My Ode to Mortal Kombat. . .
I don’t exactly know what qualifies a “video game head,” I just know that I love video games. It went way back to games of Frogger and Pong. It went back to Nintendo consoles and cartridges that you had to take Q-Tips and alcohol to. Stolen quarters and hours spent in the arcade.
The arcade is where we start this story…
In middle school, I was bussed to a magnet program (me llamo). In the afternoon, my friend and I would walk through 163rd Street Mall to get home. That mall was IT back then and it had a video arcade. I remember the figure on the side of the arcade game. I remember seeing Raiden with his glowing eyes. I remember the 2 toggles and I remember standing behind Jonathan (a guy from my school) as he played Mortal Kombat.
Me and Mortal Kombat go WAY back. We were introduced at the arcade because it took EONS for my mother to even buy a Nintendo, much less get me a fighting game. I had never seen anything like it. No, I hadn’t checked out Street Fighter or Tekken. To me, those were bootleg games. Bald-headed games. And yes, I do realize that amount of blasphemy I just uttered. Mortal Kombat was EVERYTHING! Shang Tsung, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, KITANA! I’m purposely leaving off the American players because I believe that they too, are bootleg. Johnny Cage was WACK. Jax, Sonya Blade, and Kano; also wack. They couldn’t top Scorpion and Reptile. A swift “get over herre!” could be heard throughout the hallways in high school. (mostly by me)
The first time I saw a Fatality, my head almost flew off. I remember thinking that I could NEVER get all the button combos to pop off a Fatality myself. There were rumors of what you were supposed to do when the head that said “Toastee” popped out the side of the screen. I was so hype, I wanted to name my children Kitana and Mileena. I remember looking at Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Reptile thinking “they were real lazy with this thing here. Thems ain’t nuttin but different colors on the same outfit. eww, that’s wack.” But I didn’t care. Kitana and Raiden were the two that I fought with. I felt like a superstar when I mastered Kitana’s combos. That fan was THEE business.
I stole cartridges from people and rocked Mortal Kombat 2. Then I went to Boomers (don’t ask) and LOST MY MIND with Mortal Kombat: Trilogy. Lost my everlovin mind. I peeped the 64 characters and didn’t know how to behave. Noob Saibot, Cyrax, Baraka, Kabal, Nightwolf (wack), Sindel, 2 types of Sub-Zero, and them scary ones like Shao Khan and Goro. I had never seen anything like it.
I can’t explain to you why Mortal Kombat is so awesome. It’s just a normal fighting game. BUT I will say that while I was trying to jog my memory on some of the characters, I saw that it was ranked on the “Most Beautiful Deaths” poll. Second only to God Of War III (another bomb ass game). I know that “beautiful deaths” doesn’t make for happy fun times, but for me it does.
There’s only so many exclamations that I can yell out, but when they made the movie, I was a happy teen. Then I saw the movie. However, there was a chance for redemption with the second movie. They included some other characters and a couple fatalities. I wa GOOD! Remember when they switched things up? Fatalities could now be Babalities, Animalities, Mercy and Friendship (“Friendship?”)
It wasn’t all peaches and cream though. They came out with that Sub-Zero platform game which was a complete fail. And they tried with some other versions before they realized that they needed to stick to what made the game great. There was Annihilation, Armageddon, Deception, Shaolin Monks, Deadly Alliance, and the most recent DC vs. MK. Although that last one didn’t get good rankings with me because the Fatalities were ohhh soo bootleg. Just stick to what ya know.
I have games to play on this PS2 that doubles as my DVD player and I have the old versions of MK on my computer. MK will live forever. That is, until my computer dies.
Getchu a piece of Mortal Kombat. PLEASE!
I had to erase the original question I was gonna ask because I KNOW that I’m not the only one that feels this way about MK. I just KNOW I’m not.
Have a great weekend.
Peace and Love, Nick