Mortal Kombat 2 logo Amiga Computing Gold Award

We welcome the return of the world's bloodiest beat-'em-up! Jonathan Maddock punches and kicks his way through the blood and takes a look.


The original Mortal Kombat was one hell of a game and it sold like the proverbial hot cakes across almost every single game format, but it didn't too well on the Amiga. Why? I don't know, maybe we just go squeamish at the sight of all that blood!

The actual game was a very good conversion from the console versions and was packed full of some of the most horrific and blood-soaked pixels you were ever likely to see. To make things even better, the game's designers had included a fair amount of playability and thus the graphics didn't take too much away from the gameplay.

Just as luck would have it, Acclaim due to its success on the consoles, has released the second game in the Mortal Kombat series on the Amiga. To give you an idea of just how big this sequel is, there were two and a half million copies distributed to 15,000 retailers across the world. The game was backed up by a £7 million advertising campaign, it went straight to the number one spot in the Gallup charts, and was selling out across the UK within days of its release.

There is your evidence. Mortal Kombat 2 is the biggest, most important video game created so far, but how will it perform on the Amiga? Sometimes a product as big as this just gets hyped to death, everyone runs out to buy it and then finds out later that it was really a pile of rubbish.

Does Mortal Kombat 2 have the guts to kick its way to the top of the software charts, or is it lacking the muscle to fight off the competition?


While the kombatants in the original Shaolin Tournament wagered their lives upon their skills, in Shao Kahn's Outworld tournament the stakes have been raised.

The tournament first tests a warrior's fighting skill by pitting him against each of the Earth warriors. Once a warrior has defeated the other kombatants in the tournament, he then takes on the first of the Outworld's hosts, the demon Shang Tsung.

His youth restored by master Shao Khn, Tsung possess both powerful magic and considerable physical skill.

Should the warrior defeat Tsung, the next opponent is the huge Kintaro. Kintaro is from the same race of half-human dragons that spawned Goro. Enraged at his comrade's death (in Mortal Kombat 1) at the hands of a mere mortal, Kintaro sought entrance to the tournament to seek revenge. Shao Kahn granted him this privilege in exchange for his servitude.

Defeat Kintaro and you'll become powerful enough to face Shao Kahn, the supreme ruler of the Outworld. End his life and his rule and you'll achieve your objective and become the Supreme Warrior in the Outworld realm.



Well, to be honest with you, I don't think you'll be impressed with the soundtrack contained within the game. It's fairly atmospheric and it's got a distinct eastern flavour to it, but it's nothing that you haven't heard before. If you like bog-standard coin-op tunes with no emotion whatsoever then turn up your TV, but I suggest that you simply turn it off or put on some banging tunes of your own on your stereo.

The sound effects are not too bad, with plenty of squelches and smacks to keep you interested, but there isn't anything that you haven't heard in the previous Mortal Kombat incarnation.




I think this box should've been renamed 'Gore' because that's exactly what Mortal Kombat 2 is packed with - the fatalities are even worse than last time around. Multiple decapitations and cannibalism are at the forefront of the various 'death' manoeuvres. If you want to see someone getting the top of his/her head eaten off, or you want to admire someone else getting their arms pulled off, then I guess this is the game you've been lusting for, you sick-sick person.

Of course this is what sparked off the controversy last time around and probably the reason, due to all the hype and media involvement, that the game became so big in the first place. Remember Mortal Kombat 2 isn't real and none of the characters really exist, so if everyone gets that into their heads then there won't be any controversy this time around... probably.

Take the blood and gore aside for a moment, and you'll find that the various backdrops and sprites look pretty damn good. The digitised actors have been faithfully ported over from the Megadrive version and look slightly better and a tad sharper than the sprites found in the original version.

Mortal Kombat looks brilliant when it;s in full flow. It's as close as you're ever going to get to having a full-blown coin-op in your bedroom, and for that reason I stand up and cheer.




It took me quite a long time to come to a decision about the percentage Mortal Kombat deserves. OK, so the graphics are delightfully gory and blood-soaked, the presentation is top-notch, the soundtrack is abysmal, the sound effects aren't anything new, playability-wise the characters jump and move around the screen as they should - even though some of the moves are ridiculously hard to pull off at the right moment - and you always want to play it again as soon as you die, but the simple fact of the matter is that Mortal Kombat 2's difficulty level is set way too high to warrant me giving it an unbelievably high score.

The two-player option works well, but only if you and a friend are at the same kind of beat-'em-up standard. The one-player game is just far too hard to complete and if you can get anywhere near the end of the tournament then you must be the world's best gamesplayer.

Even by switching the games difficulty level to very easy, you still can't progress properly. One go you might defeat three characters on the run, but then you'll meet up with a fighter who you couldn't possibly defeat in a month of Sundays and it's more than likely you'll waste all your 30 credits in trying. Highly frustrating even for gamers with bags of patience.

Another downer is the outrageous amount of disk swapping that has to be done - surely somebody somewhere at Acclaim could have come up with a hard-drive installable version.

Tossing that comment aside, Mortal Kombat 2 is an astounding beat-'em-up that has been lovingly converted from the Megadrive version. Even if you have a casual interest in fighting games, you will want to get your boxing gloves around this, but watch out for that progress-thwarting difficulty level when you play it on your own.

Mortal Kombat 2 is a major improvement over the original, and in the years to come I'm sure it'll be heralded as a classic, only not by me.

Mortal Kombat 2 logo Amiga Format Gold

Steve Bradley and Steve McGill fight to the death in the Games Reviewers' MKII Challenge. Which one will survive to review games in the next issue?

Gruesome. Brutal. Bloodthirsty. Vicious. Murderous. Violent. Maniacal. Ferocious. Fisty. And FUN. Mortal Kombat II is here and Amiga Format are playing it to death. There are 12 characters, each with different moves and skills. Spikes, spears, ice, balls of fire (goodness grac...), energy bolts and snot. Electrocution, acid spit, flesh-slicing fans and decapitating hats.

A certain brouhaha surrounds MKII with its gratuitous violence and rivers of blood but really it's more the stuff of Tom And Jerry than Rambo. Sure, when you impale someone on the ceiling, only to watch him (or her) slowly sludge off the spike and crash to the ground, you might turn your face and shudder but you'll still be grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Mortal Kombat II recognises both one and two-button joysticks/pads to perform the many complex and varied moves, the two-button option is most favourable. It's certainly playable with a one-button contraption, only the moves are more difficult to pick up.

Steeeve Bradley says...
So what makes Mortal Kombat II better than every other Amiga beat-'em-up? The sprites are huge and move with incredible fluidity, although the backgrounds could be neater. And there's a huge number of moves - no way can you survive by frantic waggling and button bashing, and as you develop skills and learn the moves, the better the game gets.

Blood. You want blood? MKII has more of the red stuff than Safeways have tomato ketchup. Add to this, a liberal dose of humour (not the expression on Jax's face when he gets caught middle stump) and you've got yourself the best Amiga beat-'em-up yet.

Before we first loaded the MKII disks, Steve McGill went something like this. Me - "Do you want to review it? I'll review it, I don't mind reviewing it. But you can, if you want."
Him, somewhat skeptical, though polite - "Erm, I don't realy mind reviewing it, but when's Cannon Fodder 2 coming in?"

Twenty minutes Mortal Kombat time later. Me - "Actually, I really don't mind reviewing this at all. Yes, I think I'll do it."
Him - "Are you sure you want to do it. Otherwise, I'll do it. Honestly, I'll do it. I;d really like to do it". So, the democracy that is AF deems that we both get to put our oar in.

The AF office is hardly a hotbed of beat-'em-up genre fans, but when Mortal Kombat II arrived a crowd gathered. Perhaps they wanted to see a funeral; see the mighty Mortal Kombat II die an Amiga death. Instead, they got a wonderfully playable, pugnacious romp, and a significant improvement on the original Mortal Kombat to boot.

Amazingly, these little piles of pixels that represent the characters actually begin to resemble real people after a while. And not only that, you start to empathise with them. The first few games in the AF office were good natured affairs - oh how we laughed when we were punched four feet in the air, blood flying everywhere, and then suddenly, once we'd learned a couple of simple moves, losing wasn't so humorous, the language not so polite. Mortal Kombat II is a fun game that you cannot help but take seriously.

All the characters have basic moves like punch and kick, but when you get to grips with the special manoeuvres, you can kill off an inexperienced human opponent with relative ease. Initially, the characters with easily accessible special moves are most favourable but with perseverance, most can be learnt in minutes. And forgotten minutes later.

Mortal Kombat II is a game with buckets of playability, and a depth of gameplay to match. Tactics play an integral part whether you're morphing into someone else (Shang Tsung) or anticipating a grappling hook on a rope (Scorpion). Canny players (not me, I hasten to add) know when to kick you in the teeth and when to produce a devastating special move.

So what we have is quite simply the best Amiga beat-em-up to date, not only in looks, but in playability terms too. Even if you have beat-'em-ups with a passion, put aside your prejudice and give it a go. You won't be disappointed.

Quite simply the best Amiga beat-em-up to date, not only in looks, but in playability

Tall Scotsman speaks
It came as no surprise that in AF's last survey, beat-'em-ups were the second least popular game types with readers. Mortal Kombat II could change all that. It's a game that's got balls, guts, gore and violence in-extremis. And that's just the superficialities.

Excluding the first Mortal Kombat, the control system is the best you'll find on any Amiga beat-'em-up. With the exception of special moves, the characters' fighting actions are virtually identical to each other with similar ranges and damage.

This means that rather than form a special relationship with any particular character, you're more likely to use the one whose special moves you find easiest to perform. The special moves aren't so easy that they can be accessed every single time, but unlike Streetfighter II, it's not just a matter of wiggling the stick and praying that a move is executed.

To complement the control system, the graphics are even better than the original Mortal Kombat. The digitised frames that make up the fighters are so well animated and put together that the motion almost convinces you that the little people inside the computer are real.

The mass, inertia, momentum and reaction to the blows all add to the atmosphere. And if you want depth, consider the fact that each character beside having their own unique special moves, can defend themselves against their adversaries' special moves. So that each bout against a different opponent requires a different style of fighting.

Back to school
So, after the initial, laughing-so-hard-your-sides-split learning curve is climbed, the serious business of learning the offensive, defensive and counter offensive strategies of your opponent and your player begins.

If that sounds like there's a lot of depth to the game, then you'd be right. If you were to play the game in one-player mode and choose one single character and have that character play against all the other characters plus themselves, you're talking about 144 different bouts.

Now, when you consider that it's going to take all sorts of different strategies, styles and special moves to win these bouts, the diversity of the gameplay is staggering.

And, although I am on the verge of repeating what's been said earlier, the digitised animation adds incalculable believability to the whole spectacle.

When punches connect, heads are thrown back in a whiplash snap. When a character is beaten senseless, but still on their feet, and the message flashes up, Finish Him, the senseless character looks completely punch-drunk. Basically because they are.

Due to the way that we've written the review (there was almost a fight in the office over who was going to write it) I may have repeated some of what Steve already said. But I have got to conclude that this is one of the most entertaining games I've played all year.

Every person you play against develops their own style. So, even if you're having a bout with the same two characters all of the time, it's never going to get boring.

Forget all the crap about violence and dissolution of society and morals and all the other nonsense that gets banded about by the autocratic bureaucrats who want to control people's entertainment. Mortal Kombat II is the computer equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino film - so violent in the extreme that it couldn't be anything other than funny.
Buy it tomorrow.


There are 12 characters in Mortal Kombat II, all with their own special moves and characteristics. Here's an introduction to them all. With a mugshot of each - so you know who you're playing.

Mortal Kombat 2 Nicknamed the Purple Avenger by the AF team. Just like Kitana, Mileena makes here presence known through sheer speed and her graceful deadly moves. Watch out for her Sai Toss, it really bites.
Mortal Kombat 2 A horrible car accident as a child left Jonny permanently brain damaged. Now he thinks he's Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that doesn't stop him from pummelling you with High Snots and Low Snots.
Mortal Kombat 2 A bestial expert blade warrior. Get too close to his Blade Fury and before you can yell Black & Decker, he'll cut you to pieces and leave you looking like the hedgerow clippings from an English country garden.
Mortal Kombat 2 A mystic Zen master from Tunbridge Wells, Rayden can launch himself faster than a speeding bullet. Rayden believes in the Yin Yang harmony of max hurtage while keeping a clean sheet.
Mortal Kombat 2 A leftover from the punk era of the late Seventies, Reptile has perfected the disgusting habit of spitting on people. This time, his salivary globules consist of pure acid. Horrible, but effective. Yeuch!
Mortal Kombat 2 Rumoured to be the illegitimate child of Mr T from the A-Team. Jax is using the platform of MKII to lobby film stars and the public alike into embarrassing his father to admit his parenthood.
Mortal Kombat 2 Despite the warnings that it's incredibly sad for adult males to fancy in-game female characters, prepare to fall in love with the swan-like grace of Kitana. Swoon as she kills you with her elegant Fan Toss.
Mortal Kombat 2 A sinister dangerous bondage freak. Beware the Spear; a lightning quick rope which attaches to fighters' necks holds them and renders them prone. After that he does what he wants.
Mortal Kombat 2 A lost renegade from the BBC's top ballroom dancing show, Come Dancing. Don't let his coquetry fool you for a minute. He's only after one thing. To get you into range to kill you with a Hat Toss.
Mortal Kombat 2 A polymorphous follower of the mysterious Shanky Armitageo cult. Shang believes in the law of Shanky. "Peace through death", "Weakness is the cancer of the world" and "Love thy neighbour's wife."
Mortal Kombat 2 Related to Jackie Chan, Liu figures his appearance in MKII will give him enough exposure to break into film. Meanwhile, gasp in awe as he destroys opponents with his devastating Bicycle Kick.
Mortal Kombat 2 Cold hands, cold heart, cold life. In fact, everything about Subby is cold. So cold that he can freeze opponents into prone status and then hit them with whatever move he chooses to execute.

Mortal Kombat 2 logo Amiga Joker Hit

Acclaims Neue Todeskämpfer starteten am Amiga quasi einen echten Überraschungsangriff, kam die Konvertierung des Arcade-Bestsellers doch ohne das sonst übliche Werbegetrommel angeschlichen - mit gutem Grund...

Weil der Vorgänger bereits auf dem Index steht, wollte man bei der BPS wohl keine schlafende Hunde wecken - oder zumindest einen Vorsprung an der Verkaufsfront haben, ehe auch der mortale Nachfolger aus dem Verkehr gezogen wird.

Und das kann leicht passieren, fließt hier das Blut doch gänzlich ungeniert, während der Vorkämpfer den roten lebenssaft bei vielen Versionen noch in einem geheimen "Blood-Mode" versteckte. Die hier so offen zur Schau gestellte Brutalität bleibt denn auch Geschmackssache, das Gameplay ist jedoch mindestens so gut, wie die Vorgeschichte ungewöhnlich ist:

Auf einer fernen Parallelwelt, der sogenannten "Outworld", schwingt der niederträchtige Shao Khan das Zepter. Und weil ein Widerling auch widerliche Freunde hat, zählen mit Reptile und Shang Tshung die beiden Endgegners des Vorgängers zu seinen Kumpanen. Ihnen zu Ehren wird nun ein Turnier abgehalten, an dem sich noch zehn weitere Kampfhähne beteiligen; sie alle warten am Optionsscreen auf menschliche Solokämpen oder Duellarten.

Der Schlagabtausch geht dann wie gewohnt über maximal drei Runden, wobei der Zufall über den Austragungsort entscheidet - die Fighter gehen sich in Wolkenschlössern, Waffengießereien, Dimensionstoren, Kerkern und Grüselwäldern an die Gurgel. Der Höhepunkt der Veranstaltung sind dann die Kämpfe gegen den vielarmigen Kintaro (ein Verwandter des pensionierten Goro) und natürlich Shao Khan höchstpersönlich.

Altgediente Amiga-Haufdraufs finden eine ausgewogene Mixtur aus bereits bekannten und brandneuen Sparringspartnern, denn von den sieben Recken des Originals haben es fünf auf die Outworld geschafft - eigentlich sogar alle, bloß harren Kano und Sonya in Ketten auf ihre Befreiung am Spielende. Wenn das nicht Ansporn genug ist, dem sei gesagt, daß auch die importierten Schlagetots allesamt mit neuem Outfit und einer Kollektion frischer Special-Moves ausgerüstet in den Ring klettern.

So zeigt Liu Kang nun einen spektakulären Bicycle-Kick, Johnny Cage tritt sein Gegenüber mit Vorliebe in die Weichteile, und Sub-Zero vermag den Boden zu gefrieren, auf daß ihm sein Gegner direkt in die wirbelnden Fäuste rutsche.

Klar wie Blutsuppe, daß die fünf neu dazugekommenen Kämpfer mit vergleichbaren Spezialitäten aufwarten. Die beiden Teufelsweiber Kitana und Milecna setzten sich mit einem Fächer bzw. Sai-Dolch zur Wehr, der Wrestler Jax ist nie ohne Kampfsichel anzutreffen. Kung Lao mißbraucht seinen Hut als messerscharfes Frisbee, und der Mutant Baraka verwandelt die Kampfarena dank Armklingen in eine Schlachtbank.

Und das im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes, denn schon bei stinknormalen Rundumkicks oder Turbo-Tritten spritzt hier das Blut, und nach Anwendung der altbekannten Fatality-Moves (welche durch relative komplexe Joystick-Akrobatik ausgelöst werden) verliert der Feind schon mal ein paar Gliedmaßen, wird aufgespießt oder im Säuretümpel verkocht. Das genaue Gegenteil passiert bei den brandneuen Friendship- und Babality-Moves: Hier kriegt der Unterlegene zum Trost Torten und Blumen oder wird gar in ein Baby verwandelt.

Natürlich bezieht das Spiel seinen Reiz gerade aus dieser faszinierenden Vielzahl von verschiedenen Schlag- und Trittkombinationen, die anfangs gar nicht einfach herauszuknobeln und noch viel schwerer zu beherrschen sind.

Der Könner wird also bis zum Letzten motiviert, der Jungprügler hingegen fast schon ein wenig überfordert: Dank des turboschnellen Gameplays sind sämtliche Computergegner selbst im einfachsten Schwierigkeitsgrad nur mit Mühe zu überwinden.

Andererseits ist die schlichtweg genial gelöste Steuerung stets von großer Hilfe, und wenn alle Arme reißen, gibt es ja noch bis zu 30 Continues.

Ebenfalls sehr motivationssteigernd wirken sich die vielen Gimmicks aus, denn wenn Zuseher aus der Kulisse blinzeln, man einen der Geheimcharaktere oder gar das komplette Geheimszenario entdeckt, bleibt kaum ein Kämpferauge trocken.

Feuchte Augen garantieren aber bereits die stilvoll düsteren Hintergrund-Szenarien, vor denen sich die zunächst gefilmten und dann digitalisierten Akteure hier anfallen. Deren Animation ist zwar gewiß sehenswert, erreicht jedoch, genau wie das generelle Handling, nicht ganz die Klasse der aktuellen Blechkumpel aus "Rise of the Robots".

Die drei Disketten von Mortal Kombat II müssen nämlich selbst mit einem Zweitlaufwerk des öfteren gewechselt werden, und eine HD-Installation hat Acclaim bzw. das Programmierteam von Probe leider gar nicht erst vorgesehen - was angesichts der nicht eben kurzen Ladezeiten schon ärgerlich ist. Beim Sound (viel Musik, viele Effekte und nicht weniger Sprachausgabe) können sich die beiden Programme indessen wenig anhaben, der ist hier wie dort ganz ausgezeichnet.

Mag Mortal Kombat II also auch nicht so schick aussehen wie Mirages Roboteraufstand, so macht es diesen Nachteil mit durchschlagender Spielbarkeit doch locker wieder wett. Das Fazit kann daher gar nicht anders lauten als: Zuschlagen, bevor die BPS es tut! Auch wenn dieser Spruch zugegebenermaßen schon einen Bart von hier bis Asien hat... (rl)

Mortal Kombat 2 logo

A clearly nonsensical title, it is plain to see.

We've been to a preview screening of Stargate. It's a film directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Kurt Russell and James Spader, and it's about this alien played by Jaye Davidson who kidnaps Egyptians and takes them to another planet to mine a special mineral, and it explains how the pyramids were built and everything, and it's professionally made and visually attractive, and it's absolutely terrible. Not at all relevant to Mortal Kombat 2, but we had to drop the story from last month's news pages, so I thought I'd get it in before the film opened officially.

Mortal Kombat 2 is a triumphal conversion. All the characters! All the moves! All the speech! All the secrets! It's just enormously dull, that's all. In the one-player mode, the computer characters have inflexible programmed responses to your moves so a scrap is less a pugilistic challenge than an exercise in whisking through your moves and seeing which one 'fools' your opponent. And even on the toughest difficulty level, computer players still blithely walk into Swordbloke's waving arms and get cut to bits. Buffoons.

The two-player option unsurprisingly plays far better, not least because bouts last longer than 13 seconds, however you are still hampered by the artificially complicated moves. In Shadow Fighter, performing special moves is a relatively invisible task because the programmers have realised the inanity of stringing together a list of illogical joystick movements.

Mortal Kombat 2, of course, relies on such moves for its success. (Or does it? Apparently, top-class MK2 players just bash each other around, because - tellingly - they say there's never enough time to get in a special move).

But to get the moves running on a single-button joystick, the movements are even sillier than before. Particularly stupidly, the method to differentiate between punches and kicks is so unwieldy (it depends on which direction you're moving when you press fire) it may as well be random.

Kidnaps ancient Egyptians

So if you want, for example, to perform a 'friendship' ending, the trick to which is not to punch your opponent during the bout, it's effectively a matter of chance whether you unintentionally biff him as you flail away. And all this despite there being a (clearly redundant) menu option for two-button pads and the original game handling them with no problem.

Playing Mortal Kombat 2 is an empty experience. When you beat your opponent (having dismissed the one-player mode with is devastatingly effective single move nonsense) there's no feeling of success - you've won because you were quicker bashing the fire button.

Your opponent doesn't damn your eyes and swear to beat you next time; you just don't care. And such an impression bodes ill for repeated play. "But practising the special moves is part of the appeal," bellow the appropriate people. But there is no mechanism to practise the special moves; there's no equivalent of Pupazz in Shadow Fighter and you can't even turn off the timer. (And why don't beat-'em-ups allow you to toggle the energy bars, so you can experiment with combinations without prematurely ending the match? Perhaps, because as soon as you;ve discovered all the 'secrets', interest in the game itself plummets, eh?)

Even the trivial faults rankle. For example, if you're slightly too far away to execute an uppercut, the computer player's identical move connects flawlessly. Or because of the bizarre credits system, you can only play 30 two-player bouts before the game ends. Or the fact there's no scoring method beyond showing a player's consecutive wins. Or the way the game doesn't recognise two external drives despite its three disks. Grrrr.

In terms of plain old fun, the Amiga conversion of Mortal Kombat 2 is a step down from the grubby but impressively thought-out original. But both suffer from being tied to coin-op games clearly designed to be over as soon as possible, and that's where Shadow Fighter comes in.

Could it be? Yes it is? Something's coming, something good, very good. Ed Lawrence prepares for...

Mortal Kombat 2 logo CU Amiga Superstar

Price: £29.99 Publisher: Acclaim 071 344 5000

Let's face it, lovely though the Amiga may be, it's the consoles that steal all the limelight when it comes to games. When was the last time the tabloids printed a picture of a trusty A1200 with the caption "Ban this instrument of Satan now"?

Well now all the joys of media persecution are set to hit the Commodore market thanks to the arrival of Acclaim's latest headline-grabbing gorefest Mortal Kombat 2. Sure, this isn;t the first conversion of the title, but it's definitely the closest to the plasma-drenched coin0op so far. But before everyone starts getting all excited, true believers, let's take a little time out to explore the fascinating history of this moral majority-infuriating social phenomenon.

It all began a couple of years ago when Ed Boon, that rarest of beasts (an American with a sense of irony) surveyed the cooin-op market in which he was (and still is) firmly entrenched. Streetfighter 2 had seemingly revolutionised arcades by introducing hordes of cheaply produced and mostly unplayable clones. Ed - we'll be familiar here, he's probably a nice guy - saw a gap in the market for a game with a sense of humour. But not your average Les Dennis comfy sippers type, more the warped pop-culture Bruce Lee-fan humour prevalent in today's youth (that one's for sociology fans).

From this tiny acorn the Mortal Kombat oak was grown, and within a few months, after an abortive attempt at signing Jean-Claude van Damme in the lead 'role', the first Mortal Kombat game was ready for shipping. It was a bit crap, to be honest, but lots and lots of people liked its subtle blend of murder and mutilation, and pretty soon Ed and his pal John Tobias were back in the labs working on a sequel.

This time with the help of feedback from hardened MK vets, the gameplay balance was perfectly adjusted and MK2 vets, the gameplay balance was perfectly adjusted and MK2 went on to justifiably smash the profits set by the original, and ensure itself a revered place in not just the kooky world of games but also in the still kookier outside world, winding up all non-participants.

Probe's conversion of both games to all platforms, coupled with Acclaim's praiseworthy ad campaign(s) ensured a permanent place in the pixel lexicon right up to this latest stage in interactive evolution, the much anticipated Amiga version.

End of lecture
Right that's the lecture out of the way, now for the game. First off, if you haven't got a second floppy drive for your Amiga be prepared to get one, or else you're in for a fair amount of disk swopping. Second off, if you've got a weak heart Mortal Kombat 2. Could very possibly be the death of you.

The graphics are stunning, better than those on the Super Nintendo version any day (and this is coming from a predominantly console journo). The sprites are the right size (very large) and the animation is as fluid as you could possibly hope for.

All the characters have made it into the final cut too, so there's no worries about selecting your favourite. Nor, indeed, are there any worries about fighting your favourite opponents; all three secret hidden scrap merchants are present and correct and waiting to be found. Before you ask, no you can't control them and no, Goro isn't one of them (although he's in Mortal Kombat 3 coin-op out next year, along with Kano and Sonya who also aren't in Mortal 2).

Now you can say all you like about the importance of playability, but if Probe had dropped half the player characters, people's negative reaction would be nowhere near as enraged as if the gore level were dimmed. Luckily for everyone concerned Mortal Kombat 2 is still the most claretthirsty videogame ever to have graced the industry.

Eery last drop of rhesus negative has been lovingly reproduced, along with the famously gut-wrenching Fatalities, the only conceivable motivation for memorising long strings of joystick commands.

Nose tweaking
If you're not psychotically inclined, the appearance of Friendships and Babalities may be more up your street. Babalities allow you to transform your opponent into a helpless babe-in-arms, with Bareka looking especially cute (if you're into fangs).

Friendships, though, are the real stars of Mortal 2. Invented as another ironic device to thumb the Mortal nose at technophobic agitators and scapegoaters Friendships see the two foes settle their differences amicably with the presentation of a cake, a little disco dance, an autographed portrait or even a swift introduction to the family, depending on which character you're playing.

If you yourself are a bit of a conscientious objector, right now you're probably thinking "Is this all there is to it? Just senseless violence, gore and mickey-taking? What about art?". Well hold that sentiment right there hep cats, for Mortal Kombat 2 isn't just the most notorious game in the world, it's also one of the most diligently crafted.

There's no way you can win a single round with the old repeated-flying-kick tactic, it takes skill and at least a working knowledge of your character's capabilities.

Amiga Mortal Kombat 2 is the hardest version yet, harder than the original in fact, and this may be off-putting to less experienced players (younger ones shouldn't be playing it anyway - it's 15 rated). But stick with it, or practice against a dummy opponent in two player mode, and you'll soon reap results. The satisfaction gained from whupping your third or fourth opponent and knowing exactly how you did it is surprisingly great.

Mild mannered janitor
It might sound a bit sad but this game really does inspire a minor level of fanaticism in even the most mild-mannered of players. Soon your friends will be asking you to explain your strange new vocabulary of phrases like "four-hit dizzy reversal combo" and suchlike, and you won't even care.

In fact, you'll probably just demonstrate the (supposedly unblockable) string of attacks in question and then sit back with a smug grin on your face as your pals wrestle each other for the joystick.

This version is bound to let loose the green-eyed monster upon the console community and keep Amiga-owners happy forever (nearly). It doesn't matter what sort of thing you're normally into, it doesn't matter if you've never played an arcade game in yoru life, it doesn't matter if your collection consist solely of text-only RPGs, every person who owns an Amiga has to own Mortal Kombat 2.

In terms of revitalising the Amiga market this is far more important than any Commodore buy-out could ever be. If this all sounds a bit feverish and raving it's because, to put it bluntly, it is Mortal Kombat 2 really is that good.


As you may have noticed, standard Amiga joysticks are rather lacking in their button capabilities (thanks to ancient Atari standardisation) when compared to their arcade and console counterparts. Obviously this makes it a bit harder to get used to controlling your kombatant unless you're blessed with a multi-button job. All the special moves are very much in, but they're perfromed in very slightly different ways, which actually make them easier to pull off than they were previously. If you're a real fiend for the arcade machine you may require a little control orientation, but once you've read the instructions through this shouldn't pose any real difficulties.