How Mortal Kombat’s story changed due to memory limitations


The early days of the game’s developments saw memory-related issues and Mortal Kombat was no exception, resulting in substantial changes to MK’s storyline.

Memory limitations have caused problems and trade-offs throughout the history of game development, and the Mortal Kombat The franchise was no exception. The early days of the series saw Mortal Kombat make your mark as a 2D fighting game with digitized actors playing the roles of each character. For console releases, numerous modifications were made to ensure that the game could fit the hardware. These concessions even applied to the liberation of Mortal Kombat 2 Y 3, resulting in changes to the story.

From the first game, Mortal Kombat has been in charge of developing its history around the competitors in the MK tournament. Each game builds on the previous one by moving forward with a canon tournament outcome and advancing the plot threads established in the previous installment while working on new characters to develop the world. The aforementioned memory limitations presented by arcade cabinets at the time forced Mortal Kombat developers to cut the roster between games, altering the shape of the franchise’s narrative.

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Mortal KombatThe player roster has always undergone changes throughout its lifespan. As plain Mortal Kombat 9 re-told the stories of the original MK trilogy, the roster didn’t stay exactly the same, as the game’s story saw some twists and turns that altered the original game’s lineup, as well as the release of DLC that added even more characters. As cuts were made to the list in older installments, narrative reasons were given to explain the absence of a character. Beyond Mortal Kombat Narrative reasons, however, the limitations of the hardware at the time influenced the cuts in a unique way.

How Midway handled Mortal Kombat’s memory limitations

Mortal Kombat Sonya and Kano 2

Mortal Kombat Co-creator of the series John Tobias took to Twitter to talk about the development of the original MK trilogy in the arcades. One of those factors he discussed was the exclusion of certain characters between each game, resulting in some of the fan favorites missing the cut. Regarding the cuts to be made to the list, Tobias said: “Many things changed for us between MK1 and MK2. One thing that didn’t change was the memory limitation. While we had more for MK2, we still didn’t have enough, forcing us to options.“Caught between the addition of new characters and the return of the original roster, a decision was made.

Implementing character audits on the original Mortal Kombat arcade games, developers could see usage data for each character. Tobias continued, “Our decision to remove Sonya and Kano from MK2 was purely based on the audits of the MK1 game. But, even back then, we learned that players had become emotionally attached to their favorites. characters. Outcry from players missing Kano and Sonya in MK2 prompted their comeback in MK3. Johnny Cage (despite the rumors and nonsense) was eliminated because he was the least selected character in MK2; as they were, believe it or not, Raiden and Baraka.“The launch of MK trilogy He saw no such limitation as he avoided arcade releases entirely.

MK Trilogy was our first direct-to-home MK release, and while it was actually an extension of UMK3, it was free of the memory limitations that had haunted us in our coin games. So we took the opportunity to bring Johnny Cage and Raiden back, etc,Tobias confirmed. Mortal Kombat The story has seen its fair share of twists and turns throughout its history, but the fact that story elements change due to data limitations before those characters were reintroduced in a later installment shows how some of the factors behind scene can play an important role in the development of the game. that fans may (or may not) see. With DLC and patches becoming a regular fixture in game development today, data limitations seem to be a thing of the past, and the Mortal Kombat The franchise continues to expand its lore and characters in each new installment.

Next: Mortal Kombat 12 Will Probably Ignore Almost The Entire MK11 Roster

Fountain: John Tobias / Twitter

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