Game Trivia

  • The two unnamed characters in the background of the pit stage are palette swaps of Liu Kang. This spawned a rumor of an additional hidden character in the game dubbed "Torch" by fans.

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  • The arcade game's demonstration mode sports an advertisement where players could mail away for a Mortal Kombat comic book and an audio CD of the game's soundtrack. The offer expired February 23rd, 1995.

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  • A World Wrestling Federation logo can be found inside the game's code. This logo was possibly meant for an advertisement that was scrapped. Midway would develop WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game two years later.

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  • There is a collection of unfinished sprites in the game where one of the ninja characters is throwing something on the ground. It is not known what this sprites were originally meant for.

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  • Baraka's blades were originally supposed to shine or sparkle during his win pose. Why these images were cut from the game is unknown.

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  • Baraka had an additional move where he performs a forward flip with his blades extended. These frames were cut from the game but can still be found in the game's code.

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  • Lighting bolts were originally meant to hover around Raiden's body during battle, identical to the original Mortal Kombat.

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  • In the game's code are unused images of Kintaro that were possibly intended for the game's story introduction. The face portion of this image would later be used for Kintaro's character select portrait in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

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  • The roof of a ninja dojo can be seen in the Portal background by using a MAME cheat to break the screen limitations (so you can walk off the edge). This unseen graphic was later used in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

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  • When performing Johnny Cage's shadow kick move, on rare occasions the shadow behind Johnny Cage will turn red instead of green. This variant of the move is referred to as the "red shadow kick." It does more damage and is faster than the standard shadow kick. This move is a rare occurrence however and cannot be performed consistently.

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  • An often overlooked feature of Mortal Kombat II is what is referred to as the "Death Punch." If an opponent were to jump towards the other opponent while standing still, if timed correctly, the opponent standing still can press and hold the high punch button which will knock the other opponent out of the air and do more damage than an uppercut.

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  • On the Dead Pool stage, if the losing character is near one of the corners, jumping over them and knocking them into the pool will cause them to go through the wall before landing in the pool. This is a simple collision oversight and has no lasting effect on the game.

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  • Like other Mortal Kombat games, Johnny Cage's nut crunch move does not work against female characters. However, if Johnny Cage performs this move will Shang Tsung is morphing into one of the female characters, the female character will be stuck in a slipping motion indefinitely if the nut crunch connects when timed correctly. The character cannot move and will remain stuck in this animation until attacked or the time runs out.

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  • When positioned correctly, using Kitana's Fan Throw while grounded will cause her arm to get stuck in Baraka's Blade Fury, making a connected hit. Meanwhile Baraka will still get hit by the fan. If this occurs when Kitana's health is low and Baraka is declared the winner, Kitana will be stuck in the animation when hit by the Blade Fury until the next round begins.

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  • There is an unused series of sprites in the game that consisted of Raiden shocking his opponent, similar to his shocking grasp move. This was likely a fatality that was cut from the game as Raiden would perform a similar finishing move in Mortal Kombat 4.

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  • Under normal circumstances, the hidden Goro's lair can only be reached when fighting one of the hidden characters (Smoke, Jade and Noob Saibot). However if you hack the game and choose Goro's lair in a two-player game, it will show up on the VS screen as "NO NAME".

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  • There are two unused audits in the game: S TAKEN and DOOR SLAMS. The S TAKEN audit is believed to be a coin counter while the DOOR SLAMS audit was used to count how many times the coin door on the machine has been slammed or tilted. Similar audits appear in games that use the Midway Y-Unit hardware.

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  • Actor Daniel Pesina who portrayed Johnny Cage was filmed wearing Otomix-brand athletic pants with a very visible logo. Most of the sprites had this edited out, but when doing Shang Tsung's soul steal Fatality against Johnny Cage, the Otomix logo on his pants can be seen briefly before his corpse withers away. Likely a simple oversight, as the sprite is only ever used in that one specific Fatality.

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  • There is a hidden audit located at 0x1400A40 in NVRAM which tracks the amount of times Shao Kahn has been defeated. This audit cannot be viewed as it is not used on the standard Game Audits screen, even though the original Mortal Kombat had a similar one for Goro and Shang Tsung.

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  • Per the game's collision design, if a character were to uppercut an opponent when the opponent is pushed against one of the corners, the offending player will be pushed away from the wall, giving the opponent a chance to escape. If Reptile performs the uppercut under these circumstances while invisible, he will become visible again. The reason this happens is because Reptile's hit box makes collision when being pushed away from the wall, despite taking no damage or blocking an attack.

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  • During game play, Smoke or Jade will appear before a round begins giving the player a clue on how to find them. These clues will appear once every 1000 rounds and Smoke and Jade will alternate giving clues to the player. This is determined by a clue counter which can be found in the Game Audits screen when accessing the EJB menu. The clue counter counts up by 1 each time a round has started and will reset to 0 at 1000 which is when a clue will appear. The clue counter does not count rounds against Shao Kahn, making it impossible for clues to appear during this fight.

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  • The following win text is located on ROM chips UG12/UJ12 and cannot be found anywhere in the game:

    KANO WINS
    SONYA WINS
    TANYA WINS
    ERMAC WINS
    ED BOON WINS
    JOHN TOBIAS WINS
    MARK TURMELL WINS
    SAL DIVITA WINS

    These phrases were most likely put into the game as a joke.

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  • When hacking the game, setting the RAM address 1061FB0 to a non-zero value will enable a hidden development tool that was most likely used to help the developers position hit boxes correctly with their corresponding moves. This tool is also hidden within the PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports of the game, where it has been expanded to display damage areas (marked in red) on the opponent in addition to the attack related hit boxes (marked in green).

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  • There are two unused sprites for Sub-Zero in the game's code showing him throw a projectile in mid-air. These sprites may have been reserved for a mid-air freeze move.

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  • A large number of unused sprites for Shao Kahn can still be found in the game's code. One of these collections of sprites consist of Shao Kahn rising from his throne, possibly to fight the player after they have beaten Kintaro. Another collection of sprites shows Shao Kahn clapping his hands together, possibly used for a projectile move. There is also an unused glowing effect when Shao Kahn is standing in his winning pose. Several other unused sprites for Shao Kahn consist of performing basic combat moves, one of these was allegedly a fatality in which Shao Kahn punches the losing opponent into the ground. Many of these sprites were reused for Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

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  • In the game's code are a collection of sprites of Midway staff members including co-creator Ed Boon. Each of these sprites show the staff members limping or possibly hanging in mid-air. It's likely that these sprites were intended to act as skewered dead bodies for the pit stage like the first game.

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  • In the game's code is a sprite of Midway staff member Mark Turmell holding a basketball in his right hand. Mark Turmell was the lead designer of the wildly successful NBA JAM franchise.

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  • There are a number of sound effects in the game's code that were left unused. Most of these consist of attacking or taking damage. One of these vocal tracks is a male vocal that says Yeeeaaaaah! which may have been reserved for Jax's winning pose or Kintaro's roar. Another notable sound effect is a female vocal for a voice strain when Kitana uses her kiss fatality on a female opponent. The game uses the male vocal version for all opponents. There is also an unused kissing sound effect that may have been reserved for Johnny Cage's winning pose. Lastly, there is an unused muffled laugh in the game that was later reused for the home ports of Mortal Kombat 4.

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  • When playing against Shao Kahn as Kitana, lifting Shao Kahn in the air with the fan lift will cause the game to freeze if the timer runs out on the final round and Kitana has more health. Starting a new game will unfreeze the game.

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  • Each time the game is beaten on single player, one of many random messages will appear at the bottom of the screen in red text. Four of these random messages are scrambled. When unscramble they read: Super High Impact which referred to an upcoming arcade game of the same name, There are no animalities which debunked the rumor that characters can morph into animals, More Kombat to Come which hinted at future Mortal Kombat games, and Ermac does not exist which debunked the rumor of a hidden red ninja named Ermac.

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  • Kitana and Mileena were introduced as female characters to better compete with Street Fighter II and its female character Chun Li.

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  • Due to memory limitations, Sonya and Kano were omitted from the character roster in favor of adding new characters to Mortal Kombat II. Ed Boon cites that Sonya and Kano were the least two picked characters from the original game.

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  • Two additional characters were cut from the game, a female fighter based on real-life kickboxer Kathy Long, and a bonus male character portrayed by Kyu Hwang.

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  • Baraka's teeth are actually fake fingernails that Ed Boon bought at a local supermarket. Actor Richard Divizio who portrayed Baraka recalled the mask he had to wear was "skin-tight."

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  • The game sold 25,000 arcade units by 1996. A massive landmark in sales as the average hot-selling arcade machine would reach 5,000 units.

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  • The motion capture process for the actors was shot with a broadcast quality Sony camera valued at $20,000 dollars at the time. A huge upgrade from the standard Hi8 camera used to film the footage for the original game.

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  • This was the first Mortal Kombat game to use the new Williams DCS sound system, dropping the Yamaha sound board for future projects.

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  • This was the first game in the franchise to introduce "Friendship" and "Babality" finishing moves.

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  • In a 2012 interview, Ed Boon recalled creating the game among his favorite Mortal Kombat memories, commenting: "When we did Mortal Kombat II, we got new equipment and all that stuff, but it was funny because when we started working on Mortal Kombat II, the mania, the hysteria of the home versions of Mortal Kombat I was literally all around us. We were so busy working on the next one, going from seven characters to 12 and two Fatalities per character and all these other things that consumed every second."

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  • The concept of "Friendship" finishing moves was inspired by the controversy surrounding the game's violence as an ironic gesture.

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  • Sound designer Dan Forden came up with the idea of the "Babality" finishing moves where the winning player can turn the loser into a baby. Pitching the idea to lead designer Ed Boon, Boon asked "Why?" and Forden replied "Because it's funny."

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  • John Tobias commented on writing the backstory of Mortal Kombat II: "MKII's story influences came from the same places as the first game. One influence came from the first two Star Wars films, where you knew that there was an emperor ruling the universe, but knew nothing else about him. It created a desire in the viewer to want to know more. I think we had something very similar with Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn and for me that came from that feeling I had as a kid when I learned more about what made the Star Wars universe tick in Empire Strikes Back. I wanted MK fans to have that same feeling."

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  • All of Shang Tsung's morphing effects were created by graphic designer John Vogel.

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  • The "TOASTY!" easter egg is a still image of music and sound designer Dan Forden. The "TOASTY!" reference was an inside joke among the development team that when Dan Forden won a match against his opponent, he would reply "You're toasted!"

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  • Kintaro was originally going to resemble more of a tiger, but this was cut from the game due to memory constraints. This explains why Kintaro has tiger stripes on his back.

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  • Mortal Kombat II was the subject of many rumors and urban legends about the game during the game's popularity. Rumors included additional hidden characters, undiscovered stage fatalities, and animalities in which characters can morph into animals.

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  • One of the clues that the hidden character Jade says is "Chun Who?" This is a spoof on Street Fighter II's Chun Li, but is also a reference to her lightning kick move since reaching Jade requires winning one round using only low kicks.

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  • Found in the Game Audits list in the operator menu is a statistic that reads "Kano Transformations." Since Kano is not available in Mortal Kombat II as a playable character, it was rumored that Shang Tsung could morph into Kano. This statistic is in fact a dud, and was added in by the development team as a publicity stunt to help spawn rumors regarding game secrets.

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  • The original MK development team was discussing development of a Star Wars game instead of a Mortal Kombat sequel when the team's general manager said "What do you mean a Star Wars game? You can't do a Star Wars game. You've got to do another Mortal Kombat game."

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  • Ed Boon's face is superimposed on the trees in the Living Forest stage.

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  • The game's physics were significantly tightened in Mortal Kombat II as the first game had a problem with opponents being juggled in the air too frequently.

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  • Pinball designer Steve Ritchie is the voice of Shao Kahn.

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  • Noob Saibot's name is derived from creators Ed Boon and John Tobias, both of their last names spelled backwards.

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  • Including the home versions, Mortal Kombat II broke the world record for fastest-selling video game of all time. This record would later be trumped by Donkey Kong Country for the SNES.

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  • Due to technical limitations, the actor's costumes had to retain a simple look and certain acrobatic moves could not be performed such as back flips. The hardest moves to perform were some of the jumping kicks.

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  • On rare occasions, when a player receives a game over, the game over screen will cut to Goro's lair from the first game and read "Game Over...? with a large numeral 3 in the center of the screen, hinting at Mortal Kombat 3.

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