News Archive - September, 2004
IGN previews MK:D Online Mode!
With four short days left until the public get a chance to put their money where their mouths are, IGN has had the opportunity to test out Mortal Kombat: Deception's online mode. From the article:

To say that I was blown away with just how smooth and responsive the online portion of the fighting truly is, is an understatement, as Mortal Kombat: Deception is seriously the most lag-free Internet fighting game I've ever played. And over the course of our six different match-ups with various kinds of characters, I never once experienced a single hitch or stutter in the action. I could tell right off the bat that Midway is sporting some serious network code here, and can only begin to wonder just how blown away other players will be when they get to try online for the first time as well.

For those who hold reservations about playing a fast-paced fighting game, this article should help extinguish any fires!

In addition to this preview, IGN has also posted a new video featuring their offices facing off against Ed Boon via the online mode!

To read the article for yourself, head on over to IGN.com!

THQ Wireless Brings MK to Mobile Phones!
THQ Wireless has announced that it has obtained the license to several of Midway's classic arcade games, including the original Mortal Kombat! From the press release:
THQ Wirelessä Inc., a subsidiary of THQâ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI), today announced that it has obtained a license from MidwayÒ to bring seven of the best Midway arcade titles to mobile devices. All games and content are expected to be available through leading carriers worldwide.

From Mortal Kombat’s signature moves, to the flying action of Joust, to the outer space warfare of Defender, THQ Wireless is bringing Midway’s classic arcade hits to mobile users across the globe.

"Midway’s timeless arcade classics remain as fun and addictive as they were nearly 10 to 20 years ago - these hits will never go out of style," said Tim Walsh, president of THQ Wireless. "It’s a testimony to technological advances that gameplay experiences that once stood six feet tall can now fit into gamer’s pockets."

"Midway is excited to see THQ bring these classics to mobile phones," said Steve Booth, vice president of licensing at Midway. "THQ has committed to develop content and graphics that have the same look, feel and sounds of the original arcade games; you can carry an entire arcade everywhere you go."
Along with the original Mortal Kombat, other Midway games set to be ported to cell phones include Defender, Joust, Robotron: 2084, Spy Hunter, Marble Madness, and Tapper. In addition, THQ's page for the Mortal Kombat game says "Available Now", but has no screenshots or compatibility information. Keep watching here, though; as soon as we learn something more, we'll be sure to report on it.

To see the page for THQ's Mortal Kombat, click here. To see the press release in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member Syclone for the heads-up on this important news story!
IGN Continues With Six Chambers of Death
The folks at IGN have continued their article, The Six Chambers of Death. Last time, they reviewed three Death Traps (the Dark Prison, the Golden Desert, and the Dead Pool). Now on their list are three more: the Dragon King Temple, the Falling Cliffs, and the Sky Temple. With each Death Trap description and picture comes a downloadable movie in the Windows Media (.wmv) format.

So click here to read the second part of the article, or as I call it, the particle.
g-NET officially announces Mortal Kombat: Deception iGuide!
Announced earlier today, g-Net has announced the signing with Midway Games to create the exclusive DVD iGuide for Mortal Kombat: Deception.

The Mortal Kombat: Deception iGuide Official Interactive Game Guide DVD is full of added-value bonus content and gameplay strategy. The iGuide showcases the game's new, unique features, equips gamers to get the most out of the game, and provides loads of bonus content extras that any Mortal Kombat fan would "kill" for. Between the instructional video features and the printable PDF cheat sheets, Mortal Kombat: Deception iGuide users will have every secret revealed to them and a mastery of all the different new gameplay modes.

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

MK: Deception iGuide Site Launch
The official site for the MK: Deception iGuide is now online and active! There's lots of cool Mortal Kombat artwork all over the site. Here's what you get for visiting:
  • 4 screenshots of the guide, illustrating the main menu of the DVD and some button combinations for the PS2 and X-Box versions side-by-side
  • A really cool trailer for the iGuide (in QuickTime format) giving you a couple tips for ALL the modes in Deception (Arcade, Puzzle, Konquest, and Chess) as a preview for how in-depth this guide will be.

So check out the site here - and a big thanks to MK Online forum users Hattoris and Fraysol for the tip!
IGNs Fatality Friday, Featuring Sindel!
IGN has posted another installment in their Fatality Friday series, which shows off one fatality each week from Mortal Kombat: Deception. This week, Fatality Friday features the queen of Edenia, Sindel! In the video, Sindel takes out her weapon, snags Sub-Zero with it, and tosses him into the air over her. She then starts spinning the weapon rapidly over her head like helicopter blades. As Sub-Zero comes back down, he hits the spinning weapon, and starts bouncing upon it as the blade dismembers him.

As always, the video is available in Quicktime format for IGN Insider members, and Windows Media format for non-Insiders. To see the video, click here.

Our thanks to forum member icemutiny for the heads-up on this new installment in Fatality Fridays!
IGNs Six Chambers of Death
Looks like IGN has another story on MK: Deception! This time, they focus in on one of MKD's coolest new features: The Death Trap.
With the upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception, the fighting environments themselves represent distinct threats to the fighters thanks to the generous helping of Death Traps sprinkled throughout the game. The concept simple: you can use specific parts of the environment to deal embarrassing damage and end the match immediately if you can get your opponent into a death trap.

Each of the 3 Death Traps covered in their 2-part article, "The Six Chambers of Death", has their own downloadable video in the Windows Media (WMV) format.

Click here to read the 1st part of the article, or as I call it, the particle. (The second particle should be coming soon.) A huge thanks to MK Online user SycloneFX for this awesome news!
Death Trap Feature with Commentary by Mike Taran!
GameSpot has added another new video to its growing collection from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception! This new video showcases some of the most brutal death traps that can be performed in the game! Narrated by designer Mike Taran, he walks you through most of the death traps, as well as showing off the 3D version of The Pit; beforehand showing some footage from the original Mortal Kombat's Pit which started the tradition of stage fatalities. Mortal Kombat: Deception is the first game since Mortal Kombat 4 to have the return of stage fatalities, which can determine the fate of the match at any moment. This will surely be a delight to fans everywhere, online and off, when this game ships on October 4th, 2004 for the Playstation 2 and Xbox.

The video is available to stream for free or available for download for GameSpot Complete members. Thanks goes out to network member Murdoink and site member sub-zeromasta for the heads up!

IGN posts new Stage Fatal Videos!
Hot on the tail of the Official Mortal Kombat: Deception Website's update earlier today, the fine brass at IGN have updated their Mortal Kombat: Deception section with some great new direct-feed videos!

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

The first video features Li Mei and Tanya fighting in the Golden Desert, with Li Mei receiving a fatal blow into a landslide, capped with the crush of an ancient statue. The second video takes place in The Prison, where Ermac takes a beating at the hands of Shujinko (get ready to laugh when Shujinko throws Scorpion's harpoon!) The round ends with Ermac being crushed by the Prison spikes. The final video brings us the classic Dead Pool face-off between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, with Sub-Zero being melted in a nice bed of Dead Pool acid!

Great videos, be sure to check them out over at IGN.com

Thanks to sumixam for delivering the first News Lead Submission with the heads-up on this info!

Official Mortal Kombat: Deception Website Update
The Mortal Kombat: Deception Website has updated yet again with even more new content! Here's what's new:
  • New "Press" Section - mentions the 9.5 score by GameInformer and other prestigious awards
  • 3 New Arenas - Quan Chi's Fortress, Kuatan Palace, and Dragon King's Temple
  • New Bios - Ermac, Li Mei, Kenshi, Bo' Rai Cho, Ashrah, Hotaru, Nightwolf, and Sindel
  • 2 Videos Added - the famous Sub-Zero vs. Baraka trailer, as well as the recent Konquest Mode video
  • 8 New Wallpapers
  • Hi-Res Dragon King render (enter code: 09193)

Thanks to many MK Online users for this news, FJ_JJ being the first to use the News Lead Submission form!
MK: Deception/MAT:2 PAL Release Dates
With Mortal Kombat: Deception arriving on October 4th, and Midway Arcade Treasures 2 due out on October 11th, we have learned of some more global release dates for PAL regions of the games. The tentative schedule is as as follows:
  • MK: Deception European Release - November 5th, 2004
  • MK: Mystification French Release - November 5th, 2004
  • MK: Deception Australian Release - November 19th, 2004
  • MK: Deception New Zealand Release - November 19th, 2004
  • Midway Arcade Treasures 2 European Release - October 29th, 2004

This comes a a relief to some Mortal Kombat: Deception fans, as there was an approximant three month wait between NTSC and PAL releases of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance back in 2002. Thanks goes out to White_Pointer of Blood-Sports.net for the heads up, and credit goes to Dave's Mortal Kombat for information on the MAT:2 PAL date.

IGN Posts Three New Bios: Kenshi, Darrius, and Nightwolf!
IGN has posted three new bios from Midway's soon to be released Mortal Kombat: Deception! This time, the three characters profiled are newcomer Darrius and returning favorites Nightwolf and Kenshi. The Nightwolf video features commentary from Sal Divita, who played him in Mortal Kombat 3. The Darrius video features commentary by Ed Boon, Nick Shin, Herman Sanchez, and John Vogel. Ed Boon and John Vogel also provide commentary for the Kenshi bio. In addition, the bios for Kenshi and Nightwolf are now officially known:
  • Kenshi: The blind swordsman Kenshi was almost killed in Outworld, but was saved by the Lin Kuei ninja, Sub-Zero. As they both make their way across Outworld to find the portal to Earthrealm, Kenshi's keen senses detect an agent of the Dragon King who shadows their every move.
  • Nightwolf: Nightwolf has foreseen the coming of the Dragon King in his dreams. To defeat this new menace, he must corrupt his own soul and enter the Netherealm. The process wil alter his temperament and make him a danger to even his allies. He must travel alone if he is to succeed.
The Darrius video also features two of his fatalities, while the Kenshi one features one.

As always, the videos are available in Quicktime format for IGN Insider members and Windows Media format for non-members. To see all three videos, click here.

Our thanks to forum members Syclone and Blackcyborg for the heads-up on these new bios!
BradyGames Ready To Publish MK Deception Guide
The folks at BradyGames, who have been publishing Mortal Kombat strategy guides for years, have updated their site to announce what to expect with their upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception strategy guide:
  • Provides complete move lists and combos to get gamers through every battle.
  • Expert tactics for hand-to-hand and special-weapon combat.
  • Advanced strategy for each character and his or her special attacks.
  • Game secrets and hidden moves revealed.
  • This Signature Series guide features a special cover treatment, exclusive content, premium item and more!
  • This will cover the PlayStation 2, X-Box, and GameCube versions
  • Available on October 5, 2004
Check out their own page for the guide here. Thanks to MK Online reader Kabal2006 for the news!
Jade Render on Maxim Online
Maxim Online has gotten ahold of an exclusive Jade render, and posted it on their site. It's part of their contest, VGA Vixen of the Year, in which you can vote for your favorite video game babe - to be fair, they never use more than one character from a certain game. There are 20 contestants total. So good luck to Jade, and may the best woman win!

Check out the VGA Vixens contest here, and the Jade bio/render directly here. Thanks to MK Online forum members tgrant and sheone for this incredible find!
Mortal Kombat: Deception Has Gone Gold!
Midway Games announced today that the next game in the Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat: Deception, has officially gone gold! Again, "gone gold" means that the game is finished and the gold master copy has been sent to the publisher for mass duplication. From the press release:
Midway Games today announced that Mortal Kombat®: Deception™ has gone gold and will to ship to stores for both the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft on Monday, October 4th.

Mortal Kombat: Deception delivers the deepest fighting experience ever, with the fatality-filled intensity that has helped establish the Mortal Kombat franchise as the ultimate fighter of all-time over the past 10 years! With unlimited competition online, multiple fatalities per character, multi-tiered interactive environments and extensive new game modes (a la, "Puzzle Kombat", "Chess Kombat", "Konquest" and more), Mortal Kombat: Deception is well on the way to revolutionizing the fighting game genre once again.

It's been a long wait since Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, but soon MK: Deception will be on store shelves. Both the regular version and collector's editions are available for pre-order at retailers near you and the MK Online Store.

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.
Mortal Kombat: Deception 2-Page Ad
Anyone fortunate enough to check out the latest issue of GamePro is in for a treat. You will notice that Midway has spared no expense in treating us MK fans to a full 2-page Mortal Kombat: Deception advertisement, featuring the now-famous fight scene between Sub-Zero and Baraka! You can also check it out below:

Click to enlarge

A very big thanks to MK Online forum member Joe Kool for this update!
Game Informer Posts Gamers Day Demo Video!
Game Informer has posted the demonstration of Mortal Kombat: Deception as hosted by MK co-creator Ed Boon at Midway's Gamer's Day event in San Diego. While this is the same demonstration shown in an earlier video posted by this site, GI's video has a much better shot of the screen, and as such, is quite a bit clearer.

The video is in MPEG format, and is 84 MB in size. You can download it by clicking here.

Our thanks to forum member killerzombie87 for the heads-up on this video!
Mileena Treats Us to Another IGN Fatality Friday!
Before you start lusting after Mileena's polygon goodness in Playboy, you better check out the next round of Fatality Friday from the good folks over at IGN.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Mileena's fatality is perhaps the goriest we've seen yet. Like the ravenous beast she is, Mileena removes her mask and lunges for her opponents jugular. With a swift snap of the jaws, she succeeds in decapitating Sub-Zero, spitting his head out for all to see. She then finishes with a seductive pose and a bloody grin.

To see the gore for yourself, head over to IGN.com.

Though this fatality has already been showcased in the many Mortal Kombat: Deception trailers, it's still a treat (pun intended) to see the full bloody ordeal again.

Thanks to MKO forum members sub-zeromasta and DECEPTION for being the first users to submit this newslead via our News Submission System!

Midway Arcade Treasures 2 Has Gone Gold!
GameSpot is reporting that Midway's classic arcade compilation game Midway Arcade Treasures 2 has gone gold! From the news brief:
Arcade-game fans not tech-savvy enough to build their own MAME cabinets got some good news today. Midway announced that Midway Arcade Treasures 2, its second compilation of old-school classics, has gone gold. The compilation, which will feature titles like NARC, Spy Hunter 2, Gauntlet 2, Cyber-Ball 2072, Wizard of Wor, and Mortal Kombat II and 3, will ship on October 11 for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2.
For those not familiar with the term, "gone gold" means the final master copy has been created and sent to the publisher for mass duplication. As stated in the brief, the game is set for an October 11th release date.

To read the brief in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member _JRF_ for the heads-up on this breaking news story!
IGN Features MKII and MK3 as Treasure of the Day!
IGN has started a new series entitled Treasure of the Day, where each day they profile a classic arcade game from Midway's upcoming compilation game Midway Arcade Treasures 2! Each profile contains a bit of history and media from the profiled game. Yesterday's Treasure of the Day was none other than Mortal Kombat II! From the article:
Mortal Kombat convinced arcade visitors to pour quarters into the coin slot with its digitized graphics and intense fighting system. With the release of Mortal Kombat II the action got an extra jump with five new playable characters in the game as well as some new fatalities, friendships, and even babalities. As soon as it landed on the arcade floor, the hunt for the new codes was on.
Appropriately, today's Treasure of the Day is the next game in the Mortal Kombat series: Mortal Kombat 3! From the article:
With a few more characters, Mortal Kombat 3 bumped the total number of playables to 15. The new trick this time around were the Animalities where a fighter could turn into a critter and then deliver some Fatality action on the opponent. But the real news here is the graphical upgrade after two years of development that made the background much more interesting to look at and the moves that much more spectacular. Missiles flew out of a cyborg's chest and bombs started to get tossed around the screen.
To read the profile on Mortal Kombat II in its entirety, click here. To read the profile on Mortal Kombat 3 in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum member buterbals113085 for the heads-up on this news story!
GameSpot Releases MKD Official Movie 3, Featuring Konquest!
GameSpot has just released the third entry in their Official Movie series about Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception! This video concentrates on the Konquest game mode.

The video features commentary from MK development team members Ed Boon, John Vogel, Steve Beran, Dan Forden, and Luis Mangubat. The video gives a brief overview of the game and offers glimpses as to what is in the game. Such glimpses include images and descriptions of Shujinko at different times of his life, and guest appearances by such characters as Shinnok, Kenshi, Shang Tsung (looking like his MKDA incarnation rather than his MK1 incarnation), and Kano.

The video is available for download to GameSpot Complete members, and may be streamed for free by non-members. It is viewable in either Windows Media or Real Media format. To see the video in its entirety, click here and scroll down to Official Movie 3.

Our thanks to forum member Syclone for the heads-up on this news update!
WWE Mortal Kombat: Deception Sweepstakes!
The WWE has announced the holding of a Mortal Kombat: Deception Sweepstakes! The grand prize winner will walk away with either a Playstation 2 or Xbox console, as well as a signed copy of Mortal Kombat: Deception by a WWE superstar! The contest deadline is on October 15, 2004.

View the contest page and the rules and regulations page for more information.

Mortal Kombat: Deception Final Box Art
Midway Games has released the final front box art for Mortal Kombat: Deception.

Mortal Kombat: Deception is set for release next month on October 4th, 2004 for a retail price of $49.99 USD.

I-Guide For Mortal Kombat: Deception
Click to enlargeMany of you may have noticed at your local game store the I-Guides - interactive strategy guides for popular video games, on DVD. Only a handful of games (such as Hitman and Driv3r) are worthy enough to have an I-Guide produced for them, and MK fans who open up the latest issue of EGM (the November issue) will see the ad for MK: Deception!

As you can see, the guide not only promises video instructions for ALL modes of the game, with tons of secrets unlocked, but there's also bonus content exclusive to this disc, as well as printable crib sheets (presumably through your computer's DVD-ROM drive). Sounds like a great investment for any hardcore MK fan! Special thanks to MK Online Forum Member Joe Kool for the news!

Game Informer reveals MK: Deception Finisher Combinations!
The October 2004 issue of Game Informer magazine is starting to make its way into subscriber's mailboxes now. Revealed in this issue are five exclusive finishing move combinations in their Secret Access  column. Though we've heard of most of these descriptions before, this is the first time we learn of Kobra's Heart Rip Fatality, taking Kano's old classic to a fresh new level. The following is the list of Fatalities and Hara-Kiris in the article:
  • Baraka's Decap Hara-Kiri - Down, Away, Up, Away, Attack 4
  • Jade's Spear Fatality - Away, Towards, Up, Towards, Attack 1
  • Kobra's Heart Rip Fatality - Down, Away, Towards, Down, Attack 4
  • Nightwolf's Axe Throw Fatality - Away, Towards, Away, Towards, Attack 1 (must be far away from opponent)
  • SubZero's Head Rip Fatality - Towards, Away, Down, Towards, Attack 2

This issue of Game Informer should hit newsstands on or around September 20th. A shout out goes to member Manuel Williams for the news.

New MKD Fatalities
Here's a description of 2 new MK: Deception Fatalities that were seen at Game Stars Live (no pictures or videos, just text descriptions).

Kabal has one where he uppercuts you into the air, then reaches out with his hookswords while you're still airborne and slices you in half.

Sub-Zero has one where he freezes the bottom half of your body, then kicks it, shattering it to pieces. The top half of you falls down and starts crawling away, begging for mercy. Sub-Zero then stomps on you with enough force to make your head pop off!
Baraka vs Sub-Zero Cinematic Now Available!
As many of you have already seen, GameSpot.com has updated their official Mortal Kombat: Deception video section with direct-feed of the awesome Sub-Zero versus Baraka cinematic that we were first treated to at Midway Summer Gamer's Day!

To check out this awesome clip, click HERE.

Thanks to the few dozen users who gave us the heads-up on this clip!

Fatality Friday Strikes Again at IGN!
The fine folks at IGN have gotten their hands on yet another fatality from Mortal Kombat: Deception! This time around, we are treated to Scorpion putting Havik back into the land of the dead. To accomplish this task, Scorpion launches a harpoon in Havik's leg, and rips it off. He repeats this gruesome task with an arm. To finish things off right, Scorpion then breaks Havik's neck! This is a very satisfying Fatality!

To see the gore for yourself, click here.  Thanks to MK Online IRC Network user DECEPTION for the update!

Official Deception Site Updates
As Mortal Kombat: Deception draws near, Midway continues to draw us along with more updates on the Official Mortal Kombat: Deception website. As of September 10, the official site now includes renders of the Lower Mines, Golden Desert, Falling Cliffs, and Yin Yang Island, as well as previously seen renders/bios for several characters. To top it all off, ten new screenshots, more wallpapers, and more have been added. The update concludes with the promise of more content on September 22! Also, it has come to our attention that a secret code is hidden in the website. To obtain it follow these instructions:

In the Warriors section of the Official Mortal Kombat Deception website, click on Scorpion. Notice in the lower-right hand corner, a secret code will be revealed. Simply type in the numbers "01492", and a ZIP file will download. This ZIP file features a handful of sounds from the game, including "Toasty!". What this actually means for the game remains a mystery!

Thanks to forum member blackmagik for the lead!

IGN Updates With 3 New Bios!
IGN has posted three new bios, this time for Ashrah, Kira and Bo' Rai Cho. From Kira's bio:

Kira is the first recruit of the new Black Dragon. Kabal saw in her a calculated ruthlessness that the clan had previously been lacking. Kira will help the clan bring the world to its knees, but first, she must travel to Outworld to test her might against foes of the Dragon King.

Of other interest, four new fatalities between the three fighters have been revealed. Ashrah mutilates her foe by means of a voodoo doll in one, while using her elemental power to dismember them in another; Kira slits her opponent's neck, followed by a swift, mutilating kick to the torso, and Bo' Rai Cho finishes his opponent with a deadly case of gas (flammable, might I add).

IGN Insider members are treated to hi-res Quicktime versions, while non-members can download low-res Windows Media versions. Both can be found here.

Thanks goes to sub-zeromasta for the update.

Mortal Kombat: Deception Back Cover Artwork!
Click to EnlargeThough we can't clarify this as being finalized, EBGames.com appears to have grabbed the latest artwork for the back of the Xbox console version of  Mortal Kombat: Deception. It contains the latest pitch line, "It Will Konsume You!", as well as featuring a render of Scorpion's alternative classic outfit, which we first gave you a glance of during our coverage last month of Midway Summer Gamers' Day.

Limited Editions of Mortal Kombat: Deception are running at $59.99 USD for preorder, while standard editions will sell for $49.99 USD. Both are set for a release on October 4th, 2004, with a ship date of September 30th for Brady Games' official strategy guide with a $14.99 USD price tag.

Thanks goes out to Mortal Kombat Online member mkda??? for the news lead.

Mortal Kombat: Deception at Game Stars Live
Game Stars Live, a 5-day event which ran from Sept. 1 through Sept. 5, is now officially over. Midway was there, and they had Mortal Kombat: Deception on display there (on 6 TV's, no less!) The build they had running appears to be very similar to the one at Midway Summer Gamer's Day - it was even an NTSC build, and not a PAL one. It was estimated to be 80% complete. It was contained in a special designated area where only people 18 and over were allowed in. They were strict on enforcing this, as people were even carded and turned away (although one youngster, photographed below, managed to get in.)

Besides the FMV intro, which is excellent, there's another cool video that shows in 4 different windows the various modes of play (Arcade, Chess, Puzzle, and Konquest). It's a change from the Katas that Deadly Alliance ran.

The coolest stage has to be the Dark Prison stage. Here is a list of all the prisoners (at least, the ones that they had enabled in this build): Cyrax, Sektor, Kai, Kung Lao, Stryker, Mokap, Jax, Sonya, Drahmin, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Frost, Kano, Hsu Hao, Mavado, Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Kitana, Goro, Kintaro, Nitara, Rain, Reiko, Shao Kahn, Shinnok, Fujin, Sareena, and get this: Reptile is in the Prison, in both his MKII and MK4 costume.

As far as the game's engine is concerned: It is well documented that it's very similar to MK: Deadly Alliance. The main engine tweaks are well documented (speed increase, deathtraps, stage weapons, display lights, etc.) One key difference, though, is that there are no longer Taunts, Reversals, or Neijins. In their place are Breakers, which prove to be much easier to actually use in battle. These are not Killer Instinct-type Combo Breakers, where you need to perform a special move to escape a player performing a combo on you. Instead, you can block during the middle of the combo, and that will break you out of it. At this point in time, you could also hold down the block button and if the player attempts to combo you, you will break out of it. Important to note, is that it does not actually damage the other player if you perform one.

Another difference is that right now, if your characters wins while in his weapon stance, his weapon suddenly disappears. This has changed since Deadly Alliance, where they would still hold their weapon in their hands for their victory pose. This, along with many other details pointed out here, could change by the game's final release date.

A really cool detail (as you may have seen from some of the MSGD videos) is that every character has their own unique animation for getting up after they have lost a battle. Scorpion pulls himself up using his spear, Ermac uses telekenesis and levitates himself up (with green energy), Mileena crawls around before getting up and then growls, Baraka gets up by sticking his blades into the ground and using those to support his weight, Sub-Zero leaves a trail of ice behind him to get up, and Bo Rai Cho... farts his way up.

The backgrounds are one of the coolest things about the game. Obviously, with backgrounds being multi-tiered and having death traps as well as stage weapons, they can affect the outcome of the fight for the first time in an MK game. Old school backgrounds that were exclusive to Chess Kombat in previous builds of the game (such as The Portal, The Pit, The Courtyard, The Living Forest, and The Dead Pool) are now available in Arcade Mode as well. They're also extremely detailed, as there several backgrounds that have flying birds or a flock of albatrosses in the background. In the Yin/Yang stage - which is known for flickering from night to day - there are other changes as well. In daytime, there is a boat in the background, but at night it's a more sinister looking ship (resembling Shang Tsung's old ship, but presumably not the same one). The cocunut trees in that background become giant snakes at night, as well. The cocunuts (which fall on your head if you get slammed into one!) become human skulls at night. The coolest feature in any background is in one stage where the floor is made almost entirely out of glass. When someone is knocked onto the floor, it leaves a big crack in it, for the rest of the match. This level of realism is unbelievable, and certainly raises the bar for any future Mortal Kombat games.

This level of detail is present in Chess Kombat as well. In the Pit background, if you rotate the camera around the chessboard, you can actually see Dead Bodies lying down in the spikes underneath. Very cool, and staying true to the Pit design from MK1. The Portal (which is a mixture of various portal backgrounds from previous MK games) has Shadow Priests like in the previous games. The Shadow Priest in front of the altar is wearing darker robes than the two guarding the portal - suggesting that he may be their leader.

Noob-Smoke is the sub-boss right now. As you can see from the videos, he actually functions as a tag team. When he switches styles, he switches from Noob Saibot to Smoke - their styles change as well, as Noob always uses Monkey, and Smoke always uses Mi Tzu. They do not appear to have a weapon.

As is well known by now, The Dragon King (also known as Onaga) is the final boss. He no longer is the narrator, apparantly; when we wins he doesn't say "I Win" anymore. The text says "Onaga Wins" but the audio says "Dragon King wins". In his stage (exclusive to him only) there are about 8 giant dragon claws that stick out of the ground. Each one is of a different color and holds a different icon (like a yin yang, or a skull). If you walk into one, you will shatter it, and this hurts the Dragon King. It's as if the claws hold the secret to the Dragon King's power. This doesn't actually take any damage off his life meter, but it leaves him stunned for a few seconds. This is the most opportune time to attack him - but be careful, because some attacks (like high fireballs) might miss him, and then your opportunity is lost. Better to wait a few seconds before using some moves, to make sure you that you time it so that it hits him. You don't have to ruin any of the claws in order to win, but it does make it easier. But be careful - each of these claws is set precariously close to a death trap and you will lose the round instantly if hit into of them. (Of course, with the Dragon King's size, he cannot be knocked into these traps himself). There doesn't appear to be any sort of reward for destroying all the Claws in the stage, although perhaps there may be, if they were destroyed in the proper order?

Because of his massive size, he doesn't get knocked down completely in a fight. Some moves, like Sub-Zero's freeze, have no effect on him. Scorpion's Spear actually does get stuck in him, but it won't pull him over to you. Instead, he fights for a few seconds with the Spear still in him until it eventually disappears. When you've beaten him completely he dies in a fiery explosion - a mess of claws and unrecognizable body parts are all that remain, until his head comes down a few seconds later. The game says you did a Fatality when this happens, too.

There's a couple other noticeable changes in this build, such as the Sky Tower glitch at E3 (where both players walked on thei air) has been fixed. Also, if both players fall victim to the death trap in that stage, the person who had more energy is now the winner. Nightwolf's arrow still impales you, but it doesn't actually reduce your health as Impale moves in Deadly Alliance did. Certain special moves being used in 2 specific stages did lock up the game, however, and there were several people on staff to reset the game when this occured. Rest assured that this will be fixed in the final release.

Some other cool details are that there's an Area 51 demo accessible right from the main menu. Another cool feature is that you can listen to the various to the different tracks from the game. Each one contains information (such as who composed it) as well as their comments on what went into making that particular tune. There are also bonus tracks, songs they felt were really cool but just didn't fit in with any particular stage.

Puzzle Kombat - a truly addictive little puzzle game, this is really progressing nicely. For starters, the old Random Select (Up + Start) trick works in here, as well as in Chess Kombat. There is no longer a Fatality after every round, like at E3. Now, they only do Fatalities on the final round, as a true MK game. They are still done automatically for you (at least for now). There's still some tweaking to be done, as the "Time Playing" always displays 00:00 no matter how long you've played. Now, there is a battle plan, complete with MKII style mountain, and you actually fight different characters. The computer gets much smarter as you progress, and the pieces fall faster, too - a double challenge.

Puzzle Kombat has a lot of cool (funny) details, too - in their version of the Slaughterhouse stage, there is a little piece of meat thrown into the meat grinders on the side before every round. Another stage has a bird flying around that gets smushed by one of the pillars.

One of the better aspects of Puzzle Kombat, and one that sets it apart from Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, is the Super Moves. After doing enough combos and building up your super meter, doing another large combo will result in your character performing a Super Move on your opponent, which is different for each player. The coolest is easily Sub-Zero's (no pun intended!) - his "Freeze" Super turns all of the blocks on your screen into Ice Blocks, and you can't use any of them until they thaw out after a few seconds. Baraka's "Edger" Super fits him quite well, as 2 long blades pop up and remove the left and right columns of blocks on his screen. This changes your strategy when playing as Baraka, as you would not want to put any Dragon Koins into the 2 corners. Sindel has a "Rearrange" Super, in which all of the blocks in her screen are sorted by color (making it super easy if she gets a dragon koin). Nightwolf has a nasty one that makes all of your Dragon Koins disappear, which can ruin it for you if you were planning any intricate combos. Mileena's "Driller" is kind of like Baraka's, only it removes the blocks in the middle of her screen as opposed to the corners.

Overall, the reaction from the British crowd was very positive. Many of the people I spoke with hadn't played Mortal Kombat in years, indicating that they missed Deadly Alliance. However they seemed very excited about the game, particularly with the Death Traps. The release date in the U.K. (but not all PAL countries) is November 14, 2004. (Other countries may take longer as the game has to be translated into different languages.) This is for both the PlayStation 2 and X-Box, as there is currently no GameCube version being worked on in Europe.

Check out a battle between Noob/Smoke here.


A huge thanks to several staffers at the show, including Matt Scott and Tammy Petroff, as well as Project Manager Mike Eggington.
Game Informer Posts New Gameplay Videos!
Game Informer has posted eight new direct-feed videos from Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat: Deception! The videos include footage from Konquest mode, Puzzle Kombat, Chess Kombat, and complete matches featuring Baraka taking on himself, Bo'Rai Cho, Darrius, and Scorpion. Also, a complete match is shown of Kabal facing off against Scorpion.

The videos are in MPEG format, which should be playable in any current media player. To download and/or view the videos, click here.

Our thanks to forum user mcauslander for the heads-up on this new footage!
IGN Fatality Fridays Round 2: Nightwolf
Earlier tonight IGN kicked off round two of its Fatality Friday video releases. This time Nightwolf is in the spotlight, as he makes a bloody mess with his weapon of choice. From the article:

For our second installment, we'll be taking a closer look at a man who's evil with a bow and arrow, Nightwolf. After showing Ashrah who's boss in the field of combat, Nightwolf gets down and dirty with a tomahawk and shows just how much blood is contained in a human head.

You can read the article in full by clicking here, or stream the fatality for free over here, while checking out Baraka's Fatality from last week if you missed it. Thanks for the dozen of news leads sent in, you guys literately don't miss a beat. However, thanks goes out to Mortal Kombat Online chat room user DECEPTION for the first heads up!

Midway Opening Austin, Texas Studios!
XBox Addict is running a story announcing that Midway is planning on opening a new development studio in Austin, Texas! From the article:
Leading interactive entertainment developer and publisher, Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) today announced plans to open a new internal development studio in Austin, Texas. Midway is actively recruiting for the new studio which it plans to open in the near future.

Midway will be at the upcoming Austin Game Conference on Sept. 9-10 at the Austin Convention Center.
This would not be the first time Midway has had a location in Texas; they previously had offices in Corsicana (which have since closed). If you live in Texas and believe you have what it takes to make it in the game industry, now's your chance!

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Our thanks to forum/chat member CAMK for the heads-up on this news story!
Mortal Kombat to be featured on ICONS Program!
G4techTV tonight will feature Mortal Kombat center stage in the newest episode of its series ICONS. From their site:

When Mortal Kombat hit arcades in the early 90's as Midway's answer to Capcom's arcade phenom Street Fighter II, it forever changed the way the world saw violence in gaming. From the slack-jawed frenzy of gamers searching for more gore to the unwanted attention from parents and lawmakers alike, the Mortal Kombat series undeniably became a nineties pop-culture staple that went on to spawn a hit movie and a succession of sequels of gradually decreasing quality. Find out how a series so controversial that it helped spawn the Electronics Software Ratings Board has stuck around for so long and where it's going next.

You can catch this special as it premiers tonight at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT. Thanks goes out to MK Online member kody powell for the news lead!

Ed Boon Interview featured at GameSpy X-box!
While at the Midway Summer Gamers' Day in San Diego, GameSpy Xbox managed to snag a quick video interview with series co-creator Ed Boon outside the doors of the THIN/ONYX room. Not a great lot to say on my part...so go here to listen to what he has to say for himself regarding the upcoming sequel, Mortal Kombat: Deception!


Thanks goes out to forum member Takermk for the heads up!
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MK11 Kombat Pack 2?
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