Mortal Kombat Trilogy

Mortal Kombat Trilogy
mortal-kombat-trilogy-cover.jpg
Genre(s)
Fighting
Developer(s)
Avalanche Software (PlayStation)
Midway Games (N64)
Point of View, Inc. (PC, Saturn)
Publisher(s)
Williams Entertainment
(1996 releases)
Midway Games
(1997 and onwards releases)
GT Interactive (PC and European releases)
SoftBank (Japanese release)
Gradiente, Tectoy (BR)
Producer(s)
Michael Gottlieb
Michael Rubinelli
Designer(s)
Ed Boon
John Tobias
Programmer(s)
Ed Boon
Artist(s)
John Tobias
Steve Beran
Tony Goskie
Composer(s)
Dan Forden
Series
Mortal Kombat
Plataform(s)
Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Game.com, R-Zone
Release
PlayStation
NA: October 10, 1996
BR: December 1996
PAL: December 9, 1996
JP: April 2, 1998
KOR: 1998
R-Zone
NA: 1996
Nintendo 64
NA: November 11, 1996
PAL: March 14, 1997
BR: 1997
Sega Saturn
NA: August 8, 1997
PAL: 1998
BR: 1998
MS-DOS, Windows
NA: August 31, 1997
EU: 1997
Game.com
NA: January 1, 1998
Mode(s)
Up to 2 players simultaneously (8 on N64)
Mortal Kombat Trilogy (MKT) is a fighting game released by Midway in 1996 as a standalone update to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and PCs. Further versions were also released for the Game.com and R-Zone. It features a similar basic gameplay system and the same story as Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but adds characters and stages restored from Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II. New additions to the game included the "Aggressor" bar, and a new finishing move called Brutality, a long combination of attacks that ends with the opponent exploding. The game was met with mixed reviews upon release.

Gameplay

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Rayden from MK battles the Mortal Kombat Trilogy version of Johnny Cage in MK II's armory stage. The HUD is the same from MK3/UMK3, while the Aggressor bar is exclusive to MKT.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy introduces the Aggressor bar, which fills as the combatants fight (twice as much if the opponent is blocking). Once the bar is filled, it grants the character fast movement and greater attack damage for a short period of time.

Many characters gained additional special moves. Some were simple edits of existing moves (such as Stryker throwing two grenades instead of one), while others were unused animations never implemented in their intended previous games. These special moves included MK Kano's Spinning Blade move, MKII Kung Lao's Air Torpedo, Goro's Spinning Punch move, Rayden's Lightning that shoots from behind the opponent, and Baraka's Blade Spin move. Additionally, Shao Kahn gained a throw and grab-and-punch move, and Motaro gained a proper throw move. Sub-Zero's famous "spine-rip" Fatality reappears in the game, but is completely censored, as the screen blacks out with only the "Fatality" text visible. This was due to avoid having to re-animate the fatality for this game.

Trilogy adds the "Brutality" finishing move, which requires the player to perform an 11-button combo in order to rapidly beat on their opponent until they explode. (Brutalities have been previously featured in the Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES ports of UMK3.) All of the arenas that featured a Stage Fatality are featured in this game, except the Pit II.

All of the battle arenas that were featured in MKII, MK3, and UMK3 are available in MKT, but only four backgrounds from the original Mortal Kombat were featured (Courtyard, Goro's Lair, the Pit, and the Pit Bottom). The PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn versions lack The Hidden Portal and Noob's Dorfen stages from MK3, while the Nintendo 64 version lacks Kahn's Arena and the Bank from MKII and MK3, respectively.

New to the series

Characters

mortal-kombat-trilogy-select-screen.png
mortal-kombat-trilogy-nintendo-64-select-character-screen.png
Character select screen from the CD versions of the game.
And the cartridge version.
Along with the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 roster, Trilogy adds Rayden and Baraka exactly as they appeared in Mortal Kombat II. Both characters were updated in the vein of other Mortal Kombat 3 characters, now able to run and perform combos. Johnny Cage was also added to the roster, this time portrayed by Chris Alexander (replacing Daniel Pesina). He kept his moves from MKII except for the Split Punch, which was excluded since none of the actors from MK3/UMK3 had filmed poses for getting hit in the groin. Bosses Goro, Kintaro, Motaro and Shao Kahn are also playable characters from the start (except for the Nintendo 64 version where only Motaro and Shao Kahn are included and must be unlocked via a cheat menu). The PC, PlayStation and Saturn versions also contain alternate versions of Jax, Kung Lao, Kano and Rayden as they appeared in the first two titles.

Two new secret characters appear as well, depending on the version of the game. Most versions have Chameleon, a semi-visible ninja who rapidly switches between all the other male ninja (Classic Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Noob Saibot, Human Smoke, Rain, Reptile, and Ermac) during combat. This character is playable by performing a special button combination. The Nintendo 64 version replaced him with the female equivalent named Khameleon, who switched between the other female ninja instead.

Cast

Portrait
Character
Cast
Version(s)
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Johnny Cage
Chris Alexander
MK3
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Noob Saibot
Richard Divizio
MK3
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Baraka
Richard Divizio
MK2
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Cyrax
Sal Divita
MK3
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Sonya Blade
Kerri Hoskins
MK3
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Rayden
Carlos Pesina (original sprites)
and Sal Divita (vs. screen)
MK1 and MK2
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Rain
John Turk
MK3
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Shang Tsung
John Turk
MK3
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Kitana
Becky Gable
MK3
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Kano
Richard Divizio
MK1 and MK3
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Scorpion
John Turk
MK3
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Unmasked Sub-Zero
John Turk
MK3
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Human Smoke
John Turk
MK3
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Reptile
John Turk
MK3
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Jax Briggs
John Parrish
MK2 and MK3
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Mileena
Becky Gable
MK3
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Sektor
Sal Divita
MK3
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Liu Kang
Eddie Wong
MK3
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Jade
Becky Gable
MK3
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Sheeva
Stop-motion
MK3
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Kung Lao
Anthony Marquez
MK2 and MK3
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Smoke
Sal Divita
MK3
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Nightwolf
Sal Divita
MK3
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Sindel
Lia Montelongo
MK3
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Ermac
John Turk
MK3
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Classic Sub-Zero
John Turk
MK3
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Kurtis Stryker
Michael O'Brien
MK3
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Kabal
Richard Divizio
MK3
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Goro
Stop-motion
MK1
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Shao Kahn
Brian Glynn
MK3
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Motaro
Stop-motion
MK3
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Kintaro
Stop-motion
MK2

Chameleon
John Turk
CD-ROM version
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Khameleon
Becky Gable
Nintendo 64 version

Stages

Every battle arena that has been featured in Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 makes an appearance in this game. The PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions only lack the Hidden Portal and Noob Saibot's Dorfen from MK3 and the N64 version lacks Kahn's Arena from MKII and The Bank from MK3. However, only a handful of backgrounds from the first Mortal Kombat make it into this game such as the Courtyard, Goro's Lair, The Pit, and the Pit Bottom. Palace Gates, Warrior Shrine and Throne Room were removed. The N64 game also includes a new level, the Star Bridge, which is basically a different take on The Pit II background.

Some older backgrounds are also "enhanced", with extra graphics and added animation. Some examples of this are: The Pit I, which features two different sky backdrops (a pitch black, star-filled sky in the N64 version, and the same sky backdrop as The Pit II in the CD-ROM versions), Kahn's Arena, which has removed Kano and Sonya from the side platforms since they are playable, The Courtyard, which replaces Shang Tsung with Shao Kahn, The Portal, which now includes a temple-like building on each side of the stage, The Bank, where the stone floor has been replaced with a new red carpet, Scorpion's Lair, which features giant skulls on both ends rather than just the left end, and the N64's Kahn's Kave, which has animated clouds and fire added to it. The N64's Lost Bridge also has Hornbuckle and Blaze appear at random in its background.

Many of the background music tracks remain intact from MKII and MK3, especially for the CD-ROM versions of the game, but many of the songs are not played with their correct levels. The N64 version only uses music from MK3. Oddly enough, all of the music taken from MK3 on the CD-ROM games is noticeably slowed down in both speed and pitch. (most likely to give this update of the game a more darker feel) None of the music from the original Mortal Kombat makes it into any of the stages (or the entire game).

All of the levels that featured Stage Fatalities made it into this game except for the Stage Fatality featured in The Pit II level. Because of the amount of trouble it would have been to film extra animations with actors for the non-Mortal Kombat II character sprites for the Pit II's overhead fall, they simply left the Fatality out completely.

Layers

The following displays the Kombat Zones where a character can be uppercutted into different backgrounds.

Plot

Mortal Kombat Trilogy follows Mortal Kombat II and precedes Mortal Kombat Gold. The introduction to Mortal Kombat Trilogy is stated as follows:

"Thousands of years ago an order of the wisest men from the far east received visions of the dark realm known as the Outworld. It was a world ruled by chaos and a vicious Emperor known as Shao Kahn.
They learned that travel between the Earth and the new found realm would someday be possible if the conditions were right, the conditions being the unbalancing of the furies. Negative and positive forces which keep our unstable universe from collapsing onto itself.
Knowing that an Outworld invasion was imminent, the wise men appealed to the Elder Gods. It was for this reason the Elder Gods created the tournament called Mortal Kombat.
For nine generations Mortal Kombat was ruled by Outworld's finest warrior-prince Goro. The Earth was on the brink of its destruction when a new generation of warriors were victorious in defending its realm.
The warrior monk, Liu Kang, would become the new Champion. But his victory was short lived as he and his comrades find themselves lured into the Outworld to compete in a second tournament.
Little did they know that the tournament was merely a diversion. A scheme devised by the dark Emperor to break the rules set forth by the Elder Gods and witness the reincarnation of his former Queen Sindel on the Earthrealm itself.
The unholy act gives Shao Kahn the power to step through the dimensional gates and reclaim his queen, thus enabling him to finally seize the Earth.
These are the trilogy of events which comprise Shao Kahn's final attempt at taking the Earth.
"

Character bios and endings

Character
Bio
Ending
Johnny Cage
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Killed in battle with an Outworld extermination squad, Johnny Cage's life came to a tragic end. But the celluloid superstar manages to cheat death when his path to the after life is blocked by the merger of Earth and Outworld. His soul takes possession of his body once again and enables Cage to rejoin his friends to battle for Earth's survival.
With his nearly deceased soul restored, Johnny Cage finds himself fighting alongside his friends once again. This time he seeks revenge against the extermination squad that took his life. But during their battle, Cage learns that if they win against Kahn, his soul will again be deceased when Earth reverts back to normal.
Knowing this, the movie star embarks on a one way mission: to destroy Shao Kahn. His extermination fuels his fellow warriors as they embark on one final onslaught against the evil emperor. The Earth warriors emerge victorious and when the realms revert to their normal state, Cage bids farewell to his comrades as his soul leaves to a higher place.
Noob Saibot
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Noob Saibot emerges from the darkest region of reality - a region known as the Netherrealm. He belongs to a group called the Brothers of the Shadow, and worships an evil and mysterious fallen Elder God. His mission is to spy on the events taking place in the battle between the realms and report back to his enigmatic leaders.
At first a passive observer, Noob Saibot would soon receive orders to side with the evil Emperor Shao Kahn. Saibot's leaders in the Netherrealm want him to join Kahn's battle to gain his trust and to gain entrance into the Earth Realm.
When Kahn drops his guard, Noob Saibot is ordered to attack. With both the Earth Realm and the Outworld's Emperor defeated, the fallen Elder God known as Shinnok can take both realms and gain the power he needs to strike back at the Elder God who banished him into the Netherrealm.
Baraka
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Baraka was sent to quell the uprising renegade race in Outworld's lower regions. After his victorious battle, the nomadic warrior returns to fight on the side of villainy. Under the guidance of Shao Kahn, Baraka will once again pose a formidable threat to his Earthen counterparts.
When Baraka's failure to apprehend several Earth warriors nearly results in Shao Kahn's demise, the nomad finds himself fearing for his own life. He falls out of favor with his Emperor, and realizes that it's only a matter time before Kahn enacts revenge. Baraka remains loyal until the opposition from the Earth Realm has been defeated.
With Shao Kahn in a weakened state from his battle with Raiden, Baraka strikes. The despondent Emperor is no match for Baraka's attack. Then, fearing reprisal from those loyal to Kahn, Baraka escapes back into nomadic ruins from which he came.
Cyrax
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Cyrax is unit LK-4D4, The second of three prototype Cybernetic Ninjas built by the Lin Kuei. Like his counterparts, his last program is to find and terminate the rogue ninja Sub Zero. Without a soul, Cyrax goes undetected by Shao Kahn and remains a possible threat against his occupation of Earth.
cyrax-end.gifCyrax is captured by Sub-Zero and reprogrammed with new orders: to destroy Shao Kahn. With Kahn unable to detect this soulless assassin, Cyrax delivers a successful sneak attack.
However, after eliminating Kahn and saving Earth, Cyrax awaits for new orders from his Lin Kuei Headquarters. The orders never come and Cyrax malfunctions. He ends up stranded in the middle of the desert, blindly heading back toward his base.
Sonya Blade
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Sonya disappears in the first tournament, but is later rescued by Jax. After returning to Earth, she and Jax try to warn the U.S government of the looming Outworld menace. Lacking proof, they watch helplessly as Shao Kahn begins his invasion.
sonya-end.gifSonya defeats her arch-enemy Kano high atop a skyscraper near Shao Kahn's fortress. She then comes face to face with the emperor himself. In an incredible display of courage, Sonya wins.
When the world returns to its normal state, Sonya has no trouble convincing her superiors to form the Outerworld Investigation Agency, devoted to protecting the Earth against future invasions from other realms.
Rayden
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As Earth's sworn protector, Raiden finds himself banished in the merger between Earth and Outworld. When the Elder Gods refuse to assist him in aiding the Earth, he is forced to take matters into his own hands. He transforms himself into a mortal warrior to fight alongside his human comrades - this time risking his place in the pantheon of gods and giving up his own immortality.
raiden-end.gifWhen Outworld and Earth merge, Raiden finds himself battling Shao Kahn without the assistance of the Elder Gods. The Thunder God must transform into a mortal in order to exist in the combined realms.
When he does this, he puts his own immortality at risk. But Raiden has always found ways of fouling Kahn's plots. He guides the chosen Earth warriors into battle against the Outworld Emperor's armies, then finally faces Kahn himself.
The powerful fight begins until the very core of the Earth is shaken, and Raiden emerges victorious.
Rain
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Born of Kitana's former world of Edenia, Rain was smuggled away from the realm as a small child shortly after Shao Kahn's take over. Thousands of years later he resurfaced. His allegiance belonging to Kahn, he chose to betray his homeland rather than suffer at the hands of Kahn's extermination Squads.
Rain fights valiantly for the emperor Shao Kahn. But it would be Kahn's own step daughter, the Princess Kitana, who turns Rain against him. Like Kitana, Rain's origins also come from their former realm of Edenia. He learns that his father was once a general in Edenia's army and died at the hands of Shao Kahn himself. Enraged at the truth of his history, he joins Kitana in aligning with the Earthrealm warriors. But his allegiance comes under question when he mysteriously disappears during an extermination squad attack. To prove his loyalty, he embarked on a suicide mission to destroy Shao Kahn and end the menace once and for all.
Shang Tsung
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Tsung is Shao Kahn's lead sorcerer. He once fell out of favor with his emperor after failing to win the Earth Realm through tournament battle. But the ever scheming Shang Tsung is instrumental in Kahn's conquest of Earth. He has now been granted more power than ever.
shang-tsung-end.gifWhen Shao Kahn overtakes the Earth, he needs Shang Tsung to help locate the surviving humans. Granted new powers, Tsung soon discovers his dark emperor's true plan: as soon as the remaining warriors are disposed of, Kahn will take Tsung's own soul.
After learning this, Tsung turns on his master. He catches Motaro off guard and then defeats Shao Kahn. But before the Earth can return to normal, Tsung takes all the souls as his own. He will forever rule the Earth with his own brand of evil.
Kitana
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Kitana is accused of treason by the High Courts of the Outworld after murdering her evil twin Mileena. Shao Kahn takes it upon himself to appoint a group of warriors specifically to catch his daughter and bring her back alive. But Kitana must find a way to reach the newly crowned Queen Sindel first and warn her of their true past.
kitana-end.gifKitana evades the evil clutches of Shao Kahn and escapes into the unknown regions of Earth. She survives an assassination attempt by the vile creature Reptile, and allies herself with her onetime comrade - Jade.
Together with the help of Earth's Warriors, Kitana reaches Sindel and turns the Queen against her Emperor. With Shao Kahn defeated the Earth is changed back to its original state, as is Kitana's realm of Edenia.
She will be forever in debt to her friends from Earth as she rules the new realm of Edenia at Queen Sindel's side.
Kano
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Kano was thought to have been killed in the first tournament. Instead, he is found alive in the Outworld where he again escapes capture by Sonya. Before the actual Outworld invasion, Kano convinces Kahn to spare his soul. Kahn needs someone to teach his warriors how to use Earth's weapons... Kano is the man to do it.
kano-end.gifWhen Shao Kahn lets Kano live he fails to recognize the resourcefulness of the scheming human. Kano lures Kahn's armies away on a false mission: then nukes them using a stolen weapon. He fights the remaining warriors and finally defeats Kahn himself.
Kano's true intention is to take over the souls which Kahn once possessed. But Kano is unable to control the spirits as they escape and attack him. Rumored to have suffered a violent death, Kano was ignorant of the fact that he saved the world that he tried to conquer.
Scorpion
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When Shao Kahn makes a failed attempt at stealing the souls which occupy Earth's hell, Scorpion is able to escape from the nether region. Free to roam the Earth once more, Scorpion holds allegiance with no one. He's a wild card in Earth's struggle against the Outworld.
scorpion-end.gifScorpion is inadvertently released from his damnation in hell when Kahn's Plan to overtake that realm goes awry. Free to roam Earth, Scorpion is enlisted by the Emperor to aid him in his quest to destroy the chosen warriors.
But, his allegiance to Shao Kahn falters when he discovers one of the chosen warriors to be Sub-Zero. Scorpion has vowed to protect the former ninja as restitution for killing his brother.
Shao Kahn finds himself the victim of his own scheme as Scorpion is forced to turn against him, he destroys the Emperor and the Earth is returned to normal.
Scorpion finds himself once again roaming the pits of Hell, only to one day rise again.
Unmasked Sub-Zero
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The ninja returns- unmasked. Betrayed by his own clan, the Lin Kuei, he broke sacred codes of honor by leaving his clan and is marked for death. But unlike the ninja of old, his pursuers come as machines. He must not only defend himself against the Outworld menace, but he must also elude his soulless assassins.
sub-zero-end.gifIn vicious battle, Sub-Zero faces Cyrax and Sektor: but not alone. He finds his third Lin Kuei Assassin - the elusive Smoke. Before automation Smoke and Sub-Zero were allies. Sub-Zero helps Smoke recall his past and gains him as an ally once again.
Sub-Zero defeats his cyborg assassins with the help of Smoke and finds it takes all his own inner strengths to defeat Kahn and his Outworld Minions. The former ninja once again disappears into the shadows. His legacy known only by a select few.
Human Smoke
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In his human form, Smoke was a lethal assassin working for the Lin Kuei. But when they decided to automate their ninjas, Smoke is caught in the middle. He became a cyborg assassin, whose human form would exist as a memory forever more.
Before his transformation into a cybernetic ninja, Smoke was one of the Lin Kuei's finest ninjas. It was during this time that he came to know his greatest ally - Sub-Zero. When the Lin Kuei decided to automate their warriors, the two attempted to escape. While Sub-Zero successfully eluded capture, Smoke did not.
He would become a robotic nightmare, his soul trapped inside a living machine. In his human form Smoke was a fierce warrior. In his mechanical body he is even more lethal. But his true form is that of a human, one he'll know again only in dreams.
Reptile
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Always a reliable servant to Shao Kahn, Reptile is chosen to assist Jade in the capture of Kitana. In contrast to Jade's instructions, Reptile is ordered to stop the renegade Princess at all costs... Even if it means her death.
reptile-end.gifReptile is ordered by Shao Kahn to find and kill Kitana. He is successful in completing his task, but upon returning, finds himself shunned by the Emperor.
Shao Kahn promised Reptile that if he was successful that he would resurrect Reptile's race. Shao Kahn never had any intentions of fulfilling his promise.
Enraged, Reptile turns against his master and defeats him in battle but by killing his master, Reptile destroys the one chance to ever know his true race.
Jax
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In failing to convince his superiors of the coming Outworld invasion, Jax prepares covertly for the future battle with Kahn's minions. He fits both arms with indestructible bionic implants. This is a war Jax is prepared to win.
jax-end.gifThe second time Jax battles the forces of Shao Kahn, he comes prepared. Thought to be the strongest man on Earth, Jax has easily proven it. First by beating Kahn's armies, then by defeating Kahn himself.
When the world reverts back to normal, Jax and Sonya start the Outerworld Investigation Agency. Jax runs the exploratory division which learns to open portals through science rather than magic. He leads the first expedition into a mysterious new realm.
Mileena
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Murdered by her twin sister Kitana, Mileena finds herself brought back to life by Shao Kahn himself. Her skills as a vicious fighter will be needed to defeat Earth's chosen warriors. Her ability to read the thoughts of her twin sister will enable Kahn to stay one step ahead.
When Mileena is murdered, she finds her soul reborn in an evil place called the Netherrealm. Here she accepts servitude to an all mighty god known as Shinnok. It is Shinnok who allows her soul to be reborn on the Outworld. Her loyalty to Shao Kahn is replaced by her fear of Shinnok. Mileena plots to overthrow her own father.
The ability to read Kitana's mind and predict the Earth warriors motives enables Mileena to set up her father's downfall. When Kahn is weakened by the onslaught of attacks, Mileena takes the opportunity to destroy her father and allow Shinnok to step forward and take both realms for his own sinister purposes.
Sektor
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Sektor is actually the code name for unit LK-9T9. He was the first of three Prototype Cybernetic Ninjas built by the Lin Kuei. Sektor was once a human assassin trained by the Lin Kuei. He volunteered for automation because of his loyalty to the clan. Sektor survives the Outworld invasion- he has no soul for Shao Kahn to take.
sektor-end.gifAfter eventually terminating Sub-Zero, Sektor is attacked by Shao Kahn's army. Unfamiliar with the Outworld warriors, Sektor fights back. He targets Kahn and all Outworld beings as threats to the Lin Kuei.
Kahn's minions are no match for Sektor, who fights his way into the fortress. Once inside, Sektor initiates his self-destruct sequence. The resulting explosion is so massive that it closes the portal and returns Earth back to normal.
Liu Kang
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After the Outworld invasion, Liu Kang finds himself the prime target of Kahn's extermination squads. He is the Shaolin Champion and has thwarted Kahn's schemes in the past. Of all the humans, Kang poses the greatest threat to Shao Kahn's rule.
liu-kang-end.gifAfter Kahn's takeover of Earth, Liu Kang finds himself the prime target of Shao Kahn's extermination squads. Kang is the reigning Mortal Kombat Champion and has proved it by easily defeating Kahn's minions.
But it is the apparent death of Shaolin brother Kung Lao that enrages Kang and enables him to find the strength to defeat Shao Kahn. Then, before the portal closes, Liu Kang is greeted by Princess Kitana and thanked for saving Earth and the Outworld.
Jade
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When the renegade Princess Kitana makes her escape into the unknown regions of Earth, Jade is appointed by Shao Kahn to bring his daughter back alive. Once a close friend of the Princess, Jade is faced with the task of betraying her friend or disobeying her Emperor.
jade-end.gifJade makes the decision to assist her longtime friend, Kitana. She thwarts an assassination attempt by Reptile against the princess and fends off their other Outworld enemies.
This clears the path for Kitana to turn Sindel against the Emperor Shao Kahn. With Sindel removed as an enemy Jade finds herself facing the Emperor in Kombat.
She defeats him and both Earth and her former homeland of Edenia are transformed to their original states. Jade has earned herself a place alongside the great heroes of Mortal Kombat.
Sheeva
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Sheeva was hand picked by Shao Kahn to serve as Sindel's personal protector. She becomes suspicious of Shao Kahn's loyalty toward her race of Shokan when he places Motaro as the head of his extermination squads. On the Outworld, Motaro's race of Centurions is the natural enemy of the Shokan.
sheeva-end.gifWhile Sheeva serves her master on Earth, her race of Shokan are being punished on the Outworld. Kahn now favors Motaro's race of centurions and aids them in defeating the Shokan. After learning of these events, Sheeva turns on her master.
She defeats Motaro and in a rage brings down Kahn. In freeing Earth, she also frees the Outworld. She then returns home and works to restore the pride and respect of her race.
Kung Lao
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Kung Lao's plan to reform the White Lotus Society comes to a halt when Shao Kahn's invasion takes the earth by storm. As a chosen warrior Kung Lao must use his greatest fighting skills to bring down Shao Kahn's reign of terror.
kung-lao-end.gifWhen Shao Kahn invades Earth, Kung Lao must scrap his plans of reuniting the White Lotus Society. He instead must focus on the new tournament. He seeks Liu Kang and together they battle Kahn's forces fearlessly.
Using the knowledge he obtained as a Shaolin Monk, he fights in the name of his great ancestor- the original Kung Lao. He emerges victorious but suffers from injuries during battle with Kahn. Believed to have died, Kung Lao joins his ancestors in a new life.
Smoke
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Smoke, unit LK-7T2, is the third prototype cyber-ninja built by the Lin Kuei. He tried to escape the automation process with Sub-Zero but was captured. His memories were stripped away, leaving behind an emotionless killer. However, Sub-Zero believes that within this machine is a human soul trying to escape.
smoke-end.gifSmoke was once a friend and ally of Sub-Zero when they both tried to escape from being turned into machines by their ninja clan. But Smoke is captured and transformed into a cyborg with a mission to kill his own partner.
But Smoke soon finds himself being pursued by Shao Kahn's minions. He learns he still has a soul and his true mission is the destruction of the Outworld invaders. He defeats Kahn and saves the world, but is forever trapped in his artificial body.
Nightwolf
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Nightwolf works as a historian and preserver of his peoples culture. When Kahn's portal opens over North America, Nightwolf uses the magic of his Shaman to protect his tribe's sacred land. This area becomes a vital threat to Kahn's occupation of Earth.
nightwolf-end.gifNightwolf helps the other Earth warriors escape to his sacred land. Once there, they regroup and plan a form of attack against Shao Kahn's invasion. Nightwolf has trained hard for this battle. Finally, he faces Shao Kahn and emerges victorious.
When the Earth returns to its normal state, Nightwolf peacefully regains his land the Native American people lost over many years. They establish their own proud nation and soon become the great leaders of Earth.
Sindel
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Sindel once ruled the Outworld at Shao Kahn's side as queen. Now 10,000 years later after her untimely death, she is reborn on Earth with evil intentions. Sindel is the key to Kahn's occupation of Earth.
sindel-end.gifSindel receives visions of her true past and turns against Shao Kahn. She discovered that her true husband was named Jerrod. They once had a daughter named Kitana and ruled the realm called Edenia, before Kahn took it away in their own Mortal Kombat.
He uses Sindel as a pawn in his quest for Earth and took Kitana as his own daughter. But in defeating Shao Kahn, Sindel frees the Earth. In doing so, she also liberates Edenia and assures a reunion with her 10,000 year old daughter - Kitana.
Ermac
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An enigma to all who come into contact with him. Ermac's past remains shrouded in mystery. It's believed that he exists as a life force brought together by the souls of extinguished Outworld warriors. Shao Kahn has managed to take possession of these souls and use them to fight on the side of tyranny.
When Kahn finally eliminates his opposition, he finds a new and surprising foe in Ermac. The Outworld souls that give life to the warrior did not trust their tyrannical leader who planned to consume the powerful life for his own power.
Even Shao Kahn's power was no match for the overwhelming strength of legions of deceased Outworld warriors. They destroyed their master in a battle that devastated the entire realm. Ermac was left behind to rule it with his own brand of oppression.
Classic Sub-Zero
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Thought to have been vanquished in the Shaolin Tournament, Sub-Zero mysteriously returns. It's believed this secretive member of the Lin Kuei, a legendary clan of Chinese "ninjas", has returned to again attempt an assassination of Shang Tsung. To do so, he must fight his way through Shao Kahn's tournament.
Having been killed in the first tournament, Sub-Zero somehow seems to have emerged to win the third tournament. However, upon removing his mask both the Outworld and the Earth-born warriors...
Are shocked to discover the true identity of this warrior. A warrior who has long been missing from a previous Mortal Kombat, and one who will return in the fourth tournament.
Stryker
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When the Outworld portal opens over a large city in North America, panic and chaos rage out of control. Kurtis Stryker was the leader of the Riot Control Brigade when Shao Kahn began taking souls. He finds himself the lone survivor of a city once populated by millions.
stryker-end.gifIgnorant of why his soul was spared from the Outworld invasion, Stryker receives a vision from Raiden. He is instructed to travel west. He eventually meets the rest of Earth's warriors and learns the true meaning of his survival.
He travels back to the city he swore to protect. Kahn is unfamiliar with this new kombatant and is caught off guard. Stryker defeats the warlord and saves the entire planet. The chaos that consumed the city in the hours before the invasion are gone.
Kabal
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As a chosen warrior, his identity is a mystery to all. It is believed he is a survivor of an attack by Shao Kahn's extermination squads. As a result, he is viciously scarred, kept alive by artificial respirators and a rage for ending Shao Kahn's conquest.
kabal-end.gifAfter returning from near death, Kabal swears revenge against his attackers. He fights alongside the other Earth warriors. When he defeats Motaro and the mighty Shao Kahn, he proves he is truly the chosen one.
Before the invasion, Kabal had led a life of crime. He was once a member of the Black Dragon along with Kano. Now Kabal devotes his life to fighting injustice. He gives crimes' inner circles something to fear.
Goro
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Goro, a 2000 year old half human/dragon, remains undefeated for the past 500 years. He won the title of Grand Champion by defeating Kung Lao, a Shaolin fighting monk. It was during this period that the tournament became corrupted as it fell into the hands of Shang Tsung.
Goro has no ending.
Shao Kahn
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Long ago, Shao Kahn rose to power in the Outworld, usurping the realm from Kitana's parents and taking Queen Sindel for his bride. Then she died. Now, centuries later, Sindel is reborn. And since Shang Tsung failed to win the Earth Realm through Mortal Kombat I and II, her rebirth is the means by which Kahn will finally seize the planet forever unless...
shao-kahn-end.gifShao Kahn Wins.
Motaro
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In the realm of the Outworld, Motaro's race of Centaurians has long since come into conflict with the Shokan. When Shao Kahn formed special extermination squads to eliminate the chosen warriors of Earth, Motaro was appointed to head this elite group of savage warriors.
motaro-end.gifMotaro Wins.
Kintaro
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With Goro missing, Kintaro steps up to take his place as Supreme Ruler of Shao Kahn's armies. Stronger and more agile than his predecessor, he is enraged by Goro's defeat. Kintaro vows to take revenge on the Earth warriors responsible.
Kintaro has no ending.
Khameleon
Reptile was once thought to be the last member of an extinct race of reptilian creatures, until the appearance of Khameleon. She alone knows the truth about their history and chooses to fight on the side of Earth. Making the last survivors of their race lethal enemies.
Khameleon's former race were known as Raptors. They evolved millions of years ago on Earth into intelligent creatures, but fled that realm when it was devastated in a battle between the gods. They repopulated a new realm known as Zaterra, only to be driven to near extinction by Shao Kahn when they lost to the Outworld in Mortal Kombat.
With Shao Kahn near victory against Earth, Khameleon contacts Reptile and shares the truth about their race with him. This turns Reptile against Shao Kahn, allowing Khameleon to lead a surprise attack against the evil Emperor. This last battle results in the end of Kahn and unification of Earth, giving Reptile and Khameleon the chance to begin a new generation of Raptors.

Development

Actors Ho Sung Pak (Liu Kang), Philip Ahn (Shang Tsung), Elizabeth Malecki (Sonya Blade), Katalin Zamiar (Kitana/Mileena/Jade) and Dan Pesina (Johnny Cage and Scorpion/Sub-Zero/Reptile/Smoke) all left Midway prior to the production of the game due to royalty disputes, and so their respective roles were played by new actors. Initially publisher Williams Entertainment stated that Johnny Cage would not be included in the game at all due to the dispute with Pesina. Carlos Pesina's original sprites were used for Rayden's gameplay, but Sal Divita's image was used for his versus screen picture.

When we going [sic] to release Ultimate MK3 on consoles, it seemed odd to release it on the Playstation without doing something "special" for it. Since the PS1 had so much space (CD drive) we decided to include the MK1 and MK2 assets and call it MK Trilogy. Actually we were busy working on the arcade games and our San Diego team was doing the ports and MK Trilogy. It sold HUGE!
Ed Boon

Most of the background music tracks from MKII and MK3 remained intact, especially for the CD-ROM versions of the game. In all versions of the game, many of the tracks do not match their respective arenas when compared to their original arcade counterparts. In all versions of MKT, none of the music from the original Mortal Kombat game is used. All of the CD-ROM games read the background music directly from the CD, providing high-quality CD sound, but all of the music loops used when "Finish Him/Her" appears. All of the music taken from MK3 on the CD-ROM MKT games is noticeably slowed down in both speed and pitch. When these particular songs were converted to MKT's Red Book CD-DA quality, they were downsampled without resampling them to maintain the original tempo and pitch in the PC, PlayStation and Saturn versions.

Release

PlayStation

This version was developed by Avalanche Software. There are at least three public revisions of this game for the PlayStation; the final version is the North American Greatest Hits and European Platinum edition. With each revision, aspects of the gameplay were refined, producing gameplay closer to that of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the arcade. Many of the infinite combos and bugs found in the game only existed in earlier revisions. Shang Tsung never appears anywhere within the "Choose Your Destiny" towers, probably because of the loading delays when morphing in the PlayStation version (there is an option that enables to completely turn off the morphs, as well as letting the system load two additional characters into memory when playing as Shang Tsung, eliminating the long loading delays when morphing in MK3); the only time the CPU ever controls Tsung is during the attract mode.

After beating the PlayStation version of the game, the final message in the credits says "MK4 coming in 1997". The PlayStation version of the game exhibits a number of bugs when played on a PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3 game console, which causes the game to become unplayable.

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 port is based on the Windows PC and PlayStation versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and the Sega Saturn version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. This edition includes 3-on-3 simultaneous battles as an exclusive feature. In this version, like in the arcade, the player begins the game with four credits, but after playing a two-player match, the player earns an extra credit, while in the CD-ROM versions anyone can play for free. Free Play must be unlocked on the N64 version, which also has a more cohesive "Supreme Demonstration" feature (which shows every Fatality, Babality, Friendship, Animality, and Brutality for every character) than the PS or Saturn versions (as the latter versions needed to load the Fatalities and thus cannot show every one in the allotted time). This version only uses music from MK3 and it is played through the system's internal synth, resulting in considerably lower quality than the CD versions. However, all ending tunes and music loops used during the "Finish Him/Her" sequences are intact, unlike in the CD-ROM versions.

Due to cartridge limitations, only 30 characters are included, instead of the 37 featured in the other console versions. The N64 port lacks Goro and Kintaro; the classic versions of Jax, Kung Lao, Kano, and Rayden; as well as the unmasked Sub-Zero (however, the masked Sub-Zero can perform both Sub-Zeros' special moves). Chameleon is replaced with the secret character Khameleon, a grey female ninja that randomly switches between Kitana, Mileena and Jade. The N64 version of the game, like MK3 and UMK3, provides the player with an "Ultimate Kombat Kode" screen after a single player game is over, where a 6-digit code can be entered to unlock Human Smoke and Khameleon for normal play.

The N64 game also includes a new stage, the Star Bridge, made of the Pit II's background with a star-filled sky. Some older backgrounds are also enhanced with extra graphics and added animation. For example, the Pit I features two different sky backgrounds (a pitch black, star-filled sky in the N64 version, and the same sky background as the Pit II in the CD-ROM versions); Kahn's Kave has animated clouds and a glowing floor added to it; and the Lost Bridge has Hornbuckle and Blaze appear at random in the background. In the N64 version, the Graveyard stage has more names on the gravestones near the front: besides those of the original Midway design team for MK3, names of the team at Williams Entertainment were added, and the date of death on the stones was changed to the creators' birthdates.

In this version there are two secret menus, because not all the playable characters are unlocked from the start. Motaro and Shao Kahn can each perform a Fatality exclusive to this port. They also have an aggressor meter, unlike in other versions. In the Subway's stage fatality, new animations were added for the characters. Nightwolf has a very different Friendship move exclusive to this version, which he pulls out 3 hatchets and begins to juggle, as opposed to turning into Rayden since this character became playable in this game (although in the other versions, Nightwolf retains his original MK3 Friendship move). In addition, many frames of animation were cut from each character.

Sega Saturn

The Sega Saturn version, converted by Point of View and released almost a year after the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions, is a straight conversion of the PlayStation version without any substantial changes in content. Due to hardware differences and inadequate code adapting, the porting process from the PlayStation had some technical changes, which included the replacement of almost all transparency effects with mesh patterns and the loss of certain voice samples, like most fighters' running yells and some alternative phrases used by characters like Rayden and Scorpion in their attacks.

PC

The PC version is a direct port of the PlayStation version, developed by Point of View and released almost at the same time as the Sega Saturn port. This port is identical to the PlayStation version, lacking the extra load times and providing some minor cosmetic differences in the game introduction. There were at least two public revisions of this game for the PC, and the final version (indicated by the word "final" next to the version number in the about dialog box) has gameplay identical to the Greatest Hits release on PlayStation.

Game.com

The game was a launch release for the Game.com handheld console. The game includes a multiplayer mode, accessible only with the compete.com game link cable (to link two Game.com consoles together). Only 13 characters (Cyrax, Ermac, Jade, Mileena, Sektor, Kitana, Motaro, Nightwolf, Noob Saibot, Rayden, Reptile and Shao Kahn) and 10 Kombat Zones remain in this version (screenshots of early releases showed a different assortment of characters). In addition, each character only has two special moves and four finishing moves: one Fatality, Babality, Friendship, and Brutality. In this version, each finishing move has the same command for every character.

Bugs and glitches

Trivia

Reception

The game's critical reception has varied considerably, depending on the platform and publication. French magazine Super Power gave the Nintendo 64 version 91%, favoring it over the PlayStation version. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly all gave the Nintendo 64 version their recommendation, citing the impressive amount of content and absence of load times, though Dan Hsu and Crispin Boyer found the graphics disappointing given the capabilities of the console. Both Boyer and Shawn Smith said the game had converted them to Mortal Kombat fandom. GamePro's Major Mike likewise praised the amount of content, as well as the accurate recreation of the arcade games' graphics, the addition of the Aggressor meter, and the application of new mechanics to characters from older games in the series. He complained that the game suffers from some slowdown and muted music, but concluded it "delivers with all the fighters, secrets, and carnage that made the series the phenomenon it is today." Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot contradicted Major Mike, saying that the music is normal for a non-CD game and it is the sound effects (which Major Mike described as "arcade-perfect") that sound muffled. And while he complimented the Nintendo 64 version's large selection of play modes, he said it is conspicuously missing frames of animation from the arcade games, and that the characters left out of this version are "favorites". Peer Schneider of IGN contended that all of the audio aspects sound muffled. He said the Nintendo 64 version is a faithful conversion of the arcade games, though he compared it unfavorably to the PlayStation version. However, he held that the arcade games themselves are too aged to merit appearance on the Nintendo 64, referring to them as five years old (in actuality, Mortal Kombat 3 was barely a year old at the time, and even the oldest in the series was four years old). Mortal Kombat Trilogy was said to be a "particularly horrible game" among the Nintendo 64 library by Forbes, but was honored in Nintendo Power Awards '96, coming second in the category "Best Tournament Fighting Game".

Reviewing the PlayStation version, Major Mike criticized the overly difficult opponent AI and the unbalanced nature of the playable boss characters, and said the music tracks "sound like a 45 record played at 33 RPM." He nonetheless concluded it to be "a must for any fighting gamer's library", due to the responsive controls and large amount of content. Though Electronic Gaming Monthly never reviewed the PlayStation version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, they ran a four-page feature comparing it to the Nintendo 64 version. Shawn Smith picked the Nintendo 64 version as the one to buy, saying that the major bugs in the PlayStation version outweigh the Nintendo 64 version's various shortcomings. The other three members of the review team all voted for the PlayStation version, particularly citing the additional characters and the lower price ($49.99 as compared to $69.99 for the Nintendo 64 version). They later named both versions runner-up for Fighting Game of the Year, behind Tekken 2.

Released at a time when the Nintendo 64's popularity was burgeoning and there were few competing games for the system, the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy saw impressive sales figures. According to a later IGN retrospective, Mortal Kombat Trilogy "offered something no fan could ignore: It brought every character from the series into the fold, along with most of the levels, making for one massive game that had enough to please everyone. Sure, some of the balance went out the window with the massive cast, but it was a small price to pay to make the Mortal Kombat family whole again, and it gave fans the closure they needed for Midway to move on to Mortal Kombat 4."