LGR – Mortal Kombat – DOS PC Game Review
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LGR – Mortal Kombat – DOS PC Game Review

February 10, 2020

[male voice] Fight! [punch, loud grunt] [typing]
[male voice] Excellent! [fighting sounds] Finish him! [screaming, blood spurting] Kano wins! Fatality! [LGR] And there you have it.
Mortal Kombat, everybody! [triumphant MIDI music plays] Well, alright, I suppose a few more details are in order since this is a review, but chances are
if you’re watching this video, you already know what Mortal Kombat is. But as a refresher, it’s the fighting game
developed by Midway Games Chicago that began misspelling every word beginning with a C back in 1992. And much like Street Fighter II,
you had multiple unique characters fighting each other one-on-one until
someone gets their head ripped off with their spine still attached, or their flesh burned off their bones where they stand. Oh, wait, Street Fighter II didn’t have that. Which is why Mortal Kombat was freakin’ awesome! Blood, gore, fantastic environments, weird fighters, memorable music and the ability to piss off parents and politicians alike. It was a teenage dream come true back then. It was also at the center of the
16-bit console debate for a while due to the Sega Genesis version
keeping blood and gore intact, whereas the Super Nintendo’s removed all that and replaced it with showers of sweat and soul-crushing disappointment. But it seems like most people
gloss over the PC port of the game which is arguably the single best home port of the time. It was released in 1993 by UltraTech and converted by Acclaim
Entertainment’s Probe Software division. “Now for the PC!” states the box art blurb, making sure you are aware that
this is not for washing machines or carrots. Also of note is this little MA-13 rating sticker, since this was released before the ESRB was formed. But during the whole ratings
fiasco going on in U.S. Congress, you had all sorts of random ratings systems. The strange thing about this one is that
it’s by the Videogame Rating Council, or VRC, which was Sega of America’s own system for rating Genesis games and such. Why the balls it’s on a non-Sega
PC game like this is beyond me. “Prepare yourself!” “Execute bone-shattering combos
and ferocious finishing moves!” “Become the Supreme Mortal Kombat Warrior!” Which is unfortunate, if you were planning on becoming
the atrocious Mortal Kombat weakling. Inside the box you get the game itself on three 3½-inch high-density floppy disks, and the game manual containing the K-word fetish even in the table of contents,
though completely at random. Now why are “contents” and
“characters” spelled with “C” yet “kontrols” and “kombatants” aren’t? I demand congruence in my
intentionally misspelled spelling! The rest of the manual is quite helpful, though, not only describing the ridiculous story
and how every move and character works, but acting as the game’s off-disk copy protection. So you’ll want to have it on hand
when starting the game up, or else you can’t play. And holy ’90s! You even get a set of Mortal
Kombat temporary tattoos! Yeah! Which is neat, I suppose, but pretty confusing. I mean the game is meant for mature audiences, right? Yet, in my mind at least, temp tats
are clearly targeted at younger children. I mean I’m sure there was someone out there
who was both old enough to play this and loved smearing cheap ink on their skin, but I’m content in thinking that Acclaim
was just enjoying double standards. After you enter the copy protection word, the game starts off pretty much
the same way as the arcade game, with an attract sequence showing some backstory and random gameplay highlights. But the similarities don’t stop here. Really, the entire game is pretty
much the same as the arcade in every way but demanding your quarters. And having to worry about some punk kid coming up and joining as player two,
and then crying when they lose and getting you in trouble somehow,
even though you just wanted to play the dang thing solo. Or, was that just me? Heh heh. Ehh. The biggest difference here is the options menu which allows you to change difficulty
and things that the DIP switches did on the arcade machine, as well as choose your sound device and graphics quality,
depending on your system’s specs. You also have the options to change your controls, either mapped to a joystick or keyboard, though I’d really recommend the keyboard. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the original arcade cabinet here. You have a joystick in your left hand
and a set of five buttons at your right, each mapped to a specific high and low kick and punch, as well as a block button in the middle. Now if you play with a standard
flight stick or a gamepad on a PC, you lose that feeling and degree of control entirely. Granted, it’s not ideal with a keyboard either, but at least you can kind of
emulate the button placement a little more closely to the real thing. Plus, it’s just easier to pull off
those all-important special moves with a keyboard since each
direction can be pressed precisely. So, how’s the game itself? Well, just take a look at each version side by side. Other than fewer colors on the PC
and a different sound of device, the arcade and DOS ports are impressively similar. Far more so than the console ports of the day, and even better than the Commodore Amiga port, as far as graphics are concerned, which is somewhat surprising. The PC version’s 256-color graphics look great, especially on a CRT monitor, and the Sound Blaster does a great job emulating the sound hardware of the arcade machine. [male voice] Flawless victory! FIGHT! – Though the music sounds a bit different
no matter what sound device you have, just ’cause it’s using different stuff, but the tunes themselves are still the same. And maybe it’s just me but another
thing I’ve noticed about this DOS version is that some of the animations
feel just a tad less smooth. Which is mainly noticeable when you’re jumping and this even happens on a fast Pentium PC. It’s a very minor issue, though, especially for a port from 1993. Otherwise, the same brutal,
violent arcade experience is here on your PC, and that is just fantastic. For a long time, DOS PC users just got shafted in the arcade game port department, and this– oh, no, it’s exactly the opposite. The roster is the same, the moves are the same, all secrets I’m aware of are the same. The finishing moves are all there and accounted for. As far as I know, this port is based on the third, or maybe fourth revision of the arcade game, so the exploits in gameplay aren’t
going to match up with later versions. But I don’t care. I get to beat up digitized people in a ridiculous tournament to the death on a DOS PC, and it doesn’t suck! [cheering] And it’s even better if you update
the game to its latest patch as it fixes several issues with sound cards and such. It’s nothing major, but it’s nice to be aware of if you’re planning on trying this one out. So, yeah, Mortal Kombat. Man, what a game. And it’s nice to see a home version worthy of the original arcade game’s standards. Sure, we’ve got arcade-perfect ports on
most every modern system imaginable now, but if you’re into DOS gaming and Mortal Kombat, this is seriously just awesome. There really is nothing like having
Mortal freaking Kombat on an old 486 and beating the crap out of people on the
same machine you can do your taxes on. MK1 may not be my favorite of the series, but there’s still something raw and nasty about this one that’s just brilliant. So if this sounds like fun, or you just
want some gnarly temporary tattoos, definitely keep an eye out for this one. [male voice] Sub-Zero wins! [MIDI music plays]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. As someone that owned both the mutually flawed in different ways genesis and snes versions…
    I'm wishing I knew about this back then…

  2. Mortal Kombat 2 is a nearly perfect port. I'd love to see you review that. With a Gravis Ultrasound, it sounds superior to most other ports as well.

  3. this was the only Port that was worth playing other than that the cheating a.i would reduce you to jump kicks right around Ultimate Mortal Kombat it was over with I never wanted to play another b***** Mortal Kombat ever again

  4. it wasn't just you, there was a mkII cabinet in my local teen centre that was free for some reason. long story short… I was assaulted more than once for my multiple flawless victories.

  5. There's something about the OPL chips that I love, that signature sound they have is so symbolic and appealing to me! This game in particular sounds so "Adlibby", it's all over the place! I could listen to OPL music all day!

  6. 0:48 And much like Street Fighter II, you had multiple unique characters fighting each other one-on-one until someone gets their head ripped off with their spine still attached, or their flesh burned off their bones where they stand.

  7. 1:43 "Now for the PC!" states the box art blurb, making sure you are aware that this is not for washing machines or dishwashers or onions or carrots.

  8. I really don't know why, but I absolutely cannot get really into old video games. I really like them, but let me play Fallout 1, and I'll only play it for a few hours, get stuck, then stop playing it for a few weeks

  9. "We're not targetting this at kids, we swear!"

    kids in the arcade poster about to be beat up by raiden and kano

    temporary tattoos


    pg-13 movie

  10. By the way the lack of smoothness in animations is more due to the fact both this and mk2 loaded data on the go all the time. Back then I found that using smartdrv helped tons with that

  11. This port was so much better than the Amiga, Sega CD, Mega Drive (Genesis) and SNES ports that it's not even funny. Infact this was the only port with fully uncensored violence and almost Arcade-perfect visuals and sound (CD-ROM version had the full Arcade music). Shame about the SFII PC port though, that felt like a massive disappointment, although the Super Turbo version fixed a bit of the sour taste it left.

  12. The Later version of MK1 included in the MK1/MK2 Combo set was even better as it has digitised music instead of midi

  13. 3:41 fun fact: this version of the game is the first to name the location of Shang Tsung's island as the Lost Sea.
    This will later be confirmed in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.

  14. The unsolved mistery of all times: why Scorpion's and Sub-zero's feet are turned downwards when jump and kick??? I missed sth?

  15. yeah the first one was probably the most bland in the series, but they had to start somewhere. Mortal Kombat 2 was my favorite in the series

  16. The whole original Trilogy was released for PC… I got it from Good Old Games and I love Ultimate Mortal Kombat III… It's fun to remember the good old arcade days when I used to throw ludicrous combos with Noob Saibot…

  17. SNES version of this game has also removed playablity due to horrible input lag and awful music which sounds like Egyptian orchestra playing terrorussian anthem.

  18. Around that era, when a port came out on floppies around then, it almost always sucked. It got better when CD-Roms were normal. That looks impressive

  19. Eh, the floppy version is great and all, but the cd version with both mk1 and mk2 on it is the best. They completely reworked the audio. Sounds just like the arcade.

  20. Mortal Kombat: We'll show as much violence as we want no matter the outcry.
    Mortal Kombat 11: better not have woman with too much skin showing because of the outcry.

  21. To answer the question about the k's in the manual 6 years after this video is posted: the c is only replaced bij a k in words preceded by the world 'mortal'.

  22. My first experience with the series was the PC port of Mortal Kombat II on my 486, and I would later get the MK1 too and had a blast. When I saw the GEN and SNes versions I was like "meh"

  23. Oh boy, that’s bring me back of era of skipping high school and hustling to get money to pay for playing in local arcades. The era when you hide you controller under the table while performing fatalities and moves. The era when you creating library of notes on each character on piece of paper. Good old days…. P.S. love your channel

  24. The music was not the same. In fact the biggest argument against this port was the innacurate soundtrack. Inexplicably, the home ports all had more accurate soundtracks than the graphically superior PC port.

  25. I'm years late on this… but did anyone else do a double take when Kano got his head ripped off near the end of the video?

    Was that Liu Kang's death sound? 😛

  26. I always found it amusing that Mortal Kombat had a near arcade perfect port on DOS while Street Fighter II, which i thought would be less complicated to pull off on DOS, has the worst one.

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