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Mortal Kombat 1 Ports - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

Guitar Guy: (singing) He's the Angry... Video Game... Nerd.

(A montage of "Mortal Kombat" gameplay plays)

The Nerd: Motherfuckin' Mortal Kombat. You don't get much more badass than that. When this sumbitch came out, it changed the landscape of gaming entirely. It garnered praise and a ton of controversy. Even the government was tryin' to ban it, until they came up with the bright idea of ratings. It's crazy to think with how violent the series is today, this caused an uproar.

(He shows a clip of Sub-Zero ripping off Johnny Cage's head)

The Nerd: Nowadays, the gore isn't too crazy, but back in '92, holy shit! It was unlike anything we'd ever seen before. While Street Fighter II was revolutionary for fighting games, Mortal Kombat was revolutionary, for video games as a whole. The game was turned into a comic book, cartoon, movie, live-action series, trading cards, and of course the album by The Immortals, with that legendary single, "Techno Syndrome" - which became the Mortal Kombat theme, but the whole album, just pummels you with a meteor shower of sizzling hot BEATS!

The Nerd: One of the biggest things about this game was the special moves and the fatalities, which all required complex button combinations, which we had to commit to memory. You know how much of our brain power that used up? We were sittin' in school and supposed to be listenin' to our history lesson, but instead we're tunin' out the teacher, and just thinkin', "Forward forward high kick. Down up low punch." Y'know - we're all hopped up on GamePro magazines; we can't wait to get to the arcade! So once the bell rings and school lets out, that's the time to let it rip, to let it fuckin' loose! Runnin' the bus screamin', "MORTAL KOMBAT!"

The Nerd: Yeah, just like the kid in the commercial. I mean, he goes out in the streets and screams "Mortal Kombat!" as if his life depends on it, with raw emotions tearing through like a shockwave paving a radius of mighty force, emanating from the ground where he stands! And then a crowd marches out, as if they heard the call to action. As if to say, "Damn straight. Mortal Kombat." 'Cause this isn't just a game. This is a way of fuckin' life! The commercial of course was announcing that Mortal Kombat was coming to home consoles. The year of our lord: September 13th, 1993. Mortal fuckin' Monday. This would be the day a crowd of edgy 90s teens gathered in the streets to celebrate. Because when it was in the arcades, it was always surrounded and guarded by bigger kids, the quarter hogs. But now, we'd be takin' it back to our own homes! That commercial announcing Mortal Monday, was like, a call of freedom! A call that begged to be reckoned with! A call that DEFINED the generation! (Syncing with the announcer) "MORTAL KOMBAT!"

The Nerd: While the definitive way to play Mortal Kombat will always be the arcade, people couldn't wait to bring the game home and start rippin' out hearts and spines from their couches. Each port is, more or less a fair recreation of the arcade version; however they all have minor and sometimes major differences, that keep the game from being a hundred percent (100%) there. We still ate it up though. Mortal Kombat's launch went down as one of the biggest game releases in history, and we all crowded around our living rooms to witness it, in all its violent glory. So, how do all these ports stack up against each other?

(The Nerd picks up all the ports)

The Nerd: Like this.

(The Game Gear and SNES ports at the top almost slip)

Mortal Kombat (SNES)[]

The Nerd: First, let's look at the Super Nintendo version. This port was published by Acclaim and developed by Sculptured Software. After turning it on, ya get this little animation of Goro walking up and punching the Acclaim logo. (Goro walks up to the Acclaim logo and punches it away)

The Nerd: Yeah - and of course Acclaim is the company that bought LJN. (the Acclaim and LJN logos appear next to the Nerd. Goro punches the Acclaim logo away from the Nerd) Yeah - punch that logo, Goro. (Goro punches the LJN logo away from the Nerd) Y-Y-Yeah, punch the FUCK out of it! (Goro punches the Acclaim logo away again) Yeah - I could watch him PUNCH that fuckin' logo all day!

The Nerd: So, right off the bat I'm gonna address the elephant in the room; the thing that everybody talks about, is that the Super Nintendo version was censored, and is infamous for removing the blood - or, replacing it with... sweat.

(Sub-Zero punches Scorpion as sweat comes out of him)

The Nerd: Um, the sweat thing? If that's really supposed to be sweat, y'know what? That's kinda disgusting... I think it's even more disgusting than blood.

The Nerd: I mean, how sweaty are these fighters to begin with? They only just started fighting and like a gallon of sweat came out of Scorpion! I hope they're slammin' down Gatorade in between matches; otherwise they're gonna have some serious dehydration issues.

The Nerd: In my opinion, the first Mortal Kombat was never known to be a tight and precise fighting game. It was more of a mindless bloodsport that you and your friends played for fun. And it was just the style of it, how it was basically like Enter the Dragon: The Game. But removing the blood just makes this a mediocre fighter on the Super Nintendo, with Street Fighter II Turbo out the same year. But sadly, compared to all the other issues this game has, the lack of blood... is only minor.

The Nerd: But before we get into this shit, let's talk about what this game does well. For one, the game looks pretty damn close to the arcade. The graphics are clean, the sound is decent, and the voice samples sound pretty clear.

Announcer: Fight!

The Nerd: But all that is shit on by some of the most frustrating controls I've ever felt. The game just feels unresponsive. There's been so many times where I'm hittin' buttons and... nothing happens. Sometimes I'll be nowhere near the enemy, but able to sweep them infinitely from a mile away.

The Nerd: So another thing that blows, is getting hit while shooting a projectile, cancels your projectile.

(Scorpion and Raiden shoot their projectiles at each other, and Raiden's projectile hits Scorpion, which makes Scorpion's projectile disappear)

The Nerd: In the arcade version, if I shoot ice but get hit by the opponent's projectile, my ice still hits them, but in the Super Nintendo version, it disappears. I don't know why they would program it like this.

The Nerd: All this really comes to a head when ya hit the Endurance levels. Oh, my lord - the Endurance levels. I spent more time on these three levels, than I did on the rest of the game. Having to beat two opponents while struggling to control the game, makes these three levels a shit show. I can't stand it when I beat the first opponent, and the second opponent comes in and cheap shots me!

The Nerd: In the arcade, these parts are tough, but they still seemed fair. It really does come down to a test of endurance. But the Super Nintendo version is a test of patience. The computer gets really cheap here too. It's demoralizing. Having to continue over and over just to lose when you're so close to the end is really painful. What's worse is Goro and Shang Tsung are fuckin' pushovers. I destroyed them on my first try! I was kinda disappointed. Can ya have some fuckin' balance here?

The Nerd: And speakin' of disappointing, let's take a look at the Fatalities.

The Nerd: In every version of the game, the only people whose Fatalities stay the same are Scorpion, Sonya and Liu Kang. I never really understood Liu Kang's Fatality, he flops all around and uppercuts you. It's awful. Kano's is also kind of the same, but I don't understand what he's ripping out of Liu Kang. I guess it's his sweat gland or something? Sub-Zero loses his famous head rip and instead freezes and shatters you. That makes sense actually, I think it's a more appropriate Fatality for Sub-Zero, but what I don't understand is how do they scream after being frozen and shattered?

The Nerd: Raiden's Fatality is pretty cool too, he electrocutes you into dust. To be honest, I actually like this over his original Fatality. The Pit Fatality is pretty lame, without blood, it just looks wrong. When Johnny Cage gets knocked down, he just chills out down there. He looks completely fine like by some miracle he fell all the way down and missed the spikes. Speaking of Johnny Cage, his Fatality is by far the worst in the game and maybe even the whole series. He kicks you in the chest and his foot disappears while they just flail around.

The Nerd: I mean this right here is the epitome of not even trying. I mean you couldn't even try to make that happen. How is his foot disappears before it even touches? What is going on? Well, this gets my award for the shittiest Fatality.

Mortal Kombat (Sega Genesis)[]

The Nerd: Alright, well, let's move on to the next one the Genesis version. Now let me tell you straight out, this is a deal-breaker to me, because, three buttons? Three buttons for Mortal Kombat? How does that work? Both high punch and low punch share the A button, a regular tap is a low punch, if you're holding a direction, it turns it to high punch, B and C are both the kick buttons and Start is block. So it can be done, but the thing is, you just got to get a 6 button controller. If you have the 6 button controller, you're fine.

The Nerd: The main advantage this one has over the Super Nintendo, is the blood. Yep, it has the blood, after you put in a code that is. Without the code, you get censored Fatalities and no blood. The censored Fatalities in this one are actually worse than the Super Nintendo version. Sub-Zero just uppercuts you into the air, Johnny Cage shadow kicks you off the screen, Raiden shoots lightning and you fall, and Kano... steals your wallet?

The Nerd: He steals your wallet. Yeah, I mean, I guess he- he just- he takes your wallet, and the shock if it kills you.

The Nerd: There's absolutely no reason to play this without the code, The Pit is actually turned off without the code. So, fuck this shit, putting that blood code, goddammit!

The Nerd: Reset and hit A, B, A, C, A, B, B, or ABACABB at the text in the beginning, there's also a second code called the DULLARD code, you get this one by hitting Down, Up, Left, Left, A, Right, Down at the Start screen. Get it? It spells DULLARD. Besides unlocking blood and the real Fatalities, you also get a cheat menu that lets you do some cool stuff. You can make it so the computer always uses a Fatality, make Reptile appear before every fight, give yourself infinite continues, and make the head of Fergus McGovern bob around the moon. Fergus McGovern was the founder of Probe Software and his face pops up as an easter egg in their Mortal Kombat ports. He shows up in Mortal Kombat II as a secret Fatality, the Fergality. Yeah, no joke, the Fergality.

The Nerd: But anyway, back to the Genesis port. At first glance, it doesn't look as good as the Super Nintendo version, the colors are all muted and everyone has these red pixels around them, but hey, fuck it, there's blood, right? That's all you need. And the controls are actually responsive and don't feel like there's eight seconds of lag. The music has that signature Genesis feel, and actually sounds groovier than the Super Nintendo, I mean listen to the courtyard music on a Super Nintendo.

The Nerd: And compare it to the Genesis.

The Nerd: So overall, it's a decent port with flaws that don't harm the overall experience, of course, you have to have the 6 button controller though.

Mortal Kombat (Game Boy)[]

The Nerd: Now... let's fuck it all up and play Mortal Kombat on Game Boy. (He inserts the game into the Game Boy) Yeah. Can ya believe I'm doin' this? (He turns on the Game Boy)

The Nerd: You wanna bring Mortal Kombat with you wherever ya go, huh? Well, to that I say don't. Just don't; wait 'til ya get home. Because this is easily the worst version of Mortal Kombat I've played, so far.

The Nerd: This one was also made by Probe, but they must've rushed through this and spent all their game development talent on the Genesis version. The music is a mess of screeches and farts. It just sounds like ass and a half. (Screechy music from the game)

The Nerd: The game only has six characters instead of seven. You can't fit one more guy? That they could do six, but they just couldn't do seven. Johnny Cage is left out on this one, but I'm pretty sure he's cool with it. Liu Kang has one big tooth, Raiden looks like someone walked in on him in the bathroom, Scorpion and Sub-Zero are barely distinguishable, and Sonya has these dark, soulless eyes. She freaks me the fuck out.

The Nerd: The game just gets worse and worse as you play it. If you thought that Super Nintendo was unresponsive, this game changes the entire definition of unresponsive. There's a good second of input lag on all the moves, lots of the time, you kick through the enemy. How did I not hit them? Am I a ghost and didn't know it? Is that the twist?

The Nerd: Trying to pull off a special move is a fuckin' feet. Sometimes I get them and other times I'll do all the same shit only to get my ass handed to me while I flail around. And don't even think of trying out of Fatality. It might as well not even be in the game, because I tried and I couldn't even do one of them. And it doesn't help that the Game Boy has only two buttons. Yeah, if I had a problem with the Genesis having three, Game Boy only has two. How do you play Mortal Kombat with two? And yeah, okay, the Game Boy has limitations, there's certain things they just couldn't help, but you know what, Mortal Kombat II on Game Boy was pretty decent, so I think they just fucked up here.

The Nerd: Even if I could pull the Fatalities off, guess what? They're awful. For example, Kano just kicks you in the air. Yeah, not worth the frustration. It's like right after they made the Genesis version, they said "Oh yeah, you gotta make a Game Boy version too" and they were like "Oh shit, we only have 7 minutes!" and this is what they gave us.

The Nerd: After playing through it for almost an hour, I managed to get to Goro, but boy, he fucked my shit up. In the first round, he was super easy, but then he went into like a panic mode and decimated me. I lost all my continues and just couldn't force myself to give a shit. Game Over.

Mortal Kombat (Game Gear)[]

The Nerd: (Turns off the Game Boy, takes out the "Mortal Kombat" Game Boy game, and throws it away) Boy, Nintendo's really gettin' the shitty end of the Mortal Kombat port stick. Well, hopefully Sega can salvage it with the Game Gear version, and round it out nicely.

The Nerd This one has a blood code, and it's in color! Oh, and unlike the Game Boy has Johnny Cage, um, but no Kano.

The Nerd: Overall, it's okay, but compared to the Game Boy, it's legendary. I mean, if you're looking for Mortal Kombat on the go, this is the one you want. All the Fatalities are here too, just the Game Gear-ified. Sadly, there's no Pit Fatality, even though the only two levels you get are Goro's Lair and The Pit.

The Nerd: The game does have some issues. It looks real choppy and slow, the background always jitters when you move, and the game feels like the characters are underwater. And for some reason, Goro is shorter in this version. Looks so weird. Goro's supposed to be the most intimidating boss in the game, he's a huge four-armed monster man in the prince of the Shokan race, he commands the armies of Outworld, but here, he just looks goofy.

The Nerd: It's like when they made tiny Goro's as pets in the Judge Dredd arcade game. Maybe we'll do that sometime.

Mortal Kombat (Tiger Electronics)[]

The Nerd: Well... it's passable but, still kinda shitty - and I can't end on somethin' that's kinda shitty, y'know? So instead, let's end on some REAL ASS vomit! (Holds up the "Mortal Kombat" Tiger handheld game) Mortal Kombat... on Tiger Electronics. (Holds up the "Mortal Kombat" Tiger Barcodez game) TWO OF 'EM! TWO!

The Nerd: Yeah. 'Cuz why the fuck not? And would ya know? Hasbro is bringin' these things back? So the timing's perfect.

The Nerd: So the first of the two was a standard Tiger electronic in '93, and the commercial was hilarious. It was a bunch of kids on a playground trying to get rid of the damn game. Even the kids in the commercial didn't want this thing. But then in '94, they made a Tiger barcodes version or Barcodzz.

The Nerd: Yeah, let's see what Tiger did The Mortal Kombat. Yeah, look at this, that Tiger fuckin' mauled it!

The Nerd: Unfortunately, yeah, unfortunately, my Tiger handheld Mortal Kombat doesn't work, you know, so I can't play it, all I see is a jumbled mess of a person on the screen, so we can just forget about this one, except for the fact that they made Tiger Handheld emulators! What... The fuck?!

The Nerd: Yeah, Tiger Handheld emulators. I'm not even kidding! I think it's safe to say, we've officially hit the bottom of the port-o-potty when it comes to video game emulation. A human being had to actually scan all the artwork in the games and program them the work on a main emulator.

The Nerd: So what you're seeing here is an emulated version of the Tiger Electronic Mortal Kombat, and now, it sucks balls in HD. Surprisingly, the game features all seven original characters as well as Goro and Shang Tsung. Wow, the Game Boy and Game Gear version couldn't even get all seven. Well, that's one point for Tiger Electronics. Go get 'em, Tiger! But each character is just the same with graphics added. Sonya is the worst of all because she shares the same body as Johnny Cage and Liu Kang. There actually do exist button combinations where you can pull off special moves. This is also how you do the finishing moves which just knocks them out. It's shitty, but honestly, I think I'd rather play this than the Game Boy version.

Tiger Barcodzz Version[]

The Nerd: Moving on, we have the Tiger Barcodzz version. This one's a bit bigger and actually has real sound instead of just beeps and boops.

The Nerd: There's only four selectable characters in this one, Liu Kang, Raiden, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion. And Goro is the only boss, no Shang Tsung. The special moves and Fatalities are the same as in the other Tiger game. but this time. when you pull off a Fatality, the opponent turns into a skeleton. which is kind of cool for a Tiger game. I mean, who would have thought? Fatalities in a Tiger game?

The Nerd: And one really weird thing about this, is that it comes with trading cards. No, not these trading cards, these kind of trading cards, which are the kind that you scan to get all kinds of power-ups and shit. I guess that's kind of cool, but you never know what the cards are gonna do. Some cards give your character or the opponent more strength, defense, life, etc., but some cards outright kill you. Why would you want a card that kills you before the fight even starts? What is the point? And it's not like there's any descriptions on these cards that really tell you exactly what they do, it's just a guessing game, so they threw the death ones on here just to be assholes.

The Nerd: There's also a card that kills the opponent without even having to fight them. Just scan it and they die. You can actually beat the entire game by just scanning this card. Yeah, so, in case you're planning to speedrun a Tiger game, you could just scan this ten times. I don't see the point. Why even turn the damn thing on to begin with?

showing off more MK1 clips

The Nerd: Well, those are the ports shat out on Mortal Monday. As well as some extra dingle berries. I know I missed some other ports like the Sega CD version, but that one was mostly the same as the genesis, with some enhancements. Also, I mainly wanted to stick to the original console releases, and the tiger ones, needed to be shit on, because they exist.

The Nerd: Well, to this day, Mortal Kombat is still one of gaming's biggest franchises, after 28 years, it's still going strong, and even though it was inspired by Street Fighter, it set it self apart, and inspired all kinds of other fighting games, many of which are clones or ripoffs of Mortal Kombat.

The player 1 "get ready" icon appears as if The Nerd is being selected

The Nerd: What the fuck? Where am I?

The Nerd: Huh?

Mortal Kombat Rip-Offs