There’s a game ebook bundle going on at StoryBundle, with a collection of posts from Set Side B on it! But more than that, it has books on Mortal Kombat by David Craddock, books on beat-em-ups and horror games from Hardcore Gaming 101, on early arcade history from Andrea Contato, and books from Boss Fight Games on Parappa the Rapper, Goldeneye 007 and Minesweeper! It’s got just five days remaining.
You can get all 10 books for $25! It’s gone up lately but it’s still really worth it! All of the books have no DRM and can be read in most any reader, including Amazon devices! They can read EPUBs now! At last finally surprisingly at this late date!
StoryBundle is a wonder, they always present so much interesting stuff. I’m rather surprised they keep asking me back, so I try to make my own weird little contributions to it worth your while.
You remember Mortal Kombat from the 90s, right? The dark grim grimdarkness, the gore, the Congress-dismaying Fatality moves. Maybe you’re too young for that, but I’m sure you had to have absorbed it from (airy gesture) the culture. Midway may be long gone but they’re still making Mortal Kombat games, after all.
A lesser known aspect to the series is, starting with MK2, in addition to the gory over-the-top Fatality moves, they included alternate forms of them. There were Animality (where the character turns into an animal), Babality (where the opponent is turned into an infant) and, most entertainingly, Friendship moves, where the victorious character does something endearingly silly for the player’s amusement.
Because Friendship moves are humorous and whimsical, many thought they didn’t fit in with all the, you know, grimness of the Mortal Kombat series. But the Friendship moves are back in Mortal Kombat 11’s “Aftermath” expansion! deathmule posted a compilation video of all of them, and every one of them is terrific. See for yourself!
Blogfriend David Craddock has an article up at Ars Technica about the drama that went down back in the days when Mortal Kombat was a big hit of the arcade scene, and people schemed to make careers off of it. Even though it took in a lot of quarters pretty quickly and spawned several arcade sequels, it wasn’t the institution it was today. When it hit it big, the actors whose digital likenesses appeared in the game sued for royalties not received due to the sale of home versions of Mortal Kombat on the SNES and Genesis.
It’s an excellent article. David really did his research on this one! The end result is, most of the actors settled, but one, Dan Pesina, still claims to this day to have “co-created” the game, which seems ludicrous. It seems to me weird to keep at that in this era, with Midway long gone and the rights having moved to Warner Bros., but then, I have no stake in the matter? Ah well.
The news about this broke some time ago, but Set Side B is only a few months old at the moment and we weren’t around then. It’s still worth mentioning though!
Ed Boon put secret codes in a number of his games to allow him to check on individual machines while out in the public. He revealed his code for Mortal Kombat II some time back, which is listed on The Cutting Room Floor. The code is entered entirely with the 1P and 2P Block buttons: P1 Block 5 times, P2 Block 10 times, P1 Block 2 times, P2 Block 8 times, and P1 Block 2 times. The timing is tight, so keep trying.
One way to remember part of the code is in the menu’s name, the EJB Menu. The E and B of that stand for Ed Boon. E is the 5th letter of the alphabet, J is the 10th, and B is the second, and those are the number of button pressed needed for the first three parts of the code.. The whole code would thus be EJBHB. Using initials as part of a code seems to have been part of the culture at Bally and Williams at the time. A number of pinball games have hidden displays that can be called up from attract mode if you press buttons as if you were entering a developer’s initials in the high score screen.
The EJB menu offers a lot of information on how a machine has been performing on location! It’s much like the operator’s menu, but with even more options! You can even call up the ending for any character, would certainly would have made any kid who knew that code back then the star of the arcade.
Of particular note is, a couple of the items in the menus are red herrings. The developers loved taunting kids by putting fake hidden features in the operator menus. “Shawn Attacks” is one of them (there is no character called Shawn in the game); “Kano Transformations” is another (Kano is not playable in MKII).
Other EJB menu codes:
Mortal Kombat 1, it’s 1PB x 5, 2PB x`10, 1PB x 2, 2PB once, 1PB x 2, 2 PB x 3, then 1 PB x 4. The page notes that, converted to letters, this code would be EJBABCD.
In Mortal Kombat 3, it’s 1PB x 5, 2PB x 10, 1PB x 3 (it’s EJC this time!), then 2PB once, 1PB x 2, 2PB x 2, 1PB x 3, and 2PB x 3. EJCABBCC. This code also works in Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate.
The Cutting Room Floor does not list a EJB code for Mortal Kombat 4. Smash T.V. does have a code for a developer’s menu.