Mortal Kombat MUX


  • Pitcrew

    So I've been playing through MKX and I've found myself wondering...why have there never been (to my knowledge) a Mortal Kombat game? I know it's based off a tournament fighter but the past 2 MK titles have been very story driven and I think they've created quite the expansive little universe.

    I like it so much my TT group is searching for a decent system to emulate it to try it out on our game day. It's almost like throwing superheroes, GI Joe, Thundercats, and He-Man into a blender. I'd seriously RP the crap out of that game.

    To the best of my knowledge, however, there has never been an MK game and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Even before they got more story driven in 2011 I think they had an amazingly deep universe that could be explored. Seems like one of those games that could have a little something for everyone.

    Any ideas as to why it's never happened?



  • Match of the Millennium MUCK integrated Mortal Kombat when it revamped last year, but I haven't heard of any purely MK-themed games.


  • Politics

    Lack of a system is probably part of it. But also, just... it's Mortal Kombat. It doesn't immediately strike out as RP-able, even if it is. That said, back in my MSN Chat days, I saw my share of Scorpions and Sub-Zeros.



  • I think a lot of it revolves around the fact that, the concept of the game tends to be 'kill the other guy' and most games with feature characters, which is what MK would draw on a lot for the background and story, wouldn't be doing that regularly. And there are fewer subsets of MU*ers who seem to jibe on the FC-heavy themed games nowadays.

    A weird theme doesn't mean much (hell, when Megaman MUSH started it was drawing a lot from the cartoon, as much as the games), and you see other niche games with weird themes around (the Super Robot Wars games, for example). But with MK that's probably that; especially with the lengths they go to, regarding characters somehow being 'alive' from instance to instance.



  • Another consideration is that fighter games are based around a (relatively) complex system of choices in combat that allow the players to know what the options are, and what the best options are, what those options look like in their opening animation frames, in a given combat situation, and react within those constraints to try to out predict and out twitch response the other player. The reward is brief domination in combat. Enough domination and you win the fight. (By domination I mean one move happens the other is interrupted or prevented).

    This constraint of choices combined with expertise is what makes the game. In a non-real time environment, it would at best devolve to just guessing. It would be possible to make a flow chart describing something like stance and tactical situation so that the players could begin that predictive process (from this current stance, there are only 3 viable moves) but even then it's just random guessing.

    There is a card game called Yomi, named for the process described at the start of this post, and it replaces twitch time with the limitations of card hands to try to make it fun. Attaching it to a RPG would be about the only way you could pull all that off and carry the feel of a fighter. Unless you just like the characters, and don't care about how hard it is to pull of their moves, just that they can.



  • @Misadventure
    I wonder; the Angelic Layer MUSH had a 'card-based fighting game' mechanic. It could be used as inspiration. I've also seen MU*s (particularly a Guilty Gear one) that had a complex system of move calculation; it did rely on players to be paying attention though, because you essentially queued up a move each 'round' against the opponent. It didnt' work as well as they wanted, but it could be tweaked, I'm sure.



  • I don't know how well it works, but the idea that the card approach replaces the reaction time constraint with another seems a good fit. I have played En Garde, where you queued up several very brief moves and compared how they played out, and that was too ... "hope it does something interesting" to me. Too granular (they tracked where you were in a move in a very rough way, and where one player was in their sequence when an attack happened guided the results). In theory a good designer could make sure that cards presented interesting choices. That Yomi game has hundreds of games tracked for deck performance etc.

    I also played Flashing Blades, where the one nod to prediction was that A) each weapon only had a few moves (thrust, slash, strike), and if you guessed which your opponent used, you got a bonus to your parry roll. That turned out to be drudgery.



  • @Misadventure
    The card mechanic could work if you took it in the strides of some newer CCGs; Yu-Gi-Oh has the internal concept of counters when an action takes place through Trap Cards, so perhaps a similar setup of Counters as cards that you have access to. The thing would be how you set stuff up though, because you could in theory stack a deck with nothing but offense and have no counters. And at that point, how do you determine what counters work against what things without having default standards of punch/kick/etc.?



  • Match of the Millennium approache(s/ed -- I'm not entirely sure how active it is at this point) this by just having a very detailed proprietary combat system(http://motm.kicks-ass.net/info/combat.shtml). It isn't /perfect/ at capturing the nuances of playing a fighting game, of course, but it does do a pretty good job of simulating the idea of characters with semi-distinct sets of capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses drawn from a wider common pool.

    Since there are far more abilities, traits and so forth than any one character can have, and special moves can potentially have a lot of different effects to them, the characters I played/saw tended to have notably different playstyles. It does, in practice, involve some guessing to figure out the best method for fighting a given opponent - sheets aren't public, aside from a 'signature' special move and ability - but it's quite possible(and necessary, sometimes) to work out what someone else can do and adjust your own strategy to compensate. The only part of it that really stands out as strange in the context of simulating a fighting game is its 'Fatigue' system, which serves as a renewable resource for special moves, but I feel like this has its place on a MU*.

    It's a mechanically heavy system and I can't speak too authoritatively on how balanced it ever really was, though I personally - in my very limited experience - usually came away feeling like it was fairly solid. I have nothing but respect for the admins who were responsible for designing and tuning it, because - especially after the game rebooted to expand its theme/system last year - it has /so many/ moving parts.

    Something card-focused would make for a neat(and maybe lighter-weight, depending on how /exactly/ it worked) alternative, I think. Maybe you could even earn new cards as a part of plots, or defeating other (N)PCs.


  • Coder

    Mortal Kombat would be a functional game world, and people would RP the hell out of it because really, what does all the MU*'s in the world have in common?

    Bar RP
    Beach/Social RP (Even if there shouldn't be a beach, it's really weird)
    TS
    Conflict/Fights

    You could use any number of systems for it, but honestly... something cinematic would be what I'd go for or on the other hand, something utterly and completely crunchy.

    So Hero System, or Fate.



  • Mutants and Master Minds, with something like Aspects from FATE or the Hubris and Virtue from 7Th Sea 2E to guide players to bolder characterizations.


  • Pitcrew

    I think a modified version of the old Street Fighter system might work fairly well. In the end it broke down into a card based system anyway and everyone is familiar with the WoD style attributes. For shits and giggles I'm throwing together a combat system just to see how smooth it plays.



  • @ZombieGenesis :cry:

    Short version: IF you are concerned at all about the combat being good and evocative of the game, going to a system because people know the names of the Attributes is not going to achieve your goal.

    On the other hand, most player do not care how poor the system matches the genre/theme/source material other than names of characters, places, organizations and attacks. You could play Texas Holdem to resolve combat and they would not care. Just rename The River something like The Moment, and The Hand something like The Moves. BTW, Weapons of the Gods, which is closer to Exalted in its detail of enhanced martial arts, elected to call the dice it keeps for later use The River. So maybe the River, with its flow of the moment is fine.


  • Pitcrew

    @Misadventure
    I pointed out the familiarity most people have with WoD as a bonus, not as the main selling point. The main selling point, for me, is how much fun I had playing the game "back in the day". I don't think it would work straight up on a MUX but I think a modified version could work really well.

    I think a system could be created that is both fairly simple and fairly evocative of the MK experience. Players have their "move cards", each player chooses one, when both are in the system lets everyone know mechanically what happened (or maybe private emits to users to let them know or something), then the players pose based on that information.

    Been a while since I've really played with the system though so maybe I'm wrong. Either way I'm having fun going through the old books at any rate. :)



  • Enthusiasm is an asset. Especially if you can pass it on to the players.


  • Pitcrew

    I thought the Old Street Fighter did a decent job of mimicking Fighting game combat. Not great but about as good as you are going to get with table top.
    I think the hardest part of the translation would be having it so people lock in maneuvers before the reveal. Basically code illiterate myself so not sure how difficult something like that would be to set up.
    Not sure really on matter of the Mortal Kombat world, always was more of a Tekken and Street Fighter person myself with occasionally King of Fighters thrown in.


  • Politics

    @ThatGuyThere said:

    I think the hardest part of the translation would be having it so people lock in maneuvers before the reveal. Basically code illiterate myself so not sure how difficult something like that would be to set up.

    I'm not so sure it would be that difficult. You could use a timer and require an input within 30 seconds, else default to doing nothing in response to the attack. Not exactly fair if you suddenly have to take a shit, but you should have thought of that before entering a street fight.


  • Pitcrew

    @ThatGuyThere

    Yeah, it wouldn't be that difficult. Either with or without a timer. Could even me modes. Casual mode for a nice, lazy day of RP and ninja fighting and "Hardcore" for time sensitive scenes or just to add a sense of drama to the scene.


  • Politics

    Lag could wreak havoc on this sort of thing.

    You could have coded combat where you decide on a "strategy" per "round" (with three rounds). Best of two wins the fight. Of course, with this, part of the roleplay and fun of the game would become creating interesting "strategies" that you can apply based on your character's stats, etc.


  • Pitcrew

    The system, as I'm designing it now, is very casual. Also very simple. Designed for 2 fighters and an optional GM. The GM could force a round if someone is taking too long (which defaults the absent fighter to Blocking).

    I've just been playing around but I'm convinced it's doable.


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