Mortal Kombat Gold
|Mortal Kombat Gold|
North American Dreamcast cover art
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Mortal Kombat Gold is a 1999 fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series that was released exclusively on the Sega Dreamcast as a launch title. It is an updated version of 1997's Mortal Kombat 4 and was the first game to appear on a sixth-generation platform as well as the only Mortal Kombat game to be released for the Dreamcast console. Critical reaction was mostly average due to the graphics being inferior to the arcade version, the weapons deemed boring or useless, and game-breaking bugs and glitches.
Mortal Kombat Gold's gameplay is largely based on that of Mortal Kombat 4 and includes several additional characters and stages not seen in Mortal Kombat 4, as well as a new weapon selection mechanism. A second revision of the game, Hot New, was released about a month after the initial release, intending to address some of the major issues in it. This version fixed the most severe bugs and glitches in the game and added the VMU memory card support, which allowed the save feature to function properly.
Mortal Kombat Gold features the same character roster from Mortal Kombat 4, which includes Liu Kang, Jax Briggs, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Reiko, Jarek, Raiden, Tanya, Scorpion, Kai, Reptile, Fujin, Shinnok, Quan Chi, sub-boss Goro, and the secret characters Noob Saibot and Meat. In addition, Gold also features six additional characters, Kitana, Mileena, Cyrax, Kung Lao, Baraka and secret character Sektor, who were not featured in any version of Mortal Kombat 4 but had been featured in previous installments of the franchise.
Although the game's storyline is identical to that of Mortal Kombat 4, the official strategy guide for the game misprinted unused bios for the six new returning characters, causing some confusion among fans. Among these were:
- Baraka dying at the hands of Kung Lao and being revived, hence the scar and metal staples on his body. This was retconned as his surviving Kung Lao's attack, as stated in an unlockable photo of his and Mileena's Mortal Kombat Gold character renders in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
- Kitana being the only survivor after Shinnok's invasion of her homeworld slaughtered the rest of her family, including Sindel.
- Mileena coming out of hiding during Shinnok's invasion and using it as her chance to take revenge on Kitana.
- Cyrax being rescued by Special Forces agents Jax and Sonya and reprogrammed to fight against Shinnok. Cyrax's story in Mortal Kombat Gold described him as being recovered by the Lin Kuei from the desert, but then later seeking out the help of the Outer World Investigation Agency with the intention of restoring his humanity. However, the Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance retcons this, foregoing the Lin Kuei completely and simply having the Outer World Investigation Agency recover Cyrax from the desert.
Development and release
Belokk was a character thought to have been in the game and accessible by cheat code, but was actually omitted from the finished version. However, the developer of the game, Eurocom, accidentally sent information about the game with Belokk in it to Game Informer, and as a result, six screenshots of him were leaked to the public. Ed Boon stated that the character did not make it into the final game because the developers did not have time to finish him. Boon did actually consider Mortal Kombat Gold also for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and PC, but there was not enough time for this. The revised version was released on a disc tinted red, as opposed to the original's gold tint, with a green sticker saying "Hot! New!" placed on the instruction manual cover.
Mortal Kombat Gold received an averaged review score of only 54.97% at GameRankings. Despite having the graphics that were the most faithful to the arcade version of all the home versions of Mortal Kombat 4, Game Revolution rated it a D and commented that "the graphics are inexcusably horrible" and "it's quite a depressing let-down on Sega's 128-bit masterpiece, especially when compared to Soulcalibur." The weapons that characters can use during the game were called "dull and uninteresting", often having little relation to the characters, and being "either a sword, axe, or club". IGN was less negative toward the game, awarding it a 6.3 out of 10, but was particularly critical regarding the weapon system: "Readying your weapon is a slow process in which one can be hit any number of times during the attempt". Although IGN commented on the improvements from previous Mortal Kombat games, the lack of depth was considered inexcusable. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot, who gave the game a score of 5.0/10, wrote that "sitting down and playing MK Gold almost feels like a retrogaming experience - you really feel as though you've pulled out some old game that you haven't played in years - and it hasn't aged gracefully."
- "Mortal Kombat Gold". Whip Ass Gaming. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
- "Revised Mortal Kombat Gold in Stores Now!". The Realm of Mortal Kombat. October 11, 1999. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
- "Mortal Kombat Gold article". Whipass Gaming. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Cain, Joe (1999). Mortal Kombat Gold: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 0-7615-2329-4.
- "Baraka has metal staples holding the two halves of his body together. Apparently he recovered from Kung Lao's fatality." The Krypt – MK Gold: Baraka and Mileena. Mortal Kombat: Deception, Midway Games, 2004.
- "Cyrax is finally rescued from his desert prison by the Lin Kuei." Cyrax's Bio. Mortal Kombat Gold, Eurocom, 1999.
- "Cyrax had no further instructions and shut down in a barren desert. He was recovered by Special Forces agents Sonya Blade and Jackson Briggs." Cyrax's Konquest Mode Text. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Midway Games, 2002.
- Eurocom (1999-07-09). "Mortal Kombat Gold Interview" (Interview). Interviewed by GameSpot.
- "Belokk Misses the Cut". The Realm of Mortal Kombat. 1999-08-04. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
- "MortalKombat.Com's Fight Night 1999". Mortal Kombat Online. 1999-08-25. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
- "Mortal Kombat Gold for Dreamcast". GameRankings. 1999-08-31. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "Mortal Kombat Gold review". Game Revolution. 1999. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
- "Mortal Kombat Gold review". IGN. October 8, 1999. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
- "videogames.com: Mortal Kombat Gold Review". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on June 29, 2001. Retrieved 2013-10-03.