The most controversial beat-’em-up of all time is here! If you read our preview last month, you should be gagging to know what we think of the finished cart. Go ahead and have a bloody good read!

Once again, the time’s come for the world’s greatest warriors to gather and enter into battle. The Shaolin Tournament’s the place where combatants challenge each other to become Grand Champion. It is a competition of honour and glory where only the toughest survive.

However, several hundred years ago, the evil wizard Shang Tsung entered the tournament and turned it into a killing ground. The ancient warrior’s cursed by the gods and must steal defeated opponents’ souls to stay alive. In this way, Shang Tsung’s reign of terror has lasted for over 500 years.

Killing one of the judges, Shang Tsung elected himself head of the tournament and it became a corrupt supply for his soul energy. He summoned a half human, half dragon creature, Goro, from another dimension and used him as hired muscle to consolidate his position.

With Goro as Grand Champion, the ancient wizard ensured his reign of terror. Until now...

Meet the warriors

Welcome to the ultra-violent world of Mortal Kombat! Based on Midway’s hit arcade game from last year, you take the role of one of six world warriors: Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Scorpion. Sub-Zero or Rayden. All characters have their own style of fighting and a range of basic moves such as punches, kicks and jumps, plus unique special moves to learn.

Mortal Kombat’s played in one of two ways. In one-player mode, select a fighter and you’re presented with a battle plan, showing in which order you’ll tackle opponents. You first fight the other five characters in separate bouts, then a dark duplicate of yourself — a mirror match.

The next challenges are three endurance matches. You tackle two opponents, one after the other, with but a single energy bar to your name. If you’re still in the land of the living after that, your skills are tested to the limit by two boss characters.

Goro and gore

Goro’s four, super-developed arms and arcane combat skills have won him the tournament 500 years in a row. His attacks are devastating but he can be beaten.

The final hurdle is Shang Tsung himself. He has many powerful abilities, including super-speed, multiple fireballs and shape-shifting, which he uses to become any other character — including all their abilities!

The second way to play Mortal Kombat is in Vs mode. Two players select any fighter and battle to a standstill. Win rounds by knocking your enemy’s power bar to zero or taking the least damage within the time limit.

The loser’s given the option to continue. If they don’t, the computer starts a one-player game, but a human opponent may join in at any time by pressing button [1].

One-player mode offers three difficulty settings and six continues — many players should be able to complete it using only a few. As for the gore... Yes, there’s plenty of blood and all the death moves, but you have to enter a code to access them.

For fans of all-out fighting games, Mortal Kombat is the most violent and bloody cart on the MS. Prepare yourself for Kombat!

Paul confesses... ‘I WENT ALL TINGLY!’

No matter what your parents and teachers say about console games turning innocent gamesplayers into a cross between Saddam Hussein and Rambo, the blood, sweat, playability and, er... more blood of a classic fighting game lasts for ages. So when I heard about Mortal Kombat, I went all tingly and had a sudden urge to slap someone about.

Unlike many beat-’em-ups, Mortal Kombat’s great to get into and there’s plenty of opportunity to improve your skills. There are loads of hard fighters to choose from, each with wondrous special moves to send opponents flying across the screen. These moves are the only tricky things in Mortal Kombat, but when you’ve got them sussed you can spring into action.

Mat’s expounded the joys of two-player mode but I love the single-player option. The two for the price of one power bar’ endurance matches are very tough and increase lastability.

As far as graphics go, this cart really shows what the Master System can do, with colourful, detailed figures and moody backdrops. For cool fighting action, check out Mortal Kombat.

PAUL 87%

Mat grins... ‘BLOODY GREAT!’

It had to happen, I guess. With Acclaim’s Mortal Kombat springing up on every major format this autumn, it’s only fair that the Master System should get a look-in. This is one of the most incredible games ever released for an 8-bit system. The characters are massive and superbly digitised (forget Pit Fighter, this is the real deal!).

Kano’s excluded due to memory restrictions but the six remaining fighters have all their moves and well impressive they are, too. With the help of great sound effects, punches and kicks really connect and death moves are here in full glory, once you’ve entered the gore code.

Two-player mode gives Mortal Kombat high lastability because you and whoever faces you can master all six characters or specialise on a particular favourite (mine’s Johnny Cage). In one-player mode, three difficulty levels mean novices and experts alike will have a real challenge on their hands.

If you’ve seen poor MS games in the past, prepare yourself: Mortal Kombat will totally blow you away with its stunning graphics and arcade feel. This proves, once again, that the MS is capable of handling great titles.

Acclaim have produced yet another top game —beat-’em-up fans will drool over this for months. Buy it!

MAT 94%

Tim gasps... ‘GRAPHICS WORTHY OF A 16 MEG CART!’

First there was the rumour, then came the hype and now it’s finally here. No, I don’t mean Jurassic Park, I’m talking Mortal Kombat. When the cart first arrived, nobody could get within three miles of it because Mat played solidly for 48 hours. We started to worry when he began to froth at the mouth.

When I finally got to play Mortal Kombat I was very impressed and understood why Mat was a gibbering wreck. This is a highly addictive cart — it’s very hard to pull yourself away.

The graphics are worthy of a 16 Meg cart. The digitised characters look extremely life-like and the death moves are brilliant. So far I’ve had my head punched off, my spinal column ripped out and been reduced to a pile of ashes. Sounds nasty? That’s because it is. If you’re squeamish, I wouldn’t recommend Mortal Kombat, but if you love a bit of blood, it’s perfect.

This is the most violent and addictive game I’ve played on any system for a long time — believe the hype!

TIM 93%

MF Rating

Graphics
92
Sound
86
Playability
89
Lastability
90

92

A great fighting game which perfectly captures the feel of the classic coin-op

Rating
92
Reviewer
Sega Master Force magazine
Region
UK
Scans
Sega Master Force - Issue 3

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