Lost In Translation/Mortal Kombat

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat marquee.
No screen shot.
Mortal Kombat control panel.
Manufacturer Midway
Released 1992
8-way Joystick
6 Button(s)
Main CPU TMS34010 (@ 6.250 MHz)
M6809 (@ 2.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Mono
YM2151 (@ 3.580 MHz)
DAC (@ 1.000 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
399 x 253 pixels
27.41 Hz
32,768 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 17 ROMs
8,126,464 bytes (7.75 MiB)
MAME ID mk · mkla1 · mkla2 · mkla3 · mkla4 · mkprot9 · mkr4 · mkyawdim

About The Game

Mortal Kombat is a one-on-one fighting arcade video game featuring a cast of 7 different fighters. Mortal Kombat took ideas from Capcom's seminal "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior", such as the game's special moves and projectiles. It also introduced a cast of photo-realistic digitized fighters for players to fight either as or against.

Battles are fought over the best of 3 rounds. At the end of a round a voice instructs the winner to 'finish him' and players have only a couple of seconds to try and execute their character's 'fatality', which sees the winner killing the loser in a spectacular and grisly fashion.

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 6

=> [1] High Punch, [2] Block, [3] High Kick

=> [4] Low Punch, [5] Low Kick, [6] Block


Released in July 1992.

Although Pit-Fighter was released in 1990, Mortal Kombat is more remembered as the first fighting game to use digitized characters and blood (as opposed to the hand-animated, more cartoon-like graphics of competing games). Mortal Kombat was developed as a reaction to the popular Capcom game "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior", with simpler controls and digitized graphics. Some say the game's graphic violence was gratuitous, and was only included in order to generate a public outcry and controversy that would increase publicity for the game.

Although highly controversial, the mix of realism and violence propelled Mortal Kombat to the height of popularity. An example of the game's innovations was the Fatality, a special finishing move executed against a dying opponent to create an even more gruesome death. For example, one character would grasp a defeated, wobbling opponent by the head, then rip the head and spine out of the opponent's body, which then crumpled to the ground in a pool of blood. Another aspect of game-play that became a recurring element in games that followed was the so-called 'juggle', where a series of moves could be executed against an opponent who was kept in mid-air by the force of the attacks, and who hence had no defense against further attacks as long as the 'juggle' could be maintained.

The original concept of Mortal Kombat was modeled after the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie 'Bloodsport', which is a cult classic martial arts film. The character of Johnny Cage is directly modeled after Frank Dux, Van Damme's character in the movie. Johnny Cage's film-star motif is an obvious link to this. Cage also wears the same costume (plus shoes) that Van Damme's character wore in the final battle of the movie. Cage's splits punch was originally seen in Bloodsport during the fight against the Sumo wrestler. Since Midway was unable to get Van Damme for this game, they kept the same kumite/martial arts movie concept and added the Kombat story.

Mortal Kombat was the first video game to have an official release date countdown in U.S./U.K. and Australia. This momentous day was known as 'Mortal Monday'.

The code for this game includes the ASCII string 'NOOBSAIBOT' (originally in "Mortal Kombat II" rev. 3.1), suggesting that the character may have made his first appearance here, instead of Reptile (which took up less memory).

The heads used in the background of the first stage and in the spike pit are actually those of the programmers themselves! The statue of Buddha in the background of the courtyard stage was actually a lawn ornament from a neighbor's yard.

During the fighting scenes that take place on the stone platform above the field of sharp spikes, if you look closely at the glowing moon in the background, you will sometimes see a silhouette fly past it. These shadows will either be Peter Pan and the Darling children, a witch on a broomstick, a kite, a blimp, a rocket, a flying saucer, or Santa Claus in his reindeer-pulled sleigh. The shadows appear about every 6 games.

Liu Kang is Midway's homage to Bruce Lee.

Raiden really is the Japanese God of Thunder. His appearance in myth is quite different though : he has red skin and a demonic face, his feet have two claws on them, and he carries either a wheel or drums on his back. He also is thought to eat human navels so people are advised to lie on their stomachs during storms.

In the Courtyard stage, above the red door on the right side, you can see "Pac-Man", a ghost and a power pellet carved on the stone.

A Mortal Kombat unit appears in the 1995 movie 'The Doom Generation'.

A bootleg version of Mortal Kombat exists, where the name of the manufacturer is YAWDIM - that's MIDWAY reversed!

A hacked version also exist, every stage had a black/night sky and every time you got frozen by Sub-Zero, your fighter would rise up and stay there 'till you either got hit or the freezing effect went away. The same thing would happen if you were using Sub-Zero and froze your opponent. The machine would boot up just like a regular MK machine boots up, except another black screen with red letters and asterisks labeling it as "Mortal Kombat Black Ninja Edition" was displayed before the title screen.

Midway released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Mortal Kombat II: Music from the Arcade Game Soundtrack - 123770-C1) on 01/12/1993.


REV. 0.9 :

  • Prototype version.

REV. 1.0 :

  • First official release of Mortal Kombat.
  • In a 2-player game, both players could not choose the same character.
  • Liu Kang had Uppercut - Flying Kick Combo.

REV. 2.0 :

  • Both players could choose the same character.
  • New Shang Tsung death animation added.
  • Merchandise promo added.
  • More blood added.

REV. 3.0 :

  • Computer intelligence increased.
  • Reptile added.
  • Comic book offer is a switch setting.

REV. 4.0 :

  • Reptile clues added (shadows on moon, see Tips and Tricks section).
  • Sonya and Kano could fight Reptile.
  • Block allowed during fatality.
  • Goro's theme played during all Endurance rounds.

REV. 5.0 :

  • Bug fix release.


Basic Moves

Action Points
High Punch 500
Low Punch 500
High Kick 2,000
Low Kick 2,000
Backhand 2,000
Throw 5,000
Knee 5,000
Jump Punch 1,000
Jump Kick 2,000
Uppercut 2,000
Crouch Kick 500
Sweep 1,000
Roundhouse 2,000

Special Moves

Creature Points
Johnny Cage
Green Ball 2,000
Shadow Kick 5,000
Split Punch 5,000
Headbutt 2,000
Knife Throw 2,000
Kano Ball 5,000
Lightening 2,000
Teleport 0
Torpedo 5,000
Liu Kang
Fireball 2,000
Flying Kick 2,000
Spear 2,000
Teleport Punch 2,000
Freeze 0
Slide 1,000
Sonya Blade
Sonic Ring 2,000
Teleport Punch 2,000
Leg Scissors 2,000

Bonus Points

Action Points
Breaking Wood 100,000
Breaking Stone 200,000
Breaking Steel 500,000
Breaking Ruby 1,000,000
Breaking Diamond 2,000,000
Time left multiplier 1,000
Fatality 100,000
Flawless Victory 200,000
Double Flawless 500,000
Defeat Reptile 10,000,000

Tips and tricks

Basic Moves

Basic Move % of damage How to
High Punch 5.5 Basic HP
Low Punch 5.5 Basic LP
High Kick 14.8 Basic HK
Low Kick 14.8 Basic LK
Backhand 11.7 HP when close
Throw 24.2 LP when close
Knee 14.8 HK or LK when close
Jump Punch 11.7 HP or LP while in air
Jump Kick 14.8 HK or LK while in air
Uppercut 24.2 Hold down HP or LP
Crouch Kick 11.7 Hold down HK or LK
Sweep 11.7 Hold back LK
Roundhouse 19.5 Hold back HK
Special Moves
Special Move % of damage How to
Johnny Cage
Green Ball 14.8 B, F, LP
Shadow Kick 18 B, F, LK
Split Punch 21.1 BLK+LP
Headbutt 11.7 HP when close
Knife Throw 14.8 Hold BLK (B, F) or B, F+BLK
Kano Ball 18 F-D-B-U (Full circle away from opponent starting forward)
Lightening 14.8 D, F, LP
Teleport 0 D, U
Torpedo 18 B, B, F
Liu Kang
Fireball 14.8 F, F, HP
Flying Kick 18 F, F, HK
Spear 4.6 B, B, LP
Teleport Punch 18 D, B, HP
Freeze 0 D, F, LP
Slide 7 LP+BLK+LK
Sonya Blade
Sonic Ring 14.8 B, B, LP
Teleport Punch 16.4 F, B, HP
Leg Scissors 24.2 LP+BLK+LK


To perform a Fatality, you must win the match, then do the proper joystick/button sequence when 'Finish Him!' appears: -

Johnny Cage
(close) Forward(x3), HP - Cage decapitates his opponent with an uppercut.
(close) Back, Down, Forward, LP - Kano rips out his opponent's heart.
(close) Forward, Down, Forward, HP - Sub-Zero grabs his opponent by the neck and pulls their head off, taking their spine along with the head.
Sonya Blade
(anywhere) Forward(x2), Back(x2), Block - Sonya blows an energy ball in the air. The ball hits her opponent and engulfs them in flames, turning the opponent into a skeleton.
(close) Forward, Back(x3), HP - Raiden shoots lightning into his opponent's head, causing it to explode.
Liu Kang
(close) hold Block, 270 degrees (Forward, Down, Back, Up) - Liu Kang does a spinning kick and an uppercut.
(jump distance) hold Block, Up(x2), release Block - Scorpion removes his mask to reveal a skull. He then breathes fire on his opponent, turning him into a skeleton.

Bonus Points

Test your might appears after every 3rd win in a 1P game. In 2P it appears after every 5th Battle: -

  • Breaking Wood : Break the WOOD tapping the punch and kick buttons till the meter fills up then block.
  • Breaking Stone : Break the STONE after breakin the WOOD.
  • Breaking Steel : Break the STEEL after breakin the STONE.
  • Breaking Ruby : Break the RUBY after breakin the STEEL.
  • Breaking Diamond : Break the DIAMOND after breakin the RUBY.
  • Fatality : Perform the characters finishing move.
  • Flawless Victory : Beat your opponent without getting hit.
  • Double Flawless : Beat your opponent without getting hit 2 rounds in a row.

Defeat Reptile

(Rev 3.0+ only) : The shadows indicate that Reptile is available as an opponent. To fight him, win with a double flawless and fatality, without using block in the entire match.


  1. Mortal Kombat (1992)
  2. Mortal Kombat II (1993)
  3. Mortal Kombat 3 (1994)
  4. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1994)
  5. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996, Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn)
  6. Mortal Kombat Mythologies - Sub-Zero (1997, Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation)
  7. Mortal Kombat 4 (1997)
  8. Mortal Kombat Gold (1997, Sega Dreamcast)
  9. Mortal Kombat - Special Forces (2000, Sony PlayStation)
  10. Mortal Kombat Advance (2001, Nintendo Game Boy Advance)
  11. Mortal Kombat - Deadly Alliance (2002, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft XBOX, Sony PlayStation 2)
  12. Mortal Kombat - Tournament Edition (2003, Nintendo Game Boy Advance)
  13. Mortal Kombat - Deception / Mystification (2004, Microsoft XBOX, Sony PlayStation 2)
  14. Mortal Kombat - Shaolin Monks (2005, Microsoft XBOX, Sony PlayStation 2)
  15. Mortal Kombat - Armageddon (2006, Microsoft XBOX, Sony PlayStation 2)


Design & Software
Ed Boon
Design & Graphics
John Tobias
Music & Sounds
Dan Forden
Background Graphics
John Vogel
Executive Producers
Neil Nicastro
Ken Fedesna
Senior Hardware Technician
Sheridan Oursler
Cabinet Designer
Ray Czajka


Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub-Zero & Reptile
Daniel Pesina
Richard Divizio
Carlos Pesina
Liu Kang & Shang Tsung
Ho Sung Pak
Elizabeth Malecki
Goro Character Design By
John Tobias
Stop Motion Miniature By
Curt Chiarelli

Cabinet and Artwork


Box art for the Virgin Interactive port of Mortal Kombat.
Sega Mega Drive (1992)
Nintendo Super Famicom (1993 - Developed by Sculptured Software)
Nintendo Game Boy (1993) (Cage was taken out (but Kano was left in).)
Sega Master System (1993)
Sega Game Gear (1993) (Kano was taken out (but Cage was left).)
Sega Mega-CD (1993)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2004, "Mortal Kombat Deception Premium Pack")
Microsoft XBOX (2004, "Mortal Kombat Deception Premium Pack")
Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")
Commodore Amiga ("Mortal Kombat", 1993, Virgin Interactive)
PC [MS-DOS, 3.5"] (1993)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2006, "Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition")
Mortal Kombat TV Game (2004 - Jakk's Pacific)
Mobile Phones (2004)

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Mortal Kombat II • Music from the Arcade Game Soundtrack 123770-C1[1] 1993-12-01 Midway CD version.
Mortal Kombat CD Single (US) V25H-38419[2] 1994-05-31 Vernon Yard Recordings CD version.
Mortal Kombat Original Motion Picture Soundtrack POCD-1210[3] 1996-02-01 Polydor CD version.
Mortal Kombat The Album N/A[4] 1994-05-31 EMD CD version.
Arcade Ambiance 1992 N/A[5] 2007-09-14 Andy Hofle Digital download only.


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.