News Archive - August, 2005
Cinder Posts Kung Lao Koncept Art from MK Shaolin Monks
Isnt Cinder from Killer Instinct?
Looks like Cinder from the MK: Shaolin Monks forums is at it again! In addition to yesterday's update about the Kintaro sketch, he now gives us some more koncept art, this time an early version of Kung Lao:
Remember that the final game will have a Krypt, with tons of unlockable content such as concept art hidden away. Click here to check out the original forum post. Thanks to MK Online Flawless Account member Bloodline666 for the word on this update!
Kintaro Sketch Posted to MK Shaolin Monks Forum
Four arms of terror, and tiger stripes to boot!
Looks like Cinder from the MK: Shaolin Monks forums decided to treat us to another sketch from the game! Though many fans have wondered about the scourge of the Outworld, Kintaro, none have been able to confirm his presence... until now. Check out another great piece of artwork from the upcoming action/adventure MK game:
Click here to read the original post. Thanks very much to MK Online user Buterbals for being the first user to submit the News Lead on this story! (Though many more did submit news leads afterwards, and we appreciate each and every one!)
Sonya and Kano MK: Shaolin Monks Renders Released!
Two new renders...
Cinder from the official Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Forum has gone the extra yard for fans again, this time supplying everyone with renders of Sonya Blade and Kano! Click on the thumbnail below to download a larger version:
Thanks goes out to site member queve for sending the news leads!
New Interview With Info On And Art From MK: Deception Comics
After going quite a long time without any info on the MK: Deception comics by WAM Entertainment, we finally get an interview with tons of pictures and information, courtesy of Silver Bullet Comics. From the interview:
BM: I've heard that you'll be starting off with a MK: Scorpion one-shot before moving on to the MK: Deception miniseries. Please elaborate.

BH: There was a lot of thinking about which of these many loved characters to start with in a series. I cherry-picked Scorpion because I love the themes of loss, vengeance and redemption. I think those are universal...

WM: I would say because Scorpion is one the signature MK characters. He is a key character and I think his story arc is the most interesting over the MK series of games…

BH: And a fantastic place to start the series. There's a playground of story in Scorpion. From his quest for vengeance to his roots in ninjitsu training. He's the classic anti-hero. Who doesn't love those?
There's no date on the news article, titled "Name of the Game", so there's no telling exactly how old this is. However, check out the super-cool artwork showing off Scorpion, Mileena, Sindel, Kenshi, Tanya, Noob Saibot, and Baraka and read the rest of the interview by clicking here.

Thanks to MK Online forum/chat user dragonj87 for the heads-up on this update.
TeamXbox releases Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Opening Sequence!
Spoilers Ahead..
Mortal Kombat Online first witnessed the opening sequence of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks at Midway's Summer Gamers Day Event earlier this month. We watched in astonishment as the end of the first Mortal Kombat tournament played out before our eyes in jaw breaking reality, and now it is your turn. With probably grabbing the most anticipated exclusive ever, TeamXbox has released the opening sequence to the public! In beautiful cinematic detail, favorite classic MK characters including Sub Zero, Scorpion, Sonya, Kano, and Johnny Cage unleash all of their moves and powers onto the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. As the dust settles, out of the darkness comes the four armed Goro himself to finish the job. From Team Xbox:

Ok, so maybe fully rendered CG cut-scenes don't necessarily make or break a game, but having kick ass ones, certainly helps... just look at the Final Fantasy series. It's not too often that we get pumped from a cut-scene either, but after watching the extensive opening sequence to Midway's Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, the hair stood up on the back of our necks [.......] Well, die-hard Mortal Kombat fans are in for a treat when it comes to the upcoming action/adventure Shaolin Monks. First off, the game takes place right between the end of the first Mortal Kombat Tournament and the beginning of Mortal Kombat II.

The video can be downloaded over at TeamXbox by clicking here, and is available in Windows Media Format. Be warned as this video is considered a major spoiler!

Thanks to our regular news leader DECEPTION for the heads up on this exciting update!

GameSpot Releases MK:SM Official Movie 7!

GameSpot has just posted the seventh installment in their Official Movie series for Midway's upcoming action/adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. In Official Movie 7, Shaun Himmerick and Ed Boon discuss the finishing movies in MK: Shaolin Monks. On the subject of fatalities, they promise that not only will each character have ten fatalities including ones from Mortal Kombat II, players will be guaranteed to know at least one fatality. On the subject of multalities, they describe them as fatalities that affect all enemies in a vicinity, and do match the characters's styles. (For example, Liu Kang transforms into a dragon and fries all those around him.) Brutalities are described and shown as "crazy" combos, with the characters' attacks and speed increasing in strength until enemies die in one or two hits.

The video is available to download for GameSpot Basic members, and to stream for everyone else. The video is 63.8 MB in high-res, and 29.1 MB in low-res. To see the video, click here, and scroll down to Official Movie 7

Our thanks to forum member queve for the heads-up on this new video!

Midway Posts MK:SM Wasteland Koncept Art and Music!

Once again, Cinder of the Midway Boards has posted more concept materials from the upcoming action/adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! This time, instead of focusing on a character, Midway has posted koncept art and a sixteen second clip of music from MK:SM's rendition of one of Mortal Kombat II's classic arenas, the Wasteland.

To see the original forum thread in which these materials were posted, click here.

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

Midway Posts Render of Scorpion in MK: Shaolin Monks!

Cinder of the Midway Boards has come through for the fans again. This time, he's posted another character render from the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. This render features the ever-popular hellspawn ninja spectre, Scorpion!

To see the forum thread in which this render was originally posted, click here.

Our thanks to chat member ZeRo- for the heads-up on this new render!

IGN Posts Two MK:SM Videos Showing Legends of Kombat!

IGN has posted two new videos on their site entitled "Legends of Kombat", in which they showcase classic MK characters appearing in Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! The videos are narrated by John Vogel, Shaun Himmerick, Ed Boon, and Steve Beran, and intercut FMV cutscenes and gameplay footage to describe the characters. The first video features Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade (whose previously seen capture is shown, and it is revealed she can be freed during the game), and Kano (who can also be freed during the game, it is revealed). The second video showcases Sub-Zero (mainly showing the younger one, as his scar is visible), Reptile, and Shang Tsung (whose transformation from old to young is shown).

The videos are two minutes three seconds and three minutes respectively, and are available in Quicktime and Windows Media format. Low-res versions are available to everyone, with the high-res versions available only to IGN Insider members. To see the videos, click here.

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

Info on Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks Strategy Guide
Strategy, G!
Good news for people who were hoping to be able to get a strategy guide for MK: Shaolin Monks: you will. The folks over at Prima Publishing have answered the challenge. There are no pictures or a cover at this time, but what is being reported is that it will be 128 pages long, will retail for $16.99, and included will be a free CD. A release date is not currently known, as some sites are reporting availability anywhere from September 13 through the 27th of this year.

To check out the page for this on Prima's site, click here, for the Gamestop one go here, and for the EB Games one click here.

Thanks to MK Online readers DECEPTION and fraysol for the word on this update!
GameTrailers Releases MK:SM Gameplay Video 3!

GameTrailers has released a new video quite aptly entitled Gameplay 3, which has gameplay (and nothing but gameplay) from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! In this video, Liu Kang and Kung Lao make their way across several levels, from the lair of Reptile's massive snake, across a bridge while dodging rocks tossed by a shadow priest's magic, outside the Wu Shi Academy, through Goro's Lair, inside the Kombat Tomb, within the depths of the Living Forest, culminating in a confrontation with Goro himself.

The video is three minutes and eight seconds long, and is approximately 25 MB. The video is available in both Quicktime and Windows Media format. To see the video, click here, and scroll down to the video marked Gameplay 3.

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

GameSpot Releases MK:SM Official Movie 6!

GameSpot has released the sixth installment in their Official Movie series showing different aspects of Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. In this video, the emphasis is on the kombatants Kung Lao and Liu Kang encounter in their journeys. The video features team members Shaun Himmerick, Ed Boon, John Vogel, and Steve Beran talking about such allies and enemies as Baraka and his fellow Tarkatans, the Oni, Johnny Cage, Goro, the Masked Guards, Scorpion (who is revealed to be a boss, where, as Ed puts it, "he has probably the most elaborate use of his spear that has been used in any Mortal Kombat game"), the Shadow Priests (who are heavy magic users), Kitana (who Beran hints as possibly having a "potential romantic involvement" with Liu Kang), and the Hellbeast (who is an all-new character in MK:SM).

The video is available to download for GameSpot Basic members, and is available to stream for non-members. The video is 4 minutes and 19 seconds long, is 111 MB in high-res, and 52 MB in low-res. To see the video, click here and scroll down to Official Movie 6.

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

New Interview Gives Details on Future MK Projects; Raises Questions
MK7, PSP Details
A recent interview with Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks producer Shaun Himmerick provides nothing entirely new in regards to that game, but the folks over at Games Radar shot Shaun with two questions that give comments on two of Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat Projects in the works:
Is there going to be another MK fighting game for the current generation of consoles?
Hmmmm...I don't know what we're specifically doing current gen, I don't know if we've made that decision. Probably not, but I don't know. I shouldn't say.

How's the PSP version of MK Deception coming along?
It's coming along all right. Current issues are that Konquest mode is very difficult because there are fewer buttons on PSP and we previously used all the controller buttons, so we've had to do some modifications to that, and there have been some streaming issues. There are still some tech hurdles to get over, but we're solving those.

The question of future Mortal Kombat development on current-gen hardware for the Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox continues to raise question on where exactly things stand. News first broke about Mortal Kombat 7 over a year ago when CEO David Zucker made comment at an event in August 2004 that the next fighting game was indeed being developed for the Playstation 3, Xbox 2, and a wireless platform. However, fast forward to our coverage of E3 from this past May, and you get a different story. Ed Boon went on record during our fan interview that the decission was actually up in the air and that both options were being studied. So which is it? From a story back in May shortly after E3 from GameSpot, David Zucker was quoted to say that Midway Games would have titles ready to launch with the Sony Playstion 3, however would not have titles ready to launch for the November release of Xbox 360:

But just because Midway won't have any next-gen games ready in time for the launch of Microsoft's sleek new console does not mean they are eschewing the platform. "Midway is fully supporting the Xbox 360 and we have games in development at all of our internal studios," a rep told GameSpot.

In fact, contradicting reports on the Web that it is holding back on development until the Xbox 360 has a large enough user base, Midway has several projects in the works for the next-gen console. "We have no less than seven Xbox 360 games currently in development in our internal studios targeted for release in 2006-8," a Midway executive emphasized to GameSpot today.

Midway's only official title announced for next-generation to our knowledge is John Woo's Stranglehold, which we were treated to a trailer while at Midway's Summer Gamers' Day last Thursday. Could Midway's hold-out approach on releasing titles on next-generation hardware keep the next Mortal Kombat fighting game on current hardware? Though no official word has been spoken since last year, we'd expect from the fact that they are even discussing both possibilities, that Mortal Kombat 7 might likely end up on current-generation hardware after all. We'll try to get official word whatever the case soon, however expect mums the word from Midway's front on any future Mortal Kombat development projects at least until after Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks debuts next month. We'll keep you posted.

New Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Screenshots; Official Site Revamped
New Assets Released
Midway Games today issued a press release with eight new screenshots from the September release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, announcing also the re-design of the game's official website. From the release:
This September, prepare to experience the world of Mortal Kombat from an entirely new, action/adventure perspective in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.

Set in the time period between the first MK Tournament and MK II, you'll be challenged to explore the always dangerous and action-driven Mortal Kombat universe (in either single and/or co-op mode) through the eyes of two of the franchise's most popular Shaolin Monks: Liu Kang & Kung Lao.

Stay tuned for much more on Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks in the upcoming weeks as we draw closer to the game's September 19th ship date!

Click on the screenshots below for a larger high-res view:

The official site contains some of these same screenshots and other assets at a lower resolution. As well, Cinder posted a plethora of screenshots and koncept pieces on Midway's official forums. While most are duplicated from the official site's website, a few unique pieces can be found.

MKSM Demo Appears In OPM and OXM Magazines
But Not Identical Demos
The demo of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has actually in stores for quite a while - August 9, officially. Unofficially, some lucky people got it earlier, and some later. By this time, everyone in the U.S. should have fairly easy access to the demo at stores near them. Check out the pics below in case you need help in finding which issues of OPM or OXM to look for:

Unfortunately, the demo discs are not identical. The PS2 version is very rich in special features, including a short image trailer which shows off some of the cool artwork from the game, and a really nice "Behind the Scenes" video which will probably be included in the final game. Presumably, the extra features are included in the PS2 version to make up for the someone toned down violence in that version of the demo. While X-Box users get to enjoy all the blood and gore of the final version, PS2 users will see black blood instead of the normal red. In addition, Fatalities and some of the more graphic cut-scenes are censored out as well, as can be seen in one of the pics below.
Overall, this game is very enjoyable no matter what system you're playing the demo on. Check it out in stores everywhere, and good luck finding all of the hidden secrets!
Midway Posts Koncept Art of MK: Shaolin Monks Dead Pool!

Over on the Midway Boards, Cinder has come through again with another piece of koncept art from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! This time, he posted something a little bit different; instead of posting character art, he posted koncept art of the MK:SM version of one of Mortal Kombat II's most popular arenas: the Dead Pool!

To see the thread in which the koncept art was originally posted, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member DECEPTION for the heads-up on this piece of koncept art!

Gamespot and IGN update with more videos on MK: Shaolin Monks!
Updates keep coming in for the highly anticipated release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, and this time it's more video footage from both Gamespot and IGN! Gamespot has updated with a new Developer interview from Midway's upcoming release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. To have a look at this new interview, go here to find out how Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks both relate to each other. IGN has updated as well with new Multality and Versus mode videos! To see them, go here.

This week has been a busy one on MKO, so thanks goes out to everyone whom sent in News Leads!
Midway Chicago 2005 - Sonya Blade Meets Baraka in FMV!

We said that the coverage of Midway's Summer Gamers Day 2005 was over. Well, we were almost right. While digging through our spare tapes, we found a clip from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks which has not been seen yet! This clip, which is one of the many FMVs which pop up during the game, shows the first ever meeting between Sonya Blade and Baraka, during the assault on the Wu Shi Academy. Furthermore, this clip sets up the backstory to how Sonya became a part of one of Mortal Kombat II's most famous backgrounds...

To watch the videos, you will need Apple's Quicktime media player, which you can download here.

Midway Chicago 2005 MK: Shaolin Monks Impressions and Videos!

As part of Midway Summer Gamers Day in Chicago, I got to sit down and spend some time with a build of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks that was, in the words of Shaun Himmerick, "90-95% complete". After spending an hour or two playing the game, I can go ahead and give some of my impressions and give some insight into how the version we played differs from the demo.

Most people are familiar with the demo, so I shall not go into too much detail about what is duplicated between the two versions. I also won't go into too much detail concerning the intro video, except to say that it was very well done and is very much worth seeing, from Shang Tsung's constant morphing to Sub-Zero demonstrating his most famous fatality on one of the masked guards. During the build we played, we encountered a ko-op only secret in the section where one must use an Oni's body to break through a wall. There were two panels on the ground by the back wall; if you pressed one of the panels in single-player mode, Raiden would tell you needed an ally to reveal that secret. In ko-op mode, pressing both panels caused the back wall to break open and reveal a hidden area.

The area after the wall-breaking area in the demo is NOT the Baraka fight in the full version. In the full version, the Baraka boss fight takes place at the end of the siege of the Wu Shi Academy. Instead, the players find themselves at another Pit. However, before crossing, a pair of Oni drop down onto the bridge... and are then instantly pulverized (along with the bridge) by two large boulders. Before dropping down into the Pit, Raiden advises to use the right analog control to look down to see where you'd drop to. This is recommended as you can then aim yourself to drop down onto a platform on which rests a large sword. This sword is extremely useful against the Oni Warlord, who will be the first boss you face. You will need to defeat the Oni Warlord (a huge brute with a mace) in order to gain the Long Jump ability which you need to cross the bridge. Then you will need to defeat two masked guards in order to leave the island.

From there, there is a cut-scene involving the award ceremony at the Wu Shi Academy, and then the Tarkatan assault on the academy begins. You get to see plenty of footage of the assault on the academy in the videos we have available.

As has been mentioned in the presentation, experience plays a big part in the game. As you defeat enemies, you gain experience which can then be used to upgrade your abilities. Experience can be spent at any time by going into the pause menu and going into the Moves menu (by pressing R on X-Box or R1 on PS2). You don't see what the abilities are that you're purchasing until you're actually able to purchase them. Experience can also be earned via bonuses found laying around (in this build, in the form of green sparkly lights) and Fatalities.

The Fatalities in the build we played had the same exact commands as the one in the E3 build (and presumably the demo). In fact, on a whim, I tried the command sequence for the "bunny fatality", to find it still worked. They also provided the commands for two fatalities for each kombatant. The only change that I noticed was that instead of clapping at Kung Lao's rabbit trick, the opponent waved his hand dismissively. Personally, I preferred the old version, but as has been stated by Shaun Himmerick in a comment in the last Developer Diary, the game is well past the point where such changes can be made. Fatalities add a 550 experience point bonus; however, one disadvantage to Fatalities is the fact that unlike when you defeat an opponent by knocking his lifebar to zero, you do not get a health bonus. Therefore, if an opponent is near defeat and you're hurting for health, it's much more to your advantage to hold off on the Fatality.

Speaking of health, in ko-op mode it is much to your advantage to keep an eye on your partner's health. Your success is tied to your partner, as is your failure; if one of you loses all health, you both "die" and are sent to the Continue screen.

The pause menu also contains a statistic that we didn't get time to get information on, but is sure to be an interesting part of the gameplay: "Smoke Missions". Our guess is that during the game, Smoke will send you on side missions for some unknown purpose.

Another thing we noticed is that instead of being a minigame, Test Your Might is in fact used as part of main gameplay. It's used for bypassing obstacles, overpowering boss characters, among other things. In our time with the game, Test Your Might was an integral part of one section of the Wu Shi Academy, as Kung Lao uses his might to open floodgates to bring fires under control.

The game is also rife with cutscenes. In addition to the intro video, we also got to see cutscenes showing the awards ceremony, Sonya Blade having a brief run-in with Baraka, and a meeting between Shang Tsung and Raiden. We cannot comment on the voicework in these cutscenes, as it really was too loud to make anything out. Still, the rendering itself was of high quality and should be something to look forward to.

Finally, a bit of a storyline note for those curious: we do NOT see the older Sub-Zero murdered by Scorpion. His death occurs off-screen, and is alluded to during the game.

In closing, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was a fun ride while we played it, and we think that it will be a very welcome addition to the Mortal Kombat family of games. The game will be released for X-Box and Playstation 2 on September 19th.

While mention was made of Mortal Kombat: Deception Unchained and Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play at Gamers Day, only the latter was available for play. I did observe someone playing the first Mortal Kombat on it, and it appeared to be almost arcade perfect. However, when I went to play Mortal Kombat II, the system locked up. It should be noted that this is not an indication of the quality of the port; obviously it is still a work in progress as they were using a development system to demo the game.

And now, we're proud to present videos we took at Gamers Day. These videos are not direct feed, as there were not enough demo machines to allow for us to get direct feed. The videos are in Quicktime format; you can download Quicktime here. The first video shows Kung Lao facing off against Tarkatans and a masked guard in the catapult area, as he uses them to his advantage to defeat enemies and clear away obstacles.

The second video shows Kung Lao working alongside Johnny Cage as they work together within the Academy walls themselves to fortify the defenses and rid the building of the Tarkatan invaders. Pay special attention to Cage, as he uses his signature moves, including a red shadow uppercut!

Finally, this short video gives a brief demonstration of Test Your Might; as described above, Kung Lao works to open floodgates to help fight the fires caused by the Tarkatan hordes.

As an extra bonus, we have for you here a video that was taken on the spur of the moment. In a previous update, we mentioned Brice Mellen took on Ed Boon at Mortal Kombat: Deception. We happened to be at the next unit over when this happened, and were able to get video of them playing their first three of five matches.

For the record, Brice won four matches to Ed's one.

And finally... as expected, there was nothing official said about Mortal Kombat 7. We did a bit of asking, and what little we can tell at this point is that the game will have a huge roster, but it's not so much a Mortal Kombat Trilogy 2, as it has its own storyline. Also, it was apparent they were interested in improving the fighting engine over Deadly Alliance and Deception, including features not previously seen in other fighting games. More info will be forthcoming in the months to come, but as one might imagine right now the people at Gamers Day were focused on Shaolin Monks; other than three or four key people, MK7 and MK:SM are being worked on by two totally different development teams.

This will bring to a close our coverage of Midway's Summer Gamers Day. On behalf of Scott Howell, I would like to thank you all for taking the time for joining us as we preview the next installment of the Mortal Kombat series. We would also like to thank Midway Games for inviting us to this event and allowing us to give this look at the game to the MK community. Keep it tuned here, as we continue to provide news updates leading up to the release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and beyond!

Midway Chicago 2005 Shaolin Monks Presentation and Photos!
MKO Live Coverage
The latest Midway Games press event has come to a close. Last night, we at Mortal Kombat Online spent an entire day not only playing a near final complete version of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, we were also able to also catch up with past Mortal Kombat Development Team members Ed Boon, Shaun Himmerick, John Podlasek, Mike Taran, Steve Beran, Brian Lebaron, and Tony Goskie. We'll admit we're a little exhausted after hours of intensive gameplay, watching Brice Mellen (a blind MK fan from Nebraska) literally kick Ed Boon's ass time and time again on Mortal Kombat: Deception, and lastly having more drinks at the Sound Bar than you can shake a fist at. But nevertheless, we're here to do some reporting from the events that were last night. To start off, below are links to the actual presentation video from yesterday evening at Midway's Chicago 2005 Event: As well, here are various photos we took while at the event for your complete viewing pleasure:

MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (1)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (2)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (3)
Ed Boon vs Brice Mellen (1)Ed Boon vs Brice Mellen (2)Ed Boon vs Brice Mellen (3)
Ed Boon vs Brice Mellen (4)Ed Boon vs Brice Mellen (5)Midway Summer Event 2005 (1)
Welcome to Midway Summer Event 2005Midway Summer Event 2005 (3)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (4)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (5)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (6)MKSM Moves List at Midway Summer Event 2005
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (7)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (8)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (9)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (10)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (11)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (12)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (13)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (14)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (15)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (16)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (17)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (18)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (19)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (20)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (21)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (22)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (23)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (24)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (25)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (26)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (27)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (28)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (29)MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (30)
MKSM at Midway Summer Event 2005 (31)


Keep checking back this weekend as we will have our complete impressions of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and gameplay footage of all new levels, and you guessed it - we'll bring you a small tease of what to expect from the much anticipated Mortal Kombat 7. While most of what we learned was told in confidence, we have a few small details that we will unveil in our next update.
MK Shaolin Monks Assets from Midways Chicago 2005 Event
We at MK Online would like to thank Midway Games for giving us the ability to report live from Chicago for Midway's Chicago 2005 Event, and that's exactly what we're doing. Check out the high-resolution images of MK: Shaolin Monks we got from the asset disc:

These are the same as what were posted in yesterday's update, but much higher in resolution, and therefore in quality. In addition, check out the trailer:



As with the images, it's a much higher quality version of the one linked to here in yesterday's update. It's also in .WMV (Windows Media Video) format. Stay here as MK Online continues our coverage of Midway's Chicago 2005 Event!
GameSpot Posts 10 MKSM Images and 1 New Trailer
MK Shaolin Monks Pics and Teaser Trailer
The guys over at GameSpot have gone on a mini-updating spree as far as MK Shaolin Monks is concerned. To start, check out this awesome new trailer:

While quite short, the movie does show off some of the best-looking graphics seen from this game to date, while expanding on the idea to the storyline that there was a bigger struggle for the Earth warriors than just the tournament. Definitely worth a download, click here to get it, and it's free to download or stream as a GameSpot Basic member.

Next, check out the flurry of images (ten in all) that they've updated with for this game:

Finally, as per our announcement the other day, the original Mortal Kombat 1 is to be included in Midway Arcade Treasures: Deluxe Edition. GameSpot has updated with a screenshot of that as well:

Thanks to quite a bit of the Mortal Kombat Online readers for sending in News Lead on this story, the first being Demodocus. Keep it tuned here to MKO, as we cover Midway's Chicago 2005 Event!
Announcing Live Coverage of Midways Chicago 2005 Event!
LIVE FROM CHICAGO!
In continuance of our exclusive on-location reporting, Mortal Kombat Online is proud to announce its LIVE coverage of Midway's Chicago 2005 Event! Join staff members Scott Howell and D'Arque Bishop as we make our return to the windy city for the latest press presentation of upcoming Midway Games titles. We expect an updated build of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks to be present at the show, and we also look forward to bringing you our latest impressions, media, and more throughout the next few days. See you from Chi-Town!
Epic Battles TCG Character Lists and Rules
Its All In The Cards...
Thanks to the folks at Score Entertainment, we are proud to be able to bring you the Epic Battles Trading Card Game character lists for Round 1 and Round 2 as well as the official rules, included along with some artwork (neither the artwork or the rules have been 100% finalized yet, however.)

ROUND 1:

Mortal Kombat


Bo' Rai Cho
Baraka
Sub-Zero
Ashrah
Darrius
Hotaru
Jade
Kabal
Noob Smoke
Sindel

2 Hidden Characters!!!

Street Fighter
Alex
Elena
Gill
Ibuki
Ken
Ryu
Twelve
Sean
Dudley
Hugo

2 Hidden Characters!!!

ROUND 2:

Mortal Kombat

Li Mei
Kira
Mileena
Kenshi
Scorpion
Shujinko (Old)
Dairou
Raiden
Kobra

2 Hidden Characters!!!

Street Fighter
Guile
Cammy
Blanka
M. Bison
Yun and Yang
Akuma
Chun Li
Makoto
Zangief
Vega
Gouken

2 Hidden Characters!!!
And there you have it. We should be able to post a list of the characters from Tekken soon enough, along with some more scans from the cards (posted with permission, of course).

Click here to read the rules. Thanks again to the folks at Score Entertainment for supplying us with the information for this update!
Mortal Kombat Online Attends Wizard World Convention
Next Stop: Outworld
MK Online proudly attended Wizard World 2005 in Chicago over the last several days. This was first mentioned here back in our interview with JazWares, who unfortunately, ended up being unable to attend. However, there was still much Mortal Kombat-related activity at the show.

As you can tell from one of the pictures, some comic book dealers were selling Mortal Kombat comics - the Malibu series from 1993.

There was also a video game tournament, sponsored by GameStop. "The Ultimate Video Game Challenge" actually used the GameCube port of Mortal Kombat: Deception, sporting Goro and Shao Kahn, and had several other games - such as Halo 2 and Tekken 5. For each game there, six tournaments were held in all - for all three days, they ran two tournaments a day - with the first place winner getting a $50 GameStop card and the 2nd and 3rd place winners each getting $25 GameStop cards. Our congratulations to MK Online forum reader BigTRS for coming in first place most of the time. (I myself actually came in first place the rest of the time.)

We weren't able to attend the tournament for all three days, though - on Wizard World's second day, there was a panel for the Epic Battles Trading Card Game - Midway, CapCom, BlockBuster Video, Udon Comics, and of course, Score Entertainment were all there. Among the announcements made were a list of all the characters (posted here soon!), a list of all the rules of the game, the fact that there will be Tekken and DarkStalkers cards added to the mix of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, and of course the release date - in as little as 2 weeks from now, BlockBuster's everywhere will be stocking these cards. Also interesting to note, it was on BlockBuster's recommendation that Udon was chosen to handle the artwork for the Mortal Kombat cards, as Udon had impressed everyone already with their artwork on the Street Fighter controllers and comic books.

Score Entertainment also held a tournament for Epic Battles, in the special room set aside for trading card games, the winner of which was entitled to a $25 check and a set of three Street Fighter controllers (sadly, the MK controllers were noticably absent here).
Please remember the artwork for the cards - while Udon has done an amazing job - are not final yet and are just samples of what the finished product may look like.
Ed Boon speaks out on new Mortal Kombat 7 details.
New info sheds light on next MK
With most of the development process of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks nearing an end, it comes as little surprise that details have started leaking out about the next project in the series. Recently a sound byte that originated from the MK: Shaolin Monks Demo in the September issue of The Official U.S. Playsation Magazine, has surfaced that has a few quick comments from series co-creator Ed Boon, surrounding the next Mortal Kombat (7) fighting game. From the audio file:
We're actually very excited about the next Mortal Kombat fighting game that we're doing. Like before we are introducing, you know, two or three very huge elements to the fighting game that haven't been done before. So, we're really excited about that. I think you can expect to see the biggest roster also of Mortal Kombat characters ever in this next fighter as well.

It is not clear whether or not Mortal Kombat 7 will be introduced yet on current or next-generation hardware. However, Ed Boon has made it clear during our E3 2005 Coverage last May that Midway Games was studying both options. Due to copyright laws we can not provide a link to the audio file on this website, but feel free to pick it up in the latest issue of OPM. Thanks goes out to Total-MK for sending the news lead.

GameSpot Releases MK:SM Official Movie 5!

GameSpot has released another in their series of Official Movies for Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. In Official Movie 5, Shaun Himmerick and Ed Boon discuss the cooperative multiplayer (or "ko-op") element of MK: Shaolin Monks. Among the revealtions brought forward is that there are secrets and hidden areas that can only be located in the ko-op mode, by both kombatants working together. They also discuss how players can team up for attacks, whether by tossing each other opponents to take care of or by teaming up for special combined attack combos. Finally, they show a quick shot of Sub-Zero, who they confirm is an unlockable character for adventure mode. They also hint at "other characters", but refuse to name them...

The official movie is available to download for GameSpot Basic members, and can be streamed by non-members. The video is two minutes and twelve seconds; the high-res version is 56.9 MB, and the low-res version is 26 MB. To download or stream the video, click here and scroll down to "Official Movie 5".

Our thanks to forum member Demodocus for the heads-up on this new video!

Midway Releases MK:SM Shang Tsung Concept Art!

Once again, the Midway Boards have been graced with a new piece of concept art from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. This time, Cinder has posted concept art of everyone's favorite shape-shifting sorcerer Shang Tsung, before Shao Kahn restored his youth. This piece of concept art is of the same size as the previously released Kitana and Goro concept art.

To see the original thread in which this concept art was posted, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member |Khaos| for the heads-up on this new piece of concept art!

Mortal Kombat II and 3 Confirmed in Midway Arcade: Deluxe Edition

Yesterday we reported that in their Q5 2005 revenues report, Midway Games revealed that they would be releasing a PC version of their classic arcade compilations Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and 3 as a single release. We have checked with our sources within Midway, and can now confirm that Midway Arcade: Deluxe Edition (as the PC port is officially named) will have both Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3.

We'll be keeping an eye out for more information on this release, which will be of interest to MK fans as it will mark Mortal Kombat's return to the PC platform after a seven year absence. As we learn more about this port, we'll be sure to report it here!

Our thanks to our sources within Midway for the heads-up on this information!

Midway Releases Q2 2005 Revenues ; Arcade Treasures 2 and 3 Coming to PC
MK ON PC COMING BACK?

Midway Games has issued a press release announcing their financial revenues for the second quarter of 2005. According to the press release, Midway's revenues for the second quarter were less than forecast, and also less than the same quarter last year. From the press release:

Net revenues for the 2005 second quarter were $36.9 million, compared with 2004 second quarter net revenues of $47.3 million. The 2005 second quarter loss applicable to common stock was $29.9 million or a loss of $0.35 per share, compared with a 2004 second quarter loss applicable to common stock of $11.2 million or a loss of $0.17 per share. The second quarter results were below previously provided expectations primarily due to lower-than-forecasted sales of Unreal Championship 2, as well as the writedown of capitalized product development costs for upcoming releases and the need for additional reserves for markdowns.

The press release also has a section detailing the outlook for the rest of the year, including a piece of information not previously reported that may be of interest to MK fans. From the release:

For the quarter ending September 30, 2005, the Company expects net revenues of approximately $30 million, with a net loss of approximately $19 million. During the quarter, Midway expects to release Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Midway Arcade Treasures 3 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, and a compilation of Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and 3 for the PC. Midway also expects to ship The Suffering: Ties that Bind for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC at the end of September, 2005, although due to the timing of its shipment at the end of the quarter, the Company expects to recognize the associated revenues in the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter of 2005, Midway expects to release Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Blitz: The League for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, GameBoy Advance, and PC, and L.A. RUSH for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. In addition, the Company also expects to release its first two PlayStation Portable (PSP) titles: Mortal Kombat: Deception Unchained and Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play during the quarter.

This is the first information that we have seen that indicates Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and Midway Arcade Treasures 3 will be coming to PC. Whether these are the full versions of these games is yet unknown; however, if it is, it will be the first time since 1998 than a Mortal Kombat game will be making it to PC. We'll keep an eye on this game; as we learn more, we'll be sure to report it to you!

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

Our thanks once again to forum/chat member DECEPTION for the heads-up on this breaking news story!

Gamecloud Interviews MK:SM Producer Shaun Himmerick

Gamecloud has posted an interview with Shaun Himmerick, producer of Midway's upcoming action/adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. While the interview doesn't touch on very much that hasn't already been revealed, one of the things that IS mentioned that might draw the interest of fans is the number of playable characters. From the interview:

Gamecloud - What familiar Mortal Kombat characters will be playable in Shaolin Monks?

Shaun Himmerick - Liu Kang and Kung Lao are the two characters the story centers around. From there the player will go though the realms and interact with a lot of different MK characters. In the Wu Shi academy the player works along side of Johnny Cage to defeat the enemies. Later the player faces Baraka in a boss Battle. We have Many MK characters from history in the game.

As the player progresses they can unlock 2 other playable characters for the adventure game. One is Sub-Zero. The other is a secret.

For Versus mode there will be 8 total characters available for the players to use once they are unlocked.

Also, the interview touches on the fact that special moves are not the only thing to get upgrades. From the interview:

Gamecloud - What other unique gameplay features will Shaolin Monks have?

Shaun Himmerick - When you set out to make a Mortal Kombat game you must include fatalities and Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks is no different. We have fatalities. We have included some old school fatalities that get some updates with new technology in the 3D world. But we also have made some new fatalities for the characters to give the players variety as well.

Additionally we have taken the concept of Fatalities and upgraded them. The player will unlock the ability to do Multalities, which is a fatality performed on multiple enemies at one time. And finally also unlock the ability to do Brutalities as the final upgrade to the Fatality System.

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is scheduled to be released on September 19th. To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member fraysol for the heads-up on this interview!

Midway Releases MK:SM Kitana and Goro Concept Art!

Cinder over on the Midway Boards has released two more pieces of concept art from Midway's upcoming action-adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! These pieces of concept art (which are smaller than the previous two that Cinder released) feature the Edenian princess-turned-assassin Kitana and everyone's favorite Shokan Goro!

To read the thread in which the concept art was posted, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member |Khaos| (of fellow MK site MK Outworld) for the heads-up on this new concept art!

Threshold to Build Studio and Film Third MK Movie in Louisiana

WBRZ News 2 Louisiana is reporting on their website that movie production company Threshold Entertainment, producers of the Mortal Kombat movies and TV series, has expressed in opening a facility in New Orleans, Lousiana that would double as a movie studio and theme park. Moreover, the report states that Threshold is planning on filming the third movie in Louisiana. From the article:

The producers of the "Mortal Kombat" video games and movies would like to build a $150 million studio and amusement park on the banks of the Mississippi River, which would be the first of its kind anywhere, the company's chief executive said Monday.

...

Meanwhile, Threshold Entertainment, which is planning to film "Mortal Kombat III" in Louisiana, is interested in building out 100,000-150,000 square feet of production space that would double as a tourist attraction.

"I believe there's an extraordinary opportunity to build a state-of-the-art production studio-slash-Hollywood theme park and training facility right in the middle of town," CEO Larry Kasanoff said.

...

The project's future would depend on how much cooperation and support Kasanoff receives from the various governing bodies on the river, which include the Port of New Orleans, city of New Orleans, and even the state, said Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, who met with Kasanoff this past weekend.

" 'Mortal Kombat' has made $5 billion. He wants to bring a $150 million studio theme park," Landrieu said.

"In politics, I'm always skeptical about people bearing gifts, but Kasanoff is real.

"He is the head of an entertainment company that is very fluid and very wealthy."

To our knowledge, this is the first official news we've seen about the third movie's actual production, outside of actor's comments. We'll be keeping an eye on this story. As we learn more, we'll be sure to pass the information on to you!

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member DECEPTION for giving us the heads-up on this breaking news story!

CVG Previews Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

Computer and Video Games has just published a preview of Midway's upcoming action/adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. While the preview doesn't really cover any new territory, it does give a concise look at what is to come. For example, concerning the characters' moves:

Alongside the two playable characters' complete move sets from the original games, developer Paradox has added a host of new abilities, all seamlessly integrated into Shaolin Monk's multi-directional combat engine: Liu Kang's classic fireball, upper cut, flying kick and bicycle kick moves, and Kung Lau's hat throw, spin and teleport attacks, are now joined by special grapple moves and aerial abilities, all upgradeable using experience points you'll rack up during play.

Grapple moves are generally used to chuck enemies around the environments while aerial combat lets you pull off some fancy tricks like slinging would-be assailants into the sky then leaping up to continue piling on the pummelling before either of you rejoin the ground. Of course, in the finest MK tradition, it's possible to combine your arsenal of abilities and do things like hop onto the shoulders of marauding monsters, then use a well-aimed kick to the face to launch higher still and reach previously inaccessible places.

In addition, the preview describes how the puzzle system in MKSM works. From the article:

In fact, despite the game's adventure elements, including new wall-running, climbing and swing moves, combat plays such a huge role that many of the puzzles can only be solved through judicious use of violence. The idea behind this, according to Himmerick, is to avoid the passive nature of most puzzles in other games and give a real visceral thrill when gamers encounter a solution. We saw a whole host of examples in action: in one part of the game, the only way to progress passed a sea of salivating serpents is to wrench up your opponents and sling them straight into the snakes' gullets, until they're satiated. Another of our favourites was a sequence where the deadly duo launched oncoming combatants over the edge of a platform into huge whirring blades - the goal to shatter the blades under all that bodily butchering and reach the lower levels of the dungeon.

In fact, interactive environments play a huge part in bringing the game world to life, with areas including all sorts of breakable bits alongside spikes to skewer your opponents, man-eating trees and catapults - what's more, from our brief playtime with the game, it's evident that all these extra opportunities for malicious maiming add a significant amount of depth to the already impressive fighting focus.

In conclusion, the article has this to say:

At this stage, the whole package is looking very encouraging, with a surprising amounts of depth promised behind the frantic, claret-drenched arcade action. Our initial run through of the game only left us with a few concerns - namely that visually, the whole looks a bit lacklustre, and more troublingly, the almost constant focus on combat started to feel a little repetitive by the time we'd reached the first boss. However, the demo we played was from an extremely early part of the game - the emphasis was clearly on teaching players the basic of fighting while more complex combos and features were kept firmly out of the picture.

To read the preview in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member KaizuDragon for the heads-up on this preview!

Mortal Kombat Online Games Section Now Available
HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!

It's been a long time coming. For several years, you have been watching and waiting for Mortal Kombat Online to introduce its own games section, and watched as we put in different content to serve as our games guide. Tonight, however, they must be experiencing record low temperatures in the Netherrealm, as the wait is over.

Mortal Kombat Online is proud to announce the opening of its Games Section, featuring moves and movelists from all of the Mortal Kombat fighting games. Designed and implemented by Murdoink, it serves as MK Online's authoritative guide to the Mortal Kombat games.

The Games Section is, as always, a work in progress. Any suggestions and/or corrections should be sent directly to Murdoink, as he is now serving as our official Games Section Editor. He can be reached either via site PM, the IRC channel, or via email at murdoink@mortalkombatonline.com.