Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 – Mortal Kombat 3: Unknown: Video Games

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I don’t know how to answer that. A casual rabbit-holing down various Mortal Kombat wikias leads you to the conclusion that the third Mortal Kombat is controversial among fans of the series. There’s no Scorpion, no Raiden, no Katana; Johnny Cage only appears as a gravestone in the background. Earlier Mortal Kombat games had focused on the relatively straightforward notion of a martial arts tournament; in Mortal Kombat 3, there’s no tournament. But there is a space-demon-king who is destroying Earth so he can conquer Earth, or something.

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In franchise terms, I don’t quite know what to compare this to. You know how Alien 3 kills off Nrev-conf.orgt and Hicks in the opening credits montage? Imagine if it also killed off Ripley, and it brought back Bishop but it gave him a nrev-conf.org costume with skintight pants. And also somehow John Hurt from Alien 1 was still alive but wearing bright yellow robot armor and he attacked people by firing little alien babies out of his stomach. And also instead of aliens, the movie is about werrev-conf.orgolves, and the werrev-conf.orgolves all have cyborg gun arms.

All I can really tell you is that I played a lot of Mortal Kombat 3. A lot. I can’t say I was awesome at it. But I kind of loved it. This was the first Mortal Kombat game that pushed the backstory into overdrive. Much like its genre rival Street Fighter, you could groove onto Mortal Kombat‘s ambient mythology even if your idea of a “combo” was “hit all the buttons really fast and hope a fireball comes out.”

The game hit arcades twenty years ago today, followed by extensive releases for various home consoles. Because this was the mid-’90s—the era that brought us Street Fighter II: Championship Edition and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting and Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II: Turbo—there was a game called Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which added Scorpion back into the mix, and then Mortal Kombat Trilogy, which brought back Raiden and Johnny Cage. There have been two decades of Mortal Kombat games since. The franchise still has its fans; it’s never been the phenomenon that it was circa the mid-’90s, back when kids loved it and parents assumed it was turning their kids into sex-crazy blood goths.

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What follows is a clear, logical, entirely subjective ranking of the game’s eighteen playable characters, counting bosses and Noob Saibot. (Rankings based partially on moves but mainly based on ambient style)

After skipping Mortal Kombat 2, the guy with the cool cyborg eye returns. “Cool Cyborg Eye” was the “gritty realism” of the ’90s. In Mortal Kombat 1, Kano was rocking one of the decade’s great cosplay outfits: a white karate uniform with a bandolier. Flash forward two games, and Kano’s rocking every bad fashion idea of nerd culture in the Rob Liefeld era. Pouches and shinpads and wide-brim tank tops, oh my!

The Big Bad from Mortal Kombat 2 returns, lamer than ever. Someone somrev-conf.orghere probably thought it was a fun idea to take Lord Humungus from The Road Warrior and give him a cape. The cumulative effect was, is, and always will be Flasher He-Man. Still, props if you ever rocked this look at a party.

Stryker was, for some time, my favorite character in Mortal Kombat 3, partially because he had a gun but mainly because he had a gun. This always struck me as an entirely logical response to whatever was happening in Mortal Kombat 3. Oh, so there’s an army of martial arts space-demons transforming the world into a post-apocalyptic hellscape? Here’s an idea: Grab a gun and shoot them. Rinse, repeat, bang, bang.

Xem thêm: Mortal Kombat I And Ii

This is before I realized that Stryker is actually a liberal’s nightmare of the American police state run absolutely amok. He practices the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-never model of policing. Even if he doesn’t shoot people, he’s a taser-happy law enforcement officer. (Maximum setting!) He’s the head of Riot Control in Nrev-conf.org York City circa 1995, which means he’s a prime archetype for Giuliani-era over-policing. “Riot Control”? Sounds more like “Keeping The Man Down Control.” We’re just trying to have a good time here, narc! Why are you trying to destroy us with your hate crimes?



Always the implicit hero of the Mortal Kombat games, always pretty boring. Complexity-wise, Liu Kang makes Ryu look like Commander Shepard. Hell, Liu Kang makes Dan look like Walter White. My friends who were actually good at Mortal Kombat 3 preferred playing Liu Kang because he was a balanced player, or whatever. I could never quite get over the fact that Liu Kang’s voice sounds like Mickey Mouse laugh-punching an opera singer:

Similar to Liu Kang, but with a way cooler hat. Also, his kicks looked much cooler than almost anyone else’s kicks. I said this would be subjective.

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