In honor of the new 2021 Mortal Kombat (MK) movie dropping later this month, I started feeling nostalgic and thinking about the one Mortal Kombat game I played that I could never beat! That game is a cult classic now — Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero — and I think more people should know about it, so let’s review.
Why This Game is a Classic
As I said, I could NEVER beat this game. I made it to the second level, and that was all she wrote.
Still, the campiness of this game contributed greatly to its mainstay as a beloved piece of nostalgia for the lovers of MK-lore.
According to the Mortal Kombat Fandom Wiki…
If all of that sounds like nonsense to you, good – you’re normal. But for the rest of you who recognize what’s being said up there (like yours truly), realize that this game is a treat… Albeit an incredibly difficult (read: “nearly impossible”) one. More on that later.
The cutscenes in this game are infamously “so bad – they’re good” and that’s not just by today’s standards. Even as a kid, I couldn’t help but notice I was playing a game about a ninja… excuse me… a Lin Kuei (Sub-Zero takes the time to correct that he’s not a ninja in the game) where none of the cast in the live action cutscenes were Asian. Seriously.
Sub-Zero? White Guy. Scorpion? White Guy. Raiden? Muscular White Guy.
I’m not mad at the actors, I’m just saying that the casting choices and the acting portrayals were laughably bad.
But it was still all shockingly entertaining. And that’s what pulled you in (plus it didn’t hurt that Mortal Kombat was still very popular at the time before its later fall and re-ascent in the minds of gamers) — This game was shameless and didn’t pretend to be something that it wasn’t. It was basically like watching WWE Wrestling – the Mortal Kombat edition.
Again… LOOK AT RAIDEN!
Still, at the time – this franchise could do no wrong in my young eyes.
Sub-Zero The Undefeatable?
I don’t care what anyone says to me, there was no way that you could beat this game without either cheating, having a strategy guide (a.k.a. a cheat manual), or dedicating HOURS of your existence to it.
I say that because the levels in MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero were nonsensical labyrinths with no clear instructions or guidance to help you along the way. I am not ashamed to say that was part of the fun, but damn — these things were hard. Anyone who has ever played this game knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Was it frustrating? Yes. But the way that the graphics were laid out made it difficult to tell when you should jump on “a thing” or dodge a pillar trying to crush you, and that was part of the fun. Breaking out classic Sub-Zero moves on your enemies and even fighting Scorpion (Sub-Zero’s rival) was the cherry on top of the fact that you were taking the Mortal Kombat fighting game world and mechanics into a platformer setting. Just a side-scrolling adventure game ripe for the taking.
But again – I, nor anyone I knew, could ever beat this behemoth.
So, I’ve started watching a complete playthrough of the game just so I could see how the story played out (and I am now more convinced than ever that I could’ve NEVER beat this game).
I really did play it more like Dashie when I played this game (there are older videos of him playing this game on his channel from 2012 – 2015, and yeah – he hates it)…
Still, I wouldn’t trade my time playing this game or the fun frustrating memories for anything. I’m happy that it was made, and I’d love to see a new MK adventure game get made that takes full advantage of the new characters, expanded lore, and recent technology.
In the end, the difficulty is part of the fun. After all – this is Mortal Kombat we’re talking about. Not some rinky-dink easy game!
Seeing the red band trailer for the new movie and realizing that this series, and its very convoluted backstory, may finally get a decent silver-screen adaptation brought my heart joy.
Even if the story is boo-boo (which it hopefully isn’t) – this looks GLORIOUS and I can’t wait to see it in its entirety soon!
Have you ever played Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero? What is your favorite MK game? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Peace, and thanks for reading.
The soundtrack for this post provided by…
– All images © NetherRealm Studios