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YMMV: Mortal Kombat 3
  • Awesome Music: The whole soundtrack. Even if some of the game's faults undercut its tone (see Franchise Original Sin below), the music is damn atmospheric for a fighting game.
  • Creator's Pet: The designers anticipated that Stryker would become one of the most popular characters in the series. When this didn't happen (quite the reverse, actually, thanks to his design clashing with the rest of the series) they responded by increasing his power until he was a Game Breaker, which just made people hate him more. Some players, however, like the contrast, and the irony in how he's a darkhorse for being the most normal character in the game. It helps that his grenades are great against jumpers.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Kabal and Ermac started out as mild Base Breakers due to their initial overpoweredness, but when toned-down for their return in Deception, the two cemented themselves as this. Ermac even gets to play cleanup for the heroes!
    • Khameleon, introduced in the N64 port of Trilogy. Fans were not pleased that she wasn't included in Armageddon, to the point that she was added to the Wii release of the game.
      • Khameleon's inclusion in Armageddon is a possible case of Fridge Brilliance, as it mirrors how the different ports of Trilogy included these silver, translucent ninjas. The Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn versions had the male ninja Chameleon, who cycled through the male ninja's moves. The Nintendo 64 port featured the female Khameleon, who cycled through the female ninja's moves. Fast forward to Armageddon, and Nintendo's port still has the female and male while the Sony and Microsoft (taking place of Sega) versions have only the male.
    • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is this for the Mortal Kombat 3 series of games on the whole, so much so that it is the only version of the game to see further releases on modern consoles. Aside from improving on several glaring flaws in the Vanilla version, it was also the most balanced and fun of the three games.
  • Epileptic Trees: Sheeva's connection to Goro. Speculation goes anywhere from his sister/a relative of his (a la Kintaro) to his wife.
  • Even Better Sequel: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is considered (by some, hence why this trope is YMMV) to be the best game not just in the Mortal Kombat 3 series of games, but the entire series as a whole until Mortal Kombat 9.
  • Fetish Retardant: Mileena.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The series' sense of cool started to dissipate with Mortal Kombat 3. Shockingly enough, many fans still love it. If anything, everything stated below is possible Narm Charm:
    • All the colorful ninjas pouring off an assembly line, riding Scorpion and Sub-Zero's popularity.
    • Stryker, forcing us to admit a lot of the series' designs were actually kind of dorky and the games ran on cheapness. Even Ed Boon admitted as much in the DVD extras for Armageddon, although he found it amusing that players initially stayed away from him because of the lame design, even though, as people would discover, he had some of the most overpowered moves in the game.
    • The fatalities becoming extremely stupid and lazily done, with things like static dismemberment (imagine cutting up a photograph with scissors and you'll get the idea of how this looked; thankfully, the iOS version of Ultimate being 3D-rendered amended this problem) and exploding bodies raining down dozens of limbs, skulls and ribcages—all from a single victim. Compare the decapitations in MK3/UMK3 (where the head simply falls off the body straight to the ground, the body standing completely upright) to the ones in MK2 (the head tumbles in the air as it's lopped off and rolls a couple of times on the ground while the body staggers then drops to the floor).
    • It was the moment when the cast gained familiar, western tropes. Until then even the American characters were still supernatural martial artists in exercise clothes. Now you had the magical Indian, the Super Cop, the deformed guy with a respirator helmet, and a whole mess of cyborgs. Ignoring how the first three just happened to be incredibly broken, all their concepts were things we'd grown up seeing done better. Some of us paused for a second and wondered, "Is this how the rest of the game looks to Asians?"
    • Bears repeating: ROBOT NINJAS.
    • Since the game takes place on Earthrealm, about half of the stages lack the interesting Asian mythological feel of the first two games and are rather mundane, such as "The Bridge", "The Waterfront" and the ever-exciting "Bank".
  • Game Breaker:
    • Kurtis Stryker went from out of place in MK3 to out of place and freaking annoying to fight in UMK3 when Midway gave him a gun for one of his special moves. This blew him to full-on Creator's Pet-dom and cemented his being put on a bus until Armageddon.
    • Nightwolf had this early on in the original MK3's life cycle. In early arcade versions, he could run faster than he could throw. This let him pull off combos which were both impossible to avoid and not actually supposed to be possible in the first place. Thankfully, later revisions slowed down Nightwolf's running speed and kept him from Stryker's fate.
    • Both Rain and Noob Saibot have unlimited combos in Trilogy, the former using his screen-wrapping roundhouse over and over, and latter using his Teleport Slam.
    • In an example that ended up defining him instead of making him an annoyance, Kabal was the fastest character in the game. Add in the Run button and you've got some really quick beatdowns.
    • Kabal and Ermac in their respective debuts (vanilla MK3 and UMK3) at least approached this status, so the dev team was savvy enough to tone them down a bit in the Updated Rereleases.
    • Sheeva's Teleport Stomp move in MK3 made her one. It was easy to pull off and quite damaging. With enough patience and skill, even Motaro can be swiftly taken down with it.
    • And there is Motaro himself. You really no longer have to bother with such futile things as skill or strategy once you unlock him.
    • Shang Tsung can temporarily morph into any other playable character, complete with their moves, combos, and fatalities. It can be a lot to juggle, but learn the ropes and there's literally no reason to pick anyone else.
  • Magnum Opus: This was considered to be such at least until Mortal Kombat 9, due to the Porting Disaster that was Trilogy and hitting the Polygon Ceiling with the 3D games onwards.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Shao Kahn's announcer voice in MK3.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mileena, again.
  • Porting Disaster: Trilogy. You're pretty well boned no matter what version you opt to get.
    • The Playstation/Saturn version contains every available character (a few with multiple iterations), but being on a disc, there's Loads and Loads of Loading involved, and the game is prone to locking up.
    • The N64 version, by contrast, has a much smaller character roster, is missing frames of animation, suffers from tinny sound, and has the problem with the N64's controller design, but is arguably more stable and contains a few additional features.
    • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the SNES is considered to be one of the glitchiest games ever released for the console. One wrong move can crash your game, or render the current match totally unplayable. Ironically, a lot of players actually have fun triggering these glitches, if only to see how many interesting ones they can find.
      • The Genesis version also has more than its share of glitches; both cartridges presumably fell victim to the game's roster pushing their limits, even with (or even because of) all the palette swaps.
    • Mortal Kombat Advance, a port of UMK3 for the Game Boy Advance. It was farmed out to another studio, Virtucraft, to make a quick buck on the MK name, and it shows. It has the dubious honor of receiving EGM's first ever rating of a 0.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Stryker in Mortal Kombat 9. Inverted with Sindel in the same game.
    • The concept itself was rescued by the Ultimate update, and, at least until Mortal Kombat 9, considered that to be the peak of the franchise. This is lampshaded by the character roster of Mortal Kombat 9, which only features characters from the first 3 games (save for Quan Chi and Kenshi).
  • The Scrappy: Stryker, before his Armageddon redesign.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: If you watch a lot of the behind-the-scenes footage and interviews for MK3, Ed Boon and John Tobias tout the combination lock system for multiplayer as something "revolutionary" and was the main focus in its advertising to arcade operators, listing that codes and symbols were going to be everywhere and that every MK player was going to be dying to seek them out. In execution, it was a cheat system that not a lot of players used and Midway's NBA Jam series had been using this code system several years before MK3 did.
    • Let's not forget the run button; It was a mechanic added to introduce combos into the game, specifically chain-styled, but when you used it, you either ran out before you could pull off anything useful, or your foe hit you, canceling your assault. It was better to call it a suicide button, because that's basically what you get when you press it.
  • That One Boss: Motaro, a centaur, who can teleport behind you and chain attacks with no end. Not to mention his immunity to projectiles. And then there's the uber-fast Shao Kahn...
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • In this era, Nightwolf ran faster than he threw people. Thankfully, Deception's lack of a Run button prevented a redux of this.
    • Stryker was unpopular in MK3, so the developers tried to compensate for this by ramping up his threat level in UMK3. Thing is, he wasn't unpopular because he wasn't powerful enough...
  • Vindicated by History: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 gets a lot more tournament play nowadays (and was one of the first online-enabled XBOX Live Arcade games), and a lot of the characters that were hated back in the nineties are now returning fan favorites in Mortal Kombat 9. Inverted with Sindel after a particularly infamous scene late in the story mode of Mortal Kombat 9.
  • Yellowface: White bodybuilder John Turk's portrayal of the Chinese Shang Tsung can be seen as this.

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