Mortal Kombat Nitro Edition (lost updated port of "Mortal Kombat" for Super Nintendo; 1992-1993)
Mortal Kombat Nitro Edition was a cancelled, updated edition of the eponymous game port on the SNES, following the commercial failure caused by the censorship that Nintendo ordered before the release. It was cancelled to make way for the upcoming sequel, Mortal Kombat 2, which forced the developers, Sculptured Software, to start working on the SNES port almost immediately.
The project remained fell obscurity until Ed Boon mentioned it during an interview in August 27, 2010. He said that the developers involved with the SNES port of Mortal Kombat were working on it. In his own words, it played faster, had much more blood, and allowed you to play as bosses. Even though it was canceled due to Mortal Kombat 2's impending release, he stated that "[t]here's a cartridge of that somewhere in the world."
Almost no information was released the following almost 10 years since that interview, until June 18th, 2020, in which a Twitter account, named "The On Blast Show", belonging to one of the employees of Midway at the time, started publishing several pages and concept arts about the cancelled project.
The game would had an option to change the speed from lowest to fastest, similar to Street Fighter 2 Turbo, the franchise's rival at the time. The game also featured an instant replay option, in which the player was able to see his previous battles on replay to learn from his mistakes against the AI. The option of two different trees in the battle plan, in which the player could choose a "path of light" or a "path of darkness," also existed. Not much information is known about this option, but it would apparently evolve into the "Choose your Destiny" option introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, among other options planned for this updated edition.
Every character had redesigns in their appearance as well as changes and upgrades in their special moves.
Johnny Cage, for instance, had gold-colored shorts and silver wristbands, with the sash being the same color as his shoes, similar to his original design. His special moves remained the same as they were in the original game, just with cosmetic changes. For example, the Shadow Kick has a golden trail instead of the normal green one (same change applies to his Shadow Ball). He also had two new fatalities, which are mentioned as "death moves" in the pages. One involves turning the opponent into a golden statue with a punch and ripping his head off through an uppercut with blood spilling from both sides of the statue, similar to a fountain. The other one would involve ripping the opponent's arm off, in which he would get his head off by his own arm through an uppercut animation. Cage would then throw the arm or hold it into the air.
With this criteria, every character from the original game suffered changes to their looks, special moves, and new fatalities to add a new feel separate from the original game. A lot of the finishing moves, special moves and mechanics planned for this release, like being able to switch between the old look and the new look of a character (an early example of alternate costumes), were eventually introduced in the later releases of the Mortal Kombat series throughout the years, especially the 3D era.
On June 18th 2020, Boon posted a tweet showing several prototype ROMs of Nitro and "a few other" games. He expressed intentions to dump it if they haven't degraded. Ever since then, Mortal Kombat Nitro Edition hasn't leaked to the public.
- Ed Boon's interview with Game Informer. Retrieved 23 Jun '20
- Ed Boon's Twitter post with pictures that highlight differences between Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat Nitro Edition. Retrieved 23 Jun '20
- Ed Boon's Twitter post with a picture of several prototype ROMs of the game. Retrieved 23 Jun '20