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Mortal Kombat 1 (1992) The Arcade Version


In 1992 Mortal Kombat changed the world of video gaming forever. The use of digitalized actors, compelling characters, and gruesome graphic effects, all help to create the phenomena, that took arcades by storm.

Screen Information

screen type: raster
screen orientation: horizontal
screen aspect: 4 x 3
resolution x: 400 pixels
resolution y: 254 pixels
colors used: 32768
video frequency: 53.20 Hz

Input Information

number of players: 2
control: joy8way
number of buttons: 5
number of coin slots: 4
tilt: yes
service: yes


TMS34010: 6.250 MHz (cpu)
M6809: 2.000 MHz (cpu)
YM2151: 3.580 MHz (audio)
DAC: 0.000 MHz (audio)
MSM6295: 0.008 MHz (audio)


  • In the first releases of the game, toggle switches were added at the backs of the dedicated boxes that did nothing. They were added to appease concerned operators or parental groups that there was a "blood" mode and a "less bloody" mode.
  • The heads used in the spike pit are actually those of the programmers themselves!
  • The statue of Buddha in the background of the Palace Gates stage was actually a lawn ornament from a neighbor's yard.


Revision 0.9:

  • Prototype version

Revision 1.0:

  • First official release of Mortal Kombat
  • In a two player game, both players could not choose the same character
  • Liu Kang had Uppercut - Flying Kick Combo

Revision 2.0:

  • Both players could choose the same character
  • New Shang Tsung death animation added
  • Merchandise promo added
  • More blood added

Revision 3.0:

  • Computer Intelligence increased
  • Reptile added

Revision 4.0:

  • Reptile clues added (shadows on moon)
  • Sonya and Kano could fight Reptile
  • Block allowed during fatality
  • Goro's theme played during all Endurance rounds

Revision 4.0: (T-Unit)

  • Hardware change (T-Unit)
  • "ERMACS" removed from Game Audits

Revision 5.0: (T-Unit)

  • Bug fix release.
  • No points bonus for The Pit fatality.

Proto 9.0:

  • Proto 9.0 is an earlier version of MK, it really is a Midway version. It runs on the original board (not the t-unit) and is pretty similar to version 1.0
  • All of the moves, fatalities, and endings are in there
  • You can do the multiple corner uppercut trick
  • Goro is hard to knock down (an uppercut won't do it)
  • Some small glitches here and there
  • Mirror matches use the exact same character (no "darkened" character)

Yawdim Bootleg:

  • An early version of the game.
  • Contains different sound effects.

Hacked Revisions

Kombo / Turbo 3.1:

  • Mortal Kombat I 3.1 Turbo/Kombo board: Take Mortal Kombat and kick up the speed; then tweak the game play for more juggling and you have this game
  • Sub-Zero's levitating freeze (freeze the opponent and they float to the top of the screen - devastating combo possibilities)

  • Reptile comes out to fight more readily (see the picture - note that Scorpion didn't get a flawless victory and this isn't the pit stage)

  • The Kombo board brings the speed up to MK2 standards
  • The board can be converted back, all you have to do is remove the daughterboard and one rom and replace them with the standard roms
  • MK version ROMs go in sockets U89 and U105 and these are the sockets that the Kombo version uses
  • The Kombo version is based on version 3.0 (the test screen calls it 3.1 Turbo)
  • The small PCB holds the second rom, a clock crystal, and a PAL chip (which is likely for copy protection)

Nifty Kombo:

  • Nifty Kombo is probably the earlier version of the Kombo release
  • The freeze-levitate doesn't raise the characters to the ceiling (just about an inch or so)
  • Goro is *really* hard -- he's like in the early versions of MK (like 1.0) where an uppercut won't knock him off of his feet
  • Turbo 3.1 is the one to have, then Nifty just to be complete
  • Different writing on the screen in the attract mode


Mortal Kombat 1 Arcade Flyer Mortal Kombat 1 Arcade Flyer