6. Final Boss – Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat 3)
So you thought you could brute force your way through the arcade setting on Mortal Kombat 3 by constantly tripping everybody? Don’t worry, we all tried it. But even if that worked, you would be of luck once you got to the last two fights. Even if you managed to get through Motaro, a stop-motion, four-legged, jacked up, beefcake monster that could literally grab you by the neck and punch you across the screen, even if you somehow managed to get past that, then you had the Emperor of Outworld, the game’s final boss, waiting to beat the p*** out of you on the other side: Shao Kahn.
Throughout the levels, even if you were against the wall, you could at least try to execute a round house or an upper cut to get some distance and try to compose yourself. Shao Kahn however, could only be sent back a couple of steps even by the most powerful of strikes. He was all over you from the first second of the fight and would never let up. Even if you blocked, his strikes would still do damage and his strikes would do more damage than any other fighter on the game. He was a worthy final boss.
The original Mortal Kombat arcade game, released way back when in 1992, was only intended by be a quick project – something easy to make that wouldn’t cost a lot to put out but would hopefully make a decent amount of money to help fund the next big project for Midway. However, the beast grew into something no one ever expected, and Midway realised something – the public like violent fighting games.
Filled with blood, guts, gore and state-of-the-art animation, Mortal Kombat proved to be a whirlwind success, the scale of which no one expected. From there, Mortal Kombat 2 improved on the original, adding more characters and more moves, but it was with the release of Mortal Kombat 3 to arcades in 1995, and then ported to the PlayStation soon after, that Midway really hit their stride.
MK3 was light-years ahead of its time – it had home-console level graphics that were mind-blowing at the time, and it gave the player the opportunity to execute combos of three, four, five, six moves and even beyond that.
But just like any arcade game, it was designed to be incredibly difficult, to keep that flow of coins coming, and MK3 proved to be the most difficult yet.
To the casual player, Shao Kahn was practically impossible to defeat – not only that, MK3’s fights were structured as a best of three, meaning that you had to defeat the final boss twice!!
Shao Kahn proved to be the most difficult boss yet, and only with constant practice could you ever hope to defeat him. Even then it was extremely difficult.