used online.

Of course, this game also features a Konquest mode. This Konquest was a much more polished version than was seen in MKD. There are koins, but apparently only one type of koin will be used as opposed to having different colors of currency. Treasure chests can be unlocked by more than just visiting a place at the right time of day - you may have to punch a tree stump a couple of times or even squash one of the many bugs walking around to unlock a hidden chest. Characters can actually be Fatalitied in this mode as well. When fighting against the NPC's (non-playable characters) their enegy bars appear, and when low enough, any of the main buttons will each do a different Fatality on them. The main character, Taven, is apparently guided by a spirit who is using the image of his father to train him. Along the way, he runs into the Black Dragon members Kira and Kobra who try to prevent him from crossing a bridge, Kabal who tries to recruit him, Sektor who kidnaps him and keeps him prisoner on his Tekunin War Ship, and Sonya Blade who attempts to rescue him from the Tekunin. Other characters are mentioned as well, and Blaze especially seems to have a critical role to the storyline.

There is also no Krypt for this game - there will be a new system for using koins to unlock kontent instead, though no word on what it's called.


Hundreds more images can be found in the E3 MK: Armageddon Media Page..



Finally, we got a chance to play MK Unchained on the PSP. There were only a couple of characters available - Scorpion, Goro, Shao Kahn, Noob-Smoke, Baraka, Sub-Zero, Jax, and Bo Rai Cho. They seemed to play just like normal as in MKD, and the graphics were much more crisp than expected. The FMV intro is here in all its glory. And wireless mode is working great! There is one problem where pausing the game doesn't stop the action from going - your opponent isn't stopped form playing and will therefore beat you mercilessly. Other than that, it seems like a perfect translation of MK Deception and will, in fact, be better when they add the exclusive characters to the roster.

Midway Releases Official MK: Armageddon Assets!

As the opening of the E3 exhibition nears, Midway has released a bunch of official screenshots from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! All of these screenshots are ones that were seen as part of GameSpot's pre-E3 preview, but now they've been made available without watermarks.

We'll be leaving soon for E3; keep checking back with us, as we will be posting live from there within a few hours!

Official MK: Armageddon Site Posts E3 Trailer, Plus Two Renders!

We're in Los Angeles, getting ready to start the first day of E3. However, it appears the folks at Midway have already been hard at work, as the official MK: Armageddon site already has the promised "more kontent" posted! They have posted two renders and the official E3 trailer! The renders shown the Battle Arena, which looks to be Shao Kahn's Arena from Mortal Kombat II, and the Lumber Mill.

The official E3 trailer expands on what we have already seen; for example, the opening cinematic with both sides rushing at each other has been expanded to show such fights as Sub-Zero and Scorpion clashing swords, Shinnok pinning a dark/evil Raiden to the ground using his summoned skeletal hands, and Baraka and Kung Lao engaging in some air kombat of their own. The trailer then shows myriad gameplay, including Fujin kicking Goro down a flight of steps to another arena, among others. Kreate-a-kombatant is also shown, where it's seen that as stated before in interviews, people will be able to make non-human kombatants. Konquest mode is briefly touched upon as well, showing Taven fighting some Black Dragon thugs and speaking with Sub-Zero. The trailer is two minutes, two seconds in format, and is available in Windows Media format.

We'll be reporting from the show floor within a few hours; keep it tuned here as we report LIVE from E3 with the latest from MK: Armageddon!

Our thanks to forum member for the heads up on this site update!

Official MK: Armageddon Site Shows Goros Lair... More to Come?

As E3 draws ever nearer, Midway has offered a little treat to the fans. On the official Mortal Kombat: Armageddon website, they have posted a render of one of the classic arenas that will be returning to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon: Goro's Lair!

In addition, the site has three greyed out images, with a caption above them that says, "More Kontent on May 10, 2006". We'll be reporting from the E3 show floor on that day, but we'll also keep an eye on the site; we'll keep you all updated.

To go to the official Mortal Kombat: Armageddon site, click here.

Our thanks to forum member for the heads up on the official site's update!

GameSpot Releases Four Gameplay Videos from MK: Armageddon!

GameSpot has just released four new gameplay videos giving a taste of what to expect from Midway's upcoming fighting game, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon! In these four videos, a variety of kombatants face off in a variety of stages, showing off such things as air kombat, multi-level stages, and even a pair of death traps. The roster includes:

  • Gameplay Movie 1: Shinnok takes on Stryker in Goro's Lair, followed by Stryker and Sub-Zero (in his Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance ninja outdit) in the Prison, followed by Jarek and Reiko, followed by Reiko and Sektor in the Wastelands.
  • Gameplay Movie 2: Fujin takes on Sektor in the Bell Tower, followed by Shinnok and Fujin, followed by Fujin and a masked warrior (Rain or Ermac, perhaps?) in an unknown arena, followed by the unknown warrior and Kai in Goro's Lair, followed by Sheeva and Sareena.
  • Gameplay Movie 3: Sheeva and Sareena pick up where they left off from Gameplay Movie 2, followed by Rain and Shao Kahn in the Subway, followed by Scorpion and Sub-Zero in the unknown arena, where Scorpion does his treadmill impression in the very end...
  • Gameplay Movie 4: Rain and Shao Kahn pick up where they left off in the Subway, followed by Shao Kahn making sure Jarek catches the train (or, to be more precisely, making sure the train catches Jarek)...

The videos are available for download to registered GameSpot members, and GameSpot Complete members can download them in high-quality. The standard size for the low-res videos is 11.9 MB, and the size of the high-res videos is 26.6 MB. Non-subscribers can stream the videos. To download or stream the videos, click here, and choose Gameplay Movies 1-4.

Our thanks to forum member for the heads-up on these new videos!

EXCLUSIVE: Two New MK: Armageddon Screenshots Released!

Midway has come through for the fans again! This time, they have released two screenshots from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Armageddon that have not been seen anywhere else! One of the screenshots features a confrontation hinted at even as far back as Mortal Kombat 4; in it, Reiko sends Shao Kahn flying with an uppercut in MK4's Prison stage. In the other screenshot, Sheeva can be seen throwing one of her fireballs towards Fujin, while in the Subway stage from Mortal Kombat 3.

Remember, our E3 coverage begins on May 10th; keep it tuned here then while we bring you the very latest on Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Mortal Kombat: Unchained!

Our thanks to our sources at Midway for these new screenshots!

GameSpot Releases Pre-E3 Preview and Screenshots of MK: Armageddon!

GameSpot has just released a pre-E3 preview of Midway's upcoming fighting game, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. The two-page preview gives a somewhat in-depth preview of what they saw in the build (which is likely to be the same one as used for E3), as well as give an idea of what overall to expect from the game. For example, they dive right in with a preview of the kombat mode. From the article:

Our demo of the game let us check out the three key elements of the demo, the fighting, character creation, and konquest mode, which are all headed in a positive direction. The fighting portion of the demo let us a check out the game's front end, which laid out the modes the game will contain. The modes listed were in line with what we've seen in the previous games, with some notable additions; kombat, konquest, and MK online have been included since 2004's MK: Deception. However, kreate a fighter is a very cool addition to the franchise; we'll be touching on that shortly. Kombat offers the usual three fighting options, arcade, versus, and practice. We tried out the versus mode to get a look at the roster and see what's new to this installment. The character-select screen is a massive two-sided panel the team had to create in order to accommodate the huge roster of fighters. The selection of fighters offered a good sampling of new and legacy characters that included Shinnok, Sheeva, Kintaro, Stryker, Sector, Rain, Scorpion, Goro, Jarek, Kai, Sareena, Fujin, and Sub-Zero. Sheeva and Stryker were looking quite contemporary thanks to their modernized makeover, which was more than just cosmetic. To ensure that the game is balanced, the team is retrofitting all the legacy characters. Every fighter will have two fighting styles you can switch to on the fly, as well as a weapon.

In addition to the retrofitted balancing, the fighting system is being refined over Deadly Alliance's in a number of smart ways. Jumping makes a welcome return to the fray after a noticeable absence, offering more combo options in the heat of battle. Speaking of combos, the trusty combo-breaker move is now joined by a parry that will yield precious moments that you can use to get in some choice blows that could lead to bigger combos. Better still is the expansion of air combos, which are now full-blown aerial butt kickings. However, the most significant, and radical, refinement to combat is the revamped fatality system. Whereas all the previous MKs tasked you with memorizing fighter placement and button combinations, MK: Armageddon's new system gives you the chance to create your own fatalities on the fly. Though purists may scoff at the new system at first, we have to say it's a pretty ingenious way to make the brutal finishing moves accessible to casual players while still letting veterans show their mad skills. The system is initiated in the same manner that fatalities have been in the last two games. After you've knocked the stuffing out of your foe in the second round of a match, you'll have to cycle to the fatality mode using the left trigger. Once you're in the mode, you can get to work. The system basically lets you chain together different button and D pad combos together to perform a fatality. The twist is that the moves are broken up into different levels that can be combined to perform lengthy chains or much simpler, but still brutal, traditional fatalities.

So for example, when you initiate a fatality you can perform linkable moves such as stabbing and dismemberment or ripping out spines, organs, or skulls, which you can then segue into finishers such as head popping. At the end of the chain, your handiwork will be rated. From the sound of things you can perform fatalities that run up to 10 parts. The catch to the lengthier combos is that every time you pull one off, a meter will appear onscreen and run down. If you manage to perform any of the fatality moves, another meter will appear and require you to pull off another move. The challenge is in pulling off the moves quickly, as each subsequent meter runs down faster than the one before it. When you top out at a 10-part combo or you run out of time, your fatality will be named based on how many moves you were able to combo. Though a departure from the fatality system fans have been weaned on, the new custom approach is smart. The system offers fair rewards to button mashers who aren't diehard MK fans, but also provides a pretty broad canvas for veterans who want to go to town and totally clown their foes. While the system was pretty much in place in the demo we played, the team is aiming to create a massive array of moves for players to draw on when performing fatalities that's a far cry from the 40 or so available moves in the demo. Superdiehard fans should also be able to re-create the various classic fatalities by chaining together the right moves.

They also mention seeing such stages as the Wastelands from Mortal Kombat II, the Subway from Mortal Kombat 3, and others. The preview also gave a brief look at Kreate-a-Kombatant, which allows you to even pick such minor details as his own bio! Again, from the article:

After we had our run through the finer aspects of combat in MK: Armageddon, we moved on to a look at the character-creation system in the game, which will likely be a mighty time suck for fans of the series. The robust system lets you make play in several main categories--appearance, fighting style, weapon style, special moves, extras, and bio--that feature several subcategories to offer even more customization options. For example, the appearance option will let you tinker with every aspect of a character, such as their gender, size, and skin color, as well as tweak specific elements of their face. Once you've crafted your ultimate fighter's appearance, you'll be able to log in some time creating a fighting style for them. You'll be able to name your style and pick moves to assign to different button combinations. The moves we saw in the demo were culled from the vast array of attacks used by characters in the demo, but the final game should also include original ones. Once you sort that out, you'll be able to do the same for your character's weapon and the special moves they'll be able to perform. To ensure that no one goes crazy, the system will include some limits to keep you in line with the amount of moves and attacks the other fighters will have access to. You'll top off your creation with a run through the extras option, where you'll be able to sort your fighter's voice and victory stance. The final piece of the process in the bio section lets you type your fighter's name, place of origin, and even a short bio. Though the system is still being refined, the meaty taste of how it works in the E3 demo was impressive and should let players create just about anything they want, including very close approximations to a number of well-known characters.

As for Konquest Mode, new details were released concerning it. For example, the story's main character now has a name (Taven), and it goes into a bit of new detail concerning what we can expect to see in this mode. Once again, from the article:

The last element of the demo showed off the konquest mode, which is being tweaked in response to user feedback on Deadly Alliance. This time out, the story focuses on two brothers, Taven and Daegon, who wind up in a bit of Survivor-style sibling rivalry. It seems their father is trying to decide who to crown as his successor. The old man's method? A contest between the two brothers that sends them adventuring through Earth Realm in search of an ancient weapon that they'll need to use to defeat an elemental named Blaze, last seen in Mortal Kombat: Deception. Whoever manages to do that first will be crowned the new defender of Edenia and be given a powerful gift. Not the coolest thing for a parent to do, to be sure, but it does make for a good setup for Konquest mode, which now features a sense of urgency. You'll play through the mode as Taven and attempt to race through the challenges laid out before you so you can beat your brother.

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This time out, you'll be able to engage in some old-school brawling when enemies pop up. Better still, you'll discover you can perform simple one-button fatalities on the fly against your foes when they're dizzy. To be clear, the konquest mode's fatality system isn't anything like the new customizable system in the main game. You'll simply have to run up to a dizzy foe and hit one of the face buttons on your controller to perform a quick fatality. As you progress through each chapter, you'll begin to unlock special moves that will come in handy during your adventures. The first chapter yielded a special ground-pound move that sets off a fiery radial blast wave when you strike the ground in front of you, as well as a traditional fireball you can send hurtling at your foes. Once you've earned these moves, you'll perform them with the press of a button by holding down the left trigger, which calls up icons of the face buttons that have a particular move mapped to them, much like in X-Men Legends. The only limit to using these powerful moves will be a super meter that will be drained every time you perform one.

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Now, amid all of the above, the narrative will be playing out via in-game cinematics. The story unfolds a lot like a mystery, with pieces of info being revealed in cinematics that show Taven's parents having cryptic discussions about what's going on. At the same time, you'll be discovering bits of information through interacting with NPCs or, as in the first chapter, discovering murals in an old temple that hint at what's going on. As far as cameos go, MK: Armageddon's konquest mode seems to be aiming to cram in at least as many cameos as the MK: Deception's did. Besides Blaze figuring prominently into the story, the demo featured appearances by Kabal, Sektor, and Sonya Blade. The cameos tie in to one of the aspects of the mode that stood out to us, which was its scale. This time out, the mode has a bigger feel to it thanks to the various locations Taven went through. The young warrior wound up journeying from the starting area to an old temple, then to a forest, and finally wound up in Sektor's warship after being captured by the surly robo ninja. The final bit of the demo saw Taven escaping from his prison and trying to get off the warship while it was under attack from Sonya Blade's forces. In a nice geeky touch for fans, you'll hear Sonya and Sektor verbally facing off against each other over the ship's intercom while you go through its interior.

The article goes on to mention how well the returning characters and levels fit in with Armageddon's standard of multi-level arenas, plus indicate that the visuals actually look better due to an "improved graphics engine". They also mention little touches such as random themes in the main menu, and how koins appear to be more or less universal.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

In addition, GameSpot has posted twenty-six exclusive new screenshots, showing such things as possible Kreate-a-Kombatants, battles in such arenas as the Subway and the Prison from Mortal Kombat 4, and even new shots of battles between such returning favorites as Reiko taking on Fujin, and Shinnok having it out with Shang Tsung. Most amusingly, Goro finds himself on the receiving end of an old-school death trap thanks to Kai...

To see all of the screenshots, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat user for the heads-up on this very important preview!

Midway Unveils Lineup for 2006 E3!

Looks like Midway has released the High Powered Lineup for this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo! Along with games such as Unreal Tournament® 2007, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is expected to be a resounding success when it comes out this October. From the article...

Introducing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon – the latest chapter in Midway's best–selling, award–winning, videogame fighting franchise. With the most complete Mortal Kombat roster ever, including every character from the Mortal Kombat fighting universe, revolutionary Create–A–Fighter and Create–A–Fatality modes, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon promises to be the most complete, intensely lethal, fighting experience ever!

Also on the list is Mortal Kombat: Unchained for PSP.

Mortal Kombat®: Unchained™ takes the Mortal Kombat franchise to new heights with an innovative fighting system tailored for wireless functionality, unparalleled depth and brutally intense action that will appeal to long–time Mortal Kombat fans, as well as new gamers.

To read the lineup in its entirety, click here.

We'll keep you posted on what's new to come at this year's E3 as we report to you LIVE from Los Angeles, California!

Mortal Kombat Online Live Coverage of E3 2006!
E3 CONCLUDES!
Mortal Kombat has inarguably become one of the most popular fighting game series in the world. Spinning off several crossover titles including Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, as well as producing two motion picture films, it's clear that Mortal Kombat is here to stay for years to come. In the future we will soon see another reinvention of the series on next-generation consoles, as the Mortal Kombat you are accustomed to is nearing an end. In 2002 Midway Games brought us Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. This was the series second attempt at bringing Mortal Kombat into the 3D realm of gaming. Introducing three fighting styles per character, as well as a new Konquest and Krypt mode, the game was just the beginning of a taste of things to come. Two years later Mortal Kombat: Deception made its premiere, further pushing the MK:DA engine to all new heights. Multiple fatalities, a revamped Konquest mode, mini-games, and online play was introduced truly showing off what this cult phenomenon had to offer.

Once again backed by the development team of series co-creater Ed Boon and producer John Podlasek, Midway Games is bringing us their final chapter of this saga on the Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. The game is Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, where the final drop of blood will be shed as every single character from the Mortal Kombat universe is brought together for one last battle. Expect only the best as will be introduced to an all new aerial combat system, a kreate-a-fighter mode, as well as a brand new Konquest adventure. Who will survive? What fan favorites will finally meet their true death? The epic battle will begin in October and soon our questions will be put to rest.

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is set to make its first debut later this month, and Mortal Kombat Online is proud to announce that we will be making our fifth consecutive trip to Los Angeles, California to report LIVE from the Electronic Entertainment Expo! This year join staff members CCShadow, D'Arque Bishop, ]{0MBAT, and Mobster4Christ as we hit up the show floor on May 10th-12th! Be prepared as we bring you our first impressions, video content, and more! Also expected to make an appearance is Mortal Kombat: Unchained, the Sony PSP port of MK: Deception that is due out later this year. This could very well be our most exciting E3 coverage to date!

And with E3 comes our announcement of our annual Fan Interview! From now until Sunday, May 7th at 11:59 PM EST, we invite all registered users to fill out our submission form to have a chance to get your questions asked to Ed Boon and possibly other development team members! Approximately ten winning submissions will be picked and used in the interview itself! Check the fan interview page for further details on how to enter. Last, make sure to visit our E3 Coverage Section to experience all our previous coverage from earlier years.

The time is near, our coverage beings on Wednesday, May 10th!