Mortal Kombat II is an arcade game and the second title in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. It focuses on a new tournament, held in Outworld by a rejuvenated Shang Tsung and his master, the emperor Shao Kahn.
Characters and cast
- Jax Briggs (John Parrish): A member of the U.S. Special Forces and a longtime comrade of Sonya Blade, who enters the tournament to rescue her from Shao Kahn.
- Kung Lao (Anthony Marquez): Shaolin Monk and best friend of Liu Kang, who seeks to avenge the destruction of the Shaolin Temple.
- Mileena (Katalin Zamiar): Shao Kahn's personal assassin and clone of Kitana, but she is believed to be Kitana's twin sister.
- Liu Kang (Ho Sung Pak): The Shaolin monk who is the reigning champion of Mortal Kombat. Travels to Outworld to seek revenge for the death of his fellow monks.
- Scorpion (Daniel Pesina): The Hell-spawned specter who returns to the tournament to once again assassinate Sub-Zero, the man whom he had thought murdered his family long ago.
- Shang Tsung (Phillip Ahn, M.D.): The evil sorcerer who has convinced Shao Kahn to spare his life after losing the last tournament, with a new evil plan to appease his master Shao Kahn, who in turn also restores Tsung's youth, making him more mobile and agile.
- Raiden (Carlos Pesina): The Thunder God who returns to Mortal Kombat to stop Shao Kahn's evil plans of taking the Earthrealm as for his own.
- Reptile (Daniel Pesina): Shang Tsung's personal bodyguard. Reptile appeared in the original Mortal Kombat, but this is the first game where he is playable and contains his own moveset.
- Jade (Katalin Zamiar): An Outworld assassin who cannot be hit by projectiles. Childhood friend and protector of Kitana.
- Smoke (Daniel Pesina): Sub-Zero's friend from the Lin Kuei, who emits puffs of smoke from his body.
- Noob Saibot (Daniel Pesina): An evil and dark ninja, a lost warrior from the previous Mortal Kombat. His true identity as the original Sub-Zero would be revealed in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
- Blaze (Ho Sung Pak): Cameo appearance seen fighting Hornbuckle in the background of The Pit II stage.
- Hornbuckle (Ho Sung Pak): Cameo appearance seen fighting Blaze in the background of The Pit II stage.
- Skarlet (red palette swap of Kitana)
- Red Robin (red palette swap of Scorpion)
- Hornbuckle (Green palette swap of Liu Kang)
- Blaze (Liu Kang with flames)
- Emerald (light green palette swap of Mileena)
"500 years ago, Shang Tsung was banished to the Earth Realm. With the aid of Goro he was to unbalance the furies and doom the planet to a chaotic existence. By seizing control of the shaolin tournament he tried to tip the scales of order towards chaos. Only seven warriors survived the battles and Shang Tsung's scheme would come to a violent end at the hands of Liu Kang. Facing execution for his failure and the apparent death of Goro, Tsung convinces Shao Kahn to grant him a second chance... Shang Tsung's new plan is to lure his enemies to compete in the Outworld where they will meet certain death by Shao Kahn himself. Now, the Kombat kontinues..."
Following his defeat, Shang Tsung begs his master, Shao Kahn, to spare his life. He tells Shao Kahn that the invitation for Mortal Kombat cannot be turned down, and if they hold it in Outworld, the Earthrealm warriors must attend. Kahn agrees to this plan, and restores Tsung's youth. He extends the invitation to Raiden, who gathers his warriors and takes them into Outworld. The tournament is dangerous, as Shao Kahn has the home field advantage, and an Outworld victory will unbalance the furies and allow Outworld to subsume Earthrealm.
New to the series
- As Midway's technology and experience improved, they increased the resolution of their characters and stages and improved the character designs. The series' story begins to flesh out in this game as well.
- This would be the first arcade game (as well as Mortal Kombat title) to use William's DCS sound system. All Mortal Kombat arcade games to follow would use this sound board, in exchange for dropping the original Mortal Kombat's inferior Yamaha sound board.
- MKII's characters have multiple Fatalities and more special moves, and stage Fatalities have been added for the Pit II, the Kombat Tomb and the Dead Pool.
- In addition to more Fatalities, MKII also introduces the Babality (turns your opponent into a diaper-clad infant) and Friendship (do something nice to your opponent rather than kill them) finishers.
- Dropped the Test Your Might minigame.
- Eliminated the scoring system, and instead measured progress only by consecutive matches won.
- Ducking low punch is now a new added feature to the game to inflict minor damage (instead of an uppercut).
There are a total of ten different backgrounds to fight on:
- The Dead Pool - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted into the acid bath, burning away the flesh and leaving just a skeleton floating in the acid.
- Kombat Tomb - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted into the spikes on the ceiling.
- The Tower (Shadow Monastery)
- The Armory
- The Pit II - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted off the bridge where they will meet their demise on the rocky bottom below.
- Goro's Lair - Returning from the original Mortal Kombat, this stage is only accessible when the player is fighting one of the hidden opponents.
- The Blue Portal (only Sega Mega Drive/Genesis) - This stage is used instead of Goro's Lair when fighting the hidden opponents.
Characters' live backgrounds
- Reptile, Jade and Smoke in The Living Forest
- Baraka in Wasteland
- Shao Kahn and Kintaro in Kahn's Arena
- Shang Tsung in The Tower (Kitana and Mileena - battleground)
- In the arcade version, the 250th two-player game would unlock a session of the arcade classic Pong with Mortal Kombat II sound effects.
- Like the previous game, there is a secret game over screen can be accessed only in the arcade version that reads: GAME OVER? III. Possibly hinting the upcoming sequel. The screen only appeared every 1/30th game.
- After landing a strong uppercut against the opponent, the face of sound designer Dan Forden would appear in the lower-right corner of the screen and shout, "Toasty!" The "Toasty" shout had originated from Scorpion's finishing move. He would remove his mask, to reveal a (sometimes) fiery skull, and would spit fire at his opponent. This is randomly demonstrated in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks for his Fatality. In the Portal stage, if the player very quickly held down and hit the start button before Dan's head left the screen, they would then instantly begin a new stage against a secret character named Smoke, a grey recolor of Scorpion. However, the Mega Drive/Genesis version includes an alternate Toasty image: By activating the cheat menu in the options screen, Dan Forden is replaced by a crudely drawn Sprite inserted by one of Probe Entertainment's (the team responsible for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version) programmers. The "Toasty!" sound remains unchanged. Toasty has become one of the best-known video game Easter eggs, among the likes of "dopefish". Many games have included their own versions of Toasty, such as StepMania, in which a character pops out and sings "Toasty!" after a long combo of perfects. Even Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler has gotten into the act; he could be heard occasionally warbling "Toasty!" in response to explosions in Midway's 1994 Aerosmith-starring rail shooter Revolution X.
- Another secret character was named Jade, a more dangerous green recolor of Kitana and Mileena. To fight Jade, a player would have to win one round against the opponent before the mystery "?" stage, using nothing but low kicks, and without blocking. It doesn't matter if the first or the second round of the fight is won in this manner; the player will be transported to fight Jade as the round ends.
- In the Living Forest stage, both Smoke and Jade could sometimes be seen peeking from behind the trees as a clue to their existence as hidden characters.
- If a player wins 50 consecutive fights (25 in the Sega Genesis version) he/she will come face to face with the black ninja Noob Saibot, which originates from the last names of the lead designer John Tobias and lead programmer Ed Boon spelled backwards, being also the hardest secret character to face off yet.
- After knocking the victim into the acid pool, if the player holds down on the joystick, Dan Forden will say "Oh Maw". In the PC version, the trick still works, but the sound effect is different - Shao Kahn saying "One".
- Press down on any joystick during the attract mode to bring up the top 15 players.
- On the Kombat Tomb stage, if the player holds down on both joysticks immediately after knocking the victim into the spikes, the victim will gradually slide down the spikes.
- Two non-existent hidden characters were "Torch", and "Hornbuckle." In Mortal Kombat II there is a location called The Pit II. Far in the background of this stage there is another bridge across the chasm. Standing stationary on this bridge are two fighters: one of them is a Liu Kang sprite with green pants who was named Hornbuckle by fans. One of Jade's hints was "Hornbuckle who?", which people thought was the name of a hidden fighter, and was apparently given to the guy opposite "Torch" on the Pit II. If you watch the ending credits, one of the programmers' last names is Hornbuckle. The other fighter is a humanoid character that seems to be made of fire. As these two characters never move, it has been suggested that the "other fighter" is actually a funeral pyre. Finally, there is a cloaked figure who floats in front of the window during fights in The Tower and Portal stages in MKII. This character was dubbed Cloak by fans, and was assumed to be a hidden character. The character of Torch, who had been very popular with fans, eventually showed up as a playable character in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Unfortunately, due to trademark issues regarding the name concerning Marvel superhero Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, he was renamed Blaze. The true identity of Cloak was revealed in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks to be one of Shang Tsung's servants, a shadow priest.
Tricks to try
- On the Dead Pool stage, with Sub-Zero or Shang Tsung morphed into Sub-Zero, deep freeze the opponent (F-F-D-HK) and then proceed to shatter the victim (F-D-F-F-HP) but press LP + LK immediately. If done correctly, the screen will turn dark and the victim will fly into the acid (see first pic on right) This trick also works with Johnny Cage's Deadly Uppercut (F-F-D-U).
- On the Kombat Tomb stage using Sub-Zero or Shang Tsung morphed into him, deep freeze your opponent and quickly enter your level Fatality code and uppercut them into the spikes.
- On the Kombat Tomb stage hold down on the joystick immediately after knocking your opponent up into the spikes and he/she will slip off the spikes and fall to the ground.
- On the Armory stage, with Reptile or Shang Tsung morphed into Reptile, performing the Tasty Meal Fatality will make the floor move.
- With Shang Tsung, morph into Sub-Zero and keep deep freezing the victim until you morph back. Then quickly morph into Jax and do the Head Clap Fatality. The colour map of the victim will get screwed up.
- Many interesting Fatalities can be created using Shang Tsung/Sub-Zero. Try turning into Sub-Zero, doing the Deep Freeze, turn back into Shang Tsung, then Liu Kang, then do the Dragon Bite Fatality. The dragon will then turn into Liu Kang, and immediately back into Shang Tsung.
- On the final battle with Shao Kahn, catch him with Kitana's Fan Lift when the timer runs out in the winning round. The machine will play the exploding sound of Shao Kahn and then it will lock up. A good way to earn a free credit.
- In the Sega Genesis version, there is a rare glitch involving Kung Lao whose Hat Throw attack may accidentally chop off the opponent's head, automatically counting as a Fatality.
- Dead Pool, arena, is based Torture Chamber from Big Trouble in Little China (1986).
- In the arcade version of Mortal Kombat II, a glitch occasionally caused Kitana to morph into a red female ninja, who was nicknamed "Skarlet". This rumour spread like wild-fire when a magazine published "actual images" of this glitch, even though it was stated later on that it was a hoax. However, some players still believed that there was another secret character, when in fact they had only uncovered another programming bug. Due to the rumors surrounding the glitch, NetherRealm Studios did eventually include a red female ninja character named Skarlet as an official character in Mortal Kombat (2011) and returned in Mortal Kombat 11.
- Mortal Kombat II was so popular when it hit the arcades that several of the machines were later installed with deadlock security panels on the back to prevent thieves from ripping the game's motherboard straight out of the machine and taking it home (pictures of an arcade fitted as such are available as unlockable images in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance).
- After the low sales of the SNES version of the first game against the Mega Drive/Genesis version, Nintendo didn't censor the blood and Fatalities as they did before in the US and UK SNES versions of Mortal Kombat, although they slapped a warning label in the front of the game box. The Japanese version is censored to a degree, with green blood for all fighters, as well as the screen colors turning into a greyscale for Fatalities. Despite this, the SNES version sold much better than any other version, and was considered at the time the best port of the game, even featuring online network play via the XBAND service.
- Mortal Kombat II's levels and overall place within the Mortal Kombat timeline serve as the basis for the action/adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
- Ed Boon's face was superimposed onto the trees for the Living Forest stage.
- The famous "Toasty!" was originally "You're Toast!", which later evolved during development into "Toasted!", and then, "Toasty!". The former two were not actually used in the game.
- Mortal Kombat II was the only game in the series (along with Mortal Kombat on the Mega Drive, titled Mortal Kombat: Shinken Kourin Densetsu) to be released in Japan, where it goes by the name of Mortal Kombat II: Kyuukyoku Shinken.
- In Japan, Mortal Kombat II was released on the PlayStation. This version is extremely rare, and commonly goes for over $100 on eBay.
- One of Jade's clues references Chun Li from Street Fighter "Chun who?". The clue in question itself is a clever hint, remarking on Chun-Li's fighting strength in her legs.
- Another hidden character clue references Ermac: "Ermac Who?".
- Like MK for the Genesis/Mega Drive, Mortal Kombat II for the Genesis/Mega Drive/32X also includes a soundtrack that plays most (if not all) of the tracks from the original arcade game remixed in a different style, both melodically and rhythmically.
- There is a minor error in MKII's opening intro, it showed Shang Tsung getting beat by Liu Kang (in his MK form) at the Warrior Shrine stage; however, in the first Mortal Kombat game, Shang Tsung was supposed to be defeated at Goro's Lair.
- For a limited time, Mortal Kombat II was released as a downloadable game on the PS3.
- If both player's hold Down on the joystick and High Punch at the same time before the match begins, throwing would be disabled throughout the whole match.
- Johnny Cage's Triple Head Fatality was a parody to the glitch in the first arcade game where it would allow him to knock more than one head off his defeated opponent.
- The Super NES version of MKII has a hidden intro where it shows Kintaro and Shao Kahn mocking and destroying the Acclaim logo. It also includes a hidden Endurance Mode (a feature debut from the first game) where both players could select four characters to fight for a single match. The player who defeat the other player's characters first in two rounds wins the match. Additionally, Johnny Cage's pants accents are red instead of blue, and this version features a more unique Pit II finishing scene, taking advantage of the console's Mode 7 zooming and scaling capabilities.
- There were actually two versions of MKII for Super NES, with minor changes between them. Version 1.1 added a new company logo to the game's opening, an attract demonstration mode seen after the character bio, and fixed a bug that prevented the player from fighting Noob Saibot.
- The version released for the Super Famicom (the original Japanese counterpart of the SNES) is censored due to Nintendo of Japan's policy at the time. Blood color is changed to green and Fatalities cause the screen to quickly fade into a greyscale upon execution.
- A hidden "Fergality" finisher (similar to Babality) is included exclusively in the Sega Genesis version of MKII. It sees a character (particularly Raiden) turn their opponent into a midget version of Fergus McGovern (of Probe Software).
- Kintaro was left out of the Game Boy version of MKII due to memory limitations.
- The game was also ported to the Sega 32X, released in Japan as Mortal Kombat II: Kyuukyoku Shinken ("Mortal Kombat II: Ultimate Godly Fist", the subtitle being the specific Japanese terminology for the Fatality moves). It features added background details, a bigger color palette and a broader variety of sound effects when compared to the Genesis version. However, the background music remains nearly identical.
- Shang Tsung has a different laughing animation in the Sega 32X version of MKII. It was later used as a regular win pose in the Sega Saturn version.
- Official conversions were also released for the Master System and Sega Game Gear. These are similar to the Game Boy port, but in color instead of in monochrome. Both are almost identical, except for the reduced size of the Game Gear screen, featuring the same fighters and arenas as the Game Boy port, but with the addition of Kintaro. The arena where players fight Jade and Smoke is exclusive to each version. In contrast to the Game Boy version, blood is present, although drastically reduced in quantity when compared to other versions. Because of the systems' graphical limitations, some of the Fatalities were altered to completely destroy the opponent's body, leaving generic gibs of bones and limbs, while others were also simplified to use common animations.
- A Sony PlayStation port was released only in Japan, under the Mortal Kombat II: Kyuukyoku Shinken title used for the 32X version. While the graphics remain close to the original arcade game, the sound quality does not: instead of converting the soundtrack into CD audio tracks, the developers opted to use the PlayStation's own SPU internal sound chip to play the music. Additionally, some voice effects are missing. Loading times occur when performing certain actions (such as Shang Tsung's morph ability), with gameplay ceasing and the Mortal Kombat II symbol being displayed for 1–2 seconds.
- In a similar way to the PlayStation version, the Sega Saturn port features synthesized music as substitution for the original soundtrack, and is missing some sound effects. It allows players to preload certain morphs for Shang Tsung, reducing loading times but causing a glitch that allows the player to morph between the palette-swap ninja characters. The game lags any time a special move is pulled off for the first time in a match (the move is loaded into the system RAM). Unlike the arcade version, the characters' shadow sprites are present in the Goro's Lair stage; additionally, Jade has white skin, while in the original she has tanned skin. Like the 32X and PlayStation versions, the game was released in Japan as Mortal Kombat II: Kyuukyoku Shinken. A compilation pack containing the first two Mortal Kombat games, MK 1&2 Duo, was announced by Acclaim in August 1996, but never released.
- The game was re-released as part of the video game compilations Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (2004) for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play (2005) for the PlayStation Portable. While near arcade-perfect, the versions included are not actually ports, but rather emulations. As a result, some of the games (MKII and MK3 in particular) have some obvious sound and graphical glitches. Due to the control mapping of the compilations, pressing start pauses the game, and thus makes it impossible to enter the combination required to fight Smoke.
- MKII is included as a bonus unlockable in 2005's action adventure game Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It can be unlocked both by discovering/completing Smoke's missions during gameplay or via a secret code. MKII was removed from the German release of the game, as it is banned there. This version of the game is the same one found in the Midway Arcade Treasures releases, ironically making it impossible to fight Smoke.
- MKII, along with Mortal Kombat and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, was re-released in 2011 as part of Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Windows (via download from the Steam service) for a price of $10 (800 Microsoft Points for the XBLA version). While being rather accurate to the original arcade releases, the version of MKII included in this pack presents some glitches not present in the original game (such as the AIs for the CPU controlled opponents receiving their inputs before the player's character).
Amiga version issues
The Amiga home edition of Mortal Kombat II was ported by a company called Probe Software, who had also ported the original Mortal Kombat to the Amiga as well as another Midway-produced fighting game, Primal Rage. It is largely believed that all three games were produced using the same basic game engine. Unfortunately, the updated version of the engine used for the Amiga version of MKII contained several glitches.
- The Amiga has two controller ports - Port 0 and Port 1. Port 1 is usually reserved for game controllers, while Port 0 is used for the computer mouse or a second controller. For some reason the developers opted to use Port 0 as the Player One port, meaning that a player expecting to begin a match standing on the left side of the screen is instead on the right, and vice versa. This rather odd decision is not present in the Amiga port of the original Mortal Kombat.
- The game would usually freeze at or not long after the "Round 1" announcement for the first match of the game (or alternatively, freeze during a Demonstration match against the computer). The game would also freeze following Shao Kahn's defeat, usually as he was about to shatter.
- Unless a demonstration match was allowed to play first, the order in which the player would face opponents would always remain the same, invariably starting with a match against Kung Lao.
- Demonstration matches always feature Johnny Cage and Liu Kang, presumably to prevent having to disk-swap during demonstration mode.
- Typing "ZEDWEB" on the main menu enables a hidden "DIAGNOSTICS" cheat menu, however the code used to determine whether or not the cheat had been typed in doesn't take into consideration any inputs between each character. It is thus possible to enable the cheat menu by typing the entire alphabet front to back three times in a row. The same is true of the cheatcode in the Amiga version of the original Mortal Kombat - typing the alphabet from A to U enables the cheat menu.
- The game featured exceptionally long load times, not helped by the fact that the game was spread over three 3.5" floppy disks (four in an unofficial leaked version) with no official method for installing the game to a Hard Drive. This was circumvented by the unofficial release of two Hard Drive installer programs, one for the official retail release, one for the leaked "pirate" version (more unofficial installers have since been released from various sources). The menu options for the leak installer contained crass language and abuse directed at both Midway and Probe for the poor quality of the port. In addition, memory restrictions (most likely caused by the leaked version installer placing the entire game data in the Amiga's RAM Disk) meant that certain elements of an installed copy of the leak version would not load, notably some of Shao Kahn's speech, the smoke graphic caused by Reptile's acid spit and for Smoke himself), and various speech samples and sound effects.
- The option to start the game with as much as 30 Kredits is available from the main "OPTIONS" menu without any cheat codes, as opposed to being hidden in the "DIAGNOSTICS" cheat menu (unlikely to be intentional, as cheat codes for other versions of MKII and MK3 unlock a similar option).
- Jade can be fought by simply defeating the preceding character in one round without any special requirements, and so is not counted as a secret character.
Characters in ports
Secret unselectable character