I was first exposed to Mortal Kombat in an arcade in my old town of Chrillston. There was only one arcade at the time and it wasn't anything special. The arcade looked as though it took place in an abandoned warehouse and it was incredibly run down. They didn't have many games, and most of the games they did have were broken. The workers skin was pale and clammy. They had dark circles under their sunken eyes. The arcade would get a lot of recalled games such as Berzerk, which was sent there after it was told of the two deaths, and I do actually recall seeing Polybius for a short while.
The only arcade games that really worked were, Pac man, Frogger, a glitchy Mario Bros, and Tetris. That all changed when Mortal Kombat 2 came to town.
When MK came to our shitty little arcade, kids went nuts. There were lines out the doors, and some fights even started over it. Rumors spread like wildfire as almost everyone was trying to get secret characters like a red ninja named Ermac, and a green girl ninja named Emerald. Everyone had a bunch of different theories, nobody got to try them all because there were too many people. Another problem was that there was one person who was incredible at the game and would never lose. My old girlfriend Emily and I loved the game and listening to the speculation being spread around. One theory really caught my attention. The theory was that if you tipped the game over and won in versus with a fatality one hundred times in a row you would be invincible with the character you used. This got us psyched as we wanted to defeat the best kid in town.
We needed to try it, but we couldn't do it with the creep employees lurking around. We decided we would sneak in at night, as the doors had no locks. One night we actually snuck in. We rushed to the old arcade machine and immediatly started lifting. Finally the huge machine toppled over and shook the ground as it fell. After that we finally used all of our strength to lift up the massive cabinet, and lifted it up. We then put one of the coins in our multiple bags of coins in and got ready to play.
The game started up incredibly glitchy, which I expected considering how we tipped over the machine. The title screen loaded up horribly glitchy and silent. It was hard to make out what the words said but I could actually make out the word "versus" on the screen. I selected versus and the screen cut to black. An image flashed on screen and then there was a loud buzzing noise. Neither of us could tell what the image was. All we knew was that we did something bad to the machine. The obnoxious buzzing noise was deafening and it brought us back. After about a minute the buzzing stopped and the character select screen loaded.
Some music played, droning out the complete silence that surrounded us. We decided it would be best if I chose our favorite character, Scorpion. The loading screen music was... strange. It was a horrible pianist attempting to play a song, but it just sounded like off chord notes. The battle started and scorpion came on the screen. A grinding noise came out of the machine as he began to speak. I couldn't hear what he had to say but I could hear him say, "WHAT....TIME....NOW...HORRIBLE..." and that was it.
Emily's character didn't even show up, but when it eventually did, we both wished it hadn't. Her character, Sub Zero's, sprite was all jumbled up. He had a look of sheer pain in his eyes. He was completely covered in blood and had a few extra steel arms that seemed to have been stitched on. Another grinding noise came out as Sub Zero spoke.
I could only decipher the words, "DESIGNER...WRONG...ACCIDENT...PAIN..DOCTOR...". I couldn't understand what it meant though. Emily had a look of horror as she knew that this was not supposed to happen. The battle started and Sub Zero's sprite began to cry. I went to go hit it, knowing what we came to do.
Once I hit Sub Zero, his cyborg arms fell off and a shrill shreek burst out he game. Our ears hurt a lot and the screaming wouldn't stop. Scorpion then finally cut off Sub Zero's head. The screen cut to black and the words, "WIN ONE CONTINUE?" appeared on screen. I pressed punch and it brought us back to the character select screen. The music was very spotty and some of the characters were not selectable.
Emily suggested to leave, but being the fool that I was, I insisted that we stayed. She finally gave in and chose her new character, Baraka. Once again Scorpion was the only one out on the arena, but this time, he was dead silent. Baraka came out, Blood splattered on his chest. He had an expression of horror. The match started and none of the inputs me or Emily put in would work. The characters just stood there. We were trying to see what was wrong when the words "NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHING" in purple showed up on screen.
We were both amazed as we expected to see the elusive Emerald or Scarlet! When the new character popped out behind Baraka, we were both shocked.
The character was nobody any of us had ever even heard of. His name was The Doctor and was very strange. He was a man with hypnotic eyes, carrying a scalpel and a syringe filled with yellow liquid. His suit was a doctor's, splattered with blood and oil. I speculated that this was the doctor that Sub Zero had mentoned. The doctor took out a bone saw and slowly cut off baraka's bladed arms. He then went over to the immobile Scorpion. The Doctor then cut off one of Scorpion's legs and stitched on one of baraka's arms in it's spot. Scorpion dropped to the ground unable to keep his balance. He then ripped off his other leg by hand and attatched the other arm. After that he put Scorpion's legs onto Baraka. He stood up scorpion and then he took out a purple syringe and injected it into scorpion. A gut wrenching scream blared out of the speakers as The Doctor carried away Scorpion and Baraka.
The Doctor spoke into a walkie talkie "The subjects attempted escape from the test. They have failed me and will be gotten rid of. I'll set up the cloning machine so our research can continue."
Emily and I were at a lost for words at this point. What did this mean? How was this happening? The character select screen popped up. Emily was begging for us to leave, but, I had an insatiable urge to continue playing. Although it was inexplicable as to why I wanted to stay, I told her that we would only do one more game. She agreed and made me swear on my life. I did and she went to choose one more character. We noticed that Scorpion, and Baraka were unselectable so she picked Kung Lao and I picked Jax.
The loading screen showed Jax with Sub Zero's arms. Sure enough, when the battle started he had Sub Zero's arms. Kung lao came out without a head, and he collapsed to the floor. The Doctor was behind him with a scalpel in hand. Jax ran off screen and The Doctor chased him down. Once he did, Jax said "NO NOT AGAIN...PLEASE" then a scream was heard and then silence. The doctor walked on screen and pointed at us, he said with a sadistic smile "A little late to be at the arcade..." Just as he finished that sentence, a bunch of machines started making weird noises and sparking.
The sparks turned into flames and one entire half of the arcade was engulfed in flames. We both bolted to the door. It was locked. I used all of my strength and eventually pushed the door open. Emily was on her way out when someone... something... dragged her back into the god forsaken arcade. I reached to grab her but I missed. She broke free of whatever had her's grasp and ran towards me. just as she was an inch away, her foot got stuck on something. I wasn't able to reach her. I tried and tried but I just couldn't. I knew there was no chance and I said a heartfelt goodbye and left the scene.
I... I could have saved her. If I had just jumped in there and grabbed her, she could still be alive now. The fire department finally got to the building. But, at that point, it was nothing but ashes... that is, except the Mortal Kombat machine, which was left without a scratch. That machine is out there somewhere, but I don't EVER want to see it again. That look of hope, that I could save her, on Emily's face, still haunts me to this very day. Let this be a warning to all. NEVER go into an old arcade at night when you aren't allowed. Those games could hold some horrifying, even deadly secrets...