Mortal Kombat (Game)

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Mortal Kombat is an arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway in 1992 and thanks to the digitalized graphics and bloody violence (with his FATALITIES) and the reason that they created ESRB.



Abbreviation key for attacks and commands in all character guides:

F = Forward
B = Back
D = Down
U = Up
LP = Low Punch
LK = Low Kick
HP = High Punch
HK = High Kick
BL = Block
JK = Jump Kick
JP = Jump Punch
SHK = Standing HK
SLK = Standing LK
RH = Roundhouse
aa = Anti Air
TP = Teleport Punch
Inf = Infinite
otg = Off/on the Ground
gc = Glitch cancel


Blocking in MK is different from virtually every fighting game. Obviously, there is a button for block, rather than holding back, which eliminates the need for proximity blocking entirely, and you can buffer moves easily while blocking. A not so obvious concept about blocking in MK is frame update. Character sprites are behind by one tick in MK, so you can block things upon the frame they connect. There is a similar concept in SFA3 called "Blue Blocking" which your character turns blue and it takes away less guard stun meter.

You can essentially Blue Block sweeps and low hitting attacks in MK by tapping D+BL on or just before the frame the sweep will connect, and your character will not have to duck, enabling them to counter faster, or sometimes duck half way, and stand back up instantly. It is a good idea to learn how to block only when absolutely needed, so you aren't stuck in standing back up frames after releasing block, rather, releasing block at the end of the contact and standing up while unblocking.

Jabs/Kara Jabs

You can cancel a LP or HP by tapping any other attack button, canceling forward direction with LP or HP and then immidiately blocking will not allow the opponent to hit you. Still there are some moves that could be faster and could hit you like crouch kicks mostly. Kara Jabs is basicaly the same thing in MK1, Canceling a LP or HP with block.

Corner Jabs

Once you have someone backed into the corner and blocking, tap LP, because there is no pushback for this scenario in MK1, UNLESS the opponent's character is stand up, if they are ducked you will not be pushed away. They will be in the corner, and they will eat pixel after pixel of block damage. The only thing that the victim can really do is escape with a special move (fly kick, square punch, etc), uppercut, or crouching LK. If you can sniff out when they are going to try to do any of those, do a knee or special move, preferably a containment. If they block a knee you will not be pushed back like it was in umk3, so do it wisely to keep them trapped in the corner. Try to throw out 4-6 jabs then knee, because thats usually when people realize that they are losing a lot of energy to chip damage. If the knee hits, continue to jab and keep them locked down. Also, don't forget to hold back while you do the corner jabs so that they can't counter throw. If you are under corner jab pressure, after the first 1 or 2, try and spam on crouch kick, and you have a good chance of sneaking out.

Throw Defense

Hold "Back" and you will not be thrown. Up+Back, Down+Back, Down+Back+Block also works. Many people complain about throws, but throw prevention is pretty easy in MK, and it's been this way from MK1 through MK4. In MK1 there is a way for throws to not be escapable if someone did it to you after you got some move (whiff backwards shadow kick, crouch kick, etc).

Crossup Throws

This tactic is best used while an opponent is being defensive. The best way to describe this is when you are at jump distance, do an early jumpkick, so you land directly on top of the victim, without hitting them. You will land overlapping the victim's sprite. If you hit LP right as you land, you will have a very good chance of connecting a throw because they have to hold back to prevent the throw, and the direction is pretty hard to determine in such a close situation in a small amount of time.

BTW there are no crossover JKs/JPs in MK1 LOL!

Punishment/Retaliation Mode

When certain moves are blocked, they will roll up into a ball and float right next to a player setting up a punisher juggle, sometimes they float away from you but still can be punished. Other punishment scenarios to look for are against Liu Kang's Dragon Kick, Sonya's leg grab, Sub-Zero's Slide and etc. All of these, when blocked, make them stay locked in place, generally very close to you, free to be countered, but only within a very brief time. This is not much longer than the amount of time it takes you get out of blocked so you must react quickly.


Commonly referred to as "aa" directly in place of the attack which would be used as anti-air. These are attacks which are used to take someone out of the air. It is very important to understand every character's best aa opportunities. A standing HK is a very simple and effective way to anti air someone. Some characters can aaHP others out of the air very easily, setting up decent, to super high damage combos. Some characters should go for RHs on their aa's because it will set up combos, traps, or other tactics and set ups. The best simple form of aa is the uppercut. Try and scout early JKs.


Some attacks/special moves if are blocked or hit opp in corner, the attacker gets pushed back to just under jump distance. If you juggle someone in the corner with LP/HP jab, or a jab after just about any other hit, you will be pushed back, but you can cancel this with any special move. The same thing applies to when you throw out 3 jabs in succession and they are blocked, the third punch frame will freeze and you will be pushed back. At any time during the "iceskate", you can cancel out with a special move.

Wake Ups

In MK and many other games, there are times when a move that is usually unsafe to do when the person has the ability to block can be used to generally make you character get up more quickly and reward you for doing so with a potential juggle, or counter after blocking when in close range. What you must understand is that of course, even though this is inherently unsafe in all fighting games due to baiting, errors, etc, it has become a huge part of fighting game psychology, so it is always a factor. "Will they bait" "Will they wake up" etc. These are sometimes referred to as 50/50s. Some characters have excellent wake up moves that are actually safe in certain situations. Moves that will mostly be used as a "Wake Up" are Shadow Kick, Slide, Teleport Punch, etc. Check the Character Guides for some wake up scenarios.

Glitch Canceling

Explained in Sub-Zero's Guide since he is the only one that has real glitch cancel in MK1.

The Throw/Uppercut "Brokeness"

This will be hard to explain but i will give a try. In a two player game (and only two player) game if you interupt a move/special move or any attack of your opponent with a throw and you do a special move/fireball (the special move should not be anti air) immidiately after the throw without loosing any frames, it will be unblockable. There is no 100% sure way to always get this but you will figure it out by yourself when you can do it and when not.

That can often lead you into a victory or into a trouble - for example Raiden - Throw, Torpedo is punishable, because if the Torpedo is not aa the opp can punish you even if it hits. And if you do that vs Scorpion you risk more than half of your energy in this scenario.

Still its a very useless stuff in corner and mid-screen in some scenarios. You can get even uppercut after the throw and it wont be unblockable.

Another "Broken" move which can lead into unblockable attacks is the uppercut. So far only Raiden has real advantage of this because of his pseudo infinite. Canceling attack with uppercut, then teleport with no frame lost and uppercut again. I know in some very very rare cases Cage can get uppercut unblockable SK or Sweep after it but thats it.

Some other moves that can lead into unblockable stuff are the freeze and leg grab.

Dont forget that if your opponent just ducks the unblockable uppercut/move will whiff (if its not the torpedo because it hits opps ducked).



Vs. Bosses


Goro's major weakness is that he does not block any attacks while he is getting up from a knockdown.To knock him down you can use the jump kick or uppercut.

At the beginning of the round, jump toward him, and most often he will missile under you and you will connect. Immediately follow with a missile attack(green bolt, axe, lightning, red bolt+flying kick, harpoon, freeze, sonic rings). If you are Sub Zero, you can uppercut and freeze again immediately, and repeat.

Once you hit him with the missile attack(non-Sub Zero), jump away, and crouch block for an instant as soon as you land, to see if he fires a missile. If he does, block and immediately jump toward him, keeping in mind to press the jump kick early. You will most likely connect, follow up with a missile attack, and jump away.

If he does not fire the missile, jump back again and wait again. Repeat this until you are at the corner, where you should stand and wait for him to approach. Wait until he is just beyond sweep range(don't let him get too close), and jump back in the corner and kick. He will either block, in which case you try again, or he will fire a missile. If he fires a missile your kick will hit him from very far away, as Goro extends himself a lot when firing missiles. Follow this up with a missile attack, and again wait for him to approach, and jump back&kick in the corner. This is much easier for Cage, Liu Kang, Kano, Raiden, Sub Zero, and Scorpion. With Sonya it's more difficult, and Goro might approach too close and grab you when you come down.

If you are forced to jump toward him, do so, press the jump kick early, and if it doesn't connect jump back with the kick button pressed immediately after you jump. This will often hit Goro if he doesn't grab you in time.

If you are thrown into the corner with Goro almost on top of you, uppercut as soon as you get up. This will always hit Goro, and you can follow with a missile attack.

Overall, you get double attacks against Goro, but he does twice your damage, so you are at the computer gods' mercy in trying to defeat him. Even for the best of players Goro might decide to block everything one match and that's that.

On Revision 2.0, if you are ahead in energy, you can then press low punch or high punch continuously, and Goro will edge toward you blocking, but will not be able to do anything else, and you will win on time.

Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung's major weakness is that he does not block, and that he always teleports when you jump too close.

If he changes into Goro, use Goro tactics mentioned above. If he changes into anyone else, you should be able to defeat him with strategies in a previous section. If he remains Shang Tsung, he's a teleporting duck like Raiden, except that this time you decide when he teleports and where he appears.

Keep jumping toward him, and you will reach him sooner or later, in which case he will inevitably teleport. Since you know that he is going to teleport, immediately do the motion for your special as soon as you land, in the opposite direction as your jump, since Shang Tsung will appear behind you. i.e. (Cage - Slide Kick, Kano - Ball, Raiden - Lightning/Launch, Liu Kang - Flying Kick(remember to jump right on top of him so he appears further from you, or the Flying kick will fly over him), Scorpion - Harpoon, Sub Zero - Freeze, Sonya - Sonic Rings).

He will never learn about this trick, and will easily be defeated by it if you are really the person who won all the previous 14 matches.

Alternatively, if you are Scorpion, you can teleport punch while he is on the other side of the screen, and he will always be hit, and he will back away to the other side. Teleport punch again, and again, and again.

Vs CPU Strategies

Fighting Reptile

Reptile its a Sub Zero and Scorpion fusion they are using it before Dragon Ball Z was cult classic, its a Sub Zero stance ninja with green cloths, walks much faster than normal, can harpoon, freeze, slide, or teleport punch.

Do a DOUBLE FLAWLESS AND FATALIY on THE PIT scene vs. the computer, and you DON'T USE BLOCK except for the fatality

Reptile is only on v3.0 and 4.0 of MK (Sonya and Scorpion can fight him only in 4.0)

In Version 4.0, Reptile will sometimes pop down before a match begins and give a clue on how to find him.

Defeat him to get 10,000,000 points, or you will be executed with an uppercut or a SPINE RIP or a TOASTY.

Reptile Clues

I am Reptile, find me!

You must find me to beat me

Alone is how you will find me

Look to la luna

10,000,000 if you destroy me

tip eht fo mottob

Perfection is the key

Fatality is the key

You cannot match my speed

And If necessary, and there must have been shadows(witches, balloons, Peter Pan..) flying across the moon in both your winning rounds.

You need to play from 5 to 10 matches previous to The Pit

The Moon will appear even if you:

Break/not Break the boards in the bonus rounds.

Endurance match or regular match.

Winning the previous game.

Winning all rounds previous or getting flawless victories in them.

1-player or continued from 2-player.

Things that might or might not guarantee moon appearances:

Shadows flying across the moon when displaying credits on previous winning game.

Any, all, or none of the above may contribute, or it could be completely random.

If all requirements are satisfied, the screen will flash, Reptile will jump down from above, and the scene will shift to the bottom of the Pit which the bridge was built over. Among the swords and pierced heads will the match be fought.