Mortal Kombat Trilogy is an anthology in the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games. Whilst titled Trilogy, it isn't in the sense of compilation sense. Rather, it takes elements from the previous games in the series. Gameplay wise, it is an update of Mortal Kombat 3, following the game Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
Every character that has ever appeared in a Mortal Kombat game prior to Mortal Kombat Trilogy appears in this game. Rain and Noob Saibot are playable for the first time with their very own moves, combos, and finishing moves. Along with the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 roster, Mortal Kombat Trilogy adds Baraka, Johnny Cage, Raiden, and "klassic" versions of Raiden, Kano, Jax, and Kung Lao. Bosses Goro, Kintaro, Shao Kahn, and Motaro are also now playable. A new secret character appears as well. This character, known as Chameleon, appears and rapidly switches between all the male ninjas (Classic Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Ermac, Rain, Human Smoke and Noob Saibot). In order to play as him, you have to perform a special button combination before the battle starts. Basically, Chameleon is a newer version of MK1 Reptile, but Chameleon randomly changes his color, not just his stance.
The Nintendo 64 version, due to limitations of cartridge space, lacks the classic versions of Raiden, Kano, Jax, and Kung Lao, and as well as Goro and Kintaro. Also, Shao Kahn and Motaro are not selectable at the main screen. Cheat codes have to be entered to gain access to them. The N64 version also combines the two Sub-Zeros into one convenient palette swapped version thus removing the MK3 version from the game. Chameleon is replaced in the N64 version with the secret character Khameleon, a grey female ninja, and is present as both a secret opponent and a playable character. While she too switches her move sets (making her considerably weaker), she does have a storyline, unlike her male counterpart.
Unlockable New Fighters
The following characters are hidden unlockable characters:
- Chameleon (PSX/SAT/PC only) - Unlocked by holding Back + High Punch + High Kick + Block + Run after picking any male ninja. Whatever ninja palette he turns to will grant him that respective ninja's abilities. In the PC version, to be more keyboard-friendly, only High Punch + Low Punch need to be held to change into Chameleon.
- Khameleon (N64 only) - Unlocked by pressing C-Right, C-Up, A, B, C-Down, C-Up, C-Right at the story line. Her entire moveset depends on what color her name is on her life bar. For example, if her name is blue, she will possess all Kitana's moves.
Boss and sub-boss
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.
The following displays the Kombat Zones where a character can be uppercutted into different backgrounds.
- The Subway → The Street
- The Bank → The Rooftop (CD-ROM versions only)
- The Soul Chamber → The Balcony
- Scorpion's Lair → Kahn's Kave
- Goro's Lair → The Armory → Kombat Tomb (N64 version only)
New to the series
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy introduces the Aggressor bar, which fills as the Kombatants fight. When the bar fills, the character becomes much faster and stronger for a certain period of time.
- 3-on-3 simultaneous battles (only on the N64 version).
- A finishing move known as a Brutality is featured in this game. This finishing move requires the player to perform an 11 button combo which causes their opponent to explode. Brutalities were initially placed in the Genesis/Megadrive and SNES ports of UMK3.
- Many of the characters introduced in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 have brand new special moves and finishing moves.
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
Note: This only pertains to new or edited bios/endings not found in the either Mortal Kombat 3 or Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: Goro has no ending.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: Kintaro has no ending.
Bio: 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.
Ending: Motaro Wins.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: When 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.
Bio: 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...
Ending: Shao Kahn Wins.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Bio: 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.
Ending: 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.
Nintendo 64 Version:
- Soul Chamber
- Bell Tower
- The Temple
- Pit 3
- Scislac Busorez
- Scorpion's Lair
- Jade's Desert
- Kahn's Kave
- Dead Pool
- Kombat Tomb
- Living Forest
- Pit 2
- Pit Bottom
- Goro's Lair
- Star Bridge
- Hidden Portal
- Noob Saibot's Dorfen (only on 2 player)
Playstation Version includes:
Mortal Kombat Trilogy cast
- Baraka, Kano & Kabal: Richard Divizio
- Lt. Sonya Blade: Kerri Hoskins
- Maj. Jackson Briggs a.k.a. Jax: John Parrish
- Johnny Cage: Chris Alexander
- Kurtis Stryker: Michael O' Brien
- Liu Kang: Eddie Wong
- Kung Lao: Tony Marquez
- Nightwolf, Sektor, Cyrax, & Smoke (cyborg): Sal Divita
- Sub-Zero, Shang Tsung, Scorpion, Reptile, Smoke (human), Rain, Ermac, Noob Saibot & Chameleon: John Turk
- Raiden: Carlos Pesina
- Kitana, Jade, Mileena & Khameleon: Becky Gable
- Sindel: Lia Montelongo
- Shao Kahn: Brian Glynn
- Shao Kahn's Voice: Steve Ritchie
Bugs and glitches
- If Human Smoke's Teleport Punch Fatality is performed on an opponent standing at either end of the stage, the punch will completely miss the opponent and he/she will continue standing, unharmed. The game, however, will still register it as a Fatality.
- By exploiting bugs, most characters can perform infinite combos.
- On the N64 version, if the "Auto" combo option is chosen, character combos will be initiated much faster than on the Playstation or Saturn versions.
- On the N64 version, performing Mercy as Shao Kahn will result in him saying "Smoke Shows Mercy".
- On the N64 version, getting a flawless victory will result in a glitched clicking sound before the character's name, e.g. "KSheeva Wins...Flawless Victory".
- On the N64 version, when Motaro performs his Head Rip Fatality, at times the head will either hang off a single finger of his hand or off his hand entirely.
- On the N64 version, when Shao Kahn and Motaro (CPU) defeat your character without doing a Fatality, they will just stand there on the Finish Him/Her screen; the player falls down almost straight away instead of wobbling about for a few seconds as would normally happen. Occasionally, some non-boss CPU characters will also enter their win pose but the Finish Him/Her timer doesn't cut off abruptly like with the bosses.
- On the N64 version, if Noob Saibot performs his Teleport Slam Fatality on a female combatant or a male character that does not have the same grunts as Nightwolf, they will make Nightwolf screaming Fatality sound.
- On the N64 version, when fighting in the Dead Pool and an opponent is knocked into the acid near the right side of the stage, it is possible for the dissolved skeleton to float to the right instead of the left, floating past the acid and into the wall background sprite until it stops.
- On the N64 version, the sound effects are set up for the wrong characters. For example, Scorpion, Human Smoke, Stryker and Kabal use Kano, Jax, and Shang Tsung's voice, but only use the "Oww!" sound when hit with a heavy move. Other male characters using the same sound effects such as Baraka, Jax, Ermac, Kano and Shang Tsung are not affected, saying either "Oww!" or "Ahhh!" randomly when hit (example, a Teleport Stomp or throw from Sheeva). Also, Sub-Zero, Kung Lao, Raiden and Johnny Cage use Nightwolf's voice, saying either "Oww!" or "Ahhh!" randomly when hit. Other male characters using the same sound effects such as Reptile, Nightwolf, Rain, and Noob Saibot are affected, only use the "Oww!" sound when hit with a heavy move. However Nightwolf, Reptile, Rain, Noob Saibot, Kano, Jax, Shang Tsung, Ermac, Baraka, Cyrax, Sektor, and Robot Smoke use Nightwolf's Fatality scream and Scorpion, Human Smoke, Stryker, Kabal, Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage, Raiden, and Kung Lao use Sub-Zero and Kung Lao's Fatality scream.
- On the N64 version, when one is fighting at The Pit and knocks an opponent into the pit itself, he/she will fly into the air high enough to see the night sky cut off at the very top, showing a little bit of a simple black background above where it is cut off.
- On the N64 version, when Liu Kang performs his victory stance, his lower torso changes slightly halfway through (when he bows, it is slightly bigger).
- On the N64 version, the character's voices will blend into one another if attacks are frequent enough (another pain sound will register with another hit before the one preceding it ends).
- If the PlayStation version is played on the PlayStation 2, instead of going to Kahn's Treasures, the screen turns black and music plays if Arcade Mode or 8-Player Kombat are cleared. This renders the game completely unplayable until the system is either turned off or reset.
- When fighting at The Pit, it is possible to perform a combo that takes away the opponent's health and, if the combo ends in an uppercut, knock them onto the spikes below. If long enough, the combo can even go past the "Finish Him/Her!" announcement.
- The PlayStation version of the game is heavily succeptable to glitches when being played on a PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3. Most notably, winning the arcade mode will cause the game to crash.
Characters in ports
| ||Selectable character|
| ||Unlockable character|
| ||Secret selectable character|
- 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 code (113-840) remained undocumented until April 26, 2007 when it was posted by a user named "Proto K" on a ROM hacking forum board (Acmlm's board II). When used "FROM THIS POINT ON.... SMOKE AND KHAMELEON ARE AT YOUR CONTROL" appears and they both become selectable at the character select screen. Both characters, however, could be unlocked through other cheat codes as well. Despite the other means of unlocking the two characters, this "UKK" is currently one of the most elusive cheats ever in Mortal Kombat history.
- Similar to Mortal Kombat 3, finishing moves cannot be performed on boss characters. In the disc versions of the game, none of the boss characters feature any finishing moves. The N64 version however gives Fatalities to Shao Kahn and Motaro.
- There is no announcer for Goro, due to the lack of any existing recordings to repurpose.
- Human Smoke's icon is a reversed recolor of Classic Sub-Zero, while Khameleon's icon is a reversed recolor of Kitana.
- Chameleon's icon is a version of Rain in the N64 version of the game, despite not being playable.
- Shao Kahn's Arena was removed in the N64 version of the game and some arena titles are renamed.
- The N64 version of the game is notable for having inferior audio quality, resulting in voice clips sounding muffled.
- Nightwolf has a new Friendship exclusive to the N64 version of the game, where he juggles his axes as opposed to transforming into Raiden.
- Johnny Cage was the only character who was exclusively recreated for this game, while Baraka and Raiden had versus screen sprites and running sprites created for them. The Mortal Kombat version of Kano features new sprites created by modifying and compositing his Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 3 sprites.
- This is the first game to feature Johnny Cage wearing his trademark sunglasses during fights, as opposed to before where he would only put them on during a victory stance. This trend would continue for the rest of the series.
- This is the first game in the series to not have an arcade release.
- Despite being the version of Mortal Kombat 3 to offer the most content, the game has not been re-released on any modern consoles, instead being represented by Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
- The Graveyard stage was slightly altered for the N64 version; the developer's gravestones now read "8-30-96" as the date of death, corresponding with Trilogy's release.