May 22nd, 2002
Greetings From E3!
We are finally here! We managed again, for the fourth consecutive year, to sneak our way on to the show floor early. You can even see workers still vacuuming, setting up for the show. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is front and center at the Midway booth and in playable format. The setup is that there are three PS2 and three Xbox stations (with the smaller controller S joypads). We will be back soon with another update a little later in the afternoon with initial impressions. Until then, enjoy these photos we snapped of Midway's MK:DA kiosk.

E3: Initial Hands-On Impressions of MK:DA
Greetings from the Electronics Entertainment Expo! We just got back from our first hands-on session with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and are very enthusiastic about its progress. Even with many of the features disabled in the version here on the floor, the gameplay is intense -- even with projectiles temporarily stripped from the game. Scorpion, Sonya, Jax, Blind Kenshi (not finalized name), Quan Chi, Li Mei, Sub-Zero, Shang Tsung were all playable characters. Each had a different weapon and two fighting styles to choose from during play. The ability to chain fighting styles in a combo was also in the game, but will be expanded upon before its release. Realistic character animation physics were present such as sweat and dripping blood during battle (blood follows the contours of the characters bodies, but there is no scarring or torn clothing yet).

Among the characters disabled on the select screen were Johnny Cage, Kano, Cyrax, Raiden, Kitana, Kung Lao, a female Sub-Zero (as of yet unnamed), and Mavado. Some of the other features that are planned for the final release are ring outs and background interaction (as we've seen from sketches). One cool effect that we were told about was the use of animation similar to bullet time (as seen in The Matrix and Max Payne). Another interesting concept is Terminator 2 inspired freezing: when Sub-Zero freezes an opponent, their motion continues, but slows down until they are frozen solid. An in-depth story/training mode is also in the works where each characters progress is mapped out on their journey. The GameBoy Advance port is said to be coming along really well with 3D scaling and rotation, but is still essentially a 2D game. Overall we were very impressed with what we saw and can't wait to see more! We will continue to update with more of our findings for the duration of the show (trust us, there's a lot more).

E3: MK:DA First Screenshots

6 Total MK:DA First Screenshots

  May 23rd, 2002
E3: Studio Gigante Site Update
Studio Gigante launched their official website yesterday with pictures and media of their debut title Tao Feng. For those who don't remember, Studio Gigante is a game company that started from a group of developers that departed from Midway a number of months ago. In a behind closed doors meeting, we had a chance to play an early version of the title and spoke with a few of the developers of this Xbox exclusive title. You can read about our findings in an article from TRMK's very own Jeff Greeson over on GameSpot. Later, we will also post an update here with our first impressions of the game.

E3: More Information and Screenshots from MK:DA

Hello again from the Electronics Entertainment Expo! For second day of E3 we have some more tidbits of game information and another batch of new screenshots of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance for you all to feast your eyes on.

Featured on the loading screens are Jax, Sub-Zero, Moloch, the first look at Kitana in game, and Mavado. We tried to get some various photos of fighting in all the arenas with many of the available characters to give you all a broad taste of what was available to play at the show. The pictures were taken with a digtial camera from a TV monitor, so they do not accurately portray the exact look of the game. Hopefully we will have some screenshots direct from the game soon.

As for the information we do know, the female Sub-Zero does not have a name as of yet because the third Mortal Kombat Movie that is currently in pre-production will also feature a similar character. So both Threshold and Midway are working on keeping the names the same if not the character's look as well. Although not functioning, the main menu of the game (Version 0.016 to be more specific) consists of the following options that are subject to change:

  • Arcade - Typical arcade mode of game play where the single player battles through a tier of opponents.

  • Versus - Typical 1 on 1 kombat for two players.

  • Konquest - This is the traing/mission mode we talked about earlier. The game says this for it: "Travel on a long journey, earning kurrency as you face hundreds of challenges and obstacles."
  • The Krypt - This is the area of the game where you can unlock hidden items and areas of the Kontent and Extras area of the game by using kurrency.

  • Player Profile - This is used to set up multiple player profiles where itíll store all the stats for a given player. Stats like number of battles won and lost, number of fatalities performed, and what extras (like hidden characters) have been unlocked. Player profiles can be changed from the character select screen by using one of the trigger buttons on the controller to bring up a personal pin entering screen that will load the player profile associated with that pin. Profiles can be saved to memory cards so that they may be transportable to a friend's console.

  • Options - This will be the place to change game options like timer on/off, controller configuration, and various other game settings. There is a possibility that they will include an option to allow Back on the directional pad to block instead of using the Block button.

  • Kontent - This area will be the place where many hidden elements will be placed to be unlocked. Elements will consist of behind the scenes artwork beyond what we have seen online, video and stills of the production team in action and much, much more.

  • Extras - This will have some of the similar elements like in Kontent but may not be required to be unlocked to access. It will feature items like movie trailers and other video clips previously released to the public.

We will wrap up our E3 coverage of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance tomorrow with any news that develops during the day along with a recap of the entire show later this weekend.

E3: MK:DA Screenshot Blowout

18 Total MK:DA Screenshot Blowout Images

  May 24th, 2002
E3: GameSpot Posts First Impressions of MK:DA
GameSpot has posted their first impressions of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The article has some good details on the combo system in the current build, but they are hoping to find some deeper gameplay mechanics in the finished version.

E3: MK:DA Questions Answered

We've been seeing many of the same questions asked via e-mail and on the message board, so we thought we would answer them here to the best of our ability.

Probably the most frequently asked question is, "Who is the Dragon King?" The story begins with Quan Chi escaping from the realm in which he was imprisoned after MK4. Following his escape, he stumbles across a tomb which houses a vast army of dead soldiers. With the help of Shang Tsung, Quan Chi resurrects the army to overtake the other realms. The leader of this army is the Dragon King.

The status of the so-called "Compilation CD" that was mentioned in a chat a few years ago, is another common inquiry. Basically it isn't being discussed or planned at the moment, but is rather something the team would like to do if they could.

Many of you have pointed out that we have not mentioned anything about the GameCube version of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The code needs some optimization before public display and, therefore, it is not on the show floor.

On a side note, there are currently no plans for a PC version of the title.

E3: Exclusive Action-Packed E3 Footage
Another E3 has come and gone once again, and like every year we are wrapping up our E3 coverage with brand new action-packed exclusive footage. This exclusive TRMK footage is rated PG-13 for scenes of violence. It is not for the weak of heart and is known to cause seizures. Viewer discretion is advised.

  May 25th, 2002
E3: Tao Feng Gameplay Impressions

During our meeting with Microsoft, we had a chance to get our hands on Tao Feng. Even though representatives said that the game was only 50 percent completed, the game looked very good and had many of their signature features already implemented. The environmental interaction system was probably the most intriguing aspect of the game. The ability of doing special moves off of items, walls, and poles add another level of interaction unseen in fighting games. The character damage system was fully functional and looked great. Between and at the end of rounds, the camera panned around the character, showing cuts, bruises and slashed clothing. The environmental damage system was in a limited form in the version we saw; nonetheless, if Studio Gigante can fully implement their vision of arenas being trashed and destroyed by each battle, Tao Feng will be revolutionary in the graphics department.

With respect to gameplay, Tao Feng shares a few Killer Instinct overtones. While we won't see 20 or 30 hit KI-style combos, the combo system is similar with respect to the emphasis on timing hits in a somewhat rhythmic style. Combos cannot be executed by just pressing the sequence quickly like in most fighters. Players have to pay attention to the animation of their character throughout the sequence in order to notice clues on when to execute the next hit.

In addition to the combos system, the life meters and round system are similar to KI. When one fighter's life meter is extinguished, the game cuts to a scene of the character collapsing to the ground. Once the fighter gets up, the game refills that fighter's life meter and readies the two fighters to continue, while the other fighter maintains whatever life they had. For example, one character could be at 50 percent of his first life meter while the other character is at 70 percent of their second life meter. In the build of the game we played, the number of life meters was set to three; however, that number can be set in the options menu.

The game still has about ten months left in development and still has few more features to be added like the ability to transition battles into a new arena by breaking through walls or doors. The team still has a significant time to tweak and improve anything and everything. But from what we saw and played, Tao Feng is shaping up to be a very impressive title.

Check out more details in the GameSpot article, including details on 'chi' attacks and limb breaks.

  May 26th, 2002
E3: Midway's MK:DA Press Screenshots

17 Total MK:DA E3 Press Screenshots

  May 28th, 2002
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance E3 Impressions
Our live E3 Expo coverage may be over, but that does necessarily not mean we are through covering the E3 build of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Our impressions of the early build at E3 are now available. Here is a snippet:
After four years of speculation and on-again, off-again rumors, the next-installment to the Mortal Kombat series was finally shown to the world in playable form at E3 2002. Although the version of the game was from an earlier build, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was primed for the spotlight at Midway's booth.
Read the entire preview...

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