May 1st, 2002
11:36 PM CST -

In continuance of a now four-year tradition, TRMK will be reporting LIVE from the floor of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California. The earlier announcement of the appearance of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance makes this year's E3 Expo the most anticipated event in TRMK history since our first year of live E3 coverage in 1999.


Without giving away details, we expect to have one of the first, if not THE first, reports on MK:DA's presence direct from the show's floor. We hope that you keep your browser tuned to TRMK during the show on Wednesday, May 22nd until the final day on Friday, May 24th and into the following weekend as we provide full-access coverage of Mortal Kombat at E3. Stay tuned for more announcements.


May 5th, 2002
8:25 PM CST -
The June 2002 issue of PSM Magazine has a nice three page feature on Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The screenshots shown in the spread reveal some new information. Here are a few notes on what you'll find in the issue which should hit the stands soon:


  • Sonya is now confirmed to return as there are a few screenshots of her fighting in the feature.

  • Blood is finally shown in screenshots, and it looks like it really flows like the old games.

  • Malvado is finally shown in-game and looks very much like the sketch we have seen earlier.

  • Masked Sub-Zero is shown for the first time, and he seems to have a blue ice glow around his hands while fighting, but no ice attacks were shown.

  • A couple of new stages are also featured in a few screenshots, expect more on these as we get better looks at the stages.



Hopefully, these new screenshots will make their way online soon for those of you who can't pick up the issue.
May 6th, 2002
9:08 PM CST -

The official Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance website updated today with 3 new images. The three images in question are a masked sub-zero render, an in-game shot of Kung Lao VS Blind Kenshi, and another in-game shot of Scorpion VS Jax. The two in-game screenshots have appeared in print publications, but this is the first render we have seen of the masked Sub-Zero (with trademark scar over his right eye). Also note Sub-Zero's glowing hands which we first mentioned in our update about the June 2002 issue of PSM Magazine.
May 17th, 2002
3:39 PM CST -
The June issue of PSM has a special edition DVD with some editions of their magazine featuring the first in-game video from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. The video is from a very early prototype of the PlayStation 2 version of the game, where blood, body injury effects, and the lifebar functionality have not been added into the game yet. The video does feature the first look at an alternate costume of Cyrax. Due to copyright laws we cannot legally show you this video, but a copy of the video and pictures could be found fairly easily on our Message Boards or you could go buy a copy on newsstands everywhere, imagine that? The version of the game to be shown at the E3 Expo next week should be much more complete than what this video shows. Expect a full hands-on preview with hopefully some screenshots and media starting Wednesday morning as part of our E3 2002 Coverage here at TRMK.

Also, the June issue of Game Informer has an article about Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance in which they reveal a new female combatant in the game called Li Mei. More info on her once we get a copy of the issue.
May 18th, 2002
11:51 PM CST -


GameSpot has a whole slew of exclusive Mortal Kombat: Deady Alliance content tonight. Included are 6 screenshots, of those 5 are brand new. These new screenshots are available for free until next week when they become part of GameSpot's pay area, GameSpot Complete. In addition to the screenshots, GameSpot Complete also offers a new exclusive video of in-game fighting action. In both the screenshots and the new video, we finally see the appearance of game's new blood and particle system. In-game weapons now leave a colorful trail behind their motions and the new blood looks quite spectacular, even in a static screenshot. In addition, the game's life meters have been tweaked and now include a close-up picture of the fighter next to their name, similar to Virtua Fighter 4.


Head on over to GameSpot to check out their screenshots before they are no longer accessible, or even better, sign up for the GameSpot Complete service to check out the video. The month of May is free for all new accounts.


Given the look of the screenshots and of the video, it appears that MK:DA is taking form very nicely. If this is any indication of how complete the version to be shown at E3 is, we expect to have quite a detailed hands-on preview to share with our readers.



The anticipation is building. E3 is only 3 days away. Keep it tuned to TRMK for all of your MK:DA E3 coverage as we bring it to you LIVE from the show's floor on Wednesday.


May 19th, 2002
11:34 AM CST -


Four E3 press screenshots from the Xbox game, Tao Feng, have made it up on the Internet early over at the French site, NewTechnix. The significance of this news is that Tao Feng is the first fighting game released by Studio Gigante, the development team started by ex-Midway staffers, including Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias and past Mortal Kombat team members, Josh Tsui and Dave Michicich.


Tao Feng is expected to be at E3 in Microsoft's booth; however, it is supposed to be only in a behind doors press area. If we are able to say anything about this new fighter while we're up at E3, we will share whatever we can.


UPDATE: XBox.com has updated and added more details on Tao Feng along with it's own mini website. The website reveals the game's full title and has the same four screenshots that we've seen earlier, along with the following information:


    Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus is the perfect blend of fighting realism and stunning special effects. Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus delivers a classic battle between good and evil as two ancient Chinese clans of superfighters, each seeking to uncover the secrets of immortality, battle for dominance. Hand-to-hand combat is furiously intense with amazingly realistic fighting and stunning special effects. Arenas are highly interactive and destructive. When the fight ends, players will witness the devastation of battle.

    FEATURES:

    • Bone-Crunching Realism: Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus takes fighting to a new level of realism: clothing tears, blood spills, bruises swell and bones break.

    • Completely Interactive and Destructive Worlds: Players punch holes in walls and throw opponents through glass, or make acrobatic attacks by swinging around poles and flipping off walls.

    • Powerful Chi Attacks: Each fighter has the ability to unleash awesome special attacks, inflicting devastating damage on the enemy and the surroundings.

    • Personalized Soundtrack: Gamers can rip their own music to create a personalized soundtrack for the game.



May 20th, 2002
5:59 PM CST -


I peronally would like to welcome everyone to the new TRMK. This is the fourth redesign of our site and is the most important redesign of the site's history. As you can notice, we are now at the new URL http://www.trmk.org. You can still reach our website at our old address; however, you will be redirected to this new URL.


The most important feature of the new site is the ability to customize the entire theme of the website. Currently, you are probably looking at the default blue and green theme you have been so accustomed to seeing. By clicking on the "Choose Your Theme" button at the top of the page, you will have four choices of how you would like the page to appear. As of today, there are three other themes to choose from besides the default theme. These three themes are a red and yellow Shang Tsung theme, an iced-out Sub-Zero theme, and a golden yellow Scorpion theme. Go ahead and click on the "Choose Your Theme" button and find one you like. We will be adding more themes in the future and will even take requests and submissions for additional themes at a later date.



As of right now, we are still using SmartNews 2.0 as our news content backend but plan to transition to a new and more robust system. The new layout is not quite complete as you will see one or two problems creep up from time to time. Hopefully we've nailed all of the showstoppers and everything works out well. Currently, there are quite a few placeholder pages in place in anticipation of the new backend. Once we transition to the new backend, we will be implementing more areas of the site.


In addition to the upgraded layout, we've upgraded our server. The new server will allow us to use the more robust backend without having any problems serving pages on the fly. The increased server capacity will allow us to offer more robust content and better community services.



While the hardware and the look of the site has changed, our philosophy has not. We will continue to bring you the latest news on the world of Mortal Kombat at the highest levels of professionalism. As long as I am still running this website, that will be my promise to you.



I hope you enjoy the new layout as we are totally excited about it. Please join us tomorrow as we descend upon Los Angeles, CA and initiate our live coverage of E3 2002.


Jeff Greeson - jeff@trmk.org


May 21st, 2002
2:33 AM CST -
Midway also redesigned their website yesterday with a whole new layout. The new layout also contains an updated game section for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. Included on the page are four new screenshots from an earlier version of the game.
May 22nd, 2002
10:23 AM CST -
Last week's exclusive trailer from GameSpot Complete is now on Midway Games' MK:DA page. Not to be outdone, GameSpot Complete has an updated version of the same trailer. Finally, on the official Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance website, there is a new character bio section and images of the Wu Shi Academy.
10:23 AM CST -
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.





2:06 PM CST -
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).
2:33 PM CST -
May 23rd, 2002
4:58 PM CST -
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.
5:42 PM CST -


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 it’ll 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.
6:24 PM CST -
May 24th, 2002
1:49 PM CST -
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.
2:10 PM CST -


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.


8:42 PM CST -
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
8:31 PM CST -


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
8:47 PM CST -
May 28th, 2002
1:55 AM CST -
Over at Xbox.com, there is a high quality video montage (23mb Windows Media Video, zipped) of games coming soon to Microsoft's Xbox. You can find Tao Feng at 1:50 minutes in that features some player intros and "chi" attacks. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is at 2:18 minutes in, and features the old Scorpion teaser video along with a nice video clip of a long juggle combo. Also, another notable mention would be one of the most talked about games at the show, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball, it can be found at 4:05 minutes in.
2:13 AM CST -
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...
May 29th, 2002
5:02 PM CST -
MTV.com features a story on Adema, a Bakersfield, California rock group who will provide the theme song for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. In addition to the announcement that the band's "Immortal" will be the game's featured song, a couple of details on what will be included on the game disc are revealed. Thanks Derek Fridman.



Not only are Adema the only artists offering a tune to accompany the onscreen action, but a special DVD element featuring game footage woven throughout the band's in-studio performance of the song — which will be shot before a green screen in New Orleans in late June — will also be included on the Mortal Kombat disc. Scenes from Adema's showcase for Midway, at last week's E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, are expected to be on the disc as well.


Read the rest of the article.
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