Codex Gamicus
Test your might.
~ Announcer, Bonus Round

Mortal Kombat is a 1992 fighting video game Midway, originally designed for Arcade systems, but later ported to various home consoles. Mortal Kombat was well received around the world and has spawned countless sequels and spin-offs, with its 22nd title coming up in 2015. Mortal Kombat is the first game in the Mortal Kombat series and was followed by Mortal Kombat II in 1993.


Mortal Kombat follows the story of the Mortal Kombat tournament, a sacred martial arts contest created by the Shaolin Monks, that takes place on a secluded island. Over 500 years ago, the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung overthrew the monks with the help of the monster warrior Goro, and now hosts the contest to steal the souls of the contest's losers to keep himself immortal and powerful. This year's Mortal Kombat tournament is about to take place, and 7 contestants are ready to fight. Liu Kang a noble Shaolin warrior, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, two rival ninja warriors with origins shrouded in secrecy, Johnny Cage a professional martial arts movie star, Raiden the God of Thunder, invited by Shang Tsung personally, Kano a ruthless crime lord, and Sonya Blade a US special forces soldier hunting after Kano.


Mortal Kombat has the player compete against AI controlled opponents through a series of 12 battles. Where the player must first compete against all 6 other opponents, as well as a mirror battle where they must fight the character they're playing as. The player then has to fight in three endurance rounds, where they must fight two opponents in a single round(but not simultaneously). Lastly, the player must defeat the game's two boss characters, Goro the strong four-armed dragon warrior, and Shang Tsung, the magic sorcerer and host of the Mortal Kombat contest, who can shapeshift into any character. Each battle consists of a 1-on-1 fight, where the player must defeat their opponent in two rounds to win. The game features various fighting attacks, blocking moves, and combos, as well as the ability to finish off your opponent before they die in the second round, in what is known as a Fatality.

Test your Might

In between battles, the player is given a bonus round where they can "Test their Might" and karate chop an object for bonus points.


Mortal Kombat features 7 playable characters, 1 secret character, and 2 bosses.

Liu Kang[]

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Once a member of the super secret White Lotus society, Liu Kang left the organization in order to represent Shaolin temples in the tournament. Kang is strong in his beliefs and despises Shang Tsung.

Johnny Cage[]

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A martial arts superstar trained by great masters from around the world, Cage uses his talents on the big screen. He is the current box-office champ and star of such movies as Dragon Fist and Dragon Fist II as well as the award-winning Sudden Violence.


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The name Raiden is actually that of a deity known as the Thunder God. It is rumoured he received a personal invitation by Shang Tsung himself and took the form of a human to compete in the tournament.

Sonya Blade[]

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Sonya is a member of a top U.S. Special Forces Unit. Her team was hot on the trail of Kano's Black Dragon organization. They followed them to an uncharted island where they were ambushed by Shang Tsung's personal army.


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A mercenary, thug, extortionist thief - Kano lives a life of crime and injustice. He is a devoted member of the Black Dragon, a dangerous group of cut-throat madmen feared and respected throughout all of crime's inner circles.


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The actual name or identity of this warrior is unknown. However, based on the markings of his uniform, it is believed he belongs to the Lin Kuei, a legendary clan of Chinese ninja.


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Like Sub-Zero, Scorpion's true name and origin are not known. He has shown from time to time distrust and hatred towards Sub-Zero. Between ninjas, this is usually a sign of opposing clans.


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Reptile acts as the game's secret character.


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A 2,000-year-old half-Dragon, half-human four armed monster warrior. He helped Shang Tsung take control of the Mortal Kombat tournament centuries ago. Since Shang Tsung's takeover of the tournament, Goro has been the undisputed champion for over 500 years. Goro is fought right before Shang Tsung, with his skills being his strength and resilience, being a handful to defeat and doing the most damage per attack.

Shang Tsung[]

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An evil sorcerer, he successfully took control of the Mortal Kombat tournament hundreds of years ago. Shang Tsung uses the souls of the competition's losers to gain power and immortality, so that he may be the most powerful being in existence. In battle, Shang Tsung can transform into all characters(including Goro) and mimic all their attacks.


Mortal Kombat arcade controls

Mortal Kombat was first released on arcade platforms in 1992, and featured a control system of 5 buttons; 2 red on the right, 2 blue on left, 1 white in the centre, and an eight-way analog joystick. Most systems feature two sets of controls, for 2-player Vs. gameplay.


The Super NES and Gameboy versions were released with the blood spew changed to sweat and some finishing moves altered to suit Nintendo's "family friendly" standards of video game releases for their systems. The Genesis and Game Gear versions left the blood and finishing moves intact, though only accessible by entering a controller code before starting the game. The changes in the Nintendo system releases of the game resulted in negative feedback even from parents who believed they should be the ones who decide what their children should see in a video game and not Nintendo. With the Super NES release of Mortal Kombat II, Nintendo allowed the blood and fatalities to remain intact, though they had to put a special label on the game box to warn people of its content.

The Game Boy version does not include Johnny Cage and Reptile, while the Game Gear version does not include Kano and Reptile. Both Goro and Shang Tsung can be unlocked for play in the Gameboy version via code.