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Old 04-11-2019, 02:08 PM
pianodave is offline
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Mortal Kombat 1


Hi SD,

This question popped into my head recently. In the original manual for Mortal Kombat, the first game in the series, they did not list the fatalities for the characters. Rather, there was a space for you to try and figure them out for yourself. In the days before the internet, this was annoying but remains a very interesting and novel idea.

Does anyone here who played the game remember trying to figure them out on their own? It would require a lot of patience to do so. Could they get away with something like that today? Have other games tried a similar tactic?

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:20 PM
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By the time I played the game I had learned them from friends by word-of-mouth.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:31 PM
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It was neither interesting nor novel. It was a way to encourage sales of peripheral products like strategy guides, magazines, and calls to hint lines.

The internet broke the back of that particular revenue stream, and I couldn't be happier.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 04-11-2019 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo View Post
It was neither interesting nor novel. It was a way to encourage sales of peripheral products like strategy guides, magazines, and calls to hint lines.

The internet broke the back of that particular revenue stream, and I couldn't be happier.
Basically this. "We're not gonna tell you, neener neener, figure out the arbitrary button/direction sequence yourself!" is a nonstarter for me.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:55 PM
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actually the last 5 made for consoles don't tell you either well except for I think it was 8 or 9 where you made your own fataility instead of having preset ones

Now that I think about it in some of them you have to buy "fatalities" via the krypt

10 has a a generic "easy fatality" that it shows you how to do in 'story mode" but you have ti buy or figure out the rest …..
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:10 AM
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Could do Scorpion's or Liu Kang's perfectly every time. Sonya's was easy. Johnny's was pretty easy but I'd occasionally mess it up; I'd say 80-90% success. Always had trouble with Sub-Zero's and Kano's and couldn't pull off Raiden's worth a damn. Eh, who cares anyway, it was just points.

IIRC, the whole point of "seeeecret techniques" in fighting games (which goes all the way back to the first Street Fighter) was that they were supposed to be hidden knowledge, to be discovered through much trial and error. And if one such master deemed you worthy of receiving this knowledge, it was a blessing and you should be honored. Something like that. This attitude persisted well into the 90's, where SNK of all companies would openly print the basic specials but not "desperation moves" (supers which could only be performed when health was below a certain level), apparently because they were so overwhelmingly powerful that only a true master was worthy of blah blah blah you get the picture. I remember owning King of Fighters '94 trying one random joystick-button combination after another, after another, after another, praying like hell that one of them would work, dammit! (On rare occasions I did succeed, and I'm not sure whether I should've been proud or worried at my level of dedication.)

It was a strange time. (Don't even get me started on stuff like The Kung Fu Master Jackie Chan or Survival Arts. )
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:00 AM
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I'm pretty sure word of mouth got those things around pretty quickly. I was working in the arcades at the time and I remember MK1 things were figured out pretty quickly. Though there are only two special moves per character and one fatality.

I was also around when MK2, MK3, and MK3U came out and it took a lot longer to figure things out. Though there was a small internet at the time and one could find stuff out there. A lot of games that came out at the time were like that. Usually within a month or so most everything was known unless they were still developing the game.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:25 AM
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Mike Tyson's Punch Out was like this as well. For many (most? all?) of the players you had use some specific sequence of events.
For example, Glass Joe, would try to hook you at which point you could hit him with an upper cut while his arm was back. IIRC, all the characters had some way that you could beat them. But like others have been saying, even pre-internet, these methods made the rounds quickly, either by magazine or word of mouth.

Most 'bosses' are like this as well. Seems like for every boss on every level of every game there's some type of method that makes it a lot easier then trying to fight him for 20 minutes.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKW View Post
This attitude persisted well into the 90's, where SNK of all companies would openly print the basic specials but not "desperation moves" (supers which could only be performed when health was below a certain level), apparently because they were so overwhelmingly powerful that only a true master was worthy of blah blah blah you get the picture.
That 'blah blah blah' is about when the Game Genie showed up. Suddenly that game you were sick of because you could never get more than half way through it is a breeze.
We all know it's cheating to have 45 lives, all the super powers and even some that shouldn't exist (should Mario really be able to fly over the entire level), but at least you could get further into the game and see what's there.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo View Post
It was neither interesting nor novel. It was a way to encourage sales of peripheral products like strategy guides, magazines, and calls to hint lines.

The internet broke the back of that particular revenue stream, and I couldn't be happier.
Exactly.

I'm fine with "secrets" that you can stumble onto while exploring diligently (eg "there's a chest behind the waterfall" or "this wall is fake, you can pass right through") or stuff that you learn during play that, in retrospect, would have helped a ton early on and can be applied in further playthroughs (for example, Dark Souls. The skeleton key lets you bypass so much stuff, or just approach zones from the "wrong" side which makes enemy placement much more dealable-with. There are also crutches like the drake sword which any ingenious player could put 2+2 together to grab). And I'm more than fine with games that reward exploration or puzzle solving (like The Secret Wars, where many quests involve puzzles or looking up stuff on the internet - yeah, you can just look up the solution directly, but it's more fun to do it properly)
OTOH, "if you double-jump 3 times on this precise spot then hop on one foot while wrapping yourself (the player) in prosciutto, you get a super sword" are inane and guide-selling crapola. Yeah, sure, I'll just spend hours doing random button presses all over the place, just in case...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyP
Mike Tyson's Punch Out was like this as well. For many (most? all?) of the players you had use some specific sequence of events.
For example, Glass Joe, would try to hook you at which point you could hit him with an upper cut while his arm was back. IIRC, all the characters had some way that you could beat them. But like others have been saying, even pre-internet, these methods made the rounds quickly, either by magazine or word of mouth.
Yeah but see, that's not really a "secret", it's more that PunchOut was a puzzle game more than it was a fighting game - the whole point was to try and figure out each fighter's weak spots or punishable moves. It didn't require you to behave nonsensically or just try absolutely random shit to see what sticks.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Yeah but see, that's not really a "secret", it's more that PunchOut was a puzzle game more than it was a fighting game - the whole point was to try and figure out each fighter's weak spots or punishable moves. It didn't require you to behave nonsensically or just try absolutely random shit to see what sticks.
Usually thereís a cue, like a flash or an animation. Like Great Tigerís jewel flashing, or King Hippo opening his mouth. That was common in games of that era, like fighting a boss in a shooting game that has a flashing red spot, always shoot the flashing red spot. So itís not that much of a secret.

(If Iím ever a super villain, my giant death robot will have a flashing red spot on its most armored area.)
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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This YouTube video holds up punch out as a particularly impressive use of animation to give the player cues and feedback.

For the actual OP agree with others here; forcing the player to try to find random button combinations is terrible game design, and I can't see how anybody could find enjoyment in that.

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Old 04-12-2019, 09:00 PM
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That's what was so cool about the 90's arcade scene, it was a big community where everything was open to all. Even if you didn't know a chain uppercut from a 4-1-4 turn, there was always someone there who did know, so you got to see what worked and try it out for yourself. (Still remember that Kitana crossup jumpkick/Fan Lift/infinite punch juggle trick...before Midway took it out, it was the way to take out Kintaro and Shao Kahn.)

Re. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out: There are, of course, a lot of tricks to get fast times or simply make things easier for yourself (can't recommend this gem enough), but for the most part it was about reaction times and staying calm under fire. It was possible to best most of the opponents, including Soda Popinski, Mr. Sandman, Super Macho Man, and even Tyson himself, doing nothing but dodge-'n-counter...boring, I know, but possible!

On the opposite end of the spectrum was King Hippo, unique among Little Mac's foes in that he would block each and every punch you threw against him...except the RIGHT one. This was the great "puzzle" of MTPO, and it was pretty obvious that his whole purpose was to be really scary and incredibly frustrating until the player found the solution. "What do I do, what do I do, what the hell do I do??" (The instruction booklet had some weird arglebargle about his navel being his weak point and you having to drop his guard or whatever...point made, I suppose.) Here's the funny thing, though...nobody had any trouble finding the way. Nobody. At all. Smash-his-open-mouth-and-unload-on-the-body...excuse me, navel ...was the one great hidden key to to the one great mystery of the game...and freaking everyone knew. Hell, The Nintendo Players Guide, the first console guidebook I ever owned in my life, blew the lid right off of it, so I knew before I even got the game. I never heard a single player...not my friends, not my cousins, not the clueless 8-year-old at the display case...ever ask how to beat this guy. This had to be the single worst-kept secret in the history of the console, and that includes the unlimited lives trick in Super Mario Bros.

So yeah, it's definitely for the best that having these big secrets aren't a thing in video games anymore, given that from the very beginning it was so hard to keep them big secrets. (Still puzzled as to why it took so long for everyone to figure out Castlevania 2, but that's another thread.)
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:41 PM
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You know what pissed me off about Mortal Kombat? Scorpion's MK1 fatality was so easy I still remember it years later: Block-Up-Up. But it changed for the subsequent ones, and I could never do them from MK2 on.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ekedolphin View Post
You know what pissed me off about Mortal Kombat? Scorpion's MK1 fatality was so easy I still remember it years later: Block-Up-Up. But it changed for the subsequent ones, and I could never do them from MK2 on.
The tricky part for that one was getting the distance right: future games would have Scorpion walk over to the right spot, but in that first one, you had to be almost exactly one character length away from the person who was about to get toasty. Kano's was pretty simple as well: it was the Haduken move from Street Fighter.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:14 PM
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I was (and still am, at heart), a Streetfighter II snob. CLEARLY the superior game

But something that is interesting in retrospect is that in Streetfighter II itself, all of the special moves would occasionally happen totally at random (well, when you pressed a button). I can see their logic there, it lays the bread trail that these secret easter eggs exist.... but as it turns out, once you were playing at a high level, the last thing you ever wanted to do was press a button and not be able to predict what was going to happen. Accidentally doing a Guile flash kick (for instance) when you didn't intend to could be instant death vs a skilled opponent.

It also led to some serious confusion on the part of people trying to figure out how to do moves. The way to do Guild's sonic boom was to charge back for two seconds or so, then press forward and punch simultaneously. But every once in a while, you would just get one, when you had clearly not been charging back for two seconds. So if you're trying to figure out how to do it, and you've absolutely positively seen it done by players walking forward, why would you possibly suspect that charging back was part of the control sequence?
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:10 AM
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heres every version of mortal kombat 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc7KyUUbZW0


"retro core" is a gaming historian and once a week picks a arcade or home game and shows every version of it he can find (or in some cases get working)


heres the list ...its all 6 years worth so (hes on 240 or so )https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...DqLShwMuDu2Ols
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:31 AM
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I was (and still am, at heart), a Streetfighter II snob. CLEARLY the superior game
You and me both. Street Fighter II was the only fighting game I ever played obsessively. That game is a huge part of my childhood.
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