Players control a United States Air Force pilot who was taken as a prisoner of war in Vietnam in 1972. The pilot must escape the prison compound by battling enemy soldiers with guns and grenades. Various power-ups are available that give the player use of various other weapons including a machine gun and flamethrower. Enemy vehicles such as a plane can also be commandeered.
The Sega Genesis version is single-player only, as the player now controls Captain Addis of the United States Army, who must rescue his fellow soldiers twenty years after he failed to retrieve his men during the Vietnam War. He must now re-navigate through the Ho Chi Minh trail in order to liberate his captured comrades-in-arms. Surviving soldiers are displayed by the dog tags that appear on the screen at the end of each level.
The NES version varied greatly from the others as well as the game show itself in that the events were morphed into side-scrolling and overhead mini-levels that only partially resembled the real-life events.
Each joust event involved four different gladiator battles atop platforms, with a series of joust platforms to be jumped across in between battles.
Human Cannonball also required four gladiators to be beaten with perfectly timed leaps off the rope while the gladiator’s platform elevated up and down, making the task that much more difficult. In this event and the Joust, gladiators screamed gratuitously (and often humorously) as they were knocked off the platforms.
The Wall featured numerous screens full of handholds and footholds with various obstacles, walls, floors and occasional treacherous stretches featuring empty spaces with very few handholds to navigate in order to advance. The gladiators were plentiful and attacked at different points in the wall level. They also moved twice as fast as the character. The wall was a particularly tough event due to its difficult controls that involved repeated rhythmic tapping of the A and B buttons with the directional pad to simulate the movement of the left and right hands to different handholds.
Assault featured a battle with a gladiator in a moving target at the top of the screen (unlike the stationary gladiator in the television series) which took between three and six successful hits to subdue, while the player’s character could absorb three before being defeated.
The most accurate representation of any event in the game was Powerball, an event in which players could not lose a ‘life’ as they could in any other event, but only gain a 1UP if players evaded the three gladiators and scored a ball in each of the five baskets. (Players could also earn two more extra lives if they could accomplish the task again in the same time limit, which decreased between levels.)
NBA Jam, which features two-on-two basketball, is one of the first real playable basketball arcade games and is also one of the first sports games to feature NBA-licensed teams and players, and their real digitized likenesses. A key feature of NBA Jam is the exaggerated nature of the play – players can jump extremely high and make slam dunks that defy both human capabilities and the laws of physics. There are no fouls, free throws, or violations except goaltending and 24-second violations. This means the player is able to freely shove or elbow opponents out of the way. Additionally, if a player makes three baskets in a row, the character becomes “on fire” and has an unlimited turbo and increased shooting precision. The “on fire” mode continues until the other team scores, or until the player who is “on fire” scores four additional consecutive baskets while “on fire”.
Mortal Kombat is an arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway in 1992. It is the first entry in the Mortal Kombat series and subsequently was released by Acclaim Entertainment for nearly every home platform of the time. The game focuses on several characters of various intentions who enter a martial arts tournament with worldly consequences. It introduced many key aspects of the Mortal Kombat series, including the unique five-button control scheme and gory finishing moves called Fatalities.
Mortal Kombat is considered one of the greatest video games of all time by critics and audiences in 21st century and became a best-selling game and remains one of the most popular fighting games in the genre’s history, spawning numerous sequels and spin-offs over the following years and decades, beginning with Mortal Kombat II in 1993, and together with the first sequel was the subject of a successful film adaptation in 1995.