It might be harder for younger gamers to appreciate, but the original Mortal Kombat game was considered cutting-edge when it landed in arcades back in 1992. Unlike previous fighting games, Mortal Kombat used digitized sprites, based on real-life actors. This, coupled with the game's violence, played a direct role in Mortal Kombat's popularity, and the controversy that would end up surrounding the game. While some of the test footage from the game has been revealed over the years, a lot more has now emerged, showcasing each of the game's playable fighters. It's a very cool throwback, and a must-see for fans of the Mortal Kombat franchise!
There's something really charming about the footage. It seems quite unlikely that any of the actors were aware of just how monumental the game would become. While the video quality leaves a bit to be desired, the actors look like they're having fun, and laughing during a job that probably seemed pretty silly. After all, it's a bit hard to take Kano seriously as he's falling off a staircase while pretending to do a jump-kick!
The footage also seems to be a testament to just how far video game development has come over the last few decades. Unfortunately, footage like this has been destroyed by game publishers in the past, either on purpose, or by accident. Given how poor the video game industry is at preserving its own history, it's nice to see that this footage has survived, after all these years. It gives newcomers a glimpse into the origins of their favorite video game franchises.
Original footage used to animate the first Mortal Kombat video game 😍 pic.twitter.com/GsqdfohQta— Engineering (@engineeringvids) May 4, 2020
Of course, the Mortal Kombat series has come a long way in the 28 years since the original game's release. The franchise still has a rabid following, and the controversies that surrounded the original game seem almost quaint. NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. released Mortal Kombat 11 last year, and new downloadable content for the game was announced yesterday. The series has long past moved on from using digitized sprites, but this footage is a charming reminder of how the video game industry continues to grow.
Are you an old-school Mortal Kombat fan? Did you play the game in arcades? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!