Mortal Kombat Trilogy is a fighting game released by Midway in 1996 as the second update to Mortal Kombat 3 (the first being Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and PCs. Further versions were also released for the Game.com and R-Zone. It features a similar basic gameplay system and the same story as Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but adds characters and stages restored from Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II. New additions to the game included the 'Aggressor' bar, and a new finishing move called Brutality, a long combination of attacks that ends with the opponent exploding. The game was met with mixed reviews upon release.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy introduces the Aggressor bar, which fills as the combatants fight (twice as much if the opponent is blocking). Once the bar is filled, it grants the character fast movement and greater attack damage for a short period of time.
Many characters gained additional special moves. Some were simple edits of existing moves (such as Stryker throwing two grenades instead of one), while others were unused animations never implemented in their intended previous games. These special moves included MK1 Kano's Knife Spin move, MKII Kung Lao's Air Torpedo, Goro's Spinning Punch move, Raiden's Lightning that shoots from behind the opponent, and Baraka's Blade Spin move. Additionally, Shao Kahn gained a throw and grab-and-punch move, and Motaro gained a proper throw move. Sub-Zero's famous 'Spine Rip' Fatality reappears in the game but is completely censored, as the screen blacks out with only the 'Fatality' text visible. This was due to avoid having to re-animate the fatality for this game.
Trilogy adds the 'Brutality' finishing move, which requires the player to perform an 11-button combo in order to rapidly beat on their opponent until they explode (Brutalities had been previously featured in the Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES ports of UMK3). All of the arenas that featured a Stage Fatality are featured in this game, except for the one in the Pit II, for similar reasons to the 'Spine Rip' Fatality.
All of the battle arenas that were featured in MKII, MK3, and UMK3 are available in MKT, but only four backgrounds from the original Mortal Kombat are featured (Courtyard, Goro's Lair, the Pit, and the Pit Bottom). The PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn versions lack The Hidden Portal and Noob's Dorfen stages from MK3, while the Nintendo 64 version lacks Kahn's Arena and the Bank from MKII and MK3, respectively.
Along with the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 roster, Trilogy adds Raiden and Baraka exactly as they appeared in Mortal Kombat II, with added running animations especially created for MK Trilogy, the actors of both characters were Carlos Pesina as Raiden (except for one sprite, which was portrayed by Sal Divita, who portrayed Sektor, Cyrax, Cyborg Smoke and Nightwolf), and Richard Divizio as Baraka (which also portrayed Kano and Kabal, including Noob Saibot only in MK3), respectively. Johnny Cage was also added to the roster, this time portrayed by Chris Alexander (replacing Daniel Pesina, Carlos' brother, who was legally at odds with Midway), making him the only character exclusive to this version of the game. He kept his moves from MKII except for the Split Punch, which was excluded since none of the characters from MK3/UMK3 had graphics for getting hit in the groin. Bosses Goro, Kintaro, Motaro and Shao Kahn are also playable characters from the start (except for the Nintendo 64 version, where only Motaro and Shao Kahn are included and must be unlocked via a cheat menu). The PC, PlayStation and Saturn versions also contain alternate versions of Jax, Kung Lao, Kano and Raiden as they appeared in the first two titles. Contrarily to MKII Raiden and Baraka, these versions of the characters did not get proper running animations and just feature a sped-up version of their walk animation when they try to run.
Two new secret characters appear as well, depending on the version of the game. Most versions have Chameleon, a semi-transparent ninja who rapidly switches between all the other male ninjas (Classic Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Noob Saibot, Human Smoke, Rain, Reptile, and Ermac) during combat, portrayed by John Turk (who also portrayed unmasked Sub-Zero and Shang Tsung). This character is playable by performing a special button combination. The Nintendo 64 version replaced him with a female character named Khameleon, who switches between the female ninjas instead (Kitana, Mileena, and Jade), portrayed by Becky Gable.
The developers intended to include Tremor (a ninja with a brown suit and earthquake powers, portrayed by John Turk) in the game. However, this character was scrapped, and appeared later in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces.
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