David Sauer provided the prototype cartridge to Hidden Palace for them to preserve it. The build of the game is from late in development. However, there are still some notable differences between it and the final game.
One major difference is the graphics. The graphics in the prototype are not as refined as they are in the final version. Goro’s Lair is the most notable stage you can spot the graphical differences. In addition, the text graphics for “Fight” and “Finish Him/Her” use a different sprite scaling technique than the final Genesis release. Also, the cheat code to add blood and gore is absent. However, the menu does exist in the game’s code.
This cheat code was pivotal to the SEGA port’s success. As many know, Nintendo’s port of Mortal Kombat eliminated the arcade version’s controversial blood and gore. On the other hand, SEGA allowed the inclusion of the game’s popular ultra-violence. Therefore, even though Nintendo’s version had better graphics, the SEGA Genesis was THE console to play Mortal Kombat on at home.
The physical cartridge of the Mortal Kombat prototype is also interesting. The label states the cartridge must be returned to Flying Edge. Because of Acclaim’s contractual agreement with Nintendo, subsidiary company Flying Edge was responsible for publishing games on SEGA’s systems from 1992 to 1994.
In the case of Mortal Kombat, however, Arena Entertainment is the listed publisher of the final release. Flying Edge never received credit for Mortal Kombat on the SEGA Genesis. The reason for this is uncertain, but it could likely be related to developer Probe Software’s UK headquarters. Because of this, Flying Edge may have helped on some western production aspects.
About Hidden Palace
Hidden Palace is an organization dedicated to the preservation of video games. Specifically, they strive to prevent the loss of historical material including developmental prototypes for classic games. The late prototype of Mortal Kombat is just one example of their extensive library of developmental game builds.
This year, Hidden Palace launched a massive preservation effort known as Project Deluge. The project involves storing and cataloguing a huge library of video game prototypes. Project Deluge proved to be very successful. In March, over 700 PlayStation 2 prototypes and demos were released. Last month, they released 349 Xbox and 135 SEGA Dreamcast prototypes. To learn more about Hidden Palace and their work towards preserving video game history, visit their official website.
Via Hidden Palace