Mortal Kombat: Special Forces

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Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
Mortal Kombat Special Forces.jpg
Developer(s) Midway Games
Publisher(s) Midway Games
Producer(s) Michael Gottlieb
Designer(s) Richard Ho
Carlos Pesina
Herman Sanchez
Programmer(s) John Walsh
Jonathan Murfey
Daniel Markham
Composer(s) Dan Forden
Series Mortal Kombat
Platform(s) PlayStation
Release date(s)
  • NA June 30, 2000
  • EU September 29, 2000
Genre(s) Action-adventure, beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD-ROM

Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is a 3D action game developed and released by Midway Games for the PlayStation in 2000. The game stars the character Jackson "Jax" Briggs from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Plot[edit]

Special Forces is chronologically the first game in the Mortal Kombat storyline, as its events take place even before Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. The story of the game involves Kano freeing his gang, the Black Dragon (Tasia, Tremor, No Face and Jarek) from a maximum security prison and Jax, seeking revenge for the slaughter of his Special Forces comrades at the hands of the Black Dragon, undertakes a mission to stop them from retrieving an artifact of great power, the Eye of Chitian. The true power of the artifact is shown in the ending that it can open portals to other realms when Jax uses the artifact to teleport himself and Kano back to Earthrealm after defeating him.

Special Forces-only characters[edit]

  • Gemini is Jax's base operative, relaying information and messages to him from headquarters. The two share a friendship, and Gemini worries excessively about Jax. Operating over radio only, she is never seen in-game.
  • No Face is a member of the Black Dragon organization led by Kano, who freed him from a high-security prison. He is described as only having knowledge of explosive devices, he wears sticks of dynamites strapped to his chest and uses a flame thrower as a weapon. He has no nose, ears, hair and a pale complexion, based on his name.
  • Tasia is an expert swordswoman and deadly ninja master who is a member of Kano's Black Dragon organization.[2] Like Tremor, No Face and Jarek, Kano freed her from a high-security prison. She wields two ninjatō swords and has an ability to teleport.
  • Tremor appeared as a muscular brown ninja who escaped from custody during a prison break orchestrated by Kano, to whom he is described as being blindly loyal.[2] He is a boss for one level, guarding a portal to Outworld. He has the ability to pound the ground with his fist to create earthquakes (similar to Jax) and shoots out three-dimensional fireballs. Tremor was originally planned to be in Mortal Kombat Trilogy at one point, but was replaced with Rain, who had already appeared in the 16-bit console versions of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.[3]

Development[edit]

This was the second Mortal Kombat game developed by Midway that was more of a platformer than a fighting game, after having tested the waters with Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero in 1997. Series co-creator John Tobias intended to work on a series of platform games to expand the Mortal Kombat universe, including titles centering around Baraka and Liu Kang; only the latter was actually released by Midway (2005's Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks) despite having sat on the drawing board for many years.

Although Special Forces was only released on the PlayStation, it was also supposed to be released both on the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast, as evidenced by an IGN interview with John Tobias.[4] Many of Midway Games staff, including Tobias, left the company in 2000 for various reasons while the game was still in production. The plot of Special Forces (which originally included Sonya Blade) was greatly revised following Tobias's departure and the game was rushed to completion. Ed Boon later recalled: "I [didn't] work on Special Forces. The game & project were riddled with all kinds of problems. I could write a book on that. :("[5]

Reception[edit]

Of all the Mortal Kombat games, Special Forces is considered by many to be the worst.[6] As of 2014, it has a very low averaged review score of only 28/100 at Metacritic, including ratings of 2.1/10 from GameSpot and 3/10 from IGN.[7] Its sales were so low that Midway placed the series on hold in preparation for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002). Ed Boon himself stated: "The game had a pretty bumpy development ride and the game didn't turn out very good at all."[8]

In 2011, GamesRadar ranked it as the second most absurd Mortal Kombat offshoot (behind only Mortal Kombat: Live Tour).[9] In 2013, they also ranked it as the 41st worst game ever made.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mortal Kombat Special Forces for PS - Mortal Kombat Special Forces PlayStation - Mortal Kombat Special Forces PS Game". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b Mortal Kombat: Special Forces instruction booklet. Midway Games, 2000.
  3. ^ "Mortal Kombat Trilogy - In Development". Mortal Kombat Secrets. Archived from the original on December 11, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  4. ^ "Interview: MK Special Forces". 1999-02-05. Archived from the original on 1999-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  5. ^ https://twitter.com/noobde/status/10380817871
  6. ^ "The Convoluted, Blood-Spattered History of Mortal Kombat (Infographic)". GameFront. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Special Forces for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  8. ^ Walk, Gary (2008-11-17). "Interview: Ed Boon on the Ups and Downs of the Mortal Kombat Franchise". GameDaily. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  9. ^ Chris Antista, The Top 7… Most absurd Mortal Kombat offshoots, GamesRadar, April 12, 2011
  10. ^ "The 50 worst games of all time". GamesRadar. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 

External links[edit]