Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Ultimate MK3.png
Promotional flier for the arcade version
Designer(s) Ed Boon
John Tobias
Composer(s) Dan Forden
Series Mortal Kombat
Platform(s) Arcade, Sega Saturn, Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360,[notes 1] PlayStation 2,[notes 2] Nintendo DS, iOS, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
PlayStation Network
  • NA August 2011
  • EU August 2011
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution ROM cartridge, CD-ROM, DVD, download
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Midway Wolf Unit
Sound ADSP2150 MDC System
Display Raster resolution 400 x 254 (horizontal), palette colors 32768

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3) is a fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series, released in arcades in 1995. It is an update of Mortal Kombat 3 (MK3) and was later updated again into Mortal Kombat Trilogy. According to Ed Boon in 2008, this game is his favorite 2D Mortal Kombat title.[1]

In 2006 an arcade perfect-version of UMK3 shipped with the premium versions of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the PlayStation 2. Midway had also released an online version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the Xbox Live Arcade on the Xbox 360 prior to bankruptcy. The game was released to the marketplace in North America accidentally on October 20, 2006; it was then taken off, before being released officially on October 21. In 2007 the Nintendo DS version called Ultimate Mortal Kombat was also released. In 1995 through 2000, the Microsoft Windows versions for 95, 98, 2000 and Me also known as Ultimate Mortal Kombat: Third Legions were released.

This game is rated M on the Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Sega Saturn, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES versions. On the last three versions, it is rated M for Realistic Violence and Realistic Blood and Gore; for the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 the M rating is for Blood and Gore and Intense Violence. The game is not rated in the Arcade version, but it has the AAMA rating of Life-Like Violence-Strong.



Gameplay was identical to MK3 but introduced a few new elements. New MK3 characters were added in UMK3, including Kitana, Jade, Reptile and Scorpion on the prototype version; new Ultimate Kombat Code added in revision 1.0 to enable Mileena, Ermac and Classic Sub-Zero. Two new gameplay modes were introduced: the 2-on-2 Kombat Mode which was similar to an Endurance match but with human players on both sides, and a new eight-player Tournament Mode.

Some characters were given new moves and some character moves were altered a bit, in most cases to balance the gameplay. Some characters were given extra combos and some combos were even damage reduced. Chain combos could be started by using a jump punch (vertical or angled) or a vertical jump kick, which created more comboing opportunities. Combos that knock opponents in the air would no longer send one's opponent to the level above in multi layered levels (only regular uppercuts would allow for this).

Additionally several miscellaneous features were added and changed to UMK3. The original red portal background used for the "Choose Your Destiny" screen is now replaced with Blue Portal and an extra Master difficulty is added as well. In the additional "Master" difficulty setting, Endurance Matches return, in which the player can face as many as three opponents in a given round. These were not seen since the first Mortal Kombat. Shao Kahn's Lost Treasures - selectable prizes, some are extra fights, others lead to various cutscenes or other things - are introduced after either the main game or the 8-player tournament are completed. The smallest alterations to the game include character announcements when Shang Tsung transforms and the "Toasty!" sound is now played during the game's end credits and when the players inserting a coin, when Dan Forden's image is shown.

Some elements from MK3 were missing in UMK3. The only biographies featured are for Kitana, Jade, Scorpion, and Reptile, the ninja characters who were not included in MK3, but were added to the lineup for this release, while all of the biographies and the full-body portraits of the MK3 characters are missing. The biographies that are featured use their Versus screen portrait, with text, on the portal/battleplan background. All of the character endings show each character's versus screen picture accompanied by text, instead of using original art as MK3 did. The storyline intro pictures and accompanying text are never shown. Finally, The Bank and Hidden Portal were the only stages missing from MK3, they were removed completely from gameplay.

The CPU AI was improved in the game. However, two new flaws were introduced along with the revisions: while backflipping away from an opponent, if the player performs a jump kick, the CPU will always throw a projectile. This leaves the CPU vulnerable to attacks such as Sektor's teleport-uppercut, which can easily lead into a devastating combo. If the player walks back-and-forth within a certain range of the AI's chosen character, the CPU will mimic the player's walking movements for the whole round and never attack (this gameplay flaw remained and was not corrected for Mortal Kombat Trilogy). In addition, an earlier version of the AI was used in UMK3 -- version 1.1 of the AI was used instead of version 1.2, which caused issues with its less-developed code.

Characters and cast

Playable characters returning from Mortal Kombat 3
Bosses and sub-bosses from MK3
Additional characters
Unlockable characters

Players can unlock characters via Ultimate Kombat Kode after playing.

  • Classic Sub-Zero (John Turk) - Unlocked by Ultimate Kombat Kode. He returned from Mortal Kombat.
  • Ermac (John Turk) - Unlocked by Kombat Kode. The new male red ninja who was rumored to have appeared in the original Mortal Kombat.
  • Human Smoke (John Turk). He returned from Mortal Kombat II, but is a palette swap of Scorpion.
  • Mileena (Becky Gable) - Unlocked by Kombat Kode.
Hidden opponents and console exclusives
  • Noob Saibot (John Turk) - Although he was featured in the original MK3, he is no longer a palette swap of Kano but that of a ninja. Like before, he is fought via Kombat Kode. (Some machines known as Wave Net machines had a hidden code to play as Noob Saibot.)
  • Rain (John Turk) - Featured in the game's opening montage (except on Saturn), he is actually a fake hidden character that is not found in the arcade game, being playable only on the 16-bit console versions.

In the SNES and Mega Drive versions of the game, both Noob Saibot and Rain are playable, although Sheeva is not present. The boss characters Motaro and Shao Kahn are also selectable, being enabled via a cheat code menu.

The female ninja characters (Mileena, Kitana and Jade), returning from Mortal Kombat II, were portrayed by a different actress (Becky Gable) due to the lawsuit issued by Katalin Zamiar and some of the other MKII actors against Midway. They were also given a different set of outfits and hairstyles, but again identical for all of them (in the game there are just three palette swap character models for male, female and robot ninjas, not counting the MK3 Sub-Zero but including Classic Sub-Zero).

Returning characters were greeted by critics as an improvement the "lackluster roster" of MK3 with "the greatly missed" Kitana, Mileena, Scorpion and Reptile.[3][4]


Including all of the original backgrounds from Mortal Kombat 3, minus The Bank and the Hidden Portal (which were removed), UMK3 features several new backgrounds: Scorpion's Lair / Hell (this stage also contains a new Stage Fatality, where the opponent is uppercut into a river of lava); Jade's Desert (in a reference to his MK3 ending, Cyrax is seen stuck waist-deep in sand in the background); River Kombat / The Waterfront; Kahn's Kave / The Cavern; Scislac Busorez/Classic Sub-Zero / Blue Portal / Lost (a combination of the background from the UMK3 "choose your destiny" screen, The Pit 3 bridge, and the mountains and bridge from The Pit II in MKII); Noob's Dorfen/Boon's Forden (a knock-off of The Balcony stage, which can now be played using a Kombat Kode unlike having to fight Noob to see it like in MK3).

Before reaching any of the original MK3 backgrounds in 1 or 2-player mode, the game must cycle through all of the UMK3 exclusive backgrounds twice. Jade's Desert also serves as a placeholder where The Bank stage used to appear once the player reaches the original MK3 level cycle. The background music used for The Bank is also incorrectly played on Jade's Desert during the MK3 level cycle. Scorpion's Lair, Secret Cave and Abandoned River stages are selectable by using a password while on the missing Bank Stage cycle. In some of the Kombat Zones where a character can be uppercut into different backgrounds: The River, Jade's Desert and Scorpion's Lair → Kahn's Kave.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Wave Net

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Wave Net was a rare network version of the game. It was tested only in the Chicago and San Francisco areas that used a dedicated T1 line, connected directly to Midway's Chicago headquarters; many people outside the test area were not aware of its existence during its release. One store kept the T1 line installed after the test concluded, but eventually removed the Wave Net game in favor of a Golden Tee game that uses a dial-up connection.[citation needed] It is highly unlikely that any Wave Net test games were ever released to the public after the infrastructure was dismantled, and so there are no known dumps of the ROMs used by the games designed for it.

One of the reasons this version was not widely adopted was the rarity and cost of T1 lines at the time. The game was released before alternative broadband access was available. At the time, a T1 was the only guaranteed way to get broadband into an arcade, but the game didn't utilize the full bandwidth of the T1. Midway subsidized the cost of the line during the tests to make it more attractive to the arcade owners.


Like most Mortal Kombat games of its time, this one made its debut in the arcades. It was ported to many home consoles; some were more faithful ports than others.

Sega Saturn

This version is based directly on the version of Mortal Kombat 3 that was released for the PlayStation and PC. It has the same graphical quality and menu system, though in many places remnants of MK3 removed from UMK3 for the arcade remain. The content that differentiates UMK3 from MK3 was added to this version in a haphazard way, which decreased the overall gameplay quality and ruined the balance and depth present in the arcade version.

"The Bank" level that was present in MK3 but was missing from the arcade UMK3 returns. Shang Tsung was given a morph for the Robot Smoke, which was not possible in the arcades. The secret characters can be unlocked via a secret options screen, eliminating the need to enter three separate Kombat Kodes to unlock them. This is much faster, especially since unlocked characters cannot be saved. The Kombat Kodes (to unlock the secret characters) were shortened to have six slots instead of ten (probably in order to allow it to be performed with only one controller), but this method is still slower than entering one code to access the secret options screen.

There were a few deviations from the arcade version that did not necessarily improve upon the game. There are a few new Kombat Kodes, but several that were present in the arcade release do not work any longer. Noob Saibot is a shadow Kano as in MK3, not a black ninja as in the arcade version of UMK3. Since the arcade intro is missing, Rain does not appear in the game, yet the message Kombat Kode "Rain can be found in the Graveyard" is still displayed. When watching the Supreme Demonstration mode it would take almost 30 minutes to complete the whole demonstration: the Saturn would read the CD data to load each finishing move. This would lead the game to stop (or load) the Finishing move. However, when doing it on an animated stage, the animation would still move, while the fighters would stop.

Sega Mega Drive/Genesis

Due to the limitations of the system's hardware, this port featured inferior graphics and sound than the SNES port. It did, however, have exclusive features in comparison to the arcade. Again, like the SNES port, Rain and Noob Saibot are made playable characters along with bosses Motaro and Shao Kahn. Mileena, Ermac and Classic Sub-Zero are playable without any need of codes. Brutalities are also included in this version. Shang Tsung can morph into Robot Smoke, Noob Saibot, and Rain, which is not possible in the arcades. Nightwolf has his Red shadow shoulder move from MKT. This version contained a rendition of Pong entitled MK4, which is the same as the one that appeared in the Mega Drive/Genesis port of MK3.

Some sacrifices were made with this port however. Animalities and Mercies were removed, reducing the number of finishing moves. Shao Kahn's treasure chest has only 10 boxes instead of 12. The announcer no longer says the characters' names. Most of the MK3 levels are missing, including The Balcony and The Street, so uppercutting in the Subway and Soul Chamber does not take the player to the level above. Although the Bell Tower has been removed, the Stage Fatality is still in the code and executable. Another leftover from MK3 that wasn't totally deleted was code data for the 'Endurance Mode', which is still accessible through a Game Genie code. Sheeva has been removed, although her sound clips are still available in the sound test. Sonya's Friendship from Mortal Kombat 3 is used, as opposed to her Friendship from the arcade version of UMK3. Scorpion's "Hellraiser" Fatality is different this time: he takes the opponent back to the Hell stage, where they just catch on fire and explode. Kitana's "Kiss of Death" only inflates heads — the same effect as Kabal's "Air Pump" Fatality. Rain and Noob were given a Brutality, but no other finishing moves. Human Smoke shares Scorpion's combos, rather than having unique ones. In Stryker's Friendship, the running characters are replaced by dogs.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

The limitations of the SNES led to many changes in this port. Despite this, there were a few improvements. This version is considered to have buggy gameplay, and also considered by some to be inferior to the SNES port of the original Mortal Kombat 3. This version has been nevertheless nominated to Nintendo Power Awards '96 in the category Best Tournament Fighting Game.[5]

While removing Animality finishing moves, the Brutalities were introduced, a finishing move that allows the player to attack their opponent with a series of kicks and punches which result in the victim exploding. Rain and Noob Saibot are made playable characters for the first time (although they don't possess Fatalities of their own). Mileena, Ermac and Classic Sub-Zero are playable without any need of codes. Motaro and Shao Kahn are unlockable characters for two player fights, although only one player can choose a boss at a time. An exclusive easter egg was present that allowed access to three separate cheat menus. The player can drastically alter gameplay, access hidden content or view the ending, among many other things.

Many sacrifices were made, however, to fit everything on a SNES cartridge. The announcer no longer says the characters' names. Sheeva has been removed, although launching the 8 vs. 8 Tournament Mode and then selecting random characters will in some cases select the icon for the endurance matches (a large E), which actually represents Sheeva. The graphic data for this character is removed, meaning that she is effectively invisible, but her moves can be performed; she is incredibly fast and very glitchy. Using her normally causes the game to crash after so many moves. Shao Kahn's treasure chest has only ten boxes instead of twelve. The portal stage from MK3 (where Robot Smoke is fought) is present (accessible only through a Game Genie code), but the graphics have been replaced with the UMK3 "choose your destiny" background. The music that is played in this stage is the same as in MK3. Sonya's Friendship from MK3 is used, as opposed to her Friendship from the arcade version of UMK3. Ermac's Fatality is altered. Rain and Noob Saibot were given Babalities, Brutalities and Stage Fatalities, but had no regular Fatalities or other finishing moves. Scorpion's "Hellraiser" Fatality is different: he just takes the opponent back into the Hell stage where they just catch on fire and explode. Kitana's "Kiss of Death" only inflates heads, the same effect as Kabal's "Air Pump" Fatality.

Game Boy Advance (as Mortal Kombat Advance)

Mortal Kombat Advance is the title given to the Game Boy Advance port of the game. The character roster is the same as its 16-bit counterparts. The GBA version features two less buttons than those used in UMK3, which resulted in many special moves' button sequences being consolidated or changed.

The violence in this game was toned down due to a younger fanbase using the GBA (though the game is still rated "M for Mature"). Blood is seen less in this version of the game. Each character (except for Noob Saibot and the bosses) has one individual Fatality and one Friendship. Three hidden characters can be unlocked by completing any tower other than Novice. The hidden characters are Human Smoke (Warrior), Motaro (Master) and Shao Kahn (Grand Master).

MK Advance was widely panned by critics and fans alike. Some players complained that the CPU difficulty had increased dramatically from UMK3, with computer opponents executing excessively long and difficult combos, along with poor controls. Electronic Gaming Monthly editor Dan Hsu gave it the first "0" rating in the magazine's history. It currently has a rank of only 34% at Game Rankings.[6] Mortal Kombat Advance tied with three other titles for the Flat-out Worst Game award on GameSpot in 2002.[7]

PlayStation 2

On all "Premium Edition" copies of the PS2 version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, a near arcade-perfect version of the game is included on the first disc. However, it is impossible to save unlocked characters in this version.

Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade)

This is essentially an emulation, rather than a port, so there were few changes made from the arcade original. Though, there were some minor glitches in their programming such as when playing multiplayer (network play on Xbox Live), there would only be one level all the time (unless a code was entered when starting a battle). There was also glitches regarding not being able to save the Kombat Kode players unlocked such as, masked Sub-Zero, Ermac and Mileena. Xbox Live online support was added like what was in UMK3 Wave Net. Online leaderboards were created to keep track of all time network stats and friends. The screen size was adjustable for anything between 4:3 and 16:9 televisions. Unlockable Achievements were also included.

The game was accidentally released on the digital download service on the evening of Friday, October 20, 2006. It was quickly pulled about 20 minutes later. According to Xbox Live Director of Programming, Major Nelson, an emergency meeting was called to discuss what to do about the game's release, knowing some keen users already purchased the game. The decision was made to go on and release the game on Saturday morning, four days before its scheduled release date. As of 2010, it remains as the only post-launch XBLA game to be released on any day other than Wednesday. GameSpot's "Best and Worst of 2006" named the XBLA version as the best fighting game of the year.[8]

As of June 2010, the game can not be downloaded as it was removed from XBLA due to "publisher evolving rights and permissions". Those who have purchased the game before this date can redownload and play online. This game has been re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade as part of the arcade collection of Mortal Kombat.

Nintendo DS (as Ultimate Mortal Kombat)

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 72.96%[citation needed]
Metacritic 73[citation needed]
Review scores
Publication Score
IGN 7.8/10[9]

On June 27, 2007, MK co-creator Ed Boon officially confirmed a NDS port entitled Ultimate Mortal Kombat, releasing the very first inside report and new screenshots on IGN.[10] The game is an arcade-perfect port of UMK3, and includes Wi-Fi play and brings back the mini-game "Puzzle Kombat" from Mortal Kombat: Deception. Additionally, when unlocking Ermac, Mileena and classic Sub-Zero with Kombat Kodes on the V.S. screen, they remain unlocked even after the game is reset, this is because the game now includes game profiles to which players can access. It was released on November 12, 2007, and rated M for Mature.[11]

Mobile and iOS

In December 2010, Electronic Arts developed a remake of the game for iOS, which featured a wireless two-player mode that could function over either WIFI or bluetooth connections. Although the gameplay remained true to the 2D original, the graphics had been updated from the digitized sprites of the arcade machine, and were then rendered in 3D. Control was implemented via an on-screen joystick and buttons, utilising the iOS-based device's capacitive touchscreen. Network communication allowed for scores to be posted online, and a 'simple' control scheme was also included to improve accessibility. The character roster was incomplete, featuring only nine playable characters (Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kitana, Nightwolf, Jax, Sheeva, Sonya, Liu Kang and Stryker). Success at playing the game would unlock two additional fighters (Ermac and Jade). Both boss characters were included as CPU-only opponents. The game also featured achievements. In June 2011, EA updated the game to include the full roster and six new arenas.[citation needed]

In late 2010, EA Mobile released a Java-based port of the game for mobile phones. The game featured six playable fighters and a boss character.[citation needed]

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection

It has been officially confirmed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that an arcade collection consisting of Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 will be released as a downloadable title for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC on August 31, 2011.[12]


  1. ^ On the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) platform. The game was removed from the platform February 2010
  2. ^ Bundled with the special edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.


External links

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