Mortal Kombat was one of those titles that set a lot of arcades on fire with realistic, digitized, graphics and over the top blood and gore. Gamers were flocking to the machines where ever possible, usually passing the latest Street Fighter II variation to do so. By the time Midway games got to the thrid installment of this gore-fest the proceedings were finally reaching a level on par with the competition, in many areas, surpassing it.
For the die hard Mortal Kombat fan there is no convincing them that the first two games in this series were more tests than actual games. Mortal Kombat one was mainly popular for the fatalities and Mortal Kombat II was more of the same. For the fighting game enthusiast both of those games were missing something that separated the Street Fighter II series. Combos.
This was the first Mortal Kombat to actually offer real combos. Sure the second entry had some basic combos but they were “eh” at best, though judging by sales, fans didn’t mind. Another interesting addition to the proceedings in Mortal Kombat 3 was the ability to peruse multi-level battle fields. This was also seen in Capcom’s take on Marvel’s mutants in X-Men: Children of the Atom (released a little bit before MK 3). X-Men only had this multi level battle arena on a couple of levels while Mortal Kombat 3 had it on many more.
Fatalities, Babalities and many other *alities returned in Mortal Kombat 3, along with a new deadlier addition- the Animality. Remember how Lui Kang could change into a dragon in MK 2? Now all of the characters have such a finishing move available. Also, some levels feature “level fatalities” similar to that of the Pit in MK 1 and the slime level of MK 2.
Kombat Kodes were also introduced in Mortal Kombat 3. These codes would allowed two player battles to take on some slight changes if input correctly.
While Mortal Kombat 3 would have to wait for the update to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 to become interesting for many gamers, it is still a viable version. While not perfect, Mortal Kombat 3 was proof that Midway Games was interested in continuing the series in better directions and developing it into more than just a gore fest fighter.