Mortal Kombat 3 is the third game in the Mortal Kombat series, released in arcades in 1995. It was updated into Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and then later Mortal Kombat Trilogy.


Fed up with continuous losses in tournament battle, Shao Kahn who had lost to Liu Kang in the Outworld tournament, enacts a 10,000 year-old plan. He would have his Shadow Priests, led by Shang Tsung, revive his former Queen Sindel, who unexpectedly died at a young age. However, she wouldn't be revived in the Outworld. She would be resurrected in the Earth Realm. This would allow Shao Kahn to cross the boundary lines and reclaim his queen.

When Sindel is reincarnated in Earth Realm, Shao Kahn reaches across the dimensions to reclaim her. As a consequence of his action, the Earth Realm becomes a part of the Outworld, killing billions instantly. Only a few are spared, as Raiden protects their souls. He tells them that Shao Kahn must be stopped, but he cannot interfere; due to his status, he has no power in Outworld, and Earth Realm is partially merged with Outworld.

Shao Kahn has unleashed extermination squads to roam throughout the Earth Realm and kill any survivors. Also, Raiden's protection only extends to the soul, not to the body, so his chosen warriors have to fight the extermination squads and repel Shao Kahn.


Mortal Kombat 3 builds further on the gameplay of the previous game. A "Run" button, accompanied by a "Run" meter, was introduced. This was primarily to address concern from fans who thought that the previous games gave too much of an advantage to the defending player. The Run meter is drained by running (the character cannot run backwards, only forwards) and by performing combos. "Chain combos", also known as pre-programmed combos (labelled "dial-a-combos") were also introduced. Chain combos are preprogrammed button presses that cannot be interrupted once one hit connects (e.g., one of Sonya's chain combos is HK-HK-HP-HP-LP-b+HP). Some chain combos end with an uppercut or other move that knocks the opponent into the air, so that more punishment can be dealt via a traditional juggle combo. To please players of various skill levels, a "Choose Your Destiny" screen appears in 1-player mode. This new feature allowed player-selectable difficulty.

For the first time, certain levels were interactive by allowing characters to be uppercutted through the ceiling where both characters would continue the battle in a different stage. This could alter the game's level cycle. Both normal uppercuts and uppercuts that are part of a ground combo would result in a level change. Kung Lao's "Whirl Wind Spin" move would also have the same effect. However, if the final hit of a round happens to be an uppercut (i.e., the character is defeated by an uppercut), there is no level change.

All of the different style of finishing moves featured in Mortal Kombat II (Fatalities, Babalities, and Friendships) return in MK3 but this time the announcer saying "Friendship! Friendship?!" was changed to "Friendship! Friendship?! Again?!". Additionally, the long rumored Animality, where the character transforms into an animal in order to kill their opponent, is featured for the first time. Another new addition is the Mercy, where the character can give their opponent a small sliver of life if they have won two rounds and are at the "Finish Him/Her" screen. It is necessary that a Mercy is performed for an Animality to occur. Finally, three new stage Fatalities can be performed in the Subway, the Bell Tower, and the Pit 3.

Another concept exclusive to this game are the "Kombat Kodes". These were 6 digit codes entered at the VS screen in a two player game to modify gameplay, fight hidden characters or display certain text messages. Also introduced in this game was the "Ultimate Kombat Kode", using a 10 character code using symbols, that could be entered after the continue screen disappear in single player mode. If the correct code was entered, the kombat zones speeds up and Smoke would become a permanent playable character on the character select screen. The arcade owner, however, could reset this code by accessing the game's diagnostic menu by hitting a DIP switch within the MK3 cabinet. Smoke is unlocked by either the player or the arcade operator.

The game's overall style was envisioned differently than in the previous Mortal Kombat games. Opposed to the heavily Oriental themes of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II, MK3's theme is much more Western contemporary. The game's stages are set in modern locations, three of the characters are cyborgs, and traditional character designs (such as Sub-Zero's or Kano's) have been dropped or modified in favour of modern replacements. The overall game has a much darker tone than its predecessors, and uses a noticeable darker and less vibrant colour palette. Characters are now heavily digitized (as opposed to the hybrid digitized/hand-drawn style of Mortal Kombat II.) Many of the game's backgrounds are now, for the first time, created using pre-rendered 3D graphics. This change is also reflected in the sound track, in which all Oriental motifs have been dropped in favour of modern instrumentation.

Characters and castEdit

Returning charactersEdit

  • Jax: John Parrish
  • Kano: Richard Divizio
  • Kung Lao: Tony Marquez
  • Liu Kang: Eddie Wong
  • Noob Saibot: Richard Divizio (only accessible via secret code)
  • Shang Tsung: John Turk
  • Smoke: Sal Divita (accessible only via secret code)
  • Sonya Blade: Kerri Hoskins
  • Sub-Zero: John Turk
  • Noob Saibot: Richard Divizio

New charactersEdit

  • Cyrax: Sal Divita
  • Kabal: Richard Divizio
  • Nightwolf: Sal Divita
  • Sektor: Sal Divita
  • Sheeva: None (Claymation)
  • Sindel: Lia Montelongo
  • Kurtis Stryker: Michael O'Brien

Non-playable charactersEdit

  • Motaro: None
  • Shao Kahn: Brian Glynn
  • Shao Kahn's Voice: Steve Ritchie

Boss and Sub-Boss


   * Shao Kahn 


  • Motaro
  • MK3 introduced the "Run" button, accompanied by a "Run" meter, allowing the character to run. This was primarily to address concern from fans who thought that the previous games gave too much of an advantage to the defending player.

  • MK3 introduced "Kombat Kodes" which were 6 digit codes entered at the VS screen in a two player game to modify gameplay, fight hidden characters or display certain text messages.
  • MK3 also introduced the "Ultimate Kombat Kode" which was a 10 digit code that could be entered after a game was over in single player mode. If the correct code was entered, Smoke would become a permanent playable character on the character select screen. The arcade owner, however, could reset this code by accessing the game's diagnostic menu by hitting a DIP switch within the MK3 cabinet.
  • MK3 also introduced "chain combos", also known as "dial-a-combos" (many other fighting games at the time had similar combo systems). These supplement the existing juggle combo system, but critics contend that dial-a-combos are redundant and needlessly add to the learning curve of the game.
   * MK3 introduced the long-rumored Animality, where the character transforms into an animal in order to kill your opponent.
  • MK3 also introduced "Mercy", allowing a beaten foe to recover a sliver of life and continue fighting. This was necessary to perform an Animality.
  • MK3 characters had more Fatalities and special moves, and there were now three stage Fatalities: the Subway, the Bell Tower and the Pit 3.
  • MK3 was the first game of the series to use distinct blood colors depending on the character; the human characters and Shao Kahn had traditional red blood, Sheeva, and Motaro had green blood, while the three robotic ninja had black blood.
  • MK3 was the first game of the series to have a playable Shokan character; Sheeva possessed unique corpse sprites (skeletons, etc.) that other player characters shared.
* Characters could be uppercutted through the ceiling of a stage to continue the battle in a different background. This could alter the game's level cycle.
  • The arcade version of MK3 was also the first MK arcade game to feature player-selectable difficulty; previous games' difficulty settings were set by the machine operator.

This game is also infamous for not including fan favorites like Scorpion and Reptile

Kombat ZonesEdit

There are a total of thirteen different backgrounds to fight on:

  • The Subway: When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted through the ceiling, where they will fall back through the ceiling onto subway tracks, and then run over by a subway train.
  • The Street: The background music of this stage was a remixed version of the Courtyard stage from the original Mortal Kombat game.
  • The Bank
  • Rooftop
  • The Balcony: The player fights Motaro here. There is what looks like a well in the background (as well as in Noob's Dorfen) but it is impossible to uppercut the opponent into it. The well is most likely linked to the Soul Chamber's Soulnado.
  • The Bridge
  • Soul Chamber
  • Shao Kahn Tower (Bell Tower) - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted, where they will fall through a series of wooden floors and eventually land on a bed of spikes.
  • The Temple
  • The Graveyard
  • The Pit 3 - When an opponent is defeated on this stage, he/she can be uppercutted off the bridge where they will be sliced to pieces by giant spinning blades at the bottom. The player fights Shao Kahn here.
  • Smoke's Portal (Hidden Portal) - A combination of the background from the "Choose Your Destiny" screen and the Pit 3 bridge, this stage is only accessible when the player is fighting CPU Smoke via Kombat Kode, and Smoke must not yet be unlocked via Ultimate Kombat Kode for this stage to appear.
  • Noob's Dorfen - An obvious knock-off of The Balcony stage, this stage is only accessible when the player is fighting Noob Saibot via Kombat Kode.


Bio: Cyrax is unit LK-4D4, The second of three prototype Cybernetic Ninjas built by the Lin Kuei. Like his counterparts, his last program is to find and terminate the rogue ninja Sub Zero. Without a soul, Cyrax goes undetected by Shao Kahn and remains a possible threat against his occupation of Earth.

Ending:Cyrax is captured by Sub-Zero and reprogrammed with new orders: to destroy Shao Kahn. With Kahn unable to detect this soulless assassin, Cyrax delivers a successful sneak attack.

However, after eliminating Kahn and saving Earth, Cyrax awaits for new orders from his Lin Kuei Headquarters. The orders never come and Cyrax malfunctions. He ends up stranded in the middle of the desert, blindly heading back toward his base.

File:Jax.jpg [edit] Jax

Bio:In failing to convince his superiors of the coming Outworld invasion, Jax prepares to covertly for the future battle with Kahn's minions. He fits both arms with indestructible bionic implants. This is a war Jax is prepared to win.

EndingThe second time Jax battles the forces of Shao Kahn, he comes prepared. Thought to be the strongest man on Earth, Jax has easily proven it. First by beating Kahn's armies, then by defeating Kahn himself.

When the world reverts back to normal, Jax and Sonya start the Outerworld Investigation Agency. Jax runs the exploratory division which learns to open portals through science rather than magic. He leads the first expedition into a mysterious new realm. [edit] Kabal

Bio:As a chosen warrior, his identity is a mystery to all. It is believed he is a survivor of an attack by Shao Kahn's extermination squads. As a result, he is viciously scarred, kept alive by artificial respirators and a rage for ending Shao Kahn's conquest.

Ending:After returning from near death, Kabal swears revenge against his attackers. He fights alongside the other Earth warriors. When he defeats Motaro and the mighty Shao Kahn, he proves he is truly the chosen one.

Before the invasion, Kabal had led a life of crime. He was once a member of the Black Dragon along with Kano. Now Kabal devotes his life to fighting injustice. He gives crimes' inner circles something to fear. [edit] Kano

Bio:Kano was thought to have been killed in the first tournament. Instead, he is found alive in the outworld where he again escapes capture by Sonya. Before the actual Outworld invasion, Kano convinces Kahn to spare his soul. Kahn needs someone to teach his warriors how to use Earth's weapons... Kano is the man to do it.

Ending:When Shao Kahn lets Kano live he fails to recognize the resourcefulness of the scheming human. Kano lures Kahn's armies away on a false mission: then nukes them using a stolen weapon. He fights the remaining warriors and finally defeats Kahn himself.

Kano's true intention is to take over the souls which Kahn once possessed. But Kano is unable to control the spirits as they escape and attack him. Rumored to have suffered a violent death, Kano was ignorant of the fact that he saved the world that he tried to conquer. [edit] Kung Lao

Bio:Kung Lao's plan to reform the White Lotus Society comes to a halt when Shao Kahn's invasion takes the earth by storm. As a chosen warrior Kung Lao must use his greatest fighting skills to bring down Shao Kahn's reign of terror.

Ending:When Shao Kahn invades Earth, Kung Lao must scrap his plans of reuniting the White Lotus Society. He instead must focus on the new tournament. He seeks Liu Kang and together they battle Kahn's forces fearlessly.

Using the knowledge he obtained as a Shaolin Monk, he fights in the name of his great ancestor- the original Kung Lao. He emerges victorious but suffers from injuries during battle with Kahn. Believed to have died, Kung Lao joins his ancestors in a new life. [edit] Liu Kang

Bio:After the Outworld invasion, Liu Kang finds himself the prime target of Kahn's extermination squads. He is the Shaolin Champion and has thwarted Kahn's schemes in the past. Of all the humans, Kang poses the greatest threat to Shao Kahn's rule.

Ending:After Kahn's takeover of Earth, Liu Kang finds himself the prime target of Shao Kahn's extermination squads. Kang is the reigning Mortal Kombat Champion and has proved it by easily defeating Kahn's minions.

But it is the apparent death of Shaolin brother Kung Lao that enrages Kang and enables him to find the strength to defeat Shao Kahn. Then, before the portal closes, Liu Kang is greeted by Princess Kitana and thanked for saving Earth and the Outworld. [edit] Nightwolf

Bio:Nightwolf works as a historian and preserver of his peoples culture. When Kahn's portal opens over North America, Nightwolf uses the magic of his Shamen to protect his tribes sacred land. This area becomes a vital threat to Kahn's occupation of Earth.

Ending:Nightwolf helps the other Earth warriors escape to his sacred land. Once there, they regroup and plan a form of attack against Shao Kahn's invasion. Nightwolf has trained hard for this battle. Finally, he faces Shao Kahn and emerges victorious.

When the Earth returns to its normal state, Nightwolf peacefully regains his land the Native American people lost over many years. They establish their own proud nation and soon become the great leaders of Earth. [edit] Sektor

Bio:Sektor is actually the code name for unit LK-9T9. He was the first of three Prototype Cybernetic Ninjas built by the Lin Kuei. Sektor was once a human assassin trained by the Lin Kuei. He volunteered for automation because of his loyalty to the clan. Sektor survives the Outworld invasion- he has no soul for Shao Kahn to take.

Ending:After eventually terminating Sub-Zero, Sektor is attacked by Shao Kahn's army. Unfamiliar with the Outworld warriors, Sektor fights back. He targets Kahn and all Outworld beings as threats to the Lin Kuei.

Kahn's minions are no match for Sektor, who fights his way into the fortress. Once inside, Sektor initiates his self-destruct sequence. The resulting explosion is so massive that it closes the portal and returns Earth back to normal. [edit] Shang Tsung

Bio:Tsung is Shao Kahn's lead sorcerer. He once fell out of favor with his emperor after failing to win the Earth Realm through tournament battle. But the ever scheming Shang Tsung is instrumental in Kahn's conquest of Earth. He has now been granted more power than ever.

Ending:When Shao Kahn overtakes the Earth, he needs Shang Tsung to help locate the surviving humans. Granted new powers, Tsung soon discovers his dark emperor's true plan: as soon as the remaining warriors are disposed of, Kahn will take Tsung's own soul.

After learning this, Tsung turns on his master. He catches Motaro off guard and then defeats Shao Kahn. But before the Earth can return to normal, Tsung takes all the souls as his own. He will forever rule the Earth with his own brand of evil. [edit] Sheeva

Bio:Sheeva was hand picked by Shao Kahn to serve as Sindel's personal protector. She becomes suspicious of Shao Kahn's loyalty toward her race of Shokan when he places Motaro as the head of his extermination squads. On the Outworld, Motaro's race of Centurions is the natural enemy of the Shokan.

Ending:While Sheeva serves her master on Earth, her race of Shokan are being punished on the Outworld. Kahn now favors Motaro's race of centurions and aids them in defeating the Shokan. After learning of these events, Sheeva turns on her master.

She defeats Motaro and in a rage brings down Kahn. In freeing Earth, she also frees the Outworld. She then returns home and works to restore the pride and respect of her race. [edit] Sindel

Bio:Sindel once ruled the Outworld at Shao Kahn's side as queen. Now 10,000 years later after her untimely death, she is reborn on Earth with evil intentions. Sindel is the key to Kahn's occupation of Earth.

Ending:Sindel receives visions of her true past and turns against Shao Kahn. She discovered that her true husband was named Jerrod. They once had a daughter named Kitana and ruled the realm called Edenia, before Kahn took it away in their own Mortal Kombat.

He uses Sindel as a pawn in his quest for Earth and took Kitana as his own daughter. But in defeating Shao Kahn, Sindel frees the Earth. In doing so, she also liberates Edenia and assures a reunion with her 10,000 year old daughter - Kitana. [edit] Smoke

Bio:Smoke, unit LK-7T2, is the third prototype cyber-ninja built by the Lin Kuei. He tried to escape the automation process with Sub-Zero but was captured. His memories were stripped away, leaving behind an emotionless killer. However, Sub-Zero believes that within this machine is a human soul trying to escape.

Ending:Smoke was once a friend and ally of Sub-Zero when they both tried to escape from being turned into machines by their ninja clan. But Smoke is captured and transformed into a cyborg with a mission to kill his own partner.

But Smoke soon finds himself being pursued by Shao Kahn's minions. He learns he still has a soul and his true mission is the destruction of the Outworld invaders. He defeats Kahn and saves the world, but is forever trapped in his artificial body. [edit] Sonya

Bio:Sonya disappears in the first tournament, but is later rescued by Jax. After returning to Earth, she and Jax try to warn the U.S government of the looming Outworld menace. Lacking proof, they watch helplessly as Shao Kahn begins his invasion.

Ending:Sonya defeats her arch-enemy Kano high atop a skyscraper near Shao Kahn's fortress. She then comes face to face with the emperor himself. In an incredible display of courage, Sonya wins.

When the world returns to its normal state, Sonya has no trouble convincing her superiors to form the Outerworld Investigation Agency, devoted to protecting the Earth against possible future invasions from other realms. [edit] Stryker

Bio:When the Outworld portal opens over a large city in North America, panic and chaos rage out of control. Kurtis Stryker was the leader of the Riot Control Brigade when Shao Kahn began taking souls. He finds himself the lone survivor of a city once populated by millions.

Ending:Ignorant of why his soul was spared from the Outworld invasion, Stryker receives a vision from Raiden. He is instructed to travel west. He eventually meets the rest of Earth's warriors and learns the true meaning of his survival.

He travels back to the city he swore to protect. Kahn is unfamiliar with this new kombatant and is caught off guard. Stryker defeats the warlord and saves the entire planet. The chaos that consumed the city in the hours before the invasion are gone. [edit] Sub-Zero

Bio:The ninja returns- unmasked. Betrayed by his own clan, the Lin Kuei, he broke sacred codes of honor by leaving his clan and is marked for death. But unlike the ninja of old, his pursuers comes as machines. He must not only defend himself against the Outworld menace, but he must also elude his soulless assassins.

Ending:In vicious battle, Sub-Zero faces Cyrax and Sektor: but not alone. He finds his third Lin Kuei Assassin - the elusive Smoke. Before automation Smoke and Sub-Zero were allies. Sub-Zero helps Smoke recall his past and gains him as an ally once again.

Sub-Zero defeats his cyborg assassins with the help of Smoke and finds it takes all his own inner strengths to defeat Kahn and his Outworld Minions. The former ninja once again disappears into the shadows. His legacy known only by a select few.


Although the game was a hit, some MK fans disliked the inclusion of new main characters in place of highly praised characters such as Raiden, Johnny Cage, Reptile, and Scorpion.[1] In fact, this was the first mainstream Mortal Kombat game to lack the traditional palette-swapped masked ninjas (Sub-Zero is not counted due to his new appearance). This proved to be unpopular with fans of the series, which lead to the ninja concept being reinstated in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.[citation needed]

Some of the returning characters from the previous games in Mortal Kombat 3 were actually portrayed by new actors, since their original portrayers left Midway due to royalty disputes. Ho Sung Pak (Liu Kang and the original Shang Tsung), Phillip Ahn (the second Shang Tsung), Elizabeth Malecki (Sonya Blade), Katalin Zamiar (Kitana/Mileena/Jade) and Dan Pesina (Johnny Cage and Scorpion/Sub-Zero/Reptile/Smoke/Noob Saibot) were not involved in the production of Mortal Kombat 3[2], resulting the use of new actors for Liu Kang (Eddie Wong), Sonya Blade (Kerri Hoskins), Shang Tsung and Sub-Zero (both played by John Turk) in Mortal Kombat 3. In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, all of the male ninjas would also be played by John Turk, while the female ninjas (Kitana, Mileena and Jade) were played by Becky Gable. Johnny Cage would be played by Chris Alexander in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

Carlos Pesina, who played Raiden in the first two games, did not appear in Mortal Kombat 3 as a penalty for his involvement in the rival game Tattoo Assassins, but was still employed by Midway. His character returned in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, but using most of the same sprites from Mortal Kombat II.

Prior to the game's release, Ed Boon released screen shots on the CompuServe ISP network via his personal account.


While the fatalities in Mortal Kombat 2 kept a certain plausibility to them, in MK3 most of them are totally ludicrous, even cartoonish and having a humorous tone to them. Examples of this are Kabal's head inflation or Jax growing to a gigantic size and crushing the opponent under his foot.

Glitches also occur in fatalities' animations such as how if an opponent's upper torso is chopped off, their hands would be floating to the side of the waist, when there are no arms to hold them (seen in Kung Lao's hat throw finisher). A similar thing happens with the arms when the upper body is sliced too, being cut under the shoulders. If an exploding or shredding finishing move was performed on a cyborg ninja, they will have human limbs. In any fatalities that involve the victim's skeleton becoming visible (such as Kano's skeleton rip or burning fatalities), they will have a human skeleton. If one such move is performed on Sheeva, the skeleton will only have two bony arms (this was corrected in Mortal Kombat Trilogy).

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