My Kombat Experience.
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My Kombat Experience.
10/29/2007 08:37 PM EST
I like to think we all have an idealistic moment in our lives. A specific time where a lot of our happiest memories are. Like a snapshot of you at your most glorified. Our own 'Summer of '69.' Maybe I'm deluding myself into thinking there are others who share this sort of fantasy, but hey.
For me that year was 1994. That summer was wedged between fifth and sixth grade. It could probably be what I'd like to call the first Golden Moment. It could be pretty words and a comforting feel of nostalgia, but it could also be because it was the first time one of my now-infamous obsessions bloomed.
Mortal Kombat.
Yeah, it's a geek thing, and even a little sad to still admit and hold up, but it's one of my most talked up and tired obsessions. And it still is. So now let's see what writing skill I have left and compose a review and a few reasons why.
First, a small backstory. I wasn't too keen on fighting games growing up - If at all. I remember, though, when the first Mortal Kombat game made the 6:00 news for it's violence. They showcased the famous fatality of Sub-Zero's. Remember that one? Rips off his opponents head and the spine dangles? Yeah.
Now -that- was cool, I thought.
Skip ahead some months and change, and my aunt gave me a copy of said Mortal Kombat for my Super Nintendo. But I didn't realize it was -that- game because, as any fan remembers, the Super Nintendo's version had zero blood and completely altered fatalities. I didn't even know there were those in this game, as that one was forgotten. Who knew arcade games could come home? I sure as hell didn't.
And then we went to a cheesy place called Sahara Sams, somewhere in Suburbia. And in the middle of the arcade pile was Mortal Kombat II. A mad crowd of bloodthirsty eleven year olds were watching intently at the screen - A fight between everyone's favorite hero Liu Kang and his adorable love, Kitana. WTF? Okay...So I followed and watched, and arrived just in time to see a second fatality performed. If that motherfuck didn't turn into a dragon and eat half of Kitana's body. I say goddamn.
I was, like just about everyone else my age, immedietely hooked. For the first time I actually had something in common with other kids my age. It was damned cool to discuss Mortal Kombat. And if you knew all of the moves, and could pull off (insert uberhard move here) - You were an eleven year old god.
That realization came much later - At the time I simply thought it was awesome. I loved memorizing it, studying it, and waiting patiently for Mortal Friday, September 9th, 1994. That was the day the game hit the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Gameboy, and the Gamegear. Remember those systems? Apparently the gore and blood and fatality-fest would all be in one piece.

Mortal Kombat, like it or not, broke down a lot of virgin walls in the popular gaming world. It showcased human looking fighters taking part in a digital bloodbath. And I don't think none of us would have continued playing through adulthood if there wasn't a good and competent storyline involved. Which, there was. The series started out on a very cliched and 2d storyline, but as we matured so did the story. Suddenly there were all these 'other emotions' there that weren't centered on seeing guts. We picked a side and we picked our fighter. And we all did have our favorites, didn't we?
I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.
But I'm spiderweb-rambling. My point is that it offered a lot more that generic game-play. We studied combos and methods, finding secret characters, playing hidden games, doing such-and-such's fatality for the first time. Owning someone with a friendship. Behind us, as we played this game, our peers were waiting to see what we might discover. We read what others had discovered in Gamepro magazine, or Game Informer. There wasn't widespread access to the internet at the time, so trust me man, that fucking game taught patience, too. Waiting for Gamepro's Fighter's Edge to offer their open-faced Mortal Kombat tutorial was torment.
And the secrets and twists to our beloved 'canon' affected us. And I say us because I'm not the only one. When it was exposed that Mileena wasn't actually Kitana's sister but a mutant clone, I went all fanboy. I might as well have been a sixty-seven year old woman watching her soaps.
And then the movie came out in 1995. I was a hard addict, at that point, forbidden to go into arcades alone. My father used the word obsession many, many times. I countered that with his fishing obsession and was promptly told to stfu. But I digress.
I didn't see it in a theatre, but we all watched it here on a bootleg copy. My parents and a few close family friends sat down and watched it, and I was in my glory, man. They loved it - And I loved it when my father asked me questions.
"Rich, who's she?"
"Sonya Blade."
Damn it felt good to be that guy for a night.
In school I was known as the boy who studied Mortal Kombat. By then it wasn't cool anymore to know what I knew, so my fifteen minutes of popularity ended but the obsession raged on.
Now, some thirteen years later - Almost to the day, incidentially - I feel that old familiar Mortal Kombat kick in the groin. I get all back into it again - Watching videos, drawing characters, et cetera.(This one came about because I found some things I had from that time. One of them was a rule leaflet for a contest that expired 1/1/96.)
And I'm finding out that it's okay now to admit what we like, especially if it comes from our childhood. And that's pretty nifty.
So, who was/is your favorite character?
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RE: My Kombat Experience.
10/29/2007 08:45 PM EST
It all started back around 1992, I was some were between 5 and 6 years old. I remember playing in a basement with my friends and going to there room, witch was also located in the basement. The set up of the room was simple. A bed in the middle with the head board pressed up against the wall and a little TV on a table at the foot of the bed. This person , whom I have long forgotten who, had a super Nintendo video game system. More importantly to this story they had Mortal Kombat 1. This was the first time I played the game and I remember laying on my stomach at the foot of the bed playing Mortal Kombat for what seemed like hours. After that I was hooked.
I recall My brother having Ultimate Mortal kombat 3 for the SNES (Super Nintendo) and knowing all the cheat codes, and I would always play as Scorpion (the Yellow Ninja of the game). However it is just a faint memory. At some point we must have lost the game, for I have no idea were it is now.
Here is a quick accumulation of memories before the story gets a bit closer to my age now, when I can remember things clearly
When I was young I would try and get any Mortal Kombat I could. I would Drive down with my parents to Louisiana from Missouri and play Mortal Kombat with my cousins on there Play station. They had Mortal Kombat Trilogy, witch was were I first got a chance to see my favorite boss character Kintaro (a four armed hybrid of Dragon, Tiger, and human). They also had Mortal Kombat 4, witch was the first Mortal Kombat to be rendered in 3D.
My family when to a Country Club of sorts called “Lost Valley Lake” and there they had my favorite game in its original Arcade format, Mortal Kombat 2!
I can recall as a child dressing like Raiden for Halloween and no one knowing who I was. I also recall making a Scorpion outfit out of fabrics as a child too.
When I was not playing Mortal Kombat I would go on line and study about it, witch is why my knowledge of the games story far surpasses my actual skill in the game.
It was because of the Mortal Kombat 1 movie that I started martial arts, now I am a certified self defense teacher.
My mother would take me to Toy’s R Us to get Mortal Kombat action figures that my older brother eventually burned in some Bottle rocket game
My dad took me to the Mortal Kombat Live Tour, witch was a MK based play and I purchased a Mortal Kombat hat that I would use as a mitt when I played catch with my friends. There I also got some miniature Mortal Kombat Action figures that I tied thread to and made them into puppets.

Then I moved to Mississippi around the age of 10. Some were in the move I happened upon a Mortal Kombat 1 cartridge for the original Game Boy. I believe I made a trade with a friend to actually get a Game Boy to play the game on.
My father also took me to the Mortal Kombat Armageddon Movie , witch started me in traveling my doing summersaults through the house ( I was pretending to be a warp ball). I recall seeing the commercial for this movie on TV and getting so excited and my sister would poke fun at me about it.
On one particular trip to Louisiana to see my cousins, I played Mortal Kombat (Game boy) the whole way there in hopes of finally beating them at the game. . .They still kicked my butt. However it was there that I read about Mortal Kombat 2 on the game boy and heard about the up coming Fifth Mortal Kombat Game! When I got home I ordered Mortal Kombat 2 for the Game Boy. I still play that cartridge to this day.

Now this Is about the time when I actually started to take this game seriously.
My brother down loaded a program to illegally down load information. I got on and, using a dial up connection, downloaded Mortal Kombat 4! I was so happy, The game did not have the music or the ending videos, but the game play was still there! Me and my best friend Ross played shoulder to shoulder using the Lap top key board for months. Until Ross found out about ROMs (a way to down load any game for any system to your computer. ) Needless to say I downloaded all the Mortal Kombat’s on every system ever. It was a whole summer’s worth of downloading to do it.
At some point during that summer my family went to Lost Valley Lake again, and I got a chance to play Mortal Kombat 2 in the Arcade once more. I could not get past the first guy!!! This is what got me thinking about arcades. See I was so use to playing on a key board that I could not play the arcade (the original and best format for Mortal Kombat)
I later found a company that made Arcade perfect remotes that hooked up to any system , X-Arcade. It was $200 for a single remote! I worked for my mother for 2 weeks, doing every thing she did around the house to earn the cash for it. But I got it.
And when I went back to Lost Valley Lake the next year I did much better against my old Arcade friend.
So Things began to roll quickly and I started keeping up with Mortal Kombat News on a web sight witch replaced my old news source “” when it shut down. This meant I would get the new Mortal Kombat games the day they came out. My first, legally purchased Mortal Kombat Game was Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance for the game cube. I remember falling over the bushes in my front yard to get to my room to play it with my new best friend Chris. I remember Chris was awesome at the Konqwest Mode of the game (a part of the game that would teach you how to kick ass in the arcade and Versus mode).
I played that game every chance I was not doing Martial arts in my garage or going to school. All of my note books were filled with Drawings in the margins of the paper of things I saw in the game!

It was pretty much the same story when Mortal Kombat Deception came out. Around this time me and Chris’s friendship was waning. I accepted a challenge from some kid (Blake) at school to play him in Mortal kombat Deception. His house had a big projection screen that made the Mortal Kombat characters life size! Now I had never played on line games before, and he had. There for he kicked my butt bad! This was were I developed what I called Arcade Rules. It was simply a set of rules to keep cheep players who would do the same move over and over from doing so. I explained to Blake that on line you can do that because the other person can’t do anything about it. However in the arcade, I am right next to you, and if you play cheep, I can punch you in the face. He agreed, thinking it was fair and made the game much more fun to play. I loved playing Blake, he was awesome at the game and made me work hard to beat him. I got to the point were I was just a bit better then him, witch was nice.
Him and I eventually made a tradition we called “fatality Fridays” when we would get together on Fridays and play mortal kombat with friends! It was the best. The last Fatality Friday we had, we all made Mortal kombat outfits out of duct tape and made cheesy Mortal Kombat movies.
However in all this awesome Mortal Kombat goodness, I still felt there was something missing. Yes, I had a arcade controller, but I did not have the full glory of the Arcade machine. There for, until I had just that I would never be having the full Mortal Kombat experience.
When I moved to Indiana, I started doing blue prints (on white paper) of how I could make the Arcade machine! However, as luck would have it, a Golden Tee Arcade Machine showed up at the local good will store. My Girlfriend wanted me to have it so she gave me the money (witch I later payed back) to get it. I stood outside from five in the morning to nine ( when they opened) on there half off sale to insure I would get the game. There were plenty of dorky guys behind me who stood looking at me in disgust because they knew I was there to take there dreams away from them.
I altered the Arcade using a Play station 2, new monitor, 2 player X-Arcade controller, and new paint job. Finally my dream had come true. I purchased Midway Arcade Treasures (witch had arcade perfect Mortal Kombat 2 and 3), Play station’s Mortal Kombat 4, and used the games I already owned to fill in the collection so that I had Mortal Kombat 1-7 (that’s all the mortal Kombat out right now) in the arcade!
This completes the full path of obsession that led to my beautiful creation! I have tones of other Arcade games for my machine, but I rarely play them. I love Mortal Kombat. .. It’s the best game I have ever played. And no mater what I do. . . it always seems to be there.

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RE: My Kombat Experience.
10/31/2007 03:15 PM EST
Some friends and I went to a local arcade and they were like "Hey, have you seen this new game, it's called Mortal Kombat." I was like "Damn... no, I haven't seen this... Woah, the graphics are AMAZING (remember the year is 1992) and the violence is off the scale."

My first selection, I believe, was Raiden. My tastes in characters have changed, but my obsession with MK has not.

My MK resume is as follows...

A) I have owned a dedicated (original cabinet) full size 25" monitor Mortal Kombat arcade machine Ver 3.5

B) I currently own at least a dozen different revisions of MK1 motherboards including the very fun Mortal Kombo and a very, very rare prototype MK1 motherboard called Ver. 9.0. The prototype board is different in that the overall timing of the moves is faster and when Goro jumps down, his music is completely different than in the standard MK1 PCB's. Very cool.

C) I entered and won the MKDA fan sub contest and have art in the coffin room of MKDA.

D) I have devoted hundreds of hours to creating MK related artwork.

E) I have played the various incarnations of MK literally thousands and thousands of times.

If there was ever an MK nerd, it is I.
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