Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
|Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3|
Promotional flier for the arcade version
|Distribution||ROM cartridge, CD-ROM, DVD, download|
|Arcade system||Midway Wolf Unit|
|Sound||ADSP2150 MDC System|
|Display||Raster resolution 400 x 254 (horizontal), palette colors 32768|
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3) is a fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series, originally developed and released by Midway Games to arcades in 1995. It is an update of 1995's earlier Mortal Kombat 3 (MK3), featuring tweaked gameplay, additional characters and new in-game environments.
Several home versions of the game were soon released after the arcade original, although none were completely identical to the arcade version. More recent home versions emulated the arcade original with more accuracy, including Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, which included the game alongside its predecessors Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat. Some versions were released under different titles: Mortal Kombat Advance for the Game Boy Advance and Ultimate Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS. The iPhone/iPod version features 3D graphics.
The game was well received and has been considered a high point for the Mortal Kombat series. It was later updated to include more content from previous games in the series as part of the console exclusive Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
Several characters absent from Mortal Kombat 3 return in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, including Kitana, Jade, Reptile and Scorpion on the prototype version; new Ultimate Kombat Code added in revision 1.0 to enable Mileena, Ermac and Classic Sub-Zero as secret characters. Two new gameplay modes were introduced: the 2-on-2 mode which was similar to an Endurance match but with human players on both sides, and a new eight-player Tournament mode.
Several miscellaneous features were added to and changed in UMK3. The original red portal background used for the "Choose Your Destiny" screen is now replaced with Blue Portal and an extra Master difficulty is added as well. In the additional "Master" difficulty setting, Endurance Matches return, in which the player can face as many as three opponents in a given round; these were not seen since the first Mortal Kombat. Shao Kahn's Lost Treasures - selectable prizes, some are extra fights, others lead to various cutscenes or other things - are introduced after either the main game or the 8-player tournament are completed. There are also now character announcements when Shang Tsung transforms.
To balance the gameplay, some characters were given new moves and some character moves were altered. Some characters were given extra combos and some combos were even damage reduced. Chain combos could be started by using a jump punch (vertical or angled) or a vertical jump kick, which creates more comboing opportunities. Combos that knock opponents in the air would no longer send one's opponent to the level above in multi layered levels (only regular uppercuts would be allowed for this).
The CPU-controlled enemy AI was improved in the game. However, three new flaws were introduced along with the revisions: while backflipping away from an opponent, if the player performs a jump kick, the CPU will always throw a projectile; this leaves the CPU vulnerable to some attacks and can easily lead into a devastating combo. If the player walks back-and-forth within a certain range of the AI's chosen character, the CPU will mimic the player's walking movements for the whole round and never attack. If the AI was cornered, the player can repeatedly perform punches without the AI stumbling back, thus creating an opportunity to get a free win.
UMK3 features several new backgrounds: Scorpion's Lair/Hell (this stage also contains a new Stage Fatality, where the opponent is uppercutted into a river of lava); Jade's Desert (in a reference to his MK3 ending, Cyrax is seen stuck waist-deep in sand in the background); River Kombat/The Waterfront; Kahn's Kave/The Cavern; Blue Portal/Lost (a combination of the background from the UMK3 "choose your destiny" screen, The Pit 3 bridge, and the mountains and bridge from The Pit II in MKII); Noob's Dorfen (based off The Balcony stage, which can now be played using a Kombat Kode unlike having to fight Noob to see it like in MK3). Before reaching any of the original MK3 backgrounds in 1 or 2-player mode, the game must cycle through all of the UMK3 exclusive backgrounds twice. Scorpion's Lair, Secret Cave and Abandoned River stages are selectable by using a password while on the missing Bank Stage cycle. In some of the Kombat Zones where a character can be uppercutted into different backgrounds: The River, Jade's Desert and Scorpion's Lair → Kahn's Kave.
Some elements from MK3 are missing in UMK3. The only biographies featured are these of Kitana, Jade, Scorpion and Reptile (the ninja characters who were not included in MK3, but were added to the lineup for this release), which is only all four available during attract mode, while all of the biographies and the full-body portraits of the MK3 characters are missing. The biographies that are featured use their Versus screen portrait, with text, on the portal/battleplan background. All of the character endings show each character's versus screen picture accompanied by text, instead of using original art as MK3 did. The storyline intro pictures and accompanying text are never shown. Finally, The Bank and Hidden Portal stages from MK3 were removed (Jade's Desert serves as a placeholder where The Bank stage used to appear once the player reaches the original MK3 level cycle).
The arcade version features all playable characters are all returning from Mortal Kombat 3: Cyrax (Sal Divita), Liu Kang (Eddie Wong), Kabal (Richard Divizio), Kano (Richard Divizio), Kung Lao (Tony Marquez), Stryker (Michael O'Brien), Jax Briggs (John Parrish), Nightwolf (Sal Divita), Sektor (Sal Divita), Shang Tsung (John Turk), Sheeva (stop motion) (not available in Genesis and SNES versions), Sindel (Lia Montelongo), Smoke (Sal Divita), Sonya Blade (Kerri Hoskins) and Sub-Zero (John Turk). The boss and sub-boss from MK3, Motaro (stop motion) and Shao Kahn (Brian Glynn, voiced by Steve Ritchie), also return.
There are four additional characters that are playable from the start: Jade (Becky Gable), Kitana (Becky Gable), Reptile (John Turk) and Scorpion (John Turk). Three more are unlockable characters (players can access characters via Ultimate Kombat Kode): Classic Sub-Zero (John Turk), Ermac (John Turk) and Mileena (Becky Gable). Returning characters were greeted by critics as an improvement the "lackluster roster" of MK3 with "the greatly missed" Kitana, Mileena, Reptile, and especially Scorpion. The female ninja characters (Mileena, Kitana and Jade), returning from Mortal Kombat II, were portrayed by a different actress, Becky Gable, due to the lawsuit issued by Katalin Zamiar and some of the other MKII actors against Midway; they were also given a different set of outfits and hairstyles, but again identical for all of them (in the game there are just three palette swap character models for male, female and robot ninjas, not counting the MK3 Sub-Zero but including Classic Sub-Zero).
There are also two new hidden opponents and console exclusives: Noob Saibot (John Turk) and Rain (John Turk). Although Noob Saibot was featured in the original MK3, he is no longer a palette swap of Kano but that of a ninja; like before, he is fought via Kombat Kode. Rain is featured in the game's opening montage (except on the Sega Saturn), but he is actually a fake hidden character that is not found in the arcade game, being playable only on the 16-bit console versions where Noob Saibot and Rain are playable, although Sheeva is not present and the boss characters Motaro and Shao Kahn are selectable via a cheat code menu.
Like most Mortal Kombat games of its time, this one made its debut in the arcades. It was ported to many home consoles with varying results. In 2008, Ed Boon stated that UMK3 is his favorite 2D Mortal Kombat title.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Wave Net was a rare network version of the game that allowed for online multiplayer matches. It was tested only in the Chicago and San Francisco areas that used a dedicated T1 line, connected directly to Midway's Chicago headquarters; many people outside the test area were not aware of its existence during its release. One store kept the T1 line installed after the test concluded, but eventually removed the Wave Net game in favor of a Golden Tee game that uses a dial-up connection. It is highly unlikely that any Wave Net test games were ever released to the public after the infrastructure was dismantled, and so there are no known ROM image dumps of this version. One of the reasons this version was not widely adopted was the rarity and cost of T1 lines at the time. The game was released before alternative broadband access was available. At the time, a T1 was the only guaranteed way to get broadband into an arcade, but the game did not utilize the full bandwidth of the T1. Midway subsidized the cost of the line during the tests to make it more attractive to the arcade owners.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was later released for a variety of home systems, including stationary (SNES, Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn) and mobile consoles (Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS) consoles, the Xbox Live Arcade, and iOS-based mobile devices and mobile phones. The game was also bundled with Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the PlayStation 2 and was included in compilation release Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection for the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
The developers and publishers of the various releases included Acclaim Entertainment, Avalanche Software, Electronic Arts, Eurocom, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Williams Entertainment. The later versions usually feature online play and other improvements over the arcade version, and in some cases even 3D graphics.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was well received, especially its version for the Sega Saturn, which as of 2013 holds an averaged rating of 82.07% at Game Rankings. Sega Saturn Magazine gave it 91% (preview) and five stars (review), stating that while it could not rival the 3D fighting games for graphics, "for sheer gameplay, it doesn't get much better than this." VideoGames rated it a review score of 8/10, calling it "simply a great game" and stating that "if there was ever a definitive MK game, this is it."
The SNES version was nominated for Nintendo Power Awards '96 in the category "Best Tournament Fighting Game". GameSpot's "Best and Worst of 2006" included the XBLA version among the five best fighting game of the year.
On the other hand, Mortal Kombat Advance, for the Game Boy Advance, was widely panned by critics and fans alike. Some players complained that the CPU difficulty had increased dramatically from UMK3, with computer opponents executing excessively long and difficult combos, along with poor controls. MKA was given a review score of 2.9 by GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann for how it "plays little to nothing like the game it's based on," and currently has a rating of only 34% at Game Rankings. Electronic Gaming Monthly editor Dan Hsu gave the game the first "0" rating in the magazine's history, and it tied with three other titles for the "Flat-out Worst Game" award by GameSpot in 2002.
However, Ultimate Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS was better received. It was given a review score of 7.8 out of 10 from IGN's Greg Miller, who wrote that "if all you want is a really solid, fun version of Mortal Kombat 3 that can go online, that's what you're going to get. It's good stuff all around."
Mortal Kombat Trilogy (MKT) was released by Midway in 1996 as a follow-up to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Unlike UMK3, Trilogy was not released in arcades but was instead released for PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and PC, as well as for the Game.com and R-Zone. Trilogy features the same gameplay and story, but adds several completely new characters and introduces new features such the "Aggressor" bar, a meter that fills during the course of the match and temporarily makes a player character faster and stronger, and the Brutality finishing moves that were introduced in the 16-bit versions of UMK3.
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- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (arcade) at GameFAQs
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 - The Mortal Kombat Wiki
- UMK3 at Mortal Kombat Online