MK title

MK title.

Mortal Kombat I or just Mortal Kombat is the first game in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by Midway. It was released in arcades in 1992. It centers on the first Mortal Kombat tournament (Shang Tsung, Goro, Kintaro, and Raiden know it is actually the 10th tournament) and the ultimate defeat of the evil Shang Tsung by the monk Liu Kang.


Playable characters

Non-playable characters

Glitch Characters

  • Ermac (orange palette swap of Scorpion)

Kombat arenas

There are a total of seven different arenas to fight on:

  • Shang Tsung's Courtyard
  • Palace Gates
  • Warrior Shrine
  • Pit I - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted off the bridge where they will land on a bed of spikes. Although the announcer doesn't acknowledge it, this would be the series' first stage fatality.
  • Thropy Room
  • Goro's Dungeon
  • Reptile's Nest (Versus Reptile Only)

Characters live arenas

  • Reptile in The Reptile Nest
  • Shang Tsung in Courtyard
  • Goro in Goro's Dungeon


500 years ago, the annual Shaolin Tournament, long the most prestigious fighting tournament in the world, was interrupted by the appearance of an old sorcerer and a strange four-armed creature, who entered the tournament and defeated the Great Kung Lao. This Shokan warrior was the half-human, half-dragon fighter named Goro, who became the ultimate fighting champion for the next five hundred years. This was all part of Shang Tsung's plan to tip the balance into chaos and help Outworld conquer the Earth. This information became available in future Mortal Kombat games, it was not mentioned in the original.

Liu Kang would go to the tournament with the intent to restore balance. A martial artist movie star Johnny Cage also entered the tournament and befriended Liu when a fight broke out between himself and Kano. Lin Kuei warrior Sub-Zero was invited to join the tournament by Shang Tsung himself, two years earlier after his ordeal with Shinnok's Amulet. (According to his MK Ending, his reason for joining the tournament was to kill Shang Tsung, by the request of a wealthy enemy of Tsung's. This, however, was never mentioned again). The undead Shirai Ryu ninja Scorpion entered the tournament intending to kill Sub-Zero, believing Sub-Zero to be responsible for killing him (in MK: Sub-Zero, it was also stated that Scorpion thought that Sub-Zero had murdered his family and clan as well). Raiden, the God of Thunder, was also asked personally by Shang Tsung himself, and Raiden himself boasted that "all those who will not bow to Raiden would be crushed." He took the form of a human in order to participate in the tournament.

Kano, the Black Dragon's most respecteble mobster, was being chased by a U.S. Special Forces Unit, led by Lt. Sonya Blade, when he managed to get onto the boat leading to the tournament; his goal in the tournament was to steal Shang Tsung's Palace (where the walls are rumored to be made of gold). Once Sonya and her men arrived, Shang Tsung had his personal army ambush them. The Special Forces Unit got caught in the surprise attack, so Sonya had no choice but to take part in the tournament in order to save her team. Thus the tournament was set.

With Outworld already having won 9 tournaments in a row, our heroes would have to avoid handing Earth the 10th loss, or all of humanity would crumble into the darkness of the Outworld (the "10 tournaments in a row" detail was added in Mortal Kombat IV, and had previously been a key plot point in the film adaptation of the original Mortal Kombat.


Mortal Kombat featured two bosses. One was a sub-boss (whom you'd have to face before challenging the main boss of the game). The sub-boss of the game was a four-armed Shokan warrior named Goro, a half-human, half-dragon beast. Upon Goro's defeat, the player would then face the game's main boss, Shang Tsung. Despite the sorcerer's old age, he moved with incredible speed and summoned skull fireballs at will. Shang Tsung's darkest magic empowered him to steal the souls of fallen warriors. Due to this sorcery, he also had the ability to morph into any character in the game, including Goro, and assume their appearance and their special abilities. Upon defeat, the many warrior souls that Shang Tsung used during battle would leave his body and then he would be engulfed in flames.


  • A glitch may sometimes appear when fighting Goro he may only appear with two arms instead of four.
  • Sometimes Liu Kang will appear in Bruce Lee's form.